Friday, July 22, 2016

Bulletin July 24th-31st

Visit of Jesus to Zacchaeus’ House

The message begins with an account of how Zacchaeus went out on a limb to see Jesus. The Gospel reading is, of course, for all Christians and carries with it many important points for our reflection.

Zacchaeus was the chief tax collector. Predictably, he was a wealthy man because he received a percentage of what he collected. It is a striking scene when the Lord spots Zacchaeus, singles him out and calls out loud that he will come to Zacchaeus’s house that very day. For Zacchaeus, it was instant fame and rehabilitation. By this gesture, Jesus recognized Zacchaeus’ inherent dignity as a human being and his spiritual potential. The Lord did not judge by labels and instead affirms Zacchaeus’ dignity in front of the crowd.

In this scene we see a concrete example of the grand truth from the book of Wisdom that God does not desire the death of sinners but maintains our life to give us an opportunity to discover Him and find forgiveness and new life. There is nobody too small for Jesus to notice. In the eyes of Christ we all count.

A second point of this story is that Zacchaeus climbed the tree to see Jesus out of curiosity. People make their initial contact with the church not necessarily for theological reasons. Some are drawn to the church’s history, architecture, music, and art. They are curious about the Catholic instinct that the church is a reality greater than her individual members.

Many things, even curiosity, can bring people into the zone of Christ’s presence. Once there, Jesus can touch the heart and soul of that person. Buried within curiosity and fascination with the church may be a seed of faith waiting to come to life . St. Augustine pointed out from his own life that searching, critique and curiosity can be a disguised question for God. Christ can bring to fulfillment every effort of faith.

Finally, when Jesus comes to Zacchaeus ’ home, He does not condemn wealth. He does not give a parable about judgment.  His presence and His respect for Zacchaeus pledges to correct several times over any wrong he may have done in the past. Suddenly, a new disciple is born and a soul is saved.

Perhaps this scene can teach us that evangelization can take many forms. Confrontation, debate, argument and correction can have their place.

There is also the role of Christian friendship; when a person can see the Gospel lived and activated in a person’s relationship.

The story of Zacchaeus carries valuable lessons for us all. The first is that we all count in God’s sight Secondly, Jesus can use a person’s attraction to any aspect of the church’s life to begin to touch that  soul. Finally, we should never underestimate the power of Christian friendship to be an instrument of Christ’s grace to others.

Love for another is showed not only in the heroics of self-sacrifice. It is also showed in the courtesy, respect and civility we show them. These can be highways of Christ’s grace to them.

We received the sad news that Bishop Elias Zaidan’s mother, Yvette  Zaidan, has passed away in Lebanon on Sunday July 17th. The funeral was Wednesday July 20th at Our Lady of Deliverance church in Lebanon. May God grant her   eternal rest and peace. May He bestow the blessings of comfort and consolation upon Bishop Zaidan and the rest of the family.

Sub-Deacon’s Corner
A group of visitors from a nearby Roman Catholic parish ask you about the difference between the Maronite Church and the Roman Catholic Church. Here is some information that you can use to answer the inquiry.
The Antiochian Tradition of the Maronite liturgy is made up of pieces of both Syriac and Greek traditions that existed in the area from which it was born. As mentioned above Maronites have a strong belief that, “All is connected to God and God is connected to all” inferring that all things come from God.  This is greatly exhibited in the Maronite Liturgy.  The Latin and Maronite Liturgy are similar in some ways, but the Maronite Liturgy places a greater emphasis on the  celebration coming from the Altar, and more so symbolically from God.  As the Latin ceremony asks for all to give each other the sign of peace; in the Maronite Liturgy the greeting of peace emanates from the Altar through the hands of the Priest, which are considered blessed and subsequently all things that they touch are blessed, to the servers and onto the congregation.  This simple coordinated act reminds Maronites that, “all is connected to God and God is connected to all”
Easily noticed differences are the employment of intinction when receiving communion.  The Communicant never touches the body and blood of Christ except with their tongue to ingest.  Also, the Maronite rite holds a close kinship to the Syriac Antiochene traditions which to a great extent embodies the traditions of the, “Mother of all Churches”, the Church of Jerusalem. This becomes obvious once you have heard the consecration in the language widely used at the time of the last supper; Aramaic(Syriac).  This ties the Maronite rite to that which came before and back to the  beginning.
If you have questions about Catholic teaching or our Maronite tradition, or would like to suggest a topic, please email us or tell us the next time we see you. Thank you and God Bless.
David Wahby ( and Tony Simon (

The Eparchy of St. Maron is Celebrating 50 years 1966-2016
Please join Bishop Gregory Mansour and the entire community at a celebration of the  50th Anniversary of the presence of a Maronite Bishop in the United States. The event is Friday  October 7, 2016.  Liturgy will   begin at 6pm at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lebanon followed by a banquet at 8pm at New York Marriot at Brooklyn Bridge. For more information please visit

2016 Festival
The next festival meeting will be Thursday July 28th at 7pm in the Lebanon room. The festival is a parish event and St. Raymond’s only fundraiser to help support the complex for the year. Many hands do make the work load lighter and it takes a lot of time and preparation for this event.
Countdown to Festival-8 weeks
Let’s show a strong parish effort to make this event a success!

Kitchen Scoop
Rolling Cabbage Rolls Mondays @ 8am
Making Kibbi Aras Tuesdays @ 8am
The festival is eight weeks away and the kitchen is in need of help to prepare for the festival and Wednesday lunches. Any time you can give would be very helpful! Please look for the Kitchen   schedule in the bulletin or by email. If you would like to be on the email list please contact Denise Seifert, Kathleen Wahby, or Gina Fanetti.  Thank  you!

IDC Meeting
The next IDC (In Defense of Christians) meeting will be held on Wednesday July 27th at 7pm. The meeting will be held at  St. Michael’s the Archangel Orthodox Church.
The church is  located on 1901 Ann Ave St. Louis, MO. 63104.  Everyone is welcome to attend!

MYO Bake Sale
The MYO will be hosting coffee hour on Sunday August 14th and will also be having a bake sale. All are invited to join  coffee hour and support the bake sale for the MYO. The MYO is open to the youth of our parish ages 12-18. It is a great way to get involved with your parish and meet other youth your age.

Parish Finances July 17th-July 24th
Saturday  July 16th Liturgy: $797.00
Sunday July 17th Liturgy: $833.00
Revenue during the week: $225.00
Candles: $73.00
Coffee Hour: $67.00

Expenses: $4, 941.85

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