November 2015 Letter
By the end of November, the church celebrates the beginning of the fast of Nativity, during which we remember the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ – the Word of God – into the world: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1: 14). But why should God come by Himself? What are the reasons that made Him visit us, and didn’t order an angel or archangel to come? These reasons should be very strong that makes God “of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant” (Phi 2: 7). Let’s listen to Christ’s words telling us why it was necessary for Him to come to us:
- “for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luk 19: 10).
- “For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance” (Mat 9: 13).
- “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10: 10).
- “I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness” (John 12: 46).
- “for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world” (John 12: 47).
- “For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice” (John 18: 37).
- “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill” (Mat 5: 17).
- “just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mat 20: 28).
- “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me” (John 6: 38).
- “Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? `Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour” (John 12: 27).
For the church news, we would like to remind you that our annual banquet celebrating the feast of St. Mercurius will be on Sunday, November 22. Its income will be dedicated for the Coptic Youth Center.
We also remind you that the feast of the martyrdom of St. Mercurius the intercessor of our church will be on Saturday, December 5th. On this occasion, we will be blessed by the annual visit of HG Bishop Karas during vesper prayer on Saturday, December 5th at 7:30 pm where he will anoint the relics of St. Mercurius, and also during the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, December 6th at 8:30 am.
May the blessing of St. Mary & St. Mercurius, all the martyrs and saints be with us all.
Fr. Youssef Halim & Fr. Luke Istafanous
Belleville, November 1, 2015