SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2015
Sunday of the Last Judgment (Meatfare);
The Meeting of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Temple
RESURRECTIONAL TROPARION - TONE THREE:
Let the heavens rejoice! Let the earth be glad! For the Lord has shown strength with His arm! He has trampled down death by death! He has become the firstborn of the dead! He has delivered us from the depths of hell, and has granted to the world great mercy!
THE MEETING OF THE LORD TROPARION – TONE ONE:
Rejoice, O Virgin Theotokos, Full of Grace! From you shone the Sun of Righteousness, Christ our God, enlightening those who sat in darkness! Rejoice and be glad, O righteous elder; you accepted in your arms the Redeemer of our souls who grants us the Resurrection.
RESURRECTIONAL KONTAKION - TONE THREE:
On this day You rose from the tomb, O Merciful One, leading us from the gates of death. On this day Adam exults as Eve rejoices; with the prophets and the patriarchs they unceasingly praise the divine majesty of Your power!
SUNDAY OF THE LAST JUDGMENT KONTAKION - TONE ONE:
When You, O God, shall come to earth with glory, all things shall tremble and the river of fire shall flow before Your judgment seat; the books shall be opened and the hidden things disclosed. Deliver me then from the unquenchable fire and make me worthy to stand at Your right hand, O Righteous Judge.
THE MEETING OF THE LORD KONTAKION – TONE ONE:
By Your Nativity, You did sanctify the Virgin’s womb! And did bless Simeon’s hands, O Christ God. Now You have come and saved us through love. Grant peace to all Orthodox Christians, O only Lover of Man!
HYMN TO THE THEOTOKOS (REPLACES, “IT IS TRULY MEET…”):
O Virgin Theotokos, hope of all Christians! Protect, preserve and save those who hope in you! We faithful saw the figure in the shadow of the law and the scriptures: every male child that opened the womb was holy to God. Therefore, we also magnify the first-begotten Son of the unoriginate Father, the first-born Son of the unwedded Mother!
The Prokimenon in the 3rd Tone:
My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!
Sunday of the Last Judgment: 1 Corinthians 8: 8 – 9: 2
Brethren, food does not commend us to God; for neither if we eat are we the better, nor if we do not eat are we the worse. But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak. For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will not the conscience of him who is weak be emboldened to eat those things offered to idols? And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble. Am I not an apostle? Am I not free? Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord? If I am not an apostle to others, yet doubtless I am to you. For you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.
The Meeting of the Lord in the Temple: Hebrews 7: 7-17
Brethren, now beyond all contradiction the lesser is blessed by the better. Here mortal men receive tithes, but there he receives them, of whom it is witnessed that he lives. Even Levi, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, so to speak, for he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him. Therefore, if perfection were through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need was there that another priest should rise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be called according to the order of Aaron? For the priesthood being changed, of necessity there is also a change of the law. For He of whom these things are spoken belongs to another tribe, from which no man has officiated at the altar. For it is evident that our Lord arose from Judah, of which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood. And it is yet far more evident if, in the likeness of Melchizedek, there arises another priest who has come, not according to the law of a fleshly commandment, but according to the power of an endless life. For He testifies: “You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek.”
The Alleluia Verses:
Lord, now let Thou Thy servant depart in peace, according to Thy word. A light for revelation to the gentiles, and for glory to Thy people Israel.
Sunday of the Last Judgment: Matthew 25: 31-46
Jesus said, “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry, and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me’. Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me’. Then they will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me’. And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
The Meeting of the Lord in the Temple: Luke 2: 22-40
At that time, when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”), and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, “A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.” And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said: “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, according to Your word; for my eyes have seen Your salvation which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel.” And Joseph and His mother marveled at those things which were spoken of Him. Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against (yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity; and this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem. So when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth. And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.
From The Prologue for February 2/15 by St. Nikolai Velimirovic:
The Meeting of Our Lord
The fortieth day after His birth, the All-holy Virgin brought her divine Son into the Temple of Jerusalem, in accordance with the Law, to dedicate Him to God and to purify herself (Leviticus 12:2-7, Exodus 12:2). Even though neither the one nor the other was necessary, the Lawgiver did not want in any way to transgress His own Law, which He had given through Moses, His servant and prophet. At that time, the high-priest Zacharias, the father of John the Forerunner, was serving in the Temple. Zacharias placed the Virgin, not in the temple area reserved for women, but rather in the area reserved for virgins. On this occasion two very special persons appeared in the Temple: the Elder Simeon and Anna, the daughter of Phanuel. The righteous Simeon took the Messiah in his arms and said: Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace, according to Thy word, for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation (Luke 2:29-30). Simeon also spoke the following words about the Christ-child: Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel (Luke 2:34). Then Anna, who from her youth had served God in the Temple by fasting and prayer, recognized the Messiah and glorified God. She then proclaimed to the inhabitants of Jerusalem the coming of the long-awaited One. But the Pharisees who were present in the Temple, having seen and heard all, became angry with Zacharias because he had placed the Virgin Mary in the area reserved for virgins, and they reported this to King Herod. Convinced that this was the new king spoken of by the Magi from the East, Herod immediately sent his soldiers to kill Jesus. In the meantime, the holy family had already left the city and set out for Egypt under the guidance of an angel of God. The Feast of the Meeting of our Lord in the Temple was celebrated from earliest times, but the solemn celebration of this day was established in the year 544, during the reign of Emperor Justinian.
The Holy New Martyr Jordan
Born in Trebizond, Jordan was a coppersmith by trade. Because he openly defended his faith in Christ and unmasked Islam, Jordan suffered at the hands of the Turks in 1650 at Galata in Constantinople. The monk Gabriel, a canonarch of the Great Church [Hagia Sophia] in Constantinople, suffered in the same manner in the year 1672.
HYMN OF PRAISE: Saint Simeon the God-receiver
When winter encountered spring,
The aged Simeon was of good fortune:
He encountered the long-awaited One
Who was foretold by the prophets.
The treasury of all heavenly riches
Was seen as a naked infant by Simeon.
And in this manner Simeon prophesied:
“Evening has descended upon my life;
This One is set to conquer many
And to raise many.” Thus the spirit spoke—
The elder’s prophecy was fulfilled:
Jesus became the measure and the standard,
The source of happiness, peace and joy,
But also the target of disputes and maliciousness.
One He lifts up, the other He overturns,
And Paradise and hades He opens to men.
Let everyone choose whatever their hearts tell them.
In Paradise with Christ! That is our hearts’ desire.
Speaking about the gradual spread of the celebration of Christ’s Nativity, St. John Chrysostom said: “Magnificent and noble trees, when planted in the ground, shortly attain great heights and become heavily laden with fruit; so it is with this day.” So it is also with the day of the Meeting of our Lord. From the beginning this day was commemorated among Christians, but the solemn celebration began in the time of the great Emperor Justinian. During his reign, a great pestilence afflicted the people in Constantinople and its vicinity, so that five thousand or more people died daily. At the same time a terrible earthquake occurred in Antioch. Seeing man’s inability to prevent these misfortunes, the emperor, in consultation with the patriarch, ordered a period of fasting and prayer throughout the entire empire. And, on the day of the Meeting itself, he arranged great processions throughout the towns and villages, that the Lord might show compassion on His people. And truly, the Lord did show compassion, for the epidemic and earthquake ceased at once. This occurred in the year 544. From that time on, the Feast of the Meeting began to be celebrated as a great feast of the Lord. The tree, in time, grew and began to bring forth abundant fruit.
Contemplate the Lord Jesus as Health:
1. As the Health of our mind, for with Him we think soundly;
2. As the Health of our heart, for with Him we feel soundly;
3. As the Health of our will, for with Him we act soundly;
4. As the Health of the family, the Church, the school, the people and every institution.
HOMILY on the guidance of the Spirit of God
And Jesus being full of the Holy Spirit returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness (Luke 4:1).
You see, brethren, what it means to be filled with the Holy Spirit of God. Without the Spirit of God, man is filled with worries: Where will he go and how will he act? But with the Spirit of God, man is without those worries, for then the Spirit instructs man where he will walk and how he will act. Then man becomes sinless in his movements and actions, because the Holy Spirit, Who leads and guides him, is sinless. Man can neither walk justly nor act righteously if the Omnipotent and Omniscient Spirit of God does not inform him. Whoever is not led by the Holy Spirit of God is led either by his own individual spirit or by the evil spirit of the demon. As a result of this he becomes helpless, bitter, remorseful, angry and despondent. We cannot endure the Spirit of God in His fullness as did Christ the Lord, but we can receive the Spirit of God sufficiently in order to know “whither, what and how.” According to the purity of a man’s heart, the Holy Spirit settles in his heart and from the heart directs him.
That is why the Church often repeats this prayer to the Holy Spirit: “O Heavenly King, Comforter, Spirit of Truth … come and abide in us.”
O God, O Holy Spirit, to Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.
|SUNDAY OF FORGIVENESS
FEBRUARY 22, 2015
A SPECIAL BOOK
LOS ANGELES BY HIS GRACE,
THE DYNAMIC EARTH
Stamatis Skliris’ Vision of the Past, Present, and Future
of American Natural Treasures
SAVE THE DATE!!!!
Annual Lenten Women's Retreat
"OPENING THE DOOR OF OUR HEART TO THE THEOTOKOS: MEETING HER AND LETTING HER INTO OUR HEARTS"
Friday, March 27th -
Saturday, March 28th, 2015
St. John the Baptist Cathedral
San Francisco, CA
Call 626-289-9061 to Register or Print and Mail Registration portion of the Flyer!
THE WESTERN AMERICAN DIOCESE AND THE MANY ONGOING MINISTRIES...