May 15, 2011
To the Most Reverend Hierarchs, the Reverend Priests and Deacons, the Monks and Nuns, the Presidents and Members of the Parish Councils of the Greek Orthodox Communities, the Distinguished Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Day, Afternoon, and Church Schools, the Philoptochos Sisterhoods, the Youth, the Hellenic Organizations, and the entire Greek Orthodox Family in America
Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Christ is Risen! Χριστός Ἀνέστη!
On this fourth Sunday after the Great and Holy Feast of Pascha, we commemorate the healing of the paralytic by our Lord Jesus Christ. This Sunday has also been designated in 2011 as our annual recognition of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association. The connection of the Sunday of the Paralytic and AHEPA Sunday is very appropriate, as it offers to us a substantive and spiritual focus on the service that is offered in our communities and around the world by the AHEPA family.
The healing of the paralytic is one of many beautiful witnesses we have of the compassion of Christ for those in need. In His abundant grace He offered physical healing, but He also encouraged spiritual renewal through the restoration of the relationship with God. In the spirit and grace of our Lord, the members of AHEPA continue to offer remarkable service through their philanthropic and civic programs and through their care for the intellectual and spiritual development of our youth. This work contributes to the ministry of the Church and offers a witness of the faith of Greek Orthodox Christians who are members of this esteemed organization and faithful members of our parishes.
Thus, it is fitting that on this AHEPA Sunday we honor the members of the AHEPA family and support their work in our communities. I encourage all of our parishes to give special recognition to AHEPA on this day, asking through our prayers for the continued blessings of God upon our calling of offering compassionate and sacrificial service to all humanity.
With paternal love in the Risen Lord,
Archbishop of America