May 2009 letter
Christ is risen …. Truly He is risen
Congratulating you for the joyful Easter and the 50 holy days, where we feel the joy through the resurrection of our Lord, and reflected within the church hymns and rites and even the decorations. Our Lord Jesus Christ appeared to His disciples for 40 days and gave them the sacraments of the new testament “being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God” (Acts 1: 3).
The number of times that our Lord Jesus Christ appeared is not exactly known, but the bible tells us about 11 appearances:
A- Five to 1 or 2 people:
1) Mary Magdalene and the other Mary (Mathew 28).
2) Mary Magdalene alone (John 20).
3) Emmaus disciples (Luke 24).
4) St. Peter (1 Cor. 15: 5).
5) St. James (1 Cor. 15: 7).
B- Five to a group of people:
1) The disciples without St. Thomas (John 20).
2) The disciples with St. Thomas (John 20).
3) On the lake of Tiberias (John 21).
4) In Galilee to His disciples as His promise to the Marys “Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me” (Mathew 28: 10).
5) In the ascension (Acts 1).
C- One to more than 500 people: as St. Paul mentions “After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present” (1 Cor. 15: 6).
Asking you to remember the church, its priest, servants and all its services always in your prayers, and may the blessings of St. Mary and St. Mercurius, and the blessings of the holy resurrection and these 50 Holy days be with us always Amen.
Fr. Youssef Halim
Belleville, May 1, 2009