Sunday Morning Orthros/Matins 8:15am, Divine Liturgy 9:30am; Saturday Great Vespers 5:00pm (October thru May); Weekday Services (see Online Calendar, Sunday Bulletin & Monthly Newsletter); Confession (by appointment).
The memory of this Saint is celebrated on April 1, where her life is recorded. Since the end of the holy Forty Days is drawing nigh, it has been appointed for this day also, so that if we think it hard to practice a little abstinence forty days, we might be roused by the heroism of her who fasted in the wilderness forty-seven years; and also that the great loving-kindness of God, and His readiness to receive the repentant, might be demonstrated in very deed.
Little is known of this Saint except that he took up the monastic life from his youth, became the abbot of a monastery, and reposed in peace.
Eighth Orthros Gospel
The Reading is from John 20:11-18
At that time, Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. They said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?" She said to them, "Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him." Saying this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom do you seek?" Supposing Him to be the gardener, she said to Him, "Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away." Jesus said to her, "Mary." She turned and said to him in Hebrew, "Rabboni!" (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, "Do not hold me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brethren and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God." Mary Magdalene went and said to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord"; and she told them that He had said these things to her.
Prokeimenon. Plagal 4th Mode. Psalm 75.11,1.
Make your vows to the Lord our God and perform them.
Verse: God is known in Judah; his name is great in Israel.
The reading is from St. Paul's Letter to the Hebrews 9:11-14.
BRETHREN, when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the Holy Place, taking not the blood of goats and calves but his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. For if the sprinkling of defiled persons with the blood of goats and bulls and with the ashes of a heifer sanctifies for the purification of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify your conscience from dead works to serve the living God.
Sunday of St. Mary of Egypt
The Reading is from Mark 10:32-45
At that time, Jesus taking the twelve again, he began to tell them what was to happen to him, saying, "Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man will be delivered to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death, and deliver him to the Gentiles; and they will mock him, and spit upon him, and scourge him, and kill him; and after three days he will rise." And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward to him, and said to him, "Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you." And he said to them, "What do you want me to do for you?" And they said to him, "Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory." But Jesus said to them, "You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?" And they said to him, "We are able." And Jesus said to them, "The cup that I drink you will drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized; but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared." And when the ten heard it, they began to be indignant of James and John. And Jesus called them to him and said to them, "You know that those who are supposed to rule over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of man also came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."
Deaf and Dumb Spirit (3-26-2017)
If someone asked you to name the miracles that Christ performed in His earthly ministry, how would you answer? Certainly, one might think of Jesus raising Lazaros from the dead which we will celebrate two weeks from now, walking on water, changing water into wine, multiplying the loaves and feeding the 5,000, giving sight to the blind man, and helping the paralytic to walk again like we heard about two weeks ago. What other miracles did Jesus perform? Do we ever think about today’s miracle in the Gospel of the Fourth Sunday of Great and Holy Lent (Mark 9:17-31). Some might say what miracle? The miraculous healing of the deaf man who could not speak (vv.17,25)
In the very first verse we hear the man’s father approach Jesus and say, Teacher, I brought You my son, who has a mute spirit. [πνεῦμα ἄλαλον] (v.17). Later, we hear Jesus exorcize the demon saying, “Deaf and dumb spirit, [Τὸ ἄλαλον καὶ κωφὸν πνεῦμα] I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!” (v.25). Some people are offended by the word “dumb” because it has been misappropriated to imply that someone is of low intelligence, rather than its original meaning of being “mute” or unable to speak. So, please remember it’s true meaning when you hear it in the Scriptures.
But how important is this healing that Jesus performs today? If someone asked, “If you had to choose, would you rather be deaf or blind,” many people may prefer deafness. So, it may not be considered that severe of a handicap. After all, some might say a deaf person can learn to read lips or sign language and at least communicate but blindness is a much more severe challenge. This highlights the connection between deafness and being mute because in the ancient world, if you were deaf, you typically could not speak because you never heard sound and speech and therefore could not learn how to speak. Thus, Jesus’ physical healing of this person was significant.
But how does this passage connect with us today? Almost all of us can hear and can speak, except perhaps those of us who are not wearing our hearing aids. Church Fathers like St. Theophylact of Ochrid/Bulgaria (9th cent.) allegorically interpret the term “deaf” to mean “not wanting to hear the words of God.” This is what the demons do to us. They influence us to not deeply desire the life-giving words of our Lord. We have this problem when we don’t read the Scriptures daily. We have this problem when we arrive late, after the epistle and gospel readings in the liturgy. We have this problem when we think the priest’s sermon has nothing interesting or applicable to us.
Jesus explained this elsewhere:
13Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: 'Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, And seeing you will see and not perceive; 15For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, And their eyes they have closed, Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.' 16"But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; (Matthew 13:13-16; Isaiah 6:9-10)
Yesterday we celebrated the great Feast of the Annunciation to the Theotokos, when the Archangel Gabriel came to her announcing the Good News, the God the Logos wished to become incarnate from her. And what did she do? She heard, she listened and she obeyed, and the world and the course of history was changed forever more.
The only time God tells us to be deaf is when other people are gossiping or slandering us. 13But I, like a deaf man, do not hear; And I am like a mute who does not open his mouth. (Psalm 38:13).
St. Theophylact says that the mute are those who are not able or are unwilling to teach others who need to be taught. We have this problem when we do not share the Gospel, the Good News, with others. Even just an invite to family, friends, acquaintances, and even strangers to come and see and hear the Divine Liturgy of the Orthodox Church. The reality is we are always teaching by our words. The question is, “What are we teaching?” Are we teaching idle meaningless empty talk? Are we teaching gossip about others? Are we teaching how to slander people? Maybe it would be better if we were mute, unable to talk. The time has come for all Orthodox Christians to learn how to evangelize others. It’s not just the job of the priest or the bishop.
In conclusions, ask yourself, are you having difficulty with that deaf and dumb demon in your life? What are you going to do about it. Jesus gives us the solution in today’s Gospel. 28And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” 29So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.” Prayer and fasting can help us start hearing God’s word and start talking about His Good News. But they are not ends in and of themselves. We don’t pray to pray. We pray to seek God’s will and to do it. We don’t fast to fast. We fast to train ourselves for self-denial so we are better able to be obedient to God’s will. We pray and fast to unite ourselves to God. Or more correctly, we pray and fast in order to create the conditions by which God can unite with us. My brothers and sisters, let us pray more intensely at the all the worship services, especially these last two weeks of lent. Let us fast the fast designated by our Orthodox Faith more faithfully so that we may hear and speak the Word of God. Amen!
ST. GEORGE GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH
REV. FR. RICHARD DEMETRIUS ANDREWS, PRESBYTER
April 2, 2017 SUNDAY OF ST. MARY OF EGYPT
TODAY’S EVENTS: Loukoumades Fundraiser 11am;Greek School and Youth Ministry meeting, 12pm; Pan-Orthodox Lenten Vespers and reception at St. George Antiochian; 4pm; Serve-a-Meal at FOCUS 4pm.
Epistle Reader: Parry Paraschou Prosfora: Rita Kanavati
Fellowship: Daughters of Penelope Loukoumades Fundraiser Head Usher: Joe Weiser
Monday 04-03 Loaves & Fishes at St. Matthew’s Catholic Church 4:30PM
GREAT COMPLINE (by readers) 6:00PM
Catechism Class: Conclusion-Orthodoxy in America, Jurisdictions, Q&A 7:00PM
Tuesday 04-04 Choir Practice 6:30PM
Wednesday 04-05 NINTH HOUR 5:30PM
PRESANCTIFIED LITURGY 6:00PM
Thursday 04-06 Prison Ministry Leaders meeting at St. Mary GOC 12:00PM
OCF at University of St. Thomas 12:00PM
Saturday 04-08 ORTHROS (8:15am) & DIVINE LITURGY – LAZAROS SATURDAY 9:00AM
Youth retreat and church cleaning 11:00AM
GREAT VESPERS 5:00PM
Sunday 04-09 ORTHROS (8:15 am) & DIVINE LITURGY – PALM SUNDAY 9:30AM
AHEPA Luncheon 12:00PM
Acolyte Training 12:00PM
Serve-a-Meal at FOCUS 4:00PM
Pan-Orthodox Lenten Vespers & Reception at St. Herman’s Orthodox Church 4:00PM
Loukoumades Fundraiser Today: after Liturgy. Sponsored by Daughters of Penelope.
Mural Icons Installed! thank you to iconographer Mother Theodora Balaban and woodcarver Doug Trail-Johnson for their beautiful work. Thank you to the four families who designated memorials and provided additional funding to complete the project. What a wonderful addition to our sanctuary. Glory to God!
Hierarchical Visit Next Sunday: Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos will visit on Palm Sunday April 9th. Please come welcome him! AHEPA will host their annual fish luncheon that day. Tickets available at door. See insert.
Think About It: A successful man is one who lays a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him. David Brinkley
Youth Retreat & Church Cleaning: next (Lazaros) Saturday April 8th from 11am to 3pm we will have pot-luck lunch, make palm crosses and clean the church in preparation of Great and Holy Pascha. We will have our Holy Friday youth retreat on April 14th from 11am to 3pm. Please contact Nathaniel Kostick to RSVP for these events. Sign up for potluck meals in social hall. We hope to see you there!
Holy Week Around Corner: the busiest and best week of the whole year. Lots of beautiful worship services. Brochure of services and activities with offering envelope mailed out. Plan ahead to be with us!
Daughters of Penelope & AHEPA: will meet on Thursday, April 20, 2017 at 7pm.
Philoptochos: will hold a combined April/May meeting on Tuesday, April 25 at 1:30pm. 2017 memberships are now due. Payments can be placed in the Philoptochos mailbox outside the conference room, or mailed to Tina Sageotis, 1000 Forest Glen Court, Burnsville, MN 55337. A reminder that a total of $25 from each membership contribution goes to the national and diocesan Philoptochos.
Wisdom from the Church Fathers: If we want to do something but cannot, then before God, Who knows our hearts, it is as if we have already done it. This is true whether the intended action is good or bad. St. Mark the Ascetic (5th cent.)
Stewardship 2017: Our theme is You are the Voice of Christ in a Changing World: As the Father Has Sent Me, So I Send You (John 20:21). We have received 95 pledge cards for 2017 with a total of $151,836 and an average of $1,598. When pledging be sure to increase your pledge, even if only a few dollars. This reflects spiritual growth and overcomes stagnation. We encourage everyone to give a minimum of 2% pledge of gross yearly income to become a self-sustaining community. This is far less than the biblical ideal of tithing, giving 10%.
Summer Camp Early Bird Registration: will open on April 18th at 10am. Registration fees are as follows: Early Bird Discount: $425 from April 18- May 5, 2017; Standard Fee: $475 from May 6-25, 2017 at 4:30pm. Please register at: www.stmaryscamp.com. Summer Camp dates are July 1-7, 2017.
Patristic Wisdom: Parents should love their children as stewards taking care of a gift from God and not as their idols. That is to say, they should love their children as they are and not how they would like them to be. Elder Epiphanios Theodoropoulos of Athens (+1989)
Pictorial Directory 2015: is now available for $5 per copy. They can be purchased either from Julie in the office or in the bookstore (limit, one per family).
Greek Cookbooks: various vintage hardcover editions in Greek are available in the bookstore.
Greek Dancing: parents, if you would like your child to participate in Greek dancing lessons and performances organized by the Greek School, please contact Angela Mortari or Stella Hofrenning. Both a Children's group and a Teen group will perform at the Festival of Nations in May. Practices are on Sundays after liturgy in the social hall starting at noon.
Save the Date! The St. George Greek Festival will be August 19-20. 2017. More volunteers are needed to serve on committees; if you are interested, please contact Jon Kennedy, Phyllis Kapetanakis or Alexis Bighley.
The Church Fathers Speak: There is a sin which is always “unto death” (1John 5:16), the sin for which we do not repent. For this sin, even a saint’s prayers will not be heard. St. Mark the Ascetic (5th cent.)
75th Anniversary Album Update: Thank you to everyone for their patience as the 75th Anniversary Commemorative Album is reaching its final stage of production. Thanks to all who submitted materials including family pages. Thanks also to Dawn Lampros, Denise Smith and Julie Delton for their tireless efforts to bring forth a top quality history of our parish. It is very typical for parish anniversary publications to take a year or more to complete. We anticipate a finished product by early summer--well within normal parameters.
Parish Feast Day! will be the weekend after Pascha. Saturday Vespers on April 22nd starting at 5pm with dinner prepared by Jason Barbes. April 23rd Sunday Liturgy and luncheon hosted by Dino Contolatis. Please plan to participate for both worship services and meals. Contact Jason and Dino to help with setup and cleanup.
Recycle Icons- please do not throw icons, including printed Sunday Bulletins, in the trash. They are holy and sacred images of the saints. Please return them to the church office or social hall to be given to those in need.
Welcome Visitors Thank you for joining with us in prayer and fellowship. The worship of the Orthodox Church is deeply rooted in and very similar to that of the early Christian Church. Unique sensory stimuli and mystery are elements that go back even to the liturgy of the Jewish temple. Everything in an Orthodox Christian church communicates the majestic presence of God the Holy Trinity with His Saints. It is literally heaven on earth. It is a sad consequence of the divisions in Christianity that we cannot extend a general invitation to receive Holy Communion. Visitors are invited to receive the blessed bread (antithoron) at the conclusion of the liturgy. We pray and work for the reconciliation and unity of all Christians. If you are interested in learning more about Orthodoxy, please contact Fr. Rick at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are proud of our Greek heritage but one does not have to be of Greek descent, nor speak Greek to be a Greek Orthodox Christian.
Note to Orthodox about Holy Communion: Receiving the Body and Blood of Christ is one of the most Holy experiences for a Christian in order to be granted the forgiveness of sins and everlasting life. We are never worthy to partake of Divine Nature. Yet, it is essential that we prepare ourselves for this sacred Communion by constant prayer, reading the Scriptures, regular fasting and periodic Confession. At a minimum, we should fast all morning before Communion, arrive at the beginning of Liturgy, and come for Confession at least once a year. In addition, we should not have separated ourselves from the Church through serious sin. Otherwise, please refrain from Communion to avoid “judgment…not discerning the Lord’s body” (1Cor. 11:29). Contact Fr. Rick for pastoral guidance.
Liturgy Guide 04-02-2017
Return with your contribution by April 12, 2017
April 9, 2017, hosted by AHEPA St. Paul Chapter
Brochure with schedule of services and youth/family activities
Share your input- new senior group