Repose of the Apostle and Evangelist
John the Theologian
WEEKLY DIOCESAN BULLETIN
Sunday, October 13, 2013
16th Sunday after Pentecost:
The Holy Hieromartyr Gregory the Enlightener,
Bishop of Armenia;
Saint Michael the First Metropolitan of Kiev
RESURRECTIONAL TROPARION - TONE SEVEN:
By Your Cross, You destroyed death! To the thief, You opened Paradise! For the myrrh bearers, You changed weeping into joy! And You commanded Your disciples, O Christ God, to proclaim that You are risen, granting the world great mercy!
TROPARION TO THE HOLY HIEROMARTYR GREGORY - TONE FOUR:
By sharing in the ways of the Apostles, you became a successor to their throne. Through the practice of virtue, you found the way to divine contemplation, O inspired one of God; by teaching the word of truth without error, you defended the Faith, even to the shedding of your blood. O Hieromartyr Gregory, entreat Christ God to save our souls.
RESURRECTIONAL KONTAKION - TONE SEVEN:
The dominion of death can no longer hold man captive, for Christ descended, shattering and destroying its powers! Hell is bound, while the prophets rejoice and cry: The Savior has come to those in faith! Enter you faithful into the Resurrection.
KONTAKION TO THE HOLY HIEROMARTYR GREGORY ? TONE TWO:
Today, let us the faithful praise with songs and hymns the admirable hierarch Gregory as an initiate in the sacred mysteries. He was a contender for the truth, a vigilant pastor and teacher, a light for the whole world, interceding with Christ that our souls may be saved.
HYMN TO THE MOTHER OF GOD - TONE SIX:
Steadfast Protectress of Christians and constant advocate before the Creator, do not despise the cry of us sinners; but in your goodness come speedily to help us who call on you in faith. Hasten to hear our petition and to intercede for us, O Theotokos, for you always protect those who honor you!
The Prokimenon in the 7th Tone:
The Lord shall give strength to His people! The Lord shall bless His people with peace!
16th after Pentecost: Second Corinthians 6: 1-10
Brethren, we then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For He says, ?In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you.? Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. We give no offense in anything, that our ministry may not be blamed. But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God: in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in fastings; by purity, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love, by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, by honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report; as deceivers, and yet true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold we live; as chastened, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.
The Alleluia Verses:
It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to Your name, O Most High! To declare Your mercy in the morning, and Your truth by night.
16th after Pentecost: Matthew 25: 14-30
Jesus said, ?The kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord?s money. After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them. So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ?Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.? His lord said to him, ?Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.? He also who had received two talents came and said, ?Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.? His lord said to him, ?Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.? Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ?Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.? But his lord answered and said to him, ?You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.??
From The Prologue for September 30/October 13 by St. Nikolai Velimirovic:
Saint Gregory the Enlightener, Bishop of Armenia
Gregory was born of a prominent family which was related to the royal houses of Persia (King Arteban) and Armenia (King Khosrov). When these two houses made war against each other, Gregory withdrew to Caesarea in Cappadocia. It was there that he first learned of the Christian Faith, was baptized and married. He had two sons of this marriage, Bardanes and Aristakes, and dedicated them both to the service of the Church. After the death of his wife, Gregory returned to Armenia and placed himself in the service of King Tiridates. He faithfully served him, and Tiridates loved Gregory. But when the king learned that Gregory was a Christian, he became greatly enraged and pressured him to deny Christ and worship idols. Not succeeding in this, Tiridates subjected Gregory to many harsh tortures, then threw him into a deep pit full of poisonous reptiles to kill him. However, the All-seeing God preserved St. Gregory?s life in that pit for fourteen full years. After that, Tiridates set out to persecute all Christians in his kingdom, and attacked a convent where there were thirty-seven nuns, including the abbess, Gaiana. When he had killed all of them by terrible tortures, Tiridates went insane and was like a wild boar. His sister had a dream in which a man, dazzlingly bright, told her that Tiridates would only become well when Gregory was removed from the pit. Taken from the pit, Gregory healed and baptized Tiridates. Then, at the wish of Tiridates, Gregory became Bishop of Armenia. Through God?s providence, Tiridates also helped him in enlightening all of Armenia and its surrounding regions with the Christian Faith. St. Gregory ended his earthly life of great labor in old age, in about the year 335. Meanwhile, his son Aristakes had been consecrated a bishop, and he continued the work of his father, both physically and spiritually. Aristakes was one of the 318 Holy Fathers at the First Ecumenical Council.
The Holy Martyrs Gaiana, Rhipsimia, and thirty-five other nuns
They were all slain by King Tiridates because of their faith in Christ. Rhipsimia was of unusual beauty, which tempted Emperor Diocletian to take her for his wife. This was the cause of their martyrdom. Rhipsimia refused to go with the emperor, as she had betrothed herself to Christ, her Bridegroom. Then Tiridates too was tempted and wanted to claim her for himself, for he was intoxicated by her beauty. St. Rhipsimia resisted the pagan king with all her strength, ?And he who defeated the Princes of the Goths and destroyed the Persians was unable to overcome one virgin of Christ.? The enraged king gave her over to cruel tortures?her tongue was cut out, her stomach cut open, and her entrails pulled out?and Rhipsimia gave up her soul to God. After this, the other nuns were seized and beheaded. The famous Monastery of Echmiadzin was built over the relics of these holy martyrs. Situated near Yerevan, it was the main spiritual center of Armenia for many centuries.
Saint Michael, First Metropolitan of Kiev
St. Michael was sent to Russia by the Patriarch of Constantinople at the request of the great Prince Vladimir, to baptize the pagan people and establish and organize the Church. St. Michael baptized the people in Kiev, Novgorod, Rostov and many other towns and villages. He organized the Church, appointed bishops and priests, laid the foundation for the Monastery of St. Michael in Kiev, and sent missionaries among the Bulgarians and Tartars, winning many of them for Christ. This saint accomplished all this, and much more of great benefit, in only four years. He went to his reward peacefully, in the year 992. His relics repose in the Monastery of the Kiev Caves.
HYMN OF PRAISE: Saint Gregory the Enlightener
Gregory was a great light
To his people and his nation.
He spurned glory and riches
For the poverty of Christ the Crucified,
Preferring eternal riches in heaven.
He raised his mind to heaven and thoughts of God,
And endured much physical torture,
As if it all were painless.
He was strong with the power of God?s grace,
And nourished by God?s heavenly food,
And armored against evil by God?s providence.
He was lowered into the pit from his glory,
And from the pit he was elevated to the heights?
The heights of eternal glory.
Gregory, great and holy,
Enlightened Armenia with Jesus.
Even the wild boar, Tiridates,
Was baptized under the Cross and became a lamb.
With great glory, the land of Armenia glorifies
Its miracle-worker, St. Gregory.
Marvelous changes occur daily in the destiny of men?in the present, as in times past. Those humiliated for the sake of God?s righteousness are raised to great heights, and the blasphemers of the Faith are converted to servants of the Faith. King Tiridates threw St. Gregory into a deep pit. The saint spent fourteen years in that pit, forgotten by the entire world, but not by God. Who among men could have thought that the greatest light of the Armenian people was to be found in the darkness of a pit? And who would have ever thought that the powerful and tyrannical King Tiridates would one day save the life of that same Gregory, whom he had condemned to death, and would help him more than the rest of the whole world could help him? After fourteen years, God revealed Gregory as still alive. Gregory then miraculously healed the insane king. King Tiridates, the unrestrained persecutor of Christ, was baptized and became the greatest zealot for the Christian Faith! It could be said that, with God?s help, Gregory and Tiridates were both drawn out of the pit of darkness?Gregory a physical one, and Tiridates a spiritual one. Oh, the infinite wisdom of God in governing the destinies of men! The formerly wild and passionate Tiridates was softened and ennobled so much by repentance and the Christian Faith, that he came to resemble St. Gregory more than his old, unrepentant self.
Contemplate the righteousness of King Jotham and God?s reward for him (II Chronicles 27):
1. How Jotham did that which is right in the sight of the Lord, and cared for the Temple of the Lord;
2. How God helped him, so that he was successful in war and in peace: in war he conquered, and in peace he enriched and strengthened his people.
HOMILY on the Kingdom not of this world
My Kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36).
He who has great wealth also has little wealth. Therefore, let no one think that Christ the Lord does not have royal authority over this world, even though He told Pilate: My Kingdom is not of this world. He who possesses the eternal also rules over the temporal. Here, the Lord speaks of His Eternal Kingdom, independent of time, decay, injustice, illusion and death. It is as if someone were to say: ?My wealth is not in paper but rather in gold.? If he has gold, can he not afford paper? Is not gold worth more than paper? Therefore, the Lord does not tell Pilate that He is a king, but on the contrary says that He is a higher King than all earthly kings, and that His Kingdom is greater, more powerful and more enduring than all earthly kingdoms. He is indicating His principal Kingdom, upon which all earthly kingdoms depend, in time and in space. My Kingdom is not of this world. This does not mean that He has no power over this world, but on the contrary confirms His awesome power over this world. All His works on earth manifest His unparalleled, lordly power over the world. Tell me, in what other king?s presence is the wind quieted and the sea calmed? And have you forgotten His words in Gethsemane? Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and He shall presently give Me more than twelve legions of angels? (Matthew 26:53). And just one angel has greater power than all the universe! The Lord of the soul is also the Lord of the body. The Lord of eternity is also the Lord of time. The Lord of the greatest good is also the Lord of the lesser good. Brethren, nothing can escape the power of the Almighty Jesus Christ our Lord, Who by His own will suffered for us, and by His own power rose from the grave. O Lord Jesus Christ, our Almighty Savior, help us to seek Thy Heavenly Kingdom, and to be eternally with Thee where there is neither sin nor death, but life and joy and peace. To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.
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All Roads Lead to Jackson
a book about Serbian American contributions in Amador County, CA since the Gold Rush.
2013 Annual - A Commemorative Book reflecting the History of the Western American Diocese
NOTES OF ECUMENISM
BY ST. JUSTIN POPOVIC
HOLY EMPEROR CONSTANTINE AND THE EDICT OF MILAN
KNOWING THE PURPOSE OF CREATION THROUGH THE RESURRECTION
Also on Kindle at Amazon:
Man and the God-Man
The Meaning of Reality
The One and the Many
The Prologue of Ohrid
Treasures New and Old
History, Truth, Holiness
With the Blessing of
His Grace, Bishop MAXIM
the Diocesan Kolo Srpskih Sestara cordially invites you to join in celebrating their
FEAST OF THE
ENTRANCE OF THE THEOTOKOS
Sunday, December 8th
Divine Liturgy 10am
Slava Service & Luncheon
Saint Steven's Serbian Orthodox Cathedral
1621 West Garvey Avenue
Alhambra, CA 91803
Everyone is Welcome!
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