2 THE SHEPHERD • DECEMBER 2021 • SAINT SPYRIDON GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH OF SAN DIEGO What a month! I have prayed for things to re- turn to “normal.” While things aren’t back to normal and there is still room in the church on Sundays, this past month was really en- couraging. e choir is back in the lo , their wonderful voices lling our Sanctuary. ere are new families with new babies and little ones. ere are college kids coming to our church while they are away from their homes. And on a recent Sunday there were some of the old faces I have longed to see. e Sunday of the Good Samaritan was a wonderful experience for me. I was working in the Narthex when I heard a voice from the past “how’s business?” Tasos was back! While Deacon Michael was giving his sermon, the Narthex was full and the murmur of conversation drowned out the speaker. As I strained to listen to his words, I truly heard things I hadn’t listened to before. In the Gospel (Luke 10: 25-37), the lawyer asks Christ the question we are all asking “Teacher, what shall I do to inher- it eternal life?” Christ answers the question with a question, “What is written in the law? How do you read?” And the lawyer answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” e lawyer then tries to qualify his obligation by asking “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replies with the parable of the Good Samaritan. When we hear the story, we think “of course I would have crossed the road, of course I would have helped; of course I would have taken the stranger into my house.” But I also know that in real life I have walked past a stranger in need. I have failed to love the person who has wronged me. I have failed to forgive and forget. Like the lawyer, we want it to be enough to love the neighbors who we like, people in our tribe, people like us. We don’t want to love that person who has wronged us. We don’t want to love that person who disagrees with us. But as we learned in the Gospel, we need to do those things if we want to nd salvation. I have tried to stop asking “who’s my neighbor” but instead thinking “who’s not my neighbor” to remind myself that every- one is my neighbor. Wouldn’t it be great if aside from knowing our neighbors by name, we could know their circumstances, know who is struggling, who is sick, who is scared, and who needs our help, not to talk about them but to cross the road and truly help them. e season of giving is upon us and I hope we can nd it in our hearts to love a neighbor we don’t know and to share our blessings with those less fortunate. Have a blessed day, Jim Gilpin Parish Council President Yes, the storage dungeon is fewweeknights and aweeken adjacent to the Kitchen. Reno anddisposalofallcabinetsand walls were prepped and RFP open, and brighter room via u lighting, aswell as heavy duty have a few finishing touches t nextcoupleofweeks. Special thanks for theirhardwo somewell-deserved breaks) fo JimLeventis,CoreyLeventis, a request forall topleasemakea cleanandorganized,whilealso that youmay“forget”behind. Πιστεύουμε ότι θα σας αρέσε στην Κουζίνα. Όλη η ομάδα π διατηρήσουμε και μελλοντικά καθαριότητα αυτού τού χώρο μας! Regards, Vlassiand theTeam WOMEN WORD OF THE We are now in the New Testament for our study of angels using the books, e Holy Angels and e Angels and eir Mission: According to the Fathers of the Church. e mystery of the Incarnation as it is told in Holy Scripture is a perfect lesson on the role of angels in the world and in our lives. In Psalm 8 David says, “What is man that You remember him, or the son of man that you visit him? You made him a little lower than the angels; You crowned him with glory and honor.” en concerning the Incarnation St. Paul takes this one step further in his Epistle to the Hebrews “we see Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor.” In the story of the Nativity as told in the Gospels of Luke and Matthew, the angels are shown to be both the announcers to the world and attenders to the Most High God incarnate. Before this we heard of the angels as put in charge of the world and of God’s creation. Now we see not only the angels minister to Christ in His humanity and at the same time always attending to the Kingdom of God, but also as ministers of our salva- tion through Christ, leading us, His creation, back to God. One of our Church Fathers, St. Hilary writes: “When Christ comes down to assume humanity, a heavenly entourage ac- companies Him.” Packed into this story, in both Matthew and Luke combined, there are six appearances of angels each bringing a special message -- rst the appearance of the Archangel Gabriel to the priest Zacharias at the altar of incense in the Temple to announce the birth of his son, John, the Forerunner who will prepare the way for the coming of Christ; then the Annunciation of Gabriel to Mary about the miraculous virgin birth; followed by the ap- pearance of an angel to Joseph in a dream en- couraging him not to be afraid to take Mary as his wife and revealing to him that the child is from the Holy Spirit; and to the shepherds in the eld at night with this ever memorable announcement: “ en an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terri ed. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messi- ah, the Lord;’” and also the angels guided the Magi with a star and warned them not to re- turn to Herod; and nally an angel appeared again to Joseph in a dream to take ight into continues 3 I have tried to stop ask- ing “who’s my neighbor” but instead thinking “who’s not my neighbor” to remind myself that everyone is my neighbor. HELLO, NEW HOLIDAY GIFTS Meet limited-edition gifts that look good, feel good, and do good. Marian Khoury Dougenis Beautycounter Consultant 619.520.3660 www.beautycounter.com/mariankhourydougenis 20% OFF NEW CLIENT PROMOTION FROM THE PARISH COUNCIL PRESIDENT