Bulletin for 27 Nov 2022 – 25th Sunday After Pentecost

TWENTY FIFTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST

Sinai icon of Saints Paul, Andrew, and Peter

Sinai icon of Saints Paul, Andrew, and Peter

Today’s Epistle speaks of unity which is brought out by the constant use of the term “One.” Namely, one Lord, one Baptism, one Faith, one spirit, and one body. There is additionally mention of unity of spirit through the bond of faith. Unity and oneness is a sign of the Kingdom of Christ. Sometimes the idea of oneness in our modern culture comes across as something that weakens, after all we hear constantly about diversity. St. Augustine tells us: “In things that are non-essential we have freedom, in things that are essential, unity and in and above all things, charity.” Unity when it is grounded in truth and charity is a strength.

On the other hand the devil’s kingdom is described as divided and something that will eventually die the death of in-fighting. There is no higher common good when his reign is about a perceived individual good characterized by his “I will not serve,” which sums up his revolt, his breaking with the unity of order which God established.

Our unity, our nobility comes from the oneness that Baptism has conferred upon each of us regardless of age, sex, nationality, education and politics. We are all domestics of the Faith, we are all brothers and sisters who believe and live the same faith and hope which in turn unites us in charity. There is strength in unity. We admire Saints in Kings and Peasants, in the married, the single, the consecrated, and our clergy. Essentially we are seeing God’s grace and gifts at work in them to bring about oneness and peace.

The Gospel is that of a woman who had suffered for 18 years and she is healed on the Sabbath. It is noted that she was incapable of standing erect. At Christ’s command she is instantly healed and she “stood up straight and glorified God.” (v13). The next verses speak of the leader of the synagogue finding scandal that she was healed on the day of rest. His hypocrisy is pointed out by Christ who notes that although he has wrought a miracle and labored on the Sabbath, his accusers do far menial work taking care of beasts of burden on the very same day of rest. Clearly,the woman is of more importance than an ox or an ass.

There is no arguing with the God-Man and his words bring shame on his accuser and brought on the reaction of the crowd who “rejoiced at all the splendid deeds done by him.” (v17). Let us not be the ones divided by jealousy at God’s hand at work in others when he brings healing and restores. Let us rather praise God for his great gifts.

News of the parish: As regards my health: after doing so well I have unfortunately come down with a head cold. The annoying part is that I need to be over it before chemo will resume tentatively on December 13 and 14. I moved the original dates so as to squeeze in the celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe who is Patroness of the Americas. Please keep me in your prayers.

We are asked to pray for the Eparchy as all the Eparchs of the Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic Church in the U.S.A. have been summoned to Rome and in the light of the news that litigation will presently cease regarding a dispute with a lawyer out of the Eparchy, it looks like Rome may go ahead and appoint a Bishop. Please keep that in your prayers. We have been without a Father too long, so pray for all the Hierarchs in Rome.

Visit of St Nicholas: St Nicholas left me an email message that he is very busy on his feast day which will be Tuesday December 6th of this year. Therefore he will make a very quick visit and will only pass through sometime during the Divine Liturgy as it is celebrated on Sunday December 4th at 9.30am. Only the GOOD children are asked to leave a pair of shoes in the basement before liturgy as he won’t have any gifts or candy for BAD children. If you are a LITTLE MONSTER your shoes will be returned empty. So, please children, behave extra well before his visit or you may get nothing! St Nicholas sees everything you do and besides that, your guardian angels have been reporting everything you do to him, so be good!

ST PHILIP FAST:  From now until Christmas we are asked to abstain from meat on Wednesdays and Fridays, however the church asks us to do more. We should undertake, also, spiritual reading and prayer, as well as acts of mercy, generosity and kindness. There are many online resources to assist our journey through this holy season. An appropriate text to read is ‘On the Incarnation,’ by St Athanasius of Alexandria. The link below is an online pdf that can be uploaded and saved and read. https://stnoufer.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/on-the-incarnation-athanasius.pdf

Tithes and Donations. Last Sunday’s collection amounted to $.

Safe Environment: In light of Fr Diodoro’s recent visit the Advisory Council will be recommending who must seek accreditation in the Safe Environment Program. The policies of the Eparchy will be enforced for the good and safety of all in the Parish.

Sunday Hospitality: please sign up and cover a Sunday for hospitality.

  • Prayer requests.  Please pray for the sick and deceased of the parish: Mary Washko, Fr Steven Washko’s mother who passed away last week. Eternal Memory!   Robert Raines (+) my mother Martha (+), Carrie Fedorko, Marion Williams, & Fr James recovering from surgery. The many who ask our prayers for their loved ones, the victims of the Ukrainian war. In addition please pray for the following: Fr. Michael, Fr. Marcus, Fr. Chris, Fr. Randall, Fr. Michal, Fr. Patrik, Fr Christopher, Fr Theodore, 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. Murin family, Aisha, Faustyna, John, Maia, Najwa, Nadia, Fabin, Nazmin, Barbara, Trish, Shalom World, Jesse, Charles,  Monica, Matt, Jackie, Tim, Edward, Don, Monica, Pineda family.

Liturgical schedule 

Nov 27 Sunday

8:30 am Confessions         9:30 am Divine Liturgy

25th Sunday after Pentecost

Tone 8

Nov 29 Tues

5:30 pm Divine Liturgy

St. Andrew the Apostle (Nov 30)

Dec 4 Sunday

8:30 am Confessions         9:30 am Divine Liturgy

Tone 1 Reader Victor

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.

Posted in Bulletin | Leave a comment

It’s Not Easy to Be the Church

On the 25th Sunday after Pentecost, we read a very important passage from St Paul’s Letter to Ephesians.  As Fr James Graham observes in his homily, below, St Paul emphasizes how and why our unity and patience and cooperation are essential to our task of being the Church.

Saints Peter and AndrewLooking ahead, 30 November is the feast of the Holy Apostle Andrew, patron saint of Scotland, Greece, and many other countries.  Along with his brother Peter, Andrew was one of the first-called of Jesus’ disciples.

Come and celebrate the Divine Liturgy with us on Sunday at 9:30 am!

IT’S NOT EASY TO BE THE CHURCH

Homily for 9th Sunday of the Holy Cross, 25th Sunday after Pentecost

Ephesians 4:1-7                                        Luke 12:16-21

     We often hear people proclaim that “We are the Church.” But we also know that we are part of the Greek Catholic Church in the USA, part of the whole Greek Catholic Church, part of the Catholic Church, and part of the whole Christian Church.  So, we are the Church, but we are not the whole Church.  We are the Church, but other Christians, other parishes, are also the Church.

     And we know that the Church is the Body of Christ in the world.

     But it has always been difficult for people to figure out what all this means.  How are we supposed to be the Church?  And why are we supposed to be the Church?

     St Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians tries to answer these questions.  It’s a letter to the Christian people about how to be the Church according to God’s will and God’s plan.  St Paul explains how the Gentiles—our ancestors—were adopted as God’s children through Jesus Christ even though we were not Jews.  The New Covenant in Jesus Christ expands God’s People to include everyone who believes.  And St Paul’s job from Jesus, the Son of God, is to bring the news of Christ’s love and God’s plan to all people.

     And that makes this letter definitely a letter to us.  We need to pay attention to it.

     St Paul knows that it’s not easy to be the Church.  It’s not easy to live a holy life, in peace and love and unity, in a sinful world, full of fighting and hate and division.

     So in this letter he wants to encourage us, telling us how to live and explaining why we should live that way.  He begs us to live in a holy way that reflects God’s plan.

     We know that it is especially difficult—and therefore especially important—to know and remember how and why to live as the Church, in a time of change, such as when a congregation gets a new pastor or when a priest moves to a new parish.

     At times of change, we become anxious.  We worry about how things will be different.  We wonder if we will like the new people and new circumstances.  We wonder if the way that we’re used to thinking and talking and acting will still work.

     We want to know how to deal with all of this.  And St Paul gives us great advice.  He says that we should “bear with one another” in love, with patience, humility, and gentleness.  He tells us to “make every effort” to maintain unity in the bond of peace.  He knows that we cannot have unity without peace.

     We have to recognize that there will be disagreements, that some people will be difficult, that we will have differences of opinion and different ways of doing things.  But we are still the Church, one in Christ.  So we have to work—to work hard—at being humble and gentle and patient.  We have to cooperate, not compete.  We have to explain, not complain.  We have to think in terms of “we,” not “me.”

     Knowing how to live as Christians and how to cope with change will be easier if we understand why we’re supposed to do this.

     There are two main reasons:

     First, if we don’t live this way, with consideration and patience and humility and gentleness, everything will be much harder.  We will be divided, fighting with each other, not moving forward, not teaching our children, not showing other people what Christians are like, not pleasing God, not coming closer to the Kingdom of Heaven.

     Second, we have to live in peace and love and gentleness and humility because it is our nature to be like God.  We are created in the image and likeness of God.  So we are created to be good and loving and merciful and just and patient and cooperative and unified.  Look at how St Paul emphasizes unity:  “one body and one spirit . . . one hope . . . one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all.”

     This is what St Paul means when he begs us to “lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called.”  This is what he’s talking about when he says, “each of us was given grace according to the measure of God’s gift.”

     So, as we deal with change and the challenge of living as the Church, we can remember St Paul’s advice on how to do it and why we do it, and give thanks and praise and glory to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and ever and to ages of ages.  Amen.

Posted in Bulletin | Leave a comment

Bulletin for 20 Nov 2022 – Prefeast of the Entrance of the Theotokos

TWENTY FOURTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST

Today’s Gospel speaks of a very prudent man but unfortunately he had nothing but natural prudence. He grew his business and planned well. He did not expect that he would appear before his Creator which meant that all his temporal goods profited him nothing. He is commended because he worked with the blessings he had. It is understood that if he had had family, he by his industry, would have provided for them. This is commendable. But there is a key verse: v20 where he renders an account. The question is how did he share his blessings? Did he sew seeds of the the Kingdom? We are not told but it appears  the Templethat he was only thinking of himself and his own family.

Perhaps others words of the Gospel would help us to interpret things better: “To whom much is given, much is expected.” Let us then look ahead for providing for the near future and the eternal future, using what we gain as a means to bless our brethren.

The Epistle speaks of Christ who has drawn us together, he has unified in himself what the Apostles and the Prophets spoke of and has become the capstone uniting the Old and the New Testament in himself. We are justified in Him and in Him is our unity, our dignity and strength. We should note the present active tense of what St Paul writes: “Through him the whole structure is held together and grows into a temple sacred in the Lord, in him, you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.(v 21,22.) “Grows” into a Temple: our work of being saved is ongoing and is not static.

News of the parish: We had the joy of a visit of about 20 or so Knights of Columbus and honored them with a Panachida, or as Fr James would call it, a Memorial Service, which he sang for the deceased Knights who were commemorated for the first time since Covid 19 began. After the Memorial service they joined us for refreshments. We are grateful for their visit and that they can now return to their own parishes as ambassadors speaking of what they saw and how they were received at St Philip’s.

As regards my cancer treatment things went exceptionally well, in fact perhaps too well! It turned out that the two types of chemo chosen (out of a possible 7) had the highest effectiveness against the tumors. Thus they killed the cells so quickly that the dead cells released a toxin and poisoned the blood. Fortunately, I was being monitored and the drips were immediately stopped as steroids were administered. After about 20 minutes the dosage continued but at half the rate per minute. The down side was that I left the clinic at 7pm and not 3pm and so I sat in a chair from 8am. After that, the body then began the slow process of expelling the dead cells stored in my kidneys… After 5 days the pain is gone but I do feel weak. The Doctors I consulted in Dallas said that the first run of this medication could have taken up to 33% of the tumor away. They seem to think that the treatment may last 4 months not the original 6 months.

God be praised for the progress! I am also humbled by the support of many Catholics from other parishes. There has been a ‘Food train,’ and people have brought edibles which have taken the edge off of things. I am doing well but seem to sleep a lot. The next treatment will be 12/13 so thank you in advance for your prayers and calls just to check in.

We are asked to pray for the Eparchy as all the Eparchs of the Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic Church in the U.S.A. have been summoned to Rome and in the light of the news that litigation will presently cease regarding a dispute with a lawyer out of the Eparchy, it looks like Rome may go ahead and appoint a Bishop. Please keep that in your prayers. We have been without a Father too long, so pray for all the Hierarchs in Rome.

ST PHILIP FAST:  From now until Christmas we are asked to abstain from meat on Wednesdays and Fridays, however the church asks us to do more. We should undertake, also, spiritual reading and prayer, as well as acts of mercy, generosity and kindness. There are many online resources to assist our journey through this holy season. An appropriate text to read is ‘On the Incarnation,’ by St Athanasius of Alexandria. The link below is an online pdf that can be uploaded and saved and read. https://stnoufer.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/on-the-incarnation-athanasius.pdf

Tithes and Donations. Last Sunday’s collection amounted to $.

Safe Environment: In light of Fr Diodoro’s recent visit the Advisory Council will be recommending who must seek accreditation in the Safe Environment Program. The policies of the Eparchy will be enforced for the good and safety of all in the Parish.

Sunday Hospitality: please sign up and cover a Sunday for hospitality.

  • Prayer requests.  Please pray for the sick and deceased of the parish: Robert Raines (+) my mother Martha (+), Carrie Fedorko, Marion Williams, & Fr James recovering from surgery. The many who ask our prayers for their loved ones, the victims of the Ukrainian war. In addition please pray for the following: Fr. Michael, Fr. Marcus, Fr. Chris, Fr. Randall, Fr. Michal, Fr. Patrik, Fr Christopher, Fr Theodore, 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. Murin family, Aisha, Faustyna, John, Maia, Najwa, Nadia, Fabin, Nazmin, Barbara, Trish, Shalom World, Jesse, Charles,  Monica, Matt, Jackie, Tim, Edward, Don, Monica.

Liturgical schedule (Please note the lighter schedule as I navigate chemotherapy):

Nov 20 Sunday

8:30 am Confessions     9:30 am Divine Liturgy

24th Sunday after Pentecost — Prefeast of the Entrance of the Theotokos

Tone 7 

Nov 21 Monday

5:30 p.m. Divine Liturgy

Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple

Nov 27 Sunday

8:30 am Confessions     9:30 am Divine Liturgy

25th Sunday after Pentecost

Tone 8 

22AB2531-4327-461D-A2AC-119621A36A71For 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.

Posted in Bulletin | Leave a comment