....I noticed a few more cars than usual and I noticed that certain people were dressed up just a bit more "Fancy" than usual. So what's all the hub-bub? Oh, yeah, now I remember; Bishop Michael would be at Vespers tonight! The man we pray for every week, our spiritual leader, would be worshiping with us. And that is cool!
I walked in and after venerating the Icons, I worked my way to the back and noticed Tiffany sitting alone. Wonder where Jim was? I asked her about him. Turns out, he was in the back yard or something and had a run in with a skunk! Yikes! I think that's a good enough reason to stay home :)
Bishop Michael's homily was excellent. One of the reasons he is here for a few days is to bless the Icons Sunday (Today) so he spoke about it last night. He recalled how Solomon asked for God's blessing on the Temple. When there was famine or when there was war or when the people had sinned, may they always pray in this place and be heard. Bishop Michael applied that to our parish, offering this caveat, this only comes about by humility on our part and by our constant repentance. As long as we remember that, God will be with us.
Speaking of humility, I am struck with its constant predominance in Orthodoxy. Bishop Michael is but one example of humility. Yes, we do treat him with honor but he doesn't act like a king, only a servant of Christ. I can hear it in his voice as he speaks to us. I can see it in his actions as he blesses a college student and shows genuine affection in a hug to him, since he is leaving for College today. This was not the action of a "stand offish" high and exalted Bishop, but rather that of a Shepherd of his people.
I had to scoot out of there pretty fast. I usually pick up my son from work and, as it is, he waits around for about an hour for me to finish with Vespers and Vespers went a bit longer last night. So I didn't have a chance to greet Tammy but was happy to see the hug given to Tiffany by her as I left. It's a joy to see Tiffany at Vespers. Indeed, she is becoming more Orthodox than me, going to Divine Liturgy as well, I believe.
I did see Fr Ken on the way out and said, "Hello Padre" as I gave him the trinitarian kiss on the cheek. He invited me to a Picnic next week.
That, I am looking forward to!