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2012 DECEMBER SACRED LESSONS

2012 DECEMBER SACRED LESSONS

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Published by Marguerite Paizis
Eastern Orthodox Christian Sacred Lessons including hymns, tones, writings and teachings of our Holy Church Fathers.
Eastern Orthodox Christian Sacred Lessons including hymns, tones, writings and teachings of our Holy Church Fathers.

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Published by: Marguerite Paizis on Nov 10, 2012
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12/04/2012

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26
TH
 
S
UNDAY
A
FTER
P
ENTECOST
– 
 
14
TH
 
S
UNDAY OF
S
T
L
UKE
– 
 
T
HE
B
LIND
M
AN OF
 J
ERICHO
2
 
D
ECEMBER
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 HolySpirit, 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
th
Sunday After Pentecost 2 December 2012Tone 114
th
Sunday of St Luke – The Blind Man of Jericho
Also the Feast of St Havvakoum (Habakkuk) the Holy Prophet of God – StTheophilos – St Myrope of Ephesos & Chios – St Athanasios the Resurrected,Recluse, Kiev Near Caves Monastery – St John, St Heraclemon, St Andrew & StTheophilos of Egypt – St Jesse of Tsilkan, Georgia – St Stephen Urosh, King ofSerbia – St Joannikios of Devic
 Resurrection Apolytikion
ONE
 
ou
lithou sfragisthentos ipo ton Ioudeon ke stratioton filassonton to ahranton Sou Soma, Anestis trimeros, Sotir, Doroumenos to kosmotin Zoin. Dia touto e Dinamis ton Ouranonevoon si Zoodota. Doxa ti Anastasi Sou, Hriste! Doxa ti Vasilia Sou! Doxa ti IkonomiaSou, mone Filanthrope! 
 
hile the stone was sealed by the Jews, and soldiersstood on guard over Thy Body undefiled, Thou roseon the Third Day, O Saviour, Who grants Life to the world. For which cause the Heavenly Powers criedaloud to Thee: O Giver of Life: Glory to Thy Resurrection, O Christ! Glory to Thy Kingdom! Glory to Thy Providence, O Thou Who alone Lovesmankind!
Festal Kontakion of the Nativity of Christ 
 I 
 
 Parthenos simeron, ton Iperousion tikti, ke i gito spyleon to aprito prosagi. Angeli meta Pimenon Doxologousi, Magi de meta Asterosodiporousi, di’ imas gar Egenniti, Pedion Neon,O Pro Aionon Theos.
 
 T 
oday the Virgin gives Birth to Him Who is above allbeing, and the earth offers a cave to Him Whom noman can approach. Angels with Shepherds give glory,and Magi journey with a Star. For unto us is Born a young Child: the Pre-Eternal God.
Resurrection Gospel 4: Luke 24 : 1 – 12
 The Holy Myrrhbearers Find Our Risen Lords Tomb Empty
Prokeimenon – Tone 1
L
et Thy Mercy, O Lord, be upon us.
R
ejoice in the Lord, O ye Righteous!
St Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians 5 : 8 - 19
 Live in the Divine Light of our Lord Jesus Chris
Brethren: You were once darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord. 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 withthe unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them, for it is shameful even to speak of those things that aredone by them in secret.But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the Light, for whatever reveals 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 the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which isdissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in Psalms and Hymns and Spiritual Songs, singingand making melody in your heart to the Lord...
E MUST JUDGE
whatever the world considers as being“reasonable,”
 ACCORDING TO
D
IVINE
 T 
RUTH
– thePerfect and Absolute Truth of our Lord God.Besides separating ourselves from the darkness of sinand Spiritual Ignorance,
WE ARE OBLIGED TO EXPOSE ALL DECEPTIONS AND LIES IN THE
L
IGHT OF 
C
HRIST 
.However, before we are able to do so,
WE MUST FIRST EXPOSE AND CORRECT OUR OWN SINS AND ERRORS
. We must seek out from the depths of our soul all oursins which we must then
REPENT 
REJECT ANDRENOUNCE
AND
C
ONFESS
.
 
 John 3 : 19 21
“...
THIS IS THE
C
ONDEMNATION 
 ,that the Light has come into the world, butmen loved darkness rather than Light, because their deeds were evil. For  everyone practising evil hates the Lightand does not come to the Light, lest hisdeeds be exposed. But
 HE WHO PRACTISESTHE
 RUTH COMES TO THE
 L
 IGHT SO THAT HIS DEEDS MAY BE CLEARLY SEEN 
 ,
THAT THEY HAVE BEEN DONE IN 
G
OD
.” 
Orthodox Christians do this before Holy Baptism –especially as Godparents and parents of smallchildren, and before partaking of Holy Eucharist orHoly Unction.
E UNLOAD OUR 
S
PIRITUAL
B
 AGGAGE AND LESSEN OUR 
INAL
 J
UDGEMENT WITH REGULAR SELF 
-
EXAMINATION AND
-
ESPECIALLY 
-
WITH THE
H
OLY 
M
 YSTERY OF 
EPENTANCE
-C
ONFESSION
, which permanently removes our repented and confessed sins.
“Awake, you who sleep! Arise from the dead, and Christ will give you Light!” 
 
 This is an early Baptismal Hymn.
H
OLY 
B
 APTISM IS
D
IVINE
I
LLUMINATION
“...Christ will give you Light...” 
 
 Acts 26:18
– Christ told St Paul at his Calling:
“... rise and stand on your feet; for I haveappeared to you for this Purpose: to make you
 A
 M 
 INISTER AND
 ITNESS BOTH OF THE
 HINGS WHICH YOU HAVE SEEN AND OF THE
 HINGSTHAT 
 I 
WILL YET REVEAL TO YOU 
.” 
 
 2 Corinthians 4:6
“I 
T IS THE
G
OD
 HO
 Commanded Light to shine out of darkness, Who
 HAS SHONE IN OUR HEARTS TOGIVE THE
 L
 IGHT OF 
 K 
 NOWLEDGE OF THE
G
 LORY OF 
G
OD IN THE
 F 
 ACE OF 
 J 
 ESUS
C
 HRIST 
.” 
 
 
26
TH
 
S
UNDAY
A
FTER
P
ENTECOST
– 
 
14
TH
 
S
UNDAY OF
S
T
L
UKE
– 
 
T
HE
B
LIND
M
AN OF
 J
ERICHO
2
 
D
ECEMBER
2012
2
 
Hebrews 6:4
“I 
T IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR THOSE WHOWERE ONCE
 E
 NLIGHTENED
 , and have tasted the Heavenly Gift, and have become Partakersof the Holy Spirit, and have tasted theGood Word of God, and the Powers of the Ages to come,
 IF THEY FALL AWAY 
 ,
TO
 R
 ENEW THEM AGAIN TO
 R
 EPENTANCE
 , since theycrucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.” 
 This refers to
THOSE WHO HAVE APOSTATIZED
ESPECIALLY THOSE WHO AFTER BEING
B
 APTISED
,
HAVEREJECTED
C
HRIST AND
H
IS
S
 AVING
OWER 
.Certain Holy Fathers believed that apostasy was such agrave or grievous sin that Repentance is impossiblefor such souls.However,
C
HRIST 
S
H
OLY 
C
HURCH MAINTAINS THE BELIEF  THAT THOSE WHO HAVE APOSTATIZED BUT 
,
REALISING THEIR SERIOUS ERROR 
,
HAVE SINCERELY REPENTED
,
 MAY RETURN TO FULL
O
RTHODOX 
ORSHIP 
after aperiod of humble penance.
V
 
Nevertheless,
SUCH ‘SECOND CONVERSIONS’ AREDIFFICULT AND RARE – SO THIS SHOULD BE TAKEN AS A MOST SERIOUS WARNING TO ALLSTRUGGLING DISCIPLES OF CHRIST.
 
 
Hebrews 10:32
-
“... recall the former days inwhich, after you were Illuminated, you endured a great Struggle with sufferings...” 
 To
walk in the Light
” means that we
LIVE EVERY MOMENT OF OUR LIVES
 IN 
 
CHRIST 
– we live asthough newly Baptised or Divinely Enlightened –
 ACCORDING TO THE
ILL OF 
G
OD ALONE
and not according our own limited and flawedunderstanding or our own selfish, self-indulgent manner. The Sacred Goal or Purpose of Orthodox Christianity isnot to abandon God’s beautiful created world but rather
 TO MAINTAIN OURSELVES
IN
 
CHRIST 
tosalvage as much as possible from this fallen,corrupt world of human ego and greed.
 AITHFUL
D
ISCIPLES OF 
C
HRIST RENOUNCE THEWICKEDNESS OF THE FALLEN HUMAN CONDITION
THEFALLEN WORLD OF THE FLESH
NOT THE BEAUTIFUL
C
REATION OF 
G
OD
. After we have genuinely repented and Confessed weexperience a wonderful surge of Spiritual Joy andLife. A distinctive spirit a kind of euphoria or elationenergises both the darkness of sin and SpiritualLight. Those who exist in a state of Spiritual Death ordarkness experience a type of intoxication that isartificial, deceptive and temporary, while
 THOSE WHOLIVE IN
S
PIRITUAL
L
IGHT 
THE
D
IVINE
L
IGHT OF 
G
OD
EXPERIENCE THE VERY 
RESENCE OF THE
H
OLY 
S
PIRIT AND THE
 T 
RUE
 J
OY OF OUR 
N
EW 
C
OVENANT WITH
 A 
LMIGHTY 
G
OD
 THE EVERLASTING REALITY 
of the Glory, Honour and Worship of the Holy Trinity –
 THE
 T 
RUE
 J
OY AND
EALITY OF THE
H
OLY 
E
UCHARIST 
 THE
E
 TERNAL
 T 
HANKSGIVING AND
U
NION WITH
G
OD
: toGod the Father, through God the Son Incarnate andin the Holy Spirit. Those who are inebriated by alcohol or drugs totter andsway and keep craving something that neversatisfies but only destroys.
 T 
HOSE WHO ARE INEBRIATED WITH THE
H
OLY 
S
PIRIT AREROOTED IN OUR 
S
 AVIOUR 
,
 
 J
ESUS
C
HRIST 
,
AND AREGLORIOUSLY SOBER AND
EDEEMED
E
 TERNALLY 
.Being able to quote Holy Scripture chapter and verse orsinging Hymns are not at all Spiritual.
O
UR THOUGHTS
,
WORDS AND DEEDS MUST CONSTANTLY SPRING FORTH FROM A HEARTFELT VIRTUOUS STATE OF 
H
UMILITY 
,
 
O
BEDIENCE AND A 
EAR OF 
G
OD
ahumble state of deepest Love of and respect for Almighty God.
The Holy Gospel According to St Luke 18 : 35 – 43
 The Healing of the Blind Man of Jericho
 At that time, as our Lord Jesus Christ approached Jericho, there was a certain blind man who sat at the roadsidebegging, and, hearing a multitude passing by, he asked what it meant. He was told that Jesus of Nazareth waspassing by. And he cried out, saying:
“Jesus, Son of David! Have Mercy on me!” 
Those who went ahead of Him warned him to be quiet; but he cried out all the more:
“Son of David! Have Mercy on me!” 
 And Jesus stood still and commanded him to be brought to Him. And when he came near, He asked him:
“What do you want Me to do for you?” 
He replied:
“Lord, that I may receive my sight.” 
And Jesus said to him:
“Receive your sight – your Faith has made you well.” 
 And immediately he received his sight, and followed Him, glorifying God. And all the people – when they saw it – gavepraise to God.Our Lord Jesus Christ was addressed as “
Son of David 
because it 
IS A SPECIFIC
S
 ACRED
 T 
ITLE THAT WASPROFOUNDLY ASSOCIATED WITH THE
M
ESSIAH
.Even though
OUR 
L
ORD
 J
ESUS KNOWS EXACTLY WHAT WEWANT 
– even before we do, or even before we ask –
H
EWANTS US TO FREELY TURN TO
H
IM WHENEVER WE NEED
H
IS
 A 
SSISTANCE SO THAT WE CAN LEARN
H
IS
G
REAT 
M
ERCY AND
L
OVING
B
ENEVOLENCE
.
V
 
O
NLY WHEN WE LEARN TO DEPEND ON
D
IVINE
M
ERCY  AND
G
RACE
,
DO
 
WE BEGIN OUR 
S
PIRITUAL
 J
OURNEY BY LIVING EVERY MOMENT OF THE DAY 
 
INCHRIST 
. According to our Holy Church Fathers the SpiritualInterpretation is as follows:
 
 The blind man symbolises
FUTURE GENERATIONSWHO COME TO
 AITH ONLY BY HEARING THE
ORDOF 
G
OD
but without the benefit of seeing ourLord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, in Person.
 
 Those who tried to silence the blind man symbolise
 THE PERSECUTORS AND WICKED TYRANTS WHO
INEVERY GENERATION
TRY TO SILENCE THE
D
IVINE
 T 
RUTH OF 
C
HRIST 
S
H
OLY 
,
 
O
RTHODOX 
C
HURCH
.Nevertheless, under persecution, His Holy Church allthe more Confesses our Lord Jesus Christ andclings tightly to the Reality of His Divine Truth.
 T 
HE HEALED AND EXTREMELY GRATEFUL BLIND MAN OF 
 J
ERICHO SPREAD THE
ORD AND
 T 
RUTH OF 
 A 
LMIGHTY 
G
OD
to all who have ears to hear and who are willing to Obey the Lord our God.
 
 T 
HE CITY OF 
 J
ERICHO WAS NOTORIOUS AS A WICKEDPLACE OF ALL KINDS OF INIQUITY AND WASCOMMONLY ASSOCIATED WITH SINFUL LIVING
.
14
th
Sunday of St Luke – The Healing of the Blind Man of Jericho
 In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit
: Today’s Sacred Lesson tells us about 
 J
ERICHO
S BLINDMAN AND THE
S
PIRITUAL
 ADIANCE THAT WAS HIDDEN
 under his threadbare sackcloth. That blind man was not only deprived of the Joy of being able to see the wonderful, multicolouredbeauty of God’s Creation, but neither could he earna living – and it was evident that he had nocompassionate relatives nor benefactors who took care of him.Dressed in rags that barely covered his nakedness, that helpless blind man sat every day at the gates of  Jericho and begged for a little food or money fromthose who hurriedly passed by – many of whom didnot notice him or who chose to ignore his obviousplight.
 A 
LTHOUGH THE
B
LIND
M
 AN OF 
 J
ERICHO HAD BEEN LIVINGIN PITCH DARKNESS FOR SO MANY YEARS
,
THERE WAS A SPECIAL
L
IGHT WITHIN HIS SOUL
,
WHICH FLARED UP WITH CONTINUOUS HOPE AND TRUST IN
G
OD
S
G
REAT 
M
ERCY 
.
 
 
26
TH
 
S
UNDAY
A
FTER
P
ENTECOST
– 
 
14
TH
 
S
UNDAY OF
S
T
L
UKE
– 
 
T
HE
B
LIND
M
AN OF
 J
ERICHO
2
 
D
ECEMBER
2012
3
 T 
HE MISERY AND MISFORTUNE OF HIS CIRCUMSTANCES HADNOT EMBITTERED HIM
.On the contrary, as each day passed by,
HIS
S
PIRITUAL
S
ENSITIVITY AND EXPECTATION INTENSIFIED
.
  The beauty of God’s Creation was inaccessible to him, yet 
HE WAS VERY AWARE OF THE
I
MAGE OF 
G
OD INHIMSELF 
,
WHICH GREW MORE AND MORE VIVID
. And so it was that 
OUR 
L
ORD ACKNOWLEDGED HIS
 V 
IRTUOUS
 ATIENCE
,
 
 AITH AND GENUINE MEEKNESSOF A PURE HEART 
.
 At that time everybody was talking about the Miracles of the Master from Nazareth.Idle people who stood at the gates of Jericho oftendiscussed the Marvellous Deeds of the Wonder- worker - not paying attention to the blind man wholistened attentively to their conversations. The Great Mystery was opened to the blind beggar,http://www.orthodox-canada.com/the-sunday-after-epiphany/while idle story-tellers were racking theirbrains over the solution of these Great Mysteries. These people saw the blue sky, green grass, the yellow sun, multi-coloured goods on sale at the market places, but the Light of another world was invisibleto them.Meanwhile the Blind Man of Jericho who spent longhours in deep contemplation of the Divine Image of God in his soul was Spiritual Sighted and,consequently, having heard about the Miracles of the Nazarene he understood at once that suchthings could only have been fulfilled by the One for Whom they had all been waiting for so many centuries - the Son of David, the Messiah, theSaviour of the World!Finally the day came when, hearing a crowd going by,the Blind Man was told that our Lord Jesus Christ  was passing by. With what immense Joy he had called out:
“Son of  David, have mercy on me!” 
 And even when some of the people scolded him anddemanded him to keep quiet he called out again, with great expectation.
OR THROUGH THE CLARITY OF THE
S
PIRITUAL
S
IGHT OF THE
B
LIND
M
 AN OF 
 J
ERICHO THE
D
IVINE
L
IGHT OF 
C
HRIST SHONEBRIGHTLY 
!
 He was scolded and pushed - yet he called out all themore loudly:
“Son of David, have mercy on me!” 
 And our Lord Jesus stopped and turned to the BlindMan at the city gates, for that man was chosen by God to reveal His Works.Christ had no need to test the Faith of that Blind Manas He had done with various others who besought His Great Mercy.
H
IS COMPLETE RESTORATION TO FULL SIGHT WAS INRESPONSE TO HIS EXULTANT 
,
CONFIDENT 
S
UPPLICATION
: “
Son of David, have mercy on me!” 
 His immortal soul already possessed a profound InnerSight and for our Saviour it was nothing simplerthan making the blinding scales fall from his eyes:
“Receive your sight. Your Faith has Saved  you”.
O
UR 
L
ORD
S WORDS INCLUDED NOT ONLY 
D
ELIVERANCEFROM EARTHLY GRIEF BUT ALSO THE GREATEST 
G
IFT 
-
 
E
 TERNAL
L
IFE
.
 
 And furthermore, the subsequent deeds of that BlindMan of Jericho proved him to be worthy of suchincomparable Grace of God.
 T 
HOSE WHO HAVE BEEN
H
EALED BY THE
E
 TERNAL
S
ON OF 
G
OD
,
ALL REACT AND CONTINUE TO BEHAVE VERY DIFFERENTLY 
.Sadly, though, some people forgot to express theirgratitude and thanksgiving to God, others who were persecuted and intimidated by the enviousPharisees denied our Saviour, while other people,having become the centre of attention, surrenderedto their vanity due to the Great Miracle bestowed onthem by Almighty God.However,
 THE
B
LIND
B
EGGAR OF 
 J
ERICHO WAS TRULY WORTHY OF HIS
D
IVINE
H
EALING FOR HE HADPERCEIVED THE
C
HRISTIAN
M
ESSAGE AND CHOSE TOFOLLOW THE
S
 TRAIGHT AND
N
 ARROW 
 ATH OF 
IGHTEOUSNESS FOR HIMSELF 
.
 
H
 AVING RECEIVED HIS SIGHT THIS RIGHTEOUS MAN WANTEDONLY ONE THING
TO SEE OUR 
S
 AVIOUR AND TO BEWITH
H
IM
- so he
“...followed Him, Glorifying God, and all the people who saw it gave Praise to God.” 
 Only a few lines are devoted to the Blind Man of Jerichoin Holy Scripture yet 
HOW DEEP AND INSTRUCTIVE IS THIS ACCOUNT OF SUCH AN
E
NLIGHTENED
S
OUL
,
WHICHWAS INITIALLY HIDDEN UNDER THE WRETCHED RAGS OF POVERTY AND DESTITUTION
. Vouchsafe us, O Lord, to be granted the wonderfulSpiritual Sight with which this poor but most richest of men possessed - whereby he became a ChosenDisciple of God. Amen.
ADAPTED & EDITED BY MP:
http://www.orthodox-canada.com/the-sunday-after-epiphany/ 
May God Give You Wisdom: Letters of Father John KrstiankinOn Sorrows and Suffering
Dearly Beloved: You are impatient. Only those whoendure to the end will be Saved. Yes, and after all, there is a Reason to endure.Our Holy Fathers say that the living children of mother who killed their own infants rake revenge upontheir mothers for the brother and sisters who neversaw God’s Light. Yes, there are many other sins – known and unknown –and sorrows are a Penance from God, but you haveto bear them without murmuring. You spouse is sick just as his or her mother was sick,and thus is Patience also needed.Pray for your close family and friends like this:
“O God! Thou know everything, and Thy Love is Perfect.Take the lives of my suffering family and friendsinto Thy Hands, and do that which I long to do, but which I cannot. Amen.” 
  We have lived to see such times when only sorrows andsickness can still intercede for our Salvation.So learn to love your much-laborious life, and do not look at the ‘gaiety and prosperity’ of life around you, but rather focus all your attention on the Holy Cross of Christ our Saviour, which guides usforward.... I cannot say for what or how long these trials arecoming down on you. This is not a matter for the Priest.Unlike you, I am inclined to wonder – not what for, but rather – why you have been stricken with them...Sins that are committed consciously give rise toillnesses that completely bind us.Christianity – accepted as a ‘philosophical theory’ alone– has entered into contradiction with True ChristianLife (in Christ), and the Enemy has acquiredfreedom of movement.Many people are not satisfied with the answers they receive from contemporary Priests with regard toastrology, nor do they accept what our SpiritualFathers of the past have written on the subject, andnow, if you do not believe in the practical results of  your delusions, you have no one to blame but  yourself!Our Lord has given us everything and has doneeverything possible to make us understand HisDivine Truth and Reality – and now this is the finalone.It remains only for you to re-think – to reconsider andcontemplate – everything in your personal life withrespect to Faith, Holy Scripture, the Holy Church of Christ, to life, to personal relationships – toreconsider absolutely everything!It is time for you to wake up from your Spiritual Stuporand be horrified at your errors, and to sincerely Repent – not theoretically, but from your heart andsoul – and to see yourself as you really are.

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