Today’s Epistle and Gospel: Today’s readings point us to the Canaanite woman and the admonition that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. Themes of cleanliness come across in both readings. The woman who requests a healing for her daughter is in fact a pagan. Christ steps beyond the mores and expectation of Pharisees bothering to speak to a foreigner. She asks for help for her daughter and Christ says that it is not right to give bread to dogs. Hardly a flattering comment, yet she throws things back on Christ saying that even dogs get to eat the crumbs that fall. We can admire her humility and her persistence and her charity too that she is going to great lengths for her daughter. In the right sense of things this woman has no shame.
St Bede a Church Father of the West and Benedictine monk, points out that she went a long distance and left her own lands to meet Christ, we too have to make that journey. We too might be a little embarrassed but the reward, even a few crumbs, is great.
The reward is grace in us making us to be temples. Temples are places where the profane is not found, where the focus is on worship of God. As Catholics and as baptized we know that we are those Temples. Let us pray for the courage and daring of the Canaanite woman, and as we receive more than crumbs in the Eucharist let us pray for the healing that we and others need which Christ the Physician of souls and bodies brings us!
News of the parish: This past Sunday saw a small flock with perhaps about a quarter of the Faithful at Divine Liturgy. St John Chrysostom in his Homily for Pascha on the Wednesday of what we call Bright Week noted that the congregation had all but disappeared! He also recalled that the horse races were on that same day. He was gracious enough to comment that what he lacked in quantity he made up for in quality! That can be said of St Philip’s and yet the Good Lord blessed us with a new family visiting us.
This being said, it was the small flock Our Lord spoke of in the Gospel of St Luke. However, I am glad that many of you took precautions so as not to be a source of sickness to everyone else. Charity and prudence are virtues! Nevertheless, I am certain that our numbers will increase and that slowly we will have omicron behind us.
Please pray for those who are distant from us. Perhaps in this age of technology we could reach out with a phone call. This may not seem like much but sometimes small is big.
Given then the situation of things, I was not able to bless many houses during this past week. This is still a priority and will continue. Perhaps as a consolation I can say that I have blessed the homes furthest away to the north. I hope on Thursday to make it as far as Modesto, Ceres and Tracey! So please reach out. Even if you are not physically at Church, I can be reached by calling my cell phone number on the mast head above. As always it seems that those the closest are the last ones done!
- HOUSE BLESSINGS: Please do sign up as this is an important part of being a Byzantine Catholic. I heard from many of the faithful when I was in Dallas that they were so pleased to have the priest visit. It also presented and occasion for the kids to see Father out of vestments and see a different side to him. Already, blessing homes has meant a chance to stop father and ask questions about the faith and the world around us.
- Looking ahead: All Souls’ Saturdays: Following the Byzantine Catholic tradition, five Saturdays are set aside for the remembrance of the departed members of our families and of our friends. This year, the first All Souls Saturday is February 19th. Using the envelope provided in your packet or on a sheet of paper, please submit the names of those you wish to have remembered at the Divine Liturgy / Panachida on these five Saturdays. Only write the first names of the individuals to be commemorated; if the list of names is the same as last year, simply write “same as last year,” or write “add the following names to my list.”
- 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 $.
- Calendars: 2022 Liturgical Calendars are available after Divine Liturgy & upon request.
Because of Omicron and our shortage of Cantors, this schedule may change where things will be simplified, e.g. an Akathist sung instead of a Divine Liturgy. I will do my best to text all who regularly attend services during the week as things unfold. Last week all regular attendees were averted of changes. If you plan to come please text or call me.
Sunday, Jan 23 – 35th Sunday after Pentecost. Tone 2
8:30 confessions, 9:30 Divine Liturgy Cantor: Tim, Reader: Victor
Weds, Jan 26 – 5pm confessions, 6pm Divine Liturgy/Akathist
Thurs, Jan 27 – 6:30 am Divine Liturgy
Friday, Jan 28 – 6:30 pm Divine Liturgy
Sunday, Jan 30 – Sunday of Zacchaeus. Three Holy Hierarchs. Tone 3
8:30 confessions, 9:30 Divine Liturgy Cantor: Amy, Reader: Richard
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.