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2012 - OCTOBER - SACRED LESSONS

2012 - OCTOBER - SACRED LESSONS

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Published by Marguerite Paizis
Greek Orthodox Christian Sacred Lessons for October, including Tones, Hymns and Writings of the Holy Church Fathers
Greek Orthodox Christian Sacred Lessons for October, including Tones, Hymns and Writings of the Holy Church Fathers

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Published by: Marguerite Paizis on Oct 10, 2012
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02/26/2014

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(DONATIONS ARE GRATEFULLY RECEIVED
 )
S
T
D
IONYSIOS THE
A
REOPAGITE OF
A
THENS
3
 
O
CTOBER
2012
 
1
.
Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All AfricaArchdiocese of Good Hope
 
All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever, andunto the Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most Blessed and Glorious Lady, Maria, Theotokos, yeEver Virgin, together with all the Saints. And let us commit ourselves and one another and our whole Lifeto Christ our God. Amen.
3 October 2012St Dionysios the Areopagite of Athens
Also the Feast of St Rustikos the Presbyter & St Eleftherios the Deacon, Disciples & Companions of StDionysios, & St Damaris, his wife - St Dionysios the Recluse of Kiev Caves – St John the Chozebite ofCaesarea, Palestine - St Hesychios of Mount Horeb
Festal Apolytikion Of St Dionysios The Areopagite
 
 
ONE
4
 
 H 
 ristotita ekdidahthis ke nifon en pasin, AgathinSinidisin iroprepos endisamenos, intlisas ek tou skevous tis eklogis ta aporrita ke tin Pistin tirisas,ton ison dromon tetelekas, Ieromartis Dionisie: Presveve Hristo to Theo Sothine tas psihas imon.
S
ince Thou had been instructed in Uprightnessthoroughly and was Vigilant in all things, Thou wasclothed with a Good Conscience as befitted one Holy. Thou drew from the Chosen Vessel IneffableMysteries; and having kept the Faith, Thou finished alike Course, O Hieromartyr Dionysios: Intercede withChrist God that our souls be Saved.
Festal Kontakion of St Dionysios the Areopagite
 as Ouranious diavas pilas en Pnevmati, Mathitefthis toiper tris Ouranous fthasanti apostolo, Dionisie, ton arriton eploutisthis pasan gnosin, ke katiigasas tousen skoti agnosias prin kathefdontas. Dion Krazomen: Heris, Pater Pagkosmie! 
I
n spirit, Thou passed through Heaven's Gates,instructed by the Great Apostle who attained to the Third Heaven's Heights, and was made rich in allKnowledge of things beyond speech; and then Thou,O Dionysios, Illuminated those who slumbered in thedarkness of their ignorance. Hence we all cry out:Hail, O Universal Father!
 Kontakion of the Ever Blessed Theotokos
 P 
 rostasia
 
ton Hristianon akateskhinte, mesitia pros ton Piitin ametathete, mi Paridis, amartolon deiseon fonas, alla profthason os agathi, is tin voithian imon,ton pistos kravgazonton Si: Tahinon is presvian, ke spefson is ikesian, i prostatevousa ai, Theotoke, tonTimonton Se.
O
 
Protector of the Christians Unashamable, Mediator tothe Creator Immovable, despise not, the pleading voices of those in sin, but hasten O Good One, to the Aid of all of us, who in Faith cry out to Thee: speed up Thine Intercession, and present Thy Supplication, O Theotokos who always protects all those who honour Thee!
The Acts of the Apostles According to St Luke 16 : 16 – 34
Exorcism of Evil Spirit 
 As we went to Prayer, we were met by a certain slave girl, who was possessed by a spirit of divination and who brought her masters much profit by fortune-telling. This girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying:
“These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaimto us the Way of Salvation!” 
And this she did for many days.But Paul, being greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit:
“I command you in the Name of Jesus Christ to come outof her!” 
And he came out that very moment. And when her masters saw that their hope of profit had gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace - to the authorities. And they took them to the Magistrates, and said:
These men – being Jews – exceedingly trouble our city, and theyteach customs that are not lawful for us – being Romans – to receive or to observe
!” And the multitude rose up together against them; and the Magistrates tore off their clothes and commanded them to bebeaten with rods. And when they had laid many stripes on them, they threw them into prison, commanding the Jailerto keep them securely.Having received such a charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet into the stocks. At midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing Hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, whensuddenly there was a great earthquake that shook the foundations of the prison, and immediately all the doors wereopened, and everyone’s chains were loosened. And the Keeper of the prison – awaking from sleep and seeing theprison doors open – assumed that the prisoners had fled. So he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, but Paul called out with a loud voice, saying: “
 Do not harm yourself! We are all here
.” The Jailer called for a light, ran in and fell down, trembling, before Paul and Silas. He then took them out and said: “
Sirs,what must I do to be Saved?” 
 And they said: “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be Saved – you and yourhousehold.” Then they spoke the Word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. And he took them that same hour of thenight and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were Baptised. When he had taken them into his house, he set food before them – and he rejoiced, believing in God – together with hisentire household.
E
 XORCISMS IN THE
OWER AND
 A 
UTHORITY OF THE
H
OLY 
 T 
RINITY AND IN OUR 
L
ORD
 J
ESUS
C
HRIST 
S
M
OST 
H
OLY 
N
 AME
-
ARE A SIGNIFICANT PART OF THE CONTINUING
H
OLY 
 A 
POSTOLIC
M
INISTRY AS INSTITUTED BY 
C
HRIST  THROUGH
H
IS
H
OLY 
 A 
POSTLES
.Every Holy Mystery of Baptism in the Orthodox ChristianChurch begins with “
The Making of a Catechumen
Service with three significant Exorcisms, which – in theName and by the Divine Power of God - expels Satanand his demons, and which prevents them from havingany further unbridled influence over the New Believer –the New Light of Christ.Even though the demon declared the Truth through theslave girl,
SHE NEEDED TO BE SET FREE FROM HISDOMINATION AND POSSESSION IN ORDER TO ACCEPT 
C
HRIST BY HER OWN FREE WILL AND
L
OVE
.
 
2.
(DONATIONS GRATEFULLY ACCEPTED)
 
S
T
D
IONYSIOS THE
A
REOPAGITE OF
A
THENS
3
 
O
CTOBER
2012
 
Furthermore, St Paul could not tolerate her possessionand torment any longer.
N
EITHER COULD HE ENDURE THE IMPURE PRAISES OF 
G
OD
SENEMIES
,
WHICH ARE NEVER ACCEPTABLE AND ALWAYSDANGEROUSLY DECEPTIVE
because
S
 ATAN
, being thedeadly inventor of lies and deceit,
 ALWAYS BAITS HISHOOKS WITH A MINISCULE DROP OF 
 T 
RUTH
– but theinstant we accept that poisoned droplet, he capturesus and leads us away from God and His Divine, Pure Truth. Another aspect of this Sacred Lesson is that we must 
NEVER FALL INTO THE EVIL ONE
S TRAP OF 
FORTUNE
-
 TELLING
,”
 
HOROSCOPES
OR SO
-
CALLED
PROPHECIES
!”
 
8
 
 As Faithful Christians we must avoid anythingconcerning “our future” and rather
CONCENTRATEON OUR
S
 PIRITUAL
 ELFARE AND
S
 PIRITUAL
 P 
 ROGRESS THAT LEADS USTOWARDS
G
OD AND
 H 
 IS
 E
TERNAL
 K 
 INGDOO
 D
 IVINE
 L
OVE
.
 
 T 
HE ACCUSERS
of St Paul and St Silas – the owners of theslave girl -
CARED NOTHING ABOUT RELIGION BUT INSTEAD USED THE RELIGIOUS PREJUDICE OF THE MASSES
 – especially against “Jews” or Christians
 TO AVENGEOR RETALIATE
against the loss of their ill-gottenfinancial profits.However,
BEING UNJUSTLY PERSECUTED FOR 
C
HRIST 
S SAKELED
S
 T 
 AUL AND
S
 T 
S
ILAS TO GREAT 
S
PIRITUAL
 J
OY RATHER THAN MISERY OR SORROW 
.
 A 
LL THOSE WHO WITNESSED THEIR MARTYRDOM WERE AMAZED AND PROFOUNDLY IMPRESSED
for - despite the publichumiliation of being stripped naked, beaten with rodsso many times, before being shackled in prison – theHoly Apostles remained serenely Joyful – singing andpraying to God
 AS THOUGH NOTHING BAD HAD OCCURRED TO THEM
!H
EARING THEIR WORDS OF 
RAYER 
,
 
RAISE AND
SALMODY 
  AND WATCHING HOW THESE
S
 AINTS CONDUCTED THEMSELVES
despite the unjustified malice of theiradversaries, the Jailer and the other prisoners were
S
PIRITUALLY 
REPARED
for their own Conversion toDivine Truth later that night.In addition,
 THE
H
OLY 
 A 
POSTLES HAD NEITHER TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF THE GREAT EARTHQUAKE THAT COULD HAVESET THEM FREE NOR ALLOWED THE FRIGHTENED
 J
 AILER TO TAKE HIS OWN LIFE
.Had any of the prisoners escaped – especially St Paul andSt Silas – the Jailer and his entire family would havesuffered terribly at the hands of the Roman authorities.In his intense relief and gratitude
 THE
 J
 AILER REALISED THE
G
REAT 
M
ERCY OF 
 A 
LMIGHTY 
G
OD AND WANTED
E
 TERNAL
S
 ALVATION FOR HIMSELF AND HIS ENTIRE
 AMILY 
, havingheard and observed the Apostles throughout thepreceding hours.Consequently,
 THE
H
OLY 
 A 
POSTLES
B
 APTISED THEIR 
 J
 AILER  AS WELL AS HIS ENTIRE HOUSEHOLD
, who all lived on thepremises and
WHO HAD ALSO LISTENED CAREFULLY TO THE WORDS OF THE
H
OLY 
 A 
POSTLES
as they praised God with Hymns and Prayers, and spoke to the otherprisoners
 ABOUT 
C
HRIST AND
H
IS
 AY OF 
E
 TERNAL
S
 ALVATION
.
Our Lord Jesus Christ had told His Holy Apostles to
USEEVERY OPPORTUNITY TO SPREAD
G
OD
S
 A 
BSOLUTE
 T 
RUTH
,
 
G
REAT 
M
ERCY AND
L
OVE
– and not to worry about what they would say or do because
H
E ALWAYS GIVES US THERIGHT WORDS TO SPEAK AND DEEDS TO FULFIL ACCORDING TO
H
IS
L
OVING
,
 
D
IVINE
ILL
.I
 T IS ENTIRELY UP TO US
to make use of every opportunity that arises to spread God’s Divine Love to others.
The Holy Gospel According to St Luke 6 : 46 – 7 : 1
 Beware of Hypocrisy!
 At that time, our Lord Jesus Christ said:
“... why do you call Me: ‘Lord Lord’ but not do the Things that I say?Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: He is likea man building a House, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the Rock. And when the flood arose,the stream beat vehemently against that House, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the Rock. But he who heard and did nothing, is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation –against which the stream beat vehemently, and immediately it fell down. And the ruin of that house was great.” 
  And when our Lord had concluded all His sayings in the hearing of the people, He entered Capernaum.
8
 
O
UR 
L
ORD
 J
ESUS
C
HRIST WAS VERY CLEAR ABOUT THISPARTICULAR 
S
 ACRED
L
ESSON
and on many occasions He emphasised
 THE PROFOUND NECESSITY OF NOT MERELY HEARING THE
ORD OF 
G
OD BUT OBEYING EVERY 
 T 
EACHING
,
EVERY 
C
OMMANDMENT ANDEVERY 
D
IVINE
I
NSTRUCTION
.
Obedience to the Divine Will of Almighty God requires theconjoined twin Virtue: Humility.
 
ITHOUT 
H
UMILITY 
,
WE CANNOT 
O
BE
G
OD AND WITHOUT 
O
BEDIENCE TO
G
OD
,
 WE HAVE NO
H
UMILITY AT ALL
!
Consequently, hearing the Holy Gospel of Christ alone –even knowing every Word – chapter and verse! – willnot benefit us at all unless we
UNDERSTAND THE
S
PIRIT OF THE
H
OLY 
G
OSPEL AND ARE COMPELLED BY OUR LOVEOF GOD AND ONE ANOTHER TO FULFIL EVERYTHING ASKEDOF US
by our Loving and Compassionate Lord God.
 
 J
AMES
2
 
:
 
24
 
“... a man is Justified byWorks(Deeds) and not by Faith only...” 
 
 
 J
AMES
2
 
:
 
26
:
“... For as the body without the spirit is dead, so Faith without Works isdead also.” 
E MUST BUILD OUR 
L
IFE IN
C
HRIST UPON
H
IM
HO IS OUR 
D
IVINE
,
UNSHAKABLE
,
UNCHANGEABLE
OCK 
because
IF OUR 
 AITH IS PROPERLY FOUNDED ON
G
OD
H
IMSELF 
,
 NOTHING WILL CAUSE US TO FAIL OR COLLAPSE UNDER THEPRESSURES OF WORLDLY CIRCUMSTANCES OR SITUATIONS
.
St Dionysios the Areopagite
St Dionysios is one of the 70 lesser Apostles of Christ, whocame from a distinguished pagan family of Athens andhaving studied Philosophy in Athens, went to Egypt forfurther studies. While in Egypt, our Lord Jesus Christ was Crucified and,the sun was suddenly darkened for three hours!St Dionysios cried out “Either God the Creator of the worldis Suffering, or this world is coming to an end!”He returned to Athens, married St Damaris and producedthree sons. He became a member of the highest court among the Greeks – the Areopagos. When St Paul preached in Athens, St Dionysios and hisentire household accepted Holy Baptism, and hebecame the Bishop of Athens.St Dionysios accompanied St Paul on many of hisMissionary Journeys, met many of the other Holy 
 
  Apostles and, travelling to Jerusalem, to his great Joy,he also visited our Most Holy Theotokos, which hedescribed in one of his writings, and later he attendedHer Funeral When St Paul was Martyred, St Dionysios went to Gaulaccompanied by St Rustikos, his Presbyter, and St Eleftherios, his Deacon, to preach the Holy Gospelamong the barbarians. They endured much sufferingbut also many triumphs - through their Labours of Love many pagans converted to Christianity.St Dionysios built a small church in Paris where they celebrated Divine Services until - at the age of 93 - he was seized and martyred together with St Rustikos andSt Eleftherios.Several writings of St Dionysios have survived to this day.May their Holy Memories be Eternal!
 
(DONATIONS ARE GRATEFULLY RECEIVED
 ) S
T
T
HOMAS THE
H
OLY
A
POSTLE OF
C
HRIST
6
 
O
CTOBER
2012
 
3
.
Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All AfricaArchdiocese of Good Hope
 
All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now andforever, 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 ouwhole Life to Christ our God. Amen.
6 October 2012St Thomas Didymos(i.e. the Twin or the Double-minded) Apostle of Christ
Also the Feast of the Glorification of St Innocent of Moscow, Enlightener of the Aleuts & Apostleto the Americas
Festal Apolytikion – St Thomas, Apostle of Christ
ONE
3.
 
 A
 postole Agie Thoma: Presveve to Eleimoni Theo ina ptesmaton afesin, parashi tes psihes imon.
 
O
Holy Apostle Thomas: Intercede to our Merciful God,that He may grant our souls Forgiveness of sins.
Festal Kontakion – St Thomas
 
ONE
3.
 
O
tis Thias Haritos pepliromenos, tou Hristou Apostolos, ke ipiretis Alithis, en Metania ekravgaze:Si mou iparhis, Theos te ke Kyrios! 
C
hrist’s Apostle, who was filled with God’s Divine Grace -he who was His genuine and Faithful Servant in all Truth - All Lauded Thomas – exclaimed aloud in deepRepentance: Thou art both my God and my Lord!
 Kontakion of the Ever Blessed Theotokos
 P 
 rostasia
 
ton Hristianon akateskhinte, mesitia pros ton Piitin ametathete, mi Paridis, amartolon deiseon fonas, alla profthason os agathi, is tin voithian imon,ton pistos kravgazonton Si: Tahinon is presvian, ke spefson is ikesian, i prostatevousa ai, Theotoke, tonTimonton Se.
O
 
Protector of the Christians Unashamable, Mediator tothe Creator Immovable, despise not, the pleading voices of those in sin, but hasten O Good One, to the Aid of all of us, who in Faith cry out to Thee: speed up Thine Intercession, and present Thy Supplication, O Theotokos who always protects all those who honour Thee!
First Epistle of St Paul to the Corinthians 4: 9 – 16
 Wisdom in Spiritual Fatherhood
Brethren: ... I think that God has displayed us – the Apostles – last - as men condemned to death; for we have beenmade a spectacle to the world – both to Angels and to men.We are fools for Christ’s Sake, but you are Wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are Strong! You are distinguished, but we are dishonoured! To the present hour we both hunger and thirst, and we are poorly clothed, and beaten,and homeless. And we labour – working with our own hands. Being reviled, we Bless; being persecuted: weEndure; being defamed, we Entreat. We have been made as the filth of the world – the off-scouring of all thingsuntil now.I do not write these things to shame you, but as my Beloved Children I warn you. For although you might have tenthousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many Fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have Begotten youthrough the Gospel.Therefore, I urge you : imitate me!
S
T
P
AUL USED IRONY AND SARCASM AS
BITTER MEDICINE
 and his words “...
we are fools... we are weak... weare dishonoured..
.” are stacked up in a stingingseries of self-accusation because of 
HIS DESIRE TOMAKE THE QUARRELLING
C
ORINTHIANS REALISE THATWHILE THEY LIVED IN RELATIVE COMFORT
,
THE
H
OLY
A
POSTLES OF
C
HRIST SUFFERED ALL KINDS OFDISCOMFORT
,
HUMILIATION AND DEGRADATION
at thehands of others.The Ascetic Life of Christ’s Holy Apostles was filledwith persecution, discrimination, poverty anduncertainty each and every moment of the day,yet
THEY NEVER WEAKENED OR ABANDONED THEIRWONDERFUL
L
ABOURS OF
L
OVE FOR
G
OD AND ONEANOTHER
.The Holy Apostles and Faithful Disciples of Christwillingly endured all kinds of degradation andinsults – often being treated like “filth” or “off-scourings” by pagans - and even, sometimes, bytheir fellow Hebrews, who regarded them as blasphemers and fools.
W
HEN ONE IS
C
ALLED TO
D
IVINE
S
ERVICE
,
 
G
OD MAKESEVERYTHING POSSIBLE FOR US TO ACHIEVE
H
IS
A
LL
H
OLY
W
ILL
and those who joyfully respond tosuch a Calling, are
CONFIDENT IN THE
K
NOWLEDGETHAT BY THE
G
RACE OF
G
OD
,
EVEN THE NORMALLYIMPOSSIBLE OR UNTHINKABLE COMES TO PASS
.St Paul urges us to imitate him – to
IMITATE HISUNSHAKABLE
F
AITH IN
C
HRIST
Who enables us toachieve great Spiritual Heights, despite our weakand limited human condition.
T
HE
F
AITHFUL
A
POSTLES AND
D
ISCIPLES OF
C
HRISTALWAYS RESPONDED TO ADVERSITY WITH
L
OVE
,
 
C
OMPASSION AND EXTREME
T
OLERANCE
ALL FOR THE
L
OVE OF
C
HRIST AND
H
IS
C
REATION
AND ESPECIALLYFOR THE
P
URE
 J
OY OF WHOLEHEARTEDLY SERVING
G
ODBY RECONCILING THE FALLEN
,
 
S
PIRITUALLY
D
ARKENEDWORLD WITH OUR
L
OVING AND
M
ERCIFUL
L
ORD
G
OD
.St Paul soothed the ruffled egos of the proudCorinthians by reminding them that
HE WAS THEIR
S
PIRITUAL
F
ATHER WHO WANTED NOTHING BUT THEBEST FOR THEM
.
St Paul was their Spiritual Father who wasresponsible for their proper Teaching, Guidanceand Worship, so
AS THEIR LOVING
H
OLY
F
ATHER
,
HEWOULD CORRECT THEM AND REDIRECT THEMWHENEVER THEY WERE IN DANGER OF GOING ASTRAY
.Our Holy Orthodox Church is one enormous HolyFamily and
WE ARE THE MATURING
S
PIRITUAL
C
HILDREN WHO NEED CONSTANT
P
ARENTAL
G
UIDANCEDUE TO OUR
S
PIRITUAL
I
NEXPERIENCE
that causes ourdownfall or drifting off Christ’s True Path of Righteousness.
O
UR
B
ISHOPS
,
 
P
RIESTS
,
 
D
EACONS AND
T
EACHERS WATCHOVER OUR
S
PIRITUAL
P
ROGRESS
– by guiding,encouraging and comforting us so that ourPreparatory Journey through this temporary lifeis successful and we are able to arrive at our finalDestination – the Eternal, Heavenly Kingdom of God.

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