Bishop Elias Zaidan of the Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon visited St. George Maronite Church in San Antonio on April 3 during the Holy Jubilee Year of Mercy.
Bishop Zaidan celebrated the 11 a.m. Divine Liturgy. Father Charles Khachan, MLM, pastor, and Father Marwan Abi-Nader, MLM, associate pastor, concelebrated.They were assisted by Deacon Thomas Billimek.
Following the liturgy, there was a luncheon reception honoring Bishop Zaidan and an opportunity for him to greet members of the St. George family.
On the first Sunday after the resurrection, the Maronite Church commemorated “New Sunday,” which is the eighth day of the church’s celebration of the resurrection. The Maronite Church joins the universal Catholic Church in celebrating the feast of Divine Mercy.
Reflecting on Sunday’s readings from 2 Corinthians 5:11-21 and John 20:26-31, Bishop Zaidan explained that ‘New Sunday,’ once and for all, puts an end to the old way of looking at the Lord. He is no longer revealed in the flesh (as the disciples experienced him during his life with them); nor in glory (as Thomas did). From now on, he is revealed in spirit, through the experience of faith and in the mysteries (sacraments). Only in the spirit is there a sharing in his mystery of redemption.
He also tied together Thomas’ doubt about Christ’s resurrection and our own need for God’s divine mercy as revealed through Jesus’ revelations to St. Faustina. In his resurrection and mercy, he renews our lives, gives us a new status, and makes us a new creation.
Bishop Zaidan also highlighted the fact that St. George Church is one of the designated pilgrimage churches in the Archdiocese of San Antonio with the Holy Door of Mercy, in the Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon, during the Jubilee Year of Mercy.
He reminded attendees that we have been entering into the holy sanctuary through the Holy Door of Mercy to receive God’s mercy. We come weak we leave strong. We come sinners, we leave righteous. We come confused, we leave focused. We come poor, we leave rich. We come in darkness, we leave as light. By his divine mercy, we turn our backs to sin and our faces to the merciful Jesus.
Source: St. George Maronite Church – Father Charles Khachan, MLM, San Antonio, Texas. http://www.stgeorgesa.org/