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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 2 1 SEPTEMBER 2019
11TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
THE NEW LITURGICAL YEAR (7529) - THE INDICTION
PROTECTION OF THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT

Also the Feast of ST SYMEON THE STUDITE & his devout Mother, St Martha, of Cilicia - ST
AMMOUN THE DEACON & THE 40 ASCETIC VIRGIN MARTYRS OF HERACLEA, THRACE – St Joshua
Son of Nun – St Callista, St Evodos & St Hermogenes, Sibling Martyrs of Nicomedia –– St
Meletios the New of Cappadocia - St Evanthia – St Ethalas, Deacon, of Persia

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 )

P R OKE IME NON –P SAL M 146 & 134 - T ONE 4

Great is our God, and Great is His Strength.


Praise the Lord, for He is Good.
T H E F IR ST EP ISTLE OF S T P AUL TO S T T IM OTHY 2: 1 – 7
FAITHFULNESS IN PRAYER
My Son, Timothy: I exhort first of all that Supplications, Prayers, Intercessions, and Thanksgiving be made
for all men, for Kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and Peaceful Life in all
Goodness and Reverence.
This is good and acceptable in the Sight of God our Saviour, Who desires all mankind to be Saved and to
come to the Knowledge of the Truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men -
the Man-Christ Jesus, Who gave Himself a Ransom for all, to be Testified in due time, for which I was
appointed a Preacher and an Apostle – I am speaking the Truth in Christ and not lying – a Teacher of
the Gentiles in Faith and Truth.
✶ "... Supplications, Prayers, Intercessions, and  Having been CALLED TO DIVINE SERVICE BY CHRIST
Thanksgiving ...” ARE TO BE OFFERED FOR EVERYONE – HIMSELF, ST PAUL WAS INDEED HIS HOLY APOSTLE.
WITHOUT EXCEPTION.
 DIVINE KNOWLEDGE AND SPIRITUAL ILLUMINATION HAD BEEN
BESTOWED BY CHRIST upon St Paul at his Conversion
✶ for Kings and all who are in authority...” We ought along the Road to Damascus.
to offer SPECIAL PRAYERS FOR THOSE IN AUTHORITY OVER
 As A TRUE APOSTLE OF CHRIST, ST PAUL SUBSEQUENTLY
US.
PERFORMED ALL HIS MISSIONARY DUTIES WITH ABSOLUTE
 As Orthodox Christians, WE REPEATEDLY PRAY FOR “...ALL
TRUTH – IN HUMBLE OBEDIENCE TO GOD and not
CIVIL AUTHORITIES...” during all Holy Services.
according to his own ideas or imagination!
✶ “...a quiet and Peaceful Life...” HELPS US TO PROPERLY ✶ “...there is one God and one Mediator...” The
FULFIL OUR LIFE IN CHRIST since we are able to focus on religions of the ancient Greek or Hellenised world
God WITH NOETIC PRAYERS AND COMMUNAL WORSHIP were pluralistic and elite.
without anxiety or distraction.  ST PAUL TAUGHT THE GENTILES (the pagan non-Judaic
 When fighting to survive in a state of warfare, danger people) that
or catastrophe to any degree, our attention is 1. THERE IS ONE SAVIOUR, ONE GOD AND ONE MEDIATOR –
obviously distracted. ONE ALMIGHTY GOD
✶ “...in all Goodness and Reverence ...” When our life 2. WHO OFFERS SALVATION EQUALLY TO ALL MANKIND
is “... quiet and Peaceful...” we should APPRECIATE 3. because HE CREATED US TO SHARE IN HIS DIVINE
EVERY MOMENT AND CORRECT OURSELVES CONSTANTLY. GOODNESS.
 Remembering others who suffer deprivation and As THE EVER BLESSED THEOTOKOS GAVE US CHRIST IN HIS
terrible conditions, we ought to BE DEEPLY GRATEFUL HUMANITY, so HIS HOLY CHURCH INTRODUCES US TO OUR LORD
TO OUR LORD GOD FOR HIS GREAT MERCY. JESUS WHO IS OUR DIVINE MEDIATOR.
✶ “...desires all mankind to be Saved...” OUR LOVING ✶ ".. the Man-Christ Jesus ...” ALMIGHTY GOD BECAME
AND BENEVOLENT LORD GOD WANTS ALL MANKIND whom He INCARNATE AND VISIBLE TO US.
created in His Image and Likeness TO RETURN TO OUR  THE ETERNAL, ONLY BEGOTTEN SON AND WORD OF GOD
PERFECT, CREATED STATE. became our Lord Jesus Christ WHOM WE ARE ABLE TO
✶“...to come to the Knowledge of the Truth...” refers SEE AND TO DEPICT ACCORDING TO HIS HUMAN NATURE.
to GOD’S DIVINE, ABSOLUTE AND PERFECT TRUTH, not our  HE IS GOD-MAN - being both THE ETERNAL SON OF GOD
limited and flawed opinions that are usually AND THE SON OF MAN(KIND) because of HIS TWO
extremely far from Divine Truth. SEPARATE NATURES – DIVINE AND HUMAN.
 When God enables us to receive and understand His  ACCORDING TO THE DIVINE WILL OF GOD OUR HEAVENLY
Divine Knowledge, WE BECOME TRANSFORMED - BOTH FATHER, GOD THE SON BECAME MAN BY THE POWER AND
PHYSICALLY AND SPIRITUALLY - I.E. DIVINELY ENERGY OF GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT Who Incarnated Him
ENLIGHTENED, INSPIRED AND KNOWLEDGEABLE, which with the All Pure Flesh of our Lady, Theotokos in
ought to be our main aim throughout this short, order TO GRANT US ETERNAL SALVATION.
preparatory period.  Living in our midst, CHRIST OUR LORD TAUGHT US AND
 This is THE ONLY WAY TO REGAIN OUR DIVINE LIKENESS OR SHOWED US HIS DIVINE TRUTH BY HIS OWN GOOD
SPIRITUAL PERFECTION. EXAMPLE, AS WELL AS REVEALING MANY DIVINE MYSTERIES
 ST PAUL EMPHASISED DIVINE TRUTH, which he TAUGHT AND TO US.
PRACTISED, SINCE by His Encounter with Christ when
HE RECEIVED DIVINE TRUTH DIRECTLY FROM GOD HIMSELF.

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 Thus WE ARE ABLE TO FULFIL THE DIVINE WILL OF OUR GOD AND THE HOLY, HUMBLE, OBEDIENT AND WILLING CO-
HEAVENLY FATHER THROUGH OUR LIFE IN CHRIST, BY THE OPERATION OF MANKIND – i.e. OUR EVER BLESSED LADY,
ENABLING POWER AND GIFTS OF GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT. THEOTOKOS, FROM WHOM GOD INCARNATE TOOK HIS
✶ “...gave Himself a Ransom for all...” Having HUMAN NATURE.
“Emptied” Himself of His Infinite, Uncontainable, ✶ “...to be Testified in due time...” THE DIVINE TRUTH IS
Unrestricted Divinity and Majesty – His Omnipresence REPEATEDLY TESTIFIED TO AND CONFIRMED BY GOD OUR
- in order to take on our weak and vulnerable human HEAVENLY FATHER , GOD THE ETERNAL SON AND WORD OF
nature and circumstances OUR ALMIGHTY LORD JESUS GOD, AND GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT.
CHRIST WAS ABLE TO OFFER HIMSELF AS THE FINAL AND  At the Baptism of Christ and at His Transfiguration, OUR
ULTIMATE BLOOD SACRIFICE FOR THE FORGIVENESS OF HEAVENLY FATHER NOT ONLY IDENTIFIED CHRIST AS HIS
MANKIND’S SINFUL STATE. BELOVED SON BUT ALSO COMMANDED US TO “LISTEN TO
 In the context of ancient slavery A PRICELESS RANSOM HIM!”
WAS PAID - WHICH WE CAN NEVER REPAY! ACCORDINGLY, WE MUST ALWAYS LISTEN CAREFULLY TO ALL
1. Not so much to purchase a slave, but TO FREE ALL CHRIST’S TEACHINGS AND APPLY THEM TO OUR OWN
MANKIND FROM DEMONIC BONDAGE AND ETERNAL THOUGHTS, WORDS AND DEEDS.
DEATH.  Since the Day of Pentecost when GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT
2. So that we may Experience TRUE LIBERTY – TRUE descended upon the Faithful Apostles and
FREEDOM - FROM THE BONDAGE OR CAPTIVITY OF Disciples of Christ, He HAS ENLIGHTENED US WITH HIS
SPIRITUAL SLAVERY TO SIN AND SPIRITUAL DEATH
DIVINE GIFTS.
CAUSED BY UNREPENTANCE that separates and
BY HIS DIVINE GRACE, WE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO UNDERSTAND
alienates us from God and His Loving
THE INFINITE SIGNIFICANCE OF DIVINE TRUTH as opposed
Providence and Great Mercy.
 By His Death on the Cross, CHRIST PAID THE “RANSOM” FOR to mankind’s opinions or interpretations.
ALL HUMANITY THROUGHOUT TIME.
 DIVINE TRUTH IS ALSO CONFIRMED BY INNUMERABLE HUMAN
Nevertheless, IT IS NOW ENTIRELY UP TO US whether we WITNESSES THROUGHOUT THE AGES who have
choose to follow our Divine Saviour Faithfully in all personally Experienced Encounters, Visitations
things, or to reject Him and His Divine Truth that and Revelations of our Triune Lord God – Father,
leads us to Eternal Life. Son and Holy Spirit.
IF WE CHOOSE LIFE IN CHRIST AS HIS FAITHFUL DISCIPLES, WE ✶ “...speaking the Truth in Christ...” Our Lord Christ
MUST COMMIT ALL OUR EFFORTS towards fulfilling God’s
established His Holy Church with Enlightened,
Divine Will in all aspects of this temporary lifespan Inspired and Truthful SPIRITUAL FATHERS to TEACH US
HIS DIVINE TRUTH AND TO GUIDE US WITH CORRECT
before Eternity.
WORSHIP AND LIFE IN CHRIST JESUS.
WE ONLY HAVE THIS SHORT TIME TO STRIVE FOR OUR SPIRITUAL
 Thereby, WE WHO ARE SPIRITUALLY INEXPERIENCED, MAY
PERFECTION – the Restoration and Transformation of LEARN HOW TO APPROACH GOD CORRECTLY, WITH THE
Divine Likeness with which we were originally PROPER HUMILITY, OBEDIENCE AND RESPECT.
created. ✶ “... in Faith and Truth...” AS MATURING, FAITHFUL
 HERETICS WHO ARE OPPOSED TO THE ESTABLISHED HOLY
DISCIPLES OF CHRIST, WE OUGHT TO SEEK HIS DIVINE
CHURCH OF CHRIST HAVE USED THIS PARTICULAR VERSE TO
ERRONEOUSLY CLAIM THAT ALL WE NEED IS OUR LORD JESUS
TRUTH so that we might APPLY IT TO OUR OWN
THOUGHTS, WORDS AND DEEDS.
Heretics reject THE ESSENTIAL NECESSITY OF CHRIST’S HOLY
CHURCH, HER CLERGY AND HER DIVINE MYSTERIES For BY GOOD, HONEST, SINCERE, TRUTHFUL AND FAITHFUL
(SACRAMENTS.) EXAMPLES WE ARE ALL INSPIRED, GUIDED AND
However: the Eternal, Only Begotten Word and Son of ENLIGHTENED.
God became our One and Only Divine Mediator
THROUGH THE WILL, POWER AND ENERGY OF OUR TRIUNE
T H E H OLY G OSPEL ACCO R D ING TO S T LU KE 4 : 16 – 22
UNB ELIEF IN NAZARETH
At that time, our Lord Jesus went to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He
went on the Sabbath Day into the Synagogue, and stood up to read. And He was handed the Book of
Isaiah the Prophet. And when He had opened the Book, He found the place where it was written: “The
Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, for He has Anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor. He has sent
Me to Heal the broken-hearted, to Proclaim Liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind,
to set at Liberty those who are oppressed, to Proclaim the acceptable Year of the Lord.”
And He closed the Book and gave it back to the Attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in
the Synagogue were fixed upon Him. He began by saying to them: “...Today this Scripture is fulfilled in
your hearing.” And all bore witness to Him, and marvelled at the Gracious Words that proceeded out
of His Mouth.
✶ “...Nazareth, where He had been brought up...”  OUR LORD JESUS FULFILLED EVERYTHING REQUIRED OF HIS
Our Lord Jesus returned to the city of Nazareth, where CHOSEN PEOPLE for HE TAUGHT US BY HIS OWN PERFECT
He had spent most of His Life. EXAMPLE how to do so.
Almost everyone would have known Him and His  AS THE “NEW/SECOND ADAM” – the Perfect,( sinless), Man -
HE SHOWED US HOW TO PROPERLY FULFILL THE WILL OF OUR
earthly Family – His Family according to His HEAVENLY FATHER, as He had created us to do.
Incarnation.
A Synagogue is a Consecrated place where the
He had been known as one of St Joseph the
Faithful, Chosen People of God assemble to pray,
Betrothed’s sons.
to study the Holy Scriptures and to socialise, as
As the youngest Son, He had been trained as a
well as performing Bar Mitzvahs (boys coming of
Carpenter, and had worked with His Venerable
age at 13) and Marriages.
Guardian, no doubt continuing His manual labours
These were established so that at least ten Faithful
after the Repose of St Joseph the Betrothed, who
could gather together for Communal Prayers and
had been over the age of 80 when our Lord was
Worship of God, while individuals are able to pray
born.
at any time.
Thus our Divine Saviour was identified by the people
The Sacrificial and Ritual Rites, which were restricted
of that region as merely being “the Son of Joseph
to the Great Temple of Jerusalem, where the
the Carpenter” or by others, later, as “the
Faithful would gather to worship and pray –
Nazarene.”
especially for the Sacred Feasts of the Old
✶ “...as His custom was, He went on the Sabbath Covenant.
Day into the Synagogue...” Synagogues were formed while the Nation of Israel
 OUR LORD ALWAYS WENT TO THE SYNAGOGUE TO READ THE
HOLY SCRIPTURES ESPECIALLY ON THE SABBATH. was in exile - some claim as early as before their

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Exodus from Egypt - so that the people could Saved and Spiritually Restored and Reunited with
properly pray and worship our Lord God. God.
After the destruction of Jerusalem in 70, Synagogues The evil one does, however, bait his venomous hooks
became portable systems of worship that united with a tiny drop of Truth, in order to lure us into
heresy, apostasy and wickedness.
God’s People as they spread throughout the world.
✶ “... recovery of sight to the blind...” also refers to those
✶ “...the Book of Isaiah the Prophet...” was the Sacred who are SPIRITUALLY BLIND - BEING UNABLE TO SEE OR
Lesson for the day. REJECTING THE DIVINE TRUTH OF CHRIST DUE TO THE EXTENT
Whether our Lord Himself chose the passage to read OF THEIR SINFUL LIFE.
aloud or whether it was prescribed, WHAT H E READ IN  When we become SPIRITUALLY ENLIGHTENED, we are
THE ANCIENT TEXT WAS ALREADY FULFILLED BY H IM BY able to SEE CLEARLY, DISCERNING WITH OUR HEART AND
THAT DAY , WHICH H E SO CLEARLY INFORMED THEM : SOUL WHATEVER IS RIGHT OR WRONG.
 ST ISAIAH’S PROPHECIES, written circa 745 – 680 BC, SPOKE ✶ “...set at liberty those who are oppressed...” Life in Christ
OF “THE HOLY ONE OF ISRAEL” WHO WOULD REDEEM HIS
is True Freedom.
PEOPLE.
 ST ISAIAH’S INSPIRED VISION OF THE GLORY OF GOD is one of Christ reveals His Truth concerning the Purpose of this
infinite Transcendence, for OUR ROLE IS TO BE existence as a Preparation for what is to follow:
FAITHFUL AND OBEDIENT TO GOD’S HOLINESS AND HIS Eternal Life or Eternal Death
PLAN FOR ALL MANKIND. ✶ "...the acceptable Year of the Lord ...” Since the
 HE REVEALED THE GREAT MESSIAH – our Lord Jesus Christ – Incarnation THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN HAS COME TO
WITH AMAZING DETAIL, as if relating history rather EARTH
than the future.  Since our Heavenly Father sent His Only Begotten,
 HE DESCRIBED OUR LADY, THEOTOKOS and how She was to Beloved Son to live amongst His People, WE HAVE
Conceive and give Birth to God the Son Incarnate ENTERED THE MESSIANIC AGE – THE LAST OF THE AGES,
with Her Virginity remaining intact and Pure. BEFORE ETERNITY.
 HE ALSO DESCRIBED THE TERRIBLE SUFFERING OF OUR LORD  WE MUST ACT NOW – IMMEDIATELY – TO REPENT OUR SINS AND
JESUS AND HIS GLORIOUS RESURRECTION, proclaiming STRIVE TO LIVE IN CHRIST AS HIS FAITHFUL DISCIPLES.
His Eternal Kingdom as if it had already
✶ “...Today this Scripture is fulfilled ...” is A VERY CLEAR
happened.
AND CONCISE DECLARATION BY CHRIST Who is Truth
✶ “...The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me ...” This entire
passage from the Prophecies of St Isaiah predicted Itself!
EVERYTHING THAT OUR LORD FULFILLED. Our Lord cannot commit sin to any degree at all, so HE
 A LL THE LONG - AWAITED H EALINGS , BLESSINGS AND WOULD CERTAINLY NEVER HAVE MADE ANY SUCH STATEMENTS
S PIRITUAL D ELIVERANCE of the Israelite Nation that for an ordinary man would have been heretical
WERE FULFILLED BY C HRIST OUR L ORD . or blasphemous!
✶ “... He has Anointed Me...” THE HOLY SPIRIT Descended ✶ “... all bore witness to Him, and marvelled at the
upon Christ at His Baptism thereby PROCLAIMING OUR Gracious Words...” All those who were present
LORD JESUS AS THE GREAT MESSIAH AT THE BEGINNING OF heard what our Lord said.
HIS PUBLIC MISSION.  ALTHOUGH THEY ALL “MARVELLED” AT HIS WORDS, MOST – IF
 It also signified AN ETERNAL, NOT TEMPORAL TRUTH. NOT ALL OF THEM - REFUSED TO BELIEVE.
 BEING THE ETERNAL SON OF GOD, OUR LORD DID NOT  THEY COULD NOT ACCEPT THE DIVINE TRUTH THAT A SON OF
BECOME OUR ANOINTED SAVIOUR JOSEPH THE CARPENTER, Whom many of them must
 HE HAS ALWAYS BEEN OUR DIVINE SAVIOUR EVEN BEFORE THE have known since His Childhood, COULD POSSIBLY BE
FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD – BEFORE CREATION. THE LONG-AWAITED GREAT MESSIAH.
 Our Lord Jesus spoke through St Isaiah. THIS IS THE OBVIOUS REACTION MOST OF US WOULD HAVE HAD, yet
 He clearly stated that GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT IS UPON HIM, EVEN THOSE WHO CLAIMED TO HAVE CLOSELY STUDIED HOLY
meaning that THE HOLY TRINITY HAS ALWAYS WORKED SCRIPTURES - AND ESPECIALLY THE HOLY PROPHECIES – ALSO
TOGETHER IN PERFECT HARMONY – FOR ALL ETERNITY. REFUSED TO BELIEVE.
✶ “ ... to Preach the Gospel to the poor...” W E , WHO ARE  THIS DOUBLE RESPONSE OF MARVELLING AND REJECTION
S PIRITUALLY I MPOVERISHED , HAVE RECEIVED THE FREQUENTLY OCCURRED WHEN THE PEOPLE ENCOUNTERED
D IVINE T RUTH DIRECTLY FROM G OD H IMSELF – so, OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST AND CAME FACE TO FACE WITH
having been taught by Christ, we have no excuse DIVINE TRUTH that shocked and overwhelmed them.
for ignorance nor disobedience.  HIS REJECTION BY HIS OWN CHOSEN PEOPLE FULFILLED THE
✶ “... to Heal the broken-hearted...” OUR COMPASSIONATE SIMILAR REJECTION OF DIVINE TRUTH when spoken by
LORD COMFORTS US AND HEALS ALL OUR PHYSICAL AND God’s Holy Prophets such as St Elijah and St Elisha.
SPIRITUAL AILMENTS WHEN WE BESEECH HIM WITH FAITH,  The rejection of Christ and His Divine Truth
for He never forces His Divine Will upon us. FORESHADOWED HIS IMPENDING UNJUST TRIAL AND
✶ “... to proclaim Liberty to the captives...” BY TEACHING US CONDEMNATION.
HIS DIVINE TRUTH AND REVEALING HIS HOLY MYSTERIES TO  However, OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST ACCEPTED THE HOUR OF
US – as much as we are to receive - OUR DIVINE HIS DEATH ACCORDING TO THE WILL OF OUR HEAVENLY
SAVIOUR SETS US FREE FROM THE BONDAGE OF SIN AND FATHER – not according to the will of His opponents
DEATH, which holds us captive until we Repent- and enemies.
Confess our sins.  ONLY GOD KNOWS THE RIGHT TIME FOR ANYTHING TO HAPPEN,
Furthermore, AT THE HARROWING OF HADES, CHRIST SET ALL which will Benefit everyone concerned to a far
THE RIGHTEOUS FREE AND LED THEM INTO PARADISE. larger degree than we know!
 THE EVIL ONE HATES DIVINE TRUTH, WHICH ALWAYS REPELS AND
DEFEATS HIS WICKED SCHEMES for we are thereby
T H E NE W E CCLE SIASTICAL YE AR
✞ In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the influences their Life, which is why She does not
Holy Spirit... remain unmoved nor indifferent to the ongoing and
Dearly Beloved: The common Mother of all Orthodox - the daily destruction of the Natural Environment that is
Church of Christ, the Body of our Eternal Lord and caused by human greed and vain profit.
Divine-Human Jesus Christ - Compassionately This implies an essential turning away of our Lord’s Sight
Ministers through all of Her activities - but especially that results in consequential turbulence and fracture
through the Divine Eucharist - by offering Her Holy of the Crown of Creation – i.e. mankind’s existence,
Gifts to their Creator in the Mystery of Salvation. whose very survival is threatened.
She does this with proven boundless and indiscriminate For many years we have assessed the signs of our times
Love toward all Her Members to the same degree as well as the Eucharistic Obligation of the Orthodox
demonstrated by our Heavenly Father. Church.
In Her Prayerful Memory, the Church always bears in Thus we declared and devoted today - 1 September, the
mind the presence of Her Children, maintaining a Commencement of the Ecclesiastical Year - as a day
vivid interest and concern for all that relates to and of Prayer and Supplication for the Preservation of

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God’s beautiful Creation, which is our Most Sacred all Creation as being Sacred and precious, thereby
Inheritance in this lifespan. preventing catastrophic abuses and extremes.
Today we bow our heart and soul, invoking God’s Word to The nurturing of humanity by the natural environment
look down upon His Creation with Loving Kindness cannot possibly occur after being so greedily and
and that He might overlook our destructive sinfulness uncontrollably violated and desecrated.
and greed, “... opening His hand to fill all Creation Indeed, mankind can only be sustained by Creation
with Goodness...” and bring an end to the when it is used with mutual respect because
catastrophic path of the world. everything visible and invisible that God created was
Of course, it is true that significant progress has been “... very good...”
achieved in the last few decades with regard to Only then shall we be able to drink clean, unpolluted
awareness and the conservation of our natural water from the Life-creating Rock, to behold the
environment, especially through constantly focussing created sun and conceive the Spiritual Sun of
the attention of public conscience, assuming Righteousness, to look upon the material column of St
precautionary and restrictive measures, creating Symeon the Stylite and see the True Column of Light,
sustainable programmes, returning to more moderate to witness the rainy clouds and enter the Cloud of the
energy sources, as well as many other fruitful and Holy Spirit so that we may rest where Christ entered as
noteworthy activities. our Divine Forerunner, and have our names recorded
The effort and concern of our Universal Mother Church with His Holy First-born in His Heavenly Church.
has greatly contributed to this progress in cooperation Only when we proceed with this mindset – respecting the
with international Ecological Institutions and contribution of every living creature and all
Organizations. vegetation in the Universal Liturgy of life – can we
Nonetheless, all this is insufficient. resolve all environmental challenges by the Power of
As we once again celebrate the Feast of the Byzantine Divine Grace - not by means of our weak human
Indiction, and as we inaugurate another New Year of efforts or violence.
our Lord’s Grace, we address the Blessed Plenitude of This Message of Life emphasises our personal, individual
the Eastern Orthodox Church and the entire world, responsibility to continue our Spiritual Struggle and
urging all mankind to continued vigilance, endeavours with Prayer, Exhortation, Encouragement
consciousness and mobilization of their resources in and Appeal, thereby attracting the attention of all
order to return to the state that reflects – if not the people with regard to the vital necessity of protecting
absolute Eucharistic and Doxological Condition of ourselves from the imminent Wrath caused by our
Adam and Eve – at least the condition Inspired by estrangement from our natural environment.
God’s Grace and Mercy. The constant focus of humanity on earthly and
The uncontrolled and insatiable exploitation of the corruptible things provokes the ecological problems
natural resources of Creation, which constitutes the because, when we increasingly turn our desires
primary cause of the destruction of the natural toward the Earth and this world, we become
environment, is – according to the witness of increasingly alienated from Heaven and God.
Theology, Science and the Arts – the result of The Great Holy Church of Christ unceasingly cultivates
mankind’s Fall - our disobedience to our Lord’s this mandatory and Salvific responsibility of
Commandments and Teachings, as well as our utter protecting the environment for the spiritual and
disregard of and disobedience to God’s Will. material continuation of life on our planet.
However, the Holy Church of Christ provides the Antidote Every one of us ought to awaken the global conscience to
that can resolve our ecological crisis, by inviting and the importance of the ethical and spiritual dimension
encouraging everyone to make every effort towards of the Ecological Crisis so that Earth might eventually
the Restoration of the original beauty and abundance return to its “original beauty,” which is the Sacred
of God’s Creation. Purpose for which it was fashioned by the creative
The Rehabilitation of our fallen human nature by hands of the Divine Word.
receiving the Breath of the Holy Spirit and by using - Having “...within ourselves the inviolable memory of our
to the best of our ability - all His Holy Gifts, essentially Lord’s Judgement...” we testify to the Truth of the Word
restores the balanced relationship between mankind and draw attention to all the threats and dangers that
and Creation, which was established by God not only lie before us, which God’s Grace will surely resolve in
for our enjoyment but also for us to offer Him as our its Loving Providence.
Divine Creator. Therefore, as Orthodox Christians, we must Encourage
As St Symeon the Stylite believed, our Mother Church calls everyone to work ceaselessly for the preservation and
us “...to cultivate the whole of Creation in the Divine restoration of our natural world to the Source of Life,
Word and Life-giving Spirit...” so that we may Ascend through the Intercessions of our All-Holy and Ever-
“...from the natural to the Supernatural...” and blessed Theotokos, of St Symeon the Stylite, and of all
commit ourselves “...to the simple and absolute the Saints.
Mystical Visions of Theology...” in order to be raised Amen.
from Creation to our Creator.
The Indwelling of the Holy Spirit Deifies us and Unites us THE ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH BARTHOLOMEW
with the natural environment in order for us to (ADAPTED AND EDITED BY MP)
perceive it as being a most important part of HTTPS://PEMPTOUSIA.COM

ourselves and our very existence – so that we respect


THE ETERNAL, INS P IR ED W ISD OM OF OU R HOLY FATHERS
ELDER JOSEPH THE HESYCHAST ST IGNATIOS BRIANCHANINOV
Those who are Spiritually Sick can only be Restored by Just as a mirror reflect objects among which we stand, so
Love – never with anger nor adverse attitude. in our soul impressions are created corresponding
to our works. The images disappear from the
ST DOROTHEOS mindless mirror when objects are removed from its
We do not have the potential to Heal the bodies of our reflection but impressions remain in our rational
neighbours but we can Heal their soul for what soul.
greater Loving-kindness is there than that which is ST JOSEPH THE HESYCHAST
offered to the soul? Just as the soul is of greater value The evil one has no power nor authority over us unless he
than the body, so any Loving-kindness that is offered us being proud and fiercely stubborn!
to a soul is of far greater value than that offered to the
body. So none of us can excuse ourselves because we ST PORPHYRIOS OF KAVSOKALYVIA
“cannot afford” Charity! Mothers know how to worry, to advise, to talk a lot, but
No matter what our circumstances might be, we can all they seldom learn how to pray. Lots of instructions
offer Love and Compassion to our fellow mankind by and advice do a great deal of harm. So they ought to
focussing on the Goodness of what we are doing for avoid talking too much to children, for words only
the Love, Glory and Honour of our Lord God. echo in the ears, whereas Prayer goes to the heart!

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S U ND AY A FTER P E NTEC OST - NEW L ITUR GIC AL YE AR – 1 S E PTEM BE R 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.
3 SEPTEMBER 2019
ST NEKTARIOS OF PENTAPOLIS & AEGINA
(HOLY RELICS)
Also the Feast of St Anthimos the Bishop, St Theophilos the Deacon, St Dorotheos, St Mardonios, St
Migdonios, St Peter, St Indes, St Gorgonios, St Zeno, St Domna and St Euthymios of Nicomedia – St
Theoktistos, Ascetic of Palestine – St Haritonos – St Polydoros the New Martyr of Cyprus – St John the
Merciful, “the Hairy” of Rostov – St Phoebe the Deaconess of Cenchrea, Corinth – St Basilissa, Child-Martyr
of Nicomedia – St Aristion, Bishop of Alexandria – St Ioannikios, First Patriarch of Serbia – The Miracle-
working Icon of our Lady, Theotokos of Pisidia

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 )

P R OKE IME NON – P SALM 48 & 131


My mouth shalt speak Wisdom, and the Meditation of my heart, Understanding.
Thy Priests, O Lord, shalt Vest themselves with Righteousness – Thy Saints shalt greatly Rejoice!
T H E H OLY G OSPEL ACCO R D ING TO S T J OH N 10: 1 – 9
At that time, our Lord said to the Judeans who went to Him: “Truly, truly, I say to you: he who does not enter through
the Door to the Sheepfold, but climbs up some other way, is a Thief and a Robber. He who enters by the Door is
the Shepherd of the Sheep. To him the Doorkeeper opens, and the Sheep hear His Voice. And He Calls His own
Sheep by name and leads them out. And when He brings out His own Sheep, He goes before them. And the
Sheep follow Him, for they know His Voice. Yet they will by no means follow a Stranger, but will flee from him, for
they do not know the voice of Strangers.”
Although Jesus used this illustration, they did not understand the things that He spoke to them.
Again Jesus said to them: “Truly, truly, I say unto you: I Am the Door of the Sheepfold. All who ever came before Me
are Thieves and Robbers, but the Sheep did not hear them. I Am the Door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be
Saved, and will go in and will go out, and will find pasture...”
✶ “... I say unto you...” This passage is A CONTINUATION OF impoverish the people financially, but they
OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST’S CONVERSATION WITH THE SELF- also impoverish and disillusion them by
RIGHTEOUS PHARISEES, which occurred at the end of the confusing and misleading them with all kinds
eight-day Feast of Tabernacles (Succoth) in Jerusalem of false promises and performances, which
during the last year of His earthly Life when He taught blaspheme but they cause great despair and
His people in the Temple, which attracted much loss of Faith in our Lord God when their false
attention. claims are not delivered!
Some of the people believed Him to be our Great ✶ “...the Shepherd of the Sheep...” is either OUR LORD JESUS
Messiah/Saviour while others thought He was insane, CHRIST Whom our Heavenly Father sent to lead His
but certain zealots such as the Sadducees and Lost Sheep back to the Spiritual Safety of True
Pharisees - regarded Him as a threat. Faith, or HIS ORDAINED BISHOPS AND PRIESTS who
Our Lord Jesus Christ contrasted their self-serving HUMBLY AND OBEDIENTLY OBEY THE WILL OF OUR
leadership with HIS OWN HUMBLE, OBEDIENT, SELF- HEAVENLY FATHER BY TAKING GOOD SPIRITUAL CARE OF
SACRIFICING AND SALVIFIC TEACHINGS AND EXAMPLE. HIS HOLY FLOCK.
✶ "...enter through the Door to the Sheepfold...”  True and Faithful Shepherds of God LEAD, GUIDE AND
 The Door is CHRIST OUR LORD PROTECT HIS HOLY FLOCK ACCORDING TO CHRIST’S
 The Sheepfold is GOD’S HOLY TEMPLE OR CHURCH. TEACHINGS AND COMMANDMENTS, WHICH GRANT US
We can only Experience the Presence of God by ETERNAL LIFE IN HIS HEAVENLY KINGDOM.
properly entering the safety and protection of His  True and Faithful Shepherds ACQUIRE BY THE GRACE OF
Holy Temple/Church – His Holy Sheepfold – which GOD, A CHRIST-LIKE COMPASSION AND SINCERE LOVE FOR
shows us the Path of Righteousness we all need to EACH OF THE HOLY FLOCK.
follow. In return, THE FAITHFUL RESPOND TO SUCH WORTHY PRIESTS
THERE ARE SPECIFIC PROCEDURES THAT GOD REQUIRES TO BE AND BISHOPS, TRUSTING THEM IMPLICITLY as True
CORRECTLY FULFILLED by Bishops, Priests, Clergy and Shepherds who act on behalf of our Lord Jesus
laity. Christ for the Benefit of our immortal soul,
THE JUDEAN PRIESTS AND LEADERS OF HIS FAITHFUL FLOCK Salvation and Eternal Life.
HAD FAILED TO SHEPHERD – TO GUIDE AND PROTECT – HIS St Ignatios of Antioch stated that “... where the Bishop is
PEOPLE BECAUSE THEY LACKED LOVE AND COMPASSION, present, there the people shalt gather...” for THE
due to their arrogance, deceit and pride. RESPONSE OF THE FAITHFUL CAN BE A FAR BETTER INDICATOR of
On the contrary, OUR LORD JESUS WHO IS LOVE, POSSESSED who is indeed a True Shepherd of Christ’s Holy Flock
AND LIVED BY ALL THE HOLY VIRTUES. than the claims of any leaders or sycophants.
 According to St John Chrysostom, “...the Door...” is  In other words, THE AMOUNT OF ENDURING SPIRITUAL FRUIT
GOD’S WORD – HIS DIVINE TRUTH - meaning both THE CLEARLY SHOWS THE EXTENT OF ALL LABOURS OF LOVE for
HOLY SCRIPTURES AND HIMSELF, since HOLY SCRIPTURE the Glory, Honour and Worship of our Lord God.
REVEALS GOD THE WORD Who is the Eternal Son of God ✶ “...the Sheep hear His Voice...” for having grown close
our Heavenly Father – i.e. OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. to God, WE WILL RECOGNISE HIS DIVINE TRUTH, which
✶ “...a Thief and a Robber...” refers to those who try to we strive to fulfill every day to our thoughts, words
lead “... some other way...” that is NEITHER IN CHRIST and deeds.
NOR ACCORDING TO THE TEACHINGS OF HOLY SCRIPTURE. Furthermore, OUR IMMORTAL SOUL REACTS IMMEDIATELY TO
Heretics, false teachers, or self-ordained ‘prophets,’ THE VOICE OF OUR LORD, and we are instantly filled
‘priests’ and leaders who pick and choose from with overwhelming, indescribable Love, Joy and
Holy Scripture in order to deceive or control Peace.
people, and use their gatherings to become ✶ “...He Calls His own Sheep by name and leads them...”
extremely wealthy, are certainly Spiritual OUR LORD ADDRESSES US DIRECTLY BY OUR BAPTISMAL
Thieves and Robbers, for not only do they

ST NEKTARIOS OF PENTAPOLIS & AEGINA (TRANSLATION OF HOLY RELICS) – 3 SEPTEMBER 2019 5


NAME, and if we immediately respond, He will lead TO CONTROL, ROB AND MANIPULATE God’s People,
us towards His Eternal Kingdom of Love. thereby ULTIMATELY DESTROYING THEIR IMMORTAL SOUL.
 AS OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST HAS THE MOST INTIMATE ✶”...I Am the Door of the Sheepfold...” Our Lord Jesus
KNOWLEDGE OF EVERY PERSON HE CREATED, SO ALSO TRUE Christ makes this very clear statement, for HE IS THE
AND FAITHFUL SHEPHERDS OF HIS HOLY FLOCK – HIS HOLY ONLY MEANS OF ENTRY INTO HIS HOLY CHURCH AND
CHURCH – STRIVE TO KNOW AND UNDERSTAND THE ETERNAL LIFE.
FAITHFUL PERSONALLY – i.e. by name.  HIS HOLY CHURCH IS OUR SPIRITUAL SHEEPFOLD – our
 True and Faithful Shepherds ENDEAVOUR TO UNDERSTAND Spiritual Sanctuary where we are Healed,
EACH PERSON’S CIRCUMSTANCES AND NEEDS, FROM THE Cleansed, Restored, Regenerated, Illuminated,
GREATEST TO THE VERY LEAST OF THE HOLY FLOCK. Enlightened, Guided, Taught and Reborn.
✶ ”... He goes before them...” has several meanings.  THE SON OF GOD HAS ALWAYS BEEN MANKIND’S REDEEMER AND
 CHRIST ALWAYS SHOWS US WHAT TO DO AND CONFIRMS HIS SAVIOUR WHO SUSTAINS HIS PEOPLE.
DIVINE TRUTH BY HIS OWN PERSONAL EXAMPLE, thereby  DURING OUR BAPTISM WE “...PUT ON CHRIST...” AS OUR
leading us along His Righteous Path. GARMENT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS so for the rest of our
CHRIST WAS THE FIRST TO BE RESURRECTED and showed lifespan we ought to LIVE IN CHRIST BY STRIVING
Himself to us in order to confirm that Glorious Hope AND STRUGGLING TO FULFIL EVERYTHING HE HAS TAUGHT
and Truth of our own eventual Resurrection in AND COMMANDED US TO DO.
Eternity. BY LIVING IN CHRIST, WE ENJOY A WONDERFUL FREEDOM
 Likewise, HIS FAITHFUL APOSTLES, SAINTS AND ORDAINED because we simply follow the Path upon which
CLERGY LEAD HIS FLOCK, BY TEACHING, GUIDING, Christ leads us, having shown us exactly how to do
CORRECTING, AND DEMONSTRATING BY THEIR OWN GOOD so.
EXAMPLES HOW TO LIVE IN CHRIST IN PREPARATION FOR ✶ “... all who ever came before Me...” is not a reference to
OUR RESURRECTION INTO ETERNAL LIFE. St Moses nor any of God’s Holy Prophets of the Old
✶ “...by no means follow a Stranger...” The deceptions Covenant, but to THOSE WHO CLAIMED OR CLAIM TO BE
and temptations of the evil one might be avoided if EITHER THE GREAT MESSIAH OR PROPHETS – both before
we UNDERSTAND GOD’S DIVINE TRUTH AND STRIVE TO LIVE IN and after Christ.
CHRISt.  After St John the Baptist Forerunner , and our Lord
Those of us who are still very Spiritually Immature and Jesus Christ, THERE IS NO NEED FOR ANY SO-CALLED, SELF-
Inexperienced, have OUR SPIRITUAL FATHERS to GUIDE PROCLAIMED “PROPHETS”
US CORRECTLY, AS WELL AS THE NURTURING AND  OUR DIVINE SAVIOUR HAS REVEALED AND TAUGHT HIS DIVINE
PROTECTION OF OUR HOLY CHURCH AND ALL HER HOLY TRUTH TO MANKIND.
MYSTERIES.  All we must do is LEARN AND UNDERSTAND DIVINE TRUTH so
Because of our habitual inclination towards sin, WE ALL that we might APPLY IT TO OUR THOUGHTS, WORDS AND
NEED TO PRAY, FAST, AND REGULARLY PARTAKE OF THE DEEDs, thereby preparing ourselves as Good and
ESSENTIAL HOLY MYSTERIES OF REPENTANCE-CONFESSION Worthy Citizens of God’s Heavenly Kingdom of
AND HOLY EUCHARIST. Love.
 THOSE WHO ARE NOT TRUE SHEPHERDS OF CHRIST’S HOLY
FLOCK USE ALL KINDS OF DECEPTIVE, DECEITFUL METHODS
P R OKE IME NON

Great is our God, Great is His Strength!


Praise our Lord for He is Good!
T H E E PISTLE OF S T P AUL TO TH E EP HE SIANS 5 : 8 – 19
Brethren: ...walk as Children of Light for the Fruit of the Spirit is in all Goodness, Righteousness and Truth, finding out
what is acceptable to our Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of Darkness, but rather expose
them. Those things that are done by them in secret are shameful even to speak.
All things that are exposed are made manifest by the Light. Whatever makes manifest is Light. Therefore He says:
“Awake, you who sleep! Arise from the Dead and Christ Will give you Light!”
See then that you walk circumspectly - not as fools but as Wise - Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
Therefore, do not be unwise, but understand what the Will of our Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which
is dissipation. But be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in Psalms and Hymns and Spiritual Odes, sing
and making melody in your heart to the Lord.
“...walk as Children of Light...” St Paul reminded the foundation upon which all the other essential Holy
Ephesians – especially those who had converted from Virtues are established.
paganism – that THEY HAD EXISTED IN SPIRITUAL DARKNESS  Without the Divine Grace of God the Holy Spirit, none
AND HAD BEEN SPIRITUALLY DEAD.. of this is possible for us to achieve.
 Before knowing anything concerning our True and “...the unfruitful works of Darkness...” refers to ANYTHING
Living Lord God and His Divine Truth, the THAT IS ABOMINABLE TO GOD, which is SINFUL, WICKED EVIL
Ephesian converts had been IGNORANT OF THE MOST AND HARMFUL, for these will ETERNALLY CONDEMN US.
SIGNIFICANT MEANING AND PURPOSE OF THIS TEMPORARY  WE MUST JUDGE, MEASURE OR WEIGH EVERYTHING CAREFULLY
EXISTENCE because they “...were once in that is regarded as being acceptable by this
Darkness...” – i.e. LIVING IN SIN AND SPIRITUAL DEATH – Spiritually Blind, sin Darkened, wicked and
without the Divine Light of God’s Truth. debauched world.
 THROUGH THE HOLY MYSTERY OF BAPTISM, WE BECOME THE  We must ALWAYS SEE EVERYTHING IN THE DIVINE LIGHT OF
ADOPTED CHILDREN AND HEIRS OF ALMIGHTY GOD Who is GOD’S TRUTH, which is unwavering, inflexible and
Himself the Uncreated Divine Light. unchangeable.
 Thus we become “...Children of Light...” who ought to ✶ “...made manifest by the Light ...” means that ONLY IN THE
LIVE EVERY MOMENT IN CHRISt – i.e. LIVE ACCORDING TO DIVINE LIGHT OF GOD’S TRUTH CAN EVERYTHING BE REVEALED
EVERYTHING THAT OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST HAS TAUGHT US AS IT ACTUALLY IS!
AND REVEALED TO US, which affects our ultimate  We ought to either AVOID OR REJECT ANYTHING THAT IS
Salvation and Eternal Life. SHAMEFUL, SINFUL OR EVIL!
✶ “...the Fruit of the Spirit ...” is everything that is  ANYTHING THAT IS “SECRET” OR “HIDDEN” CANNOT WITHSTAND
“...Goodness, Righteous and Truth...” which is EXPOSURE TO DIVINE LIGHT AND TRUTH, proving its
necessary for us become worthy and Faithful danger to our Spiritual Welfare.
Disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ .  We can only see clearly when there is enough light.
 THROUGH THE HOLY MYSTERY OF CHRISMATION,  WHATEVER RESISTS THE LIGHT, CANNOT BE TRUTHFUL NOR
immediately after our Holy Baptism, WE ARE GOOD.
GRANTED THE SEAL OF THE GIFT OF GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT,  GOODNESS, RIGHTEOUSNESS AND TRUTH ARE CONFIRMED AND
WHO ENABLES US TO FULFIL EVERYTHING THAT IS GOOD AND PROVEN, ONLY BY THE DIVINE LIGHT AND TRUTH OF GOD!
VIRTUOUS. Our thoughts, words and deeds are measured according
✶ “... what is acceptable to our Lord...” BY THE DIVINE GRACE to God’s Commandments and Teachings.
OF GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT, WE ARE ABLE TO KNOW, AND TO ✶ “...Redeeming the time...” means that NOT A MOMENT of
UNDERSTAND, AND TO DO, EVERYTHING according to the this very short lifespan MUST BE WASTED.
Will of our Heavenly Father.  GOD HAS GRANTED EACH INDIVIDUAL HUMAN BEING A VERY
 The acquisition of the inseparable Holy Virtues of SPECIFIC LIFESPAN DURING WHICH WE ARE TO PREPARE
HUMILITY AND OBEDIENCE IS VITAL for these form the OURSELVES FOR ETERNITY.

6 ST NEKTARIOS OF PENTAPOLIS & AEGINA (TRANSLATION OF HOLY RELICS) – 3 SEPTEMBER 2019


 ONLY GOD KNOWS how many years, months, weeks,  OUR IMMORTAL SOUL MUST BE SPIRITUALLY STRENGTHENED IN
days or hours each of us has in which to Perfect ORDER TO CONTROL THE SELFISHNESS OF OUR FLESH.
our immortal soul for Eternal Life in His Heavenly  THIS IS THE ENTIRE PURPOSE OF THIS SHORT LIFESPAN!
Kingdom of Love.  As both physical (body) and Spiritual (soul),
✶ “...do not be unwise ...” ,means that AS DISCIPLES OF Intellectual Beings WE HAVE BEEN CREATED TO BE
CHRIST, WE HAVE NO EXCUSE FOR SPIRITUAL IGNORANCE OR WORTHY CITIZENS OF PARADISE - and thus, God’s
WILFUL STUBBORNNESS. Eternal, Heavenly Kingdom of Love.
 Our Lord Jesus Christ has granted us every means “...be filled with the (Holy) Spirit ...” means that we keep
possible for our Salvation and Eternal Life. ourselves Spiritually Cleansed and worthy of the
His Teachings and Commandments show us exactly Indwelling of God the Holy Spirit so that our thoughts,
how to control the weakness and selfish demands words and deeds are honourable and truthful.
of our flesh that dominates our immortal soul. “...Psalms and Hymns and Spiritual Odes...” FRAGRANCE OUR
WE MUST USE HIS DIVINE COMMANDMENTS AND TEACHINGS THOUGHTS, WORDS AND DEEDS because we are then
TO STRENGTHEN, TO REGENERATE AND TO PERFECT OUR SERENELY FOCUSSED ON ALL THE GOODNESS, PEACE, LOVE AND
IMMORTAL SOUL so that we may REGAIN OUR TRUE JOY OF OUR LORD, which elevates us above worldly
LIKENESS OF GOD, as He created us! aspects that surround us.
T H E H OLY G OSPEL ACCO R D ING TO S T J OH N 10: 9 – 16
At that time, our Lord said: “I Am the Door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be Saved, and will go in and will go out,
and will find Pasture. The Thief does not come, except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that
they may have Life -and more abundantly.
“I Am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd gives His Life for the Sheep. The Hireling - who is not the Shepherd,
who does not own the Sheep - sees the Wolf coming, and leaves the Sheep, and flees. And the Wolf catches,
and scatters the Sheep. The Hireling flees, for he is a hireling, and does not care about the Sheep.
“I Am the Good Shepherd, and I know Mine, and Am known by Mine. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the
Father. And My Life I lay down for the Sheep. And other Sheep I have, which are not of this Fold - them also I
must bring. And they will hear My Voice. And there will be one Flock - one Shepherd.”
✶ “...I Am the Door...” CHRIST IS THE ONLY MEANS OF ENTRY ✶ "...I Am the Good Shepherd...” OUR LORD ALWAYS
INTO GOD’S DIVINE KINGDOM OF LOVE. IDENTIFIES HIMSELF CLEARLY so that we properly
 OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST AND HIS TEACHINGS AND understand Who He is.
COMMANDMENTS SHOW US THE PATH TO SALVATION AND  “I Am” is THE NAME WHEREBY GOD IDENTIFIES HIMSELF.
ETERNAL LIFE.  Our Lord Jesus Christ is OUR GOOD SHEPHERD WHO
 Having accepted our Lord Jesus as our Divine WATCHES OVER US, PROTECTING US AGAINST EVIL AND
Saviour, we have to CEASELESSLY STRUGGLE TO BECOME GUIDING US ALONG HIS PATH OF RIGHTEOUSNESS WITH HIS
LIKE HIM IN OUR THOUGHTS, WORDS AND DEEDS. DIVINE TRUTH.
 Our Eternal Salvation begins now and is AN ONGOING  WE ARE HIS HOLY FLOCK OF “REASON-ENDOWED SHEEP” who
SPIRITUAL STRUGGLE AGAINST TEMPTATION AND SIN, until trust our Holy Shepherd to provide for us and to
we draw our last breath. take good care of us.
 OUR SALVIFIC STRUGGLE AND JOURNEY BEGINS WHEN WE ARE  OUR GOOD SHEPHERD LOVES EVERY ONE OF HIS HOLY FLOCK to
BAPTISED AND CHRISMATED INTO CHRIST. the extent of OFFERING HIS OWN LIFE FOR THE SAKE OF
✶ “...If anyone enters by Me...” Our Lord Jesus speaks His OUR SALVATION.
Divine Truth very clearly and concisely.  HE HAS FULFILLED ALL THE INSPIRED PROPHECIES of Holy
 HE DOES NOT SAY “WHEN” BUT “IF,” which shows us that THE
CHOICES WE MAKE ARE ENTIRELY ACCORDING TO OUR OWN
Scripture concerning Himself.
FREE WILL, for our God of Love never forces His  HE KNOWS AND IS KNOWN (being identified and
Divine Will upon His creatures. testified to) BY GOD OUR HEAVENLY FATHER AND GOD
 We must FREELY DESIRE AND SEEK HIS PRESENCE THROUGH THE HOLY SPIRIT.
PRAYER AND CORRECT, REVERENT, HONEST AND SINCERE  HE KNOWS ALL MANKIND PERSONALLY – better than we
WORSHIP know ourselves
✶ We “...will be Saved...” by humbly and obediently  WHEN WE BECOME ENLIGHTENED WITH DIVINE TRUTH, WE
APPLYING CHRIST’S TEACHINGS AND COMMANDMENTS TO
KNOW OUR LORD GOD – each of us according to
EVERY ASPECT OF OUR EXISTENCE.
our personal limitations and capacity.
WE ARE INCLINED TO COMPLICATE EVERYTHING, thereby causing
confusion and misguidance.
✶ “... a Hireling ... who is not the Shepherd...” refers to
THOSE WHO USE PEOPLE AND EVEN THE CHURCH FOR THEIR
✶ “... and find pasture...” Just as any good shepherd
OWN SELFISH MOTIVES.
leads his flocks to green fields or pasture where they
 Hirelings can also refer to MERCENARY PRIESTS WHO ARE
are sufficiently fed, so too, does OUR GOOD SHEPHERD
MERELY ‘DOING A JOB’ but are uncommitted to the
LEAD HIS HOLY FLOCK TO THE BEAUTIFUL SUSTAINING PASTURES
Service of God and His Holy Flock.
THAT SPIRITUALLY NOURISH AND MAINTAIN US while we
 Hirelings LACK ANY DEGREE OF AGAPE AND CAUSE MUCH
mature, growing closer to God and regaining our
UNHAPPINESS AND DISCORD.
Divine Likeness.
 They will ABANDON THEIR SACRED DUTIES WHENEVER IT SUITS
 BY FREELY SURRENDERING OUR WILL TO GOD’S DIVINE WILL, WE
THEM AND DEPART WHEN THREATENED by exposure,
ARE IMMENSELY LIBERATED FROM ALL NEGATIVITY AND
complaint or correction.
THREAT, knowing with full confidence that God is
 Hirelings are usually SELF-APPOINTED ‘PROPHETS’ OR
indeed in control of everything.
‘PRIESTS’ WHO ARE OFFENSIVE, HERETICAL, CONTROVERSIAL
✶“... the Thief...” comes “... to steal... to kill... to destroy...”
AND BLASPHEMOUS.
 THE WORST THIEF IS THE EVIL ONE, SATAN - THE INVENTOR OF
 They only care about FINANCIALLY PROFITING AS MUCH AS
ALL EVIL AND DEATH – everything that is foul, rotten,
THEY CAN from the people who are seeking Divine
wretched and negative.
Truth and Spiritual and physical Healing for their
HIS LIES, DECEPTIONS AND HIDEOUS HERESIES LURE MANKIND
many ailments and suffering.
into his wickedness and slavery.
 THEY SERVE THE EVIL ONE by doing everything he desires.
HE STEALS OUR FREE WILL AND ENSLAVES US, HE KILLS US WITH
 THEY ARE DRIVEN AND CONTROLLED BY ALL THE GRIEVOUS
HIS WICKED TEMPTATIONS AND SINS THAT ALIENATE AND
PASSIONS THAT DESTROY EVERYTHING GOOD.
SEPARATE US FROM OUR LOVING, BENEVOLENT AND LIFE-
 THEY USE THE LOVE AND POWER OF OUR TRIUNE GOD TO
GIVING LORD GOD, and he DESTROYS AND CORRUPTS
ATTRACT PEOPLE AND CLAIM TO PERFORM ALL KINDS OF
EVERYTHING THAT IS GOOD and Beautifully created by
‘MIRACLES’ as though these were merely ‘party
Almighty God
tricks’ to be performed at their own will, but THEY
✶ “... that they may have Life...” GOD CREATED MANKIND TO
ETERNALLY CONDEMN THEMSELVES AND THOSE WHOM THEY
LIVE BY HIS DIVINE GRACE even while on Earth.
LEAD INTO PERDITION
OUR VOLUNTARY AND INVOLUNTARY SINS BREAK OUR SACRED BOND
✶ “... the Wolf catches, and scatters the Sheep...” refers to
WITH OUR LORD GOD, leaving us susceptible to the
ANYTHING THAT HARMS OR DESTROYS THE HOLY FLOCK OF
destructive forces of evil.
CHRIST OUR LORD.
However, OUR LORD JESUS HAS PROVIDED US WITH THE MOST
1. THE EVIL ONE, his demons and all his wicked people
POWERFUL ANTIDOTE AND HEALING OF HIS DIVINE TRUTH.
2. HERETICS
✶“... and more abundantly...” indicates OUR LORD’S ETERNAL
3. ENEMIES OR OPPONENTS of Christ and His One, True,
HEAVENLY KINGDOM that begins while we are still in
Universal, Holy Church
this lifespan.

ST NEKTARIOS OF PENTAPOLIS & AEGINA (TRANSLATION OF HOLY RELICS) – 3 SEPTEMBER 2019 7


4. APOSTASY – the denial, rejection or neglect of God’s  This also applies to ALL WHO WILL EVENTUALLY ACCEPT OUR
Divine Truth – all His Teachings and LORD JESUS CHRIST AND HIS DIVINE TRUTH BEFORE THE
Commandments whereby we ought to live as END OF TIME – BEFORE ETERNITY.
His Faithful Disciples. ✶ “...there will be one Flock - one Shepherd...” WHEN OUR
 The Wolf is ANYTHING THAT WORKS AGAINST GOD’S DIVINE LORD JESUS CHRIST REAPPEARS IN ALL HIS MAGNIFICENT,
TRUTH, THAT CAUSES DISHARMONY AND DISUNITY OR DIVINE GLORY ON ’THE EIGHTH DAY’ – THE DAY OF FINAL
CONTROVERSY THAT SPLITS HIS HOLY CHURCH AND CAUSES JUDGEMENT FOR ALL CREATION IN ETERNITY when we
SCHISMS, FACTIONS AND EVEN TERRIBLE WARFARE. will either receive Eternal Life in His Heavenly
 The Wolf scatters the Sheep with its LIES AND DECEITS Kingdom or be Condemned forever to ‘Outer
THAT CAUSE PEOPLE TO BECOME ENSNARED IN Darkness’ – the total absence of God and all His
CONTROVERSIAL, HERETICAL AND BLASPHEMOUS PRACTISES Goodness – a permanent, most dreadful state of
AND IDEAS, which cause Spiritual Death and Eternal Spiritual Death!
Condemnation.  At present MANKIND IS LURED INTO APOSTASY BY THE
THE WOLF HAD “...DEVOURED AND SCATTERED...” GOD’S CHOSEN INNUMERABLE SELF-APPOINTED, EGOCENTRIC HERETICAL
PEOPLE – THE NATION OF ISRAEL – when they intermarried SECTS THAT PICK AND CHOOSE FROM HOLY SCRIPTURE, all
with pagans and reformed their ancient Judaic Faith. of which claim to be THE Church that alone will
These were “...THE LOST SHEEP...” WHOM CHRIST CAME TO FIND Save humanity.
AND RETURN TO THE SPIRITUAL SAFETY OF HIS HOLY  THERE IS AND ALWAYS WILL BE ONLY ONE, HOLY, UNIVERSAL
SHEEPFOLD. AND APOSTOLIC CHURCH OF CHRIST OUR LORD AND DIVINE
✶ “...other Sheep I have, which are not of this Fold...” SAVIOUR, whereby WE LIVE IN CHRIST EXACTLY
was a reference to THE GENTILES – THE PAGAN NON-JUDAIC ACCORDING TO EVERYTHING HE HAS TAUGHT AND
NATIONS – who did not live according to the Old COMMANDED US – nothing more, nothing less!
Covenant but WHO WOULD RECEIVE THE NEW COVENANT AND  DIVINE TRUTH IS ABSOLUTE, PERFECT AND UNCOMPROMISING.
LIVE IN CHRIST.  NOT ONE IOTA NOR TITTLE CAN BE CHANGED for then it
becomes our own imperfect, limited, flawed,
concept of truth – NOT GOD’S DIVINE TRUTH!
S T N EKTAR IOS OF P E NTAP OL IS & AE GINA - T RANSL ATION OF H OLY R EL IC S
On 2 September 1953, some years after the Blessed However, when his grave was reopened, the Venerable
Repose of St Nektarios (on the evening of 8 November Body of St Nektarios had remained perfectly Incorrupt
1920), according to the custom in Greece, his grave and exuding that Sweet Fragrance of Sanctity.
was opened to remove his Holy Relics. So the Devout and Faithful Holy Sisters laid him to rest in
While the grave was being excavated, a Most Fragrant a marble sarcophagus, which was placed in a small
Aroma arose, which emanated from the Incorrupt Chapel, where it remained for many more years.
Holy Relics of St Nektarios, perfuming the entire area! In 1934, fourteen years after the Repose of St Nektarios, a
Not even his Hierarchal Vestments had changed in Medical Doctor from one of the villages, had sought
any way. It was just as if he had fallen asleep and shelter from a violent storm at the Monastery.
been buried that very day. He had been acquainted with Father Nektarios but being
The Nuns of the Monastery had not informed the people an atheist, he had no respect for him, nor anything to
of Aegina that they were to open his grave that day, do with our Holy Christian Faith.
because St Nektarios had already worked so many As it was early evening, the Holy Sisters could not
Miracles and was so beloved, that a very large crowd accommodate him nor any male – neither Priest nor
would have gathered from Athens and elsewhere. layman – inside the Monastery, but they did have a
So, early in the morning, at dawn, as soon as the Divine small hut outside the gates for visitors.
Liturgy had ended, the Nuns had begun the opening The gates to the Monastery had not yet been locked so
of his grave. the Doctor decided to investigate the Incorrupt Holy
At the same time a taxi had stopped on the road below Relics of St Nektarios about which he had heard so
the Monastery. The passenger was a woman of ill much, but refused to believe.
repute and many sins. Having located the small Chapel, the man managed to
As the taxi had approached the Holy Trinity Monastery, push aside the heavy marble slab, which lay upon
the driver and the woman were overwhelmed by a the top of the sarcophagus, opening it enough to
most beautiful Fragrance that had wafted down expose the top half of St Nektarios.
towards the road, and when she enquired about it, A Holy Sister who had gone to lock the gates, saw the
the taxi driver told her: “ That is the Monastery of Doctor in the Chapel and she loudly cried out in utter
our Holy Father Nektarios. What else could such a shock at what she saw. "What are you doing? How
Fragrance be but the opening his grave today! For dare you open our Holy Father’s Tomb!" And he
just such a Sweet Fragrance arose from his body even smugly replied, "I just wanted to take a look." "But you
before they buried him, and continues to issue forth did not have permission to do so!” she insisted and
from the grave itself!” began making a very loud commotion, which
Immediately the woman opened the door of the taxi and summoned her fellow Holy Sisters.
ran up the hill to personally witness the Incorrupt Having escorted the Doctor to the gates of the Monastery,
Holy Relics of St Nektarios as they lay exposed in the the distraught Nuns immediately closed the marble
grave. She began to weep with extreme sorrow and sarcophagus so that our Holy Father could Repose in
contrition, and publicly confessed her sins. Having Peace.
sincerely Repented and Confessed, she became a Afterwards, the arrogant, disrespectful atheist admitted
most prudent and Faithful Christian. that he “... was amazed to see that it was the Father
The Nuns had sent an urgent message to Archbishop Nektarios that we all knew. And that he could still be
Chrysostom Papadopoulos, who went to Aegina to see recognized from his face and expression. Even his
the Holy Relics of St Nektarios but having seen them, beard was intact - I pulled his beard, but none of it
he irreverently ordered the Holy Sisters to leave the came loose. I touched his hand and felt that it was
clearly Sanctified, Incorrupt Body of St Nektarios indeed skin. It remained so well on the bones
exposed to the hot sun and air for two or three days (although there was not much flesh) but had not
and then rebury him so that his body would shrivelled. He could be recognized by anyone who
decompose! had known him when he was alive!"
The Faithful, Humble and Obedient Nuns, fearing to Eventually, many years later, according to the Divine Will
disobey their Bishop, were thus forced to fulfil his of our Lord God, the Sanctified Flesh dissolved,
strict instructions, which intensely distressed them due leaving his bones as our Treasured Holy Relics.
to their steadfast respect and devotion to their His Sanctified Head has been encased his Mitre – the top
Spiritual Father, St Nektarios. of which can be opened in order to Venerate St
For two days his Sanctified Body lay exposed to the harsh Nektarios, and his other Sanctified Holy Relics are
weather conditions before being reburied for another preserved in a silver Reliquary, which continue to
few months. exude the Sweet Fragrance of Sanctity.
May his memory be Eternal and may St Nektarios
continue to Intercede for our Salvation.

8 ST NEKTARIOS OF PENTAPOLIS & AEGINA (TRANSLATION OF HOLY RELICS) – 3 SEPTEMBER 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 3 8 SEPTEMBER 2019
12TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
SUNDAY BEFORE THE EXALTATION OF THE HOLY CROSS
THE NATIVITY OF OUR EVER BLESSED 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 ARE
ALSO POSTED ON FACEBOOK “ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN EASTERN CAPE.” (OR CAN BE
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 1 – M ATTHE W 28 : 16 - 20

P R OKE IME NON –P SAL M 27/28 - T ONE (6) P LAGAL 2


Save, O Lord, Thy People, and Bless Thine Inheritance...
To Thee, O Lord, I cry: O my God!
T H E E PISTLE OF S T P AUL TO TH E G AL ATIANS 6 ; 11 – 18
Brethren: see with what large letters I have written to you with my own hand!
As many as desire to make a good showing in the flesh, would compel you to be circumcised - only that they may not
suffer persecution for the Cross of Christ. Not even those who are circumcised keep the Law, but they desire to have
you circumcised so that they may boast in your flesh.
May I never boast except in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by Whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to
the world.
In Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything but a New Creation. And as many as walk
according to this Rule, Peace and Mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.
From now on, let no one trouble me. I bear the Marks of the Lord Jesus in my body.
The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, Brethren. Amen
Please note: This Epistle Reading replaces the usual ✶ “...only that they may not suffer persecution for the
Festal Epistle for the Nativity of our Lady, Cross of Christ....” is the reason why so many
Theotokos, because today is the Sunday Before the Judean leaders rejected our Lord Jesus Christ and
Exaltation of the Holy, Life-giving Cross of Christ on His New Covenant.
14 September.  THEY WERE MORE AFRAID OF BEING REJECTED AND PERSECUTED
✶ “...I have written to you with my own hand...” these THAN HAVING THE COURAGE TO ACCEPT OUR LORD JESUS AS
words confirm that THIS EPISTLE TO THE GALATIANS INDEED OUR LONG-AWAITED MESSIAH Who fulfilled all
concerning the circumcision of converts WAS DIRECTLY Divine Prophecies...
FROM ST PAUL HIMSELF – a devout Judean and Most  THE PEOPLE SIMPLY FOLLOWED THEIR PRIESTS AND LEADERS,
Faithful Apostle of Jesus Christ our Lord and His New trusting in their claims of knowing Holy Scripture.
Covenant.  THE HEBREW LEGALIZERS CHOSE TO OFFEND GOD SO THAT THEY
“...to make a good showing in the flesh...” means that THE COULD PLEASE HUMAN BEINGS.
GESTURES AND DEEDS OF SUCH PEOPLE ARE ACTUALLY Unfortunately, this is the way of the world to this very
MEANINGLESS, AND SHALLOW - only ‘skin-deep’ - for THEY day for few stand firmly in Divine Truth.
LACK SPIRITUAL CONVICTION AND FAITH IN GOD. The majority of people are influenced and led into
Old Covenant Circumcision and New Covenant Tonsuring Spiritual Disobedience and Rebellion because they
ought to be acts of deep Faith. are more afraid of displeasing their fellow sinners
All we can offer God for His infinite Blessings, are small than because they Love and Respect Almighty God.
pieces of ourselves such as foreskin and hair. Faithful Disciples will do everything possible not to fail
or disappoint our Lord God – even unto death, like all
Our True Offering is our heart and soul, which we offer
the Holy Martyrs and Saints who have preceded us.
sincerely and completely to God by fulfilling His By choosing to follow the opinions of this fallen world,
Divine Will to the very best of our ability being enslaved by the demands of the flesh and
throughout this lifespan. duped by the machinations of the evil one, we will
Old Covenant Offerings were blood sacrifices whereas voluntarily choose Eternal Spiritual Death over
the New Covenant Offerings are bloodless offerings, Eternal Spiritual Life.
for Christ Himself was the ultimate and final Blood “...never boast except in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ
Sacrifice offered for all mankind’s Salvation and ...” Throughout the history of the Holy Church of Christ,
Redemption. we have preached THE HOLY CROSS OF CHRIST – I.E.
 A GREAT DEBATE HAD ARISEN AS TO WHETHER OR NOT GENTILE CONCERNING EVERYTHING THAT IT SYMBOLISES.
CONVERTS WERE TO BE CIRCUMCISED ACCORDING TO THE  We have always displayed the empty Cross –
OLD COVENANT LAW. symbolising ETERNAL RESURRECTION AND LIFE
 St Paul realised that THEY WERE UNCONCERNED WITH THE EVERLASTING – in our homes, chapels, churches,
ETERNAL LIFE OF THE NEWLY BAPTISED CHRISTIANS, only schools, etc. TO REMIND US TO PRAY AND TO FULFILL ALL
wanting to brag about how many had been GOD’S DIVINE COMMANDMENTS AND TEACHINGS.
circumcised.  WE VENERATE OUR LORD’S LIFE-GIVING HOLY CROSS IN THE
 Similarly, it has become popular to encourage or DIVINE LITURGY AND IN ALL OUR HOLY SERVICES AND HOLY
even force conversion to Orthodox Christianity – MYSTERIES.
sadly, also for bragging purposes and for all the  WE ALSO BLESS AND PROTECT OURSELVES BY MAKING THE SIGN
wrong, ill-informed reasons! OF THE CROSS.
 AS THE NEW COVENANT NO LONGER REQUIRES ANY FORM OF  THE SIGN OF THE CROSS IS A DECLARATION OF FAITH for we
BLOOD SACRIFICE, TONSURING AFTER BAPTISM OR declare each time: “I worship Thee, O God, with
ORDINATION HAS REPLACED CIRCUMCISION AS A all my mind, with all my heart, with all my
PROCLAMATION OF ALLEGIANCE TO GOD. strength and with all my soul!”

12TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – BEFORE EXALTATION – THEOTOKOS’ NATIVITY – 8 SEPTEMBER 2019 9
 WE ALWAYS WEAR A CROSS (not the Crucifix) TO REMIND US ✶ “... the Israel of God...” St Paul referred to THE CHURCH OF
OF OUR EVENTUAL RESURRECTION AND FINAL JUDGEMENT CHRIST – THE CHURCH OF THE NEW COVENANT – THE NEW
before the Heavenly Throne of God. ISRAEL
 The Cross is A CONSTANT REMINDER OF WHOSE DISCIPLE WE ✶ “...bear the Marks of the Lord Jesus...” ST PAUL was
ARE AND WHOM WE ARE TRYING TO FOLLOW AND IMITATE – neither a hypocrite nor a coward. He persevered
and others look at us, expecting us to behave at through much of what he taught and he BORE THE
all times in a Christian manner. MARKS AND SCARS.
 THE HOLY CROSS IS ALL WE NEED TO PROTECT US against the  UNTIL THE PAROUSIA – the Reappearance of Christ –
evil one and his demons – spirit and human. FAITHFUL DISCIPLES OF OUR LORD MUST BE READY TO
✶ “...the world has been crucified to me...” Having been ACCEPT ANY DEGREE OF MARTYRDOM FOR OUR TRUE FAITH.
BAPTISED AND CHRISMATED AS FAITHFUL DISCIPLES OF CHRIST,  MARTYRDOM CONSISTS OF MANY ASPECTS OF PATIENT
WE HAVE RENOUNCED ALL ASPECTS OF THE FALLEN WORLD BY SUFFERING FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, such as unjust
LIVING IN CHRIST – by applying all His Teachings and calumny, malicious gossip, false accusations,
Commandments to our thoughts, words and deeds. persecution, rejection and verbal abuse – often
✶ “... in Christ... a New Creation...” WE HAVE PUT ON CHRIST from within our Parish and Diocese!
LIKE A MARVELLOUS GARMENT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS AND OUR However, AS LONG AS WE ARE HONESTLY AND SINCERELY
NEW CREATION IS SEALED WITH THE DIVINE GIFTS OF GOD THE STRIVING TO FULFIL THE DIVINE WILL OF OUR HEAVENLY
HOLY SPIRIT . FATHER, WE MUST PERSEVERE AND CONTINUE OUR LABOURS
We are Empowered and Enabled by God the Holy Spirit to OF LOVE, no matter how many difficulties and
fulfil the Will of our Heavenly Father as our Lord Jesus suffering others may cause us.
has taught us and shown us.
T H E H OLY G OSPEL ACCO R D ING TO S T J OH N 3 : 13 – 17
At that time, our Lord said: “... No one has Ascended into Heaven but He Who came down from Heaven – that is: the
Son of Man Who is in Heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the Wilderness, even so must the Son of Man
be lifted up, so that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have Eternal Life.
For God so Loved the world, He gave His Only Begotten Son, so that whoever believes in Him should not perish but
have Everlasting Life. For God did not send His Son into the world to Condemn the world, but that the world
might be Saved through Him...”
Please note: Today, the prescribed Holy Gospel BECOME A MOST POWERFUL WEAPON AGAINST SIN AND
Reading for ‘Sunday Before the Exaltation of the DEATH.
Holy Cross’ takes precedence over that of the  THE LIFE-GIVING HOLY CROSS IS OUR SACRED ANTIDOTE
Nativity of our Lady, Theotokos. AGAINST THE VENOMOUS EFFECTS OF SIN AND EVIL.
✶ “... No one has Ascended into Heaven...” EXCEPT OUR ✶ “... the Son of Man...” is THE INCARNATE, ETERNAL, ONLY
LORD JESUS CHRIST, Who is both THE ETERNAL SON OF BEGOTTEN SON OF GOD OUR HEAVENLY FATHER.
GOD AND, in His Incarnation, THE SON OF MANKIND.  HE BECAME MAN through the All Pure Flesh of the Ever
 FORTY DAYS AFTER HIS GLORIOUS RESURRECTION, OUR DIVINE Blessed, All Holy and Ever Virgin Mary, by the
SAVIOUR, ASCENDED INTO HEAVEN, WITNESSED BY AT Power and Energy of God the Life-giving Holy
LEAST 120 FAITHFUL DISCIPLES on Mount Olivet or Spirit Who makes all things possible for us.
the Mount of Olives, situated opposite Jerusalem.  HE IS OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST Whom we are able to see
Every Sunday – ‘The Lord’s Day’ or ‘Resurrection Day’ – in His Incarnate or human Nature.
during Matins we read one of the Eleven  BEFORE HIS INCARNATION, WE WERE UNABLE TO SEE GOD
Resurrection Gospel Accounts. WHO IS INVISIBLE AND INCOMPREHENSIBLE, but now we
During that 40-day period, many people saw Him and are able to know our Triune Lord God better
spoke with Him, however, these 11 accounts are through the Divine Revelations and Truth
the most significant to our Faith and Worship. granted to us by our Divine Saviour.
 WHEN CHRIST HAD FULFILLED ALL DIVINE PROMISES OF THE ✶ “... God so Loved the world...” means that OUR LORD
OLD COVENANT ACCORDING TO THE WILL OF OUR GOD WHO IS LOVE ITSELF, LOVES ALL MANKIND – Saint
HEAVENLY FATHER, HE RETURNED TO HIS HEAVENLY and sinner alike!
KINGDOM IN HIS INCARNATE NATURE (human, visible,  Despite our wilful disobedience and Spiritual
physical) to His Heavenly Throne, SEATED AS AN Neglect, HE WANTS ALL MANKIND TO RETURN TO HIS
EQUAL in the position of greatest honour, AT THE LOVING EMBRACE.
RIGHT HAND SIDE OF OUR HEAVENLY FATHER.  Our Lord Jesus tried to explain to His Faithful
 By His visible Ascension, HE ELEVATED AND GLORIFIED Disciples THE REASON FOR HIS UNJUSTIFIED
OUR HUMAN NATURE. CRUCIFIXION. He wanted them to realise that OUR
 OUR DIVINE SAVIOUR WILL REAPPEAR IN SIMILAR FASHION in LORD GOD LOVES HIS ENTIRE CREATION, not only His
all His Magnificent, Divine Glory on the Eighth Chosen People of Israel – not only a small elite
Day, when THE ENTIRE CREATION WILL WITNESS HIS group!
PRESENCE.  This single verse expresses THE ENTIRE SACRED MESSAGE
✶ “...as Moses lifted up the serpent...” The ancient OF THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST JOHN – THE
Patriarch of Israel had lifted up an image of a SALVATION OF ALL MANKIND throughout all
serpent on his staff according to God’s generations – throughout our human history!
Instructions, which was AN ANTIDOTE AGAINST THE  These clearly expressed Words of Divine Truth
VENOMOUS SNAKE-BITES and many other poisonous express
afflictions, while they sojourned in the wilderness 1. DIVINE LOVE
before being permitted entry into the Promised 2. SACRIFICIAL LOVE
Land. [NUMBERS 21:4-9] 3. FAITHFUL LOVE
For this reason Healing Medicine and Medical ✶ “... His Only Begotten Son...” OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST WAS
Physicians have symbolic logos depicting a serpent ETERNALLY BEGOTTEN AS HIS SON AND WORD, BY OUR
wound around a staff HEAVENLY FATHER, whereas God the Holy Spirit
 THAT MIRACLE- WORKING IMAGE PREFIGURED OUR LORD PROCEEDS from God our Heavenly Father.
JESUS CHRIST BEING LIFTED UP ON HIS CROSS. We are thus able to fulfill the Will of our Heavenly Father
 Faithful Disciples BEHOLD OUR CRUCIFIED CHRIST AND through the Teachings of Christ by the Power and
HIS LIFE-GIVING CROSS IN TRUTH, FAITH AND WORSHIP, Energy of God the Holy Spirit.
which overthrows and conquers the power of sin The Three Persons of the One Divine Godhead – Father, Son
and death in us. and Holy Spirit – always exist and operate in Perfect
 Just as the image of a serpent wound around the Harmony and Love.
Staff of Moses proved to be A POWERFUL WEAPON So wherever our Lord Jesus Christ is, God the Father and
God the Holy Spirit are also present.
AND ANTIDOTE THAT HEALED THE FAITHFUL by
Whomever we pray to as our Lord God, all three Persons of
destroying the toxic effects of venomous reptiles our Triune Almighty God are addressed simultaneously.
and all harmful elements, so too, THAT HIDEOUS
✶ “...whoever believes in Him...” THOSE WHO SINCERELY
INSTRUMENT OF CHRIST’S DEATH - THE CROSS - HAS
BELIEVE and accept our Lord Jesus Christ AS OUR

10 12TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – BEFORE EXALTATION – THEOTOKOS’ NATIVITY – 8 SEPTEMBER 2019
DIVINE SAVIOUR AND LORD GOD, STRIVE TO LIVE IN Few people realise the great, enduring and liberating Power
CHRIST THROUGHOUT THEIR LIFESPAN. of Unconditional Love – ‘Agape’ – the Most Wonderful
 THOSE WHO STRIVE TO FULFILL THE WILL OF GOD SHALL Divine, Eternal Gift of God the Holy Spirit!
RECEIVE ETERNAL LIFE IN HIS HEAVENLY KINGDOM OF  Although our Lord Jesus Christ came to Save us – not
LOVE, which begins in this temporary existence, to condemn us – HE CREATED US WITH FREE WILL.
ACCORDING TO OUR THOUGHTS, WORDS AND DEEDS.  As Intellectual beings, we can either accept or
✶ “...that the world through Him might be Saved...” reject this dynamic Divine Gift of free will that
 Our Lord Jesus Christ came into our fallen world TO enables us to make our own choices.
ENLIGHTEN AND TO TEACH US HIS DIVINE TRUTH  However, we must understand that WHEN WE REJECT
CONCERNING THE HOLY TRINITY. HIS DIVINE TRUTH, WE WILL VOLUNTARILY CONDEMN
 OUR LOVING, BENEVOLENT AND PROVIDENTIAL GOD OURSELVES FOREVER – ETERNALLY!
IS NEITHER VENGEFUL NOR WRATHFUL, for anything We ought to use our free will very carefully by
harmful, hurtful or destructive is against His rejecting all temptations, sin and grievous passions
Divine Nature. for the sake of our Eternal Salvation.
The Old Covenant Prophets used such harsh terms so We ought to surrender our free to God, will in order
that the people of ancient times would understand to fulfil the Will of our Heavenly Father Who
that our Lord God is Almighty – all Powerful – and knows precisely what is best for us.
able to do whatever He Willed. This takes Spiritual Courage, Humility and Obedience.
That was the only way that Rulers of those times Knowledge is indeed Power and when we open our heart
controlled and oppressed the people – by terrific and soul to Almighty God, He will grant us all the
fear of cruel punishment and retribution. Knowledge and Enlightenment necessary for our
Our Lord Jesus Christ revealed our Lord God’s True Eternal Life in His Heavenly Kingdom
Divine Nature – Unconditional Love, Compassion
and Great Mercy – for which the world sorely
hungered and thirsted.
12TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – SUNDAY BEFORE THE EXALTATION OF THE HOLY, LIFE-GIVING CROSS
✞ In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the entering the Promised Land – a Miraculous,
Holy Spirit... Powerful Antidote for all venomous bites, injuries
Dearly Beloved Brethren in Christ, today’s Sacred and attacks.
Lessons concern “Sunday before the Exaltation of What a Paradoxical Mystery!
the Holy Life-giving Cross” (instead of the other Great According to God’s Love and Great Mercy for all
Feast - the Nativity of our Ever Blessed All Holy Lady, mankind, the formerly dreaded cause of terrible
Theotokos, which is usually celebrated on 8 suffering and death became a Dynamic Remedy
September.) for all threats against His Faithful People.
Although the Exaltation of the Holy Cross is celebrated Similar to all the great symbols of the Old Covenant, the
on 14 September, today we contemplate the Staff of Moses pointed to something far greater that
marvellously Good News of the Eternal Salvation of would be fulfilled according to our New Covenant
all mankind, which is revealed to us by our Lord with God – the Advent of our Great Messiah - God
Jesus Christ Who told us very clearly: Incarnate – Who conquered sin and Death on the
“...For God so Loved the world, He gave His Only Cross and grants us Life Everlasting.
Begotten Son, so that whoever believes in Him Although the Rod of Moses with its encircled copper
should not perish but have Everlasting Life.” snake Miraculously Saved and Healed the people of
So it was that our Lord Jesus Christ voluntarily became Israel from temporal suffering and death caused by
Incarnate – became God-Man – i.e. the Eternal Son poisonous creatures, they eventually died a mortal
of God became the Salvific Son of Man(kind) with death.
two unmingled Divine and human Natures. But Christ’s Death on the Cross is no temporal Victory for
He took on our weak, limited human nature in order to despite that Miraculous Healing Cross being
Redeem it, by Renewing and Regenerating it. formerly a most cruel instrument of torture and
He elevated and Sanctified our fallen human condition death, it has become the Eternally Salvific Cure of
by making it worthy of God Who is Life Itself! Spiritual Death caused by sin.
This Divine Declaration and Revelation of our Lord If we are not Cleansed and Healed from sin through
Jesus Christ has been heard and repeated so often Repentance-Confession, we will be forever
that it has almost become a cliché for some people. Condemned to Spiritual Death and alienation from
However, it has been used by those whose belief is God and His Abundant Blessings of Love, Joy and
reduced to a mere "assent," or an acknowledgement Peace
of our Lord Jesus Christ. Death caused by sin is far worse than that caused by
Although belief in our Divine Saviour as our Lord God is venomous bites, for the poison of creatures might kill
a first step of Faith, it is clearly evident throughout our body, but unrepented sins cause permanent
the Holy Gospel according to St John the Beloved Spiritual Death to our immortal soul!
Apostle and Theologian that True Faith involves far Our Lord Jesus Christ entered Death and Hades as Man
more than mere assent, belief or acknowledgement - according to His human Nature – but He
of Christ as the Eternal Son of God and Second conquered them as God - according to His Divine
Person of the Holy Trinity. Nature, for He is our Creator - the Giver and Author
True Belief is always accompanied by positive action - of Life.
by Living in Christ - by fulfilling a lifespan that is The very Logos (Word) of God Who created all life and
Faithful to all aspects of Divine Truth. sustains all life – both visible and invisible –
True Belief involves our life-long Struggle against Victoriously Arose from Death into Eternal Life,
temptation and sin, and ceaseless striving to thereby showing us how we, too, shall be
maintain a close, intimate and loving Relationship Resurrected.
with our Triune God and with each other. Belief and God’s infinite, Unconditional Love for all
A simple proclamation of belief, by saying: “I believe in mankind is far more profound than the intellectual
God!” does not grant us His Eternal Salvation or even Spiritual Acknowledgement of God.
because even the evil one and his demons believe It is our total commitment to our Lord God, Whose Divine
in and know Almighty God! (James 2:19) Will we strive to fulfill while properly participating –
Today, we focus on the All Powerful, Life-giving, Holy body and soul - in His Divine Life.
Cross of Christ that is lifted up for all mankind to This is our Deification or Theosis in His Holy Church.
gaze up in wonder and exultation, for It Guides, St Peter referred to such devotion to God as becoming
Protects and Heals us as we sojourn in this world, “...Partakers of the Divine Nature...” of our Lord
before entering Eternity and the Promised Land of Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:4).
God’s Heavenly Kingdom - just as the ancient St Paul believed that we become sons (or Children of
Patriarch, Moses’ Staff was lifted up before God’s God) by our Adoption during the Holy Mystery of
People during their sojourn in the wilderness before Baptism and Chrismation, which thereby makes us

12TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – BEFORE EXALTATION – THEOTOKOS’ NATIVITY – 8 SEPTEMBER 2019 11
Co-Heirs with our Lord Jesus Christ to our Heavenly Furthermore, we demonstrate our True Belief by
Father’s Kingdom, as well as through our attending all Holy Services and by taking care of
participation in His Life according to His Perfect each other, for our Sacred Journey is not a solitary
human Nature, which He Sanctified and Redeemed but a communal endeavour.
by His Incarnation. “...For God so Loved the world, He gave His Only
Our Lord Jesus is the “New Adam” for He has Sanctified, Begotten Son, so that whoever believes in Him
Redeemed and Regenerated our fallen human should not perish but have Everlasting Life...” , is to
nature. (Ephesians 1) be understood then within this context, with His
Jesus Christ Himself explained the meaning of True Precious, Life-giving Cross before our eyes because
Belief in God when He told St Nikodemos: “...Unless the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ is the
one is born of water and the Spirit - (Baptism and Supreme Expression of God’s Love for us! (John 3:16)
Chrismation) - he cannot enter the Kingdom of The Creator of everything that is visible and invisible –
God.” (John 3:5). the Divine Giver of Life - was willing to become one
Furthermore, our Divine Saviour pointed out that “...he of His own weak creatures, Who would be tortured,
who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who and lifted up on the Cross - the most ignoble and
believes in Me shall never thirst.” degrading punishment and execution of the
He also taught us that “...unless you eat the Flesh of Roman Empire – in order to conquer sin and Death
the Son of Man and drink His Blood, (Holy on our behalf – in order to conquer Death so that
Eucharist), you have no Life in you, for whoever we who have been Baptised in Christ and
eats My Flesh and drinks My Blood has Eternal continuously strive to Live in Him may become
Life, and I will Raise him up at the Last Day.” (John fellow Victorious Conquerors of sin and death.
6:54). Therefore, we lift high the Cross in exultation, we
So it is clearly evident that True Belief and True Faith is display the Cross and we wear the Cross.
much more than mere assent. On 14 September, we shall Venerate that same Icon of
True Belief is close, personal Relationship and Exaltation, Glorifying, Honouring and Worshipping
Communion with our Lord God through the our Lord God, because our Heavenly Father did not
Sacramental Life of His Holy Church, which He send His Son into this fallen world to condemn
Himself ordained and through which we are closer mankind, “...but that the world through Him might
and closer, United with Him, when we deny be Saved!” (John 3:16-17).
ourselves and take up our Cross and follow Him We proudly wear the Cross against our heart as our
every step of His Way. “Trophy Invincible!”
According to St Paul, our Faithful Participation in Christ’s If we feel any need to boast, we ought to boast only in
Salvific Labours is essential “...for as many of you as the Holy, Life-giving Cross, and, in imitation of our
have been Baptised into Christ, have put on Lord Jesus Christ, we must humbly and obediently
Christ.” (Galatians 3:27) deny ourselves, take up our Cross and endeavour to
After our Baptism, we must Live in Christ by denying the best of our ability to Live in Christ and to Live for
ourselves – being self-sacrificing and disciplined - Him, proclaiming His Divine Truth to this temporary
so that we are able to follow and to fulfil the Divine world, despite any rejection, denial or persecution.
Will of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are His Faithful Disciples who courageously follow
To Live in Christ means that we must apply all His Him, accompany Him and Live in Him.
Teachings and Commandments to our own We prioritize our Life in Christ over all temporal, fleeting
thoughts, words and deeds. and unbeneficial things of this world, so that we
We fully participate in the essential Holy Mysteries such may be Saved.
as Repentance-Confession and Holy Eucharist To the proclamation of St Paul, who stated: “...God
whereby we receive Christ’s Most Precious, Life- forbid that I should glory except in the Cross of our
giving, Cleansing and Renewing Body and Blood for Lord Jesus Christ, by Whom the world has been
the forgiveness of our sins and for Eternal Life, and Crucified to me, and I to the world... ” we loudly
by constantly praying to our Lord God or to our All exclaim: “Amen!” (Galatians 6:14).
Holy Lady Theotokos, the Saints and Heavenly Hosts,
beseeching their Guidance and Intercessory Prayers FATHER ROBERT MICLEAN
for God’s Great Mercy and the Salvation of our soul. HOLY ARCHANGELS ORTHODOX MISSION, ANNAPOLIS
HTTP://ORTHOCHRISTIAN.COM/108232.HTML
T H E I NSP IRE D , ET ER NAL W ISD OM OF OU R H OLY FA THE R S
S T S IL OU AN OF M OUNT A TH OS S T N EKTAR IOS OF P E NTAP OL IS & AE GINA
The immortal soul of mankind always knew that our The grievous passion of avarice causes many people to
Lord God exists even though the people did not act unjustly through the hope or expectation of
know enough to worship our One True and Living obtaining material wealth and possessions, and is
God. thus the root cause of much wickedness, destruction
However, God the Holy Spirit taught His Holy Prophets and harm.
first, then His Holy Apostles, and, after them, our Holy Avarice is a grievous passion of the soul, which causes
Fathers and Bishops, and so our True Faith has an obsessive desire for gold (material wealth) and
come down to us. the more that is garnered, the more the greedy soul
We know our Lord God through the Teachings and burns!
Revelations of Christ, which we are able to Avarice is the crafter of poverty because it stores up
comprehend (as much as we can) through the treasures for itself but not for the person who
Divine Gifts that God the Holy Spirit bestows upon us. possesses it. It leaves those who are insatiably
As soon as we Encounter our Lord or get to know more greedy wanting more and more, and to all intents
and more about Him, our soul becomes fixed on and purposes, leads to both financial and Spiritual
Him and we yearn to be with Him forever! Ruin!
We ought to realise that we were created in order to S T J OH N TH E M E RC IFUL
Glorify God in Heaven, so we must avoid Whatever we give to others due to our Love of God and
attachments to earthly things, for our Heavenly neighbour, is returned a hundredfold to us by our
Father Loves us – all mankind – as His greatly- Lord. This is why I decided to devote myself to the
desired Children. service of the poor.
Those who know nothing about His Divine Grace do not S T P OR PHY R IOS OF K AVSOKALY V IA

seek it. (By the Grace of God we are able to The behaviour of children is directly linked to the state
accomplish the most marvellous of things!) of their parents, for when they are hurt by the way
Those who become too attached to worldly things do their parents behave towards each other, they lose
not understand that there is nothing here that can strength and the will to make progress. Their soul is
possibly compare – even to the slightest degree – to in danger of collapse at any moment!
the Sweet Divine Grace of God the Holy Spirit!

12 12TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – BEFORE EXALTATION – THEOTOKOS’ NATIVITY – 8 SEPTEMBER 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.
14 SEPTEMBER 2019
THE UNIVERSAL EXALTATION OF
THE HOLY, LIFE-GIVING CROSS

Also the Feast of The Commemoration of the Holy Church Fathers of the 6th
Ecumenical Council in 680 - St John Chrysostom of Constantinople (which is
transferred to 13 November) – St Makarios & St Joseph, Holy Monk Martyrs of
Dionysiou Monastery, Mount Athos – St Anthimos of Iberia & Georgia – The Holy
Icon of our Ever Blessed, All Holy Lady, Theotokos, of Lesna.
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 )

F E STAL M ATINS G OSPEL A CC ORD ING TO S T JO HN 12: 28 – 36


At that time our Lord Jesus said: “Father, Glorify Thy Name.” A Voice came from Heaven, saying: “I have both Glorified
It and will Glorify It again.” The people who stood by heard It, and said that it had thundered. But others said:
“An Angel has spoken to Him!” Jesus answered and said: “This Voice did not come because of Me, but for your
sake.
“Now is the Judgement of this world. Now the ruler of this world will be cast out. When I Am lifted up from the Earth,
I will draw all peoples to Myself.” (This He said, signifying by what Death He would die.)
The people answered Him: “We have heard from the Law that the Christ remains forever - and how can Thou say: ‘The
Son of Man must be lifted up?’ Who is this Son of Man?” Jesus said to them: “A little while longer the Light is with
you. Walk while you have the Light, lest Darkness overtake you! He who walks in Darkness does not know
where he is going. While you have the Light, believe in the Light, that you may become Sons of Light.”
These things Jesus spoke, and departed, and was hidden from them.
✶ Our Lord Jesus Christ spoke these Words to His Faithful ✶ “...and will Glorify It again...” OUR LORD JESUS – the
Disciples and others AFTER HE HAD RESTORED ST Eternal Son of God - IS GLORIFIED IN HIS INCARNATED
LAZAROS BACK TO LIFE AND HAD TRIUMPHANTLY ENTERED HUMAN NATURE AS SON OF MAN, WHEN HE WAS
JERUSALEM. RESURRECTED ON THE THIRD DAY.
It was just before His betrayal by Judas Iscariot and According to His Resurrection, all mankind will also be
His Passion that ended with His Crucifixion, Burial Resurrected into Eternity – receiving either Eternal Life
and Glorious Resurrection. or Eternal Death.
Two Greek men had asked to speak to our Lord, but OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST IS PERPETUALLY GLORIFIED, BEING SEATED
knowing what was about to happen, Christ used AT THE RIGHT HAND OF OUR HEAVENLY FATHER – HIS RIGHTFUL
the time to teach and Enlighten His Faithful POSITION OF GREATEST HONOUR.
Disciples and Apostles so that they could Having taken on the likeness of mankind, with the
understand His Divine Mission as well as their own. exception of our habitual sinfulness, CHRIST HAS
✶ "...Father, Glorify Thy Name...” WAS ADDRESSED TO OUR SANCTIFIED, ELEVATED AND GLORIFIED OUR HUMAN NATURE .
HEAVENLY FATHER – to God, the Eternal Father – by AS THE NEW ADAM, HE HAS THUS RESTORED OUR HUMAN NATURE TO
God, His Eternal, Only Begotten Son and Word, our ITS CREATED STATE so that WE CAN ONCE AGAIN ENTER
Lord Jesus Christ, with Whom we have become Co- PARADISE AND HIS HEAVENLY KINGDOM of Love.
Heirs. ✶ “...The people who stood by heard ...” the Voice of our
 God the Father’s “Name” is AN EXTENSION OF HIS PERSON Heavenly Father, but INTERPRETED IT ACCORDING TO
 GOD THE SON WORKS FOR THE GLORY OF GOD THE FATHER. THE EXTENT OF THEIR FAITH AND BELIEF.
 Therefore HIS DEATH WAS OFFERED UP  GOD SPEAKS CLEARLY TO THOSE WHOM HE WILLS TO HEAR, for
1. TO COMPLETE THAT PURPOSE AND HE GRANTS THEM FULL UNDERSTANDING.
2. TO SHOW OUR HEAVENLY FATHER’S LOVE FOR ALL MANKIND. This is evident from numerous accounts recorded in
 In imitation of our Divine Saviour, we, too, ought to Holy Scripture.
WANT ONLY TO FULFILL OUR HEAVENLY FATHER’S WILL IN ✶ “...for your sake...” – Our Lord Jesus Christ already
ALL CIRCUMSTANCES – EVEN UNTO DEATH. knows the Will and Plan for mankind because He
ALL OUR THOUGHTS, WORDS AND DEEDS SHOULD GLORIFY AND is the Second Person of the Holy Trinity Who works
HONOUR OUR LORD GOD. and exists in Perfect Unity and Harmony.
It is our usual, self-serving reaction that tries to avoid  HIS PEOPLE NEEDED TO KNOW THAT CHRIST CAME TO LIVE
anything challenging or threatening but WHEN WE AMONGST US TO TEACH US AND TO REVEAL HIS DIVINE
DEPEND ON AND COMPLETELY TRUST IN GOD, WE ARE ABLE TRUTH, WHICH GLORIFIES OUR LORD GOD.
TO CONFRONT ALL OBSTACLES AND PROBLEMS WITH  Therefore, OUR LORD JESUS WAS CERTAINLY NOT THEIR ENEMY
COURAGE. BUT THEIR LONG-AWAITED DIVINE SAVIOUR Who grants us
✶ “... A Voice came from Heaven ...” The Divine Voice of Salvation and Eternal Life – He is the Fulfilment of
our Heavenly Father ASSURED US THAT the Old Covenant and grants us a New Covenant
1. THE DEATH OF JESUS CHRIST WAS NOT HUMILIATION with God.
2. but GLORIFICATION  BY ACCEPTING OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST AS OUR SALVIFIC LORD,
3. because it was THE FULFILMENT OF GOD’S PLAN FOR THE OPPRESSIVE RULER OF OUR FALLEN WORLD, THE EVIL
THE REDEMPTION OF ALL MANKIND. ONE, WILL BE DEFEATED AND BANISHED FOREVER – exiled
✶ “...I have both Glorified It...” – EVERY DIVINE MIRACLE to Hades and the Outer Darkness where he and
PERFORMED AND EVERY WORD OF DIVINE TRUTH SPOKEN BY OUR his demons belong.
LORD JESUS IS GLORIFIED BY GOD.  IT IS SPIRITUALLY VITAL TO LEARN AS MUCH DIVINE TRUTH as
 Furthermore, the heart and soul of the Faithful who we can so that we might apply it to ourselves,
receive Christ’s Divine Truth Glorify God.

U NIVE RSAL EX AL TATION OF THE H OLY L IFE - GIV ING C R OSS 14 S E P TEM BE R 13.
thereby Saving not only ourselves but also our  In the Festal Vespers Hymn for the Exaltation of the
wretched fallen world. Holy, Life-giving Cross, we sing: “Lifted High upon
 WE AFFECT EVERYTHING SURROUNDING US – GOOD AND BAD! the Cross, O Master, with Thyself Thou hast
✶ “...Now is the Judgement of this world...” means that raised up Adam and the whole of fallen nature.
NOW THAT WE HAVE BEEN GRANTED GOD’S TRUTH, THE LIES Therefore, Exalting Thine Undefiled Cross, O
AND DECEPTIONS OF THE EVIL ONE ARE EXPOSED AND Thou Who Lovest mankind, we ask Thee for Thy
JUDGED BY ALL CREATION – NOT BY GOD. Strength from Above, crying: O God Most High, in
 Only the Spiritually Blind fail to see, to recognise or to Thy Mercy Save those who honour the Sacred
acknowledge that WICKEDNESS, TEMPTATIONS AND SIN Life-Giving and Divine Exaltation of Thy Cross.”
ARE UNIVERSALLY DESTRUCTIVE AND CATASTROPHIC. Our Renewed, Sanctified human nature was further
 DIVINE TRUTH AND LIFE IN CHRIST exalted and lifted up – elevated - when our Lord Jesus
1. exposes lies and corruption. Christ in His visible, human/incarnate Nature,
2. proves by its Holy Fruit how truly Liberating it is. Ascended in Glory to Heaven where He is seated
3. reveals by comparison, how shackled and (enthroned) at the right hand side of our Heavenly
oppressed we are due to unrepented sin and Father.
wickedness that alienates us from God, one  THE CROSS – not the Crucifix which depicts our
another, and everything that Good. Crucified Saviour upon It – IS THE GLORIOUS,
✶ “... the Christ remains forever...” IS INDEED TRUE, for OUR VICTORIOUS SYMBOL OF RESURRECTION that reminds us
LORD JESUS CHRIST IS of our own eventual Resurrection into Eternal Life.
1. THE CHRIST OF GOD - THE ANOINTED ONE of our  THE CROSS AND THE DIVINE TRUTH IT PROCLAIMS, DRAWS
Heavenly Father because MANKIND TO GOD – in Hope and with Faith.
2. He is HIS ETERNAL SON AND HEIR  RESURRECTION INTO ETERNAL LIFE IS OUR MOST COMPELLING
3. being Almighty God, He has ALWAYS EXISTED. AND DESIRED DESTINATION for WE HAVE BEEN RESTORED,
4. HE IS ETERNAL – EXISTING BEFORE ALL TIME AND BEFORE REGENERATED AND SANCTIFIED BY OUR TRIUNE LORD GOD
HIS CREATION of the visible and invisible from – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
nothingness.  IT IS NATURAL FOR US TO YEARN TO BE IN THE DIVINE PRESENCE
 ACCORDING TO HIS ETERNAL DIVINE NATURE, OUR LORD JESUS OF OUR LORD GOD.
CANNOT SIN NOR DIE. ✶ “...Who is this Son of Man?”
 ACCORDING TO HIS HUMAN NATURE, HE SUFFERED ALL ASPECTS  THE SON ON MAN IS
OF OUR HUMAN CONDITION - with the exception of 1. THE INCARNATED ETERNAL, ONLY BEGOTTEN SON AND
committing any sin at all, for He always fulfils the WORD OF GOD OUR HEAVENLY FATHER.
Will of our Heavenly Father – SO HE WAS ABLE TO DIE 2. THE ETERNAL, DIVINE SON OF GOD WHO BECAME THE SON
AND ENTER HADES to set His Righteous free from the OF MAN(kind).
tyranny of the evil one. 3. has TWO UNMINGLED NATURES – DIVINE AND HUMAN.
 .DEATH IS UNNATURAL TO GOD AND EVEN TO HIS CREATED 4. GOD-MAN.
INTELLECTUAL BEINGS – mankind and the Heavenly 5. had NO HUMAN FATHER - while, as the Eternal, Only
Hosts. Begotten Son of God, He had NO DIVINE MOTHER.
 SIN AND DEATH ARE INVENTED BY HIS FALLEN CREATURE, SATAN 6. The Eternal Divine Son of GoD BECAME MAN BY THE
FOR THE DESTRUCTION OF MANKIND POWER AND ENERGY OF GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT AND THE
✶ “ ...Now the ruler of this world will be cast out...” NOW ALL PURE FLESH OF OUR EVER BLESSED, ALL HOLY
THAT DIVINE TRUTH HAS BEEN GRANTED TO US, THE EVIL LADY, THEOTOKOS.
ONE CAN NO LONGER CONTROL OR DOMINATE US AS EASILY 7. The Son of Man WAS ABLE TO DIE UPON HIS CROSS AND
AS BEFORE. DESCEND INTO HADES.
 THE SELF-APPOINTED ‘RULER’ OF THE FALLEN WORLD – THE EVIL  HIS DEATH
ONE - IS BANISHED, HAVING LITTLE INFLUENCE OVER US 1. PAID THE RANSOM THAT SET ALL MANKIND FREE.
ONCE WE RECEIVE AND UNDERSTAND GOD’S DIVINE TRUTH. 2. CONQUERED DEATH AND
 When we LIVE IN CHRIST AND WALK IN HIS DIVINE LIGHT, we 3. OVERCAME THE OPPRESSION OF EVIL.
can distinguish between good and evil more  THE GOD-MAN
clearly. 1. SMASHED FOREVER THE GATES OF HADES,
 By FAITHFULLY FOLLOWING OUR DIVINE SAVIOUR, we are set 2. SET FREE HIS RIGHTEOUS AND FAITHFUL PEOPLE,
free from the shackles of sin that kept us captive, 3. AND LED THEM BACK TO PARADISE.
deceived and damaged us.  THE RESURRECTION OF THE SON OF MAN CONFIRMED His
 We have been PROVIDED WITH EVERY MEANS POSSIBLE FOR Divine Truth that WE WILL BE RESURRECTED INTO
OUR ETERNAL SALVATION AND LIFE EVERLASTING, so sin ETERNITY.
and death have no control over us. ✶ “...a little while longer the Light is with you...” refers to
 We are FREE TO CHOSE WHICH PATH TO FOLLOW, as we now BOTH THE FIRST AND SECOND APPEARANCE OF OUR LORD
know the consequences of our thoughts, words JESUS CHRIST IN HIS PHYSICAL, VISIBLE NATURE.
and deeds.  HE ENCOURAGES US TO REMAIN FAITHFUL so that we are IN A
 ALTHOUGH GOD HAS ALLOWED THE EVIL ONE TO TEST US, ON GOOD SPIRITUAL STATE OF LIFE – READY TO WELCOME HIM
THE EIGHTH DAY, HE WILL BE BANISHED FOREVER TO THE and our Final Judgement on the Eighth Day.
GREAT ABYSS AND OUTER DARKNESS with everything  COMPARED TO ETERNITY THIS EARTHLY TIME IS INDEED VERY
that is wicked and destructive. BRIEF – “... a little while...”
 We are Armed WITH GOD’S TRUTH AND PROTECTED BY THE  OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST IS UNCREATED, DIVINE LIGHT OF
POWER OF THE VICTORIOUS (EMPTY)CROSS OF CHRIST’S DIVINE LIGHT – sharing THE SAME DIVINE ATTRIBUTES OF
RESURRECTION whereby THE EVIL ONE AND HIS TERRIBLE GOD OUR HEAVENLY FATHER AND GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT.
INVENTIONS ARE DEFEATED.  HIS DIVINE TRUTH EXPOSES EVERYTHING by His Illumination
✶ “...When I Am lifted up from the Earth...” is a reference and Enlightenment.
to THE LIFTING UP OF CHRIST UPON THE CROSS.  EVERYTHING IS COMPARED AGAINST THE PERFECTION OF HIS
 The Crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ is DIVINE TRUTH – thereby revealing all deceptions,
1. THE ULTIMATE, FINAL BLOOD OFFERING OR SACRIFICE - lies, fraud, and wickedness.
2. THE MOST EFFECTIVE, MIRACULOUS ANTIDOTE FOR  When we LIVE IN CHRIST, we are able to REMAIN IN HIS
MANKIND’S SINS – not only those of His Chosen DIVINE LIGHT – HIS DIVINE PRESENCE.
People  HE HAS PROMISED TO BE WITH US FOREVER – especially until
3. THE SALVATION OF THE ENTIRE HUMAN RACE. we complete our earthly sojourn.
4. A JUDGEMENT” ON THE UNBELIEVING world of Spiritual  IT IS OUR OWN CHOICE whether or not we MAKE EVERY
Darkness, Disobedience, Death and sin. EFFORT TO STAY CLOSE TO OUR LORD WHO ALWAYS
5. THE ABOLITION OF THE POWER OF THE EVIL ONE AND HIS PRESENT. We drift away from Him through our
DESTRUCTIVE INVENTIONS - “everything that is Spiritual Neglect, selfishness and wilful
wicked, harmful and catastrophic. disobedience.
 We live in a state of tension between THE VICTORY WON  With these urgent Words of Divine Truth, our Lord
AND THAT WHICH IS YET TO BE WON. [1 JOHN 2:13 & 5:4-5] Jesus reminded His Faithful Apostles and Disciples
that:

14. U NIVE R SAL EX AL TATION OF THE H OLY LI FE - GIV ING CR OSS -14 S EP TE MBER
1. HIS PUBLIC MINISTRY HAS BEEN FULFILLED.  OUR SPIRITUAL STRUGGLE AGAINST TEMPTATION AND EVIL MUST
2. OUR PERSONAL LIFESPAN IS VERY LIMITED. BE PERSISTENT so that we BECOME BETTER, EXPERIENCED
3. We must not waste any precious time but AND WORTHY CITIZENS AND CO-HEIRS with Christ of our
CONSTANTLY AND PERSISTENTLY STRIVE FOR OUR Heavenly Father’s Eternal Kingdom of Love.
SPIRITUAL PERFECTION.  We become Children of Light by LIVING IN CHRIST,
4. This lifespan is A PREPARATORY PERIOD OF REPENTANCE FULFILLING TO THE BEST OF OUR ABILITY, THE WILL OF OUR
of personal sin AND FULFILMENT OF GOD’S WILL for HEAVENLY FATHER IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES.
our Salvation.  THE HOLY CHURCH OF CHRIST AND OUR SPIRITUAL FATHERS
5. WITHOUT BELIEF, FAITH AND GOOD DEEDS, WE HAVE NO TEACH, GUIDE, HEAL AND SUSTAIN US during this brief
HOPE OF ETERNAL LIFE in His Heavenly Kingdom earthly sojourn before reaching Eternity and our
of Love. Promised Land.
6. WE WILL EXILE AND CONDEMN OURSELVES FOREVER from  We cannot become God’s Children unless we STRIVE
Divine Goodness and Light. FOR SPIRITUAL PERFECTION, thereby REGAINING OUR
✶ Those “... who walk in Darkness...” are SPIRITUALLY BLIND DIVINE LIKENESS as He created us.
AND IGNORANT, OR HAVE CHOSEN TO STUMBLE ABOUT ON THEIR  Our Salvation means becoming Children of God – of
OWN, NOT MAKING ANY SPIRITUAL PROGRESS AT ALL. His Divine Light – LIVING EVERY MOMENT ACCORDING TO
✶ “... become Sons of Light...” THROUGH THE HOLY MYSTERY OF HIS DIVINE TRUTH.
BAPTISM WE BECOME THE ADOPTED CHILDREN OF GOD AND
CO-HEIRS WITH CHRIST.
F E STAL P R OKE IM E NON – E X ALTATION OF THE H OLY C R OSS - PSALM 27 – TONE (6) PLAGAL 2
✞ Exalt the Lord our God, and Worship at His Footstool, for He is Holy!
The Lord reigns – let the people rage...
T H E F IR ST EP ISTLE OF S T P AUL TO TH E C OR INTH IANS 1 : 18 – 24
Brethren: the Word of the Cross is ‘foolishness’ to those who are perishing - to us who are being Saved, it is the Power of
God. It is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.”
Where are the wise? Where are the Scribes? Where are the disputers of this age? Has not God made foolish the
wisdom of this world? Since, in the Wisdom of God - the world did not know God through the Wisdom of God - it
pleased God through the ‘foolishness’ of Preaching to Save those who believe.
Judeans request Signs, and Hellenes seek Wisdom - we preach Christ Crucified: to the Judeans scandalous, to the
Hellenes foolishness - to those who are Called, both Judeans and Hellenes, Christ is the Power of God and the
Wisdom of God.
✶ “...the Word of the Cross is ‘foolishness...”’ TO UNBELIEVERS  THE HOLY CHURCH OF CHRIST OFFERS US EVERYTHING
WHO ARE IN A STATE OF SPIRITUAL DEATH – AN ABSENCE OR NECESSARY INCLUDING SIGNS AND WISDOM, such as that
REJECTION OF GOD. of THE HOLY LIFE-GIVING CROSS of our Lord & Saviour,
 According to St John Chrysostom “...it is a mark of Jesus Christ!
those who perish by not recognising the Things  THE HOLY CROSS IS TO BE ADORED AND EXALTED, for
that lead to Salvation.” WHEREVER THE SIGN OF THE CROSS MAY BE, THERE JESUS
 WE WHO BEAR WITNESS TO CHRIST MUST NOT BE DISCOURAGED CHRIST WILL BE – I.E. THE HOLY TRINITY is present.
when those who exist outside God and His Holy ✶ “...to those who are Called...” are THOSE WHO STRIVE TO
Church mock, for so did once even St Paul himself. FULFIL THE DIVINE WILL OF OUR HEAVENLY FATHER
 JUDEANS REGARDED CRUCIFIXION AS THE MOST SCANDALOUS, motivated by Love of God and our fellow
SHAMEFUL, TERRIFYING AND DEGRADING FORM OF mankind.
EXECUTION.  OUR SPIRITUAL RESTORATION TRANSFORMS US
 THE HELLENES (THE GREEKS) REGARDED CHRIST’S VOLUNTARY  We receive THE DIVINE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT that
CRUCIFIXION AS BEING UTTER FOOLISHNESS – AGAINST OUR EMPOWER AND ENABLE US to properly understand and
NATURAL SENSE OF SELF-PRESERVATION. fulfill our Sacred Calling as Disciples of Christ.
✶ "... us who are being Saved ...” – By using the present ✶ “Christ is the Power...and Wisdom of God...” for His is
tense St Paul referred to THE ONGOING, CONTINUOUS indeed THE BRIGHTNESS OF OUR HEAVENLY FATHER’S
SPIRITUAL PROCESS OF OUR ETERNAL SALVATION. GLORY - THE SUBSTANTIAL AND PERFECT IMAGE OF OUR
✶ “...the Power of God...” and HIS DIVINE GRACE TRANSFORMS INVISIBLE GOD.
US THROUGH THE TRUTH OF EVERYTHING CONCERNING THE  WHEREVER OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST IS, THERE IS THE
LIFE-GIVING HOLY CROSS OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. UNCREATED SAVING GRACE OF GOD. [HEBREWS 1:3]
✶ ‘...through the ‘foolishness’ of Preaching...’ Divine Truth,  Whatever comes into contact with the Divine is
GOD GRANTS TRUE WISDOM AND ETERNAL SALVATION TO Sanctified, Transformed and Holy.
THOSE WHO ACCEPT IT AND APPLY IT TO EVERY ASPECT OF  Consequently, THE HOLY, LIFE-GIVING CROSS OF OUR LORD
THEIR EXISTENCE. AND SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST, RESTORES MANKIND TO
 When we open our heart and soul to our Lord God, HE IMMORTALITY AND STIRS UP DESIRE FOR THE THINGS OF
GRANTS US EVERYTHING NECESSARY FOR ETERNAL LIFE. GOD.
✶“... Judeans request Signs... Hellenes seek Wisdom...”
T H E H OLY G OSPEL ACCO R D ING TO S T J OH N 19: 6 - 11; 13 – 20 25 – 28 & 30 – 35
At that time, the Chief Priests and Elders held a council against Jesus, that they might destroy Him. And they went to
Pilate, saying: “Crucify! Crucify Him!” Pilate said to them: “You take Him and crucify Him! I find no fault in Him.” The
Jews answered him: “We have a Law, and according to our Law He ought to die, for He made Himself the Son of
God.” When Pilate heard those words, he was all the more afraid, and went into the Praetorium again, and said to
Jesus: “From where art Thou?” Jesus gave him no answer. Pilate said to Him: “Art Thou not speaking to me?! Dost
Thou not know that I have power to crucify Thee, and power to release Thee?” Jesus answered: “Thou could have
no power at all against Me unless it had been given thee from Above. Therefore he who delivered Me to thee
has the greater sin.”
...When Pilate therefore heard those Words, he took Jesus out and sat down in the Judgement Seat in a place that is
called “The Pavement” - in Hebrew: “Gabbatha.” It was the Preparation Day of the Passover - about the Sixth Hour.
And he said to the Judeans: “Behold your King!” They cried out: “Away with Him! Away with Him! Crucify Him!”
Pilate said to them: “Shall I crucify your King?” The Chief Priests answered: “We have no King but Caesar!” So he
delivered Him to them to be crucified. They took Jesus and led Him away.
And bearing His Cross, He went out to a place called ‘the Place of a Skull,’ which is called in Hebrew, ‘Golgotha.’ There
they crucified Him, and two others with Him - one on either side, and Jesus in the middle. Pilate wrote a title and
put it on the Cross. The writing was: “JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS.” Then many of the Judeans read this
title, for the place was near the city where Jesus was crucified. And it was written in Hebrew, Greek and Latin...
...There stood by the Cross of Jesus His Mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary, the wife of Cleopas, and Mary Magdalene.
When Jesus therefore saw His Mother, and the Disciple whom He Loved standing by, He said to His Mother,

U NIVE RSAL EX AL TATION OF THE H OLY L IFE - GIV ING C R OSS 14 S E P TEM BE R 15.
“Woman, behold Thy son!” Then He said to the Disciple: “Behold, Thy Mother!” And from that hour that Disciple
took Her to his own home. After this, Jesus, knowing that all Things were now accomplished, that the Scripture
might be fulfilled, said: “I thirst!”
...When Jesus had received the sour wine, He said: “It is finished!” and bowing His Head, He gave up His Spirit.
The Judeans did not want the bodies to remain on the crosses on the Sabbath - being the Preparation Day - (for the
Sabbath was a High Day). They asked Pilate to have their legs broken, and that they might be taken away. Then
the Soldiers came and broke the bones of the first and of the other who was crucified with Him.
When they came to Jesus, they saw that He was already dead, so they did not break His Bones, but one of the soldiers
pierced His Side with a spear, and immediately Blood and Water poured out.
And he who has Witnessed has testified, and his Testimony is True - he knows that he speaks the Truth, so that you may
believe.
✶ “..He made Himself the Son of God,,,” is THE FALSE CHARGE HUMAN NATURE INCLUDING THE NEED TO QUENCH HIS
OF BLASPHEMY – punishable by death - whereby the THIRST.
Spiritually Blind and self-righteous Judean leaders  WE NEED BOTH THE MUNDANE AND THE EXTRAORDINARY,
convicted our Lord Jesus Christ SPIRITUAL WATER TO QUENCH OUR PHYSICAL AND SPIRITUAL
 BY RENOUNCING CHRIST THEY REJECTED THE DIVINE GOSPEL THIRST.
FOR OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST NOT ONLY CLAIMS TO BE, BUT  PSALM 21:16: “My Strength is dried up like an earthen
INDEED IS THE SON OF GOD! vessel; My Tongue cleaves to My Throat and
✶ “...Thou could have no power at all against Me unless Thou led Me into the Dust of Death...”
it had been given thee from Above...” BECAUSE ✶ “...It is finished...” means “accomplished” or “fulfilled.”
ONLY ALMIGHTY GOD [THE HOLY TRINITY] HAS “POWER.”  Our Lord did not mean that His Life was ended, but
 Despite the authority and oppression of the Roman rather that HIS DIVINE PLAN OF SALVATION FOR ALL
Empire and the relentless persistence of the MANKIND HAS BEEN COMPLETED.
Judean leaders, THEIR ‘POWER’ WAS PERMITTED ONLY BY ✶“... bowing His Head, He gave up His Spirit...” According
GOD HIMSELF – TO SERVE HIS DIVINE PLAN FOR MANKIND. to St John Chrysostom OUR LORD JESUS DID NOT DIE
✶ “...he who delivered Me to thee has the greater sin...” FIRST, with His Head falling as a result of Death, but
refers to THE HIGH PRIEST, CAIAPHAS, who instead of that being Lord even of His own Life and Death,
serving God, sought to destroy Him! CHRIST FIRST BOWED HIS HEAD, AND THEN VOLUNTARILY
 It could also apply to JUDAS ISCARIOT who had been GAVE UP HIS SPIRIT AND ENTERED DEATH.
Called by Christ as ONE OF HIS TWELVE APOSTLES who  Our Lord Jesus Christ did not have His Life taken from
witnessed most of what He taught and did. Him, but WILLINGLY COMMITTED HIS SPIRIT TO GOD OUR
 THE JUDEAN LEADERS USED THEIR SOCIAL STATUS AND HEAVENLY FATHER.
POLITICAL PRESSURE AGAINST PONTIUS PILATE TO GAIN  HIS SOUL WAS NOT IMPRISONED IN HADES but FREELY GIVEN
THEIR OWN SINISTER ENDS. Bribery, intimidation and INTO THE HANDS OF GOD OUR HEAVENLY FATHER.
corruption were often used against their own  HAVING SMASHED OPEN THE IMPRISONING GATES OF HADES,
people. OUR LORD JESUS FREED ALL HUMANITY FROM THE BONDS
 Confronted with the choice between our Lord Jesus AND SHACKLES OF DEATH.
Christ and “Caesar” PONTIUS PILATE CHOSE HIS  HIS SALVIFIC DEATH ON THE CROSS HAS RECONCILED MANKIND
EMPEROR, TIBERIUS CAESAR who reigned during the TO GOD – not by satisfying our Heavenly Father’s
years 14 - 37. need for ‘blood-justice’ as some erroneously
✶ “...the Preparation Day of the Passover...” is THE DAY believe, CAUSING EVERY ASPECT OF OUR CORRUPT HUMAN
BEFORE “PASSOVER” OR “PASCHA” WHEN EVERYTHING WAS NATURE TO BECOME TRANSFORMED, REGENERATED AND
PREPARED FOR THE GREAT FEAST. RENEWED for whatever Divinity touches is Healed
 THUS LEAVENED BREAD WAS USED AT OUR LORD’S LAST SUPPER and Restored.
ON THURSDAY.  HE ACCEPTED OUR HUMAN NATURE IN ORDER TO SANCTIFY IT
 THE SYNOPTIC GOSPELS [of St Matthew, St Mark, St Luke & AND He accepted OUR HUMAN WEAKNESS IN ORDER TO
St John] DATE THE CRUCIFIXION OF JESUS CHRIST AS MAKE US STRONG.
OCCURRING ON FRIDAY - THE FIRST DAY OF THE PASSOVER.  HE VOLUNTARILY TOOK ON THE GREAT BURDEN OF OUR SINS TO
✶ “...We have no King but Caesar!” Ironically with those SET US FREE from our enslavement and Death.
words of denunciation, THE JUDEAN LEADERSHIP  He suffered in order TO TRANSFIGURE OUR HUMAN
REJECTED THE TRUE ‘KING OF THE JEWS’ and accepted SUFFERING and HE DIED IN ORDER TO DESTROY DEATH.
Tiberius Caesar, a foreign King who ruled (REFER 1 CORINTHIANS 15:20-28)
Palestine as a result of conquest.  He gave up His Spirit willingly, CHOOSING THE HOUR OF
 Driven by their blind hatred for Jesus Christ, THEY HIS DEATH.
DENIED THE ESSENTIAL ELEMENT OF THEIR NATION’S  NO HUMAN BEING NOR EVIL SPIRIT CAN TAKE HIS LIFE FROM
HOPES. HIM, NOR ACT AGAINST THE DIVINE WILL OF ALMIGHTY
✶ “...he delivered Him ... to be crucified...” CRUCIFIXION WAS GOD!!
THE METHOD OF EXECUTION USED BY THE ROMANS AS  St Cyril of Alexandria pointed out: “Observe: no
CAPITAL PUNISHMENT INVOLVING rebellious slaves and sooner had Christ endured His Passion on the
THE WORST POSSIBLE CRIMINALS. Cross for our sake, when He began to win many
✶ ”...Woman, behold Thy son...” Our Lord Jesus Christ unto the Knowledge of the Truth.”
used A TERM OF DIGNITY AND AFFECTION when He ✶ ”... they did not break His Bones...” fulfilled the ancient
addressed His All Pure Mother and ENTRUSTED HER prophecies concerning our Divine Saviour.
CARE AND PROTECTION TO ST JOHN, HIS BELOVED  Usually the Roman executioners smashed the legs of
DISCIPLE. the crucified, which hastened death but caused
“...Behold, Thy Mother...” IS ADDRESSED NOT ONLY TO ST JOHN indescribable agony.
BUT TO EVERY FAITHFUL DISCIPLES OF CHRIST BECAUSE ✶ “... Blood and Water poured out...” shows THE REALITY OF
1. Christ symbolically established the Theotokos’ Role THE GREAT HOLY MYSTERIES.
as THE MOTHER OF ALL FAITHFUL DISCIPLES - OF THE 1. THE WATER REFERS TO OUR HOLY BAPTISM, WHICH IS OUR
ENTIRE CHRISTIAN CHURCH. PARTICIPATION IN CHRIST’S LIFE-GIVING DEATH.
2. IF THE THEOTOKOS HAD HAD OTHER CHILDREN, OUR (ROMANS 3: 6 – 11)
SAVIOUR WOULD NOT HAVE PLACED HER UNDER THE 2. IN THE HOLY MYSTERY OF EUCHARIST/COMMUNION WE
PROTECTION AND CARE OF ST JOHN. RECEIVE OUR LORD’S LIFE-GIVING BLOOD “... drinking
3. THE CHURCH’S TEACHING CONCERNING THE THEOTOKOS’ from His very Side.” (ST JOHN CHRYSOSTOM)
ETERNAL VIRGINITY IS RATIFIED BY CHRIST’S ACTION.  It is literally THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS AND THE
REGENERATION OF MANKIND THAT POURED OUT OF OUR
✶ “...I thirst...” expresses the Truth that THE INCARNATE SON
LORD JESUS CHRIST’S SIDE.
OF GOD – THE SON OF MAN – ASSUMED OUR COMPLETE

16. U NIVE R SAL EX AL TATION OF THE H OLY LI FE - GIV ING CR OSS -14 S EP TE MBER
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 4 15 SEPTEMBER 2019
13TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
S UND AY AF TE R THE UNIVERSAL EXALTA TION OF
THE H OLY , LIFE-GIVING CROSS
Also the Feast of St Nikita the Great Holy Martyr & The Holy Icon of our Lady,
‘Theotokos of Novonikita’ – St Philotheos the Presbyter & Wonderworker of Bythnia,
Asia Minor – St Porphyrios the Actor – St Bessarion, Archbishop of Larissa, founder
of Dusika Monastery, Thessaly – St Symeon of Thessalonika – St John the New
Martyr of Crete – St Akakios the Confessor & Bishop of Melitene – St Theodotos, St Asclepiodotos & St Maximos of Adrianopolis
– St Stephen the Archdeacon & Protomartyr (Holy Relics) – St Joseph, Abbot of Alaverdi Monastery, Georgia – St Joseph the
New of Partos, Metropolitan of Timishoara, Romania – St Gerasimos, Founder of the Holy Trinity Monastery, Zagora
THE SUNDAY AND FESTAL HYMNS ARE PUBLISHED IN BOOKLET FORM EACH MONTH. THESE ARE PUBLISHED AND FREELY
D O W N L O A D A B L E O N 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 C H R I S T I A N
E A S T E R N C A P E . ” ( 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 2 – M AR K 16 : 1 – 8

P R OKE IME NON – P SALM 103/104 – T ONE 4

O Lord, Thy Works shalt be greatly Magnified. Thou made all things in Wisdom!
Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord, my God, Thou art exceedingly Magnified!
T H E E PISTLE OF S T P AUL TO TH E G AL ATIANS 2 : 16 – 20
Brethren, knowing that a man is not Justified by the works of the Law, but by the Faith of Jesus Christ, even we have
believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be Justified by the Faith of Christ, and not by the works of the Law; for by the
works of the Law no flesh shall be Justified.
If, while we seek to be Justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found to be sinners, is therefore Christ the Minister of
sin? God forbid! If I build again the things that I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. I – through the Law –
died to the Law, that I might Live in God. With Christ I am crucified. Nevertheless, I live! Christ Lives in me!
The Life in the flesh, I Live in the Faith of the Son of God, Who Loves me, and gave Himself for me.
✶ “...man is not Justified by the works of the Law...” ST PAUL we abandon our old, fallen, corrupt nature and
GIVES THE CONTENT OF THE TRUE GOSPEL BY CONTRASTING IT take on a Regenerated, New and Sanctified
WITH THE FALSE DOCTRINES of the Judaizers. nature in Christ at our Baptism and Chrismation.)
 THE SOURCE OF JUSTIFICATION IS FAITH ACCORDING TO OUR  Works of the Old Covenant Law began with mankind’s
NEW COVENANT WITH GOD - not the preparatory actions, whereas OUR CHRISTIAN FAITH BEGINS WITH
works of the Old Covenant Law. GOD’S DIVINE ACTIONS.
 Works of the Old Covenant Law were FOR THE  EVERY WORK OF FAITH IS THE COMBINED ACTION OF GOD AND
GUIDANCE, REPENTANCE AND CORRECTION OF OUR US,
FALLEN STATE – our corrupted state (i.e. a state of  OUR FAITH IS AN ESSENTIAL SYNERGY – a Holy Cooperation
Spiritual Death). between us and God – BETWEEN DIVINE WILL AND
 The Old Covenant Laws KEPT THE NATION OF ISRAEL BOTH HUMAN WILL.
PHYSICALLY AND SPIRITUALLY HEALTHY. We must be willing to co-operate with our Lord God Who
 THE TEMPORARY, OLD COVENANT DIETARY AND RITUALISTIC never forces His Divine Will upon us.
LAWS WERE ALL FULFILLED BY OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST When we surrender our will with Humility and Obedience
Who brought us God’s New Covenant, which is to the Divine Will of our Heavenly Father, we will truly
Eternal. begin our Spiritual Journey in His Kingdom of Love.
 THE TEN COMMANDMENTS OF GOD STILL APPLY TO OUR  THE SOURCE AND FULFILMENT OF TRUE FAITH AND THESE
SACRED RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD AND EACH OTHER. ACTIONS ARE IN OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST.
✶ “...even we have believed in Jesus Christ ...” St Paul,  WE EXPERIENCE AMAZING FAITH AND ACTIONS THROUGH OUR
together with all the other Faithful Disciples of UNION WITH THE HOLY TRINITY – God the Father, God
Christ were initially OLD COVENANT JUDEANS WHO the Son and God the Holy Spirit IN WHOSE NAMES AND
ACCEPTED OUR LORD JESUS AS THE GREAT MESSIAH BY WHOSE POWER AND AUTHORITY WE ARE BAPTISED AND
PROMISED BY OUR LORD GOD. CHRISMATED.
 ST PAUL WAS DEVOTED TO SERVING GOD THROUGH THE DIVINE  GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT GRANTS US HIS POWER AND ENERGY FOR
TRUTH OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST THE ONGOING LIFE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS IN CHRIST – the
He had zealously persecuted the first Disciples of Christ, wonderful Life of Blessing, Great Mercy and
although he never killed anyone himself. infinite Love.
After his Conversion - when he Encountered our  THE ANCIENT PATRIARCH ABRAHAM IS OUR HOLY FATHER OF
(Resurrected) Lord Jesus along the road to Damascus FAITH AND OF THE BLESSINGS OF GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT.
-St Paul became the most successful Holy Apostle to  The legalistic Judaizers, who have based their
the Gentiles, having received all His Spiritual Righteousness on the works of the Law, have
Knowledge and Wisdom from God Himself. received Condemnation – not the Blessings of the
✶ “...Justified by the Faith of Christ...” OUR NEW COVENANT Holy Spirit!
FAITH according to the Divine Revelations,  The status conferred by Righteousness is HOLY SONSHIP,
Teachings and Commandments of our Lord Jesus for WE BECOME ADOPTED CHILDREN OF GOD THROUGH OUR
Christ IS THE ONLY MEANS OF OUR ETERNAL UNION WITH GOD INCARNATE.
JUSTIFICATION, RESTORATION AND SALVATION. 1. THE SOURCE OF SONSHIP IS GOD – not mankind!
 THE NEW COVENANT JUSTIFIES, SANCTIFIES AND SAVES OUR 2. HOLY SONSHIP IS A DIVINE PROMISE – not achieved by
BODY AND SOUL, WHICH THE OLD COVENANT COULD NOT human deeds
DO.
 THE NEW COVENANT FAITH ‘CRUCIFIES’ OUR CORRUPT
CONDITION AND SUSTAINS OUR NEW BEING IN CHRIST (i.e.

13TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – AFTER EXALTATION OF THE HOLY CROSS – 15 SEPTEMBER 2019 17
3. HOLY SONSHIP IS ACQUIRED ONLY BY TRUE FAITH  The real transgressors are those who try to reinstate
ACCORDING TO THE DIVINE TRUTH OF CHRIST – not by the Old Covenant Law.
our own puny efforts nor selfish desires.  WE DIE THROUGH THE LAW – NOT BYPASSING OR DISHONOURING
4. THE PURPOSE OF HOLY SONSHIP IS FOR US TO BECOME IT, BUT BY RECOGNISING THAT IT IS HOLY - THAT WE
GODLIKE AND TO ENTER HEAVEN. DESERVE ITS CONSEQUENCE, WHICH IS DEATH.
 GOD INTRODUCED THE WORKS OF THE LAW IN ORDER TO ✶ “...With Christ I am crucified...” - WE VOLUNTARILY DIE TO
PROTECT MANKIND against the evil wiles of the devil THE LAW THROUGH OUR DEATH WITH CHRIST,
and his demons who obsessively hate mankind.  being Crucified with Christ through our Holy Baptism,
 THE OLD COVENANT LAWS WERE TO PROTECT HIS PEOPLE UNTIL WE COME ALIVE TO THE DIVINE, ETERNAL LAW OF THE HOLY
THE TIME OF DIVINE SONSHIP when our Union with the SPIRIT, which PERFECTS THE INTENTION OF THE OLD
Eternal, Only Begotten Son of God became COVENANT LAW.
possible. ✶ “...Christ Lives in me!...” Having Vowed Allegiance to
 FAITH IN CHRIST IS PARALLEL TO THE WORKS OF THE LAW and our Lord Jesus Christ as our Divine Saviour, and
can be translated as “the Faith of Jesus Christ,” having been Baptised and Chrismated, WE NOW
which is THE HOLY GOSPEL. STRIVE TO LIVE IN CHRIST AS HE LIVES IN US – IN OUR
 As the Source of Works was the Old Covenant Law, so THOUGHTS, WORDS AND DEEDS.
THE SOURCE OF FAITH IS OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST – HIS  WE ARE THE HOLY, SANCTIFIED TEMPLES OF GOD WHO DWELLS
BELIEFS, HIS TRUST, HIS OBEDIENCE THAT JUSTIFIES US , IN US, UNTIL WE SIN.
not our Faith as such.  Life in Christ means A CONSTANT, STEADFAST LIFE OF
 CHRIST’S FAITH IS SEEN IN HIS ENTIRE LIFE ON EARTH, not in PRAYER, WORSHIP AND REPENTANCE.
merely a few of His crucial Works.  THERE IS NO CONTRADICTION BETWEEN THE OLD COVENANT
 WE ARE JUSTIFIED BY CHRIST AND IN CHRIST, for our LAW AND THE NEW COVENANT GOSPEL, FOR THE LAW IS “...
Justification is not simply legal but actual – HOLY AND JUST AND GOOD...” (ROMANS 7:12)
EFFECTED BY OUR REAL, PERSONAL UNION WITH CHRIST IN  However, THE OLD COVENANT LAW IS WEAK AND OBSOLETE
HIS GLORIFIED HUMAN NATURE. FOR IT IS FULFILLED IN THE HOLY GOSPEL – in our Lord
✶“... if ...we ourselves ... are found to be sinners...” and Saviour, Jesus Christ, Himself! (ROMANS 8 : 3 &
certainly DOES NOT REFLECT UPON OUR LORD JESUS HEBREWS 8 : 13)
CHRIST WHO IS SINLESS. ✶ “...the Son of God, Who Loves me, and gave Himself for
 The fact that we are still habitual sinners clearly me...” reveals THE TRUE NATURE OF ALMIGHTY GOD
shows that THIS HOLY UNION NEVER TAKES AWAY OUR 1. He is LOVING, COMPASSIONATE AND MERCIFUL
FREE WILL and it also explains how some chose to 2. He VOLUNTARILY OFFERED HIMSELF as
defect to Judaism. 3. the ULTIMATE BLOOD SACRIFICE for the Forgiveness
✶ “...through the Law – died to the Law, that I might Live and Salvation of all mankind forever.
in God...” 4. His Selfless, most humble Incarnation was to teach
 St Paul destroyed THE WORKS OF THE LAW in the sense and to reveal HIS DIVINE TRUTH – ESPECIALLY
that they PROVED TO BE INEFFECTUAL FOR OUR ETERNAL CONCERNING THE INFINITE LOVE OF GOD WHO IS LOVE
SALVATION. ITSELF.
T H E H OLY G OSPEL ACCO R D ING TO S T M AR K 8 : 34 – 9 : 1
At that time, our Lord Jesus said: “...whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his Cross,
and follow Me. Whoever desires to save his life will lose it. Whoever loses his life for My sake, and the Gospel’s,
will Save it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his soul? Or what will a man give
in exchange for his soul? Whoever is ashamed of Me and My Words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the
Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the Glory of His Father with the Holy Angels.”
And He said to them: “Truly, I say to you: there are some standing here who will not taste Death until they see the
Kingdom of God present with Power!”
 ✶ “...whoever desires to come after Me...” are THOSE  WE NAIL OUR SINS TO HIS CROSS and through our Holy
WHO BELIEVE AND DESIRE TO FAITHFULLY LIVE IN CHRIST Baptism we die to our sins and are Resurrected
according to all His Teachings and into Virtuous Life in Christ
Commandments. ✶ “...follow Me ...” As Disciples of Christ, we are under His
 OUR IMMORTAL SOUL RESPONDS WITH OVERWHELMING LOVE TO ‘Divine Discipline’ whereby WE VOLUNTARILY STRIVE TO
ANY ENCOUNTER WITH OUR LORD GOD AND HIS DIVINE FULFILL HIS DIVINE WILL IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES.
TRUTH.  HIS DIVINE TRUTH – His Verbal and Written Teachings
 IT IS NATURAL FOR US TO YEARN FOR GOD’S DIVINE PRESENCE, and Commandments are applied to our
for OUR IMMORTAL SOUL, which comes from the thoughts, words and deeds.
Breath of God, NEEDS TO RETURN TO HIM.  BEING SPIRITUALLY REGENERATED, RESTORED AND RENEWED
✶ “... let him deny himself...” refers to A LIFE OF SELF-DENIAL WE ARE GRANTED A NEW LIFE IN GOD’S KINGDOM OF LOVE,
AND STRICT DISCIPLINE WHEREBY THE ACQUISITION OF THE which begins while we are still here.
DIVINE GIFTS AND HOLY VIRTUES BECOME POSSIBLE.  We ought to practise SELF-DENIAL AND PERSONAL SACRIFICE
 WITHOUT THESE DIVINE GIFTS AND HOLY VIRTUES, WE CAN FOR THE SAKE OF OUR LOVE OF GOD, HIS HOLY GOSPEL AND
NEITHER LIVE IN CHRIST, MAKE ANY SPIRITUAL PROGRESS FOR OUR FELLOW STRUGGLING SINNERS who accompany
NOR SUSTAIN A LIFE OF PRAYER AND WORSHIP IN IMITATION us on the long, Narrow Path towards Eternity.
OF OUR DIVINE MASTER.  A self-sacrificing Lifestyle is
 Self Denial means 1. NEITHER A PUNISHMENT,
1. CONTROLLING THE SELFISH, PHYSICAL DEMANDS OF OUR 2. NOR IS IT AN END IN ITSELF,
MORTAL FLESH that cause sin and Spiritual 3. BUT A MEANS OF OVERCOMING THE FALLEN WORLD for
Death, which separates us from God. the sake of the Kingdom of God -
2. STRENGTHENING OUR IMMORTAL SOUL in order to reject 4. TO CRUCIFY THE DEMANDS OF OUR SINFUL FLESH with its
and avoid fleshy desires, to Repent our sins passions and self-indulgent desires.
and to nurture and sustain our Spiritual Life, ✶ “...Whoever loses his life for My sake...” - refers to HOLY
which Unites us to God. MARTYRDOM DUE TO PERSECUTION FOR OUR CHRISTIAN
✶ “...take up his Cross...” means that WHATEVER FAITH.
RESPONSIBILITIES WE MIGHT HAVE, WHATEVER OUR  It could also refer to A COMPLETELY UNSELFISH LIFESTYLE
SITUATION OR CIRCUMSTANCES, WE CAN FOLLOW CHRIST. THAT FAITHFULLY SERVES GOD AND OUR FELLOW MANKIND
 NOTHING CAN OR SHOULD PREVENT US FROM LIVING IN CHRIST IN FULFILMENT OF DIVINE TEACHINGS.
– from taking every step and spending each ✶ “...what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”
moment of this lifespan ACCOMPANYING OUR LORD THERE IS NOTHING AS VALUABLE AS OUR IMMORTAL SOUL!
JESUS CHRIST.  WE LOSE THE ETERNAL TREASURES when our desire for
 THE CROSS, the cruellest instrument of torture and temporal things replaces our need for God.
execution, NOW SYMBOLISES THE SUFFERING OF ALL  By sacrificing or resisting the lures and attractions of
CHRISTIANS IN IMITATION OF CHRIST. this temporary world, we gain PRICELESS ETERNAL
RICHES AND BLESSINGS that are FAR BEYOND ANYTHING
WE COULD POSSIBLY IMAGINE!! (1 CORINTHIANS 2 : 9 )

18 13TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – AFTER EXALTATION OF THE HOLY CROSS – 15 SEPTEMBER 2019
 This rhetorical but immensely important question We have been provided with every means possible to
emphasises THE UTTER FOOLISHNESS OF TRYING TO enable our Entry into God’s Heavenly Kingdom – the
ACCUMULATE WORLDLY POSSESSIONS AND POWER. most important Divine Gift being that of Unconditional
 NOTHING OF THIS MATERIAL, TEMPORARY WORLD CAN REDEEM Love for God and for each other.
OUR FALLEN SOUL NOR BENEFIT US IN THE LIFE TO COME. Our Final Judgement will be according to what we thought,
✶ “...Whoever is ashamed of Me and My Words...” REVEALS said and did concerning the Lord our God and our
THEIR TRUE SPIRITUAL STATE! fellow creatures – great and small alike!
 THOSE WHO REJECT DIVINE TRUTH SERVE THE EVIL ONE, who After our Departure or Repose when our body and soul are
hates Divine Truth. separated, we will fully comprehend Divine Truth and
 Those who are Spiritually Blind and wilfully how we relate to It.
disobedient reject, mock or renounce ABSOLUTE After our Repose, it will be too late to rectify our errors
TRUTH because it EXPOSES THE DEPTH OF THEIR SIN. or Repent our sins for God grants each of us a specific
 To be ashamed of or embarrassed by our Lord Jesus lifespan in which to fulfil His Will for our Eternal
Christ and His Divine Truth EXPOSES THE DEPTH OF Salvation.
SELF-DELUSION AND SIN AS WELL AS THE REJECTION OF The Purpose of this short lifespan is to prepare ourselves
TRUTH. for Eternity by making every effort to regain our
 The desire to please our fellow sinners, SHAMES, Likeness to God in Whose Image and Likeness He
CONDEMNS AND EXILES US FROM DIVINE GOODNESS, LOVE created us.
AND TRUTH. Doing so makes us worthy Citizens and Co-Heirs with
“...when He comes in the Glory of His Father...” means Christ of His Heavenly Kingdom of Love.
that THE ETERNAL SON OF GOD WILL VISIBLY REAPPEAR AS THE ✶ “... some ... will not taste Death until they see the
SON OF GOD – OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST – ON THE EIGHTH DAY. Kingdom of God present with Power!”
 ALL CREATION WILL SEE OUR LORD JESUS IN ALL HIS DIVINE  These words referred to HIS THREE CLOSEST HOLY
GLORY – just as St Peter, St John and St James had APOSTLES, ST JAMES, ST SIMON PETER AND ST JOHN, HIS
witnessed at His Transfiguration on Mount Tabor. BELOVED DISCIPLE WHO SOON THEREAFTER WITNESSED OUR
 HE WILL BE ACCOMPANIED BY ALL HIS HEAVENLY HOSTS AND LORD JESUS CHRIST IN ALL HIS DIVINE GLORY – as much
ALL HIS SAINTS. as they were able to bear the extreme brightness
 OUR OWN THOUGHTS, WORDS AND DEEDS WILL JUDGE US – of the Uncreated, Divine Energy and Light.
either Blessing us and Justifying us, or  Christ’s Transfiguration confirmed the Divine Truth of
Condemning us to Outer Darkness. both the Old and New Covenant Prophecies and
 OUR LOVING LORD GOD WILL REDEEM HIS FAITHFUL FLOCK Teachings.
ACCORDING TO THEIR WORTHY THOUGHTS, WORDS AND  These words also refer to THE FAITHFUL DISCIPLES OF
DEEDS. CHRIST IN EVERY GENERATION WHO WILL EXPERIENCE THE
PRESENCE AND LOVE OF GOD’S HEAVENLY KINGDOM.
13TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – AFTER EXALTATION OF THE HOLY CROSS – TAKING UP OUR CROSS
✞ In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the The Way of the Cross judges all Nations, people, and
Holy Spirit... cultures, by exposing their failure and imperfection,
Dearly Beloved, certain periods of the Church Year are which is confirmed by the Testimony of Holy Martyrs
dedicated to the Veneration of the Holy Life-giving since the beginning of our True Faith.
Cross which symbolises our entire Life in Christ. However we must never think that “Taking up the Cross” is
The Holy Cross is ever present because our Divine Saviour reserved only for those are especially Called to make
Calls us to take up our Cross and follow Him each and the ultimate Sacrifice, because our Lord God Calls
every day - a Sacred Calling that permeates our every one of us to become a Living Martyr by dying to
entire Christian Life. our sinfulness - having wounded ourselves, our
Our Lord’s Disciples, like all other Judeans of that time, relationships, and our world.
had expected a powerful Messiah who would have To turn away from corruption in any of its forms is to take
had nothing to do with a cross. They wanted a up the Cross, because if we want to share in the Joy of
successful Ruler - like King David -who would destroy Christ’s Resurrection, we must first participate in the
Israel’s enemies and give them privileged social Struggle, Pain, and Sacrifice of Spiritual Crucifixion,
status and authority in a new political order. which does not mean that we are being persecuted
So they could not accept that our Great Saviour would be for our Faith whenever others criticise or disagree
rejected, suffer, die, and rise again, and when St Peter with us - nor does it mean having a ‘martyr complex’
tried to correct Him on that point, Christ explained whereby ‘self-sacrifice’ is used in order to gain
that he was thinking in mere human terms - not God’s. sympathy or praise!
The acquisition of ‘worldly power’ over Faithful We must never distort our Faith by using it as a way of
Obedience was a wicked temptation that our Lord getting what we want from others – neither must we
Jesus had confronted and rejected during His Forty use our Faith to justify nor excuse habitual self-pity,
Days of Preparation in the wilderness before He hatred, anger, harm or resentment.
began His Divine Mission, so when that same devious If we crucify others - even in our thoughts - for whatever
temptation was mentioned by St Peter, our Lord reason, we abandon the Holy Cross, since our Calling
immediately rejected it for seeking worldly success means that we must strive to imitate our Lord Jesus
over Sacrificial Obedience is doing the work of the Christ in all circumstances – especially by forgiving
devil. those who hate us, persecute us and reject us.
He wanted His Disciples to correctly understand that He Our Lord Jesus Calls us to crucify our own sinful desires –
serves only our Heavenly Father, and that we must our thoughts, words and deeds - thereby leading us
always avoid the delusional ‘powers’ of this fallen to True Discipleship and Worship by serving God and
world. one another instead of only ourselves.
Our Saviour told His Disciples something that terrified Our Sacred Calling is very difficult in this worldly society
them to hear - that we, too, must take up our own that celebrates self-centeredness and self-indulgence.
Cross and be willing to lose our life in order to enter The popular expression of ‘being true to yourself,’ justifies
His Kingdom of Heaven. abnormal egocentric behaviour and attitude that
Whatever ‘false gods’ we serve cannot conquer sin and accepts everything unnatural and destructive -
death nor bring Healing to our soul. Grievous passions adultery, promiscuity, debauchery, abortion, abuse,
and sin enslave and imprison us - we become addiction, murder and unbridled destruction.
Spiritually Destitute and lose everything that is good. Millions of people are enslaved by their insatiable
According to the Word of the Cross we must ‘lose cravings and addictions, and when unfulfilled these
ourselves’ in the Service of God and His Kingdom in cause even worse fury, animosity, alienation and
order to participate in our Lord’s Triumphant Victory brutality.
and infinite Blessings - both now and forever. Enslavement to unnatural desires and addictions makes
True Holiness contradicts conventional standards of life miserable, shameful, and even more oppressed
‘success’ in our corrupt world. and wretched.

13TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – AFTER EXALTATION OF THE HOLY CROSS – 15 SEPTEMBER 2019 19
Saint Paul believed: “...I have been crucified with Christ; the best of our ability - no matter what particular
it is no longer I who live, but Christ Who Lives in me.” challenges confront us.
By dying to his sins, St Paul became a Living Icon of our There is no need to seek Spiritual Challenges, because
Lord Jesus Christ. we encounter them every day in innumerable ways.
Our Saviour’s Glorification of mankind was made present Christ our Lord Calls us to Live in Him without being
in St Paul’s Life since he became truly himself in the embarrassed nor ashamed of His Divine Truth and His
Divine Image and Likeness by sharing in our Lord’s Holy Life-giving Cross.
Death and Resurrection. Every moment of each day we must die to sin and its
The same is true of all the Saints - of all those who have corrupting influence so that we might fully participate
manifested the Holiness of our Lord in their own Life - in the wonderful New Life in Christ Jesus – His New
whether or not they died as Holy Martyrs. Covenant of Love.
In our contemporary society, it is easy to find false If we do not die to sin – perpetually Repenting our sins -
substitutes for taking up our Cross and following our then we deny our Lord and His Holy Life-giving Cross.
Lord. We may think that simply expressing ourselves is If we do not take up our Cross and follow our Divine
somehow ‘virtuous,’ But True Holiness is far much Saviour, we worship the false idol of egoism and self-
more demanding than merely stating an opinion, gratification - we reject the Righteousness and Truth
“liking” a post on social media, or putting a bumper of God.
sticker on our vehicles. The most important decision we make now does not
It is more difficult yet more Beneficial to give our time, concern various opinions nor ideas, but between our
energy, and resources to help the troubled and needy Eternal Union with our Lord God, which grants us
than it is to agree with an idea of helping others. Eternal Life, or ourselves, which leads to Spiritual
It is much more challenging to live a Life of Chastity and Alienation from God, Eternal Death and Exile into
Purity as men and women in our decadent, Outer Darkness.
egocentric and self-gratifying society than it is to By taking up our Cross, we commit ourselves to a self-
promote concepts of moral decency in society or to sacrificing lifestyle in voluntary, humble Obedience to
criticise others whose Struggles and circumstances we the Will of God in all circumstances – motivated by
do not know. our genuine, heartfelt Love and Devotion to God and
Our Spiritual Struggles and Warfare against temptations to our fellow mankind.
and sin ought to occupy us to such an extent that we Consequently, we do not Commemorate the Holy, Life-
have no inclination to judge others - whose sins might giving Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ – and everything
not be as bad as ours – making us far more humble, pertaining to It - only during certain periods of the
compassionate, kind and merciful. Liturgical Year, but every day of our short,
Words and thoughts alone will not help us die to the preparatory lifespan – by how we live, how we treat
power of sin, especially if they inflame and increase others, and how we respond to temptations,
grievous passions. weaknesses, and chronic challenges.
By taking up our Cross, our Faith should be far more than Our Divine Saviour offered Himself voluntarily in
a vague reflection of our thoughts or emotions Obedience to our Heavenly Father, for the Salvation of
because we ought to think, speak and do everything the fallen world – for all mankind.
that is genuinely humble, self-sacrificing and Therefore, in imitation of our Lord Jesus, only by taking
according to the Divine Likeness of our Lord Jesus up our Cross, by dying to sin and by Living in Christ,
Christ – according to His Divine Truth. can we share His Great Victory.
We take up our Cross by enduring physical or Spiritual Our Lord Jesus Christ conquered Death by His Glorious
Ailments and Afflictions, or any other personal Resurrection on the Third Day.
challenges and disappointments with Patience, We, too, will be able to participate in His Great Triumph
Humility, and profound Confidence that our Lord will and Glory, but only if we deny ourselves, take up our
never abandon us and will help us to endure to the Cross, and with unwavering Faith, follow Him every
end. step of the way to Eternity, for that is exactly what it
Everyone’s Journey to our Heavenly Father’s Kingdom is takes to become His Beloved Disciples and Co-Heirs to
unique – just as unique as that of His Saints who our Heavenly Father’s Kingdom of Love.
experienced so many different circumstances, Amen
situations and personalities.
Regardless of our personal history, we all have the same FATHER PHILIP LEMASTERS
opportunity and Sacred Calling to bear our Cross to EASTERN CHRISTIAN INSIGHTS
10/1/2017
(EDITED BY MP)
T H E E TE R NAL , I NSP IR ED W ISD OM OF OU R H OLY FA THE R S

S T J OH N OF K R ONSTAD T S T A NTH ONY TH E G RE AT


Unrepentant sinners who refuse to submit to the Law of Self-control, forbearance, mature restraint, endurance,
God – the Law of Love and Peace – cast themselves Patience and suchlike are the greatest, most Virtuous
out from God’s Divine Creation, because they do not Powers we have been granted by God for they oppose
belong there and they feel trapped because they are and resist temptations, and help us in all difficulties
hounded by God and His Divine Truth, by their own that are caused by our ancient enemy, the evil one.
conscience and by the whole of Creation. If we exercise these Virtuous Powers at all times, nothing
S T J OH N C HRY SOSTOM will seem too difficult for us to accomplish, neither will
Asceticism, which is undertaken in accordance with obstacles become too painful or unbearable because
Divine Law makes us understanding, sensible, we will recall that everything is due to our fallen
modest, able to restrain our anger and resist grievous human condition, which can be conquered by the
passions, to rein in our selfish desires, to perform Acts Holy Virtues.
of Charity/Love, to be kind to others and to acquire Those who are Spiritually Senseless do not consider that
Holy Virtue. since they never think that everything turns out well,
S T N EKTAR IOS OF P E NTAP OL IS & AE GINA as it should, for our Benefit, so that in the end, our
Our Christian Faith is not a philosophical system, nor does acquired Holy Virtues can shine and we can be
it depend solely on our system of knowledge. Our True Crowned by God.
Faith concerns our free will, our thoughts, and our S T P OR PHY R IOS OF K AVSOKALY V IA
emotions. We who are Disciples of Christ do not simply Unselfish Prayers for others that are prayed gently and
have the education of our spirit/soul as our starting- with deep Love are of great Spiritual Benefit because
point, but also the formation of our heart, which is it grants the Grace of God to those who pray as well
why we are required not only to recognise the Divine as to those for whom the Prayers are offered.
Truth but to implement It as well – to apply it to all
aspects of our being.

20 13TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – AFTER EXALTATION OF THE HOLY CROSS – 15 SEPTEMBER 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 SEPTEMBER 2019
AFTERFEAST OF THE UNIVERSAL EXALTATION OF THE CROSS
ST EUPHEMIA THE ALL PRAISED GREAT HOLY MARTYR
Also the Feast of St Cyprian, Metropolitan of Moscow & All Russia – St Sebastiana, Disciple of St Paul &
Holy Martyr of Heraclea – St Melitina, Wonder-worker & Holy Martyr of Marcianopolis - St Victor & St
Sosthenes of Chalcedon – St Dorotheos, Ascetic Hermit of Thebaid, Egypt – St Ludmilla, Bohemian
Princess & Grandmother of St Wenceslaus – St Isaac & St Joseph, New Martyrs of Georgia – St Gregory
Raevskii, New Martyr of Tver – The Holy Icon of our Lady, Theotokos “Support of the Humble” in Pskov
– St Procopios, Founder of the St John the Forerunner Monastery at the Zasava River.
THE SUNDAY AND FESTAL HYMNS ARE PUBLISHED IN BOOKLET FORM EACH MONTH. THESE ARE PUBLISHED AND FREELY
D O W N L O A D A B L E O N 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 C H R I S T I A N
E A S T E R N C A P E . ” ( 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 )

P R OKE IME NON – P SALM 67 – T ONE 4


Wondrous is God in His Saints!
In the Church, Bless God!
T H E S EC OND EP ISTLE OF S T P AUL TO THE C OR INTH IANS 6 : 1 – 10
Brethren: we, then, as workers together with Him, also plead with you not to receive the Grace of God in vain.
He said: “In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in the Day of Salvation I have helped you.” Behold! Now is
‘the accepted time!’ Behold! Now is ‘the Day of Salvation!’
We give no offence in anything - that our Ministry may not be blamed. In all things we commend ourselves as
Ministers of God: in much Patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in
labours, in sleeplessness, in Fastings, by Purity, by Knowledge, by Longsuffering, by Kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by
sincere Love, by the Word of Truth, by the Power of God, by the Armour of Righteousness on the right hand and on
the left, by honour and dishonour, by evil report and Good Report; as deceivers, and yet True; as unknown, and
yet well known; as dying, and behold we Live; as chastened, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always Rejoicing;
as poor, yet enriching many; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.
✶ “...as workers together with Him..” Being Faithful  OFTEN WE NEED TO STRUGGLE EVEN HARDER against
Disciples of Christ, who Live in Christ by applying temptations that test our Spiritual Strength.
His Divine Truth to every aspect of our being, WE  WHEN WE ARE HUMBLE, WEAK AND AILING, WE ARE DRAWN
CO-OPERATE WITH GOD TO FULFIL HIS DIVINE MISSION AND CLOSER TO OUR LORD, unless we turn away from Him,
TRUTH. blaming Him for our troubles, which are inevitably
 THIS IS NOT A “50/50” RELATIONSHIP BUT A WORKING SYNERGY caused by ourselves or others.
BETWEEN OUR LORD GOD – OUR DIVINE MASTER – AND HIS ✶ “...in the Day of Salvation I have helped you...” refers
FAITHFUL SERVANTS. to this FINAL, MESSIANIC AGE OF THE NEW COVENANT.
 WE ARE “WORKERS” OR “LABOURERS” IN HIS EARTHLY VINEYARD  OUR ETERNAL SALVATION BEGINS NOW – at this very
who STRIVE TO PRODUCE MUCH SPIRITUAL FRUIT – a Good moment - before the Reappearance of our Lord
Harvest – for the Lord our God Who is our Divine and Saviour, Jesus Christ, in His Incarnate, Visible,
Master. Glorious, Resurrected State.
 WE ARE HIS FAITHFUL “VINEDRESSERS” WHO TAKE CARE OF HIS  Our Heavenly Father has sent His Beloved Son to us so
VINEYARD – HIS HOLY CHURCH. that WE CAN PROPERLY COMPREHEND HIS DIVINE TRUTH
 THE VINE IS CHRIST HIMSELF AND WE ARE THE BRANCHES THAT AND FOLLOW HIS PATH OF RIGHTEOUSNESS that leads us
BEAR THE FRUIT OF THE VINE. to Theosis and His Heavenly Kingdom of Love.
 THE FRUITS OF OUR LABOURS REVEAL OUR TRUE SPIRITUAL  OUR LOVING, PROVIDENTIAL AND COMPASSIONATE LORD GOD
STATE. HAS PROVIDED US WITH EVERY MEANS NECESSARY
✶ “...not to receive the Grace of God in vain...” Through 1. TO ACQUIRE THE HOLY VIRTUES
our Holy Baptism and Chrismation, GOD HAS 2. TO REGAIN OUR DIVINE LIKENESS,
BESTOWED MANY DIVINE GIFTS UPON US TO ENABLE US TO 3. TO BE SAVED, REGENERATED, AND RESTORED
FULFILL OUR SACRED MISSION. 4. TO BECOME WORTHY CITIZENS AND CO-HEIRS of His
 St Paul urged us not to waste this Divine Grace BY Eternal Kingdom.
NEGLECTING OUR SACRED STRUGGLES AND STRIVINGS for ✶ “...give no offence in anything - that our Ministry may
Spiritual Perfection in imitation of Christ. not be blamed...”
 APOSTASY, HERESY, BLASPHEMY AND THE RENUNCIATION OF OUR  OUR BEHAVIOUR REFLECTS ON OUR CHRISTIAN FAITH.
ORTHODOX FAITH CONDEMNS US FOREVER, unless we  We must TAKE CARE NEVER TO OFFEND OTHERS IN ANY
Repent and return to Christ’s Holy Church. MANNER SO THAT OUR LORD JESUS AND HIS HOLY CHURCH
 Our LIFE IN CHRIST - like that of St Paul - DEMONSTRATES ARE NOT BLAMED AND DISPARAGED.
THE MYSTERIOUS PARADOX OF GOD’S DIVINE GRACE AND  As Disciples of Christ we must ALWAYS THINK, SPEAK AND
STRENGTH WORKING IN OUR HUMAN WEAKNESS ACT WITH HONOUR AND INTEGRITY – IN IMITATION OF OUR
 BY THE RENUNCIATION OF THE FALLEN WORLD WE ARE ABLE TO DIVINE SAVIOUR – to do otherwise is an offence
BE GUIDED ALONG THE RIGHTEOUS PATH TO ETERNAL LIFE against Him and ourselves.
in God’s Heavenly Kingdom. ✶ “...In all things we commend ourselves as Ministers of
✶ “...In an acceptable time I have heard you...” confirms God...” ALTHOUGH THIS SPECIFICALLY APPLIES TO CHRIST’S
that ORDAINED BISHOPS, PRIESTS AND DEACONS, IT ALSO
1. GOD HEARS EVERY PRAYER APPLIES TO US AS MENTIONED PREVIOUSLY.
2. He RESPONDS ACCORDING TO HIS OWN WILL  WE CANNOT PICK AND CHOOSE FROM THE DIVINE TEACHINGS
3. WHEN AND IF IT WILL BE MOST BENEFICIAL FOR ALL AND COMMANDMENTS of Christ whatever suits us to
CONCERNED. fulfil because “EVERYTHING (HE) HAS TAUGHT... “ US
 OUR LORD KNOWS EXACTLY WHAT WE NEED AND WHEN WE NEED APPLIES TO US.
IT.  IN ANY AND ALL CIRCUMSTANCES WE REMAIN FAITHFUL TO OUR
LORD JESUS CHRIST AND HIS DIVINE TRUTH.

ST EUPHEMIA THE ALL PRAISED GREAT HOLY MARTYR - 16 SEPTEMBER 2019 21


 THE STRONGER OUR FAITH IN GOD, THE SPIRITUALLY STRONGER  EVERYTHING OF THIS TEMPORARY, MATERIAL WORLD IS UTTERLY
WE BECOME BY DIVINE GRACE. USELESS AND MEANINGLESS compared to the
 St Paul listed THE MANY CONDITIONS AND CIRCUMSTANCES HE Marvellous, indescribably Joy, Love and Peace of
EXPERIENCED DURING HIS MISSIONARY JOURNEYS. God’s Presence.
 These demonstrate THE ATTRIBUTES OF TRUE APOSTLES,  Of all the Divine Gifts God bestows on us while we
DISCIPLES AND MARTYRS WHO ARE DEVOTED TO GOD. Struggle and Strive now, ONLY AGAPE – DIVINE LOVE –
 BY THE GRACE AND POWER OF GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT AND HIS IS CARRIED WITH US INTO ETERNITY.
DIVINE TRUTH EVERYTHING BECOMES POSSIBLE!  NOTHING OF THIS TEMPORARY WORLD BELONGS TO US.
✶ “...having nothing, and yet possessing all things....” No  EVERYTHING IS ONLY LENT TO US BY GOD – INCLUDING OUR
worldly possessions nor wealth can be compared to SANCTIFIED BODY – HIS HOLY TEMPLE – WHICH MUST BE
THE ETERNAL RICHES OF GOD’S BLESSINGS WE WILL INHERIT IF RETURNED TO THE EARTH WHENCE IT ORIGINATED, until
WE FULFILL OUR SACRED TASKS THROUGH CEASELESS SPIRITUAL our Resurrection on the Eighth Day when Christ
STRUGGLES. will Reappear and be seen by all Creation.
T H E H OLY G OSPEL ACCO R D ING TO S T LU KE 7 : 36 – 50
At that time, one of the Pharisees asked our Lord Jesus to eat with him. And He went to the Pharisee’s house, and sat
down to eat. And behold: A woman of the city - who was a sinner – when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the
Pharisee’s house, took an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, and stood at His Feet, weeping. She washed His Feet with
her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head. And she kissed His Feet and anointed them with the fragrant
oil. (Myrrh)
Seeing this, the Pharisee who had invited Him spoke to himself, saying: “This Man – if He were a Prophet – would know
who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner!” And Jesus answered and said to
him: “Simon, I have something to say to you.” He said: “Teacher, say it.” “There was a certain Creditor who had
two Debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other, fifty. When they had nothing with which to repay,
he freely forgave them both. Which of them, tell Me, will Love him the most?” Simon answered and said: “I
suppose the one whom He forgave the most.” He said to him: “You have rightly judged.”
And turning to the woman, He said to Simon: “Do you see this woman? I entered your house - you gave Me no water
for My Feet. She has washed My Feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. You gave Me no
kiss. This woman - since she entered - has not ceased kissing My Feet. You did not anoint My head with oil.
This woman has with Myrrh anointed My Feet. Therefore, I say to you: her sins, which are many, are forgiven,
for she Loved much. To whom little is forgiven, the same Loves little.”
He said to her: “Thy sins art forgiven.” And those who sat at the table with Him began to say to themselves: “Who is this
Who even Forgives sins?” He said to the woman: “Thy Faith has Saved Thee. Go in Peace.”
✶ “... one of the Pharisees asked our Lord Jesus to eat with share it with others and thereby receive even
him...” His name was “Simon” and HIS DISBELIEF IN greater Blessings.
CHRIST AS OUR DIVINE SAVIOUR WAS CLEARLY EVIDENT by 2. THE TWO DEBTORS SIGNIFY MANKIND.
his reaction to our Lord’s Great Mercy. 3. THE TWO DEBTS SIGNIFY THE HUGE, UNPAYABLE DEBT WE
“...A woman ... a sinner ... stood at His Feet, weeping...” OWE TO GOD AND THE TINY DEBTS WE OWE TO GOD AND
THE SINCERITY OF HER REPENTANCE AND HER LOVE OF GOD TO EACH OTHER THAT ARE MORE EASILY REPAYABLE.
WAS EXPRESSED BY SEVERAL ASPECTS ✶ “...they had nothing with which to repay, He freely
1. She had sought and located our Lord Jesus Christ forgave them both...” EVEN THOUGH WE COULD NEVER
2. She went to Him. REPAY GOD FOR ALL HIS ABUNDANT GOODNESS AND
3. She risked public humiliation, disgrace, scorn and PROVIDENCE, HE FORGIVES US, BECAUSE HE LOVES US.
possible punishment  Our All Merciful and Loving God does not forgive us
4. She stood without a word, at His Feet, (while He according to the degree of our sinfulness – how
was reclining according to ancient custom) great our Spiritual Debt is to Him – but rather
5. Her tears of Contrition were so copious that she ACCORDING TO OUR SINCERE REPENTANCE – ACCORDING
was able to wash His Feet with them. TO OUR “CONTRITE HEART.”
6. She used her hair to dry His Feet.  AS SOON AS WE ACKNOWLEDGE AND CONFESS OUR SINS, OUR
7. She used expensive, fragrant Myrrh contained in LORD FORGIVES US – no matter what sins we have
an alabaster flask – the best offering she was committed.
able to make.  HIS GREAT MERCY IS INFINITE FOR THOSE WHO TRULY REPENT
8. Before Anointing His Feet, she humbly kissed them. AND DETERMINE TO STRUGGLE against all temptations.
 HER SILENT DEVOTION TO CHRIST SUGGEST THAT SHE HAD BEEN  WE ARE JUSTIFIED BY THE DEGREE OF OUR CEASELESS SPIRITUAL
SPIRITUALLY TRANSFORMED BY HIM AND HIS TEACHINGS, LABOURS AND STRIVINGS, which compels us to REPENT
and SHE NEEDED TO EXPRESS HER PROFOUND GRATITUDE OUR SINS AS SOON AS WE FALL INTO SPIRITUAL DEATH.
AND WORSHIP OF CHRIST AS HER LORD AND SAVIOUR.  This temporary lifespan is A CONTINUOUS STATES OF
✶ “...if He were a Prophet – would know who and what SPIRITUAL DEATH (SIN) AND SPIRITUAL LIFE (REPENTANCE-
manner of woman this is...” – and, OF COURSE, OUR CONFESSION) as we slowly proceed inevitably
LORD JESUS KNEW EXACTLY THE TRUE STATE OF HER HEART towards Eternity.
AND SOUL. ✶ "...Which of them... Love him the most?” We should
 OUR LOVING, COMPASSIONATE LORD SAW HER AS ONE OF HIS LOVE GOD WITH ALL OUR BEING, AND EXPRESS OUR
BELOVED LOST SHEEP WHO HAD RETURNED TO HIS HOLY HEARTFELT GRATITUDE EVERY DAY!
SHEEPFOLD BY HER SINCERE REPENTANCE.  WE EXPRESS OUR GRATITUDE AND LOVE BY SHARING OUR JOY
 THE SELF-RIGHTEOUS PHARISEE SAW ONLY A “...SINFUL AND BLESSINGS WITH EACH OTHER.
WOMAN...” Whom He Felt Ought To Have Been ✶ "... you gave Me no water .. no kiss... . You did not
Severely Punished For Her Sins. anoint My Head ... “ shows THE DISRESPECT,
 THROUGHOUT ALL AGES, MEN HAVE EXPLOITED DEFENCELESS ARROGANCE INHOSPITALITY AND LACK OF LOVE of Simon
WOMEN – YOUNG AND OLD – and then subjected them the Pharisee towards his Divine Visitor.
to further humiliation and degradation by cruelly  These are ACTS OF LOVE/CHARITY that our Lord mentions,
and unjustly punishing them for their crimes! WHICH HAVE SERIOUS ETERNAL CONSEQUENCES FOR US.
✶ “ ... There was a certain Creditor who had two  OUR LORD COMPARED THE UNCARING ATTITUDE AND BEHAVIOUR
Debtors...” OUR LORD JESUS RESPONDED TO SIMON THE OF THE PHARISEE TO THAT OF THE REPENTANT WOMAN,
PHARISEE’S UNSPOKEN WORDS BY USING A PARABLE TO WHO WAS HUMBLE, RESPECTFUL AND DEVOUT, thereby
ILLUSTRATE HIS SACRED TEACHING. Enlightening both him and the others who were
 Thereby HE REVEALS HIS DIVINE NATURE that sees and present.
knows everything!  Before we dare to criticise or judge others, WE MUST
 THIS PARABLE CONCERNED TWO FINANCIAL DEBTS, which He FIRST EXAMINE OURSELVES TO SEE WHAT WE LACK AND HOW
knew the Pharisee would understand very clearly. MUCH WE SIN.
1. THE CREDITOR SIGNIFIED OUR LORD GOD Who grants us  We can never judge others because WE NEVER KNOW
everything in abundance so that we might THEIR PERSONAL HISTORY OR CIRCUMSTANCES.
 ONLY GOD KNOWS EVERYTHING about everyone so ONLY HE
CAN JUDGE US ACCURATELY.

22 ST EUPHEMIA THE ALL PRAISED GREAT HOLY MARTYR - 16 SEPTEMBER 2019


 WE CANNOT EVEN PROPERLY JUDGE OURSELVES BECAUSE WE DO  ONLY BY THE ACQUISITION OF the inseparable Holy
NOT SEE OURSELVES IN TRUTH but only as we like to see Virtues of HUMILITY AND OBEDIENCE TO GOD ARE WE ABLE
ourselves! TO ACTUALLY LOVE GOD AND ONE ANOTHER.
 ONLY WHEN WE DAILY EXAMINE OUR HEART AND SOUL – to see  THE HEAVENLY HOSTS AND THE VAST “CLOUD OF WITNESSES”
our sins and errors so that we can then properly REJOICE WHEN WE RETURN TO SPIRITUAL LIFE by
Repent our sins - DO WE BEGIN TO KNOW OURSELVES. Repenting our sins - but sorrow when we sin and
 THE FLAWS AND ERRORS WE SEE IN OTHERS ARE USUALLY fall into Spiritual Death.
REFLECTIONS OF OUR OWN SINS.  NO SIN IS GREATER THAN THE LOVE AND MERCY OF ALMIGHTY
✶ “...She has washed My Feet with her tears ... wiped them GOD.
with the hair of her head... has not ceased kissing  THE WORST OF SINNERS ARE CAPABLE OF BECOMING SAINTS BY
My Feet...with fragrant Myrrh has anointed My REPENTANCE, for they have experienced both
Feet...” - OUR LORD NOT ONLY SAW THE OUTWARD LOVE Spiritual Death and Spiritual Life.
AND REPENTANCE OF THE WOMAN BUT BEHELD THE VERY ✶ “...Thy sins art forgiven...” OUR LORD HAD ALREADY
DEPTHS OF HER HEART AND SOUL. FORGIVEN THE REPENTANT WOMAN the moment she
 OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, HIS DIVINE TRUTH AND HIS LOVING approached him with such deep Love,
COMPASSION AND MERCY HAD MOTIVATED HER SINCERE Thanksgiving and contrite heart and soul.
REPENTANCE.  HE DECLARED HIS DIVINE FORGIVENESS SO THAT SHE AND
 THESE ARE ACTS OF LOVE/CHARITY EXPRESSED HER DEVOTION THOSE PRESENT MAY HEAR IT CLEARLY.
TO GOD AND WERE HER WAY OF EXPRESSING THANKSGIVING  Only God can Forgive us, for only He knows the
TO GOD FOR HIS GREAT MERCY. Spiritual State of each heart and soul.
 We all ought to PERFORM SIMILAR ACTS OF LOVE/CHARITY IN  We can therefore only criticise, judge and accuse
THANKSGIVING TO GOD for His infinite Great Mercy ourselves of our own, personal sins, which we must
and Love for us sinners. immediately Repent and determine not to repeat!
 WHEN WE LOVE GOD WITH HEART AND SOUL, WE ARE ✶ “...Thy Faith hath Saved thee. Go in Peace....” was
COMPELLED TO REPENT OUR SINS AND STRIVE MUCH HARDER another Sacred Lesson for those who witnessed the
TO FULFILL HIS DIVINE WILL IN ALL THINGS. Event.
✶ “... her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she Faith in God and His Divine Truth grants us so much
Loved much...” - ALTHOUGH SHE HAD HAD MANY SINS TO Divine Grace – Love, Joy and Peace.
REPENT, SHE HAD DONE SO WITH A MOST CONTRITE HEART.  SUCH PEACE CAN ONLY BE GRANTED BY THE LORD OUR GOD.
 SHE HAD UNWITTINGLY DEMONSTRATED HER HUMBLE, LOVING  THE SPIRITUALLY BLIND COULD NOT COMPREHEND what they
REVERENCE AND WORSHIP OF ALMIGHTY GOD by her had just witnessed for THE HARD-HEARTED AND
actions - clearly revealing the True Spiritual State SPIRITUALLY DEAD NEITHER PERCEIVE NOR UNDERSTAND
of her immortal soul. UNCONDITIONAL, HOLY LOVE.
 HER LOVE OF GOD WAS UTTERLY SINCERE – not half-hearted  This Encounter with the Repentant Woman depicts THE
nor lukewarm. DIVINE GRACE THAT IS GRANTED ONLY THROUGH OUR LORD
 HER TEARS of contrition, Love and gratitude REVEALED HER JESUS CHRIST AND HIS HOLY CHURCH – through Her
HUMILITY AND OBEDIENCE TO DIVINE WILL. Divine Mysteries that grant us Forgiveness,
 She remained silent because NO WORDS CAN EXPRESS AN Salvation and Divine Peace and Joy.
ENCOUNTER WITH GOD THAT TRANSFORMS US.  ST AMBROSE OF MILAN explained: CHRIST’S HOLY CHURCH IS
 HER ACTIONS SPOKE FAR LOUDER THAN ANY WORDS. “...Justified as being greater than the (Mosaic)
✶ “...to whom little is forgiven, the same Loves little...” Law, for the Law does not know the Forgiveness
When we SEE - AND UNDERSTAND - THE EXTENT AND of sins, nor the Mystery whereby secret sins are
RUINATION OF OUR SINS and then CONFESS AND Cleansed. Therefore, what is lacking in the Law
SINCERELY REPENT THEM, WE RECEIVE GOD’S FORGIVENESS is Perfected in the Gospel...”
AS WELL AS HIS DIVINE GRACE AND LOVE that SPIRITUALLY  The fact that OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST CAN TRULY FORGIVE
TRANSFORMS US. SINS was far beyond the bound of the Mosaic Law
 THOSE WHO NEITHER ACKNOWLEDGE NOR CONFESS THEIR as the Pharisees and Scribes understood it.
INNUMERABLE SINS – those who neither strive to seek because OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST IS not a mere Man,
out and correct their sins and faults every day - but THE VERY LAWGIVER HIMSELF!
ARE INCAPABLE OF LOVING GOD AND EACH OTHER.  ST CYRIL OF ALEXANDRIA said: “ ...Who could declare
 THE MORE SINCERELY WE REPENT OUR SINS, THE GREATER IS OUR Things that were above the Law, except the One
CAPACITY TO LOVE. Who Ordained the Law?”
S T E UP HEM IA THE G RE AT AL L P R AISED H OLY M AR TY R OF C HALCED ON
St Euphemia was born in Chalcedon to devout Christian When his flattery and false promises were repeatedly
parents - Philophronos, who was a highly respected rejected by the Faithful Virgin-Martyr, the malicious,
Senator, and Theodorisia. St Euphemia was beautiful frustrated Proconsul ordered the executioners to
in body and soul and, like her venerable parents, brutally torture St Euphemia.
devoted to our True, Living and Almighty Lord God. She was tied to a hideously cruel wheel, but before they
When the Roman Proconsul, Priscos, organised a festival could begin to hurt her, an Angel of God appeared
of sacrifice to the pagan, man-made idol of war, and broke it.
Ares, in Chalcedon, forty-nine Christians refused to St Euphemia was thrown into a fiery furnace, but was
attend and hid themselves from the enforcing Miraculously preserved by the Power and Grace of
authorities until they were discovered and brought God.
before Proconsul Priscos, accused of civil Two soldiers, Victor and Sosthenes, who witnessed the
disobedience. Divine Miracle, believed in our Lord Jesus Christ, but
The young St Euphemia was among them, and when were soon arrested and thrown to wild beasts, thereby
they were asked them to explain the reason for not being Spiritually Perfected and finishing their earthly
obeying the Imperial Command to celebrate and sojourn in Victory for the Glory of God.
make offerings to Ares, their spokesman replied: When St Euphemia was cast down into a deep pit filled
“...Both the Emperor's commands and yours must be with water and various poisonous reptiles, she made
obeyed - as long as they are not contrary to the (Will the Sign of the Cross over the water before being
of) God of Heaven. If they are (against the Will of God, thrown into the pit, and thereby remained unharmed.
Finally, when the thwarted Proconsul ordered St
however,) they must not only be disobeyed, but they
Euphemia to be thrown to ravenous, crazed wild
must be resisted...”
beasts, on 16 September 303, with a Prayer of
Consequently, Proconsul Priscos sentenced the Faithful
Thanksgiving, she joyfully surrendered her Perfected
Christians to various brutal tortures for nineteen
soul to our Lord God.
terrible days, which they endured from day to day.
Her parents together with other Faithful Disciples of Christ
On the twelfth day, the Proconsul ordered St Euphemia to
gathered up her Holy, Sanctified Relics and reverently
be kept apart from the other Christians.
buried them.
He tried to flatter her by complimenting her on her
St Euphemia is also Commemorated on 11 July, the Feast
natural beauty that would be highly sought by
of a Divine Miracle that occurred by the Grace of God
‘prestigious suitors’, and how ‘rich and influential’ she
concerning God’s Divine Truth as opposed to
could become, thereby hoping to seduce her into
misguided heresy.
idolatry and the renunciation of our Lord Jesus Christ
May her memory be Eternal and may St Euphemia
and our True Faith.
continue to Intercede on our behalf for our Salvation.

ST EUPHEMIA THE ALL PRAISED GREAT HOLY MARTYR - 16 SEPTEMBER 2019 23


S T E PH R AIM OF AR IZONA – O N C ONFE SSION -R E PE NTANCE AND SP IRITU AL A CC OU NTING
WHEN WE SINCERELY REPENT AND CONFESS OUR SINS, WE GIVE LEGITIMATE THOUGHTS THAT LURE US into a great stormthat
MUCH JOY TO OUR SPIRITUAL FATHER-CONFESSOR. AND OUR seems to overwhelm and drown us. But when the
LORD JESUS CHRIST Who knows us better than we know storm passes, we will realise that we were only
ourselves! threatened with drowning in ‘a spoonful of water.’
Our Lord God and His Heavenly Hosts wait, watch, and WE MUST HUMBLE OURSELVES, AND FROM NOW ON PERSISTENTLY
encourage us to Repent every sin. So they, too, REPENT AND CONFESS OUR SINS, for THROUGH CONFESSION WE
Rejoice when we are Restored to Spiritual Life. ARE ABLE TO ACQUIRE HOLY HUMILITY, without which no
Repentance-Confession puts the devil to shame, because one is Saved.
HE GLEEFULLY GLOATS WHEN WE HIDE OUR SINFUL THOUGHTS, The devil gloats gleefully whenever he persuades us to
WORDS AND DEEDS FROM OUR SPIRITUAL FATHER – hide diabolical thoughts, because that is how he
When a snake leaves its lair, it tries to hide somewhere achieves his premeditated, soul-destroying aim – the
because it fears being struck or trodden upon. destruction of mankind whom God Loves so much!
Similarly, WHEN DIABOLICAL THOUGHTS with their poisonous We must be VERY CAREFUL – SPIRITUALLY WATCHFUL AND ALERT
venom are CONFESSED, THEY ARE IMMEDIATELY STRUCK – in order to AVOID DOING ANYTHING THAT WILL CAUSE OUR
DOWN, SQUASHED, DISPERSED AND DISAPPEAR. CONSCIENCE TO REPROACH US OR ETERNALLY CONDEMN US.
Repentance-Confession is A VIRTUOUS ACT OF HUMILITY, that Always bear in mind that OUR LORD GOD SEES EVERYTHING -
is intolerable to Satan nothing is hidden from His Sight! So how dare we lie
HE IS REPELLED AND CAST OUT WHEN WE HUMBLY AND SINCERELY when in the very Presence of God during the Holy
REPENT AND CONFESS our sins by EXPOSING OUR INNER BEING Mystery of Repentance-Confession?
TO THE DIVINE LIGHT OF GOD’S LOVE AND TRUTH. LIES AND DECEPTIONS ARE THE INVENTIONS OF THE EVIL ONE. THEY
May God grant us all a good beginning and cautious ARE UNNATURAL to our created human nature.
Spiritual Progress. We ought to THINK, SPEAK AND ACT ONLY ACCORDING TO TRUTH
We must NEVER BE ASHAMED BEFORE OUR SPIRITUAL FATHER - otherwise OUR LIES BECOME OUR HABITUAL GRIEVOUS
WHILE CONFESSING OUR SINS – we ought to BE ASHAMED PASSIONS THAT ALIENATE US FROM GOD AND EACH OTHER.
WHEN WE ARE TEMPTED TO COMMIT SIN, which should LIARS CAN NEITHER ENTER NOR INHERIT GOD’S HEAVENLY KINGDOM
compel us to quickly Repent. OF LOVE NOR RECEIVE SALVATION AND ETERNAL LIFE unless
We ought not to see our Father Confessor as a man – a they Repent and Confess sincerely before they die.
sinner like us - but as AN ORDAINED REPRESENTATIVE OF FEAR GOD. (i.e. to PROFOUNDLY LOVE AND RESPECT GOD WITH ALL
GOD – OUR SPIRITUAL PHYSICIAN - WHO CAN ADMINISTER HIS OUR BEING, DESIRING TO PLEASE AND FULFILL HIS WILL ONLY
DIVINE ANTIDOTE THAT HEALS AND CLEANSES US. and fearing our own failure to do so.)
WE MUST TELL OUR SPIRITUAL FATHER CONFESSOR EVERYTHING - God is not pleased with material offerings when we
even if we have a bad thought about him, because HE neglect the Spiritual Condition of our inner being.
IS EXPERIENCED with demonic influences, AND KNOWS HOW We must FULFILL ALL OUR SACRED TASKS AND COMMITMENTS
THE DEVIL FIGHTS AGAINST US. CONSCIOUSLY AND DEVOUTLY, so that they do not become
Our Spiritual Fathers know that we who are their Spiritual ‘empty gestures’ of meaningless ritual. (cf. Mathew
Children have a simple heart and when EVIL THOUGHTS 23:23).
arise, they ARE CAUSED BY OUR SELFISH EGO AND THE We must CEASELESSLY ATTEND TO OUR CONSCIENCE – through
MALICIOUS TEMPTATIONS OF THE EVIL ONE WHO USES OUR DAILY SELF-EXAMINATION AND REPENTANCE – striving to
WEAKNESSES AGAINST US. REMAIN IN GOD’S SIGHT as His Faithful Disciples - as we
OUR LORD PERMITS THE TEMPTATIONS THAT HUMBLE US AND TEST do not know the Hour of our death.
OUR SPIRITUAL STRENGTH BUT THESE NEED TO BE CONFESSED - IF WE DO NOT REPAY OUR CREDITOR - OUR CONSCIENCE -
and Repented when we commit sin – for UNLESS WE everything we owe, BY REPENTING OUR SINS, WE WILL BE
SPEAK FREELY AND SINCERELY TO OUR SPIRITUAL FATHER VEHEMENTLY ACCUSED AND ALL OUR SINS EXPOSED!
CONFESSOR, WE CANNOT MAKE ANY SPIRITUAL PROGRESS. Then – alas! – WE WILL BE SILENCED FOREVER, HAVING NOTHING
THE HOLY MYSTERY OF REPENTANCE-CONFESSION COMFORTS AND WITH WHICH TO JUSTIFY OURSELVES!
REASSURES US AND OUR IMMORTAL SOUL. AT THE END OF EVERY DAY, WE OUGHT TO REVIEW WHAT WE
THE HEAVY BURDEN OF OUR SIN IS LIFTED from our shoulders for THOUGHT, SAID AND DID - and IN THE MORNING, WHEN WE
WE HAVE BEEN GRANTED SPIRITUAL CLEANSING, HEALING AND AWAKEN, WE MUST EXPRESS OUR GRATITUDE TO OUR LORD for
RENEWAL. We have been granted DIVINE FORGIVENESS carrying us safely through the night hours and
FOR EVERYTHING WE HAVE REPENTED AND CONFESSED. granting us A NEW DAY TO BEGIN OUR STRUGGLES AFRESH.
THE EVIL ONE PERCEIVES OUR CHARACTER AND ESPECIALLY OUR In this manner, we BECOME SPIRITUALLY WATCHFUL AND ALERT
FLAWS, which he uses against us in order to torment us. to temptations that assault us through our
THE WICKED, UNWORTHY THOUGHTS, WORDS AND DEEDS ARE THE weaknesses.
TRAPS THAT ENSNARE US, causing us to become By recognising our habitual sins and weaknesses we are
distressed, alienated and even hopeless – everything able to fortify ourselves through Spiritual Caution and
that is UNNATURAL AND DELUSIONAL. forcefulness.
We must REJECT EVERYTHING THAT IS NEGATIVE AND UNWORTHY, WHATEVER SUCCESS WE ACHIEVE IS ONLY DUE TO THE GREAT MERCY
which cannot withstand exposure to God’s Divine OF OUR LORD GOD to Whom we must always give Glory
Light and Truth. as our constant Divine Guide and Helper.
OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST SHOWS US HIS PATH OF RIGHTEOUSNESS WHENEVER OUR CONSCIENCE PRICKS US, WE KNOW THAT WE HAVE
that might initially seem to be difficult but THE MORE WE FALLEN INTO SIN, WHICH WE NEED TO QUICKLY RECTIFY,
ARE WILLING TO FOLLOW HIM – TO ALLOW HIM TO LEAD US - seeking Forgiveness by REPENTING AND CONFESSING OUR
THE SPIRITUALLY STRONGER AND MORE ASSURED WE WILL CONTRIBUTION TO THAT PARTICULAR SIN or unhappy
BECOME. circumstance, and then TRYING VERY HARD NOT TO REPEAT
We must BE HUMBLE AND OBEDIENT TO GOD AND TO OUR HOLY OUR ERRORS – lest it takes us to the Judge and Prison. (cf
FATHERS WHO GUIDE AND TEACH US – and let “bygones be Matthew 5:25)
bygones” so that our wounds are allowed to Heal and A NEGLECT OF OR DELAY IN RESOLVING OUR ERRORS ALLOWS
be forgotten as we look FORWARD TO OUR SACRED GOALS. ANIMOSITY AND OTHER EVILS TO SPREAD AND WORSEN.
TEMPTATIONS WILL ALWAYS ASSAIL US. These are evil tools that Our Conscience wants us to ATTEND TO OUR LIFE IN CHRIST,
LURE US INTO SIN – INTO SPIRITUAL DEATH. The evil one OUR RULE OF PRAYER, FASTING, PARTAKING OF HOLY
always baits his deadly hooks with tiny droplets of EUCHARIST, REPENTANCE-CONFESSION AND COMMUNAL
truth, so we must BE CONSTANTLY WATCHFUL. WORSHIP THAT KEEP US IN GOD’S DIVINE PRESENCE AND
By applying our Lord’s Divine Teachings to every aspect SPIRITUAL LIFE.
of our existence, we will soon be able to DISTINGUISH – We must HUMBLY OBEY THE SALVIFIC VOICE OF OUR CONSCIENCE
BY THE GRACE OF GOD – BETWEEN HIS DIVINE TRUTH AND THE - OTHERWISE, if we dare to disregard it, we will regret it
EVIL ONE’S LIES AND SCHEMES. to no avail, for WE WILL HAVE ETERNALLY CONDEMNED
We must STRIVE TO FULFILL OUR SACRED DUTY to our Lord and OURSELVES!
to our fellow mankind.
In order to do so we need to LIVE IN CHRIST, by regularly
attending the Holy Services for communal worship (ADAPTED & EDITED BY MP)
and Thanksgiving, partaking of the essential Holy HTTPS://PEMPTOUSIA.COM
Mysteries, as well as by COMMITTING OURSELVES TO THE
PRESCRIBED FASTS, RULE OF PRAYER AND GOOD DEEDS.
When THE DEVIL sees what upsets, disturbs or worries us,
he BAITS HIS TRAPS WITH A MULTITUDE OF SUPPOSEDLY

24 ST EUPHEMIA THE ALL PRAISED GREAT HOLY MARTYR - 16 SEPTEMBER 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.
20 SEPTEMBER 2019
ST EUSTATHIOS THE GREAT HOLY MARTYR OF ROME
AFTERFEAST OF THE UNIVERSAL EXALTATION OF THE HOLY CROSS

Also the Feast of St Theopiste, wife of St Eustathios, and their sons, St Agapios & St Theopistos of
Rome – St Michael the Wonderworker, Confessor & Holy Martyr & St Theodore, his Counsellor, of
Chernigov – St Leontios Oleg Romanovich, Prince of Briansk – St Hilarion, Monk-Martyr of St
Anne Skete on Mount Athos

THE SUNDAY AND FESTAL HYMNS ARE PUBLISHED IN BOOKLET FORM EACH MONTH. THESE ARE PUBLISHED AND FREELY
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E A S T E R N C A P E . ” ( 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 )
P R OKE IME NON – P SALM 15/16 – T ONE 4
To the Saints on His Earth, He magnified His Will.
I beheld the Lord ever before me.
T HE EP ISTLE OF S T P AUL TO TH E E PHE SIANS 6 : 10 – 17
Brethren, be Strong in the Lord and in the Strength of His Might. Put on the whole Armour of God so that you may be
able to withstand the wiles of the devil. For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the
principalities, against the powers, against world rulers of this present Darkness, against the spiritual hosts of
wickedness in the Heavenly Places. Therefore, take the whole Armour of God so that you may be able to withstand
in the evil day, and, having done everything , to stand.
Stand, therefore, having girded your loins with Truth, and having put on the Breastplate of Righteousness, and having
shod your feet with the Gospel of Peace. Besides all these, taking the Shield of Faith, with which to quench the
flaming darts of the evil one. And take the Helmet of Salvation, and the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of
God.
✶ “...be Strong in the Lord and in the Strength of His  The evil one OPPRESSES THIS FALLEN WORLD - USING EVERY
Might...” – OUR FAITH IN GOD GIVES US GREAT WICKED MEANS POSSIBLE TO MISGUIDE, DELUDE AND
COURAGE AND ENDURANCE. DESTROY MANKIND – especially the Faithful and
 BY THE DIVINE GRACE AND POWER OF GOD, ALL THINGS innocent.
BECOME POSSIBLE AND ENDURABLE – no matter what  HE OBSESSIVELY HATES ALL MANKIND Whom God Loves so
challenges confront us. much, and IS EXTREMELY JEALOUS OF DIVINE GOODNESS
 UNWAVERING FAITH IN GOD HAS GRANTED ORDINARY PEOPLE AND TRUTH AND OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD.
EXTRAORDINARY ABILITIES, for God works through us  DIVINE GOODNESS AND TRUTH AND OUR CLOSE, PERSONAL
 WE HAVE TO STRUGGLE AGAINST THE LURE OF TEMPTATIONS RELATIONSHIP WITH OUR TRIUNE GOD MUST BE OUR MOST
AND SIN UNTIL WE DRAW OUR LAST BREATH. CONSTANT AND VITAL PRIORITY in this short,
✶ “...Put on the whole Armour of God...” THE DIVINE TRUTH preparatory lifespan.
AND OUR ORTHODOX FAITH SHIELDS US AGAINST THE ✶ “...rulers of this present Darkness...” have INVENTED
ATTACKS OF OUR ANCIENT ENEMY. EVERYTHING THAT IS NEGATIVE, NASTY, DESTRUCTIVE AND
 Being Sanctified and Faithful Disciples of Christ, WE SINFUL.
ARE ENGAGED IN A CEASELESS SPIRITUAL BATTLE AGAINST  Our ancient enemies ARE USED BY GOD TO TEST US AND
ALL FORCES OF EVIL AND TEMPTATIONS that lead us into STRENGTHEN OUR FAITH in God.
sin.  THEY HAVE NO REAL POWER OVER US – only what we give
THE SPIRITUAL ARMOUR WHICH GOD HAS GRANTED US is them when we allow them to influence and
1. DIVINE TRUTH – God’s Commandments and deceive us.
Teachings.  THEY CANNOT KILL US BUT THEY CAN MAKE US KILL EACH
2. RIGHTEOUSNESS – LIFE IN CHRIST – living according to OTHER AND OURSELVES OR CAUSE HURT AND HARM TO ONE
His Divine Truth ANOTHER.
3. THE GOSPEL OF PEACE – being assured and directed  THEY TRY TO MAKE US COMMIT EVERY TYPE OF SIN that goes
by God’s Divine Truth against the Love and Will of our Heavenly Father.
4. THE SHIELD OF FAITH – Steadfast, absolute Trust and  OUR LOVING, COMPASSIONATE AND PROVIDENTIAL LORD GOD
Confidence in our Lord God GRANTS US EVERY MEANS POSSIBLE TO WAGE SPIRITUAL
5. THE HELMET OF SALVATION – understanding and WARFARE AGAINST THEM and to protect ourselves
fulfilling everything required for our Eternal against their wickedness.
Life ✶ “...the spiritual hosts of wickedness...” are THE
6. THE SWORD OF THE (HOLY) SPIRIT - the Word of God – INCORPOREAL (INVISIBLE) SPIRITS WHO ARE FALLEN
the Power and Energy of the Holy Spirit that ANGELS FROM THE DIFFERENT RANKS OF HEAVENLY HOSTS.
grants us the necessary Knowledge and  ‘Satan’ or ‘Lucifer’ beguiled some of the angels to
Wisdom to regain our Divine Likeness. participate in his TERRIBLE REBELLION AGAINST
 ONLY BY PROTECTING OURSELVES WITH THE SPIRITUAL ARMOUR ALMIGHTY GOD.
that God provides for us, CAN WE WITHSTAND THE  THEY ARE PERMANENTLY CAST OUT AND BANISHED FROM THE
ATTACKS OF OUR ENEMIES. HEAVENLY REALM OF GOD’S DIVINE PRESENCE AND LIGHT.
✶ “...we are not contending against flesh and blood...”  Although formerly from the different Ranks of
but against HIDEOUS, INVISIBLE, WICKED ENTITIES – Heavenly Hosts, THE EVIL ONE AND HIS DEMONS BELONG
SATAN AND HIS DEMONS. TO NEITHER HEAVEN NOR EARTH, which arouses even
 THESE ARE REAL BEINGS – NOT IMAGINARY as the evil one more bitterness and hatred towards us and God’s
wants us to believe! beautiful Creation.
 The evil one, his demons and those whom he has ✶“...to withstand in the evil day, and, having done
enslaved, ATTACK EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE THAT IS everything , to stand....”
GOOD, PURE AND OBEDIENT TO THE LORD OUR GOD.  These “Last Days” of the Messianic Age - before God’s
Creation enters Eternity - consist of OPEN SPIRITUAL

S T E USTATH IOS THE GRE AT H OLY M AR TYR 20 S EP TE MBER 2019 25


AND PHYSICAL WARFARE AGAINST EVERYTHING THAT IS Strength, and to defeat all temptations and
EVIL. machinations of the evil one.
 Whenever we have gained Victory over our enemies,  As Faithful Disciples of Christ, WE HAVE “...PUT ON
we MOST JOYFULLY AND THANKFULLY GLORIFY THE LORD CHRIST...” AND THUS “...LIVE IN CHRIST...”
OUR GOD Who enables us to achieve everything  We thereby acquire ALL THE ESSENTIAL QUALITIES OF
that is impossible for us. SPIRITUAL ARMOUR.
 SPIRITUAL WARFARE CONTINUES UNTIL WE TAKE OUR VERY LAST  THESE MUST BE CONTINUOUSLY APPLIED to our Spiritual
BREATH – not a moment before! Warfare and Spiritual Growth and Development.
 We are able to STAND FIRMLY ROOTED IN OUR TRUE FAITH  WITHOUT ANY SPIRITUAL STRUGGLE
BY THE GRACE OF GOD AND BY OUR CEASELESS SPIRITUAL 1. there is NO SPIRITUAL GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT.
ENDEAVOURS. 2. we cannot acquire THEOSIS OR DEIFICATION, which
 All this is clearly acknowledged in the Prayers at the is necessary for our worthy HEAVENLY
conclusion of the Orthodox Holy Mystery of CITIZENSHIP.
Baptism and Chrismation. 3. we cannot REGAIN OUR LIKENESS TO CHRIST Who
 WE CANNOT ACHIEVE ANY VICTORY ON OUR OWN . created us in His Image and Likeness
 WE HAVE BEEN “SEALED WITH THE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.  After the Fall, our Divine Likeness was distorted,
 HIS UNCREATED, DIVINE POWER AND ENERGY ENABLES US to corrupted and lost, so THIS LIFESPAN IS A TIME OF
acquire Holy Virtue, to grow in Faith and Spiritual RENEWAL AND RESTORATION TO OUR CREATED STATE.
H OLY G OSPE L A CC ORD ING TO S T L UKE 21 : 12 – 19
At that time, our Lord Jesus Christ said: “Before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you,
delivering you up to the Synagogues and prisons; you will be taken before Kings and Rulers for My Name’s sake.
“It will be for you an opportunity to Testify. Therefore, settle it in your heart not to meditate beforehand on what
you will answer I will give you a mouth and Wisdom, which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict
or resist.
“You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends; And they will put some of you to death.
And you will be hated by all for My Name’s sake. And not a hair of your head shall be lost.
“With Patience possess your soul.”
“...Before all these things...” Our Lord had revealed what USE OF THE OPPORTUNITY TO TESTIFY TO THE DIVINE TRUTH
would occur BEFORE HIS REAPPEARANCE AND OUR FINAL of our Triune, Almighty Lord God.
JUDGEMENT.  PEOPLE HUNGER AND THIRST FOR DIVINE TRUTH yet all they
 HIS FAITHFUL DISCIPLES WOULD SUFFER PERSECUTION AND get is the distorted heresy of the Spiritually Dead.
DISCRIMINATION THROUGHOUT THE AGES for the sake of ✶ “...I will give you a mouth and Wisdom...” GOD ENABLES US
our Orthodox Faith TO PROPERLY EXPRESS OURSELVES SO THAT OTHERS WILL BE
 Our Lord Jesus emphasised THE NECESSITY OF BEING ABLE TO COMPREHEND AND BE ENLIGHTENED –if they are
WATCHFUL AND VIRTUOUS. willing to receive Divine Truth and not reject it
 WE MUST NOT WASTE TIME AND EFFORT WITH THINGS THAT ARE before they heard it.
BEYOND OUR CONTROL OR KNOWLEDGE. ✶ “...You will be betrayed...” HIS FAITHFUL DISCIPLES HAVE
 We must LIVE IN THE PRESENT, and FULFILL OUR SACRED BEEN BETRAYED EVEN BY THOSE CLOSELY RELATED TO THEM.
DUTIES TO GOD AND TO EACH OTHER ✶ “... not a hair of your head shall be lost...” we ARE
✶ “...they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, PRESERVED INTACT BY DIVINE GRACE. - despite all the
delivering you up...” horrors and cruelty of mankind that may be
 We have to COURAGEOUSLY CONTEND WITH AND ENDURE THE brought to bear upon HIS FAITHFUL DISCIPLES,
INITIAL SORROWS AND THE GREAT TRIBULATIONS we suffer  NO MATTER WHAT ENEMIES OF GOD MIGHT DO TO OUR
to varying degrees during this short lifespan. SANCTIFIED BODY, OUR IMMORTAL SOUL IS PRESERVED AND
 THE PERIOD OF “GREAT TRIBULATION” INCLUDES THE ENTIRE GRANTED ETERNAL SALVATION AND LIFE.
CHRISTIAN ERA - not merely limited to the final years  In many cases, AFTER ENDURING LONG AND BRUTALLY
before our Lord Jesus Christ’s Glorious HIDEOUS TORTURES, CERTAIN HOLY MARTYRS WERE
Appearance on the Eighth Day. RESTORED TO FULL HEALTH, much to the alarm of the
 THE BETRAYAL, PERSECUTION AND DECEPTIONS HAVE PROVED ungodly enemies of Christ.
TO BE AS EXTREMELY DESTRUCTIVE AND DANGEROUS as our ✶ “With Patience possess your soul.” Our Lord Jesus urges
Lord Jesus had warned us. us to ALWAYS BE PATIENT.
 THE BLASPHEMOUS AND HERETICAL TEACHINGS of the false,  Patience is A MOST IMPORTANT HOLY VIRTUE, for thereby
self-appointed, “christs” and ‘prophets’ HAVE CAUSED we acquire other Holy Virtues.
MORE HARM to mankind and corrupted our Lord’s  Patience shows THE DEPTH AND EXTENT OF OUR FAITH IN
Divine Truth THAN SATAN COULD HAVE HOPED FOR!! GOD’S GREAT MERCY AND LOVE.
 Self-appointed ‘religious leaders’ prove time and  EVERYTHING PERTAINING TO THIS PREPARATORY LIFESPAN DOES
again to be EGOCENTRIC CHARLATANS WHO ROB PEOPLE EVENTUALLY COME TO AN END.
OF THEIR MATERIAL POSSESSIONS, AND – EVEN WORSE –  OUR TRIALS AND SORROWS DRAW US CLOSER TO OUR LORD AND
THEIR FAITH IN GOD! TO EACH OTHER.
✶ “...an opportunity to Testify...” – to REVEAL THE DIVINE  THE GREATER OUR PATIENCE, THE GREATER ARE THE REWARDS.
TRUTH OF THE HOLY GOSPEL OF CHRIST TO THE SIN-  Impatience can cause serious errors and much harm.
DARKENED WORLD.
 Our Lord encouraged His Apostles NOT TO DESPAIR when
brought before the authorities but rather to MAKE
ETERNAL INSP IRED W ISDOM OF OUR H OLY F ATHER S
ST IGNATIOS BRIANCHANINOV enough for it to spread all over the place, especially
Pride wreaks havoc with our nerves, hearts the blood, that it was ‘strictly between the two of us.’
stimulates the imagination and maintains our fallen ST JOHN KLIMAKOS
state. Humility calms the nerves, cools the blood, and Never judge anyone – even if you see them sinning at the
stops us from day-dreaming, and puts a stop to our hour of their death, because the Divine Judgement of
fallen state, granting us the Life that our Lord Jesus God is far beyond our comprehension. Some have
Christ brought to us. clearly committed grave sins, but have also done far
ST THEOPHAN THE RECLUSE greater good in secret. So those who gloat are
The inclination towards sin is not overwhelming in itself deceived, because what they beheld was merely
but becomes overwhelming from the moment our soul smoke – not the rays of sunlight.
begins to contemplate and plot ways of satisfying our ST JOHN OF KRONSTADT
desire. Sinners who do not submit to the Law of god, the Law of
ST PAISIOS THE ATHONITE Love and Peace, are outcasts from God’s Creation.
If you want a word to get out about something, get hold The reason they feel so trapped is that they are
of someone who is ‘feather-brained’, tell them hounded by God, Conscience and the Creation.
whatever it is as though it is a great secret, and ask
that it remain between the two of you. That will be
26. S T EU STATH IOS TH E G RE AT H OLY M AR TY R 20 S EP TE MBER 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 (5) PLAGAL 1 22 SEPTEMBER 2019
14TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
MIRACULOUS CATCH
The Feast of St Phokas, Bishop & Hieromartyr of Sinope – St Phokas the Gardener of Sinope - St
Isaak and St Martin – St Jonah, Holy Prophet of God – St Jonah the Presbyter (Father of St
Theophanes the Hymnographer & St Theodore the Branded) of Palestine – St Jonah, Abbot of
Yashezersk Monastery – St Peter the Tax-Collector – St Makarios, Wonderworker of Zhabyka &
Belev – Synaxis of All Saints of Tula – St Kosmas of Zographou Monastery, Mount Athos
THE SUNDAY AND FESTAL HYMNS ARE PUBLISHED IN BOOKLET FORM EACH MONTH. THESE ARE PUBLISHED AND FREELY
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E A S T E R N C A P E . ” ( 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 3 - M AR K 16 : 9 - 20

P R OKE IME NON – P SALM 11 – T ONE (5) P L AGAL 1


Thou shalt Guard us, O Lord! Thou shalt Preserve us!
Save me, O Lord, for the Holy have ceased!
T H E S EC OND EP ISTLE OF S T P AUL TO THE C OR INTH IANS 1 : 21 - 2: 4
Brethren: it is God Who establishes us with you in Christ, and has Commissioned us; He has put His Seal upon us and as
a Guarantee, given us His Spirit in our heart. I call God to Witness against me – for it was to spare you that I
refrained from coming to Corinth. Not that we lord it over your Faith, but we work with you for your Joy, for you
stand firm in your Faith. I made up my mind not to pay you another painful visit. If I cause you pain, Who is there
to make me Glad but the One Whom I have pained? And I wrote as I did, so that when I came, I might not suffer
pain from those who should have made me Rejoice, for I felt sure of all of you, that my Joy would be the Joy of you
all. For I wrote you out of much affliction and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to cause you pain, but to
let you know the abundant Love I have for you.
“...it is God Who establishes us with you in Christ...”  HERESY, FALSE REPORTS, OR ANY FORM OF DISHARMONY CAN
Although GOD CALLS ALL MANKIND to Faith in Him, HE DISTURB AND EVEN SPLIT ANY COMMUNITY AND
ALSO CALLS SPECIFIC PEOPLE WHOM HE HAS ENLIGHTENED, DISCOURAGE AND CONFUSE FAITHFUL DISCIPLES who
EMPOWERED AND ENABLED TO MINISTER HIS HOLY strive to follow our Lord.
MYSTERIES, TO TEACH HIS DIVINE TRUTH, AND TO GUIDE ✶ “...we work with you for your Joy...” CHRIST’S GOOD AND
HIS HOLY FLOCK. FAITHFUL SHEPHERDS OUGHT TO WORK HARMONIOUSLY
 THESE ARE HIS ORDAINED BISHOPS AND PRIESTS AS WELL AS WITH HIS HOLY FLOCK, genuinely Loving and Caring
EXPERIENCED SPIRITUAL TEACHERS of our Orthodox for them, RESOLVING ANY DISCORD OR CONFUSION BEFORE
Faith. IT CAN CAUSE IRREPARABLE HARM.
 THE HOLY CHURCH OF CHRIST signifies our Spiritual  The Purpose of DISCIPLINE IN THE HOLY CHURCH OF CHRIST
Mother who NURTURES AND PROTECTS US. IS NEVER FOR THE PRIEST OR BISHOP – OR ANYONE ELSE – TO
 WE ARE ALL, COLLECTIVELY, BRETHREN – BROTHERS AND EXERCISE DOMINION OVER OTHERS, nor does it concern
SISTERS – IN CHRIST Whom we have put on at harsh authority.
Baptism and IN WHOM WE NOW LIVE, according to His  SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINE IS
Divine Truth. 1. A CALL TO REPENTANCE.
✶ “...Commissioned us...” refers to THE GREAT COMMISSION OF 2. a HOLY RECONCILIATION WITH CHRIST AND HIS HOLY
OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST BEFORE HIS ASCENSION: CHURCH
 MATTHEW 28 : 16 – 20 “... 3. OUR SPIRITUAL RENEWAL IN THE PEACE, LOVE AND JOY OF
1. MAKE DISCIPLES OF ALL NATIONS, GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT by Whose Power and
2. BAPTISING THEM IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER, AND OF THE Energy we are enabled to fulfil all Divine
SON, AND OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, Commandments and Teachings.
3. TEACHING THEM TO OBSERVE ALL THINGS THAT I HAVE “...Who is there to make me Glad but the One Whom I
COMMANDED YOU have pained?...” THE FAITHFUL MINISTRY OF THE NEW
✶ “...He has put His Seal upon us and as a Guarantee, COVENANT BY ST PAUL IS MOTIVATED BY HIS DIVINE
given us His Spirit in our heart...” CALLING to serve our Lord Jesus Christ and his
 CHRISMATION (IMMEDIATELY AFTER BAPTISM) GRANTS US THE desire FOR ALL MANKIND TO BE BROUGHT INTO THE LIGHT
SEAL OF GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT OF DIVINE TRUTH.
 The Holy Spirit, in turn, grants us HIS DIVINE GIFTS THAT  ST PAUL WAS PAINFULLY AWARE OF HIS FORMER ZEALOUS
EMPOWER AND ENABLE US TO FULFILL THE WILL OF GOD. PERSECUTION OF THE FIRST DISCIPLES OF CHRIST, in the
 THE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT – especially Love – make it belief that he was fulfilling the Divine Will of God.
possible for us to ACQUIRE THEOSIS AND DIVINE After his Conversion, ST PAUL NOT ONLY REPENTED BUT
LIKENESS, as we were originally created. COMPENSATED BY CONVERTING MILLIONS of souls to
 We are further Blessed by THE INDWELLING OF OUR TRIUNE Christ our Divine Saviour.
LORD GOD, MAKING US HIS SANCTIFIED, HOLY TEMPLES. Our greatest Joy in this lifespan is to fulfill God’s Will
 THE NEW COVENANT ROOTS OF ORTHODOX SACRAMENTAL LIFE and to share His Divine Love and Truth with others.
ARE ESTABLISHED IN OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR, JESUS ✶ “... suffer pain from those who should have made me
CHRIST, beginning with our Holy Baptism. Rejoice...”
✶ “...to spare you ... I refrained from coming to Corinth...”  TRUE PASTORAL CORRECTION CAUSES AGONY FOR THE
St Paul wished to avoid a painful confrontation OVERSEER – the Priest, the Bishop or the Spiritual
caused by unenlightened, harsh arguments and Father or Teacher.
debates. ✶ “...much affliction and anguish of heart and with many
 The Christian Community of Corinth experienced tears....” SHOWS THE LOVE OF ST PAUL FOR GOD AND FOR
SEVERAL PROBLEMS THAT THREATENED THE HOLY UNITY of HIS FELLOW MANKIND.
their church.  These words express THE HEAVY BURDEN THAT WEIGHS UPON
OUR SPIRITUAL FATHERS AND TEACHERS, who are

14TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 1ST OF ST LUKE – THE MIRACULOUS CATCH 22 SEPTEMBER 2019 27.
devoted to the Holy Service of God and to His Holy  SPIRITUAL CORRECTION THAT IS ACCEPTED AND OBEYED, BRINGS
Flock. ABUNDANT LOVE, JOY AND PEACE to the Repentant
 The desire to FULFIL THE WILL OF OUR HEAVENLY FATHER sinner, and everyone concerned.
should always overcome the desire to please our 
fellow sinners.
T H E H OLY G OSPEL ACCO R D ING TO S T LU KE 5 : 1 - 11
At that time, as our Lord Jesus stood by the Lake of Gennesaret He beheld two boats standing by the Lake. The
Fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and
asked him to put out a little from the land. And sitting down, He taught the multitudes from the boat.
When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon: “Launch into the deep, and let down your nets for a catch.” And
Simon answered and said to Him: “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless, at Thy Word I
will let down the net.”
And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish. Their net was breaking. And they signalled to their
partners in the other boat to help them. And they came, and filled both boats, until they began to sink. Seeing,
Simon Peter fell down before Jesus’ Knees, saying: “Depart from me for I am a sinful man, O Lord!”
He and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish, which they had taken, as well as James and John,
the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon: “Do not fear! Henceforth you will
catch men.”
And when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook everything and followed Him.
✶ “...Lake Gennesaret ...” is also known as ‘the Sea of  This Miraculous Catch FULFILS THE ANCIENT PROPHECY
Galilee.’ It is about 13 miles long and 7 miles wide.  J E R E M I A H 1 6 : 1 6 “Behold: I will send many
✶ “...sitting down, He taught the multitudes...” A TEACHER Fishermen, and they will fish them. After this, I
(RABBI) who held a position of honour and respect will send many hunters, and they will hunt them
among His Disciples, USUALLY SAT DOWN WHILE TEACHING. upon every mountain, upon every hill, and out of
✶ “...Launch into the deep, and let down your nets for a the holes of the rocks...”
catch...”  In the Festal Hymn of Pentecost we sing to Christ:
 St Ambrose regarded this unexpected instruction of “Through the Fishermen, Thou drew the world to
Christ as A DIVINE INVITATION TO GIVE OUR LIFE OVER – Thee.”
TO SURRENDER OR ENTRUST OURSELVES - TO THE DEEP ✶ “...Depart from me for I am a sinful man, O Lord!...” was
MYSTERY OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE SON OF GOD. COMPELLED BY THE TRANSFORMING, OVERWHELMING AND
✶ “...Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; WONDERFUL PRESENCE OF DIVINE POWER.
ST PETER WAS AN EXPERIENCED FISHERMAN.  It was NOT A REJECTION OF OUR LORD JESUS.
 THEY USUALLY FISHED AT NIGHT so that the shoals of fish  BEING SUDDENLY CAST INTO THE DIVINE LIGHT OF CHRIST,
could not see the thick nets, as they would in pious PEOPLE like St Peter BECOME KEENLY AWARE OF
daylight. THEIR OWN UNWORTHINESS.
 NOT HAVING CAUGHT ANYTHING ALL NIGHT LONG, THEY DID  It is almost A CRY OF SPIRITUAL PAIN from the humble,
NOT EXPECT TO CATCH ANYTHING THAT MORNING. impulsive Fisherman who would soon become one
✶ “...nevertheless, at Thy Word...” HAVING MADE HIS PROTEST, of the greatest Holy Apostles of Christ.
ST PETER THEN OBEYED THE WILL OF OUR LORD and they ✶ “...James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were
cast out their nets yet again. partners with Simon...” These men HAD KNOWN OUR
✶ “...they caught a great number of fish...” – A FAR GREATER LORD JESUS FOR MOST OF THEIR LIFE, for they were
CATCH than they had ever had before. related through our Lady, Theotokos.
 Likewise, LIFE IN CHRIST CONSISTS OF SO MANY AMAZING Living in a small region, people were often very well
WONDERS AND ADVENTURES FAR BEYOND ANY OF OUR acquainted with each other.
EXPECTATIONS. ✶ “...Do not fear! Henceforth you will catch men...” Our
✶ “...filled both boats, until they began to sink...” THE Lord Jesus Christ ALWAYS REASSURES the heart and
MIRACULOUS CATCH WAS SO ABUNDANT THAT TWO BOATS soul of those who are anxious or afraid.
NEARLY SANK WITH THE UNEXPECTED LOADS.  He MAKES HIS INTENTIONS VERY CLEAR to those whom He
 This shows that our Lord Jesus Christ Calls to fulfill His Will and earthly Mission.
1. is truly THE LORD OF ALL CREATION.  THOSE WHO FULFILL HIS EARTHLY MISSION – the Salvation of
2. GRANTS HIS BLESSINGS IN GREAT ABUNDANCE. mankind - MUST LIKEWISE BE NEITHER DEVIOUS NOR
3. EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE ACCORDING TO HIS DIVINE WILL. DECEPTIVE.
 OUR LORD, in His All Knowing Wisdom, DRAWS HUMANITY  It is crucial for Faithful Disciples to ALWAYS BE HONEST,
TO HIMSELF BY MEANS OF THE THINGS THAT ARE FAMILIAR TRUTHFUL AND SINCERE.
TO US:  Our thoughts, words and deeds should ALWAYS HONOUR,
 CHRIST DREW THESE HUMBLE FISHERMEN TO HIM by means of WORSHIP AND GLORIFY OUR HEAVENLY FATHER.
this Miraculous Catch.  TRUE FISHERMEN OF CHRIST DO NOT LURE NOR HOOK MANKIND
1. the Magi were drawn to Him by means of the - BUT DRAW US CLOSER TO GOD – into His Divine
Mysterious Star Presence of Love, Mercy and Goodness.
2. Tax Collectors were drawn to Him by a Tax ✶ “...they forsook everything and followed Him...” THEY
Collector, CHOSE TO FOLLOW OUR LORD instead of continuing as
3. every type of sinners is drawn to Him by His Love, mundane Fishermen.
Great Mercy and Divine Goodness.  It was indeed A LEAP OF FAITH BECAUSE THEY TRUSTED OUR
 MANY SINNERS HAVE REPENTED THEIR SINS after having LORD IMPLICITLY AND WERE WILLING to accompany
witnessed others in similar circumstances. Him wherever He led them.
 1 C O R I N T H I A N S 9 : “... God is Faithful by Whom you  It was not a matter of totally abandoning their
were Called into the Fellowship of His Son, Jesus families and commitments, but CHOOSING TO BE
Christ our Lord.” CLOSER TO OUR DIVINE SAVIOUR WHOSE REWARDS ARE
 The Miraculous Catch is AN IMAGE OF THE FUTURE PRICELESS AND ETERNAL.
APOSTLES who would bring millions of immortal  THIS SHOWS THE DEPTH OF THEIR FAITH IN GOD!
souls to the Knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
14 T H
S U ND AY AF TER P E NTEC OST – 1 S T
S UNDAY OF S T LU KE – T HE M IR ACUL OU S C ATCH

✞ In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the They had fished all night, he insisted, and had caught
Holy Spirit... nothing. He knew that it would be a waste of time and
Dearly Beloved Brethren in Christ, after our Lord Jesus effort.
Christ had commanded the tired Fishermen to let Nevertheless, Christ just as persistently commanded that
down their nets again, St Simon Peter, who was he do so, and St Peter and his companions reluctantly
certainly an experienced Fisherman, disputed the obeyed.
possibility of any fish being caught in the sun- CHRIST WAS TEACHING HIS DISCIPLES TO TRUST HIM, ALTHOUGH IT
brightened, clear water. SEEMED TO BE A WASTE OF TIME, HOPELESS OR FOOLISH, AND
EVEN WHEN THEY THOUGHT THEY KNEW BETTER.

28. 14TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 1ST OF ST LUKE – THE MIRACULOUS CATCH 22 SEPTEMBER 2019
THEIR HUMBLE, VOLUNTARY OBEDIENCE TO CHRIST WAS QUICKLY He also REWARDED THEM WITH HOLY APOSTLESHIP, when He
REWARDED by a most bountiful catch of fish. announced: "... Henceforth you shalt catch men."
This same principle applies to us, for we ought to TRUST And indeed, ST PETER, ST JAMES, AND ST JOHN BECAME HIS
OUR LORD IMPLICITLY AND HUMBLY OBEY HIS TEACHINGS AND CLOSEST HOLY APOSTLES who spent the remainder of
COMMANDMENTS, EVEN WHEN THE CIRCUMSTANCES SEEM TO BE their Life drawing great multitudes of souls to our Lord
ILLOGICAL OR IMPOSSIBLE. Jesus Christ, His Divine Truth and His Holy Church.
When, for example, serious illness overtakes us and From a worldly point of view, this might seem to have
causes us tremendous pain and suffering, instead of been a questionable Blessing.
doubting or worrying about our future, we must FOCUS These men walked away from a way of life they had
ON OUR LORD GOD, TRUST HIM, AND BELIEVE that ONLY GOD always known, with which they seemed reasonably
KNOWS WHAT IS MOST BENEFICIAL FOR US – so we can rest comfortable, and were subsequently charged with
assured and ALLOW HIS DIVINE WILL TO BE FULFILLED. the enormous Sacred Mission of bringing entire
Although we try to accomplish certain things, and Nations to our Lord Jesus Christ – to our Divine
sometimes fail, WE MUST NEVER GIVE UP. Saviour.
After working all night to no avail, St Simon Peter was These Fishermen were simple, unrefined and ignorant of
ready to surrender to failure, yet WHEN OUR LORD JESUS worldly circumstances, yet OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST MADE
PERSISTED, HE WAS WILLING TO TRY AGAIN – perhaps to THEM IMPORTANT AND HIGHLY SIGNIFICANT OVERSEERS OF HIS
prove that he knew better but then being proved to UNIVERSAL, HOLY CHURCH.
be wrong! None of them, nor their families, received any material
Those who are inclined to easily give up - especially in rewards in this temporary life.
their Spiritual Endeavours – lose much when they Instead they had to contend with intense hardship, toil,
allow their weak impulses to overwhelm and control hatred, violence, persecution and finally being
them. Martyred to death - THE WORLDLY PENALTY OF THESE
They cede defeat after making one small effort instead of REMARKABLE MEN FOR THEIR LOVE, HUMILITY AND OBEDIENCE
TESTING THEMSELVES BY STRIVING EVEN HARDER TO SEE WHAT TO CHRIST OUR LORD.
THEY CAN ACHIEVE! However, THEIR GREAT MARTYRDOM WAS INFINITELY REWARDED
Those who persist in their Struggles against obstacles and WITH THE PRICELESS TREASURE OF ETERNAL LIFE, AND
adversities, will MAKE MORE AND MORE SPIRITUAL PROGRESS, ADORNED WITH CROWNS OF VICTORY IN THE HEAVENLY
DESPITE THE OCCASIONAL FAILURES that spur them to even KINGDOM OF LOVE.
greater effort, which finally leads to Victory. And THEY ARE VENERATED FOREVER BY ALL GENERATIONS OF
The Evil One never stops trying to tempt us through OUR FAITHFUL DISCIPLES as Saints who show us by their Good
WEAKNESSES, BY DISCOURAGEMENTS, OBSTACLES, AND FAILURES Example and Endeavours HOW TO LIVE IN CHRIST.
– ALL OF WHICH WE MUST IGNORE, AVOID AND REJECT. We remember their names, we honour them and we
ST PETER CONFESSED HIS SINFULNESS, which was clearly STRIVE TO IMITATE THEIR ABSOLUTE FIDELITY TO OUR LORD
exposed (to himself) in the bright Light of our Lord’s JESUS CHRIST AND HIS DIVINE TRUTH.
Divine Presence and Truth. Indeed, THESE FAITHFUL FISHERMEN DREW ALL TYPES OF PEOPLE
However, OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST sees everyone’s heart and THROUGHOUT THE KNOWN WORLD INTO CHRIST'S SALVIFIC NET,
soul, and He KNOWS THE EXTENT OF EVERY SIN DWELLING granting them Knowledge of His Divine Truth, Love,
WITHIN US. Peace and Joy - and thereby bestowing Eternal Life
So HE IMMEDIATELY COMFORTED HIS APOSTLE, knowing how upon them.
impulsive and honest St Peter was and that BY HIS And Christ’s Holy Fishermen will continue to “... catch
CONFESSION, HE HAD ALREADY REPENTED AND WOULD SOON BE men...” until the end of time on the Eighth Day.
READY TO FOLLOW A VERY DIFFERENT – EVEN MORE DIFFICULT - St. Gregory the Theologian explained: "...The Fishermen
PATH. are Teachers of the Church, who catch us in the Net
St. Bede believed that our Lord “... soothes the fears of the of Faith, and, as it were, bring us to the Shore - to the
unspiritual man so that no one need be fearful in his Land of the Living..."
conscience because of his own past guilt; or, We too, as simple Orthodox Christians, are Called to
confounded at the sight of the innocence of others, “...catch...” others in “... the Net of Faith...” by being
be discouraged in setting out himself on the Path to ATTRACTIVE, GOOD EXAMPLES OF LIFE IN CHRIST.
Sanctity..." When we consider the state of the world today, we realise
OUR LORD GOD LOVES US ALL and - regardless of our past sins HOW MUCH WE NEED OUR LORD’S GREAT MERCY COMPASSION
and offences - WANTS US TO ACCOMPANY HIM WITH AND LOVE.
HUMILITY AND OBEDIENCE, HAVING REPENTED AND CONFESSED Our countries, cities, villages, towns and the people who
OUR SINs, which we continue to do until our very last surround us are confused, frustrated, devastated and
breath. terrified by the overwhelming wickedness and
The Miraculous Catch teaches us about the Almighty unbridled selfish, greedy corruption that consumes
Power of God Who has Divine Dominion over His entire our entire planet to a catastrophic, irreparable
Creation. degree.
AS OUR DIVINE CREATOR, HE CAN DO WHATEVER HE WILLS SO Most human beings – although, sadly, not everyone -
DIVINE MIRACLES ARE ALWAYS POSSIBLE AND ACCORDING TO would find TRUE LOVE, PEACE AND JOY IN OUR LORD JESUS
THE WILL OF OUR HEAVENLY FATHER – according to His CHRIST - IN THE FULLNESS OF LIFE IN CHRIST - IN ORTHODOX
Plan for all mankind’s Eternal Salvation. CHRISTIANITY THAT IS ETERNAL AND UNCHANGING.
The Old and New Testaments, as well as the Lives of the We need only lower our Nets of Faith, as our Divine
Saints are filled with Divine Miracles. Saviour bids us to do so that we might DRAW OTHERS TO
Christian history records innumerable Divine Miracles. HIS LOVING EMBRACE AND DIVINE PROVIDENCE - by
LIVES THAT WERE LOST ARE RESTORED, RENEWED, REGENERATED, TESTIFYING TO THE DIVINE TRUTH BY OUR LIFESTYLE, BY
AND SAVED. SUFFERING AND DISTRESS BECAME PEACEFUL AND KINDNESS, PATIENCE AND GENEROSITY TO OTHERS.
ABUNDANT. Christian Piety is evident in our lifestyle, Prayers, Fasting,
Nations and individuals who were threatened by by consistently attending Holy Services and the Divine
catastrophe were DELIVERED BY DIVINE INTERVENTION. Liturgy, and by REMAINING FAITHFUL AND OBEDIENT TO ALL
Generally, DIVINE MIRACLES ARE GOD’S RESPONSE TO FERVENT ASPECTS OF THE HOLY LIFE OF HIS ORTHODOX CHURCH.
PRAYERS AND STEADFAST FAITH THAT CORRESPOND TO GOD'S We must NEVER BE ASHAMED NOR NEGLECTFUL OF CHRIST'S HOLY
PLAN FOR MANKIND as a whole, and for each of us as ORTHODOX CHURCH by hiding our Life in Christ from
individual souls. those around us.
Although we might not received Rewards nor Victory in If our friends or acquaintances have no religious life, or
this lifespan, we are assured of it in Eternity. are dissatisfied by their current lifestyle, we can INVITE
However, THE CONSEQUENCES OF OUR THOUGHTS, WORDS AND THEM TO ATTEND A DIVINE LITURGY WITH US, AND INTRODUCE
DEEDS USUALLY BECOME EVIDENT NOW - and WILL CONDEMN THEM TO ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY.
US LATER, UNLESS WE REPENT OUR SINS NOW. Many people think that Orthodox Christianity is restricted
Nonetheless, in order to teach a most valuable, Sacred to Ethnic Communities such as Greek, Russian,
Lesson, our Lord Jesus Christ rewarded the Faith of Romanian, Serbian and so forth.
the Fishermen with an abundant haul.

14TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 1ST OF ST LUKE – THE MIRACULOUS CATCH 22 SEPTEMBER 2019 29.
Nothing could be farther from the Truth because Like those three Faithful Apostles, we must PUT ASIDE ALL
ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY IS NOT MERELY AN EXCLUSIVE DISTRACTIONS THAT KEEP US FROM OUR REAL PURPOSE in this
COLLECTION OF ETHNIC CHURCHES, BUT IS THE ONE, UNIVERSAL temporary, preparatory life – so that – just like them,
CHURCH - THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH OF ALL MANKIND. we can follow – and CLOSELY ACCOMPANY – OUR LORD
So we must BE EAGER AND WILLING TO SHARE THE IMMENSE JESUS ALONG HIS TRUE PATH OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, THAT LEADS
BEAUTY AND DIVINE TRUTH OF OUR EASTERN ORTHODOX FAITH US, STEP BY STEP, TOWARDS ETERNAL LIFE.
WITH OTHERS who hunger and thirst for Divine Truth Amen
and Love.
We must – each and every one of us - STRIVE TO FOLLOW IN FATHER JAMES THORNTON, PROTECTION OF THE HOLY VIRGIN MARY,
THE FOOTSTEPS OF THOSE HUMBLE FISHERMEN – St Peter, St RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH, LOS ANGELES CALIFORNIA,
James, and St John - BECOMING CATCHERS OF SOULS IN 20 SEPTEMBER /3 OCTOBER 1999.
HTTP://ORTHODOXINFO.COM/PRAXIS/THORNTON
THE SALVIFIC NETS OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST.
(ADAPTED & EDITED BY MP)
HIS EMINENCE, BARNABAS, METROPOLITAN OF NEAPOLIS & STAVROPOULOS - ON BADNESS THAT BLINDS US
Throughout our Life God has endowed us with so many because it was utterly incomprehensible to them that
lovely Gifts. our Lord Jesus Christ could have performed such an
Good health, people we Love and who Love us, the obviously, Divine Miracle, declaring “This Man is not
beauty of the natural world that surrounds us, all the from God because He does not keep the Sabbath!”
good things we need and enjoy. So, over and over, they interrogated the formerly Blind
We acknowledge many of these Divine Gifts and Man, and being unconvinced they summoned his
sometimes we thank God for His Loving-Kindness. equally astonished parents, who confirm him as their
But when we are overwhelmed by difficulties, and son who had been born without eyes.
especially when badness darkens our mind, we can Despite the intense interrogation, those bitter, jealous and
hardly think straight, much less feel or express any envious, self-serving Scribes and Pharisees could not
gratitude. comprehend the Divine Truth that was right before
We are reminded of this basic Truth according to the them.
Sacred Lesson concerning the Healing of the Blind Their badness and ill-will prevented them from
Man. (JOHN. 9: 1-38) recognizing the Divine Benefactor of the human race.
One day, our Lord Jesus was accompanied by His Such Spiritual Blindness is so profoundly stubborn, smug
Disciples who noticed a man who had been blind and selfish, that the Divine Gifts are devalued,
since his birth. He had no eyes at all, so they ignored or unrecognised.
wondered about the cause of such an affliction of an The Scribes and Pharisees only valued themselves, their
innocent infant. motives and their self-imposed status as being all
They had witnessed how our Lord Jesus had Healed a knowing and superior, for they considered themselves
certain Paralytic, and heard His Words that warned as the only authentic disciples of Moses.
him not to sin again lest he suffer a worse state than On the contrary, the formerly Blind Man became a
before. Faithful Guide and good example to those who are
So they asked Christ: “Rabbi, who sinned – this man or able to see, to acknowledge and to understand Divine
his parents – hat he was born blind?” And our Lord Truth.
told them: “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, As the persistent efforts continued to discredit the Divine
but (it happened so) that the Works of God should be Miracle and Person of our Almighty Saviour, his Faith
revealed in him.” (JOHN 9:2 – 3) increased and grew stronger.
The innocent infant had certainly not sinned, since he The unembellished words of his Testimony, expressed the
was born like that, and neither were his parents to Divine Truth and fulfilled the ancient Psalmist’s
blame. prophesy: “... The Lord grants Wisdom to the Blind.”
However, the Divine Miracle performed by Christ (Psalm 145:8)
identified Him as our Creator when He mixed His Although every day of his life was in physical darkness,
Saliva with clay, to create eyes for the Blind Man, all the senses of his immortal soul were ready to
thereby granting him the Divine Gift of Sight. accept Divine Truth that encourages and nurtures the
Furthermore, His Divine Miracle revealed the Mighty growth of Divine Blessings.
Works of our All Merciful and Loving God - to all who May we, too, open the eyes of our soul and body so as to
saw and heard the formerly Blind Man’s Testimony, as clearly see and recognize all aspects of God’s infinite
well as all future generations who hear and believe Beneficence.
this Marvellous Account. May we always appreciate and express our deepest
The Divine Craftsman had placed clay upon clay and Gratitude to God with ceaseless Thanksgiving, Glory,
re-created fallen nature, and when the sightless man Honour and Worship.
had obeyed Him by going all the way to the Pool of May we resist, avoid and rectify any badness and
Siloam to wash his face, he returned to Christ in egotism that blinds us to His Great Mercy and
ecstatic Joy and with inexpressible gratitude, having boundless, abundant Love.
received clear vision! Let us always marvel at and Glorify His Wonderful
The events that followed, expose the disposition and Creation, His Divine Gifts and all His Magnificent
refusal to believe of so many people. Beauty - never taking anything for granted.
The arrogant, self-righteous Scribes and Pharisees
pronounced the Divine Miracle as being impossible HTTPS://PEMPTOUSIA.COM/2019/06/

T H E E TE R NAL , I NSP IR ED W ISD OM OF OU R H OLY FA THE R S


(A UTH OR U NKNOWN ) will not be able to accept the Divine Seal of Holy
We must not be tempted by the evil one into believing Virtue.
that the infinite Love and Great Mercy of our Lord God S T S IL OU AN THE AT H ONITE
will Save us, for our Divine Saviour Saves those who The immortal soul of all mankind has always felt the
ceaselessly Strive, and make every effort with all their Presence and Existence of our Lord God even though
strength and abilities to achieve Eternal Salvation. they did not know enough to worship the One True
Only those who have the Pure, Clean Garment of and Living God.
Righteousness and Sanctity will share and inherit His However, the Holy Spirit first taught His Holy Prophets,
Eternal, Heavenly Kingdom of Love. then His Apostles, our Holy Fathers, our Bishops and
S T AM PH IL OC H IOS M AKRIS Priests through whom we have received the True
Prayer is a Sacred Gift of God, Who grants it wherever Faith. We know our Lord through the Holy Spirit, and
there is Spiritual Ardour and Humility. once we know Him, our soul is fixed in Him.
S T S E R AP H IM OF S AR OV We were created to Glorify God in Heaven, so must not
If wax is not first warmed and softened, it will not be attach ourselves to earthly things, for our Heavenly
receptive to a seal that is impressed upon it. Likewise, Father Loves us as His greatly-desired Children and
if our soul is not tested with Labours and ailments, it those who do not know Divine Grace do not seek His
Divine Truth.

30. 14TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 1ST OF ST LUKE – THE MIRACULOUS CATCH 22 SEPTEMBER 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.
23 SEPTEMBER 2019

C ONCEP TION OF S T JO HN THE B APTIST & F ORE RU NNE R

Also the Feast of St Raidos (Irais/Rhais) of Alexandria - St Xanthippe & St Polyxene of


Spain – St Nicholas, New Martyr – St John the New Martyr of Konitsa – St Andrew, St John, St Peter & St Antoninos of Syracuse
& Africa
THE SUNDAY AND FESTAL HYMNS ARE PUBLISHED IN BOOKLET FORM EACH MONTH. THESE ARE PUBLISHED AND FREELY
D O W N L O A D A B L E O N 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 C H R I S T I A N
EASTERN CAPE.” (OR CAN BE EMAILED DIRECTLY, ON REQUEST TO marguerite.paizis@gmail.com )

F E STAL P R OKE IM E NON – P SALM 63 - T ONE (7) V ARY S /G R AVE

The Righteous shall be glad in the Lord.


Hear, O God, my voice!
T H E E PISTLE OF S T P AUL TO TH E G AL ATIANS 4:22-27
LIKE ST ISAAC, ST JOHN WAS A CHILD OF PROMISE (FOR DIVINE PURPOSE)
Brethren: It is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a Bondwoman and the other by a Freewoman. But he
who was of the Bondwoman was born according to the flesh - he of the Freewoman through Promise, which things
are symbolic.
These are the two Covenants: the one from Mount Sinai, which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar – for this Hagar
is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem, which now is - in bondage with her children. The
Jerusalem Above is free, which is the Mother of us all.
It is written: “Rejoice, O Barren, you who do not bear! Break forth and shout, you who are not in labour! For the
desolate has many more Children than she who has a husband.”
✶ “,,,Abraham had two sons...” – This fact is both SYMBOLIC  Abraham and Isaac became RIGHTEOUS FOREFATHERS
AND HISTORICAL. OF THEOTOKOS AND OUR LORD JESUS (according to His
 O LD COVENANT HISTORY ANNOUNCED SOMETHING FAR Incarnation.)
GREATER THAN ITSELF :  Sarah was similar to our Lady, the Ever Blessed
1. I T PREPARED GOD’ S PEOPLE FOR THE N EW C OVENANT . Theotokos, because her son, Isaac, WAS BORN
2. I T PROPHESIED THE COMING OF THE G REAT , D IVINE THROUGH A DIVINE “PROMISE” - THE ANNUNCIATION OF
M ESSIAH/S AVIOUR OF ALL MANKIND . WHICH WAS PROCLAIMED TO HER BY AN ANGEL OF GOD.
3. E VERYTHING REQUIRED OF G OD’ S PEOPLE WAS  Archangel Gabriel is the Bearer of Good Tidings,
FULFILLED BY OUR L ORD J ESUS C HRIST – the New announcing to mankind throughout the ages
Adam. God’s Good News.
  According to St John Chrysostom Isaac “...was the
“...one by a Bondwoman and the other by a issue of bodies that were dead, and of a womb
Freewoman...” points out THE SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCE that was dead. His conception was not by the
OF WHAT IS UNLAWFUL (LEGITIMATE) AND LAWFUL flesh, nor his birth by the seed, for the womb was
(LEGITIMATE). dead both through age and barrenness. But the
 A Bondwoman meant that Hagar was A SLAVE – LITTLE Word of God fashioned him ... He who was not
BETTER THAN THE LIVESTOCK – AND HAD TO OBEY THE WILL according to the flesh was more honourable
OF HER ‘OWNERS.’ than he that was born after the flesh. Therefore let
 She was NOT FREE TO MAKE HER OWN CHOICES for herself or it not disturb you that you were not born after the
her son and was TOTALLY DEPENDENT ON THE WILL OF flesh. For from the very reason that you are not so
HER MASTER AND MISTRESS. born, you are most of all Abraham’s Kindred.”
 A Freewoman meant that SARAH HAD SOCIAL STATUS AND  THROUGH OUR HOLY BAPTISM AND CHRISMATION, WE HAVE
WAS LEGALLY MARRIED TO ABRAHAM. BECOME THE ADOPTED HEIRS to God’s Heavenly
 She was FREE TO MAKE HER OWN CHOICES for herself and Kingdom – we are THE NEW ISRAEL – the New People
her son who was the rightful heir to her husband’s of God
estate.  ✶ “...These are the two Covenants...” – THE OLD
 O UR L ORD J ESUS CHRIST MADE EVERY WOMAN A TRULY COVENANT THAT PREPARED MANKIND FOR THE FIRST
“ FREEWOMAN” through His Divine Teachings, Love, APPEARANCE OF OUR DIVINE MESSIAH, and THE NEW
Grace, Gifts, Ultimate Sacrifice and Heavenly COVENANT CONCERNING THE HOLY GOSPEL OF OUR LORD
Promise AND SAVOUR, JESUS CHRIST.
✶ “...born according to the flesh...” ISHMAEL, the first-born  THE TEN DIVINE COMMANDMENTS AND ALL THE TEACHINGS OF
but illegitimate son of Abraham WAS CONCEIVED IN CHRIST GRANTS US GOD’S DIVINE TRUTH.
LUST – according to physical desire and was  THESE PROVIDE US WITH EVERYTHING ESSENTIAL FOR OUR
EVENTUALLY CAST OUT AND EXILED, together with his ETERNAL SALVATION in these Last Days before
mother. Eternity.
 The carnal relationship that had been sanctioned by ✶ “...the one from Mount Sinai, which gives birth to
Sarah, showed A WEAKNESS OF FAITH, AND VIOLATED bondage... Hagar...” refers to the EARTHLY JERUSALEM
THE SANCTITY OF MARRIAGE. AND THE HEBREW NATION UNDER THE LAW OF GOD – THE
✶ “...through Promise...” GOD HAD PROMISED ABRAHAM “ I will O LD C OVENANT BETWEEN GOD AND MANKIND.
make Thee a great Nation... in Thee all the tribes  T HE OLD COVENANT WAS INTENDED FOR THE PREPARATION
of the Earth shalt be Blessed...” (GENESIS 12:2-3) OF H IS C HOSEN P EOPLE – I SRAEL - FOR THE C OMING OF
 God had revealed THE HOLY GOSPEL OF THE NEW THE M ESSIAH – the Incarnation of the Son of God,
COVENANT to Abraham. Who is our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
 Thus ISAAC, being Abraham’s legitimate son, WAS  The terms ‘bondage’ and ‘Hagar’ implied
CHERISHED AND BLESSED AS HIS RIGHTFUL HEIR.

CONCEPTION OF ST JOHN THE BAPTIST & FORERUNNER TO CHRIST OUR SAVIOUR - 23 SEPTEMBER 2019 31
1. those who were OUTSIDE THE HOLY COVENANT WITH ✶ “...the desolate has many more Children ...” refers to
GOD – the pagan Gentiles THE PAGAN GENTILES AND ALL ACTIVE MEMBERS OF
2. those who were either wilfully or involuntarily CHRIST’S HOLY CHURCH, many of whom had formerly
ENSLAVED BY SIN. stumbled about in Spiritual Darkness.
✶ ”...The Jerusalem Above is free, which is the Mother of ✶ “...She who has a Husband...” signifies (OLD) ISRAEL -
us all...” refers to THE HEAVENLY JERUSALEM (City of THE HEBREW NATION CHOSEN BY GOD who lived
Peace) – God’s Eternal Heavenly Kingdom of Love according to Old Covenant Law in humble
that is THE ULTIMATE DESTINATION DESIRED FOR ALL Obedience to the Will of our Heavenly Father.
MANKIND.  This also refers to THOSE WHOSE THOUGHTS, WORDS AND
 Entry into the Heavenly Jerusalem is THE INTENDED DEEDS ARE ACCORDING TO DIVINE TRUTH – A SPIRITUALLY
CONCLUSION OF OUR SPIRITUAL STRIVINGS AND LAWFUL LIFESTYLE - according to Divine
STRUGGLES. Commandments, Teachings and Worship.
 St Paul continuously reminded all Faithful Christians
that OUR T RUE F REEDOM IS L IFE IN CHRIST .
T H E H OLY G OSPEL ACCO R D ING TO S T LU KE 1:5 - 25
ST JOHN’S APPROACHING BIRTH IS ANNOUNCED TO ST ZACHARIAS
At that time, there was in the days of Herod, the King of Judea, a certain Priest named Zacharias, of the Division of
Abijah, and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. They were both Righteous before
God, walking blameless in all the Commandments and Ordinances of the Lord. And they had no child, because
Elizabeth was barren, and they were both well advanced in years.
While he was serving as Priest before God in the Order of his Division, according to the custom of the Priesthood, his lot
fell to burn Incense when he went into the Temple of the Lord. And the whole multitude of the people was praying
outside at the Hour of Incense. Then an Angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right side of the Altar of
Incense. And Zacharias was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him. The Angel said to him: “Do not
fear, Zacharias, for Thy Prayer has been heard. And Thy wife, Elizabeth, will bear Thee a son, and Thou shalt name
him ‘John.’ And you will have Joy and Gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. He will be great in the Sight of
the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. And he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his
Mother’s womb. And he will turn many of the sons of Israel to the Lord their God. And he will also go before Him in
the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘...to turn the hearts of the Fathers to the Children...’ and the disobedient to the Wisdom
of the Just, to make ready a People prepared for the Lord.”
And Zacharias said to the Angel: “How shall I know this? I am an old man, and my Wife is well advanced in years.” And
the Angel answered and said to him: “ I am Gabriel, who stands in the Presence of God, and was sent to speak to
Thee and bring Thee these Glad Tidings. And behold! Thou wilt be mute and unable to speak until the day these
things take place. Thou did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their own time.”
And the people waited for Zacharias. And they marvelled that he lingered so long in the Temple. When he came out,
he could not speak to them. And they perceived that he had seen a Vision in the Temple. And he beckoned to
them and remained speechless. And when the days of his Service were completed, he departed to his own house.
After those days, Elizabeth, his wife, conceived. And she hid herself for five months saying, “Thus has the Lord dealt
with me, in the days when He looked on me, to take away my reproach among people.”
✶ St Luke was the only Evangelist who provided There were 24 DIVISIONS in all and EACH PRIEST SERVED A
information about the birth and infancy of St John WEEK AT A TIME BY ROTATION.
the Baptist, Forerunner to Jesus Christ.  The responsibilities of the Priests in each Division were
Our Lady, Theotokos, had told him many things DECIDED BY LOT.
concerning our Lord Jesus Christ and Her own  St Zacharias was assigned the duties of HIGH PRIEST.
Venerable Family.  THIS EVENT OCCURRED DURING THE FEAST OF ATONEMENT
✶ “..in the days of Herod...” ESTABLISHES THE HISTORICAL DATE (YOM KIPPUR) WHEN THE HIGH PRIEST ENTERS THE HOLY OF
OF THE NATIVITY OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. HOLIES TO OFFER THE BLOOD OFFERINGS FOR HIS OWN SINS
 Herod ruled Judea from 37 years before the Birth of AND THOSE OF THE FAITHFUL.
Christ until 4 years after the Birth of Christ. (Thus ✶ “...an Angel of the Lord appeared to him...” ARCHANGEL
our calendar is out by about two years!) GABRIEL, IS THE BEARER OF GOOD NEWS FROM GOD TO
Although a great builder, HEROD WAS A PARANOID, BRUTAL MANKIND.
RULER, WHO GAVE HIMSELF THE TITLE OF “KING” ALTHOUGH  Once a year, on the Day of Atonement, ONLY THE HIGH
HE WAS MERELY A TETRARCH – ONE OF FOUR GOVERNORS PRIEST IS ALLOWED TO ENTER THE HOLY OF HOLIES.
of that region Thus the shock of seeing the Angel of God standing
 An ancient prophecy of St Jacob had predicted that next to “... the Altar of Incense...” must have been
THE GREAT MESSIAH WOULD COME WHEN A ‘KING’ RULED troubling and frightening to the Elderly St
WHO WAS NOT FROM THE ROYAL TRIBE OF JUDAH. (GENESIS Zacharias.
49:10) ✶ “...Thy Prayer has been heard. And Thy Wife, Elizabeth,
Herod served under the authority of the Roman Empire. will bear Thee a son...” confirming that CEASELESS,
✶ “... Zacharias... and... .Elizabeth... were both Righteous SINCERE AND FERVENT PRAYERS ARE INDEED HEARD BY OUR
before God...” THEY WERE OF PRIESTLY LINEAGE AND ALL MERCIFUL LORD GOD.
LIVED IN HUMBLE OBEDIENCE TO GOD’S WILL.  AS HIGH PRIESTS, ST ZACHARIAS HAD NOT PRAYED FOR A SON
 The Holiness of St John was partly due to the fact that BUT FOR THE ATONEMENT OF THE SINS OF ALL ISRAEL – his
HIS PARENTS WERE INWARDLY AND OUTWARDLY FAITHFUL, own sins and those of all the Faithful.
HUMBLE AND OBEDIENT IN ALL ASPECTS to God.  St Gabriel’s Announcement revealed that
✶ “...they had no child ... “ like other significant women of 1. ST ZACHARIAS’ PRAYER FOR ATONEMENT WOULD BE
the Old Covenant, such as Sarah, Rebecca, ANSWERED and that
Hannah and others, such as St Anna, the mother of 2. HIS BELOVED WIFE, ST ELIZABETH WOULD CONCEIVE A SON.
our Lady, Theotokos, ST ELIZABETH, WAS BARREN AND  Our Prayers ought to be offered with LOVE, SINCERITY
BEYOND THE AGE OR POSSIBILITY OF CHILD-BEARING. AND HOPE - ALWAYS ACCORDING TO THE WILL OF GOD,
 THEY HAD CEASELESSLY PRAYED FOR A CHILD until they were that is ACCEPTED WITH HUMILITY AND OBEDIENCE,
too old to hope for such a Blessing. knowing that GOD ALONE KNOWS WHAT IS MOST
 GOD USED SUCH FAITHFUL, BARREN COUPLES TO BRING FORTH BENEFICIAL AND SALVIFIC.
OFFSPRING WHO FULFILLED GOD’S PLAN FOR THE ✶ “...Thou shalt name him ‘John....’ which means “THE
SALVATION OF HIS PEOPLE. GRACE OF GOD.”
 EVERYTHING THAT IS GOOD AND BENEFICIAL TO MANKIND IS  St John the Baptist was THE PERSONIFICATION OF THAT
ACCORDING TO THE TIME, PLAN AND WILL OF OUR HEAVENLY SACRED ATONEMENT WHO WOULD IDENTIFY OUR LORD
FATHER. JESUS AS “...the Lamb of God Who takes away the
✶ “...While he was serving as Priest before God in the sins of the world.” (JOHN 1 :29)
Order of his Division...”  ST JOHN THE FORERUNNER AND BAPTIST LIVED UP TO HIS NAME,
 EACH PRIEST who served at the Holy Temple WAS AS SHOULD WE – being Baptised with the venerable
ASSIGNED TO A SPECIFIC DIVISION of the Temple.

32. C O N C E P T I O N OF ST JOHN THE BAPTIST & FORERUNNER TO CHRIST OUR SAVIOUR - 23 SEPTEMBER 2019
names of Saints whose good examples we ought to  The silencing of the High Priest also revealed a far
imitate. deeper Divine Mystery:
✶ “...many will rejoice at his birth ...” As the Forerunner to THE GREAT DIVINE MESSIAH WAS EXPECTED TO FULFIL THREE
our Divine Saviour, who announced the Coming of CRUCIAL OFFICES, which our Lord Jesus Christ certainly
Christ, THOSE WHO COMPREHENDED HOLY SCRIPTURE AND has done:
THE DIVINELY INSPIRED PROPHECIES, CERTAINLY REJOICED. 1. PROPHET (Deuteronomy 18: 15 – 18)
“...He will be great in the Sight of the Lord...” for HE FULFILS In preparation for the Coming of our Divine Saviour,
THE MOST IMPORTANT SALVIFIC ROLE – PREPARING THE GOD HAD SILENCED HIS HOLY PROPHETS FOR MANY YEARS.
PEOPLE to receive Christ BY FIRST REPENTING THEIR SINS. 2. HIGH PRIEST (Psalms 109:4 & Hebrews 4:14)
 St John was an EARTHLY ANGEL OF GOD, LIVING IN STRICT In the Last Days before the First Coming of Christ, THE
ASCETICISM AND PREACHING ONLY DIVINE TRUTH AS THE HIGH PRIEST WAS ALSO SILENCED.
LAST AND GREATEST OF ALL OLD COVENANT PROPHETS. 3. KING (Deuteronomy 23:3 – Isaiah 9:6 & Micah 5 : 1)
✶ “...he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his HE PERMITTED AN ILLEGITIMATE USURPER TO OCCUPY THE
Mother’s womb...” WAS CONFIRMED WHEN OUR LADY, POSITION OF “KING OF JUDEA.”
THEOTOKOS, VISITED ST ELIZABETH, bearing the With these three Vital Roles vacant, illegitimate and silent,
recently Incarnated Son of God in Her All Pure, ALL WAS READY TO RECEIVE THE INCARNATE SON OF GOD Who
Virginal Womb. is revealed as OUR TRUE AND ONLY PROPHET, HIGH PRIEST
 SIX MONTHS AFTER HIS CONCEPTION, ST JOHN LEAPT WITH JOY AND KING.
IN HIS MOTHER’S WOMB, thereby ACKNOWLEDGING THE ✶ “...Elizabeth, his wife, conceived...” - the Conception of
DIVINE PRESENCE OF OUR DIVINE SAVIOUR. St John is liturgically celebrated on 23 September,
 SIMILAR TO THE EVER BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, ST JOHN’S ENTIRE confirming the Sanctity of Marital Relations for
LIFE WAS DEDICATED ENTIRELY TO GOD WITH ABSOLUTE those who are past child-bearing years.
HUMILITY AND OBEDIENCE. ✶ “...she hid herself for five months...” This is a reference to
✶ “...he will turn many of the sons of Israel to the Lord...”by THE ABSENCE OF GOD’S HOLY PROPHETS SINCE THE TIME OF
ANNOUNCING THE COMING OF CHRIST AND PREACHING HIS MALACHI. (1 Malachi 9:27)
DIVINE TRUTH - not only to those who were still alive  THE SILENCING OF THE HOLY PROPHETS OF GOD SERVED TO
but also those who suffered in Hades. HEIGHTEN THE ANTICIPATION AND YEARNING for the
 HIS SINCERE EXHORTATIONS AND PROCLAMATIONS RESTORED Great Messiah, and to make It all the more evident
AND RENEWED FAITH IN GOD. when He finally arrived.
IT HAD BEEN A VERY LONG TIME SINCE ISRAEL WAS SPIRITUALLY  ST JOHN THE BAPTIST WAS THE LAST AND GREATEST HOLY
GUIDED BY DIVINELY INSPIRED AND FAITHFUL PROPHETS OF PROPHET OF GOD for he called the people to
GOD, so many had either drifted away or became Repentance and prepared the Way for them to
weakened by doubts and lack of steadfast, correct receive our Lord Jesus as God’s Christ – God’s
Faith.. Anointed One.
✶ “...he will also go before Him in the spirit and power of  ST JOHN THE BAPTIST WAS THUS ALSO KEPT HIDDEN UNTIL OUR
Elijah...” refers to the prophesy concerning ST LORD JESUS CHRIST WAS CONCEIVED – until the Eternal
ELIJAH WHO REPRESENTS THE HOLY PROPHETS AND THEIR Son and Word of God was Incarnate and became
INSPIRED PROPHECIES CONCERNING THE GREAT MESSIAH. Man.
 ST ELIJAH was expected to reappear from Heaven as  AFTER THE CONCEPTION OF OUR DIVINE SAVIOUR, ST JOHN WAS
THE FORERUNNER OF THE REAPPEARANCE (PAROUSIA) OR REVEALED THROUGH HIS PROPHETIC ACT OF LEAPING WITH
SECOND COMING OF OUR LORD. (MALACHI 4:5) JOY IN ST ELIZABETH’S WOMB.
 ST JOHN THE BAPTIST fulfils the spirit of St Elijah because “...my reproach among people...” Being childless
he IS HE FORERUNNER OF OUR LORD’S FIRST throughout marriage was socially disgraceful and
APPEARANCE.(MATTHEW 11:14) embarrassing because INFERTILITY WAS
✶ “... I am Gabriel, who stands in the Presence of God... UNACCEPTABLE.
sent to speak to Thee...” HE ALWAYS IDENTIFIES HIMSELF Women were expected to produce as many healthy
VERY CLEARLY so that there is no mistaking the origin children as possible to increase their family and to
of any Divine Message. strengthen the Nation of Israel.
“... Thou shalt be mute ... until ... these things take place Sons were desirable because not only would they be
 ST ZACHARIAS INDICATED A LACK OF FAITH IN GOD BY able to work well to sustain the entire family and
QUESTIONING ARCHANGEL GABRIEL’S ANNUNCIATION. be suitable heirs who would continue their
 WHEN ABRAM HAD HEARD GOD’S PROMISE of a son lineage, but in some cases, would also receive
announced by the Angel, “...he believed in the dowries from brides’ families.
Lord” - without any hesitation or doubt, WITH TOTAL  INFERTILITY WAS REGARDED AS A ‘PUNISHMENT OF GOD’ FOR
TRUST AND FAITH IN THE LORD. ‘SECRET’ AND UNREPENTED SINS.
 ST ZACHARIAS WAS DISCIPLINED FOR HIS UNBELIEF by losing  THE DEEP SORROW OF CHILDLESSNESS WAS REPLACED BY
his ability to speak UNTIL EIGHT DAYS AFTER THE BIRTH INTENSE REJOICING AND DEEP GRATITUDE TO GOD FOR HIS
OF HIS SON. GREAT MERCY.
 THIS CONFIRMED THE TRUTH OF ARCHANGEL GABRIEL’S
ANNOUNCEMENT.
G R EE K OR THOD OX EDU CATION – W H O IS R AISING AND ED UC ATING OUR CHI LD RE N ?
In ‘the good old days’, our children were raised by their Do we need an incredible amount of intellect to
parents who also educated them along with their understand what kind of education these children will
teachers. receive?
Furthermore, a significant role in our children’s education In addition, children are growing up today under the
was played by the wise Philosophers of ancient heavy influence of the internet and social media.
Greece, the Holy Fathers of the Church, the Three Here, as well, we need to scrutinize two things.
Hierarchs, and society at large. 1. What attitude and conduct does social media
Unfortunately, our children today are being raised by teach children?
contemporary society with all its problems. 2. Do children possess the requisite judgement to use
The mother works. The father works. The children grow social media appropriately?
up at home with a maid or are confined to a day-care The answers to these questions are quite obvious.
facility. Children are also raised by the schools they are
Today’s society does not help to raise and educate attending. But what do they teach in schools these
children. days?
Today’s society does not promote the values that it should. Unfortunately, school programmes often do not educate
The family is mostly facing extinction. children appropriately and in a manner that is
According to statistics, more than fifty percent (50%) of conducive to creating within them a really good and
children grow up with either one parent or in a family virtuous character.
whose father and mother are of the same gender. This is a huge problem.
For all these reasons, Greek-Orthodox schools are
absolutely necessary.

CONCEPTION OF ST JOHN THE BAPTIST & FORERUNNER TO CHRIST OUR SAVIOUR - 23 SEPTEMBER 2019 33.
Of course, this puts a financial burden on parents. knowledge but also grants them Holy Virtues and
But what should be done? Eternal Salvation?
Every parent should carefully think this through – we Will you deprive your children of the opportunity to
have brought children into the world, so we are all develop a healthy, loving, honest and steadfast
responsible for their upbringing and education. character as an Orthodox Christian?
What benefits parents, children and society in general? Do you consider how they will live and how they will
Should we place more emphasis on enjoying the luxuries cope in this contemporary, corrupt society without a
of life, or should we prioritize our children’s well-being solid foundation of good Spiritual Values – without a
and proper education? good code of conduct and Orthodox Belief?
I have spoken and written about this on many occasions. How proud will you be of your children if they do not
Greek parents give their children the best of everything - possess worthy, honest and sincere values or if they
the best home, the best food, the best clothes and the become unsuccessful, depraved or criminal members
best education, but is the schooling of our children of our Community and society?
shaping the best character in them? As the wise Proverb states: “A stitch in time saves nine!”
Unfortunately, most of the time, this is not happening! Only prudence and foresight affords us an advantage.
Modern Greek parents (throughout the world) forget or Dear Parents, please make sure that your children
ignore the (significant and Sacred) Role played by receive the best Greek Orthodox Christian Education
our Orthodox Christian Faith. possible, in order to develop and nurture within them
They overlook the fact that for all our children, the most good standards of attitude and action.
Precious Asset is the formation of the Greek Orthodox Only in this way will they be able to survive healthily and
Christian character. successfully – so that when others regard them with
For this reason, the Greek Orthodox School is of the admiration, pride and respect, they will set a good
greatest necessity for Orthodox Christian Communities example for society to imitate, that will make us all
throughout the world. rejoice rather than sorrow.
Therefore, we must build schools – build, support and Life on Earth is transient.
maintain Greek Orthodox Schools. We are all going to die soon or later.
We must take good care of all our children, and in We will not take any of our material wealth with us.
addition to the education they receive at their schools, We will be Victorious only if we spend our wealth on
we must ensure that they also benefit from a Greek educating our children as Faithful Orthodox
Orthodox education in Greek Schools - whether in the Christians and for Good Works that Glorify our Lord
afternoon, on Saturdays or on a daily basis. God.
Greek Orthodox Day Schools are by far the best option for Everyone should contribute to the establishment and
our growing children. maintenance of Greek Orthodox Day Schools.
I put the following questions to the Greek Orthodox No child of Orthodox Christian origin should be excluded
Faithful throughout the world: and all parents should support and encourage these
What will you do for your beloved children? Orthodox Christian Day Schools that will greatly
Will you cry over money but deprive your children of a Benefit our beloved children who are our most
Greek Orthodox Education? precious legacy.
Will you deprive your children of an appropriate, well- With Fatherly Love and Blessings,
rounded education that not only gives them METROPOLITAN ARCHBISHOP SOTIRIOS OF TORONTO
https://pemptousia.com/2019/02/greek-orthodox-education
E TER NAL , I NSPIRE D W ISD OM OF OU R HOLY FATHERS
S T N ICH OL AS V EL IMIR OVIC H ARCHIMANDRITE EPHRAIM OF VATOPEDI
Our Lord God allows the proud to be humbled and We believe that the sole Ray of Hope and Optimism
brought low when they think that they are secure in concerning the doubtful quality of life of young
their own strength and ability. people today can come only from our Heavenly
Father, because our Triune God, Who is Revealed to
S T P AISIOS THE AT H ONITE us and Who Lives within His Holy Orthodox Church, is
When we are slandered or wronged by vacuous or a Loving and personal Lord God.
wicked people who are full of wickedness and who God establishes personal relationships with each Faithful
distort the Truth, it is good not to want to be proved Believer, in such a manner that every movement, act
right – if we can – in front of other people, provided and activity – even thought – is directly linked to Him.
the injustice only has to do with us personally.
It is best not to even think nor say “God will deal with S T AM PH IL OC H IOS M AKRIS OF P ATM OS
them,” because that is a Curse in itself! Our Lord Jesus Christ is close to us – even if we do not see
The best thing is to forgive them wholeheartedly and to Him. Sometimes, due to our stubbornness, He gives us
ask God to grant us Strength to bear the burden of a bit of a slap (to bring us to our senses) because of
slander, and to continue our Spiritual Life in obscurity, His Great Love for us.
as far as possible.
We must let those people who habitually judge and E LDE R S OP HR ONY OF E SSEX
condemn to continue their slanders and lies, for in this Our current lifespan is filled with negative things but
manner they are preparing Golden Crowns for us in through all of this, we have a Sacred Duty to Follow
the Real Life... our Lord Jesus Christ in order to acquire
Understanding of His Divine Truth.
M E TR OP OL ITAN A TH ANASIOS OF L IM ASSOL
Elder Isaac teaches us that those who do not have a S T CL EM ENT OF AL EX AND R IA
merciful cast of mind are like trees that bear no fruit. The Fear of God is Serene – because what we fear is not
It does not matter what our Ascetic Endeavours might be our Lord God, but our estrangement from Him.
– Prayers, Fasts and Vigils – unless our heart is
Merciful, unless we are Loving towards others, unless S T P OR PHY R IOS OF K AVSOKALY V IA

we are fond of everyone, as our Lord God Loves all of The people who ‘trouble’ our Lord God are those of us
us – then we are like fruitless trees! who doubt, hesitate or – even worse – resist, reject or
disobey His Divine Power and Wisdom.
S T AR SE NIOS B OC A Our immoral soul should never dare to rebel against our
We know the Words and Deeds of our Lord Jesus Christ Lord by asking “Why did God do that?” or “Why this
but we do not yet know Christ Himself, and until we and not that?” or “Could God not have done things
find Him, we do not even know ourselves – neither do differently?”
we know our Destination nor the Purpose of this world. All these types of questions indicate that we possess a
mean spirit and contrariness!
S T J OH N C HRY SOSTOM
Nothing please our Lord God as much as when we do not
return evil for evil!

34. C O N C E P T I O N OF ST JOHN THE BAPTIST & FORERUNNER TO CHRIST OUR SAVIOUR - 23 SEPTEMBER 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.
26 SEPTEMBER 2019
ST JOHN THE BELOVED APOSTLE, EVANGELIST & THEOLOGIAN
Also the Feast of St Ephraim the Abbot & Wonderworker of Perekop Monastery,
Novgorod – The Arrival in Georgia of the Holy Icon of our Lady, Theotokos of Iveron
Monastery, Mount Athos
THE SUNDAY AND FESTAL HYMNS ARE PUBLISHED IN BOOKLET FORM EACH MONTH.
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THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST JOHN 21 :1 & 14 - 25


At that time, our Lord Jesus showed Himself again to His Disciples at the Sea of Tiberias...
... This was the third time our Lord Jesus showed Himself to His Disciples after He was raised from the dead.
And when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter: “Simon Jonah: dost Thou Love Me more than
these?” He said to Him: “Yes, Lord. Thou know that I love Thee.” He said to him: “Feed My Lambs.”
Jesus said to him a second time: “Simon Jonah: dost Thou Love Me?” He said to Him: “Yes, Lord. Thou know that I love
Thee.” He said to him: “Tend My Sheep.”
He said to him the third time: “Simon Jonah: dost Thou love Me?” Peter was grieved because He asked him for the
third time: “Dost Thou love Me?” And he said to Him: “Lord, Thou know all things – Thou know that I love Thee.”
Jesus said to him: “Feed My Sheep.
“Truly, truly, I say to Thee: when Thou were younger, Thou girded Thyself and walked where Thou wished. When
Thou art old, Thou wilt stretch out Thy hands and another will gird Thee and carry Thee where Thou dost not
wish to go.” This he spoke, signifying by what death he would Glorify God.
And when He had said this, He said to him: “Follow Me.”
Turning around, Peter saw the Disciple whom Jesus Loved following, who also had leant upon His Breast at the Supper,
and had asked: “Lord, who is the one who betrays Thee?” Seeing him, Peter said to Jesus: “Lord, what about him?”
Jesus said to him: “If I Will that he remain until I come, what is that to Thee? Thou Follow Me!” Then this saying
went out among the Brethren that this Disciple would not die. Yet Jesus did not say to him that he would not die,
but: “If I Will that he remain until I come, what is that to Thee?”
This is the Disciple who testifies to these Things, and wrote them. And we know that his Testimony is True. There are
also many other Things that Jesus did, which – if they were written one by one – I suppose that even the world itself
could not contain the Books that would be written.
Amen.
✶ “...showed Himself again to His Disciples at the Sea of ✶ “...Thou know that I love Thee...”
Tiberias...”  ST PETER USED THE TERM “PHILO” TO EXPRESS HIS IMMATURE
 OUR RESURRECTED LORD JESUS CHRIST’S BODY WAS DEVOTION, which is a lesser form of Love, which is
TRANSFIGURED AND INCORRUPTIBLE so It is INVISIBLE instead AN EXPRESSION OF BROTHERLY LOVE OR
UNLESS HE SHOWS HIMSELF in His visible Appearance. AFFECTION.
 HIS RESURRECTED BODY IS INDEED HUMAN BUT IT IS GLORIFIED ✶ “...said to him the third time: “... dost Thou love Me?”
IN EVERY RESPECT and illustrates THE KIND OF  OUR LORD JESUS THEN ALSO USED THE TERM “PHILO” that St
RESURRECTED BODY EACH BELIEVER WILL RECEIVE at our Peter has used, THEREBY CONDESCENDING TO HIS
General Resurrection on the Eighth Day. (1 APOSTLE’S WEAKNESS AND ACCEPTING WHATEVER DEGREE
CORINTHIANS 15:42-49) OF LOVE ST PETER WAS ABLE TO OFFER HIM AT THAT POINT.
 The Sea of Tiberias is also known as THE SEA OF GALILEE.  OUR DIVINE SAVIOUR KNEW THAT ST PETER, like all His other
✶ “...Jesus said to Simon Peter...” The fact that our Lord Faithful Apostles and Disciples, WOULD SOON RECEIVE
singled out St Peter, had a two-fold significance: THE DIVINE GIFTS OF GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT THAT ENABLES
1. ST PETER WAS THE LEADER OR SPOKESMAN of the AND EMPOWERS US TO COMPREHEND DIVINE TRUTH AND
Apostles and Faithful Disciples and HAD BEEN THE LOVE.
FIRST TO CONFESS HIS LOVE for our Resurrected  ST PETER, like so many others, WOULD VOLUNTARILY SUFFER
Christ. MARTYRDOM FOR THE ALL-CONSUMING LOVE OF GOD AND
2. ST PETER HAD DENIED OUR SAVIOUR THREE TIMES so OUR HIS DIVINE TRUTH.
ALL MERCIFUL LORD RESTORED HIM WITH A THREE-FOLD ✶ “...Peter was grieved...” for two reasons:
CONFESSION OF LOVE. 1. Our Lord had CONDESCENDED TO HIS LEVEL OF LOVE.
✶ “...Simon Jonah: dost Thou Love Me...” 2. These three questions were A CLEAR BUT GENTLE
 St Simon Peter’s father was “JONAH” thus it WAS HIS REFERENCE TO HIS THREE DENIALS OF CHRIST, which he
SURNAME. deeply regretted and Repented.
 OUR LORD HAD ALSO NICK-NAMED HIM “PETER” - “Petros”- ✶ “...carry Thee where Thou dost not wish to go...” was a
meaning “Rock,” which alluded to his ROCK-SOLID reference to the eventual arrest and crucifixion of St
FAITH UPON WHICH CHRIST’S HOLY CHURCH WAS FOUNDED. Peter.
 It is noteworthy that OUR LORD USED THE WORD “AGAPAS,” It was our Lord’s second prophesy concerning St Peter’s
(LOVE), TWICE. Martyrdom that he would suffer under the reigning
 It is derived from the word “AGAPE,” denoting THE Emperor Nero circa 67, being crucified upside down.
HIGHEST FORM OF SACRIFICIAL, SELF-EMPTYING LOVE OF ✶ “...He said to him: “Follow Me.” These words clearly
ALMIGHTY GOD, which He has for all mankind, show that OUR LORD FORGAVE ST PETER AND RESTORED HIM
especially those who are Faithful. AS HIS HOLY APOSTLE.
 That Absolute, Pure, Perfect, Divine Love is FAR SUPERIOR  There are no grievous sins that are too wicked for God
TO OUR MUNDANE, EMOTIONAL IDEA OF LOVE. to forgive - because HIS GREAT MERCY IS INFINITE,
 WE CAN ONLY ACQUIRE THAT DIVINE LOVE BY SPIRITUALLY REQUIRING ONLY OUR HEARTFELT CONTRITION AND SINCERE
MATURING THROUGH GOD’S DIVINE GRACE. REPENTANCE.
 To Christ’s first two questions, ST PETER IS UNABLE TO ✶ “...Feed My Lambs... Tend My Sheep... Feed My Sheep...”
COMPREHEND NOR PROCLAIM SUCH ABSOLUTE DIVINE are THE DIVINE COMMANDMENTS THAT ARE FULFILLED
LOVE. WITHIN CHRIST’S HOLY CHURCH - THE PASTORAL CARE OF

S T J OH N TH E BE LOVED A P OSTLE , EV ANGEL IST AND TH EOL OGIAN – 26 S EP TE MBER 35.


HIS HOLY FLOCK, which is entrusted to our Lord’s  GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT HAS BESTOWED HIS DIVINE GIFTS UPON
Ordained Bishops and Priests – the Shepherds who US THAT HELP US AND ENABLE US TO FULFIL THE WILL OF
watch over, lead and protect the Sacred Flocks of OUR HEAVENLY FATHER.
God.  THE PURPOSE OF THIS VERY TEMPORARY, PREPARATORY LIFESPAN
✶ “...Lord, what about him?..” This is A HIGHLY SIGNIFICANT IS
QUESTION IN GENERAL. 1. for us to RID OURSELVES OF OUR SINFUL HABITS that
 WE ARE EASILY TEMPTED TO CRITICISE AND JUDGE OTHERS. separate us from God
 OUR JUDGEMENT OUGHT TO BE RESERVED FOR OURSELVES . 2. so that we can REGAIN OUR DIVINE LIKENESS
 We must CEASELESSLY LOOK WITHIN OURSELVES AND PLUCK 3. and BECOME FAITHFUL CITIZENS of His Heavenly
OUT THE LURKING SINS that will Eternally Condemn us. Kingdom of Love that begins NOW.
 We must learn to SEE OURSELVES VERY CLEARLY. ✶ “...There are also many other Things that Jesus did...” St
 WHENEVER WE ARE TEMPTED TO POINT FINGERS elsewhere, John made it very clear that
we must QUICKLY TURN THEM INWARDS.  HOLY SCRIPTURE – both the Old and New Covenant
 THE SINS AND BLEMISHES WE NOTICE ELSEWHERE ARE more Scriptures – RECORD THE MOST SIGNIFICANT DIVINE
often than not A REFLECTION OF OUR OWN SINFUL TRUTH, BUT CERTAINLY NOT ALL OF IT.
CONDITION!  THOSE WHO BASE THEIR FAITH ONLY ON WHAT IS WRITTEN, LOSE
 IF WE ARE UNABLE TO RECOGNISE OUR WEAKNESSES AND OUT ON ALL OTHER ASPECTS of our Orthodox Christian
ERRORS, WE MUST BESEECH OUR LORD, OUR PATRON SAINTS Faith.
AND OUR SPIRITUAL FATHERS TO HELP US IDENTIFY AND  Far more Divine Truth and Knowledge is granted to us
CORRECT THEM AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE. through our Divinely Inspired
✶ “...what is that to Thee? Thou Follow Me!” 1. Hymns
 THIS IS A MOST IMPORTANT SACRED LESSON TO LEARN AND 2. Writings and Teachings of the Holy Apostles as
ALWAYS REMEMBER AND OBEY! well as our ancient and modern Holy Fathers,
 Our Lord makes it very clear indeed – IT IS NONE OF OUR 3. Holy Icons
CONCERN WHAT ANYONE ELSE IS DOING (unless we can 4. Through God’s Holy Angels
prevent others being harmed). 5. various other means of Divine Revelation that will
 As Faithful Disciples, we must FOLLOW CHRIST FAITHFULLY continue until the Ages of ages.
BY THINKING, SPEAKING AND DOING EVERYTHING 6. Holy Services and Divine Liturgy
ACCORDING TO HIS DIVINE TRUTH AND LOVE. 7. Prayers
 IT IS ALWAYS TEMPTING TO SEE THE FAULT OF OTHERS and feel Whatever we need to know for the sake of our Eternal
a need to point them out in order TO EXCUSE OUR Salvation is granted to us by God when our heart and
OWN BAD ATTITUDE OR BEHAVIOUR. soul is receptive, willing, humble and obedient to His
 WE HAVE PUT ON CHRIST AND NOW MUST LIVE IN CHRIST, Divine Will and Truth.
meaning that we must IMITATE HIM IN EVERY WAY
POSSIBLE.
P R OKE IME NON – P SALM 18/19 – T ONE 4

His Proclamation went forth into all the Earth.


The Heavens declare the Glory of God.
T H E F IR ST U NIVE R SAL EP ISTLE OF S T J OH N 4 : 12 – 19
Beloved: No one has seen God at any time. If we Love one another, God Abides in us, and His Love has been Perfected
in us. By this we know that we Abide in Him, and He in us, for He has given us of His Spirit. And we have seen and
Testify that the Father has sent the Son as Saviour of the world. Whoever Confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God
Abides in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the Love that God has for us. God is Love, and he
who Abides in Love Abides in God, and God in him. Love has been Perfected among us in this: that we may have
Boldness in the Day of Judgement; for as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in Love, for Perfect Love
casts out fear, because fear involves torment. He who fears has not been made Perfect in Love.
We Love God because He first Loved us.
✶ “...No one has seen God ...” is emphasised by St John  Having “...PUT ON CHRIST...” AS OUR SPIRITUAL GARMENT OF
the Beloved Apostle, Evangelist and Theologian to RIGHTEOUSNESS, we now LIVE IN CHRIST ACCORDING TO
whom our Lord Jesus Christ revealed many ALL HIS DIVINE TEACHINGS AND COMMANDMENT.
Divine Mysteries and Truth.  “...He has given us of His Spirit...” Having received
 WE CANNOT SEE ALMIGHTY GOD IN ALL HIS MAJESTY AND HOLY CHRISMATION AND THE SEAL OF THE GIFTS OF GOD
GLORY - even if we were of the Spiritual World. THE HOLY SPIRIT, we are thereby ENABLED AND
 THOSE WHO HAVE RISEN TO GREAT SPIRITUAL HEIGHTS – HOLY EMPOWERED TO FULFIL THE DIVINE WILL OF OUR
HESYCHASTS - HAVE EXPERIENCED THE GREAT JOY AND HEAVENLY FATHER in humble imitation of our Lord
WONDER OF HIS DIVINE UNCREATED LIGHT. Jesus.
 THE ONLY WAY WE CAN SEE ALMIGHTY GOD, IS IN THE HUMAN  The DIVINE GIFTS OF GOD THE ALL HOLY, LIFE-GIVING HOLY
NATURE OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. SPIRIT
 When our Divine Saviour was asked about God our 1. enable us TO UNDERSTAND AND TO FULFIL THE DIVINE
Heavenly Father, He told His Apostles that ANYONE TRUTH
WHO SEES HIM, SEES THE FATHER AS WELL. 2. GRANT US THE ABILITY TO ACQUIRE THE HOLY VIRTUES
that are ESSENTIAL TO OUR HOLY LIFE IN CHRIST WHILE
The Holy Icon of the Holy Trinity – “the Hospitality of WE STRIVE AND STRUGGLE throughout this short,
Abraham” – depicts the Holy Trinity as three identical preparatory lifespan.
Angels Who had visited the ancient Patriarch at the 3. EMPOWER US TO FULFIL THE WILL OF OUR HEAVENLY
Oaks of Mamre. (GENESIS 18) FATHER.
Although there were Three Divine ‘Angels’, St Abraham 4. ARE CRUCIAL TO OUR ETERNAL SALVATION.
addressed Them collectively as “Lord.”  WITHOUT THE DIVINE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, WE CANNOT
COMPREHEND, NOR ACHIEVE ANYTHING THAT IS
✶ “...God Abides in us... His Love has been Perfected in SPIRITUALLY BENEFICIAL, WORTHY OR GOOD.
us...” WE MUST BE WORTHY TEMPLES OF GOD AND ✶ “...we have seen and Testify ...” St John together with
IMITATORS OF CHRIST SO THAT HE MIGHT ABIDE IN US:
the other Apostles and Faithful Disciples are
1. by LOVING ONE ANOTHER RELIABLE, HONEST AND SINCERE EYE-WITNESSES to
2. by RECEIVING HIS HOLY SPIRIT everything concerning our Lord Jesus Christ and
3. by CONFESSING OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST AS THE His Divine Mission on Earth.
ETERNAL, ONLY BEGOTTEN SON AND WORD OF GOD OUR  THEY PERSONALLY WITNESSED EVERYTHING, AND CAN THUS
HEAVENLY FATHER. HONESTLY TESTIFY TO THE TRUTH AND REALITY OF ALL
✶ “...we Abide in Him, and He in us...” OUR LIFE IN CHRIST CHRIST’S WORDS AND DEEDS.
JESUS BEGINS WITH THE HOLY MYSTERIES OF BAPTISM AND ✶ “...Jesus is the Son of God...” – THE ETERNAL, ONLY
CHRISMATION. BEGOTTEN SON AND WORD OF GOD OUR HEAVENLY
FATHER.

36. S T J OH N THE BEL OVED AP OSTLE , EV ANGEL IST AND TH EOLOGIAN – 26 S EP TEM BE R
 OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST’S DIVINE NATURE MEANS THAT HE AND COMMANDMENTS, AND CONSTANTLY REPENTED OUR
HAS ETERNALLY EXISTED – before all time - all ages, SINS.
and before all invisible and visible Creation.  EVEN BEFORE THE CREATION, GOD HAD A PLAN OF GREAT
 HE IS THE SECOND PERSON OF THE ONE GODHEAD – of the MERCY AND DIVINE GRACE FOR US.
Holy Trinity.  OUR DIVINE SAVIOUR IS THE PROPITIATION (Payment,
 OUR LORD JESUS IS TRULY GOD-MAN – He is the Eternal Atonement or Ransom) FOR OUR SINS – AS OUR DIVINE
Son of God and the Incarnate Son of Man. RECONCILIATION AND REDEEMER.
 HE VOLUNTARILY BECAME INCARNATE AND VISIBLE.  THROUGH THE ULTIMATE AND FINAL BLOOD SACRIFICE OF
By ‘emptying Himself’ of His infinite, uncontainable and CHRIST, ALL MANKIND WAS SAVED from permanent
invisible Divine Majesty, our Lord willingly took on our Spiritual Harm – the enslavement of sin and
weak human nature and conditions so that He could Spiritual Death invented by the evil one.
teach us His Divine Truth directly and show us how to  Because of our free will, however, WE STILL HAVE THE
fulfil the Will of our Heavenly Father by His own INCLINATION TO SIN SO WE NEED TO CONTINUOUSLY
Perfect Example. BATTLE AGAINST TEMPTATIONS THAT LEAD TO SIN AND
Being God-Man – i.e. having two Natures – Divine and human SPIRITUAL DEATH.
– He retained His Divine Powers and Identity, for He is  Nevertheless, until we draw our very last breath in
“Ever Present” or Omnipresent. this life, WE HAVE EVERYTHING NECESSARY TO RESIST
✶ “...God is Love...” is not a definition of Who God is, but TEMPTATION AND EVERY OPPORTUNITY TO REPENT OUR
rather A DESCRIPTION OF HIS RELATIONSHIP TO US AS OUR SINS, AND RETURN TO DIVINE GRACE
HEAVENLY FATHER WHO LOVES US FAR BEYOND OUR  God grants us CONTINUAL SPIRITUAL RENEWAL THROUGH
UNDERSTANDING. LIFE-GIVING, SALVIFIC HOLY MYSTERIES of
 DIVINE LOVE TEACHES MANKIND THE ULTIMATE SACRED Repentance-Confession, Holy Eucharist and Holy
LESSON for this is the Message of CHRIST’S HOLY Unction.
GOSPEL.  If we Repose in a State of Spiritual Life, having
 As OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST WAS THE SUPREME, MOST PERFECT Repented our sins, we will indeed have ‘Boldness”
SACRIFICIAL OFFERER AND OFFERING so that we might and Courage as we stand before the Awesome
Live Eternally through Him, we, too, must JOYFULLY Judgement Seat of our Lord.
AND WILLINGLY OFFER OURSELVES TO GOD AND TO ONE ✶ “...There is no fear in Love, for Perfect Love casts out
ANOTHER IN THAT SAME PERFECT, DIVINE LOVE – AGAPE. fear...”
 God’s infinite, unconditional Divine Love for us is  ALMIGHTY GOD IS A LOVING GOD WHO WATCHES OVER US,
evident BECAUSE HE CREATED US GUIDES AND PROTECTS US from evil and harm.
1. DUE TO AND WITH HIS DIVINE LOVE.  HE DOES NOT DOMINATE US BY FEAR OR TERROR like those
2. FROM NOTHINGNESS – from utter non existence. who are evil and who seek our enslavement and
3. IN HIS DIVINE IMAGE AND LIKENESS. destruction
4. WITH FREE WILL to make our own choices.
5. AS INTELLECTUAL BEINGS who can comprehend His The Old Covenant Prophets put “the fear of God” into the
Divine Truth . Israelites because their idea of an Almighty God was a
 HE NEVER FORCES HIS DIVINE WILL UPON US. Most Powerful and Awful God Who could destroy them or
✶ “...Love has been Perfected among us...” Our Lord hurt them whenever they disobeyed or displeased Him.
Jesus Christ is the “New Adam” - THE They would not have understood nor respected a Loving,
PERSONIFICATION OF PERFECT, DIVINE LOVE. Compassionate and All Merciful God.
 BY IMITATING CHRIST, WE REGAIN OUR DIVINE LIKENESS with God is Eternal and Unchangeable. He has always been Love
which He created us. Itself. Mankind needed to mature to the point of being
able to understand the True Divine Attributes of our
 LOVE IS THE GREATEST , MOST PERFECT FREE GIFT THAT GOD
Triune Lord God.
HAS BESTOWED ON US, which accordingly, WE MUST
Now, having received Divine Truth directly from our Lord
GRANT TO EACH OTHER
Jesus Christ, we understand that Righteous Fear of God
 HIS LOVE IS INEXHAUSTIBLE, GRACIOUS AND ALL MERCIFUL,
means that we only fear our failure to fulfil His Divine
✶ “...we may have Boldness in the Day of Judgement...” IF
Will and be pleasing to our Heavenly Father due to our
WE HAVE FAITHFULLY FOLLOWED CHRIST’S TEACHINGS
all-consuming Love for God.
H OLY G OSPE L A CC ORD ING TO S T J OH N 19:25 – 27 & 21: 24-25
At that time, there stood by the Cross of Jesus, His Mother, and His Mother’s sister, Mary, the wife of Cleopas, and Mary
Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw His Mother, and the Disciple whom He Loved, standing there, He said to His
Mother: “Woman: behold Thy son!” He said to the Disciple: “Behold Thy Mother!” And from that very hour that
Disciple took Her to his own home...
... This is the Disciple who Testifies, and wrote these Things, and we know that his Testimony is True. There were also
many other Things that Jesus did, which – if they were written one by one – I suppose that even the world itself
could not contain the Books that would be written!
Amen.
✶ “...there stood by the Cross of Jesus ...” ST JOHN MENTIONS THEOTOKOS’ SACRED ROLE AS ALL-PURE, ALL-HOLY
THOSE WHO WERE CLOSEST TO OUR LADY, THEOTOKOS AND MOTHER OF ALL DISCIPLES OF CHRIST THROUGHOUT
CHRIST, being her maternal cousins, with the exception ALL AGES.
of St Mary of Magdala. 2. IF THERE HAD BEEN OTHER SIBLINGS, CHRIST WOULD NEVER
ST MARY OF MAGDALA, a mature woman of independent HAVE DISREGARDED THEM
means, was devoted to our Lord Jesus Christ and His 3. NOR WOULD HE HAVE NEEDED TO ENTRUST HIS BELOVED
All-Holy Mother, and HAD BECOME A VERY CLOSE MOTHER’S PROTECTION AND CARE TO ST JOHN.
COMPANION TO THE EVER BLESSED VIRGIN MARY. 4. Thus THE APOSTOLIC TEACHING THAT OUR LADY
“...the Disciple whom He Loved...” is an oblique reference THEOTOKOS IS “EVER VIRGIN” IS DEFINITELY
to St John who was His “Beloved Apostle.” CONFIRMED BY CHRIST’S WORDS.
 ST JOHN’S WRITINGS ALWAYS HIGHLIGHT THE WORDS AND 5. According to St John Chrysostom OUR LORD JESUS
DEEDS OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, never mentioning CHRIST DEMONSTRATED throughout His earthly Life
himself by name due to genuine Humility. that ONE OF OUR MOST IMPORTANT SACRED DUTIES
✶ “...He said to His Mother: “Woman: behold Thy son!”...” WAS “... EVEN TO OUR LAST BREATH – TO SHOW EVERY
- our Lord Jesus used A TERM OF LOVE, DIGNITY, CARE FOR OUR PARENTS.”
RESPECT AND AFFECTION. ✶ “...He said to the Disciple: “Behold Thy Mother!”...”
 Contrary to certain modern usages, THIS IS A SACRED  Not only did Christ appoint St John as the Guardian of
TITLE IN HOLY SCRIPTURE our Lady, Theotokos, but WITH THESE WORDS, HE ALSO
 It is a manner of ADDRESSING SOMEONE WHO IS ADDRESSES ALL HIS FAITHFUL DISCIPLES THROUGHOUT ALL
PROFOUNDLY RESPECTED AND DISTINGUISHED from others. GENERATIONS AND AGES.
 ST JOHN NOTED SEVERAL HIGHLY SIGNIFICANT TRUTHS  THE EVER BLESSED, ALL HOLY THEOTOKOS IS OUR MOST
concerning the All Pure and Holy Mother of our PERFECT HUMAN ROLE MODEL as faithful Disciples of
Lord Jesus Christ. Christ.
1. With these words, our Lord Jesus Christ  HER VIRTUOUS LIFE MOTIVATED AND SUSTAINED BY HER
SYMBOLICALLY ESTABLISHED THE EVER BLESSED PERFECT HUMILITY AND OBEDIENCE TO GOD OUGHT TO BE

S T J OH N TH E BE LOVED A P OSTLE , EV ANGEL IST AND TH EOL OGIAN – 26 S EP TE MBER 37.


CAREFULLY IMITATED by all who consider themselves No doubt having grown up with Christ, ST JOHN HAD
to be Faithful Disciples of Christ. WITNESSED FIRST HAND FAR MORE THAN THAT WHICH IS
 Although not sinless like Her Divine Son, OUR LADY, RECORDED IN HOLY SCRIPTURE.
RESISTED TEMPTATIONS DUE TO HER ABSOLUTE LOVE OF  ST JOHN THE DIVINE - the Beloved Theologian,
GOD AND ALL MANKIND. Evangelist and Apostle of Christ, was THE ONLY HOLY
 SHE IS OUR GREATEST, MOST INFLUENTIAL SPIRITUAL MOTHER APOSTLE TO LIVE A LONG AND FULL LIFE. Although he
who is ABLE TO INTERCEDE WITH GOD ON OUR BEHALF for did suffer a degree of Martyrdom, he FINALLY
the sake of our Deliverance and Eternal Salvation. REPOSED IN PEACE AT THE AGE OF BETWEEN 101 – 103.
✶ “...This is the Disciple who Testifies...” ST JOHN, BEING  FROM HIS EARLY YOUTH ST JOHN HAD MADE A SOLEMN VOW OF
CLOSEST TO CHRIST, WITNESSED MOST OF CHRIST’S DIVINE CHASTITY IN ORDER TO FULLY SERVE THE LORD.
REVELATIONS, WORDS AND DEEDS.  ALTHOUGH THEOTOKOS WAS UNDER HIS PERSONAL
 HE MAKES IT CLEAR THAT WHAT HE HAD WRITTEN WAS A VERY PROTECTION, HIS FAMILY HAPPILY TOOK GREAT CARE OF
SMALL PORTION OF OUR LORD’S DIVINE MISSION. HER.
S T P AISIOS OF M OU NT AT H OS - O N P AIN AND S UF FER ING
The world is filled with pain, fear and suffering, all of Our worst Obstacle is a lack of faith, which prevent the
which, to varying degrees is experienced by every Great Divine Energies from coming to us.
one of us. These all cause our heart to ache, our mind Although there is such Great Divine Power and Energy
to go ‘hay-wire’, and our emotions to become available to us - exceeding all human power and
distorted. abilities - we cannot understand how omnipotent
Many of us wonder how we can avoid or deal with all they are because of our weak human condition.
such problems – especially those problems that we We waste hours on end in vain, trying by ourselves to find
cannot control – so the question arises: “Why does God solutions to our problems, but we are too
allow these tragedies to happen?” inexperienced and so our efforts are futile. Our head
SOME CIRCUMSTANCES ARE VERY COMPLICATED BUT THE ANSWER IS spins, our eyes burn, sleep escapes us, because the
ALWAYS VERY SIMPLE. little demon has hooked us with obsessive thoughts.
Our beloved Spiritual Father and Teacher, St Paisios We might eventually reach a compromise - leaving us
provides Encouragement and Support to us whenever with headaches, anxiety and sleepless nights - but
we suffer any type of affliction. God will grant us an even better solution of which
THE STRUGGLE TO SANCTIFY THE SOUL we had not thought of,.
✶ ...Life of course, is no carefree ‘summer camp’ because No matter how right our thoughts might be, if God is not
it consists of joys but also sorrows. first and foremost in our mind, our head will tire and
The Resurrection is always proceeded by the Crucifixion. ache, while Prayer with trust in God brings
The blows of life’s trials are essential for the Salvation of Restfulness, Comfort and Assurance.
our soul, for we are Refined through them. For this reason, we can confidently trust God to resolve
Just as with clothes - the more we rub them in the wash, everything that is difficult or impossible for any of us
the cleaner they become. Even as with the octopus - to achieve. We must not depend upon our limited
the more it is beaten, the more it is cleaned and human efforts, for only God will do what is best for
tenderized. us.
And the fish, too, appears so graceful when alive and For everything we wish to be done, we must always pray
swimming in the sea, or even when displayed in the “God Willing.” (And then trust in our Lord implicity, and
market with the scales and entrails intact. But it accept everything with Humility and Obedience.)
becomes edible only after it is cleaned and cooked. A GOOD DISPOSITION
It is much the same with people - for when we shed our ✶ … our Benevolent God will find a Way for these kind-
‘scales’ - all things secular – it may seem that we are hearted people (non-believers) - either with trials and
losing our worldly liveliness, but in fact, we are merely tribulations, with illnesses, hardships, with
removing all useless matter in order to be Cleansed, earthquakes, a lightning bolt, a deluge, or even some
prepared and “cooked”. word - to bring them around and in the end to lead
Only then do we become purified and useful… them to Paradise….
SPIRITUAL PROGRESS
DIVINE CONSOLATION
✶ ...Those of us who have been buffeted by ‘rough winds’ - ✶ …With the people I went through so much pain! I did
either because God allowed it in order to rein us in, or not pass over their problems lightly. I was pained by
because of the devil’s envy - are in need of much them, I sighed over them, but with every sigh I turned
sunshine and Spiritual Refreshment before we can the matter over to God and in the pain I felt for others
blossom and bear Fruit. God provided Consolation.
We are like trees that have grown bold during Winter’s That is to say, Divine Consolation comes with the
halcyon days, only to face the cold North wind Spiritual Approach, because the pain that carries
afterwards. We will need constant Spring sunshine with it Hope in God also has Divine Consolation.
and showers to make the sap circulate again in order Otherwise how would we endure? How could I possibly
to blossom and bear Fruit. get through all the things that I hear? Yes, I feel the
✶ …We must simply trust in God, and strive to acquire pain, but I also think of the Divine Reward in those
‘’Philotimo,’ which leads to Inner Peace and Security who are suffering.
and then our soul fills with Hope and Joy… We are in God’s Hands. Since there is Divine Justice,
✶ ...Christ helps those who are fighting the Good Fight Divine Reward, nothing is lost.
that all Saints embraced in order to subdue the flesh The more we are tormented, the more He will Reward us.
to the spirit. Although God sees so much suffering - even things we
Even when wounded, we must never lose our composure, cannot imagine - He never falters. “You have suffered
but should instead ask for God’s Help to continue much?” He asks, “I will provide you with even more
courageously with our Struggle. (Comfort and Joy) in the other Life,” and He Rejoices.
The Good Shepherd will hear us and rush to our aid, just Otherwise, how could we endure so much injustice, so
as a Shepherd responds to the bleating of a lamb that much evil that exists? But we must keep in mind the
is lost or wounded, or threatened by a wolf. Reward – the Spiritual Victory - of those who suffer
DIVINE ENERGIES ARE OMNIPOTENT
and endure that great pain.
✶ … God never abandons us. We forget and abandon We do not see the Glory to be received by others, so we
Him. feel Compassion for them, and for this God Rewards
When we do not Live Spiritually, we are not entitled to us with Divine Consolation…
Divine Help. But when we do Live Spiritually and are SINS BRINGS CALAMITIES
near to God, we are granted His Divine Grace. ✶...God allows calamities to occur, which are usually
Then if something happens to us and we Repose, we are caused by our selfishness, faults and grievous sins
ready for the other Eternal Life, in which case we so that we might Repent our sins and draw closer
gain both in this life and in the next. to Him.
God’s Help cannot be obstructed - neither by men nor “ WITH PAIN AND LOVE FOR CONTEMPORARY MAN” –
demons. Nothing is difficult for God nor for His Saints. SOUROTI: HOLY MONASTERY OF ST JOHN THE THEOLOGIAN

38. S T J OH N TH E BEL OVED AP OSTLE , EV ANGEL IST AND TH EOLOGIAN – 26 S EP TEM BE R


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 29 SEPTEMBER 2019
15TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
2ND SUNDAY OF ST LUKE – T H E G O L D E N R U L E

The Feast of St Kyriakos, Ascetic Hermit of Palestine – St Petronios – St Dadas, St Gabdelas, & St
Kazdoa of Persia – St Theophanes the Merciful of Gaza – St Onuphrios of Gareji Monastery,
Georgia – St Cyprianos of Ustiug
THE SUNDAY AND FESTAL HYMNS ARE PUBLISHED IN BOOKLET FORM EACH MONTH. THESE ARE
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. L I N K S A R E A L S O
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 32/33 – T ONE 1
Let Thy Mercy, O Lord, be upon us, as we Hope in Thee
Rejoice greatly in the Lord, O Righteous, for Praise is fitting for the Upright.
T H E S EC OND EP ISTLE OF S T P AUL TO THE C OR INTH IANS 9 : 6 – 11
SOWING AND REAPING
Brethren, ... those who sow sparingly will also reap sparingly, and those who sow bountifully, will also reap bountifully.
Let each one give according to the purpose of his heart – not grudgingly nor of necessity – for God Loves a cheerful
giver.
God is able to make all Grace abound towards you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an
abundance for every Good Work. As it is written: “He has dispersed abroad; He has given to the poor; His
Righteousness endures forever.” He Who supplies seed to the Sower and bread for food will supply and multiply
the seed you have sown, and increase the Fruits of your Righteousness. In all things you are enriched for all
liberality, which causes Thanksgiving through us to God.

✶ “... those who sow sparingly will also reap sparingly...” is EFFORT – is actually MEANINGLESS AND SPIRITUALLY
the same as “what we sow, we shall reap.” UNBENEFICIAL to our Eternal Salvation.
 WHATEVER WE DO, ALWAYS HAS EVEN GREATER CONSEQUENCES
FOR OURSELVES.
✶ “...God Loves a cheerful giver...” because this is HOW WE
OUGHT TO ALWAYS EXPRESS OUR LOVE AND GRATITUDE to
 Our Lord Jesus Christ - and St Paul - made this
significant Sacred Lesson very clear to us for this God for His infinite Love and Great Mercy.
concerns OUR OWN HOLY STEWARDSHIP THAT WILL EITHER  EVERYTHING WE HAVE, IS ‘LENT’ TO US for this short sojourn
ETERNALLY BLESS US OR CONDEMN US. on Earth while we prepare for Eternity.
 St Paul used this analogy of “reaping and sowing” to  NOTHING BELONGS TO US – not even our Sanctified
teach us about OUR CONSTANT SPIRITUAL LABOURS THAT body.
MUST BE CULTIVATED CAREFULLY AND STEADILY NURTURED  OUR PROVIDENTIAL LORD GOD’S ABUNDANT GENEROSITY MUST
SO AS TO BECOME A BOUNTIFUL HARVEST FOR THE GLORY BE SHARED WITH OTHERS.
OF GOD.
✶ “...Grace abound ... always having all sufficiency ...”
✶ “...give according to the purpose of his heart ...”  BY THE GRACE OF GOD, WE ARE GRANTED EVERYTHING
 OUR ACTIONS ARE MORE SIGNIFICANT THAT MERE WORDS necessary to sustain this short lifespan.
because it is easy to speak but sometimes difficult ✶ “...supply and multiply the seed you have sown, and
to accomplish. increase the Fruits of your Righteousness...”
 Our deeds can often REFLECT OUR THOUGHTS AND ATTITUDE  BY SHARING our generous Blessings with others, WE ARE
towards God and our fellow mankind. BLESSED EVEN MORE.
 If done correctly OUR THOUGHTS, WORDS AND DEEDS CAN  THE POOR AND DESTITUTE SERVE AS OPPORTUNITIES TO EXPRESS
BEAR GOOD SPIRITUAL FRUIT FOR THE GLORY OF GOD. OUR LOVE FOR GOD AND MANKIND.
 THE FRUITS OF OUR LABOURS SHOULD ALWAYS EXPRESS THE  WHATEVER WE DO FOR OR TO OTHERS WILL BE RETURNED TO US
DEGREE OF OUR DEVOTION TO OUR LORD GOD. “A HUNDREDFOLD,” – whether good or bad.

✶ “... not grudgingly nor of necessity...” ✶ “... enriched for all liberality...”
 ANY GOOD DEED IS A WASTED EFFORT IF  ALL OUR SPIRITUAL ‘TOOLS’ AND ‘WEAPONS’ ARE GRANTED
1. done WITHOUT LOVE AND SINCERITY, FREELY AND ABUNDANTLY to us by God so that WE ARE
2. we are FORCED to do so ABLE TO GROW, TO NURTURE AND TO HARVEST THE FRUITS
3. we SEEK PRAISES, REWARD, SELF-GLORIFICATION OR SELF- OF OUR CONSTANT SPIRITUAL LABOURS OF LOVE for the
GRATIFICATION Glory, Honour and Worship of Almighty God.
4. done with as LITTLE EFFORT OR COST AS POSSIBLE.  The Abundant Fruits of our Labours and the infinite
 It is easier but LESS SPIRITUALLY FRUITFUL TO GIVE ONLY OF Providence of God should compel us to EXPRESS OUR
OUR WORLDLY WEALTH AND POSSESSIONS that are PROFOUND, HEARTFELT GRATITUDE TO OUR LORD GOD,
temporary and corruptible. WITHOUT WHOM NOTHING GOOD, BLESSED, WORTHY OR
 ANYTHING THAT is ‘easy’ for us but which DOES NOT JOYFUL WOULD BE POSSIBLE!
INVOLVE ANY DEGREE OF SELF-SACRIFICE – OUR TIME AND
H OLY G OSPE L A CC ORD ING TO S T L UKE 6 : 31 - 36
At that time, our Lord Jesus Christ said: “... and just as you want others to do to you, you also must do to them as well.
And if you Love those who Love you – what credit is that to you? For even sinners Love those who Love them!
And if you do good to those who do good to you – what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And
if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to
sinners in order to receive as much in return!
“Love your enemies, do good, and lend – hoping for nothing in return! And your Reward will be great, and you will
be sons of the Most High, for He is kind to the ungrateful and those who are evil. Be Merciful – just as your Father
also is Merciful!”

39. 1 5 T H
SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 2ND OF ST LUKE – THE GOLDEN COMMANDMENT - 29 SEPTEMBER 2019
✶ “...just as you want others to do to you, you also must do  By Loving our enemies, WE MIGHT EVEN SAVE THEM AND
to them...” OURSELVES FROM ETERNAL CONDEMNATION through
 THIS IS DIVINE GOLDEN RULE OR GOLDEN COMMANDMENT of Repentance-Confession and Forgiveness.
Unconditional, Pure and Absolute Love – Agape.  As Orthodox Christians – Faithful Disciples of Christ –
 Love is THE GREATEST OF CHRISTIAN VIRTUE. WE ARE FORBIDDEN TO HATE ANYONE.
 According to St Cyril of Alexandria, this Divine Golden  We must HATE ONLY THE SIN but NEVER THE SINNER.
Rule of Love places our desire for Goodness – “...  WE ARE ALL SINNERS ALIKE so we ought to ALWAYS PRAY FOR
the natural law of self-love...” as A BASIC STANDARD EACH OTHER OUT OF LOVE AND EMPATHY.
OF HOW TO TREAT ONE ANOTHER.
 It is THE FIRST GREAT STEP ON THE PATH TO SPIRITUAL ✶ “... sons of the Most High...” refers to OUR HOLY ADOPTION AS
PERFECTION OF VIRTUE. CHILDREN OF OUR HEAVENLY FATHERS during the Holy
✶ “...what credit is that to you?...” Mystery of Baptism.
 ANY SELF-SERVING OR SELF-GRATIFYING ACT – any  We thereby become CO-HEIRS WITH CHRIST AND WORTHY
selfishness or egocentricity – IS WORTHLESS AND CITIZENS of His Eternal Kingdom of Love.
UNBENEFICIAL to our Eternal Salvation, NOR IS IT AN
 This is THE ENTIRE PURPOSE OF THIS CURRENT EXISTENCE.
EXPRESSION OF LOVE for God and each other.
 ONLY BY FULFILLING THE WILL OF OUR HEAVENLY FATHER in
 ANY THOUGHT, WORD OR DEED THAT DOES NOT CONTRIBUTE TO all things, WILL WE BE FULLY RESTORED AS HIS BELOVED
THE ETERNAL SALVATION OF OURSELVES AND OTHERS IS OF
CHILDREN – CREATED BY HIS DIVINE LOVE.
NO SPIRITUAL BENEFIT OR “CREDIT.”
 From Baptism to our Repose, we must FULFIL A
CONTINUOUS LIFE OF SPIRITUAL STRUGGLE, striving to
Our Lord Jesus Christ has set out the Path of Righteousness
ACQUIRE THE HOLY VIRTUES THAT GRANT US DIVINE
we can follow quite easily as long as we are willing, eager,
humble and Obedient to the Will of our Heavenly Father. LIKENESS.
We complicate everything but Life in Christ is straight- ✶ “... your Reward will be great...”
forward and uncomplicated.  NOTHING CAN COMPARE TO BEING CLOSE TO GOD.
✶ “...if you do good to those who do good to you...” IS  Our original Ancestors had enjoyed the most
MERELY RECIPROCAL AND SELF-SERVING! marvellous Relationship with our Lord God.
 THIS IS NOT DIVINE LOVE – AGAPE!  OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST HAS NOW MADE IT POSSIBLE FOR US TO
 If we act well only towards those whom we favour and REGAIN THAT AMAZING GRACE that is far beyond any
who favour us, WE DO NOT FULFIL GOD’S WILL. human comprehension.
 If we do so in order to gain recognition, praise or ✶ “... He is kind to the ungrateful... and evil...” GOD’S DIVINE
reward, IT IS SELF-LOVE RATHER THAT DIVINE LOVE. LOVE (TRUE AGAPE) IS BESTOWED EQUALLY UPON HIS
 WE REVEAL OUR TRUE SPIRITUAL STATE when we treat ENTIRE CREATION AND ESPECIALLY ON MANKIND who are
everyone with equal respect and kindness – with His most beloved.
equal, unconditional Love.  We, too, must learn to BE KIND AND RESPECTFUL TO OTHERS,
 THIS IS DIVINE LIKENESS, for we must imitate Christ in all DESPITE THEIR SINFUL STATE.
things, so that we might regain our Divine Likeness  Like any loving parent, OUR HEAVENLY FATHER WANTS
with which He created us originally. EVERYTHING THAT IS MOST BENEFICIAL FOR HIS BELOVED
✶ “...if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive CHILDREN.
back...” IS A RECIPROCAL AND WORTHLESS GESTURE .  OUR HEAVENLY FATHER WAITS FOR - AND REJOICES – when
 In imitation of Christ, we must FREELY GIVE WITHOUT ANY His Prodigal Children Return to Him - WHEN WE
EXPECTATION OF REPAYMENT OR REWARD. REPENT OUR SINS AND RETURN TO SPIRITUAL LIFE.
 We must become utterly UNMERCENARY.
✶ “... be Merciful, just as your Father (in Heaven) is
 WE HAVE FREELY RECEIVED EVERYTHING FROM GOD. So we
Merciful...” expresses the SPIRITUAL PERFECTION THAT
ought to JUST AS FREELY AND GENEROUSLY GIVE WHATEVER
WE MUST CONSTANTLY STRIVE FOR.
IS NECESSARY TO OTHERS.
 We must always strive for that PERFECT, ABSOLUTE AND
✶ “... Love your enemies...” IS EXTREMELY DIFFICULT FOR MOST DIVINE MERCY.
OF US.  The CONDITIONAL, JUDGEMENTAL TYPE OF ‘LOVE’ AND ‘MERCY’
 OUR SINFUL INCLINATION IS TO AVOID, RETALIATE, OR TO that we prefer because it is ‘easier’ WILL ULTIMATELY
AVENGE IN SIMILAR MANNER. CONDEMN US FOREVER!
 In order to imitate our Lord Jesus, we must LOVE EVEN  We ought to MEASURE OURSELVES - our thoughts, words
THOSE WHO PERSECUTE, DISCREDIT, HATE, HURT OR HARM and deeds - AGAINST HOW MUCH WE HAVE BEEN BLESSED
US. BY GOD’S GREAT MERCY and ACT WITH THE SAME OR
 By FOLLOWING CHRIST’S LOVE AND MERCY FOR SAINT AND SIMILAR MERCY TO ONE ANOTHER.
SINNER ALIKE, we will REGAIN OUR DIVINE LIKENESS.
15 T H
S UND AY AF TE R P E NTEC OST – 2 N D
S UNDAY OF S T LU KE – T HE G OLDEN C OMM ANDM ENT
✞ In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the and much more precious: “Do unto others what you
Holy Spirit... want them to do to you.”
Dearly Beloved Brethren, our Lord Jesus Christ has Whenever we see the poor, the ailing, the lonely, and the
revealed His Wonderful Truth to us, which was destitute, we must immediately put ourselves in their
unknown or misinterpreted before. tragic circumstances and TRY TO UNDERSTAND HOW THEY
HIS DIVINE TRUTH CONCERNS OUR RELATIONSHIPS WITH EACH ARE SUFFERING AND WHAT WE CAN DO TO HELP THEM.
OTHER – with those who are close family and friends, or We must not merely contemplate their needy situation but
acquaintances and strangers – AND, OF COURSE, OUR WE MUST DO WHATEVER WE CAN TO HELP THEM - either
RELATIONSHIP WITH OUR TRIUNE LORD GOD. immediately, or by organising a team effort to FIND
At times, it is very difficult dealing with other people. For SOLUTIONS THAT WILL RELIEVE OUR UNDERPRIVILEGED OR
this reason, our All Wise Divine Teacher, has given us LONELY FELLOW MANKIND.
A MOST SIGNIFICANT LIFE RULE OF THE GREATEST VALUE - HIS If those in need are relatives or friends whom we Love,
GOLDEN RULE OF LOVE. then we instantly want to help them, but when we see
“...just as you want others to do to you, you also must do strangers who appear unkempt and unappealing to
to them as well...” (LUKE 6:31). us, WE EASILY IGNORE THEM, BEING INDIFFERENT TO THEIR
The Words of this Divine Commandment are concise, PLIGHT – BECAUSE WE DO NOT LOVE THEM!
understandable, and easily remembered. This is one of the most serious problems of society in
In the Old Testament, God’s Golden Rule states: “...What general that our Most Compassionate and Merciful
you yourself hate, do not do to anyone...” (TOBIT 4:15). Divine Saviour wants us to resolve when He
There have been ancient Philosophers who have taught admonishes us by pointing out : “...if you Love those
the same thing: “Do not do to another what you do who Love you – what credit is that to you? ...”
not want done to you.” Then He gives us an even more difficult aspect of His
While these use the negative view of the subject, our Lord Golden Rule of Love that would drastically change
Jesus Christ speaks of something that is far superior this fallen world: “...Love your enemies, do good, and
lend – hoping for nothing in return!”

40 1 5 T H
SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 2ND OF ST LUKE – THE GOLDEN COMMANDMENT - 29 SEPTEMBER 2019
Our Lord God – Who is Love itself - wants us all – Divine Grace), our Lord Jesus assures us that our
especially those of us who strive to become His “...Reward will be great...” because - by acquiring the
Faithful Disciples - to LOVE, DO GOOD AND LEND WITHOUT greatest Holy Virtue of Love - we BECOME CHILDREN OF
EXPECTATION OF RECIPROCATION TO EVERYONE WITHOUT GOD - “... sons of the Most High...”
EXCEPTION - including our enemies – INCLUDING THOSE Beloved Brothers and Sisters, if we could acquire Divine
WHO HATE, HARM AND PERSECUTE US. Love, imagine how that Practical Love for all people
UNCONDITIONAL LOVE IS CENTRAL TO OUR LIFE IN CHRIST AND THE would elevate us to such Spiritual Heights!
MOST IMPORTANT DIVINE VIRTUE we must acquire to the DIVINE LOVE ENABLES US TO ACQUIRE ALL THE OTHER HOLY VIRTUES
best of our ability in order to become Faithful THAT EMBRACE MANKIND, and we will certainly receive
Disciples of Christ and Co-Heirs to our Heavenly THE GREATEST HONOUR THAT EXCEEDS ALL OTHERS, by
Father’s Eternal Kingdom of Love. BECOMING CHILDREN OF THE MOST HIGH GOD!
DIVINE LOVE IS THE UNIQUE, PROFOUND AND VITALLY ESSENTIAL It is of great Spiritual Benefit to everyone if we could EXERT
SACRED BASIS OF OUR ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN FAITH OURSELVES UNSELFISHLY in order to apply our Lord’s
Hatred of enemies, the demand for vengeance or Golden Commandment to all circumstances.
retaliation or reciprocation - “An eye for an eye...” is BY CEASELESS PRAYERS, REPENTANCE, AND FORGIVENESS, BUT
utterly opposed to our Lord Jesus Christ’s New ESPECIALLY BY THE GRACE OF GOD, WE WILL BE ABLE TO LOVE
Covenant Commandment of Love! ONE ANOTHER AS UNCONDITIONALLY AS OUR LORD WILLS.
Our New Covenant with GOD CALLS US TO LOVE ALL MANKIND Whenever we are confronted by temptations and
– TO LOVE EACH OTHER - WITHOUT DISTINCTION. personal issues concerning others, WE MUST REVERSE OUR
Furthermore, our Christian Faith does not consist of ROLES AND CONSIDER THEIR POINT OF VIEW SO THAT WE CAN
sentimental words and meaningless gestures. THINK, SPEAK AND ACT WITH LOVE.
OUR CHRISTIAN FAITH IS DIVINE TRUTH THAT IS EXPRESSED BY OUR IF WE ARE HUMBLE AND OBEDIENT TO THE WILL OF OUR LORD, GOD
THOUGHTS, WORDS AND CONTINUOUS GOOD DEEDS FOR THE HOLY SPIRIT WILL ENLIGHTEN, EMPOWER AND ENABLE US
EVERYONE WITHOUT EXCEPTION – thereby showing our TO FULFIL HIS COMMANDMENT OF LOVE.
Love for God by Glorifying and Honouring Him. From this moment onwards, let us MAKE A DETERMINED
Of course, THE FULFILMENT OF THIS GOLDEN COMMANDMENT IS EFFORT TO BASE OUR THOUGHTS, WORDS AND DEEDS ON THE
NOT EASY BUT EXTREMELY DIFFICULT when dealing with DIVINE COMMANDMENT OF LOVE and truly become
deeply embittered and tormented people. Children of our Heavenly Father, by spreading His
However, this is the Sacred Model of our Divine Saviour Love and Good Will throughout this needy world.
Who is “...kind to the ungrateful and those who are Amen.
evil...”
If we can learn to IMITATE GOD’S LOVE, (by our determined METROPOLITAN OF PISIDIA, SOTIRIOS
efforts and ceaseless Spiritual Struggles, and by www.PEMPTOUSIA.COM
S T J OH N C HRY SOSTOM – C H AR ITABLE W OR KS A BOL ISH DE ATH
The Power of Charitable Works – Acts of Love - is so great So often, those who have very little, perform great Acts of
that they not only Cleanse us of our sins but even do Charity because their good intentions are very firmly
away with Death itself. based on Love.
Do not worry, my Beloved, I will explain how we can Unfortunately, of course, usually the opposite occurs,
become greater than Death through Charity. because those who have plenty, will give little or
We must learn by looking at things as they actually are, nothing at all, which exposes their selfish, miserly,
then we might understand how the Power of Love has greedy and unmerciful nature, due to their lack of
destroyed even the tyranny of Death. Love.
There was once a woman named ‘Tabitha’ whose daily Our Lord has given us an abundance of good things,
tasks earned Spiritual Riches for herself through her which we in turn must generously share with those
Charitable Works, for she had clothed the widows and who are needy.
orphans, and given them all her possessions, until Furthermore, with heartfelt thanksgiving, we offer to Him
she fell ill and died. (ACTS 9: 36-43). everything He has bestowed upon us, which are
Those who had been helped by her were able to repay eventually returned to us in so many ways -
their Benefactress at the right time. “increased a hundredfold.”
Having summoned Saint Peter to her house, they showed Because the ‘Noble Pride’ of our Lord is so great that -
him the garments that she had made for them and even though He receives what He Himself has given
told him of the many Acts of Love she had fulfilled us - He promises to repay us with even greater Divine
throughout her life. Generosity.
They deeply mourned her passing and wept with abject In other words, whatever we give to the poor and needy
grief and sorrow, which prompted St Peter to pray for is as though we were giving it to God Himself -
her and restore her to life - similar to when our Lord bearing in mind that the Hand that receives our gift
Jesus had Raised of Jairus’ daughter from the will not merely return it, but will grant us a hundred
clutches of Death. (ACTS 9, 40-1). times more, thus demonstrating His Great Kindness
Do you see the Power of our Lord Jesus Christ Who acted towards us.
through the Intercessory Prayers of His Holy Apostle? Our Lord God so greatly multiplies our gifts to others,
Do you see what a Reward Tabitha received for her Good because by freely sharing everything that God has
Works - even in this temporary life? granted to us, He not only returns even more Gifts of
They were all Rewarded because of their Acts of Love. Love to us, granting us innumerable Good Things,
Tabitha’s unconditional Love for others provided shelter, but He also grants us the Inheritance of His Heavenly
food and clothing to the widows and orphans, and Kingdom and acclaims us with Splendid Crowns of
their Love for her brought her back to life and helped Victory.
her to be released from Death due to St Peter’s Our Lord God never asks us for anything that is too
Intercessory Prayers and the Great Mercy of our burdensome or difficult for us.
Compassionate Lord Who sees all Labours of Love. Instead, He asks us to give our excess food, clothing,
Do you see the Healing, Cleansing Power of the possessions and money that we do not immediately
Medicament of Love? need, but which will make an essential difference to
Let us prepare It for ourselves, because, even though it is those who are less fortunate that us.
so powerful, it is not at all expensive. Whatever is uselessly and pointlessly stored and
In fact, it is really affordable because it is freely granted! forgotten, which will rust, break, be moth-eaten, stolen
The Value of Charitable Works does not depend on vast and corrupted ought to be shared out amongst the
amounts of money, but on the open-handedness of needy and underprivileged of our communities.
those who do the giving. Unless we learn to truly Love one another by sharing all
This is why even those who give a drink of water to the our Blessings generously, we will certainly deprive
thirsty are well-received by God, for we must clearly ourselves of even greater, Eternal Good Things.
understand that our Lord asks of us all our good will If we all shared our Blessed Abundance with the needy
to each other. and destitute, our entire world-wide society would
surely become far more bearable for everyone.

15TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 2ND OF ST LUKE – THE GOLDEN COMMANDMENT - 29 SEPTEMBER 2019 41
By generous Charitable Acts we can slowly but surely Let us all do everything possible to earn and to share the
change our fallen and wretched world. Love of God through our Charitable thoughts, words
Our Loving God “... scattered... gave to the poor...” and Works so that - having freely, willingly and
“...And His Righteousness endures unto the Ages of generously scattered, and given to the poor and
ages...” (PSALM 111: 3). needy - our unconditional Love for each other and for
In a brief period of time our Lord Jesus Christ distributed our Lord God will last forever.
His Priceless Treasure – His Divine Truth, and His Love The Righteousness of those who have shared God’s
lasts forever. Abundant Blessing, remains Unblemished, reaching
out into Eternity and never ending.
T H E E TE R NAL I NSPIRE D W ISD OM OF OU R H OLY FA THE R S

S T N EKTAR IOS OF P E NTAP OL IS & AE GINA S T AR SE NIOS OF B OC A


Confession is the voluntary and sincere disclosure of sins We must constantly Struggle to Live in such a manner
that have been committed – without shame or that at the Hour of death, we will have more Joy than
hesitation, but with self-censure and sincere contrition sorrow.
– before the person appointed to forgive sins by the We must love Death as a friend who brings us closer to
Holy Church of Christ. our Lord Jesus Christ.
For Repentance-Confession to be real and effective, it
must be voluntary, sincere and Truthful because S T J OH N C HRY SOSTOM
hasty, insincere Confession is pointless since it is not a Faith needs Humility and Obedience, not a variety of
genuine dictate of the heart, neither is it an skills. When God Commands us we ought to Obey –
expression of remorse nor a manifestation of the not investigate out of curiosity!
desire to be Cured.
Confession has to take place without shame or hesitation, S T BA SIL THE G RE AT

but rather with Courage and Self-condemnation, It is defamation to speak about others with the aim of
because Courage expresses our rejection of sin, attacking them, when they are not present, even if
whereas shame demonstrates a lack of Courage. what is said is true.

A R CH IMANDR ITE E PH R AIM OF V ATOPE D I S T M AX IM OS THE GR EE K

Very young children are able to sense the Divine Grace of We should know that the only unerring Star that leads us
the Holy Spirit, which is why certain Saints, while in to practise the Holy Virtues is Fear – Divine and always
their childhood did not much care for games like their Pure – through which each of us is removed far from
contemporaries. Instead they stood out through their evil.
introversion and seriousness, similar to the outlook of We must always steer strictly by it as we sail straight for
a Holy Elder. the Heavenly, Sheltered Haven, and we must know
This was the case of St Athanasios the Athonite, and also also that practical observation of the Divine
of Elder Sophrony who fell asleep in the Lord in 1993. Commandments will be acceptable through our Fear
When still in his infancy, he was Visited by the of the Lord.
Uncreated, Immaterial Divine Light.
S T I SAAC THE S YR IAN

M E TR OP OL ITAN A TH ANASIOS OF L IM ASOL Timid people generally suffer from two Spiritual Ailments
We give what God has given to us. If God Wills, it will be – lack of Faith and excessive concern for the body.
taken away from us in an instant. Whatever God has If we Struggle to overcome these two evils, it will be
given to us, in His Divine Providence, we must pass it obvious that we believe wholeheartedly in God and
on to others because it is not ours to keep, for God has that we are ready to accept anything unpleasant that
given it to us and we will not take it with us. We are He may permit to happen to us.
merely managing it, but we cannot take any of it,
except Love, with us into Eternity. E LDE R E PH R AIM OF AR IZONA

Therefore, we must ensure that we make very good Our Lord Jesus Christ Calls upon all of us who Love Him to
Spiritual Investments! be Crucified with Him. Then will follow the
Resurrection of our soul and Spiritual Delight. The
A R CH IMANDR ITE E PH R AIM OF V ATOPE D I Winter is harsh, the cold painful but Paradise is sweet.
Our Lord said: “... I came that they might have Life and We must raise our eyes and look at Jerusalem Above,
have it abundantly...” where True Happiness, Joy and Bliss will reign
St Gregory Palamas interpreted the meaning of throughout the ages. What Joy! What Delight! To
“Abundant Life” as being the Life of Sanctity – our Live with God forever!
Adoption by our Heavenly Father through His Divine So let us Love one another, because everything is Love
Grace. there and anyone who does not have Love, does not
Those who keep God’s Commandments, Live the Virtuous enter!
Life in accordance with His Commandments. They
receive Divine Grace from Him and this becomes their E LDE R CL E OP H AS OF R OM ANIA

inalienable possession. The more we practise doing good, the more we also
They acquire the Divine Predictates – Love, Wisdom, the acquire Holy Fear of God. We will recognise our
Uncreated Light, Ontologial Autonomy, and minor transgressions, which we had not noticed
Immortality. before because we were still in the Darkness of sin
All of this is nothing other than a Life of Sanctity. and ignorance.

S T P OR PHY R IOS OF K AVSOKALY V IA S T I GNATIOS B R IANC H ANINOV

There is no need for any special concentration in order to Repentance-Confession spells the end of any
pray the Prayer of the Heart: “O Lord, Jesus Christ, Son fraternization with sin. Revulsion of our sins is the
of God, have Mercy on me, a sinner.” mark of True Repentance of our soul and a firm
It does not require any effort if we have Love of God. decision to Live Virtuously.
Wherever we are, we can pray – gently, without pressure,
without pushing.

S T BA SIL THE G RE AT
For those who are properly prepared, sorrows are
Spiritual Contests and Nourishment for the Athletes of
Christ, for they prepare us to inherit the Glory of our
Heavenly Father.

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SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 2ND OF ST LUKE – THE GOLDEN COMMANDMENT - 29 SEPTEMBER 2019