Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa

Archdiocese of Good Hope
All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever, and
unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most Blessed and Glorious
Lady, Maria, Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together with all the Saints. And let us commit ourselves and one
another and our whole Life to Christ our God. Amen.

6 August 2017
Transfiguration of our Lord Jesus Christ
ISODIKON : TRANSFIGURATION
Oti para Si Pigi Zoix, Kyrie, en to Foti Sou opsometha Fos. For with Thee is the Fountain of Life; in Thy Light we
Soson imas, Ie Theou, O en to Orei to Thavor shall see Light! Save us, O Son of God Who was
Metamorfothis, psalontas Si: Allilouia! Transfigured on Mount Tabor, as we sing to Thee:
Alleluia!
FESTAL APOLYTIKION – TRANSFIGURATION – TONE 4

Metemorfothis en to Ori, Hriste O Theos, dixas tis Mathites Thou were Transfigured upon the Mountain, O Christ our
Sou tin Doxan Sou, kathos idinanto. Lampson ke imin God, showing to Thine Disciples Thy Glory as much as
tis amartolis, to Fos Sou to aidion, Presvies tis they could bear. In us – sinners though we be – shine
Theotokou, Fotodota, Doxa Si. Thine Everlasting Light, at the Intercession of the
Theotokos; O Giver of Light: ✞Glory to Thee!
FESTAL KONTAKION – TRANSFIGURATION - TONE (7) VARYS/GRAVE
Epi tou Orous Metemorfothis, ke os ehoroun i Mathite Sou Upon the Mountain Thou were Transfigured, and Thy
tin Doxan Sou, Hriste O Theos etheasanto. Ina otan Se Disciples beheld Thy Glory as far as they were able, O
idosi Stavroumenon, to men pathos noisosin ekousion, Christ our God; so that when they would see Thee
to de kosmo kirixosin, oti Si iparhis Alithos, TOU Crucified they might understand that Thy Passion was
PATROS TO APAVGASMA. deliberate, and declare to the world that in Truth
THOU ART THE FATHER’S RADIANCE.
SECOND FESTAL ANTIPHON – TRANSFIGURATION – TONE 2
✶Soson imas Iie Theou, O EN TO O RI TO T HAVOR ✶O Son of God, T RANSFIGURED UPON M OUNT T ABOR
M ETAMORTOTHIS , psallontas Si: Allilouia! Save us who sing to Thee: Alleluia
1. I themelii Aftou en ti Oresi tis Agiis 1. His Foundations are in the Holy Mountains
2. Agapa Kyrios tas Pilas Sion. Iper panta ta skinomata 2. The Lord Loves the Gates of Zion more than all the
Iakov dwellings of Jacob.
3. Dedoxamena elalithi peri Sou, i Polis tou Theou. 3. Glorious Things are spoken of Thee, O City of God.
4. Mitir Sion eri anthropos, ke anthropos egennithi en 4. Zion is our Mother, a man shall say, and such a man
afti. was born in her
FESTAL MATINS GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST LUKE 9 : 28 - 36
THE GLORIOUS TRANSFIGURATION OF CHRIST ON MOUNT TABOR
At that time, after saying these words, about eight days later, our Lord Jesus took Peter, John and James and went up
on the Mountain to pray. And as He prayed, the Appearance of His Face was altered, and His robe became white
and glistening. And behold! Two men talked with Him, who were Moses and Elijah, who appeared in Glory and
spoke of His Departure, which He was about to accomplish in Jerusalem.
Peter and those with him were heavy with sleep. When they were fully awake, they saw His Glory and the two men
who stood with Him. And it happened, as they were parting from Him, that Peter said to Jesus: “Master, it is good for
us to be here! And let us make three tabernacles - one for Thee, one for Moses, and one for Elijah” – not knowing
what he said.
While he was saying this, a Cloud came and overshadowed them. They were fearful as they entered the Cloud. And a
Voice came out of the Cloud, saying: “This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!” And when the Voice had ceased, Jesus
was alone.
And they kept quiet, and told no one in those days any of the Things they had seen.
THE TRANSFIGURATION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST IS A He does not say: “This has become My Son,” but “This
THEOPHANY – A MANIFESTATION OR REVELATION OF GOD – IS My Son...” indicating that THIS DIVINE GLORY
especially of the Divinity of Christ – THROUGH A DISPLAY BELONGS TO CHRIST DUE TO HIS DIVINE, ETERNAL NATURE.
OF HIS UNCREATED DIVINE ENERGY. From Eternity – infinitely before His Baptism and
Therefore the Orthodox Church celebrates the Transfiguration – HE IS GOD THE SON OF GOD THE
Transfiguration of Christ as a major Feast Day. FATHER – FULLY SHARING IN THE DIVINE ESSENCE AND
SEVERAL ELEMENTS OF THE TRANSFIGURATION SHOW THAT OUR ATTRIBUTES OF THE ETERNAL FATHER.
LORD JESUS CHRIST IS INDEED BOTH MESSIAH (ANOINTED OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST IS TRULY THE ETERNAL SON OF GOD
SAVIOUR) AND GOD: THE FATHER – HE IS CERTAINLY GOD OF GOD.
1. Because GOD IS UNCREATED LIGHT, THE BRIGHT CLOUD, THE 3. THE TRANSFIGURATION NOT ONLY PROCLAIMS CHRIST’S DIVINE
SHINING OF OUR LORD’S FACE – as bright as the sun – SONSHIP, BUT ALSO FORESHADOWS HIS FUTURE GLORY
AND THE GLISTENING WHITENESS OF HIS GARMENT, all when He – as the long awaited Messiah – ushers in
demonstrate that He is God. the Eternal Heavenly Kingdom of Love, Peace and
(In some Holy Icons this Uncreated Light is shown as Joy – the Kingdom of Eternal Life in Christ.
‘beyond white’ – a blue-white, an ineffable colour THE BRIGHT CLOUD RECALLS TEMPLE WORSHIP AND THE
– indicating its Spiritual Origin.) MYSTERIOUS CLOUD THAT WENT BEFORE THE ISRAELITES
2. GOD THE FATHER BEARS WITNESS FROM HEAVEN CONCERNING DURING THEIR TRAVELS IN THE WILDERNESS BEFORE THEY
HIS BELOVED ETERNAL SON. ARRIVED AT THE PROMISED LAND – the visible Sign of
the Extraordinary Divine Presence.

THE TRANSFIGURATION OF CHRIST OUR SAVIOUR 6 AUGUST 2017 1.
ST PETER SAW THIS AS A SIGN THAT THE KINGDOM OF GOD HAD Divine Sonship AND THE HOLY SPIRIT IS PRESENT IN THE
COME and knowing that the Feast of Tabernacles is FORM OF A DAZZLING UNCREATED LIGHT SURROUNDING OUR
the Feast of the awaited Kingdom, HE ASKED LORD AND OVERSHADOWING THE HOLY APOSTLES AS WELL
PERMISSION FROM CHRIST TO ERECT THE FESTAL BOOTHS – AS THE ENTIRE MOUNT TABOR.
“TABERNACLES” – FOR EACH OF THEM, which was the
usual practise – SYMBOLISING THE DWELLING OF GOD CHRIST’S “DEPARTURE” (Greek: “Exodus”) is a reference to HIS
amongst His Just and Faithful souls in that Eternal FORTHCOMING DEATH, which WAS INTIMATELY CONNECTED
Kingdom. TO THE GLORY OF HIS TRANSFIGURATION for our Lord is
4. ST MOSES REPRESENTS THE LAW OF GOD AND ALL WHO HAD GLORIFIED THROUGH HIS CRUCIFIXION DEATH. (JOHN 12:23)
ALREADY DIED, while ST ELIJAH REPRESENTS THE HOLY IN THE LITURGICAL CYCLE, THE FEAST OF THE TRANSFIGURATION IS
PROPHETS OF GOD AND – since he himself did not FORTY DAYS BEFORE THE FEAST OF THE HOLY CROSS ON 14
experience death – ALL THOSE WHO ARE ALIVE IN SEPTEMBER, SHOWING THE CONNECTION BETWEEN CHRIST’S
CHRIST. GLORY AND HIS CROSS.
Their presence shows that THE HOLY LAW AND THE THE TERM “EXODUS” REVEALS THAT CHRIST’S PASSION IS A
PROPHETS – THE LIVING AND THE DEAD – ALL BEAR WITNESS FULFILMENT OF THE OLD COVENANT PASSOVER and is THE
TO OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST AS THE ONE AND ONLY TRUE TRUE EXODUS FROM THE SPIRITUAL ENSLAVEMENT of sin INTO
MESSIAH WHO IS THE FULFILMENT OF THE ENTIRE OLD THE FREEDOM OF OUR ETERNAL SALVATION IN CHRIST JESUS.
COVENANT WITH GOD. This Revelation of Divine Power also confirms that OUR
The presence of St Moses and St Elijah also manifested LORD’S DEATH ON THE CROSS WAS NOT IMPOSED ON HIM BY
the Communion of Saints. (HEBREWS 12:1) OUTSIDE FORCES, BUT WAS A VOLUNTARY OFFERING OF HIS
Both Holy Men were immediately recognisable and DIVINE LOVE for the sake of the Salvation of all
they conversed with our Lord Jesus. mankind.
THE HOLY APOSTLES WERE ABLE TO UNDERSTAND OUR LORD’S Furthermore, NO ARRESTING SOLDIER COULD HAVE WITHSTOOD
WORDS when He said “Elijah has come already” – SUCH GLORY IF GOD HAD NOT CONSENTED and allowed it to
REFERRING TO ST JOHN THE BAPTIST AND FORERUNNER to happen in order TO FULFIL ALL THAT WAS NECESSARY FOR
Christ. (MATTHEW 17:12) OUR SALVATION AND SPIRITUAL RESTORATION to the Divine
THEIR EYES HAD BEEN OPENED to the fact that Malachi’s Grace of Almighty God. (MATTHEW 26:53)
Prophesy referred to one who would come “...in EVERYTHING GOD PERMITS IS FOR OUR IMMORTAL BENEFIT due to
the spirit and power of Elijah....” rather than to St His Infinite Love for us.
Elijah himself. (LUKE 1:17) In the Festal Kontakion of Transfiguration, we sing: “Thy
5. Finally, THE HOLY TRINITY IS REVEALED HERE, for CHRIST IS Disciples beheld Thy Glory as far as they could bear
TRANSFIGURED, GOD THE FATHER SPEAKS FROM HEAVEN it, so that when they saw Thee Crucified, they would
testifying to the Authenticity of our Lord Jesus’ understand that Thy Suffering was voluntary.”
PROKEIMENON – PSALM 103 – TONE 4
Thy Works shall be greatly magnified, O Lord. Thou hast made all things in Wisdom.
Bless, O my Soul, the Lord!

THE SECOND UNIVERSAL EPISTLE OF ST PETER 1 : 10 – 19
PARTAKERS OF DIVINE NATURE
Brethren: be even more diligent to make your Call and Election sure. If you do these things you will never stumble.
An Entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the Everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
For this reason I will not neglect reminding you always of these things, although you know and are established in
the present Truth. I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir you up by reminding you – knowing that
shortly I must put off my tent - just as our Lord Jesus Christ showed me. I will be careful to ensure that you always
have a reminder of these things after my decease.
We did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the Power and Coming of our Lord Jesus
Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His Majesty. He received from God the Father Honour and Glory when such a Voice
came to Him from the Excellent Glory: “This is My Beloved Son, in Whom I Am well pleased.” And we heard this
Voice, which came from Heaven, when we were with Him on the Holy Mountain.
And so we have the Prophetic Word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a Light that shines in a dark place, until
the Day dawns and the Morning Star rises in your hearts...
THE PRIMARY TRUTH WITH WHICH ST PETER DEALT – and which ST PETER WAS AN EYEWITNESS TO THE MAJESTY OF CHRIST IN MANY
he only indirectly touched upon at this point - IS THE WAYS – and he reminds us especially that he was
SECOND COMING OR REAPPEARANCE OF CHRIST AND HIS present at our Lord’s Transfiguration on Mount Tabor.
EVERLASTING KINGDOM. What ST PETER REPEATED concerning the Reappearance of
PEOPLE LIVED IN TENTS WHILE JOURNEYING, constantly moving, Christ is THE COMMON APOSTOLIC TRADITION, which is
or at war. SUPPORTED BY THE EYEWITNESS TESTIMONY of the Holy
So as long AS WE ARE IN THIS PHYSICAL BODY DURING THIS Apostles – and ESPECIALLY THE THREE WHO WITNESSED THE
SPIRITUAL JOURNEY TOWARDS ETERNITY, WE LIVE IN “TENTS” - TRANSFIGURATION.
TEMPORARY, TRANSPORTABLE STRUCTURES - which bear THE ABSOLUTE TRUTH concerning everything to do with
witness to OUR LONG JOURNEY OF LIFE AND THE ONGOING Christ IS DEFINITELY NOT AN ELABORATE SCHEME of “fables”
BATTLE AGAINST ENEMY FORCES of Darkness that such as the Gnostics invented and propounded.
constantly threaten us. In all the Holy Gospel accounts, THE TRANSFIGURATION IS
OUR TEMPORARY PHYSICAL BODIES BELONG TO GOD, HAVING BEEN DIVINE AND TRUE PROOF – AS WELL AS A FORETASTE – OF THE
SANCTIFIED THROUGHOUT OUR LIFETIME WITH THE HOLY GLORIOUS RETURN (in his physical form) of Christ in all
MYSTERIES. His Divine Glory.
Thus THEY ARE TO BE RETURNED TO THE EARTH from whence THE TRUTHFUL TESTIMONY OF THE HOLY APOSTLES BOTH CONFIRMS
they came – always being TREATED WITH THE UTMOST THE PROPHETIC WORD – THE HOLY PROPHECIES – AND THE
RESPECT. SECOND COMING, AND SHOWS US HOW TO INTERPRET HOLY
PROPHECY CORRECTLY AND TRUTHFULLY.
THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST MATTHEW 17 : 1 – 9
THE TRANSFIGURATION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST ON MOUNT TABOR
At that time, after six days, Jesus took Peter, James and John, his brother, led them up a high mountain by themselves.
And He was Transfigured before them. And His Face shone like the sun - His clothes became as white as the Light.
And behold! Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. Peter said to Jesus: ”Lord, it is good for us to be
here! If Thou wish, let us make here three tabernacles - one for Thee, one of Moses and one for Elijah.”
While he was still speaking, behold! A Bright Cloud overshadowed them! And behold! a Voice from the Cloud said:
“This is My Beloved Son, in Whom I Am well pleased! Hear Him!” And when the Disciples heard It, they fell on their
faces and were greatly afraid. And Jesus went and touched them and said: “Arise, and do not be afraid!” When
they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.
And, as they went down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying: “Tell the Vision to no one until the Son of
Man is Risen from the dead.”

2. THE TRANSFIGURATION OF CHRIST OUR SAVIOUR 6 AUGUST 2017
The Feast of the Transfiguration of our Lord and Saviour, THE HOLY PROPHETS OF GOD AND ALL THOSE WHO ARE
Jesus Christ is A MAJOR FEAST DUE TO ITS GREAT ALIVE IN CHRIST.- since he himself did not
SIGNIFICANCE IN OUR ETERNAL SALVATION AND OF DIVINE experience physical Death.
TRUTH. The presence of these two significant Old Covenant Saints
Our Lord Jesus Christ’s Transfiguration towards the end of showed that THE DIVINE LAW AND THE HOLY PROPHETS OF
His Public Ministry – as at His Baptism in the River GOD – I.E. THE LIVING AND THE DEAD – ALL BEAR WITNESS TO
Jordan at the beginning of His Public Ministry – is A OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST AS OUR TRUE MESSIAH/SAVIOUR WHO
THEOPHANY – THE REVELATION OF THE HOLY TRINITY. IS THE FULFILMENT OF THE ENTIRE OLD COVENANT.
It is A DIVINE REVELATION OF THE THREE PERSONS OF THE ONE The presence of St Moses and St Elias/Elijah also manifests
GODHEAD: God the Father, God the Son, and God the (reveals) THE COMMUNION OF SAINTS.
Holy Spirit Who work together in Perfect Harmony and THESE SAINTS, who were immediately recognisable to the
Love for our Salvation and Eternal Life. Disciples, CONVERSED WITH OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.
Our Lord’s Transfiguration is THE MANIFESTATION OF THE HOLY APOSTLES - ST PETER, ST JAMES AND ST JOHN, WHO
ALMIGHTY GOD – ESPECIALLY OF THE DIVINE NATURE OF WERE TRUE AND HONEST WITNESSES – IN THAT INSTANT
CHRIST – THROUGH THE DISPLAY, THE DEMONSTRATION OR THE MOMENT RECEIVED UNDERSTANDING OF CHRIST’S DIVINE
REVEALING OF HIS UNCREATED DIVINE ENERGY AND POWER, TRUTH.
which His Apostles witnessed as that utterly Blinding, They were ABLE TO FULLY UNDERSTAND that when He said
Several Element of the Transfiguration confirm the Truth “Elias has already come,” HE REFERRED TO ST JOHN THE
that our Lord Jesus Christ is indeed our Divine BAPTIST, THE LAST AND GREATEST OF GOD’S HOLY PROPHETS
Messiah/Saviour and God. WHO HAD PREPARED THE PEOPLE FOR CHRIST JESUS AND GOD’S
1. THE BRIGHT CLOUD, THE UNIQUE RADIANCE OF OUR LORD’S NEW COVENANT WITH MANKIND.
FACE THAT SHONE BRIGHTER THAN THE SUN, AND EVEN THE (St John the Baptist also preached the Coming of Christ to
EXTRAORDINARY WHITENESS OF HIS GARMENTS CLEARLY those who were imprisoned in Hades, before our
DEMONSTRATED HIS DIVINE NATURE – revealed that HE Saviour’s ‘Harrowing of Hades.’)
IS ETERNAL, ALMIGHTY GOD - for GOD IS LIGHT AND They were able to understand that THE PROPHECY OF ST
CHRIST IS TRULY “...LIGHT OF LIGHT, TRUE GOD OF TRUE MALACHI HAD REFERRED TO ST JOHN THE BAPTIST who had
GOD.” come “...in the spirit and power of Elias...” rather than
(In Holy Icons depicting the Transfiguration this Divine, to St Elias himself. (MALACHI 4:5-6 & LUKE 1:17)
Uncreated Light is shown as beyond white – a blue- 5. THE HOLY TRINITY WAS MANIFESTED AT THE TRANSFIGURATION
white, ineffable colour that indicates Its Spiritual OF CHRIST OUR SAVIOUR ON MOUNT TABOR :
Origin and Attributes.)  Our Lord Jesus Christ, THE INCARNATE SON OF GOD
2. GOD THE FATHER BEARS WITNESS FROM HEAVEN concerning WAS TRANSFIGURED,
His Only Begotten, Eternal Son by proclaiming:  GOD THE FATHER TESTIFIED FROM HEAVEN TO HIS DIVINE
“This is My Beloved Son, in Whom I Am well SONSHIP and
pleased! Hear Him!”  THE PRESENCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT WAS MANIFESTED BY THE
These Divine Words indicate that such DIVINE GLORY IS DAZZLING UNCREATED LIGHT that surrounded our
TRULY WORTHY OF CHRIST DUE TO HIS ETERNAL NATURE AS THE Lord Jesus Christ and overshadowed the entire
SECOND PERSON OF THE ONE GODHEAD AND AS THE ETERNAL, Mount Tabor.
ONLY BEGOTTEN SON OF GOD the Father, Who FULLY SHARES THE DEATH OF CHRIST ON THE CROSS WAS INTIMATELY CONNECTED
THE DIVINE ESSENCE of God the Father and God the Holy TO THE GLORY OF HIS TRANSFIGURATION, for He is Glorified
Spirit. through His Salvific Death. (JOHN 12:23)
OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, AS THE ETERNAL SON OF GOD, HAS In the Orthodox Christian Liturgical Cycle, THE GREAT FEAST
ALWAYS EXISTED, even before all Creation and all ages – OF THE TRANSFIGURATION OCCURS 40 DAYS BEFORE THE GREAT
all time. FEAST OF THE HOLY CROSS ON 14 SEPTEMBER, thereby
There was NEVER a moment before He existed together showing the connection between our Divine Saviour’s
with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. Glory and His Life-giving Cross.
ETERNALLY – FOREVER - WORKING IN PERFECT LOVE AND THE PASSION OF CHRIST IS THUS A FULFILMENT OF THE OLD
HARMONY, THE WILL OF THE FATHER IS ACHIEVED THROUGH THE COVENANT PASSOVER (the First Passover) and is OUR TRUE
SON BY THE POWER AND ENERGY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. EXODUS (DEPARTURE) FROM THE ENSLAVEMENT OF SIN TO
3. THE TRANSFIGURATION NOT ONLY PROCLAIMS OUR LORD JESUS ETERNAL SALVATION.
CHRIST’S ETERNAL, DIVINE SONSHIP BUT ALSO (The Glorious Resurrection of Christ is the Second Holy Pascha –
FORESHADOWED HIS DIVINE GLORY when He ushered in our escape from sin and death into Eternal Life in Christ and
His Eternal, Heavenly Kingdom. His Heavenly Kingdom – the True Promised Land and Eternal
THE BRIGHT CLOUD SIGNIFIED TEMPLE WORSHIP AS WELL AT THE Blessed Life.)
BRIGHT CLOUD THAT LED THE ISRAELITES THROUGHOUT THEIR The Transfiguration of Christ was A DIVINE REVELATION OF
SOJOURN IN THE WILDERNESS TOWARDS THE PROMISED LAND. DIVINE POWER THAT CONFIRMED THE FACT THAT OUR LORD
THE BRIGHT CLOUD IS THE VISIBLE SIGN OF GOD’S EXTRAORDINARY JESUS’ APPROACHING PASSION was not imposed on Him by
PRESENCE. outside, human forces, but WAS A VOLUNTARY OFFERING
St Peter saw the Bright Cloud as a Divine Sign that THE OF DIVINE LOVE FOR MANKIND.
KINGDOM OF HEAVEN HAD FINALLY OCCURRED. No arresting soldier could have withstood such Divine
Knowing that THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES IS THE FEAST OF THE Glory and Power if our Saviour had not consented!
ANTICIPATED HOLY KINGDOM, St Peter offered to build (MATTHEW 26:53)
THREE BOOTHS – “TABERNACLES” - as was usually done for The Festal Kontakion of the Transfiguration states: “Thy
that Feast, which SYMBOLISED GOD’S DWELLING AMIDST Disciples beheld Thy Glory as far as they could bear
THOSE WHO WERE JUSTIFIED AND WORTHY CITIZENS OF HIS It, so that when they beheld Thee crucified, they
HEAVENLY KINGDOM. would understand that Thy Suffering was
4. ST MOSES REPRESENTS THE DIVINE LAW AND ALL THOSE WHO voluntary...”
HAD ALREADY DIED, WHILE ST ELIAS/ELIJAH REPRESENTS
THE TRANSFIGURATION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
✞ In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Thereby the Faith of these Steadfast Apostles of Christ was
Holy Spirit... Strengthened and they were prepared for the intense
Dearly Beloved Brethren in Christ: Forty days before He Trial of our Lord’s approaching Passion and Death.
was delivered to an ignominious death for our sins, Furthermore, they were able to see in it not mere human
our Lord Jesus Christ revealed to three of His Disciples suffering, but the entirely voluntary Passion of the Son
the magnificent Glory of His Divinity. of God.
His Transfiguration was the Great Event to which our Lord The three Faithful Disciples saw also St Moses and St
was referring when He said: “There are some Elijah conversing with our Lord, and they were able to
standing here who shall not taste death until they comprehend that our Lord Jesus was not Himself
have beheld the Son of Man in His ‘Elijah’ nor any other Holy Prophet of God, as some
Kingdom.” (MATTHEW16:28) had believed.

THE TRANSFIGURATION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST – 6 AUGUST 2017 3.
They suddenly understood very clearly that our Lord deprivations with which this earthly life is filled - the
Jesus Christ was in Truth Someone Who is far Greater Glory of Eternal Blessedness will shine forth; and in it
and more Powerful than any other human being! even the Body of the Righteous will participate.
He is our Divine Saviour Who could call upon the Law It is a Pious Orthodox custom to offer fruits to be Blessed at
and the Prophets to be His Witnesses, since He is the this Feast.
Fulfilment of both! This offering of Thanksgiving to God has Spiritual
The three Parables of the Feast concern the Appearance significance for similar to fruit that ripens after having
of God to St Moses and St Elijah on Mount Sinai, and it been transformed by the warmth of the Summer
is indeed appropriate that the greatest God-Seers of sunlight, we, too, undergo a Spiritual Transfiguration
the Old Covenant should be present at the through the nurturing warmth of God’s Word and His
Glorification of our Lord in His New Covenant, seeing Holy Mysteries.
for the first time His humanity, even as these Disciples Certain Saints – such as St Seraphim of Sarov – by the
beheld for the first time His Divinity. Power and Energy of God’s Life-giving Grace, have
Orthodox Theology believes the Transfiguration to be a physically shone with this same ineffable, Uncreated
Prefigurement of our Lord’s Resurrection and His Light of God’s Glory - even while still in this earthly
Second Coming – His Reappearance - and much existence.
more than this. Their Life in Christ is an extraordinary Example to us of
Every Event of the Church Calendar applies to our the Spiritual Heights to which we, as Christians, are
individual, personal, Spiritual Life - to the Called and the Marvellous and Blessed State that
Transformed State in which we, as Faithful Disciples of awaits us - to be Transformed in the Image of Christ
Christ, shall appear at the end of time - and in some our Lord and Saviour Who was Transfigured on Mount
measure, even before then. Tabor.
In the Foreshadowing of Future Glory, which is Amen
celebrated in this Great Feast of the Transfiguration,
the Holy Church of Christ comforts Her Children by SERMON BY FATHER SERAPHIM ROSE.
showing us that - after the temporary sorrows and
THE GREAT HOLY FEAST OF THE TRANSFIGURATION OF CHRIST OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR
The Transfiguration of Christ is regarded and celebrated Transfiguration erected on Mount Tabor at the
by the Orthodox Church of Christ, as one of the traditional site of the Transfiguration,
“Twelve Great Feasts of Christ.” Although the Transfiguration of Christ occurred in the
The Great Feast of the Transfiguration has held much month of February, forty days before our Saviour’s
significance in the Liturgical Calendar since the Crucifixion, the Feast of the Transfiguration was early
Fourth Century, which is attested to by the surviving on, transferred to 6 August because the full Glory and
Inspired Homilies and Sermons of our Holy Fathers Joy could not be fittingly celebrated amid the sorrow
such as St John Chrysostom, St Ephraim the Syrian, and Repentance of Great Lent.
and St Cyril of Alexandria. The sixth day of August was chosen as being forty days
The celebration of our Lord’s Transfiguration on Mount before the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy, Life-
Tabor began in the First Christian Century. giving Cross of Christ on 14 September, when Christ’s
In the Fourth Century, St Helena, the Pious and Passion is again remembered.
Venerable Empress of the Byzantine Empire, had had
a church that was dedicated to the Feast of the http://www.holy-transfiguration.org/transfig_signif.html
THE ETERNAL, INSPIRED WISDOM OF OUR HOLY FATHERS
ST BASIL THE GREAT ST MAXIMOS THE CONFESSOR, ON LOVE
As it is impossible to verbally describe the sweetness of We must Cleanse our mind of anger, remembrance of
honey to one who has never tasted honey, so the evil, and shameful thoughts, and then we will find out
Goodness of God cannot be clearly communicated by how Christ dwells in us.
way of teaching if we ourselves are not able to
penetrate into the Goodness of the Lord by our own ST EPHRAIM SYRIAN
Experience. The Fear of God Illumines our soul, annihilates evil,
weakens the passions, drives Darkness from our soul
ST SILOUAN THE ATHONITE and makes it Pure. The Fear of God is the summit of
Many rich and powerful people would pay dearly to see Wisdom. Wherever there is no Fear of God, there is
our Lord or His Most Pure Mother, but God does not nothing Good. Whoever does not have the Fear of God
appear according to worldly wealth, but only in the is open to diabolical falls.
humble heart... Every one of the poorest can be
humbled and come to know God. It needs neither ST SILOUAN THE ATHONITE
money nor reputation to acquire Knowledge of God, Each of us can discuss God inasmuch as we have known
but only True Humility. the Grace of the Holy Spirit; for how can we think of or
discuss what we have not seen, nor have heard of,
ST SYMEON OF DAIBABE nor know? The Saints say that they have seen God,
When we throw a nail into a fire, it gets hot and starts to but there are people who say that there is no God.
glow like fire. In the same way , when we listen to Clearly, they say this because they have not known
Divine Teachings and Live accordingly, we will God, but this does not at all mean that He is not. The
become like God Saints speak of that which they have truly seen and
know.
ST SILOUAN THE ATHONITE
When our soul knows the Love of God by the Holy Spirit, ST. NICHOLAS CABASILAS
then we clearly feel that the Lord is our own Father, A lie is a delusion of the mind, while evil is a delusion of
the closest, dearest Father, the best. And there is no the will. The Sign by which one is distinguished from
greater Happiness that to Love God with all our mind the other is the Judgement of God Himself ... that
and heart, and our neighbour as ourselves. And when which He teaches us. Truth is that which leads us to
this Love is in our soul, then all things bring Joy to us. desire everything that is Good. But whatever
contradicts Good is entirely false, entirely evil.
ST IGNATIOS BRIANCHANINOV – PATERIKON
It is necessary to seek only One Thing - to be with our ST. JUSTIN POPOVICH
Lord Jesus. Those who remain with our Lord are rich In Truth there is only one Freedom - the Holy Freedom of
indeed - even if they are poor with regard to material Christ, whereby He Freed us from sin, from evil, from
wealth and possessions. Those who desire earthly the devil. It binds us to God. All other freedoms are
things more than Heavenly Things, lose both the illusory, false - that is to say, they are all, in fact,
earthly and the Heavenly. But those who seek slavery.
Heavenly Things, possess the whole world!

4. THE TRANSFIGURATION OF CHRIST OUR SAVIOUR 6 AUGUST 2017
Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa
Archdiocese of Good Hope
All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and
forever, and unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most
Blessed and Glorious Lady, Maria, Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together with all the Saints. And let
us commit ourselves and one another and our whole Life to Christ our God. Amen.

Tone 1 13 August 2017
th th
10 Sunday After Pentecost - 10 Sunday of St Matthew
Faith as small as a Mustard Seed
Apodosis/Leave-taking of the Transfiguration
The Feast of St Maximos the Confessor (Holy Relics) – St Tikhon, Bishop &
Wonderworker of Voronezh, Zadonsk & All Russia – St Maximos, Fool for Christ, of Moscow (Holy Relics) – St Hippolytos
& St Concordia, St Irenaeos & St Abundios of Rome – St Tikhon the Wonderworker of Zadonsk (Second Finding) – St
Xenia, formerly Empress Irene - St Dositheos the Monk Martyr – The Holy Icons of our Lady Theotokos “Of the
Passion” & “Of the Seven Arrows” and “The Mother of God of Minsk”

RESURRECTION GOSPEL 10 : JOHN 21 : 1 - 14

RESURRECTION APOLYTIKION – TONE 1
Tou lithou sfragisthentos ipo ton Ioudeon, ke Stratioton The stone had been secured with a seal by the Judeans,
filassonton to ahranton Sou Soma, Anestis Triimeros and a pair of soldier guarded Thine Immaculate Body.
Sotir, doroumenos to kosmo tin Zoin. Dia touto e Thou Rose on the Third Day, O Lord and Saviour,
Dinamis ton Ouranon evoon Si Zoodota. ✞ Doxa ti granting Life to the world. Wherefore the Powers of
Anastasi Sou, Hriste! ✞ Doxa ti Vasilia Sou! ✞ Doxa ti Heaven cried to Thee, O Life-giver: ✞ Glory to Thy
Ikonomia Sou, Mone Filanthrope! Resurrection, O Christ! ✞ Glory to Thy Kingdom! ✞
Glory to Thy Dispensation, O Only Lover of mankind!
FESTAL APOLYTIKION – TRANSFIGURATION – TONE (7) VARYS/GRAVE
Metemorfothis en to Ori Hriste O Theos, dixas tis mathites Thou was Transfigured upon the Mountain, O Christ our
sou tin Doxan Sou, kathos idinanto. Lampson ke imin tis God, showing Thy Glory to Thy Disciples as far as they
amartolis, to Fos Sou to edion, presvies tis Theotokos ✞ were able to bear it. At the Intercessions of the
Fotodota Doxa Si! Theotokos, make Thine Everlasting Light shine forth
also upon us sinners. ✞O Giver of Light: Glory to Thee!
SEASONAL KONTAKION – TRANSFIGURATION
Epi tou Orous Metemorfothis, ke os ehoroun i Mathite Sou, Upon the Mount Thou were Transfigured, and Thy
tin Doxan Sou Hriste O Theos etheasanto. Ina otan se Disciples beheld Thy Glory, as far as they were able to
idosi Stavoumenon, to me Pathos noisosin ekousion to de do, O Christ our God; so that when they would see
kosmo kirixosin oti Si Iparhis Alithos, tou Patros to Thee Crucified, they would know that Thou Suffered
Apavgasma! willingly; and thus proclaim to all the world: Thou art
truly the One Who is the Father’s Radiance!
FESTAL PROKEIMENON – PSALM 32 – TONE 1
Let Thy Mercy, O Lord, be upon us.
Rejoice in the Lord, O you Righteous!
THE FIRST EPISTLE OF ST PAUL TO THE CORINTHIANS 4 : 9 – 16
Brethren, God has set forth us, the Apostles, last, as it were appointed to Death, for we are made a spectacle unto the
world, and to Angels, and to men.
We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ; we are weak, but you are strong; you are honourable, but we
are despised. Even unto this present hour, we both hunger and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have
no dwelling-place. And we labour, working with our own hands. Being reviled, we Bless; being persecuted, we
suffer it; being defamed, we Entreat. We are made as the filth of the world - the offscourings of all things unto this
day.
I write not these things to shame you, but as my Beloved Children, I warn you. Although you have ten thousand
instructors in Christ, yet have you not many Fathers. In Christ Jesus through the Gospel I have begotten you.
I beseech you, therefore - be imitators of me.
Irony and sarcasm are bitter medicine, which St Paul They endured all their humiliation and suffering for the
used on this occasion with full force. Pure Joy of serving our Lord and Saviour – thereby
The three parallel statements: “... we are fools... weak... reconciling the fallen world to God.
dishonoured...” were heaped upon each other in a St Paul soothed the pain of his rebuke by reminding the
stinging series. Faithful of his Spiritual Fatherhood to them.
The relative comfort of the Corinthians Christian The Holy Church of Christ is similar to any other family –
Community was contrasted with the persecuted, with maturing children who need parental guidance.
poverty-stricken and uncertain lifestyle of the Holy As Struggling Disciples of Christ, we who are the maturing
Apostles of Christ. children, need our Spiritual Fathers to teach and
They endured all kinds and degrees of humiliation – guide us.
being treated as filth and even like the “off-scourings” St Paul urged us as Faithful Disciples of Christ to imitate
– yet, instead of retaliating in a similar fashion – him just as he ceaselessly strove to imitate our Lord
striking back in a similar manner at their persecutors Jesus Christ.
– the Holy Apostles and Faithful Disciples of Christ
responded with unconditional, Divine Love – Agape!

10 T H S UN DAY A FTE R P ENTECOST – 10 T H OF S T M ATTHEW – A PODOSI S OF T RA NSFIGURATI ON – F OREFEAST OF D ORMITION -13A UGUST 2017 5.
THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST MATTHEW 17 : 14 – 23
At that time, a man went to Jesus, knelt down before Him and said: “Lord, have Mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic
and suffers severely. He often falls into fire and water. So I brought him to Thy Disciples, but they could not cure
him.”
Jesus answered and said: “O faithless and perverse generation! How long shall I be with you? How long shall I
bear with you? Bring him here to me.”
And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it went out of him. And the child was Cured at that very hour.
When the Disciples went to Jesus privately and asked Him: “Why could we not cast it out?” Jesus said to them: “Because
of your unbelief. Truly, I say to you: if you have Faith as (small as) a mustard seed, you will say to that
mountain: ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. “And nothing will be impossible for you.
“However, this kind (of demon) does not go out except by Prayer and Fasting.”
And while they were staying in Galilee, Jesus said to them: “The Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of
men. And they will kill Him, and the third day He will be raised up.”
Sickness and disease is sometimes associated with Him to Mount Tabor and witnessed His
demonic activity – especially in Old Covenant times. Transfiguration.
By kneeling before our Lord Jesus, the Father displayed “THIS KIND” OF DEMON POSSESSION WAS A REFERENCE TO ALL EVIL
his sincere Humility and desperation, but he also POWERS OF SPIRITUAL DARKNESS AND DEATH – and not
lacked faith. simply those types of demons that caused certain
Although the Disciples of Christ also suffered from a lack illnesses.
of faith, our Lord rebuked the Father of the epileptic THE EXORCISM AND BANISHMENT OF SUCH FEARSOME DEMONS
boy for trying to blame the Disciples when it was his REQUIRED STRONG, UNWAVERING FAITH, FERVENT PRAYERS AND
even greater lack of Faith that prevented his son from STRICT FASTING, for THERE IS NO HEALING AND NO VICTORY IN
being Healed. SPIRITUAL WARFARE WITHOUT ALL THREE SPIRITUAL WEAPONS.
In effect, our Lord Jesus Christ defended His Disciples and Beginning with the Didache, our Holy Church Fathers
Apostles in front of the multitudes but later, in private, have taught us that BOTH THE PERSON IN NEED OF HEALING
He reprimanded them for their personal doubts and AND THE PERSON PERFORMING THE HEALING MUST FIRMLY
lack of trust in God through Whom all things are BELIEVE, FERVENTLY PRAY AND STRICTLY FAST.
possible – after they sought the reason for their failure While it is not recorded that an Apostle literally moved a
to Exorcise the demon and Heal the boy. mountain, our Holy Church Fathers are clear that THEY
This is a good Lesson of how to correct the errors of others HAD SUCH DIVINE AUTHORITY IF THE NEED EVER AROSE – and
– without humiliating or embarrassing them in front of certain Saints have been able to cause crevasses to
witnesses. appear in mountains.
ERRORS ARE TO BE GENTLY BUT FIRMLY CORRECTED and THOSE Furthermore, NOT EVERYTHING THAT THE HOLY APOSTLES OF
WHO ARE BEING CORRECTED SHOULD ACCEPT IT WITH HUMBLE CHRIST ACCOMPLISHED WAS WRITTEN DOWN FOR POSTERITY.
GRATITUDE AND OBEDIENCE INSTEAD OF RESENTMENT, Beyond the literal meaning this Divine Promise is also an
REBELLION OR ANGER. illustration of the Great Power of True Faith and
The Discipline of our Holy Church is based on mutual Fervent Prayer in all areas of Earthly life.
correction in three expanding stages. (MATTHEW 18: 15 - St Theophylact believed: “Whatever we ask, without
20) hesitation and by believing in God’s Power, we shall
Sin and correction are to remain private unless the receive...” WHEN WE ASK FOR SPIRITUALLY PROFITABLE
offender stubbornly and wilfully refuses to Repent or THINGS.
correct their errors. For the second time, our Lord Jesus Christ predicted and
ALL CORRECTION MUST BE DONE WITH GREAT CARE AND HUMILITY, spoke of His forthcoming Death and Resurrection,
WITH THE HIGHEST CONCERN BEING THE SALVATION OF THE which showed that He went to his passion freely and
OFFENDER. (1 CORINTHIANS 5:5 & GALATIANS 6:1) was not taken against His Will.
Nevertheless, CORRECTION IS NECESSARY AND ESSENTIAL SO THAT God Himself chose the day, the year and the hour of His
THE SIN DOES NOT SPREAD TO OTHERS AS WELL. Passion – so it was not due to anyone else’s schemes or
St John Chrysostom pointed out that Christ reprimanded plots.
nine of His Apostles – none of whom had been able to EVERYTHING IS CONTROLLED AND PERMITTED BY GOD FOR OUR
Exorcise the demon that caused the young boy’s SALVATION - or Condemnation – depending on what
epilepsy. course we freely and wilfully choose to take!
The other three Apostles were the “Pillars of Faith” – St
Peter, St James and St John – who had accompanied
10TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 10TH SUNDAY OF ST MATTHEW – GROWING IN FAITH
Beloved Brethren in Christ, today’s Sacred Lesson testifies Although ‘Bruce Wayne’ had thought he was protecting
to another Encounter of our Lord Jesus Christ with a himself by using a rope to ensure that he would not
family that had suffered. fall to his death whenever he missed the ledge, his
A distraught father presented his son to our Lord Jesus trust was entirely in the rope.
because he suffered from epileptic seizures that often However, he could never reach his goal while he trusted
put him in danger. the rope more than he trusted himself.
Our Lord's Disciples had failed to heal the boy, so the Faith is our way of saying that we have no need of a
father went to Christ and knelt before him, ‘safety rope’ when we trust implicitly in God for He
beseeching His Great Mercy upon his beloved son, NEVER fails us.
whereupon our Saviour exorcised the cause of the THE DISCIPLES OF CHRIST HAD NOT YET PUT THEIR FULL TRUST AND
epilepsy and healed him immediately.. CONFIDENCE IN GOD - WHAT HE COULD DO THROUGH THEM.
Later, in private, the Disciples asked Christ why they had We are all so much like those first Disciples of Christ.
failed to Heal the son. GOD TRIES TO SPEAK TO OUR HEART – TO ENCOURAGE US TO DO HIS
The answer our Lord gave to them also applies to many WILL, DESPITE OUR OWN PERSONAL WEAKNESS, DOUBTS OR
of our own problems that cannot be resolved - FEARS.
“Because of your unbelief!” YET WE MAKE ONE EXCUSE AFTER ANOTHER because they are
✶✶ OUR ABILITIES AND ACHIEVEMENT ARE SO OFTEN LIMITED DUE more convenient than actually letting go of our ‘safety
TO THE EXTENT OF OUR FAITH OR LACK THEREOF. rope.’
In a ‘Batman’ movie - “The Dark Knight Rises” – there is a THE FEAR OF FAILURE OVERWHELMS AND DEFEATS US EVEN BEFORE
very good example of faith – trust and confidence. WE HAVE MADE ANY EFFORT AT ALL!
‘Bruce Wayne’ is forced to jump to a ledge that has only Thankfully our Lord Jesus provides us with two great
been reached once before in order to escape from a ways of increasing our Faith.
deep pit. As He told His Disciples: “This kind (of demon) never
He tries time after time, but fails - until one of the other comes out except by Prayer and Fasting.”
prisoners in the pit tells him the secret of the only ✶✶ There are two explanations of “PRAYER AND FASTING:
person who had managed to escape – he had not 1. We must pray and Fast in order TO INCREASE IN FAITH.
used a ‘safety rope!’

6. 10 T H S UNDAY A FTER P ENTECOST – 10 T H OF S T M ATT HEW – A PODOSIS OF T RANSFI GURAT ION – F OREFEAST OF D ORMIT ION -13A UGUST 2017
2. Those who pray and Fast have Faith that is necessary may prefer to pray at set times of day, such as the
TO SOLVE AND TO ENDURE ALL OUR PROBLEMS. daily hours, or at the beginning and end of our
✶✶ PRAYER AND FASTING ARE THE TWO OF THE MOST ESSENTIAL day, with certain short Prayers at Midday.
‘TOOLS’ FOR OUR SPIRITUAL LIFE – LIFE IN CHRIST.  We may also read ONE OR MORE OF THE PSALMS, which
OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST has not left us ‘orphaned’ nor are beautiful Prayers to which we can all relate.
Spiritually Bereft, for He HAS TAUGHT US EVERYTHING THAT The first thing that we should do every day is spend a few
IS VITAL TO OUR ETERNAL SALVATION. minutes praying so that God will be a tangible
He has granted us significant Spiritual Tools that aid and Presence for us.
nurture our growth in Faith. And BY GROWING IN FAITH, When we acknowledge God with the first moments of the
WE ARE ALSO STRENGTHENING OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH day, we find that WE ARE ACKNOWLEDGED BY GOD AND
ALMIGHTY GOD. MOVED BY HIS PRESENCE AND HIS GRACE THROUGHOUT THE
Think about our Relationship with God as being like that DAY.
of a Marriage.  IN THE EVENING WE SHOULD GIVE THANKS TO GOD for all His
When we decide to marry there is no way of knowing Blessings and Providence that we received that
with certainty that our Marriage will be a good day, and we must beseech His Forgiveness for our
Relationship and Union. sins that we committed during the past hours.
Yet WE ARE WILLING TO UNITE OURSELVES TO THE ONE WHOM WE We must resist the temptation of delaying or neglecting
LOVE – COMMITTING OURSELVES ENTIRELY - BASED ON WHAT WE these times of Prayer and Fasting, for “LATER” OR “A
DO KNOW OR WHAT HAS BEEN REVEALED TO US. MORE CONVENIENT TIME” IS NEVER GUARANTEED!
Similar to a Marriage, WE MUST MAKE EVERY EFFORT TOWARDS ✶✶ WE ARE GOD'S BELOVED CHILDREN WHO MUST NEVER DEPRIVE
MAINTAINING THAT HOLY COMMITMENT TO GOD THAT WE OURSELVES OF THESE SPECIAL MOMENTS OF HEALING AND
MADE AT OUR HOLY BAPTISM, WHICH CONSISTS OF FAR MORE INSTRUCTION WHILE IN HIS DIVINE PRESENCE.
THAN SIMPLY ATTENDING CHURCH ON SUNDAYS. Our Lord God Loves us and wants to be with us always –
A Marriage would not last very long - or at best, it would in our heart and in our mind.
be an estranged relationship - if all day, everyday, However, UNLESS WE WELCOME HIS PRESENCE WITH LOVE, JOY
we were away from the home, returning only for a AND THANKSGIVING, HE WILL NOT REMAIN WITH US WHEN WE
short time, once a week or less often! REPEATEDLY REJECT OR IGNORE HIM!
Our Relationship with God is very much the same! God created us with free will, and as He Loves our True
UNLESS WE BECOME CLOSER TO THE LORD OUR GOD BY BEING IN HIS Freedom, HE NEVER IMPOSES UPON US.
PRESENCE THROUGH AN ACTIVE, PRAYERFUL LIFE IN CHRIST, THE Consequently, we have to USE THAT GIFT OF FREEDOM
FIRST TIME IT IS TESTED, THE WEAKNESS OF THE RELATIONSHIP WISELY.
WILL BE TRAGICALLY EVIDENT! THERE IS NO GREATER USE OF OUR TIME THAN IN PRAYER - the most
Our Lord Jesus has taught us to INCREASE OUR FAITHFULNESS ‘Revolutionary Act’ of our day that no empire, no
TO GOD BY PRAYING AND FASTING, IN ADDITION TO FULFILLING government, and no army can ever stop!
OUR OTHER HOLY COMMITMENTS TO GOD AND TO OUR FELLOW Let's make a pact together. Let's each promise to SPEND
MANKIND. THE FIRST 5-10 MINUTES OF THE DAY IN FRONT OF AN ICON,
As Orthodox Christians, we Fast for more than 200 days READING SOME PRAYERS OR PSALMS IN A THOUGHTFUL,
out of the year. But why should we pray and Fast? CONTEMPLATIVE MANNER.
We must pray and Fast and increase our Faith - not to Let us dedicate these precious times to Him and we will
fulfill an ‘obligation’ to God nor to His Holy Church, soon realise HOW MUCH HE BLESSES OUR DAYS, OUR
neither to appear ‘Righteous’ before God and our ATTITUDES AND OUR WORK AND VARIOUS ENDEAVOURS.
fellow sinners! No! Due to His Infinite Love for us, God has presented us with
WE MUST FULFIL ALL OUR HOLY COMMITMENTS TO GOD BECAUSE all the essential Spiritual Tools that enable us to enter
WE REALLY WANT TO OBEY CHRIST AND ENTER INTO A MORE into Holy Communion and Relationship with Him.
PROFOUND AND SACRED RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM! May our Triune Lord God grant us the resolve to MAKE FULL
Since our Lord Jesus Christ has taught us clearly and USE OF THESE SACRED TOOLS so that we always desire His
concisely how to increase and nurture our True Faith, Divine Presence as we increase in our Faith and Love
WE HAVE NO JUSTIFIABLE EXCUSE! for Him Who first loved us, even when we fall into the
There are many ways to pray. temptation of sin.
 THROUGHOUT THE DAY – no matter what we are doing - Glory to God for His Great Mercy!
we can constantly repeat the short Prayer of the Glory to God forever!
heart: “O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have Amen.
Mercy on me, a sinner!” or simply repeat “Lord,
have Mercy!” – “Kyrie eleison!” FATHER JAMES GUIRGUIS – 28-08-2016
 For our RULE OF PRAYER, we may use an Orthodox HTTP://WWW.PRAVOSLAVIE.RU/ENGLISH/96512.HTM
Prayer Book with appropriate Prayers, which we
WE MUST NOT LIVE IN FEAR OF THE END OF THIS WORLD
Our Lord’s Discourse on the outward circumstances of the ideology of consumerist society, actively cultivate, first
end of the world and on the Glory of His Second of all, a fear of the future in our collective
Coming is set forth in the Gospel of St Matthew, consciousness.
Chapter 24. And this speculation is by no means just a harmless play
Apart from the commonly conceived apocalyptic picture on people’s nerves. Their goal is more subtle – to
of wars and strife, our Lord’s Discourse contains distract us from the main point.
certain details that are usually overlooked; and this is If we pay close attention to the Gospel text, we see that
perhaps not by chance. their emphasis is on something different.
While answering His Disciples’ question on the Signs of the Christ our Lord, by no means wishes to sow fear in his
end of the world, our Saviour warned them of the Disciples.
danger of false prophets, and of social and On the contrary, He says: “... see that you are not
environmental cataclysms: “Take heed that no man troubled, for all these things must come to pass, but
deceive you. For many shall come in My Name, the end is not yet.” (MATTHEW 24:6)
saying: ‘I am Christ,’ and (they) shall deceive many. St John Chrysostom explained our Saviour’s words:
“And you shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: ... For The True Disciples of our Lord “...will be above all
Nation shall rise against Nation, and Kingdom misfortune...” because no external discord will be able
against Kingdom: and there shall be famines, and to shake their zeal for our True Faith and for the
pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers Virtuous Life.
places...” (MATTHEW 24:4-7) While testifying to this fact, our Lord Jesus Christ had
These particular Gospel passages often underlie pointed out that in the face of worldwide troubled
common views of the ultimate fate of the world. conditions, “...this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be
However, these views quite distort their meaning. preached in all the world for a witness unto all
When speculating on the theme of the end of the world, Nations.” (MATTHEW 24:14)
the Hollywood film industry, as well as various In other words, as St John Chrysostom believed, lest His
sectarian organizations and adherents of the Disciples fall into despondency and worry: “How shall

10 T H S UN DAY A FTE R P ENTECOST – 10 T H OF S T M ATTHEW – A PODOSI S OF T RA NSFIGURATI ON – F OREFEAST OF D ORMITION -13A UGUST 2017 7.
we live?” it is as if our Lord would say to us: “You shall It is primarily a perversion of the True Understanding of
live, and teach everywhere.” Love!
This first important point is the opposite of the popular False prophets of the Last Times (both public and
version of the end of the world. religious leaders) will wrongly interpret this Supreme
And Orthodox Christians should be well aware of this, for Virtue (Divine, Unconditional Love – Agape) so that the Faithful
it is unacceptable for those of us who trust implicitly in Disciples of Christ will not be able to Rejoice in such a
God, who seek to Live with God, to yield to any terror “Love.”
of the future, to give in to any panic or fear, for that is It is entirely possible that we are talking about a kind of
a sign of proud self-reliance, and not of virtuous Understanding of Love that really leads to the
concern for our Eternal Salvation. diminution of social pressure, to the establishment of
The second point of the Gospel understanding of the a harmonious society without “sharp edges,” without
ultimate fate of the world is no less important. conflicts of ways of life.
Unfortunately, it is also often understood in a distorted However this is not Love as a Divine Gift, but rather a
form – namely, about “...Love growing cold.” mutually satisfactory bargain for the sake of comfort.
Our Lord Jesus Christ warned us that “...because iniquity Everyone must give up firm convictions of what is proper,
shall abound, the Love of many shall wax Godly, and True, and acknowledge the relativity of all
cold.” (MATTHEW 24:12) values for the sake of ‘social peace and prosperity.’
Usually this point is presented as some sort of social It is precisely the fall of this outpost of Love - its perversion
collapse through the spread of mass intolerance in to such a degree - that in the name of this Virtue
society. iniquity will be committed.
They speculate that people will turn into beasts and This is the clear sign that mankind has set forth on the
begin to destroy each other. path that leads to destruction.
One consequence of such a conviction, which is rarely Nevertheless, concerning wars and cataclysms, our Lord
expressed clearly, is the search for a plan of social Jesus Christ told us “... but the end is not yet !” (MATTHEW
welfare that prevents social conflict at any cost. 24:6).
That is, at a subconscious level, people fear “sharp Christ our Lord concluded His Discourse about the
edges,” they are afraid to insist on Traditional Values distortion of Truth by false prophets, about “...the
insofar as this might lead to social pressure and cooling of Love...” and about the preaching of the
conflicts, and so on. Gospel as “...a witness unto all Nations...” with the
Thus, contemporary western models of tolerance for sin words: “... and then shall the End come.” (Matthew
have, evidently, their deep mental basis in a fear of 24:14).
the end of the world - in a myth based on an And so we see the Patristic Understanding of the
incorrect understanding of the Gospel, which today Prophecy of our Saviour on the ultimate fate of the
continues to be actively supported, but now through world is essentially opposed to that myth about the
more subtle techniques. Apocalypse, which is actively propagandized in the
How should we understand the words of Christ mass consciousness.
concerning “...love waxed cold?” If the latter has as its goal to create a terrifying picture in
One of the ancient commentators believed that this people’s imagination of disasters and social strife
primarily has to do with the cooling of love for the engendering fear, then THE GOSPEL portrayal, on the
Truth: contrary, ENCOURAGES THE FAITHFUL, and spurs us TO BE
“The words of this multitude of teachers of doctrines COURAGEOUS AND STEADFAST IN OUR FAITH AND TO ALWAYS
opposed to the Truth (i.e. false prophets) bring about such HOLD TO THE DIVINE TRUTH FOR OUR LORD GOD WILL
harm that they cause even a fervent love for Truth, CERTAINLY, TRULY, SAVE HIS FAITHFUL!
which formerly consisted of simplicity of Faith, to cool, If popular ideology purposefully focuses on social conflict
due to their conception of the Divine Mysteries.” so that people are subconsciously inclined to seek the
Our Saviour directly linked this “...cooling of love...” to the resolution of these conflicts at any cost – then THE
“...abounding of iniquity...” (the increasing of sin) – namely, GOSPEL CLEARLY SOUNDS THE WARNING OF THE DANGER OF A
to the distortion of Truth, in consequence of which, as “COOLED-OFF LOVE,” OF LOVE DEPRIVED OF FAITHFULNESS TO
Saint John Chrysostom explained: our Lord’s “... THE TRUTH IN EXCHANGE FOR SOCIAL COMFORT.
Disciples will not be able to find Consolation even in We must be clearly alert and watchful, for it is precisely
Love!” that smart “love” that leads the world to destruction.
The apocalyptic “cooling of love” is not an increase of What we really need to fear is that perversion of ‘love’
hatred, but a perversion of the True Understanding and its conversion from the Supreme Virtue of Divine
of Love. Love and Truth to the distorted, contaminated and
Thus the apocalyptic “cooling of love” is not simply a depraved handmaiden of social ‘comfort.’
change of the relationship between people, nor an
increase in hatred, but something else. BY FATHER ROMAN SAVCHUK - TRANSLATED BY ARCHPRIEST GEORGE LARDAS
20 / 07 / 2017
HTTP://WWW.PRAVOSLAVIE.RU/ENGLISH/105226.HTM
THE ETERNAL, INSPIRED WISDOM OF OUR HOLY FATHERS
ST ELIAS MINIATIOS ST DOROTHEOS
It is an indubitable Truth that the highest Divine We acquire the Fear of God if we constantly remember
Providence arranges all of Creation. God considered our unavoidable death and the Eternal Torments that
all things beforehand and takes care of all things. await unrepentant sinners. If we examine ourselves
This is the Divine Fatherly Care of which the Blessed every evening as to how we spent our day, and every
Apostle, St Peter spoke: “...Cast all your cares upon morning as to how we spent the night, and Repent our
Him, because He is concerned for you." (1 PETER5:7) sins, and if we treat others respectfully and kindly, we
will acquire the Love and the Fear of God.
ST. SILOUAN THE ATHONITE
The soul who has come to know God fully, no longer ST NICHOLAS OF SERBIA
desires anything else, nor do we attach ourselves to Falsehood - and only falsehood - separates us from God
anything on Earth. And if an entire Kingdom is put ... False thoughts, false words, false feelings, false
before us, we will not desire it, for the Love of God desires - Behold the aggregate of lies that leads us to
gives such Sweetness and Joy to our soul that even the non-being, illusion, and rejection of God.
life of a King can no longer offer us anything sweeter!
ST SILOUAN THE ATHONITE
ST JUSTIN POPOVICH The Lord does not show Himself to a proud soul. The
While we are still in this world, we must make a most proud soul, no matter how many books it reads, will
significant choice - to be with Christ, or to be against never know God, since by its pride it does not give
Him. Every person must make this decision - whether place for the Grace of the Holy Spirit, while God is
we wants to or not. We will either be a Lover of Christ known only by the humble soul.
or a fighter of Christ. There is no third option!

8. 10 T H S UNDAY A FTER P ENTECOST – 10 T H OF S T M ATT HEW – A PODOSIS OF T RANSFI GURAT ION – F OREFEAST OF D ORMIT ION -13A UGUST 2017
Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa
Archdiocese of Good Hope
All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever, and
unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most Blessed and Glorious
Lady, Maria, Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together with all the Saints. And let us commit ourselves and one
another and our whole Life to Christ our God. Amen.

15 August 2017
The Dormition of our Ever Blessed Lady, Theotokos
ISODIKON /SMALL ENTRANCE HYMNS

FESTAL APOLYTIKION – DORMITION
En ti Gennisi tin Parthenian efilaxas. En ti Kimisi ton In giving Birth, O Theotokos, Thou has retained Thy
kosmon ou katelipes Theotoke. Metestis pros tin Zoin, Virginity, and in Falling Asleep, Thou has not forsaken
Mirtir iparhousa tis Zois. Ke tes Presvies tes ses the world. Thou who art the Mother of Life has passed
litromeni, ek Thanatou tas psihas imon over into Life, and by Thy Prayers Thou delivers our
souls from Death. Wherefore, by Thine Intercessions,
deliver our souls from Death
FESTAL KONTAKION – DORMITION
Tin en Presvies akimiton Theotikon, ke prostasies Neither the Tomb nor Death had power over the
ametatheton Elpida, ta Fos ke nekrosis ouk ekratisen. Theotokos, who is Ever Watchful in Her Prayers and in
Os gar Zois Mitera, pros tin Zoin metestisen, O M ITRA N whose Intercession lies Unfailing Hope. For as the
IKISAS A IPARTHENON . Mother of Life She has been Transported into Life by
Him W H O DWELT W ITHI N HER E VE R V IRGIN W O MB .
MATINS GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST LUKE 1 : 38 – 49 & 56
TH E VISITATION
At that time, Mary arose and went into the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah, and entered the house of
Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. And it happened when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leapt
in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. And she spoke out with a loud voice, saying: “Blessed art
Thou among women, and Blessed is the Fruit of Thy Womb! And why is this grant to me, that the Mother of my
Lord should come to me? For indeed, as soon as the voice of Thy Greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leapt
with Joy in my womb. And Blessed is She Who believed, for there will be a Fulfilment of those Things that were
told Her from the Lord!”
And Mary said: “My soul Magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Saviour! For He has regarded the
lowly state of His Maidservant. For behold! Henceforth all generations will call me ‘Blessed.’ For He Who is
Mighty has done great things form me, and Holy is His Name...”
... And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her house.
The Ever Blessed Virgin Mary’s faithful response to the GOD TO BE REVEALED AS OUR DIVINE AND ETERNAL PROPHET,
Annunciation of Archangel Gabriel was that of the KING AND HIGH PRIEST.
highest degree of Humility and Obedience to God. COMPELLED BY HER WONDER AND GREAT JOY AT HER DIVINE
THE INCARNATION OF GOD THE SON IS NOT ONLY THE DIVINE WORK CONCEPTION, OUR LADY THEOTOKOS WENT TO HER BELOVED
OF ALMIGHTY GOD, BUT IT ALSO INVOLVED THE FREE AND AUNT, ST ELIZABETH, the sister of her late mother, St
WILLING RESPONSE OF MANKIND IN THE HOLY AND DEVOUT Anna.
PERSON OF ST MARY – THE EVER BLESSED, ALL HOLY AT THE SOUND OF HER GREETING, THE BLESSED ST JOHN - as a
THEOTOKOS. tiny six month baby still developing in the womb of his
Although Eve had once disobeyed the Lord our God, THE mother - PROPHESIED THE DIVINE PRESENCE OF GOD
EVER BLESSED VIRGIN MARY INSTANTLY AND VOLUNTARILY INCARNATE BY LEAPING FOR JOY.
OBEYED HIS DIVINE WILL – WHICH SHE HAS ALWAYS DONE, BECAUSE ST JOHN IS GOD’S HOLY PROPHET, HIS RECOGNITION OF
SINCE HER VERY EARLY CHILDHOOD. CHRIST WHILE THEY WERE STILL BOTH IN THE WOMBS OF THEIR
And although Eve - through her wilful disobedience by RESPECTIVE MOTHERS, FULFILLED ST JEREMIAH’S HOLY
breaking the one Divine Commandment - had PROPHESY:
alienated and distanced herself from God – exile and “Before I formed Thee in the womb, I knew Thee.”
alienation caused by sin – OUR EVER BLESSED LADY (JEREMIAH 1:5)
OPENED HER HEART AND SOUL UP TO GOD AND DREW EVER THE ALL HOLY EVER VIRGIN THEOTOKOS RECEIVES VENERATION
CLOSER TO HIM BY HER HUMBLE OBEDIENCE TO HIS DIVINE FROM THE HEAVENLY HOSTS AS WELL AS ALL HUMANITY.
WILL IN ALL MATTERS. And just as St Gabriel, the Holy Archangel of God, had
SHE WAS EVER WATCHFUL AND RESISTED TEMPTATION, PREFERRING done, SO NOW TOO, ST ELIZABETH DECLARED HER YOUNG
TO REMAIN IN HIS DIVINE GRACE. NIECE TO BE “BLESSED AMONG WOMEN.”
As St Theophilact of Bulgaria put it, Her response to God Our Panagia Mary is confessed as “the Mother of my
was always as though she said: ‘I am a (writing) Lord” by St Elizabeth and HER SPONTANEOUS, SINCERE
tablet; let the Writer inscribe whatever He desires on CONFESSION and others like it in our Holy Church – such
me.” as “Theotokos” or “Mother/Bearer of God” – CONFIRMS
In other words, HER ATTITUDE TO GOD WAS ALWAYS: “Let it be THAT THE ONE IN HER PURE WOMB IS BOTH FULLY HUMAN AND
according to Thy Will and not my will, O Lord!” FULLY DIVINE IN NATURE - our Lord Jesus Christ is THE
AS SOON AS CHRIST BECAME INCARNATE, HOLY PROPHECY RESUMED TRUE SON OF GOD Himself – as well as being the TRUE
IN ISRAEL. SON OF MAN(kind)!
GOD HAD SILENCED HIS HOLY PROPHETS FOR MANY YEARS and At Holy Vespers of the Annunciation, we declare: “It is the
even permitted an illegitimate usurper occupy the Word of God Who dwells in Her.”
position of ‘King of Judea.’ It is significant that EVEN THOUGH HIS PHYSICAL BODY HAD NOT
And in the last days before the Coming of Christ, GOD ALSO YET FULLY FORMED, OUR LORD JESUS WAS TRULY THE
SILENCED ST ZACHARIAH, THE HIGH PRIEST. INCARNATE SON OF GOD, and THE EVER BLESSED, ALL HOLY
WITH THESE THREE SIGNIFICANT ROLES BEING VACANT, VIRGIN MARY WAS ALREADY ACKNOWLEDGE AND RECOGNISED
ILLEGITIMATE AND SILENT, ALL WAS READY FOR THE SON OF AS HIS ALL PURE, HOLY MOTHER.

THE DORMITION OF OUR ALL PURE, EVER BLESSED LADY, THEOTOKOS 15 AUGUST 2017 9
THIS DIVINE TRUTH DEALS A FATAL BLOW TO THE DELUSION THAT Lady Theotokos who was inspired by a song of St
ABORTION IS JUSTIFIABLE BECAUSE THE “FOETUS” IS NOT YET A Hannah. (1 KINGS 2 : 1 – 10)
PERSON! This lovely Hymn is chanted during the Matins Service –
In this day and age, infertile couples regard the dividing cells - and from it we are taught:
from the moment of conception or fertilisation - as a viable, FAITHFUL CHRISTIANS FOR ALL TIME HONOUR AND VENERATE THE
living baby who is Joyfully awaited and already named! ALL HOLY, EVER VIRGIN THEOTOKOS as she prophesied: “...
Every child who is conceived but lost is mourned and ALL GENERATION WILL CALL ME BLESSED.”
remembered by the loving parents. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO BELIEVE IN THE INSPIRATION OF HOLY
Furthermore, the tiny heart begins to beat very soon after SCRIPTURE YET NOT BLESS OUR LADY THEOTOKOS.
conception and babies have been able to be delivered and OUR PANAGIA ASCRIBED THE MIRACLE OF THE INCARNATION TO
kept alive from very early in the gestation period, many of ALMIGHTY GOD – not to herself – which reveals Her deep
whom survive and grow into adulthood. and sincere Humility and Knowledge that GOD IS THE
Therefore, ABORTION IS THE VIOLENT AND MOST BRUTAL MURDER OF A TINY SOURCE OF ALL DIVINE GRACE.
CHILD WHO IS MORE SENSITIVE TO AND AWARE OF EVERYTHING THAN A THROUGH THE INCARNATION, GOD REIGNS OVER ALL
FULLY DEVELOPED AND BORN BABY! NATIONS.
NOT ONE PERSON WHO HAS BEEN CONCEIVED OR BORN IS A “MISTAKE” BECAUSE OUR LADY THEOTOKOS HAD NO MOTHER TO CONFIDE IN OR
because every Miracle of conception and birth is by the TO INSTRUCT HER regarding her impending
Divine Will of Almighty God Who has a Plan and Sacred motherhood, IT WAS NATURAL FOR HER TO HAVE REMAINED
Purpose for each, unique soul into whom He breathes Life! WITH HER AUNT, ST ELIZABETH, FOR THE FIRST TRIMESTER OF
(mp) HER PREGNANCY before returning home, where HER
COMPANIONS WERE ALL COMMITTED, DEDICATED VIRGINS.
Verses 46 – 56 - known as the “Magnificat” or (Today they are known as “Nuns”)
“Megalinaria” - came from the Joyful heart of our
PROKEIMENON – ODE OF THE THEOTOKOS – TONE 3
My soul Magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Saviour!
For He has regarded the lowly state of His Maidservant.

THE EPISTLE OF ST PAUL TO THE PHILIPPIANS 2 : 5 - 11
PRESERVING UNITY IN HUMILITY
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 to God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant and Coming in
the likeness of men. And being found in Appearance as a Man, He Emptied 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, which is above every other name – that at the
Name of Jesus every knee should bow – 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 passage consists of a Hymn that was already in use CHRIST HAS EQUALITY WITH GOD THE FATHER – not by illegal or
in the early Christian Church, which was quoted by St forceful seizure or theft but DUE TO HIS ETERNAL DIVINE
Paul. NATURE, HAVING BEEN BEGOTTEN BY HIS ETERNAL DIVINE
It calls us to CONTEMPLATE THE EXTREME AND ABSOLUTE FATHER.
HUMILITY OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST – the Majestic and All THERE WAS NEITHER LOSS NOR CHANGE IN THE DIVINE NATURE OF
Powerful Incarnate Son of God – which is A DIVINE OUR LORD JESUS WHEN HE TOOK ON OUR HUMAN NATURE and
TRUTH THAT IS NECESSARY FOR ALL SUFFERING AND offered us His Eternal Salvation.
STRUGGLING CHRISTIANS TO UNDERSTAND, TO APPRECIATE AND CHRIST “...made Himself of no reputation...” IS A REFERENCE
TO IMITATE THROUGH LIVING EVERY MOMENT OF THIS LIFE IN TO HIS DIVINE WILL, NOT HIS DIVINE NATURE FOR HE
CHRIST. “EMPTIED” HIMSELF – not by laying down or ridding
The words of this particular passage of Holy Scripture Himself of His Divine Nature or by setting it aside, but
have been incorporated into many Hymns of the BY VOLUNTARILY TAKING ON OUR HUMAN FORM AND NATURE.
Orthodox Church. (He “Emptied” Himself of His Majestic Divine Glory in order to
CHRIST is He Who – BEING IN THE FORM OF GOD, i.e. HIS assume our weak human form and nature.)
ETERNAL, DIVINE NATURE – IS ALSO IN THE FORM OF A OUR DIVINE SAVIOUR TOOK “...THE FORM OF A BONDSERVANT...”
BONDSERVANT – IN OUR HUMAN LIKENESS, HIS HUMAN NATURE – VOLUNTARILY SHARING OUR HUMAN CONDITION EXCEPT FOR
and so HE WAS VOLUNTARILY SUBJECT TO DEATH. OUR INCLINATION AND ABILITY TO SIN – HE CANNOT SIN!
Christ could only enter Hades in His human Nature where - in His To us human beings, Christ looks just like us, for BEING
Divine Nature - He smashed open the imprisoning Gates of TRULY INCARNATE, HE IS FULLY HUMAN BY NATURE AND FORM.
Hades and set the Righteous free to Rest in Peace in Paradise In His human Nature, CHRIST SHOWED THE FULLNESS OF HIS
until the Final Judgement. – mp HUMILITY BY HIS ABSOLUTE OBEDIENCE – even to Death,
which has enslaved us since our Fall.
OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST - Who died upon the Cross for our To have died by crucifixion – a terrible, humiliating and
Eternal Salvation -HAS BEEN EXALTED AND NAMED AS “LORD” shameful form of execution for the worst type of
BY GOD THE FATHER – a Divine Name that God the Son
criminals of the Roman Empire – was as repulsive to
shares with His Eternal Father. the Roman Citizens as it was to the Hebrews who
“The Form (Morphe) of God...” is a concept that is parallel considered it the ultimate Curse.
with “the Image (Ikon) of God” and refers to GOD THE However, THE DEATH OF OUR SAVIOUR BROUGHT ETERNAL LIFE TO
SON’S SHARING IN THE COMPLETE, FULL DIVINE NATURE OF ALL WHO ARE JOINED TO HIM – even those whom He
GOD THE FATHER. (COLOSSIANS 1:15) confronted in Hades and who repented their sins.
“Robbery” (“harpagmon“ – “prize“ or “booty“) refers to
something that is stolen or looted illegally.
THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST LUKE 10 : 38 - 42 & 11 : 27 – 28
ON E THIN G IS N EEDED !
At that time, He entered a certain village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a
sister called “Mary,” who also sat at Jesus’ Feet and heard His Word.
But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said: “Lord, dost Thou not care that my
sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me!”
And Jesus answered and said to her: “Martha! Martha! You are worried and troubled about many things, but one
thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”
... And it happened, as He spoke these things, that 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!” And He replied: “More than that: Blessed
are those who hear the Word of God and keep It!”
ST MARTHA AND ST MARY OF BETHANY WERE THE SISTERS OF ST ✶ ST MARTHA WAS “...worried and troubled about many
LAZAROS WHOM OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST HAD RAISED FROM THE things...”
DEAD.

10. THE DORMITION OF OUR ALL PURE, EVER BLESSED LADY, THEOTOKOS 15 AUGUST 2017
She was COMPLETELY PREOCCUPIED AND CONCERNED WITH ALL DAILY EXISTENCE – OUR OWN WORDS, THOUGHTS AND
HER HOUSEHOLD DUTIES while providing hospitality to our DEEDS!
Lord Jesus and His Disciples and Apostles who In order to fulfil His Divine Truth, ALL OUR THOUGHTS, OUR
accompanied Him. WORDS AND OUR DEEDS MUST BE ACCORDING GOD’S DIVINE
HER TEMPORARY, WORLDLY CARES CONCERNED HER MORE THAN WILL!
ANYTHING ELSE at the time, so SHE MISSED THAT GREAT And as soon as we are tempted into something sinful, we
OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN DIVINE TRUTH DIRECTLY FROM OUR need to IMMEDIATELY REPENT so that we can CONTINUE
LORD JESUS CHRIST Who knew that SHE DID NOT EVEN OUR SPIRITUAL STRUGGLES whereby we slowly progress
LISTEN TO HIM WHILE SHE BUSTLED ABOUT while preparing towards Eternal Life in Christ Jesus.
food and drinks for her guests. Therefore, OUR LORD JESUS DID NOT SUPPORT, NOR ENCOURAGE
ST MARTHA WAS IRRITATED, FRUSTRATED AND PROBABLY ANGRY THE IMMEDIATE MUNDANE NEEDS OF ST MARY OF BETHANY.
WITH HER SISTER FOR NOT HELPING HER, WHICH CAUSED HER TO Instead He pointed out to her that while she was so
INTERRUPT OUR LORD AND COMPLAIN BITTERLY ABOUT HER. involved and concentrated on all her current,
HER HEART WAS FILLED WITH BITTERNESS AND RESENTMENT! temporary duties, HER SISTER HAD CHOSEN TO SPEND THE
PRECIOUS TIME LISTENING TO CHRIST’S TEACHINGS THAT
When we are in such an emotionally negative state, we cannot WOULD SPIRITUALLY BENEFIT HER NOW AND ETERNALLY.
Spiritually Benefit from the Divine Presence of God, but act The “...One Thing ... needed...” was for her to PAY
contrary to His Divine Love. ATTENTION TO HIS DIVINE TEACHING.
Such an adverse emotional state also dispels and rejects God ✶✶✶ PAYING CLOSE ATTENTION TO WHAT OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
the Holy Spirit Who enables us to receive, to understand and TEACHES US AND COMMANDS US TO DO, IS A SERIOUS
to act on His Divine Truth, Wisdom and Knowledge. MP PRIORITY THAT CERTAINLY DOES NOT EXCLUDE SERVING HIM
AS WELL!
✶✶ Her sister, ST MARY OF BETHANY, HAD “...chosen that ✶✶ Later, when a woman called out to our Lord Jesus
good part, which will not be taken away from from the crowd, our Lord pointed out to her that
her.” GOD’S BLESSINGS FALL UPON ALL THOSE WHO HEAR THE
ST MARY SAT IN RAPT ATTENTION AT THE FEET OF OUR LORD AND WORD OF GOD AND WITH HUMILITY, OBEY HIM.
HEARD EVERY WORD THAT HE SPOKE.
FAMILY OR SOCIAL CONNECTIONS HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH OUR
THE DIVINE WORDS THAT ST MARY OF BETHANY HEARD FROM OBEDIENCE TO GOD.
CHRIST REMAINED IN HER HEART FOREVER, and SHE WAS THUS ✶✶ THE EVER BLESSED THEOTOKOS WAS ESPECIALLY
ABLE TO LIVE ACCORDINGLY, AS WELL AS TO CORRECTLY GUIDE
COMPLIMENTED AND PRAISED BY HER DIVINE SON BECAUSE
AND TEACH OTHERS.
SHE NOT ONLY PAID CAREFUL ATTENTION TO THE WORD OF
✶✶ “...One Thing is needed...” by us all. GOD BUT SHE ALSO FAITHFULLY OBEYED ALL HIS
We must LISTEN CAREFULLY AND ATTENTIVELY so that we HEAR COMMANDMENTS AND LIVED HER ENTIRE LIFE
EVERY WORD, EVERY COMMANDMENT AND TEACHING OF OUR
ACCORDINGLY.
LORD JESUS CHRIST. ✶✶✶ IT IS THAT PROFOUND VIRTUE OF HUMBLE AND ATTENTIVE
THE ABSOLUTE, PERFECT DIVINE TRUTH IS REVEALED TO US AND OBEDIENCE TO GOD OF THE EVER BLESSED THEOTOKOS
TAUGHT TO US DIRECTLY BY THE ETERNAL SON OF GOD.
ALONE – EVEN MORE THAN HAVING BORNE THE INCARNATE
✶✶✶ EVERY WORD OF HIS DIVINE COMMANDMENTS AND GOD – THAT MAKES HER OUR MOST SHINING EXAMPLE OF
TEACHINGS MUST BE APPLIED TO EVERY ASPECT OF OUR TRUE SAINTHOOD AND THEOSIS – SPIRITUAL PERFECTION
THE DORMITION OF OUR EVER BLESSED, ALL HOLY LADY, THEOTOKOS
✞ In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the SHE IS A HUMAN BEING (just like us) WHO UNFAILINGLY OBEYS
Holy Spirit... EVERY WORD OF GOD – WHO ALWAYS APPLIES HIS DIVINE TRUTH
Beloved Brethren: Today we celebrate the Dormition of TO EVERY ASPECT OF HER BEING.
the Mother of God. We do not celebrate Her death but As Orthodox Christians we must imitate Her Good
Her Dormition - Her Falling Asleep - when all the Holy Example - BEING COMPELLED BY OUR LOVE OF GOD – EAGER
Apostles of Christ – except St Thomas – had been AND WILLING TO FULFIL – TO BE OBEDIENT - TO EVERY WORD OF
Mystically gathered together in Jerusalem from GOD – TO HIS DIVINE TRUTH.
throughout the world where they had gone to preach THE HOLY GOSPEL OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST IS LIKE A DIVINE
the Holy Gospel. CONSTITUTION for us because IT IS THE WORD OF GOD – HIS
THEIR SINGING OF HYMNS AND CHANTING OF PSALMS, WAS DIVINE TRUTH!
ACCOMPANIED BY THOSE OF THE HEAVENLY HOSTS, AND GREAT ✶✶OUR LADY, THEOTOKOS, PRAYED CONSTANTLY AND THUS
SPIRITUAL JOY ABOUNDED THROUGHOUT JERUSALEM (except REMAINED IN THE VERY PRESENCE OF CHRIST - PHYSICALLY AND
for the enemies of Christ.) SPIRITUALLY.
WE ORTHODOX CHRISTIANS PRAY FOR THAT SAME SPIRITUAL JOY IN The first public Miracle of Christ occurred when SHE TOOK
EVERY HOLY SERVICE so that we, too, may have a Blessed THE INITIATIVE: SHE INTERCEDED FOR THE SAKE OF THE BRIDAL
ending to this short life – A PAINLESS, UNASHAMED AND COUPLE whose wedding was being celebrated.
PEACEFUL DORMITION, as well as A GOOD ACCOUNT OF We, too, often need to take the initiative and INTERCEDE
OURSELVES AS WE STAND BEFORE THE DREADED JUDGEMENT WITH OUR LORD ON BEHALF OF OTHERS!
SEAT OF CHRIST. As Faithful Disciples of Christ – as ‘Christians’ - we have to
THE ALL PURE, EVER BLESSED AND MOST HOLY VIRGIN MARY, IS ALWAYS LIVE THE TEACHINGS OF HIS HOLY CHURCH, which
THE FOREMOST SAINT OF THE HOLY CHURCH OF CHRIST AND are ESSENTIAL TO OUR ETERNAL SALVATION - NOT ONLY THE
OUR ALL HOLY SPIRITUAL MOTHER, FOR SHE IS THE MOST HOLY GOSPEL, THE WORD OF CHRIST, BUT THE WORK OF
PERFECT CHRISTIAN – THE MOST HUMBLE AND OBEDIENT CHRIST IN THE COMMUNITY OF HIS CHURCH.
CHILD AND SERVANT OF GOD. ✶✶ OUR LADY, THEOTOKOS EPITOMISES HUMILITY AND OBEDIENCE
Her entire Life and Her Dormition is the Perfect Example TO HER LORD GOD Who is also Her own Son Whom SHE
of our own Sacred Vocation - our Sacred Calling as WATCHED, LISTENED AND APPLIED ALL GOD’S COMMANDMENTS
Faithful, Loving, Obedient and Humble Disciples of AND TEACHINGS TO HER OWN BEING,
Christ. And that is why She is so important to all of us. BEING GENUINELY HUMBLE SHE ALWAYS KEPT HERSELF IN THE
Being the All Pure Mother of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus BACKGROUND, ALL THE WHILE PAYING CAREFUL ATTENTION TO
Christ, SHE CEASELESSLY WATCHES OVER US AND INTERCEDES HER SACRED DUTIES.
FOR US, and in our Prayers WE BESEECH HER TO BE WITH US We, too, must strive with all our strength and
WHILE WE STRUGGLE THROUGH THIS SHORT LIFESPAN, AND determination to ACQUIRE THESE TWO MOST SIGNIFICANT,
ESPECIALLY AT THE TIME OF OUR REPOSE. INSEPARABLE AND NECESSARY HOLY VIRTUES OF HUMILITY AND
As our Beloved Patron Saint and Spiritual Mother, we OBEDIENCE TO GOD!
steadfastly believe that SHE IS INDEED WITH US – ✶✶ OUR LIFE IN CHRIST PROVIDES EVERY WAY AND MEANS TO
PROTECTING US, GUIDING US AND WATCHING OVER US AS HER ACHIEVE ETERNAL SALVATION, by providing SPIRITUAL
OWN BELOVED CHILDREN. GUIDANCE AND WELFARE THAT GRANTS US FULL AND CORRECT
✶✶OUR LADY, THEOTOKOS, IS THE SAINT OF SAINTS FOR HER GOOD UNDERSTANDING OF THE HOLY GOSPEL, BUT WE MUST STRIVE
AND EXEMPLARY LIFE OF HUMBLE DEVOTION TO GOD SHOWS TO ACQUIRE HUMILITY AND OBEDIENCE, WITHOUT WHICH WE
ALL WHO ARE FAITHFUL HOW TO LIVE A PROPER CHRISTIAN LIFE. CANNOT MAKE ANY SPIRITUAL PROGRESS AT ALL!
ARCHBISHOP GABRIEL OF COMANA
HTTP://WWW.PRAVMIR.COM

THE DORMITION OF OUR ALL PURE, EVER BLESSED LADY, THEOTOKOS 15 AUGUST 2017 11.
THE “FEAR OF GOD” – PROFESSOR ALEXEI OSIPOV
THE FEAR OF GOD IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT ELEMENTS OF deserved crucifixion. He did not beseech our Lord
SPIRITUAL LIFE. Jesus Christ to have Mercy on him - not to punish him
Many Holy Fathers even call it “... the original state...” in Eternity.
WITHOUT WHICH WE CANNOT UNDERSTAND ANYTHING ✶✶ HIS HEART WAS OVERWHELMED BY LOVE FOR GOD, and he
CONCERNING OUR SPIRITUAL LIFE NOR CAN WE ATTAIN IT. simply said: “Lord, remember me when Thou come
UNDERSTANDING THE “FEAR OF GOD” IS EXTRAORDINARILY into Thy Kingdom!”
IMPORTANT. FEAR OF GOD OCCURS WHEN WE SEE OURSELVES COMPARED TO THE
Many people who are unfamiliar with the Works of our PERFECTION OF CHRIST – WHEN WE CLEARLY SEE THE DEGREE OF
Holy Fathers and ignorant of Spiritual Matters, OUR SINFULNESS AND UNDERSTAND OUR FALLEN SPIRITUAL
perceive the ‘Fear of God’ as being the same as being STATE.
terrified or afraid of something that is or might be Our Fear of God is OUR SENSE OF SHAME - OUR REALISATION OF
harmful to us. DISAPPOINTING GOD WHO INFINITELY LOVES US AND WHOM WE
This idea is A COMPLETE MISUNDERSTANDING of “ the Fear of LOVE!
God” in Asceticism, yet it is deeply seated in many GOD IS LOVE BUT HOW HAVE WE RESPONDED THAT DIVINE LOVE?
people due to their lack of Knowledge of our Loving Our Compassionate Christ tells us: “ Come to Me, all who
and Merciful God. or what Holy Fear of God really labour and are heavily laden, and I will grant you
means. rest .” (MATTHEW. 11:28).
The concept of being hideously punished by a wrathful, HOW OFTEN HAVE WE REJECTED THE DIVINE LOVE AND GREAT
vengeful God due to our disobedience and MERCY OF GOD?
wickedness, proceeds from man’s misguided Fear of God does not concern the fear of horror.
interpretations of Judaism and paganism, whereby Fear of God is a Fear of His Divine Love! It is A HOLY FEAR OF
an All Powerful God was understood as being the US DISAPPOINTING, IGNORING OR EVEN REJECTING HIS DIVINE
harsh, merciless, Supreme Judge Who would either LOVE!
reward or punish each person exactly according to We Fear God not because we are tortured. We Fear God
their deeds. because WE DO NOT WANT TO OFFEND HIM, CAUSE HARM TO
✶✶✶ OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST COMPLETELY OVERTURNED THAT ALL HIM, NOR TO DISHONOUR HIM, OR DISPLEASE HIM WHO TREATS
TOO HUMAN IDEA OF OUR TRUE, LOVING, ALL POWERFUL AND US WITH ABSOLUTE LOVE.
ALL MERCIFUL GOD! We must always REMEMBER CLEARLY EVERYTHING THAT OUR
THE ETERNAL SON AND WORD OF GOD REVEALED TO US AN LORD JESUS CHRIST DID FOR US – for our Eternal Salvation -
INFINITELY LOVING, COMPASSIONATE. GRACIOUS AND and how He voluntarily suffered public humiliation,
MERCIFUL GOD Whom the ancient world simply did not scourging and crucifixion
know, although THERE WERE SOME RARE INTUITIONS, FOR GOD’S INFINITE LOVE FOR US IS THE ONLY REASON HE CAME TO LIVE
EXAMPLE, WHEN THE HOLY PROPHET OF GOD, KING DAVID WITH US – REVEALING HIS DIVINE TRUTH TO US even though
COMPOSED HIS AMAZING PSALMS. already knowing what brutal torments, insults and
The understanding of God in pre-Christian eras was that dishonour He would have to bear!
our Lord God is the Supreme and Most Just Judge WHEN WE FULLY APPRECIATE AND UNDERSTAND HIS INFINITE,
over every person and the whole world. PERFECT AND DIVINE LOVE, HOW DO WE FEEL WHEN WE ARE
However, our Lord Jesus Christ taught us very clearly that TEMPTED INTO SIN THAT ALIENATES US FROM HIS GREAT MERCY
that idea was totally wrong, for OUR TRIUNE GOD IS A AND LOVE?
GOD OF LOVE WHO ALONE IS ALL GOOD AND ALL GRACIOUS! FEAR OF GOD IS OUR FEAR OF BETRAYING HIS ALL ENCOMPASSING
THE INFINITE LOVE AND GREAT MERCY OF GOD WAS NOT ONLY DIVINE LOVE.
EVIDENT IN OUR LORD’S PARABLES AND TEACHINGS, BUT IN THE It is very important to KNOW AND UNDERSTAND THAT FEAR OF
ASTOUNDING FORGIVENESS OF GOD when our Crucified GOD IS DUE TO OUR OWN LOVE OF GOD, for WE NEVER FEEL
Saviour said to the Repentant Thief, St Dismas: “Today GOOD WHEN WE HAVE DISAPPOINTED, HURT OR BETRAYED THOSE
thou shalt be with Me in Paradise!” WHOM WE LOVE – AND ESPECIALLY OUR LORD GOD WHO IS
WE HAVE GROWN SO ACCUSTOMED TO THIS INCREDIBLE TRUTH, WE LOVE ITSELF!
DO NOT SEE THE IMMENSE SIGNIFICANCE OF THAT GREAT IF GOD WAS A ‘JUST JUDGE’ – a Loveless and Unmerciful God -
MOMENT! WE WOULD HAVE CEASED TO EXIST after Adam and Eve
St Dismas had been a nasty bandit - a brutal criminal, were banished from Paradise!
with blood on his hands, but WHEN HE SAW THE Christ taught us His Divine Truth: GOD IS INFINITE LOVE, AND
OVERWHELMING INNOCENCE OF CHRIST WHO WAS BEING HE NEVER CHANGES!
CRUCIFIED together with him and his evil partner in We are constantly changing yet WE WERE CREATED PERFECTLY
crime, he not only cautioned the other wicked sinner, WITH DIVINE LOVE!
but HE ACKNOWLEDGED HIS OWN SINS AND BESOUGHT OUR We hardened our heart against God’s Love due to our
LORD JESUS TO REMEMBER HIM IN HIS KINGDOM. sins but while we still live here and now, we can
NOT ONLY WAS ST DISMAS FORGIVEN BY GOD, BUT HE BECAME THE Repent our sins, soften our heart and RETURN TO THAT
VERY FIRST HUMAN BEING TO ENTER PARADISE SINCE OUR FALL – BLESSED STATE OF DIVINE LOVE.
without having to enter Hades like all the other Old The choice is entirely our own to make!
Covenant souls – good or bad. . Our Lord Jesus said: “Behold, I stand at the door, and
If we ask representatives of all world religions: “What is knock. If any man hear My Voice, and opens the
needed in order to enter Paradise?” everyone would door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him,
more or less agree that we have to fulfil God’s and he with me.” (REVELATION 3:20).
Commandments. God knocks on the door of our heart with His Love.
OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, however, disagreed for He REVEALED We can and indeed, must, OPEN THAT DOOR BY REPENTING
THE DIVINE TRUTH CONCERNING ALMIGHTY GOD: OUR SINS, AS SOON AS THEY CAUSE US TO FALL!
✶✶✶ THE LORD OUR GOD IS NOT A GOD OF JUSTICE! OUR LORD No matter what sins we have committed, we must
GOD IS LOVE! understand that OUR LOVING GOD ALWAYS WAITS TO
ONLY DUE TO GOD’S DIVINE LOVE COULD A REPENTANT CRIMINAL WELCOME US AGAIN AND AGAIN - each time we fall down
BE THE FIRST TO ENTER PARADISE - not a High Priest nor a and REPENT, AND HASTEN TO HIS DIVINE EMBRACE.
Patriarch, not any of the Hierarchs, nor any of the NO SIN IS TOO GREAT FOR OUR REPENTANCE AND GOD’S
Theologians, Scribes, Pharisees, nor the Monastics. FORGIVENESS AND GREAT MERCY!
None of them was the first to enter Paradise. Our Lord Heals the Wounds inflicted upon us by sin each
This Fact reveals A GREAT MYSTERY OF OUR HUMAN SOUL AND time we return to Him, seeking His Love.
OUR UNDERSTANDING OF OUR LORD GOD AND OUR HOLY FEAR TRUE REPENTANCE AND THE LOVE OF GOD TRANSFORMS US AND
OF GOD. GRANTS US ABUNDANT BLESSINGS both now and forever.
The Wise and Repentant Thief, St Dismas, in an instant, Let us all ACQUIRE, THROUGH OUR SPIRITUAL STRUGGLES, THE
clearly BEHELD CHRIST Who was crucified next to him, AS FEAR OF GOD THAT IS A LOVING FEAR THAT GRANTS US
OUR LORD GOD AND DIVINE SAVIOUR! ETERNAL LIFE, LOVE AND JOY.
He did not quake in terror, wondering what would
happen to him - a wicked, brutal criminal who

12. THE DORMITION OF OUR ALL PURE, EVER BLESSED LADY, THEOTOKOS 15 AUGUST 2017
Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa
Archdiocese of Good Hope
All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and
forever, and unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most
Blessed and Glorious Lady, Maria, Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together with all the Saints. And let
us commit ourselves and one another and our whole Life to Christ our God. Amen.

Afterfeast of the Dormition 16 August 2017
The Holy Mandylion Not Made By Hands
Also the Feast of St Diomedes the Physicians of Tarsos, Cilicia – St Gerasimos,
Wonderworker & Ascetic of Cephalonia – St Apostolos, New Martyr – St Cherimon of
Egypt – St Anthony of Martkofeli, Georgia, St Christopher of Guria, Georgia, St Isaac &
St Joseph of Karnu, Georgia – St Joachim of Osogovo – St Roman & St Raphael of
Banat – St Eustathios of Serbia – St Nikodemos, Hieromartyr, of Meteora Monastery – St
Stramatios the New Martyr of Volos – St Constantine Brancoveanu, Holy Prince & his 4
sons: St Constantine the Younger, St Stephen, St Radu & St Matthew, & St Ianache
Vacarescu, Loyal Counsellor, Holy Martyrs of Romania

FESTAL APOLYTIKION - TRANSLATION OF THE HOLY MANDYLION – NOT MADE BY HANDS - TONE 2
Tin ahranton Ikona Sou proskinoumen Agathe, etoumeni We venerate Thy Most Pure Image, O Good One, and ask
sighorisin ton ptesmaton imon, Hriste O Theos. Voulisi Forgiveness of our transgression, O Christ God. Of
gar iidokisas Sarki, anelthin en to Stavro, ina risi ous Thine own Will Thou were pleased to ascend the Cross
eplasas ek tis doulias tou ehthrou. Othen Efharistos in the Flesh to Deliver Thy creatures from bondage to
voomen Si. Haras eplirosas ta panta O Sotir imon, the enemy. Therefore, with Thanksgiving, we cry aloud
paragenomenos is to Sose ton kosmon. to Thee: Thou hast filled all with Joy, O our Saviour, by
coming to Save the world!
FESTAL APOLYTIKION -THE EVER BLESSED EVER VIRGIN THEOTOKOS
En ti Gennisi tin Parthenian efilaxas. En ti Kimisi ton In giving Birth, O Theotokos, Thou has retained Thy
kosmon ou katelipes Theotoke. Metestis pros tin Zoin, Virginity, and in Falling Asleep, Thou has not forsaken
Mitir iparhousa tis Zois. Ke tes Presvies tes ses the world. Thou who art the Mother of Life has passed
litromeni, ek Thanatou tas psihas imon. over into Life, and by Thy Prayers Thou delivers our
souls from Death. Wherefore, by Thine Intercessions,
deliver our souls from Death
SEASONAL KONTAKION - DORMITION OF THE EVER BLESSED THEOTOKOS
Tin en Presvies akimiton Theotokon, ke prostasies The Theotokos who is incessant in her Intercessions, and
ametatheton Elpida, Tafos ke nekrosis ouk ekratisen; os immovable Hope in her Protection, Tomb and the state
gar Zois Mitera, pros tin Zoin metestisen, O Mitran of Death could not hold; for being the Mother of Life,
ikisas Aiparthenon. to the Life He carried, He Who dwelt in a Womb Ever
Virgin.
FESTAL PROKEIMENON – PSALM 68 – TONE 4
Turn not Thy Sight away from Thy servant.
The Salvation of Thy Countenance, O God, has helped me.
THE FIRST EPISTLE OF ST PAUL TO ST TIMOTHY 4: 13 - 4: 5
My Child, Timothy: those who have used the Office of Deacon well, purchase for themselves a Good Degree, and Great
Boldness in the Faith, which is in Christ Jesus.
These things I write to Thee, hoping to come to Thee soon. If I tarry long, Thou know how Thou ought to behave in the
House of God, which is the Church of the Living God, the Pillar and Foundation of Truth, and Confess how Great is
the Mystery of Godliness:
God was Manifested in the Flesh, Justified in the Spirit, seen by Angels, Preached among Gentiles, Believed in the
world, Ascended in Glory.
The Spirit expressly says that in the latter times, some will depart from the Faith, heeding deceiving spirits and
doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding
marriage, and commanding abstention for food that God created to be received with Thanksgiving by those who
believe and know the Truth. For every creature of God is Good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with
Thanksgiving, for it is Sanctified by the Word of God and Prayer.
THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST LUKE 9:51-57 & 10:22-24 &13: 22
At that time, when the time had come for (our Lord Jesus) to be received up, He steadfastly set His Sight to go to
Jerusalem. And He sent messengers before His Presence. And as they went, they entered a village of the
Samaritans, to prepare for Him. And they did not receive Him, for His Sight was set on the journey to Jerusalem.
Seeing this, His Disciples, James and John said: “Lord, dost Thou want us to command Fire to come down from Heaven,
and consume them, just as Elias did?” Turning to them, He rebuked them, and said: “ You do not know what
manner of spirit you are! For the Son of Man did not come to destroy mankind’s life but to Save it!”
And they went to another village...
As they went on their way, He said to those who followed Him: “... all things have been delivered to me by My Father.
And no one knows Who the Son is, except the Father, and Who the Father is, except the Son, and the one to
whom the Son Wills to reveal Him.”
And, turning to His Disciples in private, He said: “ Blessed are the eyes that behold the Things that you see; for I tell
you that many Prophets and Kings have desired to see what you see, and have not seen; and to hear what you
have heard, and have not heard!”
And He went through the cities and the villages, teaching, and journeying towards Jerusalem.

HOLY MANDYLION - NOT MADE BY HANDS (TRANSLATION) – DORMITION AFTERFEAST – 16 AUGUST 2017 13
THE HOLY MANDYLION NOT MADE BY HANDS
On 16 August the Orthodox Church celebrates the The Icon Not Made By Hands disappeared from
translation of the Holy Mandylion - an Icon Not Made Constantinople in 1204, when the leaders of the
By Hands - from Edessa to Constantinople, in 944. 4th Crusade looted the city.
King Abgar, (Armenian Աբգար Ե; Ancient Greek: Ἄβγαρος) It may be that the French “king” of Constantinople,
BC 4 – AD 7 and AD 13–50) was a historical Syriac Ruler Baldwin II, sold the Icon, or part of it, to King Louis IX
of the Kingdom of Osroene, the capital of which of France in 1241, which was housed in the Sainte
was Edessa. Chapelle in Paris until it disappeared during the
This is the region that was referred to as ‘Armenian French Revolution.
Mesopotamia’ by the Greeks, and as ‘Ashur’ in the Old These are the ‘bare bones’ of the story and may not seem
Testament. to offer much in the way of historical verification.
According to the legend, King Abgar wrote to our Lord It is, however, worth noting that a modern scholar, Robert
JesusChrist, asking Him to come and cure him of an Eisenman, in 1997, made the point that materials
illness, which may have been leprosy. concerning this story “...are very widespread in the
The Church historian, Eusebius of Caesarea incorporates Syriac sources with so many multiple developments
this letter into his work ‘Ecclesiastical History,’ and divergences that it is hard to believe they could
claiming to have translated it from Syriac (Aramaic). all be based on Eusebius’ poor efforts.”
One of the texts of this letter runs as follows: It would therefore be unwise to dismiss the ‘legend’ out of
“Abgar Ouchama to Jesus, the Good Physician Who has hand.
appeared in the country of Jerusalem, greeting: It should also be mentioned that such an Icon may
“I have heard of Thee, and of Thy Healing - that Thou account for the general similarity of all Icons of Christ,
dost not use medicines nor roots, but by Thy Word, just as Icons of, for example, St Paul are instantly
Thou open [the eyes] of the blind, make the lame recognizable.
walk, Cleanse the lepers, make the deaf hear; how by It may very well be that they are based on actual
Thy Word Thou Heal spirits and those who are testimony as to the physical appearance of the
tormented with lunatic demons, and how, again, persons depicted, or, in the case of Christ, to copies of
Thou raise the dead to life. a portrait by Ananias, which confirmed people’s
“And, learning the Wonders that Thou do, it was borne recollections of our Lord.
upon me that either Thou hast come down from The Icon Not Made By Hands is also important on another
Heaven, or else Thou art the Son of God, Who brings level, however.
all these things to pass. It is clear from this account that Icons (“Images”) were
“Therefore I am writing to Thee, and pray that Thou will countenanced by the Church from very early on. It is
come to me, who adores Thee, and heal all the illness true that some opposed them.
that I suffer, according to the Faith I have in Thee. Epiphanios of Salamis (ca. 315-403), according to Ernst
“I also learnt that the Jews murmur against Thee, and Kiztinger, “...seems to have been the first cleric to have
persecute Thee; that they seek to crucify Thee, and to taken up the matter of Christian Religious Images as a
destroy Thee. major issue...”
“I possess but one small city, but it is beautiful, and large Opposition to Icons is fundamentally an Old Covenant
enough for us two to live in Peace...” attitude due to the fear that people will worship
King Abgar received a reply from our Lord Jesus, images instead of God.
declining his invitation, but promising a future visit by St John the Damascene, however, referring to the
one of His Disciples. Mandylion, believed that our Lord Jesus Christ “...is
There is no mention of any image in this letter. said to have taken a piece of cloth and pressed it to
Instead, the Apostle Addai (St Thaddaeus) is said to have His Face, impressing on it the Image of His Face,
travelled to Edessa, bearing the words of our Saviour, which it keeps to this day.”
by virtue of which the King was Miraculously Healed. The New Covenant view is that the Physical Presence of
The first report of an Image is in the Syriac text now Christ could be recorded in some way, which would
known as the ‘Doctrine of Addai,’ which reports that serve as a Visual Reminder of Him.
the person who delivered the letter to our Lord Jesus No one seriously suggests that we worship Icons - not
Christ was one ‘Ananias’ (Hannan), who was also a even Wonder-Working Icons.
court artist. These are primarily to help us direct our Prayers to the
In that text, the message was not delivered in the form of Person depicted.
words but as an image painted by Ananias, which And in the case of the Holy Mandylion, we may very well
King Abgar displayed in one of his palaces in 32 A.D. have a rather accurate depiction of the way our Lord
The next reference to a physical Image is by Evagrios, looked.
Bishop of Edessa, who claims, in 593, that an Icon of
Christ, which was of Divine Origin (θεότευκτος), was http://pemptousia.com/2013/08/mandelion/
imprinted on a cloth and provided Miraculous Aid in
the defence of the city against the Persians in 544. (Many of us believe that the original Mandylion was the
Together with the letter, the Icon was taken to Facecloth found by St Peter and St John in Christ’s Empty
Constantinople in 944 - first to the church dedicated to Tomb after His Resurrection, which had His Face clearly
The Mother of God at Vlachernai, on 15 August and imprinted upon it and left “neatly folded” where His crucified
then to the Chapel of The Mother of God of Faros in Body had been laid. This would have been accepted as the
the Great Palace. very first, authorised Icon of Christ. MP )
It is interesting that the first Byzantine copy is at the
Monastery of Saint Katherine in Sinai and is dated ca.
945. ‘
ST PAISIOS OF MOUNT ATHOS – ON SPIRITUAL AWAKENING
“Life of course, is no ‘Summer Camp’ - it has Joys but also “It is much the same with people. When we shed all
Sorrows. things secular – our unbeneficial ‘scales and entrails’ -
“The Resurrection is always proceeded by the Crucifixion. it may seem that we are losing life, our worldly
“The blows of life’s trials are essential for the Salvation of liveliness, but in fact, we are merely removing all
our soul, for our soul is refined through them. useless matter in order to be ‘broiled.’ Only then are
“Just as with clothes - the more we rub them in the wash, we made useful…“
the cleaner they become. Even with the octopus, the “... Christ helps those who are fighting the Good Fight that
more it is beaten, the more it is cleaned and all Saints embraced in order to subdue the flesh to the
tenderized. spirit. Even when wounded, we must never lose our
“And the fish, too, appears so graceful when alive and composure, but should instead ask for God’s Help in
swimming in the sea, or even when displayed in the continuing with the Struggle courageously.
market with the scales and entrails intact. But it “The Good Shepherd will hear us and rush to our aid, just
becomes useful only once it is cleaned and made to as a Shepherd responds to the bleating of a Lamb
look less appetizing on the outside before it is broiled. that is lost or wounded, or threatened by a Wolf.”

14. HOLY MANDYLION - NOT MADE BY HANDS (TRANSLATION) – DORMITION AFTERFEAST – 16 AUGUST 2017
Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa
Archdiocese of Good Hope
All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and
forever, and unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most
Blessed and Glorious Lady, Maria, Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together with all the Saints. And let
us commit ourselves and one another and our whole Life to Christ our God. Amen.

Tone 2 20 August 2017
th th
11 Sunday After Pentecost - 11 Sunday of St Matthew
The Unmerciful Servant
Afterfeast of the Dormition
The Feast of St Samuel, Holy Prophet of God – St Philip, Bishop of Heraclea, St Serveros, St Memnon & 37 other Holy
Martyrs of Thrace – St Heliodoros & St Dosa of Persia – St Lukios, Senator & Holy Martyr of Crete

RESURRECTION GOSPEL 11 - JOHN 21:14 - 25

RESURRECTION APOLYTIKION - TONE
Ote katilthes pros ton thanaton, i Zoi i Athanatos, tote ton When Thou condescended to death, O Life Immortal,
Adin enekrosas ti astrapi tis Theotitos. Ote de ke tous Thou slayed Hades with the lightning flash of Thy
tethneotas ek ton katahthonion anestisas, pase e Divinity. When also Thou raised up the dead from the
Dinamis ton Epouranion ekravgazon. Zoodota Hriste, O subterranean abodes, all the Powers of Heaven cried
Theos imon, ✞ Doxa Si! aloud: O Life-giver, Christ our God, ✞ Glory to Thee!
FESTAL APOLYTIKION – DORMITION
En ti Gennisi tin Parthenian efilaxas. En ti Kimisi ton In giving Birth, O Theotokos, Thou has retained Thy
kosmon ou katelipes Theotoke. Metestis pros tin Zoin, Virginity, and in Falling Asleep, Thou has not forsaken
Mirtir iparhousa tis Zois. Ke tes Presvies tes ses the world. Thou who art the Mother of Life has passed
litromeni, ek Thanatou tas psihas imon over into Life, and by Thy Prayers Thou delivers our
souls from Death. Wherefore, by Thine Intercessions,
deliver our souls from Death
SEASONAL KONTAKION– DORMITION
Tin en Presvies akimiton Theotikon, ke prostasies Neither the Tomb nor Death had power over the
ametatheton Elpida, ta Fos ke nekrosis ouk ekratisen. Theotokos, who is Ever Watchful in Her Prayers and in
Os gar Zois Mitera, pros tin Zoin metestisen, O M ITRA N whose Intercession lies Unfailing Hope. For as the
IKISAS A IPARTHENON . Mother of Life She has been Transported into Life by
Him W H O DWELT W ITHI N HER E VE R V IRGIN W O MB .
RESURRECTION PROKEIMENON – PSALM 117/118 – TONE 2
The Lord is my Strength and my Son, and He became my Salvation.
The Lord Chastened and corrected me, but did not give me up to Death
THE FIRST EPISTLE OF ST PAUL TO THE CORINTHIANS 9 : 2 – 12
Brethren, you are the Seal of my Apostleship in the Lord. This is my defence to those who will examine me.
Do we not have the right to our food and drink? Do we not have the right to be accompanied by a wife, as the other
Apostles, and the Brothers of our Lord, and Cephas? Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no rights to refrain from
working for a living? Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard without eating any of its
fruit? Who tends a flock without getting some milk?
Do I say this on human authority? Does not the Law say the same? For it is written in the Law of Moses: “You shall not
muzzle an ox when it is treading out the grain.” Is it for oxen that God is concerned? Does He not speak entirely for
our sake? It was written for our sake, for the Ploughman should plough in Hope, and the Thresher thresh in Hope of
a share in the crop. If we have sown Spiritual Goodness among you, is it too much if we Reap your material
benefits? If others share this rightful claim upon you, do not we still more?
Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we Endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the Way of the
Gospel of Christ.
St Paul’s Apostleship was being attacked so he was forced As none of God’s Commandments have been altered nor
to defend it. withdrawn, we must continue to fully support our
“The Brothers of our Lord” is a reference to the sons of St Bishops and Priests in their Holy Mission for the sake of
Joseph the Betrothed and his late wife, Salome, who our Eternal Salvation.
were cousins of our Lady, Theotokos. Without our voluntary support and Love, our Bishops and
“Cephas” refers to St Peter. Priests cannot fulfil the Divine Mission of Christ our
St Barnabas and St Paul had no immediate family to take Lord and Saviour, as He commanded us to do.
care of them, as those mentioned by St Paul so they Wherever we see or hear of a need for anything for our
worked longer hours to earn a living and to fulfil their Parish Church or Archdiocese, we should simply do
Apostolic Mission. our best to provide it without being asked to do so,
The effectiveness of our Clergy – our Spiritual Shepherds - especially when it comes to the mundane provisions
is certified by the Spiritual Condition of the Holy Flock that sustain our Church and Community.
of Christ – i.e. the laity (the people who are members Furthermore, we should enquire how we can help our
of Christ’s Holy Church.) Bishops and our Priests with their Sacred Labours.
It is necessary for our Clergy to be given material support Those who do not contribute in any way to the
- “material benefits “ - from the laity so that they are maintenance, functioning or Unity of our Holy Church
free to sow “Spiritual Goodness” in our Christian become themselves “...obstacles in the Way of the
Community. Gospel of Christ!”
This is a Divine Commandment of God according to His
Old Covenant with His People.

11TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST –11TH OF ST MATTHEW – UNMERCIFUL SERVANT – 20 AUGUST 2017 15.
HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST MATTHEW 18 : 23 – 35
THE UNMERCIFUL SERVANT
At that time our Lord Jesus related a Parable: “... the Kingdom of Heaven is like a certain King who wanted to settle
accounts with his Servants. When he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten
thousand Talents. But as he was not able to pay, his Master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and
children and all that he had, and that payment should be made.
“The servant fell down before him, saying: ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ The Master of
that servant was moved with Compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.
That servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on
him and took him by the throat, saying: ‘Pay me what you owe!’ His fellow servant fell down at his feet and
begged him, saying: ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ He refused, but imprisoned him until he
should pay the debt.
When his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and went and told their Master all that
had been done. After he had summoned him, his Master said to him: ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all
that debt because you begged me. Should you not also have Mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on
you?’ And his Master was angry, and delivered him to the Torturers until he should pay all that was due to him.
“So My Heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his Brother his trespasses!”
Before relating the Parable of the Unforgiving or Certain of our Holy Church Fathers have interpreted this
Unmerciful Servant, St Peter had asked our Lord Jesus Holy Parable as follows:
HOW OFTEN SHOULD WE FORGIVE THOSE WHO SIN AGAINST US,  THE SERVANT REPRESENTS OUR SOUL.
to which He answered: “SEVENTY TIMES SEVENTY!” -  THE WIFE REPRESENTS OUR BODY.
which was symbolic of AN UNLIMITED OR INFINITE AMOUNT  THE CHILDREN REPRESENT OUR DEEDS – I.E. OUR WORDS,
OF TIMES TO FORGIVE OTHERS BECAUSE THAT IS HOW OFTEN GOD THOUGHTS AND DEEDS.
FORGIVES US WHEN WE SINCERELY REPENT OUR SINS. THUS OUR BODY AND OUR UNREPENTED DEEDS ARE given over to
Our Lord Jesus used this Parable to clearly illustrate and Spiritual Slavery – i.e. although we are IMPRISONED BY
make us understand THE FULL EXTENT AND MEANING OF SATAN, WE DO HAVE THE CHANCE TO REPENT OUR SINS SO THAT
TRUE FORGIVENESS. OUR SOUL MIGHT BE SAVED.
“Ten thousand talents” was an impossible amount to owe  1 C O R I N T H I A N S 5 : 5 “... deliver such a one to
– FAR MORE THAN ANY LABOURER COULD EARN IN SEVERAL Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his
LIFETIMES! spirit might be Saved on the Day of the Lord
SUCH IS THE DEGREE OF OUR OWN, PERSONAL UNPAYABLE SPIRITUAL Jesus.”
DEBT TO GOD. IN THE HOLY CHURCH THERE IS PROTECTION FROM THE DESTRUCTIVE
“A hundred denarii” is a significant amount from an POWER OF SATAN.
earthly perspective (approximately three months’ However, THIS HOLY PROTECTION IS REMOVED FROM US THROUGH
wages) yet it was A PITTANCE COMPARED TO THE ENORMOUS EXCOMMUNICATION in the hope that – HAVING EXPERIENCED
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GOD’S RULE AND SATAN’S
DEBT OWED TO THE KING.
ENSLAVEMENT AND SPIRITUAL DEATH, THE OFFENDER MAY TRULY
GOD NOT ONLY WITHHOLDS THE PUNISHMENT WE DESERVE, BUT HE
REPENT and in the end be Saved from Eternal
FORGIVES US FOR OUR ENTIRE DEBT AS WELL.
Condemnation and Everlasting Banishment from the
✶✶ Because God forgives us so generously and so Divine Presence and Goodness of God.
mercifully, WE IN TURN ARE REQUIRED TO GRANT THE THE FLESH (SARX) IS NOT SYNONYMOUS WITH THE BODY (SOMA)
GREAT AND LIBERATING GIFT OF FORGIVENESS TO OTHERS.
✶✶ WHATEVER WE DO FOR OR TO OTHERS IS RETURNED TO US A and WE MUST CONSTANTLY STRUGGLE TO ERADICATE THE
HUNDRED TIMES MORE! PASSIONS OF THE FLESH – THE DESTRUCTIVE SINS OR LUSTS OF
THE FLESH – FROM OUR SANCTIFIED BODY, WHICH IS THE HOLY
Therefore, if we share our Divine Blessings with others we
TEMPLE OF God.
will reap the Spiritual Reward a hundred times –
infinitely – more.
11TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 11TH OF ST MATTHEW – THE UNMERCIFUL SERVANT
✞ In the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Then the King condemned the man according to his
Holy Spirit:.. actions and had him imprisoned until he could pay
My dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ – our Lord Jesus the hopeless debt.
Christ’s Sacred Lesson of today concerns His Parable Our Lord Jesus ended His Lesson with this dire warning: “..
of the Unmerciful Servant who was in very deep debt So My Heavenly Father also will do to you, if each of
to his Master – owing him 10,000 Talents. you, from his heart, does not forgive his Brother his
Having been summoned before his Debtor and trespasses!”” (MATTHEW 18:35)
explaining that he did not have the resources to settle Our Lord Jesus Christ reminds us that we have a Merciful
his debt, the servant and his family were to be sold God Who is always ready and willing to forgive our
into slavery. Furthermore, everything they possessed trespasses – our Debts.
would also be sold, in order to repay his All we are required to do in order to receive His Divine
insurmountable debt. Forgiveness, is to humble ourselves, Repent our sins,
When the tearful, desperate servant besought his Master and ask for Forgiveness from those we have hurt and
for mercy, the King forgave the man his huge debt. from Almighty God.
Nevertheless, as soon as he had been released from his For most of us, admitting that we are wrong and
unpayable debt by his Master, he immediately beseeching the forgiveness of others, or granting our
confronted one of his fellow servants who owed him forgiveness to those who have hurt us, is extremely
only a small amount – 100 denarii. difficult because our egotistic pride keeps us from
Angrily, he “... laid hands on him and took him by the doing so!
throat...” and demanded instant repayment. (Yet Forgiving and being Forgiven is the greatest liberation we will
But when his fellow servant asked for more time to repay ever experience! MP)
his debt, the Unmerciful Servant had the man Our stubborn, egotistic pride always gets in the way of
arrested and cast into prison! our Repentance, and we are deceived – or choose to
Their fellow servants had witnessed the Great Mercy that believe - that we can solve all our problems on our
had been shown to the first man who had owed such own, without any help from God!
an immense, unpayable debt, followed by the Because of pride, we make our life far more difficult than
harshness with which he then treated his fellow it should be!
servant who owed him a very small amount by At some point in our lifespan, something happens that
comparison shocks us awake from our Spiritual Stupor, and we
They reported this to the King who once again become utterly aware of the Reality and Truth of our
summoned the unforgiving servant before him and circumstances and our Spiritual State.
asked him why he had not shown the same mercy to Many of us turn to God and beseech His Great Mercy,
his fellow servant that his Master had shown to him while others refuse to do so and continue to struggle
shortly beforehand. bitterly and hopelessly until the end.
When we ask for God’s Loving Forgiveness and Mercy, all
the Heavenly Hosts Rejoice!
16. 1 1 T H S U N D A Y A F T E R P E N T E C O S T – 1 1 T H OF ST MATTHEW – UNMERCIFUL SERVANT – 20 AUGUST 2017
This is so clearly illustrated in our Lord Jesus Christ’s When our Lord was asked by His Apostle, St Peter, how
Parable of the Prodigal Son. often he should forgive sin, our Lord replied:
Today’s our Saviour has reminded us that not only must  “...seventy times seven.” (MATTHEW 18:22).
we be willing to ask for Mercy or forgiveness, but we However, OUR LORD WAS NOT REFERRING TO A SPECIFIC NUMBER
must also – MORE SIGNIFICANTLY - BE WILLING TO GRANT OF TIMES, but used the Biblical understanding of
FORGIVENESS AND MERCY TO OUR FELLOW MANKIND. numbers to explain HOW PATIENT WE SHOULD BE WITH ALL
The Gospel according to St Luke further reminds us of this SINNERS OR THOSE WHO TRESPASSED AGAINST US.
when our Lord exhorted us all: “Be therefore Merciful, The number seven in Biblical terms means ‘Fullness.’
as your Father also is Merciful.” (LUKE 6:36) Thus, seventy times seven means that WE MUST BE WILLING
✶✶ OUR LORD JESUS EMPHASISED THIS MOST ESSENTIAL DIVINE TO FORGIVE FOREVER, which shows the infinite extent of
TRUTH WHEN HE TAUGHT US TO HOW PRAY: God’s Love for us and the infinite extent to which we
 “...And forgive us our debts/trespasses, as we must be willing to Love the sinner (while rejecting the
forgive our debtors/those who trespass sin!)
against us...” (MATTHEW 6:12) In order to illustrate the importance of Patience, St Nikolai
✶✶ CHRIST’S GREATEST EXAMPLE OF FORGIVENESS IS WHILE BEING Velimirovic told us:
CRUCIFIED: “Those who have no Patience with us when we sin, do
 “Father, forgive them; for they know not what not Love us ...
they do.” (LUKE 23:34) “...Patience, Forgiveness and Joy are the three greatest
This shows the extent to which we should be willing to characteristics of Divine Love…..
forgive. WE NEED TO BE WILLING TO FORGIVE THOSE WHO “Without these three characteristics Love is not Love.
PERSECUTE US WITHOUT A JUSTIFIABLE CAUSE. “If you give the name ‘love’ to anything else, it is as
When it comes to Forgiveness and Mercy we are all too though you were giving the name ‘sheep’ to a goat or
often irritated, angry or impatient with others, a pig.”
because we seldom see any progress or improvement So my dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, my Prayer for
in the circumstances that caused the initial problem. you is that you may Love all mankind with Patience
We see the same errors continuing and often worsening and Forgive their trespasses, as we ask our Heavenly
due to a sincere lack of True Repentance or Love - Father to forgive our trespasses.
and an absence of any Humility or effort to improve or Amen
correct behaviour.
FATHER. MILAN MEDAKOVIC
http://modeoflife.org
ST PAISIOS OF MOUNT ATHOS – ON DIVINE JUSTICE VERSUS HUMAN JUSTICE
When asked what makes the difference between a Saint “The True Christian must never condemn, nor press
and the rest of us, St Paisios said the Saints have charges against his fellow men, even if someone
Divine Justice instead of human justice. robs him by force.
St Paisios described Divine Justice: “There is a great difference between those who believe
“‘Suppose two men sat at the table to eat. In front of them, in Christ and those who do not.
there is a plate with ten peaches. “Christians abide by the Law of Divine Justice whereas
“If one of them greedily ate seven peaches leaving three the unfaithful abide by the law of human justice.”
for his friend, he was being unfair to him, Divine Justice is such a higher standard than human
“This is injustice. justice.
“Instead , if he says: "Well, there are two of us and there However, most of us are imbued with the notion of
are ten peaches. So, each of us is entitled to eat five human justice - assuming that what is asked of us is
peaches." equality for all.
“If he eats the five peaches and leaves the other five for Often even this is difficult.
his friend, this is human justice, which is why, many Divine Justice is much more, for it involves Charity,
times, we go to court to seek human justice. Generosity, Mercy and Compassion that is based on
“However, if the man understands that his friend likes Love of others.
peaches very much, he can pretend that he is not Divine Justice requires a capability to sacrifice our own
very fond of them and eat only one, and then say to desires – self sacrifice/denial - for the benefit of
him: "Please eat the rest of the peaches, as I don't others.
really like them, besides, my stomach aches and I St Paisios taught us: “If we acquire Divine Justice, ignore
should not eat any more..." he uses Divine Justice. ourselves, and Love God and our fellow mankind,
“He prefers to be unfair to himself by human standards then God will take care of us and will see that we
and be rewarded for his sacrifice by God's Grace, have everything!”
which he will abundantly receive.
ST PETER OF DAMASCUS
Briefly, we may say that in the nature of things, if any of However, intoxication obscures our intellect and so we
us wants to be Saved, no person and no time, place or fall, and Spiritually Die, as a result.
occupation can prevent us. Yet that Death has not come about inexplicably.
We must not, however, act contrary to the objective that Spiritual Death has been unwittingly induced by the
we have in view, but must with discrimination refer inebriation to which we consciously assented.
every thought to the Divine Purpose. We will find many instances - especially in our thoughts -
Things do not happen out of necessity: they depend where we fall from what is within our control to what
upon the person through whom they happen. is outside it, and from what we are consciously aware
We do not sin against our will, but we first assent to an of, to what is unwitting.
evil thought and so fall into captivity. But because the first appears unimportant and attractive,
Then the thought itself carries the captive forcibly and we slip unintentionally and unawares into the second.
against our wishes into sin. Yet if from the start we had wanted to keep the
The same is true of sins that occur through ignorance: Commandments and to remain as we were when
they arise from sins consciously committed. Baptized, we would not have fallen into so many sins
For unless we are intoxicated with either alcohol, drugs or nor have needed the trials and tribulations of
desire, we are not unaware of what we are doing. Repentance.
ST SILOUAN THE RECLUSE
If [the disease of sin] was natural, then it could not be We must maintain the conviction that our disorderliness is
cured and would enslave us forever - no matter how not natural to us.
hard we worked to rid ourselves of it. We must not listen to those who say, ‘It is no use talking
If we accept this fatal deception, we will lose heart...for about it, because that is just how we are made, and
this is woeful despair, which, once it has we cannot do anything about it.’
overwhelmed and defeated us, we will surrender to God did not create us as sinful beings, so when we strive
lasciviousness and “...to work all uncleanness.” to Cure ourselves by constant Repentance, He does
(commit all types of sin). (EPHESIANS 4: 19) Heal and Renew us, according to our Struggle.

11TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST –11TH OF ST MATTHEW – UNMERCIFUL SERVANT – 20 AUGUST 2017 17.
ST ISAAC THE SYRIAN – ON HUMILITY
Those who possess Humility are never rash, hasty nor If it is permissible and not incongruous, I should say that
perturbed. the humble are not of this world, for they are not
The humble never have any hot and volatile thoughts, troubled and altered by sorrows, nor amazed and
but at all times they remain calm. enthused by joys, but all their gladness and real
Even if Heaven were to fall and cleave to the Earth, the rejoicing are in the Things of our Master.
humble would not be dismayed. Humility is accompanied by modesty and self-
Not every quiet person is humble, but every humble collectedness - that is, chastity of the senses; a
person is quiet. moderate voice; mean speech; self-belittlement; poor
There is no humble person who is not self-constrained; raiment; a gait that is not pompous; a gaze directed
but we will find many who are self-constrained towards the earth; superabundant Mercy; easily
without being humble. flowing tears; a solitary soul; a contrite heart;
This is also what our Meek and Humble Lord Jesus Christ imperturbability to anger; undistributed senses; few
meant when He said: ‘Learn from Me, for I Am Meek possessions; moderation in every need; Endurance;
and Humble of heart, and you shall find rest for your Patience; Fearlessness; manliness of heart born of a
soul.’ [MATTHEW 11:29] hatred of this temporal life; Patient Endurance of
Those who are humble are always restful, because there trials; deliberations that are ponderous, not light,
is nothing that can agitate or shake their mind. extinction of thoughts; guarding of the Mysteries of
Just as no one can frighten a mountain, so the mind of Chastity; Modesty, Reverence; and above all,
the humble cannot be frightened. continually to be still and always to claim ignorance.
ST PAISIOS OF MOUNT ATHOS – ON THE FINAL JUDGEMENT
In the future Judgment, the condition of each of us will be Or, to cite another example, Monastics will see the
revealed in an instant, and each of us on our own will difficulties, the tribulations of the people in the world
proceed to where we belong. and how they faced them.
Each of us will recognize, as if on a television screen, our If they have not lived appropriately as Monastics, they
own wretchedness, as well as the Spiritual Condition will lower their head and proceed on their own to the
of others. place where they belong.
We will compare ourselves to others, and we will bow our There, Nuns who did not please God will see heroic
head, and proceed to the place where we belong. Mothers who neither took Vows nor had the Blessings
For example, a daughter-in-law who sat comfortably with and opportunities that they, as Nuns, had.
her legs crossed in front of her mother-in-law, who They will see how those Mothers struggled, as well as the
with a broken leg took care of the grandchild, will not Spiritual Heights they attained, while the Nuns will be
be able to protest: “My Christ, why art Thou putting my ashamed by having been preoccupied and
Mother-in-law into Paradise but excluding me?” tormented by petty issues!
because that scene will come before her to Condemn These are my thoughts about the manner of the Final
her. Judgement.
She will remember her mother-in-law who stood with her In other words, our Lord Jesus Christ will not say to each
broken leg in order to take care of her grandchild of us: “You come here! What did you do?”
and she will be too ashamed to enter Paradise —there Nor will He say to us: “You - go to Hell; you - go to
will be no place for her there, anyway. Paradise.”
Rather, each of us will compare ourselves with the others
and proceed voluntarily to our appropriate place!
ST THEOPHAN THE RECLUSE – ON HOW TO APPROACH THE HOLY MYSTERIES
When we go to partake of the Holy Mysteries, we must do We must not promise ourselves, nor expect anything.
so with simplicity of heart, in full Faith that we will We must leave everything to our Lord Whom we beseech
receive our Lord within ourselves, and with the proper for His Great Mercy in order to Strengthen us in every
reverence. kind of Good so that we will be acceptable to Him.
What our state of mind should be after this, we must leave The Fruit of Holy Communion most often has a taste of
to our Lord Himself. Sweet Peace in our heart.
Many, ahead of time, desire or expect to receive this or Sometimes we are Blessed with Enlightenment to our
that from Holy Communion, and then, not thoughts and Inspiration our devotion to our Lord.
experiencing what they wanted or expected, they are Often, we remain unaware of anything special occurring
troubled, and even their Faith in the Power of the Holy within us, but afterwards – much later - we may
Mystery is shaken. realise how much we have been Renewed and
The fault lies not with the Divine Mystery, but with our Strengthened by Divine Grace!
own superficial assumptions.
ST. JOHN THE WONDERWORKER OF SHANGHAI AND SAN FRANCISCO, “THE CHURCH AS THE BODY OF CHRIST,”
For our complete Sanctification, the body of the servant of Receiving the Body of Christ, while turning away from
the Lord must be United with the Body of Christ, and Him in spirit, is like the contact with Christ of those
this is accomplished in the Divine Mystery of Holy who had struck Him and mocked Him and crucified
Communion. Him!
The True Body and the True Blood of Christ, which we Their contact with Christ our Lord served not for their
receive, become part of the great Body of Christ. Salvation or their Healing, but for their Eternal
Of course, for Union with Christ, the mere conjoining of Condemnation!
our body with the Body of Christ does not suffice. On the contrary, those who partake with Piety, Love and
The consumption of the Body of Christ becomes Beneficial readiness to serve Him, closely Unite themselves with
when, in spirit, we strive towards Him and Unite Him and become Instruments of His Divine Will.
ourselves with Him.
ST JOHN CASSIAN
When we have attained some degree of Holiness we approach Perfection except through the Mercy and
should always repeat to ourselves the words of the Grace of Christ.
Apostle: “Yet not I, but the Grace of God that was with St James himself said that “...every Good Gift is from
me...” as well as those of our Lord Jesus Christ: Above....” while St Paul asked: ‘What do you have
‘Without Me you can do nothing.’ (1 CORINTHIANS 15:10 & which you did not receive? Now if you received it,
JOHN 15:5) why do you boast, as if you had not received it?’
We should also bear in mind what the Prophet said: (JAMES 1:17 & 1 CORINTHIANS. 4:7)
‘Unless the Lord builds the house, they who build it What right, then, have we to be proud as though we
labour in vain!” and finally: ‘It does not depend on- could achieve Perfection through our own efforts?
man’s will nor effort, but on God’s Mercy.” (PSALM
127:1 & ROMANS 9:16).
Even if we are sedulous, serious and resolute, we cannot,
so long as we are bound to flesh and blood,
18. 1 1 T H S U N D A Y A F T E R P E N T E C O S T – 1 1 T H OF ST MATTHEW – UNMERCIFUL SERVANT – 20 AUGUST 2017
Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa
Archdiocese of Good Hope
All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever,
and unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most Blessed and
Glorious Lady, Maria, Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together with all the Saints. And let us commit ourselves
and one another and our whole Life to Christ our God. Amen.

Tone 3 27 August 2017
th th
12 Sunday After Pentecost - 12 Sunday of St Matthew
Inheriting Eternal Life
The Feast of St Pimen the Great Ascetic of Egypt – St Phanourios & St Anthousa – St Kiksha &
St Pimen the Faster of Kiev Near Caves Monastery – St Hosios the Confessor & Bishop of
Cordova, Spain – St Lierios the Confessor & Bishop of Rome – St Pimen of Palestine – St Sava of Benephali – St
Caesarios, Bishop of Arles – St Osii, Bishop of Korduvisk

RESURRECTION GOSPEL 1 - MATTHEW 28: 16 - 20

RESURRECTION APOLYTIKION –TONE 3
Evfrenestho ta Ourania, agaliastho ta epigia, oti epiise Let the Heavens rejoice and let the earth be glad, for the
Kratos en Vrahioni Aftou O Kyrios. Epatise to Thanato Lord has shown Strength with His Arm; He has
ton Thanaton.Prototokos ton nekron egeneto. Ek kilias trampled down Death by Death; He has become the
Adou errisato imas ke pareshe to kosmo to Mega Eleos. First-born of the dead; from the womb of Hades He
has delivered us, and to the world He has granted
Great Mercy.
SEASONAL KONTAKION - NATIVITY 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 Anna were freed from the scorn of childlessness, and
gennisi Sou. Aftin eortazi ke o laos sou, enohis ton Adam and Eve from death’s corruption. This is the
ptesmaton, litrothis en to krazin si: i stira tikti tin Feast now observed by thy people, who from the guilt
Theotokon, ke trofon tis zois imon. of their errors, were delivered as they cry out to thee:
the barren one bear the Theotokos, and our life’s
Sustainer!
PROKEIMENON – PSALM 46 – TONE 3
Sing to our God, sing!
All ye Nations, clap your hands!
THE FIRST EPISTLE OF ST PAUL TO THE CORINTHIANS 15 : 1 – 11
Brethren: I declare unto you the Gospel that I preached to you, which also you have received, and wherein you stand
– by which also you are Saved, if you keep in mind what I preached to you - unless you have believed in vain.
I delivered to you first of all, that which I also received – how Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and
was buried, and Rose again on the Third Day, according to the Scriptures. And that He was seen by Cephas, then
by the Twelve. After that, He was seen by more than 500 Brethren at once – of whom the greater part remain unto
this present day, but some have fallen asleep. After that, He was seen by James, then by all the Apostles. Last of all,
He was seen by me also, as one born out of due time.
I am the least of the Apostles, who is not worthy to be called an ‘Apostle,’ because I persecuted the Church of God. By
the Grace of God, I am what I am: and His Grace, which was bestowed on me, was not in vain; but I laboured more
abundantly than them all, yet not I, but the Grace of God, which was with me.
Therefore - whether it was me or them - so we preach, and so you believed.
St Paul’s concise statement of the Holy Gospel is probably ✶✶✶ THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST AND OUR OWN FUTURE
part of an early Creed of Faith or Catechism. (READ PSALM RESURRECTION, IS THE WHOLE POINT OF OUR FAITH – OF THE
16: 9 – 12- GALATIANS 1:4 & 1 JOHN2:2 & 4:10) NEW COVENANT.
St Paul “...delivered...” AN APOSTOLIC TRADITION OF THE The Ultimate Blood Sacrifice of Christ would have no
RESURRECTION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, WHICH IS Benefit for all mankind without His Resurrection.
UNCHANGING AND SUFFICIENT FOR OUR ETERNAL SALVATION. THERE WOULD BE NO USE NOR REASON FOR FORGIVENESS,
ST PAUL HAD “...RECEIVED...” THE HOLY GOSPEL OF CHRIST BY HIS REPENTANCE OR ANY SPIRITUAL STRUGGLE IF WE ALL REMAINED
DIRECT ENCOUNTER AND EXPERIENCE WITH OUR RESURRECTED DEAD – IF THERE IS RESURRECTION!
LORD AND SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST, AT HIS CONVERSION, THE DISCIPLES OF CHRIST WERE TRANSFORMED BY OUR LORD’S
which is CONFIRMED BY HIS INTERACTION WITH THE OTHER RESURRECTION, which they preached to all Nations.
HOLY APOSTLES OF CHRIST AND THE ENTIRE HOLY CHURCH OF OVER A PERIOD OF 40 DAYS AFTER PASCHA, OUR RESURRECTED LORD
CHRIST – AS WELL AS HIS CORRECT CHRISTIAN TEACHINGS. JESUS CHRIST SHOWED HIMSELF TO ALL HIS DISCIPLES SO THAT
IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO DECIPHER WHAT ST PAUL LEARNT FROM CHRIST THEY WOULD KNOW THAT EVERY WORD HE SPOKE IS INDEED
AND ELSEWHERE for in St Paul’s mind, the Holy Gospel is DIVINE TRUTH – and in particular His Teachings
seamless and whole. concerning our own Resurrection into Life Eternal.
“To receive...” designates THE PASSING ON OF OUR HOLY WE ARE SPIRITUALLY TRANSFORMED BY HIS DIVINE TRUTH –
TRADITION THROUGH THE VERBAL AND WRITTEN TEACHINGS KNOWING THAT WE, TOO, SHALL BE RESURRECTED ON THE
THAT ARE MOST CAREFULLY PRESERVED CORRECTLY AND “EIGHTH DAY.”
TRUTHFULLY. (READ 1 CORINTHIANS 11:2 & 23 – GALATIANS 1:9 – PHILIPPIANS ALL MANKIND WILL BE RESURRECTED IN ETERNITY.
4;9 & 1 THESSALONIANS 2 : 12 & 4:1) Our Final Judgement will either Justify us or Condemn us.
ST PAUL LISTED THOSE EYE WITNESSES WHO COULD TESTIFY TO THE IF JUSTIFIED, we will enjoy the Blessedness, Joy and Peace
DIVINE TRUTH OF THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST – from the of ETERNAL LIFE IN CHRIST.
first Witnesses to himself, along the road to Damascus. If we are SELF-CONDEMNED BY OUR UNREPENTED SINS, we will
“Cephas” refers to St Peter. be exiled to the dreaded ETERNAL DEATH that consists of
Everlasting Darkness and indescribable anguish that

12TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 12TH OF ST MATTHEW – ETERNAL LIFE 27 AUGUST 2017 19.
terrifies even the most wicked demons – “...the Outer It is possible for us to REGAIN OUR LOST LIKENESS TO CHRIST –
Darkness...” where there is unending torment, TO ACHIEVE THAT MOST BLESSED SPIRITUAL STATE OF THEOSIS
wailing and “...gnashing of the teeth...” – “the Abyss!” (as we were created originally!)
WE make our choices NOW. If we fulfil our Saviour’s Teachings and Commandments
AS FAITHFUL DISCIPLES OF CHRIST, WE LIVE IN THE UNWAVERING with abject HUMILITY AND FAITHFUL OBEDIENCE, we will be
HOPE OF RESURRECTION IN CHRIST. amazed by THE POWER AND ENERGY OF DIVINE GRACE THAT
During the Paschal Season, we joyfully sing: “Christ is MAKES EVEN THE MOST IMPOSSIBLE THINGS VERY POSSIBLE FOR
Risen from the dead, trampling down Death by US!
Death, and upon those in the tombs, bestowing Life!” WE CANNOT DO ANYTHING GOOD ON OUR OWN – ONLY BY THE
OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST TAUGHT US AND REVEALED TO US THE GRACE OF GOD – only through ceaseless Prayers,
DIVINE TRUTH! Fasting and a determination to Repent each time we
HE HAS PRESENTED US WITH EVERYTHING NECESSARY FOR OUR fall into sin.
ETERNAL SALVATION – OUR RESURRECTION INTO THAT BLESSED OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST HAS SHOWN US THE PATH OF RIGHTEOUS.
ETERNAL LIFE. HE HAS PROVIDED US WITH THE MEANS AND “THE MAP” which if
This should encourage us and make us all the more used properly and willingly, does certainly make
determined to ACQUIRE THE ESSENTIAL HOLY VIRTUES BY everything much easier for us to endure and to make
LIVING IN CHRIST TO THE BEST OF OUR ABILITIES. good Spiritual Progress as STEP BY STEP WE GET CLOSER TO
Although Christian Life is by no means easy due to the THE LORD OUR GOD AND TO HIS HEAVENLY KINGDOM, even
many devious and dangerous temptations of the evil while still here.
one, IT IS POSSIBLE FOR US ALL TO ACHIEVE THEOSIS.
THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST MATTHEW 19 : 16 – 26
EARTHLY RICHES & ETERNAL LIFE IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN
At that time, a certain young man went to our Lord Jesus and said: “Good Teacher, what Good Thing shall I do that I
may have Eternal Life?” He said to him: “Why dost thou call Me ‘Good’? No one is Good - except God! If you want
to enter into Life, keep the Commandments.” He asked Him: “Which?”
Jesus replied: “’Thou shalt not murder. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not bear
false witness. Honour thy father and thy mother.’ And ‘Thou shalt Love thy neighbour as thyself.’”
The young man said to Him: “All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?” Jesus said to him: “If
thou want to be Perfect, go, sell what thou have and give to the poor; and thou will have Treasure in Heaven.
And come, follow Me!” When the young man heard His Words, he went away sorrowful, for he had great
possessions.
Jesus said to His Disciples: “Truly, I say to you: it is difficult for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Again, I
say to you: it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of
God.”
When His Disciples heard that, they were greatly astonished, saying: “Who then can be Saved?” Jesus looked at them
and said: “With men this is impossible –with God all things are possible!”
THE RICH YOUNG MAN HAD NOT TRIED TO TEST OUR LORD JESUS instructions because FAITHFULLY FOLLOWING OUR
CHRIST, BUT INSTEAD, GENUINELY SOUGHT HIS ADVICE, LORD JESUS CHRIST IS A FAR GREATER AND MORE
regarding Him to be no more than a most Wise and DIFFICULT CALLING – YET IT IS FAR MORE FULFILLING AND
Truthful Teacher. REWARDING THAN THE ENTIRE EARTHLY WEALTH!
CHRIST’S RESPONSE TO THE YOUNG MAN DID NOT DENY HIS OWN The debates concerning “the eye of a needle” have
DIVINITY BUT WAS INTENDED TO LEAD HIM TO THE been many and varied.
REALISATION OF HIS TRUE DIVINE IDENTITY. ✶✶ OUR LORD OFTEN USED EXTREME CONTRASTS TO EMPHASISE
✶✶ CHRIST GUIDED EVERYONE TO A L W A Y S G I V E G L O R Y T O HIS TEACHINGS – SO THAT PEOPLE REALLY UNDERSTOOD
A L M I G H T Y G O D – THE HOLY TRINITY – WHO ALWAYS THE ENORMITY AND SIGNIFICANCE.
WORKS IN PERFECT UNISON. Although some people have replaced the word ”camel”
FORMAL OBSERVANCE OF GOD’S COMMANDMENTS DOES NOT with “rope” – IT IS ALSO UTTERLY IMPOSSIBLE TO THREAD
MAKE ANYONE RIGHTEOUS IN THE SIGHT OF GOD. ROPE THROUGH THE EYE OF A NEEDLE.
THE RICH YOUNG MAN HAD AN EARNEST DESIRE FOR ETERNAL LIFE Others see it as follows: SMALL DOORS WERE SET INTO THE
YET HE REALISED THAT HE LACKED SOMETHING VITAL TO ITS LARGE PROTECTIVE CITY GATES, which could not be
ACQUISITION, compelling him to press our Lord for a entered by beasts laden with goods.
more direct Commandment. ✶✶ BURDENS HAD TO BE REMOVED BEFORE THE ANIMAL AND THEN
✶✶ TO ACHIEVE SPIRITUAL PERFECTION, W E M U S T W I L L I N G L Y THE GOODS COULD BE SQUEEZED THROUGH THE SMALL
SACRIFICE EVERYTHING WE HAVE - WHATEVER OPENING.
HOLDS US BACK FROM FOLLOWING CHRIST. WE, TOO, MUST OFFLOAD OUR WORLDLY CONCERNS
✶✶ GOD DOES NOT REQUIRE THE SAME SACRIFICE FROM EVERYONE B E F O R E W E E N T E R C H U R C H FOR COMMUNAL WORSHIP
FOR EACH OF OUR CIRCUMSTANCES ARE UNIQUE. AND PRAYERS, IN ORDER TO GIVE OUR FULL ATTENTION TO
GOD KNOWS US FAR BETTER THAN WE CAN EVER KNOW OURSELVES GOD AND HIS HOLY MYSTERIES.
and in the case of the rich young man, CHRIST KNEW BEFORE WE FINALLY REPOSE WE MUST WE OFFLOAD/CONQUER OUR
EXACTLY WHAT KEPT HIM FROM SPIRITUAL PERFECTION. ATTACHMENT AND OBSESSION WITH WORLDLY POSSESSIONS
Perhaps the rich young man merely wanted to live forever in OTHERWISE WE WILL BE UNABLE TO ENTER ETERNAL LIFE IN
order to continue enjoying the pleasures of self-indulgence GOD’S HEAVENLY KINGDOM OF LOVE.
of his worldly wealth and social status – i.e. his desire for While going through the process of Reposing, one’s
Eternal Life might have been the craving of the flesh rather attachment to earthly matters becomes totally insignificant
than for the sake of his immortal soul! and meaningless!
Therefore OUR LORD TOLD THE YOUNG MAN TO FREE HIMSELF We become entirely focused on Eternity.
FROM ALL HIS WORLDLY POSSESSIONS THAT HE LOVED SO As a Struggling Disciple I prayed ceaselessly and looked
MUCH BECAUSE HIS GREEDY OBSESSION WITH HIS MATERIAL forward to beholding my Most Beloved Lord and Master,
WEALTH WAS NOT PUT TO ITS PROPER USE – IT WAS NOT and hoped to receive His Great Mercy. mp
SHARED WITH OTHERS WHO WERE LESS BLESSED. ✶✶ Naturally, the question arises: “Who then can be
✶✶ WHEN GOD BESTOWS AN ABUNDANCE OF BLESSINGS ON US, I T Saved?”
IS IMPERATIVE TO SHARE THEM WITH OTHERS. And as usual, OUR LOVING AND COMPASSIONATE LORD JESUS
✶✶ OUR HOARDED MATERIAL POSSESSIONS AND WEALTH WILL BE CHRIST ASSURES US THAT E V E R Y T H I N G B E C O M E S
OUR DOWNFALL THAT WILL CAUSE OUR FINAL, ETERNAL POSSIBLE BY DIVINE GRACE – EVEN THE MOST
CONDEMNATION. INCREDULOUS THINGS!
It has frequently been proved that THE MORE WE SHARE ✶✶✶ As Faithful, Struggling Disciples of our Lord Jesus
WITH OTHERS, THE MORE BLESSED WE ARE! Christ, we can certainly REST ASSURED AND BE
In fact, WHATEVER WE DO FOR OTHERS - WHETHER GOOD OR CONFIDENT IN HIS DIVINE TRUTH, KNOWING WITHOUT
WICKED – IS RETURNED “A HUNDREDFOLD” to us in so many ANY DOUBT WHATSOEVER THAT OUR LORD GOD NEVER
different ways! FAILS US!!
✶✶ ST JOHN CHRYSOSTOM taught us that the giving away
of our earthly possessions is the least of Christ’s

20. 12TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 12TH OF ST MATTHEW – ETERNAL LIFE 27 AUGUST 2017
12TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 12TH SUNDAY OF ST MATTHEW – WORLDLY WEALTH & ETERNAL LIFE
✞ In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the A lunatic could speak of amazing and strange things, but
Holy Spirit... none of it would be True.
Beloved Brethren in Christ; a “Rich Young Man” asked WITHOUT THE GRACE, POWER AND ENERGY OF GOD, NO DIVINE
our Lord Jesus Christ what he should do in order to MIRACLES COULD OCCUR!
“...inherit Eternal Life.” The only True Option is to believe that OUR LORD JESUS
The Young Man had respectfully addressed our Lord CHRIST IS INDEED THE ETERNAL, ONLY BEGOTTEN SON AND
Jesus as “Good Teacher,” and, instead of immediately WORD OF GOD as has been REVEALED TO US THROUGH THE
answering his question, Christ challenged his Faith by DIVINE MYSTERY OF HIS INCARNATION AS THE GOD-MAN.
saying: “Why dost thou call Me ‘Good’? No one is HE WHO TOOK ON OUR HUMAN NATURE AS “THE SON OF MAN”
Good - except God!” REDEEMS OUR FALLEN HUMAN NATURE AS THE SON OF GOD,
This Encounter with our Lord Jesus Christ became a THEREBY RESTORING US TO LIFE, DEFEATING SIN AND DEATH.
question of RECOGNIZING, NOT ONLY WHO CHRIST IS, BUT We become FELLOW VICTORS THROUGH OUR NEW BIRTH IN
WHO WE ARE TRULY CALLED TO BE!. CHRIST OUR SAVIOUR, and BY OUR CONTINUOUS STRIVING TO
Who we believe our Lord Jesus is makes all the difference REPENT OUR SINS, and BY LIVING IN CHRIST WHOSE
to our own, personal identity. INFINITE LOVE AND GREAT MERCY TRANSFORMS US.
ACCEPTING HIM AS OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR ENABLES US TO FOLLOW Ironically, while regarding our Lord Jesus as a “Good
HIS DIVINE PATH out of all the common dead-end, Teacher” – i.e. merely as an erudite human Being - the
broken habits and behaviour that are caused by Rich Young Man asked a question that ONLY GOD CAN
unrepented sins and self-indulgent, egocentric life- ULTIMATELY ANSWER: “... What Good Thing shall I do that
styles. I may have Eternal Life?”
OUR LOVE OF GOD COMPELS US TO REPENT OUR IGNORANCE, Our Lord Jesus’ response to the Young Man, was nothing
REBELLION AND DISOBEDIENCE to our One True and Life- at all like the revisionists and humanists of today who
giving Triune God because CHRIST OUR LORD HAS imply that He is not God but ‘one of us.’
REVEALED HIS DIVINE TRUTH and His Identity AS OUR By pointing out the Truth that ONLY GOD IS GOOD, our Lord
ETERNAL, ALMIGHTY SAVIOUR – THE ETERNAL, ONLY BEGOTTEN teaches us that we cannot have it both ways because
SON OF GOD THE FATHER. if He is merely a “good Teacher” (i.e. a good human
We often hear people speaking of our Lord Jesus as being who teaches well) and not our Lord, our Saviour
though He is Someone Who is something far less and our God, then IT WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE FOR HIM TO
Divine and more mundane (ordinary) than He really TELL US EXACTLY WHAT OUR SOUL LACKS AND WHAT IS
is! ESSENTIAL FOR US TO DO IN ORDER TO RECEIVE ETERNAL LIFE.
They address Him casually and informally by His Name: When we clearly see our Lord Jesus with the Spiritual
“Jesus,” without any of His Divine Titles, which would Sight of our Faith we KNOW that HE IS OUR MESSIAH - OUR
SHOW MORE UNDERSTANDING, APPRECIATION AND DEEPEST DIVINE SAVIOUR - THE INCARNATE, ETERNAL SON OF GOD -
RESPECT FOR HIS DIVINE IDENTITY. WHO KNOWS EVERYTHING ABOUT OUR IMMORTAL SOUL!
WE ARE NOT HIS CONTEMPORARIES like His Apostles. Father Justin Popovic of Blessed Memory explained this
WE ARE HIS FAITHFUL DISCIPLES WHO SHOULD HAVE THE UTMOST passage: “No one is sufficiently good to be able to
RESPECT FOR HIM AS OUR ALMIGHTY CREATOR, ETERNAL SON grant the Greatest Good - Eternal Life. Only the
OF GOD, SECOND PERSON OF THE HOLY TRINITY... Perfect Good – He Who is God-Man - knows and has
Some merely regard our Divine Saviour to be “a Friend, the Perfect Life - Eternal Life - and can grant it…” to
Teacher, Prophet...” or, even more disrespectful and us.
blasphemous: “the best human being who ever Having set the record straight, our Lord Jesus then
lived.” reminded the Rich Young Man of HIS DIVINE
BY REDUCING OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST TO ANYTHING LESS THAN COMMANDMENTS THAT EVERY FAITHFUL BELIEVER KNOWS AND
ALMIGHTY, ETERNAL GOD by regarding Him as ‘just MUST OBEDIENTLY APPLY TO THEIR LIFESTYLE.
another man’ - however great - THEY THINK THAT THEY DO Due to his youthful pride and ignorance, the Young Man
NOT OWE HIM ANY OBEDIENCE, NOR ACCOUNTABILITY, AND thought that he had done “...all this...” since his
THAT THEY CAN MAKE OF HIM WHATEVER SUITES THEIR childhood, yet he realised that HE STILL LACKED
LIFESTYLE! SOMETHING ESSENTIAL.
If we should ever dare to belittle Christ by regarding Him At this point of their Encounter, OUR LORD’S DIVINE NATURE IS
as only a type of casual “Friend,” or “Moralistic Figure” REVEALED WHEN HE LOOKED AT THE YOUNG MAN’S SOUL
as some sects do – i.e. if we dare to regard our Lord where his true loyalties were hidden, AND BEHELD HIS
Jesus Christ according to our own wicked, limited and STRONG ATTACHMENT TO HIS WORLDLY WEALTH.
damaged likeness - then we will obviously refuse to The “Rich Young Man” was SEEKING PERSONAL JUSTIFICATION
submit ourselves to Him or to the Authority He has ON HIS OWN TERMS. HE WANTED GOD TO BE IN HIS OWN IMAGE!
bestowed upon His Holy Orthodox Church. However, our Saviour - (Who never deceives us for He is Divine
SUCH HERETICAL AND BLASPHEMOUS BELIEFS WILL NOT ONLY Truth!) - showed him HOW INTENSELY HE WAS CONTROLLED BY
IMPEDE OUR DELIVERANCE FROM OUR FALLEN HUMAN HIS WORLDLY WEALTH, when He told him: “If thou want
CONDITION, BUT WILL ALSO PREVENT US FROM BECOMING ALL to be Perfect, go, sell what thou hast and give to the
THAT GOD WILLS US TO BE - HIS WORTHY CHILDREN AND CO- poor; and thou will have Treasure in Heaven. And
HEIRS WITH CHRIST OUR LORD. come, follow Me!”
Failure to acknowledge the True Divine Identity of our ✶✶✶ WE MUST “... WANT TO BE PERFECT...” AND DO EVERYTHING
Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, prevents us from POSSIBLE TO ATTAIN THAT THEOSIS IN ORDER TO “INHERIT
FULFILLING HIS CALLING TO BECOME HIS HOLY AND FAITHFUL ETERNAL LIFE!”
DISCIPLES AND WORTHY CHILDREN OF ALMIGHTY GOD. The Rich Young Man “...went away sorrowful, for he had
IF WE FAIL TO RECOGNIZE HIS DIVINE IDENTITY, THEN HOW CAN WE great possessions...” which he was neither able nor
POSSIBLY RECOGNIZE OUR OWN CALLING TO willing to sell.
DEIFICATION/THEOSIS THROUGH COMMUNION WITH HIM. HE CERTAINLY WAS UNWILLING TO GIVE AWAY ANYTHING to those
All such ‘revisionism’ and ‘remaking’ of Christ into our who were destitute, needy and poor. NEITHER DID HE
fallen likeness fails to account for THE REALITY AND WANT – NOR BELIEVE IN – HEAVENLY TREASURE but preferred
TRUTH OF OUR DIVINE SAVIOUR’S OWN REVELATION AS THE TRUE the temporary, material wealth and social status that
LOGOS OR WORD OF GOD. he enjoyed at that time.
When it comes to the question of Who our Lord Jesus is Furthermore, HE REFUSED TO FOLLOW CHRIST Who is “the
C.S. Lewis challenged us: “...liar? ...lunatic? ...or Lord!” Door” and “the Way” to Eternal Life – THE ONLY MEANS OF
NO HUMAN BEING COULD EVER PERFORM THE DIVINE MIRACLES INHERITING ETERNAL LIFE IN HIS HEAVENLY KINGDOM.
THAT CHRIST DID IN PLAIN SIGHT BEFORE COUNTLESS EYE- HIS SPIRITUAL CONDITION CAUSED INTENSE SORROW TO THE RICH
WITNESSES, UNLESS HE IS GOD! YOUNG MAN’S IMMORTAL SOUL due to being so bitterly
NO HUMAN BEING HAS EVER HAD TRUE POWER AND CONTROL OVER ENSLAVED AND IMPRISONED by his “... great possessions...”
THE ELEMENTS OF NATURE, UNLESS HE IS THE LOGOS - THE that are only temporary and unbeneficial if not used
WORD OF GOD – WHO IS THE CREATOR OF THOSE ELEMENTS. properly!
No mere human being can RAISE THE DEAD ON COMMAND. Furthermore, HIS IMMORTAL SOUL WAS PROFOUNDLY MISERABLE
BECAUSE UNLESS HE OBEYED OUR LORD’S INSTRUCTIONS AND

12TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 12TH OF ST MATTHEW – ETERNAL LIFE 27 AUGUST 2017 21.
REPENTED HIS SELF-INDULGENT LIFESTYLE, HE COULD NOT OTHERS,then the least we can do is to make voluntary
EXPERIENCE THE TRUE JOY OF LOVING GOD AND HIS FELLOW donations towards increasing and maintaining the
MANKIND – AND THEREBY INHERIT ETERNAL LIFE! earthly Kingdom of God by SUPPORTING THE HOLY
THE RICH YOUNG MAN’S SOUL ALSO MOURNED THE LOSS OF THE MISSION OF HIS HOLY CHURCH.
LIFE-GIVING LIGHT AND LOVE OF GOD WHOSE PRESENCE HE OUR LORD DOES NOT COMMAND EVERY ONE OF US TO SELL
HAD REJECTED in preference to continuing HIS SELFISH, EVERYTHING WE HAVE and donate it to His Church but He
EGOCENTRIC EXISTENCE CAUSED BY HIS OBSESSION WITH HIS has taught us that IT IS INCUMBENT ON EACH OF US TO DENY
WORLDLY POSSESSIONS, which WAS GREATER THAN HIS LOVE OURSELVES AND TO RESIST OR AVOID THE OBSESSION WITH
OF GOD! WORLDLY WEALTH AND POSSESSIONS THAT QUICKLY
Consequently our Lord Jesus Christ severely cautions us: OVERWHELMS AND ENSNARES US - especially in these days
“... it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a of ever increasing technology.
needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of We must RESIST THE TEMPTATIONS OF MATERIALISM AND
God.” DECEPTIVE WORLDLY OPINIONS.
We must clearly understand that MATERIAL WEALTH AND We must AVOID AT ALL COSTS ANYTHING THAT TRIES TO
POSSESSIONS ARE NOT SINFUL DENIGRATE OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST as being anyone or
HOW WE GAIN AND HOW WE USE OUR WORLDLY WEALTH, anything other than OUR INCARNATED, ETERNAL LORD GOD
POSSESSIONS AND SOCIAL STATUS WILL EITHER JUSTIFY US OR AND SAVIOUR WHOM WE DEEPLY RESPECT AND LOVE WITH ALL
CONDEMN US ETERNALLY. OUR BEING!
EVERYTHING WE HAVE HAS BEEN GRANTED TO US BY OUR We must REJECT ANY MAN-MADE CONCEPT OF A “WATERED DOWN”
PROVIDENTIAL LORD GOD Who tests us to see what we do LORD JESUS CHRIST WHO CONFORMS TO OUR OWN SINFUL,
with it. LIMITED AND IMPERFECT HUMAN LIKENESS.
IF WE SHARE OUR ABUNDANT BLESSINGS WITH THOSE WHO ARE LESS As Orthodox Christians who STRUGGLE CEASELESSLY TO BE
BLESSED AND MORE NEEDY, WE WILL BE BLESSED “A WORTHY DISCIPLES OF OUR LORD, we must REJECT ALL SUCH
HUNDREDFOLD,” but we will be Condemned “a HISTORIC AND MODERN REVISIONIST EFFORTS to “re-imagine”
hundredfold” if we do not use our Abundant Blessings the Eternal, Only Begotten Son of God Who became
wisely and generously! Man for the sake of our Salvation.
This is not at all an obscure man-made ‘ideology!’ We must SINCERELY AFFIRM THAT JESUS CHRIST IS OUR LORD AND
This is Divine Truth! GOD WHO IS THE ONLY DIVINE SAVIOUR OF ALL MANKIND, NOW
✶✶✶ Our All Wise Lord Jesus exhorts us to NEVER FORGET that AND FOREVER.
“...where your treasure is, there will your heart be Christ our God looked at the soul of the Rich Young Man
also.” and clearly saw what he still lacked.
God’s New Covenant does not command us to give Tithes Our Lord knew very well that UNLESS THE YOUNG MAN
to our Lord, according to the Old Covenant. RESOLVED HIS OBSESSION WITH THE FLEETING PLEASURES OF
✶✶✶ Instead WE MUST OFFER EVERYTHING WE HAVE TO GOD. WORLDLY POSSESSIONS AND SOCIAL STATUS, HE WOULD NEVER
EVERYTHING BELONGS TO GOD WHO PROVIDES THEM FOR OUR INHERIT ETERNAL LIFE!
TEMPORARY USE ONLY!! TRUE REPENTANCE of our self-indulgent, undisciplined and
Hence, Christ suggested that the Rich Young Man should wayward lifestyle GRANTS US THE GREATEST JOY OF
SELL EVERYTHING HE HAD BEEN GIVEN so that THE PROCEEDS SPIRITUAL TRANSFORMATION,
COULD BE DISTRIBUTED AMONGST THE POOR AND NEEDY. OUR CREATOR clearly sees the condition of our immortal
By doing so, he would be granted THE JOY OF SHARING, soul - and as our Loving and Merciful God, He WANTS
experience the GREAT WONDER OF UNCONDITIONAL LOVE TO HEAL AND SAVE US – TO TRANSFORM US - BY REGENERATING
and receive THE PRICELESS, ETERNAL REWARD of OUR SPIRITUAL STATE IN WHICH WE WERE ORIGINALLY CREATED.
“Heavenly Treasure” – ALL THE EVERLASTING, BLISSFUL EVERY MOMENT IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO REPENT OUR VAIN IDEAS AND
BLESSINGS OF GOD THAT ARE FAR MORE VALUABLE AND EFFORTS of trying follow Christ on our own terms,
BEAUTIFUL THAN ANYTHING OF THIS TEMPORARY EXISTENCE! imagining Him to be whatever we wish!
Tithing of our time and possessions is just a means of HIS INFINITE LOVE AND GREAT MERCY OFFERS US ALL ETERNAL
beginning to understand this Divine Truth. TREASURE IN HEAVEN when we commit ourselves to a Life
By ALWAYS GIVING THANKS TO GOD FOR OUR ABUNDANT BLESSINGS in Christ – to UTTERLY ENTRUST OURSELVES TO HIM WHO IS
and then to SHARE THEM WITH OTHERS, we are able to ETERNAL LIFE.
CULTIVATE TRUE GRATITUDE and EXPERIENCE TRUE FREEDOM Let us JOYFULLY, WILLINGLY AND WITH LOVE, SUBMIT OURSELVES
from the enslaving obsession with material OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST WHO ALONE CAN SAVE US FOR HE CAN
possessions and the deceptive sense of ‘security!’ SEE PRECISELY EVERYTHING THAT WE LACK.
None of this concerns how much we have, but how tightly OUR MOST MERCIFUL SAVIOUR OFFERS US A NEW WAY, so that we
we hold on to that imaginary ‘security’ - that idol of can Repent our sins and become True Children of
Mammon - rather than ENTRUSTING OURSELVES, OUR God - WORTHY CO-HEIRS WITH CHRIST OF ETERNAL LIFE.
FAMILY, OUR WELL-BEING, OUR PRESENT AND OUR FUTURE, TO Amen.
GOD.
For this reason, our Lord Jesus Christ admonishes us – FR. ROBERT MICLEAN
whether we are rich or poor. HOLY ARCHANGELS ORTHODOX MISSION
If we are not prepared to OFFER EVERYTHING TO THE HOLY SUNDAY, AUGUST 23, 2015
HTTPS://WWW.ORTHODOXANNAPOLIS.ORG
SERVICE OF ALMIGHTY GOD, OR SHARE OUR ABUNDANCE WITH
THE ETERNAL, INSPIRED WISDOM OF OUR HOLY FATHERS
ST IGNATIOS BRIANCHANINOV
It is only necessary to seek One Thing - to be with our Lord Jesus. Those who remain with Him are rich, even if they are
poor with regard to material things. Those who desire earthly things more than Heavenly Things lose everything
that is Earthly and Heavenly. But those who seek Heavenly Things, gain the whole world.
ST JUSTIN POPOVICH
In Truth there is only one Freedom - the Holy Freedom of Christ, whereby He freed us from sin, from evil, from the devil.
It binds us to God. All other ‘freedoms’ are illusory, false - that is to say, they are all, in fact, slavery.

ST ALEXANDER MEDEM, HOLY MARTYR
Only Faith that all does not end with this earthly existence grants us the Power not to chain ourselves to this earthly life
by any means, and for its sake to come into all manner of baseness, degradation and humiliation.
Only those of deep and sincere Faith can be truly Free. Dependence on the Lord God is the only Dependence that does
not degrade us, nor turn us into pitiful slaves. On the contrary, it exalts us.

ST SILOUAN THE ATHONITE
The Lord wants us to Love one another, for this is Freedom: the Love for God and neighbour. In this Freedom, there is
Equality. In earthly orders, there may not be equality, but this is not important for our soul. Not everyone can be a
King, not everyone a Patriarch nor a Leader. But in any position it is possible to Love God and to please Him, and
only this is important. And whoever Loves God above all else on Earth will be in greater Glory in His Kingdom.

22. 12TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 12TH OF ST MATTHEW – ETERNAL LIFE 27 AUGUST 2017
Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa
Archdiocese of Good Hope
All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever, and
unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most Blessed and Glorious
Lady, Maria, Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together with all the Saints. And let us commit ourselves and one
another and our whole Life to Christ our God. Amen.

29 August 2017
The Beheading of St John the Baptist & Forerunner
Also the Feast of St Theopistis of Aegina & St Anastasios the Bulgarian

FESTAL APOLYTIKION – BEHEADING OF ST JOHN THE BAPTIST & FORERUNNER
Mnimi Dikeou met engomion; Si de arkesi i martiria tou The memory of the Just is praised; but for Thee shall
Kyriou Prodrome; anedihthis gar ontos ke Profiton suffice, the Witness of the Lord, O Forerunner; for
sevamioteros, oti ke en rithris Vaptise katihiothis ton Thou hast truly come forth as more honoured than the
kiritomenon. Othen tis Alithias iperathlisas, heron Prophets, since Thou proved worthy to Baptise, in the
evingeliso ke tis en Adi: Theo fanerothenta en Sarki, streams, the one they preached of. Thus, having
ton eronta tin amartian tou kosmou, ke parehonta imin contended for the Truth supremely, with Joy Thou
to Mega Eleos. brought the Good News, even to those in Hades: O
God Who did appear in the flesh, and took away the
sin of the world, and grants to all His Great Mercy.
FESTAL KONTAKION – NATIVITY 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 Anna were freed from the scorn of childlessness, and
Agia gennisi Sou. Aftin eortazi ke O Laos Sou, enohis Adam and Eve from death’s corruption. This is the
ton ptesmaton, litrothis en to krazin Si: i stira tikti tin Feast now observed by thy people, who from the guilt
Theotokon, ke Trofon tis Zois imon. of their errors, were delivered as they cry out to thee:
the barren one bear the Theotokos, and our life’s
Sustainer!
MATINS GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST MATTHEW 14 : 1 – 13
TH E UNJUST MARTY RDOM OF ST JOH N THE BAP TIST
At that time, Herod the Tetrarch heard the report about Jesus and said to his servants, “This is John the Baptist! He is
Resurrected from the dead, and therefore these Powers are at work in him.”
Herod had laid hold of John and bound him, and imprisoned him for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife.
John had said to him: “It is unlawful for you to have her!” And although he wanted to put him to death, he feared
the multitude, for they regarded (John)as a Prophet.
When Herod’s birthday was celebrated, the daughter of Herodias danced before them and pleased Herod. Therefore
he promised with an oath to give her whatever she might ask. So she – having been prompted by her mother -
said: “Give me, on a platter, the head of John the Baptist!”
And the King was sorry - nevertheless, because of his oaths and because of those who sat with him - he commanded it
to be given to her. And he sent and had John beheaded in prison. And his head was presented on a platter to the
girl, and she took it to her mother.
And his Disciples took away the body and buried it, and went and told Jesus. When Jesus heard it, He departed from
there by boat to a deserted place by Himself. And when the multitude heard about it, they followed Him on foot
from the cities.
T HIS ACCOUNT WAS GIVEN PARENTHETICALLY , THEREBY prepared mankind for the Coming of our Eternal
EXPLAINING S T J OHN THE B APTIST ’ S EARLIER M ARTYRDOM Saviour.
SO THAT THOSE WHO HEARD IT WOULD UNDERSTAND WHY Consequently, THERE WAS NO LONGER A NEED FOR ANY MORE
H EROD THOUGHT THAT ST J OHN THE B APTIST HAD BEEN H OLY PROPHETS OF GOD .
R ESURRECTED FROM THE DEAD . After Christ’s Death on the Cross and His Descent into and
The Beheading of St John the Baptist is C OMMEMORATED IN His “Harrowing of Hades,” ALL DEPARTED SOULS WERE
OUR H OLY C HURCH ON 29 A UGUST WITH A DAY OF VERY GRANTED THE OPPORTUNITY TO ACCEPT OR REJECT H IM AS
STRICT FASTING. OUR ETERNAL L ORD G OD .
A S AN IMPORTANT PART OF GOD ’ S P LAN OF SALVATION FOR ALL ✶✶NEVER AGAIN WOULD THERE BE SUCH AN
MANKIND , S T J OHN ’ S H OLY M ARTYRDOM ALLOWED THE OPPORTUNITY FOR US TO REPENT OUR SINS AFTER
C OMING OF THE M ESSIAH TO BE A NNOUNCED TO THE SOULS DEATH!
IMPRISONED IN H ADES . Despite the efforts of St John the Baptist and the Love of
ALL I MMORTAL SOULS – BOTH THOSE OF UNREPENTANT SINNERS God, CERTAIN WICKED AND STUBBORN SOULS REFUSED
AND THE R IGHTEOUS WERE INFORMED BY S T J OHN THAT THE G OD’ S D IVINE M ERCY AND L OVE , preferring the
LONG - AWAITED M ESSIAH HAD INDEED COME TO S AVE THE company of similar wicked and disgusting souls and
FALLEN , SIN DARKENED WORLD . demons!
St John - as the F ORERUNNER TO C HRIST AND THE LAST GREAT T HOSE WHO RECEIVED C HRIST WITH J OY AND GRATITUDE, WERE
H OLY PROPHET OF G OD ACCORDING TO THE OLD GRANTED ETERNAL L IFE, AND now REST IN P EACE IN THE
C OVENANT – had to depart from this life before OUR RE- OPENED P ARADISE until our Final Judgement at the
L ORD J ESUS IN H IS HUMAN N ATURE COULD DIE AND THUS Re-Appearance in the Flesh or the Second Glorious
ENTER H ADES , where, IN H IS D IVINE N ATURE , H E SET Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
SOULS FREE from Satan’s imprisonment – Hades – and D URING M ATINS , WE SING TO S T J OHN THE BAPTIST : “Thy
ALSO SMASHED OPEN THE G ATES OF H ADES THAT SHALL tongue, which constantly speaks of God, has
NEVER AGAIN PREVAIL AGAINST R EPENTANT SINNERS . preceded Christ into Death, and is sent to Preach
O UR L ORD J ESUS C HRIST FULFILLED ALL D IVINE PROPHESY as Him to those in Hades.”
revealed to us through His Holy Prophets, who had H EROD, who was one of four Rulers under the Roman
domination, with all his wealth and power, actually

THE BEHEADING OF ST JOHN THE BAPTIST & FORERUNNER 29 AUGUST 2017 23.
FEARED ST J OHN THE B APTIST – a simple and humble UNLAWFUL CO - HABITATION WITH HIS BROTHER ’ S WIFE , THE
man who lived in abject Ascetic poverty and who was WICKED H ERODIAS .
clothed with plain garments made from rough S T J OHN’ S OBEDIENCE TO GOD WAS SO PROFOUND THAT HE
camel’s hair. PREFERRED DEATH OVER ANY SORT OF COMPROMISE .
H EROD’ S FEAR OF ST J OHN THE B APTIST TESTIFIED TO THE At Holy Vespers we chant to St John: “When Thy head was
P OWER , A NGELIC L IFE AND GENUINE I NTEGRITY OF THE cut off, Thou revealed to us the Law of God,
H OLY PROPHET OF G OD, AS WELL AS TO THE PEOPLE’ S abolishing man’s disobedience to the Law.”
PERCEPTION AND VENERATION OF S T J OHN WHOM THEY Because the account of St John the Baptist’s Holy
HELD IN THE HIGHEST ESTEEM . Martyrdom is given parenthetically, St Theophylact
Furthermore, S T J OHN THE B APTIST IS C OMMEMORATED FOR believed that when O UR L ORD J ESUS “... heard it...” H E
HIS HUMBLE AND UTTER O BEDIENCE TO THE L AW OF G OD in REACTED TO THE ERRONEOUS BELIEF OF K ING H EROD THAT
general, and as A H OLY D EFENDER OF THE SANCTITY OF C HRIST WAS THE R ESURRECTED S T J OHN THE B APTIST –
M ARRIAGE in particular, WHICH WAS EVIDENT FROM HIS that our Lord Jesus was St John who had been raised
LOUD AND VEHEMENT CONDEMNATION OF K ING H EROD ’ S from the dead.
PROKEIMENON – PSALM 63 – TONE 7
The Righteous shall be glad in the Lord, and shall Hope in Him.
Hear my voice, O God, in my Supplication.

THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES ACCORDING TO ST LUKE 13 : 25 – 32
TH E CH URCH IN PISIDIA
In those days as John was finishing his course, he said: “Who do you think I am? I am not He. But, behold: there comes
One after me – the sandals of Whom I am not worthy to loosen.”
Men and Brethren, sons of the Family of Abraham, and those among you who fear God: to you the Word of this
Salvation has been sent.
Those who dwell in Jerusalem, and their Rulers, because they did not know Him, nor even the voices of the Prophets,
which are read every Sabbath, have fulfilled them in condemning Him. And although they found no cause for
death in Him, they asked Pilate that He should be put to death. When they had fulfilled all that was written
concerning Him, they took Him down from the Tree and laid Him in a Tomb.
God Raised Him up from the dead. He was seen for many days by those who came up with Him from Galilee to
Jerusalem, who are His Witnesses to the people.
And we declare to you Glad Tidings that what God Promised to the Fathers, He has fulfilled to us, their Children, by
Resurrecting Jesus.
This passage is a small segment of St Paul’s preaching to THE CITY OF THE ANCIENT KING DAVID, BEING OF HIS
the “Men of Israel” at a Synagogue in Psidia. ROYAL LINEAGE OR JUDAIC TRIBE, AS PROPHESIED.
In His Book of the Acts of the Apostles, St Luke recorded DUE TO THE SPIRITUALLY BLIND AND DEAD JEWISH LEADERS’ AND
only a small part of the amazingly fast growth of the THEIR FOLLOWERS’ REJECTION OF OUR DIVINE SAVIOUR, THEY
Holy Church of Christ as His Holy Apostles and Faithful HAD “...fulfilled (the Prophecies) by condemning
Disciples spread the Word of the Holy Gospel Him...” to an unjust death by crucifixion. (PSALM 2:1-2;
throughout the known world. PSALM 118:22-23 & ISAIAH 53: 1-9)
✶ St John the Baptist “...was finishing his course...” – i.e. Crucifixion was the most brutal, hideous a type of public
he had nearly completed his public Mission of execution of common criminals practised by the Roman
PREPARING THE HEBREW PEOPLE FOR THE COMING OF THE Empire.
LONG-AWAITED GREAT MESSIAH and Almighty God’s New CRUCIFIXION WAS UNKNOWN IN THE PREVIOUS CENTURIES WHEN THE
Covenant that would be Revealed and taught by our HOLY PROPHETS OF GOD HAD PROPHESIED CONCERNING THE
Lord Jesus Christ to His People. DIVINELY ANOINTED OF GOD – I.E. THE INCARNATE SON OF
ALTHOUGH ST JOHN THE BAPTIST AND OUR SAVIOUR WERE RELATED GOD.
ACCORDING TO THE FLESH THROUGH THEIR MOTHERS, THEY HAD ✶✶ YET THEY PROPHESIED THAT OUR GREAT MESSIAH WOULD BE
NEVER MET until that great Day of Theophany at the HUNG UPON “...a Tree...” – a most shameful death
River Jordan. even in those ancient times.
Since the age of approximately two years, St John the St Paul related THE EVENTS OF OUR LORD’S CRUCIFIXION, DEATH,
Baptist had lived in the wilderness by the Grace of BURIAL AND GLORIOUS RESURRECTION that WAS WITNESSED BY
God where HE HAD BEEN ENLIGHTENED WITH THE DIVINE MANY “... who are His Witnesses to the people.”
TRUTH BY GOD HIMSELF. Furthermore, St Paul joyfully told his audience “... what
EVERYTHING IS ACCORDING TO THE TIME, PURPOSE AND THE WILL God Promised to the Fathers, He has fulfilled to us...
OF GOD OUR HEAVENLY FATHER, so when the time was just by Resurrecting Jesus...” which was THE MOST SOLID
right, St JOHN HAD APPEARED IN PUBLIC, LOUDLY EXHORTING PROOF OF ALL and UPON WHICH WE BASE OUR OWN HOPE FOR
THE HEBREW NATION “...the Family of Abraham...” TO OUR RESURRECTION INTO ETERNAL LIFE IN CHRIST JESUS.
REPENT THEIR SINS AND TO PREPARE THEMSELVES TO RECEIVE The heart of St Paul’s Message was that
THE DIVINE MESSIAH. 1. Our Lord Jesus Christ is “The Promise” and therefore
✶ “The Family of Abraham” refers to THE NATION OF ISRAEL He is THE PERFECT FULFILMENT OF THE OLD COVENANT.
OR THE HEBREW PEOPLE – THE CHOSEN PEOPLE OF GOD. 2. Our Lord Jesus is “the Seed of David” according to His
✶ ”The Word of this Salvation” is OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST AND Royal Lineage, His Incarnation as “the Son of
HIS DIVINE TRUTH – HIS DIVINE REVELATIONS AND TEACHINGS. Man” – i.e. the Son of our Lady Theotokos,
✶ CHRIST OUR GOD WAS SENT TO THOSE “...who Fear God...” “...without seed...” - without a biological, human
AND WHO MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO REPENT THEIR VOLUNTARY father – thereby fulfilling His Office as THE TRUE
AND INVOLUNTARY SINS. KING OF ISRAEL.
THE GENTILES WERE “...those who Fear God...” and although 3. Our Divine Saviour is THE DIVINE MESSIAH ABOUT WHOM ST
they were converts, they became firmly rooted in their JOHN THE BAPTIST, FORERUNNER TO CHRIST AND THE
Christian Faith to such a degree that UNTOLD NUMBERS GREATEST OF THE HOLY PROPHETS OF GOD, HAD PREACHED
WERE MARTYRED FOR THE SAKE OF THEIR LOVE OF AND ✶✶ DIVINE SALVATION ACCORDING TO THE WILL OF GOD THE
STEADFAST FAITH IN CHRIST JESUS. FATHER, THROUGH GOD THE SON, BY THE POWER AND
✶ “Those who dwell in Jerusalem, and their Rulers...” ENERGY OF THE GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT, IS PROCLAIMED TO
REJECTED OUR LORD JESUS AS THE DIVINE CHRIST for “... they ALL MANKIND – not only a select few – for WE ARE ALL
did not know Him...” NEITHER DID THEY HEED, UNDERSTAND EQUAL IN THE SIGHT OF GOD, WHO LOVES EVERY ONE OF US
NOR OBEY THE EXHORTATIONS AND PROPHECIES OF THE HOLY ALL
PROPHETS “...which are read every Sabbath...” ✶✶ In addition to Christ’s Death and Resurrection, two
concerning THE MESSIAH Who IS THE INCARNATE, ETERNAL recurring themes in Apostolic Preaching are the
SON OF GOD. FORGIVENESS OF SINS and the fact that NO ONE IS
✶✶ St Paul consistently emphasised the significant point JUSTIFIED BY THE LAW OF MOSES, which was given to
that IF THE OLD TESTAMENT IS PROPERLY UNDERSTOOD, IT the Nation of Israel in order to teach them self-
IS VERY CLEAR THAT OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST IS TRULY “THE control and discipline so that they would worship
MESSIAH” WHO WAS BORN OF A VIRGIN IN BETHLEHEM, Almighty God properly, remain physically and
24. THE BEHEADING OF ST JOHN THE BAPTIST & FORERUNNER 29 AUGUST 2017
spiritually strong while sojourning in the GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT GRANTS US HIS DIVINE GIFTS, BUT THE
wilderness, and, later, so that they would be GREATEST OF ALL DIVINE GIFTS IS LOVE, which is most
Spiritually Prepared and ready to receive our important if we desire Eternal Life in God’s Heavenly
Divine Saviour and our New Covenant of God Kingdom.
through His Revelations and Teachings. ✶✶ All our Spiritual Labours are performed in the Hope of
Although the ancient Old Covenant Rituals were fulfilled our own Resurrection into Eternal Life – in the Loving
by Christ and no longer applicable to us according to and Blessed Presence of Almighty God.
the New Covenant, “...NOT ONE IOTA NOR TITTLE....” OF Our Spiritual Struggles are compelled and strengthened
GOD’S COMMANDMENTS WOULD BE CHANGED FOR THEY by our Love of God and our desire to remain with Him.
ESSENTIAL TO OUR LIFE IN CHRIST. The closer we draw to our Most Beloved Lord and Master,
✶✶ IN ADDITION TO GOD’S TEN COMMANDMENTS, OUR LORD JESUS the more we will strive to fulfil all His Commandments
CHRIST HAS GIVEN US MORE CONCISE AND VITAL and Teachings.
COMMANDMENTS OF LOVE that - as His Faithful We have “put on Christ” at our Holy Baptism so we must
Disciples - we should be committed to fulfilling. continue to “Live in Christ” as we progress towards
OUR NEW COVENANT WITH GOD IS A DIVINE COVENANT OF LOVE – Eternity.
AGAPE – that Absolute, Perfect and Unconditional
Divine Love that supersedes any type of human love.
THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST MARK 6 : 14 – 30
TH E BEHEADING OF ST JOHN THE BAP TIST & FORERUNNER TO CH RIST
At that time, King Herod heard of our Lord Jesus, for His Name had become well known. And he said: “John the Baptist
is Risen from the dead, and therefore these Powers are worked in Him.” Others said: “It is Elijah.” Others said: “It is
the Prophet, or one of the Prophets.” When Herod heard, he said: “This is he whom I beheaded – John. He has been
raised from the dead!”
For Herod himself had sent and laid hold of John, and bound him in prison for the sake of Herodias, the wife of Philip,
his brother, for he had married her. John had said to Herod: “It is unlawful for you to have your brother’s wife.”
Therefore Herodias had held it against him and wanted to kill him, but she could not.
Herod feared John, knowing that he was a Just and Holy Man, and he protected him. And hearing (John), he did
many things, and had heard him gladly.
And an opportune day arose when Herod, on his birthday, gave a Feast for his noblemen, the high officers, and the
chief men of Galilee. And when the daughter of Herodias went in and danced, she pleased Herod and those who
sat with him.
The King said to the girl: “Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will grant it to you!” And he promised her: “Whatever you
ask of me, I will give you – even half of my Kingdom!” So she went out and asked her mother: “For what shall I ask?”
Herodias answered: “The head of John the Baptist!” And without delay she hastened to the King and said: “I want
you to give me at once on a platter the head of John the Baptist!”
And the King was exceedingly sorry; yet, because of the oaths and because of those who sat with him, he did not want
to refuse her. And immediately the King sent an executioner and commanded his head to be brought. He went
and beheaded him in prison, and presented his head on a platter, and she gave it to her mother.
And when his Disciples heard of it, they went and took away his body and laid it in a tomb.
T HIS K ING H EROD WAS THE SON OF K ING H EROD “THE G REAT ” ➤ O UR L ORD J ESUS C HRIST INDEED FULFILS THREE
who – having heard of the newly born Great King (our SIGNIFICANT AND ESSENTIAL D IVINE R OLES : H E IS OUR
Lord Jesus Christ) from the Magi - had issued the D IVINE T EACHER , OUR D IVINE P ROPHET AND OUR D IVINE
orders that led to the terrible “Slaughter of the K ING !
Innocents” – when all male children who were two  D E U T E R O N O M Y 1 8 : 1 5 “The Lord your God will
years or younger, were put to the sword without raise up for you a Prophet like me from your
exception or the smallest sign of mercy. Brethren. Him you shall hear... the Lord said to me:
H EROD WAS KNOWN AS “K ING ” ALTHOUGH TECHNICALLY HE ‘... I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from
WAS ONLY A T ETRARCH R ULER – ONE OF FOUR G OVERNORS among their Brethren, and I will put My Word in His
ELECTED BY THE R OMAN OPPRESSORS . Mouth, and He shall speak to them all I command
H IS AUTHORITY AS G OVERNOR WERE LIMITED TO HIS AREA OF Him..’”
RULE . ➤ At the time of St Moses, IT WAS FIRST NECESSARY FOR THE
Knowing that St John the Baptist had performed several PEOPLE TO BE TESTED AND TO LEARN TO FEAR GOD AND
Miracles while alive, H EROD WAS UTTERLY CONVINCED BY NOT TO COMMIT SIN, FOR THEY WERE TOO IGNORANT
HIS OWN BELIEFS THAT OUR L ORD J ESUS C HRIST WAS S T AND INATTENTIVE to hear about another Great Holy
J OHN THE B APTIST WHO HAD BEEN RAISED FROM THE DEAD Prophet of God Who was to come later.
– erroneously believing that such Divine “...Powers ➤ Because THE ISRAELITES FAILED THE TEST, they died in the
are worked in him.” desert. THEY REFUSED TO OBEY OR PUT INTO PRACTICE
Consequently, H EROD FEARED S T J OHN THE B APTIST EVEN EVERYTHING THAT G OD ’ S H OLY P ROPHET , S T M OSES ,
MORE THAN WHEN HE HAD BEEN ALIVE . TRIED SO HARD TO TEACH THEM .
S OME THOUGHT THAT OUR L ORD J ESUS C HRIST WAS ST E LIJAH ➤ LIKEWISE , WE TOO , WILL FAIL THE TEST AND “ DIE IN THE
THE T ISHBITE AND H OLY P ROPHET OF G OD WHO WAS DESERT ” THROUGH OUR OWN CHOICES AND S PIRITUAL
EXPECTED TO RETURN AND TO WORK MANY M IRACLES S TUBBORNNESS - WE WILL SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES
BEFORE THE S ECOND C OMING OF THE L ORD : OF ETERNAL C ONDEMNATION TO S PIRITUAL E XILE 
M A L A C H I 3 : 2 2 - 2 3 ”Behold: I will send you FROM G OD – E TERNAL S PIRITUAL D EATH !
Elijah before the Coming of the Great and ➤ Consequently, ALL THOSE WHO CHOOSE TO REJECT THE
Glorious Day of the Lord. And he will turn the D IVINE W ILL AND T EACHINGS OF ALMIGHTY GOD
heart of the father to his son, and a man’s heart (W HO L OVES US AND W HO SEEKS OUR R EDEMPTION AND
to his neighbour...” S ALVATION ) WILL NEITHER ENTER NOR ENJOY THE
➤ ST ELIJAH THE TISHBITE (who REPRESENTS THE HOLY G LORIOUS BLISS, L OVE AND P EACE OF E TERNAL L IFE IN
PROPHETS OF GOD who PREPARED THE PEOPLE FOR THE THE P ROMISED L AND – G OD ’ S H EAVENLY K INGDOM .
COMING OF THE MESSIAH) AND ST MOSES (who Others have interpreted their reference to “The Prophet”
REPRESENTS THE DIVINE LAWS OF GOD whereby we must as meaning that THEY RECOGNISED C HRIST AS A NEW
live) were present with our Lord Jesus on Mount H OLY PROPHET OF G OD WHO HAD BEEN SENT TO PREPARE
Tabor at His Glorious Transfiguration. (MATTHEW 17: 1 – THE PEOPLE FOR THE C OMING OF THE G REAT M ESSIAH OR
13)
SAVIOUR .
➤ THE W ORD AND S ON OF G OD AND OUR L ORD J ESUS CHRIST However, our Lord came to live amongst us in order TO
W HO GAVE THE L AW TO M OSES WOULD SOON BECOME FIRST GATHER UP H IS L OST S HEEP OF THE O LD C OVENANT
I NCARNATE I SRAEL AND THEN TO E NLIGHTEN , G UIDE AND H EAL H IS
✶✶ Those who believed OUR L ORD J ESUS WAS “T HE N EW C OVENANT F LOCK – THE N EW ISRAEL – I . E . H IS
P ROPHET ” meant that THEY BELIEVED H E WAS THE F AITHFUL D ISCIPLES , WHO , HAVING FREELY CHOSEN TO
M ESSIAH – THE O NE OF W HOM S T M OSES HAD PUT ON CHRIST AT H OLY BAPTISM CONTINUE TO LIVE IN
FORETOLD .
CHRIST FOREVER .
THE BEHEADING OF ST JOHN THE BAPTIST & FORERUNNER 29 AUGUST 2017 25.
THE BEHEADING OF ST JOHN THE BAPTIST & FORERUNNER – ST JUSTIN POPOVIC
Today is a little Great Friday - a second Great Friday. For Fearless and undaunted, like an Immortal Lion, like one
today the greatest man among those born of women, of the Cherubim in the flesh, St John was the first
St John, the Holy Forerunner and Baptiser of our Lord, is Confessor of our Christian Faith, followed by
murdered. On Great Friday, people murdered God, multitudes of other Glorious Holy Confessors who
crucified God. On today’s Great Holy Feast, people Testify that our Lord Jesus Christ is our only True God
murdered the greatest of all men. of Heaven and Earth.
What are my praises compared to those of Christ Who They did so despite all those who rise up against Christ
praised His Great and Glorious Forerunner more than with their persecution, their lies, their heresies!
any other - more than any of His Apostles, His Angels, ...Our Lord Jesus Christ restored so many back to life but
His Prophets, His Righteous or His Sages, when He He did not do so for His Holy Forerunner, for His Great
declared: “...Among those who are born of women Apostle’s Sacred Mission continued in Hades – the
there has not risen one greater than John the Kingdom of Death – where St John preached to all the
Baptist…” (MATTHEW 11: 11) departed Righteous and sinful souls of the Old
In all Creation, there exists no greater praise! Covenant - from Adam and Eve to that time - that our
...Today’s Feast is a second Great Friday, because there is Divine Saviour for Whom they had waited so long,
no greater transgression than that committed on had indeed Appeared and was now with us!
Great and Holy Friday (the Crucifixion of Christ) and ...Subsequently, our Lord Jesus Christ led them into
that committed when Herod martyred “...the greatest Paradise Himself...
among those born of women.” Today, in Commemorating that Great and Glorious first
Our Beloved Saviour exalted St John the Baptist, more Apostle, first Confessor, first Martyr, first Evangelist,
than anyone else because the Holy Forerunner and Forerunner to all True, Faithful Christians of all
encompassed within himself all the Virtues of Heaven, time, we bow down before his Joyous Maryrdom for
of all the Prophets, the Apostles, the Martyrs, the Holy Christ’s Divine Truth and His Holy Gospel.
Confessors and the Heavenly Hosts! St John the Baptist has ceaselessly Interceded on our
Today we Glorify St John the Baptist - the first Apostle behalf with our Lord God and through him countless
among the Holy Apostles - for he was the first human Divine Miracles have occurred for all those who turn
beings to be sent by God to herald our Eternal, Divine to him in Prayer, as he stands in the Very Presence of
Saviour of all mankind. Almighty God.
Long before the Chosen Apostles of Christ, St John bore Brethren, whenever we suffer great sorrow, or are struck
witness to and announced to the people our by misfortune, or filled with bitterness or regret, we
Incarnate Lord God in the Person of our Lord Jesus must turn to St John in Prayer and .his Intercession on
Christ. our behalf will sweeten us with Christ’s Divine Grace...
He was the first Apostle to witness God the Holy Spirit ...When the temptations and horrors of this earthly life,
descending from Heaven onto our Lord Jesus, when threaten to overwhelm us, we must run to him as our
he Baptized Him in the River Jordan, announcing Him Holy Confessor, and pour out our sorrows and
to be the Beloved Son of God Who is the Saviour of the Spiritual Needs and then we can rest assured that in a
world. Mystical, Divine Manner, our Lord God will Deliver us
St John is also the first Evangelist, the Bearer of all Good from all evil temptations and woes.
News. having announced and identified our Lord But should we need to suffer for our Lord Jesus Christ in
Jesus Christ as the Great Divine Saviour of all this fallen world when we are attacked by others on
mankind: “Behold, the Lamb of God, Who takes away all sides, when atheists and those who oppose Christ
the sin of the world.” try to deceive us or to destroy us for belonging to
With those few words, St John expressed the Fullness of Christ, when they want to silence our voice to prevent
the Holy Gospel. us from speaking Christ’s Divine Truth, we must
Facing Eastwards, he urged all mankind - from Adam to steadfastly remember St John who is Christ’s Foremost
our days - “Repent! For the Kingdom of Heaven is at Holy Martyr, and call out to him: “ O Holy Martyr, First
hand!” Martyr of Christ ... hurry to my aid! Grant that may I
The Kingdom of Heaven is in Christ Jesus! die for our Lord Jesus Christ - leave my body like a
We are drowning in sin and we are Spiritually Dead! We discarded garment and by the Path of the Holy
are enslaved and imprisoned by sin and death – Martyrs enter Christ’s Eternal Kingdom!”
Satan’s inventions! St John the Baptist will Entreat our Lord for His Great
To each and every one of us St John the Baptist, the most Mercy so that we might also join His Hosts of
powerful Evangelist, ceaselessly urges and exhorts us Luminaries.
to Repent our wickedness so that we may fully receive Thus, today’s Little Great Friday becomes for us the Great
the Eternal Salvation of Christ’s Holy Gospel! Joy of the Resurrection.
Our Lord Jesus Christ began and ended His own public Every Friday we recall the Crucifixion of our Lord Jesus
Mission with that same compelling and urgent Christ but on Sunday we most Joyfully celebrate His
Commandment: “Repent!” Glorious Resurrection, wherein all Faithful Disciples
St Isaiah, the Old Covenant Holy Prophet and our Lord of Christ Live in Hope and upon which we are all
Jesus Christ both regarded St John the Baptist as an focussed.
earthly Angel and a Heavenly Man. (READ ISAIAH 40:3 & Consequently, today’s “ Small Great Friday” is also a
MATTHEW 11:10) Joyful celebration of Resurrection, for we Glorify and
St John announced to us that our Lord Jesus Christ is not Venerate St. John the Baptist who is Eternally Alive in
only our Divine Saviour, but also our Enlightener and Heaven.
Judge, for He holds both the hatchet and the spade, We Glorify his Great Victory over his Holy Martyrdom
with which, on the Day of the Dread Judgement, He because, having soared up into the Heavenly Realm –
would “...separate the Wheat from the Chaff...” – i.e. St John the Baptist stands at the left hand side of our
“...the Righteous from the sinners..” - all of which had Lord Jesus Christ while our Lady, Theotokos stands at
been foreseen by him. His right Hand side - the Most Honourable Position for
St John is the first Holy Martyr of the New Covenant for he She is more Honourable and Glorious than the
gave his life for God’s Truth, and he suffered joyously! Cherubim and Seraphim.
St John rejoiced in Christ even as he was beheaded, and Dearly Beloved, may St John the Baptist’s Intercessory
thereby he inspires all Holy Martyrs of the New Prayers on our behalf never cease and may he
Covenant, to this very day. compel us all to Repent our sins so that our Lord Jesus
Holy Martyrs bravely face death while rejoicing in our Christ may grant us His Great Mercy and Eternal Life
Lord Jesus Christ, for they know that Death cannot in His Heavenly Kingdom of Love.
imprison us but is merely the gateway through which Amen.
our immortal souls enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
St John the Baptist was the first to fearlessly, openly and (PLEASE READ THE UNEDITED VERSION OF ST JUSTIN’S SERMON )
directly Confess the Divine Truth of our Lord Jesus as HTTP://WWW.PRAVOSLAVIE.RU/ENGLISH/39103.HTM
our Divine Saviour.

26. THE BEHEADING OF ST JOHN THE BAPTIST & FORERUNNER 29 AUGUST 2017
Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa
Archdiocese of Good Hope
All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever, and
unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most Blessed and Glorious Lady,
Maria, Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together with all the Saints. And let us commit ourselves and one another
and our whole Life to Christ our God. Amen.

31 August 2017
Our Ever Blessed, All Holy Lady, Theotokos’ Holy Zoni (Sash/Belt)
AT CHALCOPRATEIA, CONSTANTINOPLE

Also the Feast of St Cyprian of Carthage - St Gennadios of Constantinople - St Aidan of
Lindesfarne - St Eanswythe Abbess of Folkestone

FESTAL APOLYTIKION –THEOTOKOS’ ZONI - TONE (8) PLAGAL 4
Theotoke Aiparthene, ton anthropon i Skepi, Esthita ke Ever Virgin Theotokos, the Shelter of mankind: Thou hast
Zonin tou Ahrantou Sou somatos, kratean ti poli Sou given Thy City as a Protective Wall the Garment and
pervolin edoriso, to asporo Toko Sou aftharta Girdle that Thou worn upon Thine Immaculate Body.
diaminanta, epi Si gar ke fisi kenotomi ke hronos, dio By Thy seedless Childbirth, they have remained
disopoumen Se, Irinin ti politia Sou dories, ke tes psihes incorrupt. For in Thee both nature and time are made
imon to Mega Eleos. novel. Therefore, we implore Thee, grant Peace to Thy
Commonwealth, and Great Mercy to our souls.
FESTAL KONTAKION - THEOTOKOS’ ZONI – TONE 2
Tin Theodohon gastera Sou Theotoke, perlavousa i Zoni The Precious Girdle that Thou wore around Thy Body that
Sou i Timia, kratos ti poli Sou aprosmahiton, ke hosted God, O All Blessed Theotokos, truly is Power
thisafros iparhi, ton Agathon anekliptos, i Moni Tekousa unassailable for Thy City and a Treasure whose
Aiparthenos. Blessings are perpetual, O Only Child-bearing Ever
Virgin.
FESTAL PROKEIMENON – ODE OF THEOTOKOS (LUKE1) TONE 3
My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour!
For He regarded the low estate of His Handmaiden!
THE EPISTLE OF ST PAUL TO THE HEBREWS 9: 1 - 7
Brethren: the First Covenant had Ordinances of Divine Service, and a worldly Sanctuary. A Tabernacle was prepared:
the first part, in which was the Lampstand, the Table, and the Showbread, which is called ‘the Sanctuary.’ Behind
the Second Veil, was the part of the Tabernacle, which is called ‘Holy of Holies,’ which had the Golden Censer and
the Ark of the Covenant, overlaid on all sides with gold, in which was the Golden Pot that had the Manna, Aaron’s
Rod that budded, and the Tablets of the Covenant. Above it were the Cherubim of Glory overshadowing the Mercy
Seat. Of these we can no longer speak these days.
When these Things had been thus prepared, the Priests always went into the first part of the Tabernacle, performing
the Services. Into the second part only the High Priest went - once a year, not without blood, which he offered for
himself and for the people’s sins.
The first seven verses of St Paul’s Epistle to the Hebrews HIS BLOOD SACRIFICE FULFILLED FOR ALL TIME THE ATONEMENT
describe THE MOSAIC TABERNACLE, WHICH PREFIGURES THE SACRIFICE - and being Perfect, ended any further need
HEAVENLY ALTAR. for any more blood sacrifices.
This particular passage is read during the Feasts of our THROUGH HIS ULTIMATE SACRIFICIAL OFFERING, OUR LORD HAS
Lady Theotokos and Advent, to describe THE GREAT REDEEMED MANKIND FOR ALL TIME.
DIVINE MYSTERY OF THE INCARNATION OF THE ETERNAL WORD THE LORD OUR GOD IS ENTHRONED UPON THE CHERUBIM. So His
AND SON OF GOD THE FATHER. Throne in Israel’s midst – the Mercy Seat – is depicted
OUR LADY THEOTOKOS’ WOMB WAS PREPARED BY GOD TO BECOME with a Holy Cherub on either side – just as the
THE HOLY OF HOLIES – The Holy Tabernacle of Christ our Orthodox Christian Holy Altar is flanked by depictions
Lord – THE VERY DWELLING PLACE OF ALMIGHTY GOD. of the Holy Cherubim. (One of the highest Orders of
A most important detail is ‘THE INNER VEIL’ – THE SECOND VEIL, Heavenly Hosts.)
WHICH SEPARATED THE HOLY PLACE – THE HOLY SANCTUARY – THESE REPRESENTATIONS, along with the depictions of
FROM THE MOST HOLY PLACE – THE HOLY OF HOLIES OR THE Cherubim on the Inner Veil , and the beauty and
MOST HOLIEST OF ALL, WHICH CONTAINED THE ARK OF THE detailed workmanship of everything that was made
COVENANT AND THE OTHER SIGNIFICANT HOLY RELICS OF THE especially for the Holy Tabernacle, SERVED AS HOLY
OLD COVENANT – A GOLDEN POT OF MANNA, AARON’S ROD ICONS OF THE OLD COVENANT. (EXODUS 26:31)
THAT BUDDED, AND THE CARVED, STONE TABLETS OF DIVINE This, and other numerous passages, put to rest the fear
COMMANDMENTS. that the Second Commandment prohibits all imagery.
THE HOLY OF HOLIES COULD ONLY BE ENTERED ONCE A YEAR BY THE GOD CANNOT BE REPRESENTED BECAUSE DIVINE NATURE IS
HIGH PRIEST - carrying a Blood Offering for the UNKNOWABLE AND THUS CANNOT BE DEPICTED.
forgiveness of his own sins as well as those of the However, WHEN THE ETERNAL WORD AND SON OF GOD BECAME
people. THE SON OF MAN – I.E. INCARNATE – HIS HUMAN NATURE CAN
THE INNER VEIL FORMED THE LOCUS OF THE LITURGICAL PRACTICE AND IS IMAGED.
OF THE OLD COVENANT, WHICH REVEALED ITS IMPERFECTION, This is evidently permissible due to His Holy Icon “Not
for the people could not personally draw near to God Made by Hands’ which He left behind on His inner
Who seemed to be only approachable through His Face Cloth and on other items such as His Shroud.
Priests - and the forgiveness their sins required an ALTHOUGH THE OLD COVENANT PRIESTS ENTERED THE HOLY PLACE
annual Blood Offering carried into the Holy of Holies DAILY, ONLY THE HIGH PRIEST AND ONLY ON ONE DAY A YEAR
only by the High Priest, who offered the Sacrifice for COULD ENTER THE HOLY OF HOLIES ON THE DAY OF
the forgiveness of his own sins as well as those of the ATONEMENT – YOM KIPPUR.
people. He entered carrying animal blood of the Atonement
OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST’S ULTIMATE MOST PERFECT AND Sacrifice, which revealed THE IMPERFECTION AND
POWERFUL BLOOD OFFERING ENDED OUR SEPARATION FROM TEMPORARY STATUS OF THE OLD COVENANT:
OUR LOVING, BENEVOLENT GOD. 1. ONLY ONE MAN COULD ENTER THE DIVINE PRESENCE
Our alienation was resolved forever by our Lord Jesus 2. He could NOT CONTINUALLY enter.
Christ.
THE DEPOSITION OF OUR LADY THEOTOKOS’ SANCTIFIED BELT 31 AUGUST 2017 27
3. HE HAD TO ENTER EACH YEAR TO REPEAT THE ATONEMENT impermanent – and could not begin a
SACRIFICE, which was ONLY EFFECTIVE FOR A SHORT TIME participation in the Age to come – Eternity.
AND NEEDED TO BE REPEATED ANNUALLY. 5. IT ONLY DEALT WITH THE OUTER PERSON – BEING SUPERFICIAL,
4. The blood sacrifice DEALT WITH ONLY MATERIALS FROM THIS IT CANNOT PURIFY OUR HEAR AND MIND, LET ALONE
EARTHLY AGE, which are temporary, imperfect, RESTORE, RENEW, REGENERATE, OR REBIRTH OUR FALLEN
HUMAN NATURE.
THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST LUKE 10 : 38 - 42 & 11 : 27 – 28
At that time, He entered a certain village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a
sister called “Mary,” who also sat at Jesus’ Feet and heard His Word. But Martha was distracted with much serving,
and she approached Him and said: “Lord, dost Thou not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore
tell her to help me!” And Jesus answered and said to her: “Martha! Martha! You are worried and troubled about
many things, but one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from
her.”
... And it happened, as He spoke these things, that 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!” And He replied: “More than that: Blessed
are those who hear the Word of God and keep It!”
ST MARTHA AND ST MARY OF BETHANY WERE THE SISTERS OF ST ✶✶✶ EVERY WORD OF HIS DIVINE COMMANDMENTS AND
LAZAROS WHOM OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST HAD RAISED FROM THE TEACHINGS MUST BE APPLIED TO EVERY ASPECT OF OUR
DEAD. DAILY EXISTENCE – OUR OWN WORDS, THOUGHTS AND
✶ ST MARTHA WAS “...worried and troubled about many DEEDS!
things...” In order to fulfil His Divine Truth, ALL OUR THOUGHTS, OUR
She was COMPLETELY PREOCCUPIED AND CONCERNED WITH ALL WORDS AND OUR DEEDS MUST BE ACCORDING GOD’S DIVINE
HER HOUSEHOLD DUTIES while providing hospitality to our WILL!
Lord Jesus and His Disciples and Apostles who And as soon as we are tempted into something sinful, we
accompanied Him. need to IMMEDIATELY REPENT so that we can CONTINUE
HER TEMPORARY, WORLDLY CARES CONCERNED HER MORE THAN OUR SPIRITUAL STRUGGLES whereby we slowly progress
ANYTHING ELSE at the time, so SHE MISSED THAT GREAT towards Eternal Life in Christ Jesus.
OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN DIVINE TRUTH DIRECTLY FROM OUR Therefore, OUR LORD JESUS DID NOT SUPPORT, NOR ENCOURAGE
LORD JESUS CHRIST Who knew that SHE DID NOT EVEN THE IMMEDIATE MUNDANE NEEDS OF ST MARY OF BETHANY.
LISTEN TO HIM WHILE SHE BUSTLED ABOUT while preparing Instead He pointed out to her that while she was so
food and drinks for her guests. involved and concentrated on all her current,
ST MARTHA WAS IRRITATED, FRUSTRATED AND PROBABLY ANGRY temporary duties, HER SISTER HAD CHOSEN TO SPEND THE
WITH HER SISTER FOR NOT HELPING HER, WHICH CAUSED HER TO PRECIOUS TIME LISTENING TO CHRIST’S TEACHINGS THAT
INTERRUPT OUR LORD AND COMPLAIN BITTERLY ABOUT HER. WOULD SPIRITUALLY BENEFIT HER NOW AND ETERNALLY.
HER HEART WAS FILLED WITH BITTERNESS AND RESENTMENT! The “...One Thing ... needed...” was for her to PAY
ATTENTION TO HIS DIVINE TEACHING.
When we are in such an emotionally negative state, we cannot ✶✶✶ PAYING CLOSE ATTENTION TO WHAT OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
Spiritually Benefit from the Divine Presence of God, but act TEACHES US AND COMMANDS US TO DO, IS A SERIOUS
contrary to His Divine Love. PRIORITY THAT CERTAINLY DOES NOT EXCLUDE SERVING HIM
Such an adverse emotional state also dispels and rejects God AS WELL!
the Holy Spirit Who enables us to receive, to understand and ✶✶ Later, when a woman called out to our Lord Jesus
to act on His Divine Truth, Wisdom and Knowledge. MP from the crowd, our Lord pointed out to her that
GOD’S BLESSINGS FALL UPON ALL THOSE WHO HEAR THE
✶✶ Her sister, ST MARY OF BETHANY, HAD “...chosen that WORD OF GOD AND WITH HUMILITY, OBEY HIM.
good part, which will not be taken away from FAMILY OR SOCIAL CONNECTIONS HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH OUR
her.” OBEDIENCE TO GOD.
ST MARY SAT IN RAPT ATTENTION AT THE FEET OF OUR LORD AND ✶✶ THE EVER BLESSED THEOTOKOS WAS ESPECIALLY
HEARD EVERY WORD THAT HE SPOKE.
COMPLIMENTED AND PRAISED BY HER DIVINE SON BECAUSE
THE DIVINE WORDS THAT ST MARY OF BETHANY HEARD FROM SHE NOT ONLY PAID CAREFUL ATTENTION TO THE WORD OF
CHRIST REMAINED IN HER HEART FOREVER, and SHE WAS THUS GOD BUT SHE ALSO FAITHFULLY OBEYED ALL HIS
ABLE TO LIVE ACCORDINGLY, AS WELL AS TO CORRECTLY GUIDE
COMMANDMENTS AND LIVED HER ENTIRE LIFE
AND TEACH OTHERS.
ACCORDINGLY.
✶✶ “...One Thing is needed...” by us all. ✶✶✶ IT IS THAT PROFOUND VIRTUE OF HUMBLE AND ATTENTIVE
We must LISTEN CAREFULLY AND ATTENTIVELY so that we HEAR OBEDIENCE TO GOD OF THE EVER BLESSED THEOTOKOS
EVERY WORD, EVERY COMMANDMENT AND TEACHING OF OUR
ALONE – EVEN MORE THAN HAVING BORNE THE INCARNATE
LORD JESUS CHRIST. GOD – THAT MAKES HER OUR MOST SHINING EXAMPLE OF
THE ABSOLUTE, PERFECT DIVINE TRUTH IS REVEALED TO US AND TRUE SAINTHOOD AND THEOSIS – SPIRITUAL PERFECTION
TAUGHT TO US DIRECTLY BY THE ETERNAL SON OF GOD.
OUR HOLY CHURCH FATHERS – ON OUR LADY THEOTOKOS
ST JOHN OF DAMASCUS
“... Although Thou art also the Fountain of True Light, the
Inexhaustible Treasury of Life itself, the Most Fruitful
Source of Blessing, who has won for us and brought us ST JOHN OF SHANGHAI & SAN FRANCISCO
all Good Things —although for a while Thou wast ” . . . when the Holy Church of Christ tells us in Her Hymns
covered corporeally with Death; nonetheless, Thou and Icons that the Apostles were Miraculously Gathe-
dost pour out Pure and Inexhaustible Streams of red from the ends of the Earth in order to be present at
Immense Light, immortal Life and True Happiness, the Repose and Burial of the Mother of God, we as Ort-
Rivers of Grace, Fountains of Healing and Everlasting hodox Christians are not free to deny this nor to rein-
Blessing...” terpret it, but must believe as the Church hands it
ELDER THADDEOS down to us - with simplicity of heart.”
“...The Most Holy Mother of God prays for us ceaselessly.
She is always Visiting us. “Whenever we turn to Her in FESTAL TROPARION – FOREFEAST- DORMITION
our heart, She is there. After our Lord Jesus Christ, She Dance with Joy, O peoples!
is the Greatest Protection for mankind. “How many Clap your hands with Gladness!
churches there are in the world that are dedicated to Gather today with Fervour and Jubilation;
the Most Holy Mother of God! How many Healing Sing with Exultation.
Springs have sprung up in places where the Most Holy The Mother of God is about to Rise in Glory,
Theotokos Appeared and Blessed those springs to Ascending from Earth to Heaven.
Heal both the sick and the healthy – and innumerable We ceaselessly praise Her in song
people have indeed been Miraculously Cured of their as truly Theotokos!
various ailments! She is constantly by our side, yet all
too often we forget Her.”

28. THE DEPOSITION OF OUR LADY THEOTOKOS’ SANCTIFIED BELT 31 AUGUST 2017