Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa Archdiocese of Good Hope

All Glory, Hono ur and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the H oly Spi rit, now and forever, and unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most Blessed and Glorious Lady, Maria, T heotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together with all the Sai nts. And let us commit ourselves and one another and our whole Life to Christ our God. Amen.

16th Sunday After Pentecost

Tone (7) Varys/Grave

2 Oc t o be r 2 01 1

2nd Sunday of St Luke: The Golden Rule of Christ: Do Unto Others Love Your Enemies & Be Merciful! The Feast of St Kyprianos, St Justina & St Theoktistos of Nicomedia – St Andrew the Foolfor-Christ of Constantinople – St Anna the Holy Right Believing Princess of Kashin – St Cassian the Greek of Uglich – St David & St Constantine, Princes of Georgia – St Theodore Ushakov the Righteous Admiral
Apolytikion of the Resurrection – Tone (7) Varys/Grave

Katelisas to Stavro Sou ton thanaton.

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

By

Thy Cross Thou destroyed Death; Thou opened Paradise to the Thief; Thou changed the funeral wail of the Myrrh-bearing Women, and Commanded them to announce to Thine Apostles that Thou had Risen from the dead, O Christ our God, Who bestows on the world Great Mercy!

Apolytikion of Great Holy Martyrs – Tone 4

Ke tropon metohos, ke thronon diadohos, ton Apostolon
genomenos, tin praxin evres theopnevste, is theorias epivasin. Dia touto ton Logon tis Alithias Orthotomon, ke ti Pisti enithlisas mehris ematos, Ieromartis Kyprianos. Presveve Hristo to Theo, sosthine tas psihas imon.
Kontakion Of The Ever Blessed Theotokos

As a Sharer of the Ways and a Successor to the Throne
of the Apostles, O Inspired of God, Thou found discipline to be a means of Ascent to Divine Vision. Wherefore, having rightly divided the Word of Truth, Thou also contested for the Faith even unto blood, O Hieromartyr Kyprianos. Intercede with Christ our God that our souls be Saved. Protection of the Christians unashamable, Mediation to the Creator Immovable, despise not, the pleading voices of those in sin, but hasten O Good One, to the Help of all of us, who in Faith cry out to Thee: speed up Thine Intercession, and press on Thy Supplication, O Theotokos who always protects all those who honour Thee!

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

Resurrection Gospel 5: Luke 24:12 – 35
Our Risen Lord Jesus Appears Along The Road To Emmaus

Prokeimenon

The Second Epistle of St Paul to the Corinthians 6 : 1 - 10
The Day of Salvation is NOW!

The Lord will grant Strength to His People Offer to the Lord, O Sons of God, offer to the Lord Sacrifice and Praise

Brethren: as Workers together with Christ, we also plead with you not to receive the Grace of God in vain. For He says: ‘In an acceptable time I have heard you. And in the Day of Salvation, I have helped you.’ Behold: now is the accepted time! Behold! Now is the Day of Salvation! We give no offence in anything, so that our Ministry may not be blamed. But in all things we commend ourselves as Ministers of God: in much Patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in sleeplessness, in Fastings; in Purity, by Knowledge, by Long-suffering, by Kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by sincere Love, by the Word of Truth, of the Power of God, by the Armour of Righteousness on the right hand and on the left, by honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report; as deceivers, and yet True; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold! We live; as chastened, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things. THROUGH GOD THE SON AND ACTIVATED AND EMPOWERED St Paul describes THE LIFE OF AN AUTHENTIC APOSTLE OF BY GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT. CHRIST, which demonstrates the Paradox of God’s St Paul beseeched us NOT TO ACCEPT HOLY BAPTISM AND Divine Strength that works in our human CHRISMATION WITHOUT BEING FULLY COMMITTED TO weakness and the paradox of renouncing the ALMIGHTY GOD Who not only bestows His Divine Grace fallen world in order to master and control it. upon us, but Who has adopted us AS SANCTIFIED HEIRS “THE DAY OF SALVATION IS NOW!” Our Eternal to His Eternal Kingdom of Love. Salvation is ALWAYS IN THE PRESENT MOMENT – right Furthermore, WE SHOULD NOT PARTICIPATE IN ALL THE DIVINE here and now – before our Lord Jesus Christ’s Return MYSTERIES OF HIS HOLY CHURCH UNLESS WE ARE FULLY or Reappearance in His human Form. COMMITTED AND UNDERSTAND THE SERIOUSNESS OF WHAT In other words: EVERY MOMENT COUNTS! WE ARE DOING – because this will affect our Final AS COMMITTED DISCIPLES OF CHRIST, WE WORK TOGETHER Judgement to a very large degree. WITH CHRIST FOR OUR OWN SALVATION AS WELL AS THAT Every time we participate in the Holy Mysteries with OF OTHERS. uncaring, uncommitted hearts and minds, it is as As co-workers with Christ, WE ARE CERTAINLY NOT EQUAL TO though we are giving a kiss of betrayal to our CHRIST Who is the Word and Son of God the Father. Lord Jesus Christ! WE MUST LIVE EVERY MOMENT OF THE DAY ACCORDING TO OUR OUR EMPTY GESTURES REVEAL OUR HYPOCRISY, which our LORD’S TEACHINGS AND DIVINE COMMANDMENTS – thus Lord despised and condemned. we become His co-workers – co-operating with God the Holy Trinity: BY THE WILL of God THE FATHER,

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16th After Pentecost – 1st of St Luke – Christ’s Golden Rule: Do Unto Others & Love Enemies – 2 October 2011 1.

OUR

EMPTY, DISRESPECTUL GESTURES in Christ’s Holy Orthodox Church ARE FAR MORE DAMAGING TO US AND

behaviour and character, we are worthy to be known as “Christians.”
SLOWLY BUT SURELY, WE STRENGTHEN AND DEVELOP OUR IMMORTAL SOULS so that - THROUGH OUR SPIRITUAL AND PHYSICAL STRUGGLES – we become worthy and

THOSE WHOM WE ALSO LEAD ASTRAY THAN IF WE DO NOT MAKE THEM AT ALL. FOR THIS VERY REASON, CONVERSION (from Protestantism or even atheism or paganism) SHOULD BE DISCOURAGED) UNLESS THE PERSON CONCERNED HAS A FULL AND COMPLETE UNDERSTANDING OF EVERYTHING, AND IS PERSONALLY COMMITTED TO GOD AND HIS HOLY ORTHODOX CHURCH. “ORTHODOX” MEANS “TRUE TEACHING” – THE DIVINE TRUTH OF GOD, which is Perfect and Absolute and which

Sanctified Citizens of God’s Eternal Kingdom.
ST PAUL GOES ON TO EXPLAIN EXACTLY HOW WE MUST STRIVE FOR OUR SPIRITUAL PERFECTION – THE DIFFERENT EXPERIENCES WHEREBY WE ACHIEVE SPIRITUAL GROWTH AND PROGRESS. ONLY GOD CAN TRULY JUDGE OUR INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL STRUGGLES AND ENDEAVOURS as we journey towards

cannot be changed or altered by anyone – not one iota or one tittle may be changed! (these are smallest accent marks of Greek or Hebrew!)
IF DIVINE PERFECTION IS CHANGED BY ONE TINY MARK, IT IS NO LONGER PERFECT!

Eternity.
IT IS UP TO US TO (GRATEFULLY) ACCEPT EVERY OPPORTUNITY HE OFFERS US in order to make good progress through

this preparatory period. Instead of watching others and criticising them, WE MUST
FOCUS ON OUR OWN WEAKNESSES OR LACK OF FAITH, CONSTANTLY TRYING TO IMPROVE OURSELVES THROUGH CEASELESS PRAYER, CONSTANT AND FAITHFUL WORSHIP AND ENDLESS THANKSGIVING!

There is no going back to our old ways – neither can we swing back and forth from other forms of worship to Orthodox Christianity - for to do so is to commit the serious sin of apostasy, which may only be corrected through abject and sincere Repentance-Confession and a re-commitment to True and proper Life in Christ. We may be able to get away with it with our fellow sinners, but GOD SEES AND KNOWS EVERYTHING ABOUT US - and
OUR VERY OWN WORDS, THOUGHTS AND DEEDS WILL JUDGE US ACCORDINGLY ON THE FINAL DAY. As faithful Disciples of Christ we STRIVE TO DO EVERYTHING IN IMITATION OF OUR LORD GOD WHO TAUGHT US, GUIDED US AND EVEN SHOWED US HOW TO LIVE WITH ONE ANOTHER BY HIS OWN EXAMPLE. Therefore, we must NEVER DO ANYTHING THAT MAY OFFEND OR HARM OTHERS, so that by our own exemplary

Always keep in mind what St John of Kronstadt would say when he saw others who had fallen into degradation, humiliation and sin: “Today, my Brother – tomorrow, ME! And before we are tempted to make excuses for ourselves as usual, let us never forget: WITH GOD EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE!

The Holy Gospel According to St Luke 6 : 31 – 36
The Golden Rule Of Christ - Do unto Others - Love Your Enemies – Be Merciful

At that time, our Lord Jesus Christ said: “... and just as you want others to do to you, you must do to them likewise. For if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. “And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. “So love you enemies, do good and lend – hoping for nothing in return; and your Reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, Who is kind to the unthankful and the evil. “So be merciful – just as your Father also is Merciful!”
THIS IS THE GOLDEN RULE OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST. This Golden Rule is a minimum or SUMMATION OF ALL CHRISTIAN VIRTUE that we spend our life trying to attain. AND THEY, IN TURN, BECOME OUR HOLY GUIDES, TEACHERS AND GOOD ROLE MODELS. THESE HOLY SAINTS CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR US so we turn to them in times of need and ask them to INTERCEDE WITH CHRIST ON OUR BEHALF for our Eternal

It places our desire for Goodness – “the natural law of self-love,” according to St Cyril of Alexandria - as A BASIC STANDARD OF HOW TO TREAT OTHERS.
HOWEVER, IT IS ONLY THE FIRST HOLY STEP ON OUR PATH TO PERFECTION OF VIRTUE – THEOSIS – THE REGAINING OF OUR LOST LIKENESS TO GOD. This SPIRITUAL PERFECTION IS GRANTED TO US BY OUR HEAVENLY FATHER Whose infinite UNCONDITIONAL DIVINE MERCY IS THE STANDARD AND EXAMPLE we must

Salvation and for the Spiritual Necessities during this existence.
IF WE ARE CLOSE TO GOD NOW AND STRIVE EVERY DAY TO BECOME EVEN CLOSER TO HIM, WE WILL BE ABLE TO ENJOY HIS DIVINE PRESENCE IN ETERNITY – i.e. the

Inexpressible Bliss of Eternal Life in His Kingdom. But, IF WE HAVE NO RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD AND IF WE NEVER
CHOOSE TO SEEK HIM AND TO DEVELOP A CLOSE RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM, WE CANNOT EXPECT TO ENJOY HIS DIVINE PRESENCE OF ETERNAL LIFE. Furthermore, THE ABUNDANT BLESSINGS THAT GOD BESTOWS UPON US SHOULD ALWAYS BE CHEERFULLY AND JOYFULLY SHARED WITH ONE ANOTHER – ESPECIALLY THOSE WHO HAVE LESS THAN US. IN SUCH A MANNER, WE EXPRESS OUR INNER SPIRITUAL STATE. WHATEVER WE DO FOR OR TO OTHERS IS RETURNED TO US A HUNDRED TIMES GREATER – both in this temporary

try to imitate.
GOD TEACHES US TO BE UNSELFISH - TO PUT GOD AND OTHERS BEFORE OURSELVES.

We take it for granted that God will always be Merciful and Loving to us for that is His Divine Nature.
GOD DOES GRANT HIS GREAT MERCY AND DIVINE BLESSINGS OF LOVE UPON THE RIGHTEOUS AS WELL AS THE SINNERS. However: THOSE WHO LIVE ACCORDING TO HIS DIVINE WILL, RECEIVE EVEN GREATER MERCY AND BLESSINGS – and ultimately, ETERNAL LIFE. THOSE WHO HAVE VERIFIED THEIR LOVE AND OBEDIENCE TO GOD THROUGH THEIR WORDS, THOUGHTS AND DEEDS AS WELL AS THEIR UNCONDITIONAL LOVE AND MERCY TOWARDS EVERYONE – EVEN ENEMIES – CERTAINLY DO RECEIVE “Crowns of Glory.”

preparatory period and forever in Eternity (which never diminishes or ceases!)

2nd Sunday of St Luke – The Golden Rule of our Lord Jesus Christ Today’s Sacred Lesson reveals to us one of the most Our Lord Jesus Christ instructs us to DO ALL GOOD outstanding verses of Holy Scripture. WORKS WITHOUT EXPECTING ANYTHING IN RETURN. Today’s Sacred Lesson is in more ways than one THE On the contrary: common sense tells us that we are to do GOLDEN RULE WHICH HAS AN INFINITE MORAL CONTENT: good to others and expect them to return the favour. Many Cultures worldwide understand this concept ‘Love your enemies and do good - and lend, quite clearly. expecting nothing in return, and your reward The idea of doing good to others and expecting will be great.’ something in return is familiar to Christ’s Jewish

2.

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16th After Pentecost – 1st of St Luke – Christ’s Golden Rule: Do Unto Others & Love Enemies – 2 October 2011

contemporaries and was part of their Rabbinical Teachings. However, as Faithful Christians we must go far beyond such negative beliefs. If we merely do the same selfish things as others do, what sets us apart from them?
CHRIST CALLS US TO SEPARATE OURSELVES FROM THOSE WHO ARE SELF-SERVING AND TO BE UTTERLY DIFFERENT.

How true are his words, because IF WE LEARN TO LOVE OUR
ENEMIES, WE AUTOMATICALLY ELIMINATE WITHIN US THE DEADLY, NOXIOUS PASSIONS, SUCH AS HATRED, MALICE, CRITICISM AND ENVY. John the Evangelist teaches us that LOVE IS POURED FORTH FROM THE HOLY SPIRIT TO EVERYONE - not only to

St

those who love us. LOVE IS THE UNION OF PERFECTION.
SINCERE LOVE OF ENEMIES IS A GREAT ACHIEVEMENT – A GREAT SPIRITUAL VIRTUE THAT CARRIES US EVER CLOSER TO ETERNAL SALVATION. LOVE OF ENEMIES TO AN AMAZING DEGREE CONTRIBUTES TO THE SALVATION OF OUR ENEMIES AS WELL AS US - for

Unfortunately in today’s’ society many people regard Orthodox Christians as being ‘crazy’ or ‘insane’ because of this distinction, because the fallen world has its own sub-standards, which fall far short of the high standard whereby Christ wants us to live. We are to do good to everyone, regardless of what they do for or to us. For this reason our Lord has taken the Old Covenant principles and applied them in a new context according to our New Covenant with Him.
CONSEQUENTLY WE DO NOT HAVE A CHOICE IN THE MATTER: It is required of us since our Lord Jesus has raised the expectations with HIS POSITIVE AND BENEFICIAL TEACHINGS. So therefore - NOT ONLY ARE WE FORBIDDEN TO DO BAD THINGS TO OTHERS BUT WE ARE ALSO FORBIDDEN TO WISH THEM HARM, OR BEGRUDGE THEM IN ANY WAY!

True, Divine Love or Agape causes the most wonderful reaction and brings God’s Divine Light even into the darkest of depths! Dear Brethren: OUR CALLING TO LOVE OUR ENEMIES IS OUR ULTIMATE SACRED MISSION.
IT IS NO COINCIDENCE – NOR WAS IT BY CHANCE - THAT OUR LORD ATTRACTED NUMEROUS CROWDS WITH HIS DIVINE TEACHINGS.

For when people saw Him and talked with him - and watched him interact with others - THEY EXPERIENCED
THE COMPLETE OPPOSITE OF WHAT THEY WERE USED TO, AND THEY REALLY WANTED TO PARTAKE OF HIS DIVINE, UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. ONCE WE HAVE EXPERIENCED TRUE DIVINE LOVE AND FELT THE VERY PRESENCE OF GOD, OUR LIVES ARE CHANGED FOREVER! V Our Lord Jesus also teaches us to ALWAYS BE MERCIFUL – just as GOD GRANTS HIS GREAT MERCY TO THE GOOD AND BAD.

We are to actually do good to everyone, without exception or excuse.
FURTHERMORE, WE ARE EXPECTED TO DO WHATEVER IS REQUIRED OF US FOR THE GOOD OF OTHERS WITHOUT ANY EXPECTATION OF RECIPROCATION OR REWARD FOR OUR GOOD DEEDS! And THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT DISTINGUISHES THE TRUE FAITH OF CHRIST from the rest of the world.

How many of us really understand, what it means to be a ‘Christian?’ – i.e. TO BE CHRIST-LIKE OR TO BE LIKE
CHRIST! THE GOOD QUALITIES OF THE SOUL

A certain Emperor was so overwhelmed by this particular verse of the Holy Gospel according to St Luke, that not only did he keep on repeating it, but he had it engraved upon walls throughout the city.
TO BE AS MERCIFUL AS THE LORD IS MERCIFUL, MEANS THAT OUR MERCY COULD NEVER REACH THAT LEVEL OF DIVINE MERCY YET WE CAN SHARE IN IT, for WE CAN PARTICIPATE IN GOD’S ENERGIES BUT NEVER IN HIS DIVINE ESSENCE. To be merciful WE MUST SUSTAIN AND DEVELOP OUR ABILITY TO SYMPATHISE AND EMPATHISE WITH OTHERS. IF WE FAIL TO SHOW MERCY TO OTHERS, WE WILL BE TORTURED BY OUR OWN BITTERNESS AND ANGER.

distinguish from within

the True Christian.
OUR WORDS, THOUGHTS AND DEEDS DEFINE US - WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A CHRISTIAN - FOR THEY REVEAL OUR TRUE INNER BEING – THEY REVEAL OUR STRIVING AND STRUGGLE TO IMITATE IN EVERY WAY POSSIBLE, OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. Our Lord Jesus Christ Calls us to LOVE THOSE WHO HATE AND DESPISE US.

But how can we do that if we don’t even love those who love us?
BEING ABLE TO LOVE OUR ENEMIES IS THE GREATEST DIVINE REVELATION AND TEACHING TO MANKIND.

It is not good enough just to love those who love us. In fact our Lord implies that loving only those that love us is a base and unrefined and unloving way to live. Loving only those who love us is the ‘bottom of the barrel’ – the worst type of response.
THE FULFILMENT OF LOVE (i.e. DIVINE LOVE – AGAPE!) IS TO LOVE EVERYONE UNCONDITIONALLY.

For when we learn to Love our enemies, we will tend to get strong reactions from those who have no True Faith – whose eyebrows will pop up as their whispers start to spread! For example, we will hear the sceptics and scoffers say: “Did you see what the Church did! ... Did you hear how they responded when they being cursed... insulted... humiliated... degraded... !” Or “ ... can you believe how they are always helping their hideous, offensive neighbours!” Saint Augustine believed that ‘...if we Love our enemies then everything else follows!’ Although it is natural and usual to love those who love us and to do good to those who do good to us to love our enemies is distasteful to our nature. One can say that it isn’t in our power but is AN ATTITUDE
THAT CAN ONLY BE THE FRUIT OF GRACE, GRANTED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT.

St John the Merciful is a perfect example of being merciful. He was known as a man of Works of Charity towards all those in need. Twice during the week - on Wednesdays and Fridays - he emerged from the Patriarchal Cathedral, and sitting at the entrance, he received everyone in need: he settled quarrels, aided the wronged and distributed alms. If you ever have the chance to see his Holy Relic which is intact to this day, his hands are extensively larger than normal since the Lord had rewarded him greatly for his merciful and charitable actions that expressed his unconditional Love for others. Dear Beloved: LET US EMBRACE CHRIST’S SACRED LESSON SO
THAT WE ARE COMPELLED TO LOVE OUR ENEMIES AND EXPRESS THE TRUE FAITH WITH WHICH WE WERE IMPRINTED ON THE DAY OF OUR HOLY BAPTISM AND CHRISMATION, through our words, thoughts and deeds

- and striving every moment to become real imitators of our Heavenly Father Who truly Loves us. Amen
EDITED & ADAPTED BY MP: A SERMON BY EMILIO KAOS – AXION ESTIN HOLY MONASTERY, MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA

http://www.axionestin.org.au/education/sunday-sermon/85-sundaysermon-3october.html

St Silouan the Athonite – On Love of Enemies

As St. Silouan the Athonite explains “The soul that has not known the Holy Spirit does not understand how one can Love one’s enemies, and does not accept it.” He repeatedly points out that LOVE OF ENEMIES IS IMPOSSIBLE WITHOUT THE GRACE OF GOD:

“Lord, Thou hast given the Commandment to Love enemies, but this is difficult for us sinners if Thy Grace is not with us” “Without God’s Grace we cannot Love enemies” “He who does not Love his enemies, does not have God’s Grace” “He who has not learned to Love from the Holy Spirit, will certainly not pray for his enemies.” St Silouan believed that this attitude is A GIFT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT: “The Lord has commanded us to Love our enemies, and the Holy Spirit reveals this Love to us”

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16th After Pentecost – 1st of St Luke – Christ’s Golden Rule: Do Unto Others & Love Enemies – 2 October 2011 3.

“One can only Love one’s enemies through the Grace of the Holy Spirit” “When you will Love your enemies, know that a great Divine Grace will be living in you.”
SUCH DIVINE GRACE DOES NOT SUDDENLY ERUPT IN OUR SOUL, BUT RATHER SHOWS ITSELF IN A DIVINE PROCESS OF TEACHING - taking into account the weakness and the difficulties of mankind, THE HOLY SPIRIT PROGRESSIVELY TEACHES US TO LOVE AND TEACHES US ALL THE ATTITUDES AND WAYS THAT WILL ALLOW US TO DO SO.

the same time, you judge yourself the worst of all people, this shows that the great Grace of the Lord is in you.” Indeed HUMILITY IS THE INDISPENSABLE CONDITION TO
RECEIVE AND KEEP THE GRACE THAT ENABLES US TO LOVE

“The Holy Spirit teaches us to Love even our enemies… the Holy Spirit teaches the soul a profound Love for mankind and compassion for the lost. The Lord had Pity for those who were lost… The Holy Spirit teaches this same Compassion for those who go to Hell … I could not speak about it if the Holy Spirit had not taught me this Love… The Lord taught me Love of enemies… The Holy Spirit taught [me] to Love.”
THE GRACE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT SHOWS TO THOSE WHO POSSESS LOVE, THE WAY TO LOVE THEIR ENEMIES. BUT IT ALSO REVEALS TO THEM THE FOUNDATION OF THIS LOVE: THE LOVE OF GOD FOR ALL PEOPLE AND HIS WILL TO SAVE THEM: “No man can know by himself what Divine

our enemies and grants us the Strength to do so: “Humble yourself, then Grace will teach you.” On the other hand, “…pride makes us lose Grace… The soul is then tormented by bad thoughts and does not understand that we must humble ourselves and Love our enemies, for without that we cannot please God.” The Holy Elder also emphasized THE IMPORTANCE OF PENITENCE IN CONNECTION WITH HUMILITY: “Regard yourself as being the worst of people!” This is an attitude of GREAT HUMILITY THAT IMPLIES PENITENCE for those who regard themselves as being the worst of all, will OBVIOUSLY AND NECESSARILY
REGARD EVERYONE ELSE AS BEING FAR BETTER THAN THEMSELVES. They will FIRST AND FOREMOST JUDGE AND BLAME THEMSELVES AND NEVER JUDGE OR CRITICIZE THEIR ENEMIES, WHOM THEY REGARD AS MUCH BETTER THAN THEMSELVES. Another penitential attitude is BESEECHING GOD’S FORGIVENESS EACH TIME WE HAVE NOT LOVED OUR ENEMY:

Love is if the Holy Spirit does not instruct him; but in our Church Divine Love is known through the Holy Spirit, and that is why we speak about it.” Divine Grace also “…grants mankind the capacity and the Strength to Love his enemies, and the Spirit of God grants us the Strength to Love them.” Because LOVE OF ENEMIES IS A FRUIT OF GRACE, it is essentially THROUGH PRAYER that it can be obtained. St Silouan constantly urged us to “…ask the Lord with our whole being to give us the Strength to Love all men.” He also advised us to pray to the Ever Blessed All Holy Mother of God and the Saints: “If we are incapable [of loving our enemies] and if we are without Love, let us turn with ardent Prayers to the Lord, to His Most Pure Mother, and to all the Saints, and the Lord will help us with everything, He Whose Love for us knows no bounds.” The Holy Father himself constantly prayed to God for this: “I continuously beg the Lord to grant me the Love of enemies… Day and night I ask the Lord for this Love. The Lord grants me tears and I weep for the whole world.” Wishing in his universal Love for all mankind to receive such a Gift, he links them to himself in his Prayer: “Lord, teach us through Thy Holy Spirit to Love our enemies and to pray for them with tears . . . Lord, as Thou prayed for Thine enemies, so teach us also, through the Holy Spirit, to Love our enemies.” Yet OBTAINING THE GRACE TO LOVE ONE’S ENEMIES
PRESUPPOSES OTHER CONDITIONS SINCE IT IS COMPLETELY BOUND TO THE LOVE OF GOD: the principal Foundation is THE LOVE THAT GOD SHOWS TO ALL HIS CREATURES EQUALLY AND HIS WILL THAT ALL PEOPLE SHOULD BE SAVED, AND CHRIST GAVE US A PERFECT EXAMPLE OF SUCH LOVE THROUGHOUT HIS EARTHLY LIFE. THE LOVE OF GOD LEADS US TO ACCOMPLISH HIS WILL AND TO IMITATE HIM as much as possible, and so also to Love

our enemies. St Silouan believed that THOSE WHO DO NOT LOVE THEIR
ENEMIES SHOW THAT THEY HAVE NOT LEARNED FROM THE HOLY SPIRIT TO LOVE GOD. TO LOVE ONE’S ENEMIES IS ALSO TIGHTLY BOUND TO HUMILITY

“If I judge someone or look at him angrily, my tears dry up and I fall into despondency; and again I beg the Lord to forgive me, and the merciful Lord forgives me, a sinner. “Through such an attitude, by which the soul humbly recognizes before God its faults and shortcomings and obtains from Him forgiveness, an opening can be made that becomes bigger and bigger for Grace and unceasing progress in Love. “As to a total absence of compassion for enemies, it shows the presence and the action of an evil spirit. Sincere Repentance is the only way to be freed from it.” The insistence on PRAYER, HUMILITY AND PENITENCE shows that, although St. Silouan recognized the essential action of Divine Grace in acquiring Love of enemies, he did not neglect THE SIGNIFICANCE OF OUR OWN EFFORTS: “I beg you, try … In the beginning, force your heart to Love your enemies.” All efforts we make must be with the intention of obeying God - achieved with constant good will - and God unfailingly responds to us: “Seeing your good intention, the Lord will help you in everything.” His own human powerlessness and weakness constantly kept these words of St Paul in mind: “I can do all things through Christ Who grants me Strength” and he witnessed THE MIGHTY HELP THAT EVERYONE CAN RECEIVE FROM GOD. (Phil 4:13) FOR CHRIST THERE ARE NO ENEMIES. There are those who accept “the words of Eternal Life,” and there are those who reject and even crucify them - but for our Creator there can be no enemy. So too it should be for the Christian who “…in pity for all must strive for the Salvation of all.” The Power of this Commandment is experienced by those who keep God’s Commandments who know that God is Love in superabundance that embraces all Creation.
BY ALLOWING MANKIND TO ACTUALLY KNOW THIS LOVE THE HOLY SPIRIT REVEALS TO US THE PATH OF FULLNESS OF BEING.

for these two great Virtues are closely linked.
ALMOST ALL THE DIFFICULTIES WE ENCOUNTER IN LOVING OUR ‘ENEMIES’ ARE LINKED WITH PRIDE from which flow the

deadly afflictions of insults, hatred, bad temper, spite, revenge, dislike, disrespect, unforgiveness and rejection of reconciliation with one another.
PRIDE EXCLUDES THE LOVE OF ENEMIES - AND LOVE OF ENEMIES EXCLUDES PRIDE: “If we Love our enemies,

To think or say “enemy” implies rejection and thus we fall from the Fullness of God: “The whole Paradise of Saints lives by the Holy Spirit, and from the Holy Spirit nothing in Creation is hid…God is Love - and in the Saints the Holy Spirit is Love. Dwelling in the Holy Spirit, the Saints behold Love and embrace It, too, in their Love.” To judge whether a state of Contemplation is a reality or an illusion only - IF THERE IS NO LOVE FOR ENEMIES AND
FOR ALL GOD’S CREATURES, IT IS A TRUE INDICATION THAT THE SUPPOSED ‘CONTEMPLATION’ HAS NOT BEEN A REAL COMMUNION WITH GOD.
ADAPTED & EDITED BY MP: “PASSAGES FROM ST SILOUAN THE ATHONITE” COMPILED BY JEANCLAUDE LARCHET – ORIGINALLY PYUBLISHED “IN COMMUNION” ISSUE 8, PASCHA 1997 – TRANSLATION BY MOTHER LYDIA OF ST JOHN THE FORERUNNER MONASTERY, THE HAGUE

pride will have no place in our soul.”
THE FACT THAT HUMILITY GOES HAND IN HAND WITH LOVE OF ENEMIES PROVES THE PRESENCE OF GRACE AND THE AUTHENTICITY OF LOVE: “If you have Compassion for

all creatures and Love your enemies, and if, at

4.

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16th After Pentecost – 1st of St Luke – Christ’s Golden Rule: Do Unto Others & Love Enemies – 2 October 2011

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa Archdiocese of Good Hope
All Glory, Honour and unto the Ages of ages. Remembering also our Virgin, to gether with all our God. Ame n. Worship to the Father, and to the So n, and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever, and Ame n. Most Holy, Mo st Pure, Most Blessed and Glorious Lady, Maria, T heotokos, ye t Eve r the Saints. And let us commit o urselves and one another and our whole Life to Chris t

9 October 2011 17
th

Sunday After Pentecost

Tone (8) Plagal 4

3rd Sunday of St Luke: The Son of the Widow of Nain The Feast of St James, son of Alphaeos, Holy Apostle – St Abraham the Righteous & St Lot, his nephew – St Poplios the Confessor – St Andronikos & St Athanasia of Egypt – St Tikhon, Apostle to America – St Juventinos, St Maximos & St Publia the Confessor & Deaconess of Antioch – St Peter of Galatia – St Dionysios, Hieromartyr, of Paris – Holy Icons of our Ever Blessed Lady Theotokos of Korsun & “Assuage My Sorrow” – St Stephen the Blind of Serbia
Apolytikion of the Resurrection – Tone (8) Plagal 4

Ex

ipsous katilthes O Efsplaghnos, tafin katedexo triimeron, ina imas elevtherosis ton pathon. I Zoi ke i Anastasis imon, Kyrie, § Doxa Si!

Thou descended from on High, O Tender-hearted One;
Thou endured the three-days’ burial, so that Thou might free us from our passions, O our Life and Resurrection: § Glory to Thee!

Apolytkion of St James Alphaeos – Tone 4

Apostole

Agie, Iakovos, presveve to eleimoni Theo, ina ptesmaton afesin, parashi tes fihes imon.

O

Holy Apostle James, Intercede with our Merciful God to grant remission of sins to the souls of us all.

Kontakion Of The Ever Blessed Theotokos

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

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

Resurrection Gospel 6: Luke 24:36 - 53 Prokeimenon

Our Lord Jesus Appears To The Apostles & Ascends To Heaven

Pray to the Lord our God and offer Him Thanks! God is known in Judea; His Name is Great in Israel!
The Second Epistle of St Paul to the Corinthians 6: 16 – 7 : 1
A Plea for Holiness Brethren: we are Temples of the Living God. As God has said: ‘I will dwell in them, and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My People.’ Therefore, ‘Come out from among them and be separate,’ says the Lord. ‘Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.’ ‘I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters,’ says the Lord Almighty. Therefore, having these Promises, Beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting Holiness in the Fear of God. St Paul keeps on reminding us that WE ARE SANCTIFIED to quickly return to Him and resume our Spiritual Journey towards Eternity. “Temples of the Living God” THROUGH THE HOLY MYSTERIES OF BAPTISM, CHRISMATION, UNCTION, EVERY ONE OF US HAS A SACRED MISSION TO FULFIL! CONFESSION AND HOLY COMMUNION/EUCHARIST. But, unless we separate ourselves from the wicked and WE ARE SANCTIFIED – MADE HOLY – BODY AND SOUL. the ungodly, we cannot grow closer to God and Consequently, AS SANCTIFIED, INTELLECTUAL BEINGS, WE achieve our Spiritual Goals. MUST WORK CONSTANTLY TO KEEP OURSELVES FREE
FROM THE SHACKLES AND FILTH OF SIN SO THAT GOD MAY CONTINUE TO DWELL WITHIN US. BY

God’s Divine Presence within us enables us to make good Spiritual Progress, which in turn encourages others as well. However, THE INSTANT WE FALL INTO ERROR OR SIN, THE
DIVINE INDWELLING OF OUR TRIUNE GOD, DEPARTS FROM US UNTIL WE HAVE REPENTED OUR SINS AND CLEANSED OURSELVES THROUGH HOLY CONFESSION AND COMMUNION.

BEING EVER WATCHFUL OVER OUR OWN WORDS, THOUGHTS AND DEEDS – A CONSTANT SPIRITUAL FAST – THEREBY IMMEDIATELY CORRECTING OUR ERRORS - WE ARE EMBRACED BY ALMIGHTY GOD – as well all His

Heavenly Hosts and glorified Saints who watch over us, guide us and protect us.
HUMBLE OBEDIENCE TO GOD MAKES US WORTHY HEAVENLY CITIZENS AND CO-HEIRS WITH CHRIST!

God always fulfils His Divine Promises – He never fails us!
IT IS ENTIRELY UP TO OUR OWN DETERMINED EFFORTS – OUR OWN PERSONAL SPIRITUAL STRUGGLE – TO PERFECT OURSELVES BY THE GRACE OF GOD AND “IN THE FEAR OF GOD.” This means that the depth of OUR RESPECT AND LOVE FOR GOD MAKES US FEAR OUR OWN WEAKNESSES AND FAILURES that might not achieve the Great

GOD NEVER ABANDONS US! Yet we reject Him by our own wicked words, thoughts and deeds! Nevertheless, due to His infinite Love for us, GOD
PROVIDES THE MEANS FOR OUR SPIRITUAL CORRECTION AND REINSTATEMENT, which returns us to a state of

Peace, Love and Grace.
HUMILITY, OBEDIENCE AND CONSTANT PRAYER KEEP US CLOSE TO GOD – and even when we fall, we are able

Expectations of our Lord and Saviour.

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15 t h Sunday After Pe ntecost – 1 s t of St Luke – The Mir ac ulous C atch - 25 September 2011 5.

THESE THREE RESURRECTIONS FROM THREE DIFFERENT STAGES OF DEATH, WERE INCLUDED IN THE HOLY GOSPELS TO SHOW US THAT AS OUR CREATOR, OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST CONTROLS ALL LIFE ON EARTH AND IN THE UNIVERSE. No matter how long anyone has been dead, IF IT IS THE WILL OF GOD, WHO CREATED US, HE CAN RAISE ANYONE FROM THE SLEEP OF DEATH.

The Widow of Nain’s Son is Raised from the Dead At that time, our Lord Jesus went into a city called Nain; and many of His Disciples went with Him, as well as a large crowd. And as they approached the gate of the city, behold! A dead man was being carried out – the only son of his mother, who was a widow. And a large crowd from the city was with her. When our Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her: “Do not weep.” And He went and touched the open coffin, and those who carried it stood still. And He said: “Young man, I say to thee: Arise.” And he who had been dead sat up and began to speak. And our Lord presented him to his mother. Then fear came upon them all, and they glorified God, saying: “A great Prophet has risen up among us!” And: “God has visited His People!” THIS WAS ONE OF THREE RESURRECTIONS OF THE DEAD THAT Resurrection, the Widow of Nain’s tears were ended OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST PERFORMED, WHICH WERE with the restoration of her only son. RECORDED IN THE HOLY GOSPELS. THERE IS ANOTHER UNMENTIONED ASPECT of this particular The other two resurrections – or resuscitations – from Event, which was clearly understood by the ancient the dead were those of Jairus’ daughter who had world: the man was her “ONLY SON!” died shortly before He arrived, and St Lazaros of Women had no rights whatsoever and were often treated Bethany who had been dead for four days and had worse than the families’ livestock! begun to decompose already. IF A WOMAN WAS LEFT WITHOUT ANY CLOSE MALE RELATIVE These three resurrections were temporary since they all TO SHELTER HER AND TO PROTECT HER, ALL HER reposed later and will be forever Resurrected BELONGINGS WERE CONFISCATED AND SHE (AND ANY DAUGHTERS) WOULD BE EVICTED FROM THEIR HOME together with everyone else at the General AND LEFT TO THE MERCY OF THE PUBLIC WHO ALSO Resurrection of the Dead on the Final Day – the Day USUALLY TREATED THEM ABOMINABLY. of Judgement and the beginning of Eternity. CHRIST HAD THE GREATEST OF RESPECT FOR ALL WOMEN and He broke down social barriers that permitted or ignored the terrible abuse and neglect of women.
HE KNEW THAT THE WIDOW OF NAIN WOULD BE UTTERLY DESTITUTE and that the weeping, sympathetic crowds

The Holy Gospel According to St Luke

7 : 11 – 16

There were many other instances of Christ resuscitating the dead according to the Will of God, but, as we know, only a few of His Great Miracles, Words and Deeds were recorded in the Holy Gospels.
THESE RESURRECTIONS BY CHRIST CONFIRMED THE DIVINE PROMISE GIVEN TO ST EZEKIEL THE HOLY PROPHET BY GOD THAT HE WOULD ONE DAY OPEN ALL THE GRAVES AND TOMBS AND RAISE ALL THE DEAD TO LIFE. (READ
EZEKIEL 37: 1 – 14)

who accompanied her, would very quickly reject her and abandon her – even other more privileged women!
HIS INFINITE COMPASSION FOR THE HUMAN CONDITION IS EVIDENT FROM HIS MANY ACTS OF MERCY

And so it was at Nain and later, at His Crucifixion, when He placed His Beloved Mother in the care and protection of St John, His Beloved Apostle, and his family, who were utterly devoted to God and completely trustworthy.
PEOPLE WERE SHOCKED, AMAZED AND FRIGHTENED BY THE MIRACLES OF CHRIST, which had never been

Many people have exercised authority over the living but ONLY THE SON OF GOD “... has Power over both the living and the dead!” (ORTHODOX FUNERAL SERVICE) While Christ our Lord has Power through His Words alone, in this case He also touched the coffin to show that HIS VERY BODY IS LIFE-GIVING.
ANYTHING ORDINARY OR MUNDANE THAT IS TOUCHED BY GOD BECOMES SOMETHING MYSTICAL AND EXTRAORDINARY FOR DIVINE POWER THROUGH CONTACT CAUSES AN IMMEDIATE ALTERATION OR CHANGE.

The resurrection of the Widow of Nain’s son prefigured our Lord’s own Resurrection. Just as our Ever Blessed Lady Theotokos would weep for Her Beloved Lord and Son, and her tears of sorrow would soon become tears of Joy after His Orthodox Christianity teaches us that our Lord Jesus Christ came - not simply to Save something called the "soul," but that rather much more mysterious reality called the “person.” We need to reflect on our experience - personal and shared - to see why the human being - created as we are in the Image and Likeness of the Triune God - is Mysterious, and (in light of this Mystery) what it means to be Saved. Think about it a moment: Each of us, is unique and ‘irrepeatable.’ We share - to state it paradoxically - the quality of being unique. And yet, we somehow identify each other as human and even are able to experience moments of empathy in which we see ourselves in one another. Recognising ourselves in each other seems to happen most frequently in those moments of low ebb - not simply in darkness of tragedy and immense suffering to be sure, yet certainly there is something about the experience of being in need that makes it possible for us to transcend our own uniqueness and come to a sense of similarity between our neighbour and ourselves.

witnessed before. And even today, we wonder how people would react if they witnessed a similar resurrection on the way to a burial! The Godly would, no doubt, immediately acknowledge, praise and glorify the Great Mercy and abundant Love of God, whereas the ungodly would find all kinds of explanations or reasons not to accept nor acknowledge the Divine Power of God. Every day we witness the Divine Miracles of God, yet we generally dismiss, ignore or take them for granted. Consequently, AT THE END OF EACH DAY, WE MUST ALWAYS
REMEMBER TO OFFER OUR PRAYERS OF THANKSGIVING TO OUR LOVING, MERCIFUL AND MOST BENEVOLENT GOD!

Third Sunday of St Luke – The Son of the Widow of Nain
Indeed, it is often in moments of great need that we come to see our neighbour as really and truly our neighbour – our fellow sufferer. Ideally all this happens in a way that both preserves, and even sharpens, our uniqueness while revealing sometimes unbearably so - our sameness. We can become as compassionate as Christ - or as St Ephrem the Syrian expressed it, "...like a sponge for [OUR NEIGHBOURS] tears." (“COMMENTARY ON TATIAN'S DIATESSARON”) But for this to happen, we need - and again like Christ – to possess our selves. Tragically though - because of sin, for most of us most of the time - while the suffering of others evokes a sense of empathy, this empathy quickly overwhelms us. Like Christ, we want to say something comforting. We want to reach out a hand and, in some small way, to "set free [OUR NEIGHBOUR’S] death-fraught flesh from the bonds of death." We want to have "...mercy upon the woman, ... that her tears might be stopped, ... [AND] see the cause of her weeping ... undone." (ST CYRIL OF ALEXANDRIA, COMMENTARY ON LUKE,
HOMILY 36).

But because we are sinners, we cannot do so, for our Communion with God is impaired and our

6.

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15 t h Sunday A fter P entecost – 1 s t of St Luke – The Mir aculous C atch - 25 September 2011

relationship with our suffering neighbour is also wounded. Therefore, we are at a disadvantage and incapable of giving comfort to anyone.
OUR SINFUL STATE HAS CAUSED OUR LOSS OF DIVINE LIKENESS - AND ONLY WHEN WE HAVE CORRECTED OUR ERRORS THROUGH SINCERE REPENTANCE AND CONFESSION, AND CONSTANT PRAYERS, THEREBY RETURNING TO GOD’S PRESENCE - ARE WE ENABLED TO BRING LOVE AND COMFORT TO OTHERS. mp

person - that He came to Save us in our full humanity - means that WE MUST GIVE UP OUR
GNOSTIC VISION OF OURSELVES AND REALIZE THAT WE MUST SUBMIT ALL OF OURSELVES – BODY AND SOUL - TO CHRIST.

For this reason, when confronted by human suffering, and the renewed and deepened communion that it offers, we fail. And we don't simply fail once, but again and again. All too often the face of human suffering - with its invitation to experience our common humanity overwhelms us and due to unrepented sin, our common humanity, our Communion with God and one another becomes appalling. Consequently, when faced by the uniqueness of her suffering we would drown in the tears of the Widow who had lost her only son. In our weakness - rather than imitating Christ – we would find ourselves (TO BORROW ST CYRIL'S WORDS AGAIN) in the role of the dead man's acquaintances and "...many friends who were conducting him to his tomb." Although our concern for the suffering and the destitute is well-intentioned, in the final analysis we are only able to lower our friends and family into their graves! Respect for each person's uniqueness and empathy for our shared humanity, are good things. However, these very basic, epistemological (THEORY OF KNOWLEDGE) and psychological truths must be transformed by the Grace of Christ into "...the Fruit of the Spirit ... Love, Joy, Peace, Longsuffering, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, `Gentleness, Self-control." (GALATIANS
5.22-23)

It means that we cannot simply pray that He will Save our disembodied soul or fulfil our fine (and equally disembodied) Spiritual Aspirations - or merely meet our Spiritual Needs and desires.
CHRIST SAVES THE COMPLETE HUMAN BEING – BODY AND SOUL! In order to do so, OUR LORD ENTERED FULLY INTO WHAT IT MEANS TO BE, AS WE ARE, ENSLAVED TO THE WORKS OF THE FLESH . (THE WEAKNESSES AND TEMPTATIONS THAT WE HAVE TO CONTEND
WITH EACH MOMENT OF THE DAY.)

Nevertheless, while our Lord Jesus Christ and us were both under the threat of sin, HE NEVER SINNED: "For we do not have a High Priest Who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.”
(HEBREWS 4;15).

IT IS ONLY THROUGH OUR CULTIVATING THE FRUIT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT THAT WE ARE ABLE TO PUT TO DEATH IN US

"...the works of the flesh that are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like"
(GALATIANS 19-21).

since it is these that are the cause of our lost resolve in the sight of human suffering. The works for flesh blind us to the Mystery of the human being, since EACH VICE DEGRADES THE PERSON AND CHANGES OUR ATTITUDE towards him or her from an end into a means. Shackled and bound by the works of the flesh, standing unrepentant in our sins before the Triune God in Whose Image and Likeness we have been created, we do prefer to think that God Saves souls but not that He Saves persons. The reason for preferring the erroneous idea that God Saves the soul and not the person is due to the simplicity of such a concept. That simplicity does not require from us an acceptance of a Life of Communion with God or other human beings in their embodied uniqueness. The Salvation of the person - in all his or her uniqueness – however, is an invitation to live A LIFE OF RESPECTFUL COMMUNION. (WITH GOD AND OUR FELLOW
THESE WORKS OF THE FLESH NEED TO BE HEALED
MANKIND)

The great sorrow of sin is that it limits us to only a small part of our own humanity. CHRIST RETURNS US TO THE FULLNESS OF HUMAN LIFE and He does so by His own human Nature - not only formally, but concretely. As St Cyril said: “Christ raised him who had descended to his grave. The manner of his rising is plain to see. ‘He touched,’ it says, ‘the bier and said ‘Young man, I say unto thee, arise.’ How was not a Word enough to raise him who was lying there? What is more powerful that the Word of God? Why then did (Christ) not work the Miracle by only a Word but also touched the bier?” It was, St Cyril said, so that we "...might learn that the Holy Body of Christ is essential for the Salvation of man." In Christ, human flesh becomes "the Body of Life" and is "clothed with [Divine] Might." Like "...iron, brought into contact with fire..." the sin-bound but sinless "...Flesh of Christ ... has the Power of giving Life and annihilates the influence of Death and corruption..." that overwhelms us and drowns us, turning even our best intentions and noblest desires (like empathy for each other in our need) against us.
TO BE SAVED - TO BE IN CHRIST - MEANS THAT WE ARE NOT ONLY LIBERATED FROM SIN, BUT ARE UNITED ONCE AGAIN TO ONE ANOTHER.

Again to borrow from St Cyril: Christ has entered into our sinfulness and has delivered us "...from evil works, even from fleshly lusts..." so that He "...may unite us to the assembly of the Saints." And He Saves us by giving us back to ourselves - or maybe more accurately - HE RETURNS TO US THE
TRANSCENDENT POSSIBILITIES OF OUR OWN HUMANITY.

We need no longer remain enslaved to the works of the flesh; WE NEED NO LONGER LEAD TRUNCATED LIVES; we need no longer with tears simply accompany one another to the grave. IN CHRIST, LIFE EVER LASTING IS NOW GRANTED TO US. We can Love one another and need NO LONGER FEAR THE WEIGHT OF OUR SHARED HUMANITY. To Christ be the Glory! In Christ, +Fr Gregory
ADAPTED & EDITED BY MP: “THIRD SUNDAY OF ST LUKE”

This is for us a challenge - unlike the idea of the ethereal, timeless, disembodied soul! To acknowledge and conform ourselves to the reality and Truth that Christ came to Save the In Paradise, (Righteous) anger was Blessed. The Lord God implanted it in Adam as a means of violently repulsing every trick of the devil that aims to separate us from the True God and to remove us from keeping Faith in God. However, the devious devil tricked Adam and Eve because they did not use the incensive faculty within

http://palamas.blogspot.com/2007/10/third-sunday-of-luke-71116.html

Thoughts for the Inner Ear -

them to deter him and had they done so, they would have been Saved and preserved from all the grief and sorrow that followed. They fell into the same error as the devil – pride – selfworship. By accepting Satan’s temptation of flattery, they left the Divine Sphere and entered the sinful sphere of the evil one.

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15 t h Sunday After Pe ntecost – 1 s t of St Luke – The Mir ac ulous C atch - 25 September 2011 7.

In our fallen state, Righteous Anger was distorted and became a means of oppression and devastation – a means of having power over others – of sin and death. This is how man’s worship of himself began to be expressed and anger became a destructive faculty of God’s Creation after having been granted as a faculty for preserving it. Furthermore, anger was no longer an instrument for the defence and preservation of Truth. Instead, it became a weapon of lies and distortion. The human Nature of our Lord Jesus is the Perfect Nature of created mankind in Paradise before the Fall and for this reason His incensive faculty was centred on His Zeal for God. When Christ went up to the Temple and saw how the money changers had turned the House of God into a merchant’s bazaar, He became fiercely angry out of Zeal for the Truth, and taking a whip He beat them and overturned they tables, saying to them: “My House shall be called a House of Prayer, and you have made it into a den of thieves!” (MARK 11) In order to return mankind to the worship of God in spirit and in Truth through the keeping of the Divine Commandments, it is not permitted for those who

consider themselves to be of God to resort to violence. The counsel for them is: “Be as wise as serpents and as meek as doves” (MATTHEW 10:16). In order for us to reach the Humility that the Lord God desires, we must imitate Him in this. His incensive faculties (RIGHTEOUS ANGER) do not to return their rightful state and they do not recover their Divine Role in the defence of the Truth and the preservation of God’s Creation. Up to that point, VIOLENCE REMAINS AN EVIL TOOL IN THE
HAND OF THE DEVIL FOR THE APEX OF THE HIS EVIL TRICKS AND DECEPTION OF MANKIND IS TO PUSH US TO MINDLESS VIOLENCE AND MURDER IN THE NAME OF GOD!

Our Lord Jesus clearly warned us about this when He told His Disciples: “The hour is coming when those who will kill you will think that they are making an offering to God. They will do this because they did not know the Father and they did not know Me.” (JOHN 16:2-3)
ADAPTED & EDITED BY MP: “NOTES ON ARAB ORTHODOXY – “MORE PERTINENT THOUGHTS

FROM ARCHIMANDRITE TOUMA (BITAR)

http://araborthodoxy.blogspot.com/2009/07/more-pertinentthoughts-from.html

The Eternal Wisdom of our God-Inspired Holy Church Fathers On The Image of God– Metropolitan Anthony Bloom
Every one of us is in the Image of God, and every one of us is like a damaged Icon. But if we were given an Icon damaged by time, damaged by circumstances, or desecrated by human hatred, we would treat it with reverence, with tenderness, with broken-heartedness. We would not pay attention primarily to the fact that it is damaged, but to the tragedy of its being damaged. We would concentrate on what is left of its beauty, and not on what is lost of its beauty. And this is what we must learn to do with regard to each person as an individual, but also – and this is You cannot live for your own pleasure and your own convenience without inevitably hurting and injuring the feelings and the interests of practically everybody else you meet… Most people more or less live for themselves and for their own interests and pleasures or for those of What we gain from Fasting does not compensate for what we lose through anger. Our profit from Scriptural reading in no way equals the damage we cause ourselves by showing contempt for a Brother. We must practice Fasting, Vigils, Withdrawal, and the Meditation of Scripture as activities that are subordinate to our main objective - Purity of Heart God, Who is by Nature Good and Dispassionate, Loves all people equally as His Handiwork. But He glorifies the Virtuous person because in his will he is United to God. At the same time, in His Goodness God is merciful to the sinner and by chastising him in this life brings him back to the Path of Virtue. not always as easy – with regard to groups of people, whether it be a Parish or a denomination, or a Nation. We must learn to look - and look until we have seen the underlying beauty of this group of people. Only then can we even begin to do something to call out all the beauty that is there. Listen to other people, and whenever you discern something which sounds True, which is a Revelation of Harmony and Beauty, emphasize it and help it to flower. Strengthen it and encourage it to live! their own family or group, and therefore they are constantly interfering with one another’s aims, and hurting one another and injuring one another, whether they mean it or not. “ THE SEVEN STOREY MOUNTAIN”

On Living for Your Own Pleasure – Father Thomas Merton

On Keeping the Principle Virtue – St John Cassian
that is to say, Love, and we must never disturb this principal Virtue for the sake of those others. If this Virtue remains whole and unharmed within us nothing can injure us, not even if we are forced to omit any of those other subordinate Virtues. Nor will it be of any use to have practiced all these latter if there is missing in us that principal objective for the sake of which all else is undertaken. Similarly, a person of good and dispassionate judgment also Loves all people equally. He loves the virtuous man because of his nature and the probity of his intention; and he loves the sinner, too, because of his nature and because in his compassion he pities him for foolishly stumbling in darkness. It means, surely, that the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy is not an end but a beginning. Those words, “Let us go forth in Peace,” are not merely a comforting epilogue. They are a call to serve and bear witness. In effect, those words, “Let us go forth in Peace,” mean the Liturgy is over, the liturgy after the Liturgy is about to begin!

God Loves the Virtuous and the Sinner – St Maximos the Confessor

There is one phrase from the Divine Liturgy in which the word ‘Peace’ figures prominently - the phrase that comes after Holy Communion shortly before the Final Dismissal: “Let us go forth in Peace.” There are many Commandments in the Liturgy, many things that we are told to do such as “Lift up your hearts...” “Give thanks to the Lord.” “Let us go forth in Peace” is the last Commandment of the Divine Liturgy. What does it mean?

On the Liturgy After the Divine Liturgy – Metropolitan Kallistos Ware

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15 t h Sunday A fter P entecost – 1 s t of St Luke – The Mir aculous C atch - 25 September 2011

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, Mos t Pure, Most Blessed and Glorious Lady, Mari a, Theo tokos, yet Ever Virgin, together with all the Saints. And let us commit ourselves and one ano the r and o ur whole Life to Christ our Go d. Amen.

16 October 2011 18
th

Sunday After Pentecost

Tone 1

4th Sunday of St Luke: The Sower & The Seed The Feast of The Holy Fathers of the 7th Ecumenical Council – St Longinos the Centurion at Golgotha – St Longinos the Gatekeeper of Kiev Caves Monastery – St Longinos the Wonderworker of Yarenga – St Longinos of Asistavi – St Evpraxia, Princess of Pskov
Apolytikion of the Resurrection – Tone 1

Tou lithou sfragisthentos ipo ton Ioudeon ke stratioton
filassonton to ahranton Sou Soma, Anestis trimeros, Sotir, Doroumenos to kosmo tin Zoin. Dia touto e Dinamis ton Ouranon evoon si Zoodota. Doxa ti Anastasi Sou, Hriste! Doxa ti Vasilia Sou! Doxa ti Ikonomia Sou, mone Filanthrope!

While

the stone was sealed by the Jews, and soldiers stood on guard over Thy Body undefiled, Thou rose on the Third Day, O Saviour, Who grants Life to the world. For which cause the Heavenly Powers cried aloud to Thee: O Giver of Life: Glory to Thy Resurrection, O Christ! Glory to Thy Kingdom! Glory to Thy Providence, O Thou Who alone Loves mankind! praised art Thou, O Christ our God, Who established on earth, our Fathers as Luminaries; and through them, to the True Faith all of us Thou has guided:

Apolytikion of The Holy Fathers of the Ecumenical Councils

Iperdedoxasmenos i Hriste O Theos imon, O fostiras epi
gis, tous Pateras imon themeliosas, ke di afton, pros tin alithinin pistin pantas imas odigisas, §Poliefsplaghne Doxa Si!
Kontakion Of The Ever Blessed Theotokos

Supremely

§O Most Compassionate:

Glory to Thee!

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

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

Resurrection Gospel 7: John 20:1 – 10
St Peter & St John Witness The Empty Tomb Of Our Risen Lord Jesus Christ

Prokeimenon

Let Thy Mercy, O Lord, be upon us, as we have set our hope on Thee. Rejoice in the Lord, O All Righteous people!
The Epistle of St Paul to St Titos 3 : 8 - 15
To Titos: a True Son in our common Faith: It is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain Good Works. These things are good and profitable to mankind. But avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the Law, for they are unprofitable and useless. Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition, knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned. When I send Artemas to you, or Tychikos, be diligent to come to me at Nicoplolis, for I have decided to spent the winter there. Send Zenas the Lawyer and Apollos on their journey with haste, so that they may lack nothing. And let our people also learn to maintain Good Works, to meet urgent needs, that they may not be unfruitful. All who are with me greet you. Greet those who Love us in the Faith. Grace be with you. Amen. St Paul transformed the Old Covenant understanding of V St Paul was painfully aware that we are all One God, the Lord, into our Lord Jesus’ New awaiting the Consummation of the Age to Covenant Revelation of One God in Three Persons: come – Eternity – and he knew that we Father, Son and Holy Spirit – each of whom is already participate in the Eschatological “Lord.” Community. (THOSE OF US WHO ARE CONCERNED WITH OUR IMMORTAL SOULS IN ITS RELATION TO DEATH, JUDGEMENT, HEAVEN AND So when we turn to the Lord, we turn not just to HELL.) God the Father, but also to God the Son and HOLY BAPTISM AND CHRISMATION ARE ONLY THE BEGINNING God the Holy Spirit. OF OUR RITE OF PASSAGE TOWARDS A PROGRESSIVE LIFE OF RENEWAL IN CHRIST. The Divine Work of the Holy Spirit brings us True 2 C o r i n t h i a n s 3 : 1 6 – 1 8 : “... when one turns to the Liberty because God frees us from the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is shackles of sin and Death so that we are able Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, to behold God and to enjoy open and constant there is Liberty. But we all – with unveiled access to Him. face, beholding as in a mirror the Glory of the Having been created in God’s Divine Image, we Lord – are being Transformed into the same are able to see God’s Uncreated Image – His Image from glory to Glory – just as by the Word and Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, Who is Spirit of the Lord.” the Glory of the Lord in two ways: • Through Christ’s Deified Humanity

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18 t h Sunday After Pentec ost – 4th of St Luke – T he Sow er & the Se e d - 16 October 2011 9.

• And in the Power of the Holy Spirit. As we behold God Incarnate and grow closer to Him, we become what He created us to be. God is infinite so growing in His Divine Image and Glory has not restrictions or limits either! We shall eternally see God more clearly and we shall for evermore be Transformed into His Divine Likeness. No creature – no Angel nor human being – can ever become Divine as God is Eternally Divine. We can – like our Ever Blessed Lady Theotokos and St John the Baptist and Forerunner - achieve a very

high Spiritual Purity – Holy Sainthood, Theosis or Deification - through absolute Humility and Obedience to God. V A divisive person is one who picks or chooses from the whole Truth. V A Sect is a group of people who follow their own choices and beliefs – independent of any Holy Tradition. V Incomplete or erroneous beliefs result in immoral and ungodly behaviour.

The Holy Gospel According to St Luke 8 : 5 – 15 The Sower and the Seed
At that time, a great multitude had gathered, and they had gone to Him from every city. And our Lord Jesus spoke to them by means of a Parable: “A Sower went out to sow His Seed. And as He sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trampled down, and the birds of the air devoured it. Some fell on rock; and as soon as it had sprung up, it withered away because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up with it and choked it. But other Seeds fell on good ground, sprang up, and yielded a crop a hundredfold.” When He had said these words to them, He cried out: “He who has ears to hear – let him hear!” Then His Disciples asked Him: “What does this Parable mean?” And He said: “To you it has been granted to know the Mysteries of the Kingdom of God, but to the rest it is given in Parables, so that ‘...seeing, they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.’ “Now the Parable is this: the Seed is the Word of God. Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the Word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be Saved. But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the Word with Joy; yet these have no root – they believe for a while and in times of temptation they fall away. “Now the ones that fell among the thorns are those who – when they have heard, they go out and are choked by cares, riches and the pleasures of life, and bring no Fruit to maturity. “But those that fell on good ground are those who – having heard the Word with a noble and good heart – keep it and bear Fruit with Patience...” Parables are stories in word pictures that reveal Understanding and Belief in His Grace, Mercy SPIRITUAL TRUTH. and Forgiveness – and to order our lives The Hebrew and Aramaic words for “Parable,” also according to His Holy Word. mean “Allegory” “Riddle” or “Proverb.” As the Sower, CHRIST FULFILS ALL PROPHECY. (ISAIAH 55:10 – 13) Holy Scripture – especially the Holy Gospels – are filled “...it withered away because it lacked with Parables – images drawn from daily life in moisture..” Although some erroneously believe the world to represent and communicate THE that we are permanently Saved at the moment we DEEP AND PROFOUND THINGS OF GOD. profess our Faith – CHRIST IS QUITE CLEAR that since Parables give us glimpses of Him Whose Thoughts it is possible to “...believe for a while” and are not our own thoughts and Whose Ways are then “...fall away...” WE HAVE TO CONTINUE OUR not our ways. (ISAIAH 55: 8-9) SALVIFIC STRUGGLE UNTIL WE DRAW OUR LAST BREATH The Truth communicated by our Lord Jesus’ Parables, – FULFILLING ALL THAT IS REQUIRED AS A FAITHFUL however, is not evident to all who hear them since DISCIPLE OF CHRIST. those who hear must have Spiritual Ears to Thus OUR SALVATION IS A CONTINUING PROCESS THAT hear – and even then, not all have the same NEEDS OUR FULL COMMITMENT AND DETERMINATION to degree of Understanding. follow in Christ’s Footsteps along His Narrow Path of Thus a Parable could be seen as a riddle that only Righteousness – the Spiritually Enlightened can grasp. “the Mysteries of the Kingdom of God” are not However, it does not mean that Christ used Parables to obscure intellectual concepts, but THE PRESENCE blind the people or to lead them to Eternal of the Kingdom of God, WHICH CANNOT BE Punishment. DEFINED. On the contrary, it demonstrates that we are UNWILLINGNESS TO UNDERSTAND Christ’s Parables is due responsible for our own lack of receptivity – a to A REJECTION OF HIS KINGDOM. lack of Faith and Spiritual Understanding – “If the blindness were natural, it would have been because we grow dull and insensitive, and are proper for God to open they eyes; but because unwilling to accept the Divine Message of the it was a voluntary and self-chosen blindness, Parables. He does not overthrow their free will...” for As the Sacred Mission of St Isaiah the Holy Prophet was doing so would have been not only to “... no to open the Spiritual Eyes of the Old Covenant advantage for them, but an even greater Israel – to enable them to see the Great Acts of God Condemnation.” (ST JOHN CHRYSOSTOM) – so the Parables of Christ are intended to FAITH THAT IS NOT WELL-ROOTED, NOURISHED AND NURTURED WILL NOT STAND THE TEST OF TEMPTATIONS NOR OF TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS. open the eyes of the New Covenant Israel to THUS WE MUST ALWAYS BE WILLING TO BE CORRECTED AND GUIDED BY THOSE WHO Divine Truth and to lead us to the production HAVE TRUE SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE, KNOWLEDGE AND WISDOM. FURTHERMORE, WE MUST ACCEPT THE FACT THAT OUR SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT of the Eternal Fruit of Righteousness. AND PROGRESS IS AN ONGOING PROCESS THAT TAKES OUR CONSTANT Insight into God’s Kingdom does not come simply COMMITMENT AND DEDICATION TO EVERYTHING THAT CHRIST’S HOLY CHURCH REQUIRES OF US. through an intellectual understanding of Parables. THERE IS ALWAYS AN ANSWER TO OUR QUESTIONS, WHICH OUR HOLY FATHERS AND
SPIRITUAL ENLIGHTENMENT IS ESSENTIALLY A COMMUNICATION OF FAITH IN THE PERSON, THE WORDS AND THE DEEDS OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.
MOTHERS CAN PROVIDE AND WHICH IS GRANTED TO US VIA VERBAL AS WELL AS WRITTEN HOLY TRADITION. TRUE TEACHING (ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY) CONSISTS OF ALL CHRIST’S TEACHINGS AND COMMANDMENTS THAT HAVE BEEN CAREFULLY PRESERVED AND PASSED DOWN TO US - UNALTERED AND CORRECTLY TAUGHT AS CHRIST HIMSELF TAUGHT US - INSPIRED AND GUIDED BY GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT WHO ENABLES US TO PRESERVE AND MAINTAIN GOD’S ONE AND ONLY ABSOLUTE TRUTH. OUR SOULS SEEK DIVINE TRUTH BUT ALL TOO OFTEN THE EVIL ONE, OUR OWN PRIDE AND LACK OF KNOWLEDGE IGNORE OR EVEN REJECT CHRIST’S TRUE TEACHINGS AND ENLIGHTENMENT, WHICH IS SO EASILY AVAILABLE TO US THESE DAYS!

Our Lord Jesus perfected the art of Parables, relating aspects of the Eternal Kingdom and God Himself through them – not only to reveal Truth to those with willing hearts, but to draw others as well into the very Reality of God’s Kingdom, which He proclaimed and inaugurated. His Parables open the Door to the Kingdom of Heaven and help us to Love God through

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18 t h Sunday A fter Pe ntecost – 4th of St Luke – The Sower & the See d - 16 October 2011

6th Sunday of St Luke - The Sower & The Seed
A seed contains a miracle. When you look at it from the outside, or touch it, it appears hard, dry, perhaps even dead and incapable of producing anything. But place it in the ground, give it water and warmth, and life begins to stir. The outer shell dies but the inner kernel comes alive by the mysterious forces of growth. The inner powers of the kernel are released when the seed is in proper soil and receives adequate moisture. The kernel germinates and new life begins. As long as nourishment is provided, growth continues. From the seed comes a flower, a plant, or a tree, each of which was present only potentially in the seed. Is the Miracle of Growth manifest in human beings, too? Yes, by all means. Not only our physical being but also our Spiritual Being has the potential of Miraculous Growth. Physical growth is practically spontaneous and automatic. Yet physical growth, too, requires adequate nourishment and suitable environment. Spiritual Growth is neither spontaneous nor automatic. Spiritual Growth requires the exercise of personal freedom through intellectual, moral and spiritual decisions, commitments and actions. But Spiritual Growth, too, surely needs a proper environment and constant nourishment to flourish. In the Parable of the Sower and the Seed, our Lord Jesus taught us that both Seed and Soil are necessary for growth. Both Seed and Soil need proper interaction to produce satisfying Crop. The Seed is likened to the Word of God. The Soil is the Life and heart of each human being. The Parable tells us that much Seed is lost when falling into unreceptive Soil. However, when Seed and Soil connect and interact properly, astonishing Growth occurs: “And some fell into good soil and grew, and yielded a hundredfold.” What do we mean by the Seed of the Word of God? What is God’s “Word?” Any human word, spoken or written, conveys meaning. Many words together express a message, various forms of communication from one person to another. Words and messages reflect the mind and character of the one from whom they come. In a similar way, God’s Word is God’s Utterance, God’s Speech, God’s Message.
GOD’S WORDS CONVEY PRECIOUS KNOWLEDGE THAT GOD WANTS HUMAN BEINGS TO KNOW AND LIVE BY:

When those Divine Words are wholeheartedly embraced and faithfully practiced, they become “Life-Bearing” and “Life-Giving.” They generate Light and Life because they guide to right and harmonious Relationships between God and people, between people and people, as well as between people and Creation. They are Spiritual Seeds which, when falling into good Soil, grow and yield a hundredfold. Do you recall some Biblical verses about the importance of God’s Word? When our Lord Jesus was hungry, He was tempted by the evil one to turn stones into bread. But He rejected the temptation and said: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceeds from the Mouth of God”
(MATTHEW 4:4).

Upon concluding His Sermon on the Mount, our Lord Jesus declared: “Everyone then who hears these words of Mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his House upon the Rock; and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that House, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the Rock.” (MATTHEW 7:24-25). At a time of crisis, our Lord Jesus asked His Disciples: “Do you also wish to go away?” Simon Peter replied: “Lord to whom shall we go? Thou hast the Words of Eternal Life!”
(JOHN 6:67-68)

Moreover, GOD’S WORD IS NOT ONLY INSTRUCTION AND
GUIDANCE. GOD’S WORD DISCLOSES GOD’S CHARACTER AND POWER. GOD’S WORD BOTH ANNOUNCES AND ENACTS WHO GOD IS, WHAT HE HAS DONE, AND WHAT HE IS DOING EVEN NOW. GOD CANNOT BE SEPARATED FROM HIS WORD. GOD’S WORD IS ALWAYS THE VEHICLE OF GOD’S HOLY PRESENCE AND CREATIVE POWER.

In the Book of Genesis we read that God said: “’Let there be light!’ And there was light.” The Holy Prophets of the Old Covenant likened God’s Word to a powerful Hammer that strikes and breaks rock - that is, the hardness (stubbornness) of human hearts and the hardness of human communities in Judgment and for Healing. St Paul’s Epistle to the Hebrews declares: “The Word of God is living and active, sharper than a two-edged sword, piercing to soul and spirit, … and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (HEBREWS 4:12). Even more astonishing is that CHRIST HIMSELF, according to the New Testament, IS THE WORD
OF GOD— LOGOS THEOU—THE SUPREME SELFREVELATION OF GOD—WHO GOD IS, WHAT HE HAS DONE, AND WHAT HE CONTINUES TO DO TODAY: “In

“I Am the Lord your God; you shall have no other gods before Me.” (EXODUS 20:2-3). “Seek first God’s Kingdom and His Righteousness, and all these Things shall be added to you” (MATTHEW 6:33). “Love one another as I have Loved you.” (JOHN
13:34).

the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God … In Him was Light and the Light was the Life of all people. And the Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (JOHN 1:1-5). Of course those words point to THE CORE MESSAGE OF
THE CHRISTIAN FAITH, THE GOOD NEWS OF THE GOSPEL.

“Whoever would be great among you must be your servant; for the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve and to give His Life for many.” (MATTHEW 20:26-28). All those Divine Words are not merely abstract principles, arbitrarily established, just to test human Obedience and keep people in their place. Rather, they make up essential Instruction that is intrinsic to human nature. They are food and drink natural to our humanity as personal and moral beings created in the Image and Likeness of God.

The Good News is that God in Christ has broken humanity’s bondage to the powers of sin, evil, and death. God in Christ actualizes His Love and Forgiveness for sinners. God in Christ offers to every human being a New Start, a New Order of Life, a Life of Grace and Truth. Because of the Divine Nature and Blessings of the Gospel, St. Paul variously calls the Gospel itself the Word of God, the Word of Christ, the Word of Grace, the Word of Reconciliation, the Word of Truth.

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18 t h Sunday After Pentec ost – 4th of St Luke – T he Sow er & the Se e d - 16 October 2011 11.

When the Gospel of Christ is wholeheartedly announced, the Announcement does not merely inform but also mediates Christ and His Blessings.
CHRIST IN HIS HOLINESS AND POWER IS PRESENT IN HIS WORD.

OF THE INFERTILE SOIL THAT CANCEL OUT THE MIRACLE OF THE SEED.

When the Good News is heard and embraced, human hearts are stirred and human lives change. The Gospel “is the Power of God for Salvation to every one who believes.” (ROMANS 1:16). When falling into Good Soil, the Gospel takes root and grows, and yields a hundredfold. Nevertheless, if the Soil is not conducive to Growth, the Seed of the Word of God remains inactive and powerless. Seeds cannot take root on the hard path. Seeds cannot last in rocky ground lacking adequate moisture. Seeds cannot flourish among weeds. Our Lord Jesus explained to us that: the hard path is a faithless heart, a heart that hears but pays no true heed to God’s Word. The rocky ground is a heart that initially receives God’s Word but later loses endurance when trials and temptation come. The soil with weeds is a heart filled with worldly cares and distractions that seem to swallow up God’s Word.
LACK OF FAITH, LACK OF ENDURANCE, AND LACK OF SPIRITUAL FOCUS are indeed THE NEGATIVE ELEMENTS

We know all about such negative elements because we face them every day. We need to be humbly mindful that all of us at various times have exemplified the Hard Path, the Rocky Ground, or the Weed-choked Soil. What we need much more is to concentrate on building up Good Soil.
CHRIST THE SOWER IS FOREVER FAITHFUL, ENDURING, AND ACTIVE THROUGH HIS MIGHTY AND LIFE-GIVING WORD. What we need to do is RESPOND IN KIND; to offer to Him

the Soil of “an honest and good heart.” (LUKE 8:15) The Parable clearly identifies THE NEGATIVE ELEMENTS OF
THE UNPRODUCTIVE SOIL—LACK OF FAITH, LACK OF ENDURANCE, LACK OF SPIRITUAL FOCUS.

But the Parable also powerfully suggests the opposite elements, THE CONTRASTING POSITIVE QUALITIES OF
THE HONEST AND GOOD HEART: LIVELY FAITH, PATIENT ENDURANCE, AND THE FOCUS OF AN ACTIVE CHRISTIAN WORLDVIEW.

Our Lord warned us: “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” (LUKE 8:8). Our Lord also gives us the assurance that, WHEN
FALLING ON GOOD SOIL, THE SEED OF GOD’S WORD TAKES DEEP ROOT, GROWS BOUNTIFULLY AND YIELDS BLESSINGS BEYOND IMAGINATION.

Praise, Thanksgiving, and Glory be to Christ the Eternal Sower. Amen.
ADAPTED & EDITED BY MP: THE SIXTH SUNDAY OF ST LUKE – THE SOWER & THE SEED” BY FR. THEODORE STYLIANOPOULOS HOLY CROSS GREEK ORTHODOX SCHOOL OF THEOLOGY

http://www.goarch.org/archdiocese/departments/outreach/resou rces/sermons/2005/seedandsoil

The Eternal Wisdom of our Holy Church Fathers St. Gregory of Sinai
According to St. Paul you "minister" the Gospel only when, having yourself participated in the Light of Christ, you can pass it on actively to others. (CF. ROMANS
15:16)

Then you sow the Logos like a Divine Seed in the Fields of your listeners' souls. 'Let your speech be always filled with Grace', 'seasoned' with Divine Goodness. (COLOSSIANS 4:6) Then it will impart Grace to those who listen to you with Faith. 'Will the ploughmen plough the earth all day?'
45:9) (ISAIAH.

Elsewhere St. Paul, referred to Teachers as ‘Tillers’ and their pupils ‘the Field’ that they tilled. And he wisely presented the former as ‘Ploughers and Sowers’ of the Divine Logos and the latter as the ‘Fertile Soil, yielding a rich crop of Virtues.’ (CF. II
TIMOTHY 2:6)

True Ministry is not simply a celebration of Sacred Rites; it also involves participation in Divine Blessings and the communication of these Blessings to others.
(THE PHILOKALIA VOL. 4 EDITED BY PALMER, SHERRARD AND WARE; FABER AND FABER PG. 231)

St. Cyril of Alexandria
'O foolish people,' he is saying, 'a cultivator turns over the soil with the plough but he does not go on doing it forever, nor is the whole business of cultivation taken up with ploughing. ‘For he turns over the soil not simply for the sake of doing so but in order that it might be made ready to receive the seed when he sows it and prove to be productive. ‘Therefore I gave the hearts of all of you, which were once overgrown like wastelands, a preliminary working over, using the Law of Moses as a plough, and turning them over like a farmer, made them suitable for sowing with Good Seed. ‘Therefore accept what he offers and do not remain permanently attached to your beloved plough, which is the Law.' For he ploughed, as I have said - not so that you should hold fast to ploughing (for what would be the use of that?) - but so that you should produce the Fruits of Truth. (COMMENTARY ON ISAIAH 45:9, 10 FROM CYRIL OF ALEXANDRIA BY
NORMAN RUSSELL; ROUTLEDGE PG. 91):

St John of Kronstadt
“...Eternal Life has its beginning here in this life; and it is here that we sow the seeds of Eternal Torment...”

St. Symeon the New Theologian
Just as the farmer wearies himself by merely ploughing, digging and sowing the seed on the ground, yet it grows and produces fruit - early and late - by God's Grace, so it is in reality, as you will discover, in Spiritual Matters. (CF. JAMES. 5:7) It belongs to us to engage in every activity and with much toil and weariness to sow the Seeds of Virtue, yet by God's Grace and Mercy alone the Let none of you have a soul that is barren and without Fruit. Let nobody be unloving or unreceptive to the Spiritual Seed. May each of you eagerly accept the Celestial Seed, the Word of Salvation and by your own efforts bring rain of His Loving-Kindness and Love falls and causes the unfruitful soil of our hearts to bear Fruit. When the grain of the Word falls on our souls it receives the Moisture of God's Goodness; it germinates, grows, and becomes a great Tree - that is, it attains to mature manhood, to 'the Measure of the Stature of the Fullness of Christ.' (CF. MATTHEW.
13:31-32 & EPHESIANS. 4:13 - “THE DISCOURSES” - PAULIST PRESS PGS. 219-220)

St. Gregory Palamas
it to Perfection as a Heavenly Work and Fruit pleasing to God. (CF. LUKE 8:11), Let no one make a beginning of a Good Work, which brings no Fruit to Perfection nor declare his Faith in Christ only with His tongue." (CF. LK. 8:14),
(THE HOMILIES VOL. 2; ST. TIKHON'S SEMINARY PRESS PG. 240):

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18 t h Sunday A fter Pe ntecost – 4th of St Luke – The Sower & the See d - 16 October 2011

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 H oly Spirit, now and forever, and unto the Ages of ages. Ame n. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most Blessed and Glorious Lady, M aria, T heotokos, ye t Ever Virgi n, together with all the Saints. And let us commit ourselves and one anothe r and our w hole Life to Christ o ur God. Amen.

18 October 2011 St Luke the Holy Apostle & Evangelist The Feast of St Marinos the Elder of Anazarbos , Cilicia – St Julian the hermit of Mesopotamia – St Joseph the Igumen & Wonderworker of Volokolamsk – St James the Deacon – St Peter of Cetinje – St David of Serpukhov
Apolytikion of St Luke the Holy Apostle & Evangelist

Apostole

Agie, ke Evangelista Louka, presveve to eleimoni Theo, ina ptesmaton afesin, paraskhi test psihes imon.

O Holy Apostle and Evangelist Luke: intercede with our
Merciful God, to grant remission of fault, to the souls of all of us. Protection of the Christians unashamable, Mediation to the Creator Immovable, despise not, the pleading voices of those in sin, but hasten O Good One, to the Help of all of us, who in Faith cry out to Thee: speed up Thine Intercession, and press on Thy Supplication, O Theotokos who always protects all those who honour Thee!

Kontakion Of The Ever Blessed Theotokos

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

The Epistle of St Paul to the Colossians 4:5-11, 14-18
Spirituality For The World & Greetings And Instructions

Brethren: Walk in Wisdom toward those who are outside, Redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with Grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one. Tychikos, a beloved Brother, Faithful Minister, and fellow Servant in the Lord, will tell you all the news about me. I am sending him to you for this very purpose that he may know your circumstances and comfort your hearts, with Onesimos, a Faithful and Beloved Brother, who is one of you. They will make known to you all things which are happening here. Aristarchos, my fellow prisoner, greets you, with Mark, the cousin of Barnabas (about whom you received instruction: if he comes to you, welcome him), and Jesus, who is called Justus. These are my only fellow workers for the Kingdom of God who are of the circumcision; they have proved to be a comfort to me. Luke the Beloved Physician and Demas greet you. Greet the Brethren who are in Laodicea, and Nymphas and the Church that is in his house. Now when this Epistle is read among you, see that it is read also in the Church of the Laodiceans and that you likewise read the Epistle from Laodicea. And say to Archippos, "Take heed to the Ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you may fulfil it." This salutation by my own hand – Paul. Remember my chains. Grace be with you. Amen. St Paul was imprisoned in Rome circa 61-63 when he wrote this and the Epistle to the Philippians. This letter concerns LIVING BY THE WILL OF GOD. St Paul expected the Church to BE AT COMMUNAL
"PRAYER" OFTEN.

Not only were the Apostles to "SPEAK THE MYSTERY OF CHRIST" but every member of the Church was to
HAVE "SPEECH … WITH GRACE" SO AS "TO ANSWER" THOSE SEEKING THE TRUE FAITH.

St Tychicos was the courier of this letter as well as for those addressed to the Ephesians and to St Philemon. St Paul expected his letters to be read aloud to the various churches and at least sometimes to be sent on to neighbouring churches. (Colosse and Laodicea are less than 15 miles apart.) St Paul’s letter coming from Laodicea is probably the one we know as “Ephesians.”

The Revelation Of Our Lord & Saviour Concerning Spiritual Matters & The Kingdom Of God

The Holy Gospel According to St Luke 10:16-21

At that time, our Lord Jesus Christ said: "He who hears you hears Me, he who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejects Me rejects Him Who sent Me." Then the Seventy returned with joy, saying, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Thy Name." And Jesus said to them: "I saw Satan fall like lightning from Heaven. Behold, I give you the Authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in Heaven." In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said: "I thank Thee, Father, Lord of Heaven and earth, that Thou hast hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Thy Sight.” “I SAW SATAN FALL … FROM HEAVEN" is probably a myself like the Most High.’ But you are reference by Lord Jesus Christ to the Book of brought down to Sheol, to the depth of the Isaiah: Pit." I s a i a h 1 4 : 1 2 - 1 5 - "How you are fallen from ® NOTE THE FIVE "I WILLS" in the passage that illustrate Heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How the SELFISH, EGOTISTICAL AND PROUD ATTITUDES THAT REBEL AGAINST GOD’S DIVINE WILL. you are cut down to the ground, you who Because he pursued his own will, SATAN IS BOTH FALLEN laid the nations low! You said in your heart, FROM HEAVEN AND HE IS DEFEATED AND DETHRONED I will ascend to Heaven; I will raise my throne from his demonic lordship over the world BY THE above the stars of God; I will sit on the Mount DIVINE MINISTRY OF JESUS CHRIST AND HIS DISCIPLES. of Assembly on the heights of Zaphon; I will ascend to the tops of the clouds, I will make
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St Luke - Physic ian, Evangel ist & I conogr apher –of the 7 0 Holy A postles - 18 Oc tober 2011

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V

THE JOY OF DISCIPLESHIP IS not in authority over demonic power, but IN THE CITIZENSHIP OF GOD’S KINGDOM. "These things" are THE MYSTERIES of the Kingdom of God that ARE MANIFESTED THROUGH THE WORDS AND DEEDS OF JESUS CHRIST.

Pharisees try to be academic and logical, questioning and analysing everything. The arrogant “wise and prudent” are those who expect God to fit into their own concept of things, rather than them ACCEPTING GOD AS
INFINITELY MYSTERIOUS AND UNDERSTANDING OR CONCEPT. BEYOND OUR

They are received by "babes,” people of simple and open hearts, rather than the Scribes and Pharisees – the "wise and prudent." The first accept with total trust, humility and innocence while the others – the Scribes &

St Luke the Physician Holy Apostle, Evangelist & Iconographer
St Luke was the author of one of the three Synoptic Holy Gospels (the other two being those of St Matthew and St Mark). He accompanied St Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, on several of His Missionary Journeys and was one of our Lord Jesus Christ’s Seventy Apostles who were sent out in pairs to prepare the people for the Coming of Christ. (PHILIPPIANS 1:24, 2 TIMOTHY 4:10-11) St Luke was a Syrian by birth and a very knowledgeable Physician and artist, and is the first Iconographer. His emblem is the calf, which is the third symbolical beast mentioned by St Ezekiel the Holy Prophet of God in the Old Covenant Book of Ezekiel, which is a symbol of Christ's sacrificial and priestly office, as pointed out by St. Irenaeus. (EZEKIEL1:10), His feast days are celebrated on 18 October; on 22 April together with St Nathaniel and St Clement, his fellow Apostles; on 20 June, which is when his Holy Relics, among others, were translated to the Church of the Holy Apostles in Constantinople; and on 4 January, the Synaxis of the Seventy Apostles of Christ. St Luke, was born to Greek parents in Antioch, Syria, who ensured that he received the best education possible. His studies included Greek Philosophy, Medicine, and Art. He became a professional Physician and practised successfully until he went to Jerusalem. There he met our Lord Jesus Christ, heard His wonderful Teachings and witnessed His Miraculous Works. Having been specifically chosen as one of His 70 Apostles by our Lord Jesus, St Luke was sent out on various Holy Missions, and they all remained faithful to Christ, spreading the Divine Truth of Christ’s Holy Gospel throughout the entire Roman Empire and beyond. St Luke and St Cleopas spent a whole day with our Resurrected Lord Jesus Christ as they walked along the road to Emmaus and after the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Glorious Day of Pentecost, St Luke returned to Antioch, where he became a fellow worker of St Paul, and eventually travelled to Rome with him, converting Jews and pagans to the Christian Faith. “Luke, the Beloved Physician, … greets you...” wrote St Paul to the Colossians. (COLOSSIANS 4:14). Eventually, at the persistent request of the early Christians, St Luke wrote his Gospel (circa 60.) After the Martyrdom of the great Apostle, St Paul, St Luke preached the Holy Gospel throughout Italy, Dalmatia, Macedonia and other regions. He wrote Holy Icons of our Most Holy Lady Theotokos - not just one, but three – as well as Holy Icons of the Holy Apostles, St Peter and St Paul. Consequently St Luke is considered as the first Iconographer and the founder of Christian Iconography. In his old age, he visited Libya and Upper Egypt. From Egypt he returned to Greece, where he continued to preach and convert many with great zeal despite his advanced years. In addition to his Holy Gospel, St. Luke also wrote the Book of the Acts of the Apostles and dedicated both works to Theophilos, the Governor of Achaia. St Luke was 84 years old when the wicked idolaters Martyred him for the sake of Christ and hanged him from an olive tree in the town of Thebes, in Boethia. The Miracle-working Holy Relics of St Luke were finally transported to Constantinople in the reign of Emperor Constantios, the son of St Constantine the Great Emperor. (357AD) In 1204, the 4th Crusade plunderers stole the Holy Relic from Constantinople and transported it to Padua in Italy where it is still located in the church of Santa Justina at the centre of the city. In 1992, the then Metropolitan Ieronymos of Thebes and Levathia (later the Archbishop of Greece) requested the return of a "a significant fragment of the Relics of St Luke to be placed on the site where the Holy Tomb of the Evangelist is located and venerated today." This prompted a scientific investigation of the Relics in Padua, and by numerous lines of empirical evidence confirmed that these were the remains of an individual of Syrian descent who died between 130 and 400 A.D. The Bishop of Padua then delivered to Metropolitan Ieronymos the rib of St Luke that was closest to his heart to be kept at his tomb in Thebes, Greece. Divine Miracles continue to occur at St Luke’s tomb and on 22 December 1997 at 1.30 pm myrrh appeared on the marble of the tomb - and since then the interior of the marble sarcophagus is always fragrant. The olive tree upon which St Luke was Martyred stands to the right side of the cemetery in Thebes and still thrives. The Roman sarcophagus that contained the Sanctified body of St Luke is at the right side of the Holy Sanctuary of the church. This tomb had belonged to an elite Roman family of the 2nd-century BC but had been emptied and the Christians of Thebes used it to "honour" St Luke's Holy Relics since it was such a beautiful sarcophagus. The first Holy Icon of our Ever Blessed Lady Theotokos that St Luke wrote, known as the “Hodigitria” or “Directress,” is mentioned in the Small Paraklesis Service Hymns addressed to our Holy Mother: “Speechless be the lips of impious ones, those who do not reverence Thy great Icon, the Sacred One which is called Directress, and was depicted for us by one of the Apostles, Luke the Evangelist.” Troparion (Tone (5) Plagal 1) Let us praise with Sacred Songs the Holy Apostle Luke, the Recorder of the Joyous Gospel of Christ, and the Scribe of the Acts of the Apostles, for his Writings are a Testimony of the Church of Christ: He is the Physician of human weaknesses and infirmities. He Heals the wounds of our souls, And constantly Intercedes for our Salvation! Kontakion (Tone 4) Thou became a Disciple of God the Word, with Paul Thou Enlightened all the world, casting out its darkness by composing the Holy Gospel of Christ. Kontakion (Tone 2) Let us praise the Godly Luke: he is the True Preacher of Piety, the Orator of Ineffable Mysteries and the Star of the Church, for the Word Who alone knows the hearts of men, chose him, with the wise Paul, to be a Teacher of the Gentiles.

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St Luk e - Physician, Evangelist & Iconogr apher –of the 70 Hol y Apostles - 18 Oc tober 201 1

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All Glory, Ho nour 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, Theo tokos, yet Ever Virgi n, to gether with all the Saints. And le t us commit ourselves and one another and our w hole Life to C hrist our God. Amen.

19th Sunday After Pentecost Tone 2

23 October 2011

6th Sunday of St Luke The Gadarene Demoniac The Feast of St James the Just, Adelphotheos, Brother of our Lord (Son of St Joseph the Betrothed & his late wife, Salome, sister of St Anna) - St James the Wonderworker of Borovichi, Novgorod - St Ignatios, Patriarch of Constantinople - St Elisha of Lavreshev, Belorus
Apolytikion of the Resurrection – Tone 2

Ote katilthes pros ton thanaton, i Zoi i Athanatos, tote
ton adin enekrosas ti astrapi tis Theotitos. Ote de ke tous tethneotas ek ton katahthonion anestisas, pase e Dinamis ton Epouranion ekravgazon. Zoodota Hriste, O Theos imon, Doxa Si!
Apolytikion of St James the Just Adelphotheos – Tone 4

When

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

Os tou Kyriou Mathitis, anedexo dikee to Evangelion; os Martis ehis to aparatrepton; tin parrisian os Adelfotheos; to presvevin os Ierarthis. Iketeve Hriston ton Theon, sothine tas psihas imon.
Kontakion Of The Ever Blessed Theotokos

As the Disciple of the Lord, thou undertook the work
of the Gospel, O Righteous One; as Martyr thou possess the steadfastness; as Brother of God the confidence; as Hierarch to be an Intercessor. Intercede with Christ our God, for our souls to be Saved. Protection of the Christians unashamable, Mediation to the Creator Immovable, despise not, the pleading voices of those in sin, but hasten O Good One, to the Help of all of us, who in Faith cry out to Thee: speed up Thine Intercession, and press on Thy Supplication, O Theotokos who always protects all those who honour Thee!

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

Resurrection Gospel 8 -

John 20:11-18

Our Risen Lord Jesus Speaks To St Mary Magdalene

Prokeimenon

The Epistle of St Paul to the Galatians 1 : 11 – 19
St Paul’s Divine Calling to God’s Service

The Lord is my Strength and my Glory! The Lord has punished me severely but he has not delivered me to Death!

Brethren: I make known to you that the Gospel that is preached by me is not according to mankind, for I neither receied it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the Revelation of Jesus Christ. For you have heard of my former conduct in Judaism – how I persecuted the Church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy It. And I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my own nation, being exceedingly more zealous for the Traditions of my Fathers. Yet, when it pleased God, Who separated me from my mother’s womb, and Called me through His Grace, to reveal His Son in me, so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not go up to Jerusalem to those who were Apostles before me; but I went to Arabia, and returned again to Damascus. Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas, and remained with him fifteen days. But I saw none of the other Apostles except James, the Lord’s Brother. The True Gospel of Christ is taught by His True True Apostles always bring Glory, Honour and Apostles and although many have declared Worship exclusively to Almighty God – never themselves to His Apostles, we can differentiate His to themselves! True Apostles from those who are false: True Apostles form One Holy Church Government True Apostles are Called by God. – holding the exact same Doctrine and Working by agreement reached in the Holy Church True Apostles learn the Holy Gospel of Christ Councils. by Divine Revelation – either directly from our True Apostles always stand firm in matters of Lord Jesus Christ as did His original Apostles, or conscience – yet are correctable when mistaken from Him after His Resurrection, as did St Paul, or by means of the Revelation of the True and – similar to when St Paul rebuked St Peter for his Faithful Apostolic Tradition – through the hypocritical ethnic elitism. (GALATIANS 2 : 11 – 14) Inspiration and Understanding of God the Holy Apostolic Tradition is firmly rooted in the Divine Spirit. Revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ Who taught True Apostles are Called to Holy Service by Divine His Holy Apostles and Disciples directly and Grace – not according to their works, abilities or personally. And these Holy Men and Women “proper” credential or backgrounds. carefully preserved His Teachings and

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Commandments and passed them down to the following generations – unaltered and correct. Just as Christ’s Twelve Apostles were Called by our Lord Jesus Himself, so was St Paul who was Called and taught by our Resurrected Lord Jesus. Just as His Twelve Apostles received His Holy Gospel directly from our Lord, so did St Paul.
(ACTS 9: 3 – 6 & 26: 13 – 18)

Just as the Twelve Apostles stood together as one Holy Church, so too did St Paul enter their Unity in consensus and mutual submission. People are Called by God – not according to their “former conduct,” good or bad, but by His Divine Grace. St Paul, whom God Called in His Great Mercy, received Divine Grace through St Ananias and the Sanctified Water of Holy Baptism. (ACTS 9: 10 – 19) St Paul’s expression “... separated me from my mother’s womb...” was not a reference to his physical birth but rather to God’s Calling him to Apostolic Ministry even before he was born. (PSALM 138:15-16 – ISAIAH 49:1 JEREMIAH 1:5 – LUKE 1:35, 43-44 & 48)

As with St Paul, God’s intentions and Purpose for us may lie hidden for many years before we receive our Calling, which will change our lives completely for the better – but only if we heed the Call and humbly obey our Lord by fulfilling whatever is required of us for His Glory, Honour and Worship. As a True Apostle of Christ, St Paul submitted himself to the Holy Church and Her Apostles rather than elevating himself. St Paul knew that his Encounter with Christ, his Divine Instruction in His Holy Gospel and His Call to Apostleship were highly unusual, yet he knew he taught, by Divine Grace, the exact same Holy Gospel as the other Holy Apostles of Christ. In any private Revelation and Calling, the only other Witness is God Himself, and the Truth of our Calling is evident from the manner we labour in God’s Spiritual Vineyard, striving to plant good and fertile Seeds of Divine Truth for a rich and abundant Spiritual Harvest.

The Holy Gospel According to St Luke 8 : 27 – 39
The Gadarene Demoniac

At that time, when our Lord Jesus stepped out on the land, a certain man from the city, who had demons for a long time, met Him. And he wore no clothes, nor did he live in a house but in the tombs. And when he saw Jesus he cried out, fell down before Him and with a loud voice said: “What have I to do with Thee, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg Thee – do not torment me!” For He had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For it had often seized him and he was kept under guard, bound with chains and shackles; and he broke the bonds and was driven by the demon into the wilderness. Jesus asked him, saying: “What is your name?” And he replied: “Legion,” because many demons had entered him. And they begged Him not to command them to go out into the Abyss. Now a herd of many swine was feeding there on the mountain. So they begged Him to permit them to enter them. And He permitted them. Then the demons went out of the man and entered the swine - and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the lake and drowned. When those who fed them saw what had happened, they fled, and went and told those who lived in the city and the country. And they went out to see what had happened, and went to Jesus, and found the man from whom the demons had departed, sitting at the Feet of Jesus – clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid. Those also who had witnessed it told them by what means he who had been demon-possessed was Healed and the whole multitude of the surrounding region of the Gadarenes asked Jesus to depart from them, for they were seized with great fear. And He got into the boat and returned. Now the man from whom the demons had departed had begged Jesus to allow him to remain with Him, but He sent him away, saying: “Return to your own house, and tell what Great Things God has done for you.” And the man went his way and proclaimed throughout the whole city what Great Things Jesus had done for him. The “Gadarene” or “Gergesene” Demoniac is the same The immediate consequence was complete person - the region was known by slightly differently destruction of the wretched, crazed herds that names by St Matthew, a Palestinian, and St Luke, a stampeded down the steep incline, fell over the high Syrian. cliffs and were either dashed to death on the rocks The demons immediately recognise our Lord Jesus as below or drowned – a most dramatic and terrifying the Son of God – because EVEN SATAN AND HIS EVIL sight to all witnesses. SERVANTS KNOW AND ACKNOWLEDGE ALMIGHTY GOD, This shows us how the poor demon-possessed man had Who in His Great Mercy has allowed them to been protected by God - because God always continue their wicked, destructive temptations of protects us human beings against the mankind, which only make us Spiritually destructive forces of evil. Stronger and draw us closer to God, especially The obliteration of the huge herds of swine reinforced in adversity. the unlawfulness of Hebrews who owned those The evil ones may tempt us greatly and drag us into forbidden animals and clearly demonstrates the the lowest pits of degradation and sin, but they incomparable value of human beings, whose have no power to actually kill us, for only God Eternal Salvation is worth every sacrifice. may permit our falling into a state of death – Although some may believe that the presence of the whether physical death or Spiritual Death. herds of swine indicated a Gentile population in that Demons know they have a limited time amongst region, it is unlikely since our Lord forbade His us, but when God Wills, they will be exiled to the Disciples and Apostles to associate with the great, dark and terrifying Abyss – total exile Gentiles (the pagan non-Hebrews) and He Himself from God and all His Goodness. was reluctant to have any dealings with them, As soon as they saw our Lord Jesus Christ, they thought especially at that stage of His public Ministry, it was the Eighth Day – the Day of Final Judgement which was initially the renewal of the Faith of the and the beginning of Eternity. Hebrew nation – restoring and gathering “the Lost They only have limited knowledge like us and they were Sheep” of God. shocked and horrified to see Him, but as soon as Many Gentiles lived in the region and the mixed they realised they still had time to do their dirty population was not considered a genuine Hebrew deeds among mankind, they beseeched Him to enter region, even through many had converted to the forbidden herds of swine. Judaism during the Maccabean period. Although their malice and destruction can be Many of the local Hebrews had been influenced by the devastating, demons can do nothing at all Hellenic culture and its pagan customs so they were generally regarded as “second-class citizens” by the against the Divine Will of God, which is evident Judean Hebrews. from the fact that they had to beg Christ’s In conclusion: the annihilation of the entire herd of permission to enter the poor animals. swine revealed several important aspects: 16.

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1. While animals are a venerable part of Creation, mankind is of far greater value 2. Christ removes a source of sin such as the swine herding that was an abomination to the Hebrews. (DEUTERONOMY 14:8) 3. Demons have no power over Creation, but like all Creation, are subject to the Divine Will of Almighty God. 4. People are protected under the Divine Providence and Great Mercy of God – otherwise the demon-possessed man would have been killed like the swine. 5. The magnitude of the economic loss to the local Gadarenes would remain as a Sign and Divine Admonition for the hardhearted and Spiritually Stubborn people who Today we contemplate the Holy Gospel Lesson concerning the Miraculous Healing of the wretched Gadarene Demoniac. This is one of the few times that we encounter clear demonic possession in Holy Scripture. As Orthodox Christians, we recognize the reality of Spiritual Beings whose only obsession is to harm us and lead us to Spiritual Death - Demons! In modern, fallen society it is popular and even encouraged to deny both the existence of God’s Holy Angels and Satan and his demons - even among those who acknowledge the Reality and Truth of God and who regard themselves as Believers. Nevertheless, demonic powers consistently play a very real role throughout the pages of Holy Scripture. Lucifer was the most beautiful of the Angelic Powers, but his arrogant pride and jealous lust for power caused his irrevocable fall from Divine Grace – indeed it caused his complete banishment and expulsion from Heaven – from God’s Divine Presence! He spent his whole existence in the very Presence of our Glorious and Almighty God, yet he dared to rebel against Him and caused a terrifying insurrection in His Heavenly Kingdom. The blasphemous rebellion was quickly overthrown by St Michael the Archangel of God and Defender of His Eternal Kingdom who led the Heavenly Hosts, and Lucifer, now Satan, was forevermore banished from Heaven, together with those whom he had persuaded to join him. His intense hatred drives him to seek revenge against anything and everything that is good. With the creation of mankind whom God Loves above everything else, Satan ceaselessly wages his cruel warfare against us - causing more pain than his initial rebellion in Heaven ever could. Consequently, as our Lord Jesus Christ and our Holy Church Father’s have explained so often to us, the perpetual warfare between God, mankind and Satan continues in the hearts and lives of all humanity. God Calls us to Spiritual Fulfilment in Himself, while Satan tempts us away from God, with all kind of temporal delights and passionate pleasures that distract our attention and lead us astray, or even into Spiritual Rebellion and darkness. We learn several things about the operation of demons from this Sacred Lesson. Demons prefer to live in cemeteries or among the tombs of the reposed - not only to torment those who are possessed by them but to terrify superstitious people by means of real or imaginary strange occurrences around the resting places of their departed relatives.
WE ALWAYS REMEMBER THE DEPARTED SOULS OF OUR BELOVED FRIENDS AND FAMILY BY MEANS OF MEMORIAL SERVICES AND PRAYERS, ESPECIALLY TRISAGION (THRICEHOLY) PRAYERS OFFERED AT CERTAIN TIMES OF THE YEAR AT THE BURIAL SITES. THE SUPERSTITIOUS FEARS INSTILLED BY THE EVIL ONE IN THE IGNORANT AND FRIGHTENED PEOPLE WOULD ENSURE THAT NO ONE WOULD BE PRAYING THERE OR PERFORMING ANY FAITHFUL SERVICES – AND CEMETERIES WERE REGARDED AS PLACES OF THE DEAD RATHER THAN THE RESTING PLACE OF THOSE WHO REPOSED IN THE PEACE OF GOD UNTIL THE GENERAL RESURRECTION AND FINAL JUDGEMENT. THE WORD “CEMETERY” MEANS THE “PLACE OF SLEEP” – NOT THE PLACE OF THE DEAD!

fled that region, terrifying Event.

having

witnessed

the

– and since the terrified Gadarenes “asked” Him to leave them alone, without delay our Lord Jesus Christ returned to Capernaum from whence He had come. GOD IS ALWAYS PRESENT WITH US but if we keep on rejecting Him or ignoring Him, He will soon distance Himself from us until we experience the unbearable desolation that we suffer without God’s Grace! GOD NEVER DESERTS US – yet we abandon Him with each sin we commit!
GOD NEVER FORCES HIMSELF ON ANYONE

Sixth Sunday of St Luke – The Gadarene Demoniac
demons, monsters and everything that is menacing, frightening and evil – but which tries to persuade us that it is merely “a little harmless fun!” When Christ approached the tombs, the demons displayed both shameless belligerence, and fear – a natural yet fearful respect for Almighty God. They challenged Him at first by asking through the persona of the Demoniac: “What have I to do with Thee...?” - as if to question why He should be in a place that they had taken over - like an immature child who picks a fight with his parents, knowing that he will lose, but choosing to challenge their rightful authority nonetheless. Yet in the very same sentence, the demons acknowledge His Divine Identity and rightful Authority over all Creation. Immediately following such initial outrageous disrespect, the demons exposed their powerlessness and insidious cowardice by begging for God’s Mercy and Permission to enter the forbidden, unclean swine.
THE DETERMINATION OF THE EVIL ONES TO DEFEAT OR EVEN DETROY HUMAN BEINGS IS EVIDENT FROM THE VAST NUMBER OF DEMONS WHO HAD POSSESSED THE GADARENE MAN, FOR ALTHOUGH A WHOLE LEGION OF DEMONS HAD ENTERED HIM, THEY COULD ONLY ENTER EACH OF THE PIGS ONE AT A TIME.

How fitting that this Sacred Lesson is contemplated before the worldly celebration of “Halloween” —a day when our sin-darkened society glorifies devils,

Christ as our Creator is indeed Almighty and controls our entire universe so the demons were confused and frightened out of their wits — they could barely decide where they would go, after being exorcised by Christ – and, rather than being sent to the fathomless Abyss – their final destination – they went into the poor animals instead. The question may arise that if Christ is All Powerful and has Authority over all Creation, how did the Gadarene man become so possessed by such a legion of evil spirits? In other words – why is there such evil in the world or – more specifically – why does our Loving Lord allow these evil beings access to our world, tempting us and dragging us into the slavery of sin and the danger of Eternal Condemnation? Blessed St Theophylact, in his commentary on the Gospel of St Luke, believed: “The Lord permits [the demons] to remain upon the earth in order that they might fight and contend with [us] and thus make [us] tested (EXPERIENCED) veterans (OF SPIRITUAL WARFARE). For if [we] had no adversaries, there would be no Struggles and Contests; and if there were no Contests, there would be no Crowns of Victory.” God has permitted Satan and his demons to exist amongst us – belonging neither to Heaven nor the earth – so that we might grow stronger and closer to God and thus attain a great Spiritual Victory over all invented, unnatural, uncreated evil! Furthermore, although we fail so often due to our own wilful co-operation with our enemies, we also know that our Loving God never allows us any Spiritual Burdens or temptations that we are unable to deal with. We are encouraged and can rest assured that God has Promised us that He will always watch over us and protect us so that by His Divine Grace and through His Great Mercy, we will finally achieve

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our ultimate Victory over Satan’s temptations, wickedness and death! However, whenever we do fail, it is due to the fact that we ourselves have simply chosen not to resist the enemy and his toxic wiles. When we fall, it is due to the fact that we have freely chosen sin over Virtue. We have freely chosen the demands of our own selfish and self-indulgent desires instead of accepting the All Knowing and All Wise Will of God relying on His infinite Goodness and Grace. Anyone who freely chooses to commit evil and demonic deeds - anyone who freely chooses sin over goodness and Virtue – (“just a little harmless fun!!!) - invites the demons to possess or enslave him or her! This is what happens with all demon possession —whether it is to the severe degree of the Gadarene Demoniac who was healed by Christ - or, what we encounter far more often—those people who are utterly possessed, enslaved and controlled by their passions! Such wretched souls are imprisoned in Spiritual Tombs for they are Spiritually Dead. They have been overwhelmed or even conquered by innumerable demons that have taken advantage of our personal weaknesses, passions and sins – using our wickedness against us and setting us adrift in soul-destroying Spiritual Darkness and Exile from everything that is good, peaceful and enjoyable.

Yet we do not have to suffer in such a hideous manner, for our Lord Jesus Christ has won the supreme Victory over evil and death. Without a word from His Divine Lips, devils flee in abject terror and His beautiful Divine Uncreated Light destroys all powers of darkness. To rid ourselves from temptations and all enemies who try to assault us, to destroy us or even simply to lead us astray, we have only to turn to Christ Who responds instantly – Who knows far better than us what and when we need anything. We only have to be willing to accept His Healing, His Life and His Salvation that He offers us – even before we realise how much we truly need it! And if we Love our Lord God - if we truly desire His Grace and Healing – we will be ready, willing and able to resist temptation and refuse to commit acts of voluntary sin, so that we may actually follow in the Footsteps of Christ. And then - instead of exposing ourselves to the dangers and threats of possession and enslavement by vicious malevolent beings who seek our Eternal destruction, we will enjoy the warmth and safety of the loving embrace of our Heavenly Father, Who fills us with all Good Things, and Who offers us His Eternal Love in His Heavenly Kingdom. Glory to Jesus Christ!
ADAPTED & EDITED BY MP: SERMON BY FATHER MATTHEW JACKSON

http://priestmatthewjackson.blogspot.com/2006/10/homily-on-luke-82639.html

The Eternal Wisdom of our Holy Desert Fathers: Elder Palladios There was a Monk named Pachon, in his sixties I should one day in hopes that the wild beasts would devour judge, who lived at Sketis. me.” It so happened that I (Palladios) was troubled by “Evening came, and as Sacred Scripture says: `Thou concupiscence, both in my thoughts by day and in my hast appointed darkness, and it is night, in it dreams at night. shall all the beasts of the forest go forth.’ My passions were such that I was on the point of leaving “The beasts, male and female, came out. They smelled the desert, as I had not disclosed this matter to my me and licked me all over from head to foot. Just neighbouring Monks or to my teacher Evagrios. when I was expecting to be eaten, they left me. Without their knowledge I made a trip into the Great “I lay there all night, but they did not devour me. Desert and spent fifteen days among the Desert “Thinking that God had spared me, I went back to my Fathers at Sketis. cell. There I also came across Pachon. “The demon waited for an opportunity for a few days and As I found him more unworldly and more advanced in the then again assailed me even more earnestly than practice of Asceticism than the others, I dared to before, so that I was on the verge of blasphemy. disclose to him my mental condition. And he told me: “The demon took on the form of an Ethiopian maiden “Do not be puzzled at this. whom I had once seen in my youth gathering “In your case, you are not suffering because you are papyrus, and she sat on my knees. easygoing - the place that you are in is of itself “Filled with anger, I gave her a box on the ear and she witness that you lack necessities and there is no disappeared. chance of meeting with women - but because of your “Then for two years I could not bear the evil smell of my zealousness. hand! “The fight against impurity is threefold: “Faint of heart and in despair, I went away into the Great “At times concupiscence of the flesh attacks us, and at Desert. times the passions work through our thoughts; “I found a small asp, picked it up and pressed it to sometimes the demon himself attacks us in his myself, so that I might be bitten in this fashion and witchery. die. “I found this out myself by experience.” “Then I ground the head of the reptile into myself as “As you see, I am an old man now. I have been being responsible for my temptation; but I was not concerned with my Salvation for a period of forty bitten.” years in this very cell - and throughout this time I “Then I heard a voice saying in my thoughts: `Depart, have been subjected to temptations.” Pachon! Keep up the fight! It was for this reason And he confirmed this on oath. that I let you be depressed, so that you might “For twelve years after my fiftieth year of age the demon not become haughty as a strong person, but relentlessly kept up his attacks, leaving me neither by rather might know your own weakness, and that day nor by night. you might not trust too much in your own way “I suspected that God had abandoned me, and I felt so of life, but rather come running to God for help.’” oppressed that I made up my mind to die in an “I returned then fully satisfied, and I settled down irrational way rather than give in to bodily passion. confidently, worrying no more about the Struggle, “I went out then, and while going into the desert, I came but dwelling in Peace the rest of my days. across a hyena’s cave. Here I placed myself naked “The demon who knew my contempt for him no longer came near.” (PALLADIOS, HISTORIA LAUSIACA, 23) A r c h i m a n d r i t e S o p h r o n y , +1993 There are times, when the Love of Christ touches us, that we feel Eternity. This cannot be understood rationally. God acts in a manner proper to Himself, which is beyond reason. We must not be too logical in our Christian Life.

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Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa Archdiocese of Good Hope
All Glory, Hono ur and Worshi p to the Father, and to the So n, and to the Holy Spiri t, now and forever, and unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy, Mos t Pure, Most Blessed and Glorious Lady, Maria, Theo tokos, yet Ever Virgin, to gether with all the Saints. And let us commit o urselves and one another and our w hole Life to Christ o ur God. Ame n.

26 October 2011 St Dimitrios the Wonderworking Great Martyr & Myrrhgusher Of Thessalonika The Feast of the Commemoration of the Great Earthquake of Constantinople St Theophilos of Kiev Caves Monastery & Bishop of Novgorod - St Lupos, the faithful servant of St Dimitrios of Thessalonika & Holy Martyr - St Athanasios of Medikion Monastery – St Demetrios of Basarbov, Bulgaria – St Joseph of Dionysiou Monastery, Mount Athos – St Demetrios of Archangel of Tsilibinsk Monastery, Vologda
Apolytikion of the Great Earthquake

O epivlepon epi tin gin, ke pion aftin tremin, rise ims
tis foveras tou sismou apilis, Hriste O Theos imon; ke katapempson imin, plousia ta elei Sou, presvies tis Theotokou, Mone Filantrhope
Apolytikion of St Dimitrios of Thessalonika – Tone 3

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

Megan evrato en tis kindinis, se ipermahon i ikoumeni,
Athiofore ta theni tropoumenon. Os oun Lieou kathiles tin eparsin, en to stadio tharrinas ton Nestora, outos Agie, Megalomartis Dimitrie, Hriston ton Theon iketeve, dorisasthe imin to Mega Eleos.
Kontakion Of The Ever Blessed Theotokos

Verily,

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

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

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

The Holy Gospel According to St Luke 21 : 12 – 19
Signs Before

At that time, our Lord Jesus said: “... before all these things, they will lay hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the Synagogues and prisons. You will be brought before Kings and Rulers for My Name’s sake, but it will turn out for you as an occasion for testimony. Therefore, settle it in your heart no to meditate beforehand on what you will answer; for I will give you a mouth and Wisdom that all you adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist. You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. And you will be hated by all for My Name’s sake. Yet not a hair of your head shall be lost. By your Patience, possess your soul!”

The Second Epistle of St Paul to St Timothy
The Power of God

2 : 1 – 10

Paul, an Apostle of Jesus Christ, by the Will of God, according to the Promise of Life, which is in Christ Jesus, to Timothy, a Beloved Son: Grace, Mercy and Peace from God the Father, and Christ Jesus, our Lord. I thank God, Whom I serve with a pure conscience, as my Forefather did, as without ceasing I remember you in my Prayes night and day, greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears, that I may be filled with Joy, when I call to remembrance the genuine Faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your Grandmother, Lois, and your mother, Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also. Therefore, I remind you to stir up the Gift of God, which is in you through the Laying on of my hands, for God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of Power and of Love and of a sound mind. Therefore, do not be ashamed of the Testimony of our Lord, nor of me, His Prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the Gospel according to the Power of God, Who has Saved us and Called us with a Holy Calling, not according to our works, but according to His own Purpose and Grace, which was granted to us in Christ Jesus before time began, but which has now been revealed by the Appearing of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, Who has abolished Death and brought Life and Immortality to light through the Gospel...

The Holy Gospel According to St John
The Unreasonable Hatred Of The

Fallen

15 : 17 – 16 : 2
World

At that time, our Lord Jesus Christ said: “... These things I command you, so that you Love one another. If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet – because you are not of the world – for I chose you out of the world – the world hates you. Remember what I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his Master!’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My Word, they will keep yours also.

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S t D i m i t r i o s the Myrrh-gushing Wonderworker & Great Martyr of Thessalonika – 26 October 2011 19.

But all these things they will do to you for My Name’s sake, because they do not know Him Who sent Me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have had no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin! Those who hate Me, hate My Father also. If I had not done among them the Works that no one else has done, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and yet hate both Me and My Father. Yet this happened so that the Word might be fulfilled, which is written in their Law: ‘They hated Me without cause.’ And when the Helper comes, Whom I shall send to you from the Father, He will testify of Me. And you, also, will bear witness because you have been with Me from the beginning. These things I have spoken to you, so that you should not be made to stumble...”

St Dimitrios the Great Holy Martyr & Myrrhbearing Wonderworker
Today we glorify with our Prayers St. Dimitrios, the Patron of this Holy temple and Parish. Our Lord told us: “If they persecuted Me, they will persecute you; if they kept My Word, they will keep yours also. But all this they will do to you on My account, because they do not know Him Who sent Me.” (JOHN: 15:20-21). And so they did persecute our Lord, and they did persecute His Twelve Apostles, His 70 Apostles and His Disciples - and so they have continued to persecute His Disciples, including the Great Martyrs such as St Dimitrios, whose Memory we Commemorate today: because they do not want to know Him Who has come and revealed Himself. The Feast Day of St Dimitrios is a Great Feast of Orthodox Christianity for St Dimitrios together with St George are two of the bravest and most significant Christians on earth, similar to the two Holy Archangels, St Michael and St Gabriel, in Heaven. In ancient times they were depicted in Holy Icons without armour, but later they were portrayed with swords, spears, and metal breastplates. A helmet hangs from one shoulder while the other is protected by a shield. A sheathed sword, a bow and a quiver of arrows completes their armour. After the conquest of Constantinople, these two Saints and many other soldier Saints, have been depicted upon (various coloured) horses – e.g. St. George is seated upon a white horse and St Dimitrios is on a red horse. The armour of the Saints emphasises our Spiritual Armour that was referred to by St Paul in his Epistle to the Ephesian Christians: “Put on the Armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the Principalities and the Powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the Spiritual Forces of wickedness on High. Therefore take up the Armour of God that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and stand in all things Perfect. Stand, therefore, having girded your loins with Truth, and having put on the Breastplate of Justice and having your feet shod with the Readiness of the Gospel of Peace, in all things taking up the Shield of Faith, with which you may be able to quench all the Fiery Darts of the most wicked one. And take unto you the Helmet of Salvation and the Sword of the Spirit, that is, the Word of God”
(EPHESIANS 6:11-17).

Heroic and persevering Christian Warriors who were martyred for Christ like harmless sheep, possessed these wonderful Spiritual Qualities. St Dimitrios had been born in Thessalonica in 260 to illustrious parents and together with the transitory glory that he inherited from his family, he was Blessed with imperishable Virtues of Prudence, Sweetness, Humility, Justice, and every noble beauty of soul - like precious stones that shone on his Crown of Faith in Christ. Diocletian reigned over the Western Roman Empire, and his co-ruler over the Eastern Roman Empire was Maximian, a hard-hearted and bloodthirsty General - a merciless beast in human form who ruled with fear and the sword. Maximian had appointed St Dimitrios in charge of Thessalonica. Having returned victorious from a skirmish, Maximian ordered all his Roman Officers in Thessalonica to worship the pagan gods by offering

sacrifices them but St Dimitrios refused to do so and publically confessed his Christian Faith in the one True and Living God. Maximian was outraged and ordered St Dimitrios to be tried and imprisoned in a public bathhouse. However, the people flocked there to hear St Dimitrios teach about Christ our Living Saviour, including a young man, (St Nestor), who went to him without fail every day. Many brave men fought against each other to the death in the stadium to amuse Maximian who enjoyed the bloody spectacles. His favourite, most brutal gladiator was Lyaeos who killed all his opponents and who bragged that he had “the strength of Ares,” the pagan god of war, and that no one could kill him. St Nestor asked St Dimitrios to Bless him and to pray for him to defeat Lyaeos, humiliate Maximian and expose their immoral, powerless and blood-thirsty religion. St Dimitrios prayed and made the Sign of the Cross over St Nestor, who then went to the stadium and challenged the vicious, mocking Lyaeos. To the utter shock of the Romans, St Nestor threw Lyaeos down, and killed him. Maximian was quickly informed that St Nestor was a Christian and that St Dimitrios had Blessed him so he ordered their immediate execution. In the bathhouse a large group of soldiers stabbed St Dimitrios to death with their spears. At the age of 36, St Dimitrios received his Eternal Crown. As the soldiers had thrust their spears at him, St Dimitrios had raised his arms high and they lanced him in his side – just as our Lord Jesus Christ had been lanced in His Side. St Nestor of Thessalonica was beheaded the following day. Faithful Christians took the Holy Relics and buried them side by side, and from the grave of St Dimitrios Holy Myrrh began to issue forth, which cured many diseases, thus granting him the title “Myrovletes” or “Myrrh-gusher.” Over St Dimitrios’ grave and the site of his Martyrdom a church in the form of a basilica was constructed, which stands to this day. St Dimitrios the Great Martyr Loved our Saviour above all things of this earthly life - and longed to with Him in His Celestial Kingdom. We Commemorate the good example of St Dimitrios through whose Prayers of Intercession may we also be deemed worthy. The memory of St Dimitrios of Thessalonica is historically associated in Russia with the military, patriotism and the defence of the country. The Prayer of St Dimitrios for the Salvation of the people beseeches God: “O Lord, do not permit any harm to the city or the people. If Thou save the city and the people, I shall be Saved with them. If they perish, I, too, perish with them.” St Dimitrios is regarded as a Patron Saint or Holy Protector of the young, and is also invoked by those struggling with lustful temptations. Through the Prayers of St Dimitrios, may the Lord preserve you and your families in good health, Spiritual Joy, and every happiness. May our Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ send His Blessing with upon each one who commemorates with Love and Prayer our Holy Intercessor before God.
HOLY MARTYR DIMITRIOS, PRAY UNTO GOD FOR US!

Amen
ADAPTED & EDITED BY MP: SERMON BY THE PATRIARCHAL PARISHES OF THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH, CANADA

http://www.orthodox-canada.com/saint-demetrius-day-sermon/

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19 t h Sunday After Pe nte cost – 6 t h of St Luke – The G adare ne D e moni ac – 23 October 2011

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. Ame n. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most Blessed and Glorio us Lady, Maria, Theo tokos, yet Ever Virgin, together wi th all the Saints. And let us commit ourselves and one another and o ur whole Life to Christ our God. Amen.

28 October 2011 Holy Protection of our Ever Blessed Lady Theotokos The Feast of St Terence & St Neonilla, and their children: St Sarbelos, St Photios, St Theodoulos, St Hierax, St Nita, St Vele & St Eunice of Carthage – St Stephen the Hymnographer of St Savvas Monastery – St Arsenios of Serbia – St Paraskeve of Iconium – St Job, Venerable Abbot & Wonderworker of Pochaev – St Dimitrios of Rostov – St Nestor of the Kiev Caves Monastery – St Afrikanos, St Maximos, St Pompeios & 39 fellow Martyrs of Carthage – St Kyriakos of Jerusalem (Keeper of the secret location of the Holy Cross) – St John Chozebite of Caesarea, Palestine – St Athanasios the Younger of Constantinople – St Neophytos of Urbin, Georgia – St Arsenios of Cappadocia
Apolytikion of the Holy Protection – Tone 1

Tis Skepis Sou Parthene animnoumen tas Haritas, in os Of Thy Protection, O Virgin, we praise the benefits, which
fotoforon Nefelin efaplis iper ennian, ke Skepis ton Laon Sou noeros, ek pasis ton ehthron epivoulis; Se gar Skepin ke Prostatin ke Voithon, kektimetha voontes Si: Doxa tis Megaliis Sou Agni! Doxa ti Thia Skepi Sou! Doxa ti pros imas promithia Ahrante! as Luminous Cloud Thou stretch out most wondrously, and Thou protect Thy people so thoughtfully from every plot of the enemies; for Thee as Shelter, Protector and Helper have we, as we cry out to Thee: Glory to Thy Wonders, O Pure One! Glory to Thy Shelter Divine! Glory to Thy forethought for us, O Undefiled One!

Theotoke

Aiparthene, tin Agian Sou Skepin, di is periskepis, tous is se Elpizontas, Kratean to Ethni Sou katafigin edoriso; oti os pale ke nin Thavmastos imas esosas, os Noiti Nefeli, ton Laon Sou perivalousa. Dio disopoumen Se, Irinin ti politia Sou Dorise, ke tes psihes imon to Mega Eleos

Ever

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

Apolytikion of Kontakion Of The Ever Blessed Theotokos

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

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

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

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

Matins Gospel According to St Luke 1 : 39 – 49 & 56
The Visitation

At that time, Mary said: “Behold the Maidservant of the Lord! Let is be to me according to Thy Word.” And the Angel departed from Her. Then Mary arose and went into the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah, and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. And it happened when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leapt in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. And she spoke out with a loud voice, saying: “Blessed art Thou among women, and Blessed is the Fruit of Thy Womb! But why is this grant to me, that the Mother of my Lord should come to me? For indeed, as soon as the voice of Thy Greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leapt in my womb with Joy. Blessed is She Who believed, for there will be a fulfilment of those Things that were told Her from the Lord!” And Mary said: “My soul Magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Saviour! For He has regarded the lowly state of His Maidservant. For behold! Henceforth all generations will call me “Blessed.” For He Who is Mighty has done great things form me, and Holy is His Name...” ... And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her house.
The Ever Blessed Virgin Mary Became The Holy Tabernacle Of The Lord Our God Whom She Bore In Her Womb

The Epistle of St Paul to the Hebrews

9: 1-7

Brethren: even the first Covenant had Ordinances of Divine Service and the earthly Sanctuary. For a Tabernacle was prepared: the first part, in which was the lamp-stand, the Table, and the Showbread, which is called the Sanctuary; and behind the second Veil, the part of the Tabernacle, which is called the Holiest of All, which had the golden Censer and the Ark of the Covenant, overlaid on all sides with gold, in which were the golden pot that had the

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The Holy Protection of the Ever Blessed Theotokos

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28 October 2011

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Manna, Aaron’s Rod that budded, and the Tablets of the Covenant; and above it were the Cherubim of Glory overshadowing the Mercy Seat. Of these things we cannot now speak in detail. Now when these things had been thus prepared, the Priests always went into the first part of the Tabernacle, performing the Services. But into the second part the High Priest went alone once a year, not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the people’s sins committed in ignorance.
The One Thing Necessary for Eternal Life is to Listen Carefully to God and Fulfil His Divine Will At All Times.

The Holy Gospel According to St Luke 10:38 - 42, 11:27 - 28

At that time, as they went our Lord Jesus entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His Word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, dost Thou not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.” And Jesus answered and said unto her, “Martha, Martha, thou art worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary hath chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” ...And it happened, as He spoke these things, that a certain woman from the crowd raised her voice and said unto Him, “Blessed is the womb that bore Thee, and the breasts which nursed Thee!” But He said, “More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”

The Feast of the Holy Protection of our Ever Blessed Lady Theotokos
Today we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Protection of Our Most Holy Lady Theotokos. We have celebrated this Holy Feast ever since St Andrew “a Fool for Christ” saw the Ever Blessed Mother of God in the Church of Blachanae, a suburb of Constantinople. This wondrous Event occurred around 04:00 during the All Night Vigil. St Andrew saw our Holy Theotokos in Heaven, praying for the world. He asked his Disciple, St Epiphanios: “Do you see our Queen and Lady, praying for the world?” and St Epiphanios replied: “I see and I am stricken with fear!” They actually witnessed how our Beloved Theotokos prayed with great fervour and tears, which continued for a long time, before She entered the Holy Altar (Sanctuary) of Blachanae Church and continued Her Fervent Prayers. The All Holy Theotokos then removed Her Veil, which shone as bright as lightning and spread it over the entire world. St Andrew and St Epiphanios were extremely privileged to see such a wondrous Vision while the other worshippers had remained totally unaware of what was happening. As suddenly as it appeared, the Divine Vision disappeared. However the Grace of that Holy Vision remained – and although it was invisible to others at that time the Grace of our Lady’s Holy Protection continues to affect the lives of all Faithful Christians - and not only the lives of those who were present in the Blachernae church, but also the lives of us today because Her Protecting Veil of Grace continues to protect our world and it has proved to be a strong Spiritual Defence against evil. Faithful and True Christians have all experienced the Grace-filled Shelter and Comfort of our Holy Mother, the Ever Blessed Theotokos in times of deep sorrow or fear, and have prayed many times with fervent tears of Supplication before Her Holy Icon as our Most Holy Patron, Intercessor and Protectress. A man who had been brought up by his pious mother to constantly recite the Salutation of the Archangel: “O Virgin Mother Rejoice! Mary Full of Grace, the Lord is with Thee…” began to neglect these Prayers. One day during a conversation with a Holy Monk, the man was asked why he had abandoned his Prayers to the All Holy Theotokos. Embarrassed by the direct question, the man tried to find a suitable excused: “Well, I simply forgot about it. You know how it is …” And the Holy Monk reminded him: “Well, our Holy Theotokos has not forgotten you.” Then the Elder explained to the man that although he had been in danger many times, his Prayers that were still upon his lips had protected him. “You may not have been aware, my son, but the Mother of God is always with you while you pray!” Unfortunately not everyone sees the Holy Protection of the Mother of God. Not everyone is aware of our Holy Protection. To experience and to recognise Her Holy Protection, we need Faith. We need to look Heavenwards – we need to engage in Spiritual Conversation. Yet sadly, we usually only look downwards at the ground - at the mire of this surrounding, dark and fallen life. We need to raise our gaze upwards - to see with eyes of Faith and then, like St. Andrew and St Epiphanios, to witness and to experience the amazing, Grace-filled Love and Protection of our Lady Theotokos in our lives. Those who have no Faith, no Love and no Trust in God, stumble along the muddy paths of life, refusing to lift up their head because they think – they have been deceived into believing – that there is nothing more but the dirty, ugly, sticky mud beneath their feet. To such wretched people we cry out: “Lift up your eyes! – look up! - you will see - not mud but the shining beautiful Heaven above you!” Unbelievers have been deluded into thinking that there is nothing but the horrible, hopeless mire of worldly suffering and strife. They have been misguided and misled by the lies and deceptions of the evil one – believing that there is only this temporary, physical world with its corruption and death. And by stubbornly going along such a gloomy path they refuse to see the beauty and infinity of the heavens. Due to such total Spiritual Blindness they cannot see nor experience the Protecting Veil of the Ever Blessed Theotokos, which is spread over the entire world! We need to see the wondrous heavens! We need to tear our gaze from the limitations of the earth and open up our heart so that Divine Grace may enter and dwell within us. Only then do we become aware and are able to personally experience the Loving, continuous Holy Protection of our Ever Blessed Lady Theotokos.
ADAPTED & EDITED BY MP: THEOTOKOS SERMON ON THE HOLY PROTECTION OF OUR LADY

http://www.pokrov-seattle.org/sermons.html

It is truly meet to Bless Thee, O Theotokos, Who art Ever Blessed and All Blameless, and the Mother of our God - more honourable than the Cherubim, and more Glorious beyond compare than the Seraphim! O Thou Who without stain bore God the Word, and art truly Theotokos – we Magnify Thee!

A Prayer to our Lady Theotokos

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The Holy Protection Of The Ever Blessed Theotokos

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28 October 2011

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa Archdiocese of Good Hope
All Glory, Honour and Wors hip to the Fathe r, and to the So n, 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, Mari a, Theotokos, yet Ever Virgi n, to gether wi th all the Saints. And le t us commit ourselves and one another and our whole Life to Christ our God. Amen.

30 October 2011 20
th

Sunday After Pentecost

Tone 3

5th Sunday of St Luke – The Rich Man & Poor Lazaros The Feast of St Zenobios, Hieromartyr of Aegea & St Zenobia, his sister - St Tertios, St Mark the Evangelist, St Justos, son of St Joseph the Betrothed, & St Artemas of the 70 Apostles of Christ – St Marcian, Hieromatyr of Syracuse – St Eutropia of Alexandria – St Anastasia of Thessalonika – St Stephen Miliutin of Serbia – St Theoktistos of Serbia – St Helen of Serbia – St Jotham Zedgenidze – Holy Icon of our Ever Blessed Lady Theotokos of Ozerianka
Apolytikion of the Resurrection – Tone 3

Evfrenestho

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

Let

the Heavens rejoice and let the earth be glad, for the Lord has shown Strength with His Arm; He has trampled down Death by Death; He has become the First-born of the dead; from the womb of Hades He has delivered us, and to the world He has granted Great Mercy.
4

Kontakion

Plagal

I

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

Thy

loyal Martyrs, O Lord, while contending for Thee, the Crown of Incorruption they earned for themselves, from Thee the God of all of us; for armed with Thy Might, they defeated the tyrants, and crushed all the demons and their powerless presumption. Through their Intercessions, O Christ our God, we pray to Thee to Save our souls!

Kontakion Of The Ever Blessed Theotokos

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

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

Resurrection Gospel 9 : John 20 : 19 – 31
Our Risen Lord Bestows His Authority To Forgive Sins Upon His Apostles

Prokeimenon

The Second Epistle of St Paul to the Corinthians 11 : 31 – 12: 9
St Paul’s Heavenly Vision at his Calling by Christ

Sing Praises to our God! Sing Praises to our King! Clap your hands, all you Nations!

Brethren: the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ Who is Blessed Forever, knows that I am not lying. In Damascus, the Governor, under Aretas the King, was guarding the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desiring to arrest me; but I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall, and escaped from his hands. It is doubtless not profitable for me to boast. I will come Visions and Revelations of our Lord: I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago – whether in the body or out of the body I do not know – God knows how - was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which are 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. For although I might desire to boast, I will not be a fool - for I will speak the Truth. Yet I refrain – lest anyone should think of me as being above what he sees me to be or hears from me. And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the Revelation, a thorn in the flesh was given to me – a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing, I pleaded with our Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me; “My Grace is sufficient for you, for My Strength is made Perfect in weakness.” Therefore, most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, so that the Power of Christ may rest upon me. Furthermore, ST PAUL IS OUR SHINING EXAMPLE OF St Paul listed his Hebrew and Christian PATIENT ENDURANCE DURING HIS ALL SUFFERINGS – credentials, using his opponent’s level of both those inflicted by Satan (i.e. cancer) as well as argument, although it meant more to the Old various wounds inflicted upon him by his Covenant Hebrews than to the New Covenant persecutors, which was his “thorn in the flesh.” Christians.
NO ONE COULD COMPARE TO ST PAUL’S GENUINE CHRISTIAN EXPERIENCE when he was personally confronted by ST PAUL’S DEEP COMMITMENT, COMPASSION AND PERSONAL INVOLVEMENT WITH EVERYONE HE MET - and even his

our Lord Jesus Christ along the road to Damascus fourteen years previously.

bizarre adventures such as his close escapes from Roman or Hebrew authorities who wanted to stop him from fulfilling his Divine Mission according to

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23.

their own wicked motives – ENCOURAGES US TO NEVER ALLOW ANYTHING TO PREVENT OUR OWN SACRED MISSION, which is the fulfilment of God’s Divine Will throughout this short preparatory period before Eternity! St Paul’s opponents liked to boast of their “visions and revelations” so he mentioned HIS OWN TRUE
SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE THAT HAD CHANGED HIS ENTIRE LIFE AND WHICH WOULD CONSEQUENTLY CHANGE THE LIVES OF MANY THOUSANDS OF HEBREWS AND GENTILES THROUGHOUT THE AGES.
THIS IS THE ‘RIPPLE-EFFECT’ I HAVE SO OFTEN MENTIONED IN MY CLASSES – EVERY WORD, THOUGHT AND DEED HAS AN EFFECT ON OTHERS - GOOD OR BAD. JUST LIKE A SMALL PEBBLE THAT HAS BEEN TOSSED INTO A POND, THE RIPPLES SPREAD OUT AND AFFECT OTHER PEOPLE AND ALL KINDS OF THINGS - I.E. EVERY WORD, THOUGHT AND DEED HAS A CAUSE AND CONSEQUENCE OF WHICH WE ARE NOT EVEN VAGUELY AWARE!

City of God,’ ‘the City of Peace’ or ‘the Heavenly Jerusalem.’
AFTER THE HARROWING OF HADES BY OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, PARADISE HAS BEEN REOPENED AND ACCESSIBLE TO THOSE WHO HAVE BECOME THROUGH THEIR DAILY STRUGGLES, SPIRITUALLY WORTHY CITIZENS . THE FIRST SOUL TO BE ADMITTED SINCE THE FALL OF ADAM AND EVE AND THE CLOSURE OF PARADISE TO MANKIND, WAS THE REPENTANT THIEF WHOSE WORDS WE QUOTE AT EVERY DIVINE LITURGY: “O LORD, REMEMBER ME IN THY

KINGDOM!”

St Paul’s attempt to describe his Calling by our Lord Jesus Christ fourteen years previously is as difficult for him to do as it is for others who have been profoundly Blessed with a similar type of Divine Calling to Holy Service. However, it is not necessary to try to explain or prove such a life-changing Spiritual Experience because THOSE WHO ARE INDEED
CALLED BY GOD ARE FILLED WITH SUCH A DEVOTION TO HIM THAT THEIR ONLY DESIRE IS TO JOYFULLY FULFIL GOD’S DIVINE WILL AND CALLING – no matter what it

Unlike his opponents and persecutor who like to publicly proclaim their own perceived ‘greatness,’ in their mystical experiences, St Paul regarded his physical suffering and ailments - his ‘thorn in the flesh’ - as a means of keep him humble before God and mankind – so that he might not be “exalted” or regarded as anything more than a humble servant of Almighty God – OUR FELLOW
SINNER WHO STRUGGLED CONSTANTLY TO FULFIL GOD’S DIVINE WILL AND MISSION.

His “thorn in the flesh” was also an oblique reference to deluded Roman, Hebrew - and even Christian leaders who were stubborn and blinded by their arrogance and pride - besides their other various weaknesses and vices. Nevertheless, St Paul believed that HIS OWN PHYSICAL WEAKNESS AND INABILITIES - and not his Mystical Spiritual Experiences - MADE IT POSSIBLE FOR THE In
DIVINE GRACE AND “POWER OF CHRIST” OUR LORD TO REMAIN OR DWELL WITHIN HIM. other words: because GOD LOVES THOSE WHO ARE TRULY HUMBLE, HIS PHYSICAL PAIN KEPT HIM IN A STATE OF HUMILITY AND CONSTANT DEPENDENCE ON THE GRACE OF GOD, WHICH ENABLED HIM TO FULFIL HIS SACRED MISSION.

takes to do so! Consequently, ST PAUL AND ALL THE OTHERS WHO ANSWER
OUR LORD’S CALLING, HAVE AN EFFECT ON THE LIVES OF THOSE WHO COME INTO CONTACT WITH THEM.

The ungodly souls will seek their downfall and even their destruction, while the Godly souls will gladly accompany them on the Blessed Journey of our Life in Christ. St Paul used two Hebrew expressions to describe the Heavenly Realms: “the Third Heaven,” which is the highest Heaven and “Paradise,” which is within the very Presence of Almighty God Who is surrounded by the Assembly of the Just and all the Heavenly Hosts - which is also referred to as ‘the Heavenly

GOLD-BEARING ROCKS HAVE TO BE CRUSHED AND THEN PUT INTO FIRE IN ORDER TO EXTRACT THE PURE GOLD. IN SIMILAR MANNER, WE HAVE TO ENDURE THE CRUSHING DIFFICULTIES OF DAILY EXISTENCE AND STRUGGLE IN ORDER TO GROW EVEN STRONGER, TO PURIFY OURSELVES THROUGH A DEEPER UNDERSTANDING AND APPRECIATION OF MANY ASPECTS OF LIFE AND THUS TO DEVELOP STRONG, MORAL, COMPASSIONATE AND SELF-DISCIPLINED SOULS – I.E. THE PURE SPIRITUAL GOLD – SPIRITUAL PERFECTION, THEOSIS OR DEIFICATION – REGAINING OUR LIKENESS TO GOD THAT WE LOST DURING THE GREAT FALL.

The Rich Man and Poor Lazaros – a True Account of Life Before and After Death!

The Holy Gospel According to St Luke 16 : 19 – 31

At that time, our Lord Jesus Christ said: “There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen, who fared sumptuously every day. And there was a certain beggar, named Lazaros, who was full of sores, who lay at his gate, desiring to be fed with the crumbs that fell from the rich man’s table. And dogs came and licked his sores. “So it was that the Beggar died, and was carried by the Angels to Abraham’s Bosom. “The rich man also died and was buried. And being in Torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazaros in his Bosom. And he cried out: ‘O Father Abraham: have mercy on me, and send Lazaros so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue - for I am tormented in this Flame!’ “And Abraham said: ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise, Lazaros received evil things; and now he is comforted while you are tormented. And besides all this, between us and you there is a great Gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to there cannot – nor can those from there pass to us.’ “And the rich man said: ‘I beg Thee, therefore, O Father, that you send him to my father’s house, for I have five brothers – so that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this Place of Torment.’ “Abraham said to him: ‘They have Moses and the Prophets – let them hear them!’ And he said: ‘No, Father Abraham - but if one goes to them from the dead, they will Repent.’ And Abraham said to him: ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophet, neither will they be persuaded even if someone rose from the dead!’” THIS IS NOT MERELY ONE OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST’S PARABLES – ALTHOUGH IT IS always generously offered hospitality to all OFTEN REGARDED AS SUCH BY MANY. strangers – including to the Holy Trinity. (GENESIS IT IS A FRIGHTENING TRUE ACCOUNT OF WHAT FOLLOWED AFTER DEATH HAD
SEPARATED THE BODIES AND SOULS OF THE TWO MEN. BEFORE CHRIST SMASHED OPEN THE GATES OF HADES AND SET THE RIGHTEOUS FREE, ALL DEPARTED SOULS – WHETHER GOOD OR BAD – WERE IMPRISONED IN HADES, ALTHOUGH THE GOOD SOULS RECEIVED THE COMFORT OF BEING ‘IN THE BOSOM OF OUR ANCIENT PATRIARCH, FATHER ABRAHAM AND WERE SEPARATED FROM THE WICKED BY A DEEP FATHOMLESS ABYSS. ONLY THE ETERNAL SON OF GOD CAN GRANT US AN INSIGHT INTO WHAT OCCURS AFTER THIS EARTHLY EXISTENCE AND WE MUST PAY VERY CLOSE ATTENTION BECAUSE HE NEVER LIES AND HE NEVER DECEIVES OR MISLEADS US. GOD GRANTS US HIS PLAIN PERFECT, DIVINE TRUTH BUT IT IS ENTIRELY UP TO US TO ACCEPT IT WITH EXTREME GRATITUDE OR TO REJECT IT AND BE PREPARED FOR THE ETERNAL CONSEQUENCES. 18:1-8) EVERY DAY HE WATCHED TO SEE IF ANYONE APPROACHED SO THAT HE COULD OFFER THEM REST AND REFRESHMENT, OTHERWISE HE HIMSELF DID NOT PARTAKE OF FOOD AND DRINK. ONE DAY AT THE OAKS OF MAMRE HE WAS DELIGHTED TO SEE THREE VISITORS WHOM HE AND ST SARAH HOSTED, AND WHO WERE IN TRUTH THE HOLY TRINITY!

“Abraham’s Bosom” meant the foretaste and comfort of God’s Eternal Heaven wherein the Old Covenant Righteous souls reposed until the Descent into Hades of Christ our Lord Who then set them free to rest in Paradise until His Final Judgement and the beginning of Eternal Life. The Old Covenant Patriarch, St Abraham, is mentioned among all the Righteous Ones because, in stark contrast to the self-indulgent rich man, he

When Poor Lazaros died, Angels of God carried his soul to the comfort and rest of ‘Abraham’s Bosom’ in Hades, while the rich man was buried, which our Holy Church Fathers regard as an illustration of
THE STATE OF HIS MERCILESS, SELF-INDULGENT SOUL

that was already buried in life by all the pleasures of the flesh.
HE WAS ALREADY BURIED IN LIFE BY HIS EXTRAVAGANT LIFESTYLE AND COMFORT – “... couches, rugs,

furnishings, sweet oils, perfumes, large quantities of wine, varieties of food, and flatterers...” as St John Chrysostom expressed it.

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20th Sunday After Pentecost – 5th Sunday of St Luke – T h e R i c h M a n & P o o r L a z a r o s – 3 0 O c t o b e r 2 0 1 1 24.

CONSEQUENTLY, THE RICH MAN REMAINS UNIDENTIFIED AND FORGOTTEN BY EVERYONE, EXCEPT IN CONNECTION TO POOR LAZAROS WHOM CHRIST MENTIONED BY NAME.

Yet others accept it as being A DIVINE REVELATION OF
CHRIST OF AN ACTUAL CASE OF THESE TWO MEN WHO HAD HAD VASTLY DIFFERENT LIFESTYLES AND BELIEFS – BEFORE THE PASSION AND RESURRECTION OF CHRIST. Whatever the circumstances, CHRIST REVEALS VERY IMPORTANT TRUTHS TO US CONCERNING LIFE AFTER DEATH. THE TORMENTS THAT THE RICH MAN WAS EXPERIENCING IS ONLY A FORETASTE of his final state – Eternal

Psalm 9: 6 “...Thou rebuke the Nations, and the ungodly man destroys himself; Thou blotted out their name, in their lifetime and unto Ages of Ages...” Our Lord Jesus Christ – the Only Begotten Son of God the Father – is the Divine Judge of all mankind – indeed, of all Creation - Who shall come again in Glory to Judge the living and the dead. Christ our Lord shall reveal all ‘hidden things’ – some of which St David the Royal Psalmist prophesied in Psalm 9.
ALL THE DEEDS OF THE UNGODLY WILL BE REMEMBERED, EXPOSED AND JUDGED ACCORDINGLY – BECAUSE EVERYTHING WILL BE EXPOSED IN GOD’S DIVINE LIGHT. However, THE GODLY who strove to fulfil the Divine Will of God throughout their lives WILL JOYOUSLY OFFER THANKSGIVING AND PRAISES TO THE LORD OUR GOD WITH REPENTANT AND GRATEFUL HEARTS for they know OUR LORD GOD WILL REIGN OVER HIS KINGDOM FOREVER SINCE HIS KINGDOM WILL HAVE NO END – HIS KINGDOM IS ETERNAL!

Death and Exile from God and all His Goodness in the Outer Darkness – the Eternal Dark Abyss of Hell. Furthermore, due to this account, Christ has revealed to us how THE SOULS OF THE DEPARTED
ARE COMPLETELY AWARE OF AND CONCERNED FOR THE SPIRITUAL STATE AND WELFARE OF THOSE WHO ARE STILL ALIVE on earth. (LUKE 9:30-31, 2 MACCABEES
15:12 – 16 & MATTHEW 2 :18)

Our Lord Jesus Christ also reveals to us that THE
DESPERATE INTERCESSORY PLEAS OF THE WICKED ARE HEARD YET AVAIL NOTHING AT ALL. (JAMES 5:16) However, THE PRAYERS OF THE RIGHTEOUS ARE ALWAYS HEARD BY THE LORD OUR GOD so we are

The tormented rich man’s desperate appeals to St Abraham as his Spiritual Father are not rejected.
INSTEAD THE HOLY PATRIARCH ACCEPTS HIS ROLE AS OUR SPIRITUAL FATHER by addressing the unknown rich man as “son,” AND BEING COMPASSIONATE towards him in his misery and despair, even WHILE HAVING TO EXPLAIN THE IRREVERSIBLE CONSEQUENCES OF HIS SELF-INDULGENT LIFESTYLE AND THAT OF HIS BROTHERS, WHO STILL HAD THE OPPORTUNITY OF REPENTANCE AND OBEDIENCE TO GOD – THE WAY TO DIVINE FORGIVENESS, SPIRITUAL RESTORATION AND ETERNAL LIFE. THE “GREAT GULF” OR FATHOMLESS ABYSS is not a

able to beseech the Righteous, the Holy Martyrs and the Holy Saints of God to Intercede on our behalf for the sake of our Salvation and Eternal Life.
WE, IN TURN, PRAY FOR ALL THOSE WHO HAVE DEPARTED THIS LIFE, BESEECHING GOD’S GREAT MERCY ON THEIR BEHALF – especially for the Final Day – the General

Resurrection, the Final Judgement beginning of Eternity for all Creation.

and

the

WHILE WE ARE GOING THROUGH THE PROCESS OF DYING – AS OUR SOUL AND BODY IS SEPARATED – WE CAN NO LONGER PRAY NOR TURN TO GOD FOR HIS GREAT MERCY AND GRACE. YET, ONCE WE HAVE PASSED THROUGH THE AERIAL COUNTING HOUSES OR SPIRITUAL CUSTOMS HOUSES

geographical divide between the wicked and the Righteous. It is THE COMPLETE AND UTTER
SEPARATION BETWEEN VIRTUE AND UNREPENTED SIN – A SPIRITUAL SEPARATION THAT CANNOT BE OVERCOME AFTER DEATH! WE ONLY HAVE THIS SHORT LIFETIME IN WHICH TO PREPARE OURSELVES FOR ETERNITY – Eternal Life with God or

(which we have to endure during the 40 Days after Death,) THOSE WHO HAVE ALWAYS PRAYED AND WHO
HAVE ENJOYED A CLOSE RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD, WILL CONTINUE TO DO SO.

Eternal Death in Absolute Exile from God and everything that is Good.
ONLY ONCE WERE THE WICKED ALLOWED TO REPENT AFTER DEATH and accompany the Righteous souls to

Paradise – after the Death of our Lord Jesus Christ Who then, IN HIS HUMAN NATURE DESCENDED INTO
HADES WHERE HE, IN HIS DIVINE NATURE AND POWER SMASHED OPEN THE GATES OF HADES to allow the

These are the Righteous souls to whom we can address our Prayers for Spiritual Guidance and Intercession – just as we ask each other to pray for us during our earthly life. Orthodox Christians, when remembering those who have gone before us – the Church Triumphant – always pray: “May his/her memory be Eternal!”
WE PRAY THAT THE LIFE OF EVERYONE IS WORTHY OF ETERNAL REMEMBRANCE AND THAT WE WILL ALL BE REMEMBERED BY NAME – ESPECIALLY BY GOD. WE PRAY THAT WE WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN OR UNIDENTIFIED FOR ALL ETERNITY – AS THOUGH WE NEVER EXISTED OR ARE UNWORTHY OF REMEMBRANCE –

Righteous and the Justified to rest in the Peace of Paradise until the Final Judgement. It is of particular interest that despite the Torments of Hades to which the rich man was already being subjected, HIS ARROGANCE AND SENSE OF SUPERIORITY HAD NOT DIMINISHED IN THE LEAST. That was clearly evident from the fact that he expected Poor Lazaros to be sent to relieve his terrible, unquenchable thirst – to continue to have his selfish desires and needs attended to by someone he regarded as beneath him – a mere servant who was expected to gratify his every wish! While suffering THE TORMENTS OF HADES – a FORETASTE OF ETERNAL HELL due to their unrepented vices that perpetually intensify and increase into excruciating, unrelenting, ever-worsening, cravings and obsessions, the wicked are further tortured by the sight of the Righteous who rested peacefully on the other side of the great Abyss. Some Holy Church Fathers see this account as a Parable that reveals Heaven and Hell after Christ’s Final Judgement, citing the different Punishment and Reward that was received by the rich man and Poor Lazaros respectively. However, other Holy Church Fathers regard this Divine Revelation as being the period after death but before the Second Coming of Christ, as evidenced by the rich man trying to intercede on behalf of his brothers who were still alive.
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or worse – such wicked sinners that people – even family and acquaintances - prefer to forget us! St John Chrysostom cautioned us: “The ignorance of Holy Scripture is a great cliff and a deep Abyss. It is impossible for anyone to be without benefit if he reads continually and with attention!” Furthermore, THOSE WHO ARE REBELLIOUS AGAINST THE
LORD OUR GOD STUBBORNLY REFUSE TO ACCEPT DIVINE TRUTH – even when people actually did “rise from

the dead!”

(MATTHEW 28: 11 – 15 & JOHN 12 : 9 – 11)

EVERYTHING IN THIS CONSEQUENCES and

SHORT

LIFE

HAS

SERIOUS

we should always be very conscious of this Divine Truth. us opportunities to become Virtuous Souls – worthy citizens of His Heavenly Kingdom.

GOD GRANTS SOME PEOPLE MORE ABUNDANT BLESSINGS THAN OTHERS IN ORDER TO TEST US – thereby granting

AS WE TRAVEL THE DIFFICULT PATH OF LIFE WE MUST ENCOURAGE OTHERS to follow the correct Route by

whatever means possible – teaching, guiding and sharing everything always with Agape – the Divine Love of God, which makes even the impossible easier to achieve!

20th Sunday After Pentecost – 5th Sunday of St Luke – T h e R i c h M a n & P o o r L a z a r u s - 30 October 2011

25.

5th Sunday of St Luke – The Rich Man & Poor Lazaros
ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY IS FOREVER AND ALWAYS ABOUT HOPE in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. THE HOLY TRINITY DID NOT GIVE UP ON CREATION in the face

of the fall.
OUR LORD JESUS DID NOT GIVE UP WHEN FACED BY THE CROSS. V NOTHING CAN DEFY THE COMPASSION OF THE ALMIGHTY -

to the safety of the Heavenly Fold (His Eternal Holy Church). NO ONE COULD CROSS THE GREAT CHASM of which Abraham spoke THAT EXISTED BETWEEN HEAVEN AND HADES
BEFORE THE DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF CHRIST. THE ICON OF THE RESURRECTION ILLUSTRATES CHRIST’S DESCRIPTION OF THE AFTERLIFE: CHRIST IS AT THE CENTRE, STANDING ON A CROSS FORMED BY THE SHATTERED GATES OF HADES, which almost cover the

nothing (in the end) can thwart His Purposes certainly not our paltry little, earth-bound perspectives, our pious, little certainties...and certainly not death. OUR LORD JESUS RESCUED THE ADULTEROUS WOMAN from stoning, EVEN THOUGH THE LAW PROCLAIMED THAT SHE SHOULD BE EXECUTED. V JESUS CHRIST IS ABOVE AND BEFORE DIVINE LAW. The Ten Commandments were inscribed by His Divine Hand on the very stones with which the crowd would have stoned her. St. Isaac of Syria wrote, "Do not say God is just...David may call Him Just and Fair, but God's own Son has revealed to us that He is before all things good and kind." If we do not understand that, then we have missed the point of everything. MERCY SUPERSEDES JUSTICE.
IN CHRIST MERCY AND JUSTICE HAVE EMBRACED AND THE HIGHER (GOD) HAS TRANSFORMED THE LOWER. The

bottomless Abyss that is filled with broken locks, shackles and chains, bridging the formerly impassable width.
CHRIST PULLS ADAM AND EVE OUT OF HADES AND INVITES ALL THE DEAD FROM ALL AGES TO LEAVE HADES WITH HIM, SO THAT THEY MAY REST IN PEACE IN PARADISE.
IN SOME HOLY ICONS OF THE RESURRECTION, WE SEE SHACKLED AND BOUND BODIES OF THOSE WHO REFUSED TO REPENT AND WHO HAD REJECTED THE ONE AND ONLY CHANCE THEY HAD TO DO SO AFTER ST JOHN THE BAPTIST HAD PREPARED THEM FOR THE COMING OF CHRIST AND RESURRECTION INTO ETERNAL LIFE.

Although EVERY HUMAN BEING THROUGHOUT ALL AGES HAS
BEEN SAVED THROUGH THE CROSS AND RESURRECTION OF CHRIST, not everyone accepts our Lord's generous Gift of Love, because OUR FREE WILL HINDERS US DUE TO SELF-INDULGENCE AND SPIRITUAL IGNORANCE.

Higher always transforms the lower. So what about the wretched Rich Man in today's Sacred Lesson? Evagrios of Pontus - that great, enigmatic Spiritual Master - finds a glint of Hope: THAT SELFISH,
EGOCENTRIC MISER WHO CARED NOTHING FOR POOR LAZAROS - EVEN IN HADES - SHOWED A TINY SLIVER OF COMPASSION FOR HIS OWN BROTHERS who were still

enjoying their self-indulgent lives. When Abraham the old Patriarch explained to him that nothing could alleviate his Torments in Hades,
INSTEAD OF REACTING WITH CURSES AND ANGER, THE RICH MAN REACTED in an unexpected manner by TRYING TO SAVE HIS BROTHERS who still enjoyed their

Orthodoxy grants us a cosmic vision of the mysterious potential we cannot begin to understand with our own limited abilities. NOTHING CAN SEPARATE US FROM THE LOVE OF CHRIST. As St Paul explained: CHRIST "...the One Who descended..." HAS FULFILLED ALL THINGS because He has "...ascended far above all the heavens." St Paul prayed for the Ephesians that THE HOLY SPIRIT WOULD AWAKEN THEM THROUGH FAITH "...rooted and grounded in Love..." so that they might be able TO COMPREHEND "...the width and length and depth and height - to know the Love of Christ, which surpasses knowledge..." and be FILLED WITH THE
FULLNESS OF GOD.

self-indulgent lives on earth. There was a minuscule crack of compassion in that hard, selfish heart! We should know by now that ALL GOD NEEDS IS A TINY
CRACK IN OUR STUBBORN-HARDENED HEART IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE GREAT THINGS! Remember the Prodigal

Son?! Evagrios believed that even that little chink in the Rich Man's selfish armour meant that THERE WAS STILL
HOPE FOR HIM BECAUSE HIS STORY WAS NOT YET OVER. THE LAW OF MOSES (I.E. OF GOD) AND THE TEACHINGS AND SPIRITUAL GUIDANCE OF THE HOLY PROPHETS OF GOD SHOULD HAVE BEEN SUFFICIENT MOTIVATION FOR ALL OF THEM TO REPENT THEIR SINS DURING THEIR LIFESPAN.

And then comes the punch line! I can almost see the twinkle in our Lord's Eye as He told His Disciples: “...‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be persuaded even if someone rose from the dead!’” However, our Lord Jesus knew very well that He Himself would soon do exactly that – and they would personally witness His Resurrection – as would many thousands before His Ascension into Heaven – before returning to His invisible but ever present state.
MOSES (I.E. GOD’S COMMANDMENTS AND LAW) AND THE HOLY PROPHETS (THEIR DIVINELY INSPIRED TEACHINGS AND PROPHECIES) WERE NEVER ENOUGH. THEY WERE NEVER MEANT TO BE ENOUGH! SOMEONE, INDEED, WOULD HAVE TO RISE FROM THE DEAD FOR THERE TO BE HOPE FOR ANYONE - Saint or sinner. THIS HOLY GOSPEL IS not about the hopelessness of those who die in sin. It is A DIVINE PROPHECY ABOUT THE RESURRECTION by which THE VERY GATES OF HADES WOULD BE SHATTERED, THE ABYSS WOULD BE BRIDGED AND HOPE WOULD REIGN SUPREME EVEN AND ESPECIALLY FOR THE HOPELESS!

St Paul concluded: "Now to Him - Who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the Power that works in us - be Glory in the Church...to all generations forever and ever. Amen." ALL THINGS ARE ONLY POSSIBLE WITH GOD. His Word cannot return to Him without accomplishing its Purpose. EVEN DEATH IS NO MATCH FOR DIVINE LOVE. In the Presence of God's Majestic Glory, which is far beyond our limited understanding, our small ideas, inadequate thoughts, silly opinions and erroneous interpretations disappear like wisps of smoke in strong wind. Divine Mercy shatters our self-imposed prisons just as it did the Gates of Hades, and we are completely transformed. Spiritual Experience shows us exactly how all things are possible with and for God! Faith that does not grow and change is dead. Faith that leaves our most cherished assumptions unchallenged is self-delusional and arrogant. Our Holy Church Father, St Evagrios of Pontos believed: "There was a time when evil did not exist, and there will be a time when it no longer exists; but there never was a time when Virtue did not exist and there will never be a time when it does not exist. For the Seeds of Virtue are Indestructible..." "...And I am convinced by the Rich Man - who was almost but not completely given over to every evil - who was condemned to Hell because of his wickedness, yet who felt compassion for his brothers, for to have pity is a beautiful Seed of Virtue."

V V

IN THE DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF OUR LORD, LOVE SUPERSEDES THE LAW, CRUSHES THE POWER OF DEATH AND PREVAILS OVER HADES ITSELF. WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS, THREE THINGS REMAIN, FAITH, HOPE AND LOVE.

Our Lord Jesus did not lie when He narrated His Parable about the One Lost Sheep for whom the Good Shepherd (Christ) would leave the ninety-nine other Sheep (His Faithful Disciples) to seek and to return

ADAPTED & EDITED BY MP: FATHER ANTHONY HUGHES - ST MARY ORTHODOX CHURCH, CAMBRIDGE, MA, USA http://www.stmaryorthodoxchurch.org/orthodoxy/sermons/2009-11-01-hughes.php

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