THE SUNDAY MESSENGER
February 28, 2021
Sunday of the Prodigal Son
Christianity is a Celebration
We can learn from the prodigal son. Out of a desire to be independent or autonomous, what happens when we depart from who and what we were created to be, i.e. children of our Father in communion with him? Sin is not merely a transgression of rules, but a condition, a disease in which symptoms include preferring things to ultimately fulfill us other than God, thus alienating us from him, whatever those distractions may be. We leave God’s care in all kinds of ways, finding whatever cheap substitute. We can all create our own list. But there is hope. The beginning of the victory over sin, the victory over death, is Christ’s death. At the Cross, Jesus “trampled down death by death,” and Badarak is a proclamation of this victory.
Christianity is proclamation and a celebration, a confluence of penance and thanksgiving. Salvation has been accomplished, and Christ restored us back to what he originally created us to be – in loving communion with him. So how do we respond? We give thanks and celebrate. He led us back to the Garden to feed from the Tree of Life – his own Body and Blood, not as a magic pill that cleanses us from our bad deeds, but for healing and restoration of our diseased condition of sin, that which draws us away from the eternal life and bliss we enjoy as children of “Our Father.”
In Badarak, the people of God recall, proclaim for themselves, celebrate, and give thanks for the mystery of our salvation already accomplished by Christ. Like the father in the parable, our Father has gifted us with a ring, the symbol of family identity and adoption:
On that day, says the Lord of hosts, I will take you, O Zerub′babel my servant, the son of She-al′ti-el, says the Lord, and make you like a signet ring; for I have chosen you, says the Lord of hosts. (Haggai 2:23)
And a robe, a symbol of righteousness granted by baptism:
For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. (Galatians 3:27)
Is that reason enough to celebrate and eat at the Table provided by the Father who sent his only Son to heal the world of sin and lead us back to the Garden? So arrive on time! Don’t be late for the party! Let’s celebrate what’s been done for us out of the Father’s inexhaustible love. We have been lost and now we are found! We were dead and have been made alive!
The parable leaves us with a question that forces us to look at ourselves, individually and as a parish community. The older brother in the parable refused to celebrate, refused the invitation of his father, claiming his father never threw this kind of celebration for him. The father simply tells the son that everything he owns is also his, but there is a time to celebrate: when someone who has been lost is found, when someone who was dead is now alive. The younger, prodigal son wasn’t living his faith the way he should, but eventually returned home. All of us, of course, are like him. But in what ways are we like the older son? What does it say about us if we are not celebrating the way we should?
By Dn. Eric Vozzy
TODAY’S BIBLE READINGS:
2Corinthians 6: 1-7:1 (pages 165-166) New Testament
Luke 15: 1-32 (pages 71-72) New Testament – (Please follow the Armenian Reading in your Bible)
Isaiah 54: 11-55:13 (pages 731 – 732) Old Testament
REQUIEM SERVICES: Hokehankist today will be for:
GEORGE LAMARRA (3rd Anniversary of His eternal life) requested in loving memory by his mother Barbara Papazian and Family.
“Lord, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night….” (Nehemiah 1:5–6). Prayers are requested for Ethel Terzian, Taron Poghosyan, Alice Charles, Theodora Mirakian, Leslie Movsesian & Larry Grocott.
Lent 2021:Adult Christian Education (ACE) will present the following ZOOM programs this season of Lent. All sessions will begin at 7:00 pm unless otherwise noted. Register at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the link.
Friday 2/26 – His Grace Bishop Daniel Findikyan – Message – to be announced
Saturday 3/6 @10:30 am – Very Rev. Mesrop Parsamyan, Dean of Etchmiadzin Seminary – Path to Hope
Friday 3/12 – Dn. Armen Terjimanian, Pastoral Intern – The Luke Connection: Lent & Advent
Friday 3/19 – Dn. Albert Keshgegian – Beside Still Waters: Day by Day Book Discussion
Friday 3/26 – Rev. Fr. Garabed Kochakian – Holy Week though the Sacred Art of Armenian Miniatures
PEACE AND REST SERVICES
In-person attendance is invited for these services that will take place at church every Friday at noon starting February 26 through March 26. Masks are required and social distancing must be maintained. Access to the church is through the main entrance doors ONLY.
MEN’S CLUB NEWS – The February 200 CLUB drawing for 2020-21 was completed on 2/14/21. You can see the results on our HTAC Website. Click on: Organizations, Men’s Club. Congratulations to the Winners!
DIVINE LITURGY IN YOUR HOME
https://www.facebook.com/SSSMAAC/live/ (St. Sahag & St. Mesrob Armenian Church)
http://www.stleon.org (St Leon Live Stream)
https://www.facebook.com/stvartancathedral (St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral)
http://www.holy-martyrs.org (Holy Martyrs Live Stream)
EMERGENCY CLOSINGS: In an effort to inform parishioners and guests when a Holy Trinity church service or program needs to be canceled or delayed due to inclement weather or other reasons, we request that you check our website (www.holytrinity-pa.org) or facebook page (www.facebook.com/holytrinitypa) for the most accurate information.