Schedule for This Week
Wednesday, February 5, 5:30 pm: Compline, followed by Parish Council Meeting
Saturday, February 8, 5:00 pm: Vespers (opportunity for Confession following)
Sunday, February 9, 9:00 am: Orthros (Reader’s Service)
10:00 am: Divine Liturgy
The All-Parish Annual Meeting originally scheduled for February 2 was postponed due to a lack of a quorum of parish members. The meeting will be held when a quorum is in attendance. “Ya’ll come!” 🙂
Birthdays this Week: Jane: February 6 (Thursday); Ross and Paul: February 7 (Friday); Fr. Henry: February 8 (Saturday). God grant you Many Years!
The Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee
St. Paul’s Second Letter to Timothy (3:10-15)
Prokeimenon. Mode Plagal 4.
Make your vows to the Lord our God and perform them.
Verse: God is known in Judah; his name is great in Israel.
TIMOTHY, my son, you have observed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, my persecutions, my sufferings, what befell me at Antioch, at lconion, and at Lystra, what persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me. Indeed all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil men and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceivers and deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings which are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee: The Lenten Triodion Begins Today
The Reading from the Gospel of the Holy Apostle and Evangelist Saint Luke (18:10-14)
The Lord said this parable, “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week, I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
From the heights thou didst descend O Compassionate One,
and thou didst submit to the three-day burial,
that thou might deliver us from passion.
Thou art our Life and our Resurrection, O Lord, glory to thee.
Saint of the Day
- Sapricius the priest and the layman Nicephorus lived in Antioch of Syria. Though they were the closest of friends, a disagreement between them led to estrangement and then to outright enmity. In time, Nicephorus came to himself and realized that reconciliation and love among brethren are precious in the sight of the Lord, and he sent to Sapricius to ask his forgiveness for Christ’s sake. But his messengers were turned away, and Sapricius coldly refused any reconciliation. At the same time he violated the Lord’s commandment by continuing to serve at the altar without seeking to make peace. Nicephorus finally went in person and threw himself at Sapricius’ feet, but even this had no effect.
Soon, persecution of Christians broke out, and Sapricius was arrested. When he confessed Christ without fear or hesitation, and refused to make sacrifice to the idols even under torture, he was condemned to be beheaded. Nicephorus was distressed that Sapricius might give his life in Christ’s name while still at enmity with a brother; and that he himself would lose his chance to make peace. As Sapricius was being led to the place of execution, Nicephorus went on his knees before him and cried ‘Martyr of Christ, forgive me the offences for which you are angry with me!’ Still, Sapricius coldly spurned his former friend’s pleas. For this reason, as the executioner was raising his sword, and the crown of martyrdom was only seconds away, God withdrew his grace from the priest, who turned to the executioner and declared his readiness to adore the idols. Nicephorus, who was among the witnesses, begged him not to apostatise, but his words were of no effect. Nicephorus then turned to the executioner and shouted ‘I am a Christian! I believe in our Lord Jesus Christ whom he has just denied. Let him go and put me to death in his place!’
The Governor agreed, and ordered the release of Sapricius and the execution of Nicephorus. The Martyr laid his neck on the block joyfully and claimed the crown that Sapricius had thrown away. The Synaxarion concludes:
‘When he departed for heaven to receive the crown of glory, Saint Nicephorus left to us Christians a vivid illustration of these words uttered by the Holy Spirit: If I deliver my body to be burned but have no love, I gain nothing (1 Cor. 13:3). If you do not forgive men their trespasses neither will your heavenly Father forgive your trespasses… For the measure you give will be the measure you get (Matt. 6:15; 7:2).’
- (from www.abbamoses.com; icon from PravIcon.com)