|The Reverend Canon Victoria R. Sirota|
Collect for the Third Sunday of Easter
O God, whose blessed Son made himself known to his disciples in the breaking of bread: Open the eyes of our faith, that we may behold him in all his redeeming work; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
“Open the eyes of our faith.” I love this line. What a wonderful description of how faith actually works. So many times, little miracles happen in our presence and we toss them off as “coincidences.” It may even be something that we have been praying for. The eyes of our faith have been closed. Rather than giving thanks to God for the miracle, we take it for granted. Our spiritual life cannot deepen if we are not in a real relationship with a living and loving God and acknowledge the gifts that we are given on a daily basis.
The disciples do not know what to do with themselves. After being resurrected from the dead, Jesus appeared to them in the upper room and even returned to show his wounds to “Doubting Thomas” (or as Canon Claudia calls him, “Honest Thomas!”). But now they are trying to return to their former lives as fishermen and it is not going well. They have not caught any fish at all.
They do not even recognize Jesus. He calls to them from on shore, “Children, you haven’t caught anything, have you?” He tells them to cast their nets on the other side of the boat. They immediately catch so many fish they cannot haul them in. With that miracle, the beloved disciple John is able to recognize Jesus. He says to Peter, “It is the Lord!” The eyes of his faith were opened. The liturgical season of Easter is about opening our eyes to the miracle of Christ’s resurrection and the way in which that knowledge changes everything.
The art work of congregation member Philip Feller is now part of a new exhibit at Philipse Manor. You can see his work Thursday night, May 2 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. as part of the Gallery Hop, or in the ongoing exhibit at Philipse Manor Hall. We’re very proud of him!
We have our wonderful May Penny Social this Sunday at 12:30 p.m. If you haven’t joined us before, this is a lovely event where the change in your pocket might win you something! This is an ongoing fundraiser for us, and it also is a terrific way to connect with our neighbors.
We are thrilled to announce that our wonderful Organist Jason Slayden will be giving a terrific vocal recital as part of the NY Landmarks Sacred Sites Open House here on Saturday, May 18 at 3 p.m. This will include The Holy Sonnets of John Donne by Benjamin Britten. Jason is a world-class singer, and he brings with him superb pianist Gloria Kim. Please put this on your calendar and tell others!
I am also thrilled to announce that our Parish Historian Angie Piwinski will be giving a Guided Tour of Saint John’s Getty Square beginning at 2 p.m. on May 18. Please join us for the whole afternoon, or whatever part of it you can make, and bring your friends! Refreshments at 4, open house continues until 5 p.m.
That same day, our congregation member Deborah Holcombe will be exhibiting her terrific work as part of the Yonkers Arts Weekend May 18-19 from 12 – 5 p.m.in her studio in the YOHO Artists Open Studio at 540/578 Nepperhan Avenue. Put this on your calendar too!
We have at least one Baptism on Pentecost Sunday, June 9th at the 10:15 a.m. Service of Holy Eucharist. Please let me know as soon as possible if you know of someone who would like to be baptized on this great Festival Sunday (firstname.lastname@example.org; 914 969 2969).
What an amazingly talented congregation we have! If we open the eyes of our faith, we see the astonishing gifts of the Holy Spirit all around us.
Easter blessings and love,
The Rev. Canon Victoria R. Sirota