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Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa

Archdiocese of Good Hope


All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
now and forever, and unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most
Holy, Most Pure, Most Blessed and Glorious Lady, Maria, Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin,
together with all the Saints. And let us commit ourselves and one another and our
whole Life to Christ our God. Amen.
TONE (5) PLAGAL 2 2 JUNE 2019

6TH SUNDAY OF HOLY PASCHA –SUNDAY OF THE BLIND MAN


(BORN WITHOUT EYES)

Also the Feast of St Nicephoros the Confessor & Patriarch of Constantinople


– St Constantine the New Holy Martyr of Agarinon – St John the New Holy Martyr of Sochi & Belgrade – St Juliana,
Princess of Vyazma (Relics) – St Erasmos of Ochrid Monastery – The Holy Icon of our Lady, Theotokos of Kiev-Batsk

R ESUR REC TION G OSPEL 8: J OH N 20:11-18

H Y MNS OF THE S MALL EN TR ANCE

P ASC HAL A P OLYTIKION – T ONE (5) P L AGAL 1

✞ Hristos Anesti, ek nekron, Thanato thanaton patisas, ✞ Christ is Risen from the dead; By Death trampling
Ke tis en tis mnimasin, Zoin harisamenos [3] upon death, And has bestowed Life to those in the
tombs. [3]
R ESUR REC TION A P OLYTIKION - T ONE (5) P L AGAL 1

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

I ke en Tafo katilthes Athanate, alla tou Adou kathiles tin Although Thou descended into the Tomb, O Immortal
dinamin; ke Anestis os nikitis, Hriste O Theos, Ginexi One, Thou destroyed the power of Hades; and Thou
Miroforis fthengxamenos: Herete! Ke tis Sis Apostolis arose as Victor, O Christ our God! To the Myrrh-
Irinin doroumenos, O tis pesousi parehon Anastasin. bearing Women Thou said: Rejoice! And to Thine
Apostles Thou granted Thy Peace: O Thou Who
grants to the fallen Resurrection.
R ESUR REC TION P R OKE IME NON – P SALM 11/12 – TO NE (5) P L AGAL 1
Thou shalt Guard us, O Lord; Thou shalt preserve us from this generation forever.
Save me, O Lord, for the Holy Man has ceased; the Truthful are diminished from among the sons of mankind.

T H E A CTS OF THE AP OSTLE S ACC OR D ING TO S T L U KE 16: 16-34


In those days, it happened, as we went to Prayer, that a certain slave girl who was possessed with a spirit of divination
met us, who profited her masters much by fortune-telling. This girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying:
“These men are the Servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the Way of Salvation!” This she did for many
days. And Paul - intensely annoyed - turned and said to the spirit: “I command you in the Name of Jesus Christ to
come out of her!” And it went out of her that very hour.
But when her masters saw that their hopes of profit were gone, they seized Paul and Silas, and dragged them into the
marketplace to the authorities.
And they brought them to the Magistrates, and said: “These men – being Judeans – exceedingly trouble our city; and
they teach customs that are unlawful for us – being Romans – to receive or observe.” And the multitude rose up
together against them; and the Magistrates tore off their clothes and commanded them to be beaten with rods.
And when they had laid many stripes on them, they threw them into prison, commanding the Jailer to keep them
securely. And having received such a charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the
stocks. And at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing Hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to
them.
Suddenly there was a great earthquake, and the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors
were opened and everyone’s chains were loosened. And the Keeper of the prison, having awoken from sleep and
seeing the prison doors open, and supposing that the prisoners had fled, drew his sword and was about to kill
himself. So Paul called with a loud voice, saying: “Do yourself no harm, for we are all here.”
Then the Jailer called for a light, ran in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. And he took them out, saying:
“Sirs: what must I do to be Saved?” And they said: “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be Saved – you and
your household.”
And they spoke the Word of the Lord to him and to all who were of his household. And he took them that same hour of
the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were Baptised. And when he had taken
them into his house, he had set food before them; and he rejoiced, having believed in God, together with all his
household.
✶ FAITH IN OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST LED IMMEDIATELY TO HOLY immersions) IN SANCTIFIED WATER AND WITH FAITH IN
BAPTISM – NOT ONLY OF THE JAILER AND THE ADULT CHRIST ARE BOTH ESSENTIAL FOR OUR ENTRANCE INTO HIS
MEMBERS OF HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY, BUT OF HIS ENTIRE HOLY ORTHODOX CHURCH - the Holy Church of Jesus
HOUSEHOLD – men, women and children – the free Christ, our Lord God and Saviour – with Its
and the enslaved. Bloodless Sacrifices and Offerings.)
 RIGHT FROM THE BEGINNING of the New Holy Covenant  THE APOSTOLIC PATTERN OF CONVERSION IS HEARING,
with Almighty God, HOLY BAPTISM (i.e. three full BELIEVING AND HOLY BAPTISM - LEARNING CORRECTLY

6TH SUNDAY OF PASCHA – THE BLIND MAN (BORN WITHOUT EYES) – 2 JUNE 2019 1.
AND THEN APPLYING EVERYTHING TO DAILY LIFE – LIVING IN  From that moment onwards we must strive to LIVE
CHRIST FAITHFULLY AND CONSTANTLY – not only when DAILY ACCORDING TO THE PERFECT EXAMPLE AND
we feel like it or have a need for it! TEACHINGS OF CHRIST OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR.
 BEING CHRISTIAN – FAITHFUL DISCIPLES OF CHRIST – IS A ✶ "... These men are the Servants of the Most High God..”
CONTINUOUS LIFE-LONG PROCESS and that is one of the Although the demon-possessed slave girl declared
reasons why GOD GRANTS EACH SOUL ITS OWN UNIQUE the Truth concerning the two Holy Apostles of
NUMBER OF DAYS in this material world. Christ, SHE HERSELF NEEDED TO BE SET FREE IN ORDER TO
 LIFE IN CHRIST means ACCEPT CHRIST BY MEANS OF HER OWN FREE WILL.
1. EVERY MOMENT of the day we STRIVE TO IMITATE HIM  Furthermore, ST PAUL COULD NOT ENDURE SEEING HER BEING
WITH OUR WORDS, THOUGHTS AND DEEDS TORMENTED AND POSSESSED BY THE EVIL SPIRIT, which
2. ALWAYS REMEMBERING OUR HOLY BAPTISM AND OUR misguides and deceives people into believing
INEVITABLE, UNAVOIDABLE, DEATH, when we will satanic inventions rather than Divine Truth.
face our First Judgement, which is the Spiritual  THE DEVIL AND HIS SERVANTS ALWAYS BAIT THEIR DEADLY
Foretaste of THE FINAL JUDGEMENT OF CHRIST ON HOOKS WITH A TINY, TEMPTING MORSEL OF TRUTH, WHICH
THE EIGHTH DAY – THE BEGINNING OF ETERNITY FOR as soon as accepted by their prey, PROVES TO BE
US. FATAL.
3. DEDICATION TO EVERY ASPECT OF FAITHFUL WORSHIP,  THE IMPURE PRAISE OF HYPOCRITES AND ENEMIES OF GOD is
PRAYER AND DAILY LIVING – not merely being a completely unacceptable and SHOULD BE INSTANTLY
token “member” of the Orthodox Christian REJECTED.
Church – as though it was a mere “hobby” that  W I S D O M O F S I R A C H 1 5 : 9 – “Praise is not proper in the
we can pick and choose to do, whenever or mouth of a sinner, because it is not sent from the
however we feel like it. Lord.”
Sadly far too many “converts” apostatize almost as soon  L U K E 4 : 4 1 ”... demons also came out of many, crying
as they have made their Sacred Vows before their out and saying: ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of
Holy Baptism! God!’”
This is usually due to the fact that EITHER THEY HAVE NOT BEEN ✶ The accusers of St Paul and St Silas – THE OWNERS OF THE
TAUGHT CORRECTLY AND THOROUGHLY OR THEY HAD NO REAL SLAVE GIRL - CARED LITTLE FOR OUR FAITH, YET THEY USED
INTENTION OF LIVING IN CHRIST JESUS AT ALL! RELIGIOUS PREJUDICE AGAINST THE HEBREWS TO RETALIATE
Consequently, they have betrayed God! FOR THEIR FINANCIAL LOSS when she could no longer
Many unenlightened, misguided “converts” revert to their make money for them through her “fortune telling”
former lives either as non-believers altogether or by - by cheating the superstitious people out of their
living as before. hard-earned wages.
✶ ONCE WE HAVE CONVERTED AND COMMITTED OURSELVES TO  Nevertheless, BEING UNJUSTLY PERSECUTED FOR CHRIST LED
ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY – HAVING VOWED ALLEGIANCE TO ST PAUL AND ST SILAS TO GREAT SPIRITUAL JOY RATHER
OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST - WE CANNOT THAN SORROW.
CONTINUE TO “SHOP AROUND” for a type of religion or sect WE SHOULD THANK GOD FOR ALL ADVERSITY, WHICH BRINGS
that “suits us!” US CLOSER TO HIM AND STRENGTHENS OUR FAITH AS WE
 AS ORTHODOX CHRISTIANS WE HAVE A FAR GREATER DEPEND ON AND APPRECIATE MORE AND MORE THE GREAT
RESPONSIBILITY AND COMMITMENT TO LIFE IN CHRIST THAN MERCY OF ALMIGHTY GOD WHO PROTECTS US AND
OTHERS –ESPECIALLY THOSE WHO HAVE FREELY CHOSEN TO PROVIDES EVERYTHING WE COULD POSSIBLE NEED FOR THIS
BECOME ORTHODOX CHRISTIANS, EARTHLY AS WELL AS ETERNAL LIFE.
1. IF WE CHOOSE TO APOSTATIZE BY REJECTING ANY ASPECT OF  L U K E 6 : 2 2 - 2 3 Christ warned us: “... Rejoice in that
THE ORTHODOX FAITH AS TAUGHT BY CHRIST AND HIS Day and leap for Joy! For indeed your Reward is
HOLY APOSTLES - WE WILL BE SEVERELY JUDGED BY great in Heaven. For in like manner their Fathers
GOD, did to the Prophets. But woe to you who are rich,
2. UNLESS WE CONTRITELY REPENT OUR REBELLION AGAINST for you have received your consolation!”
GOD AND RETURN TO HIS SACRED FOLD. ✶ By “...praying and singing hymns...” ST PAUL AND ST
3. THE CHOICE IS OURS SILAS PREPARED THE OTHER PRISONERS FOR CONVERSION
4. WE MUST ACCEPT THE CONSEQUENCES LATER THAT NIGHT.
5. WE CANNOT AND MUST NOT BLAME ANYONE ELSE AT ALL – ✶ “...Do yourself no harm,..” ANY ROMAN JAILER WHOSE
6. neither should we shrug it off as being a “man- PRISONERS MANAGED TO ESCAPE FACED EXTREMELY CRUEL
made” idea! TORTURE AND EVEN POSSIBLY EXECUTION, for the Roman
✶ Our Lord Himself cautioned us against being Pharisaic oppressors ruled and dominated the people
“hypocrites,” “wolves,” “hirelings,” “goats,” “thieves and through fear and merciless brutality. So THE JAILER
robbers,” etc. meaning THOUGHT IT WOULD BE BETTER AND QUICKER TO COMMIT
1. ALL THOSE WHO ARE NOT OF THE SACRED FOLD OF OUR SUICIDE rather than endure the vicious suffering
GOOD SHEPHERD, Christ our Lord – inflicted by the Executioners.
2. or WHO PRETEND TO BE COMMITTED TO GOD YET DESERT ✶ “...What must I do to be Saved?” is A DOUBLE-SIDED
HIM AND/OR DESTROY OTHERS through their own QUESTION that the Jailer asked after St Paul had
mean, selfish actions! reassured him that he and St Silas were still there.
 WE MUST EXAMINE OUR HEART AND SOUL REGULARLY AND  This might have referred to HIS IMPENDING PROBLEM OF
METICULOUSLY - plucking out and eradicating any
THE ROMAN AUTHORITIES’ PUNISHMENT for escapees,
sign of Spiritual Rebellion against the Lord our  but IT ALSO REFERRED TO ETERNAL SALVATION, which St Paul
God – THROUGH REPENTANCE-CONFESSION. immediately granted the Jailer and his entire
 Only through such regular “housekeeping” can WE household THROUGH HOLY BAPTISM.
BEGIN TO PREPARE OURSELVES FOR OUR FINAL JUDGEMENT
 THE UNNAMED ROMAN JAILER HAD LISTENED CAREFULLY TO ST
AND ETERNITY. PAUL AND ST SILAS proclaiming the Way of Salvation,
✶ EXORCISMS IN THE NAME OF CHRIST ARE PART OF APOSTOLIC as well as their devout, heartfelt Prayers and
MINISTRY. Hymns.
 BEFORE THE HOLY MYSTERY OF BAPTISM BEGINS THERE ARE  THE MIRACULOUS EARTHQUAKE AND ST PAUL’S CONCERN FOR
THREE EXORCISMS in the Holy Service of “The Making THE JAILER’S LIFE – EARTHLY AND ETERNAL –
of a Catechumen,” which expels Satan and his STRENGTHENED THE MAN’S FAITH and led to his and his
demons from having any further influence over entire household’s Conversion to Christ Jesus.
the New Believer – the New Disciple of Christ.
T H E H OLY G OSPEL ACCO R D ING TO S T J OH N 9 : 1 – 38
THE MAN BORN WITHOUT EYES RECEIVES SIGHT FROM OUR CREATOR
At that time, as our Lord Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. And His Disciples asked Him:
“Rabbi: who sinned – this man or his parents – that he was born blind?” Jesus answered: “Neither this man nor his
parents sinned, but that the Works of God should be revealed in him. I must work the Works of Him Who sent Me
while it is day. The night is coming when no one can Work. As long as I Am in the world, I Am the Light of the
world.”
When He had said these things, He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva. And He anointed the eyes of the
Blind Man with the clay. And He said to him: “Go. Wash in the Pool of Siloam,” (which translated means ‘Sent.’) He
went, and washed, and returned, seeing.
The neighbours and those who previously had seen that he was blind said: “Is this not he who sat and begged?” Some
said: “It is he!” Others said: “He is like him!” He said: “I am he!” And they said to him: “How were your eyes opened?”
2. 6TH SUNDAY OF PASCHA – THE BLIND MAN (BORN WITHOUT EYES) – 2 JUNE 2019
He answered, and said: “A Man called ‘Jesus’ made clay, and anointed my eyes, and said to me: ‘Go to the Pool of
Siloam and wash.’ I went and washed - I received sight.” They asked him: “Where is He?” He replied: “I do not
know.”
They took him who formerly was blind to the Pharisees. It was a Sabbath when Jesus had made the clay and opened
his eyes. The Pharisees also asked him again how he had received his sight. He said to them: “He put clay on my
eyes, and I washed, and I see.” Some of the Pharisees said: “This Man is not from God because He does not keep the
Sabbath!” Others said: “How can anyone who is a sinner do such Signs?”
And there was a division among them.
They said to the Blind Man again: “What do you say about Him because He opened you eyes?” He said: “He is a
Prophet.” The Judeans did not believe him - that he had been blind and now could see – until they called the
parents of him who had received his sight. And they asked them: “Is this your son who you say was born blind?
How then does he now see?” His parents answered them, and said: “We know that this is our son, and that he was
born blind. By what Means he now sees, we do not know. Who has opened his eyes, we do not know. He is of age -
ask him. He will speak for himself.”
His parents said these things because they feared the Judeans. For the Judeans had agreed already that anyone who
Confessed that He is the Christ, would be put out of the Synagogue. Therefore, his parents said: “He is of age; ask
him.”
They called again the man who was formerly blind, and said to him: “Give God the Glory! We know that this Man is a
sinner!” He replied: “Whether He is a sinner or not, I do not know. One thing I do know is that although I was blind,
now I see!” And they questioned him again: “”What did He do to you? How did He open your eyes?” He replied: “I
have told you already, yet you do not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become His
Disciples?”
They reviled him, and said: “You are His Disciple! We are Moses’ Disciples! We know that God spoke to Moses. As for
this Fellow – we do not know where He is from.” The man answered them: “Why, this is a marvellous thing! – for you
do not know where He is from – and He has opened my eyes! We know that God does not hear sinners, but if
anyone is a Worshipper of God and does His Will, He hears him. Since the world began it has been unheard of that
anyone opened the eyes of one who was born blind. If He were not from God, He could do nothing!”
They answered and said to him: “You were completely born in sins, and you are teaching us?!” And they cast him out.
Jesus heard that they had cast him out. And when He had found him, He said to him: “Do you believe in the Son of
God?”
He answered and said: “Who is He, O Lord, that I may believe in Him?” Jesus said to him: “You have both seen Him
and He Who is speaking to you it is He.” And he said: “O Lord: I believe!” And He worshipped Him.
✶THIS DIVINE HEALING IS THE SIXTH SIGN OF OUR LORD’S DIVINE ✶ “ ... Wash in the Pool of Siloam ...” which WAS SITUATED
NATURE AND TRUE IDENTITY ACCORDING TO ST JOHN’S ON THE OUTSKIRTS OF JERUSALEM, was A CONSIDERABLE
HOLY GOSPEL. DISTANCE FROM THE TEMPLE and PROVIDED THE WATER THAT
✶ “...blind from birth...” Of all the Miracle Accounts WAS ESSENTIAL TO THE HOLY RITES connected with the
throughout Holy Scripture, THIS IS THE ONLY ONE Feast of Tabernacles (which together with Pascha and
WHEREBY A PERSON WAS BORN WITHOUT EYES. Pentecost was one of the most important Festivals of the
 THE BLIND MAN SYMBOLISES ALL SPIRITUALLY BLIND HUMANITY ancient Hebrews) that included numerous Sacrifices
for WE ALL NEED SPIRITUAL ILLUMINATION of our Lord and Celebrations. (LEVITICUS 23:33 – 43)
Who is THE LIGHT OF THE FALLEN, SPIRITUALLY DARKENED ✶✶ “Siloam” meaning “Sent” SYMBOLISES CHRIST WHO IS SENT
WORLD. BY GOD OUR HEAVENLY FATHER and - just as the
 This Divine Miracle is AN ILLUSTRATION OF HOLY BAPTISM, Healing of the Blind Man confirms Christ’s claim as
which is also referred to as “Holy Illumination.” the (Divine) Light of the World.
 As PASCHA (EASTER) WAS THE TRADITIONAL DAY FOR  so also HIS USE OF THE POOL OF SILOAM CONFIRMS THAT HE IS
CATECHUMENS TO BE RECEIVED INTO THE HOLY CHURCH OF THE TRUE AND DIVINE PURIFICATION OF THE HOLY TEMPLE
CHRIST, THE SACRED LESSONS OF THE HOLY PASCHA AND ALL WHO WORSHIP IN IT WITH TRUE FAITH IN GOD.
PERIOD – from the Glorious Resurrection of Christ ✶ “...This Man is not from God ...” - Just as THE HYPOCRITICAL
until Pentecost – ALL REFLECT A BAPTISMAL THEOLOGY. PHARISEES had ignored the Healing of the Paralytic
 Thus, this Sacred Lesson is read on the Sixth Sunday of and FOCUSED ONLY ON THE PERCEIVED VIOLATION OF THE
Holy Pascha. SABBATH, so too on this occasion
✶ OUR SAVIOUR REJECTED THE POPULAR PRESUMPTION THAT ALL  MANY OF THEM COULD NOT BEHOLD THE GLORY OF GOD DUE TO
TROUBLES AND MALADIES WERE THE CONSEQUENCE OF THEIR PERSONAL WICKED PREJUDICE.
PERSONAL SIN OR EVEN THE SINS OF PARENTS. (REFER EXODUS  WHEN CHRIST WAS NOT PRESENT, THE PHARISEES DARED TO
20:5; DEUTERONOMY 5:9 & EZEKIEL 18:19-21) PRONOUNCE HIM AS A “SINNER,”
 Although suffering can be the direct result of personal  yet earlier, WHEN HE HAD ASKED THEM FACE TO FACE:
sin, this is certainly not always the case. “...WHICH OF YOU CONVICTS ME OF SIN?” THEY HAD ALL
 THE MAN WAS BORN WITHOUT EYES PROVIDED THE MOST EVADED THE VITAL QUESTION.
AMAZING OPPORTUNITY FOR THE DIVINE WORKS OF ✶ “...Give God the Glory...” was AN OATH FORMULA, which
ALMIGHTY GOD TO BE REVEALED TO EVERYONE CONCERNED was ALWAYS USED BEFORE GIVING TESTIMONY.
– so the man was not blind due to anyone’s  THE FORMERLY BLIND MAN MOST CERTAINLY GAVE GOD THE
personal sin at all. GLORY FOR THE MORE HE WAS QUESTIONED BY THE
✶ The “...Work...” – i.e. the Spiritual Labour - that we are HYPOCRITES AND DOUBTERS, THE MORE FERVENT HIS FAITH
able to fulfil consists of FAITH, GOOD DEEDS AND BECAME, WHILE THE SELF-RIGHTEOUS PHARISEES LAPSED
REPENTANCE. DEEPER AND DEEPER INTO SPIRITUAL DARKNESS AND DEATH.
✶ The “...Night...” to which our Lord referred meant THE  The Healed Blind Man is A MODEL OF CHRISTIAN WITNESS.
TIME AFTER OUR DEATH AND THE AGE TO COME – ETERNITY  MOST PEOPLE DO NOT BEAR WITNESS TO CHRIST SINCE THEY
– when THERE IS NO LONGER ANY OPPORTUNITY TO FEAR THEY WILL BE ASKED QUESTIONS THAT THEY WILL NOT
EXPRESS OUR FAITH because AT OUR DEPARTURE FROM BE ABLE TO ANSWER OR EXPLAIN.
THIS WORLD OR EARTHLY LIFE, THERE IS NO CHANCE OF  THIS MAN’S HONEST AND SIMPLE ANSWER TO EVERYONE – even
REPENTANCE OR CONFESSION FOR – whether Believers those who were far better educated than him –
or not – WE HAVE TO SUBMIT TO DEATH. PROVIDES THE TRUTH
✶ “..He went, and washed, and returned, seeing..”THE ✶ “... One thing I do know is that although I was blind,
UNPRECEDENTED HEALING of the man born without now I see!” HE ADMITS SOMETHING THAT HE KNOWS
eyes CONFIRMS OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST’S TRUTHFUL NOTHING ABOUT
PROCLAMATION THAT HE IS THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD.  YET HE FOLLOWED UP WITH WHAT HE MOST CERTAINLY DID
 St Irenaeos regarded THE MIXTURE OF CLAY AND THE KNOW AND WHICH HE COULD POSITIVELY CONFIRM:
SALIVA OF CHRIST OUR ALMIGHTY LORD AND CREATOR LIKE  BY CONFIRMING WHAT WE DO MOST DEFINITELY KNOW – IN
THE ORIGINAL CREATION OF HUMANITY FROM CLAY. (GENESIS UTTER TRUTH AND WITHOUT ANY DOUBT – IS FOUNDATIONAL
2:7) TO WITNESSING OUR TRUE FAITH TO OTHERS.
 CHRIST REVEALS HIS DIVINE NATURE BY RESTORING A TINY PART ✶ Have created perfectly healthy eyes for the formerly
OF CREATION BY USING THE SAME MATERIAL WITH WHICH Blind Man – OUR LOVING LORD JESUS OPENED UP BOTH
HE HAD CREATED HUMANITY AT THE BEGINNING OF OUR HIS PHYSICAL AND SPIRITUAL SIGHT – FOR GOD ALONE CAN
EXISTENCE. OPEN OUR HEART AND SOUL BY HIS DIVINE ILLUMINATION.

6TH SUNDAY OF PASCHA – THE BLIND MAN (BORN WITHOUT EYES) – 2 JUNE 2019 3.
 All Healings had to be confirmed by the Priests,  The Divine Healing of the Blind Man was ONE OF THE
followed by various Ritual Cleansings, Sacrifices, GREAT SIGNS OR MIRACLES OF THE MESSIAH and A
etc. PREROGATIVE (RIGHT) UNIQUELY AND EXCLUSIVELY OF
 THIS IS THE ONLY FULL ACCOUNT OF A HEALING BEING ALMIGHTY GOD. (ISAIAH 35:5 & 42:7 –PSALM 145:8)
EXAMINED AND QUESTIONED BY HEBREW AUTHORITIES.  THE APPEARANCE/COMING OF GOD INCARNATE INTO OUR
✶ “...If this Man were not from God, He could do WORLD BROUGHT DIVINE JUDGEMENT TO US – not
nothing!” showed how the formerly MAN because He came to Judge us but BECAUSE OF OUR
PROGRESSES RAPIDLY FROM KNOWING NOTHING ABOUT ACCOUNTABILITY TO GOD.
CHRIST TO HIS REALISATION ACKNOWLEDGEMENT AND  ALL THOSE WHO SEE HIM AND WHO HEAR HIM BUT WHO DO NOT
CONFESSION THAT THAT OUR LORD JESUS IS INDEED THE BELIEVE OR WHO REJECT HIS DIVINE TRUTH ARE JUDGED BY
TRUE MESSIAH: THEIR OWN FAITHLESSNESS!
 THE SELF-RIGHTEOUS, HYPOCRITICAL PHARISEES COULD NOT
REFUTE HIS INSPIRED LOGIC AND TRUTH SO THEY RESORTED
TO PERSONAL INSULT.
6 T H
S U ND AY OF H OLY P ASCH A – S U ND AY OF THE B L IND M AN (B ORN WITHOU T EYE S )
Christ is Risen! Truly, He is Risen! The fallen world that has rejected our Lord God is
✞ In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the AFFLICTED WITH THE SPIRITUAL BLINDNESS from which
Holy Spirit... CHRIST CAME TO HEAL US - but THERE IS NOTHING THAT HE
Dearly Beloved, We have reached THE LAST SUNDAY OF HOLY CAN DO TO HEAL THOSE WHO CHOOSE NOT TO BE HEALED -
PASCHA. On Wednesday we will celebrate the leave- for GOD’S WILL IS NEVER FORCED UPON MANKIND, which is
taking of Holy Pascha, the Feast of Feasts, and on the why many of our Lord’s Healing Miracles were
following day we will celebrate the Holy Ascension of preceded His asking: “... Dost thou wish to be
our Lord Jesus Christ. Healed?” or “...What wilt thou that I should do unto
Today’s Sacred Lesson shows us A LIVING ICON OF ALL THAT thee?…” or “Dost thou believe that I Am able to do
OUR LORD HAS ACCOMPLISHED FOR EACH HUMAN SOUL, for we
this?”
all are BORN SPIRITUALLY BLIND, DISFIGURED BY SIN, OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST IS TRULY THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD, and,
INCAPABLE OF PERCEIVING THE SPIRITUAL WORLD around us,
having Ascended into Heaven, He leaves A SPIRITUALLY
OR THE GLORY OF GOD, which suffuses all Creation.
DARKENED WORLD THAT INCREASINGLY SUFFERS FROM SELF-
In His Incarnation, in the Union of the Earth, of our INFLICTED SPIRITUAL BLINDNESS.
humanity, WITH THE CLEANSING WATER OF HIS DIVINITY, OUR St Augustine reminds us that our Lord Jesus Christ “...
SAVIOUR HEALS OUR BLINDNESS AND RESTORES US TO OUR departed from our sight that we might return to our
CREATED BEAUTY AND DIGNITY.
heart and find Him there. For He left us, and behold,
Although WE ARE ALL HABITUAL SINNERS, who are all too often He is here. He could not remain with us for long, yet
THE CAUSE OF SUFFERING AND UNHAPPINESS, we are able to
He did not leave us. He returned to where He had
see how THE PROVIDENCE OF GOD UTTERLY TRANSCENDS THIS never left… He still dwells within us, unless our heart
for there is A DEEPER REASON BEHIND ALL THE SINFULNESS AND wanders away from Him. Return to your heart, O you
BROKENNESS as Christ explained to His Disciples: “...that
transgressors, and hold fast to Him Who made you.
the Works of God should be manifest...” in us. Stand with Him and you shall stand fast. Rest in Him
THE LOVE AND MERCY OF GOD IS SOMETIMES SO STRIKINGLY AND and you shall be at rest.”
POWERFULLY REVEALED that those who knew us before
WE, who are the feeble Christians of the Last Days, ARE
GRACE TRANSFIGURED OUR HEART, are scarcely able to NOW CALLED TO SHINE WITH THE LIGHT OF CHRIST FOR THOSE
believe it. SOME WILL GLORIFY THE SALVIFIC POWER OF GOD, WHO SEEK IT, for we have been Healed of our Spiritual
WHILE OTHERS WILL CAST US OUT because THEY ARE UNABLE
Blindness in our Holy Baptism, but it is still left to us to
TO TOLERATE THE LIGHT OF CHRIST, which now shines
CHOOSE, WITH GOD’S HELP, TO OPEN OUR SPIRITUAL EYES and
from within us. . to use our Restored Sight to CLOSELY EXAMINE OUR HEART,
Only the beginning verses of today’s Gospel Lesson WHEREIN DWELLS OUR TRIUNE, ALMIGHTY GOD.
concern the actual Healing of the Blind Man by Christ, Christ can be seen in this world, but IF WE, WHO ARE HIS
while THE FOLLOWING VERSES DESCRIBE THE REACTION AND DISCIPLES, DO NOT HAVE A CLOSE RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM,
SPIRITUAL BLINDNESS OF OTHERS who cannot accept the THEN HOW WILL ANYONE ELSE FIND HIM AND FORM THEIR OWN
Great Divine Miracle that occurred for the Glory of our CLOSE RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM?
Lord God. A certain study showed that ONLY THOSE WHO DEMONSTRATED
THROUGHOUT THE PASCHAL SEASON, until His Ascension, OUR THEIR COMMITMENT THROUGH REGULAR, FAITHFUL
RESURRECTED LORD JESUS CHRIST APPEARED TO HIS FAITHFUL ATTENDANCE AT WORSHIP SERVICES, HAD ONE COMMON
DISCIPLES TO ENLIGHTEN AND TO INSTRUCT THEM, before FACTOR TO WHICH THEY ATTRIBUTED THEIR PIETY - THEY HAD
vanishing from sight a moment later. ALL, AT SOME POINT, MET A “...REAL CHRISTIAN”… AND
THESE APPEARANCES ARE BRIEF CONSOLATIONS, WHICH SINCERELY DESIRED WHAT THAT PERSON HAD.
STRENGTHENED AND ASSURED THEM for their forthcoming
In almost every case, IT IS ONLY IN A FAITHFUL CHRISTIAN THAT
trials. ANYONE HAS EVER MET CHRIST.
Likewise, IF WE ARE BLESSED TO RECEIVE OUR LORD’S DIVINE Most of us are like the Blind Man who was born without
GRACE, WE MUST TREASURE AND GUARD IT LOVINGLY for as eyes, for – to varying degrees - WE HAVE ENCOUNTERED
long as we can, for in this current world SUCH OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, WE HAVE FELT HIS TOUCH, AND WE
EXPERIENCES OF DIVINE GRACE ARE SHORT-LIVED. HAVE EXPERIENCED THE HEALING POWER OF HIS DIVINE GRACE.
We so often fail in this, FOR WHEN WE DO EXPERIENCE THE Our heart has been filled with the Divine Light of Holy
GRACE OF GOD, WE MIGHT TAKE IT FOR GRANTED OR SQUANDER Pascha. And, now, in some sense, He is leaving us.
IT, AND THUS QUICKLY LOSE IT - either DUE TO OUR PASSIONS
AS FAITHFUL DISCIPLES OF CHRIST, WE MUST BEAR WITNESS TO AN
OR THE DISTRACTIONS AND WORRIES of daily life.
UNBELIEVING SOCIETY OF HIM, WHOM WE HAVE ENCOUNTERED,
Our Holy Father, St Dorotheos believed that “...we are AND WHO CONTINUOUSLY GRANTS US HIS SPIRITUAL
fools who do not know how to be happy...” ABUNDANCE AND DIVINE PROVIDENCE.
St Augustine cautioned us: “...Where do you go along This is only possible for us when we REVERENTLY PRESERVE
these rugged paths? Where are you going? The AND MAINTAIN THE DIVINE LIGHT that abides within us,
Good that you Love is from Him… Why then will you THROUGH OUR HUMBLE PRAYERS AND CONTINUAL REPENTANCE.
wander farther and farther in these difficult and WHEN WE ARE FAITHFUL DISCIPLES WHO STRIVE to “... fight the
toilsome ways? There is no rest where you seek it. Good Fight and keep the Faith...” as our Lord Jesus
Seek what you seek; but remember that it is not has taught us, then we, too, like the Healed Blind
where you seek it. You seek for a Blessed Life in the Man, HAVING BEEN REJECTED BY THE WORLD, WILL BE SOUGHT
Land of Death. It is not there! For how can there be a OUT AND FOUND BY OUR SAVIOUR Who will reveal to us in
Blessed Life where Life itself is not?” the full Power and Majesty of His Glory, “...the Glory as
On Thursday, our Lord Jesus Christ will Ascend into of the Only Begotten of the Father, full of Grace and
Heaven and will no longer be with us in the same Truth.”
immediate, tangible manner as He has been during Amen.
these Holy Days of Pascha.
https://www.holycross.org

4. 6TH SUNDAY OF PASCHA – THE BLIND MAN (BORN WITHOUT EYES) – 2 JUNE 2019
Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa
Archdiocese of Good Hope
All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever, and
unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most Blessed and Glorious Lady,
Maria, Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together with all the Saints. And let us commit ourselves and one another
and our whole Life to Christ our God. Amen.
6 JUNE 2019
ASCENSION THURSDAY
Also the Feast of Also the Feast of St Hilarion the New, Abbot of Dalmatian Monastery – St
Bessarion, Wonderworker of Egypt – St Jonah, Bishop of Great Perm – St Paisios, Abbot of the Holy
Protection Monastery, Uglich – St Jonah, Abbot of the Holy Trinity Monastery, Klimetzk – St
Archelais, St Thekla & St Susanna, Virgin Martyrs of Salerno – St Gelasios the Holy Martyr – The
Miracle-Working Holy Icon of our Lady, Theotokos, of Pimen

THE SUNDAY AND FESTAL HYMNS ARE PUBLISHED IN BOOKLET FORM EACH MONTH. THESE ARE PUBLISHED AND FREELY
DOWNLOADABLE ON WWW.SCRIBD.COM/WRITERS4574. LINKS ARE ALSO POSTED ON PINTEREST & FACEBOOK -
“ORTHODOX CHRISTIANS EASTERN CAPE.” (OR CAN BE EMAILED DIRECTLY, ON REQUEST TO

MARGUERITE.PAIZIS@GMAIL.COM)

F E STAL P R OKE IM E NON – A SCE NSION – TO NE (7) V ARY S /GR AVE

Be Exalted, O God, above the Heavens and upon the Earth Thy Glory!
My heart is ready, O God! My heart is ready! I will sing and give Praise in my Glory!

T H E A CTS OF THE AP OSTLE S ACC OR D ING TO S T L U KE 1 : 1 – 12


In the former account, O Theophilos, I have dealt with all that our Lord Jesus began to do and teach, until after He had
given Commandments, through the Holy Spirit to the Apostles - whom He had Chosen - on the Day when He was
taken up.
To them He had presented Himself alive after His Passion by many proofs, Appearing to them during Forty Days, and
speaking of the Kingdom of God. And while with them, He charged them: “Do not depart from Jerusalem, but wait
for the Promise of the Father, which you heard from Me. For John Baptised with water – you will be Baptised with
the Holy Spirit before many days.”
When they had come together, they asked Him: “Lord, wilt Thou at this time restore the Kingdom of Israel?”He said to
them: “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by His Own Authority. But you shall
receive Power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you. And you shalt be My Witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all
Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the Earth.”
And when He had said this – as they were looking at Him – He was lifted up, and a Cloud took Him out of their sight.
And while they were gazing into Heaven as He went, behold! Two men stood by them in white robes, and said: “Men of
Galilee! Who do you stand looking into Heaven? This Jesus Who was taken up from you into Heaven, will come in
the same way as you beheld Him go into Heaven.”
Then they returned from the Mount called “Olivet,” which is near Jerusalem – a Sabbath’s Day Journey.
✶ “...The former account...” is THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING Father, the First Person of the Holy Trinity, through the
TO ST LUKE who was NOT A DISCIPLE OF OUR LORD JESUS Teachings and Commandments of God the Word and Only
CHRIST FROM THE BEGINNING, YET HE HAD A PERFECT BEGOTTEN Son, Who is the Second Person of the Holy Trinity,
UNDERSTANDING OF HIS HOLY GOSPEL BECAUSE HIS by the Power and Energy of God the Holy Spirit, Who makes
SOURCES WERE OUR LADY, THEOTOKOS AND THE HOLY everything possible that is Good and Spiritually Beneficial for
APOSTLES OF CHRIST who were the closest us and for all Creation. mp
companions and first-hand – ‘close-up and  OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST NEVER FAILS OR DISAPPOINTS US!
intimate’ eye-witnesses to all that our Saviour  TEN DAYS AFTER HE HAD ASCENDED INTO HEAVEN, ON
revealed, taught and commanded. PENTECOST SUNDAY, GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT DESCENDED
✶ “...O Theophilos...” ST LUKE ADDRESSED HIS HOLY GOSPEL upon His Holy Apostles, His Faithful Disciples and
ACCOUNT TO “Theophilos” who was a prominent
innumerable other devout and Faithful souls.
Gentile who had accepted Christian Teaching.  BY THE DIVINE POWER AND ENERGY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT,
 However, according to St Ambrose, “Theophilos” can ORDINARY, MUNDANE THINGS OF THIS MATERIAL WORLD,
also simply apply to ANYONE WHO LOVES GOD AND ARE TRANSFORMED INTO HOLY AND EXTRAORDINARY
WHO FAITHFULLY FOLLOWS CHRIST – i.e. THOSE WHO TRULY
MYSTERIES THAT ONLY GOD FULLY KNOWS AND
STRIVE TO LIVE IN CHRIST.
UNDERSTANDS for they are beyond our limited
 In other words, IF WE ARE FAITHFUL DISCIPLES OF OUR LORD human intellect.
AND SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST, ST LUKE WAS ADDRESSING US
✶ “...Appearing to them during Forty Days...” – 40 being a
AS “LOVERS OF GOD.”
number that indicates COMPLETION OR FULFILMENT.
✶ THE HOLY GOSPELS CONCERNED THE 33 YEARS OF OUR LORD  During the 40 days after our Lord’s Resurrection, HE
JESUS CHRIST’S EARTHLY LIFE IN OUR MIDST. SHOWED HIMSELF TO INNUMERABLE PEOPLE
✶ THE BOOK OF THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES, WHICH IS WRITTEN BY  so that they would know that EVERYTHING HE REVEALED TO
ST LUKE, CONCERNS MORE THAN 30 YEARS OF THE HOLY US CONCERNING OUR OWN EVENTUAL RESURRECTION INTO
CHURCH OF CHRIST FROM THE PERIOD AFTER OUR LORD’S ETERNITY, IS CERTAINLY TRUE,
ASCENSION INTO HEAVEN.  THUS WE MUST TREAT OUR BODY AND SOUL WITH THE UTMOST
✶ “... through the Holy Spirit ...” During the Last Supper, RESPECT AND CARE!
OUR LORD JESUS PROMISED TO CONTINUE TEACHING ALL
HIS FAITHFUL DISCIPLES “...through (God) the Holy The Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ is God’s Ultimate
Spirit...” Promise and Proof that this life-span is temporary and
 GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT IS THE THIRD PERSON OF THE HOLY merely a preparatory period so that we may improve our
TRINITY – OF THE ONE GODHEAD. Spiritual State, regain our Divine Likeness to Christ, and
 He PROCEEDS FROM GOD THE FATHER thus become worthy Citizens of His Eternal, Heavenly
Kingdom - and Co-Heirs with Christ our Lord.
 He was SENT to us BY OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.
By focussing on this – by keeping all this in our heart and soul
Our Theosis – our ceaseless Spiritual Struggle to regain our - we are Encouraged and Strengthened to Strive even
Likeness to God – is only possible by the Will of God the

T H E A SC ENSION OF OU R L OR D & S AV IOUR INTO HE AVE N – 6 JU NE 2019 5.


more each day to fulfil all our Sacred Labours for the  ICONS OF THE ASCENSION depict our Saviour in such a
Glory, Honour and Worship of Almighty God.mp manner that IT IS NOT EVIDENT WHETHER HE IS
✶ “...The Promise of the Father...” is GOD’S DIVINE GIFT OF ASCENDING TO HEAVEN OR REAPPEARING AGAIN IN OUR
THE HOLY SPIRIT, Whom the Old Covenant Faithful had MIDST, which captures the profound Truth that WE
expected, hoped for and anticipated in the ARE ALREADY LIVING UNDER HIS DIVINE REIGN EVEN WHILE
“Messianic Age.” (JOEL 3:1) WE AWAIT HIS RETURN.
 Many of the Disciples were fixated on the  Thus ICONS OF THE ASCENSION SHOW OUR LORD JESUS BEING
establishment of an earthly Kingdom, which shows “...taken up..” OR REAPPEARING AGAIN, “... in like
that THE HOLY SPIRIT HAD NOT YET BEEN BESTOWED UPON manner...” YET BEING ALWAYS PRESENT as He Promised
THEM, for THEY COULD ONLY UNDERSTAND MATERIAL us. (MATTHEW 28:20)
ASPECTS OF THEIR LIFE. ✶ “... gazing up into Heaven...” FAITHFUL DISCIPLES OF
 However, ON THE DAY OF PENTECOST WHEN GOD THE HOLY CHRIST ARE NOT TO STAND IDLY as the Angels
SPIRIT DESCENDED UPON THEM, THEY WERE FULLY ABLE TO reminded us after our Lord had Ascended.
UNDERSTAND THE ETERNAL KINGDOM OF GOD AND THE  WE ARE CALLED TO FULFIL OUR VIRTUOUS FAITH BY MEANS OF
TRUE MEANING OF ETERNAL LIFE, AND EVERYTHING ELSE OUR SPIRITUAL AND PHYSICAL LABOURS until our Lord
OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST HAD REVEALED TO THEM AND HAD Jesus Christ Appears again in all His Magnificent
TAUGHT THEM. Glory.
 Obviously, His Disciples’ concern was still merely the  WE MUST ALWAYS BE SPIRITUALLY PREPARED TO STAND BEFORE
restoration of the earthly “...Kingdom of Israel...” THE GLORIOUS BUT AWESOME THRONE OF CHRIST, by
but our Saviour has no concern with this REPENTING OUR SINS AS SOON AS WE FALL, so that we
temporary, material existence, for HIS DIVINE can REMAIN IN A BLESSED STATE OF SPIRITUAL LIFE IN
PURPOSE IT TO RESTORE ‘the New Israel” – HIS FAITHFUL CHRIST.
DISCIPLES – AND OUR FALLEN WORLD, AS HIS ETERNAL ✶“...A Sabbath Day’s journey...” was THE APPROVED DISTANCE
KINGDOM. THAT THE JUDEANS COULD WALK WITHOUT BREAKING THE
✶ The Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ, is HIS SABBATH DAY OF REST – less than a mile.
ENTHRONEMENT IN THE FULLNESS OF HIS DIVINE
AUTHORITY AND GLORY.
T H E H OLY G OSPEL ACCO R D ING TO S T LU KE 24 : 36 – 53
At that time, our Lord Jesus, having Risen from the dead, stood in the midst of His Disciples and said to them: “Peace to
you!” They were startled and frightened, and supposed that they were seeing a spirit. And He said to them: “Why
are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your heart? Behold! My Wrists and My Feet – it is I, Myself! Touch
Me, and see! For a spirit does not have flesh and bone as you can see that I have!”
And when He said this, He showed them His Wrists and His Feet. As they still disbelieved for Joy and Wonder, He said to
them: “Have you anything here to eat?” They gave Him a piece of broiled fish and some honey comb, and He took
it, and ate before them.
He said to them: “These are My Words, which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about
Me in the Law of Moses, and the Prophets, and the Psalms must be fulfilled.”Then He opened their minds to
Understand the Scriptures, and said to them: “... for it is written that the Christ should Suffer, and on the Third Day
Rise from the dead, and that Repentance and Forgiveness of sins should be preached in His Name to all
Nations, beginning with Jerusalem.
“You are Witnesses of these Things. And behold: I send the Promise of My Father upon you. Stay in the city of
Jerusalem until you are Vested with Power from on High.”
He led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up His Hands, He Blessed them. And as He Blessed them, He was carried
up into Heaven. And they worshipped Him, and they returned to Jerusalem with Great Joy, and were continually in
the Temple, Blessing God.
Amen.
✶ “...Peace to you...” is THE RESURRECTIONAL GREETING OF OUR THEM HIS WOUNDS so that without further question or
LORD JESUS CHRIST, which is frequently PROCLAIMED BY doubt THEY WOULD BELIEVE IN HIM AND especially in
OUR PRIESTS AND BISHOPS DURING THE HOLY SERVICES, to the Glorious Truth of the Resurrection – HIS
which we respond: “And to Thy spirit!” RESURRECTION AND OURS TO COME.
✶✶ “...startled and frightened..” Obviously, His Disciples ✶ “...He ...ate before them...” in order to prove to them that
were shocked for THEY WERE NOT ONLY IN LOCKED He is truly “...flesh and bone...” because He
ROOM, BUT THEY CERTAINLY DID NOT EXPECT TO SEE OUR always knows exactly what we are thinking and
RESURRECTED LORD JESUS STANDING IN THEIR MIDST! feeling,
It is possible that our Resurrected Lord Jesus Christ ✶ “...a piece of broiled fish and some honey
looked different - for they did not immediately comb...” has Spiritual Significance concerning
recognise Him, as was evident when He encountered
ACTIVE VIRTUE, and THE DELICIOUS SWEETNESS OF HIS
St Mary of Magdala in the Garden surrounding His
DIVINE WISDOM.
Empty Tomb, and when He had spent hours in the
 AFTER OUR RESURRECTION INTO ETERNITY, THERE IS NO NEED
company of St Luke and St Cleopas along the road to
FOR PHYSICAL NOURISHMENT, but OUR LORD ATE TO PROVE
Emmaus.
THE REALITY OF HIS RESURRECTION INTO ETERNAL LIFE –
Only when He speaks to us, and when He identifies
into an Eternal Existence when WE WILL NEVER AGAIN
Himself, do we KNOW that it is indeed our
HAVE TO EXPERIENCE DEATH – never again have to
Resurrected Lord, and our Joy is beyond words!! mp
experience THE SEPARATION OF OUR BODY AND SOUL.
✶”... they still disbelieved ...” THE NATURE OF THE ✶ OUR LORD “...opened their minds to Understand the
RESURRECTED BODY IS SO DIFFERENT TO ITS PREVIOUS STATE Scriptures...” even before the Day of Pentecost
THAT IT IS NOT IMMEDIATELY RECOGNIZABLE. (JOHN 20:14; and the Descent of the Holy Spirit - BY HIS OWN
JOHN 21: 4 & 12; 1 CORINTHIANS 15: 35-44) DIVINE AUTHORITY, AND ACCORDING TO THE WILL OF THE
 THE RESURRECTED BODY IS PERHAPS ALSO ABLE TO TAKE FATHER, AND BY THE POWER AND ENERGY OF THE HOLY
DIFFERENT FORMS, which is what occurred along the
SPIRIT,
road to Emmaus when our Lord accompanied St  THE HOLY TRINITY ALWAYS WORK TOGETHER IN PERFECT
Luke and St Cleopas. UNISON AND LOVING HARMONY TO FULFIL THE DIVINE
 IT IS ALSO POSSIBLE THAT OUR RESURRECTED SAVIOUR PLAN THAT IS MOTIVATED AND CAUSED BY DIVINE LOVE.
INTENTIONALLY PREVENTED HIS APOSTLES FROM ✶ “...Christ should Suffer
RECOGNISING HIM IN ORDER TO EXPOSE THEIR DOUBTS AND
...” Partial Faith believes either in a Messiah who only
THEN CURING THEM BY MEANS OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES,
suffered or who only Reigns in His Glory, whereas
WHICH HE EXPLAINS AND THEY ARE SUDDENLY ABLE TO
COMPLETE FAITH BELIEVES IN THE MESSIAH OR OUR SAVIOUR,
UNDERSTAND.
WHO ENCOMPASSES BOTH BY HAVING SUFFERED AND WHO
✶ “...Touch Me, and see...” TO REASSURE AND TO CONFIRM that REIGNS IN HIS GLORY, ALL OF WHICH WAS FORETOLD IN THE
He is truly our Lord Jesus Christ Who was Crucified OLD COVENANT LAW AND BY THE HOLY PROPHETS OF GOD.
but Who has Resurrected in the Flesh, HE SHOWED

6. T H E A SC ENSION OF OU R L ORD & S AV IOU R INTO H E AVE N – 6 JU NE 2019


Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa
Archdiocese of Good Hope
All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and
forever, and unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most
Blessed and Glorious Lady, Maria, Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together with all the Saints.
And let us commit ourselves and one another and our whole Life to Christ our God. Amen.
TONE (6) PLAGAL 2 9 JUNE
2019

7TH SUNDAY OF HOLY PASCHA – SUNDAY BEFORE PENTECOST


THE 318 HOLY FATHERS OF THE FIRST ECUMENICAL COUNCIL

Also the Feast of St Cyril, Patriarch, of Alexandria – St Cyril, Abbot of White Lake
Monastery – St Alexander, Abbot of Kushta Monastery, Vologda –St Thekla, St
Mariamne, St Martha, St Mary & St Ennantha, Virgin Martyrs of Persia – St Columba of
Iona, Enlightener of Scotland – St John, Hymnographer, Philosopher & Orator of Shavta,
Georgia – St David Gareji the Syrian, & St Lucian, his Spiritual Son, of Georgia
THE SUNDAY AND FESTAL HYMNS ARE PUBLISHED IN BOOKLET FORM EACH MONTH. THESE ARE PUBLISHED AND FREELY

DOWNLOADABLE ON www.scribd.com/writers4574. LINKS ARE ALSO POSTED ON FACEBOOK “ORTHODOX


CHRISTIAN EASTERN CAPE.” (OR CAN BE EMAILED DIRECTLY, ON REQUEST TO marguerite.paizis@gmail.com)

R ESUR REC TION G OSPEL 10: J OH N 21: 1 - 14

P R OKE IME NON – THE P R AYE R OF A ZAR IAH – TO NE 4

Blessed art Thou, O Lord God of our Fathers...


For Thou art Righteous in all Thou did for us...
T H E A CTS OF THE AP OSTLE S 20 : 16 – 18 & 28 – 36
In those days, St Paul had decided to sail past Ephesos, so that he might not have to spend time in Asia. He was
hastening to be - on the Day of Pentecost if possible - in Jerusalem. From Miletos he sent to Ephesos and called to
him the Elders of the Church. When they went to him, he said to them: “You know, from the first day that I came to
Asia, in what manner I always lived among you...
“... Therefore, take heed to yourselves and to all the Flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you Overseers, to Shepherd
the Church of God, which He purchased with His own Blood. For I know that after my departure fierce Wolves will
come in among you - not sparing the Flock. And from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse
things, to draw away the Disciples after them.
“So, watch! – remembering that for three years I did not cease - night or day - to admonish everyone with tears. And
now I commend you, Brethren, to God and to the Word of His Grace, which is able to build you up and to grant you
the Inheritance among all those who are Sanctified.
“I coveted no one’s silver or gold or apparel. You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities, and to
those who were with me. In all things I have shown you that by so toiling, one must help the weak, remembering
the Words of our Lord Jesus – how He said: ‘It is more Blessed to give than to receive.’
And when he had spoken thus, he knelt down and prayed with them all.
✶ “... hastening to be ... in Jerusalem...” The fact that St
Paul wanted to be with the other Apostles for ✶ "... the Holy Spirit has made you Overseers...” ALL SEVEN
Pentecost implies that A LITURGICAL CALENDAR BASED ON HOLY MYSTERIES OF THE CHURCH ARE PERFORMED IN THE
SACRED DAYS/FEASTS WAS ALREADY BEING OBSERVED IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER, THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT, AS
EARLY CHURCH OF CHRIST. CHRIST INSTRUCTED.
According to that Holy Tradition, the Eastern Orthodox  ONLY ORDAINED PRIESTS OR BISHOPS ARE AUTHORISED TO
Church to this very day keeps to a Festal Calendar of MINISTER THESE HOLY MYSTERIES.
Sundays, Feast Days, Fasts and celebrations.  This is why the Holy Mysteries are indeed DIVINE
✶ “... called.. the Elders of the Church...” From this MYSTERIES THAT ARE FAR BEYOND HUMAN PERCEPTION OR
meeting it is evident: UNDERSTANDING.
1. THE CHURCH IN EPHESOS WAS ALIVE AND GROWING  ACCORDING TO THE WILL OF GOD THE FATHER, THROUGH
2. It had already developed a permanent pattern of TRUTH OF GOD THE SON AND BY THE POWER AND ENERGY
SACRAMENTAL LEADERSHIP WITH “ELDERS” OR OF GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT, THE MUNDANE ELEMENTS USED
“PRESBYTERS” – the Priests, and the “Overseers” or IN THESE HOLY MYSTERIES SUCH AS WATER, WINE, OIL,
Bishops. BREAD, LAYING ON OF HANDS, LITURGICAL VESTMENTS AND
3. THE THREAT OF FALSE TEACHERS AND THEIR HERESIES FROM IMPLEMENTS, ETC BECOME EXTRAORDINARY ELEMENTS OF
BOTH WITHIN AND OUTSIDE THE HOLY CHURCH OF SALVIFIC VALUE.
CHRIST WAS ALREADY PRESENT, confusing and  THE POWER AND ENERGY OF GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT DIVINELY
dividing the struggling Disciples. SANCTIFIES (MAKE HOLY/SACRED) SPECIFIC ELEMENTS,
✶ “...in what manner I always lived...” ST PAUL REMINDED that are ALWAYS be TREATED WITH THE UTMOST RESPECT.
THE FAITHFUL OF THE DIFFICULTIES WITH WHICH HE HAD HAD TO  THE SANCTIFIED ELEMENTS BESTOW DIVINE SANCTIFICATION
CONTEND while sojourning in Ephesos IN ORDER TO ON THE FAITHFUL WHO CORRECTLY PARTAKE OF THE HOLY
ENCOURAGE AND STRENGTHEN THEM for what was to come. MYSTERIES.
 St Paul’s persecutions in Ephesos, Asia Minor, were  BEFORE PARTAKING OF ANY HOLY MYSTERY, WE MUST PREPARE
among the worst he suffered. OURSELVES WITH FASTING, PRAYERS, AND REPENTANCE-
 FAITHFUL CHRISTIANS MUST ALWAYS SUPPORT AND ENCOURAGE CONFESSION.
EACH OTHER because WE WILL ALWAYS BE PERSECUTED BY  THE TREATMENT OF ALL HOLY THINGS AND OUR ATTITUDE
THE UNGODLY. TOWARDS THEM SPEAKS VOLUMES OF THE DEPTH OF OUR
 OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST HAD WARNED US THAT FAITH, REVERENCE AND UNDERSTANDING.
CIRCUMSTANCES WOULD BECOME FAR MORE DIFFICULT AND ✶ “...purchased with His own Blood...” St Paul reminds us
DANGEROUS for His Faithful Disciples in the period of THE FINAL AND GREATEST SACRIFICIAL BLOOD OFFERING FOR
PRECEDING HIS GLORIOUS REAPPEARANCE.

7TH SUNDAY OF HOLY PASCHA – 318 HOLY FATHERS - 1ST ECUMENICAL SYNOD – 9 JUNE 2019 7
MANKIND’S SINS, which our Lord Jesus Christ made ASSISTANCE from the Christian Communities that he
because of His unconditional Love for us. established.
 We are constantly reminded that OUR HOLY CHURCH IS  HE PHYSICALLY LABOURED TO EARN HIS KEEP WHEREVER HE
ROOTED IN AND WATERED BY THE MOST PRECIOUS AND WENT, which allowed him to preach all the more
LIFE-SUSTAINING BLOOD OF OUR DIVINE SAVIOUR, AS WELL freely and PREVENTED ANYONE FROM QUESTIONING HIS
AS THAT OF ALL THE MILLIONS OF DEVOTED HOLY MARTYRS MOTIVES.
throughout the centuries. ✶ “...by so toiling, one must help the weak...” WE MUST
 If the Christian Faith was bogus or founded on egos WORK HARD IN ORDER TO SUSTAIN OURSELVES AND OUR
and deceptions, IT WOULD NOT HAVE ENDURED FOR VERY FAMILIES, WHILE ALSO BEING ABLE TO HELP OTHERS who are
LONG, and certainly VERY FEW WOULD HAVE BEEN less fortunate or incapable of supporting themselves.
FOOLISH ENOUGH TO DEDICATE THEIR ENTIRE LIFE to  ST PAUL ALWAYS SHARED WHATEVER HE EARNED WITH EVERYONE
serving our Lord God as devoutly as the ELSE, OFTEN DENYING HIS OWN NEEDS, so as to feed the
innumerable Saints and Martyrs. hungry, etc.
 In Biblical terms “Blood” SIGNIFIES LIFE ITSELF.  ALTHOUGH ST PAUL URGED THE CHRISTIAN COMMUNITIES TO
 OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST VOLUNTARILY SHED HIS OWN HELP EACH OTHER, HE ALSO CAUTIONED US TO AVOID
PRECIOUS BLOOD by being so cruelly scourged and BECOMING AN UNNECESSARY BURDEN UPON OTHERS.
crucified in order TO REDEEM HIS BELOVED MANKIND  When we trust implicitly in the Divine Providence of
AND IN ORDER TO ESTABLISH HIS ETERNAL, HOLY CHURCH our Most Loving and Benevolent Lord God, WE
ON EARTH. NEVER HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT OUR MATERIAL OR PHYSICAL
✶ “...fierce Wolves will come in among you...” Exactly as NEEDS.
St Paul had predicted, EVERY TYPE OF TRIAL AND  FREEDOM FROM THE ALL-CONSUMING CARE OF WORLDLY NEEDS
TRIBULATION COMES FROM BOTH OUTSIDE AND WITHIN THE GRANTS US MORE TIME AND ENERGY TO CONCENTRATE ON
HOLY CHURCH. OUR SPIRITUAL WELFARE – providing for our Eternal
 OUR SOLE PROTECTIon from the evil one’s machinations Life.
is by developing A CLOSE, INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP WITH ✶ “..’.It is more Blessed to give than to receive...’” is A
THE LORD OUR GOD. QUOTATION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, which St Paul liked
 ONLY BY THE WILL OF GOD THE FATHER, THROUGH THE to teach to all Faithful Disciples.
TEACHINGS AND COMMANDMENTS OF GOD THE SON AND  Although it is not actually recorded in the four Holy
BY THE ENERGY AND POWER OF GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT IS HIS Gospels of the Apostles of Christ, IT CERTAINLY
HOLY CHURCH SUSTAINED AND ABLE TO THRIVE FOREVER. ENCAPSULATES THE VERY MEANING OF BEING A FAITHFUL
 The “Wolves” are ALL THOSE WHO ARE ARROGANT AND SELF- DISCIPLE/CHRISTIAN, of our Loving, Benevolent Lord
SERVING – those who MISGUIDE AND DECEIVE THE God in Whose Likeness and Image He created us.
FAITHFUL THROUGH THEIR HERESIES, LIES AND EGOCENTRIC  ST JOHN THE BELOVED APOSTLE ACKNOWLEDGED at the end
SCHEMES THAT ADVERSELY AFFECT MANKIND, CAUSING of HIS HOLY GOSPEL the fact that it CONTAINED ONLY A
SOULS TO BECOME ALIENATED FROM GOD AND ALL HIS FRACTION OF OUR LORD’S EARTHLY LIFE.
GOODNESS.  THE SYNOPTIC GOSPELS OF ST MATTHEW, ST MARK AND ST
✶ “...God and to the Word of His Grace...” Unless we LEARN LUKE CONTAINED MANY MORE MIRACLES AND PARABLES
EVERYTHING THAT OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST AND HIS HOLY BUT THESE TOO, WERE FAR FROM EXHAUSTIVE.
APOSTLES HAVE TAUGHT US AND APPLY THEM TO OUR DAILY LIFE  THESE FACTS EMPHASISE THE HOLINESS OF WHAT WAS
IN CHRISt, we will inevitably fall victim to such wicked RECORDED – THE WRITTEN TRADITION - and
deceptions and heresies. furthermore, POINT TO THE ONGOING ORAL TRADITION
✶ “...these hands ministered to my necessities...” (THE ESSENTIAL VERBAL TEACHINGS) of Christ’s Eternal,
ALTHOUGH ST PAUL TAUGHT THE FAITHFUL TO MATERIALLY Holy Church.
SUPPORT THE CLERGY, HE DID NOT REQUIRE NOR SEEK ANY SUCH
T H E H OLY G OSPEL ACCO R D ING TO S T J OH N 17 : 1 – 13
At that time, our Lord Jesus lifted up His Eyes to Heaven, and said: “Father, the Hour has come. Glorify Thy Son that
Thy Son may Glorify Thee, since Thou hast granted Him Power over all flesh, to grant Eternal Life to all whom
Thou hast given Him. This is Eternal Life, that they know Thee, the Only True God, and Jesus Christ Whom Thou
hast sent. I Glorified Thee on Earth, having accomplished the Work that Thou gave Me to do. And now, Thou
Glorify Me in Thine own Presence, Father, with the Glory that I had with Thee before the world was made.
“I have manifested Thy Name to the men whom Thou gave Me out of the world. Thine they were, and Thou gave
them to Me, and they have kept Thy Word. Now they know that everything that Thou hast given Me is from Thee.
For I have given them the Words that Thou gave Me, and they have received them and know in Truth that I
came from Thee. And they have believed that Thou sent Me.
“I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom Thou hast given Me, for they are Mine. All Mine art
Thine, and Thine art Mine, and I Am Glorified in them. And now I Am no more in the world, but they are in the
world, and I Am coming to Thee.
“Holy Father, keep them in Thy Name, which Thou hast given Me, that they may be One, even as we are One. While
I was with them, I kept them in Thy Name, which Thou hast given Me. And none of them is lost except the son of
perdition, that the Scripture may be fulfilled.
“Now I Am coming to Thee; and these Things I speak in the world, that they may have My Joy fulfilled in
themselves.”
✶ “...Glorify Thy Son ...” THIS PRAYER OF OUR LORD JESUS AND DIVINE TRUTH THAT OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST IS
CHRIST is often referred to as “the High Priestly Prayer,” ETERNAL AND DIVINE, HAS A CLOSE, INTIMATE AND FILIAL
because it CONTAINS THE BASIC ELEMENTS OF OUR PRIESTS’ RELATIONSHIP WITH OUR HEAVENLY FATHER.
PRAYER TO GOD BEFORE THE BLOODLESS SACRIFICE OF HOLY  THIS DIVINE TESTIMONY OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST IS
EUCHARIST IS OFFERED: SUFFICIENT IN ITSELF TO DISMISS THE HERETICAL CLAIMS OF
1. GLORIFICATION ARIANISM.
2. REMEMBRANCE OF GOD’S DIVINE WORKS  The term “...Glorify...” refers to THE REDEMPTION OF ALL
3. INTERCESSION ON BEHALF OF OTHERS CREATION that is accomplished THROUGH THE HOLY
4. A DECLARATION OF THE OFFERING ITSELF. CROSS OF CHRIST AND HIS VICTORIOUS RESURRECTION,
 THIS PRAYER OF THE ETERNAL, ONLY BEGOTTEN SON AND which was THE DIVINE PURPOSE OF GOD INCARNATE
WORD OF GOD TO HIS HEAVENLY FATHER is always read LIVING FOR A WHILE IN OUR MIDST AS ONE OF US.
on the Seventh Sunday of Holy Pasha, which is also  IN THIS DIVINE REDEMPTION, BOTH GOD THE FATHER AND GOD
the Commemoration of the 318 Holy Fathers of the THE ETERNAL, ONLY BEGOTTEN SON AND WORD OF GOD
First Ecumenical Council held in Nicea in 325. ARE GLORIFIED.
 THE FIRST ECUMENICAL COUNCIL CONDEMNED THE ARIAN  Consequently, THE CROSS, which signified the worst,
HERESY that taught the belief that our Lord Jesus cruellest punishment and execution for criminals,
Christ was created by God the Father, so that there IS NOW – SINCE CHRIST’S CRUCIFIXION – A HOLY,
was a period when the Only Begotten Son and GLORIOUS, VICTORIOUS SYMBOL OF ETERNAL LIFE AND
Word of God did not exist! SPIRITUAL EMPOWERMENT, WHICH WE VENERATE AS “LIFE-
 The Words of our Divine Saviour’s Prayer to our GIVING” AND THE INVINCIBLE AND MOST POWERFUL
Heavenly Father TESTIFY TO THE ABSOLUTE, PERFECT WEAPON OF PEACE.

8 7TH SUNDAY OF HOLY PASCHA – 318 HOLY FATHERS - 1ST ECUMENICAL SYNOD – 9 JUNE 2019
✶ “...the Hour has come...” signifies that OUR LORD JESUS ✶ “...none of them is lost except the son of perdition...”
CHRIST IS LORD OVER TIME – AND OVER ALL CREATION.  “Perdition” means “destruction.”
 On Sunday of the Triumph of Orthodoxy, we sing “...He  “The son of perdition” is a direct reference to JUDAS
voluntarily ascended the Cross in the Flesh...”for ISCARIOT WHO BETRAYED OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST TO THE
HE DID SO WHEN HE KNEW IT WAS THE RIGHT MOMENt JEWISH AUTHORITIES FOR A MERE 30 SILVER COINS!
 Furthermore, HE GAVE UP HIS HOLY SPIRIT AND DIED ON THE  Old Covenant prophecy also alluded to Judas
CROSS AT THE NINTH HOUR - ALSO ACCORDING TO GOD’S Iscariot:
OWN CHOSEN TIME, for the sake of all mankind.  PSALM 40: 10 “... the man of My Peace, in whom I hoped
 EVERYTHING HAPPENS ACCORDING TO GOD’S DIVINE PLAN – – he who ate My Bread, dealt deceptively with
FOR THE ETERNAL, SPIRITUAL BENEFIT OF ALL MANKIND. Me...”
✶ “...the Glory that I had with Thee before the world was  PSALM 108: 2 – 13 “... the mouth of the sinner and the
made...” clearly states the Truth that OUR LORD JESUS mouth of the deceitful man opened against Me.
CHRIST IS INDEED THE ETERNAL, ONLY BEGOTTEN SON AND They spoke against Me with a deceitful tongue,
WORD OF GOD WHO HAS ALWAYS EXISTED, TOGETHER WITH THE and they surrounded me with the words of
FATHER AND THE HOLY SPIRIT! hatred, and warred against Me without cause.
“...they know Thee - the Only True God, and Jesus Christ Instead of loving Me, they falsely accused Me,
Whom Thou hast sent...” KNOWLEDGE OF “... THE ONLY but I continued to pray, so they repaid me evil for
TRUE GOD...” IS FAR MORE THAN MERE INTELLECTUAL good, and hatred for My Love. Set a sinner over
UNDERSTANDING. him, and let the devil stand at his right hand. And
 KNOWLEDGE OF OUR TRIUNE LORD GOD IS ONLY POSSIBLE WHEN when he is Judged, may he go forth condemned,
WE FULLY PARTICIPATE IN AND ARE COMMITTED to His and let his prayer become sin. Let his days be
Divine Life and are IN COMMUNION WITH HIM. very few, and may a different man receive his
 Consequently, OUR ETERNAL LIFE, WHICH BEGINS HERE AND Office..”.
NOW, IS AN ONGOING, LOVING KNOWLEDGE OF GOD IN  ZECHARIAH 11: 12 & 13 “... I shall say to them: ‘If it is fitting
CHRIST JESUS AND GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT. in your judgement, give me my payment, or
 ONLY THROUGH THE DIVINE REVELATION AND TEACHINGS OF refuse it!’ And they established my wage at thirty
OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST ARE WE ABLE TO COMPREHEND THE pieces of silver. And the Lord said to me: ‘Drop
SIGNIFICANCE AND MEANING OF DIVINE TRUTH. them into the smelting furnace and see if it is
 THE ABILITY TO FULFIL EVERYTHING REQUIRED OF US AS WELL AS proven, as in the same manner I was proven for
BEING ABLE TO FULLY UNDERSTAND, IS GRANTED TO US BY their sake.’ And I took the thirty pieces of silver
GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT Who makes everything and threw them into the smelting furnace in the
possible, ACCORDING TO THE WILL OF GOD THE FATHER. House of the Lord...”
 However, IF WE WANT TO LIVE IN CHRIST WE MUST FREELY Our Lord Jesus Christ was thus betrayed by Judas Iscariot
DESIRE AND BESEECH SUCH KNOWLEDGE AND ABILITY FROM for THE PRICE USUALLY PAID FOR A SLAVE!
GOD for only thereby can we Regenerate our  EXODUS 21 : 32 – “... if a bull gores a male or female
created Likeness of God, which we have lost due slave, he shall pay their master thirty shekels of
to our unrepented sins. silver...”
 OUR LORD GOD NEVER FORCES HIS DIVINE WILL UPON US, so  JUDAS ISCARIOT IS TYPICAL OF ALL WHO FALL AWAY FROM GOD
we must welcome Him into our life and Entreat His IN THESE THE LAST DAYS BEFORE ETERNITY.
Divine Assistance.  2 THESSALONIANS 2: 3 “... Let no one deceive you by any
✶ “...having accomplished the Work...” OUR LORD JESUS means, for that Day will not come unless the
CHRIST’S WORK – HIS DIVINE MISSION - CAN NEVER BE falling away comes first, and the man of sin is
SEPARATED FROM WHO HE IS. revealed – the son of perdition, who opposes and
 This verse is A STATEMENT THAT EACH OF US WHO HAVE exalts himself above all that is God or which is
CONSTANTLY STRUGGLED TO LIVE IN CHRIST, MIGHT MAKE worshipped, so that he sits as ‘god’ in the Temple
AT THE END OF OUR LIFESPAN – no matter how long or of God, showing himself that he is ‘god!”
short it is.  While WE ARE WARNED AGAINST PREDICTING “THE DAY OF THE
 If we actually accomplish the Holy Work that God LORD,” (the Eighth Day – Judgement Day) THERE
wants us to fulfil, we will BE ASSURED OF ETERNAL LIFE WILL BE SIGNS PRECEDING THE SECOND REAPPEARANCE
IN HIS HEAVENLY KINGDOM OF LOVE. (PAROUSIA) OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST IN ALL HIS
✶ “...I have manifested Thy Name...” ST ISAIAH PROPHESIED MAGNIFICENT GLORY.
THAT in the Days of the Great Messiah, the Knowledge  ST PAUL THUS SEVERELY CAUTIONS US WITH REGARD TO THESE
of THE NAME OF GOD WOULD BE REVEALED. (ISAIAH 52:6) SIGNS:
 In the times of the Old Covenant, the phrase “... the 1. A GENERAL “FALLING AWAY” – APOSTASY – from our Lord
Name...” was reverently used as A SUBSTITUTE FOR Jesus Christ and His Holy Church,
GOD’S ACTUAL NAME “YAHWEH,” WHICH WAS CONSIDERED 2.THE REVEALING – EXPOSURE – OF “... the man of sin – the
FAR TOO SACRED TO PRONOUNCE. son of perdition...” who is THE ANTICHRIST
 THE FULLER REVELATION OF THE NAME OF GOD WAS GRANTED mentioned in the First and Second Universal
TO THOSE WHO BELIEVE IN CHRIST, WHO “MANIFESTED” Epistles of St John the Beloved Apostle and
(REVEALED) THE DIVINE NAME – not only by DECLARING Divine Theologian, who is similar to “The
GOD AS OUR HEAVENLY FATHER, but by BEING THE VERY Dragon” and “the Beast” mentioned in the Book
PRESENCE OF GOD AS SON OF GOD, AND SHARING THE of Revelation. (REVELATION 13).
DIVINE NAME EQUALLY AND RIGHTFULLY.  This evil, lawless and ungodly being is described in
✶ “...the men whom Thou gave Me...” refers to OUR LORD’S the Old Covenant Book of Daniel, mentioned by
HOLY APOSTLES, THROUGH WHOM GOD’S DIVINE TRUTH COMES our Lord Jesus Christ and discussed by St Paul on
TO US. his first Missionary Journey to Thessalonika. (DANIEL
This Faithful handing down of God’s Divine Truth to 7:25; 8:25 & 11:36 - MATTHEW 24:15)
successive generations of Priests and Bishops in an  The evil one incites divisions among mankind so that
unbroken line, is our APOSTOLIC TRADITION. they will readily receive his antichrist when he
✶ “...I pray for them. I do not pray for the world...” comes.
 OUR LORD FIRST PRAYED FOR HIMSELF AND THEN FOR HIS HOLY  The man of sin refers to a counterfeit ‘messiah’ or
APOSTLES. ‘saviour’ with his bogus ‘kingdom’ who exalts
 HE THEN PRAYS FOR “... those Thou has given Me...” – himself above our Almighty Lord God, performs
meaning ALL HIS FAITHFUL DISCIPLES who believe in deceptive ‘miracles and wonders’ through satanic
Him as our Lord and Saviour. trickery, fools the unrighteous into following him
 OUR LORD DID NOT PRAY FOR THE REST OF “... the world...” and will be removed, conquered and exiled into
meaning THOSE WHO ARE IN REBELLION AGAINST GOD OR Outer Darkness by our Lord Jesus Christ.
WHO HAVE CONSCIOUSLY REJECTED HIM AND HIS DIVINE  Nevertheless, NO MATTER HOW TERRIBLE OUR WORLD
TRUTH, for they prefer being in Spiritual Darkness BECOMES, AS FAITHFUL CHRISTIANS, WE MUST NOT BECOME
and Death rather than being in His Divine Light DISTRESSED, HOPELESS NOR DECEIVED.
and the Abundant Joy, Love and Peace of  We must be courageous and stand firmly rooted in
Spiritual Life in Christ. our True, Orthodox Faith, trusting implicitly only
✶ “...Holy Father, keep them in Thy Name...” is repeated in our Almighty, Triune Lord God and His Great
in the EUCHARISTIC PRAYER OF THE DIDACHE 10:2 “... We Mercy.
give Thee Thanks, O Holy Father, for Thy Holy Name,
which Thou hast made to dwell in our heart.”

7TH SUNDAY OF HOLY PASCHA – 318 HOLY FATHERS - 1ST ECUMENICAL SYNOD – 9 JUNE 2019 9
7 T H
S U NDAY OF H OLY P ASCH A – 318 H OLY F ATH ER S OF THE F IR ST E CUM ENICAL C OU NC IL
Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen! human terms, thereby allowing His human Life to be
Dearly Beloved, today we Commemorate the 318 Holy taken by His own creatures.
Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council held in This is the Supreme Sacrifice of Love.
of Nicea in 325, who officially condemned the The acceptance of and dedication to that Divine
heresies of the Alexandrian Priest, Arius who claimed Sacrifice of Love is the Holy Church's reason for Her
that our Lord Jesus Christ was ’created’ by God and existence, which She most carefully and correctly
was thus ‘inferior’ to Him! guards and protects in all Her Purity, as our True Faith
318 Faithful Holy Fathers of this revered Council sought to which is granted to us by our Lord Jesus Christ - the
protect the Orthodox Doctrine and Experience of our Eternal, Only Begotten Son and Word of our Heavenly
Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ as being Divine - Father.
"...Light of Light, True God of True God, Begotten, not This is why the Holy Church of Christ condemns and will
made, of One Essence with the Father, by Whom all continue to condemn novelties (such as Arianism) that
things were made..." (NICENE CREED) detract from the Person of our Divine Saviour, Jesus
It is a matter of record that the One, Holy, Catholic and Christ and His Divine Mission.
Apostolic Church has always concerned Herself with The whole structure of the Christian Church is summed up
Doctrine, articulating and defining as clearly as in the precious document left to us by the first two
possible the Divinely Revealed Truths about God and Ecumenical Councils of the Church, which we refer to
mankind. as “... the Nicene Creed...” which we reaffirm daily
Modern religious thought, however, has a dislike for and each time we celebrate, in the Divine Liturgy,
Dogma (True Teachings), and frequently accuses the that Supreme Mystery of God's Love for all mankind.
Church of dividing mankind with Her strict adherence This is the only "...least common denominator...." for the
to Her Teachings; for Her condemnation of what is Christian Church.
wrong, heterodox; and for the willingness of Her We cannot deny nor doubt any Divine Truth granted to us
Members to die for Divine Truth. by God Himself!
Our Holy Church of Christ is criticised and even The forces of the evil one are perpetually trying to destroy
condemned for ‘...living in the past...’ and some the Foundation of the Church of Christ, for if we dare
complain that She is not prepared to meet modern to change even one of His Holy Church's fundamental
crises and to offer us the solution to our problems. Principles and Teachings, we risk denying all of them!
Individuals tell us to adjust ourselves to our surroundings, Our Sacred Task as Orthodox Christians is to unflinchingly
accept the least common denominator of Dogma, declare that we accept the Divine Truth of God that
and change our morality and ethics to fit changing He Himself revealed and taught to His Faithful
social conditions. Disciples, which is the only Guiding Principle of our
The condemnations and criticisms come from an own Life in Christ.
imperfect understanding of human nature, of what Furthermore, we must be wholly dedicated to the Divine
mankind is and of our relationship to our Creator. Truth - no matter how attractive the world may
The assumption is that we are living in a world that is appear to be.
totally different to the world into which our Lord Jesus As Faithful, Orthodox Christian, we must Live according to
Christ was Born and Lived His earthly Life. that Divine Love, which our Lord Jesus Christ has
Some people think that the Holy Church of Christ was the taught us directly and by His own Perfect Example.
antidote for the terrible state of the world in the final We must consistently show by our own lifestyle and
era of the pagan Roman Empire, but that now we attitude that God's Solution to all mankind’s problems
face a ‘different’ situation - that we ‘need’ or ‘must is as workable now as it ever was!
have a new, up-to-date, contemporary solution’ to all We must first learn everything that our Lord Jesus, His
our problems. Apostles, and our Holy Fathers throughout the
This, of course, represents a very superficial view of centuries have taught us – before we are able to
humanity and the problems of life and of our teach and encourage others as well.
destiny. Our Lord told us that we, as Sanctified Members of His
Many people are adamant that we are ‘...making Holy Church “...are the Light of the world...” (which is
progress...’ with the great god of scientific discovery as in Spiritual Darkness and Death!) (Matthew 5: 14-16)
our guide – and thus that we no longer need the Our Good Example will Illuminate those around us, and if
Church or our Almighty Lord God (as He has been we have acquired unconditional Divine Love for
traditionally understood), because we have learnt to others, we will become a dynamic force that will
depend on and have confidence in ourselves! positively influence everyone with whom we come
It takes little investigation, however, to discover that all into contact - and we might not even have to speak to
our problems today are not at all different from those them in order for them to “... see your good works and
of the time of Christ, for everyone who was Healed by Glorify God..."
our Lord and subsequently His Apostles, as recorded If we are to bring Divine Love to the world, we must
in the Holy Gospels, has a parallel in our modern begin at home with those who are closest to us by
society. acquiring the inseparable Holy Virtues of Humility
The Holy Church of Christ teaches us that there is an and Obedience, for we are Sanctified Members of the
Absolute, Almighty, Good, Just, Loving God, Who Mystical Body of Christ, so we cannot be proud, self-
revealed His Truth to His Chosen People and that justifying nor feel superior to anyone else, since we
Divine, Perfect Truth has been very carefully are all dependent on each other!
preserved in our Lord’s Church, which He Himself We must accept the Teachings and Guidance of our Holy
established, and that Divine Truth does not change, Church, which is Perfect and teaches us Divine Truth
for Spiritual Perfection is Eternal. that we are able to comprehend due to the Gifts of
Our Lord God's Solution to the problems of mankind is God the Holy Spirit, Who makes all things possible for
Divine Love (Agape) – the unconditional Love of God us and our Eternal Salvation.
and our fellow mankind. We must Love one another with one accord so that we
His Holy, Orthodox Church offers that Divine Love to a may truly Confess: “...Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Holy
suffering world. Trinity, One in Essence and Undivided."
No one who is fair-minded and truthful, would deny that The Holy Church is One Body - as the Father, Son and
if we all had Love for God and for each other, we Holy Spirit are One Godhead - and we must thus also
would not suffer the devastation of wars, crime, strife, “...be One as [our Triune God] is One" (JOHN 17:11)
deception, hatred and all that results from the lack of Amen.
Love.
Our Lord God proved His Love by offering Himself for the ST SERAPHIM CATHEDRAL,
Salvation of all mankind by doing so according to DALLAS, TEXAS
WWW.STSERAPHIM.ORG

10 7 SUNDAY HOLY PASCHA – 318 HOLY FATHERS - 1ST ECUMENICAL SYNOD – 9 JUNE 2019
T H
OF
Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa
Archdiocese of Good Hope
All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and
forever, and unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most
Blessed and Glorious Lady, Maria, Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together with all the Saints. And let
us commit ourselves and one another and our whole Life to Christ our God. Amen.
15 JUNE 2019
SATURDAY OF THE SOULS
FOREFEAST OF HOLY PENTECOST
Also the Feast of St Amos, Holy Prophet of God – St Achaikos & St Stefana, Holy Apostles of
Christ – St Hieronymos of Stidon – St Augoustinos, Bishop of Hippo – St Jonah, Metropolitan of
Moscow – St Gregory & St Kassianos, Abbots of Avnezh Monastery, Vologda – St Modestos & St
Crescentia of Luciana – St Doulas of Cilicia – St Doulas the Passion-Bearer of Egypt - St
Theodore the Sykeote (Relics) – St Lazaros the Great Royal Martyr of Serbia – St Ephraim the
Bulgarian, Patriarch of Serbia – St Michael, First Metropolitan of Kiev – St Theophanes of
Roslavl Forests

THE SUNDAY AND FESTAL HYMNS ARE PUBLISHED IN BOOKLET FORM EACH MONTH.
THESE ARE PUBLISHED AND FREELY DOWNLOADABLE ON
www.scribd.com/writers4574. LINKS ARE ALSO POSTED ON FACEBOOK “ORTHODOX
CHRISTIAN EASTERN CAPE.” (OR CAN BE EMAILED DIRECTLY, ON REQUEST TO marguerite.paizis@gmail.com)

M E M OR IAL P R OKEIME NON – T ONE (6) P LAGAL 2


Their souls shall dwell among Good Things.
To Thee, O Lord, I cry: O my God, may Thou not pass over me in silence

T H E F IR ST EP ISTLE OF S T P AUL TO TH E T HE SSAL ONIANS 4:13 – 18


PARTICIP ATION IN CH RIST ’S RETURN
Brethren: I do not want you to be ignorant concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who
have no Hope. If we Believe that our Lord Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who
Sleep in Jesus.
For this we say to you by the Word of our Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the Reappearance of our Lord
will by no means precede those who are Asleep. For our Lord Himself with a shout - with the Voice of an Archangel
and with the Trumpet of God - will descend from Heaven. And the dead in Christ will Rise first. Then we who are
Alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the Clouds to meet our Lord in the air. And thus we shall
always be with our Lord.
Therefore comfort one another with these words.
✶ “...God will bring with Him those who Sleep in Jesus...” FAITH, NO BELIEF AND NO HOPE in that future
THIS IS ONE OF THE CLEAREST NEW TESTAMENT PASSAGES Everlasting Life about which our Lord Jesus Christ
CONCERNING THE SECOND APPEARANCE/COMING OF OUR LORD has taught us.
JESUS CHRIST.  HOWEVER, THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT WE SHOULD NOT WEEP
✶ THE DIDACHE – the first century Teachings of the Holy AND MOURN THEIR DEPARTURE FROM US, BUT WE ALSO TAKE
Apostles of Christ – LISTS THREE SIGNS THAT WILL MARK COMFORT FROM KNOWING THAT WE SHALL BE REUNITED
THE REAPPEARANCE OF OUR DIVINE SAVIOUR: SOON.
1. “The Sign spread out in the Heavens” – Christ  OUR SOUL IS IMMORTAL, WHILE OUR BODY IS MORTAL.
together with His Heaven Hosts  OUR BODY MUST RETURN TO THE EARTH from which we were
2. “The Sign of the Trumpet” – Heavenly Sounds that first created, while OUR SOUL MUST RETURN TO GOD
will be heard throughout Creation. WHO BREATHED LIFE INTO US, thereby granting us our
3. “The Resurrection of the dead.” immortal soul.
 FOR THE RIGHTEOUS, THE GLORIOUS RETURN OR REAPPEARANCE  OUR SOUL WILL EITHER REST IN PEACE IN PARADISE UNTIL THE
OF OUR LORD JESUS IS A JOYFUL COMFORT, but to those GENERAL RESURRECTION, OR EXPERIENCE A FORETASTE OF
who have rejected Him and His Divine Truth, it is a ETERNAL CONDEMNATION.
Dire Threat!  During the Forty Days after our beloved relatives and
 This passage is read on Saturday of the Souls, the day friends have Reposed, WE PRAY CONSTANTLY FOR THEIR
before Holy Pentecost Sunday. IMMORTAL SOUL TO BE GRANTED A PEACEFUL REPOSE IN
✶ :... the dead in Christ will Rise first ...” AS FAITHFUL PARADISE.
DISCIPLES OF CHRIST WE ALWAYS LIVE IN HOPE, HAVING  EVEN WHILE WE ARE SEPARATED, THOSE WHO LOVE US WATCH
BEEN PROMISED AND THUS ASSURED BY OUR LORD JESUS OVER US AND WE INTERCEDE FOR EACH OTHER WITH OUR
CHRIST THAT WE SHALL ALL BE RESURRECTED AND PRAYERS.
REUNITED IN ETERNITY.  When our Lord Jesus Christ Resurrected, His close
 THOSE OF US WHO HAVE LOVED GOD AND ONE ANOTHER, WILL relatives and Disciples failed to recognise Him
BE REUNITED IN ETERNAL LIFE – in our Lord’s Heavenly until He identified Himself, (which makes me think
Kingdom of Love. that perhaps He looked different. mp)
✶ “...we shall always be with our Lord ...” Agape – DIVINE  THEIR OVERWHELMING JOY AT SEEING HIM AGAIN, AND BEING
LOVE – IS THE GREATEST OF ALL HOLY VIRTUES for it enables ABLE TO SPEAK WITH HIM AGAIN, IS SOMETHING THAT WE
us to acquire the other essential Holy Virtues so WILL ALL EXPERIENCE OURSELVES WHEN WE ARE
NECESSARY FOR OUR CURRENT LIFE IN CHRIST. RESURRECTED – just as our Lord showed us and
 Thus St Paul emphasised the Truth that UNLESS WE LOVE promised us!
GOD AND EACH OTHER, WE HAVE NOTHING OF TRUE VALUE  WE ALL HAVE TO EXPERIENCE THAT SEPARATION OF BODY AND
OR ETERNAL BENEFIT. SOUL IN ORDER TO ENTER ETERNITY, which follows this
 Without Love, we cannot expect to live in God’s short, temporary and preparatory lifespan.
Heavenly Kingdom of Love!  OUR ABSOLUTE FAITH IN GOD AND HIS DIVINE TRUTH IS A
 AS CHRISTIANS WHO ARE UNITED THROUGH THE HOLY GREAT COMFORT AND JOY.
MYSTERIES TO OUR LORD GOD, WE NEVER DIE BUT FALL  WE MUST ONLY WORRY ABOUT REPENTING AS MANY OF OUR SINS
ASLEEP OR REPOSE IN CHRIST until our Resurrection in AS WE CAN NOW, so that whenever our time comes
Eternity on the Eighth Day. to depart, we have no “unfinished business!”
 THEREFORE, WE SHOULD NOT GRIEVE THE DEPARTURE OF OUR  WE MUST CONSTANTLY REPENT OUR SINS, ATTEND HOLY
BELOVED FAMILY AND FRIENDS LIKE THOSE WHO HAVE NO SERVICES, FAST AND PRAY, AND OBEDIENTLY FULFIL ALL

S ATU RD AY OF TH E S OULS – F OREFE AST OF P E NTE COST S U ND AY – 15 JU NE 2019 11


OUR SACRED TASKS SO THAT WE REMAIN IN A STATE OF concisely what will happen on the Eighth Day, yet WE
SPIRITUAL LIFE IN CHRIST. MUST NOT WASTE THIS PRICELESS PRESENT TIME BY
 On the contrary, OUR SINS CAUSE US TO FALL INTO A STATE CONCERNING OURSELVES WITH WHAT IS TO COME.
OF SPIRITUAL DEATH, ALIENATED AND SEPARATED FROM Instead, we must use every moment to STRIVE NOW TO
GOD AND ALL HIS GOODNESS AND LOVE! REPENT AND TO ACQUIRE THE HOLY VIRTUE OF LOVE AND ALL
✶ “...we who are Alive and remain shall be caught up THE OTHER ESSENTIAL VIRTUES THAT MAKE US WORTHY CITIZENS
together with them...” St Paul explains clearly and OF OUR LORD’S HEAVENLY KINGDOM.
THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST JOHN 21 : 14 - 25
THE THIRD APPEARANCE OF OUR RESURRECTED LORD JESUS CHRIST - HIS DIVINE COMMISSION
At that time, our Lord Jesus showed Himself to His Disciples after He was Raised from the dead. And Jesus said to Simon
Peter: “Simon Jonah: do you Love Me more than these?” He said to Him: “Yes, Lord. Thou know that I love Thee.”
He said to him: “Feed My Lambs.”
Jesus said to him a second time: “Simon Jonah: do you Love Me?” He said to Him: “Yes, Lord. Thou know that I love
Thee.” He said to him: “Tend My Sheep.”
He said to him the third time: “Simon Jonah: do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He asked him for the third
time: “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him: “Lord, Thou know all things – Thou know that I love Thee.” Jesus said
to him: “Feed My Sheep.
“Truly, truly, I say to you: when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished. When you
are old, you will stretch out your hands and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish to go.”
This he spoke, signifying by what death he would Glorify God. And when He had said this, He said to him: “Follow
Me.”
Turning around, Peter saw the Disciple whom Jesus Loved following, who also had leant upon His Breast at the Supper,
and had asked: “Lord, who is the one who betrays Thee?” Seeing him, Peter said to Jesus: “Lord, what about him?”
Jesus said to him: “If I Will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!”
Then this saying went out among the Brethren that this Disciple would not die. Yet Jesus did not say to him that he
would not die, but: “If I Will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?”
This is the Disciple who testifies to these Things, and wrote them. And we know that his Testimony is True. There are
also many other Things that Jesus did, which – if they were written one by one – I suppose that even the world itself
could not contain the Books that would be written.
Amen
✶ “..Jesus said to Simon Peter...” .The fact that our Lord survive the cruel persecutions against all Christians
Jesus Christ singled out St Peter has A TWOFOLD until his Repose in Christ at the age of approximately
SIGNIFICANCE: 101 – circa 98 – 108 AD.
1. ST PETER WAS THE LEADER OR SPOKESMAN AMONG THE  His longevity was marvelled at by THE EARLY CHRISTIANS
DISCIPLES OF CHRIST and – being such a passionate who THOUGHT HE WOULD LIVE UNTIL THE SECOND COMING
and impulsive character – HAD TO BE THE FIRST TO – the Reappearance of our Lord.
CONFESS HIS LOVE FOR OUR RESURRECTED LORD AND  However, ST JOHN THE DIVINE HIMSELF CORRECTED THIS
SAVIOUR. FALSE ASSUMPTION BY CLARIFYING THE TRUTH THAT OUR
2. ST PETER HAD DENIED CHRIST THREE TIMES after His arrest – LORD JESUS “... DID NOT SAY TO HIM THAT HE WOULD NOT
despite having been adamant that he would DIE...”
never betray or deny him. KNOWING THE HEARTS AND ✶ “...we know that his Testimony is True ...” THE USE OF THE
SOULS OF EVERYONE HE CREATES, CHRIST KNEW WHAT WORD “WE” INDICATED THAT ST JOHN THE EVANGELIST, HAD AN
MOTIVATED ST PETER. Consequently, DUE TO HIS ASSISTANT – and according to Holy Tradition, that
INFINITE DIVINE LOVE AND GREAT MERCY, OUR LORD FAITHFUL SCRIBE WAS NAMED “PROCHOROS,” who is often
RESTORED HIS DIVINE GRACE UPON ST PETER WITH HIS depicted in many of the Icons of St John writing down
THREEFOLD CONFESSION OF LOVE. his words and Teachings.
 “... Do you Love Me?” It is important to note that the  ALTHOUGH ACKNOWLEDGING AND CONFIRMING THAT HIS HOLY
first two times our Lord Jesus asked this of St Peter GOSPEL CONTAINS ONLY A SMALL FRACTION OF OUR LORD
HE USED A FORM OF THE WORD “AGAPE,” WHICH DENOTES JESUS CHRIST’S EARTHLY LIFE, ST JOHN THE DIVINE
THE HIGHEST FORM OF SACRIFICIAL AND SELF-EMPTYING THEOLOGIAN AND EVANGELIST WROTE HIS HOLY GOSPEL TO
LOVE – THE KIND OF LOVE THAT ALMIGHTY GOD HAS FOR BRING ALL WHO READ IT CAREFULLY TO TRUE FAITH IN GOD.
ALL HUMAN BEINGS WHICH WE CAN DEVELOP ONLY  WHILE THE HOLY GOSPELS OF ST MATTHEW, ST MARK AND ST
THROUGH MATURING IN GOD’S DIVINE GRACE. LUKE CONTAIN MANY MORE DIVINE MIRACLES AND
 However, EACH TIME ST PETER WAS UNABLE TO CLAIM SUCH A PARABLES, THOSE, TOO, ARE FAR FROM EXHAUSTIVE – i.e.
LOFTY LOVE they are only a few of the rich Spiritual and Divine
✶ “Lord, Thou know that I love Thee,” St Peter answered: Treasure that Christ bestowed upon all His Faithful
using the term “FILO,” which IS A LESSER FORM OF LOVE Disciples throughout all ages.
– MERELY AKIN TO BROTHERLY AFFECTION.  Therefore, TO RESTRICT ONESELF MERELY TO THE WRITTEN
✶ “...Simon Jonah: do you love Me?” So WHEN OUR LORD WORDS AND TEACHINGS OF CHRIST, RESTRICTS ONESELF TO
ASKED ST PETER FOR THE THIRD TIME WHETHER HE LOVED A VERY SMALL PORTION OF THE WHOLE DIVINE TRUTH OF
HIM, HE USED THE TERM “FILO” – THEREBY CONDESCENDING ALMIGHTY GOD, which consists of so much more:
TO ST PETER’S HUMAN WEAKNESS AND ACCEPTING  OUR TRUE FAITH CONSISTS OF BOTH THE WRITTEN AND VERBAL
WHATEVER LOVE ST PETER WAS ABLE TO OFFER HIM AT THAT TEACHINGS OF CHRIST OUR GOD – HOLY TRADITION - THAT
STAGE OF HIS LIFE. WAS GRANTED BY GOD TO CHRIST’S APOSTLES AND
 Nevertheless, OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST CERTAINLY KNEW DISCIPLES and which have been CAREFULLY
THAT ST PETER AND ALL THE OTHER HOLY APOSTLES AND PRESERVED AND PASSED ON TO US THROUGH THE GOD-
DISCIPLES WOULD DEVELOP A DIVINELY GRACIOUS AGAPE INSPIRED WRITINGS, HYMNS AND TEACHINGS OF ALL OUR
FOR HIM – INDEED FOR GOD – BECAUSE ST PETER AND MOST HOLY CHURCH FATHERS AND MOTHERS throughout the
OF THEM ACCEPTED HOLY MARTYRDOM FOR HIS SAKE – for ages.
the sake of their absolute Faith and Trust in God’s ✶ “...there are also many other Things that Jesus did...”
Divine Truth and Eternal Life. EMPHASISES THE TRUTH AND THE DIVINE HOLINESS OF
✶ “...Peter was grieved ...”DUE TO HIS LACK OF PROFOUND WHAT WAS WRITTEN, BUT ALSO POINTS TO THE ONGOING
UNDERSTANDING AT THAT TIME – both by the fact that OUR GOD-INSPIRED HOLY TRADITION WITHIN CHRIST’S VERY
LORD JESUS HAD TO CONDESCEND TO HIS BASIC LEVEL OF LOVE MUCH ALIVE – NURTURING AND GROWING - BODY – HIS
and that THIS WAS A CLEAR – ALTHOUGH GENTLE – REFERENCE HOLY CHURCH.
TO HIS PREVIOUS THREE DENIALS OF CHRIST.
THAT IS THE GREAT DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GOD’S ABSOLUTE, PERFECT
✶ “... when you are old, ...” OUR LORD PROPHESIED FOR THE AND DIVINE TRUTH THAT UNITES US WITH GOD AND ONE ANOTHER
SECOND TIME ST PETER’S EVENTUAL MARTYRDOM under IN TRUE AGAPE, WHICH RESULTS IN JOYOUS ETERNAL LIFE - AND
Emperor Nero, circa 67, in Rome – when St Peter THE WEAK, FLAWED AND MISGUIDED IDEAS OR INTERPRETATIONS OF
would be crucified upside down. HUMAN EGO AND ARROGANCE THAT CAUSE SO MUCH
✶ The “...Disciple whom Jesus Loved...” is AN OBLIQUE CONFUSION, CONFLICT, DISUNITY AND ALIENATION FROM GOD
AND ONE ANOTHER – SPIRITUAL DEATH! mp
REFERENCE TO ST JOHN – THE DIVINE THEOLOGIAN,
EVANGELIST AND APOSTLE OF CHRIST WHO RECORDED THIS
PARTICULAR EVENT and who was the only Holy Apostle to

12. S ATURD AY OF THE S OULS – F ORE FE AST OF P ENTE COST S U NDAY – 15 J U NE 2019
Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa
Archdiocese of Good Hope
All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and
forever, and unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most
Blessed and Glorious Lady, Maria, Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together with all the Saints. And let
us commit ourselves and one another and our whole Life to Christ our God. Amen.
16 JUNE 2019
EIGHTH PASCHAL SUNDAY - HOLY PENTECOST SUNDAY
(DESCENT OF GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT)
Also the Feast of St Tikhon, Bishop of Amathous, Cyprus – St Tikhon of Kaluga & Medin –
St Tikhon of Luchov, Lostroma – St Tigrios, Presbyter & St Eutropios, Reader, of
Constantinople – St Kaikhosro of Georgia – St Moses of Optina
THE SUNDAY AND FESTAL HYMNS ARE PUBLISHED IN BOOKLET FORM EACH MONTH.
THESE ARE PUBLISHED AND FREELY DOWNLOADABLE ON
www.scribd.com/writers4574. LINKS ARE ALSO POSTED ON FACEBOOK “ORTHODOX
CHRISTIAN EASTERN CAPE.” (OR CAN BE EMAILED DIRECTLY, ON REQUEST TO

marguerite.paizis@gmail.com)

P R OKE IME NON – P SALM 18/19 – T ONE (8) P L AGAL 4

Throughout all the Earth their Proclamation went forth, and their words to the ends of the world.
The Heavens declare the Glory of God; the Firmament shows the Creation of His Hands!
T H E A CTS OF THE AP OSTLE S 2 : 1 – 11
When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a
Sound from Heaven, as of a Rushing Mighty Wind, and It filled the whole house where they were sitting.
And there appeared before them divided Tongues, as of Fire, and one sat upon each of them.
And they were filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other Tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
There were dwelling in Jerusalem Judeans - devout men, from every Nation under Heaven. When this Sound
occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own
language. They were all amazed and marvelled, saying to one another: "Behold! Are not all these who speak
Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born?
“Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,
Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Hebrews and
proselytes, Cretans and Arabs – we hear them speaking in our own tongues the Greatness of God!"
✶ “..they were all with one accord in one place..”.The naked eye. For approximately 30 minutes the Flames
Apostles and Faithful Disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ are neither hot nor burn, which confirms their Divine
had gathered together, according to our Lord’s
Mystery. However, later they become physical
earlier instructions.
 They had no idea of what to expect, for they had all flame, which being hot, will burn. mp
witnessed our Divine Saviour’s Ascension into  OUR ETERNAL LORD GOD IS UNCREATED, THEREFORE HIS
Heaven. DIVINE POWER AND ENERGY IS ALSO UNCREATED – and
✶ ”...the Day of Pentecost...” is referred to in the Old beyond our limited human knowledge and
Testament as “...the Feast of Weeks.” (LEVITICUS 23:16) comprehension.
 PENTECOST CELEBRATED THE FIRST FRUITS OF HARVEST, 50  THE DIVINE EVENTS AND CONSEQUENCES OF PENTECOST AFTER
DAYS AFTER PASSOVER (PASCHA). THE DESCENT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT ARE THE FULFILMENT OF
 OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST WAS CRUCIFIED JUST BEFORE THE THE PROPHECIES OF ST JOEL, AND A DIVINE REVERSAL OF
PASSOVER, SO THE DAY OF PENTECOST AND THE DESCENT EVENTS THAT OCCURRED AT THE TOWER OF BABEL. (JOEL 3:1
OF GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT AND THE SUBSEQUENT & GENESIS 11: 1 – 9)
CONSEQUENCES OCCURRED50 DAYS LATER. ✶ “...began to speak with other Tongues...” In the
✶ “...with one accord...” On that first Christian Pentecost, account of the Tower of Babel, pride caused utter
THE UNITY OF ASSEMBLING or FOR A SPECIFIC PURPOSE chaos and division amongst the people.
“...in one place...” (in mutual Love and Faith)  THE HUMBLE AND FAITHFUL RECEPTION OF GOD THE HOLY
PROVIDED THE PERFECT ENVIRONMENT INTO WHICH GOD SPIRIT IN JERUSALEM ON THAT DAY OF PENTECOST HAD THE
THE HOLY SPIRIT DESCENDED and came to dwell with OVERWHELMING POWER TO UNITE PEOPLE EVEN IN THEIR
us, ENABLING US TO FULFIL OUR SACRED MISSION BEFORE DIVERSITY OF LANGUAGE AND ETHNICITY.
ETERNITY.  THE MOST SIGNIFICANT GIFT OF GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT IS THAT
✶ ”... divided Tongues, as of Fire ...” THE PROPHECY OF ST HE HAS MADE IT POSSIBLE FOR ALL MANKIND TO HEAR THE
JOHN THE BAPTIST AND FORERUNNER TO CHRIST THAT OUR HOLY GOSPEL – OUR LORD GOD’S DIVINE TRUTH – IN OUR
TRIUNE LORD GOD WOULD BAPTISE US “...with the Holy Spirit OWN LANGUAGE.
and Fire...” IS FULFILLED BY THE DESCENT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT  AT THAT TIME, THE LANGUAGE OF THE WORLD WAS HELLENISTIC
(LUKE 3:16) GREEK, but FROM THE DAY OF PENTECOST, THE BEGINNING
 THAT DIVINE HOLY FIRE IS THE VISIBLE MANIFESTATION OF THE OF THE HOLY CHURCH OF CHRIST, EVERYONE OF EVERY
UNCREATED ENERGY OF GOD. NATION AND ETHNICITY, COULD HEAR THE DIVINE TRUTH OF
The Divine Mystery of the Uncreated Holy Fire is CHRIST’S TEACHINGS AND COMMANDMENTS IN THEIR OWN
LANGUAGE through the Gift of Tongues.
witnessed by thousands in Jerusalem at the Tomb of  Furthermore THE APOSTLES AND FAITHFUL DISCIPLES OF
our Resurrected Lord Jesus Christ every year at CHRIST COULD PREACH AND TEACH IN ALL THE DIFFERENT
Holy Pascha, when the Orthodox Patriarch of LANGUAGES WHENEVER NECESSARY.
Jerusalem, dressed only in a simple cassock, enters  THE GIFT OF TONGUES ALSO MEANS THAT WE ARE ENABLED TO
the Empty Tomb and after a while, emerges with 33 COMMUNICATE CLEARLY IN A MYSTICAL MANNER when it
concerns our Faith and Worship.
lit candles.
 THE GIFT OF TONGUES ENABLES ONE TO COMMUNICATE
Each year the Holy Fire also mystically lights the CLEARLY IN A SPECIFIC LANGUAGE IN ORDER TO CONVEY, TO
candles of the Righteous standing around the Tomb, TEACH AND TO FULFIL DIVINE TRUTH.
a well as oil lamps high above the multitude,
appearing at first like blueish lightning or balls of
yellow light, which can be seen on film but not by

8TH PASCHAL SUNDAY – HOLY PENTECOST – DESCENT OF GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT – 16 JUNE 2019 13.
A meaningless gabble is the most evil mockery of God It is not a ‘party trick’ that anyone can perform at will!!
the Holy Spirit, which is a blasphemous, unforgivable It is a Divine Gift according to the Will of our
sin! Heavenly Father, that we are granted through our
If there is a common language that everyone Lord Jesus Christ, by the Power and Energy of the
understands, the Gift of Tongues is neither Holy Spirit – for a most specific Purpose! mp
necessary nor possible!
T H E H OLY G OSPEL ACCO R D ING TO S T J OH N 7 : 37 – 52 & 8 : 12
OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST PROMISES THE HOLY SPIRIT TO HIS DISCIPLES
On the last day, that Great Day of the Feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying: "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me
and drink. He who believes in Me - as the Scripture has said - out of his heart will flow rivers of Living Water."
This He spoke concerning the Spirit, Whom those Believing in Him would receive, for the Holy Spirit was not yet given,
for Jesus was not yet Glorified.
Many from the crowd, when they heard this saying, said: “Truly this is the Prophet." Others said: "This is the Christ."
Some said, "Will the Christ come out of Galilee? Has not the Scripture said that from the Seed of David and from the
town of Bethlehem, where David was, the Christ will come?" There was division amongst them because of Him.
Some of them wanted to take Him, but no one laid hands upon Him.
The Officers went to the Chief Priests and Pharisees, who said to them: "Why have you not brought Him?" The officers
answered: "No man ever spoke like this Man!" The Pharisees answered them: "Are you also deceived? Have any
believed in Him of the Rulers of the Pharisees? But this crowd - who does not know the Law - is accursed!"
Nikodemos said to them - (he who came to Jesus by night, being one of His): "Does our Law judge a man before it
hears him and knows what he is doing?" They answered and said to him: "Are you also from Galilee? Search and
look, for no Prophet has arisen out of Galilee."
...Again Jesus spoke to them, saying: “I Am the Light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in Darkness, but
have the Light of Life."
✶ “...the last day, that Great Day of the Feast...” was the ✶ THE “...Chief Priests...” HAD SENT “...the Officers...” OF THE
Eight Day of the Feast of Tabernacles (Succoth), an TEMPLE TO ARREST OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST IN THE MIDDLE OF
eight day autumn harvest festival commemorating THE GREAT FEAST.
the time when Israel had wandered in the Sinai  By the time the Eighth Day of the Feast arrived, no
wilderness and the people had lived in tents or arrest had occurred because THOSE OFFICERS HAD
‘tabernacles’ BEEN CONVERTED BY THE DIVINE TRUTH OF OUR SAVIOUR’S
 Together with Passover and Pentecost, this was one of TEACHINGS: "No man ever spoke like this Man!"
the three most import festivals of the ancient ✶ “...There was division amongst them ..” THE SELF-
Hebrews. RIGHTEOUS, ARROGANT AND SPIRITUALLY BLIND
 It included drawing water from the Pool of Siloam, “...Pharisees...” AND SCRIBES WHO HAD “... WITNESSED THE
which was mixed with wine and poured at the fot MIRACLES, AND READ THE SCRIPTURES DERIVED NO BENEFIT...”
of the Altar, as a Purification and in remembrance AT ALL FROM THEM.
of the Water that flowed from the Rock that St  THE OFFICERS - EVEN THOUGH THEY WERE FAR LESS EDUCATED
Moses had struck with his staff. (Exodus 17: 1 – 7) AND EVEN UTTERLY ILLITERATE, HAD BEEN TOTALLY “...
 In addition, the Feast included the lighting of the captivated by a single Sermon...” OF OUR LORD
Great Lamps in the Outer Court of the Temple. JESUS CHRIST.
✶ “...If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink...”  WHEN OUR MIND IS OPEN AND WHEN OUR HEART AND SOUL IS
THE CEREMONY OF DRAWING WATER provides the context RECEPTIVE TO DIVINE TRUTH, “... there is no need for
for our Lord Jesus Christ’s words. long speeches. Truth is like that,” as St John
 THE LIFE-GIVING LIVING WATER IS THE DIVINE GIFT OF GOD Chrysostom explained.
THE HOLY SPIRIT AND OUR NEW LIFE IN CHRIST that ✶ “...Nikodemos...” WAS A SECRET DISCIPLE OF OUR LORD JESUS
accompanies His Divine Gift. CHRIST.
✶ “...this is the Prophet...” is a reference to THE LONG-  ALTHOUGH HE HAD FAITH IN CHRIST HIS WORDS DEFENDING
AWAITED GREAT HOLY PROPHET – THE GREAT OUR LORD WERE STILL BASED ON THE OLD COVENANT LAw
MESSIAH/SAVIOUR OF WHOM ST MOSES HAD FORETOLD. – “...our Law...” FOR HE WAS NOT YET READY TO MAKE A
(DEUTERONOMY 18: 15-18) PUBLIC CONFESSION OF FAITH IN CHRIST AS OUR DIVINE
✶ “...Bethlehem...” was the town from which “...the SAVIOUR.
Christ...” was expected to come. ✶ “...Does our Law judge a man before it hears him and
 OUR LORD GREW UP IN NAZARETH AS ‘THE SON’ OF ST JOSEPH knows...”
THE BETROTHED – ‘THE CARPENTER’.  ACCORDING TO THE OLD COVENANT LAW, OUR LORD JESUS
 Thus VERY FEW PEOPLE KNEW THAT IN TRUTH OUR LORD HAD CHRIST HAD TO BE GIVEN A FAIR HEARING BEFORE HE COULD
BEEN BORN IN BETHLEHEM. BE JUDGED. (EXODUS 23:1 & DEUTERONOMY 1 :15-17)
 HE HAD SPENT HIS FIRST YEAR OF INCARNATE LIFE THERE, ✶ “..no Prophet has arisen out of Galilee...” THE PHARISEES
before His Mother and His Guardian, St Joseph the REVEALED THEIR BITTER, SENSELESS HATRED OF CHRIST, AS
Betrothed, had fled to the safety of Egypt during WELL AS THEIR IGNORANCE OF HOLY SCRIPTURE, which
the Slaughter of the Innocents. they proclaimed to know so well!
 The people certainly did not comprehend that our  ST JONAH, THE ANCIENT HOLY PROPHET OF GOD HAD INDEED
Lord Jesus Christ is the Eternal, Only Begotten Son COME FROM GALILEE – from the town of Gath Hepher,
of God our Heavenly Father, so HIS TRUE, DIVINE which was only three miles (4.8 kilometres) from
IDENTITY REMAINED UNKNOWN AND HIDDEN FROM THEM. Nazareth. (4 KINGS 14:25)
8TH SUNDAY OF HOLY PASCHA – SUNDAY OF HOLY PENTECOST – THE DESCENT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
✞ In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the symbolizes both the fullness of time and that which is
Holy Spirit. beyond time - the Kingdom of God itself.
Dearly Beloved Brethren in Christ, in our Annual It symbolizes the fullness of time by its first component:
Liturgical Cycle, Pentecost Sunday is "...the last and 49, which is the fullness of seven (7 x 7) - the number of
great day..." because it is the great Sacred time. And, it symbolizes that which is beyond time by
Celebration of the Coming/Descent of God the Holy its second component: 49 + 1, this one being the New
Spirit as the end - the achievement and fulfilment - of Day - the "...Day without evening..." of God's Eternal
the entire history of Salvation. Kingdom.
For the same reason, Pentecost is also the celebration of With the Descent of the Holy Spirit upon Christ's Disciples,
the beginning of the Holy Church of Christ - as the the time of Salvation, the Divine Work of Redemption
Living Presence of the Holy Spirit, of our New Life in has been completed, the fullness revealed, all Gifts
Christ, of Divine Grace, Knowledge, and our Adoption bestowed.
and Holiness as Sanctified Children of our Heavenly It is entirely up to us to "appropriate" these Gifts - to be
Father. that which we have become in Christ - Sanctified
This double meaning and double Joy is revealed to us, Participants and worthy Citizens of His Eternal
first of all, in the very Name of the Feast. Kingdom of Love..
“Pentecost’ in Greek, means “Fifty” and in the Sacred The All-Night Vigil Service begins with a solemn
Biblical Symbolism of numbers, the number 50 Invitation: " ...Let us celebrate Pentecost, the Coming

14. 8TH PASCHAL SUNDAY – HOLY PENTECOST – DESCENT OF GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT – 16 JUNE 2019
of the Holy Spirit, The Appointed Day of Promise, and After the Small Festal Entrance, this Joy reaches its climax
the Fulfilment of Hope, The Mystery which is as with the Great Prokeimenon: "Who is so great a God
Great as It is Precious...." as our God?"
In the coming of the Holy Spirit, the very Essence of the Then, we are invited to kneel.
Holy Church of Christ is revealed: This is our first kneeling since Holy Pascha, which
"The Holy Spirit provides all, overflows with Prophecy, signifies that after these Fifty Days of Paschal Joy and
fulfils the Priesthood, has taught Wisdom to Fullness - of Experiencing the Kingdom of God - our
illiterates, has revealed Fishermen as Theologians, Holy Church now is about to begin Her Pilgrimage
and brings together the whole Council of the through time and history.
Church." It is evening again, and the night approaches, during
In the three readings of the Old Testament we hear the which temptations and failures await us, when, more
Prophecies concerning the Holy Spirit. (NUMBERS 11:16-17, than anything else, we need Divine Help - that
24-29; JOEL 2:23-32; EZEKIEL 36:24-28) Presence and Power of the Holy Spirit, Who has
We are taught that the entire history of mankind was already Revealed to us the Joyful End, Who now will
directed towards the Day on which God "...would Help us in our Effort towards Fulfilment and Salvation.
pour out His Spirit upon all flesh." All this is revealed in the three Prayers, which the
This Day has come! Celebrant Priest reads, while we all kneel and listen to
All Hope, all Promises, all Expectations have been his words.
fulfilled. In the first Prayer, we bring to God our Repentance, our
At the end of the Aposticha Hymns, for the first time since fervent appeal for Forgiveness of sins, the first
Holy Pascha, the Trisagion Hymn is chanted: "O condition for entering into the Kingdom of God.
Heavenly King, the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth…," In the second Prayer, we ask the Holy Spirit to help us, to
It is the Hymn with which we inaugurate all our Holy teach us to pray and to follow the True Path in the
Services, all our Prayers, which is, as it were, the Life- dark and difficult Night of our earthly existence.
Breath of our Church, and Whose Coming to us, whose Finally, in the third Prayer, we remember all those who
"...Descent..." upon us in this Festal Vigil, is indeed the have completed their Earthly Journey, but who are
very Experience of the Holy Spirit "...coming and United with us in the Eternal God of Love.
abiding in us." The Joy of Holy Pascha has been completed and we
The All Night Vigil continues as an explosion of Joy and again have to wait for the Dawn of the Eternal Day.
Light for "...Truly, the Light of the Comforter has Yet, knowing our weakness, humbling ourselves by
come and Illumined the world!" kneeling, we also know the Joy and the Power of the
According to the Holy Gospel of St John the Feast of Holy Holy Spirit Who has come to Comfort and Guide us.
Pentecost is regarded as the Great Feast of the Holy We know that God is indeed always with us, and that in
Church of Christ, of Her Divine Nature, Power and Him is our Victory.
Authority. (JOHN 20:19-23) Thus the Feast of Holy Pentecost is completed and we
Our Lord Jesus sent all His Faithful Apostles and Disciples enter "...the ordinary time...." of the year.
into the world, just as He Himself was sent into our Yet, every Sunday now will be referred to as being "...After
world by God our Heavenly Father. Pentecost..." meaning that it is from the Divine Power
The Antiphons of the Divine Liturgy proclaim the and Light of these Fifty Days that we shall receive our
universality of the Apostles' Preaching, the Cosmic own power - the Divine Help in our daily Struggle.
Significance of Pentecost, and the Sanctification of the At Pentecost we decorate our churches with flowers and
entire world - the True Manifestation of God's green branches - for the Holy Church of Christ
Kingdom. "...never grows old, but is always young..." for It is an
The Liturgical peculiarity of Holy Pentecost is Its very evergreen, ever-living Tree of Grace and Life, of Joy
special Vespers (Kneeling) Service, which is and Comfort, due to God the Holy Spirit - "...the
performed immediately after the Divine Liturgy. Treasury of Blessings and Giver of Life Who comes
The Pentecost Vespers Service begins as a solemn and Abides in us, and Cleanses us from all impurity..."
"...summing up..." of the entire celebration, as its and fills our Life with Purpose, Love, Faith and Hope.
Liturgical Synthesis.
We hold flowers in our hands symbolizing the Joy of the F ATHER A LEXANDER S CHMEMANN
Eternal Spring, inaugurated by the Coming of the HTTP :// HOLYCROSSOC A . ORG
Holy Spirit.
T H E I NV ISIBL E M IR ACL E – F ATHE R A ND RE AS A GATH OKLE OU S
People’s need to confirm their Faith in the inaccessible In any case, the existence of His Holy Church is a
God and His Energies leads them to seek Miracles, to ‘Miracle’, founded on the Death and Resurrection of
exaggerate them or even to make them up. our Lord, and woe betide those who seek other means
In this sense, Miracles as Miraculous Events can be found of persuading people of Her Truth!
in all religions. The lack of ‘evidence’ regarding the Existence, Presence
In the New Testament, the various Cures effected for the or Interest of God is an expression of His Love, which is
sick, the Resurrections of the dead and other in accord with His Respect for our personal Freedom.
expressions of the Love of our Lord Jesus Christ and His Love would be deficient if it forced us, ‘for our own
His Apostles towards those in pain, are called ‘Signs’. good’, to believe in Him. Not even His Resurrection,
A Miracle provokes astonishment, surprise, whereas a that Event of global significance, which changed the
Sign demonstrates something that is already in lives of millions, can be proven. Nor, of course, can it
existence - the Kingdom of God, where the results of be proven that it did not occur.
decay no longer exist. Internal change, Repentance that affects our Life, the
The challenge of the Scribes and Pharisees to Christ – Transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the
“...We want to see a Sign from Thee...” was not met. Body and Blood of Christ by the Grace of the Holy
(MATTHEW 12 : 38) Spirit, Who descends and Sanctifies, ‘...through the
Any ‘Sign’ that becomes a ‘Miracle’ forces people to Prayers of the Priest...’ water, oil and other material
accept it and therefore deprives them of their Free elements, Transforming them into Holy Water, Chrism,
Relationship with God, which is genuine Faith. Eucharist, etc cannot be proven.
Certainly, our Lord Jesus Christ respects the Freedom of However, for the Faithful Disciples of Christ, these are
others, which we receive as a Gift. He never violates Realities, which we Experience and in which we
our personal Free Will, even if He is challenged to do Rejoice.
so. The ‘other world’ becomes known through Humility and
As the ‘Pillar and Buttress’ of the Divine Truth, the Church simplicity of heart, which also reveals that ‘invisible
cannot encourage ‘Miracles’ in order to persuade Miracle,’ which directs us to the ‘Sign’ of the Presence
people, since this would not be in accordance with of our Living God.
the behaviour or Will of Her Divine Founder.
SOURCE: ISAGIASTRIADOS.COM
HTTPS://PEMPTOUSIA.COM

8TH PASCHAL SUNDAY – HOLY PENTECOST – DESCENT OF GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT – 16 JUNE 2019 15.
E LDE R H IE R ONY M OS S IMONOPE TRITIS , THE T IR ELE SS S P IR ITUAL G U IDE
Elder Hieronymos’ courtesy, Perfect Obedience and His Relationship with Saint Dimitrios brought about a Cure
respect for the Monastery and its Overseers continued for him. He also had special affection for Saint John
throughout his long life. the Theologian.
His great progress in the Monastery, the felicitous The Holy Elder had suffered from a hernia since an early
conclusion of all the tasks assigned to him and, age, which he took care of himself, although it
particularly, his Modesty, Gentleness and Virtue in difficult for him.
general made him well-liked and respected. He later wrote: “...I was Cured quite painlessly, without
Sadly, as is often the case, it also made him the object of medication or an operation...” for it occurred during
jealousy, envy and pettiness – to which he always an All Night Vigil Service for the Feast of Saint John
responded with silence and forbearance. the Beloved Theologian, on 26 September.
His lamp burnt all night long. The older Monks said they “... I had made the Sign of the Cross and called upon
never saw him lying down. Whatever time anyone the Saint, then went to the Choir Stall to start singing
went to see him, he would be on his feet or sitting. ‘Lord, I have cried...’
He slept in his chair, for he believed that too much sleep “Just then I felt the hernia disappear, and it has not
reduces our Love for God. bothered me since. I was Cured miraculously, by the
In the morning he attended the Holy Services, standing in Invocation of the Theologian, whose Wonder-working
his Prayer-stall, or singing, reading, and directing the Grace and Help I gladly Confess, Praising God Who is
Service. Awe-inspiring in His Saints.
One Elder recalls: “‘He would check up on us. I would go “My Cure was effected in 1897.”
to the stalls at the back, so that he would not see me, Saint John the Beloved Apostle of Christ also Visited Elder
because I was ashamed of myself.” Hieronymos during another All Night Vigil and freed
Father Hieronymos was very strict with his Fasting. He him of intense impure thoughts. Thereafter he was
never ate anything except at the appointed meal- never again afflicted by this passion and such
times. thoughts.
Whenever he was at the Monastery, he never missed a Father Hieronymos’ Love for the Saints was so great that it
Holy Service. Nor did he eat all his ration in the pleased God that he should meet the Most Ascetic
Refectory. Saint Parthenios of Chios shortly before the latter’s
Usually he would do the reading during the meal and demise.
then eat afterwards, so as to hide what he was doing. He was connected, in personal friendship, with Saint
According to Father Euthymios, whenever he returned Nektarios, Saint Savvas the New of Kalymnos, and
from outside Mount Athos, he would go for days Saint Nicholas Planas.
without oil, in order to make up for any infringement This intense Love of his for the Saints found poetic
of the Fasting Rules. expression through the Gift he had from God of
His Spiritual Struggles were many and varied, but he singing and writing Hymns.
always kept them to himself. So it was that, immediately after his Tonsure, in 1893, at
On his return from his travels, Elder Hieronymos never the age of 22, he wrote eight Canons, one in each
stopped working. Tone, to ‘...Our Holy and God-bearing Father Simon,
He would write in the Secretary’s Office and in his cell, from whose Relics Myrrh flows...’, as substitutes for
organize the Library and Archives, and study. those lost in the fire of 1891.
He served in Church and took part in common tasks. No In 1896, he composed a Supplicatory Canon to the
duty was beneath him, which is why God elevated Monastery’s Saints, St Simon of the Rock [from whom
him. the Monastery takes its name]✶ and St Mary
In 1910, Father Hieronymos was in Athens for about six Magdalene [her left arm is kept at the Monastery),
months, as Steward at the Dependency of Analipseos which he published in 1924, together with musical
[the Ascension.] settings for their Services and the Eight Canons he
In his correspondence with the Monastery, he tried to had written to Saint Simon Peter (the Holy Apostle of
persuade the Brotherhood not to sell the Dependency. Christ).
His forecast of a future recovery for the Monastery was
soon borne out. ✶ The Greek Monasteries on the Holy Mountain (Mount Athos)
It was there that he first became acquainted with the are named after their Founder e.g. Saint Paul’s (as in Saint
Congregation at the church and this relationship Paul the Athonite), or their location, e.g. Xiropotamou, (‘Dry
would later blossom and bear fruit. River’, which was also founded by the same Saint Paul). By and
In 1911, on his return to the Holy Mountain, he survived a large, the Slavonic Monasteries are named after Saints. The
shipwreck, attributing his escape to Divine
Russians have it both ways: their Monastery was originally
Providence.
Father Hieronymos found great support in the named ‘the Thessalonian’s’, having been founded by a man
Relationship he developed with the Saints of our Holy called Panteleïmon, though now it’s dedicated to Saint
Church. Panteleïmon the Healer.
O N S P IR ITU AL P AIN
Spiritual Pain is often harsh and sharp. It is very difficult, Spiritual Pain - pain of the soul - is far more intense and
indeed. And this is not a reference to the Spiritual Pain harmful than any physical pain.
we might experience through all sorts of unpleasant Spiritual Pain is something that we cannot heal ourselves
things that can happen to us. nor can any Spiritual Pain be ignored but should be
Spiritual Pain is the poison we feel flowing inside us attended to as soon as possible.
because of unrepented sin, and because of our Through Repentance and Prayers, and by the Grace of
passions and weaknesses. God, we are able to overcome it - but certainly not in
We all want to be Saved, Freed and Cleansed as soon as the sense that we can walk away from our Spiritual
possible. Pain because no matter where we go, it will continue
Yet - although we beg God for Deliverance - our passions to plague us to the degree that our Lord God allows,
remain deeply rooted, torturing and crushing us! for only He knows the cause and the reason for our
And even when we are still hurting, due to our passions, it suffering.
is not Spiritually Beneficial to our soul to be Archimandrite Symeon Kragiopoulos
immediately Delivered from them, because - by
falling into the sin of pride - we might boast about it - HOLY HESYCHASTERION “THE NATIVITY OF THEOTOKOS” PUBLICATIONS.
as it happened to Adam and Eve! HTTPS://WWW.ORTHODOXPATH.ORG
If we do not go through the necessary trials that humble
us, and which sorely prick our soul - bringing us into a ST JOSEPH THE HESYCHAST OF MOUNT ATHOS
state of Contrition and Humility - we are not Knowledge, sensation, understanding, contemplation, insight
appropriately prepared to receive the Grace of God and every movement of the intellect, everything in all things,
and, consequently, will not Benefit from being should be directed towards God.
Delivered.
Our Lord is always present. He watches over us and He
understands us better than we understand ourselves.
He understands us perfectly when we go through our
personal trials and sufferings

16. 8TH PASCHAL SUNDAY – HOLY PENTECOST – DESCENT OF GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT – 16 JUNE 2019
Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa
Archdiocese of Good Hope
All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and
forever, and unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most
Blessed and Glorious Lady, Maria, Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together with all the Saints. And let
us commit ourselves and one another and our whole Life to Christ our God. Amen.
17 J U N E 2 0 1 9
MONDAY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Also the Feast of St Isaurios the Deacon, St Vasilios & St Innocent - St Manuel, St Sabel & St
Ismail of Persia – St Nectan of Hartland, Wales – St Shalva of Akhaltsikhe, Georgia
THE SUNDAY AND FESTAL HYMNS ARE PUBLISHED IN BOOKLET FORM EACH MONTH.

THESE ARE PUBLISHED AND FREELY DOWNLOADABLE FROM www.scribd.com/writers4574.


LINKS ARE ALSO POSTED ON FACEBOOK “ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN EASTERN CAPE.” (OR
CAN BE EMAILED DIRECTLY, ON REQUEST TO marguerite.paizis@gmail.com)
P ENTE COSTAL P ROKE IMENON – P SALM 27/28 – TO NE (8) P L AGAL 4
Save, O Lord, Thy People, and Bless Thine Inheritance...
To Thee, O Lord, I cry: O my God, may Thou never pass over me in silence...

T H E E PISTLE OF S T P AUL TO TH E EP HE SIANS 5: 8 – 19


Brethren, walk as Children of Light. For the Fruit of Light is found in all that is Good , and Right, and True. Learn what
is Pleasing to our Lord. And take no part in the unfruitful deeds of Darkness - instead expose them. For it is a
shame even to speak of the things that they do in secret.
When anything is exposed by the Light it becomes visible - for anything that becomes visible is Light. Wherefore, it is
said: “Awaken, O Sleeper, and Arise from the dead, and Christ shall grant you Light.”
Watch carefully how you walk – not unwisely, but with Wisdom - making the most of the time, for the days are evil.
Do not be foolish, but understand what the Will of our Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery;
but be filled with the Holy Spirit, addressing one another in Psalms and Hymns, and Spiritual Odes, singing and
making melody to the Lord with all your heart.
✶ THIS PASSAGE IS READ ON MONDAY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT – the  HOLY BAPTISM IS OUR ILLUMINATION and OUR ADOPTION AS
Afterfeast or Day After Holy Pentecost Sunday. CHILDREN OF GOD/LIGHT.
✶ “...walk as Children of Light...” Through our Holy  To “... walk in the Light...” therefore, means WE MUST
Baptism, WE ARE THE ADOPTED CHILDREN OF GOD, THE ALWAYS KEEP IN MIND OUR HOLY BAPTISM.
DIVINE LIGHT.  We should LEARN AND UNDERSTAND EVERYTHING ABOUT THE
 Therefore, we must LIVE IN CHRIST AS CHILDREN OF THAT HOLY MYSTERY OF BAPTISM so that we can Live each
DIVINE LIGHT AND TRUTH. moment of the day accordingly.
 We must JUDGE EVERYTHING that the (fallen) world ✶ “...Watch carefully how you walk...” Our Purpose and
accepts as being ‘reasonable’ ONLY BY COMPARING IT Goal is not to abandon this material world, but to
AGAINST THE PERFECT, DIVINE TRUTH OF ALMIGHTY GOD. KEEP/MAINTAIN OURSELVES IN CHRIST AND TO SALVAGE AS
✶ “...Learn what is Pleasing to our Lord ...” For that MUCH AS POSSIBLE FROM OUR CIRCUMSTANCES in this fallen
essential reason, we must LEARN AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE world.
CONCERNING OUR LORD’S DIVINE TRUTH .  As Faithful Disciples of Christ, WE RENOUNCE THE
✶ “... the Fruit of Light is found in all that is Good...” SINFULNESS AND THE FALLEN STATE OF THIS WORLD.
Anything that is truly “...Good... Right... and True...”  WE DO NOT RENOUNCE THE GREAT BEAUTY OF GOD’S
is the RESULT OR “FRUIT” OF GOD’S GRACE, LOVE, CREATION.
GOODNESS AND BENEVOLENCE, FOR EVERYTHING OF GOD IS  WE AVOID, REJECT AND RENOUNCE ALL SIN BUT NOT OUR
INDEED GOOD, RIGHT AND TRUE. FELLOW SINNERS WHO – LIKE US – NEED UNCONDITIONAL
✶ “...take no part in the unfruitful deeds...” KNOWLEDGE OF LOVE AND MERCY.
DIVINE TRUTH WILL HELP US TO AVOID BEING MISGUIDED OR  IT IS FORBIDDEN TO JUDGE OUR FELLOW SINNERS, FOR WE
DECEIVED by mankind’s weak, flawed and THEREBY CONDEMN OURSELVES!!
erroneous opinions. ✶ “...be filled with the Holy Spirit...” WHEN WE SINCERELY
 Only our Spiritual Fathers and Teachers can guide us REPENT OUR OWN SINS, WE WILL EXPERIENCE A SURGE OF LIFE
correctly so that we can either rectify our mistakes AND JOY.
through Repentance-Confession or avoid falling  A DISTINCTIVE SPIRIT – A KIND OF ELATION – ENERGIZES BOTH
into sin. THE DARKNESS AND THE LIGHT.
 This is our Oral Tradition, much of which is not  FOR THOSE WHO ARE IN SPIRITUAL DARKNESS, this good spirit
recorded in Holy Scripture – Written Tradition - but is like being inebriated, for IT IS ARTIFICIAL AND
was taught directly by the Eternal Son of God to His TEMPORARY.
Faithful Apostles and Disciples.  HOWEVER, FOR FAITHFUL CHRISTIANS, IT IS AN ENCOUNTER
 These Divine Revelations and Teachings of Christ WITH GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT - AND THE JOY IS THE NEW
have been very carefully preserved and passed COVENANT WORSHIP OF OUR TRIUNE GOD – the Holy
down to each generation of Orthodox Christians. Trinity of God the Father, God the Son and God the
✶ “...expose them...” Besides separating ourselves from Holy Spirit – by means of the Holy Eucharist (our
the Spiritual Darkness and Death of ignorance Thanksgiving) which we offer to our Lord God.
and sin, we must expose it TO THE DIVINE LIGHT OF  Those who become inebriated with wine or alcohol
GOD’S TRUTH. will totter and sway while THOSE WHO ARE INEBRIATED
 First and foremost, WE MUST REPENT AND CONFESS OUR OWN WITH GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT, ARE FIRMLY ROOTED IN OUR
SINS, WHICH IS A CEASELESS SACRED TASK. LORD AND SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST AND ARE GLORIOUSLY
 ONCE WE HAVE GAINED ENOUGH SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE BY SOBER!
STRIVING TO LIVE IN CHRIST, WE CAN ENCOURAGE AND ✶ “...making melody to the Lord with all your heart...”
HELP OUR FELLOW BRETHREN in their daily Struggles. Quoting Holy Scripture, chapter and verse, and
 REPENTANCE-CONFESSION IS ESSENTIAL BEFORE PARTAKING OF singing Hymns are meaningless if we do not
ANY OF THE HOLY MYSTERIES. possess True Humility, Obedience, and the Fear of
✶ “..Awaken, O Sleeper...” is an early Baptismal Hymn. God.
 BEFORE OUR SPIRITUAL AWAKENING AND HOLY BAPTISM, WE
ARE SPIRITUALLY ASLEEP, SLUMBERING OR DEAD.

AFTERFEAST – PENTECOST – HOLY SPIRIT MONDAY – 17 JUNE 2019 17


T H E H OLY G OSPEL ACCO R D ING TO S T M ATTHE W 18 : 10 – 20
At that time, our Lord Jesus Christ said: “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in
Heaven their Angels always behold the Presence of My Father Who is in Heaven. For the Son of Man came to
Save the Lost. What do you think? If a Man has a hundred Sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not
leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go in search of the one that went astray? And if He finds it, Truly, I say to
you: He Rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray! So it is not the Will of your Father
Who is in Heaven that one of these little ones should perish!
If your Brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault – between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you
have gained your Brother. If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every word may be
confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the Church. If he
refuses to listen even to the Church, let him be to you as a Gentile and Tax Collector.
Truly, I say to you: whatever you bind on Earth shall be bound in Heaven, and whatever you loosen on Earth shall
be loosened in Heaven. Again, Truly I say to you - if two of you agree on Earth about anything they ask, it will
be done for them by My Father in Heaven. For where there are two or three gathered together in My Name, there
Am I in the midst of them.”
✶ “...do not despise one of these little ones...” WE ARE SUCCESSION, PASSED ON TO THE PROPERLY ORDAINED
SEVERELY WARNED NEVER TO HURT NOR HARM ANY OF OUR ORTHODOX BISHOPS AND PRIESTS throughout the
LORD GOD’S “LITTLE ONES.” centuries.
 Besides infants and little children, God’s Beloved Little  THAT DIVINE AUTHORITY IS thus granted to the Ordained
Ones includes ALL TYPES OF PEOPLE WHO POSSESS Bishops and Priests FOR THE SAKE OF THE SALVATION OF
INNOCENT, SIMPLE AND CHILDLIKE QUALITIES OF HUMILITY, ALL US SINNERS WHO MUST REPENT-CONFESS OUR SINS in
HONESTY, SINCERITY AND TRUST. order to make good Spiritual Progress.
 These little ones are THOSE WHO ARE BLESSED FOR BEING  According to St John Chrysostom, the sinner “... seeing
“...POOR IN SPIRIT...” and thus VERY DEAR TO ALMIGHTY that he/she is not only cast out of the Church, but
GOD WHOSE HEAVENLY ANGELS KEEP A CLOSE WATCH that the bond of his/her sin will remain in
OVER THEM. Heaven, he/she may turn and become gentle.”
✶ “...go in search of the one that went astray...” Unlike  In other words, when we realise the significance of
human Shepherds, our Lord Jesus Christ, as our only being exiled from God and His Goodness, we will
Good Shepherd, values each of His Holy Flock so MORE READILY REPENT-CONFESS OUR SINS AND THUS BE
much that He leaves His other reason-endowed Sheep RESTORED TO THE SACRED FOLD OF GOD’S HOLY CHURCH.
in order to seek and Save even one of us who has  WHENEVER WE REPENT-CONFESS OUR SINS, WE ARE RESTORED
drifted off or gone astray from the safety of His Holy TO SPIRITUAL LIFE ONCE MORE,
Sheepfold – His Holy Church.  WE MUST TRY TO REMAIN IN THIS GOOD SPIRITUAL CONDITION,
✶ “... the ninety-nine...” Sheep represent GOD’S RIGHTEOUS FOR WE NEVER KNOW WHEN OUR CURRENT LIFESPAN WILL
PEOPLE WHO REMAIN STEADFASTLY FAITHFUL TO OUR LORD END.
GOD.  IF WE REPOSE IN A STATE OF SPIRITUAL DEATH, WE CANNOT
 According to certain Holy Fathers, THIS IS ALSO A CORRECT OUR SPIRITUAL CONDITION and will thus have
REFERENCE TO OR IMAGE OF THE INCARNATION, WHEREBY CONDEMNED AND ALIENATED OURSELVES FOREVER!
THE NINETY-NINE REPRESENT THE FAITHFUL ANGELIC ✶ “...where there are two or three gathered together in
HOSTS OF HEAVEN. My Name...” OUR LORD GOD IS ALWAYS WITH US, AS HE
 OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST VOLUNTARILY DESCENDED FROM HIS PROMISED.
HEAVENLY REALM TO PURSUE HIS ONE LOST SHEEP –  OUR LIFE-LONG JOURNEY TOWARDS ETERNITY IS DEFINITELY
MANKIND – who had fallen into corruption on Earth. NOT A SOLO EFFORT.
✶ “... If your Brother sins against you...” CHURCH  WE CANNOT MAKE MUCH SPIRITUAL PROGRESS ON OUR OWN –
DISCIPLINE IS BASED ON MUTUAL CORRECTION IN THREE without the Holy Church of Christ, without any
EXPANDING STAGES. Spiritual Guidance, Enlightenment or Discipline,
 SIN AND CORRECTION ARE TO REMAIN PRIVATE, unless the nor without our fellow sinners who are Struggling
offender refuses to Repent. as much or even more than we are!
 ALL CORRECTION IS TO BE DONE WITH GREAT CARE, KINDNESS,  THE VERY PRESENCE OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST IS CLEARLY
RESPECT, HUMILITY AND OBEDIENCE, with the highest EVIDENT when we are trying to fulfil our Labours of
concerning being the Eternal Salvation of the Love for God and for our fellow mankind.
offender. (Refer to 1 Corinthians 5:5 & Galatians  BY THE POWER AND ENERGY OF GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT, WE ARE
6:1) ABLE TO ACHIEVE GREAT SPIRITUAL FEATS for the Glory,
 SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINE, REPENTANCE-CONFESSION AND THE Honour and Power of Almighty God.
CORRECTION OF OUR ERRORS IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY SO  EVERYTHING WE TRY TO ACCOMPLISH SHOULD BE DONE WITH
THAT OUR SINS AND ERRORS – ESPECIALLY ANY BLASPHEMY PRAYER AND THANKSGIVING – FOR THE GLORY, HONOUR
OR HERESY – DOES NOT SPREAD TO OTHERS AS WELL. AND WORSHIP OF OUR LORD GOD - because only then
✶ “... whatever you bind on Earth shall be bound in will we fulfil the Divine Will of our Heavenly Father,
Heaven...” THE DIVINE AUTHORITY TO BIND OR LOOSEN through His Only Begotten Son, by the Grace of His
SINS WAS GRANTED BY OUR LORD GOD TO HIS APOSTLES Holy Spirit.
AND SUBSEQUENTLY, THROUGH THE APOSTOLIC
F R EE DOM F R OM S U FFE R ING
Our Holy Father, Elder Emilianos of Simonopetra WHEN WE ARE FOCUSED ON OUR DIFFICULTIES AND SUFFERING WE
Monastery, Mount Athos taught us that “...The moment BECOME VERY SELF-CENTRED AND DISTANCED FROM GOD. We
we accept death, True Life can begin.” become our own ‘god’ and there is no room for
In Father Emilianos believed that there is only one way to anyone else! “...If ‘l’ (ego) exist God cannot exist, for
be freed of this Struggle - not by rejecting these there cannot be two gods, and so it is either God or
sufferings or difficulties but BY JOYFULLY ACCEPTING THEM. the self. When we see only our own suffering, God
“...The secret to our freedom does not lie in the rejection cannot respond to us, for it is precisely the mistaken,
of our suffering, but in our joyful acceptance of negative attitude toward suffering that constitutes
them. the separation between us and God. But if ‘’I’ cease
“We will be truly free only when we let go of wanting to to exist, if our relation to our suffering changes, then
be free of our sufferings, for all True Freedom and we can be United to God. This Union depends on the
Life depends on our being in a right Relationship denial of ourselves, so that God can come into our
with the Lord our God. life.”
“When we accept our inevitable death - when we allow THIS FREEDOM COMES ONLY THROUGH A TRANSFORMATION THAT
ourselves to hear the sound of our footsteps RESULTS FROM OUR GROWING LOVE OF GOD AND OUR
descending into the grave, we will find that death WILLINGNESS TO CONFRONT OUR MANY SELF-CENTRED
no longer has a hold on us, for now we are with God. PASSIONS.
“The Darkness will vanish and we will see only Light.” BY ACCEPTING OR REJECTING OUR SUFFERING, WE ARE ACCEPTING
This freedom from - or fear of - suffering and death OR REJECTING GOD HIMSELF. “... we must learn to accept
requires us to MAKE A VOLUNTARILY SACRIFICE OF OURSELVES suffering with joy... realize that even in moments of
TO GOD, just as our Lord Jesus Christ voluntarily glory, we are nothing but “...dust and
sacrificed Himself on the Cross: “... if we willingly ashes...” (GENESIS18:27)
become an instrument of God’s Will, we will emerge
triumphant; but otherwise we will fail.” http://orthodoxwayoflife.blogspot.com

18 AFTERFEAST – PENTECOST – HOLY SPIRIT MONDAY – 17 JUNE 2019


Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa
Archdiocese of Good Hope
All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and
forever, and unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most
Blessed and Glorious Lady, Maria, Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together with all the Saints.
And let us commit ourselves and one another and our whole Life to Christ our God. Amen.
TONE (8) PLAGAL 4 23 JUNE 2019

1ST SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – ALL SAINTS SUNDAY


Also the Feast of St Agrippina – St Aristokleos, St Demetrian & St Athanasios – St
Artemios – St Herman
THE APOSTLES’ FAST BEGINS FROM TOMORROW
AND CONTINUES UNTIL 29 JUNE, THE FEAST OF ST PETER & ST PAUL

THE SUNDAY AND FESTAL HYMNS ARE PUBLISHED IN BOOKLET FORM EACH MONTH.
THESE ARE PUBLISHED AND FREELY DOWNLOADABLE ON
www.scribd.com/writers4574. LINKS ARE ALSO POSTED ON FACEBOOK
“ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN EASTERN CAPE.” (OR CAN BE EMAILED DIRECTLY, ON
REQUEST TO marguerite.paizis@gmail.com)
R ESUR REC TION G OSPEL 1 M ATTH EW 28 : 18 – 20

P R OKE IME NON – P SALM 67/68 – T ONE (8) P L AGAL 4

God is Wondrous in His Saints.


Bless God in His Churches, the Lord from the Fountains of Israel.
T H E E PISTLE OF S T P AUL TO TH E H EBRE WS 11:33 - 12:2
THE FAITH OF CERTAIN ISRAELITES & THE PERFECTION OF FAITH
Brethren: all the Saints, through Faith - subdued Kingdoms, worked Righteousness, obtained Promises, stopped the
mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword. Out of weakness (they) were made
strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead Raised to life
again. Others were tortured - not accepting Deliverance, so that they might obtain a better Resurrection. Others
had trials of mockings and scourgings, of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two,
tempted, slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted,
tormented – of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountain, in dens and caves of the
Earth.
And all of these Witnesses - through Faith having obtained a Good Testimony – did not receive the Promise - God
having provided something better for us so that they should not be made Perfect apart from us.
Therefore we also - since we are surrounded by so great a Cloud of Witnesses - let us lay aside every weight, and the
sin that so easily ensnares us - and let us run with Endurance the Race that is set before us, looking unto the Author
and Finisher of our Faith, Jesus.
✶ “... subdued Kingdoms, worked Righteousness, Prophets had foreseen, was definitely
obtained Promises...” St Paul reminds us of THE accomplished by our Lord and Saviour Jesus
INCREDIBLE STRENGTH OF FAITH OF THE OLD COVENANT Christ, and WE CAN REST ASSURED THAT EVERYTHING
SAINTS AND HOLY MARTYRS. ACCORDING TO OUR NEW COVENANT WITH GOD WILL ALSO
 He mentioned so many of THEIR GREAT SPIRITUAL FEATS BE FULFILLED!
AND HEROIC ACCOMPLISHMENTS THAT WERE ONLY POSSIBLE  THIS WAS CONFIRMED BY OUR RESURRECTED LORD JESUS
DUE TO THEIR UNWAVERING TRUST, CONFIDENCE AND FAITH CHRIST WHO FOR 40 DAYS AFTER HIS RESURRECTION
IN ALMIGHTY GOD Who makes everything that is APPEARED TO HIS FAITHFUL DISCIPLES AND APOSTLES
impossible for us, quite possible. before His physical, visible Ascension into Heaven.
 NO MATTER WHAT THESE ANCIENT SAINTS AND HOLY MARTYRS  SO WITHOUT ANY DOUBT, WE CAN AND WE DO BELIEVE EVERY
WERE FORCED TO ENDURE, THEY REMAINED STEADFAST IN WORD SPOKEN BY OUR SAVIOUR CONCERNING THIS SHORT
THEIR FAITH IN THE ONE, TRUE, LIVING AND ALMIGHTY LIFESPAN AND ETERNITY.
GOD. AS ORTHODOX CHRISTIANS, WE ARE MOST BLESSED TO HAVE not
✶ “...sawn in two...” is a reference to ST ISAIAH, the great only THE WRITTEN HOLY TRADITION (Teachings and
Holy Prophet of God, WAS MARTYRED IN THIS MANNER BY Commandments) (i.e. the Books of the New Testament
MANASSEH. that were written by the Holy Apostles of Christ after
 NOTHING COULD SWAY THEM OR MAKE THEM RENOUNCE THEIR His Holy Church was established) but also all the
FAITH, FOR THEY KNEW THAT GOD WOULD NEVER FAIL carefully AND CORRECTLY PRESERVED VERBAL HOLY
THEM! TRADITION (Teachings) passed down to us by our Lord’s
 They knew that everything God has Promised us will Holy Apostles and their successors, our Bishops and
most certainly be fulfilled. Presbyters.
✶ BY OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST’S ULTIMATELY SUPERIOR BLOOD ✶ “...of whom the world was not worthy ...” THE SAINTS AND
SACRIFICE, HE EFFECTED EVERYTHING THAT THE BLOOD HOLY MARTYRS OF THE OLD COVENANT were despised by
SACRIFICES OF THE OLD COVENANT COULD NOT DO. the ungodly people but WERE CERTAINLY WORTHY,
 HIS BLOOD SACRIFICE FOR ALL MANKIND’S SINS FOREVER, HONOURABLE CITIZENS OF GOD’S HEAVENLY KINGDOM.
INCLUDED THOSE ANCIENT SAINTS AND HOLY MARTYRS so  THE INCARNATION OF THE ETERNAL, ONLY BEGOTTEN WORD
that THEY, TOO, COULD ENTER INTO THE DIVINE PRESENCE AND SON OF GOD THE FATHER, AND EVERYTHING THAT HE
OF GOD AS THEY HAD BEEN PROMISED by our Lord God. ACCOMPLISHED FOR US while He lived with us in the
 During Christ’s Harrowing of Hades, ALL THESE GOOD Flesh, ALSO REDEEMED THE OLD COVENANT SAINTS AND
SOULS WERE SET FREE AND ENTERED INTO PARADISE to MARTYRS WHO, due to their immensely strong Faith,
await the General Resurrection with the rest of PARTICIPATE TOGETHER WITH US in His Glorious
mankind. Resurrection and His Heavenly Kingdom – Eternal
 WE ARE EVEN MORE CERTAIN OF GOD’S DIVINE PROMISES AND Life.
TRUTH for everything that the Old Covenant Holy

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✶ “...seek first the Kingdom of God...” ST PAUL’S EPISTLE TO that are essential to our Spiritual Welfare and
THE HEBREWS, beginning with Chapter 10:19, and progress.
continuing until Chapter 12:29, IS A PROGRESSIVE ✶ “...we are surrounded by so great a Cloud of
EXHORTATION TO ALL FAITHFUL DISCIPLES OF CHRIST Witnesses...” is a reference to ALL THOSE WHO HAVE
THROUGHOUT THE AGES, IMPLORING US NOT TO BE MISGUIDED GONE BEFORE US, HAVING EXPERIENCED THE DIVINE TRUTH
NOR TO MISLEAD OTHERS.. AND REALITY OF GOD AND WHO NOW REST IN PEACE IN
 OUR ENTIRE PURPOSE IN THIS LIFESPAN IS TO PREPARE PARADISE UNTIL THE EIGHTH DAY – the General
OURSELVES TO BECOME WORTHY, RIGHTEOUS CITIZENS OF Resurrection and the Final Judgement.
GOD’S HEAVENLY KINGDOM OF LOVE!! ✶“...run with Endurance the Race that is set before us...”
 OUR NEW COVENANT WITH GOD ENLIGHTENS US WITH HIS means that we ought to BE EAGER AND WILLING TO
DIVINE TRUTH whereby WE ARE ABLE TO ASCEND TO HIS FULFIL ALL OUR SACRED TASKS, NO MATTER WHAT OUR
ETERNAL KINGDOM IN OUR PROPER WORSHIP, PRAYERS AND CIRCUMSTANCES MAY BE.
LIFE IN CHRIST. ✶“...looking unto the Author and Finisher of our Faith,
 WE ARE ABLE TO EXPERIENCE A FORETASTE OF THIS HEAVENLY Jesus,” our Lord and Saviour – FOCUSSING OUR
DIMENSION in the Divine Liturgy and the other Holy ATTENTION WITH DETERMINATION ON CHRIST BY STRIVING
Services, as well as by means of the Holy Mysteries TO FULFIL EVERYTHING HE HAS TAUGHT US TO DO
.
T H E H OLY G OSPEL ACCO R D ING TO S T M ATTHE W 10: 32 – 33; 37 – 38 & 19 : 27 – 30
At that time, our Lord Jesus said to His Disciples: “... Whoever Confesses Me before men, him will I also Confess before
My Father Who is in Heaven... Whoever denies Me before men, him will I also deny before My Father Who is in
Heaven... He who loves Father or Mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter
more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his Cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me...”
Peter said to Him: “Behold: we have left all and followed Thee. Therefore what shall we have?” Jesus said to them:
“Truly, I say to you, that in the Regeneration - when the Son of Man sits on the Throne of His Glory - you who have
followed Me will also sit on Twelve Thrones, judging the Twelve Tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left
houses, or Brothers or Sisters, or Father or Mother, or Wife or Children, or lands, for My Name’s sake, shall receive
a hundredfold, and inherit Eternal Life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first...”
✶: “... Whoever Confesses ... Whoever denies Me before TEACHINGS AND COMMANDMENTS TO THE VERY BEST OF
men...” obviously, our All Knowing God OUR ABILITY – NO MATTER WHAT THE
immediately knows every word, thought and CIRCUMSTANCES!!
deed! ✶ “...will also sit on Twelve Thrones...” Concerning
 WE WILL EITHER RECEIVE HIS BLESSINGS FOR OUR FAITH IN HIM Divine Judgement, ST AMBROSE OF MILAN explained:
OR HIS CONDEMNATION, WHICH HAS ETERNAL “...Christ Judges by Discerning our heart and
CONSEQUENCES. soul, and not by examining our deeds. So, also,
 OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST STATES HIS DIVINE TRUTH AND the Apostles were being shaped to exercise
REVELATIONS VERY PLAINLY AND SPECIFICALLY. Spiritual Judgement concerning Faith, and in
Therefore, WE HAVE NO EXCUSE WHEN WE DISOBEY OR rebuking error with Virtue...”
REJECT HIS TRUTH.  THE APOSTLES WILL THUS JUDGE, not with an earthly type
 He repeatedly cautions us that WHATEVER WE THINK, WE of judgement, but BY THE WITNESS OF THEIR OWN LIFE
SAY OR WE DO WILL HAVE ETERNAL CONSEQUENCES FOR US. IN CHRIST.
 WE SHOULD NEVER BE ASHAMED TO CONFESS OUR FAITH IN GOD  Since God’s Heavenly Kingdom began with the
EITHER VERBALLY OR THROUGH OUR ACTIONS SUCH AS Resurrection of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ,
MAKING THE SIGN OF THE CROSS OR FULFILLING OUR THE AUTHORITY OF JUDGEMENT HAS ALREADY BEEN
SACRED TASKS WITHOUT FEAR, SHAME NOR GRANTED TO HIS HOLY APOSTLES AND THEIR SUCCESSORS IN
EMBARRASSMENT. THE JOURNEY AND MISSION OF HIS EARTHLY CHURCH.
✶ Those “...who do not take [their Cross] and follow Me, This is the reason for the UNBROKEN Apostolic Succession
are not worthy of Me...” refers to THOSE WHO LOVE
of our Bishops and Presbyters being of utmost
ANYONE OR ANYTHING MORE THAT OUR LORD GOD OR WHO
CHOOSE TO FOLLOW THEIR OWN PATH, INDEPENDENT OF importance!
ALMIGHTY GOD. In the Eastern Orthodox Church the line of succession of
 In order to carry our “Cross,” as True Disciples of our Ordained Bishops can be traced all the way back to
Christ, WE OUGHT TO ALWAYS BE READY TO SACRIFICE our Lord’s Holy Apostles, and thus to Christ Himself.
ANYTHING IN ORDER TO FOLLOW OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
Without the unbroken Apostolic Succession, self-appointed
to His Heavenly Kingdom – even if, at times, when
clergy have no True, Divine Authority to perform any of
necessary, having to sacrifice our friendships or
relationships IF THEY IMPEDE OR DESTROY OUR SPIRITUAL our Lord Jesus Christ’s Holy Mysteries nor to forgive or
WELFARE AND PROGRESS. retain our sins on His behalf! mp
 THIS IS THE SPIRITUAL STRUGGLE BETWEEN OUR OLD, SINFUL ✶ “...And everyone who has left...” It is important to
STATE AND OUR RENEWAL IN CHRIST. understand that OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST CERTAINLY DOES
 THE CONTINUOUS PROCESS OF OUR SPIRITUAL GROWTH NOT COMMAND US TO DIVORCE OUR SPOUSES NOR TO ABANDON
REQUIRES OUR VOLUNTARY COMMITMENT TO LIVE IN CHRIST OUR CHILDREN FOR THE SAKE OF OUR FAITH!!
– A LIFE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS AND HOLINESS, for as His  St John Chrysostom explained that these words refer
adopted Children of Light, we can no longer live to KEEPING OUR FAITH WHEN WE ARE PERSECUTED AND WE
in the Darkness of sin. LOSE OUR BELOVED FAMILY AND FRIENDS.
 A CHANGE OF OUR LIFESTYLE IS POSSIBLE because of our  It also means that WE OUGHT TO ACCEPT THE PAIN AND
Holy Baptism when we “...put on Christ...” SORROW CAUSED BY UNBELIEVING, HERETICAL OR PAGAN
 Having abandoned our old, wicked nature, we have FAMILY AND FRIENDS WHO MAY CUT THEIR TIES WITH US DUE
been granted a Renewed Nature – we have been TO OUR FAITH.
Regenerated and Illumined with Divine Truth and ✶ “...shall receive a hundredfold ...” Our Lord Jesus
Love. Christ assured His Apostles - and us - that
 Consequently, it is necessary to learn everything we EVERYTHING WE SACRIFICE FOR HIS SAKE WILL BE RETURNED
can about our Lord’s Divine Truth and apply It to TO Us a hundred times more, and we will also “...
every aspect of our daily life, thereby growing inherit Eternal Life.”
closer and closer to our Saviour with each small  In other words, OUR FINAL REWARD FAR EXCEEDS ANYTHING
step. WE COULD POSSIBLY IMAGINE OR SACRIFICE IN THIS SHORT,
 Divine Grace makes us Righteous, for Righteousness is TEMPORARY EXISTENCE.
both a Divine Gift and our ultimate Goal – a  As Faithful Disciples of Christ, we gain Spiritual
present Reality and a Promise we strive to receive. Fathers and Mothers of the Holy Church as well
 If we profess ourselves as being “Christian” – i.e. as all our Brethren – Brothers and Sisters in
FAITHFUL DISCIPLES OF CHRIST – WE OUGHT TO LOVE GOD Christ, and the Divine Houses of Worship and
WITH ALL OUR BEING, by striving to FULFIL ALL HIS Holy Fellowship.

20 1 S AF P - 1 S MA – AL S S – 23 JU 2019
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✶ “...Many who are first will be last...” means that ALL  Consequently, according to the abiding Love of God,
SOULS WILL BE TREATED THE SAME, whether they were even THOSE WHO HAVE RECENTLY CONVERTED, WILL BE
Faithful forever or had only recently become Faithful. JUDGED ALONGSIDE AND EQUALLY TO THOSE WHO HAVE
BEEN DISCIPLES OF CHRIST FOR THEIR ENTIRE LIFESPAN.
F IR ST S U ND AY AF TE R P E NTEC OST – F IR ST S U NDAY OF S T M ATTHE W – AL L S AINTS S UND AY

✞ In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the world, such as the Miracle-working St John of
Kronstadt and the Righteous St Matrona, to whose
Holy Spirit...
Sanctified Relics thousands of Pilgrims flock every
Dearly Beloved Brethren in Christ, today - the First
day, standing in line for hours in the middle of
Sunday after Pentecost - we come to the end of a long
modern, sinful Moscow.
Journey - a long Liturgical Cycle lasting around 120
This is the Fruit of the Grace of the Holy Spirit, which
days - or one third of the year - which began with
descends on the Faithful - not by the will of mankind
“Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee” and ends
alone, but by the Will of God, our Heavenly Father,
with this “Sunday of All Saints.”
after the long Journey, after the Purification of
This is a Journey of Sanctification, for it is meant to
Humility, Fasting, Rejoicing, and Patience - after
Sanctify us and teach us about the True Meaning of
awaiting of the Coming of the Holy Spirit, Who (like the
our short, preparatory life on earth – which ought to
wind) “... blows where it wills!”
be Sanctified.
Looking upon all this Glorious Fruit in God’s Holy
On “Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee,” we
Vineyard, we turn within ourselves and – according to
contemplated the beginning of the Path to Holiness in
today’s Gospel Lesson, ponder the highly significant
Christ with the example of the profound Humility of
question: “How can I, being such a terrible sinner, in
the Repentant and Humble Publican.
some way remain in this Divine Garden, together
After asking our Lord to “...open unto us the Gates of
with our Ever Blessed, All Holy Lady, Theotokos, and
Repentance...” we proceeded to Fast and mourn over
all the Saints, and with everything that is perfectly
our sins throughout the Holy 40-Day Fast, finally
Beautiful and Pure in Heaven and on Earth?”
turning our attention to the Saving Passion of our Lord
Although the answer may seem to be very difficult for us
Jesus Christ, and - whether we were ready or not -
to fulfil, it is not impossible because our Lord Jesus
Purified completely or only a little - we Rejoiced in His
Christ clearly and concisely tells us that we ought to
Glorious Resurrection.
Confess Him and His Absolute, Divine Truth to our
After lingering a little on the Events surrounding the
fellow mankind.
Resurrection and the Paschal Days thereafter (the
This we can fulfil by our life-style, attitude and behaviour
Sundays of St Thomas and the Myrrh-Bearing
- by truly Living every moment IN Christ, by the way
Women), we eventually came to His Glorious
we dress, by the way we speak, by the way we treat
Ascension, where we are reminded that our Lord
others, and by our words, thoughts and deeds, by not
Jesus Christ Ascended into Heaven, only after
remaining silent regarding the Good News of the Life-
promising His Disciples the Coming of the Divine
giving Holy Cross and the Glorious Resurrection of
Comforter - the Most-Holy Spirit Who Empowers and
Christ, which are often stumbling blocks to many
thus Enables us to fulfil all Sacred Duties that are
people, but to those of us who strive to be Faithful
required of us.
Disciples of Christ, it is our Life and Hope of Eternal
Last Sunday – Holy Pentecost Sunday - we celebrated the
Salvation.
much-awaited Descent of God the Holy Spirit – the
Our Lord also cautioned us that if our close family and
Divine, Life-giving Spirit Who Sanctifies and Enlivens
their demands upon us are more important to us than
all things - all Creation – and, most of all, mankind
our Lord’s Divine Calling, we are not worthy of Him.
who is created in the Image and Likeness of our
He explained that our True Family is a Spiritual Family of
Triune Lord God.
Faithful Disciples of Christ, and if our earthly relatives
Today is “the Day of the Harvest” - the final day after all
and friends try to persuade us to deny Christ or
the Preparation - the Sowing, the Weeding, and
compromise our faithfulness to Him, we must firmly
Cultivation - which has gone before.
refuse to do so, by choosing our Lord’s
Today we enter the Garden of Divine Grace and behold
Commandments and Divine Truth over their
the Wondrous Fruit of this long Journey, the Fruit of the
demands, their ideas and their desires.
Life of the Holy Church of Christ - Enlightened and
Some might conclude that by renouncing the fallen
Enlivened by the Holy Spirit.
world, leaving family and friends who make our life
This Fruit (or Harvest) is the Assembly of all the Wondrous
difficult by persistently trying to force us to deny our
Saints, known and unknown, recognized and not yet
Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ or our Triune Lord God,
fully Glorified by the Holy Church on Earth - Apostles,
is the easier solution to fulfilling our True Life in Christ.
Martyrs and Confessors, Prophets, Hierarchs,
Every human being experiences different circumstances
Monastics, and Righteous Ones.
with regard to family, friends, acquaintances, and
Behold the Fruit of the Holy Spirit! Behold the Fruit of the
various other social commitments and responsibilities.
Salvific Life of the Church! Behold the Fruit of the
However, although we might be able to separate
Fasts, of the Feasts, of the Divine Revelation!
ourselves from anything that hates or rejects the
Behold the Fruit of the Full Immersion of the Apostles in
Divine Truth of our Saviour, none of us can run from
the Holy Spirit through Tongues of Fire, the Fruit of the
ourselves and our Providential lot in this life.
Martyrs who, while living on Earth, considered the
Thus our Lord Jesus Christ presented us with a final
Heavenly Kingdom their Homeland and eagerly
Qualification for True Discipleship - the Patient
awaited death in the flesh while hoping in the Life
bearing of our personal Cross, while faithfully
beyond the grave, the Fruit of the Holy Prophets of
accompanying Him along His Holy Path of
God such as St Moses, the ancient Patriarch, who
Righteousness.
spoke to God “...face to Face, as a man converses
Each person’s Cross is unique. It can be an intense
with a Friend...”, the Fruit of the Holy Hierarchs who
internal suffering, with despondency or depression, or
Illumined the entire world with their Flaming Prayers
difficult illness, or the heavy burden of labour,
and Divine Doctrine, who gave us the Divine Liturgies
commitments and responsibility.
and destroyed the machinations of the heretics!
Whatever our Cross consists of, if we take It up and bear
Behold the Fruit of the Holy Monastics who were also
It with Humility, Obedience and Patience in order to
Martyrs in their Bloodless Martyrdom, who returned
Live in Christ every moment of each day, the Divine
completely to the Garden of Eden and dwelt together
Grace of the Holy Spirit enables us and consistently
with nature in a Paradisical State, who were seen in
helps us - exactly as the Divine Comforter helped all
the Uncreated Light and who lived without normal
the Saints and Holy Martyrs to carry their Cross all the
physical nourishment, being sustained by Divine
way to the end, until they received their Final Reward.
Grace alone!
We claim to be Faithful Disciples of Christ, for when we
And, finally, behold the Fruit of the Righteous - those
look at His (empty) Life-giving Cross we know exactly
who, without receiving Monastic Tonsure, entered
to where the Path of Christ leads us – Eternal
fully into the Grace-filled State while living in the

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Resurrection - for where else, should we expect to end become worthy, through our Lord Jesus Christ,
up? worshipped together with His Heavenly Father and
We must follow Christ all the way to the Cross, to our the Most-Holy, Good and Life-giving Spirit, unto the
personal Cross, which we ought to valiantly carry, by Ages of ages.
the Divine Grace of the Holy Spirit - as have all the Amen.
Saints and Holy Martyrs.
Behind and beyond this Holy Cross, is a beautiful Garden, HERMITAGE OF THE HOLY CROSS - 6/8/2015
HTTP://ORTHOCHRISTIAN.COM/79863.HTML
a Divine Vineyard - nothing less than Paradise itself,
the Paradise of the Saints, for which may we all
T H E C R OSS AS A ME ANS OF S ANCTIFIC ATION AND TR ANSF ORM ATION OF THE W ORLD
Through the Cross, Christ Sanctified His Body - the link Attitude towards our fallen world, and becomes a
with the world. He rejected all temptations - to taste Hymn of Praise to God our Heavenly Father - an
the pleasures, to satisfy His needs unrestrained or to Offering to Him of all relationships in this world.
avoid pain and death. All mankind and all things are sacrificed and offered
If we, in the same way, ward off the temptations of sin through the Holy Cross. We make the Sign of the Cross
and patiently suffer the pain of death, Sanctity can and seek Strength, Patience and Endurance so as to
spread from His Body to the bodies of all mankind Purify our thoughts, word and deeds.
throughout the world. We yearn to become Spiritually Elevated through our
The Orthodox Church teaches us that, through the Cross, efforts, and thereby to Glorify God through all our
our Lord Jesus Christ restores our fallen world to actions and sufferings, even through our death - to
Paradise - the Paradise of Virtue for those of us who, live and to die for God, to demonstrate in every way
due to our Love for Him, accept His Cross, which is that we are will to sacrifice ourselves for the Love of
Christ’s Power whereby the world is Transformed. God.
For this Purpose, our Divine Saviour remains with us until Through the Power of the Life-giving, Precious Cross, the
the end of time, when, after the General Resurrection Church Sanctifies, Cleanses, Purifies and Protects the
and Final Judgement Paradise will reappear. Faithful and everything else.
Creation was turned into a battlefield due to mankind’s The Holy Cross enables us to Communicate with our Lord
insatiable greed and selfishness, yet it can be God and we offer everything in return, which God has
Restored to its Paradisiacal State through the Holy bestowed so abundantly upon us.
Cross. Church Services and Prayers begin and end with the Sign
For the Feast of the Elevation/Exaltation of the Precious of the Cross because It is a Declaration of our Faith,
Life-giving Cross on 14 September we sing: “...In for we state each time: “I worship Thee, O God, with all
Paradise of old, the wood stripped me bare, for by my mind, with all my heart, with all my Strength and
giving Its Fruit to eat, the enemy brought in Death. with all my soul!” (as our Divine Saviour taught us.)
But now the Wood of the Cross that vests us in the Furthermore, the very Power of Christ is passed down
Garment of Life has been set up in the midst of the through the Sign of the Cross, to the extent that, in
Earth and the whole of the world is filled with making it, we invoke our Triune Lord God, for it is the
boundless Joy!” Holy Trinity, working in Perfect Harmony and Unison,
Holy Paradise is thereby re-opened since the “...Flashing which actuates our Salvation and is the Source of
Sword....” which blocked entry into It due to human Divine Grace and Power that is active in the world -
greed and disobedience, is now unable to keep it Sanctifying and Transforming it.
closed. (GENESIS 3:24) The Power of the Holy Cross not only Purifies, Strengthens
Our Lord Jesus Christ re-opened and entered Paradise, and Protects the Faithful, but also our world, by
having borne the Wood of His Cross whereby He putting to flight the demons who cause evil,
conquers our grievous passions. disharmony and destruction, by tempting mankind
All those who choose to deny themselves, take up their through our weaknesses and passions.
Cross and follow Christ by imitating His Life, are also By making the Sign of the Cross throughout the day,
able to enter Paradise and rest in Peace while before we begin our different tasks, labours, meals,
awaiting the Final Judgement. journeys, etc, we ought to invoke the Holy Trinity as
There may also be an evolving Paradise on Earth - a our constant Support and Protection. As there is a
restitution of the original, created Paradise, which special connection between the Holy Spirit and the
may evolve through the Holy, Life-giving Cross that is Cross - the Purifying Divine Power and our efforts to
raised in the midst of the Earth, which we wretched, acquire Spiritual Purification - both are essential and
Struggling sinners ought to accept as the Rule of Life inseparable.
in Christ. The Cross is the Cleansing Force of the universe, so when
The Paradise for the immortal souls of the Faithful after we make the Sign with Faith and determination, we
death already exists due to their earthly life-style, invoke the Divine Presence of Christ and thus avoid
which follows the Spirit of the Holy Cross, while, sin and behave without selfish passions, in a spirit of
ultimately, the evolving Earthly Paradise will become mature restraint, Peace and Concord.
a Perfect, Eternal Paradise after the General “The Cross is a Weapon against the devil...” - all his
Resurrection of mankind. wicked deceptive temptations and machinations - the
However, without the necessary efforts towards making grievous passions that cause our alienation from God
our world - to some extent - an Earthly Paradise, it and from each other.
would never progress towards an Eternal Paradise, so The Cross reinforces within us the Spirit of Sacrifice and
for that very Purpose our Lord Jesus remains with us of Communion with God and each other. It tames our
until the end of the world as we know it. selfish desires, loosens our excessive attachment to the
There is on Earth, an approximation of the Eschatological material world, and brings lasting Peace among all
Paradise, as expressed in another Hymn: “O What a Nations.
Marvellous Wonder! The Most Holy Cross, the Life- According to St Maximos the Confessor, when we have
giving Tree, is lifted up on high today and shown to acquired True Spiritual Freedom from all passions, we
the world. All the ends of the Earth give Glory, all the will restore the proper meaning and purpose of our
demons take fright; how Great a Gift is bestowed on material/physical world and perceive the
us mortals!” (MATINS, LAUDS, STICHERON, ELEVATION OF THE CROSS). Transparency of God through them, for “...meaning is
The Role of the Holy Cross in the Sanctification and affected by passion; complex thinking consists of
Transformation of our world is apparent in all the passion and meaning. If we separate passion from
Hymns of our Orthodox Church, for just as the Body of meaning, sublime thinking is left...” (400 CHAPTERS ON
our Lord was Sanctified through the Cross, so is our LOVE).
own body, our relationship with the world and the This does not mean the destruction of the world, but
world itself Sanctified. rather the re-discovery of the Truth of its meanings,
We receive Sanctification through the Power of Christ, which have not been distorted by the passions - and
within which the Cross retains its Presence and is an of its Divine Transparency...
extension of His Understanding, Patient, Sinless PROTOPRESBYTER DIMITRI STANILOAE – HTTPS://PEMPTOUSIA.COM

22 1 S AF P - 1 S MA – AL S S – 23 JU 2019
S T S T
U ND AY TE R E NTEC OST OF T TTHE W L AINTS U ND AY NE
Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa
Archdiocese of Good Hope
All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and
forever, and unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most
Blessed and Glorious Lady, Maria, Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together with all the Saints. And let
us commit ourselves and one another and our whole Life to Christ our God. Amen.
24 JUNE 2019
NATIVITY OF ST JOHN THE BAPTIST & FORERUNNER
Also the Feast of St James & St John the Righteous Youths of Meniugi, Novgorod – St Orentios, St
Pharnakios, St Eros, St Firmos, St Firminos, St Kyriakos and St Longinos, Brothers, Roman
Soldiers & Holy Martyrs of Georgia – St Athanasios Parios, Theologian & Great Teacher of
Kostos, Paros – St Barlaam of Khutin
PLEASE NOTE: THE APOSTLES’ FAST BEGINS TODAY
AND CONTINUES UNTIL 29 JUNE, THE FEAST OF ST PETER & ST PAUL

THE SUNDAY AND FESTAL HYMNS ARE PUBLISHED IN BOOKLET FORM EACH MONTH. THESE ARE PUBLISHED AND FREELY

DOWNLOADABLE ON www.scribd.com/writers4574. LINKS ARE ALSO POSTED ON FACEBOOK “ORTHODOX


CHRISTIAN EASTERN CAPE.” (OR CAN BE EMAILED DIRECTLY, ON REQUEST TO marguerite.paizis@gmail.com)

P R OKE IME NON – P SALM 63 – T ONE (7) V ARYS /G R AVE

The Righteous shall be glad in the Lord.


Hear, O God, my voice
T H E E PISTLE OF S T P AUL TO R OMANS 13 : 11 – 14 : 4
BE SPIRITUALLY AWAKENED, ALERT & PREPARED - AND PUT ON THE ARMOUR OF LIGHT.
Brethren: ... do this - knowing the time – that now it is high time to awake out of sleep, for now our Salvation is nearer
than when we first believed. The night is far spent – the Day is at hand. Let us cast off the works of Darkness, and
let us put on the Armour of Light. As in the day, let us walk properly – not in revelry and drunkenness, not in
lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy, but put on the Lord Jesus Christ - and for the flesh, make no provision to
fulfil its lusts.
Receive those who are weak in Faith, but do not dispute over doubtful things. One believes that he may eat all things -
he who is weak, eats only vegetables. Let him who eats, not despise him who does not eat, and let him who does
not eat, not judge him who eats - God has received him.
Who are you to judge Another’s servant? To his own Master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for
God is able to make him stand.
✶ “...our Salvation is nearer...” EXPECTATION OF FUTURE  WE WEAR A CROSS AGAINST OUR HEART TO REMIND US AND
SALVATION THROUGH THE GLORIOUS COMING OF CHRIST OTHERS, OF OUR RISEN CHRIST WHOM WE ARE STRIVING TO
MOTIVATES US TO VIGILANCE AND PROPER CONDUCT. IMITATE, and that WE MUST TAKE UP OUR CROSS AND
✶ “...The night is far spent...” refers to THIS CURRENT SINFUL FOLLOW CHRIST EVERY MOMENT OF THE DAY.
LIFE THAT IS UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF EVIL POWERS.  We must STRUGGLE TO ACQUIRE AND TO FULFIL THE
✶ “...the Day is at hand ,,,” – WE ARE FAST APPROACHING THE CHRISTIAN IDEALS HE TAUGHT US.
EIGHTH DAY - the Glorious Reappearance of our Lord
Jesus Christ. ✶ We are forbidden to “...judge him ... “ whom”... God has
✶ "... put on the Armour of Light...” As the Adopted received...” IT IS FORBIDDEN TO JUDGE OTHERS BECAUSE
Children of Light/God WE MUST ARM OURSELVES WITH THE WE HAVE NO AUTHORITY nor right to do so, being
DIVINE TRUTH OF CHRIST’S TEACHINGS AND COMMANDMENTS wretched sinners ourselves.
that protect us against the wicked delusions, lies and  WE ARE ALL GOD’S SERVANTS WHOM ONLY GOD CAN JUDGE.
schemes of the evil one.  WE WILL BE JUDGED AND HELD ACCOUNTABLE like those we
 At our Holy Baptism we ‘...put on Christ...’ so now WE dare to criticise.
MUST CONTINUE TO LIVE IN CHRIST BY APPLYING ALL HIS  Instead we must CLOSELY EXAMINE OURSELVES AND CORRECT
DIVINE TRUTH TO OUR WORDS, THOUGHTS AND DEEDS. OUR OWN FLAWS.
✶ "... Receive those who are weak in Faith ...” - CHRISTIANS  THROUGH CONSTANT WATCHFULNESS AND CORRECTION OF OUR
OF IMMATURE CONSCIENCE AND WISDOM who may attach OWN ERRORS, WE WILL GROW SPIRITUALLY STRONGER AND
primary importance to secondary matters, such as LESS CRITICAL OF OTHERS.
foods and religious festivals.  ONLY GOD KNOWS THE HEARTS AND SOULS OF HIS CREATURES
AND HE WILL DECIDE WHO HAS ETERNAL LIFE OR ETERNAL
We must never pay more attention to the Rituals rather than DEATH.
our complete Orthodox Faith. Worship of God should be  The two examples of flexible areas in this reference
meaningful and heartfelt, performed with sincere Love, concern food restrictions and the observance of
Humility and Obedience, according to the Divine Truth and Liturgical Calendars, things that the Spiritually
Teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ. Weak might try to use to judge others or to divide
the Church.
We must avoid making empty gestures that are meaningless  In both cases, we are commanded to BE FLEXIBLE WITH
to our Spiritual Welfare. mp OTHERS JUST AS GOD HIMSELF IS WITH US!
✶ “...do not dispute over doubtful things...” IN ORTHODOX  DURING ANY PERIOD OF FASTING THROUGHOUT THE YEAR WE
CHRISTIANITY, THERE ARE CERTAIN THINGS THAT CANNOT BE SHOULD NOT ONLY FOCUS ON THE DETAILS OF OUR PHYSICAL
COMPROMISED BUT THERE ARE ALSO GREY AREAS. SELF-DENIAL BUT PARTICULARLY ON THE SPIRITUAL FAST
 GOD IS GRACIOUS AND ALLOWS DIVERSITY IN “DOUBTFUL CONCERNING OUR IMMORTAL SOUL – RESISTING ALL
THINGS” [personal opinions - not God’s Truth] – BUT TEMPTATIONS OF SIN.
NOT MATTERS INVOLVING CHRISTIAN DOGMA.
T H E H OLY G OSPEL ACCO R D ING TO S T LU KE 1 : 1 – 25; 57 – 68; 76; 80
PROPHECY, CONCEPTION & NATIVITY OF ST JOHN THE BAPTIST
Inasmuch as many have taken in hand to set in order a narrative of those things that have been fulfilled among us -
just as those who, from the beginning, were eyewitnesses and ministers of the Word, delivered them to us - it
seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write to you an

N ATIVITY OF S T J OH N BA P TIST – 24 JU NE 23.


orderly account, most excellent Theophilos, so that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were
instructed.
There was - in the days of Herod, the King of Judea - a certain Priest named ‘Zacharias,’ of the Division of Abijah. And
his wife was one of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was ‘Elizabeth.’ They were both Righteous before God,
walking in all the Commandments and Ordinances of the Lord blameless. And they had no child, because
Elizabeth was barren, and they were both well advanced in years.
While he was serving as Priest before God in the Order of his Division, according to the custom of the Priesthood, his lot
fell to burn incense when he went into the Temple of the Lord. And a whole multitude of the people was praying
outside at the Hour of Incense.
An Angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right side of the Altar of Incense. And when Zacharias saw him,
he was troubled, and Fear fell upon him.
The Angel said to him: “Fear not, Zacharias! Thy Prayer is heard, and Thy wife, Elizabeth, will bear Thee a son, and
Thou shalt call his name ‘John.’ And Thou will have Joy an Gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. He will be
Great in the Sight of the Lord. And shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. And he will be filled with the Holy
Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. And he will turn many of the Sons of Israel to the Lord their God. And he will
go before Him in the Spirit and Power of Elijah, ‘...to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children...’ and the
disobedient to the Wisdom of the Just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
And Zacharias said to the Angel: “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years.”
And the Angel answered and said to him: “I am Gabriel who stands in the Presence of God. And was sent to speak to
Thee and bring Thee these Glad Tidings. And behold! Thou will be mute and not able to speak until the day these
things take place. Because Thou did not believe my words they will be fulfilled in their own time.”
And the people waited for Zacharias. And they marvelled that he lingered so long in the Temple.
When he came out, he could not speak to them. And they perceived that he had seen a Vision in the Temple. And he
beckoned to them, and remained speechless.
So it was, as soon as the days of his service were completed, that he departed to his own house.
At that time, Elizabeth, the wife of Zaharias conceived.
And she hid herself for five months, saying: “Thus has the Lord dealt with me, in the days when He looked on me, to
take away my reproach among people.”
...Now Elizabeth’s full time came for her to be delivered. And she brought forth a son.
And when her neighbours and relatives heard how the Lord had shown Great Mercy to her, they rejoiced with her.
And on the Eighth Day, they went to circumcise the child, and they would have named him by the name of his father,
Zacharias. And His mother said: “No! For he shall be called ‘John.’” And they said to her: “There is no one among
your relatives who is called by this name.” They made signs to his father – what he would have him called. And he
asked for a writing tablet, and wrote, saying: “’John’ is his name.” And they all marvelled.
Immediately his mouth was opened, and his tongue loosened, and he spoke, praising God.
And Fear came on all who dwelt around them. And all these sayings were discussed throughout all the hill country of
Judea. And all those who heard them, kept them in their hearts, saying: “What kind of child will this be?”
And the Hand of the Lord was with him.
...And Zacharias, his father, was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying: “Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, for
He has Visited and Redeemed His People... And Thou, child, will be called ‘the Prophet of the Highest.’ Thou will go
before the Face of the Lord to prepare His Ways...”
...The child grew and became strong in spirit, and was in the desert until the day of his Manifestation to Israel.
✶ ALTHOUGH ST LUKE HIMSELF WAS NOT ONE OF THE ORIGINAL ✶ “...An Angel of the Lord appeared ...” ST GABRIEL, THE
DISCIPLES OF OUR LORD JESUS, HIS HOLY GOSPEL IS ANCHORED ARCHANGEL OF GOD, WAS SENT TO ANNOUNCE THE BIRTH of
ON THE TRUE TESTIMONY OF THESE ORIGINAL WITNESSES, their son who would always be remembered as “St
(especially that of our Lady Theotokos to whom he was John the Baptist and Forerunner to Christ our Lord.”
utterly devoted, as were all the Faithful Disciples of ✶ “...Thou shalt call his name ‘John.’ The name “John”
means “...the Grace of God.”)
Christ. mp) ✶ “...He will be Great in the Sight of the Lord...” ARCHANGEL
✶ ST LUKE ADDRESSED HIS HOLY GOSPEL TO “THEOPHILOS” GABRIEL’S DESCRIPTION OF THE CHARACTER AND ROLE OF ST
 who was EITHER A PROMINENT GENTILE, who had JOHN THE BAPTIST IS AS AN ASCETIC PROPHET OF GOD WHO
received Christian Instruction WOULD PREPARE THE HEBREW NATION FOR THE LONG-AWAITED
 OR, AS THE NAME IMPLIES, ANY “FRIEND OF GOD.” COMING OF THE MESSIAH.
 ST LUKE’S HOLY GOSPEL IS WRITTEN AS AN ORDERLY ACCOUNT  The Hebrews expected St Elijah, one of the greatest
so as to provide greater certainty CONCERNING THE Prophets of Israel, to reappear from Heaven in
DETAILS OF OUR LORD’S HOLY MINISTRY. order to Anoint the Messiah.
 ST LUKE WAS THE ONLY EVANGELIST WHO PROVIDED ✶ “...How shall I know this?” ST ZACHARIAS’ QUESTION
INFORMATION CONCERNING THE BIRTH AND INFANCY OF ST INDICATED A SLIGHT LACK OF FAITH IN GOD’S PROMISE.
JOHN THE BAPTIST.  HIS SUBSEQUENT MUTENESS SERVED BOTH AS A DISCIPLINE FOR
✶ ST ZACHARIAS AND ST ELIZABETH WERE ACKNOWLEDGED AS A HIS UNBELIEF AND AS A SIGN OF THE DIVINE TRUTH OF ST
RIGHTEOUS COUPLE OF PRIESTLY LINEAGE, WHO LIVED THEIR GABRIEL’S ANNOUNCEMENT.
ENTIRE LIVES IN THE FULFILMENT OF GOD’S WILL. ✶ “...on the Eighth Day, they went to circumcise the
 Nevertheless, ST ELIZABETH WAS BARREN/INFERTILE, like so child...” CIRCUMCISION WAS A MOST IMPORTANT RITUAL
many other significant women mentioned in Holy whereby a male child was initiated into the Covenant
Scripture. (SUCH AS SARAH - GENESIS 16:1; REBECCA – GENESIS Nation of God.
25:21; HANNAH 1 SAMUEL 1:2).  AFTER CHRIST - ACCORDING TO THE NEW BLOODLESS
 INFERTILITY WAS REGARDED AS A ‘PUBLIC REPROACH’ being COVENANT - CIRCUMCISION WAS REPLACED BY THE
viewed very negatively because A WOMAN’S MOST TONSURING OF BOYS AND GIRLS IN THE HOLY MYSTERY OF
IMPORTANT ROLE WAS TO PRODUCE AS MANY LIVING BAPTISM.
CHILDREN AS POSSIBLE TO CONTINUE THE FAMILY NAME AND
According to our New, Bloodless Covenant with God, Tonsuring
TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE WELFARE OF THE FAMILY.
 BARREN WOMEN WERE USUALLY DENIGRATED AND INSULTED, is the Bloodless “New Circumcision ” whereby we offer to
being regarded as parasites rather than valuable God a tiny portion of our hair, which is cut in the Sign of
contributors to society. the Cross, as our Affirmation of Absolute Faith in our
✶ “...the Division of Abijah ...” EACH PRIEST WHO SERVED GOD Triune, Almighty God. mp
AT THE TEMPLE OF JERUSALEM WAS ASSIGNED TO A DIVISION. [1 ✶ “...Blessed is the Lord God of Israel...” THE SONG OF ST
CHRONICLES 23:3-6; 28:13] ZACHARIAS’ (‘THE BENEDICTOS’) WAS A PROPHETIC HYMN OF
 THERE WERE 24 DIVISIONS IN ALL, EACH SERVING A WEEK AT A PRAISE TO GOD WHO IS BLESSED FOR HIS GRACIOUS AND
TIME BY ROTATION.
REDEEMING ACTS AMONG HIS PEOPLE IN FULFILMENT OF THE
 THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE PRIESTS IN EACH DIVISION WERE MESSIANIC PROMISES.
DECIDED BY DRAWING LOTS.
✶ ST ZACHARIAS AND ST ELIZABETH HAD CONTINUOUSLY PRAYED
FOR A SON and at last their Prayers were answered.

24. NA TIVITY OF S T JO H N BA P TIST – 24 JU NE


Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa
Archdiocese of Good Hope
All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and
forever, and unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most
Blessed and Glorious Lady, Maria, Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together with all the Saints. And let
us commit ourselves and one another and our whole Life to Christ our God. Amen.
29 JUNE 2019
ST PETER & ST PAUL, HOLY APOSTLES OF CHRIST

THE SUNDAY AND FESTAL HYMNS ARE PUBLISHED IN BOOKLET FORM EACH MONTH.
THESE ARE PUBLISHED AND FREELY DOWNLOADABLE ON
www.scribd.com/writers4574. LINKS ARE ALSO POSTED ON FACEBOOK “ORTHODOX
CHRISTIAN EASTERN CAPE.” (OR CAN BE EMAILED DIRECTLY, ON REQUEST TO

marguerite.paizis@gmail.com)

P R OKE IME NON – P SALM 18 – TONE (8) P L AGAL 4


Their Proclamation went forth into all the Earth, and their words to the ends of the world!
The Heavens declare the Glory of God; the firmament shows the Creation of His Hands.
T H E S EC OND EP ISTLE OF S T P AUL TO THE C OR INTH IANS 11: 21 – 12 : 9
ST PAUL DEFENDS HIS APOSTLESHIP, RECOUNTING HIS SUFFERINGS, VISIONS AND WEAKNESSES
Brethren, ...to our shame I say that we were too weak for that! In whatever anyone is bold – I speak foolishly – I am
bold also. Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? So am I. Are
they ministers of Christ? I speak as a fool – I am more - in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in
prisons more frequently, in deaths often. From the Judeans five times I received forty stripes minus one. Three
times I was beaten with rods.
Three times I was shipwrecked. A night and a day I have been in the deep. In Journeys often, in perils of waters, in
perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the
wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren. In weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in
hunger and thirst, in Fastings often, in cold and nakedness – besides the other things that come upon me daily -
my deep concern for all the churches.
Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I do not burn with indignation? If I must boast, I will
boast in the things that concern my infirmity. 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; and 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 I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not
know, God knows – such a one 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 – how he was caught up into Paradise and heard Inexpressible Words,
which it is not lawful for a man to utter. Of such a one I will boast - yet of myself I will not boast, except in my
infirmities. Although I might desire to boast, I will not be a fool. I will speak the Truth. 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 the Revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me -
a messenger of Satan - to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Three times I pleaded with the Lord that it
might depart from me. And He said to me: "My Grace is sufficient for Thee, for My Strength is made Perfect in
weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the Power of Christ may rest upon me.

✶ “...So am I...” St Paul listed his HEBREW AND CHRISTIAN  “...THE THIRD HEAVEN...” WHICH IS THE HIGHEST HEAVEN
CREDENTIALS according to his opponents’ level of  AND “PARADISE,” WHICH IS WHERE GOD IS SURROUNDED BY THE
argument. ASSEMBLY OF THE JUST IN THE CITY OF GOD.
 GENEALOGY WAS IMPORTANT TO THE JUDEANS and ST PAUL ✶ “...lest I should be exalted... a thorn in the flesh was
HAD HIS OWN IMPRESSIVE GENEALOGY given to me...” Unlike his opponents who publicly
 AND HIS CHRISTIAN EXPERIENCE WAS INCOMPARABLE WITH boasted of their own greatness in their Mystical
ANYONE ELSE – his suffering, his compassionate, Experiences, ST PAUL REGARDED HIS OWN “THORN IN THE
involved concern for others and even his rather FLESH” AS HAVING BEEN BESTOWED UPON HIM IN ORDER TO
extraordinary Missionary Journeys throughout the KEEP HIM HUMBLE.
known world of the time and EVERYTHING HE ENDURED  His “thorn” was A CHRONIC, PAINFUL PHYSICAL PROBLEM
SINCE HIS MIRACULOUS CONVERSION. (some have suggested stomach or gastric ulcers or
✶ “...Visions and Revelations of the Lord..” St Paul’s even cancer, which caused intense discomfort
opponents had probably boasted of their Visions and and constant pain)
Revelations so ST PAUL MENTIONED ONE OF HIS OWN,  as well as the DELUDED CHRISTIANS OR STUBBORN ISRAELITES
FOURTEEN YEARS PREVIOUSLY, which dated the Event with whom he had to daily contend.
before he began his Missionary Journeys – HIS DIVINE  Nevertheless, for St Paul, HIS HUMBLING PHYSICAL
CALLING BY CHRIST ALONG THE ROAD TO DAMASCUS. WEAKNESSES - NOT HIS MYSTICAL EXPERIENCES - WERE THE
✶ “...I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago ...” MEANS WHEREBY THE POWER OF CHRIST REMAINED WITH
refers to HIS PERSONAL ENCOUNTER WITH CHRIST, WHICH HIM.
INSTANTLY TRANSFORMED HIM into a most dedicated and ✶ “...My Grace is sufficient ...” DIVINE GRACE ACCOMPANIES
loyal Disciple and Apostle to the Gentiles. TRUE VIRTUE – ESPECIALLY THOSE OF OBEDIENCE AND
✶ “...caught up to the Third Heaven... into Paradise...” St HUMILITY.
Paul used TWO HEBREW TERMS to describe the Heavenly
Realms.
T H E H OLY G OSPEL ACCO R D ING TO S T M ATTHE W 16 : 13 – 19
ST PETER CONFESSES OUR LORD JESUS AS THE CHRIST & IS PROMISED THE KEYS OF THE KINGDOM
At that time, when Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His Disciples, saying: "What do men say –
Who is the Son of Man?" They said: "Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah. Others, Jeremiah or one of the
Prophets." He asked them: "And Whom do you say that I Am?" Simon Peter answered, saying: "Thou art the Christ,
the Son of the Living God." And Jesus replied, saying to him: "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and

T H E G L OR IOU S , P R AISEWOR THY H OLY AP OSTLES , S T P E TE R & S T P AUL - 29 JU NE 8 25


blood has not revealed it to you, but My Father Who is in Heaven. I say you that you are Peter; and upon this
Rock I shall build My Church, and the Gates of Hell shall not prevail against Her. And I will give you the Keys of
the Kingdom of Heaven. And whatsoever you shall bind upon Earth, shall be bound also in Heaven. And
whatsoever you shall Loosen on Earth, shall be Loosened also in Heaven.”
✶ “...Whom do you say that I Am?" is THE GREATEST  TO HER COMES THE CALL OF OUR LORD JESUS FOR THE WHOLE
QUESTION WE CAN EVER ANSWER!! OF MANKIND TO ABIDE WITH HIM AND IN HIM. [EPHESIANS
 FAITH IN OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST IS A DEEPLY PERSONAL BELIEF 1:23]
THAT CANNOT NOR SHOULD IT BE FORCED ON ANYONE! 
 BELIEF IN OUR TRIUNE GOD AND OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST – IN  THE TRUE ROCK AND FOUNDATION OF THE CHURCH IS, OF
EVERY ASPECT OF OUR ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN FAITH - IS A COURSE, CHRIST HIMSELF.
PERSONAL CONVICTION, UNDERSTANDING AND ACCEPTANCE  THE CHURCH RESTS UPON THIS ROCK OF UNCHANGING FAITH
OF DIVINE TRUTH. AND CONFESSION.
 ONLY WHEN WE REALISE THE ABSOLUTE REALITY AND TRUTH OF ✶ “...the Gates of Hell shall not prevail against Her ...”
OUR ORTHODOX FAITH, ARE WE ABLE TO COMMIT WITH THIS UNCHANGING, FIRMLY ROOTED, SOLID FAITH AS
OURSELVES 100% TO GOD AND ALL HIS GOODNESS. THE FOUNDATION, THE GATES OF HADES, THE POWER OF
✶ “...Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God." St DEATH AND DESTRUCTION, ARE POWERLESS AGAINST HER.
Peter’s ringing Confession is A DIVINELY INSPIRED INSIGHT  In the Old Testament, the term “Gates” SUGGESTED A
GIVEN TO HIM BY OUR HEAVENLY FATHER. FORTIFIED CITY. [GENESIS 22:17; 24:60; ISAIAH 14:31]
 OUR LORD JESUS’ MESSIANIC IDENTITY AND DIVINITY, THE  Hence, BY SHATTERING THE GATES, CHRIST OPENED THE
MYSTERY HIDDEN FROM ETERNITY, CANNOT BE TRULY STRONGHOLD OF DEATH AND SET THE SOULS OF THE
KNOWN THROUGH HUMAN INTELLIGENCE OR REASONING, RIGHTEOUS FREE.
but ONLY BY GOD’S REVELATION. [1 CORINTHIANS 12:3] ✶ “...the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven...” clearly implies
 The title “Christ” means “THE ANOINTED ONE” THE DIVINE AUTHORITY THAT CHRIST GRANTED TO ST PETER
 AS OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST IS TRULY THE SON OF THE LIVING HIMSELF, WHICH WAS NEVER SEPARATED FROM HIS CONFESSION
GOD, THE FATHER HAS ANOINTED HIM WITH THE HOLY OF FAITH.
SPIRIT. [ACTS 10:38]  Although St Peter was the Leader of the Disciples and
 P S A L M 4 5 : 7 - “Therefore GOD, THY GOD, HATH of the early Church, ALL THE HOLY APOSTLES WERE
ANOINTED THEE with the Oil of Gladness more EMPOWERED EQUALLY WITH CHRIST’S DIVINE AUTHORITY.
than Thy Companions.”  Therefore, ST PETER WAS NOT A LEADER OVER THE OTHERS BUT
 I S A I A H 6 1 : 1 - St Isaiah, speaking in the Name of A LEADER AMONGST THEM, as seen at the Council of
the Lord, said: “...the Spirit of the Lord God is Jerusalem, where ELDERS OR PRESBYTERS [PRIESTS] MET
upon Me, because the Lord hath Anointed Me.” WITH THE APOSTLES – ALTOGETHER AS EQUALS.
✶ “...you are Peter; and upon this Rock I shall build My  Roman Papal claims in later centuries must not be
Church, ...” The name “Peter/Petros is a play on confused with the New Testament Witness
the word for “Rock” or “Stone” in Aramaic and regarding St Peter, nor should the Role of St Peter
Greek. (Petros/Petra). in the New Testament be minimised in opposition
 THE TERM “ROCK” DID NOT REFER TO ST PETER HIMSELF BUT TO to those claims!
HIS SINCERE, LOYAL CONFESSION OF FAITH. ✶ “...bound... Loosened also in Heaven ...” is a reference
 In all the Holy Gospels, the word “Church” [Ekklesia = to THE TEACHING, SACRAMENTAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE
Gathering] IS MENTIONED TWICE BY OUR LORD (here POWERS OF THE HOLY APOSTLES THAT WERE SUBSEQUENTLY
and in MATTHEW 18:17) describing THE TRUE ISRAEL TRANSMITTED TO THE BISHOPS OF THE HOLY CHURCH OF
WHOSE CITIZENSHIP IS HEAVENLY. CHRIST.
 THE HOLY CHURCH OF CHRIST IS THE BODY OF CHRIST, THE
DIVINE-HUMAN ORGANISM
T H E E TE R NAL , I NSP IR ED W ISD OM OF OU R H OLY FA THE R S
S T N ICH OL AS V EL IMIR OVIC H Wounded by our desire for Him, even if we are found
Those people who do not believe in God nor do they worthy of the Divine Mysteries and share in Rejoicing
know God, are obliged to worship material things. and Grace, we will have no confidence in ourselves,
nor do we believe that we have achieved anything.
S T G RE GORY THE TH EOLOGIAN
Instead, the more we are granted by way of Spiritual
Virtue that is not exercised disappears quickly under the
Gifts, the more we ill seek the Things of Heaven. And
pressure of various circumstances. We have to be
the greater our Spiritual Well-being, the more we will
swift in order to move from evil to good- but we must
yearn for Divine Things, for although we would be
become inflexible with regard to turning from good to
Spiritually Rich, we will behave as if we are poor.
evil.
Holy Scripture tells us that “... those who eat of Me will
S T I SAAC THE S YR IAN become hungrier and those who drink of Me will
We ought to be careful not to reprimand others about become thirstier”
anything. Love does not become angry and does not Souls of this kind are worthy of becoming completely free
excoriate (denounce or criticise) anyone. of passions and of bearing the Brilliance and
Communion of the Holy Spirit in the Fullness of Divine
S T S E R AP H IM OF S AR OV
Grace.
“Faith without works is dead!” (James 6:26)
Whoever really believes will certainly perform Good S T J OH N OF K R ONSTAD T

Works as well. When Faith wanes, the heart becomes uneasy and weak
– like dried straw blown in the wind – totally lifeless!
S T J OSE PH THE H ESY CHAST
But we must not pay any attention to such Darkness of
Pride arises from a lack of self-awareness and results in Satan. We must cast it far away from our heart by
the hardening of the heart. We must first acquire making the Sign of the All Holy, Life-giving Cross.
Humility, and wrap ourselves in it, as though Humility
were a garment, and then apply it to everything we S T J OSE PH THE H ESY CHAST

do. Knowledge, sensation, understanding, contemplation,


insight and every movement of our intellect –
S T J OH N OF K R ONSTAD T
everything in all things – should be directed towards
Peace is the integrity and health of our soul. Losing our the Lord our God.
peace means losing our Spiritual Health.
S T J OH N OF K R ONSTAD T
S T M AKAR IOS OF EGY PT
The most striking proof that the evil one is at work in the
Souls who Love God and His Divine Truth do not suffer world is that fact that people seldom recognise – if at
even the slightest reduction in their passionate Love all – the Great Mercies granted to us by God through
for our Lord. Nailed entirely to His Holy, Life-giving His Creation, His Providence and Salvation. The evil
Cross, we will feel Spiritual Well-being within one is so frenzied in his opposition to anything that is
ourselves. good or Holy Work.

26. T H E G L ORIOU S , P R AISEWOR THY H OLY A P OSTL ES , S T P E TE R & S T P AUL - 29 JU NE


Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa
Archdiocese of Good Hope
All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and
forever, and unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most
Blessed and Glorious Lady, Maria, Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together with all the Saints. And
let us commit ourselves and one another and our whole Life to Christ our God. Amen.
TONE 1 30JUNE 2019

2ND SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 2ND OF ST MATTHEW


THE CALLING OF THE HOLY APOSTLES

Also the Feast of the Synaxis of the Holy Apostles of Christ – Synaxis of North American
Saints – St Peter, Prince of Ordinsk, Rostov – St Sophronios, Bishop of Irkutsk and All
Siberia – St Gelasios. Abbot, Rimet Monastery, Transylvania – St Dinar, Venerable
Queen of Georgia – The Holy Icon of our Lady, Theotokos, of Balikin, Chernigov
Province

THE SUNDAY AND FESTAL HYMNS ARE PUBLISHED IN BOOKLET FORM EACH MONTH.
THESE ARE PUBLISHED AND FREELY DOWNLOADABLE ON
www.scribd.com/writers4574. LINKS ARE ALSO POSTED ON FACEBOOK
“ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN EASTERN CAPE.” (OR CAN BE EMAILED DIRECTLY, ON REQUEST TO
marguerite.paizis@gmail.com)

R ESUR REC TION G OSPEL 2: M ARK 16:1 - 8

P R OKE IME NON – P SALM 18/19 – TONE (8) P L AGAL 4


Their Proclamation went forth into all the Earth, and their words to the ends of the world!
The Heavens declare the Glory of God; the firmament shows the Creation of His Hands.
F IR ST EP ISTLE OF S T P AUL TO TH E C OR INTH IANS 4 : 9 – 16
Brethren, God has displayed us, the Apostles, last, as men condemned to Death, for we have been made a spectacle to
the world - to Angels, and to men. We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ; we are weak, but you
are strong; you are honourable, but we are despised. Even unto this present hour, we both hunger and thirst, and
are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwelling-place. And we labour, working with our own hands.
Being reviled, we Bless; being persecuted, we suffer it; being defamed, we entreat. We are made as the filth of the
world, and are the offscourings of all things unto this day.
I write not these things to shame you, but as my Beloved Children, I warn you. Although you have ten thousand
instructors in Christ, yet have you not many Fathers. In Christ Jesus through the Gospel I have begotten you. I
beseech you, therefore - be imitators of me.
✶ This passage is read FOR THE COMMEMORATION OF THE
HOLY APOSTLES OF CHRIST.
✶ “...we have been made a spectacle...” St Paul used ✶ “...as my Beloved Children, I warn you...” St Paul
IRONY AND SARCASM AS BITTER MEDICINE. soothed the possible hurt of his rebuke of the
✶ “... we are fools... weak...despised...” the three parallel Corinthians by reminding them of his role AS THEIR
statements are heaped upon each other in a SPIRITUAL FATHER.
stinging series, in order to show how THE RELATIVE  Similar to any biological family, THE HOLY CHURCH OF
COMFORT OF THE CORINTHIAN CHRISTIANS IS COMPARED CHRIST HAS MATURING CHILDREN WHO NEED GOOD AND
TO THE PERSECUTED, POVERTY-STRICKEN AND UNCERTAIN WISE PARENTAL GUIDANCE.
CIRCUMSTANCES OF ST PAUL AND THE OTHER HOLY ✶ “...be imitators of me...” ST PAUL the Great Apostle to the
APOSTLES. Gentiles URGES EVERY ONE OF US WHO ARE STRIVING TO
BECOME FAITHFUL DISCIPLES OF CHRIST TO BE LIKE HIM BY
MAKING EVERY EFFORT TO IMITATE OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
IN ALL ASPECTS OF OUR DAILY EXISTENCE.
T H E H OLY G OSPEL ACCO R D ING TO S T M ATTHE W 9 : 36 – 10 : 8
At that time, our Lord Jesus saw a great multitude, and was moved with Compassion for them, for they were weary and
scattered, like Sheep without a Shepherd. He said to His Twelve Disciples: “The Harvest is truly plentiful, but the
Labourers are few. Pray to the Lord of the Harvest to send out Labourers into His Harvest.”
And when He had Called unto Him His Twelve Disciples, He granted them Authority against unclean spirits, to cast
them out, and to Heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.
The names of the Twelve Apostles are these: the first, Simon, who is called ‘Peter,’ and Andrew, his brother; James, the
son of Zebedee, and John, his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the Publican; James, the
son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was ‘Thaddeus;’ Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who
would betray Him.
These Twelve Jesus sent out, and commanded them, saying: “Do not go into the way of the Gentiles and do not enter
a city of the Samaritans. Go rather to the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel. As you do so, preach, saying: ‘The
Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!’ Heal the sick, Cleanse the lepers, Raise the dead, cast out demons.
“Freely you have received – freely give!”
✶ "... moved with Compassion for them...” means that OUR Shepherding the Holy Flock of God – God’s Chosen
LORD SUFFERED WITH THEM because He fully understands People – acted like ravenous Wolves!
our pain, frustrations and sorrow.  N U M B E R S 2 7 : 1 7 “ . . . the Congregation of the Lord will
“...like Sheep without a Shepherd...” OUR LORD JESUS not be like Sheep without a Shepherd...”
CHRIST DOES NOT CONDEMN SINNERS.  3 K I N G S 2 2 : 1 7 “ . . . I saw all Israel being scattered ...
 HE REGARDS THEM AS BEING “LOST SHEEP” WHO NEED TO BE like a Shepherd without a Flock...”
FOUND, RESCUED AND BROUGHT SAFELY BACK TO THE  E Z E K I E L 3 4 : 5 “...My Sheep were scattered, because
PROTECTION OF THE SACRED FOLD – HIS HOLY CHURCH. there were no Shepherds, so they became prey for all
 This illustration is drawn FROM THE OLD TESTAMENT. the wild beasts...”
 IT IS AN ACCUSATION AGAINST THE JEWISH LEADERS who – ✶ “...The Harvest is truly plentiful, but the Labourers are
although entrusted with the Sacred Duty of few...” implies the abundance of those who are ready
to accept the Heavenly Kingdom of God.

2ND SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 2ND OF ST MATTHEW – THE CALLING OF THE APOSTLES-30 JUNE 2019 27
 OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST IS BOTH THE SOWER AND THE LORD OF in turn, could fulfil our Sacred Calling and Mission,
THE HARVEST. while preparing ourselves for Eternity.
 HIS FAITHFUL DISCIPLES AND APOSTLES ARE SENT Out – not to  OUR LORD ENSURED THAT FIRST HIS CHOSEN PEOPLE OF ISRAEL
sow – but TO REAP WHAT HE HAS SOWN THROUGH HIS WOULD BE MINISTERED TO, BEFORE THE MILLIONS OF
HOLY PROPHETS over the centuries. GENTILES (NON-JEWS) THROUGHOUT THE WORLD.
 JOHN 4 : 36 – 38 “... he who reaps receives Wages and  This was in order TO PREVENT ANY OF THE HEBREW NATION
gathers Fruit for Eternal Life, that both He Who ACCUSING THE CHRISTIANS OF DEALING WITH “...
Sows and he who Reaps may Rejoice together. uncircumcised men.”
For in this the saying is true ‘One Sows and  ACTS 11: 3: The Judeans accused St Peter by
another Reaps.” saying:”...’You went in to uncircumcised men and
 According to St John Chrysostom, THOSE WHO SOW AND ate with them!’ And he explained it to them in
THOSE WHO REAP ARE THE PROPHETS OF THE OLD order, from the beginning...”
COVENANT, AND THE APOSTLES OF THE NEW COVENANT, ✶ “...The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!...” means that
RESPECTIVELY. EVERYTHING THAT WAS DIVINELY PROMISED TO GOD’S CHOSEN
 The Holy Prophets of God Sowed IN PREPARATION FOR THE PEOPLE IS NOW BEING MANIFESTED AND EXPERIENCED.
APPEARANCE OF THE GREAT MESSIAH/SAVIOUR ALTHOUGH  THIS IS THE NEW COVENANT BETWEEN OUR ALMIGHTY LORD
THEY NEVER WITNESS HIS APPEARANCE AND THUS DID NOT GOD AND ALL THOSE WHO ARE FAITHFUL TO HIM.
REAP THE HARVEST.  Those who BELIEVE IN GOD ought to STRUGGLE DAILY TO
 The Holy Apostles of the New Covenant had not ACQUIRE THE HOLY VIRTUES AND TO FULFIL ALL SACRED
prepared the People of God but DREW THOUSANDS DUTIES REQUIRED OF US AS DISCIPLES of our Lord and
UPON THOUSANDS OF SOULS TO CHRIST IN THEIR OWN LIFE- Saviour, Jesus Christ.
SPAN.  WE NEED TO STRUGGLE AND STRIVE TO REGAIN OUR LIKENESS
 How many are sent to Harvest our Lord’s Crops is less TO OUR LORD GOD IN WHOSE IMAGE AND LIKENESS WE
important than WITH WHAT POWER THEY PERFORM THE WERE CREATED.
HOLY HARVEST.  ALTHOUGH MANKIND HAS RETAINED OUR CREATED IMAGE, WE
✶ “...His Twelve Disciples...” The terms “Disciples” and LOST OUR HOLY LIKENESS TO GOD DUE TO THE FALL AND
“Apostles” were often used interchangeable for our OUR HABITUAL DISOBEDIENCE TO GOD.
Lord Jesus Christ’s Chosen Twelve Apostles.  AS FAITHFUL, STRUGGLING DISCIPLES, WE OUGHT TO MAKE
 A Disciple is one who is UNDER THE DISCIPLINE OF A EVERY EFFORT TO IMITATE CHRIST – BEHAVING, THINKING
TEACHER. AND SPEAKING AS HE DID.
 As Disciples of Christ, WE ARE UNDER THE DIVINE DISCIPLINE ✶ “...Freely you have received – freely give!” This is THE
OF OUR LORD WHOM WE OUGHT TO OBEY CONCERNING ALL DIVINE COMMANDMENT OF LOVE.
MATTERS THAT BENEFIT OUR CURRENT AND FUTURE LIFE.  OUR LORD GOD GRANTS US MORE THAN WE ACTUALLY MIGHT
 A GOOD DISCIPLE IS ONE WHO HUMBLY AND VOLUNTARILY NEED, IN ORDER FOR US TO SHARE OUR BLESSINGS WITH
OBEYS THE TEACHER AND APPLIES HIS TEACHINGS TO EVERY OTHERS.
ASPECT OF OUR EXISTENCE AND CIRCUMSTANCES.  Once we fully understand this Divine Truth, we will
 AN APOSTLE IS ONE WHO IS SENT OUT TO FULFIL THE WILL OF realise that EVERYTHING WE HAVE, HAS BEEN GRANTED TO
OUR LORD GOD. US BY GOD.
✶ “...He granted them Authority ...” TO ENABLE THEM TO  NONE OF OUR MATERIAL POSSESSIONS HAS ANY ETERNAL VALUE
PERFORM VARIOUS DIVINE MIRACLES IN HIS DIVINE NAME. NOR MEANING.
 OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST PERFORMED ALL HIS DIVINE WORKS  While we still live in this temporary existence,
AND MIRACLES DIRECTLY, BY HIS OWN DIVINE POWER. EVERYTHING IS MERELY “LENT” TO US BY GOD FOR THE
✶ “...The names of the Twelve Apostles...” ARE NOT THE PURPOSE OF THIS SHORT LIFESPAN.
SAME IN ALL LISTS as MANY PEOPLE IN THOSE DAYS WERE  ALL WORLDLY GOODS ARE to be generously shared with
KNOWN BY MORE THAN ONE NAME. each other, for they are A MEANS OF TESTING OUR TRUE
 THE LIST OF NAMES, which St Matthew provided, ARE WORTH AS FUTURE CITIZENS OF GOD’S HEAVENLY KINGDOM
PROVIDED IN PAIRS, IMPLYING HOW THEY TRAVELLED OF LOVE.
TOGETHER ON THAT FIRST MISSIONARY JOURNEY.  OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST REPEATEDLY CAUTIONED US AGAINST
 St Mark also noted the fact that our Lord Jesus sent HOARDING OUR WORLDLY GOODS OR USING THEM FOR OUR
forth His Holy Apostles in pairs – “... two by two...” OWN SELFISH DESIRES, rather than sharing them with
(Mark 6;7) those who are less Blessed than us.
✶ “...Go rather to the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel...”  WE WILL CONDEMN OURSELVES TO “OUTER DARKNESS” –
shows that our Heavenly Father sent His Beloved ETERNALLY EXILED FROM GOD AND ALL HIS LOVING
Son to first Minister to the “Lost Sheep” of Israel – GOODNESS – BY THE CHOICES WE MAKE NOW, IN THIS
His Chosen People – who had drifted away from TEMPORARY EXISTENCE.
God’s Path of Righteousness and Truth.  THE MORE GENEROUSLY WE GIVE TO AND HELP OTHERS, THE
 The Apostles and Disciples of Christ were MORE GOOD THINGS ARE RETURNED TO US IN SO MANY
commissioned to PREACH THE DIVINE TRUTH DIFFERENT WAYS!
ACCORDING TO THE NEW COVENANT BETWEEN GOD AND  EVERYTHING OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST HAS TAUGHT US IS
HIS PEOPLE. ABSOLUTELY TRUE AND REAL – WITHOUT ANY QUESTION NOR
 THEY WERE EMPOWERED AND AUTHORISED BY GOD TO HEAL DOUBT AT ALL!
BOTH OUR PHYSICAL AND SPIRITUAL AILMENTS so that we,
2ND SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 2ND OF ST MATTHEW – THE CALLING OF THE HOLY APOSTLES OF CHRIST
✞ In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Our Divine Saviour draws us to God by His Words, His
Holy Spirit... Deeds, His Teachings and Commandments (Divine
Dearly Beloved Brethren in Christ, today’s Sacred Lesson Truth) and by His Divine Miracles.
concerns the Divine Mission of our Lord Jesus Christ, None of us can justify ourselves with our puny excuses of
His Holy Apostles and, thus, throughout all the ignorance, for God has provided us with all His
centuries, our own Sacred Mission as His Faithful Wisdom and Enlightenment that is essential to our
Disciples. Spiritual Welfare and Perfection.
Our Lord did not wait for His “...Lost Sheep of the House of We are all God’s “Lost Sheep,” who really do need to be
Israel...” to come to Him, for He Himself – the Eternal Saved and Restored to the safety and protection of His
Son and Word of God – sought them out to teach them Holy Sheepfold – His Holy Church.
His Divine Truth and Revelations, to Heal them and to However, it is entirely up to our own personal choice,
Guide and Encourage them. whether we will receive Eternal Life with all its
Therefore, His Chosen People could not justifiably accuse marvellous Peace, Love and Joy that is boundless and
Him - nor anyone else - for not teaching them or beyond description – in the Very Presence of our
revealing to them His Divine Truth that brings us Loving and Benevolent Lord God – or suffer forever
closer to God, and that makes us worthy Citizens of His the terrifying conditions of Eternal Exile.
Heavenly Kingdom of Love. Our Lord God has infinite Compassion for His creatures –
and particularly for mankind who is created in His
Image and Likeness, so He helps us whenever we

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choose to Entreat His Aid – for He never enforces His Judas Iscariot after his birthplace rather than by
Will upon us. We must thus co-operate with Him. mentioning his betrayal.
Many of us have no Wise and Faithful Spiritual Shepherds St Lebbaeus Thaddaeus was also named “Judas” while
to watch over us, to guide and to teach us correctly. Judas Iscariot was also named “Simon.”
Without enough ordained “Good Shepherds” to take care Christ nick-named St Simon “Petros” (Rock) for his
of God’s Holy Flock – i.e. all mankind – we drift away spontaneous, heart-felt Confession of Faith upon
from God’s Path of Righteousness, becoming selfish, which His Church is firmly founded – i.e. the solid,
destructive people who harm, corrupt, destroy and unwavering Faith of all Christ’s Disciples.
disfigure the beauty and perfection of Creation that Our Lord also nick-named St Thomas “Didymos” (the Twin)
surrounds us. because he was “double-minded” due to his need to
The mark of God’s True Shepherds is a total commitment ascertain and verify everything before accepting
to devoutly serving the Lord our God and His Beloved them as complete Truth. (Through the later actions
Flock of reason-endowed “Sheep.” and Faith of St Thomas, others confirmed and
Our most remarkable Holy Fathers – similar to our Lord believed in the Resurrection of Christ and the Ascent
Jesus Christ - have all had in common great Humility, into Heaven of our Lady, Theotokos.)
Obedience, Wisdom, Love, Compassion, Kindness, As mentioned previously, these different names have
Poverty, Understanding, Meekness, and many other confused many into believing that the lists of Apostles
Holy Virtues that attracts souls to them – even after are confused or erroneous.
they have departed this life –who offer Intercessory We, too, receive different names when we accept Holy
Prayers on our behalf, to which our Lord God speedily Baptism or Ordination, and it is by these names that
responds. our Lord Jesus Christ and His Holy Church addresses
In return, we, as Disciples, must act similarly towards all us.
our Spiritual Fathers and our fellow sinners. Even to this very day, when we are Called to fulfil the
Our Lord Jesus referred to the great, ever-increasing Sacred Mission of our Lord Jesus Christ, God the Holy
multitudes in need of physical and Spiritual Healing Spirit Enlightens, Empowers and Enables us to do so.
as “...the Harvest...” and those who ought to be This occurs according to the Will of our Heavenly Father,
teaching, healing and guiding them as “Labourers.” through our Lord Jesus Christ, by the Power and
He, Himself, is indeed “... the Lord of the Harvest...” for Energy of the Holy Spirit.
Christ is the Lord God of His Holy Prophets who When Christ Called His Apostles to fulfil His Earthy Mission
prepared the original Israel of the Old Covenant for - first to the Hebrew Nation, and later, to the Gentiles -
His First Appearance as our Great Messiah/Saviour - He bestowed His Divine Authority and Power upon
and of His Holy Apostles whose Sacred Mission was each of them directly – thereby granting them the
and is still being fulfilled by the New Israel of our New ability and means of Healing, Cleansing, Raising the
Covenant with God, which will continue until the dead, and Preaching His Divine Truth.
Eighth Day – the end of time and the beginning of Nothing befits a Teacher as much as Humility, Obedience
Eternity for all Creation. and non-possessiveness, which Christ our Lord
As the Lord of the Harvest, our Divine Saviour ordained indicated when He cautioned His Apostles by
His Holy Apostles by His own Divine Power and reminding them that they had freely received this
Authority, without having to petition our Heavenly Power and Ability from God as a Divine Gift of Grace.
Father. Only by Divine Grace can we serve God and our fellow
(This is clear evidence that our Lord Jesus Christ is truly mankind – not at all by our own limited efforts.
the Eternal, Only Begotten Son and Word of God the Therefore, the Glory, Honour and Worship is ascribed
Father.) exclusively to the Lord our God, without Whom we can
Our Lord Jesus chose Twelve Disciples according to the do nothing.
Twelve Tribes of Judah, granting them Power and Our Lord Jesus had also instructed His Apostles not to take
Authority, even though they were only a few because anything extraneous with them, for they were to learn
– according to St Theophylact - there are only a few that God does provide for all our needs and that we
people in the world who voluntarily walk “the Narrow must never be a burden on others, but labour fittingly
Path” of Righteousness. in order to earn our food and shelter.
These Holy Apostles were thus able to work Miracles in Everything that our Lord Jesus Christ taught His Disciples
order to gain the attention of those whom they Healed and Apostles we, too, ought to apply to ourselves and
and to whom they taught the Divine Truth of Christ. our daily existence.
However, our Holy Fathers have cautioned us not to base If we do not know the Teachings of Christ, we must make
our Faith solely on Divine Miracles, Holy Icons nor every effort to learn both our Written and Verbal Holy
Sanctified Holy Relics. Traditions in order to Live in Christ as His Faithful
Our Faith and Belief in our Triune God and His Divine Disciples.
Truth should be firmly founded upon an unwavering We are granted more than we actually need, so we ought
certainty and belief of our heart and soul. to share our material goods with those who are less
Divine Truth is a Spiritual Response of our very being and fortunate.
cannot be forced upon us, for True Faith is a most Our Divine Saviour and Ultimate Judge has very clearly
intimate, personal Journey that each human being told us that we will either be Blessed with Eternal Life
can only make for oneself. in His Heavenly Kingdom or condemn ourselves to
Although there are several varying lists of the Twelve Eternal Exile if we constantly demonstrate our Love for
Apostles of Christ (as well as the 70 Apostles), because God and for our fellow mankind by generously and
people were usually identified by more than one cheerfully sharing, comforting, feeding,
name, St Matthew’s list is noteworthy for it excludes accommodating and caring for each other –
the false ‘apostles’ who later claimed to have followed particularly for those who are alone, homeless,
our Lord – but does not rank them according to destitute, starving, naked and/or ailing.
criteria. Our Compassionate Lord Loves us unconditionally, yet He
St Matthew’s list shows how they had set off in pairs, to does require us to take good care of each other for
Heal and Preach to the Judeans: whatever we hope to receive from Him will not be
St Simon Peter and St Andrew ( the First-Called Apostles), granted to us unless we act with that same
St James and St John Zebedee, St Philip and St unconditional Love and Mercy to all mankind – from
Bartholomew, St Thomas ‘Didymos’ and St Matthew all strata of society.
Levi, St James Alphaeus and Lebbaeus Thaddaeus, St May we, like our Lord’s Apostles, worthily respond to our
Simon the Canaanite and Judas Iscariot, (who would Sacred Calling so that we correctly and eagerly fulfil
betray Christ for 30 silver coins – the price of a the Will of our Heavenly Father, through the
‘damaged slave.’) Teachings and Commandments of our Lord Jesus
The Humility and Kindness of St Matthew Levi is shown by Christ, by the Power and Energy of the Holy Spirit.
having listed himself after St Thomas, and by naming Amen
Marguerite Paizis

2ND SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 2ND OF ST MATTHEW – THE CALLING OF THE APOSTLES-30 JUNE 2019 29
O R TH OD OX M ISSION W OR K – F ATHER M AR TIN R ITSI
The Orthodox Church has been active in Mission Work Great Commission of our Lord Jesus Christ✶ (to all His
from its very beginning—from the Apostolic and Early Faithful Apostles and Disciples throughout all the
Church period, through the Byzantine and Russian ages), the desire for the Salvation of souls, an intense
eras, and now in the present day. Each century has longing for God’s Glory – all of which, surely, are
brought forth vibrant Orthodox Mission activity. serious motives... (✶ MATTHEW 28:19)
Two factors, however, greatly thwarted the Church’s “However, we think that the real Motive of Mission - for
Missionary Efforts in recent centuries - the Turkish both the individual and the Church - is something
occupation of the Balkans, lasting four centuries, and deeper.
the Communist seizure of power in many other “It is not simply Obedience, Duty or altruism. It is an inner
Orthodox countries. necessity.
Between these two major problems, the ability of the “’As St Paul wrote to the Corinthians, ‘... Necessity is laid
Orthodox Church to do Missionary Work was upon me ... Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel!”
repressed at a time when the churches of the West (1 CORINTHIANS 9:16)
were free to expand. They “...forced the Orthodox to All other motives are aspects of this need - derivative
withdraw temporarily into themselves in order to motives.
preserve their Faith and to form, to a certain extent, “Mission is an inner necessity for the Faithful and for the
closed groups.” [ANASTASIOS YANNOULATOS, “ORTHODOXY AND Holy Church.
MISSION,” ST. VLADIMIR’S THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY] “If we refuse it, we do not merely omit a Sacred Duty, we
Praise be to God! That period came to an end around the deny ourselves!” [ANASTASIOS YANNOULATOS – “THE PURPOSE AND
middle of the twentieth century. Following the 1958 MOTIVE OF MISSION: FROM AN ORTHODOX THEOLOGICAL POINT OF VIEW.”]
Fourth General Assembly of Syndesmos in This inner necessity is an outgrowth of our being made in
Thessaloniki, Greece, the newly arising Porefthentos God’s Image.
Movement brought forth an Orthodox revival in the Throughout mankind’s history, God’s Purpose in the
area of external Mission. Revelation of His Divine Glory is clearly evident -
According to various articles written after that period, the drawing all things to Himself, and the establishment
growth of this revival becomes clear. of His Heavenly Kingdom.
The call to the Church to return to Her Sacred Task has In addition, God has shared His Divine Mission with all
appeared repeatedly in conferences and articles mankind - from St Abraham, the ancient Patriarch, to
during the last forty years. the Faithful Disciples of Christ and His Holy Church
In addition, the severe Communist rule that repressed throughout the centuries - and continuing until the
Orthodoxy in so many other countries of the world has end of time.
now collapsed, and we can expect to see this same Thus Mission Work is not a Task that is simply imposed
reawakening of Missions in these countries as well... upon us; nor is it rooted solely in our Obedience,
I will never forget my first flight to Africa. Respect, or even Love of God.
Newly married and Ordained, I had become a Rather Mission Work is the actualization of our inherent
Missionary overnight. One moment I was a Priest in nature to participate in the fulfilment, destiny, and
California, the next we had become Missionaries. direction of humanity and all Creation as everything
As we were flying over the Atlantic, a Flight Attendant is drawn back to God and towards the Coming of His
noticed my collar and asked where I was going. Eternal Kingdom.
I proudly explained that our family was travelling to East Although we have considered the longstanding and
Africa to be Missionaries. sometimes forgotten Tradition of Orthodox Missionary
“Oh,” she replied. “I don’t believe in that. We should not Work, we have not explored in depth the loving
interfere in people’s lives. We should just leave them characters, the Powerful Visions, the solid strategies,
alone to continue on their own happy way.” and the intensely Sacrificial Life of so many Orthodox
How does anyone respond to a statement like that? Missionaries who have laboured throughout the world
Where do we begin? – and who continue their Labours of Love.
In fact, this challenge confronted us repeatedly and This broad overview of Orthodox Mission Work has only
gradually forced me to think, analyze, and study the provided a very brief taste of the rich, vibrant history
very bedrock motivations for doing Missionary Work. that continues in the present and is at the very heart
Why don’t we just leave the world alone? Why do we try to of our Life in Christ.
spread our Faith to people who have their own As Orthodox Christians, - Faithful Disciples of Christ - we
beliefs? have been, and must be, involved in Missionary Work.
Somewhere during my Journey towards our Missionary We have a firm Historical Tradition and developed
Vocation, I came across an Orthodox perspective principles, which ought to compel us to do so.
presented by Archbishop Anastasios in an article It is most important for us to share God’s Love, His Divine
entitled: “The Purpose and Motive of Mission,” which Compassion, and Truth with all people so that they
became of great significance to me, since it seemed are drawn closer to Him and are able to freely choose
to encompass everything I had been learning and to become His Faithful Disciples.
experiencing as a student and Missionary. The establishment of worshipping Christian
Let us contemplate a brief summation of the excellent Communities among all Nations is not merely an
points made by Archbishop Anastasios. imposed Commandment nor a ‘religious principle.’
Without question, the Foundation for Mission Work is the It is a natural part of our human nature due to our being
Glory of God and the Redemption of all Creation. created in the Image and Likeness of God.
Holy Scripture emphasizes this theme over and over Participation in Mission Work - both as individuals and as
again, beginning with Creation itself, and leading us the Holy Church of Christ - is essential to our Restored
through the rejection of that Glory and the subsequent and Regenerated human nature, as well as befitting
entrance of Death into the world. our Holy Discipleship.
Our Lord Jesus Christ’s Life - from this perspective - is a Without any degree of Mission Work, we will lack
manifestation of the Glory of God. something that is extremely vital to our Eternal
In Christ, human nature is Redeemed and the Universal Salvation.
Order is Restored. With two-thirds of our world still lacking the Love, Peace
Finally, His Holy Church becomes a Participant in and Joy of Life in Christ, we all have much to do – no
proclaiming this Redemption until the Parousia, when matter whether to a greater or lesser degree.
the Magnificent Glory of Almighty God is fully May the Lord our God Guide us to actualize this Salvific
revealed to all Creation. Dimension of this current lifespan, so that His Saving
Participation in spreading the Glory of God is so basic to Power and Divine Truth may be known among all
the Christian Spirit that it may be referred to as being Nations.
an Inner Necessity.
Archbishop Anastasios explained: “...The question of the (Read the complete article)
Motive of Mission can be studied from several angles HTTPS://PEMPTOUSIA.COM/2017/05/THE-WHAT-WHERE-WHEN-AND-WHY-OF-
– the Love of God and mankind, Obedience to the ORTHODOX-MISSIONS/

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