Sunday at 8:30am
Sunday at 10:00am
Paraklesis to our Patron Saints - Tuesdays 5:00pm
Bible Study (Greek) - Tuesdays 6:00pm
Orthodox Book Club - Wednesdays 11:00am
Weekly Church Services
Orthos at 8:30 am
Divine Liturgy at 9:45 am
Paraklesis at 5:00 pm
Orthodox Book Club (English language) at 11:00 am
My Beloved Ones,
On September 23rd, we are blessed to celebrate another conception of a beloved saint of God, John the Baptist. The conception of the Forerunner is another example of God’s ability to work miracles which are beyond nature; just as it is also another example of how Faith in God relies in lifting our hearts to Him, rather than trusting in our own minds. St. John’s parents were—as with Joachim and Anna, or Abraham and Sarah—of an advanced age: Zacharias was a priest of the Temple, and Elizabeth, descended from Aaron, was a cousin of the Theotokos. As we saw several weeks ago with Joachim and Anna, from the time of the creation of the world, those who were unable to bear children were often put to shame by their neighbors, and this was also the case with Elizabeth. Zacharias was serving in the Temple, undertaking his responsibility to burn incense— when the Archangel Gabriel appeared to him, announcing that God had heard their prayers, and would give Elizabeth a child, a son, who they would name John. More importantly, Gabriel told Zacharias, “And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth; for he will be great before the Lord… and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb. And he will turn many of the sons of Israel to the Lord their God, and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.” (Luke 1:14-17) Though Zacharias was astonished at the Archangel’s words, his mind would not allow him to understand the Will of God, asking instead for a sign to prove these words. As a result of his disbelief, Gabriel stuck Zacharias dumb, telling Zacharias that he would not regain his speech until all these things occurred. We can see clearly in the Baptist’s conception a reminder to hold fast to our faith in God, rather than our own understanding. Despite his duties as a priest in the Temple, Zacharias allowed himself to doubt the power and the promise of God, because his mind resisted the faith of his heart. May we instead learn from the mistake of this righteous servant of God, and “turn to the Lord our God”, rather than worldly knowledge.
+ALEXIOS Metropolitan of Atlanta
On Lesvos contending, for the sake of Christ, God the island was sanctified since your sacred relics were found; O blessed ones, wherefore we honor you Raphael, God-bearer, together with Nicholas and Virgin Irene, as our divine protectors and intercessors with the Lord.
Ἐν Λέσβῳ, ἀθλήσαντες, ὑπὲρ Χριστοῦ τοῦ Θεοῦ, αὐτὴν ἡγιάσατε, τῇ τῶν Λειψάνων ὑμῶν, εὑρέσει μακάριοι. Ὅθεν ὑμᾶς τιμῶμεν, Ῥαφαὴλ θεοφόρε, ἅμα σὺν Νικολάῳ καὶ παρθένῳ Εἰρήνῃ, ὡς θείους ἡμῶν προστάτας καὶ πρέσβεις πρὸς Κύριον.
Saint Parthenius was born in Melitopolis on the Hellespont, the son of a deacon named Christopher. Because of the miracles that he wrought even as a young man, he was ordained a priest and then Bishop of Lampsacus in the days of Saint Constantine the Great, from whom he received great gifts and authority both to overturn the altars of the idols and to raise up a church to the glory of Christ. Working many miracles throughout his life, he reposed in peace an old man and full of days.
16th Sunday of Matthew
Πρὸς Κορινθίους β' 6:1-10
Ἀδελφοί, συνεργοῦντες δὲ καὶ παρακαλοῦμεν μὴ εἰς κενὸν τὴν χάριν τοῦ θεοῦ δέξασθαι ὑμᾶς - λέγει γάρ, Καιρῷ δεκτῷ ἐπήκουσά σου, καὶ ἐν ἡμέρᾳ σωτηρίας ἐβοήθησά σοι· ἰδού, νῦν καιρὸς εὐπρόσδεκτος, ἰδού, νῦν ἡμέρα σωτηρίας - μηδεμίαν ἐν μηδενὶ διδόντες προσκοπήν, ἵνα μὴ μωμηθῇ ἡ διακονία· ἀλλʼ ἐν παντὶ συνιστῶντες ἑαυτοὺς ὡς θεοῦ διάκονοι, ἐν ὑπομονῇ πολλῇ, ἐν θλίψεσιν, ἐν ἀνάγκαις, ἐν στενοχωρίαις, ἐν πληγαῖς, ἐν φυλακαῖς, ἐν ἀκαταστασίαις, ἐν κόποις, ἐν ἀγρυπνίαις, ἐν νηστείαις, ἐν ἁγνότητι, ἐν γνώσει, ἐν μακροθυμίᾳ, ἐν χρηστότητι, ἐν πνεύματι ἁγίῳ, ἐν ἀγάπῃ ἀνυποκρίτῳ, ἐν λόγῳ ἀληθείας, ἐν δυνάμει θεοῦ, διὰ τῶν ὅπλων τῆς δικαιοσύνης τῶν δεξιῶν καὶ ἀριστερῶν, διὰ δόξης καὶ ἀτιμίας, διὰ δυσφημίας καὶ εὐφημίας· ὡς πλάνοι καὶ ἀληθεῖς· ὡς ἀγνοούμενοι, καὶ ἐπιγινωσκόμενοι· ὡς ἀποθνῄσκοντες, καὶ ἰδού, ζῶμεν· ὡς παιδευόμενοι, καὶ μὴ θανατούμενοι· ὡς λυπούμενοι, ἀεὶ δὲ χαίροντες· ὡς πτωχοί, πολλοὺς δὲ πλουτίζοντες· ὡς μηδὲν ἔχοντες, καὶ πάντα κατέχοντες.
16th Sunday of Matthew
The Reading is from St. Paul's Second Letter to the Corinthians 6:1-10
Brethren, working together with him, we entreat you not to accept the grace of God in vain. For he says, "At the acceptable time I have listened to you, and helped you on the day of salvation." Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation. We put no obstacle in any one's way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: through great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, tumults, labors, watching, hunger; by purity, knowledge, forbearance, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love, truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; in honor and dishonor, in ill repute and good repute. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold we live; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing everything.
16th Sunday of Matthew
Κατὰ Ματθαῖον 25:14-30
Εἶπεν ὁ Κύριος τήν παραβολὴν ταύτην· Ἄνθρωπος ἀποδημῶν ἐκάλεσε τοὺς ἰδίους δούλους καὶ παρέδωκεν αὐτοῖς τὰ ὑπάρχοντα αὐτοῦ, καὶ ᾧ μὲν ἔδωκε πέντε τάλαντα, ᾧ δὲ δύο, ᾧ δὲ ἕν, ἑκάστῳ κατὰ τὴν ἰδίαν δύναμιν, καὶ ἀπεδήμησεν εὐθέως. πορευθεὶς δὲ ὁ τὰ πέντε τάλαντα λαβὼν εἰργάσατο ἐν αὐτοῖς καὶ ἐποίησεν ἄλλα πέντε τάλαντα. ὡσαύτως καὶ ὁ τὰ δύο ἐκέρδησε καὶ αὐτὸς ἄλλα δύο. ὁ δὲ τὸ ἓν λαβὼν ἀπελθὼν ὤρυξεν ἐν τῇ γῇ καὶ ἀπέκρυψε τὸ ἀργύριον τοῦ κυρίου αὐτοῦ. μετὰ δὲ χρόνον πολὺν ἔρχεται ὁ κύριος τῶν δούλων ἐκείνων καὶ συναίρει μετ᾿ αὐτῶν λόγον. καὶ προσελθὼν ὁ τὰ πέντε τάλαντα λαβὼν προσήνεγκεν ἄλλα πέντε τάλαντα λέγων· κύριε, πέντε τάλαντά μοι παρέδωκας· ἴδε ἄλλα πέντε τάλαντα ἐκέρδησα ἐπ᾿ αὐτοῖς. ἔφη αὐτῷ ὁ κύριος αὐτοῦ· εὖ, δοῦλε ἀγαθὲ καὶ πιστέ! ἐπὶ ὀλίγα ἦς πιστός, ἐπὶ πολλῶν σε καταστήσω· εἴσελθε εἰς τὴν χαρὰν τοῦ κυρίου σου. προσελθὼν δὲ καὶ ὁ τὰ δύο τάλαντα λαβὼν εἶπε· κύριε, δύο τάλαντά μοι παρέδωκας· ἴδε ἄλλα δύο τάλαντα ἐκέρδησα ἐπ᾿ αὐτοῖς. ἔφη αὐτῷ ὁ κύριος αὐτοῦ· εὖ, δοῦλε ἀγαθὲ καὶ πιστέ! ἐπὶ ὀλίγα ἦς πιστός, ἐπὶ πολλῶν σε καταστήσω· εἴσελθε εἰς τὴν χαρὰν τοῦ κυρίου σου. προσελθὼν δὲ καὶ ὁ τὸ ἓν τάλαντον εἰληφὼς εἶπε· κύριε· ἔγνων σε ὅτι σκληρὸς εἶ ἄνθρωπος, θερίζων ὅπου οὐκ ἔσπειρας καὶ συνάγων ὅθεν οὐ διεσκόρπισας· καὶ φοβηθεὶς ἀπελθὼν ἔκρυψα τὸ τάλαντόν σου ἐν τῇ γῇ· ἴδε ἔχεις τὸ σόν. ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ ὁ κύριος αὐτοῦ εἶπεν αὐτῷ· πονηρὲ δοῦλε καὶ ὀκνηρέ! ᾔδεις ὅτι θερίζω ὅπου οὐκ ἔσπειρα καὶ συνάγω ὅθεν οὐ διεσκόρπισα! ἔδει οὖν σε βαλεῖν τὸ ἀργύριόν μου τοῖς τραπεζίταις, καὶ ἐλθὼν ἐγὼ ἐκομισάμην ἂν τὸ ἐμὸν σὺν τόκῳ. ἄρατε οὖν ἀπ᾿ αὐτοῦ τὸ τάλαντον καὶ δότε τῷ ἔχοντι τὰ δέκα τάλαντα. τῷ γὰρ ἔχοντι παντὶ δοθήσεται καὶ περισσευθήσεται, ἀπὸ δὲ τοῦ μὴ ἔχοντος καὶ ὃ ἔχει ἀρθήσεται ἀπ᾿ αὐτοῦ. καὶ τὸν ἀχρεῖον δοῦλον ἐκβάλετε εἰς τὸ σκότος τὸ ἐξώτερον· ἐκεῖ ἔσται ὁ κλαυθμὸς καὶ ὁ βρυγμὸς τῶν ὀδόντων.
16th Sunday of Matthew
The Reading is from Matthew 25:14-30
The Lord said this parable: "A man going on a journey called his servants and entrusted to them his property; to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them; and he made five talents more. So also, he who had the two talents made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master's money. Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, 'Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.' His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master.' And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, 'Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.' His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master.' He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, 'Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not winnow; so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.' But his master answered him, 'You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sowed, and gather where I have not winnowed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to every one who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth." As he said these things he cried out: "He who has ears to hear, let him hear!"