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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.

1 September 2017
Beginning of the Liturgical Year (7527) - The Indiction
Also the Feast of St Symeon the Studite & his devout Mother, St Martha, of Cilicia - St Ammoun
the Deacon & the 40 Ascetic Virgin Martyrs of Heraclea, Thrace St Joshua Son of Nun St
Callista, St Evodos & St Hermogenes, Sibling Martyrs of Nicomedia St Meletios the New of
Cappadocia - St Evanthia St Ethalas, Deacon, of Persia

FESTAL APOLYTIKION OF THE INDICTION TONE 2


O pasis Dimiourgos tis Ktiseos, O kerous ke hronous en ti O Creator of all the Universe, who have placed times and
idia exousia themenos, Evlogison ton Stefanon, tou seasons under Thine own Authority; Bless, O Lord,
eniaftou tis Hristotitos Sou, Kyrie, filatton en Irini tous the Crown of this year of Thy Kindness, keeping in
Vasilis ke tin Polin Sou, Presvies tis Theotokou, Mone Peace Thy Kings and Thy City; by the Intercessions of
Filanthrope. the Theotokos, O Only True Friend of mankind.

FESTAL OF THE EVER BLESSED THEOTOKOS


Here, Keharitomeni Theotoke Parthene. Ek Sou gar Hail, O Theotokos Virgin Full of Grace: for from Thee has
anetilen O Ilios tis Dikeosinis, Hristos O Theos imon, shone forth the Sun of Righteousness, Christ our God,
Fotizon tous en skoti. Evfrenou ke si Presvita Dikee, giving Light to those in darkness. Be glad also, Thou
dexamenos en agkales ton elevtherotin ton psihon Righteous Elder, for Thou hast received in Thine arms
imon, harizomenon imin ke tin Anastasin the Deliverer of our souls, Who bestows upon us
Resurrection.
FESTAL APOLYTIKION OF ST SYMEON THE STYLITE - TONE 1
Ipomonis Stilos gegonas, zilosas tou propatoras Osie, ton Thou became a Pillar of Patience, and the Ancient Fathers
Iob en tis pathesi ton Iosif en tis pirasmis ke tin ton Thou equalled and rivalled; Thou rivalled Job in
Asomaton Politian iparhon en somatic. Symeon Patir Sufferings, Joseph in Temptations, and the Lifestyle of
imon Osie, Presveve Hristo to Theo, sothine tas Psihas the Incorporeals while in the flesh. Therefore, O our
imon. Righteous Father, Symeon, Intercede with Christ God to
Save our souls!
F E S T A L K O N T A K I O N O F T H E I N D I C T O S - TONE 4
O ton Eonon Piitis ke Despotis - Thee ton olon iperousie O Eternal Creator and Master - O God of all, transcending
ontos, tin eniafsion Evlogison periodon, Sozon to Elei all that exists: we earnestly entreat, that in Thine
Sou, to apiro Iktirmon, pantas tous latrevontas, Si to Infinite Mercy, Thou will Bless the year, and Save all
mono Despoti, ke ekvoontas Fovo Litrota: EVFORON PASI who worship Thee Who art our Only Master, and we cry
TO ETOS HORIGISON. out in Fear: O Redeemer: GRANT US A HEALTHY,
PROSPEROUS YEAR.
PROKEIMENON PSALM 146 & 134 - TONE 4
Great is our God, and Great is His Strength.
Praise the Lord, for He is Good.
THE FIRST EPISTLE OF ST PAUL TO ST TIMOTHY 2: 1 7
FAITH FULNESS IN PRAYER
My Son, Timothy: I exhort first of all that Supplications, Prayers, Intercessions, and Thanksgiving be made for all men,
for Kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and Peaceful Life in all Goodness and Reverence.
This is good and acceptable in the Sight of God our Saviour, Who desires all men to be Saved and to come to the
Knowledge of the Truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men - the Man-Christ Jesus, Who
gave Himself a Ransom for all, to be Testified in due time, for which I was appointed a Preacher and an Apostle I
am speaking the Truth in Christ and not lying a Teacher of the Gentiles in Faith and Truth.
INTERCESSORY PRAYERS ARE TO BE OFFERED FOR EVERYONE CREATURES, in order to teach and guide us personally
WITHOUT EXCEPTION. and then to offer Himself as THE FINAL AND ULTIMATE
However, SPECIAL PRAYERS SHOULD BE OFFERED FOR THOSE IN BLOOD SACRIFICE FOR THE SAKE OF OUR ETERNAL LIFE AND
AUTHORITY OVER US. SALVATION.
Thus - as Orthodox Christians - we repeatedly pray for Heretics who are opposed to the established Holy Church
...all Civil Authorities... during our Fervent Prayers of of Christ have used this particular verse to erroneously
the Holy Services. claim that all we need is our Lord Jesus rejecting THE
The religions of the ancient Greek or Hellenised world ESSENTIAL NECESSITY OF HIS HOLY CHURCH, HER CLERGY AND
were pluralistic and elite. HER DIVINE MYSTERIES (SACRAMENTS.)
In contrast, St Paul taught that THERE IS ONE SAVIOUR, ONE However: THE ETERNAL, ONLY BEGOTTEN WORD AND SON OF GOD
GOD AND ONE MEDIATOR ONE ALMIGHTY GOD WHO BECAME OUR ONE AND ONLY DIVINE MEDIATOR by becoming
OFFERS SALVATION EQUALLY TO ALL MANKIND because HE Man through HIS INCARNATION BY THE HOLY SPIRIT AND OF
CREATED US TO SHARE IN HIS DIVINE GOODNESS. THE EVER BLESSED VIRGIN THEOTOKOS i.e. THROUGH THE
GOD BECAME MAN IN ORDER TO GRANT US SALVATION. WILL, POWER AND ENERGY OF OUR TRIUNE GOD AND THE HOLY
HE EMPTIED HIMSELF of His Infinite, Uncontainable, CO-OPERATION OF MANKIND THEOTOKOS.
Unrestricted Divinity and Majesty His Omnipresence GOD INCARNATE our Lord Jesus Christ - TOOK HIS HUMAN
- in order to take on our weak and vulnerable and NATURE not from Himself alone but also FROM A HUMAN
limited human flesh and nature i.e. OUR ALMIGHTY BEING THE ALL HOLY EVER VIRGIN THEOTOKOS.
CREATOR TOOK ON THE FORM HE BECAME ONE OF HIS OWN

THE BEGINNING OF THE LITURGICAL YEAR THE INDICTION 1 SEPTEMBER 1.


Likewise, AS OUR DIVINE MEDIATOR, Christ said: i will build
ST PAUL EMPHASISED ABSOLUTE DIVINE TRUTH, which he
My Church. and HE ESTABLISHED HER LEADERS WHO TAUGHT AND which he PRACTISED, HAVING RECEIVED
GUIDE US AND TEACH US HIS DIVINE TRUTH AND CORRECT DIVINE TRUTH DIRECTLY FROM GOD HIMSELF.
WORSHIP OF ALMIGHTY GOD, so that we, who are ST PAUL HAD BEEN CALLED TO DIVINE SERVICE BY CHRIST
Spiritually Inexperienced, may be able to APPROACH HIMSELF and therefore HE WAS INDEED AN APOSTLE OF
GOD CORRECTLY, OBEDIENTLY AND WITH THE GREATEST CHRIST.
RESPECT. He had been ENLIGHTENED AND INSPIRED BY GOD HIMSELF -
As the Ever Blessed Theotokos gave us Christ in His for DIVINE KNOWLEDGE AND ILLUMINATION WAS
Humanity, so HIS HOLY CHURCH INTRODUCES US TO HIM, BESTOWED BY CHRIST UPON ST PAUL AT HIS CONVERSION
WHO ALONE IS OUR DIVINE MEDIATOR. along the Road to Damascus.
In the context of ancient slavery A PRICELESS RANSOM WAS
As A TRUE APOSTLE OF CHRIST, HE PERFORMED ALL HIS MISSIONARY
PAID : DUTIES WITH ABSOLUTE TRUTH IN HUMBLE OBEDIENCE TO
Not so much to purchase a slave, but TO FREE ALL GOD and not according to his own ideas or
MANKIND FROM DEMONIC BONDAGE AND ETERNAL DEATH. imagination!
So that we may experience True Liberty TRUE St Paul taught not only the Judeans of Israel but also the
FREEDOM FROM THE BONDAGE OF SPIRITUAL AND PHYSICAL Gentiles the Holy Gospel of Christ our Lord. Therefore
SLAVERY AND CAPTIVITY. he was also known as The Apostle to the Gentiles
In other words: WE ARE FREED FROM THE BONDAGE AND SPIRITUALthe non-Judean pagans.
DEATH OF SIN BY THE DIVINE SALVATION OF JESUS CHRIST OUR
DIVINE INSPIRATION DRIVES COMPELS - FAITHFUL SERVANTS
LORD. OF GOD TO SEEK HIS TRUTH AND TO PRACTISE HIS WAYS
every day of this short, preparatory lifespan -
INSPIRING AND TEACHING OTHERS BY THEIR GOOD EXAMPLE.
THE HOLY GOSPEL OF ST LUKE 4 : 16 22
UNB ELIEF IN NAZARETH
At that time, Jesus went to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went on the Sabbath
Day into the Synagogue, and stood up to read. And He was handed the Book of Isaiah the Prophet. And when He
had opened the Book, He found the place where it was written: The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, for He has sent
Me to Heal the broken-hearted, to Proclaim Liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at
Liberty those who are oppressed, to Proclaim the acceptable Year of the Lord.
And He closed the Book and gave it back to the Attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the
Synagogue were fixed upon Him. He began by saying to them: ...Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.
And all bore witness to Him, and marvelled at the Gracious Words that proceeded out of His Mouth.
OUR LORD HAD RETURNED TO NAZARETH where He had spent ALL HUMANITY HAS BEEN TAUGHT DIRECTLY BY C HRIST
most of His Life and where almost everyone would G OD H IMSELF !
have known Him and His earthly Family. DIVINE S ALVATION IS GRANTED TO ALL HUMANITY FOR ALL
IT WAS THE USUAL PRACTICE FOR OUR LORD TO GO INTO THE TIME BECAUSE OF THE GREATEST S ACRIFICE OF C HRIST .
SYNAGOGUE TO READ THE HOLY SCRIPTURES ESPECIALLY ON THE C HRIST H EALS THE SICK AND SUFFERING BOTH SPIRITUAL
SABBATH. The Book of Isaiah (the Holy Prophet of God) AND PHYSICAL ILLNESSES .
was the Sacred Lesson for the day and whether our C HRIST PROCLAIMS THE DIVINE L IBERTY OFFERED TO
Lord Himself chose the passage to read aloud or HUMANITY THAT SETS US FREE FROM THE B ONDAGE OF
whether it was prescribed, the fact is WHAT H E READ IN SIN AND D EATH .
THE ANCIENT TEXT WAS ALREADY FULFILLED BY H IM BY C HRIST REVEALS H IS T RUTH CONCERNING THE P URPOSE OF
THAT DAY AS H E SO CLEARLY INFORMED THEM : THIS EXISTENCE AS A P REPARATION FOR WHAT IS TO
S T I SAIAH SPOKE OF THE A NOINTING OF C HRIST BY THE FOLLOW : ETERNAL L IFE OR ETERNAL D EATH .
H OLY S PIRIT and the Holy Spirit had indeed The people marvelled at Christs Words, but THEY
Descended upon Him at His Baptism. REFUSED TO BELIEVE - NOR WOULD THEY ACCEPT THE
A LL THE LONG AWAITED B LESSINGS OF THE J EWISH N ATION D IVINE T RUTH OF G OD - THAT J ESUS C HRIST , A FELLOW
WERE FULFILLED BY C HRIST OUR L ORD . VILLAGER , COULD TRULY BE THE LONG - AWAITED
GOD THE F ATHER HAD SENT H IS O NLY B EGOTTEN S ON to
live among His creatures.
THE BEGINNING OF THE CHURCH YEAR
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the the sun rose and set... all in perpetuity - with no
Holy Spirit. Amen. perceptible beginning and end.
Brethren, Today the Holy Church of Christ celebrates the It was not generally thought that our history had an end
Feast of the Indiction, which is the first day of the New that it was going somewhere.
Church Year. Yet with the Coming of Christ and the spread of
It is an ancient tradition to mark the beginning of the Christianity, mankind began to see everything
New Year on 1 September, which was observed in the differently.
Byzantine Empire until the fall of Constantinople in Indeed, time does have a beginning, and history
1453, and in Russia until the reign of Tsar Peter 1. certainly does have an end. And not only does history
Indiction means Proclamation, that originated during have an end, but it has a Purpose as well! A Purpose,
the Roman Empire because 1 September marked the as well as a Meaning!
beginning of the Fiscal Year, when the Emperor As Christians, we know that everything ends in the Last
announced the aim of the tax collections for that year. Judgment and the Resurrection, when our Lord Jesus
Yet even earlier, 1 September was regarded as the Christ will Reappear, the dead will be raised, and we
beginning of a New Year for the Hebrew People. will enter into a New Existence - into Eternity. This is
After having collected and stored the harvested crops, the End of everything as we now know it.
trumpets were sounded to gather the people together Todays Sacred Gospel Lesson reminds us that we have a
so that they could offer their Prayers of Thanksgiving Beginning.
to God for the fruitful harvest, and also to beseech His According to the Holy Gospel of St Luke, our Lord Jesus
Divine Blessings upon the difficult winter months that Christ returned to Nazareth, and went into the
they would have to endure. Synagogue on the Sabbath day, as He always did.
Consequently, according to the Book of Exodus, the When He had stood up to read, having been handed the
Hebrew Civil Year their New Year - began in Book of the Holy Prophet, St Isaiah, our Lord did not
September. open it randomly, but went immediately to a specific
However, there is a more profound Spiritual Meaning to passage and read the prophetic words aloud: The
the Feast of the Indiction for through our Hymns, our Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, for He has sent Me to
Prayers, and the Scripture Readings we reflect on how Heal the broken-hearted, to Proclaim Liberty to the
we, as Orthodox Christians, view time in relation to our captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at
Spiritual Life and Eternal salvation. Liberty those who are oppressed, to Proclaim the
Before the Coming of Christ, most of humanity regarded acceptable Year of the Lord. (LUKE 4:16-19)
time as something cyclical for the seasons changed At first He said nothing, having closed the book and sat
... people were born, grew old, and passed away... down, but when those present looked expectantly at

2. THE BEGINNING OF THE LITURGICAL YEAR THE INDICTION 1 SEPTEMBER


Him, He declared His Divine Truth: Today this On the contrary, if we do nothing to improve our
Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing. (LUKE 4:21) Relationship with God - thereby choosing the Path that
According to our Holy Tradition, this significant Event took leads us to the dreaded Outer Darkness that is utterly
place on 1 September, which was when our Lord bereft of anything Good our present lifetime will be
Jesus Christ began His Public Proclamation of the insignificant and totally wasted!
Good News of His Divine Mission on Earth. Our Final Judgement entirely depends on how we have
Our Eternal Saviour has fulfilled all the Prophecies, and chosen to Redeem this God-granted time before
our history is moving towards its End. Eternity on our own free choices that we make now
In the fullness of time, God our Heavenly Father, sent His during this short preparatory period.
Beloved, Eternal Son into our fallen world to proclaim It seems that we, in this self-gratifying and egocentric
His Good News, by simply saying: Today this society, have more and more of everything - yet we
Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing. constantly complain that we have less and less
Our Heavenly Father sent His Eternal Son in time ...to precious time that we do not really use wisely!
Redeem the time..., and TO BRING US TO SALVATION. Neither do we Redeem the time, by Sanctifying it and
Consequently, TIME DOES MATTER, and has been granted to offering it to our Most Benevolent and Loving Lord
us FOR OUR ETERNAL SALVATION to MAKE USE OF IT in order God in sincere Thanksgiving and profound Gratitude!
that we might DRAW CLOSER TO GOD. Most of us squander and waste our precious allotted time
This is the Reason and Purpose for times, seasons, Feasts with myriads of distractions, mindless entertainments
and Fasts are essential to our Redeeming the time and frivolities!
fully by properly participating in ...this acceptable Our unique, personal time is eaten away by the
Year of the Lord. unbeneficial distractions of this temporary world, with
Each moment is important and must not be wasted no thought of Eternity and our immortal soul.
because every moment has a significant Meaning Let us not waste any time, and today from this moment -
and Purpose to each of us to our Eternal Salvation. let us take to heart the words of that Great, Holy
We must use every moment to draw closer to God - closer Luminary of North America, St. Herman of Alaska,
to Eternal Life in Christ! who exhorts us:
If we choose an earthly life rather than Life in Christ, we For our Good - for our Happiness - at least let us make
must clearly understand that it will ultimately lead to a Vow to ourselves, that from this day, from this hour,
Eternal Death and permanent alienation from God from this minute we shall strive above all else to
and all His Goodness and Love! Love God and to fulfill His Divine Will.
We must do everything possible to be with Christ our Amen.
Saviour in His Heavenly Kingdom of indescribable
Light, Love, Peace and Joy by striving to fulfil our HTTPS://WWW.HOLYCROSS-HERMITAGE.COM/BLOGS/ARTICLES-SERMONS/113630790-
Sacred Labours and Struggles. SERMON-FOR-THE-INDICTION-2014

USING TIME WISELY - SAINT IGNATIUS BRIANCHANINOV


"To every thing there is a Season, and a time to every Therefore, we must pray without ceasing for only by our
Purpose under Heaven" (E C C L E S I A S T E S 3 : 1 ) sincere Prayers and unwavering Faith are we able to
The Holy Apostle, St Paul, warned us not to spend time in achieve Victory in the perpetual Spiritual Warfare
vain. against us!
He urged us to use each minute of our life wisely: See Our time should be invested in reading the Divine Word
then that you walk circumspectly - not as fools, but of God for Holy Scripture is the Book of Life that Guides
as wise - Redeeming the time, because the days are us and teaches us everything we need to know, we
evil. need to do and to hope for.
St Paul exhorted us to be very aware that TIME MUST BE USED St John Chrysostom regarded Holy Scripture as our Lord
TO ACQUIRE TRUE BLESSINGS, just as money is used to Gods Sacred Epistle to all mankind and that ...
acquire all that we need for physical life. whoever does not Nourish his soul with this Celestial
Consequently, the proper use of our precious time is Gift starves his soul.
similar to the wise use of our material finances. After we have Nourished our immortal soul, we must
A wise man does not spend his money foolishly but totals spend time on worthy activities and labours.
up his assets properly, and assigns a specific purpose We all have our own specific duties, affairs, jobs and
to each financial transaction. diverse needs to which we must attend.
We should handle time in a similar manner by assigning But whatever they may be, there is one Cardinal Rule for
hours and minutes for specific good, beneficial all of them: ...Be not unwise, but understanding
purposes. what the Will of the Lord is...
We must Redeem each day by doing Good Deeds that Before we start anything we must ask ourselves whether
will Spiritually Benefit everyone concerned. or not it conforms to the Will of God.
Each year passes with as many steps as there are days in Hence, before undertaking any endeavour, we should pray to
a year, on the Path to our Spiritual Perfection. God asking for His Blessings so that we are able to fulfil His
Thus we must not waste a single moment needlessly, by Divine Will, rather than our own selfish desires.
doing nothing worthy nor worst of all - wasting it
The time of leisure or rest should be according to St Pauls
with sinful thoughts, words or deeds.
instructions: ... Be filled with the (Holy) Spirit,
Each day begins when we awaken from sleep.
speaking to yourselves in Psalms and Hymns and
We should regard each moment of awakening as the
Spiritual Songs, singing and making melody in your
moment of being born into the world or our
heart to the Lord.
Resurrection from the dead, because there is a great
In other words, if we like to read, we should read about
similarity between awakening from sleep and being
aspects that reveal the Wisdom and Truth of Almighty
born and Resurrected.
God.
When we are asleep, it is as though we do not exist.
If we enjoy socialising, we should keep discussions and
When we awaken, it is as though we are being born
conversations pious, worthy, good and wise befitting
anew for we are coming alive, we are being
a Faithful Disciple of Christ.
Resurrected.
If we enjoy singing and music it should soothe, comfort,
Immediately upon awakening we should begin to pray -
purify and uplift our immortal soul.
for each morning brings us the Pious Joy of Glorifying
Worldly music and entertainments can and do corrupt
God Who grants us another day to behold His
our soul by exciting the passions, encouraging the
magnificent Creation, so beautifully designed for us.
vices, and causing human folly.
The beginning of each day is the beginning of our New
In other words, we can do what we always do, but in
Life in Christ.
reverse by exchanging the sensual for the Spiritual,
However, we are constantly challenged by so many
the body for the soul, the secular for the Faithful.
temptations and sins, and being Spiritually Weak and
Inexperienced none of us can survive without the
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Divine Grace and Help of our Lord God.
WISELY-BY-SAINT-IGNATIUS.HTML

THE BEGINNING OF THE LITURGICAL YEAR THE INDICTION 1 SEPTEMBER 3.


LET NO CORRUPT WORD PROCEED OUT OF YOUR MOUTH!
St Paul urged us: ...Let no corrupt word proceed out of Blasphemy is a form of swearing that is a very serious sin
your mouth, but what is good for necessary against the Lord our God especially when we curse,
edification, that it may impart Grace to the hearers. accuse or blame God for anything that is wicked,
(EPHESIANS 4:29) harmful or devastating.
He also instructed us: ...you yourselves are to put off all St Nikitas Stithatos explained: ... Blasphemy is a
these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy frightful passion that is difficult to combat, for its
language out of your mouth... ( C O L O S S I A N S 3 : 8 ) . origin lies in the arrogant mind of Satan ...
Swearing is wrong and inappropriate behaviour for We must guard our senses with extreme diligence, and
Christians Faithful Disciples of Christ - since, among Reverence all the Awe-Inspiring Mysteries of God,
other things, it is an expression of anger and often the Holy Icons and Holy Words, being ever Watchful
abusive of others - unbefitting those who are striving for the attacks of that evil spirit.
to grow in Christ. ... when we are inattentive, it discharges through our
The Third Commandment prohibits us: Thou shalt not lips curses against ourselves and strange
take the Name of the Lord Thy God in vain. ( E X O D U S blasphemies against God the Most High!
20:7) (PHILOKALIA IV).
It is the purposeless, disrespectful and idle use of the Cursing is another form of Spiritual Swearing that occurs
Divine Name of Almighty God that condemns us. when the heart is set completely against others, and
Another Spiritually Dangerous aspect of such improper words are used with the intention of bringing the Fires
use of Gods Name is to use it as an Oath, whereby we of Hell upon them.
seek to convince others of the (often false) sincerity Cursing is an extremely serious Spiritual Offence!
and truth of our words by invoking Gods Name or the "If one curses his Father or his Mother, his Lamp will be
names of Saints or of any other Sacred Things, which put out in Utter Darkness!" ( P R O V E R B S 2 0 : 2 0 ) .
is also condemned by our Lord Jesus Christ. (S E E Both the curser and the one being cursed are severely
MATTHEW 5:34-36; 23:16-21) cautioned: "Do not give heed to all the things that
We must always remember and be acutely aware that men say, lest you hear your servant cursing you;
any degree of swearing is neither fitting nor your heart knows that many times you have yourself
appropriate for those who seek to serve God faithfully cursed others. All this I have tested by Wisdom; I
and worthily. said, 'I will be wise; but it was far from me"
Under no circumstances can any form of swearing or (ECCLESIASTES 7:21-23)
cursing be Spiritually Justified. St Paul reminded us of the depravity of our heart that
We must meticulously respect, honour and Glorify the cursing reveals: "None is Righteous, no, not one! No
Divine Name of our Lord God, which is certainly one understands, no one seeks for God! All have
affirmed by our Lord Jesus Christs most important turned aside - together they have gone wrong! No
Commandment: "You shall Love the Lord your God one does Good, not even one ... Their throat is an
with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with open grave, they use their tongues to deceive ... The
all your mind, and with all your strength. ( M A R K 1 2 : venom of asps is under their lips. Their mouth is full
28-31) of curses and bitterness!" ( R O M A N S 3 : 1 0 - 1 4 ) .
Each time we Bless ourselves with the Sign of the Cross, we The prohibition against cursing is so strong that Evagrius
proclaim this same Divine Commandment: I Worship Thee, the Solitary said: "Try not to pray against anyone
O Lord, with all my mind, with all my heart, with all my [cursing] in your Prayer, so that you do not destroy
strength and with all my soul! what you are building, and make your Prayer
Furthermore, St Paul exhorted us: Do not let any loathsome" ( P H I L O K A L I A I ) .
unwholesome speech come out of your mouth, but St Nikitas Stithatos advised us how to overcome
only what is helpful for building others up blasphemy and cursing: "... concentrating our
according to their needs, that it may Benefit those thoughts, we should at once occupy our intellect
who listen. ( E P H E S I A N S 4 : 2 8 - 3 0 ) with some other matter, either Divine or human, and
By steadfastly avoiding any type of swearing is essentially with tears, raise it towards God; and so with God's
a restraint against offending others, thereby affirming Assistance we will be relieved of the burden of
our Saviours Commandment to Love our neighbours blasphemy." ( P H I L O K A L I A I V ) .
as much as God Loves us and as much as we Love
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ourselves.
LOVE OF CHRIST IS LOVE OF THE CHURCH
Our Lord Jesus Christ created His Holy Church on Earth as This means that our only thought must be focussed on
His Body, with Him as the Head. To Love Christ is to God and never done under duress.
Love His Church. We experience Spiritual Delight and Pleasure. True
Elder Porphyrios tells us that our Divine Saviours Holy Worship of God is certainly not like the compulsory
Church is ...exactly the same as Paradise in homework a child does for school.
Heaven... and that all souls are one United - in His Our worship of God expresses our passionate Love of God
Eternal Church. a Pure, True and Unconditional Love that is uniquely
Love, worship of and craving for God, our Union with superior and utterly Spiritual compared to our
Christ and with His Holy Church is Paradise on mundane, human concept of love.
Earth. Above all, the Holy Mystery of Communion is the ultimate
The Holy Services of His Church enable us to express our Act of Divine Love - of ecstatic Holy Union with the
Love for Him and to experience His Infinite Love for us. Lord our God.
The Divine Services of the Church consist of words Elder Ephraim of Arizona described the Splendour of the
whereby we converse and speak to God with our Divine Liturgy:. ... what a splendour indeed! Man
Worship and with our Love. has been honoured by God in such a way that He
The hours spent closest to Paradise are the hours spent Himself comes down to Earth with His Angelic Orders
together with all our Brethren (in Christ) when we every time there is a Liturgy, in order to nurture
celebrate the Divine Liturgy, having Repented our mankind with His Most Holy Body and His Most
sins, and when we receive Holy Communion. Precious Blood! For He has given us everything!
We express our Love of God when we enthusiastically, Is there anything physical or Spiritual, perishable or
humbly and obediently observe the formal aspects of Everlasting, that has not been offered to us? None!
His Holy Church and Her Sacred Services, and are Is there anything superior to His Most Holy Body and
eager to correctly participate in Her Holy Mysteries - Blood, which is given to us on a daily basis? There is
especially Holy Communion. certainly not!
We enthusiastically attend Church thereby expressing our God has enabled us, who are soiled and dirty, to serve
sincere Love of God, Who Loves us and Who grants us the Divine Liturgy. So Priceless is the Divine Love
His Great Mercy. that just a tiny drop exceeds any earthly, physical
The Divine Services are greatly Beneficial, the and secular Love!
precondition being for everything to be performed Elder Porphyrios describes our Orthodox Faith as ...Love.
with Holy Eros - with interest and with a sincere It is Eros, enthusiasm, madness, longing for the
disposition to worship Christ - not as a chore, nor Divine. All these are within us. Our soul demands
perfunctorily, but with Eros and Divine Enthusiasm. that we attain them.
Worship must spring from our entire soul and heart.
4. THE BEGINNING OF THE LITURGICAL YEAR THE INDICTION 1 SEPTEMBER
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 4 3 September 2017


th th
13 Sunday After Pentecost - 13 Sunday of St Matthew
The Wicked Vinedressers
The Feast of S T A N T H I M O S , B I S H O P , St Theophilos, Deacon, St Dorotheos, St Mardonios, St Migdonio, St Peter, St Indes,
St Gorgonios, St Zeno, St Domna, Virgin Martyr, & St Euthymios of Nicomedia S T T H E O K T I S T O S O F P A L E S T I N E St
Euthymios St John the Hairy, Fool for Christ of Rostov St Phoebe, Deaconess of Cenchreae, Corinth St Vasilissa of
Nicomedia St Aristion, Bishop of Alexandria St Joannikios, First Patriarch of Serbia St Polydoros of Cyprus The
Holy Icon of our Lady, Theotokos of Pisidia

RESURRECTION GOSPEL 2: MARK 16:1 - 8


THE HOLY MYRRHBEARERS WITNESS THE EMPTY TOMB OF OUR RISEN LORD JESUS CHRIST

SMALL ENTRANCE HYMNS

RESURRECTION APOLYTIKION TONE 4


To fedron tis Anastaseos Kirigma ek tou Angelou When the Women Disciples of the Lord had learnt from
Mathouse e tou Kyriou Mathitrie ke tin Progonikin the Angels the Glad Tidings of the Resurrection that
apofasin aporipsase, tis Apostolis kafhomene elegon. had cast away the Condemnation of their Forefather,
Eskilefte O Thanatos, igerthi Hristos O Theos, they spoke exultingly to the Apostles: Death is no
doroumenos to kosmo to Mega Eleos. more! Christ-God is Risen, granting to the world Great
Mercy.
FESTAL APOLYTIKION ST ANTHIMOS, BISHOP & HIEROMARTYR OF NICOMEDIA TONE 4
Ke tropon metohos, ke Thronon Didohos, ton Apostolon Becoming a Partner of the Apostles in Way of Life and
genomenos, tin praxin evres Theopnefste, is Theorias Successor to their Thrones, O God-Inspired Saint, in
epivasin. Dia touto ton Logon tis Alithias Orthotomon, the Active Life Thou found an Entrance to
ke ti Pisti enithlisas mehris ematos, Ieromartys Contemplation. Hence, Thou rightly expounded the
Anthime. Presveve Hristo to Theo, Sothine tas psihas Word of Truth, and shed Thy Blood in Struggling for
imon. the Faith, O Hieromartyr, Anthimos. Intercede with
Christ our God, Beseeching Him to Save our soul.
FESTAL APOLYTIKION ST THEOKTISTOS - TONE (8) PLAGAL 4
Tes ton darion Sou roes, tis erimou to agonon egeorgisas, With the Rivers of Thy Tears, Thou made the barren
ke tis ek vathou stenagmis, is ekaton tous ponous desert bloom, and with Thy Sighs from deep within,
ekarpoforisas, ke gegonas foster ti ikoumeni, lampoon Thou made Thy Labours bear Fruit a hundredfold. And
tis Thavmasin. Theoktiste patir imon Osie. Presveve Thou became a Star that Illuminated the world by Thy
Hristo to Theo, Sothine tas psihas imon. Miracles, O Theoktistos, our Devout Father: Intercede
with Christ our God, for the Salvation of our soul.
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 deaths 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 lifes
Sustainer!
PROKEIMENON PSALM 103/104 - TONE 4
Greatly Magnified art Thy Works, O Lord. All Things in Wisdom Thou hast Created.
Bless, O my soul, our Lord! O Lord my God, exceedingly Magnified art Thou!
FIRST EPISTLE OF ST PAUL TO THE CORINTHIANS 16 : 13 24
Brethren, be Watchful, stand firm in Faith, be Courageous, be Strong. Let all that you do be done with Love.
I urge you, Brethren - you know that the household of Stephanas was the First Fruits of Achaia, and that they have
devoted themselves to the Ministry of the Saints that you also submit to such, and to everyone who Works and
Labours with us. I am gladdened by the coming of Stephanas, Fortunatos, and Achaikos, for what was laking on
your part, they supplied, for they refreshed my spirit and yours. Acknowledge such men.
Greetings from the churches of Asia. Greetings heartily in our Lord, from Aquila and Prisilla with the Church that is in
their house. Greetings from all the Brethren.. Greet one another with a Holy Kiss.
The Salutation with my own hand Paul.
If anyone does not Love our Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed! Our Lord will come!
The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
My Love be with you all in Christ Jesus.
Amen

13TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST 13TH SUNDAY OF ST MATTHEW THE WICKED TENANTS 3 SEPTEMBER 2017 5.
As Faithful Disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ, we must St Pauls displeasure with certain of the Corinthian
always be ...Watchful, stand firm in Faith, be Christian Community did not, however, affect his Love
Courageous, be Strong. and Joy for the others who remained firmly rooted
 Our Path towards Eternity is more often than not, very and steadfast in their Faith in Christ Jesus.
difficult for many reasons, so St Paul exhorts, urges The term SAINTS referred to those who strove ceaselessly
and encourages us to face EVERY MOMENT OF THE DAY and faithfully to maintain their Life in Christ during
BEING SPIRITUALLY WATCHFUL FOR THE SNARES, those most difficult years when persecution of
DECEPTIONS, LIES AND DECEITS OF THE EVIL ONE. Christians was caused by not only the misguided and
 When we are FIRMLY ROOTED IN OUR TRUE FAITH IN THE ignorant Hebrews, but also by the Roman Empire
DIVINE TRUTH OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST NOTHING WILL authorities and pagan society.
UPROOT US NOR CONVINCE, DECEIVE OR MISGUIDE US. AQUILA AND PRISCILLA were Hebrew Christians who had
 When we HOLD ON TIGHTLY TO OUR SAVIOUR - and been among those who had been expelled from
everything He has taught us and commanded us - Rome by Emperor Claudios in 49 50, and who had
GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT GRANTS US EXTRAORDINARY resided in Corinth for a while before moving to
COURAGE TO FAITHFULLY FOLLOW CHRIST AND FULFIL THE Ephesos (ACTS 18:2 & 26)
DIVINE WILL OF OUR HEAVENLY FATHER. St Paul conveyed THE GREETINGS AND LOVE OF OTHER
 WHEN WE IMPLICITLY TRUST GOD WITH ALL OUR BEING BODY CHRISTIANS COMMUNITIES that he had visited, which
AND SOUL WE ARE EXTRAORDINARILY STRONG ! By totally encouraged and strengthened each other.
focussing on our Lord Jesus Christ everything We are members of ONE, UNITED, UNIVERSAL SPIRITUAL
becomes possible to achieve even those things FAMILY, for we are all BRETHREN in Christ, as the
that are ordinarily impossible or inconceivable! adopted CHILDREN OF GOD AND CO-HEIRS WITH CHRIST OF
(Our best example of this is when St Peter walked HIS ETERNAL, HEAVENLY KINGDOM THROUGH OUR HOLY
on water while he focussed his full attention on BAPTISM AND CHRISMATION.
Christ but the instant he thought about the stormy Being Brethren in Christ we greet each other with the
circumstances that surrounded them, he sank HOLY KISS cheek to cheek as a Sign of our Holy
beneath the waves!) Unity, Love and Harmony.
These Holy Attributes made it possible for the Faithful Our Journey towards Eternity can never be fulfilled on
Disciples of Christ to REMAIN STEADFAST IN CHRIST our own. We must link our arms and all our efforts, so
even when they were forced to endure that we can encourage and strengthen, urge and
indescribably tortures and persecution. exhort each other in order for us all to arrive safely at
STEPHANAS, FORTUNATOS, AND ACHAIKOS were the our desired Destination Eternal Life in the Heavenly
couriers of the Epistle that St Paul answered in his Kingdom of Divine Love.
First Epistle to the Corinthians, Chapters 7 15. St Paul usually dictated his Epistles to a trustworthy
These three Faithful Disciples of Christ would have Scribe but his closing signature proves that he was
brought encouraging news concerning not only the the author of this particular Epistle.
survival but especially of the ever increasing growth ... THE GRACE OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST BE WITH YOU... IS
of the Christian Church throughout the known world. THE APOSTOLIC BLESSING THAT IS BESTOWED ON THE
They would also have preached and discussed the Holy FAITHFUL DISCIPLES OF CHRIST SINCE THE BEGINNING.
Gospel of Christ to the Corinthians, assuring them of ONLY BY THE GRACE AND LOVE OF GOD ARE WE ABLE TO FULFIL
our Saviours Divine Truth and Reality, which would THE WILL OF GOD THE FATHER, THROUGH THE TEACHINGS
have ... Refreshed... the weak or wavering spirits of AND COMMANDMENTS OF GOD THE SON, OUR LORD JESUS
some of the Corinthians - several of whom had begun CHRIST, BY THE POWER AND ENERGY OF GOD THE LIFE-
to drift back to their former habits and lifestyle. GIVING HOLY SPIRIT.
THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST MATTHEW 21 : 33 42
TH E WIC KED TENANTS/VINEDRESSERS
At that time, our Lord Jesus Christ narrated this Parable: There was a Householder who planted a Vineyard, and set
a Hedge around it, and dug a Wine Press in it, and built a Tower, and let it out to Tenants, and went into a Far
Country.
When the Season of Harvest drew near, He sent His Servants to the Tenants to get His Harvest. And the Tenants took
His Servants and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. Again He send other Servants, more than the
first. And they did the same to them. Afterwards He sent His Son to them, saying: They will respect My Son.
When the Tenants saw the Son, they said to themselves: This is the Heir. Come, let us kill Him and have His
Inheritance. And they took Him and cast Him out of the Vineyard, and killed Him.
When therefore the Owner of the Vineyard comes, what will He do to those Tenants?
They said to Him: He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and let out the Vineyard to other Tenants who will
give His the Fruits in their Seasons.
Jesus said to them: Have you never read in the Scriptures: The very Stone that the Builders rejected has become the
Cornerstone. This was the Lords doing, and it was Marvellous in Our Sight!
The certain Landowner represents GOD THE FATHER those Vinedressers and give the Vineyard to
The Vineyard refers to GODS CHOSEN PEOPLE others... Meaning that GOD WILL GRANT HIS SACRED
the Vinedressers (or Wicked Tenants) were THE LEADERS VINEYARD HIS HOLY CHURCH TO GENTILES TO HIS
OF ISRAEL who were ENTRUSTED TO CARE FOR GODS FAITHFUL DISCIPLES the Christians WHO LIVE
CHOSEN. ACCORDING TO GODS NEW ETERNAL COVENANT!
Each Servant sent by the Landowner represents THE The Stone is a reference to CHRIST Who WAS REJECTED BY
OLD COVENANT PROPHETS OF GOD who were SENT TO the Builders, meaning THE NATION OF ISRAEL His
BRING THE NATION OF ISRAEL BACK TO GOD. own people.
The Son, of course, is our LORD JESUS CHRIST, THE MOST OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST IS most certainly THE ETERNAL
BELOVED ONLY-BEGOTTEN SON OF GOD. CHIEF CORNERSTONE in Whom we truly Live and UPON
WHEN THE SON IS ...cast out of the Vineyard and killed WHOM THE TRUE FAITH AND TEACHINGS OF GOD IS SOLIDLY
... FOR HIS INHERITANCE by the wicked ESTABLISHED AND WILL REMAIN SO FOR ALL ETERNITY!
Vinedressers/Tenants, it MAY BE UNDERSTOOD ON TWO This is exactly BY THE WILL OF GOD THE FATHER, THROUGH HIS
LEVELS: BELOVED SONS TEACHINGS AND SACRIFICE AND BY THE
1. OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST WAS CRUCIFIED OUTSIDE THE CITY ACTIVATION AND WISDOM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT which is
GATES OF JERUSALEM just as the sacrificial animals indeed, MOST MARVELLOUS OF ALL!
were slaughtered outside the city walls, OUTSIDE According to St John Chrysostom, the quotation: The
AND AWAY FROM THE HOLY TEMPLE OF GOD. Stone that Builders rejected... illustrates TWO
2. OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST WAS CRUCIFIED BY ROMAN (FOREIGN) CAUSES OF OUR SPIRITUAL DESTRUCTION:
EXECUTIONERS and not by His own countrymen, the 1. Those who fall on (or stumble over) the Stone suffer
Israelites. THE CONSEQUENCES OF OUR UNREPENTED SINS WHILE YET IN
According to the Gospel account of this Parable by St THIS LIFE,
Luke, our Lord concluded His Sacred Lesson by
saying: (The Landowner) will come (return) and destroy
6. 1 3 T H S U N D A Y A F T E R P E N T E C O S T 1 3 T H S U N D A Y OF ST MATTHEW THE WICKED TENANTS 3 SEPTEMBER 2017
2. whereas those on whom the Stone falls are the KNEES SO THAT WE MAY REALISE THE ERRORS OF OUR WAYS AND
UNREPENTANT SINNERS WHO WILL SUFFER UTTER QUICKLY CORRECT THEM BY SEEKING DIVINE FORGIVENESS AND
DESTRUCTION AT THE FINAL JUDGEMENT. STRIVING ALL THE HARDER TO FOLLOW HIS GUIDING FOOTSTEPS
While we are still alive in this world, GOD, IN HIS GREAT TOWARDS ETERNAL LIFE.
MERCY, OFFERS US EVERY OPPORTUNITY AND EVERY MEANS However, IF WE STUBBORNLY AND ARROGANTLY REFUSE TO
POSSIBLE WITH WHICH TO RECTIFY OUR SPIRITUAL DARKNESS ACKNOWLEDGE OUR SINS, AND REJECT GODS OFFER OF
OR SPIRITUAL DEATH THROUGH OUR PERSONAL REMISSION OF SINS THROUGH REPENTANCE-CONFESSION,
REPENTANCE-CONFESSION AND HIS FORGIVENESS OF OUR WE WILL MOST CERTAINLY REAP OUR OWN BITTER HARVEST
SINS. ETERNAL DEATH IN OUTER DARKNESS ETERNAL EXILE OR
Therefore, in this present human condition, OUR LORD JESUS BANISHMENT FROM THE DIVINE LIGHT AND LOVE OF GOD
CHRIST IS OUR Stumbling Block BRINGING US TO OUR
13TH SUNDAY AFTER RESURRECTION 13TH SUNDAY OF ST MATTHEW THE WICKED TENANTS
In the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen. Consequently, WE ARE NOW CALLED TO SPIRITUAL
Brethren, on this 13th Sunday after Pentecost we are REGENERATION OR REBIRTH THROUGH THE HOLY MYSTERY OF
reminded of our Lord Jesus Christs Parable of the BAPTISM AND CHRISMATION, THEREBY BECOMING HIS
Wicked Tenants (Vinedressers) of our Heavenly CHILDREN AND CO-HEIRS WITH CHRIST BY OUR DIVINE
Masters Vineyard. ADOPTION.
Historically, this Parable refers to the Old Covenant Thus, it was tragically ironic that THE WICKED TENANTS
Kingdoms of Judah and Israel - how they behaved KILLED THE SON FOR HIS INHERITANCE, WHICH THEY WOULD
or, rather, misbehaved over the course of their HAVE RECEIVED HAD THEY ONLY WAITED AND HAD THEY
Covenantal Relationship with God. FULFILLED THEIR SACRED LABOURS AS REQUIRED BY GOD.
The people were supposed to produce in themselves the PATIENCE AND HUMBLE OBEDIENCE IS THE KEY TO OUR
Good Fruit that our Lord God expects of us all, but ETERNAL INHERITANCE!
they failed to do so. All too often WE HAVE NO PATIENCE, NOR ARE WE WILLING TO BE
GOD SENT HIS HOLY PROPHETS to them to account for their HUMBLY OBEDIENT TO THE LORD OUR GOD.
lack of Faith in the One, True and Living God, and in We demand everything immediately. SELF-GRATIFICATION
order TO GUIDE THEM BACK TO THE TRUE PATH OF AND SELF-INDULGENCE IS OUR DOWNFALL AND THE APPALLING
RIGHTEOUSNESS, WHICH PRODUCES SPIRITUAL FRUIT FOR THE CAUSE OF WORLD-WIDE SUFFERING AND INTOLERANCE.
GLORY AND WORSHIP OF ALMIGHTY GOD. We are impatient. We demand everything far too quickly
Unfortunately, as St Theophylact of Ochrid explained, THE and we are usually UNPREPARED AND INCAPABLE.
HOLY PROPHETS OF GOD WERE ...abused in various ways Consequently, THE RESULTS ARE SERIOUSLY COMPROMISED OR
by the husbandmen - that is, by the false prophets RUINED BEYOND REDEMPTION.
and false teachers of those times. Furthermore, THOSE GOOD THINGS FOR WHICH WE SHOULD HAVE
They beat St Micah when Sedek struck him on the jaw; WAITED AND PREPARED OURSELVES PROPERLY AND
they killed St Zechariah [the Righteous Father of the SUFFICIENTLY, REMAIN BEYOND OUR REACH OR PROVE TO BE
Forerunner St John the Baptist] between the Temple DISAPPOINTING.
and the Holy Altar; and they stoned St Zechariah, the HOLY SCRIPTURE REPEATEDLY CAUTIONS US AGAINST ACTING
son of Jodae the High Priest. RECKLESSLY OR WITHOUT CORRECT PREPARATION,
Metaphorically, however, THE MEANING OF THIS PARABLE UNDERSTANDING OR COMMITMENT TO OUR SACRED DUTIES.
EXTENDS TO EACH AND EVERY ONE OF US SINCE WE, TOO, LIVE IN The impatient, immature Prodigal Son asked for his
A COVENANTAL RELATIONSHIP WITH THE LORD OUR GOD. portion of the Inheritance. He neither stole from his
WE, TOO, OFTEN FAIL TO DEVELOP WITHIN OURSELVES AND TO SHOW Father nor took anything that did not belong to him.
THE GOOD FRUITS OF LIFE IN CHRIST the great Joy of Nevertheless, although our Lord Jesus Christ never
living in Kindness, in giving selfless service to others explained the reason for the Prodigal Son having
(and in that generous, unselfish giving, receiving in wasted his inheritance in such a riotous manner, it
return multitudes of Blessings). was obvious that HIS INEXPERIENCED, SELF-INDULGENCE
Although we do not beat, kill nor stone to death those DEPLETED HIS FINANCES AND IMPOVERISHED HIM VERY QUICKLY,
whom our Lord God sends to us to Enlighten and LEAVING HIM UTTERLY DESTITUTE AND STARVING.
Guide us in the Righteous Life in Christ, even worse The Prodigal Son was unequipped for the responsibility
than that, WE MAKE THEM OF NO ACCOUNT AT ALL BY of dealing with such large amounts of money and
IGNORING OR REJECTING THE DIVINE TRUTH THAT CALLS US TO possessions,
FOLLOW OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST WHO RENEWS AND HIS INEXPERIENCE DECEIVED AND IMPOVERISHED HIM, BECAUSE HE
REGENERATES OUR IMMORTAL SOUL! DID NOT KNOW HOW TO USE HIS INHERITANCE WISELY AND
The persecution and slaying of the Holy Prophets of God BENEFICIALLY, which is similar to the fundamental,
indicated that, at least, they were noticed. primordial sin of all humanity.
But how often do WE CHOOSE TO IGNORE OR REJECT THE PEOPLE ADAM AND EVE WERE GIVEN ONE DIVINE COMMANDMENT. They
AND THE OPPORTUNITIES THAT GOD SENDS OUR WAY AS OUR were forbidden from eating the Fruit of the Tree of
TEACHERS, AND AS THE MEANS OF RETURNING TO A FULFILLING Knowledge of Good and Evil, which stood at the
LIFE THAT PRODUCES MARVELLOUS SPIRITUAL FRUIT that centre of the Garden of Eden.
grants us Eternal Salvation and Life in His Heavenly EVERYTHING THAT GOD HAD CREATED AND PROVIDED FOR THEIR
Kingdom! WELFARE WAS GOOD AND UNCORRUPTED OR INCORRUPTIBLE.
THERE ARE MANY DIFFERENT WAYS WHEREBY WE FALL SHORT OF THE WHEN THEY WERE READY I.E. WHEN GOD HAD PREPARED THEM
MARK AND FAIL TO PRODUCE ANY SPIRITUAL FRUIT! PROPERLY - THEY WOULD HAVE BEEN PERMITTED TO EAT THE
According to the context of this Parable, when the FRUIT OF THE TREE OF KNOWLEDGE.
Householder sent His Son to the Wicked Tenants they However, USING THEIR INNOCENCE AND SPIRITUAL IMMATURITY
said: Come, let us kill Him, that we may receive His AGAINST THEM, SATAN PERSUADED THEM TO PARTAKE OF THE
Inheritance. FORBIDDEN FRUIT, so that they would have Knowledge
What made their wicked plotting and actions so of good and evil.
astoundingly tragic is that THE WHOLE GOAL - THE ENTIRE BUT THEY WERE NOT YET READY NOR PREPARED TO DEAL WITH THE
PURPOSE - OF OUR EXISTENCE ACCORDING TO THE OLD AND GREAT RESPONSIBILITY OF POSSESSING SUCH KNOWLEDGE,
NEW COVENANTS OF GOD, IS PRECISELY FOR US TO SHARE IN WHICH SUBSEQUENTLY LED TO THEIR HEART-BREAKING
THE ETERNAL INHERITANCE AS THE ADOPTED CHILDREN OF ALIENATION FROM GOD AND THE ENMITY WITH EACH OTHER.
GOD! Consequently, WE EXPERIENCE SPIRITUAL AND PHYSICAL DEATH AS
THEOSIS OR DEIFICATION, which is THE SUBLIME CALLING OF ALL THE RESULT OF NOT A PUNISHMENT FOR OUR SIN, WHICH IS
MANKIND, means that WE ARE TO BECOME - BY DIVINE GRACE CAUSED BY OUR ANCESTRAL SIN.
- EVERYTHING THAT OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST IS i.e. This is the worst aspect of our failure to produce Good
SPIRITUALLY PERFECT - and thus God-like. Fruit during our unique and specific lifespan.
We were created in His Divine Likeness and Image, but Everything that is truly sinful is usually easy to recognise.
due to our Ancestral Sin, we lost our original Divine But when the Goal itself is good but the timing is not right,
Likeness. it is extremely difficult for us to perceive, because, too
However, OUR LORD GOD NEVER INTENDED US TO REMAIN IN THAT often, our desires overwhelm our ability to discern the
FALLEN SPIRITUAL STATE. right timing that will produce Good Spiritual Fruit.
13TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST 13TH SUNDAY OF ST MATTHEW THE WICKED TENANTS 3 SEPTEMBER 2017 7.
Therefore, we must constantly beseech our Lord God for Temperance by Living in Christ and producing Good
His Guidance, Wisdom and Will in order to achieve Fruit that Glorifies, Honour and Worships the Lord our
those Spiritually Beneficial Goals for ourselves and for God Who will Save us and Deify us, as He intended.
others. Amen.
We must also consult our Spiritual Father or Spiritual
Mother, our Brethren in Christ, or our close and trusted CONSTANTINE WRIGHT
friends - those whom God sends our way - so that we WWW.PRAVMIR.COM
may gain Wisdom, Patience, Tolerance and
THE VENERATION OF OUR ALL HOLY, ALL PURE LADY, THEOTOKOS
The Ever Blessed, All Holy and Ever Virgin Mary is indeed Consequently, we are entreating our Lady, Theotokos:
worthy of the Most Exalted Title of Theotokos - the Help us by Thine Intercessory Prayers to be
Birthgiver (Mother) of God. Redeemed/Delivered from evil, from the works of the
Our Lord God has Honoured, Glorified and Exalted Her devil, from our passions...
more than any of His Heavenly Hosts and His other Therefore, by asking the Ever Blessed Mother of God to
Venerable Saints. Save us we neither ask Her nor expect Her to
St Gabriel, the Archangel of God and St Elizabeth, the ...forgive our sins... but rather to ...Entreat Thy Son for
Venerated Mother of St John the Baptists and our Salvation.
Forerunner, both Venerated Her as the Mother of God. All Veneration of the All Holy and Ever Blessed Mother
(LUKE 1:28-29 & 40-43) of God is a constituent part of the Veneration and
Our Ever Blessed Lady, Herself, commented in humble Worship of Her Divine Son, Who chose Her and
amazement: ... Behold! Henceforth all generations Blessed Her to be His Mother...
shall call me Blessed. for He Who is Mighty has  G E N E S I S 3 : 1 5 - After the Fall of Adam and Eve, the
done great things for me..." (LUKE 1:48-49) Lord our God foretold us that the Mother of our
In our Holy Services we cry out boldly and reverently to Divine Saviour would be a Virgin who, together
Her: "O Most Holy Theotokos, Save us!" with Her Son, would defeat the serpent the evil
Elder Cleopa explained our worthy Veneration of our Ever one (disguised as a snake) who caused Adam to
Blessed, Most Holy Lady, Theotokos: put his free will against the Divine Will of God and
...The Veneration that we render unto Her is called thus cause our Fall our Ancestral Sin.
Honorific and Reverential, as She is the Mother of our  I S A I A H 7 : 1 3 St Isaiah the Holy Prophet of God
Lord, having not only a Spiritual Relationship with prophesied that a Virgin would give Birth to
Him, as happens with other Saints, but also a physical Emmanuel-God. (God with us - the God-Man or
Union with Him. the Son of Man)
For this reason we chant in our Hymn to Her:  L U K E 1 : 2 8 St Gabriel the Holy Archangel of God
"It is Truly Meet to Bless Thee, Venerated the All Pure Virgin Mary by addressing
O Theotokos who art Ever Blessed Her as Full of Grace, and as Blessed art Thou
and All-Blameless, among women.
and the Mother of our God.  L U K E 1 : 4 0 - 4 3 - St Elizabeth the Righteous Mother
More Honourable than the Cherubim, of St John the Baptist Venerated her niece when
and more Glorious beyond compare she greeted Her: Blessed art Thou among
than the Seraphim, women... and ...the Mother of my Lord.
O Thou who - without corruption -  L U K E 2 : 5 1 - Our Lord Jesus Christ was always most
gave Birth to God the Word, respectful and obedient to His Ever Humble and
and who art truly Theotokos: Obedient Mother.
we Magnify Thee!"  J O H N 2 : 3 1 0 Our Lord Jesus Christs first public
She has been elevated by God to an exalted position that Miracle occurred at a Wedding in Cana, Galilee
is higher than His Heavenly Hosts and His other Saints at the request of His Beloved Mother.
- all of whom Venerate Her.  J O H N 1 9 : 2 6 2 7 Our Lord Jesus Christ ensured
Accordingly, the Archangel Gabriel greeted Her at the Her personal protection and welfare even while
Annunciation, as did Her Righteous Relative, St enduring the excruciating, suffocating agony of
Elizabeth, the Mother of St John the Baptist, a short crucifixion when He entrusted Her to His Beloved
while afterwards. Apostle and Theologian, St John
The Holy Virgin was Inspired by the Holy Spirit to All generations certainly do call our Lady, Theotokos
prophesy that all future generations would honour Blessed.
Her by calling Her Blessed. AS FAITHFUL DISCIPLES OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, WE VENERATE
The Greatest Honour that was bestowed upon our Lady, HER NOT ONLY AS THE ALL PURE, EVER VIRGIN MOTHER OF
Theotokos, is according to the Divine Will of Almighty GOD, BUT ESPECIALLY FOR HER UNWAVERING FAITH, SINCERE
God. HUMILITY AND UTTER OBEDIENCE TO GOD IN EVERY WAY
In our Prayers, we beseech our Spiritual Mothers POSSIBLE, THAT CHRIST OUR SAVIOUR PRAISED, WHICH WE MUST
Intercessory Prayers: "O Most Holy Theotokos Save us" ENDEAVOUR TO IMITATE.
and we say to Her: We have no other Hope beside ...Having been elevated by God to a position that is
Thee"... which Elder Cleopas explains: higher than His Heavenly Hosts and all His Saints, She
... by these Prayers, we do not deny the Uniqueness of stands at the right hand side of the Awesome Throne
Christ as Mediator of our Salvation, yet neither are we of God, which we shall all see at our Last
indifferent to the rendering of any sort of Help related Judgement...
to our personal Salvation. Consequently, how can we not Venerate and Honour our
The meaning of these Prayers to our Lady, Theotokos, is Lady, Theotokos, when Holy Scripture records that
similar to saying to Her: "Thou can grant us the most even the Archangel of God, St Gabriel, esteemed Her
help for our personal Salvation... or "... we cannot to be most worthy of such Honourable Veneration?
find any other Superior Intercessor not even How can we not Venerate the Ever Blessed Theotokos
amongst the Saints... or "...We have no one else who who is the Throne of the King of Glory and who is
is able to help us as much as Thee, O Mother of our Glorified above the Heavens, since She bore in Her
Divine Saviour." All Pure, Ever Virgin Womb God the Son, Whose Glory
Our Prayer: "O Most Holy Theotokos, Save us" ... and Majesty cannot be contained nor restricted -
actually means: O Most Holy Theotokos, Entreat Thy neither in Heaven nor on Earth?
Son to Save us... to grant us Eternal Salvation... to For these reasons and many more - we Venerate and
Redeem us... to Deliver us... to grant us His Great Honour our Ever Blessed Lady, Theotokos, who is our
Mercy... Most Beloved Holy Mother and our best example of
Elder Cleopas told us that ...in the Greek language... the Great Faith and Holy Virtue, for being Full of Grace
word Save means to Redeem or Deliver from the evil the Divine Grace of God She is certainly the Most
ones wicked deceptions, temptations, distress and Blessed of all women.
necessity.
http://orthodoxwayoflife.blogspot.co.za
TH TH
8. 1 3 SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST 13 SUNDAY OF ST MATTHEW THE WICKED TENANTS 3 SEPTEMBER 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.

8 September 2017
Nativity of our Ever Blessed Lady, Theotokos
(The Beginning of our Eternal Salvation)

FESTAL APOLYTIKION NATIVITY THEOTOKOS - TONE 4

I Gennisis Sou Theotoke, Haran eminise pasi ti ikoumeni. Thy Nativity, O Theotokos, imparted Joy to the entire
Ek Sou gar anetile O Ilios tis Dikeosinis, Hristos O Theos Creation, for out of Thee has risen the Sun of
imon, ke lisas tin kataran, edoke tin Evlogian. Ke Righteousness, Christ our God, Who nullified the Curse
katargisas ton Thanaton, edorisato imin zoin tin and granted His Blessing. And He caused Death to be
eonion.(3) neutralised, granting us Eternal Life. (3)
SEASONAL KONTAKION NATIVITY OF THEOTOKOS TONE 4

Ioakim ke Anna onidismou ateknias, ke Adam ke Eva, ek tis Both Joachim and Anna from their sterilitys stigma, and
fthoras tou Thanatou, ileftherothisan, Ahrante, en ti Adam and Eve from their immortalitys ruin have been
Agia gennisi Sou. Aftin Eortazi ke O Laoa Sou, enohis set free, O Immaculate Maiden, by Thy Holy Nativity.
ton ptesmaton, litrothis en to krazin Si. I stira tikti tin For this Thy People celebrate, Redeemed from the guilt
Theotokon, ke trofon tis Zois imon. of transgression as they cry to Thee: The barren one
bears the Theotokos, the Nourisher of our Life.
FESTAL 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...
... Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her house.
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 Hades and set the Righteous free to Rest in Peace in Paradise
in the early Christian Church, which was quoted by St until the Final Judgement. mp
Paul. OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST - Who died upon the Cross for our
It calls us to CONTEMPLATE THE EXTREME AND ABSOLUTE Eternal Salvation -HAS BEEN EXALTED AND NAMED AS LORD
HUMILITY OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST the Majestic and All BY GOD THE FATHER a Divine Name that God the Son
Powerful Incarnate Son of God which is A DIVINE shares with His Eternal Father.
TRUTH THAT IS NECESSARY FOR ALL SUFFERING AND The Form (Morphe) of God... is a concept that is parallel
STRUGGLING CHRISTIANS TO UNDERSTAND, TO APPRECIATE AND with the Image (Ikon) of God and refers to GOD THE
TO IMITATE THROUGH LIVING EVERY MOMENT OF THIS LIFE IN SONS SHARING IN THE COMPLETE, FULL DIVINE NATURE OF
CHRIST. GOD THE FATHER. (COLOSSIANS 1:15)
The words of this particular passage of Holy Scripture Robbery (harpagmon prize or booty) refers to
have been incorporated into many Hymns of the something that is stolen or looted illegally.
Orthodox Church. CHRIST HAS EQUALITY WITH GOD THE FATHER not by illegal or
CHRIST is He Who BEING IN THE FORM OF GOD, i.e. HIS forceful seizure or theft but DUE TO HIS ETERNAL DIVINE
ETERNAL, DIVINE NATURE IS ALSO IN THE FORM OF A NATURE, HAVING BEEN BEGOTTEN BY HIS ETERNAL DIVINE
BONDSERVANT IN OUR HUMAN LIKENESS, HIS HUMAN NATURE FATHER.
and so HE WAS VOLUNTARILY SUBJECT TO DEATH. THERE WAS NEITHER LOSS NOR CHANGE IN THE DIVINE NATURE OF
Christ could only enter Hades in His human Nature where - in His OUR LORD JESUS WHEN HE TOOK ON OUR HUMAN NATURE and
Divine Nature - He smashed open the imprisoning Gates of offered us His Eternal Salvation.

THE NATIVITY OF OUR EVER BLESSED, ALL HOLY LADY, THEOTOKOS 8 SEPTEMBER 9.
CHRIST ...made Himself of no reputation... IS A REFERENCE In His human Nature, CHRIST SHOWED THE FULLNESS OF HIS
TO HIS DIVINE WILL, NOT HIS DIVINE NATURE FOR HE HUMILITY BY HIS ABSOLUTE OBEDIENCE even to Death,
EMPTIED HIMSELF not by laying down or ridding which has enslaved us since our Fall.
Himself of His Divine Nature or by setting it aside, but To have died by crucifixion a terrible, humiliating and
BY VOLUNTARILY TAKING ON OUR HUMAN FORM AND NATURE. shameful form of execution for the worst type of
(He Emptied Himself of His Majestic Divine Glory in order to criminals of the Roman Empire was as repulsive to
assume our weak human form and nature.) the Roman Citizens as it was to the Hebrews who
OUR DIVINE SAVIOUR TOOK ...THE FORM OF A BONDSERVANT... considered it the ultimate Curse.
VOLUNTARILY SHARING OUR HUMAN CONDITION EXCEPT FOR However, THE DEATH OF OUR SAVIOUR BROUGHT ETERNAL LIFE TO
OUR INCLINATION AND ABILITY TO SIN HE CANNOT SIN! ALL WHO ARE JOINED TO HIM even those whom He
To us human beings, Christ looks just like us, for BEING confronted in Hades and who repented their sins.
TRULY INCARNATE, HE IS FULLY HUMAN BY NATURE AND FORM.
THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST LUKE 10 : 38 - 42 & 11 : 27 28
ON E THIN G IS N EEDED !
At that time, our Lord Jesus Christ entered a certain village. A woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house.
And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at Jesus Feet, listening to His Word. Martha was distracted with much
serving. She approached and said: Lord, dost Thou not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore
tell her to help me!
Jesus answered and said to her: Martha! Martha! You are worried and troubled about many things. One thing is
needed. Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.
... As He spoke these things, a certain woman from the crowd raised her voice and said to Him: Blessed is the Womb
that bore Thee, and the Breasts that nursed Thee!
He 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 IT WAS A SERIOUS AND ESSENTIAL PRIORITY THAT CERTAINLY DID
LAZAROS whom our Lord Jesus Christ had raised from NOT EXCLUDE SERVING HIM.
the dead. Later, when a woman called out to our Lord Jesus from
ST MARTHA WAS PREOCCUPIED AND WORRIED ABOUT ALL HER the crowd, our Lord pointed out to her that GODS
HOUSEHOLD DUTIES while providing hospitality to our BLESSINGS FALL UPON ALL THOSE WHO HEAR THE WORD OF GOD
Lord Jesus and his entourage of Disciples and AND OBEY HIM.
Apostles. FAMILY OR SOCIAL CONNECTIONS HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH OUR
HER TEMPORARY, WORLDLY CARES CONCERNED HER MORE THAN OBEDIENCE TO GOD .
ANYTHING ELSE AT THE TIME so, resenting her sister, St THE EVER BLESSED THEOTOKOS WAS ESPECIALLY
Mary, who sat at the Feet of our Lord to hear His COMPLIMENTED BY HER SON BECAUSE SHE NOT ONLY PAID
Teachings, she appealed to Him to make her get up CAREFUL ATTENTION TO THE WORD OF GOD BUT SHE ALSO
and help her. FAITHFULLY OBEYED ALL HIS COMMANDMENTS AND LIVED
However - instead of supporting her immediate needs - HER ENTIRE LIFE ACCORDINGLY.
our Lord Jesus pointed out that while she was so IT IS THAT PROFOUND VIRTUE OF HUMBLE AND ATTENTIVE
concerned about all her current duties, HER SISTER HAD OBEDIENCE TO GOD OF THE EVER BLESSED THEOTOKOS
PREFERRED TO SPEND THE PRECIOUS TIME LISTENING TO ALONE even more than having borne the
CHRISTS TEACHINGS. Incarnate God THAT MAKES HER OUR MOST SHINING
THE ONE THING ... NEEDED WAS for her TO PAY ATTENTION EXAMPLE OF TRUE SAINTHOOD AND THEOSIS SPIRITUAL
TO HIS DIVINE TEACHING TO REALLY LISTEN TO WHAT HE PERFECTION.
SAID.
NATIVITY OF OUR LADY, THEOTOKOS
The only one who has lived on Earth and reached the Eight hundred years before the Star of Bethlehem shone,
highest point of moral grandeur - the greatest of all St Isaiah foresaw the Ever Blessed Virgin Mary, and
Saints - is the All-Holy Ever Blessed, Ever Virgin, Mary Her Son Emmanuel.
our Lady, Theotokos, who, by the Will of God and by The All Holy Virgin gave birth to Her Only-Begotten Son,
His Divine Grace, through Her Holy Virtues, acquired our Lord Jesus Christ and which is the Greatest of
such a superior state of Holiness that She surpassed Divine Miracles a Virgin who conceived without
not only every human being, but even the Heavenly seed and gave Birth to our Divine Saviour - or the
Hosts of God. world that God created from nothingness?
The Spiritual Height and Depth of the All Holy Virgin is Unbelievers have argued and debated against this
described in the Akathist Hymn: Hail, O Height Divine Truth and they will continue to do so.
insurmountable for the human mind! Hail, O Depth However, we who are Faithful can confidently state:
inexplorable to Angelic eye!. Certainly, the Greatest Miracle is the Creation of the
The Ever Blessed Virgin is ...more honourable than the Universe from nothing, and as this Supreme Divine
Cherubim and incomparably more Glorious than the Miracle has occurred, why not the lesser Divine
Seraphim... If mankind is a Miracle of Divine Miracle of the Virgin Birth?
Creation then She is the Most Exceptional Miracle of The All-Holy Mother of God was a Virgin before the Birth
Divine Grace! of Christ, during and after His Birth another Divine
When the first woman Eve sinned, she carried all Miracle that was testified to by the two amazed
mankind with her into the deep Abyss of Calamity, midwives who took care of Her and Her Newborn
where, in the midst of that terrible Spiritual Darkness, Infant.
one Hope warmed their soul - that their circumstances Our Lady, Theotokos is Ever-Virgin, to which the Holy
would one day be radically changed. Church of Christ maintains as a Revealed Truth that
The ancient first Prophecy after the Fall of the First Man we proclaim each time we recite our Creed of Faith,
and First Woman the First Gospel as it was called - proclaiming that our Lord Jesus Christ ...was
spoke of a Virgin whose Son would fight and defeat Incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and
Satan, and Who would give the world New Life. became Man.
Careful study of this Prophecy revealed that She would We do not Deify our Lady, as some heretics accuse us of
not conceive and give birth in the normal manner but doing, neither do not we regard Her as a goddess.
would conceive without knowing any man without Enlightened by Archangel Gabriel, we know that She is
human seed and that She would retain Her Virginity. Superior to the Heavenly Hosts and the Saints, which
This Prophecy concerning the Virgin is repeatedly is why She is Most Holy and that God chose Her for
mentioned in the Old Testament, but the Book of His Incarnation. Her exceptional Virtues make Her the
Isaiah gives the clearest description: Behold, a Virgin Perfect Example for all women to imitate.
shall conceive in the Womb, and shall bring forth a
Son, and His Name shall be called Emmanuel. (ISAIAH BISHOP AUGOUSTINOS N. KANTIOTES.
7:14). WWW.ORTHODOXINFO.COM

10. THE NATIVITY OF OUR EVER BLESSED, ALL HOLY LADY, THEOTOKOS 8 SEPTEMBER
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 (5) Plagal 2 10 September 2017


th
14 Sunday After Pentecost Before Exaltation of the Holy Cross
OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST AND OUR ETERNAL SALVATION
AFTERFEAST OF THE NATIVITY OF THEOTOKOS
The Feast of St Menodora, St Nymphodora & St Metrodora, Virgin Martyrs of Nicomedia
St Paul the Obedient Ascetic of Kiev Far Caves Monastery St Joasaph of Kubensk,
Wonderworker of Vologa St Apelles of the 70 Apostles, Bishop of Smyrna, St Lucios of
the 70 Apostles, Bishop of Laodicia, Phrygia, Syria & St Clement of the 70 Apostles, Bishop
of Sardika, Lydia, Asia Minor St Barypsavas of Dalmatia St Pulcheria, Byzantine
Empress St Peter & St Paul, Bishops of Nicea

RESURRECTION GOSPEL 3 - MARK 16:9 - 20


O UR R E SURRECTED L ORD A PP EA RS T O H IS A PO STLES & D ISCIPLE S B EFO RE H IS A SCENSION

RESURRECTION APOLYTIKION - TONE (5) PLAGAL 1


Ton sinanarhon Logon Patri ke Pnevmati, ton ek Parthenou The Word, Who with the Father and the Spirit has no
Tehthenta is Sotirian imon, animnisomen, Pisti, ke beginning, and Who, for our Salvation, was born of a
Proskinisomen. Oti ivdokise sarki anelthin en to Stavro Virgin, let us faithful believers hymn and adore. For it
ke Thanaton ipomine ke egire tous tethneotas en ti was His Good Pleasure to ascend the Cross in the
Evdoxo Anastasi Aftou. Flesh, and to Suffer Death, and through His own
Glorious Resurrection to raise the dead.
FESTAL APOLYTIKION NATIVITY THEOTOKOS - TONE 4

I Gennisis Sou Theotoke, Haran eminise pasi ti ikoumeni. Thy Nativity, O Theotokos, imparted Joy to the entire
Ek Sou gar anetile O Ilios tis Dikeosinis, Hristos O Theos Creation, for out of Thee has risen the Sun of
imon, ke lisas tin kataran, edoke tin Evlogian. Ke Righteousness, Christ our God, Who nullified the Curse
katargisas ton Thanaton, edorisato imin zoin tin and granted His Blessing. And He caused Death to be
eonion.(3) neutralised, granting us Eternal Life. (3)
SEASONAL KONTAKION NATIVITY OF THEOTOKOS TONE 4

Ioakim ke Anna onidismou ateknias, ke Adam ke Eva, ek tis Both Joachim and Anna from their sterilitys stigma, and
fthoras tou Thanatou, ileftherothisan, Ahrante, en ti Adam and Eve from their immortalitys ruin have been
Agia gennisi Sou. Aftin Eortazi ke O Laoa Sou, enohis set free, O Immaculate Maiden, by Thy Holy Nativity.
ton ptesmaton, litrothis en to krazin Si. I stira tikti tin For this Thy People celebrate, Redeemed from the guilt
Theotokon, ke trofon tis Zois imon. of transgression as they cry to Thee: The barren one
bears the Theotokos, the Nourisher of our Life.
PROKEIMENON PSALM27/28 - TONE (6) PLAGAL 2
Save, O Lord, Thy People, and Bless Thine Inheritance, and Shepherd them and raise them up forever.
To Thee, O Lord, I cry: O my God! May Thou never pass over me in Silence! May Thou never be silent to me, lest I become
like those who go down into the pit...
THE EPISTLE OF ST PAUL TO THE GALATIANS 6: 11-18
BOAST ONLY IN THE CROSS
Brethren: see with what large letters I have written to you with my own hand!
As many as desire to make a good showing in the flesh, would compel you to be circumcised, only that they may not
suffer persecution for the Cross of Christ. Not even those who are circumcised keep the Law, but they desire to have
you circumcised so that they may boast in your flesh.
May I never boast except in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by Whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the
world. In Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything but a New Creation. And as many
as walk according to this Rule, Peace and Mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.
From now on, let no one trouble me. I bear the Marks of the Lord Jesus in my body.
The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, Brethren.
Amen
THE HEBREW LEGALIZERS CHOSE TO OFFEND GOD SO THAT THEY By slavishly being persuaded and convinced to follow the
COULD PLEASE HUMAN BEINGS. godless, ignorant popular concepts of modern day
Unfortunately, this is the way of the world to this very day fashions and fads, WE ARE DRIFTING FURTHER AND FURTHER
for FEW WILL STAND FIRMLY IN DIVINE TRUTH. AWAY FROM OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST AND HIS DIVINE TRUTH
The majority of people are influenced and led into His Divine Teachings and Commandments, which are
Spiritual Disobedience and Rebellion because THEY the only means that make it possible for us to achieve
ARE MORE AFRAID OF DISPLEASING THEIR FELLOW SINNERS THAN our Ultimate Spiritual Goal Theosis.
BECAUSE THEY LOVE AND RESPECT ALMIGHTY GOD and would Throughout the history of the Holy Church of Christ, WE
do everything possible not to fail Him or disappoint HAVE PREACHED THE HOLY CROSS OF CHRIST CONCERNING
Him. EVERYTHING THAT IT SYMBOLISES.
Consequently, by choosing to follow the fallen world and We have always displayed THE EMPTY CROSS
being enslaved by the demands of the flesh and SYMBOLISING ETERNAL RESURRECTION AND LIFE
duped by the machinations of the evil one, THEY ALSO EVERLASTING in our homes, chapels, churches,
VOLUNTARILY CHOOSE ETERNAL SPIRITUAL DEATH OVER schools, etc.
ETERNAL SPIRITUAL LIFE.  THE CROSS REMINDS US TO PRAY AND TO FULFILL ALL GODS
DIVINE COMMANDMENTS AND TEACHINGS.

14TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST BEFORE EXALTATION OF THE HOLY CROSS 10 SEPTEMBER 2017 11.
 WE VENERATE OUR LORDS LIFE-GIVING HOLY CROSS IN THE St Paul referred to THE CHURCH OF CHRIST THE CHURCH OF
DIVINE LITURGY AND IN ALL OUR HOLY SERVICES AND HOLY THE NEW COVENANT THE NEW ISRAEL
MYSTERIES. During the time of St Paul and the other Apostles, the
 WE BLESS AND PROTECT OURSELVES BY MAKING THE SIGN OF HEBREWS TRIED TO FORCE THE CONVERTS TO BE CIRCUMCISED
THE CROSS, WHICH IS A DECLARATION OF FAITH: I ACCORDING TO THE OLD COVENANT.
worship Thee, O God, with all my mind, with all St Paul realised that THEY WERE UNCONCERNED WITH THE
my heart, with all my strength and with all my ETERNAL LIFE OF THE NEWLY BAPTISED CHRISTIANS, only
soul! WANTING TO BRAG ABOUT HOW MANY HAD BEEN CIRCUMCISED.
 WE ALWAYS WEAR AN EMPTY CROSS (not the Crucifix that These days it has become popular to encourage
depicts Christ nailed to the Cross) TO REMIND US OF conversion to Orthodox Christianity sadly, also for
OUR ULTIMATE GOAL OUR SALVATION AND RESURRECTION bragging purposes of Priests and others and mostly
INTO ETERNAL LIFE. for all the wrong, ill-informed reasons!
 THE CROSS REMINDS US OF OUR FINAL JUDGEMENT , which PEOPLE MUST ONLY CONVERT TO ORTHODOXY IF THEY ARE
URGES US TO CEASELESSLY STRIVE FOR SPIRITUAL TOTALLY COMMITTED TO CHRIST AND ARE DETERMINED TO
PERFECTION NOW while we can still correct FOLLOW HIS TEACHINGS AND COMMANDMENTS.
ourselves by Repenting our sins. WE MUST ALWAYS BE TOTALLY COMMITTED TO GOD BY LIVING
 THE CROSS IS A CONSTANT REMINDER THAT WE ARE DISCIPLES OUR LIFE IN CHRIST ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY UNTIL WE
OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST, WHOM WE DRAW OUR LAST BREATH.
STRUGGLE TO FOLLOW AND IMITATE and others look In order for Converts to avoid apostatising due to
at us, expecting us to BEHAVE AT ALL TIMES IN A unhappy personal relationships and problems, IT IS
WORTHY CHRISTIAN MANNER. IMPERATIVE THAT THEY ARE TAUGHT THOROUGHLY AND WELL
 THE HOLY CROSS IS OUR MOST POWERFUL PROTECTION BEFORE THEY ARE BAPTISED AND CHRISMATED SO THAT THEY
AGAINST THE EVIL ONE AND HIS DEMONS spirit and HAVE A COMPLETE, WELL INFORMED FOUNDATION TO BEGIN
human. Any other superstitious talisman will not WITH.
protect us but might even draw evil to us for it Furthermore, ALL ORTHODOX CHRISTIANS SHOULD CONTINUE TO
reveals a chink or gap in our Spiritual Armour a LEARN THE MANY, VARIED FACETS OF THIS MARVELLOUS FAITH,
weakness in our True Faith. so that we CONTINUE TO WORSHIP GOD AND PARTAKE
THE NEW CREATION IS OUR LIFE IN CHRIST for WE HAVE PUT CORRECTLY IN ALL THE REQUIRED HOLY MYSTERIES AND LIVE A
ON CHRIST WHEN WE WERE BAPTISED AND WE ARE SEALED GOOD, FULFILLED LIFE IN CHRIST AS HE WISHES US TO DO.
WITH THE GIFT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT WHO EMPOWERS AND ST PAUL WAS NEITHER A HYPOCRITE NOR A COWARD. He
ENABLES US TO FULFIL OUR SACRED TASKS AND MISSION. persevered through much of what he taught and
he bore the marks and scars to prove it.
THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST JOHN 3: 13-17
OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST AND OUR ETERNAL SALVATION
At that time, our Lord said: ... No one has ascended into Heaven but He Who came down from Heaven that is: the
Son of Man Who is in Heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the Wilderness, even so must the Son of Man
be lifted up, so that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have Eternal Life. For God so Loved the
world, He gave His Only Begotten Son, so that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have Everlasting
Life. For God did not send His Son into the world to Condemn the world, but that the world might be Saved
through Him...
ONLY OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST DESCENDED TO EARTH AND SPIRIT ARE ALWAYS PRESENT - ESPECIALLY WHEN TWO OR
ASCENDED INTO HEAVEN . THREE ARE GATHERED TOGETHER IN HIS DIVINE NAME
OUR TRIUNE GOD IS A GOD OF LOVE WHO Loves us so much JUST AS HE PROMISED US!
that He DID NOT WANT US TO REMAIN IN A STATE OF SPIRITUAL THE ANCIENT PATRIARCH, ST MOSES, HAD LIFTED UP AN IMAGE
DEATH after our Fall from Divine Grace through our OF A SERPENT WOUND AROUND HIS STAFF whereby THE
Ancestral Sin. ISRAELITES WERE MIRACULOUSLY CURED FROM FATAL BITES
THE HOLY TRINITY WORKS IN PERFECT LOVE AND HARMONY, SO AND TOXINS of snakes, scorpions, poisonous insects,
IT IS BY THE WILL OF GOD THE FATHER, THROUGH GOD THE spiders or plants during their sojourn in the
SON AND BY THE POWER AND ENERGY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT Wilderness before settling down in the Promised
THAT WE ARE ABLE TO ACQUIRE ETERNAL SALVATION IF WE Land. [ N U M B E R S 2 1 : 4 - 9 ]
CHOOSE TO DO SO.  The symbol of a serpent wound around a staff
However, in order to us to gain Wisdom, Knowledge and became THE SYMBOL OF HEALING Medicine and
Understanding that leads us to a closer Relationship Medical Physicians.
with God and grants us the Love and Desire for His  THIS MIRACLE WORKING IMAGE PREFIGURED OUR LORD JESUS
Divine Truth and Goodness, GOD THE FATHER SENT HIS CHRIST BEING LIFTED UP ON HIS CROSS, which we who
BELOVED, ONLY BEGOTTEN, ETERNAL SON AND WORD, OUR are Faithful Disciples behold in Truth, Faith and
LORD JESUS CHRIST, TO LIVE AMONGST US AND TO GRANT US Worship.
HIS DIVINE REVELATION CONCERNING OUR TRUE GOD, AND HIS THE POWER OF THE LIFE-GIVING CROSS OF CHRIST
GREAT MERCY, INFINITE LOVE AND GOODNESS. OVERTHROWS DEATH AND SIN, TEMPTATIONS AND ALL THE
WHEN OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST HAD FULFILLED ALL DIVINE MACHINATIONS OF THE EVIL ONE and his slaves.
PROMISES OF THE OLD COVENANT AND BESTOWED UPON US  The Life-giving Cross of Christ is OUR MEDAL/BADGE OF
HIS NEW COVENANT OF DIVINE LOVE, HE RETURNED TO HIS HONOUR and reminds us that WE, TOO, WILL BE
HEAVENLY THRONE. RESURRECTED ON THE EIGHTH DAY the Final Day of
HOWEVER, AS HE PROMISED US, HE REMAINS ALWAYS WITH US IN this Age and the Awesome Day of Judgement.
SPIRIT invisible until His Reappearance.  The Life-giving Cross of Christ - THE EMPTY CROSS I.E.
THE MOST IMPORTANT SACRED TASK OF CHRIST WAS ESPECIALLY NOT THE CRUCIFIX BUT THE PLAIN CROSS REMINDS US
THE FINAL GREATEST BLOOD SACRIFICE OF ALL TIME HIS THAT WE ARE FAITHFUL DISCIPLES OF CHRIST who LIVE IN
HOLY PASSION AND CRUCIFIXION FOR THE SINS OF ALL THE UNWAVERING HOPE AND EXPECTATION OF ETERNAL LIFE in
PEOPLE FOREVER- which, therefore, never again had Gods Heavenly Kingdom of Love Agape which
to be repeated (like the Old Covenant annual we will achieve THROUGH OUR CEASELESS REPENTANCE
blood sacrifices for sins of the High Priest and all AND SPIRITUAL STRUGGLES FOR THEOSIS.
the Hebrew Nation).  Just as St Moses Staff with the entwined Serpent was a
OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST THE SON OF MAN I.E. IN HIS Miracle Working Healing Instrument, so, too is THE
HUMAN INCARNATE NATURE WAS RESURRECTED and HOLY LIFE-GIVING CROSS OF CHRIST, which IS OUR
after a short period during which HE SHOWED SACRED WEAPON AGAINST TEMPTATIONS AND SIN, and
HIMSELF CLEARLY AND PHYSICALLY TO ALL HIS FAITHFUL which is so Powerful that IT REPELS THE EVIL ONE AND
APOSTLES AND DISCIPLES AS WELL AS INNUMERABLE OVERTHROWS DEATH itself!
OTHERS - HE ASCENDED INTO HEAVEN AND DISAPPEARED IN ORDER TO EXPLAIN TO HIS FAITHFUL DISCIPLES AND
FROM OUR SIGHT. ( He is invisible to us, until His Second APOSTLES THE REASON FOR HIS CRUCIFIXION the reason
Reappearance.) why the Son of Man must be lifted up on the
Although our Lord Jesus Christ is no longer visible, Cross OUR LORD JESUS DECLARED HIS HEAVENLY
HE, TOGETHER WITH GOD THE FATHER AND GOD THE HOLY FATHERS GREAT LOVE OF ALL MANKIND the entire
12. 14TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST BEFORE EXALTATION OF THE HOLY CROSS 10 SEPTEMBER 2017
world not only His Chosen Nation, the House of  WE HAVE BEEN CLEARLY AND PRECISELY TAUGHT BY GOD
Israel. HIMSELF EXACTLY WHAT IS REQUIRED OF EACH OF US if we
THESE WONDERFUL, D IVINE WORDS OF OUR L ORD wish to acquire Eternal Salvation and Everlasting
EXPRESSES THE WHOLE DIVINE MESSAGE OF THE Life in His Heavenly Kingdom of Love, Peace, Joy
HOLY GOSPEL AND OF MANKIND S S ALVATION and Goodness.
THIS TEMPORARY LIFESPAN IS A VERY BRIEF PERIOD OF CEASELESS
HISTORY!
SPIRITUAL PREPARATION FOR ETERNITY.
1. ...GOD SO LOVED the world  WE ARE PERPETUALLY ENGAGED IN SPIRITUAL WARFARE
2. HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, so that against the demands of our flesh and against the
3. WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM SHOULD not perish but HAVE evil one who seeks our destruction by using our
EVERLASTING LIFE... weakness and ignorance against us.
 BY COMMITTING OURSELVES TO LIFE IN CHRIST, WE ARE ABLE TO
These are CLEARLY EXPRESSED WORDS OF DIVINE TRUTH MAKE GOOD SPIRITUAL PROGRESS WITH THE DIVINE AIDS
THAT REVEAL THE HOLY TRINITYS INFINITE PROVIDED BY GOD.
1. DIVINE LOVE Our Lord Jesus Christ has revealed the Divine Truth
2. SACRIFICIAL LOVE that He is our Divine Saviour and thus HE WILL
3. FAITHFUL LOVE NEITHER JUDGE US UNMERCIFULLY, NOR CONDEMN US TO
ETERNAL HELL, FOR WE ARE TO JUDGE OURSELVES AGAINST
OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST CAME INTO OUR FALLEN WORLD TO HIS GLORIOUS PERFECTION.
ENLIGHTEN AND TO TEACH US HIS DIVINE TRUTH Our Lord Jesus Christ is our Divine, Loving and
CONCERNING THE HOLY TRINITY. Compassionate Saviour.
Our Lord Jesus Christ revealed that our LOVING,  HE HAS TAUGHT US EXACTLY HOW WE MUST THINK, WHAT WE
BENEVOLENT AND PROVIDENTIAL GOD WHO HAS MUST SAY AND DO.
INFINITE GREAT MERCY, COMPASSION, KINDNESS AND  HE HAS GRANTED US EVERY MEANS POSSIBLE TO REGAIN OUR
GOODNESS CANNOT DO ANYTHING THAT IS HARMFUL, DIVINE LIKENESS TO HIM.
WRATHFUL, DEVASTATING NOTHING THAT IS DESTRUCTIVE OR ON THE EIGHTH DAY THAT DAY OF OUR FINAL JUDGEMENT
EVIL, SINCE IT IS AGAINST HIS DIVINE NATURE AND ATTRIBUTES! AS WE STAND BEFORE HIS HEAVENLY THRONE, we will be
like the two criminals who were crucified on
All grievous, deadly sins that cause mankind death, destruction, Golgotha beside our Divine Saviour.
suffering, and everything that is wicked and evil, are invented ST DISMAS, THE WISE, REPENTANT THIEF, IMMEDIATELY SAW THE
by the evil one. DEPTH AND HORROR OF HIS OWN SINS COMPARED TO THE
Satan obsessively seeks our physical and spiritual destruction by INFINITE GOODNESS AND LOVE OF CHRIST OUR GOD.
using our weaknesses against us to alienate us from our Instead of beseeching Gods Divine Mercy, HE SIMPLY ASKED
Loving and Merciful Lord God. OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST TO REMEMBER HIM IN HIS HEAVENLY
He is utterly envious and jealous of our Blessed and Sacred KINGDOM, HAVING RECOGNISED HIM AS TRULY GOD INCARNATE
Relationship with God, and bitterly craves our banishment AND THE PERFECT MAN Whom we must follow and Whose
with him and his demons to Outer Darkness and Eternal Perfect Likeness we should strive to acquire!
Death the absence of Gods Love, Light and Goodness. HIS HUMBLE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF CHRIST AND HIS CONTRITE
HEART CAUSED OUR SAVIOUR TO PERMIT HIS IMMORTAL SOUL
ENTRY INTO PARADISE, EVEN BEFORE ANY OTHER RIGHTEOUS
Our Saviour, Jesus Christ, encourages us to BE HUMBLE
SOULS!
AND OBEDIENT TO GOD BY UNCONDITIONALLY LOVING HIM
AND OUR FELLOW SINNERS.
The other, nameless and forgotten criminal, had mocked
WE HAVE BEEN CREATED AS INTELLECTUAL BEINGS WHO HAVE FREE and scoffed at Christ, and his souls destiny is obvious.
WILL TO MAKE OUR OWN CHOICES AND DECISIONS.
AS WE STAND BEFORE THE AWESOME THRONE OF GOD, WE
WILL SEE THE PERFECTION OF OUR INCARNATED GOD OUR
Consequently, we can choose whether we wish to ACCEPT
CHRIST AND HIS DIVINE TRUTH His All Wise Teachings LORD JESUS CHRIST IN ALL HIS DIVINE GLORY HE WHO
HAS SHOWN US WHAT WE ARE CREATED TO BE AND WE WILL
and Commandments that are only FOR OUR OWN
UNDERSTAND WITH BLINDING, PAINFUL CLARITY THE TRUE
ETERNAL BENEFIT AND BLESSINGS!
STATE OF OUR OWN IMMORTAL SOUL!
However, should we decide to reject Him and everything
that He has revealed to us, has taught us and has  WE WILL IMMEDIATELY AND COMPLETELY KNOW WHETHER WE
ARE HIS HUMBLE, OBEDIENT, REASON-ENDOWED SHEEP OR
commanded us to fulfil, we must realise that it will
THE STUBBORN, REBELLIOUS GOATS THAT FOLLOW THEIR
most definitely result in dire consequences: Eternal
OWN NEEDS AND DESIRES!!
Banishment, Exile and Spiritual Death far, far away
from God, His Divine Light and all His Goodness.  We have been told that the scales will drop from our
Thus, WE SHOULD ENSURE THAT WE ARE TRULY ENLIGHTENED eyes so that EVERYTHING WILL BE REVEALED AND
CONFIRMED IN ABSOLUTE CLARITY AND TRUTH.
AND KNOWLEDGEABLE BEFORE BLINDLY AND IGNORANTLY
REJECTING GOD AND ALL HIS WONDERFUL TRUTH.
 WE WILL NO LONGER BE ABLE TO HIDE FROM THAT DIVINE
Knowledge is indeed Power and IF WE OPEN OUR HEART AND TRUTH, NOR WILL WE BE ABLE TO JUSTIFY OURSELVES WITH
USELESS, DECEITFUL EXCUSES!
SOUL TO ALMIGHTY GOD, HE WILL MOST JOYFULLY GRANT US
ALL THE KNOWLEDGE AND ENLIGHTENMENT NECESSARY for our
 Even without being told, WE WILL GO WHERE WE BELONG,
UNLESS OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST HAS COMPASSION AND
Eternal Life in His Heavenly Kingdom.
...for God did not send His Son into the world to GREAT MERCY ON OUR SOUL.
Condemn the world, but that the world might be This is why WE CONSTANTLY BESEECH OUR LADY, THEOTOKOS, AND
ALL THE OTHER SAINTS, TO INTERCEDE FOR THE SAKE OF OUR
Saved through Him...
 OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST HAS REVEALED THE DIVINE TRUTH OF SALVATION, and also why WE MUST CEASELESSLY WAGE
WARFARE AGAINST ALL TYPES OF SIN THAT LURKS WITHIN
OUR ALMIGHTY, TRIUNE GOD, WHO IS LOVE, GOODNESS
OURSELVES.
AND ALL MERCIFUL.
 WE ARE NOW ARMED WITH THE MOST POWERFUL SPIRITUAL
WEAPONS WITH WHICH TO WAGE SPIRITUAL WARFARE
against the lies and deceptions of the evil one.
14TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST BEFORE THE EXALTATION OF THE HOLY CROSS
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the THAT WE MAY BECOME WORTHY OF LIVING IN CHRIST WHO IS
Holy Spirit... LIFE AND LOVE ITSELF!
Brethren, Today is the Sunday Before the Exaltation or ... God so Loved the world that He gave His Only
Elevation of the Holy, Life-giving Cross of Christ our Begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should
God. not perish but have Everlasting Life.
Todays Sacred Lesson teaches us the Good News that THE We have heard these marvellous words so often that they
LORD OUR GOD LOVES US TO SUCH A TREMENDOUS EXTENT THAT have almost become a clich for some!
HE SENT HIS BELOVED, ONLY BEGOTTEN SON AND LOGOS This Divine Truth is so often used in the context of
WORD INTO OUR WORLD TO REDEEM US AND TO RENEW US SO Evangelical Christianity that belief is reduced to

14TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST BEFORE EXALTATION OF THE HOLY CROSS 10 SEPTEMBER 2017 13.
mere assent - an acknowledge of our Lord Jesus and drinks My Blood has Eternal Life, and I will
Christ. Raise him up at the Last Day. (JOHN 6:54).
Although that may be a great first step, as we can see In other words, True Belief is much more than mere
plainly throughout the Holy Gospel according to St assent.
John, TRUE CHRISTIAN BELIEF INVOLVES MUCH MORE THAN True Belief is A CLOSE, PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP AND
MERE ASSENT OR ACKNOWLEDGEMENT! COMMUNION WITH GOD THROUGH THE SACRAMENTAL LIFE
TRUE BELIEF IS ALWAYS ACCOMPANIED BY ACTION - by following that He Himself has Ordained and through which
through with A LIFE THAT BECOMES GRAFTED INTO THE LIFE WE ARE UNITED WITH HIM, MORE AND MORE, AS WE DENY
OF GOD THE HOLY TRINITY - AS A PERPETUAL RELATIONSHIP OURSELVES AND TAKE UP OUR CROSS TO FOLLOW HIM.
AND MOVEMENT OF LOVE.  Concerning our participation in Christs Saving Work,
It is not nearly enough to simply say: I believe in God. St Paul said; ...For as many of you as have been
There, Ive said it! I have Salvation! for we know that Baptized into Christ, have put on Christ. (GALATIANS
even Satan and his ...demons believe and 3:27)
shudder... (JAMES 2:19). Through the Holy Mystery of Baptism and Chrismation,
During the Israelites 40 year sojourn in the wilderness, and then by LIVING OUR HOLY BAPTISM INTO CHRIST
when St Moses the ancient Patriarch lifted up a THROUGHOUT OUR LIFE - by denying ourselves in order to
serpent on his staff, it symbolised the poisonous FULFIL THE WILL OF GOD ACCORDING TO EVERYTHING THAT
snakes that God sent to humble the people because CHRIST HAS TAUGHT US - participating in the vital Holy
they murmured and complained against the Lord our Mysteries and receiving His Precious Life-giving Body
God. and Blood, by praying and communing with Him - we
However, as St Moses prayed for Divine Mercy on the demonstrate our True Belief.
suffering Israelites, GOD INSTRUCTED HIM TO MAKE FROM  The often quoted verse: ...whoever believes in Him
COPPER THE IMAGE OF A SERPENT AND LIFT IT HIGH ON A should not perish but have Everlasting Life... is
WOODEN STAFF SO THAT ANYONE WHO WAS BITTEN BY THE to be understood then within this context
VENOMOUS SNAKES AND SCORPIONS, COULD BEHOLD IT AND BE concerning the Precious, Life-giving Cross of our
HEALED BY GOD. Divine Saviour. (JOHN 3:16)
What a Great Mysterys this was, for BY THE WILL OF GOD, THE THE HOLY CROSS OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST IS THE SUPREME
IMAGE OF THE CAUSE OF THEIR SUFFERING, AILMENTS AND EXPRESSION OF GODS LOVE FOR US because the Creator of
DEATH BECAME THEIR MIRACULOUS REMEDY! everything visible and invisible the Divine Giver of
Similar to all the Great Signs of the Old Covenant, IT all life - was willing to become one of His own
POINTED TO SOMETHING FAR GREATER TO BE FULFILLED creatures, to endure unjustified humiliation,
ACCORDING TO OUR NEW COVENANT WITH GOD, with the degradation, indescribable torture and execution by
Coming of our Divine Messiah - God Incarnate - and crucifixion, which was the most brutal, hideous and
His defeat of sin and Death on the Cross. ignoble forms of execution in the Roman Empire.
ALTHOUGH THE COPPER SNAKE AND WOODEN STAFF MIRACULOUSLY CHRIST OUR LOVING REDEEMER ENDURED ALL THIS FOR THE SAKE OF
SAVED THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL FROM A TEMPORAL DEATH, THEY EVERY HUMAN BEING THROUGHOUT THE AGES, BY DEFEATING SIN
STILL EVENTUALLY DIED A MORTAL DEATH. AND DEATH.
However, OUR LORD JESUS CHRISTS DEATH ON THE CROSS IS NO Furthermore, THE HOLY CROSS OF CHRIST REMINDS US
TEMPORAL VICTORY, for THE CROSS, which was a most CONSTANTLY THAT WE WHO HAVE BEEN BAPTIZED IN CHRIST
brutal and hideous form of execution HAS BECOME A AND HAVE PUT ON CHRIST, MUST CONTINUE IN CHRIST JESUS AS
MIRACULOUS INSTRUMENT OF HEALING AND SALVATION THAT HIS FELLOW VICTORS AGAINST SIN AND DEATH!
IS EVERLASTING! We must lift up high the Holy Life-giving Cross for all to
Just like the deadly bites and stings that maimed and behold!
killed the ancient Israelites in the wilderness, even FAR WE MUST WEAR OUR CROSS AGAINST OUR HEART TO DECLARE
WORSE ARE THE FATAL WOUNDS CAUSED BY SIN IF LEFT OUR TRUE FAITH AND OUR HOPE IN THE RESURRECTION INTO
UNTREATED WITH REPENTANCE AND FORGIVENESS for ETERNAL LIFE.
poisonous toxins can injure or even destroy our body, On 14 September we will JOYFULLY VENERATE AND EXALT THE
but SIN KILLS OUR SOUL! PRECIOUS, LIFE-GIVING CROSS OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR,
Christ our Saviour entered Death as Man and defeated it JESUS CHRIST AS WE GLORIFY AND PRAISE OUR GOD WHO IS
as God. INFINITELY LOVING AND WHOSE GREAT MERCY WE SEEK.
THE GIVER AND AUTHOR OF LIFE - THE VERY LOGOS OF GOD WHO  Let us always keep in mind and REMAIN STEADFAST IN
CREATES AND SUSTAINS ALL LIFE - EMERGED FROM DEATH AS OUR TRUE FAITH knowing without any doubt or
THE GREATEST VICTOR! question, that the Lord our God ...so Loved the
When we speak of BELIEF AND GODS LOVE, we are speaking world, He gave His Only Begotten Son, so that
of Something that IS FAR MORE PROFOUND THAN whoever believes in Him should not perish but
INTELLECTUAL OR EVEN SPIRITUAL ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF have Everlasting Life. For God did not send His
GOD. Son into the world to Condemn the world, but
FAITH AND DIVINE LOVE IS OUR SINCERE COMMITMENT TO AND that the world might be Saved through Him...
PARTICIPATION IN OUR LORD GODS DIVINE LIFE. (JOHN 3:16-17).
This is what we refer to as DEIFICATION OR THEOSIS. WE MUST PROUDLY WEAR OUR CROSS, WHICH IS OUR INVINCIBLE
 St Peter the Apostle of Christ referred to it in his Epistle TROPHY, and if we need to boast about anything, we
as becoming ...Partakers of the Divine Nature... should BOAST ONLY ABOUT THE HOLY CROSS OF CHRIST.
(2 PETER 1:4). AS OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST COMMANDED US AND AS HE SHOWED US
 St Paul taught us that WE BECOME CHILDREN OF GOD BY BY HIS OWN WORDS AND DEEDS, WE MUST DENY OUR SELFISH
ADOPTION THROUGH OUR HOLY BAPTISM, AND THUS CO- DESIRES AND, EAGERLY TAKE UP OUR CROSS, AND STRIVE TO LIVE
HEIRS WITH CHRIST THROUGH OUR FULL PARTICIPATION IN IN CHRIST, PROCLAIMING AND DEMONSTRATING HIS DIVINE
HIS LIFE in the human nature He Redeemed by His TRUTH TO THIS WORLD.
Incarnation by His entry into our human nature. We must COURAGEOUSLY FOLLOW HIM, despite any problems
(EPHESIANS 1), we may encounter.
This is why our Lord Jesus Christ is referred to as the New  We must REMAIN FOCUSSED ON THE HEAVENLY KINGDOM OF
Adam. LOVE, which is OUR ULTIMATE DESTINATION, keeping in
 Our Saviour, Jesus Christ, Himself clarified His mind the Wisdom of St. Paul who proclaimed:
meaning of Belief when He emphatically told St God forbid that I should glory except in the
Nikodemos: ...Unless one is born of Water and Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by Whom the
the Spirit... (Baptism and Chrismation) ... he cannot world has been crucified to me, and I to the
enter the Kingdom of God. (JOHN 3:5). world. (GALATIANS 6:14)
 Christ our God also assured us: ...He who comes to Amen
Me shall never Hunger, and he who believes in
Me shall never Thirst. REVEREND FATHER ROBERT MICLEAN
 He said this just before proclaiming: ...Unless you eat HOLY ARCHANGELS ORTHODOX CHURCH
the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink His Blood, HTTPS://WWW.ORTHODOXANNAPOLIS.ORG

you have no Life in you. Whoever eats My Flesh

14. 14TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST BEFORE EXALTATION OF THE HOLY CROSS 10 SEPTEMBER 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.

14 September 2017
Universal Exaltation of the Holy, Life-giving Cross of Christ
Also the Feast of The Commemoration of the Holy Church Fathers of the 6th
Ecumenical Council in 680 - St John Chrysostom of Constantinople (which is
transferred to 13 November) St Makarios & St Joseph, Holy Monk Martyrs of
Dionysiou Monastery, Mount Athos St Anthimos of Iberia & Georgia

FESTAL ISODIKON EXALTATION OF THE HOLY CROSS


Ipsoute Kyrion ton Theon imon ke Proskinite to Ipopodio Exalt ye the Lord our God, and Worship at His Footstool;
ton Podon Aftou, oti Agios esti. for He is Holy!
Soson imas, Ie Theou, O SARKI STAVROTHIS, psalontas Si: Save us, O Son of God, WHO WAS CRUCIFIED IN THE FLESH,
Allilouia! who sin to Thee: Alleluia!
FESTAL APOLYTIKION OF THE EXALTATION OF THE HOLY CROSS
Soson Kyrie ton Laon Sou, ke Evlogison tin Klironomian O Lord, Save Thy People, and Bless Thine Inheritance,
Sou, Nikas tis efsevesi kata varvaron doroumenos, ke to granting Victory over enemies unto our Rulers and
Son Filatton, dia tou Stavrou Sou Politefma. [3] through Thy Cross preserving Thine Estate [3]
FESTAL KONTAKION OF THE EXALTATION OF THE HOLY CROSS
O Ipsothis en to Stavro ekousios, ti eponimo Sou keni Thou Who were lifted on the Cross voluntarily, on Thy
politia, tous iktirmous Sou Dorise, Hriste O Theos. new Commonwealth that bears Thy Name, do bestow
Evfranon en ti Dinami Sou, tous Pistous Vasilis imon, Thy Mercies, O Christ our God; gladden in Thy Mighty
Nikas horigon aftis, kata ton polemion. Tin Strength, our Faithful Rulers, granting to them
sinmmahian ehien tin Sin, Oplon Irinis, Aittiton Victories, against all the enemies, and may Thy Help in
Tropeon. battle be for them, a Weapon of Peace, and Banner
Invincible!
INSTEAD OF THE TRISAGION HYMN TONE 2
Ton Stavron Sou Proskinoumen, Despota, ke tin Agian Sou Thy Cross, O Master, we Reverence, and we Glorify Thy
Anastasin Doxazomen. Holy Resurrection.
Doxa Patri ke Io ke Agio Pnevmati, ke nin ke ai ke is Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy
tous eonas ton eonon. Spirit, now and forever, and to the ages of ages.
Amin Amen
Ke tin Agian Sou Anastasin Doxazomen And Thy Holy Resurrection we glorify
Dinamis! P R I E S T Dynamis (Power)!

Ton Stavron Sou Proskinoumen, Despota, ke tin Agian Sou Thy Cross, O Master, we Reverence, and we Glorify Thy
Anastasin Doxazomen. Holy Resurrection.
FESTAL MATINS GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST JOHN 12: 28 36
THE JUDGEMENT OF THIS WORLD THE HOLY CROSS OF CHRIST
At that time our Lord Jesus said: Father, Glorify Thy Name. A Voice came from Heaven, saying: I have both Glorified
it and will Glorify it again. The people who stood by heard it, and said that it had thundered. But others said: An
Angel has spoken to Him! Jesus answered and said: This Voice did not come because of Me, but for your sake.
Now is the Judgement of this world. Now the ruler of this world will be cast out. When I Am lifted up from the Earth,
I will draw all peoples to Myself.
(This He said, signifying by what Death He would die.)
The people answered Him: We have heard from the Law that the Christ remains forever - and how can Thou say: The
Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?
Jesus said to them: A little while longer the Light is with you. Walk while you have the Light, lest darkness overtake
you! He who walks in Darkness does not know where he is going. While you have the Light, believe in the Light,
that you may become sons of Light.
These things Jesus spoke, and departed, and was hidden from them.
GOD THE FATHERS NAME IS AN EXTENSION OF HIS PERSON GLORIFICATION and WHICH LEADS TO THE SALVATION OF
and GOD THE SON WORKS FOR THE GLORY OF THE FATHER. THE HUMAN RACE.
Therefore HIS DEATH WAS OFFERED UP TO COMPLETE THAT At the same time THE CRUCIFIXION OF CHRIST WAS A
PURPOSE AND TO SHOW OUR HEAVENLY FATHERS LOVE FOR ALL JUDGEMENT ON THE UNBELIEVING WORLD OF DARKNESS AND
MANKIND. THE ABOLITION OF THE POWER OF THE RULER OF THIS WORLD
THE DIVINE VOICE ASSURED US THAT THE DEATH OF JESUS CHRIST WHO IS SATAN.
WAS NOT HUMILIATION BUT GLORIFICATION through THE We live in a state of tension between THE VICTORY WON AND
FULFILMENT OF GODS PLAN FOR THE REDEMPTION OF THE THAT WHICH IS YET TO BE WON. [1 JOHN 2:13 & 5:4-5]
WORLD. In a Vespers Hymn for the Feast of the Exaltation of the
LIFTED UP IS A REFERENCE TO THE LIFTING UP OF CHRIST Holy Cross, we sing: Lifted High upon the Cross, O
upon the Cross, HIS CRUCIFIXION, which is HIS Master, with Thyself Thou hast raised up Adam and
the whole of fallen nature. Therefore, Exalting

UNIVERSAL EXALTATION OF THE HOLY LIFE-GIVING CROSS -14 SEPTEMBER 2017 15.
Thine Undefiled Cross, O Thou Who Lovest mankind, The crowd wanted to know the Identity of the Son of Man,
we ask Thee for Thy Strength from Above, crying: O but JESUS CHRIST CHALLENGED THEM TO COME TO THE LIGHT
God Most High, in Thy Mercy Save those who honour WHILE THERE IS STILL TIME TO BECOME CHILDREN OF LIGHT.
the Sacred Life-Giving and Divine Exaltation of Thy [NICENE CREED]
Cross. IN UNION WITH JESUS CHRIST, WE PARTAKE OF HIS LIGHT,
The theme of JESUS CHRIST AS THE LIGHT receives BECOMING CHILDREN OF LIGHT.
renewed emphasis.
FESTAL PROKEIMENON EXALTATION OF THE H O L Y C R O S S - PSALM 27 TONE (6) PLAGAL 2
Exalt the Lord our God, and Worship at His Footstool, for He is Holy!
The Lord reigns let the people rage...
THE FIRST EPISTLE OF ST PAUL TO THE CORINTHIANS 1 : 18 24
THE MESSAGE OF THE CROSS IF THE POWER OF GOD.
Brethren: the Word of the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing - to us who are being Saved, it is the Power of
God. It is written: I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.
Where are the wise? Where are the Scribes? Where are the disputers of this age? Has not God made foolish the
wisdom of this world? Since, in the Wisdom of God - the world did not know God through the Wisdom of God - it
pleased God through the foolishness of Preaching to Save those who believe.
Judeans request Signs, and Hellenes seek Wisdom - we preach Christ Crucified: to the Judeans scandalous, to the
Hellenes foolishness - to those who are Called, both Judeans and Hellenes, Christ is the Power of God and the
Wisdom of God.
THE WORD OF THE CROSS .. [IS]... FOOLISHNESS TO The Holy Cross is to be Adored, for WHEREVER THE SIGN OF
UNBELIEVERS because as St John Chrysostom THE CROSS MAY BE, THERE JESUS CHRIST WILL BE I.E. THE
explains: IT IS A MARK OF THOSE WHO PERISH NOT TO HOLY TRINITY is present.
RECOGNISE THE THINGS THAT LEAD TO SALVATION. Since CHRIST IS THE POWER AND WISDOM OF GOD THE
WE WHO BEAR WITNESS TO CHRIST MUST NOT BE DISCOURAGED FATHER - the Brightness of the Fathers Glory, the
when those outside of Him mock, for so did once even Substantial and Perfect Image of the invisible God
St Paul himself. - WHERE HE IS, THERE IS THE UNCREATED AND SAVING
Being Saved - present tense - refers to THE PROCESS GRACE OF GOD. [HEBREWS 1:3]
WHEREBY THE HOLY CROSS TRANSFORMS US WITH THE THE HOLY, LIFE-GIVING CROSS of our Lord and Saviour,
POWER OF GOD. Jesus Christ, RESTORES MANKIND TO IMMORTALITY AND
To those who request a Sign the Church offers one: STIRS UP DESIRE FOR THE THINGS OF GOD.
THE HOLY LIFE-GIVING CROSS of our Lord & Saviour,
Jesus Christ!
THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST JOHN 19: 6 - 11; 13 20 25 28 & 30 35
WE REMEMBER THE CRUCIFIXION OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST
At that time, the Chief Priests and Elders held a council against Jesus, that they might destroy Him. And they went to
Pilate, saying: Crucify! Crucify Him! Pilate said to them: You take Him and crucify Him! I find no fault in Him. The
Jews answered him: We have a Law, and according to our Law He ought to die, for He made Himself the Son of
God. When Pilate heard those words, he was all the more afraid, and went into the Praetorium again, and said to
Jesus: From where art Thou? Jesus gave him no answer. Pilate said to Him: Art Thou not speaking to me?! Dost
Thou not know that I have power to crucify Thee, and power to release Thee? Jesus answered: Thou could have
no power at all against Me unless it had been given thee from Above. Therefore he who delivered Me to thee
has the greater sin.
...When Pilate therefore heard those Words, he took Jesus out and sat down in the Judgement Seat in a place that is
called The Pavement - in Hebrew: Gabbatha. It was the Preparation Day of the Passover - about the Sixth Hour.
And he said to the Judeans: Behold your King! They cried out: Away with Him! Away with Him! Crucify Him!
Pilate said to them: Shall I crucify your King? The Chief Priests answered: We have no King but Caesar! So he
delivered Him to them to be crucified. They took Jesus and led Him away.
And bearing His Cross, He went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha. There
they crucified Him, and two others with Him - one on either side, and Jesus in the middle. Pilate wrote a title and
put it on the Cross. The writing was: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS. Then many of the Judeans read this
title, for the place was near the city where Jesus was crucified. And it was written in Hebrew, Greek and Latin...
...There stood by the Cross of Jesus His Mother, and His mothers sister, Mary, the wife of Cleopas, and Mary Magdalene.
When Jesus therefore saw His Mother, and the Disciple whom He Loved standing by, He said to His Mother,
Woman, behold Thy son! Then He said to the Disciple: Behold, Thy Mother! And from that hour that Disciple
took Her to his own home. After this, Jesus, knowing that all Things were now accomplished, that the Scripture
might be fulfilled, said: I thirst!
...When Jesus had received the sour wine, He said: It is finished! and bowing His Head, He gave up His Spirit.
The Judeans did not want the bodies to remain on the crosses on the Sabbath - being the Preparation Day - (for the
Sabbath was a High Day). They asked Pilate to have their legs broken, and that they might be taken away. Then
the Soldiers came and broke the bones of the first and of the other who was crucified with Him.
When they came to Jesus, they saw that He was already dead, so they did not break His Bones, but one of the soldiers
pierced His Side with a spear, and immediately Blood and Water poured out.
And he who has Witnessed has testified, and his Testimony is True - he knows that he speaks the Truth, so that you may
believe.
The Judean leaders convicted Jesus Christ on a [false] The Judean leaders applied hard political pressure on
charge of Blasphemy: He made Himself the Son of Pontius Pilate to gain their own sinister ends.
God. Confronted with the choice between Jesus Christ and
What they missed, of course, was THE DIVINE GOSPEL: JESUS Caesar Pontius Pilate chose his Emperor, Tiberius
CHRIST NOT ONLY CLAIMS TO BE, BUT INDEED IS THE SON OF Caesar who reigned during the years 14 - 37.
GOD! Preparation Day is the day before Passover.
ALMIGHTY GOD [THE HOLY TRINITY] CONTROLS ALL POWER. THE SYNOPTIC GOSPELS [of St Matthew, St Mark, St Luke & St
Despite all the Roman Empires forces, and the John] DATE THE CRUCIFIXION OF JESUS CHRIST ON FRIDAY,
relentless persistence of the Judean leaders, THEIR THE FIRST DAY OF THE PASSOVER.
POWER WAS PERMITTED ONLY BY GOD. Ironically THE JUDEAN LEADERSHIP REJECTED THE TRUE KING
THE ONE WHO DELIVERED JESUS CHRIST TO PONTIUS PILATE OF THE JEWS and accepted Tiberius Caesar, a
WAS, according to many interpreters, THE HIGH foreign King who ruled Palestine as a result of
PRIEST CAIAPHAS; however, the phrase may even conquest.
refer to JUDAS ISCARIOT. In their blind hatred for Jesus Christ, THEY DENIED THE
ESSENTIAL ELEMENT OF THEIR NATIONS HOPES.

16. UNIVERSAL EXALTATION OF THE HOLY LIFE-GIVING CROSS -14 SEPTEMBER 2017
CRUCIFIXION WAS THE METHOD OF EXECUTION USED BY THE HIS SALVIFIC DEATH ON THE CROSS HAS RECONCILED
ROMANS in capital punishment involving rebellious MANKIND TO GOD not by satisfying our Heavenly
slaves and THE WORST POSSIBLE CRIMINALS. Fathers need for blood-justice as some
By addressing the Ever Blessed Theotokos as Woman erroneously believe, but by CAUSING EVERY ASPECT OF
OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST USED A TERM OF DIGNITY AND OUR CORRUPT HUMAN NATURE TO BECOME TRANSFORMED,
AFFECTION. REGENERATED AND RENEWED for whatever Divinity
Note THREE IMPORTANT TRUTHS concerning His Mother. touches is Healed and Restored.
In saying to the Disciple whom [He] Loved - St John the OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST ACCEPTED OUR HUMAN NATURE IN ORDER
Evangelist - behold Thy Mother:
TO SANCTIFY IT AND He accepted OUR HUMAN WEAKNESS IN
ORDER TO MAKE US STRONG.
1. CHRIST SYMBOLICALLY ESTABLISHED THE THEOTOKOS ROLE AS
THE MOTHER OF ALL FAITHFUL DISCIPLES - OF THE ENTIRE
Furthermore, although He Himself is absolutely sinless
CHRISTIAN CHURCH. (unable to commit sin!) HE VOLUNTARILY TOOK ON THE
GREAT BURDEN OF OUR SINS IN ORDER TO SET US FREE FROM
2. IF THE THEOTOKOS HAD HAD OTHER CHILDREN, JESUS CHRIST
OUR ENSLAVEMENT AND DEATH.
WOULD NOT HAVE PLACED HER UNDER THE PROTECTION AND
CARE OF ST JOHN.
Our Lord Jesus Christ suffered in order TO TRANSFIGURE OUR
HUMAN SUFFERING and HE ENTERED DEATH IN ORDER TO
3. THE CHURCHS TEACHING CONCERNING THE THEOTOKOS
DESTROY IT. (REFER 1 CORINTHIANS 15:20-28)
ETERNAL VIRGINITY IS RATIFIED BY CHRISTS ACTION.
OUR SAVIOUR GAVE UP HIS SPIRIT WILLINGLY, for even
I thirst, expresses the Truth that THE INCARNATE SON OF being Crucified, HE CHOSE THE HOUR OF HIS DEATH, for
GOD the Son of Man ASSUMED OUR COMPLETE IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE FOR ANY HUMAN BEING OR EVIL SPIRIT
HUMAN NATURE including the need to quench His TO TAKE HIS LIFE FROM HIM, AGAINST THE DIVINE WILL OF
thirst. ALMIGHTY GOD!!
WE NEED BOTH THE MUNDANE AND THE EXTRAORDINARY, SPIRITUAL Our Lord Jesus Christ accepted His Death by
WATER TO QUENCH OUR PHYSICAL AND ESPECIALLY OUR Crucifixion NOT IN ORDER TO RECEIVE ANY SO-CALLED DIVINE
SPIRITUAL THIRST. PUNISHMENT ON OUR BEHALF, NOR TO SATISFY A NEED FOR
 PSALM 21:16: My Strength is dried up like an earthen BLOOD-JUSTICE, which is not what our Almighty,
vessel; My Tongue cleaves to My Throat and Thou Benevolent and Loving God requires at all!
led Me into the Dust of Death... Our Lord accepted His Death so that BY ENTERING
The term finished, is better translated as DEATH AS THE DIVINE SON OF GOD THE FATHER, HE COULD
accomplished or fulfilled. Our Lord did not DESTROY THAT ENEMY OF MANKIND DEATH ITSELF!!
mean that His Life was ended, but rather that HIS St Cyril of Alexandria commented: Observe: no sooner
DIVINE PLAN OF SALVATION FOR ALL MANKIND HAS BEEN had Christ endured His Passion on the Cross for our
COMPLETED. sakes, when He began to win many unto the
... bowing His Head, He gave up His Spirit... Knowledge of the Truth.
according to St John Chrysostom means that OUR The Blood and Water that poured from our Saviours
LORD JESUS DID NOT DIE FIRST, with His Head falling as Body shows THE REALITY OF THE GREAT HOLY
a result of Death, but that BEING LORD EVEN OF HIS MYSTERIES.
OWN LIFE AND DEATH, CHRIST FIRST BOWED HIS HEAD, AND  THE WATER REFERS TO OUR HOLY BAPTISM, which is our
THEN VOLUNTARILY GAVE UP HIS SPIRIT AND ENTERED PARTICIPATION IN CHRISTS LIFE-GIVING DEATH. (ROMANS
DEATH. 3: 6 11)
Our Lord Jesus Christ did not have His Life taken IN THE HOLY MYSTERY OF EUCHARIST/COMMUNION WE RECEIVE
from Him, but WILLINGLY COMMITTED HIS SPIRIT TO GOD OUR LORDS LIFE-GIVING BLOOD ... drinking from His very
OUR HEAVENLY FATHER. Side. (ST JOHN CHRYSOSTOM)
HIS SOUL WAS THE FIRST HUMAN SOUL NOT IMPRISONED IN HADES  It is literally THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS AND THE
but freely given into the Hands of God our Heavenly REGENERATION OF MANKIND THAT POURED OUT OF OUR
Father. LORD JESUS CHRISTS SIDE.
HAVING SMASHED OPEN THE IMPRISONING GATES OF HADES,
OUR LORD JESUS FREED ALL HUMANITY FROM THE BONDS
AND SHACKLES OF DEATH.
THE UNIVERSAL EXALTATION OF THE HOLY LIFE-GIVING CROSS
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Lord God as much and as properly as we should, He
Holy Spirit... is always Merciful to us.
Beloved Brethren in Christ, Today we celebrate the St Constantine the Great had a Vision of a Cross and
joyful Feast of the Universal Exaltation of the heard a Heavenly Voice say: By this Sign conquer!
Precious and Life Giving Holy Cross. and so he was indeed Victorious!
It is the commemoration of the finding of the True Cross We, too, will neither conquer nor be Victorious until we
of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, by St Helena, keep the Holy Cross in our heart and as our
the Righteous Empress and mother of St Constantine Protection against evil.
the Great. With crosses painted on their shields and on their
Having finally located the cave beneath a Roman banners, the warriors of St Constantine were
temple that had been constructed over the site of subsequently able to defeat their formidable
Golgotha (to hide that Holy Site that included our enemies.
Lords Tomb), St Helena and her Faithful group We have to Elevate and Exalt the Holy Cross of our Lord
found the precious Cross of our Lord, together with Jesus Christ in order to overcome any type of barrier
the crosses of the two thieves crucified with Him, against our Sacred Mission.
(and the relevant notice board, stating our Lords Although there may be very few Orthodox Communities
crime. in our country or region, we are certainly important
However, being unable to determine which was the to our Lord God as His Faithful Disciples who eagerly
Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, St Makarios the and ceaselessly Struggle in His Divine Footsteps.
Patriarch of Jerusalem touched each of the cross Our Lord encourages us and urges us: ... Fear not, little
bars to a dying person who was instantly Healed Flock (LUKE 12:32).
and restored to full health as soon as the Life-giving We are neither forbidden, nor ignored by Him, ... For
Cross of Christ touched her. whoever touches you, touches the apple of His
With overwhelming Joy and Thanksgiving, everyone Eye. (ZECHARIAH 2:8)
went to behold and venerate that great Instrument Therefore we must not be afraid, for we are still the
of Redemption in Jerusalem, spontaneously People of God - even though we are very small
repeating the Prayer: Kyrie, eleison! Lord, have communities, for whom our Orthodox Brethren in
mercy! and even louder, each time Patriarch Christ are ceaselessly praying, which is why Gods
Makarios lifted the Cross up high for all to see. Grace is always upon us.
Although we may be confronted by many obstacles Today on the occasion of the Feast of the Universal
and problems that prevent us from worshipping our Exaltation of the Precious and Life Giving Holy Cross,
I beseech each and every one of you to faithfully

UNIVERSAL EXALTATION OF THE HOLY LIFE-GIVING CROSS -14 SEPTEMBER 2017 17.
follow our Lord Jesus Christ, and to live according to When we have Divine Authority, we fulfill the only the
the Way of the Cross. Divine Will of our Lord God, but without It, we only
When we commit ourselves to following our Lord Jesus fulfill our fleshly desires.
Christ by fulfilling a Life of Love, we are able to The Holy Cross guards the whole Earth. It is the Beauty
know His Divine Peace. of the Holy Church of Christ and the Power of our
The Holy Cross may at first seem to be merely a Sign of Right-believing Rulers.
defeat, but instead, it is a Glorious Sign of our willing The Cross is the Support and Strength of Faithful
submission to God! Disciples of Christ and the Glory of the Heavenly
The Holy Cross of Christ our Saviour is the Victorious Sign Hosts, that wounds and repels the evil one and his
of a Life offered up for the sake of others - of a Holy demons!
Life of unselfish sacrifice and Love! We must take up our Cross and sacrifice ourselves for
Our Lord Jesus Christ died for us out of His infinite Divine the sake of others instead of making ourselves
Love for all mankind. obstacles for others!
We behold that boundless Love of God when we look to St Ephraim the Syrian wrote: ...The Cross abolished
the Holy Cross and Him Who pours out His Divine, idolatrous adulation, Enlightened the whole
Perfect Love upon us. Universe, gathered all the Nations into one Church
Today, all of us who look to the Holy Cross of our Loving and United them with Love.
Redeemer, lift up our heart and mind to touch the The Cross is the Resurrection of the dead... the Hope of
Life-giving, Holy Cross that the world could not Christians... the Staff for the lame... Comfort for the
touch! poor.... the Deposing of the proud... the Hope of
Today, we receive that Self-giving Love of God, Who those who despair.
grants us His indescribable Divine Peace and Joy! The Cross is Food for the sailors... Haven for the
As St John explained, this is why ...the folly of the bestormed... the Father for orphans... is Consolation
Cross confounds the wise... and achieves for those who mourn... the Protector of children...
everything that they cannot! the Glory of mankind... the Crown of Elders.
For although the wise may be able to influence our The Cross is Light for those sitting in Darkness...
mind, only the Holy Cross of Christ can humble and Freedom for slaves, Wisdom for the ignorant... the
Heal our mind, rectify our free will and change our Preaching of Prophets, the Fellow-traveller of
heart and soul! Apostles.
For so many profound reasons, the Holy Cross of Christ The Cross is the Chastity of maidens, the joy of Priests...
is ...a stumbling block to the powerful... as It the Foundation of the Church, the Establishment of
grants us an Eternal Treasure that neither rusts nor the Universe.
decomposes, which thieves cannot take by force. The Cross is the Destruction of idolatrous temples,
We venerate and exalt the Holy Cross of Christ because temptation for Jews... the Cleansing of the lepers,
It was the means whereby our Lord Jesus the Rehabilitation of the enfeebled... Bread for the
accomplished our Eternal Salvation and showed us hungry, a Fountain for the thirsty... the Good Hope of
the depth of His Lovesomething which no one can Monks, Clothing for the naked.
take from us, and which will outlast this created, By this Holy Armour of the Cross, Christ our Lord has
temporary world. terminated the all-consuming bowels of Hades and
As Disciples of Christ who have chosen the Way of the blocked the many snares in the mouth of the devil.
Cross, how can we know if we are actually Living in Having seen the Cross, Death trembled and released
Christ - according to His Divine Truth, His Teachings everyone whom it possessed with the first creature.
and His Commandments? Armed with the Cross, the God-bearing Apostles
How we sacrifice ourselves and offer our life for others subdued all the power of the enemy and caught all
may be difficult to explain. peoples in their dragnets, and gathered them for
If we want to live according to Christs Teachings, we the worship of the One Crucified.
must constantly examine ourselves and be ever Vested with the Cross as Holy Armour, the Martyrs of
alert and Spiritually Watchful, so that we can correct Christ trampled all the plans of torturers and
ourselves and Repent our sins that prevent us from preached with plainness the Divine Cross-Bearer.
making good Spiritual Progress. Having taken up the Cross for the sake of Christ,
If we cannot sacrifice our own desires and needs for the those who renounced everything in the world settled
sake of others as our Lord Jesus Christ did for us, it in deserts and on mountains, in caves and became
shows us that we do not possess the greatest Holy the Fasters of the Earth.
Virtue of Love (Agape) which is unconditional and But what language is worthy to praise the Cross, this
unselfish like the Love of God that we receive from Invincible Wall of the Orthodox, this Victorious
Him! Armour of the Heavenly King?! By the Cross the
Spoiled, selfish people who live only for themselves will Almighty One bestowed Unspeakable Blessings on
not share anything with others, and due to their humanity!
egoism, such people are unloved, despised and Therefore, on the forehead, the eyes, the mouth, and
hated by others. Sadly, their life is wasted and they the breast let us place the Life-giving Cross. Let us
have lost the opportunity to acquire Eternal arm them with the Invincible Armour of Christians,
Blessings of Great Joy and Love. with this Hope of the Faithful, with this Gentle Light.
When we live in Christ and for Christ, we Save ourselves Let us open Paradise with this Armour, with this Support
and one another, and we are thereby granted of the Orthodox Faith, with this Saving Praise of the
Eternal Life in the Heavenly Kingdom. However, if Church... let us not forget the Cross, nor let us begin
we live only for ourselves, we will ultimately lose our to do anything without It...
life! Beloved Brethren in Christ, Let us take up our Holy Cross,
Our Lord Jesus Christ told us clearly and concisely: and Rejoice and Exalt in It, for - through the Power of
...Whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but Christ It is the Holy Sign of our Salvation!
whoever loses their life for Me will Save it. (MATTHEW Let us beseech our Lord Jesus Christ: Save, O Lord, and
10:39 & 16:25) have Mercy on our country, and on all Thine
In other words, those who waste this short life-span in Orthodox Disciples throughout the world, and on all
self-indulgence by doing only what is self-pleasing those who have authority over us.
or self-preserving, will neither know the joy of All Glory, Honour and Worship, to the Father, and to
unselfish sharing - of ourselves or whatever others the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever,
may need - , with unconditional Love that bestows unto the Ages of Ages. Amen.
innumerable Blessings in return, which especially, Glory to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy
grants us Eternal Salvation Everlasting Life in Spirit, Amen
Christ.
Egocentric people do not understand the Power or (FATHER POLYCARP- (DR. ROHAN R. NEHAMAIYAH) - CHURCH OF INDIA -
significance of the Precious Life Giving Holy Cross (RUSSIAN ORTHODOX MISSION IN INDIA) -
and the Authority of our Lord God... http://www.pravoslavie.ru/86451.html

18. 1 5 T H S U N D A Y A F T E R P E N T E C O S T A F T E R THE EXALTATION OF THE HOLY CROSS 17 SEPTEMBER 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 (6) Plagal 2 17 September 2017


15th Sunday After Pentecost After Exaltation of the Holy Cross
TAKING UP OUR CROSS & FOLLOWING CHRIST

The Feast of St Sophia, St Faith/Pisteos, St Hope/Elpidos & St Charity/Agapis of Rome St Theodota


of Nicea St Agathocleia St Peleos, St Nilos the Bishops of Egypt, St Zeno, St Pateruthios & St Elias
the Presbyters & 151 Holy Martyrs of Palestine The Holy Icons of our Lady, Theotokos, of
Constantinople & of Makariev

RESURRECTION GOSPEL 4- LUKE 24 : 1 - 12

RESURRECTION APOLYTIKION TONE (6) PLAGAL 2


Angelike Dinamis epi to Mnima Sou ke i filassontes The Angelic Powers were in Thy Tomb, and the guards
apenekrothisan. Ke istato Maria en to tafo, zitousa to became as dead men, and Mary stood by the Tomb
ahranton Sou Soma. Eskilevsas ton Adin, mi pirasthis ip seeking Thy Most Pure Body. Thou led captive Hades,
aftou. Ipintisas ti Partheno, Doroumenos tin Zoin. O yet were not tempted thereby: Thou Who art the
Anastas ek to nekron, Kyrie,  Doxa Si. Bestower of Life came to meet the Woman. O Lord,
Who Rose again from the dead, Glory to Thee!
SEASONAL KONTAKION - EXALTATION OF THE HOLY CROSS
O ipsothis en to Stavro ekousios, ti eponimo Sou keni Thou Who were lifted on the Cross voluntarily, on Thy
politia, tous iktirmous sou dorise Hriste O Theos; new commonwealth that bears Thy Name, do Thou
efranon en ti dinami sou, tous pistous Vasilis imon, bestow Thy Mercies, O Christ our God; gladden in Thy
nikas horigon aftis, kata ton polemion; tin simmahian mighty Strength, our faithful Rulers, granting to them
ehien tin sin, opion irinis aittiton tropeon. victories, against all the enemies and may Thy help in
battle be for them: a Weapon of Peace, and Banner
Invincible!
PROKEIMENON PSALM 103/104 TONE 4
O Lord, Thy Works shall be greatly magnified; Thou made all things in Wisdom.
Bless the Lord, O my soul. O Lord, my God: Thou art exceedingly Magnified.
THE EPISTLE OF ST PAUL TO THE GALATIANS 2 : 16 - 20
THE SOURC E OF FAITH IS OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR, JESUS C HRIST
Brethren, knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law, but by the Faith of Jesus Christ, even we have
believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be Justified by the Faith of Christ, and not by the works of the Law; for by
the works of the Law no flesh shall be Justified.
If, while we seek to be Justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found to be sinners, is therefore Christ the Minister of
sin? God forbid! If I build again the things that I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. I through the Law
died to the Law, that I might Live in God.
With Christ I am crucified. Nevertheless, I live! Christ Lives in me! The Life in the flesh, I Live in the Faith of the Son
of God, Who Loves me, and Who gave Himself for me.
ST PAUL GIVES THE CONTENT OF THE TRUE GOSPEL by WHOSE NAMES AND BY WHOSE POWER AND AUTHORITY WE
contrasting it with the false doctrines of the Judaizers. ARE BAPTISED AND CHRISMATED.
THE SOURCE OF JUSTIFICATION IS FAITH, not the works of the GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT GRANTS US HIS POWER AND ENERGY FOR THE
Old Covenant Law. ONGOING LIFE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS IN CHRIST the
Works of the Law deal with mankind in our fallen state wonderful Life of Blessing, Great Mercy and infinite
in our corrupted state (i.e. a state of Spiritual Death) Love.
FAITH CRUCIFIES OUR CORRUPT CONDITION AND DEALS WITH OUR THE ANCIENT PATRIARCH ABRAHAM IS OUR HOLY FATHER OF FAITH
NEW BEING IN CHRIST (i.e. we abandon our old, fallen, AND OF THE BLESSINGS OF GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT.
corrupt nature and take on a Regenerated, New and However, the Judaizers, who have based their
Sanctified nature in Christ at our Baptism and Righteousness on the works of the Law, have
Chrismation.) received Condemnation not the Blessings of the
Works of the Old Covenant Law begin with mankinds Holy Spirit!
actions, while FAITH BEGINS WITH GODS DIVINE ACTIONS. THE STATUS CONFERRED BY RIGHTEOUSNESS IS HOLY SONSHIP, for
EVERY WORK OF FAITH IS THE COMBINED ACTION OF GOD AND US, WE BECOME ADOPTED CHILDREN OF GOD THROUGH OUR UNION
for it is AN ESSENTIAL SYNERGY a Holy Cooperation WITH GOD INCARNATE.
between us and God between Divine Will and THE SOURCE OF SONSHIP IS GOD not humanity.
human will. SONSHIP IS A DIVINE PROMISE not achieved by human
THIS FAITH AND THESE ACTIONS HAVE THEIR SOURCE AND deeds and it is ATTAINABLE ONLY BY OUR FAITH not by
FULFILMENT IN GOD in our Lord and Saviour, Jesus our works not by any effort we may make.
Christ. GOD INTRODUCED THE WORKS OF THE LAW IN ORDER TO PROTECT
WE EXPERIENCE THIS AMAZING FAITH AND THESE ACTIONS HUMANITY against the evil wiles of the devil and his
THROUGH OUR UNION WITH THE HOLY TRINITY the Will demons, who ceaselessly plot our Spiritual Death and
of God the Father, through God the Son and by destruction.
the Power and Energy of God the Holy Spirit IN

CONCEPTION OF ST JOHN THE BAPTIST & FORERUNNER TO CHRIST OUR SAVIOUR 23 SEPTEMBER 2017 19.
The Old Covenant Laws were to protect us until the time St Paul destroyed THE WORKS OF THE LAW in the sense that
of Divine Sonship when our Union with the Eternal, they PROVED TO BE INEFFECTUAL FOR OUR ETERNAL
Only Begotten Son of God became possible. SALVATION.
THE PURPOSE OF HOLY SONSHIP IS FOR US TO BECOME GODLIKE The real transgressors are those who try to reinstate the
AND TO ENTER HEAVEN. Old Covenant Law.
Faith in Christ is parallel to the works of the Law and can WE DIE THROUGH THE LAW not bypassing or dishonouring
be translated as the Faith of Jesus Christ, which is it, but by RECOGNISING THAT IT IS HOLY; that WE DESERVE
the Holy Gospel. ITS CONSEQUENCE, WHICH IS DEATH.
As the Source of works is the Law, so THE SOURCE OF FAITH WE VOLUNTARILY DIE TO THE LAW THROUGH OUR DEATH WITH
IS CHRIST His Beliefs, His Trust, His Obedience that CHRIST, for being crucified with Him through our Holy
Justifies us , not our Faith as such. Baptism, WE COME ALIVE TO THE DIVINE, ETERNAL LAW OF
CHRISTS FAITH IS SEEN IN HIS ENTIRE LIFE ON EARTH, not in THE HOLY SPIRIT, which Perfects the intention of the Old
merely a few of His crucial Works. Covenant Law.
WE ARE JUSTIFIED BY CHRIST AND IN CHRIST, for our THERE IS NO CONTRADICTION BETWEEN THE OLD COVENANT LAW
Justification is not simply legal but actual effected AND THE NEW COVENANT GOSPEL, FOR THE LAW IS ... HOLY
BY OUR REAL, PERSONAL UNION WITH CHRIST IN HIS GLORIFIED AND JUST AND GOOD... (ROMANS 7:12)
HUMAN NATURE. However, the Law is weak and obsolete for it is Fulfilled
The fact that we can still be sinners clearly shows that in the Holy Gospel in our Lord and Saviour, Jesus
THIS HOLY UNION NEVER TAKES AWAY OUR FREE WILL and it Christ, Himself! (ROMANS 8 : 3 & HEBREWS 8 : 13)
also explains how some chose to defect to Judaism.
THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST MARK 8 : 34 9 : 1
OUR LORD JESUS CHRISTS FIRST PROPH ECY OF HIS PASSION
At that time, our Lord Jesus said: ...whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his Cross,
and follow Me. Whoever desires to save his life will lose it. Whoever loses his life for My sake, and the Gospels,
will Save it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his soul? Or what will a man give
in exchange for his soul?
Whoever is ashamed of Me and My Words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be
ashamed of him when He comes in the Glory of His Father with the Holy Angels.
And He said to them: Truly, I say to you: there are some standing here who will not taste Death until they see the
Kingdom of God present with Power!
THE CROSS, which was a most dreaded instrument of the However, BY SACRIFICING EVERYTHING OF THIS TEMPORARY
cruellest Roman torture and execution, NOW SYMBOLISES WORLD, WE GAIN PRICELESS ETERNAL RICHES AND
THE SUFFERING OF ALL CHRISTIANS IN IMITATION OF CHRIST, AS BLESSINGS that are far beyond anything we could
WE NAIL OUR SINFUL LIFESTYLE TO HIS CROSS and after possible imagine!! (1 CORINTHIANS 2 : 9 )
entering Death together with Him, we are WHAT WOULD ANY OF US GIVE IN EXCHANGE FOR OUR IMMORTAL
triumphantly Resurrected with Him as Regenerated SOUL?
and Spiritually Renewed beings. This question emphasises THE UTTER FOOLISHNESS OF TRYING
WE PRACTISE SELF-DENIAL AND PERSONAL SACRIFICE FOR THE TO ACCUMULATE WORLDLY POSSESSIONS AND POWER for NONE
SAKE OF OUR LOVE OF GOD, HIS HOLY GOSPEL AND FOR OF IT CAN REDEEM OUR FALLEN SOUL NOR BENEFIT US IN THE
OUR FELLOW STRUGGLING SINNERS who accompany us LIFE TO COME.
on the long, Narrow Path towards Eternity. ... some... will not taste Death until they see the
ACCEPTING THIS SUFFERING IS NOT A PUNISHMENT, NOR IS IT AN Kingdom of God present with Power! is a
END IN ITSELF, BUT A MEANS OF OVERCOMING THE FALLEN reference to the THREE HOLY APOSTLES OF CHRIST WHO
WORLD for the sake of the Kingdom of God and in order WOULD WITNESS HIS TRANSFIGURATION ON MOUNT TABOR.
to crucify the demands of our sinful flesh with its IT ALSO REFERS TO FUTURE GENERATIONS WHO WILL EXPERIENCE THE
passions and self-indulgent desires.. GLORIOUS PRESENCE OF GODS ETERNAL KINGDOM.
The central paradox of Christian Living is that IN GRASPING
FOR TEMPORAL THINGS, WE LOSE THE ETERNAL TREASURES.
15TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST SUNDAY AFTER THE EXALTATION OF THE HOLY, LIFE-GIVING CROSS OF CHRIST
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the MADE RIGHTEOUS - to ACT IN AN UPRIGHT, MORAL, AND
Holy Spirit... VIRTUOUS MANNER.
Dear Brethren, There is a story about a Monk who "Works of the Law" is a reference TO THE OLD COVENANT
despaired of the Cross God had given him and MOSAIC LAW - THE DIVINE LAW OF GOD, which was
complained of it constantly, until God finally relented carved onto stone tablets and presented to St Moses,
and offered him a chance to select a different Cross. the ancient Patriarch, by God Himself, on Mount Sinai.
He led the Monk into a room filled with many different (EXODUS 20FF).
Crosses from which to choose. The Monk was THE ORIGINAL OLD COVENANT LAW CONSISTED OF THE TEN DIVINE
appalled at what he saw - huge Crosses, bloody COMMANDMENTS OF GOD THAT INSTRUCTED THE ISRAELITES
Crosses, Crosses with nails... the variety was endless. ON HOW TO RELATE TO GOD AND TO EACH OTHER.
He walked slowly through the room before he noticed a It revealed the difference between good and evil, and
small, shining silver cross almost hidden from sight by functioned as a Holy Guide that would lead them to
all the other Crosses. He took it and held it up saying the Divine Messiah our Lord Jesus Christ.
to our Lord, "I will take this Cross!" whereupon he was The Hebrew Legalizers added other Laws that pertained to
told: That is the Cross I gave you! Ritualistic Cleansing, Diet and Worship, as well as to
Do we EMBRACE THE UNIQUE CROSS THAT GOD HAS GIVEN TO EACH social behaviour that had nothing to do with mankinds
OF US TO CARRY, or do we try to take our Salvation or Spiritual Healing and Salvation.
Justification into our own hands? The Old Covenant Law and the Holy Prophets of God
Do we think we can SEEK AND ENTER THE HEAVENLY KINGDOM prepared the Chosen People of God for the Divine
without God's Help or Guidance? Messiah, but when our Lord Jesus Christ had fulfilled all
Our Lord Jesus Christ tells us very clearly: ...Whoever their Laws and Prophecies according to His Incarnation
desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and His human Nature - He revealed His Holy Gospel of the
take up his Cross and follow Me." New Covenant that Heals, Restores, Renews and
Similar to the aforementioned Monk, we may not want Transforms all mankind and grants us Eternal Salvation.
the Cross we have been given, or perhaps we think mp
we know a better way than the Way OUR LORD JESUS IS
The term "Faith in Christ" should be understood as "Faith
LEADING US TOWARDS ETERNITY.
of Christ," which is THE ABSOLUTE TRUST IN AND OBEDIENCE
This relates to St Paul's Epistle to the Galatians, when he
TO GOD THE FATHER, of our Lord Jesus - especially
pointed out the Truth that we are ...not Justified by
leading up to and including His crucifixion and
the works of the Law but by Faith in Jesus Christ."
Death.
(GALATIANS 2:16)
Reflected in many of his Epistles, St Paul addressed the
In Holy Scripture, the word "Justify" is more accurately
problem of ...Judaizers... in the early Church, who
translated "Righteous." So to be ...Justified... is to be
20. 1 5 T H S U N D A Y A F T E R P E N T E C O S T A F T E R THE EXALTATION OF THE HOLY CROSS 17 SEPTEMBER 2017
had accepted Christ as the Divine Messiah, but who When we dare to think or try to become Righteous in
demanded that male converts had to be circumcised order to enter His Heavenly Kingdom WITHOUT LIVING IN
and follow THE JEWISH DIETARY AND CLEANSING LAWS, CHRIST WITHOUT FULFILLING THE HOLY LIFE OF HIS CHURCH,
which HAD BEEN NECESSARY FOR HEALTH AND PROCREATION THE BODY OF CHRIST WE REVEAL OUR REJECTION AND SHAME
REASONS, especially while sojourning in the wilderness OF CHRIST AND HIS DIVINE TRUTH! (MARK 8:38).
all those years. The Prayer of St Philaret, Metropolitan of Moscow, who
The Crucifixion of Christ was the ultimate and Eternal lived in the 19th century, expresses the attitude and
Fulfilment of the Blood Sacrifice for mankinds sins. Thus disposition we should have towards God:
Blood Sacrifices for our sins were no longer required by O God, grant me
God Who, according to His New Covenant, requires only to greet the coming day in Peace.
our Bloodless Sacrifice of the Holy Mystery of Eucharist, Help me in all things
which was instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ. mp to rely upon Thy Divine Will.
In every hour of the day
So how does all of the above relate to us more than 2,000 reveal Thy Will to me.
years later? We no longer have the problem of Bless my dealings with all who surround me
Judaizers but WE STILL HAVE THE PROBLEM OF THOSE WHO and teach me to treat all who come to me
THINK THAT THEIR RIGHTEOUSNESS OR JUSTIFICATION APART throughout the day with Peace of soul
FROM CHRIST CAN DO THEM ANY GOOD. and firm conviction that Thy Will governs all things.
How often do we think that because yesterday we did a In all my words and deeds
good deed, we prayed, we fasted, etc, it is guide my thoughts and feelings.
unnecessary to do so today, or that we attended the In unforeseen events
Divine Liturgy and partook of the Holy Eucharist last let me not forget that all things are under Thy Care.
week, so we can skip Church this week! Teach me to act firmly and wisely
WE MUST NOT THINK THAT BECAUSE WE CONFESS OUR SINS TO GOD without embittering or embarrassing others.
IN PRIVATE DURING OUR PERSONAL PRAYERS THAT WE HAVE NO Grant me Strength to bear
NEED TO GO TO OUR SPIRITUAL FATHER FOR THE HOLY MYSTERY the fatigue of the coming day
OF REPENTANCE-CONFESSION or that having received with all that it shall bring.
Holy Communion during Holy Week, we can skip Direct my will.
doing so until next year! Teach me to pray.
AN EVEN FAR MORE DANGEROUS SIN IS TO CONVINCE OURSELVES Pray Thyself in me.
THAT BECAUSE WE MAY HAVE FULFILLED SOME OR ALL OUR
May we all now better understand that TO LOSE OUR LIFE
SACRED DUTIES, WE CAN RELAX AND SIN A LITTLE
FOR CHRIST AND HIS HOLY GOSPEL IS EXPRESSED WHEN WE
BECAUSE WE DESERVE OR EARNED IT!
DENY OURSELVES from what we want - or what we think
Unfortunately, by even thinking such thoughts, WE ARE
is best. (MARK 8:34-35).
TAKING OUR SPIRITUAL LIFE INTO OUR OWN HANDS INSTEAD OF
May we all realise that TAKING UP OUR CROSS IS TO BE
PLACING OUR FAITH IN OUR LORD GOD OR BEING HUMBLY
CRUCIFIED WITH CHRIST.
OBEDIENT TO HIM, thereby strengthening our Holy
And finally, may we know that TO PLACE OUR COMPLETE
Relationship and our immortal soul!
TRUST IN GOD IS TO HAVE THE FAITH OF CHRIST so that "...it
In order to BECOME RIGHTEOUS BY THE FAITH OF CHRIST, we
is no longer I who live, but Christ Who Lives in me!"
must commit ourselves to the best of our ability to
(GALATIANS 2:20)
IMITATE OUR DIVINE TEACHERS ABSOLUTE TRUST IN AND
HUMBLE OBEDIENCE TO GOD THE FATHER. FATHER RICHARD DEMETRIUS ANDREWS
BARGAINING WITH GOD by using our Righteous Actions as ST GEORGE GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH ST PAUL, MNNESOTA
leverage, IS THE SAME SINFUL ATTITUDE AND BEHAVIOUR AS IS THE PASTOR OF ST. GEORGE GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH IN ST. PAUL,
THOSE OF THE ANCIENT JUDAIZERS WHO PUT THEIR FAITH IN MINNESOTA, USA - HTTP://WWW.ORTHODOXYTODAY.ORG
THEIR WORKS RATHER THAN IN ALMIGHTY GOD.
SPIRITUAL DECEPTION - TAKING STOCK OF OUR STRUGGLE
THE ISSUE OF SPIRITUAL DECEPTION IS MOST IMPORTANT FOR THOSE They ...espouse a certain nuance: that between false
WHO SEEK UNION WITH GOD. self-love and true self-love, with one being bound by
WE ARE ENGAGED IN A PERPETUAL SPIRITUAL STRUGGLE flaws and problems, and the other being authentic
SPIRITUAL WARFARE - in a deceptive world that and exalted we experience a ...direct call for self-
always tries to convince us that there is not really assessment and change so that the false self being
a Struggle, and nothing to fear. lived at present can be shed in favour of the true
Without a doubt, THE OVERRIDING SPIRITUAL CHALLENGE we all self, which is the ready object of love.
face today IS MISPLACED GOALS BASED ON A LIMITED VISION The ...true self one aims to discover and love through
EMBEDDED IN THE NORMS OF OUR SECULAR SOCIETY. shedding such false selves is still one defined by ones
We seek self-satisfaction and self-justification. We attend will and desires.
seminars, watch TV shows, surf internet sites, and read The ...root of both is the same: satisfaction gained
deceptive books that tell us to examine ourselves and through contentment in self, as defined by the self.
our circumstances, but only for the purpose of This ongoing quest of self-satisfaction is the result of a
discovering HOW TO BE HAPPY AND CONTENT WITH secular world view where ...one sees the world, and
OURSELVES. the human life within it, primarily or wholly, in terms
We are constantly encouraged to examine ourselves - TO of the things of this ageof worldly visions
BECOME OUR TRUE SELF - living in a world where THE separated from the Theological Vision of the
PRIMARY FOCUS IS EGOCENTRIC AND SELF-EVALUATION OF OUR Church... that aims at Gods Kingdom.
WELL BEING which is BASED MAINLY ON THE The current world ...sees sin more and more as an
EXISTENTIALISTIC AND ...simplistic belief that one can outdated conviction of moral behaviour; demons as
be whatever one wishes to be, however one wishes old-fashioned
to be it, so long as one does not harm others. We ...describe the world one knows to be simply
This cunning and fraudulent concept is utterly egotistic, selfish psychological factors; Heaven and Hell as
and destructive to ourselves and to others for it feeds outmoded myths aimed at enforcing moral
personal desires in an undisciplined and dangerous codes. thereby DENYING THE DEMONIC FORCES
manner!! that are at play.
We fail to generally recognize that the ...world is the
The ...goal of all our self-examination seems to be the
Work of a Creator, that it is the venue of growth for
discovery of the me with whom to be happy and
a creature who has an opponent in that growth,
satisfied.
that it is moving toward Judgment, Redemption
This orientation is also embedded in the New Age and
and Renewal. Without these things, the impetus
Self-Help movement: ...These programs still orbit
for a call to genuine change into the Sanctifying
around the central point of self-satisfaction and
Life of the Creator is easily lost. This mentality is
contentment with the self. often they do involve
a deception and a trap to the Christian.
calls to change and transformation

CONCEPTION OF ST JOHN THE BAPTIST & FORERUNNER TO CHRIST OUR SAVIOUR 23 SEPTEMBER 2017 21.
St Basil the Great severely warns us: ...Be attentive to WE MUST REFOCUS OUR VISION from the pleasures of this world
yourself That is, observe yourself carefully from TO GODS KINGDOM AND HIS DIVINE EKONOMIA
every side. Let the eye of your soul be sleepless DISPENSATION, for our Lord Jesus Christ urged us to
to guard you. You walk in the midst of snares. ...Seek first the Kingdom of God and His
Hidden traps have been set by the enemy in Righteousness, and all these things will be added to
many places. Therefore, observe everything, that you. (MATTHEW 6:33).
you may be saved like a gazelle from traps and St John Chrysostom explained that our Divine Saviour
like a bird from snares. (DEUTERONOMY 15:9 - SIRACH 9:13 ...came to do away with the Old Things, and to Call
& PROVERBS 6:5) us to a Greater Country.
In today's world, ...the overarching goal is now. The Therefore He does everything to Deliver us from things
human being is to instigate whatever helps, whatever that are unnecessary, and from our affection for this
modifications to his life and lifestyle may bring about world.
a deeper satisfaction with whom and what he is. He For this Cause He mentioned the heathens also, saying
is charged not to become something else (except that the Gentiles seek after these things they whose
inasmuch as he may be prompted to shed certain whole labour is for the present life, who have no
attributes which keep him from being who he really is regard for the Things to come, nor any thought of
at his core), but to become happy with the self that Heaven. (MATTHEW 6:32)
currently lies hidden. But to you, the Chief Things are not these that are
What is THE FOCUS OF THE LIFE OF A CHRISTIAN supposed to present, but other than these. For we were not born
be? Is it this same preoccupation with the self with for this end - that we should eat and drink and be
the ego? Is LIFE IN CHRIST merely about self- clothed - but that we might please God, and attain
satisfaction? No! ...How far this is from our Christian the Good Things to come.
Calling...! Therefore as things here are secondary in our Labour, so
OUR CHRISTIAN FAITH IS OUR ENTIRE LIFE OUR BODY AND SOUL also in our Prayer let them be secondary. Therefore
- ROOTED IN THE LIFE OF CHRIST! He also said: Seek first the Kingdom of Heaven and
AS HIS FAITHFUL DISCIPLES, WE ARE CALLED - not to live for self all these thing shall be added to you.
to be egocentric - but rather TO LIVE FOR CHRIST TO If we are to Struggle authentically toward our
LIVE IN CHRIST, WHOM WE HAVE ...PUT ON... AT OUR HOLY Sanctification and Redemption, this orientation
BAPTISM! toward and into the Heavenly Kingdom must
THE SACRED GOAL OF OUR LIFE IN CHRIST IS not merely for our become paramount in us. Every act must be
personal satisfaction but for OUR TRUE TRANSFORMATION. considered from the perspective of that Future Life
We are Called TO BECOME - TO ENTER INTO - A NEW LIFE that is and its attainment.
not ours not egocentric and selfish but THE LIFE OF When we do not act in such a way, we reduce our
OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. choices and our behaviour to the limited perspective
WE DISCOVER PRECISELY - BY COMPARISON TO CHRIST AND BY of this brief sojourn.
HIS DIVINE TRUTH - THE CURRENT STATE OF OURSELVES SO Rather than see the context of our behaviour, actions,
THAT WE CAN WORK, STRUGGLE AND STRIVE TO CHANGE and decisions as the Eternal Life of Gods Abiding
TO TRANSFORM OURSELVES BY THE GRACE OF GOD. Kingdom, we see it as the short span of this life, and
OUR NEW LIFESTYLE LIFE IN CHRIST - is neither defined nor adjust our whole vision and world view accordingly.
controlled by our own weak, flawed will and St Innocent of Alaska commented: ...Jesus Christ, the Son
egotistical desires, but DEFINED AND MADE REAL BY THE of God, came to this world in order to return to us our
LORD OUR GOD. lost capacity to spend Eternity in the Blissful
Our True Life in Christ is A LIFE OF TRANSFORMATION Presence of God. He revealed to us that all evil lies
spiritual and physical Transformation into A NEW in sin and that no one through our own efforts can
PERSON. overcome the evil within ourselves and attain
It is A COMMITTED AND SANCTIFIED LIFESTYLE THAT WORKS Communion with God.
TOWARD RESURRECTION, ...when the body of this Death Sin - ingrained in our nature since the Fall - stands
shall pass away and the Glorified man will know the between us and God like a high wall. If the Son of
Lord of Glory. (CF. ROMANS 7:24) God had not descended to us through His Mercy for
OUR SACRED TASK IS not to simply engage in self- us, had not taken on our human nature, and had not
examination for the purpose of self-satisfaction, but TO by His Death conquered sin, all mankind would
STRUGGLE AGAINST THE FORCES OF EVIL, ENGAGING IN have perished for ever! Now, thanks to Him, those
SPIRITUAL WARFARE as St Paul frequently cautioned us. who wish to Cleanse themselves from evil can do so
But according to unbelievers, this continuous Spiritual and return to God and obtain Eternal Bliss in the
Struggle Spiritual Warfare against evil - is not real Kingdom of Heaven.
and is regarded as being delusional! Sinfulness is that self-centred outlook we have where we
How often do we DISCUSS AND CONTEMPLATE OUR STRUGGLES seek only self-satisfaction and determine our moral
AGAINST THE EVIL FORCES THAT SURROUND US AND PERPETUALLY standards based on our own internal views. We
ATTACK US? have made ourselves into little gods where we set our
How often, besides a Sermon on Sunday, do we THINK own moral standards to fit with our own self-
ABOUT THE SELF-SACRIFICE THAT IS DEMANDED OF US FOR OUR determined ideas. We ignore God and His
SALVATION, OR OUR TRUE AIM TO BE UNITED WITH OUR LORD Teachings as revealed to us and as taught by the
JESUS CHRIST IN ETERNAL LIFE? Church.
Instead, in so many ways, we are repeatedly told and We have forgotten that we are Called to surrender to
persuaded to forget ...the archaic ideas the Church God, to give up our self-centeredness, to humbly
teaches... and to ...think for ourselves... by rejecting and willingly obey God as our Lord s Prayer states:
...the outdated, foolish notions... that our Holy Church ...Thy Will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven...
teaches us as Divine Truth! SPIRITUAL WARFARE AND THE FULFILMENT OF GODS WILL FOR
Nonbelievers try to convince us that the Divine Truth the THE SAKE OF OUR ETERNAL SALVATION INVOLVES A VERY
Teachings and Commandments of Christ - are REAL AND CONTINUOUS SPIRITUAL STRUGGLE AGAINST EVIL
merely ideas imposed on us ...by organizations that FORCES. To combat them WE NEED DIVINE HELP FROM
want to control us! GOD AND SPIRITUAL GUIDANCE AND ASSISTANCE, WHICH
AS FAITHFUL DISCIPLES OF CHRIST, WE KNOW THAT THIS WAY OF CAN ONLY BE FOUND IN HIS HOLY CHURCH.
THINKING MEANS THAT THE DEVIL HAS WON THE BATTLE When we recognize our sinfulness we commit ourselves
against apostatisers and nonbelievers, for THEY HAVE more wholly to our Lord, Who makes Life in Christ
FALLEN INTO SPIRITUAL DEATH by no longer engaging in possible, as WE ARE RECONCILED WITH GOD AND BECOME THE
their Spiritual Warfare! FRUIT OF HIS DIVINE WILL AND THE CREATED GLORY OF HIS
WHEN WE FORSAKE OUR ASCETICAL DISCIPLINES, WE WILL BE LURED ETERNAL, GLORIOUS KINGDOM.
INTO FOLLOWING THE DOCTRINE OF SELF-SATISFACTION. FATHER (DEACON) MATTHEW STEENBERG
We must wake up! SPIRITUAL WARFARE IS REAL AND CEASELESS!!. HTTP://ORTHODOXWAYOFLIFE.BLOGSPOT.CO.ZA
It is central to our Lord Jesus Christs Teachings!

22. 1 5 T H S U N D A Y A F T E R P E N T E C O S T A F T E R THE EXALTATION OF THE HOLY CROSS 17 SEPTEMBER 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.

23 September 2017
Conception of St John the Baptist & Forerunner
Also the Feast of St Raidos (Irais/Rhais) of Alexandria - St Xanthippe & St
Polyxene of Spain St Nicholas, New Martyr St John the New Martyr of
Konitsa St Andrew, St John, St Peter & St Antoninos of Syracuse & Africa

FESTAL APOLYTIKION - CONCEPTION OF ST JOHN THE BAPTIST - TONE 4


I proin ou tiktousa, stira efranthiti. Idou gar sinelaves Rejoice, O Barren One, who had not given birth; for
Iliou lihnon safos, fotizin ton mellonta, pasan tin behold Thou hast conceived clearly the one who is the
ikoumenin, avlepsia nosousan. Horeve Zaharia, Dawn of the Sun Who was about to Illuminate the
ekvoon parrisia: Profitis tou Ipsistou, estin O Mellon whole Universe, blighted with blindness. Shout with
tiktesthe! Joy, O Zacharias, crying in favour: Verily, the one to be
born is a Prophet of the High!
SEASONAL KONTAKION - THEOTOKOS
Prostasia ton Hristianon akateskhinte, mesitia pros ton O Protector of the Christians unashamed, Mediator to
Piitin ametathete, mi Paridis, amartolon Deiseon the Creator Immovable, despise not, the pleading
fonas, alla profthason os Agathi, is tin voithian imon, voices of those in sin, but hasten O Good One, to the
ton Pistos kravgazonton Si: Tahinon is Presvian, aid of all who in Faith cry out to Thee: hasten Thine
ke spefson is ikesian, i prostatevousa ai, Theotoke, ton Intercession, and present Thy Supplication, O
Timonton Se. Theotokos who always protects those who honour
Thee!
FESTAL PROKEIMENON PSALM 63 - TONE(7) VARYS/GRAVE
The Righteous shall be glad in the Lord.
Hear, O God, my voice!
THE EPISTLE OF ST PAUL TO THE GALATIANS 4:22-27
LIKE ST ISAAC, ST JOHN WAS A CHILD OF PROMISE (FOR DIVINE PURPOSE)
Brethren: It is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a Bondwoman and the other by a Freewoman. But he
who was of the Bondwoman was born according to the flesh - he of the Freewoman through Promise, which things
are symbolic.
These are the two Covenants: the one from Mount Sinai, which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar for this Hagar
is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem, which now is - in bondage with her children. The
Jerusalem Above is free, which is the Mother of us all.
It is written: Rejoice, O Barren, you who do not bear! Break forth and shout, you who are not in labour! For the
desolate has many more Children than she who has a husband.
By saying that ABRAHAMS TWO SONS AND RELATED EVENTS ARE The desolate are THOSE IN THE CHURCH, especially the
SYMBOLIC St Paul was not implying that they are not Gentiles - the Christians many of whom had
HISTORICAL FACTS. formerly stumbled about IN SPIRITUAL DARKNESS
He asserted or confirmed that OLD COVENANT HISTORY UNTIL THEIR CONVERSION TO THE DIVINE TRUTH AND
ANNOUNCED SOMETHING FAR GREATER THAN ITSELF . ENLIGHTENMENT OF CHRISTS HOLY GOSPEL.
Hagar and Mount Sinai symbolise EARTHLY JERUSALEM She who has a Husband refers TO (OLD) ISRAEL - THE
AND THE HEBREWS WHO WAS UNDER THE LAW OF GOD HEBREW NATION CHOSEN BY GOD.
THE O LD C OVENANT BETWEEN G OD AND MANKIND - SARAH WAS SIMILAR TO OUR LADY, THE EVER BLESSED
THE D IVINE P URPOSE OF WHICH WAS TO PREPARE H IS THEOTOKOS, BECAUSE SARAHS SON ISAAC WAS BORN THROUGH
C HOSEN P EOPLE I SRAEL FOR THE C OMING OF THE A DIVINE PROMISE - THE ANNUNCIATION OF WHICH WAS
M ESSIAH the Incarnation of the Son of God, Who is PROCLAIMED TO HER BY AN ANGEL OF GOD most probably
our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. ARCHANGEL GABRIEL who always announces Gods
 BEING ENSLAVED TO OTHERS AND BEARING AN ILLEGITIMATE Good News to us throughout the ages.
CHILD, HAGAR ALSO REPRESENTED THOSE WHO WERE  St John Chrysostom wrote that ISAAC ...was the issue
OUTSIDE THE HOLY COVENANT WITH GOD THE GENTILES of bodies that were dead, and of a womb that
AND/OR PAGANS WHO WERE ENSLAVED BY SIN EITHER was dead. His conception was not by the flesh,
WILFULLY OR INVOLUNTARILY. nor his birth by the seed, for the womb was dead
SARAH, A FREE WOMAN WHO WAS (LEGALLY) MARRIED both through age and barrenness. But THE W ORD
ACCORDING TO THE OLD COVENANT AND IN THE SIGHT OF OF G OD FASHIONED HIM ... H E WHO WAS NOT
GOD, SYMBOLISED THE HEAVENLY JERUSALEM - THE HOLY ACCORDING TO THE FLESH WAS MORE HONOURABLE
CHURCH OF CHRIST AND THE NEW COVENANT WITH GOD THAN HE THAT WAS BORN AFTER THE FLESH . Therefore
which is a natural continuation of our human let it not disturb you that you were not born after
Spiritual Progress towards Eternity. the flesh. For from the very reason that you are
B Y CONTINUOUSLY REPENTING OUR SINS AND LEARNING TO not so born, you are most of all Abrahams
AVOID TEMPTATIONS , WE FAITHFULLY FOLLOW AND Kindred.
IMITATE OUR L ORD J ESUS C HRIST W HO HAS TAUGHT US T HROUGH OUR H OLY BAPTISM AND C HRISMATION , WE HAVE
D IVINE T RUTH , WHICH ENABLES US TO SLOWLY REGAIN BECOME THE ADOPTED H EIRS TO G OD S H EAVENLY
OUR L IKENESS TO G OD AND THUS BECOME WORTHY K INGDOM WE ARE THE N EW I SRAEL THE N EW
C ITIZENS IN H IS ETERNAL K INGDOM OF L OVE . P EOPLE OF G OD .
CONCEPTION OF ST JOHN THE BAPTIST & FORERUNNER TO CHRIST OUR SAVIOUR 23 SEPTEMBER 2017 23.
A bondswoman was A SLAVE WHO MAY HAVE BEEN Women would never dare to speak directly to any man
CAPTURED as a spoil of battle when victorious unless they were addressed first. Then, with the
armies took possession of whatever they wanted permission of a male relative, perhaps they would be
from those they had killed or defeated. allowed to respond, but usually everything would be
S OMETIMES PEOPLE WERE ENSLAVED AS A CONSEQUENCE OF AN addressed through a male relative.
UNPAYABLE DEBT OWED TO SOMEONE ELSE . It was most dangerous in so many aspects for any
N OT ONLY THE DEBTOR BUT THEIR ENTIRE FAMILY WOULD BE woman to be seen conversing with a man in public,
ENSLAVED BY THOSE TO WHOM THE DEBT WAS OWED AND unless she was in the strict custody of a male relative.
THEY COULD BE SOLD TO OTHERS OR WORK FOR THE OUR L ORD J ESUS CHRIST LIBERATED WOMEN,
CREDITOR UNTIL THE DEBT HAD BEEN PAID . INSTRUCTING MEN TO LOVE THEIR WIVES AND SONS TO
S LAVES HAD NO RIGHTS and could be BOUGHT OR SOLD, taken RESPECT THEIR MOTHERS .
or left behind. They were regarded as BEING LESS  HE SPOKE TO WOMEN PUBLICLY AND OPENLY, ALLOWING THEM
IMPORTANT THAN THE LIVESTOCK and were barely more TO SIT AND LISTEN to what He had to say.
significant than mere household utensils.  When HE TAUGHT US TO L OVE THY NEIGHBOUR AS THYSELF
Women, generally, existed ACCORDING TO THE WILL AND He meant that each of us was to TREAT EVERYONE
DESIRES of men, who SELDOM TREATED them WITH EQUAL ELSE WITH THE EXACT SAME U NCONDITIONAL L OVE AND
RESPECT, MERCY OR KINDNESS. RESPECT THAT H E GRANTED TO ALL OF US - REGARDLESS
Even the role of the so-called freewomen was to serve OF NATIONALITY , GENDER OR FAITH !
the male population, to bear and nurture children for OUR L ORD J ESUS C HRIST MADE EVERY WOMAN A TRULY
the next generation, while taking care of all the FREEWOMAN THROUGH H IS DIVINE T EACHINGS, L OVE ,
household duties and the much valued livestock. G RACE , G IFTS , U LTIMATE S ACRIFICE AND H EAVENLY
WOMEN WERE EXPECTED TO ANTICIPATE AND TO FULFIL ALL P ROMISE.
REQUIREMENTS OF THE MALE POPULATION, without S T P AUL CONTINUOUSLY REMINDED ALL F AITHFUL C HRISTIANS
disturbing or interfering with their enjoyment of life. OF OUR T RUE F REEDOM IN C HRIST .
THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST LUKE 1:5 - 25
ST JOHNS APPROACHING BIRTH IS ANNOUNCED TO ST ZACHARIAS
At that time, there was in the days of Herod, the King of Judea, a certain Priest named Zacharias, of the Division of
Abijah, and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. They were both Righteous before
God, walking blameless in all the Commandments and Ordinances of the Lord. And they had no child, because
Elizabeth was barren, and they were both well advanced in years.
While he was serving as Priest before God in the Order of his Division, according to the custom of the Priesthood, his lot
fell to burn Incense when he went into the Temple of the Lord. And the whole multitude of the people was praying
outside at the Hour of Incense. Then an Angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right side of the Altar of
Incense. And Zacharias was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him. The Angel said to him: Do not
fear, Zacharias, for Thy Prayer has been heard. And your wife Elizabeth will bear Thee a son, and Thou shalt name
him John. And you will have Joy and Gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. He will be great in the Sight of
the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. And he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his
Mothers womb. And he will turn many of the sons of Israel to the Lord their God. And he will also go before Him in
the spirit and power of Elijah, ...to turn the hearts of the Fathers to the Children... and the disobedient to the Wisdom
of the Just, to make ready a People prepared for the Lord.
And Zacharias said to the Angel: How shall I know this? I am an old man, and my Wife is well advanced in years. And
the Angel answered and said to him: I am Gabriel, who stands in the Presence of God, and was sent to speak to
Thee and bring Thee these Glad Tidings. And behold! Thou wilt be mute and unable to speak until the day these
things take place. Thou did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their own time.
And the people waited for Zacharias. And they marvelled that he lingered so long in the Temple. When he came out,
he could not speak to them. And they perceived that he had seen a Vision in the Temple. And he beckoned to
them and remained speechless. And when the days of his Service were completed, he departed to his own house.
After those days, Elizabeth, his wife, conceived. And she hid herself five months saying, Thus has the Lord dealt with
me, in the days when He looked on me, to take away my reproach among people.
St Luke was the only Evangelist who provided information THE ARCHANGEL GABRIEL, THE BEARER OF GOOD NEWS, PROMISED, ON
about the birth and infancy of St John the Baptist, BEHALF OF GOD, THAT ST ZACHARIAS AND ST ELIZABETH WOULD
Forerunner to Jesus Christ. HAVE A SON WHO MUST BE NAMED JOHN, WHICH MEANS THE
ST ZACHARIAS AND ST ELIZABETH WERE A RIGHTEOUS COUPLE OF A GRACE OF GOD.
PRIESTLY LINEAGE, LIVING ALWAYS TO FULFIL GODS WILL. Archangel Gabriel described THE CHARACTER AND ROLE OF ST
ST ELIZABETH, like other significant women of the Old JOHN THE BAPTIST
Covenant, such as Sarah, Rebecca, Hannah and others,  HE WOULD LIVE AN ASCETIC LIFE AS A PROPHET
was barren and beyond the age or possibility of child-  HE WOULD PREPARE THE JEWISH NATION FOR THE COMING
bearing. OF THE MESSIAH.
DUE TO THE FACT THAT SHE HAD REMAINED CHILDLESS THROUGHOUT St Elijah was one of the greatest Prophets of Israel and he
HER MARRIAGE, SHE WAS SOCIALLY DISGRACED because in those was expected to reappear from Heaven in order to
times INFERTILITY WAS UNACCEPTABLE - it was A REPROACH Anoint the Messiah.
AMONG PEOPLE. ST ZACHARIAS INDICATED A LACK OF FAITH IN GOD BY QUESTIONING
Each Priest who served at the Holy Temple was assigned to a WHAT ARCHANGEL GABRIEL ANNOUNCED.
specific Division of the Temple. When Abram had heard Gods Promise of a son announced
There were 24 Divisions in all and each Priest served a week by the Angel, he believed in the Lord - without any
at a time by rotation. hesitation or doubt, with total trust and Faith in the Lord.
The responsibilities of the Priests in each Division were However, ST ZACHARIAS WAS DISCIPLINED FOR HIS UNBELIEF BY
decided by lot. LOSING HIS ABILITY TO SPEAK UNTIL EIGHT DAYS AFTER THE BIRTH
ST ZACHARIAS HAD OFTEN PRAYED FOR A SON AND NOW, FINALLY, IN HIS OF HIS SON, JOHN.
LATE YEARS OF LIFE, HIS PRAYERS WERE ANSWERED AS ALWAYS, This punishment of St Zacharias also A SIGN AND CONFIRMATION
ACCORDING TO THE WILL OF GOD ALONE AND FOR HIS DIVINE OF THE TRUTH OF ARCHANGEL GABRIELS ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE
PURPOSE, which we seldom understand until much later FORERUNNER TO CHRIST our Saviour and THE LAST BUT
or quite often, never understand! GREATEST OF ALL THE OLD COVENANT PROPHETS OF GOD.

THE INSPIRED, ETERNAL WISDOM OF ST PAISIOS OF MOUNT ATHOS


We ought to Struggle to uproot the major passions, mind of the hard-hearted dwells on His Judgment
since by uprooting a big passion, many other small and on the Retribution - each analogously.
sins are also uprooted.
Humility and Love there you have it! This is
The mind of those who are selfless dwells more on the everything!
Love of God and on His Sacrifice for us, while the

24. CONCEPTION OF ST JOHN THE BAPTIST & FORERUNNER TO CHRIST OUR SAVIOUR 23 SEPTEMBER 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 (7) Varys/Grave 24 September 2017


th st
16 Sunday After Pentecost 1 Sunday of St Luke
THE MIRACULOUS CATCH
The Feast of the Holy Icon of our Lady, Theotokos of the Myrtle Tree of Kithyra St Thekla the
Great Holy Martyr St Silouan of Mount Athos Synaxis of All Saints of Alaska St Peter the
Aleut St Juvenal the Protomartyr of America & Alaska St Nikon the Hermit of Pskov St
Galakteon of Vologda St Copres of Palestine St Abramios, Abbot, of Mirozh (Transfiguration)
Monastery, Pskov St Vladislav & St Stephen, Holy Kings of Serbia St Dorothy of Kashin St Simon & St David of
Serbia the Holy Miracle Working, Tear Streaming Icon of our Lady, Theotokos of the Mirozh Monastery.

RESURRECTION GOSPEL 5- LUKE 24 : 12 - 35

RESURRECTION APOLYTIKION TONE (7) VARYS/GRAVE


Katelisas to Stavro Sou ton Thanaton. Ineoxas to listi ton By Thy Cross Thou destroyed Death; Thou opened
Paradison. Ton Miroforon ton thrinon metevales ke tis Paradise to the Thief; Thou changed the funeral wail
sis Apostolis kirittin epetaxas, oti Anestis, Hriste O of the Myrrh-bearing Women, and Commanded them
Theos, parehon to kosmo to Mega Eleos. to announce to Thine Apostles that Thou had Risen
from the dead, O Christ our God, Who bestows upon
the world Great Mercy.
FESTAL APOLYTIKION (MENAION) THEOTOKOS TONE 4
Lai nin krotisomen, defte tas hiras Pistos, ke asomen All you people, come, let us clap our hands, and sing
asmasi, ti Theomitori,en potho kravgazontes. Here, i Sacred Songs to Her who is the Mother of God, and
Prostasia panton ton deomenon! Here i Sotria ton longingly cry loudly: Hail, O Protection of all who
timonton Se ptho! Here i to paralito tin iasin vravefsasa! Entreat Thee! Hail, O Salvation of those who honour
Thee with longing! Hail, O Lady, who restored the
paralysed man to health!
FESTAL APOLYTIKION - ST THEKLA THE GREAT MARTYR TONE 4
I amnos Sou, Iisou, krazi megali ti foni: Se Nimfie mou Thy Lamb, O Lord Jesus, cries to Thee with a great voice:
potho, ke Se Zitousa athlo, ke sistavroume, ke O my Bridegroom, Thee I Love; and seeking Thee, I now
sinthaptome to Vaptismo Sou. Ke Pasho dia Se, os contest, and with Thy Baptism am crucified and buried.
Vasilefso sin Si. Ke thnisko iper Sou, ina ke ziso en Si. I suffer for Thy sake, that I may reign with Thee; for
All os thisian amomon, prosdehou tin meta pothou Thy sake I die, that I may live in Thee: accept me
tithisan Si. Aftis Presvies, os eleimon, soson tas psihas offered out of longing to Thee as a spotless sacrifice.
imon. Lord, save our souls through her Intercessions, since
Thou art great in Mercy.
FESTAL APOLYTIKION (MENAION) ST THEKLA TONE 3
Thiou kryrikos didaskalias, potho ktistou Sou anaflehthisa, All aflame with Love for Thy Creator, from the Teaching
ton geiron os reonton ilogisas,. Ke seaftin ieron of the Holy Preacher, Thou disgraced as fleeting all
kalliergima, to Theo dousa pinon katetolmisas. Thekla things mundane. And, beng bold when confronted by
Endoxe, Pavlou tou Thiou sinekdime, ton Son Nimfion penalties, Thou offered Thyself as a Beautiful Gift to
Hriston iketeve, dorisasthe imin to Mega Eleos. God. O Thekla, Glorious Companion of Apostle Paul,
we pray Thee to Entreat Thy Bridegroom, Christ, to
grant us His Great Mercy.
SEASONAL KONTAKION - THEOTOKOS
Prostasia ton Hristianon akateskhinte, mesitia pros ton O Protector of the Christians unashamed, Mediator to the
Piitin ametathete, mi Paridis, amartolon Deiseon fonas, Creator Immovable: despise not, the pleading voices of
alla profthason os Agathi, is tin voithian imon, ton those in sin, but hasten O Good One, to the aid of all
Pistos kravgazonton Si: Tahinon is Presvian, ke who in Faith cry out to Thee: hasten Thine
spefson is ikesian, i prostatevousa ai, Theotoke, ton Intercession, and present Thy Supplication, O
Timonton Se. Theotokos who always protects those who honour
Thee!
PROKEIMENON PSALM 67/68 TONE 4
Wondrous is God in His Saints!
In the churches, Bless the God, the Lord of the Fountain of Israel.
THE SECOND EPISTLE OF ST PAUL TO ST TIMOTHY 3 : 10 - 15
Timothy, my son, you have carefully followed my Doctrine, manner of life, Purpose, Faith, Longsuffering, Love,
Perseverance, persecutions and afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra what persecutions
I endured and out of them all, our Lord Delivered me. And all who desire a Godly Life in Christ Jesus will suffer
persecution. Evil men and imposters will go from bad to worse deceivers and deceived!
You must continue in what you have learnt, and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learnt them, and how
from childhood you have known Holy Scripture, which are able to instruct you for Salvation through Faith in Christ
Jesus our Lord.

16TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST 1ST OF ST LUKE THE MIRACULOUS CATCH 24 SEPTEMBER 2017 25.
The Life of St Paul exhibited exactly what our Lord Jesus THE ORAL AND WRITTEN SACRED TEACHINGS of Christ our
Christ taught us ... if they persecuted Me, they will Lord and Saviour. (READ MATTHEW 28:16-20; 1 CORINTHIANS
also persecute you. If they kept My Word, they will 11: 2; 2 THESSALONIANS 2:25 & 3:6)
keep yours also... (JOHN 15:20) HOLY SCRIPTURE IS ONLY A SMALL PART OF OUR COMPLETE
In other words, THIS FALLEN, CORRUPT WORLD PERSECUTES HOLY ORTHODOX TEACHING.
THOSE WHO STRIVE TO LIVE IN CHRIST i.e. those who In order to receive and to acquire THE FULL ORTHODOX
CEASELESSLY ENGAGE IN SPIRITUAL WARFARE against all sin FAITH (i.e. as TAUGHT AND REVEALED BY CHRIST AND HIS
and temptations of the evil one. APOSTLES, AND THEIR ORDAINED SUCCESSORS) WE ALSO NEED
Having exhorted St Timothy with the example of his own VERBAL INSTRUCTIONS, HYMNS AND THE WRITINGS OF OUR
Steadfastness, St Paul then reminded him of THE DEPTH HOLY FATHERS.
OF ST TIMOTHYS FAITHFUL TRAINING, WHICH COMBINED BOTH
THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST LUKE 5: 1 11
THE MIRACULOUS CATCH
At that time, as our Lord Jesus stood by the Lake of Gennesaret He beheld two boats standing by the Lake. The
Fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets.
He got into one of the boats, which was Simons, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And sitting down, He
taught the multitudes from the boat.
When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon: Launch into the deep, and let down your nets for a catch. And
Simon answered and said to Him: Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless, at Thy Word I
will let down the net.
And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish. Their net was breaking. And they signalled to their
partners in the other boat to help them. And they came, and filled both boats, until they began to sink. Seeing,
Simon Peter fell down before Jesus Knees, saying: Depart from me for I am a sinful man, O Lord!
He and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish, which they had taken, as well as James and John,
the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon: Do not fear! Henceforth you will
catch men.
And when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook everything and followed Him.
Lake Gennesaret is also known as the Sea of Galilee. It is OURSELVES - TO THE DEEP MYSTERY OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE
about 13 miles long and 7 miles wide. SON OF GOD.
Sitting was the traditional position for a Teacher (Rabbi) OUR LORD, in His All Knowing Wisdom, DRAWS HUMANITY TO
who held a position of honour and respect amongst HIMSELF BY MEANS OF THE THINGS THAT ARE FAMILIAR TO US:
His Disciples. the Magi were drawn to Him by means of the
The Name of our Lord Jesus (Joshua) means O Lord, Mysterious Star; Tax Collectors were drawn to Him by
Save! This refers to His Role as OUR DIVINE SAVIOUR. a Tax Collector, and various types of sinners were
The Holy Title Christ means Anointed One thus we drawn to Him, ALL REPENTING THEIR SINS AFTER HAVING
understand the Christ as referring to the long- WITNESSED OTHERS IN SIMILAR CIRCUMSTANCES, REACTING TO
awaited Messiah Who is filled with the Holy Spirit. THE COMPASSIONATE LOVE AND GREAT MERCY OF OUR
Although GOD THE SON IS THE ONLY ONE OF THE THREE SAVIOUR.
PERSONS OF THE HOLY TRINITY TO BECOME INCARNATE to Christ drew these humble Fishermen to Him by means of
become Man HE FULFILS THE DIVINE WILL OF GOD THE this Miraculous Catch.
FATHER BY THE POWER AND ENERGY OF GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT.  1 CORINTHIANS 9: ... God is Faithful by Whom you were
The Will of the Father, through His Son, by the Power and Called into the Fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ
Energy of the Holy Spirit Saves, Renews, Regenerates our Lord.
and Restores humanity perpetually working towards the St (Simon) Peters exclamation: Depart from me for I am
Restoration and Perfection of our created state in the a sinful man, O Lord! is A CRY THAT WAS COMPELLED BY
Image and Likeness of God. mp BEING CONFRONTED BY SUCH DIVINE POWER. It was not a
rejection of our Lord Jesus.
THE HOLY TRINITY ALWAYS WORKS IN PERFECT UNISON and is
Rather, BEING SUDDENLY CAST INTO THE DIVINE LIGHT OF CHRIST,
never separate from each Personality and Their
pious PEOPLE like St Peter BECOME KEENLY AWARE OF THEIR
Divine Attributes.
OWN UNWORTHINESS.
The Holy Trinity is ONE GODHEAD Who is INSEPARABLE,
It is almost A CRY OF SPIRITUAL PAIN from the humble,
INDIVISIBLE AND ETERNAL.
impulsive Fisherman who would soon become one of
OUR LORD JESUS BECAME MAN being BORN INTO THE HEBREW
the greatest Holy Apostles of Christ.
NATION, from THE LINEAGE OF THE ANCIENT PATRIARCH
The Miraculous Catch is AN IMAGE OF THE FUTURE APOSTLES
ABRAHAM, who is the ANCESTRAL FATHER of all Jews, AND
WHO WOULD BRING MILLIONS OF IMMORTAL SOULS TO THE
OF KING DAVID who was ISRAELS GREATEST PROTOTYPE OF
KNOWLEDGE OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.
OUR ROYAL MESSIAH.
THIS MIRACULOUS CATCH FULFILS THE ANCIENT PROPHECY
CHRISTS ANCESTRY according to His Flesh His human
 J E R E M I A H 1 6 : 1 6 Behold: I will send many
Nature from Theotokos - INCLUDES BOTH THE RIGHTEOUS
Fishermen, and they will fish them. After this, I
AND THE WICKED.
will send many hunters, and they will hunt them
Thus HE IDENTIFIES COMPLETELY WITH OUR HUMAN CONDITION,
upon every mountain, upon every hill, and out of
which He voluntarily took on Himself WITH THE
the holes of the rocks.
EXCEPTION OF OUR NATURAL ABILITY AND INCLINATION TO SIN.
In the Festal Hymn of Pentecost we sing to Christ:
St Ambrose regarded the Spiritual Meaning of our Lords
Through the Fishermen, Thou drew the world to
instruction: Launch into the deep... as a Divine
Thee.
Invitation TO GIVE OUR LIFE OVER TO SURRENDER OR ENTRUST
16TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST 1ST SUNDAY OF ST LUKE THE MIRACULOUS CATCH
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the doubts, THEY CAST THEIR NETS, AND MADE A MIRACULOUS
Holy Spirit... CATCH THAT NEARLY BROKE THE NETS, AND FILLED TWO BOATS
Brethren in Christ: Todays Sacred Lesson, tells us about TO CAPACITY threatening to sink them!
our Lord Jesus Christ and three humble, hardworking That huge haul of fish caused St Peter to fall down before
FISHERMEN - ST PETER, ST JAMES, AND ST JOHN - WHO HAD our Divine Saviour and confess: Depart from me for I
BEEN CASTING THEIR NETS ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT WITHOUT am a sinful man, O Lord!
HAVING CAUGHT ANY FISH AT ALL. NO ONE HAD EVER SEEN SUCH AN ENORMOUS AMOUNT OF FISH
Our Lord had stood in one of the boats and taught His CAUGHT IN BRIGHT DAYLIGHT NOR AT NIGHT when the nets
Divine Message to the gathered people on shore, and were almost invisible and the catch was easier!
WHEN HE HAD FINISHED HIS PREACHING, HE TURNED HIS All the Fishermen who witnessed the Miraculous Catch
ATTENTION TO THESE THREE FISHERMEN WHO WERE BUSY and who had hastened to help bring it ashore were
CLEANING AND MENDING THEIR NETS. stunned but Christ calmly said: Do not fear!
AT OUR LORD'S BIDDING, THEY RETURNED TO THEIR BOATS AND, Henceforth, you will catch men.
PUTTING THEIR FAITH IN HIM, WENT OUT EVEN FURTHER TO THE
DEEPEST PART OF THE LAKE AND, despite their initial

26. 1 6 T H S U N D A Y A F T E R P E N T E C O S T 1 S T OF ST LUKE THE MIRACULOUS CATCH 24 SEPTEMBER 2017


When our Lord Jesus Christ had initially told them to let Generally, such DIVINE MIRACLES ARE AS A RESULT OF MUCH
down their nets once again, ST PETER, WHO WAS AN PRAYER AND STEADFAST FAITH, ESPECIALLY WHEN THEY
EXPERIENCED FISHERMAN, KNEW IT WAS UNLIKELY THAT ANY CORRESPOND TO GOD'S PLAN AND PURPOSE for mankind as a
FISH WOULD BE CAUGHT IN THE BRIGHT, SUNLIT WATERS. whole, and for each of us as individual souls.
They had fished all night, as they usually did, but had not We are not promised any Rewards in this preparatory
caught even one little fish, so St Peter knew it would lifespan but WE LIVE IN HOPE for them in Eternity.
be a waste of time and effort to cast the nets again. Our Lord Jesus Christ did, however, REWARD THE OBEDIENCE
Nevertheless, BECAUSE CHRIST COMMANDED THAT THEY DO SO, AND FAITH OF THE FISHERMEN WITH THAT SIGNIFICANT AND
THEY OBEYED (with reservations, of course.) ABUNDANT CATCH THAT THEY WOULD NEVER FORGET.
THIS WAS HOW OUR LORD JESUS TAUGHT HIS DISCIPLES TO TRUST He also rewarded them BY CHOOSING OR CALLING THEM AS HIS
HIM - even when it seemed a waste of time, even APOSTLES, which is another aspect of todays Sacred
when it seemed foolish, even if they thought they Lesson: ... Henceforth you shall catch men."
knew better! THOSE SIMPLE, HUMBLE FISHERMEN - St Peter, St James, and St
THEIR HUMBLE OBEDIENCE TO CHRIST WAS IMMEDIATELY John - became His All Wise Holy Apostles, and spent
REWARDED by that Miraculous Catch that would be the rest of their Life NETTING MULTITUDES OF FAITHFUL
followed by so many more wondrous Divine Miracles! DISCIPLES FOR HIS HOLY CHURCH.
OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST WANTS US TO PUT OUR TRUST IN HIM AND From an earthly standpoint, this may be a questionable
TO OBEY HIS COMMANDMENTS AND HIS TEACHINGS, EVEN Blessing, for they were wrenched from a way of life
THOUGH IT MAY SOMETIMES SEEM IMPOSSIBLE OR ILLOGICAL. they had always known - with which they were
When serious illness or chronic ailments overwhelm us comfortable and knowledgeable.
with much pain and suffering that causes us to IN A RELATIVELY SHORT TIME, THESE ILLITERATE, HUMBLE
despair, to become despondent, to lose our courage FISHERMEN WERE CHARGED WITH THE GREAT, SACRED TASK OF
and hope, we must HOLD ON TIGHTLY TO OUR LORD GOD. BRINGING WHOLE NATIONS TO LIFE IN CHRIST TO SPIRITUAL
We must TRUST OUR SAVIOUR IMPLICITLY, BELIEVING KNOWING TRANSFORMATION!
- THAT WE ARE BEING TESTED AND SPIRITUAL STRENGTHENED They were simple, honest and unrefined men who were
IN OUR WEAKEST, MOST HUMBLE MOMENTS. IGNORANT OF THE WAYS OF THE WORLD, having known only
We must BE ENCOURAGED by the certainty that EVERYTHING WE the close region that surrounded them.
SUFFER NOW, WILL PASs, and we will soon be BLESSED BY Yet, Christ our Lord chose them to be THE ALL WISE LEADERS
GODS GREAT MERCY AND GRACE. OF HIS HOLY CHURCH.
The second significant Sacred Lesson of today is that These amazing Fishermen ...when they had brought
although we may fail when we try to accomplish their boats to land, ... forsook everything and
certain things, WE MUST NEVER CEASE NOR GIVE UP OUR followed... our Lord Jesus Christ from then until they
WORTHY EFFORTS. were martyred. (with the exception of St John, the
Having laboured all night long without any success, St Beloved Theologian and Evangelist)
Peter and the other Fishermen, had given up and NONE OF THEM RECEIVED ANY MATERIAL REWARDS in this life for
surrendered to their failure. their trouble.
However, our Lord Jesus Christ showed them how to net a Difficulties, toil, hatred, violence, and finally, torture and
great haul of fish by GOING OUT TO THE DEPTHS THEY death, was the price paid by these Faithful Apostles
USUALLY AVOIDED OUT OF FEAR of sinking or drowning and for their Love, Humility and Obedience to Christ.
to do so during the bright light of day. Yet, COMPELLED AND INSPIRED BY THEIR LOVE OF GOD, THEY
When we surrender to our fears, doubts or Spiritual WILLINGLY OBEYED, AND WERE REWARDED WITH ETERNAL LIFE,
Weaknesses, WE ARE OFTEN DEFEATED EVEN BEFORE TRYING ADORNED WITH MARTYR'S CROWNS IN THE KINGDOM OF
to succeed or to see how or what we can achieve HEAVEN, AND VENERATED BY ALL FAITHFUL DISCIPLES AS HOLY
despite any apparent obstacles. SAINTS AND MARTYRS forever, as we commemorate and
WHEN WE PERSIST IN OUR SPIRITUAL STRUGGLES OR OUR PHYSICAL honour them by striving to imitate their absolute
STRIVINGS, WE WILL EVENTUALLY BE VICTORIOUS AND Fidelity to Christ.
TRIUMPHANT. Indeed, THESE HOLY FISHERMEN DID CATCH GREAT MULTITUDES
THE EVIL ONE ALWAYS DISCOURAGES, MISLEADS AND DECEIVES US OF MANKIND IN CHRIST'S DIVINE NET so that they might be
ESPECIALLY WHENEVER OUR ENDEAVOURS ARE WORTHY. SPIRITUALLY TRANSFORMED AND ETERNALLY SAVED.
It is highly significant that when St Peter confessed his St Gregory the Theologian told us that these "...Fishermen
unworthiness and sinfulness, OUR LORD JESUS seemed are the Teachers of our Holy Church, who catch us in
rather unconcerned and REASSURED HIM: Fear not... the Net of Faith, and, as it were, bring us safely to the
OUR COMPASSIONATE CREATOR CLEARLY SEES every heart and shore - to the Land of the Living."
soul. Far better than us, HE KNOWS EVERY SIN HIDDEN DEEP We, too, as simple, Obedient and Loving Orthodox
WITHIN US. Christians, are Called to catch others for our Divine
Therefore, OUR LORD ALREADY KNEW THAT ST PETER'S HUMBLE Saviour, Jesus Christ.
CONFESSION PROVED HIS DEEP CONTRITION AND THAT HE HAD Let us consider the state of the world around us... this city
ALREADY PLUCKED OUT AND REPENTED HIS SINS, and was in which we reside, and the cities and towns nearby.
eager to follow a different Path. Let us consider the frightful, fallen and ailing nature of
St Bede believed that our ... Lord soothes the fears of the our wretched world... the overflowing evil that
unspiritual man so that no man need be fearful in his surrounds us... the vast multitude of confused and
conscience because of his own past guilt; or, scared people, who dart this way and that, like
confounded at the sight of the innocence of others, be schools of fish in a deep, dark sea.
discouraged in setting out himself on the road to EVERYONE WOULD BE SPIRITUALLY TRANSFORMED AND WOULD LIVE
Sanctity." IN PEACE, LOVE AND JOY, IF AND WHEN THEY FOUND THEIR WAY
OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST LOVES US ALL and regardless of our TO CHRIST OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR IN THE FULLNESS OF THE
past sins and offences, WANTS US ALL TO TURN HUMBLY TO ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN FAITH!
HIM. We need only cast forth our nets, as Christ bids us, and
CHRIST IS UNCONCERNED WITH SINS THAT HAVE BEEN CONFESSED we can catch others for Him, bringing them to the
AND REPENTED. Safe Harbour of our True Faith BY WITNESSING TO HIS
This Gospel Lesson also teaches us about THE DIVINE POWER DIVINE TRUTH THROUGH OUR LIFE IN CHRIST BY THE GOOD
OF OUR LORD GOD Who possesses Absolute Dominion EXAMPLE OF OUR OWN WORDS, THOUGHTS AND DEEDS.
over all of His Creation, and can and does work WHEN WE ARE KIND, PATIENT, COMPASSIONATE AND GENEROUS
Miracles. TOWARDS OUR NEIGHBOURS, IT IS THE BEGINNING OF OUR
The Old and New Testaments - and the Life of the Saints TESTIMONY.
as well as the history of Christianity - are filled with WE MUST BE COMMITTED AND DETERMINED TO BECOME GOOD
INNUMERABLE ACCOUNTS OF DIVINE MIRACLES, EXAMPLES FOR OTHERS AS MODELS OF CHRISTIAN PIETY in our
Lives that were thought to be LOST ARE SAVED. SUFFERING, lifestyle, our praying, by keeping the Fasts, attending
DESTITUTION AND DISTRESS ARE TRANSFORMED INTO the Divine Liturgy on Feast Days and on Sundays,
BLESSEDNESS. Nations threatened by certain and remaining close and Obedient to the Holy
catastrophe are SAVED BY DIVINE INTERVENTION. Church, which will ...net a larger catch... for the Lord
our God.

16TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST 1ST OF ST LUKE THE MIRACULOUS CATCH 24 SEPTEMBER 2017 27.
AS DISCIPLES OF CHRIST, WE MUST NEVER BE ASHAMED OF OUR We must all STRIVE TO FOLLOW THE RIGHTEOUS PATH OF OUR
DIVINE SAVIOUR AND HIS HOLY CHURCH by hiding it from LORD JESUS CHRIST AND HIS HOLY APOSTLES so that, in
others. turn, we may BECOME WORTHY FISHERS OF SOULS FOR
When our relatives, neighbours, friends or acquaintances CHRISTS DIVINE MISSION ON EARTH.
have no Faith in God, or if they are dissatisfied and We must PUT ASIDE EVERYTHING THAT DISTRACTS US FROM OUR
frustrated with their current religion, we may INVITE REAL PURPOSE in this short life-time, which is TO PREPARE
THEM TO ATTEND THE DIVINE LITURGY WITH US, THEREBY OURSELVES FOR ETERNAL LIFE AS WORTHY CITIZEN OF GODS
INTRODUCING THEM TO OUR ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN FAITH. HEAVENLY KINGDOM OF LOVE.
Although some people may erroneously think that We must BE COMMITTED AND READY to abandon our earthly,
Orthodoxy Christianity is only for Greeks, Russians, temporary and unbeneficial worldly occupations and
Romanians, Serbians, and so forth an ethnic or entertainments in order TO GIVE OUR FULL ATTENTION TO
nationalist church - nothing could be further from the GOD AND TO MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO FAITHFULLY FOLLOW OUR
Truth! LORD JESUS CHRIST, as each and EVERY ONE OF US IS
ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY DOES NOT CONSIST OF A CALLED TO HIS HOLY SERVICE.
COLLECTION OF TRIBAL GROUPS! Amen
THE EASTERN ORTHODOX CHURCH (ACCORDING TO THE ANCIENT
GREEK RITE) IS THE ONE, TRUE, HOLY, UNIVERSAL CHURCH OF +FR JAMES THORNTON, PROTECTION OF THE HOLY VIRGIN
OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST FOR THE ETERNAL
MARY RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH, LOS ANGELES
CALIFORNIA, (1999)
SALVATION OF ALL MANKIND!
HTTP ://ORTHODOXINFO.C OM/P RAXIS/THORNTON_C ATC HMEN.ASP X
Consequently, we must not be apprehensive about
sharing the exquisite Beauty and Divine Truth of
Orthodoxy with others.
WHAT DOES OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST MEAN WHEN HE SAYS: FOLLOW ME"?
When our Lord Jesus says to us: "Follow Me," what does bad habits which never bothered me much, and
He expect of us? kept certain favourite passions that I call "human
St Luke mentioned in his Holy Gospel account of the weaknesses" to ease my conscience, although the
Calling of Christs Holy Apostles that ...they forsook Gospel or Christ condemns them?
all, and followed Him." (Luke 5:11) Each of us must EXAMINE OURSELVES and ask ourselves these
Does this mean we have to abandon, renounce or give questions REPEATEDLY AND CONTINUOUSLY.
up our career, our family, our worldly possessions in Our Eternal Salvation is vitally important!
order to follow our Lord Jesus Christ? WE MUST NEVER THINK NOT EVEN FOR A MOMENT - just
Bishop Augoustinos of Florina answered this significant because we say we believe in our Lord and
question: ...No! For we saw that those who - like Saviour Jesus Christ THAT WE HAVE ALREADY ACQUIRED
Apostles - are Called to a special, Extraordinary OUR ETERNAL SALVATION!!
Mission do leave all these things... THE TRUE ACQUISITION OF ETERNAL SALVATION IS A SLOW,
However, when it comes to what is required from us who DETERMINED SPIRITUAL PROCESS EVERY MOMENT OF THIS
are ordinary Disciples of Christ Bishop Augoustinos LIFESPAN!!
believed: ...Besides the things that comprise one's We must BE UTTERLY COMMITTED TO OUR TRUE FAITH by the
material goods, which everyoneeven the poorest essential SPIRITUAL STRUGGLES that DEMONSTRATE OUR
personhas to some degree, there is another FAITH IN AND LOVE OF GOD BY OUR THOUGHTS, OUR WORDS
bountyone that is not material or visible, a wealth AND OUR DEEDS exactly like the Holy Apostles of Christ
that is not blessed but damnable, and which has our Lord.
collected in our secret coffers by the meddling Satan. OUR SALVATION SHOULD BE THE MOST IMPORTANT PRIORITY OF OUR
This bounty is vice, evil, and passion... DAILY EXISTENCE.
Therefore, in order for us to follow our Beloved Divine When that Day of our Final Judgment suddenly
Saviour, WE MUST OVERCOME OUR PASSIONS - those forces occurs, WE MUST ALL BE PROPERLY PREPARED AND READY
within our being thAT LEAD US TO ACT IN WAYS COUNTER TO TO ACCOUNT FOR OUR WORDS, THOUGHTS AND DEEDS
THE WILL OF GOD. WHICH WILL BE OUR OWN, PERSONAL, UNIQUE JUDGEMENT!!
Passions are difficult to overcome and to eradicate! We must always keep in mind the Parable of our Lord
Even when they cause us physical, mental or Spiritual Jesus Christ concerning the Ten Virgins who awaited
Misery, they are difficult to resist or fight against. the Coming of our Lord the Divine Bridegroom with
We become attached to our wicked passions and desire their oil lamps.
them to such an extent, we do not easily renounce nor Five Virgins had wisely prepared themselves for every
reject them! eventuality, and were ready when He Appeared and
This is obviously evident in those who are addicted to thus they were able to enter together with Him and
anything that is self-destructive and enslaving. enjoy His Blissful Kingdom.
Bishop Augoustinos explains that ... the passions are the However, the five other virgins were regarded as being
possessions - the principle possessions - which we foolish for they had not prepared themselves and
are called to leave - (to renounce, reject and avoid) thus missed the Appearance of our Lord, and failed to
from which to separate ourselves in order to follow enter His Kingdom.
Christ. (LUKE 14:33) But WORST OF ALL, was WHEN THEY CRIED OUT TO HIM AND HE
For one to leave material goods and put them at Christ's REFUSED TO INVITE THEM IN, HE SAID THOSE MOST DREADED
disposal is a praiseworthy act, but it is not as difficult WORDS: I do not know you!
as cutting oneself from one's faults, evils, and Bishop Augoustinos cautions us: ...Woe to us if there is
passions.... any weakness we decide not to forsake.
Passions stick to our being like a turtle's shell adheres to We will remain far from our Lord!
its body. They compose a second nature, and evil Is there a greater calamity than this?
nature... Therefore with His help, let us banish every sinful
We need to REFLECT ON HOW THE APOSTLES LEFT EVERYTHING TO burden, and - as well-girded Soldiers - follow the
FOLLOW CHRIST and then ask ourselves, "What have I Glorious Path of the martyrs...
left for our Lord's sake?" or, "what has my Faith cost St John Chrysostom urged us to ...Forsake only your evil
me what have I sacrificed - up to now?" habits, and remaining in your own homes, you can
We are not asked to give up our jobs, our retirement easily be Saved."
savings or leave our families.
WE ARE ASKED TO GIVE UP OUR BAD HABITS. ALL OF THEM. ( FOLLOW ME BY BISHOP AUGOUSTINOS OF FLORINA
Bishop Augoustinos urges us to ask ourselves: ... Have I HTTP://ORTHODOXWAYOFLIFE.BLOGSPOT.CO.ZA)
left them all? Or have I maybe forsaken only a few
THE INSPIRED, ETERNAL WISDOM OF ELDER THADDEUS OF VITOVNICA
Our starting point is always wrong.
Instead of beginning with ourselves, as we should, we always want to change others first and ourselves last.
If everyone would begin first with themselves, then there would be Peace all around!

28. 1 6 T H S U N D A Y A F T E R P E N T E C O S T 1 S T OF ST LUKE THE MIRACULOUS CATCH 24 SEPTEMBER 2017