Weekly Diocesan Bulletin - Sunday, September 28, 2014

Download Printable PDF Word Doc | Subscribe   


wad-paypal-banner-780
        Website | Calendar | Sebastian Press | Sebastian Printing Supply | Bookstore | Blog | Podcasts

                                        eserbia  holyicon.org

   christian-heritage-kosovo-metohija-banner-small 

WEEKLY DIOCESAN BULLETIN

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost; Sunday after the Exaltation of the Life-giving Cross; The Holy Great-martyr Nicetas the Goth; St. Joseph the New, Metropolitan of Temisoara

RESURRECTIONAL TROPARION - TONE SEVEN:

By Your Cross, You did destroy death! To the thief, You did open Paradise! For the myrrh bearers, You did change weeping into joy! And You did command Your disciples, O Christ God, to proclaim that You are risen, granting the world great mercy!

THE LIFE-GIVING CROSS TROPARION - TONE ONE:

O Lord, save Your people, and bless Your inheritance. Grant victory to the Orthodox Christians over their adversaries; and by virtue of Your Cross, preserve Your habitation.

TROPARION TO GREAT-MARTYR NICETAS - TONE THREE:

You vanquished error and triumphed in martyrdom, O honorable Nicetas, namesake of victory; for you conquered the ranks of the enemy and ended your contest by fire.  Pray to Christ our God that He grant us great mercy.

RESURRECTIONAL KONTAKION - TONE SEVEN:

The dominion of death can no longer hold man captive, for Christ descended, shattering and destroying its powers!  Hell is bound, while the prophets rejoice and cry:  The Savior has come to those in faith!  Enter you faithful into the Resurrection.

KONTAKION TO GREAT-MARTYR NICETAS - TONE TWO:

With firm resolve you prevailed against the might of delusion and received a martyr’s crown; you rejoice with the angels, O Nicetas, namesake of victory, and together with them, pray unceasingly to Christ God for us all.  

THE LIFE-GIVING CROSS KONTAKION - TONE FOUR:

As You were voluntarily crucified for our sake, grant mercy to those who are called by Your name, O Christ God.  Gladden all Orthodox Christians by Your power, granting them victory over their adversaries; and may they have as Your help the weapon of peace, the invincible trophy.

HYMN TO THE THEOTOKOS (REPLACES "IT IS TRULY MEET"):

Magnify, O my soul, the most precious Cross of the Lord.  You are the mystical Paradise, O Theotokos, in which Christ blossomed; through Him the life-bearing wood of the Cross was   planted on earth. Now at its Elevation, as we bow in worship before it, we magnify you.

EPISTLE READING

The Prokimenon in the 7th Tone:       

The Lord shall give strength to His people!  The Lord shall bless His people with peace!

Sunday after the Cross: Galatians 2: 16-20

Brethren, knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified. But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is Christ therefore a minister of sin? Certainly not! For if I build again those things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

16th Sunday after Pentecost: 2 Corinthians 6: 1-10   

Brethren, we then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain.  For He says, “In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you.”  Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.  We give no offense in anything, that our ministry may not be blamed.  But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God: in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in fastings; by purity, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love, by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, by honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report; as deceivers, and yet true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold we live; as chastened, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.

The Alleluia Verses:

It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to Your name, O Most High!  To declare Your mercy in the morning, and Your truth by night.

GOSPEL READING

Sunday after the Cross: Mark 8: 34 – 9: 1 

At that time, when Jesus had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, "Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels." And He said to them, "Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power."

16th Sunday after Pentecost: Matthew 25: 14-30     

Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them.  And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey.  Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents.  And likewise he who had received two gained two more also.  But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money.  After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them.  So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’  His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things.  Enter into the joy of your lord.’  He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’  His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things.  Enter into the joy of your lord.’  Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed.  And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground.  Look, there you have what is yours.’  But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed.  So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest.  Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents.  For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away.  And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness.  There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’”

Spiritual Articles

From The Prologue for September 15/28 by St. Nikolai Velimirovic:

The Holy Martyr Nicetas

Nicetas was a Goth by birth. He was a disciple of Theophilus, Bishop of the Goths, who participated in the First Ecumenical Council [Nicaea 325]. When the Gothic prince Athenarik began to torture Christians, St. Nicetas stood before the prince and denounced him for his paganism and inhumanity. Subsequently harshly tortured, Nicetas confessed his faith in Christ even more strongly, and prayed to God with thanksgiving. His mind was unceasingly raised up to God, and on his breast under his robe he bore an icon of the Most-holy Theotokos with the Pre-eternal Christ Child standing and holding the Cross in His hands. St. Nicetas carried this icon because the Holy Theotokos had appeared to him and comforted him. Finally, the torturer threw the soldier of Christ into the fire, where the holy martyr breathed his last, but his body remained untouched by the fire. His companion Marianus took his body from the land of the Goths (Wallachia and Bessarabia) to the town of Mopsuestia, in Cilicia. There, he built a church dedicated to St. Nicetas, and placed the miracle-working relics of the martyr in it. Nicetas suffered and was glorified in the year 372.

The Venerable Philotheus

Philotheus was from the village of Myrmix or Mravin in Asia Minor. His mother had the same name, but reversed—Theophila. Philotheus was a presbyter and a great miracle-worker during his lifetime. On one occasion, he changed water into wine and, on another occasion, he miraculously increased a quantity of bread. He reposed in the Lord in the tenth century, and his relics gushed myrrh.

The Holy Martyr Porphyrius

Porphyrius was born in Mimosa. At first, he made jests about Christians for the Emperor Julian the Apostate. Thus, on one occasion, while parodying the Christian Mystery of Baptism, he immersed himself in water, pronouncing the words: “In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit!” When he emerged from the water he cried out: “Now I am a Christian!” Everyone thought that this was just another jest, but he remained steadfast, ceased to mock Christianity, and finally suffered for Christ. Porphyrius was beheaded in the year 361, and took up his habitation in the Kingdom of Christ.

The Holy Martyrs Theodotus, Asclepidote and Maximus

They were all noblemen by birth, from Trachis. They suffered for Christ in the village of Saltis near Philipopolis, between the year 305 and 311, and entered into the Heavenly Kingdom.

Saint Bessarion the Wonderworker, Archbishop of Larissa

Bessarion founded the Monastery of the Savior, in the Diocese of Larissa. He was glorified by his miracles, both during his life and after his death.

The Holy New Martyr John of Crete

John suffered for the Christian Faith at the hands of the Turks in Ephesus, in the year 1811.

Saint Joseph, Bishop of Alaverdi

Joseph was one of the Thirteen Syrian Fathers (May 7) who were sent to the Caucasus to preach the Gospel. St. Joseph peacefully reposed in the Lord in the year 570. His miracle-working relics repose in the cathedral church in Alaverdi.

HYMN OF PRAISE: The Holy Martyr Nicetas

He is a true patriot who, among his own people,
Erects a true altar to the Living Lord.

Athenarik the Goth ruled by force,
And offered sacrifices to lifeless idols.

But holy Nicetas, the soldier of Christ God,
Was a preacher of eternal salvation.

He cast rays of the Eternal Light throughout the night,
Dispersing the idolatrous darkness that shrouded souls.

Holy Nicetas opposed the prince,
And his brave endurance amazed his people.

By the power of the Honorable Cross, he confounded the darkness
And filled all the people with the fear of God.

His blood was the rosy hue of the new dawn,
And his spirit was raised up to the heavenly courts.

In the terrible fire, Nicetas burned,
But, not even today, has he been consumed.

With the truth of Christ the Goths were baptized,
And they glorified Nicetas, their wonderful one.

O Saint Nicetas, voice of God’s trumpet,
Courageous martyr, true patriot;

From the tents of the earth you have departed,
And you stand in the royal courts with the angels.

Pray for us, for the King listens to you,
That He grant our souls mercy.

REFLECTION

God is not mocked (Galatians 6:7). God either punishes the mockers in order to correct them or He converts them into that which they had mocked. Initially, St. Porphyrius was famous among the pagans as a mocker of Christianity. On one occasion, he was mocking the Christian Mystery of Baptism before Emperor Julian the Apostate and his retinue. But something totally unexpected happened. When Porphyrius immersed himself in the water and pronounced the words of baptism in the name of the Holy Trinity, his spirit was suddenly changed, and he became a true Christian. Instead of mocking the Christian Faith, he began to denounce the emperor for his impure idolatry, for which he was tortured and beheaded. A similar thing happened to the comedian Gennesus, probably in Diocletian’s time. This Gennesus parodied the Christian Divine Liturgy before a crowd of pagans, amusing them with his mockeries and witticisms. Suddenly, he changed, and cried out before the people: “I believe, and I desire to be baptized.” At first, the spectators thought his words were a part of his farce, but he repeated his statement of faith in Christ. When Gennesus remained steadfast in his new faith, even when interrogated by the court and the emperor himself, he was tortured and slain. Thus, the mocker of Christ became a martyr for Christ.

CONTEMPLATION

Contemplate God’s punishment on a disobedient prophet
(I Kings 13):


1. How this prophet was commanded by God to abstain from eating or drinking anything in idolatrous Bethel;

2. How the prophet disobeyed God, and ate and drank;

3. How, upon returning, he was torn apart by a lion.

HOMILY
on the twofold witness of the Son of God

I am one that bear witness of Myself, and the Father that sent Me beareth witness of Me (John 8:18).

It is written in the Law that two witnesses are needed in order to prove something. First of all, the Lord provided the unbelieving Jews with three great witnesses about Himself: the Father, His own works and Holy Scripture (John 5:36–39). Yet, even after His many miracles, and after His teachings were widely expounded, He told them that His own witness of Himself was true and sufficient (John 8:14). Finally, He again emphasized two witnesses to them—His and His Father’s—in accordance with the letter of the Law, which required two witnesses. Thus the Lord seals the lips of the unbelievers in every way, and leaves them no outlet but the crime of murder, which is the last resort of those who refuse to be convinced of the truth, with no regard for reason or proof. In this last case especially, with the Lord’s presentation of His and His Father’s witness, He also wanted to show that He was a separate Person [hypostasis], and yet of one Essence with the Father. Therefore, He presents two witnesses: His own separate witness and the witness of God the Father. The following words confirm this: If ye had known Me, ye should have known My Father also (John 8:19). Expressed here is the complete essential unity of the Father and the Son, and there remains not even the slightest doubt that the Lord was thinking of His essential equality with His Father. The words here are about the Divine Nature, and not the human nature. Whoever conceives of the Holy Trinity as three bodily beings deceives himself. Only the Son of God appeared in the flesh, for the sake of the salvation of the world. The Father and the Holy Spirit did not take on flesh. According to His Divine Nature, the Son, although in the flesh, remained equal to the Father and the Holy Spirit. He clothed Himself in human nature, and added His Divine Nature, out of love for mankind, so as to reveal Himself to men and save them. O Holy Trinity, one in Essence and undivided, Who illumined and enlightened us through the Incarnate Word of God, sustain us to the end by Thy sanctity, Thy strength and Thine immortality, and save us. To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.

NEWEST PUBLICATIONS


synaxarion flyer

Read More...

Mardarije and Sebastian

ЖИТИЈА ЕПИСКОПА МАРДАРИЈА ЛИБЕРТИВИЛСКОГ И АРХИМАНДРИТА СЕВАСТИЈАНА ЏЕКСОНСКОГ

Read More...

Abba Justing

TIME IS A FRAGMENT OF ETERNITY

Read More...

thunderbold-front-sm

THE THUNDERBOLT OF EVER-LIVING FIRE

Read More... 

 Contemporary-Ecclesiological-Reminder-on-the-Diaspora-cover-comp

Contemporary Ecclesiological Reminder on the Diaspora: History and analysis of the so called “American schism” (1963-1992) and recommendations
for its overcoming.


Read More... 

aa-road-lead-to-jackson-cover

All Roads Lead to Jackson
a book about Serbian American contributions
in Amador County, CA
since the Gold Rush. 

Read More... 

annual-2013-korica-300

2013 Annual - A Commemorative Book reflecting the History of the Western American Diocese

Read More... 


Also on Kindle at Amazon:
 


The Presence of Transcendience - Available soon

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

 

 

malibu-stamatis
 The Dynamic Earth
Stamatis Skliris’ Vision of the Past, Present, and Future
of American Natural Treasures


http://holyicon.org/shop

VIEW CATALOGUE


 HELP SUPPORT US IN OUR ONGING MINISTRIES...

download



 

Weekly Diocesan Bulletin - Sunday, June 15, 2014

Download Printable PDF Word Doc | Subscribe   


wad-paypal-banner-780
        Website | Calendar | Sebastian Press | Sebastian Printing Supply | Bookstore | Blog | Podcasts

                                        eserbia  holyicon.org

        christian-heritage-kosovo-metohija-banner-sm 

WEEKLY DIOCESAN BULLETIN 

SUNDAY, JUNE 15, 2014

First Sunday after Pentecost – All Saints   

RESURRECTIONAL TROPARION - TONE EIGHT:

You descended from on high, O Merciful One!  You accepted the three-day burial to free us from our sufferings.  O Lord, our Life and Resurrection: Glory to You!

TROPARION TO THE SAINTS - TONE FOUR:

As with fine porphyry and royal purple, Your Church has been adorned with Your martyrs’ blood shed throughout all the world.  She cries to You, O Christ God: Send down Your bounties on Your people; grant peace to Your habitation, and great mercy to our souls! 

RESURRECTIONAL KONTAKION - TONE EIGHT:

By rising from the tomb You raised the dead and resurrected Adam.  Eve exults in Your Resurrection, and the world celebrates Your rising from the dead, O greatly Merciful One!

KONTAKION TO THE SAINTS - TONE EIGHT:

The universe offers You the God-bearing martyrs as the first-fruits of creation, O Lord and Creator.  By their prayers keep Your Church, Your habitation, in abiding peace, through the Theotokos, O most merciful One.

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

The Prokimenon in the 8th Tone:       

Pray and make your vows before the Lord our God.  God is wonderful in His saints, the God of Israel.

1st after Pentecost: Hebrews 11: 33 – 12: 2

Brethren, who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again.  Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection.  Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment.  They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword.  They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented - of whom the world was not worthy.  They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth.  And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise.  God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.  Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

The Alleluia Verses:

The righteous called, and the Lord heard them. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers them out of them all.

GOSPEL READING

1st after Pentecost: Matthew 10: 32, 33, 37, 38; 19: 27-30    

At that time Jesus said, “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven.  But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.  He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me.  And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.  And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.”  Then Peter answered and said to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You.  Therefore what shall we have?”  So Jesus said to him, “Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.  And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life.  But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”

SPIRITUAL ARTICLES

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

Saint Nicephorus the Confessor, Patriarch of Constantinople

Nicephorus was a nobleman of Constantinople. His father, Theodore, a high-ranking official of the imperial court, was wealthy and pious. Nicephorus served at the court for several years in the same profession as his father. Seeing all the vanity of the world, he withdrew to the shores of the Bosphorus and founded a monastery. The monastery was quickly filled with monks and he governed it; but he was not willing to receive the monastic tonsure, under the pretext that he was not worthy, even though in all things he served as a model to all. Before that, he had participated in the Seventh Ecumenical Council [Nicaea, 783] as a layman, at the wishes of the emperor and the patriarch, and the Council had benefitted greatly from his superior knowledge of Sacred Scripture. When Patriarch Tarasius died, Nicephorus was elected patriarch against his will. Immediately following his election in the year 806, he received the monastic tonsure and, in succession, all the ecclesiastical ranks. He was enthroned as patriarch in the Church of Hagia Sophia. This took place during the reign of Emperor Nicephorus, who immediately after that went to war against the Bulgarians and was slain. His son Stauracius reigned only two months and died. After him there ruled the good Emperor Michael, surnamed Rangabe, but he reigned for only two years, until he was overthrown by Leo the Armenian and exiled. When Leo was to be crowned, the patriarch sent him a book of the Orthodox Confession of Faith to sign (according to the custom of all Byzantine emperors, which was considered an oath that they would uphold and defend the true Faith). The emperor did not sign it but rather postponed signing it until after the coronation. When the patriarch crowned him, Leo refused to sign the book, and he quickly proved himself to be a heretic, an iconoclast. The patriarch attempted to advise him and restore him to the true Faith, but in vain. The emperor forcibly banished Nicephorus to the island of Proconnesus, where he remained for thirteen years, enduring every kind of misery and privation, and he entered into eternity in the year 827. He governed the Church of Christ as patriarch for nine years.

The Holy New Martyr Constantine

Constantine was born of Moslem parents on the island of Mitylene. Having been healed of a grave illness with the help of holy water in church, and having witnessed other miracles of the Faith of Christ, he was baptized on Mount Athos in the Skete of Kapsokalyvia. Later, Constantine fell into the hands of the Turks, who hanged him in Constantinople on June 2, 1819, after forty days of cruel torture.

The Holy Martyr John the New of Suceava

John was a nobleman from Trebizond. He was accused by an envious Latin and suffered for Christ in the city of Akerman in the year 1492. After being tortured for refusing to embrace the Persian religion (for the governor of the town was an adherent of that faith), St. John was tied to the legs of a horse and dragged through the town. Upon seeing John, an evil Jew ran up to him and slaughtered him. That night many saw a fiery pillar over his body and three light-bearing men around it. With great honor the Moldavian commander Joalexander later translated his honorable body to the town of Suceava and buried it in the metropolitanate church, where it reposes even today, miraculously saving men from various pains and illnesses. John suffered honorably and was glorified on June 2, 1492.

The Hieromartyr Erasmus of Ohrid

This saint was born in Antioch and lived during the reigns of Emperors Diocletian and Maximian. He lived a strict life of asceticism on Mount Lebanon and was endowed by God with the great gift of working miracles. As a bishop, he went out to preach the Gospel. Arriving at the town of Ohrid, Erasmus by his prayers resurrected the son of a man named Anastasius and baptized him. Through this fortuitous circumstance Erasmus baptized many other pagans and destroyed the altars of the idols in Ohrid. For this he was denounced before Emperor Maximian, who was residing at that time in Illyria. The emperor brought him before a copper idol of Zeus and ordered him to offer sacrifice and worship the idol. St. Erasmus manifested so great a power that a horrible dragon emerged from the idol, terrifying the people. Again the saint manifested great power and the dragon died. The saint then preached Christ and baptized twenty thousand souls. The embittered emperor ordered that all twenty thousand be beheaded, and he subjected Erasmus to severe tortures and cast him into prison. An angel of God appeared to Erasmus, as once to the Apostle Peter, and led Erasmus out of the prison. After that this servant of God departed for Campania, where he preached the Gospel to the people, and then he returned to the town of Hermelia, where he retreated to a cave, in order that he might live a life of asceticism there until his death. Before his repose, he bowed down three times toward the east and with uplifted arms prayed to God that He forgive the sins and grant eternal life to all those who would with faith call upon his name. At the completion of his prayer a voice from heaven was heard: “Let it be as thou didst pray, my little healer Erasmus!” Utterly joyful, the saint gazed up at the heavens once more and saw a wreath of glory descending upon him and choirs of angels, prophets, apostles and martyrs coming toward him to receive his holy soul. At last he cried out, “O Lord, receive my spirit!” and reposed, in about the year 303. The cave, with a small church dedicated to St. Erasmus, exists today not far from Ohrid, and from it the great power of the God-pleaser Erasmus the hieromartyr is manifested even today.

HYMN OF PRAISE: Saint Nicephorus
Great was Nicephorus, great among the saints;
Great was Nicephorus, like a giant among men.

But the emperor with the name of lion was small;
His entire “glory” consisted of spite and malice.

An emperor is to lead the affairs of state,
Not to judge the dogmas of the Orthodox Faith.

Patriarch Nicephorus interpreted for him the dogmas,

But the arrogant little emperor pretended to be wise.

Though he had become emperor, he remained a simple shudra,
Not heeding the counsels of the wise saint.

The emperor banished the patriarch to a desolate, distant place,
And he began himself to interpret divine truth.

Great was Nicephorus, great in exile,
As also on the throne in his dignity.

All of his greatness was from within,
And not false and incidental, changing from day to day.

Nicephorus became a saint by faith and purity,
By strong faith, fasting and humble simplicity.

And Emperor Leo was slain—terribly slain.

Perhaps he would have repented, but it was too late.

REFLECTION

The veneration of icons is an integral part of Orthodoxy, from which it cannot be separated. That the veneration of icons appears to some people to be the same as idolatry is no proof against icons. To the Jews it seemed that Christ worked miracles by the power of Satan and not God, and to the Romans it seemed that the Christian martyrs were ordinary sorcerers and magicians. St. Nicephorus said to Leo the Armenian, the iconoclastic emperor: “An icon is a divine thing, but not to be worshiped.” Then he explained how God commanded Moses to make a serpent of brass and to raise it in the wilderness, even though just before this He had commanded: Thou shall not make unto thee any graven image (Exodus 20:4). The latter He commanded in order to save the chosen people from the idolatry of the Egyptians, and He commanded the former that He, the One and Most-high God, might manifest His power through a visible thing. In the same manner He manifests His power through icons. This is His holy will and our aid for salvation. If icons are things of little significance or even idolatry, why would many of the holiest and most spiritual men and women in the history of the Church have suffered to the death for icons?

CONTEMPLATION

Contemplate the miraculous healing of the leper (Matthew 8:2):

1. How the leper implored the Lord to heal him and how the Lord touched him with His hand and he was healed;

2. How I, too, am leprous from sin, and how the Lord can touch my soul and heal it, if I pray to Him.

HOMILY
on how wisdom proclaims itself everywhere

Wisdom cries aloud in the street, in the open squares she raises her voice; down the crowded ways she calls out, at the city gates she utters her words (Proverbs 1:20–21).

The Wisdom of God is the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, through Whom every created thing was created. All that was created manifests its All-wise Creator, both that which is in the fields and that which is in the city. In the fields is pure and bright nature, while in the city is man with his trades and skills. The Wisdom of God cries out—and does not whisper—through all of nature and through all the beneficial trades and skills of man. She has covered all the fields; she has filled the entire city; she is above the earth and under the earth, in the starry firmament and in the depths of the seas. He who wants to hear her can hear her in every place; he who wants to learn from her and be delighted by her can be taught and delighted in every place; he who wants to be corrected and built up by her can be corrected and built up by her in every place. Thus the Wisdom of God is clear and evident in all created things in the world from its very beginning. But the Wisdom of God is clearer and more evident in the prophets and in other men of God who were made worthy to approach her outside created nature. Through their mouths, the Wisdom of God has been proclaimed in the fields, in the cities, on the streets of the cities, and at the doors of men. But the Wisdom of God is most audible and most clear in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. In the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Wisdom of God was manifested in the flesh and demonstrated to men in Its miraculous power and beauty. This Wisdom of God does not speak through things or through men, but speaks of Itself and from Itself alone, personally and directly. By His wisdom the Lord has filled the entire world through His Holy Church, so that it can be said that today, just as twenty centuries ago in Palestine, He cries out in the fields, on the streets, to the greatest throngs in the world, throughout the cities, and before all doors, through the servants of the Word.

O my brethren, let us open the doors of our souls to the Wisdom of God, incarnate in the Lord Jesus Christ! O Lord Jesus, Wisdom and Power of God, open our souls and abide in them. To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.


In the Slavonic Prologue and Menaion, St. Erasmus is commemorated on May 4, while in the Greek Synaxarion on June 2. The latter is more correct, since this saint has been commemorated in Ohrid on June 2 from time immemorial.

Shudra: one of the four original castes in India, whose members engaged in the lowest professions.—Trans.

NEWEST PUBLICATIONS


synaxarion flyer


thunderbold-front-sm

THE THUNDERBOLT OF EVER-LIVING FIRE

Read More... 

god-views-us-through-love-cover-183

GOD VIEWS US THROUGH LOVE

Read More...

 Contemporary-Ecclesiological-Reminder-on-the-Diaspora-cover-comp

Contemporary Ecclesiological Reminder on the Diaspora: History and analysis of the so called “American schism” (1963-1992) and recommendations
for its overcoming.


Read More... 

the-presence-of-transcendence-cover

The Presence of Trancendience

Read More...

aa-road-lead-to-jackson-cover

All Roads Lead to Jackson
a book about Serbian American contributions
in Amador County, CA
since the Gold Rush. 

Read More... 

annual-2013-korica-300

2013 Annual - A Commemorative Book reflecting the History of the Western American Diocese

Read More... 


Also on Kindle at Amazon:
 


The Presence of Transcendience - Available soon

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
    
  Now Available for purchase from our
Stamatis Skliris Collection

malibu-stamatis

 The Dynamic Earth
Stamatis Skliris’ Vision of the Past, Present, and Future
of American Natural Treasures


http://holyicon.org/shop

VIEW CATALOGUE

UPCOMING EVENTS 

CAMP ST. SAVA
July 13 - August 2, 2014
Three One Week Sessions


DIOCESAN DAYS &
ANNUAL ASSEMBLY

Jackson, California
August 29-31, 2014
 

 HELP SUPPORT US IN OUR ONGING MINISTRIES...

download



westsrbdio.org
Switch mode views: