From what I've gathered talking to people, everyone is shell shocked but holding on. They aren't going to let an obvious attack from the evil one destroy what is true and beautiful; the fullness of the Body of Christ. I'm still worried about the new converts and I know that anti-clerical cradle Orthodox from the old-country are going to say "see! We told you so!". I already see comments on the news articles of, "of course he did this, he's a Priest! What kind of God would allow this.. etc" and I fear that any missionary activity is going to be destroyed.
This is devastating, but I'll get through this. I know that God is with us and watching out for us though. The Epistle and Gospel readings for today give me hope:
"I Corinthians 9:9 For I think that God has displayed us, the apostles, last, as men condemned to death; for we have been made a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men. 10 We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are distinguished, but we are dishonored! 11 To the present hour we both hunger and thirst, and we are poorly clothed, and beaten, and homeless. 12 And we labor, working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure; 13 being defamed, we entreat. We have been made as the filth of the world, the offscouring of all things until now.14 I do not write these things to shame you, but as my beloved children I warn you. 15 For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. 16 Therefore I urge you, imitate me."
"Matthew 9:36 But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. 37 Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. 38 Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”10 And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease. 2 Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; 3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; 4 Simon the Cananite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him. 5 These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying: “Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. 6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ 8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead,[d] cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give."
I honestly didn't understand why Christ only went to the Israelites first. There was a time when I thought that was ethnocentric, but I get it now.
I want to thank everyone for their support, council, and prayers.