O Holy Apostle Philip,
Intercede with the merciful God
That he may grant our souls forgiveness of sins.
Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory to Him forever! + Slava Isusu Christu! Slava i vo viki!
From the Fathers of the Church…
St. Basil the Great
You need only to look at the vine to be reminded of your own nature, that is, if you observe it intelligently. No doubt you remember the image used by the Lord in which he says that he is the vine and the Father the vinedresser. Each of us who have been grafted onto the Church by faith he calls branches, and he urges us to bear much fruit so as not to be rejected as useless and thrown onto the fire.
Throughout the Scriptures the Lord continually likens human souls to vines. He says for instance: My beloved had a vineyard on a fertile hillside; and again: I planted a vineyard and put a hedge round it. Clearly it is human souls that he calls his vineyard, and the hedge he has put round them is the security of his commandments and the protection of the angels; for the angel of the Lord will encamp around those who fear him. Moreover, by establishing in the Church apostles in the first place, prophets in the second, and teachers in the third, he has surrounded us as though by a firmly planted palisade.
In addition, the Lord has raised our thoughts to heaven by the examples of saints of past ages. He has kept them from sinking to the earth where they would deserve to be trampled on, and he wills that the bonds of love, like the tendrils of a vine, should attach us to our neighbors and make us rest on them, so that always climbing upward like vines growing on trees, we may reach the loftiest heights.
He also requires that we allow ourselves to be weeded. To be spiritually weeded means to have renounced the worldly ambitions that burdened our hearts. Anyone who has renounced the love of material things and attachment to possessions, or who has come to regard as despicable and deserving of contempt the poor, wretched glory of this world, is like a weeded vine. Freed from the profitless burden of earthly aspirations, that person can breathe again.
Finally, following out the implications of the comparison, we must not run to wood, or, in other words, show off or seek the praise of outsiders. Instead, we must bear fruit by reserving the display of our good works for the true vinedresser.
St. Epiphanius the Latin
The householder in this parable is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. The vineyard he planted represents the Jewish people who were begotten from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, multiplied like the stars in the sky and the sand of the shore, liberated from the land of Egypt and the yoke of slavery, and led through the sea to the promised land, as the prophet said: “You brought a vine out of Egypt; you drove out the nations and planted it.”” The Lord planted the Jewish people in the promised land, flowing with milk and honey, so that they would bear the fruit of the commandments of God. “He surrounded it with a hedge” means that God fortified it with the protection of angels. The wine press he dug signifies the holy church, where the fruits of righteousness and holiness are gathered; just as the grapes are pressed only with great toil and effort, so also the holy martyrs are crushed like grapes and shed their blood only through great persecutions and tortures. The tower constructed in the middle of the vineyard is our Lord himself, who appeared like a strong tower in the midst of the holy church through the Virgin. Because of his presence, all the saints and martyrs are protected with spiritual weapons from their most wicked enemy, who is the devil. “When harvest time drew near, he sent his servants,” that is, the prophets, “to the tenants,” who were the teachers of the law, “to collect the fruit of the vineyard.” He had already sent the prophets to them repeatedly to collect his fruit, but they were disdainful and rebellious toward the Lord and greeted his prophets with swords, beatings, stonings and other persecutions. They killed Isaiah, stoned Jeremiah, pursued Elijah and beheaded John the Baptist. Every nation that persecutes its teachers and fails to produce the fruit of the gospel is an accomplice to the Jews. “Finally, therefore, he sent his only son to them, saying, ‘surely they will respect my son.'” The “only son” of the householder is the Lord, the Son of God, who came by the will of the Father to his vineyard, which is the Jewish people. “But when the tenants,” who are the teachers of the law, “saw his son, they said to themselves, ‘this is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours,’ and they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.” They also crucified our Lord outside the city, while they shouted, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” Yet they did not in fact come to possess the inheritance of the law; instead, they sentenced themselves to death, for the Lord asked, “What will the owner of the vineyard do to the tenants when he comes?” They responded, “He will destroy the evil tenants and give the vineyard to other tenants who will produce its fruit in a timely manner.” They condemned themselves by their own words, as the Lord implies when he speaks about himself and their faithlessness: “The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; therefore, I say to you that the kingdom of God will be removed from you and given to a people producing its fruits.
- Dear Parishioners and Friends, during our gatherings, please follow all health and safety precautions issued by civil authorities. Use the space to allow distance between households, follow proper way of receiving Holy Communion. Per parish guidelines, consider your and others’ safety when coming to church, if you feel sick, you can choose to follow Sunday liturgy online, or pray the Typika. When in doubt, consult your decision with your pastor/confessor. During this time, Bishop John granted dispensation to the faithful from attending Sunday services. Please know that you and your intentions are remembered on the altar at St. Philip’s. For confession and other needs, please contact Fr. Francis directly and make an appointment.
- Last Sunday, 74+47 souls came to pray at St. Philip’s. We received donations in tithes $; donations $, Building Fund $. Thank you for your generosity, may God bless you always.
- How is your tithing? Since the start of the pandemic, our monthly tithing fell to about half of what we were giving before. We have moneys in the building fund, and recently we had a successful fireworks fundraiser. However, our operating account balance is shrinking. Even though we can’t gather at St. Philip’s at this time, we need to upkeep the church and pay bills. Please remember your church. Thank you for your generosity.
- If you cannot come to church for safety, health or other reasons, sanctify your Sunday at home. Join live streaming services (http://liveliturgy.com/) or pray the Typika service. Put on your Sunday clothes, silence your phone, set up your computer in your prayer corner, light a candle, open your prayer book, and join the praying church. Pray a prayer of spiritual communion. May the Lord visit you with many graces.
- Prayer requests. Fr. Michael, Fr. Mel, Fr. Marcus, Fr. Chris, Fr. Randall, Fr. Michal, Dcn. David, Sr. Patricia, Gary and Ingrid, Margaret and Don, Margaret, Slawomir and Oceana, Becky, Alexis, Marion, Curtis, Ronald, Jeannine, Taylor, Lorrie, Frances, Alex, Leroy, Michael, Thomas, Carol, Michael, Jennifer, John, Elizabeth, Judy.
- What is “Atrium?” Also called “Catechesis of Good Shepherd,” Atrium uses Maria Montessori age appropriate hands-on approach to catechizing children. At. St. Philip’s, we have a classroom set up for the little ones to touch, see and explore what they see and hear at church. If you would like to join us with your little student or to help with other little students, ask Fr. Francis for more information. Classes will resume when the quarantine ends.
Until further notice, social distancing and health safety provisions issued by local government are in place. When at St. Philip’s follow the guidelines issued on May 31.
|Tue||Sep 1st||3 PM Akathist. (at St. Philip’s)|
|Sun||Sep 6th||8:30 AM Confessions 9 AM Divine Liturgy. (at St. Philip’s ) 10:30 AM Divine Liturgy. (at St. Philip’s)||14th Sunday after Pentecost. Tone 5.|
For Confession, please call Fr. Francis for an appointment.
Fridays in general are days of fasting and penance, we observe abstinence from meat foods. Let us remember one another as we offer our sacrifices to God.