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2014-01-12 message

posted Jan 20, 2014, 5:02 PM by St. John's Webmaster   [ updated Jan 20, 2014, 5:02 PM ]

Around the beginning of each year we sometimes hear ‘luck’ mentioned around the church. There are two particular instances where this word tends to creep in. In places where there is a dive for the cross at Theophany, the retrieving diver is sometimes said to have ‘good luck for the year.’ A similar thing tends to be said about the person who finds the coin in the Vasilopita. Let us look just briefly at the prayer of the blessing of the Vasilopita, however. It says:

“As we enter this new year of your goodness, bless these breads offered for Your glory and honoring our father among the saints Basil the Great, Archbishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia. Look attentively from Your holy heaven, O great Giver of gifts, and send down Your heavenly gifts upon those who have prepared and those who will partake of these breads. Bless their comings and goings; fill their life with all that is good. Guide their steps that they may fulfill Your divine commandments, for man shall not live by bread alone.”

There is no mention and no hint of an abstract, impersonal thing called luck. What we have is a fervent prayer to the personal God that He bless, guide, and strengthen us to do those things which He has commanded, so that we may draw near to Him for our salvation. Indeed, the reference at the end to Jesus’ words that man does not live by bread alone leads us to lift up our spiritual eyes to the eternal life. Remembering this lesson of our Lord, in this new year, let our focus be squarely on this eternal life and so let us spend less time wondering about our luck and more time praying and getting to know our heavenly Father.

With love in Christ,
+Fr. Peter