O Holy Apostle Philip, Intercede with the merciful God
That He may grant our souls forgiveness of sins.
Twenty First Sunday after Pentecost & Sunday of the Ecumenical Councils.
This Sunday we celebrate the Sunday of the Ecumenical Councils. On this day we celebrate the work of the Holy Spirit inspiring wise and holy Fathers who through the first seven Ecumenical Councils helped to enunciate what we essentially believe. The Fathers instruct us with many topics typically answering the questions of their time. We should remember that Christianity had over times to answer questions when what was generally held by all and at all times and in all places was beginning to be doubted or replaced by something foreign to what was then the deposit of faith. Thus the Church had to answer questions as to who Christ really is (Nestorius asserting that Christ is a Creature and not equal to the Father). Later doubts would come as to the divinity of the Holy Spirit (Eunomion Heresy). The last Ecumenical Council answered the questions as to Icons at the time of the Iconoclast heresy. As a result we more or less have the sum of what we believe defined at these Holy Councils.
These Councils therefore still continue to shape us to this day. It remains for us to follow their sacred Teachings as we ask “who is Christ?” As the Logos, the measure, the Word, does He measure up as the Truth we follow and we adhere to? In a philosophical sense is He the Wisdom that guides our outlook on all things around us as we live our lives. Truly, Christ as Word, is the revelation of the Father and even in his humanity he instructs, albeit by his own words or actions.
In addition to the faithful and orthodox teachings which the Fathers pass on to us we could also look at their personal and spiritual lives as sources for their definition of the dogmas we believe. Following and loving Christ they merited the grace to understand Who He is and to live lives radiating light and truth around them. We could think of St Basil the Great who in his day blazed the trail with his teaching that the Holy Spirit should be paid Equal Honor. He knew that it would take time, reflection and grace to penetrate the mystery, and after seeing all the turmoil resulting from the Christological debates, he taught that equal honor should be given to the Holy Spirit. He was confidant that putting aside human anger and pride, along with the help of the same Holy Spirit, over more time and reflection this question would be solved. Solved it would be, but in a spirit of calm, fraternal charity and reflection.
Thus, the patrimony of the Seven Ecumenical Councils must still shape us down to our own day.
- Fr Christopher: This past week: Thankfully, I finally managed to register my car from Texas with Californian plates. There was also another visit to the Roman Chancery and paper work in order to facilitate receiving faculties to serve the diocese of Sacramento as a supply priest. Finally, yesterday I attended the funeral of Mr Jeff Long, along with other parishioners. I am led to believe that we will see his widow, Rebecca, back with us for worship from time to time. We will also celebrate a Panachida for Jeff on Sunday November 7 which will be about the 40th day since his passing. Meanwhile keep Jeff, Rebecca and their family in your prayers.
- During the coming week I will be absent at the Eparchial Retreat for Clergy which is being held in Phoenix. As a result there will only be a sung Akathist at 5.30 pm on Wednesday.
- Tithes and Donations. Last Sunday, we received in tithes $, donations $, gift shop $, hospitality $, candles $ and miscellaneous $. Thank you for your generosity, may God bless you always. The collection amounted to $
- Hospitality after Sunday Liturgy. If you wish to help out please put your name to the signup sheet.
- 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 Environment’ there will be another adult present.
- Youth Group: After having spoken at the bi-weekly youth group with parishioners from 4 parishes and 4 Rites, I will continue to host a talk followed by ‘fun and games.’ There were about 20 or so youth. The meetings are mentored by Abouna Hezekiah (Melkite) and now by me. For details contact me or Tim Del Castillo. Ages range from early to late teens.
Wed, Oct 20th – 5.30 PM Akathist.
Sun, Oct 24 – 8:30 AM Confessions
– 9:30 AM – Divine Liturgy – Tone 5
Cantor Amy Seyfried
Reader: Tim Del Castillo
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.