For teachers and parents

For teachers and parents (10)

Πέμπτη, 03 Ιούνιος 2021 13:38

THE RESURRECTION OF THE DAUGHTER OF JAIRUS

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ΜΑΘΗΜΑΤΑ ΚΑΤΩΤΕΡΟΥ ΚΑΤΗΧΗΤΙΚΟΥ
Ἀπό τήν σειρά "Μαθαίνω γιά τόν Θεό", τόμ. Β΄
Ὁ Θεός στήν Καινή Διαθήκη
(Ἐκδόσεις "Χριστιανική Ἐλπίς" Ὀρθόδοξη Ἀδελφότητα)

 

The Resurrection of the Daughter of Jairus

(Mt 9:18-26; Mk 5:21-43; Lk 8:40-56)

 

  Today, we are going to visit one of the houses in Capernaum. This house hides a lot of pain. It's been a long time since laughter and joy were heard here. The only child in the family, a twelve-year-old girl, is seriously ill; she’s dying. The smile faded from her parents' lips and sadness tightens their hearts.

  On the shore of Capernaum, many people were eagerly waiting for Jesus, once again. The suffering father was among the crowd. He had heard of Jesus. He had been informed that Jesus had cured many patients with serious illnesses. A hope was awakened in him. Could He cure his own child? If only he could reach Jesus…
  And there he was! The father whose heart was full of pain, ran towards him. He forgot his high social status. He was actually the leader of a synagogue, responsible for maintaining order in one of the local synagogues, where Jews gathered to study the word of God, the Old Testament. In other words, he was a respected person in Capernaum. Jairus, that was his name.
  The pain he was feeling, however, made him fall on his knees. He begged Jesus to come to his house. “My daughter”, he said, “is dying. I beg You, come and put Your hand on her so that she may be healed and live”.
  Jesus, sympathized with the desperate father, reassured him and followed him. On the way to Jairus’s house the crowds almost crushed Him.
  Thus, an unwell woman found an opportunity to approach and touch the edge of Christ’s clothes. She thought that she could go unnoticed. She had been losing blood for twelve years. She felt terribly exhausted. She had also spent all her money to pay for doctors to help her but they couldn’t do anything for her. In addition, she has been isolated from everyone for so long because of her illness. But this time she dared to approach Jesus.
  As she approached Him, she said to herself: "If only I touched his clothes, I would be healed". Her faith in Christ was strong. And our Lord, who knows everything, rewarded her strong faith. Indeed, as soon as the sick woman touched Jesus' clothes, the bleeding stopped! What so many doctors could not do for years now, our Christ gave her in an instant.
  Who touched me? Jesus asked because he wanted to show everyone the faith of the bleeding woman. “Teacher, the people are crowding and pressing against you and you ask who has touched you?"! Peter responded spontaneously. But Jesus insisted. The bleeding woman fell to her knees before Jesus and confessed to everyone what had happened. “Have courage my daughter!” Christ said. “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace!”
  While Jesus was still speaking, someone came from Jairus’s house. He brought the bad news: “Your daughter is dead. Don’t bother the Teacher anymore. There is no reason for him to come to your house”.
  The father’s heart broke. Hope faded. He believed that Christ could heal his dying child. But now? She is dead now. But what did the Lord say to him? "Do not be afraid Jairus, just believe in me and she will be healed". "Keep relying on me and your child will be saved". What did Christ mean by these words?
  They arrived at Jairus's house. Everyone was crying, they were mourning for the death of the young girl. But Jesus said to them: “Stop wailing! She is not dead, but asleep!" How strange were the words of this Teacher! Everyone was convinced of the child's death. Some sneered and mocked Him.
  Jesus Christ entered the house, the room where the dead girl was. He asked everyone to go out. He only kept with Him the girl's parents and three of His disciples: Peter, James and John. Everyone looked at him with wonder. What was he going to do?

  anastasi koris iaeirouOur Lord took the hand of the dead girl. Then, as if trying to wake her up from her usual sleep, he said sweetly: "Wake up, my girl!". And then - how miraculous! - immediately the child got up and started walking! The Lord raised her up!
  Who can describe the surprise, the great happiness and the gratitude that the parents felt! Jesus urged them to give the child something to eat. They no longer doubted that their child was completely well.

  Christ overcame death.

  Our visit to this house in Capernaum, is an awe-inspiring event. If we go to the house of a dead person and tell his relatives: "Your man is not dead but he is sleeping", they will think that we are making fun of them. Christ however, to those who were crying without hope, said: "Do not cry, she is not dead but asleep!"
Christ calls death “sleep”. And the Church calls the dead “people who have been asleep”. Thus, a great truth is revealed to us: As the man who is tired falls asleep and he will wake up, so the dead are not lost, but asleep and they will wake up. Life does not stop at the grave. At the same time that people close their eyes to this life, they open the eyes of their soul to the other life and face our Savior Christ. That is why the early Christians were not afraid when their persecutors threatened them with death. Even small children waited fearlessly for death, because it would bring them closer to Christ!
  Our life has lots of joys. But it would be a lie to tell you that it has only joys. If we look around, we will see many people suffering, others suffering from a serious illness, others in pain because they have lost their loved one.
  Have you ever thought that we, ourselves, could be in their place? And if such a thing happens - it may has already happened to some of us - what will we do? Will we despair? No. We are certainly in pain, we are sorry for the separation from our loved ones, because we want to have them with us, to see them. But when we know that our dead are not lost, but live in the presence of God, we are in peace. We do not despair. Instead, we strive to be children of God, in order to be granted with the paradise where we will meet Him and those we love.
  Today we witness our Lord resurrecting the twelve-year-old girl. He, who created the universe with one word of His, He also commanded the dead girl to be resurrected and she so did. But, is it possible for dead bodies to have ears and hear His word? Of course not. And yet, they hear our Christ’s voice and obey it, because He is the creator of life and the one who has defeated death!
  And as he resurrected the daughter of Jairus, so he will resurrect us and everyone else, in His Second Coming. We confess this faith every time we say the Creed of our faith. Do you remember how it ends? "I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the future age to come." That means: "I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the future eternal life!"

Δευτέρα, 08 Μάρτιος 2021 16:59

THE DEATH OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST (Mt 14:1-12)

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   Do you know who is the greatest man of all ages? Among women, it is Virgin Mary the Mother of God. Among men it is Saint John the Baptist. He is so great that Christ himself praised him! He is the greatest prophet, the one who pointed to Christ with his hand and was worthy of baptizing Him in the Jordan River. He is the greatest hermit, having lived for many years in the desert with strict fasting and prayer. He had such an ascetic life that he is presented as an angel in the icons.
  prodromos This great man lost his life - not just died but he had a horrible martyrdom - because of a dance. You all know Herod, the king, who slaughtered the infants of Bethlehem, because he feared the newborn Jesus. This Herod had a son who, after his father’s death, became a King and was called Herod the tetrarch.
   The new king was not at all a good example for his people. His life was covered in sin and immorality. He had even taken his brother’s wife, named Herodias. This was too immoral and illegal! But no one dared to speak to the king about this dishonesty. Everyone wanted to be on good terms with him. All? Only one dared to raise his voice without fear. And this was John the Baptist. "King," he told him, "it is not lawful for you to have her!"
   And what did the king do? Did he realize his mistake? Did he regret it? No! Instead, he sent soldiers to arrest John and threw him into a dark prison. He would also wish to kill him, but he was afraid that the people who loved John, might revolt against him. So, in the prison of Machairous, the most courageous, holy person was rotting away.
   But even from prison John did not stop criticizing the immoral Herod: "King! You are not allowed to do what you do". Herodias, his illegitimate wife, however, was disturbed by John’s criticism more than Herod himself. She could not bear to hear the voice of John the Baptist. She wanted to get him out of the way. How dare he speak such words about the royal couple! So, she was looking for an opportunity to get rid of him and the opportunity soon appeared.
   On the day Herod had his birthday, he invited all the officials of the area for a feast. So, when everyone had started getting drunk, they were left speechless by an impressive spectacle: A young girl, Salome, showed up. She was the daughter of Herodias. She was provocatively dressed, loaded with jewelry and excessive make-up. But, she did not go to give wishes to King Herod. Instead, she started dancing in a very sinful way.
   But the half-drunk Herod, instead of being ashamed, was proud of her. As soon as the dance was over, blinded by drunkenness, he called her close to him and said: "Ask me what you wish! I will give you up to half of my kingdom!".
   What should Salome ask for? She ran and asked her mother, the wicked Herodias. Here was the opportunity she was waiting for! There was no need for her to think much about it. She advised her daughter “You will ask for John's head on a platter”! Salome without wasting a moment ran into the dining hall and, while the food was being served to the guests, she asked for John's head on a platter!
   Did the king hear well? Did she ask for John's head? Yes! Herod, as he had sworn in front of his guests that he would give Salome whatever she would ask for, gave the order. Ηe sent his soldier to behead John in the prison. Since then, king Herod had not been able to calm down. Saint John was no longer alive but his name created remorse and fear to the King. He feared that one day he would be resurrected and avenge his death.
   In Orthodox Church there is a period called "Triodion". During this period, the Church invites us to prepare ourselves with prayer and fasting to welcome the great days of the Passion and the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. On the contrary, what do many people do these days? They go to parties and feasts. Various clubs, associations and schools organize their annual dance during this period. In many cities, during these days of the Triodion, the carnival is celebrated with various events and parades of the masked people.
   a. In the dances that take place during this period, people are used to masquerading. Masquerade parties are held. And what is wrong with that? This custom starts from an infamous pagan custom. The history of masquerade has its roots in ancient times, when people worshiped the god Dionysus with drunkenness and masquerading. Hiding behind a mask, they could commit any sin they would otherwise be ashamed to commit.
   b. The beautiful traditional dances of our homeland have grace and heroic national pride. Do they dance thus at masquerade parties? Unfortunately, no! Other dances that are foreign, furious and provocative. Some of them reminds us of Salome’s dancing! You get used to them, of course, because you watch them on screens. But, what we watch on TV is not always right and moral.
   c. When people get drunk, they do not know what they are doing. They usually do things they later regret. All their sinful desires awaken in their drunkenness and they are unable to resist. They willingly give in to what is wicked and sinful. Remember Herod! He did not hesitate, drunk as he was, to hand over, to that corrupt girl, the head of the greatest Saint on a platter!
   It is helpful to know all these, now that you are still young, so that as you grow older you can keep yourselves safe. Christ wants his children to rejoice, but with genuine joy! And there are, indeed, so many ways to have fun and rejoice in the pure, true joy of our Christ! Remember our summer camp: games, dances, great fun, endless joy... In this way, "entertainment" guides our soul in a correct path and raises it higher and higher!
   Please Lord, give me strength to resist to any kind of fun that is sinful.

Κυριακή, 21 Φεβρουάριος 2021 14:21

GAME 3

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Lucky you! Chocolate for you!

chocolateEquipment:
a dice,
a large bar of chocolate,
a napkin and plastic gloves for each player.

Preparation:
Put the chocolate on a small table.
Players sit in a circle at some distance around the table, each one with the napkin and the gloves.

Playing:
Each player takes turns to throw the dice.
When someone throws a three or a six, they run to the table and start eating the chocolate, one square at a time, with the napkin around their necks and their hands in the gloves.
Meanwhile, the others carry on rolling the dice. The next person to throw a three or a six runs to the table and taps the other person on the shoulder who must stop eating as they have been replaced. The next one starts eating the chocolate and so on.

Κυριακή, 21 Φεβρουάριος 2021 14:14

GAME 2

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Pot Shots


yogurtEquipment: Ten yoghurt pots and one table tennis ball are required.

Preparation: Build a yogurt pot pyramid, by placing four pots on the table and placing three on top of them, then two on top of those and then one.

Playing: Each player (or team) is given a table tennis ball and throws it in turn at the pyramid from an agreed distance. The aim is to knock down all the pots or as many pots as possible.

Winning: This game can be played just for fun; otherwise score one point for each pot knocked off the pyramid. The team or player with the highest score wins.

Κυριακή, 21 Φεβρουάριος 2021 14:08

GAME 1

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One chair for each player

chair  We arrange the chairs in a circle in the middle of the room.
  One player volunteers to stand in the centre of the circle because there is no spare chair for them.
  As soon as someone says ‘now’ you move trying to find another place available to sit.
  Please try to do this fairly and not by pushing or shoving somebody else out of their seat.
  When the player in the middle manages to sit on a chair, their place in the middle of the circle is taken by another one.
  This game is fun to play but there is no winner.

Σάββατο, 13 Φεβρουάριος 2021 17:56

THE PARABLE OF THE GOOD SAMARITAN

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ΜΑΘΗΜΑΤΑ ΚΑΤΩΤΕΡΟΥ ΚΑΤΗΧΗΤΙΚΟΥ
Ἀπό τήν σειρά "Μαθαίνω γιά τόν Θεό", τόμ. Β΄
Ὁ Θεός στήν Καινή Διαθήκη
(Ἐκδόσεις "Χριστιανική Ἐλπίς" Ὀρθόδοξη Ἀδελφότητα) 

The parable of the Good Samaritan

Lk 10:30-37

  Have you ever heard of climbers? Climbers love to climb high mountains and conquering the highest of them! It must be very tiring to climb these mountains, however, the view they can enjoy at the top of them is very rewarding! 

  Maybe some of you are dreaming to become climbers when you grow up. You can, though, climb on the highest mountain and reach the top of it NOW! You‘ll have to work a lot on it and surely it won’t be easy, but the joy you‘ll feel in the end, can be priceless!
  Can you guess what is this high mountain and the peak of it, that we ’re talking about?
  And what is the path we need to follow, so we can climb this mountain? We ‘ll be able to find it out today, by listening to the parable of the Good Samaritan that Jesus told us.
  A man was travelling from Jerusalem to Jericho. There was only one way connecting these two towns. The distance between them was quite long. And the road was not always busy, as it was quite rough and dangerous to walk on. Sometimes, bandits preferred to hide there and ambush the passengers. This man had the bad luck to get ambushed while walking. He tried to resist the robbers, but they beat him up very hard and left him half–dead along the road!
 kalos samaritis The poor man was in such pain! He suffered so much and was so upset for what the robbers had done to him. And at that very moment, he felt so hopeless, that almost gave up on his life. He thought “I ‘ll probably die here, all alone in this desert!”.
  It was not long after that a priest came along. He was probably going home after the service he had in Jerusalem. He soon realised there was a wounded man on the ground. What would we expect him to do in such a case? To stop and help the robbed man, right? However, he went to the other side of the road so to avoid him and quickly went on his journey.
Soon, a second person, a Levite (a priest’s assistant and Temple worker) came by. He came nearer, saw the injured man and thought “He must have been ambushed… That means I am in danger to be attacked by the robbers, too!”. So, the Levite kept on going without helping the man.
  The pain became greater for the injured man. Not only he was hurting in his body, but also his heart was broken by the bad behaviour of the first two passengers. They just left him there to die. He lost all his hopes. He was sure no more people would pass by the road. And probably even if they did, they would not care for him enough to stop and save him. He thought “I’ll die here alone”.
  A third man appeared walking on the road. He was a Samaritan. Jewish people did not really like people from Samaria. To the point that they refused to even talk to them! But when the Samaritan saw the injured man, he felt very sorry for the beat-up Jewish man! Love moved him towards the man and immediately decided to help him! He selflessly tried to aid the injured man with the oil and wine he was carrying with him. He took care of his wounds, treating them with oil to soften the pain and with wine to disinfect them (as they used to do back then). The Samaritan ripped his clothes to make bandages to cover the wounds. And after that, he lifted the man and sat him on his own animal, and he walked beside them. Soon they arrived at a small inn. The Samaritan stayed up all night looking after the wounded man. The next day before leaving, he paid the innkeeper in advance with two denarii enough for some more days. He asked from him to make sure that the injured man will be taken care of. “I’ll be back after a couple of days to pay you, should the man need something extra.”

The characteristics of true love

  Such a moving story! Isn’t it? We can find the attributes of true and pure love in the Good Samaritan’s behaviour. Genuine love can lift us to heaven. It is like a staircase we can climb and reach the sky! There are five steps to take. Count them in your five fingers and make sure you learn them by heart:
  a) Love towards everyone. The Samaritan showed love to the Jew, even if he was an enemy to him. Love is not selective. And we need to learn to love all the people the same!
  b) Love through actions. The Samaritan didn’t only think about helping the injured man, but he put his thinking into practise. He didn’t just say to him “Bless you! You need help!”, but he took good care of him. He tried to minimize his pain and then carried him to an inn. He even paid more the innkeeper to specially look after him. We show love through our actions. It’s not just words. Being nice to someone, running an errand for someone or visiting somebody when they’re ill, surely are actions of love. (We ask the children to suggest ideas of love actions). So, love is helping my classmates with their homework, visiting someone when they’re in hospital or maybe they’re just lonely at home. Love is lending stuff to people they need them, helping our parents with the chores. Love is to be happy with the others’ success. There are so many ways to show our love!
  c) Selfless love. Did the Samaritan ask for something back when he helped the Jew? Of course not! He was expecting nothing. When we do something out of love, we shouldn’t expect anything in return. Selfless love doesn’t work like that!
  d) Secret love. Did the Samaritan help the injured man, so other people would see this and admire him? No. He hid well the good deed he did. This means that whatever good we may do to someone should stay secret, between us and them. All our good deeds are recorded in the book of our life. God sees and knows about them and that’s more than enough. He will award us.
  e) Love with sacrifices. If we think of love being a staircase, the very last step and at the top of it, is sacrifice! What sacrifices the Good Samaritan did? He sacrificed his time, his money… He even put his life in danger! Loving one’s neighbor was risky and economically costly in this story. What about us? You think we can sacrifice something for others? Our time, some of our playtime, some of our pocket money maybe? When we are willing to give something that is ours or share it, people can feel our kindness. Would you, like to show our love to others? (Charity actions suggestions, i.e., visit to a hospital or a charity home, contributing into a petty cash, collecting food for a poor family. It would be an extraordinary experience for the children to try participating in any of those good deeds).
  Love is a ladder that can lead us to heaven! Also, heaven can come down to us through it! If we show our love to other people with our actions, selflessly and in secret, then we create a small Heaven on earth! We make people around us happy and that subsequently creates happiness in our souls, too!

 

Παρασκευή, 05 Φεβρουάριος 2021 10:55

POEMS - SONGS

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Id like to live those years

Many years ago

Τετάρτη, 03 Μάρτιος 2021 11:27

THE PARABLE OF THE GREAT BANQUET

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ΜΑΘΗΜΑΤΑ ΚΑΤΩΤΕΡΟΥ ΚΑΤΗΧΗΤΙΚΟΥ
Ἀπό τήν σειρά "Μαθαίνω γιά τόν Θεό", τόμ. Β΄
Ὁ Θεός στήν Καινή Διαθήκη
(Ἐκδόσεις "Χριστιανική Ἐλπίς" Ὀρθόδοξη Ἀδελφότητα)


The Parable of the Great Banquet
Lk 14:16-24

  Do you know what is the biggest celebration in our church? We do not celebrate this just once a year, but every single week! And this celebration is the day of Sunday. But is it a celebration day every Sunday? Yes! This day belongs to God. In Greek the name of Sunday, which is “Kiriaki”, means that it belongs to the Lord. We do know that all days belong to God, because He's the one that gave them to us. But Sunday is a really special day. It is the Lord’s day, that he marked it with His name.
  I believe that all of you have written your names on your notebooks, is that right? In this way you make clear that you own them. Even when we travel, we usually write our names on the bag tag, just in case we lose it, people can find the owner. This is the same about Sunday. Our Lord has given his name to this day of the week, so we all know, that this day is dedicated to him.
  When did God give his name to this day? A long time ago it used to be called the first day of the week, just like Monday means the second day of the week in Greek and Tuesday means the third one and so on. So, Sunday got its name Kiriaki, right after the resurrection of Jesus, which took place on this very day. That is why every Sunday is like a small Easter, because we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus.
  Every Sunday is a feast!
  Christ is risen on this day; let us all celebrate!
  On this very important day something very sacred and holy takes place. Who knows what is happening every Sunday morning? Yes, the Divine liturgy. During the first years of Christianity the divine liturgy took place every single day. Even when the Christians, old and young, faced many difficulties to participate in the divine liturgy, their enthusiasm and excitement was great. Sometimes they risked even their lives! The government arrested the Christians, threw them in jail and even tortured them. And some of them ended up becoming Martyrs. For the ones imprisoned, though, their Christian brothers and sisters found ways to bring the Holy Communion to them. What about us? Do we have to face such dangerous situations? Do we feel the same excitement every Sunday morning, when we hear the church bells? Do we accept the invitation to the Sunday service?
  I'm going to tell you a story now. (Lk 14:16-24) There was a rich man who wanted to invite over for a lovely dinner some important people. So, he did all the preparations for the big night. When everything was ready, he sent out his servants to announce that he was expecting all of them to attend! But the servants were quite surprised, as all of the dinner guests refused to go. Unfortunately, they all pretended to be busy for different reasons. One of them said “I’ve just bought some new land and I need to go there”. The other one said “I do apologise, but I can’t accept the invitation, as I have just bought 5 pairs of oxen and I need to see how they work at the farm”. The last one, also, had an excuse and said that “I have just been married and I can’t come, please, forgive me”.
  When the servants returned home, they let the lord know all of the invited guests replies. They did not appreciate and accept the rich landlord’s invitation. Then, the lord got really frustrated because of all the bad excuses of his guests. So, he ordered his servants to go out and look everywhere in town for all the poor and disabled people and invite them over instead. These people may have been embarrassed to allow themselves near the rich man’s house. But how surprising, all of them thought that it was a great honour to receive such an invitation and they all decided to accept it! But the dinner hall was that big, that there was still left space for more guests. So, the lord asked the servants to find more people in need and the homeless to fill the banquet hall. As for the invited ones that didn’t attend, they chose to miss out on their own salvation.
  This story is one of the parables that Jesus said when teaching the people. Do you know what a “parable” is? A parable is a story that usually comes from everyday life situations, but behind the human reality there are usually divine messages expressed by holy wisdom. Picture them as handmade pots that are filled with God’s truths.
  What do you think about this parable? What is aiming to teach us?
paraboli deipnou  The Landlord that sends out the invitations for the dinner is our God. The dinner that He’s inviting us all to, is the Divine Liturgy. The Church is big enough for everyone to join in! But it’s a pity that some people refuse the invitation. Every Sunday we are all guests to the dinner that God has prepared for us. And it is the richest and most significant dinner in the whole world! Joining this dinner means that we take care of our immortal soul, we feed it with the Holy Communion, which is Jesus’ flesh and blood, for our salvation.
  Although, this is such an important moment in Church many people do not appreciate the value of it. They are missing out without realising how much it is worth! And they replace God’s dinner with junk food. In this way they offend God and they cause such damage to themselves.
  What kind of excuses did the guests express in the parable? What about these days? What do people pretend to be busy for, so they can skip Sunday’s service? It was not a bad thing for the first guest to attend to his new farm, nor for the other one to work his new animals, or the last one to stay at home with his newly married wife. Why though the rich landlord was disappointed? Because the time they chose to be occupied with personal duties was the same with his dinner. They offended the landlord, by refusing to be there.
  That is how some people behave in our days. They ignore the ringing of the church bells, which is God’s invitation, calling them to join in the liturgy. However, our God does not get frustrated with them, but he feels sad for these people. Isn’t He our dearest Father? Aren’t we His children? All the Saints and the Mother of God are there waiting for us. All the Angels are present along with our personal guard Angel during the Divine Liturgy. Christians all over the world attend and join in this big feast, even in the mud huts in Africa, but in the big cities of America, too.
  Why miss the Divine Liturgy for trivial reasons? We can overcome the obstacles and temptations that don’t allow us to be in Church on Sunday. There are some children that have become a good example for their parents and friends. When they saw their excitement, willingness, love and determination not to miss out on any Sunday service, they got inspired by them and did the same. These children were so happy and strong to fight for the good, they made others’ hearts to follow and join in with them. Even when they would go on vacation, they would not miss the Sunday service! Do we have children among us that would do that? So, today let’s all decide together:

When the church bell calls us
to God’s home,
we’ll all be there!

 

Τρίτη, 23 Φεβρουάριος 2021 16:19

THE MIRACULOUS FISHING

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ΜΑΘΗΜΑΤΑ ΚΑΤΩΤΕΡΟΥ ΚΑΤΗΧΗΤΙΚΟΥ
Ἀπό τήν σειρά "Μαθαίνω γιά τόν Θεό", τόμ. Β΄
Ὁ Θεός στήν Καινή Διαθήκη
(Ἐκδόσεις "Χριστιανική Ἐλπίς" Ὀρθόδοξη Ἀδελφότητα)

The Miraculous Fishing
Lk 5:1-11

   Let’s travel in places where Jesus walked (We show the map of Palestine).
• Where was Jesus born? In Bethlehem.
• Where did he live till the age of 30? In Nazareth.
• In which city did he settle in when he started his public action? In Capernaum.
• Nazareth and Capernaum belong to North Palestine, which was known as Galilee.
• We can also see Jerusalem close to Bethlehem in South Palestine, which is called Judea.
• Look at the river Jordan which is crossing almost the whole of Palestine.
   Here, you can also see a lake. It’ s so big that it is also called sea. It was called by three names: Lake or sea of Galilee or Tiberias or Gennesaret.
   A really amazing incident happened in that lake.
   The coast of Capernaum is crowded. What is going on? There are a lot of people around someone. He is Jesus. It’s not been a long time since the day that Jesus started teaching and his reputation has already spread. Everyone was talking about him with wonder. “Nobody has ever talked in such a way like this Teacher”.
   So, when they saw him at the beach, they surrounded him. They were eager to listen to him and Jesus didn’t object. But it was almost impossible for all those people to be able to see and listen to him. There were two small boats at the coast. The fishermen were tidying up their nets. They were two pairs of brothers, Peter and Andrew, James and John who were also friends and partners. Jesus got on the boat and asked Peter’s permission to stay in the boat to talk to the crowd. He, also, asked him if they could sail away from the coast so that the people could see him better. Peter gladly allowed him to preach, although he had been fishing the whole night and he was very tired. Moreover, Peter wanted to listen to Him as well.
   So, Jesus started talking. He was teaching with simple words and examples, so that he could easily be understood even by people without education and children. When he finished teaching, he wanted to “pay back” Peter for letting Him being on his boat. So, instead of money He told him to go deeper in the lake and let down again the nets. Jesus’ order sounded really weird to him because you can only go fishing at night. Also, they didn’t find any fish the night before. So, was it possible to find any during the day?
   But he was so impressed by Jesus' presence and teaching, that he told him: “Teacher, we had been trying the whole night but we didn’t manage to catch anything. I’ll try again only because you are asking me to”.
  thaumasti alieia And indeed, they let down their nets in the water again. He couldn’t believe it! Fish! A lot of fish! They shouted to their partners, James and John, to come for help. Soon both boats were so full of fish, they almost sunk. Peter was so thrilled that he kneeled in front of Jesus. He was feeling so weak and unworthy to host the holy teacher in his boat. “Lord, please get out of my boat, because I am a sinful man” he said with awe. Jesus reassured him saying: “Do not be afraid! From now on you will catch people!” What did he mean? With those words, Jesus was inviting Peter to a great mission: Instead of fishing in the lake, he would start guiding people to God.
   Peter, Andrew, James and John didn’t want to make money from that huge number of fish. At once, they abandoned their nets and followed Jesus. They became his disciples and Apostles. They were following Him wherever he was going, attending his teaching and miracles. After Jesus’ resurrection and Pentecost, they preached the gospel and they taught people about the true God. They became the greatest benefactors of humanity.
   We owe a debt of gratitude to lots of benefactors for the progress of culture, science and arts. But the Apostles remain the greatest of them. They offered the light that will never go out, the medicines to heel the soul and give eternal life! They gave us the opportunity to come to know Jesus Christ and the Holy Gospel! We owe to them infinite gratitude!
It’s worth meeting them one by one. How many were they? Twelve.
   Simon/Peter and Andrew: Sons of Jonah, fishermen at Galilee lake.
   James and John: Brothers and sons of Zebedee, partners with Peter and Andrew.
   Philip and Nathanael: Close friends! Philip was the first one to meet Jesus and he ran immediately to bring his friend Nathanael (also called Bartholomew)
   Matthew/Levi and Thomas: Matthew was a tax collector of the Roman Empire. At that time Jews were slaves and paid taxes to Romans. Thomas, had a Greek name like other Jewish because Greek was the common language in the Roman Empire.
   James of Alphaeus and Thaddaeus: James was the son of Alphaeus. Thaddaeus had two more names, Levvaeus and Judas (not the traitor).
   Simon the Zealot/Cananaean and Judas Iscariot: Zealots were the rebel body of Jews. They were mostly against tax collectors because these were collaborating with the conquerors. Judas Iscariot was the one who betrayed Jesus. After Christ’s Resurrection he was replaced by Matthias.