Fr. Niko's Monthly Message - July 2023
"How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings…” - Luke 13:34
Beloved brothers and sisters in the Lord,
The past few summers, my family and I have enjoyed vacationing in the Pacific Northwest, where we spend time with family and loved ones. Our children enjoy being with their grandparents, cousins, and friends, sharing a meal and stories around the table, as we all catch up to see where everyone is in their lives. Many of us take similar trips when we’re able, or welcome family and friends to our homes when they are vacationing themselves, as summer is a time for gatherings and reunions. Visiting beautiful areas is nice, and visiting such places and those near and dear to us makes it an even more enjoyable experience. In the same way in which we enjoy such gatherings, the Lord has expressed His great desire to be with us as well. The Lord says to Jeremiah (32:38-39),
“Behold, I will gather them out of all countries… I will bring them back to this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely. They shall be My people, and I will be their God.”
God expressed this longing when Israel His people were in exile, and yet everything in the Scriptures is essentially connected to this theme: the Lord gathering His people back to Himself. Jesus expresses this to the Pharisees when he compares God to a mother hen who desires to gather her chicks under her wings! In a very real and vivid way, God delights when we, as His children, visit Him, both in our prayer life and in attending church at our home parish.
How awesome is His love for mankind, for all of us! Let us always remember that, like any loving parent, the Lord desires to have us dwelling safely in their home, and we can come to church with full assurance of this promise.
With love in Christ,
Father Nikolaos Bekris