In this photo, my granddaughter is pretending to be Belle in the story, “Beauty and the Beast.” With her blanket cape, she is running like the story’s heroine to escape the mean wolves seeking to do her harm. Evie’s mind imagines herself as being part of the story. All children play pretend games, and as parents we guide them to truth.
Growing up, pictures like this one were important to me. They helped me view and understand much about the world… my family in Greece, my relatives who lived several hours away, as well as buildings and people from around the world. As part of our Sunday lunches, my parents shared the “who, where, and what” in the many pictures they had preserved through the years. I believe that is the origin of my fondness for wanting to take photographs of the special moments in my life, along with the people and places I visit. They offer lasting insights into the lessons I gain from my journeys and encounters with others.
Jesus taught His Disciples, “’Let the little children come to Me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of Heaven belongs.’ And He laid His hands on them and went on His way.” (Mt. 19:14-15)
I commend my daughter, Katie and her husband, Steven, for bringing my granddaughter, Evie, to Jesus through their teaching her the GOOD NEWS of our Risen Lord – for sharing stories about His love and mercy; for teaching her God has the power to overcome the real wolves in our midst (evil, sin, and death). He gives us eternal life and joy through His Redemption and loves us all.
St. Paul assures us in Romans 8:28: “We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to His purpose.” From the combined efforts of Evie’s family and many friends, she believes and prays to God every day with her physical family and with her spiritual family at church. I am thankful for their support. What a blessing we can offer one another! I also commend all families who are teaching their relatives and friends about God’s love and bringing up their children to know Jesus and His Holy Church!
My brothers and sisters, “Christ is Risen!” He continues to “lay His hands” on our children and on each of us who call upon His Holy Name. This weekend we observe the “Sunday of Thomas”. It is exactly one week after Holy Pascha. Its Gospel witness recalls the Apostle Thomas’ exclamation, “My Lord and my God!” after he encounters our Risen Lord in the flesh.
As a colorful and heart-felt reminder of “our Lord and our God”, I share the following photos shared with me from the Saturday of Lazarus through late afternoon on Holy Pascha. Like my parents’ photos, they will serve as a lasting and cherished witness of Jesus’ gentle and nurturing touch on our children. They were possible because our families worked together with our church family, according to God’s purpose, “to let the little children come” to Jesus and encounter and meet Him through His Living Body on earth. Through God’s SAVING truth and Good News, we never need to fear the real wolves in our midst (evil, sin, and death). “Truly He is Risen!”
“’Let the little children come to Me, and do not stop them;
for it is to such as these that the kingdom of Heaven belongs.”