The Week Leading up to… Sunday, November 24, 2013.

The Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost

Schedule for this week:

·         Wednesday, November 20, 5:30 p.m.: Small Compline, followed by Bible Study (led by Fr. Henry)

·         Saturday, November 23, 5:00 pm: Great Vespers

·         Sunday, November 24, 10:00 am: Divine Liturgy (preceded by Third Hour, 9:45 am)

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Byzantine Tile Border

Quote of the Week

“… let us quietly receive the beneficent rays of the truly good, the transcendently good Christ and let us be led by their light toward his divinely good deeds. After all is it not characteristic of His unspeakable, incomprehensible goodness that He fashions the existence of things, that He draws everything into being? That He wishes everything to be always akin to Him and to have fellowship with Him according to their fitness? Does He not come lovingly to those who have turned away from Him? Does He not contend with them and beg them not to spurn His love? Does He not support His accusers and plead on their behalf? He even promises to be concerned for them and when they are far away from Him they have only to make a backward turn and there He is, hastening to meet them. He receives them with completely open arms and greets them with a kiss of peace. He does not recriminate over what has happened. Now that they have returned, He pours His kindly love over them. He prepares a feast and summons His good friends so that the house may be full of rejoicers.”

St. Dionysius (‘Pseudo-Dionysius’ The Complete Works, Letter Eight; Paulist Press pg. 271)

THE EPISTLE

St. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians (6:11-18).

Prokeimenon. Mode Plagal 1.
Psalm 11.7,1

You, O Lord, shall keep us and preserve us.
Verse: Save me, O Lord, for the godly man has failed.

BRETHREN, see with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand. It is those who want to make a good showing in the flesh that would compel you to be circumcised, and only in order that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. For even those who receive circumcision do not themselves keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may glory in your flesh. But far be it from me to glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. Peace and mercy be upon all who walk by this rule, upon the Israel of God. Henceforth let no man trouble me; for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brethren. Amen.

THE GOSPEL

The Gospel according to Saint Luke (18:18-27)

At that time, a ruler came to Jesus and asked him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.’ ” And he said, “All these I have observed from my youth.” And when Jesus heard it, he said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” But when he heard this he became sad, for he was very rich. Jesus looking at him said, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” Those who heard it said, “Then who can be saved?” But he said, “What is impossible with men is possible with God.”

Holy Hieromartyr Clement, Bishop of Rome (circa 100 A.D.)
   He was instructed in the Faith of Christ by St Peter himself, and may be the Clement mentioned by the Apostle Paul as a fellow-worker in Philippians 4:3. He was consecrated Bishop of Rome about the year 91; some traditions call him the first Bishop of Rome, others the third after Saints Linus and Anacletus. (This is not necessarily inconsistent: in the Apostolic age, the offices of Elder and Bishop were not strictly distinguished, and the three bishops may have served at the same time or by turns.) He is the author of the Epistle of Clement, which was so highly esteemed in the early Church that it is often found in early versions of the New Testament. The holy Bishop effected countless conversions in Rome, even bringing the Prefect Sisinius and his wife Theodora to the Faith after miraculously healing them of blindness. The bishop’s success so angered the Emperor Trajan that he had Clement exiled to the Crimea, on the far eastern frontier of the Empire. There the holy bishop continued to work wonders of evangelism, founding seventy-five churches in one year and bringing countless pagans to faith in Christ. Finally, to put a stop to the Saint’s work, the Governor of the region had him cruelly tortured, then thrown into the Black Sea with an anchor around his neck.
More than 700 years later, in 860, St Cyril (commemorated May 11) arrived in the Crimea, sent by Saint Photius, Patriarch of Constantinople. He found the relics of St Clement faithfully preserved there and brought part of them back to Constantinople.
Holy Hieromartyr Peter of Alexandria (312)
   Saint Peter was Bishop of Alexandria for twelve years. It was he who excommunicated Arius. When some of Arius’ followers appealed to the Bishop to restore Arius to the communion of the Church, they were surprised by the bishop’s vehement refusal, for the heretic had not yet clearly and publicly made known his blasphemous teaching that the Son is a creation of the Father. The holy bishop then revealed to these followers a vision he had seen, in which Christ appeared to him as a child wearing a garment torn in half from head to foot. When St Peter asked the Lord who had rent His garment, he said that it was Arius, who must not be received back into communion.
The holy bishop was beheaded during the reign of Maximinus. He is called the “Seal of the Martyrs” because he was the last Bishop of Alexandria to suffer martyrdom under the pagan Emperors.
Holy Martyr Mercurius of Smolensk (1238)
     He was a soldier from Byzantium, one of the defenders of Smolensk when it was besieged by the Tatars in 1238. One day the Mother of God appeared to Mercurius and told him that the Tatars were preparing a surprise attack — and, further, that he must take up arms and attack the enemy single-handedly. Placing all his trust in God, the lone soldier threw himself against the Tatar host crying ‘Most Holy Mother of God, help me!’ He was quickly surrounded and cut down, and it appeared that his action had been as foolhardy as it had seemed, when a woman at the head of a glorious host, all of them surrounded by light, appeared and threw back the Tatar army. The next morning the people of Smolensk found the ground covered with the bodies of their enemies. They buried Mercurius in the Cathedral, where he has been venerated as a Martyr ever since.
Saint Clement and Saints Peter

Saint Clement of Rome and the Martyrdom of Saint Peter of Alexandria

from a fresco at Decani Monastery, Serbia

(http://www.srpskoblago.org/Archives/Decani/exhibits/Menologion/November/CX4K3517_l.html)

Saints lives from abbamoses.com

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