Parish Priest’s Message from the “Key” Newsletter* –18 November 2012
Being the first at anything takes courage. To be the first means you’ve rejected some element of the status quo and have tried a new venture.
Change. Rejecting the status quo. Seeking something new. Revolution. These are all greeted with some of the greatest resistance ever encountered. Albert Einstein reminds us, “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.”
It takes inner fortitude, it takes confidence in your purpose and goal, it takes a “great spirit” to be the first at anything. St. Andrew the Apostle, whose feast the Armenian Church celebrated yesterday, had this “great spirit.” In fact, he needed it. He was the first-called “Nakhagoch” disciple of Christ. He heard the CALL of Christ. It spoke to his heart and he was never the same. Although he was ridiculed and criticized for following Jesus, he stuck to his principles and became the first of the 12 and therefore he is the first of over a billion Christians on the planet today.
St. Andrew teaches us the importance of following your heart. St. Andrew sought and found the Prize. In our ministry, St. Andrew the Apostle plays a very important role, because we’re bucking the system, we’re setting the pace for what Armenian Orthodoxy should be. Advent is in front of us and once again we will be challenging our faith by living the expressions of Love. Stay committed, even in the face of opposition.
Life comes around only but once. Take the time to “seek and you shall find,” says our Lord Jesus Christ. And when you discover that Truth, believe in it enough to put away comforts. Take the risk. It’s worth it, teaches us St. Andrew.
– Fr. Vazken
*The “Key” is the weekly newsletter of the St. Peter Armenian Church, Glendale, CA – Jesus asked the Disciples, “Who do YOU say that I am?” Peter responded “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” Jesus promised the Keys to the Kingdom for this profession of faith. (Mt 16) At the St. Peter, Glendale Parish, our faith and actions are based on that same profession of faith. It is the Key that opens the doors to our journey as Christians…