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Published by Marguerite Paizis
EASTERN ORTHODOX CHRISTIANS SACRED LESSONS ACCORDING TO THE GREEK BYZANTINE RITE FOR SUNDAYS AND MAJOR FEAST DAYS OF APRIL 2011. Includes Tones and Hymns of the day and writings of our Holy Church Fathers, both ancient and modern.
EASTERN ORTHODOX CHRISTIANS SACRED LESSONS ACCORDING TO THE GREEK BYZANTINE RITE FOR SUNDAYS AND MAJOR FEAST DAYS OF APRIL 2011. Includes Tones and Hymns of the day and writings of our Holy Church Fathers, both ancient and modern.

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Published by: Marguerite Paizis on Mar 23, 2011
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Sunday of Great Lent Sunday of St John Klimakos 3 March 2011
Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa 
Archdiocese of Good Hope Archdiocese of Good Hope Archdiocese of Good Hope Archdiocese of Good Hope 
3 April 20113 April 20113 April 20113 April 20114
Sunday of Great Lent Tone Sunday of Great Lent Tone Sunday of Great Lent Tone Sunday of Great Lent Tone Sunday of St John Klimakos Sunday of St John Klimakos Sunday of St John Klimakos Sunday of St John Klimakos (of the Ladder of Divine Ascent) (of the Ladder of Divine Ascent) (of the Ladder of Divine Ascent) (of the Ladder of Divine Ascent) Also the Feast of St Nicetas, the Confessor & Abbot of Medikion Monastery – St Joseph the Hymnographer - St Theodosia, Virginmartyr of Tyre – St Irene – St Illyrikos of Mount Myrsinon, Peloponnesos – St Elpidephoros, St Dios, St Bithonios & St Galykos, Holy Martyrs – the Holy Icon of our Ever Blessed Ladthe Holy Icon of our Ever Blessed Lady the Holy Icon of our Ever Blessed Lady the Holy Icon of our Ever Blessed Lady Theotokos of the Unfading Bloom Theotokos of the Unfading Bloom Theotokos of the Unfading Bloom Theotokos of the Unfading Bloom 
R e s u r r e c t i o n A p o l y t i k i o n
o fedron tis Anastaseos Kirigma ek tou AngelouMathouse e tou Kyriou Mathitrie ke tin Progonikinapofasin aporipsase, tis Apostolis kafhomeneelegon: Eskilefte O Thanatos, igerthi Hristos OTheos, doroumenos to kosmo to Mega Eleos! 
hen the Women Disciples of the Lord had learnt fromthe Angels the Glad Tidings of the Resurrection, andhad cast away the Condemnation of their Forefather,they spoke exultingly to the Apostles: Death is nomore: Christ-God is Risen, granting to the worldGreat Mercy!
Apolytikia of St John Klimakos
ton dakrion sou roes, tis erimou to agononegeorgisas, ke tis ek vathou stenagmis, is ekatontous ponous ekarpoforisas. Ke gegonas fostir, tiikoumeni lampon tis thavmasin, Ioanni patir imonOsie. Presveve Hristo to Theo, sothine tas psihasimon.
hy Martyr, O Lord, was worthily awarded by Thee theCrown of Incorruption, in that he contested fro Thee,our Immortal God. Since he possessed Thy Power,he defeated the tyrants, dashing the demons’powerless displays of defiance. O Christ God, at hisfervent entreaties, save our souls.
Kontakion to the Blessed Theotokos
i Ipermaho Stratigo ta nikitiriaOs litrothisa ton dinon evharistiriaAnagrafo Si i Polis Sou TheotokeAll’ os ehousa to kratos aprosmahitonEk pantion me kindinon eleftherosonIna krazo Si, Here Nimfi Animfevte! 
nto Thee,O Theotokos Invincible Champion,Thy City in thanksgivingAscribes the Victory for the deliverance from sufferings.But having Thy Might unassailable,Free me from all dangersSo that I may cry out to Thee:
Hail! O Bride Ever Virgin
Resurrection Gospel 1Resurrection Gospel 1Resurrection Gospel 1Resurrection Gospel 1 – – – Matthew 28 : 16 Matthew 28 : 16 Matthew 28 : 16 Matthew 28 : 16 – – 2222
The Great Commission of our Lord Jesus Christ 
Prokeimenon Prokeimenon Prokeimenon Prokeimenon 
he Lord will grant Strength to His
ffer to the Lord, O Sons of God, Offer to the Lord Sacrifice and Praise! 
The Epistle of St Paul The Epistle of St Paul The Epistle of St Paul The Epistle of St Paul to the Hebrews 6 : 13 to the Hebrews 6 : 13 to the Hebrews 6 : 13 to the Hebrews 6 : 13 – – 2222
The Lord our God Confirms His Divine Promise by a Sacred Oath
Brethren: when God made a Promise to Abraham, because He could Swear by no one greater, He Swore by Himself,saying: ‘Surely Blessing I will Bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee.’And so after Abraham had patiently endured, he obtained the Promise, for mankind indeed swears by the greater, and anOath for Confirmation is for them an end of all dispute.Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the Heir of Promise the immutability of His Counsel, Confirmed It by an Oath, so that by two immutable Things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong Consolation,who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the Hope set before us.This Hope we have as an Anchor of the soul – both sure and steadfast – and which enter the Presence behind the Veil,where the Forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the Order of Melchizedek.The Promise that God made to St Abraham concerneda son who would be born to him and his equally elderly and barren wife, St Sarah – an heir throughwhom God would greatly multiply his family.The “two immutable Things” refer to God’s DivinePromise and God’s Divine Oath.“Behind the Veil” is a reference to the Heavenly Altar,which is served by our Lord and Saviour, JesusChrist Who is our one and only Most High Priest of the Eternal Holy Priesthood according to the Orderof Melchizedek – an ancient King and Priest of theOld Covenant whose Holy Priesthood was equally Eternal.
The Holy Gospel According to St Mark 9 : 17 The Holy Gospel According to St Mark 9 : 17 The Holy Gospel According to St Mark 9 : 17 The Holy Gospel According to St Mark 9 : 17 – – 31313131
O Faithless Generation!
At that time, one of the crowd said to our Lord Jesus Christ:
“Teacher, I brought Thee my son who has a mute spirit.And wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. So I spoke to Thy Disciples, that they could cast it out, but they could not.” 
Sunday of Great Lent – Sunday of St John Klimakos 3 March 2011
He answered him and said:
“O faithless generation! How long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear withyou? Bring him to Me.” 
And they brought him to Him. And when he saw Jesus, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the groundand wallowed, foaming at the mouth. And He asked his father:
“How long has this been happening to him?” 
 And he said:
“From childhood. And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him.But if Thou can do anything, have Compassion on us and help us.” 
Jesus said to him:
“If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” 
And immediately the fatherof the child cried out with tears
: “Lord, I believe! Help my unbelief!” 
When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirits, saying to it: “
Deaf and dumbspirit: I command you, come out of him, and enter him no more!” 
And the spirit cried out, convulsed himgreatly, and went out of him. And he became as though dead, so that many said
: “He is dead!” 
And Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose.And when He had gone into the house, His Disciples asked Him privately:
“Why could we not cast it out?” 
And He said tothem:
“This kind can come out by nothing but Prayer and Fasting.” 
Then they departed from there and passed through Galilee, and He did not want anyone to know it. For He taught HisDisciples:
“The Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of men who will kill Him. And after He isdead, He will rise the Third Day.” 
But they did not understand His Words, and were afraid to question Him.In ancient times, mental and physical illness was oftenregarded as being connected to demonic activity,which in Truth it often can be.According to St Matthew’s account of this incident, thedesperate father of the epileptic boy had knelt downbefore our Lord Jesus Christ, which revealed hisHumility before such a powerful Teacher and Holy Person, even though he lacked person Faith in God.Although His Disciples also were lacking in theirabsolute Faith in God, our Lord Jesus Christ rebukednot only them and all those who witnessed theincident, but also the father of the young boy, whichprevent the healing of his beloved son – andalthough He defended the abilities of His Disciplesand Apostles before the gathered multitude, He laterrebuked them in private for their weak Faith andtrust in the Divine Mercy and Power of Almighty God.Christ thereby teaches us that when we correct others,we must not do so in order to humiliate orembarrass them, especially before witnesses whomay not understand one’s concern or lovingmotivation for correcting those who are stumbling orwho have already fallen.Everything we do to encourage, assist, guide or teachothers must always – without fail – be done withAgape – unconditional Love – and must be acceptedby the one being corrected with the sameunderstanding and appreciation of such well-intentioned Agape.Furthermore, whenever we are corrected by our fellow Disciples of Christ, we must ensure that we apply such corrections to our behaviour or practises.Otherwise none of us would make any SpiritualProgress at all!This is all part of our Spiritual Journey – learning toaccept good advice from others with all due Humility and Obedience. To do otherwise is to show a lack of these two important Virtues and can mean that wehave fallen into the opposite vices of pride,arrogance and disobedience to God.The Discipline of our Holy Church is based on ourmutual correction in three expanding stages.Sin and correction are to remain private unless theoffender stubbornly refuses to Repent and rejectscorrection.All correction of our errors is only possible when donewith great care and Humility, with the highest concern being the Salvation of the offender.Correction of our errors must always be done in orderthat our sins do not spread to others as well.1 Corinthians 5 : 5 “... deliver such a one to Satan forthe destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may beSaved in the Day of the Lord Jesus.”This means that in the Holy Church of Christ we areProtected from the destructive power of Satan but this Holy Protection will be removed from us throughExcommunication in the hope that as soon as weexperience the difference between God’s Divine andMerciful Rule over us and the destructive, wicked anddevastating enslavement of Satan we will quickly Repent our sins of Spiritual Disobedience andRebellion against God and return to the Sacred Foldof Christ our Saviour.
The flesh
) is not synonymous with our “
) – St Paul was calling for the destruction of the lusts of the flesh rather than the destruction of our body.Galatians 6 : 1 “Brethren: if (anyone) is overtaken in any trespass, you who are Spiritual restore such a(person) in a spirit of Gentleness, consideringyourself lest you also be tempted.”To be able to administer correction with the BlessedVirtue of Gentleness is a Spiritual Gift from God.St John Chrysostom taught us that this Rebuke of Christ was actually directed at the nine Disciples who couldnot cast out the demon that caused the young boy’sepileptic fits, whereas the “Pillars of Faith,” St Peter,St James and St John, were not included in theRebuke, since they had been on Mount Tabor withour Lord Jesus Christ, where they had witnessed HisGlorious Transfiguration.“This kind...” of evil spirit – demonic possession that causes not only Spiritual Illness but also physicalmanifestations of the great Spiritual Struggle that occurs during demonic attacks – is a reference to all(limited) powers of darkness – of evil and not simply to those that can cause a particular type of physicalillness.The banishment of demons requires
, for
Beginning with the Didache – the earliest writings of theHoly Apostles – our Holy Church Fathers have taught us that both the person who is in need of healingand the person who performs the healing, must haveunwavering Faith in Almighty God, must constantly Pray for Divine Assistance and Grace and Fast properly.Our Lord Jesus Christ revealed His approaching Deathand Resurrection for a second time to show that Hefulfilled His Passion freely and not according to thedictates of those seeking His destruction.Our Lord Jesus Christ, in absolute Obedience to theDivine Will of our Heavenly Father, accepted Hisultimate Blood Sacrifice willingly and freely out of God’s infinite Love of mankind for it was the finaland greatest of all Blood Sacrifices for mankind’sSalvation – the greatest Blood Sacrifice that Redeemed all mankind so that never again would wehave to offer temporary blood sacrifices for theatonement of our continuous sins.Now according to our New Covenant with God – aBloodless Covenant – we constantly make ourOfferings of Thanksgiving, Praise and Worship in theDivine Liturgy Service of Holy Eucharist –continuously Repenting our sins and joyfully accepting the ongoing Forgiveness of Christ ourSaviour, which grants us Eternal Life in His DivineKingdom of Love, Peace and Joy.
Sunday of Great Lent Sunday of St John Klimakos 3 March 2011
– astate of True Repentance – rather than in a state of Spiritual Death and Alienation from God – a state of unrepentance, disobedience and sin!Just like so many of us today, the Disciples did not fully understand the full Truth and significance of Christ’sclear words yet they did not use the opportunity tofind out what everything would mean to them.Similarly, many of us today, could not bother to seek Divine Truth and Understanding, which is granted tous once we honestly begin our Spiritual Journey.The more we seek Divine Truth with a Spiritual Yearningfor a close Relationship with Almighty God, the moreHe grants us His Knowledge and Understanding!However, because God never forces anything on us –having granted us free will to choose for ourselveswhich Spiritual Path we take towards Eternity – it isup to us to make every effort to learn His Divine andAbsolute Truth concerning everything to do with thePurpose of this temporary life and Eternity – the Ageto come which is never ending and a very consciousstate – more consciously aware than at present!!
Fourth Sunday of Great Lent Fourth Sunday of Great Lent Fourth Sunday of Great Lent Fourth Sunday of Great Lent – – – St John Klimakos St John Klimakos St John Klimakos St John Klimakos – – – of the Ladder of the Ladder of the Ladder of the Ladder ( ((of Divine Ascent of Divine Ascent of Divine Ascent of Divine Ascent) )
My dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, today is theFourth Sunday of the Great and Holy Fast.This Sunday of Lent is dedicated to St John Klimakos orSt John of the Ladder.St John was a Monk of St Catherine’s Monastery onMount Sinai.As a Monk of Sinai, he lived a Spiritual Life and hecaptured his profound Spiritual Experience in a book entitled: “The Ladder of Divine Ascent.”In this book, he describes the Spiritual Life and how togrow closer to Almighty God through 30 steps orrungs of a Spiritual Ladder.Through each of these 30 steps, a soul is transfiguredinto Continual Communion with God.The Spiritual Growth that is achieved by the applicationof each Spiritual Step is, however, only achievedthrough God’s Mercy, constant Prayer and correct Fasting.In today’s Sacred Lesson, we learn of Christ our God’sMercy and Healing and their relationship to Prayerand Fasting.In this Holy Gospel Lesson, we hear how a desperateand loving father presented his epileptic son to ourLord Jesus Christ for Healing from demonicpossession.The first thing that confronts us is the very real existenceof evil spirits, fallen angels or demons.We would all like to deny their existence.We would prefer to dismiss their actions as simply physical or mental illness.Mental illness certainly does exist, but it is different fromthe Spiritual Illness that is described in this particularGospel incident.The possession of the soul by demons is a sickness of the soul, which separates and alienates the afflictedperson from God and from other people.The intention of the demons is to convince us that they do not exist or that they have the same power asGod.The prince of the demons is Lucifer or Satan himself. Heis the prince and the inventor of lies and everythingevil and foreign to the Goodness and Love of God.If we believe the lie that there is no such thing as evil ordemons, then it becomes easier for us to think that we do not need God!The other lie that the devil wants us to believe is that heis an evil god who is equal to Almighty God.All too often we hear of good and evil being equal, whichis the deceptive and dangerous belief of “
the ying and the yang 
.”When we accept these lies, we deny the Divine andinfinite Power of God and we separate ourselvesfrom Him and our fellow mankind.Through this tragic and dangerous separation from Godand others, our soul becomes sick and in the most severe cases, such affected people begin to behavevery differently, which is sometimes mistaken as aform of mental illness.And that is what we hear of in today’s Sacred Lesson.The father wanted to believe that his son’s SpiritualIllness was something other than demon possession.In a way, the father preferred to believe that his son’strouble was a mere ailment visited upon him by God– a type of “Divine Punishment.”Nevertheless, that type of belief is actually a completedenial of the Love and Providence of our Most Merciful Lord God.How could anyone who truly Loves God and knows Hisboundless Divine Love for us human beings possibly attribute such destructive evil to Him?!This is a terrible denial of our Loving and Life-givingGod!All the evil inventions, deceptions and lies of Satan andhis fallen angels or demons have been self- inflictedthrough the misuse of our own free will.Everything that God has created is good and beneficialfor us and this is confirmed in the Holy Book of Genesis - when God created our world for us Heapproved of its beauty and goodness: “...
and God saw that it was good 
(GENESIS 1:10-31)
Consequently, our Lord Jesus Christ rebuked not only the father of the young boy and the gathered crowd,but later, in private, also His Disciples.We must never forget that everything God has createdfor our benefit and our survival during this life isgood and natural, and anything that is not good, that is wicked, deceptive, harmful or destructive hasnothing to do with God but with the evil one and ourown co-operation with him and his demons.As St James the Apostle explained:
“... in many thingswe offend all. If any man offend not in word,the same is a perfect man, and able also tobridle the whole body. Behold, we put bits inthe horses' mouths, that they may obey us;and we turn about their whole body.” 
(JAMES 3:2-3)
Thus, although any kind of reprimand may seemoffensive to us – it is an essential means of returningus to the correct Path of Life and if we receive such ajustifiable reprimand from anyone, we should – withall Humility and Obedience – accept it with gratitudeand apply it seriously to ourselves.St Nikolaj Velimirovic said:
There is nothing thatmelts the ice of unbelief as readily as tears
These tears occur when we can no longer endure thepain of not trusting in God.We often hear this in the cry: “
O God help me! 
” when weat the point of despair.It is at this point of despair that God can enter into ourlives. This is when God can help us to have belief and Faith in Him.St Nikolaj Velimirovic further commented:
“… mancannot even come to Faith without God’s Help.
Man can only come to some slight belief …Butthe path from some measure of belief to TrueFaith is long indeed, and no man can followthis Path without God’s guiding Hand 
.”When the young boy was healed, our Lord forbade thedemon from entering him again.This is a clear indication that our sinful behaviour isoften ingrained in us – like a stubborn stain on oursoul, caused by our own habitual surrender to thetemptations of the demons.This is Christ’s admonishment to us that we are not return to our sinful habits once we have truly Repented them.Our Lord Jesus Christ often reminded the repentant –and thus us as well - that once we have removed aparticular kind of sin from our lives, we must be very 

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