Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Pentecost

November 19, 2017

Entrance of the Mother of God into the Temple

Luke 12:16-21 - And [Jesus] told them a parable, saying, "The land of a rich man brought forth plentifully; and he thought to himself, `What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?' And he said, `I will do this: I will pull down my barns, and build larger ones; and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; take your ease, eat, drink, be merry.' But God said to him, `Fool! This night your soul is required of you; and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?' So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God." (RSV – Gospel for the Ninth Sunday of Luke)

Do you love God? Or do you love your stuff? – It is true that a man’s life does not come from his possessions or from have an overabundance of them. He is who is rich toward God is very blessed and has glorious hope. Who is he? Evidently, one who does not love wealth but instead loves virtue, and to whom few things are sufficient (see Luke 10:42). It is one whose hand is open to the needs of those in poverty, according to his means and the utmost of his ability. He gathers in the storehouses that are above and lays up treasures in heaven. Such a man will find the interest of his virtue and the reward of his right and blameless life. (St. Cyril of Alexandria)

The Icon is of the Entrance of the Mother of God into the Temple (November 21st). According to Holy Tradition, Saints Joachim and Anna were childless, and vowed to the Lord that if a child were born to them they would dedicate the child to His service. Their prayers were answered and Mary was born. When the Holy Virgin reached the age of three her parents fulfilled their vow and brought Mary to the Temple. It was feared that Mary would not have the strength to climb the fifteen steps to the sanctuary (where only the high priests could enter) but when she was put on the first step the Lord gave her strength and she was able to quickly climb all fifteen steps. The High Priest, at the leading of the Holy Spirit, led her into the Holy of Holies, where only he entered once a year to make a sacrificial blood offering. Mary’s relatives and friends – and all those in the Temple – were astonished.

On November 14th, at the conclusion of the Feast of the Holy Apostle Philip the Church began "Philip's Fast" (also known as "Nativity Fast" and "Advent"). Praying through 40 days!


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Teachings of Christ

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40 ESV)

Scripture

January 20, 2019
Thirty-Fifth Sunday After Pentecost
- Matins: Mark 16:1-8 (Matins Gospel 2)
- Liturgy: Colossians 3:12-16, Luke 18:18-27 (Slavs), Luke 14:16-24 (Greeks)

Thirty-Sixth Week After Pentecost
- Monday: Hebrews 11:17, 27-31, Mark 9:42-10:1
- Tuesday: Hebrews 12:25-26, 13:22-25, Mark 10:2-12
- Wednesday: James 1:1-18, Mark 10:11-16
- Thursday: James 1:19-27, Mark 10:17-27
- Friday: James 2:1-13, Mark 10:23-32
- Saturday: Colossians 1:3-6, Luke 16:10-15

January 27, 2018
Thirty-Sixth Sunday After Pentecost
- Matins: Mark 16:9-20 (Gospel 3)
- Liturgy: 1 Timothy 1:15-17, Luke 18:35-43

Feasts & Fasts

January
1 - Circumcision of Our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ | Feast of St. Basil the Great | New Year's Day (Civil)
6 - Theophany of Our Lord, God, and Savior, Jesus Christ
13 - Sunday After Theophany
21 - Martin Luther King Day (USA)
30 - Synaxis of the Ecumenical Teachers and Hierarchs: Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian, and John Chrysostom

Please pray!

"They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword...." (Hebrews 11:37a)

Please lift up in prayer all those who are persecuted and deprived of liberty, everywhere in the world. Please especially remember the peoples of Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Niger - the whole Middle East and Africa - who are literal martyrs for Christ. Also the peoples of Ukraine. They are our brothers, for all are one in Christ.

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Theophany

When You were baptized in the Jordan, O Lord, * worship of the Trinity was revealed, * for the Father's voice bore witness to You, calling You His “beloved Son”, * and the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the certainty of these words. * O Christ God, * Who appeared and enlightened the world, glory to You! (Troparion, Tone 1)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

You have appeared to the whole world today, * and Your light, O Lord, is signed upon us, * who with knowledge praise You in song: * "You have come, and You have appeared, O Unapproachable Light." (Kontakion, Tone 4)

Theophany is a Greek word meaning "manifestation or appearence of God".

Random Proverb

"He who commits adultery lacks sense; he who does it destroys himself." (Proverbs 6:32 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

When despondency seizes us, let us not give in to it. Rather, fortified and protected by the light of faith, let us with great courage say to the spirit of evil: "What are you to us, you who are cut off from God, a fugitive for Heaven, and a slave of evil? You dare not do anything to us: Christ, the Son of God, has dominion over us and over all. Leave us, you thing of bane. We are made steadfast by the uprightness of His Cross. Serpent, we trample on your head." 

St. Seraphim of Sarov