O Holy Apostle Philip,
Intercede with the merciful God
That he may grant our souls forgiveness of sins.
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Slava Isusu Christu! Slava i vo viki! + Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory for ever!
From the Fathers of the Church…
St. Gregory the Great
Dearly beloved, the reading from the holy gospel about the sower requires no explanation, but only a word of warning. In fact the explanation has been given by Truth himself, and it cannot be disputed by a frail human being. However, there is one point in our Lord’s exposition which you ought to weigh well. It is this. If I told you that the seed represented the word, the field the world, the birds the demons, and the thorns riches, you would perhaps be in two minds as to whether to believe me. Therefore the Lord himself deigned to explain what he had said, so that you would know that a hidden meaning is to be sought also in those passages which he did not wish to interpret himself.
Would anyone have believed me if I had said that thorns stood for riches? After all, thorns are piercing and riches pleasurable. And yet riches are thorns because thoughts of them pierce the mind and torture it. When finally they lure a person into sin, it is as though they were drawing blood from the wound they have inflicted.
According to another evangelist, the Lord spoke in this parable not simply of riches but of deceptive riches, and with good reason. Riches are deceptive because they cannot stay with us for long; they are deceptive because they are incapable of relieving our spiritual poverty. The only true riches are those that make us rich in virtue. Therefore, if you want to be rich, beloved, love true riches. If you aspire to the heights of real honor, strive to reach the kingdom of heaven. If you value rank and renown, hasten to be enrolled in the heavenly court of the angels.
Store up in your minds the Lord’s words which you receive through your ears, for the word of the Lord is the nourishment of the mind. When his word is heard but not stored away in the memory, it is like food which has been eaten and then rejected by an upset stomach. A person’s life is despaired of if he cannot retain his food; so if you receive the food of holy exhortations, but fail to store in your memory those words of life which nurture righteousness, you have good reason to fear the danger of everlasting death. Be careful, then, that the word you have received through your ears remains in your heart. Be careful that the seed does not fall along the path, for fear that the evil spirit may come and take if from your memory.
Be careful that the seed is not received in stony ground, so that it produces a harvest of good works without the roots of perseverance. Many people are pleased with what they hear and resolve to undertake some good work, but as soon as difficulties begin to arise and hinder them they leave the work unfinished. The stony ground lacked the necessary moisture for the sprouting seed to yield the fruit of perseverance.
Good earth, on the other hand, brings forth fruit by patience. The reason for this is that nothing we do is good unless we also bear with equanimity the injuries done us by our neighbors. In fact, the more we progress, the more hardships we shall have to endure in this world; for when our love for the present world dies, its sufferings increase. This is why we see many people doing good works and at the same time struggling under a heavy burden of afflictions. They now shun earthly desires, and yet they are tormented by greater sufferings. But, as the Lord said, they bring forth fruit by patience, because, since they humbly endure misfortunes, they are welcomes when these are over into a place of rest in heaven.
· Last Sunday, 65 souls came to pray at St. Philip’s, our tithes to the Lord were $, donations $, gift shop $, Clergy Medical $, baptism donation $. Thank you for supporting our church, may God bless you abundantly for your generosity. Please consider making St. Philip’s parish a part of your estate planning.
· Prayer requests. Fr. Jozef, Fr. Randall, Fr. Martin, Fr. Brendan, Fr. Ted & Barbara, Sr. Patricia, Gary and Ingrid, Margaret and Don, Walter, Adam, Margaret, Oceana, Becky, Alexis, Marion, Rachel, Curtis, Ronald, Taylor, Margaret, Mary, Lorrie, Cantor Gene, Jonathan, Rosa, Frances, Maros, Alex, Ted, Eva.
· Hospitality signup sheet: Oct 22 – Baker family, Oct 29 – open. Please sign up for hospitality for the upcoming Sundays; the signup sheet is in the parish hall. Thank you to the Agayoff family for providing hospitality for us last Sunday.
· Special collection for Priest Medical Insurance. You have an opportunity to contribute to this annual special collection until next Sunday, October 22nd. Please support our Bishop John in his efforts to take care of his priests. You can use the envelope provided for this collection in the back of the church, or send a check to the parish office (checks payable to St. Philip the Apostle Byzantine Catholic Church, mark as “Clergy Medical”).
· Baking Day, on Saturday, October 28th, at 10 AM. We bake poppy seed rolls and nut rolls, and prepare other foods for the upcoming festival. Let Fr. Francis know if you plan to attend.
· Christmas around the World Festival on November 11th. Please sign up to volunteer, the sign-up sheet is in the parish hall or contact Fr. Francis.
· PILGRIM VOCATION ICON As we pray for the Lord to have mercy on our church and send us good and holy shepherds, remember especially the children and youth of our parish, for the grace to desire God’s will for their lives, and to discern and follow their vocation. Vocation icon schedule: Oct 15 – Del Castillo family, Oct 22 – Agayoff family, Oct 29 – Dean family. (To sign up, please contact Jon & Abby Burke, or Fr. Francis.)
Monday, Oct 16th: 6:30 AM Divine Liturgy.
Wednesday, Oct 18th: 6 PM Vespers.
Sunday, Oct 22nd:
8:30 AM Confessions.
9:30 AM Divine Liturgy.
20th Sunday after Pentecost. Tone 3.
Cantor: Gene Ford.
For Confession, please come half an hour before the scheduled services, or schedule an appointment.
Fridays in general are days of penance, we observe abstinence from meat foods. Let us remember one another as we offer our prayers and sacrifices to the Lord.