Achieving Spiritual Renewal – By Father Gabriel Alkass
Celebrating the renewal of the church doesn’t mean a physical church renovation. It is an annual feast set by the father, and the saints, to benefit each one of you through spiritual renewal.
Let’s meditate on a few things. For a tree, each spring renews beautifully, it becomes green and full of leaves. The same thing to the eagle of life, as it renews its feathers annually. Why does he do that? So, he can fly again and live on top of mountains.
So, you, too, if you move one step forward annually and work on one of your weaknesses. Believe me, you may get closer and closer to the Lord. And we need to do that.
So why do we need to renew ourselves as a church? One may say “I’m ok. I am coming to church, I pray whenever I have a chance, and I fast if I am healthy. And on and on.”
That is something, but the renewal is something else.
We should all be living stones in the house of God.
St. Peter, known as the rock, also said in 1 Peter 2:5, “you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house.”
The original church, or temple, in the time of Jesus was built with large and precious stones and took many years to build. But as we learned in the Bible, the hearts of the believers turned to stone. “But they had ears and don’t listen, and eyes but cannot see.”
And then Jesus said in Matthew 24:2, “Do you see all these things?” He replied. “Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”
Jesus does not get impressed by large churches or fancy and expensive churches. He and billions of angels in heaven get impressed by one sinner who gets into repentance. Why is that? Because that one particular person will turn into a real temple of God. And the Holy Spirit finds rest in that person.
So if God wants us to worship him in spirit, that is the normal way. Because our God is a spirit. And remember one thing, on the baptismal day all of us receive the Holy Spirit as well. In order to renew oneself once needs to be spiritual. And when we get into the repentance life, that is what will renew our spiritual life.
The Lord will take all of our sins, and you will become a new person, going back to the spiritual life lightly, and you will enjoy the love of the Lord.
If you decide to renew yourself, worship God in his spirit, and become a temple of God and living stone in his house. And this is what we are celebrating today.
Learn more in Father Gabriel’s sermon video here.
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