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Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa

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 3
1 January 2017
th
28 Sunday After Pentecost
Circumcision of our Lord Jesus Christ
Also the Feast of St Basil the Great & St Emilia, his mother St Basil of
Ancyra

FESTAL ISODIKON - SMALL ENTRANCE HYMNS CIRCUMCISION

Defte proskinisomen.ke prospesomen Hristo.


Soson imas Iie Theou, O S ARKI P ERITIMITHIS , psallontas Si,

OF

CHRIST ST BASIL

THE

GREAT

Come let us worship and bow down before Christ.


Save us, O Son of God, C I R C U M C I S E D I N T H E F L E S H ,

Allelouia!

who sing to Thee: Alleluia!


RESURRECTION APOLYTIKION TONE 3

Evfrenestho

ta Ourania, agaliastho ta epigia, oti epiise


Kratos en Vrahioni Aftou O Kyrios. Epatise to Thanto
ton thanaton. Prototokos ton nekron egeneto. Ek kilias
Adou errisato imas ke pareshe to kosmo to Mega Eleos.

Let the Heavens rejoice and let the earth be glad, for the
Lord has shown Strength with His Arm; He has
trampled down death by Death; He has become the
First-born of the dead; from the womb of Hades He
has delivered us, and to the world He has vouchsafed
Great Mercy.

FESTAL APOLYTIKION CIRCUMCISION

Morfin

analliotos anthropinin proselaves, Theos on kat


ousian Poleiefsplaghne Kyrie, ke Nomon ekpliron
peritomin, thelise katadehi sarkikin, ina pafsis ta skiodi,
ke perielis to kalimma ton pathon imon. Doxa ti
agathotiti, ti Si! Doxa ti efsplahnia Sou! Doxa ti
anekfrasto, Loge, singatavasi Sou!

OF

CHRIST

Thou took on human form without change in Thee, being


God in Essence, O Lord Most Compassionate. And
Thou accepted Circumcision in the Flesh, in total
fulfilment of the Law, to put an end to the acts of
darkness, and roll away the veil of our sufferings.
Glory to Thy Goodness, O Lord! Glory to thy
Tenderness!
Glory to Thine inexpressible
Condescension, O Word!

FESTAL APOLYTIKION - ST BASIL

THE

GREAT TONE 1

Is pasan tin gin exilthen O fthongos Sou, os dexamenin ton Thy

voice has gone out all over the earth, which was
ready to accept Thy Word; by which in a Godly
manner Thou Dogmatised; the nature of all that exists
Thou clarified; the manners of people Thou Purified.
As Royal Priesthood that Thou art, O Father Righteous,
Intercede with Christ our God, that our souls may be
Saved.

Logon Sou; diou theoprepos edogmatisas, tin fisin ton


onton etranosas, ta ton anthropon ithi katekosmisas.
Vasilion Ieratevma, Pater Osie; Presveve Hristo to
Theos, Sothine tas psihas imon.

FESTAL KONTAKION - CIRCUMCISION OF CHRIST

ton olon Kyrios peritomin ipomeni ke vroton ta


ptesmata os agathos peritemni. Didosi tin Sotirian
simeron kosmo: Here de en tis Ipsistis ke O tou ktistou
Ierarhis ke Fosforos, O Thios Mystis Hristou Vasilios.

TONE 3

Now the Lord of all that is undergoes Circumcision, in His


Goodness cutting off the sins and failings of mortals.
He this day grants Salvation to the whole world; and
the Hierarch and Bright Daystar of the Creator now
rejoices in the Highest: Basil the Wise and Divine
Initiate of Christ.

PROKEIMENON PSALM 48/49 TONE 1

To

stoma mou lalisi Sofian ke i meleti tis kardias mou


Sinesin.

Akousate tafta, panta ta Ethni!


THE EPISTLE

My mouth shall speak Wisdom, and the meditation of my


heart, Understanding.

Hear this , all you Nations!


OF

ST PAUL

TO THE

COLOSSIANS 2 : 8 12

ST PAUL SPEAKS OUT AGAINST FALSE THEOLOGY OF HERETICS

Brethren, Beware lest any man cheat you by philosophy, and vain deceit; according to the tradition of men, according
to the elements of the world, but not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the Fullness of the Godhead
corporeally; and you are filled in Him, Who is the Head of all Principality and Power; in Whom also you are
Circumcised with Circumcision Not Made By Hand, in the despoiling of the body of the flesh, but in the Circumcision
of Christ, buried with Him in Baptism, in Whom also you are Risen again by the Faith of the Operation of God, Who
has raised Him up from the dead.
THE BASIC PRINCIPLES OF THE WORLD INCLUDE
 and ALL MAN-MADE TRADITIONS AND CONCEPTS that
 the basic elements of MATTER,
are opposed to Gods Holy and Divine Tradition
 the LAWS that regulate the Universe, including
opposed to His Divine Truth.
The Eternal Word and Only Begotten Son of God the Father
those that affect our fallen human life, such as
became Incarnate became fully Human WITHOUT
death, sin, our mortal flesh and Mosaic Law,
 EVIL SPIRITS who use these conditions to oppose
CEASING TO BE FULLY DIVINE.
Christ our Lord and Saviour, and who are at the
core of pagan cults and systems of knowledge,
28TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST - CIRCUMCISION OF CHRIST & FEAST

OF

ST BASIL

THE GREAT

- 1 JANUARY 20172 0 1 7

May the Peace and Joy of our Lord & Saviour, Jesus Christ, fill and heal all hearts and souls!

OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST NEVER FOR A MOMENT CEASED


BEING THE ETERNAL WORD AND SON OF GOD THE SECOND
PERSON OF THE HOLY TRINITY.
OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST VOLUNTARILY FULFILLED THE DIVINE
WILL OF HIS FATHER by the Energy and Power of the Holy
Spirit and ASSUMED OUR WEAK, CREATED HUMAN NATURE
WITH ALL OUR HUMAN SENSES AND FUNCTIONS, EXCEPT FOR
THE INCLINATION OR ABILITY TO COMMIT SIN to disobey
or rebel against the Divine Will of God the Father.
(Being Absolute Love and Goodness, GOD IS INCAPABLE
NOR INCLINED TO COMMIT SIN, which is the invention of
Satan, a fallen, arrogant and wilfully selfish creature
similar to us!)
OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST WILLINGLY ASSUMED OUR HUMAN
CONDITION TO THE POINT OF DEATH, for He could not have
been sacrificed as the Ultimate Blood Offering on the
Cross, in His Divine Nature, for GOD IS ETERNALLY
IMMORTAL.
ONLY IN HIS HUMAN NATURE COULD HE DIE and thus descend
into Hades, where, IN HIS DIVINE NATURE HE SET THE
RIGHTEOUS FREE AND SMASHED THE GATES OF HADES AND
DEFEATED DEATH FOREVER!!
IN HIS HUMAN NATURE IN HIS INCARNATION AS MAN OUR
LORD REVEALED THE TRUTH CONCERNING OUR OWN FUTURE
RESURRECTION as He had taught us, by showing Himself
to His Apostles and Disciples over the 40 day period
between His Glorious Resurrection and Ascension.
AS GOD-MAN IN ONE PERSON, OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR, JESUS
CHRIST, POURS DIVINE INTO OUR HUMAN NATURE, for
ANYTHING THAT HAD NOT BEEN ASSUMED BY H IM WOULD
NOT HAVE BEEN CLEANSED AND HEALED FOREVER.

THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING


THE CIRCUMCISION

OF

TO

Therefore we do not need to rise through manifold levels of


being to get close to God.
THE INCARNATE ETERNAL WORD AND SON OF GOD, BEING FULLY
DIVINE AND FULLY MAN HAS FULFILLED OUR HUMAN NATURE
AND ALL LEVELS OF BEING SUBMIT TO H IM WHO IS OUR
ETERNAL CREATOR.
Nor do we need to rise slowly through a humanly conceived
spiritual bureaucracy to God for WE GO DIRECTLY TO
GOD THROUGH OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST WHO IS THE
SOVEREIGN POWER THE HEAD OF ALL EARTHLY AND
ANGELIC BEINGS.
Furthermore, we do not need to perform manmade rituals
and deeds in order to gain the attention of our Divine
Redeemer, for WE MAY APPROACH HIM THROUGH PRAYERS,
WORSHIP AND THROUGH GODS WORKS - BY MEANS OF HIS
HOLY MYSTERIES SUCH AS HOLY BAPTISM AND
CHRISMATION, WHICH UNITES US WITH HIM AND SEALS OUR
HOLY RELATIONSHIP WITH OUR TRIUNE GOD FOREVER.
Our Lord Jesus Christ has triumphed over the wretched
consequences and conditions of our fallen human
existence sin, death, the flesh, the Law, and evil spirits
by means of His own Death and Resurrection.
According to the Old Covenant, during the Rite of
Circumcision of male infants who were eight days old, a
small piece of flesh was removed.
ACCORDING TO THE NEW COVENANT, THE NEW CIRCUMCISION
IN CHRIST IS PERFORMED AFTER OUR B APTISM AND
CHRISMATION, when small pieces of our hair is cut as a
bloodless Offering WHEN BOTH MALES AND FEMALES ARE
TONSURED.
When we accept Holy Baptism and Chrismation, WE DIE TO
THE FLESH AND LIVE IN CHRIST ACCORDING TO THE WILL OF
ALMIGHTY GOD.
ST LUKE 2: 20 21;

OUR LORD & HIS FIRST TEACHING

IN THE

TEMPLE

AT THE

40 52

AGE

OF

TWELVE YEARS

At that time, the Shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it
was told them. And when eight days were completed for the Circumcision of the Child, His Name was called Jesus,
the Name given by the Angel before He was Conceived in the Womb. And the Child grew and became strong in
Spirit, filled with Wisdom and the Grace of God was upon Him.
His parents went to Jerusalem every year to attend the Feast of the Passover. And when He was twelve years old, they
went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the Feast. When they had finished the days, as they returned, the
Boy Jesus lingered behind in Jerusalem. However, Joseph and His Mother did not know it, and supposing Him to
have been in the company, they went a days journey. Then they sought Him among their relatives and
acquaintances and when they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem, to look for Him.
So it was that after three days they found Him in the Temple, sitting in the midst of the Teachers, both listening to them
and asking them questions. And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers.
So when they saw Him, they were amazed; and His Mother said to Him: Son, why have Thou done this to us? Look Thy
father and I have sought Thee anxiously. So He said to them: Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I
must be about My Fathers Business? But they did not understand what He said to them.
Then He went down with them to Nazareth, and was subject to them, and His Mother kept all these things in her heart,
while Jesus increased in Wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and men.
Our Lord Jesus Christ RECEIVED CIRCUMCISION ACCORDING TO
This was THE FIRST STATEMENT MADE BY CHRIST CONCERNING
GOD AS HIS HEAVENLY FATHER.
THE PRECEPTS OF MOSAIC LAW which He faithfully
followed throughout His Life and Ministry because HE
CHRIST DID NOT BREAK THE 5TH COMMANDMENT, ...Honour
FULFILLED THE ENTIRE OLD COVENANT LAW AS GIVEN BY GOD
thy father and mother... because WHAT HE HAD DONE BY
TO ST MOSES ON MOUNT SINAI.
REMAINING AT THE TEMPLE AFTER HIS MOTHER AND
After the Resurrection of Christ, HOLY BAPTISM REPLACED
GUARDIAN HAD LEFT THE CITY, WAS AN ACT OF
PHYSICAL CIRCUMCISION AS THE UNIVERSAL MYSTERY OF
RIGHTEOUSNESS.
SALVATION AND INITIATION INTO THE CHURCH. (It is
HE OBEYED GOD AND DID GODS WILL although St Joseph the
referred to as being the New Circumcision.)
Betrothed and the Ever Blessed Theotokos did not fully
In the Orthodox Church IT IS AN ANCIENT HOLY TRADITION TO
understand at the time and were naturally concerned
NAME A CHILD ON THE EIGHTH DAY OF ITS LIFE. This is not
for His safety.
the Holy Mystery (Sacrament) of Baptism and
While He grew up, CHRIST WAS SUBJECT TO HIS EARTHLY,
Chrismation that takes place a month or two later.
TEMPORARY, PARENTS HIS LEGAL GUARDIANS - clearly
It is A DIFFERENT SERVICE TO THE 40 DAY CHURCHING OF THE
demonstrating His humble Obedience to and respect for
MOTHER that occurs 40 days after the birth of a baby.
His earthly Family.
He grew up healthy in Body and Spirit, increasing daily in
The Incarnation [assuming or taking on a visible, physical
...Wisdom, Stature and Favour with God and men...
body of flesh and bone] means that OUR LORD JESUS
and BRINGING INTO PLAIN VIEW THE WISDOM AND GRACE
CHRIST EXPERIENCED NORMAL HUMAN PHYSICAL, EMOTIONAL
AND INTELLECTUAL GROWTH, BUT UNDER THE SPECIAL
INHERENT IN HIM.
OVERSHADOWING GRACE OF ALMIGHTY GOD that fills Him
In His Incarnation, JESUS CHRIST MADE HUMANITY COMPLETELY
with Wisdom and Strength both physical and Spiritual.
HIS OWN, including progress in Wisdom and Grace.
Pilgrimages to Jerusalem on the three Great Feasts of
HE EXPERIENCED AND SANCTIFIED EVERY STAGE OF HUMAN LIFE.
PASSOVER, PENTECOST AND TABERNACLES, were customary
Since our Lord Jesus Christ is both God and Man, OUR LORD
for all Hebrews except those who lived at great
INCREASED HUMANLY IN THE GRACE AND WISDOM THAT WERE
distances from the Temple.
Entire Clans and
ALREADY FULLY HIS IN HIS DIVINE NATURE.
Communities would travel together for safety and
The growth of Christs Humanity prefigures our own
companionship.
growth into Union with Him.
When our Lord Jesus Christ referred to My Fathers
As Christ our God
and Creator took on complete
Business He REFERRED TO GODS WILL IN PREPARATION FOR
humanity, HE MADE IT POSSIBLE FOR US TO ACHIEVE
HIS DIVINE (AND PUBLIC) MINISTRY.
SPIRITUAL PURITY OR THEOSIS AND BECOME GOD-LIKE.

28 t h Sunday After Pentecost The Circumcision of Christ & the Feast of St Basil the Great
2

28TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST - CIRCUMCISION OF CHRIST & FEAST

OF

ST BASIL

THE GREAT

- 1 JANUARY 2017

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


Holy Spirit...
Happy New Year! Today is the first day of the New
Calendar Year, and the Great Holy Feast we
commemorate today concerns our Lord Jesus Christs
Circumcision as an eight day old Infant.
The reason why our Holy Orthodox Church celebrates
such an Event, and the Spiritual Significance of this
Great Feast is as follows:
1. AT CHRISTS CIRCUMCISION, HE RECEIVED THE NAME
JESUS.
 M A T T H E W 1 : 2 1 - ... She shall bring forth a Son, and
Thou shalt call His Name JESUS, for He shall
Save His People from their sins.
 LUKE
2:21
... when Eight Days were
accomplished for the Circumcising of the Child,
His Name was called JESUS, which was so
named by the Angel before He was Conceived in
the Womb.
The Name Jesus means the Lord saves.
Even though His Name was known before His Conception,
His Name was not officially given to Him until His
Circumcision, according to the Old Covenant Law.
OUR HOLY MYSTERY OF BAPTISM IS THE NEW CIRCUMCISION OF
THE NEW COVENANT, and we do not receive our
Christian Name until our Baptism into Christ.
2. C H R I S T S C I R C U M C I S I O N C L E A R L Y
MANIFESTED(REVEALED) HIS INCARNATION
HUMAN NATURE.

HIS

If

our Lord Jesus had not had human flesh,


it would have been impossible to Circumcise Him.
HIS
VIRGIN
BIRTH
HIGHLIGHTED
HIS
DIVINITY,
AND HIS CIRCUMCISION HIGHLIGHTED HIS HUMANITY.
3. THE CIRCUMCISION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
REMINDS US TO ADDRESS GOD WITH MASCULINE
PRONOUNS.
If our Saviour Jesus had been born female, Circumcision
would have been impossible.
GOD REVEALED HIMSELF AS MASCULINE THUS OUR LORD JESUS
BECAME INCARNATE AS A MALE.
OUR LORD JESUS ADDRESSED GOD AS FATHER WHILE GOD THE
HOLY SPIRIT IS ALWAYS ADDRESSED AS HE IN SCRIPTURE.
OUR LORD GOD REVEALED HIMSELF IN THIS MASCULINE MANNER,
THEREFORE, WE, TOO, MUST ADDRESS HIM ACCORDINGLY.
THIS IS ACCORDING TO DIVINE TRUTH and the clear response
to modern feminist groups and progressive
Protestant denominations, which try to remove or
denigrate masculine references to Almighty God.
MEN AND WOMEN ARE BOTH CREATED IN THE IMAGE AND LIKENESS
OF GOD, THEREBY CONFIRMING GENDER EQUALITY -BECAUSE
EVERYONE - WHETHER MALE OR FEMALE IS EQUALLY VALUED
AND LOVED BY OUR LORD GOD.
We are equal in the Sight of God and EACH PERSON HAS
SPECIFIC SIGNIFICANT ROLE TO FULFIL ACCORDING TO GODS
WILL AND HIS ETERNAL DIVINE PLAN OF UNCONDITIONAL
LOVE.
4. CIRCUMCISION REMINDS US THAT CHRISTIANITY IS
EARTHY, TANGIBLE, & PRACTICAL.
The central Truths of Christianity are based on
basic, historical, and physical Events:
 the Virgin Birth
 the Circumcision of Christ
 the Baptism of Christ
 the Crucifixion of Christ
 the Death of Christ
 the Burial of Christ
 the bodily Resurrection of Christ
 the physical Ascension of Christ
Most religions primarily consist of basic moral teachings
and various beliefs concerning the Afterlife life after
death.
They may mention some concrete historical facts, but
those facts are not central to the religion itself.

For example, Islam minus Mohammads ascension would


still basically be Islam. There would be little impact to
the
Muslim
religion,
regardless
of
whether
Muhammad actually ascended into Heaven or not.
Orthodox Christianity, on the other hand, cannot be
separated from its historical claims, because those
claims form the fundamental Foundations of our
Christian Faith.
Without our Lord Jesus
Christs Resurrection and
Ascension into Heaven, our Orthodox Christianity is
incomplete, imperfect and almost meaningless!
WITHOUT OUR SAVIOURS LIFE-GIVING HOLY CROSS, HIS (AND
OUR EVENTUAL) RESURRECTION, OR HIS GLORIOUS ASCENSION
INTO HEAVEN, THERE IS NO ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY I.E.
CHRISTIAN FAITH ACCORDING TO THE DIVINE TRUTH OF OUR
LORD JESUS CHRIST, THE ETERNAL, ONLY BEGOTTEN WORD
AND SON OF GOD THE FATHER!!
Orthodox Christianity without Christs Circumcision and
Presentation/Meeting at the Temple would also be
unacceptable and incomplete, while with or without
Mohammeds ascension, Islamic belief remains the
same, as does any other man-made concept!
5. CIRCUMCISION WAS OUR LORD JESUS CHRISTS FIRST
BLOOD OFFERING FOR MANKINDS SALVATION.
MANKIND COULD NOT BE SAVED IF OUR LORD JESUS HAD NOT BEEN
CIRCUMCISED AS AN EIGHT DAY OLD INFANT.
According to the Old Covenant between God and
mankind, Holy Scripture clearly stated that
uncircumcised males would be alienated from Gods
People:
 (G E N E S I S 1 7 : 1 4 ) ... the uncircumcised man
child whose flesh of his foreskin is not
Circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his
people, for he hath broken My Covenant.
Furthermore, Holy Scripture exhorted mankind to be
Circumcised in both heart and flesh... (body and
soul) IN ORDER TO APPROACH GOD AND MAINTAIN A GOOD,
HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM AND WITH EACH OTHER.
 E Z E K I E L 4 4 : 9 - Thus saith the Lord GOD; No stranger
- uncircumcised in heart, nor uncircumcised in
flesh - shall enter into My Sanctuary, nor any
stranger who is among the Children of Israel.
Our Lord Jesus Christ was faithful to Gods Law in every
detail, even from His Infancy.
His Circumcision as an eight day old Infant, was the
beginning of His Earthly Path of complete Obedience
to God, in every aspect of daily life. (He is our most
Perfect Role Model to imitate throughout this temporary earthly
life.)
Our Saviour was the Most Perfect, Faithful Israelite or
Judean in history. Yet without being circumcised, He
could not have been such a Perfect, Faithful Judean
Man.
As the Perfect Faithful Man, our Incarnate Lord Jesus
inherits all the Divine Promises that God made to the
Israelites according to the Old Covenant.
WHEN WE ARE BAPTIZED INTO CHRIST AND SUBSEQUENTLY
STRIVE TO LIVE IN CHRIST EVERY DAY OF THIS SHORT LIFE, AS
ADOPTED CHILDREN OF GOD, AND THUS CO-HEIRS WITH
CHRIST, WE INHERIT EVERYTHING THAT HE INHERITS.
Christs Circumcision, His Absolute Faithfulness, and His
Inheritance become ours!
 G A L A T I A N S 3 : 2 7 - 2 9 - ... as many of you as have
been Baptized into Christ have put on Christ. . .
. And if you are Christs, then you are Abrahams
seed, and Heirs according to the Promise.
O Almighty God, Who made Thy Blessed Son to be
Circumcised, and Obedient to the Law for mankind,
grant us the True Circumcision of the Holy Spirit, so
that - our heart and all our members being mortified
from all worldly and carnal lusts - we may in all
things Obey Thy Blessed Will, through Thy Son
Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.
JOSEPH M. GLEASON CHRIST THE KING ORTHODOX CHURCH, OMAHA, ILLINOIS
1 JANUARY 2012-https://theorthodoxlife.wordpress.com

28TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST - CIRCUMCISION OF CHRIST & FEAST

OF

ST BASIL

THE GREAT

- 1 JANUARY 20172 0 1 7

May the Peace and Joy of our Lord & Saviour, Jesus Christ, fill and heal all hearts and souls!

The Eternal, Inspired Holy Wisdom of our Holy Church Fathers


ST AMBROSE OF OPTINA:
If we find that there is no Love in us, but we want to have
It, then we must do deeds of Love, even though we
might do them without Love in the beginning, for our
Lord will see our desire and striving for Love, and will
grant Love in our heart.
ST JUSTIN POPOVICH:
1. Through Faith the mind, which was previously
dispersed among the passions, is concentrated, freed
from sensuality, and endowed with Peace and
Humility of thought.
When it lives by the senses in a sensual world, the mind
is sick.
With the Help of Faith, however, the mind is Delivered
from the prison of this world, where it has been stifled
by sin, and enters into New Age, where it breathes in
a Wondrous New Air.
The sleep of the mind is as dangerous as Death, and it is
therefore essential to rouse the mind by Faith to the
performance of Spiritual Works, by which we will
overcome ourselves, and drive out the passions.
Drive out self, and the enemy will be driven from our
side.
2. ...You are angry with your neighbours - you despise
them, or you do not like to speak peaceably and
lovingly to them because there is something harsh,
abrupt, careless or unpleasant in their character, in
their speech or in their manners or because they
are more conscious of their dignity than perhaps is
necessary; or because they may be somewhat proud
and disrespectful.
But you yourself who are your neighbours Physician
and Teacher, are even more guilty than them!
Physician, heal thyself! we are commanded. Teacher,
teach yourself!
Your own malice is the bitterest of all evils. Is it then
possible to correct malice by means of evil? Having a
beam in your own eye, can you pull out the mote from
the eye of another?
Evil and faults are corrected by Good, by Love,
Kindness, Meekness, Humility, and Patience.
S T N I K O N O F O P T I N A (1888 1931)
...PEOPLE OF THE WORLD CONSIDER US BELIEVERS TO BE FOOLISH
AND STUPID. They do not approve of our Orthodox
Faith, nor Ecclesiastical Rules, Laws and practises.
THEY SCORNFULLY MOCK AND DISHONOUR EVERYTHING THAT IS
HOLY TO US.
We often hear from Believers, who are forced to live in a
hostile environment, how difficult it is to endure
constant mockery and derision.
We should CONSIDER SUCH TREATMENT AN HONOUR:
 1 P E T E R 4 : 1 4 ...If you are reproached for the
Name of Christ, Blessed are you, for the Spirit
of Glory and God rests upon you.
If people mock us, if they do not Love us, it means WE ARE
NOT OF THIS WORLD. We should not be grieved nor upset
over such treatment
PERSECUTION AND OPPRESSION ARE BENEFICIAL FOR US, FOR THEY
STRENGTHEN US IN OUR FAITH. (LIVING WITHOUT HYPOCRISY PG. 32)
VLADYKA AVERKY (TAUSHEV) OF BLESSED MEMORY
...Particularly dangerous clerics among such false
Shepherds are those who preach a need for Peace
with everyone, under the pretext of noncondemnation and Christian Love and Forgiveness.
Let us remember that the peace with the Antichrist (as
with his servants) is already A BETRAYAL OF CHRIST - AND
HENCE ENMITY AGAINST CHRIST!"
ST IGNATIOS OF ANTIOCH
... Keep away from the poisonous weeds that grow where
our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, does not till the
Soil, for they are not the Plantings of our Heavenly
Father!

ABBOT TRYPHON
Sometimes we enter a Dark Night of the soul, where God
seems distant from us.
THIS IS ONLY AN ILLUSION, FOR GOD IS CLOSER TO US THAN
OUR OWN BREATH.
THESE TIMES ARE ALLOWED BY GOD TO BRING US CLOSER TO
HIM, much like a loving Father who stands his child on
his feet, walks a few feet away holding out his arms, and
waits for the child to take his or her first steps.
Likewise, our Heavenly Father is ever ready to reach out
and lift us up when we stumble or fall, but as any caring
parent knows, He must distance Himself for a few
moments if we are to learn to stand on our own two feet
and make the effort to walk to take the necessary
footsteps towards the Safety and Comfort of His
Embrace.
When we find it difficult to pray, we must light our
lampada before our Icons and sit silently before them.
We must say to God: O Lord, I am hurting and sad, and
am unable to speak to Thee, so I need Thee to speak to
my heart...
SOMETIMES THE MOST PROFITABLE SPIRITUAL GROWTH CAN
TAKE PLACE IN SUCH PERIODS OF B ROKENNESS BECAUSE WE
BEGIN TO UNDERSTAND AND TO ACKNOWLEDGE IN THESE
MOMENTS HOW VERY MUCH WE NEED GOD AND DEPEND UPON
HIM.

Be not fearful, Dear Ones, for God is near, and will not
leave you.
OUR ALL LOVING LORD IS ALLOWING THESE DRY MOMENTS,
WHEN WE FEAR H E HAS LEFT US, AS THE WAY OF MAKING US
REACH OUT TO H IM.
When we are Struggling, or even suffering, we grow
stronger in our Faith.
THE ABILITY TO PRAY SINCERELY WILL RETURN TO US AS LONG IS
WE OFFER GOD MOMENTS IN OUR LIFE WHEN WE AVAIL
OURSELVES IN SILENCE - LISTENING FOR H IS VOICE AND
WAITING FOR H IS PRESENCE.
Parents who constantly do their childrens homework, do
them no favour, for their children will never learn to
stand on their own, do things for themselves, and thus
will forever remain dependent on their parents or others!
OUR LORD WANTS US TO GROW STRONG AND CONFIDENT IN
OUR FAITH, WHILE DEVELOPING A MATURE RELATIONSHIP
WITH H IM.
If we do not LEARN TO STAND ON OUR OWN, TO MAKE OUR OWN
EFFORTS AND DEAL WITH OUR OWN STRUGGLES, we will
remain undeveloped, co-dependent and immature
children never developing skills that fulfil our
individual potential, nor able to reach with confidence
for our higher, ultimate earthly targets or our final
desired Destination, but remaining weak, ineffectual and
constantly fearful.
PROLOGUE OF OCHRID ON OBEDIENCE
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, 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 Spiritual Men to determine the answer.
The Monks were to command St Symeon in their name to
come down from the pillar. 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.''

28TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST - CIRCUMCISION OF CHRIST & FEAST

OF

ST BASIL

THE GREAT

- 1 JANUARY 2017

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa


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 January 2017
Holy Theophany
The Baptism of Christ & Revelation of the Holy Trinity
FESTAL ISODIKON THEOPHANY SMALL ENTRANCE TONE 2

Evlogimenos

Blessed is He Who comes in the Name of the Lord. Save

O Erhomenos en Onomati Kyriou, Theos


Kyrios ke Epefanen imin. Soson imas, Iie Theo, O en
Iordani ipo Ioannou Vaptisthis, psalontas Si: Allilouia!

us, O Son of God, Who was Baptised in the Jordan, who


sing to Thee: Alleluia!

FESTAL APOLYTIKION - THEOPHANY

En

In

Iordani Vaptizomenou Sou Kyrie, i tis Triados


efanerothi Proskinisis.
Tou gar Gennitoros i Foni
prosemartiri Si, Agapiton Se Iion Onomazousa. Ke to
Pnevma en idi peristeras eveveou tou Logou to asfales.
O Epifanis, Hriste O Theos, ke ton kosmon Fotisas,
Doxa Si! (3)

the Jordan, when Thou was Baptised, O Lord, the


Worship of the Trinity was made manifest. For the
Voice of the Father bore witness to Thee, naming Thee
the Beloved Son. And the Spirit, like a dove,
confirmed His Word as Sure and Steadfast. O Christ
our God, Who has Appeared and Enlightened the
world: Glory to Thee! (3)

FESTAL KONTAKION - THEOPHANY

Epefanis

Thou hast appeared today to the inhabited earth, and Thy

simeron ti ikoumeni, ke to Fos Sou Kyrie,


esimiothi ef imas en epignosi imnountas Se. Ilthes
efanis to Fos to aprositon.
INSTEAD

TRISAGION

OF THE

HE

Light, O Lord, has been marked upon us, who with


knowledge sing Thy praise: Thou hast come, Thou art
made manifest, the Light that no man can approach.

Osi is Hriston Evaptisthite, Hriston enedisasthe.

Allilouia!

[3]

THRICE HOLY

OR

O NGR EG ATI O N

MUST

HYMN

TAND

Holy

God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy


upon us [3]

Doxa Patri, ke Io, ke Agio Pnevmati ke nin ke Ai ke is Glory

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


Spirit, Now and forever, and to the Ages of ages.

tous eonas ton eonon.

Amin
Hriston enedisasthe. Allilouia!
Dynamis!
Dynamis!
Osi is Hriston Evaptisthite, Hriston enedisasthe.

Amen
Holy Immortal, have mercy upon us
P R I E S T With Strength!
CHOIR
With Strength!
PEOPLE
Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy

Allilouia!

Immortal, have

mercy on us
FESTAL MAGNIFICAT THEOPHANY - TONE 2

Megalinon,

Magnify,

Apori pasa glossa evfimin pros axian.

Every tongue is at a loss to praise Thee as is due:

psihi mou, tin Timioteran ton Ano


Stratevmaton.

Ilingia de vous ke
iperkosmios imnin Se, Theotoke. Omos Agathi iparhousa,
tin Pistin dehou. Ke gar ton pothon idas ton entheon
imon. Si gar Hristianon i prostatis, Se Megalinomen.

O my soul, Her who is greater in Honour


than the Heavenly Hosts.

even a
spirit from the world Above is filled with dizziness,
when it seeks to sing Thy Praises, O Theotokos. But
since Thou art Good, accept our Faith. Thou know well
our Love Inspired by God, for Thou art the Protector of
Christians, whom we Magnify.

THE COMMUNION HYMN

Epefani

i Haris tou Theou, i Sotirios pasin anthropis.


Allilui ! (3)

The

Grace of God has Appeared for the Salvation of all


mankind. Alleluia! (3)

FESTAL PROKEIMENON THEOPHANY PSALM 117/118 TONE 4

Evlogimenos O erhomenos en Onomati Kyriou!


Proshomen!
Exomologisthe to Kyrio, oti Agathos, oti is ton

Blessed is He Who comes in the Name of the Lord!


Let us attend
READER Confess the Lord, for He is Good; for His Mercy
READER
PRIEST

eona to

Eleos Aftou!

endures forever!
THE EPISTLE
THE GRACE

OF

OF

ST PAUL

GOD SAVES US

TO

THROUGH

ST TITOS 2:11-14
BAPTISM

IN

&

JESUS CHRIST &

3:4-7
THE

HOLY SPIRIT

Titus my child: the Grace of God that brings Salvation has Appeared to all mankind, teaching us that, denying
ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, Righteously, and Godly in the present age, looking for the
Blessed Hope and Glorious Appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ, Who gave Himself for us, so that
He might Redeem us from every lawless deed and Purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for Good
Works.
HOLY THEOPHANY BAPTISM OF CHRIST & REVELATION OF THE HOLY TRINITY 6 JANUARY 2017

5.

...For when the Kindness and the Love of God our Saviour toward mankind Appeared - not by Works of Righteousness
which we have done -but according to His Mercy, He Saved us, through the Washing of Regeneration and
Renewing of the Holy Spirit, Whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour, that having
been Justified by His Grace we should become Heirs according to the Hope of Eternal Life.
While Christian ethical Teaching often appears similar to
other systems, St Paul used both Roman and Judean
ethical terms THE BASIS OF CHRISTIAN ETHICS BEING
UNIQUE.
CHRISTIANS SHOULD BE GOOD PEOPLE not merely due to
Obedience to Divine Law or harmony with nature, or in
order to gain Immortal Bliss for our soul.
Rather, Christians should BE RIGHTEOUS IN ANTICIPATION OF
THE AGE TO COME IN PREPARATION FOR ETERNAL LIFE IN
GODS HEAVENLY KINGDOM THE ESCHATON, which is the
Age of THE FULLNESS OF CREATION IN THE INCARNATE
WORD AND SON OF GOD THE FATHER.
Grace is THE UNCREATED ENERGY OF ALMIGHTY GOD.
Divine Grace is THE HOLY GIFT OF GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT,
THROUGH WHICH H E GRANTS H IS DIVINE GIFTS TO MANKIND
IN TENDER MERCY AND GOOD WILL.
The Grace of God is THE FORMATIVE POWER, THE RULE OF LIFE
OF THE ESCHATON, THAT REQUIRES OUR DETERMINED
PARTICIPATION AND OUR PERSONAL SPIRITUAL STRUGGLE OR
STRIVING TO MAINTAIN.
To belong to God is to BECOME AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE LIKE OR
SIMILAR TO GOD IN WHOSE LIKENESS AND IMAGE WE ARE
CREATED.
(After the Fall, mankind lost our Divine Likeness, and this temporary,
preparatory period of earthly life is granted to each of us in order
to Struggle and Strive to regain that lost Divine Likeness. mp)
To be Ransomed or owned by our Lord God is not
simply a legal and static state, but means to LIVE IN
SOLIDARITY WITH OUR TRIUNE GOD BY OUR CEASELESS,
BLESSED AND VICTORIOUS SPIRITUAL STRUGGLE.
Our Holy Church Fathers regard ...our Great God and
Saviour, Jesus Christ... as A LANDMARK STATEMENT OF
THE DIVINITY OF CHRIST JESUS.
 R O M A N S 9 : 5 - ... for whom pertain the Adoption the
Glory, the Covenants, the Giving of the Law, the
Service of God, and the Promises, of Whom are the
Fathers, and from Whom, according to the flesh,
Christ came, Who is over all, the Eternally Blessed
God.
St Paul had many opponents who accused him of failing to
Love his fellow Israelites.
THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING
OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST

Judean unbelief was illuminated by ST PAULS DESCRIPTION


OF ISRAEL THE ONE THAT IS PHYSICAL (OLD COVENANT
ISRAEL - JUDAISM) AND ONE THAT IS SPIRITUAL (NEW
COVENANT ISRAEL CHRISTIANITY).
GOD IS FAITHFUL TO ALL ISRAEL, but the significant point
concerns THE TRUE CHILDREN OF ABRAHAM/ISRAEL WHO
ARE THE CHILDREN OF THE DIVINE PROMISE FAITHFUL
BELIEVERS AND DISCIPLES OF CHRIST OUR LORD AND
SAVIOUR.
 2 P E T E R 1 : 1 ... those who have obtained like
Precious Faith with us by the Righteousness of our
God and Saviour, Jesus Christ...
St Peter taught an Apostolic Consensus ... like Precious
Faith with us... - thereby REMINDING AND EXHORTING US
TO FULL CHRISTIAN B ELIEF AND VIRTUE encouraging us
to FAITHFULLY FULFIL OUR DAILY LIFE IN CHRIST BY
COMPLETE OBEDIENCE TO DIVINE TRUTH, BY STRIVING TO
FULFILL ALL GODS TEACHINGS AND COMMANDMENTS
CEASELESSLY AND UNCONDITIONALLY.
St Paul believed that the Name God usually referred to
the Person of God the Father, not to His Divine Nature.
As St Paul grew older, it seems his sense of the difference
between this present age and the Age to come (Eternity)
was more profound. (deepened)
In his earlier Epistles, St Paul emphasised the present
realisation of Gods Divine Power, whereas later, he
concentrated more on OUR FUTURE TRANSFIGURATION.
The Washing of Regeneration THE HOLY MYSTERY OF
BAPTISM and the Renewing of the Holy Spirit.
CHRISMATION, FORM A UNITY IN OUR SALVATION, which is
clearly stated throughout the New Testament.
 Our Lord Jesus Christ taught us that WE ARE RE-B ORN
FROM ABOVE THROUGH WATER AND THE (HOLY)
SPIRIT. (REFER TO JOHN 3:5)
 St Peter preached SALVATION IN CHRIST THROUGH BEING
BAPTISED AND BY RECEIVING THE SEAL OF THE GIFT OF
THE H OLY SPIRIT. (REFER ACTS 2:38)
 St Paul strongly encouraged us to ACCEPT THE WASHING
OF THE WATER, AND THE RENEWING OF THE H OLY SPIRIT
THE HOLY MYSTERIES OF B APTISM AND CHRISMATION.
TO

IS PUBLICLY PROCLAIMED BY

ST MATTHEW 3 : 13 17
GOD

AS

HIS ETERNAL SON

AT

HIS BAPTISM

At that time, our Lord Jesus went from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be Baptised by him. And John tried to prevent
Him, saying: I need to be Baptised by Thee, and art Thou coming to me? But Jesus answered and said to him:
Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfil all Righteousness.
Then he allowed Him.
When He had been Baptised, Jesus came up immediately from the water. And behold:, the Heavens were opened to
Him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And behold: a Voice came
from Heaven, saying: This is My Beloved Son, in Whom I Am well pleased.
Our Lord Jesus Christ being God-Man, and thus sinless,
 He Fulfilled the many Foretypes mentioned in the Old
certainly did not need the Spiritual Purification and
Testament Holy Scriptures, as when St Moses led the
Sanctification of Repentance and Baptism.
Israelites from bondage into Freedom through the
By making the Purification of mankind His own, our
Red Sea, and when the Ark of the Covenant was
Saviour Washed away the sins of all mankind, granted
carried into the Jordan River so that the Faithful
us Spiritual Regeneration and Revealed the Divine
People of God could enter the Promised Land.
(EXODUS14 & JOSHUA 3,4 & 7)
Mystery of the Holy Trinity God the Father, God the
Son and God the Holy Spirit.
 He opened His Heavenly Kingdom to a world that had
been separated and exiled from God due to our
Therefore, His Baptism was necessary for the Fulfilment of
Gods Righteous Plan of Salvation.
rebellion, disobedience and all unrepented sins.
St Gregory of Nyssa explained that our Lord Jesus Christ ...
The Baptism of Christ is correctly entitled The Great Feast
entered the filthy, sinful waters of the (fallen) world,
of Theophany which means God Revealed.
The Eternal, Only Begotten Word and Son of God is revealed
and when He arose from the water, He Elevated
(Uplifted) and Purified our entire world with Him.
to us by the Descent of God the Holy Spirit, and by the
Very Voice of God the Father Who Testifies to this
By being Baptised, our Divine Saviour accomplished several
significant Things:
Divine Truth.
 He Affirmed the Holy Ministry of St John the Baptist
Theophany is the Greatest and clearest public Manifestation
of our Triune God in human history ...the Trinity was
and Forerunner.
 His True, Divine Identity was Testified to and Revealed
made Manifest... as we so Joyfully sing.
by the other Two Persons of the Holy Trinity God
The Divine Words actually spoken by God our Heavenly
the Father and God the Holy Spirit.
Father, also apply to everyone who is Baptised and who
 He identified with His People by descending naked into
strives ceaselessly and determinedly to Live in Christ,
the waters of the Jordan River together with them.
for we are Divinely Adopted at our Holy Baptism,
 He Prefigured His own forthcoming Death, Burial and
becoming Co-Heirs with Christ our Saviour. (SEE GALATIANS
4:4-7)
Resurrection, which gave the Holy Mystery of
The Holy Spirit Appearing like a dove is certainly not an
Baptism its ultimate Meaning and Purpose.
Incarnation at all, but was a Visible Sign of Something
 He entered the waters of the River Jordan, thereby
Sanctifying all the water on Earth.
6. H O L Y T H E O P H A N Y B A P T I S M O F C H R I S T & R E V E L A T I O N O F T H E H O L Y T R I N I T Y 6 J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 7

Mysterious that Descended from Heaven and alighted


upon Christ our Lord.
(Doves are able to hover in the air, which is how the witnesses
described what they beheld, but the Holy Spirit did not take the
form of a dove, which is an incorrect assumption that should be
avoided or rejected at all costs!! We can only describe anything
according to our personal experiences and limited knowledge.
mp)
This Mysterious, indescribable Appearance of the Holy
Spirit fulfilled the type that had been prefigured after
the Great Flood, as St Theophan explained: ... just as a
dove announced to Noah that Gods Wrath had ceases, so
too the Holy Spirit Announced on Theophany that Christ
has Reconciled us with God by sweeping sin away in the
Flood Waters of Baptism...
The Spirit of God... hovered over the water at the First
Creation. ( G E N E S I S 1 2 )
At Theophany, God the Holy Spirit hovered like a dove
and alighted upon our Lords Head, thereby Anointing
Him as the Great Messiah our Lord and Saviour at

the beginning of the New Creation (of the New Covenant


between God and mankind.)
Our Lord Jesus Christ did not become the Son of God at
Theophany, for He is Eternally the Word and Son of God
He has always been so!
Our Lord Jesus Christ was Revealed to mankind as the
Eternal Son of God the Father on that Glorious Day.
God the Holy Spirit has always rested upon Him.
Theophany the Revelation of the Holy Trinity is Joyfully
Commemorated on 6 January, for it also points us
towards the Blissful Age to come Eternal Life in Gods
Heavenly Kingdom of Love.
 The Royal Psalmist, St David, wrote prophetically in his
Psalm 2: 7 ... Thou art My Son... Today I have
Begotten Thee..
It is remarkable how the Baptism of our Lord Jesus Christ
Revealed to us the Infinite Mystery of the Holy Trinity
when God the Father spoke from Heaven, and the Holy
Spirit Descended, hovered and alighted upon the
Baptised, Incarnate, Eternal Son of God.

Holy Theophany
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the When God created the Heavens and the Earth, the Earth
Holy Spirit...
Dearly Beloved: When celebrating Theophany, we call to
remembrance both that God was made known to
mankind as Holy Trinity and that our Lord Jesus was
revealed as Christ the Great Messiah or the Anointed
One of God.
Where was Christ revealed? Where was His Work begun?
Did He go to a great city to be revealed there in His
Glory? Did He ascend a high mountain, with a crowd
of many thousands standing below and looking up at
Him in admiration and wonder? No!
Our Lord Jesus Christ went into the quietness and solitude
of the desert, and to the River Jordan, where St John
the Forerunner was Baptizing the repentant people.
St John preached Repentance to everyone, calling upon
all sinners to be Baptized in the Jordan River as a
Sign of Cleansing and Repentance.
Christ, Who has no sin, also went to the River Jordan, and
humbly asked to be Baptised.
However, St John, instantly recognising Him as the long
awaited Great Messiah, was deeply astonished and
even fearful to be asked to do such a thing by the One
Who is far more significant than himself.
He expressed his concern, but the Holy Baptist was
reassured and persuaded by the gentle words of our
Lord, Who said: Let it be so now: for this is how we
should fulfill all Righteousness. [ C F . M A T T H E W 3 : 1 3 15].

Adam had sinned through pride. He wanted to be


exalted, to become like God.
But CHRIST CAME TO
FULFILL THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD AND TO EXPIATE ADAMS
PRIDE BY HIS OWN DEEP HUMILITY.
Adam wanted to exalt himself before God, but GOD
HUMBLED HIMSELF BEFORE MANKIND.
Our Lord Jesus Christ willingly descended into the waters,
and received Baptism from His Faithful Servant. St
John who, trembling, placed his hand on the Divine
Head of His Beloved Master and God, while our
Redeemer so humbly bowed His Head before him.
Our Lords utter Humility unlocked the Heavens, which
opened, and the Voice of God the Father was heard to
clearly proclaim: This is My beloved Son, in Whom I
Am well pleased!
God our Heavenly Father testified that our Lord Jesus is
His Eternal, Only Begotten Son, Who humbled Himself
in order to accomplish the Divine Will of God the
Father.
He affirmed the Divine Truth that our Lord Jesus Christ is
His True Son Who abases Himself in order to elevate
mankind!
God the Holy Spirit descended upon our Saviour, thereby
Confirming and Sealing the Word of God the Father.
The Humility of Christ opened the Heavens, revealing to
all mankind the Infinite Mystery of the Tri-Hypostatic
Godhead. (Three Divine Persons in One Godhead.)
Why was this accomplished in the waters of the Jordan
River, and not in some other place?

was without form and void, until God the Holy Spirit
moved over the waters, and divided the land from the
waters, but in such a way that water still remained
everywhere.
Water is vitally essential to everything in Creation, for
neither mankind nor any other creatures great or
small - can live without water.
 P S A L M 2 3 : 1 - 2 - .. The Earth is the Lords, and the
fullness thereof, the world, and all that dwell
therein. He hath founded it upon the seas, and
upon the rivers hath He prepared it... By the Word
of God the Heavens were of old, and the earth
standing out of the water and in the water...
 2 P E T E R 3 : 5 - 6 However, the due to the
consequences of mankinds disobedience and sin,
the Great Flood would wash everything away, as
St Peter wrote: ... Whereby the world that then
was, being overflowed with water, perished ...
Mankinds disobedience and debauchery incurred the
Wrath of God upon all of nature.
Mankind is the crown of Gods Creation and we were
granted dominion over all other creatures.
After the Cleansing of Creation during the Great Flood,
God has granted us more time to Repent our sins and
choose for ourselves, which Path we want to follow to
Eternity.
Nevertheless, unless we choose to Struggle and Strive as
Faithful Disciples of Christ who desire to fulfil the Will
of God the Father, through His Eternal, Incarnate
Word and Son, by the Power and Energy of the Holy
Spirit, we will suffer irreparable consequences when
all corruptible nature will be destroyed, while others
will be being Transformed into ...New Heavens and a
New Earth, wherein dwelleth Righteousness. (2 PETER
3:13).
It was in order to make this Transformation possible, and
to prepare nature for the Incorruption that will occur
after the Dread Day of Judgement, that Christ entered
the waters of Jordan.
By His immersion in the Jordan River, Christ Sanctified not
only those waters, but the whole nature of Earths
waters:
...Christ hath appeared in the Jordan to Sanctify the
waters. (TROPARION OF THE FOREFEAST OF THEOPHANY);
Today the nature of the waters is Sanctified (TROPARION AT
THE BLESSING OF THE WATERS).
Since there is water everywhere, by Sanctifying the
waters, Christ thereby Sanctified all of Creation - the
entire Universe.
He thereby prepared nature that it, too, might experience
the Beneficial Consequences of the Sacrifice that He
came to offer. But this was not yet everything.
He granted the waters the Power to Cleanse mankind
from our sin.
The Baptism of St John the Forerunner was only a Sign of
Repentance.
The Holy Mystery of Christian Baptism is a New Birth and
the forgiveness of all sins!

HOLY THEOPHANY BAPTISM OF CHRIST & REVELATION OF THE HOLY TRINITY 6 JANUARY 2017

7.

God punished the sins of the first Creation with water,


destroying it in the Great Flood.
Now, according to His New Covenant, our Benevolent
and All Merciful Lord God Saves mankind with Water
and the Holy Spirit in the Holy Mystery of Baptism and
Chrismation.
Thus, as we mention in the Festal Hymns of Theophany,
our Lord Jesus Christ crushed the head of the Serpent
in the waters of the Jordan - that same Evil Serpent
that had deceived Adam and Eve was defeated by
the abject Humility of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Our Saviour taught us His Divine Truth and revealed to us
that God is Three Persons in One Godhead.
Our Lord Jesus Sanctified the waters on Earth and
throughout the Universe, thereby preparing all
Creation to receive the Word of Forgiveness and to
prepare ourselves for Incorruption and Eternal Life.
Having been Victorious against the puny deceptions and
temptations of the evil one in the wilderness,
our
Lord began His Public Ministry that prepared
mankind for His Eternal Heavenly Kingdom.
Like His Forerunner, St John, our Lord Jesus Christ began
His Universal Teaching with one most significant
exhortation: Repent!
And then He cautioned us: ...
for the Kingdom of
Heaven is at hand! ( M A T T H E W 4 : 1 7 )
According to St Marks Holy Gospel, our Lord also said:
... The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at
hand: Repent! And believe the Gospel! ( M A R K 1 : 1 5 ) .
Until that time, St John the Baptist and Forerunner to
Christ, had been preaching Repentance, preparing
the Way for our Lord.
Now our Lord Himself cries out to every one of us:
Repent!
This Divine Commandment is not addressed only to those
who lived during those days of Christ in our midst.
Every Word He spoke, Taught, Exhorted or Commanded is
addressed to every human being of every age, of

every century now and forever, until the Ages of


ages.
We have heard His Divine, Salvific Words that are
recorded throughout Holy Scripture and in the Holy
Gospels let us pay meticulous attention to them
applying them carefully and thoroughly to every
aspect of our Life.
Until the meaningful Festal Hymns of the Theophany fade
away, they will always remind us AND CAUTION US that the time of Repentance is right NOW!!.
Let us be attentive!
For these are the Words the Divine Truth - not of a
Prophet nor of an Angel of God!
These are the Divine Words of our Loving, Compassionate
and Graciously Merciful Lord God Himself!!
Let us immediately strive to Repent our sins those of the
past, and those of today.
The more conscious we become of the temptations and
our personal, habitual sins, the more alert we will be
and the more quickly we can beseech Gods
Forgiveness.
With each Repentance, we shall grow Spiritually
Stronger, instantly correcting ourselves and seeking
Forgiveness so that we may proceed successfully step
by step, towards Eternal Life.
During the approaching Fast that of Great Lent and all
necessary Fasts throughout this year - let us conquer
our pride and our passions as soon as they arise.
By our ceaseless Struggles and Repentance may we all
receive the Blessings of the remission of our sins, so
that in the Age to come, we might with Great Joy,
Peace and Love, enter the Imperishable Kingdom
prepared by our Beloved Lord God.
Amen.
ORIGINAL SERMON OF ST JOHN OF SHANGHAI & SAN FRANCISCO
BITOL, SERBIA. 1928 (EDITED BY MP)

http://www.pravmir.com

The Inspired, Eternal Wisdom of our Holy Church Fathers


ST ANTHONY THE GREAT

ST IGNATIUS BRIANCHANINOV

In order to be Pleasing to God, whoever we may be,


we must always keep God before us focus on Him
alone and whatever we do, we must always do it
according to His Divine Truth His Divine
Commandments and Teachings for thereby we
will receive Salvation and Eternal Life.

Those who are careless about Prayer arecareless


about their Eternal Salvation and those who stop
praying renounce their Salvation.

ST PAISIOS

THE

NEW

OF

MOUNT ATHOS

People have lost the feeling that they need to Repent...


They commit sin and their conscience doesn't bother
them.
THERE'S NEVER-ENDING WORK TO BE DONE ON OURSELVES.
REPENTANCE NEVER ENDS, just like a wood carving, we
can work on it our whole life, perfecting it by using
a magnifying glass.
If we do not start working on ourselves, the devil will
find work for us, and we will concern ourselves with
other peoples lives, instead of examining closely
our own Spiritual State.
WE HAVE TO ACQUIRE SPIRITUAL SENSITIVITY.
A Faithful Disciple of Christ has to be able to seek out
the hidden passions that always lurk deep within
us, to root them out and to Repent them and never
to ignore or forget about them.
Fallen and blind souls have put a tight lid on their
conscience, and they end up in a state where they
have nothing of True Value.
They are never happy nor contented with their
circumstances, so they are always seeking, but
never finding fulfilment or satisfaction.
When negative things happen to us, we do not need to
berate ourselves and our failures. Instead we must
deal with our problems however possible.
WHEN I SEE EVEN ONE OF MY SINS, I AM HAPPY AND GRATEFUL
BECAUSE A WOUND HAD BEEN REVEALED SO THAT I CAN TREAT
IT."

Worldly people and even Monks without Spiritual


Discernment are nearly always attracted by
humbugs, imposters, hypocrites and those who are
in demonic delusion, and they take them for Saints
and genuine Servants of God.
ST JOHN CHRYSOSTOM -ON MODESTY

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? 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!
ELDER JOSEPH

THE

HESYCHAST

NEGLECT PLOTS AGAINST US.

IT IS LIKE A DROUGHT THAT


HINDERS ANY KIND OF PLANNING.
NEGLECT HURTS EVERYONE. It hinders those who want to
begin the Spiritual Battle and stops those who have
begun.
NEGLECT HINDERS THOSE WHO ARE UNAWARE, and keeps
those who have been deluded, from returning!

8. H O L Y T H E O P H A N Y B A P T I S M O F C H R I S T & R E V E L A T I O N O F T H E H O L Y T R I N I T Y 6 J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 7

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa


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 4

8 January 2017
th

29 Sunday After Pentecost


Sunday After Theophany
Also the Feast of St George the Chozebite Abbot St Domnica of Constantinople
St Emilian the Confessor & Bishop of Cyzikos St Gregory, Wonder-worker of Kiev
Near Caves Monastery St Gregory the Recluse of Kiev Caves Monastery St
Isidore & 72 Fellow Martyrs of Yuriev, Estonia St Paisios, Igumen of Holy
Protection Monastery, Uglich St Carterios of Caesarea, Cappadocia St Theophilos the Deacon & St Helladios of
Libya St Julian, St Basilissa, St Marcionilla, St Celsos, St Anthony, St Anastasios, 7 Children Martyrs & 20 Soldier
Martyrs of Antinoes, Egypt St Elias, Holy Hermit of Egypt St Gregory of Ochrid Monastery
RESURRECTION APOLYTIKION TONE 4

To

fedron tis Anastaseos Kirigma ek tou Angelou


Mathouse e tou Kyriou Mathitrie ke tin Progonikin
apofasin aporipsase, tis Apostolis kafhomene elegon.
Eskilefte O Thanatos, igerthi Hristos O Theos,
doroumenos to kosmo to Mega Eleos.

When the Women Disciples of the Lord had learnt from


the Angels the Glad Tidings of the Resurrection that
had cast away the Condemnation of their Forefather,
they spoke exultingly to the Apostles: Death is no
more! Christ-God is Risen, granting to the world
Great Mercy.

FESTAL APOLYTIKION - THEOPHANY

En

Iordani Vaptizomenou Sou Kyrie, i tis Triados


efanerothi Proskinisis.
Tou gar Gennitoros i Foni
prosemartiri Si, Agapiton Se Iion Onomazousa. Ke to
Pnevma en idi peristeras eveveou tou Logou to asfales.
O Epifanis, Hriste O Theos, ke ton kosmon Fotisas, Doxa
Si!

When

Thou, O Lord, was Baptised in the Jordan, the


Worship of the Trinity was made manifest. For the
Voice of the Father bore witness to Thee, calling Thee
the Beloved Son, and the Spirit like a dove,
confirmed His Word as sure and steadfast. O Christ
our God, Who has appeared and Enlightened the world:
Glory to Thee!

FESTAL KONTAKION - THEOPHANY

Epefanis

simeron ti ikoumeni, ke to Fos Sou Kyrie,


esimiothi ef imas en epignosi imnountas Se. Ilthes
efanis to Fos to aprositon.

Thou

appeared today to the inhabited earth, and Thy


Light, O Lord, has been marked upon us, who with
knowledge sing Thy praise: Thou came;, Thou art
made manifest, the Light that no man can approach.

PROKEIMENON PSALM 32/33 TONE 1

Let Thy Mercy, O Lord, be upon us!


Rejoice in the Lord, O Ye Righteous!
THE EPISTLE

OF

ST PAUL

WE

TO THE

MUST USE OUR

EPHESIANS 4 : 7 13

SPIRITUAL GIFTS

Brethren: to each one of us Grace was granted according to the measure of Christs Gift. Therefore He says: When He
ascended on High, He led Captivity captive, and granted Gifts to mankind.
(Now this ...He Ascended... what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of Earth? He Who
Descended is also the One Who Ascended far above all the Heavens, that He might fill all things.)
And He Himself gave some to be Apostles, some Prophets, some Evangelists, and some Pastors and Teachers, for the
equipping of the Saints for the Work of Ministry, for the edifying of the Body of Christ, until we all come to the Unity of
the Faith and of the Knowledge of the Son of God, to a Perfect Man, to the measure of the stature of the Fullness of
Christ..
While the Holy Church Of Christ is One in Essence, it is
St Pauls Rabbinic manner of intertwining the Ascension of
diverse in its Holy Gifts and Functions.
Christ with the Descent of the Holy Spirit, reveals the
Unity does not mean uniformity and each member of the
unique Relationship between the Body of Christ His
Body of Christ His Holy Church is unique in the Sight
Holy Church and the Divine Gifts of the Holy Spirit
of God, with different Gifts and specific roles granted to
that make everything possible for us to achieve.
each soul by God.
The reference to the lower parts of the earth concerns
Diversity in operation is based on the Ascent of the Son of
either the earth itself i.e. The Incarnation of the
God into Heaven and the Descent of the Holy Spirit Who
Eternal Son of God or physical burial and Hades the
Enables and Activates us providing
everything
place of the dead (before the Coming of Christ) and the
necessary for our Eternal Life in Christ, which we alone
Death of Christ and His Descent into Hades in His
are unable to do.
human Nature.
We are also guided, taught and assisted by specially Gifted
ONLY CHRIST - WHO IS BOTH GOD AND MAN - CAN FILL ALL
people who work by the Grace of God for the sake of
THINGS.
the maturity and stability of the entire Holy Church of
ONLY CHRIST OUR SAVIOUR CAN REIGN OVER THE UNIFICATION
Christ i.e. For all the Faithful Disciples of Christ, as
AND FULFILMENT OF ALL CREATION.
well as those who are presently outside the nurturing
Protection of the Holy Church.
29TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST SUNDAY AFTER THEOPHANY

8 JANUARY 2017

9.

The Church in which Christian Life i.e. our Life in Christ


develops, is not primarily an organisation, but an
organism whose parts or MEMBERS RECEIVE THEIR EDIFYING
POWER FROM CHRIST TO GROW INTO HIM.
St Paul did not look at Christians as being isolated
individuals who progressed towards Perfection
Theosis but rather as Unique and Sanctified Members
of Christs Body, EACH SOUL STRIVING TO REACH THE
PERFECT FAITH AND FULL KNOWLEDGE OF THE SON OF GOD.
Thus UNITY OF FAITH CANNOT BE SEPARATED FROM KNOWLEDGE
OF THE SON OF GOD

The Divine Gifts that St Paul mentions in this particular


section of his Epistle to the Ephesians are limited to
those who lead our Holy Church.
The Holy Spirit extends His Divine Gifts to each person at
their Chrismation immediately after their Holy Baptism,
but the Ministry Gifts listed here form one leadership
group who are responsible for equipping the laity the
people for our own Holy Work of Ministry.
THERE IS A DIVERSITY OF PEOPLE AND HOLY GIFTS IN CHRISTS
HOLY CHURCH FOR THE UNITY OF SERVICE, FOR THE
METICULOUS PRESERVATION OF TRUTH, AND FOR THE
OPERATION OF DIVINE LOVE AGAPE which is the
primary Quality of Christian Growth and Development.
THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING
REP

ENTANCE

AND

THE

TO

ST MATTHEW 4 : 12 17

ETERNAL KINGDOM

OF

HEAVEN

At that time, when our Lord Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, He departed to Galilee. And leaving
Nazareth, He went and dwelt in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the regions of Zebulun and Naphtali, that it
might be fulfilled, which was spoken by Isaiah the Prophet, saying: The Land of Zebulun and the Land of
Naphtali, by way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles: the people who sat in Darkness have
seen a Great Light, and upon those who sat in the Region and Shadow of Death, Light has dawned
From that time Jesus began to preach and to say: Repent! for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!
After the illegal imprisonment of St John the Baptist, our
Repentance, which accompanies Faith and which is a
TOTAL REFORMATION OF OUR EARTHLY HABITS AND
Lord Jesus went to live in Galilee. Consequently the
LIFESTYLE.
Inspired Prophesy of St Isaiah, the Holy Prophet of God,
TRUE AND SINCERE REPENTANCE IS BROUGHT ABOUT BY OUR TRUE
was fulfilled.
St Isaiah had lived so many centuries before and his
AND SINCERE FAITH IN CHRIST AND THE HOLY TRINITY.
Prophecies were recorded in the Book of Isaiah (circa
Our continuing Repentance is motivated by our Faith.
745 680 BC, which was between 25 years before the
WE ARE IN A PERPETUAL STATE OF SPIRITUAL LIFE AND SPIRITUAL
Assyrian captivity of the Northern Kingdom of Judah to
DEATH I.E. REPENTANCE AND FORGIVENESS (Spiritual Life
approximately 40 years afterwards.)
and a return to Divine Grace) and surrendering to the
St Isaiahs Prophecy concerning our Lord and Saviour Jesus
temptations through our sinful thoughts, which become
Christ- i.e. his Vision of the Glory of God is one of
sinful words and deeds i.e. falling into Spiritual Death
infinite Transcendence.
, which is our terrifying alienation from the Divine Grace
MANKINDS ROLE IS ONE OF FAITH IN RESPONSE TO DIVINE
of God.
HOLINESS AND VISION FOR THE ENTIRE WORLD and ST ISAIAH
So THIS LIFE OF PREPARATION FOR ETERNITY IS A CONSTANT
REVEALED THE MESSIAH OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST THE
STRIVING AND STRUGGLE against the weakness of our
HOLY ONE OF ISRAEL IN AMAZING DETAIL as if he were
flesh and the temptation of the fallen world and the
relating history instead of predicting the distant future!
deceptions of the evil one.
He even described Theotokos and how She was to Conceive
THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS PRESENT WHEREVER CHRIST OUR
and Bear God the Son Incarnate with Her Virginity
LORD AND SAVIOUR IS so through our constant Spiritual
intact.
Watchfulness and Struggle, we are able to return after
Furthermore, ST ISAIAH DESCRIBED THE SUFFERING PASSION OF
each fall to His Divine Presence and Love.
CHRIST TOGETHER WITH HIS GLORIOUS RESURRECTION FROM
The word METANOIA (REPENTANCE) LITERALLY MEANS to
THE DEAD, PROCLAIMING HIS ETERNAL KINGDOM as if it had
change ones mind, or more generally, TO TURN AROUND
already happened!
COMPLETELY.
The term: Galilee of the Gentiles indicates that many nonThus TRUE REPENTANCE IS A RADICAL CHANGE OF BODY AND
Hebrews lived in the region.
Having a mixed
SOUL a complete transformation of attitude, belief,
population, Galilee was not considered to be a genuinely
motivation, deeds - of being a genuine Life IN Christ!
Jewish land, even though many Gentile residents had
This is the only and most essential most vital - first step
converted to Judaism during the Maccabean period.
on the Path or Way of the Lord, which after Holy
Because many of the Hebrews there had been influenced by
Baptism and Chrismation - is accompanied by REGULAR
the Greek or Hellenistic culture and customs, they were
CONFESSION OF SINS, THE PARTAKING OF HOLY EUCHARIST
generally regarded as being second class citizens by
(COMMUNION), REGULAR PARTICIPATION AND ATTENDANCE
the Judean Hebrews.
AT ALL HOLY SERVICES, AND THE COMMITMENT TO FASTING
The reference to darkness means a state of ungodliness
EVERY WEDNESDAY AND FRIDAY AS WELL AS WHENEVER
i.e. being in a state of Spiritual Death or Darkness where
PRESCRIBED BY THE HOLY CHURCH.
the Divine Light of God has been rejected.
OUR LIFE IN CHRIST IS FULFILLED AND CLEARLY EVIDENT BY THE
In this context, it represents the Gentiles unawareness of
RESULTS OF OUR SPIRITUAL TRANSFORMATION by the
the One True Living and Almighty God and those
Spiritual Harvest of Fruits of our Labours of Love
Hebrews who remained in the shadows of the Old
throughout this life.
Covenant with God instead of accepting the Divine Light
In other words, WHATEVER WE DO MUST BEAR GOOD RESULTS
and Truth of the New Covenant with God through the
FOR EVERYONE CONCERNED AND ESPECIALLY FOR THE GLORY,
Guidance, Enlightenment and Teaching of Christ our
HONOUR AND WORSHIP OF GOD.
Lord and Saviour Who is in reality the actual Incarnate
EVERY WORD, THOUGHT AND DEED HAS AN ETERNAL
Son of God.
CONSEQUENCE!
For anyone to sit in darkness means to be overcome or
Although we might like to think that we can get away with
enslaved by a Spiritual Ignorance or Rebellion against
our secret sins, we must never forget that NOTHING IS
God.
HIDDEN FROM GOD OR THE CLOUD OF WITNESSES WHO WATCH
The Great Light is the Holy Gospel or Good News of our
OVER US CONSTANTLY!
Lord Jesus Christ the long-awaited Messiah of God.
WE ARE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR EVERYTHING WE THINK,
THE FIRST DIVINE MESSAGE OF CHRIST TO THE WORLD like that
EVERYTHING WE SAY AND EVERYTHING WE DO EXCEPT FOR
of His Forerunner and Baptist, St John, WAS REPENT!
THOSE SINS THAT WE REPENT AND CONFESS BEFORE GOD AND
MATTHEW 3: 1 3 : the Preparation for our Saviours Divine
HIS HOLY PRIESTHOOD!!
Ministry begins with St John the Baptists call to
29TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST AFTERFEAST

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy
Spirit...
Dearly Beloved, our Lord exhorted all mankind: Repent!
for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand! (M A T T H E W
4:17)
With these profound Holy Words, the Incarnate Word
began His Preaching to fallen mankind.
10.

OF

THEOPHANY SUNDAY AFTER THEOPHANY

Outwardly, such simple teaching - yet we must


understand it with our very life, for only then will these
short, simple words of the Holy Gospel will be
revealed.
St Paul preached the Holy Gospel throughout almost all
the known world, thereby testifying as he said ...both
to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, Repentance

29TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST SUNDAY AFTER THEOPHANY

8 JANUARY 2017

toward God, and Faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ


(ACTS 20:21).

Brethren, in order to believe in and follow our Lord Jesus


Christ, we must be willing and determined to Repent
our sins.
To remain in this Salvific Faith, to be a Faithful Disciple of
Christ worthy of the inheritance of the Heavenly
Kingdom, Repentance is essential.
St John the Beloved Apostle of Christ and Divine
Theologian explained the difference between those
who are Faithful and Obedient and those who are
wilfully disobedient and sinful:
 JOHN 3: 17-20 - God did not send His Son into the world
to condemn the world, but that the world
THROUGH HIM might be Saved.
He who believes in Him is not Condemned, but he who
does not believe is already Condemned because he
has not believed in the Name of the Only Begotten Son
of God.
And this is the Condemnation: that the Light (our Lord
Jesus Christ) has come into the world and men loved
Darkness rather than Light, because their deeds were
evil. For everyone practising evil hates the Light and
does not come to the Light, lest his deeds should be
exposed.
But he who does the Truth comes to the Light, so that
his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been
done IN God.
 JOHN 5 : 44 - Those who are arrogant and vainglorious
are challenged: How can you believe, who
receive honour from one another, and do not
seek the Honour that comes only from God?
The greedy, arrogant and Spiritually Blind Pharisees not
only refused to believe in Christ as our True Saviour
but they even ridiculed His Preaching, even after
hearing His Divine Teachings! (Luke 16:14)
Our Lord clearly cautioned those envious, wicked men
who conspired to have Him killed: ...God knows your
heart for what is highly esteemed among mankind
is an abomination in the Sight of God!
All those infected with vain, evil vices are banished,
alienated and exiled from participating in the
Spiritual Wedding Banquet of the Son of God,
condemning themselves as unworthy of Blessed Union
with Him (Matthew 22:5).
We are severely warned: ... No servant can serve two
Masters ... You cannot serve God and Mammon!
(LUKE 16:14)

IT IS ESSENTIAL FOR OUR ETERNAL SALVATION TO SERVE AND TO


FAITHFULLY OBEY ONLY THE LORD OUR GOD.
Therefore, our Lord Jesus urges us ceaselessly: Repent!
for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!
WE MUST REPENT EVERY TIME WE FALL INTO SIN, AND WE MUST
BELIEVE IN THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST OUR LORD, WHICH TEACHES,
GUIDES AND ENCOURAGES US AS WE PREPARE OURSELVES FOR

ETERNITY. (MARK 1:15).


Even those who firmly believe in Christ, and who prove
their Faith by their words and actions, continually
Repent their sins.
The First Fruit of Living Faith - of fulfilling the
Commandments and Teachings of Christ is explained
to us by St Symeon the New Theologian, who acquired
his Knowledge of Divine Truth through his own Holy
Experience:
The
careful
fulfilment
of
the
Commandments of Christ teaches us our own
infirmities.
Exactly!
As soon as we begin to fulfill the Divine Commandments
and Teachings of our Beloved Saviour, and to perform
the Works of our Renewed nature, the state of our
fallen nature is instantly revealed to us, having been
hidden from our sight and knowledge until then.
ST PORPHYRIOS WOUNDED

BY

St Porphyrios teaches us an important lesson about


illness.
When we are in pain or suffering from serious illness, we
should not regard it as a punishment from God but
rather as a Gift, for God allows these ailments for our
Spiritual Benefit.

From that Enlightening moment, we will strive to fulfil the


Divine Commandments and Teachings according to
our Lords Holy Gospel, which is a life-long, sustained
battle against innumerable temptations, sins and our
own personal weaknesses.
Our Life in Christ may be difficult with many unseen
stumbling blocks and Spiritual Falls, yet every effort
we make will strengthen and encourage us.
St Paul expressed our perpetual Struggle and the
necessity for regular Repentance: ... I delight in the
Law of God according to the inward man: But I see
another law in my members, warring against the
law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to
the law of sin, which is in my members. O wretched
man that I am! Who will Deliver me from this body of
Death?! (ROMANS 7: 22-24).
From such an observation of oneself, Blessed Poverty of
spirit is engendered within a Christian, rational,
Spiritual Mourning appears, and a broken and
humble heart is established: because ...a heart
broken and humbled God will not despise. (PSALM
50/51:20)

By living according to the Holy Gospel of our Lord, a


natural inclination for Repentance will arise within us
as we slowly begin to understand and appreciate the
infinite Wisdom and Truth of His Teachings and
Commandments.
Repentance is necessary not only in order to believe in
our Lord Jesus, but also to develop a Living Faith in
Him.
This is the reason He exhorts us throughout the ages:
Repent! for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.
There is such a close connection between our Lord
urging us to Repent our sins, and announcing of the
presence of the Kingdom of Heaven.
Between them there is no intermediate Struggle or
condition because our Lord Jesus Christ is truly our
Divine Saviour: He is indeed ...the Lamb of God Who
takes away the sin of the world. (JOHN 1:29)
Our Lord Jesus has accomplished everything essential for
our Salvation, by Reconciling us with God and having
prepared and acquired for us the Heavenly Kingdom.
God requires of us of all mankind our voluntary
acceptance of His Salvation, which is granted free
and complete - being willing and determined to
Repent our sins. (For we cannot serve God and Live in Christ
while being enslaved and imprisoned by the evil one! mp)
The Heavenly Kingdom and our Heavenly King are
ineffably close to us --- incomparably closer than we
can imagine!
As our Lord tells us very clearly and concisely: Behold!
I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My
Voice and opens the door, I will go in to him and
dine with him and he with Me... (REVELATION 3:20).
This means that our Lord is present at the door of our
heart.
He announces His Presence with the Divine Truth of His
Commandments, Teachings and Revelations.
If we respond by opening our heart and soul to Him,
welcoming Him and eager to learn all we can from
Him, He will stay with us.
Consequently we will Live in Christ, having put on Christ
at our Holy Baptism, by participating in all essential
Holy Mysteries and Services of His Holy Church that
prepares us for Eternity and benefits our immortal
soul.
By Repenting our innumerable sins, we open the door of
our heart to our Heavenly King, thereby inviting and
welcoming the Indwelling of the Holy Trinity.
ORIGINAL SERMON BY ST IGNATIOS (BRIANCHANINOV)
TRANSLATED FROM RUSSIAN BY BISHOP GEORGE (SHAEFER) (2014) - (EDITED BY MP)
HTTP://WWW.PRAVOSLAVIE.RU
LOVE ON DEALING WITH ILLNESS

God is Pure Love and He encourages us to become like


Him (to regain our lost Divine Likeness with which we were
created) so that we can worthily enter His Kingdom.
By accepting our pain and discomfort as a Gift, we must
consider it as an opportunity to share in a very small
way, the Passion of Christ.
Our weakened state while we are sick or suffering,
enables His Divine Grace to work in us.

29TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST SUNDAY AFTER THEOPHANY

8 JANUARY 2017

11.

When we are able to understand this, we will experience


a wonderful sense of Joy that our Lord is with us and
allows us to participate in His Passion, which leads to
His Resurrection - as well as our future Resurrection by His Grace when we suffer physical ailments with
Patience and Faith.
Furthermore, we should not fear death for it is the only
means of departing from this life and entering the
next state of our existence. (Keep in mind, always, that our
soul is immortal and thus we exist forever. Mp)
St Porphyrios advises us not to pray to be relieved of our
pain and suffering as this can be self-centred and of
no Spiritual Benefit to us.
Instead, we should pray for Forgiveness and Remission of
sinful habits and temptations.
Usually physical suffering makes us aware of our
sinfulness, compelling us to call on God for Help.
We should always beseech God to help us become
worthy and capable of fulfilling His Divine Will by
obeying all His Commandments and Teachings.
Sickness and pain humbles us, causing us to realise that
we are not in control of anything of this short,
preparatory life.
Physical suffering is like a burning, hot fire that is
necessary to purify gold.
The intense heat melts the precious metal, causing the
impurities to rise to the surface, which can then be
skimmed off, leaving only the precious gold.
Similarly, in our weakened state, we are confronted by
our Spiritual Condition, and our Prayers beseeching
our Lords Great Mercy remove the impurities from our
heart and soul.
As we continue to sincerely Repent and Entreat our
Saviour, we will experience His Divine Grace in many
mysterious ways.
THE INSPIRED, ETERNAL WISDOM
ST NICHOLAI VELIMIROVICH

A Priest was walking down a deserted road on a hot day


when suddenly out of the bushes a wild looking man
with a gun jumped out in front of him.
The man said to the Priest: I have killed 99 men, and you
will be the 100th.
The Priest said to the man: I am ready to die; but please
before you shoot me, give me a little water to drink. I
am so thirsty.
The murderer was confused for a moment, but then he
directed the Priest, at gun point, to his hovel in the
bushes where he gave the Priest a cup of water to
drink.
As the priest drank the water, the murderer sudden fell
down, dead from a heart attack.
Angels from Heaven came to escort the soul of this
murderer, but the demons contested against them, for
his soul, saying: This man murdered 99 men and
committed many other smaller sins. His soul belongs
to us!
However, the Angels responded: But he also did two
great deeds for the Gospel of Christ, which outweigh
all his sins.
First, he confessed his 99 murders to a Priest, and second,
he gave water to the thirsty Priest.
No sin, no matter how many times repeated, is greater
than the Mercy of God!"
A man went into the forest to choose a tree from which to
make roof-beams. And he saw two trees, one beside
the other.
One was smooth and tall, but had rotted away inside,
and the other was rough on the outside and ugly, but
its core was healthy.
The man sighed, and said to himself: What use is this tree
to me if it is rotten inside and useless for beams? The
other it is rough and ugly, is at least healthy on the
inside and so, if I put a bit more effort into it, I can use
it for roof-beams for my house.
And, without thinking any more about it, he chose that
tree.
SO WILL GOD CHOOSE BETWEEN TWO MEN FOR HIS HOUSE, AND
WILL

CHOOSE

NOT

THE

ONE

WHO

APPEARS

OUTWARDLY

RIGHTEOUS, BUT THE ONE WHOSE HEART IS FILLED WITH GODS


HEALTHY RIGHTEOUSNESS.
12.

Our Faith in God's Goodness and Love for us, and His
Saving Grace, must be pure and unconditional.
Without any doubt or hesitation, we must believe we
must know! - that God is our Creator and Saviour.
Based on this firmly established and unwavering Faith
we have total Love for God - loving Him more than
anyone or anything else!
With this mutual Love in mind, St Porphyrios said to our
Lord God: "...Even if Thou put me in Hell, do so, as
long as I do not lose Thy Love!"
He said this, knowing with absolute confidence, that
God's Love is infinite and has no boundaries.
St Porphyrios encourages us to accept our ailments and
sufferings, knowing that God Loves us, and that He
has permitted these difficulties to test us, so that we
many draw ever closer to Him.
We must always be aware of our sinful state so that we
continually beseech His Great Mercy and Forgiveness,
Entreating our Saviour to make us worthy in His Sight
through our regular Repentance.
We must never ask God to Bless us with material
possessions or for anything that will harm or hurt
others!
Neither should our Prayers be self-centred or self-serving,
but rather hope and pray that our Lord will help us
and guide us towards things that make us His worthy
and Faithful Disciples.
In all things, we must be Patient, we must Endure and we
must Love God with all our being with body and
soul!
http://orthodoxwayoflife.blogspot.co.za

OF OUR

HOLY CHURCH FATHERS


EVAGRIOS

THE

SOLITARY

Often when I have prayed I have asked for what I


thought was good, and persisted in my petition,
stupidly importuning the Will of God, and not leaving
it to Him to arrange things as He knows is best for me.
But when I have obtained what I asked for, I have been
very sorry that I did not ask for the Will of God to be
done; because the thing turned out not to be as I had
thought.
ABBOT TRYPHON

Mankinds ultimate sickness, is that of unbelief.


This world is the place of Preparation for our Life in
Eternity. This present existence is where we are
prepared for the Kingdom that is to come.
Within this world, our Lord Jesus Christ established a
Hospital in which the Medicine for the Cure of our
Sickness is available, and this Hospital of the soul is
none other than His Holy Church.
This world does not provide the Medicine for that which
ails us, for the only Medicine that can Heal us, is Christ
Himself.
If we are unwilling to receive this Medicine, we will never
be Healed, and will never know the Joys of the Eternal
Kingdom that awaits us.
This Illness that awaits a Cure is unbelief, and this
unbelief is based on our failure to avail ourselves to
the Medicine that is abundantly available within the
Life of the Church.
Belief comes as a Free Gift from a God Who ...so Loves us
that He gave His Only Begotten Son, that whoever
believes in Him, will have Eternal Life. (JOHN 3:16)
All we need to do is cooperate with Gods Grace, and
unbelief will disappear.
When we receive the Word of God into our heart, we, like
the Apostle Thomas, will have witnessed His Wounds,
and will know our Lord, personally.
When we confess our sins, and receive Christ into our life,
we will have thrust our hand into His Side, and we will
believe.
Unbelief, at this very moment in time, will have no place
to reside in our heart, and like St Thomas, we will
know the Peace that comes with Life in Christ.

29TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST SUNDAY AFTER THEOPHANY

8 JANUARY 2017

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa


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.

11 January 2017
5 Day of the Afterfeast of Theophany
St Theodosios the Cenobiarch
th

Also the Feast of St Michael, Fool for Christ, of Klops Monastery, Novgorod St Theodosios of
Antioch St Theodosios, Metropolitan of Trebizond
FESTAL ISODIKON THEOPHANY TONE 2

Defte Proskinisomen ke Prospesomen Hristo!


Soson imas, Iie Theou, O EN IORDANI IPO

IOANNOU

Come, let us Worship and Bow Down before Christ!


Save us, O Son of God, WHO IN THE JORDAN BY JOHN WAS

VAPTISTHIS

BAPTISED,

Psallontas Si: Allelouia!

Who sing to Thee:

Alleluia!

FESTAL APOLYTIKION THEOPHANY TONE 1

En

Iordani Vaptizomenou Sou Kyrie, i tis Triados


efanerothi Proskinisis.
Tou gar Gennitoros i Foni
prosemartiri Si, Agapiton Se Iion Onomazousa. Ke to
Pnevma en idi peristeras eveveou tou Logou to asfales.
O Epifanis, Hriste O Theos, ke ton kosmon Fotisas,
Doxa Si! (3)

In

the Jordan, when Thou was Baptised, O Lord, the


Worship of the Trinity was made manifest. For the
Voice of the Father bore witness to Thee, naming Thee
the Beloved Son. And the Spirit, like a dove,
confirmed His Word as Sure and Steadfast. O Christ
our God, Who has Appeared and Enlightened the
world: Glory to Thee! (3)

FESTAL APOLYTIKION ST THEODOSIOS TONE (8) PLAGAL 4

Tes ton dakrion Sou roes, tis erimou to agonon egeorgisas, With the rivers of Thy Tears Thou made the barren desert
ke tis ek vathous stenagmis, is ekaton tous panous
ekarpoforisas, ke genonas foster ti ikoumeni, lampoon
tis Thavmasin. Osie atir imon Theodosie, Presveve
Hristo to Theo, Sothine tas psihas imon.
PATRONAL APOLYTIKION

bloom; and with Thy sighs from deep within, Thou


made Thy Labours bear their Fruit a hundredfold, and
Thou became a Star, Illuminating the world by Thy
Miracles, O Theodosios, our Holy Father. Intercede
with Christ our God, for the Salvation of our soul.

FESTAL KONTAKION - THEOPHANY

Epefanis

simeron ti ikoumeni, ke to Fos Sou Kyrie,


esimiothi ef imas en epignosi imnountas Se. Ilthes
efanis to Fos to aprositon.

RETURN

TO THE

Thou hast appeared today to the inhabited earth, and Thy


Light, O Lord, has been marked upon us, who with
knowledge sing Thy praise: Thou hast come, Thou art
made manifest, the Light that no man can approach.

DIVINE LITURGY SERVICE BOOK


RESURRECTION PROKEIMENON PSALM 115/116 TONE (7) VARYS/GRAVE

Timios enantion Kyriou O Thanatos tou Osiou Aftou.


Precious in the Sight of our Lord is the death of His Holy
One.
Ti antapodosomen to Kyrio peri panton, on antapedoken
What shalt we render unto our Lord for all He has
imin?
bestowed upon us?
FESTAL MATINS -

PROKEIMENON - TONE 4

Timios enantion Kyriou O Thanatos tou Osiou Aftou.


STIHOS
Ti antapodosomen to Kyrio peri panton,

Precious in the Sight of our Lord is the death of His Holy


One.

on

antapedoken imin?

What shalt we render unto the Lord for all He has


bestowed upon us?

VERSE

FESTAL MATINS - HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING


CHRISTS SERMON

ON THE

TO

ST LUKE 6 : 17 23

PLAIN THE BEATITUDES & WOES

At that time, our Lord Jesus went down the mountain with His Apostles and stood on a level place with a crowd of His
Disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem, and from the coast of Tyre and Sidon, who
went to hear Him and be Healed of their diseases, as well as those who were tormented with unclean spirits.
And they were Cured, for Power went out from Him and Healed them all.
And He - raising His Eyes towards His Disciples - said: Blessed are the poor, for theirs is the Kingdom of God. Blessed
are the hungry now, for they shall be filled. Blessed are those who weep now, for they shall Rejoice. Blessed are
you when others hate you, and when they exclude you, and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, for the
Son of Mans sake.
Rejoice in that day and leap for Joy! For behold! your Reward is great in Heaven...
THE EPISTLE

OF

ST PAUL

TO THE

HEBREWS 13 : 7 16

REMEMBER & RESPECT OUR HOLY CHURCH FATHERS - REMAIN LOYAL & OBEDIENT TO ORTHODOX DOCTRINE & WORSHIP

Brethren: remember those who rule over you - those who spoke to you the Word of God. Consider the outcome of their
Lives, and imitate their Faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Do not be led away by
diverse and strange teachings. It is Good that the heart be Strengthened by Grace not by foods, which have not
benefitted their adherents.
We have an Altar - from which those who serve the Tabernacle have no right to eat. The bodies of those animals,
whose blood is brought into the Sanctuary by the High Priest as a Sacrifice for sin are burnt outside the Camp.
ST THEODOSIOS

THE

GREAT, HOLY

CENOBIARCH

11 JANUARY 2017

13.

Jesus also suffered in order to Sanctify the People through His own Blood, outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to
Him outside the Camp, to bear the abuse He endured.
Here we have no Lasting City, but we seek that which is to come. Through Him then, let us continually offer up a
Sacrifice of Praise to God that is: the Fruit of lips that Confessed His Name.
Share what you have - do not neglect to do Good. Such Sacrifices are pleasing to God.
HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING

TO

RESTING

IN

ST MATTHEW 11 :

27 30

CHRIST

At that time our Lord Jesus said: All Things have been Delivered to Me by My Father. And no one knows the Son
except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son Wills to
reveal Him.
Come to Me, all you who Labour and who are heavily Laden, and I will grant you Rest. Take My Yoke upon you
and learn from Me, for I Am gentle and lowly in heart. And you will find rest for your souls, for My Yoke is easy
and My Burden is light.
ST THEODOSIOS

St Theodosios the Great or the Cenobiarch, lived during


the 5th and 6th centuries (423 529), and was the
Founder of the Cenobitic Monastic Life (Monks living a
Communal Life).
The Monastery of St Theodosios was founded in 476 and
includes his tomb.
St Theodosios the Great Cenobiarch is Commemorated on
11 January.
St Theodosios was born at the village of Mogarissos in the
Province of Cappadocia to devout Christian parents,
Proheresios and Eulogia
St Theodosios was endowed with a splendid voice and was
a Reader and Chanter.
He fervently prayed to God for Guidance on the Path of
Salvation and during his early years, he went on a
Pilgrimage to the Holy Land where he met St Symenon
the Stylite, who Blessed him and predicted a future of
Pastoral Service.
Yearning for the Solitary Life, St Theodosios settled into a
desolate cave in Palestine, in which, according to Holy
Tradition, the Three Magi had sheltered for a night
during their Journey to Bethlehem to worship our Infant
Saviour, a year after His Nativity.
St Theodosios remained there for thirty years in Ascetic
abstinence and ceaseless Prayer.
People flocked to St Theodosios, seeking his Spiritual
Guidance and Wisdom and very soon the cave could no
longer accommodate the ever increasing numbers of
Monks.
St Theodosios besought our Lord to show him a suitable
area for all the Monks to live, and one day, he carried a
censer with unlit charcoal and incense into the desert
until he reached a certain spot where the charcoal was
instantaneously ignited and the sweet smelling smoke
of the incense rose, like his Prayers, to Heaven.
The first Cenobitic Monaster or Lavra was established there,
and at that time the beloved friend and fellow
countryman of St Theodosion, St Savvas the Sanctified,
was appointed Archimandrite of all the isolated Monks
in Palestine by Patriarch Sallustios of Jerusalem.
St Theodosios was appointed as Abbot of all Cenobitic
Monks (those who lived in Community) hence the title
Cenobiarch.
Soon the Lavra of St Theodosios became renowned, and up
to 700 Monks gathered, where they ...rendered service
to neighbour, gave aid to the poor and provided shelter
for wanderers.
There was a communal table for everyone, communal
property, communal Penance, communal labour,
communal patience and, not too rare, communal
hunger.
St Theodosios was an exalted model of Life in Christ to all
the Monks - in Labour, in Prayer, in Fasting, in Spiritual
Watchfulness and in all Christian Virtues.
St Theodosios was extremely compassionate, and when a
devastating famine struck Palestine, great multitudes of
starving citizens went to the Monastery, seeking a little
nourishment to save them from death.
St Theodosios never turned anyone away, and issued orders
to allow everyone into the Monastery enclosure.
His Disciples were annoyed and more than a little afraid knowing that the Monastery did not have the means to
feed all those who came.
However, to their utter amazement, through the Prayers
and Compassionate Love of their Holy Abbot, the
bakery always had more than enough bread to feed the
masses!
14.

ST THEODOSIOS

THE

THE

CENOBIARCH

That Divine Miracle occurred whenever St Theodosios


undertook the Sacred Duty of helping those who
suffered starvation and destitution.
St Theodosios and his hard working Monks established
accommodation for strangers or visitors, separate
infirmaries to Monks and laymen, as well as a hospice
to those who were terminally ill and dying.
Due to the vast amount of people who gathered at the
Lavra from various countries and Nations, St
Theodosios organised Holy Services in the different
languages such as Greek, Georgian and Armenian, while
when they gathers together to receive the Holy
Mysteries in the large church, the Divine Liturgy was
conducted in Greek.
During the reign of the Byzantine Emperor, Anastasios
(492-518) the heresy of Eutychios and Serveros rejected
the Seven Essential Holy Mysteries and the Orthodox
Christian Clergy.
Emperor Anastasios accepted the false teachings of these
heretics and the Orthodox Faith began to suffer severe
persecution.
Nevertheless, St Theodosios stood firmly in defence of the
One True Christian Church and all Christs Teachings
and Commandments.
He wrote a letter to the Emperor on behalf of the Monks, in
which they denounced him and refuted the heresy by
means of the Teachings of the Ecumenical Councils.
Furthermore, St Theodosios affirmed that the Desert
Fathers and Monks also steadfastly supported Orthodox
Teaching the Divine Truth of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Although Emperor Anastasios initially showed restraint,
encouraged by the heretics, he soon renewed the
persecution of Faithful Orthodox Christian.
Compelled by his great zeal for Divine Truth, St Theodosios
left the confines of the Monastery and travelled to
Jerusalem, where in the Great Holy Church of the
Resurrection he stood on the Ambon and loudly
proclaimed for everyone to hear: "Whoever does not
honour the four Ecumenical Councils, let him be
anathema!
For this bold deed, St Theodosios was arrested and
imprisoned, but when the Emperor had died, he was
able to return to his beloved Monastery.
Many Divine Miracles were accomplished through Gods
Faithful Holy Abbot, for God granted him the Holy Gift
of Healing and performing various other Miracles.
Thus St Theodosios was able to Heal the sick, to appear
from a distance, to tame wild beasts, to discern the
future and to cause bread and wheat to multiply in
times of need.
St Theodosios never stopped praying and his lips moved
continuously, day and night, no matter where he was
or what he was doing.
Through his Prayers he once destroyed the locusts that
devastated the crops in Palestine. By his Intercessory
Prayers soldiers were Saved from impending death, as
were those who were drowning at sea or due to
shipwrecks, or those lost in the desert.
In 529, before his Repose, St Theodosios summoned three
beloved Bishops and revealed to them that he would
soon Depart to the Lord.
After three days, he peacefully fell asleep at the age of 105,
and was buried with reverence in his first cell - the cave
in which he lived at the beginning of his Ascetic Deeds.
May his memory be Eternal, and may St Theodosios
continue to Intercede with Christ for the Salvation of
our immortal soul.

GREAT, HOLY CENOBIARCH

11 JANUARY 2017

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa


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 (5) Plagal 1


30th Sunday After Pentecost
12th Sunday of St Luke The Ten Lepers

5 January 2017

Also the Feast of ST JOHN CALABYTES THE HUT DWELLER - St Paul of Thebes, Egypt St
Pansophios of Alexandria, Egypt St Prochoros, Ascetic & Abbot, Vranski Desert,
Bulgaria St Gabriel, Founder of Lesnov Monastery, Bulgaria St Ita, Hermitess of
Killeedy Foster Mother of Irish Saints St Salome of Urjama & Perozhavra, Sivnia,
Georgia St Barlaam of Keretsk
RESURRECTION APOLYTIKION - TONE (5) PLAGAL 1

Ton

sinanarhon Logon Patri ke Pnevmati, ton ek


Parthenou Tehthenta is Sotirian imon, animnisomen,
Pisti, ke Proskinisomen. Oti ivdokise sarki anelthin
en to Stavro ke Thanaton ipomine ke egire tous
tethneotas en ti Evdoxo Anastasi Aftou.

The

Word, Who with the Father and the Spirit has no


beginning, and Who, for our Salvation, was born of a
Virgin, let us faithful believers hymn and adore. For
it was His Good Pleasure to ascend the Cross in the
Flesh, and to Suffer Death, and through His own
Glorious Resurrection to raise the dead.

FESTAL APOLYTIKION ST JOHN KALABYTES TONE 4

Ek

vrefous ton Kyrion, epipothisas thermos, ton kosmon


katelipes, ke ta ten kosmo terpna, ke iskisas arista.
Epixas tin Kalivin, pro pilon son geneon, ethrafsas ton
demonon, tas enedras Pammakar. Dio Se Ioanni Hristo,
Axios edoxasen.

From infancy Thou Loved and longed for our Lord.

Thou
therefore renounced the world and every worldly
delight, and excelled in Ascetic Feats. Thou set the hut
Thou dwelt in before Thy parents gates. Therein, O
All Blessed Struggler, Thou crushed the snares of
demons. Wherefore, O John, Christ has Glorified Thee
worthily.

SEASONAL KONTAKION MEETING/PRESENTATION

Mitran Parthenikin Agiasas to Toko Sou, ke hiras tou


Simeon evlogisas os eprepe, profthasas ke nin esosas
imas, Hriste O Theos.
Allirinefson en polemis to
politevma, ke krateoson Vasilis ous igapisas, O Monos
Filanthropos!

OF OUR

LORD TONE 1

O Thou Who Sanctified by Thy Birth a Virgin Womb, and


Blessed the hands of Symeon as seemed most
appropriate, Thou came, indeed, O Christ our God, and
Saved us all. But bring Peace to the commonwealth in
time of war, and secure in Strength, the Rulers Thou
has truly Loved, as the Only One Who Loves mankind.

PROKEIMENON PSALM 11/12 TONE (5) PLAGAL

Thou shalt guard us, O Lord; Thou shalt preserve us from this generation forever.
Save me, O Lord, for the Holy Man has ceased; the truthful are diminished from among the sons of mankind
THE EPISTLE

OF

ST PAUL

TO THE

COLOSSIANS 3 : 4 11

Brethren: when Christ Who is our Life, Appears, then you also will appear with Him in Glory.
Put to death, therefore, whatever is worldly fornication, impurity, passion, evil, desire, and covetousness, which is
idolatry.
On account of these, the Wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience.
In these you once walked, when you lived in them.
Now put them all away anger, wrath, malice, slander, and foul talk from your mouth.
Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old nature with its practices, and have put on the New
Nature, which is being Renewed in the Knowledge after the Image of its Creator.
There cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free, but Christ is all
and in all.
TRUE MYSTICISM:
SIGNIFICANCE OF COMMITTING OURSELVES TO CHRIST AND
AS FAITHFUL DISCIPLES OF CHRIST, WE HAVE RECEIVED CHRISTS
THUS TO OUR TRIUNE ALMIGHTY GOD.
EXALTED RESURRECTION LIFE IN THE H OLY MYSTERY OF
WE MUST KEEP IN MIND AND APPLY TO OUR DAILY LIFE
BAPTISM
EVERYTHING WE HAVE LEARNT, so that we can fulfil
However, we must unfailingly and determinedly CONTINUE
whatever is required of us to the best of our personal
TO SEEK ULTIMATE SPIRITUAL GLORIES OF THE AGE TO
ability always with the Guidance and Encouragement
COME.
of our Priests and our fellow Christians who are on the
same Holy Path as us.
This can only be done by LIVING EVERY MOMENT ACCORDING
TO THE DIVINE TRUTH ACCORDING TO GODS
We must CONSTANTLY STRIVE FOR AND SEEK OUR TRUE LIFE IN
COMMANDMENTS AND TEACHINGS.
CHRIST, while awaiting the Heavenly, Glorious Final
We are urged to always Remember your Baptism! so that
Revelation.
WE ARE ENCOURAGED AND COMPELLED TO LIVE ACCORDING
TO THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST.
For that reason, BEFORE OUR BAPTISM AND CHRISMATION, WE
SHOULD STUDY WORD FOR WORD THE ANCIENT H OLY
MYSTERY OF B APTISM AND CHRISMATION SERVICE so that
we FULLY UNDERSTAND THE IMMENSE AND PROFOUND

TRUE ASCETICISM

AS B APTISED CHRISTIANS, WE BECOME IN PRACTISE WHAT WE ARE


ALREADY IN SPIRIT.
As we died with Christ during our Holy Baptism, so must
we will/desire to EXPERIENCE DEATH DAILY BY KILLING
OUR OLD SINFUL AND DISINTEGRATING PASSIONS.

30TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST 12TH OF ST LUKE THE TEN LEPERS

15 JANUARY 2017

15.

As WE WERE RAISED WITH CHRIST, so must we will/desire to


EXPERIENCE TRUE LIFE DAILY BY MEANS OF THE VIRTUOUS
AND UNIFYING DESIRES OF OUR N EW MAN OR N EW
NATURE WE ARE NOW - IN THE BODY OF CHRIST in His
Holy Orthodox Church.
OUR NEW MAN OR NEW NATURE GROWS FROM ONE STAGE OF
PERFECTION TO ANOTHER, thereby becoming the Image of
our Lord Jesus Christ - and throughout Eternity
remaining the Image of Him Who created us.
AFTER BAPTISM AND CHRISMATION, WE MUST WORK EVEN HARDER TO
MAINTAIN OUR NEW NATURE IN CHRIST.
WE CANNOT NEGLECT OUR SPIRITUAL LIFE IN CHRIST EVEN FOR A MOMENT,
otherwise we will fall into Spiritual Death and drift away into
our old wicked habits again!
We must Struggle against all temptation, personal habitual sins
and our lack of knowledge by all means possible, for GOD HAS

CERTAINLY PROVIDED EVERYTHING WE NEED FOR OUR JOURNEY OF


SALVATION TOWARDS ETERNAL LIFE IN HIS HEAVENLY KINGDOM.
IT IS ENTIRELY UP TO US TO FULFIL OUR SACRED DUTIES

to God, to others and to ourselves.


SEEK OUT ALL THE INNUMERABLE ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN SOURCES that
are freely available to us on the internet and through our Holy
Church.
CONTINUE TO ATTEND ORTHODOX CLASSES. (Ask your Parish Priest
about Orthodox Classes in your Parish or elsewhere and
ATTEND THEM REGULARLY. Otherwise study these Sacred Lessons
which are for our Spiritual Enlightenment and Guidance.)
THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR ANY CONVERT TO FALL BY THE WAYSIDE due to lack
of Spiritual Knowledge, Nourishment or Service Books.
IF THERE IS NO ONE TO ASSIST OR GUIDE US, WE MUST SEEK ANY MEANS
POSSIBLE TO FULFIL OUR SACRED JOURNEY TO THE BEST OF OUR ABILITY.
(mp)

THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST LUKE 17 ;12 19


THE TEN LEPERS

At that time, as our Lord Jesus entered into a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar
off. And they lifted up their voices, and said: Jesus! Master! Have Mercy on us! And when He saw them, He said to
them: Go. Show yourselves to the Priests.
And it came to pass that as they went they were Cleansed.
One of them - when he saw that he was Healed - turned back, and with a loud voice, Glorified God, and fell down on
his face at His Feet, giving Him Thanks.
And he was a Samaritan.
Answering, Jesus said: Were there not ten Cleansed? Where are the nine? There are not found any who returned to
give Glory to God, except this stranger!
And He said to him: Arise! Go thy way. Thy Faith hath made thee whole!
THE LEPERS STOOD AFAR OFF BECAUSE THEY WERE NOT
PERMITTED TO APPROACH ANYONE OR TO ENTER THE
VILLAGES.
THEY WERE UTTERLY OSTRACISED AND ISOLATED from society

and sometimes they even wore or rang little bells so


that people knew they were nearby and could avoid
them.
Leprosy was regarded as a punishment from God for
unrepented sins and everyone feared leprosy for
various (usually unfounded) reasons.
People have always been terrified of being infected so they
not only shunned the poor sufferers but often chased
them away with sticks and stones.
ONLY A DESPISED SAMARITAN WHOM THE HEBREWS REGARDED AS
A HERETIC SET THE EXAMPLE OF SINCERE AND HEARTFELT
GRATITUDE TO GOD FOR HIS MIRACULOUS HEALING.
Whenever any Miraculous or natural healing occurred, the
former sufferers had to immediately consult the
Temple Priests who would then examine them and
confirm or deny their re-acceptance into society.
Those who were healed had a variety of Purifications Rites
to fulfil before normal life and worship was allowed to
continue.
NINE OF THE HEALED LEPERS rushed off to have their
Miraculous Healing authenticated by the Temple Priests.
They WERE TOTALLY SELF-ABSORBED JUST LIKE MOST OF US!
ONLY ONE OF THE LEPERS a despised sinner and heretic!
IMMEDIATELY ACKNOWLEDGED THE ENORMITY OF GODS
GRACIOUS MERCY AND FELL DOWN AT THE FEET OF OUR
SAVIOUR WITH SINCERE THANKSGIVING AND GLORIFICATION.
THE ONE GRATEFUL LEPER SHOWED HIS GENUINE, HUMBLE LOVE
FOR AND APPRECIATION OF GODS UNEXPECTED AND
BOUNTIFUL BLESSINGS, while the nine ungrateful lepers
hurried away, without any thought of the enormity of
their Miraculous Healing their only desire being to get
back to normal living.
SADLY, MOST OF US ARE LIKE THE NINE UNGRATEFUL LEPERS who
all too easily take for granted or even ignore or forget
Almighty Gods Great Blessings because we are too
involved with our own Spiritually Unprofitable

preoccupations and distractions that lead us astray and


into Spiritual Death exile and alienation from God and
all His Goodness.
All too often we totally ignore the fact that EVERY BLESSING
WE HAVE BEEN GRANTED WHETHER GREAT OR SMALL IS

Let

FREELY AND MOST GRACIOUSLY BESTOWED UPON US THROUGH


THE GREAT MERCY AND LOVE OF GOD.
us learn to BE AWARE AND ALWAYS ACKNOWLEDGE WITH
APPRECIATION
AND
THANKSGIVING THE ABUNDANT
BLESSINGS OUR LOVING LORD GOD GRANTS US SO FREELY AND
SO GENEROUSLY.

After partaking of His Greatest, Glorious Banquet His


Mysterious, Eternal Supper the Divine Eucharist/Holy
Communion which bestows Gods Divine Love,
Forgiveness and Eternal Life upon us, WE MUST BOW
DOWN BEFORE HIS HOLY ALTAR, MAKE THE SIGN OF THE
CROSS AND EXPRESS OUR THANKSGIVING: Glory to Thee,
O God! Glory to Thee!
EACH SIGN OF THE CROSS IS OUR SACRED DECLARATION OF
WORSHIP: I worship Thee, O God, with all my mind,
with all my heart, with all my strength and with all
my soul!
BE ALERT AND AWARE OF ALL GODS BLESSINGS that make our
difficult Journey towards Eternity so much easier to
bear for WITHOUT HIS DIVINE LOVE, GUIDANCE AND
ASSISTANCE, WE CAN ACHIEVE NOTHING WORTHWHILE AND
SPIRITUALLY PROFITABLE!
Unprofitable or without merit does not mean without
intrinsic value but instead it means that EVERYTHING WE
HAVE IS BESTOWED UPON US BY GOD AN INSURMOUNTABLE
DEBT THAT WE OWE HIM BUT WHICH WE CAN NEVER REPAY,
(because everything we have already belongs to Him!)
OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST CAME TO EARTH TO
TEACH US HIS DIVINE TRUTH AND TO HEAL ALL FALLEN
HUMANITY, YET ONLY A VERY SMALL PORTION RECEIVES HIM
IN FAITH AND THANKSGIVING.
For that very reason, our Lord cautioned us: MANY ARE
CALLED BUT FEW ARE CHOSEN! (MATTHEW 20:16)

30TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST 12TH SUNDAY

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


Holy Spirit...
Dearly Beloved: Everyone has suffered and felt pain to a
greater or lesser degree. Sometimes life is so difficult
that those concerned might even feel a sense of
martyrdom.
Sadly, MANKIND USUALLY CHOOSES SINFUL VICES/PASSIONS OVER
VIRTUE, THE CONSEQUENCES OF WHICH HAVE RESULTED IN PAIN,
SICKNESS, SUFFERING, AND EVENTUALLY DEATH.
However, WE MUST NEVER THINK THAT GOD IS PUNISHING US for
He is ABSOLUTE UNCONDITIONAL LOVE Himself.

OF

ST LUKE THE TEN LEPERS

Our Heavenly Father only wants us to return to His


Beneficial and Blessed Embrace when we Repent our
sins, correct our errors and are restored to a good and
healthy Spiritual Life once again.
WHEN WE ARE SUFFERING, WE SHOULD DRAW MUCH CLOSER TO OUR
LORD AND HOLD TIGHTLY ONTO HIM.
IN OUR WEAKENED, SUFFERING STATE, OUR LORD DOES CARRY US
THROUGH THE MOST DIFFICULT CIRCUMSTANCES IN HIS LOVING
EMBRACE, setting us down when we are strong enough
to CONTINUE TO WALK WITH HIM.
His Great Mercy turns the wicked machination of the evil
one into AN OPPORTUNITY FOR OUR ETERNAL SALVATION.

16. 3 0 T H S U N D A Y A F T E R P E N T E C O S T 1 2 T H O F S T L U K E T H E T E N L E P E R S

15 JANUARY 2017

We are so stubborn and ignorant that IT OFTEN TAKES A


TRAGEDY FOR US TO GET EVERYTHING INTO THE CORRECT
PERSPECTIVE!
We must understand that WITHOUT ALMIGHTY GOD, WE CAN
ACHIEVE NOTHING WORTHWHILE AT ALL AND WITHOUT GOD
THERE ARE NO MIRACLES!

[Like the Prodigal Son, we sometimes need to hit rock bottom before
we return to our senses. Only then will we strive with all our
ability to restore ourselves to our former well being.
But this is only possible with many heartfelt Prayers to God either
directly or by means of Intercessory Prayers of His Holy Mother
and His Holy Saints and Martyrs who ceaselessly pray and
intercede on our behalf. Then, by the Will of God the Father,
through our Lord Jesus Christ and by the Power and Energy of
the Holy Spirit, everything becomes possible! mp]
Even though our Lord Jesus Christ had known
beforehand that nine of the ten lepers would
immediately forget the Divine Miracle so Graciously
bestowed upon them by our Loving God, HE HEALED
ALL TEN OF THEM, DUE TO HIS LOVE FOR ALL OF US WRETCHED
SINNERS.
There was ONLY ONE LEPER who ACKNOWLEDGED THE ENORMITY
OF HIS GREAT MERCY, and EVEN BEFORE BEING CERTIFIED AS
BEING HEALED, HE FELL DOWN IN ALL HUMILITY AND SINCERE
GRATITUDE BEFORE CHRIST OUR SAVIOUR.
Instead of rushing off to celebrate his Miraculous Healing
like the other nine lepers, the ONE (DESPISED) SAMARITAN,
RAN BACK TO OUR LORD TO EXPRESS HIS EXTREME JOY AND
THANKFULNESS, GLORIFYING AND PRAISING GOD WITH ALL HIS
BEING!
MOST OF US ACT LIKE THE NINE SELF-ABSORBED LEPERS, accepting
the generosity and kindness of God and our fellow
mankind WITH VERY LITTLE EXPRESSION OF GENUINE
GRATITUDE OR THANKSGIVING TO GOD.
Even when having partaken of the Heavenly Banquet
HOLY EUCHARIST THAT GRANTS US FORGIVENESS OF SINS AND
ETERNAL LIFE how many stand humbly before the
Throne of God the Holy Altar - TO GLORIFY AND TO
THANK HIM FOR HIS INFINITE LOVE AND GREAT MERCY - EVEN
FOR SUCH A WRETCHED SINNER LIKE ME!!
Most of us, when tormented, think only of our own
problems, and because of this, we complain and

even raise our complaints to God: Why should this


happen to me?
ALL TOO OFTEN, WE DARE TO BLAME GOD FOR OUR SELF-INFLICTED
CIRCUMSTANCES, NOT CONSIDERING OUR CONTRIBUTION TO
OUR OWN AND OTHERS MISERY AND SUFFERING!
Yet, once our troubles have been resolved and everything
is more or less back to normal, WE INSTANTLY FORGET
HOW OUR LORD CARRIED US, STRENGTHENED AND ENCOURAGED
US WHEN WE COULD NOT ENDURE ANOTHER MOMENT LONGER!
We must carefully consider what really happens inside
our heart and soul, whether we suffer externally or
not.
Whenever we beseech,
Love, and desire God, He
orchestrates things in such a way that WE WILL
EVENTUALLY FIND OURSELVES ON THE PATH OF SALVATION. This
will occur WHETHER WE ARE IN PAIN OR ARE HEALED.
It is an extremely serious mistake to think that we can first
surpass or succeed in anything significant - and only
later when we remember - express our sincere
gratitude to God!!
THIS VERY MOMENT - WHATEVER IS HAPPENING TO US WE MUST
WORSHIP, SEEK, AND LOVE GOD, FROM DEEP WITHIN OURSELVES
WITH BOTH BODY AND SOUL!
WE MUST CONTINUOUSLY GLORIFY AND PRAISE GOD FOR HIS LOVE,
BENEVOLENCE, PROVIDENCE, DIVINE GRACE AND GREAT
MERCY!
THROUGHOUT EVERY DAY, WE SHOULD BE ACKNOWLEDGING OUR
BLESSINGS AND JOY FOR GODS INFINITE LOVE!
Furthermore, WE MUST PERPETUALLY EXAMINE AND JUDGE
OURSELVES SO THAT WE CAN IMMEDIATELY REPENT OUR SINS
AND CORRECT OUR ERRORS so that our soul is able to
achieve everything that is required of us as God
created us to do.
In particular, we must STRIVE TO BECOME HUMBLE, TO SEEK
FORGIVENESS AND TO FORGIVE OTHERS,
TO FAITHFULLY
FOLLOW OUR SAVIOUR BY ENDEAVOURING TO FULFIL HIS
COMMANDMENTS AND TEACHINGS SO THAT WE MAY TRULY LIVE
IN GOD.
Amen.
HTTP://WWW.ORTHODOXPATH.ORG

WHAT SHOULD WE ASK FOR IN OUR PRAYERS?

Elder Porphyrios taught us that when we pray, we should


not ask for something like "...free me from this illness..."
or "...solve my problem..."
Instead we should BESEECH GOD FOR HIS DIVINE SUPPORT AND
STRENGTH TO ENDURE WHATEVER DIFFICULTIES OR SORROWS WE
ARE EXPERIENCING at that moment and throughout our
life.
It is a natural human inclination TO ASK GOD FOR WHAT WE
WANT,
but this IS SELF-CENTRED AND SPIRITUALLY
UNBENEFICIAL.
WE SHOULD TRY TO ESTABLISH OR UNDERSTAND WHAT IT IS THAT
GOD WANTS FOR US.
Elder Porphyrios explained: ... We should not continue
relentlessly (to beseech God) in order to acquire
what we want. Rather, we should leave all things to
the Will of God.
What happens when we peruse what we want? These
always increase, and we are never satisfied with
what we have!
The more we chase after our wants, the more elusive
they become. If, for example, we pray for good
grades, next we will ask God to grant us a good job.
THE WAY

OF

LOVE: CHRIST

One of the ways Faithful Christians seek Unity with God is


by what I term the Way of Love.
This is where the emphasis is placed on the Love of
Christ. It is the Way of the heart.
The Way of Love is a Spiritual Path according to our
Lords first Divine Commandment: You shalt Love
the Lord with all your heart, and all your soul, and
all your mind. (MATTHEW 22:37-8)
(When we make the Sign of the Cross we declare: I worship the
Lord with all my mind, with all my heart, with all my
Strength and with all my soul! mp)
One of our Holy Church Fathers who Lived and taught
this Way of Love, was Elder Porphyrios, whose
teaching has been recorded for us in the Inspiring
book put together from his talks: Wounded by Love.

Then we will ask Him for a better, more financially


profitable job, and other worldly possessions and all
kinds of things that are Spiritually Unbeneficial for
us!
Elder Porphyrios advises us: ... In our Prayers, we should
only ask our Lord to grant us His Holy Virtues for the
Salvation of our immortal soul...
The Secret is to ask for our Holy Union with Christ our
Beloved Saviour, with utter selflessness and to avoid
beseeching God to ... grant me this... or that...
We should always ask for the Will of God to be done...
The greatest enemy is our egoism!
When we pray, we should first thank God and Praise Him for His
Great Mercy and infinite Love for all mankind, including us
wretched sinners.
Before asking Him for anything whether it is for His Healing and
Comfort of others or His Strength and Guidance for ourselves,
we should always begin by saying: If it be Thy Will, O
Lord... and indeed, we must always accept His Divine Will
for God Alone knows what is best for us! mp
IS

OUR LOVE, OUR DESIRE

Elder Porphyrios continually emphasized that OUR FIRST


THOUGHT SHOULD ALWAYS BE LOVE OF GOD: Christ is Joy,
the True Light, Happiness. Christ is our Hope.
Our Relationship with Christ is Love, Eros, Passion,
Enthusiasm, Longing for the Divine.
Christ is everything. He is our Love. He is the Object of our
desire.
This Passionate Longing for Christ is a Love that cannot
be taken away. This is whence Joy flows!
The Way of Love is the unending focus on our Love of
Christ our Lord and Saviour.
Elder Porphyrios' method is nothing more than LOVING
OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST WITH ALL OUR BEING BODY AND SOUL
- LOVING HIM SO MUCH THAT NOTHING ELSE TAKES
PRECEDENCE.

30TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST 12TH OF ST LUKE THE TEN LEPERS

15 JANUARY 2017

17.

This is how we overcome our ego, passions and evil, for


Loving God is an all consuming Love.
Our mind has no room left for anything else but our Lord
Jesus Christ i.e. our Triune, Almighty God!
Elder Porphyrios explained: ...When the Person you Love
with all your being is Christ, He is always in your
mind, in your heart, in your whole being! Christ is
everywhere!
Elder Porphyrios chose to use the term Eros for Love.

In Greek Mythology Eros, the young son of Aphrodite, was


depicted as a winged boy, who was considered to be
the most beautiful of the pagan gods. When Eros fell
in love with Psyche his radiance was such that for her
own safety, he insisted that she must never look upon
his face, so he visited her only at night.
Elder Porphyrios also saw Christ as the Most Beautiful of
Persons with a Radiance that permeated all with his
Love, having received a Radiance and Gifts of the
Holy Spirit. There are books filled with testimonies to
his Holiness. (DEACON CHARLES JOINER)

The term eros is commonly used to refer to a passionate,


intense desire for someone in particular.
For Plato, eros was a common desire for a
transcendental beauty-the beauty that exists in the
world of Forms or Ideas.
Platonic love is a love of the form of beauty-not of a
particular individual, but the element they posses of
true (Ideal) beauty.
For Plato, eros was initially the love felt for a person, but
with contemplation, it becomes an appreciation of
the beauty within that person, or even becomes
appreciation of beauty itself.
In the case of Elder Porphyrios we can think of both of
these ideas.
He is passionate in his Love for Christ. He Loves God with
intensity - both as a Person and also as an Ideal for
mankind.
By his use of the word "eros" Elder Porphyrios emphasised
the all-consuming passion we must have for our Lord
and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
LOVE

OF

CHRIST

IS

Elder Porphyrios explained: ...When we find Christ, we


are satisfied, we desire nothing else, we find Peace.
We become very different
Our Lord Jesus Christ is in all our thoughts, in all our
actions. We have Grace and we can endure
everything for Christ!
St Theophan the Recluse used the term "zeal" to express
similar thoughts to Elder Porphyrios chosen term
"eros: ...The testimony of this life that is visible or
can be felt within us is the ardour of Active Zeal to
please God alone in a Christian manner, with total
self-sacrifice...
The Way of Love is an insatiable desire to be with our
Lord Jesus Christ at all times, due to our all
encompassing Love of God.

LOVE

Our Lord Jesus Christ created His Holy Church on Earth as


His Body, with Him as the Head our .
To Love Christ is to Love His Holy Church.
Elder Porphyrios reminded us that the Holy Church of
Christ is ...exactly the same as Paradise in Heaven.
Furthermore, all Faithful souls are One in His Eternal
Church: ... Love, worship of and yearning for God,
our Holy Union with Christ and with His Holy Church is
Paradise on Earth...
The Divine Liturgy and other Holy Services of His Church
express our worship and Love of God and in return,
His Love and Great Mercy for us.
St Porphyrios explained: ...The Divine Services of the
Church consist of words whereby we converse and
communicate with God with our worship and with our
Love.
The hours spent closest to Paradise are the hours spent
in His Holy Church together with all our Brethren
when we celebrate the Divine Liturgy, when we have
Repented our sins and when we receive Holy
Communion...
We express our all-consuming Love of God by eagerly
and enthusiastically observing the necessary formal
aspects of His Holy Church, constantly receiving and
participating in the essential Holy Mysteries.
Having been Baptised and Chrismated, and, for couples,
being Betrothed and Married in the Sight of God
(rather than fornicating and living in sin), we must
regularly participate and receive RepentanceConfession, Holy Eucharist and Holy Unction, while
attending the Sunday and Festal Divine Liturgies and
the other essential Holy Services throughout the year.
Furthermore, we must observe all Fasting Periods and
Days throughout the Year, for Self-Denial and Spiritual
Discipline is another vital Commitment that expresses
our Love of and Obedience to God.
Elder Porphyrios pointed out: ... The Divine Services are
a very great affair. The precondition is for
everything to be done with Eros, with interest and
with a sincere disposition to worship Christ--not as a
chore and not perfunctorily, but with Eros and
Sacred Enthusiasm...
ST THEOPHAN

Every morning or evening, immediately before we begin


to repeat our Prayers, we must stand awhile, sit for
awhile, or walk a little and try to steady our mind and
turn it away from all worldly activities and objects.

OF THE

CHURCH

Worship must spring from our entire heart and soul.


OUR ONLY THOUGHT MUST BE GOD, WHICH CANNOT BE ACHIEVED
UNDER DURESS. We must feel a Spiritual Delight and
eagerness to be with God.
Our worship should not be like the required homework a
child does for school.
Our Worship of God should be passionate but a higher,
profound Spiritual Devotion and Love.
Above all, participation in and partaking of the Holy
Mystery of Eucharist is an act of utter Divine Love, for it
is a Most Blessed and Ecstatic Union with our Triune,
Almighty God through the Life-giving, Most Precious
and Sacred Body and Blood of our Lord and Saviour,
Jesus Christ.
Elder Ephraim of Arizona taught us about the magnificent
splendour of the Divine Liturgy: ...The Divine Liturgy,
is indeed Splendid!
Mankind has been honoured by God in such a way that
He Himself comes down to Earth with His Angelic
Orders every time there is a Divine Liturgy, in order to
nurture us with His Most Holy Body and His Most
Precious Blood!
For He has given us everything.
Is there anything physical or spiritual, perishable or
everlasting, that has not been offered to us? None!
Is there anything superior to His Most Holy Body and
Blood, which is given to us on a daily basis? There is
certainly not!
God has enabled us, who are soiled and dirty, to serve
the Divine Liturgy.
So Priceless is the Divine Love that just a tiny drop
exceeds any earthly, physical and secular love!
Our exquisite Orthodox Faith is all about Love Agape
that Most Perfect, Pure and Divine Love that exceeds
all human understanding.
As Elder Porphyrios said: ...Our Faith is Love! It is Eros! It
is enthusiasm! It is Frenetic! It is an ever- longing for
the Divine! All these emotions are within us. Our soul
demands that we attain them.
http://orthodoxwayoflife.blogspot.co.za
THE

RECLUSE

After this, we must think Who He is to Whom we turn in


Prayer, then recollect who we are - who it is who is
about to start this Invocation to Him in Prayer.
We must do this in such a way as to waken in our heart
Humility and Reverent Awe for standing in the very
Presence of God!

18. 3 0 T H S U N D A Y A F T E R P E N T E C O S T 1 2 T H O F S T L U K E T H E T E N L E P E R S

15 JANUARY 2017

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa


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.

17 January 2017
St Anthony the Great Holy Hieromartyr
Founder of Monasticism
Also the Feast of St Anthony of Veiras St George the New Martyr of Jannina St Anthony of
Dymsk, Novgorod St Anthony of Black Lake, Chernoezero St Anthony of Krasny Kholm St
Theodosios the Great & Holy Emperor St Achilles the Confessor
FESTAL APOLYTIKION ST ANTHONY

Ton

THE

GREAT TONE 4

Imitating the manner of Elijah the Zealot, and following

zilotin Ilian tis tropis mimoumenos, to Vaptisti


evthies tes trivois epomenos, Pater Antonie, tis erimou
gegonas ikistis, ke tin ikoumenin estirixas evhes sou.
Dio presveve Hristo to Theo, sothine tas psihas imon.

the straight paths of John the Baptist, O Father


Anthony, thou colonised the desert, and thou
supported the Empire by thy Prayers. Therefore
intercede with Christ our God to Save our souls!

FESTAL KONTAKION ST ANTHONY

Tous

THE

GREAT TONE 4

Thou retreated from the tumult of daily life and led thy

viotikous thorivous aposamenos, isihastikos ton


vion exetelesas, ton Vaptistin mimoumenos, kata
panta tropon Osiotate, sin afto oun se gereromen,
Pateron Pater Antonie!

life in stillness, imitating John the Baptist in every


way. We honour thee and him together, O Most Holy
Father of Fathers: St Anthony!

FESTAL KONTAKION - THE MEETING/PRESENTATION

Mitran Parthenikin Agiasas to Toko Sou, ke hiras tou


Symeon Evlogisas os eprepe, profthasas ke nin esosas
imas Hriste O Theos. All irinefson en polemis to
politevma, ke krateoson Vasilis ous igapisas, O Monos
Filanthropos

OF

CHRIST -

TONE 1

Thy

Birth Sanctified a Virgins Womb and properly


Blessed the hands of Symeon. Having now come
and Saved us O Christ, our God, grant Peace to Thy
Commonwealth in troubled times and strengthen
those in authority, whom Thou Love, as the Only
Lover of mankind.

FESTAL PROKEIMENON PSALM 115/116

Precious in the Sight of the Lord is the death of His Holy One!
What shall we render unto the Lord for all He has granted us?
MATINS GOSPEL ACCORDING
RESTING

TO
IN

ST MATTHEW 11 :
CHRIST

27 30

At that time our Lord Jesus said: All Things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son
except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son Wills to
reveal Him.
Come to Me, all you who labour and who are heavily laden, and I will grant you rest.
Take My Yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I Am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
For My Yoke is easy and My Burden is light.
Our Lord Jesus Christ tells us in no uncertain manner that
AS THE INCARNATE SON AND WORD OF GOD THE FATHER,
HE HAS DIVINE AUTHORITY AND THAT ONLY THROUGH HIM
IF HE SO WILLS IT MAY WE OBTAIN KNOWLEDGE AND
UNDERSTANDING OF GOD AND HIS HOLY MYSTERIES THAT
ARE BEYOND OUR NORMAL HUMAN UNDERSTANDING OR
PERCEPTION.
Christ also reassures us that WE CAN REST IN HIM BY LEANING
OR DEPENDING ON H IM TO GRANT US WHATEVER IS
ESSENTIAL TO COMPLETE AND TO FULFIL THIS DIFFICULT
JOURNEY OF LIFE TOWARDS ETERNITY.
WHEN OUR CIRCUMSTANCES BECOME TOO DIFFICULT, through
our Prayers and Petitions, OUR MERCIFUL SAVIOUR LIFTS
US UP AND CARRIES US THROUGH THE WORST OF IT so that

we are neither harmed nor traumatised by the


stumbling blocks along the Rocky Pathway.
THE YOKE OF CHRIST IS OUR WILLING SUBMISSION TO THE
KINGDOM OF GOD.
Although a yoke may be regarded by some as being a
sign of hardship, burdens and responsibilities, IN
CHRIST JESUS SUCH A YOKE IS EASY FOR THE DIVINE
POWER OF ALMIGHTY GOD WORKS IN EACH PERSON,
THE EPISTLE

OF

ST PAUL
SUMMARY

OF

MAKING THE HUMANLY IMPOSSIBLE THINGS POSSIBLE FOR


US BY THE GRACE OF GOD.
Furthermore, THE ULTIMATE REWARD OF SUCH STRUGGLES IS
INFINITELY GREATER THAN THOSE OF ANY MERE HUMAN
ENDEAVOURS (REFER 3 KINGS 12 : 1 11 - JEREMIAH 34 : 1 11 -

WISDOM OF SIRACH 40:1)

The term gentle is literally meek.


MEEKNESS IS AN ATTITUDE OF BEING CONTENT WITH BOTH
HONOUR AND DISHONOUR.
MEEKNESS IS AN IMITATION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRISt Who
instructed us to Learn from Me, for I Am gentle
(meek) and lowly in heart.
THOSE WHO ARE TRULY MEEK ARE GOD-CONTROLLED AND
HAVE MASTERY OVER THEIR PASSIONS, especially that of
anger.
MEEKNESS IS not passive weakness but SPIRITUAL
STRENGTH THAT IS DIRECTED AND CONTROLLED.
THE EARTH THAT THE MEEK (HUMBLE) WILL INHERIT IS not
the power or possession of this fallen, temporary
world, but that of THE NEW, EVERLASTING KINGDOM
OF GOD.

TO THE

HEBREWS 13 : 17 - 21

HOLY LIFE

IN

CHRIST

Brethren: obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give
account. Let them do so with Joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.
Pray for us, for we are confident that we have a good conscience in all things desiring to live honourably. But I especially
urge you to do this, so that I may be restored to you sooner.

ST ANTHONY

THE

GREAT, FOUNDER

OF

MONASTICISM

17 JANUARY 2017

19

Now may the God of Peace Who raised up our Lord Jesus from the dead that Great Shepherd of the Sheep through the
Blood of the Everlasting Covenant, make you complete in every Good Work to do His Will, working in you what is well
pleasing in His Sight, through Jesus Christ, to Whom be Glory forever and ever.
Amen.
ALL OUR ORDAINED PRIESTS AND SPIRITUAL LEADERS THE
THE FAITH OF OUR HOLY FATHERS IS THE SAME FAITH THAT
HOLY PRIESTHOOD OF CHRIST MUST BE RESPECTED AND
THEY SHOULD BOTH BE TEACHING AND LIVING.
OBEYED FOR THEY ARE OUR SPIRITUAL FATHERS OF CHRISTS
Because of the important role and function of our Spiritual
HOLY CHURCH.
Fathers, THEY ARE SUBJECTED TO WORSE TEMPTATIONS
THEY WILL HAVE TO GIVE AN ACCOUNT OF THEIR HOLY
THAN ANY OTHER SINNERS, so our concerted Prayers must
MINISTRY AT THE FINAL JUDGEMENT which will be far
be offered to God for them as well as ourselves and our
more strict than those of us whom they lead, guide and
loved ones.
teach.
Furthermore, BY RESPECTING THE HOLY PRIESTHOOD
ST PAUL, being one of these Holy Spiritual Fathers of
SUPPORTING THEM AND APPLYING THEIR ORTHODOX
Christs Church, ASKED THE EARLY CHRISTIANS TO PRAY
TEACHINGS TO OUR DAILY LIFE, THEY WILL BE ENCOURAGED
FOR HIM SO THAT HE COULD LEAD AN EXEMPLARY LIFE,
AND REJOICE IN THEIR SACRED LABOURS and THEY WILL BE
WORTHILY AND CORRECTLY FULFILLING ALL HIS SACRED
INSPIRED TO GREATER EFFORTS AND LESS TEMPTATIONS.
TASKS IN HIS HOLY MISSION.
With regard to St Pauls concluding Blessings: THE
THOSE WHO RULE OVER US ARE OUR ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN
SUFFICIENCY OF THE DIVINE B LOOD OF CHRIST IS REALISED
BISHOPS AND PRIESTS WHO PERFORM ALL THE ESSENTIAL
IN H IS RESURRECTION as our Lord offers His Precious,
HOLY MYSTERIES.
Life-Giving Blood in the Eternal Sanctuary, thereby
THEY MOST CERTAINLY NEED OUR PRAYERS SO THAT THEY MAY
INAUGURATING A N EW, EVERLASTING COVENANT, WHICH
LIVE EACH DAY WORTHILY IN ORDER FOR US TO IMITATE AND
MAKES US COMPLETE as we cooperate with God in all
FOLLOW THEM AS GOOD MODELS OF CHRISTIAN LIFE AS WELL.
things A HOLY SYNERGY THAT PROMOTES OUR SPIRITUAL
PROGRESS TOWARDS HOLY SAINTHOOD.
THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING
OUR LORD JESUS CHRISTS SERMON

ON THE

TO

ST LUKE 6 : 17 - 28

PLAIN

THE

BEATITUDES

AND THE

WOES

At that time, our Lord Jesus went down the mountain with His Apostles and stood on a level place with a crowd of His
Disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem, and from the coast of Tyre and Sidon,
who went to hear Him and be healed of their diseases, as well as those who were tormented with unclean spirits.
And they were healed. And the whole multitude sought to touch Him, for Power went out from Him and healed them
all.
Then He lifted up His Eyes towards His Disciples and said: Blessed are you poor, for yours is the Kingdom of God.
Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be filled. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall rejoice.
Blessed are you when others hate you, and when they exclude you, and revile you, and cast out your name as
evil, for the Son of Mans sake.
Rejoice in that day and leap for Joy! For indeed your Reward is great in Heaven, for in like manner, their fathers
did to the Prophets.
After having prayed all night on a high mountain, OUR LORD
JESUS SUMMONED HIS DISCIPLES TO HIM AND THEN NAMED
HIS CHOSEN TWELVE APOSTLES, after which He addressed
those who had gathered to His Divine Wisdom.
This Sermon on the Plain or level place is slightly similar
to His great Sermon on the Mount, which is more
detailed.
His reference to THOSE WHO HUNGERED (AND THIRSTED FOR
DIVINE RIGHTEOUSNESS) WERE THOSE WHO KNEW THAT THE
PRESENCE OF GOD AND HIS DIVINE KINGDOM WERE THE
MOST IMPORTANT ASPECT OF OUR LIFE.
Such souls have a deep compulsion and craving for
whatever is right in the Sight of God, similar to a
starving persons need for food.
The Kingdom of God calls us to BE FREE FROM ALL ANXIETY
CONCERNING EARTHLY MATTERS and our Lord Jesus
directs us to REMAIN FOCUSED ON HEAVEN WHILE BEING
SECURE IN THE FAITH THAT GOD ALWAYS PROVIDES US WITH
ALL NECESSARY EARTHLY BLESSINGS.
NOTHING IN THIS WORLD COMPARES WITH THE PRICELESS
ETERNAL TREASURES OF SALVATION AND SPIRITUAL LIFE
we shall be richer beyond all earthly measure!
OUR SPIRITUAL HUNGER AND THIRST WILL BE MORE THAN
SATISFIED WITH H EAVENLY BLISS and the True Joy of Gods
Love and Peace will fill us beyond belief!
ST MARK

Christ also reassures us that NO MATTER HOW BADLY OUR


WORST ENEMIES MAY TREAT US BECAUSE OF OUR FAITH IN
GOD, WE HAVE WONDERFUL DIVINE THINGS TO LOOK
FORWARD TO IN ETERNITY.
THE MORE WE ENDURE FOR OUR LOVE OF GOD, THE GREATER
WILL BE OUR SPIRITUAL REWARDS IN GODS H EAVENLY
KINGDOM.
Furthermore, the CLOSER WE GROW TO CHRIST OUR SAVIOUR
INDEED TO THE H OLY TRINITY THE LESS OUR WORLDLY
WOES AFFECT US and the greater our Eternal Joy and
Peace in the Presence of Almighty God will be!
The closer our Relationship is to our Lord Jesus Christ, the
greater the temptations and evil schemes against us.
Persecution by the evil one and his demons both spiritual
and human demonstrates that we are actually making
Spiritual Progress, for THE DEVIL IS OBSESSED WITH THOSE
WHO ARE FAITHFUL TO GOD, not unrepentant sinners who
are already enslaved by him!
INSTEAD OF BEING DISCOURAGED AND AFRAID, WE SHOULD
BECOME STRONGER AND EVEN MORE DETERMINED, KNOWING
THAT GOD IS INDEED WITH US ALWAYS.
So thank God for all things even our difficulties, which
draw us all the more closer and closer to our Loving
and Merciful Lord and which make us all the more
stronger and determined to progress towards our
ultimate Destination.
THE

ASCETIC

Wishing to show that, although every Commandment is

Those are not yet Faithful Servants who base

obligatory, it is by His Blood that Sonship is granted


to mankind, as our Lord says: When you have done
all those things which are Commanded you, say,
We are unprofitable servants! We have done that
which was our duty to do! (LUKE 17:10).
THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS NOT A REWARD FOR DEEDS,
BUT A GIFT OF THE LORD PREPARED FOR FAITHFUL
SERVANTS.
Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures...
and He grants Freedom to those who serve Him well.
For He says: Well done, good and faithful servant!
Thou hast been faithful over a few things. I will
make Thee ruler over many things! Enter into the
Joy of the Lord! (1 CORINTHIANS 15:3 & MATTHEW 25:23).

themselves on bare knowledge alone. FAITHFUL


SERVANTS ARE THOSE WHO PROFESS THEIR FAITH BY
THEIR HUMBLE OBEDIENCE TO CHRIST, Who gave us the
Commandments.
THOSE WHO REVERE THE LORD DO WHAT IS COMMANDED,
and WHEN THEY COMMIT SINS OR DISOBEY HIM, THEY
ENDURE WHATEVER THEY HAVE TO SUFFER, regarding it
as being their desert.
IF YOU LOVE KNOWLEDGE, LOVE ALSO LABOURs, for bare
knowledge puffs a person up.
KNOWLEDGE WITHOUT CORRESPONDING PRACTISE IS STILL
INSECURE, even if it is true. All is made firm by
practise.

20

ST ANTHONY

THE

GREAT, FOUNDER

OF

MONASTICISM

17 JANUARY 2017

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa


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.

18 January 2017
St Athanasios & St Cyril of Alexandria
Also the Feast of St Athanasios, Abbot of Syandemsk Monastery, Vologa St
Athanasios of Novolotsk St Marcian of Cyrrhas, Syria St Cyril, Venerable Schemamonk, & St Maria, Venerable
Schema-Nun, Parents of St Sergios of Radonezh St Joachim I, Patriarch of Trnovo & Bulgaria St Maximos,
Archbishop of Serbia St Maximos the New, Metropolitan of Wallachia, of Serbia St Ephraim the Lesser, Writer,
Translator, Philosopher & Defender of the Georgian Church St Alexi if Teklati, Venerable Hieromonk
FESTAL APOLYTIKION ST ATHANASIOS & ST CYRIL -

Ergis

lampsantes
Orthodoxias,
pasan
svesantes
kakodoxian, Nikite Tropeofori gegonate. Ti efsevia ta
panta ploutisantes, tin Ekklisian Megalos kosmisantes,
Axios evrate Hriston ton Theon evhes imon,
doroumenon pasi to Mega Eleos.

TONE 3

Having shone with deeds of Orthodoxy and extinguished


all impious doctrines, You rightly won the Trophies
and Victory. Since You enriched all the world with
correct belief, greatly adorning the Church with Your
words and deeds, You therefore have worthily found
Christ God, Who by Your Prayers grants to all His Great
Mercy.

SEASONAL KONTAKION MEETING/PRESENTATION TONE 1

Mitran Parthenikin Agiasas to Toko Sou, ke hiras tou


Symeon Evlogisas os eprepe, profthasas ke nin esosas
imas Hriste O Theos.
All irinefson en polemis to
politevma, ke krateoson Vasilis ous igapisas, O Monos
Filanthropos!
FESTAL PROKEIMENON

Thou Sanctified the Virginal Womb by Thy Birth, O Lord,


and Blessed the hands of Symeon fittingly, O Christ
God; and even now, Thou came and Saved us. Grant
Peace to our Nation in time of war, and empower our
Leaders, so Loved by Thee, the Only One Who Loves
humanity.
- PALM 131/132

Thy Priests shalt cloth themselves in Righteousness, Thy Saints shalt greatly Rejoice!
My mouth shalt speak Wisdom, and the Meditation of my heart, Understanding.
THE

OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST

HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST JOHN 10 : 9 16


ONLY WAY F E S T A L P R O K E I M E N O N P S A L M 1 8 T O N E ( 8 ) P L A G A L 4

IS THE

At that time, our Lord Jesus Christ said: I Am the Door: by Me if anyone enters in, he shall be Saved, and shall go in
and out, and find pasture.
The thief comes to steal and to kill, and to destroy. I Am come so that they might have Life, and so that they might
have it more abundantly.
I Am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd gives His Life for the Sheep. But he who is a hireling, and not the
Shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the Sheep, and flees. And the wolf
catches them, and scatters the sheep. For the hireling flees, because he is a hireling, and does not care for the
Sheep.
I Am the Good Shepherd, and know My Sheep, and Am known by My own. As the Father knows Me even so know I
the Father; and I lay down My Life for the Sheep.
And other Sheep I have that are not of this Fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My Voice; and there will
be one Flock and one Shepherd.
FESTAL PROKEIMENON THE PRAYER

OF

AZARIAH TONE 4

Blessed art Thou, O Lord God of our Fathers, for Thou art Praiseworthy and exalted beyond measure unto the Ages.
For Thou art Righteous in all Thou did for us, all Thou brought on us and on Jerusalem, the Holy City of our Fathers.
THE EPISTLE

OF

LOYALTY

ST PAUL

TO

TO THE

HEBREWS 13 : 7 16

ORTHODOX DOCTRINE & WORSHIP

B rethren: remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the Word of God to you, whose Faith you must follow,
considering the outcome of their conduct.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever! Do not be carried away with various and strange doctrines. It is
good that the heart be established by Grace not with foods that have not profited those who have been occupied
with them.
We have an Altar from which those who serve the Tabernacle have no right to eat. The blood of sacrificial animals is
brought into the Sanctuary by the High Priest for sin, while their bodies are burnt outside the camp. Therefore Jesus
also so that He might Sanctify the people with His own Blood suffered outside the gate. Let us go forth to Him
outside the camp bearing His Reproach. For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come. Thus
by Him, let us continually offer the Sacrifice of Praise to God that is: the Fruit of our lips Confessing His Name.
Do good and share without fail. With such sacrifices God is well pleased.
Since Christ is God and never changes, His Holy Gospel
Those who rule are especially the Celebrant Priests or
does not change either.
Officiators of the Holy Mysteries the Bishops and
If Christians in the past attained the Eternal Kingdom
Priests who are not only to be prayed for, but also
through Faith, so can we.
followed as models of Christian Life.
Thus the Holy Church of Christ strives to keep Her Doctrine
The Faith of our Holy Fathers our Christian leaders is
Pure and without the slightest change. (To change that
the Faith they both teach and live by.
Divine Perfection even slightly, makes it less than
Such a Faith does not disappoint.
Perfect!!)
THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING
FAITHFUL DISCIPLES

OF

CHRIST

TO

ST MATTHEW 5 : 14 19

ARE THE

LIGHT

OF THE

WORLD

At that time, our Lord Jesus said to His Disciples: You are the Light of the world. A city that is set upon a hill cannot be
hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are
in the house. Let your Light so shine before mankind, that they may see your Good Works and Glorify your Father
in Heaven.
ST ATHANASIOS & ST CYRIL OF ALEXANDRIA

18 JANUARY 2017

21.

Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfil. Truly, therefore, I
say to you: until Heaven and Earth pass away, not one jot nor one tittle will by any means pass from the Law until
all is fulfilled.
Whoever breaks one of the least of these Commandments, and teaches others to do so, shall be called least in the
Kingdom of Heaven! Whoever does and teaches them, shall be called Great in the Kingdom of Heaven.
ALMIGHTY GOD IS THE TRUE AND UNCREATED LIGHT.
John 8: 12 Our Lord Jesus said: I Am the Light of the
In the Old Testament LIGHT WAS SYMBOLIC OF ALMIGHTY GOD,
world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness,
HIS DIVINE LAW AND ISRAEL in contrast to all other
but have the Light of Life.
Our Lord used these words in the context of the great
Nations.
 Isaiah 60: 1 3 Shine, shine, O Jerusalem, for your
lamps that were lit at the conclusion of the Feast of
Tabernacles in the Outer Court of the Temple in
Light has come, and the Glory of the Lord has
Jerusalem.
risen upon you. Behold: darkness and gloom shall
Consequently, CHRIST DECLARES HIMSELF AS THE FULFILMENT
cover the earth upon the Nations, but the Lord will
AND THE DIVINE OBJECT OF ALL CELEBRATIONS OF LIGHT.
shine on you and His Glory shall be seen upon you.
Kings shall come to your Light, and the Gentiles to
In Holy Scripture, God the Father is Light a Divine
Attribute that He bestows upon His Faithful Flock. (JOHN
your Brightness...
1:4-9 & 1 JOHN 1:5 MATTHEW 5:14 - PHILIPPIANS 2:15)
This is the Hymn that we sing during Holy Pascha in the
Furthermore, OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST CONFIRMS HIS CLAIM BY
Liturgical Services for, as St John of Damascus
PERFORMING THE GREAT MIRACLE OF CREATING EYES FOR THE
expressed it: ... the whole Creation rejoices and
MAN WHO WAS BORN WITHOUT ANY EYES AT ALL. (JOHN 9 : 1-7
exults, for Christ is Risen and Hades despoiled.
ESPECIALLY 9:5)
 Psalm 118:105 - Thy Word is a Lamp to my feet and a
1 JOHN 1 : 5 ... This is the message that we have heard from
Light to my paths.
Him and declare to you: that God is Light and in Him is
In the New Testament, THE SON OF GOD IS LIGHT HE IS
no darkness at all.
UNCREATED LIGHT OF UNCREATED LIGHT TRUE GOD OF
For St John the Divine and Beloved Theologian and Apostle
TRUE GOD!
of Christ LIGHT IS DIVINE ENERGY, WHICH MANIFESTED
 John 1: 4 9 ... In Him is Life, and the Life is the Light
(REVEALED) DIVINE TRUTH I.E. TRUE TEACHING VIRTUE
of mankind. And the Light shines in the darkness,
AND HOLINESS I.E. TRUE BEHAVIOUR AND LIFESTYLE AND
and the darkness did not comprehend It. There
HOLY COMMUNION WITH GOD IN HIS HOLY CHURCH I.E.
was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
TRUE SPIRITUALITY.
This man came as a Witness, to bear witness of the
THE STRONGEST OF ALL WEAPONS AGAINST SPIRITUAL
Light, that all through him might believe. He
DARKNESS AND SIN IS OUR LOVE FOR GOD, WHICH IS A
was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of
STRONG, VIBRANT AND CLOSE RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM.
that Light. That was the True Light, which gives
Light is necessary for clear vision and for life itself.
Light to everyone coming into the world...
FAITH RELIES ON DIVINE LIGHT and FAITHFUL BELIEVERS
ONLY GOD HAS LIFE IN HIMSELF, THUS OUR LORD JESUS
BECOME SONS OF LIGHT, WHO SHINE IN A DARKENED
CHRIST, BEING GOD, IS THE SOURCE OF LIFE, TOGETHER
AND PERVERSE WORLD. (JOHN 12:36 - 1 THESSALONIANS 5:5
WITH THE FATHER AND THE HOLY SPIRIT.
PHILIPPIANS 2 : 15)
The Life was the Light of mankind... St John now
At Holy Pascha the Divine Liturgy begins with the Priest
introduces MANKIND AS SANCTIFIED RECEIVERS OF THE
exiting the Holy Sanctuary and presenting a lit candle
DIVINE LIGHT OF GOD, WHO, BY LIVING IN CHRIST, BECOME
into the darkened church - inviting the congregation to
CHILDREN OF THE LIGHT OF GOD. (JOHN 12:36 EPHESIANS
Come and receive the Light that is never overtaken
5:8 1 THESSALONIANS 5:5)
by night! whereupon, one by one, our candles are lit
 St Moses, our ancient Patriarch, saw the Divine Light
and the entire church is quickly illuminated by the soft,
in THE MYSTERIOUS BURNING BUSH and the whole
golden light a wonderful way of REMINDING US HOW
Nation of Israel witnessed It at THE PARTING OF
GODS DIVINE LIGHT OF TRUTH AND LOVE SPREAD AND
THE RED SEA. (EXODUS 3: 2 & 13 :21)
ENLIGHTENED THE ENTIRE WORLD FOREVER!
 St Isaiah beheld the Divine Light of God IN HIS
CHRISTIAN VIRTUES HAVE BOTH A PERSONAL AND PUBLIC
HEAVENLY VISION. (ISAIAH 6: 1 5)
FUNCTION, for it can bring others to Glorify God and to
 The three Apostles of Christ witnessed the Divine
live in Christ forever.
Light of God at OUR LORDS TRANSFIGURATION ON
OUR LORD JESUS FULFILLED THE LAW IN HIMSELF - IN HIS
MOUNT TABOR. (MATTHEW 17 : 1 5)
WORDS AND IN HIS ACTIONS BY PERFORMING GODS WILL
Darkness refers to SPIRITUAL DARKNESS OR BLINDNESS DUE
IN ALL ITS FULLNESS, BY TRANSGRESSING NONE OF THE
TO UNREPENTED SIN. It is both Spiritual Ignorance and
PRECEPTS OF THE LAW, BY DECLARING THE PERFECT
Satanic opposition to the Divine Light and Truth of
FULFILMENT OF THE LAW, WHICH HE WAS ABOUT TO
Almighty God.
THOSE WHO HATE TRUTH, PREFER
DELIVER TO THEM AND BY GRANTING RIGHTEOUSNESS
IGNORANCE FOR THEMSELVES AND THEY STRIVE TO KEEP
THE ULTIMATE GOAL OF THE LAW TO US.
OTHERS IGNORANT AS WELL.
HE ALSO FULFILLED THE PROPHECIES OF ALL THE HOLY
Comprehend means both understand and overcome.
PROPHETS OF GOD, by being and carrying out
Thus SPIRITUAL DARKNESS CAN NEVER OVERPOWER THE
everything they had foretold centuries before.
DIVINE LIGHT AND TRUTH OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, NOR
Our Lord Jesus often used the term Truly or Assuredly
CAN IT UNDERSTAND THE WAY OF DIVINE LOVE. (AGAPE)
which means confirmed, or so be it Amen as A
John is a reference to ST JOHN THE BAPTIST AND
SOLEMN AFFIRMATION OR FORM OF OATH.
FORERUNNER TO CHRIST THE LAST AND GREATEST OF ALL
His use of this expression at the beginning of certain Divine
THE OLD COVENANT HOLY PROPHETS OF GOD, who not only
Proclamations (rather than at the end) is UNIQUE AND
prepared the Hebrews on earth for the advent of Christ
AUTHORITATIVE: HE DECLARES HIS WORDS AFFIRMED BEFORE
the True Messiah, but after his Holy Martyrdom, HE ALSO
THEY ARE EVEN SPOKEN!
PREPARED THOSE WHO WERE IMPRISONED IN HADES. (AFTER
A JOT IOTA IS THE SMALLEST LETTER IN THE GREEK
CHRISTS DEATH AND HIS OWN DESCENT INTO HADES, OUR LORD
ALPHABET WHILE A TITTLE IS THE SMALLEST STROKE IN
JESUS SET THE RIGHTEOUS SOULS FREE TO REPOSE IN PARADISE
CERTAIN HEBREW LETTERS.
UNTIL THE FINAL JUDGEMENT. THIS IS KNOWN AS THE
Thus, WITHOUT EXCEPTION, THE ENTIRE LAW OF GOD IS
HARROWING OF HADES.)
AFFIRMED AS THE SACRED FOUNDATION OF CHRISTS NEW
Although OUR MOST MERCIFUL GOD HAS OFFERED HIS DIVINE
COVENANT TEACHING.
LIGHT TO EVERY HUMAN BEING, the fallen world and even
All is fulfilled is a reference to THE PASSION AND
many of His chosen people refuse to receive Him. Thus
RESURRECTION OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOUr.
they can neither know nor recognise Him. THOSE WHO
RIGHTEOUSNESS ACCORDING TO THE LAW IS A UNIFIED WHOLE.
ACCEPT CHRIST OUR SAVIOUR, ARE GRANTED HIS DIVINE
 THE OBSERVANCE OF ALL THE LEAST COMMANDMENTS OF
LIGHT.
GOD IS TO OBSERVE OR KEEP OR OBEY THE WHOLE
After having heard the reading of the Holy Gospel and
DIVINE LAW OF GOD,
having received the Holy Eucharist in Divine Liturgy, we
 WHILE THE VIOLATION OF THE LEAST COMMANDMENT IS
sing: We have seen the True Light! We have received
CONSIDERED BY GOD TO BE THE VIOLATION OF THE
the Heavenly Spirit!
ENTIRE DIVINE LAW OF GOD!
It could not be made more definitive or clear to us than
This!!
22.

ST ATHANASIOS & ST CYRIL OF ALEXANDRIA

18 JANUARY 2017

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa


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.

20 January 2017
St Euthymios the Great of Melitene, Armenia
Also the Feast of St Euthymios the Schemamonk of Kiev Caves Monastery St Laurence
the Recluse of the Kiev Far Caves Monastery St Euthymios of Syanzhemsk, Vologda St
Inna, St Pinna & St Rimma of Scythia (Bulgaria), Disciples of St Andrew the First-Called
Apostle of Christ St Vassos, St Eusebios, St Eutychios & St Vasilides of Nicomedia St
Euthymios, Patriarch of Trnovo & Bulgaria St Zacharia, New Holy Martyr of
Peloponnesos, Greece St Euthymios the Confessor of Georgia
FESTAL APOLYTIKION ST EUTHYMIOS

Eufrenou

THE

GREAT TONE 4

Sing, O Desert that did not bear!

erimos i ou tiktousa, Eutimison i ouk odinousa.


Oti eplithine Si tekna, anir epithimion ton tou
Pnevmatos, evsevia fitefsas, egkratia ekthrepsas, is
areton teliotita. Tes Aftou ikesies, Hriste O Theos,
Irinefson tin Zoin imon.

Be encouraged, you have


not been in labour! For a man greatly Beloved of the
Spirit has multiplied your Children. He planted them
in Godliness, he reared them in Self-control, and he
raised them to Perfection in Virtue.
At his
Intercessions, O Christ our God, Grant Peace to our
Life.

FESTAL KONTAKION ST EUTHYMIOS

En ti septi gennisi sou, haran i ktisis evrato.

THE

GREAT -

TONE (8) PLAGAL 4

Creation

Ke en ti thia
mnimi sou Osie, tin Euthymian elave ton pollon sou
thavmaton, ex on parashou plousios tes psihes imon, ke
apokatharon amartimaton kilidas, opos psallomen.
Allilouia!

found delight and joy in thine august nativity


and the good cheer of thy numberless miracles on thy
divine memorial. Now bestow thereof richly on our
souls and wash clean the stains of our every sin,
Euthymius Most Righteous, that we may chant: Alleluia!

SEASONAL KONTAKION - THE PRESENTATION OF CHRIST


(14 JANUARY 9 FEBRUARY] - TONE 1

Mitran Parthenikin Agiasas to Toko Sou, ke hiras tou


Symeon Evlogisas os eprepe, profthasas ke nin esosas
imas Hriste O Theos.
All irinefson en polemis to
politevma, ke krateoson Vasilis ous igapisas, O Monos
Filanthropos

Thy

Birth Sanctified a Virgins Womb and properly


Blessed the hands of Symeon. Having now come and
Saved us O Christ, our God, grant Peace to Thy
Commonwealth in troubled times and strengthen
those in authority, whom Thou Love, as the Only
Lover of mankind.

FESTAL PROKEIMENON PSALM 115.116 TONE(5) PLAGAL 1

Precious in the Sight of the Lord is the death of His Holy One.
What shalt we render unto the Lord for all He has granted us?
FESTAL MATINS GOSPEL ACCORDING
RESTING

IN

TO

CH

ST MATTHEW 11 :

27 30

RIST

At that time our Lord Jesus said: All Things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son
except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son Wills to
reveal Him.
Come to Me, all you who labour and who are heavily laden, and I will grant you rest. Take My Yoke upon you and
learn from Me, for I Am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My Yoke is easy and
My Burden is light.
Our Lord Jesus Christ tells us in no uncertain manner that
PERSON, MAKING THE HUMANLY IMPOSSIBLE THINGS POSSIBLE
AS THE INCARNATE SON AND WORD OF GOD THE FATHER,
FOR US BY THE GRACE OF GOD.
HE HAS DIVINE AUTHORITY AND THAT ONLY THROUGH HIM
Furthermore, THE ULTIMATE REWARD OF SUCH STRUGGLES IS
IF HE SO WILLS IT MAY WE OBTAIN KNOWLEDGE AND
INFINITELY GREATER than those of any mere human
UNDERSTANDING OF GOD AND ALL HIS HOLY MYSTERIES
endeavours. (REFER 3 KINGS 12 : 1 11 - JEREMIAH 34 : 1 11 WISDOM OF SIRACH 40:1)
that are beyond our normal human understanding or
The term gentle is literally meek.
perception.
CHRIST ALSO REASSURES US THAT WE CAN REST IN HIM by
 MEEKNESS IS AN ATTITUDE OF BEING CONTENT WITH BOTH
leaning or depending on Him to grant us whatever is
HONOUR AND DISHONOUR.
needed to complete and to fulfil this difficult Journey of
 Meekness is AN IMITATION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
Life towards Eternity.
Who instructed us to Learn from Me, for I Am
When our circumstances become too difficult, through our
gentle (meek) and lowly in heart.
Prayers and Petitions, OUR MERCIFUL SAVIOUR LIFTS US UP
 THOSE WHO ARE TRULY MEEK ARE GOD-CONTROLLED AND
AND CARRIES US through the worst of it so that we are
HAVE MASTERY OVER THEIR PASSIONS, especially that of
neither harmed nor traumatised by the stumbling
anger.
blocks along the rocky pathway.
 MEEKNESS IS NOT PASSIVE WEAKNESS BUT SPIRITUAL
THE YOKE OF CHRIST IS OUR WILLING SUBMISSION TO THE
STRENGTH that is directed and controlled.
KINGDOM OF GOD and although a yoke may be

The Earth That The Meek (Humble) Will Inherit Is not
regarded by some as being a sign of hardship, burdens
the power or possession of this fallen, temporary
and responsibilities, IN CHRIST JESUS SUCH A YOKE IS EASY
world, but that of The New, Everlasting Kingdom Of
for THE DIVINE POWER OF ALMIGHTY GOD WORKS IN EACH
God.
ST EUTHYMIOS

THE

GREAT

OF

MELITENE, ARMENIA

20 JANUARY 2017

23.

FESTAL PROKEIMENON PSALM 149 - TONE (7) VARYS/GRAVE

The Holy shalt boast in Glory, and they shalt greatly Rejoice on their beds.
Sing to the Lord a New Song; His Praise in the Assembly of His Holy.
THE SECOND EPISTLE
REMAIN FAITHFUL

ST PAUL

OF

TO THE

TO THE

CORINTHIANS 4 : 6 15

DIVINE TRUTH & TEACHINGS

OF

CHRIST

OUR

LORD

Brethren: It is God Who Commanded Light to shine out of Darkness, Who has Shone in our heart to give the Light of
Knowledge of the Glory of God in the Face of Jesus Christ. We have this Treasure in earthen vessels so that the
Excellence of the Power may be of God and not of us.
On all sides we are hard-pressed, yet not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted but not forsaken; struck
down, but not destroyed always carrying about the dying of our Lord Jesus in the body, so that the Life of Jesus
also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are always delivered to Death for the sake of Jesus, so that
the Life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. Consequently, Death is working in us, but Life in you.
Since we have the same Spirit of Faith, according to what is written: Believing, I also spoke... - we also Believe and
therefore speak, knowing that He Who Raised up the Lord Jesus will also Raise us up with Jesus, and will present us
with you. All things are for your sake, so that Grace - having spread through the many - may cause Thanksgiving to
abound to the Glory of God.
T HE T REASURE IS THE L IGHT OF GOD S G LORY IN C HRIST .
T HIS IS V ICTORIOUS , BUT NOT TROUBLE - FREE C HRISTIANITY .
EARTHEN VESSELS REFERS TO OUR HUMANITY OUR HUMAN These T RIALS OF L IFE ...SHOW BOTH THE POWER OF GOD AND ,
NATURE our mortal, physical bodies that God first
MORE , DISCLOSE H IS G RACE [ ST JOHN CHRYSOSTOM ]
created from the soil of the earth and which, therefore, BOTH THE EVER B LESSED T HEOTOKOS AND S T JOHN THE
must be returned to the earth before our Resurrection
B APTIST WERE THE MOST P ERFECT L IVING E XAMPLES OF
into Eternity.
D IVINE GRACE.
As THIS D IVINE L IGHT SHINES IN AND THROUGH US , people will Since very early childhood from about the age of two or
see that THE POWER IS OF GOD " AND NOT OF MANKIND .
three years S T JOHN THE BAPTIST AND F ORERUNNER TO
L IKE THE EVER B LESSED T HEOTOKOS , ST JOHN THE BAPTIST
C HRIST HAD LIVED IN THE W ILDERNESS - ALL ALONE BUT
WAS UTTERLY H UMBLE AND O BEDIENT TO G OD AND WAS
P ROTECTED AND N URTURED BY DIVINE PROVIDENCE AND THE
A MOST SUITABLE L IVING T EMPLE FOR THE H OLY
G RACE OF GOD .
T RINITY .
A LL HIS K NOWLEDGE WAS BESTOWED UPON HIM BY GOD W HO
Thus THE D IVINE L IGHT SHONE FORTH FROM HIM UPON THE
NOT ONLY PROTECTED HIM FROM ANY HARM , BUT ALSO
H EBREW P EOPLE , ENCOURAGING THEM TO HEED HIS
EQUIPPED HIM WITH ALL THE ESSENTIAL REQUIREMENTS AS
D IVINELY I NSPIRED WORDS AND TO SEEK R EPENTANCE in
THE H OLY F ORERUNNER TO C HRIST AND THE L AST BUT
preparation for the Coming of the long-awaited
G REATEST H OLY P ROPHET OF G OD
Messiah our Saviour.
HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING
CHRISTS SERMON

ON THE

TO

ST LUKE 6 : 17 23

PLAIN THE BEATITUDES & WOES

At that time, our Lord Jesus went down the mountain with His Apostles and stood on a level place with a crowd of His
Disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem, and from the coast of Tyre and Sidon, who
went to hear Him and be Healed of their diseases, as well as those who were tormented with unclean spirits. And they
were Cured, for Power went out from Him and Healed them all.
And He - raising His Eyes towards His Disciples - said: Blessed are the poor, for theirs is the Kingdom of God. Blessed
are the hungry now, for they shall be filled. Blessed are those who weep now, for they shall Rejoice. Blessed are
you when others hate you, and when they exclude you, and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of
Mans sake. Rejoice in that day and leap for Joy! For behold! your Reward is great in Heaven...
OUR SPIRITUAL HUNGER AND THIRST WILL BE MORE THAN
After having prayed all night on a high mountain, our Lord
Jesus summoned His Disciples to Him and then named
SATISFIED WITH HEAVENLY BLISS AND THE TRUE JOY OF
GODS LOVE AND PEACE WILL FILL US BEYOND BELIEF!
His Chosen Twelve Apostles, after which He addressed
Christ also reassures us that no matter how badly our
those who had gathered to His Divine Wisdom.
worst enemies may treat us because of our Faith in God,
This Sermon on the Plain or level place is slightly similar
WE HAVE WONDERFUL DIVINE THINGS TO LOOK FORWARD TO
to His great Sermon on the Mount, which is more
IN ETERNITY.
detailed.
HIS REFERENCE TO THOSE WHO HUNGERED (AND THIRSTED FOR
THE MORE WE ENDURE FOR OUR LOVE OF GOD, THE GREATER WILL
DIVINE RIGHTEOUSNESS) WERE THOSE WHO KNEW THAT THE
BE OUR SPIRITUAL REWARDS IN GODS HEAVENLY KINGDOM.
PRESENCE OF GOD AND HIS DIVINE KINGDOM WERE THE MOST
Furthermore, THE CLOSER WE GROW TO CHRIST OUR SAVIOUR
IMPORTANT ASPECT OF OUR LIVES and such souls have a
INDEED TO THE HOLY TRINITY THE LESS OUR WORLDLY WOES
AFFECT US AND THE GREATER OUR ETERNAL JOY AND PEACE
deep compulsion and craving for whatever is right in
the Sight of God, compared to a starving persons need
IN THE PRESENCE OF ALMIGHTY GOD WILL BE!
for food.
We can take much courage and joy from knowing that THE
THE KINGDOM OF GOD CALLS US TO BE FREE FROM ALL ANXIETY
MORE WE STRIVE TO FOLLOW OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, THE
CONCERNING EARTHLY MATTERS and our Lord Jesus directs
GREATER THE TEMPTATIONS AND EVIL SCHEMES AGAINST US
us to REMAIN FOCUSED ON HEAVEN WHILE BEING SECURE IN
ARE INCREASED BY THE EVIL ONE AND HIS DEMONS BOTH
THE FAITH THAT GOD ALWAYS PROVIDES US WITH ALL
SPIRITUAL AND HUMAN!
So THANK GOD FOR ALL THINGS EVEN OUR DIFFICULTIES,
NECESSARY EARTHLY BLESSINGS.
Nothing in this world compares with the priceless Eternal
WHICH DRAW US ALL THE MORE CLOSER AND CLOSER TO
Treasures of Salvation and Spiritual Life WE SHALL BE
OUR LOVING AND MERCIFUL LORD and which make us
RICHER BEYOND ALL EARTHLY MEASURE!
all the more stronger and determined to progress
towards our ultimate Destination.
ELDER PORPHYRIOS ON PRAYING

We must pray for the Church, for the world, for everyone.
We cannot just pray for ourselves. We must have a
strong desire for the world to become Sanctified.
When we are suffering or in need, others should pray for
us, and we should pray for them.
When we all pray for each other with Faith and Love,
beseeching Gods Help and Great Mercy, He hears us
and very often causes Miracles to occur (even though we
might not realise it at the time!)
...Prayers for others that are gently offered, with deep
Love is selfless and has great Spiritual Benefit. It brings
Grace to the person who prays and also to the person for
whom one is praying. When we have great Love that
moves us to Prayer, the waves of Love are transmitted,
and positively affects those for whom we are praying,
24.

ST EUTHYMIOS

THE

GREAT

OF

FOR

OTHERS

and we create a shield of Protection around them, and


we influence them, leading them towards what is good.
When our Lord sees our efforts, God bestows His Grace
abundantly on both us and on those for whom we pray.
But we must die to ourselves. Do you understand?
We cannot pray properly without Humility. This is essential.
Our own wisdom is never sufficient. The personal advice
we give to others is not the secret.
In Prayer we seek God's Grace, which Comforts and Heals.
...The secret lies in our devotion, our Prayer to God for what
is best for our Brethren to come about through the grace
of God. That is the best. What we are unable to do will
be done through His GRACE.
Pray always: "Lord Jesus Christ, have Mercy."

MELITENE, ARMENIA

20 JANUARY 2017

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa


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


22 January 2017
st
31 Sunday After Pentecost
th
15 Sunday of St Luke The Calling of St Zacchaeus
Also the Feast of ST TIMOTHY OF THE 70 APOSTLES OF CHRIST St Anastasios the Persian
Monk Martyr St Anastasios the Deacon & Monk Martyr of Kiev Near Caves
Monastery - St Makarios, Wonderworker of Zhabyn Monastery St Manuel, St George, St Peter, St Leontios, Bishops &
Hieromartyrs & St Sionios, St Gabriel, St John, St Leontios, St Parodos, the Presbyters, together with 377 other Holy
Martyrs of Bulgaria St Brightwald of Wilton St Euthymios of Georgia
RESURRECTION APOLYTIKION - TONE (5) PLAGAL 1

Ton sinanarhon Logon Patri ke Pnevmati, ton ek Parthenou The

Word, Who with the Father and the Spirit has no


beginning, and Who, for our Salvation, was born of a
Virgin, let us faithful believers hymn and adore. For it
was His Good Pleasure to ascend the Cross in the
Flesh, and to Suffer Death, and through His own
Glorious Resurrection to raise the dead.

Tehthenta is Sotirian imon, animnisomen, Pisti, ke


Proskinisomen. Oti ivdokise sarki anelthin en to Stavro
ke Thanaton ipomine ke egire tous tethneotas en ti
Evdoxo Anastasi Aftou.

FESTAL APOLYTIKION ST TIMOTHY

OF THE

70 APOSTLES TONE 4

Hristotita ekdidahthis, ke nifon en pasin, Agathin sinidisin Since

Thou hast been instructed in Uprightness


thoroughly and art Vigilant in all things, clothed with a
good conscience as befits one who is Holy, Thou drew
from the Chosen Vessel Ineffable Mysteries; and having
kept the Faith, Thou finished a similar Course, O
Hieromartyr and Apostle Timothy. Intercede with
Christ God for the Salvation of our soul.

iroprepos endisamenos, intlisas ek tou Skevous tis


eklogis ta aporrita.
Ke tin pistin tirisas, ton ison
dromon tetelekas, Apostole Timothee. Presveve Hristo
to Theos sothine tas psihas imon.

FESTAL APOLYTIKION ST ANASTASIOS

THE

PERSIAN MONK-MARTYR TONE 4

O Martis Sou Kyrie en ti Athlisi aftou, to Stefos ekomisato Thy

Martyr, O Lord, was worthily awarded by Thee the


Crown of Incorruption, in that he Contested for Thee,
our Immortal God. Since he possessed Thy Power, he
defeated the tyrants, dashing the demons powerless
displays of defiance. O Christ God, at his Fervent
Entreaties, Save our soul.

tis aftharsias, ek Sou tou Theou imon. Ehon gar tin


Ishin Sou, tous tirannous kathilen, efthrafse ke
demonon ta anishira Thrasi. Aftou tes ikesies, Hriste O
Theos, Soson tas psihas imon.

SEASONAL KONTAKION MEETING /PRESENTATION

Mitran Parthenikin Agiasas to Toko Sou, ke hiras tou


Simeon evlogisas os eprepe, profthasas ke nin esosas
imas, Hriste O Theos.
Allirinefson en polemis to
politevma, ke krateoson Vasilis ous igapisas, O Monos
Filanthropos!

OF

CHRIST TONE 1

O Thou Who Sanctified by Thy Birth a Virgin Womb, and


Blessed the hands of Symeon as seemed most
appropriate, Thou came, indeed, O Christ our God, and
Saved us all. But bring Peace to the commonwealth in
time of war, and secure in Strength, the Rulers Thou
has truly Loved, as the Only One Who Loves mankind.

RESURRECTION GOSPEL 9- JOHN 20 : 19 31


OUR RESURRECTED LORD JESUS CHRIST BESTOWS HIS AUTHORITY TO FORGIVE SINS UPON HIS APOSTLES
PROKEIMENON PSALM 27/28 TONE (6) PLAGAL2

O Lord, Save Thy People, and Bless Thine Inheritance, and Shepherd them, and raise them up forever.
To Thee, O Lord, I cry; O my God: may Thou not pass over me in silence! My Thou never be silent unto me, lest I become
like those who go down into the pit!
THE FIRST EPISTLE

OF

ST PAUL

TO

ST TIMOTHY 4 : 9

- 15

Timothy, my Son: the saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance. For to this end we both Labour and suffer reproach
for we trust in the Living God, Who is the Saviour of all mankind, especially of those who believe. These Things
command and teach. Let no one despise your youth and be an Example to the Faithful in word, in conduct, in
Love, in spirit, in Faith, in Purity.
Until I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to Doctrine. Do not neglect the Gift that is in Thee, which was
granted to Thee by Prophecy with the Laying On of the Hands of the Elders.
Meditate on these things; give Thyself entirely to them, so that Thy progress may be evident to all.
Although St Paul was no stranger to hard, physical work
... the Gift that is in Thee... is a reference to St
and its benefits, he preferred Spiritual Exercise for it
Timothys Ordination as Presbyter (Priest or Elder)
leads to Eternal Life.
which was conferred upon him by the other Holy
We are encouraged to give attention to reading
Apostles of Christ, as it is performed by our Bishops
whether personal or public reading of Holy Scripture
to this very day.
during Communal Worship, which is combined with
St Paul gave St Timothy instructions concerning
exhortation (preaching) and Doctrine (teaching).
Ordination. (1 TIMOTHY 5:22)
The early Christian Church had a structured Liturgical
In continuity with the New Covenant, Orthodox Christian
form of worship, including the Readings of Holy
Ordination to the Holy Diaconate and Priesthood
Scripture, followed immediately by the Sermon or
comes through the Laying On Of Hands by the
Homily the roots of which were in the Synagogues.
Bishop.
31ST SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST

15TH

OF

ST LUKE ST ZACCHAEUS -

22 JANUARY 2017

25.

THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING


THE CALLING

OF

TO

ST LUKE 19 : 1 10

ST ZACCHAEUS

At that time, our Lord Jesus passed through Jericho. And behold! There was a man named Zacchaeus. And he was
Chief of the Publicans, and he was rich. And he wanted to see Who Jesus was, and was unable due to the crowd,
for he was short of stature. And he ran ahead and climbed up into a Sycamore tree to see Him, for He was to pass
that way. And when Jesus got to that place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him: Zacchaeus, make haste
and come down. Today I must stay at Thy house. And he hastily climbed down, and received Him joyfully.
And seeing, they all complained, saying: He has gone to be a Guest of a man who is a sinner!
Standing, Zacchaeus said to Jesus: Behold! to the poor, my Lord, half my goods I shall give. And if I have taken
anything from anyone by false accusation, I shall restore it fourfold!
Jesus said to him: Today Salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham. The Son of Man
has come to seek and to Save what was lost!
Jericho was notorious as a city of wickedness and was
St Zacchaeus had used the term GIVE FOR HIS FREE AND
commonly associated with corruption and immorality.
GENEROUS OFFERING TO THE POOR AND RESTORE FOR
(LUKE 10:30)
WHAT HE OWED TO THOSE WHOM HE HAD CHEATED (AND
The comment ...he was rich... is a reference to the earlier
ROBBED) as it was not a gift but RATHER REQUIRED BY
Teaching of Christ Who had told the Rich Young Man
MOSAIC LAW.
that the only way he could gain Eternal Life was to sell
 EXODUS 22:1 If a thief is found breaking in at night
all his goods, distribute the money to the poor and then
and is killed, there shall be no guilt for his blood.
follow Christ.
But if the sun rises on the thief, there shall be guilt
This specific advice to the Rich Young Man was followed by
if his blood is shed. However, he should make full
the quotation: It is easier for a camel to pass through
restitution; but if he has nothing, then he shall be
the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the
sold for his theft. If the thing stolen from a donkey
Kingdom of God.
to a sheep, is found alive in his possession, he shall
When the Disciples asked our Lord Jesus Christ who then
restore double...
would be able to be Saved under such conditions, He
BY GIVING GENEROUSLY TO THE POOR AND RESTORING WHAT HE
had assured them that ...the things which are
OWED AND MORE TO THOSE WHOM HE HAD ROBBED, ST
impossible for men are possible with God!
ZACCHAEUS NOT ONLY FULFILLED THE REQUIREMENTS OF
This Encounter between Christ and Zacchaeus
THE LAW BUT DEMONSTRATED HIS LOVE OF GOD AND H IS
demonstrates clearly that DIVINE GRACE CAN ACCOMPLISH
HOLY GOSPEL.
ANYTHING AT ALL ESPECIALLY THOSE THINGS THAT ARE
The title son of Abraham indicates that Zacchaeus had
IMPOSSIBLE FOR US TO DO.
become like this particular Patriarch of Israel for he was
There are many Spiritual Interpretations expressing the
counted as being RIGHTEOUS BY HIS SINCERE FAITH, he
Universal significance of this particular Encounter:
became GENEROUS AND COMPASSIONATE towards the poor
St Theophylact regarded THE CROWD THAT FOLLOWED
and destitute, and he was UNITED TO THE PEOPLE OF GOD.
CHRIST OUT OF CURIOSITY AS SYMBOLISING OUR
ZACCHAEUS, THE SINFUL CHIEF TAX COLLECTOR BECAME
INNUMERABLE SINS: ...crowded in by a multitude of
SAINT ZACCHAEUS - A FAITHFUL DISCIPLE OF CHRIST AND
passions and worldly affairs, Zacchaeus was not
WAS LATER ELECTED AS B ISHOP of His Holy Church,
able to see our Lord Jesus.
serving God devoutly until his repose in Christ Jesus.
St Ambrose saw several parallels: the fact that ...
The immense significance of THIS REPENTANT SINNER IS
Zacchaeus was ...short in stature... was indicative of
evident from the fact that St Zacchaeus has not only
his being SHORT IN FAITH AND VIRTUE AS WELL
been COMMEMORATED EVERY YEAR THROUGHOUT THE AGES,
Zacchaeus had to climb a tree shows that NO ONE
but THE LAST SUNDAY BEFORE THE BEGINNING OF THE
ATTACHED TO EARTHLY MATTERS IS ABLE TO SEE OUR
TRIODION PERIOD IS IN HONOUR OF HIM, and reminds us
SAVIOUR CLEARLY (unless we make a determined effort!)
and encourages us that NO MATTER HOW SINFUL ANYONE
our Lord intentionally passed that way reveals that
IS, THROUGH SINCERE AND DETERMINED REPENTANCE, WE TOO
CHRIST APPROACHES ANYONE WHO IS WILLING TO REPENT
CAN BECOME HEIRS OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND ENJOY
AND TO BELIEVE HE WILL GO OUT OF HIS WAY TO MEET
ETERNAL LIFE.
REPENTANT SINNERS AND SPEND TIME WITH THEM. (but
God never forces Himself on us.)
31ST SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST 15TH SUNDAY

OF

VIEWED AS TRAITORS BECAUSE THEY WORKED FOR THE DREADED


AND LOATHED ENEMY.
If that were not bad enough, THE TAX-COLLECTORS WERE
THIEVES, COLLECTING MORE THAN WAS REQUIRED SO THAT THEY
COULD LIVE IN LUXURY EXEMPT FROM THE OPPRESSION AND
POVERTY OF THEIR FELLOW CITIZENS.
ZACCHAEUS WAS APPARENTLY ONE OF THE WORST OFFENDERS, FOR
HE WAS A CHIEF TAX COLLECTOR AND ...WAS VERY RICH.
HE was a short little man who, for reasons we do not
know, WAS DETERMINED TO SEE JESUS CHRIST.
He could not see over the crowd, so HE CLIMBED A SYCAMORE
TREE IN ORDER TO GET A BETTER VIEW. That must have

been quite a sight: the tiny little tax-collector (whom


everyone hated) up in a tree so that he could see a
passing Rabbi!
EVEN MORE SHOCKING WAS OUR LORDS RESPONSE when He saw
this man: Zacchaeus, make haste and come down,
for today I must stay at Thy house.
Jewish religious leaders would have nothing at all to do
with people like Zacchaeus, but THIS RABBI (TEACHER)
WAS VERY DIFFERENT TO THEM ALL.

26.

31ST SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST

15TH

ST LUKE THE CALLING

OF

ST ZACCHAEUS

OUR LORD JESUS BLESSED ZACCHAEUS WITH HIS PRESENCE, and


the overjoyed Tax-collector welcomed our Lord to his
home.
Naturally, everyone else watched and discussed what
had happened. THEY WERE SCANDALISED THAT SOMEONE
WHO PRESENTED HIMSELF AS THE MESSIAH HAD ENTERED THE
HOUSE OF SUCH A NOTORIOUS, DESPISE TRAITOR AND THIEF!
No self-respecting Righteous Judean would ever have
done something like that in front of all the people!
Anyone would be regarded as being defiled by going
into the house and - even worse - dining with such
wretched sinners!
However, EVEN BEFORE OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST SAID ANYTHING
in response to the embittered critics, ZACCHAEUS HAD
FREELY, EAGERLY AND SINCERELY REPENTED.
He admitted his guilt to all the accusations laid against
himself - a criminal exploiter of his needy fellow
citizens and pledged half of what he owned to the
poor, and promised to restore four-fold what he had
stolen from others.
HE WAS EARNEST AND DETERMINED TO CORRECT ALL THE WRONGS
HE HAD COMMITTED, AND IN THAT MOMENT, ZACCHAEUS BEGAN
TO TURN HIS LIFE AROUND.
OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST - AS HE ALWAYS DOES - ACCEPTED THE
SINCERE REPENTANCE OF THE CONTRITE AND HUMBLE SINNER,
joyfully proclaiming that SALVATION HAD COME TO THAT
SON OF ABRAHAM, for HE HAD COME TO SEEK AND TO SAVE
THOSE WHO WERE LOST.
This memorable Event demonstrates THE INFINITE
GENEROSITY OF OUR GRACIOUS AND MERCIFUL GOD TO ALL

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


Holy Spirit...
Dearly Beloved: Nobody likes to pay taxes. The people of
first-century Palestine were no different.
However, THE JUDEANS OF THAT ERA HAD ADDITIONAL REASONS
TO DISLIKE PAYING TAXES, FOR THEIR HARD-EARNED MONEY AND
CROPS WENT TO SUPPORT THE ROMAN EMPIRE PAGAN
FOREIGNERS WHO OCCUPIED THEIR LAND.
Taxes were collected by their fellow JUDEANS WHO WERE

OF

ST LUKE ST ZACCHAEUS -

22 JANUARY 2017

SINNERS WHO GENUINELY REPENT THEIR SINS AND CHANGE


THEIR ENTIRE LIFESTYLE UTTERLY CHANGE THEMSELVES.
AS FAITHFUL DISCIPLES OF OUR LORD, WE, TOO, MUST BE GENEROUS
WE MUST GIVE FREELY AND ABUNDANTLY AND WE MUST
NEVER BE STINGY OR RELUCTANT TO BLESS OTHERS.

St Zacchaeus had not consciously besought the Love,


Forgiveness, and Mercy of God, yet, FROM THE MOMENT
HE CLIMBED THAT SYCAMORE TREE in order to behold our
Saviour regardless of how foolish and embarrassing
others thought he was, HE HAD OPENED HIS HEART AND
SOUL TO THE AMAZING GRACE AND LOVE OF GOD WHO SEES US
AS WE REALLY ARE and Who knows precisely what we
need - even when we, ourselves, do not know!
Our Gentle Saviour did not shout words of condemnation
to this corrupt, deplorable Tax-collector. Neither did
He shame him or exhort him.
Instead, OUR ALL-KNOWING LORD BLESSED HIM WITH HIS
PRESENCE AND LOVING CARE!
When others complained bitterly and vehemently about
what a terrible sinner Zacchaeus was, OUR LORD KEPT
SILENT BECAUSE HE KNEW THAT DEEP IN HIS SOUL, ZACCHAEUS
WANTED TO REPENT AND COMPLETELY CHANGE HIS LIFESTYLE,
for Zacchaeus was extremely aware that he was a
scoundrel whom everyone hated.
Instead, the Lord allowed Zacchaeus to freely respond to
His Generosity and Kindness - to open his heart and
soul to His Divine Love that is far, far beyond the mere
observance of a Law and utterly beyond human
understanding.
It is clear that Zacchaeus got the point, for HIS RESPONSE TO
CHRISTS GENEROSITY TRANSFORMED HIM from being
greedy and selfish to a Living Icon of the infinite Love
of God.
THAT DIVINE LOVE COMPELLED ZACCHAEUS TO DO EVERYTHING
POSSIBLE TO CORRECT THE HARM HE HAD PREVIOUSLY DONE

even though no one had told him what to do.


HE HAD BEEN TRANSFORMED BY THE GREAT MERCY, LOVE, AND
GRACIOUS ABUNDANCE OF OUR LORD, GOD, AND SAVIOUR
JESUS CHRIST.
He had received a most generous and Loving Blessing
and then, HE HIMSELF, BECAME A GENEROUS BLESSING TO
OTHERS.
St Zacchaeus stands as a wonderful Example of True
Repentance because HE SPONTANEOUSLY, EAGERLY AND
FREELY ENTERED INTO THE LIFE OF CHRIST.
HIS ACTIONS SHINE BRIGHTLY WITH THE LOVE AND HOLINESS OF OUR
LORD, which is quite extraordinary because only a
short while before, everyone spoke of him as a
notorious, hated sinner!
His amazing Transformation clearly demonstrates and
teaches us that SALVATION IS NOT A REWARD THAT WE EARN
OR SOMETHING THAT WE DESERVE.
Instead, OUR FAITH CONCERNS THE GREAT MERCY AND DIVINE
GRACE OF OUR LORD GOD WHO WANTS TO SHARE HIS LIFE WITH
US, Who stops at nothing TO BRING US INTO THE ETERNAL
COMMUNION OF THE HOLY TRINITY.
Sometimes it is THOSE WHO HAVE HIT ROCK BOTTOM, WHO SEE
AND ACKNOWLEDGE THEIR OWN SINS SO WELL that they do
not need to be reminded of them, who IN THEIR
HUMILITY RECEIVE OUR LORDS GENEROUS MERCY SO
COMPLETELY AND FULLY THAT THEY BECOME POWERFUL LIVING
PROOF OF WHAT GOD CAN DO FOR EVEN THE MOST WRETCHED
HUMAN BEING.
ST DAVID THE KING, who had been guilty of murder and
adultery, became A MAN OF GOD, A GREAT PSALMIST, A
FAITHFUL SERVANT OF GOD AND HIS HOLY PROPHET.
And Saul, the zealous Judean persecutor of Christians
became ST PAUL, THE GREATEST APOSTLE TO THE
GENTILES and AUTHOR OF SO MUCH OF THE NEW
TESTAMENT HOLY SCRIPTURE.
ST MARY OF EGYPT was a truly wicked, debauched
young woman who fled to the desert in abject
Repentance and BECAME A GREAT SAINT AND THE BEST
MODEL OF REPENTANCE FOR EVEN THE WORST SINNERS.
WHY

DO WE SAY THAT OUR

RELATE
TO
US
ON
THE
BASIS
OF
OUR
WORLDLY
ACCOMPLISHMENTS, PERSONAL FAILURES OR VIRTUE, BUT IN
TERMS OF HIS INFINITE, UNCONDITIONAL LOVE, MERCY, AND
FORGIVENESS.
OUR SALVATION IS A MATTER OF RECEIVING HIS GENEROSITY, OF
ACCEPTING HIS ABUNDANT BLESSING.

The miserable sinner, Zacchaeus, did that and we can


too.
To TRULY WELCOME AND TO RECEIVE OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
THROUGH REPENTANCE is not simply to pray certain
words or feel a certain way; neither is it simply a
matter of attending Divine Liturgies and various other
Holy Services, nor following certain Rules.
OUR LORDS BOUNDLESS LOVE MUST PENETRATE TO THE VERY

CORE OF OUR BEING AND BECOME CHARACTERISTIC OF OUR


LIFESTYLE, if we are to share in His Life if we wish TO
LIVE IN CHRIST.
LOVE FOR GOD AND FOR OUR NEIGHBOUR MUST SHINE THROUGH
THE PURITY AND SINCERITY OF OUR WORDS, DEEDS AND
THOUGHTS.

If we have stolen or hoarded money, we must


return it or share it generously.
If we have ignored or neglected others, we must
learn to Love them as unconditionally as our
Lord Jesus Christ Loves us.
If we have thoughts only about ourselves, we
must learn to Love our neighbours as much as
we love ourselves.
ALL THESE ASPECTS ARE ESSENTIAL TO OUR TRUE REPENTANCE.
We must BECOME OPEN CHANNELS FOR GODS MERCIFUL
GENEROSITY IN THIS WORLD.
CHRIST OUR SAVIOUR IS THE VINE AND WE ARE THE BRANCHES
WHO MUST BEAR THE BEST FRUIT FOR THE GLORY, HONOUR AND
LOVE OF GOD.
And since our Heavenly Father gave His Only-Begotten
Son for our Salvation, THERE ARE NO LIMITS TO THE MERCY
AND LOVE WE ARE CALLED TO EMBODY.
We did not ask Christ to be born in a manger or Baptized
in the River Jordan for our Salvation. We did not ask
Him to die on the Cross, to Rise again, or to Ascend
into Heaven. Yet He did so, out of His unfathomable
Love for those who abandoned and betrayed Him.
The only proper response to this Divine Love is to BE
TRANSFORMED by It as we BECOME LIVING AND BREATHING
ICONS OF THE UNLIMITED GENEROSITY THAT IS THE ONLY HOPE
OF THE WORLD.
Our Lord and Saviour has come to all of us, as He did to St
Zacchaeus.
No matter what we have done or left undone, it is time to
RESPOND LIKE ST ZACCHAEUS BY JOYFULLY RECEIVING CHRIST
AND ALLOWING OUR LIFE TO BE FULFILLED BY THE GENEROUS
MERCY OF OUR LORD, AND THEN SHOWING THAT SAME MERCY
TO OTHERS.
SUCH TRUE, SINCERE, HUMBLE REPENTANCE IS THE ONLY WAY
TO THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.
The point is not to wallow in guilt, but to MOVE FORWARD IN
HOLINESS.
It is not to follow a legal code, but to ENTER INTO A BLESSED
NEW LIFE LIFE IN CHRIST for that exclusively is how
Salvation will enter our homes, for ...the Son of Man
has come to seek and to Save those who were Lost.

REVEREND PHILIP LEMASTERS, PROFESSOR OF CHRISTIAN ETHICS ST VLADIMIRS


ORTHODOX THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY, NEW YORK, USA
HTTPS://BLOGS.ANCIENTFAITH.COM/EASTERNCHRISTIANINSIGHTS

LORD JESUS CHRIST

The unique aspect of Christianity is that it is Christ


centred. Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Way and the
Goal.
Through His Holy Church we become United with Christ,
while retaining our individuality.
31ST SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST

And let us not forget ST DISMAS, the fierce robber and


thief on the cross next to Christ, who confessed his
sins and besought our Saviour to remember him in
His Kingdom WHOSE WORDS OF REPENTANCE WE REPEAT
AT THE GREAT ENTRANCE, DURING EVERY DIVINE LITURGY
THE VERY FIRST SOUL TO ENTER AND REST IN PEACE IN THE
RE-OPENED PARADISE!
A harsh, stingy, judgmental god would not have made
Saints of such people. He would have punished or
destroyed them.
The Good News is that OUR TRUE, LOVING GOD DOES NOT

15TH

OF

IS THE ONLY

WAY?

Christianity teaches us that any other Union with God is


an illusion if it is not achieved through Christ.
Our Lord Jesus Christ was given to mankind as the
Ladder to Heaven, to Almighty God.

ST LUKE ST ZACCHAEUS -

22 JANUARY 2017

27.

It is through Him that we have access to our Heavenly


Father, and to God the Holy Spirit, Who Proceeds from
God the Father, and Who was sent to us by our
Saviour, God the Son.
Our Lord Jesus Christ is like a Bridge between human
nature and the Divine. It is in Him that both are
United. There is no other Way!
Those who see good people of other Faiths often question
this. But the Incarnation of the Son of God is a Reality
that cannot be denied.
God the Father sent His Eternal, Only Begotten Word and
Son as the Way to His Kingdom for our benefit.
Father Dimitru Staniloae believes that our Lord Jesus
Christ came for us as "a Voice" of Love, ringing out
with all the affection of a human Being, so familiar to
us, which means that we are capable of becoming
the Medium whereby the Eternal Word and Son of
God is communicated to us.
When we Ascend to God, we are "...with Him and in Him."
Our Ascent is not based on our individual efforts, for only
through Him are we able to Ascend.
In the beginning our soul is "...sensitized by the Holy
Spirit..." and we are able to realize that there is a
Relationship with our Lord Jesus Who Guides and
Helps us along the Way.
Our Lord Jesus Christ is like a Good Friend, Who has
infinite Wisdom and Knowledge - Whom we can
confidently trust to Guide and Enlighten us with His
Divine Love and Understanding.
In the beginning of our Relationship, our Lord Jesus is not
visible to us but remains hidden in His Divine
Commandments.
As we familiarise ourselves with His Holy Gospel we begin
to learn that He is a Model of utter Perfection.
St Maximos the Confessor commented: "To beginners He
appears in the form of a Servant."
As we advance along the Way, and our Relationship
develops, our Vision of our Beloved Lord and Saviour
changes.
Initially, His Divine Glory is hidden from us, but
eventually, if it is His Will, His True Identity is revealed
more and more to us similar to His Holy Apostles who
were
most
privileged
to
experience
His
Transfiguration on Mount Tabor when He revealed
the blinding Glory of His Divine Nature.
The Glory of God is initially hidden in the Divine Truth of
His Commandments and Teachings, and, as we strive
to fulfil them, we slowly begin to acquire His Holy
Virtues and experience the Presence of Christ.
By our consistent Faithful Cooperation with Him - by our
unwavering Faith and total commitment to fulfil His
Commandments and Teachings - we are increasingly
granted the Power and Energy of the Holy Spirit that
enables us to do whatever God Wills, which is
normally impossible for us to do!
According to this Marvellous Process the Image of our
Lord Jesus Christ becomes clearer to us.
As we Ascend to higher levels of Spiritual Perfection we
are aided and Strengthened by our Ascetic Efforts,
which
furthermore
increase
our
Mystical
Contemplation of our Lord God.
THE INSPIRED, ETERNAL WISDOM

OF OUR

We will find that Christ our Saviour is a most intimate


Participant in every aspect of our Life, for ... He
Spiritually Imprints Himself in us."
Our Lord Jesus helps us in all our Struggles and is present
even when we are tempted and when we sin.
He is always at our side, ready to assist, encourage or
strengthen us, always leading us towards our True
Nature.
Because our Lord Jesus Christ became Man in His
Divinity, we know that He fully understands our
flawed, weak, human condition. And because of His
Love for us that He has shown in His Crucifixion and
Resurrection, we have absolute Faith in His Divine
Guidance and Help.
The Holy Mysteries of the Church of Christ are essential to
our Spiritual Ascent for they are the means whereby
Christ enters our inner being.
This includes our Purification at our Baptism,
our
anointing with Holy Chrism, and our partaking of Him
in Holy Communion.
Nicholas Cabasilas explained that it is by means of the
Holy Mysteries that "...Christ comes to us and dwells
in us; He is United to us and grows into one with us.
He stifles sin in us and infuses into us His own Life
and Merit..."
Our Ascent to Virtue that comes from Faith and results in
Love, is based on our acceptance of a Hierarchy in
the Holy Church of Christ.
Those who became Saints have been helped by the
Angels of God.
The laymen, the Priest, the Bishops and the Heavenly
Hosts all form the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy of Christs
Holy Body His Holy Church - whose Sacred Purpose is
to help all of us grow in Virtue and draw closer to
Almighty God.
This Ecclesiastical Hierarchy is realized in degrees as we
progress.
Father Dimitru Staniloae explained: "...The Work of the
Hierarchy for the Salvation of the Faithful is
essentially exercised through the Holy Mysteries,
especially through Baptism, Chrismation and the
Eucharist."
Even those at the highest levels of Holiness and Sanctity
Benefit from the Holy Mysteries, and will have a
greater Vision of their content, thereby receiving
even more Blessings from them.
While we are here on Earth, the Holy Church of Christ is
essential for our Spiritual Progress and our Spiritual
Welfare.
We must accept the Hierarchical and Sacramental
structure of our Holy Orthodox Church whereby we
are able to progress toward the Heavenly Hierarchy
of the Angelic Hosts and all the Saints and Righteous
Ones of God.
The Holy Church is the Body of Christ as well as the Holy
Ladder whereby we are able to Ascend and it is thus
the only means of reaching our ultimate Destination
Eternal Life in Gods Heavenly Kingdom.
Amen
DEACON CHARLES JOINER
HTTP://ORTHODOXWAYOFLIFE.BLOGSPOT.CO.ZA/
OF OPTINA MONASTERY:
Lord is always fulfilled. This thought comes from
pride, and leads to deception!
6.God does not demand undistracted Prayer from
beginners. It is acquired with much time and Labour,
as the Writings of the Holy Fathers state: God grants
Prayer to those who pray...
7.When having thoughts of self-praise, we must look at our
sins and remember that without the Help of God, we
can do nothing good or beneficial. We have only sins
and infirmities.
8.Pay no attention to praise and fear it! Remember what
one of our Holy Fathers said: If someone praises you,
expect reproaches from him too!
9.If we Reconcile our heart towards those who are angry
with us, our Lord will tell their heart to Reconcile with
us.
10. By desiring to live or die in this place but not that one,
we establish our own will, we want to fulfil our own
desires, which we must not do. Do not pray to God for
such things. Pray that His Will may be fulfilled in us.

HOLY CHURCH FATHER: ST HILARION

1.If we feel that we cannot control our anger, we must


remain silent, and for the time being, simply say
nothing, until, through continuous Prayer and Selfreproach, our heart has become calm.
2.During conversation with others, it is no hindrance to be
cautious in speech, and, at the same time, we can
retain the Jesus Prayer in our mind.
3.We must strive to have a good opinion of everyone. Only
God is the Knower of hears. We cannot infallibly judge
others.
4.In case of a fall of some kind in deed, word or thought, we
should immediately Repent, and, acknowledging our
own infirmity, humble ourselves and force ourselves to
see our own sins, but not our own corrections. From
examining our sins, we come to Humility and acquire a
heart that is broken and humble, which God does not
despise.
5.We must not attribute Miracle-working Power to our
Prayer; we must not think that what we ask of our

28.

31ST SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST

15TH

OF

ST LUKE ST ZACCHAEUS -

22 JANUARY 2017

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa


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


29 January 2017
nd
32 Sunday After Pentecost
17th Sunday of St Matthew The Canaanite Woman
Also the Feast of ST IGNATIOS, GOD-BEARER & BISHOP OF ANTIOCH St
Laurence the Recluse of Kiev Caves & Kiev Far Caves Monastery, Bishop
of Turon, Near Caves Monastery St Gerasimos. St Pitirim & St Jonah,
Bishops of Perm New Martyrs & Confessors of All Russia St Romanos, St
James, St Philotheos, St Hyperichios, St Habib, St Julian & St Parigoreas of Samosata, Syria St Silvanos, Bishop, & St
Mokios the Reader, of Emesa, Phoenicia St Ashot Curapalati, King of Artanuji, Georgia St Ignatios, Wonderworker
& Bishop of Smolensk St Aphraates of Persia St Sabelos & St Bebaia, his sister, of Edesa St Demetrios the New Holy
Martyr St Akepsimas
SUNDAY-FESTAL HYMNS AFTER

THE

SMALL ENTRANCE

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 - ST IGNATIOS THE GOD-BEARER TONE 4

Ke

tropon metohos, ke thronon diadohos, ton Apostolon


genomenos, tin praxin evres theopnevste, is theorias
epivasin. Dia touto ton Logon tis Alithias orthotomon,
ke ti Pisti enithlisas mehris ematos, Ieromartis ignatie.
Presveve Hristo to theo, sosthine tas psihas imon.

As a Sharer of the Ways and a Successor to the Throne of


the Apostles, O Inspired of God, thou found discipline
to be a means of Ascent to Divine Vision. Wherefore,
having rightly divided the Word of Truth, thou also
contested for the Faith even unto blood, O Hieromartyr
Ignatios. Intercede with Christ our God that our souls
be Saved.

SEASONAL KONTAKION MEETING/PRESENTATION -

Mitran Parthenikin Agiasas to Toko Sou ke hiras tou


Symeon Evlogisas, os eprepe, profthasas ke nin esosas
imas, Hriste O Theos. All irinefson en polemis to
plitevma ke krateoson Vasilis, ous igapisas, O Monos
Filanthropos.

fittingly Blessed the hands of Symeon, Thou art come, O


Christ our God, and on this day has Saved us Grant
Peace to Thy Commonwealth in times of Battle, and
Strengthen the Orthodox People whom Thou has Loved,
O Thou Who alone Loves mankind.

RESURRECTION GOSPEL 10:


OUR RESURRECTED LORD JESUS

TONE 1

Thou Who has Sanctified by Thy Birth a Virgin Womb and

JOHN 21: 1 - 14

SERVES BREAKFAST TO

HIS ELEVEN APOSTLES

PROKEIMENON PSALM 28/29 TONE (7) VARYS/GRAVE

Our Lord will grant Strength to His People; our Lord will Bless His People with Peace.
Bring to the Lord, O Sons of God, bring to the Lord the sons of rams; bring to the Lord Glory and Honour!
THE SECOND EPISTLE

OF

ST PAUL

TO THE

CORINTHIANS 6 : 16 7: 1

Brethren, you are the Temples of the Living God, as God said: I will live in them and move among them, and I will be
their God, and they shall be My People. Therefore, come out from them, and be separate from them! says the
Lord, and touch nothing Unclean. I will welcome you, and I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My Sons
and Daughters, says the Lord Almighty.
Since we have these Promises, Beloved, let us Cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, and make
Holiness Perfect in the Fear of God.
This section of St Pauls Epistle to the Christian Community
AND UNCEASING REPENTANCE, WE OVERCOME AND CORRECT
of Corinth is AN EXAMPLE OF THE HOLINESS CODE OF THE
THESE PERSONAL FLAWS OR INCLINATIONS.
SPIRITUAL PERSPECTIVE OF OUR NEW COVENANT WITH GOD.
WHEN WE REALLY LOVE GOD AND OUR FELLOW SINNERS, WE
We are clearly and consistently taught that LOVE OF GOD
MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO PLEASE THEM AND NOT TO
DISAPPOINT THEM IN ANY MANNER.
AND H IS HOLY CHURCH REQUIRES US TO SPURN TO REJECT
ALL IMMORALITY AND FALSE BELIEFS AND HERETICAL
Consequently, OUR ATTITUDE TOWARDS GOD AND EVERYTHING
TEACHINGS.
HOLY EXPOSES THE DEPTH OF OUR FAITH, PIETY AND LOVE.
Whenever we fall into a state of sin a state of Spiritual
WE MUST DEVOTE OURSELVES ENTIRELY TO ...PERFECTING
Death we fall away from God and His Goodness, but
HOLINESS IN THE FEAR OF GOD.
THE INSTANT WE REALISE OUR ERRORS AND CORRECT THEM
In other words, we should be COMPELLED - BY OUR UTTER
THROUGH ABJECT REPENTANCE-CONFESSION, WE ARE MOST
LOVE OF GOD AND OUT OF OUR DEEPEST RESPECT FOR HIM
TO MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO IMPROVE OURSELVES THROUGH A
JOYFULLY RETURNED TO SPIRITUAL LIFE AND GODS DIVINE
PRESENCE.
CONSTANT SPIRITUAL WATCHFULNESS OVER OUR OWN SINS,
WEAKNESSES AND BAD HABITS SO THAT BY THE GRACE OF
GOD AND THROUGH A CONCERTED SPIRITUAL STRUGGLE
32ND SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST 17TH

OF

ST MATTHEW FAITH

OF THE

C A N A A N I T E W O M A N 2 9 J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 7 29.

GOD NEVER REJECTS US yet WE EXCOMMUNICATE


OURSELVES through our own choice of words, thoughts
and deeds.
Gods Love is infinite He has made every
provision for our return to Divine Grace and it is simply
our decision as to which route we take towards His
Heavenly Kingdom of Love or into Dark Exile and horrid
Alienation from everything Good and True!
Fear of God is not a destructive terror but rather A
PERSONAL FEAR OF DISAPPOINTING OF FAILING SOMEONE
WHOM WE LOVE WITH ALL OUR BEING.
The Fear of God is A PERSONAL FEAR OF LOSING
EVERYTHING THAT IS GOOD AND TRUE, WHICH COMES
ONLY FROM OUR B ENEVOLENT AND PROVIDENTIAL
...Father Who art in Heaven.
The Fear of God is our PROFOUND RESPECT FOR - OUR
HONOUR AND WORSHIP OF - THE TRIUNE AND ALMIGHTY
GOD, WITHOUT WHOM, EVERYTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE!
We are constantly reminded that OUR BODY IS THE SACRED
TEMPLE OF OUR LIVING GOD, WHO RESIDES WITHIN US
WHENEVER WE ARE CLEANSED FROM THE FILTH OF OUR SINS
AND ESPECIALLY WHEN WE ARE IN A STATE OF SINCERE
PRAYER AND WORSHIP.
WE CANNOT AND MUST NOT WE ARE FORBIDDEN TO - DEFILE
GODS SACRED TEMPLES IN ANY IMMORAL OR DESTRUCTIVE
WAY.
OUR BODY IS RENTED FROM GOD TO ACCOMMODATE OUR
IMMORTAL SOUL, while we are in this Preparatory Period
before Eternity. (It is NOT ours to do with as we wish!!!)
WHILE UNITED, OUR BODY AND SOUL DEVELOPS, MATURES AND
SLOWLY REGAINS OUR LOST LIKENESS TO GOD IN WHOSE
IMAGE AND LIKENESS WE WERE ORIGINALLY CREATED.
WITHOUT THE BODY, THE SOUL CANNOT DEVELOP, MATURE
OR IMPROVE.
And vice versa, because THE BODY IS
COMPLEX WHILE THE SOUL IS SIMPLE EACH IS IMPORTANT
AND NECESSARY FOR THE WELFARE AND DEVELOPMENT OF
THE OTHER, DUE TO THEIR UNIQUE ATTRIBUTES.

An escape from the enslaving filthiness of sin requires


more from us than merely thinking Repentant thoughts
or having good intentions.

WE ARE ENMESHED AND ENTRAPPED IN A CEASELESS, PITILESS


SPIRITUAL WAR ZONE. We are entrenched in habitual
patterns of sin.
UNLESS WE ARE SPIRITUALLY AWARE AND WATCHFUL, A TERRIBLE
SPIRITUAL DARKNESS CAN BECOME IMPRINTED on our soul
and body so that EVEN OUR FREE WILL IS CONQUERED,
OVERWHELMED
OR
DEFEATED
and
we
become
automatically wicked.
To ...Cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and
spirit... WE MUST COMMIT OURSELVES TO A SUSTAINED,
CEASELESS SPIRITUAL STRUGGLE THROUGH DETERMINED AND
REGULAR REPENTANCE IN ORDER TO ATTAIN H OLINESS
SPIRITUAL PERFECTION, which is promised to us by
Almighty God Who always awaits our Return from
Spiritual Exile with Great Joy.
OUR CONSTANT SPIRITUAL CLEANSING INCLUDES A GENUINE

SORROW FOR PERSONAL SINS AND A DETERMINATION TO


IMMEDIATELY CORRECT ANY FALL WITH REPENTANCE AND
CONFESSION.
TRUE REPENTANCE IS A RESOLUTE AVOIDANCE OF ALL
TEMPTATION.
TRUE REPENTANCE IS THE JOYFUL RECONCILIATION WITH
GOD AND ALL THOSE WHOM WE HAVE WRONGED.
TRUE REPENTANCE IS THE UNYIELDING STRIVING FOR
CHRISTIAN VIRTUE AND A CLEAVING TO GOD THROUGH
DEEP FAITH, CONSTANT WORSHIP AND CEASELESS
PRAYER.
TRUE REPENTANCE COMPELS US TO FAITHFUL PARTICIPATION
IN ALL H OLY MYSTERIES, DIVINE LITURGY AND H OLY
SERVICES.

However, if we think all these things are too difficult for us


to do, we can rest assured in the Knowledge that
WHATEVER FOR US IS DIFFICULT OR IMPOSSIBLE, GOD THE
HOLY SPIRIT MAKES POSSIBLE.
OUR DIVINE COMFORTER AND ADVOCATE CLEANSES US
FROM EVERY STAIN AND H EALS OUR INFIRMITIES both
physical and Spiritual and HE EMPOWERS US to Live this
Wonderful Life of Peace with God THROUGH OUR STEADY
AND QUICK REPENTANCE from sins.

THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST MATTHEW 15 : 21 28


THE FAITH OF THE CANAANITE WOMAN

At that time, our Lord Jesus went to the district of Tyre and Sidon. And behold! A Canaanite Woman from that region
went out and cried: Have Mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely possessed by a demon!
He did not answer her a word. And His Disciples went and urged Him, saying: Send her away. For she is crying after
us. He answered: I was sent only to the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel.
But she went and knelt before Him, saying: Lord, help me! He answered: It is not good to take the Childrens Bread
and throw it to the dogs! She said: Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their Masters table.
Then Jesus answered her: O Woman, great is Thy Faith! Be it done for you as you desire!
And her daughter was Healed that very hour.
St Matthews Gospe Account of our Lords Compassionate
depth of her profound Faith and Agape that Pure Love
Ministry to the Gentile Canaanite Woman illustrates the
that is beyond simple human love.
Hebrew orientation of his Holy Gospel.
Several of our Holy Church Fathers regard the Disciples
This particular incident is also mentioned by St Mark in his
request to ... send her away... as an attempt to
Holy Gospel. (MARK 7: 24 30)
persuade Christ to Heal the demon-possessed daughter
However, there are two major differences:
as if saying to him: Give her what she wants so that
St Matthew noted our Lords Words concerning the ...Lost
she will leave us alone.
Sheep of the House of Israel... while St Mark omitted
The response of our Lord to their request indicates that
this interpretation is correct, for He continued to ignore
them.
the desperate mother.
St Matthew mentioned the fact that the Canaanite Woman
Finally, having evoked the Canaanite Womans Love and
addressed our Lord Jesus Christ by using the Hebrew
unrelenting Faith, Christ revealed her True Humility for
term for the Messiah Son of David which, again, St
she accepted her less important position to that of the
Mark did not.
Hebrews, knowing them to be the Chosen People of
Our Lord Jesus Christ went to the Gentile cities of Tyre and
God, yet she still desired a tiny share of Gods Divine
Sidon in order to withdraw from the faithless, and no
Grace a Little Crumb from the Masters Table!
doubt, frustrating, self-righteous Pharisees, rather than
to preach His Divine Truth to them, which St Mark
Our Lord Jesus hesitation and apparent lack of interest
was definitely not a lack of His Love or Divine
confirmed in His Gospel Account Our Lord ...wanted
no one to know... that He was there.
Compassion.
Rather, it was a conscious means of revealing the wonderful
In this Sacred Lesson, it is again evident from the words of
our Lord when He said: I was not sent, except to the
Virtues of this devoted mother to His Disciples as well
as for her own sake.
Lost Sheep of the House of Israel.
Her ultimate acceptance by Christ also points to the
The Canaanite Woman revealed her immeasurable Love for
gathering of the Gentiles into His Holy Church after the
her daughter when she appealed so persistently and
Glorious Day of Pentecost and the Descent of the Holy
loudly to our Saviour: Have Mercy on me...
Spirit.
She regarded the welfare of her daughter as important as
All Gentiles non Hebrews are no longer regarded as
her own and she identified with her childs sufferings as
little dogs but as the Adopted Children of God and
though it were her own terrible burden and pain.
Co-Heirs with Christ to the Eternal Kingdom of God.
When Christ refused to respond to her pleas, He did so not
As the New Israel we are all invited to Gods Great Banquet
only because she was a Gentile and His Divine Ministry
to partake of the Bread of Eternal Life.
before His Great Passion was initially for the Hebrew
Nation alone, but also in order to reveal and expose the
30. 3 2 N D S U N D A Y A F T E R P E N T E C O S T 1 7 T H

OF

ST MATTHEW FAITH

OF THE

CANAANITE WOMAN 29 JANUARY 2017

32ND SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST 17TH

OF

ST MATTHEW

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


Holy Spirit...
Dearly Beloved: The Canaanite Woman was a pagan
Gentile with a demon-possessed daughter and was
thus surely desperate for her to be Healed.
So she rather courageously sought Help from the Hebrew
Messiah, calling out aloud and most persistently to
Him: Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David!
However, our Lord did not respond to her pleas, and
seeming to ignore her altogether, He only commented
to His Disciples that His Sacred Mission was only for
...the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel.
Nevertheless, the Canaanite Womans Love for her
daughter compelled her to continue begging for
Mercy until He would have to respond.
She was unconcerned about any social consequences or
acceptable behaviour, and with utter desperation
and Humility, she knelt down before Christ and
besought Him to Heal her beloved daughter.
And when our Lord at last spoke, it was to comment: It is
not fair to take the childrens bread and throw it to
the dogs.
In other words, He pointed out to all who heard, that
Gods Blessings were only for the Chosen People of the
Old Covenant the House of Israel and not for others
like her a Gentile pagan.
Anyone else may have either given up or responded with
anger for being insulted for being regarded as less
worthy than the Israelites, but that Canaanite Mother
revealed an amazing level of Spiritual Insight, which
was probably what Christ wanted her to do: Yes,
Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from
their Masters table.
And there and then, our Compassionate, Loving Lord
praised her complete Faith in the One, True and
Living God, and Healed her daughter.
In order to understand this rather strange conversation,
we have to remember that the Judeans of that time
typically believed that Gods Blessings were
exclusively for the Benefit of His Chosen People, not for
anyone else in the rest of the world.
This pagan Canaanite Woman knew enough about our
Lord Jesus to address Him as Son of David, a
Hebrew term for the Messiah, and that He was a
Miraculous Healer.
And, having entered His Loving, Compassionate and
Gentle Presence, and experiencing their unique,
personal Encounter, it is clear that she had complete
Faith in Him, and a profound Understanding of Him,
that surpassed that of His Disciples, for she
instinctively knew that through our Lord Jesus Christ,
Almighty Gods Blessings did extend to all who call on
Him with humble, steadfast Faith, and that through
Him, the Crumbs from the Table of Abraham do spill
over to Feed and Bless the whole world.
The Lords harsh words to her were a challenge to her
Faith - a teaching tool to help her, and His Disciples,
see the Truth about Gods Salvation.
When pushed and tested by His challenging comments,
this Canaanite Woman showed that she knew the
Message of Holy Scripture even better than those of
the House of Israel.
She knew that God had told Abraham that - through him
and his family - all the Nations of the world would be
Blessed. (GENESIS 22:18)
Hebrew Prophets also envisioned the day when all the
Nations would come to the Mountain of the Lord.
(ISAIAH 2:2-3)
And now through and in our Lord and Saviour, Jesus
Christ, Judean and Gentile alike become Gods
Beloved Children - living Participants in His Holy
Temple/House.
Our Saviours apparent delay in Healing her daughter
(similar to the situation with Jairus daughter) was also
a means of establishing and strengthening her Faith
in Christ bringing her Faith in God to maturity.
We have all learnt important lessons through patience,
persistence and perseverance.
The same was true for the Canaanite Mother, whose final
insight was like that of St Symeon the God-bearer,
when the Forty-Day old Infant Christ was presented at
32ND SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST 17TH

OF

THE

FAITH

OF THE

CANAANITE WOMAN

the Temple: O Lord, now let Thou Thy servant


depart in Peace, according to Thy Word. For mine
eyes have seen Thy Salvation, which Thou hast
prepared before the face of all people: a Light to
Enlighten the Gentiles and the Glory of Thy people
Israel. (LUKE 2:29-32)
St Symeons Life of patiently waiting for a most
extraordinary number of years according to the Will
of God, to behold the Messiah born of a Virgin (not a
young woman!) was finally fulfilled when he held the
Infant Jesus in his arms in the Great Temple in
Jerusalem.
He was well acquainted with His All Holy, Pure and Ever
Blessed Virgin Mother, Mary, whom he had watched
over and possibly even taught while She spent Her
childhood under the Guidance of the Temple Priests
and others who were dedicated to the Holy Service of
God.
And finally, St Symeon met Gods Anointed - our Lord and
Saviour, Jesus Christ at 325 years of age, he was
more than ready to Repose in Peace.
How paradoxical it was that a lowly Canaanite Woman
would proclaim the same Spiritual Truth as St Symeon,
the God-bearer and a most Righteous Judean!
St Paul wrote at lease two long Epistles to the Corinthians,
who had also been Gentiles before their conversion to
Christianity, to remind them that in Christ we are
...the Temple of the Living God... and therefore we
must all live accordingly, ...separating and
Cleansing (ourselves) from every defilement of body
and spirit, making Holiness Perfect in the Fear of
God. (2 CORINTHIANS 6:16-7:1)
It is evident from the circumstances that St Paul
addressed in his Epistles to the Corinthians that many
of them continued to live in the profoundly corrupt
ways of their former pagan culture.
St Paul urged and exhorted them, setting them straight in
no uncertain terms about gross sexual immorality,
idolatry, prideful divisions, and many other serious,
matters unbefitting a Disciple of Christ.
He told them to hold themselves and one another to a
higher moral and Spiritual Standard because they
were no longer ...strangers and outcasts, but living
members of the Body of Christ.
St. Paul had been a zealous Pharisee before his
Conversion, and we can be sure that he would never
have expected Holiness from Corinthians or
Canaanites.
But our Resurrected Lord Jesus Christ had opened St
Pauls eyes to the Truth that the distinction between
Judean and Gentile has become irrelevant, for all
who have Faith in Him become the Blessed Children
of Abraham and the Beloved Sons and Daughters of
our Heavenly Father.
According to Life In Christ, Holiness no longer has to do
with steering clear of people from different
backgrounds, cultures, or beliefs.
It has nothing to do with racial, ethnic, or national purity.
The Canaanite Woman demonstrated that even Israels
most hated historic foes may have Faith and be set
free from evil by the Mercy of Christ.
If that is True for them, it is True for all.
Our Lord Jesus Christ Calls everyone to become a Holy
Temple and a Living Member of Christs own Body.
The kind of Holiness to which Christ Calls us does not
have to do with simply going through the motions of
legal requirements, such as Circumcision or dietary
restrictions.
He invites us to a Higher Righteousness that Purifies the
heart and nips in the bud the disordered desires that
so easily take root there and lead to murder, adultery,
and other actions that are the complete opposite of
the blessedness for which He created us in His image
and likeness. (MATTHEW 5:8, & 20-30)
We all have so much work to do to Repent our sins and
Purify our heart, we cannot afford to waste time or
energy on judging the Spiritual State of others!
When we are tempted to criticise or judge others, we must
remember that only God knows everything about us
and whenever we fall into that sin, we will Condemn

ST MATTHEW FAITH

OF THE

C A N A A N I T E W O M A N 2 9 J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 7 31.

ourselves! So we must strive to resist the temptation or


immediately Repent!
We will not regain our Divine Likeness if we compare
ourselves against others, especially when tempted to
think even for a moment that we are superior!!
We will not become a Faithful Living Temple of our Lord
by despising or denigrating other Nations or Ethnic
groups because they might be different to us as the
Gentiles, Canaanites and Samaritans were regarded
by the exclusive Judeans for we are the Spiritual
Descendants of those early Christian Communities!
There are many aspects of ourselves that are alien to
Spiritual Holiness - that would rather serve the false
gods of the world than the worlds True God!
So we must be ever Spiritually Watchful and Alert and
perpetually Struggle to resist the unending
temptations that surround us - and embrace the
Holiness of our Beloved Lord and Master, to the very
depths of our soul, by deep, humble, and persistent
Repentance.
There is no alternative to our ongoing Spiritual Warfare
against the evil ones obsessive desires to destroy us
who have Vowed Eternal Allegiance to Christ our Lord
and Saviour, and thus to our Triune, Almighty God.
We must focus on avoiding or removing from our
thoughts, words, and deeds everything that keeps us
from living as ...a Chosen Race, a Royal Priesthood,
a Holy Nation, a People for Gods own possession. (1
PETER 2:9)

This is never a simple matter of doing what is popular,


conventional, or comfortable. It requires Purifying the
heart, for it is by Christs Presence within us, through
the Holy Spirit, that we are His Living Temple.

We must watch carefully what we allow into our heart, or


to fill our mind and soul.
Whatever we devote our time and attention to, it
profoundly shapes who we are - for good or bad, for
Holiness or for something entirely different.
If any of you feel as far from God as the Judean
considered the pagan, Gentile Canaanites to be,
remember that distraught mother who found Blessed
Healing for her beloved but tormented daughter
through her humble, persistent Faith.
We may use our difficult circumstances and Spiritual
Struggles to help us become as Faithful as her, even
as our Lords challenging words prodded her to
discover, acknowledge and speak the Truth so
eloquently.
We may devote our time, energy, and attention to the
common and simple practices through which broken
people have always opened themselves to the
Healing Mercy of Christ.
We may grow in Holiness and turn away from sin and
corruption by reorienting ourselves step by step to our
Saviour Who has made great Saints from wretched
sinners of every Nationality or Ethnicity, Who has
Restored to full physical and Spiritual Health those
wounded by sins of every kind, Who has made Holy
Temples out of even the most depraved people!
In our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, the Eternal, Only
Begotten Word and Son of God our Heavenly Father,
there is Ultimate Hope even for every one of us!!
Amen
REVEREND PHILIP LEMASTERS
HTTPS://BLOGS.ANCIENTFAITH.COM/EASTERNCHRISTIANINSIGHTS

(GALATIANS 4:6)

ST HILARION

THE ETERNAL, INSPIRED


OF OPTINA MONASTERY:

WISDOM

1. Let us endure for a little while, and we will receive


Eternal Blessedness.
Let us consign to oblivion all Earthly pleasures and joys
they are not for us.
Our Lord Jesus Christ cautioned us that ...where (our)
treasure is, there (our) heart will be... and our
Treasure is in Heaven. (LUKE 12:34)
Therefore, let us strive with all our heart for the
Heavenly Fatherland.
There all our sorrows will be turned to Joy; abuse and
disparagement to Glory; sorrow, tear and sighs to
Consolation; sickness and toil to Everlasting Peace
without pain or suffering.
2. When sorrow comes to us, we must await Consolation,
but after the Consolation, we must again await
sorrows.
3. We cannot live in such a way that no one grieves or
offends us, for St Luke, the Holy Apostle wrote: ...
we must through much tribulation enter into the
Kingdom of God... and bear one anothers
Burdens, and so fulfil the Law of Christ... (ACTS
14:22 - GALATIANS 6 : 2)

Let us therefore ask that we may bear sorrows with selfreproach and Humility, and not be overcome by evil,
but overcome evil with Good, and with the Holy
Prophet say: ... with those who hate Peace, I was
peaceable... (PSALM 119:6)
4. We become bored because we think too much about
ourselves, and we censure those who are weak!
5. In the Pure Writings of the Holy Father, we see that
those who desire to Cleanse their heart of the
passions must call on our Lord for Help this is so.
We cannot say the Jesus Prayer without our thoughts
being plundered.
With beginners, God does not demand undistracted
Prayer. It is acquired with much time and Labour.
As the Writings of our Holy Fathers say: God grants
Prayer to those who pray.
Thus we must nevertheless continue to pray, orally, and
with the mind.
ST NIKOLAI VELIMIROVIC

To escape from a foreign land and to find our True


Home, where we can connect directly with God, we
need to enter within ourselves, in our heart. This is
where the King is where His Kingdom is located.
32. 3 2 N D S U N D A Y A F T E R P E N T E C O S T 1 7 T H

OF

OF OUR

HOLY CHURCH FATHERS


ST JOSEPH

THE

HESYCHAST

We must take great care to Cleanse ourselves with Pure and


Absolute Confession. We must not leave any sin within
us, so that the enemy cannot find a way to throw us
down again!
ELDER EPHRAIM

OF

ARIZONA

Do not forget your Goal, my Child! Look into Heaven and


see the Beauty that awaits us.
What are the present Earthly things? Are they not but ashes
and dust and dreams? Do we not see that everything
here is subject to decay?
Whereas Things Above are Everlasting, for the Kingdom of
God is infinite, and Blessed are those who dwell in it,
for they shalt behold the Glory of His Divine Face!
My Child, do not forget that we are in this world only
temporarily, and that our Life dangles by a thread, and
that all the desirable things of this world are vain.
So, whoever despises the vain things of this world in
other words, does not passionately desire them will
participate in the Eternal Good Things.
So, when we have this Knowledge of the Truth, naturally we
shall turn the eyes of our soul at every moment towards
Eternal Life, towards the Heavenly Jerusalem, where the
Choirs of Angels chant Godly Canticles of ineffable
Sweetness and Wisdom.
O my Children! How much Glory your soul will have when,
after death, they ascend to the Heavens, and are
numbered with the Angels in Heaven!
Let us Glorify our Risen Lord, Who counted us worthy to
celebrate His Holy Resurrection!
Let us pray that He will also count us worthy to celebrate
the Eternal Sabbath in the Heavens, in the New
Jerusalem, in the Eternal Joy. ...And no one will take
away this Joy from you!
Indeed, my Child, for Earthly Joy is followed by sorrows
that can annihilate it, whereas Heavenly Joy is not,
because it flows continuously as if from an
Inexhaustible and Life-giving Spring.
Let us compel ourselves in our Christian Duties in order to
be able to celebrate the Eternal Pascha close to our
Christ, and behold Him Face to face for our Blessed
Enjoyment, without being interrupted by trials and
despair.

ST MATTHEW FAITH

OF THE

CANAANITE WOMAN 29 JANUARY 2017

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa


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.

30 January 2017

The Three Holy Hierarchs: St Basil the Great, St John


Chrysostom & St Gregory the Theologian

Also the Feast of St Hippolytos of Rome - St Censorinos, St Sabinos, St


Chryse the Virgin Martyr, St Felix, St Maximos, St Herculianos, St Venerios, St Styrakios, St Menas, St Commodos, St
Hermes, St Mavros, St Eusebios, St Rustikos, St Monagros, St Amandinos St Nymphodora, St Cyros, St Theodore the
Tribune, St Maximos the Presbyter, St Achelaos the Deacon, & St Kyriakos the Bishop, Holy Martyrs of Ostia St Zeno
the Faster of Kiev Caves Monastery St Zeno the Hermit of Antioch, Disciple of St Basil the Great St Theophilos the
New of Cyprus St Peter, King of Bulgaria St Demetrios, the New Martyr of Sliven St Theodore the New Martyr of
Mytilene & Mount Athos
FESTAL APOLYTIKION - THE THREE HOLY HIERARCHS TONE 1

Tous Tris Megistous Fostiras, tis Trisiliou Theotitos, tous tin The

Three Most Great Luminaries of the Three-Sun


Divinity have Illumined all the world with the Rays of
Doctrines Divine and True. They are the sweetly
flowing Rivers of Wisdom, who with Godly Knowledge
have watered all Creation in clear and mighty Streams;
the Great and Sacred Basil, and the Theologian, Wise
Gregory, together with the renowned John, the famed
Chrysostom of Golden Speech. Let us all who Love
their Divinely Wise Words come together, honouring
them with Hymns; for ceaselessly they offer Entreaty
for us to the Trinity.

ikoumenin aktisi, dogmaton thion pirsevsantas. Thous


melirritous potamous tis sofias, tous tin ktisin pasan
theognosias namasi katardevsants.
Basilion ton
megan, ke ton Thologon Grigorion, sin to klino Ioanni,
to tin Glottan Hrisorrimoni. Pantes i ton Logon afton
eraste, sinelthontes imnis timisomen. Afti gar ti Triadi,
iper imon ai presvevousin.

SEASONAL KONTAKION

OF THE

PRESENTATION

OF

CHRIST TONE 1 FROM 14 JANUARY 9 FEBRUARY

Mitran Parthenikin Agiasas to Toko Sou, ke hiras tou


Symeon Evlogisas os eprepe, profthasas ke nin esosas
imas, Hriste O Theos.
Allirinefson en polemis to
politevma, ke krateoson vasilis ous igapisas, O Monos
Filanthropos

O Thou Who Sanctified by Thy Birth a Virgin Womb, and


Blessed the hands of Symeon as seemed most
appropriate, Thou came, indeed, O Christ our God,
and Saved us all.
But bring Peace to the
commonwealth in time of war, and secure in strength,
the Rulers Thou has truly Loved, as the Only One Who
Loves mankind.

FESTAL MATINS GOSPEL JOHN 10 : 9 16


OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST

ONLY WAY

IS THE

At that time, our Lord Jesus Christ said: I Am the Door: by Me if anyone enters in, he shall be Saved, and shall go in
and out, and find pasture. The thief comes to steal and to kill, and to destroy. I Am come so that they might
have Life, and so that they might have it more abundantly.
I Am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd gives His Life for the Sheep. But he that is a Hireling, and not the
Shepherd, whose own the Sheep are not, sees the Wolf coming, and leaves the Sheep, and flees. And the Wolf
catches them, and scatters the Sheep. For the Hireling flees, because he is a Hireling, and does not care for the
Sheep.
I Am the Good Shepherd, and know My Sheep, and Am known by My own. As the Father knows Me even so know I
the Father; and I lay down My Life for the Sheep. And other Sheep I have that are not of this Fold; them also I
must bring, and they will hear My Voice; and there will be one Flock and one Shepherd.
FESTAL PROKEIMENON PSALM18 TONE (8) PLAGAL 4

Their voice has gone out into all the Earth.


The Heavens declare the Glory of God.

THE EPISTLE

OF

ST PAUL

TO THE

HEBREWS 13 : 7 16

R EMEMBER & R ESPECT O UR H OLY F ATHER S & R EMAIN L OYAL & O BEDIENT T O O RTH ODOX D OCTRINE & W ORSHIP

Brethren: remember those who rule over you - those who spoke to you the Word of God. Consider the outcome of their
Lives, and imitate their Faith.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings. It is
Good that the heart be Strengthened by Grace not by foods, which have not benefitted their adherents. We have
an Altar - from which those who serve the Tabernacle have no right to eat. The bodies of those animals, whose
blood is brought into the Sanctuary by the High Priest as a Sacrifice for sin are burnt outside the Camp. Jesus also
suffered in order to Sanctify the People through His own Blood, outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to Him
outside the Camp, to bear the abuse He endured. Here we have no Lasting City, but we seek that which is to come.
Through Him then, let us continually offer up a Sacrifice of Praise to God that is: the Fruit of lips that Confessed His
Name. Share what you have - do not neglect to do Good. Such Sacrifices are pleasing to God.
THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING
FAITHFUL DISCIPLES

OF

CHRIST

TO

ST MATTHEW 5 : 14 19

ARE THE

LIGHT

OF THE

WORLD

At that time, our Lord Jesus said to His Disciples: You are the Light of the world. A city that is set upon a hill cannot
be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who
are in the house. Let your Light so shine before mankind, that they may see your Good Works and Glorify your
Father in Heaven.
Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfil. Truly, therefore, I
say to you: until Heaven and Earth pass away, not one jot nor one tittle will by any means pass from the Law
until all is fulfilled. Whoever breaks one of the least of these Commandments, and teaches others to do so, shall
THREE HOLY HIERARCHS: ST BASIL

THE

GREAT, ST JOHN CHRYSOSTOM & ST GREGORY

THE

THEOLOGIAN

30 JANUARY 2017

33.

be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven! Whoever


Kingdom of Heaven.
ALMIGHTY GOD IS THE TRUE AND UNCREATED LIGHT.
In the Old Testament LIGHT WAS SYMBOLIC OF ALMIGHTY GOD,
HIS DIVINE LAW AND ISRAEL in contrast to all other
Nations.
 ISAIAH 60: 1 3 Shine, shine, O Jerusalem, for your Light
has come, and the Glory of the Lord has risen
upon you. Behold: darkness and gloom shall
cover the earth upon the Nations, but the Lord will
shine on you and His Glory shall be seen upon you.
Kings shall come to your Light, and the Gentiles to
your Brightness...
This is the Hymn that we sing during Holy Pascha in the
Liturgical Services for, as St John of Damascus
expressed it: ... the whole Creation rejoices and
exults, for Christ is Risen and Hades despoiled.
 PSALM 118:105 - Thy Word is a Lamp to my feet and a
Light to my paths.
In the New Testament, THE SON OF GOD IS LIGHT HE IS
UNCREATED LIGHT OF UNCREATED LIGHT TRUE GOD OF
TRUE GOD!
 JOHN 1: 4 9 ... In Him is Life, and the Life is the Light of
mankind. And the Light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness did not comprehend It. There
was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
This man came as a Witness, to bear witness of the
Light, that all through him might believe. He
was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of
that Light. That was the True Light, which gives
Light to everyone coming into the world...
ONLY GOD HAS LIFE IN HIMSELF, THUS OUR LORD JESUS
CHRIST, BEING GOD, IS THE SOURCE OF LIFE, TOGETHER WITH
THE FATHER AND THE HOLY SPIRIT.
The Life was the Light of mankind... St John now
introduces MANKIND AS SANCTIFIED RECEIVERS OF THE
DIVINE LIGHT OF GOD, WHO, BY LIVING IN CHRIST, BECOME
CHILDREN OF THE LIGHT OF GOD. (JOHN 12:36 EPHESIANS 5:8 1
THESSALONIANS 5:5)

 (EXODUS 3: 2 & 13 :21) St Moses, our ancient Patriarch, saw


the Divine Light in THE MYSTERIOUS BURNING BUSH and
the whole Nation of Israel witnessed It at THE
PARTING OF THE RED SEA.
 (ISAIAH 6: 1 5) - St Isaiah beheld the Divine Light of God
IN HIS HEAVENLY VISION. (
 (MATTHEW 17 : 1 5) The three Apostles of Christ witnessed
the Divine Light of God at OUR LORDS
TRANSFIGURATION ON MOUNT TABOR.
Darkness refers to SPIRITUAL DARKNESS OR BLINDNESS DUE
TO UNREPENTED SIN. It is both Spiritual Ignorance and
Satanic opposition to the Divine Light and Truth of
Almighty God.
THOSE WHO HATE TRUTH, PREFER
IGNORANCE FOR THEMSELVES AND THEY STRIVE TO KEEP
OTHERS IGNORANT AS WELL.

Comprehend means both understand and overcome.


Thus SPIRITUAL DARKNESS CAN NEVER OVERPOWER THE
DIVINE LIGHT AND TRUTH OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, NOR
CAN IT UNDERSTAND THE WAY OF DIVINE LOVE. (AGAPE)
John is a reference to ST JOHN THE BAPTIST AND
FORERUNNER TO CHRIST THE LAST AND GREATEST OF ALL
THE OLD COVENANT HOLY PROPHETS OF GOD, who not only
prepared the Hebrews on earth for the advent of Christ
the True Messiah, but after his Holy Martyrdom, HE ALSO
PREPARED THOSE WHO WERE IMPRISONED IN HADES. (AFTER
CHRISTS DEATH AND HIS OWN DESCENT INTO HADES, OUR LORD
JESUS SET THE RIGHTEOUS SOULS FREE TO REPOSE IN PARADISE
UNTIL THE FINAL JUDGEMENT. THIS IS KNOWN AS THE
HARROWING OF HADES.)
Although OUR MOST MERCIFUL GOD HAS OFFERED HIS DIVINE
LIGHT TO EVERY HUMAN BEING, the fallen world and even
many of His chosen people refuse to receive Him. Thus
they can neither know nor recognise Him. THOSE WHO
ACCEPT CHRIST OUR SAVIOUR, ARE GRANTED HIS DIVINE
LIGHT.
After having heard the reading of the Holy Gospel and
having received the Holy Eucharist in Divine Liturgy, we
sing: We have seen the True Light! We have received
the Heavenly Spirit!
 John 8: 12 Our Lord Jesus said: I Am the Light of the
world. He who follows Me shall not walk in
darkness, but have the Light of Life.

34.

THREE HOLY HIERARCHS: ST BASIL

THE

does and teaches them, shall be called Great in the


Our Lord used these words in the context of the great
lamps that were lit at the conclusion of the Feast of
Tabernacles in the Outer Court of the Temple in
Jerusalem.
Consequently, CHRIST DECLARES HIMSELF AS THE FULFILMENT
AND THE DIVINE OBJECT OF ALL CELEBRATIONS OF LIGHT.
In Holy Scripture, God the Father is Light a Divine
Attribute that He bestows upon His Faithful Flock. (JOHN
1:4-9 & 1 JOHN 1:5 MATTHEW 5:14 - PHILIPPIANS 2:15)

Furthermore, OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST CONFIRMS HIS CLAIM BY


PERFORMING THE GREAT MIRACLE OF CREATING EYES FOR THE
MAN WHO WAS BORN WITHOUT ANY EYES AT ALL. (JOHN 9 : 1-7
ESPECIALLY 9:5)
 1 JOHN 1 : 5 ... This is the message that we have heard

from Him and declare to you: that God is Light and


in Him is no darkness at all.
For St John the Divine and Beloved Theologian and Apostle
of Christ LIGHT IS DIVINE ENERGY, WHICH MANIFESTED
(REVEALED) DIVINE TRUTH I.E. TRUE TEACHING VIRTUE
AND HOLINESS I.E. TRUE BEHAVIOUR AND LIFESTYLE AND
HOLY COMMUNION WITH GOD IN HIS HOLY CHURCH I.E.
TRUE SPIRITUALITY.
THE STRONGEST OF ALL WEAPONS AGAINST SPIRITUAL
DARKNESS AND SIN IS OUR LOVE FOR GOD, WHICH IS A
STRONG, VIBRANT AND CLOSE RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM.
Light is necessary for clear vision and for life itself.
FAITH RELIES ON DIVINE LIGHT and FAITHFUL BELIEVERS
BECOME SONS OF LIGHT, WHO SHINE IN A DARKENED AND
PERVERSE WORLD. (JOHN 12:36 - 1 THESSALONIANS 5:5 PHILIPPIANS 2 :
15)

At Holy Pascha the Divine Liturgy begins with the Priest


exiting the Holy Sanctuary and presenting a lit candle
into the darkened church - inviting the congregation to
Come and receive the Light that is never overtaken
by night! whereupon, one by one, our candles are lit
and the entire church is quickly illuminated by the soft,
golden light a wonderful way of REMINDING US HOW
GODS DIVINE LIGHT OF TRUTH AND LOVE SPREAD AND
ENLIGHTENED THE ENTIRE WORLD FOREVER!
CHRISTIAN VIRTUES HAVE BOTH A PERSONAL AND PUBLIC
FUNCTION, for it can bring others to Glorify God and to
live in Christ forever.
OUR LORD JESUS FULFILLED THE LAW IN HIMSELF - IN HIS
WORDS AND IN HIS ACTIONS BY PERFORMING GODS WILL IN
ALL ITS FULLNESS, BY TRANSGRESSING NONE OF THE PRECEPTS
OF THE LAW, BY DECLARING THE PERFECT FULFILMENT OF THE
LAW, WHICH HE WAS ABOUT TO DELIVER TO THEM AND BY
GRANTING RIGHTEOUSNESS THE ULTIMATE GOAL OF THE
LAW TO US.
HE ALSO FULFILLED THE PROPHECIES OF ALL THE HOLY
PROPHETS OF GOD, by being and carrying out everything
they had foretold centuries before.
Our Lord Jesus often used the term Truly or Assuredly
which means confirmed, or so be it Amen as A
SOLEMN AFFIRMATION OR FORM OF OATH.
His use of this expression at the beginning of certain Divine
Proclamations (rather than at the end) is UNIQUE AND
AUTHORITATIVE: HE DECLARES HIS WORDS AFFIRMED BEFORE
THEY ARE EVEN SPOKEN!
A JOT IOTA IS THE SMALLEST LETTER IN THE GREEK
ALPHABET WHILE A TITTLE IS THE SMALLEST STROKE IN
CERTAIN HEBREW LETTERS.
Thus, WITHOUT EXCEPTION, THE ENTIRE LAW OF GOD IS
AFFIRMED AS THE SACRED FOUNDATION OF CHRISTS NEW
COVENANT TEACHING.
All is fulfilled is a reference to THE PASSION AND
RESURRECTION OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOUr.
RIGHTEOUSNESS ACCORDING TO THE LAW IS A UNIFIED WHOLE.
 THE OBSERVANCE OF ALL THE LEAST COMMANDMENTS OF
GOD IS TO OBSERVE OR KEEP OR OBEY THE WHOLE
DIVINE LAW OF GOD,
 WHILE THE VIOLATION OF THE LEAST COMMANDMENT IS
CONSIDERED BY GOD TO BE THE VIOLATION OF THE
ENTIRE DIVINE LAW OF GOD!
It could not be made more definitive or clear to us than
this!!

GREAT, ST JOHN CHRYSOSTOM & ST GREGORY

THE

THEOLOGIAN

30 JANUARY 2017