Weekly Diocesan Bulletin - Sunday, January 22, 2017



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WEEKLY DIOCESAN BULLETIN

Sunday, January 22, 2017 

Thirty-first Sunday after Pentecost; Sunday after Theophany; The Holy Martyr Polyeuctus; The Holy Hieromartyr Phillip, Metropolitan of Moscow

RESURRECTIONAL TROPARION - TONE SIX: The angelic powers were at Thy tomb; and the guards became as dead men; and Mary stood by Thy grave, seeking Thy most pure Body. Thou didst capture hell, not being tempted by it. Thou didst come to the Virgin, granting life. O Lord who rose from the dead: Glory to Thee!

THEOPHANY TROPARION - TONE ONE: When Thou, O Lord, wast baptized in the Jordan, the worship of the Trinity was made manifest!  For the voice of the Father bare witness to Thee, and called Thee His beloved Son; and the Spirit, in the form of a dove, confirmed the truthfulness of His word.  O Christ our God, who has revealed Thyself and has enlightened the world, glory to Thee!

TROPARION TO THE HOLY MARTYR POLYEUCTUC - TONE FOUR: Your holy martyr Polyeuctus, O Lord, through his suffering has received an incorruptible crown from You, our God.  For having Your strength, he laid low his adversaries, and shattered the powerless boldness of demons.  Through his intercessions, save our souls.

RESURRECTIONAL KONTAKION - TONE SIX: When Christ God, the Giver of Life, raised all of the dead from the valleys of misery with His mighty hand, He bestowed resurrection on the human race. He is the Savior of all, the Resurrection, the Life, and God of all.

KONTAKION TO THE HOLY MARTYR POLYEUCTUC - TONE FOUR: When the Savior bowed His head in the Jordan, the heads of the dragons were crushed; when Polyeuctus was beheaded, the deceiver was put to shame.

THEOPHANY KONTAKION - TONE FOUR: Today Thou hast appeared to the universe and Thy light, O Lord, has shone on us, who with understanding praise Thee: Thou hast come and revealed Thyself, O Light Unapproachable!

INSTEAD OF “IT IS TRULY MEET…”: Magnify, O my soul, the most pure Virgin Mother of God, more honorable than the heavenly hosts!  No tongue is capable of praising you worthily; the angelic mind is overawed in exalting you, O Mother of God!  But accept our faith, since you are gracious and know our divine love.  You are the protectress of Christians, and we praise you!

EPISTLE READING

The Prokimenon in the 6th Tone:
O Lord, save Thy people, and bless Thine inheritance.

Sunday after Theophany: Ephesians 4: 7-13    
Brethren, to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.  Therefore He says: “When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men.”  Now this, “He ascended” - what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth?  He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.  And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.

The Alleluia Verses:
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the heavenly God.  He will say to the Lord: My Protector and my Refuge; my God in whom I trust. 

GOSPEL READING

Sunday after Theophany: Matthew 4: 12-17   
At that time when Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, He departed to Galilee.  And leaving Nazareth, He came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the regions of Zebulun and Naphtali, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, by the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles: The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death Light has dawned.”  From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

From The Prologue
January 9/22 by St. Nikolai Velimirovic:

The Holy Martyr Polyeuctus
The Armenian city of Melitene was drenched with the blood of Christians, as was the entire country of Armenia. The first blood shed for Christ in this city was that of St. Polyeuctus in the year 259, during the reign of Valerian. In Melitene were two friends: Nearchus and Polyeuctus. Both were officers—Nearchus was baptized and Polyeuctus was unbaptized. When the command of the emperor was sent out concerning the persecution of the Christians, Nearchus prepared for death; but he was in great sorrow because he had not succeeded in converting his friend Polyeuctus to the true Faith. When Polyeuctus learned of the reason for Nearchus’s sorrow, he promised to embrace the Faith. The following day Polyeuctus related this dream to Nearchus: the Lord Himself had appeared to him in light, removed Polyeuctus’s old clothes from him and dressed him in radiant new clothes and sat him in the saddle of a winged horse. After this, Polyeuctus went to town, shredded the emperor’s decree concerning the torturing of Christians, and destroyed many statues of idols. He was tortured and condemned to death. When he was brought to the place of execution, he looked at Nearchus in the throng of people and joyfully cried out to him: “Save yourself, my dear friend! Remember the vow of love confirmed between the two of us!” Later, St. Nearchus died by fire as a martyr for Christ. St. Nearchus is commemorated on April 22.

The Venerable Eustratius
Eustratius was a native of Tarsus. He was a great ascetic and a man of prayer. During the seventy-five years he spent in the monastery, Eustratius never lay down to sleep on his left side but always on his right. Throughout the divine services, from the beginning to the end, he repeated to himself: “Lord, have mercy!” He reposed in his ninety-fifth year.

Saint Philip, Metropolitan of Moscow
Philip was born on February 11, 1507. Once, while standing in church as a young boy, he heard the priest read from the Gospel: No man can serve two masters (Matthew 6:24). He became very frightened by these words, as though they had been spoken to him alone, and at that same moment he became enlightened by them. He then withdrew to the Solovki Monastery, where, after a long and difficult novitiate, he was tonsured a monk. In time, Philip became the abbot and shone as the sun, and the whole of Russia heard of him. Hence, Tsar Ivan the Terrible summoned Philip to fill the vacant see of the Metropolitan of Moscow in the year 1566. However, this holy man could not endure with indifference the atrocities of the terrible tsar, and therefore he counseled and rebuked him without fear. The tsar found some false witnesses against Philip, ousted him from office, ordered that he be dressed in a simple and tattered monastic cassock and imprisoned him in Tver on December 23, 1569. Malyuta Skuratov, one of the tsar’s confidants, came to Philip’s cell and suffocated him with a pillow. Shortly afterward, all those who were opposed to Philip died evil deaths. After several years, the body of the saint, which was discovered whole, incorrupt and fragrant, was translated to the Monastery of Solovki.

HYMN OF PRAISE: Saints Nearchus and Polyeuctus

Nearchus and Polyeuctus, soldiers of Caesar,
Became soldiers of the Heavenly King.

One was baptized with water, the other with his own blood;
The second surpassed the other and became the first.

Oh, blessed is this competition,
This heroic rushing to Christ’s Kingdom!

Polyeuctus rejected all the spoils of this world—
All things, which come and go like the wind—
And for brief sufferings he purchased the everlasting Kingdom.

This trade, for him, turned out to be a brilliant one.

For the sake of eternal life, let the grass be cut down!

In exchange for transitory suffering, glory which passes not away!

Pray for us, O soldier of Christ,
That not one of our souls perish!

REFLECTION
The Orthodox Church, in teaching men about perfect love, at the same time also teaches them perfect obedience—from which emanates order and harmony among the faithful. Bishops owe their obedience to the Lord. Priests owe their obedience to the bishops. The faithful owe their obedience to both the one and the other. St. Ignatius of Antioch writes about this: “You are required to obey without hypocrisy; he who would deceive his visible bishop would also scorn the Invisible One…. I pray you, endeavor to fulfill everything in godly unanimity—under the presidency of the bishops, who occupy the place of Christ, and of the presbyters, who constitute the assembly of the apostles—not thinking that whatever you do alone and apart would be correct.”

CONTEMPLATION

Contemplate all the virtues in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ:

1. How every virtue is complete and perfect in Him as in no other in the history of the world;

2. How all the virtues wonderfully complement each other, how the one penetrates the other, and the one working in the other is made radiant.

HOMILY
on concern for the salvation of our neighbors

Let no man seek his own, but every man another’s wealth (I Corinthians 10:24).

This is the principle of the saints of God, both now and in the past, always and forever. This is the principle on which society is built. Upon this principle can be established the most perfect, most God-pleasing and most prosperous human society. This is the saving principle for every type of difficulty, against which contemporary men struggle without victory and without hope. The holy soul is concerned with where the homeless will spend the night, how the hungry will be fed, how the naked will be clothed. The holy soul is concerned, and prays to God that his neighbors be saved; that their hearts be filled with love toward God; that their minds be directed toward God; that the wicked turn from the path of wickedness; that those wavering in the Faith be strengthened; that those who are strengthened be sustained; that those who have died see the face of God; and that the living be written in the Book of Life in the Kingdom of Light.

But beware, brethren, and see how the destructive and antisocial principle of the devil can be phrased in like manner, word for word. This principle of the devil says: No one should look to his own body to preserve it in purity from sin, but rather everyone should look to the bodies of others in order to ruin and destroy them. No one should look to his own soul to see how to save it; rather everyone should look to the soul of someone else in order to blacken it, to curse it, to impoverish it and to destroy it. Let no one look at his house in order to build it and renew it; rather, let everyone look at the home of another in order to burn it and demolish it. No one should look at his granaries in order to fill them; rather, one should look at the granaries of others in order to steal from them and empty them.

Behold, brethren, how this principle can be a principle either of good or of evil; it is a sharp two-edged sword, an angel or Satan. See how this principle in the satanic spirit and form has gained momentum on all sides today!

O Lord, Holy Spirit, Who, through the tongue of the apostle of God, has released these holy words in the world, as bright rays of the sun to illuminate and not to burn us, help us now to fulfill them in the proper heavenly sense—to the glory of the Triune God and for the salvation of our souls.

To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.

 

 

 


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Weekly Diocesan Bulletin - Sunday, January 15, 2017



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Website | Calendar | Sebastian Press | Podcasts

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WEEKLY DIOCESAN BULLETIN

Sunday, January 15, 2017 

Thirtieth Sunday after Pentecost;
Sunday before Theophany; Venerable Seraphim of Sarov;
Saint Sylvester, Bishop of Rome 

RESURRECTIONAL TROPARION - TONE FIVE: Let us, the faithful, praise and worship the Word, coeternal with the Father and the Spirit, born for our salvation from the Virgin; for He willed to be lifted upon the Cross in the flesh, to endure death, and to raise the dead by His Glorious Resurrection

THE PREFEAST OF THEOPHANY TROPARION – TONE FOUR: Prepare, O Zebulon!  Make ready, O Nephtali!  Stop your flow, O River Jordan!  Receive with joy the Master who comes to be baptized!  Rejoice with Eve, O Adam!  Do not hide as of old in Paradise!  For He who beheld you naked there has now appeared to clothe you anew!  Christ has come, desiring to renew all creation! 

TROPARION TO SAINT SERAPHIM – TONE FOUR:
You loved Christ from your youth, O blessed one, and longing to work for Him alone you struggled in the wilderness in constant prayer and labor.  With penitent heart and great love for Christ you were favored by the Mother of God.  Therefore we cry to you: ‘Save us by your prayers, venerable Seraphim, our father. 

TROPARION TO SAINT SYLVESTER – TONE FOUR:
You appeared to your flock as a rule of faith, an image of humility and a teacher of abstinence.  Because of your lowliness Heaven was opened to you; because of your poverty, riches were granted to you.  O holy Father Sylvester, pray to Christ our God to save our souls! 

RESURRECTIONAL KONTAKION - TONE FIVE:
You descended into hell, O my Savior, shattering its gates as Almighty; resurrecting the dead as Creator, and destroying the sting of death.  You have delivered Adam from the curse, O Lover of Man, and we all cry to You: O Lord, save us! 

KONTAKION TO SAIND SERAPHIM – TONE TWO:
Forsaking the beauty as well as the corruption of this world, you settled in the monastery of Sarov, O Saint.  There you lived an angelic life, becoming for many the way to salvation.  Therefore, Christ has glorified you, Father Seraphim, enriching you with abundant healing and miracles.  So we cry to you: ‘Save us by your prayers, venerable Seraphim, our father.’ 

KONTAKION TO SAINT SYLVESTER - TONE TWO: 
The Trinity delights in you, O holy bishop Sylvester!  You are divine thunder, a spiritual trumpet, a planter of the Faith, and destroyer of heresies.  As you ever stand with the angels, entreat Christ without ceasing for us all. 

THE PREFEAST OF THEOPHANY KONTAKION - TONE FOUR: Today the Lord appears in the Jordan and cries to John: “Do not be afraid to baptize Me!  I have come to save Adam, the first-formed man!” 

EPISTLE READING 

The Prokimenon in the 6th Tone: 
O Lord, save Thy people, and bless Thine inheritance. 

Sunday before Theophany: 2 Timothy 4: 5-8  
My son Timothy, you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.  For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand.  I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing. 

The Alleluia Verses:
May God be gracious to us and bless us, and make His face to shine upon us. 

GOSPEL READING 

Sunday before Theophany: Mark 1: 1-8
The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  As it is written in the Prophets: “Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, who will prepare Your way before You.  The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make His paths straight.’”  John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.  Then all the land of Judea, and those from Jerusalem, went out to him and were all baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins.  Now John was clothed with camel’s hair and with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey.  And he preached, saying: “There comes One after me who is mightier than I, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to stoop down and loose.  I indeed baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” 

From The Prologue 
January 2/15 by St. Nikolai Velimirovic: 

Saint Sylvester, Bishop of Rome.

Sylvester was born in Rome, and from his early youth was learned in worldly wisdom and in the Faith of Christ. He always conducted his life according to the Gospel commandments. He benefitted much from the instruction of Timothy the priest, whose death for the Faith Sylvester himself witnessed. Observing the example of the heroic sacrifice of his teacher, he was imbued with just such a spirit throughout his entire life. Becoming Bishop of Rome at age thirty, he reformed certain Christian customs. For example, he dispensed with the fast on Saturdays, which had been practiced by many Christians up to that time, and ordered that fasting be observed only on Holy and Great Saturday, as well as on those Saturdays that fall within the fasting seasons. By his prayers and miracles, Sylvester assisted in bringing Emperor Constantine and his mother Helena to the true Faith and baptism. With the Empress Helena he took part in finding the Honorable Cross. He governed the Church of God for twenty years. His earthly life ended honorably and he entered into the Heavenly Kingdom. 

The Venerable Seraphim of Sarov
Seraphim was one of the greatest Russian ascetics, clairvoyant elders and wonderworkers. He was born in 1759 and he reposed in 1833. Seraphim was distinguished by great humility. While the whole world praised him, he referred to himself as “the wretched Seraphim.” 

Saint Theodota
Theodota was the mother of the brothers Cosmas and Damian, the Unmercenaries and Miracle-workers. Theodota lived a God-pleasing life and in such a life she instructed her sons. 

The Venerable Ammon
Ammon was a great ascetic of the fifth century. He was the abbot of the Tabennisiot Monastery in Upper Egypt. Three thousand monks lived the ascetic life under his direction. He possessed the grace-filled gifts of miracle-working and clairvoyance. When a monk once asked him for advice, he said to him: “Be like a convict in prison, as he continually asks, ‘When will the judge come?’ So also should you ask with trembling.” 

HYMN OF PRAISE: Saint Sylvester

O Lord, most wonderful, Thou art wondrous in Thy saints;
Through Thy saints Thou dost appear mighty and merciful.

Thou shinest through Thy saints like the sun through the stars.

Thou givest strength unto the humble, and dost raise them up to Paradise.

Thou makest the simple wise, and through them dost shame the wise.

Thou comfortest the unfortunate with kindness, and with heaven dost nourish the hungry.

Thou hast saints of every kind;
Thou receivest saints of all ages and from all races,
Without caste, without distinction, the last and the first,
Pure of sin, fruitful in goodness,
Noble souls, kindred to Thy Christ—
These Thou callest saints.

Thou callest everyone to be a saint,
And Thou dost cleanse those who respond,
Washing away their sins, making them white as wool.

In such as these, all heaven rejoices with Thee.

Sylvester was such a one: in him Thou dost rejoice,
And because of him Thou impartest Thy blessing to us. 

REFLECTION
How do you respond to those who say that Christ the Miracle-worker cannot fit into our logic? Simply reply: Fit yourself into His logic. In His logic, all eternity fits and all the nobleness of time—and so, if you wish, a place will be found even for you. If a barrel cannot fit into a thimble, you can fit a thimble into a barrel. Blessed Clement of Alexandria says: “Philosophers are children until they become men through Christ. For truth is never merely thinking.” Christ came to correct man and, therefore, man’s logic. He is our Logos and our Logic. That is why we must direct our reason toward Him and not Him toward our reason. He is the One Who corrects our reason. The sun is not regulated according to our clock, but our clock is regulated according to the sun. 

CONTEMPLATION

Contemplate the Lord Jesus as the Divine Word:

1. How the Triune God created everything by His Word, i.e., by Christ the Lord;

2. How senseless is every man who distances himself from Christ, the Word of God, and in such a man there is no Christ. 

HOMILY on pride

Pride goes before disaster, and a haughty spirit before a fall (Proverbs 16:18).

Of all that exists at the four corners of the earth, what, O mortal man, can make us proud except stupidities and demonic illusions? Did we not enter into the world naked and wretched, and are we not going to depart this world in the same manner? Everything that we have, did we not borrow it? And at our death, are we not going to return everything? Oh, how many times has this been said and ignored? The wise Apostle says: For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out (I Timothy 6:7). And when we offer the sacrifice to God of ordinary bread and wine, we say: “Thine own of Thine own we offer unto Thee” (Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom). For nothing that we have in this world is ours, not even a crumb of bread or a drop of wine—there is nothing that is not of God. In truth, pride is the daughter of stupidity, the daughter of a darkened mind, born of evil ties with the demons.

Pride is a broad window through which all of our merits and good works evaporate. Nothing makes us so empty before men and so unworthy before God as does pride. If the Lord is not proud, why should we be proud? Who has more reason to be proud than the Lord, Who created the world and Who sustains it by His power? And behold, He humbles Himself as a servant, a servant to the whole world—a servant even to death, to death on the Cross!

O humble Lord, burn up within our hearts the devil’s sowing of pride with the fire of Thy Holy Spirit, and plant within it the noble sowing of humility and meekness.

To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.

 

 

 

 

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HRISTOS SE RODI!  
MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Patriarchal Nativity Encyclical
English Serbian

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Assembly of Canonical 
Orthodox Bishops in
North & South America

Episcopal Nativity Greeting
His Grace Bishop MAXIM

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NEWEST PUBLICATIONS


welcoming the christ child

Welcoming the Christ Child: Family Readings for the Nativity Lent by Elissa Bjeletich. Journey through the Old Testament with 40 wonderfully illustrated Bible readings, one for each day of the Nativity lent.

COMING SOON! 


diary of the council

DIARY OF THE COUNCIL:
Reflections from the Holy and Great Council at the Orthodox Academy in Crete,June 17-26, 2016. (In Serbian and English) by Bishop Maxim. 

ORDER TODAY! 

Serbian Version English Version

 

let there be light sm

A book for Children! 
Order Today!


Covek zajednice u Hristu

Човек заједнице у Христу
"Participation in God" in the Theological Anthropology of St Gregory Nazianzen and St Maximus the Confessor
by His Grace Bishop Maxim Vasiljevic

Read More...

sts mardarije sebastian

Read More...

serbian americans
Read More...

no faith
Read More...


synaxarion flyer

Read More...

festive fast

Read More...

the forgotten mystery korica

The Forgotten Mystery: The Ecclesial Consequences of Holy Chrismation
Read More...


Also on Kindle 
at Amazon:

No Faith is More Beautiful than the Christian Faith

The Art of Seeing

The Thunderbolt
of Ever-Living Fire

The Presence ofTranscendence: Essays on Facing the Other through Holiness, History, and Text

Man and the God-Man

The Meaning of Reality

The One and the Many

The Prologue of Ohrid

Treasures New and Old

History, Truth, Holiness

 

 ..........................................................


 HELP SUPPORT
THE WESTERN AMERICAN DIOCESE AND THE
MANY ONGOING MINISTRIES...


Pay with Paypay or Credit Card

download

Or you may ..

Mail your Contribution to: 
Western American Diocese
1621 West Garvey Avenue, Alhambra, CA 91803

 

malibu-stamatis
THE DYNAMIC EARTH
Stamatis Skliris’ Vision of the Past, Present, and Future of American Natural Treasures

http://holyicon.org/shop

VIEW CATALOGUE
THIRTIETH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST;SUNDAY BEFORE THEOPHANY;VENERABLE SERAPHIM OF SAROV;SAINT SYLVESTER,BISHOP OF ROME
 
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