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 EVER, AND UNTO THE AGES OF AGES. AMEN. REMEMBERING ALSO OUR MOST HOLY, MOST PURE, MOST BLESSED AND GLORIOUS LADY, MARIA, BIRTH GIVER OF GOD, 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.

19th Sunday After Pentecost

Tone 2

3 October 2010

2nd Sunday of St Luke – Love Enemies, Do Good & Be Merciful Feast of All Saints of Cyprus St Dionysios the Areopagite & Hieromartyr Cyprus; of Athens; St Rustikos & St Eleftherios the Deacon (disciples of St Dionysios); St Dionysios, Hermit of Kiev Caves, Far Caves – Schepa; St John the Chozebite of Caesarea, Palestine; St Hesychios the Silent of Mount Horeb.
Resurrection Apolytikion – Tone 2

Ote katilthes pros ton thanaton, i Zoi i Athanatos, tote
ton adin enekrosas ti astrapi tis Theotitos. Ote de ke tous tethneotas ek ton katahthonion anestisas, pase e Dinamis ton Epouranion ekravgazon. Zoodota Hriste, O Theos imon, Doxa Si!

When Thou condescended to Death, O Life Immortal,
Thou slayed Hades with the lightning flash of Thy Divinity. When also Thou raised up the dead from the subterranean abodes, all the Powers of Heaven cried aloud: O Life-giver, Christ our God, Glory to Thee!

Apolytikion Of St Dionysios The Areopagite & Hieromartyr Of Athens – Tone 4

Hristotita

ekdidahthis ke nifon en pasin, agathin sinidisin iroprepos endisamenos, intlisas ek tou skevous tis eklogis ta aporrita ke tin pistin tirisas, ton ison dromon tetelekas, Iromartis Dionisie: presveve Hristo to Theo sothine tas psihas imon.

Since

thou had been instructed in uprightness thoroughly and was vigilant in all things, thou was clothed with a good conscience as befits one Holy. Thou drew from the Chosen Vessel Ineffable Mysteries; and having kept the Faith, thou finished a like course: O Hieromartyr Dionysios: Intercede with Christ God that our souls be Saved.

Kontakion Of The Ever Blessed Theotokos

Prostasia ton Hristianon akateskhinte, mesitia pros ton O
Piitin ametathete, mi Paridis, amartolon deiseon fonas, alla profthason os agathi, is tin voithian imon, ton pistos kravgazonton Si: Tahinon is presvian, ke spefson is ikesian, i prostatevousa ai, Theotoke, ton timonton se.

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

R e s ur re ctio n G os pe l 8 : J oh n 2 0: 1 1 -1 8 Prokeimenon

OUR RISEN LORD JESUS SPEAKS TO ST

The Lord is my Strength and my Glory. The Lord has punished me severely, but He has not
delivered me to Death.

The S e co nd E p ist le o f S t P a ul t o the C o rint hi an s 1 1 : 3 1 – 1 2 : 9
The Conversion of St Paul

Brethren, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who is Blessed forever, knows that I am not lying. In Damascus the Governor, under Aretas the King, was guarding the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desiring to arrest me; but I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall, and escaped from his hands. It is doubtless not profitable for me to boast. I will come to Visions and Revelations of the Lord: I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago – whether in the body or out of the body, I do not know; God knows – was caught up to the Third Heaven. And I know such a man – whether in the body or out of the body, I do not know; God knows – who was caught up into Paradise and hear inexpressible words, which are not lawful for man to utter. Of such a one I will boast; yet of myself I will not boast, except in my infirmities. For although I might desire to boast, I will not be a fool; for I will speak the Truth. But I refrain, lest anyone should think of me above what he sees me to be or hears from me. And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of Revelations, a thorn in the flesh was granted to me – a messenger of Satan to buffet me lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing, I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me, and He said to me: “My Grace is sufficient for you, for My Strength is made Perfect in weakness.” Therefore, most gladly, I will rather boast in my infirmities, so that the Power of Christ may rest upon me.
St Paul’s opponents probably boasted of their own “visions and revelations,” and for that reason alone, St Paul spoke of one of his own Spiritual Experiences. “Fourteen years ago” dated the Event that occurred before the beginning of His Missionary Journeys during which He spread the Holy Gospel of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. St Paul used two terms that were commonly used by the Hebrews to describe the Heavenly Realms of God: “the Third Heaven” is the Highest Heaven, while “Paradise” is where God is surrounded by the Assembly of the Just – the City of God. Unlike his vain opponents who publicly proclaimed their own perceived greatness in their mystical experiences, St Paul regarded his “thorn in the flesh” as having been granted to him by God so that he would be kept humble through the persistent torments of Satan’s temptations – his physical and Spiritual Suffering caused by serious illness as well as having to deal with difficult, stubborn and ignorant people on a daily basis. Nevertheless, for St Paul, his personal weaknesses rather than his own True Mystical Experiences, were the means whereby the Power of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, remained within him

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19TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 2ND OF ST LUKE – ALL SAINTS OF CYPRUS & ST DIONYSIOS AREOPAGITE – 3 OCTOBER 2010

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The Ho ly G o s pe l A cc o rd in g to S t L uk e 6 : 3 1 – 3 6
Love Enemies, Do Good & Be Merciful

At that time, our Lord Jesus said: “... Just as you want others to do to you, you also do to them likewise. But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinner lend to sinners to receive as much back. “But Love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your Reward will be great, and you will be Sons of the Most High. For He is Kind to the ungrateful and to the evil. “Therefore, be merciful, just as your Father also is Merciful!”
THE LOVE OF ENEMIES, ALWAYS DOING WHATEVER IS GOOD AND BEING CONSTANTLY MERCIFUL TO EVERYONE, WITHOUT EXCEPTION, IS THE GOLDEN RULE OF OUR LOVING GOD. IT IS THE MINIMUM OF CHRISTIAN VIRTUE because it places our PERFECTION OF VIRTUE IS BEING MERCIFUL TO EVERYONE ELSE TO THE SAME, EXACT DEGREE THAT THE LORD OUR GOD IS ALWAYS SO MERCIFUL to us wretched sinners.

desire for goodness –“the natural law of self-love...” as St Cyril of Alexandria expressed it – as A BASIC STANDARD OF HOW TO
TREAT ONE ANOTHER.

This is UNCONDITIONAL LOVE/AGAPE! Perfection of Virtue is THE STANDARD OF DIVINE MERCY rather than our own selfish human desire.
DIVINE MERCY PRECLUDES (PROHIBITS) HUMAN JUDGEMENT!

The Golden Rule of Christ is only THE VERY FIRST STEP ALONG THE
PATH TO THE PERFECTION OF VIRTUE.

The G old e n R ule : L ove E ne mie s, Do G ood & Be M e rc if ul
Today’s Sacred Lesson was delivered to us by our Lord Jesus Christ as part of His “Sermon on the Plain,” the main subject of which became known as “The Golden Rule.”
GOD’S GOLDEN RULE MIGHT BE EASY TO SPEAK ABOUT – TO MERELY PAY LIP SERVICE TO – BUT EXTREMELY DIFFICULT TO ACCOMPLISH!

Our Lord Jesus taught us that EVIL CAN ONLY BE
OVERCOME BY GOOD AND THIS KEEPS US FREE FROM ANGER – from being poisoned by the evil directed against us and its destructive forces – AND INSTRUCTS OTHERS THROUGH CHRISTIAN FOREBEARANCE. GOODNESS BRINGS BOTH US AND OUR ENEMY UNDER THE DIVINE YOKE OF GOD’S LOVE. (THE ORTHODOX STUDY BIBLE:
FOOTNOTE TO MATTHEW 5:39)

Nevertheless, there are very good reasons for striving to obey such a Sacred Commandment because OUR
LORD JESUS CHRIST TAUGHT US EXACTLY HOW TO BECOME LIKE HIMSELF – THE PERFECT MAN – to

The Old Covenant, with regard to the first three items listed above, taught that LOVING ONE’S NEIGHBOUR
WAS A DIVINE COMMANDMENT AND HOLDING GRUDGES AGAINST ANYONE WAS FORBIDDEN. (LEVITICUS 19:18)

become truly Perfect by regaining our Likeness to God – the Pure Condition in which we were created by Him but which was lost due to our disobedience and rebellion against God – the Fallen Human Condition of sin. In the fallen world of Spiritual Darkness, the evil one has invented his own arrogant and selfish rules, which mock Divine Love and excuse the wicked behaviour of his slaves: “Those who have the gold make the rules,” or “Do to others before they do to you!” But our Almighty God Who is Absolute Love teaches us: “Just as you want others to do to you, you also do to them likewise!” Today’s Divine Lesson of Love – God’s Golden Rule – summarised the entire Mosaic Law and the GodInspired Teachings of the Holy Prophets of God as noted by St Matthew in His Holy Gospel: “Therefore, whatever you want other to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”
(MATTHEW 7:12)

However, there was an exception concerning the Ammonites and Moabits due to their opposition to Israel in the wilderness. (DEUTERONOMY 23:3 – 6) As a Kingdom of Priests and being a Holy Nation, ISRAEL
WAS EXPECTED TO PRAY FOR THE REST OF THE WORLD

and a third tithe was set aside every third year, in part, for strangers and aliens. During Israel’s apostasy, this was not followed very well. (DEUTERONOMY 14:29; 16:11-14; 24:1921; 26:12) (ISAIAH 1:15 – 17)

With regard to loans and borrowing, loans were treated very differently according to the Mosaic Law than they were after the captivity of the Hebrews and during the time of our Lord Jesus Christ. At the time of Moses, commercial loans were unknown and
LOANS WERE SOLELY FOR THE PURPOSE OF HELPING A POOR FELLOW HEBREW THROUGH TIMES OF DIFFICULTIES such as famines, crop disasters,

droughts, etc. Any charging of interest was forbidden, although interest could be changed to a foreigner
(EXODUS 22:25; LEVITICUS 25: 35-37; DEUTERONOMY 23:19-20)

GOD’S GOLDEN RULE AND HIS GREATEST COMMANDMENT ARE IDENTICAL, for when Christ instructed us to Love

the Lord our God with all our mind, with all our heart, with all our strength and with all our soul, (THE SIGN OF THE CROSS) combined with our Love of our neighbour (AS MUCH
AS HE LOVES US!) IT ENCAPSULATED AND ENCOMPASSED EVERY DIVINE COMMANDMENT CONCERNING THE TWO MOST SIGNIFICANT ASPECTS OF LIFE ITSELF – GOD AND OUR FELLOW SPIRITUAL STRUGGLERS.

During the time of Christ, commercial business ventures were common and a reasonable interest rate for business investment was an allowable practice. (MATTHEW
25:27; LUKE 19:23)

In this particular context, the implication concerns those who refused to repay loans. ACCORDING TO ROMAN
LAW, THE CREDITOR COULD HAVE THE DEBTOR IMPRISONED AND ACCORDING THE HEBREW LAW, DEBTORS COULD BE ENSLAVED. But DEBTS OLDER THAN 7 YEARS WERE AUTOMATICALLY FORGIVEN under

The Golden Rule means: 1. WE MUST LOVE OUR ENEMIES AND DO GOOD TO THOSE
WHO HATE US. (LUKE 6:27; MATTHEW 5:44)

Hebrew Law, as also in the Year of Jubilee.
LEVITICUS 25:39-42, DEUTERONOMY 15:9; LEVITICUS 25)

(EXODUS 21:2:

However,

2. WE MUST BLESS THOSE WHO CURSE US AND WE MUST
PRAY FOR THOSE WHO SPITEFULLY USE US AND PERSECUTE US. (LUKE 6:28; MATTHEW 5:44) WE MUST “TURN THE OTHER CHEEK.”
6:29; MATTHEW 5:39)

OUR LORD JESUS TAUGHT HIS FAITHFUL DISCIPLES NOT TO HAVE ANYONE IMPRISONED OR ENSLAVED AND TO FORGIVE THE LOAN INSTEAD. (MATTHEW

18:32-35)

3. WE MUST NOT RESIST VIOLENCE WITH MORE VIOLENCE.
(SEE NOTE. LUKE

This Merciful Commandment certainly runs against the grain of modern capitalism, but ITS EMPHASIS IS ON
SPIRITUAL VALUES RATHER THAN MATERIAL INTERESTS.

4. WE MUST CHEERFULLY AND GENEROUSLY GIVE TO
5:42)

The question arises of ALLOWING OURSELVES TO BE TAKEN
ADVANTAGE OF BY UNSCRUPULOUS CONNIVERS SINCE OUR ENEMY CERTAINLY USES GOD’S GOLDEN RULE AGAINST US.

OTHERS AND IF ANYONE TAKES OUR POSSESSIONS, WE MUST NOT SEEK THEIR RETURN. (LUKE 6:30; MATTHEW

5. IF SOMEONE SUES US FOR OUR CLOAKS, WE MUST ALSO GIVE THEM OUR TUNICS. (SEE NOTE. LUKE 6:29; MATTHEW 5:40) 6. WE MUST ALWAYS HELP OTHERS GENEROUSLY AND GO ANOTHER EXTRA MILE OR SO AS WELL. (MATTHEW 5:41) Our Lord Jesus warned His Disciples not to resist violence with more violence, as opposed to strict Old Covenant Justice standards such as EXODUS 21:24: “... he shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound and stripe for stripe.”

St John Chrysostom’s comment was: “... We ought to resist the evil one but not in this manner - only as (Christ) has commanded, by giving ourselves to suffer wrongfully. For thus we shall prevail over him, for one fire is not quenched by another fire, but fire by water! For nothing so restrains wrong doers as when the injured bears what is done with gentleness and persuades them to repent in wonder at such forbearance and to draw back.” (HOMILY 18 ON MATTHEW 5)

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19TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 2ND OF ST LUKE – ALL SAINTS OF CYPRUS & ST DIONYSIOS AREOPAGITE – 3 OCTOBER 2010

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 EVER, AND UNTO THE AGES OF AGES. AMEN. REMEMBERING ALSO OUR MOST HOLY, MOST PURE, MOST BLESSED AND GLORIOUS LADY, MARIA, BIRTH GIVER OF GOD, 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.

20th Sunday After Pentecost

1 0 O ct obe r 2 0 1 0 Tone 3

3 rd Sunday of St Luke : The Widow of Nain
ST EVLAMPIOS Feast of St Eulampios, St Evulampia and 200 other Holy Martyrs of Nicomedia; St Amphilochios of Vladimir-Volhynia; the Synaxis of the Volhynia Saints; St Job of Pochaev Monastery; St Stephen of Kiev Caves & Vladimir, Volhynia; St Makarios of Kanve; St Peter, Great Grandson of St Vladimir; St Thedosios the Monk of Ostrog; St Juliana Blessed Virgtin Princess of Olshansk; St Andrew of Totma, Fool-for-Christ; St Theoteknos of Antiochl St Bassian of Constantinople; St Theophilos the Confessor of Bulgaria; St Ambrose of Optina; the Zographou Icon of the Akathis; 26 Monkmartyrs ofZograhpou Monastery, Mount Athos & St Paulinos of York ST EVLAMPIA, ST THEOPHILOS &

Resurrection Apolytikion – Tone 3

Evfrenestho ta Ourania, agaliastho ta epigia, oti epiise Let
Kratos en Vrahioni Aftou O Kyrios. Epatise to Thanato ton thanaton.Prototokos ton nekron egeneto. Ek kilias Adou errisato imas ke pareshe to kosmo to Mega Eleos.
Kontakion Of Holy Male Martyrs – Tone (8) Plagal 4

the Heavens rejoice and let the earth be glad, for the Lord has shown Strength with His Arm; He has trampled down Death by Death; He has become the First-born of the dead; from the womb of Hades He has delivered us, and to the world He has granted Great Mercy.

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Martires Sou, Kyrie, en ti athlisis afton, to stefos ekomisanto tis aftharsias, ek Sou tou Theou imon; ehontes tin iskhin Sou, tous tirannous kathilon. Ethrafsan ke demonon ta aniskhira thrasi; afton tes ikesies Hriste, O Theos, soson tas psihas imon.

Thy loyal Martyrs, O Lord, while contending for Thee,
the Crown of Incorruption they earned for themselves, from Thee the God of all of us; for armed with Thy Might, they defeated the tyrants, and crushed all the demons and their powerless presumption. Through their Intercessions, O Christ our God, we pray to Thee to Save our souls! Protector of the Christians unashamable, Mediator to the Creator Immovable, despise not, the pleading voices of those in sin, but hasten O Good One, to the aid of all of us, who in Faith cry out to Thee: hasten Thine Intercession, and present Thy Supplication, O Theotokos who always protects all who honour Thee!
RI SE N LO RD’ S A UTHOR IT Y TO FO RGI VE SI N S APO STL ES

Kontakion Of The Ever Blessed Theotokos

Prostasia ton Hristianon akateskhinte, mesitia pros ton O
Piitin ametathete, mi Paridis, amartolon deiseon fonas, alla profthason os agathi, is tin voithian imon, ton pistos kravgazonton Si: Tahinon is presvian, ke spefson is ikesian, i prostatevousa ai, Theotoke, ton timonton se.

R e s ur re ctio n G os pe l 9 :
Prokeimenon

Jo hn 20 : 1 9 – 3 1
BE STO WED UPO N HI S

O U R

FA ITH FU L

Sing Praises to our God!

Sing praises to our King!

Clap your hands, all ye Nations!

The E pi stle o f S t P aul to the G al ati a ns 1 : 1 1 - 1 9
Christ’s Calling of St Paul

Brethren: I make known to you that the Gospel that was preached by me is not according to mankind, for I neither received It from man, nor was I taught It, for it came through the Revelation of Jesus Christ. You have heard of my former conduct in Judaism – how I persecuted the Church of God beyond measure, and tried to destroy It. And I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my own nation, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my Fathers. But, when it pleased God, Who separated me from my mother’s womb and Called me through His Grace, to reveal His Son in me, so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were Apostles before me; but I went to Arabia, and returned again to Damascus. Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and remained with him fifteen days. But I saw none of the other Apostles except James, the Lord’s Brother.
The True Gospel of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, is faithfully and truly taught by True Apostles of Christ, although many others have falsely declared themselves to be Apostles of Christ. True Apostles of Christ are distinguished by the following facts: 8 True Apostles are CALLED BY GOD HIMSELF. 8 True Apostles are TAUGHT THE ENTIRE HOLY GOSPEL OF CHRIST BY DIVINE REVELATION – i.e. like the original Apostles, THEY ARE TAUGHT DIRECTLY BY OUR LORD
JESUS HIMSELF, BY THE HOLY SPIRIT OR BY THE REVELATION OF APOSTOLIC TRADITION. (THE HOLY GOSPEL
OF CHRIST CONSISTS OF ALL CHRIST’S VERBAL TEACHINGS, INSTRUCTIONS AND COMMANDMENTS, INCLUDING THE HOLY MYSTERIES – NOT MERELY

THE FEW WORDS AND DEEDS OF OUR SAVIOUR AS RECORDED IN HOLY
SCRIPTURE.

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True Apostles are CALLED BY DIVINE GRACE – not according to their works or deeds ( i.e. not according to personal effort or desire) nor according to a “proper background,” (i.e. not according to their personal history or experience.) True Apostles of Christ, being humble and obedient before God and their fellow mankind, CEASELESSLY STRIVE
FOR THE GLORY, HONOUR AND WORSHIP OF ALMIGHTY GOD – EXCLUSIVELY! - certainly not for personal

recognition, pride or fame.

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True Apostles of Christ FORM ONE CHURCH GOVERNMENT,
HOLDING AND MAINTAINING THE EXACT SAME TRUE DOCTRINE OF CHRIST, AND WORKING BY AGREEMENT REACHED IN THE DIVINELY INSPIRED AND LED HOLY COUNCIL OR SYNOD. True Apostles of Christ STAND FIRM AND MAINTAIN MATTERS OF CONSCIENCE AND THEY ARE ALWAYS WILLING TO BE CORRECTED WHEN FALLING INTO ERROR OR CONFRONTED BY TEMPTATION.

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Just as the Twelve Apostles had RECEIVED CHRIST’S HOLY GOSPEL DIRECTLY FROM HIM, so had St Paul. And, just as the Twelve Apostles were UNITED INTO ONE COLLEGE OF HOLY APOSTLES OF CHRIST, so too did St Paul enter their UNITY IN CONSENSUS AND IN MUTUAL SUBMISSION.
ST PAUL WAS TRULY AN EQUAL AMONGST EQUALS.
TRUE APOSTLES OF CHRIST NEVER FORM THEIR OWN INDEPENDENT CHURCHES, THEREBY LEADING OTHERS INTO APOSTASY FROM THE TRUE FAITH AND TEACHINGS OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. TRUE APOSTLES TEACH ONLY GOD’S DIVINE TRUTH AND NOT THEIR OWN IDEAS – BEING FAITHFUL TO CHRIST’S TRUE TEACHINGS AND OBEDIENT TO THE HOLY SYNOD - LED AND INSPIRED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT - AT ALL TIMES. TRUE APOSTLES OF CHRIST NEVER ENRICH OR GRATIFY THEMSELVES THROUGH THE HOLY CHURCH BECAUSE EVERYTHING THEY DO IS WITH HUMILITY AND OBEDIENCE – ALWAYS PUTTING THE WILL OF GOD BEFORE THEIR OWN, AND ATTENDING TO THE SPIRITUAL AND PHYSICAL NEEDS OF OTHERS – COMPLETE SELF-SACRIFICE, SELF-DENIAL AND DEDICATION TO THEIR SACRED CALLING – FOR THE GLORY, HONOUR AND WORSHIP OF GOD.

St Paul rebuked St Peter rather sharply in public for his hypocritical ethnic elitism.
APOSTOLIC TRADITION IS SECURELY ANCHORED IN THE DIVINE REVELATION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST – THE TRUE AND ONLY BEGOTTEN SON AND ETERNAL WORD OF GOD. Just as the Twelve Apostles of Christ were CALLED BY OUR LORD, so was St Paul.

The Ho ly G o s pe l A cc o rd in g to S t L uk e 7 : 1 1 – 1 6
OUR MOST COMPASSIONATE & MERCIFUL LORD JESUS CHRIST RAISED THE SON OF THE WIDOW OF NAIN FROM DEATH

At that time, our Lord Jesus went into a city called Nain; and many of His Disciples went with Him, as well as a large crowd. And when He approached the gate of the city, behold, a dead man was being carried out – the only son of his mother; and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the city was with her. When our Lord saw her, He had compassion on her, and said to her: “Do not weep.” And He went to touch the open coffin, so those who were carrying him stood still. And Jesus said: “Young man: I say to you: arise!” And he who was dead, sat up and began to speak. And He presented him to his mother. Then fear came upon all those present, and they glorified God, saying: “A Great Prophet has risen up amongst us!” and, “God has Visited his People!”
The raising of the Widow of Nain’s son from the dead is one of three Resurrections performed by our Lord Jesus Christ as recorded in the Scriptures of the Holy Gospel of Christ.
(LUKE 8: 41-56; JOHN 11:1 – 44)

These wonderful and miraculous Deeds of our Lord confirm the Divine Promise given to St Ezekiel the Holy Prophet of God so many centuries before, that Almighty God would one day open the graves and raise all those who had been buried. E z e k i e l 3 7 : 1 - 1 4 “’... Behold, I will open your tombs, take you up from your graves, and take you into the Land of Israel. Then you will know that I Am the Lord... I will put My Spirit in you, and you will live; and I will place you in your own land. And you will know that I Am the Lord. I have spoken, and I will do it,’ says the Lord.” This passage from the Book of Ezekiel concerning the Resurrection of the dead, is the Great Doxology, which is read at Matins on Great and Holy Saturday. Our Holy Church Fathers have taught us that IT PROPHESIES
THE FINAL OR GENERAL RESURRECTION OF ALL MANKIND.

S t A m b r o s e O f M i l a n : “Great is the Loving Kindness of our Lord, that the Prophet was taken as a witness of the future Resurrection, so that we, too, might see it through his eyes... “We notice here how the Operations of the Spirit of Life are again resumed; we know after what manner the dead are raised from the opened tombs... “And finally, he who has believed that the dead shall rise again ‘... in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the

last trump (for the Trumpet shall sound) ... shall be caught up among the first in the Clouds to meet Christ in the air...’ while he who has not believed shall be left, and subject himself to the sentence by his own disbelief.” F a t h e r I r e n e a u s : “As we once perceive that the Creator is in this passage represented as vivifying (enlivening) our dead bodies, and promising Resurrection to them, and Resuscitation from their sepulchres and tombs, conferring upon them immortality also, (He says: ‘... for as the Tree of Life, so shall their days be...’), He is shown to be the Only God Who accomplishes these Things, and, as Himself, the Good Father, benevolently conferring Life upon those who have not life from themselves.” Many people have exercised authority over the living but ONLY THE TRUE SON OF GOD “... has Power over both the living and the dead.” (ORTHODOX FUNERAL SERVICE) While OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST HAS POWER THROUGH HIS DIVINE WORD ALONE, on this occasion, He also touched the casket of the dead man in order to show that HIS VERY BODY IS
LIFE-GIVING AS WELL. THIS WONDERFUL EVENT PREFIGURED OUR LORD’S RESURRECTION and just as our Ever Blessed OWN

Lady Theotokos would soon weep for her beloved Son and Lord at the foot of His Cross, and her tears of sorrow would become tears of Joy at His Resurrection, on this particular day, A WIDOW’S ONLY SON, BEING RAISED FROM THE DEAD, PUT AN END TO HER SORROWFUL WEEPING. (ST AMBROSE OF
MILAN)

The C o mp a ss io n o f Ch ri st
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, we heard of one of the Miracles of Christ in today’s Gospel Lesson. That Miracle was the Raising of the widow’s son at Nain. In this Sacred Lesson, our Lord revealed Himself as the Son of God the Promised Messiah of Israel by raising the dead. When St John the Baptist wanted to know if our Lord Jesus was the Christ the Promised One of Israel he sent his disciples to ask Him, and our Lord Jesus responded: “Tell John what Things you have seen and heard: how the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised and to the poor the Gospel is preached” (LUKE 7:22). It is interesting that this Revelation of Jesus Christ, as the Son of God, occurred in the shadow of Mount Tabor, for the village of Nain is located in a valley below Mount Tabor. It was on Mount Tabor that our Lord was Transfigured, revealing the fullness of His Divinity to His Disciples, St Peter, St James and St John. Did our Lord Jesus merely perform such a Miracle in order to reveal Himself as God? Or was It compelled by His Compassion for the bereft widow as stated in the Holy Gospel? The answer to both of these questions is a resounding YES! However, there is a deeper meaning to this Divine Miracle. Since the beginning of time, mankind has feared death. This fear of death comes from not knowing what will happen to our soul once death occurs. Thus, there is a fear of all that takes away our biological life. Our Lord cautioned us: “Fear not them who kill the body, but who are unable to kill the soul!”
(MATTHEW 10:28).

His Divine Words remind us that our body is simply a “garment” or “temple” of the soul.

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We are further reminded of this on Great and Holy Friday by the Holy Prophet St Ezekiel’s Vision of the valley of dry bones. In this Vision God asked St Ezekiel: “Son of man, can these bones live?” And St Ezekiel answered: , “O Lord God, Thou know.” (EZEKIEL 37:3). In this Vision of Resurrection, St Ezekiel saw the dead being brought back to life and the souls of the departed being reunited with their bodies. Through this Holy Prophecy, we learn that although our body may become worn out, God will Renew it by reuniting our soul and body once more at the Resurrection of all mankind. If we need not fear our physical death, what then should we fear? WE SHOULD FEAR THAT WHICH DESTROYS OUR SOUL.
AND IF WE WONDER HOW OUR IMMORTAL SOUL CAN BE DESTROYED OR HARMED, WE MUST REALISE THAT THIS IS CAUSED BY THE PERSONAL CHOICES WE MAKE THROUGHOUT THIS LIFE. THE DESTRUCTION OF OUR IMMORTAL SOUL IS THE CONSEQUENCE OF OUR OWN WILFUL AND HARMFUL ACTIONS: OUR OWN WICKED WORDS, THOUGHTS AND DEEDS. WE SHOULD CONSTANTLY FEAR THE DESTRUCTION OF OUR IMMORTAL SOUL THROUGH OUR UNREPENTED SINS AND FAILING TO NURTURE AND NOURISH OUR SOUL.

A genuine Christian Life means LIVING EVERY
MOMENT OF THE DAY ACCORDING TO A SPECIFIC SET OF DIVINE RULES AND THE REALISATION OF WHATEVER IS PERMISSIBLE OR FORBIDDEN as St Paul reminds us: “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient.” (1 CORINTHIANS 6:12). Thus, we must always keep in mind that ALTHOUGH GOD HAS CREATED US WITH COMPLETELY FREE WILL

to make our own choices, ONLY BY OBEYING AND MAINTAINING GOD’S DIVINE COMMANDMENTS, IS IT POSSIBLE TO AVOID TEMPTATIONS AND SIN. One of the ways to avoid sin is to question our motives and thoughts : ® Is what I am about to do or say HONEST? ® Is what I am about to do or say UNSELFISH? ® Is what I am about to do or say LOVING? ® Is what I am about to do or say PURE?

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IF WHATEVER WE THINK OR DO OR SAY DOES NOT FULFIL THESE FOUR CRITERIA, WE ARE NOT FULFILLING GOD’S WILL OR HIS COMMANDMENTS.

CHRIST PERSISTENTLY CAUTIONED US NOT NEGLECT THE CARE OF OUR IMMORTAL SOUL BY ONLY SATISFYING THE PHYSICAL DEMANDS OF OUR BODY

– as demonstrated by His wise Parable of the rich man and his many barns, who thought he would have plenty of time to rest from his labours and enjoy his gathered wealth and possessions. However, our Lord called him “Fool!” and informed him that THAT VERY NIGHT HIS SOUL WOULD BE
SEPARATED FROM HIS BODY.
(LUKE 12:20). AS GOD SO CLEARLY POINTED OUT: THE MAN WAS A WRETCHED FOOL BECAUSE HE WOULD DIE WITHOUT HAVING TAKEN ANY TIME TO CARE FOR HIS MOST PRECIOUS AND ONLY POSSESSION: HIS IMMORTAL SOUL! EVERYTHING ELSE WE THINK WE POSSESS BELONGS TO GOD WHO LENDS US AS MUCH AS WE NEED AND EVEN MORE SOMETIMES SO THAT WE CAN SHARE IT WITH OTHERS LESS BLESSED THAN US! MATERIAL WEALTH AND POSSESSION ARE A MEANS OF TESTING AND DEVELOPING OUR IMMORTAL SOULS FOR ETERNAL LIFE IN GOD’S KINGDOM OF LOVE.

We must AVOID ANYTHING THAT DOES NOT MATCH THESE DIVINE QUALITIES because they will lead us into sin, which consequently will destroy our immortal soul! In our human fragility, we are not perfect. Thus, NO MATTER HOW HARD WE TRY TO AVOID SIN, WE FAIL DUE TO OUR OWN IMPERFECTIONS. Nevertheless, GOD HAS PROVIDED A WAY FOR US TO
HEAL WHEN WE HAVE DAMAGED AND INFECTED OUR SOUL BY COMMITING SIN.

That

HEALING

GRACE

comes

THROUGH

OUR

REPENTANCE that is, THE FULL REPENTANCE OF ACKNOWLEDGING OUR SIN BEFORE GOD AND HIS APPOINTED WITNESS, THE PRIEST.

This type of Spiritual Healing through Repentance is
ONLY GRANTED TO US MYSTERY OF CONFESSION. THROUGH THE HOLY OUR LORD taught us this when He GRANTED HIS

Our Lord’s Divine Revelation of His Last Judgment of all mankind clearly and most definitely teaches us exactly how we are to nurture and develop our immortal soul : we must feed the hungry; we must quench the thirsty; we must welcome and accommodate the stranger; we must clothe the naked and we must visit the sick and the imprisoned. (MATTHEW 25:31-46).
WITHOUT FULFILLING ANY OF THESE SACRED TASKS OR GOOD DEEDS OF LOVE AND COMPASSION FOR ONE ANOTHER WHILE IN THIS LIFE, WE CANNOT EXPECT TO BECOME WORTHY CITIZENS OF GOD’S HEAVENLY JERUSALEM – CITY OF PEACE AND LOVE – IN ETERNITY – THE LIFE HEREAFTER!

While the development our soul by means of our sincere and cheerful Good Deeds is certainly spiritually beneficial, the most important aspect of our Life in Christ is THE CONSTANT AWARENESS AND AVOIDANCE OF SIN – THE AVOIDANCE OF
TEMPTATIONS OR THE ACTUAL COMMITTING OF SIN.

“Whatsoever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven: and whatsoever you shall loosen on earth shall be loosened in Heaven” (MATTHEW 18:18). So, my dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, carefully and meticulously tend to your soul through Acts of Mercy; avoid sin; and Repent and Confess your sins regularly, for our Lord said: “Truly, truly, I say unto you: The Hour is coming, and NOW IS, when the dead shall hear the Voice of the Son of God: and THEY WHO HEAR SHALL LIVE!” (JOHN 5:25). Amen.
AUTHORITY TO HIS APOSTLES:
ADAPTED & EDITED BY MP: “TWENTIETH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST: THE WIDOW OF NAIN” BY FATHER MILAN MEDAKOVIC. (2009) - SAINT GREGORY OF PALAMAS

http://www.saintgregorypalamas.com/2010/02/twentiethsunday-after-pentecost.html
LIBRARY:

E ld e r P ai sio s o f M o un t A th os – O n P e r ve rse Th ou gh ts th at S e p ar ate Us f r om G od

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Father Paisios believed that THE SPIRITUALITY OF
PEOPLE IS DEFINED BY THE QUALITY OF THEIR THOUGHTS.

He related the account of three men who sat conversing in a park. Suddenly a young man ran past them and as they watched him disappear into the distance, each immediately judged the situation: The first man thought: “He must have stolen something, so he is running away.” The second man thought: “He must be late for a date with a girlfriend so he can’t wait to get there.” And the third man thought: “He must be a Chanter in Church and is in a rush to get there before the beginning of the Holy Service.”

Father Paisios explained: “The three men had three different thoughts concerning the same person. However, only the last man, who thought positively, benefitted spiritually, whereas the other two suffered Spiritual Harm.” Our Holy Father always insisted that whenever one of our Brethren in Christ has a negative thought, we must kindly and humbly try to correct it, for it is our Sacred Duty to do so. “Today many people – unfortunately, including some of our Spiritual Fathers – instead of trying to correct falsified thoughts, either consent to them, or even distort the positive thoughts.” He gave us the following example so that we could understand the manner in which they function.

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When a young man told his Spiritual Father (or advisor) how a friend of his offended him, and began to relate his negative thoughts concerning the other man, instead of trying to change his negative attitude and reinstate his love for his friend, the Spiritual Father viewed the young man’s problems from a SOCIAL point of view, and wanting to humour or to please him - he advised him: ‘Since you know what kind of person your friend is, do not pay attention to him – just ignore him!’ Father Paisios explained: “The young man may superficially feel better after listening to the words of his Spiritual Father (or advisor), but his negative predisposition towards the other person still remains festering within him.” Then, when the other young man consults the same Spiritual Father, and relates identical negative thoughts about the first young man, the same solution is offered for the same problem, which is dealt with from a SOCIAL viewpoint. And once again - although the Father has soothed the second young man’s bruised ego – just like his former friend – both young men have retained their negative attitude towards the other person. “In such a manner, we can even please the devil if we so wish! But you will see what happens next, since Divine Justice truly exists in our present lives!” At some point the two former friends, who still retained their negative thoughts, met up and began to accuse each other, until one said: “... I spoke to my Spiritual Father and he agrees with me...” and they

soon understood that what their mutual Spiritual Father had merely tried to do was to please them both – but he had not resolved their problem and restored their friendship. As a result, the two young men lost their trust and respect for their Spiritual Father! Elder Paisios then related the correct manner of dealing with similar cases: “A married man came to discuss the problems he faced with his wife and how her behaviour had affected his thoughts. “I immediately started finding excuses for his wife’s behaviour and in the end, I told him that he should Glorify God for the wife He had granted him, after pointing out that he was the one responsible for destroying their loving relationship. “I encouraged him to examine his own behaviour so that he could love his wife again when he realised that he was wrong and that he had to rid himself of all his negative thoughts. “And I did exactly the same thing with his wife when she came to see me. “I scolded her as well so that both of them would rid themselves of their negative thoughts and, consequently, they regained their loving relationship once more. “Moreover, they finally understood and appreciated why I had scolded each of them once they realised that my only aim was to reunite them as before.”
ADAPTED & EDITED BY MP: “ELDER PAISIOS OF THE HOLY MOUNTAIN” COMPILED BY PRIESTMONK CHRISTODOULOS, HOLY MOUNTAIN’S MONK

Wi sd om o f o u r H oly C hu rc h F at he r s
8 St. Symeon The New Theologian
You may find yourself hampered by someone who sows tares of despondency – who tries to prevent you from climbing to such heights of holiness by discouraging you with various thoughts. For instance, he will tell you that it is impossible for you to be Saved and to keep every single one of God's Commandments while you live in this world. When this happens you should sit down in a solitary place by yourself, collect yourself, concentrate your thoughts and give good counsel to your soul, saying: "Why, my soul, are you dejected, and why do you trouble me?” Put your Hope in God, for I will give thanks to Him; for my Salvation lies not in my actions but in God. Who will be vindicated by actions done according to the law? No living person will be vindicated before God! Yet by virtue of my Faith in God I hope that in His ineffable Mercy He will grant me Salvation. Get behind me, Satan! I worship the Lord my God and serve Him since my youth; for He is able to Save me simply through His Mercy Go away from me! The God Who created me in His Image and Likeness will reduce you to impotence! ( PSALM 42:5; GALATI ANS 2:16; PSALM 143:2; MATTHEW 16:23;
MATTHEW 4:10)

Remember, never fear the power of evil more than your Trust in the Power and Love of God.

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St Isaac The Syrian As a handful of sand thrown into the ocean, so are the sins of all flesh as compared with the Mind of God. Just as a strongly flowing fountain is not blocked up by a handful of earth, so the Compassion of the Creator is not overcome by the wickedness of His creatures. Those who bear a grudge while praying are like those who sow in the sea and expect to reap a harvest.

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St Maximos The Confessor (Third Century On Love No. 55) Those who busy themselves with the sins of others, or judge their Brethren on suspicion, have not yet even begun to Repent or to examine themselves so as to discover their own sins...

St Seraphim Of Sarov In spite of our sinfulness, in spite of the darkness surrounding our souls, the Grace of the Holy Spirit, conferred by Baptism in the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, still shines in our hearts with the inextinguishable Light of Christ ... And when the sinner turns to the Way of Repentance the Light smoothes away every trace of the sins committed, clothing the former sinner in the Garments of Incorruption, spun of the Grace of the Holy Spirit. It is this Acquisition of the Holy Spirit of which I have been speaking.

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8 St John Climacus Fire and water do not mix, neither can we mix judgement of others with the desire to Repent. If anyone commits a sin before us at the very moment of death, pass no judgment, because the Judgment of God is hidden from us. It has happened that people have sinned greatly in the open but have done greater deeds in secret, so that those who would disparage them have been fooled, with smoke instead of sunlight in their eyes. 8 St John Of Kronstadt Our wickedness shall not overpower the unspeakable Goodness and Mercy of God; our dullness shall not overpower God's Wisdom, nor our infirmity God's Omnipotence.

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St Hermas Of The 70 Apostles Of Our Lord Jesus Christ

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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 EVER, AND UNTO THE AGES OF AGES. AMEN. REMEMBERING ALSO OUR MOST HOLY, MOST PURE, MOST BLESSED AND GLORIOUS LADY, MARIA, BIRTH GIVER OF GOD, 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 7 O ct obe r 2 0 1 0 2 1 s t S un d a y A fte r P e n te co st - To ne 4 4th Sunday of St Luke – The Sower & the Seed Sunday of the 250 Holy Fathers of the 7th Ecumenical Council Feast of St Hosea Holy Prophet of God; St Andrew, Hieromartyr of Crete; St Anthony of Leokhnov, Nogorod; St Kosmas & St Damianos the Holy Unmercenaries together with St Leontios, St Anthimos & St Eutropios – Holy Martyrs of Cilicia (Arabia); St Lazaros the 4 Days Buried Bishop of Kiteia, Cyprus – transfer of Holy Relics; the Holy Icon of the Ever Blessed Theotokos “In Giving Birth, Thou Preserved Thy Virginity” (Virgin Before & After the Birth of Christ); the Holy Icon of Theotokos the Deliverer; St Joseph the Catholicos Patriarch of Georgia; St Kozman Holy Martyr of Georgia
Resurrection Apolytikion - Tone 4

To

fedron tis Anastaseos Kirigma ek tou Angelou Mathouse e tou Kyriou Mathitrie ke tin Progonikin apofasin aporipsase, tis Apostolis kafhomene elegon: Eskilefte O Thanatos, igerthi Hristos O Theos, doroumenos to kosmo to Mega Eleos!

When the Women Disciples of the Lord had learnt from
the Angels the Glad Tidings of the Resurrection, and had cast away the Condemnation of their Forefather, they spoke exultingly to the Apostles: Death is no more: Christ God is Risen, granting to the world Great Mercy!

Apolytikion Of The Holy Church Fathers – Tone (8) Plagal 4

Iperdedoxasmenos i Hriste O Theos imon, O fostiras epi
gis, tous Pateras imon themeliosas, ke di afton, pros tin alithinin pistin pantas imas odigisas, Poliefsplahne doxa Si!
Kontakion Of The Ever Blessed Theotokos – Chanted From

Supremely

praised art Thou, O Christ our God, Who established on earth, our Fathers as Luminaries; and through them, to the True Faith all of us Thou has Guided, O Most Compassionate One: Glory to Thee!

21 September Until 8 November

Prostasia

ton Hristianon akateskhinte, mesitia pros ton Piitin ametathete, mi Paridis, amartolon deiseon fonas, alla profthason os agathi, is tin voithian imon, ton pistos kravgazonton Si: Tahinon is presvian, ke spefson is ikesian, i prostatevousa ai, Theotoke, ton timonton se.

O Protection of the Christians unashamable, Mediation
to the Creator Immovable, despise not, the pleading voices of those in sin, but hasten O Good One, to the Help of all of us, who in Faith cry out to Thee: hasten Thine Intercession, and present Thy supplication, O Theotokos who always protects all those who honour Thee!

Resurrection
PROKEIMENON

Gospel 10: John 21: 1 – 14 - O u r L o r d J e s u s S e r v e s B r e a k f a s t T o H i s E l e v e n a p o s t l e s

Let Thy Mercy, O Lord, be upon us, as we have set our hope on Thee. Rejoice in the Lord, all Righteous
The E pi stle o f S t P aul to S t Tito s 3 : 8 - 1 5
GOD’S KINDNESS TO US

Men!

Brethren: This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain Good Works. These things are good and profitable to mankind. But avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions and strivings about the Law, for they are unprofitable and useless. Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition, knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self condemned. When I send Artemas to you, or Tychikos, be diligent to come to me a Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there. Send Zenas the Lawyer and Apollos on their journey with haste, so that they may lack nothing. And let our people also learn to maintain good works, to meet urgent needs, so that they may not be unfruitful. All who are with me, greet you. Greet those who love us in the Faith. Grace be with you all. Amen. While St Paul was painfully aware that we are all Immorality and heresy result in incomplete and awaiting the Consummation of the Age to come, he erroneous beliefs that will have dire consequences knew that we already participate in the for those who adhere to such untruths and lack of Eschatological Community. Obedience to Almighty God. They are selfHoly Baptism and Chrismation are the beginning – the indulgent and arrogant - unable to live correctly, Rite of Passage towards a Progressive Life of according to God’s Divine Teaching or Renewal in Christ. (2 CORINTHIANS 3: 16 – 18) Commandments with proper Humility and A divisive person is one who “picks” or “chooses from” Obedience. – or with appropriate Love of God and the whole Divine Truth. our fellow sinners. A sect is a group that follows its own choices, independent of Holy Tradition.
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The Ho ly G o s pe l A cc o rd in g to L uke 8: 5 – 1 5
PARABLE OF THE SOWER & THE SEED

At that time, our Lord Jesus said: “A Sower went out to sow His Seed. And as He sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trampled down, and the birds of the air devoured it. Some fell on rock; and as soon as it sprang up, it withered away because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up with it and choked it. But others fell on good ground, sprang up, and yielded a crop a hundredfold.” When Jesus had said these things He cried: “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” Then His Disciples asked Him, saying: “What does this Parable mean?” So He said: “To you it has been given to know the Mysteries of the Kingdom of God, but to the rest it is given in Parables, that ‘Seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.’ “Now the Parable is this: The Seed is the Word of God. Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be Saved. But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the Word with Joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away. “Now the ones who fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity. But the ones who fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the Word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear Fruit with patience.” 8 THE MYSTERIES OF THE KINGDOM ARE 8 THE HOLY GOSPEL OF GOD’S KINGDOM IS REVEALED TO THE FAITHFUL, but hidden POWERFUL, BUT OUR HEARTS’ RESPONSE from those with irresponsible hearts. DETERMINES ITS FRUITFULNESS IN OUR The explanation of the Parable is easily grasped. LIVES. 8 But ONLY WITH THE EYES OF FAITH DOES ONE 8 TAKING HEED TO HEAR OUR LORD, THE WORD SEE AND KNOW THAT OUR LORD JESUS OF GOD, BRINGS LIGHT WITHIN OUR CHRIST HIMSELF IS TRULY THE SAVIOUR. SOULS. IT MUST NOT BE HIDDEN BUT 8 DISCIPLESHIP REQUIRES BOTH THAT WE HAVE ALLOWED TO SHINE FORTH. A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH OUR 8 THE MORE ONE PERMITS ALMIGHTY GOD’S LORD JESUS CHRIST AND THAT WE LIGHT TO SHINE, THE MORE LIGHT IS UNDERSTAND WHAT HE TEACHES US. GIVEN.

The S ow e r & T he S e e d
My dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, today we heard the familiar Parable of the Sower in the Sacred Lesson of our Lord. When He concluded this Parable He said: “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” (Luke 8:8) Our Lord Jesus said this to indicate to those who were present that there is a much deeper meaning to His Parable than what appears to be initially – what appears to concern simply seed being scattered and sprouting. His Disciples realized this and when they asked Him to explain the meaning of this Parable, our Lord responded: “Unto you it is given to know the Mysteries of the Kingdom of God: but to others in Parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.” (LUKE 8:10) Thereby our Lord Jesus Christ made a distinction between His Faithful Followers and those who merely heard His Words and saw His Works, but understood nothing more concerning them.
GOD BESTOWS HIS DIVINE GRACE UPON THOSE WHO CHOOSE TO FOLLOW HIM. GOD DESIRES OUR SALVATION as it says in St Paul’s

First Epistle to St Timothy: He “...wills all men to be Saved, and to come unto the Knowledge of the Truth.” (1TIMOTHY 2:4) Additionally, God does “...not will that any should perish, but that all should come to Repentance.”
(2 PETER 3:9)

THE SEED OF SALVATION IS SOWN INTO THE SOULS OF MEN THROUGH CHRIST’S TEACHINGS.

The Parable tells us that THREE PARTS OF THE SEED IS LOST, but it is clear that the failure of this Seed is not the fault of Sower or the Seed but DUE TO THE
TYPE OF GROUND UPON WHICH IT FELL. WE NEED TO BE WILLING TO COOPERATE WITH GOD IN ORDER TO RECEIVE SALVATION.

This means that WE MUST ABANDON OUR SELF WILL
AND FOLLOW CHRIST IN ORDER TO RECEIVE SALVATION and an example of this was when our

When we choose to follow Him our Spiritual Sight is opened so that we may understand the Mysteries of the Kingdom of God. As followers of Christ our God, we may, at times, hear Him speak to us in very direct terms and the Holy Gospel of St John reminds us of this in Christ’s last conversation with His Disciples before His Death: “These things have I spoken unto you in Proverbs: but the time comes, when I shall no more speak to you in Proverbs.” (JOHN
16:25)

What is the deeper meaning of this Parable? “A Sower went out to sow His Seed:” the Sower is our Lord God and Saviour Jesus Christ Who left His Eternal Existence with the Father and Holy Spirit to enter into our time and space. The Incarnate Word of God, Jesus Christ, went out into His world the world that He created out of nothingness, as described in the Book of Genesis. The Field that our Lord, the Sower, went out to, is the field of human souls. He went out into the field of human souls to sow the Seed of Salvation.

Lord Called His Disciples, St James and St John. They immediately left their work and their father to follow Christ as soon as He said to them: “Follow Me.” (MATTHEW 8:22) The lost Seed in the Parable does not mean that God will not benefit from making His Word known to those who will not receive it. According to His Parable of the Talents we see that even in the case of the disobedient servant who had made no use of the Talent given to him, the Talent was returned to the Lord. This is further demonstrated when our Lord Jesus sent forth His Disciples to teach others and instructed them: “... if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you.” (MATTHEW 10:13) So my dear Brethren in Christ: be the good, fertile soil that receives the Seed of God’s Salvation, thereby bearing a good harvest and having the ears to hear and the eyes to see the Mysteries of the Kingdom of God. Amen
ADAPTED & EDITED BY MP: FR. MILAN MEDAKOVIC - HOLY TRINITY SERBIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH, YOUNGSTOWN, OHIO - 21ST SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST 2009

http://frmilan.wordpress.com/2009/11/01/21st sunday after pentecost/

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21ST SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 4TH OF ST LUKE – THE SOWER & THE SEED – 17 OCTOBER 2010

E ld e r P ai sio s o f M o un t A th os - O n P e rve rse Th ou gh ts th at S e p ar ate Us f r om G od
Father Paisios believed that “...thoughts are like aeroplanes flying in the air... if you ignore them, there is no problem... but if you pay attention to them, you create an airport inside you and allow them to land!” A young, simple hearted man could not resist listening to negative suggestions and thoughts, which consequently became obstacles to every good work he tried to accomplish. When he sought the advice of Father Paisios, the Holy Father immediately recognised that the young man’s negative thoughts were the cause of his problem. So he told him: “There was a man who believed that if he got married and had sons, and there was a war, they would have to join the army and might eventually be killed. Therefore, he decided there was no good reason for him to ever marry and produce a family.” Turning to his young visitor, Father Paisios asked: “Is that not a silly way of thinking?” and the man agreed. The Elder responded: “Well, then, you must be careful because you are doing the same kind of thing. Bear in mind that you will never achieve anything good at all, if you always think and act in a negative manner!” Father Christodoulos always marvelled at how our Saints managed to willingly endure their Martyrdom and he wondered how we could acquire their amazing tolerance, when even a bad headache or stomach pain makes most of us feel so wretched. As he was walking towards the cell of Father Paisios, Father Christodoulos met up with the Holy Elder at the river that was situated approximately 500 metres away from the little house. Father Paisios had named the small river “Nile,” and he had been cutting wood from a chestnut tree in order to make a bridge for people to cross over without having to wade through the water. He had injured himself with a sharp piece of wood and was bleeding enough to make him stop his work and return to his cell for a bandage. With a smile the Elder calmly examined his wound and then he turned to his visitor and showed it to him, saying: “You see: it looks like that of our crucified Christ!” When he had attended to his injury, Father Christodoulos asked Father Paisios what made our Saints not only endure their Martyrdom but also be Spiritually Joyous about it, while we can hardly bear a mosquito bite. “Everything has to do with having correct thinking: if our thoughts are firmly secured in our Faith, no one can ever take them away.” Then he took out the Old Testament (THE SEPTUAGINT) and explained that SECTION 4 OF THE BOOK OF
MACCABEES CLEARLY DESCRIBES HOW POSITIVE THOUGHTS CAN HELP US IGNORE OR DISREGARD ANY PAIN OR TORTURE.

Negative expressions like “I do not want” or “I do not love” lead us to say “I cannot!” When we are tortured by a specific passion, we claim that a certain power prevents us from restraining ourselves and being good. However, we should know that THIS SAME POWER,
WHICH ACTS AS AN OBSTACLE, IS ROOTED INSIDE US. IT CAN MAKE US LOVE, BUT IT HAS TURNED IN THE WRONG DIRECTION AND SINCE WE LOVE OUR PASSIONS, IT IS NATURAL THAT WE ARE UNABLE TO GET RID OF THEM. WHEN WE LOVE SOMETHING, WE WANT IT, AND WE CANNOT LET IT GO BECAUSE WE DO NOT WANT TO LOSE IT.

Therefore, we must first hate and reject our passions and then WE MUST FIND SOMETHING BETTER
TOWARDS WHICH TO DIRECT AND TRANSFER OUR LOVE. OTHERWISE WE ARE UNABLE TO ERADICATE OUR PASSIONS – our stumbling blocks – and replace them with Love, AND CONSEQUENTLY, WE WILL CONTINUE TO SUFFER.

When people complained to Father Paisios that they were unable to stop their passions, which they recognised as being harmful to themselves and others – such as smoking, drinking, gambling, fornicating, etc – he would ask them: “Do you want to stop...?” and they would immediately respond: “Yes, I have tried many times but...” “Well, that is it! As of this moment you will never again... (and he would mention the person’s vice) ... and God will help you!” he would say. Inevitably the person would begin to argue: “Perhaps, Father... but...” Then the Holy Elder would interrupt the expected excuse even before the person could say another word, and with a sharp but confident tone he would declare: “There is no ‘perhaps’ or ‘maybe!’ It is over! Do not consent to any thoughts that convince you of failure!” Father Paisios wanted us to understand that WE ARE
FREE WILLED AND SELF-DEPENDENT!

He stressed the fact that IF OUR PASSIONS OR VICES
RULED OUR LIVES, CONSENTED TO IT. IT IS BECAUSE WE HAVE WE HAVE PERMITTED it and if we remain enslaved to

our sinful desires, we only do so because we love our passions and want to be enslaved by them!
FROM THE VERY MOMENT WE SINCERELY YEARN FOR OUR SPIRITUAL FREEDOM and really want to abide IN CHRIST, WE ARE FREED FROM OUR PASSIONS AND BECOME, ONCE AGAIN, FAITHFUL SERVANTS OF GOD. ALL COMMANDMENTS ARE GIVEN BY CHRIST TO THOSE WHO ARE ENSLAVED BY SIN, and HE HAS TAUGHT US TO LEAVE OUR SINS BEHIND US AND FOLLOW HIM INSTEAD.

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For that reason, God said to the thief: “Do not steal!” To the unjust person: “Do not be unfair!” And to the adulterer and fornicator: “Do not commit adultery/fornication!” If we are forcibly – and not willingly – enslaved by our sins, then WHY DOES GOD ASK US TO
ABANDON OUR SINS AND GET CLOSER TO HIM?

He read the text and then clarified it further. When he had finished, he said: “This text from the Old Testament clearly indicates that mankind is free, and with our thoughts, we can overcome our passions and desires, and whatever else derives from any unpleasant or bad thoughts.” He emphasised the fact that words SUCH AS “I
CANNOT” HAVE NO VALIDITY IN OUR LIFE.

Since our Lord tells us to do so on our own, it means that WE ARE BEING SUBDUED, IMPRISONED AND
ENSLAVED BY OUR OWN PASSIONS BECAUSE WE LOVE, DESIRE AND WANT THEM!

Father Paisios assures us that THE MOMENT WE BEGIN
TO HATE AND REJECT OUR PASSIONS – OUR VICES – AND INSTEAD DIRECT ALL OUR LOVE AND DESIRE TOWARDS GOD, WE ARE IMMEDIATELY FREE TO DO SO.

Therefore, it is of primary importance to REALISE
AND TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE STATE AND DEPTH OF OUR SPIRITUAL ILLNESS (i.e. our voluntary or

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9

willing co operation with evil) – and clearly seeing its ugliness with absolute clarity, we will hate it, reject it and abandon it by RETURNING TO GOD AND LOVING HIS DIVINE GOODNESS with all its pure and beautiful facets, for this is TRUE SPIRITUAL FREEDOM! St. Gregory Of Nyssa Virtue is a light and buoyant thing, and all who live in her way ‘fly like clouds’ as Isaiah says, ‘and as doves with their young ones;’ but sin is a heavy affair, as another of the Prophets says, ‘sitting upon a talent of lead.’

With our sincere Love of God and all His Goodness,
WE INSTANTLY AND JOYFULLY ATTAIN PHYSICAL AND SPIRITUAL FREEDOM! AND OUR SPIRITUAL FREEDOM HAS A RESOUNDING EFFECT ON EVERYTHING THAT SURROUNDS US!!
ADAPTED & EDITED BY MP: “ELDER PAISIOS OF THE HOLY MOUNTAIN” BY PRIESTMONK CHRISTODOULOS – HOLY MOUNTAIN’S MONK

Wi sd om o f o u r H oly C hu rc h F at he r s
as God is Love. "That they may be one, even as We are One" (JOHN 17:22) Archbishop Anastasios Of Albania Always remember that at the Last Judgement we are judged for loving Him, or failing to Love Him, in the least person. St John Of Kronstadt Do not be irritated either with those who sin or those who offend; do not have a passion for noticing every sin in your neighbours, and for judging them, as we are in the habit of doing. Everyone shall give an answer to God for himself. Everyone has a conscience; everyone hears God's Word, and knows God's Will either from books or from conversation with other people. Especially do not look with evil intention upon the sins of your Elders, which do not regard you; "...to his own Master he stands or falls." Correct your own sins! Amend your own life! St Tikhon Of Voronezh The water of a river flows uninterruptedly and passes away, and all that floats on its surface rubbish or beams of trees - all pass by. Christian! So does our life! I was an infant, and that time has gone. I was an adolescent, and that too has passed. I was a young man, and that too is far behind me. The strong and mature man that I was is no more. My hair turns white, I succumb to age, but that too passes; I approach the end and will go the way of all flesh. I was born in order to die. I die that I may live. Remember me, O Lord, in Thy Kingdom! St John Of Kronstadt - "My Life In Christ" People who are wrathful with us are sick people; we must apply plasters of Love to their heart. We must treat them kindly; speak to them gently and lovingly. And if there is no deeply rooted malice against us within them, but only a temporary fit of anger, we will see how their heart, or their malice, will melt away through our kindness and Love how good will conquer evil. A Christian must always be kind, gracious, and wise in order to conquer evil by good. Abba Doulas – Disciple of Abba Bessarion One day as we were walking beside the sea I became very thirsty and informed Abba Bessarion, who immediately said a Prayer and then told me to drink some of the salty sea water. To my surprise, the water tasted sweet so I began to fill a leather bottle for fear of being thirsty again later one. Seeing this, Abba Bessarion asked me why I was doing so and I answered: “Forgive me Abba; it is for fear of being thirsty later on." Then he reminded me: "God is here - God is everywhere!" Abba Poemen Whenever we cover our the sins of our Brethren, God will cover ours; whenever we tell others about our Brethren’s guilt, God will do the same with our guilt!
— — —

St Maximos The Confessor God, Who is by Nature good and dispassionate, Loves all men equally as His Handiwork. But He glorifies the virtuous man because in his will he is united to God. At the same time, in His Goodness He is Merciful to the sinner and by chastising him in this life brings him back to the Path of Virtue. Similarly, a man of good and dispassionate judgment also Loves all men equally. He Loves the virtuous man because of his nature and the probity (INTEGRITY OR HONESTY) of his intention; and he Loves the sinner, too, because of his nature and because in his compassion he pities him for foolishly stumbling in darkness."

St Symeon The New Theologian Apart from Love nothing whatever has existed, nor ever will. Its names and actions are many. More numerous still are Its distinctive marks; Divine and innumerable are Its properties. Yet It is one in Nature, wholly beyond utterance whether on the part of Angels or men or any other creatures, even such as are unknown to us. Reason cannot comprehend It; Its Glory is inaccessible, Its Counsels unsearchable. It is Eternal because It is beyond time, invisible because thought cannot comprehend It, although it may perceive It. Many are the beauties of this Holy Zion Not Made with Hands! He who has begun to see Love no longer delights in sensible objects; he ceases to be attached to the glory of this world. St Peter Of Damascus Whenever we fall, we should not despair and so estrange ourselves from our Lord's Love. For if He so chooses, He can deal mercifully with our weakness. Only we should not cut ourselves off from Him or feel oppressed when constrained by His Commandments, nor should we lose heart when we fall short of our Goal...let us always be ready to make a new start. If you fall, rise up. If you fall again, rise up again. Only do not abandon your Physician, lest you be Condemned as worse than a suicide because of your despair. Wait on God, and He will be merciful, either reforming you, or sending you trials, or through some other Provision of which you are ignorant. St John Of Kronstadt As the Holy Trinity, our God is One Being, although Three Persons, so, likewise, we ourselves must be one. As our God is indivisible, we also must be indivisible, as though we were one man, one mind, one will, one heart, one goodness, without the smallest admixture of malice in a word, one Pure Love,

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21ST SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 4TH OF ST LUKE – THE SOWER & THE SEED – 17 OCTOBER 2010

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 EVER, AND UNTO THE AGES OF AGES. AMEN. REMEMBERING ALSO OUR MOST HOLY, MOST PURE, MOST BLESSED AND GLORIOUS LADY, MARIA, BIRTH GIVER OF GOD, 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.

18 October 2010 The Fe as t of S t Lu ke H oly A p os tle o f Ch ri st & E v an ge li st Also the Feast of St Marinos the Elder of Anazarbos, Cilicia (Asia Minor); St Julian the Hermit of Mesopotamia; St Joseph of Volokolamsk; St James Deacon of York; St Peter of Niegushi, Montenegro; St David of Serpukhov
Apolytikion of St Luke – Holy Apostle & Evangelis – Tone 3

Apostole Agie, ke Evangelista Louka, presveve to eleimoni O Holy Apostle and Evangelist Luke: intercede with our
Merciful God, to grant remission of fault, to the souls o fall of us. Kontakion of the Ever Blessed Theotokos - 21 September - 8 November Theo, ina ptesmaton afesin, paraskhi test psihes imon.

Prostasia

ton Hristianon akateskhinte, mesitia pros ton Piitin ametathete, mi Paridis, amartolon deiseon fonas, alla profthason os agathi, is tin voithian imon, ton pistos kravgazonton Si: Tahinon is presvian, ke spefson is ikesian, i prostatevousa ai, Theotoke, ton timonton se.

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

The E pi stle o f S t P aul to the C ol os si a ns 4: 5 - 11 , 1 4- 1 8
SPIRITUALITY FOR THE WORLD & GREETINGS AND INSTRUCTIONS

Brethren: Walk in Wisdom toward those who are outside, Redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with Grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one. Tychikos, a beloved Brother, Faithful Minister, and fellow Servant in the Lord, will tell you all the news about me. I am sending him to you for this very purpose that he may know your circumstances and comfort your hearts, with Onesimos, a Faithful and Beloved Brother, who is one of you. They will make known to you all things which are happening here. Aristarchos, my fellow prisoner, greets you, with Mark, the cousin of Barnabas (about whom you received instruction: if he comes to you, welcome him), and Jesus, who is called Justus. These are my only fellow workers for the Kingdom of God who are of the circumcision; they have proved to be a comfort to me. Luke the Beloved Physician and Demas greet you. Greet the Brethren who are in Laodicea, and Nymphas and the Church that is in his house. Now when this Epistle is read among you, see that it is read also in the Church of the Laodiceans and that you likewise read the Epistle from Laodicea. And say to Archippos, "Take heed to the Ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you may fulfil it." This salutation by my own hand – Paul. Remember my chains. Grace be with you. Amen. ST PAUL WAS IMPRISONED IN ROME CIRCA 61-63 ST TYCHICOS WAS THE COURIER OF THIS LETTER when he wrote this and the Epistle to the as well as for those addressed to the Ephesians and Philippians. to St Philemon. This letter concerns LIVING BY THE WILL OF GOD. ST PAUL EXPECTED HIS LETTERS TO BE READ St Paul expected the Church to BE AT COMMUNAL ALOUD to the various churches and at least sometimes to be sent on to neighbouring churches. "PRAYER" OFTEN. (Colosse and Laodicea are less than 15 miles apart.) Not only were the Apostles to "SPEAK THE MYSTERY ST PAUL’S LETTER COMING FROM LAODICEA OF CHRIST" but every member of the Church was PROBABLY IS THE ONE WE KNOW AS to HAVE "SPEECH … WITH GRACE" SO AS "TO “EPHESIANS.” ANSWER" THOSE SEEKING THE TRUE FAITH.

The Ho ly G o s pe l A cc o rd in g to S t L uk e 1 0: 1 6 -2 1
TH E RE VE L ATIO N O F O UR L O RD & SAVI O UR CO NCE R NI NG SPI R ITUAL MATTE R S & THE KI NG DO M O F G OD

Our Lord Jesus Christ said: "He who hears you hears Me, he who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejects Me rejects Him Who sent Me." Then the Seventy returned with joy, saying, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Thy Name." And Jesus said to them: "I saw Satan fall like lightning from Heaven. Behold, I give you the Authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in Heaven." In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said: "I thank Thee, Father, Lord of Heaven and earth, that Thou hast hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Thy sight.” "I SAW SATAN FALL … FROM HEAVEN" is probably a reference Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, by Lord Jesus Christ to Isaiah 14:12-15 - "How you you who laid the nations low! You said in your heart, I will ascend to Heaven; I will raise my are fallen from Heaven, O Day Star, son of

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THE FEAST OF ST LUKE – HOLY APOSTLE OF CHRIST & EVANGELIST – 18 OCTOBER 2010

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throne above the stars of God; I will sit on the Mount of Assembly on the heights of Zaphon; I will ascend to the tops of the clouds, I will make myself like the Most High.’ But you are brought down to Sheol, to the depth of the Pit." ® NOTE THE FIVE "I WILLS" in the passage that illustrate the SELFISH, EGOTISTICAL AND PROUD ATTITUDES THAT
REBEL AGAINST GOD’S DIVINE WILL.

"These things" are THE MYSTERIES of the Kingdom of God

that

ARE MANIFESTED THROUGH THE WORDS AND DEEDS OF JESUS CHRIST.

Because he pursued his own will,

SATAN IS BOTH FALLEN

FROM HEAVEN AND HE IS DEFEATED AND DETHRONED

from

his demonic lordship over the world

BY THE DIVINE MINISTRY OF JESUS CHRIST AND HIS DISCIPLES. THE JOY OF DISCIPLESHIP IS

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not in authority over

They are received by "babes,” people of simple and open hearts, rather than the Scribes and Pharisees – the "wise and prudent." The first accept with total trust, humility and innocence while the others – the Scribes & Pharisees - try to be academic and logical, questioning and analysing everything. The latter are like those who expect God to fit into their own concept of things, rather than them ACCEPTING
GOD AS INFINITELY MYSTERIOUS AND BEYOND OUR UNDERSTANDING OR CONCEPT.

demonic power, but
KINGDOM.

IN THE CITIZENSHIP OF GOD’S

S t Lu ke – Hol y A po st le & E v an ge li st o f Ch ri s t o ur S av io ur
St Luke, was a native of Syrian Antioch, a companion of the Holy Apostle, St Paul and a Physician Enlightened in the Greek Medical Arts.
(PHILIPPIANS1:24; 2 TIMOTHY 4:10-11)

Hearing about Christ, St Luke arrived in Palestine and fervently accepted the preaching of Salvation from our Lord Jesus Himself. As one of the Seventy Apostles, St Luke was sent by our Lord with the others to preach the Kingdom of Heaven during our Saviour's earthly life time.
(LUKE 10:1-3).

After His Resurrection, our Lord Jesus Christ appeared to and accompanied St Luke and St Cleopas along the road to Emmaus. St Luke accompanied St Paul on his Second Missionary Journey, and from that time onwards, they were inseparable. When St Paul's co workers deserted him, only St Luke remained to assist him in his Ministry.
(2 TIMOTHY 4:10-11)

The Book of Acts, which is a continuation of the four Holy Gospels, concerns the Works and the Fruits of the Holy Apostles after the Ascension of our Lord and Saviour. At the centre of the narrative is the Council of the Holy Apostles in Jerusalem during the year 51 a Church Event of great significance, which resulted in the separation of Christianity from Judaism and its independent dissemination into the world. (ACTS 15:6-29) The Theological focus of the Book of Acts is the Coming of the Holy Spirit, Who guides the Holy Church of Christ "...into all Truth." until the Second Coming or Reappearance of Christ. (JOHN
16:13)

After the Martyric Death of the First Ranked Apostles St Peter and St Paul, St Luke left Rome to preach in Achaia, Libya, Egypt and the Thebaid. His life ended in Holy Martyrdom in the city of Thebes.

Holy Tradition credits St Luke with painting the first Icons of the Ever Blessed Theotokos and the Christ Child. After being presented with his Icons, our All Pure Lady, the Ever Virgin Mary, Blessed them with the words: "Let the Grace of Him Who was born of Me and My Mercy be with these Icons." St Luke also wrote Icons of the First Ranked Apostles, St Peter and St Paul. St Luke's Holy Gospel was written in the years 62 63 at Rome, under the guidance of St Paul. In the preliminary verses St Luke precisely set forth the Purpose of his Book to record, in chronological order, everything known by Christians concerning our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ and His Teachings. (LUKE 1:1-3) By doing so, he provided a firmer historical basis for Christian Teaching and he carefully investigated the facts, and made generous use of the Oral Tradition of the Holy Church and of what the All Pure Virgin Mary Herself had told him. (LUKE 2:19 - 51) In St Luke's Holy Gospel, the Message of our Salvation, which is made possible by our Lord Jesus Christ, and the preaching of His Holy Gospel, are of primary importance. St Luke also wrote “The Book of the Acts of the Holy Apostles” while in Rome circa 62 63.

The Holy Relics of St Luke were removed from Constantinople during the terrible “4th Crusade” in 1204 when the great city was ransacked and destroyed, and thousands of Faithful Christians brutally tortured and murdered. The Holy Relics of St Luke eventually arrived in Padua, Italy. In 1992, Metropolitan Hieronymos (Jerome) of Thebes requested the Roman Catholic Bishop in Thebes to return a portion of St Luke's Relics for the Saint's empty sepulchre in the Orthodox Cathedral in Thebes. The Roman Catholic Bishop, Antonio Mattiazzo of Padua, noticed that thousands of Orthodox Pilgrims went to Padua to venerate the Holy Relics of St Luke throughout the year, although most Catholics were completely unaware of them. So he appointed a committee to examine the Holy Relics in Padua, and the skull of St Luke in the Catholic Cathedral of St Vico in Prague. The skeleton was confirmed to be that of an elderly man of strong build. In 2001, a tooth from the casket of St Luke proved to be consistent with the DNA of Syrians living near the area of Antioch dating from 72 416 and the skull, which was preserved in Prague, perfectly fitted the neck bone of the skeleton. Furthermore, the tooth found in the coffin in Padua also fitted the jawbone of the skull. Finally, Bishop Mattiazzo sent a rib from the Holy Relics of St Luke to Metropolitan Hieronymos to be preserved and venerated at St Luke's original tomb in the Orthodox Cathedral in Thebes.
ADAPTED & EDITED BY MP: “THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS” – ORTHODOX CHURCH OF AMERICA - http://ocafs.oca.org/FeastSaintsLife.asp?FSID=102993

St Diadochos of Photike All human beings are created in the Image of God. But to be in His Likeness belongs only to those who by Great Love have attached their Freedom to God.

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THE FEAST OF ST LUKE – HOLY APOSTLE OF CHRIST & EVANGELIST – 18 OCTOBER 2010

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 EVER, AND UNTO THE AGES OF AGES. AMEN. REMEMBERING ALSO OUR MOST HOLY, MOST PURE, MOST BLESSED AND GLORIOUS LADY, MARIA, BIRTH GIVER OF GOD, 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 October 2010 S t J am e s the Ju st Son of St Joseph the Betrothed & his late wife, Salmome, sister of St Anna Also known as St James Adelphotheos or Brother of Christ Also the Feast of the Translation of the Holy Relics of St James of Brorvichi, the Wonderworker of Novgorod; St Ignatios, Patriarch of Constantinople; and St Elisha Igumen of Lareshev Monastery in Belorus
Apolytikion Of St James The Just & Adelphotheos - Tone 4:

Os

tou Kyriou Mathitis, anedexo dikee to Evangelion; os Martis ehis to aparatrepton; tin parrisian os Adelfotheos; to Presvevin os Ierarthis. Iketeve Hriston ton Theon, sothine tas psihas imon.

As the Disciple of the Lord, Thou undertook the Work
of the Gospel, O Righteous One; as Martyr Thou possess the Steadfastness; as Brother of God the confidence; as Hierarch to be an Intercessor. Intercede with Christ our God, for our souls to be Saved.

Kontakion Of The Ever Blessed Theotokos - 21 September - 8 November

Prostasia

ton Hristianon akateskhinte, mesitia pros ton Piitin ametathete, mi Paridis, amartolon deiseon fonas, alla profthason os agathi, is tin voithian imon, ton pistos kravgazonton Si: Tahinon is presvian, ke spefson is ikesian, i prostatevousa ai, Theotoke, ton timonton se.

O

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

The E pi stle o f S t P aul to the G al ati a ns 1 : 1 1 – 1 9
THE DIVINE CALLING OF ST PAUL THE APOSTLE OF CHRIST

Brethren, I make known to you that the Gospel that was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the Revelation of Jesus Christ. For you have heard of my former conduct in Judaism, how I persecuted the Church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it. And I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my own nation, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers. But when it pleased God, Who separated me from my mother’s womb and Called me through His Grace, to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were Apostles before me; but I went to Arabia, and returned again to Damascus. Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter and remained with him fifteen days. But I saw none of the other Apostles except James, the Lord’s brother. Apostolic Tradition is grounded in Divine Revelation private Revelations, the only other Witness is from our Lord Jesus Christ. Almighty God Himself. Just as the Twelve Apostles were Called by Christ, so However, St Paul knew that he had to teach the same was St Paul. Holy Gospel as the other Apostles of Christ. Just as the Twelve received the Holy Gospel directly “James” refers to St James the Just, the first Bishop of from Christ, so did St Paul. Jerusalem and author of the Epistle of St James. Just as the Twelve stood together as one, so St Paul The term “brother” is also a reference to a cousin or entered their Unity in consensus and mutual close male relative. submission. St James was one of the sons of St Joseph the People are Called by God not according to their former Betrothed and his late wife, Salome (a sister of St conduct – whether good or bad - but by Divine Anna, the mother of the Blessed Virgin) and Grace. therefore a cousin to Theotokos and our Lord. St Paul, whom God Called in Mercy, received Divine St James’ deep Love for and devotion to our Lord Jesus Grace from St Ananias’ hands and the Blessed since His Birth, are believed to be the reason for his Waters of Holy Baptism. honourable title of being our Lord’s Brother. The words “... separated me from my mother’s According to some, he was the only one of St Joseph’s womb...” refer not to St Paul’s physical birth but to sons who was quite willing to share his inheritance God’s Divine Call to Apostolic Ministry before he with Christ. was born. In accordance with Mosaic Law, adopted children were As with St Paul, God’s Intentions for people may lie supposed to have equal rights to inheritance, but hidden for many years. often this proved problematic due to human greed As a True Apostle of Christ, St Paul submitted himself to or other motivations. the Church and Her Holy Apostles rather than elevating himself. St Paul knew that his Encounter with our Lord Jesus Christ, his Instruction in the Holy Gospel and his Call to Apostleship were highly unusual. In all

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THE FEAST OF ST JAMES THE JUST & ADELPHOTHEOS – 23 OCTOBER 2010

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The Ho ly G o s pe l A cc o rd in g to S t M att he w 1 3 : 5 4 – 5 8
OUR LORD’S REJECTION AT NAZARETH

At that time, when Jesus had come to His own country, He taught them in their Synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said: “Where did this Man get this Wisdom and these Mighty Works? Is this not the Carpenter’s Son? Is not His Mother called Mary? And His brothers James, Joses, Simon and Judas? And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this Man get all these things?” So they were offended with Him. But Jesus said to them: “A Prophet is not without honour except in his own country and in his own house.” Now He did not do many Mighty Works there because of their unbelief. The people of Nazareth refused to believe that a The Sanctity of her Betrothal to St Joseph further carpenter’s Son Who was one of their own could protected her against scandal. As far as Hebrew have such Divine Wisdom. society and Mosaic Law were concerned, they were They stubbornly refused to believe or even think that legally “husband and wife “ - essential for the the Messiah would be amongst their own people. legality of Christ’s Birth. St Joseph the Betrothed had seven children from his Even in his own home town, Nazareth, our Lord Jesus previous marriage to his late wife, Salome (sister of Christ was not accepted as the Messiah but St Anna): 4 sons: James, Jude, Simon and Joses rejected. and 3 daughters – Salome (the mother of St James In their envy at His Great Wisdom and although they and St John the Divine and Beloved Apostle of could find no fault in His Words and Miracles, the Christ), Esther and Martha or Lydia or Thamar or Nazarenes dismissed Him on the basis of the social Assia [name is uncertain.] unimportance of His Family. Having been elected by the Temple Priests, through It is further proof of our Lord’s infinite Humility that He Divine Guidance, to protect the Ever Blessed Virgin did not even try to convince them of His True Mary who had taken a Sacred Vow of Celibacy, St Identity. Joseph [her elderly - over 80 years old - uncle by It was not essential to mankind’s Salvation, which was marriage] provided her and her five virgin the entire Purpose of the Incarnation of the Son of companions a safe haven. God.

S t J am e s the Ju st – H oly A p os tle o f Ch ri st & Fir st Bi sh o p o f Je ru s ale m
St James, who is often referred to as “the Brother of God” (Adelphotheos) was the son of Righteous St Joseph the Betrothed of the Most Holy Theotokos and his late wife, Salome, a sister of St Anna, the mother of our Ever Blessed Lady. From his early years St James was a Nazarene who was especially dedicated to God. The Nazarenes vowed to preserve their virginity, to abstain from wine, to refrain from eating meat, and not to cut their hair. The Vow of the Nazarenes symbolized a Life of Holiness and Purity, commanded formerly by the Lord for all Israel. When our Saviour began to teach the Hebrew nation about the Kingdom of God, St James believed in Christ and became His devoted Apostle. A few years later St James the Just was elected as the First Bishop of Jerusalem. He presided over the Council of Jerusalem and his word was decisive (Acts 15). In his thirty years as Bishop, St James converted many of the Hebrews to Christianity. Annoyed by this, the Pharisees and the Scribes plotted together to kill St James. They led the elderly Saint up to the pinnacle of the Jerusalem Temple and asked him to renounce our Lord Jesus but the faithful Apostle of Christ loudly and clearly bore witness to the Truth – that Jesus Christ is truly the Messiah. It was not the response the Pharisees and Scribes expected and they were greatly angered by his audacity and Spiritual Boldness so they seized him and pushed him off the high roof but St James did not die immediately and gathering his final strength, he prayed aloud to our Lord Jesus Christ for his enemies. A certain nameless Scribe broke off a heavy branch of a sycamore tree and bludgeoned the dying Apostle to death where he lay, broken and bleeding upon the ground. St James' Holy Martyrdom occurred circa 63. St James had composed a Divine Liturgy, which formed the basis of the Divine Liturgies of St Basil the Great and St John Chrysostom. Our Holy Church has preserved an Epistle of St James, which is one of the Books of the New Testament. In 1853, Patriarch Hierotheos of Alexandria sent a portion of the Holy Relics of St James to Moscow. May his memory be Eternal.

The Wi sd om o f o ur Ho l y C hu rc h F at he rs S t. Cle me n t O f Ale xa n d ri a S t. He r ma n O f Al a sk a
The perfect person does not only try to avoid evil. Nor does he do good for fear of punishment, still less in order to qualify for the hope of a promised reward. The perfect person does good through Love. His actions are not motivated by desire for personal benefit, so he does not have personal advantage as his aim. But as soon as he has realized the beauty of doing good, he does it with all his energies and in all that he does. He is not interested in fame, or a good reputation, or a human or Divine Reward. The Rule of Life for a perfect person is to be in the Image and Likeness of God. A true Christian is made by Faith and Love toward Christ. Our sins do not in the least hinder our Christianity, according to the Word of the Saviour Himself: “Not the Righteous have I come to Call, but sinners to Salvation; there is more Joy in Heaven over one who Repents than over ninety Righteous ones.” Likewise concerning the sinful woman who touched His Feet: “To one who has Love, a great debt is forgiven, but from one who has no Love, even a small debt will be demanded.

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THE FEAST OF ST JAMES THE JUST & ADELPHOTHEOS – 23 OCTOBER 2010

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 EVER, AND UNTO THE AGES OF AGES. AMEN. REMEMBERING ALSO OUR MOST HOLY, MOST PURE, MOST BLESSED AND GLORIOUS LADY, MARIA, BIRTH GIVER OF GOD, 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.

22nd Sunday After Pentecost

24 October 2010 Tone (5) Plagal 1

6th Sunday of St Luke – The Gadarene Demoniac Feast of St Arethas & 4299 Holy Martyrs of Negran; St Sebastiane; St Arethas, St Sisoes & St Theophilos – Holy Hermits of Near Caves, Kiev; St Elesbaan, King of Ethiopia; St Synkletica & her two daughters; St Athansios 1 of Constantinople; the Wonderworking Icon of the Ever Blessed Theotokos – “Joy of All Who Sorrow;” St John Hermit of Pskov
Resurrection Apolytikion – Tone (5) Plagal 1

Ton

sinanarhon Logon Patri ke Pnevmati, ton ek Parthenou tehthenta is Sotirian imon, animnisomen, Pisti, ke proskinisomen. Oti ivdokise Sarki anelthin en to Stavro ke Thanaton ipomine ke egire tous tethneotas en ti Evdoxo Anastasi Aftou.

The Word, Who with the Father and the Spirit has no
beginning, and Who, for our Salvation, was born of a Virgin, let us Faithful believers hymn and adore. For it was His Good Pleasure to ascend the Cross in the Flesh, and to Suffer Death, and through His own Glorious Resurrection to raise the dead. Protector of the Christians unashamable, Mediator to the Creator Immovable, despise not, the pleading voices of those in sin, but hasten O Good One, to the aid of all of us, who in Faith cry out to Thee: hasten Thine Intercession, and present Thy Supplication, O Theotokos who always protects all who honour Thee!

Kontakion Of The Ever Blessed Theotokos

Prostasia ton Hristianon akateskhinte, mesitia pros ton O
Piitin ametathete, mi Paridis, amartolon deiseon fonas, alla profthason os agathi, is tin voithian imon, ton pistos kravgazonton Si: Tahinon is presvian, ke spefson is ikesian, i prostatevousa ai, Theotoke, ton timonton se.

R e s ur re ctio n G os pe l 11 - J oh n 2 1: 1 4 – 2 5
Prokeimenon man left!

- OUR LORD JESUS RESTORES AND COMMISSIONS ST PETER

O

Lord, protect us and preserve us both now and forever.

Save us, O Lord, for there is not one Godly

The E pi stle o f S t P aul to the G al ati a ns 6 : 1 1 – 1 8
The Rule of Faith

Brethren: see with what large letters I have written to you with my own hand! All those who desire to make a good showing in the flesh try to persuade you to be circumcised, on so that they may not suffer persecution for the Cross of Christ. For not even those who are circumcised keep the Law, but they desire to have you circumcised so that they may boast in your flesh. But God forbid that I should boast except in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by Whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision accounts for anything except a New Creation. And as many as those who walk according to the Rule, Peace and Mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God. From now on let no one trouble me, for I bear in my body the Marks of the Lord Jesus. Brethren: the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen IS EVIDENT FROM HOW WE LIVE EACH DAY, St Paul’s remarks about his large handwriting of this WALKING STEADFASTLY IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF Epistle, confirms that he himself wrote these words. CHRIST. ® HE WARNS US AGAINST THOSE WHO ONLY PAY LIP ® TRUE CHRISTIANS HAVE A SACRED COMMITMENT TO SERVICE TO GOD AND HIS COMMANDMENTS
RATHER THAN FULFILLING THE SPIRIT OF THE LAW. ® TRUE CHRISTIANS LIVE THEIR SINCERE AND GENUINE SERVICE TO GOD WITH ALL HUMILITY AND WILLING OBEDIENCE TO HIM. FULLY PARTICIPATE IN ALL OUR HOLY CHURCH’S MYSTERIES – HOLY SACRAMENTS – AND COMMUNAL WORSHIP ON A REGULAR BASIS. Therefore, UNLESS WE FULLY COMMIT OUR LIVES TO CHRIST IN ALL ASPECTS REQUIRED OF US AS FAITHFUL ORTHODOX CHRISTIANS, WE MAKE A MOCKERY OF GOD AND HIS HOLY CHURCH, which

In this day and age, all too often we only pay lip service to Christ – WE ONLY PRETEND TO SERVE GOD BY
MEANINGLESSLY GOING THROUGH THE REQUIRED MOTIONS WITHOUT ANY INNER COMMITMENT OR LOVE FOR GOD AND HIS CREATION. ® BEING BAPTISED AND CHRISMATED IS ONLY THE BEGINNING OF OUR LIFE IN CHRIST. From that moment onwards, WE MUST LIVE EVERY DAY IN IMITATION OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR.

bears dire Eternal Consequences for unrepentant sinners and apostatisers! We freely choose our own state of Eternity by whatever we do during our present lifetime. We prove nothing by being “Christians” in name alone!
WE ARE COMPELLED BY OUR SPIRITUAL COMMITMENT TO CHRIST TO FULFIL ALL HIS DIVINE REQUIREMENTS DURING OUR TEMPORARY EARTHLY LIFE – only then

St Paul had to contend with the Hebrews who thought that being circumcised proved your Faith in God. ® However: as he emphasised, OUR TRUE FAITH IS
FROM WITHIN OUR HEARTS AND SOULS, WHICH

may we truly hope to enjoy the Fruits of our Spiritual Labours.

(ALL DONATIONS GRATEFULLY ACCEPTED)

22 AP – 6TH SUNDAY OF ST LUKE – THE GADARENE DEMONIAC

24 OCTOBER 2010

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WE ARE CONSTANTLY REMINDED OF THIS DIVINE TRUTH AS CHRIST HIMSELF REVEALED TO US FOR GOD NEVER DESIRES THE DESTRUCTION OF SINNERS BUT EXPECTANTLY AWAITS OUR RETURN TO HIS LOVING EMBRACE BY MEANS OF US VOLUNTARILY – FREELY CHANGING OUR CHOICE OF PERSONAL ATTITUDES AND BEHAVIOUR.

Finally, St Paul ends this particular Epistle with the Blessing: “... the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit,” which means that he prays that BY CORRECTING OUR ERRORS, WE MAY ONCE
AGAIN RECEIVE THE DIVINE INDWELLING OF GOD – HIS DIVINE GRACE AND LOVE.

IT IS ENTIRELY OUR OWN PERSONAL CHOICE.

The Ho ly G o s pe l A cc o rd in g to S t L uk e 8 : 2 6 - 3 9
OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST HEALS THE GADARENE DEMONIAC

At that time, they had sailed to the country of the Gadarenes, which is opposite Galilee, and when Jesus stepped out onto the shore, a certain man from the city who had demons for a long time, met Him. And he wore no clothes; nor did he live in a house but in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out, fell down before Him, and with a loud voice said: “What have I to do with Thee, O Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beseech Thee: do not torment me!” For Jesus had commanded the unclean spirit to go out of the man, since it had often seized him and he had to be kept under guard, bound with chains and shackles, but he had broken the bonds and had been driven by the demon into the wilderness. And Jesus asked him: “What is your name?” And he answered: “Legion!” since many demons had entered him. And they begged Jesus that He would not command them to go out into the Abyss. Now a herd of many swine were grazing upon the mountain, so they besought Him to permit them to enter them, which He did. And the demons went out of the man and entered the swine, but the herd ran frantically down the steep place into the lake and drowned. When those who tended them saw what happened, they fled and reported it in the city and in the country. Then the people went out to see what had happened, and when they got to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had departed, sitting at His Feet, clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid. Those also who had witnessed it told them by what means he who had been demon possessed had been healed. Then the whole multitude of the surrounding region of the Gadarenes asked Him to depart from them, for they were seized with great fear. So He got into the boat and returned to Galilee. Now the man from whom the demons had departed had begged Jesus that he might be with Him, but He send him away, saying: “Return to your own house, and tell them what Great things God has done for you.” And the man went his way and proclaimed throughout the whole city what Great Things Jesus had done for him. As soon as the Gadarene demons saw Christ arriving state of total absence of everything that is Good – on the shore, they rushed to confront Him, and everything that is of God. THE EVIL DEMONS CANNOT DO ANYTHING AGAINST THE being the hideous self-seeking cowards they are, DIVINE WILL OF GOD so they could not enter the they begged Him not to send them into the herds of illegal swine without begging Christ’s terrifying Abyss, which awaited them in the Age to permission to do so. come - Eternity. God is All Knowing and Christ knew the result of their Although by means of temptations, they try to convince desire before it happened. us otherwise, THEY HAVE NO PERCEPTION OF TRUTH The consequence of wickedness constantly teaches us NOR OF THE FUTURE, SO THEY HAVE NO IDEA WHEN THE FINAL JUDGEMENT WILL OCCUR. many important lessons and today’s Sacred Lesson THEY DO, HOWEVER, KNOW OUR TRIUNE GOD: God the teaches us that OUR PERSONAL CHOICES AND COFather, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. And OPERATION WITH THE DEMONS ALWAYS RESULTS IN
THEY INSTANTLY RECOGNISED OUR LORD JESUS AS “THE SON OF THE MOST HIGH GOD.” DISASTER.

(Whenever anyone denies the existence of God, it delights the evil one who constantly mocks God and His Creation of Love.) When our Lord Jesus asked the man to identify himself, a loud voice replied: “Legion!” which meant that
THERE WERE AT LEAST 100 DEMONS POSSESSING THE WRETCHED MAN, who could no longer answer

The dietary Laws of the Old Covenant forbade the consumption of pork products (for health reasons), so, although it is not clear whether all the Gadarenes were Hebrews or not, THE FARMING
WITH HERDS OF SWINE WAS UNLAWFUL FOR THE HEBREWS AND HENCE WERE ERADICATED. Furthermore THE INSTINCTIVE FRANTIC REACTION OF THE POOR CREATURES TO THE INTRUSION OF THE DEMONS, CLEARLY SHOWED THE HORRIFIED WITNESSES THE DEPTH AND EXTENT OF THE FATAL CONTAMINATION AND NEGATIVE IMPACT OF EVIL. IT ALSO REVEALED THE DIVINE PROVIDENCE OF GOD WHO ALWAYS PROTECTS HIS BELOVED HUMAN BEINGS FROM HARM since even the huge number of

for himself, having been taken over and controlled by the evil spirits. Even though demons may torture and trouble human beings to a great extent, they cannot kill us because they have no real power over us.
THEY MAKE FULL USE OUR OWN PERSONAL FLAWS AND WEAKNESSES AGAINST US AND THEY TRY TO PERSUADE AND CONVINCE US THAT THEY HAVE FAR GREATER STRENGTH AND POWER THAN WE DO, BUT THAT IS ALL PART OF THEIR TREACHEROUS DECEPTION AND LIES.

demons who traumatized the man could not destroy him.
THIS IS A GREAT LESSON OF DIVINE LOVE CONCERNING GOD’S INCOMPARABLE VALUE OF MANKIND WHOSE SALVATION IS WORTH EVERY MATERIAL OR PHYSICAL SACRIFICE!

Having been created by God just like us - except for having no physical bodies – they too have free will but THEY CHOSE TO REBEL AGAINST GOD and consequently were alienated and exiled from His Divine Presence and everything that is Good. At present, until the General Resurrection and Final Judgement of Christ, these evil beings belong neither to Heaven (whence they were banished) nor to earth. In the Age to come for all Creation – i.e. Eternity – they will be sent to the Outer Darkness, the Abyss, Hell or Gehenna, which is a most dreaded and terrible

Another aspect of this Sacred Lesson was the fact that
THE GADARENES VALUED THEIR HERDS OF SWINE MORE THAN THEY VALUED THE LIFE AND WELFARE OF ONE OF THEIR OWN PEOPLE. EVEN THE VERY PRESENCE OF CHRIST – THE VERY PRESENCE OF SPIRITUAL GOODNESS AND BENEVOLENCE – WAS REJECTED BY THE GADARENES WHO CHOSE MATERIAL POSSESSIONS OVER ETERNAL LIFE.

And finally, even though the healed man wanted to remain in the Company of our Lord – to live in the Presence of Divine Love and Compassion – Christ gently persuaded him to rather return to his own

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22 AP – 6TH SUNDAY OF ST LUKE – THE GADARENE DEMONIAC

24 OCTOBER 2010

family and inform them of the Great Things that God had done for him. Then, finally, we hear that as the man returned to his lost family and life, he “... proclaimed throughout

the whole city what Great Things Jesus had done for him.”
THE FORMER DEMONIAC OF GADARENE BECAME YET ANOTHER FIRST-HAND WITNESS TO DIVINE TRUTH AND CHRIST’S WONDERFUL GOSPEL OF LOVE.

The G ad are ne De m on ia c
Christ and His Apostles were sailing across the Sea of Galilee towards Gadara, when a storm arose, which terrified everyone except our Lord Jesus Who slept peacefully. The Disciples and Apostles cried out not in a Prayer, but in indignation “Master, Master! We are perishing!” Christ awoke, stood up, and having “rebuked the wind and the raging of the water,” which immediately calmed down He turned and looked at His companions – no doubt more than a little bemused and asked the vital question: “Where is your Faith?” That is exactly how all too often we are as well!
WHENEVER WE FEEL THREATENED OR IN NEED, WE TURN TO GOD AND DEMAND HIS IMMEDIATE ATTENTION BECAUSE WE WANT THINGS TO BE THE WAY WE CHOOSE.

But the response of the Gadarenes was a great lesson in itself!
THE REBELLIOUS GADARENES WERE TERRIFIED WHEN THEY PERSONALLY WITNESSED THE GREAT POWER OF GOD RIGHT BEFORE THEIR SIGHT. THE REALISATION OF THE IMMENSE POWER THAT CHRIST POSSESSED and which had been clearly revealed right in front of them, FILLED THEM WITH UNRESERVED FOREBODING AND DREAD RATHER THAN BEING FILLED WITH WONDER AT SOMETHING OBVIOUSLY GOOD.
UNGODLY BEINGS – WHETHER HUMAN OR SPIRITS – ARE TERRIFIED BY DIVINE POWER REJECT. AND GOODNESS, WHICH THEY HAVE CHOSEN TO REJECT THOSE WHO ARE UTTERLY TERRIFIED OF GOD OR HIS GOODNESS, DESIRE ONLY THEIR OWN ENSLAVING, DESTRUCTIVE PASSIONS AND SELF-INDULGENCE. THEY ARE TERRIFIED OF BEING FORCED TO ACT AGAINST THEIR OWN SELF-INDULGENT WILL THAT HAS ACTUALLY SHACKLED THEIR DIVINELY BESTOWED GIFT OF FREE WILL! GOD NEVER FORCES ANYONE TO ACT AGAINST THEIR TRULY FREE WILL BUT THE EVIL ONES ALWAYS FORCE THEMSELVES AND THEIR WICKEDNESS UPON THE INNOCENT AND THE GOOD. THEY ARE EXISTENTIALISTS WHO BELIEVE THEY HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO NEED OF GOD OR ANYTHING TO DO WITH HIM – ESPECIALLY HUMBLE OBEDIENCE TO HIS DIVINE WILL AND HIS DIVINE COMMANDMENTS, WHICH ARE FOR OUR SPIRITUAL BENEFIT – OUR SPIRITUAL WELFARE AND PROGRESS TOWARDS ETERNAL LIFE. THEY THINK THEY ARE ABLE TO ACCOMPLISH WHATEVER THEY DESIRE ENTIRELY BY THEIR OWN (LIMITED AND FLAWED) ABILITIES. THEY THINK THEY HAVE CHOSEN “SPIRITUAL FREEDOM,” BUT TRAGICALLY, SATAN – THE INVENTOR OF EVERYTHING NEGATIVE, ROTTEN, DESTRUCTIVE AND EVIL HAS DECEIVED THEM INTO THIS STATE OF SPIRITUAL REBELLION AND ENSLAVEMENT, WHICH – UNLESS CORRECTED IN THIS LIFE – LEADS TO ETERNAL EXILE FROM GOD AND ALL HIS GOODNESS! THEY ARE DECEIVED INTO BELIEVING THAT “AS LONG AS THEY DO NOT HARM ANYONE ELSE,” THEY ARE ON THE RIGHT PATH OF LIFE. HOWEVER, THEY ARE TOTALLY BLINDED AND IGNORANT OF THE REALITY OF NOT ONLY THEIR OWN DESTRUCTION BUT ALSO THE DAMAGE, HURT AND HARM THEY CAUSE OTHERS.

And WHEN WE SEEM TO HAVE NO REACTION TO OUR
CLAMOURING DEMANDS, WE BEGIN TO ASSUME THAT GOD MUST BE ASLEEP OR EVEN THAT HE SIMPLY DOES NOT CARE!

After all, we complain bitterly, how can He ignore us or not hear us while we, His beloved creatures, cry or wail in our agonised demands for Divine Intervention… Nevertheless, there is a great Lesson to be learnt: Although we might neither be at sea, nor in a flooded or leaky boat and there might be no stormy weather threatening our lives, most certainly WE
ARE SURROUNDED BY ENDANGERING STORMS WITHIN US! FRIGHTENING BOTH AROUND LIFEAND

8 Consequently, we naturally – instinctively or
automatically and confidently turn to God because WE KNOW ONLY HE CAN SOLVE OUR
PROBLEMS.

THE GADARENES BEGGED CHRIST TO LEAVE THEIR REGION. THE FACT THAT CHRIST HAD HEALED ONE OF THEIR OWN PEOPLE – THAT HE HAD SAVED THE WRETCHED MAN FROM HIS TORMENT AND SUFFERING – MEANT NOTHING AT ALL TO THEM FOR THEIR ONLY PRIORITY CONCERNED THEIR EARTHLY WEALTH AND (ILLEGAL) POSSESSIONS. ® SADLY, THIS IS EXACTLY HOW WE REACT WHEN CONFRONTED BY THE OPTION OF GOD’S WILL OR OUR OWN SELF-INDULGENT (ALTHOUGH TEMPORARY) LIFE-STYLE.

8 Our Lord Jesus Christ has taught us that

IF WE HAVE FAITH IN GOD – EVEN FAITH THAT IS AS MINISCULE AS ONE GRAIN OF FINE MUSTARD SEED — WE ARE ABLE TO ACHIEVE THE MOST IMPOSSIBLE THINGS

When we face any threats to our comfortable circumstances, we quickly beseech God for His Divine Grace but WHEN WE REALISE THAT WE
CANNOT HAVE THINGS THE WAY WE WANT THEM TO BE, WE RESENT HIM AND BLAME HIM FOR ALL THE BAD THINGS WE HAVE CAUSED TO OURSELVES AND TO ONE ANOTHER!

we could even move

mountains!
WITHOUT FAITH IN GOD WE DO NOT HAVE ANY SPIRITUAL COURAGE NOR UNDERSTANDING. WITHOUT FAITH WE HAVE NO DIVINELY INSPIRED COURAGE, SERENITY AND WISDOM with which to

In our warped and sinful point of view WE THINK THIS
JUSTIFIES OUR TURNING AWAY FROM GOD AND LIFE IN CHRIST.

face the worst of life’s storms.
WITHOUT FAITH WE CANNOT COMPREHEND OR APPRECIATE THE MYSTERIOUS WAYS OF ALMIGHTY GOD!

God does not come into our lives simply to reorganise things according to our wishes. Instead, HE TRANSFORMS THE STAGNATION OF OUR
LIFE INTO A TYPE OF CHAOS, WHICH IS CHARGED WITH ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES OF REDEMPTION!

The Lord told His Holy Prophet, St Isaiah: ‘My Ways are not your ways, as My Thoughts are not your thoughts! My Ways are so much higher than yours, as My Thoughts are higher than yours...’ We must learn everything we can from Christ’s Holy Gospel – from our Life in Christ and from our unique and Holy Community of His Body – from His Church wherein God and mankind are united. 8 We must realise that IN THE POWER OF CHRIST
WHO SUSTAINS US WE CAN FACE ANY STORM, ANY DANGER AND ANY THREAT GOD.

However, WE USUALLY REJECT GOD’S DIVINE WILL AND PURPOSE, and we rebel against Him because WE
ALWAYS WANT WHAT WE THOUGHT WE HAD BEFORE – OR WE WANT WHAT WE NEVER HAD AND WHICH WOULD BE HARMFUL TO US.

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IF WE ALL HAD ORDERLY LIVES, without any

problems to contend with, our lives would grind to a halt and WE WOULD MAKE NO
SPIRITUAL PROGRESS AT ALL. THE ENTIRE HOLY GOSPEL IS CHRIST'S WORD ADDRESSED TO EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US. 8 HIS DIVINE WISDOM AND TRUTH GRANTS US ETERNAL LIFE. CHRIST’S DIVINE WORDS OF HIS HOLY GOSPEL AWAKENS ETERNAL LIFE WITHIN THOSE WHO TRULY HEAR AND FAITHFULLY, CONSTANTLY, OBEY EVERY WORD OF EVERY DIVINE COMMANDMENT AND TEACHING!

we do not need a special Miracle; WE ONLY NEED FAITH IN

Arriving on the shore of the Gadarenes, CHRIST OUR
SAVIOUR WAS NEITHER IDLE, NOR PASSIVE, NOR ABSENT: HE ACTED IMMEDIATELY and He healed

the wretched demoniac.

Eternal Life is granted to those who have both the ears and the good will to clearly hear and obey His Divine Words of Eternal Wisdom and Truth.

(ALL DONATIONS GRATEFULLY ACCEPTED)

22 AP – 6TH SUNDAY OF ST LUKE – THE GADARENE DEMONIAC

24 OCTOBER 2010

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So whenever we doubt that God has heard our Prayers and Petitions, it is simply because we refuse to listen to and to obey Him.
WE ALL FEEL THAT WE ARE UNWORTHY OF CHRIST'S PRESENCE – unworthy of His indwelling of our

WHEN WE FIND OURSELVES IN SPIRITUAL AGONY, IN NEED OR IN DANGER, DO WE HAVE THE CONFIDENCE OF TRUE FAITH IN CHRIST TO TURN TO HIM and say: 'In the Power of Christ that sustains me I can face my own agony, or the storm’, or do we turn to God and say, 'O Lord, save me! I am not ready to endure this agony’. 8 REFLECT on it all: because EVERY WORD OF GOD IS SALVATION FOR US IF WE PAY ATTENTION TO IT; IF WE RESPOND TO IT.

poor temples – our Sanctified bodies – unworthy of being close to Christ, or unworthy of a response to our Prayers. Yet exactly how do we respond to His Holy Gospel? ® ARE WE LIKE ST PETER WHO WAS SO
OVERWHELMED, AWED AND HUMBLED BY THE DIVINE PRESENCE AND ALL THE GREAT ACTS OF OUR LORD that he asked Him to

8 8

READ the passages: CONTEMPLATE OR PONDER THEM; RECOGNISE AND ACKNOWLEDGE GOD’S PERFECT, ETERNAL TRUTH. IN THE SPIRIT AND STRENGTH OF CHRIST LIVE: ACCORDING TO HIS WORDS - ACCORDING TO OUR LIMITED UNDERSTANDING AND BEYOND OUR PERSONAL STRENGTH!
“THE HEALING... IN GERGESENE” BY METROPOLITAN SOUROZH ANTHONY OF

leave since he, St Peter, was such a sinner? ® OR
ARE WE LIKE THE GADARENES WHO REJECTED GOD BECAUSE THEY COULD NOT BEAR HIS DIVINE PRESENCE due to their

ADAPTED & EDITED BY MP:

own stubborn, wilful and self indulgent life style? FATHER PAISIOS sternly admonished us: “We must look after the Purification of our soul on a daily basis. “We must do our Spiritual Work and recite the Jesus Prayer. “Our thoughts, will and desire are where our mind is and the submission of our spirit (OUR SOUL) is the most important thing to accomplish. “In order to acquire any Virtue, we must be humble and careful so that we can detect its opposite evil (VICE), and then pray to Christ to help us get rid of it. “We do not need to try too hard or be too concerned how, when and in what way our heart will be able to acquire any Virtue (BECAUSE CHRIST WILL GRANT US HIS DIVINE
GRACE TO DO SO.)

http://www.metropolit

anthony.orc.ru/eng/eng_278.htm

E ld e r P ai sio s O n “ The P ur if ic ati on o f the S ou l ”
“When Americans send missiles into space, they count down from ten to zero and when zero is reached, the missile is ignited. “The same thing applies to our soul: when our souls are counted down to zero by being emptied and cleansed of egotism, only then are we ignited and lifted up to God!” FATHER PAISIOS taught us that THE GRACE OF GOD
ENTERS OUR SOUL THROUGH HOLY BAPTISM AND IT IS A DIVINE GIFT THAT IS GRANTED TO ALL OF US.

Sometimes we may think that God granted His Saints more Gifts than to others. But this is not true! For OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR LOVES EACH AND EVERY
ONE OF HIS ADOPTED CHILDREN TO THE EXACT SAME DEGREE.

When asked what we should do in order to follow Christ, Father Paisios said: “Purification, Divine Justice, Humility, Love, Obedience, voluntary Poverty, and all Virtues are one and the same. 8 “Christ wants us to eliminate our personal will.
I.E. TO ELIMINATE OR EMPTY OURSELVES OF ALL EGOTISM OR PRIDE – TO BECOME AS HUMBLE AS POSSIBLE, SO THAT WE MAY BE AS OBEDIENT AS POSSIBLE!

However, WE DO NOT VALUE NOR APPRECIATE GOD’S
GIFT TO THE SAME EXTENT. WHEN WE ARE GRATEFUL AND BELIEVE THAT THE GRACE OF CHRIST, which we received through

Holy Baptism, IS INSIDE OUR SOUL, WE HUMBLE OUR WILL AND PURIFY OURSELVES IN ORDER TO ALLOW HIS DIVINE GRACE TO FUNCTION PROPERLY. When Divine Grace operates within us, it causes others to think that God has favoured us with more Divine Gifts than them. 8 The Truth is that THROUGH BEING HUMBLE AND
OBEDIENT TO CHRIST, WE EXPRESS OUR LOVE FOR HIM, THUS PERMITTING GOD TO ACT ON OUR BEHALF. NONE OF US IS INFERIOR TO CHRIST’S HOLY APOSTLES, who were physically and spiritually close to Christ Who helped them, guided and taught them.

8 “If we obtain a single Virtue, we must bear in
mind that the rest of the Virtues are to be found in the same Virtue we have managed to acquire. “The same principle applies to our passions (vices); one passion includes all others! ® “Purification requires our soul to be pure and cleansed of our own will. (I.E. EGO-CENTRIC PRIDE & SELF
INDULGENCE)

8

® “Divine Justice is the abandonment of our own will to the Will of God. ® “Humility is to humble our will and elevate it to God’s Will. ® “Obedience means not to have a will and thus being able to obey others (I.E. NOT TO BE ENSLAVED BY AN
EGO-CENTRIC, SELFISH WILL AND THUS FREE, WILLING AND ABLE TO OBEY GOD AND THOSE WHO LEAD US TO ETERNAL LIFE),

® WE, TOO, ARE PHYSICALLY AND SPIRITUALLY CLOSE
TO CHRIST, HAVING HIM INSIDE OUR SOUL THROUGH THE GRACE OF HOLY BAPTISM.

® “Prayer means taking our mind off our own wishes and desires, and concentrating on God
(EXCLUSIVELY).

“So, you see: whichever Virtue you apply, you are led to the same result: the elimination and purification of your own will. 8 “We make Spiritual Progress and Benefit only when we manage to eliminate our will – to bring our will to zero.

We should unload and eradicate our passions from our soul so that we are able to accommodate Divine Grace within us. The more we strive to purify ourselves, the more we allow Divine Grace to function from within us.

8

WHEN A SOUL IS COMPLETELY CLEANSED OF ITS WILL AND TOTALLY HUMBLED, ONLY THEN CAN IT FULLY EXPERIENCE THE DIVINE GRACE OF CHRIST AND THE FULFILMENT OF ALL HIS DIVINE PROMISES.

ADAPTED & EDITED BY MP: “ELDER PAISIOS OF THE HOLY MOUNTAIN” BY PRIESTMONK CHRISTODOULOS, HOLY MOUNTAIN’S MONK – ISBN 960-90099-3-X

S t J oh n Ch ry so st om Even if we have thousands of acts of great the very summit of Virtue, it is by Mercy Virtue to our credit, our confidence in being that we shall be Saved. heard must be based on God's Mercy and His Love for mankind; even if we stand at

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22 AP – 6TH SUNDAY OF ST LUKE – THE GADARENE DEMONIAC

24 OCTOBER 2010

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 EVER, AND UNTO THE AGES OF AGES. AMEN. REMEMBERING ALSO OUR MOST HOLY, MOST PURE, MOST BLESSED AND GLORIOUS LADY, MARIA, BIRTH GIVER OF GOD, YET EVER VIRGIN, TOGETHER WITH ALL THE SAINTS. AND LET US COMMIT OURSELVES AND ONE ANOTHER AND OUR WHOLE LIFE TO CHRIST OUR GOD. AMEN.

26 O ct obe r 2 0 10 S t De me t ri os Hol y M yr rh gu she r & Wo nd e r Wo rke r o f T hes s al oni ka Feast of St Lupos, faithful servant of St Demetrios of Thessalonika; Commemoration of the great earthquake of Constantinople; St Theophilos of Kiev Caves & Bishop of Nogorod; St Athanasios of Medikion Monastery; St Demetrios of Basarbov, Bulgaria; St Joseph, Monk and Iconographer of Dionysiou Monastery, Mount Athos; St Demetrios of Tsilibinsk, founder of the Archangel Tsilibinks Wilderness Monastery, Vologda.
APOLYTIKION OF ST DEMETRIOS THE GREAT MARTYR - TONE 3

Megan evrato en tis kindinis, se ipermahon i ikoumeni, Verily, the inhabited world found thee a great comfort
Athiofore ta theni tropoumenon. Os oun Lieou kathiles tin eparsin, en to stadio tharrinas ton Nestora, outos Agie, Megalomartis Dimitrie, Hriston ton Theon iketeve, dorisasthe imin to Mega Eleos.
APOLYTIKION OF THE GREAT EARTHQUAKE – PLAGAL 4

in tribulations and a conqueror of nations, O fight bearing One. Wherefore, as thou didst demolish the arrogance of Lahosh, and on the battlefield didst hearten Nestor, beseech, O Saint Demetrios, Christ God to grant us the Great Mercy!

O

epivlepon epi tin gin, ke pion aftin tremin, rise ims tis foveras tou sismou apilis, Hriste O Theos imon; ke katapempson imin, plousia ta elei Sou, presvies tis Theotokou, Mone Filantrhope

Thou Who surveys all of

the earth, and causes her to tremble, deliver us all from the frightful fear of the quake, O Christ our God; and bestow upon us Thy Mercies abundantly; by the intercessions of the Theotokos, O only True Friend of mankind.

KONTAKION UNTIL 8 NOVEMBER

Prostasia

ton Hristianon akateskhinte, mesitia pros ton Piitin ametathete, mi Paridis, amartolon deiseon fonas, alla profthason os agathi, is tin voithian imon, ton Pistos kravgazonton Si: Tahinon is Presvian, ke spefson is ikesian, i prostatevousa ai, Theotoke, ton timonton Se.

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

M at in s G o sp e l – L uke 2 1 1 2 – 1 9
PERSECUTION OF FAITHFUL CHRISTIANS

At that time, our Lord Jesus said: “... before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the Synagogues and prisons. You will be brought before Kings and Rulers for My Name’s sake. But it will turn out for you as an opportunity for Testimony. “Therefore settle it in your hearts not to meditate beforehand on what you will answer; for I will grant you a mouth and Wisdom that all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resists. “You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. And you will be hated by all for My Name’s sake, but not a hair of your head shall be lost. “By your Patience possess you soul.”

The 2 n d E pi stle o f S t P a ul t o S t Ti m oth y 2 :
THE FORGIVENESS & RESTORATION OF THE PENITENT SINNER

1- 10

Timothy my son: be strong in the Grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. You, therefore, must endure hardship as a good Soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in Warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, so that he may please Him Who enlisted him as a soldier. And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the Rules. The hardworking farmer must be the first to partake of the crops. Consider what I say, and may the Lord give you understanding in all things. Remember that Jesus Christ, of the Seed of David, was raised from the dead according to my Gospel, for which I suffer trouble as an evildoer, even to the point of chains; but the Word of God is not chained. Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the Elect, so that they also may obtain the Salvation that is in Christ Jesus with Eternal Glory. OTHERS UNHINDERED AND UNCHANGED IN ANY St Paul established a clear chain of Witnesses to Oral WAY AT ALL! Tradition. God’s Truth is Absolute Perfection. If anything is 8 CHRISTIAN TRADITION IS FOR ALL BELIEVERS. changed at all, it is no longer Perfect! Therefore, 8 CHRISTIAN TRADITION IS CATHOLIC – I.E. IT IS we cannot change anything that God has given us UNIVERSAL. 8 CHRISTIAN TRADITION BELONGS TO THE ENTIRE to suit ourselves. To do so reveals a lack of True CHRISTIAN CHURCH AND IT MUST BE Faith, Humility and Obedience!
METICULOUSLY PRESERVED AND PASSED ON TO

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22 AP – 6TH SUNDAY OF ST LUKE – THE GADARENE DEMONIAC

24 OCTOBER 2010

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S t De me t ri os G re a t M ar ty r & W ond e r - W or ke r of The s sa lo nik a
St Demetrios was the son of a Roman Proconsul in Thessalonika. Roman paganism, which had been spiritually shattered by the multitude of Holy Martyrs and Confessors of our Saviour, intensified its persecution of Christians, so the parents of St Demetrios were secret Christians who Baptised and raised him in the Faith in a church that worshipped at his father's home. By the time St Demetrios reached adulthood, his father had died and Emperor Galerius Maximian had ascended the throne. Maximian, being confident in St Demetrios' education as well as his administrative and military abilities, appointed him to his father's position as Proconsul of the Thessalonika district - his main duties being the defence of the city from the invasion of barbarians as well as the eradication of Christianity. The Emperor's direct order was: "Put to death anyone who calls on the Name of Christ!" – never suspecting that by appointing St Demetrios as Proconsul, he had provided a way for him to lead many people to Christ. Accepting the appointment, St Demetrios returned to Thessalonika and immediately Confessed and Glorified our Lord Jesus Christ. Instead of persecuting and executing Christians, he taught our Faith openly to the citizens and to put an end to pagan customs and idolatry. The compiler of his Life, St Simeon Metaphrastes, wrote that due to his zealous Teaching, St Demetrios became "a second Apostle to the Gentiles," particularly since St Paul had founded the first Christian Community in (1 & 2 Thessalonika.
THESSALONIANS)

Furthermore, St Demetrios was destined to follow St Paul as a Great Martyr as soon as Emperor Maximian was informed that his newly-appointed Proconsul was a Christian, and that he had converted so many Roman subjects to the Faith. The outraged Emperor was returning from a campaign in the Black Sea region, when he received the report so he immediately decided to lead his army to Thessalonika, determined to massacre all the Christians. As soon as he was informed of the infuriated Emperor’s intentions, St Demetrios ordered his faithful servant, St Lupos, to share all his worldly possessions amongst the destitute saying: "Distribute my earthly riches among them, for we shall seek Heavenly Riches for ourselves," whereupon he began to pray and fast, preparing himself for his Holy Martyrdom. When the Emperor arrived, he summoned St Demetrios, who boldly Confessed his Christianity and denounced the pagan Roman polytheism. Emperor Maximian ordered the immediate arrest and imprisonment of St Demetrios. In his dark, dank dungeon, an Angel of God appeared before the Saint, bringing him great courage and serenity. Meanwhile the Emperor amused himself by staging vicious and deadly “games” at the circus, his favourite champion being a German gladiator named Lyaeos, who challenged all Christians to

wrestle with him on top of a platform erected over a pit of upturned spears of the victorious Roman soldiers. A brave Christian named Nestor visited his Spiritual Advisor, St Demetrios, in the prison and requested his Blessing to fight the barbarian Lyaeos. By the Grace of God and with the Blessings and Prayers of St Demetrios, St Nestor conquered the fierce German by hurling him from the platform onto the upturned, embedded spears below, just as the merciless and brutish pagan had done to numerous others before. The frustrated, angry Emperor ordered the execution of the victorious St Nestor, which was to be carried out after the dreadful murder of St Demetrios, his beloved Spiritual Teacher and Advisor. On 26 October 306, at dawn, a contingent of lancebearers went to St Demetrios’ underground dungeon where they all ran him through with their weapons, leaving him excruciatingly impaled and bleeding to death. His faithful servant, St Lupos, gathered up the bloodsoaked garments of St Demetrios, removed the Imperial Ring of Office from his finger - a symbol of his high social status - and dipped it in the Sanctified blood of the Holy Martyr. With the signet ring and other Holy Relics that had been Sanctified by the blood of St Demetrios, St Lupos healed many who suffered both physical and Spiritual Ailments until the God-hating Emperor heard about it and issued urgent orders to have St Lupos arrested, tortured and executed. Meanwhile the speared body of St Demetrios was to be thrown to wild animals to devour, but the Faithful quickly took it and secretly buried it in the earth. During the reign of St Constantine the Great, a church was built over the grave of St Demetrios. 100 years later, during the construction of a majestic new church on the original site, the Incorrupt Relics of St Demetrios were exposed and ever since the 7th century when a miraculous flow of fragrant Myrrh began to issue forth from beneath the crypt St Demetrios has been known as "the Myrrh-gusher." On several occasions throughout the ages, efforts were made to transfer St Demetrios’ Holy Relics or even part of them to Constantinople, but invariably, St Demetrios himself made it very clear that he would not permit even a portion of his Holy Relics to leave their resting place in Thessalonika. Pagan invaders were repeatedly repelled by the frightening apparition of a radiant youth who rode along on top of the encircling walls of the city, which terrorised the enemy forces and for that reason the name of St Demetrios was particularly venerated amongst the Slavic nations after they had become Enlightened by the Holy Gospel of Christ. St Demetrios is regarded as a Holy Protector or Patron Saint of the young, and his Intercessory Prayers are besought by those struggling with lustful temptations. May his memory be Eternal.
ADAPTED & EDITED BY MP: “ST DEMETRIOS THE MYRRH-GUSHER OF THESSALONIKA” ORTHODOX CHURCH OF AMERICA – FEASTS & SAINTS

http://ocafs.oca.org/FeastSaintsLife.asp?FSID=103059

"To throw yourself before God, not to measure your progress, to leave behind all self-will; these are the Instruments for the work of the soul."
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ALL DONATIONS GRATEFULLY ACCEPTED) ST DEMETRIOS -GREAT MARTYR & WONDERWORKER OF THESSALONIKA 26 OCTOBER 2010

Wi sd om o f o u r H oly C hu rc h F at he r - A b b a P i m e n

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 EVER, AND UNTO THE AGES OF AGES. AMEN. REMEMBERING ALSO OUR MOST HOLY, MOST PURE, MOST BLESSED AND GLORIOUS LADY, MARIA, BIRTH GIVER OF GOD, 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.

2 8 O ct obe r 2 0 10 H oly P r ote cti on o f the E ve r Ble s se d T he ot o ko s Feast of St Terence & St Neonilla and their children: St Sarbelos, St Photios, St Theodoulos, St Hierax, St Nita, St Vele & St Eunice; St Stephen the Hymnographer of St Savva Monastery; St Arsenios of Serbia; St Paraskeva Great Martyr of Iconium; St Job Abbot & Wonderworker of Pochaev; St Demetrios of Rostov; St Nestor (Not the Chronicler) of Kiev Caves; St Africanos & 39 Holy Martyrs of Carthage; St Kyriakos the Hieromartyr & Patriarch of Jerusalem; St John the Chozebite of Caesarea, Palestine; St Athanasios 1 of Contantinople; St Neophytos of Urbnisi; St Arsenios of Cappadocia
Apolytikion Of The Holy Protection – Tone 1

Tis

Skepis Sou Parthene animnoumen tas haritas, in os fotoforon nefelin efaplis iper ennian, ke skepis ton laon sou noeros, ek pasis ton ehthron epivoulis; se gar skepin ke prostatin ke voithon, kektimetha voontes si: Doxa tis megaliis sou Agni! Doxa ti thia skepi sou! Doxa ti pros imas promithia Ahrante!

Of Thy Protection, O Virgin, we praise the benefits,
which as Luminous Cloud Thou stretch out most wondrously, and Thou protect Thy people so thoughtfully from every plot of the enemies; for as Shelter, Protector and Helper have we Thee, as we cry out to Thee: Glory to Thy Wonders, O Pure One! Glory to Thy Shelter Divine! Glory to Thy forethought for us, O Undefiled One!

Theotoke

Aiparthene, tin Agian Sou Skepin, di is periskepis, tous is se elpizontas, kratean to Ethni Sou katafigin edoriso; oti os pale ke nin thavmastos imas esosas, os noiti nefeli, ton laon Sou perivalousa. Dio disopoumen se, irinin ti politia Sou Dorise, ke tes psihes imon to Mega Eleos

Ever

Virgin Theotokos, Thy Holy Protection, by which Thou protects those who hope in Thee, Thou hast granted to Thy nation, as a Mighty Shelter; because, as of old, even now Thou miraculously Saved us, by enveloping Thy people, like a Spiritual Cloud. Wherefore, we implore Thee: Grant Peace to Thy commonwealth, and to our souls, Great Mercy.

Kontakion To The Blessed Theotokos

Ti

Ipermaho Stratigo ta Nikitiria, Os litrothisa ton dinon evharistiria, Anagrafo Si i Polis Sou Theotoke, All’ os ehousa to kratos aprosmahiton Ek pantion me kindinon eleftheroson Ina krazo Si, Here Nimfi Animfevte!

Unto Thee, O Theotokos Invincible Champion, Thy
City in thanksgiving Ascribes the Victory for the deliverance from sufferings. But having Thy Might unassailable, Free me from all dangers So that I may cry out to Thee: “Hail! O Bride Ever Virgin!”

The E pi stle o f S t P aul to the He bre w s 9 : 1 -7
TH E E VER BL E SSE D VI RG I N MAR Y BE CAME TH E HO L Y TABE R NACL E O F TH E L O RD O UR G O D WH OM SH E BO RE I N H E R WO MB

Brethren: even the first Covenant had Ordinances of Divine Service and the earthly Sanctuary. For a Tabernacle was prepared: the first part, in which was the lamp stand, the Table, and the Showbread, which is called the Sanctuary; and behind the second Veil, the part of the Tabernacle, which is called the Holiest of All, which had the golden Censer and the Ark of the Covenant, overlaid on all sides with gold, in which were the golden pot that had the Manna, Aaron’s Rod that budded, and the Tablets of the Covenant; and above it were the Cherubim of Glory overshadowing the Mercy Seat. Of these things we cannot now speak in detail. Now when these things had been thus prepared, the Priests always went into the first part of the Tabernacle, performing the Services. But into the second part the High Priest went alone once a year, not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the people’s sins committed in ignorance. These verses give a description of the Mosaic The Inner Veil forms the locus of the Liturgical practice of the Tabernacle, which is a copy of the Heavenly Altar. Old Covenant and revealed its imperfection: the people This passage of Holy Scripture is read during the Feasts could not draw near to God until, at His Death, our Lord honouring the Ever Blessed Theotokos and the Jesus Christ resolved that alienation. Feast of Advent in order to describe the Mystery of 8 The Ark of the Covenant contained the Old Covenant the Incarnation of the Son of God. Relics of Israel: the pot of Manna, St Aaron’s rod and 8 The Ever Blessed Virgin Mary’s Womb was the stone tablets of the Law. prepared as the Tabernacle of Christ – It God is Enthroned upon the Cherubim; hence, God’s Throne in became the actual Dwelling Place of God! Israel’s midst, the Mercy Seat, had Cherubim depicted on A most important detail in this Epistle to the Hebrews is either side. the Inner Veil – the Second Veil, which separated The Orthodox Christian Altar is also flanked by Cherubim. the Holy Place – i.e. the Sanctuary – from the Most These representations, along with the Icons of Cherubim Holy Place – the Holiest of all, which contained the on the Inner Veil and the beauty and detailed Ark of the Covenant and into which only the High workmanship of everything made for the Holy Tabernacle, Priest could enter and then only once a year. served as the Holy Icons of the Old Covenant.

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THE HOLY PROTECTION OF THE EVER BLESSED THEOTOKOS

28 OCTOBER 2010

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This and numerous other passages of Holy Scripture help to put to rest the fear that the Second Commandment prohibits all imagery. GOD CANNOT BE REPRESENTED BECAUSE HIS DIVINE NATURE IS UNKNOWABLE AND THEREFORE CANNOT BE DEPICTED.

8 HOWEVER, SINCE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON AND
WORD BECAME MAN, THE HUMAN NATURE OF GOD THE SON CAN BE AND IS IMAGED.

The Ho ly G o s pe l A cc o rd in g to S t L uk e 1 0: 3 8 - 4 2, 1 1 : 27 - 2 8
ST MARY & ST MARTHA

At that time, as they went our Lord Jesus entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His Word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, dost Thou not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.” And Jesus answered and said unto her, “Martha, Martha, thou art worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary hath chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” ...And it happened, as He spoke these things, that a certain woman from the crowd raised her voice and said unto Him, “Blessed is the womb that bore Thee, and the breasts which nursed Thee!” But He said, “More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” St Martha and St Mary were the sisters of St Lazaros, 8 GOD’S BLESSINGS ARE NOT GRANTED TO THOSE whom our Lord Jesus Christ had raised from the dead. WHO HAVE PROMINENT FAMILY St Martha was distracted and troubled about many CONNECTIONS, BUT TO THOSE WHO HEAR mundane, earthly matters while providing hospitality THE WORD OF GOD AND OBEY HIM. for our Lord. 8 THE ALL PURE, EVER BLESSED THEOTOKOS 8 THE “ONE THING” NEEDED IS TAKING TIME TO BOTH HEARD GOD’S WORD AND OBEYED IT, PAY ATTENTION TO THE WORDS OF OUR LORD WHICH MADE HER THE MOST BLESSED OF TO JESUS CHRIST SO THAT THEY CAN BE ALL WOMEN, so our Lord Jesus’ response to the FULFILLED TO THE BEST OF OUR ABILITY - A woman’s compliment stated a principle and did PRIORITY WHICH CERTAINLY DOES NOT not denigrate [INSULT OR BELITTLE] His Holy EXCLUDE SERVING HIM. Mother.

H oly P r ote cti on o f the E ve r Ble s se d T he ot o ko s
The Feast of the Holy Protection is one of the most beloved of the Eastern Orthodox Calendar, (which is celebrated on 1 October.) According to the Greek Orthodox Tradition, the Feast of the Holy Protection of the Ever Blessed Theotokos is also celebrated on 28 October. The Slavic churches refer to this Feast as “The Virgin Mary’s Cerement,” which has a dual meaning of “Veil” and “Protection.” Both the Russian word “Pokrov” (Покров) and the Greek word “Skepi” (Σκέπη), have complex meanings referring to “a cloak” or “shroud,” and also “Protection” or “Intercession.” Therefore the Feast is variously translated as the Feast of “...the Veil of our Lady,” “...the Protecting Veil of the Theotokos,” “... the Holy Protection of the Theotokos,” or “... the Intercession of the Theotokos.” It is the commemoration of the Mystical Appearance of the Ever Blessed Virgin Mary at Blachernae, Constantinople, in the 10th Century. At the end of St Andrew (Yurodivyi) of Constantinople’s life, he and his disciple, St Epiphanios, and the congregation clearly saw the Holy Theotokos, St John the Baptist and several other Holy Saints and Angels during the celebration of the Vigil in the church of Blachernae Palace, which preserved her few remaining Holy Relics – her robe, veil and a section of her belt that had been transferred from Palestine during the 5th century. The All Holy Virgin Mary approached the centre of the church, knelt down and remained in Prayer for a long time. Her beautiful face was awash with tears as she stood up, removed her veil and spread it over the people as a Sign of Protection. At that time the city was threatened by a barbarian invasion but after the miraculous appearance of the Blessed Theotokos, the danger was averted and the city was spared from terrible bloodshed and suffering. The Feast of the Holy Protection is commemorated most fervently in Slavic churches because St Andrew as a Slav by birth. The first celebration of the Feast in the Russian Orthodox Church dates back to the 12th Century and is celebrated throughout the Orthodox Church these days. An All Night Vigil is kept, with many of the same elements as those celebrated on the other Great Feasts of the Ever Blessed Theotokos. However, this particular Feast has no Afterfeast. In recent years, the Feast of the Holy Protection has become associated with thanksgiving for the deliverance of the Greek Nation from the Italian invasion in 1940, which is also commemorated in Greece with a national holiday referred to as “Oxi Day” (“No! Day”) – the response of the Greek leader Metaxas to Mussolini’s ultimatum. In 1960 the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece elected to transfer the commemoration of the Feast from 1 October to 28 October. The Ecumenical Patriarchate also provides for this commemoration in its Parishes in Greece and throughout the Greek Diaspora, and is generally observed throughout the Greek Orthodox Rite world. The commemoration includes the chanting of a Doxology that incorporates Hymns acknowledging the Holy Protection of the Ever Blessed Theotokos over the Greek Nation, including the Kontakion in her honour: “Ti Ipermaho Stratigo ta Nikitiria...” “Unto Thee, O Theotokos Invincible Champion...” Two different Events that occurred 400 years apart are combined in the usual depiction of the Holy Icon. Both Events happened in the former church OF Blachernae Palace in Constantinople. The Blessed Theotokos stands above the Faithful with her arms outstretched in Prayer, draped with a veil, while on either side stand Angels of God. At the lower right, are St Andrew and St Ephiphanios who witnessed the Vision. St Epiphanios is vested with a tunic under his cloak, gesturing in astonishment at the miraculous appearance, while St Andrew, the Fool for Christ wears only a cloak. In the centre, below the Blessed Virgin Mary, St Romanos the Melodist is depicted with a halo and a Deacon’s Sticharion. In his left hand is an open scroll bearing the Kontakion of the Nativity of the Ever Blessed Virgin Mary. His Choir is also represented together with Emperor Leo the Wise, the Empress and the Patriarch of Constantinople. (1 OCTOBER IS ALSO THE FEAST OF ST ROMANOS THE
MELODIST.)

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THE HOLY PROTECTION OF THE EVER BLESSED THEOTOKOS

28 OCTOBER 2010

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 EVER, AND UNTO THE AGES OF AGES. AMEN. REMEMBERING ALSO OUR MOST HOLY, MOST PURE, MOST BLESSED AND GLORIOUS LADY, MARIA, BIRTH GIVER OF GOD, 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.

23rd Sunday After Pentecost

Tone (6) Plagal 2

31 O cto be r 20 1 0

5th Sunday of St Luke – The Rich Man & Poor Lazaros Feast of St Stachys of the 70 Apostles, Bishop of Byzantium – St Amplias, St Urbanos, St Narcissos, St Apelles & St Aristoboulos of the 70 Apostles of Christ – St John Kochurov, Hieromartyr Missionary of America & Fist Hieromartyr of Russian Revolution – St Epimachos of Alexandria & Mount Pelusium – St Spyridon & St Nikodemos the Phosphora Bakers of Kiev Near Caves – St Maura Ascetic Founder of a Monastery in Constantinople – 100,000 Holy Martyrs of Tibilisi
RESURRECTION APOLYTIKION TONE (6) PLAGAL 2

Angelike

Dinamis epi to Mnima Sou ke i filassontes apenekrothisan. Ke istato Maria en to tafo, zitousa to ahranton Sou Soma. Eskilefsas ton Adin, mi pirasthis ip aftou. Ipintisas ti Partheno, Doroumenos tin Zoin. O Anastas ek to nekron, Kyrie, Doxa Si.

The

Angelic Powers were in Thy Sepulchre, and the guards became as dead men, and Mary stood by the Tomb seeking Thy Most Pure Body. Thou led Hades captive, yet were not tempted thereby: Thou Who art the Bestower of Life came to meet the Woman. Glory to Thee, O Lord, Who Rose again from the dead! Protector of the Christians unashamable, Mediator to the Creator Immovable, despise not, the pleading voices of those in sin, but hasten O Good One, to the aid of all of us, who in Faith cry out to Thee: hasten Thine Intercession, and present Thy Supplication, O Theotokos who always protects all who honour Thee!

Kontakion Of The Ever Blessed Theotokos

Prostasia ton Hristianon akateskhinte, mesitia pros ton
Piitin ametathete, mi Paridis, amartolon deiseon fonas, alla profthason os agathi, is tin voithian imon, ton pistos kravgazonton Si: Tahinon is presvian, ke spefson is ikesian, i prostatevousa ai, Theotoke, ton timonton se.

O

R e s ur re ctio n G os pe l 1 M at the w 28 : 16 – 2 0 Prokeimenon

THE GREAT COMMISSION

O Lord, Save Thy People and Bless Thine Inheritance! I will appeal to Thee, O Lord our God.
The E pi stle o f S t P aul to the E ph e si a ns 2 : 4 - 1 0
Being Alive In Christ Jesus

Brethren: God, Who is Rich in Mercy because of His Great Love with which He Loves us even when we were dead in trespasses – made us alive together with Christ (for by Grace you have been Saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the Heavenly Places in Christ Jesus, so that in the age to come, He might show the exceeding Riches of His Grace in His Kindness towards us in Christ Jesus. For by Grace you have been Saved through Faith and that not of yourselves; it is a Gift of God – not of Works – least anyone should boast. For we are His Workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for Good Works, which God prepared beforehand so that we should walk in them. THERE ARE TWO UNEQUAL SPIRITUAL KINGDOMS AT The Majestic and Loving Ruler of the other (Divine) WAR AND EACH MARKS ITS SUBJECTS, BUT THEY ARE Kingdom is Uncreated and Eternal – God the COMPLETE OPPOSITES. Father. The ruler of the lesser realm is a created being – Satan His Holy Realm are all the Heavenly Places, which are – who is a disgraced demon, having fallen from ruled by His infinite Mercy and Love. Divine Grace as a former Angel of God. THE DIVINE RULE OF ALMIGHTY GOD IS REDEMPTION His Spiritually Dead domain is of the air – belonging AND ETERNAL LIFE AND THE DESIRES OF HIS neither to Heaven nor earth. FAITHFUL SUBJECTS ARE CONSTANTLY He is the inventor of everything wicked, destructive and THANKFUL – WORSHIPPING AND GLORIFYING deadly – disobedience, rebellion, hatred, jealousy, GOD AT ALL TIMES. THEIR DEEDS ARE FULFILLED WITH HUMILITY, envy, greed, self-indulgence, anger, etc. OBEDIENCE, RIGHTEOUSNESS AND LOVE – AGAPE The basis of his rule is Spiritual Death – alienation and – WHICH IS FITTING AND PROPER FOR ALL WHO exile from God and everything that is good and REIGN WITH CHRIST JESUS. beneficial to Spiritual Progress and Eternal Life, THE ULTIMATE RESULT OF GOD’S DIVINE AND (WHICH HAS THE POSSIBILITY, WHILE IN THIS LIFE, OF REPENTANCE AND LOVING RULE IS EXCEEDING SPIRITUAL RICHES REDEMPTION BY OUR OWN CONCERTED EFFORT AND CHOICE.) AND INFINITE KINDNESS AND LOVE – ETERNAL His desires and those of his slaves are lustful – of the LIFE IN THE PRESENCE OF OUR TRIUNE GOD: flesh and of the mind - and their deeds are FATHER, SON AND HOLY SPIRIT. destructive, harmful, merciless and cruel – all During our lifetime we may escape the enslavement of trespasses and sins against God and mankind. the evil one through THE UNITY OF DIVINE GRACE, The result of his evil enslavement is Wrath and Eternal FAITH AND GOOD WORKS. These are not equal to each other since DIVINE GRACE Death – a self-imposed Eternal alienation and IS UNCREATED AND INFINITE (LIMITLESS) WHILE banishment from God and everything good – OUR FAITH IS LIMITED by our own weakness but is without the possibility of correction and return – Repentance and Redemption.

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23RD SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 5TH OF ST LUKE – RICH MAN & POOR LAZAROS – 31 OCTOBER 2010

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able to increase through humble Obedience and by our imitation of Christ our Saviour. Consequently, GOOD WORKS FLOW FORTH FROM AUTHENTIC AND DEDICATED FAITH IN GOD.
GOOD WORKS AND FAITH ARE LIKE HUMILITY AND OBEDIENCE – WE CANNOT POSSESS OR ACHIEVE ONE WITHOUT THE OTHER – THEY ARE LIKE CONJOINED TWINS – AND FROM THEM PROCEED ALL OTHER VIRTUES!

it is A PURE GIFT OF GOD and all who are truly Blessed to receive such a wonderful Divine Gift are
COMPELLED TO DO GOOD DEEDS WITH JOYFUL AND EAGER HEARTS AND SOULS.

GOOD WORKS ALONE CANNOT EARN US DIVINE GRACE,

Thus WE ARE NOT SAVED B Y GOOD WORKS, BUT F O R GOOD WORKS THROUGH FAITH – our total commitment and devotion to God alone.

which is the greatest of all Spiritual Treasures since

The Ho ly G o s pe l A cc o rd in g to S t L uk e 1 6 : 1 9 – 3 1
The Rich Man and Poor Lazaros At that time, our Lord Jesus Christ said: “There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who fared sumptuously every day. But there was a certain beggar named Lazaros, who was full of sores and who lay at his gate, desiring to be fed with the crumbs that fell from the rich man’s table. And dogs went and licked his sores. “So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the Angels to Abraham’s Bosom. “The rich man also died and was buried. And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazaros in his Bosom. “Then he cried: ‘O Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazaros so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and to cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this Flame!’ “And Abraham replied: ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus received evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. And besides all this, between us and you there is a great Gulf fixed so that those who want to pass from her to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’ “Then the formerly rich man said: ‘I beg you therefore, Father, that you send him to my father’s house - for I have five brothers - so that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’ “And Abraham answered: ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them!’ and he said: ‘No, Father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will Repent.’ “But Abraham said to him: ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be persuaded by one risen from the dead!’” BURIED BY THE PLEASURES OF HIS SELF-INDULGENT When our Lord Jesus described the rich man being “... FLESH. clothed in purple and fine linen...” and eating In other words, THE RICH MAN WAS ALREADY BURIED extravagantly every day, His audience immediately DURING HIS LIFETIME by his “... couches, rugs, understood the extreme wealth the “rich man” furnishings, sweet oils, perfumes, large quantities possessed and with which he indulged himself. of wine, varieties of food, and his many Only kings, influential rulers and the very affluent wore flatterers...” (St John Chrysostom) robes that were dyed purple since it took many of a In addition, THE FACT THAT CHRIST DID NOT IDENTIFY special kind of shell-fish and much specialised THE RICH MAN BY NAME, INDICATES THAT HE WAS labour to produce the purple dye, and also to make ULTIMATELY FORGOTTEN BY EVERYONE. the finely woven linen. (Psalm 9:6: “Thou rebukes the nations, and the Furthermore, to consume lavish meals every day was ungodly man destroys himself; Thou blot out also evidence of much prosperity and decadence their names in their lifetime and unto ages of since others ate very simple meals of basic foods – ages...”) whatever they could either grow themselves or were able to purchase. Although the names of the ungodly are forgotten, their Meat and any other extravagant dishes would be served wicked and unrepented deeds will be exposed and only on very special occasions and then only by judged by God because EVERYTHING WILL BE those who were able to afford them. EXPOSED BY HIS DIVINE LIGHT AND TRUTH AT THE Our Lord Jesus always contrasted His Sacred Lessons FINAL JUDGEMENT – ON THE EIGHTH DAY – BEFORE ETERNITY. with extreme and opposite scenarios, and in this THE RICH MAN’S DESPERATE APPEAL TO ST ABRAHAM AS true account of the two men’s circumstances, He A SPIRITUAL FATHER WAS NOT REJECTED, for he brings our attention to the complete opposite of the addressed the tormented man as “Son,” AND rich man’s self-indulgent lifestyle - to that of the SPOKE TO HIM WITH COMPASSION BY EXPLAINING destitute and suffering beggar lying so patiently at THE TRUTH AND REALITY OF THE SPIRITUAL his gate.
ACCORDING TO HIS DIVINE NATURE, CHRIST KNEW THE SPIRITUAL CONDITION OF POOR LAZAROS AND THAT HE HAD BEEN CARRIED BY ANGELS TO THE COMFORTING BOSOM OF ABRAHAM, which revealed that LAZAROS HAD ACCEPTED HIS LIFE WITH PATIENT GRATITUDE TO GOD AND NEVER COMPLAINED ABOUT HIS SAD SITUATION. The ancient Patriarch, ST ABRAHAM, WAS MENTIONED BY CHRIST AMONG ALL THE RIGHTEOUS BECAUSE IN STARK CONTRAST TO THE “RICH MAN,” ST ABRAHAM HAD ALWAYS SHOWN WELCOMING AND GENEROUS HOSPITALITY TO ALL STRANGERS – EVEN THE HOLY TRINITY. ( R e f e r G e n e s i s 1 8 : 1 – 8 ) On the contrary, THE RICH MAN WHO LIVED SUCH A LAVISH, THOUGHTLESS EXISTENCE, SUFFERED INDESCRIBABLE “... TORMENTS IN HADES...” WHILE BEING ABLE TO SEE THE RIGHTEOUS PEOPLE WHO RESTED PEACEFULLY IN THE COMFORT OF ABRAHAM’S BOSOM
ABRAHAM’S BOSOM WAS A FORETASTE OF HEAVEN AND THE PLACE OF PEACEFUL REPOSE FOR GOD’S FAITHFUL PEOPLE UNTIL CHRIST DESCENDED INTO HADES, SMASHED OPEN THE IMPRISONING GATES AND SET THE RIGHTEOUS FREE TO REST IN THE RE-OPENED PARADISE UNTIL THE GENERAL RESURRECTION AND THE FINAL JUDGEMENT AT HIS SECOND COMING.

CIRCUMSTANCES OF THOSE ALREADY IN HADES – THE TORMENTED AND THE REPOSED - AND THOSE WHO WERE STILL ALIVE ON EARTH.

The “great Gulf” is not a physical or geographical divide but THE COMPLETE SEPARATION BETWEEN VIRTUE AND VICE – goodness and wickedness – AN
IRREVOCABLE SEPARATION THAT CANNOT BE OVERCOME OR CORRECTED AFTER DEATH. It is of great significance that NOT EVEN THE TORMENTS HE SUFFERED IN HADES HAD CHANGED THE RICH MAN’S HEART because he still regarded poor

Lazaros as a mere servant who existed to fulfil the rich man’s own selfish bidding and desires! In other words, NOT EVEN THE TORMENTS OF HADES
CAN CHANGE A STUBBORN, SELF-SEEKING SINNER! THIS SACRED LESSON OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST REVEALS TO US THE COMMUNION OF SAINTS: a man

Christ mentioned that THE RICH MAN HAD BEEN BURIED, which our Holy Fathers regard as
ILLUSTRATING THE STATE OF HIS THOUGHTLESS, UNCARING AND MERCILESS SOUL WHICH WAS

who was not even a faithful servant of God called out for mercy from Hades and conversed with St Abraham! Some scholars see this after-death account as being set after the Final Judgement of Christ, citing the punishment and reward being received by the two men respectively. However, OUR HOLY CHURCH FATHERS REGARD THIS
ACCOUNT AS BEING DURING A TIME AFTER DEATH BUT BEFORE THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST, AS

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EVIDENCED BY THE MAN INTERCEDING ON BEHALF OF HIS FIVE BROTHERS WHO WERE STILL ALIVE.

confessed before the entire Church AS A MOST
HUMBLE ACT OF REPENTANCE.
EARLY CHURCHES CONSISTED OF GATHERINGS OF FAITHFUL IN SMALL GROUPS IN THE HOMES OF OTHER CHRISTIANS. EVERYONE KNEW EACH OTHER VERY WELL AND THERE WAS AN ELEMENT OF COMPLETE TRUST BECAUSE THEY WERE ALL UNITED IN THE SAME FAITH AND MANNER OF WORSHIP. EVERYONE UNDERSTOOD AND PRESERVED THE SANCTITY OF SUCH GATHERINGS AND SHARING OF ONE ANOTHER’S PHYSICAL AND SPIRITUAL BURDENS. NO ONE GOSSIPPED OR SCANDALISED ABOUT WHATEVER THEY WITNESSED DURING THEIR SANCTIFIED GATHERINGS. THEY UNDERSTOOD THAT WE ARE ALL SINNERS SEEKING REDEMPTION IN CHRIST JESUS SO NO ONE COULD OR WANTED TO POINT ACCUSING FINGERS AT EACH OTHER.

The multiple torments the rich man experienced would be merely a foretaste of his Final Judgement and Spiritual State in Eternity. From this perspective, we are taught that SOULS OF THE
DEPARTED HAVE AN AWARENESS OF AND CONCERN FOR THE SPIRITUAL STATE OF THOSE WHO STILL LIVE ON EARTH, BUT ALSO THAT THE INTERCESSIONS FOR MERCY OF THE WICKED MAN ARE HEARD, BUT SADLY AVAIL NOTHING. L u k e 9 : 3 0 - 3 1 : CHRIST’S PASSION ON THE CROSS WAS a fulfilment of the Old Covenant Passover and was THE TRUE EXODUS FROM SPIRITUAL ENSLAVEMENT OF SIN INTO GLORIOUS SALVATION AND SPIRITUAL FREEDOM OF ETERNAL LIFE.

Only in His human Nature could Christ experience Death and descend into Hades where, IN HIS DIVINE
NATURE, HE SMASHED OPEN THE GATES OF HADES AND SET THE RIGHTEOUS SOULS FREE, while the

stubbornly unrepentant souls remained there, tormented by the foretaste of Eternal Death – the total absence of God and everything good! 2 M a c c a b e e s 1 5 : 1 2 - 1 6 : The Hebrews believed that
THE DEPARTED SAINTS LIKE ST JEREMIAH ARE ALIVE EVEN BEFORE THE GENERAL RESURRECTION.

However, as the Church grew, and more often than not, other people who were not part of the Christian Community would attend, many of whom hoped to become Catechumens and then be Baptised Christians. Some attended out of mere curiosity or even possibly with other more sinister motives. Consequently communal, public Confessions became less desirable and even dangerous during the persecutions of Christians . Instead of Confessions before the entire Christian Community, REPENTANT SINNERS CONFESSED IN
PRIVATE BEFORE A PRIEST (WHO REPRESENTS OUR FELLOW SINNERS,) AND IN THE DIVINE PRESENCE OF ALMIGHTY GOD (WHO, THROUGH HIS ORDAINED SERVANTS, THE BISHOPS AND PRIESTS,
GRANTS US FORGIVENESS OF SINS.)

What is definitely NOT TAUGHT IN HOLY SCRIPTURE
IS PRIVATE CONFESSION ONLY TO GOD, WHEREBY WE REFUSE TO ACKNOWLEDGE OUR SINS TO OUR CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY – OUR FELLOW STRUGGLING SINNERS - AGAINST WHOM WE COMMIT OUR SINS!

This was clearly confirmed by the New Covenant when
ST MOSES AND ST ELIJAH APPEARED WITH CHRIST AT HIS GLORIOUS TRANSFIGURATION ON MOUNT TABOR, which was WITNESSED BY ST PETER, ST JAMES, AND HIS BROTHER, ST JOHN the Divine

Apostle and Theologian. M a t t h e w 2 : 1 8 : The Book of Jeremiah mentions that when the people of Jerusalem were led into exile, they passed Ramah, near Bethlehem, where the tomb of St Jacob’s wife, St Rachel, was situated. In his Prophecy, ST JEREMIAH SAW ST RACHEL
LAMENTING, WEEPING AND MOURNING FROM HER GRAVE, BEING DEEPLY SORROWFUL FOR THE FATE THAT HAD BEFALLEN HER DESCENDENTS, AND THIS WAS REPEATED AT THE TIME OF THE MERCILESS SLAUGHTER OF THE INNOCENTS, which occurred

1 J o h n 1 : 8 – 1 0 : “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the Truth is not in us. If we Confess our sins, (Christ) is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us!” 8 FAITH IS PROVED BY GOOD WORKS – i.e. OUR FAITH
MUST PRODUCE PURITY – IT MUST PRACTICE THE TRUTH WHERE TRUTH IS A RIGHT RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD THAT IS MANIFESTED IN A HOLY AND RIGHTEOUS LIFE IN CHRIST. 8 And TRUE FAITH MUST ALWAYS SEEK FORGIVENESS for and cleansing from sin – THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST ... CLEANSES US FROM ALL SIN. 8 SIN MOST CERTAINLY DOES EXIST AND CONSEQUENTLY, THE PRACTICE OF REGULAR CONFESSION IS THE ESTABLISHED BASIS FOR OUR SPIRITUAL GROWTH TOWARDS RIGHTEOUSNESS. Furthermore, ALTHOUGH WE CONTINUOUSLY COMMIT SIN, WE MUST JUST AS CEASELESSLY STRIVE TO AVOID ALL TEMPTATION THAT LEADS US INTO WICKEDNESS. SALVATION IN CHRIST IS A LONG, PERPETUAL PROCESS – A CEASELESS AND WATCHFUL STRUGGLE – the most essential part of which is a CONSTANT AWARENESS AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF EVERY SIN – GREAT OR SMALL – AND REGULAR REPENTANCE-CONFESSION COMBINED WITH HOLY EUCHARIST.

approximately two years after the Birth of Christ when all male infants were murdered by order of the insane and cruel King Herod. Thus the weeping of St Rachel for her suffering children demonstrates that SAINTS IN HEAVEN ARE VERY
AWARE OF AND COMPASSIONATE TOWARDS ALL WHO STRUGGLE IN LIFE ON EARTH. CONSEQUENTLY, WE TURN TO THEM FOR THEIR PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION AND SPIRITUAL GUIDANCE.
THE HUMAN SOUL IS IMMORTAL – IT NEVER DIES – SO IT REMAINS ALIVE AND AWARE OF BOTH THE VISIBLE AND INVISIBLE WORLDS. SOULS THAT HAVE BEEN BLESSED WITH A CLOSE AND INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD CONTINUE AFTER THIS LIFE TO BE IN THE DIVINE PRESENCE. OBVIOUSLY THEN, THOSE THAT HAVE REJECTED GOD AND REFUSED TO MAKE ANY EFFORT TO GET CLOSE TO GOD HAVE CHOSEN THEIR ALIENATION AND SPIRITUAL EXILE FOR ALL ETERNITY AND WILL THUS SUFFER THE UNCEASING TORMENTS OF HELL FOREVER – WITH NO RESPITE OR RELIEF AND BEING COMPLETELY SEPARATED FROM EVERYTHING OF GOD AND HIS GOODNESS.

5 : 1 6 “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The effective, Fervent Prayer of a Righteous person avails much.” Some people allege that confessing our sins to God in the presence of a Priest is not “Biblical!” James THE ANCIENT CHRISTIAN PRACTICE WAS TO CONFESS OUR TRESPASSES TO ONE ANOTHER and when a

8 In order for fulfil these requirements and to make
Spiritual Progress, A CONSTANT ATTENDANCE AND PARTICIPATION IN ALL HOLY SERVICES, HOLY MYSTERIES AND PERSONAL PRAYERS IS VITAL. THE HOLY CHURCH OF CHRIST EFFECTS HEALING – PHYSICAL AND SPIRITUAL – THROUGH WORKS OF FAITH SUCH AS CONFESSION OF OUR SINS AND THE POWER OF INTERCESSORY PRAYER.
SHELTER – TO THOSE WHO WERE SICK, DESTITUTE AND SUFFERING.

good

8

Christian was guilty of sinning, the matter was
POOR LAZAROS HAD NOT DONE ANY GOOD WORKS, BECAUSE HE COULD NOT. HE LAY AT THE RICH MAN’S GATE, HUMBLY PRAISING GOD AND PATIENTLY ACCEPTING HIS LIFE WITHOUT COMPLAINT. THE RICH MAN MAY NOT HAVE DONE ANY HARM TO OTHERS, BUT NEITHER DID HE DO ANYTHING GOOD FOR OTHERS.

The S ac re d L e s so n o f th e R i ch M an & P oo r La z ar os
TO DO NOTHING GOOD IS A SIN! The line that separates good from evil is very thin. It is like an invisible, delicate thread – and we must always be very careful and watchful not to break it! It is in vain you declare: “I do not harm anyone...” Nor do you do any Good Works with Faith! You tell anyone who cares to listen: “I do not care what other people do; I mind my own business... I 25

He ate and drank to his heart’s content, and indulged himself and his family but NEVER GAVE A
THOUGHT TO THOSE WHO HAD NO FOOD OR

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am honest... successful... I have my own money in the bank... I own my home...” etc. But YOU DO NOTHING THAT IS TRULY GOOD OR
BENEFICIAL FOR OTHERS! THE SUFFERING AND THE DESTITUTE DO NOT MOVE YOU AT ALL – no matter what you say or how you

both spiritually crushed!

and

physically

broken

and

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justify yourself.
IF YOU TRULY LOVE GOD AND HIS CREATION, YOU WOULD BE CONCERNED AND COMPELLED TO DO ANYTHING - WHEREVER AND HOWEVER YOU CAN! YOU HAVE NOT BEEN MOVED TO OFFER ANY GIFTS TO GOD BY TAKING CARE OF OTHERS, nor has your cold heart been touched: you have not been provoked into binding the innumerable wounds of the fallen – to visit the sick in hospital or those who are ill or alone or needy in some way or other! You do not say to anyone: “You are alone... elderly and frail... unable to get around... let me take you to Church ... to the doctor... for a drive... for a meal... to the hospital... to visit your family or friends...” NEITHER HAVE YOU RESPONDED TO THE NEEDS OF OTHERS by phoning... visiting... taking food or

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WHEN WE DO NOT PRAISE NOR THANK GOD FOR OUR ABUNDANT BLESSINGS, AND KEEP EVERYTHING IN THE RIGHT PERSPECTIVE, WE BECOME MORE GREEDY AND DEMANDING - AND WE MOST CERTAINLY WILL NOT SHARE ANY OF OUR WEALTH OR POSSESSIONS WITH THOSE LESS FORTUNATE THAN US. WE BECOME OVERWHELMED AND ENTRAPPED BY

MATERIAL THINGS: we build bigger “barns” and as our wealth increases, so does our extravagance and dangerous excesses. Yet something vital is sadly missing from such lives!

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OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST WARNED US, THOSE WHO DO NOT GATHER IN HIM, WASTE THEIR BLESSINGS!

It is better to be poor, and to gather in Christ; and IT IS FAR BETTER TO GATHER IN CHRIST THAN TO BE POSSESSED BY WEALTH and through our own choices to enter Hell – to choose exile and alienation from God and all His Goodness.

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THE SPIRITUAL FRUITS OF OUR GOOD DEEDS CARRY

groceries... etc to anyone who would greatly benefit from a little kindness and compassion due to their particular circumstances!
YOU STAND STILL, STAGNATE AND PASS THROUGH THIS SHORT LIFE LIKE A WOODPILE, and you

US INTO ETERNAL LIFE for all the Good Works we do with Faith or those we reject due to a lack of Faith, will finally Judge us. When we stand before the dreaded Judgement Seat of Christ, our souls and the Fruits of our life long labours are clearly revealed to all and WE CAN NO LONGER JUSTIFY OR EXCUSE OURSELVES! EACH UNIQUE SOUL IS JUDGED BY WORDS, THOUGHTS AND DEEDS THROUGHOUT THIS LIFE AND NO ONE ELSE CAN BE BLAMED OR HELD RESPONSIBLE! NEITHER WEALTH NOR POVERTY WILL CAST US INTO THE OUTER DARKNESS OF ETERNAL DEATH BUT RATHER HOW WE SPEND EVERY MOMENT OF OUR LIVES. 8 WE WILL BE JUDGED ON WHETHER - AND HOW - WE USED WHATEVER WE HAD FOR THE GLORY OF GOD AND FOR THE BENEFIT OF OUR FELLOW, STRUGGLING MANKIND OR REJECTED EVERY OPPORTUNITY FOR GOOD THAT GOD PERPETUALLY OFFERS US.

think that this delicate thread, which is as thin as the horizon, separates you from evil.
NOTHING IS FURTHER FROM GOD’S TRUTH AND GOODNESS THAN THIS DEADLY DECEPTION OF EXISTENTIALISM! IN REALITY, YOU ARE WASTING YOUR ENTIRE LIFE BY STANDING ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE DELICATE THREAD THAT SEPARATES YOU FROM GOD AND HIS GOODNESS!

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Our Holy Fathers warn us that EVIL HAS NO ESSENCE!
IN THE ABSENCE OF GOOD, EVIL EXISTS! IF WE DO NOT DO ANYTHING GOOD, THEN WE COMMIT SIN.

ADAPTED & EDITED BY MP: “LIVING WORDS: TO SERVE CHRIST, MEANS SUFFERING” BY FATHER GEORGE CALCIU, PUBLISHED BY BONIFACIU PRESS, 2009

We can no longer ignore the misery of our fellow sinners because WE LIVE IN A WORLD OF ENDLESS
SUFFERING FROM WARS, CRIME, STARVATION AND POVERTY – CAUSED BY HUMN SELF-INDULGENCE, GREED AND CRUELTY!

http://orthodoxword.wordpress.com/2009/11/01/laz arus and the rich man sunday of luke/
IN THE BEAUTIFUL ORTHODOX BETROTHAL-MARRIAGE SERVICE, IN “THE PRAYER OF UNITY,” THE PRIEST BESEECHES OUR LORD TO ...

There are so many destitute people in countries that pride themselves on their “wealth” and “success.” In our so called “first world countries” – the affluent countries of the world THERE IS AN INCREASING
NUMBER OF HOPELESS, DESPONDENT PEOPLE WHO ARE UNEMPLOYED, HOMELESS, SICK AND SUFFERING – WHO HAVE LOST THEIR HOPE AND TRUST IN THIS EARTHLY WORLD AND HUMAN NATURE.

bestow upon them the Dew of Heaven from Above and all the riches of the earth; fill their home with wheat, wine and oil, and with every good thing, so that they may give to those in need; and grant to those here present all their requests that lead to Salvation.
THEREFORE, WHATEVER OUR MOST LOVING AND BENEVOLENT GOD BESTOWS UPON US, IT IS IMPERATIVE FOR US TO SHARE WITH OTHERS AT EVERY OPPORTUNITY, AND THOSE WHO DO SO HAVE EXPERIENCED THE DIVINE PROMISE OF GOD WHO SAID THAT WHATEVER WE DO FOR OR TO OTHERS, WILL BE RETURNED TO US A HUNDREDFOLD – A HUNDRED TIMES MORE! MP

They roam aimlessly around the towns and cities,
SURVIVING BY THE GRACE OF GOD FROM DAY TO DAY and sleeping wherever they can – usually

exposed to the heat of summer or the freezing winter; subjected to the cruelty and mercilessness of an uncaring human society that justifies itself with the excuse that such people are not their problem but the government’s problem to resolve!
ALL THE UNLOVING, GREEDY AND MERCILESS PEOPLE OF THIS FALLEN WORLD HAVE FORGOTTEN OR IGNORED GOD IN THEIR QUEST FOR USELESS WEALTH AND TEMPORARY POSSESSIONS. THE OBSESSION WITH MATERIAL PROSPERITY COSTS US OUR SPIRITUAL WELFARE AND PROGRESS!

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In the compulsive pursuit of “wealth and success”, (which God initially grants to us!) WE SO EASILY
FORGET OR CHOSE TO IGNORE GOD AND NO LONGER WORSHIP, PRAISE OR THANK HIM FOR ALL HIS INFINITE GOODNESS AND BLESSINGS!

Consequently we cross over the thin thread and OUR
NEW GOD IS MAMMON WHO ENSLAVES AND IMPOVERISHES US BEYOND MEASURE until we are

St Maximos the Confessor (580-662) Nothing so much as Love brings together those who have been sundered, and produces in them an effective union of will and purpose. Love is distinguished by the beauty of recognizing the equal value of all men. Love is born in a man when his soul's powers - that is, his intelligence, incensive power and desire are concentrated and unified around the Divine. Those who by Grace have come to recognize the equal value of all men in God's Sight and who engrave His Beauty on their memory, possess an ineradicable longing for Divine Love, for such Love is always imprinting this Beauty on their intellect.' (SECOND CENTURY OF VARIOUS TEXTS, 72, IN THE PHILOKALIA,
VOL. 2, P 202.)

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