March 19, 2020
I know how difficult it is for all of you to not be able to come to the church. To not be able to receive Holy Communion. During this challenging time, it might be good to realize that each one of our homes is a domestic church. In our domestic church, we can certainly pray the prayers of the Church and read Sacred Scripture. When we bless our homes annually we are consecrating them as a domestic church. In the Old Testament, there were the synagogues and the Temple. In the synagogues, prayers and the reading of the Old Testament took place. Sermons were given by a rabbi.
Our homes can certainly function in this way. Especially when we can hear a sermon on Ancient Faith Radio or YouTube. In the Old Testament, the Temple was for priestly sacrifice on behalf of all the Jewish people. Occasionally the Jewish people would go to the Temple for a very specific need, but they mostly went to the synagogue. It was the priests who served in the Temple continuously offering prayers and sacrifices without the faithful Jewish people in attendance for the most part. Right now our parish church is like the Temple in the Old Testament and all our homes are like a synagogue or domestic church.
The divine services Jonathan and I are serving not only benefit all of us but they grace the entire world. In the Divine Liturgy, the priest declares right before the consecration of the gifts at their elevation, "Your own of Your own we offer to You, in all and for all." This is the power of priestly intercessory prayer and it is a true honor to be able to serve all of you in this way. To make priestly sacrifices and call God's grace down upon us and upon creation itself is something I'm not worthy of, but I do it for you. At last night's Presanctified Divine Liturgy all of you were present mystically because we are one parish family just as Christ and the Father are one (John 17:21).
Please know that each and every one of you are in my prayers and Jonathan's prayers. Please pray for me and for Jonathan. Without your prayers, we will not be able to do this. When we pray for each other we enter into the communion of God's love. Pray that the Lord gives us all the wisdom and courage to do whatever needs to be done in these most daunting times. May we pour our hearts and souls into the Lord and into each other.
In Christ's Love,