THE SUNDAY MESSENGER
April 3, 2022
Sunday of the Advent
COVID UPDATE: Masks are recommended, but not required, Please use your best judgement.
This sixth and last Sunday of Lent is dedicated not only to the Second Coming of Christ but also to His Incarnation, God’s becoming Jesus, fully God and fully human. He will come again — this time not as the gentle and lowly Savior, but as a righteous judge in the glory of His Father with a retinue of angels. He will sift through the good and evil just as a shepherd separates the sheep and the goats at day’s end. Jesus declares (Matthew 25:31- 46) that we will be judged for acts of righteous goodness born of a loving faith. Did we feed the hungry? Console those in need of comfort, ease suffering? Only on this unequivocal basis, will we be received into eternal life. Reflection: Prayerfully read Matthew 25:31-46. Imagine that day of glory and visualize where you will be; pray for Jesus to open your heart that you might see His face “in the least of these.”
Scripture Notes from Today’s Readings
Matthew 22:34-23:39 – In these verses, Jesus summarizes the law in the two greatest commandments in which all the law and prophecies of the Old Testament can be summarized (22:36-40). In 23, there is an extended warning (the “seven woes”) against the vanities and false pieties of the Pharisees. The reading concludes with Jesus’ poignant lament for Jerusalem in which (23:37) – in one of the rare moments when a female metaphor for God is used – He yearns to protect its people as a “mother bird gathers her young under her wings.” Discuss/reflect: Why do you think Jesus asks us to love God (22:37) “with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind?” What is distinct about each of these three ways of loving?
Colossians 2:8-3:17 – In a beautiful accompaniment to today’s Gospel, St. Paul urges us to depend on Christ rather than human tradition or worldly principles. Through baptism we have died with Him and are raised with Him into faith and a new way of living. That virtuous, good life is eloquently described in 3:12-17. Discuss/reflect: In Christ “you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.” (3:9-10) Comparing the “old” ways described in 3:5-8 with the “new” outlined in 3:12-17, how would you rate yourself? Where do you need more of God’s help?
Isaiah 66:1-24 – Isaiah conveys God’s promise of both restoration and judgment; His children will thrive and be comforted in a new Jerusalem. But those who persist in false worship and rebellion will be harshly judged. Again (as in the Gospel passage above), we are offered a beautiful female image: God will comfort His people as a mother does her child. Discuss/reflect: Isaiah shares these words of God in verse 13: “As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you.” God is more often described as a father; what shades of meaning does this picture of God as mother add to your understanding of His love?
Altar Flowers and Candles are donated today in joyful celebration of Jeanette Der Hagopian’s 80th Birthday by her children and grandchildren, the Der Hagopian, Farah and Willard Families.
SPECIAL COFFEE HOUR, APRIL 3, 2022: To celebrate the joyful occasion of her 80th Birthday, the family of Jeanette Der Hagopian invites you to join them for a special coffee hour after church. All are welcome!
PALM SUNDAY BANQUET: Sunday, April 10, 2022, is ACYOA DAY. Immediately following Church Services, ACYOA is sponsoring a Banquet. Donations: Adults $25.00 – Children ages 6 to 12 yrs. $8.00 – Children 5 and under Free. No tickets will be sold at the door. For reservations, please send in your check by the Deadline: April 3, 2022.
HOLY TRINITY ZOOM BOOK CLUB: Copies of our next book selection, “Mayrig” by Henri Verneuil (Ashod Malakian) are still available at our bookstore for $15. The book, which tells the story of the quintessential immigrant experience, as lived by an Armenian family settling in France, is tinged with the hues of Armenian joy and sadness. The discussion will be facilitated by Elise Antreassian, who translated the French text into English. We will meet on Thursday evening, April 21 at 7:00. To receive the Zoom link, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
ZOOM ADULT EDUCATION LENTEN SERIES: The faithful are invited to join us for the last program in our Friday evening Lenten series. Our guide for the session, entitled “Solitude and Silence as Spiritual Disciplines” will be the Very Rev. Fr. Mesrop Parsamyan, who currently serves the Diocese as Director of Ministries. A distinguished scholar and church leader, he has pastored parishes in Belgium, France and the United States and served as locum tenens of the Diocese of Switzerland. He is a frequent and eloquent speaker on the topic of Christian spirituality; this session is a must for all those seeking God! We will meet Fr. Mesrop on Friday evening, April 1 at 7:00. Contact email@example.com for the Zoom link.
COUNTRY STORE – We invite you to come visit us after church most Sundays. See Liz or Jeanette. If you wish to place an order for pickup, contact Lorraine Damerjian @ 215-572-8465, and she can help you with that.
Seeking Part-time Organists – the Choir of Holy Trinity is looking for multiple talented musicians who would be seriously interested in playing the organ for the Sunday morning Divine Liturgy (Badarak) on a rotating schedule. Organ lessons will be provided to the interested candidates, along with one-on-one direction from a senior choir person. For further information, contact Karinne Andonian @ firstname.lastname@example.org.