Parish Bulletin February 19-26, 2017

Parish Bulletin February 19-26, 2017

 

FEBRUARY 6/19, 2017
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MEAT-FARE SUNDAY. Afterfeast of the Meeting of Our Lord. TONE 2
St. Bucolus, bishop of Smyrna. Virgin-martyr Dorothea, and with her Martyrs Christina and Callista, sisters, and Theophilus, at Caesarea in Cappadocia. Virgin-martyr Fausta, and with her Martyrs Evilasius and Maximus, at Cyzicus.
EPISTLE: I Cor. 8:8-9:2 GOSPEL: Matt. 25:31-46
From the Synaxarion: “On this day we commemorate the day of the Second Coming of Christ.”
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SCHEDULE OF SERVICES
Sun., Feb. 19: MEAT-FARE SUNDAY
MATINS – 8:00 AM DIVINE LITURGY – 9:30 AM
LITIYA FOR:
Fr. Joseph (Isaac Lambertsen) John Hitchcock by wife, Sonya & family (9th day)
Joseph Yaworske by Joan & Ed Zaleski Harry Jadick by daughter, Evie
Gregory Telep by Carol & Danny Swirdovich Tihanitch family by friends
Sergius Chwastiak by family Olga Chwastiak by family
Theodore Tokarev by Dcn. Michael, Mat. Maria & family Anna Tokarev by Dcn. Michael, Mat. Maria & family
Stephanie Kuti Pavuk by Dcn. Michael, Mat. Maria & family Mary Reposh by Dcn. Michael, Mat. Maria & family
Mat. Martha Mikuliak by Dcn. Michael, Mat. Maria & family Philip Murena by friends
Sat., Feb. 25: CONFESSIONS – 3:30 PM GREAT VESPERS – 4:00 PM
Sun., Feb. 26: MATINS – 8:00 AM DIVINE LITURGY – 9:30 AM
LITIYA FOR:
Fr. Joseph Joseph Yaworske by Dolores & Fred Lutz
Michael Kulick by the Senio Family Olga Yaworske by her family
Jean Petrosky by Carol Boris Olga Chwastiak by her family
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FEBRUARY RADIO BROADCAST: PROTODEACON GREGORY & MATUSHKA ALEXANDRA PETROCHKO
ALTAR FLOWERS: IMO OLGA CHWASTIAK by her family. MEMORY ETERNAL! God’s blessings upon TODD & DIANE ERB & FAMILY. MANY YEARS!
ALTAR VIGILS: IMO MARY TIHANITCH. MEMORY ETERNAL!
TABLE OF OBLATION: IMO OLGA CHWASTIAK by her children. MEMORY ETERNAL!
ETERNAL LIGHT: IMO WALTER NEMKOVICH by Sasha Fedorchak. MEMORY ETERNAL!
HIGH PLACE: IMO JOSEPH YAWORSKE by Craig Brennan. MEMORY ETERNAL!
BALDACHINO LAMPADA: For health and God’s blessings upon RANDY HORHUTZ by friends. MANY YEARS!
EVENTS:
Sun., Feb. 19: COFFEE HOUR – following Liturgy. FOOD – Lillian Shust & Joyce Walsh; COFFEE – Mat. Larissa
POTATO BALLS – following Coffee Hour
Mon., Feb. 20: PIROGIE PROJECT – 8:00 AM (If you’re not at work or school today, please come and help with this project. All pirogie being made are for upcoming sales during Great Lent. Your time and assistance with these projects are greatly appreciated.)
NO RELIGIOUS EDUCATION CLASSES – no public school/no religious education classes
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SUNDAY RADIO BROADCAST: We are now accepting donations for the RADIO BROADCAST FUND. This fund is a huge help financially to our parish. The cost of the broadcast is $650 per month. As you know, this is a financial burden on our parish, but it is an aspect of Christian love that is necessary. If you would like to donate towards this act of missionary outreach, please make your donations to ST. JOHN’S RO CATHEDRAL. Your donation will be greatly appreciated not only by our parish, but by those faithful listeners who tune in every week. No one knows when they might find themselves in this same situation – at home unable to get to church. Any and all donations will be greatly accepted in helping to carry out this act of “missionary work”. We are asking for families to come together and donate a month of radio broadcasts. Thank you for your generosity and willingness to help.
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PIROGIE SALE: The 1st pirogie sale for Great Lent will be held on Wednesday, March 1 (Western Ash Wednesday) between Noon & 4 PM. Orders are being taken at the rectory (570-876-0730) or by Sandy & Pat Suey (570-876-3576
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300 CLUB WINNERS – 2/12/17: $50 – #11 – Steve R.; $25 – #188 – Carol Kurtzman; $25 – #409 – Carol Galli
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RELIGIOUS ED CLASSES: PLEASE REMEMBER, when there is no public school, there will be no religious classes that day.
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GARDNER’S CANDY FORMS FOR EASTER are now available in the church vestibule. Please help our Youth Group by purchasing your Easter Candy needs through them. Order forms, along with payment, can be given to Karen Tomanchek or placed in the box which will be located in the church vestibule for the next few weeks. Your support, as always, is greatly appreciated. ********************************************************************
MANY THANKS to Alexa Pavuk for directing the choir this weekend while Gary is out of town. Many Years!
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IVERON ICON: The new Iveron icon which we have been venerating for the past few weeks was donated in memory of WALTER & SHIRLEY MATICHAK. May their memories be eternal!
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DONATIONS SOUGHT: Anyone willing to donate towards the following for the period of Great Lent as an act of almsgiving may do so by contacting the sextons or Fr. John: Altar Candles – $65 each; Wine – $50 case; Incense – $40 lb.; Oil – $40. ********************************************************************
SERMON ON THE SUNDAY OF THE LAST JUDGMENT (AUTHOR UNKNOWN)
When the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of glory: And before Him shall be gathered all nations: and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats: And He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on His right hand, Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungry, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave Me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took Me in: Naked, and ye clothed Me: I was sick, and ye visited Me: I was in prison, and ye came unto Me. Then shall the righteous answer Him, saying, Lord, when saw we Thee as hungered and fed Thee or thirsty and gave Thee drink? When saw we Thee a stranger, and took Thee i or naked and clothed Thee? Or when saw we Thee sick, or in prison, and came unto Thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, In as much as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me. Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepare for the devil and his angels: For I was hungry and ye gave Me no meat: I was thirsty and ye gave Me no drink: I was a stranger and ye took Me not in, naked and ye clothed Me not: sick, and in prison and ye visited Me not. Then shall they also answer Him saying, “Lord, when saw we Thee hungry or thirsty or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto Thee? Then shall He answer them, saying, “Verily I say unto you, In as much as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to Me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” (Matthew 25:31-46).
We know that Christians should avoid vain glory, conceit, and the assumed expectation of rewards of grace during Lent. However, even the most careful and unceasing self-control does not always lead to the desired results. Protecting oneself from hidden vain glory during Lent is by no means easy. This is where Christian good deeds – when one really takes on human grief – can be of help. After all, when we move away from ourselves by coming into contact with concrete human trouble and misfortune, by sharing in someone’s oppressive grief, our own concerns fade into the background, silent and diminished. One person grieves because of frequent colds, while another dreams of learning to walk without crutches. When we see real grief right in front of us we begin to experience a burning shame not only for our own petty vain glory, but also for our prosperity: just recently we thought it defective and dared complain about our lot.
The Holy Church of Christ insists that we perform good deeds during the time of Great Lent, inasmuch as our acts of mercy not only relieve other people’s plights, making their lives easier and brighter, but they turn the struggler’s attention from himself to others, thereby quietly freeing him from his egotistical self. The wave of love that arises in us when we share in the misfortunes of others fills us with Divine life, animating and inspiring us while driving the passions far away, thereby cleansing us from their harmful and troublesome effects.
Why is the subject of good deeds so tightly interwoven in the Gospel with that of the end of the world and the Second Coming of Christ? After all, it would seem that the call to mercy is not especially inspiring when we are simultaneously being reminded that the earth and all deeds therein shall be consumed.
The fact is that even good deeds, as with all other Christian actions, have their dangers. From the example of the Pharisee and the elder son in the parable of the Prodigal Son we have already seen how religious effort can take on an ungodly character that alienates man from God’s love. The same thing can happen with good deeds. If a Christian immerses himself in them to the point of completely forgetting the primary goal of human existence, then it is unlikely he will do himself any good. Good deeds themselves, if one forgets the memory of death, can acquire the character of an activity that is excited, chaotic, and scattered.
When the Jewish woman poured precious myrrh onto the head of Jesus, certain of the disciples said among themselves: Why was this waste of ointment made? For it might have been sold… and have been given to the poor (Mark 14:4-5). The indignant disciples probably expected the Savior to endorse their feelings. Christ, however, comes to the defense of this “squanderer”: Why trouble ye her? She hath wrought a good work on Me. For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but Me ye have not always (Mark 14:6-7).
With these words the Savior warns His followers that the work of keeping oneself in the truth of the Gospel is of utmost importance and, moreover, that this does not yield in importance to Christian good deeds; in some cases it even surpasses them. Indeed, Christ tells us that our eternal fate depends entirely and wholly on deeds of mercy. By including this call to mercy in the general discourse on the Second Coming, however, the Gospel establishes the proportionality and consistency of every part of the Christian activity that makes up our salvation. As such, if we will always have in mind the Second Coming and the Dread Judgment, but all the while become so absorbed in the expectation of the end that we lose sight of concrete deeds of mercy, we will most likely not acquire that love without which no one can see God. Yet if we give ourselves over enthusiastically to deeds of love while forgetting about the fleeting and vain nature of all that takes place on earth and the memory of death, then our good deeds will take on an emotional rather than spiritual character and not bring us any closer to God.
In Ecclesiastes we read: To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven… a time to keep silence… a time to love (3:1-8). A time of silence – a time of solitude and standing before God’s Judgment – is no less essential to Christianity than the active and continuous performance of good deeds. This silence not only returns us from the superficial life around us back to our own depths, but also reminds us of the finite nature of everything that takes place on earth, thereby purifying our love from emotional exaltation.
Therefore, from the publican’s repentance to deeds of love and mercy; from good deeds to the memory of death; and from the memory of death back to repentance and prayer, we must make our journey toward the joyful and bright days of Christ’s Resurrection. The Gospel readings during these preparatory weeks show us the direction we are to follow in our Lenten journey: they are like road signs showing us the way to the Heavenly Jerusalem, to the Lord’s eternal and unceasing Pascha. (Translated from Russian)
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FYI: Salvation is bestowed by God as a free gift of Divine grace, which cannot be earned, and by which forgiveness of sins is available to all. However, the deeds done by each person is believed to affect how he will be judged, following the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats. How forgiveness is to be balanced against behavior is not well-defined in scripture, judgment in the matter being solely Christ’s. Similarly, although salvation is obtained only through Christ and His Church, the fate of those outside the Church at the Last Judgment is left to the mercy of God and is unknown. The theme of the Last Judgment is extremely important in Orthodoxy. Traditionally, an Orthodox church will have a fresco or mosaic of the Last Judgment on the back (western) wall, so that the faithful, as they leave the services, are reminded that they will be judged by what they do during this earthly life.
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The Third Sunday of the Triodion Period: Sunday of The Last Judgment (Meatfare Sunday)
The Sunday of the Last Judgment is the third Sunday of a three-week period prior to the commencement of Great Lent. During this time, the services of the Church have begun to include hymns from the Triodion, a liturgical book that contains the services from the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee, the tenth before Pascha (Easter), through Great and Holy Saturday. On this day, focus is placed on the future judgment of all persons who will stand before the throne of God when Christ returns in His glory.
The commemoration for this Sunday is taken from the parable of our Lord Jesus Christ concerning his Second Coming and the Last Judgment of all, both the living and the dead. In Matthew 25:31-46, Christ speaks about what will happen at this specific point in time when He will “come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him” (v. 31).
At His coming, “He will sit on the throne of His glory,” and all of the nations will be gathered before Him. He will separate them “as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats” (v. 32). The sheep will be placed on His right hand, and the goats on the left.
To the sheep, He will say “Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” (vv. 33-34) This kingdom is offered to the sheep because of their compassion and service to those in need. Jesus says, “…for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.” The sheep, who are the righteous chosen for the kingdom, will ask how this could be so. They will ask Jesus when was He hungry or thirsty, a stranger, naked, and in prison. He will answer them by saying, “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to the least of these My brethren, you did it to me” (vv. 35-40).
Christ the King, seated on His throne of judgment, will then turn to the goats on His left and say, “Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (v. 41). He will condemn them because they did not feed Him when He was hungry, give Him drink when He was thirsty, take Him in when He was a stranger, clothe Him when He was naked, visit Him when He was sick or in prison. The goats will ask the Lord, “When did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?” Then He will answer them saying, “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me” (vv. 42-45).
Jesus concludes His words on the Last Judgment by stating that those on the left “will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life” (v. 46).
On the past two Sundays of this pre-Lenten period, the focus was placed on God’s patience and limitless compassion, of His readiness to accept every sinner who returns to Him. On this third Sunday, we are powerfully reminded of a complementary truth: no one is so patient and so merciful as God, but even He does not forgive those who do not repent. The God of love is also a God of righteousness, and when Christ comes again in glory, He will come as our Judge. Such is the message of Lent to each of us: turn back while there is still time, repent before the End comes.
This Sunday sets before us the eschatological dimension of Lent: the Great Fast is a preparation for the Second Coming of the Savior, for the eternal Passover in the Age to Come, a theme that is also the focus of the first three days of Holy Week. But the judgment is not only in the future. Here and now, each day and each hour, in hardening our hearts toward others and in failing to respond to the opportunities we are given of helping them, we are already passing judgment on ourselves.
Another theme of this Sunday is that of love. When Christ comes to judge us, what will be the criterion of His judgment? The parable of the Last Judgment answers: love—not a mere humanitarian concern for abstract justice and the anonymous “poor,” but concrete and personal love for the human person—the specific persons that we encounter each day in our lives.
Christian love is the “possible impossibility” to see Christ in another person, whoever he or she is, and whom God, in His eternal and mysterious plan, has decided to introduce into my life, be it only for a few moments, not as an occasion for a “good deed” or an exercise in philanthropy, but as the beginning of an eternal companionship in God Himself.
The parable of the Last Judgment is about Christian love. Not all of us are called to work for “humanity,” yet each one of us has received the gift and the grace of Christ’s love. We know that all persons ultimately need this personal love—the recognition in them of their unique soul in which the beauty of the whole creation is reflected in a unique way. We also know that people are in prison and are sick and thirsty and hungry because that personal love has been denied them. And, finally, we know that however narrow and limited the framework of our personal existence, each one of us has been made responsible for a tiny part of the Kingdom of God, made responsible by that very gift of Christ’s love. Thus, on whether or not we have accepted this responsibility, on whether we have loved or refused to love, shall we be judged.
ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN CELEBRATION OF THE FEAST OF THE LAST JUDGMENT
The Sunday of the Last Judgment is commemorated with the Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom, which is preceded by the Matins service. A Great Vespers is conducted on Saturday evening. The hymns of the Triodion for this day are added to the usual prayers and hymns of the weekly commemoration of the Resurrection of Christ. The naming of the Sunday is related to the reading of the story from the Gospel at the Divine Liturgy. Scripture readings for the Sunday of the Last Judgment are: At (Matins): The prescribed weekly Gospel reading. At the Divine Liturgy: I Corinthians 8:8-9:2; Matthew 25:31-46.
The Sunday of the Last Judgment is also known as Meatfare Sunday. This is the last day that meat can be eaten before the Lenten fast. Dairy products are allowed on each day of this week, even Wednesday and Friday. The next Sunday is the Sunday of Cheesefare, It is the last day that dairy products can be eaten prior to the beginning of Great Lent.
On March 11, 18 and 25, the three Memorial Saturdays (Saturdays of the Souls) are held. These are special commemorations on these days, when the Church offers a Divine Liturgy and Memorial Service for the departed faithful. These prayers are offered at the Parastas on the prescribed Friday evenings and at the Holy Liturgy on the Memorial Saturdays. This is considered a universal commemoration of the dead. It is closely related to the theme of the Sunday of the Last Judgment since the services focus on the Second Coming of Christ and the resurrection of the dead. Through the memorial services, the Church is commending to God all who have departed and who are now awaiting the Last Judgment. It is important to attend these services, and we should also offer candles in the church for the repose of our departed loved ones.
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