“Blessed are you, Christ our God, who revealed the fishermen to be most wise by sending down to them the Holy spirit, and so through them catching the whole world in a net. Lover of humankind, glory to you!”
Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Lord,
Today the Church celebrates and commemorates the unrepeatable and unique event of the sacred Pentecost. This event took place in accordance with the promise of Christ the Lord to His disciples and Apostles fifty days after His resurrection from the dead and ten days after His ascension into heaven.
The Lord, prior to His departure from earth, promised to His disciples that He would send the other Paraclete (the Comforter), that is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit would illumine them so that they would comprehend and recall all they had heard, seen and experienced whilst they were with their Tutor, Jesus Christ, during His three-year public ministry in the land of Palestine.
The disciples, before Pentecost, made the necessary provision so as to complete the number of the Apostles. This was done through the election of Matthias in place of Judas Iscariot and Traitor. After that the Apostles remained gathered in Jerusalem in the upper room of the house of Maria, the sister of the two apostles, Barnabas and Aristobulous and the mother of Mark the Evangelist.
There were gathered there a total of 120 people. Among them our Lady was certainly to be be found. About 9.00 in the morning the descent of the Holy Spirit took place. A sound like a strong wind was heard. Then fire which was divided into twelve fiery tongues, came down from heaven. A flame of fire sat on the head of each disciple.
Thus we have the illumination of the disciples and the dwelling of the Holy Spirit in the soul, the mind and the heart of each Apostle. Apostle Peter, then, stood up and delivered his first sermon. The net of that sermon brought the first fruit, which was three thousand faithful as members of the Church.
At that time in Jerusalem there were many Jews of the diaspora who came over from all the place of the then known world. They came there to con-celebrate their own pentecost in the country of their origin. Their pentecost was commemorating the delivery of the Mosaic law on Mount Sinai.
It was impressive that all those people did not speak or understand the same language. However, whatever Apostle Peter said to them, they comprehended and they were amazed how it was possible for this to happen. The disciples were taken by many to be drunk with wine. Then Peter protested strongly and said: How can we be drunk so early at 9.00 in the morning?
Additionally, a church hymn commemorates the event of the confusion of tongues during the building of the Tower of Babel and the division of men, since it was impossible for them to communicate with each other. At the same time it reminds us that on the day of Pentecost where the limits were raised, the people could understand what they heard. This brought about the fruit of unity.
The day of Pentecost, as it is known, is the ‘Birth Day’ of the Church. The Church, of course, pre-existed in heaven among the three Persons of the Holy Trinity. Among her members within the frame of creation, are the angels as they belong to the spiritual world. On the day of Pentecost we have the foundation of the Church on earth. The event of Pentecost through the centuries was pre-figured and foretold in many ways by the prophets. In Genersis, the first book of the Old Testament, it is mentioned about the Holy Spirit with the use of the term Rouah Elohim. We read then as follow: “and a mighty wind…swept over surface of the waters.” (Gen. 1:2). In the 50 Psalm the prophet and king David asks God not to take away from him the Holy Spirit with the words: “Do not take your Holy Spirit from me.” (50: 11).
Within the Church everything is granted by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, let us ask the Third Person of the Holy Spirit to dwell permanently within us and cleanse us from every kind of sin. Amen!
C O M M U N I T Y N E W S
MEALS FOR THE ELDERLY: The meals for the elderly during the month of April were subsidised by the following: Sophia Livera on the occasion of the birthday of her son Alex; Koulla Minaides and Onoufrios Onoufriou in memory of their beloved departed Onoufrios, Katerina, Michael, Kyriaki; Soteroula Georgiou for the health of her family and in memory of her departed beloved brother Elias and uncles Revd Varvanas and Kyriacos and the Ladies’ Auxiliary Society of PANTANASSA. We thank the kind donors for their generosity and kindness towards this very worthy cause.
Unfortunately, for the month of May we have had no donations towards the meals and the Ladies’ Auxiliary Society of PANTANASSA had to contribute towards all these meals. If you are able and willing to contribute we will be appreciate your donation towards the meals for our elderly.
A NEW EDITION: Recently the Paschal Issue of our School Magazine came into circulation. This includes a greeting by the Head Teacher, His Grace, Bishop Athanasios, a variety of essays from the teachers as well as the pupils, adverts, photographs and a chronicle of events.
PANTANASSA’S SOCIAL EVENING: The Ladies’ Auxiliary Society of PANTANASSA will be holding a social evening in order to raise funds towards the meals for the elderly. This will take place in the hall of St Mary on Tuesday evening, 25th May 2010, at 7.30 p.m. There will be a hot buffet dinner. Price of
each ticket is £20.00, includes drinks. A raffle will be drawn at the end of the evening. Please make every effort to support this event as it will help towards replenishing our funds towards the meals for the elderly.
RENEWAL OF SUBSCRIPTIONS: The subscriptions for the Community (£50.00), Pantanassa (£25.00) and the Archdiocese Magazine (£15.00) are now due. If you have not already paid your subscriptions or wish to subscribe to any or all of these you may contact our Community’s offices.
ANNUAL SCHOOL RAFFLE: Our annual school raffle is still in circulation. So far we have been able to sell tickets in the amount of £7,200. We thank you for your kindness towards this venture and we trust that you will continue to support this until we have managed to sell all the 11,000 tickets by Sunday, 4th July 2010.
ST BARNABAS/CYPRUS DAY: On Friday, 11th June 2010 we celebrate the feast of Saints Barnabas and Bartholomew. The church of St Barnabas in Finsbury Road, London N22 8PA, will celebrate the event as follows:
On Thursday, 10th June 2010, Vespers will be sung at 6.00 p.m.
On Friday, 11th June 2010, the Divine Liturgy will be celebrated between 9.00-12.00 noon. His Grace, Athanasios, Bishop of Tropaeou, will preside assisted by the priests and deacons of the Community.
On Sunday, 13th June 2010, we celebrate ST BARNABAS/CYPRUS DAY. Our Community will celebrate this important event. These celebrations are organised by our Community and the Association of the Greek Orthodox Communities in Great Britain. The Divine Liturgy will begin at 8.30 a.m. His Grace, Athanasios, Bishop of Tropaeou, will preside at the Divine Liturgy, assisted by priests and deacons of the Community. Special prayers will be said for Cyprus and the speech of the day will be delivered by His Excellency, The High Commissioner of Cyprus, Mr Alexandros Zenon.
THE NAME-DAY OF OUR PATRIARCH: On Friday, 11th June 2010, the feast of Holy Apostles Barnabas and Bartholomew, His All-Holiness, Bartholomew, our Ecumenical Patriarch, celebrates his name-day. We take this blessed opportunity to extend our profound respects to our Ecumenical Patriarch and add our ardent prayers for His well-being.