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Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa

Archdiocese of Good Hope


All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever, and
unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most Blessed and Glorious
Lady, Maria, Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together with all the Saints. And let us commit ourselves and one
another and our whole Life to Christ our God. Amen.

Tone (6) Plagal 2 4 March 2018

Sunday of Triodion – 2 Sunday of Great Lent


th nd
6

St Gregory Palamas

The Feast of TH Synaxis of the Holy Fathers of the Kiev Caves Monastery – St Gerasimos of the
Jordan – St Gerasimos the Wonderworker of Vologda – St Joasaph of Snetogorsk & St Basil of
Mirozh, Holy Hieromartyrs – St Basil of Rostov, the Right-believing Prince – St Daniel of Moscow,
the Right Believing Prince – St Paul and St Juliana, Holy Sibling Martyrs of Ptolemais – St James the Faster, Holy
Ascetic of Phoenicia, Syria – St Wenceslaus, Right Believing Prince of the Czech Lands – St Gregory, Bishop of
Constantios, Cyprus – St Leontiev the Priest

RESURRECTION GOSPEL 6 – LUKE 24 : 36 - 53

RESURRECTION APOLYTIKION – TONE (6) PLAGAL 2


Angelike Dinamis epi to Mnima Sou ke i filassontes The Angelic Powers were in Thy Tomb, and the guards
apenekrothisan. Ke istato Maria en to tafo, zitousa to became as dead men, and Mary stood by the Tomb
ahranton Sou Soma. Eskilevsas ton Adin, mi pirasthis ip seeking Thy Most Pure Body. Thou led captive Hades,
aftou. Ipintisas ti Partheno, Doroumenos tin Zoin. O yet were not tempted thereby: Thou Who art the
Anastas ek to nekron, Kyrie,  Doxa Si. Bestower of Life came to meet the Woman. O Lord,
Who Rose again from the dead, Glory to Thee!
TRIODION APOLYTIKION – ST GREGORY PALAMAS – TONE (8) PLAGAL 4
Orthodoxias O Fostir, Ekklisias to stirigma ke Didaskale, O Beacon of Orthodox Believe, the Strong Support of the
ton Monaston i Kalloni, ton Thelogon ipermahos Church, and Her Teacher Inspired by God, Thou art the
aprosmahitos. Grigorie Thavmatourge Thessalonikis to Ornament of Monks, the Unassailable Champion of
kavhima kirix tin Haritos. Iketeve dia pantos, Sothine Theologians, O Gregory the Wonder Worker and Boast
tas psihas imon. of Thessalonika, the Messenger of Grace. Forever
earnestly Entreat for the Salvation of our soul
SEASONAL KONTAKION - THE EVER BLESSED THEOTOKOS – TONE (8) PLAGAL 4
Ti Ipermaho Stratigo ta Nikitiria os litrothisa ton dinon Unto Thee, O Theotokos Invincible Champion, Thy City in
efharistiria anagrafo Si i Polis Sou Theotoke all’ os Thanksgiving ascribes the Victory for the Deliverance
ehousa to Kratos aprosmahiton ek pantion me kindinon from sufferings. But having Thy Might unassailable,
eleftheroson ina krazo Si: ✞Here Nimfi Animfevte! free me from all dangers so that I may cry out to Thee:
✞ “Hail! O Bride Ever Virgin!”
TRIODION PROKEIMENON – PSALM 11/12 – TONE (5) PLAGAL 1
O Lord, Protect us and Preserve us, both now and forever.
Save us, O Lord, for there is not one Godly man left!
THE EPISTLE OF ST PAUL TO THE HEBREWS 1 : 10 – 2 : 3
OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST IS WITHOUT BEGINNING AND HE IS THE DIVINE CREATOR
Brethren: God the Father said to His Son: “Thou, O Lord, in the beginning laid the Foundation of the Earth, and the
Heavens are the Work of Thy Hands. They will perish, but Thou remain; and they will all grow old like a
garment; like a cloak Thou will fold them up, and they will be changed. But Thou art the same, and Thy years
will not fail.”
Yet to which of the Angels has He ever said: “Sit at My right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy Footstool?” Are they
not all ministering spirits who are sent forth to minister to those who will inherit Salvation?
Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. For if the Word spoken
through Angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a Just Reward, how shall we
escape if we neglect so great a Salvation, which first began to be spoken of by the Lord and was confirmed by
those who heard Him?
✶✶ In this quotation from Psalm 101:26-28 – GOD THE FATHER Rather than ruling over mankind, THE ANGELS OF GOD ARE
ADDRESSES ANOTHER PERSON AS “LORD,” – I.E. “GOD” - for He OUR HEAVENLY PARTNERS IN SERVICE WITH US, who act as
speaks to THE SECOND PERSON OF THE HOLY TRINITY, OUR OUR GOD-APPOINTED GUARDIAN ANGELS and in various
LORD JESUS CHRIST WHO IS HIS ETERNAL, ONLY BEGOTTEN other God-appointed Roles that ASSIST, ENCOURAGE,
SON AND WORD. GUIDE, AND PROTECT US during this short preparatory
✶✶ THE ROLE OF OUR LORD GOD’S HOLY ANGELS (MESSENGERS) IS period before Eternity.
TO MINISTER to “... those who are to inherit Salvation.” ✶✶ St Paul exhorts – urges us – to “... give more earnest
Many Hebrews believed that the Angels of God mediated heed...” – to PAY CLOSER ATTENTION TO WHAT CHRIST AND
the Old Holy Covenant between God and His People. HIS HOLY APOSTLES HAVE TAUGHT US.
The Holy Angels of God certainly served the Divine Angel It is an admonishment again WILFUL NEGLIGENCE AND
of our Lord God – i.e. the Eternal Son of God. CARELESSNESS that CAUSES US TO “...DRIFT AWAY...” FROM THE
Since the New Covenant between God and His People – PATH OF RIGHTEOUSNESS that is laid out for us to follow by
i.e. the New Israel, the Faithful Disciples of Christ or God Himself!
the Holy Church of Christ – THE HOLY ANGELS OF GOD ✶✶ The words “if” and “how” suggest a conditional
FAITHFULLY SERVE THE INCARNATE SON OF GOD IN HIS HUMAN statement or question.:
NATURE AS WELL.

6TH SUNDAY OF TRIODION – 2ND OF LENT – ST GREGORY PALAMAS – 4 MARCH 2018 1.


“if” Israel was expected to obey the words of created which proves that the Kingdom of Heaven has indeed
Angels or suffer self-inflicted punishment as a come upon us??!
consequence of our wilful disobedience, “HOW” MUCH Furthermore, when we beseech God during the Divine
MORE MUST WE HEED THE DIVINE TRUTH – THE TEACHINGS AND Liturgy for “... Pardon and Remission of our sins and
COMMANDMENTS – OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST AND HIS HOLY transgressions...” as well as “... a Good Defence
APOSTLES – especially when THE WORD HAS BEEN before the Dread Judgement Seat of Christ...” we
CONFIRMED BY MANY DIVINE MIRACLES OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, affirm that THERE IS CERTAINLY A JUST REWARD OR
RETRIBUTION TO COME – A VERY REAL JUDGEMENT!
HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST MARK 2 : 1 – 12
At that time, our Lord Jesus entered Capernaum after some days, and it was heard that He was in the house. And
many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them – not even near the door. And He
preached the Word to them.
And they went to Him, taking a Paralytic, carried by four men. And when they could not get near to Him because of
the crowd, they uncovered the roof above Him. And when they had made an opening, they let down the pallet on
which the Paralytic lay.
Beholding their Faith, Jesus said to the Paralytic: ‘Son: thy sins art forgiven thee.’ Some of the Scribes were sitting
there, questioning in their heart: ‘Why does this Man speak thus? It is Blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God
alone?’ And immediately Jesus, perceiving in His Spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them:
‘Why do you question thus in your heart? Which is easier – to say to the Paralytic: Thy sins are forgiven’ or to
say: ‘Rise and take up thy pallet and walk?’
“So that you may know that the Son of Man has Authority on Earth to forgive sins...” He said to the Paralytic: “I say to
thee: Rise. Take up thy pallet and go to thy House.’ And he rose, and immediately took up his bed and went out
before them all. They were all amazed, and they Glorified God, saying: ‘We never saw anything like this!’
✶✶ As demonstrated by this Divine Healing of the PENETRATE MUCH DEEPER INTO OUR HEART AND SOUL, for our
Paralytic, FAITH IS THE MOST INDISPENSABLE CONDITION FOR Lord sees our heart, our mind and our soul as we truly
OUR SALVATION. are – NOTHING IS HIDDEN FROM OUR CREATOR!
FAITH IS COLLECTIVE AS WELL AS PERSONAL, for the combined Thus WE WILL BE JUDGED ACCORDING TO OUR (DEEPEST, HIDDEN)
Faith of the Paralytic’s four friends certainly helped his THOUGHTS, WORDS AND DEEDS!
Miraculous Healing as well.  2 C H R O N I C L E S 6 : 3 0 – “... hear from Heaven, Thy
✶✶ THREE SIGNS OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST’S DIVINE NATURE are Dwelling Place, and forgive them. And grant to
revealed in this Sacred Lesson: everyone according to their ways, for Thou knowest
1. HE KNOWS THE DEEPEST THOUGHTS AND SECRETS OF OUR their heart, since Thou alone know the hearts of all
HEART the sons of mankind...”
 1 K I N G 1 6 : 7 – “...mankind does not see as God sees; 2. HE FORGIVES SINS BY HIS OWN DIVINE POWER, WHICH BELONGS
for mankind looks at the outward appearance, but TO GOD ALONE.
our Lord sees into the heart!” 3. HE HEALS DIRECTLY BY THE DIVINE POWER OF HIS WORDS,
According to St Cyprianos, GOD’S JUDGEMENT WILL NOT BE WHICH ONLY OUR ALMIGHTY LORD GOD CAN DO!
MERELY ACCORDING TO OUR OUTWARD APPEARANCE, BUT WILL
6TH SUNDAY OF TRIODION – 2ND SUNDAY OF GREAT LENT – ST GREGORY PALAMAS
✞ In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the THE ORTHODOXY WITH WHICH WE ARE TODAY FAMILIAR – except
Holy Spirit... for its Core – HAS DEVIATED, ON THE WHOLE, FROM THE
Dearly Beloved: TODAY IS THE 2ND SUNDAY OF LENT AND WE STANDARD OF FULLY-DEVELOPED ORTHODOXY, which St
COMMEMORATE ST GREGORY PALAMAS WHOM WE REFER TO AS Gregory Palamas characterised and presented to us,
“THE ENLIGHTENER OF ORTHODOXY” AND A “PILLAR OF THE both in worship and in our Theology – DUE TO WESTERN
CHURCH.” INFLUENCE AND ALSO BECAUSE WE OFTEN OBFUSCATE THE
He taught and lived our Orthodox Christian Faith in utter LOFTINESS OF ORTHODOXY DUE TO OUR HUMAN PETTINESS AND
Purity, Humility and Obedience. WEAKNESS.
His surname “Palamas,” is actually AN HONORIFIC TITLE that Liturgically, we have come to regard our True Faith as a
is derived not from his lineage but from the fact that ‘religion’ focused on the ‘ ritualistic worship’ of God.
HE AND HIS FAMILY WERE LAUDED AND HONOURED BY CHURCH However, as Orthodox Christian we do not and certainly
AND STATE. should not worship God as such!
ST GREGORY IS TRULY PRAISED AND RESPECTED FOR HIS PROFOUND Instead, AS FAITHFUL DISCIPLES OF CHRIST, WE COMMUNE WITH
SPIRITUAL STATURE AS ONE OF OUR MOST SIGNIFICANT HOLY OUR LORD GOD DIRECTLY – THROUGH THE CONVERGENCE OF
FATHERS OF THE CHURCH OF CHRIST. HEAVEN AND EARTH IN THE SYMBOLS OF WORSHIP.
HE CODIFIED AND WROTE ABOUT THE DEEP, MYSTICAL THEOLOGY OF OUR SACRED WORSHIP OF GOD IS not merely ‘veneration’ but
THE EASTERN ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN FAITH, which consists THE FULL PARTICIPATION IN THE TIMELESS, ETERNAL TRUTH OF
of THE GENUINE AND TRUE TEACHINGS OF CHRIST AND HIS OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.
HOLY APOSTLES that has been most carefully preserved Indeed THE CULMINATING POINT OF OUR ORTHODOX WORSHIP IS
and passed down to us through the ages by our Holy THE DIVINE EUCHARIST, WHEREBY WE ARE MADE ONE WITH
Fathers. CHRIST.
OUR ORTHODOX FAITH IS A LIVING ORGANISM THAT HAS DEVELOPED Our Orthodox Worship is very different to the popular
AND MATURED UNDER THE DIVINE GUIDANCE AND TRUTH OF theatrical ‘worship’ with loud music, singing,
GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT from an embryo that exists in Holy exclamations, hand clapping, waving and even
Scripture, which has blossomed over the centuries. dancing, that is undignified and unbefitting in the
AS ORTHODOX CHRISTIANS WE HONOUR THE DIVINE TRUTH that is Holy Temple of God.
mature and fully expresses THE SPIRIT OF OUR FAITH ✶✶ THE PURPOSE OF WORSHIP IS TO HEAR THE VERY VOICE OF GOD
GRANTED TO US BY OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF, which IN SILENCE AND WITH OUR MIND AND EYES FOCUSED ON THE
was PREACHED BY HIS HOLY APOSTLES and very carefully INVISIBLE WORLD, the windows of which are our Holy
PRESERVED BY OUR HOLY FATHERS throughout the ages. Icons.
ST GREGORY PALAMAS was one of our great Saints who OUR SENSES ARE SATURATED by the aroma of incense, the
FOCUSED OUR ATTENTION ON MATURE ORTHODOXY (True light of candles and the sound of chanting.
Teaching), on that Fullness of our Faith that was OUR EGO SHOULD BE HUMBLED AND SUBDUED as we piously
manifest by his time, which had its roots in the Early stand, make the Sign of the Cross, declare our worship
Christian Church and which continues to live and of our Triune God with all our being, bow down
thrive to this very day. before the Lord our God in Thanksgiving and Prayer.
HIS WAS THE VOICE OF THE HOLY CHURCH OF CHRIST, speaking St John Chrysostom taught us that CHANTING IS A DOUBLE
maturely, beyond Theologies, beyond nationalities, FORM OF PRAYER (when done properly and reverently.)
beyond administrative notions of the Church, which IN PRAYER, WE SPEAK TO AND HEAR GOD.
speaks to all mankind – VIVIFYING AND TRANSFORMING US How far indeed we would be from the Experience of that
WHEN WE SINCERELY SEEK AND ACQUIRE UNION WITH CHRIST. “small inner” Voice whereby GOD SPEAKS TO OUR HEART, if

2. 6TH SUNDAY OF TRIODION – 2ND OF LENT – ST GREGORY PALAMAS – 4 MARCH 2018


we were engaged in those loud, noisy and distracting other words, we become “... Participants in His Divine
activities. nature.”
OUR SPIRITUAL PARTICIPATION IN THE HOLY SERVICES SHOULD BE IN GOD REMAINS EXACTLY WHAT HE IS WHEN WE ARE UNITED TO HIM,
SILENCE, IN HUMILITY, IN SUBMISSION AND IN AWE BEFORE THE WHILE WE BECOME WHAT WE ARE NOT – YET WHAT WE WERE
SPLENDOUR OF GOD. CREATED TO BE – Christs within Jesus Christ – sons of God
OUR PRAYERS AND CHANTS should not be pronouncements within the Eternal, Only Begotten Son of God.
before our Lord but rather SUPPLICATIONS FOR GOD TO THIS CAN ONLY BE ACCOMPLISHED BY OBEDIENCE AND HUMILITY –
SPEAK TO US AND TO BE WITH US. THE DEATH OF OUR EGO, BY FASTING, BY RECEIVING A
If we LISTEN TO THE PRAYERS THAT ACCOMPANY OUR HYMNS CHRISTIAN NAME, BY LIVING A LIFE CENTRED ON THE HOLY
BEFORE THE SMALL ENTRANCE WITH THE HOLY GOSPEL, we EUCHARIST, AND DEDICATED TO PURITY AND THE LOVE OF GOD.
will HEAR THE SUPPLICATIONS FOR THE ANGELIC HOSTS TO This we can only accomplish and acquire BY MUCH
ACCOMPANY US AND TO BE WITH US AS WE RECEIVE OUR LORD CONCERTED ASCETIC STRUGGLE IN SYNERGY WITH THE DIVINE
AND SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST, WHO IS TRULY PRESENT AMONG US GRACE OF GOD.
AND WHO SPEAKS TO US THROUGH HIS HOLY CHURCH. St Gregory Palamas taught us about THE NATURE OF OUR
In Theology, few know the profound Truth of our SPIRITUAL STRUGGLE – something of great importance in
Orthodox Church. this age of ours, when we have such little
IT IS THE PURPOSE OF OUR LIFE IN CHRIST TO BECOME ONE WITH appreciation for the Spiritual Benefits of discomfort.
GOD NOW, and thereby to CONQUER, OR AT THE VERY LEAST, IN ORTHODOXY THERE IS NO GLORY IN SUFFERING.
TO BECOME AWARE OF AND TO CONTROL OUR SEXUAL PASSIONS, There is NO “OFFERING UP” OF OUR SUFFERINGS, WHICH ARE AN
OUR GREED, OUR JEALOUSY, OUR SELFISH, SELF-ABSORBED EGO OFFENCE TO GOD WHO DOES NOT WISH RECOMPENSE FROM US
AND SIN ITSELF. BUT WHO REACHES US THROUGH HIS DIVINE LOVE.
BY FORMING A CLOSE RELATIONSHIP TO THE LORD OUR GOD, WE WHEN WE DO SUFFER, then according to the Hesychastic
BECOME EVER MORE AWARE OF OUR SINFULNESS, and THROUGH Tradition of the Holy Church of Christ, WE DO NOTHING
OUR SPIRITUAL BATTLE AGAINST ALL TEMPTATION, WE WILL MORE THAN AFFIRM THE GRACE OF GOD IN ALL THINGS – in
BECOME UNRESPONSIVE AND RESISTANT TO SINFUL ACTIONS. human happiness, adversity and triumph and loss.
OUR HOLY UNION WITH GOD TRANSFORMS OUR BODY AND SOUL, A TRUE DISCIPLE OF CHRIST BECOMES PASSIVE to the world and
which is evident in the incorruptible Holy Relics of TREATS ALL THINGS WITH A QUIET ACCEPTANCE.
Saints, which often emit a sweet fragrance of Sanctity THIS IS A SIGN OF OUR COMMUNION WITH GOD, since – when we
– and we are thereby able to also transform our touch and Live in the other world, yet still exist on
surrounding circumstances. Earth – WE GAIN A PERSPECTIVE THAT MAKES WORLDLY THINGS
THIS ENLIGHTENMENT IS SALVATION. LESS THREATENING, AND, LESS ALLURING.
THE TRANSFORMATION OF THE WORLD at the “Parousia” - the Thus DEATH IS NO LONGER FEARFUL, because WE HAVE BEHELD
Reappearance of our Lord Jesus Christ – will express, LIFE AS IT CONTINUES BEYOND DEATH!
in part, THE POWER THAT COMES FROM THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN THIS PASSIVITY, WHICH MUST UNDERLIE OUR NATURAL EMOTIONS, IS
TRANSFORMED IN CHRIST AND TRANSCENDED THIS SINFUL THE CORE OF OUR ORTHODOX FAITH, for through it, while
WORLD. remaining inhabitants of Earth, WE BECOME PARTAKERS
St Gregory Palamas, and our earliest Holy Fathers taught OF THE HEAVENLY.
us that OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST BECAME MAN SO THAT WE Let us heed the Message of St Gregory Palamas and LIVE
MIGHT BECOME ‘GODS,’ BY REGAINING OUR LOST DIVINE OUR FAITH IN ALL ITS PROFUNDITY, AND WITH SOBRIETY AND
LIKENESS. PASSIVITY, ACCEPT ALL THINGS IN A GOOD WAY, SEEKING TO
BY THE ASCETIC STRUGGLE OF TRANSFORMING OURSELVES WE RISE ABOVE THE MOMENT TO ETERNITY.
SEPARATE OURSELVES FROM THE FALLEN WORLD BY ACQUIRING Amen
THE VIRTUOUS TRAITS OF CHRIST OUR SAVIOUR, thereby
becoming ”...Partakers of His Divine Nature...” or, in ARCHBISHOP CHRYSOSTOMOS OF ETNA
GREAT LENT, 1998
HTTP://ORTHODOXINFO.COM
SPIRITUAL DECEPTION - HOW THE DEMONS MISLEAD US THROUGH OUR “PASSIONS”
WHAT PREVENTS US FROM LIVING IN TOTAL CONFORMITY WITH OUR When the demons are active within us, OUR SOUL IS NO
LORD JESUS CHRIST’S TEACHING? LONGER IN CONTROL HAVING BECOME IMPRISONED - CAPTURED
For most of us it is a most difficult task to fulfil. BY A DEMONIC FORCE.
What is it that keeps us from fulfilling the part of our OUR SOUL BECOMES PASSIVE AND CONSTRAINED IN HER ACTIONS.
Lord’s Prayer that states: “... Thy Will be done, on Under this passive condition OUR NATURAL INSTINCTS ARE
Earth as it is in Heaven”? CORRUPTED INTO GRIEVOUS “PASSIONS” - taking control of
WHAT HOLDS US BACK AND CAUSES US TO FALL off the Holy Path our life without proper restraint by our soul.
that we constantly pray for help to follow? Rather than being used to help us attain God’s Kingdom,
Our Holy Church Fathers have explained to us that IT IS THE GRIEVOUS PASSIONS CAUSE US TO FALL INTO A SINFUL LIFE
THE WORK OF DEMONS WHO ARE BUSILY TAKING OUR NATURAL THAT ALIENATES AND SEPARATES US FROM GOD.
IMPULSES AND TURNING THEM INTO “PASSIONS.” Often, WE MAY EXPERIENCE A SENSE OF HELPLESSNESS WHEN
According to Father Matthew Steenberg “‘PASSIONS’ ARE CONFRONTING OUR OWN SINFUL STATE.
THOSE IMPULSES OF THE SOUL, OF THE HEART (AND THUS, ALSO We may wonder why we commit these wicked deeds
OF THE BODY), WHICH WE SUFFER ‘PASSIVELY’. since we do know better.
GOD CREATED US WITH NATURAL IMPULSES. WHEN OUR SOUL IS NO We may realise that IT IS NOT WHAT WE WANT TO DO, yet we
LONGER IN CONTROL OF THEM THEY BECOME “PASSIONS.” seem unable to act appropriately, which is DUE TO OUR
Notice the emphasis on “...passive.” SOUL HAVING BECOME PASSIVE.
THERE ARE TIMES WHEN WE DO NOT SEEM TO BE IN CONTROL OF ALL IT IS NECESSARY TO PUT OUR IMMORTAL SOUL BACK IN CONTROL OF
OUR WORDS, THOUGHTS AND DEEDS - and we can easily fall OUR WORDS, THOUGHTS AND DEEDS.
into a fit of anger, jealously, hatred or bitter In order to live the Orthodox Christian Life – to Live in
resentment. Christ - we need to properly understand this issue.
This is the result of A GOD-GIVEN GIFT THAT HAS BECOME We need to understand how OUR BEST INTENTIONS AND
CORRUPTED – when OUR SOUL HAS RELINQUISHED OUR POWER HIGHEST DESIRES GET TRANSMUTED INTO LESSER, UNDESIRED
TO ANOTHER – WICKED - POWER! ACTIONS THAT SEPARATE US FROM GOD AND HIS ETERNAL
We know that EVERYTHING THAT GOD HAS CREATED IS “GOOD.” KINGDOM.
(Genesis 1) OUR CONSTANT DESIRE FOR SELF-SATISFACTION and searching
Therefore, certain types of our impulses that lead to for what feels “good’ IS A SIGNIFICANT PART OF THIS ISSUE.
behaviour such as anger must, in some form, also be Anger, frustration or resentment arises when we are
good. denied our desires.
For example, ANGER DIRECTED AGAINST DEMONS, INJUSTICE AND Hatred, criticism and discrimination occurs when others
WICKEDNESS IS APPROPRIATE AND NECESSARY FOR OUR do not act according to us – our will or opinion, etc.
SPIRITUAL GROWTH, BUT ANGER THAT LASHES OUT AT OTHERS IS Our focus on SELF-SATISFACTION IS THE WORK OF DEMONS.
NOT GOOD. OUR HIGHER VALUES ARE REDUCED TO EARTHLY SELF-CENTRED
THE GOOD IMPULSE IS WHEN OUR SOUL IS IN CONTROL while the TERMS of ‘feeling good’ - being satisfied or ‘happy.’
opposite is where our soul remains passive.

6TH SUNDAY OF TRIODION – 2ND OF LENT – ST GREGORY PALAMAS – 4 MARCH 2018 3.


Father Matthew Steenberg points out that “...in the We begin to find that WE CANNOT CONTROL UNWANTED
Christian vision of mankind, those things that the ACTIONS WITHOUT GOD’S HELP.
world calls “good” in his emotional state are in fact As this focus on the Eternal, Heavenly Kingdom grows, we
known to be deceptions, traps, and pitfalls in the find OUR PASSIONS ALSO BECOME FOCUSED MORE AND MORE ON
Spiritual Struggle.” THE KINGDOM.
We must UNCOVER THE CAUSES OF OUR “PASSIONS.” OUR NATURAL IMPULSES BECOME CONSTRAINED – as though
We must UNDERSTAND MORE CLEARLY HOW THE INSTINCTS GOD someone has finally taken control of the reins of a
HAS GIVEN US, FOR THE PURPOSES OF HIS KINGDOM ARE BEING runaway carriage - the wild, stampeding horses
USED BY DEMONIC FORCES TO KEEP US FROM HIM. being like our uncontrolled passions and the holder
It is imperative that we LEARN HOW TO CONTROL AND of the reins being like our soul.
OVERCOME THESE NEGATIVE FORCES that are at work within Father Matthew Steenberg suggests that this world
each of us. opposes a Life in Christ: “...(This fallen world) does not
THIS IS THE CHRISTIAN STRUGGLE that demands our top acknowledge the Kingdom of God; it rejects even
priority. more potentially the reality of demonic foes; and it
This is also a SPIRITUAL STRUGGLE – SPIRITUAL WARFARE - that has lost all sense of a proper distinction between
WE CANNOT COMPLETE ON OUR OWN. natural impulse and the dominating passionate
IT IS A SPIRITUAL BATTLE THAT CERTAINLY NEEDS GOD’S HELP AND impulse…”
THE SHELTER, GUIDANCE AND SUPPORT OF HIS HOLY CHURCH, If we want to Live Christ’s Vision, we need to ACCEPT HOLY
HER HOLY PRIESTHOOD, HER DIVINE MYSTERIES AND HER SCRIPTURE AND THE HOLY CHURCH'S VISION OF THE REALITIES
SUPPORTIVE MEMBERS. OF THE INVISIBLE REALM, AND LEARN HOW IT WORKS AGAINST
When we take our Spiritual Life seriously, we necessarily US.
WORK VERY HARD TO REORIENT OUR ENTIRE LIFE TOWARD GOD’S This will lead us to AN APPRECIATION OF THE ASCETICAL AND
ETERNAL KINGDOM. SACRAMENTAL LIFE TAUGHT BY THE CHURCH.
St. Diadochos taught us: “... As long as the soul is It will motivate us to engage in such practises.
worldly-minded, she remains unmoved and THE AUTHENTIC CHRISTIAN LIFE INVOLVES A CEASELESS SPIRITUAL
untroubled––however much she sees people STRUGGLE.
trampling justice underfoot. It is not about some ‘self-determined idea’ about our
“Preoccupied with her own desires, the soul pays no satisfaction.
attention to the Justice of God. Abba Matoes pointed out: “...Satan does not know by
“When, however, because of the soul’s disdain for this what passion the soul can be overcome. He sows,
world and her Love for God, she begins to rise above but without knowing if he will reap, sometimes
passions, she cannot bear, even in her dreams, to thoughts of fornication, sometimes thoughts of
see Justice set at naught.” slander, and similarly for the other passions. He
Once we ACCEPT AND FULLY UNDERSTAND THE DEGREE TO WHICH supplies nourishment to the passion towards which he
WE ARE UNDER ATTACK, and ACKNOWLEDGE THAT OUR SOUL IS sees the soul is slipping.”
BEING HELD CAPTIVE, then we can CONSTRUCTIVELY FIGHT THE DEVIL HITS US EVERYWHERE UNTIL HE FINDS OUR WEAKNESS AND
BACK. THEN CONCENTRATES ON THAT AREA.
As we ENGAGE IN THIS STRUGGLE TO LIBERATE OUR SOUL, we are We need to EXAMINE OURSELVES CLOSELY, to SEEK OUT and to
drawn closer and closer to a Vision of God’s Kingdom. ACKNOWLEDGE OUR WEAKNESSES, SO THAT WE MAY HEAL AND
We experience more and more THE UNCONDITIONAL LOVE OF STRENGTHEN OURSELVES AGAINST THE CONTINUOUS ATTACKS
GOD. OF THE EVIL ONE.
Our misuse of our instincts abates.
http://orthodoxwayoflife.blogspot.co.za/2009
OUR LORD GOD IS CALLING US ALL TO HIMSELF
The Almighty Sovereign of the world created us so that we Resurrected and live eternally with our Heavenly
might Glorify His Power and Beauty, and, having Father.
United with Him, we might become His Eternal Christ gave His Apostles His Authority to loosen us from sin
Children like unto Himself. But, to our great and to Heal us – body and soul. Then our Lord Jesus
misfortune, our Forefathers departed from our Loving Christ, having Ascended into Heaven, paved the Path
Creator and entered into union with Satan. And from to Heaven for us – our True Homeland with our
that time, we have been born impure and inclined Heavenly Father.
towards wickedness, for the devil has enslaved us! We have not been orphaned, for Christ sent us, from our
Because of this, mankind has become mortal in body, Heavenly Father, God the Holy Spirit, Who created the
after death departing into the black valley of Hell Orthodox Church wherein all Nations may receive
where unrepentant souls are imprisoned in an forgiveness of sins and Live Holy and Righteous, in
inescapable nightmare! Christ, according to the Will of God - and those who
We are now terminally ill in soul. Our mind does not know are Pure of heart will see God!
Divine Truth, because we are lost in Spiritual The Life-creating Power of the Holy Spirit is ceaselessly
Darkness, making innumerable mistakes. Our will is active - Transfiguring us so that after death, our soul
deformed by sin, able to do individual good deeds may ascend into Heaven, to Rest in Peace in
with difficulty, while evil deeds are committed easily. Paradise, while the Holy Relics of His Righteous pour
Our senses are perverted, and instead of loving good forth streams of Healing, for the Life of God is active in
and hating evil, we, conversely, love that which is them.
harmful, and we despise and reject that which brings The Greatest Glory awaits us when our Lord Jesus Christ,
us Benefit. Thus our life is meaningless. by the Will of His Father, will Reappear in all His Glory,
Only in our Immortal Loving God can we find rest and together with all His Angelic Hosts and His Saints and
Freedom - for the entire Purpose of our existence is there will be no more evil, corruption, or death.
God Himself, Who has intervened and taken pity on us Our Divine Saviour will revitalize all mankind, without
by sending His Beloved, Eternal Son to Save us. exception. The Righteous will shine brightly, for in
God the Word became Man while remaining God. Jesus them is hidden that Power of God given to them in the
Christ, the Eternal Son of God became our Divine Orthodox Church, but sinners will be as dark as night.
Mediator, Uniting us with our Heavenly Father, by The Angels will carry Faithful Christians on the clouds to
willingly taking upon Himself the punishment for our meet Christ, and we will be with Him always in His
sins, so that all who believe in Him should not perish, Eternal Kingdom, but sinners will be led to the
but have eternal Life. Judgment, when Christ will reward each according to
Christ died upon the Cross according to His human his deeds. Sinners, and all who have not received
nature and by His Blood has Delivered us from sin, Christ, will be cast into the Eternal Fire, “... into Outer
Condemnation, and Eternal Death - having led into Darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing
Paradise those who were imprisoned in Hades, who of teeth.”
believed in Him. And now, before it is too late, let us Repent all our evil
On the Third Day, the Son of God quickened His Body and deeds...
began the process of the General Resurrection, so that
Death no longer rules over us. We will also be http://orthochristian.com/109015.html

4. 6TH SUNDAY OF TRIODION – 2ND OF LENT – ST GREGORY PALAMAS – 4 MARCH 2018


Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa
Archdiocese of Good Hope
All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever,
and unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most Blessed and
Glorious Lady, Maria, Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together with all the Saints. And let us commit
ourselves and one another and our whole Life to Christ our God. Amen.

Tone (7) Varys/Grave 11 March 2018

Sunday of Triodion – 3 Sunday of Great Lent


th rd
7

Veneration of the Holy, Life-giving Cross


The Feast of St Sophronios, Patriarch of Jerusalem – St Euthymios, Bishop of Novgorod – St
Pionios, St Limnos, Holy Hieromartyrs, St Sabina, St Macedonia & St Asclepiades of Smyrna –
St Epimachos of Alexandria & Pelusium, Egypt – St Sophronios, Bishop of Vratcha, Bulgaria –
St Sophronios the Ascetic Recluse of the Kiev Caves

RESURRECTION GOSPEL 7 – JOHN 20 : 1 - 10

FIRST FESTAL ANTIPHON – VENERATION - HOLY CROSS - TONE 2


1.Esimiothi ef’ imas to Fos tou Prosopou Sou, Kyrie. 1. O Lord, the Light of Thy Face was stamped on us
✞Tes Presvies tis Theotokou, Soter, Soson imas. ✞Through the Intercessions of the Theotokos, O
Saviour, Save us.
2. Edokas tis fovoumenis Se simiosin tou figin apo 2. Thou gave a Sign to those who fear Thee so they may
prosopou toxou.✶ flee from the face of the bow. ✶
3. Anevis is ipsos, ihmalotefsas ehmalosian, elaves domata 3. Thou Ascended on High; Thou led captivity captive;
en anthropis. ✶ Thou received Gifts for mankind. ✶
4. Edokas klironomian tis fovoumenis to Onoma Sou, 4. Thou grant an Inheritance to those who fear Thy
Kyrie.✶ Name, O Lord. ✶
SECOND FESTAL ANTIPHON –VENERATION – HOLY CROSS - TONE 2
1. Idosan panta ta perata tis Gis to Sotirion tou Theou 1. All the ends of the Earth saw the Salvation of our God.
imon.
✞ Soson imas Iie Theou, O A N A S T A S E K N E K R O N , ✞ O Son of God, W H O A R O S E F R O M T H E D E A D ,
psallontas Si: Allilouia! Save us who sing to Thee: Alleluia
2. Iselefsometha is ta Skinomata Aftou, Proskinisomen is 2. Let us enter into His Tabernacle; let us worship at the
ton topon, ou estisan i Podes Aftou ✶ place where His Feet stood.✶
3. O de Theos Vasilefs imon pro Eonon, irgasato Sotirian 3. God is our King before the Ages; He worked Salvation
en meso tis Gis.✶ in the midst of the Earth.✶
4. Sholasate ke gnote oti Ego Imi O Theos, ipsothisome en 4. Be still and know that I Am God; I will be Exalted
tis Ethnesin, ipsothisome en ti Gi.✶ among the Nations; I will be Exalted in the Earth.✶
THIRD FESTAL ANTIPHON – HOLY CROSS
1. Ipsoute Kyrion ton Theon imon ke proskinite to 1. Exalt the Lord our God and worship at the Footstool of
ipopodio ton Podon Aftou. His Feet.
2. Soson Kyrie ton laon Sou, ke Evlogison tin ✞ Save, O Lord, Thy People, and Bless Thine
Klironomian Sou, Nikas tis evsevesi kata Inheritance, granting Victory over enemies unto our
varvaron doroumenos, ke to son Filatton, dia tou Rulers and through Thy Cross preserving Thine
Stavrou Sou Politefma. Estate
3. Soson, Kyrie, ton laon Sou ke Evlogison tin Klironomian 2. Save, O Lord, Thy People and Bless Thine Inheritance.
Sou.
4. Ke pimanon aftous ke eparon aftou eos tou eonos. 3. And shepherd them, and raise them up forever.
HYMNS AFTER THE SMALL ENTRANCE
RESURRECTION APOLYTIKION – TONE (7) VARYS/GRAVE
Katelisas to Stavro Sou ton Thanaton. Ineoxas to listi ton By Thy Cross Thou destroyed Death; Thou opened
Paradison. Ton Miroforon ton thrinon metevales ke tis Paradise to the Thief; Thou changed the funeral wail
sis Apostolis kirittin epetaxas, oti Anestis, Hriste O of the Myrrh-bearing Women, and Commanded them
Theos, parehon to kosmo to Mega Eleos. to announce to Thine Apostles that Thou had Risen
from the dead, O Christ our God, Who bestows upon
the world Great Mercy.
TRIODION APOLYTIKION – VENERATION OF THE HOLY CROSS - TONE (6) PLAGAL 2
✞Soson Kyrie ton Laon Sou, ke Evlogison tin Klironomian ✞O Lord, Save Thy people and Bless Thine Inheritance,
Sou, Nikas tis efsevesi kata varvaron doroumenos, ke to granting Orthodox Christians victory over their
Son filatton, dia tou Stavrou Sou politevma enemies, and guarding Thy commonwealth with Thy
Cross

7TH SUNDAY OF THE TRIODION–3RD OF LENT–VENERATION OF THE HOLY LIFE-GIVING CROSS–11 MARCH 2018 5
SEASONAL KONTAKION – EVER BLESSED THEOTOKOS
Ti Ipermaho Stratigo ta Nikitiria Os Litrothisa ton dinon Unto Thee, O Theotokos Invincible Champion, Thy City in
Efharistiria Anagrafo Si i Polis Sou Theotoke All’ os Thanksgiving ascribes the Victory for the Deliverance
ehousa to Kratos aprosmahiton ek pantion me kindinon from sufferings. But having Thy Might unassailable,
eleftheroson ina krazo Si: Here Nimfi Animfevte! free me from all dangers so that I may cry out to Thee:
“Hail! O Bride Ever Virgin!”
INSTEAD OF THE TRISAGION HYMN
Ton Stavron Sou Proskinoumen, Despota, ke tin Agian Sou Thy Cross, O Master, we Reverence, and we Glorify Thy
Anastasin Doxazomen [3] Holy Resurrection [3]
✞ Doxa Patri, ke Io, ke Agio Pnevmati ke nin ke Ai ke is ✞ Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy
tous eonas ton eonon. Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.
Amin Amen
Ke tin Agian Sou Anastasin Doxazomen And Thy Holy Resurrection we Glorify
Dynamis! Power/Strength
Ton Stavron Sou Proskinoumen, Despota, ke tin Agian Sou Thy Cross, O Master, we Reverence, and we Glorify Thy
Anastasin Doxazomen Holy Resurrection
INSTEAD OF THE “AXION ESTIN” HYMN
Epi Si Heri, Keharitomeni, pasa i Ktisis, Angelon to sistima All Creation rejoices in Thee, O Thou Who art Full of
ke anthropon to genos: Igiasmene Nae ke Paradise Grace: both in the Assembly of the Angels and the
Logike, Parthenikon kavhima, ex is Theos esarkothi ke human race. Thou art a Hallowed Temple, and a
Pedion gegonen O Pro Eonon iparhon Theos imon; tin Spiritual Paradise: the Glory of Virgins, when God had
gar Sin Mitran Thronon epiise ke tin Sin Gastera taken Flesh and became a little Child: He Who is from
Platiteran Ouranon apirgasato. Epi Si Heri, Eternity our God. For He made Thy Womb His Throne,
Keharitomeni, pasa i Ktisis: ✞ Doxa Si! and formed Thy Body to be broader than the Heavens.
All Creation rejoices in Thee: O Thou Who art Full of
Grace: ✞ Glory to Thee!
TRIODION PROKEIMENON – PSALM 27/28 – TONE (6) PLAGAL 2
Save, O Lord, Thy People, and Bless Thine Inheritance,
and shepherd them, and raise them up forever!
To Thee, O Lord, I cry: O my God, do not pass over me in silence!
May Thou never be silent, lest I become like those who go down into the Pit!
THE EPISTLE OF ST PAUL TO THE HEBREWS 4 : 14 – 5 : 6
OUR MERCIFUL HIGH PRIEST & QUALIFICATION FOR THE ETERNAL, HOLY PRIESTHOOD
Brethren: ... seeing then that we have a Great High Priest Who has passed through the Heavens – Jesus, the Son of God –
let us hold fast our Confession. For we do not have a High Priest Who cannot sympathise with our weaknesses, but
Who was - in all points - tempted as we are – yet without sin.
Let us therefore come boldly to the Throne of Grace, so that we may obtain Mercy and find Grace to help in the time of
need. For every High Priest taken from among men is appointed for mankind in things pertaining to God, that he
may offer both Gifts and Sacrifices for sins. He can have Compassion for those who are ignorant and going astray
since he himself is also subject to weakness, and because of this, he is required – as for the people, so also for
himself – to offer Sacrifices for sins. And no man takes this honour to himself, but he who is Called by God – just as
Aaron was - so also Christ did not Glorify Himself to become High Priest, but it was He Who said to Him: “Thou art My
Son: today I have Begotten Thee.” As He also said in another place: “Thou art a Priest forever according to the
Order of Melchizedek.”
OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST IS OUR ONLY HIGH PRIEST – TRUE, DIVINE Our Lord Jesus Christ is Enthroned at the right hand side
HEAD OF HIS ETERNAL, HOLY CHURCH. of God the Father – the position of honour – and HE IS
The expression “... passed through the Heavens...” refers SEATED ON A THRONE OF GRACE RATHER THAN A THRONE OF
to the Ascension into Heaven by our Resurrected Lord JUDGEMENT, GRANTING HIS GREAT MERCY AND DIVINE GRACE
Jesus Christ when He returned to His rightful Divine TO HELP US IN TIMES OF NEED.
Position in Eternity – at the right hand of God the A PRIEST USUALLY STANDS WHILE SERVING OUR LORD GOD. He
Father. can never be seated while doing so, for that would be
However, it is important to keep in mind that GOD, BEING utterly disrespectful.
OMNIPRESENT, NEVER LEAVES EITHER HIS HEAVENLY KINGDOM (That is also why we should be standing at all times throughout the
NOR US ON EARTH. HE IS EVER PRESENT BUT INVISIBLE TO US – Holy Services. Now that we have pews or chairs in our churches,
WATCHING OVER Us unless we enter a state of Spiritual we should only rest on the edge of the seat if need be, ready to
Death (sin) – then HE TURNS HIS SIGHT AWAY FROM US UNTIL stand and worship with our entire bodies.)
WE REPENT AND RETURN TO A STATE OF SPIRITUAL LIFE. THERE IS SIGNIFICANT POWER IN OUR ENTHRONED HIGH PRIEST,
Our Lord’s Ascension into Heaven means that HE HAS FOR HE HAS ACCOMPLISHED AND FULFILLED ALL THE NECESSARY
ACCOMPLISHED HIS DIVINE MISSION ON EARTH AND HAS SACRIFICIAL OFFERINGS FOR ALL TIME!
ENTERED INTO HIS ‘SABBATH REST.’ (The Holy Icon of 0ur Lord Jesus Christ, depicted as a High Priest, is
OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST HAS GREAT EMPATHY WITH HIS CREATURES usually situated on the Bishop’s Throne in every Orthodox
– and especially with us sinners, since HE EXPERIENCED Church – reminding us that there is only one Divine Head and
THE TEMPTATIONS OF THE EVIL ONE IN HIS HUMAN NATURE, that the Bishop acts on His Behalf. Thus we should obey the will
EVEN THOUGH HE REMAINED SINLESS.
of the Bishop as though it was the Divine Will of Christ.)
AS GOD-MAN, OUR LORD JESUS WAS INCAPABLE OF COMMITTING In order to qualify as an Old Covenant Priest, a man was
ANY SIN WHATSOEVER BECAUSE IT WAS ABSOLUTELY AGAINST HIS
chosen from ‘among men’ – i.e. another male human
PERFECT NATURE. being – who was ‘appointed for men’ – specifically for
Christ showed us by His own Example that IT IS INDEED Liturgical Service. He had to offer the blood Sacrifices
POSSIBLE TO RESIST TEMPTATION – although for us it is an
to God for his and the people’s sins. He had to be
even greater Spiritual Struggle that lasts until we have compassionate towards others and he had to be
drawn our last breath. Called by God to serve Him.
The Ever Blessed Theotokos and St John the Baptist were In the Aaronic Priesthood A PRIEST IDENTIFIED HIMSELF WITH
HUMANITY AND HAD GREAT SYMPATHY FOR EVERYONE BECAUSE
so devoted to the Will of God that THEIR LOVE FOR HIM
HE SINNED AS MUCH AS OTHERS SINNED IN THE SIGHT OF GOD.
COMPELLED THEM TO BE HUMBLY OBEDIENT, WHICH IS WHAT WE
TOO MUST ALWAYS STRIVE TO ACHIEVE.
The Blood Sacrifices were vicarious offerings of various
animals, according to the sins that had been
committed.
6. 7 T H S U N D A Y OF THE TRIODION–3RD OF LENT–VENERATION OF THE HOLY LIFE-GIVING CROSS–11 MARCH 2018
OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST ASSUMED AND FULFILLED THE OLD HOWEVER, HE HAS NEVER SINNED – I.E. HE CANNOT SIN – AND HIS
COVENANT PRIESTHOOD FOR JUST LIKE MELCHIZEDEK, HE IS GREAT SACRIFICE WAS THE BLOOD SACRIFICE OF HIMSELF,
BOTH PRIEST AND KING. WHILE HIS PERFECT, ETERNAL PRIESTHOOD CONTINUES IN HIS
HOLY CHURCH FOR EVERMORE.
THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST MARK 8 : 34 – 9 : 1
OUR LORD’S DIVINE TEACHING OF ETERNAL LIFE & BEING GOOD, FAITHFUL DISCIPLES
At that time, when our Lord Jesus had called the people to Himself, with His Disciples also, He said to them: “Whoever
desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his Cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to
save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the Gospel’s will Save it.
“For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in
exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My Words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of
him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the Glory of His Father with the Holy Angels.”
And He said to them: “Truly, I say to you: there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the
Kingdom of God present with Power.”
 THE CROSS, which was the most dreaded and NONE OF THESE CAN REDEEM OUR FALLEN, UNREPENTANT
inhumane instrument of Roman torture and IMMORTAL SOUL.
execution, HAS BECOME FOR ALL STRUGGLING DISCIPLES  NOTHING OF THIS TEMPORARY, MATERIAL WORLD BENEFITS US
OF CHRIST A HOLY SYMBOL OF OUR SPIRITUAL STRUGGLE IN ETERNITY. THEREFORE, WE MUST RESIST THE
AND SUFFERING, IN IMITATION OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR, TEMPTATIONS THAT DISTRACT US AND LEAD US ASTRAY AND
JESUS CHRIST. CAUSE US TO FALL INTO SPIRITUAL DEATH.
 THE HOLY CROSS OF CHRIST IS OUR MOST VENERATED “BADGE ➤ Let us rather take up our heavy Crosses of earthly
OF HONOUR” WHEREBY WE LIVE AND DIE IN CHRIST. life AND FOLLOW CHRIST OUR SAVIOUR, WHO LEADS US
WE PRACTICE SELF-DENIAL FOR THE SAKE OF OUR LOVE OF GOD AND SAFELY TO OUR HEAVENLY DESTINATION.
HIS HOLY GOSPEL and our acceptance of this part of our ➤ Let us use every minute of our lifespan LIVING IN
Sacred Mission is certainly not a form of punishment, CHRIST AND SEEKING ONLY THE SPIRITUAL QUALITIES
nor is it an end in itself, but rather, IT IS A MEANS OF AND NECESSITIES TO ADVANCE US AND TO BENEFIT US
OVERCOMING AND DEFEATING THE FALLEN WORLD FOR THE ETERNALLY.
SAKE OF GOD’S HEAVENLY, ETERNAL KINGDOM OF LOVE, JOY ➤ Let us CONSTANTLY OFFER THANKSGIVING TO OUR LIVING
AND PEACE. GOD WHO IS INFINITELY MERCIFUL, GRACIOUS AND
Therefore we take up our personal Crosses and Follow BENEVOLENT.
Christ by CRUCIFYING THE DEMANDS AND DESTRUCTIVE ➤ BE GRATEFUL FOR ALL YOUR BLESSINGS – WHICH FAR
PASSIONS OF OUR WEAK FLESH – AND BY SO DOING, WE OUTWEIGH ALL THE THINGS YOU MAY THINK YOU WANT
STRENGTHEN OUR IMMORTAL SOULS AND GRADUALLY BECOME OR NEED!
WORTHY, SANCTIFIED CITIZENS OF ETERNAL LIFE. ➤ Let us MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO IMITATE CHRIST our Lord
 G A L A T I A N S 5 : 2 4 : “... those who are Christ’s have Who clearly and concisely shows us that
crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” EVERYTHING GOOD IS INDEED POSSIBLE in this poor,
The central paradox of our Life in Christ is that whenever tragic and darkened fallen world.
we try to grasp temporal (earthly) things, we lose the  Finally, those who would “... see the Kingdom of God
Eternal, Priceless Treasures of Heaven. present with Power...” was a reference to OUR LORD
However, WHEN WE LEARN SELF-DENIAL AND REPENTANCE, AND JESUS CHRIST’S TRANSFIGURATION ON MOUNT TABOR,
WE SACRIFICE OR RESIST THE TEMPTATION OF ALL WORLDLY which three of His closest Apostles witnessed
THINGS, WE GAIN UNTOLD AND UNIMAGINABLE ETERNAL shortly before His Great Passion and Resurrection.
RICHES! It is also a reference to THOSE FAITHFUL DISCIPLES OF CHRIST
“What will a man give in exchange for his soul?” is a IN EVERY GENERATION WHO WILL EXPERIENCE THE TRUE
most profound question because it emphasises the PRESENCE OF GOD’S KINGDOM
utter foolishness of trying to accumulate WORLDLY
POSSESSIONS AND TEMPORARY SOCIAL STATUS OR POWER – for
7TH SUNDAY OF TRIODION – THE 3RD SUNDAY OF LENT – THE VENERATION OF THE LIFE-GIVING CROSS
✞ In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the ASPECTS OF OUR TRUTH FAITH AND WORSHIP as being
Holy Spirit... “...irrelevant and unnecessary...” or merely “....left
Dearly Beloved: Today all over the world, Orthodox over from some medieval period when people were
Christians of every Nation gather in churches to neither educated nor enlightened! “
celebrate the Precious, Life-giving Holy Cross of our The unfortunate cry of many of these “New Age”
Saviour Jesus Christ. spokesmen is that they are “ ...Resurrection people...”
IN EVERY ORTHODOX CHURCH THE HOLY CROSS IS LOVINGLY who believe that all our Lord Jesus Christ really wants
DECORATED WITH FLOWERS AND GREENERY, AND THEN is for us “...to be happy!”
SOLEMNLY CARRIED THROUGH THE CHURCH IN PROCESSION, The modern ‘Christians’ regard themselves as being “...
WITH INCENSE AND CANDLES, WHILE THE FAITHFUL SING HYMNS more mature and advanced...” - able to see Spiritual
OF VENERATION AND BOW DOWN BEFORE IT. Realities and understand Spiritual Truths in a much
ANGELIC HOSTS ACCOMPANY THE SACRED CROSS AS IT IS CARRIED clearer way than our Holy Fathers!
THROUGH ALL OUR CHURCHES - CAUSING THE DEMONS TO TURN They look condescendingly on the True Faith of our Holy
AWAY IN TERROR AND REVULSION, for it was by the Cross, Fathers as a sort of ‘Dark Age of Christianity.’
which we honour today, that they were defeated! Nevertheless, our persecuted and misunderstood Holy
It is this Life-giving Holy Cross that we venerate today, Orthodox Church cries out like a Voice in the
which has put them to shame, and crushed their Wilderness: “THERE IS NO CHRISTIANITY WITHOUT THE
power over mankind. CROSS!!”
However, outside our Holy Orthodox Church, we are Our Holy Orthodox Church stands in contradiction to the
increasingly encountering a ‘new’ type of contemporary voices of ‘modern Christianity.’
‘Christianity,’ with its man-made ‘new version of THE NARROW PATH IS THE ONLY WAY OF GOLGOHA!
Christianity’ – and its own interpretations of the Holy THE NARROW PATH IS THE ONLY WAY OF THE HOLY, LIFE-GIVING
Gospel! CROSS!
It is a ‘New Age” religion WITHOUT THE CROSS! A Pascha THERE IS NO OTHER WAY – NOR HAS THERE EVER BEEN!
WITHOUT GREAT AND HOLY FRIDAY! The innumerable millions of Holy Martyrs from all
How deceptively pleasant this appears to the world! centuries bear witness to this Divine Truth!
They have rejected the Holy Life-giving Cross and OUR DIVINE SAVIOUR HAS ASSURED US: “My Yoke is easy and
everything pertaining to It – rejecting even THE MAKING My Burden is light!”
OF THE SIGN OF THE CROSS, WHICH IS A PERSONAL There is a Yoke and there is a Burden but it is light and
DECLARATION OF FAITH! sweet, but we have been misguided by worldly
THEY HAVE REJECTED SELF-DENIAL, SELF-DISCIPLINE AND culture to flee suffering at all costs, to avoid anything
EVERYTHING CONCERNING OUR ESSENTIAL AND CONSTANT painful or uncomfortable.
SPIRITUAL STRUGGLES - regarding all these SIGNIFICANT
T H
7 SUNDAY OF THE TRIODION–3RD OF LENT–VENERATION OF THE HOLY LIFE-GIVING CROSS–11 MARCH 2018 7
Modern man has come to the unfortunate belief that we Our Holy Orthodox Church shows us the Precious and Life-
have a right to have ‘a pain-free existence’ - we have giving Cross of our Divine Saviour and we respond by
a right to undeserved joy and peace - and we will singing Hymns and bowing down before the Precious
‘purchase’ these at any price! Trophy of Victory.
We desire addictive substances, fornication or adultery, The Church shows us the Great Mystery of our
temporary, material possessions, unbeneficial and Salvation, THROUGH SUFFERING AND DEATH COMES ETERNAL
even debauched entertainments, vainglorious praises LIFE.
and fame - almost any distraction that keeps us from THE PARADOX OF THE CROSS IS ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL FOR OUR
facing the Reality of our emptiness – for indeed, LIFE IS CHRISTIAN FAITH.
EMPTY AND MEANINGLESS WITHOUT CHRIST AND HIS HOLY, My dear Brothers and Sisters, what we are presented with
LIFE-GIVING CROSS. today here in our Holy Church is not the comfortable
WE WERE CREATED BY GOD IN HIS IMAGE AND LIKENESS, and OUR modern version of Christianity but THE AUTHENTIC,
HEART IS RESTLESS AND YEARNING, UNTIL WE BEGIN TO REGAIN SAVING GOSPEL OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, THE WAY OF THE
THAT DIVINE LIKENESS, WHICH WAS LOST DUE TO SIN. CROSS.
WE ARE LONELY - DEEPLY LONELY - IF WE TRY TO EXIST WITHOUT WE JOIN OUR ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN BRETHREN ALL OVER THE
CHRIST … WORLD as we bow down before the Holy Life-giving
IT IS UTTERLY UNNATURAL TO BE SEPARATED OR ALIENATED FROM Cross of our Divine Saviour, in solemn Veneration.
THE LORD OUR GOD! THIS PRECIOUS HOLY CROSS THAT WE HONOUR AND EMBRACE
We cannot be content with false imitations of the TRUE TODAY, IS IN REALITY OUR OWN PERSONAL CROSS, whatever
PEACE THAT ONLY CHRIST OUR LORD CAN GRANT US. that may be for each one of us!
WE WERE CREATED TO BE WITH GOD - TO BE UNITED WITH HIM Our Cross, which WE MUST TAKE UP AND THEN FOLLOW OUR LORD
THROUGH THEOSIS. JESUS CHRIST, could be serious, chronic, debilitating or
No matter how we may try to avoid it, our heart and soul terminal disease, problems of old age, mental illness,
will remain discontented – unhappy, uneasy and physical handicaps or simply being misunderstood
constantly yearning for God and all His Goodness. by those around us.
There is nothing at all – EXCEPT GOD - that can totally So what we see today here at the centre of our Holy
satisfy our natural need and desire! Church is THE PRECIOUS, LIFE-GIVING CROSS OF CHRIST OUR
DEEP IN OUR HEART WE KNOW THE TRUTH - buried underneath LORD GOD, AS WELL AS - ON A PERSONAL LEVEL – OUR OWN
piles of garbage and filth and lies. PERSONAL CROSS that He has prepared for each of us,
Divine Truth shines as bright as gold, hidden within us – before all time …
within every human being - having been created by WE MUST EMBRACE IT - TRULY EMBRACE IT! WE MUST BOW DOWN
Our Triune, Almighty and Loving God. BEFORE IT, AND CARRY IT - WITHOUT COMPLAINTS, WITHOUT
IT IS PRECISELY THROUGH OUR LORD AND DIVINE SAVIOUR, JESUS APOLOGY OR EXPLANATION, WITHOUT ANY EXCUSES, AND
CHRIST, AND HIS PRECIOUS CROSS, THAT OUR LIFE HAS ACTUAL WITHOUT REGRETS - knowing that our Saviour Himself
MEANING AND PURPOSE. has designed It just for us.
Through His Holy Cross - and ONLY THROUGH HIS CROSS - What A GRACE-FILLED OPPORTUNITY we are being granted -
CAN WE FIND PEACE, JOY, LOVE AND SALVATION. TO CARRY OUR CROSS AND WALK IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF OUR
THERE IS NO OTHER WAY! LORD JESUS CHRIST.
On this Third Sunday of Great Lent, our Holy Orthodox We are being granted the opportunity to BECOME HIS
Church directs us to bring out the Cross with great FAITHFUL DISCIPLES, for He told us very clearly that WE
solemnity as A CONSOLATION FOR THE FAITHFUL AND AS A CANNOT BE HIS DISCIPLES UNLESS WE DENY OURSELVES, TAKE UP
DIVINE PROMISE OF OUR RESURRECTION TO COME. OUR CROSS AND FOLLOW HIM.
The Cross of Christ is truly A SYMBOL OF VICTORY! ✞ Through the Prayers of our Holy Fathers, O Lord Jesus
If there is no Good Friday, no Crucifixion, then there is no Christ, our God, have Mercy on us.
Holy Pascha! IF THERE IS NO CROSS THEN THERE IS NO Amen.
GLORIOUS, VICTORIOUS RESURRECTION!
This Divine Truth of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, is HERMITAGE OF THE HOLY CROSS
presented to us Liturgically this week. 4/8/2016
HTTP://ORTHOCHRISTIAN.COM/92296.HTML
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF BEARING OUR CROSS
St Theophan the Recluse explained THE MEANING OF THE ADAM AND EVE HAD LIVED IN PARADISE IN PERFECT UNION WITH
HOLY, LIFE-GIVING CROSS OF CHRIST: “... Our Lord GOD UNTIL THEY DISOBEYED HIM AND SUFFERED THE
accomplished our Salvation by His Death on the CONSEQUENCES OF SIN – death, sorrow, suffering and
Cross... He tore up the handwriting of our sin; sickness – after being banished from Paradise.
through the Cross He brought upon us Grace-filled THIS ANCESTRAL SIN IS OUR OUTWARD CROSS WE HAVE TO BEAR.
gifts and all Heavenly Blessings.” WE MUST “...endure them and not be annoyed by
With regard to our own personal Cross, St Theophan told them – bear (our) lot with equanimity.”
us: “... When the personal Cross of each of us is ALL MANKIND IS SUBJECT TO MISFORTUNE AND SORROW, WHICH
United with Christ’s Cross, the Power and Effect of His GOD ALLOWS FOR OUR BENEFIT: “... Our Lord wants to
Cross is transferred to us and becomes, as it were, a wash away some sin, or to lead us away from a
conduit through which ‘... every Good Gift and every sinful deed, or to cover up a greater sorrow with a
Perfect Gift..’ is poured forth upon us.” smaller one, to give us an opportunity for Patience
The Message is clear that THERE IS FAR MORE TO OUR and for demonstrating Faithfulness to our Lord, so
SALVATION THAN ONLY BELIEVING IN CHRIST, HIS as to show forth the Glory of His Great Mercy on us
INCARNATION, HIS CRUCIFIXION AND HIS RESURRECTION. later... If we do not clearly see precisely what God
In addition to His Holy, Life-giving Cross, OUR PERSONAL wants to grant us through sorrows that have
CROSS IS EQUALLY ESSENTIAL FOR OUR SALVATION. overwhelmed us, we must raise up in our heart the
St Theophan outlines THREE TYPES OF PERSONAL CROSS – general, non-speculative belief that everything that
OUTWARD CROSS, INWARD CROSS, AND SPIRITUAL CROSS. comes from our Lord is for our good, and gives a
THE OUTWARD CROSS INVOLVES THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATION OF shove to our disturbed soul, for this is pleasing to
OUR LIFE: “... These are sorrows, misfortunes, the loss God. We must endure, for those whom He chastises
of loved ones, failures at work, every type of are like Children to Him!”
deprivation and loss, family troubles, adversities ENDURING OUR SORROWS WITH FAITH IS THE MEANING OF BEARING
related to outward circumstances, insults, offences, OUR CROSS. BY ENDURING WITH THE LOVE OF GOD, GIVING
wrongful accusations, and, in general, our earthly THANKS FOR ALL HE GRANTS US, WE BEAR OUR CROSS IN A WAY
lot... Neither eminence, nor riches, nor glory, nor any THAT WILL BRING US SALVATION: “... Arouse Salvation
kind of earthly greatness will Deliver us from them.” within yourself, humble yourself under the Mighty
We MUST MAKE USE OF THESE DIFFICULTIES IN ACCORDANCE WITH Hand of God, Repent and correct your Life,” St
GOD’S INTENTION FOR OUR SALVATION, which occur “...so Theophan the Recluse urges us.
that we would live on Earth – not as in our own land,
but as a stranger in a foreign land...” YEARNING TO ... to be continued...
RETURN TO HIS KINGDOM – OUR TRUE HOMELAND. http://orthodoxwayoflife.blogspot.co.za

8. 7 T H S U N D A Y OF THE TRIODION–3RD OF LENT–VENERATION OF THE HOLY LIFE-GIVING CROSS–11 MARCH 2018


Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa
Archdiocese of Good Hope
All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and
forever, and unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most
Blessed and Glorious Lady, Maria, Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together with all the Saints. And let
us commit ourselves and one another and our whole Life to Christ our God. Amen.

Tone (8) Plagal 4 18 March 2018

Sunday of Triodion – 4 Sunday of Great Lent


th th
8

St John Klimakos

The Feast of St Nicholas of Zhicha – St Cyril of Jerusalem – St Trophimos & St Eucarpion,


Soldiers, of Nicomedia – St Aninas of the Euphrates - St Cyril of Astrakhan

RESURRECTION GOSPEL 8 – JOHN 20 : 11 - 18

RESURRECTION APOLYTIKION – TONE (8) PLAGAL 4

Ex ipsous katilthes O Efsplaghnos, tafin katedexo triimeron, Thou descended from on High, O Tender-hearted One;
ina imas elevtherosis ton Pathon. I Zoi ke i Anastasis Thou endured the three-days’ burial, so that Thou
imon, Kyrie, Doxa Si! might free us from our passions, O our Life and
Resurrection: Glory to Thee!
FESTAL APOLYTIKION – ST JOHN KLIMAKOS – TONE (8) PLAGAL 4
Tes ton dakrion Sou roes, tis erimou to Agonon Egeorgisas, With rivers of Thy tears Thou made the desert bloom; and
ke tis ek vathou stenagmis, is ekaton tous ponous with Thy sighs from deep within; Thou made Thy
ekarpoforisas. Ke gegonas Fostir, ti Ikoumeni Lampon Labours bear Fruits a hundredfold; and Thou became a
tis Thavmasin, Ioanni Patir imon Osie. Presveve Hristo Star, illuminating the world by Thy Miracles, O John,
to Theo, Sothine tas psihas imon. our devout Father: Intercede with Christ our God for
the Salvation of our souls.
SEASONAL KONTAKION – EVER BLESSED THEOTOKOS – TONE (5) PLAGAL 1
Ti Ipermaho Stratigo ta Nikitiria, os litrothisa ton dinon To Thee, O Theotokos, Invincible Defender, having been
Efharistiria, anagrafo Si i Polis Sou Theotoke. All’ os Delivered from peril, I, Thy City, dedicate the Victory
ehousa to Kratos aprosmahiton, ek pantion me kindinon Festival as a Thanksgiving Offering. In Thine
eleftheroson, ina krazo Si: ✞Here Nimfi Animfevte! Irresistible Might, keep me Free from all Trials, so that
I may call out to Thee: “Hail, O Unwedded Bride!”
TRIODION MEGALYNARION – INSTEAD OF “AXION ESTIN”
Epi Si Heri, Keharitomeni, pasa i Ktisis, Angelon to sistima, Because of Thee, O Full of Grace, all Creation rejoices: the
ke anthropon to genos, Igiasmene Nae, ke Paradise Ranks of Angels and the human race; Hallowed
Logike, Parthenikon Kavhima: ex is Theos Esarkothi, ke Temple and Spiritual Paradise, Pride of Virgins: from
Pedion gegonen, O Pro Eonon Iparhon Theos imon. Tin Thee God was Incarnate and He Who is our God
gar sin Mitran, Thronon epiise, ke tin sin gastera, before the Ages became a little Child. For He made
Platiteran Ouranon Apirgasato. Epi Si Heri, Thy Womb a Throne and caused it to become broader
Keharitomeni, pasa i Ktisis: ✞ Doxa Si! than the Heavens. Because of Thee, O Full of Grace,
all Creation Rejoices: ✞ Glory to Thee!
TRIODION PROKEIMENON – PSALM 75/76- TONE (8) PLAGAL 4
Evxasthe ke apodote Kyrio to Theo imon. Pantes i kiklo Pray and return to the Lord Thy God. All around Him,
aftou isousi dora. shall bring Gifts.
Gnostos en ti Ioudea O Theos, en to Israil mega to Onoma In Judah God is known; in Israel Great is His Name
Aftou.
THE EPISTLE OF ST PAUL TO THE HEBREWS 6 : 13 – 20
THE LORD OUR GOD CONFIRMS HIS DIVINE PROMISE BY A SACRED OATH
Brethren: when God made a Promise to Abraham, because He could Swear by no one greater, He Swore by Himself,
saying: ‘Surely Blessing I will Bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee.’
And so after Abraham had patiently endured, he obtained the Promise, for mankind indeed swears by the greater,
and an Oath for Confirmation is for them an end of all dispute.
Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the Heir of Promise the immutability of His Counsel, Confirmed It by
an Oath, so that by two Immutable Things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong
Consolation, who have fled for Refuge to lay hold of the Hope set before us.
This Hope we have as an Anchor of the soul – both sure and Steadfast – and which enter the Presence behind the Veil,
where the Forerunner has entered for us - even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the Order of
Melchizedek.
T HE PROMISE THAT GOD MADE TO ST ABRAHAM CONCERNED a son “Behind the Veil” is a reference to THE HEAVENLY ALTAR,
who would be born to him and his equally elderly WHICH IS SERVED BY OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST
and barren wife, St Sarah – AN HEIR THROUGH WHOM GOD WHO IS OUR ONE AND ONLY MOST HIGH PRIEST OF THE
WOULD GREATLY MULTIPLY HIS FAMILY. ETERNAL HOLY PRIESTHOOD ACCORDING TO THE ORDER OF
The “two immutable Things” refer to GOD’S DIVINE PROMISE MELCHIZEDEK – an ancient King and Priest of the Old
AND GOD’S DIVINE OATH. Covenant whose Holy Priesthood was equally Eternal.

8TH SUNDAY OF TRIODION SUNDAY – 4TH OF LENT – ST JOHN KLIMAKOS – 18 MARCH 2018 9.
THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST MARK 9 : 17 - 31
O FAITHLESS GENERATION!
At that time, one of the crowd said to our Lord Jesus Christ: “Teacher, I brought Thee my son who has a mute spirit. And
wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. So I spoke
to Thy Disciples, that they could cast it out, but they could not.”
He answered him and said: “O faithless generation! How long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you?
Bring him to Me.” And they brought him to Him. And when he saw Jesus, immediately the spirit convulsed him,
and he fell on the ground and wallowed, foaming at the mouth. And He asked his father: “How long has this been
happening to him?” And he said: “From childhood. And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the
water to destroy him. But if Thou can do anything, have Compassion on us and help us.” Jesus said to him: “If you
can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” And immediately the father of the child cried out with
tears: “Lord, I believe! Help my unbelief!”
When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirits, saying to it: “Deaf and dumb
spirit: I command you, come out of him, and enter him no more!” And the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly,
and went out of him. And he became as though dead, so that many said: “he is dead!” And Jesus took him by the
hand and lifted him up, and he arose.
And when He had gone into the house, His Disciples asked Him privately: “Why could we not cast it out?” And He said to
them: “This kind can come out by nothing but Prayer and Fasting.”
And they departed from there and passed through Galilee, and He did not want anyone to know it. For He taught His
Disciples: “The Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of men who will kill Him. And after He is dead, He
will rise the Third Day.”
According to St Matthew’s account of this incident, THE LUSTS OF THE FLESH rather than the destruction of our
DESPERATE FATHER OF THE EPILEPTIC BOY HAD KNELT DOWN body.
BEFORE OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, WHICH REVEALED HIS  GALATIANS 6 : 1 “Brethren: if (anyone) is overtaken in
HUMILITY BEFORE SUCH A POWERFUL TEACHER AND HOLY any trespass, you who are Spiritual restore such
PERSON, EVEN THOUGH HE LACKED PERSONAL FAITH IN GOD. a (person) in a spirit of Gentleness, considering
Although His Disciples also were lacking in their absolute yourself lest you also be tempted.”
Faith in God, OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST REBUKED NOT ONLY TO BE ABLE TO ADMINISTER CORRECTION WITH THE BLESSED VIRTUE
THEM AND ALL THOSE WHO WITNESSED THE INCIDENT, BUT ALSO OF GENTLENESS IS A SPIRITUAL GIFT FROM GOD.
THE FATHER OF THE YOUNG BOY, WHICH PREVENTED THE St John Chrysostom taught us that THIS REBUKE OF CHRIST
HEALING OF HIS BELOVED SON. WAS ACTUALLY DIRECTED AT THE NINE DISCIPLES WHO COULD
Although OUR LORD JESUS defended the abilities of His NOT CAST OUT THE DEMON that caused the young boy’s
Disciples and Apostles before the gathered multitude, epileptic fits, WHEREAS THE “PILLARS OF FAITH,” ST PETER, ST
He later REBUKED THEM IN PRIVATE for their weak Faith JAMES AND ST JOHN, WERE NOT INCLUDED IN THE REBUKE,
and trust in the Divine Mercy and Power of Almighty since they had been on Mount Tabor with our Lord
God. Jesus Christ, where they had witnessed His Glorious
Christ thereby teaches us that WHEN WE CORRECT OTHERS, WE Transfiguration.
MUST NOT HUMILIATE OR EMBARRASS THEM, ESPECIALLY BEFORE “THIS KIND...” of evil spirit – DEMONIC POSSESSION THAT CAUSES
WITNESSES WHO MAY NOT UNDERSTAND ONE’S CONCERN OR NOT ONLY SPIRITUAL ILLNESS BUT ALSO PHYSICAL
LOVING MOTIVATION FOR CORRECTING THOSE WHO ARE MANIFESTATIONS OF THE GREAT SPIRITUAL STRUGGLE that
STUMBLING OR WHO HAVE ALREADY FALLEN. occurs during demonic attacks – IS A REFERENCE TO ALL
 EVERYTHING WE DO TO ENCOURAGE, ASSIST, GUIDE OR TEACH (LIMITED) POWERS OF DARKNESS – OF EVIL - and not simply
OTHERS MUST ALWAYS – WITHOUT FAIL – BE DONE WITH to those that can cause a particular type of physical
AGAPE – UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. illness.
 FURTHERMORE, THOSE WHO ARE BEING CORRECTED MUST THE BANISHMENT OF DEMONS REQUIRES STRONG, UNSHAKABLE
ACCEPT CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM OR SPIRITUAL GUIDANCE FAITH, SINCERE AND HUMBLE PRAYER AND BOTH SPIRITUAL AND
WITH UNDERSTANDING AND APPRECIATION OF THE WELL PHYSICAL FASTING, FOR THERE IS NO HEALING AND NO VICTORY
INTENTIONED ACT OF LOVE. IN SPIRITUAL WARFARE WITHOUT ALL THREE!

 Besides that, whenever we are corrected by our fellow Beginning with the Didache – the earliest writings of the
Holy Apostles – our Holy Church Fathers have taught
Disciples of Christ, WE MUST ENSURE THAT WE APPLY
us that BOTH THE PERSON WHO IS IN NEED OF HEALING AND THE
SUCH CORRECTIONS TO OUR BEHAVIOUR OR PRACTISES.
PERSON WHO PERFORMS THE HEALING, MUST HAVE UNWAVERING
OTHERWISE NONE OF US WOULD MAKE ANY SPIRITUAL
FAITH IN ALMIGHTY GOD, must constantly Pray for Divine
PROGRESS AT ALL!
Assistance and Grace and Fast properly.
This is all part of our Spiritual Journey – learning to
Our Lord Jesus Christ revealed His approaching Death
ACCEPT GOOD ADVICE FROM OTHERS WITH ALL DUE HUMILITY
and Resurrection for a second time to show that HE
AND OBEDIENCE. TO DO OTHERWISE IS TO SHOW A LACK OF
FULFILLED HIS PASSION FREELY AND NOT ACCORDING TO THE
THESE TWO IMPORTANT VIRTUES AND CAN MEAN THAT WE HAVE
DICTATES OF THOSE SEEKING HIS DESTRUCTION.
FALLEN INTO THE VICES OF PRIDE, ARROGANCE AND
OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, IN ABSOLUTE OBEDIENCE TO THE DIVINE
DISOBEDIENCE TO GOD.
WILL OF OUR HEAVENLY FATHER, ACCEPTED HIS ULTIMATE
THE DISCIPLINE OF OUR HOLY CHURCH IS BASED ON OUR MUTUAL
BLOOD SACRIFICE WILLINGLY AND FREELY OUT OF GOD’S
CORRECTION IN THREE EXPANDING STAGES.
INFINITE LOVE OF MANKIND for it was the final and
Sin and correction are to remain private unless the
greatest of all Blood Sacrifices for mankind’s Salvation
offender stubbornly refuses to Repent and rejects
– the greatest Blood Sacrifice that Redeemed all
correction.
mankind so that NEVER AGAIN WOULD WE HAVE TO OFFER
ALL CORRECTION OF OUR ERRORS IS ONLY POSSIBLE WHEN DONE
TEMPORARY BLOOD SACRIFICES FOR THE ATONEMENT OF OUR
WITH GREAT CARE AND HUMILITY, WITH THE PRIMARY CONCERN
CONTINUOUS SINS.
BEING THE SALVATION OF THE OFFENDER.
NOW ACCORDING TO OUR NEW COVENANT WITH GOD – A
CORRECTION OF OUR ERRORS IS ESSENTIAL SO THAT WE DO NOT
BLOODLESS COVENANT – WE CONSTANTLY MAKE OUR
DRAW OTHERS INTO SIN AS WELL:
OFFERINGS OF THANKSGIVING, PRAISE AND WORSHIP IN THE
 1 CORINTHIANS 5 : 5 “... deliver such a one to Satan for
DIVINE LITURGY SERVICE OF HOLY EUCHARIST – continuously
the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may
Repenting our sins and joyfully accepting the
be Saved in the Day of the Lord Jesus.”
ongoing Forgiveness of Christ our Saviour, which
This means that IN THE HOLY CHURCH OF CHRIST WE ARE
grants us Eternal Life in His Divine Kingdom of Love,
PROTECTED FROM THE DESTRUCTIVE POWER OF SATAN.
Peace and Joy.
HOWEVER, THIS HOLY PROTECTION WILL BE REMOVED FROM US
BECAUSE WE CONTINUE TO COMMIT SIN, WE MUST CONTINUE TO
THROUGH EXCOMMUNICATION IN THE HOPE THAT AS SOON AS WE
REPENT AND BESEECH GOD’S DIVINE FORGIVENESS SO THAT
EXPERIENCE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GOD’S DIVINE AND
WHEN OUR TIME COMES TO LEAVE THIS PREPARATORY PERIOD OF
MERCIFUL RULE OVER US AND THE DESTRUCTIVE, WICKED AND
TEMPORARY LIFE, WE SHALL BE IN A STATE OF SPIRITUAL LIFE –
DEVASTATING ENSLAVEMENT OF SATAN WE WILL QUICKLY
a state of True Repentance – rather than in a state of
REPENT our sins of Spiritual Disobedience and
Spiritual Death and Alienation from God – a state of
Rebellion against God and return to the Sacred Fold
unrepentance, disobedience and sin!
of Christ our Saviour.
Just like so many of us today, THE DISCIPLES DID NOT FULLY
“The flesh” (sarx) is not synonymous with our “body”
UNDERSTAND THE FULL TRUTH AND SIGNIFICANCE OF CHRIST’S
(soma) – ST PAUL WAS CALLING FOR THE DESTRUCTION OF THE

10. 8TH SUNDAY OF TRIODION SUNDAY – 4TH OF LENT – ST JOHN KLIMAKOS – 18 MARCH 2018
CLEAR WORDS YET THEY DID NOT USE THE OPPORTUNITY TO FIND However, because GOD NEVER FORCES ANYTHING ON US –
OUT WHAT EVERYTHING WOULD MEAN TO THEM. having granted us free will to choose for ourselves
Similarly, many of us today, could not bother to SEEK which Spiritual Path we take towards Eternity – IT IS UP
DIVINE TRUTH AND UNDERSTANDING, which is granted to us TO US TO MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO LEARN HIS DIVINE AND
once we honestly begin our Spiritual Journey. ABSOLUTE TRUTH concerning everything to do with the
THE MORE WE SEEK DIVINE TRUTH WITH A SPIRITUAL YEARNING FOR Purpose of this temporary life and Eternity – the Age to
A CLOSE RELATIONSHIP WITH ALMIGHTY GOD, THE MORE HE come which is never ending and a very conscious
GRANTS US HIS KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING! state – more consciously aware than at present!!
8TH SUNDAY OF TRIODION – 4TH SUNDAY OF GREAT LENT – ST JOHN KLIMAKOS
✞ In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the God through our Prayers and Fasting, are we able to
Holy Spirit... be Restored to full physical and Spiritual Health.
Dearly Beloved: The grief that parents suffer when they Afterwards, in the privacy of their accommodation, when
see their children suffering to any degree can only be the Apostles had asked our Lord Jesus Christ to
understood by other loving parents, for it is almost explain the reason for their inability to Heal the young
beyond expression or description. man, He told them that “This kind can come out by
Today’s Sacred Lesson concerns a devoted Father and his nothing but Prayer and Fasting.”
son who had been possessed from his early childhood Self-Denial or Self-Discipline and Prayers are our only
by a malicious, evil spirit who caused epileptic fits Remedy against these persistent, hostile demons that
that often put the boy in great danger. put us all in such danger, seeking our destruction.
The Father’s utter frustration and heartbreak increased Contrite Repentance is the strongest and only antidote
when our Lord’s Apostles failed to Heal him. against the venom of the evil one and his demons.
However, as soon as Christ appeared on the scene, the Contrite heart and sincere Repentance forcibly tramples
son was restored to full health and his wretched down on the ancient “Serpent” and grants our first
father was at last comforted and satisfied. steps towards the Heaven Kingdom of Love.
Our Lord’s frustration at mankind’s lack of Faith was It is no co-incidence that the First and Second Steps of St
verbally expressed when He exclaimed: ““O faithless John’s “Ladder of Divine Ascent” concerns the
generation! How long shall I be with you? How long Renunciation of worldly life and our detachment from
shall I bear with you?” all its alluring but deceptive pleasures.
The desperate Father had confessed his own lack of Faith Today, being the Fourth Sunday of Great Lent, we
and had tearfully beseeched our Lord to help him as commemorate St John Klimakos (‘of the Ladder’) as
only He can. one of our greatest Saints or Holy Fathers who reminds
ONLY WHEN WE REALISE OUR OWN LACK, AND HUMBLY TURN TO GOD us that our Journey of Salvation – our difficult, Narrow
FOR HIS DIVINE ASSISTANCE, CAN HE HELP Us, for as long as Path to the Heavenly Kingdom of God – is by no
WE DECEIVE OURSELVES THAT WE ARE IN CONTROL, we will means easy to achieve.
never acquire any Holy Virtues nor receive Divine On the contrary, it is a very long and hazardous Spiritual
Grace that makes the impossible possible for us. Climb that is impossible to accomplish unless we
OUR LORD WANTS US TO WORK IN HARMONY WITH HIM. beseech God every step of the Way for His Divine
It is significant to emphasise the fact that THIS PARTICULAR Assistance.
ACCOUNT REFERS TO THE SPIRIT THAT CAUSED THE SON’S Furthermore, on our part, we must be ready, willing and
SUFFERING AS BEING A STUBBORN KIND OF “DEMON” OR “DEVIL,” able to fulfil whatever is required of us so that we may
THEREBY REVEALING THAT HIS AILMENT CONCERNED MORE THAN work together with our Providential and Longsuffering
A PHYSICAL DISEASE. Lord God in Harmony and with Love, to achieve our
That wicked spirit or demon is an enemy of Christ and the Eternal Salvation.
spirit of this generation, well rooted in society, is May our Compassionate and Merciful Lord God grant us
passed on to our children like a deadly virus. all Fullness of Faith, Peace and Joy as we slowly strive
It is that evil spirit that controls our younger generation, to climb each step of the Ladder of Divine Ascent with
throwing them about uncontrolled and putting them every Strengthening Faith and Love.
in great danger of physical and spiritual harm. Amen
It is that evil demon that distorts and corrupts the
beautiful Image and Likeness of God whereby we are ORTHODOX RESEARCH INSTITUTE
created. KOSMAS DAMIANIDES, GREEK ORTHODOX ARCHDIOCESE OF AUSTRALIA,
That evil spirit has existed since the time of Adam and Eve PARISH OF ST NEKTARIOS, PERTH, WESTERN AUSTRALIA
and is firmly established so that only by beseeching HTTP://ORTHOCHRISTIAN.COM/69567.HTML
REAL PRAYER CAN CHANGE OUR LIFE – FATHER CHRIS MITROPOULOS
“O Lord God of my Salvation, I cry day and night before Thee.
Let my Prayer come before Thee. Incline Thine Ear to my Supplication, O Lord.” (PSALM 88: 1 – 3)
How many times have we read this Psalm! For more than St Basil the Great commented: “...What is more Blessed
35 years I have attended Services where it is read and than to imitate on Earth the Chorus of the Angels, to
I have always felt our Lord’s Power and Presence in hasten to Prayer at the very break of day, and to
my life. I have thirsted for God’s Presence since I was 6 worship our Creator with Hymns and songs. Then,
years old, when HE WAS A PRESENCE I FELT AS A when the sun shines brightly, and we turn to our
STRENGTHENING AND CALMING FORCE IN MY LIFE. tasks, Prayer attending us wherever we go - to
MY PRAYERS HAVE ALWAYS BROUGHT ME PEACE, KNOWING THAT WE season our Labours with Sacred Song as food with
ARE ALL IN HIS HANDS, AND THAT NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS, salt. For the state of our soul in which there is Joy
EVERYTHING WILL BE ALL RIGHT. and no sorrow is indeed a Blessing Bestowed by the
This is really a most calming sensation that is difficult to Consolation of Hymns...”
put into words. May our Lord Jesus Christ Bless and Protect us all.
WE HAVE ALL PRAYED TO GOD OUT OF NEED OR DESIRE – BUT HOW Amen
MANY OF US HAVE ACTUALLY PAUSED IN THE MIDST OF OUR ST JOHN KLIMAKOS
ACTIVITIES TO THANK GOD FOR HIS ABUNDANT BLESSINGS AND Remembrance of wrongs is the consummation of
GREAT MERCY – FOR EVERYTHING VISIBLE AND INVISIBLE, WHICH anger, the keeper of sins, hatred of Righteousness,
HE HAS GRANTED US. ruin of Virtues, poison of the soul, worm of the mind,
WE ALL NEED GOD AND HE IS ALWAYS READY TO COMMUNE WITH shame of Prayer, stopping of Supplication,
US. It is entirely up to us to turn to Him, for He never estrangement of Love, a nail stuck in the soul,
forces Himself upon us. pleasureless feeling beloved in the sweetness of
WHEN WE ARE DISTRACTED BY OUR SURROUNDINGS AND bitterness, continuous sin, unsleeping transgression,
CIRCUMSTANCES, WE USUALLY IGNORE OR FORGET ABOUT OUR hourly malice.
LOVING GOD and WE OFTEN PUT OURSELVES AND OTHERS IN This dark and hateful passion - Remembrance of
PERIL WHEN WE DO NOT HEAR THE VOICE OF GOD OR HIS wrongs - is one of those that are produced but have
GUARDIAN ANGELS, GUIDING, PROTECTING AND no offspring.
ENLIGHTENING US CONSTANTLY. He who has put a stop to anger has also destroyed
OUR LORD IS EVER- PRESENT, waiting for us to speak to Him Remembrance of wrongs; because childbirth
and now is the time to do so! continues only while the father is alive.
WE MUST OPEN OUR HEART AND SOUL BEFORE OUR LORD JESUS
CHRIST, which is not possible to do with anyone else.

8TH SUNDAY OF TRIODION SUNDAY – 4TH OF LENT – ST JOHN KLIMAKOS – 18 MARCH 2018 11.
ANIMOSITY – ELDER ARSENIOS OF THE SKETE OF KOUTLOUMOUSIOU, MOUNT ATHOS
According to St John of the Ladder, PRIDE means: ‘Denial UPON US – AND WE ARE RECONCILED AND RESTORED TO PEACE
of God - an invention of the demons.’ AND HARMONY, while the devil slinks off, defeated and
To put it more simply, PRIDE WAS DISCOVERED AND INVENTED BY unsatisfied!
THE DEVIL. The Newly-Canonized St Porphyrios taught us that WHEN
LUCIFER REFUSED TO RENDER VENERATION AND WORSHIP TO HIS WE BECOME ANGRY AND ARE READY TO ATTACK - EITHER WITH
CREATOR, the Holy, Triune God, and in place of this he WORDS OR BLOWS - WE ARE ENSNARED BY THE DEVIL WHO
set himself up as ‘god.’ PLACES A NOOSE ROUND OUR NECK, READY TO CHOKE US!
Terrible things happened, which are beyond the OUR SALVATION DEPENDS ON THE ATTITUDE OF THE OTHER PERSON
understanding of mere mortals. OR PERSONS INVOLVED. If they are prepared to show us
Lucifer dared to think and imagine himself as ‘god’ and Forbearance and Love, we who are held captive by
once he had really come to believe this inside himself, the evil one will immediately be liberated, but IF THE
HE FELL, LIKE LIGHTNING, FROM HEAVENLY PARADISE, ANIMOSITY IS MUTUAL THEN IT IS THE ULTIMATE VICTORY AND
DRAGGING WITH HIM A HOST OF OTHER ANGELS, WHO ALL SATISFACTION FOR THE DEVIL.
BECAME DARK DEMONS. So it should be obvious, my friends, that all our
As a result of this behaviour, THE DEVIL SWORE AN OATH, as differences and hostilities are set in motion by the evil
the ‘god’ he believed himself to be, THAT HE WOULD one and IT IS TOWARDS HIM ALONE THAT WE SHOULD DIRECT
ENGAGE IN HOSTILITIES AGAINST THE HOLY, TRIUNE GOD AND OUR ANGER AND ANIMOSITY – NOT TO ONE ANOTHER!
ALSO WITH MANKIND, WHO WERE CREATED “...IN HIS IMAGE AND WE ARE CREATED GOOD - without passions - but our later
LIKENESs.” development is due to the example of our parents
MANKIND HAS BEEN EXPERIENCING AND FEELING THIS HATRED OF and the rest of our environment (school, friends etc).
THE DEVIL FOR CENTURIES, but his great secret is that HE IF CHILDREN WERE BORN TO PIOUS PARENTS IN HOLY
CAREFULLY HIDES HIS ANIMOSITY, SO THAT WE CANNOT ENVIRONMENTS, THEY WOULD BECOME SAINTS, because
IMMEDIATELY SEE IT. there would be no opportunity for the activity of the
The evil one causes disasters in such a way that we evil one and his demons.
human beings blame our neighbours for what is An example of this is St Basil the Great, who was born and
happening to us, rather than condemning the evil raised in an environment of Sanctity. His Righteous
one who has invented everything wicked and parents and Venerable siblings became Saints of the
destructive. Holy Church of Christ.
The devious devil does everything in his power to stop us AMAZINGLY, ST BASIL – AND, NO DOUBT, HIS SIBLINGS - WAS
discovering that WE SHOULD HATE THE DEVIL AND ALL HIS ALREADY SANCTIFIED, EVEN BEFORE HE WAS BAPTIZED, BECAUSE
WORKS AND NOT OUR NEIGHBOURS. HE HAD BEEN SANCTIFIED BY HIS HOLY ENVIRONMENT.
This is the whole secret of Satan, because it is not in his The question is, are there such Blessed Conditions today?
interest for us - particularly Orthodox Christians - to It’s a moot question.
turn against him. What is happening to our children who are born into
In no way is it in his interest for CHRISTIANS TO FORGIVE ONE families and circumstances that are far from pious or
ANOTHER AND, AT THE SAME TIME TO CONSIDER HIM AN ENEMY. Saintly. It has become a case of ‘...every man for
But WE CANNOT DECLARE WARFARE AGAINST THE EVIL ONE WHEN, himself.’
SIMULTANEOUSLY, WE ARE HOSTILE TOWARDS OUR NEIGHBOUR. Those who are capable of understanding the degree and
THE TEMPTATION OF HATRED IS INTENSE and we often give in to depth of wickedness of the evil one, who sows conflict
it when it concerns our neighbour. and enmity among us, are able to apply to
In fact, there are some people who are so deluded that themselves and their family what we have previously
they boast about this animosity. mentioned.
We should know, though, that if we retain enmity towards In conclusion, THERE IS NO GREATER AND MORE DANGEROUS
our neighbour, in word or deed, then we should not FOOLISHNESS THAN TO HATE OUR NEIGHBOUR BUT NOT OUR REAL
dare to pray our Lord’s Prayer to our Heavenly Father! ENEMY – SATAN AND HIS DEMONS.
How can we beseech the Lord our God to “...Forgive us THIS IS A PERVERSION OF OUR SOUL, BECAUSE, ALTHOUGH AT HOLY
our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass BAPTISM A VOW WAS MADE THAT WE WOULD RESOLUTELY
against us...”?! OPPOSE SATAN, AND ALL HIS WORKS, we have, alas,
We would be lying and deceitful to God! And worse than changed things round and distorted them, by turning
that, we would become a tool of the demons! our animosity towards our neighbour – OUR FELLOW
A glaring example of this is Saprikios, who, although his HUMAN BEING WHOM WE ARE COMMANDED TO LOVE
neighbour begged his forgiveness for some misdeed UNCONDITIONALLY, JUST AS MUCH AS GOD LOVES US!
he had perpetrated against him, Saprikios refused to May our Lord God grant all of us to understand properly
even consider it. this extremely important issue, which we have
He was arrested by the pagans, since he was a Christian, addressed, so that OUR ANIMOSITY, HATRED AND ANGER CAN
but he still could not find the strength to overcome the BE DIRECTED ONLY AT OUR SOLE ENEMY, THE DEVIL AND ALL HIS
devil, who remained at his side, waiting for him to WORKS.
betray his Faith and make offerings to the idols.
His neighbour continued to beg his forgiveness, even HOLY ELDER ARSENIOS OF MOUNT ATHOS
where Saprikios was about to be martyred, but the HTTP://PEMPTOUSIA.COM/2018/01/ANIMOSITY/
latter refused and therefore did not have the Strength
to Confess Christ.
Consequently Saprikios made Satan even more gleeful
than if he had made an offering to the pagan idols! St John of Kronstadt
IF WE HARBOUR ANY DEGREE OF ANIMOSITY TOWARDS OTHERS,
BELOVED BRETHREN, WE SHOULD BE VERY CAREFUL, BECAUSE WE When the flesh is tested by illnesses,
MAY DO SO FOR MANY YEARS, to the point of not realizing remember that which is suffering
that, BEHIND THIS ENMITY, STANDS OUR COMMON ENEMY, THE
DEVIL. and becoming debilitated
SATAN SKILFULLY AND SLYLY ORCHESTRATES ALL THE ANIMOSITY
is the greatest enemy of your Salvation.
BETWEEN PEOPLE, but carefully hides his role because,
were it to be revealed, THE WHOLE EVIL PLOT WOULD FALL This is why you should put up with illnesses
APART AND THOSE CONCERNED WOULD BE RECONCILED.
The plots, schemes and machinations of the devil is bravely, in the Name of the Lord.
revealed AS SOON AS WE UNDERSTAND THE POSITION OF You should also remember that every illness
OTHERS – AS SOON AS WE REALLY LOOK AT THE ‘WHOLE PICTURE’
– ALL THE CIRCUMSTANCES SURROUNDING AND CAUSING THE is a form of suffering allowed by God for our sins.
PROBLEM - THEN WICKEDNESS IS UNCOVERED – EXPOSED TO THE
It Cleanses us, Reconciles us to Him and brings
LIGHT OF TRUTH.
ONCE WE REALLY UNDERSTAND AND ACKNOWLEDGE THE POINT OF us back to His Love.
VIEW OF THE OTHERS, DIVINE GRACE IMMEDIATELY DESCENDS

12. 8TH SUNDAY OF TRIODION SUNDAY – 4TH OF LENT – ST JOHN KLIMAKOS – 18 MARCH 2018
Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa
Archdiocese of Good Hope
All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever,
and unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most Blessed and
Glorious Lady, Maria, Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together with all the Saints. And let us commit
ourselves and one another and our whole Life to Christ our God. Amen.

Tone 1 25 March 2018

Sunday of Triodion – 5 Sunday of Great Lent


th th
9

(St Mary of Egypt)

The Great and Holy Feast of the Annunciation

FESTAL HYMNS OF THE DIVINE LITURGY:

FIRST FESTAL ANTIPHON - ANNUNCIATION – TONE 2


1. O
Theos, to Krima Sou to Vasili dos ke tin Dikeosinin 1. O
God, give Thy Judgements to the King. And Thy
Sou to vio tou Vasileos. Righteousness to the King’s Son.
✞Tes Presvies tis Theotokou, Soter, Soson imas. ✞Through the Intercessions of the Theotokos, O
Saviour, Save us.
2. Analaveto ta ori Irinin to lao ke i vouni Dikeosinin. ✶ 2. Let the mountains raise up Peace for Thy People and
the hills in Righteousness. ✶
3. Evangelizesthe imeran ex imeras to Sotirion tou Theou 3. Proclaim day to day the Salvation of our God✶
imon. ✶
4. Omose Kyrios to David Alithian ke ou mi athetisi 4. The Lord swore to David this Truth and He shall not
Aftin.✶ reject it. ✶
SECOND FESTAL ANTIPHON - ANNUNCIATION – TONE 2
1. Katavisete os vetos epi pokon ke osi stagon i stazousa 1. He shall come down like rain on the fleece and like
epi tin gin. raindrops falling on Earth.
✞ Soson imas, Iie Theou, O D I IMAS SARKOTHIS ✞ Save, O Son of God, W H O W A S I N C A R N A T E F O R
psallontas Si: Allilouia! O U R S A K E , us who sing to Thee: Alleluia !
2. Igase to Skinoma Aftou O Ipsotos ✶ 2. The Most High Sanctified His Tabernacle
3. O Theos emfanos ixi, O Theos imon ke ou 3. Our Lord shall plainly come, and shall not keep silent.
parasiotisete. ✶
4. Anateli en tes imeres aftou Dikeiosini ke plithos Irinis. 4. In His Days, Righteousness and abundance of Peace
shall flourish...
THIRD FESTAL ANTIPHON – PSALM 71 – TONE 4
1. Este to Onoma Aftou Evlogimenon is tous eonos. 1. His Name shall be Blessed forever
Simeron tis Sotirias imon to Kefaleon, ke tou ap’ Eonos Today is the Crown of our Salvation, and the Revelation
Mystiriou i fanerosis; O Ios tou Theou, Ios tis of the Mystery planned from Eternity: the Son of God
Parthenou ginete, ke Gavriil tin Harin evangelizete. becomes the Virgin’s Son, and Gabriel announces the
Dio ke imis sin afto, ti Theotoko voisomen: Here Grace. Wherefore, let us along with him cry out, to
Keharitomeni! O Kyrios meta Sou! the Theotokos: Hail! O Full of Grace! The Lord is with
2. Evlogitos Kyrios O Theos tou Israil, O pion Thavmasia Thee!
Monos 2. Blessed be the Lord – the God of Israel – Who only
3. Evlogimenon to Onoma Aftou is ton Eona ke is ton does Wondrous Things
eona tou eonas. 3. And Blessed be His Glorious Name unto the Ages and
unto the Ages of ages.
ISODIKON – SMALL ENTRANCE
Evangelizesthe imeran ex imeras to Sotirion tou Theou Tell forth from day to day the Glad Tidings of the
imon. Salvation of our God.
Soson imas, Iie Theou, O di imas Sarkothis, psallontas Si: Save us, O Son of God, Incarnate of the Virgin, who sing to
Allilouia! Thee: Alleluia!
FESTAL APOLYTIKION – THE ANNUNCIATION – TONE 4
Simeron tis Sotirias imon to kefaleon, ke tou ap eonos Today is the Crown of our Salvation, and the Revelation
Mistiriou i fanerosis; O Ios tou Theou, Ios tis Parthenou of the Mystery planned from Eternity: the Son of God
ginete, ke Gavriil tin Harin evangelizete. Dio ke imis sin becomes the Virgin’s Son, and Gabriel announces the
afto, ti Theotoko voisomen: Here Keharitomeni! O Kyrios Grace. Wherefore, let us along with him cry out, to the
meta Sou! Theotokos: Hail! O Full of Grace! The Lord is with Thee
FESTAL KONTAKION – ANNUNCIATION - TONE (8) PLAGAL 4
Ti Ipermaho Stratigo ta Nikitiria, os litrothisa ton dinon To Thee, O Theotokos, Invincible Defender, having
Efharisiria, anagrafo Si i Polis Sou Theotoke. All’ os ehousa been delivered from peril, I, Thy City, dedicate the
to Kratos aprosmahiton, ek pantion me kindinon Victory Festival as a Thanks Offering. In Thine
eleftheroson, ina krazo Si. ✞ Here Nimfi Animfevte! Irresistible Might, keep me safe from all trials, so
that I may call out to Thee: ✞ “Hail, O Unwedded
Bride!”

9TH SUNDAY OF TRIODION-5TH LENT- ST MARY OF EGYPT- THE ANNUNCIATION – 25 MARCH 2018 13.
MATINS GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST LUKE 1: 39 – 49 & 56
ST ELIZABETH PRAISES THE EVER BLESSED, THEOTOKOS (MOTHER OF GOD) WHO EXALTS GOD: THE MAGNIFICAT
At that time, Mary arose and went into the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah, and entered the house of
Zachariah and greeted Elizabeth. And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe
leapt in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said,
“Blessed art Thou among women, and Blessed in the Fruit of Thy Womb! “But why is this granted to me, that the
Mother of my Lord should come to me? For indeed, as soon as the voice of Thy greeting sounded in my ears, the
babe leaped in my womb for Joy. Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfilment of those things which
were told her from the Lord.”
And Mary said: “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Saviour. For He has regarded the
lowly state of His maidservant; for behold, henceforth all generations will call me Blessed. For He Who is
mighty has done great things for me, and Holy is His Name!”
THE EVER-BLESSED VIRGIN MARY’S FAITHFUL RESPONSE TO ✶ THE TITLE “THEOTOKOS” [THE MOTHER OF GOD (INCARNATE)],
ARCHANGEL GABRIEL’S ANNOUNCEMENT MAKES HER THE GIVEN TO THE VIRGIN MARY BY THE CHURCH, WAS DERIVED
HIGHEST MODEL OF OBEDIENCE TO GOD. FROM THE TRUTH OF THIS CONFESSION.
 THE INCARNATION OF THE SON OF GOD IS NOT ONLY THE WORK Because the One Who was in Her Blessed, Pure Womb is
OF THE HOLY TRINITY, BUT ALSO THE WORK OF THE WILL God, the world is freed from enslavement to sin.
AND THE ABSOLUTE FAITH OF THE HUMBLE AND OBEDIENT The passage from verses 46 - 56 is called the ‘Magnificat,’
VIRGIN MARY. which is the first word of this hymn in Latin.
Therefore, the Ever Blessed Virgin Mary is honoured not THE MAGNIFICAT IS A REMARKABLE HYMN OF PRAISE TO GOD
only because God chose her, or because she bore the which comes from the heart of the Ever Blessed Virgin
Son of God in the Flesh, but also BECAUSE SHE FREELY Mary, who was probably only 14 - 16 years old at the
CHOSE TO BELIEVE AND TO OBEY GOD COMPLETELY AND time.
WITHOUT ANY HESITATION OR QUESTION. It also comes from the heart of ST HANNAH, WHO WAS OF A
“The babe” who would become known as ST JOHN THE MORE MATURE AGE AT THE TIME, AND WHO FIRST UTTERED THIS
BAPTIST, FORERUNNER TO CHRIST, WAS IN HIS SIXTH MONTH OF INSPIRED PRAYER AND WHICH HAD BEEN PRAYED BY EXPECTANT
GESTATION. JEWISH MOTHERS FOR CENTURIES. [1 SAMUEL 2:1-10]
HE “LEAPT IN HER WOMB” AS A JOYOUS RESPONSE TO THE PRESENCE From this New Testament passage we learn:
OF GOD, the Lord Jesus Christ, in St Mary’s Womb. ✶✶ CHRISTIAN BELIEVERS FOR ALL TIME WILL HONOUR OR VENERATE
 THE EVER BLESSED THEOTOKOS RECEIVES VENERATION FROM THE VIRGIN MARY, for “all generations will call me
BOTH ANGELS AND MANKIND: Archangel Gabriel and Blessed.”
St Elizabeth both called Her “Blessed” ✶✶ IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO BELIEVE AND OBEY
 OUR LADY THEOTOKOS IS THE MOST PERFECT MODEL OF HOLY SCRIPTURE AND NOT BLESS THE MOTHER OF
GOD.
WOMANHOOD.
Identity between the Theotokos and Israel is implicit here
No other woman has ever received the Glory given to Her
as THE ISRAEL OF GOD, THE CHURCH, RECEIVES “HIS MERCY.”
- either in Holy Scripture or throughout Church History.
THE REIGN OF GOD IS over our “hearts,” Kings and Rulers, the
SHE IS CONFESSED AS “THE MOTHER OF MY LORD” by St Elizabeth
poor and the rich, and the Faithful of God – i.e. OVER
because THIS WAS NO MERE MAN THAT THE THEOTOKOS
ALL CREATION!
CARRIED IN HER BLESSED WOMB.

FESTAL PROKEIMENON – THE MAGNIFICAT – SONG OF PRAISE – TONE 3


My soul magnifies the Lord.
For He has regarded the Humility of His Handmaiden.
THE EPISTLE OF ST PAUL TO THE HEBREWS 2: 11- 18
CHRIST BECAME HUMAN SO THAT HE COULD BE OUR HIGH PRIEST
Brethren: both He Who Sanctifies, and they who are being Sanctified, are all of one, for which reason He is not
ashamed to call them Brethren, saying: “I will declare Thy Name to My Brethren; in the midst of the Church will I
praise Thee.” And again: “I will put my trust in Him.” And again: “Behold I and My children, whom God has
given Me.”
Therefore because the children are Partakers of Flesh and Blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, so that
through Death, He might destroy him who had the power of death - that is to say, the devil - and release those who,
through the fear of death, were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For indeed He does not give aid to the Angels:
but H does give aid to the seed of Abraham.
Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His Brethren, so that He might become a Merciful and Faithful High
Priest in Things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself has
suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.
CHRIST WAS PERFECT EVEN BEFORE HIS CRUCIFIXION YET HE There is A RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SIN AND DEATH: EACH ONE
VOLUNTARILY TOOK ON HUMAN NATURE THAT COULD BE SAVED LEADS TO THE OTHER.
AND PERFECTED ONLY BY HIS OWN SUFFERING AND DEATH. SIN CAUSES DEATH – ESPECIALLY SPIRITUAL DEATH – AND THE FEAR
OF DEATH LEADS PEOPLE TO SIN and thereby into bondage
CHRIST COULD ONLY DIE AND ENTER HADES IN HIS HUMAN NATURE. THEN IN HIS DIVINE
NATURE, HE WAS ABLE TO SMASH OPEN THE IMPRISONING GATES OF HADES AND RELEASE or slavery to Satan who certainly does not want any
THE RIGHTEOUS AND REPENTANT SOULS TO REST IN PEACE IN HIS RE-OPENED PARADISE, souls returning to our Almighty Creator to Whom they
WHERE THE REPENTANT THIEF HAD ALREADY BEEN ADMITTED. belong.
CHRIST IS THE PIONEERING CAPTAIN OF THE NARROW PATH TO GOD ONLY OUR BELOVED LORD JESUS CHRIST IS ABLE TO FREE US FROM
THIS BONDAGE OR SLAVERY OF SIN AND DEATH.
in His Suffering for our sins, Death, and Descent into
Hades, His Resurrection and Ascension into Heaven “It behoved Him in all things to be made like unto His
where HE HAS REGAINED HIS RIGHTFUL POSITION – AT THE Brethren” means that EVEN CHRIST WAS TEMPTED
PLACE OF HONOUR - ENTHRONED NEXT TO OUR HEAVENLY
because WHATEVER IS NOT ASSUMED [TAKEN ON] IS NOT
FATHER. HEALED, AND WHAT IS UNITED TO ALMIGHTY GOD IS SAVED.
In Salvation we take on Christ’s Way of Suffering. The Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, is like us in His human
OUR PERFECTION – THEOSIS - REQUIRES SPIRITUAL GROWTH THAT IS
Nature but WE DO NOT BECOME LIKE HIM IN HIS
MANIFESTED IN SUFFERING.
DIVINE NATURE. This is impossible because WE
CANNOT BECOME A PART OF THE GODHEAD. However, WE CAN
In the Incarnation of Christ, GOD DID NOT COME IN
BECOME GOD-LIKE IN OUR SPIRITUAL CONDITION
APPEARANCE ONLY. HE TRULY ASSUMED [TOOK ON] HUMAN
FLESH AND BLOOD from the Ever Blessed Virgin Mary,
OUR PERSONAL GOAL IN LIFE IS TO REACH THEOSIS – SPIRITUAL
Theotokos, AND BECAME THE SAME AS WE ARE - EXCEPT FOR PERFECTION!
THE ABILITY TO SIN – SO THAT HE COULD REALLY ENTER THE St Paul wrote about CHRIST AS ULTIMATE SACRIFICE to CHRIST
AS OUR ONLY HIGH PRIEST without transition because HE IS
STATE OF DEATH AND THEREBY BRING US – ALL HUMANITY –
BOTH THE DIVINE SACRIFICIAL OFFERING AND THE DIVINE
SALVATION.
CHRIST DESTROYED THE DEVIL’S POWER BY USING SATAN’S OFFERER, THE HIGH PRIEST.
STRONGEST WEAPON – DEATH – AGAINST HIM.
CHRIST IS MERCIFUL ON BEHALF OF THOSE WHOM HE SERVES AND
FAITHFUL IN HIS SACRED MINISTRY TO ALMIGHTY GOD.
T H
14 9 SUNDAY OF TRIODION-5TH LENT- ST MARY OF EGYPT- THE ANNUNCIATION – 25 MARCH 2018
Christians are “Holy Brethren” As Apostle and High Priest, OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST IS BOTH
TO BE “IN CHRIST” IS A HEAVENLY CALLING THAT SEPARATES THOSE GOD’S DIVINE REPRESENTATIVE TO MANKIND AND ALSO
IN CHRIST FROM THOSE WHO HAVE IGNORED OR REFUSED HIS MANKIND’S MEDIATOR BEFORE ALMIGHTY GOD. In Him, the
CALL. Offices of PROPHET AND PRIEST are combined.
THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST LUKE 1 : 24 – 38
At that time, Zachariah’s wife, Elizabeth, conceived, and hid herself five months, saying: “Thus has the Lord dealt with
me in the days wherein He looked upon me, to take away my reproach among men.”
And in the sixth month the Angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a Virgin espoused
to a man whose name was Joseph, of the House of David; and the Virgin’s Name was Mary. And the Angel came in
with Her, and said: “Hail, O Thou who art Full of Grace! The Lord is with Thee! Blessed art Thou among women!”
And when She saw him, She was troubled at his saying, and cast in Her mind what manner of Salutation this should
be.
And the Angel said to Her: “Fear not, Mary, for Thou has found Favour with God. And behold, Thou shalt Conceive in
Thy Womb, and bring forth a Son, and shall call His Name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son
of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give to Him the Throne of His Father, David. And He shall reign over the
House of Jacob forever; and of His Kingdom there shall be no end.”
Then said Mary to the Angel: “How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?” And the Angel answered and said to Her:
“The Holy Spirit shall come upon Thee, and the Power of the Highest shall Overshadow Thee. Therefore also that
Holy One Who shall be Born of Thee shall be called the Son of God. And, behold, Thy cousin, Elizabeth, has
also conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God
nothing shall be impossible.”
And Mary said, “Behold the Handmaiden of the Lord! Be it unto me according to Thy Word.” And the Angel departed
from her.
✶✶ The name “Mary,” “Maria,” or “Miriam” literally means CHRIST – THE ETERNAL ONLY BEGOTTEN SON OF GOD THE
“THE EXALTED ONE.” FATHER - SHE IS THE MOST BLESSED WOMAN OF ALL TIME.
✶✶ THE EVER BLESSED VIRGIN MARY WAS BETROTHED, BY THE WILL EVEN MORE RELEVANT IS HER ABSOLUTE OBEDIENCE TO GOD, as
OF GOD, TO HER AGED UNCLE, ST JOSEPH, WHO WAS OF ROYAL pointed out by Christ Himself.
LINEAGE. He was of the “House” or family of David the According to St Luke’s description of her, SHE IS PRAISED IN
ancient King who had been Anointed by Almighty THE ORTHODOX CHURCH AS BEING SURROUNDED WITH DIVINE
God. GRACE AND SHINING WITH NATURAL HOLINESS.
He was the elderly widowed husband of Salome, sister of ✶✶ Verses 31 – 33 “ and behold, Thou shalt Conceive in
St Anna, whom the Priests at the Temple had CHOSEN BY Thy Womb, and bring forth a Son, and shalt call His
DIVINE INSPIRATION AND THROUGH A MIRACULOUS SIGN - TO Name Jesus …” is an amazingly accurate description
PROTECT HER BECAUSE SHE HAD TAKEN A SACRED VOW OF of the long-awaited Messiah!
CHASTITY THAT COULD NEVER BE BROKEN. ✶✶ “HOLY SPIRIT” AND “POWER OF THE HIGHEST” ARE SYNONYMOUS.
THERE WAS NO INTENTION OF ACTUAL MARRIAGE AND IT WAS NEVER This is a case of repetition for emphasis.
CONSUMMATED. ✶✶ “HOLY ONE” IS A MESSIANIC TITLE and the fact that Christ
ST JOSEPH IS ENTITLED “THE BETROTHED” BECAUSE IT WAS A WELL was to be BORN (‘without Seed,’) OF THE EVER VIRGIN MARY
KNOWN FACT THAT HE WAS INDEED THE RIGHTEOUS GUARDIAN DEMONSTRATES HIS TRULY DIVINE NATURE
OF BOTH THEOTOKOS AND CHRIST, AS WELL AS THE OTHER Note in particular the reference to THE HOLY TRINITY: GOD
VIRGINS WHO KEPT HER COMPANY. THE FATHER (THE HIGHEST), THE SON, AND THE HOLY SPIRIT.
Women had to be married as soon as they reached ✶✶ THE BLESSED THEOTOKOS’ FAITHFUL RESPONSE MAKES HER THE
puberty, especially if they had no immediate family to HIGHEST AND MOST PERFECT MODEL OF HUMAN OBEDIENCE TO
protect and care for them. ALMIGHTY GOD.
✶✶ St Luke twice mentions the fact that the Ever Blessed ✶✶ THE INCARNATION OF THE SON OF GOD WAS NOT ONLY THE
Theotokos was a Virgin. DIVINE WORK OF THE HOLY TRINITY, BUT ALSO THE WORK OF
✶✶✶ SHE WAS PURE AND VIRGINAL BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER THE THE WILL AND FAITH OF THE EVER VIRGIN MARY.
INCARNATION OF CHRIST. AND SHE MAINTAINED HER VIRGINITY THEREFORE SHE IS HONOURED NOT ONLY BECAUSE GOD CHOSE HER,
AND CHASTITY THROUGHOUT HER LIFE. OR BECAUSE SHE BORE THE SON OF GOD IN THE FLESH, BUT
✶✶“Highly favoured” [Charitou] can also be translated as BECAUSE SHE FREELY AND WILLINGLY CHOSE TO BELIEVE AND
“FULL OF GRACE.” OBEY GOD WITHOUT QUESTION OR HESITATION!
✶✶ THE YOUNG THEOTOKOS WAS GREETED WITH AN EXALTED
SALUTATION BECAUSE AS THE MOTHER OF THE INCARNATED
THE ANNUNCIATION
✞ In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the But we must not be fooled by the brevity of the moment.
Holy Spirit... Behind these simple Acts of humble Obedience to God, a
Dearly Beloved – Although today is the 9th Sunday of Great Mystery occurs in that very moment of Her
Triodion and the 5th Sunday of Great Lent that usually acceptance, because the Eternal, Only Begotten Son
commemorates St Mary of Egypt, today is the Great and Word of God, was Conceived – beyond
Feast of the Annunciation, which takes precedence, description and human understanding, and became
for it is the most significant Step in our Eternal Incarnate in Her immaculate Womb! (LUKE 1:26-38).
Salvation. We all wonder how this happened - how was the
The Festal Katavasia of the Annunciation states: “O pure Uncontainable (Uncircumscribed) Eternal Son of God -
Maiden, Thou eluded nature’s laws, Conceiving God already Begotten from God the Father before all ages
in ways past understanding. Thou evaded things - Conceived and contained in the Womb of a Virgin
proper to mothers in childbirth, even if by nature who had not known man – who was unwed and All
Thou were prone to change,” Pure? How is this at all possible?
We are again in deep Awe at the profound yet simple The Ever Blessed Virgin asked herself the same question:
Events that happened at the Angelic Annunciation. “How shall this be, since I do not know a
Usually the most important things in this life are very man?” (Luke 1:34)
simple, and this Great Story is straight forward, for the Not even St Gabriel, the Archangel of God, knew the
young Ever Blessed Virgin Mary received the Angelic depth of what had occurred in that very instant, for
Annunciation from the Archangel Gabriel (The Bearer he was the Messenger of God who simply Announced
of Good Tidings) , and She accepted the Sacred Task to Her: “...The Holy Spirit shall come upon Thee, and
with Her natural Humility and Obedience to God. End the Power of the Highest shall overshadow Thee...”
of story. He gave Her a bit more proof of this Divine Miracle, by
Yet upon Her most humble and natural acceptance the mentioning the Conception of Her barren Aunt, St
Accomplishment of the ages old Plan for the salvation Elizabeth, which was soon verified: “..And behold!
of mankind is founded. your kinsman, Elizabeth also conceived a son in her
The simple becomes complex and the complex become old age. And this is the sixth month with her who
simple. was called ‘barren.’”

9TH SUNDAY OF TRIODION-5TH LENT- ST MARY OF EGYPT- THE ANNUNCIATION – 25 MARCH 2018 15.
Archangel Gabriel ended his Annunciation with the very the course of time, he uttered, You shall see it
essence of these Divine Miracles: fully in a Maiden Pure...”
 LUKE 1:35-37 - “...For with God nothing shall be  ISAIAH 49 : 1 – “...Thou art called, by
impossible.”) Daniel, ‘Spiritual Mountain’ and ‘the Mother of
How many of us would have been satisfied with that God’ by Isaiah...”
answer? Most would need more proof, and they  J U D G E S 6 : 3 7 – 4 0 – “... Gideon perceives Thee as a
would interrogate the Holy Archangel with many Fleece...”
questions – “How do I know Thou art an Angel of our  E Z E K I E L 4 4 : 1 – 2 – “...And by David Thou art
Lord?” or “Show me proof of Thine Identity!” or “How called ‘Holy Place’ and ‘Gate’ by Ezekiel.”
could Conception happen without paternal seed?”
The more questions we ask, however, the further we get The All Holy Theotokos is the fulfilment of the Mosaic Law
from the Divine Truth - only God can do everything and the Holy Prophets – the All Pure Virgin for whom
and anything He Wills! the people of Israel awaited to bloom so the Sweet
It is of no importance at all ’ how’ Divine Miracles and Fragrance of Salvation would spread throughout all
Mysteries are possible. the Earth.
The Truth is that God fulfils His Divine Will and according The Holy Virgin is the Sacred Link between the created
to His Divine Purpose for mankind and Creation. and the uncreated world.
And the Incarnation of His Eternal, Only Begotten Son and She is the Tongs that held the red-hot coal to the lips of St
Word happened – and at that very moment our Isaiah, burning away his sins:
Salvation began:  ISAIAH 6 : 6 – 7 - “...Then one of the Seraphim flew to me,
“The age-old Mystery is revealed today, and the Son of holding a live coal in his hand, snatched with
God becomes the Son of man, so that by partaking Tongs from the Altar. And he laid it on my mouth
of what is lower, He may impart to me what is and said: ‘ Lo, this has touched Thy lips; and
Superior. Of old, Adam was deceived; and he did Thine iniquity is taken away, and Thy sin
not become God, although this was his desire. But purged.”
now, God becomes Man, to make Adam god. “ [FESTAL Our Ever Blessed Lady brought the Lord our God into
MATINS LAUDS] the world so we can all partake of Him and have our
We should understand the enormity of this simple sins forgiven by He Who is sinless.
Encounter. Her devout, Maternal Love reveals the Infallible Love of
By the humble and obedient agreement of the Ever God for mankind.
Blessed Virgin Mary the insubordination of Eve was The All Holy Theotokos is our Faithful, Steadfast Mediator
corrected, and by the simple acceptance of Her and Intercessor for through Her Prayers on our behalf,
Sacred Task, the Son of the Most High became our sins are forgiven, our burdens are lifted and
Incarnate! Salvation is accomplished.
Furthermore by Her willing and simple acquiescence It is that simple!
the Adam of old was replaced by the New Adam – our We only need to beseech Her: “O Most Holy Theotokos,
Lord Jesus Christ - and the ages old Plan for the Save us!
Salvation of mankind was accomplished! There is no need to overcomplicate things but utterly
Nevertheless, none of this happened at random, but at trust in Her Love until the end.
exactly the right time as the Holy Prophets of God had Let us greet and Magnify Her as the Archangel Gabriel
foretold throughout the centuries, pre-empting this and St Elizabeth did: “Hail, O Thou who art Full of
Event above all imagination: Grace! The Lord is with Thee! Blessed art Thou
According to the the Festal Katavasia – Ode 9 – we chant: among women, and Blessed in the Fruit of Thy
 G E N E S I S 2 8 : 1 7 – “...When Jacob beheld the Ladder Womb! “
that prefigured Thee, he said, “This is none other Amen
than the House of God!”
 “...The Bush and the Fire revealed to Hierophantic PROTOPRESBYTER VASILE TUDORA (2014)
RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH
Moses a strange Sign. Seeking its fulfilment in
HTTP://WWW.PRAVMIR.COM/THE-SIMPLE-THINGS-IN-LIFE
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF BEARING OUR CROSS – PART 2
✶✶ THE SECOND KIND OF CROSS WE BEAR IS INWARD. St Theophan advises us: “ ... we must turn the knife
This is OUR PERPETUAL STRUGGLE AGAINST THE PASSIONS. around and, instead of satisfying the passions, we
St Paul told the Christian Community of Galatia: “...They must strike ourselves with it - strike the passions
who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the with it, beginning the battle against them and
affections and lusts.” (G A L A T I A N S 5 : 1 4 ) contradicting them in everything…
St Theophan the Recluse explained: “...There is a Cross “We must warn all those who are passionate: “You are
upon which these passions and lusts are crucified. perishing on the Cross of passions!
“To crucify the passions means to weaken them, “ Destroy that Cross and set up another - the Cross of
suppress them, and uproot them… the fight against it. And you’ will be crucified on it
“When we are fighting against the passions, sometimes unto Salvation!”
it seems as if our hands are nailed, as if we are St Theophan urges us to “…. go courageously to the
wearing a crown of thorns on our head, as if our Cross of self-crucifixion, through the crucifixion and
living heart is pierced...!” uprooting of the passions and lusts.
“The culprit is self-love!” (Our selfish, arrogant, proud ego!) “Let us turn away from self-pity and become inflamed
“...Anger burns, envy dries one up, lust enfeebles us, with zeal for self-accusation…
miserliness does not let us eat or sleep, and “The Cross is the Tree of Life!”
offended pride murderously eats away at our
heart… ... to be continued...
“Everyone has them.
“As soon as there is self love, there are all the passions, “ THREE HOMILIES OF THE BEARING OF THE CROSS” BY SAINT THEOPHAN THE
for this (our ego) is the mother of the passions…!” RECLUSE IN THE ORTHODOX WORD, NO. 285, 2012, PP 187-202.
http://orthodoxwayoflife.blogspot.co.za

St. John Chrysostom

Sin makes us cowards,


but Life in the Truth of Christ
makes us bold.

T H
16 9 SUNDAY OF TRIODION-5TH LENT- ST MARY OF EGYPT- THE ANNUNCIATION – 25 MARCH 2018
Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa
Archdiocese of Good Hope
All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
now and forever, and unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy,
Most Pure, Most Blessed and Glorious Lady, Maria, Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together
with all the Saints. And let us commit ourselves and one another and our whole Life to
Christ our God. Amen.

31 March 2018

Saturday of the Raising of St Lazaros


The Feast of St Innocent of Moscow, Enlightener of the Aleuts and Apostle to
the Americas – St Hypatios the Wonderworking Bishop of Gangra - St Jonah of
Moscow and All Russia – St Hypatios the Healer of the Kiev Caves Monastery –
St Apollonios the Ascetic of Thebaid, Lower Egypt – St Audas the Bishop, & St
Benjamin the Deacon of Persia – St Hypatios the Abbot of Rufinos Monastery,
Chalcedon – The Holy Icon of our Ever Blessed Lady, Theotokos, of Iveron
Monastery - St Akakios the Confessor, Bishop of Melitene, Armenia – St Joseph
the Ancient Patriarch
Holy Week Books are Essential from tomorrow, Palm Sunday
until next Sunday of Holy Pascha

TRIODION APOLYTIKION - ST LAZAROS SATURDAY – TONE 1


Tin kinin Anastasin pro tou Sou Pathous Pistoumenos, ek To confirm the General Resurrection before Thy Passion,
nekron igiras ton Lazaron, Hriste O Theos. Othen ke Thou Resurrected Lazaros from the dead, O Christ our
imis os i Pedes, ta tis Nikis simvola ferontes, Si to Nikiti God. Therefore, imitating the Children, carrying the
tou Thanatou voomen. Osanna en tis Ipsistis, Symbols of Victory, we cry out to Thee, the Victor over
Evlogimenos O erhomenos, en Onomati Kyriou. Death: Hosanna in the Highest! Blessed art Thou, Who
comes in the Name of the Lord!”
TRIODION KONTAKION – RAISING OF ST LAZAROS - TONE 2
I panton Hara, Hristos i Alithia, to Fos i Zoi, tou Kosmou i The Joy of all men, The Truth Who is Christ our God, the
Anastasis, tis en Gi pefanerote, ti Aftou Agathotiti, ke Light and the Life, the Resurrection of the world, has
gegone tipos tis Anastaseos, tis pasi parehon Thian Appeared to those on Earth, in that He is Benevolent,
afesin. becoming the type of the Resurrection, and granting
Divine Remission to all.
INSTEAD OF AGIOS O THEOS... (TRISAGION HYMN)
Osi is Hriston Evaptisthite, Hriston enedisasthe. Allilouia! As many of you as were Baptised into Christ have put on
(3) Christ. Alleluia! (3)
✞ Doxa Patri ke Io ke Agio Pnevmati, ke nin ke ai ke is ✞ Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy
tous Eonas ton eonon. Spirit, now and forever, and to the Ages of ages.
Amin Amen
Hriston enedisasthe. Allilouia! Have put on Christ. Alleluia!
Dynamis! Power!
Osi is Hriston Evaptisthite, Hriston enedisasthe. Allilouia! As many of you as were Baptised into Christ have put on
Christ: Alleluia!
PROKEIMENON – ST LAZAROS SATURDAY - PSALM 26 - TONE 3
Kyrio Fotismos mou ke Sotir mou. The Lord is my Light and my Saviour!
Kyrios Iperaspistis tis Zois mou. The Lord is the Defender of my Life...!
THE EPISTLE OF ST PAUL TO THE HEBREWS 12 : 28-13 : 8
Brethren: let us be grateful for receiving a Kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable
worship, with reverence and awe; for our God is a Consuming Fire.
Let Brotherly Love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have unknowingly hosted
Angels. Remember those who are in prison – as though in prison with them; and those who are ill-treated, since you
also are in the body.
Let Marriage be held in honour among all, and let the Marriage Bed be undefiled, for God will Judge the immoral and
adulterous! Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for He said: “I will never
fail you nor forsake you.”
Hence, we can confidently say: “The Lord is my Helper – I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”
Remember your leaders – those who spoke to you the Word of God. Consider the outcome of their Life, and imitate their
Faith.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever.
✶ ONLY THOSE THINGS THAT ARE CREATED CAN BE SHAKEN AND ETERNAL KINGDOM OF LOVE, PEACE AND JOY – BY MEANS OF
EVEN DESTROYED – THE TEMPORAL, IMPERMANENT AND ALL THE SPIRITUAL TOOLS WITH WHICH CHRIST OUR LORD AND
IMPERFECT. SAVIOUR HAS PROVIDED US – ALL HIS DIVINE COMMANDMENTS
THE FINAL CONSUMMATION OF THE ETERNAL KINGDOM OF GOD IS AND TEACHINGS.
UNSHAKABLE AND INDESTRUCTIBLE AND ENDURES FOREVER – FOR ✶ ETERNAL LIFE IS CONTINUOUS EUCHARISTIC (THANKSGIVING)
ALL ETERNITY AND EVERYTHING OF ETERNITY IS EVERLASTING, DIVINE LITURGY.
UNCHANGEABLE AND IMPERISHABLE. ✶ “Grace” is a reference to OUR SINCERE AND PROFOUND
That is why we must prepare ourselves throughout this GRATITUDE THAT COMPELS US TO SERVE GOD AND TO
lifetime to BECOME WORTHY SPIRITUAL CITIZENS OF GOD’S

SATURDAY OF THE RAISING OF ST LAZAROS 8 APRIL 2017 17.


WORSHIP HIM IN AN ACCEPTABLE MANNER, with proper THE HOSPITALITY OF ABRAHAM THE ANCIENT PATRIARCH IS A GOOD
“Reverence and Godly Fear.” EXAMPLE TO US: he never ate a meal unless he had
(DIVINE GRACE THAT ENABLES US TO DO THE WILL OF GOD WITH HUMBLE others with whom to share it.
OBEDIENCE IS BESTOWED ON US BY GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT. mp) ✶ ONE DAY THE HOLY TRINITY VISITED ST ABRAHAM AS THREE
✶ PRACTICAL BROTHERLY LOVE IS TO BE SHOWN TOWARDS ALL ANGELS WHOM HE ADDRESSED AS “LORD.”
FELLOW CHRISTIANS AND DISCIPLES OF CHRIST – and ✶✶✶ ST PAUL REMINDED THE ROMANS OF OUR SACRED DUTIES
ESPECIALLY TOWARDS THE LOWLY, THE POWERLESS, AND ALL UPON WHICH WE WILL BE JUDGED BY CHRIST WHO SPECIFICALLY
VICTIMS OF CRUELTY AND INJUSTICE. EMPHASISED THESE VITAL ACTS OF KINDNESS, COMPASSION
“Strangers” are TRAVELLERS (VISITORS) IN NEED OF CHRISTIAN AND GENEROSITY.
HOSPITALITY. ✶✶✶OUR LORD GOD IS UNCHANGING AND ETERNAL. SO IS HIS
DIVINE TRUTH – HIS TEACHINGS AND HIS COMMANDMENTS,
WHICH WE MUST FULFIL TO THE BEST OF OUR ABILITY!
THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST JOHN 11: 1 – 45
OUR LORD JESUS C HRIST IS THE RESURREC TION AND THE LIFE
At that time, a certain man was sick - Lazaros of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister, Martha.
It was that Martha who had anointed our Lord with fragrant oil and wiped His Feet with her hair, whose brother,
Lazaros, was sick.
Therefore, the sisters sent a message to Jesus, saying: “Lord, behold: he whom Thou Love, is sick.”
When Jesus heard that, He said: “This sickness is not unto death, but for the Glory of God so that the Son of God may be
Glorified through it.”
Jesus Loved Martha and her sister, and Lazaros, so when He heard that Lazaros was sick, He stayed two more days in
the place where He was. Then He said to His Disciples: “Let us go to Judea again.”
The Disciples said to Him: “Rabbi, lately the Hebrews sought to stone Thee, and art Thou going there again?” And Jesus
answered: “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he
sees the light of this world. But if one walks in the night, he stumbles, because the Light is not in him.”
These things He said, and after that He said to them: “Our Friend, Lazaros, sleeps, but I go so that I may wake him
up.” And His Disciples said: “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get well.”
However, Jesus spoke of his death, but they thought that He spoke of taking rest in sleep. So Jesus told them plainly:
“Lazaros is dead, and I Am glad for your sakes that I was not there, so that you may believe. Nevertheless, let us
go to him.” And Thomas, who was called “the Twin,” said to his fellow Disciples: “Let us also go, that we may die
with Him.”
Jesus went, and found that Lazaros had already been in the tomb for four days.
Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles away, and many of the Judeans had joined the women around Martha
and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother.
As soon as Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet Him -, while Mary sat in the house.
Martha said to Jesus: “Lord, if Thou had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now, I know that
whatever Thou ask of God, God will grant Thee.” Jesus said to her: “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to
Him: “I know that he will rise again in the Resurrection at the Last Day.”
Jesus said to her: “I Am the Resurrection and the Life: he who believes in me, although he may die, he shall Live.
And whoever Lives and believes in Me, shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to Him: “Yes, Lord, I
believe that Thou art the Christ – the Son of God Who is to come into the world.” And having said these things,
Martha went her way, and secretly called Mary, her sister, saying: “The Teacher has come and is calling for you.”
As soon as Mary heard that, she quickly arose and went to Him.
Now Jesus had not yet gone into the town, but was in the place where Martha had met Him.
When the Judeans, who were with her in the house, comforting her, saw that Mary had quickly arisen and gone out,
they followed her, saying: “She is going to the tomb to weep there.”
And when Mary arrived where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at His Feet, saying to Him: “O Lord, if Thou had
been here, my brother would not have died.”
When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Judeans who had come with her, weeping, He groaned in Spirit and was
troubled. And He said: “Where have you laid him?” They said to Him: “Lord, come and see.”
Jesus wept.
And the Judeans said; “See how He loved him!” Some of them said: “Could not this Man Who opened the eyes of the
blind, also have kept this man from dying?”
Jesus, again groaning within Himself, went to the tomb, which was a cave, and a stone lay against it. And Jesus said:
“Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him: “Lord, by this time there is a stench, for
he has been dead four days!” Jesus said to her: “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the
Glory of God?”
Then they took away the stone from the cave where the dead man was lying.
Jesus lifted up His Eyes and said: “O Father, I thank Thee that Thou hast heard Me. And I know that Thou always
hears Me, but because of the people who are standing by, I say this, so that they may believe that Thou sent
Me.” And when Jesus had said these things, He cried with a loud Voice: “Lazaros! Come forth!” And he who had
died came out, bound hand and foot with grave-cloths, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. And Jesus said to
them: “Loosen him, and let him go.”
And many of the Judeans who had gone to Mary, and had seen the things that Jesus did, believed in Him...
THE RAISING OF ST LAZAROS after being four days dead, and The Paschal period continues until Wednesday before Ascension
already in a state of decomposition, IS THE SEVENTH Thursday. mp
SIGN OF THE DIVINE IDENTITY AND SERVICE OF OUR LORD AND Bethany is situated on the Eastern slope of the Mount of
SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST, according to the Holy Gospel of Olives – about two miles from Jerusalem.
St John, the Beloved Apostle, Evangelist and “Lazaros” is the same as “Eleazar” – literally translated as
Theologian. “God Helps.”
THIS SIGN SEALED THE JUDEAN AUTHORITIES’ DECISION TO EXECUTE “This sickness is not unto death...” was a message of
OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST under the unjust and false guise comfort that was sent to St Mary and St Martha of
of blasphemy. Bethany, to strengthen them so that when St Lazaros
This Miraculous Event is celebrated Liturgically on died, they might have confidence in our Lord’s Words.
“Saturday of the Raising of St Lazaros” – the day before “The Son of God” being “Glorified” must not be
“Palm Sunday,” and at the end of Great Lent. understood to be the cause of St Lazaros dying.
Next week is Holy Week, which consists of a very strict Fast and Instead, it indicates that OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST WOULD BE
daily Holy Services throughout the week, until Pascha GLORIFIED AS A RESULT OF HIS DEATH (which occurred from
Sunday, all of which should be attended. (Holy Week a physical illness) AND ST LAZAROS BEING RAISED FROM THE
Books are essential.) DEAD AND RESTORED TO LIFE, FOUR DAYS LATER.

18. SATURDAY OF THE RAISING OF ST LAZAROS 31 MARCH 2018


Our Saviour delayed His return to Bethany in order that St At Compline on St Lazaros Saturday, one of the Hymns
Lazaros would be dead and buried long enough so states: “Shedding tears by Thy own choice, Thou hast
that DECOMPOSITION WOULD HAVE BEGUN AND THAT THERE granted us proof of Thy heartfelt Love..”
WOULD NEVER BE ANY DOUBT OF THE GREAT DIVINE MIRACLE He also “...groaned in the Spirit and was troubled...”
OUR LORD PERFORMED. which clearly demonstrates our Lord Jesus RESPONDING
✶✶ THE ALMIGHTY POWER OF OUR LORD GOD WOULD BE CLEARLY IN HIS HUMAN NATURE TO MANKIND’S WEAK FAITH AND LACK OF
SEEN BY ALL EYE-WITNESSES. UNDERSTANDING AND CONFIDENCE IN THE POWER OF OUR
Future generations could not argue that St Lazaros had merely ALMIGHTY GOD.
been comatose, and not dead and decomposing! Once St Mary and St Martha lost the legal protection of their
“Our Friend, Lazaros, sleeps...” reveals that GOD IS IN only male relative, they would lose everything else and be
CONTROL OF ALL CREATION. cast out to fend for themselves, unless they were wealthy and
✶✶ Furthermore, after the proof of His own physical influential enough to avoid the usual dreadful conditions
Resurrection, OUR LORD HAS TAUGHT US THAT WE NO LONGER brought upon defenceless women and children at that time!
Hence, THE PROTECTION AND CARE OF WIDOWS AND ORPHANS IS ONE
“DIE” BUT RATHER WE “FALL ASLEEP” OR “REPOSE,” UNTIL OUR
OF OUR MOST SACRED TASKS AS FAITHFUL DISCIPLES OF CHRIST,
RESURRECTION ON THE EIGHTH DAY – the Day of
TO THIS VERY DAY. mp
Judgement and the beginning of Eternal Life or
Death.
The words of St Thomas: “Let us also go that we may die ALTHOUGH ST MARTHA’S FAITH HAD DEEPENED, SHE STILL DID NOT
with Him,” is AN UNWITTING PROPHECY OF THEIR ON FUTURE UNDERSTAND CHRIST’S DIVINE WILL AND POWER OVER ALL
MARTYRDOM. CREATION – HEAVEN AND EARTH.
✶✶ It also illustrates THE PATH THAT ALL FAITHFUL DISCIPLES OF The spices and oil – myrrh – used to anoint a corpse
CHRIST MUST TAKE – so that we may DAILY “DIE” TO THE would only disguise the stench of decomposition for a
WORLD IN ORDER TO FOLLOW OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. very short while, and our Lord knew that ALL THE
St Lazaros had been dead and entombed for four days. WITNESSES WOULD BE AWARE OF THE ODOUR OF DEATH, WHICH
There was a Rabbinical opinion that the soul lingered IS THE REASON HE HAD WAITED FOUR DAYS before arriving in
about the body for three days, but AFTER FOUR DAYS, Bethesda to Resurrect St Lazaros.
RESUSCITATION WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE. ✶✶ THERE WOULD BE NO DOUBT AT ALL, THAT ST LAZAROS HAS
According to Judaic tradition, mourning began, REALLY BEEN DEAD AND BURIED, FOR NO ONE HAS EVER COME
obviously, on the day of the person’s Repose. BACK TO LIFE AFTER DECOMPOSITION HAS BEGUN.
Weeping and wailing went on for three days. Many Icons depict the WITNESSES COVERING THEIR NOSES,
Lamentations lasted one week, followed by general THEREBY ILLUSTRATING THE REALITY OF ST LAZAROS’
mourning over the next 30 days. CORRUPTED FLESH, AND THE FACT THAT MANY DID NOT BELIEVE
As before, when St Martha had complained about St AND WERE SHOCKED THAT OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST COULD
Mary not helping her with serving and taking care of ACTUALLY RAISE SOMEONE WHO HAD BEEN DEAD FOR FOUR DAYS
their guests, THE TWO SISTERS REACTED DIFFERENTLY to the and whose body would have begun to decompose.
arrival of our Lord Jesus. ✶✶To show exactly how OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST’S WILL WAS
ST MARTHA, BEING INCLINED TO ACTIVE SERVICE, RUSHED OUT TO ONE WITH GOD THE FATHER AND THAT HIS HUMAN WILL WAS
MEET HIM, WHILE ST MARY REMAINED SEATED IN MOURNING FREELY SUBJECT IN EVERY WAY TO OUR HEAVEN FATHER’S WILL,
UNTIL SHE WAS SUMMONED BY CHRIST. It was traditional to He prayed aloud for the sake of the people who
sit while mourning and receiving other mourners. witnessed everything that occurred.
ALTHOUGH ST MARTHA HAD GREAT FAITH, HER STATEMENTS ✶✶ And then our Redeemer called out to St Lazaros to
INDICATED A LACK OF UNDERSTANDING CONCERNING OUR “Come forth!” – NOT IN THE NAME OF GOD THE FATHER, BUT
SAVIOUR, for SHE DID NOT SEE HIM AS THE INCARNATE, BY HIS OWN DIVINE AUTHORITY.
ETERNAL SON OF GOD, YET SHE BELIEVED THAT HE ONLY ✶✶✶ This proves that ALTHOUGH OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST CAME
NEEDED TO HAVE BEEN PRESENT TO EFFECT HER BROTHER’S FROM – WAS SENT BY – GOD THE FATHER, HE ALSO FULLY
HEALING. POSSESSES DIVINE AUTHORITY, BEING THE SECOND PERSON OF
By saying:”... whatever Thou ask of God, God will grant THE HOLY TRINITY AND THUS CO-EQUAL IN ALL AUTHORITY AND
Thee..” also shows her lack of understanding that OUR POWER AS THE OTHER TWO PERSONS OF THE HOLY TRINITY,
LORD JESUS ACTUALLY POSSESSES FULL DIVINE AUTHORITY AND God the Father and God the Holy Spirit.
POWER TO ACT AS HE WILLS. ST LAZAROS AROSE FROM THE DEAD AND WALKED OUT OF HIS TOMB
✶✶Our Lord Jesus then declared: “I Am the Resurrection STILL BOUND IN HIS RESTRICTING BURIAL WRAPPINGS and
and the Life,” in order to correct her shroud, which is regarded by our Holy Fathers as an
misunderstanding by CLEARLY IDENTIFYING HIMSELF – HIS indication that HE WOULD LATER USE THEM AGAIN WHEN HE
DIVINE NATURE – to her. EVENTUALLY REPOSED IN CHRIST, TO AWAIT THE GENERAL
FURTHERMORE, HE DECLARED HIS DIVINE AUTHORITY TO RAISE THE RESURRECTION ON THE EIGHTH DAY.
DEAD “...at the Last Day...” as St Martha had ✶✶✶ WHEN OUR SAVIOUR RESURRECTED, HE HAD NO NEED FOR HIS
mentioned, as well as HERE AND NOW in this world. BURIAL WRAPPINGS, WHICH WERE LEFT ABANDONED IN THE
Such is the power of His Words that ST MARTHA WAS TOMB, WITH THE INNER FACE CLOTH BEING NEATLY FOLDED.
IMMEDIATELY LED TO HER GREAT CONFESSION OF FAITH: “Yes, Unlike the Miraculous Resuscitation of St Lazaros, THE
Lord, I believe...! RESURRECTION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST TRANSFIGURED OUR
HUMAN NATURE, which He had assumed at His
✶✶✶ EVERY TIME WE HEAR OR READ OUR SAVIOUR’S WORDS: “Do
Incarnation, and thus CHRIST, IN HIS HUMAN NATURE,
you believe?” – and even though at the time they WOULD NEVER DIE AGAIN.
were addressed directly to others – WE MUST ✶✶✶ His Resurrection Appearances proved that WE, TOO,
TRUTHFULLY RESPOND – BODY AND SOUL, MIND WOULD EVENTUALLY BE RESURRECTED ETERNALLY IN BODY AND
SOUL.
AND HEART. – WITH OUR OWN PERSONAL CONFESSION OF
FAITH! The fact that our Lord Jesus Christ was not initially recognised by
Having been summoned, St Mary of Bethesda went to His closest family and friends until He identified or revealed
Christ and, FALLING DOWN BEFORE HIM, SHE MADE THE SAME Himself, makes me think that perhaps He looked slightly
STATEMENT AS ST MARTHA: “Lord, if Thou had been
different, but similar to His former Appearance. After all,
here...” one does not expect to see Someone so clearly after His
Departure from this life. mp
WHILE OUR COMPASSIONATE LORD ENGAGED ST MARTHA WITH
WORDS, HE USED DEEDS TO COMFORT ST MARY. THIS SEVENTH SIGN – THE RAISING OF ST LAZAROS – NOT ONLY
St John emphasised, very simply that our Lord “Jesus PREPARED HIS APOSTLES AND DISCIPLES TO BELIEVE IN CHRIST’S
wept.” RESURRECTION BUT - according to the words of a Hymn,
Weeping is a natural human response to sadness or it also “... confirmed the Universal Resurrection...” of
tragedy – and IT CLEARLY SHOWED HIS OWN PERSONAL all mankind, thereby proving that OUR LORD JESUS
HEARTACHE, COMPASSION AND SORROW FOR HIS BELOVED CHRIST, THE INCARNATE, ETERNAL WORD AND SON OF GOD,
FRIENDS. HAS THE POWER TO FULFIL THE DIVINE PROMISE given to St
Ezekiel that all those who had died will one day rise
again. (EZEKIEL 37 : 1 – 3)

SATURDAY OF THE RAISING OF ST LAZAROS 31 MARCH 2018 19.


SATURDAY OF THE RAISING OF ST LAZAROS
✞ In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the When we hear how our Loving and Compassionate
Holy Spirit... Divine Saviour Raised St Lazaros from his four day
Dearly Beloved: By the Grace of God, we have completed death, and when we hear that He descended into
the Great Lenten Fast, and have now set our foot on Hades to free the souls who were imprisoned there, WE
the bridge leading from Great Lent to Holy Week. MUST NOT THINK THAT THESE HAPPENED A VERY LONG TIME AGO
Holy Week is called “Holy and Great Week,” or simply AND HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH OUR PRESENT CIRCUMSTANCES.
“Great Week” (Μεγάλη Ἑβδομάς), and is “Great,” in the OUR HEART IS A TOMB, AND DEEP WITHIN IT ARE BURIED OUR
words of St. John Chrysostom, because “...Great and THOUGHTS, AND OUR MIND.
Ineffable Mysteries take place during this week.” Our intellect - the core of who we are – is buried and
This is a time when the whole Church of Christ gathers imprisoned in heavy Darkness.
together, when we all – as Orthodox Christians and However, our Lord Jesus Christ comes to those souls who
Faithful Disciples of Christ - celebrate the Passion and call upon Him, who cry out to Him, and He descends
Resurrection of our Lord – and the overture, as it were into the depths of our heart.
- , the prologue to the week - consists of two HE REMOVES THE HEAVY STONES THAT WEIGH DOWN AND OPPRESS
significant Feasts: THE RAISING OF ST LAZAROS AND PALM OUR SOUL.
SUNDAY. HE OPENS OUR TOMB AND RESURRECTS US, for we were truly
THESE TWO GREAT FEASTS, like all the Feasts of our Holy dead.
Church, do not have the primary Purpose of recalling HE LEADS US OUT OF SPIRITUAL DARKNESS AND INTO HIS OWN
a historical event from the past, instead they HAVE A LIGHT.
DEEPER SPIRITUAL ASPECT. Let us not be like St Thomas who did not believe in the
THESE ARE ALSO DAYS OF GREAT GRACE – but TO WHAT EXTENT WE Resurrection, which meant that he did not believe in
EXPERIENCE THIS DIVINE GRACE IS UP TO US – IT DEPENDS ON the possibility of his own Resurrection, of the
THE DEGREE OF OUR PREPARATION - how much we PRAYED, Resurrection of Virtue and Knowledge and New Life
how much we FASTED, how much we STRUGGLED, how within himself.
much we LOVED, so that we HEARD WHAT GOD IS SAYING Our Lord Jesus had nick-named St Thomas “Didymos” (the
WITHIN US Twin_ for he was always ‘double-minded,’ – second
THE RAISING OF ST LAZAROS POINTS TO OUR CHURCH’S FAITH IN guessing everything before he could accept and
THE GENERAL RESURRECTION OF ALL MANKIND – την κοινήν believe it.
ανάστασιν προ του σου πάθους πιστούμενος – because IF And he could neither accept nor believe the Resurrection
THERE IS NO RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD, - IF CHRIST HAD NOT of Christ within his heart, until he beheld our
BEEN RAISED - THEN OUR FAITH IS IN VAIN !! (1 CORINTHIANS Resurrected Lord God with his own eyes.
15:14). Our Divine Saviour revealed Himself to His Disciples and
It is OUR HOPE (our confidence and assurance) IN THE Apostles on at least eleven different occasions, as well
RESURRECTION THAT ENABLES US TO LIVE - that enables us as to many others, after His Glorious Resurrection, in
TO ENDURE THE TRIALS THAT CONFRONT US – otherwise our order to prove to them that His Resurrection was indeed
life is tragic and futile, because all our works, efforts, True and that we, too, would certainly also be
and accomplishments will be destroyed by death, Resurrected on the Eighth Day as He has Promised us.
swept away by time, as if we had never existed at all. This is Divine Truth – as is everything He has taught us.
We have lost the sense of a Life LIVED IN THE HOPE AND Let us LIVE IN THE JOY AND THE BLESSING OF THE PRESENCE OF
EXPECTATION AND EXPERIENCE OF THE RESURRECTION. GOD!
We limit or restrict ourselves to worldly things unless we Let us LIVE IN THE JOY OF THE RESURRECTION -, THE JOY OF
LIVE IN THE LIGHT AND PERSPECTIVE OF THE RESURRECTION. PASCHA!
Most of us are just as troubled, stressed, confused and as None of us should miss this!
lost as everyone else in society, and so non-believers So let us ensure that we ATTEND ALL THE HOLY SERVICES
look at us and say, “Christians are no different than THROUGHOUT HOLY WEEK so that we FULLY PARTICIPATE IN
we are, why should we become Christian, or believe THE SACRED JOURNEY TO HOLY PASHA!
in Christ?” Bright Week of Holy Pascha is regarded as one complete
To the contrary, as St Silouan had once said: “O Christ, do DAY. Therefore it is definitely not just ‘another day!’
not grant me more Joy, or else my heart will break!” All the other ‘joys’ of life fade away in comparison to the
Instead, we usually exclaim: “O Christ, do not give me Great Joy of our Lord’s Resurrection!
any more stress, problems, or difficulties, or else my All the other ‘joys’ grow old, break into pieces, slip
heart will break!” through our fingers, and leave us deserted and empty
Note the difference!! – but not this Great, Holy Joy of Pascha!
We have been attending Church for so many years – but Our Divine Saviour assured us that “...Now you have
DO WE HAVE THIS SPIRITUAL JOY WITHIN US? sorrow, but I will see you again, and your heart will
If not, we need to seek out the reasons - the causes – for Rejoice, and no one will take your Joy from you!”
our lack of Spiritual Joy and Contentment. (JOHN 16:22).
Like St Maximos the Confessor, we will discover that the This is the True, Overwhelming and Victorious Joy of Holy
cause is due to our weak Bond or Relationship with Pascha!
our Lord Jesus Christ - our connection to Him is poor. Amen
But even when we are dead, in the very midst of our
Darkness and Death, Christ comes to us, just as He FATHER MAXIMOS CONSTAS
went to the tomb of St Lazaros. “THE SOUNDING BLOG”
HTTP://MYOCN.NET
THE ETERNAL, INSPIRED WISDOM OF OUR HOLY FATHERS
ELDER AMPHILOCHIOS MAKRIS OF MOUNT ATHOS when it comes to recognising, Confessing and
The ‘newspapers’ in Heaven write about everything that Repenting our own failings and transgressions.
happens here – both the good and the bad – so the ELDER JOSEPH OF VATOPEDI MONASTERY, MOUNT ATHOS
Faithful should be simple in action and pure in Humility is the greatest Benefit derived from the onslaught
thoughts and feelings. We must Seek God with a Pure of temptations. The awful beast of pride is crushed
heart and meet Him in simplicity and Humility, for “... and Divine Knowledge approaches the mind.
a Pure Heat passes easily through the Gates of It is not inappropriate to metaphorically describe the idol
Heaven.” of egocentrism as “...the abomination that causes
ELDER GAVRILL TSAFOS OF MOUNT ATHOS desolation, which stands in the Holy Place” (MATTHEW
We have lots of reasons to be tired, sad, or fallen, but we 24:15)
do not have the right to give up – to surrender – for we Nothing is more effective to steer our mind towards
do not have the right to lay our burdens down. Humility than the various hardships that befall us,
ST BASIL THE GREAT whether willingly or unwillingly.
This mind of ours, which is so quick and sharp to see the The inability to free ourselves by our own efforts, teaches
transgressions of everyone else, is positively sluggish us practically how worthless and vile we are, for
without our Lord God we can do nothing!

20. SATURDAY OF THE RAISING OF ST LAZAROS 31 MARCH 2018