Weekly Diocesan Bulletin - Sunday, February 7, 2016


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WEEKLY DIOCESAN BULLETIN 

Sunday, February 7, 2016

36th Sunday after Pentecost: Saint Gregory
the Theologion; Venerable Publius


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!

TROPARION TO SAINT GREGORY THE THEOLOGIAN – TONE ONE: The sweet-sounding shepherd’s pipe of your theology overpowered the trumpeting of the orators; for having searched the depths of the Spirit eloquence was also bestowed upon you.  Pray to Christ God, Father Gregory, that our souls may be saved.

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!

KONTAKION TO SAINT GREGORY THE THEOLOGIAN – TONE THREE: By words of theology you unraveled the complex webs of the orators, glorious Gregory, and adorned the Church with the robe of Orthodoxy woven from on high.  Wearing it, she cries out with us, her children: ‘Rejoice, O Father, supreme mind of theology.’

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 3rd Tone:       

Sing praises to our God, sing praises!  Sing praises to our King, sing praises!

36th Sunday after Pentecost: 1 Timothy 1: 15-17   
My son Timothy, this is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.  However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life.  Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever.  Amen.

The Alleluia Verses:
In You, O Lord, have I hoped; let me never be put to shame!  Be a God of protection for me, a house of refuge, in order to save me!

GOSPEL READING

36th Sunday after Pentecost: Luke 18: 35-43
At that time, as Jesus was coming near Jericho, a certain blind man sat by the road begging.  And hearing a multitude passing by, he asked what it meant.  So they told him that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by.  And he cried out, saying, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”  Then those who went before warned him that he should be quiet; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”  So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be brought to Him.  And when he had come near, He asked him, saying, “What do you want Me to do for you?”  He said, “Lord, that I may receive my sight.”  Then Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has made you well.”  And immediately he received his sight, and followed Him, glorifying God.  And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God.

FROM THE PROLOGUE

For January 25/February 7 by St. Nikolai Velimirovic:
St Gregory the Theologian, Archbishop of Constantinople

Gregory was born in Nazianzus of a Greek father [who later became a Christian and a bishop] and a Christian mother. Before his baptism, he studied in Athens with Basil the Great and Julian the Apostate. Gregory often prophesied that Julian would become an apostate and a persecutor of the Church, and this actually happened. Gregory’s good mother, Nonna, had an especially great influence on him. When he had completed his studies Gregory was baptized. St. Basil consecrated him as Bishop of Sasima, and Emperor Theodosius the Great summoned him to fill the vacant archiepiscopal throne of Constantinople. He wrote numerous works, the most famous of which are those on theology, for which he is called the Theologian. Especially known, because of its depth, is his work Homilies on the Holy Trinity. Gregory wrote against the heretic Macedonius, who erroneously taught that the Holy Spirit is a creation of God. He also wrote against Apollinarius, who erroneously taught that Christ did not have a human soul, but that His divinity was in lieu of His soul. Additionally, Gregory wrote against Emperor Julian the Apostate, his one-time fellow student. In 381, when a debate began regarding his election as archbishop, he withdrew on his own and issued a statement: “Those who deprive us of our archiepiscopal throne cannot deprive us of God.” Afterward he left Constantinople and went to Nazianzus, and there he lived a life of solitude and prayer, writing beneficial books. Although he was in poor health throughout his entire life, Gregory nevertheless lived to be eighty years old. His relics were later transferred to Rome. A reliquary containing his head reposes in the Cathedral of the Dormition in Moscow. He was, and remains, a great and wonderful light of the Orthodox Church, as much by his meekness and purity of character as by the unsurpassable depth of his mind. He reposed in the Lord in the year 390.

The Venerable Publius
At first Publius was a senator. Recognizing the light of Christ, he left his worldly honors, distributed his possessions to the poor, and devoted himself to a life of asceticism in the proximity of his town, Zeguma, on the Euphrates River. He established two monastic communities, and reposed in the year 380.

The Venerable Mares
Mares was distinguished by physical beauty and a sweet-sounding voice. He withdrew from the world and lived in a hut for thirty-seven years, in fasting and cleansing the heart of impure thoughts. Mares reposed in the Lord at the age of ninety, in the year 430.

The Holy Martyr Felicitas and her Seven Sons
As a Christian, Felicitas was condemned to death with her seven sons during the reign of Emperor Antoninus, in the year 164. She implored God only that she not be killed before her sons and that she might be able to encourage them during their torture and death, so that they would not deny Christ. According to God’s providence, it so happened. With joy, this superb mother accompanied her sons one by one, until she had witnessed the death of all seven. Then she herself, with gratitude to God, received a martyr’s death. She and her sons suffered in Rome, where their relics are now.

HYMN OF PRAISE: Saint Felicitas

Felicitas prayed to God:
“I have a crown of seven pearls.
I wish to wrap them in purple,
And in purple to present them to Thee.
O dear Lord, receive these gifts!”

Seven sons, seven pearls;
And purple, the blood of the martyrs.

The prayer of the mother ascended,
And as incense reached unto God.

The Roman emperor sentenced her sons
To bitter death and bitter tortures;
The mother was happy—and all were amazed at her!

Felicitas encouraged her sons:
“This is why I gave birth to you, my children;
This is why I nursed you, my children,
So that I can make a gift of you to God.
For God gave you to me.”

This having been said, the executioner began his work:
The first fell, the mother bowed;
The second fell, the mother bowed twice;
The third fell, the mother bowed thrice;
With the fourth, four times she bowed;
The fifth fell, five times she bowed;
The sixth fell, six times she bowed;
The seventh fell, seven times she bowed.

The mother, bowing, gave thanks to God.

The eighth time, she bowed for herself,
And on the block she rested her head.

The sword gleamed, her head was severed—
The mother kissed her children in Paradise.

REFLECTION
They deceive themselves who speak self-confidently that they know men well enough, and that they do not allow themselves to be deceived. Who can know what kind of spirit is in a man—except God, Who knows the secrets of the heart? Even the great saints were mistaken about people. For example: for a long time St. Basil considered a certain hypocritical heretic to be a holy man, and he defended him from many attackers until, finally, convinced of the heretic’s falseness, Basil was bitterly disappointed. St. Gregory the Theologian baptized a certain philosopher, Maximus by name, and liked him so much that he kept the philosopher in his home, sharing his table with him. However, this Maximus was as dangerous and cunning as a serpent. After a period of time, through intrigue and bribes, Maximus convinced numerous Constanti­nopolitans to recognize him as patriarch in place of St. Gregory. When, after great confusion, this trial was removed, some rebuked Gregory for having kept his greatest enemy with him. The saint replied: “We are not to blame if we do not discern someone’s evil. God alone knows the inner secrets of a man. And we are told by the commandments to open our hearts with fatherly love to all who come to us.” A good man cannot easily understand the malice of a malevolent man.

CONTEMPLATION

Contemplate the Lord Jesus as King:
1. As Ruler over nature, which He tames and places in service to Himself;
2. As Ruler over the demons, over disease and over death;
3. As Ruler over the Immortal Kingdom of angels and saints.

HOMILY on Who Christ is

Whom do men say that I am? (Mark 8:27)
Brethren, it is almost two thousand years from that day when our Lord Jesus posed this question to His disciples. From then until today, this question has been put to every generation of men, to every bright day and every dark night. And every generation of men—and every bright day and every dark night—has had to give an answer to this question. This question is the question of life or death, and the answer to it is life-bearing or death-bearing. Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God (Matthew 16:16), the Apostle Peter responded. And that reply was approved and praised by the Lord Jesus.  “Who is Christ?” men ask today. Some say, along with the Jews, that He is a destroyer of the Law and a self-styled Messiah. Others say, along with Pilate, that on the whole they cannot arrive at the truth about this man. The third say, along with the apostles, that He is the Christ, the Son of the Living God, the Savior, the Redeemer of the human race from sin and death, the Resurrected and the Resurrector, the Living One and the Giver of Life. And all of us, who are baptized in the name of the Holy Trinity, agree with the apostles and the Holy Apostolic Church, which with her universal voice thus confesses Christ the Lord. O Lord, Only-begotten Son of God, help us, that we may all the days of our life believe in Thee in our hearts and confess Thee with our lips, as our God and our Savior, as the power of God and the wisdom of God (I Corinthians 1:24). To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.


The Feast of
SAINT MAXIMUS 
the Confessor

January 21 / February 3

THE LIFE OF ST. MAXIMUS THE CONFESSOR

St. Maximus the Confessor

Vladika MAXIM'S
Name Day
Ispola Eti Despota


Read about the Feast of
St. Maximus Feast in Texas

Bishop Maxim celebrates his Nameday with students in Belgrade


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Weekly Diocesan Bulletin - Sunday, January 31, 2016


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eserbia  holyicon.org

 

 

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  Exceptional new book on Serbian Christian Heritage in Kosovo and Metohija, its heartland in medieval times and through Ottoman domination, is intended to introduce to a wide reading public the oldest and richest treasury of Serbian medieval history and culture.  
 
ORDER
 | DONATE | CONTACT US
 
 

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WEEKLY DIOCESAN BULLETIN 

Sunday, January 31, 2016

35th Sunday after Pentecost: Saint Athanasius the Great; Saint Cyril, Archbishop of Alexandria; Saint Maximos, Archbishop of Serbia

RESURRECTIONAL TROPARION - TONE TWO: When Thou didst descend to death, O Life Immortal, Thou didst slay hell with the splendor of Thy Godhead! And when from the depths Thou didst raise the dead, all the powers of heaven cried out: O Giver of Life! Christ our God! Glory to Thee!

TROPARION TO SAINTS ATHANASIUS AND CYRIL - TONE THREE: You shone forth with works of Orthodoxy and quenched all heresy, and became victorious trophy-bearers, hierarchs Athanasius and Cyril.  You enriched all things with piety and greatly adorned the Church, and worthily found Christ God, who grants His great mercy to all. 

RESURRECTIONAL KONTAKION - TONE TWO:
Hell became afraid, O Almighty Savior, seeing the miracle of Thy Resurrection from the tomb!  The dead arose! Creation, with Adam, beheld this and rejoiced with Thee! And the world, O my Savior, praises Thee forever.

KONTAKION TO SAINTS ATHANASIUS AND CYRIL - TONE FOUR: Athanasius and Cyril, great hierarchs of true piety, and noble champions of the Church of Christ, preserve all who sing: ‘O Compassionate Lord, save those who honor You.’

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 2ND Tone:
The Lord is my strength and my song.  He has become my salvation.

35th Sunday after Pentecost: Colossians 3: 12-17
Brethren, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.  But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.  And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.  And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. 

The Alleluia Verses:
The Lord answer you in the day of trouble!  The name of the God of Jacob protect you!  Save the the king, O Lord, and hear us on the day we call.

GOSPEL READING

35th Sunday after Pentecost: Luke 18: 18-27     
At that time a certain ruler asked Jesus, saying, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”  So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good?  No one is good but One, that is, God.  You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’”  And he said, “All these things I have kept from my youth.”  So when Jesus heard these things He said to him, “You still lack one thing.  Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”  But when he heard this, he became very sorrowful, for he was very rich.  And when Jesus saw that he became very sorrowful, He said, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the Kingdom of God!  For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God.”  And those who heard it said, “Who then can be saved?”  But He said, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.”

From The Prologue
For January 18/31 by St. Nikolai Velimirovic:

Saint Athanasius the Great, Archbishop of Alexandria
Athanasius was born in Alexandria in the year 296, and from his early childhood he had an inclination to the spiritual life. He was a deacon to Archbishop Alexander and accompanied him to the First Ecumenical Council [Nicaea, 325]. It was at this Council that Athanasius became renowned for his knowledge of, devotion to, and zeal for Orthodoxy. He contributed greatly to the destruction of the heresy of Arius and the strengthening of Orthodoxy. He wrote the Symbol of Faith [the Creed] which was adopted at the Council. Following the death of Alexander, Athanasius was elected Archbishop of Alexandria. He remained in his calling as Archbishop of Alexandria for forty years, although not for the entire time on the archiepiscopal throne. With few exceptions, he was persecuted by heretics throughout his life. Of the emperors, he was persecuted the most by Constantius, Julian and Valens; of the bishops, by Eusebius of Nicomedia and many others; and of heretics in general, by Arius and his followers. Athanasius was forced to hide from his persecutors at various times: once in a well, once in a grave, and sometimes in private homes or in the deserts. Twice he was forced to flee to Rome. Only for a while before his death did he live peacefully, as a good shepherd among his good flock, who truly loved him. Few are the saints who were so mercilessly slandered and so criminally persecuted as was St. Athanasius. His great soul patiently endured all for the love of Christ and, in the end, emerged victorious from this entire terrible and long-lasting struggle. For counsel, for comfort and for moral support, Athanasius often visited St. Anthony the Great, whom he respected as his spiritual father. A man who formulated the greatest truth, Athanasius had much to suffer for that truth—until the Lord gave him repose in His Kingdom as His faithful servant, in the year 373.

Saint Maxim, Archbishop of Wallachia
Maxim was the son of the Serbian Despot Stefan the Blind and his wife, Despotica Angelina. He was tonsured a monk in the Monastery of Manasija. Pressured by the Turks, he fled to Romania, where he was consecrated to the vacant throne of the Archbishop of Wallachia. He negotiated a truce between the warring commanders Radul and Bogdan and averted a war between them. In his later years, he returned to Krušedol, where he built a monastery and, after a lengthy ascetic life, reposed on January 18, 1546. His incorrupt and miracle-working relics repose, even now, in this monastery.

HYMN OF PRAISE: Christ as the measure of all things
Through Athanasius, wisdom shone,
And the truth of God enlightened men.

The people recognized that wisdom is not bitter,
But, to all who drink it to the bottom, it is sweet;
To all who suffer for it, it is dear.

Whoever in the world feels all hope extinguished,
Whoever walks through the world as over an old cemetery,
Whoever thinks about human life as about weak slavery,
Whoever thinks about the five earthly continents as about five threshing floors,

Whoever thinks about five oceans as about five puddles—
To him, let Christ be the measure by which eternity is measured;
Let him adhere to that measure, and be confirmed in faith.
Whoever recognizes this measure will never abandon it;
He will find no other measure by which to understand the mysteries of the world.

All other measures, in spite of exertion,
Do not reach to the Alpha or the Omega:
They are as deceiving as the moon that crawls over the water,
But appears to reach the bottom of the water.

Christ surpasses both ends of the world,
Where the drama ends and where it began.

Of all the mysteries, the greatest mystery is Him.
From His Nativity to His Crucifixion on the Cross,
From His Crucifixion on the Cross to His Resurrection—
He is the true measure of all God’s creation.

Through Him, measuring suffering in the midst of worldly tumult,
The saints of God suffered—without pain.

REFLECTION
To the question, “Why did the Son of God appear on earth in a human body and not in another form of creation?” the brilliant St. Athanasius replied in this manner: “If they ask why He did not appear in some other, better form of creation—for example, as the sun or the moon, or the stars or fire, or the wind—but just as a man, let them know that the Lord did not come to show Himself, but to heal and teach sufferers. For to reveal Himself only to amaze the viewers would mean to come for a show. It was necessary for the Healer and the Teacher, not only to come, but to serve for the benefit of the suffering ones, and to reveal Himself in such a way that this revelation would be bearable for the sufferers. Not one single creature was in error in the eyes of God, except man alone: neither the sun, nor the moon, nor the sky, nor the stars, nor the water, nor the wind betrayed their ranks. On the contrary, knowing their Creator and their King—the Word—they all remained as they were created. Only human beings separated themselves from good and replaced truth with deceit; and the honor belonging to God (as well as the knowledge about Him) they transferred to devils and to men carved out of stone [idols]. What, therefore, is so unbelievable in this, that the Logos appeared as a man to save mankind?” Indeed, we also ask the unbelievers of our day: “In what form would you wish God to appear, if not as a man?”

CONTEMPLATION
Contemplate the Lord Jesus, burdened by slander and shame for the sake of our salvation:

1. Burdened by slander and shame from the Jewish scribes and elders;

2. Burdened by slander and shame from the many contemporary scribes and elders;

3. Burdened by slander and shame from every one of us who has been baptized in His name and who has not fulfilled His commandments.

HOMILY on danger

Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning (Luke 12:35).
This is the commandment of Him Who knows the weaknesses of our being, and Who desires our good more than our father and mother do. This is the commandment of our man-loving Lord. When man is ungirded, does not his entire body droop? When he girds himself, does not his entire body become as erect as a candle? As a candle stands, so must our soul stand, erect before God. How will our souls stand erect before God if unrestrained physical earthly passions and lusts weigh them down? Behold, in the loins is the nest of the main physical passions. To gird one’s loins means to tighten oneself with restraint and not to give in to passions at will. But to gird one’s physical loins is not the goal, but the means that we utilize to easily gird our mind, our heart and our will. Physical restraint is the primary school of our Christian character; after it comes a higher school, in which we learn restraint of the mind, restraint of the heart and restraint of the will. If we gird our mind, then lustful thoughts will be unable to find a place in its narrowness. If we gird our heart, then lustful desires will be unable to find a place in it. If we gird our will, then the evil, beastly and demonic desires will be unable to find a place in it. Brethren, only by a narrow path can one enter into the Kingdom of God. Only in the narrowness of the mind, the heart and the will, can the candles of the virtues be lighted, the flames of which rise toward God. By the image of the lighted candles, we should understand Christian virtues. O Lord, pure and sinless, the seat of all virtues, help us to gird ourselves with restraint and to walk the narrow path to Thee with the lighted candles that Thou hast brought into the world. To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.

hagiography sts mardarije sebastian articles photos

What is Orthodox Christianity?

what is orthodoxy
A three-part slideshow that answers the question, "What is Orthodox Christianity?" by emphasizing the prayer of the heart, watchfulness, and the Holy Mysteries that set Orthodox Christianity apart from other Christian confessions.

View All Three Parts

NEWEST PUBLICATIONS


sts mardarije sebastian

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Read More...

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Read More...

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Read More...

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Read More...

thunderbold-front-sm

THE THUNDERBOLT OF
EVER-LIVING FIRE

Read More...


Also on Kindle 
at Amazon:

Our Newest Addition

 No Faith is More Beautiful
than the Christian Faith

The Art of Seeing

The Thunderbolt
of Ever-Living Fire

The Presence of Transcendence: 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

 


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


http://holyicon.org/shop

VIEW CATALOGUE



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