Sunday of the Prodigal Son

Sunday Messenger

March 5, 2023

Sunday of the Prodigal Son 

Scripture notes for today’s readings

2Corinthians 6:1-7:1
Luke 15:1-32
Isaiah 54:11-55:13

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

Scheduled for TODAY.

Daylight Saving Time begins Sunday, March 12, 2023, so please remember to turn your clock forward one hour before you go to bed on Saturday night (March 11 th ). Remember: Spring forward, Fall back!

REQUIEM SERVICES: Hokehankist today will be for: Karen Agabekyan – passed away on February 28 th at age 64 in Moscow after a long fight with cancer. Requested by Natalia and Gevork

Author Rina Gallo will be signing her book The Heart of a Rock a story about two Armenian teenagers and their friendship that blooms in the midst of the Armenian Genocide. The signing will take place at St. Stepanos Armenian Church 1184 Ocean Avenue, Long Branch, NJ 07740 on Sunday, March 19, 2023 following Badarak.

Please join us on Sunday, March 19, to enjoy our Mitchink luncheon, following church services.  Advance reservations are appreciated as we plan our cooking needs. A special program is planned with guest speaker, Chris Zakian, who will once again inform and enlighten us in our history. Cost per person is $15 and can be reserved by mailing a check to church (memo: Mitchink) or online at Any questions can be addressed to Jeanette at 215-672-4188 or

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 @ .

CHURCH CALENDAR (please mark your calendars)

Sunday March 5 – ACYOA Soup Sunday and Parish Annual Assembly
Sunday March 12 – Snow date – Parish Assembly
Sunday March 19 – Mitchink luncheon
Sunday April 2 – Palm Sunday
Thursday April 6 – Holy Thursday
Friday April 7 – Holy Friday
Saturday April 8 – Easter Eve
Sunday April 9 – Easter Sunday

THE KISS OF PEACE: After the gifts of the Eucharist are brought to the Altar Table, the deacon proclaims, “Greet one another with a holy kiss.” The person giving the greeting says, Kristos ee
mech mer Haydnetsav – Christ is revealed amongst us. The recipient would respond, Orhnial eh Haydnootiunun Kristosee – Blessed is the revelation of Christ.

ATTIC TREASURES – BAZAAR 2023 – Please do not bring your Attic Treasures to the church until September 15 th . While we appreciate the donations, we ask you to store them at your homes as we do not have a storage area.  Thank you.

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 ( ) or facebook page ( ) for the most accurate information.