Presvytera Alexandra Houck created The Children's Word bulletin so children will know they are not only welcome in church, but even more, an essential part of the Church family. She hopes the weekly bulletin will be just one more way we can make kids feel at home in church. Presvytera Alexandra is a graduate of Duke University and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. Her husband, Fr. Jason Houck, is a priest at St. Mary's Greek Orthodox Church in Minneapolis, MN. Presvytera Alexandra and Fr. Jason have five small children: Lydia, Paul, Silas, Philip, and Sarah. Presvytera Alexandra grew up attending Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Asheville, North Carolina with her nine siblings.
Have you ever said you were sorry for something…but you didn’t really mean it? Maybe you said it because your parents told you to. Or maybe you said “I’m sorry” because you didn’t want to get in more trouble!
Today’s Gospel reading tells us about a man who said he was sorry…really, really, sorry. He owed a lot of money, and he asked his master to have mercy on him. He promised to pay him back. His master forgave him. But then, this man demanded money back from somebody else! First, he said he was sorry. But when somebody said he was sorry to him, he wouldn’t accept it!
Do you think the man really meant he was sorry in the first place? Or do you think he asked for forgiveness because he wanted something?
God is good to us! He loves us and wants to forgive us when we ask Him. But God wants us to be honest too. When we ask God to forgive us, we should try to really mean it. But how? We can say “I’m sorry” in words, but what really matters is when we say “I’m sorry” in actions! So, if you hurt somebody, try to think of a way to really help that person.
Can you think how the man in today’s Gospel could have said “I’m sorry” in actions?
SAINT AGATHONIKOS: “AND THOSE WITH HIM”
Have you ever been part of a team that won an award together? For sports, for school, for dance, for anything? You might have even had your picture taken, all of you holding a trophy or a prize.
Soon, we will celebrate the nameday of Saint Agathonikos. Agathonikos lived 250 years after Christ did, but he spent his life telling people about the Lord. Lots of people who worshipped idols changed their ways. They listened to Agathonikos’s words, and they came to believe in our one, true God. This kind of thing made the emperor so angry, and he sent people out to capture and kill Christians…especially the ones who were preaching about Christ!
Saint Agathonikos was captured, beaten up, and killed for his faith. Finally, Saint Agathonikos got to be in heaven with His Lord Jesus Christ, the One he had talked to people so much about!
When we read about saints, sometimes we read about some saints who might have died with them…like “Saint Agathonikos and those with him.” They celebrate their nameday together. They are all part of a team together…the team that loves Jesus Christ. And of course, they won an award together too! Do you know what that award is?
We celebrate the nameday of Saint Agathonikos on August 22nd (Sept. 4th, OC).
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