Newsletter 4 – October 2020

Christ is among us!

Time has gotten away from me but good things are happening in the Outreach.

  1. The radio interview about the Melkite Outreach aired Saturday, September 26, at 910 AM. It is posted on the home page of our website. A huge thanks to Lourdes Hernandez for organizing it.
  1. It was an absolute joy to celebrate the Divine Liturgy at Saint Basil Parish in Irving these last two Sundays. Some of you attended one or both Liturgies.  It was your first experience, and you have expressed to me the joy you had.  Thanks be to God! Naturally, also, it was something unfamiliar to you and left you wondering and a little lost.  That is great.  Such should be our place when one experiences a mystery, and the mystery of above all mysteries is God.  Our culture is one of immediacy.  I want it and want it now.  No so, with God and the mystery of the Kingdom!  Not so with the more profound realities of life and the soul.

Nonetheless, the more you experience the Byzantine Liturgy, the more it will begin to carry you and reveal to you the mystery.  How do I know this, because the lives of the saints in the East give testimony to it.  In time, the Byzantine liturgy will become a prayer for you as it has been that for two thousand years in the lives of martyrs, confessors, ascetics, and for every righteous soul who has run the course in faith.  The Byzantine Liturgy is meant to unfold and reveal to you the mystery of the Kingdom slowly.  It is not an intellectual exercise but appeals to something deeper in us – the heart, the mind (in Greek the nous), which is the very core of our interior of lives.  Note, for example, the three processions in the liturgy: the Little Entrance with Gospel, the Great Entrance with the holy gifts, and the Communion procession.  All three processions along with the entire liturgy is a movement toward divinization which is full participation in the Kingdom.  Thus, these processions are sacramentally manifest the journey upon which the Church and each baptized person as members of the Church make.  It is a procession unto the eternal Sunday that has no end!

  1. Going Forward: The opportunity to begin a parish is a tremendous blessing and a historic opportunity! It is an incredible divine mission that involves much sacrifice and dedication but nevertheless, tremendous sacrifices for the Kingdom offer unfathomable graces and blessings.  The Outreach is a work by, with, and for the Kingdom.  Hence we labor by the grace of God because love impels us.  And to be honest, how often does it happen that persons are called to begin such a noble and heavenly endeavor?  Rarely! does an opportunity of this magnitude happen.  Nevertheless, God has chosen at this time and hour in history to begin this holy work in the DFW area.  What a gifted opportunity!

Establishing an Outreach in the hopes that it becomes a parish mission is never a one-man project.  It must be the work of many hands.  Each person has his and her own talents, strengths, and resources.  The Outreach must be seen as a communal responsibility and not an individual’s responsibility.  Is that not what Revelation has shown us!  By the Paschal Mystery, the Word Incarnate accomplished the work of salvation.  Nevertheless, it slowly unfolds in time with the cooperation of the Holy Spirit and His Body, the baptized faithful.  Please, therefore, consider the three areas in which you would be able to help: time, talent, and treasure:

    • Time – Understandably this is a busy time for many and households have made their Fall commitments. Also, as we saw in the initial meeting people live thirty to forty-five minutes apart if we meet in Keller.  (Nevertheless, I met several families at Saint Basil’s these last two Sundays who drive forty minutes to an hour in order to attend the Divine liturgy.)  Please give serious consideration to attending a weekly or every other week gathering.  This weekly gathering first and foremost is time to pray the Church’s prayer – Vespers.  By doing so:
      • It reveals the Kingdom of Heaven on earth – which is our first duty as Christians
      • It is the Church at prayer, therefore it is not private prayer.
      • We begin to learn the chants and Byzantine prayers, which is foundational.
      • Vespers is about forty-five minutes. Afterward, there will be time to ask questions, to discuss, to learn and to continue to speak about how to move forward.
  1. Please let me know if you are able to meet the week of October 11, October 18, and October 25, and what possible evenings?
    • Certainly, not everyone will be able to meet each week, however, it is important to begin meeting as regularly as possible. God-willing this will establish a core group upon which we can begin to look for our own place in which to worship and meet, most especially on Sundays.  The sooner we have a core group of committed households the sooner will we be able to begin the search for a permanent albeit small place to rent.  That is a key component in order to establish the Outreach. 

In Christ our God,

Fr. Marc Mallick