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Saint Joseph Melkite Greek Catholic Church

130 North Saint Francis Cabrini Avenue Scranton, PA 18504

Rev. Protodeacon Michael Jolly
Administrator pro tempore

Reader Michael Simon Redaer John Fitzgerald Parish Office 570-343-6092

E-Mail: Web: Webmaster: Sal Zaydon

March 18 2012 Tone 7, Orthros 7 Liturgy Schedule: Saturday Vespers 4pm Compline Weds 8:30PM

Fourth Sunday of Lent Sunday of St John of the Ladder Sunday Orthros 8:55 am Sunday Divine Liturgy 10:00 am

Liturgy Intentions:

Parish Notes:
Welcome back Father Jerome Wolbert who serves at our altar today. Thanks to Reader Michael and Reader John for stepping in for Deacon Michael Thanks to the Ladies Society for hosting the St. Joseph evening of the Lenten mission. Our normal Lenten devotion schedule resumes this week. Welcome Home Reader John. Fitzgerald. Reader John is compleing obligations in NJ but will be moving home to Scranton

March 18, 2012 Ann Abdaher nieces and nephews John and Louise Abdaher nieces and nephews

March 25, 2012 James Zaydon Sr.his wife Boots James MurrayDn Michael and Marie Mary BetressNancy & Mary Sue Betress
Todays Icon: Our venerable and God-bearing Father John Climacus (ca. 579 - 649), also known as John of the Ladder, John Scholasticus, and John Sinaites, was a seventh century monk at St. Catherine's monastery at the base of Mount Sinai. In Greek, his epithet is (Klimakos).

The Divine Liturgy of Saint Basil the Great

O Lord, Lover of mankind, You saved the people of Nineveh as they repented, fasting and weeping. Have mercy on us, for we fall short of any defense. And since You are compassionate, strengthen in our hearts our faith in your name and steady our footsteps in the way of your Commandments. For You are good and forbearing, O our God, and to You we render glory, honor and worship, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and always and forever and ever

First Antiphon Through the prayers of the Mother of God... Second Antiphon O Son of God, Who are risen from the dead... Hymn of incarnation Third AntiphonTroparion of The Resurrection

Tone 2 Tone 4 Tone 7 Tone 7 Tone 8

Resurrectional Troparion Troparion of John Climacus
Your abundant tears made the wilderness to sprout and bloom, and your deep sighs of love made your labors fruitful a hundredfold; you became a shining star showering miracles upon the world. Holy Father John, pray to Christ God that He may save our souls

Troparion of the Martyrs Trophimus and Eucarpion

Your martyrs, O Lord, received the crown of immortality from You, O Our God, on account of their struggle. Armed with Your strength, they have vanquished their persecutors and crushed the powerless arrogance of demons. Through their supplications, O Christ God, save our souls.

Tone 4

Troparion of Saint Joseph Kontakion of The Annunciation

Triumphant leader to you belongs our prize of victory! And since you saved us from adversity we offer you our thanks. We are your people O mother of God! So as you have that invincible power, continue to deliver us from danger that we may cry out to you Hail, O Virgin and bride ever pure.

Tone 2 Tone 4


(Tone 7) Psalm 28:11, 1 The Lord will give strength to his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace. Stichon: To Give to the Lord. You sons of God, give to the Lord glory and praise

Reading from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Hebrews

6: 13- 20

Brethren, when God made his promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater to swear by, he swore by himself, saying, I will surely bless you, and will surely multiply you Gn.22 : 14). And so, after patient waiting, Abraham obtained the promise. For men swear by one greater than themselves, and an oath given as a guarantee is the final settlement of all their disagreements. Hence God, meaning to show more abundantly to the heirs of the promise the firmness of his will interposed an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to deceive, we may have the strongest comfort we who have sought refuge in holding fast the hope set before us. This hope we have as a sure and firm anchor of the soul, reaching even behind the veil where our forerunner Jesus has entered for us, as he became a high priest forever according to the order of Melchisedek.

Alleluia (Tone 7), Psalm 91:1,2

It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to your name, O Most High! Stichon: To proclaim your kindness at dawn and your faithfulness throughout the night.

The Holy Gospel according to St. Mark

9: 17-31

At that time one of the crowd came to Jesus and bowed to him saying: Master, I have brought to you my son, who has a dumb spirit; and whenever it seizes him it throws him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth; and he is wasting away. And I told your disciples to cast it out, but they could not. And he, answering him, said, O unbelieving generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him to me. And they brought him to him; and the spirit, when it saw Jesus, immediately threw the boy in convulsions, and he fell down on the ground and rolled about foaming at the mouth. So he asked his father, How long is it since this has come upon him? And he said, From his infancy. Oftentimes, it has thrown him into the fire and into the waters to destroy him. But if you can do anything have compassion on us and help us. But Jesus said to him, If you can believe, all things are possible to the man of faith. At once the father of the boy cried out and said with tears, I do believe; help my unbelief. Now when Jesus saw that a crowd was rapidly gathering, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, You deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, go out of him and enter him no more. And crying out and violently convulsing him, it went out of him, and he became like one dead, so that many said, He is dead. But Jesus took him by the hand, and raised him and he stood up. And when he had come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could we not cast it out? And he said to them, This kind can be cast out in no way except by prayer and fasting. And leaving that place, they were passing through Galilee, and he did not wish anyone to know it. For he was teaching his disciples, and saying to them, The Son of Man is to be betrayed into the hands of men, and they will kill him; and having been killed, he will rise again on the third day.

The Hirmos
In you, O full of grace, all creation rejoices, the orders of angels amd the human race as well: O sanctified Temple, spiritual Paradise, Glory of virgins from whom Our God who exists for all eternity, took flesh and became a little child! He has taken your womb as his throne, making it more spacious than the heavens. In you, O full of grace, all creation exults: glory to you!

Saint John Climacus

Saint John Climacus was probably born in the second half of the sixth century; but his country and origins are alike unknown because, from the beginning of his renunciation of the world, he took great care to live as a stranger upon earth. Exile, he wrote, is a separation from everything, in order that one may hold on totally to God. We only know that, from the age of sixteen, after having received a solid intellectual formation, he renounced all the pleasures of this vain life for love of God and went to Mount Sinai, to the foot of the holy mountain on which God had in former times revealed His glory to Moses, and consecrated himself to the Lord with a burning heart as a sweet-smelling sacrifice. Setting aside, from the moment of his entry into the

stadium, all self-trust and self-satisfaction through unfeigned humility, he submitted body and soul to an elder called Martyrios and set himself, free from all care, to climb that spiritual ladder (klimax) at the top of which God stands, and to add fire each day to fire, fervour to fervour, zeal to zeal. He saw his shepherd as the image of Christ and, convinced that his elder was responsible for him before God, he had only one care: to reject his own will and with all deliberateness to put aside the capacity to make [his] own judgement, so that no interval passed between Martyrios commands, even those that appeared unjustified, and the obedience of his disciple. In spite of this perfect submission, Martyrios kept him as a novice for four years and only tonsured him when he was twenty, after having tested his humility. Strategios, one of the monks present at the tonsure predicted that the new monk would one day become one of the great lights of the world. When, later, Martyrios and his disciple paid a visit to John the Savaite, one of the

most famous ascetics of the time, the latter, ignoring the elder, poured water over Johns feet. After they had left, John the Savaite declared that he did not know the young monk but, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he had washed the feet of the Abbot of Sinai. The same prophecy was confirmed by the great Anastasios the Sinaite (April 21), whom they also went to visit. In spite of his youth, John showed the maturity of an elder and great discernment. Thus one day, when he had been sent into the world on a mission, and finding himself with laypeople, he had preferred to give in somewhat to vainglory by eating very little, rather than to gluttony; for, of these two evils, it was better to choose that which is less dangerous for beginners in monastic life. He thus passed nineteen years in the blessed freedom from the care that obedience gives, freed from all conflict by the prayer of his spiritual father and on a safe voyage, a sleepers journey, moved towards the harbor of impassibility. On the death of Martyrios, he resolved to continue his ascension in solitude, a type of life suitable for only a small number, who, made strong on the rock of humility, flee from others so as not to be even for a moment deprived of the sweetness of God. He did not commit himself to this path, one so full of snares, on his own judgment, but on the recommendation of the holy elder George Arsilaites, who instructed him in the way of life proper to hesychasts. As his exercise ground, he chose a solitary place called Tholas, situated five miles from the main monastery, where other hermits lived, each not far from the others. He stayed there for forty years, consumed by an ever-increasing love of God, without thought for his own flesh, free of all contact with men, having unceasing prayer and vigilance as his only occupation, in order to keep his incorporeal self shut up in the house of the body, as an angel clothed in a body. He use to eat all that was compatible with his monastic profession, but in very small quantities, thus subduing the tyranny of the flesh while not providing a pretext for vainglory. By living in solitude and retreat, he put to death the mighty flame of greed, which, under the pretext of charity and hospitality, leads negligent monks to gluttony, the door to all passions, and to the love of money, a worship of idols and the offspring of unbelief. He triumphed over sloth (acedia) that death of the soul which attacks hesychasts in particular and laxity, by the remembrance of death. By meditating on eternal rewards, he undid the chain of sadness; he knew only a single sadness: that affliction which leads to joy and makes us run with ardor along the path of repentance, purifying the soul from all its impurities.

What still prevented him from arriving at impassibility (apatheia)? He had long since conquered anger by the sword of obedience. He had suffocated vainglory, that three-pointed thorn which forever harasses those who battle for holiness, and which entwines itself with every virtue like a leech, by solitude and even more by silence. As a reward for his labors, which he took care to season constantly with self-accusation, the Lord gave him the queen of virtues, holy and precious humility: a grace in the soul, and with a name known only to those who have had experience of it, a gift from God. As his cell was too near the others, he would often withdraw to a distant cave at the foot of the mountain, which he made an antechamber of heaven by his groans and the tears which fell effortlessly from his eyes like an abundant spring, transfiguring his body as with a wedding garment. By this blessed affliction and these continual tears, he did not cease to celebrate daily and kept perpetual prayer in his heart, which had become like an inviolable fortress against the assaults of evil thoughts (logismoi). Sometimes he was

ravished in spirit in the midst of the angelic choirs, not knowing if he was in the body or out of it, and then with great simplicity he asked God to teach him about the mysteries of theology. When he came out of the furnace of prayer, he sometimes felt purified as if by fire, and sometimes totally radiant with light. As for sleep, he allowed himself just the measure necessary to keep his spirit vigilant in prayer and, before sleeping, he prayed at length, or wrote down on tablets the fruit of his meditations on the inspired Scriptures. He took great care over many years to keep his virtues hidden from human eyes, but, when God judged that the time had come for him to transmit to others the light he had acquired for the edification of the Church, He led a young monk named Moses to John, who, thanks to the intervention of the other ascetics, succeeded in overcoming the resistance of the man of God, and was accepted as his disciple. One afternoon, when Moses had gone a long way away to find earth for their little garden, and had lain down under a large rock to rest, Abba John, in his cell, received the revelation that Moses was in danger, and he immediately seized the weapon of prayer. In the evening, when Moses returned, he told John that in his sleep he had, all of a sudden, heard the voice of his elder calling him, at the very moment when the rock began to break away from its moorings and threatened to crush him. Saint Johns prayer also had the power to heal visible and invisible wounds. It was thus that he delivered a monk from the demon of lust, which had pushed him to the point of despair. On another occasion, he made rain fall. Yet it was above all in the gift of spiritual teaching that God manifested His grace in him. Basing his teaching on his personal experience, he generously instructed all those who came to him on the snares which lay in wait for monks in their battle passions and against the prince of this world. This spiritual teaching, however, attracted the jealousy of some who then spread around calumnies about him, accusing him of being a conceited chatterer. Although his conscience was clear, Abba John did not attempt to justify himself but, seeking rather to take away any pretext from those who sought one, he stopped teaching for a whole year, convinced that it was better to do some slight harm to his friends rather than to exacerbate the resentment of the wicked. All the inhabitants of the desert were edified at his silence and by this proof of humility, and it was only at the insistence of

his repentant calumniators that he agreed to receive visitors again. Filled with all the virtues of action and contemplation, and having arrived at the summit of the holy ladder through victory over all the passions of the old man, Saint John shone like a star on the Sinai peninsula and was held in awe by all the monks. He thought himself no less of a beginner for all that and, avid to find examples of evangelical conduct, undertook journeys to various Egyptian monasteries. He visited in particular a great coenobitic monastery in the region of Alexandria, a veritable earthly paradise which was governed by a shepherd gifted with infallible discernment. This brotherhood was united by such charity in the Lord, exempt from all familiarity and useless talk, that the monks had scarcely need of the warnings of the superior, for they mutually encouraged each other to a most divine vigilance. Of all their virtues, the most admirable, according to John, was the way they were especially careful never to injure a brothers conscience in the slightest. He was also very edified by a visit to a dependency of this monastery, called The Prison, where monks who had gravely sinned lived in extreme ascesis and gave extraordinary proofs of repentance, straining by their labors to receive Gods forgiveness. Far from appearing as hard and intolerable, this prison seemed rather to the Saint to be the model of monastic life: A soul that has lost its one-time confidence and abandoned its hope of dispassion, that has broken the seal of chastity, that has squandered the treasury of divine graces, that has become a stranger to divine consolation, that has rejected the Lords commandand that is wounded and pierced by sorrow as it remembers all this, will not only take on the labors mentioned above with all eagerness, but will even decide devoutly to kill itself with penitential works. It will do so if there is in it only the tiniest spark of love or of fear of the Lord. When the Saint had sojourned these forty years in the desert, he was charged by God, like a second Moses, to be at the head of this new Israel by becoming abbot of the monastery at the foot of the holy mountain (c. 650). It is recounted that, on the day of his enthronement, six hundred pilgrims were present, and when they were all seated for the meal, the great prophet Moses himself, dressed in a white tunic, could be seen coming and going, giving orders with authority to the cooks, the cellarers, the stewards and the other helpers.

Having penetrated into the mystical darkness of contemplation, this new Moses, having been initiated into the secrets of the spiritual Law, and coming back down the mountain impassible, his face transfigured by divine grace, was able to become for all the shepherd, the physician and the spiritual master. Carrying within him the Book written by God, he did not have need of other books to teach his monks the science of the sciences and the art of arts. The Abbot of Raitho, who was also named John, having been informed of the wonderful manner of life of the monks of Sinai, wrote to Saint John, asking him to explain briefly but in an methodical way what those who had embraced the angelic life should do in order to be saved. He who did not know how to go against the wishes of another, thus engraved with the stylus of his own experience the Tablets of the Spiritual Law. He presented this treatise as a Ladder of thirty steps, that Jacob, he who supplanted the passions contemplated while he was lying on the bed of ascesis (Genesis 28:12). In his Orthodox Summa of the spiritual life, which has remained for centuries the outstanding guide to evangelical living, both for monks and for lay people, Saint John does not institute rules but, by practical recommendations, judiciouslychosen details and short pithy maxims and riddles often full of humor, he initiates the soul into spiritual combat and the discernment of thoughts. His word is brief, dense and tapered, and it penetrates like a sword to the depths of the soul, uncompromisingly cutting out all selfsatisfaction, and tracing hypocritical ascesis and egoism to their roots. Like that of Saint Gregory (January 25) in the theological domain, this word is the Gospel put into practice, and it will lead most surely those who let themselves be impregnated by it through an assiduous reading to the gates of heaven, where Christ awaits us. At the end of his life, the blessed John designated his brother George, who had embraced the hesychast life from the beginning of his renunciation, as his successor at the head of the monastery. When he was about to die, George said to him: So, you are abandoning me and leaving! I prayed, however, that you would send me to the Lord first, for without you I cannot shepherd this brotherhood. But Saint John reassured him, and said: Do not grieve and do not be afraid. If I find grace before God, I shall not let you complete even a year after me. And it was so: ten months after Johns falling asleep, George departed in his turn to the Lord.

Among Todays Saints

The Holy Martyrs Trophimus and Eucarpion were soldiers at Nicomedia during the persecution against Christians under the emperor Diocletian (284-305). They distinguished themselves by their great ferocity in carrying out all of the emperor's decrees. Once, when these soldiers had caught up with some Christians, they suddenly saw a large fiery cloud which had come down from the sky, thickening in form as it drew close to them. From out of the cloud came forth a Voice: "Why are you so zealous in threatening My servants? Don't be deluded! No one can suppress those believing in Me through their own strength. It is better to join them and discover the Heavenly Kingdom yourselves." The soldiers fell to the ground in fright, not daring to lift up their eyes, and only said to one another, "Truly this is the great God, Who has manifested Himself to us. We would do well to become His servants." The Lord then spoke saying, "Rise up, repent, for your sins are forgiven." As they got up, they beheld within the cloud the image of a Radiant Man and a great multitude standing about Him. The astonished soldiers cried out with one voice, "Receive us, for our sins are inexpressibly wicked. There is no other God but You, the Creator and true God, and we are not yet numbered among Your servants." But just as they spoke this, the cloud receded and rose up into the sky. Spiritually reborn after this miracle, the soldiers released all the jailed Christians from the prisons. For this Sts Trophimus and Eucarpion were handed over to terrible torments: they suspended the saints and tore their bodies with iron hooks. They gave thanks unto God, certain that the Lord would forgive them their former sins. When a fire had been lit, the holy martyrs went willingly into the fire and there gave up their souls to God.


WHEN THE RISEN CHRIST APPEARED to His disciples He reminded them that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me (Luke 24:44). When we think of the Old Testament prophecies we naturally look to figures like Isaiah, Jeremiah and the rest who are formally labeled as prophets. The Lords words quoted above indicate that there are also prophecies in the Law and in the Psalms as well. In the New Testament there are several psalm verses quoted as referring to the Lord Jesus as the Messiah. At the beginning of the Epistle to the Hebrews, for example, Ps 2:7 is cited: To which of the angels did He [i.e. God] ever say, You are My Son; today I have begotten You (Heb 1:5). The first Christians did not invent the idea that Scriptural events and texts applied to the Messiah. The Jews looked to the coming of the Messiah and saw references to him in the Scriptures. Early Christians were simply continuing a tradition they had received from Judaism. The difference, of course, was that the Christian believed that Jesus was that Messiah and the Scriptures referred to Him. Messianic Prophecies in the Psalms In his Letter to Marcellinus, St. Athanasius the Great, the fourth century archbishop of Alexandria, gave his reader an overview of the psalms understood as referring to the Messiah. He writes, If you want to sing Psalms that speak especially about the Savior you will find something in almost all of them; but 45 and 110 relate particularly to His Divine Begetting from the Father and His coming in the flesh, while 22 and 69 foretell the holy cross, the grievous plot He endured and what great things He suffered for our sakes. The 3rd and the 109th also display the snares and malice of the Jews and how Iscariot betrayed Him; 21, 50 and 72 all set Him forth as Judge and foretell His Second Coming in the flesh to us; they also show the call of the Gentiles. The 16th shows His resurrection from the dead in the flesh; the 24th and 47th His ascension into heaven. And in the four Psalms 93, 96, 98 and 99 all the benefits deriving to us from the Saviors Passion are set forth together.

A Priest Like Melchizedek

(While St. Athanasius followed the numbering in the Greek Septuagint version (LXX), the above translation follows the Hebrew numeration rather than the Greek, since that is the system used in most English versions.) We often find psalms and individual verses interpreted as messianic in the liturgical services, particularly on the Great Feasts. Verses of Psalm 2, for example, are associated with the Feast of Christs Nativity and also with Holy Friday: Why do the nations rage and the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord and against His Anointed (Ps 2:1,2). At Christmas these verses bring to mind Herods plot against the Infant; on Holy Friday they speak to us of the Sanhedrin denouncing Jesus to Pilate. A subsequent verse He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; the Lord shall hold them in derision (Ps 2:4) recall the ultimate failure of both these plots to destroy the Lord Jesus.

king. The king of Sodom goes out to greet Abram on his victory. Then we are told, Melchizedek, king of Salem brought out bread and wine, and being a priest of God Most High, he blessed Abram with these words: Blessed be Abram by God Most High, the creator of heaven and earth. And blessed be God Most High, who delivered your foes into your hand. Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything (Gen 14:18-20). Some Jewish commentators identified Melchizedek with Shem, the son of Noah and descendant of Adam. In one tradition, the Book of Adam and Eve, Shem officiated at Adams funeral when he was fifteen, because he was a priest as Adam was. Adams priesthood was that of every human being: to refer all things back to their Creator in thanks and praise. To be a priest according to the order of Melchizedek would be to be a priest according to the order of Adam.

Melchizedeks priesthood was connected with a line that predates Moses and Aaron, and links him directly Messianic foreshadowings in other psalms have made to Adam and God. To be a priest after the manner of them important parts of our liturgical celebrations of the Melchizedek, then, means to be a priest with a heritage mysteries they typify. Psalm 22 (LXX: 21), for that was older than that of the Jewish temple priesthood example, is for many Christians a description of the descended from Moses brother, Aaron. As a priest of experience of Christ on the cross. Mt 27:46 indicates God Most High from the earliest ages of mankind, that Christ began to recite this psalm as He was dying. Melchizedek represents a faith in the One God that The opening verses of Psalm 68 (LXX: 67) are sung predates Judaism and suggests the natural with the refrain Christ is risen as the solemn monotheism of ancient man. proclamation of the resurrection on Pascha. Christs ascension is understandably evoked in Ps 47: 5 (LXX: Hebrews, reflecting on the picture of Melchizedek in 46): God has gone up with a shout; the Lord with the Genesis, describes Melkchizedek as without father, sound of a trumpet. without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son One of the references to Christ in the Psalms is of God (Heb 7:3). This image suggests that repeatedly quoted in the Epistle to the Hebrews: The Melchizedek is not a priest by descent from a priestly Lord has sworn and he will not relent: you are a priest line, but by nature. Melchizedek was considered a forever according to the order of Melchizedek (Ps fitting type of Christ, the eternal Word of God, whose 110:4; LXX: 109). Since this epistle depicts Christs priesthood is eternal and brings together Jews and sacrifice in terms of the Yom Kippur ritual in the Jewish Gentiles without distinction before the throne of the temple, applying a reference to priesthood is not Father. surprising, but who is Melchizedek? Another image in the story of Melchizedek struck a chord for the early Christians. Melchizedek brought out bread and wine, probably as a gesture of Priest of the Most High hospitality. When seen in light of Melchizedeks Melchizedek makes his only Scriptural appearance in priesthood, these gifts become a type of the Eucharistic Genesis 14. There Abram (later Abraham), then an ally elements, connected to the natural priesthood of Adam of the king of Sodom, defeats Chedorlaomer, a warring and the New Testament priesthood of the New Adam,

On this Sunday of Great Lent, we remember St. John Climacus or St. John of the Ladder. He was the abbot of the Monastery of St. Katherine on Mt. Sinai during the seventh century. St. John wrote The Ladder of Divine Ascent, which is a guide to ascetic living (living a spiritually disciplined life). This book is read in every Byzantine monastery during Great Lent. In this book, St. John writes about 33 rungs of the ladder we climb in our ascent to heaven. Each rung represents a different Christian virtue (obedience, repentance, love, humility, etc.). In todays Gospel passage, we are shown that through faith in Christ all things are possible. We too need to cry as the father in todays Gospel, Lord, I believe; help my unbelief. Furthermore, this passage reveals that faith to conquer our demons comes only from prayer and fasting. At this point, Christ begins to reveal to the disciples about His upcoming suffering. For Consideration

It shows people ascending toward heaven with angels helping them. It also shows demons pulling people off the ladder, causing them to fall into the pits of hell. It can be a great discussion starter, especially for teenagers. Consider making copies of this icon for each family member to keep as a reminder of their spiritual ascent and the demons that will be trying to prevent it. Lord, I Believe; Help My UnbeliefChallenge your family to use the plea of the father in todays Gospel passage as a prayer throughout their day. Remind your children that we should constantly be calling on God to help us. Final Thought Ascend, my brothers, ascend eagerly. Let your hearts resolve be to climb. Listen to the voice of the one who says: Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of our God (Isaiah 2:3), Who makes our feet to be like the feet of the deer, Who sets us on the high places that we may be triumphant on His road (Habakkuk 3:19). Run, I beg you, run with him who said, Let us hurry until we all arrive at the unity of faith and of the knowledge of God, at mature manhood, at the measure of the statures of Christ's fullness (Ephesians 4:13). from The Ladder of Divine Ascent by St. John Climacus A Closing Prayer Glory to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, both now and forever. Amen. O holy father, hearing the voice of the Gospel of the Lord, you have forsaken the world, counting its riches and its glory as nothing; and so you have cried out to all: Love God, and you shall find eternal grace. Set nothing higher than His love, that when He comes in glory you may find rest with all the saints. At our prayers, O Christ, guard and save our souls.

What did the father need to do for his son to be healed? Why could the disciples not heal the boy? Do we believe that with the Lord all things are possible?

What does this Gospel passage mean for our lives? To Do Together

Jacobs LadderRead the Old Testament story about Jacobs Ladder, which can be found in Genesis 28:1017. The ladder represents the Theotokos. Talk about how Jesus came down the ladder in order to show us how to ascend it to heaven. Talk about things that help us climb the ladder to heaven and things that make us slide down. For young children, the game Chutes and Ladders can be helpful in illustrating this point. Icon of the Ladder of Divine AscentThis is a very vivid icon of the Ladder of Divine Ascent.

Lenten Days of Recollection

A Look at Prayer Saturday March 24, 9am-4pm led by Fr Laurian Janicki, OFM Prayer is much more than the rituals that gather us in the church building. The Great Fast is a wonderful opportunity to deepen our sense of prayer. Cost: $30 includes continental breakfast and luncheon. To register: contact or call Fr Jerome at 570788-1212 ext 402. Pope welcomes Patriarch Gregory last week
- FEAST OF THE ANNUNCIATION - MARCH 25th Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, and Alexandria and Jerusalem Gregory III Laham stressed the importance of activating dialogue for achieving peace in Syria and the Middle East as the sole guarantee of coexistence in a region beset with challenges. During his meeting with Pope Benedict XVI in Vatican on Thursday, Lahham stressed that the unity of Muslims and Christians represents the hoped-for Arab Spring. - END OF THE GREAT FAST March 30 after VESPERS: 7:00 PM - PALM SUNDAY April 1 - GREAT AND HOLY WEEK APRIL 2nd April 6th - GREAT AND GLORIOUS PASCHA April 8


- WEEKLY SERVICES: 7PM Monday: Wednesday: Liturgy Friday: Great Compline Pre -Sanctified Akathist Hymn

Devotions and Readings for this week


Gen 9:8-17

Prv 12:8-22

Gen 9:18-29

Prv 12:23-13:10

Gen 10:32-11:9 Gen 12:1-7 1 Cor 15:47-57

Prv 13:19-14:6 Prv 14:15-26 John 5:24-30

Prayer Requests

Parish Calendar

Rev. Deacon John Karam Rev. Seraphim Michalenko Rev. Basil Samra Rev. Peter Boutros Rev. Deacon Bryan McNiel Rev. Deacon Irenaeus Dionne Rev. Father David White

March 25 Feast of the Annunciation 30 Vespers for Lazarus Saturday 7PM April 1 2 3 4 5 6 Palm SundayBridegroom service 7PM Holy MondayBridegroom service 7PM Holy TuesdayBridegroom service 7PM Holy WednesdayTBA Holy ThursdayCrucifixion Orthros 7PM Good FridayDescent from the Cross 1PM Orthros for the Burial 7PM Sacrificial Giving March 11, 2012 Weekly Candles Flowers $ 951.00 $ 12.00 $ 25.00

Marie Abda Marie Abda Marie Barron Joseph Barron Mary Sue Betress Chris Carey Nikki Boudreaux Nick Cianci Dr. Frances Colie John Colie Margaret Dillenburg

Mark Dillman Karen Haddad Karen Kane Niko Mayashairo Mary McNeilly Marie Patchoski Theodore Petrouchko Jr. Charlie Simon Ruth Sirgany James Shehadi

The Weekly Quiz

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of______ knowledge. riches. understanding. long life.
Last Weeks Answer Q.A word fitly spoken is like______ A. Apples of gold in pitchers of silver.

All those Serving in our Armed Forces The Christian Community in the Middle East

Saint Patrick driving the snakes out of Ireland