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WEEKLY DIOCESAN BULLETIN

SUNDAY, AUGUST 6, 2017

NINTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST: HOLY MARTYR CHRISTINA OF TYRE; VENERABLE POLYCARP OF THE KIEV CAVES; HOLY MARTYRS OF PREBILOVCI AND LOWER HERCEGOVINA

RESURRECTIONAL TROPARION - TONE EIGHT: Thou didst descend from on high, O Merciful One! Thou didst accept the three day burial to free us from our sufferings! O Lord, our Life and Resurrection: Glory to Thee!

TROPARION TO HOLY MARTYR CHRISTINA – TONE FOUR: Your lamb Christina calls out to You, O Jesus, in a loud voice: I love You, my Bridegroom, and in seeking You I endure suffering. In baptism I was crucified so that I might reign in You, and I died so that I might live with You. Accept me as a pure sacrifice, for I have offered myself in love. Through her prayers save our souls, since You are merciful.

RESURRECTIONAL KONTAKION - TONE EIGHT: By rising from the tomb Thou didst raise the dead and resurrected Adam. Eve exults in Thy Resurrection, and the world celebrates Thy rising from the dead, O greatly Merciful One!

KONTAKION TO HOLY MARTYR CHRISTINA – TONE FOUR: O Venerable Christina, you appeared as a shining dove, with a pair of golden wings alighting in the highest heavens. Therefore we celebrate your glorious feast and bow before the place that holds your relics. Pray that we may receive grace and healing for body and soul.

HYMN TO THE MOTHER OF GOD - TONE SIX: Steadfast Protectress of Christians and constant advocate before the Creator, do not despise the cry of us sinners; but in your goodness come speedily to help us who call on you in faith. Hasten to hear our petition and to intercede for us, O Theotokos, for you always protect those who honor you!

EPISTLE READING

PROKEIMENON IN TONE EIGHT:
Pray and make your vows before the Lord our God.

NINTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST: 1 CORINTHIANS 3: 9-17  Brethren, for we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building. According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned he will suffer loss, but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.

THE ALLELUIA VERSES:
Come let us rejoice in the Lord! Let us make a joyful noise to God our Savior! Let us come before His face with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to Him with psalms!

GOSPEL READING

NINTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST: MATTHEW 14: 22-34   At that time, Jesus immediately made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary. Now in the fourth watch of the night, Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out saying, “Lord, save me.” And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him saying, “Truly, You are the Son of God.” When they had crossed over, they came to the land of Gennesaret.

FROM THE PROLOGUE:
JULY 24/AUGUST 6, BY SAINT NIKOLAI VELIMIROVIC:

The Holy Martyr Christina
Christina was born in the city of Tyre. She was the daughter of Urban the imperial deputy, an idol-worshiper. The reason her parents gave her the name of Christina is unknown, but it contained within itself the mystery of her future following of Christ. Until the age of eleven she knew nothing of Christ. When she reached that age, her father made her live in the top of a high tower, in order to protect her from the world, because of her extraordinary beauty. He planned to have her live there until she reached full maturity. All the comforts of life were afforded her—slaves to serve her, and gold and silver idols that she might offer sacrifices to them daily. However, the soul of young Christina was saddened in this isolated, idolatrous environment. Looking out the window each day at the sun and all the beauty of the world, and again at night at the wondrous constellations of shining stars, Christina came to a firm belief in the One Living God through her own natural understanding. The merciful God, seeing her longing for the truth, sent His angel to trace the sign of the Cross upon Christina. The angel called her the bride of Christ, and instructed her fully in the knowledge of divine things. Then Christina smashed all the idols in her quarters, thus provoking wild fury in her father. He brought her to trial, and had her tortured. Then he had her thrown into prison, intending to have her beheaded the next day. That night Urban, who had been in full health, spewed forth his soul and went to the grave before his daughter. After this, two imperial deputies, Dion and Julian, continued to torture this holy virgin. Christina’s courageous endurance and the miracles she worked by the power of God converted many pagans of Tyre to Christianity. During the torturing of Christina, Dion suddenly fell dead in the midst of the people. Dion’s successor, Julian, severed Christina’s breasts and tongue. The martyr threw her severed tongue into Julian’s face, and he was instantly blinded. Finally, her suffering for Christ ended beneath the sharp sword, but her life continues in the Immortal Kingdom of the angels. St. Christina suffered honorably in the third century.

The Venerable Polycarp, Abbot of the Monastery of the Kiev Caves
Polycarp possessed “love toward God and neighbor, joy from an untainted conscience, peace from victory over all the passions, patience in time of temptation and misfortune, goodness in submission to all, benevolence toward the poor, undoubting faith in fulfilling the commandments, truth in fulfilling his vows, meekness in freedom from anger, abstinence and so forth.” So well did he govern the Kiev Caves Lavra that, after his death, a worthy successor among the monks could not be found (for those who were worthy did not want to accept the rank of abbot out of humility), so that the brethren were compelled to take Basil, a secular priest, as their abbot. St. Polycarp reposed in the Lord in the year 1182.

HYMN OF PRAISE: Saint Christina

The glorious martyr, the virgin Christina,
Chosen bride of the Son of God,
Had her worst enemy in her father—
By him she was torn by sharp iron.

“Daughter, if you do not acknowledge the gods,
I will no longer call you my daughter.”

Thus spoke the father to his daughter, to which she replied:
“I have never been angry with you, even though
I am the servant of Christ and you are the servant of Satan.

In you I see neither father nor friend;
You do not call me daughter, and this makes me glad.

The Lord is my father, and He is my sweetness!”

Like a raging beast, her father commanded his servants
To scrape her flesh to the bone.

The flesh fell to the ground from her tender body,
One wound joined another, no place was left whole.

With her hand the holy martyr took some of her flesh
And struck her father in the middle of his foul face:
“O Urban, you meat-eater—here is my flesh,
Here, beast—eat the flesh of your child!”
That night, Urban parted from his body,
And in hell united his soul with the devil.

Christina suffered and shed her blood,
Heroically overcoming a world of enemies.
The virgin Christina, a wonderful martyr,
Was glorified with the glory of the Son of God.

REFLECTION
The Christian Faith most especially enlightens and illumines the souls of men when the preachers of this Faith shine forth by their own lives. Blessed Polycarp, abbot of the Kiev Caves, was completely illumined by the Christian Faith—in words, deeds and his entire being. Because of this, he had an uncommon influence upon the lives, not only of the simple people, but of princes and noblemen as well. Seeing and listening to this godly man, the Prince of Kiev, Rostislav Mstislavich, became so illumined with the Christian Faith and thus became so subdued and ennobled that he became a model of Christian life, both in his immediate surroundings and to his entire people. During Great Lent, Prince Rostislav received Holy Communion every Sunday and sought out the poor and needy everywhere so as to help them. In the end, he resolved to receive the monastic habit and spoke to St. Polycarp about this: “Holy Father, princely rule in this world cannot be without sin, and it has already embittered me and worn me out.” Polycarp answered him: “If you desire this (the monastic habit) with all your heart, then let it be God’s will.” However, while in Smolensk the prince fell fatally ill and ordered that he be taken quickly to Kiev, that he might be tonsured before his death—but he died before his wish could be fulfilled.

CONTEMPLATION
Contemplate the miraculous victory of the Israelites over the men of Ai (Joshua 8):
1. How the men of Ai pursued the Israelites and almost defeated them;
2. How, according to the command of God, Joshua raised his banner in the air and held it upraised until the men of Ai were defeated;
3. How, in times of danger, I should lift up my heart to God as a banner, and with the Cross in my heart and with prayer, march to victory.

HOMILY on the holy apostolic warning
For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh … those that were clean escaped (II Peter 2:18).
The holy apostle knows men better than the most highly educated scholars, for he is a saint and an apostle. And a saint and an apostle can penetrate deeply into the heart of man. About whom is the apostle speaking? He is speaking about the impure, the shameless and the self-willed, whom he earlier called wells without water and clouds and mist. The impure, shameless and self-willed are men of many and seemingly important words. They speak proud and false words to men. By these proud and false words, they both conceal and reveal their hearts: they conceal them from the unlearned and those lacking in understanding, and reveal them to those who are steadfast in the Faith and enlightened by grace.
When an impure man speaks of his purity, he reveals his impurity; when a shameless man defends his honor, he reveals his shamelessness; when a self-willed man interprets the will of God, he shows his self-will. Whoever attentively follows his words can smell the stench of his fleshly desires. The inattentive and uneducated cannot sense this, but believe and are deluded. Those who have just begun to escape from the deception of the stomach, the world and the devil are often ensnared by proud and false words, like a fish in an invisible net. The fish does not know that it is in a net until the net is emptied out onto the hot sand. Then it knows, but then it is too late. Oh, may it not be too late for those pitiful souls of men who are ensnared in the net of proud and false words! Brethren, know that every teacher who, by his teaching, condones bodily desires, and approves sinners in their bodily desires, is false.
O Lord Jesus, Holy and All-pure, send Thy Holy Angels to defend all beginners and fledglings in Thy Faith from proud and false lips.
To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.


DIOCESAN DAYS 2017


21st Annual Diocesan 
Days Gathering

Sept. 1st – Sept. 3rd 

Saint Steven’s Serbian Orthodox Cathedral Alhambra, California


THE CHURCH AS FAMILY & 
THE FAMILY AS CHURCH


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“You are no longer strangers and aliens, but the members of the household of God”
(Eph. 2:19)

With
Fr. Timothy Pavlatos

SCHEDULE


+++ DIOCESAN NEWS +++
Bishop Maxim Ordains Reader Nektari Rodrequez to the Deaconate
30 July 2017
Camp Saint Sava 2017 in Jackson
21 July 2017
Our Holy Hierarch, Father Mardarije, pray unto God for us!
16 July 2017
PATRIARCH IRINEJ VISITS SAINT SAVA CATHEDRAL SITE IN NEW YORK
15 July 2017
PATRIARCH IRINEJ ARRIVES IN UNITED STATES
13 July 2017
fresno thumb Fresno Parish Celebrates Slava
09 July 2017
eugene thumb The Feast of St. John the Wonderworker in Eugene, OR
02 July 2017
phoca thumb m Bp Maxim Interview with Bishop Maxim
25 June 2017


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;SAINT SYLVESTER,BISHOP OF ROME.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 6, 2017
 
NINTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST: HOLY MARTYR CHRISTINA OF TYRE; VENERABLE POLYCARP OF THE KIEV CAVES; HOLY MARTYRS OF PREBILOVCI AND LOWER HERCEGOVINA
 
RESURRECTIONAL TROPARION - TONE EIGHT:
Thou didst descend from on high, O Merciful One!  Thou didst accept the three day burial to free us from our sufferings!  O Lord, our Life and Resurrection: Glory to Thee!
 
TROPARION TO HOLY MARTYR CHRISTINA – TONE FOUR:
Your lamb Christina calls out to You, O Jesus, in a loud voice: I love You, my Bridegroom, and in seeking You I endure suffering.  In baptism I was crucified so that I might reign in You, and I died so that I might live with You.  Accept me as a pure sacrifice, for I have offered myself in love.  Through her prayers save our souls, since You are merciful.
 
RESURRECTIONAL KONTAKION - TONE EIGHT:
By rising from the tomb Thou didst raise the dead and resurrected Adam.  Eve exults in Thy Resurrection, and the world celebrates Thy rising from the dead, O greatly Merciful One!
 
KONTAKION TO HOLY MARTYR CHRISTINA – TONE FOUR:
O Venerable Christina, you appeared as a shining dove, with a pair of golden wings alighting in the highest heavens.  Therefore we celebrate your glorious feast and bow before the place that holds your relics.  Pray that we may receive grace and healing for body and soul.
 
HYMN TO THE MOTHER OF GOD - TONE SIX:
Steadfast Protectress of Christians and constant advocate before the Creator, do not despise the cry of us sinners; but in your goodness come speedily to help us who call on you in faith.  Hasten to hear our petition and to intercede for us, O Theotokos, for you always protect those who honor you!
 
EPISTLE READING
 
PROKEIMENON IN TONE EIGHT:
Pray and make your vows before the Lord our God.
 
NINTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST: 1 CORINTHIANS 3: 9-17   
Brethren, for we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building. According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it.  But let each one take heed how he builds on it.  For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.  If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward.  If anyone’s work is burned he will suffer loss, but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.  Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?  If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him.  For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are. 
 
THE ALLELUIA VERSES:
Come let us rejoice in the Lord!  Let us make a joyful noise to God our Savior!  Let us come before His face with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to Him with psalms!
 
GOSPEL READING
 
NINTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST: MATTHEW 14: 22-34 
At that time, Jesus immediately made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away.  And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray.  Now when evening came, He was alone there.  But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary.  Now in the fourth watch of the night, Jesus went to them, walking on the sea.  And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were   troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!”  And they cried out for fear.  But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer!  It is I; do not be afraid.”  And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”  So He said, “Come.”  And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.  But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out saying, “Lord, save me.”  And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”  And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.  Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him saying, “Truly, You are the Son of God.”  When they had crossed over, they came to the land of Gennesaret.
 
FROM THE PROLOGUE:
 
JULY 24/AUGUST 6, BY SAINT NIKOLAI VELIMIROVIC:
The Holy Martyr Christina
Christina was born in the city of Tyre. She was the daughter of Urban the imperial deputy, an idol-worshiper. The reason her parents gave her the name of Christina is unknown, but it contained within itself the mystery of her future following of Christ. Until the age of eleven she knew nothing of Christ. When she reached that age, her father made her live in the top of a high tower, in order to protect her from the world, because of her extraordinary beauty. He planned to have her live there until she reached full maturity. All the comforts of life were afforded her—slaves to serve her, and gold and silver idols that she might offer sacrifices to them daily. However, the soul of young Christina was saddened in this isolated, idolatrous environment. Looking out the window each day at the sun and all the beauty of the world, and again at night at the wondrous constellations of shining stars, Christina came to a firm belief in the One Living God through her own natural understanding. The merciful God, seeing her longing for the truth, sent His angel to trace the sign of the Cross upon Christina. The angel called her the bride of Christ, and instructed her fully in the knowledge of divine things. Then Christina smashed all the idols in her quarters, thus provoking wild fury in her father. He brought her to trial, and had her tortured. Then he had her thrown into prison, intending to have her beheaded the next day. That night Urban, who had been in full health, spewed forth his soul and went to the grave before his daughter. After this, two imperial deputies, Dion and Julian, continued to torture this holy virgin. Christina’s courageous endurance and the miracles she worked by the power of God converted many pagans of Tyre to Christianity. During the torturing of Christina, Dion suddenly fell dead in the midst of the people. Dion’s successor, Julian, severed Christina’s breasts and tongue. The martyr threw her severed tongue into Julian’s face, and he was instantly blinded. Finally, her suffering for Christ ended beneath the sharp sword, but her life continues in the Immortal Kingdom of the angels. St. Christina suffered honorably in the third century. 
 
The Venerable Polycarp, Abbot of the Monastery of the Kiev Caves
Polycarp possessed “love toward God and neighbor, joy from an untainted conscience, peace from victory over all the passions, patience in time of temptation and misfortune, goodness in submission to all, benevolence toward the poor, undoubting faith in fulfilling the commandments, truth in fulfilling his vows, meekness in freedom from anger, abstinence and so forth.” So well did he govern the Kiev Caves Lavra that, after his death, a worthy successor among the monks could not be found (for those who were worthy did not want to accept the rank of abbot out of humility), so that the brethren were compelled to take Basil, a secular priest, as their abbot. St. Polycarp reposed in the Lord in the year 1182. 
 
HYMN OF PRAISE: Saint Christina
The glorious martyr, the virgin Christina, 
Chosen bride of the Son of God, 
Had her worst enemy in her father— 
By him she was torn by sharp iron. 
“Daughter, if you do not acknowledge the gods, 
I will no longer call you my daughter.” 
Thus spoke the father to his daughter, to which she replied: 
“I have never been angry with you, even though 
I am the servant of Christ and you are the servant of Satan. 
In you I see neither father nor friend; 
You do not call me daughter, and this makes me glad.
The Lord is my father, and He is my sweetness!”
Like a raging beast, her father commanded his servants
To scrape her flesh to the bone. 
The flesh fell to the ground from her tender body, 
One wound joined another, no place was left whole. 
With her hand the holy martyr took some of her flesh
And struck her father in the middle of his foul face: 
“O Urban, you meat-eater—here is my flesh,
Here, beast—eat the flesh of your child!”
That night, Urban parted from his body,
And in hell united his soul with the devil. 
Christina suffered and shed her blood, 
Heroically overcoming a world of enemies. 
The virgin Christina, a wonderful martyr, 
Was glorified with the glory of the Son of God. 
 
REFLECTION
The Christian Faith most especially enlightens and illumines the souls of men when the preachers of this Faith shine forth by their own lives. Blessed Polycarp, abbot of the Kiev Caves, was completely illumined by the Christian Faith—in words, deeds and his entire being. Because of this, he had an uncommon influence upon the lives, not only of the simple people, but of princes and noblemen as well. Seeing and listening to this godly man, the Prince of Kiev, Rostislav Mstislavich, became so illumined with the Christian Faith and thus became so subdued and ennobled that he became a model of Christian life, both in his immediate surroundings and to his entire people. During Great Lent, Prince Rostislav received Holy Communion every Sunday and sought out the poor and needy everywhere so as to help them. In the end, he resolved to receive the monastic habit and spoke to St. Polycarp about this: “Holy Father, princely rule in this world cannot be without sin, and it has already embittered me and worn me out.” Polycarp answered him: “If you desire this (the monastic habit) with all your heart, then let it be God’s will.” However, while in Smolensk the prince fell fatally ill and ordered that he be taken quickly to Kiev, that he might be tonsured before his death—but he died before his wish could be fulfilled. 
 
CONTEMPLATION
Contemplate the miraculous victory of the Israelites over the men of Ai (Joshua 8): 
1. How the men of Ai pursued the Israelites and almost defeated them;
2. How, according to the command of God, Joshua raised his banner in the air and held it upraised until the men of Ai were defeated;
3. How, in times of danger, I should lift up my heart to God as a banner, and with the Cross in my heart and with prayer, march to victory. 
 
HOMILY
on the holy apostolic warning
For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh … those that were clean escaped (II Peter 2:18).
The holy apostle knows men better than the most highly educated scholars, for he is a saint and an apostle. And a saint and an apostle can penetrate deeply into the heart of man. About whom is the apostle speaking? He is speaking about the impure, the shameless and the self-willed, whom he earlier called wells without water and clouds and mist. The impure, shameless and self-willed are men of many and seemingly important words. They speak proud and false words to men. By these proud and false words, they both conceal and reveal their hearts: they conceal them from the unlearned and those lacking in understanding, and reveal them to those who are steadfast in the Faith and enlightened by grace. 
When an impure man speaks of his purity, he reveals his impurity; when a shameless man defends his honor, he reveals his shamelessness; when a self-willed man interprets the will of God, he shows his self-will. Whoever attentively follows his words can smell the stench of his fleshly desires. The inattentive and uneducated cannot sense this, but believe and are deluded. Those who have just begun to escape from the deception of the stomach, the world and the devil are often ensnared by proud and false words, like a fish in an invisible net. The fish does not know that it is in a net until the net is emptied out onto the hot sand. Then it knows, but then it is too late. Oh, may it not be too late for those pitiful souls of men who are ensnared in the net of proud and false words! Brethren, know that every teacher who, by his teaching, condones bodily desires, and approves sinners in their bodily desires, is false. 
O Lord Jesus, Holy and All-pure, send Thy Holy Angels to defend all beginners and fledglings in Thy Faith from proud and false lips. 
To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.
 
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