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Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa

Archdiocese of Good Hope


All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever,
and unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most Blessed and
Glorious Lady, Maria, Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together with all the Saints. And let us commit
ourselves and one another and our whole Life to Christ our God. Amen.
TONE (6) PLAGAL 2 4 AUGUST 2019
7TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 7TH SUNDAY OF ST MATTHEW
THE TWO BLIND MEN
Also the Feast of the 7 Holy Sleepers of Ephesos St Maximilian, St Iamblikos, St Martinian, St
John, St Dionysios, St Constantine & St Antoninos – St Eudokia of Persia – St Eleftherios of
Constantinople
THE SUNDAY AND FESTAL HYMNS ARE PUBLISHED IN BOOKLET FORM EACH MONTH. THESE
ARE PUBLISHED AND FREELY DOWNLOADABLE ON www.scribd.com/writers4574. L I N K S ARE ALSO POSTED ON FACEBOOK
“ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN EASTERN CAPE.” (OR CAN BE EMAILED DIRECTLY, ON REQUEST TO marguerite.paizis@gmail.com)
R ESUR REC TION G OSPEL 7- J OHN 20 : 1 – 10
The Great and Small Paraklesis to our Lady, Theotokos
P R OKE IME NON – P SALM 27 – TO NE (6) P L AGAL 2 will be alternately offered every evening from
Save, O Lord, Thy People and Bless Thine Inheritance. 1 August – 13 August,
To Thee, O Lord, I cry, O my God! except on Saturday evening.
Please make every effort to attend.
E P ISTLE OF S T P AUL TO THE R OM ANS 15 : 1 – 7
Brethren, we who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us
please our neighbours for their good, leading to edification, for even Christ did not please Himself, but, as it is
written: “... the reproaches of those who reproached Thee fell upon Me.”
For whatever things were written before, were written for our learning, so that we, through the Patience and Comfort of
the Scriptures, might have Hope.
Now, may the God of Patience and Comfort grant you to be like-minded towards one another, according to Christ
Jesus, so that you may with one mind and one mouth Glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, receive one another, just as Christ also received us, to the Glory of God.
✶ “... we who are strong...” refers to those of us who are  We must be ready to serve our fellow mankind in
SPIRITUALLY EXPERIENCED ENOUGH TO BE CONSTANTLY imitation of Christ our Divine Saviour – by putting
WATCHFUL. the needs of others before our own.
 SPIRITUAL AWARENESS AND WATCHFULNESS KEEPS US ALERT TO  This might be at first difficult for some of us, but with
THE PERSISTENT TEMPTATIONS AND GRIEVOUS PASSIONS Spiritual Experience and the Acquisition of Agape
THAT CAUSE US SPIRITUAL DEATH – i.e. disobedience to through Life in Christ, it does become possible for
God, which alienates and separates us from Him everyone.
and all His Goodness.  Faithful Service to God and to our fellow mankind has
 As we Spiritually Mature, we BECOME FAR MORE AWARE OF Eternal Consequences.
ALL ‘PITFALLS AND STUMBLING BLOCKS’ THAT PREVENT OUR  Unselfishness and self-sacrifice are Holy Attributes of
PROPER SPIRITUAL PROGRESS AND LIFE IN CHRIST. Christ’s Faithful Disciples.
✶ “... bear with...” does not merely mean ‘to put up with’  Everything we do for or to others is
the behaviour and attitude of others but rather 1. returned to us “... a hundredfold...” in many
that we ought TO “... CARRY TOGETHER...” EACH OTHER’S different ways.
BURDENS. 2. like doing so to and for our Lord
 GALATIANS 6:2 “... bear one another’s burdens, and so ✶ “... things (that) were written before... for our learning...”
fulfill the Law of Christ.” refers to ALL THE DIVINELY INSPIRED HOLY SCRIPTURES
 This is IN IMITATION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST WHO BORE AND WRITINGS OF OUR HOLY FATHERS AND ESPECIALLY THE
ALL MANKIND’S WEAKNESSES - so that those who are DIVINE TEACHINGS AND COMMANDMENTS OF OUR LORD
indeed “... strong in Faith...” might LOVINGLY AND GOD.
JOYFULLY IDENTIFY WITH EACH OTHER, including those  OUR WRITTEN HOLY TRADITION AND OUR VERBAL HOLY
who are Spiritually Immature or weak Believers. TRADITION ARE FOR ALL MANKIND’S SPIRITUAL BENEFIT.
 As Faithful Disciples of Christ, WE ARE CALLED TO INITIATE  THE DIVINE TRUTH OF GOD HAS BEEN METICULOUSLY RECORDED
CARE-GIVING IN OUR HOLY CHURCH – TO ALL MEMBERS OF BY HIS EYE-WITNESSES SO THAT ALL FUTURE GENERATIONS
CHRIST’S HOLY BODY – AND NOT TO BE UNNECESSARY WILL BE ABLE TO PARTICIPATE FULLY AND PROPERLY IN THE
BURDENS OF ANY TYPE TO ONE ANOTHER. ONE, TRUE, UNIVERSAL FAITH AND WORSHIP OF ALMIGHTY
✶ "... for their good, leading to edification...” means that GOD
we must AT ALL TIMES BE GOOD EXAMPLES AS CHRIST’S  THE DIVINE TRUTH IS ABSOLUTE, PERFECT AND ETERNAL.
DISCIPLES SO THAT OTHERS WILL DO LIKEWISE. Hence NOT ONE IOTA OR TITTLE MAY BE CHANGED, for WHEN
 Furthermore, WE MUST TEACH OTHERS EVERYTHING that we TRUE PERFECTION IS THUS CHANGED OR ALTERED in any
have learnt, WHICH CHRIST HAS TAUGHT US. other manner (by erroneous interpretation) IT IS NO
 THE DIVINE TRUTH OF CHRIST HAS BEEN VERY CAREFULLY LONGER DIVINE TRUTH but merely an imperfect
PRESERVED AND PASSED DOWN throughout all time by opinion of mankind’s limited and distorted
His Holy Apostles and all our Holy Orthodox perceptions.
Fathers - our Bishops, Priests, Spiritual Fathers and ✶ “... we, through the Patience and Comfort of the
Teachers. Scriptures, might have Hope.”
✶ “... even Christ did not please Himself...” because He  THE DIVINE TRUTH OF GOD, which is recorded in the Holy
always acts and speaks according to the Divine Scriptures, TEACHES US
Will of our Heavenly Father. 1. to have PATIENCE TO ENDURE ALL CIRCUMSTANCES
Christ is absolutely unselfish and Self-sacrificing. 2. TO BE COMFORTED AND ENCOURAGED BY THE KNOWLEDGE
As His Faithful Disciples, we must also strive to become AND UNDERSTANDING OF GOD’S DIVINE PLAN FOR
unselfish and self-sacrificing by deny the EACH OF US.
demands of our flesh (thoughts, words and deeds) 3. TO HOPE IN GOD’S LOVE AND GREAT MERCY WHILE
in voluntary, eager and willing Obedience to the ANTICIPATING OUR ENTRY INTO HIS ETERNAL KINGDOM
Will of our Heavenly Father. OF LOVE where we will Rejoice in His Blissful

7TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 7TH OF ST MATTHEW – TWO BLIND MEN – 4 AUGUST 2019 1.
Love, Joy and Peace that is beyond TEACH US HIS DIVINE ATTRIBUTES – AS MUCH AS WE ARE
description! ABLE TO UNDERSTAND.
 Through the Testimony of Holy Scripture we might  CHRIST OUR LORD HAS REVEALED A VERY DIFFERENT HEAVENLY
understand not only the “Patience” of the ancient, FATHER TO US THAN THE TERRIFYING, INTOLERANT GOD
Old Covenant Israel, and of the New Israel, Christ’s DESCRIBED BY HIS HOLY PROPHETS, in order to force the
Holy Church, but WE ALSO BEGIN TO UNDERSTAND THE Chosen People of the Old Covenant to Obey His
INFINITE LOVE AND PATIENCE OF OUR LORD GOD. Divine Will.
 THROUGH ALL THE DIVINE PROMISES, VICTORIES AND SPIRITUAL  During this short lifespan, WE MUST STRIVE TO BECOME
STRUGGLES that are meticulously recorded in Holy MORE SPIRITUAL BEINGS than physical beings.
Scripture as well as in the Writings and Life of our  WE HAVE TO TRAIN OUR IMMORTAL SOUL TO DOMINATE AND
Holy Fathers and all the Saints, WE, TOO, FIND TRUE CONTROL THE SELFISH, CORRUPTIBLE DEMANDS OF OUR
COMFORT AND SPIRITUAL ENCOURAGEMENT. FLESH – our body and mind.
✶ “...with one mind and one mouth...” refers to THE  AS WE BECOME MORE SANCTIFIED, MORE SPIRITUALLY
ESSENTIAL HOLY UNITY AND SPIRITUAL HARMONY OF EXPERIENCED, AND GROW CLOSER TO OUR LORD GOD, WE
CHRIST’S HOLY CHURCH – i.e. the Blessed Unity of all CONTINUALLY GLORIFY OUR HEAVENLY FATHER BY
the members of Christ’s Body – all Faithful Disciples STRUGGLING CONSISTENTLY TO FULFIL HIS DIVINE WILL IN
of Christ. ALL CIRCUMSTANCES.
 THE HOLY CHURCH OF CHRIST IS UNIVERSAL, which means  The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is -
that WE ALL LIVE IN CHRIST WITH COMPLETE HOLY UNITY THROUGH THE HOLY MYSTERY OF BAPTISM AND
OF BODY AND SOUL. CHRISMATION - ALSO OUR OWN HEAVENLY FATHER
 ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN WORSHIP IS IDENTICAL EVERYWHERE IN THROUGH OUR SPIRITUAL ADOPTION.
THIS UNIVERSE for WE WORSHIP, PRAY AND LIVE IN CHRIST  WE ARE THUS CO-HEIRS WITH CHRIST of our Heavenly
WITH “...ONE MIND AND ONE MOUTH...” Father’s Kingdom of Love.
 WE ARE ALL “YOKED” TOGETHER WITH THE YOKE OF CHRIST, so  In order to BECOME WORTHY CITIZENS OF HIS HEAVENLY
that we Journey together, BEING EQUAL IN THE SIGHT KINGDOM, we need to learn how to
OF GOD – HELPING, ENCOURAGING AND GUIDING EACH 1. CEASELESSLY PRAY – Communicate with God on a
OTHER as we progress slowly but surely towards deeply personal level,
Eternity. 2. GLORIFY HIM WITH SACRED HYMNS, many of which are
✶ “... Glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ...” in fact Angelic Hymns chanted Eternally in His
refers to THE LIVING, LOVING, COMPASSIONATE, Divine Presence.
ALMIGHTY, ALL MERCIFUL, BENEVOLENT AND 3. CLEANSE OURSELVES through continuous
PROVIDENTIAL LORD GOD WHOM OUR DIVINE LORD AND Repentance-Confession,
SAVIOUR HAS REVEALED TO US. 4. PURIFY AND SANCTIFY OUR BODY AND SOUL by partaking
 THE ETERNAL, INCARNATE, SON AND WORD OF GOD OUR of all the essential Holy Mysteries – especially
HEAVENLY FATHER – JESUS CHRIST - IS THE ONLY ONE Holy Eucharist and Holy Unction,
WHO CAN REVEAL HIS DIVINE TRUTH TO US because He 5. DISCIPLINE AND CORRECT OUR BODY AND SOUL BY SELF-
is the Second Person of the One Divine Godhead – DENIAL AND SELF-CONTROL through Fasting and
our Triune God. Prayers
 AS THE ETERNAL, ONLY BEGOTTEN SON AND WORD OF GOD,
OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST IS THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN
T H E H OLY G OSPEL ACC OR D ING TO S T M ATTHE W 9 : 27 – 35
At that time, two blind men followed our Lord Jesus, crying out and saying: “Son of David, have Mercy on us!” And
when He went into the house, the blind men went to Him. And Jesus said to them: “Do you believe that I Am able to
do this?” They said to Him: “ Yes, Lord!” Then He touched their eyes, saying: “According to your Faith, let it be unto
you.” And their eyes were opened. And Jesus sternly cautioned them, saying: “See that no one knows it.” But
when they had departed, they spread the News about Him in all that region.
As they went out, behold, they brought to Him a man, mute and demon-possessed. And when the demon was cast out,
the mute spoke. And the multitude marvelled, saying: “It was never seen like this in Israel!” Yet the Pharisees said:
“He casts out demons by the ruler of the demons!”
And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their Synagogues, and preaching the Gospel of the
Kingdom, and Healing every disease and every infirmity among the people.
✶ “... two blind men followed our Lord Jesus...” all the way All these Divinely Miraculous Healings signify that our
to where He was staying, which showed THEIR Lord Jesus Christ is indeed the Great Messiah
DETERMINATION TO RECEIVED HEALING, AND ALSO ✶ “... when He went into the house, the blind men went to
DEMONSTRATED THEIR DEEP FAITH IN CHRIST. Him...” – THE TWO BLIND MEN HAD NOT ONLY FOLLOWED
✶ “...’Son of David...” is one of the many Divine Titles of the OUR LORD JESUS ALL THE WAY FROM THE HOUSE OF JAIRUS,
Great Messiah Whom all God’s Chosen People of BUT THEY ALSO ENTERED THE HOUSE WHERE HE RESIDED.
the Old Covenant had expected for so many  This clearly shows HOW DETERMINED THEY WERE TO RECEIVE
centuries. THEIR SIGHT FROM HIM – like so many other examples
 By addressing our Lord Jesus as “Son of David” THEY of COMPLETE FAITH IN CHRIST’S ABILITY AND POWER TO
PROCLAIMED THEIR BELIEF that He was indeed the MIRACULOUSLY HEAL EVERY AILMENT OF OUR HUMAN
long-awaited Divine Messiah Who would solve all CONDITION.
their problems. ✶ “...Do you believe that I Am able to do this?...” is A HIGHLY
✶ “... have Mercy on us...”Although physically blind, the SIGNIFICANT QUESTION THAT GOD ASKS EACH OF US WHEN
two men were confident in their Faith in God and WE BESEECH HIS GREAT MERCY.
their belief that our Saviour is indeed our Only  Although our Lord sees into the very depths of our
Hope for Divine Mercy and Healing. heart and soul, HE SOMETIMES REQUIRES US TO CONFIRM
 THE INFINITE DIVINE LOVE OF GOD IS DEMONSTRATED BY HIS OUR FAITH IN HIM - such as in this case.
GREAT MERCY for all us wretched sinners when we  ALL TOO OFTEN, WE ASK GOD FOR THINGS THAT WE EITHER DO
Repent our sins and seek His Healing and NOT ACTUALLY WANT, OR WE DO NOT REALLY BELIEVE WITH
Forgiveness, granted to us through His Divine ALL OUR BEING that only He can grant us His Great
Mysteries. Mercy and Love.
 According to the ancient Holy Prophet of God, St  SOME PEOPLE USE THEIR AFFLICTIONS TO GAIN SYMPATHY, TO
Isaiah, THE MESSIANIC AGE IS SIGNIFIED WHEN “... THE TAKE ADVANTAGE OF OTHERS, OR TO EXCUSE THEMSELVES
EYES OF THE BLIND SHALT BE OPENED, AND THE EARS OF THE from fulfilling their mundane obligations and
DEAF SHALT HEAR...” Sacred Duties.
 ISAIAH 35:5 “... the eyes of the blind shalt be  Therefore, as in several cases recorded in Holy
opened, and the ears of the deaf shalt hear... the Scripture, OUR LORD HAS QUESTIONED HIS PETITIONERS TO
lame shalt leap like a deer, and the tongue of EXPOSE THEIR DEGREE (OR LACK) OF FAITH IN GOD.
the dumb will speak clearly...” ✶ “... According to your Faith...” OUR LORD GOD NEVER FORCES
HIS DIVINE WILL UPON US.

2 7TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 7TH OF ST MATTHEW – TWO BLIND MEN – 4 AUGUST 2019
 LOVE CANNOT BE FORCED UPON ANYONE, for it is the most we can learn about THE DEEPER, SPIRITUAL ASPECTS OF OUR
marvellous Gift that can only be given and VARIOUS AFFLICTIONS.
received freely and sincerely. Any affliction is tragic indeed. SOME ARE CAUSED BY OUR
 Therefore, even THE GREAT MERCY AND LOVE OF GOD CAN PHYSICAL SINS WHILE OTHERS ARE CAUSED BY SPIRITUAL
ONLY BE RECEIVED WHEN WE ARE WILLING AND EAGER TO WICKEDNESS, WEAKNESS OR NEGLECT.
ACCEPT IT. THE EVIL ONE USES OUR PERSONAL WEAKNESSES AND FLAWS AS WELL
 The same principle applies to DIVINE HEALING, which is AS HIS INVENTED GRIEVOUS PASSIONS AGAINST US, so we need
A CO-OPERATIVE ACT OF LOVE AND MERCY. to BE VERY AWARE OF THESE TRAPS AND STUMBLING BLOCKS.
 WITHOUT OUR FREE, SINCERE AND WILLING CO-OPERATION, ✶ “... the multitudes marvelled... yet the Pharisees...” The
GOD WILL NOT HEAL US OF OUR AFFLICTIONS. Faith of the people who marvelled at the Words
 OUR SUFFERING AND SORROWS ARE NOT CAUSED BY GOD AT ALL! and Deeds of our Divine Saviour, and the self-
 THEY ARE ALL CAUSED BY SIN – the invented grievous righteous, arrogant and Spiritually Blind Pharisees
passions of the evil one who seeks our destruction who plotted and schemed against Christ is starkly
by ALIENATING OR SEPARATING US FROM GOD AND HIS contrasted.
DIVINE LOVE AND MERCY. ✶ “... casts out demons by the ruler of the demons!” This
 MOST CALAMITIES ARE DUE TO MANKIND’S STUBBORN, was THE NONSENSICAL ACCUSATION OF THE PHARISEES
UNREPENTED WICKEDNESS caused by wilful, selfish, AGAINST OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST – THE ETERNAL SON OF
greedy disobedience and rebellion against God GOD!
and His Goodness.  THE ABSURDITY OF THEIR ACCUSATIONS IS OBVIOUS for casting
 EVERYTHING THAT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR US BECOMES POSSIBLE BY out demons by the ruler of the demons would be
THE DIVINE GRACE OF GOD. impossible BECAUSE THE EVIL ONE’S AIM IS TO
✶ “... See that no one knows...” AT THAT STAGE OF HIS PUBLIC CONSOLIDATE POWER FOR HIS OWN WICKED PURPOSES AND
MINISTRY, OUR LORD DID NOT NEED EVERYONE TO KNOW ABOUT CERTAINLY NOT TO DESTROY IT!
HIM AND HIS DIVINE POWER that performed so many  THE GENUINE LOVE, HUMILITY AND OBEDIENCE OF CHRIST
marvellous Healings and Cures. WHO CLEANSED LEPERS, RAISED THE DEAD AND REMITTED
 INITIALLY, OUR HEAVENLY FATHER SENT HIS BELOVED SON, OUR SINS ARE UTTERLY BEYOND THE ABILITIES OF THE EVIL ONE
LORD JESUS CHRIST, TO GATHER TOGETHER THE “LOST OR HIS DEMONS!
SHEEP” OF ISRAEL – to Enlighten, Restore and Save ✶“...teaching in the Synagogues... preaching the Gospel...
them as He had Promised His ancient Holy Healing every disease and every infirmity...” shows
Prophets. how CHRIST FULFILLED EVERYTHING REQUIRED OF HIM FOR
 GOD NEVER FAILS TO KEEP HIS DIVINE PROMISE! THE SPIRITUAL BENEFIT OF HIS CHOSEN PEOPLE OF ISRAEL.
 However, IF PEOPLE CHOOSE TO REJECT HIM, HE WILL TAKE  HE MADE EVERY POSSIBLE EFFORT TO ENLIGHTEN HIS PEOPLE
CARE OF THOSE WHO WELCOME HIM IN FAITH 1. by TEACHING THEM HIS DIVINE TRUTH
 WHEN HE HAD ATTENDED TO HIS JUDAIC FLOCK, CHRIST AND 2. by PROPERLY EXPLAINING THE ANCIENT HOLY SCRIPTURES
HIS HOLY APOSTLES THEN SOUGHT OUT AND HEALED AND to them,
SAVED THE GENTILES – the non-Hebrews and pagans 3. by CORRECTING THE ERRORS that had crept into their
WHO BELIEVED IN HIS DIVINE TRUTH. interpretation of the Old Covenant Faith
✶ “...they brought to Him a man, mute and demon- 4. by REVEALING THE NEW COVENANT of God,
possessed...” 5. by FULFILLING ALL HOLY PROPHECIES AND TEACHINGS
These two cases of the blind men and the mute demon- concerning Him as our Great Divine Messiah –
possessed man, are brought to our attention so that the Saviour of all mankind.
7 T H
S U NDAY AF TE R P E NTEC OST – 7 T H
S U ND AY OF S T M ATTHE W – THE TW O BL IND ME N

✞ In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Furthermore, we are also similar to them for WE CONTINUE
Holy Spirit... TO BESEECH OUR LORD TO ALLEVIATE OUR PHYSICAL AND
Dearly Beloved in Christ, today’s Sacred Lesson teaches SPIRITUAL SUFFERING, TO RESTORE OUR HEALTH so that we
us about the Divine Healing of the two blind men and might enjoy a good quality of life, WHICH WE HAVE LOST
a mute demoniac. EVERY HOLY GOSPEL ACCOUNT – just THROUGH OUR OWN OR OTHERS’ NEGLECT, GREED, SELFISHNESS
as each and every word of the Holy Gospel - CONTAINS OR CARELESSNESS.
IMMEASURABLE MEANING AND SIGNIFICANCE, because It is However, sadly, MANY OF US HAVE NOT ACQUIRED THE
the Eternal – timeless - Divine Truth – the Eternal Truth STEADFAST FIDELITY TO GOD that the two blind men
of Life in Christ. possessed, for WE LACK SPIRITUAL FORTITUDE AND ABIDING
Today’s Sacred Lesson is thus of great importance to our FAITH, WHICH MIGHT BE THE ROOT CAUSE OF OUR CONTINUED
daily existence because It teaches us about the Divine SORROW AND SUFFERING.
Love of our Lord for all mankind and our Love of God. INDIVIDUAL AND GENERAL ANGUISH ARE CERTAINLY DUE TO THE
It teaches us how GOD NEVER LEAVES US WITHOUT HIS ALL- GRIEVOUS PASSIONS THAT SEPARATE AND ALIENATE US FROM
MERCIFUL ASSISTANCE. No matter what might befall us, GOD AND HIS GREAT MERCY.
OUR LOVING, COMPASSIONATE AND MERCIFUL GOD WILL NEVER WITHOUT REPENTANCE-CONFESSION whereby we might
ABANDON US to trouble or woe as long as we remain correct our errors, WE WILL CONTINUE TO WALLOW IN THE
Faithful to Him through our belief in Him, our Love for MIRE OF PASSIONS THAT COMPEL US TO REPEATEDLY COMMIT
Him and our steadfast Fidelity to Him in all SINS AS WE SINK EVER DEEPER INTO THE MURKY DEPTHS OF
circumstances. SPIRITUAL DEATH.
THE TWO BLIND MEN WERE EXTREMELY PERSISTENT FOR THEY KNEW THE GRIEVOUS PASSIONS ROB US OF THE TRUE JOY OF LIFE
AND BELIEVED IN THE DIVINE POWER OF OUR LORD JESUS because THEY STIFLE AND EVENTUALLY EXTINGUISH THE
CHRIST WITHOUT ANY DOUBT WHATSOEVER! SACRED LIGHT AND SPIRITUAL WARMTH that ought to dwell
They had followed Him from the Synagogue to the house in our heart and soul.
of Jairus, and all the way back to where He was TEMPTATIONS LURE US INTO STATES OF DEVASTATION AND
residing – and they even followed Him inside! DISILLUSIONMENT, INDUCING OUR SOUL TO BECOME ICY COLD
Suddenly, our Lord seemed to have noticed them by AND ROCK HARD.
asking them A MOST VITAL AND SIGNIFICANT QUESTION: “Do WITHOUT SPIRITUAL WATCHFULNESS AND AWARENESS, OUR
you believe that I Am able to do this?” GRIEVOUS PASSIONS WILL CRIPPLE US, BLIND US, AND MAKE US
As soon as they confessed their Faith and belief in Him, COLD, EMPTY, LAZY AND CALCULATING EGOISTS!
our Lord touched their eyes and they were EVERYTHING AROUND US – ALL OUR RELATIONSHIPS – ARE DEEPLY
immediately granted sight. AFFECTED BY WHATEVER IS OCCURRING WITHIN US!
WE ARE ALL SIMILAR to those two blind men and the mute By surrendering to the grievous passions, WE BLOT OUT THE
demoniac, for MOST OF US HAVE VARYING DEGREES OF DIVINE LIGHT OF THE IMAGE AND LIKENESS OF GOD WITH
SPIRITUAL BLINDNESS, SPIRITUAL MUTENESS AND ARE WHICH HE CREATED US.
CONTROLLED TO A CERTAIN DEGREE BY OUR HABITUAL SINS. HOWEVER, THE GRIEVOUS PASSIONS CAN MERELY OVERSHADOW THE
We also resemble all those ailing people who sought a DIVINE IMAGE OF GOD IN US, BUT CANNOT DESTROY IT FOR IT IS
Miraculous Cure from Christ, for WE, TOO, ARE INDESTRUCTIBLE!
TORMENTED BY INNUMERABLE PHYSICAL AND SPIRITUAL THE PASSIONS – LIKE THEIR INVENTOR, THE EVIL ONE – ARE NOT ALL
INFIRMITIES AND SICKNESSES. POWERFUL and their dominance – even over the very
worst sinner – is limited because THEY CAN CERTAINLY BE

7TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 7TH OF ST MATTHEW – TWO BLIND MEN – 4 AUGUST 2019 3.
OVERCOME AND DEFEATED by our heart and soul WHEN WE DO NOT BE DECEIVED INTO BELIEVING THAT SIN, WICKEDNESS,
ARE SPIRITUALLY TRANSFORMED, RENEWED, REGENERATED AND GRIEF AND SPIRITUAL DEATH ARE OUR UNAVOIDABLE ETERNAL
SANCTIFIED BY THE ALL POWERFUL DIVINE MYSTERIES OF GOD DESTINY! No! Not at all!
– ESPECIALLY BY OUR CONTINUOUS SPIRITUAL STRUGGLES THAT Always keep in mind that “...God resists the proud, but
INCLUDE THE REGULAR PARTAKING OF THE HOLY MYSTERIES OF grants (His Divine) Grace to the humble!”
REPENTANCE-CONFESSION, HOLY EUCHARIST AND HOLY BY OUR DAILY SELF-EXAMINATION AND CONTINUOUS SPIRITUAL
UNCTION. WATCHFULNESS, PARTAKING OF THE HOLY MYSTERIES OF
EVERYONE BORN INTO THIS TEMPORARY WORLD CAN BE REPENTANCE-CONFESSION AND HOLY EUCHARIST WE ARE ABLE
ENLIGHTENED AND ILLUMINED BY THAT SAME DIVINE POWER of TO CORRECT OUR ERRORS AND RETURN TO SPIRITUAL LIFE IN
our Lord God, which granted sight to the two blind CHRIST.
men and, having exorcised the demons, granted Only thereby can we STRIVE TO ACQUIRE THE ESSENTIAL HOLY
speech and full health to the wretched dumb VIRTUES OF HUMILITY AND OBEDIENCE, for then - by the
demoniac. Grace of God - we will certainly be raised up from the
THIS ALMIGHTY POWER IS GOD’S DIVINE GRACE, which, lowest depths of our Fall.
according to His Will, is granted to those who seek it WITH THE ACQUISITION OF THESE TWO, INSEPARABLE HOLY VIRTUES
with Faith in and Love for God with all our being! OF HUMILITY AND OBEDIENCE, IT IS POSSIBLE TO FULLY
Brothers and Sisters in Christ, we have often heard EXPERIENCE THE WONDROUS ACTIONS OF OUR LORD GOD’S
Sermons concerning the Teachings of our Lord Jesus GRACE-FILLED ENERGY ILLUMINATING OUR SOUL.
and many of our Holy Fathers, which mention the Our Divine Saviour said: “...To whom will I look, but unto
Divine Grace of our Lord God. And who among us the Humble and the Meek.” [ISAIAH 66:2]
has not, in fact, Experienced the incredible Action of Therefore, let us MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO BECOME HUMBLE AND
Divine Grace to a greater or lesser extent? MEEK.
We all know that it is BY THIS DIVINE POWER AND ENERGY OF Let us thereby RESTORE AND RENEW OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH
GOD’S GRACE that “...we are made (Blessed) Partakers GOD AND WITH OUR FELLOW MANKIND, so that the Divine
of the Divine...” as St Gregory Palamas explained, Power and Grace of God’s Great Mercy is able to
and whose sublime, Inspired Teaching of the Divine dwell in us always, and unfailingly Heal the infirmities
Energies disclose and Unite us to our Triune Lord God. of our body and soul.
Nevertheless, IT IS NOT ENOUGH ONLY TO KNOW ABOUT THE Although OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST visibly walked in our
ETERNAL DIVINE POWER OF GOD Who abides forever in this midst a very long time ago, Healing every infirmity
world. and disease, He CONTINUES TO HEAL ALL MANKIND WHO
It is not enough to know about this even by Experience or HAVE FAITH IN HIM, WITH THAT SAME DIVINE POWER AND
by the remembrance of the past, for EACH OF US HAS ENERGY, WHICH GRANTS US HIS LOVE, PEACE, JOY, AND
ACTUALLY WITNESSED OR FELT THE DIVINE GRACE OF GOD SALVATION.
MOMENTARILY TOUCH OUR SINFUL HEART IN A MIRACULOUS May our Faith and Love of our Lord God be as strong and
MANNER. unwavering as the two blind men who believed in
It is essential for us to CEASELESSLY DESIRE THE GRACE OF GOD, Him with all their being.
and to DETERMINEDLY STRIVE TO ACQUIRE IT BY ALL MEANS And may we FOREVER JOYFULLY AND SINCERELY GLORIFY,
POSSIBLE so that we might BE WITH GOD AND IN GOD – SO HONOUR AND WORSHIP OUR TRIUNE LORD GOD AND HIS MOST
THAT THE DIVINE LIGHT OF THE IMAGE OF GOD MIGHT NEVER WONDROUS, MAJESTIC AND DIVINE NAME.
BE EXTINGUISHED IN OUR HEART AND SOUL, AND THAT THE TRUE Amen.
JOY, LOVE AND PEACE OF GOD MIGHT ALWAYS BE WITH US.
Brethren, NEVER DESPAIR NOR BE OVERWHELMED BY THE SPIRITUAL ARCHPRIEST VSEVOLOD SHPILLER -SERMON DELIVERED ON 12 AUGUST 1956
DARKNESS OF SIN AND EVIL THAT ENVELOPS AND THREATENS TRANSLATED FROM RUSSIAN - EDITED BY MP
OUR SOUL! HTTP://WWW.PRAVMIR.COM

T HE E TER NAL , I NSP IRE D W ISD OM OF OUR H OLY F ATHE R S


S T THE OPH AN THE R E CLU SE provided of course that we are aiming for Spiritual
Our body and soul cannot be freed of the grievous Profit and Benefit, rather than mere pleasantries and
passions unless our spirit/soul is first Liberated by an outward show!
Divine Grace, which only occurs when we acquire the
Holy Fear of God and Repent-Confess our sins. S T P OR PHY R IOS OF K AVSAKALY V IA
In order for Christ our Divine Saviour and Lord to enter
E LDE R P H IL OTHE OS Z E RV AKOS into our heart and soul, when we invite Him by
The evil one has set his traps everywhere to ensnare us, praying “O Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have Mercy
and the only way to avoid these is through the on me, a sinner!” our heart must be Pure and not have
acquisition of Humility and Obedience. We must any impediments. We must be free of hatred, egotism
strive to acquire an internal, sincere Humility whereby and wickedness!
we also acquire Obedience and real – not false –
modesty whereby we will be able to feel in the depth S T P AISIOS THE NEW OF M OU NT A TH OS
of our heart, the Gifts and Talents that we have When wealth is not distributed to the poor for the good of
received from the Lord our God. It is the True our soul and for the Spiritual Benefit of our departed,
Realisation that everything we have – our existence, it is a total disaster! Riches and worldly possessions
life, health, wealth and wisdom – is foreign to us for choke our immortal soul, through great anxiety and
they are the Divine Gifts, which God alone bestows rapacity. When we see those who seem to have
upon us. everything – who seem to want for nothing, yet who
are always anxious, suspicious, worried and unhappy
S T BA SIL THE G RE AT – we should recognise their lack of God, which
Hypocrites retain their hatred in the depths of their heart, impoverishes them beyond description!
showing superficial love, in the same way as a reef
that is covered with water is an accident waiting to S T BA SIL THE G RE AT
happen to those who are not alert and careful. Nothing is so characteristic of Christians as the fact that
Hypocrisy is the result of envy and all wickedness arise they are Peacemakers, for our Lord Jesus Christ
from it! promised a Great Reward for this!

S T J OH N C HRY SOSTOM S T J OH N C HRY SOSTOM


When we want to root out any grievous passion that has Despite the fact that Chastity, Fasting and sleeping on the
wormed its way into our heart and become firmly ground demand great effort, there is nothing so
established there over time, it is not enough to receive Powerful and so capable of extinguishing the flames
advice from our Spiritual Father for one or two days in of our sins as Charity/Love, for it is superior to
order to correct this passion. We have to sincerely everything else and places those who live it close to
confess our sins and Struggle over many days - our King of Heaven Himself!

4 7TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 7TH OF ST MATTHEW – TWO BLIND MEN – 4 AUGUST 2019
Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa
Archdiocese of Good Hope
All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy
Spirit, now and forever, and unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our
Most Holy, Most Pure, Most Blessed and Glorious Lady, Maria, Theotokos, yet Ever
Virgin, together with all the Saints. And let us commit ourselves and one another
and our whole Life to Christ our God. Amen.
6 AUGUST 2019
TRANSFIGURATION OF CHRIST

THE SUNDAY AND FESTAL HYMNS ARE PUBLISHED IN BOOKLET FORM EACH
MONTH. THESE ARE PUBLISHED AND FREELY DOWNLOADABLE ON
www.scribd.com/writers4574. L I N K S A R E A L S O P O S T E D O N F A C E B O O K
“ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN EASTERN CAPE.” (OR CAN BE EMAILED DIRECTLY,
ON REQUEST TO marguerite.paizis@gmail.com)
P R OKE IME NON – P SALM 88
Tabor and Hermon shalt greatly Rejoice in Thy Name.
The Heavens belong to Thee, and the Earth is Thine for Thou founded the world and all its fullness.

T H E H OLY G OSPEL ACCO R D ING TO S T LU KE 9 : 28 – 36


At that time, about eight days after these sayings, our Lord Jesus took with Him Peter and John and James, and went
up on the mountain to pray. And as He was praying, the Appearance of His Countenance was altered, and His
Raiment became dazzling white.
And behold! Two men conversed with Him - Moses and Elijah, who Appeared in Glory, and spoke of His Departure,
which He was to accomplish in Jerusalem.
Now Peter and those who were with Him were heavy with sleep, and when they wakened, they saw His Glory and the
two men who stood with Him. And as the men were parting from Him, Peter said to Jesus: “Master, it is good that we
are here. Let us make three booths - one for Thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah...” not knowing what he
said. As he said this, a Cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were afraid as they entered the Cloud. And
a Voice came out of the Cloud, saying: “This is My Son, My Chosen! Listen to Him!”
And when the Voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they remained silent and told no one in those days
anything of what they had seen.
✶ “... after these sayings...” refers to THE FIRST TIME THAT OUR  ST MOSES REPRESENTS THE DIVINE LAW (given to Him by
LORD JESUS CHRIST SPOKE TO HIS FAITHFUL APOSTLES God on Mount Sinai) AND ALL THOSE WHO HAD DIED
CONCERNING HIS APPROACHING PASSION – His Betrayal by (and were still held captive by Death in Hades.)
Judas Iscariot, His arrest, trials, scourgings,  ST ELIJAH REPRESENTED THE HOLY PROPHETS OF GOD AND –
crucifixion, Death and Resurrection that would occur since he had not experienced Death – ALL THOSE
in Jerusalem. WHO ARE ALIVE IN CHRIST.
✶ Our Lord “...Jesus took with Him...” St Peter, St John and  The presence of these two important Saints manifests
St James as HIS MOST RELIABLE WITNESSES WHO THE COMMUNION OF SAINTS AND GREAT CLOUD OF
REPRESENTED MANKIND AND WHO WOULD LATER TESTIFY TO WITNESSES who have gone before us.
THIS DIVINE TRUTH.  THE APOSTLES WERE ABLE TO COMPREHEND our Lord’s words
 OUR LORD WANTED HIS APOSTLES TO WITNESS HIS “... Elijah has come already...” when He referred to
TRANSFIGURATION – to see up close and personally – HIS HOLY FORERUNNER - ST JOHN THE BAPTIST.
His True Divine Identity.  They also understood that THE PROPHECY OF ST MALACHI
 SEVERAL ELEMENTS OF HIS TRANSFIGURATION CONFIRM that REFERRED TO ST JOHN THE BAPTIST who had come “...
our Lord Jesus Christ is indeed the Eternal, Divine in the Spirit and Power of Elijah...” rather than to
Messiah/Saviour and our Lord God. St Elijah himself.
✶ “... as He was praying...” OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST WAS Malachi 4: 5 – 6
TRANSFIGURED. ✶ “...
...spoke
... of His Departure ... in Jerusalem...” CHRIST AND
 HE REVEALED HIS GLORIOUS, DIVINE IDENTITY - THE ETERNAL, HIS TWO HOLY PROPHETS DISCUSSED HIS APPROACHING
SON AND WORD OF GOD OUR HEAVENLY FATHER AND THE PASSION that would occur in Jerusalem.
SECOND PERSON OF THE HOLY TRINITY.  THE DEATH OF CHRIST IS INTIMATELY CONNECTED TO THE
✶ ”... His Countenance was altered... His Raiment became GLORY OF HIS TRANSFIGURATION, for He is Glorified
dazzling white...” through His Sacrificial and Salvific Death on the
Cross.
 GOD IS LIGHT.  In the Orthodox Liturgical Cycle, THE GREAT FEAST OF THE
 THE BRIGHT CLOUD, THE SUN-BRIGHT ILLUMINATION OF OUR TRANSFIGURATION IS FORTY DAYS BEFORE THE GREAT
LORD’S FACE AND EVEN THE EXTREME BLINDING WHITENESS FEAST OF THE EXALTATION OF THE HOLY CROSS, showing
OF HIS GARMENTS, all clearly show the Glory of our the connection between THE GLORY OF CHRIST AND
Lord Jesus. HIS LIFE-GIVING HOLY CROSS.
 BEING THE SECOND PERSON OF THE ONE GODHEAD – the Holy  The term “Departure” or “Exodus” confirms that
Trinity – our Lord Jesus is (Divine) LIGHT OF (Divine) CHRIST’S PASSION IS THE FULFILMENT OF THE OLD
LIGHT. COVENANT PASSOVER (the First Holy Pascha) and is
 THE TRANSFIGURATION IS A THEOPHANY – a Divine OUR TRUE DEPARTURE OR EXODUS OR LIBERATION FROM
Manifestation (Revelation) of our Almighty Lord ENSLAVEMENT into Eternal Salvation and Everlasting
God. Life in God’s Heavenly Kingdom of Love.
 THE TRANSFIGURATION REVEALED THE TRUE DIVINITY of our  THIS REVELATION OF HIS DIVINE POWER ALSO CONFIRMS THAT
Lord Jesus Christ by DISPLAYING HIS UNCREATED, OUR LORD’S SACRIFICIAL OFFERING – His Passion – was
DIVINE ENERGY to St Peter, St John and St James, not merely forced on Him by outside forces, but
which is the reason for the Great Festal WAS A VOLUNTARY OFFERING OF HIS DIVINE LOVE FOR ALL
Celebration of the Transfiguration. MANKIND – because no one could withstand His
✶ “...Moses and Elijah... Appeared in Glory...” and were infinite Power and Glory unless it is according to
IMMEDIATELY RECOGNISED by the three Holy Apostles. Divine Will.
 Their presence confirms that the Divine Law and the  HIS APOSTLES WERE ONLY ABLE TO WITNESS AS MUCH OF HIS
Holy Prophets of God – the Living and the dead – GLORIOUS TRANSFORMATION AS THEY COULD BEAR.
ALL BEAR WITNESS THAT OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST IS  CHRIST CHOSE THEM AS HIS WITNESSES WHO WOULD LATER
INDEED THE GREAT MESSIAH/SAVIOUR WHO IS THE UNDERSTAND THAT HIS SUFFERING WAS VOLUNTARY, and
FULFILMENT OF THE ENTIRE OLD TESTAMENT/COVENANT

T H E T R ANSF IGUR ATION OF OUR L ORD JE SU S CHR IST 6 AU GU ST 2019 5


THAT HIS GREAT BLOOD SACRIFICE WAS FOR THE SAKE OF ✶ “... Listen to Him!...” is a DIRECT DIVINE COMMANDMENT that
ALL MANKIND’S SALVATION. is ADDRESSED FOREVER TO ALL MANKIND.
✶ “...a Cloud ... overshadowed them...”  THE HOLY TRINITY WAS MANIFESTED AT THE TRANSFIGURATION.
 OUR LORD’S TRANSFIGURATION FORESHADOWS HIS FUTURE 1. Our Lord Jesus Christ was Transfigured into all His
GLORY when He will usher in His long-awaited Divine Glory as THE ETERNAL SON AND WORD OF
Heavenly Kingdom of Love. GOD.
 THIS MYSTERIOUS CLOUD RECALLS THE TEMPLE WORSHIP AND 2. GOD OUR HEAVENLY FATHER spoke to the Holy Apostles
SHINING CLOUD THAT WENT BEFORE THE ISRAELITES in from Heaven, Testifying to our Lord Jesus’
their 40-year sojourn in the wilderness before Divine Sonship.
being permitted to enter the Promised Land. 3. GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT was present as the dazzlingly
 It is A VISIBLE SIGN OF THE EXTRAORDINARY, SUPERNATURAL Bright, Uncreated Light that surrounded our
PRESENCE OF GOD. Lord Jesus’ Person, and which Overshadowed
✶ “...Let us make three booths...” the entire mountain.
 St Peter regarded Its Presence as signifying that THE ✶ “...they remained silent and told no one in those days...”
HEAVENLY KINGDOM HAD COME.  OUR LORD JESUS HAD INSTRUCTED THEM NOT TO SPEAK ABOUT
 Knowing that the Feast of Tabernacles is the Great WHAT THEY HAD WITNESSED, AND THEY WERE TOO STUNNED
Feast of the Coming of the Kingdom, ST PETER AND UNCOMPREHENDING TO EXPLAIN THE FULL EXTENT OF
WANTED TO CONSTRUCT THE BOOTHS OF GREENERY AND THE TRANSFIGURATION.
BRANCHES THAT SYMBOLISED GOD’S DWELLING WITH HIS  EVERYTHING OCCURS ACCORDING TO THE WILL OF GOD AND
JUST IN HIS HOLY KINGDOM. HIS DIVINE PLAN FOR ALL MANKIND – and for each
✶ “... a Voice came out of the Cloud...” individual soul.
 GOD OUR HEAVENLY FATHER TESTIFIED FROM HEAVEN  AFTER THE COMING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT Who enables us to
✶ “... This is My Son...” is a Divine PROCLAMATION OF GOD accomplish the Will of God, which is far beyond
OUR HEAVENLY FATHER. our limited human abilities, THE HOLY APOSTLES WERE
 GOD CONFIRMS THAT THIS DIVINE GLORY IS DUE TO OUR LORD ABLE FULLY UNDERSTAND EVERYTHING that our Lord
JESUS CHRIST’S ETERNAL, DIVINE, UNCREATED NATURE. Jesus Christ had revealed and taught them.
 HE HAS ALWAYS BEEN THE ONLY BEGOTTEN SON of our  SIMILAR TO OUR LADY, THEOTOKOS, THE HOLY APOSTLES
WISELY KEPT MANY THINGS “... IN THEIR HEART...” until
Heavenly Father.
 HE HAS ALWAYS EXISTED TOGETHER WITH OUR HEAVENLY they were able to properly comprehend them and
FATHER AND THE HOLY SPIRIT, for God has existed use that Divinely Inspired Knowledge to Enlighten
infinitely before anything He created from and Guide others in the Life of Christ.
nothing!  UNLESS WE FULLY AND CORRECTLY UNDERSTAND THE WISDOM
AND KNOWLEDGE GRANTED TO US BY GOD, WE CANNOT AND
 Our Lord Jesus Christ is indeed “...TRUE GOD OF TRUE
GOD...” WHO IS ETERNALLY BEGOTTEN – NOT CREATED! DARE NOT TEACH NOR GUIDE OTHERS.

P R OKE IME NON – P SALM 103 – T ONE 4


O Lord, Thy Works shalt be Magnified greatly – Thou made all things in Wisdom!
Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, Thou art exceedingly Magnified!

T H E S EC OND EP ISTLE OF S T P E TE R 1 : 10 – 19
Brethren: be even more diligent to make your Call and Election sure. If you do these things you will never stumble. An
Entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the Everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
For this reason I will not neglect reminding you always of these things, although you know and are established in the
present Truth. I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir you up by reminding you – knowing that shortly I
must put off my tent - just as our Lord Jesus Christ showed me. I will be careful to ensure that you always have a
reminder of these things after my decease.
We did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the Power and Coming of our Lord Jesus
Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His Majesty. He received from God the Father Honour and Glory when such a Voice
came to Him from the Excellent Glory: “This is My Beloved Son, in Whom I Am well pleased.”
And we heard this Voice, which came from Heaven, when we were with Him on the Holy Mountain. And so we have
the Prophetic Word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a Light that shines in a dark place, until the Day
dawns and the Morning Star rises in your heart...
THIS PASSAGE OF ST PETER’S EPISTLE IS READ ON THE GREAT FEAST  We have been very clearly taught how to AVOID ALL THE
OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST’S TRANSFIGURATION. PITFALLS AND THREATS OF THE EVIL ONE who seeks our
✶ “... be even more diligent...” is the urgent exhortation of destruction and causes us such deep sorrow and
St Peter to ALL FAITHFUL DISCIPLES OF CHRIST. pain.
 NOW MORE THAN EVER BEFORE, WE OUGHT TO MAKE EVERY  OUR LORD GOD HAS PROVIDED US WITH EVERYTHING NECESSARY
EFFORT TO FULFIL ALL OUR SACRED DUTIES TO GOD AND TO for our successful and healthy Spiritual Journey.
EACH OTHER.  BY MAINTAINING OUR CLOSE RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD AND
 WE ONLY HAVE A VERY SHORT LIFESPAN IN WHICH TO PREPARE WITH EACH OTHER – WITH LOVE/AGAPE – WE WILL PROSPER
OURSELVES FOR ETERNITY. AND ENJOY A GOOD SPIRITUAL LIFE IN CHRIST that makes
 OUR SPIRITUAL STRUGGLES AND LIFE IN CHRIST IS THE ONLY life so much easier to endure.
WAY TO BECOME WORTHY CITIZENS OF GOD’S HEAVENLY  NONE OF US IS EVER SINLESS, so WE NEED TO REPENT-CONFESS
KINGDOM OF LOVE. OUR SINS IMMEDIATELY – acknowledge and admit our
 WE HAVE ALL BEEN CALLED TO FOLLOW OUR LORD JESUS errors so that we might correct ourselves and
CHRIST BY STRIVING TO FULFIL HIS DIVINE TRUTH AND BY continue our Journey.
CORRECTING OUR ERRORS, STRENGTHENING OUR  BEING PROPERLY “ARMED” WITH DIVINE TRUTH AND
WEAKNESSES, AND BY APPLYING EVERYTHING CHRIST KNOWLEDGE, WE WILL BE ALERT TO ALL TEMPTATIONS AND
TAUGHT US TO OUR PERSONAL WORDS, THOUGHTS AND MIGHT BE ABLE TO AVOID THEM.
DEEDS, which have specific Eternal Consequences. ✶ “... an Entrance will be supplied to you...” IF WE BECOME
✶ “ ... if you do these things...” OUR LORD AND HIS HOLY WORTHY, FAITHFUL DISCIPLES OF CHRIST, WE WILL BE
CHURCH NEVER FORCES US TO DO ANYTHING. GRANTED ENTRY INTO HIS HEAVENLY KINGDOM where we
 WE HAVE BEEN CREATED WITH FREE WILL TO CHOOSE THE PATH will dwell forever in His Divine Presence.
WE TAKE – towards Eternal Life or towards Eternal  EVEN BEFORE THE END OF TIME – before the Eighth Day –
Death. WE MIGHT ENJOY A FORETASTE OF THE HEAVENLY BLISS
 EVERYTHING WE THINK, SPEAK AND DO IN THIS SHORT LIFESPAN that awaits us.
HAS AN ETERNAL CONSEQUENCE.  The primary Truth with which St Peter dealt – to which
 IF WE CHOOSE TO LIVE IN CHRIST, WE MUST ENDEAVOUR WITH he only indirectly referred – was THE SECOND
ALL OUR ABILITY TO FULFILL OUR SACRED COMMITMENTS COMING OR REAPPEARANCE (PAROUSIA) OF OUR LORD
AND RESPONSIBILITIES. JESUS CHRIST AND HIS EVERLASTING KINGDOM.
✶ “ ... you will never stumble...” if we HUMBLY OBEY AND ✶ “... I will not be negligent to remind you always ...” THE
FULFILL THE TEACHINGS AND COMMANDMENTS OF OUR LORD WRITTEN AND VERBAL HOLY TRADITION OF CHRIST, HIS
GOD. HOLY CHURCH, HIS APOSTLES AND ALL THE WRITINGS OF
OUR HOLY FATHERS THROUGHOUT THE AGES SERVES AS OUR

6 T H E T R ANSF IGUR ATION OF OU R L ORD JE SU S C HR IST 6 AU GU ST 2019


CONSTANT REMINDER OF THE TRUE MEANING AND PURPOSE  AFTER PENTECOST AND THE DESCENT OF GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT,
OF THIS VERY SHORT PREPARATORY PERIOD BEFORE THEY WERE FURTHER EMPOWERED AND ENABLED TO
ETERNITY. CORRECTLY TEACH GOD’S DIVINE TRUTH TO ALL THE
 WE MUST FOCUS OUR ATTENTION ON GOD’S DIVINE TRUTH AND NATIONS.
ETERNITY, even while implementing our mundane  ST PETER HAD PERSONALLY WITNESSED THE DIVINE MAJESTY OF
daily responsibilities. OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST SO MANY TIMES AND IN SO MANY
 IF WE NEGLECT OUR SPIRITUAL WELFARE, WE WILL BECOME WAYS.
SPIRITUALLY DEAD AND STAGNANT.  St Peter spoke of THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST
 We must therefore ENCOURAGE AND URGE ONE ANOTHER TO ACCORDING TO THE COMMON APOSTOLIC TRADITION,
FULFIL ALL OUR SACRED DUTIES AND COMMITMENTS SO CONFIRMED BY THE FIRST HAND TESTIMONY OF THE OTHER
THAT WE MAKE GOOD SPIRITUAL PROGRESS. HOLY APOSTLES.
 God created us as intellectual spiritual and physical  In all the Holy Gospel accounts, THE GLORIOUS
beings, so that we might STRENGTHEN AND SUSTAIN TRANSFIGURATION OF OUR DIVINE SAVIOUR IS SOLID PROOF
OUR SPIRITUAL NATURE. AND A MARVELLOUS FORETASTE OF THE SECOND
 During this short lifespan, OUR IMMORTAL SOUL MUST BE APPEARANCE OF CHRIST JESUS IN ALL HIS MAJESTIC,
TAUGHT TO DOMINATE AND CONTROL OUR CORRUPTED DIVINE GLORY.
FLESH with all its fleshy demands and desires. ✶ Christ “... received from God the Father Honour and
 OUR SOUL YEARNS TO RETURN TO OUR CREATED STATE OF PURITY Glory...” when HE WAS PROCLAIMED BY OUR HEAVENLY
AND HOLINESS – to be close to our Lord God in FATHER AS “... My Beloved Son in Whom I Am well-
Whose Image and Likeness we were created. pleased.”
 OUR FLESH HAS BEEN CORRUPTED by the temptations and  THIS WAS THE SECOND TIME THAT HUMAN BEINGS HEARD THE
sins invented by the evil one who seeks our VOICE OF OUR HEAVENLY FATHER CONFIRM THE DIVINE
destruction and alienation from God. SONSHIP OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, the first time
 OUR FLESHY DESIRES INCLINE US TOWARDS HABITUAL SIN AND being at His Baptism by St John the Baptist and
GRIEVOUS PASSIONS that separate us from God and Forerunner.
His Goodness, Love and Mercy. ✶ “... on the Holy Mountain...” is a reference to MOUNT
 Although our created Image of God remains, slightly TABOR, where the Transfiguration of Christ
distorted by sin, WE HAVE LOST OUR DIVINE LIKENESS TO occurred.
GOD DUE TO OUR ANCESTRAL SIN.  Mount Tabor is 575 metres high, situated in Lower
 OUR COMPASSIONATE AND LOVING GOD DESIRES OUR Galilee, Israel at the eastern end of the Jezreel
RESTORATION to our original created state, so OUR Valley, 18 kilometres west of the Sea of Galilee.
LORD JESUS CHRIST HAS TAUGHT US AND PROVIDED Mount Tabor was the site of the ancient battle
EVERYTHING NECESSARY FOR OUR RETURN TO THEOSIS. between the Israelite army under Barak and the
✶ “... as long as I am in this tent...” refers to this short, Canaanite forces commanded by Sisera.
temporary lifespan. ✶ “... we have the prophetic word confirmed...” OUR LORD
 TENTS ARE PORTABLE, TEMPORARY SHELTERS that are used JESUS CHRIST FULFILLED ALL THE PROPHECIES CONCERNING
while on journeys away from home or at war THE GREAT DIVINE MESSIAH.
against the enemy.  ST PETER AND THE OTHER HOLY APOSTLES OF CHRIST, in
 As long as we exist in our physical state, WE RESIDE IN particular those who were closest to Him, SAW
SANCTIFIED “TENTS” THAT BELONG TO GOD! EXACTLY HOW ALL THESE ANCIENT PROPHECIES WERE
 This testifies to OUR LIFE-LONG JOURNEY TOWARDS ETERNITY INDEED ACCOMPLISHED AND CONFIRMED.
AND TO OUR CONTINUOUS SPIRITUAL WARFARE AGAINST THE ✶ “... you do well to heed...” St Peter, who fully understands
FORCES OF DARKNESS, CORRUPTION AND DEATH – the the Divine Truth of our Lord Jesus Christ, URGENTLY
threats, temptations and assaults of the evil one ADMONISHES US – AS FAITHFUL DISCIPLES – TO PAY
and his demonic forces. ATTENTION AND TO APPLY ALL THE DIVINE TEACHINGS AND
✶ “... shortly I must put off my tent...” St Peter wrote this COMMANDMENTS OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST TO
Epistle during the period 63 – 67 when HE WAS OURSELVES – OUR WORDS, OUR THOUGHTS AND OUR DEEDS.
IMPRISONED IN ROME, AND CONDEMNED TO DEATH.  ST PETER REPEATED THE DIVINE COMMANDMENT OF OUR
 Knowing that his days were numbered, ST PETER URGED HEAVENLY FATHER, which had been addressed to
ALL THE CHRISTIAN COMMUNITIES TO STAY FAITHFUL TO him, St John and St James on Mount Tabor.
THE DIVINE TRUTH OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.  WE HAVE NO EXCUSE AT ALL FOR FAILING TO OBEY THE WILL OF
✶ “...cunningly devised fables...” and MISLEADING AND GOD.
HERETICAL TEACHINGS of the Gnostics and other  OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST HAS TAUGHT US AND PROVIDED US
divisive, schismatic groups that had begun to WITH EVERY MEANS NECESSARY for our Eternal Salvation
infiltrate the Church MUST BE REJECTED AND AVOIDED and Life in His Heavenly Kingdom.
AT ALL COSTS.  WE ONLY HAVE THIS SHORT LIFESPAN TO COMPLETE OUR
 THESE DAYS THERE ARE INNUMERABLE VERSIONS OF “CHRISTIAN SPIRITUAL RESTORATION – to regain our Divine
TEACHINGS” THAT ARE MISGUIDED, INCORRECT, HERETICAL, Likeness as God created us.
BLASPHEMOUS AND EXTREMELY DECEPTIVE, because they  THERE ARE ONLY TWO PATHS FOR US TO FOLLOW –
are THE LIMITED, FLAWED OPINIONS AND INTERPRETATIONS 1. The Path to our Lord God’s Heavenly Kingdom
OF MANKIND rather than the Absolute, Pure and 2. The Path to Perdition (Hell) – Eternal Death and
Perfect Divine Truth of God. Spiritual Exile from all God’s Love and Goodness.
✶ “...We made known to you the Power and Coming of ✶ “... until the Day dawns...” is a reference to THE EIGHT DAY
our Lord Jesus Christ... eyewitnesses of His WHEN ALL CREATION WILL STAND BEFORE THE AWESOME AND
Majesty...” DREADED JUDGEMENT SEAT OF GOD.
 ST PETER AND ALL THE OTHER HOLY APOSTLES OF CHRIST WERE  WE OUGHT NEVER TO DARE NEGLECT OUR SACRED DUTIES TO
THE CLOSEST AND MOST CONSTANT DISCIPLES WHO LEARNT GOD AND TO EACH OTHER.
HIS DIVINE TRUTH DIRECTLY FROM HIM – ie the Divine WE HAVE TO STRIVE AND STRUGGLE UNTIL WE DRAW OUR VERY
Truth directly from the Mouth of our Lord God! LAST BREATH.
 ST PETER, ST JOHN AND ST JAMES WERE ENTRUSTED TO EACH OF US HAS A SPECIFICALLY ALLOTTED LIFESPAN, which
PERSONALLY WITNESS THE TRANSFIGURATION OF CHRIST ON we must make good use of in order TO FULFILL OUR
MOUNT TABOR AND ALL THE MARVELLOUS ASPECTS OF SACRED MISSION during this preparatory time before
THAT GREAT DIVINE EVENT. Eternity.
 THEY EXPERIENCED, WITNESSED AND TAUGHT EVERYTHING DO NOT WASTE THIS MOST PRECIOUS TIME!!
THAT OUR LORD HAD REVEALED, SPOKEN AND DONE.
T H E H OLY G OSPEL ACCO R D ING TO S T M ATTHE W 17 : 1 – 9
At that time, after six days Jesus took Peter, James and John, his brother, led them up a high mountain by themselves.
And He was Transfigured before them. And His Face shone like the sun - His clothes became as white as the Light.
And behold! Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him.
Peter said to Jesus: ”Lord, it is good for us to be here! If Thou wish, let us make here three tabernacles - one for Thee,
one of Moses and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, behold! A Bright Cloud overshadowed them!

T H E T R ANSF IGUR ATION OF OUR L ORD JE SU S CHR IST 6 AU GU ST 2019 7


And behold! a Voice from the Cloud said: “This is My Beloved Son, in Whom I Am well pleased! Hear Him!” And when
the Disciples heard It, they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid. And Jesus went and touched them and said:
“Arise, and do not be afraid!” When they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.
And, as they went down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying: “Tell the Vision to no one until the Son of
Man is Risen from the dead!”
✶ “...after six days...” ALTHOUGH ST MATTHEW’S ACCOUNT ✶ “... Tell the Vision to no one...” OUR LORD INSTRUCTED
DIFFERS SLIGHTLY FROM THAT OF ST LUKE’S ACCOUNT, HIS THREE APOSTLES NOT TO SPEAK OF THIS EXTREMELY
following our Lord’s first Revelation of His MARVELLOUS EVENt because NOT ONLY WOULD THEY BE
approaching Death and Resurrection, IT IS INCAPABLE OF EXPLAINING IT, BUT EVERYTHING MUST BE
INSIGNIFICANT. DONE ACCORDING TO THE WILL OF GOD – according to
 THEY MERELY CONFIRM THAT THE TRANSFIGURATION OF CHRIST His Divine Plan for mankind.
OCCURRED A FEW DAYS AFTER OUR LORD HAD FIRST SPOKEN  ONLY AFTER THE COMING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, WERE THEY ABLE
OF HIS FORTHCOMING PASSION TO HIS APOSTLES. TO COMPREHEND EVERYTHING THAT OUR LORD JESUS
✶ “... they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid...” CHRIST HAD REVEALED TO THEM AND TAUGHT THEM.
ANYONE - hearing the Voice of our Heavenly Father,  Likewise, IT IS ESSENTIAL TO RECEIVE VERBAL TEACHINGS
and being overshadowed by the supernatural BEFORE WE CAN POSSIBLY UNDERSTAND CORRECTLY THE
Bright Cloud - WOULD HAVE REACTED IN A SIMILAR WRITTEN TRADITION OF OUR TRUE FAITH.
MANNER. KINDLY REFER TO THE EXPLANATORY NOTES AFTER
THE MATINS GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST LUKE
T H E T R ANSF IGUR ATION OF OUR L ORD JE SU S CHR IST
The Transfiguration of our Saviour occupies a central revealing that which already existed and will always
position in the Orthodox Church and Theology. exist.
It is THE EVENT THAT REVEALS THE GLORY OF THE CHURCH AND OF PRECISELY AS THE UNCREATED DIVINE LIGHT that was revealed
THE FAITHFUL and is the EVIDENCE OF THE NEW SITUATION to the Apostles HAD EXISTED FOREVER AND REMAINS
THAT ENTERED HISTORY THROUGH THE ADVENT OF CHRIST. ETERNALLY IN THE THEANTHROPIC HYPOSTASIS OF CHRIST, SO
At His Transfiguration, CHRIST MANIFESTED THROUGH HIS THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, which came into the world
HUMAN NATURE THE UNCREATED GLORY OF HIS DIVINITY, and with Christ, IS MANIFESTED TO THE FAITHFUL, AS BRIEF
simultaneously, HE CAUGHT UP THE APOSTLES, who with FORETASTE OF THE AGE TO COME – ETERNITY!
Him, IN HIS UNCREATED DIVINE GLORY. OUR CHRISTIAN FAITH DOES NOT DEPEND ON ANY MORAL PRINCIPLE
ST MOSES AND ST ELIJAH SHARED THE SAME BRIGHTNESS as our NOR IDEOLOGY, but is FOUNDED ON THE REVELATION OF THE
Lord - the only difference is that CHRIST IS THE SOURCE, KINGDOM OF GOD IN CHRIST, in history.
WHEREAS THEY ARE THE RECIPIENTS OF DIVINE BRIGHTNESS. Indicative of this is THE TESTIMONY OF ST PETER, who refers
The reason why Christ was Transfigured before His directly to his Experience of the Transfiguration, in
Apostles was His impending crucifixion: “So that when order to state THE TRUTH OF THE CHRISTIAN MESSAGE: “...For
they see Thee crucified, they will understand Thy we did not follow clever myths when we made
voluntary Passion.” known to you the Power and Presence of our Lord
WITH HIS TRANSFIGURATION, CHRIST CONFIRMS, on the one Jesus Christ, but we were eye-witnesses of His
hand, HIS DIVINITY, which St Peter had confessed a Majesty”.
little earlier, while on the other, He offered THE FIRST WITHOUT THE EXPERIENCE OF THE CELESTIAL, WE CAN NEVER BE
EVIDENCE OF THE COMING OF HIS KINGDOM. LIBERATED FROM THE EARTHLY. Likewise, the Holy
THE TRANSFIGURATION ON 6 AUGUST REMINDS US OF THE Apostles, the Martyrs, the Saints and the Ascetics
APPROACHING GREAT FEAST OF THE UNIVERSAL EXALTATION COULD NOT HAVE CONQUERED THE WORLD AND OFFERED
OF THE HOLY LIFE-GIVING CROSS ON 14 SEPTEMBER, which, in EVERYTHING TO CHRIST UNLESS THEY HAD HAD A FORETASTE OF
turn, reminds us of Great and Holy Friday when our ETERNAL BLISS.
Lord Jesus was crucified and buried. OUR HOLY ADOPTION IN CHRIST IS GAINED IN THIS PRESENT LIFE.
AS AN HISTORICAL EVENT THE TRANSFIGURATION OCCURRED A FEW As St John the Beloved Apostle wrote: “...Now we are
WEEKS BEFORE CHRIST’S PASSION, so, our Festal Calendar Children of God and it has not been shown what we
would have celebrated it a few weeks before Holy shall be. We know that when this happens, we shall
Pascha - as many as now separate it from the be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.”
Exaltation of the Holy Cross. We acquire the sense of our Adoption and Christ in our
INSTEAD THE CHURCH HAS CHOSEN ANOTHER IMPORTANT FEAST - Life ONLY BY KEEPING HIS DIVINE COMMANDMENTS.
THAT OF THE THEOLOGIAN OF THE LIGHT OF TABOR, SAINT BY SELF-NEGATION AND SELF-OFFERING TO GOD AND HIS WILL,
GREGORY PALAMAS – to be COMMEMORATED ON THE SECOND both of which are a form of death, WE BECOME
SUNDAY OF GREAT LENT, FIVE WEEKS BEFORE HOLY PASCHA. PARTAKERS OF HID DIVINE LIFE AND KINGDOM.
It is also characteristic that, in the three Synoptic Gospels, THE FORETASTE OF ETERNITY DOES NOT BEGIN AFTER THE CROSS,
the Transfiguration occurs immediately after our Lord BUT WITH THE CROSS, for OBEDIENCE TO GOD’S WILL “...unto
Jesus declared: “...there are some standing here who death...” IS ALREADY PARTICIPATION IN THE RESURRECTION.
will not taste death until they see the Kingdom of JUST AS THE GLORY OF CHRIST BEGINS WITH HIS CROSS, which
God coming in Power.” (M A R K 9 : 1 ) puts to flight the forces of the Evil One, SO THE GLORY OF
Thus, THE TRANSFIGURATION IS A “POTENTIAL” MANIFESTATION CHRISTIANS BEGINS WITH THE VOLUNTARY ACCEPTANCE OF
(OR FORETASTE) OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD. DEATH FOR CHRIST, WHICH VANQUISHES OUR OLD (FALLEN)
THROUGH HIS TRANSFIGURATION, CHRIST CONFIRMS AND NATURE AND REVEALS OUR NEW NATURE.
REINFORCES THE FAITH IN HIS DIVINITY, which His Apostles THE TRANSFIGURATION OF CHRIST IS THE PREPARATION FOR THE
have already Confessed. CROSS, which was the starting-point of His Glory as a
At His Transfiguration, CHRIST DID NOT ASSUME SOMETHING HE human Being – as the “Son of Man.”
DID NOT HAVE BEFORE, BUT REVEALED- in the measure that With His Transfiguration, Christ did not acquire anything
His Apostles were able to receive it - THE GLORY HE HAD new, but GAVE HIS APOSTLES THE NECESSARY STRENGTH
ALWAYS HAD AS GOD/MAN. BEFORE HIS CRUCIFIXION, SO THAT THEY COULD COME TO
Thus, HIS DIVINE GLORY that the Apostles witnessed on TERMS WITH THE CRUCIFIXION OF THEIR DIVINE TEACHER, AND
Mount Tabor WAS NOT A PASSING PHENOMENON, BUT THE WITH THEIR MARTYRDOM, which they later endured for
ETERNAL LIGHT OF THE DIVINE NATURE OF CHRIST. the Sake of Christ our Divine Saviour and Lord God.
“Thou were Transfigured on the Mountain, O Christ our THE GATEWAY TO THE KINGDOM OF GOD, AND THE GLORY OF GOD
God, showing as much of Thy Glory to Thy Disciples BEGINS WITH THE CROSS.
as they were able to bear...” EVERY MANIFESTATION OF THE DIVINE GLORY OF GOD
THE DIVINE, UNCREATED LIGHT OF THE TRANSFIGURATION IS THE THROUGHOUT OUR HISTORY - before or after the Advent of
DIVINE, UNCREATED LIGHT OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, our Lord Jesus Christ - IS A FORETASTE OR EXTENSION OF
WHICH ENTERED THE WORLD WITH THE ADVENT OF CHRIST. THE HOLY LIFE-GIVING CROSS OF CHRIST.
AS THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, BEING WITHOUT BEGINNING NOR EVERY EXPERIENCE OF THE GLORY OF GOD in this present life
END, IS NOT CONFINED BY TIME BUT SUPERSEDES IT AND HERALDS OR ACCOMPANIES THE MYSTERY OF HIS VICTORIOUS,
TRANSFIGURES IT – for IT DOES NOT BEGIN WITH THE END OF LIFE-GIVING CROSS.
HISTORY, BUT IS ALREADY PRESENT IN IT AND ABOVE IT AND WILL
CONTINUE TO EXIST BEYOND IT. GEORGE MANTZARIDIS, PROFESSOR EMERITUS,
In Reality, then, THIS “COMING” ADVENT OF THE KINGDOM OF THEOLOGICAL SCHOOL, ARISTOTLE UNIVERSITY OF THESSALONIKI
GOD IS THE MANIFESTATION OF ITS “POTENTIAL” (FORETASTE) - HTTPS://PEMPTOUSIA.COM/2018

8 T H E T R ANSF IGUR ATION OF OU R L ORD JE SU S C HR IST 6 AU GU ST 2019


Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa
Archdiocese of Good Hope
All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
now and forever, and unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy,
Most Pure, Most Blessed and Glorious Lady, Maria, Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together
with all the Saints. And let us commit ourselves and one another and our whole Life to
Christ our God. Amen.
TONE (7) VARYS/GRAVE 11 AUGUST 2019
8TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
AFTERFEAST OF THE TRANSFIGURATION
8TH OF ST MATTHEW - FEEDING 5,000 FAMILIES
Also the Feast of St Evplos the Archdeacon of Catania, Sicily - St Niphon of
Mount Athos & Patriarch of Constantinople – The Divine Miracle of St Spyridon
of Kerkyra – St Basil & St Theodore of Kiev Near Caves Monastery – St
Theodosios, Prince of Ostrog, of the Kiev Caves – St Susanna, Virgin-Martyr &
her Venerable Father, St Gabinos the Presbyter, St Gaius the Bishop - St
Maximos, St Claudios, St Prepedigna, St Alexander & St Cythios of Rome – St Passarion the Holy Ascetic & Founder of
Monasticism in Jerusalem – St Mary Syncletica
THE SUNDAY AND FESTAL HYMNS ARE PUBLISHED IN BOOKLET FORM EACH MONTH. THESE ARE PUBLISHED AND FREELY
DOWNLOADABLE ON www.scribd.com/writers4574. LINKS ARE ALSO POSTED ON FACEBOOK “ORTHODOX
CHRISTIAN EASTERN CAPE.” (OR CAN BE EMAILED DIRECTLY, ON REQUEST TO marguerite.paizis@gmail.com)

R ESUR REC TION G OSPEL 8 - J OH N 20 : 11 – 18

P R OKE IME NON – P SALM 28 – T ONE (7) V ARY S / GR AVE


Our Lord will grant Strength to His People – our Lord will Bless His People with Peace.
Bring unto our Lord, O sons of God, bring unto our Lord Glory and Honour!

T H E F IR ST EP ISTLE OF S T P AUL TO TH E C OR INTH IANS 1 : 10 – 17


Brethren: I plead with you in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same, and that there be no
divisions among you, but that you be Perfectly United in the same mind and in the same Knowledge.
Contentions amongst you have been declared to me, my Brethren, by those of Chloe’s household. I say this for each of
you says ‘I am of Paul,’ or ‘I am of Apollos,’ or ‘I am of Cephas,’ or ‘I am of Christ.’ Is Christ divided? Was Paul
crucified for you? Or were you Baptised in the name of Paul?
Thanks be to God that I Baptised none of you except Crispos and Gaius, lest anyone should say that I had Baptised in
my own name! I also Baptised the household of Stephanas – besides which I do not know if Baptised any others.
For Christ did not send me to Baptise, but to preach the Gospel - not with Wisdom of Words, lest the Cross of Christ
should be made meaningless!
This is ST PAUL’S FIRST EPISTLE TO THE CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY OF HOUSEHOLD, AS WELL AS FOR OTHER IMPOVERISHED
CORINTH, WHICH HE HAD FOUNDED. CHRISTIANS WHO WERE EITHER SLAVES OR FREEMEN.
It was WRITTEN IN EPHESOS, CIRCA 55, DURING ST PAUL’S THIRD  She also FINANCED THE NECESSITIES OF THOSE WHOM SHE
MISSIONARY JOURNEY. REGULARLY SENT TO EPHESOS (AND ELSEWHERE) TO
THIS PASSAGE CONCERNS FACTIONALISM, which had begun to FAITHFULLY REPORT THE PROGRESS AND DEVELOPMENT OF
arise in their midst. THE CORINTHIAN CHURCH TO ST PAUL.
✶ “... I plead with you...” AS THE OVERSEER (BISHOP) AND  During the early years of the Church, gatherings were
FOUNDER OF THE CORINTHIAN CHURCH, ST PAUL – the great held in private homes of Disciples.
Apostle to the Gentiles - BESOUGHT THE FAITHFUL NOT TO ✶ “... Apollos...” was A WELL EDUCATED HEBREW FROM
BE ENSNARED BY SPIRITUALLY UNBENEFICIAL ‘POLITICS’ AND ALEXANDRIA, EGYPT, whom St Luke also mentioned
ARGUMENTS THAT WOULD SEPARATE OR DIVIDE THE SACRED as being “... mighty in the Scriptures...” (ACTS 18:24)
BODY OF CHRIST, CAUSING DISCORD AND UNHAPPINESS AMONG  St Apollos was initially “... a follower of the Baptism of
HER MEMBERS. John...” but was later TAUGHT MORE FULLY ABOUT OUR
✶´”... in the Name of our Lord...” shows that SINCE THE LORD JESUS CHRIST BY ST PRISCILLA AND ST AQUILA OF
BEGINNING OF THE HOLY CHURCH OF CHRIST, EVERYTHING EPHESOS. (ACTS 18.25)
IS DONE IN THE NAME OF OUR LORD GOD – not  ST APOLLOS HAD PREACHED IN CORINTH where some
according to individual personalities – ACCORDING regarded him as being “...a rival...” of St Paul, but
TO THE WILL OF GOD, not of egocentric mankind! ST PAUL SOON MADE IT VERY CLEAR THAT HE AND ST
✶ “... speak the same... no divisions among you...” When APOLLOS WERE BOTH LABOURERS IN THEIR APOSTOLIC
WE ALL FOLLOW THE EXACT SAME DIVINE TRUTH OF GOD – His WORK and that ST APOLLOS WOULD CERTAINLY NOT HAVE
Teaching and Commandments – WE WILL SPEAK WITH APPROVED OF THE FACTIONALISM that had arisen in
‘ONE VOICE’ because we will have the same Knowledge Corinth.
of God.  St Apollos became THE FIRST BISHOP OF CRETE. (TITOS 3:13)
✶ “... be perfectly joined together ...”  THE GREAT CITY OF ALEXANDRIA, EGYPT, WAS FAMOUS FOR ITS
 IF WE ALL UNDERTAKE THE SAME HOLY STRUGGLE AGAINST THE VAST LIBRARY AND INNUMERABLE SCHOLARS who studied
GRIEVOUS PASSIONS that threaten us constantly, and the immense variety of texts that were preserved
WHEN WE ALL STRIVE TO LIVE IN CHRIST AS HIS FAITHFUL there.
DISCIPLES, WE BECOME TRULY UNITED as we Journey IN THOSE DAYS, HOLY SCRIPTURE CONSISTED ONLY OF THE 49
together, as SANCTIFIED MEMBERS OF THE ONE BOOKS OF THE OLD TESTAMENT, WHICH WERE TRANSLATED
BODY/CHURCH OF CHRISt. FROM THE ORIGINAL HEBREW INTO GREEK CIRCA 200 BC
 WE ARE ABLE TO LOVE, TO EMPATHISE WITH AND TO ENCOURAGE (known as “The Septuagint” and denoted as ’ LXX’)
EACH OTHER AS ONE UNITED HOLY FAMILY IN CHRIST. Most of Christ’s quotations were derived from these
✶ ‘... those of Chloe’s household...” refers to ST CHLOE who Holy Books.
WAS A PROMINENT WOMAN – A MOST FAITHFUL DISCIPLE OF ✶ “ ... Cephas...” (Κηφᾶς in Greek or kēpā in Aramaic)
CHRIST, WHO HOSTED THE CORINTHIAN CHURCH IN HER meaning ‘Rock’ or ‘Stone),’ was A NICK-NAME GIVEN BY
HOME. OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST TO ST SIMON PETER the Holy
 Being FINANCIALLY INDEPENDENT AND SOCIALLY INFLUENTIAL Apostle of Christ and leader/spokesman of the
she was ABLE TO PROVIDE FOR ALL MEMBERS OF HER Apostles in Jerusalem.

8TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 8TH OF ST MATTHEW – FEEDING 5,000 FAMILIES – 11 AUGUST 2019 9
ST PETER’S ROCK-SOLID FAITH WAS ‘THE ROCK’ UPON WHICH  St Crispos was succeeded by Sosthenes as Ruler of the
CHRIST’S HOLY CHURCH WOULD BE ESTABLISHED, for Corinth Synagogue. (ACTS 18:17)
without our own rock-solid Faith, His Church ✶ “... Gaius...” was A RESIDENT OF CORINTH WITH WHOM ST PAUL
cannot flourish. RESIDED WHILE WRITING HIS EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS.
✶ “... Is Christ divided...?” This series of rhetorical questions  St Gaius also hosted the Church of Corinth. (ROMANS
IS ANSWERED WITH A RESOUNDING “NO!” 16:23)
 WE CAN LEAVE THE CHURCH OF CHRIST, BUT WE CANNOT DIVIDE THE THIRD EPISTLE OF ST JOHN WAS ADDRESSED TO THIS SAME ST
IT. GAIUS, of whom St John was very fond for, BEING ONE OF
 FACTIONALISM, HOWEVER, CAN CAUSE GREAT HARM TO THE ST JOHN’S SPIRITUAL SONS, ST GAIUS “... walked in Truth...”
HOLY UNITY OF THE CHURCH, for – in this case – it – he was a Faithful Disciple of Christ. (3 JOHN 1)
sought to give others the place that only our Lord ✶”... lest anyone should say I Baptised in my own name.”
Jesus Christ can occupy.  ST PAUL did not denigrate Holy Baptism but simply
 IT IS THE HOLY CHURCH OF CHRIST – not of any flawed and EMPHASISED THE FACT THAT BAPTISING WAS NOT HIS
sinful human being! PRIMARY ROLE, which was to preach the Holy Gospel
THE ONLY HIGH PRIEST, HEAD OR LEADER OF THE HOLY of Christ to all Nations, making them Disciples of
CHURCH OF GOD IS OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST – GOD THE Christ, and teaching those who sought the One
SON - WHO FULFILS THE DIVINE WILL OF GOD OUR True and Living Lord God to be Baptised in the
HEAVENLY FATHER, BY THE POWER AND ENERGY OF GOD Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy
THE HOLY SPIRIT. Spirit.
ALL HOLY MYSTERIES AND HOLY SERVICES ARE CONDUCTED IN  THOSE WHO PERFORM THE HOLY MYSTERY OF BAPTISM AND
THE NAME OF THE FATHER, AND OF THE SON, AND OF THE CHRISMATION ARE THE ORDAINED INSTRUMENTS OF OUR
HOLY SPIRIT – not in any other name! LORD GOD.
 MANY PEOPLE REGARDED THE HOLY APOSTLES OF CHRIST AS  CONSEQUENTLY, OUR LOYALTY AS THE BAPTISED AND THUS
MERELY TEACHERS OF “PHILOSOPHY” RATHER THAN ADOPTED CHILDREN OF GOD, MUST BE TO OUR LORD GOD
PREACHERS OF THE HOLY, LIFE-GIVING CROSS – i.e. ALONE – not to any created being!
Resurrection and Eternal Life. (1 CORINTHIANS 18 – 2:5) ✶ “...preach the Gospel – not with wisdom of words...”
 Those WHO ARE FACTIOUS DO NOT ACCEPT TRUE WISDOM, refers especially to PHILOSOPHICAL THOUGHT AND
which is BESTOWED UPON MANKIND ONLY BY GOD THE RHETORICAL DEVICES.
HOLY SPIRIT. (1 CORINTHIANS 2: 6 – 3:4) OUR LIMITED HUMAN WISDOM BY ITSELF DOES NOT PROMOTE,
Therefore, THEY MISREPRESENTED THE HOLY APOSTLES as PROVIDE, EXPLAIN NOR REVEAL
rivalling each other INSTEAD OF BEING CO-WORKERS 1. our SALVATION
WITH OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. (1 CORINTHIANS 3: 5 – 23) 2. an UNDERSTANDING of how our Lord God Works in
✶ “...Crispos...” HAD BEEN A RULER OF THE JUDAIC SYNAGOGUE IN this (fallen) world
CORINTH. (ACTS 18:8) 3. GOD’S DIVINE WILL.
 HAVING BEEN CONVERTED THROUGH THE INSPIRED PREACHING
OF ST PAUL, ST CRISPOS AND “... ALL HIS HOUSEHOLD...”
HAD ACCEPTED HOLY BAPTISM.
T H E H OLY G OSPEL ACCO R D ING TO S T M ATTHE W 14 : 14 – 22
At that time, our Lord Jesus saw a great multitude, and He was moved with Compassion for them, and He Healed their
sick. When it was evening, His Disciples went to Him, saying: “This is a deserted place, and the hour is already late.
Send the multitude away, so that they may go into the villages and buy themselves food.” Jesus said to them: “They
do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” They said to Him: “We have here only five loaves and
two fish.” He said: “Bring them to Me.” And He commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass.
And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to Heaven, He Blessed and broke and gave the loaves to
the Disciples, and the Disciples gave to the multitudes. And they all ate and were filled, and they took up twelve
baskets full of the fragments that remained. Those who had eaten were about five thousand men – besides the
women and children!
And immediately Jesus made His Disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the
multitudes away.
✶ “... He saw a great multitude...” There were 5,000 NEEDS OF HIS PEOPLE, which clearly demonstrates
FAMILIES or groups of people, which made the THE DEPTH OF HIS SELF-SACRIFICING SERVICE TO
actual number of people who needed to be fed even MANKIND.
more extraordinary and exceedingly astonishing! ✶ “...He was moved with Compassion ...” so His Divine
✶ THIS MIRACULOUS EVENT OCCURRED AFTER THE MARTYRDOM OF Power and Authority are extended to all mankind in
ST JOHN THE BAPTIST & FORERUNNER, when our Lord Jesus their suffering.
Christ had set off “... by boat to a deserted place...” ✶ “... they do not need to go away...” means that WE NEVER
 Our Lord went into the wilderness DUE TO THE HAVE TO SEEK OUR SPIRITUAL NOURISHMENT AND
UNPREDICTABLE CRUELTY AND PARANOIA OF THE TETRARCH SUSTENANCE ANYWHERE ELSE BUT IN THE HOLY CHURCH OF
RULER, HEROD, CHRIST.
 This teaches us to AVOID THREATS AND DANGERS WHENEVER ✶ “... You give them something to eat...” Christ told His
POSSIBLE. concerned Apostles – “... not in ignorance of their
 According to St Theophylact, CHRIST “... DEPARTED SO extreme poverty...” but rather in order TO PERFORM HIS
THAT HE WOULD NOT SEEM TO HAVE BEEN INCARNATED DIVINE MIRACLE “...OUT OF NECESSITY AND NOT FROM
ONLY IN APPEARANCE...” because IF HEROD HAD VAINGLORY.”
ARRESTED AND EXECUTED HIM, CHRIST WOULD HAVE ✶ “...He commanded the multitude to sit ...” because THIS IS
PREVENTED THAT FROM HAPPENING BECAUSE IT WAS NOT THE ONLY WAY TO CONTROL A NEEDY CROWD AND TO
YET THE RIGHT TIME FOR HIS DEATH ON THE CROSS – and PREVENT A STAMPEDE that would harm the weaker
He would have seemed to be only an ‘Apparition” people and prevent everyone from receiving.
rather than the visible, physical God-Man Whom  THEY WERE SEATED IN GROUPS that could be counted so
He is. that THE FOOD COULD BE EQUALLY DISTRIBUTED to
 THE PEOPLE HAD FOLLOWED CHRIST AND HIS APOSTLES ON everyone.
FOOT, when they saw the direction in which they  AS DISCIPLES OF CHRIST, we ought to be UNDER OR
had set sail, AND HAD SPENT THE ENTIRE DAY, RECEIVING OBEDIENT TO HIS DIVINE DISCIPLINE.
SPIRITUAL NOURISHMENT AND HEALING OF EVERY TYPE. We must ALWAYS BE SELF-DISCIPLINED AND WELL BEHAVED,
 The vast multitude who so eagerly followed our Lord TREATING EACH OTHER WITH SINCERE RESPECT.
to that deserted place WITHOUT TAKING ANY ✶ Our Lord Jesus “...took the five loaves and the two fish...”
PROVISIONS FOR THEMSELVES, THEREBY DEMONSTRATED all four Evangelists mentioned how OUR LORD FED
THEIR FAITH IN HIM AND THEIR INSATIABLE NEED FOR HIS THAT GREAT MULTITUDE WITH A YOUNG BOY’S FOOD PARCEL
DIVINE TRUTH AND HEALING. provided by his mother that consisted of 5 SMALL
 DESPITE HIS OWN NEED FOR A LITTLE SOLITUDE AT THAT BREAD ROLLS AND TWO SARDINES!
DISTRESSFUL SORROWFUL TIME, CHRIST TENDED TO THE

10 8TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 8TH OF ST MATTHEW – FEEDING 5,000 FAMILIES – 11 AUGUST 2019
The incredible Faith of that child was held up by Christ as OF EVERYTHING VISIBLE AND INVISIBLE,
and that He is our
a most profound example of absolute Trust and Gracious Provider of all necessities that nourish and
Confidence in our Lord God, which our Lord exhorted sustain us daily.
us to acquire. Furthermore, THIS GREAT DIVINE MIRACLE OCCURRED IN THAT
 CHRIST FED THIS HUGE CROWD JUST AS HE HAD NOURISHED HIS DESERTED PLACE THAT WAS SOME DISTANCE FROM THE NEAREST
CHOSEN PEOPLE OF ISRAEL WITH MANNA – “THE BREAD OF TOWNS AND VILLAGES, thereby confirming that THE FOOD
HEAVEN” -while they sojourned in the desert for 4o WAS NOT BROUGHT FROM ELSEWHERE to feed that enormous
years before entering the Promised Land. crowd of hungry men, women and children.
This is regarded as A FORETASTE OF HIS HOLY EUCHARIST St Theophylact explained THE SPIRITUAL ASPECTS OF THIS
THAT SUSTAINS US WHILE WE SOJOURN ON EARTH, BEFORE DIVINE MIRACLE as follows:
ENTERING OUR PROMISED LAND – HIS HEAVENLY KINGDOM. 1. HEROD SIGNIFIES THE FLESHLY, SUPERFICIAL MIND OF THE
(JOHN 6) HEBREWS.
 ANOTHER SIMILAR MIRACULOUS EVENT OCCURRED WHEN
so when he had St John the Baptist and
CHRIST FED 4,000 FAMILIES WITH SEVEN SMALL LOAVES OF Forerunner beheaded, HE ALSO REJECTED ALL THE
BREAD AND A FEW SMALL FISH. (MATTHEW 15: 32 – 39) HOLY PROPHETS WHO HAD PROPHESIED ABOUT CHRIST.
Once again, this number did not include all the 2. OUR LORD’S WITHDRAWAL TO THAT DESERTED PLACE SIGNIFIES
women and children who had accompanied the THE DESOLATED NATIONS WHO WERE WITHOUT GOD, WHOSE
men. BODIES AND SOULS HE FIRST HEALED AND THEN NOURISHED,
Although some modern scholars claimed that these
for if He does not first forgive our sins and Heal our
two Miraculous Accounts are one and the same, ailments by Holy Baptism, HE CANNOT NOURISH
the Testimony of the Holy Gospel makes it clear AND SUSTAIN US WITH HIS IMMACULATE HOLY
that OUR LORD JESUS HAD ALSO REFERRED TO THEM MYSTERIES, WHICH NONE OF US CAN PARTAKE OF
SEPARATELY. (MATTHEW 16 : 8 – 10) UNLESS WE ARE FIRST BAPTISED AND CHRISMATED.
 We are hereby taught that NO MATTER HOW MUCH OR HOW 3. The 5,000 families signify THOSE WHOSE 5 SENSES ARE
LITTLE WE HAVE, WE MUST ALWAYS SHARE IT WITH OTHERS SICKENED BY THE GRIEVOUS PASSIONS, and who are
BECAUSE OUR LORD ALWAYS PROVIDES ENOUGH TO SUSTAIN HEALED BY THE 5 LOAVES OF BREAD – BY THE BODY OF
US. CHRIST – BOTH BY THE HOLY EUCHARIST AND BY THE
 These five little loaves and two fish have A SIGNIFICANT TEACHINGS OF HIS HOLY CHURCH, which provide CURES
SPIRITUAL INTERPRETATION ACCORDING TO OUR HOLY FOR EVERY TYPE OF PHYSICAL AND SPIRITUAL AFFLICTION.
FATHERS. 4. THE TWO LITTLE FISH SIGNIFY THE WORDS AND TEACHINGS OF
1. THE FIVE LOAVES SIGNIFY THE FIVE BOOKS OF THE LAW – THE FISHERMEN – THE HOLY APOSTLES OF CHRIST - who
GENESIS – DEUTERONOMY – which are BROKEN OPEN carefully preserved and passed down the Divine
IN CHRIST and thus NOURISH THE UNIVERSE. Truth of our Lord Jesus Christ to all generations.
2. THE TWO FISH SIGNIFY THE BOOK OF HOLY GOSPELS
These are THE HOLY GOSPELS AND THE EPISTLES (as
(EVANGELION) AND THE BOOK OF THE EPISTLES mentioned previously.)
(APOSTOLOS) 5. The five loaves signify THE OLD COVENANT PENTATEUCH OF
3. THE GATHERING OF THE LEFTOVERS BY THE HOLY APOSTLES MOSES: THE BOOKS OF GENESIS, EXODUS, LEVITICUS,
SIGNIFIES THAT THE TEACHINGS, which the Faithful NUMBERS AND DEUTERONOMY.
are unable to comprehend are nevertheless 6. The twelve baskets of leftovers, carried by the 12
CAREFULLY PRESERVED INTACT IN THE CONSCIOUSNEss Apostles of Christ, signify that WHATEVER WE ARE
(Knowledge/Mind) OF THE HOLY CHURCH OF CHRIST. UNABLE TO DIGEST (understand) THE HOLY APOSTLES
✶ “... looking up to Heaven, He Blessed and broke...” the HAVE CAREFULLY PRESERVED.
bread thereby
EXACTLY LIKE OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST WHO NEVER
1. demonstrating HIS HUMILITY AND OBEDIENCE TO THE CHANGES BUT REMAINS THE SAME FOREVER, SO TOO,
WILL OF OUR HEAVENLY FATHER Who sent Him to us. DOES HIS DIVINE TRUTH, WHICH IS ABSOLUTE AND
2. Teaching us to ALWAYS EXPRESS OUR HEARTFELT PERFECT.
GRATITUDE TO OUR PROVIDENTIAL, GRACIOUS AND ALL
For that reason, NOT ONE IOTA NOR TITTLE CAN BE
MERCIFUL GOD WHO PROVIDES US WITH EVERY NECESSITY ALTERED in any manner for then His Divine Truth
OF LIFE. is no longer Absolute and Perfect, BUT BECOMES
The terminology points to the Last Supper and leads to DISTORTED, CORRUPTED AND ERRONEOUS FOR IT IS
the Eucharistic Interpretation of this great Divine MERELY MANKIND’S PERCEPTION OF TRUTH.
Miracle. ✶ “... those who had eaten were about 5,000, besides
✶ “...gave ... to the Disciples, and the Disciples gave to the women and children...” IS CAREFULLY AND CLEARLY
multitude...” which is SIMILAR TO THE HOLY MYSTERY OF RECORDED, because it means that THE NUMBERS OF
EUCHARIST WHEREBY OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST NOURISHES THOSE PRESENT WERE SOMEWHERE BETWEEN 10,000 –
HIS HOLY FLOCK THROUGH THE HANDS OF HIS ORDAINED 20,000 PEOPLE ALTOGETHER! A vast crowd indeed!
BISHOPS AND PRESBYTERS. (Priests)  CENSUS TAKERS USUALLY ONLY COUNT THE MEN – referring to

St Theophylact explained that OUR LORD GAVE THE FOOD households that will include women and children
TO HIS DISCIPLES TO DISTRIBUTE TO ALL THE PEOPLE SO – THEREBY ESTIMATING THE TOTAL POPULATION.
THAT THEY WOULD REMEMBER THIS DIVINE MIRACLE, ✶ Our Lord Jesus had “... made His Disciples... go before
whereby THE BREAD AND FISH MULTIPLIED IN THEIR Him ... while He sent the multitudes away...” implies
HANDS. that HE HAD TO INSTRUCT HIS DISCIPLES TO SET OFF BY BOAT
✶ “... they all ate and were filled...” confirms how GOD TO THE OPPOSITE SHORE OF THE SEA OF GALILEE BEFORE
PROVIDES MORE THAN ENOUGH TO NOURISH AND SUSTAIN US. SENDING THE PEOPLE BACK TO THEIR VILLAGES AND TOWNS.

There is no need to hoard food for ourselves because  EVERYONE WHO ENCOUNTERS OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST WANTS
WE KNOW THAT GOD WILL GRANT US OUR DAILY ONLY TO REMAIN IN HIS DIVINE PRESENCE, for IT IS A
NECESSITIES, as He does for all His creatures. MARVELLOUS FORETASTE OF ETERNAL LIFE IN HIS
✶ “... twelve baskets full of the fragments remained...” HEAVENLY KINGDOM OF LOVE.
Even more astonishing was the fact that THERE WAS  IT IS NATURAL FOR US TO YEARN TO BE IN GOD’S DIVINE
SO MUCH MORE FOOD LEFT OVER, WHICH THE PEOPLE TOOK PRESENCE, as He created us to be.
WITH THEM WHEN THEY RETURNED HOME.  ANY PERSONAL ENCOUNTER WITH OUR LORD GOD TRANSFORMS
ALL TWELVE APOSTLES OF CHRIST, INCLUDING JUDAS ISCARIOT, US, AND MAKES A SIGNIFICANT IMPACT ON Us, which
CARRIED THE BASKETS OF LEFTOVERS, which was again ought to compel us to make greater efforts to
distributed amongst the people. acquire the Holy Virtues that bring us ever closer
OUR LORD’S ABUNDANT INCREASE OF THE 5 SMALL BREAD ROLLS AND to God.
2 SARDINES CLEARLY PROVED THAT HIS IS INDEED THE CREATOR
S T I GNATIOS B R IANC H ANINOV
We have a long Struggle ahead! We have to cultivate a attached to them? We must renounce them, for that is
bold outlook within ourselves. We must look at the the response our Lord expects of us.
things we love. Are we over-fond of them? Are we too

8TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 8TH OF ST MATTHEW – FEEDING 5,000 FAMILIES – 11 AUGUST 2019 11
8 T H
S U ND AY AF TER P E NTEC OST – 8 T H
OF S T M ATTHE W – FE ED ING 5,000 F AM IL IE S

✞ In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the A jar of Manna was preserved in the Holy of Holies
Holy Spirit... in the Great Temple of Jerusalem, together with
Dearly Beloved – According to Cynthia Bourgeault, “…the various other Holy Relics of the Old Covenant.
heart is first and foremost an organ of Spiritual The Faithful Judeans who knew their history, would
Perception. Its primary function is to look beyond have recalled that Heavenly Bread that sustained
the obvious…and see into a deeper Reality.” them during those difficult years.
Unless we are Spiritually Perceptive, today’s Sacred Someone suggested that perhaps the Feeding of the
Lesson concerning the Miraculous Feeding of the 5,000 families was Christ’s first Holy Eucharist of
5,000 families may seem to be nothing more than the New Covenant.
a Miraculous Event whereby between 10,000 – In a very real sense every meal and partaking of
20,000 people, (including the women and food is Eucharistic, which is why according to our
children), were all fed with only a small amount of Orthodox Faith every meal begins and ends with
food. Prayers of Blessing and Thanksgiving, since Life
This amazing Event is even much more meaningful itself is God’s Holy Mystery!
than that, which is why we ought to contemplate Furthermore, there is a definite connection between
the various essential aspects so that – more the feeding of the Israelites during their 40 year
importantly – we might apply them to ourselves exile and the feeding of the 5,000 families in that
and to our daily circumstances. deserted place, with the Life-giving Holy Eucharist
We must never impose our own limited interpretation of Christ.
on Holy Scripture, and we must always be open to During our own sojourn in the wilderness of this fallen
God's Voice, by being receptive to anything world we are Spiritually Sustained by God's All-
Extraordinary that changes our perception and pervasive Grace when we partake of the New
understanding. Manna – the Most Precious Life-giving Body and
Holy Scripture has many layers of meaning, and, Blood of Christ in the Holy Mystery of Eucharist.
depending on the level of our emptiness, that is, One of the encompassing aspects of the feeding of
our openness and willingness, we receive what we the 5,000 families and of every Divine Miracle
are capable of comprehending, yet there is is the fact that God is always present – always
always far more! with us - taking care of us by connecting with
Our Lord Jesus Christ admonished the arrogant, self- us through the material of this world.
righteous Pharisees, by saying: “...You search the 4) E VERY T EACHING AND EVERY D IVINE M IRACLE OF C HRIST
Scriptures thinking that in them you find life, but HAS A SOCIAL AND ETHICAL ELEMENT .
the Scriptures speak of Me...” and He is the When His Disciples asked Him to dismiss the hungry
deepest of all Divine Mysteries! multitude so that they could go into the distant
There are a few things we need to consider with towns and villages to purchase food, our Divine
regard to this Divine Miracle: Saviour simply responded by telling them: “You
1) The number 5 in Holy Scripture signifies OUR L ORD give them something to eat.”
G OD’ S GOODNESS AND G RACE . He also tells us plainly and clearly to feed the
This Divine Mystery reveals His infinite Divine Grace hungry, to clothe the naked, to welcome strangers
that our Lord pours out on all Creation. and to visit those who are sick, needy or
That small portion of food became so abundant that imprisoned, for we must do everything He has
there was not only enough to satisfy the hungry commanded us to do so that we might become
crowd but 12 baskets were filled with the like Him in Whose Image and LIKENESS He created
remaining food! us.
Our Lord God’s Divine Grace and Goodness are truly God always provides more than we actually need for
unlimited and bestowed upon all mankind ourselves so that we might share our Divine
according to His Divine Love and Will. Blessings with others.
The people whom Christ and His Apostles and Faithful As Nikolai Berdyaev said: “... bread for myself is a
Disciples fed that day came from all social strata – material question. Bread for my neighbour is a
the rich and poor, the Virtuous and the sinful – so Spiritual one.”
many of whom were despised and shunned by We will never know how our Lord Jesus Christ
their own people. performed this great Divine Miracle, for it is truly
They all sought His Divine Truth and Healing of their another inexplicable Divine Mystery that is far
physical and Spiritual Afflictions. beyond our human understanding.
2) O UR L ORD HAS C OMPASSION FOR ALL C REATION - The entire cosmos exists by Divine Grace.
ESPECIALLY FOR MANKIND . His Eminence, Metropolitan Kallistos Ware
The people had rushed from their villages and towns commented that “..the entire cosmos is one vast
to be with Christ, so they had carried no provisions Burning Bush, permeated by the Fire of Divine
with them. Power and Glory!”
Our Lord Jesus Christ was well aware that although If this is True, then nothing is impossible – and the
they had been Spiritually Nourished, they had feeding of approximately 20,000 men, women,
become physically hungry and tired, but He and children is actual proof of this Truth!
waited for His Disciples to voice their concern. Because Almighty God is indeed the ‘Glue’ that holds
God knows our needs – often before we become everything together, and the Divine Energy that
aware of our own needs and seek to resolve them. courses through and grants life to everything, in
3) T HE M IRACULOUS F EEDING OF THIS GREAT MULTITUDE IS the Hands of the Eternal Son of God a few small
PROPHETIC AND S ACRAMENTAL . rolls and two little sardines was more than enough
The people had followed Christ into the deserted to feed them all and to have twelve basketsful to
wilderness, and when they became hungry, He sustain them on their homeward journey!
fed them. Finally, the overall Sacred Lesson is that our Lord God
This is reminiscent of the feeding of the Israelites after and His Heavenly Kingdom of Love begins here
their exodus from Egypt, when they wandered for and now! For He Loves and Cares for us
40 years in the wilderness before entering the unconditionally - and when we recognize our very
Promised Land. real Spiritual Hunger, He will abundantly fulfil our
God provided Manna every morning, which was personal needs.
gathered up and eaten by the Israelites to satisfy We who are proud, arrogant and egotistic cannot be
their hunger. fed, until we admit our physical and Spiritual
This was regarded as being the “Bread of Heaven,” Poverty, Hunger and Thirst, but when we are
which they continued to receive every day until Humble and “...Poor in spirit...” God will provide
they reaped their first harvests in the Promised everything we need.
Land. (“Manna” means “What is it?”) F ATHER A NTHONY H UGHES
HTTP://WWW.STMARYORTHODOXCHURCH.ORG

12 8TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 8TH OF ST MATTHEW – FEEDING 5,000 FAMILIES – 11 AUGUST 2019
Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa
Archdiocese of Good Hope
All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now
and forever, and unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most
Pure, Most Blessed and Glorious Lady, Maria, Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together with all
the Saints. And let us commit ourselves and one another and our whole Life to Christ our
God. Amen.
15 AUGUST 2019
THE DORMITION OF OUR LADY, THEOTOKOS

THE SUNDAY AND FESTAL HYMNS ARE PUBLISHED IN BOOKLET FORM EACH MONTH.
THESE ARE PUBLISHED AND FREELY DOWNLOADABLE ON
www.scribd.com/writers4574. L I N K S A R E A L S O P O S T E D O N F A C E B O O K “ O R T H O D O X
CHRISTIAN EASTERN CAPE.” (OR CAN BE EMAILED DIRECTLY, ON REQUEST TO
marguerite.paizis@gmail.com )
H OLY G OSPE L A CC ORD ING TO S T L UKE 1 : 39 - 49 & 56
THE VISITATION
In those days Mary arose and went in haste to the hill country, to a city of Judah, and she entered the house of
Zachariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb;
and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she exclaimed with a loud cry: “Blessed art Thou among women,
and Blessed is the Fruit of Thy womb! And why is this granted to me, that the Mother of my Lord should come to me?
For behold, when the voice of Thy greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for Joy. And Blessed is
She who believed, for there would be a Fulfilment of what was spoken to Her from the Lord.”
And Mary said: “My soul Magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for He has regarded the lowly
estate of His handmaiden. For behold: henceforth all generations will call me Blessed; for He Who is Mighty has
done Great Things for me, and Holy is His Name!”
And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to Her home.
✶ “... Mary arose and went in haste...” AFTER THE ALL PURE, Joseph the Betrothed in order to preserve Her Sacred
HOLY VIRGIN RECEIVED THE DIVINE ANNUNCIATION FROM ST Vow of Chastity.
GABRIEL, THE ARCHANGEL OF GOD AND BEARER OF GOOD She dwelt in his home, together with several other young
TIDINGS, CONCERNING THE LONG-AWAITED GREAT MESSIAH, Virgins who had accompanied Her, having followed
WHOM SHE HAD CONSENTED TO BEAR. Her Example by also making Sacred Vows of Chastity.
✶ “... to a city of Judah...” which was ONE OF THE ALLOTTED After the Annunciation of the Messiah Whom She had
CITIES FOR LEVITES – where Priests, Levites and their consented to bear, the All Pure, Holy Virgin Mary
families resided as they took turns to serve in the hastened to St Elizabeth for guidance and advice.
Great Temple of Jerusalem or teach at Synagogues. ✶ “...the babe leapt in her womb...” ST ELIZABETH HAD
These were specifically set out throughout the Promised Land, CONCEIVED St John the Baptist and Forerunner to Christ
details of which are recorded in the Book of Numbers. APPROXIMATELY 6 MONTHS BEFORE THE INCARNATION of our
(Numbers 35 : 3 – 5). Lord Jesus Christ in His All Pure Mother’s Womb.
Six Levite cities were walled cities of Refuge that protected When the Holy Virgin greeted St Elizabeth
everyone who resided therein. Specific areas were 1. St John leapt for Joy IN THE PRESENCE OF OUR LORD
strictly for dwellings, for fields and vineyards, while an JESUS CHRIST – even though they were both still
area outside the city walls was set aside for burials. The growing in their respective Mothers’ wombs.
suburban lands of Israel were given to the Levites for 2. St John leapt for Joy WHEN HE HEARD THE LOVELY VOICE
their livestock.
OF THE ONE WHO IS FULL OF (DIVINE) GRACE -
Hebrews who fled to these cities of Refuge, lived freely,
without having to pay for anything at all. “Keharitomeni.”
Levites and Priests were expected to maintain Justice and to ✶ St Elizabeth “... was filled with the Holy Spirit...” Who is
protect the innocent from harm. ALWAYS PRESENT AND OPERATING TOGETHER WITH OUR
The other Levitical cities had many Universities where the HEAVENLY FATHER AND OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.
Priests and Levites studied the Old Covenant Laws before  WHEN THE INCARNATION OF THE GOD-MAN OCCURRED at the
sharing their knowledge in their Synagogues throughout Annunciation, DIVINE PROPHECY RESUMED IN ISRAEL.
the land.  ST JOHN, THE LAST AND GREATEST HOLY PROPHET OF GOD,
Priests and Levites ministered to the people, for there were ANNOUNCES THE PRESENCE OF OUR DIVINE SAVIOUR by
seldom Holy Prophets of God to do so. Rejoicing in his Mother’s womb.
The Holy Prophets of God instructed the Priests and Levites,  HIS JOYFULNESS FULFILLED THE INSPIRED PROPHECY OF ST
who, in turn, were sent forth to guide the people of Israel. JEREMIAH – “... Before I formed Thee in the womb, I
Tithes were granted to the Priest and Levites while they
knew Thee, and before Thou were born, I
studied the Law at the Universities, when they preached
Sanctified Thee. I established Thee as a Prophet
and when they served at the Altar or in the Temple.
to the Nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5)
✶ “... the house of Zachariah and ...Elizabeth...”  GOD’S FOREKNOWLEDGE AND HIS CALLING ARE WOVEN
 ST ZACHARIAH WAS OF THE PRIESTLY TRIBE OF LEVITES AND TOGETHER.
SERVED AS A HIGH PRIEST in the Temple of Jerusalem,
✶ “... Blessed art Thou among women...” These words
and his wife, ST ELIZABETH WAS A SISTER OF ST ANNA, express THE PROFOUND VENERATION THE ALL PURE, HOLY
Mother of our Lady, Theotokos. AND EVER BLESSED MOTHER OF GOD WORTHILY RECEIVES
 Similar to the Venerable Parents of Panagia - St FROM BOTH THE HEAVENLY ANGELIC HOSTS AND MANKIND.
Ioachim and St Anna – the Marriage of St  ST GABRIEL, THE HOLY ARCHANGEL OF GOD AND BEARER OF
Zachariah and St Elizabeth had been childless GOOD TIDINGS TO MANKIND HAD GREETED OUR LADY
until, according to the Will of God, a Beloved Child THEOTOKOS WITH THIS PROCLAMATION, WHICH IS
was granted to them. SIMILARLY PROCLAIMED BY ST ELIZABETH.
The Holy Virgin Mary had been orphaned at a very young age ✶ “... and Blessed is the Fruit of Thy Womb!” is THE DIVINELY
and had been brought up in the Temple under the care of INSPIRED DECLARATION OF FAITH, for BEING “... FILLED
the Priests, Levites and Pious Women who took care of the
WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT...” ST ELIZABETH ACKNOWLEDGED
children dedicated to God.
AND BLESSED THE DIVINE CHRIST-CHILD Who is indeed
Girls had to leave the Temple confines when they reached
puberty in order to be married and produce many our long-awaited Messiah/Saviour.
offspring to increase the Nation of Israel.  GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT GRANTS US GREAT KNOWLEDGE AND
The Priests, Divinely Inspired and Guided, had placed Her UNDERSTANDING THAT IS FAR BEYOND OUR NATURAL
under the Protective Custody of Her elderly Uncle, St ABILITIES.

D OR M ITION OF OU R L ADY , T HE OTOKOS 15 AU GU ST 2019 13


 GOD CREATED BOTH HIS HEAVENLY ANGELS AND HIS BELOVED but in Truth, already A HUMAN BEING WITH A HEART
MANKIND AS INTELLECTUAL BEINGS, to whom, AND IMMORTAL SOUL, THAT SUFFERS FROM ANY PAIN,
ACCORDING TO HIS DIVINE WILL, HE GRANTS DISCOMFORT OR TRAUMA INFLICTED UPON HIM OR HER IN
EXTRAORDINARY KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING. THE WOMB!
 It is GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT Who by Divine Grace ENABLES ✶ “... My soul Magnifies the Lord...” This Hymn is called
US TO ACQUIRE ABILITIES THAT ARE NECESSARY FOR OUR “the Magnificat” or “Megalinarion” for it was sung
EARTHLY SOJOURN AND, ESPECIALLY, FOR OUR SPIRITUAL from the overjoyed heart of our Lady, Theotokos.
PROGRESS - the development and strengthening of It was Inspired by a Hymn of St Hannah.
our immortal soul. 1 Kings 2 : 1 – 10
✶ “...the Mother of my Lord...” St Elizabeth confessed the The Megalinarion is chanted during Matins and teaches
Truth that THE ALL PURE VIRGIN MARY IS INDEED THE us:
MOTHER OF OUR LORD GOD. 1. FAITHFUL CHRISTIANS OF EVERY GENERATION HONOUR AND
 The most excellent and worthy Title “Theotokos” VENERATE THE EVER BLESSED, ALL PURE AND HOLY VIRGIN
means that SHE IS TRULY THE IMMACULATE BEARER OF MARY, THEOTOKOS, just as She had prophesied - “...
GOD INCARNATE – our Lord and Saviour, Jesus all generations will call me ‘Blessed.’”
Christ. 2. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO BELIEVE IN THE DIVINE INSPIRATION OF
 HER CONFESSION AND OTHERS SIMILAR TO IT, whereby we HOLY SCRIPTURE WITHOUT VENERATING AND HONOURING
address Her, as Faithful Disciples of Christ and OUR LADY – THE MOTHER OF GOD INCARNATE!
Orthodox Christians, THEREBY CONFIRMING AND 3. SHE ASCRIBES THE DIVINE MIRACLE OF THE INCARNATION TO
DECLARING THAT THE DIVINE INFANT OF HER ALL PURE, ALMIGHTY GOD WHO IS THE EXCLUSIVE SOURCE OF DIVINE
SANCTIFIED WOMB IS BOTH HUMAN AND DIVINE, for He is GRACE.
the Eternal, Only Begotten Son and Word of our 4. EVERYTHING ABOUT OUR LADY THEOTOKOS SHOWS HER
Heavenly Father. NATURAL, DEEP LOVE, HUMILITY, OBEDIENCE AND WISDOM.
 At the Festal Vespers of the Annunciation, we joyfully 5. THROUGH THE INCARNATION OF THE ETERNAL SON OF GOD our
proclaim “... It is the Word of God Who dwells in Heavenly Father, OUR LORD GOD IS OUR ETERNAL
Her!...” SOVEREIGN RULER FOR HE REIGNS OVER ALL HIS CREATION.
 It is of special significance that EVEN AS HIS PHYSICAL ✶ “... Mary remained with her about three months...” THE
BODY WAS ONLY BEGINNING TO FULLY FORM, OUR DIVINE YOUNG, INNOCENT VIRGIN NEEDED THE GUIDANCE AND
LORD AND SAVIOUR WAS FULLY, AND TRULY, THE INCARNATE ADVICE OF HER ELDERLY AUNT AS SHE HAD NO MOTHER to
SON OF GOD OUR HEAVENLY FATHER AND HIS ALL PURE, help Her understand the changes occurring in Her
HOLY AND EVER BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, WAS Ever Virginal Body.
ACKNOWLEDGED AS HIS MOTHER.  Three months refers to the first trimester of Her
 THIS DIVINE TRUTH UTTERLY REFUTES AND REJECTS THE FALLEN, pregnancy.
CORRUPTED WORLD VIEW THAT ABORTION IS ACCEPTABLE –  By the time the Ever Blessed Virgin returned to Her
that terrible, cruel and brutal murder of innocent home, St Elizabeth was about to deliver her own
children – BECAUSE THEY DO NOT REGARD THAT INFANT son, St John the Baptist and Forerunner to Christ.
BEING AS AN IDENTIFIABLE PERSON – “only a foetus!” -
T H E E PISTLE OF S T P AUL THE P H IL IP P IANS 2 : 5 - 11
Brethren: let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus, Who, being in the Form of God, did not consider it
robbery to be Equal to God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant and Coming in
the likeness of men. And being found in Appearance as a Man, He Emptied Himself and became Obedient to the
point of death – even the death of the cross. Therefore, God also has Highly Exalted Him and given Him the Name,
which is above every other name – that at the Name of Jesus every knee should bend – of those in Heaven, and of
those on Earth and of those under the Earth – and that every tongue should Confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the
Glory of God the Father.
ST PAUL HAD FOUNDED THE CHURCH IN PHILIPPI, which was the ✶ “... being in the Form of God...” OUR DIVINE SAVIOUR IS TRULY
first in Europe, ON HIS SECOND MISSIONARY JOURNEY CIRCA “...EQUAL TO GOD....”
50-51, (Acts 16: 11 – 40) ✶ “... made Himself of no reputation...” PROVES THE UTTER
On his Third Missionary Journey HE MADE TWO BRIEF VISITS TO HUMILITY OF OUR LORD JESUS WHO NEVER GLORIFIED HIMSELF.
PHILIPPI, CIRCA 57 – 58. (Acts 20: 1 & 6) ✶ Instead He voluntarily took on “... the form of a
WHILE UNDER HOUSE ARREST IN ROME, ST PAUL WROTE THIS EPISTLE bondservant...” – HE WILLINGLY ACCEPTED THE STATUS OF A
to the Philippian Christian Community, while being SERVANT OR SLAVE – THE LOWEST RANK OF ANY SOCIETY.
able to received visitors and correspond with his  OUR LORD CHOSE TO BECOME SOMEONE Who was a hard-
Spiritual Children. working Carpenter WHO SERVED THE NEEDS OF HIS
SALVATION IS A DYNAMIC, ONGOING EXPERIENCE that is not PEOPLE whom He had created from nothing!
merely personal but shared among all Faithful  It also shows how OUR LORD CHOSE NOT TO APPEAR IN ALL
Disciples of Christ. HIS DIVINE MAJESTY NOR BE BORN INTO A RICH, POWERFUL
ST PAUL URGED US TO CONTINUE STRIVING TO MAINTAIN OUR HOLY STRATA OF SOCIETY
UNITY, WHILE STRUGGLING TO ACQUIRE HUMILITY, OBEDIENCE, ✶ “... Coming in the likeness of men...” shows clearly HOW
SELFLESS GENEROSITY AND JOY IN CHRIST OUR LORD. MUCH GOD LOVES US AND WANTS TO REDEEM US from our
ST PAUL CAUTIONED THE FAITHFUL AGAINST fallen state.
1. ANY INTERFERENCE FROM SELF-SERVING “EVANGELISTS”  HE BECAME A MAN WHO LIVED AND WORKED WITH US, AND
2. THE ANTAGONISM OF HERETICS – PARTICULARLY THE TAUGHT US NOT ONLY BY REVEALING HIS DIVINE TRUTH, BUT
LEGALISTIC JUDAIZERS. BY HIS OWN GOOD EXAMPLE.
3. PERSECUTION FROM ENEMIES OF THE HOLY CHURCH OF ✶ “... He Emptied Himself...” OF ALL HIS DIVINE POWER,
CHRIST. MAJESTY AND GLORY IN ORDER TO FULLY ENDURE EVERY ASPECT
 The Church of Philippi was known for their generosity OF OUR HUMAN NATURE – EVEN UNTO DEATH.
and support of the Apostolic Ministry. ✶ “... God has Highly Exalted Him...” IN HIS HUMAN NATURE
✶ “... let this mind be in you...” is from A HYMN THAT WAS WHEN HE ACKNOWLEDGED AND PROCLAIMED HIM AS HIS
ALREADY IN USE IN THE EARLY CHRISTIAN CHURCH. BELOVED SON – AT CHRIST’S BAPTISM AND AT HIS
 St Paul quoted it in order FOR US TO CONTEMPLATE THE TRANSFIGURATION.
INFINITE HUMILITY AND OBEDIENCE OF OUR LORD JESUS  HE IS INDEED OUR LORD GOD FOR AS THE SON OF GOD HE
CHRIST TO THE WILL OF OUR HEAVENLY FATHER. WORTHILY AND TRULY SHARES HIS ETERNAL, DIVINE
 This is A DIVINE TRUTH THAT IS NECESSARY FOR ALL SUFFERING IDENTITY WITH GOD OUR HEAVENLY FATHER.
CHRISTIANS TO UNDERSTAND. Having offered Himself as the Supreme Blood Offering for
 We ought to DO EVERYTHING POSSIBLE TO ACQUIRE THE SAME all mankind’s sins – once and for all – He was Exalted
HOLY VIRTUES AS OUR LORD JESUS AND TO APPLY THEM TO and Glorified by our Heavenly Father.
OUR WORDS, THOUGHTS AND DEEDS. ✶ “... at the Name of (our Lord) Jesus, every knee shalt
 This passage has been incorporated into many of our bend...” All Creation ought to bow down before our
Orthodox Christian Hymns. Lord Jesus Christ – our Divine Creator and Saviour
through Whom we are able to fulfill the Will of our

14 D OR M ITION OF OU R L ADY , THE OTOKOS 15 AU GU ST 2019


Heavenly Father, by the Power and Energy of the Holy on first name basis as though He was merely one
Spirit. of our ordinary human friends!
✶ “...every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is  St Paul very seldom addressed our Lord Jesus Christ
Lord...” means that all intellectual beings whom by His first Name – ALWAYS SPEAKING OF HIM WITH THE
He created ought to acknowledge and proclaim UTMOST RESPECT AND REVERENCE – WHICH WE OUGHT TO
Him as our Lord God and Divine Saviour. DO AS WELL!
 We ought to BE EVER RESPECTFUL OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST (THIS IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ORTHODOXY AND
FOR WE ARE NEITHER HIS CONTEMPORARIES NOR HIS PROTESTANTISM.)
EQUALS. ✶ “... to the Glory of God the Father...” We must imitate our
 We are, by our Divine Adoption, Co-Heirs with Him to Lord Jesus Christ Who never took credit for
our Heavenly Father’s Kingdom, but WE MUST anything but always gave and instructed His
ADDRESS HIM WITH COMPLETE RESPECT, HONOUR AND People to GLORIFY OUR HEAVENLY FATHER.
WORSHIP AS THE ETERNAL SON OF GOD – AS TRUE GOD OF  AS HIS FAITHFUL DISCIPLES – ORTHODOX CHRISTIANS –
TRUE GOD. EVERYTHING WE DO OUGHT TO BE FOR THE GLORY, HONOUR
Therefore, AS ORTHODOX CHRISTIANS – AS HIS HUMBLE AND AND WORSHIP OF OUR LORD GOD – IN THE NAME OF GOD
OBEDIENT DISCIPLES - WE MUST ALWAYS ADDRESS OUR LORD THE FATHER, GOD THE SON AND GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT.
JESUS CHRIST BY HIS FULL DIVINE TITLES – not casually
T H E H OLY G OSPEL ACCORDING TO ST LUKE 10:38–42 & 11:27–28
ONLY ONE THING IS NEEDED
At that time, our Lord Jesus Christ entered a certain village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her
house. And she had a sister called “Mary,” who also sat at Jesus’ Feet and heard His Word.
But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said: “Lord, dost Thou not care that my
sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me!” And Jesus answered and said to her: “Martha!
Martha! You are worried and troubled about many things, but one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that
good part, which will not be taken away from her.”
... And it happened, as He spoke these things, that a certain woman from the crowd raised her voice and said to Him:
“Blessed is the Womb that bore Thee, and the breasts that nursed Thee!”
And He replied: “More than that: Blessed are those who hear the Word of God and keep It!”
✶ “... a certain village...” was BETHANY, which was situated ONLY WHEN SHE TRIED TO DRAW HER SISTER AWAY FROM
VERY CLOSE TO JERUSALEM, AT THE FOOT OF THE MOUNT OF LISTENING DID OUR LORD REBUKE HER BECAUSE ALTHOUGH
OLIVES. HOSPITALITY IS HONOURABLE, IT SHOULD NOT CAUSE
 It was THE SITE OF AN ALMSHOUSE FOR THE POOR AND THE TURMOIL NOR DRAW US AWAY FROM WHAT IS MORE
SICK. IMPORTANT FOR US.
 The pious siblings - ST MARY, ST MARTHA AND ST LAZAROS – According to St Theophylact “... when hospitality begins
LIVED IN BETHANY AND OFTEN HOSTED OUR LORD AND HIS to hinder us from doing what is more important, then
DISCIPLES. paying attention to the Divine Truth of God is
 ST SIMON THE LEPER ALSO RESIDED IN BETHANY and one preferable.”
day, while our Lord Jesus had dined with him, a St Martha missed the point and purpose of His Visit to their
repentant woman had anointed Christ with costly home, while her sister, Mary, took advantage of the
Myrrh, which was objected to by Judas Iscariot. occasion to learn whatever she could from Christ.
✶ St Mary of Bethany “... sat at Jesus’ Feet and heard His  OUR LORD DOES NOT FORBID HOSPITALITY BUT RATHER
Word. But Martha was distracted...” EXTRAVAGANCE, DISTRACTIONS AND ANXIETY CAUSED BY IT
 The different attitudes of the two devoted sisters are Hospitality ought to be simple so that we are able to
contrasted. pay full attention to what is being spoken.
 We can either TAKE TIME TO LISTEN CAREFULLY AND PAY  ST MARTHA SIGNIFIED ACTIVE VIRTUE WHILE ST MARY SIGNIFIES
CLOSE ATTENTION TO GOD’S WORDS OF DIVINE TRUTH, or DIVINE VISION.
become so distracted by worldly cares and St Theophylact explained that “... action entails
obligations that we learn nothing Beneficial to our distractions and disturbances but Divine Vision,
Eternal Salvation. having become the ruler of grievous passions,
 ST MARTHA OF BETHANY FELT OBLIGED TO TAKE CARE OF THEIR devotes itself entirely to the Contemplation of Divine
GUESTS before taking time to listen to Christ WHEREAS Words and Judgements.”
ST MARY OF BETHANY DID NOT WANT TO MISS ANYTHING HE ✶ “... One Thing is needed... which will not be taken
SPOKE OF. away...”
Both women Loved Christ and were utterly devoted to  WE MUST PAY VERY CAREFUL ATTENTION TO CHRIST’S
Him but THEIR PRIORITIES WERE DIFFERENT – JUST LIKE TEACHINGS AND COMMANDMENTS AND THEN APPLY EVERY
OURS. ONE OF THEM TO OUR OWN CIRCUMSTANCES.
 BEING SEATED AT THE FEET OF OUR LORD SIGNIFIED ST MARY’S St Theophylact pointed out that “... Activity has a part
ACTIVE VIRTUE – HER READINESS TO FULFIL HIS TEACHINGS that will be taken away from it – the cares and
AND COMMANDMENTS to the best of her ability – AS distractions that accompany it, for as we progress
WELL AS IMPLYING HER STEADFASTNESS AND CONSTANCY. and attain to Divine Vision, we are freed tom
 WHOEVER SITS AT THE FEET OF CHRIST AND STEADFASTLY distractions and troubles...
FOLLOWS AND IMITATES HIM IS INDEED ESTABLISHED IN ALL However, “... those who are engaged in Divine Vision
ACTIVE VIRTUES. shall never be deprived of ‘... that good part...’ which
 WE, TOO, MUST BE IN CONTROL OF OUR GRIEVOUS PASSIONS, is the Vision of God ... when they are Deified. Those
AND STRIVE TO ATTAIN DIVINE VISION, like St Mary of who are found worthy to see God become God-like...”
Bethany, OR, IF NOT STRONG ENOUGH, we must be like By our own Humility and Obedience to God, we BECOME
St Martha and DEVOTE OURSELVES TO ACTIVE VIRTUE BY LIVING EXAMPLES OF HIS HOLY GOSPEL, thereby SERVING OUR
WARMLY WELCOMING CHRIST. LORD AND FACILITATING THE SPREAD OF HIS DIVINE TRUTH.
✶ “... You are worried and troubled about many things...” ✶ “...Blessed is the Womb that bore Thee...” Although the
 HOSPITALITY IS A VIRTUE, YET PAYING ATTENTION TO THE smug Pharisees and Scribes had slandered and
WORDS OF CHRIST so that we might apply them to blasphemed the Divine Miracles of Christ Jesus, THIS
ourselves IS AN EVEN GREATER HOLY VIRTUE. SIMPLE AND GUILELESS WOMAN PRAISED AND GLORIFIED THEM
 ALTHOUGH FOOD NOURISHES OUR BODY, THE DIVINE TRUTH THROUGH HER WORDS THAT WORTHILY HONOURED AND
SUSTAINS OUR SOUL. REVERENCED HIS ALL PURE AND HOLY MOTHER.
 DIVINE TRUTH ENLIVENS OUR IMMORTAL SOUL AND ENABLES US ✶ “... ‘More than that...’” - Our Sweet Lord corrected her –
TO OPERATE AT OUR FULL CAPACITY. NOT BY DENOUNCING HIS EVER BLESSED MOTHER, BUT BY
 OUR KIND-HEARTED LORD DID NOT REBUKE ST MARTHA FOR EMPHASISING HER AMAZING FAITH AND LIFE OF HUMBLE
WANTING TO SERVE THEM well by providing a good OBEDIENCE TO GOD IN ALL THINGS.
meal for everyone, BUT RATHER FOR COMPLAINING  The Greek word “Menounge,” is also translated as
ABOUT HER SISTER AND FOR BEING SO DISTRACTED BY HER “Yes, indeed!” for IT CORRECTS BY AMPLIFYING – NOT BY
WORLDLY CONCERNS. NEGATING.

D OR M ITION OF OU R L ADY , T HE OTOKOS 15 AU GU ST 2019 15


✶ “...Blessed are those who hear the Word of God and Thus, OUR LADY THEOTOKOS IS MAGNIFIED AND BLESSED BY GOD
keep it!” Our Lord Jesus is very clear that THOSE AND ALL MANKIND FOREVER – NOT ONLY BECAUSE SHE
WHO LISTEN CAREFULLY AND THEN DO EVERYTHING CONSENTED TO BEAR OUR GREAT DIVINE SAVIOUR, BUT – “...
POSSIBLE TO APPLY EVERY DIVINE WORD OF TEACHING AND more than that...” BECAUSE SHE WAS – FROM HER
COMMANDMENT TO THEIR WORDS, THOUGHTS AND DEEDS – EARLIEST CHILDHOOD – HUMBLE AND OBEDIENT TO GOD IN
as our Lady, Theotokos did throughout Her entire ALL THINGS.
Life – ARE INDEED BLESSED BY GOD.
T H E D ORM ITION OF OU R E VE R BL E SSED L ADY , THE OTOKOS
✞ In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Our Lady’s Body - like that of Her Most Beloved Son -
Holy Spirit... suffered no decay after Her Repose – it neither
Dearly Beloved, every time we celebrate the Dormition of changed nor decomposed into the material elements
the Mother of God, it is like Pascha all over again. of which it was created.
Our Lady Theotokos prepares this Pascha - this After our Lord Jesus Christ’s Resurrection, the bodies of
“...Glorious Passover from Death unto Life...’ for us. many of His Saints have also not decayed but have
It is a second Pascha that is Holy, Spotless, Life-giving for become partially Incorrupt Relics.
the human race, because Truly, today, “...the terms of Therefore, how much more reasonable is it that the
nature are overcome...” ‘”...Dwelling that received God...’ was Incorruptible.
St John the Damascene joyfully exclaimed: “How the St Andrew of Crete explained that the Preservation of our
Source of Life goes towards Life by passing through All Pure Lady’s Virginity before, during and after the
death!” Birth of Christ has, as its natural concomitant, the
The Repose of the Mother, who was the Source of Life for Incorruptibility of Her All Pure Body. “...Birth avoided
our Lord Himself, Transcends the notion of death, so degeneration and the grave did not welcome
that it is not even called ‘death’ but ‘Dormition’ and decay...”
‘Divine Translation’ that is a Progression or After Her Dormition, the Mother of God became the
Procession towards our Lord. And even if we call it Mother of the New Creation, - the Mother of the
‘death,‘ it is still a death that is Life-bearing, since it Church of Christ.
moves on to the Heavenly and Immortal Life. Since She was crucial to God’s Salvation of mankind,
The Translation of the Mother of God as an Unequivocal because our Lord, Who is the Head of His Holy Church,
Event, which has been preserved in Sacred Tradition, took His Flesh from Her, She now has, in the Celestial
has been incorporated into the Teaching of the Church, the Fullness of Grace, Glory and Boldness.
Orthodox Church and has no connection with the She has become the Benefactress of all Creation, which is
pietist Western doctrines of the ‘immaculate why She is Venerated by the entire Universe as Ever
conception’ and ‘deathless’ end to Her Life on Earth. Virgin, Lady, Queen, and Mother of God.
The All Holy Virgin was that unique Creation of God who Through the Ever Blessed, All Pure and Holy Theotokos
transcended all other people and the Angels because and because of Her, the history of all mankind
- of all human beings – She, alone, not only Lived a entered onto a New Path, which is incomparably
Spotless Life, which is inconceivable to all rational more Magnificent and more Superior than to that
beings – but She also became the Mother of God which had been there before.
(Incarnate). It was not and is not possible for anything created to be
Because she had never sinned1 – She had never more Perfect than Her, nor could She Herself have
submitted to any thoughts of indulgent pleasure - it become more Perfect than She was.
was right that She did not Live on Earth with carnal According to our Holy Fathers, Almighty God could not
pleasures nor suffer from illnesses. have made more Perfect the Incarnation of the Divine
Even though She had the body that gave Birth to Life, as Word, the Virgin Mother of God and the Eternal Bliss
a human being, She was still subject to the sickness of enjoyed by those who are Saved.
death, and she did indeed die. Amen
Although the connection, which United them was briefly
broken, as had happened when our Lord Jesus Christ E LDER E PHRAIM V AT OPAIDINOS
died, Her All Pure Body and Soul were not separated HTTPS://PEMPTOUSIA.COM/2018/08
from God, because at the moment of Her Dormition, D IV INELY I NSP IR ED , ET ER NAL W ISD OM
our Lord - accompanied by the Celestial Ranks of
Angels and all the Saints – not only carried Her Holy UNKNOWN HOLY FATHER
Soul into Heaven, but - as stated by St John the Through Tears of Repentance, all the impurities of sin
Damascene – “...to His own Royal Throne; to the that have accumulated in our heart and soul are
Celestial Holy of Holies...” expelled and being Cleansed, we are returned to
Our Lady’s Most Pure and Holy Body, which had received Spiritual Life.
God and given Birth to Life, was Transposed Incorrupt
FATHER DIMITRIOS PANAGOPOULOS
after three days to those Places beyond the Heavens -
It is such a terrible waste of effort when we serve the evil
to Her Only-Begotten, Beloved Son and Lord God.
one while invoking the Great Mercy of our Lord God!
A witness to this Resurrection/Translation of the Ever
Blessed, All Holy Theotokos was the Apostle, St ST JOHN OF KRONSTADT
Thomas, who had not been present like the other Holy If we hate our enemy, we show how senseless we are,
Apostles of Christ at Her Dormition and Burial but, as because if our enemy torments us, we torment
before, after the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus, had ourselves as well within. Surely then is not tormenting
arrived (from India) three days later. the worst and fiercest form of persecution when our
He requested that the tomb be opened by the other hatred provokes and troubles us with regard to our
Apostles2 and when they did so, they found that Her enemies? If only we knew what a Triumph - what a
Body, which had been Glorified by God, was no Blessing! - it is to Love our enemies and to do good to
longer there! them!
They had not witnessed our Lady, Theotokos, Ascending
ST NEKTARIOS OF PENTAPOLIS & AEGINA
into Heaven, after presenting St Thomas with Her
Precious and Holy Sash as evidence of Her Hypocrisy is the result of envy and all evils derive from it.
Translation, which was somewhat similar to when the Hypocrites are the most unjust of people because they
same Apostle had been invited to feel the imprint of think they are just when they are not, which is the
our Lord’s Wounds, after His Resurrection. final and worst injustice!
ELDER EVPREPIOS
1 If we believe that God is Dependable and All Powerful we
Our Lady, like us, possessed Ancestral Sin – the inclination
to commit sin just like us, but She had always resisted and will not only Hope in Him but become a Sharer of His
avoided all temptations to do so. Good Things.
2
The Apostles and Disciples had kept a strict Vigil outside
the sealed tomb to prevent their enemies from
desecrating it.
16 D OR M ITION OF OU R L ADY , THE OTOKOS 15 AU GU ST 2019
Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa
Archdiocese of Good Hope
All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and
forever, and unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most
Blessed and Glorious Lady, Maria, Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together with all the Saints. And
let us commit ourselves and one another and our whole Life to Christ our God. Amen.
16 AUGUST 2019
TRANSLAT ION OF THE HOL Y MANDYLION “NOT MADE BY HANDS”
FROM EDESSA TO CONSTANTINOPLE
AFTER FEAST OF THE DORMITION

Also the Feast of St Diomedes the Physician of Tarsos, Cilicia – St Timothy, Bishop of Evripos - St
Gerasimos the New Ascetic of Cephalonia – St Apostolos & St Stamatios, New Martyrs of
Megaris – St Akakios - St Cherimon the Holy Ascetic of Skete, Egypt – The Holy Icon of our Lady,
Theotokos, of St Theodore – St Anthony of Martkofeli, Georgia – St Christopher of Guria, Georgia – St Isaac & St Joseph of
Karnu, Georgia – St Joachim of Osogovo, Bulgaria – St Roman & St Raphael of Banat – St Eustathios of Serbia – St Nikodemos,
Hieromartyr of Meteora, Thessaly –St Constantine the Holy Prince and his sons, St Constantine the Younger, St Stephen, St
Radu & St Matthew Brancoveanu – St Ianache Vacarescu
THE SUNDAY AND FESTAL HYMNS ARE PUBLISHED IN BOOKLET FORM EACH MONTH. THESE ARE PUBLISHED AND FREELY
DOWNLOADABLE ON WWW.SCRIBD.COM/WRITERS4574. LINKS ARE ALSO POSTED ON FACEBOOK “ORTHODOX
CHRISTIAN EASTERN CAPE.” (OR CAN BE EMAILED DIRECTLY, ON REQUEST TO MARGUERITE.PAIZIS@GMAIL.COM)

P R OKE IME NON – P SALM 68 – T ONE 6


Turn not Thy Sight from Thy Child!
The Salvation of Thy Presence, O God, lays hold of me!

F IR ST EP ISTLE OF S T P AUL TO S T T IM OTHY 3 : 13 – 4 : 5


Timothy, my Son, ... those who have served well as Deacons, obtain for themselves a good standing and great Boldness
in the Faith, which is in Christ Jesus.
These things I write to Thee, although I hope to come to Thee shortly, but if I am delayed, I write so that Thou may know
how Thou ought to conduct Thyself in the House of God, which is the Church of the Living God – the Pillar and
Ground of Truth. And without controversy, Great is the Mystery of Godliness (for) God was Manifested in the Flesh,
Justified in the Spirit, seen by Angels, Preached among the Gentiles, believed in the world, received up in Glory.
Now the (Holy) Spirit expressly states that in latter times some will depart from the Faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits
and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,
forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods that God created to be received with Thanksgiving by
those who believe and know the Truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is
received with Thanksgiving, for it is Sanctified by the Word of God and Prayer.
This passage is read on the Feast of the Synaxis of the ✶ “...God was manifested in the Flesh...” - the Eternal, Only
Seventy Apostles of Christ. Begotten Son and Word of God became Incarnate by
This Epistle was written by St Paul to St Timothy before St taking on THE FLESH AND BLOOD OF HIS ALL PURE AND HOLY
Paul’s second imprisonment in Rome, while he was in MOTHER.
Macedonia.  HE ‘EMPTIED’ HIMSELF OF HIS INFINITE, INCOMPREHENSIBLE
St Paul emphasises the fact that the Holy Church of Christ DIVINE MAJESTY AND POWER so that He could
reveals the Kingdom of God on Earth, so how it is run voluntarily become (visible) God-Man Who Lived
relates to Apostolic Doctrine and Worship. with us and taught us His Divine Truth directly
St Paul’s Epistle concerned the significant Role of the while EXPERIENCING OUR HUMAN CONDITION – WITH THE
Clergy, combating heresy, the caretaking of widows, EXCEPTION OF SIN.
orphans, slaves and all who are defenceless and ✶ “...Justified in the Holy Spirit...” - The Divine Truth
needy, and various matters of finance and Ministry. concerning our Lord Jesus Christ was CONFIRMED AND
This Epistle is both personal and pastoral for it is JUSTIFIED BY GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT WHO ENABLES US TO
addressed directly to St Timothy – one of St Paul’s RECEIVE AND COMPREHEND SOME OF THE DIVINE MYSTERIES of
closest and dearest Spiritual Sons. God to the extent of our limited human abilities – as
✶ “...Deacons, obtain ... a good standing...” because THEY much as each of us is able to do.
HAD TO BE VERY CAREFULLY CHOSEN. ✶ “...Seen by Angels...” THE HEAVENLY HOSTS ALSO WITNESSED
As the first step into the Holy Priesthood of Christ, DEACONS - HOW THE INVISIBLE, ETERNAL SON OF GOD BECAME A (VISIBLE)
AND THEIR FAMILIES - HAD TO BE MEN OF GOOD CHARACTER AND MAN by taking on our human Nature, WHILE RETAINING
REPUTE, HIS DIVINE NATURE.
✶ “...men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and  THE ANGELIC HOSTS FAITHFULLY AND OBEDIENTLY SERVE THE
Wisdom...” (1 TIMOTHY 3: 8 – 12) WILL OF OUR HEAVENLY FATHER. They act as HIS
 They had to be DEDICATED TO THEIR SACRED DUTIES, which MESSENGERS AND INTERCEDE BETWEEN HIM AND HIS
included assisting the Priests and taking care of CREATION, ESPECIALLY MANKIND.
the laity.  BOTH THE CELESTIAL ANGELS AND THE FALLEN ANGELS – THE
 They had to be SINCERELY HUMBLE AND OBEDIENT, and DEMONS – RECOGNISE OUR LORD JESUS AS TRULY THE
willing to fulfill whatever was required of them for ETERNAL, ALMIGHTY SON OF GOD, for they have
the Honour, Glory and Worship of God. always known Him as their Creator and the
✶ “... the Pillar and the Ground of that Truth...” Creator of the entire Universe.
While Holy Scripture is the Divinely Inspired Truth of our ✶“...Preached among Gentiles...” – THE DIVINE TRUTH OF OUR
Lord God expressed with our human words, the Holy LORD JESUS CHRIST WAS INDEED PREACHED THROUGHOUT THE
Church of Christ is indeed the firmly rooted Support KNOWN WORLD, not only to the Judaic people of the First
and Foundation of that Divine Truth. (2 TIMOTHY 3 : 15 – Israel, but TO THE GENTILES, THE NEW ISRAEL AND THE HOLY
17) CHURCH OF CHRIST.
✶ “ ... without controversy, Great is the Mystery of ✶ “...Believed on in the world...” – Those who responded
Godliness...” with their heart and soul to hearing the Divine Truth of
 Divine Truth is Absolute Perfect Truth. God believed in our Lord Jesus Christ and His Holy
 IT CANNOT BE ALTERED IN ANY WAY, WHICH WOULD THEN MAKE Gospel.
IT LESS THAN PERFECT. For the same reason, it also ✶ “...Received up in Glory ... “ refers to tHE GLORIOUS
cannot be debated nor compromised to any ASCENSION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST WHO PHYSICALLY
degree. ASCENDED INTO HEAVEN TO RESUME HIS ENTHRONEMENT AT
THE RIGHT HAND SIDE OF OUR HEAVENLY FATHER – the Most

T R ANSL ATION OF THE H OLY M ANDYL ION – AFT E RFE AST OF D ORM ITION – 16 AU GU ST 2019 17
Honoured Position – IN BOTH HIS DIVINE AND HUMAN AND SEPARATE US FROM GOD AND FROM ONE ANOTHER
NATURES. CERTAINLY DO HARM US AND OUR MUTUAL RELATIONSHIPS
 THEREBY CHRIST GLORIFIED HIS BELOVED CREATURES – THAT ARE SACRED.
MANKIND WHOM HE CREATED IN GOD’S LIKENESS AND  THE HOLY CHURCH OF CHRIST TEACHES AND GUIDES US
IMAGE and whom He Wills to return to our created PROPERLY so that we might live in True Happiness
state as worthy Citizens of His Heavenly Kingdom and Harmony with God, with nature and with
of Love. each other.
 THIS IS AN ANCIENT CHRISTIAN CREED OF FAITH that is ✶ “...foods that God created .... received with
particularly clear about the Eternal Divinity of our Thanksgiving...” When we know and understand
Lord Jesus Christ. A similar Creed of Faith is noted Divine Truth, we will ACCEPT ALL GOD’S BENEVOLENT
in St Paul’s Second Epistle to St Timothy. (2 TIMOTHY 2 PROVIDENCE WITH SINCERE GRATITUDE.
: 11 – 13) ✶ “... nothing is to be refused...” means that WE CANNOT
 Therefore, whenever the early Councils convened REJECT ANYTHING THAT GOD PROVIDES FOR OUR PHYSICAL
and issued Creeds, they were well within Biblical NOURISHMENT.
precedent.  We must BE GRATEFUL FOR EVERYTHING that we are able to
✶ “... seared with a hot iron...” describes exactly how OUR eat and drink.
REPEATED, WILFUL SINS BLUNT OUR SENSITIVITY TO GOOD AND  We must EXPRESS OUR THANKSGIVING by making the Sign
EVIL. of the Cross and reciting our Lord’s Prayer and
 It is a grim and severe warning to all Christians – other Prayers of Thanksgiving BEFORE AND AFTER
those who are neglectful and slothful and those PARTAKING OF ANY MEAL.
who are Struggling – to PERSISTENTLY REJECT EVIL IN  We must BE GRATEFUL FOR THE GOOD AND BAD ASPECTS OF
ALL FORM AND TO EVERY DEGREE in order to maintain a LIFE because everything contributes to our
softness of heart that welcomes and obeys the Spiritual Progress and Development.
Lord our God. ✶ “... Sanctified by the Word of God and Prayer...”
✶ “...forbidding to marry and commanding to abstain EVERYTHING BECOMES GOOD, BENEFICIAL AND WORTHY.
from foods...” SEXUAL ABSTINENCE AND FASTING ARE  Before we do anything, we ought to MAKE THE SIGN OF
IMPORTANT ASPECTS OF OUR SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINE. THE CROSS AND PRAY THAT IT BEARS GOOD FRUIT for our
 However we must control our grievous passions and Salvation and for the Glory of God.
desires not because the material world is evil, but  EVERYTHING that is good and Beneficial in this life IS
because INTIMATE RELATIONSHIPS IN MARRIAGE AND THE FOR OUR SALVATION AND FOR THE GLORY OF GOD.
EATING OF FOOD IS NOT “UNCLEAN”  Therefore, ANYTHING THAT DOES NOT CONTRIBUTE IN THIS
 SELF-INDULGENCE, DISOBEDIENCE, INGRATITUDE, GREED, LUST, MANNER IS A WASTED EFFORT.
AND ALL UNCONTROLLED GRIEVOUS PASSIONS THAT ALIENATE
T H E H OLY G OSPEL ACCO R D ING TO S T LU KE 9: 51-55; 10:22-24 & 13:22
At that time, when the time had come for (our Lord Jesus) to be received up, He steadfastly set His Sight to go to
Jerusalem. And He sent messengers before His Presence. And as they went, they entered a village of the
Samaritans, to prepare for Him.
And they did not receive Him, for His Sight was set on the journey to Jerusalem. Seeing this, His Disciples, James and
John said: “Lord, dost Thou want us to command Fire to come down from Heaven, and consume them, just as Elias
did?” Turning to them, He rebuked them, and said: “ You do not know what manner of spirit you are! For the Son
of Man did not come to destroy mankind’s life but to Save it!” And they went to another village...
...As they went on their way, He said to those who followed Him: “... all things have been granted to me by My Father.
And no one knows Who the Son is, except the Father, and Who the Father is, except the Son, and the one to whom
the Son Wills to reveal Him.” And, turning to His Disciples in private, He said: “ Blessed are the eyes that behold the
Things that you see; for I tell you that many Prophets and Kings have desired to see what you see, and have not
seen; and to hear what you have heard, and have not heard!”
...And He went through the cities and the villages, teaching, and journeying towards Jerusalem.
✶ “... when the time had come...” OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST’S HEAVENLY FIRE TO CONSUME THEM, just as the ancient Holy
PUBLIC MINISTRY TO HIS PEOPLE WAS FULFILLED. Prophet of God, St Elias (Elijah) had done. (4 KINGS 1 : 9 –
It was time for His Great Salvific Passion on the Cross, 12)
followed by His Glorious Resurrection and a little later, ✶ “... You do not know what manner of spirit you are...”
His Ascension into Heaven. They reacted
✶ “ ... He steadfastly sight His Sight to go to Jerusalem...” 1. angrily because THEY WERE NOT YET PERFECTED IN
Our Lord set His focus on Jerusalem to fulfil THE FINAL HOLY VIRTUE.
STAGE OF HIS EARTHLY MISSION. 2. according to OUR FALLEN SPIRITUAL STATE, WHICH IS
HE PREPARED HIS APOSTLES, and the other Disciples who WEAK AND INCLINED TO SIN.
accompanied Him, FOR WHAT WAS TO OCCUR IN  When we receive the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, we can
JERUSALEM, BUT THEY DID NOT YET UNDERSTAND EVERYTHING control our sinful inclinations and avoid the
HE TOLD THEM. temptations of the grievous passions.
✶ “... sent messengers ... to prepare for Him...” OUR LORD  If we ACQUIRE THE HOLY VIRTUES OF HUMILITY AND
USUALLY SENT SOME OF HIS FAITHFUL DISCIPLES AHEAD OF HIM OBEDIENCE, we will also be able to acquire the
TO ORGANISE A PLACE TO PREACH THE HOLY GOSPEL AND TO other Holy Virtues.
HEAL THE AFFLICTED. Sometimes it was to find suitable ✶ “... the Son of Man did not come to destroy... but to
accommodation and provisions for Christ and His Save...” - HIS DIVINE LAW IS ON A HIGHER PLANE than St
Apostles and Disciples who accompanied Him. Elias’ conduct, our Lord Jesus rebuked them and
✶ “...a village of Samaritans... did not receive Him...” Our instructed them to ENDURE INSULTS MEEKLY, AS HE HIMSELF
Lord knew that those Samaritans would refuse to ALWAYS DID.
welcome them, ✶ “...All things have been granted to Me by My Father...” -
1. it was NOT ACCORDING TO HIS DIVINE WILL. ACCORDING TO THE DIVINE WILL OF OUR HEAVENLY FATHER,
2. the SAMARITANS WOULD HAVE NO EXCUSE LATER, EVERYTHING IS SUBJECT TO HIS ETERNAL SON – our Lord
claiming that He had not come to them. Jesus Christ.
3. when HIS DISCIPLES saw Him being publically  GOD IS THE SOVEREIGN RULER OVER ALL CREATION according
humiliated and insulted later, they WOULD NOT to His Will and over those who willingly subject
BE SCANDALISED. themselves to His Divine Will.
4. He wanted them to learn from His own example  OUR LORD GOD IS OUR MASTER, independently of our own
how to PATIENTLY ENDURE REJECTION AND ABUSE. will because HE IS OUR CREATOR.
When His Disciples witnessed His Crucifixion He wanted  OUR LORD GOD IS OUR MASTER WHENEVER WE, as His
them to understand that HE ENDURED IT ALL – not as One grateful servants, FULFIL HIS DIVINE WILL through our
Who is powerless - but AS ONE WHO IS PATIENT AND LONG- willingness to Strive and to Struggle.
SUFFERING.  St Theophylact explained: “... Formerly, our human
✶ “... command Fire to come down from Heaven ...as Elias nature was subject to God even though we did
did...” ST JAMES AND ST JOHN felt insulted and angered not want to be and even though we also were
by the rejection of the Samaritans and WANTED subject to the evil one.

.
18 T R ANSL ATION OF THE H OLY M ANDYL ION – AFT E RFE AST OF D ORM ITION – 16 AU GU ST 2019
“But when our Lord Jesus Christ waged Warfare against  The only way we human beings can receive
the demons on our behalf, and Delivered us from the Knowledge of God and His Divine Truth is BY THE
tyranny of the devil, He made us Labourers and POWER AND ENERGY OF GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT AND
Doers of His Commandments, and since then we THROUGH THE DIVINE REVELATIONS OF OUR LORD JESUS
became His grateful and willing servants – both by CHRIST.
nature and by our own free will.  BEFORE THE INCARNATION OF THE ETERNAL SON AND WORD OF
“The first condition of servitude was by nature only but GOD, NO HUMAN BEING RECEIVED THE GIFTS OF GOD THE
the second was by our own free will as well.” HOLY, LIFE-GIVING SPIRIT, which enables us to
 CHRIST HAS TRIUMPHED OVER SIN AND DEATH and has thus receive Divine Knowledge and Revelation.
established Peace between all in Heaven and on ✶ “... Blessed are the eyes that behold the Things that you
Earth. see...” OUR ANCIENT HOLY FATHERS DID NOT SEE OUR LORD
 ALL DIVINE ECONOMY AND OUR ETERNAL SALVATION IS INCARNATE THROUGH WHOM OUR HEAVENLY FATHER IS
GRANTED BY OUR HEAVENLY FATHER TO HIS BELOVED SON. REVEALED TO US.
 Since He alone became Incarnate, Suffered and  THEY NEVER RECEIVED THE KNOWLEDGE OF - NOR COULD THEY
Resurrected for the sake of all mankind and He is COMPREHEND OUR LORD GOD, THE HOLY TRINITY, as His
thus the Author of our Eternal Salvation. Holy Apostles and Faithful Disciples were able to
✶ “... no one knows Who the Son... and Who the Father do.
is...”  Christ’s Words also refer to those who are able to
 Only God our Heavenly Father fully knows His Divine BEHOLD AND COMPREHEND THE DIVINE TRUTH THROUGH
Son – and vice versa - because THEY ARE OF THE FAITH AND BY DIVINE GRACE.
SAME DIVINE NATURE AND ESSENCE.  Christ spoke similar words to His Apostles and
 Thus EVERYTHING IS GRANTED TO CHRIST IN ORDER TO Disciples after His Resurrection, when He referred
PERFECTLY ACCOMPLISH THE DIVINE PLAN FOR MANKIND’S to FUTURE GENERATIONS WHO – WITHOUT WITNESSING UP
ETERNAL SALVATION. CLOSE AND PERSONALLY LIKE THEM – WOULD BELIEVE.
 Our Triune Lord God is infinitely BEYOND ANY HUMAN
KNOWLEDGE OR COMPREHENSION.
T R ANSL ATION OF THE HO LY M ANDYL ION “N OT M ADE BY H ANDS ”
The Holy Mandylion “Not Made By Hands” is a Most commemorated ever since by the Eastern Orthodox
Precious Holy Relic and the first Holy Icon of our Lord Church of Christ.
Jesus Christ. During the devastating destruction and pillaging of
It was a square, linen cloth upon which a Miraculous Constantinople by the ungodly Fourth Crusaders most
Image of His Face had been imprinted. (It is also of our Holy Relics and innumerable priceless and
referred to as the Face Cloth, Soudarion or Holy irreplaceable Sacred Treasures, including the
Napkin of Christ our Lord.) Mandylion and Shroud were stolen – many of which
It had covered our Lord’s Face prior to being encased by were never seen again.
the burial wrappings, which were then hardened and Centuries later the 14ft long linen Shroud of Christ
preserved by 100 pounds of bitter aloes! appeared in Turin, Italy having been bequeathed to
After His Resurrection, when St Peter and St John had the Roman Catholic Church by King Umberto of Italy.
rushed to the Empty Tomb, they had found the Having miraculously survived through the centuries, the
Mandylion neatly folded and placed to one side on Shroud of Christ is occasionally displayed for all
the ledge upon which the Precious Body of our Lord Faithful Christians to venerate.
had been laid, while the hardened, protective shell- A team of scientists was allowed to closely examine the
like grave cloths and 14ft long, fine linen Shroud lay Shroud, which since then, has raised far more
where they had fallen. (J O H N 2 0 : 1 – 1 0 ) questions than answers.
Hebrew custom forbade the removal of anything from The full length (negative) Holy Icon of Christ, with all His
tombs yet these abandoned burial cloths were so Wounds clearly visible – back and front - has
Extraordinary that the Apostles took them away with remained sharply imprinted on the finely woven linen
them. cloth.
King Abgar of Edessa suffered from the devastating and Despite much controversy, debates and many attempts to
disfiguring disease of leprosy and, having heard of reproduce it exactly the same, yet failing to do so, it
the great Divine Powers and Teachings of our Lord remains a great scientific mystery!
Jesus Christ, had sent an urgent message beseeching The Image is a ‘photographic negative’, which can be
Him to visit Edessa as soon as possible and Heal him. properly seen when reproduced as a positive Image.
However, the request reached our Lord shortly before His Prior to the destruction of Constantinople, the Shroud was
Passion in Jerusalem, so He sent a reply to King Abgar elevated and venerated by the Faithful every Friday
declining his invitation but promising him that when in the Agia Sophia Cathedral.
He had completed His Mission He would send His Both Holy Relics were well known to all Faithful Orthodox
Apostles to Heal him. Christians throughout the centuries and Holy Icons of
One of His Seventy Apostles, St Jude Thaddeus of Edessa, Christ – copies of these Divine Images – are entitled:
carried the Epistle of Christ to King Abgar. “Not Made By Hands” - “The Holy Napkin” or “The
Our Lord kept His Promise, as He always does, and, after Mandylion”
He had Ascended into Heaven, His Apostles duly Eusebios of Caesarea claimed to have transcribed and
delivered the Mandylion to King Abgar, who was translated the actual Epistle of Christ, which was
instantly Healed and Restored to full health. carefully preserved in the Syriac chancery documents
Like so many other Holy Relics, the Mandylion and the of King Abgar of Edessa.
Shroud were Sanctifed by having been in contact with According to the Syriac Doctrine of Addai, a messenger,
the Divine Body and Blood of our Lord God. named Ananias had tried to copy the Image of Christ
The precious Mandylion was covered with the most “Not Made by Hands”, which was then conserved in
expensive material made for King Abgar, with a the Royal Palace.
circular hole exposing the Face of Christ. Circa 593 Evagrius Scholastikos reported a Miraculous
Later, when copies were made by the early Holy Icon of Christ “Not Made by Hands” – of Divine
Iconographers, the circle, the pattern of the Origin – Theoteuktos – which had effected the
surrounding material, and various other details were Miraculous Delivery of Edessa against a powerful
depicted, some of which have been continued by Persian invasion in 544.
Orthodox Iconographers throughout the ages. Another later account of the Mandylion noted that due to
The Eastern Orthodox Church has at least two Feast Days the successor of King Abgar having reverted to
commemorating the Mandylion and the Holy Shroud paganism, the Bishop had placed the Miraculous
– both of which have clear “photographs” of Christ Holy Icon inside a wall together with a lit oil lamp,
upon , which are definitely “Not Made By Hands.” and then sealing them up behind a clay tile.
The Mandylion was returned to Jerusalem from Edessa, Many years later, on the night of an impending Persian
and both were transferred from Jerusalem to invasion, a devout Bishop of Edessa was granted a
Constantinople. These Events have been

T R ANSL ATION OF THE H OLY M ANDYL ION – AFT E RFE AST OF D ORM ITION – 16 AU GU ST 2019 19
Vision, revealing the location of the hidden which flowed past Edessa, had overflowed its banks
Mandylion. and flooded the city.
Accompanied by other Faithful Clergymen, the Bishop During the restoration of the city and its walls, the
ordered the clay tile to be removed, whereupon not Mandylion was rediscovered, having been hidden
only was the hidden Mandylion exposed but the oil above one of the city gates.
lamp was still mysteriously shining brightly, showing Writing soon after the Persian siege of Edessa in 544, he
clearly that the Image of Christ Not Made By Hands mentioned our Lord Jesus Christ’s letter to King Abgar
was also imprinted on the back of the tile! and an inscription over that city gate stating “... no
Furthermore, the Bishop of Edessa used fire into which enemy shalt ever enter the city of Edessa...”
myrrh flowing from the Holy Icon was poured, which Although Procopios was sceptical about the authenticity
helped to repel and defeat the invasion. of the declaration, the desire to disprove it motivated
It was decided to reseal the Holy Icon inside the city wall the Persian King Khosrau to attack the city as those
to protect Edessa from further attacks. words “... kept irritating his mind.”
A court historian, Procopios of Caesarea, recorded how in The Syriac Chronicle of Edessa, written circa 540 - 550
525, the Daisan River, a tributary of the Euphrates, also claimed Divine Interventions in the siege, without
mentioning the Holy Icon of Christ.
T H ANK G OD F OR E VERY TH ING TH AT HAPP ENS
St Anthony the Great was a realist. His Rules or Canons And then, in particular, others will react negatively
are not some formula he found and threw at us. towards us, and our circumstances will cause us to
Each of them has something unique concerning the Life have bad thoughts, temptations, grievous passions
of the Monk and, if one is broken, everything comes and contrariness.
crashing down. Ceaseless Prayer and Gratitude to God for all that
He taught us to pray without ceasing but at the same time happens to us are the necessary conditions for a
to thank God for everything that happens to us. natural Life.
He used a coordinating conjunction because these If we do not thank God for everything, we cannot pray,
Ceaseless Prayers and Thanksgiving are inseparable. nor live a Monastic (or Christian) Life.
We thank God for pleasant things, but we ought to thank We have to be grateful for whatever happens to us –
Him even more when matters do not always turn out whether we live in a Monastery or in the world,
as we would want them to – for example, when we whether good or bad circumstances arise from our
pray and it seems that God does not hear us, or when inner or outer world, or from the Holy Brotherhood or
we beseech Him for good health, yet our illness our society, from enemies or from demons.
worsens, or when we entreat Him to grant us certain When bad thoughts torment us, we should not allow them
things, and we receive nothing. to overwhelm us to the point of despair but rather we
However, everything is back to front! should Rejoice and thank God for testing us.
Unless we learn to thank God for everything – especially Whenever we are tempted we should tell the demon: “Get
for adversity – we will never advance even an inch behind me, Satan!” and reject him immediately.
beyond where we were at our birth! We will make no Unceasing Prayer and sincere Gratitude for everything
progress at all! are directly connected to our personal Rule.
Of course, when our mothers gave birth to us, we were In other words, we can all perform our Rule when we
innocent infants and possessed a natural Sanctity, learn to pray ceaselessly. And those who perform
whereas now, being much older, we have acquired their Rule can acquire Unceasing Prayer.
cruelty and knowledge that makes us guilty. However, if we try to separate our Rule from Unceasing
So we have to learn to thank God for everything. Prayer, both will come tumbling down. This is basic
When we have bad thoughts, when others offend us, and we must remember it.
when resentment, anger and any grievous passion Miss your Rule for two days and you will see that you will
arises within us, we must, at that very moment, thank forget to say “Glory to Thee, our God!” even once a
God for His Great Mercy, and smile at our Brethren. day!
Unless we learn do so, it is impossible for us to advance
even one step, because everything will seem perverse ARCHIMANDRITE EMILIANOS OF SIMONOPETRA MONASTERY, MOUNT ATHOS
to us. HTTPS://PEMPTOUSIA.COM/2017
T H E E TE R NAL , I NSP IR ED W ISD OM OF OU R H OLY FATHERS
S T N ICH OL AS V EL IMIR OVIC H S T P OR PHY R IOS OF KAVSO KALY V IA
The heart is an apparently small organ of our body, yet A large part of the responsibility for our Spiritual State lies
there is always more than enough room for our Lord with the family. If we want to rid children of various
God to dwell inside. And if God does reside within us, internal problems, then advice, coercion, reason and
then our heart is filled to overflowing, and there is threats are not going to be enough. They will
room for nothing else. Even if this entire world were to probably just make everything worse. Correction
be installed there, our heart would be an empty comes through the Sanctification of the parents.
dwelling place without God.
S T CY R IL OF AL EX AND RIA
S T J OH N C HRY SOSTOM Knowledge is Awareness of God. If we really want to
Hypocrites want to be considered Saints, and have know the Lord our God, we must first get to know
everyone reverence them for their ‘piety.’ We see their ourselves.
outward demeanour and think that they serve God in
E LDE R TH AD DEU S OF V ITOV NIC A
all things, but their heart is filled with jealousy, guile
Life on Earth is very short – unimaginably so! But much
and every kind of wickedness.
has been granted to us in this short span of time so
S T P AISIOS THE AT H ONITE that we can turn to God from the very depths of our
We cannot expect to uproot the futility of the world from heart. He Transfigures and Resurrects our immortal
within us as long as we are content to live within its soul and we are extremely Blessed to have our Most
vanity. When we become estranged to the world, Pure Lady, Theotokos, to Intercede on our behalf
then our intellect is also detached from it easily and before the Heavenly Throne of Almighty God.
we wish only to become close to God.
S T G RE GORY V OF C ONSTANTINOPLE
S T J USTIN P OP OV ICH
If each and every one of us did whatever good we could,
There is no worse torture than thought itself. There is no there would not be so many unhappy people in this
Hell greater than thought that is completely cut off world.
from our Creator and God of all thought, our Lord
Jesus Christ, the Divine Word. Human though without
our Divine Saviour can know neither itself nor the
world around us.

.
20 T R ANSL ATION OF THE H OLY M ANDYL ION – AFT E RFE AST OF D ORM ITION – 16 AU GU ST 2019
Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa
Archdiocese of Good Hope
All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and
forever, and unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most
Blessed and Glorious Lady, Maria, Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together with all the Saints. And let us
commit ourselves and one another and our whole Life to Christ our God. Amen.
TONE (8) PLAGAL 4 18 AUGUST 2019
9TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
AFTERFEAST OF THE DORMITION
9TH SUNDAY OF ST MATTHEW – WALKING ON WATER
Also the Feast of St Floros & St Lauros of Illyria – St Hermes, St Serapion & St Polyaenos of Rome –
St Emilianos the Bishop, St Hilarion, St Dionysios & St Hermippos of Armenia – St John V & St
George I, Patriarchs of Constantinople – St Makarios the Abbotof Pelekete Monastery – St John
the Abbot of Rila Monastery, Bulgaria – St Sophronios of St Anne Skete, Mount Athos – St Arsenios
of Paros (Holy Relics) – St Barnabas & St Sophronios, his nephew, of Athens & Asia Minor – St
Christopher of Gazara, Trebizond, Abbot of Mount Mela Monastery – 4 Unknown Ascetics & 300
Holy Martyrs – St Christodoulos the Philosopher of Sakara, Georgia

THE SUNDAY AND FESTAL HYMNS ARE PUBLISHED IN BOOKLET FORM EACH MONTH. THESE ARE PUBLISHED AND FREELY
DOWNLOADABLE ON www.scribd.com/writers4574. L I N K S ARE ALSO POSTED ON FACEBOOK “ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN
EASTERN CAPE.” (OR CAN BE EMAILED DIRECTLY, ON REQUEST TO marguerite.paizis@gmail.com )

R ESUR REC TION G OSPEL 9 – J OH N 20 : 19 – 31

P R OKE IME NON – P SALM 75 – TO NE (8) P L AGAL 4


Pray and return to the Lord our God!
Known in Judah is God – in Israel Great is His Name!
T H E F IR ST EP ISTLE OF S T P AUL TO TH E C OR INTH IANS 3 : 9 – 17
Brethren: ... we are God’s Fellow Workers – you are God’s field – you are God’s building. According to the Grace of God,
which was granted to me, as a Wise Architect, I have laid the Foundation, and no other builds on it. Let each one
take heed how he builds on it! For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus
Christ. If anyone builds on this Foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will
become clear. For the Day will declare it – for it will be revealed by Fire. And the Fire will test each one’s work, of
what sort it is. If anyone’s work, which he has built on, endures, he will receive a Reward. If anyone’s work is burnt,
he will suffer loss, yet he himself will be Saved, as though through Fire.
Do you not know that you are the Temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells within you? If anyone defiles the
Temple of God, God will destroy him. For the Temple of God is Holy, which Temple you are.
✶ “... we are God’s Fellow Workers...” (“Synergi”) - refers to CONVERT SO MANY SOULS BY THE POWER AND ENERGY OF
THE BIBLICAL CONCEPT OF SYNERGISM – HARMONIOUS GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT.
TEAM EFFORT – demonstrated by the manner  St Paul not only converted innumerable souls but also
whereby THE HOLY APOSTLES OF CHRIST WORKED ESTABLISHED MANY CHRISTIAN COMMUNITIES during his
TOGETHER WITH OUR LORD GOD BY FULFILLING HIS HOLY Missionary Journeys throughout the Roman
MINISTRY TO ALL MANKIND. Empire.
 So, too, we who are Faithful Disciples of Christ, must ✶ “... another builds on it...” Having established these
co-operate with our Lord God by striving to fulfil Christian Communities, ST PAUL ORDAINED BISHOPS
His Divine Will in all circumstances. AND PRIESTS TO CONTINUE THE HOLY MISSION OF CHRIST
 THIS HOLY CO-OPERATION OR SYNERGY WITH OUR LORD GOD BY GUIDING AND SUSTAINING THE FAITHFUL FLOCK
DOES NOT MEAN THAT WE WORK TOGETHER AS EQUALS nor ACCORDING TO TRUE/ORTHODOX APOSTOLIC TEACHINGS
by a so-called ‘fifty-fifty’ arrangement. AND WORSHIP.
 OUR LORD IS OUR BENEVOLENT, ALMIGHTY CREATOR AND LORD ✶ “... let each one take heed how he builds on it...”
WHOM WE MUST RESPECT WITH ALL OUR BEING, WHILE WE  OUR FAITH AND WORSHIP CANNOT BE COMPROMISED, ALTERED
ARE MERELY HIS INTELLECTUAL CREATURES WHO ARE OR SELECTIVE.
CALLED TO VOLUNTARILY SERVE HIM AND TO PARTICIPATE  As Faithful Disciples, WE MUST MOST CAREFULLY PRESERVE
IN HIS HOLY MISSION ON EARTH WITH SINCERE HUMILITY THE DIVINE TRUTH OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.
AND OBEDIENCE.  We must LIVE ACCORDING TO THE TEACHINGS AND
✶ “... God’s field ... building...” WE HAVE BEEN CREATED BY GOD COMMANDMENTS OF OUR LORD as He instructed His
IN ORDER TO PRODUCE GOOD FRUIT – GOOD RESULTS – Holy Apostles and Disciples.
ACCORDING TO HIS DIVINE WILL AND HIS SALVIFIC PLAN  THE UNBROKEN APOSTOLIC SUCCESSION OF THE GENERATIONS
FOR ALL MANKIND. OF ORDAINED BISHOPS AND PRIESTS ENSURE THAT OUR LIFE
 We are like fertile fields that are CAPABLE OF PRODUCING IN CHRIST REMAINS AS CLOSE AS POSSIBLE TO THOSE FIRST
GOOD CROPS FOR THE GLORY AND HONOUR OF OUR LORD FAITHFUL DISCIPLES AND APOSTLES OF CHRIST.
GOD.  WE CANNOT PICK AND CHOOSE WHATEVER WE PREFER FOR GOD
 We have been CREATED TO FULFIL HIS DIVINE WILL BUT HIMSELF HAS GIVEN US EVERYTHING NECESSARY FOR OUR
ONLY IF WE CHOOSE TO DO SO, for He granted us free FAITH AND WORSHIP.
will to choose whatever path we wish to take. ✶ “... no other foundation...”
✶ “... According to the Grace of God... granted to me...”  THE DIVINE TRUTH IS ABSOLUTE AND PERFECT, so TO CHANGE
 St Paul understood that ONLY BY THE DIVINE GRACE OF OUR EVEN THE SMALLEST “IOTA OR TITTLE” WOULD CAUSE IT TO
LORD GOD ARE WE ABLE TO ACCOMPLISH ANYTHING THAT IS BECOME IMPERFECT AND NO LONGER DIVINE TRUTH.
GOOD AND WORTHY.  As God’s Faithful Disciples WE MUST MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO
 Without Divine Grace, WE CAN ACHIEVE VERY LITTLE BY OUR FULFIL HIS DIVINE WILL – not our own flawed, sinful
OWN EFFORTS. will.
 BY THE GRACE OF GOD WE ARE ABLE TO FULFIL THE WILL OF  BY CHANGING OR – GOD FORBID! – REJECTING ANY OF THE
GOD AND DO THINGS THAT ARE USUALLY WAY BEYOND OUR HOLY MYSTERIES that our Lord Jesus Christ has
HUMAN ABILITIES. instituted for our Eternal Salvation, WE COMMIT THE
✶ “... as a wise Master Builder, I have laid the TERRIBLE SIN OF HERESY AND BLASPHEMY!
foundation...” ST PAUL RECEIVED HIS KNOWLEDGE ✶ “... each one’s work will become clear... it will be
DIRECTLY FROM OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST AND THE revealed by Fire...”
NECESSARY ABILITIES TO PREACH HIS DIVINE TRUTH AND TO  EVERY THOUGHT, EVERY WORD AND EVERY DEED HAS AN
INEVITABLE CONSEQUENCE.

9TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 9TH OF ST MATTHEW – WALKING ON WATER – 18 AUGUST 2019 21
 NOTHING CAN BE HIDDEN FROM OUR LORD GOD NOR FROM THE CONSECRATED AS SACRED LIVING TEMPLES OF GOD – from
“GREAT CLOUD OF WITNESSES” who see, hear and our birth to our Repose!
know everything we do!  GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT – INDEED THE HOLY TRINITY – DWELLS
 WE CANNOT MAKE ANY EXCUSES FOR OURSELVES because WITHIN US, UNTIL EVICTED BY OUR UNREPENTED SINS!
GOD HAS GIVEN US EVERY OPPORTUNITY AND EVERY MEANS  As Sanctified Temples of God, OUR BODY MUST ALWAYS BE
POSSIBLE TO OBEY AND TO FULFIL HIS DIVINE WILL AND TREATED WITH UTMOST RESPECT – not only while we live
TRUTH. but even after our immortal soul has separated
 OUR EVERY WORD, THOUGHT AND DEED DURING THIS SHORT from our mortal flesh.
LIFESPAN WILL JUDGE US and either reward us with  OUR BODY IS “LENT” TO US FOR THE DURATION OF THIS LIFESPAN
Eternal Life in His Heavenly Kingdom of Love, or AND MUST BE RETURNED TO THE EARTH WHENCE IT
condemn us to Eternal Death (a total absence of ORIGINATED, TO BE RESURRECTED ANEW ON THE EIGHTH
God and all His Goodness and Love!) DAY, as Christ showed us so clearly by His own
 In other words, THE CHOICES WE MAKE NOW, WILL EITHER physical Resurrection.
BLESS OR CONDEMN US.  Therefore UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES MUST WE VIOLENTLY
 For that reason we need to learn how to CLOSELY CREMATE, GRIND UP AND DISPOSE OF OUR SANCTIFIED
EXAMINE OURSELVES SO THAT WE CAN REPENT OUR SINS AS FLESH AND BONES as though merely discarded,
QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE and return to a healthy, useless garbage!
productive Spiritual Life of CONTINUOUS REPENTANCE Furthermore, BY FORCING OUR RELATIVES AND FRIENDS TO DO SO
AND CONFESSION, WHILE PARTICIPATING FULLY IN OUR CONDEMNS US AS WELL AS THEM, for it is a blatant,
CHRISTIAN LIFE AND WORSHIP. wilful sin against the Lord our God.
 The entire Purpose of this short, preparatory lifespan is ✶ “... it will be revealed by Fire...” - a reference to THE HOLY
to DO EVERYTHING POSSIBLE TO REGAIN OUR DIVINE SPIRIT WHO IS TRUTH ITSELF, for HE REVEALS EVERYTHING
LIKENESS so that we become worthy Citizens of THAT IS GOOD AND TRUE – according to the Goodness
Heaven and Co-Heirs with Christ. and Truth of Almighty God, not our limited and
✶ “ ... you are the Temple of God... the Spirit of God dwells ignorant concept of “truth.”
in you...” OUR PHYSICAL BODY HAS BEEN SANCTIFIED AND
T H E H OLY G OSPEL ACCORDING TO ST MA TTHE W 14 : 22 – 34
WALKING ON WATER
At that time, our Lord Jesus made His Disciples get into the boat, and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the
multitudes away. And when He had sent them away, He went up the mountain by Himself to pray. When evening
came, He was alone there.
The boat was then in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves. The wind was contrary. In the Fourth Watch of the
night Jesus went to them – walking on the sea. And when His Disciples saw Him walking on the water, they were
troubled, and said: “It is a phantom!” And they cried out in Fear.
Immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying: “Be of good cheer! It is I – do not fear!” Peter answered Him, saying: “Lord, if
it is Thee, command me to come to Thee on the water.” He said: “Come!” And when Peter got down out of the boat,
he walked upon the water and went towards Jesus.
Seeing the strength of the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink, he cried out: “Lord! Save me!” Immediately Jesus
stretched out His Hand and caught him, and He said to him: ““O ye of little Faith! Why did thou doubt?”
And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. Those who were in the boat went and worshipped Him, saying:
“Truly! Thou art the Son of God!”
And when they had crossed over, they arrived at the land of Gennesaret.
✶ “...when He had sent them away...”  Whenever there is an unexpected Encounter with
 Having fed and Healed the bodies and souls of the Christ, He identifies Himself and calms the natural
5000 Families who had followed our Lord Jesus - but often superstitious - fears of His People.
Christ and His Disciples into the wilderness, Christ  “I Am” IS THE DIVINE NAME OF GOD.
first sent His Apostles to go ahead of Him, and  By Identifying Himself with His Divine Name, OUR LORD
then sent the people home, before going up the JESUS CHRIST REASSURED HIS DISCIPLES OF HIS ABSOLUTE
mountain IN TOTAL ISOLATION TO COMMUNICATE AND DIVINE AUTHORITY OVER ALL CREATION.
THROUGH PRAYER WITH GOD HIS FATHER.  A MARVELLOUS TRANSFORMATION OCCURS TO ALL HEARTS AND
 Like our Divine Saviour, WE NEED SOLITUDE AND QUIETNESS SOULS WHEN WE ARE IN GOD’S LOVING AND
IN ORDER TO COMMUNICATE WITH OUR HEAVENLY FATHER. COMPASSIONATE PRESENCE.
 It is better to pray in peaceful surroundings when WE WE MIGHT ALSO FEEL AND RESPOND TO HIS DIVINE PRESENCE
CAN FOCUS OUR ATTENTION SOLELY ON THE LORD OUR AND GRACE WHEN WE ENCOUNTER HIS MOST FAITHFUL
GOD. SERVANTS.
✶ “ ... In the Fourth Watch of the night...” was THE PERIOD ✶ “... ‘Lord, if it is Thee, command me...’” ST PETER, as
03:00 – 06:00. impulsive as usual, ASKED OUR LORD JESUS TO PROVE IT IS
 THE ROMANS HAD DIVIDED THE 24-HOUR DAY INTO PERIODS OF INDEED HIM BY MAKING IT POSSIBLE FOR HIM TO ALSO WALK
THREE HOURS EACH, which was used by everyone UPON THE WATER.
throughout the vast Roman Empire.  ST PETER WAS WILLING TO BELIEVE, YET STILL NEEDED PROOF –
 It shows us how many hours our Lord had spent in just like the other Apostles who often had
Communication with our Heavenly Father, before difficulties comprehending whatever they heard
He rejoined His Apostles. and witnessed.
✶ “... the boat was then in the middle of the sea...” A storm  AFTER THE DESCENT OF GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT on each ot
had prevented the Apostles from reaching the them at Pentecost, after the Ascension of Christ,
safety of the opposite shore. THEY WOULD ALL BE ABLE TO FULLY UNDERSTAND AND
✶ “... the wind was contrary...” THEY HAD MADE VERY LITTLE TEACH OTHERS HIS DIVINE TRUTH.
PROGRESS since their departure from our Lord. ✶ “... to come to Thee...” St Peter did not ask Christ to make
In fine weather, they could sail across the water quite it possible for him to walk on water because he
quickly, but THE ADVERSE WIND AND TEMPESTUOUS WAVES needed to see Him perform a Divine Miracle, but
MADE IT VERY DIFFICULT TO PROCEED. rather TO BE REUNITED WITH HIM.
 Their increasing fears might have compelled our Lord  We are profoundly Comforted, Encouraged and
Jesus Christ to go to them sooner than He had Reassured when we are in the Presence of our
intended. Lord God.
✶ Our Lord “... Jesus went to them – walking on the sea...”  The closer our Relationship to God becomes, the more
– A NATURAL ACTION FOR OUR LORD GOD but we yearn to be with Him.
completely unnatural for any human being.  Ceaseless Prayer keeps us close to God for we are
✶ “... they cried out in fear...” His Disciples, who were United to Him by our Prayers.
already frightened by their tempestuous  If we are indeed walking with our Lord throughout
circumstances and an overwhelming fear of the day, it is natural to constantly speak to Him.
drowning, obviously perceived Him to be “...a ✶ “... He said: ‘Come!’...” - WITH THAT ONE WORD CHRIST
phantom...” – a supernatural apparition rather than ENABLED ST PETER TO DO SOMETHING THAT WAS
our Incarnate Divine Saviour. NATURALLY IMPOSSIBLE
✶ "... It is I - do not fear...” Our Lord immediately  WHEN GOD CALLS US OR COMMANDS US WE MUST RESPOND
comforted them by identifying Himself. INSTANTLY, knowing with all our being that we can
go wherever He leads us.

22 9TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 9TH OF ST MATTHEW – WALKING ON WATER – 18 AUGUST 2019
 WHEN WE WALK WITH OUR LORD GOD – LIVE IN CHRIST - WE ✶ “... those who were in the boat... worshipped Him...”
HAVE NEITHER HESITATION, DOUBT NOR ANY FEAR AT ALL.  Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Disciples in a boat on
 ONCE WE LEARN TO SURRENDER OUR WILL TO GOD’S DIVINE the storm-tossed waves signifies OUR DIVINE HIGH
WILL, EVERYTHING BECOMES POSSIBLE AND EASIER TO PRIEST AND HIS HOLY CHURCH, which is LIKE A STURDY
ENDURE. WELL-CONSTRUCTED BOAT THAT IS STEERED BY OUR TRIUNE
 St Theophylact pointed out, “... it is not an attribute of LORD GOD - ON COURSE TOWARDS ETERNAL LIFE.
mankind to walk upon the sea, but of God...”  HIS HOLY CHURCH IS FILLED WITH HIS FAITHFUL DISCIPLES
 PSALM 76/77:20 “... Thy Way is in the sea, and Thy Paths who are CARRIED SAFELY OVER THE STORMY SEAS OF
are in many waters...” TURMOIL AND TROUBLES OF EARTHLY LIFE, TOWARDS THE
✶ “...Peter got down out of the boat... walked upon the SAFETY OF HIS ETERNAL HARBOUR – HIS HEAVENLY
water ...” ST PETER’S INITIAL STRENGTH OF FAITH KINGDOM.
ALLOWED HIM TO WALK ON THE WATER.  GOD PERMITS US TO EXPERIENCE THE STORMY, SOMETIMES LIFE-
 ST PETER WAS ABLE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE DIVINE MIRACLE OF THREATENING CONDITIONS OF EARTHLY LIFE.
CHRIST AS LONG AS HE FOCUSED EXCLUSIVELY ON HIM.  Thereby we are able to ACQUIRE UNDERSTANDING AND
 According to St Theophylact: “... our Lord laid the sea APPRECIATION OF HIS DIVINE PROVIDENCE AND
down beneath St Peter’s feet, thereby PROTECTION, without which we would never be able
demonstrating His Divine Power. to survive or progress.
 As St John Chrysostom explained: “...St Peter  Similar to the calming of the stormy weather, OUR
prevailed over the sea, which was the greater DIVINE SAVIOUR CALMS THE STORMY, SPIRITUAL TEMPESTS
(peril), yet was afraid of the wind, which was THAT DISTURB OUR IMMORTAL SOUL.
the lesser peril! Such is the weakness of our  IN HIS ETERNAL PRESENCE, OUR LORD GOD IS ALWAYS WITH US
human nature!” – even in the midst of the worst conditions.
✶ “...Seeing ... he was afraid, and beginning to sink...”  THIS WAS THE FIRST TIME THAT HIS DISCIPLES CONFESS OUR
 As soon as ST PETER BECAME DISTRACTED by the LORD AS “SON OF GOD.”
surrounding conditions, HIS FEARS OVERWHELMED AND  knowing that ONLY GOD CAN BE WORSHIPPED, THEY CONFESS
DEFEATED HIM. HIS DIVINITY BY WORSHIPPING AND GLORIFYING HIM.
 Perhaps the concern for St Peter’s safety, as well as the ✶ ST THEOPHYLACT EXPLAINED THE SPIRITUAL ASPECTS OF THIS
doubts and fears of the other Apostles had also DIVINE EVENT:
distracted him. 1. The boat signifies the Earth.
 THE INSTANT ST PETER TOOK HIS ATTENTION OFF CHRIST HE 2. The waves signify our life that is troubled by evil
LOST FAITH AND BEGAN TO SINK UNDER WAVES OF DOUBT. spirits, temptations and sin.
✶ “...’Lord! Save me!’...” (“Kyrie, Soson me!”) is THE MOST 3. The darkness of night signifies our Spiritual Ignorance
POWERFUL, HEARTFELT PRAYER. and its harmful ramifications.
 We repeatedly pray a similar ‘Prayer of the Heart’ - 4. The Fourth Watch signifies the end of the ages when
“Kyrie, eleison!” thereby BESEECHING OUR LORD’S our Divine Saviour, Jesus Christ Appeared and
GREAT MERCY UPON US AND ALL MANKIND WHO STRUGGLE Saved us.
EVERY MOMENT OF THE DAY IN SPIRITUAL WARFARE
The First Watch signifies the Old Divine Covenant
against the evil one and his invented temptations with St Abraham concerning God’s Promise to
that lead to sin and death. His Chosen People.
 According to St Theophylact our Lord Jesus allowed
The Second Watch signifies the Divine Law given to
this to happen “... so that St Peter would not St Moses, whereby God Commands us to live.
become puffed up, and to console the other
The Third Watch signifies the Holy Prophets of God
Disciples who perhaps might have envied him.” who Guided and Enlightened His People,
 This also showed HOW ALMIGHTY AND POWERFUL OUR LORD preparing them for the Coming of the Great
JESUS CHRIST IS than any of us! Divine Messiah.
✶ “... Immediately Jesus stretched out His Hand and
The Fourth watch signifies the Advent of Christ and
caught him...” showing us HOW QUICKLY HE RESPONDS our New Covenant with God.
TO OUR PRAYERS when we perceive impending  OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST SAVES US FROM DROWNING THE
danger to ourselves and others. TEMPESTUOUS DEPTHS OF SIN by revealing His Divine
 IN TIMES OF NEED, EVERYONE CALLS OUT TO GOD FOR Truth whereby we might know Him and Glorify,
DELIVERANCE – even those who profess unbelief, for Honour and Worship Him properly and worthily as
OUR IMMORTAL SOUL KNOWS THAT ONLY GOD CAN SAVE US our only, Living, Loving, Merciful, Providential and
AND DELIVER US FROM THE EVIL ONE. Gracious Triune Lord God.
 MANY PEOPLE NEED TO FEAR SOMETHING BEYOND THEIR  BY HIS OWN PERFECT EXAMPLE WE ARE TAUGHT HOW TO APPLY
‘CONTROL’ IN ORDER TO COMPEL THEM TO TURN TO GOD HIS DIVINE COMMANDMENTS AND TEACHINGS TO
and beseech His Divine Help and Great Mercy. OURSELVES so that we regain our Divine Likeness
 We all know – even though so many deny it – that which we have lost due to Ancestral Sin and our
ONLY GOD IS TRULY IN CONTROL OF ALL CREATION - ONLY inclination to commit sins caused by grievous
BY HIS DIVINE GRACE AND MERCY ARE WE ABLE TO SURVIVE passions.
AND FLOURISH. ✶ St Theophylact stated “... St Peter’s later thrice denial of
✶ “...O thee of little Faith! Why did thou doubt?...” Christ and his subsequent Repentance were
ALTHOUGH OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST ADMONISHED ST PETER , prefigured by this Event...” for although St Peter
HE ALSO ADDRESSED THE OTHER HOLY APOSTLES WHO would proclaim : ‘I will not deny Thee,’ with the
WITNESSED EVERYTHING AND EVERY ONE OF US FOR OUR LACK OF same vehemence as when he said to our Lord “ ...
STEADFAST FAITH IN ALMIGHTY GOD. Command me to come to Thee...” he would be
 The Greek term “edistas” in this context means “to “...permitted to deny Christ later, as he was
waver” or “to hesitate.” permitted to sink now.”
 Thus, THE ACTUAL CAUSE OF ST PETER’S SINKING WAS not due  Just as on this day, our Lord had “...stretched out His
to the stormy conditions, but rather DUE TO HIS Hand and caught him...” thereby preventing St
SUDDEN WAVERING OR HESITATION. Peter from drowning, later – after the Resurrection
 Christ rebuked St Peter rather than the tempestuous of Christ - when St Peter had wept so bitterly and
conditions, which had distracted him. Repented, our Lord “... drew him out of the Abyss
✶ “... when they got into the boat, the wind ceased...” – of denial...” by FORGIVING AND RESTORING HIM –
EVERYTHING BECOMES CALM AND PEACEFUL IN THE PRESENCE Saving him from drowning in sin.
OF OUR DIVINE SAVIOUR WHO IS TRULY MASTER OF ALL  This Sacred Lesson teaches us clearly that WITH
CREATION. UNWAVERING FAITH IN GOD, WE CAN ACHIEVE IMPOSSIBLE
 It is significant that CHRIST DID NOT CARRY ST PETER IN HIS THINGS WITH GOD.
ARMS TO THE SAFETY OF THE BOAT, BUT THEY WALKED  It also shows us how GOD SAVES US WHENEVER WE ARE
TOGETHER TO THE BOAT, which shows us how OVERWHELMED AND DROWNING IN SINS – WHEN WE REPENT
EVERYTHING THAT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR US BECOMES OUR ERRORS AND BESEECH HIS GREAT MERCY.
MYSTERIOUSLY POSSIBLE WHEN WE ARE WITH GOD.

9TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 9TH OF ST MATTHEW – WALKING ON WATER – 18 AUGUST 2019 23
9 T H
S U ND AY AF TE R P E NTEC OST – 9 T H
S U ND AY OF S T M ATTHE W – W AL KING ON W ATER
Our Lord Jesus Christ went up into the mountain to teach As St Peter cried out: “Lord, save me!” HE IMMEDIATELY “...
us that WHEN WE ARE TO PRAY TO GOD, SOLITUDE AND SILENCE STRETCHED FORTH HIS HAND AND CAUGHT HIM, and said to
ARE GOOD, so He continually withdrew into the him, “O you of little Faith, why did you doubt?”’ and
wilderness, and often spent the whole night in Prayer, THEY WALKED BACK TO THE BOAT TOGETHER.
thereby teaching us to earnestly SEEK QUIETNESS for our This was more wonderful than the former occasion, when
Prayers whenever possible, for the wilderness is the Christ had calmed the storm, for after revealing His
Mother of Quietness - a Calm Harbour, DELIVERING US control of Creation by calming the wind, HE NOW
FROM ALL TURBULENCE. WALKED UPON THE WATER AND PERMITTED ST PETER TO DO SO
Meanwhile His Disciples were struggling against a storm AS WELL.
as fierce as the earlier one when Christ had been with If our Lord had required this to be done at the
them but now they were by themselves and very beginning, St Peter would not have received it so well,
afraid. In this manner, BY DEGREES, HE ENCOURAGED THEM because he had not yet acquired such great Faith,
AND IMPELLED THEM TOWARDS SPIRITUAL PERFECTION. and if He had refused to permit St Peter, he might
During the previous storm they had been in similar have tried to contradict Him, so OUR LORD CONVINCED
danger, but our Lord was present, although asleep, HIS APOSTLE BY THIS EXTRAORDINARY EXPERIENCE TO RESTRAIN
and He quickly relieved their fears, but now, THEY HIS HABITUAL IMPULSIVENESS.
NEEDED A GREATER DEGREE OF ENDURANCE, COURAGE AND St John, relating this same Event, said that His Disciples
FAITH IN GOD, for they were on the open, deep waters, “...willingly received Him into the ship; and
at the mercy of the tempestuous elements. immediately the ship was at the land they had left...”
Their fear and contrition was caused by the coincidence implying that THEY SOON ARRIVED AT THEIR DESTINATION
of timing and foul weather. And they longed for Him AFTER OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST HAD BOARDED THE BOAT.
with vivid recollections of His Great Mercy. St Peter climbed overboard and went so eagerly towards
Our Lord Jesus did not go to them at once, but only our Lord - not SO MUCH PLEASED AT WALKING ON THE WATER,
several hours later – “...in the fourth watch of the AS AT BEING REUNITED WITH HIM, and WHEN HE HAD
night...” which teaches us NOT TO BE IN A RUSH TO SEEK PREVAILED OVER THE GREATER DANGER, HE WAS ON THE POINT
DIVINE DELIVERANCE FROM IMPENDING THREATS, BUT TO BEAR OF SUCCUMBING TO THE LESSER – yielding to the violence
EVERYTHING COURAGEOUSLY that befalls us. of the wind, rather than the tumultuous sea.
However, just when they were losing hope of being This is typical of our human nature – as IT NOT UNUSUAL FOR
Delivered, THEIR FEARS WERE FURTHER HEIGHTENED, for US TO ACHIEVE SOMETHING GREAT AND THEN STUMBLE OVER
“...when the Disciples saw Him walking on the sea, SOMETHING LESS, like Elijah with Jezebel, Moses with the
they were troubled, and said, ‘It is a phantom!’ and Egyptian, and David with Bathsheba.
they cried out in fear.” So it was with St Peter. WHILE THE OTHER APOSTLES’ FEAR WAS
SOMETIMES WHEN OUR DIVINE SAVIOUR IS ABOUT TO CALM OUR AT ITS HEIGHT, HE HAD THE COURAGE TO CLIMB OUT THE BOAT
TERROR, HE PERMITS US TO SUFFER EVEN WORSE AND MORE AND TRY TO WALK ON THE WATER, UNTIL HE BECAME
ALARMING THINGS. Apart from the frightening storm, the DISTRACTED BY THE BUFFETING OF THE WIND, and was no
sight of Him walking on the water terrified them even longer able to stand, DESPITE BEING NEAR TO CHRIST.
more. IT IS OBVIOUSLY OF NO BENEFIT TO APPROACH OUR LORD JESUS
He neither dispelled the darkness, nor immediately CHRIST, UNLESS WE POSSESS UNWAVERING FAITH.
revealed His Identity, but taught them to BE READY TO This demonstrated the difference between our Divine
ENDURE ALL CIRCUMSTANCES BY ALLOWING THEIR FEAR TO TEST Master and His Disciple, which would have PLACATED
THEM. So, before relieving their terror and temptation, THE OTHER APOSTLES WHO MIGHT HAVE BEEN ANNOYED, SINCE
He permitted the experience to be even more taxing. THE HOLY SPIRIT HAD NOT YET BEEN TRANSMITTED TO THEM.
WE CANNOT BE TEMPTED BOTH LONG AND HARD: so when we are Afterwards, ALTHOUGH ALL THE APOSTLES OF CHRIST WERE
on the point of coming to an end of our conflicts, HE EQUALLY EMPOWERED AND AUTHORISED, THEY ACCEPTED THE
SOMETIMES INTENSIFIES OUR STRUGGLES, SO THAT WE MIGHT LEADERSHIP OF ST PETER WHO BECAME THEIR SPOKESMAN –
PROFIT MORE GREATLY FROM THEM. beginning on the Day of Pentecost when the Universal
In this way, even THINGS THAT ARE OTHERWISE INTOLERABLE for Holy Church of Christ began to spread the Holy
us, just before their removal, at our last gasp, WILL Gospel throughout the world.
BECOME TOLERABLE, which is what Christ did by Our Lord had not commanded the winds to cease and
refraining from Identifying Himself and calming their the tossing waves to calm, but AS SOON AS ST PETER
fears before they cried aloud - THE MORE INTENSE THEIR BEGAN TO SINK, HE STRETCHED FORTH HIS HAND AND TOOK
ALARM, THE MORE EAGERLY THEY WELCOMED HIS COMING. HOLD OF HIM because St Peter needed to trust God’s Will
HIS DIVINE PRESENCE REMOVED THEIR FEAR AND GRANTED THEM implicitly, by realising that WHEN WE LACK SOMETHING
CONFIDENCE. ESSENTIAL, OUR LORD GOD WILL PROVIDE WHATEVER WE NEED.
THEY HAD NOT RECOGNIZED HIM BY SIGHT, DUE TO THE POOR Christ’s rhetorical question to St Peter “...Why did you
VISIBILITY, AND ESPECIALLY BECAUSE OF THE MIRACULOUS doubt?” meant that IT WAS NOT THE ADVERSE CONDITIONS
MANNER OF HIS APPROACH, UNTIL HE VERBALLY IDENTIFIED BUT HIS LACK OF FAITH AND FOCUS THAT HAD CAUSED HIM TO
HIMSELF. SINK. HAD HE NOT HESITATED WHILE ACTUALLY WALKING ON
ST PETER, who WAS HABITUALLY IMPULSIVE AND ARDENT in WATER, HE WOULD HAVE SUCCEEDED, which is why our Lord
everything he did, called out to Him: “Lord, if it is allowed the adverse weather to continue until they
Thee, command me to come to Thee on the water.” were safely aboard the boat.
HE DID NOT ASK OUR LORD TO “ENTREAT” BUT TO COMMAND HIM, Previously when He had calmed the storm, His Apostles
which shows his profound Faith in Christ, although HIS had wondered: ‘What kind of Man is this, that even
FAITHFUL ZEAL OFTEN LANDED HIM IN DANGER AND MOTIVATED the winds and the sea obey Him!’ but then,
HIM TO SEEK THINGS THAT WERE BEYOND HIS ABILITIES AT THE WITNESSING CHRIST AND ST PETER WALKING ON WATER, AND
TIME. THE STORMY WEATHER SUDDENLY ABATING ONCE THEY HAD
On this occasion, too, he asked Christ to grant him a very RETURNED TO THE BOAT, THEY CONFESSED AND WORSHIPPED
great thing, although it was OUT OF LOVE FOR OUR HIM.
SAVIOUR, RATHER THAN TO SHOW OFF, for he Loved our Lord HE GRADUALLY LED THEM TO SPIRITUAL HEIGHTS AS THEIR FAITH
Jesus so much, HE WAS WILLING TO DO ANYTHING TO BE WITH INCREASED WITH EACH MIRACULOUS EXPERIENCE AND AS THEY
HIM. LISTENED CAREFULLY TO HIS TEACHINGS, which they came
St Peter demonstrated the depth of his devotion to Christ, to fully comprehend when THE DIVINE GRACE OF GOD THE
for HE NOT ONLY BELIEVED THAT BY THE WILL OF OUR LORD, HE HOLY SPIRIT, ENABLED THEM TO ACQUIRE ALL NECESSARY
WOULD BE ABLE TO WALK ON THE WATER HIMSELF, BUT HE ATTRIBUTES FOR THEIR WORLD-WIDE SACRED MISSION.
COULD WAIT NO LONGER TO BE REUNITED WITH HIM. And so today we joyfully Confess, together with His Holy
OUR LORD SAID ONE WORD - “Come!” – and ST PETER CLIMBED Apostles. “Truly! Thou art the Son of God!”
OUT THE BOAT AND STEPPED ONTO THE WATER AND WALKED
TOWARDS CHRIST, but the instant he took his attention off ST JOHN CHRYSOSTOM
our Lord, HE BECAME AFRAID AND BEGAN TO SINK. (ADAPTED & EDITED BY MP)
HTTPS://PEMPTOUSIA.COM/2014

24 9TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 9TH OF ST MATTHEW – WALKING ON WATER – 18 AUGUST 2019
Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa
Archdiocese of Good Hope
All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and
forever, and unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most
Blessed and Glorious Lady, Maria, Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together with all the Saints.
And let us commit ourselves and one another and our whole Life to Christ our God. Amen.
TONE 1 25 AUGUST 2019

10TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 10TH OF ST MATTHEW


MUSTARD SEED FAITH

The Feast of St Titos of the 70 Apostles & Bishop of Crete – St Bartholomew, Holy
Apostle of Christ (Relics) – St Barses & St Evlogios, Confessors & Bishops of Edessa – St
Protogenes the Confessor & Bishop of Carrhae – St Mena, Patriarch of Constantinople
– St Vladimir (Moshchansky) of Tver – St John the Cappadocian & St Epiphanios,
Patriarchs of Constantinople

THE SUNDAY AND FESTAL HYMNS ARE PUBLISHED IN BOOKLET FORM EACH MONTH.
T H E S E A R E P U B L I S H E D A N D F R E E L Y D O W N L O A D A B L E O N www.scribd.com/writers4574.
LINKS ARE ALSO POSTED ON FACEBOOK “ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN EASTERN CAPE.”
( O R C A N B E E M A I L E D D I R E C T L Y , O N R E Q U E S T T O marguerite.paizis@gmail.com )

R ESUR REC TION G OSPEL 10 – J OHN 21 : 1 - 14

P R OKE IME NON – P SALM 32 – T ONE 1


Let Thy Mercy, O Lord, be upon us as we Hope in Thee.
Rejoice, O Righteous, in the Lord! Praise is fitting!

T H E F IR ST EP ISTLE OF S T P AUL TO TH E C OR INTH IANS 4 : 9 – 16


Brethren, God has set forth us, the Apostles, last, as men condemned to Death, for we are made a spectacle unto the
world, and to Angels, and to men. We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ; we are weak, but you
are strong; you are honourable, but we are despised. Even unto this present hour, we both hunger and thirst, and
are naked, and are buffeted, and have no dwelling-place. And we labour, working with our own hands.
Being reviled, we Bless; being persecuted, we suffer it; being defamed, we Entreat. We are made as the filth of the
world - the offscourings of all things unto this day.
I write not these things to shame you, but as my Beloved Children, I warn you. Although you have ten thousand
instructors in Christ, yet have you not many Fathers. In Christ Jesus through the Gospel I have begotten you.
I beseech you, therefore - be imitators of me.
St Paul had founded the Corinthian Church and this First  THE RELATIVE COMFORT OF THE CORINTHIANS CHRISTIAN
Epistle to the Christian Community of Corinth was COMMUNITY was contrasted with the persecuted,
written while St Paul was in Ephesos during his Third poverty-stricken and uncertain lifestyle of the Holy
Missionary Journey in 55. Apostles of Christ.
This Epistle mainly concerns our Communion with the  THEY HAD BEEN PROPERLY ENLIGHTENED AND PREPARED for
Lord our God for which He created us. Life in Christ by St Paul and the other Holy Apostles
Communion with God and each other ought to be fully so they no longer lived in Spiritual Ignorance but
experienced in the Life of the Holy Church of Christ, were CONFIDENT IN THEIR FAITH.
for She is the Body of Christ and the Sacred Temple of  They were UNITED AND RESPECTED AS A CHRISTIAN
God the Holy Spirit. COMMUNITY.
However, Holy Communion with God and with each other ✶ “... we labour... being reviled... persecuted... defamed.. “
is not automatic because we have to pursue it THE APOSTLES HAD TO WORK VERY HARD EVERY DAY TO SUSTAIN
through our personal Struggles against wicked THEMSELVES AND BE ABLE TO TRAVEL wherever necessary in
temptations, grievous passions and our inclination to order to fulfil their Sacred Mission throughout the
sin. Roman Empire and even beyond its borders
It is vital for us, as Disciples of Christ, to resolve problems ✶ “... we have been made as the filth of the world - the
arising from disunity, factionalism, civil lawsuits and offscourings of all things... “
sexual immorality.  THE APOSTLES ENDURED ALL KINDS - AND DEGREES OF –
We must learn about and apply to our own lifestyle all HUMILIATION AND DEGRADATION.
aspects of Eucharistic Theology and practise, the ✶ “... we Bless... we endure... we entreat...”
Spiritual Gits that we have received, and focus on the  Instead of retaliating in a similar fashion against their
Divine Truth of Christ and our ultimate Resurrection persecutors – THE HOLY APOSTLES AND FAITHFUL
DISCIPLES OF CHRIST RESPONDED WITH UNCONDITIONAL,
and Eternal Life.
DIVINE LOVE – AGAPE!
✶ “... God has set forth us, the Apostles...”  THEY ENDURED ALL THEIR HUMILIATION AND SUFFERING FOR
 ST PAUL USED IRONY AND SARCASM AS BITTER MEDICINE, SO THE PURE JOY OF SERVING OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR –
THAT THE CORINTHIANS WOULD APPRECIATE HOW BLESSED THEREBY RECONCILING THE FALLEN WORLD TO GOD.
THEY WERE, compared to the difficult Mission of the ✶ “... as my Beloved Children, I warn you...”
Apostles of Christ.  ST PAUL WAS THE SPIRITUAL FATHER OF THE CORINTHIANS.
✶ "... we are made a spectacle...” NO MATTER WHAT  As their Loving Spiritual Father, St PAUL NOT ONLY
HAPPENED TO THE APOSTLES, NOR HOW BADLY THEY WERE
GUIDED THEM CORRECTLY BUT ALSO NEEDED TO CAUTION
THEM AGAINST ALL TEMPTATIONS AND GRIEVOUS PASSIONS
HUMILIATED AND ABUSED, THEY DID EVERYTHING POSSIBLE TO
THAT ALIENATE US AND SEPARATE US FROM GOD AND FROM
FULFIL THEIR SACRED MISSION of spreading the Holy
EACH OTHER.
Gospel of Christ throughout the known world.  Similarly, OUR SPIRITUAL FATHERS ENLIGHTEN US WITH THE
✶ “ We are fools,... weak... dishonoured...” The three DIVINE TRUTH, GUIDE US CORRECTLY AND CAUTION US
parallel statements were heaped upon each other in AGAINST IMPENDING SPIRITUAL DEATH.
a stinging series.  ACCORDINGLY, WE MUST BE HUMBLE AND OBEDIENT to our
✶ “... you are Wise in Christ... strong... distinguished...” Spiritual Fathers by learning what they teach us,
APPLYING ALL ASPECTS OF DIVINE TRUTH TO OUR WORDS,

10TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST-10TH MATTHEW-MUSTARD SEED FAITH- BEFORE TRANSFIGURATION-5 AUGUST 2018 25.
THOUGHTS AND DEEDS, AND CORRECTING OUR ERRORS with was necessary to become like our Lord Jesus Christ to
regular self-examination, Repentance and the very best of his abilities.
Confession.  THE SPECIFIC PURPOSE OF THIS TEMPORARY LIFESPAN IS FOR US
 THE HOLY CHURCH OF CHRIST IS SIMILAR TO ANY OTHER FAMILY TO BECOME LIKE OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST Who is Perfect
– with maturing children who need parental Man and in Whose Image and Likeness He
guidance. created us.
 As Struggling Disciples of Christ, WE WHO ARE THE  DUE TO ANCESTRAL SIN, WE LOST OUR DIVINE LIKENESS TO
MATURING CHILDREN, NEED OUR SPIRITUAL FATHERS TO GOD.
TEACH AND GUIDE US.  ONLY BY EMULATING OUR DIVINE SAVIOUR IN WORD, THOUGHT
 OUR SPIRITUAL FATHERS HELP US TO FULFIL AND TO OBEY THE AND DEED, CAN WE REGAIN HIS DIVINE LIKENESS.
DIVINE WILL OF OUR HEAVENLY FATHER.  This is the meaning of THEOSIS, DEIFICATION AND
✶ “... I urge you, imitate me...” SPIRITUAL PERFECTION FOR WHICH WE NATURALLY YEARN.
WE ARE ALL URGED AND ENCOURAGED TO IMITATE THE PROFOUND
HUMILITY AND OBEDIENCE OF ST PAUL who did whatever
T H E H OLY G OSPEL ACCO R D ING T O S T M ATTHE W 17 : 14 – 23
At that time, a man went to Jesus, knelt down before Him and said: “Lord, have Mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic
and suffers severely. He often falls into fire and water. So I brought him to Thy Disciples, but they could not cure
him.” Jesus answered and said: “O faithless and perverse generation! How long shall I be with you? How long
shall I bear with you? Bring him here to me.” And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it went out of him. And the child
was Cured at that very hour.
When the Disciples went to Jesus privately and asked Him: “Why could we not cast it out?” Jesus said to them: “Because
of your unbelief. Truly, I say to you: if you have Faith as (small as) a mustard seed, you will say to that
mountain: ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. “And nothing will be impossible for you. However, this
kind (of demon) does not go out except by Prayer and Fasting.”
And while they were staying in Galilee, Jesus said to them: “The Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of
men. And they will kill Him, and on the Third Day He will be raised up.”
✶ “... a man ... knelt down before Him...” which SHOWED THE HEAL HIS SON, as they had Healed so many other
FATHER’S GREAT CONCERN FOR HIS AFFLICTED SON rather afflicted people.
than having deep Faith in our Lord Jesus Christ as  He did not understand that HIS OWN LACK OF FAITH
our Divine Saviour. PREVENTED HIS SON FROM BEING HEALED.
 ALTHOUGH THE FATHER DISPLAYED SINCERE HUMILITY AND  THE LACK OF FAITH IN PARENTS DEPRIVES THEIR CHILDREN OF
DESPERATION, CHRIST KNEW THAT HE LACKED FAITH
TRUE LIFE IN CHRIST because they obviously
AND HOPE (which is understandable due to his
influence the beliefs and behaviour of their
circumstances - for his son had obviously suffered
for a long time without anyone being able to cure offspring.
him.)  IT IS THE MOST SACRED DUTY OF PARENTS TO BAPTISE THEIR
 PARENTAL LOVE IS SO POWERFUL AND ALL CONSUMING THAT CHILDREN AS SOON AS POSSIBLE SO THAT THEY MIGHT BE
THE NEED TO PROTECT AND TO SUSTAIN A CHILD MOTIVATES
SANCTIFIED MEMBERS OF CHRIST’S HOLY CHURCH.
PARENTS’ TO GREAT ACTS OF SELF-SACRIFICE.  It is also the Most Sacred Duty of parent to EDUCATE
THEIR CHILDREN IN OUR FAITH, ENSURING THEIR REGULAR
 This father Loved his son so much he was prepared to
PARTICIPATION IN HOLY LIFE from childhood onwards.
do whatever it took to Heal him and keep him safe
from harm.  LOVING PARENTS NEVER NEGLECT THE PHYSICAL HEALTH
AND CARE OF THEIR CHILDREN YET THEY NEGLECT THEIR
“... Lord, have Mercy on my son...” is the unselfish Prayer
of a devoted father. SPIRITUAL WELFARE, WHICH HAS ETERNAL CONSEQUENCES!
 OUR LORD GOD HEARS OUR PRAYERS FOR OTHERS when we  St Theophylact believed that the father’s lack of Faith
beseech Him on their behalf. was so great, it “... prevailed over the equal
 Likewise, THE INTERCESSORY PRAYERS OF OUR LADY, measure of their (Spiritual) Strength...”
THEOTOKOS, AND ALL THE SAINTS, ARE EVEN MORE In other words, even THE COMBINED FAITH AND SPIRITUAL
POWERFUL AND EFFECTIVE as they are much closer to
STRENGTH OF THE HOLY APOSTLES COULD NOT SUPERSEDE
THE UNBELIEF OF THE FATHER.
our Lord and are able to Communicate directly
with Him.  WE ARE USUALLY VERY QUICK TO POINT ACCUSATORY FINGERS
AT OTHERS - blaming others for our disappointment
✶ “... he is an epileptic...” is THE MODERN TRANSLATION
whereas THE ORIGINAL TERM WAS “...MOONSTRUCK...” or unhappiness.
whence the word “lunatic” is derived.  WE OUGHT TO - FIRST AND FOREMOST - LOOK INWARDS AT OUR
OWN NEGATIVE ATTITUDE THAT MIGHT BE THE ROOT CAUSE
 According to St Theophylact: “... the moon was not the
OR CONTRIBUTING FACTOR OF AN UNHAPPY SITUATION.
cause but the demons who would use the full
moon to set upon their victims so that mankind  THEN WE MUST DO EVERYTHING POSSIBLE TO CORRECT IT, WHICH
REQUIRES HUMILITY AND OBEDIENCE.
would blaspheme the created things of God as
being maleficent!... ✶ “...O faithless and perverse generation...” reveals THE
EXASPERATION AND SADNESS OF OUR LONGSUFFERING LORD
“It is a foolish man who changes like the moon, as it is
written, at times waxing great in Virtue, and at GOD.
other times, waning and vanishing altogether.  DESPITE HAVING REVEALED AND TAUGHT HIS DIVINE TRUTH TO
✶ “...and suffers severely... falls into fire and ... water...” HIS CHOSEN PEOPLE – indirectly through His Divine
 This shows how THE SON’S LIFE WAS IN PERIL OF HARM OR Law and the Guidance of His Holy Prophets and
EVEN DEATH, for not only does he suffer the effects of now, directly by His Teachings and Good Example
epilepsy, but HE CANNOT SAVE HIMSELF FROM HARM – THEIR FAITH WAS STILL UNCERTAIN OR EVEN NON-
EXISTENT.
WHEN HAVING AN ATTACK.
 SICKNESS AND DISEASE WERE ALWAYS ASSOCIATED WITH  WE HAVE NO JUSTIFIABLE EXCUSE FOR OUR LACK OF FAITH .
DEMONIC ACTIVITY AND ARE INDEED SOMETIMES A
 We persist in our SELF-IMPOSED SPIRITUAL DARKNESS AND
MANIFESTATION OF DEMONIC POSSESSION.
DEATH CAUSED BY OUR ARROGANT EGOCENTRICITY,
DISOBEDIENCE AND PERVERSITY!
 ALTHOUGH OUR LORD MIGHT PERMIT THE DEMONS TO TEST US
WHEN NECESSARY TO INCREASE OUR SPIRITUAL STRENGTH ✶ "... how long shall I bear with you?” is a rhetorical
AND PERSEVERANCE, HE DOES NOT ALLOW THEM TO KILL US. question but it reminds us that OUR LORD’S PHYSICAL
However, THE DEMONS DO USE OUR WEAKNESS AGAINST US SOJOURN IN OUR MIDST WOULD ALL TOO SOON END.
AND CAN DRIVE US TO SELF-DESTRUCTION.  WE TAKE MOST THINGS FOR GRANTED but greatly
 St Theophylact explained: “... Then the foolish man appreciate and miss them when we lose them.
becomes deranged and falls down into the fire Therefore, we must learn to LIVE IN THE PRESENT MOMENT
of anger and lust and into ... the waves of many AND APPRECIATE ALL OUR BLESSINGS, OFFERING OUR
cares wherein the devil dwells, for the cares of PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING TO GOD FOR HIS GREAT
the rich are like waves that follow each other in MERCY AND INFINITE PROVIDENCE.
quick succession...”  We ought to taKE FULL ADVANTAGE OF EVERY MOMENT AND
EVERY GOOD OPPORTUNITY THAT ENLIGHTENS US AND
✶ “... Thy Disciples... could not cure him...” THE UNHAPPY
FATHER ACCUSED THE APOSTLES OF CHRIST OF FAILING TO

26. 10TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST-10TH MATTHEW-MUSTARD SEED FAITH- BEFORE TRANSFIGURATION-5 AUGUST 2018
BRINGS US CLOSER TO GOD AND HIS ETERNAL KINGDOM OF Furthermore, NOT EVERYTHING THAT THE HOLY APOSTLES OF
LOVE. CHRIST ACCOMPLISHED WAS WRITTEN DOWN FOR
✶ Our Lord Jesus “... rebuked the demon and it came out POSTERITY.
of him... and the child was Cured...” showing thereby  Beyond the literal meaning THIS DIVINE PROMISE IS ALSO
that THE SON HAD INDEED BEEN DEMON-POSSESSED. AN ILLUSTRATION OF THE GREAT POWER OF TRUE FAITH
✶ “... The Disciples went to (our Lord) Jesus privately...” AND FERVENT PRAYER IN ALL AREAS OF EARTHLY LIFE.
RATHER THAN SPEAK OF THEIR FAILURE IN THE HEARING OF THE  St Theophylact believed: “Whatever we ask, without
PEOPLE, WHO MIGHT THEN HAVE QUESTIONED OR REJECTED THE hesitation and by believing in God’s Power, we
DIVINE MISSION of Christ and His Apostles. shall receive...”
✶ “... Why could we not cast it out?...”  WE OUGHT TO PRAY ONLY FOR SPIRITUALLY PROFITABLE THINGS.
 OUR LORD HAD BESTOWED HIS DIVINE AUTHORITY AND POWER ✶ “... this kind does not go out ...” refers to ALL EVIL POWERS
TO HEAL AND CLEANSE THE SICK AND AFFLICTED IN THE OF SPIRITUAL DARKNESS AND DEATH – and not simply those
NAME OF AND FOR THE GLORY OF GOD. types of demons that cause certain types of illnesses.
INITIALLY THE APOSTLES HAD BEEN EXTREMELY AMAZED THAT  ANY DEGREE OF DEMONIC POSSESSION HAS TO BE DEALT WITH
THEY WERE ABLE TO FULFIL THEIR SACRED TASK with ACCORDING TO THE DOCTRINES OF OUR HOLY CHURCH.
which Christ had entrusted them.  ONLY ORDAINED BISHOPS AND PRIESTS CAN PERFORM THE HOLY
However, when they returned to Him and had SERVICE OF EXORCISM over a wretched demoniac.
reported what had occurred, HE HAD CAUTIONED  BEFORE WE ARE BAPTISED, WE GO THROUGH THREE EXORCISMS
THEM AGAINST BECOMING PROUD AND BOASTFUL. The Priest banishes all evil from the Candidate and then,
 This failure to exorcise the demon-possessed youth during our Most Sacred Vows, we renounce Satan and all
must have upset them deeply but IT ALSO TAUGHT his wickedness before we Vow Allegiance to our Lord and
THEM VERY IMPORTANT ASPECTS OF THEIR HOLY MISSION, Saviour, Jesus Christ.
WHICH THEY NEVER FORGOT.  GOD-PARENTS ACT ON BEHALF OF INFANTS who cannot
 THEY HAD BEEN HUMBLED BY THEIR FAILURE. speak for themselves.
 It reminded them that THEY COULD PERFORM MIRACULOUS  IT IS ESSENTIAL TO BE BAPTISED AND CHRISMATED SO THAT
HEALINGS ONLY BY THE GRACE AND POWER OF GOD. THROUGH REGULAR PARTAKING OF THE HOLY MYSTERIES OF
 Certain afflictions and problems can only be resolved REPENTANCE-CONFESSION AND HOLY EUCHARIST, AS WELL
1. ACCORDING TO THE WILL OF GOD AS HOLY UNCTION, OUR BODY AND SOUL ARE SANCTIFIED
2. AFTER MANY PRAYERS AND FASTING (SELF-DENIAL) AND PROTECTED against the evil one and his
3. REQUIRING STEADFASTNESS, PERSEVERANCE, PATIENCE AND demons.
UNWAVERING FAITH
We must avoid any type of occult, which invites demons into
✶ “’... because of your unbelief...’” OUR LORD ALWAYS SPEAKS
our home and into ourselves. Superstitions and idle
ONLY THE TRUTH – HONESTLY AND DIRECTLY.
curiosity can lead to far more serious consequences that
 Although our Lord Jesus had defended His Disciples
can permanently harm us and our loved ones!
and Apostles in public, HE REPRIMANDED THEM IN
PRIVATE for their lack of Faith.
✶ “... Prayer and Fasting...” are TWO ESSENTIAL HOLY
 St John Chrysostom noted that OUR LORD’S REBUKE WAS COMMITMENTS FOR THE BENEFIT OUR PHYSICAL AND
DIRECTED AT NINE OF HIS TWELVE APOSTLES RATHER THAN
SPIRITUAL WELFARE.
AT HIS THREE “PILLARS OF FAITH” – St Peter, St James
 The Exorcism and banishment of such fearsome
and St John - who had accompanied Him to demons requires THREE SPIRITUAL WEAPONS
Mount Tabor (His Transfiguration). 1. STRONG, UNWAVERING FAITH,
 THIS IS HOW TO CORRECT THE ERRORS OF OTHERS – WITHOUT 2. FERVENT PRAYERS
HUMILIATING OR EMBARRASSING THEM IN FRONT OF
3. STRICT FASTING,
WITNESSES.
 THERE IS NO HEALING AND NO VICTORY IN SPIRITUAL WARFARE
WITHOUT ALL THREE SPIRITUAL WEAPONS.

Errors are to be GENTLY BUT FIRMLY CORRECTED

We should ACCEPT GUIDANCE AND CORRECTION WITH  The Didache (of the Holy Apostles) and all our Holy
HUMBLE GRATITUDE AND OBEDIENCE.
Fathers have taught us that BOTH THE PERSON IN NEED
OF HEALING AND THE PERSON PERFORMING THE HEALING

THE DEGREE OF RESENTMENT, REBELLION, HURT OR ANGER
MUST
REVEALS
1. THE DEPTH OF OUR PRIDE 1. FIRMLY BELIEVE,
2. OUR DISOBEDIENCE TO THE WILL OF GOD 2. FERVENTLY PRAY
3. OUR INTENTIONS OR MOTIVATIONS WERE SELFISH, SELF- 3. AND STRICTLY FAST
SERVING OR VAINGLORIOUS. Throughout the year we are required to Fast, but this does
 THE DISCIPLINE OF OUR HOLY CHURCH IS BASED ON MUTUAL not mean that we merely observe a strictly vegan diet, but
CORRECTION IN THREE EXPANDING STAGES. (MATTHEW 18: 15 - more particularly, we must fulfil the Spiritual Fast of
20) Self-discipline and self-denial to our greatest ability.
 SIN AND CORRECTION ARE TO BE DEALT WITH IN PRIVATE - While Fasting to any degree, we ought to spend more time in
Repentance and Confession - unless the offender Prayer and Contemplation so that we can correct our
stubbornly and wilfully refuses to Repent or correct errors, Repent and Confess our sins, and thereby return
their errors. to and maintain a healthy Spiritual Life in Christ.
 ALL CORRECTION IS TO BE DONE WITH GREAT CARE AND Fasting helps us to focus on our Sacred Duties to God, to
HUMILITY, - the only concern being THE SALVATION OF others and to ourselves because we are more Spiritually
THE OFFENDER. (1 CORINTHIANS 5:5 & GALATIANS 6:1) Alert and Aware.
 CORRECTION OF ERRORS IS NECESSARY AND ESSENTIAL - TO By Fasting and Prayer, we ought to acquire Humility and
PREVENT SIMILAR SINS FROM ADVERSELY INFLUENCING Obedience that brings us closer to our Lord God.
OTHERS. ✶ “... the Son of Man is soon to be betrayed...” refers to the
✶ “...Faith as (small as) a mustard seed...” – although ONE approaching Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ in His
MUSTARD SEED IS EXTREMELY TINY, A VERY LARGE TREE CAN human Nature – i.e. as God Incarnate.
GROW FROM IT. Our Lord uses two terms when He speaks of Himself:
 Our Lord often used EXTREME EXAMPLES TO PUT ACROSS THE “... Son of God...” refers to His Eternal, Divine Nature as the
SIGNIFICANCE OF HIS TEACHINGS. Only Begotten Son of God the Father.
 THE SMALLEST MEASURE OF FAITH CAN GROW INTO AN ALL “...Son of Man...” refers to His human Nature, which He
CONSUMING FAITH, when we are totally devoted to assumed when He became Incarnated from the All Pure
the Lord our God and utterly committed to Flesh and Blood of our Lady, Theotokos.
fulfilling His Divine Will in all things.  This was the second time that our Lord mentioned His
 EVEN WITH A LITTLE FAITH, GOD CAN WORK HIS DIVINE forthcoming Death and Resurrection.
MIRACLES.  This was to make them understand that HE WENT TO HIS
 While it is not recorded that an Apostle literally moved PASSION FREELY AND NOT AGAINST HIS WILL.
a mountain, our Holy Church Fathers are clear  GOD HIMSELF CHOSE THE DAY, THE YEAR AND THE HOUR OF HIS
that THEY HAD SUCH DIVINE AUTHORITY IF THE NEED EVER PASSION.
AROSE – and CERTAIN SAINTS HAVE BEEN ABLE TO CAUSE  EVERYTHING HAPPENS ACCORDING TO THE DIVINE WILL OF OUR
CREVASSES TO APPEAR IN MOUNTAINS IN DIRE NECESSITY. HEAVENLY FATHER.

10TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST-10TH MATTHEW-MUSTARD SEED FAITH- BEFORE TRANSFIGURATION-5 AUGUST 2018 27.
 EVERYTHING IS CONTROLLED AND PERMITTED BY GOD FOR OUR This is how we are able to believe, to speak and to worship
SALVATION - or Condemnation – depending on with the exact same One Mind and One Truth of God, in
what course we freely and wilfully choose to take! Christ’s Holy Universal Church, which is One Body United
 AT THAT TIME, HIS DISCIPLES COULD NOT FULLY COMPREHEND in Divine Love.
HIS REVELATIONS AND TEACHINGS. All Eastern Orthodox churches throughout the world
 WHEN GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT BESTOWED HIS DIVINE GIFTS celebrate the same Divine Liturgy, together with the
UPON THEM on the Day of Pentecost - after our Lord’s Heavenly Hosts, for there is only One Holy Eucharist and
Ascension into Heaven - THEY RECALLED AND we are all Sanctified Members of One Holy Family.
COMPLETELY UNDERSTOOD EVERYTHING.
 WITHOUT RECEIVING THE DIVINE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, WE
CANNOT PROPERLY PERCEIVE NOR COMPREHEND DIVINE
TRUTH AND KNOWLEDGE.
10 T H
S U ND AY A FTER P E NTEC OST – 10 T H
S U ND AY OF S T M ATTHEW – MU STAR D S EE D F AITH
✞ In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the outright just as much as they are dubious and
Holy Spirit... negating about our Almighty, Loving and Benevolent
Dearly Beloved, Today’s Sacred Lesson concerns our Faith God. Most of these people believe only in themselves,
in God and how a young boy’s affliction was not of the which makes demonic influence on them all the more
body but of the spirit – not due to a physical cause but evident!
a Spiritual Sickness that had serious repercussions on We must therefore, take great care that our heart and
his health - for it was not a case of being “moon- mind do not become cold and arid due to our lack of
struck,” or “lunatic,” but actual demonic possession Faith and stubborn unbelief, for when we cast out
that caused epileptic fits, which in turn, endangered God from our life – from our heart and soul - and
him. replace Him with belief in ourselves, we enslave
Although the father (like many people) regarded his son ourselves to wickedness and Spiritual Death!
as being ‘under the influence of the moon,’ St Matthew The Truth of the matter is that the age in which we now
witnessed Christ’s exorcism of a demonic spirit, which live is the era of apostasy - against which Saint Paul
was confirmed by our Lord when He told His Disciples severely cautioned the Thessalonian Christian
that “...this kind [of demon] cannot be expelled Community - for having neglected or rejected Divine
except through Prayer and Fasting.’ Truth – the Absolute, Perfect Truth of God – we now
Furthermore, our Lord condemned all superstitious belief live according to the corrupted, distorted beliefs of
that the moon (or the planets or any other material, mankind, which are governed by all grievous
created things) can influence mankind, when He passions! (CF 2 THESSALONIANS 2:15 & 3:6)
exclaimed: “O ‘Faithless and perverse generation!” At our Lord Jesus Christ’s Second Appearance (Parousia) –
His Second Coming in all His Majestic, Divine Glory -
Any disbelief and perfidy (betrayal) saddens our Lord
the evil one will be exposed before all Creation as the
when people – especially His own People - are
inventor of sin and everything that is evil – all death,
deliberately obtuse - when they refuse to see what is
catastrophe and destruction – because now “... he
actually happening to them or right before their eyes,
opposes and exalts himself above every so-called
as mentioned by St Mark in his Holy Gospel when our
‘god’ or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in
Lord Jesus Christ “...was grieved...” by the self-
the Temple of God, declaring himself to be God...”
righteous Pharisees “... for the hardness of their
Fallen mankind has rebelled against God and is
heart.” [MARK 3:5]
enslaved by the evil one who craves the destruction of
Sadly, our own generation is very much “... faithless and
anything that is Sacred and Holy!
perverse...!” because so many of us refuse to
So many people have replaced God with an egocentric
recognize the extent to which evil is severely afflicting
belief in themselves to such an extent that even
us and influencing our entire life by deliberately
mentioning God has become difficult and ‘socially
deceiving and corrupting us in a variety of ways.
offensive and incorrect!’
Not only do so many people refuse to believe in God, but
Most people are quick to reject or mock any idea of the
there are many of us, who claim to be “Christian,” yet
spirit of deceit, demonic influence or the evil one
who are clearly superstitious and gullible.
himself, which is exactly what he desires!
We cannot claim to believe in the Life-giving Power of
Nevertheless, the Divine Truth of God repeatedly cautions
Christ’s Precious Cross yet, at the same time, adorn
us against the evil one who deceives “... the entire
ourselves with pagan talismans or amulets to ‘protect’
world.”
us or to give us ‘good luck!’ (These are portals to evil!) Holy Scripture teaches us about God and mankind. It
None of us can deny the existence of the evil one and his also teaches and cautions us against the wicked
possessive demons, despite ascribing whatever machinations of the evil one, who was a created
happens to us merely being due to ‘natural causes.’ Archangel but was banished from Heaven - together
We refuse to see how and when we are being seduced with others whom he had lured into rebellion against
and misguided by the evil one, or that we might be God - and who is thus obsessively jealous and
more ill than we want to believe, or that our Healing opposed to all Divine Works, especially mankind’s
cannot depend on any human intervention but only Salvation.
on God Himself. Without the devil - not as the personification of evil, but as
This contemporary era – “...the last of days...” or “... the a very real spiritual being - the Fall, the Incarnation
Messianic Era...” - in which we now live, is so critical and the whole Divine Mystery of our Lord God’s All
and our personal experiences have become so tragic, Gracious and Merciful Dispensation are inexplicable.
that we cannot be Saved without the Great Mercy and Although today’s Sacred Lesson might seem pessimistic, it
Love of our Lord God! concerns crucial Aspects of daily life, which we and
Many of those who hear – or read - these words might our Church ought to preach more often, for as our
think that they are exaggerated, without foundation, Lord Jesus Christ clearly said: “... this kind does not
or foolish. come out except by Prayer and Fasting!”
We want to believe that we are in no serious danger, and We need to pay very close attention to Christ’s Teachings
that everything will turn out just fine for us – “... as long so that we can apply them to ourselves while living in
as we believe in ourselves...!” such a corrupted world that no longer hungers nor
But, tragically, that only means and demonstrates to what thirsts for Truth and Righteousness because “... we are
extent we are utterly unaware of the actual, REAL perishing from hunger in the midst of a surfeit of
nature and depth of our Spiritual Affliction, which can material and demonic possessions.”
only be Healed by God. Only God can Empower and Save us, but we need to
Our Spiritual Ailments are far more severe than we know voluntarily Repent-Confess our sins, and commit
because this debilitating Sickness is not of the body ourselves to a humble and Obedient Life in Christ,
but of the spirit – as St John the Theologian warned which includes correct Fasting, praying and worship.
us: “...the whole world lies under the power of the Everything is indeed possible for us, even if, to begin with,
evil one...” [1 JOHN 5:19]. we have Faith as tiny as one little mustard seed!
Those who are bold and courageous enough to talk Amen.
about demonic influence on our thoughts, words and
deeds, are confronted by people who stubbornly METROPOLITAN DIONYSIOS OF SERVIA AND KOZANI
refuse to pay attention yet reject any idea of evil HTTPS://PEMPTOUSIA.COM/2017/08/10TH-SUNDAY-OF-MATTHEW/

28. 10TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST-10TH MATTHEW-MUSTARD SEED FAITH- BEFORE TRANSFIGURATION-5 AUGUST 2018
Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa
Archdiocese of Good Hope
All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever,
and unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most Blessed and
Glorious Lady, Maria, Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together with all the Saints. And let us commit
ourselves and one another and our whole Life to Christ our God. Amen.
29 AUGUST 2019

BEHEADING OF ST JOHN THE BAPTIST & FORERUNNER


(A VERY STRICT FAST IS OBSERVED TODAY)

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

M ATINS G OSP EL A CC ORD ING TO S T M ATTH EW 14 : 1 – 13


At that time, Herod the Tetrarch heard the report about Jesus and said to his servants, “This is John the Baptist! He is
Resurrected from the dead, and therefore these Powers are at work in him.” Herod had laid hold of John and
bound him, and imprisoned him for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife. John had said to him: “It is
unlawful for you to have her!” And although he wanted to put him to death, he feared the multitude, for they
regarded (John)as a Prophet.
When Herod’s birthday was celebrated, the daughter of Herodias danced before them and pleased Herod. Therefore
he promised with an oath to give her whatever she might ask. So she – having been prompted by her mother -
said: “Give me, on a platter, the head of John the Baptist!” And the King was sorry - nevertheless, because of his
oaths and because of those who sat with him - he commanded it to be given to her. And he sent and had John
beheaded in prison. And his head was presented on a platter to the girl, and she took it to her mother.
And his Disciples took away the body and buried it, and went and told Jesus. When Jesus heard it, He departed from
there by boat to a deserted place by Himself. And when the multitude heard about it, they followed Him on foot
from the cities.
✶ THIS ACCOUNT WAS GIVEN PARENTHETICALLY, thereby Despite the efforts of St John the Baptist and the Love
EXPLAINING ST JOHN THE BAPTIST’S EARLIER MARTYRDOM so of God, certain wicked and stubborn souls refused
that those who heard it would understand why HEROD God’s Divine Mercy and Love, preferring the
THOUGHT THAT ST JOHN THE BAPTIST HAD BEEN RESURRECTED company of similar wicked and disgusting souls
FROM THE DEAD. and demons!
St Theophylact believed that when OUR LORD JESUS “...  During Matins, we sing to St John the Baptist: “Thy
heard it...” He REACTED TO THE ERRONEOUS BELIEF OF KING tongue, which constantly speaks of God, has
HEROD THAT CHRIST WAS THE RESURRECTED ST JOHN THE preceded Christ into Death, and is sent to Preach
BAPTIST – THAT OUR LORD JESUS WAS ST JOHN WHO HAD BEEN Him to those in Hades.”
RAISED FROM THE DEAD ✶ “...Herod the Tetrarch...” was one of four Rulers over the
✶ As an important part of God’s Plan of Salvation for all Judaic regions under the domination of the Roman
mankind, ST JOHN’S HOLY MARTYRDOM ALLOWED THE Empire.
COMING OF THE MESSIAH TO BE ANNOUNCED TO THE SOULS  Despite all his wealth and power, HEROD FEARED ST
IMPRISONED IN HADES. JOHN THE BAPTIST – a simple and humble man who
 ALL IMMORTAL SOULS – both those of unrepentant sinners lived in abject Ascetic poverty and who was
and the Righteous WERE INFORMED BY ST JOHN THAT clothed with plain garments made from rough
THE LONG-AWAITED MESSIAH HAD INDEED COME TO SAVE camel’s hair.
the fallen, sin darkened world. ✶ “... he feared the multitude...” Herod’s fear of St John the
 ST JOHN - as THE FORERUNNER TO CHRIST AND THE LAST GREAT Baptist and the people testified to THE POWER,
HOLY PROPHET OF GOD according to the Old ANGELIC LIFE AND GENUINE INTEGRITY OF THE HOLY
Covenant – HAD TO DEPART FROM THIS LIFE BEFORE OUR PROPHET OF GOD, AS WELL AS TO THE PEOPLE’S PERCEPTION
LORD JESUS in His human Nature COULD DIE AND THUS AND VENERATION OF ST JOHN WHOM THEY HELD IN THE
ENTER HADES, where, in His Divine Nature, He set HIGHEST ESTEEM.
souls free from Satan’s imprisonment – Hades – ✶ “... It is unlawful...” St John the Baptist is
and also smashed open the Gates of Hades that Commemorated for HIS HUMBLE AND UTTER OBEDIENCE
shall never again prevail against Repentant TO THE LAW OF GOD in general as well as being the
sinners. HOLY DEFENDER OF THE SANCTITY OF MARRIAGE in
 OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST FULFILLED ALL DIVINE PROPHESY as particular, which was evident from HIS LOUD AND
revealed to us through His Holy Prophets, who had VEHEMENT CONDEMNATION OF KING HEROD’S UNLAWFUL
prepared mankind for the Coming of our Eternal CO-HABITATION WITH HIS BROTHER’S WIFE, THE WICKED
Saviour. HERODIAS.
Consequently, THERE WAS NO LONGER A NEED FOR ANY MORE ✶ Herod “...had John beheaded in prison...” due to AN
HOLY PROPHETS OF GOD. INEBRIATED, LUSTFUL PROMISE MADE TO A MOST EVIL DEMAND.
 AFTER CHRIST’S DEATH ON THE CROSS AND HIS DESCENT INTO  ST JOHN’S OBEDIENCE TO GOD WAS SO PROFOUND THAT HE
AND HIS “HARROWING OF HADES,” ALL DEPARTED SOULS PREFERRED DEATH OVER ANY SORT OF COMPROMISE.
WERE GRANTED THE OPPORTUNITY TO ACCEPT OR REJECT  At Holy Vespers we chant to St John: “When Thy head
HIM AS OUR ETERNAL LORD GOD. was cut off, Thou revealed to us the Law of God,
Never again would there be such an opportunity for abolishing man’s disobedience to the Law.”
us to Repent our sins after death! .
P R OKE IME NON – P SALM 63 – T ONE 7
The Righteous shall be glad in the Lord, and shall Hope in Him.
Hear my voice, O God, in my Supplication.

T H E A CTS OF THE AP OSTLE S ACC OR D ING TO S T L U KE 13 : 25 – 32


TH E CH URCH IN PISIDIA
In those days as John was finishing his course, he said: “Who do you think I am? I am not He. But, behold: there comes
One after me – the sandals of Whom I am not worthy to loosen.” Men and Brethren, sons of the Family of Abraham,
and those among you who fear God: to you the Word of this Salvation has been sent.
Those who dwell in Jerusalem, and their Rulers, because they did not know Him, nor even the voices of the Prophets,
which are read every Sabbath, have fulfilled them in condemning Him. And although they found no cause for
death in Him, they asked Pilate that He should be put to death. When they had fulfilled all that was written
concerning Him, they took Him down from the Tree and laid Him in a Tomb. God Raised Him up from the dead. He

T H E BE HE AD ING OF S T JO H N THE B AP TIST & F ORE RU NNE R 29 AU GU ST 2018 29.


was seen for many days by those who came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are His Witnesses to the
people.
And we declare to you Glad Tidings - that Promise, which was made to the Fathers, God has fulfilled to us, their
Children, by Resurrecting Jesus.
“...finishing his course...” ST JOHN THE BAPTIST HAD NEARLY  WHEN THE JEWISH RULERS of the Synagogues and Priests
COMPLETED HIS PUBLIC MISSION of preparing the of the Temple in Jerusalem, who had supposedly
Hebrew people for the Coming of the long- closely studied Holy Scripture, REJECTED OUR LORD,
awaited Great Messiah. THEY THEREBY FULFILLED THE ANCIENT PROPHECIES
 ALMIGHTY GOD’S NEW COVENANT WOULD BE REVEALED AND REGARDING THE DIVINE MESSIAH. (PSALM 2:1-2; PSALM
TAUGHT BY OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST to His People and to 118:22-23 & ISAIAH 53:1-9)
future generations. ✶ “... read every Sabbath...” IF HOLY SCRIPTURE IS PROPERLY
 ALTHOUGH ST JOHN THE BAPTIST AND OUR SAVIOUR WERE UNDERSTOOD, it is very clear that our Lord Jesus
RELATED ACCORDING TO THE FLESH THROUGH THEIR Christ is truly the Great Messiah – the Divine
MOTHERS, THEY HAD NEVER MET until that great Day of Saviour of all mankind.
Theophany at the River Jordan.  Those who went to the Synagogues and the Temple
SINCE THE AGE OF APPROXIMATELY TWO YEARS, ST JOHN THE every Sabbath day heard these prophecies
BAPTIST HAD LIVED ALONE IN THE WILDERNESS. constantly, YET THEY NEITHER HEEDED, UNDERSTOOD NOR
HE HAD BEEN PROTECTED by the Grace of God and HE HAD OBEYED THE EXHORTATIONS AND PROPHECIES OF THE HOLY
BEEN ENLIGHTENED WITH THE DIVINE TRUTH BY GOD PROPHETS.
HIMSELF. ✶ “... they took Him down from the Tree...” CRUCIFIXION WAS
 EVERYTHING IS ACCORDING TO THE TIME, PURPOSE AND THE UNKNOWN IN THE PREVIOUS CENTURIES when the Holy
WILL OF GOD OUR HEAVENLY FATHER, so WHEN THE TIME Prophets of God had prophesied concerning the
WAS JUST RIGHT, ST JOHN HAD APPEARED IN PUBLIC unjustified execution of our Divine Saviour..
✶ “... the sandals of Whom...” expressed THE PROFOUND  YET THEY PROPHESIED THAT OUR GREAT MESSIAH WOULD BE
HUMILITY, RESPECT AND FAITH OF ST JOHN THE BAPTIST HUNG UPON “...a Tree...” – A MOST SHAMEFUL DEATH
who made it very clear that HE ONLY SERVED THE even in those ancient times.
DIVINE WILL OF OUR HEAVENLY FATHER, but was  .Crucifixion was the worst, most cruel and hideous
certainly not the Great Messiah Whom they had public execution of common criminals practised
awaited for so many generations. throughout the Roman Empire.
✶ “...the Family of Abraham...” refers to THE NATION OF ✶ “... laid Him in a tomb... God raised Him from the
ISRAEL - THE HEBREW /JUDAIC PEOPLE WHO WERE THE dead...” – These words confirm the Death and
CHOSEN PEOPLE OF GOD, whom St John had urged Resurrection of Christ.
to Repent their sins and to prepare themselves to ✶ “... seen for many days...” DURING THE FORTY DAYS FROM HIS
receive the Divine Messiah. RESURRECTION UNTIL HIS ASCENSION INTO HEAVEN, MANY
 These were the “Lost Sheep of the House of Israel” PEOPLE SAW AND CONVERSED WITH OUR LORD JESUS
WHOM CHRIST INITIALLY WANTED TO SAVE AND DELIVER CHRIST.
FROM THEIR FALLEN, SINFUL STATE. ✶ “... His Witnesses to the people...” There are 11
✶ “... those among you who Fear God...” THIS SMALL Resurrection Gospels Readings describing these
SEGMENT OF ST PAUL’S PREACHING WAS ADDRESSED TO THE Encounters with our Resurrected Lord Jesus Who
HEBREWS IN A SYNAGOGUE IN PSIDIA. SHOWED HIMSELF TO HIS FAITHFUL SO THAT WE MIGHT ALL
In His Book of the Acts of the Apostles, ST LUKE RECORDED UNDERSTAND AND BELIEVE IN OUR OWN FORTHCOMING
ONLY A SMALL PART OF THE AMAZINGLY FAST GROWTH OF RESURRECTION IN THE AGES OF AGES - ETERNITY.
THE HOLY CHURCH OF CHRIST as His Holy Apostles and ✶ “... that Promise, which was made to the Fathers...”
Faithful Disciples spread the Word of the Holy  The Glorious Resurrection and Ascension of Christ is
Gospel throughout the known world. OUR MOST SOLID PROOF UPON WHICH WE BASE OUR OWN
 CHRIST OUR GOD WAS SENT TO THOSE WHO MAKE EVERY EFFORT HOPE for our Resurrection into Eternal Life in Christ
TO REPENT THEIR VOLUNTARY AND INVOLUNTARY SINS AND Jesus.
HUMBLY OBEY THE WILL OF GOD..  The heart of St Paul’s Message was that our Lord Jesus
 THE GENTILES ALSO FEARED GOD – i.e. they Loved and Christ is
respected Him. Although they were converts, THEY 1. “The Promise” and therefore He is THE PERFECT
BECAME FIRMLY ROOTED IN THEIR CHRISTIAN FAITH TO FULFILMENT OF THE OLD COVENANT.
SUCH A DEGREE THAT UNTOLD NUMBERS WERE MARTYRED 2. “the Seed of David” according to His Royal
for the sake of their Love of and Steadfast Faith in Lineage - His Incarnation as “the Son of Man”
Christ Jesus. – i.e. the Son of our Lady Theotokos, “...without
 ETERNAL SALVATION IS PROCLAIMED AND OFFERED TO ALL seed...” - WITHOUT A BIOLOGICAL, HUMAN FATHER –
MANKIND. thereby fulfilling His Office as
✶ ”...the Word of this Salvation...” is OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST 3. THE TRUE KING OF ISRAEL.
AND HIS DIVINE TRUTH – His Divine Revelations and 4. THE DIVINE MESSIAH about Whom St John the Baptist,
Teachings. Forerunner to Christ and the Greatest of the
✶ “Those who dwell in Jerusalem, and their Rulers...” Holy Prophets of God, had preached
referred specifically to the Judaic Community and  DIVINE SALVATION - according to the Will of God the
their Spiritually Blind leaders, as well as the Father, through God the Son, by the Power and
Gentile citizens and Roman authorities. Energy of the God the Holy Spirit - IS PROCLAIMED TO
✶ “...they did not know Him...” DUE TO IGNORANCE OF THE HOLY ALL MANKIND – not only a select few – for we are all
SCRIPTURES, LACK OF FAITH, OR DISOBEDIENCE AND equal in the Sight of God, Who Loves us
REJECTION OF THE DIVINE TRUTH. ✶ “... for us, their Children...” means that WE ARE BY OUR
 St Paul consistently emphasised how Holy Scripture BAPTISM AND FAITH, THE ADOPTED CHILDREN OF GOD WHO
makes it positively evident that our Lord Jesus MUST BE RESPECTFUL, HUMBLE AND OBEDIENT TO ALL OUR HOLY
Christ FATHERS of all generations.
1. IS TRULY “THE MESSIAH”  They are OUR SPIRITUAL FATHERS WHO GUIDE AND TEACH US
2. WHO WAS BORN OF A VIRGIN HOW TO LIVE ACCORDING TO GOD’S DIVINE TRUTH.
3. IN BETHLEHEM, THE CITY OF THE ANCIENT KING DAVID,  Besides Christ’s Death and Resurrection, TWO RECURRING
4. BEING OF HIS ROYAL LINEAGE THEMES IN APOSTOLIC PREACHING ARE
5. AND JUDAIC TRIBE, 1. the FORGIVENESS OF SINS
6. AS PROPHESIED. 2. NO ONE IS JUSTIFIED BY THE LAW OF MOSES,
✶ “... have fulfilled them in condemning Him...” They  The Divine Commandments
fulfilled the ancient Prophecies WHEN THEY REJECTED 1. teach us SELF-CONTROL AND DISCIPLINE
OUR LORD JESUS AS THE DIVINE CHRIST – the Great 2. instruct us how to WORSHIP ALMIGHTY GOD PROPERLY,
Messiah/Saviour 3. KEEP US PHYSICALLY AND SPIRITUALLY STRONG while
 THEY NEITHER HEEDED, UNDERSTOOD NOR OBEYED THE OBVIOUS sojourning in this temporary state.
EVIDENCE OF THE PROPHECIES OF GOD’S HOLY PROPHETS
AND HIS DIVINE TEACHINGS.

30. TH E BE HE AD ING OF S T J OH N TH E B AP TIST & F ORE RU NNER 29 AU GU ST 2018


4.SPIRITUALLY PREPARE US TO RECEIVE OUR DIVINE SAVIOUR  IN ADDITION TO GOD’S TEN COMMANDMENTS, OUR LORD JESUS
AND OUR NEW COVENANT WITH GOD THROUGH HIS CHRIST HAS GIVEN US A NEW COVENANT - A DIVINE
REVELATIONS AND TEACHINGS COVENANT OF LOVE – AGAPE – that Absolute, Perfect
 THE ANCIENT OLD COVENANT RITUALS WERE FULFILLED BY and Unconditional Divine Love that supersedes
CHRIST so are no longer applicable to us any type of human love.
according to the New Covenant.  GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT GRANTS US HIS DIVINE GIFTS, BUT THE
 WE ARE STRICTLY FORBIDDEN FROM CHANGING OR OMITTING GREATEST OF ALL DIVINE GIFTS IS LOVE, which is most
ANYTHING FROM HIS DIVINE TRUTH - “...not one iota important if we desire Eternal Life in God’s
nor tittle....” for THEY ESSENTIAL TO OUR LIFE IN CHRIST. Heavenly Kingdom.
T H E H OLY G OSPEL ACCO R D ING TO S T M AR K 6 : 14 – 30
TH E BEHEADING OF ST JOHN THE BAP TIST & FORERUNNER TO CH RIST
At that time, King Herod heard of our Lord Jesus, for His Name had become well known. And he said: “John the Baptist
is Risen from the dead, and therefore these Powers are worked in Him.” Others said: “It is Elijah.” Others said: “It is
the Prophet, or one of the Prophets.” When Herod heard, he said: “This is he whom I beheaded – John. He has been
raised from the dead!” For Herod himself had sent and laid hold of John, and bound him in prison for the sake of
Herodias, the wife of Philip, his brother, for he had married her. John had said to Herod: “It is unlawful for you to
have your brother’s wife.” Therefore Herodias had held it against him and wanted to kill him, but she could not.
Herod feared John, knowing that he was a Just and Holy Man, and he protected him. And hearing (John), he did
many things, and had heard him gladly.
And an opportune day arose when Herod, on his birthday, gave a Feast for his noblemen, the high officers, and the
chief men of Galilee. And when the daughter of Herodias went in and danced, she pleased Herod and those who
sat with him. The King said to the girl: “Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will grant it to you!” And he promised
her: “Whatever you ask of me, I will give you – even half of my Kingdom!” So she went out and asked her mother:
“For what shall I ask?” Herodias answered: “The head of John the Baptist!” And without delay she hastened to the
King and said: “I want you to give me at once on a platter the head of John the Baptist!”
And the King was exceedingly sorry; yet, because of the oaths and because of those who sat with him, he did not want
to refuse her. And immediately the King sent an executioner and commanded his head to be brought. He went
and beheaded him in prison, and presented his head on a platter, and she gave it to her mother.
And when his Disciples heard of it, they went and took away his body and laid it in a tomb.
✶ ”... King Herod...” WAS THE SON OF K ING H EROD “ THE 2. our Divine Prophet
G REAT .” 3. our Divine King!
Having heard of the newly born “Great King” (our Lord Jesus  D E U T E R O N O M Y 1 8 : 1 5 “The Lord your God will
Christ) from three Magi, the paranoid, psychotic King raise up for you a Prophet like me from your Brethren.
Herod ‘the great’ had issued orders for the terrible Him you shall hear... the Lord said to me: ‘... I will raise
“Slaughter of the Innocents” – when all male children who up for them a Prophet like you from among their
were two years or younger, were put to the sword without Brethren, and I will put My Word in His Mouth, and
exception. He shall speak to them all I command Him..’”

At the time of St Moses, IT WAS FIRST NECESSARY FOR
 H EROD WAS MERELY A T ETRARCH R ULER – ONE OF FOUR
THE PEOPLE
G OVERNORS ELECTED BY THE R OMAN OPPRESSORS,
1. TO BE TESTED AND
WHOSE AUTHORITY WAS LIMITED TO EACH AREA OF
2. TO LEARN TO FEAR GOD AND
RULE .
3. NOT TO COMMIT SIN ,
✶ “... these Powers are worked in him!” - Knowing that St
for THEY WERE TOO IGNORANT AND INATTENTIVE TO HEAR
John the Baptist had performed several Miracles
ABOUT ANOTHER GREAT HOLY PROPHET OF GOD Who was
while alive, H EROD ERRONEOUSLY BELIEVED THAT OUR
to come later.
L ORD J ESUS CHRIST WAS S T J OHN THE BAPTIST WHO

Because THE ISRAELITES FAILED THE TEST, they died in
HAD BEEN RAISED FROM THE DEAD .
the desert.
 Consequently, H EROD FEARED ST J OHN THE B APTIST EVEN

THEY REFUSED TO OBEY OR PUT INTO PRACTISE
MORE THAN WHEN HE HAD BEEN ALIVE .
EVERYTHING that God’s Holy Prophet, St Moses,
✶ “... Others said: ‘It is Elijah/Elias...” Some thought that our
tried so hard to teach them.
Lord Jesus Christ was ST ELIJAH/ELIAS THE TISHBITE

likewise, WE TOO , WILL FAIL THE TEST AND “ DIE IN THE
AND HOLY PROPHET OF GOD WHO WAS EXPECTED TO
DESERT ” THROUGH OUR OWN CHOICES AND
RETURN AND WORK MANY MIRACLES before the Second
S PIRITUAL S TUBBORNNESS
Coming of the Lord:

W E WILL SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES OF E TERNAL
 M A L A C H I 3 : 2 2 - 2 3 ”Behold: I will send you
C ONDEMNATION TO S PIRITUAL E XILE FROM G OD –
Elijah before the Coming of the Great and
E TERNAL SPIRITUAL D EATH!
Glorious Day of the Lord. And he will turn the

All WHO CHOOSE TO REJECT THE D IVINE W ILL AND
heart of the father to his son, and a man’s heart
T EACHINGS OF ALMIGHTY G OD WILL NEITHER
to his neighbour...”
ENTER NOR ENJOY THE G LORIOUS B LISS , L OVE AND

ST ELIJAH/ELIAS REPRESENTS THE HOLY PROPHETS OF GOD
P EACE OF E TERNAL L IFE IN THE P ROMISED L AND –
who prepared the people for the Coming of the
G OD’ S H EAVENLY K INGDOM .
Messiah, AND ST MOSES who REPRESENTS THE
 Some of our Holy Fathers have interpreted “...The
DIVINE LAWS OF GOD whereby we must live, were
Prophet...” as meaning that they regarded
present with our Lord Jesus on Mount Tabor at
Christ as A NEW H OLY P ROPHET OF GOD W HO HAD
His Glorious Transfiguration. (MATTHEW 17: 1 – 13)
BEEN SENT TO PREPARE THE PEOPLE FOR THE C OMING

T HE E TERNAL W ORD AND SON OF GOD Who gave the
OF THE G REAT M ESSIAH OR SAVIOUR .
Law to Moses, BECAME I NCARNATE - OUR L ORD
However, our Lord came to live amongst us in order
J ESUS CHRIST W HO IS GOD-M AN.
TO FIRST GATHER UP H IS L OST S HEEP OF THE O LD
✶ ”... It is the Prophet...” showed their belief that Christ was
C OVENANT I SRAEL and then TO E NLIGHTEN , G UIDE
the Messiah – the One of Whom St Moses had AND H EAL H IS N EW C OVENANT F LOCK – THE N EW
foretold. I SRAEL – i.e. HIS FAITHFUL DISCIPLES, WHO, having
 Our Lord Jesus Christ indeed fulfils THREE SIGNIFICANT freely chosen to PUT ON CHRIST AT HOLY BAPTISM
AND ESSENTIAL DIVINE ROLES: CONTINUE TO LIVE IN CHRIST FOREVER.
1. our Divine Teacher
T H E BE HE AD ING OF S T JO H N THE B AP TIST & FORERUNNER TO CHRIST
TODAY IS “A LITTLE GREAT FRIDAY” - A SECOND GREAT FRIDAY for HIM MORE THAN ANY OTHER MAN - even more than any of
we Commemorate THE GREATEST MAN OF THOSE BORN OF His Apostles, His Angels, His Prophets, His Righteous or
WOMAN - ST JOHN, THE HOLY FORERUNNER AND BAPTIST OF His Wise, when He declared: “...among those born of
OUR LORD. women there has arisen no one greater than John
On Great Friday our Lord God, was murdered by the Baptist’ (MATTHEW 11:11).
crucifixion, and on this Great Holy Feast, the greatest Of all Creation, there exists NO GREATER PRAISE!
of all men was murdered by beheading. This Great Feast is ‘a little Great Friday’ because senseless
Our praises of the Glorious Forerunner and Baptist of our people murdered the Most Righteous One who was an
Lord cannot equal those of CHRIST HIMSELF Who PRAISED obstacle between the perverse Herod and the
T H E BE HE AD ING OF S T JO H N THE B AP TIST & F ORE RU NNE R 29 AU GU ST 2018 31.
dissolute Herodias and God’s immutable (abiding) ST JOHN WAS A MOST POWERFUL AND INFLUENTIAL HOLY PROPHET,
Truth. HOLY APOSTLE AND HOLY EVANGELIST, for he exhorted all
DIVINE TRUTH IS ALWAYS AN OBSTACLE – A HINDRANCE – TO THE mankind – past and present – on Earth and in Hades -
LAWLESS, TO WRETCHED SINNERS, to those who are to REPENT THE SINS THAT HAVE CAUSED OUR FALL, OUR DEATH
OVERWHELMED BY THE GRIEVOUS PASSIONS, so that even AND ALL OUR SUFFERING, SO THAT OUR PAIN AND SORROW
today the opponents of our Lord Jesus Christ and His BECOMES COMFORT AND JOY WHEN WE WELCOME, AND ACCEPT
Divine Truth would still scream: “Crucify Him! Crucify OUR DIVINE SAVIOUR AND HIS ETERNAL, PERFECT TRUTH.
Him!” or they would demand His beheading like the When our Lord Jesus Christ began and ended His public
wicked, debauched Herodias had demanded the Mission, He encouraged us with those same words of
beheading of St John. St John His Forerunner, for UNLESS WE CONSTANTLY
OUR WORLD HAS BECOME CORRUPTED AND INSANE SINCE MANKIND REPENT AND CONFESS OUR HABITUAL SINS, WE CANNOT BECOME
HAS CHOSEN TO REJECT GOD AND HIS MOST RIGHTEOUS. WORTHY CITIZENS OF HIS HEAVENLY KINGDOM OF LOVE.
Who do we want? Who would we prefer? Who would we St John the Baptist is AN EARTHLY ANGEL WHO LIVED AN
put in Christ’s place? With whom would we replace St. ANGELIC, ASCETIC LIFE and was certainly A HOLY
John the Baptist? With ourselves – tiny, insignificant MESSENGER (ANGELOS) OF GOD. (ISAIAH 4:3 & MATTHEW 11:10)
and mortal creatures? The Holy Forerunner is truly THE FIRST CORPOREAL, EARTHLY
WHEN PEOPLE BECOME MADDENED BY PRIDE - DRIVEN BY ANGEL AMONG THOSE WHO BECAME THE MULTITUDE OF BRIGHT
EGOTISTICAL ARROGANCE AND SELFISHNESS - THEY LOSE THEIR LAMPS OR BEACONS, BRINGING US GOD’S LIGHT while living
SANITY AND HAVE NO NEED OF GOD NOR HIS DIVINE TRUTH. on Earth like the Heavenly Hosts, who are FOREVER
They regard themselves as being ‘gods,’ PRESENTING THEIR GOD’S HOLY AND RIGHTEOUS IN PARADISE.
HERETICAL, BLASPHEMOUS AND ERRONEOUS IDEAS AS OUR LORD Today we Glorify THE LAST AND GREATEST OF GOD’S HOLY
GOD’S ETERNAL, SALVIFIC TRUTH. PROPHETS WHO WITNESSED AND ANNOUNCED to all mankind
THEY DECLARE THEIR SHALLOW, EARTHLY, PERISHABLE IMAGININGS THAT OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST has now Appeared to the
AS ‘TRUTH’ – BELIEVING THAT DIVINE TRUTH IS REDUNDANT AND world not only as our Divine Saviour, but as the
UNDESIRABLE! Those who are blind in mind and spirit ENLIGHTENER AND JUDGE OF ALL CREATION.
cannot see - and refuse to see - that NONE OF US CAN In Christ’s Hands are both “...the Hatchet...” and the
MANAGE WITHOUT GOD. spade, for ON THE DAY OF THE DREAD JUDGEMENT, HE WILL
This fallen world has innumerable wicked people like CUT DOWN ALL “...FRUITLESS TREES...” AND CLEAR THE EARTH’S
Herod and Herodias, who demand the heads of the THRESHING-FLOOR BY SEPARATING “...THE WHEAT FROM THE
Righteous, and the Pharisees and Scribes - THE LYING CHAFF...” – separating the Righteous from the sinners.
SOPHISTS OF THIS WORLD, WHO PLOT AND SCHEME AGAINST OUR EVERYTHING WAS FORESEEN BY GOD’S GREAT HOLY PROPHET,
LORD JESUS CHRIST AND HIS DIVINE TRUTH. FORERUNNER AND BAPTIST who was murdered by the
Thus today is a second Great Friday, for THERE IS NO impious, criminal King Herod.
GREATER TRANSGRESSION THAN THAT WHICH WAS COMMITTED ST JOHN WAS THE FIRST HOLY MARTYR OF THE NEW COVENANT
WHEN OUR DIVINE SAVIOUR WAS SO UNJUSTLY AND SO CRUELLY WHO GAVE HIS LIFE FOR THE SAKE OF GOD’S TRUTH in this sin-
CRUCIFIED. darkened world and HAVING SUFFERED JOYFULLY FOR HIS
OUR LORD JESUS PRAISED AND HONOURED SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST LOVE OF GOD – “...having contended for the Truth
MORE THAN ANY OTHER MAN, BECAUSE HIS HOLY FORERUNNER supremely, with Joy Thou brought the Good News,
PERSONIFIED ALL THE HOLY VIRTUES of all the Heavenly even to those in Hades...” (FESTAL APOLYTIKION)
Hosts, of all His Holy Prophets, of all His Holy Apostles, St John the Forerunner and Baptist is THE FIRST AND
of all His Holy Martyrs and Holy Confessors. FOREMOST GOOD EXAMPLE AND INSPIRATION TO ALL HOLY
We Glorify OUR LORD GOD’S FIRST APOSTLE AMONG ALL HIS HOLY MARTYRS OF THE NEW COVENANT - beginning with St
APOSTLES, for the Forerunner of Christ was THE FIRST TO Stephen the Archdeacon and Protomartyr (First
BE SENT BY GOD TO TESTIFY TO AND TO BEHOLD AND IDENTIFY Martyr) of the New Covenant.
OUR DIVINE SAVIOUR as the Great Messiah and to ALL HOLY MARTYRS CONFRONT DEATH REJOICING IN OUR LORD
proclaim Him to the world. JESUS CHRIST, knowing that DEATH CAN NO LONGER HOLD
LONG BEFORE HIS HOLY APOSTLES, St Simon Peter and St US CAPTIVE IN HADES, knowing that DEATH IS MERELY A
Nathaniel Bartholomew – or anyone else – ST JOHN GATEWAY - AN ENTRANCE - THROUGH WHICH OUR IMMORTAL
THE BAPTIST BORE WITNESS TO AND HERALDED GOD INCARNATE SOUL ENTERS THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.
TO THE WORLD. Thus the Holy Forerunner went joyously to his death, since
That first Holy Apostle WITNESSED FIRST-HAND HOW GOD THE HE FORESAW CHRIST’S VICTORY OVER DEATH, knowing that
HOLY SPIRIT DESCENDED FROM HEAVEN AND ALIGHTED UPON our Lord has prepared Resurrection and Eternal Life
OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST WHILE HE WAS BAPTISING HIM IN THE for all Repentant sinners.
JORDAN RIVER, and HE WAS THE FIRST TO PROCLAIM AND TO After His Crucifixion and Death, our Divine Saviour
CONFESS HIM AS TRULY, THE ETERNAL, ONLY BEGOTTEN SON descended into Hades, the Kingdom of Death - and
AND WORD OF OUR HEAVENLY FATHER – the long awaited how astonished all the souls in Hades must have been
Divine Saviour of the fallen world of mankind! when they beheld God, shining so brightly with His
St John the Forerunner of Christ is also THE FIRST EVANGELIST Ineffable Uncreated Light!
AMONG THE EVANGELISTS, because he was THE FIRST TO Who could not believe in Christ Jesus, when He
REVEAL (IDENTIFY) AND TO ANNOUNCE HIM to the world as Appeared, so filled with Eternal Truth, Eternal Life and
“...the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the Eternal Justice, as the Almighty Conqueror of Death!
world ...” which expresses THE FULLNESS OF THE HOLY HADES COULD NOT HOLD GOD NOR HIS PEOPLE CAPTIVE, SINCE
GOSPEL, for indeed, OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST IS THE GOOD CHRIST’S “HARROWING OF HADES” - WHEN HE BROKE OPEN THE
NEWS OF HEAVEN AND EARTH. IMPRISONING GATES AND LED HIS FAITHFUL TO PARADISE.
Looking towards the East, ST JOHN THE BAPTIST SEVERELY All those who have Repented their sins and believed the
URGED ALL MANKIND TO REPENT – from Adam to ourselves Forerunner’s Proclamations, MOST JOYFULLY WELCOME
- for his loud and clear exhortation is addressed to all OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST AND STRIVE TO LIVE IN HIM,
generations throughout all time: “Repent! For the believing His Divine Truth and that He is True God of
Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!” Heaven and Earth.
The Kingdom of Heaven is now present! Amen
Our Lord Jesus has come to us from Heaven and in Him –
IN CHRIST – IS CERTAINLY THE ETERNAL HEAVENLY KINGDOM A SERMON OF ST JUSTIN POPOVIC
OF LOVE! ADAPTED & EDITED BY MP
Looking towards the West, ST JOHN THE BAPTIST AND OUR HTTPS://PEMPTOUSIA.COM
LORD JESUS CHRIST SEES MANKIND DROWNING IN SIN AND
DEATH, so call out, again and again: “Repent, for the S T AR SE NIOS B OC A

Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!” Hell (Eternal Death) is only for those who refuse to Repent
MANKIND EVERYWHERE IS ENSLAVED BY SIN AND DEATH, which is and abandon sin, for when we sincerely Repent and
invented by the evil one who craves our destruction. renounce sin, the Gates of Divine Mercy are opened
TO ALL MANKIND THE GLORIOUS, HOLY AND SAVING GOSPEL IS for us.
OFFERED but first we must “Repent! for the Kingdom of
Heaven is at hand!”

32. TH E BE HE AD ING OF S T J OH N TH E B AP TIST & F ORE RU NNER 29 AU GU ST 2018