Monday, January 30, 2017

Blessed are You!

Blessed are You!

You are Blessed in Boston!
You are NOT Banned in Boston!

Jesus began his ministry by recruiting some ordinary working people; like fisherfolk as you may remember from last week. Folks like us and he said plain as day; “Let’s go fishing.” 

Mind you he wants us to go fishing for people. After all, we’re spending way too much time walking in the Darkness. It is time for us to proclaim the Gospel of Light!  You will remember how we put it last week; 
Christ has died
Christ is risen
Christ will come again.
In the darkness there is much too much violence, bigotry and hatred. In the light we die to sin and rise to newness of life.
We are forgiven
We receive the gift of eternal life
We are filled with the unbounded joy of Jesus
This Gospel message then gives us the kernel of a Gospel life
Love God
Love one another
Love yourself.

No need to complicate the Gospel. Jesus didn’t; neither need we.

So then, he called his working folk to him, his fisherfolk and then Jesus went public with his ministry. 

He began healing the sick. Jesus wanted to make sure that everybody had access to Universal Health Care through his sacred and holy touch. This is first and foremost. He gave us power and commandment to heal the sick. Why then is this matter of Universal Health Care so controversial? For Jesus, the was of the highest priority.

Of course the crowds followed him wherever he went. They longed for his healing touch. And there they were today gathered with him up on the mountain. He begins his first campaign speech; the one we call “The Sermon on the Mount”.

He begins with a blessing. 

“Blessed are the poor in spirit”. Jesus knew what it was to be exhausted and oppressed by the burdens of his life. He had sense to withdraw in moments when he was spiritually spent. We may not think of Jesus as “spiritually spent” but the scripture tells us exactly that; 
“But now more than ever the word about Jesus spread abroad; many crowds would gather to hear him and to be cured of their diseases. But he would withdraw to deserted places and pray.” ~Luke 5:15,16

In the Lucan version of this sermon, the one the biblical scholars call the "Sermon on the Plain", Jesus says "Blessed are the poor." Period. 
"Blessed are you who are poor,
for yours is the kingdom of God.
“Blessed are you who are hungry now,
for you will be filled.
“Blessed are you who weep now,
for you will laugh." ~Luke 6:20-21
Jesus goes on to say this of the rich and powerful
"But woe to you who are rich,
for you have received your consolation.
“Woe to you who are full now,
for you will be hungry.
“Woe to you who are laughing now,
for you will mourn and weep." Luke 6:24,25
Notice how Jesus comforted the afflicted; but afflicted the comfortable. 

In both sermons Jesus begins with a blessing. In fact, he begins with many blessings: A blessing on the poor and those whose hearts are torn with grief. He blesses the meek, and those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.  The merciful and the pure in heart; these folks obtain mercy and they shall see God. Blessed too are the peacemakers, they are God children. And then there is this. Don’t forget those of you who are persecuted for righteousness sake. Blessed are you too! When they revile you and utter all kinds of evil against you Jesus wants you to rejoice and be glad because this is how they have always treated the prophets in times gone by.

Oh my God!

How prophetic are these words. Its still the same now! What kinds of things do we hear now in public about all the above? Where are the blessings from our public leadership at the very top of our nation’s Capitol? Rather than blessings, we hear bullying at the very least, and at worst nothing less than persecution.

How tragic that in these United States of America among those persecuted are folks singled out because of their religion. Just because you are Muslim! In our history, you might be persecuted because of the color of your skin, you may be discriminated against because of your gender, you may face violence, rejection and hatred just because of your orientation. This is not to be among Christian folk. 

Jesus begins with blessings on the people. All the people. So much so, he seeks out those the rich and powerful reject; you know who they are; sinners, the despised, the rejected and the outcast. Jesus blesses those banned by the rich and powerful.

In the person of Jesus, God’s love extends well beyond those accepted in polite social circles. He goes to the sick in body, mind and spirit. He seeks out the sinners; the prostitutes and the unclean lepers, the despised tax collectors, the foreign born Samaritan; Jesus loved them, forgave them. Jesus blessed them!

Contrast these blessings with the language we hear now from the halls of power and the extremist managed media. Jesus tells us that the truth shall make us free. Now we have well funded executive leadership that makes up the truth as it goes along particularly about voter fraud. This is an attack on our very democracy. 

Ah but calm yourself Fr Paul! There I go. I too can get so easily caught up in all the negative talk! We can easily fall prey to the darkness these days if we focus too much on all the hateful speech.

Rather, let us begin our ministry as Jesus began his; with the blessings of God. In Greek, the language of the New Testament, the word for blessed is “makarios” which means 
“You are the ones who are supremely blessed and holy in God’s eyes”
“You are the fortunate one”
“You are the well off in God’s eyes!”
“In fact, you are the ones God admires!”
Makes sense, doesn’t it?

We order our lives with a blessing first and foremost. Make it a rule in your families. Make it a rule in your church. In fact, lets make it a rule of heart to bless God the Holy Trinity. We can get too easily caught up in finding fault, God knows there is much to find fault with.

But Jesus knows that's a trap. This is the darkness of the world in which we live and we are way too much caught up in it. In our politics, God knows. There is so much to find fault with in our church or in our diocese. Good Lord we can find fault with each other, without so much as taking a sober look at ourselves.
Jesus pointed that one out very clearly, remember? In the same Sermon on the Mount that begins with today's, Jesus said;
“Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbor, “Let me take the speck out of your eye”, while the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye.” ~Matthew 7

Jesus began his every waking moment with a blessing. Good lord, there is so much to be grateful for. You have your life, your family, your friends, your work. We have God at the center of our lives, and an indelible picture of who God is in the person of Jesus. By God’s grace and through the generosity of so many we have this church. 

Oh yes, blessed are you for your generosity and your pledges for without them we could not prepare this year’s budget, which, by the way, we will be doing directly following this service. I’m sure you have all pledged. You have, haven't you?

Which brings us back to where we began; “Blessed are the poor”. I’m confident in saying none of you is rich. If you were, then I’d know somebody’s holding out on God’s work in this place.
Let me will tell you this. The biblical standard for giving is the tithe. That means we are called to give 10% of what God gives us. Everyone has some income. This is God's gift to you.  And this is God’s church and we want to be certain that we make provision for the ministry of God’s church in and from this place. Don’t we?

Let me ask you, do you give 10%, 5%, 4%, 2.5% or some other proportion your income? If any of you have difficulty with decimals or percentages, I know somebody here can help you.figure it out. Oh yes, I know about the poor widow who only gave a few copper coins in the Temple Treasury out of gratitude for something God had done for her. But let me ask you, what percentage of what she had did this poor woman give, according to God? 10%? No! She gave much more than that my friends, she gave everything she had. That’s 100% folks! ~Mark 12:41-44.

Finally, “Blessed are you” you are God’s blessed people. You have been blessed. 
“You are the ones who are supremely blessed and holy in God’s eyes”
“You are the fortunate one”
“You are the ones well off in God’s eyes!”
“In fact, you are the ones God admires!”
Now, you are to go forward to bless. 

So then in our first two weeks together; what is it that Jesus is teaching us?
  1. Let’s go fishing!
  2. Let's go blessing!

In the Name of God, the Most Holy, Blessed and Everlasting Trinity. Amen.
Fr Paul

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Gone Fishing!

Third Sunday After the Epiphany
January 22, 2017

In the Name of God the Holy Trinity.

This is the very name in which you have dedicated yourselves and this church. You have dedicated and consecrated this place to the strong name of the Trinity.
The Holy Spirit.
God as our Creator.
Jesus as our Savior.
The Holy Spirit, the Hagia Sophia, she who is our Holy Wisdom from on High. You do know that the word Spirit is “Sophia” in the Greek language and means “Wisdom”. She is a beautiful name and reflects the feminine side of God. Yes, of course you do.
And so you have dedicated yourselves and your church to all that is creative within and among you, all that saves yourselves and others, all that grants us wisdom, the holy wisdom from on high.
It is within the context of this very Holy Name that we begin our ministry together; 
In the Name of God; The Most Holy, Undivided and Everlasting Trinity.

Cindy and I thank you for your welcome and are grateful to be in your midst here at Trinity Church. We are grateful for all those who have come before us, whose generosity and dedication have built this place. We thank God for all of them, for all of the Clergy who have dedicated themselves here including Fr. Phil, for all the laity who have given so selflessly to build this holy place. And I thank God for each and every one of you. It now falls to us to continue building up the body of Christ.

So lets get right down to it. 
Lets go fishing!

That’s how Jesus puts in today's Gospel to Simon Peter and Andrew; to James and John the fishermen. They cast their nets in Galilee as the old hymn sings it. Now, we are to go fishing for people. 

Let’s go see if we can “catch” some people for God. Each and every one of you, Jesus says; “You, I want you to go fishing for people!” Obviously Jesus wants us to bring the Gospel to the people. So, what do you suppose that means?

Let me put this very simply. The prophet Isaiah says: “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.”.
What is this deep darkness?
What is this great light?
It is very simple. You know the darkness of sin. Crime, violence, drugs, hatred, prejudice, oppression, inequality. In short; the darkness of our time is that so many of us live without purpose or hope.

This present darkness in which we live and the great light that has dawned upon us are reflected in the events of the past week. We celebrated Martin Luther King Day, then there was the Inauguration of the President of the Untied States of America, and following that yesterday there were marches in Washington, DC; Boston and all throughout this great land of ours. It is in the interplay of darkness and light that a divided nation now takes a sober look at the realities in front of us. I will leave it to you to figure out which of these events has to do with the Light and which with the Darkness. God help us! 

Similarly, as I look around this church and take a sober look at the work that lies ahead of us, I must confess all I can say is the same thing; God help us!

It is in the context of these realities; the reality of my country, and the one of my church that I look to God for help. That's when Jesus speaks to us through the Scriptures and the Sacraments. Jesus invites us to ministry.

Jesus wants us to bring purpose and hope to the people who are walking through the darkness.

The Gospel proclamation is simple.
“Christ has died 
Christ is risen
Christ will come again.”
In the very heart of today’s Eucharistic prayer we will say the same thing  with a slightly different turn of phrase;
“We remember his death,
We proclaim his resurrection,
We await his coming in glory”

That’s it in a nutshell
In our Baptism, we believe that not only has Jesus died, but we have died with him in a death like his, in order that we might rise with him in a resurrection like his.
Throughout our lives we are broken by sin, defeat and by many moments of death like disappointment. But with Jesus at our side and with God in our hearts, and with friends and family around us, we rise again.
It is our experience that no matter how many dreadful moments there are in our lives, we rise again, again and again.
In the darkest days of the Blitz in London, when the Nazis bombed the people, innocent people, unarmed people, Winston Churchill the old English Bulldog stood by their side to say. “When you are going through hell, remember, keep going!”
“Christ has died,
Christ is risen
Christ will come again, and again, and again”.
We never loose hope.

If this is the Gospel what then shall we do about it? This too is pure simplicity;
Love God
Love one another
Love yourself.

Yes I want you to go fishing. Jesus wants you to go fishing. 
Do you have any idea of how dark this world is? 
Of course you do. 
You know how desperate life is for so many. 
How dangerous life is when it is not filled with the fullness of God.
This is why you are here.
You are to show the world how much you love God, love one another and above all, love yourself.

Do not forget to love yourself.
Jesus did not say; “Love your neighbor instead of yourself”.
He said “Love your neighbor as you love yourself”.

If you have ever gone flying you know that the crew teaches us that if there is a loss in cabin pressure, oxygen masks will drop down from above. So whose face do you put that mask on first? You or your baby? If you said; “your baby” you are tragically mistaken. 
You have precious little time in an emergency to save your life first and then your baby’s life. For if you minister to your baby first you may loose both the baby’s life as well as your own.
First save your own life and then you will have the wherewithal to save the lives of those around you.

This is how the Gospel works. First, be forgiven. That’s why Jesus died for you. This is the great news of the Gospel. You are forgiven. Now, live as though you are forgiven. This may take a while. It may take a lifetime but as you grow into your forgiveness, at the same time, forgive so that all may know of the power of God and the Gospel of Christ for yourselves well as for others.

Daily we die to sin, daily we rise to new life in Christ. This is how we are to live Baptized lives. You see, in the Gospel context we are the forgiven forgivers. This is the first sign we have hold of eternal life.

By the way, when you go fishing you may sit there hour after hour, day after day, week after week, and you won’t get so much as a nibble. When the warmer weather comes back and I take my evening walk, all the fisherfolk are down by Red Rock Park in Lynn where I live, and there they are hour after hour, day after day. To me, this is utterly boring, but not to the fisherfolk. One day I found out why. Suddenly there it was; “Fish on!”. It took three big men to haul this huge codfish in, and what excitement it caused. It was all worthwhile!

“Everybody’s coming over to my place for dinner tonight", said the fisherman.  "Everybody’s coming over to my place for the next week. There is enough fish here to feed everybody as much as they want for days on end!”

This is how it is with the Gospel. It may take days, weeks, months, years before you get a nibble, but when you finally hook one for Jesus, and by that, I mean when you save somebody from the brink of disaster, what joy there is in heaven and on earth. Then we summon everybody to Gods table. There is plenty for us all to eat and we feast on the power of Jesus’s resurrection. This is what makes it all worthwhile!

Christ has died
Christ is risen
Christ will come again

Love God
Love one another
Love yourself.

And finally, what does God give you in the Gospel life?
Eternal life
And joy without measure.

Depression, the pandemic disease of our time is gone. All the darkness is gone now when we take the Gospel into our own lives and when we bring others into the knowledge and love of God and one another. 

So now, I want you to go fishing.
Jesus wants you to go fishing. 
All the fish in the sea, by the way! The Baptismal Covenant requires of us that we respect the dignity of every human being. All the folk on the planet without regard to race,, class, gender, orientation, or national origin.
This above all rejoices the heart of God. This is eternal life as God would have us live it.
This above all brings joy to all our hearts that you bring yourself and someone else to the knowledge and love of God.
Lets go fishing!

In the Name of God the Most Holy, Undivided and Everlasting Trinity. Amen.

Fr Paul.

Friday, January 06, 2017

A Donald Putin Epiphany

A Donald Putin Epiphany

As the story goes, the Holy Family went up to Bethlehem to be taxed by the rich folks. I wonder if those rich folks paid their taxes then any more than rich folks pay their taxes now? Then an unwed mother gave birth to a poor homeless Child at a very dark and cold time of year. Twelve days later, Wise Men from the East came to the Child and gave him gifts of Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh. 

Cradle to grave gifts those were! A generosity to last a lifetime!

As I thought about these gifts I wondered about the Donald Putin Oligarchy and what kinds of gifts they were bringing to the poor, homeless, refugee children of today? When the Holy Child grew up he healed the sick we're told. I wonder about the kind of health care poor children will receive now at the hands of the Donald Putin Oligarchy. For the poor and the elderly I wondered; what of Medicare and Medicaid? Or even Social Security? 

I had an Epiphany! The Donal Putin Oligarchs will not be bringing their gifts of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh to the Holy Child or any other poor Children this year. Rather, they will be taking away what little the Holy Children young and old have managed to eek out. 

Truth be told, the Donald Putin Oligarchs are waging war against the poor and creating armies of unwanted refugees. 

The Holy Mother of all these Holy Children has been revered down through the ages by people of faith. In a perversion of that reverence, the Donald Putin Oligarchy regards women with repugnant obscenity.

Let the Bright Light of the Star The Wise Men followed shine on the Donald Putin Oligarchs. People of faith are called to resist the Donald Putin Oligarchs.

People of Faith in Judaism, Christianity and Islam are under a moral mandate to Tithe to the poor. 
In a perversion of that generosity The Donal Putin Oligarchs will steal from the poor rather than give any gifts at all.

The Psalmist sings this song on the Feast Day of the Epiphany when God's love shines forth to all the nations of the earth; 

"All kings shall bow down before him, *
and all the nations do him service.
For he shall deliver the poor who cries out in distress, *
and the oppressed who has no helper.
He shall have pity on the lowly and poor; *
he shall preserve the lives of the needy.""
~Psalm 72

This is not the song I hear from the Donald Putin Oligarchy. 

Fr Paul, just a simple parish priest. 

Sunday, January 01, 2017

The Holy Name

The Holy Name

Today is the Feast Day of the Holy Name, what we used to call the Feast Day of the Circumcision. It is the day when Mary and Joseph brought their new born baby to the Temple and there he was marked in his flesh as God's own child forever in the tradition of Judaism then and now. He was given the holy name "Jesus" as instructed by the angel. For us and for all down through the ages, his Name is holy.

Years ago while working in community organizing circles in Hyde Park and Roslindale, I happened to meet a Greek fellow who had come from the old country. We introduced ourselves to one another, and I discovered that he had once served as a shepherd when he was younger and lived in Greece. A shepherd in the city of Boston! It was the first and last time I have met a real life shepherd in any city I've worked. It occurred to me that this would be a wonderful opportunity to do some good theological research. 

So I asked him; “What does it take to be a good shepherd?”.
He replied almost instantly in a thick Greek accent; “Three things; First you gotta know each da sheeps’ names. Den you gotta have dogs. You can’t do de job witout you got dogs. Den, sometimes when dey steps outa line you gotta whacken de sheeps upside de head, wit de shepherd’s crook.”

What I had hoped for by way of good theology was in fact good practical advice for a parish priest. You have to know each of your parishioners by name. But to know a name will not be enough, you will have to come to know the person behind the name, the essence of who they are, and you must care deeply for them. Secondly, you cannot do the job alone, and so while dogs won’t help you much, you will need to recruit, vestry, altar guild, ushers, musicians, youth, men and women’s groups and all leaders for all sorts of ministries to make a congregation vital and viable. And thirdly, there will come times when folks will step out of line, their behaviors will become irrational and you will simply have to whack some sense into them with a well placed word or two. I have found the good Greek shepherd’s advice helpful over the years.

This is how it all begins. First and foremost with a name. When you were born you were given a name. In fact, we often pick out the names of our children even before they are born. We bring them to the church for the formal “Christening” a nice old English word that means to be “Christ named”. We are, in fact, Baptized into the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. In our Baptism, we are buried with Jesus in a death like his so that we may rise again with Jesus in a resurrection like his. That means to us that as Jesus’ Name is Holy so is yours. Not only is your name holy but so are you. All that you are, all that you have been and all that you ever will be; you are Holy.

The Lord instructed Moses in today’s first lesson to have Aaron bless the Israelites in God's Name. The Biblical scholars call this the “Aaronic Blessing” because it is the one Aaron and all the priests shall pronounce to God’s people down through the ages:
“The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace. So they shall put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.”

It is in God's holy name that you are blessed therefore you become holy and you are to treat one another as holy. You are not to ridicule others, or bully them around nor are you to oppress them. The people of God are holy. You are to be a light to the Nations so that they may see the good you do and become holy along with you. 

The holiness code is built into the Law of Moses, because the Law of Moses is the Law of God. “Be holy as God is Holy, says the Lord God” ~Leviticus 20:26. This is why God has chosen us to be his people. So that all nations shall be blessed by the Holy Name.

In the beginning we were created out of the dust of the earth to be holy for God. When God formed us out of the dust he breathed into us the very breath of life. We became living beings. We became something holy and beautiful for God~Genesis 2:7.

And when Moses came to the Burning Bush, God spoke to him and said; “Moses take the shoes from off you feet for the ground on which you are standing is holy ground”. Then in this sacred and holy encounter God spoke and said that he had seen the misery of his people. And then Moses trembled before God as he said “God down and tell old Pharaoh to let my people go.” This is the essence of who God is; God has seen the misery of his people. ~Exodus 3.

When I read this passage I think of the misery of our poor, our young, our sick, and those cast out and rejected by the many. Whether in our inner cities or rural areas it is the same problem. For our youth if they are without work many will turn to violence, gangs and drugs and the vicious cycle continues. Yes, God says not just to Moses thousands of years ago but to us now; “I have seen the misery of my people”. God spoke to Lincoln and said "Let my people go." God spoke to Gandhi and said, "Set my people free." God spoke to Martin Luther King and said, "Bring my people Civil Rights". 
“Go down Moses and tell old Pharaoh, let my people go.” What now? Perhaps give my children jobs. The essence of the Holy Name of God; “I have seen the misery of my people” 

Did Mary not sing as much in her sacred song of the Holy Name?
‘My soul magnifies the Lord, 
   and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, 
for he has looked with favour on the lowliness of his servant.
for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
   and holy is his name
   he has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. 
He has brought down the mighty from their thrones,
   and lifted up the lowly; 
he has filled the hungry with good things,
   and sent the rich away empty. 
   ~Luke 1:46-55

The Wise Men gave Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh to the Christ Child, because God had seen the misery of that poor Child and all poor children. If the rich and powerful do not do so willingly, God will require their wealth and take it from them in another way.

Moses asks God; “What is your Name so that I can tell the people who it is that is saying all this?. How can I persuade them that it is You who speaks to me?
God then spoke to Moses and said tell them that “I AM WHO I AM” has spoken to you. If you study the Hebrew and try to understand what happened in that encounter with God, you will discover that God is something more than a copula verb “To Be”. God is Being itself. God is who God is, who God was, and God is whoever God will be forever. God is our Creator and so much more. God brings to pass what God requires of all humankind. And when God spoke to Moses and said that he had seen the misery of his people, God meant business. God was going to plunge himself into human history in such a way as to bring us up out of Egypt as slaves and into the Promised Land of God’s freedom. 
This is God’s Name; “I have seen the misery of my people and I want you to go down to Pharaoh and say; ‘Let my people go!”

God’s Holy Name is much more dynamic than anything we can imagine. God’s holiness will find itself in the midst of human history to bring us Peace with Justice. If the rich and powerful believe that they have amassed their wealth and power because of what they themselves have done, I have news for them. God will speak and God’s will be done. They are in for a rude awakening.

You and I must not bow down and worship Golden Idols that King Nebuchadnezzar has erected for us to worship. You will not fall down and worship any king no matter how rich and powerful, no matter how much he or she may bully you around. You know the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. They refused to bow down and worship the golden idol. And they were thrown into the fiery furnace. But God delivered them and they sang the song of God unharmed in the fiery furnace. 

Folks we are in for it. King Nebuchadnezzar or whatever his name is now, will test us in the fiery ordeal which we must now endure. We shall not cower in fear to Pharoah, the Emperor, the King, the Dictator or any other human being. No indeed. We shall sing the songs of God and we shall not only endure, we shall prevail.

This is because the Name of God is “I have seen the misery of my people”. And God will send Moses, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, Lincoln, Gandhi, Martin Luther King or all the above. And we shall say to old what’s his name; “Let my people go!”

Sometimes we may wonder, who are we that God should take a moment’s thought for us? The Psalmist asked that question more than 2500 years ago. Look up to heaven and take a good look at the stars at night and listen to these magnificent words from today’s Psalm. 
1 O Lord our Governor, *
how exalted is your Name in all the world!
4 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, *
the moon and the stars you have set in their courses,
5 What is man that you should be mindful of him? *
the son of man that you should seek him out?
6 You have made him but little lower than the angels; *
you adorn him with glory and honor;
10 O Lord our Governor, *
how exalted is your Name in all the world!

Our worship and our service to the Holy Name of Jesus is far more than reading old stories from a Bible in church and making our communion Sunday by Sunday. 

If God told Moses to go head to head with Pharaoh who do you think we should be going head to head with to stop the misery of God’s people? 

The poverty, the sickness, the homelessness, the war, the refugee crisis, the persecution of the outcast and the marginalized, the lepers, the prostitutes and the rejects. God has seen the misery of his people. And Jesus loves them all.
Jesus loves us all.

Who do you think God requires us to go to? 
Moses went to Pharaoh.
Jesus went up to Jerusalem and he turned over the tables of the money changers.
Now who do you think God wants us to go face to face with?
Do you think God is pleased that the rich just get richer and the poor get poorer?
Do you think it pleases God that you and I pay our taxes, but that the rich, the super rich and the multi national corporations pay nothing at all. Where is the justice in that? 

The Holy Name of Jesus means more than two syllables. As your name means so much more than a few letters in the alphabet so too Jesus is so much more to us. Jesus comes alive to us in the Sacred and Holy Name of who he is for us all. You know who he is; and you know what he said:
 ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
 ‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
 ‘Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
 ‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
 ‘Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
 ‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
 ‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
 ‘Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
 ‘Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

The Holy Name means “I have seen the misery of my people”. Therefore organize yourselves church. Then we shall go down together and tell old pharaoh; “Let my people go”. 

In the Name of God the most Holy, Undivided and Everlasting Trinity. Amen.
Fr Paul