O Holy Apostle Philip,
Intercede with the merciful God
That He may grant our souls forgiveness of sins.
Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost
The Gospel of today tells us to be merciful and to forgive our enemies. The truth that we see in the lives of the Saints is that they are not bitter. They are joyful and have in a sense cast their cares on the Lord as they await that he will raise them up. So often the devil weighs us down with thoughts of revenge which so often we cannot accomplish and which make us focus on distractions.
We celebrate this week the feast of the troubadour of Christ, the Poor Man, St Francis of Assisi. As troubadour he was a poet singing God’s praise of creation around him and he showed that heavenly riches were dear to his heart. St Francis shines as a model in opposition to the fleeting joys offered to us by the Gospel of Hollywood.
We also celebrate the great Apostle St Thomas, who died as a martyr in southern India. St. Thomas is the patron of India. He followed the Roman trade routes in 52 AD and established churches along India’s coast, from the Indus valley south, converting both Jews and Hindus. He was martyred in 72 AD. The northern churches were overwhelmed in the Muslim invasions, but the southern ones flourished as the Syro-Malabar and Syro- Malankara Churches, both Catholic and Oriental Orthodox, where they are known as Thomas Christians.
Thomas is often called “Doubting Thomas” because he did not believe Jesus was risen from the dead. It is worth noting that the inscriptions of Icons of this event never say “Unbelief” or “Doubting” regarding Thomas. In Greek, the inscription reads Η ψηλάφησητουΘωμά, that is, the “Touching of Thomas,” making no reference to Thomas’ doubt. The title implies Jesus touching Thomas, both in body and soul, and not the other way around. In Slavic icons, the meaning is even clearer because the inscriptions always read УверениеФомы, i.e. the “Assurance of Thomas”.
Usually, English icons mistranslate the Slavonic and inscribe their icons “The Belief of Thomas”. They miss the point: the Slavonic emphasizes that Jesus assures Thomas of the reality of His resurrection, His glorified body which still is wounded, His living presence.
So too, for us moderns who think we know everything – Christ touches us, Christ comes to us. He takes the initiative, and we are healed as a result.
- Fr Christopher: This past week: On Monday I was able to visit Margaret Dean in Modesto. Margaret sends her regards to all in the Parish and even though distant in Modesto, still remains close with the offering of her prayers. She was able to share many stories from the beginning of the parish. I had the joy of bringing her Communion for the first time since the pandemic began and anointing her as well. Afterwards I visited the Cardona family and was graciously entertained by them. Visits to parishioners continue and if all you have to do is give me your addresses.
- Mystery of First Confession: If you have a child ready to make his or her first confession please see me and I will start by instructing those who need it. This shouldn’t take too long, about 5 weeks and after that I hope that we will be able to relaunch Catechism for the children after Sunday Liturgies. Parents are invited to sit in on the classes, so as to be able to help their children with the homework. Also as part of ‘Safe Environement’ there will be another adult present.
- Court of the Gentiles’: As mentioned we will begin with a rapid fire of questions after our brunch in which Fr Christopher will answer questions you may have about the Liturgy, the Parish and upcoming events.
- Prayer requests. Fr. Michael, Fr. Marcus, Fr. Chris, Fr. Randall, Fr. Michal, Fr. Patrik, Sr. Patricia, Margaret, Gary and Ingrid, Margaret, Slawomir and Oceana, Darlene, Becky, Alexis, Marion, Curtis, Ronald, Jeannine, Taylor, Lorrie, Frances, Alex, Leroy, Michael, Thomas, Carol, Michael, Jennifer, John, Elizabeth, Judy, Ruth, Dimitri, Christie, Viktoria, Emily, Margaret, Patricia. Nadezda, Dan, Doug.
- Tithes and Donations. Last Sunday, we received in tithes $, donations $, gift shop $, hospitality $, candles $. Thank you for your generosity, may God bless you always. The collection amounted to $.
- Feast of the Holy Protection of Mary: we had a very good turnout of the faithful. Both Liturgies drew 17 to celebrate the Protection of Mary marking the historic feast, while yet being confident of Mary’s Protection in the future. Thus for the major feasts we will be having a Vigil Service and a morning Liturgy the next day.
- Hospitality after Sunday Liturgy. If you wish to help out please put your name to the signup sheet.
Wed Oct 6th – 6:30 a.m. – Divine Liturgy
Fri Oct 8th – 5:30 p.m. – Akathist
Sun Oct 10th – 8:30 a.m. – Confessions
9:30 a.m. – Divine Liturgy, Tone 3
For Confession, please call Fr. Christopher for an appointment, or come 30 minutes before or after scheduled services. If you desire Spiritual Direction then please see Fr Andrews for an appointment during the week so as to allow everyone an opportunity on Sundays for Confessions. Please consider those traveling from long distances.
Fridays in general are days of penance and fasting, we observe abstinence for meat foods. Let us remember one another as we offer our prayers and sacrifices to the Lord.