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).
As the deliverer of captives, and the protector of the poor; a physician of the sick, the defender of kings; O Great Martyr St. George Victorious, intercede to Christ our God, to save our souls.
The divine Maximus, who was from Constantinople, sprang from an illustrious family. He was a lover of wisdom and an eminent theologian. At first, he was the chief private secretary of the Emperor Heraclius and his grandson Constans. But when the Monothelite heresy became predominant in the royal court, out of hatred for this error the Saint departed for the Monastery at Chrysopolis (Scutari), of which he later became the abbot. When Constans tried to constrain him either to accept the Monothelite teaching, or to stop speaking and writing against it - neither of which the Saint accepted to do - his tongue was uprooted and his right hand was cut off, and he was sent into exile, where he reposed in 662. At the time only he and his few disciples were Orthodox in the East. See also January 21.
Saint Dorotheos was born in Antioch, Syria, in the year 506 or 508 A.D. He began his education very early in life and profited from the social statusof his parents. He received a classical education in the Greco-Roman world, which included medical studies, thus allowing him to work as a physician. Despite his great mind, Dorotheos yearned for a life of seclusion in the monastery. He inquired through letters with the holy men Barsanuphius and John (see February 6th) as how to begin the process towards monasticism. Many of these letters exist to this day and provide insight to the life of Dorotheos and his relationship with his mentors.
Dorotheos entered the monastery of Thawatha where Barsanuphius and John lived. His quick mind and advanced education made life in the monastery difficult as he struggled with social encounters and even challenged his abbot when he knew of better ways to run the monastery. This struggle against pride lasted a great while and served as an ongoing lesson for Dorotheos. He worked as assistant to the holy father John and enjoyed this position of communication between John and the rest of the community.
As he progressed in the spiritual life, Dorotheos was given spiritual charge over younger monks to which he was hesitant to accept as he struggled with interactions with others. Despite his reservations, Dorotheos took charge over a young man named Dositheos and taught him the monastic life, a relationship which proved to be difficult but beneficial for both. When John died, Dorotheos left the monastery of Thawatha and founded his own monastery where he took charge of many young monks, training them in the spiritual art.
Saint Tikhon of Zadonsk was born in 1724 into a very poor family of the Novgorod province, and was named Timothy in holy Baptism. In his youth he was sent to seminary in Novgorod where he received a good education and later taught Greek and other subjects. Having received the monastic tonsure with the name Tikhon, in the same year he was ordained deacon and priest, and appointed two years later as rector of the Seminary in Tver. In 1761 he was consecrated Bishop of Kexholm and Ladoga, and in 1763 nominated Bishop of Voronezh, a difficult diocese to administer because of its large size and transient population, which included many schismatics. Feeling the burden of the episcopacy to be beyond his strength, the Saint resigned in 1767, retiring first to the Monastery of Tolshevo, and later to the monastery at Zadonsk, where he remained until his blessed repose. In retirement, he devoted all his time to fervent prayer and the writing of books. His treasury of books earned him the title of "the Russian Chrysostom", whose writings he employed extensively; simple in style, replete with quotes from the Holy Scriptures, they treat mostly of the duties of Christians, with many parables taken from daily life. In them the Christian is taught how to oppose the passions and cultivate the virtues. A large collection of the Saint's letters are included in his works, and these give a wealth of spiritual guidance directed both to the laity and monastics. Saint Tikhon reposed in peace in 1783, at the age of fifty-nine. Over sixty years later, in 1845, when a new church was built in Zadonsk in place of the church where he was buried, it was necessary to remove his body. Although interred in a damp place, his relics were found to be whole and incorrupt; even his vestments were untouched by decay. Many miracles were worked by Saint Tikhon after his death, and some three hundred thousand pilgrims attended his glorification on August 13, 1863. He is one of the most beloved Russian Saints, and is invoked particularly for the protection and upbringing of children.
Tenth Orthros Gospel
The Reading is from John 21:1-14
At that time, being raised from the dead, Jesus revealed himself to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias; and he revealed himself in this way. Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples were together. Simon Peter said to them, "I am going fishing." They said to him, "We will go with you." They went out and got into the boat; but that night they caught nothing. Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the beach; but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, "Children, have you any fish?" They answered him, "No." He said to them, "Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some." So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, for the quantity of fish. The disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord!" When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his clothes, for he was stripped for work, and sprang into the sea. But the other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, but about a hundred yards off.
When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish lying on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish that you have just caught." So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred and fifty-three of them; and although there were so many, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, "Come and have breakfast." Now none of the disciples dared ask him, "Who are you?" They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish. This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.
Prokeimenon. 1st Mode. Psalm 32.22,1.
Let your mercy, O Lord, be upon us.
Verse: Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous.
The reading is from St. Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians 4:9-16.
Brethren, God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, like men sentenced to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels and to men. We are fools for Christ's sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute. To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are ill-clad and buffeted and homeless, and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we try to conciliate; we have become, and are now, as the refuse of the world, the off-scouring of all things. I do not write this to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children. For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. I urge you, then, be imitators of me.
10th Sunday of Matthew
The Reading is from Matthew 17:14-23
At that time, a man came up to Jesus and kneeling before him said, "Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and he suffers terribly; for often he falls into the fire, and often into the water. And I brought him to your disciples, and they could not heal him." And Jesus answered, "O faithless and perverse generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him here to me." And Jesus rebuked him, and the demon came out of him, and the boy was cured instantly. Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, "Why could we not cast it out?" He said to them, "Because of your little faith. For truly I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move hence to yonder place,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you. But this kind never comes out except by prayer and fasting." As they were gathering in Galilee, Jesus said to them, "The Son of man is to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day."
Listen to Jesus (8-6-2017)
Anyone who has been married a few years or has been a parent to a teenager can tell about the phenomenon of selective listening. At one moment, a spouse can hear the quietest whisper. At another moment, it is as if the same person is completely deaf. A parent can ask for their adolescent’s attention, give detailed instructions, and then a minute later, their son or daughter will say “Huh, what did you say?” The problem is typically not hearing. Most persons’ ability to pick up and discern sounds is just fine. The problem is listening. We almost always hear but we do not always listen.
How important is it to listen? Well, consider how God designed humans all other mammals with two ears and one mouth. The greatest ocean liner of its time was thought to be invincible but the Titanic was brought down by an iceberg in 1912. Some speculated that the sinking was unavoidable because it was dark and the ice that it struck was underwater, unseen. However, often lost in historical accounts is the fact that the radio operator of the doomed ship received at least five warnings about icebergs in their vicinity. Apparently, he heard them but was more concerned with the updates about the world-famous Cape sailboat race and the associated betting. Thus, he ignored the warnings.
It is very important to listen and it is even more important to listen to God. Think about Adam, the first-created and his wife, Eve? They received a message from God.
15Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. 16And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die." (Genesis 2:15-17). Adam and Eve also received another message from the devil. 4Then the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die. 5For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." (Genesis 3:4-5). Adam and Eve heard both messages, but which one did they listen to? What was the result?
To underline the importance of hearing and listening, God the Father gives us a simple but firm command in today’s Gospel reading (Matthew 17:1-9) from the Feast of the Transfiguration of our Savior Jesus Christ (August 6). Jesus takes Peter, James and John up onto Mount Tabor and there is transfigured before them. In other words, Jesus reveals His Divine Glory so that garments where white as light and His face shone like the sun (v.2). The two greatest prophets of Israel, Moses and Elijah appear and they converse with Jesus (v.3). and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!” ἀκούετε αὐτοῦ.
(v.5). God the Father told Peter, James and John, “Hear and listen to My Son!” His message is the same today for us.
The sacred scriptures as a whole emphasize hearing and listening. We find therein “God said” (9 times), “Thus says the Lord” (95 times), “Listen” (112 times) “The Lord said” (235 times), “The word of the Lord” (268 times), and the word “Hear” (612 times).
Fr. Anthony Coniaris (Sermon title same as book: This is My Beloved Son: Listen to Him, vol.1, pp.1-5) outlines three reasons for the importance of listening to Jesus. First, faith comes hearing: The Apostle Paul says, 17So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17). One Church Father said that Jesus is conceived and born within us as we receive the seed of His word through the ear and accept it in faith (see Parable of Sower Mt.13:1-23; Mk.4:1-20; Lk.8:1-15).
Second, we humans live by the word of God. When Adam and Eve did not listen to God in the Garden of Eve, the consequence was death, not as a punishment but as a natural consequence of a self-imposed separation from their Creator. After fasting 40 days in the wilderness, Jesus also was tempted by the devil, to turn stones into bread. But Jesus responded differently than Adam and Eve. 4But He answered and said, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.' " (Matthew 4:4; Deut.8:3)
Third, the more we listen to God’s voice, the wiser we will become. God gave us two ears: one to listen to Him and one to listen to others. God only gave us one mouth. As we listen to God through the prophets of the Old Testament, through Christ Himself, through the Apostles, Church Fathers and Saints, His words change us and shape us. His words dissolve our misconceptions. His truth destroys our lies, exposing prejudices and injustices. God’s word sharpens our conscience. 12For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12).
I would add a fourth reason for the importance of listening to God—healing.
15However, the report went around concerning Him all the more; and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by Him of their infirmities. (Luke 5:15)
17And He came down with them and stood on a level place with a crowd of His disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem, and from the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear Him and be healed of their diseases, (Luke 6:17). This is why we have seven epistle readings and seven gospel readings in the Service of the Sacrament of Unction before the faithful are anointed. Furthermore, the primacy of listening is demonstrated in the Divine Liturgy in this way: the Liturgy of the Word, culminating with the epistle reading, gospel reading and the sermon/homily, comes first, comes before the Liturgy of the Eucharist in which we the faithful receive the Body and Blood of Christ in Holy Communion—the Medicine of Immortality.
Jesus Himself has a lot to say about hearing and listening.
9And He said to them, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear!" (Mark 4:9)
22Jesus answered and said to them, "Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them. 23And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me." (Luke 7:22-23)
27And it happened, as He spoke these things, that a certain woman from the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, "Blessed is the womb that bore You, and the breasts which nursed You!" 28But He said, "More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!" (Luke 11:27-28)
25Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live. (John 5:25)
47He who is of God hears God's words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God." (John 8:47)
25Jesus answered them, "I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father's name, they bear witness of Me. 26But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. 27My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. (John 10:25-27)
Everywhere we look today we see TV antennas and radar-like dishes on every roof. In the last couple decades these are being replaced with cable, phone and fiber optic wires connected directly to houses and apartments. With the miniaturization of digital technology, neither of these are necessary as people receive a signal directly to a phone that fits into the palm of their hand. All of these are picking up signals that travel invisibly through the air but none of them can receive the voice of God.
God is constantly sending us messages, warning signals to help us avoid danger and disaster that lies ahead. But are we listening to Him? Or are we too busy listening to other voices? At the Great Vespers last night, as is customary for the Great Feasts, we heard three passages from the Old Testament that relate to the Feast. In the third reading, (3Kings 19:3-16 Septuagint; 1Kings 19:3-9, 11-13, 15-16) we heard about this same Prophet Elijah, the one who appeared with Christ as He was transfigured. Elijah also fasted 40 days and nights and God told him to go up onto Mount Horeb.
11Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; 12and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.
There was a recent online article that critique modern liturgical services in many Protestant churches calling it “worshiptainment.” We Orthodox are not immune to this if we seek from worship what we seek from a musical concert filled with wind of catchy melodies and lyrics, the earthquake of bass guitars and drums, and the fires of spectacular light shows. But God is rarely about such dramatic displays and rather likes to work in more subtle forms that require deep reflection and quiet solitude.
As we conclude today, let us remember that if we listen to God, He has all sorts of wonderful messages for us. Not just alarms but words of hope in times of exhaustion: 28Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28). In times of turmoil and fear: 27Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27). In times of despair: 33These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." (John 16:33). When overwhelmed by guilt: Your sins are forgiven (Lk.7:48) and go and sin no more." (John 8:11). In times of confusion about which direction to take: 6Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (John 14:6). 12Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life." (John 8:12). This is God’s beloved Son speaking. Listen to Him! Amen!
ST. GEORGE GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH
REV. FR. RICHARD DEMETRIUS ANDREWS, PRESBYTER
August 13, 2017 10th SUNDAY OF MATTHEW
TODAY’S EVENTS: Acolyte training 12pm; Ipad cashier training 12pm; social hall bake sale set up 12pm; Serve-a-Meal at FOCUS MN 4pm; Greek Dance Practice.
Memorial: Christ (1 yr) & Antonia (8 yrs) Kontenakos Prosfora: Krisandrea Ballas-Rylander
Epistle Reader: Parry Paraschou Head Usher: Alexis Bighley
Fellowship: Jim & Bill Theros
Monday 08-14 VESPERS – DORMITION OF THEOTOKOS at St. Mary’s GOC 6:00PM
Tuesday 08-15 ORTHROS (8:00am) &DIVINELITURGY- DORMITION OF THEOTOKOS 9:00AM
FOCUS MN Annual Fundraiser at St. Mary’s GOC 6:00PM
Thursday 08-17 AHEPA meeting 7:00PM
Friday 08-18 Kitchen set up for festival 9:00AM
Tent & youth area set up for festival 11:00AM
Equipment set up for festival 12:00PM
OCPM national board meeting & dinner 6:00PM
Saturday 08-19 Greek Festival 11:00AM
Sunday 08-20 ORTHROS (8:15am) &DIVINELITURGY- 11th SUNDAY OF MATTHEW 9:30AM
Greek Festival 11:00AM
Serve-a-Meal at FOCUS MN 4:00PM
40-Day Churching: Joanna Tzenis and son Mihailidis last Sunday, August 6. Congratulations!
Feast of Dormition of Theotokos: everyone is invited and encouraged to participate in St. Mary Greek Parish Feast Day Vespers tomorrow Monday August 14th 6pm. A reception and dinner will follow in the social hall. We will have Orthros and Divine Liturgy here at our parish on Tuesday morning, August 15th.
FOCUS MN Annual Fundraiser: this Tuesday, August 15 at 6pm, at St. Mary’s Greek Orthodox Church in Minneapolis. Proceeds directly support FOCUS MN programs.
Office Closed Aug 14-16: Due to Julie’s vacation, the office will be closed Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday this week. Julie will return and office will reopen Thursday, Aug 17. We apologize for the inconvenience. If anyone would like to volunteer to staff the office to receive deliveries and answer phone calls, contact Fr. Rick.
Think About It: The flesh revolts when prayer, asceticism and stillness are neglected. St. Thalassios of Libya
Volunteer Opportunity: help the St. Paul Police Chaplains serve food at city employee picnic Tuesday, August 15th at Como Park from 4-9pm. Help needed with set-up and clean-up at the Picnic Pavilion as well as Sojourner’s Café on White Bear Ave before and after the event. For more info or to sign up, contact Fr. Rick.
Bake Sale Help Needed: Attention all women of St George church! We will need help this Friday, August 18th cupping the pastries for the festival bake sale. Please schedule some time to come and help prepare for the upcoming sale. Many hands make lite the work. Contact Nanette Gomez for more information. Thank you!
Greek Festival: Tickets are available for purchase in the social hall after liturgy, in the office from 9-4 on weekdays, and online at www.stgeorgegoc.org/greekfestival/ Volunteer for one or more shifts on the sign-up sheets in the social hall or online thru same website. Ipad Training for cashiers: today after liturgy, and Friday, August 18, 4-7pm drop-in. If these times do not work for you, contact Phyllis Kapetanakis.
Church Fathers Speak: None of the painful things that happen to us every day will injure or distress us once we perceive and continually meditate on their purpose. It is on account of this that St. Paul says, “I take delight in weakness, insults and hardships” (2Corinthians 12:10). St. Philotheos of Sinai (+1380)
Feast Day Vespers of the Dormition at St Mary's Greek Orthodox Church.Everyone is invited for St. Mary Greek Parish Feast Day Vespers tomorrow, August 14 at 6:00 PM. We will sing the Lamentations to the Virgin, have the Five Loaves Service, and refreshments/fellowship to follow.
Rochester Greekfest: parishioners are welcome to help our sister parish Holy Anargyroi in Rochester during their Greekfest Friday, August 25th to Sunday, August 27th. If interested in volunteering, please email Calli at firstname.lastname@example.org . Holy Anargyroi wishes Saint George a successful festival the weekend before.
New Metropolitan of Chicago: the Trisopon (list of three candidates) selected by the Holy Eparchial Synod of America was forwarded to the Patriarchal Synod in Constantinople. Unofficially, it appears that the list has been rejected and a new list must be selected. Please continue to pray that God grant us a worthy successor and chief shepherd. Until then, Metropolitan Nicholas of Detroit is serving as locum tenens.
Patristic Wisdom: Not only should we be moderate with food, but we must abstain from every other sin, so that we fast not only with our stomach but also with our eyes (not looking at things that may tempt us to anger, lust, pride, etc.). Similarly, our arms and legs should be restrained from sinful acts. St. Dorotheos of Gaza (+565)
2017 Lenten Lectures and Lenten Retreat audios posted: please visit our website at http://stgeorgegoc.org/pastors-corner/lectures/ to hear 12 different lectures presented by speakers Fr. Richard Andrews, Fr. Marc Boulos, Dr. Eugenia Gavrilyuk, Fr. Ted Wojcik, Fr. Barnabas Powell and Michael Lotti.
Philoptochos Elections: Sunday, September 10th, elections for board Members and officers in the conference room after liturgy. Please plan to attend this important meeting. You will be able to vote if you have paid your fair share offering. Currently there are 25 paid members, so check with treasurer Tina Sageotis email@example.com to confirm if you’re a paid member. $21 per member goes to National & Metropolis office.
LOMCP Annual Fundraising Gala: Sunday, September 17, 4-7pm on the Terrace of the Stillwater Public Library, 224 3rd Street N, Stillwater. Tickets are $30, available from church office or at www.lomcp.com.
Wisdom from the Church Fathers: The person whose tongue is inclined to silence will acquire a humble discipline in all his habits and will thus gain control over his passions without toil. The passions are uprooted and driven away by unceasing study of God and this is the sword that slays them. St. Isaac the Syrian (+700)
Lebanese Festival: at St. Maron Catholic Church, 602 University Ave. NE, Minneapolis on Saturday, September 23 1-8pm and Sunday, September 24, 11am-6pm. Fun for all ages; free admission, plus food, games, live music and dance. See posting in social hall or visit www.stmaron.com for more info.
Support Taste of Northeast: at St. Mary’s Orthodox Cathedral, Sept 29-30, 2017. Consider being a Business Sponsor, Personal Sponsor, or Marketplace Vendor. For more information, including forms and deadlines, contact Lynn Bjornnes at 651.492.5390 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com. 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.