December 22, 2018

On December 14, 15, & 16, we were graced with a Christmas Mission led by Metropolitan and Archbishop Stefan Soroka. For three days Archbishop Stefan prepared us to meet Christ in the feast of Nativity. He talked about putting aside all cares of life. In the Divine Liturgy Sunday after Sunday we sing the Hymn of Cherubim and in that hymn we are reminded to put aside all cares of life.

Archbishop Stefan brought forth examples of what we experience in our daily lives, anger, greed, envy, pride, and as our Liturgy says, we have to "lay aside all cares of life." He showed us how we can truly put aside all cares of life and bring Jesus back into our lives especially at this time of Philippian Fast. Before we enter into the joy of Christmas we have to put aside anger, inadequacy and other cares that keep us away from joy of Christmas.

Metropolitan invited us to renew in us a true heart a humble heart, a heart that can forgive, a heart that can love. Archbishop Stephan asked us to search our hearts to find out who we are. When Pope Francis was elected, he was asked, "Who is Jorge Mario Bergoglio?" He replied, "I am a sinner." We are all sinners - if we get angry, if we lie, if we curse, if we use inappropriate language, if we judge people, or lack charity, we should renew our faith and become an example of Christ for the world.

Archbishop Stefan invited us to become a more welcoming community because people are seeking religious understanding. He talked about renewing the desire to know about our Christian faith and helping others to come to the same knowledge.

Archbishop Soroka with his wealth of knowledge and experience brought us to a deeper understanding of the Holy Scripture pertaining to the Nativity. He brought forth concrete examples of how we can bring forth Jesus' teachings in our daily lives within our homes and parish family.

At this time we would like to express our gratitude to Metropolitan Stefan Soroka for a very inspiring Parish Mission. Additionally we are thankful to all who participated in it.

Protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish Committee, Rossdale

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