A Busy Sunday
Following Liturgy, Fr. Paul gave a children’s sermon and skit about Zacchaeus. The Gospel account of
Zacchaeus is read on the last Sunday preceding the liturgical preparation for Great Lent, for which reason that Sunday is known
as “Zacchaeus Sunday.” It is the very first commemoration of a new Paschal cycle. The account was chosen to open the Lenten
season because of two exegetical aspects: Jesus’s call to Zacchaeus to come down from the tree (symbolizing the divine call to
humility), and Zacchaeus’s subsequent repentance.
The people along with Zacchaeus are waiting because Jesus is coming.
Zacchaeus was short in stature and so was unable to see Jesus through the crowd. Zacchaeus then ran ahead
and climbed a sycamore tree along Jesus’s path.
When Jesus reached the spot he looked up at the sycamore tree, addressed Zacchaeus by name, and told him to
come down, for he intended to visit his house. The crowd was shocked that Jesus, a religious teacher/prophet, would sully
himself by being a guest of a sinner. Zacchaeus came down and said he would give half his possessions to the poor and return
fourfold to those from whom he had taken unfairly. Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man
too is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
Next Fr. Paul had the children help him with the Blessing of Candles.
Finally the new council recited the oath of office.
Garden Center Visit For February
Fr. John began our visit explaining the icon “The Presentation in the Temple.” Eight days after He was born,
Mary and Joseph took Jesus to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord and make an offering. In the temple was Simeon, whom God
told would not die before he had set eyes on the Messiah. Taking Jesus in his arms, Simeon said, “O Lord, now I may die in
peace” for he knew that he was in the presence of the savior promised by God. Also there was Anna, who lived most of her, life
in the temple praying and fasting.
In the memory of St. Simeon who said, “Christ is the light to enlighten the gentiles,” Fr. John blessing our
Singing “Many years” for Fr. John, Donna and Steven celebrating their birthdays.
Our visit ended with snacks and talk of the coming Valentine’s Day party.