Slava Isusu Christu! Slava i vo viki! + Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory for ever!
From the Fathers of the Church …
St. Cyril of Alexandria
Christ raised him who was descending 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 for raising him who was lying there? What is so difficult to it or past accomplishment? What is more powerful than the Word of God? Why then did he not work the miracle by only a word but also touched the bier?
It was, my beloved, that you might learn that the holy body of Christ is productive for the salvation of man. The flesh of the almighty Word is the body of life and was clothed with his might. Consider that iron when brought into contact with fire produces the effects of fire and fulfills its functions. The flesh of Christ also has the power of giving life and annihilates the influence of death and corruption because it is the flesh of the Word, who gives life to all. May our Lord Jesus Christ also touch us that delivering us from evil works, even from fleshly lusts, he may unite us to the assemblies of the saints.
St. John Damascene
Some people reprove us for honoring images of the Savior, of the Mother of God and other holy servants of Christ. But let them think for a moment. In the beginning God created humanity in his own image. Why ever should we have such respect for one another, if not because we are made in the image of God? In Basil’s words, ‘the honor paid to the image is in reality paid to its prototype,’ that is to say, to what the image represents. Thus the Jewish people revered the Tabernacle because that, much more than the rest of creation, was an image of God. The making and the veneration of images are not a novelty. They are based on a very ancient tradition. God made the first human being as an image of himself. Abraham, Moses, Isaiah and all the prophets saw God, not in his true being, but in his image. The burning bush was an image of the Mother of God. When Moses wanted to approach, God said to him: ‘Put off your shoes from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.’ [Exod. 3:5] If the ground on which Moses saw the image of the Mother of God was holy, how much more holy will the image itself be!
· Last Sunday, 40 souls came to pray at St. Philip’s, our tithes to the Lord were $___, clergy medical insurance $____, candles $__. Thank you for supporting our church, may God bless you abundantly for your generosity.
· Prayer requests. Fr. Randall, Fr. Martin, Fr. Ted, Fr. Brendan, Oceana, Gary and Ingrid, Tom, Margaret and Don, Walter, Joan, Margaret, Becky, Alexis, Marion, Rachel, Agatha, Michael, Curtis, Joseph, Theresa, Emily, Ronald, Janet, Michael, Taylor, Margaret, Radoslav, Lorrie.
· Hospitality sign-up sheet: Oct 18 – Lang family, Oct 25 – open, Nov 1 – Baker family. Please sign up for hospitality for the upcoming Sundays; the list is in the parish hall. Thank you to Walter Gerlach who provided hospitality for us last Sunday.
· Special Priests’ Medical Insurance Collection. Thank you for generous response to our collection. Our parish total for this collection is the highest of all previous years, although we have not reached our goal of $2000. If you missed the collection and would like to still contribute, you may do today, or by mail before next Friday, please mark your donation “clergy medical insurance.”
· Christmas in Eastern Europe. On November 14, St. Philip’s will host Christmas bake sale – an opportunity to taste some traditional Christmas deserts and meals. Eat-in or take-out, come and enjoy. The door opens at 10 AM, the event concludes
6:30 AM Divine Liturgy.
5:30 PM Akathistos.
8:30 AM Confessions.
9: 10 AM Prayers.
9: 30 AM Divine Liturgy.
21st Sunday after Pentecost.
For Confession, please come half an hour before the scheduled services, or schedule an appointment. Friday is a day of simple abstinence. Let us remember one another as we offer our prayers and sacrifices to God.
OCTOBER from the Eparchial Office of Evangelization and Religious Education…
The Kingdom of God is among us – now, today
“But seek first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”-Matthew 6:33
#1 Lesson in Evangelization – Prayer
How can you put into practice the New Evangelization? How can you fulfill your most important calling as a Byzantine Catholic – to be a witness to the Risen Christ?
For the next few months, the Eparchial Office of Evangelization and Religious Education will assist you in finding answers to these questions. Since you must possess the love of Christ before you can share it, these Lessons in Evangelization are designed to help you renew your Catholic faith, and then go out to all and share the Good News.
This first lesson focuses on the most important behavior of the authentic Christian.
Prayer is communicating personally with your all-powerful Creator. Such communication is impossible in other religions because they view the Divine as Beyond, Implacable, or Disinterested, and Impersonal. Yet, Christianity is utterly different from all other religions – and that is the Good News that you, as a Christian, are called to share with others.
In Christ, God did not keep Himself at a distance, but made Himself known, accessible to you personally by being born into a family, growing up, playing, working, and dying, and ultimately resurrecting – and then founding a Church wherein the people of all times and places can be baptized, forgiven, healed, nurtured and instructed, and finally welcomed into the heavenly kingdom.
But you derive no benefit from this extraordinary love of the Creator unless you open your heart to Him in prayer – daily. God invites, but He does not force.
The Byzantine Catholic Church contains a treasure trove of resplendent prayers: from the Eucharistic celebration of the Divine Liturgy, to Matins (morning prayers), Vespers (evening prayers), Akathists, Molebens, and the Jesus Prayer and the hours of the Divine Praises. It also has the Bible, the teachings of the church, the fathers and the saints.
With this wealth at your disposal, there is no excuse for having a poor prayer life – that is, there is no excuse for failing to communicate personally and directly with your Creator.
But there are plenty of excuses. Job, driving the kids, yard work, social media, texting, ill health, catching up on the news. Like Martha in Luke’s Gospel, people are “worried and anxious about many things.”
Martha was “burdened with much serving” when she asked Jesus to admonish her sister to help her with the household tasks. Yet the Lord did not respond by releasing Mary from her prayer. Just the opposite, He said, “Only one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the better part and she will not be deprived of it.” (Luke 10:40-42)
Jesus was exceedingly busy. He left his work as a carpenter in Nazareth to travel throughout Judea and Samaria, preaching and healing. He had “nowhere to lay His head,” (Matthew 8:20) and was inundated by the crowds. Yet, He frequently separated Himself from His companions and went to lonely places to pray.
Through His words and actions, Jesus taught that prayer is essential. Prayer is at the heart of the New Evangelization; it is the first and most important task of the Christian.
Until the next Lesson, I encourage you to make prayer a priority. If private prayer is not incorporated as a daily habit in your life, resolve to begin at once. A good practice is to start small the first week, with 10 minutes a day. It takes about two months to establish a habit. Add five or ten more minutes each week until you commune with your Redeemer for at least one half hour per day. Let liturgical and private prayer permeate your life. From this fountain, you will go forth refreshed, and able to give a cup of Living Water to the thirsty who will otherwise perish in the parched land of godlessness.