Upcoming July 14-20
Fr. Stephen out of town all week.
July 14 – 4th Sunday after Pentecost – Holy Fathers of the First Six Ecumenical Councils
Tone 3-Troparion of the Resurrection
Let the heavens rejoice! Let the earth be glad! For the Lord has shown strength with His arm. He has trampled down death by death. He has become the first born of the dead.
He has delivered us from the depths of hell, and has granted to the world great mercy.
Tone 8 -Troparion of the Holy Fathers
Thou art most glorious, O Christ our God! Thou hast established the Holy Fathers as lights on the earth. Through them Thou hast guided us to the true Faith. O greatly compassionate One, glory to Thee!
Tone 8-Troparion of Pentecost
Blessed art Thou, O Christ our God, Who hast revealed the fishermen as most wise by sending down upon them the Holy Spirit – through them Thou didst draw the world into Thy net. O Lover of all Mankind, glory to Thee!
Tone 3-Kontakion of the Resurrection
On this day Thou didst rise from the tomb, O Merciful One, leading us from the gates of death. On this day Adam exults as Eve rejoices; with the Prophets and Patriarchs
they unceasingly praise the divine majesty of Thy power.
Tone 8-Kontakion of the Holy Fathers
The Apostles’ preaching and the Fathers’ doctrines have established one Faith for the Church. Adorned with the robe of truth, woven from heavenly theology, it defines and glorifies the great mystery of piety.
Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit
Tone 1-Kontakion of Pentecost
When the Most High came down and confused the tongues, He divided all the nations, but when He distributed the tongues of fire, He called all mankind to unity. Therefore, with one voice we glorify the Holy Spirit.
Now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.
Tone 2-Kontakion of Ordinary Sundays
Steadfast protection of Christians, constant advocate before the creator, despise not the cry of us sinners; but in thy goodness come speedily to help us who call on thee in faith: hasten to hear our petition and to intercede for us, O Theotokos, for thou dost always protect those who honor thee.
The Reading from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Romans. (6:18-23)
But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once yielded your members to impurity and to greater and greater iniquity, so now yield your members to righteousness for sanctification.
When you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. But then what return did you get from the things of which you are now ashamed? The end of those things is death. But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the return you get is sanctification and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew. (8:5-13)
At that time as Jesus entered Caper’na-um, a centurion came forward to him, beseeching him and saying, “Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, in terrible distress.” And he said to him, “I will come and heal him.”
But the centurion answered him, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; but only say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to one,
Go,' and he goes, and to another,Come,’ and he comes, and to my slave, `Do this,’ and he does it.”
When Jesus heard him, he marveled, and said to those who followed him, “Truly, I say to you, not even in Israel have I found such faith. I tell you, many will come from east and west and sit at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.”
And to the centurion Jesus said, “Go; be it done for you as you have believed.” And the servant was healed at that very moment.
Sub-deacon Mitri and Nora Moussa, Lynne Morris, Eleni (Helen) Nicholas, Barbara Demis, Dennis Poney, Lydia Holt, Lily Zelner, Anna T., Bill Hardman.
It is only out of delusion we believe we do not need others to see, understand, and treat our spiritual sickness. Anyone who believes that he alone can cure his spiritual diseases has isolated himself from a Mystery of the Church and will come to ruin. Only with the help of others are we saved, for within the Christian faith, salvation comes not in a self-focused void, but in the collective nature that is the Church. The Mystery of Confession, established by Our Lord, is a clear sign of the biblical truth that we need the Church, and we need the Mystery of Confession.
In confession we do not simply regret past evil but recognize the dar¬kened vision of our own condition, in which sin, by sepa¬rating us from God, has reduced us to a divided, auto¬nomous existence, depriving us of both our natural glory and our true freedom. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
The Sacrament of Confession is important because on it constitutes the cure of spiritual illness. Since the goal of the Christian life is transformation in Christ, ridding ourselves of the corrupt and diseased fallen self, it must begin with the death of the ego. We humble ourselves before the priest, when we confess our sins, for it is not just that Christ hears us. Christ hears us because of our act of humility in baring our souls in front of another person.
Thus, Scripture establishes confession, recounts Christ’s gift of authority to the Apostles and their successors to bestow forgiveness to penitents, and exhorts us to confess even to one another (James 5:16), since through one another we achieve humility and, mystically, this joins us to Christ.
A monk asked a holy man: How can we perform miracles? The Holy Saint answered:
If you teach a person to read the Gospel, you have opened the eyes of the blind.
If you teach a person to help the needy, you have healed the paralyzed.
If you teach a person to go to Church, you have healed the crippled.
If you lead someone to repentance, you have raised the dead.
Now go and perform miracles!