Beloved brothers and sisters in the Lord,
At the time of this writing, the Golden State Warriors have accomplished a rare feat in professional sports, reaching no less than their fifth consecutive NBA Finals! Regardless of the outcome, many factors have gone into this impressive period of success. There is an ownership group that does not micromanage the coaches or players, thereby setting the tone for a “team first” mentality, a rarity in the pros today. The players that have been brought into the team have bought in to this philosophy, as demonstrated by how much the ball is passed during games, as well as the fact that many have taken less money to be on this team. The results speak for themselves.
This principle—the group being bigger than me—is one which features heavily in our faith, certainly when we read about the work of the Apostles. Following the Lord’s Resurrection and Ascension, and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, the Apostles immediately began their work of spreading the Gospel. Thousands and thousands were being added to the faith each year, as the Good News of Jesus Christ was being preached throughout the world. Many Apostles died for their faith, and all endured innumerable hardships: shipwreck, persecution, even jealousy and other negative aspects of human nature. Yet through it all, they endured everything “for the sake of the elect,” (2 Tim 2:10) and our faith continued to grow into what it is today, even at the expense of their own bodies and their own lives.
This month, we celebrate all the Holy Apostles of our faith on June 29-30, remembering that they still endure much for our salvation, and embody the spirit of teamwork greater than any who came before or since. Through their example, we are inspired to think not about ourselves, but for the glory of God and the good of His people.
Xronia polla! God bless!
With love in Christ,
Father Nikolaos Bekris