You are on page 1of 32

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, Mary, 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.

Beginning of the Liturgical Year (7524)


The Indiction

1 September 2015

Also the Feast of 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 Symeon the Studite & St Martha of Cilicia St Meletios the New of
Cappadocia - St Evanthia St Aithalas, Deacon, of Persia

FESTAL APOLYTIKION

seasons under Thine own Authority; Bless, O Lord,


the Crown of this year of Thy Kindness, keeping in
Peace Thy Kings and Thy City; by the Intercessions of
the Theotokos, O Only True Friend of mankind.

EVER BLESSED THEOTOKOS

OF THE

Here

Hail, O Theotokos Virgin Full of Grace: for from Thee has

Keharitomeni Theotoke Parthene.


Ek Sou gar
anetilen O Ilios tis Dikeosinis, Hristos O Theos imon,
Fotizon tous en skoti.
Evfrenou ke si Presvita Dikee,
dexamenos en agkales ton elevtherotin ton psihon
imon, harizomenon imin ke tin Anastasin
FESTAL APOLYTIKION

INDICTION TONE 2

O Creator of all the Universe, who have placed times and

pasis Dimiourgos tis Ktiseos, O kerous ke hronous en ti


idia exousia themenos, Evlogison ton Stefanon, tou
eniaftou tis Hristotitos Sou, Kyrie, filatton en Irini tous
Vasilis ke tin Polin Sou, Presvies tis Theotokou, Mone
Filanthrope.
FESTAL

OF THE

OF

shone forth the Sun of Righteousness, Christ our God,


giving Light to those in darkness. Be glad also, Thou
Righteous Elder, for Thou hast received in Thine arms
the Deliverer of our souls, Who bestows upon us
Resurrection.

ST SYMEON

Ipomonis

Stilos gegonas, zilosas tou propatoras Osie, ton


Iob en tis pathesi ton Iosif en tis pirasmis ke tin ton
Asomaton Politian iparhon en somatic. Symeon Patir
imon Osie, Presveve Hristo to Theo, sothine tas Psihas
imon.

THE

STYLITE -

TONE 1

Thou became a Pillar of Patience, and the Ancient Fathers


Thou equalled and rivalled; Thou rivalled Job in
Sufferings, Joseph in Temptations, and the Lifestyle of
the Incorporeals while in the flesh. Therefore, O our
Righteous Father, Symeon, Intercede with Christ God to
Save our souls!

F E S T A L K O N T A K I O N O F T H E I N D I C T O S - TONE 4

ton Eonon Piitis ke Despotis - Thee ton olon iperousie


ontos, tin eniafsion Evlogison periodon, Sozon to Elei
Sou, to apiro Iktirmon, pantas tous latrevontas, Si to
mono Despoti, ke ekvoontas Fovo Litrota: EVFORON PASI
TO ETOS HORIGISON.

O Eternal Creator and Master - O God of all, transcending


all that exists: we earnestly entreat, that in Thine
Infinite Mercy, Thou will Bless the year, and Save all
who worship Thee Who art our Only Master, and we cry
out in Fear: O Redeemer: GRANT US A HEALTHY,
PROSPEROUS YEAR.

PROKEIMENON PSALM 146 & 134 -

TONE 4

Great is our God, and Great is His Strength.


Praise the Lord, for He is Good.
THE FIRST EPISTLE OF ST PAUL TO ST TIMOTHY 2: 1 7
FAITH

FULNESS

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 men 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.
Intercessory Prayers are to be offered for everyone
AND THEN TO OFFER H IMSELF AS THE F INAL AND U LTIMATE
without exception. However, SPECIAL P RAYERS
B LOOD S ACRIFICE FOR THE SAKE OF OUR E TERNAL L IFE AND
SHOULD BE OFFERED FOR THOSE IN AUTHORITY OVER US.
S ALVATION .
Thus - as Orthodox Christians - WE REPEATEDLY PRAY
Some who are opposed to the established Holy Church of
FOR ALL CIVIL AUTHORITIES... during our Fervent
Christ have used this particular verse to erroneously
Prayers of the Holy Services.
claim that all we need is our Lord Jesus - not His Holy
The religions of the ancient Greek or Hellenised world
Church, Her Clergy nor Her Divine Mysteries
were pluralistic and elite.
(Sacraments.)
In contrast, St Paul taught that THERE IS O NE S AVIOUR , O NE
However:
THE S ON OF G OD BECAME OUR O NE AND O NLY
G OD AND O NE M EDIATOR O NE A LMIGHTY G OD W HO
D IVINE M EDIATOR BY BECOMING M AN THROUGH THE
OFFERS SALVATION EQUALLY TO ALL HUMANITY BECAUSE H E
I NCARNATION OF THE H OLY S PIRIT AND THE E VER BLESSED
CREATED US HUMAN BEINGS TO SHARE IN H IS D IVINE
V IRGIN T HEOTOKOS I . E . THROUGH G OD AND MANKIND .
G OODNESS .
G OD TOOK H IS HUMAN N ATURE not from Himself alone but
G OD BECAME M AN IN ORDER TO GRANT US S ALVATION.
FROM also from a human being THE A LL H OLY EVER
H E EMPTIED H IMSELF OF H IS INFINITE , UNCONTAINABLE ,
V IRGIN T HEOTOKOS .
UNRESTRICTED D IVINITY AND M AJESTY IN ORDER TO
Likewise, AS OUR D IVINE M EDIATOR , Christ said: I will build
TAKE ON OUR W EAK AND VULNERABLE AND LIMITED
My Church. and H E ESTABLISHED H ER L EADERS WHO
HUMAN FLESH AND NATURE i.e. THE C REATOR BECAME A
G UIDE US AND H ER W ORSHIP SO THAT WE, WHO ARE
CREATURE , IN ORDER TO T EACH AND G UIDE US PERSONALLY
THE BEGINNING

OF THE

LITURGICAL YEAR THE INDICTION 1 SEPTEMBER 2014

1.

He had been E NLIGHTENED AND I NSPIRED BY GOD H IMSELF .


D IVINE K NOWLEDGE AND ILLUMINATION WAS BESTOWED BY
C HRIST UPON S T PAUL AT HIS C ONVERSION along the
road to Damascus.
A S A T RUE A POSTLE OF C HRIST , HE PERFORMED ALL HIS
M ISSIONARY DUTIES WITH ABSOLUTE T RUTH IN HUMBLE
OBEDIENCE TO G OD and not according to his own ideas
or imagination!
S T PAUL TAUGHT NOT ONLY THE J EWS BUT ALSO THE G ENTILES
the Holy Gospel of Christ our Lord and therefore he
was also known as THE A POSTLE TO THE G ENTILES the
non-Jews and pagans.
D IVINE I NSPIRATION DRIVES F AITHFUL S ERVANTS OF GOD TO
SEEK H IS T RUTH AND TO PRACTISE H IS W AYS EVERY DAY OF
THEIR LIVES , I NSPIRING AND T EACHING OTHERS BY THEIR
G OOD E XAMPLES.

SPIRITUALLY INEXPERIENCED , MAY BE ABLE TO APPROACH


G OD CORRECTLY , OBEDIENTLY AND WITH THE GREATEST
RESPECT .

As the Blessed Theotokos gave us Christ in His Humanity,


so H IS H OLY C HURCH INTRODUCES US TO H IM, W HO ALONE
IS OUR D IVINE M EDIATOR .
In the context of ancient slavery a Ransom was paid :
Not so much to purchase a slave, but TO FREE HIM OR
HER FROM BONDAGE

So that he may EXPERIENCE LIBERTY FREEDOM FROM THE


BONDAGE OF SLAVERY [ SPIRITUAL & PHYSICAL ]
In other words: WE ARE FREED FROM THE BONDAGE OF SIN BY
THE D IVINE SALVATION OF J ESUS C HRIST OUR L ORD .
S T P AUL EMPHASISED THE TRUTH OF GOD, which he taught
and which he practised, HAVING RECEIVED HIS T RUTH
DIRECTLY FROM GOD HIMSELF.
S T PAUL HAD BEEN C ALLED BY C HRIST H IMSELF AND
THEREFORE HE WAS INDEED AN A POSTLE OF C HRIST .
THE HOLY GOSPEL OF ST LUKE 4 : 16 22
UNB

ELIEF IN

NA

ZARETH

At that time, 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 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.
OUR LORD HAD RETURNED TO NAZARETH where He had spent
A LL HUMANITY HAS BEEN TAUGHT DIRECTLY BY C HRIST
most of His Life and where almost everyone would
G OD H IMSELF !
have known Him and His earthly Family.
D IVINE S ALVATION IS GRANTED TO ALL HUMANITY FOR
IT WAS THE USUAL PRACTICE FOR OUR LORD TO GO INTO THE
ALL TIME BECAUSE OF THE GREATEST SACRIFICE OF
SYNAGOGUE TO READ THE HOLY SCRIPTURES ESPECIALLY ON
C HRIST .
C HRIST H EALS THE SICK AND SUFFERING BOTH
THE SABBATH. The Book of Isaiah (the Holy Prophet of
God) was the Sacred Lesson for the day and
SPIRITUAL AND PHYSICAL ILLNESSES .
whether our Lord Himself chose the passage to
C HRIST PROCLAIMS THE D IVINE L IBERTY OFFERED TO
read aloud or whether it was prescribed, the fact is
HUMANITY THAT SETS US FREE FROM THE B ONDAGE OF
WHAT H E READ IN THE ANCIENT TEXT WAS ALREADY
SIN AND D EATH .
FULFILLED BY H IM BY THAT DAY AS H E SO CLEARLY
C HRIST REVEALS H IS TRUTH CONCERNING THE P URPOSE
INFORMED THEM :
OF THIS EXISTENCE AS A P REPARATION FOR WHAT IS
S T I SAIAH SPOKE OF THE A NOINTING OF C HR IST BY THE
TO FOLLOW : ETERNAL L IFE OR ETERNAL D EATH .
H OLY S PIRIT and the Holy Spirit had indeed
The people marvelled at Christs Words, but THEY
Descended upon Him at His Baptism.
REFUSED TO BELIEVE - NOR WOULD THEY ACCEPT THE
A LL THE LONG AWAITED B LESSINGS OF THE J EWISH N ATION
D IVINE T RUTH OF GOD - THAT JESUS C HRIST , A FELLOW
WERE FULFILLED BY C HRIST OUR L ORD .
VILLAGER , COULD TRULY BE THE LONG - AWAITED
G OD THE F ATHER HAD SENT H IS O NLY B EGOTTEN SON to
M ESSIAH.
live among His creatures.
1 SEPTEMBER THE INDICTION BEGINNING

2.

THE BEGINNING

OF THE

LITURGICA

YEAR TH

OF THE

LITURGICAL YEAR

This Vespers Hymn and our Lords Prayer emphasise three


great principles necessary for making the New Year a
Year of the Lord and a Year of Grace, for Christs
Teachings are the Source of Divine Truth which we
apply to our daily life, and our Heavenly Father is an
intimate, personal God Who provides us with all our
material and spiritual needs, while our constant Prayers
provide us with a close communication and a vital
Relationship with God, sanctifying every moment of our
day.
The beginning of Christs Ministry and the beginning of the
Church Year converge, for according to Liturgical
Tradition, our Lord Jesus went to Nazareth to preach
the Good News of His Mission on 1 September, which is
Spiritually Significant for in Her worship, His Holy
Church has linked the first day of the Liturgical Year
with the first day of our Saviours Public Preaching.
Thus our Lord Jesus Christ addresses us today just as He
did to His contemporaries in the Synagogue of
Nazareth. Will we reject Him or accept Him? Will we
rebel against His Word actively, will we ignore it, or will
we respond to it positively?
Christs Good News requires our honest response of mind,
heart, strength and soul, for the Unconditional Love of
God, shown by the most Precious Gift of His Son Who
shed His Blood for our Salvation, requires a sincere
reaction from us.
Consequently, let us consider the utter devotion of His Holy
Martyrs who are Commemorated today and every day
- and may we all be granted that same Strength,
Courage and Faith even to the point of death.

We are accustomed to thinking of 1 January as the


beginning of the year. But the tradition of starting a
New Year with Autumn was always common to the
Middle Eastern Countries including those around the
Mediterranean, for the Summer Harvest was completed,
the crops were stored, and the people were prepared for
a new agricultural cycle - an appropriate time to begin a
New Year.
Many of the hymns for the first day of the Church year
state that the coming year is Gods to grant and Gods
to Bless A YEAR OF THE LORD! These Hymns take
their theme from Psalm 64/65 - a Psalm of Praise to our
Creator Who is Awesome as our Holy Lord God Who so
richly sustains the Earth with His Abundant Goodness:
Bless, O Lord, the crown (the beginning) of the year
with Thy Goodness!
The Goodness of our Lord is His Love, Mercy and Grace
and we pray that the coming year will be a Year of
Grace - Blessed by God.
Our Prayers and Hymns of not only recite the wonderful
Works of God in Creation and history for our Salvation
but also frequently offer Guidance concerning how to
make each year a Year of Grace - a Year of the Lord.
The very first hymn of the New Liturgical Year, chanted
at Vespers in the joyful First Tone, reminds us that
PRAYERFUL DAILY DEPENDENCE ON GOD IS THE BASIC
ATTITUDE OF OUR LIFE IN CHRIST and it refers to another
key passage in Holy Scripture that addresses all of us as
Orthodox Faithful: O Faithful, having learnt True
Prayer from the very Words and Divine Teachings of
Christ, let us cry out to the Creator each day:
Our Father, Who art in Heaven, give us always daily
bread, and forgive us our transgressions... - a
reference to our Lords Prayer.

HTTP://WWW.PRAVMIR.COM/BEGINNING-CHURCH-YEAR-INDICTION

INDIC

TION

1 SEP

TEMBER

2015

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,
Mary, 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

6 September 2015

14th Sunday After Pentecost


14th Sunday of St Matthew
The Great Banquet
Also the Feast of the Miracle of St Michael the Archangel of God at
Colossae St Eudoxios, St Zeno, St Makarios & their Fellow Martyrs of
Melitene St Archippos of Herapolis St Romulos & his Fellow Martyrs
St Cyril of Gortyna St Kyriakos, St Faustos the Presbyter, St Abibas the Deacon & 11 Fellow Martyrs of Alexandria
St David of Hermopolis, Egypt St Maxim Sandovic, Hieromartyr St Kalodotos
RESURRECTION APOLYTIKION TONE(5) PLAGAL 1

Ton

The

sinanarhon Logon Patri ke Pnevmati, ton ek


Parthenou Tehthenta is Sotirian imon, animnisomen,
Pisti, ke Proskinisomen. Oti ivdokise sarki anelthin en to
Stavro ke Thanaton ipomine ke egire tous tethneotas en
ti Evdoxo Anastasi Aftou.

Word, Who with the Father and the Spirit has no


beginning, and Who, for our Salvation, was born of a
Virgin, let us faithful believers hymn and adore. For it
was His Good Pleasure to ascend the Cross in the
Flesh, and to Suffer Death, and through His own
Glorious Resurrection to raise the dead.

FESTAL APOLYTIKION OF ARCHANGEL GABRIEL: TONE 4;

Ton

Ouranion Stration Arhistratigi, diopoumen imis i


anaxii, ina tes imon deisesi tihisite imas, Skepi ton
Pterigon, tis ailou imon Doxis, frourountes imas
prospiptontas, ektenos ke noontas: Ek ton kindinon
litrosasthe imas, os Taxiarhe, ton ano Dinameon.
SEASONAL KONTAKION -

NATIVITY

Great Leaders of the Heavenly Armies, we implore


Thee, although being unworthy, with Thine earnest
Prayers to fortify us, with the Shelter of the Wings of
Thy Spiritual Glory, guarding us as we fall before Thee,
and fervently cry: Redeem from dangers all of us, as
the Commanders of the Heavenly Powers.

OF THE

EVER BLESSED THEOTOKOS

Ioakim ke Anna onidismou ateknias, ke Adam ke Eva ek tis By Thy Holy Nativity, O Most Undefiled One, Joachim and
fthoras tou Thanatou ileftherothisan Ahrante, en ti Agia
Gennisi Sou. Aftin eortazi ke O laos Sou, enohis ton
ptesmaton, Litrothis en to Krazin Si: i stira tikti tin
Theotokon, ke Trofon tis Zois imon.

Anna were freed from the scorn of childlessness, and


Adam and Eve from Deaths corruption. This is the
Feast now observed by Thy people, who from the guilt
of their errors, were delivered as they cry out to Thee:
the Barren One bear the Theotokos, and our Lifes
Sustainer!

RESURRECTION GOSPEL 3 MARK 16 : 9 20


OUR RESURRECTED LORD APPEARS

TO

HIS APOSTLES & DISCIPLES BEFORE HIS ASCENSION

PROKEIMENON PSALM 11/12 TONE (5) PLAGAL 1


Thou shalt Guard us, O Lord; Thou shalt preserve us from this generation forever.
Save me, O Lord, for the Holy Man has ceased; the Truthful are diminished from among the sons of mankind.
THE SECOND EPISTLE

OF

ST PAUL

TO THE

CORINTHIANS 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.
THE NEW COVENANT ROOTS OF ORTHODOX SACRAMENTAL LIFE ARE
SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINE IS A CALL TO REPENTANCE it is a Holy
ESTABLISHED IN OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST,
RECONCILIATION WITH CHRIST AND HIS HOLY CHURCH and
beginning with our Holy Baptism when WE ARE
OUR SPIRITUAL RENEWAL IN THE PEACE, LOVE AND JOY OF GOD
ANOINTED and our Holy Chrismation when WE ARE
THE HOLY SPIRIT by Whose Power and Energy we are
SEALED WITH THE SEAL OF THE GIFT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.
enabled to fulfil all Divine Commandments and
THE REAL REASON FOR ST PAUL CHANGING HIS ITINERARY WAS
Teachings.
Graciousness, for it was in order TO SPARE THE
TRUE PASTORAL CORRECTION CAUSES AGONY FOR THE OVERSEER
CORINTHIANS - AND HIMSELF FROM A PAINFUL
the Priest, the Bishop or the Spiritual Father or Teacher
CONFRONTATION.
- who suffer affliction...anguish of hurt... and many
The Purpose of Discipline in the Holy Church of Christ is
tears.
never for the Priest or Bishop or anyone else to
However, FOR THE REPENTANT SINNER IT BRINGS ABUNDANT LOVE,
exercise dominion over others, nor does it concern
JOY AND PEACE.
harsh
authority,
nor
the
humiliation
or
embarrassment of those concerned.
ST TIKHON

OF

ZADONSK

Prayer does not consist merely of standing and bowing your body or in reading written Prayers.it is possible to pray
at all times, in all places, with mind and spirit. You can lift up your mind and heart to God while walking, sitting,
working, in a crowd and in solitude. His Door is always open, unlike mans. We can always say to Him in our heart:
Lord, have Mercy!
14TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST 14TH

OF

ST MATTHEW THE GREAT BANQUET 6 SEPTEMBER 2015

THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING

TO

ST MATTHEW 22: 2 - 14

THE GREAT HEAVENLY BANQUET

Our Lord narrated this Parable: The Kingdom of Heaven may be compared to a King Who gave a Marriage Feast for His
Son, and sent His servants to Call those who were invited to the Marriage Feast, and they would not come.
Again He sent other servants, saying: Tell those who are invited: Behold: I have made ready My Banquet My oxen
and My fatted calves are killed, and everything is ready. Come to the Marriage Feast!
But they made light of it and went off one to his farm, another to his business. The rest seized His servants, treated
them shamefully, and killed them.
The King was angry, and He sent His Soldiers to destroy those murderers and burn their city. He said to His servants:
The Wedding Feast is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy! Go, therefore, to the thoroughfares, and
invite as many as you find to the Marriage Feast.
And His servants went out into the streets and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good. And the Banquet
Hall was filled with guests. And when the King came in to look at the guests, He saw there a man who had no
Wedding Garment. And He said to him: Friend, how did you get in here without a Wedding Garment? And he was
speechless.
And the King said to the Attendants: Bind him hand and food, and cast him into the Outer Darkness. There will be
weeping and gnashing of teeth!
Many are Called, but few are Chosen.
Like the preceding Parables, this Parable also

Specifically, THE WEDDING GARMENT REFERS TO OUR
proclaims THE TRANSFER OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD FROM
BAPTISMAL ROBE, AND BY EXTENSION, OUR LIFE IN CHRIST
THE FAITHLESS HEBREWS TO THE GENTILES.
our Faith, Humility, Obedience, Love, ceaseless
The setting is a Joyful Wedding Banquet, which is A
Repentance and all the other Virtues that are
essential to our Relationship with God and with
REFERENCE TO CHRIST AS BEING THE BRIDEGROOM AND HIS
each other.
HOLY CHURCH, HIS BRIDE.
IF WE ARE NOT VESTED WITH OUR WEDDING GARMENT, DUE TO
St Paul also used the analogy of the Kingdom of God
OUR
OWN
EGOCENTRIC,
SELFISH
AND
ARROGANT
being like a Marriage, in his Epistle to the
Ephesians (Ephesians 5: 21-33)
DISOBEDIENCE TO GOD AND HIS HOLY CHURCH, WE WILL
The repeated sending our of Gods Servants,
ULTIMATELY BE BOUND HAND AND FOOT AND CAST INTO
emphasises OUR HEAVENLY FATHERS GREAT DESIRE TO
OUTER DARKNESS, which is rife with infinite, bitter
HAVE ALL HIS CHOSEN PEOPLE WITH HIM IN HIS KINGDOM.
...weeping and gnashing of teeth!
The first group of invited guests is a reference to ST
The Outer Darkness describes the insurmountable
MOSES, THE ANCIENT PATRIARCH AND DIVINE LAW
distance from God of those who will be Eternally
RECEIVER, AND THOSE WHO WERE CALLED BY HIM, while
Alienated and Exiled from God forever banished
the second group refers to THE HOLY PROPHETS OF GOD
from His Divine Light and all His Divine Goodness.
AND THOSE WHOM THEY CALLED AND GUIDED ACCORDING TO
The incessant weeping will be from those who realise DIVINE WILL and these were ALTOGETHER THE FIRST
too late - that they will not longer enjoy the Great
ISRAEL THE FIRST CHOSEN PEOPLE OF ALMIGHTY GOD.
Mercy and Blessings of our Loving, Heavenly
The third group refers to THE HOLY APOSTLES OF CHRIST
Father, which they always took for granted.
WHO FIRST CALLED THE LOST SHEEP OF THE HOUSE OF
They will also be very aware of all the Good Things
ISRAEL, AND THEN THE GENTILES those who were not
they have lost due to their own wilful negligence,
initially invited but who are now Called Divinely
laziness
and
uncaring,
ignorant
attitude
Invited to partake of all the Good Things of Gods
concerning their precious lifespan of preparation
Heavenly Kingdom.
for Eternity.
THE OXEN REPRESENT THE OLD COVENANT BLOOD SACRIFICES
They will suffer terrible pangs of irreparable regret
for the sins of the High Priest and all the Hebrew
and pain when they are shown the consequences
Nation, which had to be repeated on only one day
of their every word, thought and deed!
of the year.
The gnashing of teeth will be due to the unchanging
THE FATTED CALVES REPRESENT THE BLOODLESS SACRIFICE OF
state of pain and sorrow, or the unsatisfied vices
THE EUCHARISTIC OFFERINGS OF THE NEW COVENANT,
that enslave them, which can never be resolved.
which are constantly repeated in gratitude for the
The gnashing of teeth might also be due to the demons
Forgiveness of our Repented sins and thus for our
who will bite and claw at them, mocking and
accusing them without relief or mercy!
Eternal Salvation. (The fatted calves had been
wheat-fed or literally translated: formed from
Our Creator never lies to us about anything and the
wheat.
fact that He mentions the Outer Darkness and the
gnashing of teeth is a terrifying Revelation that
Consequently, BOTH THE OLD AND THE NEW COVENANTS ARE
we should always keep in mind when tempted by
FULFILLED AT THE MARRIAGE OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST,
THE DIVINE BRIDEGROOM, AND HIS HOLY CHURCH, HIS
our own selfish desires and vices that drag us away
BRIDE.
from God and His Divine Light of Truth and Love.
BURN THEIR CITY according to St John Chrysostom, IS
 ...many are Called, but few are Chosen!
OUR
CHRISTS PROPHESY OF THE DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM BY
BENEVOLENT AND LOVING GOD DESIRES TO HAVE ALL HIS
THE ROMANS, WHICH OCCURRED IN THE YEAR 70, thereby
INTELLECTUAL BEINGS WITH HIM BOTH THE ANGELIC
attributing that destruction to the Will of God rather
HOSTS AS WELL AS ALL MANKIND.
than simply due to the will of mankind.
However, HE WANTS US TO BE WITH HIM THROUGH OUR OWN
THE GREAT MERCY AND PATIENCE OF ALMIGHTY GOD IS
EFFORTS AND DESIRE never because He has forced
EVIDENT DUE TO THE 40 YEAR PERIOD from the time of
us, for Love Agape cannot be forced on anyone.
Christ, WHICH GAVE AN ENTIRE HEBREW GENERATION TIME
We are not enslaved by God WE ARE SET FREE BY GOD!
TO REPENT AND RETURN TO THE WILL AND SERVICE OF GOD.
HE CREATED US WITH FREE WILL TO CHOSE FOR OURSELVES.
THE WEDDING GARMENT IS PROVIDED TO ALL INVITED GUESTS
Consequently, UNLESS WE ARE ENLIGHTENED AND FILLED WITH
BY THE HEAVENLY KING.
LOVE FOR GOD AND EACH OTHER, WE CANNOT EXPECT TO
THE MAN HAD NO EXCUSE for not wearing his Wedding
BECOME HIS CHOSEN, SINCE HIS KINGDOM IS A PERMANENT
Garment, which left him speechless.
STATE OF AGAPE Unconditional, Divine Love that
supersedes any human concept of Love.
HIS REFUSAL TO WEAR THE WEDDING GARMENT THAT WAS
PROVIDED FOR HIM BY THE KING ILLUSTRATES THOSE WHO
Therefore, although all mankind has been Called by
God, V E R Y F E W A R E A C T U A L L Y C H O S E N !
REFUSE GODS GREAT LOVE, MERCY AND HOSPITALITY i.e.
those who expect to enter His Divine Kingdom on
their own terms!
THE TYPE

OF

MARRIAGE

THAT BRINGS

BLESSINGS

If a man and a woman marry to satisfy their sexual appetites, or to further the material aims of themselves or their
families, then the Union is unlikely to bring Blessings. But if a man and a woman marry in order to be Companions
on the Journey through Earth to Heaven, then their Union will bring Great Joy to themselves and to others.
FROM ON LIVING SIMPLY - ST JOHN CHRYSOSTOM,

4.

14TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST 14TH

OF

ST MATTHEW THE GREAT BANQUET 6 SEPTEMBER 2015

14TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST 14TH SUNDAY

OF

In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy
Spirit!
Todays Sacred Lesson concerns the Parable of the Great
Banquet or Wedding Feast, which was narrated by our
Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
It refers to the Eternal Kingdom of Heaven, which is
compared to the Wedding Feast, which our Heavenly
Father prepared for His Son, the Bridegroom, and His
Holy Church, the Bride.
The Holy Church of Christ is the Kingdom of Heaven on
Earth, while the Divine Liturgy is its Divine Power.
During our Holy Services, we stand in the Divine Presence
of our Lord God and King - Christ our Saviour.
We attend this Great Feast at every Divine Liturgy, yet each
of us has our own particular attitude and idea of It.
All mankind is invited to attend Gods Great Banquet for
our Lord Calls to His Kingdom of Heaven not only us
who are Baptised, Chrismated Orthodox Christians, but
also the whole world - through the Word of God.
The Holy Mystery of Matrimony is the joining of two human
beings - body and soul by Almighty God, which is the
reason that Holy Scripture states clearly that a husband
and wife are one, just as the Holy Trinity God the
Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are One.
The same joining of our body and soul to Christ takes
place at this Wedding Feast at Holy Eucharist for we
are joined not only into one Spirit, but also into one
Body, because the Body of Christ becomes part of our
own body and His Precious Blood becomes part of our
blood.
What more abundant Divine Grace could we imagine?!
What can be more desirable than such Holy Fellowship
with Christ our Lord and Saviour?
What could be more Joyful or more abundant?
If we really Love our Lord Jesus Christ, we strive constantly
and make every effort to nurture, to nourish, to
increase and to maintain our personal Relationship with
our Saviour - here and now!
The Source of our constant Purification is the Holy Mystery
of Eucharist the Communion Cup.
If we removed the Holy Mystery of Eucharist Holy
Communion - from the Church, it would no longer be
the Holy Church of Christ the Holy Bride of Christ because the very centre the very Heart - of our
Spiritual Life is the Divine Liturgy the Holy Eucharist,
Communion and Thanksgiving!
Although many people try to justify themselves by saying
that despite the fact that they seldom attend the Holy
Services at Church, they do pray at home.
We can and must pray at home and anywhere possible for
it is essential to our Holy Relationship with God.
However, it is even more essential to Worship together
communally - in Church in Gods Holy Temple - where
we are able to receive Holy Communion from the Priest
and to join together, body and soul - to offer our
Communal Thanksgiving Prayers and Hymns of Praise
to Almighty God.
The Holy Mystery of Eucharist is the most Spiritually
Profitable form of Fellowship with our Lord.
Without Communal Worship, we have no True Life in
Christ!
Without Communal Worship we have only an illusion of a
Life devoted to Almighty God.

ST IGNATIOS BRIANCHANINOV ON
PRAY TO THE LORD FOR THOSE WHO HEAPED INSULTS AND
OFFENCES UPON YOU MAY BE GIVEN IN RETURN TEMPORAL
AND ETERNAL REWARDS, so that WHATEVER WAS DONE TO
YOU MAY BE IMPUTED (ATTRIBUTED) TO THOSE WHO DID IT AS
VIRTUE IN THE JUDGMENT OF CHRIST.

Although your heart may not wish to act in this way, force
it to do so; for ONLY THOSE WHO COMPEL THEIR HEART TO
CARRY OUT THE COMMANDMENTS OF THE H OLY GOSPEL CAN
INHERIT H EAVEN. (MATTHEW 11:12)
If you do not wish to do that, you do not wish to be a
Follower of the Lord Jesus Christ.
CAREFULLY LOOK INTO YOURSELF and see whether you cannot
find another teacher perhaps you have capitulated to
him? The teacher of hatred is the devil.
TO OFFEND, TO WRONG, TO PERSECUTE ONES NEIGHBOURS IS A
TERRIBLE CRIME.
A STILL MORE TERRIBLE CRIME IS MURDER.
14TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST 14TH

OF

ST MATTHEW THE GREAT HEAVENLY BANQUET

From the time we are Baptised and Chrismated, our focus


must be fixed on our Lord Jesus Christ, His Teachings
and His Commandments, which definitely include
Communal Worship and the regular, proper partaking
of the Holy Mysteries, especially those of RepentanceConfession, followed by Holy Eucharist.
Holy Communion is the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth, and
as we receive Holy Communion, we enter Eternity and
mystically ascend into Heaven and stand before Gods
Throne.
Sadly, many of us mindlessly and unprepared receive Holy
Communion.
Only when we have prepared ourselves correctly by quietly
and thoroughly examining our hearts and souls in
private, the night before, rooting out and confessing our
sins before God, (or even better by Confessing our sins
to our Spiritual Father in the Holy Mystery of
Repentance-Confession) reciting the Prayers of
Repentance and Psalm 50/51, as well as reading the
Prayers Before Holy Communion, we will reap all the
wonderful Spiritual Benefits and Blessings of Holy
Eucharist.
If we simply partake of Holy Eucharist without conscious
thought or effort, we become Spiritually Dead, for when
we lose consciousness, we are also insensitive!
If we continue to partake of Holy Eucharist in this manner,
we will eventually be Eternally Condemned!
Therefore, we must prepare ourselves consciously and
properly.
Only by constant self-awareness and self-examination can
we begin to truly Live in Christ as He created us to do,
having put on Christ at our Holy Baptism.
We must Repent sincerely and learn to restrain our
emotions, by disciplining denying - ourselves so that
our immortal soul dominates the selfishness and
weakness of our flesh the demands of our
undisciplined body.
Ceaseless Repentance-Confession is the means of
maintaining and wearing our Wedding Garments,
thereby showing that we are indeed welcome in Gods
Heavenly Kingdom and may worthily partake of His
Great Divine Banquet.
Our Spiritual Life our Life in Christ - must follow two
directions.
First, we must always strive and prepare ourselves properly
before partaking of Christs Cup of Salvation.
Then we must never forget that although we are so
unworthy, by the Grace and Mercy of God and by means
of making every effort possible, we can Purify ourselves
through
unwavering
Watchfulness,
RepentanceConfession and struggling every moment to fulfil and
obey, with all Humility and Obedience, the Teachings
and Commandments of our Lord, thereby receiving
Heavenly
Riches
and
avoiding
the
Eternal
Condemnation reserved for those who unworthily
partake of the Holy Mysteries and who, by their
example, encourage or lead others into sin and Spiritual
Death!
Amen.
BY REVEREND GEORGE SERGEEV
HTTP://WWW.ORTHODOX-CANADA.COM/THE-FOURTEENTHSUNDAY-AFTER-PENTECOST-THE-PARABLE-ABOUT-AWEDDING-FEAST/
THE

But

CHALICE

OF

CHRIST (PART 2)

THOSE WHO HATE THEIR PERSECUTOR, SLANDERER,


BETRAYER OR MURDERER AND WHO RELISH RESENTMENT
AGAINST THEM AND HAVE THEIR REVENGE ON THEM, THEIR
SIN IS VERY NEAR TO THAT OF THEIR ENEMY.

It is futile then for them to pretend - to themselves or to


others - , that they are Righteous.
EVERYONE WHO HATES HIS BROTHER IS A MURDERER,
proclaimed Christs Beloved Disciple. (1 JOHN 3: 15)
A LIVING FAITH IN CHRIST leads us to accept Christs Chalice,
which FILLS OUR HEART as we partake of It with Hope in
Christ which, in turn, GRANTS US STRENGTH AND
CONSOLATION.
What torture! What hellish torture - to complain, to
murmur against the predetermined Chalice assigned us
from Above!

ST MATTHEW THE GREAT BANQUET 6 SEPTEMBER 2015

How sinful in Gods Sight are the vices of murmuring,


Entrust yourself in simplicity of heart to Him with Whom
impatience, cowardice, and especially despair the
even the hairs of your head are numbered.
monstrous offspring of criminal unbelief!
He knows in what measure the Healing Chalice must be
IT IS SINFUL TO MURMUR AGAINST OUR NEIGHBOURS WHEN THEY
given you.
ARE THE INSTRUMENTAL CAUSE OF OUR SUFFERINGS.
Look often at our Lord Jesus: Before His murderers He was
HOW MUCH MORE SINFUL IS IT TO MURMUR WHEN THE CHALICE
like a Lamb that is dumb in the hands of its shearers.
He was delivered to Death like senseless Sheep to the
COMES DOWN TO US STRAIGHT FROM H EAVEN, DIRECT FROM
THE H AND OF GOD!
slaughter.
DO NOT TAKE YOUR EYES OFF HIM AND YOUR SUFFERINGS WILL
THOSE WHO THANK GOD AND B LESS THEIR NEIGHBOURS as they
DISSOLVE INTO H EAVENLY, SPIRITUAL SWEETNESS.
partake of the Holy Chalice HAVE ATTAINED HOLY REST
By the Wounds of our Lord Jesus the wounds of your heart
AND THE PEACE OF CHRIST.
will be Healed. (1 PETER 2:24)
Henceforth THEY ENJOY THE SPIRITUAL PARADISE OF GOD.
Stop! cried our Lord to those who wanted to defend Him
TEMPORAL SUFFERINGS in themselves ARE OF NO WEIGHT.
in the Garden of Gethsemane.
WE GIVE THEM WEIGHT BY OUR ATTACHMENT TO EARTH AND TO
Not only that, He Healed the amputated ear of one who had
EVERYTHING PERISHABLE, BY OUR COLDNESS TO CHRIST AND
come to bind Him.
ETERNITY.
And to the man who tried to avert the Chalice from Him by
We bear the bitterness and disgusting taste of medicines.
means of arms, He said: Do you think that I cannot
We bear the painful amputation and cauterization of
our limbs. We bear long fatigue and hunger, or being
pray to My Father, and He will at once send Me more
than twelve Legions of Angels? (MATTHEW 26:53)
shut in a room for a long time.
IN TIME OF TEMPTATION DO NOT SEEK HUMAN HELP.
WE BEAR ALL THAT IN ORDER TO RESTORE LOST HEALTH TO OUR
BODY WHICH, WHEN HEALED, WILL AGAIN INEVITABLY GET ILL,
Do not waste precious time!
Do not squander your
WILL INEVITABLY DIE AND DECAY.
Spiritual Strength on a search for that powerless
SO, TOO, MUST WE EVEN MORE WILLINGLY BEAR THE BITTERNESS
support.
OF CHRISTS CHALICE, WHICH WILL PROCURE H EALING AND
EXPECT HELP FROM GOD.
ETERNAL B EATITUDE FOR OUR IMMORTAL SOUL.
At a nod from Him people will come and help you at the
IF THE CHALICE SEEMS TO YOU DEADLY POISON AND
right time.
UNBEARABLE, it thereby exposes and convicts, for
OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST WAS SILENT before Pontius Pilate and
Herod - He did not utter a single word in self-defence.
ALTHOUGH YOU ARE CALLED CHRISTS, YOU ARE NOT
CHRISTS! (GALATIANS 5:24)
IMITATE THAT WISE AND HOLY SILENCE WHEN YOU SEE THAT
YOUR ENEMIES ARE JUDGING YOU.
TO CHRISTS TRUE DISCIPLES, CHRISTS CHALICE IS A CUP OF
JOY!
If they judge you with a view of condemning you then
Thus THE HOLY APOSTLES - after being publicly flogged
inevitably they are only doing so in order to cover their
malice with a mask of justice.
before a gathering of the Jewish Elders - left the
presence of the Sanhedrin, rejoicing that they WERE
Whether the Chalice is preceded by gradually gathering
Clouds that give warning of its approach, or whether
COUNTED WORTHY TO SUFFER DISHONOUR FOR THE N AME OF
the Chalice appears before you suddenly as if borne on
OUR LORD JESUS. (ACTS 5: 41)
the wings of a furious cyclone, say of It to God: Thy
Righteous St Job heard the bitter news. Blow after blow
Will be done!
struck his firm heart. The last news was the hardest
WE ARE DISCIPLES - FOLLOWERS AND SERVANTS - OF OUR LORD
blow - the loss of all his sons and daughters by a
JESUS.
sudden, cruel and violent death.
He said: If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me: and
IN BITTER ANGUISH RIGHTEOUS ST JOB tore his clothes,
where I Am, there shall My servant be also. (JOHN
sprinkled ashes on his head and, MOVED BY HIS
12:26).
SUBMISSIVE FAITH, HE FELL ON THE GROUND AND
WORSHIPPED THE LORD, saying: Naked I came from my
(...TO BE CONTINUED...)
mothers womb, and naked I shall depart hence. The
https://theinnerkingdom.wordpress.com/2008/08/30/the-chaliceLord gave and the Lord has taken away. As it pleased
of-christ-by-st-ignatius-brianchaninov
the Lord, so it has come to pass. Blessed be the Name
of the Lord! (JOB 1:21)
WHAT CAUSES COLDNESS IN PRAYER?
reading a certain number of Prayers, but only that they
Many blame their Prayer or their Rule of Prayer when they
experience coldness in Prayer.
rise up to the Lord in a worthy manner for the entire
St Theophan said: "If Prayer is going poorly, it is not the
set time.
fault of the Prayer but the fault of the one who is
Others establish a Prayer time for themselves and they find
praying." He points out that it is our haphazardness in
out how many times they can go around the Prayer
our approach to Prayer that is the most common
Rope during that period...
problem.
There are others who get so accustomed to praying that
For me, this occurs when I am in a hurry. I want to rush
the times they spend at Prayer are moments of
through my Prayers so I can get on with a busy day.
Delight for them. It rarely happens that they stand at
When this happens my Prayer become routine and my heart
Prayer for a set time only. Instead, they double and
is cold in relation to the words of the Prayer and it is no
triple it.
longer Prayer. It becomes simply another task for the
Select whichever method pleases you best.
day.
Maintain it without fail...
What do we do when we experience this coldness in Prayer?
A large part of my daily Rule of Prayer consists of reciting
Saint Theophan advises: "...reprimand yourself and threaten
the Jesus Prayer. For a while I would set a set number
yourself with Divine Judgement."
of Prayers to accomplish my Rule. I found myself
When we are in a hurry we are making God secondary in
rushing to complete them in a shorter and shorter time.
our life.
I even came up with innovative ways to say them faster.
Most of us spend very little time in Prayer in relationship to
I FINALLY REALIZED THAT I WAS NOT PRAYING WHEN I DID
all the other activities of our life.
THIS.
We really do not have any excuse for trying to rush through
PRAYER IS not about numbers or time but about a warm
our Daily Prayers. We need to shame ourselves for this.
feeling in the heart - in AN INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP WITH
No one else can do this for us.
GOD.
Our haste only leads to a compete waste of time, because
So I changed my practice to one based on a set time.
Prayer without feeling is not Prayer.
Now I concentrate only on the words of the Prayer, my Lord
St Theophan suggested certain examples: ...Some people
and Creator, and not on how many times I am repeating
set aside a quarter of an hour for Prayer, or half an
the Prayer.
hour - whatever is more convenient for them - and
This allows for a varied pace depending on your
thus adjust their Prayer time so that when the clock
current state and allows for some spontaneity in your
strikes, whether on the half hour or hour, they will
Prayers as well. (DEACON CHARLES JOINER)
HTTP://ORTHODOXWAYOFLIFE.BLOGSPOT.COM/2011/09/WHATknow when it is time to end.
CAUSES-COLDNESS-IN-PRAYER.HTML
While they are at Prayer, they do not worry about

6.

14TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST 14TH

OF

ST MATTHEW THE GREAT BANQUET 6 SEPTEMBER 2015

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, Mary, 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.

8 September 2015
The Nativity of our Lady Theotokos

FIRST FESTAL ANTIPHON - NATIVITY - THEOTOKOS TONE 2

Mnisthiti

STIHOS

Kyrie tou David ke pasis tis praotitos

Lord, remember David and all his meekness...

VERSE

aftou...

Tes Presvies tis Theotokou, Soter, Soson imas.

Through

the Intercessions
Saviour, Save us.

Idou ikousamen aftin en Efratha evromen aftin en tis


pediis tou drimou.

STIHOS 2

STIHOS 3
STIHOS 4

Dedoxasmena elalithi peri Sou i Polis tou Theou


O Theos en Meso Aftis ke ou salefthisete

VERSE

of

the

Theotokos,

Behold, we heard of it at Ephratah: we found it in the


fields of the wood

VERSE 3
VERSE 4

Glorious Things are spoken of Thee, O City of God


God in the midst of Her; She shall not be moved:

God shall help Her and that right early

Tes Presvies tis Theotokou, Soter, Soson imas.

Through

the Intercessions
Saviour, Save us.

of

the

Theotokos,

Doxa Patri ke Io ke Agio Pnevmati, ke nin ke ai ke is Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy
tous Eonas ton eonon.

Spirit, now and forever, and to the Ages of ages.

Amin
Tes Presvies tis Theotokou, Soter, Soson imas.
SECOND FESTAL ANTIPHON - NATIVITY

Omose

STIHOS 1

Amen
Through

the Intercessions
Saviour, Save us.

OF THE

Kyrios to David Alithian ke ou mi athetisi

imas Iie Theou, O EN AGIIS THAVMASTOS


psallontas Si: Allilouia!

Ek

the

Theotokos,

TONE 2

The Lord swore in Truth to David; and He will not

turn from it.

Soson
STIHOS 2

EVER BLESSED THEOTOKOS

VERSE 1

aftin.

of

Karpou tis Kilias Sou thisome epi tou Thronou

Son of God, WHO ART EXTOLLED BY THY SAINTS,


Save us who sing to Thee: Alleluia

VERSE 2

O the Fruit of Thy Body will I set upon Thy Throne

Sou.

Eki exanatelo Keras to David, itimasa lihnon to Hristo


Mou.

VERSE 3

STIHOS 4

Oti exelexato Kyrios tin Zion, iretisato aftin is kati


ian eafto.

VERSE 4

Soson

STIHOS 3

imas Iie Theou, O EN AGIIS THAVMASTOS


psallontas Si: Allilouia!

There will I make the Horn of David Bud: I have


Ordained a Lamp for Mine Anointed

For the Lord has chosen Zion: He has desired it for


His Habitation.

Son of God, WHO ART EXTOLLED BY THY SAINTS,


Save us who sing to Thee: Alleluia

Doxa Patri ke Io ke Agio Pnevmati, ke nin ke ai ke is Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy
tous Eonas ton eonon.

Spirit, now and forever, and to the Ages of ages.

Amin

Amen
FESTAL APOLYTIKION NATIVITY

Gennisis Sou, Theotoke, Hara eminise pasi ti ikoumeni.


Ek Sou gar anetilen O Ilios tis Dikeosinis, Hristos O
Theos imon. Ke lisas tin kataran, edoke tin Evlogian. Ke
katargisas ton Thanaton, edorisato imin Zoin tin
Eonion.
FESTAL KONTAKION NATIVITY

OF

THEOTOKOS TONE4

Thy

Nativity, O Theotokos, has brought Joy to


everything: from Thee has shone forth the Sun of
Righteousness, Christ our Lord. And having loosened
the Curse, He granted His Blessing. And He abolished
Death, bestowing upon us, Life Eternal.

OF

THEOTOKOS

TONE4

Ioakim ke Anna onidismou ateknias, ke Adam ke Eva, ek tis Joachim


fthoras tou Thanatou, ileftherothisan, Ahrante, en ti
Agia Gennisi Sou, aftin eortazi ke O Laos Sou, enohis
ton ptesmaton, Litrothis en to krazin Si, i stira tikti tin
Theotokon ke TROFON TIS ZOIS IMON

& Anna were Delivered from the reproach of


childlessness, and Adam and Eve from the corruption
of Death, in thy Holy Nativity, O All Pure One. This do
thy people celebrate, being Redeemed from the guilt of
transgressions, when they cry unto thee: the Barren
One gives birth to the Birth-giver of God and THE
NOURISHER OF OUR LIFE!

FESTAL GOSPEL LUKE 1 : 39 - 49 & 56


PROKEIMENON ODE OF THE THEOTOKOS(LUKE 1) TONE 3

My soul Magnifies the Lord, and my spirit Rejoices in God my Saviour!


For He has regarded the lowly estate of His Handmaiden.
THE NATIVITY

OF OUR

EVER BLESSED, ALL HOLY & PURE LADY THEOTOKOS

8 SEPTEMBER 2015

THE EPISTLE

OF

ST PAUL

TO THE

PHILIPPIANS 2 : 5 11

Brethren: let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus, Who, being in the Form of God, did not consider it robbery
to be Equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness
of mankind, He humbled Himself and became Obedient to the point of death even the death of the Cross.
Therefore, God also has Highly Exalted Him and given Him the Name that is above every name that at the Name of Jesus
every knee should bow of those in Heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the Earth and that every
tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the Glory of God the Father.
This section of St Pauls Epistle to the Philippians
To all human beings, God the Son Incarnate our Lord
consisted of a Hymn that was already in use in the
Jesus Christ - looks exactly like us, for being Truly
early Holy Church of Christ, which St Paul quoted in
Incarnate, He is completely human by Nature.
order to remind us and call us to contemplate the
Due to His Incarnation, God the Son can be seen by us human
Absolute Humility of Christ our Lord a Divine Truth
beings and is depicted in Holy Icons in His visible, human
that is necessary for all suffering Christians to
Form, which He Himself has left us imprinted on His Facecloth
understand and which we must apply to ourselves
the Mandylion - and the Shroud. (Not Made By Hands.)
- to our daily words, thoughts and deeds as Faithful
However, God the Father, and God the Holy Spirit, Who have
never manifested in material form - except at the Oaks of
Disciples of Christ.
Mamre when They Visited St Abraham are co-equally
These words have been incorporated into many of our
Eternal with Christ.
Orthodox Christian Hymns.
Being Eternally Spiritual and thus invisible, They cannot be
Our Lord Jesus Christ is He Who ...being in the Form of
depicted except as three identical Angelic Beings or as
God... is also in the ...form of a Bondservant... - a
coloured shapes surrounding Christ in His various Holy Icons
reference to the two complete, unmingled,
such as that of His Transfiguration and His Resurrection.
unconfused Natures of Christ completely Divine
It is incorrect to depict God the Father as an Old Man or the Holy
and completely human Natures.
Spirit as a White Dove! This is a Western, heretical concept
In His human Nature, Christ voluntarily accepted the
and should be avoided by Faithful Disciples of Christ for as
terrible, unjust punishment of public humiliation,
our Lord clearly informed us those who have seen Him, have
scourging (that would have killed anyone else!),
also seen God the Father i.e. all Three Persons of the Holy
crucifixion and death at the exact hour that He
Trinity are identical in Appearance. mp
Himself chose!
Our
Lord Jesus took on our weak human nature
Only in His human Nature could Christ be killed and
because He was willing to share our human
enter Hades with all the other human souls who
condition except for the ability to sin!
had already died before Him throughout the
In His human Nature, Christ our Lord shows the
preceding years right back to the time of Adam
Fullness of Humility by His Obedience even to
and Eve.
Death that had enslaved all humanity.
Having suffered such indescribable torture and
To suffer the humiliation and degradation of
execution, Christ our Lord is Exalted by God the
crucifixion a most hideous and severe form of
Father and - being Supremely Worthy - is given
slow execution that was reserved for the worst type
the Divine Name Lord Jesus, which is so Sacred
of criminals according to Roman Law was
that all Creation bows down before Him in honour,
repulsive and horrific to the Romans as well as the
worship and devotion.
Hebrews and all the other Nations.
The Divine Title Lord clearly shows us that our Lord
The Hebrews considered hanging and crucifixion as
Jesus Christ the Incarnate Son of God shares His
the worst type of curse possible on Earth.
Eternal Divinity with God the Father.
However, the Death of our Saviour on the Cross,
The Form (Morphe) of God a concept parallel with
brought Eternal Life to all who are freely and
the Image (Eikon) of God refers to God the Sons
faithfully United to God through Holy Baptism,
sharing in the full Divine Nature He is Eternally
Chrismation and Life in Christ.
Divine like God the Father and God the Holy Spirit.
Therefore: because of Christs Sacrifice for our Eternal
Robbery (harpagmon) literally means loot" ill
Salvation, we must take hold of what God offers us
gotten gains or plunder - referring to something
and thereby accept His Divine Grace by constantly
that is illegally, shamefully or dishonourably stolen.
Striving towards becoming Spiritually Mature in
Our Lord Jesus Christ has Eternal Divine Equality with
Christ.
Almighty God not by false or illegal seizure but
by His own Eternal Divine Nature.
Our Lords Absolute Humility is revealed by His
voluntary Emptying Himself of all His Divine
Majesty and Power not by laying aside His Divine
Nature, but by freely taking on our weak, powerless
human nature.
THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING
ONE THING

IS

REQUIRED

OF US

TO

In other words: we must Struggle every moment of the day to


improve ourselves and to regain our lost Divine Likeness by
humbly and eagerly obeying all Gods Commandments and
Christs Teachings applying them to every aspect of our Life.
mp
ST LUKE 10 : 38 42 & 11 : 27 28

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ST MARY

AND

ST MARTHA

At that time, as they went, Jesus entered a certain village. A certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house.
And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at Jesus Feet and heard His Word. But Martha was distracted with much
serving. Approaching Him she said: Lord, dost Thou not care that my sister has left me alone to serve? Therefore, tell
her to help me.
Jesus answered and said to her: Martha, Martha! Thou art worried and troubled about many things. One Thing is
needed. Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.
...While He spoke these things, a certain woman from the crowd raised her voice and said to Him: Blessed is the Womb that
bore Thee, and the breasts that nursed Thee!
He said: More than that: Blessed are those who hear the Word of God and keep It!
CONCERNED ABOUT ALL HER CURRENT DUTIES, HER SISTER HAD
ST MARTHA AND ST MARY OF BETHANY WERE THE SISTERS OF ST
LAZAROS whom our Lord Jesus Christ had raised from
PREFERRED TO SPEND THE PRECIOUS TIME LISTENING TO CHRISTS
the dead.
TEACHINGS.
ST MARTHA WAS PREOCCUPIED AND WORRIED ABOUT ALL HER
THE ONE THING ... NEEDED WAS FOR HER TO PAY ATTENTION TO
HOUSEHOLD DUTIES while providing hospitality to our Lord
HIS DIVINE TEACHING to really listen to what He
Jesus and his entourage of Disciples and Apostles.
said. It was a serious priority that certainly did not
Her temporary, worldly cares concerned her more than
exclude serving Him.
anything else at the time so, resenting her sister who
Later, when a woman called out to our Lord Jesus from the
sat at the Feet of our Lord to hear His Teachings, she
crowd, our Lord pointed out to her that GODS BLESSINGS
FALL UPON ALL THOSE WHO HEAR THE WORD OF GOD AND OBEY
appealed to Him to make her get up and help her.
HIM.
However - instead of supporting her immediate needs OUR LORD JESUS POINTED OUT THAT WHILE SHE WAS SO

8. T H E N A T I V I T Y

OF OUR

EVER BLESSED, ALL HOLY & PURE LADY THEOTOKOS

8 SEPTEMBER 2015

FAMILY OR SOCIAL CONNECTIONS HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH


OUR OBEDIENCE TO GOD and the Ever Blessed
Theotokos was especially complimented by Her Son
because She not only paid careful attention to the
Word of God but She also Faithfully Obeyed all His
Commandments and lived Her entire life
accordingly.
ST ANDREW

OF

CRETE ON

THE

TODAYS GREAT FEAST IS THE BEGINNING OF ALL OUR FEASTS.


Serving as BOUNDARY TO THE LAW AND TO PROTOTYPES, at the
same time it serves as A DOORWAY TO GRACE AND TRUTH,
...for Christ is the end of the Law... having freed us
from the letter (of the Law), raises us to Spirit. (ROMANS
10:4),

Here is the end (of the Law) in that THE LAWGIVER, HAVING
MADE EVERYTHING, HAS CHANGED THE LETTER IN SPIRIT AND
GATHERS EVERYTHING IN H IMSELF, ENLIVENING THE LAW
WITH GRACE. (EPHESIANS 1:10)
DIVINE GRACE HAS TAKEN THE LAW UNDER ITS DOMINION, and
the Law has become subjected to Grace, so that the
properties of the Law not suffer reciprocal
Commingling, but only so that BY DIVINE POWER, THE
SERVILE AND SUBSERVIENT (IN THE LAW) ARE TRANSFORMED
INTO THE LIGHT AND FREE (IN GRACE), so that we are not
...in bondage to the elements of the world... and not in
a condition under the slavish yoke of the letter of the
Law. (GALATIANS 4:3)
Here is THE SUMMIT OF CHRISTS BENEFICENCE towards us!
Here are THE MYSTERIES OF REVELATION! Here is the
THEOSIS [DIVINIZATION] ASSUMED UPON HUMANKIND, the
FRUITION WORKED OUT BY THE GOD-MAN.
The Radiant and Bright Descent of God for us ought to have
A JOYOUS B ASIS, OPENING TO US THE GREAT GIFT OF
SALVATION.
Such also is the present Feast Day, having as its basis THE
NATIVITY OF THE THEOTOKOS, and as ITS PURPOSE AND
END, THE UNITING OF THE WORD WITH FLESH - this MOST
GLORIOUS OF ALL MIRACLES, unceasingly proclaimed immeasurable and incomprehensible.
The less comprehensible It is, the more It is revealed; and
the more it is revealed, the less comprehensible it is.
Therefore this God-Graced day - the first of our Feast Days showing forth THE LIGHT OF VIRGINITY AND THE CROWN
WOVEN FROM THE UNFADING B LOSSOMS OF THE SPIRITUAL
GARDEN of Scripture, offers us creatures A COMMON JOY.
Be of good cheer! it says. Behold! THIS IS THE FEAST OF THE
NATIVITY OF THE VIRGIN AND OF THE RENEWAL OF THE
HUMAN RACE!
The Virgin is born, She grows and is raised up and PREPARES
HERSELF to be the Mother of the All-Sovereign God of
the Ages.
All this, with the assistance of King David the Inspired
Psalmist, makes It for us an object of Spiritual
Contemplation.
THE THEOTOKOS MANIFESTS TO US HER GOD-BESTOWED B IRTH,
AND THE PSALMIST POINTS TO THE B LESSEDNESS OF THE
HUMAN RACE AND WONDROUS KINSHIP OF GOD WITH
MANKIND.
And so, truly we ought to celebrate the Great Mystery today
and to offer to the All Pure Mother of God a word by
way of gift: since nothing is so pleasing to Her as a
word and praise by word.
It is from here also that we receive a twofold Benefit: first,
WE ENTER INTO THE REGION OF TRUTH, and second, WE
EMERGE FROM THE CAPTIVITY AND SLAVERY OF THE WRITTEN
LAW.

How so? Obviously, when Darkness vanishes, then Light


appears; so also here: AFTER THE LAW FOLLOWS THE
FREEDOM OF GRACE.
The present day solemnity is a line of demarcation,
separating the Truth from its prefigurative symbol, and
ushering in the new in place of the old.
St Paul - that Divine Trumpet of the Spirit - exclaimed: If
anyone is in Christ, he is a New Creature; old things
pass away and behold, all things have become New...
...for the Law made nothing Perfect, but the bringing in
of a better Hope did, by which we draw near to God (2
CORINTHIANS 5:17 & HEBREWS 7 : 19)

The Truth of Grace has shown forth brightly.


Let there now be ONE COMMON FESTAL CELEBRATION IN BOTH
HEAVEN AND ON EARTH.
Let everything celebrate - that which is in the world and
that beyond the world.
THE NATIVITY

OF OUR

It is

THAT PROFOUND VIRTUE OF HUMBLE AND ATTENTIVE


OBEDIENCE TO GOD OF THE EVER BLESSED THEOTOKOS
ALONE even more than having borne the
Incarnate God THAT MAKES HER OUR MOST SHINING
EXAMPLE OF TRUE SAINTHOOD AND THEOSIS SPIRITUAL
PERFECTION.

NATIVITY

OF OUR

LADY, THEOTOKOS

Now is made the Created Temple for the Creator of all; and
CREATION IS READIED INTO A NEW DIVINE HABITATION FOR
THE CREATOR.
Now OUR NATURE having been banished from the land of
Blessedness RECEIVES THE PRINCIPLE OF THEOSIS AND
STRIVES TO RISE UP TO THE H IGHEST GLORY.
Now Adam offers from us and for us Elements unto God,
THE MOST WORTHY FRUIT OF MANKIND: THE EVER B LESSED
VIRGIN MARY, IN WHOM THE NEW ADAM IS RENDERED B READ
FOR THE RESTORATION OF THE HUMAN RACE.
Now is opened the Great Bosom of Virginity, and the
Church, in the Matrimonial manner, places upon It a
Pure, Truly Spotless Pearl.
Now HUMAN WORTHINESS ACCEPTS THE GIFT OF THE FIRST
CREATION AND RETURNS TO ITS FORMER CONDITION - the
Majesty darkened by formless sin, through the
conjoining by His Mother by Birth ...of Him Beauteous
by Goodness... man receives Beauty in a Most Excellent
and God-Seemly Visage.
And THIS CREATING IS DONE TRULY BY THE CREATION, AND
RECREATION BY THEOSIS, AND THEOSIS BY A RETURN TO THE
ORIGINAL PERFECTION!
Now a barren one has become a Mother beyond
expectation, and the Theotokos has given Birth WITHOUT
KNOWING MAN, and SHE SANCTIFIES NATURAL BIRTH.
Now the Majestic Colour of the Divine Purple is readied and
impoverished human nature is clothed in Royal
Worthiness.
Now, ACCORDING TO PROPHECY, sprouts forth THE OFFSHOOT
OF DAVID, Who, having Eternally become THE GREENSPROUTING STAFF OF AARON, has Blossomed forth for us
with THE STAFF OF POWER: CHRIST.
Now FROM JUDAH AND DAVID IS DESCENDED A VIRGIN MAIDEN,
RENDERING OF H ERSELF THE ROYAL AND PRIESTLY
WORTHINESS OF H IM WHO HAS TAKEN ON THE PRIESTHOOD
OF AARON ACCORDING TO THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK.
(HEBREWS 7:15).

Now THE RENEWAL OF OUR NATURE is begun, and the world


responding, ASSUMING A GOD-SEEMLY FORM, RECEIVES THE
PRINCIPLE OF A SECOND DIVINE CREATION.
THE FIRST CREATION OF MANKIND OCCURRED FROM THE PURE
AND UNSULLIED EARTH.
HOWEVER, THEIR NATURE DARKENED ITS INNATE WORTHINESS,
AND THEY WERE DEPRIVED OF DIVINE GRACE THROUGH THE
SIN OF DISOBEDIENCE!
Consequently, WE WERE CAST OUT OF THE LAND OF LIFE AND,
IN PLACE OF THE DELIGHTS OF PARADISE, WE RECEIVED
TEMPORAL LIFE as our inheritance by birth, AND WITH IT
THE DEATH AND CORRUPTION OF OUR RACE.
All started to prefer Earth to Heaven, so that there
remained no Hope for Salvation, beyond the Utmost
Help.
Neither the natural nor the Written Law, nor the fiery
Reconciliative Sayings of the Prophets had power to
Heal the sickness.
No one knew how to rectify human nature and by what
means it would be most suitable to raise it up to its
former Worthiness, so long as God - the Author of all did not deign to reveal to us ANOTHER ARRANGED AND
NEWLY-CONSTITUTED WORLD, where the pervasive form of
the old poison of sin is annihilated, and granting us A
WONDROUS, FREE AND PERFECTLY DISPASSIONATE LIFE,
THROUGH OUR RE-CREATION IN THE B APTISM OF DIVINE
BIRTH.
But how would this Great and Most Glorious Blessing be
imparted to us, so in Accord with the Divine
Commands, if God were not to be manifest to us in the
Flesh, not subject to the laws of nature, nor deign to
dwell with us in a Manner known to Him?
And how could all this be accomplished, if first there did
not serve the Mystery a Pure and Inviolate Virgin, Who
contained the Uncontainable, in accord with the Law,
yet beyond the laws of nature?

EVER BLESSED, ALL HOLY & PURE LADY THEOTOKOS

8 SEPTEMBER 2015

And could some other Virgin have done this besides She
alone, Who was chosen before all others by the Creator
of nature?
This Virgin is the Theotokos the Ever Blessed Virgin Mary
- the Most Glorious of God, from Whose Womb the Most
Divine came forth in the Flesh, and by Whom He
Himself arranged a Wondrous Temple for Himself.
SHE CONCEIVED WITHOUT SEED AND GAVE B IRTH WITHOUT
CORRUPTION, SINCE H ER SON WAS GOD, ALTHOUGH ALSO H E
WAS B ORN IN THE FLESH, WITHOUT MINGLING AND WITHOUT
TRAVAIL.
This Mother, Truly, AVOIDED THAT WHICH IS INNATE TO
MOTHERS, AND MIRACULOUSLY FED H ER SON - BEGOTTEN
WITHOUT A MAN - WITH MILK.
THE VIRGIN, HAVING GIVEN B IRTH to the One Seedlessly
Conceived, REMAINED A PURE VIRGIN, HAVING PRESERVED
INCORRUPT THE MARKS OF VIRGINITY.
And so IN TRUTH SHE IS NAMED THE MOTHER OF GOD.
Her Virginity is esteemed and Her Birth-giving is Glorified.
God, having joined with mankind and become manifest in
the Flesh, has granted Her a Unique Glory.
WOMANS NATURE SUDDENLY IS FREED FROM THE FIRST CURSE,
and just as the first brought sin, so also does the first
INITIATE SALVATION also.
The Redeemer of our human race willed A NEW BIRTH AND
RE-CREATION OF MANKIND.
JUST AS AT THE FIRST CREATION, HE TOOK SOIL FROM THE
VIRGINAL AND PURE EARTH, AND FORMED THE FIRST ADAM,
LIKEWISE NOW, having arranged His Incarnation on
Earth, in place of soil, HE CHOSE OUT OF ALL CREATION
THIS PURE AND IMMACULATE VIRGIN and, having Recreated mankind in His Chosen One from among
mankind, THE CREATOR OF ADAM BECOMES THE NEW
ADAM, in order to save the old Adam. (To Renew and
Restore our Fallen Nature, which was caused by Ancestral Sin.)
Who indeed was this Ever Blessed Virgin and from what
sort of parents did She come?
Our Lady, Mary, the Glory of all, was born of the Tribe of
King David, and was descended from Eve. She was from
the seed of St Joachim and was the daughter of St Anna.
ST JOACHIM WAS A GENTLE MAN PIOUS AND RAISED IN GODS
LAW. LIVING PRUDENTLY AND WALKING BEFORE GOD, HE
GREW OLD without child: the years of his prime provided
NO CONTINUATION OF HIS LINEAGE.
ST ANNA WAS LIKEWISE GOD-LOVING, PRUDENT, BUT BARREN.
SHE LIVED IN HARMONY WITH HER HUSBAND, EVEN THOUGH
THEY REMAINED CHILDLESS.
AS MUCH CONCERNED ABOUT HER INFERTILITY AS SHE WAS
ABOUT THE OBSERVANCE OF THE LAW OF THE LORD, SHE WAS
DAILY STUNG BY THE GRIEF OF CHILDLESSNESS AND SUFFERED

that which is the usual lot of the childlessSHE GRIEVED,


SHE SORROWED, SHE WAS DISTRESSED, AND IMPATIENT at
being childless.
St Joachim and St Anna lamented their lack of a successor
to continue their line; yet THE SPARK OF HOPE WAS NOT
EXTINGUISHED IN THEM COMPLETELY: BOTH INTENSIFIED
THEIR PRAYERS concerning a child to continue their line.
In imitation of the Prayer of St Hannah, without leaving the
Temple, both fervently beseeched God to undo her
sterility and make her fruitful. (1 KINGS 1: 10)
THEY NEVER LESSENED THEIR SPIRITUAL EFFORTS and the
Bestower of Gifts neither condemned nor denied the
Gift of their Hope.
UNCEASING POWER EVENTUALLY DID RESPOND TO THEIR
FERVENT PRAYERS BESEECHING GOD, AND ENABLED THEM TO
PRODUCE AND BEAR A CHILD - and from sterile, barren
parents, as though from a well-irrigated Orchard, was
born a Most Glorious Fruitionthe All-Pure Virgin Mary.
THE CONSTRAINTS OF INFERTILITY WERE DESTROYEDCEASELESS
PRAYERS AND A RIGHTEOUS LIFE FINALLY RENDERED THEM
FRUITFUL!
The childless couple begat a Child, and the childless
Woman became a happy, fulfilled Mother.
THE IMMACULATE FRUITION ISSUED FORTH FROM THE WOMB OF
AN OLD, INFERTILE MOTHER AND AS SOON AS THE CHILD
WAS WEANED, THE GRATEFUL PARENTS PRESENTED AND
DEDICATED H ER TO GOD AT THE TEMPLE IN JERUSALEM.
THE CELEBRANT PRIEST, performing the Order of Services,
beheld the faces of the little Girl and those in front of
and behind Her, and he WAS EXTREMELY JOYFUL,

10. T H E N A T I V I T Y

OF OUR

BEHOLDING THE ACTUAL FULFILMENT OF THE DIVINE


PROMISE.
HE CONSECRATED HER TO GOD, AS A REVERENTIAL GIFT AND
PROPITIOUS SACRIFICEAND, AS A GREAT TREASURY OF
SALVATION, HE LED HER WITHIN THE VERY INNERMOST
PARTS OF THE TEMPLE, where SHE WALKED IN THE
RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE LORD, as in Bridal Chambers,
PARTAKING OF H EAVENLY FOOD UNTIL THE TIME OF
BETROTHAL, which was Preordained before all ages by

Him Who, by His Inscrutable Mercy, was Born from Her,


and by Him Who - before all Creation and time and
expanse - Divinely Begat Him, together with His
Consubstantial, Co-reigning and Co-worshipped Spirit
as One Divine Godhead, with One Essence and Kingdom
- Inseparable and Immutable, in which is nothing
diverse, except the Personal Qualities.
In solemnity and in song we offer the Mother of the Word
the Festal Gift, since HE WHO WAS B ORN OF HER HAS
TAUGHT US TO BELIEVE IN THE HOLY TRINITY - THE SON AND
WORD WITHOUT-B EGINNING HAS MADE IN HER HIS
INCARNATION AND THE FATHER, BEGETTING HIM, HAS
BLESSED THIS - AND THE HOLY SPIRIT HAS SIGNED AND
SANCTIFIED THE WOMB, WHICH INCOMPREHENSIBLY
CONCEIVED.
In what did Almighty God forswear St David, Royal
Psalmist? Speak, O Psalmist and Prophet! He has sworn
from the Fruit of my loin to sit upon my Throne! (PSALM
131/132:11).

In this He is Foresworn and will not break His Oath! HE HAS


FORESWORN AND HIS WORD IS SEALED WITH A DEED!
Once I forswear by My Holiness, that I lie not to David; HIS
SEED WILL PREVAIL FOREVER, AND HIS THRONE, like the sun
before Me and like the moon coursing the ages: a
Faithful Witness also in Heaven (PSALM 88/89:35-38).
GOD HAS FULFILLED THIS OATH, SINCE IT IS NOT POSSIBLE FOR
GOD TO LIE! (HEBREWS 6:18).
Consider this: CHRIST IN THE FLESH IS NAMED MY SON and
...all Nations will worship My Lord and Son... seeing
Him sit upon a Virginal Throne! (MATTHEW 22:42 &
PSALM71/72:11)

Here also is THE VIRGIN FROM WHOSE WOMB THE PRE-ETERNAL


ONE ISSUED FORTH, INCARNATED AT THE END OF THE AGES
AND RENEWING THE AGES, likewise sprung forth from my
loins! All this is so!
People of God, Holy Nation, Sacred Gathering! Let us revere
our Paternal Memory! Let us EXTOL THE POWER OF THE
MYSTERY!
Each of us - in the Measure granted by Divine Grace - offer
a Worthy Gift for the present Feast: Fathersa
Prosperous Lineage; Mothersfine children; the
Infertilenot bearing any sin; Virginsa twofold
Prudence, of soul and body; BetrothedPraiseworthy
Abstinence and Chastity.
Those who are FATHERS, let them IMITATE THE RIGHTEOUS
FATHER OF THE EVER B LESSED VIRGIN; and those who are
without children let them HARVEST FRUITFUL PRAYER,
CULTIVATING A LIFE PLEASING TO GOD.
Those who are Mothers nurturing their children, let them
REJOICE WITH ST ANNA, raising her Child, granted to her
in infertility through ceaseless, Fervent Prayer.
Those who are barren, lacking the Blessing of a child, let
them APPROACH WITH FAITH THE GOD-GIVEN OFFSHOOT OF
ST ANNA and present their infertility to Her.
Those who are Virgin and who live blamelessly, let them BE
MOTHERS BY DISCOURSE - ADORNING BY WORD THE
ELEGANCE OF SOUL.
Those who are Betrothedlet them OFFER MENTAL SACRIFICE
FROM THE FRUITS OF PRAYER.
Let all those who are rich or poor, lads or maidens, old or
young, Priests or Levites KEEP THIS GREAT HOLY FEAST IN
HONOUR OF THE EVER B LESSED, ALL H OLY VIRGIN OUR
LADY THE ALL PURE THEOTOKOS AND PROPHETESS - for
FROM H ER HAS ISSUED FORTH THE GREATEST H OLY PROPHET
OF GOD WHO WAS FORETOLD BY MOSES OUR LORD AND
SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST - OUR GOD AND DIVINE TRUTH.
(PSALM 48:2 & 148:12; DEUTERONOMY 18:15).

Amen.
HTTP://WWW.STJOHNAZ.ORG/INDEX.CFM/RESOURCES/FEASTS-OFTHE-CHURCH

EVER BLESSED, ALL HOLY & PURE LADY THEOTOKOS

8 SEPTEMBER 2015

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, Mary,
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.

After Feast of the Nativity

9 September 2015

Synaxis of St Joachim & St Anna


Righteous Progenitors &Parents of our Ever Blessed Lady Theotokos
Also the Feast of St Severianos of Sebaste The Holy Church Fathers of the
3rd Ecumenical Council in 431 - St Joseph of Volokolamsk, Volotsk St
Theodosios of Chernigov, Uncovering St Theophanes the Confessor &
Faster of Mount Diabenos St Chariton & St Staton St Nicetas the Hidden
of Constantinople St Ciaran (Kieran) of Clomacnois, Ireland

FESTAL APOLYTIKION- SYNAXIS

Ton

Dikeon Theopatoron Sou Kyrie, tin Mnimin


Eortazontes, di afton Se disopoumen. Soson tas
psihas imon.

ST JOACHIM & ST ANNA: TONE 2

OF

As we celebrate the Memory of Thy Righteous Ancestors, O


Lord, through them we beseech Thee to Save our soul.

FESTAL APOLYTIKION OF THE NATIVITY OF THE EVER BLESSED THEOTOKOS: TONE 4:

I Gennisis Sou Theotoke hara eminise pasi ti ikoumeni, Thy

Nativity, O Theotokos, has brought Joy to all earthly


habitations; because from Thee has shone forth the Sun of
Righteousness, Christ Jesus our Lord.
And having
loosened the Curse from us, He granted the Blessing; and
He abolished the power of Death, and bestowed upon us,
Life Eternal.

ek Sou gar en etilen O ilios tis Dikeosinis, Hristos O


Theos imon; ke lisas tin kataran, Edoke tin Evlogian;
ke katargisas ton Thanato, edorisatos imin, Zoin tin
Eonion.
FESTAL KONTAKION

- SYNAXIS ST JOACHIM & ST ANNA - TONE 2

Eufrenete

Now Anna is glad, for from the bonds of barrenness has

nin, i Anna tis stiroseos, lithisa desmon, ke trefi


tin panahranton, sigkalousa apantas animnise ton
dorisamenon, ek nidios aftis tiis vrotis, tin Monin Mitera
ke Apirandron.

she been released; and nourishing the All Pure One,


she summons all together that they might Praise Him
Who from her womb has bestowed upon mankind the
Only Pure Mother who has known no man.

PROKEIMENON PSALM 67 TONE 4

God is Wonderful in His Saints!


In the Congregations Bless God!
THE EPISTLE

OF

ST PAUL

TO THE

ONCERNING

SLA

GALATIANS 4 : 22 - 27

VERY

& SONSHIP

Brethren: Abraham had two sons - one by a bondservant, one by a free woman. But he who was of the bondwoman was
born according to the flesh, while he who was born of the free woman was born through a Promise.
These things are symbolic. These are the two Covenants one from Mount Sinai, which gives birth to bondage, being
Hagar. For Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem which is now - in bondage with her children.
The Jerusalem Above is Free being the Mother of us all.
It is written: Rejoice, you barren who do not bear! Break forth and cry you who do not travail! For the desolate has many
more children than she who has a husband!
By saying that Abraham has two sons and related events
of Almighty God as a significant part of His Eternal,
Divine Plan.
are symbolic (allegoreo) St Paul did not imply that
they are not historical facts and events.
St John Chrysostom explained that Isaac ... was the issue
Rather, he asserted that Old Covenant history is
of bodies that were dead, and of a womb that was
dead. His conception was not by the flesh, nor his
announcing something far greater than merely itself.
Hagar and Mount Sinai symbolise the earthly Jerusalem
birth by the seed, for the womb was dead - both
through age and barrenness. But the Word of God
and the Hebrews (Jews) who remain under the Old
fashioned him... He who was not according to the
Covenant Law.
Sarah, on the contrary, being a free woman, symbolises
flesh was more honourable than he who was born
the Heavenly Jerusalem the Eternal, Holy Church of
after the flesh. Therefore let it not disturb you that you
were not born after the flesh. For, from the very
Christ and the Christians the Struggling Disciples of
Christ (Church Militant) and all the Saints and Holy
reason that you are not so born, are you most of all
Martyrs (the Church Triumphant) who follow Christ
Abrahams kindred.
and Gods New Covenant.
St John Chrysostom thus explained to all Christians that
The desolate are those who are in the New Covenant
we are members of St Abrahams Holy Family through
Church especially the Gentiles (pagans or nonour Holy Baptism our Divine Adoption as co-Heirs
Jews).
with Christ of Gods Eternal Kingdom.
This particular passage is also read on 23 September, the
She who has no husband is Israel.
Feast of the Conception of St John the Baptist as well
Furthermore, Sarah was a type of Theotokos similar to
as 9 December, the Feast of the Conception of the Ever
the Ever Blessed Mother of God Incarnate for her
son, Isaac, was also born through the Divine Promise
Blessed Virgin Mary our Lady Theotokos.

SYNAXIS - RIGH

TEOUS

PROGENITORS & PARENTS

OF

OUR

LA

DY

THEOTOKOS 9 SEPTEMBER 2014

11.

THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING


D

EPEND

ON

TO

ST MARK 6 : 7 13

DIVINE PROVIDENCE

At that time, our Lord Jesus called His Twelve disciples and began to send them out two by two, and gave them Authority
over unclean spirits. And He charged them to take nothing for their journey except a staff - no bread, no bag, no money
in their belts - but to wear sandals, and not put on two tunics. And he said to them, "Where you enter a house, stay
there until you leave the place. And if any place will not receive you, refusing to listen to you, when you leave, shake off
the dust that is on your feet as a Testimony against them. Truly, I say to you: it would be more tolerable for Sodom and
Gomorrah in the Day of Judgement than for that city!
And they went out and preached Repentance. And many demons were cast out, and many who were sick were Anointed
with Oil and Healed.
The terms Disciples and Apostles are often used
OUR LORD JESUS PREPARED HIS APOSTLES TO BE SINGLE-MINDED IN
interchangeably for the Twelve Chosen by our Lord
THEIR HOLY MISSION of Preaching and Healing by
Jesus Christ.
reminding them:
A DISCIPLE IS SOMEONE WHO IS LEARNING who is under the
 HIS DIVINE POWER IS FREE It is a Divine Gift from God.
discipline of a Teacher, Spiritual Father or Holy
 THEY WERE NOT TO CARRY MONEY, NOR ANY EXTRA CLOTHING
Father.
OR PROVISIONS so that they could not be accused of
WE ARE ALL DISCIPLES OF CHRIST because throughout this
greed, and so that they would learn to trust in
short life-span until our final breath - we will be
Divine Providence.
GOD GRANTS US EVERYTHING WE NEED - and often in
learning how to achieve Agape i.e. how to become
worthy Citizens of Gods Eternal Heavenly Kingdom
abundance so that we may share it with others as
who Love God and one another unconditionally and
well.
Our Lord also instructed His Apostles to stay in one house
completely.
at each place they went to they were to ACCEPT
AN APOSTLE IS SOMEONE WHO HAS BEEN SENT OUT, BY GOD OR
OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, TO FULFIL HIS SACRED MISSION ON
WHATEVER TYPE OF HOSPITALITY WAS OFFERED TO THEM, FOR IT
EARTH AMONGST OUR FELLOW MANKIND.
WOULD BE BY THE GRACE OF GOD.
THE APOSTLES OF CHRIST RECEIVED HIS DIVINE AUTHORITY AND
However, CHRIST KNEW THE STUBBORNNESS OF THE LOST SHEEP
POWER TO PERFORM MIRACLES AND TO FULFIL THEIR SACRED
OF ISRAEL, so He instructed His Apostles accordingly,
TASKS.
telling them not only to LEAVE THEM TO THEIR OWN CHOSEN
THE APOSTLES WERE NOT LIMITED TO HIS CHOSEN TWELVE OR 70
FATE, but also to ...shake off the dust that is on your
BUT ALSO INCLUDED OTHERS who fulfilled the same Sacred
feet as a Testimony against them!
Mission by the Divine Authority and Power of our Lord
ALL THOSE WHO REJECT OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST AND HIS DIVINE
Jesus Christ.
TRUTH CONCERNING THE NEW COVENANT, DO SO BY MEANS OF
OUR SACRED MISSION AND TASKS ARE FULFILLED ACCORDING TO
THEIR OWN FREE WILL POWER.
THE DIVINE WILL OF GOD THE FATHER, THROUGH HIS ONLY
Consequently, unless they Repent unless they Spiritually
Awaken THEY WILL HAVE CHOSEN TO REJECT NOT ONLY OUR
BEGOTTEN WORD AND SON, OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, BY THE
POWER AND ENERGY OF GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT.
LORD JESUS CHRIST BUT ALSO GODS ETERNAL HEAVENLY
OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST PERFORMED ALL HIS MIRACLES BY MEANS
KINGDOM!
OF HIS OWN NATURAL POWER AND ENERGY, being One of the
ANOINTING THE SICK WITH BLESSED OIL HOLY UNCTION has
Three Persons of the Holy Trinity.
not only medicinal value but also Sacramental Value
THE LISTS OF THE NAMES OF CHRISTS HOLY APOSTLES MAY SEEM TO
for it IS ONE OF THE SEVEN HOLY MYSTERIES OF CHRISTS
VARY but that is BECAUSE MANY OF THEM WERE KNOWN BY
CHURCH THAT IS BESTOWED UPON ALL PROPERLY BAPTISED,
MORE THAN ONE NAME.
CHRISMATED ORTHODOX CHRISTIANS.
The names of the Twelve are given in pairs, indicating
Even during the three years of our Lord Jesus Christs
how they set out on their First Missionary Journey.
Public Ministry, THE ANOINTING OF OIL WAS BESTOWED ONLY
THE DISCIPLES HOLY MISSION IS THE SAME AS THAT OF OUR LORD
ON THE HEBREWS the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel
JESUS CHRIST TO PREACH AND TO HEAL.
the members of the House of Israel and NOT ON THE
INITIALLY, OUR LORD JESUS SENT HIS APOSTLES ONLY TO THE LOST
GENTILES, until later, when they had been Baptised
SHEEP OF ISRAEL and not to the Gentiles, who would
and Chrismated into the New Covenant Faith as
later become the New Israel, including those Hebrews
members of the New Israel.
who accepted the Divine Truth that our Lord Jesus is
THE RECEPTION OF HOLY UNCTION IS TO BE PRECEDED BY FASTING
indeed the long-awaited Messiah our Eternal, Divine
AND REPENTANCE-CONFESSION, AND FOLLOWED BY THE
Saviour.
PARTAKING OF HOLY EUCHARIST.
Our Lord Jesus Christs earthly Ministry was focused on
As Gods Healing Power is bestowed through Creation, so
the Judeans, the Hebrews or the Lost Sheep of Israel.
Blessed Oil HOLY UNCTION IS A VEHICLE OF GODS GREAT
This was in order to prevent His Apostles and Disciples
MERCY AND HEALING IN HIS HOLY CHURCH.
being blamed afterwards for going to uncircumcised
men. (ACTS 11:3)
ST PAISIOS THE ELDER OF MOUNT ATHOS ON ST JOACHIM & ST ANNA, THE RIGHTEOUS
From a young age I had great Reverence for the Holy
While She was not free from Ancestral Sin, She was born
Ancestors of God.
as God wished all mankind to be born after our
Indeed, I had told someone that, when they Tonsure me
Creation.
as Monk, I would want to receive the name Joachim.
She was All Pure, because Her conception occurred
How much I have Benefitted from them!
without pleasure
St Joachim and St Anna are the most dispassionate couple
.
that ever existed, and they had no carnal mindset at
(Our Lady Theotokos was born according to a natural manner and
not virginally.
all.
St John of Damascus wrote in his Homily On the Birth of our Most
This is how God made man, and this is how He wanted us
Holy Lady Theotokos and Ever Virgin Mary: She was All
to be born dispassionately. But after the Fall,
Pure... because She was conceived chastely and increased the
passion entered the relationship between man and
Holiness given to her from Her Righteous Parents by means of
woman.
Her Spiritual Struggles, thereby warding off all unnecessary and
As soon as a dispassionate couple was found - which is
soul-endangering thoughts before experiencing them.)
how God created mankind and as he wished us to be
born - the Panagia was born that Pure Creation!
The Holy Ancestors of God, after Fervent Prayer to God to
And then, subsequently, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus
grant them a child, conceived not by sexual lust, but
Christ, became Incarnate.
by Obedience to God. This Truth I experienced on
My thoughts tell me that Christ would have descended
Mount Sinai.
earlier to Earth, if there had been a Pure Couple, such
as St Joachim and St Anna.
(St Paisios the Elder had lived in Holy Asceticism on Mount
The Roman Catholics fall into Delusion for believing Sinai, at St Episteme and St Galaktion from 1962-1964 but
supposedly from Piety - that our Lady Theotokos was
this particular Mystical Event he did not reveal.)
born without Ancestral Sin.

12.

SYNAXIS - RIGHTEOUS PROGENITORS & PARENTS OF OUR LADY THEOTOKOS 9 SEPTEMBER 2014

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, Mary, 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.

13 September 2015
Tone (6) Plagal 2
15th Sunday After Pentecost
Sunday Before Exaltation of the Holy Cross
Also the Feast of : the Founding & Dedication of the Temple of
the Resurrection of Christ in Jerusalem St Cornelios the
Centurion of Caesarea, Palestine St Chronides, St Stratonikos,
St Serapion, St Leontios and St Seleukos of Scythia St Macrobios, St Gordian, St Elias, St Zotikos, St Lucianos and St
Valerian of Tomis, Romania - St Julian of Ancyra, Galatia, Asia Minor St Peter of Atroe, near Asian Olympos St
Ketevan, Queen of Georgia St Hierotheos the Younger of Iveron Monastery, Mount Athos St John of Prislop
Monastery, Romania
RESURRECTION APOLYTIKION TONE

Angelike

Dinamis epi to Mnima Sou ke i filassontes


apenekrothisan. Ke istato Maria en to tafo, zitousa to
ahranton Sou Soma. Eskilevsas ton Adin, mi pirasthis ip
aftou. Ipintisas ti Partheno, Doroumenos tin Zoin. O
Anastas ek to nekron, Kyrie, Doxa Si
FESTAL APOLYTIKION

The

Angelic Powers were in Thy Tomb, and the guards


became as dead men, and Mary stood by the Tomb
seeking Thy Most Pure Body. Thou led captive Hades,
yet were not tempted thereby: Thou Who art the
Bestower of Life came to meet the Woman. Glory to
Thee, O Lord, Who Rose again from the dead!

- HOLY CROSS TONE 2

Ton Zoopion Stavron tis Sis Agathotitos, on edoriso imin

The

Life-Giving Cross of Thy Goodness, which we, the


unworthy, have received from Thee as a Gift, we
present to Thee, O Lord, as an Intercessor. Save our
leaders and our nation, and keep them in Peace,
through the Theotokos, O Only Lover of mankind.

tis anaxiis Kyrie, Si prosagomen is Presvian. Soze tous


Vasilis ke tin polin Sou, Irinefontas dia tis Theotokou,
Mone Filanthrope.
FESTAL APOLYTIKION

Os

- HOLY CROSS TONE 4

tou Ano Stereomatos tin efprepian, ke tin kato


sinapedixas Oreotita, tou Agiou Skinomatos tis Doxis
Sou Kyrie. Krateoson Afto is eona eonos, ke prosedexe
imon, tas en afto apafstos prosagomenas Si Disis,
Presvies tis Theotokou, i panton Zoi ke Anastasis.
FESTAL KONTAKION -

TONE 4

Ouranos polifotos i Ekklisia, anedihthi apantas, fotagogousa

As the Church has shown Herself to be a Heaven that is

tous Pistous; en O estotes Kravgazomen; Touton ton Ikon


Stereoson Kyrie.

shining brilliantly, guiding the Faithful with Her


Light, in which we stand and cry unto Thee, O Lord,
in accordance, Strengthen this Holy House.

RESURRECTION GOSPEL 4 THE HOLY MYRRHBEARERS

SEE THE

LUKE 24:1 12

EMPTY TOMB

OF OUR

RESURRECTED LORD

PROKEIMENON PSALM 27 _ TONE (6) PLAGAL 2

Save, O Lord, Thy People, and Bless Thine Inheritance.


Unto Thee will I cry, O Lord, my God.
THE EPISTLE

OF

TH

ST PAUL
E

TO THE

GALATIANS 6: 11-18

HOLY CROSS OF C

HRIST

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
CHOOSE ETERNAL SPIRITUAL DEATH OVER ETERNAL SPIRITUAL
THE HEBREW LEGALIZERS CHOSE TO OFFEND GOD SO THAT THEY
LIFE.
COULD PLEASE HUMAN BEINGS.
Unfortunately, this is the way of the world to this very day
By slavishly being persuaded and convinced to follow the
for FEW WILL STAND FIRMLY IN DIVINE TRUTH.
godless, ignorant popular concepts of modern day
THE MAJORITY of people ARE INFLUENCED AND LED INTO
fashions and fads, WE ARE DRIFTING FURTHER AND FURTHER
SPIRITUAL DISOBEDIENCE AND REBELLION BECAUSE THEY ARE
AWAY FROM OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST AND HIS DIVINE TRUTH
MORE AFRAID OF DISPLEASING THEIR FELLOW SINNERS THAN
HIS DIVINE TEACHINGS AND COMMANDMENTS, WHICH ARE THE
BECAUSE THEY LOVE AND RESPECT ALMIGHTY GOD and
ONLY MEANS THAT MAKE IT POSSIBLE FOR US TO ACHIEVE OUR
would do everything possible not to fail Him or
ULTIMATE SPIRITUAL GOAL THEOSIS.
disappoint Him.
Throughout the history of the Holy Church of Christ, WE
Consequently, BY CHOOSING TO FOLLOW THE FALLEN WORLD AND
HAVE PREACHED THE HOLY CROSS OF CHRIST CONCERNING
BEING ENSLAVED BY THE DEMANDS OF THE FLESH AND DUPED BY
EVERYTHING THAT IT SYMBOLISES.
THE MACHINATIONS OF THE EVIL ONE, THEY ALSO VOLUNTARILY
We have always displayed the empty Cross symbolising
Eternal Resurrection and Life Everlasting in our
15TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST BEFORE

THE

UNIVERSAL EXALTATION -13 SEPTEMBER 2015

13.

homes, chapels, churches, schools, etc. AS A REMINDER


TO PRAY AND TO FULFILL ALL GODS DIVINE TEACHINGS AND
COMMANDMENTS.
We venerate our Lords Life-giving Holy Cross in the
Divine Liturgy and in all our Holy Services and Holy
Mysteries.
WE ALSO BLESS AND PROTECT OURSELVES BY MAKING THE SIGN OF
THE CROSS, WHICH IS A DECLARATION OF FAITH: I WORSHIP
THEE, O GOD, WITH ALL MY MIND, WITH ALL MY HEART, WITH
ALL MY STRENGTH AND WITH ALL MY SOUL!
We always wear a Cross (not the Crucifix) TO REMIND US OF
OUR EVENTUAL RESURRECTION AND FINAL JUDGEMENT before
the Heavenly Throne of God.
THE CROSS IS A CONSTANT REMINDER OF WHOSE DISCIPLE WE ARE
AND WHOM WE ARE TRYING TO FOLLOW AND IMITATE and
others look at us, expecting us to BEHAVE AT ALL TIMES IN
A CHRISTIAN MANNER.
The Holy Cross is all we need TO PROTECT US AGAINST THE EVIL
ONE AND HIS DEMONS SPIRIT AND HUMAN.
THE NEW CREATION IS OUR LIFE IN CHRIST for we HAVE PUT ON
CHRIST WHEN WE WERE BAPTISED AND WE ARE SEALED WITH THE
GIFT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT WHO EMPOWERS AND ENABLES US TO
FULFIL OUR SACRED TASKS AND MISSION.
St Paul referred to THE CHURCH OF CHRIST THE CHURCH OF
THE NEW COVENANT THE NEW ISRAEL
During the time of St Paul and the other Apostles, the
Hebrews tried to force the converts to be circumcised
according to the Old Covenant.

St Paul realised that THEY WERE UNCONCERNED WITH THE


ETERNAL LIFE OF THE NEWLY BAPTISED CHRISTIANS, ONLY
WANTING TO BRAG ABOUT HOW MANY HAD BEEN CIRCUMCISED.
THESE DAYS IT HAS BECOME POPULAR TO ENCOURAGE CONVERSION
TO ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY sadly, also for bragging
purposes of Priests and others and MOSTLY FOR ALL THE
WRONG, ILL-INFORMED REASONS AND EGOCENTRIC INTENTIONS!
PEOPLE MUST ONLY CONVERT TO ORTHODOXY IF THEY ARE TOTALLY
COMMITTED TO CHRIST AND ARE DETERMINED TO FOLLOW HIS
TEACHINGS AND COMMANDMENTS AND BE TOTALLY
COMMITTED TO GOD BY LIVING THEIR LIFE IN CHRIST
ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY UNTIL THEY DRAW THEIR LAST
BREATH.
In order for Converts TO AVOID APOSTASY due to unhappy
personal relationships and problems, IT IS IMPERATIVE
THAT THEY ARE TAUGHT THOROUGHLY AND WELL BEFORE THEY
ARE BAPTISED AND CHRISMATED so that they have a

complete, well informed foundation to begin with.


Furthermore, ALL ORTHODOX CHRISTIANS SHOULD CONTINUE TO
LEARN THE MANY, VARIED FACETS OF THIS MARVELLOUS FAITH,
so that we continue TO WORSHIP GOD AND PARTAKE
CORRECTLY IN ALL THE REQUIRED HOLY MYSTERIES AND LIVE A
GOOD, FULFILLED LIFE IN CHRIST as He wishes us to do.
ST PAUL WAS NEITHER A HYPOCRITE NOR A COWARD.
HE PERSEVERED THROUGH MUCH OF WHAT HE TAUGHT AND HE BORE
THE MARKS AND SCARS ON HIS BODY TO PROVE IT.

THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING


TH

INFINITE

LOVE

TO
OF

ST JOHN 3: 13-17
GOD

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...
1. ONLY OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST DESCENDED TO EARTH AND3. IN ORDER TO EXPLAIN TO HIS FAITHFUL DISCIPLES AND APOSTLES
ASCENDED INTO HEAVEN having been Sent by God the
THE REASON FOR HIS CRUCIFIXION the reason why the
Father to Save our fallen world.
Son of Man must be lifted up on the Cross OUR LORD
JESUS DECLARED HIS HEAVENLY FATHERS GREAT LOVE OF ALL
When HE HAD FULFILLED ALL DIVINE PROMISES OF THE OLD
COVENANT, He returned to His Heavenly Throne
MANKIND the entire world not only His Chosen
THE MOST IMPORTANT SACRED TASK OF CHRIST WAS ESPECIALLY
Nation, the House of srael.
THE FINAL GREATEST BLOOD SACRIFICE OF ALL TIME HIS
The wonderful Words of our Lord ... for (1) God so Loved
HOLY PASSION AND CRUCIFIXION FOR THE SINS OF ALL THE
the world, (2) He gave His Only Begotten Son, so that
PEOPLE FOREVER- which, therefore, never again had to
(3) whoever believes in Him should not perish but
be repeated (like the Old Covenant annual blood
have Everlasting Life... expresses the whole Divine
sacrifices for sins of the High Priest and all the Hebrew
Message of the Holy Gospel and of mankinds
Nation).
Salvation history!
CHRIST THE SON OF MAN I.E. IN HIS HUMAN NATURE WAS
These clearly expressed Words of Divine Truth express
RESURRECTED and after a short period during which He
1. DIVINE LOVE
showed Himself clearly and physically to all His
2. SACRIFICIAL LOVE
Faithful Apostles and Disciples as well as
3. FAITHFUL LOVE
innumerable others! He Ascended into Heaven and
OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST CAME INTO OUR FALLEN WORLD TO
disappeared from our sight. ( He is invisible to us, until
ENLIGHTEN AND TO TEACH US HIS DIVINE TRUTH the Divine
His Second Reappearance.)
Truth concerning the Holy Trinity, our LOVING,
Although our Lord Jesus Christ is no longer visible, HE,
BENEVOLENT AND PROVIDENTIAL GOD Who can do no
TOGETHER WITH GOD THE FATHER AND GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT
harm nor anything evil, since it is against His Divine
ARE ALWAYS PRESENT where two or three are gathered
Nature.
together in His Divine Name just as He Promised us!
He encourages us to BE HUMBLE AND OBEDIENT TO GOD BY
2. THE ANCIENT PATRIARCH, ST MOSES, HAD LIFTED UP AN IMAGE
UNCONDITIONALLY LOVING HIM AND OUR FELLOW SINNERS.
OF A SERPENT WOUND AROUND HIS STAFF whereby the
WE HAVE BEEN CREATED AS INTELLECTUAL BEINGS WHO HAVE FREE
Israelites were Miraculously Cured from fatal bites
WILL TO MAKE OUR OWN CHOICES AND DECISIONS.
and toxins of snakes, scorpions, poisonous insects,
Consequently, we can choose and decide whether we
spiders or plants during their sojourn in the
wish to accept Christ and His Divine Truth His All
Wilderness before settling down in the Promised Land.
Wise Teachings and Commandments that are only
[NUMBERS 21:4-9]
FOR OUR OWN ETERNAL BENEFIT AND BLESSINGS!
(The symbol of a serpent wound around a staff became the symbol of
However, should we decide to reject Him and everything
Healing Medicine and Medical Physicians.)
that He has revealed to us, has taught us and has
THIS MIRACLE WORKING IMAGE PREFIGURED OUR LORD JESUS
commanded us to fulfil, we must realise that it will
CHRIST BEING LIFTED UP ON HIS CROSS, which we who are
most definitely result in dire consequences: Eternal
Faithful Disciples behold in Truth, Faith and Worship.
Banishment, Exile and Spiritual Death far, far away
THE POWER OF THE LIFE-GIVING CROSS OF CHRIST OVERTHROWS
from God, His Divine Light and all His Goodness.
DEATH AND SIN, TEMPTATIONS AND ALL THE MACHINATIONS OF
Thus, WE SHOULD ENSURE THAT WE ARE TRULY ENLIGHTENED AND
THE EVIL ONE and his slaves.
KNOWLEDGEABLE BEFORE BLINDLY AND IGNORANTLY REJECTING
The Life-giving Cross of Christ is OUR BADGE OF HONOUR and
GOD AND ALL HIS WONDERFUL TRUTH.
reminds us that WE, TOO, WILL BE RESURRECTED ON THE
Knowledge is indeed Power and IF WE OPEN OUR HEART AND
EIGHTH DAY the Final Day of this Age and the
SOUL TO ALMIGHTY GOD, HE WILL MOST JOYFULLY GRANT US
Awesome Day of Judgement.
ALL THE KNOWLEDGE AND ENLIGHTENMENT NECESSARY for our
The Life-giving Cross of Christ - THE EMPTY CROSS I.E. NOT
Eternal Life in His Heavenly Kingdom: ...for God did
THE CRUCIFIX BUT THE PLAIN CROSS REMINDS US THAT WE ARE
FAITHFUL DISCIPLES OF CHRIST who live in unwavering
not send His Son into the world to Condemn the world,
HOPE AND EXPECTATION OF ETERNAL LIFE in Gods
but that the world might be Saved through Him...
Heavenly Kingdom of Love Agape which we will
ST MARK THE ASCETIC
achieve THROUGH OUR CEASELESS REPENTANCE AND
We who have received Baptism offer Good Works - not by
SPIRITUAL STRUGGLES FOR THEOSIS.
way of repayment, but to preserve the Purity given to
Just as St Moses Staff with the entwined Serpent was a
us.
Miracle Working Healing Instrument, so, too is THE
Every Good Work that we perform through our own
HOLY LIFE-GIVING CROSS OF CHRIST, which IS OUR SACRED
natural powers causes us to refrain from the
WEAPON AGAINST TEMPTATIONS AND SIN, and which is so
corresponding sin - but without Divine Grace it
Powerful that IT REPELS THE EVIL ONE AND OVERTHROWS
cannot contribute to our Sanctification.
DEATH itself!

14. 1 5 T H S U N D A Y A F T E R P E N T E C O S T B E F O R E

THE

UNIVERSAL EXALTATION -13 SEPTEMBER 2015

15TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST SUNDAY BEFORE

THE

UNIVERSAL ELEVATION

BY OUR REVEREND HOLY FATHER, PANTELEIMON (LAMPADARIOS) METROPOLITAN

A week before the Great Feast of the Universal Elevation of


the Holy, Life-giving Cross of Jesus Christ, our Lord and
Saviour, the Orthodox Church prepares Her Faithful
Disciples through Scriptural Readings, Prayers and Acts
of Good Deeds/Charity to celebrate the wondrous Event
of the Finding of the Precious Life-giving Cross.
Among the many Symbols of our Christian Faith, the Holy
Cross is considered to be the most significant and
important, for it symbolises Christianity and our Lord
and Saviour, Jesus Christs Victory over Death.
The Holy Cross of Christ is the most Powerful Weapon
against all evil forces and is the Holy Power of the
Saints and Holy Martyrs, for it is the Holy Sign under
which all Righteous people have fought and will fight
against Satan and his evil machinations.
In the Old Testament there are many prefigurations of the
Holy Cross of Christ.
 In the Book of Genesis2:9 & 3:22: the Tree of Life
prefigures the Holy Cross for it had the Power to
grant Eternal Life to Adam if he ever touched it.
Similarly, the Holy Cross of Christ, being the New Tree of
Life offers Eternal Life to all those who truly and
faithfully believe in and follow our Saviour.
 In the Book of Numbers 21: 8 9 : In order to save his
people from the deadly bits of snakes, scorpion,
spiders and insects, St Moses received Instructions
from God to lift up a bronze sculpted serpent
wound around his staff so that ... whenever a
serpent (or any of the other deadly creatures) shall
bite ... everyone so bitten who looks upon it shall
live.
Our Lord Jesus also used this prefigurations as an example
of His being lifted up on His Cross.
Just like all those Israelites who looked upon the bronze
serpent on the staff of Moses and were saved from
Death, so too, whoever looks to Christ with Faith as our
own Lord and Saviour, and beholds His Crucifixion our
Priceless Ransom, will also be Saved from the deadly
bites of Satan.
 T H E B O O K O F I S A I A H 5 3 : 3 5 foretold the Healing of
the bites of sin and Death through the Wounds of
our Lord Jesus Christ, saying: ...He was a Man in
suffering, and acquainted with the bearing of
sickness, for His Face is turned from us. He was
dishonoured, and not esteemed. He bears our sins,
and is pained for us. Yet we accounted Him to be in
trouble, and in suffering and in affliction.
But He was Wounded on account of our sins, and was
bruised because of our iniquities...
 I N I S A I A H 5 3 : 7 - 8 & 1 2 , it continues: ...And He,
because of His Affliction, opened not His Mouth. He
was led like a Sheep to the slaughter, and as a Lamb
before the shearer is dumb, so He opened not His
Mouth.
In His Humiliation His Judgement was taken away from
the Earth. Because of the iniquities of My People He
was led to Death...
He was numbered among the transgressors, and He
bore the sins of many, and was delivered because of
their iniquities.
The moment of Christs Greatest Humiliation became the
moment of Exaltation for completing His Redeeming
Work.
Through our Lords Death, Death has been conquered and
Life has been granted to the world.
Mankind becomes Righteous before God the Father only
through His Son our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
By the Holy Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, Satan is
defeated and dethroned from
his demonic
enslavement of the world.
With the Death of Christ on the Cross, the Work of
Salvation for the Redemption of sinful humanity is
completed!
Faith in the Cross of Christ is a Living, Dynamic and
continuous Condition, which as
Orthodox
Christians - we must experience in our Life in Christ
by taking up our own personal cross on a daily basis,
and faithfully following our Lord Jesus Christ
wherever He may lead us!

15TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST BEFORE

THE

OF

ANTINOES,

THE

OF THE

KALYMNITE

HOLY CROSS
OF

MOUNT SINAI

Justification by Faith in God is part of being brought into


the New Covenant, through our Lord Jesus Christ, and
our New Relationship with Him, Who offered Himself
for the Life of the world, is established.
Our Salvation is achieved through our Faith in Jesus Christ
Who fulfils the Divine Law of God.
With the New Covenant, mankind becomes members of
Gods Kingdom through our Holy Baptism, and we
receive the Gift of the Holy Spirit through our Holy
Chrismation.
From that moment onwards, God the Holy Spirit guides us
leading us to the Knowledge of the True Faith in God
the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
Christ becomes the Centre of our Life, and we are Called to
become Imitators of Him.
When we are Baptised in the Orthodox Church, we become
a Christ-Bearing Vessel through whom Christs Life is
shown to the world.
 I N H I S E P I S T L E T O T H E G A L A T I A N S 3 : 2 7 : St Paul
emphasised this Teaching: ... for as many (of you)
as were Baptised in Christ, have put on Christ!
 I N H I S E P I S T L E T O T H E R O M A N S 6 : 3 , St Paul reminded
them that OUR HOLY BAPTISM IN CHRIST MEANS THAT
WE AS ORTHODOX CHRISTIANS PARTICIPATE IN
CHRISTS DEATH AND RESURRECTION.
FREEDOM FROM SIN is granted to us only through our Holy
Baptism IN THE NAME OF THE HOLY TRINITY.
What Christ our Saviour accomplished on His Cross was the
actual and real Death to sin.
Likewise, OUR HOLY BAPTISM BECOMES TO ALL OF US WHO ARE
BAPTISED CANONICALLY, ACTUAL AND REAL DEATH TO SIN!
IN THE HOLY MYSTERY OF B APTISM WE DIE TO SIN AND WE
BECOME FREE FROM ITS PERMANENT ENSLAVEMENT!
IN OUR HOLY UNION WITH CHRIST THROUGH OUR HOLY
BAPTISM, IN HIS DEATH AND RESURRECTION, LIES THE
POWER OF VICTORY OVER SIN.
 THE HOLY CROSS OF CHRIST IS THE DIVINE POWER OF
ALMIGHTY GOD THAT OVERCOMES ALL SIN and Holy
Baptism is our own Life-giving Cross! (1 CORINTHIANS
1:18)

This is the reason why the Bishop or Priest hangs a golden


cross around the neck of a Newly Baptised Christian,
reminding us of the most important Commandment of
our Lord and Saviour:
 A C C O R D I N G T O S T L U K E 9 : 2 3 - If anyone desires to
come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his
cross daily, and follow Me!
 IN HIS FIRST EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS 1:18 - ST PAUL
pointed out: ... THE MESSAGE OF THE CROSS IS
FOOLISHNESS TO THOSE WHO ARE PERISHING, BUT TO US
WHO ARE BEING SAVED, IT IS THE POWER OF GOD!
S T J O H N C H R Y S O S T O M taught us that the Holy Cross is ... a
mark of them who perish, because they failed to
recognise the Things that lead to Salvation.
We who bear Witness to Christ must not be discouraged
when those who are outside Orthodoxy, mock Christs
Cross.
 2 C O R I N T H I A N S 2 : 1 5 : ... for we who are to God the
Fragrance of Christ among those who are being
Saved and among those who are perishing...
Through the Power of the Holy Cross, all the powers of
Darkness are conquered.
Therefore, God has granted us the Power to step upon all
the evil forces of is, as Christ said to His Holy Apostle:
 L U K E 1 0 : 1 9 Behold! I give you the Authority to
trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all
the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any
means hurt you!
Orthodox Christianity is not something that we exercise
only at critical moments of our life.
Orthodox Christianity is not merely a decision that we
have the choice to follow Christ or not I T I S T H E
WAY OF LIFE IN CHRIST JESUS!

Through the Unique Sacrifice that was offered by our


Saviour on His Holy Cross, we are all Reconciled with
God.
This means that the broken Friendship, Peace and
Communion of mankind with Go is re-established.
We, as Orthodox , have been Saved by being Baptised into
Christ.

UNIVERSAL EXALTATION -13 SEPTEMBER 2015

15.

However, we are B E I N G S A V E D , by growing in Christ day


by day, through our ceaseless Spiritual Struggles and
our regular participation in the Mystical or
Sacramental Life of the Holy Church.
Finally, we all hope to be Saved by the Great Mercy and
Love of God at our Final Judgement on the Eighth Day
the beginning of Eternity and the end of these
temporary Ages.
My Beloved Friends, today our Holy Orthodox Church
celebrates the Universal Exaltation or Elevation of the
Holy Cross the day St Helena, the Righteous Mother
of St Constantine the Great, found the True, Lifegiving Holy Cross of our Lord and Saviour.
Let us now stand before His Holy Cross with all due
Humility and let us offer to Christ as our Gift of
Gratitude for the Forgiveness of our sins and our
Eternal Salvation.

Let us shed tears of contrition for our innumerable


iniquities, as Christ shed His Most Precious Blood for
us.
Let us cry out aloud: We Thank Thee, O Lord, for all Thy
Love and Friendship! Forgive us who fail in our daily
life to follow Thee. Show Mercy unto Thy servants, and
do not turn Thy Divine Grace away from us sinners.
For all that Thou suffered for the sake of our Eternal
Salvation, we Thank Thee.
Beloved Brethren: standing before the Holy Cross let us
promise Christ that we will forever remain True
Orthodox Christians, and that throughout our
temporary, preparatory life on Earth, we will always
Repent our wrong doings.
In this way, only, will we please the Lord our God and
receive His Great Mercy and Eternal Life.
Amen
HTTP://WWW.ORTHODOX-MITROPOLITAN-OF-ANTINOESPANTELEIMON.COM/BOOKS/DLIST/BOOKS/ENGLISH/SERMONS

ST THEOPHAN

THE

RECLUSE ON BEARING

The Lord accomplished our Salvation by His Death on the


Cross; on the Cross He tore up the handwriting of our
sins; through the Cross He brought upon us Grace-filled
Gifts and all Heavenly Blessings...
When the personal cross of each of us is united with Christs
Cross, the Power and Effect of the Cross is transferred to
us and becomes, as it were, a Conduit through which
...every Good Gift and every Perfect Gift... is poured
forth upon us from the Cross of Christ... (JAMES 1:17)
There is more to our Salvation than just believing in Christ,
His Incarnation, His Crucifixion and Resurrection - our
personal cross is equally essential for our Salvation.
1. T H E O U T W A R D C R O S S I N V O L V E S O U R T R I A L S A N D
T R I B U L A T I O N S : ...sorrows, misfortunes, the loss of loved
ones, failures at work, every sort of deprivation and loss,
family troubles, adversities related to outward
circumstances, insults, offences, wrongful accusations,
and, in general, our earthly lot Neither eminence, nor
riches, nor glory, not any kind of earthly greatness will
Deliver us from them.
We
must
make
use
of
these
difficulties
in
accordance with Gods Intention for our Salvation, for
God permits them ...so that we would live ... not as
someone in his own land, but as a stranger and a
foreigner in a foreign land... seeking our return to His
Kingdom. To understand this we must understand the
account of Adam and Eve - how they lived in Paradise in
Unity with God. When they disobeyed Him, they
suffered the consequences of Death, sorrows and
sickness, after being banished from Paradise.
All the subsequent difficulties of mortal life outside
Paradise is our outward Cross.
St Theophan tells us to ...endure them and dont be
annoyed...bear your lot with equanimity. (composure or
calmness)
All these difficulties are similar for all humanity for we are
subject to misfortunes and sorrows, which God allows
for our Spiritual Growth and Benefit: The Lord wants
to wash away some sin, or to lead us away from a
sinful deed, or to cover up a greater sorrow with a
smaller one, or to give us an occasion for Patience and
for demonstrating Faithfulness to our Lord, so as to
show forth the Glory of His Mercy on us later
If we do not clearly see precisely what God wants to give us
through sorrow that has overwhelmed us, we must raise
up in our heart the general, non-speculative belief that
everything that comes from our Lord is for our good,
and gives a shove to our disturbed soul: this is what is
pleasing to God. Endure! Those whom He punishes
(chastises) are like (sons or daughters) to Him!
Bearing our personal cross means enduring our sorrows
with Faith, with the Love of God, giving Thanks for all
He grants us.
In order to bear our cross in a Salvific manner, we must
...arouse gratitude within yourself, humble yourself
under the Mighty Hand of God, Repent, and correct
your life."
2. T H E I N W A R D C R O S S I S O U R C E A S E L E S S S T R U G G L E A G A I N S T
T H E P A S S I O N S . St Paul said: Those who are Christs
have crucified the flesh with the affections and
lusts. (GALATIANS 5:14)
St Theophan taught us: There is a Cross upon which
these passions and lusts are crucified. To crucify the

16. 1 5 T H S U N D A Y A F T E R P E N T E C O S T B E F O R E

THE

THE

CROSS

passions means to weaken them, suppress them, and


uproot them
When someone is fighting against the passions, sometimes it
seems as if his hands were nailed, as if he is wearing a
Crown of Thorns on his head, as if his living heart is
pierced!
The culprit is self love: Anger burns, envy dries us up, lust
enfeebles us, miserliness does not let us eat or sleep, and
offended pride murderously eats away at our heart
Everyone has them. As soon as there is self love, there
are all the passions, for self love is the mother of the
passions!
We have only to turn the knife around and, instead of
satisfying the passions, to strike ourselves with it, to
strike the passions with it, beginning the fight against
them and contradicting them in everything
We must say to every passionate person: You're perishing
on the cross of passions. Destroy that cross and set up
another: the Cross of the fight against it. And youll be
crucified on it unto Salvation! ...go courageously to the
Cross of Self-crucifixion, through the crucifixion and
uprooting of the passions and lusts. Let us turn away
from self-pity and become inflamed with zeal for Selfaccusation The Cross is the Tree of Life!
3. O U R T H I R D C R O S S I S D E V O T I O N T O T H E W I L L O F G O D . It is
not enough to crucify the passions. This is only
preparatory to this step, which involves our Obedience
to Gods Will. We are now ready to offer ourselves up
as a Sacrifice to God, and follow Christs Example in
the Garden of Gethsemane before His Crucifixion, when
He prayed to be spared, yet remained resolute:
Nonetheless, not as I Will, but as Thou Will! (M A R K
26:39)
Christ, in His human Nature, bound His Will with that of
God the Father - and as St Paul said: I am crucified
with Christ. Nevertheless I live - yet not I, but Christ
lives in me. (G A L A T I A N S 2 : 2 0 )
St Theophan pointed out that this is ...the height of
Christian Perfection It is the beginning of the future
State after the Resurrection, when God will be ...all in
all. Those who are (Spiritually) Perfect Live and act
through God alone." ( 1 C O R I N T H I A N S 1 5 : 2 8 ) .
...Many have the idea that Christianity is the same as other
kinds of life, but this is not so.
It begins with Repentance, ripens through the fight
against passions, and is Perfected when the pure, inner
man, Immersed in God, is Crucified with Christ If
Christians do have pleasures they are purely incidental.
The most distinguishing characteristics of their existence
are sufferings and sicknessinward and outward,
voluntary and involuntary. We must - through much
tribulation - enter into the Kingdom, and into that
which is within it..If you want good for yourself, get
rid of pleasures and enter on the Path of the Cross of
Repentance, burn up in the Fire of Self-crucifixion, be
tempered in Tears of Heartfelt Contritionand youll
become gold, or sliver, or a precious stone, and in due
time youll be taken by the Heavenly Householder as an
Adornment for His Most Bright and Most Peaceful
Mansions.
HTTP

://ORTHODOXWAYOFLIFE.BLOGSPOT.COM

UNIVERSAL EXALTATION -13 SEPTEMBER 2015

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, Mary, 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 2015
The Universal Exaltation of the Holy, Life-giving Cross
of Christ our Saviour
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

FESTAL ISODIKON EXALTATION

OF THE

HOLY CROSS

Ipsoute

Exalt ye the Lord our God, and Worship at His Footstool;

Soson

Save us, O Son of God, WHO WAS CRUCIFIED IN THE FLESH,

Kyrion ton Theon imon ke Proskinite to Ipopodio


ton Podon Aftou, oti Agios esti.

imas, Ie Theou, O SARKI STAVROTHIS, psalontas Si:


Allilouia!
FESTAL APOLYTIKION

OF THE

for He is Holy!
who sin to Thee: Alleluia!

EXALTATION

Soson

Kyrie ton Laon Sou, ke Evlogison tin Klironomian


Sou, Nikas tis efsevesi kata varvaron doroumenos, ke to
Son Filatton, dia tou Stavrou Sou Politefma. [3]

OF THE

HOLY CROSS

Lord, Save Thy People, and Bless Thine Inheritance,


granting Victory over enemies unto our Rulers and
through Thy Cross preserving Thine Estate [3]

FESTAL KONTAKION OF THE EXALTATION OF THE HOLY CROSS

Ipsothis en to Stavro ekousios, ti eponimo Sou keni


politia, tous iktirmous Sou Dorise, Hriste O Theos.
Evfranon en ti Dinami Sou, tous Pistous Vasilis imon,
Nikas horigon aftis, kata ton polemion.
Tin
sinmmahian ehien tin Sin, Oplon Irinis, Aittiton
Tropeon.

Thou

Who were lifted on the Cross voluntarily, on Thy


new Commonwealth that bears Thy Name, do bestow
Thy Mercies, O Christ our God; gladden in Thy Mighty
Strength, our Faithful Rulers, granting to them
Victories, against all the enemies, and may Thy Help in
battle be for them, a Weapon of Peace, and Banner
Invincible!

INSTEAD OF THE TRISAGION HYMN TONE

Ton Stavron Sou Proskinoumen, Despota, ke tin Agian Sou Thy

Anastasin Doxazomen.
Doxa Patri ke Io ke Agio Pnevmati, ke nin ke ai ke is
tous eonas ton eonon.

Cross, O Master, we Reverence, and we Glorify Thy


Holy Resurrection.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy
Spirit, now and forever, and to the ages of ages.

Amin
Amen
Ke tin Agian Sou Anastasin Doxazomen
And Thy Holy Resurrection we glorify
Dinamis!
P R I E S T Dynamis (Power)!
Ton Stavron Sou Proskinoumen, Despota, ke tin Agian Sou Thy Cross, O Master, we Reverence, and
Anastasin Doxazomen.

we Glorify Thy

Holy Resurrection.
FESTAL COMMUNION HYMN

OF THE

HOLY CROSS

Esimiothi ef imas to Fos tou Prosopou Sou, Kyrie: Allelouia! The Light of Thy Countenance has been impressed on us,
O Lord: Alleluia!
FESTAL MATINS GOSPEL ACCORDING
THE JUDGEMENT

OF THIS

WORLD

THE

TO

ST JOHN 12: 28 36

HOLY CROSS

OF

CHRIST

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.
LIFTED UP IS A REFERENCE TO the lifting up of Christ upon the
God the Fathers Name is an extension of His Person and
GOD THE SON WORKS FOR THE GLORY OF THE FATHER.
Cross, HIS CRUCIFIXION, which is HIS GLORIFICATION and
Therefore HIS DEATH WAS OFFERED UP TO COMPLETE THAT
WHICH LEADS TO THE SALVATION OF THE HUMAN RACE.
PURPOSE AND TO SHOW OUR HEAVENLY FATHERS LOVE FOR ALL
At the same time THE CRUCIFIXION OF CHRIST
WAS A
JUDGEMENT ON THE UNBELIEVING WORLD OF DARKNESS AND
MANKIND.
THE DIVINE VOICE ASSURED US THAT THE DEATH OF JESUS CHRIST
THE ABOLITION OF THE POWER OF THE RULER OF THIS WORLD
WAS NOT HUMILIATION BUT GLORIFICATION through the
WHO IS SATAN.
Fulfilment of Gods Plan for the Redemption of the
We live in a state of tension between THE VICTORY WON AND
world.
THAT WHICH IS YET TO BE WON. [1 JOHN 2:13 & 5:4-5]
In a Vespers Hymn for the Feast of the Exaltation of the
Holy Cross, we sing: Lifted High upon the Cross, O
UNIVERSAL EXALTATION

OF THE

HOLY LIFE-GIVING CROSS

OF

CHRIST

OUR

SAVIOUR

- 14 SEPTEMBER 2015

17.

Master, with Thyself Thou hast raised up Adam and


the whole of fallen nature.
Therefore, Exalting
Thine Undefiled Cross, O Thou Who Lovest mankind,
we ask Thee for Thy Strength from Above, crying: O
God Most High, in Thy Mercy Save those who honour
the Sacred Life-Giving and Divine Exaltation of Thy
Cross.

The theme of JESUS CHRIST AS THE LIGHT receives renewed


emphasis.
The crowd wanted to know the Identity of the Son of Man,
but JESUS CHRIST CHALLENGED THEM TO COME TO THE LIGHT
WHILE THERE IS STILL TIME TO BECOME CHILDREN OF LIGHT.
[NICENE CREED]

IN UNION WITH JESUS CHRIST, WE PARTAKE OF HIS LIGHT,


BECOMING CHILDREN OF LIGHT.

FESTAL PROKEIMENON EXALTATION OF THE HOLY CROSS


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...
THE FIRST EPISTLE

OF

ST PAUL

THE MESSAGE

OF THE

TO THE

CROSS

CORINTHIANS 1 : 18 24

IF THE

POWER

OF

GOD.

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 Cross is to be Adored, for WHEREVER THE SIGN OF
because as St John Chrysostom explains: IT IS A MARK
THE CROSS MAY BE, THERE JESUS CHRIST WILL BE I.E. THE
OF THOSE WHO PERISH NOT TO RECOGNISE THE THINGS THAT
HOLY TRINITY is present.
LEAD TO SALVATION.
Since CHRIST IS THE POWER AND WISDOM OF GOD THE
WE WHO BEAR WITNESS TO CHRIST MUST NOT BE DISCOURAGED
FATHER - the Brightness of the Fathers Glory, the
when those outside of Him mock, for so did once even
Substantial and Perfect Image of the invisible God St Paul himself.
WHERE HE IS, THERE IS THE UNCREATED AND SAVING GRACE OF
Being Saved - present tense - refers to THE PROCESS
GOD. [HEBREWS 1:3]
WHEREBY THE HOLY CROSS TRANSFORMS US WITH THE POWER
THE HOLY, LIFE-GIVING CROSS of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus
OF GOD.
Christ, RESTORES MANKIND TO IMMORTALITY AND STIRS UP
To those who request a Sign the Church offers one: THE
DESIRE FOR THE THINGS OF GOD.
HOLY LIFE-GIVING CROSS of our Lord & Saviour, Jesus
Christ!
THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING
WE

REMEMBER THE

TO

ST JOHN 19: 6 - 11; 13 20 25 28 & 30 35

CRUCIFIXION

OF OUR

LORD

AND

SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST

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 mothers 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, 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.
The Judean leaders convicted Jesus Christ on a [false]
CAIAPHAS; however, the phrase may even refer to
charge of Blasphemy: He made Himself the Son of
JUDAS ISCARIOT.
God.
The Judean leaders applied hard political pressure on
What they missed, of course, was THE DIVINE GOSPEL: JESUS
Pontius Pilate to gain their own sinister ends.
CHRIST NOT ONLY CLAIMS TO BE, BUT INDEED IS THE SON OF
Confronted with the choice between Jesus Christ and
GOD!
Caesar Pontius Pilate chose his Emperor, Tiberius
Almighty God [the Holy Trinity] controls all Power.
Caesar who reigned during the years 14 - 37.
Despite all the Roman Empires forces, and the relentless
persistence of the Judean leaders, THEIR POWER WAS
Preparation Day is the day before Passover.
PERMITTED ONLY BY GOD.
THE SYNOPTIC GOSPELS [of St Matthew, St Mark, St Luke & St
THE ONE WHO DELIVERED JESUS CHRIST TO PONTIUS PILATE WAS,
John] DATE THE CRUCIFIXION OF JESUS CHRIST ON FRIDAY,
according to many interpreters, THE HIGH PRIEST
THE FIRST DAY OF THE PASSOVER.

18. U N I V E R S A L E X A L T A T I O N

OF THE

HOLY LIFE-GIVING CROSS

OF

CHRIST

OUR

SAVIOUR

- 14 SEPTEMBER 2015

Ironically THE JUDEAN LEADERSHIP REJECTED THE TRUE KING OF


THE JEWS and accepted Tiberius Caesar, a foreign
King who ruled Palestine as a result of conquest.
In their blind hatred for Jesus Christ, THEY DENIED THE
ESSENTIAL ELEMENT OF THEIR NATIONS HOPES.
CRUCIFIXION WAS THE METHOD OF EXECUTION USED BY THE
ROMANS in capital punishment involving rebellious
slaves and THE WORST POSSIBLE CRIMINALS.
By addressing the Ever Blessed Theotokos as Woman
OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST USED A TERM OF DIGNITY AND
AFFECTION.
Note THREE IMPORTANT TRUTHS concerning His Mother.
In saying to the Disciple whom [He] Loved - St John the
Evangelist - behold Thy Mother:
1. CHRIST SYMBOLICALLY ESTABLISHED THE THEOTOKOS ROLE AS
THE MOTHER OF ALL FAITHFUL DISCIPLES - OF THE ENTIRE
CHRISTIAN CHURCH.
2. IF THE THEOTOKOS HAD HAD OTHER CHILDREN, JESUS CHRIST
WOULD NOT HAVE PLACED HER UNDER THE PROTECTION AND
CARE OF ST JOHN.
3. THE CHURCHS TEACHING CONCERNING THE THEOTOKOS
ETERNAL VIRGINITY IS RATIFIED BY CHRISTS ACTION.
I thirst, refers to the Truth that THE INCARNATE SON OF GOD
the Son of Man ASSUMED OUR COMPLETE HUMAN NATURE
including our need to quench our thirst.
We need both the mundane and the Extraordinary,
Spiritual Water to quench our physical and especially
our Spiritual Thirst.
 Psalm 21:16: My Strength is dried up like an earthen
vessel; My Tongue cleaves to My Throat and Thou
led Me into the Dust of Death...
The
term
finished,
is
better
translated
as
accomplished or fulfilled. Our Lord did not mean
that His Life was ended, but rather that His Divine Plan
of Salvation for all mankind has been completed.
... bowing His Head, He gave up His Spirit... according
to St John Chrysostom means that OUR LORD JESUS DID
NOT DIE FIRST, with His Head falling as a result of Death,
but that BEING LORD EVEN OF HIS OWN LIFE AND DEATH,
CHRIST FIRST BOWED HIS HEAD, AND THEN VOLUNTARILY GAVE
UP HIS SPIRIT AND ENTERED DEATH.
Our Lord Jesus Christ did not have His Life taken from
Him, but WILLINGLY COMMITTED HIS SPIRIT TO GOD OUR
HEAVENLY FATHER.
HIS SOUL WAS THE FIRST HUMAN SOUL NOT IMPRISONED IN HADES
but freely given into the Hands of God our Heavenly
Father.
THE UNIVERSAL EXALTATION

OF THE

OF THE

GREAT BURDEN OF OUR SINS IN ORDER TO SET US FROM OUR


ENSLAVEMENT AND DEATH.
Our Lord Jesus Christ suffered in order TO TRANSFIGURE OUR
HUMAN SUFFERING and HE ENTERED DEATH IN ORDER TO
DESTROY IT. (REFER 1 CORINTHIANS 15:20-28)

Our Saviour gave up His Spirit willingly, for even being


Crucified, He CHOSE THE HOUR OF HIS DEATH, for it was
impossible for any human being or evil spirit to take
His Life from Him, against the Divine Will of Almighty
God!!
He accepted His Death by Crucifixion NOT IN ORDER TO
RECEIVE ANY SO-CALLED DIVINE PUNISHMENT ON OUR BEHALF,
NOR TO SATISFY A NEED FOR BLOOD-JUSTICE, which is not
what our Almighty, Benevolent and Loving God
requires at all!
Our Lord accepted His Death so that BY ENTERING DEATH
AS THE DIVINE SON OF GOD THE FATHER, HE COULD
DESTROY THAT ENEMY OF MANKIND DEATH ITSELF!!
St Cyril of Alexandria commented: Observe: no sooner
had Christ endured His Passion on the Cross for our
sakes, when He began to win many unto the
Knowledge of the Truth.
The Blood and Water that poured from our Saviours
Body shows THE REALITY OF THE GREAT HOLY MYSTERIES.
THE WATER REFERS TO OUR HOLY BAPTISM, which is our
PARTICIPATION IN CHRISTS LIFE-GIVING DEATH. (ROMANS 3: 6
11)

In the Holy Mystery of Eucharist/Communion we receive


our Lords Life-giving Blood ... drinking from His very
Side. (ST JOHN CHRYSOSTOM)
It is literally THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS AND THE REGENERATION
OF MANKIND THAT POURED OUT OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRISTS
SIDE.

HOLY LIFE-GIVING CROSS

On this day are Commemorated two Great Events


connected with the Precious Cross of Christ:
1. the finding of the True, Life-giving Cross on
Golgotha
2. the return of the Holy Cross to Jerusalem from
Persia.
While on a Holy Pilgrimage in the Holy Land, Empress
Helena sought the True Precious Cross of our Lord.
After much investigation, it eventually became known that
an old Jewish man named Judah was the only living
person who knew the location of the Holy Cross of
Christ.
Through the persistence and sincerity of the devout
Empress, he revealed the secret site where the Holy
Cross had been buried under the Temple of Venus that
Emperor Hadrian had built over Golgotha.
Empress Helena immediately ordered the idolatrous temple
to be pulled down, and then, after having excavated
deep below it, they found the cave containing three
crosses. (They found the cross-bars and nails, as well as the sign
board declaring our Lord Jesus Christ as the King of the Jews.)
They were uncertain about which of the crosses was our
Lord's. Then a funeral procession passed by.
Patriarch Makarios instructed the crosses - one by one - to
be laid upon the corpse.
Everyone watched carefully as they tested the first and
second cross without any response.
Finally, they laid the third cross on him and immediately
the man was restored to life!!
UNIVERSAL EXALTATION

HAVING SMASHED OPEN THE IMPRISONING GATES OF HADES, OUR


LORD JESUS FREED ALL HUMANITY FROM THE BONDS AND
SHACKLES OF DEATH.
HIS SALVIFIC DEATH ON THE CROSS HAS RECONCILED MANKIND
TO GOD not by satisfying our Heavenly Fathers
need for blood-justice as some erroneously
believe, but by CAUSING EVERY ASPECT OF OUR CORRUPT
HUMAN NATURE TO BECOME TRANSFORMED, REGENERATED
AND RENEWED for whatever Divinity touches is
Healed and Restored.
OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST ACCEPTED OUR HUMAN NATURE IN ORDER
TO SANCTIFY IT AND He accepted OUR HUMAN WEAKNESS IN
ORDER TO MAKE US STRONG.
Furthermore, although He Himself is absolutely sinless
(unable to commit sin!) HE VOLUNTARILY TOOK ON THE

OF

CHRIST

OUR

LORD & SAVIOUR

Everyone knew, without the smallest shred of doubt, that


the third Cross was the Precious and Life-giving Cross
of Christ our Lord and Saviour.
To ensure that it was not a once time Divine Miracle, the
Holy Life-giving Cross was also placed upon a seriously
ill woman who immediate recovered and was fully
restored to good health.
With intense Joy and Exaltation, Patriarch Makarios raised
the Cross aloft for all to see, and the people, kneeling
down before Almighty God, sang with tears and in
joyous unison: Kyrie eleison! Kyrie eleison! Kyrie
eleison! ('Lord, have mercy!')
Empress Helena had a beautifully crafted silver reliquary
made in which to keep the Holy Cross.
Centuries later, King Chosroes of Persia conquered
Jerusalem, enslaved the people and carried away our
Lord's Holy Cross, together with many other priceless,
irreplaceable treasures to Persia, where It remained for
fourteen years.
In 628, the Greek Emperor, Heraklios, conquered Chosroes
and triumphantly returned the Holy Cross to Jerusalem
with great ceremony.
However, as he entered the Holy City of Jerusalem, Emperor
Heraklios, carrying our Lords Life-giving Holy Cross on
his back, was unable to take another step!
An Angel of God appeared before Patriarch Zacharias and
told him that the Emperor was to remove all his richly
adorned imperial robes and boots, and, dressed in a
simple garment, he must then walk beneath the Cross

HOLY LIFE-GIVING CROSS

OF

CHRIST

OUR

SAVIOUR

- 14 SEPTEMBER 2015

19.

along the way that our Lord Jesus Christ had walked as barefooted and humiliated as He had been.
Patriarch
Zacharias
instructed
Emperor
Heraklios
accordingly.
Having stripped off his royal vestments and footwear, and
wearing only a simple cotton garment, the powerful
Byzantine Emperor, with sincere Humility and

ST IGNATIOS BRIANCHANINOV ON
OUR LORD JESUS SPENT HIS EARTHLY LIFE IN SUFFERINGS. He
was persecuted from the cradle to the grave.
From His very infancy wickedness prepared for Him a
violent death. Having finally achieved its murderous
aim, it was not satisfied - IT DID ITS UTMOST TO WIPE THE
VERY MEMORY OF H IM FROM THE FACE OF THE EARTH.
By the Path of temporal sufferings all His Elect have
followed our Lord to a Blessed Eternity.
IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR US TO REMAIN IN THE PLEASURES OF THE
FLESH AND AT THE SAME TIME TO REMAIN IN A SPIRITUAL
STATE.
Therefore our Lord constantly gives His Beloved HIS
CHALICE, whereby HE MAINTAINS IN US DEADNESS TO THE
WORLD AND SKILL IN LIVING THE LIFE OF THE SPIRIT.
St Isaac the Syrian said: A person for whom God
especially cares is known by constantly having
sorrows ...
Pray that God may remove from us every trial, every
temptation.
WE MUST NOT AUDACIOUSLY HURL OURSELVES INTO THE ABYSS
OF AFFLICTION, FOR THAT WOULD INDICATE PROUD SELFCONFIDENCE.
But WHEN TROUBLES COME OF THEMSELVES, DO NOT FEAR THEM
and do not think, that they have come accidentally by a
concurrence of circumstances.
No, THEY ARE PERMITTED BY THE INEFFABLE PROVIDENCE OF
GOD.
Filled with Faith and the Virtues of Courage and Generosity
that spring from Faith, sail fearlessly through the
Darkness and Raging Storm to the Quiet Harbour of
Eternity.
Our Saviour Jesus Himself is invisibly guiding us.
BY PIOUS AND DEEP MEDITATION STUDY THE PRAYER THAT OUR
LORD OFFERED TO HIS HEAVENLY FATHER IN THE GARDEN
OF GETHSEMANE at the Hour of His Agony, which
preceded His Passion and Death on the Cross.
With that Prayer MEET AND CONQUER EVERY AFFLICTION.
...My Father, if it is possible, let this Chalice pass from
Me. Yet not as I Will, but as Thou Wills. (MATTHEW 26,39).
We must PRAY TO GOD FOR THE REMOVAL OF TRIALS, and at
the same time RENOUNCE OUR OWN WILL, as being sinful
and blind.
We must SURRENDER OURSELVES BODY AND SOUL - AND OUR
CIRCUMSTANCES - BOTH PRESENT AND FUTURE.
We must also SURRENDER OUR NEIGHBOURS - those who are
nearest and dearest to our heart - TO THE ALL-HOLY AND
ALL WISE WILL OF GOD.
We must CEASELESSLY WATCH AND PRAY TO RECOGNISE AND TO
RESIST ALL TEMPTATION, for ...the spirit is willing
enough, but the flesh is weak. (MATHEW 26:41)
When troubles surround us, we must REPEAT THE PRAYER
FREQUENTLY so as to draw to ourselves the Special Grace
of God.
ONLY WITH THE HELP OF DIVINE GRACE CAN WE BE VICTORIOUS
over all temporal troubles.
Having received from on High the Gift of Patience, we must
PERPETUALLY KEEP ATTENTIVE, watching over ourselves so
as to MAINTAIN AND RETAIN THE GRACE OF GOD.
OTHERWISE SIN WILL BE SURE TO STEAL INTO OUR SOUL (OR
BODY) AND DRIVE OUT THE GRACE OF GOD.
WHEN - DUE TO NEGLIGENCE AND DISTRACTION SIN ENTERS US especially that to which our weak flesh is so prone - the
kind that defiles both body and soul - then DIVINE
GRACE WILL ABANDON US, WILL DEPART FROM US, LEAVING
US LONELY AND EXPOSED!
ETERNAL, INSPIRED WISDOM

OF

Obedience, joyfully and thankfully, took up the Holy


Cross of our Lord and Saviour, carried It along the same
path that Christ had taken to Golgotha, and placed It
reverently in the Church of the Resurrection, to the
great Joy and Consolation of the whole Christian world.
PROLOGUE FROM OCHRID - BISHOP NICHOLAI VELIMIROVICH
HTTP://WWW.STJOHNDC.ORG/RUSSIAN/FEASTS
THE

CHALICE

OF

CHRIST (PART 3)

HAVING HELD THE GIFT OF DIVINE GRACE WITHOUT DUE


RESPECT FOR THE IT, AFFLICTION - sent for our Salvation
and Perfection - WILL SAVAGELY SET UPON US AND CRUSH
US WITH SORROW, DESPONDENCY, AND DESPAIR.
We must IMMEDIATELY HASTEN WITH SINCERE AND
UNFLINCHING REPENTANCE to restore our Purity of heart.
WHEN OUR PURITY OF HEART IS RESTORED, SO TOO, IS THE GIFT
OF PATIENCE that comes with it, for, BEING A GIFT OF THE
HOLY SPIRIT, THE HOLY VIRTUE OF PATIENCE ONLY REPOSES
IN THOSE WHO ARE PURE OF HEART.
The Holy Martyrs were filled with Holy Joy while being in
fiery furnaces, walking on nails, slashed by sharp
swords, or immersed in cauldrons of boiling water, tar
or oil.
So, too, WHEN OUR HEART HAS DRAWN DIVINE GRACE AND
POWER BY PRAYER, AND MAINTAINS THEM BY OUR SPIRITUAL
VIGILANCE WE WILL SING AMID MISERIES AND CRUEL
MISFORTUNES a Joyful Song of Praise and Thanksgiving
to God!
WHEN PURIFIED BY CHRISTS LIFE-GIVING HOLY CHALICE, OUR
MIND IS ENABLED TO BEHOLD SPIRITUAL VISIONS.
We begin to see the All-Embracing Providence of God, which
is invisible to carnal minds; we begin to see the law of
corruption in everything corruptible; we begin to see,
closed to everyone, a Vast Eternity; we begin to see God
in His Great Acts in the Creation and Re-Creation of
the world.
Earthly life will seem to us as a brief Pilgrimage; the passing
events of earthly life will seem like dreams, and its
blessings will seem to be fleeting illusions - a shortlived fatal allurement of the mind and heart.
What Fruit do temporal sufferings bear for Eternity?
When Heaven was shown to the Holy Apostle, St John, one
of the Inhabitants of Heaven pointed to the countless
gathering of radiant white-robed Saints celebrating their
Salvation and Beatitude before the Throne of God and
said: ...These who are clothed in the white robes
who are they, and where have they come from?
And I said to him: My Lord, Thou knowest.
Then the Inhabitant of Heaven said to St John: These are
they who have come out of Great Tribulation and
have washed their Robes and made them white in the
Blood of the Lamb. Therefore they are before the
Throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His
Temple; and He Who sits on the Throne will dwell in
them.
Never again will they hunger, never again will they
thirst, never shall the sun beat upon them, nor any
scorching heat.. For the Lamb in the midst of the
Throne will be their Shepherd, and will guide them to
Living Fountains of Water; and God will wipe away
every tear from their eyes... (REVELATION 7: 9-17)
Estrangement from God, Eternal Torment in Hell, to be
eternally with the devil and diabolic people, the Flame,
Coldness, Darkness, Gloom, Gehenna that is what
deserves to be called suffering! That is indeed great,
terrible, unendurable Agony! Earthly pleasures lead to
great, Eternal Suffering!
THE HOLY, LIFE-GIVING CHALICE OF CHRIST PRESERVES AND
SAVES US FROM THIS SUFFERING WHEN WE DRINK IT WITH
THANKSGIVING TO GOD, GLORIFYING in the Bitter Cup of
temporal sufferings the All-Gracious and Good God-Man
for His Infinite, Eternal Kindness and Mercy.
https://theinnerkingdom.wordpress.com/2008/08/30/the-chaliceof-christ-by-st-ignatius-brianchaninov

OUR HOLY CHURCH FATHERS ON

OUR

CONSCIENCE

ST MAXIMOS THE CONFESSOR Do not treat your conscience

ST JOHN OF THE LADDER After God, let us have our

with contempt, for it always advises you to do what is


best. It sets before you the Will of God and the Angels;
it Frees you from the secret defilements of the heart;
and when you Depart this life it grants you the Gift of
Intimacy with God.

conscience as our Mentor and Rule in all things, so that


we may know which way the wind is blowing and set
our sails accordingly.
He who lives in evil is punished in Hell prematurely,
being pierced by the conscience.

20. U N I V E R S A L E X A L T A T I O N

OF THE

HOLY LIFE-GIVING CROSS

OF

CHRIST

OUR

SAVIOUR

- 14 SEPTEMBER 2015

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, Mary, 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.

After Feast of the Exaltation

20 September 2015

Tone (7) Varys/Grave


16th Sunday After Pentecost
Sunday After the Exaltation of the Holy Cross
Also the Feast of St Eustathios the Great Holy Martyr St Hilarion
the New Holy Martyr of Crete - St Trophimos, St Sabbatios & St
Dorymedon of Synnada St Theodore, St Constantine & St David,
Righteous Princes of Smolensk & Yaroslav St Zosimas the Hermit of
Cilicia St Theodore of Tarsos & Archbishop of Canterbury, England St Igor the Righteous Prince of Kiev &
Chernigov
RESURRECTION APOLYTIKION TONE (7) VARYS/GRAVE

Katelisas to Stavro Sou ton Thanaton.

By

Ineoxas to listi ton


Paradison. Ton Miroforon ton thrinon metevales ke tis
sis Apostolis kirittin epetaxas, oti
Anestis, Hriste O
Theos, parehon to kosmo to Mega Eleos.

Thy Cross Thou destroyed Death; Thou opened


Paradise to the Thief; Thou changed the funeral wail
of the Myrrh-bearing Women, and Commanded them
to announce to Thine Apostles that Thou had Risen
from the dead, O Christ our God, Who bestows upon
the world Great Mercy.

FESTAL APOLYTIKION - EXALTATION OF THE HOLY CROSS

Soson

Kyrie ton Laon Sou, ke Evlogison tin Klironomian


Sou, Nikas tis efsevesi kata varvaron doroumenos, ke to
Son Filatton, dia tou Stavrou Sou Politefma

Lord, Save Thy People, and Bless Thine Inheritance,


granting Victory over enemies unto our Rulers and
through Thy Cross preserving Thine Estate

FESTAL APOLYTIKION HOLY MARTYRS

Thy

Martyres Sou, Kyrie, en ti Athlisi Afton, Stefanous


ekomisanto tis aftharsias, ek Sou tou Theou imon.
Shontes gar tin ishin Sou, tous tyrannous kathilon,
ethrafsan ke demonon, ta anishira Thrasi. Afton tes
Ikesies, Hriste O Theos, Soson tas psihas imon.

Martyrs, O Lord, were worthily awarded by Thee,


Crowns of Incorruption, in that they Contested for
Thee, our Immortal God. Since they possessed Thy
Power, they defeated the tyrants, dashing the demons
powerless displays of defiance. O Christ God, at their
Fervent Entreaties, Save our souls.

FESTAL KONTAKION -

Ipsothis en to Stavro ekousios, ti eponimo Sou keni


politia, tous iktirmous Sou Dorise, Hriste O Theos.
Efthranon en ti Dinami Sou, tous Pistous Vasilis imon
Nikas horigon aftis, kata ton polemion: tin simahian
ehien tin Sin, Oplon Irinis Aititon Tropeon.

THE

HOLY CROSS

Do Thou, Who of Thine own Good Will was Elevated upon


the Cross, bestow Thy Bounties upon the New Nation
that is called by Thy Name, O Christ our God; make
glad with Thy Might our Faithful Kings, granting them
Victory over their adversaries. May Thine Aid be a
Panoply of Peace, a Trophy Invincible

RESURRECTION GOSPEL 5 : LUKE 24:12 35


OUR RISEN LORD JESUS APPEARS ALONG THE ROAD TO EMMAUS

PROKEIMENON PSALM 28

Kyrios Ishin to Lao Aftou dosi...


Enegkate to Kyrio Ii Theou... enegkate

to Kyrio Doxan ke

TONE

(7) VARYS/GRAVE

The Lord will grant Strength to His People...


Bring to the Lord, you sons of God, bring

Timin.

to the Lord

Glory and Honour!


THE EPISTLE
THE SOURC

OF

OF

ST PAUL

FAITH

IS

TO THE

OUR

LORD

GALATIANS 2 : 16 20
AND

SAVIOUR, JESUS C

HRIST

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.
Works of the Old Covenant Law begin with mankinds
ST PAUL GIVES THE CONTENT OF THE TRUE GOSPEL by contrasting
actions, while FAITH BEGINS WITH GODS DIVINE ACTIONS.
it with the false doctrines of the Judaizers.
THE SOURCE OF JUSTIFICATION IS FAITH, not the works of the
EVERY WORK OF FAITH IS THE COMBINED ACTION OF GOD AND US,
Old Covenant Law.
for it is AN ESSENTIAL SYNERGY a Holy Cooperation
Works of the Law deal with mankind in our fallen state
between us and God between Divine Will and
in our corrupted state (i.e. a state of Spiritual Death)
human will.
FAITH CRUCIFIES OUR CORRUPT CONDITION AND DEALS WITH OUR
THIS FAITH AND THESE ACTIONS HAVE THEIR SOURCE AND
NEW BEING IN CHRIST (i.e. we abandon our old, fallen,
FULFILMENT IN GOD in our Lord and Saviour, Jesus
corrupt nature and take on a Regenerated, New and
Christ.
Sanctified nature in Christ at our Baptism and
WE EXPERIENCE THESE AMAZING FAITH AND ACTIONS THROUGH OUR
Chrismation.)
UNION WITH THE HOLY TRINITY God the Father, God the
Son and God the Holy Spirit in Whose Names and by
16TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST AFTER

THE

EXALTATION

OF THE

HOLY CROSS- 20 SEPTEMBER 2015

21

Whose Power and Authority we are Baptised and


Chrismated.
GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT GRANTS US HIS POWER AND ENERGY FOR THE
ONGOING LIFE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS IN CHRIST the
wonderful Life of Blessing, Great Mercy and infinite
Love.
THE ANCIENT PATRIARCH ABRAHAM IS OUR HOLY FATHER OF FAITH
AND OF THE BLESSINGS OF GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT.
However, the Judaizers, who have based their
Righteousness on the works of the Law, have received
Condemnation not the Blessings of the Holy Spirit!
THE STATUS CONFERRED BY RIGHTEOUSNESS IS HOLY SONSHIP, for
WE BECOME ADOPTED CHILDREN OF GOD THROUGH OUR UNION
WITH GOD INCARNATE.
THE SOURCE OF SONSHIP IS GOD not humanity.
SONSHIP IS A DIVINE PROMISE not achieved by human
deeds and it is ATTAINABLE ONLY BY OUR FAITH not by
our works not by any effort we may make.
GOD INTRODUCED THE WORKS OF THE LAW IN ORDER TO PROTECT
HUMANITY against the evil wiles of the devil and his
demons who ceaselessly our Spiritual Death and
destruction.
The Old Covenant Laws were to protect us until the time
of Divine Sonship when our Union with the Eternal,
Only Begotten Son of God became possible.
THE PURPOSE OF HOLY SONSHIP IS FOR US TO BECOME GODLIKE AND
TO ENTER HEAVEN.
Faith in Christ is parallel to the works of the Law and can
be translated as the Faith of Jesus Christ, which is
the Holy Gospel.
THE HOLY

GOSPEL

ACCORDING

As the Source of works is the Law, so THE SOURCE OF FAITH IS


CHRIST His Beliefs, His Trust, His Obedience that
Justifies us , not our Faith as such.
CHRISTS FAITH IS SEEN IN HIS ENTIRE LIFE ON EARTH, not in
merely a few of His crucial Works.
WE ARE JUSTIFIED BY CHRIST AND IN CHRIST, for our
Justification is not simply legal but actual effected
by our real, personal Union with Christ in His Glorified
human Nature.
The fact that we can still be sinners clearly shows that
THIS HOLY UNION NEVER TAKES AWAY OUR FREE WILL and it
also explains how some chose to defect to Judaism.
St Paul destroyed THE WORKS OF THE LAW in the sense that
they PROVED TO BE INEFFECTUAL FOR OUR ETERNAL
SALVATION.
The real transgressors are those who try to reinstate the
Old Covenant Law.
WE DIE THROUGH THE LAW not bypassing or dishonouring it,
but by RECOGNISING THAT IT IS HOLY; that WE DESERVE ITS
CONSEQUENCE, WHICH IS DEATH.
WE VOLUNTARILY DIE TO THE LAW THROUGH OUR DEATH WITH
CHRIST, for being crucified with Him through our Holy
Baptism, WE COME ALIVE TO THE DIVINE, ETERNAL LAW OF
THE HOLY SPIRIT, which Perfects the intention of the Old
Covenant Law.
THERE IS NO CONTRADICTION BETWEEN THE OLD COVENANT LAW
AND THE NEW COVENANT GOSPEL, FOR THE LAW IS ... HOLY
AND JUST AND GOOD... (ROMANS 7:12)
However, the Law is weak and obsolete for it is Fulfilled in
the Holy Gospel in our Lord and Saviour, Jesus
Christ, Himself! (ROMANS 8 : 3 & HEBREWS 8 : 13)
TO

ST MARK 8 : 34 9 : 1

OUR LORD JESUS CHRISTS FIRST PROPHECY

OF

HIS PASSION

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 Gospels, 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!
THE CROSS, which was a most dreaded instrument of the
However, BY SACRIFICING EVERYTHING OF THIS TEMPORARY
cruellest Roman punishment and execution, NOW
WORLD, WE GAIN PRICELESS ETERNAL RICHES AND BLESSINGS
SYMBOLISES THE SUFFERING OF ALL CHRISTIANS IN IMITATION
that are far beyond anything we could possible
OF CHRIST, AS WE NAIL OUR SINFUL LIFESTYLE TO HIS CROSS
imagine!! (1 CORINTHIANS 2 : 9 )
and after entering Death together with Him, we are
WHAT WOULD ANY OF US GIVE IN EXCHANGE FOR OUR IMMORTAL
triumphantly Resurrected with Him as Regenerated
SOUL?
and Spiritually Renewed beings.
This question emphasises the utter foolishness of trying to
accumulate worldly possessions and power for NONE
WE PRACTISE SELF-DENIAL AND PERSONAL SACRIFICE FOR THE SAKE
OF OUR LOVE OF GOD, HIS HOLY GOSPEL AND FOR OUR FELLOW
OF IT CAN REDEEM OUR FALLEN SOUL NOR BENEFIT US IN THE
STRUGGLING SINNERS who accompany us on the long,
LIFE TO COME.
Narrow Path towards Eternity.
... some... will not taste Death until they see the
ACCEPTING THIS SUFFERING IS NOT A PUNISHMENT, NOR IS IT AN
Kingdom of God present with Power! is a reference
END IN ITSELF, BUT A MEANS OF OVERCOMING THE FALLEN
to the THREE HOLY APOSTLES OF CHRIST WHO WOULD WITNESS
WORLD for the sake of the Kingdom of God and in order
HIS TRANSFIGURATION ON MOUNT TABOR.
to crucify the demands of our sinful flesh with its
IT ALSO REFERS TO FUTURE GENERATIONS WHO WILL EXPERIENCE THE
passions and self-indulgent desires..
GLORIOUS PRESENCE OF GODS ETERNAL KINGDOM.
The central paradox of Christian Living is that IN GRASPING
FOR TEMPORAL THINGS, WE LOSE THE ETERNAL TREASURES.
16TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST AFTERFEAST

OF THE

A Monk who despaired of the Cross God had given him,


complained of it constantly.
God finally relented and offered him a chance to select a
different Cross. He led the Monk into a room filled with
several Crosses from which to choose.
The Monk was appalled at what he saw - huge Crosses,
bloody Crosses, Crosses with nails...
He wandered slowly through the large room until finally he
spied a lovely small silver Cross tucked away in a
corner. He took it, and held it up happily, saying: "I'll
take this Cross!" whereupon our Lord replied: "That is
the Cross that I had given you, which you did not want!"
We should ask ourselves the following questions:
 Do I embrace the Cross God has given me?
 Do I try to take my Salvation or (as St Paul said) my
Justification, into my own hands?
 Am I trying to get to Heaven without God's Help or
Guidance?
Todays Sacred Lesson reminds us of the significant
Commandment and Teaching of our Lord Jesus:
"Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny
himself, and take up his Cross and follow Me."

22. 1 6 T H S U N D A Y A F T E R P E N T E C O S T A F T E R

THE

HOLY CROSS - FAITH

IN

CHRIST, NOT

IN

WORKS

Like the Monk, we may not want the Cross we have been
given, or we may think we know a better way than the
Way our Lord Jesus is leading us.
As St Paul pointed out to the Galatians: "A man is not
Justified by the works of the Law but by Faith in Jesus
Christ."
Whenever we hear the word "Justify" in Holy Scripture, we
should think of the more accurate translation
"Righteous."
TO BE JUSTIFIED IS TO BE MADE RIGHTEOUS, WHICH MEANS TO
ACT IN AN UPRIGHT, MORAL, VIRTUOUS WAY.
The "works of the Law" refers to the Mosaic Law - the
carved stone Tablets of the Law given to St Moses by
God on Mount Sinai. (EXODUS 20FF).
THE DIVINE LAW (OR MOSAIC LAW) GAVE US GODS
COMMANDMENTS FOR THIS PREPARATORY LIFE THAT
INSTRUCTED THE ISRAELITES (AND US!) ON HOW TO RELATE
TO GOD AND TO EACH OTHER.
THE DIVINE LAW REVEALED THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GOOD
AND EVIL - AND FUNCTIONED AS A TUTOR THAT WOULD LEAD
THEM TO THE MESSIAH OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR, JESUS
CHRIST. (GALATIANS 3:24)

EXALTATION

OF THE

HOLY CROSS- 20 SEPTEMBER 2015

The expression "Faith in Christ" should be translated as


"Faith of Christ."
THE FAITH OF CHRIST IS THE ABSOLUTE TRUST AND OBEDIENCE
OUR LORD JESUS PLACED IN GOD THE FATHER, which He
demonstrated throughout His earthly Life - especially
leading up to and including His Crucifixion and Death.
Reflected in many of his Epistles, St Paul addressed the
problem of Judaizers in the early Church, who were
those Christians who demanded that the new followers
or Disciples of Christ must be circumcised and follow
the Jewish Dietary Laws, (which God instituted for a healthy
sojourn while traversing the Wilderness for 40 years before
settling down in the Promised Land. mp)
Although we no longer have the problem of Judaizers we
still have THE PROBLEM OF THOSE WHO THINK THAT THEIR
RIGHTEOUSNESS APART FROM CHRIST CAN DO THEM ANY
GOOD!
How often do we excuse ourselves: "I did a good deed
yesterday, I don't need to pray today... I went to Liturgy
last week, I can probably skip Liturgy this week... I
confess to God in my personal Prayers, I don't need the
Holy Mystery of Repentance-Confession with the Priest... I
received Holy Communion last year during Holy Week so
I'm all set until next year..."
Even worse is our wicked self-justification: "I did something
good for someone ... I attended Liturgy ... I received
Communion... so now I can sin a little bit. After all, I
deserve it or I have earned it!"
THIS IS THE SAME CASUAL, UNDISCIPLINED, SINFUL ATTITUDE
THAT MANY HAVE TOWARDS FASTING AND PRAYER OR ANY
OF OUR SACRED COMMITMENTS OR DUTIES!
Unfortunately, we are taking our vital Spiritual Life into
our own hands instead of placing our Trust, Faith or
Confidence in our Lord God.
In order to become Righteous by the Faith of Christ, we
must SEEK TO IMITATE HIM AS BEST WE CAN - HIS ABSOLUTE
TRUST IN AND OBEDIENCE TO GOD OUR HEAVENLY FATHER.
Bargaining with God by using our Righteous Actions as
leverage is the same fatal mistake made by the ancient
Judaizers i.e. placing our Faith in our works rather
than in God.
TO THINK OR TO TRY TO BECOME RIGHTEOUS BEFORE GOD IN
ORDER TO ENTER H IS HEAVENLY KINGDOM WITHOUT LIVING
THE LIFE OF H IS CHURCH IN THE B ODY OF CHRIST OR
LIVING IN CHRIST - EXPOSES OUR EMBARRASSMENT, DENIAL

AND REJECTION OF
TRUTH! (MARK 8:38).

CHRIST AND HIS WORDS HIS DIVINE

The Prayer of Metropolitan Philaret of Moscow, who lived in


the 19th century, expresses the attitude and disposition
we should have towards God:
O God, grant me to greet the coming day in Peace.
Help in all things to rely upon Thy Holy Will.
In every hour of the day reveal Thy Will to me.
Bless my dealings with all who surround me
and teach me to treat all who come to me
throughout the day
with Peace of soul and firm conviction
that Thy Will governs all things.
In all my words and deeds
Guide my thoughts and feelings.
In unforeseen events let me not forget
that all things are under Thy Care.
Teach me to act firmly and wisely
without embittering or embarrassing others.
Grant me Strength to bear the fatigue
of the coming day with all that it shall bring.
Direct my will.
Teach me to pray.
Pray Thyself in me.
Amen
Hopefully, we can now understand better that TO LOSE OUR
LIFE FOR CHRIST AND H IS HOLY GOSPEL IS EXPRESSED WHEN
WE DENY OURSELVES WHATEVER WE WANT OR WHAT WE
THINK IS BEST! (MARK 8:34-35).
For taking up our Cross is to BE CRUCIFIED WITH CHRIST.
And finally, by HAVING ABSOLUTE TRUST IN GOD IS TO HAVE
THE FAITH OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, WHOM WE ARE
STRUGGLING TO IMITATE AT ALL TIMES, so that ...it is no

longer I who live, but Christ Who Lives in me!"


(GALATIANS 2:20).
FATHER RICHARD DEMETRIOS ANDREWS OF ST GEORGE GREEK ORTHODOX
CHURCH, ST PAUL, MINNESOTA, USA
SERMON DELIVERED SEPTEMBER 21, 2008
HTTP://WWW.ORTHODOXYTODAY.ORG/ARTICLES8/ANDREWS-FAITH-IN-CHRISTNOT-IN-WORKS.PHP

SPIRITUAL STRUGGLE & SPIRITUAL

DECEPTION

PART 2

FATHER MATTHEW STEENBERG

We need to refocus our vision from the pleasures of this


world to Gods Kingdom and Divine Ekonomia
(Dispensation).
After all our Lord Jesus Christ told us clearly: Seek first
the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness, and all
these things be added unto you. (MATTHEW 6:33).
ST JOHN CHRYSOSTOM: [Our Lord] came to do away
with the old things, and to Call us to a greater
Country.
Therefore He does everything to Deliver us from
unnecessary things, and from our affection of the
Earth.
For this reason He mentioned the Heathens, also saying
that the Gentiles seek after these things - they whose
whole labour is for the present life, who have no regard
for the Things to come, or any thought of Heaven.
(MATTHEW 6:32)

But to you, the Chief Things are not these, which are
present, but other than these.
For we were not born for this end - that we should eat and
drink and be clothed - but that we might please God,
and attain the Good Things to come.
Therefore, as things here are secondary in our Labour,
so also in our Prayer let them be secondary.
Thus He also said: Seek the Kingdom of Heaven and all
these things shall be added to you.
If we are to Struggle authentically toward our
Sanctification and Redemption, this orientation
toward and into the Kingdom must become
paramount in us.
Every act must be considered from the perspective of
that Future Life and its attainment.
When we do not act in such a manner we reduce our
choices and our behaviours to the limited perspective of
this brief sojourn.
16TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST AFTER

THE

Rather than see the context of our behaviours, actions, and


decision as the Eternal Life of Gods abiding Kingdom, we
see it as the short span of this life, and adjust our whole
vision and world view accordingly.
ST INNOCENT OF ALASKA: Jesus Christ, the Son of God,
came to this Earth in order to return to us our lost
capacity to spend Eternity in the Blissful Presence
of God.
He revealed to people that all their evil lies in sin and that
no one - through their own efforts - can overcome the
evil within themselves and attain Communion with
God.
Sin, ingrained in our nature since the Fall, stands
between us and God like a high wall.
If the Son of God had not descended to us through His
Mercy for us, had not taken on our human nature, and
had not by His Death conquered sin, all mankind would
have perished forever!
Now, thanks to Him, those who wish to Cleanse
themselves from evil can do so and Return to God and
obtain Eternal Bliss in the Kingdom of Heaven.
THE SINFULNESS THAT WE FACE IS OUR SELF-CENTRED OUTLOOK
WHERE WE SEEK ONLY SELF-SATISFACTION, AND WE
DETERMINE OUR MORAL STANDARDS BASED ON OUR OWN
INTERNAL VIEWS.
We have made ourselves into little gods where WE SET OUR
OWN MORAL STANDARDS TO FIT OUR OWN SELF-DETERMINED
IDEAS.
WE IGNORE GOD AND ALL HIS TEACHINGS AND COMMANDMENTS

as revealed to us and as taught by His Holy Church.


We have forgotten that WE ARE CALLED TO SURRENDER TO
GOD WE ARE CALLED TO GIVE UP OUR SELF-CENTEREDNESS
AND TO OBEY OUR LORDS S PRAYER: Thy Will be done on
Earth as it is in Heaven...
This involves OUR PERPETUAL STRUGGLE AGAINST EVIL FORCES.

EXALTATION

OF THE

HOLY CROSS- 20 SEPTEMBER 2015

23

These evil forces are indeed real!


To combat them WE NEED THE HELP FROM GOD - we need the
Help and Assistance which can only be found in His
Holy Church!
If we can recognize our sinfulness ...our life can be offered
more wholly to the Lord, Who will make our Life His
own.
Self-will can be gradually overcome, so that we begin more
fully to live that Reality of identity in Christ, which His
own Prayer proclaims - that we cry: Our Father! as, by
(Divine) Nature, only His Son can do.
THIS IS WHAT IT MEANS FOR US TO LIVE IN CHRIST.
WE ARE REBORN INTO CHRISTS LIFE - THROUGH OUR HOLY
UNION WITH HIM WE BECOME AN ADOPTED CHILD OF GOD
THE FATHER.
Christ leads us out of separation from God, away
from a self defined by our will and passions, into a
CONSCIENCE GODS VOICE

IN

Once an impoverished woman stole something in a store


and carried it away. No one saw her. On her way home a
disturbing feeling gnawed at her peace of mind. She had
to return to the store and replace the stolen item, after
which she returned home feeling relieved.
There are countless similar examples of people being
compelled to do not what they want but what is right.
Every person is familiar with our inner voice, which on
occasion accuses and oppresses us, and on occasion
brings us Joy.
This small subtle voice - an inborn feeling - is called
Conscience, which by its nature is a Spiritual Instinct
that more clearly and quickly differentiates between
good and evil than does our mind.
THOSE WHO LISTEN TO THE VOICE OF THEIR CONSCIENCE WILL
NEVER REGRET OR BE ASHAMED OF THEIR BEHAVIOUR.
In Holy Scripture Conscience is also called "heart."
In the Sermon on the Mount OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
COMPARED OUR CONSCIENCE TO OUR SPIRITUAL EYES
CAN EVALUATE OUR MORAL CONDITION.

(MATTHEW 6:22)

OUR LORD ALSO COMPARED OUR CONSCIENCE TO A "RIVAL"


WITH WHOM WE MUST COME TO TERMS BEFORE WE PRESENT
OURSELVES BEFORE GOD'S JUDGMENT THRONE. (MATTHEW

5:25).

The word "rival" stresses THE MAIN ATTRIBUTE OF OUR


CONSCIENCE, which OPPOSES OUR EVIL DESIRES AND
INTENTIONS.
PART 2 - C

ONSCIENCE

EVERYTHING THAT IS MORALLY GOOD AND AVERTS US FROM


EVERYTHING THAT IS MORALLY EVIL.
THIS INNER LAW WORKS THROUGH THE VOICE OF CONSCIENCE,

which is justly called the Voice of God in us. Because


it is AN INTEGRAL PART OF HUMAN NATURE, it is active in
all of us human beings - REGARDLESS OF AGE, RACE,
EDUCATION, OR DEVELOPMENT.
Indeed, by studying the culture and customs of past and
present Nations, it is clearly evident that ALL PEOPLE EVEN THE MOST PRIMITIVE TRIBES - DISTINGUISH BETWEEN
WHAT IS GOOD AND WHAT IS BAD, BETWEEN GOOD AND EVIL
PEOPLE, BETWEEN VIRTUE AND VICE.
They all agree that the GOOD IS WORTH STRIVING FOR, THAT
EVIL SHOULD BE SHUNNED, AND THAT GOOD DESERVES
PRAISE WHILE EVIL DESERVES BLAME.
Although in individual cases they may not be in agreement
in denominating the same thing good or evil, they are
nevertheless agreed as to the general principle that
GOOD IS TO BE DONE AND EVIL IS TO BE AVOIDED.
The occasional discrepancy in labelling some actions as
good or evil seems to come from the particular
circumstances in which various Nations develop or
evolve.
It is a universally recognized principle that WE SHOULD NOT
DO TO OTHERS WHAT WE WOULD NOT WISH THEM TO DO TO
US.

Vice everywhere seeks to hide itself or at least to put on a


mask of Virtue.
In his Epistle to the Romans St Paul explained in some
detail how moral law works in us. HE REPROACHED THOSE
WHO KNOW THE WRITTEN LAW OF GOD BUT WILFULLY
VIOLATE IT, and he contrasted them with the pagans who

THE

OF

CONSCIENCE

Our personal experience convinces us that THIS INNER VOICE,


CALLED CONSCIENCE, IS NOT UNDER OUR CONTROL BUT
EXPRESSES ITSELF SPONTANEOUSLY IN SPITE OF OUR FREE
WILL.

In addition, just as we cannot persuade ourselves that we


are full when we are hungry or that we are rested when
we are tired, similarly WE CANNOT CONVINCE OURSELVES
THAT OUR BEHAVIOUR IS CORRECT WHEN OUR CONSCIENCE
TELLS US OTHERWISE.
According to the Words of Christ regarding the
"Indestructible Worm" our Holy Church Fathers see it as
being the guilty Conscience that will ceaselessly punish
sinners in the Future Life - Eternity. (MARK 9:48)
The Russian Poet. A S Pushkin, very vividly described these
torments in his dramatic play "Miserly Knight:"
"Conscience - a sharp clawed animal, which scrapes the
heart; Conscience - an uninvited guest, annoying
discourser, a rude creditor; and a witch, which dims the
moon and graves."
And further in the play, the old Knight remembers in terror
the pleading and tears of all those whom he deprived
mercilessly.
In a different drama, "Boris Godunov," Pushkin again
recreated the Eternal Sufferings of a guilty Conscience,
placing in the mouth of King Boris the words: "...Yes,
pitiful is the one in whom Conscience is foul!"

A UNIVERSA

DURING CREATION GOD IMPRINTED INTO THE NATURE OF


MANKIND H IS DIVINE IMAGE, WHICH DRAWS US TOWARD

24. 1 6 T H S U N D A Y A F T E R P E N T E C O S T A F T E R

EXCERPTS FROM TAKING STOCK OF OUR STRUGGLE BY DEACON M


STEENBERG PUBLISHED IN THE ORTHODOX WORD NO 263 BY ST
HERMAN OF ALASKA BROTHERHOOD
HTTP://ORTHODOXWAYOFLIFE.BLOGSPOT.COM/2009/10/SPIRITUALDECEPTION-TAKING-STOCK-OF-OUR.HTML

MANKIND - BISHOP ALEXANDER (MILEANT)

PART 1 - THE NATURE

WHEREBY WE

New Life that is the Work of His Hands, the Fruit of


His Will, the Created Glory of His Eternally, Unending
and Glorious Life.
HIEROMONK SERAPHIM OF PLATINA: Orthodox Christians,
surrounded by and already swimming in a sea of
humanist-worldly philosophy and practice, must do
everything possible to create their own Islands, in
that Sea, of Other-Worldly, God-Oriented Thought
and Practice (Praxis).

NA

TURAL

LAW

"not having a written Law, naturally observe the


prescriptions of the Law. By this they show that the
process of the Law is written in their hearts which is
witnessed by their Conscience and thoughts, which either
punish or justify one another" (ROMANS:14-15)
According to St Paul, ON JUDGMENT DAY, GOD WILL JUDGE
US - NOT ONLY ACCORDING TO OUR FAITH, BUT ALSO
ACCORDING TO OUR CONSCIENCE. THUS EVEN THE
PAGANS MAY BE SAVED IF THEIR CONSCIENCE WILL
WITNESS TO GOD THEIR RIGHTEOUS LIFE.
In general, Conscience is a very sensitive moral evaluator especially in children and young people, who are still
pure and innocent.
IF WE WERE NOT STAINED BY SIN, WE WOULD NOT NEED ANY
EXTERNAL GUIDANCE, AND CONSCIENCE ALONE COULD
PRECISELY DIRECT OUR BEHAVIOUR.
The necessity for Written Law arose from Ancestral sin
when - dimmed by passion - we failed to hear clearly
our Inner Voice.
IN THE PRESENT CONDITION, BOTH THE WRITTEN LAW AND THE
INNER NATURAL LAW OF CONSCIENCE ARE NEEDED; AND
THEY BOTH SPEAK OF THE SAME: "Do unto others as you
would like them to do unto you!" (MATTHEW 7:12).
IN DAILY RELATIONSHIPS, WE SUBCONSCIOUSLY TRUST THE
CONSCIENCE MORE THAN WRITTEN LAWS AND REGULATIONS.
Indeed, it is impossible to have laws for every imaginable
situation and to foresee how to preclude any attempts
at breaking them. After all, shrewd people manage to
twist and manipulate even the clearest of laws.
So WE HOPE THAT CONSCIENCE, WHICH WORKS INSIDE EVERY
PERSON, WILL COMPEL THOSE WITH WHOM WE ARE
DEALING TO DO WHAT IS MORALLY GOOD AND JUST.

EXALTATION

[... TO BE CONTINUED...]

OF THE

HOLY CROSS- 20 SEPTEMBER 2015

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, Mary, 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 2015
Conception of St John the Baptist & Forerunner
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 Konitsis St Andrew, St John, St Peter
& St Antoninos of Syracuse & Africa -

FESTAL APOLYTIKION OF THE CONCEPTION OF ST JOHN THE BAPTIST -

I proin ou tiktousa, stira efranthiti.

TONE 4

Rejoice,

Idou gar sinelaves


Iliou lihnon safos, fotizin ton mellonta, pasan tin
ikoumenin, avlepsia nosousan.
Horeve Zaharia,
ekvoon parrisia: Profitis tou Ipsistou, estin O Mellon
tiktesthe!

O Barren One, who had not given birth; for


behold Thou hast conceived clearly the one who is the
Dawn of the Sun Who was about to Illuminate the
whole Universe, blighted with blindness. Shout with
Joy, O Zacharias, crying in favour: Verily, the one to be
born is a Prophet of the High!

SEASONAL KONTAKION - THEOTOKOS

Prostasia

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, ton
Timonton Se.

Protector of the Christians unashamed, Mediator to


the Creator Immovable, despise not, the pleading
voices of those in sin, but hasten O Good One, to the
aid of all who in Faith cry out to Thee: hasten Thine
Intercession, and present Thy Supplication, O
Theotokos who always protects those who honour
Thee!

FESTAL PROKEIMENON PSALM 63

Eufranthisete Dikeos en to Kyrio.


Isakouson, O Theos, tis fonis mou.

The Righteous shall be glad in the Lord.


Hear, O God, my voice!

THE EPISTLE
LIKE ISAAC, JOH

WAS A CH

ILD

- TONE(7) VARYS/GRAVE

OF

ST PAUL

TO THE

GALATIANS 4:22-27

OF PROMISE, BORN TO BARREN PA

RENTS

IN THEIR OLD AGE

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.
The desolate are those in the Church, especially the
By saying that Abrahams two sons and related Events are
Gentiles - the Christians many of whom had formerly
symbolic St Paul was not implying that they are not
stumbled about in Spiritual Darkness until their
historical facts. He asserted or confirmed that OLD
conversion to the Divine Truth and Enlightenment of
C OVENANT HISTORY IS ANNOUNCING SOMETHING FAR
Christs Holy Gospel.
GREATER THAN ITSELF .
She who has a husband refers to (old) Israel - the
Hagar and Mount Sinai symbolise earthly Jerusalem
Hebrew nation.
and the Hebrew who was under the Law of God THE
Sarah was a type of Mary, the Ever Blessed Theotokos,
O LD C OVENANT BETWEEN G OD AND MANKIND , THE D IVINE
because Sarahs son Isaac was born through a
P URPOSE OF WHICH WAS TO PREPARE H IS C HOSEN P EOPLE
Promise - Gods Promise - the announcement of
I SRAEL FOR THE C OMING OF THE M ESSIAH the
which was delivered to her by an Angel of God most
Incarnation of the Son of God, Who is our Lord and
probably ARCHANGEL G ABRIEL WHO ALWAYS ANNOUNCES
Saviour, Jesus Christ.
G OD S GOOD N EWS TO US THROUGHOUT THE AGES .
Being enslaved to others and bearing an illegitimate
St John Chrysostom wrote that Isaac ...was the issue of
child, Hagar also represented those who were outside
the Holy Covenant with God the Gentiles and/or
bodies that were dead, and of a womb that was
dead. His conception was not by the flesh, nor his
pagans who were enslaved by sin either wilfully or
birth by the seed, for the womb was dead both
involuntarily.
Sarah, a free woman who was (legally) married
through age and barrenness. But THE W ORD OF G OD
FASHIONED HIM ... H E WHO WAS NOT ACCORDING TO THE
according to the Old Covenant and in the Sight of
FLESH WAS MORE HONOURABLE THAN HE THAT WAS BORN
God, symbolised the Heavenly Jerusalem - the Holy
Church of Christ and the New Covenant with God
AFTER THE FLESH . Therefore let it not disturb you that
you were not born after the flesh. For from the very
which is a natural continuation of our human
Spiritual Progress towards Eternity.
reason that you are not so born, you are most of all
Abrahams Kindred.
B Y CONTINUOUSLY REPENTING OUR SINS AND LEARNING TO
T HROUGH OUR H OLY B APTISM AND C HRISMATION , WE HAVE
AVOID TEMPTATIONS , WE FAITHFULLY FOLLOW AND IMITATE
BECOME THE ADOPTED H EIRS TO G OD S H EAVENLY
OUR L ORD J ESUS C HRIST W HO HAS TAUGHT US D IVINE
K INGDOM WE ARE THE N EW ISRAEL THE N EW P EOPLE OF
T RUTH , WHICH ENABLES US TO SLOWLY REGAIN OUR
G OD .
L IKENESS TO GOD AND THUS BECOME WORTHY C ITIZENS IN
A bondwoman was a slave who may have been
H IS ETERNAL K INGDOM OF L OVE .
captured as a spoil of battle when the victorious
THE CONCEPTION

OF

ST JOHN

THE

BAPTIST & FORERUNNER

TO

CHRIST

OUR

SAVIOUR

23 SEPTEMBER 2015

25

armies took possession of whatever they wanted from


those they had killed or defeated.
S OMETIMES PEOPLE WERE ENSLAVED AS A CONSEQUENCE OF AN
UNPAYABLE DEBT OWED TO SOMEONE ELSE .
N OT ONLY THE DEBTOR BUT THEIR ENTIRE FAMILY WOULD BE
ENSLAVED BY THOSE TO WHOM THE DEBT WAS OWED AND
THEY COULD BE SOLD TO OTHERS OR WORK FOR THE
CREDITOR UNTIL THE DEBT HAD BEEN PAID .
S LAVES HAD NO RIGHTS and could be bought or sold, taken

or left behind. They were regarded as being less


important than the livestock and were barely more
significant than mere household utensils.
Women, generally, existed according to the will and
desires of men, who seldom treated them with equal
respect, mercy or kindness.
Even the role of the so-called freewomen was to serve
the male population, to bear and nurture children for
the next generation, while taking care of all the
household duties and the much valued livestock.
Women were expected to anticipate and to fulfil all
requirements of the male population, without
disturbing or interfering with their enjoyment of life.

Women would never dare to speak directly to any man


unless they were addressed first. Then, with the
permission of a male relative, perhaps they would be
allowed to respond, but usually everything would be
addressed through a male relative.
It was most dangerous in so many aspects for any
woman to be seen conversing with a man in public,
unless she was in the strict custody of a male relative.
J ESUS C HRIST LIBERATED WOMEN , INSTRUCTING MEN TO
LOVE THEIR WIVES AND SONS TO RESPECT THEIR MOTHERS .
He spoke to women publicly and openly, allowing them
to sit and listen to what He had to say.
When He taught us to L OVE THY NEIGHBOUR AS THYSELF He
meant that each of us was to TREAT EVERYONE ELSE
WITH THE EXACT SAME U NCONDITIONAL L OVE AND RESPECT
THAT H E GRANTED TO ALL OF US - REGARDLESS OF
NATIONALITY , GENDER OR FAITH !
J ESUS C HRIST MADE EVERY WOMAN A TRULY FREEWOMAN
THROUGH H IS D IVINE T EACHINGS , L OVE , G RACE , G IFTS ,
U LTIMATE SACRIFICE AND H EAVENLY PROMISE .
S T P AUL CONTINUOUSLY REMINDED ALL F AITHFUL C HRISTIANS
OF
OUR
T RUE
F REEDOM
IN
C HRIST

THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING


ST JOH

S APP

ROACHING

TO

BIRTH IS ANNOUNC

ST LUKE 1:5 - 25

ED

TO HIS FA

THER

, ZACHA

RIAS

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 your 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 Mothers 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 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 information
WOULD HAVE A SON WHO MUST BE NAMED JOHN, WHICH MEANS
THE GRACE OF GOD.
about the birth and infancy of St John the Baptist,
Archangel Gabriel described THE CHARACTER AND ROLE OF ST
Forerunner to Jesus Christ.
JOHN THE BAPTIST
ST ZACHARIAS AND ST ELIZABETH WERE A RIGHTEOUS COUPLE OF A
PRIESTLY LINEAGE, LIVING ALWAYS TO FULFIL GODS WILL.
 HE WOULD LIVE AN ASCETIC LIFE AS A PROPHET
ST ELIZABETH, like other significant women of the Old
 HE WOULD PREPARE THE JEWISH NATION FOR THE COMING
Covenant, such as Sarah, Rebecca, Hannah and
OF THE MESSIAH.
others, was barren and beyond the age or possibility
St Elijah was one of the greatest Prophets of Israel and he
of child-bearing.
was expected to reappear from Heaven in order to
DUE TO THE FACT THAT SHE HAD REMAINED CHILDLESS THROUGHOUT
Anoint the Messiah.
HER MARRIAGE, SHE WAS SOCIALLY DISGRACED because in
ST ZACHARIAS INDICATED A LACK OF FAITH IN GOD BY QUESTIONING
those times INFERTILITY WAS UNACCEPTABLE - it was A
WHAT ARCHANGEL GABRIEL ANNOUNCED.
REPROACH AMONG PEOPLE.
When Abram had heard Gods Promise of a son
Each Priest who served at the Holy Temple was assigned to
announced by the Angel, he believed in the Lord a specific Division of the Temple.
without any hesitation or doubt, with total trust and
There were 24 Divisions in all and each Priest served a
Faith in the Lord.
week at a time by rotation.
However, ST ZACHARIAS WAS DISCIPLINED FOR HIS UNBELIEF BY
The responsibilities of the Priests in each Division were
LOSING HIS ABILITY TO SPEAK UNTIL EIGHT DAYS AFTER THE BIRTH
decided by lot.
OF HIS SON, JOHN.
ST ZACHARIAS HAD OFTEN PRAYED FOR A SON AND NOW, FINALLY, IN
This punishment of St Zacharias also A SIGN AND
HIS LATE YEARS OF LIFE, HIS PRAYERS WERE ANSWERED AS
CONFIRMATION OF THE TRUTH OF ARCHANGEL GABRIELS
ALWAYS, ACCORDING TO THE WILL OF GOD ALONE AND FOR HIS
ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE FORERUNNER TO CHRIST our Saviour
DIVINE PURPOSE, which we seldom understand until
and THE LAST BUT GREATEST OF ALL THE OLD COVENANT
much later or quite often, never understand!
PROPHETS OF GOD.
THE ARCHANGEL GABRIEL, THE BEARER OF GOOD NEWS, PROMISED,
ON BEHALF OF GOD, THAT ST ZACHARIAS AND ST ELIZABETH
ST NEKTARIOS HOLY WONDER-WORKER

OF

We must lay all our cares at the Feet of Almighty God, for
He alone Loves us.
We must not become faint-hearted and nor must we
distress ourselves, for He Who searches out the hidden
depths of our soul, knows our desires and has the
Power to fulfil them as He know best and always
according to His Great Wisdom, Will and Mercy!
On our part, we must ask of God and never lose our
courage.

26. T H E C O N C E P T I O N

OF

ST JOHN

THE

PENTAPOLIS & AEGINA ALWAYS CALL

ON

GOD

We must never think that since the longing we have is Holy,


that we have a right to complain when our Prayers are
unheard, for God fulfils our longings in ways that we do
not know!
So be at Peace and always call upon the Lord our God.

BAPTIST & FORERUNNER

TO

CHRIST

OUR

SAVIOUR

23 SEPTEMBER 2015

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, Mary, 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 2015

St John the Divine Theologian,


Evangelist & Beloved Apostle of Christ

Also the Feast St Gideon the Righteous St Andrew the First Called Apostle & the
Consecration of the Church in Patras, built in his honour St Ephraim,
Wonderworker of Perekop Monastery, Novgorod The Iveron Icon of our All Pure,
Ever Blessed Lady Theotokos in Georgia
APOLY

TIKION OF

THE

RESURRECTION TONE (6) PLA

GAL

Apostole

Hristo to Theo igapimene, epitahinon, Rise


laon anapologiton.
Dehete Se prospiptonta, O
epipesonta to stithi katadexamenos.
On iketeve,
Theologe, ke epimonon nefos Ethnon diaskedase,
etoumenos imin Irinin, ke to Mega Eleos.

KONTAKION OF THE EV

ER

Apostle, speaker of Divinity, the Beloved of Christ


God, hasten and deliver thy people powerless in
argument; for He on Whose Bosom thou leant
accepts thee as an Intercessor. Beseech Him, asking
for our Safety and His Great Mercy.

BLESSED THEOTOKOS

Prostasia

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, ton
timonton se.
MATINS HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING
OUR RESURREC

TED

LORD JESUS CH

RIST

TO

Protection of the Christians unashamable, Mediation


to the Creator Immovable, despise not, the pleading
voices of those in sin, but hasten O Good One, to the
Help of all of us, who in Faith cry out to Thee: speed
up Thine Intercession, and press on Thy
Supplication, O Theotokos who always protects all
those who honour Thee!
ST JOHN 21 : 1 & 15 25

RESTORES ST PETER & C

OMMISSIONS

HIS AP

OSTLES

After these things Jesus showed Himself again to the Disciples at the Sea of Tiberias...
The third time our Lord Jesus showed Himself to His Disciples after He was Risen from the dead, when they had eaten
breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter: Simon, son of Jonah, do you Love Me more than these? He said to Him: Yes,
Lord, Thou know that I love Thee. He said to him: Feed My Lambs.
He said to him again a second time: Simon, son of Jonah, do you 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, son of Jonah, do you love Me? Peter was grieved because He asked him a third
time: Do you 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 you: when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you
wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you
do not wish to go.
This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him: Follow Me!
Then Peter, turning around, saw the Disciple whom Jesus Loved following, (who also had leaned against 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 this
man? Jesus said to him: If I Will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You 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 you?
This is the Disciple who testifies to these things, and wrote these things; and we know that his Testimony is True. And
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
PROKEIMENON- PSALM 18 TONE (8) PLAGAL 4

Is pasan tin Gin exilthen O fthongos Aftou.


I Ourani diigounte Doxan Theou
THE FIRST EPISTLE

His Voice has gone out into all the Earth.


The Heavens declare the Glory of God
OF

ST JOHN 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.
When He was asked about God the Father, He told His
St John emphasises the fact that No one has seen God...
Apostles that ANYONE WHO SEES HIM, SEES THE FATHER AS
for WE CANNOT SEE ALMIGHTY GOD IN ALL HIS MAJESTY AND
GLORY - even if we were of the Spiritual World WELL.
although THOSE WHO HAVE RISEN TO GREAT SPIRITUAL
Thus, the HOLY ICON OF THE HOLY TRINITY the Hospitality of
HEIGHTS HAVE EXPERIENCED THE GREAT JOY AND WONDER OF
Abraham DEPICTS THE HOLY TRINITY AS THREE IDENTICAL
HIS DIVINE UNCREATED LIGHT.
ANGELS Who visited the ancient Patriarch at the Oaks
THE ONLY WAY WE CAN SEE GOD, IS IN THE HUMAN NATURE OF OUR
of Mamre. (GENESIS 18)
LORD JESUS CHRIST Who is the Incarnate Son and Word
The expression God is Love is not a definition of Who
of God one of the three Persons of the Eternal, CoGod is, but rather A DESCRIPTION OF HIS RELATIONSHIP TO
Equal Holy Trinity.
ST JOHN

THE

BELOVED APOSTLE, DIVINE THEOLOGIAN & EVANGELIST

- 26 SEPTEMBER 2015

27.

Having exiled excommunicated ourselves from God


through sin, His Love for us was so great that HE SENT
HIS BELOVED ONLY BEGOTTEN SON AS THE PROPITIATION FOR
OUR SINS AS OUR DIVINE RECONCILIATION AND REDEEMER.
THROUGH THE ULTIMATE AND FINAL BLOOD SACRIFICE OF CHRIST,
Who was both the Offerer and the Offering, ALL
MANKIND WAS SAVED from the enslavement of sin and
Death caused by the evil one.
HOWEVER, DUE TO OUR FREE WILL, WE STILL HAVE THE ABILITY TO
SIN BUT WE ALSO HAVE EVERY OPPORTUNITY TO REPENT AND
RETURN TO DIVINE GRACE until we draw our very last
breath in this life.
THE LORD OUR GOD IS TRULY MERCIFUL AND GRACIOUS because
HE GRANTS US MANY OPPORTUNITIES AND THE MEANS FOR OUR
SPIRITUAL RENEWAL THROUGH REPENTANCE-CONFESSION AND
THE HOLY MYSTERIES OF HIS HOLY CHURCH.
Almighty God is A LOVING GOD WHO WATCHES OVER US, GUIDES
AND PROTECTS US from evil and harm.
In return, HIS FAITHFUL FLOCK HUMBLY AND OBEDIENTLY SERVE
HIM AND WORSHIP HIM because we are grateful for His
Abundant Blessings.
Due our devotion to God, we worship and adore Him with
deepest and most sincere respect, honour and glory,
FEARING ONLY OUR PERSONAL FAILURE TO FULFIL OUR SACRED
DUTIES TO GOD AND OUR FELLOW MANKIND.
GOD DOES NOT DOMINATE US BY FEAR OR TERROR like those who
are evil and who seek our enslavement and
destruction.

US AS OUR HEAVENLY FATHER WHO LOVES US FAR BEYOND OUR


UNDERSTANDING.
AS OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST IS THE ONLY BEGOTTEN SON WHO
SACRIFICIALLY GAVE HIMSELF (AS THE SUPREME AND MOST PERFECT
OFFERER AND OFFERING) so that we might Live (Eternally)
through Him, WE MUST JOYFULLY AND WILLINGLY GIVE
OURSELVES TO GOD AND TO ONE ANOTHER IN THAT SAME
PERFECT, DIVINE LOVE AGAPE.
St John reveals to us how we can know if GOD LIVES IN US:
 If we LOVE ONE ANOTHER UNCONDITIONALLY
 If we RECEIVE HIS HOLY SPIRIT
 If we CONFESS OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST IS
THE SON OF GOD
 If we ABIDE IN THE LOVE OF GOD LIVE IN CHRIST by
striving every moment to imitate Him with our
words, thoughts and deeds.
Gods Great Mercy and Grace His infinite, unconditional
Divine Love for us - is proved by the fact that HE
CREATED US DUE TO AND WITH HIS DIVINE LOVE.
And HE CREATED US WITH FREE WILL AND AS INTELLECTUAL BEINGS
because He does force us to be with Him if we do not
will it ourselves!
LOVE CAN NEVER BE FORCED since it is the greatest of free Gifts
that God has bestowed on us, which we can grant to
others!
EVEN BEFORE THE CREATION, GOD HAD A PLAN OF GREAT MERCY
AND DIVINE GRACE FOR US.

HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING


OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST

ENTRUSTS THE

TO

ST JOHN 19:25 27 & 21: 24-25

PROTECTION & CARE

OF

HIS ALL HOLY MOTHER

TO

ST JOHN

At that time, there stood by the Cross of Jesus His Mother, and His Mothers 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.
Christ had great compassion for orphans and widows and clearly
ST JOHN NOTED SEVERAL VERY IMPORTANT TRUTHS CONCERNING THE
instructed His Disciples to always take care of them especially
ALL PURE AND HOLY MOTHER OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. By
those who have no one to help or comfort them.
addressing Her as Woman our Lord used a term that
Family members such as cousins, aunts and uncles and even stepwas regarded as one of dignity, respect and affection.
children - were referred to as brothers and sisters - or sons
Contrary to certain modern usages, this is A SACRED
and daughters.
TITLE IN HOLY SCRIPTURE: it is a manner of addressing
Someone
who
is
profoundly
respected
and
Being legally Betrothed to her aged, Righteous uncle, our Lady
Theotokos cousins became Her children. However, they were
distinguished from others.
When our Lord Jesus Christ said to St John, His Beloved
not expected to take care of Her after the death of Her Firstborn
Disciple: Behold Thy Mother! HE SYMBOLICALLY
only Son.
ESTABLISHED THE EVER BLESSED THEOTOKOS SACRED ROLE AS
Firstborn Son did not infer that there were other children born to the
ALL PURE, ALL HOLY MOTHER OF ALL DISCIPLES OF CHRIST
Ever Virgin, All Pure Mary, who had taken a life-long Sacred Vow
THROUGHOUT ALL AGES.
of Celibacy, which was never broken! mp
Furthermore, if there had been other siblings, Christ would
never have insulted them but entrusting Her Protection
ST JOHN THE DIVINE - the Beloved Theologian, Evangelist
and Care to His cousin, St John. Thus THE APOSTOLIC
and Apostle of Christ, was the only Holy Apostle to live
TEACHING THAT OUR LADY THEOTOKOS IS EVER VIRGIN IS
a long and full life. Although he did suffer a degree of
DEFINITELY CONFIRMED BY CHRISTS WORDS.
Martyrdom, he FINALLY REPOSED IN PEACE AT THE AGE OF
In addition, according to St John Chrysostom, our Lord
BETWEEN 101 103.
Jesus Christ demonstrated throughout His earthly Life
FROM HIS EARLY YOUTH ST JOHN HAD MADE A SOLEMN VOW OF
that ONE OF OUR MOST IMPORTANT SACRED DUTIES WAS ...
CHASTITY IN ORDER TO FULLY SERVE THE LORD - which he
EVEN TO OUR LAST BREATH TO SHOW EVERY CARE FOR OUR
achieved by the Grace and Love of God.
PARENTS.
ALTHOUGH THEOTOKOS WAS UNDER HIS PERSONAL PROTECTION, HIS
FAMILY HAPPILY TOOK GREAT CARE OF HER.
There are several significant aspects we must remember concerning life
St John clearly explained that His Holy Gospel (as well as
in those ancient times:
the others) only recorded a few significant Words and
Every female had to be under the protection of a close male relative
Deeds of our Lord Jesus Christ Who did far more
who ensured her care and safety. Otherwise all her property and
wondrous Things that were witnessed by him and the
possessions were taken from her and she would be cast out into
other Holy Apostles, as well as thousands of people
the street, where she would have to do whatever she could to
during His Lifetime and especially during His short,
survive.
three year Public Ministry.
THE REPOSE & TRANSLATION

OF

ST JOHN

St John reposed when he was more than 100 years old,


having outlived the other eyewitnesses of our Lords
earthly Life and Teachings.
When it was time for his departure, St John went beyond
the city limits of Ephesos with the families of his
Disciples and bade them to prepare a cross-shaped
grave, into which he then lay and told his Disciples to
cover him with the soil. They tearfully kissed their
Beloved Teacher, and, not wanting to be disobedient,
they fulfilled his bidding. Having covered his face with a
cloth they filled in the grave. Learning of this, other
Disciples of St John ran to the place of his burial but
when they opened the grave, they found it empty!

28.

ST JOHN

THE

THE

BELOVED APOSTLE & THEOLOGIAN

Each year on 8 May a fine dust issues from the grave of St


John, which Believers gather up and are healed of their
ailments.
Our Lord bestowed on His beloved Apostle, and his brother,
St James, the name Sons of Thunder as being
awesome Messengers of the Cleansing Power of the
Heavenly Fire whereby our Saviour emphasised the
Flaming, Fiery, Sacrificial character of Christian Love,
the preacher of which was St John the Theologian.
The eagle symbolises the lofty heights of his
Theology and the title Theologian is bestowed on
him for being the Seer of the Mysterious Judgments
of God.

BELOVED APOSTLE, DIVINE THEOLOGIAN & EVANGELIST

- 26 SEPTEMBER 2015

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, Mary,
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.

27 September 2015

Tone (8) Plagal 4


17th Sunday After Pentecost - 1st Sunday of St Luke
Sunday of the Calling of the Holy Apostles of Christ

Also the Feast of St Kallistratos & 49 Holy Martyrs of Carthage St Savvatios,


Wonderworker of Solovki St John Mark, St Aristarchos & St Zenas of the Seventy
Holy Apostles of Christ St Epicharis of Rome St Ignatios the Abbot of Cappadocia & Constantinople St Flavian,
Archbishop of Antioch St Aquilina, Virgin Martyr of Zagliberi, Thessalonika St Anthimos the Georgian -

RESURRECTION APOLYTIKION TONE (8) PLAGAL 4

Ex

Thou

ipsous katilthes O Efsplaghnos, tafin katedexo


triimeron, ina imas elevtherosis ton Pathon. I Zoi ke i
Anastasis imon, Kyrie, Doxa Si!

descended from on High, O Tender-hearted One;


Thou endured the three-days burial, so that Thou
might free us from our passions, O our Life and
Resurrection: Glory to Thee!

FESTAL APOLYTIKION HOLY MARTYRS

Thy

Martyres Sou, Kyrie, en ti Athlisi Afton, Stefanous


ekomisanto tis aftharsias, ek Sou tou Theou imon.
Shontes gar tin ishin Sou, tous tyrannous kathilon,
ethrafsan ke demonon, ta anishira Thrasi. Afton tes
Ikesies, Hriste O Theos, Soson tas psihas imon.

Martyrs, O Lord, were worthily awarded by Thee,


Crowns of Incorruption, in that they Contested for
Thee, our Immortal God. Since they possessed Thy
Power, they defeated the tyrants, dashing the demons
powerless displays of defiance. O Christ God, at their
Fervent Entreaties, Save our souls.

SEASONAL KONTAKION - THEOTOKOS

Prostasia

O Protector of the Christians unashamed, Mediator to the

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, ton
timonton Se.

Creator Immovable, despise not, the pleading voices of


those in sin, but hasten O Good One, to the aid of all
who in Faith cry
out to Thee: hasten Thine
Intercession, and present Thy Supplication, O
Theotokos who always protects those who honour
Thee!

RESURRECTION GOSPEL 6 : LUKE 24 : 35 53


OUR RESURRECTED LORD JESUS CHRIST APPEARS

TO

HIS APOSTLES

BEFORE

ASCENDING

TO

HEAVEN

PROKEIMENON- PSALM 75 TONE (8) PLAGAL 4

Vow, and pray unto the Lord Thy God!


In Judah is God known:
THE SECOND EPISTLE
ST PA

UL

TO THE

EXH

His Name is Great in Israel.


CORINTHIANS 6: 16 : - 7 : 1

ORTS

US

TO

HOLINESS

Brethren: you are the Living Temple of the Living God, as God said: ... for I will dwell in them and walk among them, and I
will be their God and they shall be My People. Therefore ...come out from among them and be separate, says the
Lord, and do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you. And I will be a Father to you and you shall be My
sons and daughters... says the Lord Almighty.
Having these Promises, Beloved, let us Cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting Holiness in
the Fear of God.
St Paul reminds us that we are the living Temples of the
It is also strictly forbidden for an Orthodox Christian to
cremate the body, which consists of violent
Living God... meaning that being Sanctified by our
Holy Baptism and Holy Chrismation initially and our
destruction by fire and grinding into dust!!
further Sanctification throughout our lifespan by
The body needs to be returned to the Earth to decompose
means of the Holy Mysteries of Holy Unction, Holy
or remain incorruptible by the Will of God, to whom it
Repentance-Confession and Holy Eucharist, we are
belongs!!
indeed the Sanctified Holy Temples of God.
The fallen world justifies cremation with all kinds of
Our Sanctified Body becomes a worthy, Blessed and Holy
excuses, which in Truth means ...getting rid of
another inconvenience!! (The same self-justification
Dwelling Place for the Holy Trinity, which we must
always treat with the greatest respect.
as that used for abortion the agonising murder and
Due to the Sanctification of our physical body, our
dismemberment of the innocent!)
immortal soul dwells temporarily in it, until their
We will certainly be held accountable at our Final
separation at death when the Sanctified Body must be
Judgement, especially when we have forced our
returned to the Earth from whence it originated, while
Faithful Brethren to fulfil our erroneous, misguided,
our Immortal Soul returns to God from when she
ignorant and wilful desire for cremation.
The Lord our God personally invites us to come out of the
originated.
Being a Sanctified, Holy Temple of God, we are forbidden
fallen world and to keep ourselves separate from
to desecrate it in any manner.
those who live in the Spiritual Darkness and Death of
(Tattoos are like vandalising a Holy Temple with graffiti!!
disobedience, rebellion, self-indulgence and all the
This applies to other body altering piercings, etc. that
other voluntary sins.
change the beauty of the God-creation. These are
An escape from filthiness requires more than only
insults to Divine Beauty and Creation!)
thinking Repentant thoughts, for we are enmeshed in
Spiritual Warfare, entrenched in our habitual sins.
17TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST 1ST

OF

ST LUKE THE MIRACULOUS CATCH 27 SEPTEMBER 2015

29

All too often, Spiritual Darkness, Blindness and Death


become imprinted on our body and soul, resulting in
our free will being dominated and controlled by sin.
Until we draw our final breath, as Almighty God Himself
has Promised us, we are able to Cleanse and Renew
ourselves by embarking on a sustained Spiritual
Struggle for Holiness against all temptations and sin.
Our Spiritual Cleansing and Renewal includes a
profound, genuine, sincere sorrow and contrition for
our personal sinful words, thoughts and deeds, which
continuously compel us to Repentance-Confession.
Our desire for Spiritual Renewal and Healing means a
wilful, determined avoidance of sin-rousing situations
and circumstances and sincere Reconciliation with
God and our fellow mankind.
It means a resolute practice of Christian Virtues and
Cleaving to God through Faith and Prayer.
It Calls us to participate regularly in the Holy Mysteries of
Christs Holy Church.

Although all these Spiritual Struggles and Endeavours


may seem too difficult for us to fulfil, we can rest
assured in the Divine Truth that by the Power and
Energy of God the Holy Spirit, we shall achieve
everything necessary and even more!
God the Holy Spirit Cleanses us from the stains of sin,
Heals us from the wounds caused by wickedness
both ours and others Empowers and Strengthens us
for Life in Christ a Holy Life of continuous correction
and Repentance, which grants us Peace, Love and
Reconciliation.
As our Love for God and our fellow mankind grows and
increases, so does our Fear of God, which is
compelled by our deepest Respect and Love for God
and mankind it is our own fear of failure to Serve
God and to fulfil His Divine Teachings and
Commandments.
When we Love and Respect anyone, we always fear
disappointing or failing them. Even more, when it
comes to our Beloved, Almighty God!!

THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING


TH

MIRAC

ULOUS

TO

ST LUKE 5: 1 11

RAUGHT

At that time, as 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 Simons, 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 at 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! From now on you will catch
men.
And when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him.
The Lake of Gennesaret is also known as the Sea of
ourselves - to the deep Mystery of the Knowledge of
Galilee. It is about 13 miles long and 7 miles wide.
the Son of God.
Sitting was the traditional position for a Teacher (Rabbi)
Our Lord, in His All Knowing Wisdom, draws humanity to
who held a position of honour and respect amongst
Himself by means of the things that are familiar to us:
His Disciples.
the Magi were drawn to Him by means of the
The Name of our Lord Jesus (Joshua) means O Lord,
Mysterious Star; Tax Collectors were drawn to Him by
Save! This refers to His Role as our Divine Saviour.
a Tax Collector, and various types of sinners were
The Holy Title Christ means Anointed One and we
drawn to Him, all repenting their sins after having
understand the Christ as referring to the longwitnessed others in similar circumstances, reacting to
awaited Messiah Who is filled with the Holy Spirit.
the Compassionate Love and Great Mercy of our
Saviour.
Although God the Son was the only One of the Three
Persons of the Holy Trinity to become Incarnate to
Christ drew these humble Fishermen to Him by means of
become Man He fulfils the Divine Will of God the
this Miraculous Catch.
Father by the Power and Energy of God the Holy Spirit.
 1 C O R I N T H I A N S 9 : ... God is Faithful by
(The Will of the Father, through His Son, by the Power of the Holy
Whom you were Called into the Fellowship of
Spirit Saves, Renews, Regenerates and Restores humanity
His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
perpetually working towards the Restoration and Perfection of
St (Simon) Peters exclamation: Depart from me for I am
our created state in the Image and Likeness of God. mp)
a sinful man, O Lord! is a cry that was compelled by
The Holy Trinity always works in Perfect Unison and is
being confronted by such Divine Power. It was not a
never separate from each Personality and Their
rejection of our Lord Jesus.
Divine Attributes.
Rather, being suddenly cast into the Divine Light of Christ,
The Holy Trinity is One Godhead Who is inseparable,
pious people like St Peter become keenly aware of
indivisible and Eternal.
their own unworthiness.
Our Lord Jesus became Man being born into the Hebrew
It is almost a cry of Spiritual Pain from the humble,
Nation, from the Lineage of the ancient Patriarch
impulsive Fisherman who would soon become one of
Abraham, who is the Ancestral Father of all Jews, and
the greatest Holy Apostles of Christ.
of King David who was Israels Greatest Prototype of
The Miraculous Catch is an Image of the future Apostles
our Royal Messiah.
who would bring millions of immortal souls to the
Christs Ancestry according to His Flesh His human
Knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Nature from Theotokos - includes both the Righteous
This Miraculous Catch fulfils the ancient Prophecy of St
and the wicked.
Jeremiah: Behold: I will send many Fishermen, and
Thus He identifies completely with our human condition,
they will fish them. After this, I will send many
which He voluntarily took on Himself with the
hunters, and they will hunt them upon every
exception of our natural ability and inclination to sin.
mountain, upon every hill, and out of the holes of
St Ambrose regarded the Spiritual Meaning of our Lords
the rocks. ( J E R E M I A H 1 6 : 1 6 )
instruction: Launch into the deep... as a Divine
In the Festal Hymn of Pentecost we sing to Christ:
Invitation to give our life over to surrender or entrust
Through the Fishermen, Thou drew the world to
Thee.
THE

17TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST 1ST


IMPLICATIONS OF THE MIRACLE OF THE FISH

The type of net referred to in the Holy Gospel According to


St Luke 5 is the trammel net, which consisted of three
woven layers - used only at night.
St Peter, St Andrew, St James and St John had been fishing
all night and had caught nothing.
Our Lord Jesus arrived early in the morning while they were
finishing up, and He taught from St Peters boat for a
while.

30. 1 7 T H S U N D A Y A F T E R P E N T E C O S T 1 S T

OF

OF

ST LUKE THE MIRACULOUS CATCH

When He had finished teaching, He said to Peter, Launch


out to deep water and let down the nets which had
already been washed and hung up to dry.
St Peter understandably protested that it was pointless - the
nets were neither useful in deep water, nor in the
daytime and this would require re-washing the nets.
However, St Peter obeyed our Lord and encountered such a
Miraculous Catch that the net started to break, the boat
almost sank under the weight of the catch, and St Peter
had to call St James and St John over to help, and they
filled both boats.

ST LUKE THE MIRACULOUS CATCH 27 SEPTEMBER 2015

This Sacred Lesson is especially remarkable because the


fish could see the nets in the daylight and could have
easily escaped entanglement.
Comparing a similar Miraculous Catch they encountered
under similar circumstances following our Lords
Resurrection, they caught 153 large fish. (JOHN 21:1-12).
The fish mentioned by St John were probably the Musht,
since they were caught near shore (100 yards out) - and
the haul was then around 600 pounds of fish - figuring
an average of four pounds each. (JOHN 21:11)
Since this Miraculous Catch was taken in deep water, it was
probably a school of large Barbel. (LUKE 5:4)
St John referred to the 153 fish as ...a multitude of fish...
while St Luke referred to the Miraculous Catch as ...a
great number of fish. (LUKE 5:6).
The net started to break under the load of approximately a
ton of fish - and to get a better idea of the quantity of
fish, these boats were the same that the Twelve had
rowed across the Sea of Galilee during a violent storm.
(Mark 4:36-38)
In order to work at night laying nets that are hundreds of
feet long, the boat was a larger-than-average rowboat.
There was probably room for at least six adults (plus
enough space for our Lord Jesus to sleep.)
This means that the boat could probably carry over 1,000
pounds of fish plus two crewmembers.
Since both boats were filled to the point of almost sinking,
this represented quite a haul! (LUKE 5:7)
A good nights catch (working all night, letting down the
nets 12-15 times) was only about 200 pounds.
St Peter, St Andrew, St James, St John and the rest of the
crew were understandably astonished at the size of the
catch, especially being in daylight.
St Peters exclamation to Christ: Depart from me, for I am
a sinful man! is reminiscent of that of St Isaiah after
having beheld the Lord in His Temple. (Isaiah 6:1-7).
Many times, the closer we get to our Lord, the more we
realize our own sinfulness.
It is evident from our Lords reply: Do not fear! that
there was more than just simple surprise - there was
some fear and trembling due to the magnitude of our
Lords Divine Miracle.
St Peters Spiritual Progression is notable before the
Miracle, he addressed our Lord Jesus as Master and
then, afterwards, as Lord! (LUKE 5: 5 & 8).
Some of the Twelve had been Called earlier, but as
Disciples, not as Apostles.
Thus, these men would not have gone out into deep water
and let down their nets, obeying a complete a stranger,
especially being exhausted after fishing all night and
just having finished cleaning their nets.
We get some insight into the earlier Calling of these same
four Apostles by our Lord Jesus for they were still parttime Fishermen at that stage, but after this Miraculous
Catch and being told by Christ that they would become
Fishers of men, they left everything to follow Him.
They were soon sent out by themselves to Heal the sick,
raise the dead, Cleanse lepers and cast out demons,
which they could only have done after being prepared
through the Teachings and Commandment, as well as
the Empowerment and Authority, of our Lord Jesus
Christ. (LUKE 9:1-10).
Their earlier Calling included the Calling of St Nathanael (St
Bartholomew). (JOHN 1:43-51)
The Calling of the other Twelve Apostles took place shortly
after this Miraculous Catch, when He gathered them
together. (LUKE 6:12-16).
Tertullian pointed out that St Jeremiah, the Holy Prophet of
God, had predicted the Calling of the Fishermen as
Christs Apostles, and only after they had left their nets
did they begin to understand what had been
prophesied.
...Out of so many different occupations, why did Christ
have such respect for that of Fishermen, as to select from
it four Apostles - St Simon Peter, his brother, St Andrew,
and the sons of Zebedee, St James and St John?
For this account was not written down just to point out St
Peters reaction to the very large catch of fish and our
Lords response: Do not fear! From now on you will
catch men. (LUKE 5:10).
By saying these words, He suggested to them the meaning
of the ancient prophecy of St Jeremiah that it was He
(Christ) Who by St Jeremiah had foretold: Behold! I will
17TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST 1ST

OF

send many Fishermen; and they shall fish them.


(JEREMIAH 16:16)

After they left their boats and followed Him, they


understood that it was He who had begun to accomplish
what He had declared by St Jeremiah.
THE HUMILITY

OF THE

APOSTLES

The beginning of the Work of the Twelve Apostles was


characterized by a deep Humility and Awe at what or
Master could do.
This kind of Humility was also characteristic throughout
the Early Church where people did Good Works without
seeking praise or acknowledgement.
St John Chrysostom described St Peters humble words,
Depart from me as the foundation of a Blessed Walk
with God.
As we apply this attitude to all aspects of our Life and
Work, we will find ourselves praised by God and man.
...Let us beware of saying anything about ourselves, for
this renders us both odious with men and abominable
to God.
For this reason, the greater the Good Works we do, the less
let us say of ourselves - this being the way to reap the
greatest Praise both with men and with God.
Demand not a reward that you may receive a Reward.
Confess yourself to be Saved by Grace, that He may
profess Himself a Debtor to you; and not for your Good
Works only, but also for such Rightness of mind...
...For when we do Good Works, we have Him Debtor - not
for our Good Works only - but when we do not think we
have done any Good Work ... this disposition itself is
equivalent to Good Works. For should this be absent,
Good Works will not appear great!
In the same way, when we have servants, we should most
approve them when, after having performed all their
service with good will, they do not think they have done
anything great. (LUKE 17:10)
It was in this way that the Centurion said: I am not fit that
Thou should enter under my roof... Because of this, he
became worthy, and was marvelled at above all Jews.
(MATTHEW 8:8-10).

In the same manner, St Paul said: I am the least of the


Apostles. Because of this he came to be regarded first of
all. (1 CORINTHIANS 15:9)
So likewise St John the Baptist: I am not fit to loosen the
latchet of His shoe. Because of this he was the Friend
of the Bridegroom and the hand which he affirmed to be
unworthy to touch His shoes, this did Christ draw onto
His own Head. [alluding to the Baptism of Christ] (JOHN 3:29 &
MARK 1:7).

So St Peter said: Depart from me, for I am a sinful man


because of this he became a Foundation of the Church.
(LUKE 5:8)

For nothing is so acceptable to God as to number ones


self with the last.
This is a first Principle of all practical Wisdom. For those
who are humbled, and bruised in heart, will not be
vainglorious, wrathful, envious of their neighbours,
and will not harbour any other passion.
For if a man, by mourning for things pertaining to this life,
drives out all the diseases of his soul, much more will
he, who mourns for sins, enjoy the Blessing of SelfRestraint.
St John Chrysostom also stated that our Life is like living in
a foreign country, where our Lords Presence is our real
Home.
If someone were to repay us a debt, it would be better for
us to receive it at Home, not away from Home.
Yet EVEN IN THIS LIFE WE WILL RECEIVE A HUNDRED-FOLD.
The Apostles gave up everything, and the result was that
the world opened their homes to them.
If anyone were to owe you gold, while you were staying in a
foreign country, and you had neither servants, nor any
means to convey it across to the place of your abode, if
he were to promise to pay you the loan, you would ask
him to have it paid down not in the foreign land, but at
home.
In the same fashion, do you think it would be right to
receive those Spiritual and Unutterable Things in this
world?
This would be madness! For if you received them here,
you would have them corruptible certainly; but if you

ST LUKE THE MIRACULOUS CATCH 27 SEPTEMBER 2015

31

wait for that time, He will repay you them


Incorruptible.
If you receive here, you get lead; but if you get them there,
it would be refined gold.
Still He does not deprive you of the goods of this life. For
along with that Promise He has placed another also,
to the following effect:
Everyone who loves the things of the World to come,
shall receive ...a hundred-fold in this life present, and
shall inherit Eternal Life. (MATTHEW 19:29)
If then we do not receive the hundred-fold, it is
ourselves who are to blame for not lending to Him,
Who can give so much!
For all who have given, have received much, even
though they gave but little.
For what Great Thing did St Peter give? A broken net and a
rod and a hook only! (LUKE 5:6, 11)
Yet still God opened to him the houses of the world, and
spread before him land and sea, and all men invited him
to their home.
Or rather they sold what was their own, and brought it to
the Apostles feet - not so much as putting it into their
hands, so great was the honour they paid Him.
The significance of the Twelve Apostles is brought out by
the question they asked our Lord Jesus concerning what
they shall receive after having left everything in order to
follow Him. (Matthew 19:27)
Our Saviour told them that they ...will sit on Twelve
Thrones judging the Twelve Tribes of Israel. (MATTHEW
19:28).

When Christ had first called His four Apostles, He


prophesied that St Peter would be called Cephas,
meaning a Rock or Stone.
Cephas is derived from the Chaldean word Kafe
meaning Rock, while Petra is the Greek counterpart.
(JOHN 1:42),

CONSCIENCE GODS VOICE

IN

secular book witnesses about the existence of


Conscience in man as clearly as does Holy Scripture.
Unkind behaviour evokes in us shame, fear, suffering,
feelings of guilt and even acts of desperation:
 GENESIS 3 : 7 - 10 - Adam and Eve, having tasted the
Forbidden Fruit, felt ashamed and attempted to hide
from God.
 GENESIS 4 : 14 - Cain, killing his younger brother, Abel,
out of envy, subsequently began to fear for his own
life.
 1 SAMUEL 26 - King Saul, persecuting innocent David,
later wept in shame when he found out that instead of
retaliation for evil, David spared his life.
 JOHN 8 - Proud Scribes and Pharisees bringing forward
an adulteress to Christ, dispersed in shame when they
saw their own sins written by Christ on the sand.
 JOHN 2 - Merchants and money lenders scattered in
shame out of the Temple when Christ drove them out,
saying that the Temple of God was not to be turned
into a marketplace.
Sometimes the pangs of Conscience become so intolerable
that some prefer to end their own life.
 MATTHEW 27 : 5 - We see the most vivid example of
accusations of Conscience in Judas Iscariot, the
traitor, who hanged himself after betraying Christ to
the High Priests.
In general, all sinners - believers as well as unbelievers feel responsibility for their behavior.
 LUKE 23 : 30 & REVELATION 6 : 16 - Thus, in the Prophetic
Words of Christ, at the end of the world, sinners seeing the approaching Judgment of God - will plead
for the Earth to swallow them, and the mountains to
cover them!
It happens sometimes that those in turmoil, caught in the
swirl of strong passion or overwhelmed by fear, appear
not to hear the Voice of their Conscience. Later,
however, they feel the pangs of Conscience doubly
strong!
- When the brothers of Joseph
 GENESIS. 42 : 21
experienced trouble, they remembered their sin of
selling their younger brother into slavery and they
understood that they were now justly punished for
their cruelty.

32. 1 7 T H S U N D A Y A F T E R P E N T E C O S T 1 S T

OF

HAVING BEEN BOUND IN HEAVEN. AND WHATEVER THEY


LOOSEN ON EARTH SHALL BE - HAVING BEEN LOOSED IN
HEAVEN. (MATTHEW 16:19).

The Twelve Apostles, who have established the Foundation


of His Holy Church with Christ as the Cornerstone, have
already begun to judge the Twelve Tribes of Israel and
have been doing so for almost two millennia! (REVELATION
21:14 & EPHESIANS 2:20)

THE HOLY CHURCH OF CHRIST TODAY IS RESPONSIBLE BEFORE


ALMIGHTY GOD TO MAINTAIN THE CONNECTION WITH HIS
TWELVE HOLY APOSTLES AND THE DIVINE CORNERSTONE OUR
LORD AND SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST - IN ORDER THAT THIS JUST
JUDGMENT MAY CONTINUE FOR OUR BENEFIT.
In doing this, THE HOLY CHURCH OF CHRIST HELPS US AS
ORTHODOX CHRISTIANS AND FAITHFUL DISCIPLES, TO FOCUS ON
LOVING THE LORD OUR GOD WITH ALL OUR MIND, HEART,
STRENGTH AND SOUL AND OUR NEIGHBOURS AS MUCH AS GOD
LOVES US AND AS MUCH AS WE LOVE OURSELVES!

BY

EVERYTHING POSSIBLE TO FULFIL HIS DIVINE


AND COMMANDMENTS, WE MAY REST ASSURED
THAT WE WILL OBTAIN A GOOD DEFENCE BEFORE THE DREAD
DOING

TEACHINGS

JUDGMENT SEAT

OF

CHRIST as we pray in the various

Holy Services.
FATHER M KERN WWW.STATHANASIOS.ORG

MANKIND - BISHOP ALEXANDER (MILEANT)

PART 3 - CONSCIENCE

No

A little over a year after the four humble Fishermen were


Called, following the death of St John the Baptist, our
Lord Jesus made His famous statement about the
Church and how THE GATES OF HADES SHALL NOT PREVAIL
AGAINST HER. (MATTHEW 16:18).
This was in response to St Peters CONFESSION OF FAITH IN
CHRIST, which IS THE ROCK of which our Lord Jesus had
earlier spoken of. (MATTHEW 16:17)
Our Lord went on to say that He would give ...the Keys
of the Kingdom of Heaven... to His Twelve
Apostles for WHATEVER THEY BOUND ON EARTH SHALL BE -

IN BIBLICAL NARRATIVES

 2 SAMUEL 12 :13 - King David, delighting in the beauty


of Bathsheba, understood his sin of adultery only
after it was revealed to him by the prophet Nathan.
 The impulsive Apostle, St Peter, under the pressure of
fear, denounced Christ, but when he heard the cock
crow, he remembered the Prophesy of Christ and wept
bitterly.
 LUKE 23 : 40 - The sensible, Repentant Thief, hanging on
the cross next to Christ, understood only before his
death that the suffering he experienced was a just
reward for his crimes.
 LUKE 19 : 8 ST Zacchaeus the Repentant Publican,
touched by the Love of Christ, remembered the
offences he had perpetrated towards people in his
greed and decided to rectify the wrong he had
committed.
On the other hand, when people are aware of their
innocence, their clear Conscience strengthens their
Hope in God.
 JOB 27 : 6 - the Righteous Job, while suffering, knew that
the reason for this was not because of any sins he had
committed, but that it was in God's Plan, and he
Hoped for God's Mercy.
 2 KINGS 20 : 3 - Similarly, the Righteous King, Hezekiah,
dying from an incurable disease, became well when he
pleaded to God for Healing as reward of his Good
Deeds.
 PHILIPPIANS 1 : 23 - The Apostle, St Paul, whose Life was
dedicated to God and the Salvation of mankind, not
only did not fear Death but, on the contrary, wished
to be relieved from his earthly body to be with Christ.
For a sinner there is no greater relief and happiness than to
receive Forgiveness and Peace of Conscience.
The Gospel is rich with examples of Repentance.
 LUKE 7 : 38 - One sinful woman in the house of St
Matthew,
upon
receiving
pardon
for
her
transgressions, in gratitude washed the Feet of Christ
with her tears and wiped them with her hair.
 1 TIMOTHY 1 : 19 - On the other hand, a disregard of
Conscience along with recurring sins, darkens the
soul to such a degree that we can undergo
"shipwreck of our Faith" so that we can
irrevocably sink into evil!

ST LUKE THE MIRACULOUS CATCH 27 SEPTEMBER 2015