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SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENTSImportant Note from Bishop Maxim to Clergy about Saint Sebastian Day!
Monday, November 30th is Saint Sebastian Day, the designated day on the
Church Calendar to celebrate Saint Sebastian. If your parish is unable to celebrate
on Monday, then you may celebrate the Feast of Saint Sebastian on Sunday.
FR. MILADIN GARIC REPOSES IN THE LORD
Fr. Miladin Garic reposed peacefully at 1:00 AM on Tuesday, November 24th.
Fr. Miladin passed away on the day of St Stefan Decanski.
His wishes were to have a funeral service in the Church of the Holy Assumption
and final burial in Jackson at St. Sava beside his wife Protonica Nina.
No funeral plans yet. They will be posted on our website as soon as they are available.
May the Holy Spirit equip him with His breath!
May his memory be eternal!
KOLO SRPSKIH SESTARA SLAVA
THE FEAST OF THE ENTRANCE INTO THE THE TEMPLE OF THE MOST HOLY THEOTOKOS
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2015
MATINS 9:00 AM - HIERARCHICAL DIVINE LITURGY 10:00 AM
SLAVA SERVICE AND LUNCHEON TO FOLLOW
SAINT STEVEN'S SERBIAN ORTHODOX CATHEDRAL
Sunday, November 29, 2015
26TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST:
The Holy Apostle Matthew the Evangelist
Matthew, son of Alphaeus, was a tax collector when the Lord saw him in Capernaum and said: Follow Me. And he arose, and followed Him (Matthew 9:9). After that, Matthew prepared a reception for the Lord in his home and thus provided the occasion for the Lord to express several great truths about His coming to earth. After receiving the Holy Spirit, Matthew preached the Gospel to the Parthians, Medes and Ethiopians. In Ethiopia he appointed his follower Plato as bishop, and withdrew to prayerful solitude on a mountain, where the Lord appeared to him. Matthew baptized the wife and the son of the prince of Ethiopia, at which the prince became greatly enraged and dispatched a guard to bring Matthew to him for trial. The soldiers returned to the prince saying that they had heard Matthew’s voice, but could not see him with their eyes. The prince then sent a second guard. When this guard approached the apostle, he shone with a heavenly light so powerful that the soldiers could not look at him; filled with fear, they threw down their weapons and returned. The prince then went himself. Matthew radiated such light that the prince was instantly blinded. However, the holy apostle had a compassionate heart; he prayed to God, and the prince was given back his sight. Unfortunately, he saw only with physical eyes and not spiritual eyes. He arrested Matthew and subjected him to cruel tortures. Twice, a large fire was lighted on his chest, but the power of God preserved him alive and unharmed. Then the apostle prayed to God and gave up his spirit. The prince commanded that the martyr’s body be placed in a lead coffin and thrown into the sea. The saint appeared to Bishop Plato and told him where the coffin bearing his body could be found. The bishop retrieved the coffin with Matthew’s body from the sea. Witnessing this new miracle, the prince was baptized and received the name Matthew. After that, the prince left all the vanity of the world and became a presbyter and served the Church in a God-pleasing way. When Plato died, the Apostle Matthew appeared to the presbyter Matthew and counseled him to accept the episcopacy. He accepted the bishopric and, for many years, was a good shepherd until the Lord called him to His Immortal Kingdom. St. Matthew the Apostle wrote his Gospel in the Aramaic language. It was soon after translated into Greek and the Greek text has come down to us, while the Aramaic text has been lost. It is said of this evangelist that he never ate meat, but only vegetables and fruit.
The Venerable Sergius of Malopinega
Sergius was a Russian parish priest who lived a God-pleasing life and served for sixty-two years in the province of Vologda. He peacefully entered into rest in the Lord on November 16, 1585, at the age of ninety-two.
HYMN OF PRAISE: The Holy Apostle Matthew the Evangelist
To His Holy Apostle Matthew,
The Lord appeared in the land of the blacks,
Giving great comfort to the tortured warrior,
And great strength to his heroic soul.
The Lord gave him a staff from His hand,
And told Matthew to plant it in front of the church.
He told him that it would grow green with life and blossom with various colors,
And bear sweet fruit for everyone to enjoy.
A spring would flow from beneath its roots—
A spring of cool water for those who thirst.
The face of whomever would partake of it with thanksgiving
Would shine with a wondrous light.
The apostle did as the Lord said,
And the wood budded forth, and was adorned with blossoms,
And living water flowed from its roots,
And the church was filled with a multitude of people.
Whoever was sick, was healed;
Whoever was healthy, became healthier still.
The blacks were blessed, their faces radiant,
And this fierce people became God’s vineyard.
O wondrous tree, would that we could have it!
But we do have it, brethren; all of us have it!
It is Christ the Lord, the Lord of Hosts—
He is the Tree of Life; by Him we are saved.
Does the Lord’s command about ceaseless prayer that men ought always to pray (Luke 18:1), apply only to monks or to all Christians in general? If it applied only to monks, the Apostle Paul would not have written to the Christians in Thessalonica to pray without ceasing (I Thessalonians 5:17). The Apostle repeats the Lord’s command, word for word, and issues it to all Christians without distinction, whether monks or laymen. St. Gregory Palamas lived a life of asceticism for some time as a young hieromonk in a monastery in Beroea. The elder Job, a well-known ascetic whom everyone respected, lived in that monastery. It happened that, in elder Job’s presence, St. Gregory quoted the Apostle’s words, asserting that ceaseless prayer is the obligation of every Christian and not just for monks. However, elder Job replied that ceaseless prayer is the obligation of the monk only, and not for every Christian. Gregory, as the younger of the two, yielded and withdrew in silence. When Job returned to his cell and stood at prayer, an angel in great heavenly glory appeared to him and said: “O Elder, do not doubt the truthfulness of Gregory’s words; he spoke correctly and you should think likewise and pass it on to others.” Thus, both the Apostle and the angel confirmed the commandment that all Christians must pray to God without ceasing. Not only without ceasing in church, but also without ceasing in every place and at all times, and especially in your heart. For if God does not for a moment tire of giving us good things, how can we tire of thanking Him for these good things? When He thinks of us without ceasing, why do we not think of Him without ceasing?
Contemplate the creation of the world (Genesis 1):
1. How on the third day God divided the dry land from the water;
2. How He commanded the earth to bring forth grass and fruit-bearing trees;
3. How this was according to the Word of God, and it was good.
HOMILY on Christ’s dwelling in the hearts of the faithful
… that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye [may be] rooted and grounded in love (Ephesians 3:17).
With faith, Christ comes into the heart, and with Christ comes love. Thus man is rooted and grounded in love. First then, there is faith; then with faith comes Christ’s presence in the heart; then with Christ’s presence, the presence of love; and with love, all ineffable goodness. In a few words, the Apostle delineates the whole ladder of perfection. The beginning is faith and the end is love; and faith and love are joined in a living, undivided unity by the Living Lord Jesus Christ’s presence in the heart. By strengthening faith, we further abolish the distance between ourselves and the Lord Jesus Christ. The stronger one’s faith, the closer one is to Christ. Ultimately, one’s heart is filled with Christ and cannot be separated from Christ, just as one’s lung cannot be separated from the air. Then a man may, with tears of joy, communicate with Christ by the prayer of the heart—“Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me a sinner”—and the heart is imperceptibly filled with light and ardent love. In this way, love is united with faith and hope; and when they are united, the boundaries between them are lost, so that man cannot even think of determining of how far faith goes, and where hope and love begin. When the living Christ dwells in a man, then he no longer perceives faith, hope or love in himself, nor does he name them. Instead, he sees only Christ and names only Him. This is just like a fruit-grower in autumn who considers the ripe fruit on the tree, and speaks no more of blossoms and leaves but of fruit, ripe fruit. O Lord Jesus Christ, supreme height of all our endeavors and the destination of all our travels, draw near to us and save us. To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.
Weekly Diocesan Bulletin - Sunday, November 29, 2015
- Created on Tuesday, 24 November 2015 08:00
Weekly Diocesan Bulletin - Sunday, November 22, 2015
- Created on Thursday, 19 November 2015 08:00
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Sunday, November 22, 2015
25TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST:
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 THE MARTYRS ONESIPHORUS AND PORPHYRIUS – TONE FOUR: Your holy martyrs, Onesiphorus and Porphyrius, O Lord, through their sufferings have received incorruptible crowns from You, our God. For having Your strength, they laid low their adversaries, and shattered the powerless boldness of demons. Through their intercessions, save our souls!
TROPARION TO SAINT NECTARIOS – TONE ONE: O faithful, let us honor Nectarios the divine servant of Christ, offspring of Silyvria and guardian of Aegina, who appeared in these last times as a true friend of virtue, pouring forth all manner of healing upon those who reverently cry: ‘Glory to Him who gave you strength! Glory to Him who granted you a crown! Glory to Him who through you grants healing to all!’
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 MARTYRS ONESIPHORUS AND PORPHYRIUS – TONE TWO: The pair of glorious martyrs, Onesiphorus and Porphyrius, endured their suffering with strength, dashing down to the earth the arrogance of the enemy, and shining with the grace of the uncreated Trinity; together with the angels, they unceasingly pray for us all.
KONTAKION TO SAINT NECTARIOS – TONE EIGHT: Let us sing praises with gladness of heart to the newly-shining star of Orthodoxy, the newly-built rampart of the Church. Being glorified by the power of the Spirit, he pours forth the abundant grace of healings upon those who cry: ‘Rejoice, Father Nectarios.’
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!
THE PROKIMENON IN THE 8TH TONE: Pray and make your vows before the Lord our God.
25TH AFTER PENTECOST: EPHESIANS 4: 1-6
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!
25TH AFTER PENTECOST: LUKE 10: 25-37
FROM THE PROLOGUE FOR NOVEMBER 9/22 BY ST. NIKOLAI VELIMIROVIC:
The Holy Martyrs Onesiphorus and Porphyrius
John is numbered among the greatest of the Egyptian ascetics. “Kolobos” means “dwarf,” for he was of little stature. He came to Scetis with his brother Daniel and, with the greatest zeal, devoted himself to such asceticism that Daniel had to urge him to moderation. John was a disciple of St. Pambo, and was later the teacher of St. Arsenius the Great. His fellow disciple under St. Pambo was St. Paisius the Great. Once, when he and Paisius were discussing what kind of asceticism to undertake, an angel of God appeared to them and commanded John to stay where he was and instruct others, and Paisius to enter the wilderness and live as a hermit. In order to test John’s obedience, St. Pambo ordered him to water a dry stick planted in the ground until it turned green. Without hesitation or doubt, John watered this stick daily for three whole years until by the power of God, it grew green sprouts and brought forth fruit. Pambo then gathered the fruit from this tree, brought it to church and distributed it among the brethren saying: “Draw near and taste of the fruit of obedience!” John the Dwarf had many disciples. Some of his wise sayings have been preserved. He entered into rest peacefully and took up his habitation in the joy of his Lord.
The Venerable Matrona of Constantinople
The Venerable Euthymius of Dochiariou and his disciple Neophytus
Saint Simeon Metaphrastes [the Translator]
The Venerable Theoctista of Paros
Saint Nectarios, Metropolitan of Pentapolis (from goarch.org)
HYMN OF PRAISE:Saint Simeon Metaphrastes
He loved the saints, the friends of God,
Struggles in spirit, struggles in the flesh,
He was a true friend to the friends of God,
He loved those whom God loves,
Simeon shone with love for God,
Wondrous is our God in His saints;
HOMILY on saving grace
Who can comprehend and acknowledge that we are saved by grace—that we are saved by God’s grace, and not by our merits and works? Who can comprehend and acknowledge that? Only he who has comprehended and seen the bottomless pit of death and corruption in which man is engulfed by sin, and has also comprehended and seen the height of honor and glory to which man is raised in the Heavenly Kingdom, in the realm of immortality, in the house of the Living God—only such a one can comprehend and acknowledge that we are saved by grace. A child was traveling by night. He stumbled and fell into hole after hole and pit after pit, until he finally fell into a very deep pit from which he could in no way escape by his own power. When the child gave himself over to the hands of fate and thought his end was near, there was suddenly someone standing over the pit, lowering a rope to him and telling him to grab the rope and hold firmly to it. This was the king’s son, who then took the child home, bathed him, clothed him and brought him to his court and set him beside himself. Was this child saved by his own deed? By no means. All he did was to grab the end of the rope, and hold on. By what, then, was the child saved? By the mercy of the king’s son. In God’s relationship with men, this mercy is called grace. By grace ye are saved. The Apostle Paul repeats these words twice in a short span, that the faithful might recognize and remember them. Brethren, let us comprehend and remember that we are saved through grace by the Lord Jesus Christ. We were in the jaws of death, but have been given life in the courts of our God. O Lord Jesus Christ our Savior, by Thee are we saved. To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.