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Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa

Archdiocese of Good Hope


All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever, and
unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most Blessed and Glorious Lady,
Maria, Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together with all the Saints. And let us commit ourselves and one another
and our whole Life to Christ our God. Amen.

6 August 2016
Transfiguration of our Lord Jesus Christ
ISODIKON : TRANSFIGURATION

Oti para Si Pigi Zoix, Kyrie, en to Foti Sou opsometha Fos.

For with

Thee is the Fountain of Life; in Thy Light we


shall see Light! Save us, O Son of God Who was
Transfigured on Mount Tabor, as we sing to Thee:
Alleluia!

Soson imas, Ie Theou, O en to Orei to Thavor


Metamorfothis, psalontas Si: Allilouia!

FESTAL APOLYTIKION TRANSFIGURATION TONE 4

Metemorfothis en to Ori, Hriste O Theos, dixas tis Mathites Thou were Transfigured upon the Mountain, O Christ our
Sou tin Doxan Sou, kathos idinanto. Lampson ke imin
tis amartolis, to Fos Sou to aidion, Presvies tis
Theotokou, Fotodota, Doxa Si.

God, showing to Thine Disciples Thy Glory as much as


they could bear. In us sinners though we be shine
Thine Everlasting Light, at the Intercession of the
Theotokos; O Giver of Light: Glory to Thee!

FESTAL KONTAKION TRANSFIGURATION - TONE (7) VARYS/GRAVE

Epi tou Orous Metemorfothis, ke os ehoroun i Mathite Sou Upon

the Mountain Thou were Transfigured, and Thy


Disciples beheld Thy Glory as far as they were able, O
Christ our God; so that when they would see Thee
Crucified they might understand that Thy Passion was
deliberate, and declare to the world that in Truth
THOU ART THE FATHERS RADIANCE.

tin Doxan Sou, Hriste O Theos etheasanto. Ina otan Se


idosi Stavroumenon, to men pathos noisosin ekousion,
to de kosmo kirixosin, oti Si iparhis Alithos, TOU
PATROS TO APAVGASMA.

SECOND FESTAL ANTIPHON TRANSFIGURATION TONE 2

Soson

O Son of God, T RANSFIGURED UPON MOUNT T ABOR

imas Iie Theou, O EN TO O RI TO T HAVOR


M ETAMORTOTHIS , psallontas Si: Allilouia!

1.
2.

Save us who sing to Thee: Alleluia

I themelii Aftou en ti Oresi tis Agiis


Agapa Kyrios tas Pilas Sion. Iper panta ta skinomata

His Foundations are in the Holy Mountains


The Lord Loves the Gates of Zion more than all the

1.
2.

Iakov
3.
4.

dwellings of Jacob.

Dedoxamena elalithi peri Sou, i Polis tou Theou.


Mitir Sion eri anthropos, ke anthropos egennithi

Glorious Things are spoken of Thee, O City of God.


Zion is our Mother, a man shall say, and such a man

3.
en

4.

afti.

was born in her


FESTAL MATINS GOSPEL ACCORDING
THE GLORIOUS TRANSFIGURATION

OF

TO

CHRIST

ST LUKE 9 : 28 - 36
ON

MOUNT TABOR

At that time, after saying these words, about eight days later, our Lord Jesus took Peter, John and James and went up
on the Mountain to pray. And as He prayed, the Appearance of His Face was altered, and His robe became white
and glistening. And behold! Two men talked with Him, who were Moses and Elijah, who appeared in Glory and
spoke of His Departure, which He was about to accomplish in Jerusalem.
Peter and those with him were heavy with sleep. When they were fully awake, they saw His Glory and the two men
who stood with Him. And it happened, as they were parting from Him, that Peter said to Jesus: Master, it is good for
us to be here! And let us make three tabernacles - one for Thee, one for Moses, and one for Elijah not knowing
what he said.
While he was saying this, a Cloud came and overshadowed them. They were fearful as they entered the Cloud. And a
Voice came out of the Cloud, saying: This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him! And when the Voice had ceased, Jesus
was alone.
And they kept quiet, and told no one in those days any of the Things they had seen.
THE TRANSFIGURATION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST IS A
He does not say: This has become My Son, but This
IS My Son... indicating that THIS DIVINE GLORY
THEOPHANY A MANIFESTATION OR REVELATION OF GOD
especially of the Divinity of Christ THROUGH A DISPLAY
BELONGS TO CHRIST DUE TO HIS DIVINE, ETERNAL NATURE.
OF HIS UNCREATED DIVINE ENERGY.
From Eternity infinitely before His Baptism and
Therefore the Orthodox Church celebrates the
Transfiguration HE IS GOD THE SON OF GOD THE
Transfiguration of Christ as a major Feast Day.
FATHER FULLY SHARING IN THE DIVINE ESSENCE AND
SEVERAL ELEMENTS OF THE TRANSFIGURATION SHOW THAT OUR
ATTRIBUTES OF THE ETERNAL FATHER.
LORD JESUS CHRIST IS INDEED BOTH MESSIAH (ANOINTED
OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST IS TRULY THE ETERNAL SON OF GOD
SAVIOUR) AND GOD:
THE FATHER HE IS CERTAINLY GOD OF GOD.
1. Because GOD IS UNCREATED LIGHT, THE BRIGHT CLOUD, THE
3. THE TRANSFIGURATION NOT ONLY PROCLAIMS CHRISTS DIVINE
SHINING OF OUR LORDS FACE as bright as the sun
SONSHIP, BUT ALSO FORESHADOWS HIS FUTURE GLORY
AND THE GLISTENING WHITENESS OF HIS GARMENT, all
when He as the long awaited Messiah ushers in
demonstrate that He is God.
the Eternal Heavenly Kingdom of Love, Peace and
(In some Holy Icons this Uncreated Light is shown as
Joy the Kingdom of Eternal Life in Christ.
beyond white a blue-white, an ineffable colour
THE BRIGHT CLOUD RECALLS TEMPLE WORSHIP AND THE
indicating its Spiritual Origin.)
MYSTERIOUS CLOUD THAT WENT BEFORE THE ISRAELITES
2. GOD THE FATHER BEARS WITNESS FROM HEAVEN CONCERNING
DURING THEIR TRAVELS IN THE WILDERNESS BEFORE THEY
HIS BELOVED ETERNAL SON.
ARRIVED AT THE PROMISED LAND the visible Sign of
the Extraordinary Divine Presence.
THE TRANSFIGURATION

OF

CHRIST

OUR

SAVIOUR

6 AUGUST 2016

1.

Divine Sonship AND THE HOLY SPIRIT IS PRESENT IN THE


FORM OF A DAZZLING UNCREATED LIGHT SURROUNDING OUR
LORD AND OVERSHADOWING THE HOLY APOSTLES AS WELL
AS THE ENTIRE MOUNT TABOR.

ST PETER SAW THIS AS A SIGN THAT THE KINGDOM OF GOD HAD


COME and knowing that the Feast of Tabernacles is
the Feast of the awaited Kingdom, HE ASKED
PERMISSION FROM CHRIST TO ERECT THE FESTAL BOOTHS
TABERNACLES FOR EACH OF THEM, which was the
usual practise SYMBOLISING THE DWELLING OF GOD
amongst His Just and Faithful souls in that Eternal
Kingdom.
4. ST MOSES REPRESENTS THE LAW OF GOD AND ALL WHO HAD
ALREADY DIED, while ST ELIJAH REPRESENTS THE HOLY
PROPHETS OF GOD AND since he himself did not
experience death ALL THOSE WHO ARE ALIVE IN
CHRIST.
Their presence shows that THE HOLY LAW AND THE
PROPHETS THE LIVING AND THE DEAD ALL BEAR WITNESS
TO OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST AS THE ONE AND ONLY TRUE
MESSIAH WHO IS THE FULFILMENT OF THE ENTIRE OLD
COVENANT WITH GOD.
The presence of St Moses and St Elijah also manifested
the Communion of Saints. (HEBREWS 12:1)
Both Holy Men were immediately recognisable and
they conversed with our Lord Jesus.
THE HOLY APOSTLES WERE ABLE TO UNDERSTAND OUR LORDS
WORDS when He said Elijah has come already
REFERRING TO ST JOHN THE BAPTIST AND FORERUNNER to
Christ. (MATTHEW 17:12)
THEIR EYES HAD BEEN OPENED to the fact that Malachis
Prophesy referred to one who would come ...in
the spirit and power of Elijah.... rather than to St
Elijah himself. (LUKE 1:17)
5. Finally, THE HOLY TRINITY IS REVEALED HERE, for CHRIST IS
TRANSFIGURED, GOD THE FATHER SPEAKS FROM HEAVEN
testifying to the Authenticity of our Lord Jesus

CHRISTS DEPARTURE (Greek: Exodus) is a reference to HIS


FORTHCOMING DEATH, which WAS INTIMATELY CONNECTED
TO THE GLORY OF HIS TRANSFIGURATION for our Lord is
GLORIFIED THROUGH HIS CRUCIFIXION DEATH. (JOHN 12:23)
IN THE LITURGICAL CYCLE, THE FEAST OF THE TRANSFIGURATION IS
FORTY DAYS BEFORE THE FEAST OF THE HOLY CROSS ON 14
SEPTEMBER, SHOWING THE CONNECTION BETWEEN CHRISTS
GLORY AND HIS CROSS.
THE TERM EXODUS REVEALS THAT CHRISTS PASSION IS A
FULFILMENT OF THE OLD COVENANT PASSOVER and is THE
TRUE EXODUS FROM THE SPIRITUAL ENSLAVEMENT of sin INTO
THE FREEDOM OF OUR ETERNAL SALVATION IN CHRIST JESUS.
This Revelation of Divine Power also confirms that OUR
LORDS DEATH ON THE CROSS WAS NOT IMPOSED ON HIM BY
OUTSIDE FORCES, BUT WAS A VOLUNTARY OFFERING OF HIS
DIVINE LOVE for the sake of the Salvation of all
mankind.
Furthermore, NO ARRESTING SOLDIER COULD HAVE WITHSTOOD
SUCH GLORY IF GOD HAD NOT CONSENTED and allowed it to
happen in order TO FULFIL ALL THAT WAS NECESSARY FOR
OUR SALVATION AND SPIRITUAL RESTORATION to the Divine
Grace of Almighty God. (MATTHEW 26:53)
EVERYTHING GOD PERMITS IS FOR OUR IMMORTAL BENEFIT due to
His Infinite Love for us.
In the Festal Kontakion of Transfiguration, we sing: Thy
Disciples beheld Thy Glory as far as they could bear
it, so that when they saw Thee Crucified, they would
understand that Thy Suffering was voluntary.

PROKEIMENON PSALM 103 TONE 4

Thy Works shall be greatly magnified, O Lord. Thou hast made all things in Wisdom.
Bless, O my Soul, the Lord!
THE SECOND UNIVERSAL

EPISTLE

PARTAKERS

OF

OF

ST PETER 1 : 10 19

DIVINE NATURE

Brethren: be even more diligent to make your Call and Election sure. If you do these things you will never stumble.
An Entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the Everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
For this reason I will not neglect reminding you always of these things, although you know and are established in
the present Truth. I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir you up by reminding you knowing that
shortly I must put off my tent - just as our Lord Jesus Christ showed me. I will be careful to ensure that you always
have a reminder of these things after my decease.
We did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the Power and Coming of our Lord Jesus
Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His Majesty. He received from God the Father Honour and Glory when such a Voice
came to Him from the Excellent Glory: This is My Beloved Son, in Whom I Am well pleased. And we heard this
Voice, which came from Heaven, when we were with Him on the Holy Mountain.
And so we have the Prophetic Word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a Light that shines in a dark place, until
the Day dawns and the Morning Star rises in your hearts...
THE PRIMARY TRUTH WITH WHICH ST PETER DEALT and which
ST PETER WAS AN EYEWITNESS TO THE MAJESTY OF CHRIST IN MANY
he only indirectly touched upon at this point - IS THE
WAYS and he reminds us especially that he was
SECOND COMING OR REAPPEARANCE OF CHRIST AND HIS
present at our Lords Transfiguration on Mount Tabor.
EVERLASTING KINGDOM.
What ST PETER REPEATED concerning the Reappearance of
PEOPLE LIVED IN TENTS WHILE JOURNEYING, constantly moving,
Christ is THE COMMON APOSTOLIC TRADITION, which is
or at war.
SUPPORTED BY THE EYEWITNESS TESTIMONY of the Holy
So as long AS WE ARE IN THIS PHYSICAL BODY DURING THIS
Apostles and ESPECIALLY THE THREE WHO WITNESSED THE
SPIRITUAL JOURNEY TOWARDS ETERNITY, WE LIVE IN TENTS TRANSFIGURATION.
TEMPORARY, TRANSPORTABLE STRUCTURES - which bear
THE ABSOLUTE TRUTH concerning everything to do with
witness to OUR LONG JOURNEY OF LIFE AND THE ONGOING
Christ IS DEFINITELY NOT AN ELABORATE SCHEME of fables
BATTLE AGAINST ENEMY FORCES of Darkness that
such as the Gnostics invented and propounded.
constantly threaten us.
In all the Holy Gospel accounts, THE TRANSFIGURATION IS
OUR TEMPORARY PHYSICAL BODIES BELONG TO GOD, HAVING BEEN
DIVINE AND TRUE PROOF AS WELL AS A FORETASTE OF THE
SANCTIFIED THROUGHOUT OUR LIFETIME WITH THE HOLY
GLORIOUS RETURN (in his physical form) of Christ in all
MYSTERIES.
His Divine Glory.
Thus THEY ARE TO BE RETURNED TO THE EARTH from whence
THE TRUTHFUL TESTIMONY OF THE HOLY APOSTLES BOTH CONFIRMS
they came always being TREATED WITH THE UTMOST
THE PROPHETIC WORD THE HOLY PROPHECIES AND THE
RESPECT.
SECOND COMING, AND SHOWS US HOW TO INTERPRET HOLY
PROPHECY CORRECTLY AND TRUTHFULLY.
THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING

TO

ST MATTHEW 17 : 1 9

THE TRANSFIGURATION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST ON MOUNT TABOR


At that time, after six days, Jesus took Peter, James and John, his brother, led them up a high mountain by themselves.
And He was Transfigured before them. And His Face shone like the sun - His clothes became as white as the Light.
And behold! Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. Peter said to Jesus: Lord, it is good for us to be
here! If Thou wish, let us make here three tabernacles - one for Thee, one of Moses and one for Elijah.
While he was still speaking, behold! A Bright Cloud overshadowed them! And behold! a Voice from the Cloud said:
This is My Beloved Son, in Whom I Am well pleased! Hear Him! And when the Disciples heard It, they fell on their
faces and were greatly afraid. And Jesus went and touched them and said: Arise, and do not be afraid! When
they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.
And, as they went down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying: Tell the Vision to no one until the Son of
Man is Risen from the dead.
2.

THE TRANSFIGURATION

OF

CHRIST

OUR

SAVIOUR

6 AUGUST 2016

THE TRANSFIGURATION

OF

CHRIST

OUR

SAVIOUR

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the


Holy Spirit...
Upon Mount Tabor, our Lord Jesus Christ revealed to His
Disciples a Heavenly Mystery.
While living among them He had spoken of His Eternal
Kingdom and of His Second Appearance in Glory, but
in order to banish from their hearts any possible
doubt concerning the Heavenly Kingdom, and to
confirm their Faith in what lay in the future by its
Prefiguration in the present, He granted them a
Wonderful Vision of His Divine Glory on Mount Tabor
He granted them a Foreshadowing of the Eternal
Kingdom of Heaven.
It was as if He said to them: As time goes by you may be
in danger of losing your Faith. To save you from this, I
tell you now that some of you who are standing here
listening to Me will not taste Death until they have
seen the Son of Man Appearing in the Glory of His
Father.
Moreover, in order to assure us that our Lord Jesus Christ
could truly command such Power whenever He
wished, the Evangelist continued: ...Six days later,
Jesus took with Him Peter, James and John, and led
them up a high mountain where they were alone.
There, before their eyes, He was Transfigured. His
Face shone like the sun, and His garments became
as white as light.
And the Disciples beheld Moses and Elias appear, and
they were talking to Jesus.
These are the Divine Wonders that we celebrate today.
This is the Saving Revelation granted to us upon Mount
Tabor!
This is the Great Feast of our Lord Jesus Christ that has
drawn us together here, today!
Let us pay very careful attention to the Divine Voice of
God that so compellingly Calls us from on High - from
the summit of Mount Tabor - so that together with our
Lords Chosen Disciples we, too, may penetrate the
profound meaning of these Great Holy Mysteries that
are so far beyond our capacity to express!
Our Saviour Jesus goes before us to show us the Way both up the mountain, and into Heaven.

- ST ANASTASIOS

OF

MOUNT SINAI

It is entirely up to us to now follow Him with all haste and


eagerness, as we sincerely yearn for the Heavenly
Vision that will grant us a portion of His Radiance,
thereby Renewing our Spiritual Nature and
Transforming us into His own Likeness - making us
forever Sharers in His Godhead (in His Holiness) and
elevating us to Heights as yet undreamed of!
Let us hasten with Confidence and Joy to enter into the
Mystical Cloud like St Moses and St Elias, or like St
James and St John.
Let us be caught up in the Great Wonder of it all, just like
St Peter - to behold the Divine Vision and to be
Transfigured by that Glorious Transfiguration!
Let us retire from the world, stand aloof from the Earth,
rise above our body, detach ourselves from all
creatures and Creation, and turn to our Creator, to
Whom St Peter in ecstasy exclaimed: O Lord, it is
good for us to be here!
It is indeed good to be here, as St Peter had said!
It is good to be with our Lord Jesus Christ, and to remain
with Him forever!
What greater happiness or higher honour could we have
than to be with our Lord God - to become like Him
and to Live in His Uncreated, Divine Light?
Therefore, since each of us possesses God in our heart
and as we are being Transformed into His Divine
Image, we also should cry out with Joy and
exultation: It is good for us to be here! To be here
where all things shine with Divine Radiance! Where
there is Joy and Gladness and Exultation!
To be where there is nothing in our heart but Holy Peace,
Serenity and Stillness to be where God is seen!
For here, in our heart, Christ our Beloved Lord and
Saviour, takes up His Abode, together with the Father
and the Holy Spirit - declaring as He enters: Today
Salvation has come to this House!
With Christ our Redeemer, our heart receives all the
Wealth of His Eternal Blessings, and there where they
are stored up for us in Him, we see reflected as in a
mirror, both the First Fruits and the whole of the Age to
come!
HTTP://PREACHERSINSTITUTE.COM/2011/07/29/ON-THE-FEAST-OFTRANSFIGURATION

ORTHODOX SPIRITUALITY PURIFICATION FAITH:

THE

STARTING POINT

Is it enough to develop Self-control?


Why do our Holy Church Fathers put such emphasis on
Faith?
Why do Christians see limitations in the Buddhist and
Hindu practices of meditation and Ascetic Practices?
Why? Because without Faith we cannot act on Divine
Grace.
It is Divine Grace that Saves us, leads us to a Virtuous Life
and Promises us Eternal Life.
We may obtain a still mind due to some type of
meditation practice, but we will be dead to the Holy
Spirit.
The Foundation of Christian Life Life IN CHRIST - is
Faith!
We begin our Orthodox Spiritual Journey with a belief as
taught in the Holy Gospel, which needs to be
Consummated through the Holy Mysteries of Baptism
and Chrismation.
Only then does our belief begin to be Transformed into
Faith.
So the first step is our choice to believe.
We then Vow our Allegiance to Christ and His Holy
Church through the Holy Mystery of Baptism and
Chrismation, after which, as fully fledged members
of His Holy Church, we are able to nurture and
develop our Faith in God according to His Spiritual
Guidance and Teachings by means of His Ordained
Holy Priesthood, Spiritual Fathers and Teachers.
Father Dimitru Staniloae explained: ...Before starting on
the Way to Purification, it is necessary for us to
strengthen our Faith, which we received at Baptism,
by will....
Our Faith cannot be strengthened and maintained unless
we think more often about God...
Our thoughts of God become realistic and are sustained
by our short, frequent Remembrances of Him through
THE TRANSFIGURATION

OF

CHRIST

TO

SPIRITUAL PERFECTION FR DIMITRU STANILOAE

Prayers performed with Love and Piety, and the


constant appreciation of our dependence on His
Great Mercy.
Callistos and Ignatios Xanthopoulos tell us in their
Directions to Hesychasts: ..."The beginning of every
action pleasing to God is a call with faith on the LifeSaving Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, as He Himself
said: 'Without Me you can do nothing.' (JOHN 15:5)
We should force ourselves in every possible way to live,
breathe, sleep, wake up, eat and drink with (Christ)
and in Him.
This is important based on the way passions are aroused
for, before the arousal of a passion gains power, we
must intervene and stop it. For that reason, only by
invoking the Beloved Name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
can we avert the demands of our wicked passions. It
is the only way of strengthening and empowering our
free will!
Orthodox Christians have the Doctrine of the Uncreated
Energies of God, and Faith is based on far more than
our free will, for it includes the Uncreated Energy of
God that penetrates our mind as Divine Light.
There is a Holy Synergy that occurs between our reason
and free will, and the Divine Energies of God or His
Divine Grace that empowers and enables us to fulfil
His Will and achieve everything that is beyond our
limited human capacity.
On the one hand, in Faith, there is an element of the
strengthening of will and reason - of their stimulation
- while on the other hand, our free will contributes to
the emphasis on the evidence from Faith produced by
Divine Grace. One develops and nurtures the other in
a mutual way."
Faith develops and increases, but it must be cultivated
and nurtured from the beginning.

OUR

SAVIOUR

6 AUGUST 2016

3.

In time, Faith becomes brilliantly evident, but it only


increases according to the degree whereby we obey
and fulfil the Divine Commandments and Teachings,
and thereby gain the Holy Virtues, because through
them we show our Relationship with God and we also
grow closer to Him, having opened our heart and soul
to Him.
Being consciously aware of the Presence of God, we
nurture our Faith and increase our Remembrance
and Contemplation of Him even while fulfilling our
daily activities.

We constantly repeat the Prayer of the heart : Kyrie


eleison or Lord, have Mercy, and we make the Sign
of the Cross, and we recite the entire Jesus Prayer or
our Lord's Prayer.
This is the first step.
We must force ourselves to remember the Lord our God at
all times.
We must have Patience with ourselves and especially
with others and by ceaselessly striving to fulfil our
Holy Commitments, our Faith will indeed grow!
HTTP://ORTHODOXWAYOFLIFE.BLOGSPOT.CO.ZA/2010/05/FAITH-STARTINGPOINT-TO-PERFECTION.HTML

CARRYING

THE

CROSS

AND

LIVING

IN

HOPE- GABE MARTINI (ON

Our Lord Jesus Christ did not suffer so that we would not
have to. He suffered so that we could endure our
own personal suffering TOGETHER WITH HIM.
In other forms of Christianity, one is often told that Christ
suffered and died ...so that we could be freed from a
similar fate. A focus in Protestant Theology is Christ
...appeasing the Wrath of the Father, and freeing us
from a Rightful Punishment.
But for our Greek Holy Fathers and Orthodox
Christianity, the focus is largely on our Lord Jesus
Christ as our Great Divine Physicianour Loving
and Compassionate God Who suffers and dies so
that He can Wash away our (habitual, continuous) sins,
Cleanse us from defilement, and Reunite us with the
Father in Him.
Rather than presenting a Trinitarian nightmare in which
the Father and Son are at odds with each other (God
forbid!), Orthodox Christology declares that our Saviour
voluntarily lays down His Life for the sake of the
worldand that this is the Unified, Divine Will.
In other words, even while we are still sinners, Christ
died for us.
One of my personal Struggles is that of a severe and even
crippling empathy. I have trouble disassociating
myself from the sufferings or experiences of others,
grafting their experiences into my own.
In these distressful times I can pray, and Petition God for
His Great Mercy. But in these Prayers, I catch myself
assuming that suffering is only a negative.
While it might seem noble to ask for Gods Deliverance
especially for others - we should adjust our heart and
our Prayers in light of what I previously stated - Christ
suffered so that we could endure our own suffering
together with Him.
Better than praying for Deliverance from suffering, we
must pray for Salvation through suffering.
In the Christian context, Hope is inextricably linked with
suffering:
 ...The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit, that
we are Children of God. And if Children, also
Heirson the one hand Heirs of God, on the other
hand Co-Heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer
with Him, in order that we might also be Glorified
together. For I reckon that the sufferings of the
present time are not worthy in comparison to the
Future Glory to be revealed in us. (ROMANS 8:1618)
ST PAUL was referring to our Divine Adoption through the
Holy Mystery of Baptism and Chrismation, whereby
we become Children of God Children of Divine,
Uncreated Light and thus Co-Heirs with the Son of
God.
However, if we are to receive our Eternal Inheritance (as
Gods Adopted Children), we are Called to suffer,
thereby becoming Joint-Heirs with the True, Only
Begotten, Eternal Son of God our Lord Jesus Christ.
As St Paul explained, for that very reason and Purpose,
we must endure the ...sufferings of the present time...
and Live in Christ, according to Hope.
A falsehood spread throughout the broader Christian
world today is that God adopts us into His Family
without anything expected of us - or even worse - we
are ...promised a better life, happiness, and even
material wealth or worldly success!!

BEHALF OF ALL

This is completely opposite to what our Lord Jesus


Christ and the Divine Truth of Holy Scripture has
promised us, as St Paul repeatedly reminded us that
...we are Saved by Hope... (ROMANS 8:24).
Our Eternal Salvation is not realized immediately, nor
is it a flip of the switch in ones mental assent of Faith.
Our Eternal Salvation is a continuous Spiritual
Journey that begins with the Holy Mystery of our
Baptism and Chrismation, which, on the Last Day, is
finally Consummated.
Until that Final Day the Eighth Day the Judgement
Day or the beginning of our Eternal Life - we await
our True Eternal Salvation.
From the beginning of our Salvation Journey to the end
is A WHOLE LIFESPAN of trials, temptations, suffering,
Spiritual Discipline, Asceticism, Struggle, and
Growth.
Being Saved in Hope also means knowing in Whom we
place our Trust:
 Who shall separate us from the Love of Christ?
Affliction, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or
nakedness, or danger, or sword? . . . But in all
these things we more than conquer through the
One Who Loves us... [ROMANS 8:35 & 37
While we are almost guaranteed an existence marked by
...affliction, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness,
danger, and sword... we are assured of Victory
through the Love of Christ, for our Hope is in Him.
Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, is our Assurance,
just as He is our True Life!
Since we are guaranteed as much, our Prayer should be
to see suffering Transformed into Salvation, as ST
PAISIOS THE NEW OF MOUNT ATHOS has said: ...In every
test, let us say: Thanks be to Thee, my God, because
this was needed for my Salvation.
Similarly, FATHER SERAPHIM ROSE encouraged us: ...Only
Struggle a little more. Carry your Cross without
complaining. Do not think you are anything special.
Never Justify your sins and weaknesses, but see
yourself as you really are. And, especially, Love one
another...
When confronted by Struggle or temptation, we must
immediately ask God to permit us to Struggle a little
more!
We must immediately offer Thanksgiving Prayers to God
for the opportunity for our Sanctification and
Salvation in Him.
We must focus on Christ as our Source of Strengthas
One Who suffered far worse than any of us, and yet
was without sin!
We must consider the Lives of the Saints, who imaged our
Lord Jesus Christ in their own Struggles. (Good role
models to imitate.)
In the end, we must always remember that our Lord
Jesus did not suffer so that we would not have to, but
that He suffered, died, and conquered Death-byDeath so that we could endure our own suffering
with Him - our Holy Calling to suffering - to carry our
own Crosswhether great or small!
Only through Christ, through the Holy Mysteries of His
Church, and through our own individual Struggles
and Ascesis, can we live as Co-heirs with Him,
preparing ourselves for future Glory in His Eternal,
Heavenly Kingdom of Love.
http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/72001.htm

4.

THE TRANSFIGURATION

OF

CHRIST

OUR

SAVIOUR

6 AUGUST 2016

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa


Archdiocese of Good Hope

All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever, and
unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most Blessed and Glorious Lady,
Maria, Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together with all the Saints. And let us commit ourselves and one another
and our whole Life to Christ our God. Amen.

Tone (6) Plagal 2


7 Sunday After Pentecost
th
7 Sunday of St Matthew Two Blind Men
After feast of the Transfiguration

7 August 2016

th

Also the Feast of St Dometios of Persia & 2 of his Disciples St Metrophanes, First Bishop of
Voronezh St Pimen the Much Ailing of Kiev Near Caves Monastery St Pimen the Faster of Kiev
Caves Monastery St Mercurios, Bishop of Smolensk, Kiev Near Caves Monastery St Marinos
the Soldier & St Asterios the Senator, of Caesarea, Palestine St Horos of the Thebaid, Egypt St Potamia the
Wonderworking Virgin Martyr St Dometios the Elder, of Philotheou Monastery, Mount Athos St Anthony of Optina
Monastery St Theodora the Great Ascetic, of Sihla St Nicanor, Wonderworker of Mount Kallistratos St Theodosios
the New, Wonderworking Healer of Peloponnesos

Matins Resurrection Gospel 7 John 20 : 1 - 10


RESURRECTION APOLYTIKION TONE (6) PLAGAL 2

Angelike

Dinamis epi to Mnima Sou ke i filassontes


apenekrothisan. Ke istato Maria en to tafo, zitousa to
ahranton Sou Soma. Eskilevsas ton Adin, mi pirasthis ip
aftou. Ipintisas ti Partheno, Doroumenos tin Zoin. O
Anastas ek to nekron, Kyrie,

The

Angelic Powers were in Thy Tomb, and the guards


became as dead men, and Mary stood by the Tomb
seeking Thy Most Pure Body. Thou led captive Hades,
yet were not tempted thereby: Thou Who art the
Bestower of Life came to meet the Woman. O Lord,

 Doxa Si.

Who Rose again from the dead, Glory to Thee!

FESTAL APOLYTIKION TRANSFIGURATION

OF

CHRIST TONE 4

Metemorfothis en to Ori, Hriste O Theos, dixas tis Mathites Thou were Transfigured upon the Mountain, O Christ our
Sou tin Doxan Sou, kathos idinanto. Lampson ke imin
tis amartolis, to Fos Sou to aidion, Presvies tis
Theotokou, Fotodota, Doxa Si.

God, showing to Thine Disciples Thy Glory as much as


they could bear. In us sinners though we be shine
Thine Everlasting Light, at the Intercession of the
Theotokos; O Giver of Light: Glory to Thee!

FESTAL KONTAKION TRANSFIGURATION - TONE (7) VARYS/GRAVE

Epi tou Orous Metemorfothis, ke os ehoroun i Mathite Sou Upon


tin Doxan Sou, Hriste O Theos etheasanto. Ina otan Se
idosi Stavroumenon, to men pathos noisosin ekousion,
to de kosmo kirixosin, oti Si iparhis Alithos, TOU
PATROS TO APAVGASMA.

the Mountain Thou were Transfigured, and Thy


Disciples beheld Thy Glory as far as they were able, O
Christ our God; so that when they would see Thee
Crucified they might understand that Thy Passion was
deliberate, and declare to the world that in Truth
THOU ART THE FATHERS RADIANCE.

PROKEIMENON PSALM 27 -

TONE (6) PLAGAL 2

Save, O Lord, Thy People, and Bless Thine Inheritance.


Unto Thee, O Lord, shalt I cry: O my God!
THE EPISTLE

OF

ST PAUL

TO THE

ROMANS

15: 1 7

Brethren: We who are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us
please our neighbour, for his good and edification. For even Christ pleased not Himself, but, as it is written: ... the
reproaches of those who reproached Thee, fell on Me...
For whatsoever things were written beforetime, were written for our learning, that we through Patience and Comfort
of the Scriptures might have Hope.
Our God of Patience and Consolation grants you to be like-minded towards each other, according to Christ Jesus, that
you may with one mind and one mouth Glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Wherefore, receive one another as Christ also received us to the Glory of God.
When St Paul instructed us to bear the infirmities of the
As Faithful Disciples of our Saviour, we must always strive
weak he did not teach us to merely put up with or to
to imitate our Lord Who bears all mankinds
tolerate but rather to carry together each others
weaknesses, so that being strong in our Faith and
weaknesses and failures.
Love of God, we lovingly, compassionately and
In his Epistle to the Galatians, St Paul tells us that
joyfully identify with those who are still weak
whenever anyone ... is overtaken in any trespass,
Believers who do not know how to fulfil their Sacred
you who are Spiritual (must) restore such a person in
Commitments according to the Divine Truth and
a spirit of Gentleness, considering yourself lest you,
Teachings of our All Merciful God.
too, be tempted. Bear one anothers burdens, and so
The Infinite Bounty of our Hope is to be found in Holy
fulfil the Law of Christ.
Scripture, which is a Sacred Record of actual
However, St Paul also urged each of us to bear our own
Spiritual Experiences and personal Witness to the
burdens our own problems - and never take
Divine Truth and Love of God that teaches us about
advantage of the generosity and kindness of others,
the necessity of Holy Virtue and Worship that
unless unavoidable and absolutely necessary!
prepares us for Eternal Life.
As Faithful Disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ, we are
Furthermore, it is through the Divine Promises, Victories
Called to care for each other within His Holy Church
and Spiritual Struggles that are recorded in Holy
but never be needlessly dependent on others who
Scripture, that we find True Comfort, Encouragement
have their own problems with which to contend.
and Hope
THE TRANSFIGURATION

OF

CHRIST

OUR

SAVIOUR

6 AUGUST 2016

5.

THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING

TO

ST MATTHEW 9: 27 35

OUR LORD JESUS HEALS TWO BLIND MEN

AND A

DEMONIAC

At that time, two blind men followed our Lord Jesus, crying out and saying: Son of David: have Mercy on us!
And when He had gone into the house, the blind men went to Him. And Jesus asked them: Do you believe that I Am
able to do this? They said to Him: Yes, Lord!
And He touched their eyes, saying: According to your Faith, let it be to you. And their eyes were opened. And Jesus
sternly warned them, saying: See that no one knows it. But when they had departed, they spread the news
about Him in all that country.
As they went out, behold! They brought Him a man who was mute and demon-possessed. And when the demon had
been cast out, the mute spoke. And the multitudes marvelled, saying: It was never seen like this in Israel! And the
Pharisees said: He casts out demons by the ruler of the demons!
And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their Synagogues preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom
and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.
According to St Isaiah, the Messianic Age is signified
of the demons, exposes the depth of their spiritual
when ... The eyes of the blind shall be opened, ad
blindness and deviousness because it is impossible to
the ears of the deaf shall hear. (ISAIAH 35:5)
do so since Satan is obsessed with the consolidation of
his evil powers rather than the destruction of it.
These Miraculous Healings are Extraordinary Signs that
our Lord Jesus Christ is Truly the long awaited
Our Lord Jesus Christ Cleansed Lepers, Raised the
Messiah.
dead and Remitted sins by the Divine and Good
Furthermore, the fact that the Two Blind Men addressed
Power of the Holy Trinity by the Will of the Father,
our Saviour as Son of David also expressed their
through the Son and Activated by the Life-giving
Faith in this Truth they instinctively knew without
Holy Spirit!
any doubt, that He is Truly the Messiah the Saviour
The evil one and his demons are entirely incapable of
of our fallen world.
doing anything that is so genuinely Good, Merciful,
The ridiculous and false accusations of the self-righteous
Compassionate or Kind.
Pharisees that our lord cast out demons by the ruler
7TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST 7TH SUNDAY

OF

ST MATTHEW THE HEALING

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the


Holy Spirit...
Todays Holy Gospel Lesson teaches us about the Divine
Healing of two blind men.
Every Gospel narrative, just as every word of the Holy
Gospel, conceals immeasurable meaning.
This is because the Holy Gospel of our Lord and Saviour,
Jesus Christ, teaches us Eternal and Divine Truth the Eternal Truth of Life in God!
Todays Gospel Reading likewise speaks of Eternal Truths
that are of great importance to our everyday
existence.
We are shown the Infinite Love of God for mankind, and
of the Love of mankind for God.
We are reminded and assured that God never leaves us
without His Merciful Assistance.
Whatever may befall us, God will never leave us in
either trouble or woe as long as we remain with
Him through our Faith in Him, our Love for Him, and
our Fidelity (Holy Allegiance) to Him through our Life in
Christ.
Two persistent, hopeful blind men followed Christ home,
crying out: Son of David: have Mercy on us!
They knew and believed in the Power of our Lord Jesus
Christ without any doubt whatsoever!
They determinedly followed Him all the way to wherever
He was going... just knowing that He alone could do
something that was impossible for anyone else!
And when our Lord finally asked them: Do you believe
that I Am able to do this? They immediately replied:
Yes, Lord!
...And He touched their eyes, saying: According to your
Faith, let it be to you.
We sinners are just as blind as these Two Blind Men for
we are all Spiritually Blind!
To varying degrees, we are all similar to those great
multitudes of ailing people, who were tormented by
their infirmities, for we too suffer from our Spiritual
and physical infirmities that torment us and cause
such widespread suffering!
And just like them, we must beseech our Compassionate
Lord for the alleviation of our ailments and our
suffering.
We must continually pray to our Saviour for our Spiritual
and physical Healing and for the Restoration of our
Good Health - and the Joys and Blessings, which are
achieved only through Life in Christ.
We have lost all these Blessings through our unrepented
sins and our self-inflicted alienation from God!
Dear Brethren, we must strive for that unwavering Faith
in God like those two Blind Men who would have
continued following our Lord all day long, knowing
that they would eventually receive His Divine Healing
and Blessings.
6. 7 T H S U N D A Y A F T E R P E N T E C O S T 7 T H

OF

OF THE

TWO BLIND MEN

However, sadly, most of us do not resemble them in their


utter Fidelity to God, which is probably the reason
why we remain unhealed and tormented!
All our distress and misery both individual and
general are due to being enslaved and oppressed
by the wicked passions that compel us towards sin
and evil, which robs us of the True Joy of Life by
alienating us from God - thereby extinguishing the
flame that grants us True Light and Spiritual Comfort.
While worldly passions and temptations may seem to be
alluring and adding something interesting to our
existence, in reality, they devastate us.
We become disillusioned, dissatisfied, extremely unhappy
and finally, we despair we become hopeless!
Our heart and soul grow cold and hardened, and
without us realising what is actually happening to us,
we become cold, empty, lazy, calculating egoists.
Spiritual Blindness cripples both our own personal
lifespan and has a lasting, detrimental affect of all
those around us!
Alas, we surrender to our fleshy passions and worldly
temptations far too easily, thereby blinding ourselves
from the Divine Light of the Image and Likeness of
God according to which we were created.
Nevertheless, the passions can only overshadow the
Image of God in us, but they cannot destroy It for
the Image of God in us is indestructible!
Our fleshly passions are not all that powerful unless we
allow them to dominate our immortal soul!
The demands and control of wicked passions, even over
the very worst sinner, are not infinite for they can be
overcome, controlled and even defeated through
our concerted determination to Repent and Confess
them, so that our heart and soul can be Cleansed
and we can be Renewed by the Sanctification and
Grace of God.
Everyone who has come into this world can be
Enlightened and Illumined by that same Divine Power
that granted sight to the Two Blind Men of todays
Sacred Lesson.
This Divine Power is the Grace and Great Mercy of God,
Who grants It to all who Repent and who seek It.
We only need to seek the Great Mercy of God - to desire It
with utter Faith and Love for God and, certainly,
with sincere Holy Allegiance to Him with all our
being body and soul!
Dearest Brethren in Christ, we have all heard many
Sermons concerning the Teaching of our Holy Fathers
of Christs Church concerning His Divine Grace and
Great Mercy.
And who amongst us has not, in fact, experienced the
Action of Divine Power to a greater or lesser extent at
least once or twice throughout our lifespan?
We recognise and acknowledge that it is by this Divine
Power, by this Divine Energy of our Trinitarian God,

ST MATTHEW TWO BLIND MEN AFTER TRANSFIGURATION 7 AUGUST 2016

that as St Gregory Palamas expressed it: We are


Partakers of the Divine.
St Gregory Palamas is revered above all for his sublime
and Inspired Teaching concerning the Divine
Energies, which disclose God to the world and Unite
us with Him.
Yet it is not enough only to know about the Divine Power
that abides Eternally in this world, as well as the next.
It is not enough to know about this even through rare and
unique Spiritual Experience, only in memory and the
remembrance of the past.
Each of us has actually Experienced the Grace of God
momentarily touching our sinful heart in a Miraculous
Manner (even though many of us would neither recognise It,
nor accept It for what It is!)
We need to unceasingly want - and actively strive to
acquire the Grace of God - so that we might be with
God and in God so that the Light of the Image of
God might never be extinguished in our heart, and
that True Joy might never be taken away from us.
Brethren, let us never despair nor lose Courage and Hope
in the darkness of sin and evil that envelops our soul.
Let us not imagine that Spiritual Darkness, sin, and
depravity and the grief that accompanies them
are our inescapable destiny.
No! Let us be encouraged by the Divine Promise that
...God resists the proud, but grants Grace to the
humble...
Let us, therefore,
endeavour to acquire the most
essential of Virtues Humility and Obedience for

Gods Power and Energy will certainly raise us up


from the lowest depressions of our sinful fallenness.
Let us try to acquire at least these two inseparable Holy
Virtues of Humility and Obedience so that we may
experience the Wondrous Action of Divine Grace and
Energy Illuminating our soul.
Let us keep in mind our Lords Words: ...To whom will I
look, but unto the humble and the meek. [ISAIAH 66:2].
Let us try to become Meek. Let us thereby restore our
Relationship with God and with others, for the Power
of Divine Mercy will not fail nor shall the Power of
Divine Grace depart from us and without fail our
infirmities of soul and body, as well as our Spiritual
Blindness will be Healed and Cleansed, and
Renewed.
Although our Lord Jesus Christ walked amidst us on Earth
very long ago, Healing every infirmity and disease
just as He Healed the Two Blind Men of unwavering
Faith in Him. now, too, our Saviour Heals all who Love
Him, with that same Divine Power and Energy granting us Peace, True Joy, and Salvation.
Let our Faith, our Love and our Allegiance become as
strong and determined as the Two Blind Men who
believed so steadfastly in Him.
And let us Glorify, and Praise, and Worship His Most
Wondrous and Majestic Divine Name!
Amen.
(SERMON BY ARCHPRIEST VSEVOLOD SHPILLER DELIVERED ON 12 AUGUST 1956 )
http://www.pravmir.com/regaining-our-sight-with-the-blind-men-on-theseventh-sunday-after-pentecost

ORTHODOX SPIRITUALITY PURIFICATION FEAR

"With progress, faith becomes the fear of God"


Ponder this pointIt is important:
Faith is not born of Fear of God. Fear of God develops
from Faith.
Faith which has not reached Fear, or is not
accompanied from the beginning by Fear, has not
gained a high enough degree of efficiency to lead to
action.
What is meant by Fear of God? After all, God is a Loving
God!
Earlier we mentioned our fear of the things of this world
and the anxiety we have as a result of these worldly
fears.
Father Dimitru points out that this fear must be
counteracted with a greater Fear - the Fear of God.
This is a Fear - not of an immediate danger - but of a
future Danger.
...The Fear of God is a Fear of His Judgement, which will
seal our fate forever.

OF

GOD FR DIMITRU STANILOA

It is the Fear of the Last Judgement and of the tortures of


an Eternal, non-authentic, unfulfilled existence.
Orthodox Christians are encouraged at the appropriate
time of their Spiritual Growth to Meditate
unceasingly on the Last Judgment to increase the
Fear of God to aid us in the avoidance of sin.
It is not death that we focus on, but the Judgment that
follows death.
...The thought of death and of the Judgment makes our
thought of God, where the strengthening of Faith
began, more frequent, thus increasing Inner
Meditation.
Or the fear and the thought of death are nothing but the
thought of God, associated with the consciousness of
personal sins and with the Dread of Judgment.
We need to come to God at first based on Love and His
Forgiving Compassion.
Then as our Faith grows we will develop the proper Fear
of God, and then we can emphasize it in our Spiritual
Practice.

ORTHODOX SPIRITUALITY PURIFICATION REPENTANCE - MAIN MEANS

"The Fear of God, sustained by the consciousness of a


sinful life, leads both to Repentance for past sins,
and to the avoidance, by Self-control of future sins."
What is Repentance?
... (Repentance) is the shovel brought out to clean
mankind from the sins accumulated after Baptism,
so that the New Man can continuously fight against
- by the Power of Baptism - the temptations that
confront us.
Repentance is more than taking action.
Repentance also concerns our thoughts.
Our thoughts lead us to action, so we must also rid
ourselves from sinful thoughts.
Repentance is also about enduring our innumerable
problems.
As St John Klimakos wrote: ... Repentance is
Reconciliation with our Lord by means of practising
Virtue in opposition to sins... Repentance is the
endurance of all troubles.
Saint Isaac the Syrian referred to three attributes of
Repentance:
1. Repentance is the highest of Virtues
2. Repentance never ends as long as we live.
3. Repentance the means of our continual Perfection
(Theosis).
We must accept that every Virtuous Act is done with some
impure element.

7TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST 7TH

OF

FOR

OUR PERFECTION

No matter how good we feel we are, there is always


room for improvement.
Repentance involves this element of continual
dissatisfaction
Repentance is a critical act of conscience.
There is no Virtue more important than Repentance.
Father Dimitru explains: ...Repentance is the Path to
Love; Repentance serves Love. Repentance leads
from an insufficient love to more profound Love...
He warns that this cannot be confused with discouraging
dissatisfaction: ...It must not be a doubt in our
greater possibilities, but a recognition of the
Repentance is borne by a Faith in something better
insufficiencies of our achievements up to now...."
Christ gave us a vision of what is possible for us. It, for
sure, is a very high standard.
As we progress we will see this ideal as ever more
Perfect.
So, the gap, between how we see ourselves currently and
this vision of what we are called to be, will ever
increase.
Repentance is a Self-judgment against a Standard that
seems to be always beyond our realization.
Repentance is the main means we have for our Continual
Perfection.
http://orthodoxwayoflife.blogspot.co.za

ST MATTHEW TWO BLIND MEN AFTER TRANSFIGURATION 7 AUGUST 2016

SALVATION

IN THE

WORLD

BY

ARCHBISHOP HILARION ALFEYEV (PART 2)

Another key to Spiritual Life is constantly abiding in the


depths where the Mysterious Encounter between
our soul and God takes place.
If we do not come to know this depth, we will never be
able to become real, full-fledged Christians.
The external circumstances of life can change. Many
different things can happen on the external level, but
the important thing is what is happening inside us.
If we do not learn what the Fathers of the Church call
dwelling internally, we risk staying on the surface of
Christian Life, without understanding the Essence of
the Path that we are Called to walk.
In life there is always a lot that frightens us or causes us
anxiety, annoyance, and resentment.
If we are unable to renounce all of this, if we let
circumstances swallow us or overwhelm us - we will
never succeed in achieving the Deep Internal Stillness
where the Mystery of Christian Life and the Mystery of
the Encounter between us and God is hidden.
When the external circumstances obscure what is going
on in the depths, then we no longer have the strength
to work on ourselves - to cultivate the ground of our
heart.
Father Alexander Elchaninov explained:
The effort
expended in securing control over ourselves and
over our anarchic and autonomous nervous systems
is greatly facilitated and made quite easy, by the
correct balance of our attention and imagination.
We shall inevitably continue to stumble over every
trifling obstacle until what is not a trifle has become
sharply defined, vivid and convincing in our soul;
until we strive with all our soul, heart, and mind
towards what is essential, relegating to their proper
place the trifles that poison our everyday life.
Many people are so focused on external, and sometimes
in fact trifling circumstances, that their whole life
turns into a ceaseless pursuit of something that they
know they cannot obtain.
They are always waiting for better times, instead of
enjoying the present day and the present hour, the
hour in which God is near, for He is always near to us.
These people live on illusory hopes for a better future.
But life passes by and the future barely comes before it
already begins to disappear into the past.
And we slide along the surface of life, not taking time to
go down into the depths where alone life is worth
living, where it regains its original Value.
How is it possible in our age when the tempo of life has
been sped up to the limit, when time is extremely
compressed and it seems like it flies by a lot faster
than in earlier times how is it possible to keep
Spiritual Balance and Internal Peace?
The only way is to descend into the depths, into the very
depths of the Internal Life, where our soul comes into
Contact with God.
Father Alexander commented: The passing of time is
terrifying as long as one remains motionless. We
must plunge into the depths, where time is a matter
of indifference.
There is one more Key to the Spiritual Life having your
priorities straight.
It is very important that everything in our life be in the
proper place, corresponding to the hierarchy of our
values.
Often we are nervous, irritated, and displeased simply
because we give the first place in our priorities to
something that should be, perhaps, in tenth place,
and forget about what is most important standing in
the Presence of God.
If our soul is in the Presence of God, we have no reason to
be nervous, anxious, irritated, or worried, because our
soul has already found The One Thing Needful and
has been quieted by being in Gods Presence.
Standing in Gods presence and our Communion with
Him should be constant not just the background of
our Life in Christ, but actually its core.
When we have a strong inner core then we are not afraid
of any adversities that may come our way.
Father Alexander said: Our life on Earth is a Likeness of
the Eternal and Higher Life.
Our task, then, here on Earth, is to draw closer and
closer to the Image and Likeness in which we were
created by God Himself. Every day, we need to
Cleanse the Image of God within us, which has
been defiled by our sins and all the vanity that
8. 7 T H S U N D A Y A F T E R P E N T E C O S T 7 T H

OF

surrounds us.
When we put what is most important first, we can - even
while living in the midst of worldly vanity - derive
Spiritual Benefit from everything for there are few
things in this world that are in and of themselves
either completely negative or completely positive.
Everything that surrounds us can either benefit or harm
us. If we learn to Benefit from everything that
surrounds us, the whole world will be Transfigured.
We will see that, without having to go into the desert like
St Mary of Egypt, without living in a Monastery,
without any special Ascetical Feats, but simply by
living in this world, we can attain Spiritual Heights.
The majority of us live in a city and are rarely able to
spend time in nature. But when an opportunity arises,
we can go somewhere for a day or two, and be alone
with nature, which is a very important experience that
should not be neglected.
As city dwellers, we unwillingly become involved in an
artificial rhythm and the pursuit of material things,
but once we tear ourselves away from these
circumstances, we immediately feel the fresh breath
of Eternity, especially when surrounded by the beauty
and magnificence of
nature, where the very
Presence of God is tangible we feel the Power and
Energy of the Holy Spirit, Who was ...moving over the
face of the waters... when Earth was created and
Who even now permeates and gives life to everything.
Each of us has a particular expertise, a certain area in
which we know something. Every science and every
sort of expertise can have a useful and practical
value, and in this sense, they are all neutral with
respect to our Spiritual Life.
Yet Science, - as long as it reveals the depths of the
Universe, and the laws that are in force among
people, in nature, in the cosmos - can acquire a
religious significance and can open God to us.
The deeper we go into any Science, the more it can
enable us to know God.
As one Philosopher commented: A little knowledge
leads mankind away from God; Great Knowledge
leads mankind back to Him. The narrow-minded
and ignorant often have primitive conceptions of
religion as well.
Many of our Church Fathers, such as St Gregory the
Theologian, St Basil the Great, St Gregory of Nyssa, St
John Chrysostom, and Blessed Augustine, spent years
and even decades mastering the Sciences and the
knowledge contained in various fields philosophy,
rhetoric,
medicine,
astronomy,
mathematics,
geometry, etc. being some of the most well educated
people of their times. Afterwards, when they were
ordained, they used all their knowledge for the
Service of God, His Church, and His people.
As St Gregory the Theologian once said: I have worked
hard to acquire all the riches accumulated in the
East and the West, but I have laid all of these riches
at the Feet of Christ.
In the opinion of some, Faith and Science are
incompatible, as if Education and Science were
completely foreign to the Christian Church, where
everything depends on simplicity and Humility. In
school, children are taught that religion contradicts
Science and that Science denies the tenants of Faith.
On the other hand, among religious people there is fear
in the face of dialogue, exchanging views, and
reason as such. Some are even distrustful of the
Science of Theology.
There is much that I could say on this subject, but it is
sufficient to mention the words of Father. Alexander
Elchaninov, one of the most remarkable Holy
Shepherds of the 20th century: The fear of thinking,
Philosophy, and Theology, which has become
common in our time, cannot be justified either by
the Gospel or the Holy Fathers, who themselves did a
lot of reasoning and analyzing. I cannot recall a
single one of the Holy Fathers who would have been
afraid of the human mind, of reasoning, of a
difference of opinion
(TRANSLATION JOHN HOGG, 2009)
HTTPS://THEINNERKINGDOM.WORDPRESS.COM

ST MATTHEW TWO BLIND MEN AFTER TRANSFIGURATION 7 AUGUST 2016

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa


Archdiocese of Good Hope
All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever, and
unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most Blessed and Glorious Lady,
Maria, Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together with all the Saints. And let us commit ourselves and one another
and our whole Life to Christ our God. Amen.

Afterfeast of the Transfiguration


9 August 2016
St Matthew
Holy Apostle & Evangelist of our Lord Jesus Christ
Also the Feast of St Herman of Alaska, Wonderworker of All America & Monk of Valaam
Monastery - St Anthony of Alexandria- St Psoi of Egypt St Julian, St Marcian, St John, St
James, St Alexios, St Demetrios, St Photios, St Peter, St Leontios, St Maria the Patrician, St
Gregory the Protospatharios (Sword Captain) and many other Holy Martyrs of Constantinople - Synaxis Solovki
Monastery Saints St Makarios of Oredezhsk Temple of the 40 Holy Martyrs of Constantinople St Ignatios
(Bazyluk) the New Holy Martyr of St Onuphrios Monastery, Jableczna, Poland
FESTAL APOLYTIKION TRANSFIGURATION TONE 4

Metemorfothis en to Ori, Hriste O Theos, dixas tis Mathites Thou were Transfigured upon the Mountain, O Christ our
Sou tin Doxan Sou, kathos idinanto. Lampson ke imin
tis amartolis, to Fos Sou to aidion, Presvies tis
Theotokou, Fotodota, Doxa Si.
FESTAL KONTAKION

God, showing to Thine Disciples Thy Glory as much as


they could bear. In us sinners though we be shine
Thine Everlasting Light, at the Intercession of the
Theotokos; O Giver of Light: Glory to Thee!

TRANSFIGURATION - TONE (7) VARYS/GRAVE

Epi tou Orous Metemorfothis, ke os ehoroun i Mathite Sou Upon

the Mountain Thou were Transfigured, and Thy


Disciples beheld Thy Glory as far as they were able, O
Christ our God; so that when they would see Thee
Crucified they might understand that Thy Passion was
deliberate, and declare to the world that in Truth
THOU ART THE FATHERS RADIANCE.

tin Doxan Sou, Hriste O Theos etheasanto. Ina otan Se


idosi Stavroumenon, to men pathos noisosin ekousion,
to de kosmo kirixosin, oti Si iparhis Alithos, TOU
PATROS TO APAVGASMA.

FESTAL PROKEIMENON PSALM 18 TONE (8) PLAGAL 4

His Voice has gone out into all the Earth!


The Heavens declare the Glory of God!

THE ACTS

OF THE

APOSTLES ACCORDING

TO

ST LUKE 1 : 12 - 17 & 21-26

In those days, the Apostles returned to Jerusalem from the Mount called Olivet which is from Jerusalem a Sabbath
Days journey.
And when they had entered, they went up into an upper room, where was both Peter, and James, and John, and
Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James, son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas,
brother of James.
These all continued with one accord in Prayers and Supplication, together with the Women, and Mary, the Mother of
Jesus, and with His Brethren.
And in those days, Peter stood up in the midst of the Disciples, (the number of names altogether were approximately
120) and said: Men and Brethren: this Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke before, by the mouth
of David, concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus; for he was numbered with us and
obtained a part of this Ministry...
... Wherefore, of these men who have accompanied us all the time that our Lord Jesus went in and out among us,
beginning with the Baptism of John until that day when He Ascended from us, one of these must become a Witness
of His Resurrection with us.
And they proposed two Joseph called Barsabas who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.
And they prayed and said: Thou, O Lord, Who know the heart of all, show which of these two Thou hast chosen to take
part in this Ministry and Apostleship, from which Judas, by transgressions, fell, that he might go to his own place.
And they cast their lots, and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was added to the Eleven Apostles.
THE HOLY GOSPEL

OF

ST LUKE 10 : 16 - 21

At that time, our Lord said to His Disciples: He who hears you, hears Me. And he who rejects you, rejects Me. He
who rejects Me, rejects Him Who sent Me.
The Seventy returned with Joy, saying: Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Thy Name!
He said to them: I beheld Satan fall like lightning from Heaven!
Behold! I grant to you Power to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy and
nothing shall by any means harm you.
However, do not Rejoice that the spirits are subject to you. Rejoice rather because your names are written in
Heaven.
In that hour, Jesus Rejoiced in Spirit, and said: I Thank Thee, O Father, Lord of Heaven and Earth, that Thou hast
hidden these things from the wise and the prudent, and hast revealed them unto infants.
Indeed, Father, for it seems Well-pleasing in Thy Sight.
ST MATTHEW LEVI HOLY APOSTLE & EVANGELIST

St Matthew Levi was the son of Alphaeus, and before his


Calling by our Lord Jesus Christ, was a Publican or
Tax Collector in Capernaum.
Obviously he and our Saviour must have been known to
each other, for the day came when Christ Called him
to become one of his Faithful Disciples one of the
original 70 Holy Apostles who were sent out in pairs to
prepare the Judaic people for the Coming of our
Great, Divine Messiah.
THE FEAST

OF

OF OUR

LORD JESUS CHRIST

St Matthews name means Gift of the Lord, and his Holy


Gospel is the first of the three Synoptic Gospels which
relate similar accounts of the Earthly Life and Mission
of our Lord and Saviour.
According to the Gospel of St Luke, St Matthew held a
great farewell feast, which included not only our Lord
Jesus and His Disciples, but also many of his
associates who were regarded disdainfully as being
the worst of traitors and sinners. (Luke 5:29)

ST MATTHEW, HOLY APOSTLE & EVANGELIST

OF OUR

LORD JESUS CHRIST

9 AUGUST 2016

The final mention of St Matthew was in St Lukes Book of


the Acts of the Apostles. (Acts 1:13)
After the Glorious Ascension of Christ, St Matthew was
chosen to replace the iniquitous Judas Iscariot (who
committed suicide after betraying our Lord for a mere
30 pieces of silver.)
When the Apostles set off in various directions to preach
the Holy Gospel after receiving the necessary Divine
Gifts from God the Holy Spirit, St Matthew, being a
Judean, preached the Divine Truth the Teachings
and Commandments of the Eternal, Only Begotten
and Incarnate Word and Son of God to the Judeans.
During that period he wrote his account of the Holy
Gospel in Aramaic, which was later translated into
Greek.
Eventually St Matthew journeyed to Ethiopia, where he
Enlightened and Illumined many of the people in the
Name of our Lord and Saviour.
However, the ruler of the region, Fulvian, persecuted and
finally martyred St Matthew by burning him alive.
His Holy Relics were entombed in a heavy silver casket,
which was cast into the sea, but instead of sinking to

the depths, it floated to the shore, where it was found


and reverently carried into the church St Matthew
had constructed.
Fulvian, realising the Reality, Truth and Almighty Power
of the One True and Living God, repented his sins and
committed himself body and soul to our Saviour,
renouncing all his worldly power and material
wealth.
Having proved himself to indeed be a most Faithful
Servant of God, Bishop Platon ordained him into the
Eternal, Holy Priesthood of Christ, whereupon he took
the name of St Matthew.
Matthew-Fulvian continued to serve God as a most
reverent and faithful Shepherd, and upon the Repose
of Bishop Platon, St Matthew the Apostle and
Evangelist of Christ, appeared to Matthew-Fulvian
and encouraged him to ascend to the Bishops
Throne.
May the memory of St Matthew Levi, the Holy Apostle and
Evangelist of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, be
Eternal, and may he ceaselessly Intercede on our
behalf with our Lord for His Great Mercy.

THE ETERNAL, INSPIRED WISDOM OF OUR HOLY CHURCH FATHERS & MOTHER
ST BASIL OF POIANA MARULUI

We all sin every day - at times unconsciously or out of


forgetfulness, without intending to or involuntarily, or
because of weakness we sin every day willingly and
unwillingly.
Because of our human nature and weakness we sin
every day willingly and unwillingly.
Is this not what St Paul referred to when he wrote: ...I do
what I do not want and what I do not want is what I
do ? (ROMANS 7:15)

All of us commit excusable sins without asking to be


excused.
Or rather, we fall into sins that can be forgiven and yet
we feel no contrition and thus become guilty of
Gods Judgment and bring Gods Wrath upon
ourselves.
In the words of an ancient saying: ...we have made a
habit of sitting with her own free will that is, we are
consciously aware of committing sins and have
developed the habit of sitting with our own free will.

ST JOHN CHRYSOSTOM

The Remembrance of the Name of our Lord Jesus rouses


the enemy to battle.
For a soul who forces herself to pray the Prayer of Jesus
can find anything by this Prayer - both good and evil.
First we can see evil in the recesses of our own heart, and
afterwards good.
This Prayer can stir the snake to action, and this Prayer
can lay it low.
This Prayer can expose the sin that is living in us, and this
Prayer can eradicate it.
This Prayer can stir up in our heart all the power of the
enemy, and this Prayer can conquer it and gradually
root it out.
ST JOHN

OF

We must ceaselessly Watch our heart throughout all our


lifedaily examining it, listening to it, and seeing
what prevents our Union with our Most Blessed Lord.
This must be for us the Science of all Sciences, and with
Gods Help we will easily observe what estranges us
from God, and what draws us towards Him, and what
Unites us to Him.

The Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, as It descends into the


depths of our heart, will subdue the serpent which
controls our ranges, and will Save and Quicken our
soul.
Continue constantly in the Name of our Lord Jesus so that
our heart may embrace our Lord and our Lord and
our heart, may become one.
However, this is not accomplished in a single day, nor in
two days, but requires many years and much time.
Much time and Labour are needed in order to expel the
enemy and instate Christ our Lord within us.

KRONSTADT

The evil spirits - more than anything else - stand between


our heart and God, for the evil one estranges us from
God by a great variety of passions, or by the desires
of our flesh, by the desires of our eyes, and by our
deadly worldly pride!

ST PAISIOS VELICHKOVSKY

Remember, O my soul, the terrible and frightful


Wonder: that your Creator for your sake became Man,
and deigned to suffer for the sake of your Salvation.
His Angels tremble, the Cherubim are terrified, the
Seraphim are in fear, and all the Heavenly Powers
ceaselessly give Praise; and you, unfortunate soul,
remain in laziness.
At least from this time forth arise and do not put off, my
beloved soul, Holy Repentance, Contrition of heart
and Penance for your sins.
The enemy likes to hide the Truth and to mix good with
evil. But how can one find out the Truth?

Gods Goodwill and all our intentions are Meek, full of


Good Hope, and undoubting.
Not only in our good deeds, but also in our lawlessness,
God endures long with Meekness and awaits our
Repentance.
And how can one distinguish the impulse of the enemy?
The enemy usually hinders us and turns us away from
good.
However, if in anything which apparently is good, the
mind is disturbed and causes us disturbance,
banishes the Fear of God, deprives us of Calmness, so
that without any reason our heart aches and our
mind wavers, then know that this is an impulse from
the enemy and cut it off.

MOTHER GABRIELLA

When God created us, He granted us Life and breathed


His Spirit into us. That Spirit is Love. When we lack
Love, we become corpses and are altogether dead.
The Spiritually Advanced arrive at a place of no
identity and have understood in their depths that
whatever happens is the Will of God or by the
Permission of God.

10.

THE FEAST

OF

THE

ELDRESS

Only when we stop reading other books except the


Gospel do we begin to make real interior progress.
Only then, United with God through the Prayer, can
we hear the Will of God.
The Language of God is Silence.
Anxiety and worry is for those who do not have
Faith.

ST MATTHEW, HOLY APOSTLE & EVANGELIST

OF OUR

LORD JESUS CHRIST

9 AUGUST 2016

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa


Archdiocese of Good Hope
All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and
forever, and unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most
Blessed and Glorious Lady, Maria, Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together with all the Saints. And let
us commit ourselves and one another and our whole Life to Christ our God. Amen.

Tone (7) Varys/Grave


14 August 2016
th
8 Sunday After Pentecost
th
8 Sunday of St Matthew Feeding 5000 Families
Forefeast of the Dormition of our Lady, Theotokos
The Feast of St Micah, Holy Prophet of God St Theodosios of Kiev Far Caves Monastery (Holy Relics) St Arcadios of
Novotorsk St Markellos, Bishop & Hieromartyr of Apamea The New Holy Martyrs of Georgia: St Nazarios,
Metropolitan of Kutaisi-Gaenati, St Herman, St Hierotheos & St Symeon Priests, St Bessarion the Archdeacon, St
Axalmotsameni,
MATINS RESURRECTION GOSPEL 8 JOHN 20 : 11 - 18
RESURRECTION APOLYTIKION TONE (7) VARYS/GRAVE

Katelisas to Stavro Sou ton Thanaton.

Ineoxas to listi ton


Paradison. Ton Miroforon ton thrinon metevales ke tis
sis Apostolis kirittin epetaxas, oti
Anestis, Hriste O
Theos, parehon to kosmo to Mega Eleos.

By

Thy Cross Thou destroyed Death;


Thou opened
Paradise to the Thief; Thou changed the funeral wail
of the Myrrh-bearing Women, and Commanded them
to announce to Thine Apostles that Thou had Risen
from the dead, O Christ our God, Who bestows upon
the world Great Mercy.

FESTAL APOLYTIKION FOREFEAST DORMITION TONE 4

Lai

prokirtisate, hiras krotountes Pistos, ke potho


athristhite, simeraon erontes, ke fedros alalazontes,
pantes en evfrosini. Tou Theou gar i Mitir, melli ton
epigion, pros ta ano aperin, Endoxos in en imnis ai, os
Theotokon Doxazomen.
FOREFEAST KONTAKION DORMITION TONE 4

Ti

Endoxo Mnimi Sou ikoumeni, to avlo Pnevmati,


pepikilmeni noeros, en evfrosini kravgazi Si. Here,
Parthene, Hristianon to kavhima.
RESURRECTION PROKEIMENON PSALM 28 TONE (7) VARYS/GRAVE

The Lord grants Strength unto His People.


Bring unto the Lord, O sons of God; bring unto the Lord, Glory and Honour!

THE FIRST EPISTLE

OF

ST PAUL

TO THE

CORINTHIANS 1 : 10 17

AVOID CONTENTIOUSNESS

Brethren: I plead with you by the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same, and that there be no
divisions among you, but that you be Perfectly United in the same mind and in the same Knowledge. For it has
been declared to me concerning you, my Brethren, by those of Chloes household, that there are contentions
amongst you.
I say this for each of you says I am of Paul, or I am of Apollos, or I am of Cephas, or I am of Christ. Is Christ divided?
Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you Baptised in the name of Paul?
Thanks be to God that I Baptised none of you except Crispos and Gaius, lest anyone should say that I had Baptised in
my own name! I also Baptised the household of Stephanas besides which I do not know if Baptised any others. For Christ did not send me to Baptise, but to preach the Gospel - not with Wisdom of Words, lest the Cross of Christ
should be made meaningless!
THE

HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING

TO

ST MATTHEW 14 : 14 22

DIVINE MIRACLE FEEDING 5000 FAMILIES

At that time, Jesus saw a great multitude, and He was moved with Compassion for them, and He healed their sick.
When it was evening, His Disciples went to Him, saying: This is a deserted place, and the hour is already late. Send the
multitude away, so that they may go into the villages and buy themselves food. Jesus said to them: They do not
need to go away. You give them something to eat. They said to Him: We have here only five loaves and two
fish. He said: Bring them to Me.
And He commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass. And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking
up to Heaven, He Blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the Disciples, and the Disciples gave to the multitudes.
And they all ate and were filled, and they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments that remained.
Those who had eaten were about five thousand men besides the women and children!
And immediately Jesus made His Disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the
multitudes away.
This great Divine Miracle, which was recorded by all
ST MATTHEW MENTIONED ANOTHER DIVINE MIRACLE OF 4000
four Holy Evangelists, shows OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
FAMILIES FED WITH SEVEN LOAVES AND A FEW SMALL FISH.
FED A GREAT MULTITUDE OF HIS PEOPLE (5000 FAMILIES!)
While certain modern scholars say that these two
JUST AS HE HAD FED THE WANDERING ISRAELITES FOR 40
different accounts are merely one and the same
story, the True Witness and Testimony of the Holy
YEARS in the wilderness before they entered the
Gospel is quite clear that they are definitely TWO
Promised Land. (EXODUS 16)
Our Holy Church Fathers regard this Divine Event as AN
SEPARATE AND DISTINCT ACCOUNTS with Christ Himself
IMAGE OF THE HOLY EUCHARIST a concept made clear
referring to both of them separately. (MATTHEW 16: 8
10)
by St John the Beloved Apostle and Theologian in
his Holy Gospel. (JOHN 6)
8TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST - 8TH

OF

ST MATTHEW-FEEDING 5000 FAMILIES 14 AUGUST 2016

11

OUR LORD HAS BEEN FREQUENTLY recorded as having been


...moved by Compassion... by His Evangelists,
thereby showing us that HIS POWER AND AUTHORITY IS
EXTENDED TO ALL WHO SUFFER. (MATTHEW 20:34; MARK 1:41&

Covenant Genesis to Deuteronomy which are


broken open in Christ and which feed the
Universe.
 THE TWO FISH" REPRESENT THE HOLY GOSPEL AND THE
EPISTLES OF THE NEW COVENANT the Divinely
Inspired Teachings of the simple Fishermen of
Christ.
 The gathering of the ...TWELVE BASKETS FULL OF THE
FRAGMENTS... by the Holy Apostles shows that THE
TEACHINGS THAT WE ARE UNABLE TO GRASP OR

6:34; LUKE 7:13)

An even more astonishing fact is that THE FIVE LITTLE


LOAVES AND TWO FISH WERE OFFERED TO CHRIST BY ONE OF
HIS YOUNGEST DISCIPLES A LITTLE BOY WHOSE MOTHER
HAD PACKED FIVE SMALL ROLLS AND TWO SARDINES
for her son to sustain himself even though ALL THE
ADULT DISCIPLES HAD BEEN INSTRUCTED NOT TO CARRY
ANYTHING EXTRA WITH THEM so that they would learn to
depend on the Providence of God.
THIS LITTLE BOYS FAITH WAS HELD UP AS AN EXAMPLE TO ALL THE
OTHERS THE FAITH OF A CHILD which carried him
throughout his life towards his eventual Martyrdom.
HE WAS ST POLYCARP OF SMYRNA - a faithful Disciple of
Christ since early childhood and later of St John the
Divine Theologian and Apostle.
TO THIS DAY WHEN A CENSUS IS TAKEN or when counting
masses of people ONLY MEN ARE COUNTED and
then the women and children are estimated relative
to the number of men. So FOR EVERY MAN THERE ARE AT
LEAST ANOTHER TWO OR THREE PEOPLE!
THUS THE MULTITUDE WHO WERE FED WITH THE CHILDS FOOD
PARCEL MUST HAVE BEEN CLOSE TO 20 000 SOULS!
A Spiritual Interpretation of our Holy Church Fathers
teaches us that:
 THE FIVE LOAVES INDICATE THE PENTATEUCH the five
Holy Books of the Law according to the Old
8TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST 8TH

UNDERSTAND ARE NEVERTHELESS PRESERVED CAREFULLY


AND REVERENTLY IN THE CONSCIOUSNESS OF THE HOLY
CHURCH OF CHRIST FOR THOSE WHO ARE ABLE TO MAKE
GOOD USE OF THEM.

Once again, our Lord Jesus Christ shows by His own


Good Example that we NEVER PARTAKE OF ANYTHING
UNLESS WE HAVE FIRST EXPRESSED OUR SINCERE GRATITUDE TO
ALMIGHTY GOD for His Great Mercy and infinite

Blessings.
THE TERMINOLOGY THAT IS USED POINTS TOWARDS THE LAST
SUPPER OR THE MYSTICAL SUPPER OF CHRIST, which leads
us to a Eucharistic interpretation of this Divine
Miracle.
Just as His Faithful Disciples and Apostles distributed the
food amongst the great multitude, so also does OUR
LORD JESUS CHRIST DISTRIBUTE HIS HOLY EUCHARIST TO HIS
FAITHFUL FLOCK THROUGH THE HANDS OF HIS ORDAINED
BISHOPS (OVERSEERS) AND PRIESTS (PRESBYTERS).

OF

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the


Holy Spirit...
In St Matthews account of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus
Christs feeding of the five thousand families, we see
literally a great multitude of men, women and
children who had so hopefully gone to Him, being
very aware of their personal condition, wanting to
be Healed physically and spiritually, and conscious
of Who He is, and confident that they would be able
to experience His Consoling Love.
They all went to Him from the cities, towns and villages walking throughout the day to that deserted place,
bearing their crippled, diseased, afflicted and
demon-possessed.
With
great
anticipation,
expectation and hope!
There were no arrogant, self-righteous Scribes and
Pharisees there, for they would not have been willing
to make the sacrifice of such a difficult, long journey
to see Someone they had chosen not to believe.
But those 5000 families were compelled by their need for
His Great Mercy, and by their Love of our Lord Jesus
Christ Whom they accepted as Someone Who was
Unique and Extraordinary their long-awaited
Messiah!
In turn, they were not only Loved by Him, but their Faith
in Him also warmed their hearts, and the prevailing
Spirit of Divine Love that was felt by everyone,
enflamed the Compassion and Kindness of His
Apostles and closest Disciples as well.
And that Divine Love for those who come to Christ as
this great multitude had come, was His Disciples
real Calling and Ministry.
And for those who are ordained to succeed the Holy
Apostles of Christ (and those they in turn ordain to
succeed them), their real Calling is this same
unconditional, infinite Divine Love that surpasses all
our limited ability to love one another!
The Apostles and Disciples of Christ our Lord and all those
who would follow them were and are NOT Ministers of
a religion, a movement or a teaching!
They are Ministers of the Divine Love of God (Agape)
the Source of Healing the only True Source of
Healing!
We must consider and appreciate how our Lord Jesus
brought His Disciples to this point.
He knew that these precious Faithful were very tired and
hungry. He knew He would Feed them just as He had
Healed them, but He waited until His Apostles were
moved to Intercede for them - until their Love
constrained (urged) them to act.

12.

8TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST - 8TH

OF

ST MATTHEW FEEDING 5000 FAMILIES

Love is the Food - the Nourishment and Sustenance they needed.


Love is what we all need and that is what our Lord
Jesus encouraged and enabled His Apostles to give to
the 5000 families when He said to them: You feed
them. ... i.e. they were to Love them as He Loved
them.
And that is exactly what He has been saying to all those
Faithful Disciples who would follow Him since that
time.
Love one another - especially those who are vulnerable
all those who are crippled, blind, mentally ill and
afflicted by all kinds of diseases and ailments - all
those who are held captive by the devil by means of
their worldly passions and addictions, those whom
others are unwilling or unable to Love.
Although the Feeding of the 5000 families (estimated at
close to 20,000 men, women and children) actually
happened as the Apostles recorded such great Events
in the Holy Gospels, our Inspired Holy Church Fathers
also ascribe a Spiritual Interpretation to this Divine
Miracle.
ST JOHN CHRYSOSTOM sees the five loaves (i.e. 5 small bread
rolls) as our five senses that are fulfilled by our
Experience of Christ, which His Apostles, and their
successive Bishops and Priests, preserve and protect
through our Life in Christ and the Holy Mysteries of
His Church, which have been established and
maintained.
The fish became a secret Symbol of Christ that was used
only during the first centuries of His Holy Church,
when it was neither legal nor safe to publically gather
for worship, so Christians would communicate to one
another their secret meeting places by depicting a
small fish on or near the site, or to signify Christ.
The word fish in Greek ( Ichthis ) - was their
acronym for Iisou Xristou, Theos, Yios, Sotir =
Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour.
Along with the Christian Synagogues and the home
churches, the symbol of the fish used by charismatic
Protestants today is not something the ancient
Christians (nor we Orthodox as their heirs) would
understand or use.
The symbol of the fish and secret gatherings were only
used while our Faith was restricted and persecuted.
As soon as we were free to Live our Faith openly, the
home churches were replaced by our Christian
Temples, and the cryptic fish symbol was replaced
by the publically displayed (empty) Cross, which
proclaims Resurrection and Eternal Life.

ST MATTHEW-FEEDING 5000 FAMILIES 14 AUGUST 2016

Those early Christians who had had to use the cryptic fish
symbol to mark their secret meeting places, all wore
around their necks and against their heart - as we
do the empty cross, symbolising Resurrection (not
the crucifix with Christ still nailed to it!)
And like us they made the Sign of the Cross, which
proclaims our worship of our Trinitarian God, Father,
Son and Holy Spirit ... with all our mind, our heart,
our strength and our soul.
Also regarding the symbolism of this Great Event of
feeding, sustaining and fulfilling the hunger of so
many souls with so little - whenever bread is used by
our Lord Jesus Christ it symbolises the Holy Mystery of
Eucharist - Christs Precious Life-giving Body and
Blood, of which every Baptised, Chrismated Disciple of
Christ partakes.
Those five small bread rolls were Miraculously
increased by Christ through His Apostles and
Disciples as they distributed them to the Faithful
families who were seated in groups.
Furthermore, the little rolls of bread had increased to
such a degree that, to the astonishment of everyone,
there were twelve baskets of bread left over one
basket each of the Holy Apostles each having
more than what they had collectively began with!
This foretold the innumerable Faithful Christians who
would increase through the Loving Labours of
Christs Holy Apostles - as long as they remained
Faithful to God.
Sadly, one of those Baskets would have to be given to
another Faithful Disciple of Christ, for Judas Iscariot not only due to his impending betrayal of Christ for
those miserable 30 silver coins but by not Repenting
and receiving Divine Forgiveness - would forfeit his
basket to St Paul, who, ironically, also initially
betrayed, and even persecuted, his own people due
to his misguided zealous desire to serve God.
However, unlike Judas Iscariot, St Paul Repented all his
sins, received Divine Forgiveness, and spent the rest
of his life in Repentance and in humble, Faithful
Service to God, becoming the greatest, most effective
Holy Apostle of our Lord and Saviour.
The difference between that dedicated persecutor of
Christians and the fatal betrayer of our Lord, was
sincere, determined and True Repentance!
ORTHODOX SPIRITUALITY REPENTANCE

THE

SHIP

THE WAY

"Repentance is the Fire, which gradually burns up the

egotism in us."
When we adopt a Repentant attitude, we accept that we
are always imperfect and in need of continual
correction in order to acquire Spiritual Perfection.
It is this attitude that kills our ego based pride.
We recognize our limitations and our lack of Perfection,
and have a feeling of compunction. (regret, sorrow,
contrition, remorse)
Father Dimitru Staniloae points out that EGOISM IS OUR
LARGEST, MOST DIFFICULT OBSTACLE: ...So the greatest
and continuous obstacle in the way of our progress
to Love is egoism.
Until egoism completely dies, we cannot possess True
Love...
We love ourselves, and thus, being full of self-admiration,
we consider ourselves as being most important and
we cannot Love anyone else, for to Love others
means to forget ourselves and to always go beyond
8TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST - 8TH

OF

HTTP://WWW.SAINTBASIL.ORG/WP/WPCONTENT/UPLOADS/2012/12/8TH-WEEK-FEEDING-THEFIVE-THOUSAND.PDF

THAT BRINGS US TO THE

Saint Isaac the Syrian compares our life in this world to


crossing the sea in a ship: ...Just as it is not possible
for us to cross the great sea without a ship, so we
cannot reach Love without Fear.
We can cross the tempestuous sea placed between us
and the Spiritual Paradise only by means of the Ship
of Repentance, borne by the Oarsmen of Fear.
If these Oarsmen of Fear do not propel the Ship of
Repentance whereby we cross the sea of this world
toward God, properly and well, we will be shipwrecked, and drowned.
Repentance is the Ship, Fear is the Rudder, Love the
Divine Harbour.
So Fear puts us in the Ship of Repentance and we cross
the tempestuous Sea of life, and it conveys us to the
Divine Harbour, which is Love, where all those who
REPENTANCE -

This entire, unique lifespan that prepares us for Eternity


is a life-long Repentance a life time of falling down
into a state of Spiritual Death caused by our sins, and
the rising up again into a state of Spiritual Life
through our Repentance.
The Event concluded when our Saviour sent His Apostles
off in a boat to the opposite shore while He dismissed
the great multitude of Faithful souls.
St John Chrysostom believed that He sent off His Apostles
and close Disciples so as to prevent them from
falling into the fatal sin of pride and arrogance.
Everyone who had been there had witnessed everything,
so it was obvious that while it was our Lord Jesus
Christ Who Healed the people, the five small bread
rolls and two little fish were Miraculously increased,
and distributed by His Holy Apostles who were not
yet able to resist or avoid the temptation of pride
caused by the gratitude and praises of the hungry,
tired masses.
Resistance and avoidance of such temptations of the
flesh would only become possible for them after the
Ascension of Christ and the Descent of the Holy
Spirit, Who would Empower and Energise them by
Divine Grace, in order to fulfil Christs earthly Mission
according to all His Teachings and Commandments.
In exactly the same and only Way, are we ourselves able
to resist pride and all the other grievous temptations
of the flesh by Power and Energy granted to us by
the Life-giving Cross of Christ our God.
As we pick up our Cross and Faithfully, Obediently and
Humbly follow our Lord, we must Guard and Protect
ourselves through ceaseless Repentance, for only
then can God enter us who are His Sacred, living
Temples, and work through us...
Only by our perpetual Watchfulness and Repentance
can we overcome the temptations that entrap and
deceive us and alienate us from God.
Repentance is the only Way we will find Divine Love that
Nourishes, Sustains and Protects us.
Amen/

DIVINE HARBOUR FR DIMITRU STANILOAE

Labour and have been Enlightened by Repentance,


disembark.
And when we have reached Love, we have reached God.
And our Journey has ended, and we have reached the
Island, which is beyond this world.
Notice how St Isaac the Syrian emphasizes that it is only
by means of this "Ship of Repentance" that we can
reach our Goal.
Repentance is essential to our safe and successful
arrival at the "Divine Harbour."
Repentance is the fundamental Way we are able to
move toward Spiritual Perfection, and enables us to
live a Virtuous Life of Love based on God's Grace.
Compelled by our desire for God's Love, and to Love
others we are willing and able to Repent.
TO

OVERCOME EGOISM

ourselves and to consider ourselves as nothing of


no significance!
True Love is consolidated in us by uninterrupted
Repentance, Humility and Obedience...
It is clear that no one can approach or enter this
Kingdom, this Paradise, unless we leave behind the
ocean of numberless sirens of egotism...
The attitude of Repentance carries with it an awareness
of
our
ego-centricity,
coupled
with
an
understanding that this needs to be sought out,
plucked out, and destroyed if we are to be United
with God in Love and to be able to truly Love others.
Egoism is our clear, obvious and deadly enemy which
continual Repentance attacks, controls and even
defeats.
Ceaseless Repentance enables us to make gradual and
continual progress against that most determined and
persistent enemy!

ST MATTHEW-FEEDING 5000 FAMILIES 14 AUGUST 2016

13

REPENTANCE- CONFESSION

In the Holy Mystery of Repentance-Confession we, first,


must carefully prepare ourselves.
We go to our Priest for this essential Holy Mystery, in order
to rid ourselves of the sinful garbage we have
accumulated over the days, weeks, months and even
years in order to free and to Cleanse our soul of the
heavy burden of our habitual sins that oppress and
enslave us.
Our Priest or our Holy Spiritual Father is our witness as we
make our sincere Confession to God.
It is imperative that we Confess and Repent our sins with
absolute sincerity, honesty and the deepest contrition
(sorrow.)
Standing in the presence of another person a fellow
sinner - is and act of Humility and Obedience, for this
is essential to our genuine need to Confess as many
of our sins as we can at that moment.
Through this Holy Mystery of Repentance-Confession we
should realize that our Deliverance from sin also
depends on the support, encouragement, urging and
help we receive from others and especially from our
Spiritual Father or Father Confessor.
We transcend our ego and individualistic nature during
this Holy Mystery, and by acknowledging and
Confessing aloud our weaknesses and failings before
God, which are witnessed by our Father Confessor, we
voluntarily humble and humiliate ourselves, while
seeking his help, Spiritual Guidance and Instruction.
We thereby make ourselves accessible and willing to
receive objective external Guidance for the Cleansing
and Healing of our wicked habits and weak nature.
The Holy Mystery of Repentance-Confession and the
Guidance of our Spiritual Father is essential for our
Spiritual Growth and is granted to us by God in His
Holy Church for our Eternal Spiritual Benefit.
Saint Mark the Ascetic explained:
...Nobody is as
Gracious and Merciful as our Lord, but even He does
not forgive the sins of those who do not Repent! ... we
are being Condemned
- not because of the
THE INSPIRED, ETERNAL WISDOM

OF OUR

AS A

HOLY MYSTERY

multitude of our evils, but because we do not want


to Repent!
Confession before a Priest not only results Total
Absolution and a Cleansing of our record in God's
Sight (and in His Book of Life!) but the Holy Mystery
of Repentance-Confession humbles us, Cures our
pride, and instils in us a sense of shame and Fear,
which may protect us from future sins.
During this Holy Mystery, our Spiritual Father may advise,
encourage and guide us objectively, for he is neither
our critic nor our Judge.
Our Spiritual Father will give us Spiritual Instructions,
which will aid us in our Spiritual Growth.
He will teach us how to Struggle against with our habitual
passions, how to fight against them so that others are
no longer aware of them.
However, if we refuse or reject being Healed and
Cleansed by this Holy Mystery of RepentanceConfession, then we expose ourselves to ongoing
abuse, temptations and habitual sins in our daily life,
and we will ultimately be disgraced and Eternally
Condemned before the entire universe at our Final
Judgment on the Eighth Day.
Father Isaiah advises us: ...The truly Repentant receive
Forgiveness of their sins, are Reconciled with God, His
Holy Church, and their own conscience, and thus
regain the precious Filial Striving towards God as our
Heavenly Father, and benefit from all His Gifts of His
Fatherly Love and Kindness.
The Holy Mystery of Repentance-Confession is all too
often a neglected Holy Mystery that is vitally
essential to our Spiritual Welfare, for it brings us not
only
Divine
Cleansing,
Renewal,
Rebirth,
Regeneration, and so many other good Blessings, but
also Divine Joy, Peace, Love and the freedom of our
soul, caused by the removal of the heavy burden of
our sins.
HTTP://ORTHODOXWAYOFLIFE.BLOGSPOT.CO.ZA

HOLY CHURCH FATHERS ST PAISIOS


THE BEE AND THE FLY

THE

NEW

OF

MOUNT ATHOS

Some people tell me that they are scandalized because


knows where the beautiful, fragrant and fruitful
they see many things wrong in the Church.
things are.
I tell them that if we ask a fly: Are there any beautiful,
As I have come to understand, some people resemble the
fragrant flowers in this area? it will say: I dont know
honeybee and some resemble the fly.
about flowers, but over there in that heap of rubbish I
Those who resemble the fly seek to find evil in every
can show you all the stinking, rotting filth you can
circumstance and are preoccupied with it; they see
imagine!
no good anywhere.
And the fly will list all the unclean things it has been to or
But those who resemble the honeybee only see the
knows about.
good, the fragrant and the fruitful in everything they
Now, if you ask a honeybee: Have you seen any unclean
see.
things in this area? it will reply: Unclean things? No,
The stupid, intolerant, destructive and malicious can only
I have not seen any.
This area is full of the most
thinks accordingly and they take everything in the
beautiful, fragrant flowers.
wrong way, whereas those who have good, sweet
And the bee will name all the lovely flowers and fruitand productive thoughts, no matter what they
bearing trees of the garden or in the meadow.
experience, no matter what they hear, they always
You see, the fly only knows where the unclean, stinking
maintains positive and good thoughts, words and
and rotten things are, while the honeybee only
deeds.
THE FINAL JUDGEMENT
difficulties, the tribulations of the people in the world
In the future Judgement, the condition of each of us will
and how they faced them; and if they have not lived
be revealed in an instant, and we, on our own, will
appropriately as Monastics, they will lower their
proceed to where we belong.
heads and proceed on their own to the place where
We will recognize, as if on a television screen, our own
they belong.
wretchedness, as well as the Spiritual Condition of
others.
There, Nuns who did not please God will see Heroic
Mothers, who neither took Vows, nor had the Blessings
We will reflect ourselves upon the others, and we will bow
our head, and proceed to the place where we
and opportunities that they, the Nuns, had.
They will see how those mothers Struggled, as well as the
belong.
Spiritual Heights they attained, while they, the Nuns,
For example, a daughter-in-law who sat comfortably with
her legs crossed in front of her mother-in-law, who who with petty things preoccupied and tormented
themselves, will be ashamed!
despite a broken leg - took care of her grandchild,
These are my thoughts about the manner of the Final
will not be able to say: My Christ, why art Thou
Judgement.
putting my Mother-in-law into Paradise but excluding
In other words, Christ will not say to us: You come here!
me? because that very scene will come before her to
What did you do? Nor will He say: You - go to Hell!
Condemn her forever!
You - go to Paradise!
She will remember her mother-in-law who stood with
Rather, each of us will have to compare
her broken leg in order to take care of her
ourselves with the others, and then, (seeing
grandchild, and she will be too ashamed to enter
Paradise but, anyway, there be no place for her
everything clearly and in utter Truth) accordingly,
there!
proceed to our appropriate place.
Or, to cite another example: Monastics will see the

14.

8TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST - 8TH

OF

ST MATTHEW-FEEDING 5000 FAMILIES 14 AUGUST 2016

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa


Archdiocese of Good Hope
All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and
forever, and unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most
Blessed and Glorious Lady, Maria, Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together with all the Saints. And let
us commit ourselves and one another and our whole Life to Christ our God. Amen.

15 August 2016

The Dormition of our Ever Blessed Lady, Theotokos


ISODIKON /SMALL ENTRANCE HYMNS
FESTAL APOLYTIKION DORMITION

En

In

ti Gennisi tin Parthenian efilaxas. En ti Kimisi ton


kosmon ou katelipes Theotoke. Metestis pros tin Zoin,
Mirtir iparhousa tis Zois.
Ke tes Presvies tes ses
litromeni, ek Thanatou tas psihas imon

giving Birth, O Theotokos, Thou has retained Thy


Virginity, and in Falling Asleep, Thou has not forsaken
the world. Thou who art the Mother of Life has passed
over into Life, and by Thy Prayers Thou delivers our
souls from Death. Wherefore, by Thine Intercessions,
deliver our souls from Death

FESTAL KONTAKION DORMITION

Tin

en Presvies akimiton Theotikon, ke prostasies


ametatheton Elpida, ta Fos ke nekrosis ouk ekratisen.
Os gar Zois Mitera, pros tin Zoin metestisen, O M ITRA N
IKISAS

Neither

the Tomb nor Death had power over the


Theotokos, who is Ever Watchful in Her Prayers and in
whose Intercession lies Unfailing Hope. For as the
Mother of Life She has been Transported into Life by
Him W H O DWELT W ITHI N HER E VE R V IRGIN W O MB .

A IPARTHENON .

MATINS GOSPEL ACCORDING


TH

TO

ST LUKE 1 : 38 49 & 56

VISITATION

At that time, Mary arose and went into the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah, and entered the house of
Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. And it happened when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leapt
in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. And she spoke out with a loud voice, saying: Blessed art
Thou among women, and Blessed is the Fruit of Thy Womb! And why is this grant to me, that the Mother of my
Lord should come to me? For indeed, as soon as the voice of Thy Greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leapt
with Joy in my womb. And Blessed is She Who believed, for there will be a Fulfilment of those Things that were
told Her from the Lord!
And Mary said: My soul Magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Saviour! For He has regarded the
lowly state of His Maidservant. For behold! Henceforth all generations will call me Blessed. For He Who is
Mighty has done great things form me, and Holy is His Name...
... And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her house.
The Ever Blessed Virgin Marys faithful response to the
WITH THESE THREE SIGNIFICANT ROLES BEING VACANT,
Annunciation of Archangel Gabriel was that of the
ILLEGITIMATE AND SILENT, ALL WAS READY FOR THE SON OF
highest degree of Humility and Obedience to God.
GOD TO BE REVEALED AS OUR DIVINE AND ETERNAL PROPHET,
THE INCARNATION OF GOD THE SON IS NOT ONLY THE DIVINE WORK
KING AND HIGH PRIEST.
OF ALMIGHTY GOD, BUT IT ALSO INVOLVED THE FREE AND
COMPELLED BY HER WONDER AND GREAT JOY AT HER DIVINE
WILLING RESPONSE OF MANKIND IN THE HOLY AND DEVOUT
CONCEPTION, OUR LADY THEOTOKOS WENT TO HER BELOVED
PERSON OF ST MARY THE EVER BLESSED, ALL HOLY
AUNT, ST ELIZABETH, the sister of her late mother, St
THEOTOKOS.
Anna.
Although Eve had once disobeyed the Lord our God, THE
AT THE SOUND OF HER GREETING, THE BLESSED ST JOHN - as a
EVER BLESSED VIRGIN MARY INSTANTLY AND VOLUNTARILY
tiny six month baby still developing in the womb of his
mother PROPHESIED THE DIVINE PRESENCE OF GOD
OBEYED HIS DIVINE WILL WHICH SHE HAS ALWAYS DONE,
SINCE HER VERY EARLY CHILDHOOD.
INCARNATE BY LEAPING FOR JOY.
And although Eve - through her wilful disobedience by
BECAUSE ST JOHN IS GODS HOLY PROPHET, HIS RECOGNITION OF
breaking the one Divine Commandment - had
CHRIST WHILE THEY WERE STILL BOTH IN THE WOMBS OF THEIR
RESPECTIVE MOTHERS, FULFILLED ST JEREMIAHS HOLY
alienated and distanced herself from God exile and
alienation caused by sin OUR EVER BLESSED LADY
PROPHESY:
OPENED HER HEART AND SOUL UP TO GOD AND DREW EVER
Before I formed Thee in the womb, I knew Thee.
(JEREMIAH 1:5)
CLOSER TO HIM BY HER HUMBLE OBEDIENCE TO HIS DIVINE
THE ALL HOLY EVER VIRGIN THEOTOKOS RECEIVES VENERATION
WILL IN ALL MATTERS.
FROM THE HEAVENLY HOSTS AS WELL AS ALL HUMANITY.
SHE WAS EVER WATCHFUL AND RESISTED TEMPTATION, PREFERRING
And just as St Gabriel, the Holy Archangel of God, had
TO REMAIN IN HIS DIVINE GRACE.
done, SO NOW TOO, ST ELIZABETH DECLARED HER YOUNG
As St Theophilact of Bulgaria put it, Her response to God
NIECE TO BE BLESSED AMONG WOMEN.
was always as though she said: I am a (writing)
Our Panagia Mary is confessed as the Mother of my
tablet; let the Writer inscribe whatever He desires on
Lord by St Elizabeth and HER SPONTANEOUS, SINCERE
me.
CONFESSION and others like it in our Holy Church such
In other words, HER ATTITUDE TO GOD WAS ALWAYS: Let it be
as Theotokos or Mother/Bearer of God CONFIRMS
according to Thy Will and not my will, O Lord!
THAT THE ONE IN HER PURE WOMB IS BOTH FULLY HUMAN AND
AS SOON AS CHRIST BECAME INCARNATE, HOLY PROPHECY RESUMED
FULLY DIVINE IN NATURE - our Lord Jesus Christ is THE
IN ISRAEL.
TRUE SON OF GOD Himself as well as being the TRUE
GOD HAD SILENCED HIS HOLY PROPHETS FOR MANY YEARS and
SON OF MAN(kind)!
even permitted an illegitimate usurper occupy the
At Holy Vespers of the Annunciation, we declare: It is the
position of King of Judea.
Word of God Who dwells in Her.
And in the last days before the Coming of Christ, GOD ALSO
SILENCED ST ZACHARIAH, THE HIGH PRIEST.
THE DORMITION

OF OUR

ALL PURE, EVER BLESSED

LADY THEOTOKOS

15 AUGUST 2016

15

It is significant that EVEN THOUGH HIS PHYSICAL BODY HAD NOT


YET FULLY FORMED, OUR LORD JESUS WAS TRULY THE
INCARNATE SON OF GOD, and THE EVER BLESSED, ALL HOLY
VIRGIN MARY WAS ALREADY ACKNOWLEDGE AND RECOGNISED
AS HIS ALL PURE, HOLY MOTHER.
THIS DIVINE TRUTH DEALS A FATAL BLOW TO THE DELUSION THAT
ABORTION IS JUSTIFIABLE BECAUSE THE FOETUS IS NOT YET A
PERSON!

In this day and age, infertile couples regard the dividing cells - from
the moment of conception or fertilisation - as a viable, living
baby who is Joyfully awaited and already named!
Every child who is conceived but lost is mourned and remembered by
the loving parents.
Furthermore, the tiny heart begins to beat very soon after conception
and babies have been able to be delivered and kept alive from
very early in the gestation period, many of whom survive and
grow into adulthood.
Therefore, ABORTION IS THE VIOLENT AND MOST BRUTAL MURDER OF A
TINY CHILD WHO IS MORE SENSITIVE TO AND AWARE OF EVERYTHING
THAN A FULLY DEVELOPED AND BORN BABY!
NOT ONE PERSON WHO HAS BEEN CONCEIVED OR BORN IS A MISTAKE

because every Miracle of conception and birth is by the Divine


Will of Almighty God Who has a Plan and Sacred Purpose for
each, unique soul into whom He breathes Life! (mp)

Verses 46 56 - known as the Magnificat or


Megalinaria - came from the Joyful heart of our
Lady Theotokos who was inspired by a song of St
Hannah. (1 KINGS 2 : 1 10)
This lovely Hymn is chanted during the Matins Service
and from it we are taught:
FAITHFUL CHRISTIANS FOR ALL TIME HONOUR AND VENERATE THE
ALL HOLY, EVER VIRGIN THEOTOKOS as she prophesied: ...
ALL GENERATION WILL CALL ME BLESSED.
IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO BELIEVE IN THE INSPIRATION OF HOLY
SCRIPTURE YET NOT BLESS OUR LADY THEOTOKOS.
OUR PANAGIA ASCRIBED THE MIRACLE OF THE INCARNATION TO
ALMIGHTY GOD not to herself which reveals Her deep
and sincere Humility and Knowledge that GOD IS THE
SOURCE OF ALL DIVINE GRACE.
THROUGH THE INCARNATION, GOD REIGNS OVER ALL
NATIONS.
BECAUSE OUR LADY THEOTOKOS HAD NO MOTHER TO CONFIDE IN OR
TO
INSTRUCT
HER
regarding
her
impending
motherhood, IT WAS NATURAL FOR HER TO HAVE REMAINED
WITH HER AUNT, ST ELIZABETH, FOR THE FIRST TRIMESTER OF
HER PREGNANCY before returning home, where HER
COMPANIONS WERE ALL COMMITTED, DEDICATED VIRGINS.

(Today they are known as Nuns)

PROKEIMENON ODE OF THE THEOTOKOS TONE 3

My soul Magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Saviour!
For He has regarded the lowly state of His Maidservant.
THE EPISTLE

OF

ST PAUL

PHILIPPIANS 2 : 5 - 11

TO THE

PRESERVING UNITY

IN

HUMILITY

Brethren: Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus, Who, being in the Form of God, did not consider it
robbery to be Equal to God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant and Coming in
the likeness of men. And being found in Appearance as a Man, He Emptied Himself and became Obedient to the
point of Death even the death of the Cross.
Therefore, God also has highly Exalted Him and given Him the Name, which is above every other name that at the
Name of Jesus every knee should bow of those on Earth and of those under the Earth and that every tongue
should Confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the Glory of God the Father.
CHRIST HAS EQUALITY WITH GOD THE FATHER not by illegal or
This passage consists of a Hymn that was already in use
in the early Christian Church, which was quoted by St
forceful seizure or theft but DUE TO HIS ETERNAL DIVINE
Paul.
NATURE, HAVING BEEN BEGOTTEN BY HIS ETERNAL DIVINE
It calls us to CONTEMPLATE THE EXTREME AND ABSOLUTE
FATHER.
HUMILITY OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST the Majestic and All
THERE WAS NEITHER LOSS NOR CHANGE IN THE DIVINE NATURE OF
Powerful Incarnate Son of God which is A DIVINE
OUR LORD JESUS WHEN HE TOOK ON OUR HUMAN NATURE and
TRUTH THAT IS NECESSARY FOR ALL SUFFERING AND
offered us His Eternal Salvation.
CHRIST ...made Himself of no reputation... IS A REFERENCE
STRUGGLING CHRISTIANS TO UNDERSTAND, TO APPRECIATE AND
TO IMITATE THROUGH LIVING EVERY MOMENT OF THIS LIFE IN
TO HIS DIVINE WILL, NOT HIS DIVINE NATURE FOR HE
CHRIST.
EMPTIED HIMSELF not by laying down or ridding
The words of this particular passage of Holy Scripture
Himself of His Divine Nature or by setting it aside, but
have been incorporated into many Hymns of the
BY VOLUNTARILY TAKING ON OUR HUMAN FORM AND NATURE.
Orthodox Church.
(He Emptied Himself of His Majestic Divine Glory in order to
assume our weak human form and nature.)
CHRIST is He Who BEING IN THE FORM OF GOD, i.e. HIS
OUR DIVINE SAVIOUR TOOK ...THE FORM OF A BONDSERVANT...
ETERNAL, DIVINE NATURE IS ALSO IN THE FORM OF A
VOLUNTARILY SHARING OUR HUMAN CONDITION EXCEPT FOR
BONDSERVANT IN OUR HUMAN LIKENESS, HIS HUMAN NATURE
OUR INCLINATION AND ABILITY TO SIN HE CANNOT SIN!
and so HE WAS VOLUNTARILY SUBJECT TO DEATH.
To us human beings, Christ looks just like us, for BEING
Christ could only enter Hades in His human Nature where - in His
TRULY INCARNATE, HE IS FULLY HUMAN BY NATURE AND FORM.
Divine Nature - He smashed open the imprisoning Gates of
In His human Nature, CHRIST SHOWED THE FULLNESS OF HIS
Hades and set the Righteous free to Rest in Peace in Paradise
HUMILITY BY HIS ABSOLUTE OBEDIENCE even to Death,
until the Final Judgement. mp
which has enslaved us since our Fall.
OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST - Who died upon the Cross for our
To have died by crucifixion a terrible, humiliating and
Eternal Salvation -HAS BEEN EXALTED AND NAMED AS LORD
shameful form of execution for the worst type of
BY GOD THE FATHER a Divine Name that God the Son
criminals of the Roman Empire was as repulsive to
shares with His Eternal Father.
the Roman Citizens as it was to the Hebrews who
The Form (Morphe) of God... is a concept that is parallel
considered it the ultimate Curse.
with the Image (Ikon) of God and refers to GOD THE
However, THE DEATH OF OUR SAVIOUR BROUGHT ETERNAL LIFE TO
SONS SHARING IN THE COMPLETE, FULL DIVINE NATURE OF
ALL WHO ARE JOINED TO HIM even those whom He
GOD THE FATHER. (COLOSSIANS 1:15)
confronted in Hades and who repented their sins.
Robbery (harpagmon prize or booty) refers to
something that is stolen or looted illegally.
THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING
ON

TO
E

ST LUKE 10 : 38

THIN

G IS

EEDED

- 42

&

11 : 27 28

At that time, He entered a certain village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a
sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus Feet and heard His Word.
But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said: Lord, dost Thou not care that my
sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me!
And Jesus answered and said to her: Martha! Martha! You are worried and troubled about many things, but one
thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.
... And it happened, as He spoke these things, that a certain woman from the crowd raised her voice and said to Him:
Blessed is the Womb that bore Thee, and the breasts that nursed Thee! And He replied: More than that: Blessed
are those who hear the Word of God and keep It!

16.

THE DORMITION

OF OUR

ALL PURE, EVER BLESSED

LADY THEOTOKOS

15 AUGUST 2016

St Martha and St Mary of Bethany were the sisters of St


Lazaros whom our Lord Jesus Christ had raised from
the dead.
St Martha was preoccupied and worried about all her
household duties while providing hospitality to our
Lord Jesus and his entourage of Disciples and
Apostles.
Her temporary, worldly cares concerned her more than
anything else at the time so, resenting her sister who
sat at the Feet of our Lord to hear His Teachings, she
appealed to Him to make her get up and help her.
However - instead of supporting her immediate needs our Lord Jesus pointed out that while she was so
concerned about all her current duties, her sister
had preferred to spend the precious time listening to
Christs Teachings.
The One Thing ... needed was for her to pay
attention to His Divine Teaching to really listen
THE DORMITION

OF OUR

EVER BLESSED, ALL HOLY


SAINT LUKE

OF

SIMFEROPOL &

Each of us is tormented with the question: what will


happen to us and what awaits us after death?
A sure answer to this question we cannot find by
ourselves. But Holy Scripture, and first of all, the Word
of our Lord Jesus Christ reveals the secret to us, which
is also revealed by the Apolytikion and Kontakion of
this Great Feast of the Dormition of the Most-Holy
Theotokos, along with the other Festal Hymns that we
chant during this time.
We should all understand why the death of the Most-Holy
Theotokos and Ever Virgin Mary is called Dormition
Falling Asleep.
The Great Apostle, St John the Theologian, in the 20th
chapter of the Book of the Revelation of Christ
mentions the first.. and ..second death.
The first death (physical death), which alone is inescapable
for all mankind, is also experienced by the Saints and
the Righteous, while the Second Death - the terrible,
irreversible, irreparable and Eternal Death, awaits
all unrepentant sinners, who denied or rejected the
Love and the Righteousness of God, thereby
condemning themselves to an Eternity of exile from
God and all His Goodness, suffering the
indescribable horrors of Outer Darkness and the
Abyss, together with the devil and his demons.
In the Holy Gospel of St John the Theologian, the Words of
Christ reveal that Awesome Truth: Truly, truly, I say to
you, whoever hears My Word and believes Him Who
sent Me, has Eternal Life. He does not come into
Judgment, but has passed from Death to Life. (JOHN
5:24).

We must hear these Divine Words and understand them


properly, although it may appear to be strange to us
that all those who are Obedient to the Word of Christ
and believe in our Heavenly Father Who sent Him,
passes immediately after death to Eternal Life.
However, there is no reason to Judge those who have
lived in Christ lived with utter Faith in and
Obedience to Almighty God by fulfilling all His Divine
Commandments and Teachings.
And to His Great Twelve Apostles, our Lord Jesus Christ
said: Assuredly, I say to you that you who follow Me,
in the Age to come, when the Son of Man sits upon
His Throne of Glory, will also sit upon Twelve
Thrones judging the Twelve Tribes of Israel (MATTHEW
19:28)

Although the Twelve Holy Apostles of Christ will be Judges


of the Twelve Tribes of Israel at the Final Judgment of
God, of course, it is inconceivable that they would also
Judge the Most-Holy Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary,
St John the Baptist and Forerunner of our Lord, the
great Holy Prophets of God, St Elias and St Enoch who
had ascended alive into Heaven, all the countless
multitudes of Holy Martyrs of Christ, or the Holy
Hierarchs and Wonderworkers who were Glorified by
God, foremost being St Nicholas, Archbishop of Myra,
Lycia, for they heard and obeyed the Lord God, and
our Lord Jesus Christ clearly said of such Faithful
servants of God: The Kingdom of God is within you.
(LUKE 17:21)

THE DORMITION

OF OUR

to what He said. It was a serious priority that


certainly did not exclude serving Him.
Later, when a woman called out to our Lord Jesus from
the crowd, our Lord pointed out to her that Gods
Blessings fall upon all those who hear the Word of
God and Obey Him.
Family or social connections have nothing to do with our
Obedience to God and the Ever Blessed Theotokos
was especially complimented by Her Son because
She not only paid careful attention to the Word of
God but She also Faithfully Obeyed all His
Commandments
and
lived
Her
entire
life
accordingly.
It is that profound Virtue of humble and attentive
Obedience to God of the Ever Blessed Theotokos
alone even more than having borne the Incarnate
God that makes Her our most Shining Example of
True Sainthood and Theosis Spiritual Perfection.
THE

AND

PURE LADY, THEOTOKOS

CRIMEA

God the Holy Spirit dwelt within those great Spiritual


Strugglers, and so, even while they still lived on Earth,
they were in close Communion with God, as our Lord
Jesus Christ said: If anyone Loves me, he will keep
My Word, and my Father will Love him, and We will
come to him and make our Dwelling with him. (JOHN
14:23)

The Most-Holy Virgin Mary was the Spotless Temple of our


Saviour, in Whom dwelt the Holy Spirit, and from Her
Most-Holy Womb the Only Begotten, Eternal Word
and Son of God received His human body, He Who
descended from Heaven.
Because of this, our bodily death is not death, but
Dormition Repose or Falling Asleep which means
it is our immediate passage from the Kingdom of
God within us, to the Kingdom of Heaven and
Eternal Life.
The Sanctified body of the Most-Holy Theotokos, through
the Power of God, remained incorrupt and Ascended
to Heaven, which is expressed in the Festal Kontakion
of this Great Feast of our Ever Blessed Lady: ... Neither
the tomb nor Death could contain the Theotokos, the
Unshakable Hope, Ever Vigilant in Intercession and
Protection. As Mother of Life, He Who dwelt in the
Ever-Virginal Womb Transposed Her to Life.
Holy Scripture recorded that the death of one of the
greatest Holy Prophets of God St Moses the LawReceiver was according to the Word of God on
Mount Nebo, and that he was buried in the Land of
Moab. (DEUTERONOMY 34)
The burial site of such a Great Holy Prophet of God would
have become most significant for Pilgrims of Israel.
However, according to Holy Scripture: ...no one knows
of his tomb, even until the current day! (DEUTERONOMY
34:6)

At the Glorious Transfiguration of our Lord Jesus Christ,


which was witnessed by St Peter, St John and St James
on Mount Tabor, St Moses the Law-Receiver appeared
next to his Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, together with
St Elias, the Great Holy Prophet of God both of whom
had been taken up physically into Heaven.
Thus it can be understood that the bodies of these
Faithful and Holy Servants of Almighty God remain
incorrupt as certainly has the All Pure, Sanctified
and Most Holy Body of our Lady, Theotokos.
According to Holy Tradition, and according to the eye
witness accounts of St Thomas and the other Holy
Apostles who found our Lady Theotokos tomb empty
when it was reopened three days after Her interment,
following Her Dormition, She was physically carried
to Heaven, as opposed to the Sanctified, Incorrupt
bodies of our Lords Holy Saints, which rest in Peace
while awaiting the General Resurrection.
Dearest Brethren in Christ, let us contemplate the Blessed
Dormition of the Most Holy Ever Virgin Theotokos,
recalling the Words of our Lord Jesus Christ: Truly,
truly, I say to you: whoever hears My Word and
believes Him Who sent Me has Eternal Life. He does
not come into Judgment, but has passed from Death
to Life. (JOHN 5:24).

ALL PURE, EVER BLESSED

LADY THEOTOKOS

15 AUGUST 2016

17

May God make us who are wretched, habitual sinners


Amen.
worthy through our constant Repentance and
http://full-of-grace-and-truth.blogspot.gr
Spiritual Struggles to experience such Great Joy,
http://www.impantokratoros.gr
through the Love for mankind of our Lord and
Saviour, Jesus Christ, to Whom belong All Glory and
Dominion, together with His Beginningless Father and
His All-Holy Life-giving Spirit, unto the Ages of ages.
S T J O H N C A S S I A N (CIRCA 435) O N T H E H O L Y M Y S T E R Y O F E U C H A R I S T
We must not avoid partaking regularly of the Holy
essential Sanctification of the Heavenly Mysteries as
Mystery of Eucharist because we deem ourselves to
being available only to Saints, and not us sinners!
be sinful.
We must realise that by granting us Divine Grace, the
On the contrary, we must approach the Holy Chalice
Holy Mystery of Eucharist makes us Pure and Holy.
more often for the Healing and Cleansing of our
Furthermore, those who receive Holy Communion less
immortal soul and the Purification of our spirit.
often manifest more arrogance and pride than
We must attend the Divine Liturgy from the beginning,
Humility and Obedience for when they do receive,
and partake of the Holy Eucharist, having prepared
they think of themselves as being worthy.
ourselves with all due Humility and Faith, always
It is much better if, in True Humility of heart and soul,
considering ourselves unworthy and thus in need of
knowing that we are never worthy of the Holy
Spiritual Healing so that we constantly desire ever
Mysteries, we would receive them at every Divine
more the Divine Medicine for our Spiritual Wounds.
Liturgy, for the Healing of our physical and Spiritual
To do otherwise is disrespectful to God and to our
Diseases, rather than, being blinded by our pride,
immortal soul and to receive Communion only
think that after one year, receiving once or twice
once or twice a year, shows a disregard or lack of
yearly, we have now become worthy of receiving the
understanding of the importance and Purpose of
Life-giving Body and Blood of our Lord and Saviour,
Jesus Christ!
this Holy Mystery especially if we consider the
ST PAISIOS THE NEW OF MOUNT ATHOS ON FASHIONABLE SIN
--- Geronda, did you tell anyone that theres going to be a
For them not to sin is considered an insult and to sin is
war? Thats what we heard. Is it true?
considered progress.
And this is the worst thing of all that could happen.
S T P A I S I O S : I have not said anything of the sort, but
people come up with things. Even if I knew
If today, all those who live in sin would only
something, to whom would I say it?
acknowledge their condition, God would have
---Geronda, war is such a barbarous thing.
Mercy on them.
S T P A I S I O S : If people did not have the courtesy of sin
Instead, they justify the unjustifiable and they glorify
they would not have reached this barbarous state.
sin.
Even more barbarous is this moral degradation.
This is the greatest blasphemy against the Holy Spirit:
Peoples bodies and souls are falling apart.
they take sin to be progress and morality the status
Someone told me: They call Athens a jungle but no
quo.
one is leaving the city. Everyone calls it a jungle
For this reason, the Wages of those who Struggle in the
and yet everyone still gathers there.
world and maintain a Pure Life in Christ are truly
Human beings have come down to the level of animals.
...great... and ...of great worth.
You know what animals do when they enter the stable;
In the old days, those who were perverts or addicts,
they defecate and urinate Then, as the manure
would be far too deeply ashamed to appear in
ferments, they feel warm and dont feel like getting
public because people would scorn them, and any
themselves out of there.
women who had strayed - even a little - would not
The same happens with human beings; they feel the
dare to leave the house in case of public scandal
comfort of sin and dont have the heart to leave.
and outrage.
They smell the stench, but they stay anyway.
And in a way, that was a sort of restraint.
You see, when others enter the stinking stable they
These days, however, it is the opposite, for if anyone is
would be unable to tolerate the stench; but those
decent and upright, or young people strive to live
who have become used to it are not bothered.
piously in Christ, others will mock them, try to
Geronda, some people say that its not only today that
embarrass them and point accusing fingers,
people are sinning; this has been going on ever
saying: Look how they live!
since ancient Rome.
Back then, when lay people sinned, poor souls, they
S T P A I S I O S : Yes, but the Romans were idolaters.
were only too aware of their sinfulness, and they
And when the Apostle Paul wrote to the Romans, he
bowed their head in shame, but none would ever
was writing to Baptized idolaters who had returned
have mocked anyone who lived a Spiritual Life.
to their bad habits.
On the contrary, they openly admired, and praised
We should not take as example a decadent era.
them, and some may have even tried to imitate
Today, they have taken sin and made it fashionable.
them.
Look at us - an Orthodox Nation - and yet we are in
Today, so tragically, people have no sense of guilt,
such a depraved state!
no desire to Repent, and no respect for themselves
Imagine how other Nations must be!
nor for others.
And the worst thing is that today, that the sin has
All standards have been levelled.
become so fashionable!
And unrepentant, condemned sinners make fun of
If people see others who do not go with the flow, who
those who try so hard to avoid a worldly lifestyle.
avoid sin and who are pious, they consider them
as being old-fashioned and backward.
ON MODESTY - ST JOHN CHRYSOSTOM

You carry your snare everywhere and spread your nets


in all places.
You allege that you never invited others to sin.
You did not, indeed, by your words, but you have done
so by your dress and your deportment, and much
more effectively than you could, by your voice.
When you have made others sin in their heart, how can
you be innocent?
Tell me, whom does this world condemn?
Whom do judges in court punish?

18.

THE DORMITION

OF OUR

Those who drink poison or those who prepare it and


administer the fatal potion?
You have prepared the abominable cup!
You have given the death-dealing drink, and you are
more criminal than are those who poison the body!
You murder not the body, but the soul!
And it is not to enemies that you do this, nor are you
urged on by any imaginary necessity, nor provoked
by injury, but out of foolish vanity and pride!

ALL PURE, EVER BLESSED

LADY THEOTOKOS

15 AUGUST 2016

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa


Archdiocese of Good Hope
All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and
forever, and unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most
Blessed and Glorious Lady, Maria, Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together with all the Saints. And let
us commit ourselves and one another and our whole Life to Christ our God. Amen.

Afterfeast of the Dormition


16 August 2016
The Holy Mandylion Not Made By Hands
Also the Feast of St Diomedes the Physicians of Tarsos, Cilicia St Gerasimos,
Wonderworker & Ascetic of Cephalonia St Apostolos, New Martyr St Cherimon of
Egypt St Anthony of Martkofeli, Georgia, St Christopher of Guria, Georgia, St Isaac &
St Joseph of Karnu, Georgia St Joachim of Osogovo St Roman & St Raphael of
Banat St Eustathios of Serbia St Nikodemos, Hieromartyr, of Meteora Monastery St
Stramatios the New Martyr of Volos St Constantine Brancoveanu, Holy Prince & his 4
sons: St Constantine the Younger, St Stephen, St Radu & St Matthew, & St Ianache
Vacarescu, Loyal Counsellor, Holy Martyrs of Romania
FESTAL APOLYTIKION - TRANSLATION OF THE HOLY MANDYLION NOT MADE BY HANDS - TONE 2

Tin

ahranton Ikona Sou proskinoumen Agathe, etoumeni


sighorisin ton ptesmaton imon, Hriste O Theos. Voulisi
gar iidokisas Sarki, anelthin en to Stavro, ina risi ous
eplasas ek tis doulias tou ehthrou. Othen Efharistos
voomen Si. Haras eplirosas ta panta O Sotir imon,
paragenomenos is to Sose ton kosmon.
FESTAL APOLYTIKION

We venerate Thy Most Pure Image, O Good One, and ask


Forgiveness of our transgression, O Christ God. Of
Thine own Will Thou were pleased to ascend the Cross
in the Flesh to Deliver Thy creatures from bondage to
the enemy. Therefore, with Thanksgiving, we cry aloud
to Thee: Thou hast filled all with Joy, O our Saviour, by
coming to Save the world!

-THE EVER BLESSED

En

ti Gennisi tin Parthenian efilaxas. En ti Kimisi ton


kosmon ou katelipes Theotoke. Metestis pros tin Zoin,
Mitir iparhousa tis Zois.
Ke tes Presvies tes ses
litromeni, ek Thanatou tas psihas imon.

SEASONAL KONTAKION -

In

EVER VIRGIN

THEOTOKOS

giving Birth, O Theotokos, Thou has retained Thy


Virginity, and in Falling Asleep, Thou has not forsaken
the world. Thou who art the Mother of Life has passed
over into Life, and by Thy Prayers Thou delivers our
souls from Death. Wherefore, by Thine Intercessions,
deliver our souls from Death

DORMITION OF THE EVER BLESSED THEOTOKOS

Tin

en Presvies akimiton Theotokon, ke prostasies


ametatheton Elpida, Tafos ke nekrosis ouk ekratisen; os
gar Zois Mitera, pros tin Zoin metestisen, O Mitran
ikisas Aiparthenon.

The Theotokos who is incessant in her Intercessions, and


immovable Hope in her Protection, Tomb and the state
of Death could not hold; for being the Mother of Life,
to the Life He carried, He Who dwelt in a Womb Ever
Virgin.

FESTAL PROKEIMENON PSALM 68 TONE 4

Turn not Thy Sight away from Thy servant.


The Salvation of Thy Countenance, O God, has helped me.
THE FIRST EPISTLE

OF

ST PAUL

TO

ST

TIMOTHY 4: 13 - 4: 5

My Child, Timothy: those who have used the Office of Deacon well, purchase for themselves a Good Degree, and Great
Boldness in the Faith, which is in Christ Jesus.
These things I write to Thee, hoping to come to Thee soon. If I tarry long, Thou know how Thou ought to behave in the
House of God, which is the Church of the Living God, the Pillar and Foundation of Truth, and Confess how Great is
the Mystery of Godliness:
God was Manifested in the Flesh, Justified in the Spirit, seen by Angels, Preached among Gentiles, Believed in the
world, Ascended in Glory.
The Spirit expressly says that in the latter times, some will depart from the Faith, heeding deceiving spirits and
doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding
marriage, and commanding abstention for food that God created to be received with Thanksgiving by those who
believe and know the Truth. For every creature of God is Good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with
Thanksgiving, for it is Sanctified by the Word of God and Prayer.
THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING

TO

ST LUKE 9:51-57 & 10:22-24 &13: 22

At that time, when the time had come for (our Lord Jesus) to be received up, He steadfastly set His Sight to go to
Jerusalem. And He sent messengers before His Presence. And as they went, they entered a village of the
Samaritans, to prepare for Him. And they did not receive Him, for His Sight was set on the journey to Jerusalem.
Seeing this, His Disciples, James and John said: Lord, dost Thou want us to command Fire to come down from Heaven,
and consume them, just as Elias did? Turning to them, He rebuked them, and said: You do not know what
manner of spirit you are! For the Son of Man did not come to destroy mankinds life but to Save it!
And they went to another village...
As they went on their way, He said to those who followed Him: ... all things have been delivered to me by My Father.
And no one knows Who the Son is, except the Father, and Who the Father is, except the Son, and the one to
whom the Son Wills to reveal Him.
And, turning to His Disciples in private, He said: Blessed are the eyes that behold the Things that you see; for I tell
you that many Prophets and Kings have desired to see what you see, and have not seen; and to hear what you
have heard, and have not heard!
And He went through the cities and the villages, teaching, and journeying towards Jerusalem.

THE HOLY MANDYLION

OF

CHRIST NOT MADE

BY

HANDS TRANSLATION DORMITION AFTERFEAST 16 AUGUST 2016

19

THE MIRACLE WORKING HOLY MANDYLION NOT MADE BY HAND

The Transfer from Edessa to Constantinople of the Holy


Mandylion Icon of our Lord Jesus Christ Not-Made-byHands occurred in 944.
In his History of the Church
Eusebios, the famous
ancient historian, wrote that during the time that our
Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, was Teaching and
Healing the masses, the ruler of Edessa, King Abgar,
was stricken by severe leprosy.
Reports of the Great Divine Miracles and Teachings of our
Lord had spread throughout Syria and had obviously
reached even the court of King Abgar.
Without having seen our Saviour, King Abgar firmly
believed in Him as the True Son of God, and he wrote
our Lord a letter requesting Him to travel to Edessa so
that He could Heal him of his dreadful disease.
The letter was carried to Palestine by King Edessas
personal
portrait-painter,
Ananias,
who
was
commissioned to paint a portrait of the Divine
Messiah.
Although Eusebios did not mention the Holy Mandylion
directly, he did include the letters that were
exchanged between Christ our Lord and King Abgar,
which have been preserved through our Holy
Tradition and which are included in the Menaion:
Abgar, Ruler of the City of Edessa, to Jesus Saviour, the
Good Physician, Who has Appeared in Jerusalem:
Greetings!
I have heard about Thee, and about Thy Cures, which
are done by Thee without medicine. For example,
Thou make the blind to see again, the lame to walk
and Thou Cleanse lepers.
Thou drive out unclean spirit and Thou healest those
who have been tormented by disease over long
periods.
Having heard all this of Thee, I had one of two ideas:
either that Thou art Truly the Son of God Who dost
these things, or that Thou art God Himself.
So then I write to Thee, and ask Thee to come to me to
cure the affliction I have, and then to be with me, for I
have also heard that the Judean murmur against
Thee, and wish to do Thee ill.
My city is very small, but distinguished and adequate for
both of us to live here in Peace.
[Seven seals with Hebrew letters, which when translated
meant Icon of God Divine Wonder - in Greek the
words: Theou Thia Theion Thavma)
When Ananias arrived in Jerusalem he saw our Lord
surrounded by great throngs of people who were
eager to hear His Words and witness His Works, so he
was unable to present himself to Him.
He eventually found a high rock upon which he stood,
trying to sketch a portrait of Christ from afar but this
proved unsuccessful.
However, our Lord saw him, and He called him by name.
He subsequently gave the artist a short letter
addressed to King Abgar, praising his Faith and
promising to send one of His Apostles to Heal him of
his leprosy, and to Guide him to Eternal Salvation:
Blessed art Thou, Abgar, who hast believed in Me,
although Thou hast not seen Me.
For it is written of Me that those who have seen Me do
not believe in Me, so that those who have not seen
me may believe and Live.
As to what Thou wrote concerning My coming to Thee, it
is necessary that I accomplish all that I was sent to
do, and, after I have accomplished it, to be taken up
to the Father Who sent Me.
And when I have been taken up, I will send you one of
My Disciples, named Thaddeos, who will Heal your
disease, and grant Thee, and those with Thee,
Eternal Life and Peace, and he will make Thy City
such that no enemy can prevail against it...
Then our Lord asked that water and a cloth be brought to
Him, and He washed His Face, drying it with the cloth,
whereupon His Divine Countenance was imprinted
upon it.
Ananias received the Holy Mandylion and the letter from
our Lord Jesus Christ and returned to Edessa.
Upon receipt of the Holy Mandylion with its Mystical
Image Not Made By Hand, King Abgar most
reverently
pressed It
to his face and
immediately received partial healing of his

20.

THE HOLY MANDYLION

OF

CHRIST NOT MADE

BY

disfiguring leprosy, while a small trace of the terrible


affliction remained until later when St Thaddeos
indeed arrived at Edessa to fulfil the Divine Promise of
our Saviour, after Pentecost and the Descent of the
Holy Spirit.
The Holy Apostle of Christ also preached the Holy
Gospel of our Lord, teaching the King and the citizens
of Edessa everything that our Lord had taught us and
showed us, before he Baptized King Abgar, his entire
household and all the people of Edessa.
King Abgar had the Holy Napkin/Mandylion preserved
carefully in a gold frame adorned with pearls, and
placed it in a niche over the city gates.
On the gateway above the Holy Icon were inscribed the
words, "O Christ God, let no one who hopes on Thee
be put to shame."
For many years the citizens and pious visitors of Edessa
would reverently bow down before the Holy Icon of
Christ our Lord, Not-Made-by-Hands, whenever they
entered or exited the city gates.
However, one of the great-grandsons of Abgar, who later
ruled Edessa, fell into idolatry, so he planned to
removed the Holy Icon from the city wall, whereupon,
by means of a Holy Vision, our Lord Jesus Christ
warned the Bishop of Edessa and advised him to hide
the Holy Icon.
Immediately the Bishop, accompanied by his clergy,
went in secret, under the cover of darkness to the
Icon, where they lit an oil lamp before it, and then
sealed up the niche with a board and bricks, so that
the wicked Idolater was foiled in his evil plot.
Many years passed, and the people forgot about the Holy
Icon that had welcomed and protected the citizens of
Edessa for so long.
In 545, the Persian Emperor, Chozroes I, besieged Edessa
which seemed to be hopeless and doomed to
destruction, until our Most Holy Lady, Theotokos
appeared in a Holy Vision before Bishop Evlabios, and
instructed him to locate and remove the Holy Icon of
Christ from its sealed niche, thereby saving the city
from the Persian invasion.
He hastened to the gateway with his clerics and
workmen, and having opened the hidden niche, they
beheld not only the Holy Icon Not-Made-by-Hands
but the oil lamp still burning brightly before It!
Furthermore, imprinted upon the wooden board that had
first closed up the niche before the brickwork was
done, was an exact replica of the Holy Icon of our
Lord Jesus Christ!
The Persians had built a huge fire outside the city wall,
and when Bishop Evlabios approached carrying the
Holy Icon Not Made By Hands, a violent Wind blew the
roaring flames upon the invaders who were forced to
flee in terror and defeat!
In 630 Arabian forces seized Edessa, but they did not
hinder the Veneration of the Holy Mandylion, the
fame of which had spread throughout all the East.
In 944, Emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitos (912-959)
wanted to transfer the Miracle Working Holy Icon to
Constantinople, so he paid a ransom for It to the Emir
of Edessa.
With great reverence, the Holy Icon of our Saviour NotMade-by-Hands and the letter which He had written
to King Abgar, were carried to Constantinople by a
solemn procession of pious Clergy.
On 16 August the Miracle Working Holy Icon of our Lord
Jesus Christ was placed in the [Pharos] Church
dedicated to our Ever Blessed Lady, the Most Holy
Theotokos.
There are several different accounts concerning what
happened later to the Holy Icon Not-Made-by-Hands.
According to one, the vandalising, rampaging, evil
Crusaders stole it from Constantinople (1204-1261), but
the ship on which they sailed, perished in the waters
of the Sea of Marmora, while another relates that it
was transported circa 1362 to Genoa, where it is
preserved in a Monastery in honour of the Apostle St
Bartholomew.
Several exact imprints occurred over time, thus there may
well have been others, which were treated with
equal reverence and honour.

HANDS TRANSLATION DORMITION AFTERFEAST 16 AUGUST 2016

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa


Archdiocese of Good Hope
All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and
forever, and unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most
Blessed and Glorious Lady, Maria, Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together with all the Saints. And let
us commit ourselves and one another and our whole Life to Christ our God. Amen.

Tone (8) Plagal 4


21 August 2016
Afterfeast of the Dormition of our Lady, Theotokos
9th Sunday After Pentecost
9th Sunday of St Matthew Walking on Water
Also the Feast of ST THADDEUS OF THE 70 APOSTLES -St Vassis, St Theognis, St Agapios & St
Pistos of Edessa-St Abramios & St Ephraim, Wonderworking Archimandrites
of
Smolensk St Abramios, Lover of Labour, Kiev Near Caves Monastery St Sarmean of
Kartli, Georgia St Symeon, New Martyr of Samakov St Raphael of Serbia St
Cornelios of Paleostrov & Olonets St Raphael of Sisatovac
MATINS RESURRECTION GOSPEL 9 JOHN 20 : 19 - 31
RESURRECTION APOLYTIKION TONE (8) PLAGAL 4

Ex ipsous katilthes O Efsplaghnos, tafin katedexo triimeron, Thou

descended from on High, O Tender-hearted One;


Thou endured the three-days burial, so that Thou
might free us from our passions, O our Life and
Resurrection: Glory to Thee!

ina imas elevtherosis ton Pathon. I Zoi ke i Anastasis


imon, Kyrie, Doxa Si!
FESTAL APOLYTIKION

-THE EVER BLESSED

En

ti Gennisi tin Parthenian efilaxas. En ti Kimisi ton


kosmon ou katelipes Theotoke. Metestis pros tin Zoin,
Mitir iparhousa tis Zois.
Ke tes Presvies tes ses
litromeni, ek Thanatou tas psihas imon.

SEASONAL KONTAKION -

In

EVER VIRGIN

THEOTOKOS

giving Birth, O Theotokos, Thou has retained Thy


Virginity, and in Falling Asleep, Thou has not forsaken
the world. Thou who art the Mother of Life has passed
over into Life, and by Thy Prayers Thou delivers our
souls from Death. Wherefore, by Thine Intercessions,
Deliver our souls from Death

DORMITION OF THE EVER BLESSED THEOTOKOS

Tin

en Presvies akimiton Theotokon, ke prostasies


ametatheton Elpida, Tafos ke nekrosis ouk ekratisen; os
gar Zois Mitera, pros tin Zoin metestisen, O Mitran
ikisas Aiparthenon.
RESURRECTION PROKEIMENON

The Theotokos who is incessant in her Intercessions, and


immovable Hope in her Protection, Tomb and the state
of Death could not hold; for being the Mother of Life,
to the Life He carried, He Who dwelt in a Womb Ever
Virgin.

- PSALM 75

- TONE (8) PLAGAL 4

Vow, and pray unto the Lord your God!


God is known in Judea in Israel His Name is Great!
FIRST EPISTLE

OF

ST PAUL

TO THE

CORINTHIANS 3 : 9 17

Brethren: We are Gods Fellow Workers you are Gods field you are Gods building. According to the Grace of God,
which was granted to me, as a Wise Architect, I have laid the Foundation, and no other builds on it.
Let each one take heed how he builds on it! For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is
Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on this Foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each ones
work will become clear. For the Day will declare it as it will be revealed by Fire. And the Fire will test each ones
work, of what sort it is. If anyones work, which he has built on, endures, he will receive a Reward. If anyones work
is burnt, he will suffer loss, yet he himself will be Saved, as though through Fire.
Do you not know that you are the Temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells within you? If anyone defiles the
Temple of God, God will destroy him. For the Temple of God is Holy, which Temple you are!
Fellow workers (synergoi) refers to the Biblical concept
AS LIVING HOLY TEMPLES OF GOD, IT IS IMPERATIVE TO TREAT OUR
of synergism, shown here by the way THE HOLY
BODY AND THE BODY OF OTHERS WITH ABSOLUTE RESPECT AS
APOSTLES OF CHRIST WORKED TOGETHER WITH GOD BY
A SACRED SANCTIFIED - VESSEL OF GOD.
CARRYING OUT AND FULFILLING HIS DIVINE MINISTRY ON
THE HUMAN BODY is to be honoured and nurtured carefully
EARTH.
FOR IT ACTUALLY BELONGS TO GOD Who has lent it to us in
So, too, as Gods fellow workers do WE CO-OPERATE WITH
order TO ACCOMMODATE OUR IMMORTAL SOUL.
HIM TO FULFIL HIS DIVINE WILL FOR THE BENEFIT OF OUR
We are created with BODY AND SOUL and since the body is
ETERNAL SALVATION.
complicated while the soul is very simple the two
THIS HOLY SYNERGY OR CO-OPERATION WITH GOD DOES NOT MEAN
WORK TOGETHER TO ACHIEVE GOOD PHYSICAL AND SPIRITUAL
THAT WE ARE CO-EQUALS WITH ALMIGHTY GOD. Neither is it
PROGRESS in this lifespan - and especially for later - for
a 50-50 arrangement.
Eternity.
Holy Synergy means that GOD IS OUR LORD AND WE ARE HIS
OUR IMMORTAL SOUL IS BREATHED INTO EACH OF US BY GOD THE
FAITHFUL SERVANTS who are CALLED BY HIM TO PARTICIPATE
LIFE-GIVING HOLY SPIRIT SO IT IS NATURAL TO YEARN FOR GOD
WITH HUMILITY AND OBEDIENCE IN HIS HOLY WORK.
AND ALL HIS GOODNESS AND TO KNOW GOOD FROM EVIL.
St Paul reminds us that OUR PHYSICAL BODY IS A HOLY TEMPLE
AT THE SEPARATION OF BODY AND SOUL, THE TWO ELEMENTS ARE
OF GOD and when we are IN A STATE OF SPIRITUAL LIFE,
RETURNED TO THEIR ORIGINAL PLACES the body to the
THE HOLY SPIRIT INDEED, THE HOLY TRINITY DWELLS WITHIN
earth and the soul to Eternity resting until the
US AND ACTS FROM WITHIN US.
General Resurrection and our Final Judgement when
OUR ENTIRE LIFE IS SPENT SANCTIFYING OUR BODY AND SOUL
we will receive either Eternal Life or Eternal Death
through the partaking of the Holy Mysteries of God.
(Eternal Exile and Alienation from God and all His
Therefore, OUR BODY IS AS HOLY AND SACRED AS OUR IMMORTAL
Goodness.)
SOUL.
9TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST - 9TH

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21

THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST MATTHEW 14 : 22 34


WALKING ON WATER

At that time, our Lord Jesus made His Disciples get into the boat, and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the
multitudes away. And when He had sent them away, He went up the mountain by Himself to pray. When evening
came, He was alone there.
The boat was then in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves. The wind was contrary. In the Fourth Watch of the
night Jesus went to them walking on the sea. And when His Disciples saw Him walking on the water, they were
troubled, and said: It is a phantom! And they cried out in Fear.
Immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying: Be of good cheer! It is I do not fear! Peter answered Him, saying: Lord, if
it is Thee, command me to come to Thee on the water. He said: Come! And when Peter got down out of the boat,
he walked upon the water and went towards Jesus.
Seeing the strength of the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink, he cried out: Lord! Save me! Immediately Jesus
stretched out His Hand and caught him, and He said to him: O thee of little Faith! Why did thou doubt?
And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. Those who were in the boat went and worshipped Him, saying:
Truly! Thou art the Son of God!
And when they had crossed over, they arrived at the land of Gennesaret.
Having fed and Healed the bodies and souls of the 5000
TO HAVE MERCY ON US OR OUR WEAK HUMAN CONDITION, HE
FAMILIES who had followed our Lord Jesus Christ and
IMMEDIATELY RESPONDS.
His Disciples into the wilderness, Christ first dismissed
NOT ONE WORD OF OUR PRAYERS GO UNHEARD BY GOD but WE
His Disciples and then the great multitude before
MUST ACCEPT WITH ALL DUE HUMILITY AND OBEDIENCE THAT
going up the mountain in total isolation to
EVERYTHING IS ACCORDING TO THE WILL OF GOD AND
communicate through Prayer with God His Father.
ACCORDING TO HIS DIVINE, UNIQUE PLAN OR PURPOSE FOR
Several hours later, when the Disciples were in the
EACH US!
middle of the Lake ... In the Fourth Watch of the
ONLY GOD HAS DOMINION OVER ALL CREATION.
night... - OUR LORD WENT TO THEM BY WALKING ON THE
Consequently THESE DIVINE MIRACLES CERTAINLY CONFIRM THE
WATER something that was quite natural for Him but
DIVINITY OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST.
terrifying to behold for His Disciples who immediately
The imagery of CHRIST AND HIS DISCIPLES IN A BOAT ON THE
STORM-TOSSED WAVES DEPICTS HIS HOLY CHURCH, WHICH IS
perceived Him to be a ghost or phantom.
WITH HIS WORDS OF COMFORT, HE CALMED THEM down but ST
STEERED BY GOD AND FILLED WITH HIS FAITHFUL DISCIPLES,
PETER, as impulsive as usual, ASKED OUR LORD JESUS TO
AND CARRIED SAFELY OVER THE TURMOIL AND TROUBLES OF
PROVE IT IS INDEED HIM BY MAKING IT POSSIBLE FOR HIM TO
EARTHLY LIFE, TOWARDS THE SAFETY OF HIS ETERNAL HARBOUR
ALSO WALK UPON THE WATER.
HIS HEAVENLY KINGDOM.
WITH ONE DIVINE WORD: COME! CHRIST ALLOWS ST PETER TO DO
GOD PERMITS US TO EXPERIENCE THE STORMY, LIFE-THREATENING
THE NORMALLY IMPOSSIBLE to walk on water and AS
CONDITION OF EARTHLY LIFE SO THAT WE MAY ALSO
LONG AS ST PETER IS FOCUSSED ON OUR LORD, HE WAS INDEED
UNDERSTAND AND APPRECIATE HIS DIVINE PROVIDENCE AND
ABLE TO DO SO!
PROTECTION, WITHOUT WHICH WE WOULD NEVER BE ABLE TO
Our Holy Church Fathers believe that ST PETERS INITIAL
SURVIVE OR PROGRESS.
STRENGTH OF FAITH ALLOWED HIM TO WALK ON THE WATER.
When Christ rebukes the stormy conditions that threaten
life and limb, it also illustrate His Compassion for His
Furthermore, ST PETER DID NOT ASK CHRIST TO MAKE HIM WALK
ON WATER, BUT RATHER TO BE WITH HIM FOR HIS YEARNING WAS
most beloved creatures mankind for HE ALONE CAN
not to perform any Miracle but rather TO BE JOYFULLY
ALSO CALM THE STORMY, THREATENING TEMPESTS OF OUR
REUNITED WITH CHRIST.
IMMORTAL SOUL.
Thus ST PETER WAS ABLE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE DIVINE MIRACLE
This is the second time that our Lord permitted His
OF CHRIST AS LONG AS HE FOCUSED EXCLUSIVELY ON HIM.
Disciples to be caught in a storm at sea.
However, THE INSTANT ST PETER TOOK HIS ATTENTION OFF
During the first terrifying storm at sea, He was with them
CHRIST AND FOCUSED ON THE SURROUNDING CONDITIONS, HE
but in this instance, they were on their own.
In this manner, CHRIST STRENGTHENED THEIR FAITH IN HIS
LOST FAITH AND BEGAN TO SINK.
Lord! Save me! IS THE MOST POWERFUL PRAYER that has
ETERNAL PRESENCE HE IS ALWAYS WITH US even in the
been repeated countless times throughout the
midst of the worst conditions and circumstances of our
centuries.
earthly life.
The Greek term for doubt in this context means to
It is I (Am) I Am IS THE DIVINE NAME OF GOD. Thereby
waver or to hesitate.
our Lord Jesus Christ reassured His Disciples of His
Absolute and Divine Authority over life especially
Thus, THE ACTUAL CAUSE OF ST PETERS SINKING WAS not due to
their lives, as His Faithful Disciples.
the stormy conditions, but rather DUE TO HIS SUDDEN
DOUBT, WAVERING OR HESITATION, which then caused
THIS WAS THE FIRST TIME THAT HIS DISCIPLES CONFESS OUR LORD
Christ to rebuke St Peter rather than the wind and
AS SON OF GOD and knowing that ONLY GOD CAN BE
waves.
WORSHIPPED, they confess His Divinity by Worshipping
And immediately Jesus stretched out His Hand and
and Glorifying Him.
caught him... Whenever WE BESEECH GOD TO SAVE US OR
9TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST 9TH SUNDAY OF ST MATTHEW WALKING ON WATER
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the In order to describe this Relationship of Cooperation, St
Paul used the word synergoi, - synergy, when he
Holy Spirit...
said ...we are Gods fellow workers.
Dearly Beloved: we often think of Gods Will as some
This Holy Relationship with God is no 50/50 Relationship:
overarching Plan for our life.
for we are certainly NOT equals with God.
We tend to focus on the big picture and forget that Gods
We cooperate with Gods Work in us through our
Will for us is revealed every day - discerned through
Humility and Obedience to His Teachings, to His
our daily - if not moment by moment - Relationship
Church, to His Hierarchy, so that we can be properly
and participation in the Life of the Holy Trinity
and safely Shepherded Spiritually Guided and
through His Holy Church.
Protected - thereby increasing our Christ-likeness
We can forget - or willingly choose to forget - that ...Thy
and changing ourselves so as to conform to Divine
Will be done... goes hand in hand with ...give us
Will.
this day our Daily (Super-Substantial) Bread...
Obviously, this is a Great Challenge to all of us, but it is
feeding being Spiritually Nourished and Sustained
most necessary if we are to Live in Christ to regain
- on Christ through His Holy Mysteries.
our lost Likeness to God - and to become Deified.
It is necessary for those of us who Love God - those who
The Purpose of our Ordained Priests being the
desire Salvation - to suspend our own opinions and
Spiritual Fathers of all Communing members of the
preferences in order to learn Gods Way, to continue
Church is to give us their opinions concerning our
to Struggle, and thereby, to acquire the Likeness of
Lord Jesus Christ, His Holy Church, nor the Orthodox
Christ.
Faith.
In this way alone, we are able to learn to participate
Rather, they must strive to Love everyone as Christ Loves
more and more in the Life that He is.
all mankind, to teach us, to preach to us, and to

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adjure (implore) us to urge and encourage us - as


our Holy Fathers in Christ to follow the Divine Path
entrusted to us by our Lord Jesus Christ.
God Loves us too much to leave us to our own devices!
Instead, He provides us with His Ordained Spiritual
Fathers and Teachers who are held accountable in
His Holy Church, to Guide us, to Encourage us, to
Enlighten us and to correct us whenever necessary
and we must accept and honour their Divine
Calling and Mission.
The Tenets of Orthodoxy can be learnt from books but
the Heart of Orthodox Christianity is only acquired
through our personal Humility and Obedience,
which makes it possible for our Cooperation with the
Power and Energy of the Holy Spirit that enables us
to fulfil our Sacred Duties and to acquire Divine
Love.
As St Paul reminds us: ...no other foundation can
anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus
Christ.
Our Orthodox Priests build onto us, for they are Called
by God and are held wholly accountable to Him and
to their Bishops, to give us the Fullness of the Divine
Truth of Christ, even if we struggle with it or, God
forbid! reject it.
They encourage and urge us to attend Vespers, Matins,
Divine Liturgy, to regularly partake of the Holy
Mystery of Repentance-Confession, to prepare
ourselves properly so as to receive the Holy
Eucharist for the forgiveness of our sins, and to pray
daily all for our Eternal Salvation and to put
Christ first, and witness to the Truth of His Reality, to
stand in the Presence of God attired outwardly and
inwardly with Humility and Modesty, thereby
imitating the Saints who surround us in the Holy
Temples of God.
Although all these essential admonitions can be
challenging, they are Spiritually Beneficial and
serve many different purposes for our Eternal
Salvation.
The Priests our Spiritual Fathers - are responsible for
how they build on what they have received from
God, and the extent to which they are willing to
cooperate with the Divine Work of God the Holy Spirit
in their Life through His Holy Church, which has
been granted to them to nurture, to guide, to protect,
to grow and to work out the Eternal Salvation of us
all.
Spiritual Healing, Growth, and Salvation in Christ,
requires a dynamic, active, ongoing Relationship
and Communion with our Living GodWho is Eternal
Life.
And so, knowing and fully understanding what is at
stake, we Live with Eternity before us.
As Faithful Disciples of Christ, we must all prioritize the
Kingdom of God over everything that is temporal
and perishable so that we may become worthy
Inheritors of that Eternal, Heavenly Kingdom, and also
help others to find their Way to Eternal Life, through
our own good example and Life of Faith Life in
Christ.
Our eager and willing daily Cooperation with God is
predicated on (affirmed by) our Faith, or, at least, the
desire for Faith.
And Faith is one of those big concepts that often eludes us
or can seem ambiguous.
Faith means letting go of our own weak control, our
own selfish, flawed will and trusting implicitly in
God - even though it is often a difficult Spiritual
Struggle.
Taking a huge leap of Faith can and should make us
uncertain and fearful due to our own lack of ability,
thus we put all our Faith and Trust in God alone!.
The more our pride dominates us, the more we fear the
Spiritual Surgery that God may perform on us so as
to increase our Cooperation with His Work for our
Salvation.
The Holy Apostles and Disciples lived in constant fear
and uncertainty.
They were in constant need of Faith - trust and
assurance - while they accompanied our Lord Jesus
Christ during His Public Mission.
9TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST - 9TH

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They were confronted by one perilous situation after


another,
On the occasion of todays Sacred Lesson, they were
tossed about on the turbulent sea while the huge
waves and the strong wind terrified them with
thoughts of impending shipwreck and drowning.
To add to their anxiety, our Lord Jesus Christ is
suddenly seen walking towards them on the stormtossed waves!
Imagine! Their scattered wits could only presume they
were seeing a phantom, which scared them even
more!
And then, they heard above the noise of the storm,
Christs comforting, reassuring Words: Be of good
cheer! It is I do not fear!
Our Lord Jesus identified Himself by using the Divine
Name of God: I Am!
Who else has such Power and control over the laws and
elements of Creation, except Almighty God alone!
Despite being slightly dubious, St Peter as impulsive
as ever called out: Lord, if it is Thee, command me
to come to Thee on the water. And with one word,
our Lord encouraged St Peter to climb over the side
of the boat and walk on water!
This was a huge leap of Faith on anyones part! And
St Peter actually did upon the water!
We tend to forget this fact when we read this passage.
For while, St Peter exhibited the Faith necessary to
reach Christ in spite of natural laws that dictate the
opposite!
But the instant St Peter lost his focus on Christwhen
he became conscious of the prevailing conditions
and he broke his concentration he began to sink!
His Faith in our Lords Divine Power wavered, and he
surrendered to his limited human condition, and
sank down into the water!
So it is with us!
If we hope to build on the Foundation with which we
have been entrusted in the Holy Churchthe New
Life in Christ that is our Hope for Eternal Lifeit
demands our unwavering, confident Cooperation of
Faith, our willingness to trust God without any doubt
or hesitation.
Therefore, we must utterly trust His Holy Orthodox
Church, which is the Ship that He has provided to
safely carry us to the safety and comfort His Heavenly
Harbour.
Faith means constant Repentance every time we sin,
so that we can immediately regain our focus and
concentration on our Lord Jesus Christ.
Nevertheless, it is evident from St Peters Experience that
Unwavering Faith especially under difficult
conditions - is not always so easy to maintain!
Challenging circumstances often make it more arduous
to stay focussed on Christ, and when we fail, fear
may overwhelm us and weaken us so that our pride,
our passions, our worldly preoccupations, our selffocus will oppress us and we will Spiritually Sink!
God in His Infinite Love for us, knows everything about us,
and thus has Great Mercy on us, for He grants us the
necessary means of staying focussed on Him
through our Repentance-Confession, and by
cooperating with Him so that we may receive His
Divine Grace that grants us Spiritual Healing,
Growth and Welfare, and Eternal Salvation.
Our most effective and necessary Spiritual Tools are
our Daily Morning and Evening Prayers, the Jesus
Prayer, Calling on the Name of Christ throughout the
day, Fasting, which reminds us to Hunger and Thirst
after God, attending and participating in all the
Divine Services of the Church, reading and
contemplating the Life of the Saints, Holy Scripture,
and partaking of all the essential Holy Mysteries
all of which He offers us and through which He
guides us.
We need to make full use of all these Spiritual Tools!
Being an Orthodox Christian a Disciple of Christ means WE DO NOT AND CANNOT do everything on
our own because it is not a solitary Journey towards
Eternal Life!

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23

We all need to Struggle together encouraging and


helping one another every step of the Way towards
Eternity.
We must always use the Spiritual Tools, which God has
entrusted to us.
We all are accountable to Him, and to a lesser degree, to
one another.
We must be constantly Repentant guiding, urging and
exhorting His Holy Flock to do so as well.
We must continue our Spiritual Struggles in order to
grow Spiritually Stronger and deepen our personal
Relationship and Communion with the Lord our God.
On what Foundation is each of us building?
Are we properly using the precious gold that Christ our
God has granted us?
Our Sacred Journey begins with our free, willing and
loving Cooperation with God - but we are only able
to make any Progress if we possess a teachable and
willing spirit, if we keep on praying for an increase

in our Faith and if we unwaveringly keep our focus


on Christ at all times.
Let us pray that through our growth in Faith, we may fulfil
the difficult Sacred Tasks required of us for our Holy
Cooperation with our Lord God, through sincere and
determined Humility and Obedience, being
compelled by our Love of God and His Holy Church.
By using all the Holy Implements entrusted to us, let us be
among those who build on the solid, unshakable
Foundation of Christ with the purest of gold, and
not as those who are Saved, as through Fire (I
CORINTHIANS. 3:15).
REVEREND FATHER ROBERT MICLEAN
HOLY ARCHANGELS ORTHODOX CHURCH
SUNDAY, AUGUST 25, 2013
HTTPS://WWW.ORTHODOXANNAPOLIS.ORG

THE ETERNAL, INSPIRED WISDOM OF OUR HOLY CHURCH FATHERS


PROLOGUE OF OCHRID ON OBEDIENCE

If he did not want to come down, it would have meant


that his elevation on the pillar was from the spirit of
pride.
But if he obeyed the command and began to descend,
they were to leave him as he was, for his readiness to
obey would show that his Asceticism was from the
Holy Spirit.
When those who had been sent for, had arrived and told
St Symeon that the Council of the Holy Fathers of the
Desert commanded him to descend from the pillar, St
Symeon immediately began to climb down the
ladder.
Seeing his Obedience, they cried out to him, rejoicing:
Do not come down, Holy Father, but remain where
Thou art!. We see now that Thine Asceticism is of God.''

Those who desire to be Saved must be absolutely


Obedient to Spiritual Authority.
Without this Obedience, we can perish even with the
greatest desire for Salvation.
The great Saints, who prescribed Obedience as the
condition for Salvation, also fulfilled the Act of
Obedience to Perfection.
When St Symeon chose the pillar for his Ascesis, it struck
the other Ascetics as some kind of novelty.
Because they did not know if this form of Asceticism was
of the Spirit of God or of the spirit of pride, the Desert
Fathers sent for Spiritual Elders to determine the
answer.
The Monks were to command St Symeon in their name to
come down from the pillar.
ST THEOPHAN

Our Lord Jesus Christ did not only come to preach the
Acceptable Year, but He brought it as well.
Where is it? In the souls of believers.
Earth will never become Paradise under the current
state of affairs; but it is and will be an Arena of
Preparation for the Heavenly Life.
The rudiments of Heavenly Life are placed in our soul.
The possibility of Heavenly Life lies in Gods Grace,
while Grace was brought by our Lord Jesus Christ
Who brought, consequently, the Acceptable Year for
souls.
Those who listen to our Lord and who fulfil all that is
commanded by Him, receive Grace, and with Its
Power enjoy the Acceptable Year within ourselves.
ST MAXIMOS

THE

RECLUSE

This truly occurs in all who sincerely Believe and Act


according to Faith.
We will not fill our soul with this acceptableness by
thinking.
We must act, and It will enter in on its own.
There might not be any Outer Peace, just Inner Peace,
and yet it cannot be separated from Christ.
But it always happens that as soon as Inner Peace is
established, outer disturbances are neither bitter
nor heavy.
Thus, this aspect is also acceptableit only seems like a
cold winter on the outside.

THE

When we are praying to God, we must not represent to


ourselves His Nearness otherwise than that we
breathe every moment in Him, that we are
Enlightened, Sanctified, Rest, are Comforted, and
Strengthened by Him that we live in Him, in
accordance with Holy Scripture: "... For in Him we

CONFESSOR

Live, and move, and have our being: He grants to all


Life, and breath, and all things."
"God [the Word] is with thee, even in thy mouth, and in
thy heart . . . that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth
the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thy heart that
God has raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be
Saved."

ST MARK THE ASCETIC

We who have received Baptism offer Good Works - not by


way of repayment, but to preserve the Purity granted
to us.
ST JOHN

Every Good Work that we perform through our own


natural powers causes us to refrain from the
corresponding sin; but without Divine Grace it
cannot contribute to our Sanctification!

OF

KRONSTADT

When we pray for anything - either to our Lord, or to the


Most Pure Mother of God, or to the Angels and Saints,
asking for their Intercessions before God on our
behalf, or on behalf of others we must consider our
words, expressing our Petitions, our needs, as the very
things, the very matter, for which we beseech our
Lord,
And we must believe that we have already a sure Pledge
of receiving the purpose of our Prayer, in the very
words whereby these are designated.
For instance: when we pray for health for ourselves or for
others, we must look upon the word health as the
ST MAXIMOS

If all the Saints had their share of Discipline, we, too,


so that we may be found worthy to partake of their
chastens every son He accepts. (PROVERBS3:12. LXX).

24.

9TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST - 9TH

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very purpose itself, as the very deed we request,


believing that we have already received it according
to the Great Mercy and Omnipotence of God, for the
purpose itself, the aim of our Prayer, may in an
instant become fulfilled by our Lord, and we will
unfailingly receive that for which we prayed as a
consequence of our unwavering Faith, as our Lord
Jesus Christ assures us: Ask, and it shall be granted
to you... and Whatsoever you desire when you
pray, believe that you shall receive them; and you
shall have them."
THE

CONFESSOR

should thank God that we are disciplined with them,


Glory, ...for whom the Lord Loves He disciplines; He

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Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa


Archdiocese of Good Hope
All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and
forever, and unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most
Blessed and Glorious Lady, Maria, Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together with all the Saints.
And let us commit ourselves and one another and our whole Life to Christ our God. Amen.

Tone 1
28 August 2016
th
10 Sunday After Pentecost
10th of St Matthew - Faith as Small as Mustard Seed
The Feast of St Moses the Ethiopian of Skete, Egypt St Diomidos & St Laurence St
Hezekiah, Righteous King of Judah - St Hannah Prophetess at the Temple of
Jerusalem (who was present at the Meeting/Presentation of Christ our Lord with St
Symeon) - St Job, Wonderworking Abbot of Pochaev Monastery St Susanna,
Queen of Georgia Synaxis of the Saints of the Kiev Caves Monasteries St Savva
of Pskov
MATINS

RESURRECTION GOSPEL 10 - JOHN 21: 1 - 14


RESURRECTION APOLYTIKION TONE 1

Tou

lithou sfragisthentos ipo ton Ioudeon ke stratioton


filassonton to ahranton Sou Soma, Anestis trimeros,
Sotir, Doroumenos to kosmo tin Zoin. Dia touto e
Dinamis ton Ouranon evoon si Zoodota.
Doxa ti
Anastasi Sou, Hriste! Doxa ti Vasilia Sou! Doxa ti
Ikonomia Sou, mone Filanthrope!

While the stone was sealed by the Judeans, and soldiers


stood on guard over Thine Undefiled Body, Thou rose
on the Third Day, O Saviour Who gives Life to the
world. For which cause the Heavenly Powers cried
aloud to Thee: O Giver of Life: Glory to Thy
Resurrection, O Christ! Glory to Thy Kingdom! Glory
to Thy Providence, O Thou Who alone Loves mankind!

SEASONAL KONTAKION NATIVITY

OF

THEOTOKOS

Ioakim ke Anna onidismou ateknias, ke Adam ke Eva ek tis By Thy Holy Nativity, O Most Undefiled One, Joachim and
fthoras tou thanatou ileftherothisan Ahrante, en ti Agia
gennisi Sou. Aftin eortazi ke o laos sou, enohis ton
ptesmaton, litrothis en to krazin si: i stira tikti tin
Theotokon, ke trofon tis zois imon.

Anna were freed from the scorn of childlessness, and


Adam and Eve from Deaths corruption. This is the
Feast now observed by thy people, who from the guilt
of their errors, were delivered as they cry out to thee:
the barren one bear the Theotokos, and our Lifes
Sustainer!

FESTAL PROKEIMENON PSALM 32 TONE 1

Let Thy Mercy, O Lord, be upon us.


Rejoice in the Lord, O you Righteous
FIRST EPISTLE

OF

ST PAUL

TO THE

CORINTHIANS 4 : 9 16

Brethren, God has set forth us, the Apostles, last, as it were appointed to Death, for we are made a spectacle unto the
world, and to Angels, and to men. We are fools for Christs sake, but you are wise in Christ; we are weak, but you
are strong; you are honourable, but we are despised. Even unto this present hour, we both hunger and thirst, and
are naked, and are buffeted, and have no dwelling place. And we labour, working with our own hands. Being
reviled, we Bless; being persecuted, we suffer it; being defamed, we Entreat. We are made as the filth of the world the offscourings of all things unto this day.
I write not these things to shame you, but as my Beloved Children, I warn you. Although you have ten thousand
instructors in Christ, yet have you not many Fathers. In Christ Jesus through the Gospel I have begotten you. I
beseech you, therefore - be imitators of me.
Irony
and sarcasm are bitter medicine, which St Paul used on
They endured all their humiliation and suffering for the
Pure Joy of serving our Lord and Saviour thereby
this occasion with full force.
The three parallel statements: ... we are fools... weak...
reconciling the fallen world to God.
St Paul soothed the pain of his rebuke by reminding the
dishonoured... were heaped upon each other in a
stinging series.
Faithful of his Spiritual Fatherhood to them.
The relative comfort of the Corinthians Christian
The Holy Church of Christ is similar to any other family
with maturing children who need parental guidance.
Community was contrasted with the persecuted,
poverty-stricken and uncertain lifestyle of the Holy
As Struggling Disciples of Christ, we who are the maturing
Apostles of Christ.
children, need our Spiritual Fathers to teach and
They endured all kinds and degrees of humiliation
guide us.
being treated as filth and even like the off-scourings
St Paul urged us as Faithful Disciples of Christ to imitate
yet, instead of retaliating in a similar fashion
him just as he ceaselessly strove to imitate our Lord
striking back in a similar manner at their persecutors
Jesus Christ.
the Holy Apostles and Faithful Disciples of Christ
responded with unconditional, Divine Love Agape!
THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST MATTHEW 17 : 14 23
THE POWER

OF

FAITH

EVEN

AS SMALL AS MUSTARD SEED

At that time, a man went to our Lord Jesus, knelt down before Him and said: Lord, have Mercy on my son, for he is an
epileptic and suffers severely. He often falls into fire and water. So I brought him to Thy Disciples, but they could not
cure him. Jesus answered and said: O faithless and perverse generation! How long shall I be with you? How
long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to me. And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it went out of him. And the
child was Cured at that very hour.

10TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST-10TH

OF

ST MATTHEW- MUSTARD SEED FAITH 28

AUGUST 2016

25

When the Disciples went to Jesus privately and asked Him: Why could we not cast it out? Jesus said to them: Because
of your unbelief.
Truly, I say to you: if you have Faith as (small as) a mustard seed, you will say to that mountain: Move from here to
there, and it will move. And nothing will be impossible for you. However, this kind (of demon) does not go out
except by Prayer and Fasting.
And while they were staying in Galilee, Jesus said to them: The Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of
men. And they will kill Him, and the third day He will be raised up.
Sickness and disease is sometimes associated with
Him
to
Mount
Tabor
and
witnessed
His
demonic activity especially in Old Covenant times.
Transfiguration.
By kneeling before our Lord Jesus, the Father displayed
THIS KIND OF DEMON POSSESSION WAS A REFERENCE TO ALL EVIL
his sincere Humility and desperation, but he also
POWERS OF SPIRITUAL DARKNESS AND DEATH and not
lacked faith.
simply those types of demons that caused certain
Although the Disciples of Christ also suffered from a lack
illnesses.
of faith, our Lord rebuked the Father of the epileptic
THE EXORCISM AND BANISHMENT OF SUCH FEARSOME DEMONS
REQUIRED STRONG, UNWAVERING FAITH, FERVENT PRAYERS AND
boy for trying to blame the Disciples when it was his
even greater lack of Faith that prevented his son from
STRICT FASTING, for THERE IS NO HEALING AND NO VICTORY IN
being Healed.
SPIRITUAL WARFARE WITHOUT ALL THREE SPIRITUAL WEAPONS.
In effect, our Lord Jesus Christ defended His Disciples and
Beginning with the Didache, our Holy Church Fathers
Apostles in front of the multitudes but later, in private,
have taught us that BOTH THE PERSON IN NEED OF HEALING
He reprimanded them for their personal doubts and
AND THE PERSON PERFORMING THE HEALING MUST FIRMLY
lack of trust in God through Whom all things are
BELIEVE, FERVENTLY PRAY AND STRICTLY FAST.
possible after they sought the reason for their failure
While it is not recorded that an Apostle literally moved a
to Exorcise the demon and Heal the boy.
mountain, our Holy Church Fathers are clear that THEY
This is a good Lesson of how to correct the errors of others
HAD SUCH DIVINE AUTHORITY IF THE NEED EVER AROSE and
without humiliating or embarrassing them in front of
certain Saints have been able to cause crevasses to
witnesses.
appear in mountains.
ERRORS ARE TO BE GENTLY BUT FIRMLY CORRECTED and THOSE
Furthermore, NOT EVERYTHING THAT THE HOLY APOSTLES OF
WHO ARE BEING CORRECTED SHOULD ACCEPT IT WITH HUMBLE
CHRIST ACCOMPLISHED WAS WRITTEN DOWN FOR POSTERITY.
GRATITUDE AND OBEDIENCE INSTEAD OF RESENTMENT,
Beyond the literal meaning this Divine Promise is also an
REBELLION OR ANGER.
illustration of the Great Power of True Faith and
Fervent Prayer in all areas of Earthly life.
The Discipline of our Holy Church is based on mutual
correction in three expanding stages. (MATTHEW 18: 15 St Theophylact believed: Whatever we ask, without
20)
hesitation and by believing in Gods Power, we shall
Sin and correction are to remain private unless the
receive... WHEN WE ASK FOR SPIRITUALLY PROFITABLE
offender stubbornly and wilfully refuses to Repent or
THINGS.
correct their errors.
For the second time, our Lord Jesus Christ predicted and
spoke of His forthcoming Death and Resurrection,
ALL CORRECTION MUST BE DONE WITH GREAT CARE AND HUMILITY,
which showed that He went to his passion freely and
WITH THE HIGHEST CONCERN BEING THE SALVATION OF THE
was not taken against His Will.
OFFENDER. (1 CORINTHIANS 5:5 & GALATIANS 6:1)
God Himself chose the day, the year and the hour of His
Nevertheless, CORRECTION IS NECESSARY AND ESSENTIAL SO THAT
Passion so it was not due to anyone elses schemes or
THE SIN DOES NOT SPREAD TO OTHERS AS WELL.
St John Chrysostom pointed out that Christ reprimanded
plots.
nine of His Apostles none of whom had been able to
EVERYTHING IS CONTROLLED AND PERMITTED BY GOD FOR OUR
Exorcise the demon that caused the young boys
SALVATION - or Condemnation depending on what
epilepsy.
course we freely and wilfully choose to take!
The other three Apostles were the Pillars of Faith St
Peter, St James and St John who had accompanied
10TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST 10TH

Glory

OF

ST MATTHEW FAITH

to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy


Spirit...
It is easy to become annoyed by some of the distortions
of Christianity that are so common in our present day
culture. Some preach on television and elsewhere
that truly Faithful Christians will become rich and
have no problems!
Many seem to assume that following our Lord Jesus Christ
is merely a little religious icing on the cake of
worldly comfort - part of an easy way to a happy
Marriage, a model family, perfect health, and
whatever else we may want out of life.
It is as though the Son of God came to make us really
successful by conventional standards!
The irony is that even a quick glance at the Life of our
Saviour, Jesus Christ, his Ever Blessed Mother Mary,
the All Holy Theotokos, or His Holy Apostles such as
St. Paul clearly shows how foolish such ideas are.
None of them lived what any mainstream culture thinks
of as a happy or successful life.
They obviously lived the best and holiest of Life - and
they continue to be the most perfect models for us to
imitate in how to live and to die for they put the
Kingdom of God first and foremost - and refused to
put even their own happiness and desires before
Gods Will and the humble service of others.
They all suffered greatly, but thereby they participated
in Joy and Peace that are not of this world.
The Son of God lowered Himself in the Incarnation,
becoming one of us and even He was rejected by the
leaders of His own people, who broke every law
known to mankind in order to brutally torture and
then crucify Him.

26.

10TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST-10TH

OF

AS

SMALL

AS A

MUSTARD SEED

Our Blessed Lady, Theotokos, Obediently accepted Her


Sacred Role as Unwed Ever Virgin Mother of our
Saviour, and after many years of watching Him grow
into adulthood, listening carefully and fulfilling all He
taught and commanded,
She suffered beyond
measure as She watched Her Beloved Son and Lord
being publicly humiliated and then murdered by
those whom He had come to Save. (And She continues
to weep for our self-inflicted tribulations!)
St Paul and all the other Apostles and Faithful Disciples
of
Christ
endured
innumerable
difficult
circumstances, public beatings, imprisonment, and
ultimately martyrdom for Christ.
They were not wealthy and their Life in Christ did not
follow conventional standards or practises.
They were not in favour with the religious or political
authorities of their countries or regions. To a greater
or lesser degree, they became outsiders and
outcasts.
But it was precisely through their difficult, intense
Struggles and their Faithful Ministries that Salvation
has come to our world and we have inherited the
Blessings of Life Eternal.
We must keep in mind that important Truth when we
hear of the heart-broken father of the epileptic boy
who besought the Great Mercy of our Lord Jesus
Christ for his suffering child.
The desperate father had done everything he possibly
could in order to cure his son but to no avail - and
when he begged our Lords Apostles to Heal him, they
also failed to do so!
As our Lord later, in private, revealed to them, His
Apostles had failed to Heal the epileptic due to their

ST MATTHEW- MUSTARD SEED FAITH 28

AUGUST 2016

own lack of belief, which was evident from their


inadequate attention to Prayer and Fasting.
Consequently, their deficient Spiritual Strength was
unable to overcome the resident demon within the
epileptic son!
It was a stunning wake-up call to them for perhaps they
had thought that following our Lord Jesus Christ
would be an easy path to a privileged life.
After all, most Judeans expected the Great Messiah to be
a powerful King or Military Ruler Who would richly
reward those who served Him!
Due to their hopes and expectations for that kind of Great
Messiah, the Disciples were part of the ...faithless
and perverse generation... who trusted and served
itself, rather than the One True God.
The epileptic son was not Healed because his father was
wealthy, powerful, or popularor because our Lord
Jesus Christ would become an Earthly King.
On the contrary - the father possessed Humility and
Obedience, and had absolute, unwavering Faith in
our Lord, which was demonstrated when he humbly
knelt down before Him and with all his heart and
soul, besought His Divine Mercy.
The father bowed down with sincere Humility and Faith
before Christ - as one who hoped to receive the
Divine Blessings and Mercy of the Most Humble One of
all.
Unfortunately, some members of the Church of Corinth
were neither humble nor obedient as that father.
They were arrogant and filled with pride to such a
degree that St Paul had to set them straight on what
it means to serve our Lord Jesus Christ and to exhort
them to Repent their sinful attitude and lifestyle.
He reminded them and us - that True Apostles of
Christ live ...as men condemned to death... as
fools who are weak, dishonoured, homeless, and
treated as the filth of the world!
Well, we cannot get much lower than that - or much
further away from the deception that Christianity is ...
a means to wealth, success... and what the world
calls happiness!
The words used by St Paul in his Epistles to the
Corinthians, remind us of how our Lord Jesus had
mentioned ...the least of these... identifying
Himself with the hungry, the stranger, the prisoner all those who are regarded as ... the very least...
important of any society.
The application of these reminders and cautions to
ourselves is very clear.
Instead of following todays popular false prophets who
misguide the people into worshipping Mammon money, power, and other forms of self-indulgence as
Struggling Disciples of Christ, we, must follow the
Truth and Teachings of our Lord Himself concerning
the vital centrality of Faith, Prayer, and Fasting.
Instead of believing that success in any earthly
kingdom or culture is the most desirable, we must
entrust ourselves
only to the One Who has
conquered Death.
Instead of being constantly distracted by television, the
internet, video games, work, sports, the demands of a
busy schedule, or other earthly cares and distractions,
we must set aside a specific time every day for quiet
Contemplation, Prayer, and Spiritual Communion
with our Lord.
Instead of satisfying every desire and wallowing in
unrestrained indulgence and consumption, we must
strive to avoid or reject our addictions to pleasure
through appropriate forms of Fasting and Selfdenial - Self-discipline - on a regular basis.
Instead of using our Faith as a way of getting what we
want (selfishness and greed) and to gain the praise of
others, (pride, vainglory and arrogance), we must acquire
the essential Spiritual Foundation of the inseparable
Holy Virtues of Humility and Obedience in order to
Live in Christ as we should.
ST ISAAC

Those who are masters of possessions, are the slaves of


passions.

10TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST-10TH

OF

Only when we stop being self-centred - relying on our


own strengths, virtues, abilities, as well as our failures
and weaknesses will we be able to kneel before
Christ and open ourselves to His Great Mercy and
Healing.
One of the many problems of popular, easy Christianity
is that it makes us Spiritually Weak.
If our idea of Faith is basically about helping ourselves
get whatever we want, then we will only serve
ourselves and become addicted to our egocentric
and selfish, greedy desires!
We will become so enslaved by our flesh, by our love of
money and possessions, by our desire for popularity,
and the endless pursuit of happiness and
satisfaction, that we will be just as powerless as the
...faithless and perverse generation...
We will be defenceless victims and captives of the
forces of evil and corruption that surrounds and
threatens us all the time.
Those who are self-serving and self-pleasing, are
unable and unwilling to acquire Humility and
Obedience to God - and to others.
They become addicted to their own desires and
gratification - unable to control themselves, which
ultimately results in misery, sorrow, despair and
finally, self-destruction!
As Faithful Disciples of Christ, Who came ...not to be
served, but to serve... we must do likewise, thereby
gaining great Spiritual Strength to fulfil the many
challenges of His Holy Ministry by intensive, constant
Prayer and Fasting.
Our All Holy Lady, Theotokos, having grown up in the
great Temple of Jerusalem, maintained these
Spiritual Disciplines throughout Her Life, as did St
Paul and the other Holy Apostles and Faithful
Disciples of Christ throughout the ages.
We are urged, exhorted and encouraged by our Saviour
and His Saints to follow the same Spiritual Discipline
with willing, eager Humility, Obedience and Selfdenial.
Certainly, our Life in Christ is often difficult to fulfil but
that should never discourage or deter us.
After all, when we have suffered certain serious injuries to
our body, we must endure many painful hours, days,
weeks and months of physical rehabilitation in order
to regain our strength and mobility.
The same is true for making progress and maintaining
anything that is worthwhile even concerning our
healthy, harmonious relationships with family, friends
or acquaintances..
Furthermore, if we are in the process of ...dying to
self... so that we may become Holy and receive
Eternal Life in the Heavenly Kingdom of Love,
certainly our Spiritual Struggle is even greater and
more determined!
The Good News is that our Lord Jesus Christ is with us
always ready to help us in that Struggle.
We grow in Faith by taking up our cross and following
Him bearing all our problems, difficult
circumstances and personal weaknesses and
deficiencies patiently, willingly and thankfully by
means of Prayer, Fasting, selfless Service to God
and to our fellow Disciples and sinners, as well as
by fulfilling all the other Holy Commitments and
Disciplines essential to our Life in Christ.
Our True Faith will not should not! - make us rich and
famous, but God provides us with all the means
necessary to acquire Humble, Obedient Faith, that
grants us our Lords Great Mercy, Grace and Love
Priceless Eternal Treasure!
As Faithful Disciples of Christ, we must always remember
that whatever - by worldly standards - appears to be
weakness is actually the Greatest Strength of all!
http://www.pravmir.com
THE

SYRIAN

Do not estimate gold and silver only as possessions, but


all things that you possess are for the sake of the
desire of your will!

ST MATTHEW- MUSTARD SEED FAITH 28

AUGUST 2016

27

ORTHODOX SPIRITUALITY SELF CONTROL & INFINITE

IN

THINGS

Self-Control elevates us so that we may see the Infinite


in things of this world.
"Self-control freely exercised by a Believer is not a
restraint to our Ascent to God, but our departure from
evil things.
The Purpose of Self-control is to keep us from total
submersion in this world."
Between the time of Creation and the present time, there
has been a shift in the proper use of created things.
Originally food was grant for us to eat, but it became
something that was seen as a pleasure for the body.
Our passions transform what was useful for our
Ascendence to God into a chain that binds us to the
earthly world and the passions of our flesh.
...The world of things and of persons is thus meant to
be a Ladder to God - the support in our Ascent to
Him.
But by the passions we take (remove) this brilliant depth this transparence - which reaches the infinite, from
the world...
Instead of freeing mankind in this world, created things
have enslaved us and our passions our desire - for
pleasures have changed their intended purpose.

OF THIS WORLD

ORTHODOX SPIRITUALITY SELF CONTROL

Fasting is Sacred Commitment and a conscious Act of


Glorifying God, and His Creation, as it helps us
overcome our actions that are driven by our passions
and bodily, selfish desires for pleasure.
Fasting is an Act of Self-denial and Discipline that
restrains our egoism and heightens our Spiritual
Appetite.
Fasting demands our will-power and the reestablishment of the domination of the soul over the
body/flesh.
Fasting is regarded by our Church Fathers as the most
important Antidote for greed, gluttony, and all the
other passions of self-gratification and selfindulgence, which are the primary passions we need
to overcome, for once we learn to control the
demands of our flesh, we will then be able to begin
mastering all the other passions that cause
temptation and sin.
...Fasting is the Antidote against this pathological
extension of our appetites and of our egoism.
It is the humble return of the ego to itself, but by its
transparence it sees God and is filled with a Life
consistent with God.
This is the growth of spirit in us, from the Divine Spirit...
Because our egoism wants to grow without God, without
loving relationships with our fellow creatures, it grows
only in appearance and for a little while...
SELF-CONTROL

TO

THE ETERNAL, INSPIRED WISDOM

OF

... the first stage of Tranquillity consists of silencing


our lips when our heart is excited.
The second stage of Tranquillity consists of silencing our
mind when our soul is still excited.
Our Goal is a Perfect Peacefulness even in the middle
of a raging storm.

28.

10TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST-10TH

OF

AS

FASTING

Through Self-control eating can become an Act of


Reflection and Contemplation of God.
As we contemplate our food with which we are Blessed,
we can seek the Logoi that is behind its creation.
We can behold the Beauty of God's Creation, and we
can realize how it was provided for our Benefit
and by our intense, sincere Gratitude, we become
closer to God.
This is the reason for the Holy Church - in Her Inspired
Wisdom, since the earliest days having prescribed
Fasting on every Wednesday and Friday throughout
the year, as well as the other varying periods of
Fasting, especially the 40 Day Fast of Great Lent.
While it is helpful to follow the guidelines of Fasting
outlined by our Holy Church, it is merely an aid for
our Spiritual Growth a means to help us overcome
the shackles of our physical passions, so we can
acquire a more profound Spiritual Life in Christ.
Our personal Rule for Spiritual Growth should include
regular Fasting Self-denial and Discipline.
Although Fasting initially deals with the passion of
gluttony, we must strive to conquer and control all
our grievous passions through a ceaseless Spiritual
Fast that will overcome them one by one, as we
ourselves will grow Stronger and more determined.

OVERCOME

The Spiritual Warfare that we are perpetually waging


against the evil one, must never be neglected nor
forgotten.
We are only able to gain Victory by using all the Spiritual
Weapons and Holy Implements that God has
provided.
St Maximos the Confessor outlined four steps:
1. We must strive to avoid sinful deedsthe acquisition
of sinless in deed is the first dispassion
2. We must strive to avoid and reject all passionate
thoughts caused by our conscious appetites - victory
over passionate thoughts bring us to a second
dispassion, - without passionate thoughts we will not
commit sinful deeds.

FATHER DIMITRU STANILOAE

...The restraint that Christianity urges us to exercise, is


for our spirit to claim our rights from the lower
impulses, which have overwhelmed us.
By Self-control that limits our passions, we re-establish
the limits and freedom of our spirit.
But in so doing, we awaken within ourselves the
aspect of seeing
in the world something else
besides objects to satisfy these passions.
By Self-control we remove the wave of Darkness from
the world and, restore the attribute that makes it
transparent for the infinite.
So disrespect for the world is not evident in Self-control,
but rather our will to discover the entire majesty of
the world.
Self-control is not a complete turning away from the
created world, in order to see God, but a turning
away from a world that has become narrowed and
exaggerated by the passions, in order to find a
transparent world that becomes a Mirror of God and
a Ladder to Him...

OUR

PASSIONS

3. We must control our natural appetites so that they do


not become sinful passionsthis is the third
dispassion
4. We must completely reject from our mind perceptible
images, which will lead us to a fourth dispassion.
By removing or avoid perceptible, tempting or wicked
images from our mind, they cannot enter our
subconsciousness and become a grievous passion.
We must reach a Spiritual State where we can receive
images of things without creating any passion
within us. This happens when through them, their
Divine Logoi become transparent.
Only after this does our mind Unite with God in a
Spiritual State higher than Prayer.
ST JOHN

OF THE

LADDER

OF

DIVINE ASCENT

...Do not be surprised that we fall every day.


We must not give up, but stand our ground
courageously, and assuredly, the Angels who guard
us, will honour our Patience.
While a Wound is still fresh and warm, it is easy to
Heal, but old, neglected and festering Wounds are
difficult to Cure, and require much Treatment,
Cutting, Plastering and Cauterization.
Many of our Spiritual Wounds due to long neglect
become Incurable and Life threatening!
However, with God all things are indeed possible!

ST MATTHEW- MUSTARD SEED FAITH 28

AUGUST 2016

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa


Archdiocese of Good Hope
All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever,
and unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most Blessed and
Glorious Lady, Maria, Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together with all the Saints. And let us commit
ourselves and one another and our whole Life to Christ our God. Amen.

29 August 2016

The Beheading of St John the Baptist & Forerunner


Also the Feast of St Theopistis of Aegina & St Anastasios the Bulgarian

FESTAL APOLYTIKION BEHEADING

Mnimi Dikeou met engomion;

ST JOHN

THE

BAPTIST & FORERUNNER

The

Si de arkesi i martiria tou


Kyriou Prodrome; anedihthis gar ontos ke Profiton
sevamioteros, oti ke en rithris Vaptise katihiothis ton
kiritomenon.
Othen tis Alithias iperathlisas, heron
evingeliso ke tis en Adi: Theo fanerothenta en Sarki,
ton eronta tin amartian tou kosmou, ke parehonta imin
to Mega Eleos.

FESTAL KONTAKION NATIVITY

OF

memory of the Just is praised; but for Thee shall


suffice, the Witness of the Lord, O Forerunner; for
Thou hast truly come forth as more honoured than the
Prophets, since Thou proved worthy to Baptise, in the
streams, the one they preached of. Thus, having
contended for the Truth supremely, with Joy Thou
brought the Good News, even to those in Hades: O
God Who did appear in the flesh, and took away the
sin of the world, and grants to all His Great Mercy.

OF THE

EVER BLESSED THEOTOKOS

Ioakim ke Anna onidismou ateknias, ke Adam ke Eva ek tis By thy Holy Nativity, O Most Undefiled One, Joachim and
fthoras tou Thanatou ileftherothisan Ahrante, en ti
Agia gennisi Sou. Aftin eortazi ke O Laos Sou, enohis
ton
ptesmaton, litrothis en to krazin Si: i stira tikti tin
Theotokon, ke Trofon tis Zois imon.

MATINS GOSPEL ACCORDING


TH

UNJUST MARTY

RDOM

Anna were freed from the scorn of childlessness, and


Adam and Eve from deaths corruption. This is the
Feast now observed by thy people, who from the guilt
of their errors, were delivered as they cry out to thee:
the barren one bear the Theotokos, and our lifes
Sustainer!
TO

ST MATTHEW 14 : 1 13

OF

ST JOH

THE

BAP

TIST

At that time, Herod the Tetrarch heard the report about Jesus and said to his servants, This is John the Baptist! He is
Resurrected from the dead, and therefore these Powers are at work in him.
Herod had laid hold of John and bound him, and imprisoned him for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philips wife.
John had said to him: It is unlawful for you to have her! And although he wanted to put him to death, he feared
the multitude, for they regarded (John)as a Prophet.
When Herods birthday was celebrated, the daughter of Herodias danced before them and pleased Herod. Therefore
he promised with an oath to give her whatever she might ask. So she having been prompted by her mother said: Give me, on a platter, the head of John the Baptist!
And the King was sorry - nevertheless, because of his oaths and because of those who sat with him - he commanded it
to be given to her. And he sent and had John beheaded in prison. And his head was presented on a platter to the
girl, and she took it to her mother.
And his Disciples took away the body and buried it, and went and told Jesus. When Jesus heard it, He departed from
there by boat to a deserted place by Himself. And when the multitude heard about it, they followed Him on foot
from the cities.
T HIS ACCOUNT WAS GIVEN PARENTHETICALLY , THEREBY
prepared mankind for the Coming of our Eternal
EXPLAINING S T J OHN THE B APTIST S EARLIER M ARTYRDOM
Saviour.
SO THAT THOSE WHO HEARD IT WOULD UNDERSTAND WHY
Consequently, THERE WAS NO LONGER A NEED FOR ANY MORE
H OLY PROPHETS OF GOD .
H EROD THOUGHT THAT ST J OHN THE B APTIST HAD BEEN
R ESURRECTED FROM THE DEAD .
After Christs Death on the Cross and His Descent into and
His Harrowing of Hades, ALL DEPARTED SOULS WERE
The Beheading of St John the Baptist is C OMMEMORATED IN
OUR H OLY C HURCH ON 29 A UGUST WITH A DAY OF VERY
GRANTED THE OPPORTUNITY TO ACCEPT OR REJECT H IM AS
OUR ETERNAL L ORD G OD .
STRICT FASTING.
A S AN IMPORTANT PART OF GOD S P LAN OF SALVATION FOR ALL
NEVER AGAIN WOULD THERE BE SUCH AN
OPPORTUNITY FOR US TO REPENT OUR SINS AFTER
MANKIND , S T J OHN S H OLY M ARTYRDOM ALLOWED THE
C OMING OF THE M ESSIAH TO BE A NNOUNCED TO THE SOULS
DEATH!
Despite the efforts of St John the Baptist and the Love of
IMPRISONED IN H ADES .
God, CERTAIN WICKED AND STUBBORN SOULS REFUSED
ALL I MMORTAL SOULS BOTH THOSE OF UNREPENTANT SINNERS
G OD S D IVINE M ERCY AND L OVE , preferring the
AND THE R IGHTEOUS WERE INFORMED BY S T J OHN THAT THE
LONG - AWAITED M ESSIAH HAD INDEED COME TO S AVE THE
company of similar wicked and disgusting souls and
demons!
FALLEN , SIN DARKENED WORLD .
T HOSE WHO RECEIVED C HRIST WITH J OY AND GRATITUDE, WERE
St John - as the F ORERUNNER TO C HRIST AND THE LAST GREAT
GRANTED ETERNAL L IFE, AND now REST IN P EACE IN THE
H OLY PROPHET OF G OD ACCORDING TO THE OLD
RE- OPENED P ARADISE until our Final Judgement at the
C OVENANT had to depart from this life before OUR
Re-Appearance in the Flesh or the Second Glorious
L ORD J ESUS IN H IS HUMAN N ATURE COULD DIE AND THUS
Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
ENTER H ADES , where, IN H IS D IVINE N ATURE , H E SET
D URING M ATINS , WE SING TO S T J OHN THE BAPTIST : Thy
SOULS FREE from Satans imprisonment Hades and
tongue, which constantly speaks of God, has
ALSO SMASHED OPEN THE G ATES OF H ADES THAT SHALL
preceded Christ into Death, and is sent to Preach
NEVER AGAIN PREVAIL AGAINST R EPENTANT SINNERS .
Him to those in Hades.
O UR L ORD J ESUS C HRIST FULFILLED ALL D IVINE PROPHESY as
revealed to us through His Holy Prophets, who had

THE BEHEADING

OF

ST JOHN

THE

BAPTIST & FORERUNNER

29 AUGUST 2016

29.

H EROD, who was one of four Rulers under the Roman


domination, with all his wealth and power, actually
FEARED S T J OHN THE B APTIST a simple and humble
man who lived in abject Ascetic poverty and who was
clothed with plain garments made from rough
camels hair.
H EROD S FEAR OF ST J OHN THE B APTIST TESTIFIED TO THE
P OWER , A NGELIC L IFE AND GENUINE I NTEGRITY OF THE
H OLY PROPHET OF G OD, AS WELL AS TO THE PEOPLE S
PERCEPTION AND VENERATION OF S T J OHN WHOM THEY
HELD IN THE HIGHEST ESTEEM .
Furthermore, S T J OHN THE B APTIST IS C OMMEMORATED FOR
HIS HUMBLE AND UTTER O BEDIENCE TO THE L AW OF G OD in
general, and as A H OLY D EFENDER OF THE SANCTITY OF
M ARRIAGE in particular, WHICH WAS EVIDENT FROM HIS
LOUD AND VEHEMENT CONDEMNATION OF K ING H EROD S

UNLAWFUL CO - HABITATION WITH HIS BROTHER S WIFE , THE


WICKED H ERODIAS .
S T J OHN S OBEDIENCE TO GOD WAS SO PROFOUND THAT HE
PREFERRED DEATH OVER ANY SORT OF COMPROMISE .

At Holy Vespers we chant to St John: When Thy head was


cut off, Thou revealed to us the Law of God,
abolishing mans disobedience to the Law.
Because the account of St John the Baptists Holy
Martyrdom is given parenthetically, St Theophylact
believed that when O UR L ORD J ESUS ... heard it... H E
REACTED TO THE ERRONEOUS BELIEF OF K ING H EROD THAT
C HRIST WAS THE R ESURRECTED S T J OHN THE B APTIST
that our Lord Jesus was St John who had been raised
from the dead,

PROKEIMENON PSALM 63 TONE 7

The Righteous shall be glad in the Lord, and shall Hope in Him.
Hear my voice, O God, in my Supplication.
THE ACTS

OF THE

APOSTLES ACCORDING
TH

CH

URCH

IN

TO

ST LUKE

13 : 25 32

PISIDIA

In those days as John was finishing his course, he said: Who do you think I am? I am not He. But, behold: there comes
One after me the sandals of Whom I am not worthy to loosen.
Men and Brethren, sons of the Family of Abraham, and those among you who fear God: to you the Word of this
Salvation has been sent.
Those who dwell in Jerusalem, and their Rulers, because they did not know Him, nor even the voices of the Prophets,
which are read every Sabbath, have fulfilled them in condemning Him. And although they found no cause for
death in Him, they asked Pilate that He should be put to death. When they had fulfilled all that was written
concerning Him, they took Him down from the Tree and laid Him in a Tomb.
God Raised Him up from the dead. He was seen for many days by those who came up with Him from Galilee to
Jerusalem, who are His Witnesses to the people.
And we declare to you Glad Tidings that what God Promised to the Fathers, He has fulfilled to us, their children, by
Resurrecting Jesus.
THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING
TH

BEHEADING

OF

ST JOHN

THE

BAP

TO
TIST

ST MARK 6 : 14 30
& FORERUNNER

TO

CH

RIST

At that time, King Herod heard of our Lord Jesus, for His Name had become well known. And he said: John the Baptist
is Risen from the dead, and therefore these Powers are worked in Him. Others said: It is Elijah. Others said: It is
the Prophet, or one of the Prophets. When Herod heard, he said: This is he whom I beheaded John. He has been
raised from the dead!
For Herod himself had sent and laid hold of John, and bound him in prison for the sake of Herodias, the wife of Philip,
his brother, for he had married her. John had said to Herod: It is unlawful for you to have your brothers wife.
Therefore Herodias had held it against him and wanted to kill him, but she could not.
Herod feared John, knowing that he was a Just and Holy Man, and he protected him. And hearing (John), he did
many things, and had heard him gladly.
And an opportune day arose when Herod, on his birthday, gave a Feast for his noblemen, the high officers, and the
chief men of Galilee. And when the daughter of Herodias went in and danced, she pleased Herod and those who
sat with him.
The King said to the girl: Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will grant it to you! And he promised her: Whatever you
ask of me, I will give you even half of my Kingdom! So she went out and asked her mother: For what shall I ask?
Herodias answered: The head of John the Baptist! And without delay she hastened to the King and said: I want
you to give me at once on a platter the head of John the Baptist!
And the King was exceedingly sorry; yet, because of the oaths and because of those who sat with him, he did not want
to refuse her. And immediately the King sent an executioner and commanded his head to be brought. He went
and beheaded him in prison, and presented his head on a platter, and she gave it to her mother.
And when his Disciples heard of it, they went and took away his body and laid it in a tomb.
heart of the father to his son, and a mans heart
T HIS K ING H EROD WAS THE SON OF KING H EROD THE GREAT
to his neighbour...
who having heard of the newly born Great King (our
S T E LIJAH T HE T ISHBITE ( WHO REPRESENTS THE H OLY
Lord Jesus Christ) from the Magi - had issued the
P ROPHETS OF GOD WHO PREPARED THE PEOPLE FOR THE
orders that led to the terrible Slaughter of the
C OMING OF THE MESSIAH ) AND ST M OSES (WHO GAVE US
Innocents when all male children who were two
THE D IVINE L AWS OF G OD WHEREBY WE MUST LIVE WHILE
years or younger, were put to the sword without
ON EARTH ) WERE PRESENT WITH OUR L ORD J ESUS ON
exception or the smallest sign of mercy.
M OUNT T ABOR AT H IS GLORIOUS T RANSFIGURATION.
(MATTHEW 17: 1 13)
A LTHOUGH TECHNICALLY ONLY A TETRARCH RULER ONE OF
T HE G IVER OF THE L AW OF M OSES ( THE WORD AND S ON OF
FOUR G OVERNORS ELECTED BY THE R OMAN OPPRESSORS
G OD AND OUR L ORD J ESUS C HRIST ) WOULD SOON
H EROD WAS KNOWN AS K ING .
BECOME I NCARNATE
However, HIS POWERS OF AUTHORITY AS G OVERNOR WERE
Those who believed OUR L ORD J ESUS WAS T HE
LIMITED TO HIS AREA OF RULE .
P ROPHET meant that THEY BELIEVED H E WAS THE
Knowing that St John the Baptist had performed
M ESSIAH THE O NE OF W HOM S T M OSES HAD
several Miracles while alive, H EROD WAS UTTERLY
FORETOLD .
CONVINCED BY HIS OWN BELIEFS THAT OUR L ORD J ESUS
O UR L ORD J ESUS C HRIST INDEED FULFILS THREE
C HRIST WAS ST JOHN THE BAPTIST WHO HAD BEEN
SIGNIFICANT AND ESSENTIAL D IVINE R OLES : H E IS OUR
RAISED FROM THE DEAD erroneously believing that
D IVINE T EACHER , OUR D IVINE PROPHET AND OUR
such Divine ...Powers are worked in him.
D IVINE K ING !
Consequently, H EROD FEARED S T JOHN THE BAPTIST
 D E U T E R O N O M Y 1 8 : 1 5 The Lord your God will
EVEN MORE THAN WHEN HE HAD BEEN ALIVE.
raise up for you a Prophet like me from your
S OME THOUGHT THAT OUR LORD J ESUS C HRIST WAS S T
Brethren. Him you shall hear... the Lord said to
E LIJAH THE T ISHBITE AND H OLY P ROPHET OF G OD WHO
me: ... I will raise up for them a Prophet like you
WAS EXPECTED TO RETURN AND TO WORK MANY
from among their Brethren, and I will put My
M IRACLES BEFORE THE S ECOND C OMING OF THE L ORD:
Word in His Mouth, and He shall speak to them
 M A L A C H I 3 : 2 2 - 2 3 Behold: I will send you
all I command Him..
Elijah before the Coming of the Great and
Glorious Day of the Lord. And he will turn the

30.

THE BEHEADING

OF

ST JOHN

THE

BAPTIST & FORERUNNER

29 AUGUST 2016

At the time of St Moses, IT WAS FIRST NECESSARY FOR THE


PEOPLE TO BE TESTED AND TO LEARN TO FEAR GOD AND
NOT TO COMMIT SIN, FOR THEY WERE TOO IGNORANT
AND INATTENTIVE to hear about another Great Holy

Prophet of God Who was to come later.


Because the Israelites failed the test, they died in the
desert. THEY REFUSED TO OBEY OR PUT INTO PRACTICE
EVERYTHING THAT G OD S H OLY P ROPHET , S T M OSES ,
TRIED SO HARD TO TEACH THEM .
LIKEWISE , WE TOO , WILL FAIL THE TEST AND DIE IN THE
DESERT THROUGH OUR OWN CHOICES AND S PIRITUAL
S TUBBORNNESS - WE WILL SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES
OF ETERNAL C ONDEMNATION TO S PIRITUAL E XILE
FROM G OD E TERNAL S PIRITUAL D EATH !
Consequently, ALL THOSE WHO CHOOSE TO REJECT THE
D IVINE W ILL AND T EACHINGS OF ALMIGHTY GOD
(W HO L OVES US AND W HO SEEKS OUR R EDEMPTION AND
ON HUMILITY

AND THE

S ALVATION ) WILL NEITHER ENTER NOR ENJOY THE


G LORIOUS BLISS, L OVE AND P EACE OF E TERNAL L IFE IN
THE P ROMISED L AND G OD S H EAVENLY K INGDOM .
Others have interpreted their reference to The Prophet
as meaning that THEY RECOGNISED C HRIST AS A NEW
H OLY PROPHET OF G OD WHO HAD BEEN SENT TO PREPARE
THE PEOPLE FOR THE C OMING OF THE G REAT M ESSIAH OR
SAVIOUR .
However, our Lord came to live amongst us in order TO
FIRST GATHER UP H IS L OST S HEEP OF THE O LD C OVENANT
I SRAEL AND THEN TO E NLIGHTEN , G UIDE AND H EAL H IS
N EW C OVENANT F LOCK THE N EW ISRAEL I . E . H IS
F AITHFUL D ISCIPLES , WHO , HAVING FREELY CHOSEN TO
PUT ON CHRIST AT H OLY BAPTISM CONTINUE TO LIVE IN
CHRIST
FOREVER .

HUMBLE HEART FATHER JOSEPH

OF

VATOPEDI MONASTERY, MOUNT ATHOS

and on the basis of the judgement of our Holy


Without question, Holy Scripture as a whole - as well as
Fathers.
Patristic Philosophy - are seasoned with salt, as it
Since, in our terminology, we call it character and
were - garlanded with the Good Mother of the Virtues,
person in rational nature, it is apposite (relevant) to
the Humble Outlook.
This is particularly noticeable at the points related to the
mention, broadly speaking, how it acquires these
behaviour and comportment of those who live by the
terms.
Direct Instructions whereby to reach our ultimate
So that, from the outset, Humility is credible and
Destination, and who strive to put these into practice
desirable for everyone, since we all have the right to
through consistent Repentance.
acquire our real personality through it.
In another Homily, we referred to Obedience as a Virtue.
In the first place, the Humble Outlook should be placed
Now we are obliged to describe Humility as an Attribute
within the context of Moral Law.
of the character and form of the soul and of the
But beyond the Moral Law, the more general reason
personality.
which makes Humility imperative, is because it is
If Duty is an inviolable Rule of Life for rational beings,
endorsed by the New Creation, the Word of God
how much superior to it must be the personal
incarnate.
attributes - the form and the character?
Our Lord Jesus Christ assigned Humility and
And if, again, Humility were only a human skill and
Obedience, not only in order to fulfil our Sacred
achievement, which Adorns and Perfects rational
Duty, but to our personality, private life and
beings, without it also being Divine, human boldness
character.
would be able to describe it.
It may be that His Apostles wished to learn what our
But from the moment that Humility was revealed to us Lord Jesus was like in the most profound depths of
that it reaches as far as the Incarnate Word of God
His Being, in His Godly, Inner World, but they did not
Himself - Humility became something beyond that
dare to inquire, even though they asked so many
which human thought can conceive, and which can
other questions, which He answered freely at the
be
understood
only
with
admiration
and
right time.
astonishment.
This is why, on His own initiative, He told them with these
Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself said: Learn from My
astonishing words: Learn from My Example, because
Example, for I Am Meek and Humble in Heart.
I Am Meek and Humble in heart, and your souls will
In order to confirm what I am saying, let me quote a
find Rest (MATTHEW 11: 29).
description of the Humble Outlook from one of the
Our All-Powerful God the Word - by Whom ...all things
greatest Luminaries - a real Philosopher of Grace and
were created, in Heaven and on Earth, visible and
of the Holy Spirit - Saint Isaac the Syrian, who
invisible...all things were created through Him and
continued the Authenticity of the Fathers. Its from his
for Him... - is the Centre of all personality and,
20th discourse, from the 1770 Leipzig edition:
through His Grace, all personalities find their place.
(COLOSSIANS 1: 16)
I would like to open my mouth, Brethren and speak
The Humility of Heart of the Word of God is characterized
about the important matter of Humility, and am filled
as a position of Certainty and Stillness.
with Fear, just like someone who knows he is going to
Since our Lord is the centre of every personality, it is
speak about God with his own, human way of
right and proper that He be called Humble in Heart,
thinking.
because the whole of the Authority of His Dominion is
Because Humility is the Raiment of Divinity. The Word
manifested in this position of Stillness and Certainty.
incarnate wore Humility and spoke to us about it.
Its not our purpose here to go into Theological terms
As regards the nature of this Great Virtue, suffice it to
regarding the Godly Attributes, but to extol the
leave the Patristic Term as it is, which is that Humility
particular significance of His Humility, as well as
is Divine and the Garment of Divinity in its Spiritual
that of all His Followers in all ages and in every
Completion.
period of the Divine Revelation.
Therefore, Humility is a Divine Gift of the Most Holy
Spirit.
http://pemptousia.com/2014/07
Let us confine ourselves instead to the Attributes and
Energies of Humility - and, even more so, to how it is
acquired - and what it consists of, again with Fear
ST PAISIOS THE NEW HOLY ELDER OF MOUNT ATHOS ON SPIRITUAL DIGNITY & GENEROUS PRIDE
St Paisios often advised us to have Spiritual Dignity and
Generous Pride.
These were the Virtues that distinguished him, too, as
everybody who met him quickly realised.
I once went to visit him in his old Cell of the Precious
Cross, and after our chat, I said goodbye to him, but
he accompanied me for quite a way.
As soon as I told him not to tire himself out and to go back
to his Cell, he said goodbye and went back.
If I had not said anything, he would have gone with me
as far as our representatives house in Karyes.

THE BEHEADING

OF

ST JOHN

THE

I should also say that he rarely showed his Gift of


Foresight, and never to show off, but only for the
Benefit of a soul.
Once, a young Monk visited St Paisios. The young man
was having bad thoughts about his Abbot, who
refused to have a short jacket made for him.
Before the Monk had spoke a word, the Holy Elder said to
him: What are these thoughts you are having about
your Abbot not giving you a jacket?
He would Comfort young Monks when they were troubled
by some weakness they suffered, such as jealousy,
which he called faults of immaturity. Naturally, he
told them to grow up and get over them.

BAPTIST & FORERUNNER

29 AUGUST 2016

31.

Father Pasios was also outstanding with regard to the


highest of all Virtues Discrimination.
He was able to help every soul to discover the true
inclination and Direction granted to it by God, so that
it could find its own Tranquillity.
His Love (Agape) embraced the whole world.
He helped so many people - particularly the young - to
live a Christian Life True Life in Christ - even while
being in the world and in a family.
Everyone who was Blessed to speak to our Holy Elder
Paisios felt as though they were in the Embrace of
God!
Father Pasios was very sensitive to Dogmatic issues, and
he once wrote to me that Dogmas dont enter the
European Union.
In this he followed the Path of all our Holy Fathers, who
believed and confessed that it was not only by Holy
Virtues but also the Orthodox Faith that people
needed in order to be Saved.
St Paisios Holy Life was corroborated by his Holy Repose.
He accepted his painful illness as a Gift from God
and Rejoiced at the thought that Christians living in
the outside world, and who were suffering from the
same illness, would find Comfort in the fact that
THE ETERNAL, INSPIRED WISDOM
ST THEODOROS

OF

EDESSA

OF

ST JUSTIN POPOVICH

EGYPT:

When they had suffered many tortures, and had shown


endurance unto Death, the Holy Martyrs became
worthy of Crowns and Glory.
The more cruel the tortures they endured, the more
Glory and Boldness they acquired before God.
In the same way, and provided they were Patient to the
end and did not complain, souls who were
subjected to great sorrows (either from others or
from bodily disease) were also Rewarded with the
same Crowns and Glory as the Martyrs.
And such people will not only enjoy all this in the
Future, from God, but even here, they will be
granted the Consolation of the Holy Spirit.
Since the Path leading to Heavenly Life is, indeed,
Narrow and full of Sorrows, and there are few who
walk it, this is why, for the sake of the Hope of
Heaven, we should stand with steadfast Patience
every trial of the Evil One.
The Sufferings of this time can in no way be compared
to the Glory that will be granted to us.

32.

THE BEHEADING

EMPTOUSIA

OF

ST JOHN

.C

OM

/2016/04/

HOLY CHURCH FATHERS


OF

KRONSTADT:

Almsgiving is Good and God-Pleasing effort, provided


we make sure to rid our heart of pride, wickedness,
envy, greed, deceit and the other grievous passions.
Unless we try to Cleanse our heart, and if we rely solely
on our Almsgiving, we will not receive much
Spiritual Benefit, because we are then building with
one hand and knocking it all down with the other!
FATHER KASSIANOS

For us Disciples of Christ who are Enlightened and


Illuminated in Christ, everything in this world is of
value and has meaning, insofar as it is a means
and Path to Eternity, because we see what is not
apparent, and gaze upon the invisible.
We arrange the whole of our Life in time on the basis of
what is Eternal on what is human on the basis of
the God Man.
As long as there is something Eternal within the bounds
of time, we survive on this. But when it is absent, we
seek it beyond time, in the Kingdom of the Infinite
and the Invisible.
We gaze upon everything through the Prism of Eternity,
that is, through the Prism of Christ, since He is our
Eternal God and Lord.
OF

://P

PHOTICE

Independence of mind is the will of the rational soul,


who turns immediately to whatever it is that it wants.
We should, therefore, urge our mind to always be ready
to turn to only what is Good, so that with Good
Thoughts, we can expunge the memory of evil.

ST MAKARIOS

HTTP

OF OUR

ST JOHN

When we keep our Lord Jesus Christs Divine


Commandments, we are not offering anything to
Him, since He has no need of anything and the
Granter of All Good Things.
In fact, we are simply benefitting ourselves by making
Eternal Life and the Enjoyment of Its ineffable
Bounties available to us.
ST DIADOCHOS

Monks were also susceptible to terminal disease and


suffering.
He had overcome any love of self.
He was unconcerned about his own illness, but when he
lay on his bed of pain, he constantly thought about
his fellow-sufferers.
Even in the last days of his life, St Paisios was interested in
peoples problems.
A God-fearing couple came to see him only a few days
before he passed away. They had unmarried
daughters, and he told them: Im giving you a direct
order to make sure that your daughters are properly
set up... and through his Prayers, his command and
desire came to pass.
May his memory be Eternal!
O Venerable Elder Paisios, we are profoundly grateful for
everything Thou hast granted to us - Thy Consolation,
and Thy Teaching, both through what Thou has told
us and through the way Thou lived.
Continue to Pray that we may follow in Thy humble and
Obedient footsteps as Thou did those of Christ our
Saviour.
Amen

THE

Our Lord Jesus Christ is the most biased Referee and


Umpire in our Contests.
He keeps the balance between us and our opponents,
tempers the excessive power of their attacks, and,
besides, ... together with temptation... grants us
...the Strength to win once and for all.
If we do not have this Divine Assistance, the demons
would certainly overwhelm us!
ST JOHN

SINAITE (OF

THE

THE

LADDER)

... I do not know with what method and in what way I


will ever bind this friend of mine (the body) and
bring it to Judgement, because before I bind it, it is
loose again, and before I can Judge it, I am
reconciled to it.
Before I punish it, I feel sorry and relent. How can I
defeat it, when, by nature, I love it? How can I be
free of it, when I am joined to it Eternally? How can I
condemn it, when it will be raised with me?
ST NEKTARIOS

OF

PENTAPOLIS & AEGINA

Ambition is the intense desire of those who love glory


to acquire it, and a good reputation. The ambitious
chase after glory which is the aim of every one of
their works and actions, pursuing it by every
available means, fair or foul, and doing whatever it
takes to achieve it.
ST ANTHONY

THE

GREAT

You will begin your Spiritual Life when you can see that
making money and spending it freely is no more
than a short-lived fantasy, and when you know that
the Virtuous and God-pleasing Life is very different
from temporary material wealth and possessions.
When you consider all this very carefully, and retain it
in your memory, you will not sigh, you will not
mourn, you will not speak badly about others, but
rather you will thank God for everything seeing
those who depend on mere words and money as
being far worse off than yourself, for the love of
money and flattery are the worst passions of the
soul together with desire, vainglory and
ignorance!

BAPTIST & FORERUNNER

29 AUGUST 2016

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa


Archdiocese of Good Hope
All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever,
and unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most Blessed and
Glorious Lady, Maria, Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together with all the Saints. And let us commit
ourselves and one another and our whole Life to Christ our God. Amen.

31 August 2016
The Deposition of the Belt of our Lady Theotokos
Also the Feast of St Cyprian of Carthage - St Gennadios of Constantinople - St Aidan of
Lindesfarne - St Eanswythe Abbess of Folkestone

FESTAL APOLYTIKION THEOTOKOS ZONI -

Theotoke

Aiparthene, ton anthropon i Skepi, Esthita ke


Zonin tou Ahrantou Sou somatos, kratean ti poli Sou
pervolin edoriso, to asporo Toko Sou aftharta
diaminanta, epi Si gar ke fisi kenotomi ke hronos, dio
disopoumen Se, Irinin ti politia Sou dories, ke tes psihes
imon to Mega Eleos.

TONE (8) PLAGAL 4

Ever Virgin Theotokos, the Shelter of mankind: Thou hast


given Thy City as a Protective Wall the Garment and
Girdle that Thou worn upon Thine Immaculate Body.
By Thy seedless Childbirth, they have remained
incorrupt. For in Thee both nature and time are made
novel. Therefore, we implore Thee, grant Peace to Thy
Commonwealth, and Great Mercy to our souls.

FESTAL KONTAKION - THEOTOKOS ZONI

Tin

Theodohon gastera Sou Theotoke, perlavousa i Zoni


Sou i Timia, kratos ti poli Sou aprosmahiton, ke
thisafros iparhi, ton Agathon anekliptos, i Moni Tekousa
Aiparthenos.
FESTAL PROKEIMENON ODE

OF

TONE

The Precious Girdle that Thou wore around Thy Body that
hosted God, O All Blessed Theotokos, truly is Power
unassailable for Thy City and a Treasure whose
Blessings are perpetual, O Only Child-bearing Ever
Virgin.
THEOTOKOS (LUKE1) TONE 3

My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour!


For He regarded the low estate of His Handmaiden!
THE EPISTLE

OF

ST PAUL

TO THE

HEBREWS 9: 1 - 7

Brethren: the First Covenant had Ordinances of Divine Service, and a worldly Sanctuary. A Tabernacle was prepared:
the first part, in which was the Lampstand, the Table, and the Showbread, which is called the Sanctuary. Behind
the Second Veil, was the part of the Tabernacle, which is called Holy of Holies, which had the Golden Censer and
the Ark of the Covenant, overlaid on all sides with gold, in which was the Golden Pot that had the Manna, Aarons
Rod that budded, and the Tablets of the Covenant. Above it were the Cherubim of Glory overshadowing the Mercy
Seat. Of these we can no longer speak these days.
When these Things had been thus prepared, the Priests always went into the first part of the Tabernacle, performing
the Services. Into the second part only the High Priest went - once a year, not without blood, which he offered for
himself and for the peoples sins.
The first seven verses of St Pauls Epistle to the Hebrews
OUR LORD JESUS CHRISTS ULTIMATE MOST PERFECT AND
describe THE MOSAIC TABERNACLE, WHICH PREFIGURES THE
POWERFUL BLOOD OFFERING ENDED OUR SEPARATION FROM
HEAVENLY ALTAR.
OUR LOVING, BENEVOLENT GOD.
This particular passage is read during the Feasts of our
Our alienation was resolved forever by our Lord Jesus
Lady Theotokos and Advent, to describe THE GREAT
Christ.
DIVINE MYSTERY OF THE INCARNATION OF THE ETERNAL WORD
HIS BLOOD SACRIFICE FULFILLED FOR ALL TIME THE ATONEMENT
AND SON OF GOD THE FATHER.
SACRIFICE - and being Perfect, ended any further need
OUR LADY THEOTOKOS WOMB WAS PREPARED BY GOD TO BECOME
for any more blood sacrifices.
THE HOLY OF HOLIES The Holy Tabernacle of Christ our
THROUGH HIS ULTIMATE SACRIFICIAL OFFERING, OUR LORD HAS
Lord THE VERY DWELLING PLACE OF ALMIGHTY GOD.
REDEEMED MANKIND FOR ALL TIME.
A most important detail is THE INNER VEIL THE SECOND VEIL,
THE LORD OUR GOD IS ENTHRONED UPON THE CHERUBIM. So His
WHICH SEPARATED THE HOLY PLACE THE HOLY SANCTUARY
Throne in Israels midst the Mercy Seat is depicted
FROM THE MOST HOLY PLACE THE HOLY OF HOLIES OR THE
with a Holy Cherub on either side just as the
MOST HOLIEST OF ALL, WHICH CONTAINED THE ARK OF THE
Orthodox Christian Holy Altar is flanked by depictions
COVENANT AND THE OTHER SIGNIFICANT HOLY RELICS OF THE
of the Holy Cherubim. (One of the highest Orders of
OLD COVENANT A GOLDEN POT OF MANNA, AARONS ROD
Heavenly Hosts.)
THAT BUDDED, AND THE CARVED, STONE TABLETS OF DIVINE
THESE REPRESENTATIONS, along with the depictions of
COMMANDMENTS.
Cherubim on the Inner Veil , and the beauty and
THE HOLY OF HOLIES COULD ONLY BE ENTERED ONCE A YEAR BY THE
detailed workmanship of everything that was made
HIGH PRIEST carrying a Blood Offering for the
especially for the Holy Tabernacle, SERVED AS HOLY
forgiveness of his own sins as well as those of the
ICONS OF THE OLD COVENANT. (EXODUS 26:31)
people.
This, and other numerous passages, put to rest the fear
THE INNER VEIL FORMED THE LOCUS OF THE LITURGICAL PRACTICE
that the Second Commandment prohibits all imagery.
OF THE OLD COVENANT, WHICH REVEALED ITS IMPERFECTION,
GOD CANNOT BE REPRESENTED BECAUSE DIVINE NATURE IS
for the people could not personally draw near to God
UNKNOWABLE AND THUS CANNOT BE DEPICTED.
Who seemed to be only approachable through His
However, WHEN THE ETERNAL WORD AND SON OF GOD BECAME
Priests - and the forgiveness their sins required an
THE SON OF MAN I.E. INCARNATE HIS HUMAN NATURE CAN
annual Blood Offering carried into the Holy of Holies
AND IS IMAGED.
only by the High Priest, who offered the Sacrifice for
This is evidently permissible due to His Holy Icon Not
the forgiveness of his own sins as well as those of the
Made by Hands which He left behind on His inner
people.
Face Cloth and on other items such as His Shroud.
THE DEPOSITION

OF OUR

LADY THEOTOKOS SANCTIFIED BELT

31 AUGUST 2016

33

ALTHOUGH THE OLD COVENANT PRIESTS ENTERED THE HOLY PLACE


DAILY, ONLY THE HIGH PRIEST AND ONLY ON ONE DAY A YEAR
COULD ENTER THE HOLY OF HOLIES ON THE DAY OF
ATONEMENT YOM KIPPUR.
He entered carrying animal blood of the Atonement
Sacrifice, which revealed THE IMPERFECTION
AND
TEMPORARY STATUS OF THE OLD COVENANT:
1. ONLY ONE MAN COULD ENTER THE DIVINE PRESENCE
2. He could NOT CONTINUALLY enter.

THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING

TO

3. HE HAD TO ENTER EACH YEAR TO REPEAT THE ATONEMENT


SACRIFICE, which was ONLY EFFECTIVE FOR A SHORT TIME
AND NEEDED TO BE REPEATED ANNUALLY.
4. The blood sacrifice DEALT WITH ONLY MATERIALS FROM THIS
EARTHLY AGE, which are temporary, imperfect,
impermanent and could not begin a
participation in the Age to come Eternity.
5. IT ONLY DEALT WITH THE OUTER PERSON BEING SUPERFICIAL,
IT CANNOT PURIFY OUR HEAR AND MIND, LET ALONE
RESTORE, RENEW, REGENERATE, OR REBIRTH OUR FALLEN
HUMAN NATURE.

ST LUKE 10 : 38

- 42

&

11 : 27 28

At that time, He entered a certain village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a
sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus Feet and heard His Word. But Martha was distracted with much serving,
and she approached Him and said: Lord, dost Thou not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore
tell her to help me! And Jesus answered and said to her: Martha! Martha! You are worried and troubled about
many things, but one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from
her.
... And it happened, as He spoke these things, that a certain woman from the crowd raised her voice and said to Him:
Blessed is the Womb that bore Thee, and the breasts that nursed Thee! And He replied: More than that: Blessed
are those who hear the Word of God and keep It!
what He said.
It was a serious priority that
St Martha and St Mary of Bethany were the sisters of St
Lazaros whom our Lord Jesus Christ had raised from
certainly did not exclude serving Him.
the dead.
Later, when a woman called out to our Lord Jesus from
St Martha was preoccupied and worried about all her
the crowd, our Lord pointed out to her that Gods
Blessings fall upon all those who hear the Word of
household duties while providing hospitality to our
God and Obey Him.
Lord Jesus and his entourage of Disciples and
Family or social connections have nothing to do with our
Apostles.
Obedience to God and the Ever Blessed Theotokos
Her temporary, worldly cares concerned her more than
was especially complimented by Her Son because
anything else at the time so, resenting her sister who
sat at the Feet of our Lord to hear His Teachings, she
She not only paid careful attention to the Word of God
appealed to Him to make her get up and help her.
but She also Faithfully Obeyed all His Commandments
However - instead of supporting her immediate needs and lived Her entire life accordingly.
It is that profound Virtue of humble and attentive
our Lord Jesus pointed out that while she was so
Obedience to God of the Ever Blessed Theotokos alone
concerned about all her current duties, her sister had
even more than having borne the Incarnate God
preferred to spend the precious time listening to
that makes Her our most Shining Example of True
Christs Teachings.
Sainthood and Theosis Spiritual Perfection
The One Thing ... needed was for her to pay
attention to His Divine Teaching to really listen to
THE DEPOSITION

OF THE

SANCTIFIED BELT (ZONI, CINCTURE, SASH)

The Deposition of the Venerable Belt of the Most Holy


Theotokos
in
a
Church
of
Constantinoples
Chalcoprateia District took place during the reign of
Emperor Theodosios the Younger.
Before this the Holy Relic, which had been entrusted to
the Apostle, St Thomas by the Mother of God Herself,
was kept by pious Christians of Jerusalem after Her
Dormition.
During the reign of Emperor Leo the Wise (886-911), his
wife Zoe was afflicted with an unclean spirit, and he
besought God to Heal her.
The Empress had a Vision that she would be Healed of
her infirmity if the Belt of the Mother of God were
placed upon her.
The Emperor requested the Patriarch of Jerusalem to
open the Reliquary that held the Sanctified Belt, which
he did, after having broken the ancient seal.
THE ETERNAL, INSPIRED WISDOM

OF OUR

HOLY CHURCH FATHER ST PAISIOS

Today
unfortunately,
European
deference
(condescension) has entered our society, which is
portrayed as being acceptable, but although they try
to show themselves as being nice, they wish to show
themselves as being superior to us, and finally they
end up worshiping the two horned devil.
One religion... they tell you, ...should exist... and they
level out everything. Some also come to me and tell
me All of us who believe in Christ should create one
religion.
Now it is as if you are telling me, I told them, about
gold and copper - so many carats gold and that
much copper, that was separated - to gather them
and make them one again. Is it correct to mix them
again? Ask a jeweller. Is it proper to mix trash with
gold? So much Struggle was waged to distil the
Dogma.
The Holy Fathers knew the reason for prohibiting
relationships with heretics.
Today they say: We should pray together - not only with
heretics but also with the Buddhists and with the
fire worshippers, and the demon worshippers. The
Orthodox must also be present at their common
prayers and at their conferences. It is a presence.
What presence? They resolve everything with logic
and justify the unjustifiable. The European mind

34.

THE DEPOSITION

OF OUR

OF OUR

LADY THEOTOKOS

The Sanctified Belt of our Ever Virgin, All Holy Lady was
completely whole and undamaged by time.
The Patriarch gently placed the Belt on the Empress, who
was immediately freed from her affliction.
A Service of Thanksgiving to the Most Holy Theotokos was
celebrated, after which with great reverence and
care, the Sanctified Holy Relic was returned to the
Reliquary and resealed.
In Commemoration of the Miracle and the twofold
Deposition of the Venerable Belt, the Feast that we
celebrate today was established.
Sections of the Holy Belt that was so exquisitely woven
and embroidered by our Lady Theotokos who was
renowned for her handiwork, are preserved at the
Vatopedi Monastery on Mount Athos, in
the
Monastery of Trier, and in Georgia.
https://oca.org
THE

NEW

OF

MOUNT ATHOS

believes that Spiritual Matters can also come into the


Common Market.
Some of the Orthodox who are shallow and wish to
make a promotion, a mission, arrange conferences
with the heterodox to cause a sensation, believing
this way that they promote Orthodoxy, by becoming
so to speak Hungarian goulash with the false
believers.
Then the super-zealots take hold of the other end; they
blaspheme against the Mysteries of the NewCalendarists, etc. and deeply scandalize the souls
who have Piety and Orthodox Sensitivity.
On the other hand, the heterodox attend conferences,
act like teachers, take whatever Good Spiritual Thing
they find from the Orthodox, process it, and give it
their own colour and mark, and then present it as a
prototype. And the contemporary world becomes
touched by such strange things and is Spiritually
Destroyed!
However, at the appropriate time, our Lord, will present
the St Marks, the St Eugenikos and the St Gregorys
Palamas who will assemble all our deeply
scandalized Brethren, to Confess the Orthodox
Faith and Strengthen the Traditions of the Holy
Church and grant Great Joy to our Mother, the
Church.

LADY THEOTOKOS SANCTIFIED BELT

31 AUGUST 2016