my first visit with the Bishop

A Visit from Bishop JOSEPH

A couple of weeks ago, I had my first encounter with Bishop JOSEPH, Diocesan Bishop of Los Angeles and the West, in the Antiochian Archdiocese of the Orthodox Church. He came to visit the church that I attend, St. Barnabas. It was a unique and memorable experience. Bishop JOSEPH seemed to radiate with a love for Christ and genuine care for His Church. This made a deep impression upon me. In the liturgy that morning, I sensed the presence of God like I never have in my life. There was no doubt that Christ was in our midst! As I was in the liturgy, I began to reflect on how different my experience was of the Christian faith in that moment. There were no guitars, no drums, not even a variety of ‘worship’ expressions going fourth. There was no one who was shaking or having any physical manifestation of the ‘holy spirit’ as I had witnessed other places. Interestingly enough, however, the Holy Spirit was there. As I was there, I sensed a communion with the faithful saints that have gone before me. I sensed the spirit of the apostles in our midst. I felt the affirmation of God and the affirmation of the Holy Apostles that I was indeed right where I was supposed to be. There was nothing sensational about the moment but rather it was utterly divine. I began to weep and was overwhelmed with emotion–not because of any particular musical tone (though I’m not saying that is bad) but overwhelmed that God was there and there was such a safety in His arms.

I’m not sure if any of what I have said makes sense but I just didn’t want to let this experience pass without making note of it on my blog.

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2 Responses

  1. Sayedna Joseph is coming to visit us at St. Tikhon’s Seminary next week! I’m looking forward to it.

  2. I too felt the presence of God during His Grace’s visit in an almost palpable way. You could almost cut the thickness of the presence with a knife! What is so beautiful about a Bishop’s visit is that he represents the legacy of the apostolic tradition as it has been handed down through the centuries. He is a “living link” with the Bishops who came before him – in our See back to St. John Chrysostom and St. Ignatius – and before them to the blessed apostles themselves! How very precious that legacy is and how blessed we are in this country to have these witnesses of the apostolic tradition with us today!

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