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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.
1 JULY 2019
ST KOSMAS & ST DAMIANOS
HOL Y UNMERC ENARY , WONDERWORK ING PH YSICIANS OF ROME

Also the Feast of St Potitos of Naples – St Peter of Constantinople – St Angelina the Princess of
Albania & Serbia – St John of Rila, Translation of Holy Relics – St Basil, Founder of the Vatheos
Riakos (Deep Stream) Monastery – St Leo the Hermit – 25 Holy Martyrs of Nikomedia – 2000
Holy Martyrs of Nicomedia

THE SUNDAY AND FESTAL HYMNS ARE PUBLISHED IN BOOKLET FORM EACH MONTH. THESE ARE PUBLISHED AND FREELY
DOWNLOADABLE ON www.scribd.com/writers4574. LINKS ARE ALSO POSTED ON FACEBOOK “ORTHODOX
CHRISTIAN EASTERN CAPE.” (OR CAN BE EMAILED DIRECTLY, ON REQUEST TO marguerite.paizis@gmail.com)

P R OKE IME NON – P SALM 15 - T ONE 4


To the Saints on His Earth, in them He Magnified all His Will.
I beheld the Lord always before me; for He is at my right hand, that I may not be shaken.
F IR ST EP ISTLE OF S T P AUL TO TH E C OR INTH IANS 12 : 27 – 13 : 8
Brethren, You are the Body of Christ, and members individually. And God has appointed these in the Church: first
Apostles, second Prophets, third Teachers, after that Miracles, then Gifts of Healings, Helps, Administrations, varieties
of Tongues.
Are all Apostles? Are all Prophets? Are all Teachers? Are all Workers of Miracles? Do all have Gifts of Healings? Do all
speak with Tongues? Do all interpret? Earnestly desire the best Gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent Way:
Although I speak with the Tongues of men and of Angels, but have not Love, I have become sounding brass or a
clanging cymbal. And although I have the Gift of Prophecy, and understand all Mysteries and all Knowledge, and
although I have all Faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not Love, I am nothing! And although I
bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and although I give my body to be burnt, but have not Love, it profits me
nothing!
Love is long-suffering and kind. Love does not envy. Love does not parade itself - is not puffed up, does not behave
rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil, does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the Truth;
bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails.
✶ “...You are the Body of Christ ...” As Disciples of  By LIVING HARMONIOUSLY with our fellow mankind.
Christ, WE ARE ALL PART OF ONE UNITED ‘... Body of  By PROTECTING AND TAKING CARE OF OUR NATURAL
Christ...’ – His One HOLY, UNIVERSAL CHURCH. ENVIRONMENT and all creatures great and small.
✶ Even though we are ‘...members individually...” – ✶ “...a more excellent Way...” is THE UNCONDITIONAL
separate, individual beings - WE DO NOT NOR SHOULD LOVE OF GOD – AGAPE
WE ACT INDEPENDENTLY OF GOD AND HIS HOLY CHURCH. ✶ “...Although I speak ...” To those who are
 WE CANNOT FULFIL OUR SACRED DUTIES OUTSIDE OR APART preoccupied with the ‘speaking of tongues’ – i.e.
FROM THE DIVINE AUTHORITY OF GOD AND HIS HOLY speaking different languages of this world – ST PAUL
CHURCH. TAUGHT THE ULTIMATE DIVINE GIFT –DIVINE LOVE – AGAPE.
 THERE IS A HIERARCHY OF HONOUR in the Holy Church of
✶ “...but have not Love...” THE ACQUISITION OF THIS
the New Covenant to this day.
ETERNAL, HOLY VIRTUE OF DIVINE LOVE OF ALL CREATION IS
 THE APOSTOLIC WORK – THAT OF THE BISHOP – SETS THE PACE
THE MOST TRUE SIGN OF THE PRESENCE OF THE LIFE-GIVING,
FOR ALL THE PARISH CHURCHES UNDER HIS AUTHORITY.
ALL HOLY SPIRIT, Who bestows the Divine Gifts upon us.
 WHEN THE OVERSIGHT OF THE BISHOP IS IN ORDER – i.e. the
 St Basil the Great taught us that THERE ARE THREE REASONS
supervision of the Bishop – THE REST OF THE HOLY
– all Biblical and all God-given – FOR US TO FOLLOW
CHURCH IS FREE TO FUNCTION AT ITS OPTIMAL LEVEL.
THE LORD OUR GOD:
✶ “...God has appointed... “ THE VARIOUS ROLES OF EVERY 1. FEAR
FAITHFUL DISCIPLES IS APPOINTED BY THE LORD OUR GOD  PROVERBS 1:7 “The Fear of God is THE BEGINNING
Himself. OF WISDOM.”
 GOD CALLS US AND BESTOWS HIS SPECIFIC DIVINE GIFTS UPON 2. OBEDIENCE – a recognition that BECAUSE HE IS GOD
US IN ORDER TO FULFIL VARIOUS ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS WE MUST WILLINGLY OBEY HIM.
WITHIN HIS UNIVERSAL HOLY CHURCH...  ACTS 5:29 “... Peter and the other Apostles
 Thereby HIS DIVINE MISSION – THE SALVATION OF ALL answered: ‘WE OUGHT TO OBEY GOD RATHER
MANKIND – MIGHT BE ACCOMPLISHED according to the THAN MANKIND...’
Will of God the Father, through God the Son, by the 3. LOVE
Power and Energy of God the Holy Spirit.  1 JOHN 4:19 “We Love Him (God) because HE
 THE DIVINE GIFTS ENABLE US TO ACHIEVE ALL GOOD VIRTUES FIRST LOVED US.”
AND EVERYTHING THAT IS HONOURABLE, WHICH GLORIFIES  GOD IS LOVE
THE LORD OUR GOD.  HE LOVES US DESPITE OUR SINFUL STATE
 The Divine Gifts are also bestowed upon us TO ENABLE  HE HAS PROVIDED ALL MEANS POSSIBLE TO CORRECT OUR
US TO FULLY UNDERSTAND AND APPLY TO OUR OWN WORDS, ERRORS AND BE RESTORED AND REGENERATED as He
THOUGHTS AND DEEDS, ALL THE DIVINE TRUTH OF CHRIST’S has created us to be.
TEACHINGS AND COMMANDMENTS.  While we must perpetually Strive to DO ALL THINGS OUT
The Divine Gifts are ESSENTIAL TO OUR SPIRITUAL PROGRESS AND OF LOVE, WE MUST ALSO NOT CEASE FEARING – I.E.
WELFARE so that we are able to proceed towards RESPECTING – GOD AND (WILLINGLY) OBEYING HIM.
Eternity as God created us to do -  DIVINE OR GODLY LOVE OUTSHINES PROPHECY AND ALL FAITH
 By DOING EVERYTHING THAT IS TRULY WORTHY,  DIVINE LOVE IS OF FAR GREATER VALUE AND SPIRITUAL BENEFIT
HONOURABLE AND GOOD than the miraculous ability to remove mountains!
 By DEVELOPING A CLOSE, INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP WITH  OUR LORD JESUS URGED US TO GIVE TO THE POOR AND TO
OUR HEAVENLY FATHER SACRIFICE OUR LIFE FOR THE BENEFIT AND SAKE OF OTHERS.

S T K OSM AS & S T D AM IANOS – H OLY U NM ER CE NAR IE S OF R OME - 1 JU LY 2019 1


 HOWEVER: even such SELFLESS ACTS of Holy Martyrdom Sacred Mission of regaining our Divine
and personal sacrifice that are DONE WITHOUT LOVE Likeness.
WILL PROFIT US ABSOLUTELY NOTHING  THROUGH OUR WEAKNESS AND STRUGGLES WE LEARN TO
 ANY EFFORT NOT PERFORMED WITH SINCERE, TRUE AGAPE – RELY MORE ON THE LOVE OF GOD AND ARE THUS ABLE
DIVINE LOVE – IS WASTED AND UNBENEFICIAL because it TO ACQUIRE THE DIVINE VIRTUES ESSENTIAL FOR OUR
is not motivated by our deep, abiding Love of God ETERNAL SALVATION.
- for His exclusive Glory, Honour and Worship – nor  PATIENCE IS A GREAT HOLY VIRTUE BECAUSE THEREBY WE
due to our Love and Compassion for our suffering, MAINTAIN OUR IMMORTAL SOUL, AS CHRIST TAUGHT US
destitute or sorrowing fellow mankind. TO DO.
✶ “...Love is...” St Paul specifically explained THE EXACT  GALATIANS 6:2 “BEAR EACH OTHER’S BURDENS, and so
ATTRIBUTES OF DIVINE, GODLY LOVE – AGAPE : FULFIL THE LAW OF CHRIST.”

1. “...long-suffering and kind...” LOVE IS PATIENT, 8. “...Love believes all things and trusts in
KIND AND GENTLE, especially with those who are God...” no matter what circumstances or what
hurt. occurs!
 1 THESSALONIANS 5:14 – “We exhort you, Brethren:  As Disciples of Christ, WE UNWAVERINGLY BELIEVE HIS
WARN those who are unruly, COMFORT the faint- DIVINE TRUTH AND TRUST IMPLICITLY IN THE LORD OUR
hearted, UPHOLD the weak, BE PATIENT WITH ALL.” GOD Who controls all Creation and makes
 EPHESIANS 4:32 “... BE KIND to one another, TENDER- everything possible for us – especially
HEARTED, FORGIVING each other, even AS GOD IN everything that is beyond our limited ability.
CHRIST FORGIVES YOU.”)  When our heart is pure, our Faith is more
2. “...Love does not envy ...” LOVE IS NOT JEALOUS, profound, and God is able to Abide within us.
ENVIOUS, RESENTFUL NOR BITTER concerning whatever  PROVERBS 3:5 “TRUST IN GOD with all your heart.”)
others have, do or receive. 9. “... Love Hopes all things...” Love is focussed on
 We must BE SATISFIED WITH WHATEVER WE HAVE, for GOD God and His Heavenly Kingdom – the very Source
KNOWS EXACTLY WHAT WE NEED. of Divine Love.
 PROVERBS 23:17 – “DO NOT let your heart ENVY SINNERS,  Divine Love – Agape – is a positive, powerful, Holy
but BE IN FEAR OF THE LORD the whole day long.” Virtue that never loses Hope for Eternal Life in
3. “...Love does not parade itself...” nor put itself God’s Heavenly Kingdom of Love.
on display.  Love is the Everlasting Holy Virtue that we carry
 We must NEVER CONSIDER OURSELVES AS BEING ‘SUPERIOR’ into Eternity, for Eternal Life is a Life of Divine
TO ANYONE ELSE, but rather “inferior” to everyone Love, Joy, and Peace beyond description.
else!  Love is ever Hopeful and optimistic because
 We must strive to ACQUIRE TRUE HUMILITY, ALWAYS thereby we behold the Goodness and Blessings
PUTTING OTHERS BEFORE OURSELVES. of God in all circumstances and situations –
 JOHN 3:30 “He (Christ) must increase, but I (St John confident that God, being in control, causes
the Baptist) MUST DECREASE.” good and positive things to arise even from the
ashes of disasters.
4. “...Love is not puffed up...” - NEITHER ARROGANT NOR
 PHILIPPIANS 3:13 “... Forgetting those things that are
PROUD - WITHOUT A SENSE OF SELF-IMPORTANCE that is
behind, and REACHING FORWARD to those things
usually DELUSIONAL, INCORRECT AND OVER-RATED.
that are ahead.”
 THE DEGREE OF OUR ARROGANCE AND PRIDE CAN BE
MEASURED BY THE INTENSITY OF OUR ANGER, 10. “... Love endures all things..” because it
FRUSTRATION, DISAPPOINTMENT AND HURT WHEN OUR TOLERATES EVERYTHING AND NEVER WEARS OUT.
DESIRES ARE THWARTED.  Divine Love is UTTERLY UNCONDITIONAL – DOES NOT
 GALATIANS 6:3 “... If anyone thinks himself to be DEPEND ON, NOR EXPECTS ANY TYPE OF REWARD,
something, when he is nothing, HE DECEIVES REPAYMENT OR RECIPROCATION. by many means.
HIMSELF.”  When we have acquired TRUE AGAPE, our Love of
God and of our fellow mankind, and indeed, of
5. “...Love does not act rudely...” Neither does it
all Creation HAS NO LIMITS NOR RESTRICTIONS.
act brashly and mean-spiritedly.
 Such Pure Love increases and GROWS MORE INTENSE
 We must always RESIST the wicked temptations of
WITH SPIRITUAL MATURITY AND EXPERIENCE.
HURTING, CRITICISING, DENIGRATING, INSULTING,
 Divine Love MAKES EVEN THE LOVE OF ENEMIES ACTUALLY
RUMOUR-MONGERING OR GOSSIPING.
POSSIBLE AND SINCERE, which REVEALS ITS DIVINE
 We must STRIVE TO CONTROL OUR THOUGHTS from
SOURCE – OUR LOVING AND BENEVOLENT TRIUNE LORD
which come our words and deeds.
GOD!
 We must ALWAYS THINK, ACT AND SPEAK WORTHILY,
 GALATIANS 6:9 “... Grow not weary while doing
knowing that EVERY WORD, THOUGHT AND DEED IS
good, for in due season we shall reap, if we do
OUR OWN JUDGEMENT AGAINST OURSELVES!
not lose heart.”
 ECCLESIASTES 5:2 “The voice of a senseless man is
with a multitude of words.” 11. “...Love never fails.” LOVE ACCOMPLISHES AND FULFILS
EVERYTHING THAT IS GOOD, HONOURABLE AND WORTHY.
6. “...Love does not seek its own way ...” NEITHER
 Love can ULTIMATELY TRANSFORM ALL CREATION AND
DOES LOVE ACT FORCEFULLY NOR SELFISHLY.
DISPLAY ALL THE MAGNIFICENT GLORY OF GOD.
 GOD NEVER FORCES HIS DIVINE WILL UPON US, but waits
 Love cannot fail, for THE DIVINE POWER AND ENERGY OF
for us to voluntarily Obey Him, which requires
GOD WHO IS LOVE, OVERCOMES ALL NEGATIVITY AND
the Holy Virtue of Humility on our part.
WICKEDNESS (created by the fallen spirits who
 ACCORDINGLY, WE MUST NEVER TRY TO IMPOSE OR FORCE
rebelled against God and rejected His Loving
OUR WILL OR DESIRES UPON OUR FELLOW MANKIND.
Benevolence, Goodness and Light.)
 More significantly, WE MUST NEVER DARE TO TRY TO
 Love is THE BRIGHTEST BEACON OF DIVINE LIGHT THAT
“FORCE” GOD TO FULFIL OUR SELFISH DESIRES by
SHINES AND ILLUMINATES EVERYTHING, including
bargaining with Him or by making ridiculous
those hidden in the Darkness of sin and the
threats!!
Fall from Divine Grace.
 1 CORINTHIANS 10:24: “Let no one seek his own
ALL THE OTHER DIVINE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT - as wonderful
(will), but each one the other’s well-being.”
as they are - ARE MERELY TEMPORARY AND INCOMPLETE.
7. “...Love bears all things...” LOVE COPES WITH THEY SERVE THE VARIOUS PURPOSES AND CIRCUMSTANCES OF THIS
BURDENSOME AND DIFFICULT CIRCUMSTANCES of daily SHORT, PREPARATORY LIFESPAN – for our use only while we
life. are still Spiritual “Children” – Spiritually Immature –
 WE MUST STRIVE TO DO THE BEST WE CAN, no matter who are Struggling to regain our created Divine
what our circumstances might be. Likeness.
 We must DEPEND ENTIRELY UPON THE LOVE AND However, DIVINE LOVE – AGAPE - IS ETERNAL, COMPLETE AND
PROVIDENCE OF ALMIGHTY GOD Who always knows FULFILLING, SO IT CONTINUES INTO THE AGE TO COME –
what is beneficial for our Eternal Salvation. Eternal Life in God’s Heavenly Kingdom of Love.
 GOD PERMITS US TO STRUGGLE SO THAT THEREBY WE ALL DIVINE TRUTH – Christ’s Teachings and Commandments
BECOME CLOSER TO HIM AND GROW SPIRITUALLY – IS FOUNDED ON AND MOTIVATED BY DIVINE LOVE.
STRONGEr and more determined to fulfil our

2 S T K OSM AS & S T D AM IANOS – H OLY U NM ER CE NAR IE S OF R OME - 1 JU LY 2019


ONLY BY STRIVING TO ACQUIRE THAT PERFECT, DIVINE LOVE, CAN OUR JOURNEY OF THE RESTORATION OF OUR HOLY NATURE AND
WE REGAIN OUR DIVINE LIKENESS TO CHRIST. ETERNAL LIFE BEGINS WITH THE HOLY MYSTERY OF BAPTISM
OUR ENTIRE EXISTENCE - the Reason and Purpose of our AND CHRISMATION – OUR SACRED COMMITMENT TO GOD AS
creation - CONCERNS THAT DIVINE LOVE OF GOD AND OF HIS FAITHFUL DISCIPLES.
EACH OTHER.  1 CORINTHIANS 16:14: “LET ALL THAT YOU DO BE DONE WITH
LOVE.”
T H E H OLY G OSPEL ACCO R D ING TO S T M ATTHE W 10 : 1, 5 – 8
At that time, when our Lord Jesus had Called His Twelve Disciples to Him, He gave them Power over unclean spirits – to
cast them out – and to Heal all kinds of disease. These Jesus sent out, having commanded them: “Do not go into
the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. Go to the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel.
Go, preach, saying: ‘The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!’ Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast
out demons.
“Freely you have received – freely give.”
✶ “...His Twelve Disciples...” - THE TERMS “DISCIPLES” 1. “...MAKE DISCIPLES of all Nations...”
AND “APOSTLES” ARE USED INTERCHANGEABLY by St Matthew, 2. “...BAPTISING THEM IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER, AND
St Mark, St Luke and St John. OF THE SON, AND OF THE HOLY SPIRIT,..”
 However, the term “Apostle” REFERS TO THOSE WHO WERE 3. “... TEACHING THEM TO OBSERVE ALL THINGS...” THAT
SPECIFICALLY “...sent forth...” BY OUR DIVINE SAVIOUR – OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST HAS TAUGHT US.”
initially to His Chosen People – the Nation of Israel  Our Lord Jesus Christ very clearly and precisely stated
– and later, to the Gentiles – the New Chosen our Sacred Mission during this very short,
People of God – the “New Israel.” preparatory lifespan.
 All those who followed Christ and who accompanied  OUR LORD GOD IS LOVE SO HE WANTS ALL MANKIND TO BE
Him on His Missionary Journeys were His Disciples GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO BE RESTORED to our original
for THEY LIVED BY THE HOLY DISCIPLINE OF HIS DIVINE created state as His Image and Likeness.
TRUTH – HIS TEACHINGS AND HIS COMMANDMENTS.  Therefore, BOTH THE VERBAL AND WRITTEN HOLY TRADITION
 To this day, THOSE OF US WHO ARE FAITHFUL TO CHRIST AND OF CHRIST MUST BE PROPERLY AND CORRECTLY TAUGHT AND
WHO STRUGGLE DAILY TO FULFIL HIS DIVINE TRUTH, ARE LEARNT so that we can apply them all to our own
ALSO “DISCIPLES OF CHRIST” WHO OUGHT TO APPLY HIS words, thoughts and deeds.
DIVINE TRUTH TO EVERY ASPECT OF DAILY LIFE.
 THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN BEGINS HERE AND NOW.
 THE TRUE APOSTLES OF CHRIST WERE HIS TWELVE APOSTLES AS
 BY LIVING IN CHRIST, WE LIVE IN HIS HEAVENLY KINGDOM
WELL AS THE SEVENTY APOSTLES who were all GRANTED
even while still in this existence of time and place.
DIVINE AUTHORITY AND POWER and then sent forth by
 THE HOLY MYSTERY OF BAPTISM AND CHRISMATION IS THE
Christ.
BEGINNING OF - THE ENTRANCE - TO HIS HEAVENLY
✶ “...He gave them Power...” TO FULFIL THEIR SACRED KINGDOM.
MISSION BY THE DIVINE POWER AND AUTHORITY OF GOD,  When we are Baptised, WE “...PUT ON CHRIST...” LIKE A
 OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST - THE ETERNAL WORD AND ONLY GARMENT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, and then STRIVE DAILY TO
BEGOTTEN SON OF GOD – THE SECOND PERSON OF THE LIVE IN CHRIST by applying His Divine Truth to our
HOLY TRINITY - BESTOWS HIS DIVINE POWER AND own words, thoughts and deeds.
AUTHORITY UPON HIS CALLED APOSTLES AND DISCIPLES  OUR SPIRITUAL JOURNEY BEGINS FROM WITHIN OURSELVEs.
in order to accomplish His Divine Mission to  Our words, thoughts and deeds are like ripples upon
mankind. a pond that spread out and affect all kinds of
 ALL DIVINE MIRACLES ARE PERFORMED THROUGH VARIOUS people and circumstances – most of which we
SANCTIFIED MEANS such as God’s Holy Saints, Martyrs remain unaware at present.
and various Sanctified Elements that have been  EVERY CHOICE WE MAKE, EVERY WORD, THOUGHT AND DEED,
EMPOWERED BY GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT. HAS SIGNIFICANT CONSEQUENCES, WHICH WILL EITHER
 Certain MATERIAL ELEMENTS BECOME SANCTIFIED THROUGH BLESS US OR CONDEMN US.
CONTACT EITHER DIRECTLY WITH GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT –  EVERY HUMAN BEING SERVES A PURPOSE in this lifespan, so,
such as those used in the Holy Mysteries - OR as Disciples of Christ, we must strive to MAKE OUR
INDIRECTLY through elements that have been in WORDS, THOUGHTS AND DEEDS WORTHY AND SPIRITUALLY
contact with God’s Sanctified Saints and Martyrs. BENEFICIAL.
 OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST PERFORMS ALL HIS DIVINE WORKS AND
✶ “...Freely you have received – freely give...”
MIRACLES DIRECTLY, ACCORDING TO THE WILL OF HIS
EVERYTHING we have or see around us HAS BEEN
HEAVENLY FATHER and WITH THE POWER AND ENERGY OF
CREATED AND GRANTED BY THE LORD OUR GOD WHO
GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT, because THE HOLY TRINITY
BESTOWS HIS DIVINE BLESSINGS UPON US WITH ABUNDANCE,
ALWAYS WORKS TOGETHER IN UNIFIED HARMONY – as One
SO THAT WE ARE ABLE TO SHARE THEM WITH EACH OTHER.
Almighty Lord God or Godhead.
 NOTHING BELONGS TO US. EVERYTHING IS TEMPORARY AND
✶ “...’Do not go...’” OUR LORD’S DIVINE MISSION WAS FIRST ONLY LENT TO US for the duration of this short
AND FOREMOST TO RESTORE HIS CHOSEN PEOPLE – the lifespan.
Nation of Israel – to His Divine Grace.  OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST PROVIDES US WITH EVERY MEANS
 He specifically sent His Apostles to the “Lost Sheep” of POSSIBLE TO BE A GOOD, POSITIVE AND BENEFICIAL
Israel so that NO ONE COULD ACCUSE THEM OF INFLUENCE ON OUR SURROUNDINGS!
ASSOCIATING WITH “...UNCIRCUMCISED MEN...” – the  WHATEVER WE CHOOSE TO DO FOR OTHERS MUST BE DONE WITH
Gentiles, pagans or non-Jews – which was PURE LOVE – with generosity, cheerfulness, kindness,
forbidden. compassion and mercy – IN IMITATION OF OUR
 The Samaritans were especially despised and LORD GOD’S LOVE, GENEROSITY AND GREAT
avoided at all costs due to their apostasy. MERCY.
 The Samaritans were former Israelites who had inter-  EVERYTHING WE DO TO OR FOR OTHERS, IS RETURNED TO US “...A
married with pagans and thus fallen into HUNDREDFOLD!”
apostasy.  Therefore, WE OUGHT TO ENSURE THAT OUR WORDS, THOUGHTS
✶ “...’The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!’ ...” AND DEEDS ARE GOOD AND BENEFICIAL FOR OTHERS AS
This is THE DIVINE PROCLAMATION THAT ALL THAT WAS WELL AS FOR OURSELVES!
PROPHESIED OVER THE PAST CENTURIES, WAS NOW BEING Our Lord Jesus Christ taught His Apostles not to carry
FULFILLED by the long-awaited Great Messiah – our anything extra with them on their Missionary Journeys
Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. so that THEY WOULD LEARN BY EXPERIENCE THE PROVIDENCE
✶ “...Heal ... Cleanse ..., Raise ..., cast out ...” OF GOD.
Our Lord prepared His Apostles and Disciples to be Furthermore, HIS DISCIPLES WORKED FOR THEIR DAILY NEEDS
single-minded and FOCUSSED IN THEIR SACRED MISSION OF whenever possible, so that THEY WERE NEVER ACCUSED OF
SALVATION. BEING GREEDY NOR ADDITIONAL BURDENS UPON THE MEAGRE
RESOURCES OF THE PEOPLE.
 After His Ascension, OUR SACRED MISSION OF
SALVATION is to
S T K OSM AS & S T D AM IANOS – H OLY U NM ER CE NAR IE S OF R OME - 1 JU LY 2019 3
T H E F E AST OF S T K OSMAS & S T D AM IANOS , TH E H OLY U NM ERC E NARY P HY SIC IANS OF R OM E
When we hear the word ‘mercenary’ it calls to mind a For that very reason St. Paul explained in depth what the
professional soldier who does not fight for a country or True Attributes of Divine Love are and how we ought
a cause but for money. to apply them to our own Love of God and one
Strictly speaking, “mercenary” refers to anyone who works another.
merely or primarily for money - the implication being The first Attribute concerns “... Long-suffering...” (The
that any higher code of ethics or Calling is absent Greek word used is ‘...Makrothyme...’ (not ‘Ypomone’ –
from his/her motivation. “Patience.”)
The opposite of a mercenary is an ‘Unmercenary’ - a term Many of us become irritated and eventually lash out in
that is seldom used these days, which does not even anger or act with ‘ passive aggressiveness,’ which is a
appear in most dictionaries. complete lack of Love, for we must really strive –
However, in Orthodox Christianity, “Unmercenary” is a which is very difficult at times - to have Patience and
most honourable title granted to Saints who are tolerance for others.
admirable Disciples of Christ who never accepted any The second Attribute is “... Kindness...” (“...Hristevete...” -
form of payment for their Good Works. being Good, Virtuous, Moral and Honest
Today we commemorate St Kosmas and St Damianos of We ought to think, speak and act in a good, virtuous
Rome, who were sibling Unmercenary Physicians. manner that is truthful, sincere, and honest - never
The Greek word for “Unmercenary” is “Anargyros” – deceitful nor misleading.
meaning one who does not accept silver (coins) – i.e. The third Attribute of Love ‘...does not envy...’ ( “...Ou
one who refuses payment. zili...”)
These Unmercenary Brothers lived in Rome during the We cannot Love when we desire or crave what others
late third century. As Physicians, they treated the have.
ailments of everyone freely, according to their Faith in This concerns one of the Ten Divine Commandments that
our Lord Jesus Christ Who said: “ Freely you have forbids coveting, lusting or begrudging – “Thou shalt
received – freely give!” (Matthew 10:8) not covet!” (Exodus 20:17)
They said to everyone whom they treated: “...It is not by God forbid that we associate with people primarily
our own power that we treat you, but by the Power of because of their possessions and social status, rather
Christ the True God. Believe in Him and be Healed.” than unconditional Love for the person – ‘Saint or
They had also Miraculously Healed the Emperor, Carinos, sinner’ - who is the Image of Christ!
which caused many to believe in Christ. The Fourth Attribute of Love “... does not parade itself ...”
Sadly, however, they were eventually murdered by their (“...ou Perperevete...”) – particularly when it comes to
Teacher - a fellow Physician - who became jealous of doing Good Works, Acts of Charity or Almsgiving.
their fame and popularity amongst the Roman When our “Acts of Love” are public displays, they become
citizens.. Spiritually Unbeneficial to us and might even
In time, two other Unmercenary sibling Physician Saints, eventually Condemn us Eternally!
also named “St Kosmas and St Damianos” continued Our Lord Jesus severely cautioned us - “Take heed that
their Sacred Mission of Healing everyone in the Name you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to
and Love of Christ our Divine Saviour and Almighty be seen by them. Otherwise you have no Reward
Lord God. from your Father in Heaven...” (MATTHEW 6 : 1 – 4)
They are St Kosmas and St Damianos of Asia Minor (287) The Fifth Attribute is that “...Love is not puffed up...” (“...ou
and of Cilicia, Arabia, (303)who are Commemorated fisioute...”
on 1 November and 17 October, respectively. When we are conceited, bragging about our own
Throughout the centuries, many other Unmercenary accomplishments, we consider ourselves superior to
Healers have shone just as brightly, freely giving to others – like the Unrepentant Pharisee who told
others as they had freely received the Divine Power to himself (rather than God) that he was thankful that he
fulfil their Sacred Mission from our Lord, just like His was “... not like other men—extortioners, unjust,
first Holy Apostles adulterers, or even like that (despised) Tax Collector.”
The Epistle Lesson of St Paul to the Corinthians (LUKE 18:11).
concerning the Holy Attributes of Love (Agape) - as The Sixth Attribute of Love “...does not behave rudely...”
well as various Ministries and Divine Gifts that are “...ouk ashimoni...”
bestowed by our Triune Lord God, especially healing, Rudeness is not only bad, disrespectful and unworthy
which we heard today, is read on the Feast Days of all behaviour towards others, but also includes uncouth,
the Unmercenary Saints. blasphemous or denigrating language, such as how
The Motivation behind Healing and the refusal to accept the soldiers and others treated our Lord Jesus after He
payment concerns Unconditional, Perfect and Divine was betrayed, condemned mocked, spat upon, and
Love, which is certainly “... the more excellent way.” struck with fists and reeds.
Love is the Foundation of all other Divine Gifts and Holy The Seventh Attribute of Love “...does not seek its own
Ministries within the Life of our Orthodox Church. way...” (or own will) - ”...ou ziti ta eaftis...”
Love must be the primary motivating Factor for every While they were still inexperienced St James and St John
word, thought and deed of any True had said to our Lord Jesus: “Teacher, we want Thou
Christian/Disciple. to do for us whatever we ask... ...Grant us that we Thy
The word “...love...” is the most misused word in the left, in Thy Glory.”
English language. Our Lord Jesus Christ always acts only according to the
It is used as a ‘romantic feeling’ that attracts two people Divine Will of our Heavenly Father – never according
to each other when they “...fall in love....” or is the to any selfish desire. Therefore, as His Disciples, we
euphemism for two people engaging in sexual must learn to humbly Obey the Will of our Heavenly
intercourse - “...making love...” while a “...love child...” Father in all things, for He alone knows what is good
might be the fruit of that act. and Beneficial for our immortal soul.
All these uses of the term “...love...” fall very short and The Eighth Attribute of Love “...is not provoked...” – “ ou
very far away from the true meaning of Love - parozinete...”
‘Agape’ in Greek, which refers to the Self-Sacrificial, Whether we provoke or are provoked by others to
Perfect, Absolute, Pure and Divine Love of God - respond negatively in any way, is obviously unloving.
especially in the Kenotic (Self-emptying) Sacrifice of We must be very careful how we react to criticism or any
our Lord Jesus Christ’s Death on the Cross, in order to type of provocation by remaining calm, listening
grant us – all mankind - Eternal Life. attentively, trying to comprehend the cause, then
Our Divine Saviour Jesus clearly stated:, “...Greater Love forgiving or apologising and correcting ourselves or
has no one than ... to lay down one’s life for his the circumstances if possible.
friends. “ (JOHN 15:13). Let us conclude St John’s exhortation to Love: “ ... My little
Even when our Lord Jesus Christ Live amongst us, the children, let us not Love in word or in tongue, but in
various terms for “... love...” were misused and deed and in Truth!”. (1 JOHN 3)
misunderstood. FATHER RICK – “WHAT IS LOVE?” (EDITED BY MP)
HTTP://WWW.STGEORGEGOC.ORG

4 S T K OSM AS & S T D AM IANOS – H OLY U NM ER CE NAR IE S OF R OME - 1 JU LY 2019


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.
2 JULY 2019
DEPOSITION OF THE ROBE OF OUR LADY, THEOTOKOS
AT BLACHERNAE, CONSTANTINOPLE

Also the Feast of St Photios, Metropolitan of Kiev – St Juvenal, Patriarch of Jerusalem


– St Stephen the Great of Moldavia – St John (Maximovitch) Archbishop of Shangai &
San Francisco

THE SUNDAY AND FESTAL HYMNS ARE PUBLISHED IN BOOKLET FORM EACH MONTH. THESE ARE PUBLISHED

AND FREELY DOWNLOADABLE ON WWW.SCRIBD.COM/WRITERS4574. LINKS ARE ALSO POSTED ON


FACEBOOK “ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN EASTERN CAPE.” (OR CAN BE EMAILED DIRECTLY, ON REQUEST TO

MARGUERITE.PAIZIS@GMAIL.COM)

P R OKE IM ENON – T HE M AGNIF IC AT OF OU R L ADY T H E OTOKOS – T ONE 3


My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit Rejoices in God my Saviour.
For He has regarded the lowly estate of His Handmaiden,
for behold: henceforth all generations shalt call me “Blessed.”

T H E E PISTLE OF S T P AUL TO TH E H EBRE WS 9 : 1 – 7


Brethren: the First Covenant had Regulations for worship and an earthly Sanctuary. A Tabernacle was prepared – the
outer one, in which were the Lampstand and the Table and the Bread of the Presence – called the Holy Place.
Behind the Second Veil stood a Tabernacle – the Holy of Holies – having the Golden Altar of Incense and the Ark of the
Covenant covered on all sides with Gold, which contained a golden Urn holding the Manna, Aaron’s Rod that
budded, and the Tablets of the Covenant. Above it were the Cherubim of Glory, overshadowing the Mercy Seat. Of
these things we cannot now speak in detail.
These preparations having thus been made, the Priests went continually into the Outer Tabernacle, performing their
Ritual duties, but into the Second Tabernacle only the High Priest goes, and he but once a year, and not without
taking blood, which he offers for himself and for the errors of the people.
✶ “...A Tabernacle was prepared ...” This is a made for the Holy Tabernacle, SERVED AS THE FIRST
description of THE MOSAIC TABERNACLE, which PREFIGURED HOLY ICONS OF THE OLD COVENANT. (EXODUS 26:31)
THE HEAVENLY ALTAR.  THIS AND VARIOUS OTHER PASSAGES PUT TO REST THE FEAR THAT
 THIS PASSAGE IS READ during the Great Feasts of our THE SECOND DIVINE COMMANDMENT OF GOD PROHIBITS
Lady Theotokos and during the Lenten Forefeast ALL IMAGERY. (EXODUS 20: 4 – 6)
of the Feast of the Nativity of Christ in order TO  GOD THE FATHER AND GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT CANNOT BE
DESCRIBE THE GREAT HOLY MYSTERY OF THE INCARNATION REPRESENTED OR DEPICTED BECAUSE THEIR DIVINE NATURE
OF THE ETERNAL SON OF GOD. IS UNKNOWABLE.
 THE EVER BLESSED, EVER VIRGIN MARY’S WOMB WAS PREPARED  THEIR ETERNAL UNITY AND PRESENCE WITH CHRIST IS USUALLY
TO BE THE HOLY TABERNACLE OF CHRIST – THE VERY DEPICTED AS TWO DIFFERENTLY COLOURED SHAPES BEHIND
DWELLING PLACE OF THE LORD OUR GOD. THE FIGURE OF OUR LORD such as in the Holy Icon of
the Transfiguration.
✶ “...the Second Veil ...” A most important detail
concerns THE INNER VEIL – ‘THE SECOND VEIL’ – which The depiction of God the Father and God the Holy Spirit as an
SEPARATES THE HOLY PLACE – THE HOLY SANCTUARY – FROM Old Man and a White Dove is a modern, western influenced
THE MOST HOLY PLACE – THE HOLY OF HOLIES OR THE HOLIEST heresy, because the Persons of THE HOLY TRINITY MAY ONLY
OF ALL, WHICH CONTAINED THE MYSTERIOUS ARK OF THE BE DEPICTED AS THREE IDENTICAL “ANGELS” SUCH AS AT THE
COVENANT and into which ONLY THE HIGH PRIEST COULD OAKS OF MAMRE – “the Hospitality of Abraham.”
ENTER ON ONLY ONE DAY A YEAr. THEY NEVER MANIFESTED VISIBLY AT ANY OTHER TIME and our
 THE INNER VEIL FORMS THE LOCUS OF THE LITURGICAL Lord Jesus Christ clearly told His Disciples that whoever has
PRACTICE OF THE OLD COVENANT AND REVEALS ITS seen Him, has also seen His Co-Eternal, Co-Essential Father
IMPERFECTION – for THE PEOPLE COULD NOT DRAW CLOSE (and thus also the Holy Spirit!)
TO GOD AND THE HIGH PRIEST COULD ONLY ENTER THE However, GOD THE SON – OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST
HOLY OF HOLIES ONCE A YEAR for his own sins as well - CAN BE DEPICTED ACCORDING TO HIS INCARNATION, FOR HE
as those of the people. IS GOD-MAN AND THUS HIS HUMAN NATURE CAN AND IS
 At His Death on the Cross, OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST IMAGED.
RESOLVED OUR ALIENATION AND ESTRANGEMENT FROM Furthermore, CHRIST LEFT A 3 DIMENSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHIC
GOD. (MATTHEW 27:51) IMAGE UPON HIS DISCARDED BURIAL CLOTHES – ON THE INNER
✶ “...The Ark of the Covenant..” CONTAINED ALL THE FACE CLOTH, WHICH HE LEFT NEATLY FOLDED - AND ON THE
PRECIOUS HOLY RELICS OF THE OLD COVENANT AND OF ISRAEL LONG SHROUD, which were both left in His Empty Tomb after
– THE GOLDEN POT OF MANNA, AARON’S ROD, AND THE STONE His Glorious Resurrection.
TABLETS OF THE MOSAIC LAW, GIVEN TO THE ANCIENT When St Peter and St John entered the Empty Tomb, they
PATRIARCH BY GOD HIMSELF. were immediately amazed by the Precious Holy Relics that had
✶ “...the Cherubim of Glory ...” ALMIGHTY GOD IS been left behind.
ENTHRONED UPON THE CHERUBIM, hence, God’s Throne in In many churches, THE HOLY ICON OF CHRIST NOT MADE BY
the midst of Israel. HANDS IS DEPICTED BEING HELD ALOFT BY TWO CHERUBIM,
✶ “... – the Mercy Seat – HAD A CHERUB DEPICTED ON EACH situated over the Royal Gates of the Iconostasion.
SIDE.
✶ “ ... into the Outer Tabernacle...” PRIESTS WERE
 THE ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN HOLY ALTAR IS ALSO FLANKED BY
ALLOWED TO ENTER THE HOLY PLACE DAILY,.
DEPICTIONS OF THE CHERUBIM.
✶ ”... into the Second Tabernacle ...” ONLY THE HIGH PRIEST
 THESE REPRESENTATIONS, along with the images of the
COULD ENTER THE HOLY OF HOLIES ON THE ONE DAY OF
Holy Cherubim on the Inner Veil and the beauty
ATONEMENT (Yom Kippur.)
and detailed workmanship of everything that was

THE DEPOSITION OF THE ROBE OF OUR LADY, THEOTOKOS, AT BLACHERNAE, CONSTANTINOPLE - 2 JULY 5
 The High Priest carried the blood of sacrificed 5. THAT BLOOD SACRIFICE DEALT ENTIRELY WITH MATERIALS
animals for THE ATONEMENT OF HIS OWN SINS AS WELL AS FROM THIS AGE,
THOSE OF THE PEOPLE. 6. which are IMPERFECT AND IMPERMANENT –
 THIS ANNUAL BLOOD SACRIFICE REVEALS THE IMPERFECTION 7. which CANNOT BEGIN A PARTICIPATION IN THE AGE TO
AND TEMPORARY STATUS OF THE OLD COVENANT COME.
1. ONLY ONE MAN – ONLY THE HIGH PRIEST - COULD ENTER 8. That imperfect Atonement Offering DEALT MAINLY
GOD’S DIVINE PRESENCE – WITH THE OUTER PHYSICAL BEING.
2. but NOT EVERY DAY. - 9. It was SUPERFICIAL AND COULD NOT PURIFY OR
3. IT WAS AN ANNUAL SACRIFICIAL OFFERING TRANSFORM MANKIND’S BODY AND SOUL.
4. FOR THE HIGH PRIEST’S AND THE PEOPLE’S SINS. 10. IT COULD NOT RESTORE OUR FALLEN HUMAN NATURE.
THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST LUKE 1 : 39 – 49 & 56
In those days Mary arose and went in haste to the hill country, to a city of Judah, and she entered the house of
Zachariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leapt in her womb;
and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she exclaimed with a loud cry: “Blessed art Thou among women,
and Blessed is the Fruit of Thy Womb! And why is this granted to me, that the Mother of my Lord should come to
me? For behold, when the sound of Thy greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for Joy. And
Blessed is She who believed, for there would be a Fulfilment of what was spoken to Her from the Lord.”
And Mary said: “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for He has regarded the lowly
estate of His handmaiden! 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!”
And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her home.
✶ “..He Who is Mighty has done great things...” ✶ “...the Mother of my Lord ...” - St Elizabeth’s SPONTANEOUS,
THE EVER BLESSED VIRGIN MARY’S FAITHFUL RESPONSE to the SINCERE CONFESSION and others like it are constantly
Annunciation of Archangel Gabriel WAS THAT OF THE repeated in our Holy Orthodox Church.
HIGHEST DEGREE OF HUMILITY AND OBEDIENCE TO GOD.  HER EXCLUSIVE AND WORTHY TITLE AS “THEOTOKOS” OR
 THE INCARNATION OF GOD THE SON IS NOT ONLY THE DIVINE “MOTHER/BEARER OF GOD” CONFIRMS THAT THE ONE IN
WORK OF ALMIGHTY GOD, BUT ALSO INVOLVED THE FREE HER PURE WOMB IS BOTH FULLY HUMAN AND FULLY DIVINE
AND WILLING RESPONSE OF MANKIND IN THE HOLY AND IN NATURE .
DEVOUT PERSON OF THE EVER BLESSED, ALL HOLY  OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST IS THE TRUE SON OF GOD AS WELL AS
THEOTOKOS. BEING THE TRUE SON OF MAN(kind)!
 THE EVER BLESSED VIRGIN MARY INSTANTLY AND VOLUNTARILY  At Holy Vespers of the Annunciation, we declare: “It is
OBEYED HIS DIVINE WILL – WHICH SHE HAS ALWAYS DONE, the Word of God Who dwells in Her.”
SINCE HER VERY EARLY CHILDHOOD.  It is significant that EVEN THOUGH HIS PHYSICAL BODY HAD
 Due the wilful disobedience of Eve by breaking the NOT YET FULLY FORMED, OUR LORD JESUS WAS TRULY THE
one Divine Commandment, she had alienated INCARNATE SON OF GOD, and
and exiled herself from God.  THE EVER BLESSED, ALL HOLY VIRGIN MARY WAS ALREADY
 OUR EVER BLESSED LADY OPENED HER HEART AND SOUL UP TO ACKNOWLEDGE AND RECOGNISED AS HIS ALL PURE, HOLY
GOD AND DREW EVER CLOSER TO HIM BY HER HUMBLE MOTHER.
OBEDIENCE TO HIS DIVINE WILL IN ALL MATTERS.  THIS DIVINE TRUTH DEALS A FATAL BLOW TO THE DELUSION
 SHE WAS EVER WATCHFUL AND RESISTED TEMPTATION, THAT ABORTION IS JUSTIFIABLE BECAUSE THE “FOETUS” IS
PREFERRING TO REMAIN IN HIS DIVINE GRACE. NOT YET A PERSON!
 As St Theophilact of Bulgaria put it, Her response to In this day and age, infertile couples regard the dividing cells
God was always as though she said: ‘I am a - from the moment of conception - as a viable, living baby
(writing) tablet; let the Writer inscribe whatever who is joyfully awaited and already named! Every child
He desires on me.” who is conceived but lost is mourned and remembered by
 In other words, HER ATTITUDE TO GOD WAS ALWAYS: “Let it the loving parents.
be according to Thy Will and not my will, O The tiny heart begins to beat very soon after conception and
Lord!” babies have been able to be delivered and kept alive from
 AS SOON AS CHRIST BECAME INCARNATE, HOLY PROPHECY very early in the gestation period, many of whom survive
RESUMED IN ISRAEL.
and grow into adulthood.
 GOD HAD SILENCED HIS HOLY PROPHETS FOR MANY YEARS and Therefore, abortion is the violent and most brutal murder of
even permitted an illegitimate usurper to occupy
an unborn child who is more sensitive to and aware of
the position of ‘King of Judea.’
everything than a fully developed and born baby!
 In the last days before the Coming of Christ, GOD ALSO
Not one person who has been conceived or born is a “mistake”
SILENCED ST ZACHARIAH, THE HIGH PRIEST.
 WITH THESE THREE SIGNIFICANT ROLES BEING VACANT, because every Miracle of conception and birth is by the
ILLEGITIMATE ALL WAS READY FOR THE SON OF GOD TO BE Divine Will of almighty God Who has a Plan and Sacred
REVEALED AS OUR DIVINE AND ETERNAL PROPHET, KING Purpose for each, unique soul into whom He breathes Life!
AND HIGH PRIEST AND SILENT, (MP)
✶ "... Mary arose and went in haste...” COMPELLED ✶ “...My soul magnifies the Lord ...” This is THE
BY HER WONDER AND GREAT JOY AT HER DIVINE “MAGNIFICAT” OR “MEGALINARIA” - which was EXPRESSED
CONCEPTION, our Lady Theotokos went to her BY THE JOYFUL HEART OF OUR LADY THEOTOKOS who was
beloved Aunt - St Elizabeth - the sister of her late inspired by A SONG OF ST HANNAH. (1 KINGS 2 : 1 – 10)
mother, St Anna.  THIS HYMN IS CHANTED DURING THE MATINS SERVICE – and
✶ “...the babe in my womb leaped for Joy ...” AT from it we are taught:
THE SOUND OF HER GREETING, THE BLESSED ST JOHN - as a 1. FAITHFUL CHRISTIANS FOR ALL TIME HONOUR AND
tiny six month baby still developing in the womb of his VENERATE THE ALL HOLY, EVER VIRGIN THEOTOKOS as
mother - PROPHESIED THE DIVINE PRESENCE OF GOD she prophesied: “... ALL GENERATION WILL CALL ME
INCARNATE BY LEAPING FOR JOY. BLESSED.”
 BECAUSE ST JOHN IS GOD’S HOLY PROPHET, HIS RECOGNITION 2. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO BELIEVE IN THE INSPIRATION OF HOLY
OF CHRIST WHILE THEY WERE STILL BOTH IN THE WOMBS OF SCRIPTURE YET NOT BLESS OUR LADY THEOTOKOS.
THEIR RESPECTIVE MOTHERS, FULFILLED ST JEREMIAH’S 3. OUR PANAGIA ASCRIBED THE MIRACLE OF THE
HOLY PROPHESY: INCARNATION TO ALMIGHTY GOD – not to herself.
 “Before I formed Thee in the womb, I knew Thee.” 4. It reveals HER DEEP AND SINCERE HUMILITY AND
(JEREMIAH 1:5) KNOWLEDGE that GOD IS THE SOURCE OF ALL
✶ “...Blessed art Thou among women ...” - THE ALL DIVINE GRACE.
HOLY EVER VIRGIN THEOTOKOS RECEIVES VENERATION 5. THROUGH THE INCARNATION, GOD REIGNS OVER ALL
FROM THE HEAVENLY HOSTS AS WELL AS ALL HUMANITY. NATIONS.
 JUST LIKE ST GABRIEL, THE HOLY ARCHANGEL OF GOD, SO TOO, ✶ OUR LADY THEOTOKOS “...remained with her about
ST ELIZABETH DECLARED HER YOUNG NIECE TO BE “BLESSED three months ...” – THE FIRST TRIMESTER, FOR SHE HAD NO
AMONG WOMEN.” MOTHER TO INSTRUCT HER.

6. T H E D E P O S I T I O N OF THE ROBE OF OUR LADY, THEOTOKOS, AT BLACHERNAE, CONSTANTINOPLE - 2 JULY


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.
5 JULY 2019
ST ATHANASIOS THE GREAT
VENERABLE FOUNDER OF THE GREAT LAVRA & COENOBITIC MONASTICISM
Also the Feast of 6 Disciples of St Athanasios the Great, of Mount Athos – St Lampados,
Wonderworking Hieromartyr of Irenopolis - St Sergios of Radonezh, Uncovering of Holy Relics – St
Anna of Rome – St Cyrilla the Widow, of Cyrene, Libya – St Cyprianos, Hieromartyr of Mount
Athos
THE SUNDAY AND FESTAL HYMNS ARE PUBLISHED IN BOOKLET FORM EACH MONTH. THESE ARE
PUBLISHED AND FREELY DOWNLOADABLE ON www.scribd.com/writers4574.
LINKS ARE ALSO POSTED ON FACEBOOK “ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN EASTERN CAPE.”
(OR CAN BE EMAILED DIRECTLY, ON REQUEST TO marguerite.paizis@gmail.com)

F E STAL P R OKE IM E NON – P SALM 149 - T ONE (7) V ARY S /GR AVE
The Holy shall boast in Glory, and they shall greatly Rejoice on their beds.
Sing to the Lord a New Song! His Praises in the Assembly of His Holy.
T H E E PISTLE OF S T P AUL TO TH E G AL ATIANS 5: 22 – 6: 2
Brethren, the Fruit of the Spirit is Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-control.
Against such there is no Law.
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have Crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us
also walk in the Spirit. Let us have no self-conceit, no provoking of one another, no envy of each other.
Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are Spiritual, should Restore him in a Spirit of Gentleness. Look
to yourself lest you, too, be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the Law of Christ.
✶ This passage is read when we Commemorate our Holy  We must CHOOSE TO FREELY, EAGERLY AND HUMBLY OBEY THE
Monks. DIVINE WILL OF GOD Who has provided us with every
✶ “... the Fruit of the Spirit...” GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT HAS means possible to do so.
BESTOWED VARIOUS HOLY GIFTS UPON US.  GOD NEVER FORCES HIS DIVINE WILL UPON US so we must
 From God’s Holy Gifts WE ARE ABLE TO ACQUIRE THESE HOLY choose to BE OBEDIENT, which REQUIRES THE
VIRTUES THAT PROMOTE OUR LOVE FOR GOD AND FOR EACH INSEPARABLE VIRTUE OF HUMILITY (AND VICE VERSA.)
OTHER.  When we LIVE IN CHRIST, “by the Spirit,” we must
 These Holy Fruits or Virtues are ESSENTIAL TO OUR PERPETUALLY STRUGGLE AGAINST OUR SELFISH, DEMANDING
SPIRITUAL PROGRESS AND WELFARE while we proceed EGOS THAT IMPEDE OUR SPIRITUAL PROGRESS AND
through this short, preparatory period before WELFARE.
Eternity.  BY BEING SPIRITUALLY WATCHFUL, WE CAN IMMEDIATELY
 LOVE UNITES US TO GOD (WHO IS LOVE) AND TO EACH OTHER CORRECT OUR ERRORS THROUGH REPENTANCE-CONFESSION.
who have to LEARN TO LOVE UNCONDITIONALLY. ✶ “...overtaken in any trespass...” When WE FALL INTO A
 Therefore, LOVE – DIVINE LOVE/AGAPE – CARRIES US INTO STATE OF SPIRITUAL DEATH THROUGH UNREPENTED, HABITUAL
ETERNITY – INTO GOD’S HEAVENLY KINGDOM OF LOVE. SINS, OR IGNORANCE, we must GRATEFULLY ACCEPT
 WITHOUT THE GREAT, DIVINE VIRTUE OF LOVE, WE CANNOT BE CORRECTION FROM THOSE WHO ARE MORE SPIRITUALLY
WORTHY CITIZENS of God’s Heavenly Kingdom. EXPERIENCED, and MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO RECTIFY OUR
 OUR SANCTIFICATION, DEIFICATION OR THEOSIS IS CENTRED ERRORS OR LACK OF KNOWLEDGE.
UPON THE DIVINE GIFT AND HOLY VIRTUE OF LOVE as well We must NEVER TAKE OFFENCE against those who try to guide
as the aforementioned Fruits of the Holy Spirit. us or to set us right.
✶ “...Those who belong to Christ Jesus...” are those ✶ “...Restore ... in a Spirit of Gentleness...” ALL SPIRITUAL
who are BAPTISED AND CHRISMATED IN THE NAME OF OUR GUIDANCE MUST BE DONE IN A MANNER THAT NEITHER OFFENDS
TRIUNE LORD GOD. NOR DENIGRATES – WITH LOVE, KINDNESS AND
 We have made our VOWS OF ALLEGIANCE TO OUR DIVINE UNDERSTANDING.
SAVIOUR. To be able to administer any form of correction and
 We are members of the CHURCH MILITANT, WAGING Spiritual Guidance “...with Gentleness...” is A SPIRITUAL
SPIRITUAL WARFARE AGAINST THE EVIL ONE as His GIFT.
Faithful Soldiers. ✶ “...Look to yourself ...” We must NEVER CRITICISE NOR
✶ Having “...Crucified the flesh with its passions and DEMEAN OTHERS WHO ARE IN ERROR.
desires...” WE RENOUNCE OUR SINFUL INCLINATIONS AND OUR OWN FLAWS AND SINS ARE OFTEN FAR WORSE, and are
MAKE A CONCERTED EFFORT TO RESIST ALL TEMPTATIONS that merely REFLECTED IN THOSE WHOM WE SO READILY ACCUSE.
alienate us from God and each other. When we are tempted to point accusatory fingers at
✶ “...Live by the (Holy) Spirit.... walk in the Spirit...” anyone else, we must IMMEDIATELY TURN THOSE THOUGHTS
Since WE ARE BODY AND SOUL, we wage A CONSTANT BATTLE INWARDS AND EXAMINE OURSELVES VERY CLOSELY!
AGAINST PHYSICAL AND SPIRITUAL TEMPTATIONS. NOT ONLY IS IT FORBIDDEN TO JUDGE OTHERS, BUT WE CONDEMN
 THE DESIRES AND WEAKNESS OF OUR FLESH IS USED AGAINST US OURSELVES AND OFFEND THE LORD OUR GOD Who alone
BY THE EVIL ONE. knows the heart and soul of everyone.
 Therefore, WE HAVE TO STRENGTHEN OUR SOUL so that it Before expressing any disapproval of our neighbours, let
becomes strong enough TO DOMINATE THE WILFUL, us first and foremost REPENT AND CONFESS our
DEMANDING FLESH. innumerable sins.
 WE MUST BECOME PREDOMINATELY SPIRITUAL BEINGS rather ✶ “...Bear one another’s burdens...” When we REGARD
than merely PHYSICAL BEINGS who ARE CONTROLLED BY THE TROUBLES AND SINS OF OUR NEIGHBOURS AS THOUGH THEY
SELFISH DESIRES THAT HAVE NO SALVIFIC BENEFITS for us. ARE OUR OWN, we will indeed “...fulfil the Law of Christ...”
for our Sacred Calling is to initiate SELFLESS SERVICE AND
CARE-GIVING to others, and NEVER BEING A BURDEN.
T H E H OLY G OSPEL ACCO R D ING TO S T M ATTHE W 11 : 27 – 30
At that time, our Lord Jesus said: “... All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son
except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father, except the Son, and the one to whom the Son Wills to
reveal Him. Come to Me, all who labour and who are heavily laden, and I will grant you rest. Take My Yoke
upon you, and learn from Me, for I Am Gentle and Lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My
Yoke is easy and My Burden is light.”

S T AT H ANASIOS THE G RE AT OF M OUNT AT H OS 5 JU LY 2019 7


✶ ”... All things ... by My Father...” OUR LORD JESUS  However, ONLY A VERY LIMITED PORTION OF CHRIST’S
CHRIST, Who is the Co-Eternal, Only Begotten Son and REVELATIONS ARE RECORDED AND PROPERLY UNDERSTOOD
Word of our Heavenly Father, ALWAYS ACTS STRICTLY BY MANKIND.
ACCORDING TO THE WILL OF GOD THE FATHER.  The Book of Christ’s Revelation is never read during
 The Holy Trinity exists in PERFECT LOVE, UNITY AND THE HOLY SERVICES AND WE ARE DISCOURAGED FROM
HARMONY. TRYING TO INTERPRET THEM in case we fall into serious
 THE WILL OF GOD THE FATHER COMES TO US THROUGH GOD error and become misguided. Thus ST JOHN WROTE
THE SON, and WE ARE ABLE TO FULFIL HIS DIVINE WILL BY A DIRE WARNING AT THE END OF REVELATION –
THE POWER AND ENERGY OF GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT. ADMONISHING US NOT TO DISTORT ITS MESSAGE IN ANY
 As Faithful Disciples of Christ, WE MUST SIMILARLY ALWAYS MANNER AT ALL, FOR TO DO SO IS TO THREATEN OUR VERY
STRIVE TO FULFIL THE DIVINE WILL OF OUR HEAVENLY SALVATION!
FATHER, WHICH CHRIST HAS TAUGHT US TO DO – “... Thy  We must rather FOCUS OUR ATTENTION ON THE DIVINE TRUTH
Will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven ...” OF CHRIST, which WE ARE ABLE TO FULLY GRASP AND TO
 EVERYTHING THAT IS GOD-PLEASING IS ONLY POSSIBLE WHEN APPLY THEM TO OUR WORDS, THOUGHTS AND DEEDS so that
WE CO-OPERATE WITH GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT WHOSE POWER we can MAKE SPIRITUAL PROGRESS AND DEEPEN OUR
AND ENERGY ENABLE US TO DO SO – even endeavours INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD AND WITH EACH OTHER.
and feats that are normally impossible for us to ✶ “...Come to Me... I will grant you rest...” When we
accomplish. strive to Live in Christ, WE ARE PROVIDED WITH EVERYTHING
 OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST HAS BESTOWED DIVINE GIFTS AND THAT IS NECESSARY FOR DAILY LIVING AND FOR OUR SALVATION.
REVEALED DIVINE TRUTH TO MANKIND ACCORDING TO THE  ASSURED BY OUR FAITH IN GOD, WE NEED ONLY TO TAKE UP OUR
WILL OF OUR LOVING HEAVENLY FATHER. CROSS AND FOLLOW OUR DIVINE SAVIOUR WHO LEADS US
 GOD OUR HEAVENLY FATHER SENT HIS BELOVED SON TO US SO TOWARDS ETERNAL LIFE in His Kingdom of Love.
THAT WE MIGHT LEARN DIRECTLY FROM HIM how to  WE DO NOT HAVE TO WORRY about what we need to do
regain our Divine Likeness with which He because OUR LORD JESUS HAS TAUGHT US AND PROVIDED
originally created us, but which was lost when EVERYTHING THAT IS ESSENTIAL to making our Journey
Adam fell from Divine Grace through to Eternity successfully and safely.
disobedience by breaking God’s one Law. ✶ “...Take My Yoke upon you...” means that we
 ONLY BY LIVING IN CHRIST – according to His Divine Truth VOLUNTARILY SUBMIT TO THE DIVINE WILL OF OUR
– His Teachings and Commandments - ARE WE ABLE HEAVENLY FATHER, MOTIVATED BY OUR LOVE OF GOD AND
TO BECOME SANCTIFIED, RESTORED, REGENERATED, OUR FELLOW MANKIND.
ILLUMINATED AND GRANTED ETERNAL LIFE.  Although “...a yoke...” might be regarded as a sign of
 Thus “...ALL (GOOD) THINGS...” ARE ACCORDING TO THE difficult circumstances and responsibilities, THE
DIVINE WILL OF OUR HEAVENLY FATHER. YOKE OF CHRIST IS INDEED EASILY BEARABLE FOR THE
✶ “...no one knows...” God the Father and God the Son, POWER AND ENERGY OF GOD WORKS IN EACH OF US.
or God the Holy Spirit – ONLY THEY KNOW EACH OTHER!  A yoke keeps two equally matched beings together so
 St Theophylact explained to us that GOD HAS HIDDEN HIS that their combined strength is used to the fullest
DIVINE MYSTERIES FROM THE WISE AND ERUDITE PEOPLE OF extent.
THE WORLD BECAUSE OF OUR UNWORTHINESS, for we  Likewise, WHEN WE ARE “YOKED” TOGETHER, ESPECIALLY IN
chose to trust our own fallen, warped and limited MARRIAGE, GOD PUTS US WITH EACH OTHER SO THAT WE
wisdom and judgement instead of God’s Perfect CAN COMBINE OUR EFFORTS AND FULFIL OUR TASKS TO THE
and Absolute Wisdom and Knowledge. BEST OF OUR ABILITY.
 Furthermore, IT IS OUT OF HIS LOVE FOR MANKIND THAT GOD  CHRISTIANITY IS A COMMUNAL FAITH AS WE ARE MEMBERS OF
WITHHOLDS DIVINE REVELATION FROM THOSE WHO WOULD CHRIST’S BODY – HIS HOLY CHURCH – who have to WORK
SCORN IT – in order that they do not receive even TOGETHER WITH LOVE AND CO-OPERATION IN MUTUAL
worse Eternal Condemnation at their Final ENDEAVOURS, STRIVINGS AND SPIRITUAL STRUGGLES.
Judgement.  WE CANNOT MAKE ANY SPIRITUAL PROGRESS WITHOUT UNITY,
 EVERYTHING CONCERNING THE ETERNAL, ALMIGHTY GODHEAD HARMONY AND COMBINED EFFORTS WITHIN HIS HOLY
ARE DIVINE MYSTERIES, WHICH ARE FAR BEYOND HUMAN CHURCH.
COMPREHENSION.  ETERNAL SALVATION CANNOT BE ACHIEVED BY OURSELVES
 NO CREATURE – INCLUDING MANKIND – CAN POSSIBLY FULLY ALONE. This preparatory period is not an individual
KNOW OR UNDERSTAND EVERYTHING ABOUT GOD. Journey but CAN ONLY BE ACCOMPLISHED INSEPARABLY
 WE CAN ONLY UNDERSTAND WHAT GOD IS NOT, by using our WITH OUR FELLOW DISCIPLES AND ALL MANKIND – Saints
limited human conception and comprehension. and sinners together.
 CERTAIN DIVINE ATTRIBUTES OF ALMIGHTY GOD HAVE BEEN ✶ “...learn from Me...” OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST IS OUR MOST
REVEALED TO US BY CHRIST, for He alone can grant us PERFECT ROLE MODEL WHOM WE OUGHT TO IMITATE WITH
the Absolute, Pure Divine Truth – the REAL TRUTH. OUR WORDS, THOUGHTS AND DEEDS, AS HE HAS TAUGHT US.
 Instead of being a ‘wrathful, vengeful” God, we now  HE IS THE MOST PERFECT “...SON OF MAN...” IN WHOSE IMAGE
know that ALMIGHTY GOD IS LOVE ITSELF AND THAT AND LIKENESS HE CREATED US.
EVERYTHING CONCERNING OUR LORD GOD IS GOOD,  In order to regain our created Divine Likeness, WE
BENEFICIAL AND PROVIDENTIAL FOR ALL CREATION. MUST ACQUIRE THE PERFECT ATTRIBUTES OF HIS HUMAN
 OUR LORD OF LOVE CANNOT, WILL NOT AND DOES NOT DO NATURE, BEGINNING WITH THE HOLY VIRTUES OF
ANYTHING THAT IS EVIL, DESTRUCTIVE OR DECEPTIVE. GENTLENESS AND MEEKNESS – vital aspects of Divine
 ALL WICKEDNESS AND UNGODLINESS IS THE INVENTION OF THE Love/Agape.
EVIL ONE who became jealous, rebelled against our  As St Paul proclaimed to the Corinthians, “... Love
Lord God, was permanently banished from never fails...” and IT ATTRACTS EVEN MORE GOODNESS
Heaven, obsessively hates mankind whom God AND LOVE, WHICH ARE NATURAL ATTRIBUTES OF OUR
Loves, and perpetually seeks our destruction, CREATION AND OUR CREATOR.
Spiritual Death and Alienation from God, just like ✶ “...you will find rest for your soul...” when we
him and his demons. Live in Christ, for WE RECEIVE INDESCRIBABLE PEACE,
✶ “...the one to whom the Son Wills to reveal Him...” LOVE AND JOY FROM GOD WHEN WE ARE IN A BLISSFUL
refers to those SANCTIFIED, DEIFIED AND SPIRITUALLY STATE OF DIVINE GRACE.
PERFECTED SAINTS who have reached the very BY LIVING ACCORDING TO CHRIST’S SPIRITUAL RULE, GOD PROVIDES
heights of Spiritual Life in Christ, such as our Ever US WITH EVERY NECESSITY SO THAT OUR NATURAL IMPULSES
Blessed Lady, Theotokos and St John the Beloved ARE REDIRECTED TOWARDS OUR ULTIMATE GOAL – DIVINE
Apostle and Theologian. RIGHTEOUSNESS IN GOD’S HEAVENLY KINGDOM.
 Our Lord Jesus Christ mentioned THOSE WHO ARE “...PURE
OF HEART...” WHO SHALL BE ABLE TO EXPERIENCE THE VERY
PRESENCE OF GOD – “... SHALL SEE GOD.”
 ST JOHN THE BELOVED APOSTLE AND THEOLOGIAN WAS
GRANTED KNOWLEDGE OF GOD BY CHRIST OUR LORD SO
THAT HE COULD RECORD IT FOR THE SAKE OF MANKIND’S
ETERNAL SALVATION.

8 S T AT H ANASIOS THE G RE AT OF M OUNT AT H OS 5 JU LY 2019


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.
7 JULY 2019
3RD SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 3RD OF ST MATTHEW
SEEK FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD

Also the Feast of ST KYRIAKE, GREAT VIRGIN MARTYR OF NICOMEDIA - S T T H O M A S O F M O U N T


M A L E O N – St Akakios of Sinai – St Euphrosyne (Eudokia), Grand Duchess of Moscow – St
Peregrinos, St Lucian, St Pompeios, St Hesychios, St Papios, St Saturninos and St Germanos of
Dyrrachium, -– St Eustathios, St Polycarp & St Evangelos - St Evangelikos, Bishop of Tomis,
Constantsa, Romania
THE SUNDAY AND FESTAL HYMNS ARE PUBLISHED IN BOOKLET FORM EACH MONTH. THESE
ARE PUBLISHED AND FREELY DOWNLOADABLE ON www.scribd.com/writers4574. LINKS
ARE ALSO POSTED ON FACEBOOK “ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN EASTERN CAPE.” (OR CAN BE
EMAILED DIRECTLY, ON REQUEST TO marguerite.paizis@gmail.com)

R ESUR REC TION G OSPEL 3: M ARK 16:9 - 20

F E STAL P R OKE IM E NON – P SALM 67/68 – T ONE 4


Wondrous is God in His Saints.
In the Congregations Bless God – The Lord from the Fountain of Israel
T H E E PISTLE OF S T P AUL TO TH E G AL ATIANS 3 : 23 – 4 : 5
Brethren: before Faith came, we were kept under guard by the Law – kept for the Faith that would afterward be
revealed. Therefore, the Law was our Tutor - to bring us to Christ, so that we might be Justified by Faith. After Faith
has come, we are no longer under a Tutor.
You are all sons of God through Faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were Baptised into Christ have put on
Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek; there is neither slave nor free; there is neither male nor female. You are all
one in Christ Jesus.
If you are Christ’s then you are Abraham’s seed, and Heirs according to the Promise. I say that the Heir – as long as he
is a child – does not differ at all from a slave, although he is master of all, but is under Guardians and Stewards
until the time appointed by the Father. Even so, we – when we were children – were in bondage under the
elements of the world. When the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son – Born of a Woman, Born under
the Law - to Redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the Adoption as sons.
✶ “...before Faith...we were kept ... by the Law...” ABSOLUTE, PERFECT DIVINE TRUTH, which is vital to our
 THE NATURAL LAWS FOLLOWED BY THE OLD COVENANT LAWS, Salvation.
KEPT MANKIND AND CREATION IN RELATIVE ORDER.  THESE LAWS ARE ETERNAL
 NATURAL LAW STILL APPLIES to those who have never  THEY INSTRUCT AND GUIDE US to Love God with all our
heard of our Lord God WHEREBY THEY WILL BE JUDGED. mind, heart, strength and soul, as well as how to
 THE OLD COVENANT LAWS WERE GIVEN TO GOD’S CHOSEN Love each other as God Loves us!
PEOPLE OF ISRAEL IN ORDER TO KEEP THEM MORAL AND ✶ We “...are all sons of God...” We are the adopted
HEALTHY, ACCORDING TO THE WILL AND LOVE OF GOD, in Children (‘sons’) of our Lord God through the Holy
preparation for the First Coming/Appearance of Mystery of Baptism and Chrismation.
the Great Messiah, our Lord Jesus Christ and His ✶ We “...have put on Christ...” like OUR OWN GARMENT OF
New Covenant of Love. RIGHTEOUSNESS and - having Vowed Allegiance to our
✶ “...kept for the Faith ...” Although THE PEOPLE OF THE Lord Jesus Christ as our Divine Saviour - we now
OLD COVENANT WITH GOD HAD COMPLETE FAITH IN GOD, “...LIVE IN CHRIST...” by APPLYING EVERYTHING HE HAS
they COULD NOT PARTICIPATE IN THE FAITH OF CHRIST for TAUGHT US TO OUR WORDS, THOUGHTS AND DEEDS.
our Saviour had not yet appeared to them.  WE ARE “THE CHURCH MILITANT” while in this short
 FAITH IN CHRIST IS ALSO FAITH OF CHRIST because TWO lifespan, who are INVOLVED IN CEASELESS SPIRITUAL
FAITHS ARE COOPERATING TOGETHER: WARFARE AGAINST THE EVIL ONE.
1. THE FAITH OF CHRIST,  OUR LIFE IN CHRIST CONSISTS OF OUR PERPETUAL REPENTANCE-
2. THE FAITH IN CHRIST OF THOSE WHO CONFESSION in order to Cleanse ourselves, to make
BELIEVE. good Spiritual Progress and be physically and
✶ “...the Law was our Tutor - to bring us to Christ...” Spiritually Healthy and Strong.
 Because God’s Love of us is infinite and absolute, He  OUR FAITH IN CHRIST IS ONE OF PERSONAL COMMITMENT AND
provided us with a set of TEN COMMANDMENTS OR ALLEGIANCE TO ALMIGHTY GOD.
LAWS THAT GUIDE US TOWARDS ETERNAL LIFE AND PROTECT  Not only have we been Baptised into the Christian
US FROM FALLING INTO A STATE OF PERMANENT SPIRITUAL Faith, but WE HAVE VESTED OURSELVES WITH CHRIST AND
DEATH. ACCEPTED OUR SACRED MISSION OF BECOMING CHRIST-
 The Ten Commandments or Mosaic Law that LIKE BY IMITATING HIM - thereby REGAINING OUR LOST
prepared the Hebrew Nation for the Coming of LIKENESS TO GOD
God STILL APPLY TO US, THE NEW ISRAEL – THE ADOPTED  SAVING FAITH AND BEING BAPTISED ARE INTERWOVEN – we
CHILDREN OF GOD. cannot claim to have one without the other!
 The Ten Commandments TEACH US OBEDIENCE to the  “For as many of you as were Baptised into Christ have
Will of God. WITHOUT HUMILITY AND OBEDIENCE, WE put on Christ,” is our ANCIENT BAPTISM HYMN THAT IS
CANNOT MAKE ANY SPIRITUAL PROGRESS NOR ENJOY CHANTED DURING THE PROCESSION OF THE NEWLY
SPIRITUAL WELL-BEING. REGENERATED INTO THE ASSEMBLY – THE HOLY CHURCH OF
 Those who keep THE DIVINE COMMANDMENTS given by CHRIST.
God to Moses, which forever apply to us as Faithful ✶ “..There is neither...” discrimination, separation nor
Disciples, BRINGS US CLOSER TO GOD. any type of distinction for as Disciples of Christ we are
 THE TEN DIVINE COMMANDMENTS, THE DIVINE REVELATIONS all BRETHREN IN CHRIST.
AND TEACHINGS OF CHRIST OUR LORD, ARE ALL ASPECTS OF  WE SHARE ONE HUMAN NATURE IN CHRIST. Therefore,
ASSESSING PEOPLE ACCORDING TO OUR OWN OPINION,

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ATTITUDE, VALUE, GENDER OR ETHNICITY IS FORBIDDEN in  THE PURPOSE OF OUR LIFE ON EARTH HAS ALWAYS BEEN A VITAL
Christ’s Holy Church, PREPARATORY PERIOD FOR ETERNITY.
 If we are genuinely TRYING TO IMITATE CHRIST we must ✶ “...Born of a Woman, Born under the Law...” THE
do so without fail: HE NEVER DISCRIMINATED AGAINST ANCIENT PROPHECIES OF GOD’S HOLY PROPHETS WERE
ANYONE so how dare we do so! FULFILLED WHEN THE EVER BLESSED, ALL PURE AND HOLY
 ANY DISCRIMINATION, BIGOTRY, INTOLERANCE OR PREJUDICE VIRGIN MARY GAVE BIRTH TO OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.
WILL CAUSE US SERIOUS SPIRITUAL CONDEMNATION, which  Her lineage was Royal and Jewish, proceeding from
- unless we quickly correct ourselves with sincere King David, Divinely Ordained King of the
Repentance - will affect our Eternity! Israelites.
✶ We are “...one in Christ ...” being UNITED, LIVING  The only time WE COULD ACTUALLY SEE GOD WAS WHEN
TOGETHER AS EQUALS IN THE SIGHT OF GOD. CHRIST – the Word and Son of God – BECAME “... THE
 WE ARE ALL ONE IN NATURE AND EQUAL IN DIGNITY. SON OF MAN(KIND)” – BECAME INCARNATE – took on
 WE ARE SANCTIFIED MEMBERS OF THE BODY OF CHRIST – His physical matter – a Flesh and Bone, human Body.
Holy Church. ✶ “...to Redeem those who were under the Law...”
 We are all HABITUAL SINNERS WHO HAVE TO SPIRITUALLY  WITH GOD’S NEW COVENANT, CHRIST REVEALED THE TRUE
STRIVE AND STRUGGLE. NATURE OF OUR MOST MERCIFUL, LOVING AND
 We are all JOURNEYING TOWARDS ETERNITY and by BENEVOLENT GOD TO US AND TAUGHT US THE WAY TO
ENCOURAGING, ASSISTING AND GUIDING EACH OTHER ETERNAL LIFE, which the ancient people of God only
ALONG THE WAY – always with Love/Agape – we are understood instinctively at first and then through
able to make good Spiritual Progress. the Teachings of the Holy Prophets of God.
✶ “...Heirs according to the Promise...” WE HAVE BECOME  AT THE HARROWING OF HADES AFTER HIS DEATH ON THE CROSS
CO-HEIRS WITH CHRIST to our Heavenly Father’s IN HIS HUMAN NATURE, CHRIST - IN HIS DIVINE, ALMIGHTY
Eternal Kingdom of Love. NATURE - SMASHED OPEN THE IMPRISONING DOORS OF
 DUE TO OUR SPIRITUAL INEXPERIENCE AND IMMATURITY WE ARE HADES, AND FREED ALL HUMANITY FROM THE ENSLAVING
UNDER THE AUTHORITY AND DISCIPLINE OF OUR TRIUNE POWER OF EVIL.
LORD GOD.  OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST HAS RE-OPENED PARADISE where HIS
 Like small children, OUR WORDS, THOUGHTS AND DEEDS FAITHFUL PEOPLE REPOSE IN PEACE UNTIL THE GENERAL
NEED TO BE DISCIPLINED WHILE WE ARE TAUGHT HOW TO RESURRECTION AND OUR FINAL JUDGEMENT.
BECOME GOOD CITIZENS of the Heavenly Kingdom. (The Repentant Thief, St Demas, was the first to enter
✶ “...God sent forth His Son...” SO WE WERE ABLE TO Paradise since the banishment of Adam and Eve.)
ACTUALLY SEE HIM, SPEAK TO HIM, AND LEARN HIS DIVINE  THOSE WHO STUBBORNLY REJECTED HIM, REMAIN IN HADES
TRUTH DIRECTLY FROM HIM. where they suffer the hideous Foretaste of the
 THE HOLY TRINITY IS OMNIPRESENT - ever-present. vileness and torment of Eternal Alienation from
 THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A TIME OR PLACE WHEN GOD THE God.
FATHER, THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT WAS NOT PRESENT!
T H E H OLY G OSPEL ACCO R D ING TO S T M ATTHE W 6 : 22 – 33
At that time, our Lord Jesus said: “... The Lamp of the body is the eye. If your eye is good, your whole body will be full
of Light. If your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If, therefore, the Light that is in you is
Darkness, how great is that Darkness?
“No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to one and
despise the other. You cannot serve God and Mammon! Therefore, I say to you: do not worry about your life –
what you will eat or what you will drink – nor about your body – what you will put on. Is not Life more than food
and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap, nor gather into
barns, yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you – by worrying –
can add one cubit to your stature? And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how
they grow - their neither toil nor spin. I say to you that even Solomon - in all his glory - was not arrayed like one
of these. If the grass of the field - which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven - is so clothed, will God
not much more clothe you, O you of little Faith? Do not worry, saying: ‘What shall we eat?’ or: ‘What shall we
drink?’ or: ‘What shall we wear’ All these things the Gentiles seek.
“Your Heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. Seek first the Kingdom of God, and His Righteousness,
and all these things shall be added to you...”
✶ “...The Lamp of the body...” WHILE OUR PHYSICAL SIGHT  WHEN OUR THOUGHTS ARE WORTHY AND PURE, OUR ENTIRE
IS PROVIDED BY OUR PHYSICAL EYES, OUR MIND IS THE SPIRITUAL BEING – BODY AND SOUL – IS HEALTHY AND FUNCTIONING
EYE OF OUR SOUL. PROPERLY
 OUR MIND – “NOUS” – ILLUMINATES OUR INNER BEING AND ✶ “...No one can serve two masters...” By trying to
OUGHT TO GOVERN OUR FREE WILL, which takes self- maintain our attachments to both worldly and
discipline and experience. Heavenly circumstances, WE ARE LIKE SLAVES TRYING
 The nous is our intellect, intelligence, mind or TO SERVE TWO MASTERS – OUR EFFORTS ARE WASTED AND
reason that is in the Image of God. USELESS!
 The Noetic Energy functions in the heart of every  BOTH OUR LORD GOD AND MAMMON -riches or worldly
Spiritually Healthy person and therefore matters - DEMAND OUR FULL ALLEGIANCE.
reflects our True Spiritual Condition.  WE CANNOT FAITHFULLY SERVE OUR LORD GOD – Live in
 Noetic activity is essential to our soul and while it Christ - WHILE FOCUSSING OUR SELF-SERVING ATTENTION
functions in our brain as reason, it AND EFFORTS ON WORLDLY POSSESSIONS AND “SOCIAL
simultaneously functions in our heart as nous. SUCCESS” by putting worldly affairs and business
 Thus, while we continue to pray ceaselessly in our enterprises before our Sacred Duties to God and
heart, we can also work out worldly matters in mankind.
our brain.  IT IS MOST IMPORTANT AND SPIRITUALLY SIGNIFICANT TO PUT
 The nous is also referred to as “the spirit” – i.e. our OUR LIFE IN CHRIST BEFORE ANYTHING WORLDLY OR
own personal spirit or soul – our real inner PHYSICAL because we are thereby investing in our
being or identity that is Immortal or Eternal. Eternal Life.
 KEEPING OUR THOUGHTS WHOLESOME AND PURE IS  All material possessions and status is of no lasting
FUNDAMENTAL AND ESSENTIAL TO OUR LIFE IN CHRIST. value or benefit to anyone at all.
 THE ‘OFFSPRING’ OF OUR THOUGHTS ARE OUR WORDS AND DEEDS,  OUR LOVING AND MERCIFUL LORD GOD GRANTS US
which affect and influence our attitude and our INDESCRIBABLY PRICELESS TREASURES - beyond
actions. anything we could possibly imagine - which are
 OUR SPIRITUAL JOURNEY THEREFORE BEGINS BY DISCIPLINING, EVERLASTING AND SPIRITUALLY SALVIFIC AND BENEFICIAL.
PURIFYING AND CONTROLLING OUR THOUGHTS.  MAMMOn - our obsessive greed and craving for
 We must ALWAYS PAY ATTENTION AND EXAMINE OUR corruptible material possessions and fleeting
THOUGHTS SO THAT WE CAN REPENT AND CONFESS OUR social status - IS NOT EVIL BY ITS NATURE, BUT DUE TO ITS
SINS. ALL CONSUMING CONTROL AND ENSLAVEMENT, IT IMPEDES

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OUR SPIRITUAL PROGRESS AND DAMAGES OUR SPIRITUAL  THE “GENTILES” WERE NON-JUDAIC, UNGODLY OR PAGAN who
WELFARE. usually WORSHIPPED THEIR MAN-MADE IDOLS MADE OF
✶ “...do not worry about your life...” OUR LORD HIMSELF EARTHLY SUBSTANCE, so THEY REMAINED SPIRITUALLY
EXHORTS US NOT TO WORRY ABOUT ANYTHING CONCERNING DEAD - OBSESSED AND ENSLAVED BY THEIR DEPENDENCE ON
OUR WORLDLY CIRCUMSTANCES during this short, WORLDLY ASPECTS AND HUMAN FANTASIES OR CONCEPTS.
preparatory lifespan. ✶ “...seek first the Kingdom of God and His
 FAITH IN GOD MEANS THAT WE TRUST HIM ABSOLUTELY AND Righteousness...” IS CENTRAL TO THE DIVINE TEACHING
COMPLETELY – resting ASSURED IN HIS DIVINE TRUTH! OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST BECAUSE IT IS OUR ULTIMATE
 GOD KNOWS EXACTLY WHAT WE NEED and He provides DESTINATION, GOAL AND PURPOSE OF OUR EXISTENCE!
everything that is required.  OUR NEW COVENANT WITH GOD CONCERNS HIS ETERNAL
 HE GRANTS US HIS BLESSINGS IN ABUNDANCE SO THAT WE ARE KINGDOM OF LOVE, which REQUIRES A TRUE SPIRITUAL
ABLE TO SHARE THEM WITH OTHERS. STATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS.
 WE MUST NOT UNDULY NOR EXCESSIVELY CONCERN OURSELVES  Our Lord’s Teachings prepare us to BECOME WORTHY
WITH THE MUNDANE ASPECTS OF DAILY EXISTENCE such as HEAVENLY CITIZENS.
food and clothing.  WHEN WE ARE FREED FROM ANY ANXIETY OR CONCERN FOR
 OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST CAUTIONS US AGAINST WORLDLY MATTERS, WE ARE ABLE TO DIRECT ALL OUR
DISPROPORTIONATE ANXIETY CONCERNING MATTERS OF ATTENTION ON OUR LORD GOD .
LITTLE IMPORTANCE TO OUR SPIRITUAL WELFARE OR  We have to make every effort to ACQUIRE SPIRITUAL
ANYTHING THAT ARE BEYOND OUR CONTROL. PERFECTION, DEIFICATION OR THEOSIS – OUR CREATED
 HE DOES NOT DISCOURAGE US AGAINST THOUGHTFUL PLANNING DIVINE LIKENESS!
when it is significant to our safety and health or to  IT IS OUR HUMAN NATURE TO SEEK GOD because OUR
helping others. IMMORTAL SOUL YEARNS TO RETURN TO OUR DIVINE
 OUR PHYSICAL AND SPIRITUAL WELL-BEING IS DIRECTLY CREATOR AND OUR CREATED STATE.
DEPENDENT ON GOD Who takes care of His Creation.  SADLY, MANKIND SELDOM SUCCEEDS IN OUR NATURAL QUEST,
 OUR WELFARE IS ONLY INDIRECTLY DEPENDENT ON MUNDANE which causes INTENSE DISSATISFACTION AND PROFOUND
MATTERS such as food, shelter and clothing. UNHAPPINESS AND MISERY THAT AFFECTS EVERYONE.
 TREPIDATION concerning worldly, material  Those who are FAITHFUL DISCIPLES - Living in Christ and
circumstances and matters DEMONSTRATES A LACK OF applying His Divine Truth to every aspect of our
FAITH IN DIVINE PROVIDENCE, LOVE AND MERCY. daily existence - ARE FREE FROM ANY WORLDLY
✶ “...All these things the Gentiles seek...” Those who DEPENDENCE, AND ABLE TO VOLUNTARILY ACCOMPLISH OUR
lack Faith or who do not believe in God seek ONLY SACRED CALLING.
TEMPORARY, SHORT-LIVED AND CORRUPTIBLE ASSETS OR  OUR LIFE IN CHRIST FULFILS AND SATISFIES THE YEARNING OF
STATUS. OUR IMMORTAL SOUL, as we enjoy a close, intimate
 SUCH THINGS NEVER SATISFY NOR SATIATE THEIR INTENSE Relationship with our Lord God and with each
YEARNINGS AND DESIRES – and worse than that –HAVE other.
NO EVERLASTING SPIRITUAL NOR SALVIFIC BENEFITS.
3RD SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 3RD SUNDAY OF ST MATTHEW – SEEKING THE KINGDOM OF GOD
✞ In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of Having rejected and renounced our old corrupt and
the Holy Spirit. fallen nature, we have put on our New Nature - our
Dearly Beloved Brethren in Christ – Our Lord Jesus Christ Restored and Regenerated Nature – our Divine
urges us not to be anxious about what we shall eat, Likeness to Christ Whom we strive to imitate with our
drink, or wear. words, thoughts and deeds.
But how can we not concern ourselves with our daily Finding the basis of our being in the things of this
requirements, since we are physical beings who are temporal world, we have moulded our life
bound by the natural laws of our biological according to that which is not the Source of our
existence? created being – that which exists briefly today,
We are the descendants of our ancient forefather “...but tomorrow is thrown into the furnace...” and
Adam, who was created in the Image and Likeness destroyed by fire. (LUKE 12:28).
of God from the very clay of the Earth, and like him, By being anxious about corruptible things - regarding
we are in a fallen Spiritual State of habitual sin. them as something that is valuable or important to
We sustain ourselves by devouring the vegetation and us - we subject ourselves to corruption – “... for
creatures of this planet, wrapping our bodies in where (our) treasure is, there (our) heart will be
materials that are corruptible, while our immortal also.” (MATTHEW 6:21).
soul is suppressed, distorted, misled and controlled Conversely, by seeking “....first the Kingdom of God
by the lusts and desires of our flesh – our body. and His Righteousness...” - by directing ourselves –
This is the worldly life that has become habitual to us. body and soul - towards God by basing our words,
However, it is not natural for us because our Lord God thoughts and deed on God and by Living in Christ
did not create us for such an existence! Who is Life and Love Itself, we become Co-Heirs with
Our Loving Heavenly Father sent His Beloved Son, our Christ of the Heavenly Kingdom and receive Eternal
Lord Jesus Christ, to us in order to Restore our Life with God.
created human nature - to lift us out of that fallen Although Adam disregarded the Divine Commandment
state of Spiritual Death, caused by habitual in order to pursue the demanding passions of his
Ancestral sin - by granting us a new, Restored, body, the New Adam – our Lord Jesus Christ – has
Illuminated and Regenerated Spiritual Life that is empowered us to conquer all temptations, sins and
Blessed with a close Relationship with God and a even the evil one by the Spiritual Weaponry of His
loving, harmonious relationship with each other. Divine Truth.
Our soul needs constant Spiritual Nourishment in Our Divine Saviour does not tell us to stop eating and
Almighty God, Who is the Source of our being. drinking for He and His Faithful Apostles also had to
Our soul requires Divine Inspiration, which draws us eat and drink in order to sustain their physical
closer to God, for even our physical flesh and bone welfare and strength.
body “... cannot Live by bread alone, but by every He does not tell us to disregard our clothing to protect
Word that proceeds from the Mouth of God.” ourselves from extreme weather and nakedness, for
(MATTHEW 4:4) He Himself wore a robe made for Him by His Most
By saying this, our Lord Jesus Christ instructs us not to Pure Mother.
pursue earthly comforts, but rather seek and live by Christ our God has not Called us in order to reject our
Divine Truth. individually allotted lifespan, but to Sanctify it – to
Our Lord Jesus is indeed our Divine Saviour for He is the make our Life Holy by bringing every aspect of our
Living Word of God, and at our Holy Baptism, we “... existence to the Blessed Service of His Divine
put on Christ...” as our Garment of Righteousness – Kingdom.
we vest ourselves with Christ in Whom we Live. We must always keep in Mind that the Goal of our Life
in Christ is Theosis - a lifetime that is Unified with

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Christ Jesus and the Ascension of our human nature Nevertheless, He Blesses our labours and does certainly
to the right Side of God our Heavenly Father. provide everything necessary for our subsistence.
This short lifespan is not about accumulating as much But let us not be like the foolish Rich Man and his
material possessions, wealth and social status as numerous barns filled with rotting, decomposing,
possible, which is of no Spiritual Benefit to us at all! rusting and moth eaten crops and possessions, to
Our Creator and Divine Saviour urges us very clearly whom God said “Fool! This night your soul is
and concisely – without any doubt at all – “Seek first required of you; and the things you have
the Kingdom of God, and His Righteousness, and prepared, whose will they be?” (Luke 12:20).
all these things shall be added to you!” Let us instead firmly focus our heart and soul upon
When we are Blessed with a close, intimate Relationship Heaven - making it our Everlasting Treasure.
with the Lord our God, we will gain far more Only such a Life is pleasing to God, because it is the
precious and lasting Treasures than we could ever Fulfilment of our very existence – the reason for our
imagine! creation.
Being close to God, is being in a most Wonderful Our Lord Jesus Christ came to us so that we would have
Spiritual State of Divine Grace. a Life that is indeed more abundant – a Fulfilled Life
We are overwhelmed by His Divine Love, Peace and Joy in the Grace of God while here on earth, and Eternal
that cannot be described at all and we are fulfilled Life in the Heavenly Kingdom to come. (John 10:10).
– body and soul – far beyond any human
measurement or understanding! SERMON BY REVEREND FATHER SERGEI SVESHNIKOV
“...God knows that we need all these things ...” for He EDITED & ADAPTED BY MP
placed us in this material world, which tests us HTTP://WWW.PRAVMIR.COM
continually – and makes us Spiritually Strong.
T H E L IFE IN CH R IST – P R OTOP RE SBYTER JO ROMANIDES
H N
1. P R ESUPP OSITIONS OF S AC R AME NTAL LIFE
In contrast to most Western beliefs that generally accept LOVING GOD AND OUR NEIGHBOURS WITHOUT ANXIETY NOR
death as a normal phenomenon, or even regard it as CONCERN FOR OUR OWN SECURITY AND COMFORT.
a result of a ‘legal decision of God’ to punish the We seek to demonstrate our worthiness and importance,
sinner, the Patristic Tradition of Eastern Orthodox due to our fear of becoming valueless and
Christianity takes very seriously the fact that DEATH IS meaningless.
INTRINSICALLY LINKED TO SIN, UNDER THE POWER OF THE DEVIL. So WE MAKE OURSELVES APPEAR ‘SUPERIOR’ TO OTHERS, for we love
(1 CORINTHIANS 15:56 & HEBREWS 2:14). those who flatter us and hate those who insult us,
Our Holy Fathers rejected the idea that God is the ‘author because ANY ASPERSIONS PROFOUNDLY AFFECT THOSE WHO
of death,’ that the world is ‘normal’ in its current ARE AFRAID OF BEING ‘INSIGNIFICANT.’
condition, and that mankind can live a ‘normal’ life The life of those whom the world regards as being
solely according to natural laws that are assumed to ‘natural’ almost always consist of half-lies and
govern the Universe, for THE ORTHODOX CONCEPT OF THE disappointments, as THEY CANNOT LOVE FRIENDS who
UNIVERSE IS INCOMPATIBLE WITH A STATIC SYSTEM OF NATURAL give them a sense of security, WHILE THEIR INSTINCT FOR
MORAL LAWS. SELF-PRESERVATION, both moral and physical, CAUSE
THIS WORLD, on the contrary, IS REGARDED AS A FIELD OF OUR THEM TO HATE THEIR ENEMIES. (MATTHEW 5:46-48 & LUKE 6:32-36)
ACTION AND STRUGGLE, AND OUR LIVING, PERSONAL GOD IS DEATH IS THE SOURCE OF INDIVIDUALISM, for IT HAS THE POWER TO
THE ORIGINATOR OF CREATION IN ITS ENTIRETY, WHOSE COMPLETELY ENSLAVE OUR FREE WILL to the “...body of
OMNIPRESENCE DOES NOT EXCLUDE OTHER WILLS, established death...” that - BY REDUCING US TO SELF-CENTEREDNESS AND
by Him even with the power to dismiss the Will of our EGOTISM - BLINDS US TO DIVINE TRUTH, which is rejected by
Creator. many as being too difficult to accept – preferring a
Thus, THE DEVIL IS not only able to exist, but also to aspire ‘truth’ that satisfies our personal desires. (ROMANS 7:18).
to the destruction of the Works of God by TRYING TO LURE Therefore WE SEEK ‘SECURITY AND HAPPINESS’ RATHER THAN THE
CREATION TOWARDS THE NOTHINGNESS FROM WHICH IT WAS SUFFERANCE OF HOLY LOVE THAT IS A SELF-OFFERING.
FORMED. (PHILIPPIANS 1: 27-29)
DEATH, which is A “...RETURN TO NOTHINGNESS...” as St The ‘natural’ person seeks A SENTIMENTAL RELIGION of
Athanasios explained, constitutes THE ESSENCE OF security in moral precepts and simple rules that
DEMONIC POWER IN CREATION. (ROMANS 8:19-22) generate feelings of comfort, but REQUIRES NO EFFORT OF
THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST in the Reality of His physical SELF-DENIAL in “...Death with Christ to the elements of
“...Flesh and Bones...” not only SERVES AS PROOF OF THE the world.” (COLOSSIANS 2:20)
‘ABNORMAL CHARACTER’ OF DEATH, BUT ALSO DESIGNATES IT AS THE APOSTLES AND HOLY FATHERS do not transmit a Faith
OUR UNDENIABLE ENEMY (LUKE 24:39 & 1 CORINTHIANS 15:26). accomplished with “...feelings of piety or comfort.”
If death is an abnormal phenomenon, there can be Instead, on every page, they RAISE CRIES OF VICTORY OVER
nothing resembling a ‘moral law’ inherent in the DEATH AND CORRUPTION:. “O death, where is thy sting? O
Universe of which Holy Scripture does not know - grave, where is thy victory? …Thanks be to God Who
otherwise, our Lord Jesus Christ gave Himself in vain grants us Victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!” (1
“...for our sins so that we might uproot this present CORINTHIANS 15: 55-57).
evil age.” (ROMANS 8: 19-22). THE VICTORY OF CHRIST over the evil one HAS DESTROYED THE
SINCE OUR CREATION, OUR DESTINY HAS BEEN PERFECTION POWER OF DEATH that separated mankind from God and
(THEOSIS), and remains the same today - TO BECOME AS neighbour. (EPHESIANS 2:13-22)
PERFECT AS OUR LORD GOD IS PERFECT. (EPHESIANS 5:1 & 4:13). THIS GREAT VICTORY OVER DEATH AND CORRUPTION HAS BEEN
THE ACHIEVEMENT OF SPIRITUAL PERFECTION WAS RENDERED ACCOMPLISHED IN THE FLESH OF CHRIST OUR LORD as well as
IMPOSSIBLE BY THE INVENTION OF DEATH for “...the sting of among the Just who have Reposed. (1 PETER 3:19)
death is sin.” (ROMANS 5:12 & 1 CORINTHIANS 15:56). “Christ is Risen from the dead, trampling down death by
Having submitted ourselves to the power of death, WE CAN Death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing Life.”
ONLY CONCERN OURSELVES WITH THE SUFFICIENCY OF OUR (PASCHAL HYMN).
FLESH. (ROMANS 7:14-25) THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS ALREADY ESTABLISHED, both in this
OUR INSTINCT FOR SELF-PRESERVATION SATURATES OUR EVERYDAY lifespan and beyond the grave and THE GATES OF
LIFE and often CAUSES US TO BE UNFAIR TO OTHERS FOR HADES CANNOT PREVAIL OVER THE BODY OF CHRIST, for THE
PERSONAL GAIN. (1 THESSALONIANS 4:4) POWER OF DEATH CANNOT SEIZE THE ETERNAL KINGDOM of Life
WHEN SUBJECTED TO THE FEAR OF DEATH, WE CANNOT LIVE THE and Love. (EPHESIANS 2:19 & MATTHEW 16:18)
LIFE OF LOVE OF OUR CREATOR NOR CAN WE BE IMITATORS OF Each day THE EVIL ONE AND HIS KINGDOM OF DEATH MOVES
GOD. (HEBREWS 2:15 & EPHESIANS 5:1). CLOSER TO THEIR FINAL DEFEAT, WHICH IS ASSURED IN THE BODY
DEATH AND THE INSTINCT FOR SELF-PRESERVATION ARE THE ROOT OF CHRIST. (1 CORINTHIANS 15:26)
CAUSE OF SIN that SEPARATES US FROM THE HOLY UNITY OF
LOVE, LIFE, AND DIVINE TRUTH, for, according to St Cyril of ... TO BE CONTINUED ...
Alexandria, DEATH IS THE ENEMY THAT PREVENTS US FROM HTTPS://PEMPTOUSIA.COM

12 3 R D
S U ND AY AF TE R P E NTEC OST - 3 R D
OF S T M ATTHE W – THE K INGD OM OF G OD – 7 JU LY 2019
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.
8 JULY 2019

S T P ROKOP IOS , G RE AT H OLY M ARTY R OF C AE SAR EA , P ALE STINE

Also the Feast of St Theophilos the Myrrhgusher of Zichnis, Macedonia - St Anastasios,


Hieromartyr of Jannina - St Prokopios, Fool for Christ and Wonderworker of Ustiug, Vologda –
St Epictetos the Presbyter & St Asion the Monk of Halmyris, Bithynia, Black Sea – Miracle of the
Holy Icon of the Annunciation at Ustiug –– St Mirdat, King of Kartli, Georgia

THE SUNDAY AND FESTAL HYMNS ARE PUBLISHED IN BOOKLET FORM EACH MONTH. THESE
ARE PUBLISHED AND FREELY DOWNLOADABLE ON www.scribd.com/writers4574. LINKS
ARE ALSO POSTED ON FACEBOOK “ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN EASTERN CAPE.”
(OR CAN BE EMAILED DIRECTLY, ON REQUEST TO marguerite.paizis@gmail.com)

T H E F IR ST EP ISTLE OF S T P AUL TO S T T IMOTHY 4 : 9 - 15


My Child, Timothy: this is Faithful Saying and worthy of all acceptance, for thus we both Labour and suffer reproach,
because we trust in the Living God, Who is the Saviour of all mankind, especially those who believe.
These Things command and teach. Let no one despise Thy youth; but be an example to Believers - in word, in
conversation, in Charity, in spirit, in Faith, in Purity.
Until I come, attend to reading, to exhortation, to Doctrine. Do not neglect the Gift that is in Thee, which was granted to
Thee by Prophecy, with the Laying on of the hands of the Presbytery. Meditate upon these things – give Thyself
wholly to them – that Thy progress may appear to all.
✶ “...Labour and suffer...” AS FAITHFUL DISCIPLES of our  The early Christians already had a Liturgical worship
Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, WE MUST CONSTANTLY structure, which included the Reading of Holy
LABOUR, STRUGGLE AND STRIVE, WHILE ENDURING THE Scripture and the Homily – the roots of which were
CRITICISM AND REPROACH of those who prefer living in the Synagogue.
according to their own flawed and wicked desires. ✶ “...Do not neglect the Gift that is in Thee...” REFERRED
✶ “...we trust in the Living God...” Our absolute Faith in TO ST TIMOTHY’S HOLY ORDINATION AS PRESBYTER
the One True, Living and Loving Lord God gives us (PRIEST) WHICH WAS CONFERRED BY THE HOLY APOSTLES of
confidence and courage to endure the trials of this Christ upon him, AS IT IS PERFORMED BY OUR BISHOPS TO
temporary lifespan. THIS DAY.
 When we Live in Christ, we can face all obstacles with  St Paul later gave St Timothy instructions for Holy
courage and hope. Ordination. (1 TIMOTHY 5: 22)
✶ “...These Things command and teach ...” ✶ “...the Laying on of the hands ...” In continuity with
EVERYTHING THAT WE HAVE BEEN PROPERLY TAUGHT with the New Covenant, ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN ORDINATION
regard to our Lord’s Divine Truth – His Teachings and INTO THE HOLY DIACONATE AND HOLY PRIESTHOOD COMES
Commandments – whereby we must LIVE IN CHRIST, THROUGH THE LAYING ON OF HANDS BY THE BISHOP. (The
WE MUST CAREFULLY AND CORRECTLY TEACH OTHERS. unbroken line of Apostolic Succession)
 We thereby pass on our Orthodox Christianity and ✶ “... give Thyself wholly to them...” We ought to
AVOID THE PITFALLS OF MAN-MADE DOCTRINES AND IDEAS COMMIT ourselves TO THE DIVINE COMMANDMENTS AND
THAT ARE INFLUENCED BY THE EVIL ONE’S MACHINATIONS. TEACHINGS by applying them to our words,
✶ “...be an example to Believers...” SPIRITUAL ENDEAVOURS thoughts and deeds.
THAT FAITHFULLY AND TRUTHFULLY OBEY AND FULFIL OUR  WE HAVE BEEN PROVIDED WITH EVERY MEANS POSSIBLE FOR OUR
LORD’S COMMANDMENTS AND TEACHINGS, LEAD US SUCCESSFUL JOURNEY OF SALVATION AND ETERNAL LIFE.
CORRECTLY TO ETERNAL LIFE in His Heavenly  There is no excuse for us to fail because EVERYTHING IS
Kingdom. DEPENDENT ON THE CHOICES WE MAKE NOW.
✶ “...attend to reading, to exhortation, to Doctrine...” ✶ “...Thy progress may appear to all...”
Personal READING, CONTEMPLATING AND  Our words, thoughts (attitude) and deeds should
UNDERSTANDING OF HOLY SCRIPTURE AND THE INSPIRED reflect our Life in Christ, which sets a good
WRITINGS OF OUR HOLY CHURCH FATHERS IS CONNECTED example for others.
TO “EXHORTATION” (PREACHING) AND “DOCTRINE”
(TEACHING.)
THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST LUKE 6 : 17 – 19 & 9: 1- 2 &10: 16 – 21
At that time, our Lord Jesus stood on a level place, with a great crowd of His Disciples, and a great multitude of people
from all Judea and Jerusalem, and the coast of Tyre and Sidon, who went to hear Him, and to be Healed of their
diseases – and those who were troubled with unclean spirit were Cured. And all the people sought to touch Him, for
Power went forth from Him and Healed them all...
...He Called His Twelve Disciples together and granted them Power and Authority over all demons, and to Cure
diseases. And He sent them to preach the Kingdom of God and to Heal the sick....
... And He said to them: “...He who hears you, hears Me. And he who rejects you, rejects Me, and he who rejects Me
rejects Him Who sent Me!”
The Seventy returned with Joy, saying; “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Thy Name!” He said to them: “I
beheld Satan fall like lightning from Heaven.
“Behold, I grant you Authority to trample upon Serpents and Scorpions, and over all the power of the Enemy, and
nothing shalt by any means hurt you. Nevertheless, do not Rejoice in this – that the spirits are subject to you –
but rather Rejoice for your names are written in Heaven.”
In that Hour, Jesus Rejoiced in the Spirit, and said: “I Thank Thee, O Father, Lord of Heaven and Earth, that Thou hast
hidden these Things from the wise and the prudent, and revealed them to infants. Indeed, Father, for so it
seemed Good in Thy Sight...”

S T P R OKOP IOS THE G RE AT H OLY MA R TY R OF C AE SAR EA , P ALE STINE – 8 JU LY 13


✶ “...our Lord Jesus stood on a level place...” This is  By comparison, THOSE WHO HAVE NEVER KNOWN CHRIST DUE
the beginning of His “Sermon on the Plain,” which is TO THEIR GENUINE IGNORANCE, HAVE NOT COMMITTED
similar in content, although it is not as extensive as His THAT BLASPHEMOUS SIN AND THUS SHALL NOT BE JUDGED AS
profound “Sermon on the Mount.” SEVERELY, FOR THEY HAVE NOT CONDEMNED THEMSELVES..
 Our Lord often repeated many of His Divine  THEY WILL BE JUDGED BY THEIR GOD-GIVEN CONSCIENCE.
Teachings over the three year period of His Public (That little Voice of God – of Divine Truth and Wisdom
Ministry. - that always Guides us, Cautions us and Teaches us
✶ “...a great crowd of His Disciples...” The terms according to Divine Will, which is breathed into us by
“Disciples” and “Apostles” are often USED God the Holy, Life-giving Spirit when we are conceived
INTERCHANGEABLY WITH REGARD TO THE TWELVE OR
and Enlivened.)
SEVENTY CHOSEN APOSTLES OF CHRIST.
 The title “Disciple of Christ” applies to EVERY ONE OF US ✶ “...I beheld Satan fall...” CHRIST STRICTLY WARNS US
WHO VOLUNTARILY FOLLOW OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR. AGAINST FALLING INTO THE GRIEVOUS PASSIONS OF PRIDE
 As His Faithful Disciples we “...Live in Christ...” thereby AND ARROGANCE
meaning that we are UNDER HIS DIVINE DISCIPLINE,  They refer to the most terrible Event that occurred
STRIVING CEASELESSLY TO OBEY AND FULFIL ALL HIS BEFORE THE CREATION OF OUR MATERIAL UNIVERSE,
COMMANDMENTS AND TEACHINGS. WHEN SATAN AND HIS FALLEN ANGELS, THE DEMONS,
 An “...Apostle...” referred to THOSE WHO HAD SPECIFICALLY WERE BANISHED FROM HEAVEN AND THE PRESENCE OF
BEEN “...SENT OUT...” BY OUR LORD to prepare the ALMIGHTY GOD.
people for the Divine Truth of our Lord Jesus Christ  The evil one and his demons are now NEITHER OF
– the Great Divine Messiah/Saviour. HEAVEN NOR OF EARTH.
✶OUR LORD JESUS “..granted them Power and  THEY ARE DESTINED FOR THE DREADED ABYSS – i.e. “HELL”,
which is A PERMANENT STATE OF UNENDING SUFFERING
Authority...” TO PREACH AND TO PERFORM MIRACULOUS
AND SPIRITUAL DEATH – “...gnashing of teeth...”
CLEANSINGS, HEALINGS AND EXORCISMS that convinced
 Our Lord Jesus referred to it as being “...Outer
the people of His True Identity,
✶ HIS APOSTLES NOT ONLY PREACHED “... the Kingdom of Darkness...” – an absolute and total state of
Spiritual Darkness and UTTER ABSENCE OF GOD’S
God...” TO THEM BUT WERE ALSO EMPOWERED AND
GOODNESS, BLESSING OR DIVINE LIGHT.
AUTHORISED BY GOD TO PERFORM MIRACULOUS DEEDS.
 THE ABYSS IS THE GREATEST FEAR OF DEMONS who know they
 After the Descent of God the Holy Spirit, on Pentecost
belong there FOR ALL ETERNITY
Sunday, HIS HOLY APOSTLES AND DISCIPLES SPREAD
 At present, GOD PERMITS THEM TO LINGER BETWEEN HEAVEN
THROUGHOUT THE KNOWN WORLD IN ORDER TO FULFIL HIS
AND EARTH, IN ORDER TO TEMPT US AND UNWITTINGLY
DIVINE COMMISSION, WHICH STILL APPLIES TO US TO THIS
MAKE US SPIRITUALLY STRONGER AND CLOSER TO GOD.
VERY DAY:
 Lucifer/Satan/the Evil One set his egocentric, arrogant
1. “...make Disciples of all Nations...” by and proud will against the Lord our God, and had
TEACHING THEM THE DIVINE TRUTH OF OUR LORD GOD.
encouraged other Angels to follow him. Thus they
2. “...Baptising them...” IN THE NAME OF our Triune were exiled forever from the Divine Light and all
God: i.e. in the Name of each of the Three the Goodness of the Heavenly Kingdom.
Persons of the Holy Trinity - GOD THE FATHER, GOD  WHEN MANKIND WAS CREATED, WHOM GOD LOVED, SATAN’S
THE SON AND GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT. INTENSE, OBSESSIVE JEALOUSY BEGAN ITS WARFARE AGAINST
3. “...teaching them to observe all things that US, which our Lord permits at times for our Spiritual
I have commanded you...” Benefit – to draw us closer to Him through growing,
 OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST USED HIS DIVINE POWER DIRECTLY TO strengthening Faith.
HEAL AND TO PERFORM ALL HIS MIRACLES, whereas He  EVERYTHING EVIL AND DESTRUCTIVE IS INVENTED BY THE EVIL
had to grant Power and Authority to His Apostles ONE IN ORDER TO DESTROY OUR CLOSE RELATIONSHIP TO
so that they *could fulfil His Divine Mission on GOD.
Earth in His Beloved Name. ✶ “...hidden these Things from the wise and the
✶ “..He who hears you, hears Me...”.Initially, our Lord prudent...” THE DIVINE TRUTH IS OFTEN HIDDEN FROM
Jesus sent His Apostles to serve only the Chosen THOSE WHO CONSIDER THEMSELVES AS BEING “...WISE AND
People of God – the people of the first Israel, the PRUDENT.” – BUT WHO ARE TOO CLEVER FOR THEIR OWN
Hebrew people. GOOD!
 He did so in order TO PREVENT THEM FROM BEING ACCUSED  They do not realise that ALL KNOWLEDGE, UNDERSTANDING
LATER OF CONSORTING WITH THE DESPISED PAGANS – THE AND WISDOM COMES FROM GOD ALONE WHO ENLIGHTENS
GENTILES – “THE UNCIRCUMCISED.” US AND GRANTS US COMPREHENSION AND PERCEPTION OF
 HE PREPARED THEM TO BE FOCUSSED AND SINGLE-MINDED in MUNDANE AND EXTRAORDINARY THINGS.
their Sacred Mission of Healing and Preaching.  AS WE MATURE, WE ARE GRANTED MORE AWARENESS,
✶ “...I grant you Authority,,,” Our Lord Jesus reminded INTELLIGENCE AND COMPREHENSION of the great variety
them that THE POWER HE BESTOWED UPON THEM WAS A of aspects that surround us.
FREE GIFT OF GOD THAT MUST BE USED FOR THE GLORY,  THOSE WHO ARE GENUINELY “... WISE AND PRUDENT...” WILL
HONOUR AND WORSHIP OF GOD ALONE. KNOW THE TRUTH AND REALITY OF OUR LORD GOD AND HIS
 WE FULFIL OUR LABOURS OF LOVE FOR GOD AND OUR FELLOW CREATION IN ALL ITS MAGNIFICENT GLORY!
MANKIND ONLY BY THE GRACE OF GOD – not by our own ✶ “...revealed them to infants...” DIVINE TRUTH IS
human abilities. REVEALED TO AND ACCEPTED BY THOSE WHO HAVE SIMPLE
 Therefore, EVERYTHING THAT IS ACCOMPLISHED IS BY DIVINE FAITH IN GOD AND A WILLING AND HUMBLE HEART THAT
GRACE FOR WHICH WE EXPRESS OUR DEEP GRATITUDE AND JOYFULLY FULFILS HIS DIVINE WILL.
ALWAYS GLORIFY, HONOUR AND WORSHIP OUR LORD GOD –  It is a reference to THE PURE HEART AND SOUL OF THE
NEVER SEEKING PRAISES NOR GLORY FOR OURSELVES! INNOCENT, IN WHOM THERE IS NO GUILE. (ISAIAH 14:12 – 15 &
 Furthermore, OUR LORD INSTRUCTED HIS APOSTLES AND REVELATION 12: 7 – 12)
DISCIPLES NOT TO CARRY ANYTHING EXTRA WITH THEM SO  OUR LORD DID NOT CALL THE EDUCATED PEOPLE SUCH AS THE
THAT THEY WOULD LEARN TO DEPEND ON THE DIVINE ARROGANT, SELF-RIGHTEOUS SCRIBES AND PHARISEES TO
PROVIDENCE OF OUR ALL MERCIFUL AND BENEVOLENT SERVE AS HIS APOSTLES.
LORD GOD.  Instead HE CALLED THE UNSOPHISTICATED FISHERMEN AND
✶”... he who rejects Me rejects Him Who sent Me!” THOSE WHO WERE HUMBLE AND OBEDIENT TO THE WILL OF
JUDGEMENT IS EXTREMELY SEVERE FOR THOSE WHO REJECT GOD – WHO BELIEVED IN OUR LORD GOD WITH A SIMPLE,
OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST AND HIS DIVINE TRUTH. UNCOMPLICATED MANNER.
 BY CHOOSING TO REJECT OUR LORD GOD, THEY CONDEMN
THEMSELVES TO ETERNAL DEATH AND SPIRITUAL EXILE.
S T P AISIOS OF M OU NT AT H OS
Apart from the greater courage of Spiritual Love,
Love also surrounds all the other Holy Virtues,
for Love is the Affectionate Mother of all the Holy Virtues.

14 S T P R OKOPIOS THE G REAT H OLY M ARTY R OF C AE SAR E A , P ALE STINE – 8 J ULY


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.
11 JULY 2019
THE MIRACLE OF ST EUPHEMIA AT CHALCEDON
Also the Feast of St Helen/Olga, Venerable Princess & Equal to the Apostles, of Russia – St
Cindeos the Presbyter & Hieromartyr of Pamphylia, Asia Minor – St Nikodemos the New Martyr
of Albania – St Barbara, Great Holy Martyr, Translation of Holy Relics – St Arkadios of Novotorsk
– St Nektarios of Vrioulon
THE SUNDAY AND FESTAL HYMNS ARE PUBLISHED IN BOOKLET FORM EACH MONTH. THESE ARE
PUBLISHED AND FREELY DOWNLOADABLE ON www.scribd.com/writers4574. LINKS ARE
ALSO POSTED ON FACEBOOK “ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN EASTERN CAPE.”
(OR CAN BE EMAILED DIRECTLY, ON REQUEST TO marguerite.paizis@gmail.com)
M ATINS G OSP EL A CC ORD ING TO S T M AR K 5 : 24 – 34
THE HEALING OF ST VERONICA WHO HAD HAEMORRHAGED FOR TWELVE YEARS
At that time, many people followed our Lord Jesus, and thronged Him. And there was a certain Woman who had had
a flow of blood for twelve years, and had suffered much from many Physicians. And she had spent all that she had
and was not better, but rather, grew worse.
When she heard that about Jesus, she went behind Him in the crowd and touched His garments. She had thought: “If
only I may touch His garment, I shall be made well.”And immediately the source of her bleeding dried up, and she
felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction. And Jesus - instantly knowing in Himself that Power had gone
out of Him - turned around in the crowd and asked: “Who touched My clothes?” And His Disciples said to Him:
“Thou see the multitude thronging Thee, and Thou ask: ‘Who touched Me?’” And He looked around to see her who
had done this thing. The Woman – fearing and trembling – knowing what had happened to her, went and fell
down before Him and told Him the whole truth. He said to her: “Daughter, your Faith has made you well. Go in
Peace, and be healed of your affliction.”
✶ ”... a certain Woman...” is known to us today as ST taken everything she had, but now GOD WOULD
VERONICA. GRANT HER WHAT SHE REALLY NEEDED!
✶ ”... for twelve years...” she had suffered the chronic ✶ “...instantly knowing ... that Power had gone out of
affliction and various ‘treatments’ - for more than Him...”
a decade - and SHE WAS UNDERSTANDABLY UTTERLY  HIS DIVINE ENERGY OR POWER WENT DIRECTLY FROM CHRIST
DESPERATE AND DETERMINED TO SEEK A CURE. TO ST VERONICA, WHEREAS THE ENABLING POWER AND
✶ ”... she had spent all that she had...” on every type of AUTHORITY BESTOWED BY CHRIST ON HIS APOSTLES
treatment by physicians and charlatans who had WORKED INDIRECTLY THROUGH THEM.
made impoverished her yet could not heal her. ✶ “...Who touched My clothes?” seemed to be a
✶ ”... If only I may touch His garment...” SHE peculiar question under the circumstances.
INSTINCTIVELY KNEW THAT BY MERELY COMING INTO  However, our Lord WANTED ST VERONICA TO OPENLY
CONTACT WITH OUR LORD, SHE WOULD BE HEALED, which ACKNOWLEDGE HER FAITH IN HIM SO THAT OTHERS WOULD
REVEALED THE DEPTH OF HER FAITH IN THE MESSIAH of LEARN FROM HER AND GLORIFY GOD.
Whom she had heard. ✶ “... fearing and trembling...” SHE KNEW THE
 EVERYTHING THAT IS TOUCHED BY GOD BECOMES SANCTIFIED CONSEQUENCES OF BREAKING THE JUDAIC LAWS of being
AND WILL PASS THAT SANCTIFICATION ONTO THE FAITHFUL.
‘unclean,’ and thus a ‘social outcast,’ which were
So THE INSTANT ST VERONICA SOFTLY TOUCHED THE ROBES OF
severe and brutal.
CHRIST SHE WAS HEALED AND GOD KNEW HER SINCERE
✶ St Veronica “... fell down before Him and told Him the
FAITH IN HIM.
whole Truth...” which obviously TOOK IMMENSE COURAGE.
 AUTHORITY OVER LIFE AND DEATH IS BY THE WILL OF GOD
 HER GREAT SPIRITUAL STRENGTH AND BRAVERY WAS COMPELLED
ALONE FOR BEING OF THE SAME DIVINE ESSENCE AS GOD
BY HER EXTREME GRATITUDE FOR BEING COMPLETELY
THE FATHER, OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST POSSESSES THAT
HEALED BY GOD.
SAME DIVINE AUTHORITY.
 THE HEALING OF ST VERONICA, DEMONSTRATED OUR LORD ✶ “...Daughter, thy Faith has made thee well...” OUR
JESUS’ POWER TO CLEANSE US FROM OUR SINS AND TO HEAL LORD ADDRESSED HER AS ONE OF HIS CHILDREN AND
MENTIONED HER FAITH PUBLICALLY SO THAT THE WITNESSES
ALL OUR AFFLICTIONS – THE SPIRITUAL AND THE PHYSICAL.
MIGHT FOLLOW HER GOOD EXAMPLE.
 According to the Old Covenant Laws, any type of
haemorrhaging caused ceremonial defilement,  Our Holy Church Fathers believed that ST VERONICA
SYMBOLISES HUMAN NATURE IN GENERAL because ALL
which imposed religious and social restrictions
HUMANITY CONSTANTLY SUFFERS AND IS SUBJECT TO DEATH,
upon the sufferers for ANY CONTACT WITH BLOOD WAS
WHICH WAS SYMBOLISED BY HER HAEMORRHAGING.
STRICTLY PROHIBITED AND AVOIDED AT ALL COSTS.
 THIS WRETCHED SUFFERING WOMAN WAS THUS REGARDED AS  THE PHYSICIANS WHO COULD NOT HEAL HER SYMBOLISE THE
VARIOUS IMPERFECT RELIGIONS OF THE WORLD, AS WELL AS
BEING ‘UNCLEAN’ SO SHE HAD FOLLOWED ALL THE
THE OLD COVENANT LAW, WHICH ARE UNABLE TO GRANT
REQUIREMENTS AS A ‘SOCIAL OUTCAST.’
 However, SHE HAD REACHED SUCH A DEGREE OF MISERY AND LIFE TO HUMANITY – THEY CANNOT SAVE US
DESPERATION THAT SHE RISKED FURTHER SHAME AND
 ONLY GOD CAN SAVE OR REDEEM US!
HUMILIATION IN THE CONVICTION THAT ONLY CHRIST
 ONLY THROUGH OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST, ARE WE
GENUINELY FREED AND DELIVERED FROM SUFFERING AND
COULD HEAL HER.
BONDAGE TO SIN!
It was a risk that she was willing to take – after all
what more could she lose? People had already
T H E S EC OND EP ISTLE OF S T P AUL THE CO R INTH IANS 6 : 1 – 10
Brethren: we, then, as workers together with Him, also plead with you not to receive the Grace of God in vain. He said:
“In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in the Day of Salvation I have helped you.” Behold! Now is ‘the
accepted time!’ Behold! Now is ‘the Day of Salvation!’
We give no offence in anything - that our Ministry many not be blamed. In all things we commend ourselves as
Ministers of God: in much Patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in
Labours, in sleeplessness, in Fastings, by Purity, by Knowledge, by Longsuffering, by Kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by
sincere Love, by the Word of Truth, by the Power of God, by the Armour of Righteousness on the right hand and on
the left, by honour and dishonour, by evil report and Good Report; as deceivers, and yet True; as unknown, and

T H E M IR ACL E OF S T EU PH EM IA THE G RE AT H OLY M AR TY R , AT C HALCED ON 11 JU LY 15


yet well known; as dying, and behold we Live; as chastened, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always Rejoicing;
as poor, yet Enriching many; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.
✶ “...Now is ‘the Day of Salvation!’...” Our Eternal Salvation THE APOSTLES’ LIFE IN CHRIST CLEARLY DEMONSTRATES THE
is affected by every choice we make NOW, so we must MYSTERIOUS PARADOX OF GOD’S DIVINE GRACE AND STRENGTH
constantly Repent and Confess our sins, correcting the WORKING IN OUR HUMAN WEAKNESS.
course we are taking towards Eternity. AS FAITHFUL DISCIPLES OF CHRIST WE MUST RENOUNCE THE
 THE BEGINNING OF OUR ETERNAL SALVATION IS ALWAYS AT THIS FALLEN WORLD IN ORDER TO MASTER AND GUIDE IT ALONG THE
PRESENT MOMENT in the period before the Second RIGHTEOUS PATH TO ETERNAL LIFE in God’s Heavenly
Appearance (Parousia) of our Lord and Saviour, Kingdom of Love (Agape.)
Jesus Christ, in His Incarnate, Resurrected State. ✶ This particular passage of St Paul’s Second Epistle to
✶ “ ... We give no offence... as Ministers of God...” the Corinthians is read on the Feast Days that
DESCRIBES THE AUTHENTIC HOLY APOSTLESHIP OF CHRIST OUR Commemorate our Female Saints and Martyrs.
LORD.
. T H E H OLY G OSPEL ACCO R D ING TO S T LU KE 7 : 36 – 50
At that time, one of the Pharisees asked our Lord Jesus to eat with him. And He went to the Pharisee’s house, and sat
down to eat. And behold: A woman of the city, who was a sinner – when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the
Pharisee’s house - took an alabaster flask of fragrant Myrrh, and stood at His Feet, behind Him, weeping. She
washed His Feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head. And she kissed His Feet and anointed
them with the fragrant Myrrh. When the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he spoke to himself, saying: “This
Man – if He were a Prophet – would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a
sinner!” And Jesus answering, said to him: “Simon, I have something to say to you.” He said: “Teacher, say it.”
“There was a certain Creditor who had two Debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other, fifty. Having
nothing with which to repay him, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me: which of them Love him more?” Simon
answered and said: “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.” Jesus said to him: “You have rightly judged.”
And turning to the woman, He said to Simon: “Do you see this woman? I entered your house - you gave Me no water
for My Feet. She has washed My Feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. You gave Me no
kiss. Since she came in, She has not ceased kissing My Feet. You did not anoint My head with oil. She - with
fragrant Myrrh - has anointed My Feet. Therefore, I say to you: her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she
Loved much. To whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.”
He said to her: “Thy sins art forgiven.” And those who dined with Him began to say within themselves: “Who is This Who
forgives sins also?” He said to the woman: “Thy Faith hath Saved thee. Go in Peace.”
✶ “...He went to the Pharisee’s house... to eat...” Our GOD BY HER HEARTFELT, SINCERE ACTIONS that clearly
Lord Jesus Christ had intrigued a certain Pharisee, REVEALED THE TRUE STATE OF HER IMMORTAL SOUL.
named “Simon” who invited our Saviour to dine ✶ “...To whom little is forgiven, the same loves
with him in his home. little...” WHATEVER WE DO FOR OR TO OTHERS IS
✶ “... if He were a Prophet...” showed that SIMON THE RETURNED A HUNDRED TIMES MORE TO US, especially acts
PHARISEE CLEARLY DID NOT BELIEVE IN CHRIST. of Great Mercy and Love or unkind, cruel and
✶ “...what manner of woman this is ...” - demonstrated his careless acts against others, for thereby we either
unspoken reaction to OUR LORD’S GREAT MERCY FOR are Blessed with Eternal Salvation or Condemn
THE WEEPING, REPENTANT WOMAN who had anointed ourselves forever!
His Feet with her tears and “...fragrant Myrrh...”  THOSE OF US WHO EITHER CONSIDER OURSELVES AS BEING
✶ “... I have something to say to you...” proved our “SINLESS” OR WHO DO NOT ACKNOWLEDGE NOR CONFESS
Lord’s DIVINE NATURE, WHEN HE RESPONDED TO SIMON OUR INNUMERABLE SINS, nor strive to seek out and
THE PHARISEE’S UNSPOKEN WORDS. correct our faults every day, ARE INCAPABLE OF
✶ “...a certain Creditor who had two Debtors ...” BY LOVING GOD AND EACH OTHER.
USING A PARABLE CONCERNING TWO FINANCIAL DEBTS,  BY ACQUIRING THE INSEPARABLE HOLY VIRTUES OF TRUE
CHRIST KNEW THE SELF-RIGHTEOUS PHARISEE WOULD HUMILITY AND OBEDIENCE TO GOD WE DEMONSTRATE OUR
UNDERSTAND VERY CLEARLY. SINCERE LOVE OF GOD AND ONE ANOTHER.
✶ "... which of them Love him more?...” OUR ALL ✶ “...Thy sins art forgiven...” OUR LORD FORGAVE THE
MERCIFUL AND LOVING GOD DOES NOT FORGIVE US ACCORDING REPENTANT WOMAN THE MOMENT SHE APPROACHED HIM
TO THE DEGREE OF OUR SINFULNESS – HOW GREAT OUR WITH HER CONTRITE HEART, BUT HE DECLARED HIS DIVINE
SPIRITUAL DEBT IS TO HIM – BUT RATHER ACCORDING TO OUR FORGIVENESS ALOUD SO THAT SHE AND THOSE PRESENT
SINCERE REPENTANCE – ACCORDING TO OUR “CONTRITE HEART.” MAY HEAR IT CLEARLY.
 AS SOON AS WE ACKNOWLEDGE AND CONFESS OUR SINS, OUR ✶ “...Thy Faith hath Saved thee. Go in Peace.” With
LORD FORGIVES US – no matter what sins we have these words, our Lord dismissed the Repentant
committed – for HIS GREAT MERCY IS INFINITE FOR Woman and RESPONDED WITH HIS DIVINE TRUTH TO
THOSE WHO TRULY REPENT BY A DETERMINED STRUGGLE TO THOSE WHO WITNESSED THE EVENT.
RESIST AND AVOID ALL TEMPTATIONS.  ONLY THE LORD OUR GOD CAN GRANT US FORGIVENESS,
 WE ARE JUSTIFIED BY THE DEGREE OF OUR CEASELESS SPIRITUAL SALVATION AND HIS DIVINE PEACE.
LABOURS AND STRIVINGS, which compels us to REPENT  If our Divine Saviour had been merely a most devout
OUR SINS AS SOON AS WE FALL INTO SPIRITUAL DEATH. Judean, He would never have dared to
 This temporary lifespan consists of OUR CONTINUOUS pronounce such powerful words!! HE WOULD NEVER
STATES OF SPIRITUAL DEATH (SIN) AND SPIRITUAL LIFE HAVE COMMITTED SUCH AN ACT OF BLASPHEMY OR HERESY!!!
(REPENTANCE-CONFESSION) as we slowly proceed  Once again, THE SPIRITUALLY BLIND COULD NOT
inevitably towards Eternity. COMPREHEND WHAT THEY HAD JUST WITNESSED - up close
✶ ”... this woman ..." In order to Enlighten and Teach His and personally - at the house of Simon the
Divine Truth to the sanctimonious Pharisee and Pharisee!
those who sat with them, OUR LORD COMPARED THE  THIS ENCOUNTER with the Repentant Woman DEPICTS THE
HUMBLE, RESPECTFUL AND LOVING BEHAVIOUR OF THE DIVINE GRACE THAT IS GRANTED TO US ONLY THROUGH OUR
REPENTANT WOMAN TO THE ARROGANT, DISRESPECTFUL LORD JESUS CHRIST AND HIS HOLY CHURCH – through
INHOSPITALITY OF SIMON THE PHARISEE: Her Divine Mysteries THAT GRANT US FORGIVENESS,
1. “...thou gave Me no water for My Feet. She SALVATION AND DIVINE PEACE AND JOY.
has washed My Feet with her tears and wiped  St Ambrose of Milan explained: CHRIST’S HOLY CHURCH IS
them with the hair of her head. “...JUSTIFIED AS BEING GREATER THAN THE (MOSAIC) LAW,
for THE LAW DOES NOT KNOW THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS,
2. “...thou gave Me no kiss. Since she came in,
NOR THE MYSTERY IN WHICH SECRET SINS ARE CLEANSED.
she has not ceased kissing My Feet.
Therefore, WHAT IS LACKING IN THE LAW IS PERFECTED IN
3. “...thou did not anoint My Head .... She - with THE GOSPEL...”
fragrant Myrrh - has anointed My Feet.  THE FACT THAT OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST COULD TRULY FORGIVE
✶ ... her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she SINS WAS FAR BEYOND THE BOUND OF THE MOSAIC LAW AS
Loved much...” meaning that ALTHOUGH SHE HAD THE PHARISEES AND SCRIBES UNDERSTOOD IT except OUR
COMMITTED MANY SINS, SHE HAD REPENTED WITH A MOST LORD JESUS CHRIST - THE LAWGIVER HIMSELF!
CONTRITE HEART.  St Cyril of Alexandria said: “ ...WHO COULD DECLARE
 Furthermore, SHE HAD UNWITTINGLY DEMONSTRATED HER THINGS THAT WERE ABOVE THE LAW, EXCEPT THE ONE WHO
HUMBLE, LOVING REVERENCE AND WORSHIP OF ALMIGHTY ORDAINED THE LAW?”

16. T H E M IR ACLE OF S T EU PH EM IA THE G R EAT H OLY M ARTY R , AT CH ALC ED ON 11 JU LY


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.
12 JULY 2019
ST PAISIOS THE NEW OF MOUNT ATHOS
Also the Feast of St Proklos & St Hilarion of Kallippi, Ancyra – St Michale of Maleinos – St Theodore
the Varangian & St John, his son, of Kiev – St Arsenios, Fool for Christ of Novgorod – St Simon, Abbot
of Volomsk Monastery – St Mary Golinduc of Persia – St John & St Gabriel the Georgians, of Mount
Athos – St Veronica/Bernice, Healed by Christ
THE SUNDAY AND FESTAL HYMNS ARE PUBLISHED IN BOOKLET FORM EACH MONTH. THESE ARE
PUBLISHED AND FREELY DOWNLOADABLE ON www.scribd.com/writers4574. LINKS ARE ALSO
POSTED ON FACEBOOK “ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN EASTERN CAPE.”
(OR CAN BE EMAILED DIRECTLY, ON REQUEST TO marguerite.paizis@gmail.com)
F E STAL M ATINS G OSPEL A CC ORD ING TO S T M ATTHE W 11: 27 - 30
At that time, our Lord Jesus said: “... All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son
except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father, except the Son, and the one to whom the Son Wills to
reveal Him. Come to Me, all who Labour and who are heavily laden, and I will grant you rest. Take My Yoke
upon you, and learn from Me, for I Am Gentle and Lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My
Yoke is easy and My Burden is light.”
✶ “...all things have been delivered to Me by My  ONLY THE TEACHINGS AND REVELATIONS OF OUR LORD JESUS
Father...” means that EVERYTHING OUR SAVIOUR CHRIST CAN ENLIGHTEN US FOR THE SAKE OF OUR
TEACHES US AND REVEALS TO US IS ACCORDING TO THE SALVATION AND ETERNAL LIFE.
DIVINE WILL OF OUR HEAVENLY FATHER.  ONLY THROUGH OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST AND HIS DIVINE
 Thus the DIVINE WILL OF GOD THE FATHER IS REVEALED TO US TRUTH CAN WE BEGIN TO UNDERSTAND AND APPRECIATE THE
AND TAUGHT TO US ONLY BY GOD THE SON – by the INFINITE LOVE, MERCY, JOY, AND PEACE OF OUR LORD
Second Person of the Holy Trinity - WHO GOD.
CONDESCENDED TO BECOME INCARNATE AND TO LIVE WITH  ONLY THROUGH OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST AND BY THE POWER
US IN ORDER TO TEACH US CLEARLY AND DIRECTLY HIS AND ENERGY OF GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT, ARE WE ABLE TO
DIVINE TRUTH. FULFIL OUR SACRED TASKS ACCORDING TO THE WILL OF
OUR HEAVENLY FATHER.
✶ “...No one knows the Son except the Father...”
means that OUR KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING OF  ONLY THROUGH OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST CAN WE MAINTAIN
AND INCREASE OUR BLESSED LIFE IN HIM THAT DRAWS US
CHRIST AND HIS DIVINE TRUTH IS LIMITED DUE TO OUR
SLOWLY TOWARDS ETERNAL LIFE AND ALL THE BLESSINGS
HUMAN CONDITION.
OF HIS HEAVENLY KINGDOM.
 THE DEGREE OR DEPTH OF OUR UNDERSTANDING OF HIS DIVINE
TRUTH, DEPENDS ON OUR SPIRITUAL STATE AND PROGRESS. ✶ “... Take My Yoke...” THE YOKE OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
 However, BY THE POWER AND ENERGY OF GOD THE HOLY IS OUR FREE AND WILLING SUBMISSION TO THE KINGDOM OF
SPIRIT – the Third Person of the Holy Trinity – WE ARE GOD AND EVERYTHING THAT IS REQUIRED OF US AS WORTHY
GRANTED THE ABILITY TO UNDERSTAND AND FULFIL FAR FUTURE CITIZENS.
MORE OF HIS DIVINE TRUTH. ✶ “...My Yoke is easy ...” A yoke could be seen as a sign
 St Theophylact explained that GOD HAS HIDDEN HIS of hardship, burdens, and responsibilities, but IN
DIVINE MYSTERIES FROM THE WISE AND ERUDITE PEOPLE OF CHRIST OUR SAVIOUR, HIS YOKE IS EASY, BECAUSE DIVINE
THE WORLD – not out of any malice towards His POWER WORKS IN EACH OF US. (2 KINGS 12: 1 – 11; JEREMIAH 34: 1-
creatures but rather BECAUSE OF OUR UNWORTHINESS, 11; WISDOM OF SIRACH 40:1)
for we chose to trust our own fallen, warped and  Furthermore, THE ULTIMATE REWARD IS INFINITELY GREATER
limited wisdom and judgement instead of God’s THAN ANY EFFORT REQUIRED OF US!
Perfect and Absolute Wisdom and Knowledge.  BY LIVING IN CHRIST, OUR SPIRITUAL LABOURS ARE ACHIEVED
 Furthermore, IT IS OUT OF HIS LOVE FOR MANKIND THAT GOD without causing us to become exhausted and
WITHHOLDS DIVINE REVELATION FROM THOSE WHO WOULD ineffectual.
SCORN IT – IN ORDER THAT THEY DO NOT RECEIVE EVEN  OUR LORD GOD MAKES EVERYTHING POSSIBLE for us to
WORSE ETERNAL CONDEMNATION AT THEIR FINAL achieve, despite our weaknesses or inabilities.
JUDGEMENT.  WE ARE “YOKED” TOGETHER WITH EACH OTHER BY CHRIST,
✶ “...and the one to whom the Son Wills to reveal which makes this preparatory, often difficult and
Him ...” SOMETIMES, LIKE ST PAUL, BY THE GRACE OF painful lifespan far more bearable and Spiritually
Profitable.
GOD, WE RECEIVE DIVINE TRUTH DIRECTLY FROM OUR LORD
 OUR JOURNEY IS NOT A SOLO EFFORT but always a “Team
JESUS CHRIST IN A DIVINELY MYSTERIOUS MANNER THAT
Effort,” for we cannot fulfil our Sacred Tasks that
CANNOT BE EXPLAINED BUT ONLY EXPERIENCED!
are essential to our Eternal Life without working in
 WE ARE SUBSEQUENTLY COMPELLED BY OUR LOVE OF GOD TO
Unison and Harmony with each other and,
SHARE SUCH KNOWLEDGE, UNDERSTANDING AND TEACHING
especially, with our Lord
WITH OUR FELLOW DISCIPLES.
 Our Lord Jesus Christ emphasises and confirms what ✶ ”... I Am Gentle...” The term “Gentle” is literally
He has taught us – ONLY THROUGH HIS DIVINE TRUTH translated “Meek.”
CAN WE BEGIN TO UNDERSTAND OUR BENEVOLENT,  OUR LORD GOD NEVER FORCES HIS DIVINE WILL ON ANYONE,
PROVIDENTIAL AND LOVING LORD GOD. for Love is Patient, Longsuffering, Kind, Gentle,
The ancient Holy Prophets and the Chosen People of Humble, Compassionate, etc. as St Paul described
God believed our Almighty God to be a fearsome, it so well.
vengeful and wrathful God Who demanded  Our All Merciful and Loving God is incapable of doing
Obedience and Who would instantly destroy all anything that is destructive and fatal, for that is
who dared to challenge Him! (This was according utterly against His Divine Nature and Attributes,
to their experience of powerful, merciless and which embody everything that is absolutely Good!
cruel Rulers who terrified their subjects into  A LL EVIL, WICKEDNESS, CRUELTY, SUFFERING, DEATH – all the
submission and obedience!) However, OUR LORD woes of our human condition - ARE INVENTIONS OF
JESUS CHRIST REVEALED TO US THAT ALMIGHTY GOD IS THE EVIL ONE – none of which pertains to God’s
LOVE! HE IS UNCONDITIONAL LOVE! Divine Will for THESE ALL CONTRADICT DIVINE LOVE – I.E.
THESE CONTRADICT OUR TRIUNE GOD.

S T P AISIOS THE NEW, H OLY E LDE R OF M OU NT AT H OS 12 J ULY 2019 17.


F E STAL P R OKE IM E NON – P SALM 149 – TO NE (7) V ARY S /GR AVE

The Holy Ones shall boast in Glory and they shall greatly Rejoice on their beds.
Sing to the Lord a New Song. His praise in the Assembly of His Holy Ones.
T H E E PISTLE OF S T P AUL TO TH E G AL ATIANS 5: 22 – 6: 2
Brethren, the Fruit of the Spirit is Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-control.
Against such there is no Law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have Crucified the flesh with its passions and
desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us have no self-conceit, no provoking of one
another, no envy of each other.
Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are Spiritual, should Restore him in a Spirit of Gentleness. Look
to yourself lest you, too, be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the Law of Christ.
✶ “...the Fruit of the Spirit...” St Paul reminds us of THE A fleshy soul means that we are in a state of SPIRITUAL
WONDERFUL SPIRITUAL FRUIT THAT IS GRANTED BY THE DEATH!
HOLY SPIRIT TO THOSE WHO STRIVE CEASELESSLY, all of ✶ “...live by the Spirit ...walk by the Spirit...” Unless we
which HELP US TO DEAL WITH OUR DAILY PROBLEMS AND truly acknowledge and expose our sins, eradicating
SPIRITUAL CONTESTS that confront us all. them through a concerted effort of REPENTANCE-
 EVERY ONE OF THESE DIVINE FRUITS PROMOTES AND NURTURES CONFESSION, we cannot RETURN TO OUR NATURAL SPIRITUAL
OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD AND WITH EACH OTHER. STATE - SPIRITUAL LIFE IN CHRIST – and return to our close,
 THE ONLY GIFT AND FRUIT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT THAT WE intimate Relationship with Almighty God and all His
REQUIRE FOR OUR ETERNAL LIFE – AS WELL AS A Goodness.
SUCCESSFUL, TEMPORARY, PREPARATORY LIFESPAN IS LOVE,  We are trying to Live in Christ – to LIVE ACCORDING TO
FOR LOVE OR AGAPE NEVER FAILS!! THE DIVINE WILL OF GOD THE FATHER BY MEANS OF THE
 Furthermore, UNLESS WE STRIVE WITH ALL OUR MIGHT TO POWER AND ENERGY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, THROUGH THE
ACHIEVE TRUE AGAPE, WE WILL NOT BE WORTHY CITIZENS TEACHINGS AND COMMANDMENTS OF CHRIST.
OF THE HEAVENLY KINGDOM OF LOVE.  This is SPIRITUAL LIFE, which we must NURTURE, PROTECT
 OUR ENTIRE JUDGEMENT IS BASED ON THAT UNCONDITIONAL, AND GROW until our last breath, for WHATEVER
HOLY, DIVINE AND ABSOLUTE LOVE of God and our CONDITION WE DEPART THIS LIFE, WE WILL REMAIN
fellow mankind, for whatever we do for them will UNCHANGED IN THE NEXT – i.e. in Eternity.
be done for us a hundredfold. 1. We must STRIVE TO REMAIN IN SPIRITUAL LIFE and avoid at
 Thus it benefits us immensely if we do ACHIEVE AGAPE all cost falling into a state of Spiritual Death!!
AND TREAT ONE ANOTHER WITH PURE, VIRTUOUS HEART AND 2. We must IMMEDIATELY CORRECT OURSELVES as soon as we
SOUL! have fallen into sin - and ENCOURAGE EACH OTHER to
 THEOSIS, DEIFICATION OR SPIRITUAL PERFECTION MEANS TO stay close to the Lord our God by means of our
HAVE ACQUIRED THE GREATEST OF ALL HOLY VIRTUES - Spiritual Endeavours.
TRUE LOVE – THAT DIVINE, PERFECT AGAPE. 3. We must AVOID PROVOKING EACH OTHER, or doing
✶ “...Crucified the flesh ...” This short lifespan, which anything that will endanger our Brethren in Christ
prepares us for Eternity, should be spent STRIVING TO who might be discouraged, disheartened or
DEVELOP AND STRENGTHEN OUR IMMORTAL SOUL IN ORDER TO disturbed by our careless, inconsiderate words,
CONTROL OUR WILFUL, SELFISH AND ARROGANT FLESH, thoughts and deeds!
because we all need TO RETURN TO GOD WHO CREATED US 4. We must GENTLY GUIDE AND CORRECT ONE ANOTHER –
AS HIS PERFECT CREATURES OF LOVE. always with Love, Kindness and Compassion,
 IF WE DO NOT LEARN TO CONTROL THE DEMANDS OF OUR thereby bearing each other’s ‘burdens,’ but never
UNDISCIPLINED FLESH, WE WILL DEVELOP A ‘FLESHY’ SOUL being a ‘burden’ to others by taking advantage of
A FLESHY SOUL IS DOMINATED AND CONTROLLED BY OUR their good nature or kindness of heart.
PHYSICAL PASSIONS THAT STIFLE AND DEADEN OUR 5 . We must ensure THAT WHATEVER WE DO, IT IS ACCORDING TO
CONSCIENCE AND, CONSEQUENTLY, ALIENATE US FROM THE DIVINE TRUTH, TEACHINGS AND COMMANDMENTS OF
GOD AND ALL HIS DIVINE GOODNESS AND LOVE. OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.
T H E H OLY G OSPEL ACCO R D ING TO S T LU KE 6 : 17 – 23
At that time, our Lord Jesus stood on a level place, with a great crowd of His Disciples, and a great multitude of people
from all Judea and Jerusalem, and the coast of tyre and Sidon, who went to hear Him, and to be Healed of their
diseases – and those who were troubled with unclean spirit were cured. And all the crowd sought to touch Him, for
Power went forth from Him and Healed them all. And He lifted up His Eyes to His Disciples, and said: “Blessed art
you who are poor, for yours is the Kingdom of God. Blessed art you who hunger now, for you shall be satisfied.
Blessed art you who weep now, for you shall rejoice. Blessed art you when men hate you, and when they
exclude you, and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! Rejoice in that day,
and leap for Joy, for behold! Your Reward is Great in Heaven!”
✶ “...a great crowd ...” In the age of the Old Covenant a KINGDOM AS THE MOST IMPORTANT PRIORITIES OF LIFE - A
select few were chosen to hear God directly. (REFER EXODUS TREMENDOUS CRAVING AND YEARNING FOR WHAT IS RIGHT
19: 3 – 13) AND GOOD – A SPIRITUAL HUNGER THAT IS FAR MORE
IN THE AGE OF THE NEW COVENANT GOD INCARNATE SPEAKS COMPELLING THAN A DESIRE FOR FOOD.
DIRECTLY TO HIS FAITHFUL DISCIPLES AND ALL THOSE WHO SEEK
✶ “...those who weep...” refers to THOSE WHO ARE DISTRESSED
DIVINE TRUTH. BY THE SUFFERINGS OF THIS LIFE, ESPECIALLY BY THE
✶ “...to hear Him ...” OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST SPEAKS TO US MISERY OF SO MANY OTHERS, THE STATE OF THE FALLEN
WITH HIS OWN DIVINE AUTHORITY. WORLD, AND THEIR OWN PERSONAL SINS. (REFER JOHN 11:35...
 WE, AS HIS DISCIPLES, DO NOT DISCUSS OR DEBATE BUT LISTEN LUKE 19:41 & LUKE 7 : 36 – 38)
CAREFULLY to what He reveals and teaches us  ALL THESE ARE COMFORTED BY THE POWER OF GOD BOTH IN
concerning God’s Truth – READY AND EAGER TO FULFIL THIS WORLD AND IN THE AGE TO COME.
WHATEVER IS REQUIRED FROM US.  HOLY SORROW IS PART OF OUR REPENTANCE, CONVERSION AND
THIS IS OUR HOLY MISSION AND PURPOSE ON EARTH DURING VIRTUOUS ACTION.
THIS PREPARATORY PERIOD BEFORE ETERNITY.  HOLY SORROW OR JOYFUL MOURNING IS THE FIRST-FRUIT – THE
✶ “...Blessed art you ...” indicates HEAVENLY, SPIRITUAL INITIAL RESULT – OF INFINITE OR ETERNAL BLISS/JOY,
EXALTATION RATHER THAN EARTHLY HAPPINESS OR which is completely different from ungodly sorrow
PROSPERITY. – an inconsolable sadness that leads to despair –
✶ “...you who are poor ...” In Hebrew, “poor” means utter hopelessness. (REFER TO 2 CORINTHIANS 7 : 10 )
BOTH THE MATERIALLY POOR AND GOD’S FAITHFUL PEOPLE.
 THE GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT OF ALL IS WHEN WE COMMIT OUR
LIVES ENTIRELY TO CHRIST – WHEN WE LIVE IN CHRIST AND
✶ “...poor in spirit,” are THOSE WHO HAVE THE HEART OF THE
NEVER COMPROMISE OUR FAITH no matter what the
POOR, THE SAME ATTITUDE AS THE POOR, AND WHO ARE
circumstances or threats against us.
TOTALLY DEPENDENT ON GOD.
✶ THIS “SERMON ON THE PLAIN” IS SIMILAR BUT NOT AS EXTENSIVE
✶ “...Those who hunger ...” and thirst FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS AS CHRIST’S PROFOUND “SERMON ON THE MOUNT.” (MATTHEW 5 – 7)
REGARD THE PRESENCE OF GOD AND HIS ETERNAL

18. S T P AISIOS THE N EW , H OLY EL DE R OF M OU NT A TH OS 12 J ULY 2018


OUR LORD JESUS REPEATED MANY OF HIS DIVINE TEACHINGS OVER by St John the Baptist – and His Passion – the New
THE PERIOD OF THREE YEARS – His Public Ministry to the Covenant Pascha – which shows us that OUR LORD’S
Hebrews and Gentiles, which were later spread EARTHLY DIVINE MISSION – THE DIRECT TEACHING BY GOD
throughout the world by His Divinely Inspired Apostles INCARNATE HIMSELF – LASTED ONLY THREE SHORT YEARS!
and Faithful Disciples. THIS SHORT SECTION of the Holy Gospel according to St Luke
ST JOHN THE DIVINE APOSTLE, EVANGELIST AND THEOLOGIAN IS READ ON FEAST DAYS COMMEMORATING OUR HOLY
MENTIONED THREE PASSOVER FEASTS that occurred HIERARCHS, HIEROMARTYRS AND MONKS.
between Theophany – the Revelation of the Holy
Trinity at the Baptism of our Lord in the River Jordan
T H E L IFE IN CH R IST – P R OTOP RE SBYTER JO H N R OM ANIDE S

2.. S ACR AM ENTAL P ARTIC IPATION IN THE V ICTORY OF THE C R OSS


Participation in the Victory of the Cross is not only our Orthodoxy knows nothing of ‘sentimental love’ for
Hope for the future, but our present Reality that is humanity, because it is with other individuals that we
given to those who are Baptized and ‘grafted’ into the must be United so as to Live in Christ.
Body of Christ. (EPHESIANS 2:13-22; ROMANS 6:3-4 & JOHN 15:1-8) The only way that leads us to the Love/Agape of Christ is
There is nevertheless no ‘magical guarantee’ of Salvation that of a genuine, pure and unconditional Love for
nor of continued participation in the Life in Christ others.
(ROMANS 9:19-20)  “Truly, I say unto you: inasmuch as you did not
Our Lord Jesus Christ came to destroy the power of do it to one of the least of these, you did not do
disunity, by Uniting those who believe in Him in His it to Me!” (MATTHEW 25:40).
own Body – His Holy Church – the external Sign of Love in the Body of Christ does not consist of vague
which is that Unity of Love, while the Centre and abstractions expressing the need to serve ideologies
Source of our Holy Unity with our Lord God is the Holy or human causes.
Mystery of Eucharist for since there is One Body (of Love, according to the Image and Likeness of Christ,
Christ), we are also One Holy Body, because we are consists of being crucified to the world, which is the
all part of One Eucharist. (JOHN 17:21) liberation of our self from all vague ideas in order to
The Hoy Mysteries of Baptism and Chrismation ‘grafts’ us Live in the complexity of Communal Life (in Christ)
to the Body of Christ, while the Holy Mystery of while seeking to Love Christ in the Body of our
Eucharist keeps us Alive in Christ and United with Brethren who have a very real existence.
each other by the Indwelling of the Holy Spirit in our It is easy to talk about ‘Love and Goodness,’ but it is very
own body. difficult to enter into sincere and intimate
Faith (alone) is insufficient for our Eternal Salvation. Relationships with people of diverse origins.
The Catechumens who were already “Believers” had to It is, however, our own Death and Resurrection in Christ
stay vigilant before receiving Baptism by rejecting that has established a Community of Saints who do
anything that the world regards as being “normal” in not think of ourselves, nor of our own opinions, but
the corrupt body of sin and death, in order to be continually express our Love for Christ and other
Resurrected in the Unity of the Holy Spirit - i.e. to be people by seeking to humble ourselves as our Lord
United with other members of a local Community in Jesus Christ was Humble – “... Gentle and Lowly in
Christ and the Communal Life of Love. heart.”
Whatever was impossible under the law of Death has
become possible through Unity in the Spirit of Life.
3. H OW W E TO D AY AC H IE VE THE V IC TORY OF THE CR OSS
Throughout Her history the Holy Orthodox Church of For this very reason, those who denied Christ during
Christ has had to fight against sin and corruption persecution, even after hours of torture, were
within Her own Members, and often within Her Clergy. considered Excommunicated.
However, in every epoch She knew how to implement the Once we have died with Christ in Holy Baptism, we are
appropriate means, as She always recognized the expected to be ready to die anytime in the Name of
enemy. Christ.
The Holy Church exists in Divine Truth - not because all  Our Lord Jesus told us very clearly : “...Whoever
Her Members are without sin, but because Her denies Me before men... I will deny also before
Sacramental Life is always present and against Her My Father in Heaven...” (MATTHEW. 10:33)
the evil one is defenceless. The 10th Canon of the First Ecumenical Council does not
St Ignatios of Antioch’s Epistle to the Ephesians stated: merely prohibit the Ordination of anyone who has
“...When you often assemble in one place (epi to denied Christ during the persecution, but declares the
auto), the power of Satan is destroyed.” automatic invalidation of any such Ordination, even if
Whenever Members of a Christian Community gather to it took place in ignorance of the Ordainer.
celebrate the Holy Eucharist and exchange “... the Kiss All who have performed such an Ordination are
of Peace...” before Communing together in the themselves deprived of the Holy Priesthood.
Precious Life-giving Body and Blood of Christ, the evil What serious breakers of the Vows of Baptism are those
one is defeated, but whenever a Member of the Body who are too lazy to attend Church and to partake of
of Christ communes unworthily, he eats and drinks the Holy Eucharist!
Condemnation for himself. (1 CORINTHIANS 11:29). The approval that our Clergy today gives our
When we (Disciples of Christ) do not commune at all with Sacramental Practise is even more unacceptable! If
the Body and Blood of Christ – partaking of the Holy the Christian was excommunicated for having denied
Eucharist – we become Spiritually Dead. (JOHN. 6:53). Christ after hours of physical torture, those who week
The Church has categorically refused to endorse the after week excommunicate themselves are all the
practise whereby a large number of Christians attend more condemnable!
the Eucharist, while only a few commune. The character and methods of the Devil have not
Guidance, participation in Prayer and Holy Communion changed for he remains forever wicked, conniving
are inseparable. (7TH APOSTOLIC CANON & ST JOHN CHRYSOSTOM’S and very deceptive – even, as St Paul warned us -
3RD HOMILY ON EPHESIANS) being capable of transforming “... himself into an
St Ignatios of Antioch severely cautioned the Ephesians: Angel of Light..”. while his demons also disguise as “...
“...Let no one be deceived: if somebody is outside Ministers of Righteousness, whose end will be
the Sanctuary, he is deprived of the Bread of according to their (evil) works! ” (2 CORINTHIANS 11:15)
God…he who does not gather together with the The power of Death in the world remains the same.
Church has shown his pride and has condemned The means of Salvation - the ‘Death’ of Holy Baptism and
himself...” the Life of the Holy Eucharist - have thus remained
The Biblical and Patristic Tradition is unanimous on one the same (at least in the Liturgical books of the
point: Those who are Living Members of the Holy Body Church).
of Christ are those who are dead to the power of The Canons of the Holy Orthodox Church have also
Death and they Live in the Renewal of the Spirit of never changed, and we have continued to read the
Life. same Holy Scriptures that were approved by our Holy
Fathers.

S T P AISIOS THE NEW, H OLY E LDE R OF M OU NT AT H OS 12 J ULY 2019 19.


How then can we explain our contemporary weaknesses The common Faith and Worship of the Holy Apostles of
and failures which have never been more evident? Christ and our Holy Church Fathers remains
There can be only one explanation. essentially unchanged in our Liturgical and
We are not fighting against evil in the spirit of Holy
Canonical Books, but in practise, in the spirit of Clergy
Scripture, because too many people who claim to be
and Faithful, there is great confusion, no doubt due to
Christians use the Church for their own self-serving
interests and interpret the Doctrine of Christ a lack of Spiritual Understanding of the very nature of
according to their own limited and flawed ideas. the Work of Christ in His Holy Church.
Thus many people who claim to be ‘Orthodox’ and those
The essential Task of our Orthodox Christian youth today
who sincerely want to be, conceive the Life of the
is to return to the Divine Truth of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Church according to vague personal sentiments and
His Holy Apostles and our Holy Fathers so that we can
avoid being lured into the snares of the prince of not according to the Spirit of the Apostles and Holy
darkness and the corruptible elements of this fallen Fathers of the Church.
world. What is lacking is a Living Acceptance that presupposes
It is for this very Purpose that our Lord Jesus Christ came the Sacramental Life of the Holy Church of Christ.
to Teach us and to Sacrifice His own Life for the sake This lack of understanding explains to a large extent the
of our Salvation. weaknesses of the Church in the Western world and,
To deny His Salvific Sacrifice is to deny His Life-giving in particular, characterizes its attitude toward various
Holy Cross and the blood of all the Holy Martyrs. schisms and heresies.
Before criticizing the “inflexibility” of Patristic Doctrine, as Those who cannot understand that “...(God the Holy)
‘modern-day’ Orthodox Christians, we must return to Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we
the presuppositions of Life in Christ in Holy Scripture, are (the Adopted) Children of God... Heirs of God and
being very careful not to pervert the Divine Doctrine joint Heirs with Christ...” cannot preach the Divine
(Teaching) of our Lord and Divine Saviour, Jesus Christ. Truth, but must ask themselves whether or not they
The Sacred Task that faces Orthodox Christianity today, themselves are outside the Truth and, therefore, are
and in particular Her youth, who are often lost in the dead members of the Holy Church of Christ? (ROMANS
liberalism of past generations, is the rediscovery of 8:16)
the Paschal Victory in the daily Life of the Holy WRITTEN BYPROTOPRESBYTER JOHN ROMANIDES
Church of Christ. ADAPTED & EDITED BY MP
T H E E TE R NAL , I NSP IR ED W ISD OM OF OU R H OLY FATHE R, ELDE R J OSE PH OF MOU NT A THOS.
Beloved Children, do not be shaken by the events that both the right and the left world that: “Those who
happen around us, which are our trials and honestly Love God rightly detest the devil”
tribulations (pirasmi)), since there is no practical The only difference is that one day we might finally
Christianity without them. succeed but our Spiritual Struggle lasts for our entire
We must learn that our life is like a sphere, which lifespan.
continuously revolves. The fact that our Spiritual Struggle continues, is not a
In its path we find all the contradictions, and we, like defeat, but an indication of our hard Labour.
pupils during exams, are Called to our Spiritual God’s Grace does not take away our Spiritual Warfare,
struggle. which we must continue in order to Glorify God and to
The sphere turns around and therefore, we wait to see reveal our hard Labours to everyone.
the first warning signs of our next trial – our next All our Holy Fathers have been harshly tempted - beyond
Spiritual Contest. causes and reasons - even though they had been
If we are prepared for this Spiritual Battle, just this most pure in their mind and intentions.
Discipline will open the way for our triumph or, at Every Member of the Church is obliged to Live for others -
least, it will minimize the impact of the crash. whether they are present or still to come. Therefore,
Our Holy Fathers teach us: “If you want to take your our conduct ought to motivate future generations
Brother’s mistake upon you, be ready to face when we become good examples of practical
temptation until your last breath!” Christianity – showing them that Life in Christ is a
Nothing more and nothing less is going to happen except Reality and that our Lord Jesus Christ is forever the
for that which our Lord Jesus Christ orders for each same – very much alive and still present with us
one of us for our Discipline and Benefit. today, tomorrow and always!
We only increase our Burden if we grumble. Humbly, Elder Joseph.
Those who believe in God must continuously Struggle
when various temptations strike, in order to convince https://pemptousia.com/2011/11/letters-by-elder-joseph-of-
vatopedi-no-1/
T H E ETERNAL, I NSP IR ED W ISD OM OF OU R H OLY FA THE R S
A R CH IMANDR ITE GE ORGE KAPSANIS the blood of Love. It reveals a pretence of Love that
No matter how well informed we are in terms of human weighs heavily upon the heart and destroys Purity.
wisdom, it does not cure our deformity. We have to S T N ICH OL AS V EL IMIR OVIC H
rediscover the True Image of God – our Lord Jesus When we place our trust in other people, we are being
Christ – so that by assuming the Form of Christ, we will weak, but when we place our trust in God we become
be Healed of the deformities caused by the passions strong. By cleaving to our Lord God, all His Divine
and sin, thereby attaining our Supreme Goal of Divine Power will be with us. We must confess our weakness
Likeness and the Glorification of God. before our Lord, and He will send us His All Powerful
S T S E R AP H IM OF S AR OV Grace.
At around our thirty-fifth year – that is, half-way through S T N EKTAR IOS OF P E NTAP OL IS
our earthly lifespan – we undergo a Great Struggle to Prayer is our Help in life, for it is a Conversation with God,
remain true to ourselves, because at that age many of an obliviousness of earthly things, an Ascent into
us do not remain Virtuous but go astray by following Heaven and a general Medication against the
the path of their desires. passions that protects us from them. Prayer brings us
S T J OH N OF K R ONSTAD T Life, is a Promise of Health, a Flower of Hope and a
When we suffer and are sad, we can blame our sins and most Powerful Weapon, a mighty Fastness, a Rich
the evil one, but, above all, we ought to blame Treasure, Safe haven and a secure place.
ourselves because the devil cannot harm us if he S T J OH N C HRY SOSTOM
cannot find a flaw or weakness in us that allows him Change does not depend on God Who has sown, but on
to do so. us who do not want to mend our ways!
S T J OH N OF TH E L AD DER E LDE R AR SE NIE B OC A
Denigration (defamation or slander) signals the birth of Those who reveal to their Spiritual Guide the serpents of
hatred. It is a delicate affliction, but also a substantial temptations are souls who show their True Faith.
sin because it is like a bloated leech that is hidden Those who hide them, are following the road to
away and unmanifested, sucking out and destroying Perdition!

20. S T P AISIOS THE N EW , H OLY EL DE R OF M OU NT A TH OS 12 J ULY 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 3 14 JULY 2019
4TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 4TH OF ST MATTHEW
THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD

Also the Feast of our Holy Fathers of the 4th Ecumenical Council – St Aquila of the 70 Holy
Apostles – St Justos of Rome – St Joseph, Metropolitan of Thessalonika – St Nikodemos the
Hagiorite of Dionysiou Monastery, Mount Athos – St Stephen, Abbot of Makhrishche Monastery,
Vologda – St Hellios the Ascetic of Egypt – St Onesimos, Wonderworker & Founder of the
Magnesia Monastery.

THE SUNDAY AND FESTAL HYMNS ARE PUBLISHED IN BOOKLET FORM EACH MONTH. THESE ARE PUBLISHED AND FREELY
DOWNLOADABLE ON www.scribd.com/writers4574. LINKS ARE ALSO POSTED ON FACEBOOK “ORTHODOX
CHRISTIAN EASTERN CAPE.” (OR CAN BE EMAILED DIRECTLY, ON REQUEST TO marguerite.paizis@gmail.com)

R ESUR REC TION G OSPEL 4: LU KE 24:1 – 12


THE HOLY MYRRHBEARERS SEE THE EMPTY TOMB OF OUR RESURRECTED LORD

P R OKE IME NON – P SALM 31/32 – TONE (8) P L AGAL 4

Be glad in the Lord and Rejoice greatly, O Righteous Ones, and boast, all you who are upright in heart.
Blessed art those whose transgressions art forgiven and whose sins art covered.
T H E E PISTLE OF S T P AUL TO S T T ITOS 3 : 8 – 15
My Son, Titos: ...Faith of the Word is True, and I desire Thee to insist on these Things so that those who believe in God
may be careful to apply themselves to Good Deeds that are excellent and profitable to mankind. Avoid senseless
controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels over the Law, for they are unprofitable and futile. As for a
divisive man – after admonishing him once or twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a
person is perverted and sinful, being self-condemned!
When I send Artemas or Tychikos to you, do your utmost to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the
winter there. Make every effort so as to speed Zenas the Lawyer and Apollos on their way, ensuring that they lack
nothing.
Let our people apply themselves to Good Deeds so as to help those in urgent need, and not to be unfruitful.
Greetings are sent by all who are with me. Greet those who Love us in the Faith.
Grace be with you all.
✶ “...Faith of the Word is True ...” St Paul was painfully In this instance, St Paul described how ALMIGHTY GOD
aware that WE ARE ALL AWAITING THE CONSUMMATION OF REIGNS IN OUR WORLD.
THE AGE TO COME. It does not describe the Eternal Relationship of the three
 He knew that WE ALREADY PARTICIPATE IN THE separate and distinct Persons of the Holy Trinity: THE
ESCHATOLOGICAL COMMUNITY. (i.e. Concerning our HOLY SPIRIT, FOR EXAMPLE, PROCEEDS FROM GOD THE FATHER
immortal souls in their relation to Death, Judgement, ALONE – AND NOT FROM GOD THE SON.
ST PAUL TRANSFORMED THE OLD COVENANT UNDERSTANDING OF
Eternal Life and Eternal Condemnation and Hell) ONE GOD – THE LORD GOD – INTO THE NEW COVENANT
 HOLY BAPTISM AND CHRISMATION ARE THE BEGINNING OF OUR TEACHING OF CHRIST’S DIVINE REVELATION OF THE HOLY
TRUE SPIRITUAL JOURNEY towards Eternal Life in God’s TRINITY IN ONE DIVINE GODHEAD – THREE PERSONS – EACH OF
Eternal Kingdom of Love, Peace and Joy. WHOM IS “LORD” – DIVINE.
 THESE HOLY MYSTERIES GRANT US THE RITE OF PASSAGE Consequently, WHEN WE “TURN TO THE LORD,” WE TURN TO THE
TOWARDS A PROGRESSIVE LIFE OF RENEWAL IN CHRIST. FATHER, THROUGH THE SON AND BY THE POWER OF THE HOLY
 2 CORINTHIANS 3 : 16 – 18: “... when one turns to the SPIRIT – and even when we pray – although we may
Lord, the Veil is taken away. Now the Lord is address one of the Trinity in Person, it always includes
Spirit; and where the Spirit of our Lord is, there the other two Persons of the Holy Trinity because
is True Liberty. But we all - with unveiled face, everything is in Perfect Harmony and Unity of the Holy
beholding as in a mirror, the Glory of our Lord Trinity: by the Will of the Father, through the
– are being Transformed into the same Image Teachings and Revelations of the Son and by the Life-
from glory to Glory – just as the Spirit of our Giving enabling Power of the Holy Spirit!
Lord.” THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT GRANTS US TRUE LIBERTY – TRUE
 THE REFERENCE TO “THE LORD” IN THE NEW TESTAMENT, SPIRITUAL FREEDOM – freeing us from the constraints and
USUALLY REFERS TO OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST – the Word
shackles of Spiritual Darkness and sin – so that WE ARE
and Son of God the Father, Who is also referred to ABLE TO BEHOLD GOD, HAVE OPEN ACCESS TO HIM AT ALL
as “the Lord.” (MATTHEW 11:25; 22:44 – LUKE 1:32; 4:12 &18, TIMES, AND GROW EVER CLOSER TO HIM, thereby slowly
10:21 – ACTS 3:22; 4:26 – REVELATION 11:15; 21:22)
regaining our Lost Spiritual (Godly) Likeness.
The Holy Spirit is also referred to as “Lord” both in this
Having been created in God’s Image (and Likeness) WE
instance and in our Creed of Faith – the Nicene
ARE ABLE TO SEE HIS UNCREATED IMAGE – God Incarnate –
Creed: “... the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of
our Lord Jesus Christ – in two ways:
Life...”
1. THROUGH THE SON’S DEIFIED HUMANITY (1 CORINTHIANS
Since THE TERM “LORD” APPLIES TO ALL THREE PERSONS OF THE 13:12 & JAMES 1:23-35)
HOLY TRINITY, there might be a difference of opinion as 2. IN THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.
to which of the three Divine Persons of the Holy Trinity As we grow closer to God and are able to truly behold
the word “Lord” refers in this instance. God the Father, Him, WE BECOME WHAT WE WERE CREATED BY GOD TO BE – I.E.
the Son and the Holy Spirit are in no way confused WE REGAIN OUR LOST HOLY LIKENESS.
here for St Paul had in mind one Person or Another. GOD IS INFINITE – there are no limitations to Almighty God,
The Son, for example, cannot be the Holy Spirit. SO THERE ARE NO LIMITS TO GROWING IN HIS IMAGE AND
THE “SPIRIT” IS SPECIFICALLY THE HOLY SPIRIT – not an LIKENESS and THE MORE WE ARE TRANSFORMED INTO HIS
impersonal Force – although ELSEWHERE IN THE NEW LIKENESS, THE MORE CLEARLY WE SHALL SEE GOD!
TESTAMENT THE TERM “SPIRIT” OCCASIONALLY REFERS TO THE
SOUL, A REALM OR A MANNER OF EXISTENCE.

4TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 4TH OF ST MATTHEW – LIGHT OF THE WORLD - 14 JULY 2019 21
✶ "... insist on these Things...” means that we must  THEY REJECT PROPER SPIRITUAL GUIDANCE and, HAVING THEIR
FOLLOW ONLY THE DIVINE TRUTH OF OUR LORD’S OWN SELF-SERVING MOTIVES AND AMBITIONS, THEY FOLLOW
TEACHINGS AND COMMANDMENTS – not the warped THEIR OWN PATH OF SELF-INDULGENCE.
and erroneous concepts of mankind.  THEY ARE SELF-WILLED AND THUS REJECT OR IGNORE THE WILL
✶ “ ...careful to apply (ourselves) to Good Deeds that OF GOD AND HIS HOLY CHURCH.
 We are instructed to TRY TO CORRECT THEM TWICE ONLY
are excellent and profitable...” We ought to AND THEN LEAVE THEM TO THEIR OWN CONDEMNATION.
make every effort to apply all Christ’s Teachings to  Until they acknowledge their errors and Repent their
our own words, thoughts and deeds. sins, THEY WILL REMAIN ALIENATED FROM GOD AND HIS
 If we actually Live in Christ, we are able to make very HOLY CHURCH.
good Spiritual Progress and develop good  THEY NEED TO SEEK THE FORGIVENESS OF THEIR SPIRITUAL
Relationships with God and with each other. GUIDES AND RETURN TO THE PATH OF RIGHTEOUSNESS by
✶ ”...Avoid senseless controversies... and quarrels ... for being humble and Obedient.
they are unprofitable and futile..” We must avoid  A SECT IS A GROUP OF PEOPLE WHO FOLLOW THEIR OWN IDEAS
anything that will cause a rift in our relationships AND CHOICES rather than being Obedient and
with others. Humble before God.
 We ought to concern ourselves only with matters that  THEY ARE ISOLATED AND INDEPENDENT OF GOD’S HOLY
are Spiritual Profitable and Beneficial to our TRADITION.
mutual Salvation.  SUCH INCOMPLETE OR ERRONEOUS BELIEFS RESULT IN IMMORAL
BEHAVIOUR AND A SELF-IMPOSED SPIRITUAL DEATH AND
✶ “...As for (those who are) divisive – after admonishing
(them) once or twice...” refers to THOSE WHO PICK AND ALIENATION FROM ALMIGHTY GOD Who never forces
CHOOSE FROM THE WHOLE - COMPLETE AND PERFECT – TRUTH
Himself on anyone – waiting ever so patiently for
OF GOD.
their return to His Divine Light through sincere
Repentance.
T H E H OLY G OSPEL ACCORD ING TO ST MATT HE W 5 : 14 – 19
T LIGHT
H E OF THE WORLD
At that time, our Lord Jesus said to His Disciples: “You are the Light of the world. A city set upon a hill cannot be
hidden. Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.
Let your Light so shine before mankind, so that they may see your Good Works, and give Glory to your Father
Who is in Heaven.
Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law and the Prophets. I have come not to abolish them, but to fulfil
them! Truly, I say unto you: until Heaven and Earth pass away, neither an iota nor a tittle shall pass from the
Law until all is accomplished! Whoever shall break one of the least of these Commandments and teaches
mankind to do so, shall be called ‘least’ in the Kingdom of Heaven.
He who does them, and teaches them, shall be called ‘Great’ in the Kingdom of Heaven.
✶ "... You are the Light of the world...” Being Disciples 4. The three Apostles of Christ witnessed the Divine
of Christ, we ought to reflect His Divine Light. Light of God AT OUR LORD’S TRANSFIGURATION ON
 We have “...put on Christ...” and now strive to Live in MOUNT TABOR. (MATTHEW 17 : 1 – 5)
Christ, WE MUST SHINE BRIGHTLY IN THE SPIRITUAL  “Darkness” refers to SPIRITUAL DARKNESS OR BLINDNESS DUE
TO UNREPENTED SIN. It is both SPIRITUAL IGNORANCE AND
DARKNESS OF THE FALLEN, CORRUPTED WORLD.
 In the Old Testament LIGHT WAS SYMBOLIC OF ALMIGHTY SATANIC OPPOSITION to the Divine Light and Truth of
GOD, HIS DIVINE LAW AND ISRAEL in contrast to all Almighty God. THOSE WHO HATE TRUTH, PREFER
IGNORANCE FOR THEMSELVES AND THEY STRIVE TO KEEP
other Nations.
OTHERS IGNORANT AS WELL.
 I S A I A H 6 0 : 1 – 3 “Shine, shine, O Jerusalem, for your
Light has come, and the Glory of the Lord has  “Comprehend” means both “understand” and
risen upon you. Behold: Darkness and Gloom “overcome.” Thus SPIRITUAL DARKNESS CAN NEVER
OVERPOWER THE DIVINE LIGHT AND TRUTH OF OUR LORD
shall cover the Earth upon the Nations, but the
Lord will shine on you and His Glory shall be JESUS CHRIST, NOR CAN IT UNDERSTAND THE WAY OF
seen upon you. Kings shall come to your Light, DIVINE LOVE. (AGAPE)
and the Gentiles to your Brightness..  “John” is a reference to ST JOHN THE BAPTIST AND
FORERUNNER TO CHRIST – THE LAST AND GREATEST OF ALL
 This is the Hymn that we sing during Holy Pascha in
THE OLD COVENANT HOLY PROPHETS OF GOD, who not
the Liturgical Services – for, as St John of only prepared the Hebrews on earth for the
Damascus expressed it: “... the whole Creation advent of Christ the True Messiah, but after his
rejoices and exults, for Christ is Risen and Hades Holy Martyrdom, HE ALSO ANNOUNCED THE COMING OF
despoiled.” CHRIST THOSE WHO WERE IMPRISONED IN HADES. (after
 P S A L M 1 1 8 : 1 0 5 - “Thy Word is a Lamp to my feet and
Christ’s Death and His own descent into Hades, our
a Light to my paths.”
 In the New Testament, THE SON OF GOD IS “LIGHT” – Lord Jesus set the Righteous souls free to repose in
UNCREATED LIGHT OF UNCREATED LIGHT – TRUE GOD OF Paradise until the Final Judgement. this is known as
TRUE GOD! “The Harrowing of Hades.”)
 J O H N 1 : 4 – 9 “... In Him is Life, and the Life is the  Although OUR MOST MERCIFUL GOD HAS OFFERED HIS DIVINE
Light of mankind. And the Light shines in the LIGHT TO EVERY HUMAN BEING, the fallen world and
Darkness, and the Darkness did not comprehend even many of His chosen people refused to receive
It. There was a man sent from God, whose name Him. Thus they can neither know nor recognise
was John. This man came as a Witness, to bear Him. THOSE WHO ACCEPT CHRIST OUR SAVIOUR, ARE
witness of the Light, that all – through him – GRANTED HIS DIVINE LIGHT.
might believe. He was not that Light, but was  After having heard the reading of the Holy Gospel
sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the and having received the Holy Eucharist in Divine
True Light, which gives Light to everyone coming Liturgy, we sing: “We have seen the True Light!
into the world...” We have received the Heavenly Spirit!”
 ONLY GOD HAS LIFE IN HIMSELF, thus OUR LORD JESUS  J O H N 8 : 1 2 Our Lord Jesus said: “I Am the Light of
CHRIST, being God, is THE SOURCE OF LIFE, TOGETHER the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in
WITH THE FATHER AND THE HOLY SPIRIT. darkness, but have the Light of Life.”
1. St John introduces MANKIND AS SANCTIFIED RECEIVERS  Our Lord used these words in the context of the great
OF THE DIVINE LIGHT OF GOD, WHO, BY LIVING IN lamps that were lit at the conclusion of the Feast of
CHRIST, BECOME CHILDREN OF THE LIGHT OF GOD. Tabernacles in the Outer Court of the Temple in
(JOHN 12:36 – EPHESIANS 5:8 – 1 THESSALONIANS 5:5) Jerusalem.
2. St Moses, our ancient Patriarch, saw THE DIVINE  Consequently, CHRIST DECLARES HIMSELF AS THE
LIGHT IN THE MYSTERIOUS BURNING BUSH AND the FULFILMENT AND THE DIVINE OBJECT OF ALL CELEBRATIONS
whole Nation of Israel witnessed It AT THE OF LIGHT.
PARTING OF THE RED SEA. (EXODUS 3: 2 & 13 :21)  In Holy Scripture, GOD THE FATHER IS UNCREATED LIGHT – a
3. St Isaiah beheld the Divine Light of God IN HIS Divine Attribute that He bestows upon His Faithful
HEAVENLY VISION. (ISAIAH 6: 1 – 5) Flock. (JOHN 1:4-9 & 1 JOHN 1:5 – MATTHEW 5:14 - PHILIPPIANS 2:15)
 Furthermore, OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST CONFIRMS HIS CLAIM
BY PERFORMING THE GREAT MIRACLE OF CREATING EYES

22 4TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 4TH OF ST MATTHEW – LIGHT OF THE WORLD - 14 JULY 2019
FOR THE MAN WHO WAS BORN WITHOUT EYES,. (JOHN 9 : 1-7 – 4.
BY GRANTING RIGHTEOUSNESS – THE ULTIMATE GOAL OF
ESPECIALLY 9:5) THE LAW – TO US.
 1 J O H N 1 : 5 “... This is the Message that we have  HE ALSO FULFILLED THE PROPHECIES OF ALL THE HOLY
heard from Him and declare to you: that God is PROPHETS OF GOD, BY BEING AND CARRYING OUT
Light and in Him is no darkness at all.” EVERYTHING THEY HAD FORETOLD CENTURIES BEFORE.
 “LIGHT” IS DIVINE ENERGY, WHICH MANIFESTS (reveals) ✶ “...Truly, I say unto you ...” Our Lord Jesus often used
DIVINE TRUTH –TRUE TEACHING – VIRTUE AND HOLINESS – the terms “Truly” or “Assuredly” which means
TRUE BEHAVIOUR AND LIFESTYLE – AND HOLY COMMUNION
“confirmed,” or “so be it” – “Amen” – as A SOLEMN
WITH GOD IN HIS HOLY CHURCH –TRUE SPIRITUALITY.
AFFIRMATION OR FORM OF OATH.
 THE STRONGEST OF ALL WEAPONS AGAINST SPIRITUAL
 His use of this expression at the beginning of certain
DARKNESS AND SIN IS OUR LOVE FOR GOD, WHICH IS A
Divine Proclamations (rather than at the end) is
STRONG, VIBRANT AND CLOSE RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM.
UNIQUE AND AUTHORITATIVE: HE DECLARES HIS WORDS
 Light is necessary for clear vision and for life itself.
AFFIRMED BEFORE THEY ARE EVEN SPOKEN!
 FAITH RELIES ON DIVINE LIGHT and FAITHFUL BELIEVERS
✶ “...neither an iota nor a tittle shall pass from the Law...”
BECOME “SONS OF LIGHT,” Who Shine In A Darkened
 “A JOT” – “IOTA” – IS THE SMALLEST LETTER IN THE GREEK
And Perverse World. (JOHN 12:36 - 1 THESSALONIANS 5:5 –
PHILIPPIANS 2 : 15) ALPHABET
 AT HOLY PASCHA THE DIVINE LITURGY BEGINS WITH the Priest  “TITTLE” IS THE SMALLEST STROKE IN CERTAIN HEBREW LETTERS.
exiting the Holy Sanctuary and presenting a lit  Thus, WITHOUT EXCEPTION, THE ENTIRE LAW OF GOD IS
candle into the darkened church - inviting the AFFIRMED AS THE SACRED FOUNDATION OF CHRIST’S NEW
congregation to “Come and receive the Light that COVENANT TEACHING.
is never overtaken by night!” whereupon, one by ✶ “...all is accomplished ...” is A REFERENCE TO THE PASSION
one, our candles are lit and the entire church is AND RESURRECTION OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR.
quickly illuminated by the soft, golden light – a “...Whoever shall break one of the least of these
wonderful way of REMINDING US HOW GOD’S DIVINE Commandments and teaches...”
LIGHT OF TRUTH AND LOVE SPREAD AND ENLIGHTENED THE  RIGHTEOUSNESS ACCORDING TO THE LAW IS A UNIFIED WHOLE.
ENTIRE WORLD FOREVER!  THE OBSERVANCE OF ALL THE LEAST COMMANDMENTS OF GOD
 CHRISTIAN VIRTUES HAVE BOTH A PERSONAL AND PUBLIC IS TO OBSERVE OR KEEP OR OBEY THE WHOLE DIVINE LAW OF
FUNCTION, for it can bring others to Glorify God and GOD,
to live in Christ forever.  THE VIOLATION OF THE LEAST COMMANDMENT IS CONSIDERED
✶ “...I have come not to abolish ... but to fulfil ....” OUR BY GOD TO BE THE VIOLATION OF THE ENTIRE DIVINE LAW
LORD JESUS FULFILLED THE LAW IN HIMSELF - in His OF GOD!
Words and in His Actions  It could not be made more definitive or clearer to us
1. BY PERFORMING GOD’S WILL IN ALL ITS FULLNESS, than This!!
2. BY TRANSGRESSING NONE OF THE PRECEPTS OF THE LAW,
3. BY DECLARING THE PERFECT FULFILMENT OF THE LAW,
WHICH HE WAS ABOUT TO DELIVER TO THEM AND
4 T H
S U ND AY AF TE R P E NTEC OST – 4 T H
OF S T M ATTHE W – L IGH T OF THE W OR LD
✞ In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the They confirmed the Truth that our Lord Jesus Christ is
Holy Spirit... fully God and fully Man - one Person with two Natures
Dearly Beloved Brethren, there is a lot of light in our – Divine and human, for if He were not, how could He
churches. There are candles on the Altar and in front Save us who are merely human beings?
of the Holy Icons and - at the beginning of the Divine They rejected the views of the Monophysites who claimed
Liturgy - we switch on all the lights. that our Lord has only one Divine Nature, because, if
At Holy Pascha, the high point is when our Priest exits the it were True, we could certainly not participate in His
Holy Sanctuary with a lit candle and calls us to Divine Life due to our limited and flawed human
“Come Receive the Light...!” which is the Light of our condition.
Lord’s Resurrection that Illuminates the darkness and Furthermore, it would be impossible for us to
spreads from the Priest’s candle to everyone in the comprehend how Christ’s Death and Resurrection
church. had anything to do with us.
So it is no wonder that our Lord Jesus Christ told us that Therefore, today’s Commemoration is not simply a
we were to be “...the Light of the world... a city on a reminder of our ancient history but is a Proclamation
hill that cannot be hidden.” of the Holy Gospel – a confirmation of the Divine Truth
In the dark countryside at night, we see the lights of even that our Lord Jesus Christ is both God and Man in
the smallest town – or even a single house - from order to be our Saviour.
quite a distance, for when light shines in the darkness, Truly, the Good News is that we are Called to become
it cannot be hidden from sight. Radiantly Illuminated by the Light of Christ to such a
A light is never turned on in order to hide anything but to degree that we become the Light of the world -
reveal everything by illuminating our surroundings so shining so brightly with Good Works and
that we can see clearly. unconditional Divine Love, that everyone will Glorify
The Good News of our Faith is that Christ our Lord has the Lord our God.
brought the Light of Heaven into our Spiritually The Divine Salvific Mission of our Divine Saviour, was not
Darkened world, for indeed, He is the Uncreated to relax His Old Covenant Laws, but to fulfil and
Divine Light - the Eternal Son of God Who became complete their Purpose.
Incarnate by taking on our human nature so that He In other words, it is not enough for us to refrain from
is fully human while remaining fully Divine – God- murder, for example, but for us to overcome the
Man. grievous passion of anger, which is the root cause of
That is how He brings us into His Divine Light and how He murder.
has made it possible for us to shine with His Holy Glory Likewise, it is not sufficient to merely avoid the physical
even while we live upon Earth. act of adultery or fornication but to be freed from the
He fulfils all the Foreshadowing and Preparation of the bondage of all types and degrees of lust.
Divine Law and the Holy Prophets, for God was never Instead of acts of vengeance against our enemies, we
primarily concerned with Old Covenant Rules are to “...turn the other cheek...” and instead of cursing
concerning outward behaviour nor the blood them, we must Bless them with the same
sacrifices of animals. unconditional Divine Love that we have received from
Instead, those Rules pointed the Way to the True Lamb of our Lord.
God Who takes away the sins of the world - to the One The Ultimate Goal of these Divine Commandments and
Who triumphs over sin and Death. Teachings is our Perfection – to become as “... Perfect
And now He makes it possible for us all to share in His as your Father in Heaven is Perfect.”
Glorious, Brilliant Light - to become Sanctified If we all perfected our thoughts, words and deeds,
Partakers of His Divinity by Divine Grace. imagine what a Great Blessing we would be to the
Today we Commemorate the 630 Holy, God-bearing world, for we would be living proof that human
Fathers of the Fourth Ecumenical Council in beings can become worthy, Sanctified Partakers of
Chalcedon in 451. the Divine Nature in Christ.

4TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 4TH OF ST MATTHEW – LIGHT OF THE WORLD - 14 JULY 2019 23
Although none of us have reached such Spiritual Heights identifying anyone we despise as being “the
yet, the God-Man Jesus Christ is our Perfection, our Antichrist” or any other nonsensical delusion.
Salvation, our Theosis, for He has already worked the There is no reason at all for each succeeding generation
Unfathomable Miracle of Uniting our humanity to His to ‘redefine’ basic Christian Teaching concerning
Eternal Divinity, of conquering sin and Death, of Theology and morality according to whatever is
making us Sanctified Participants in His Life. currently ‘popular’ or ‘easy to understand’ in their
Our on-going Sacred Task is to willingly cooperate with particular time and place.
Him, by opening the dark corners of ourselves to His Our Lord Jesus Christ has brought Light and Life to all
Divine Light, by stopping the corruption and Creation and especially to all mankind.
diminishment of ourselves, and to become Living Only as Faithful Members of His One, True and Universal
Icons of His Divine Glory as He created us to be! Church are we able to learn, be guided and
In order for us to steadily progress in our Life in Christ, we sustained in a close Relationship with God and with
need His Holy, Orthodox Church, which teaches us His each other.
Divine Truth so that we can fully and correctly When we faithfully, humbly and obediently do whatever
participate in His Great Salvific Mission – not as an is required of us by our Lord, we become Sanctified
emotional Experience, a one-time Event, nor as a Disciples who Live in Holiness and Purity.
‘Reward’ for Good Behaviour - but as Holy Members of Our Life in Christ requires simple, but necessary steps –
His Living Body where our grievous passions are the regular attendance of all Holy Services, especially
Healed, our hearts are Purified, and our souls are the Divine Liturgy, partaking of all essential Holy
Illumined as we grow in Blessed Union with Christ our Mysteries with proper preparation, praying, Fasting,
Lord and with each other. and Repentance-Confession as often as possible.
Any relationship is a process - a Journey – so our We must give whatever we can and whatever is required
Relationship of Holy Communion with God the Holy to the poor, the destitute and the needy.
Trinity is no exception. We must sustain, maintain and support our Parish Priest
By God’s Grace, we hope to grow in Holiness throughout and Church.
Eternity. We must forgive and seek forgiveness of each other.
There are no limits to what it means for us - as His We must perpetually fight against temptations and all
creatures - to share in the Life of our Divine Creator, our passions.
which is perhaps the reason why our Lord Jesus Christ We must always be Watchful and alert to our own errors
sets the standards so high. and sins, constantly and immediately checking and
Those who are “...great in the Kingdom of Heaven...” are correcting our thoughts, words and deeds.
not those who break the Divine Laws and teach others We must ceaselessly strive for self-control - the ongoing
to follow their bad example - those who teach and Spiritual Fast.
live according to their own will and self-serving When we concentrate on sustaining our Life in Christ by
motives. Neither are they those who cause confusion, Struggling against all temptations and sins, we will
disobedience and division in His Holy Church. avoid pointless disputes and be disinclined towards
Those whom God regards as being “...great...” are those Spiritually Unhealthy words, thoughts or deeds.
who faithfully observe all God’s Commandments and By steadfastly Labouring with sincere Faith, Hope, and
encourage and teach others to do so, shining brightly Love, we are able to grow in Christ and become the
in the midst of Spiritual Darkness. Light and Blessing to the world.
Unfortunately, there are so many religious groups who Those who are truly Holy and Righteous, do not consider
live in a state of Spiritual Death and Darkness, as themselves as being anything special at all. They
mentioned by St Paul in his epistle to St Titos. only know that they are sinners who need constant
Many people waste their time and efforts with foolish, Repentance-Confession like the rest of us.
unprofitable, and useless arguments that cause Contrary to the Brilliant Light of our Lord, they see their
untold unhappiness, animosity and alienation – and own dark spots with greater clarity than the rest of us
even division in the Church. see ours.
St. Paul urges us to rather make use of our time and The closer we draw to our Lord, the more painfully
energy by doing Good Works that meet the urgent aware we become as we realise how little we know
needs of our neighbours and which bear abundant and how far we have to go before being Perfected.
Fruit for the Kingdom of God. When we become so painfully aware of how much more
In other words, it is better to focus our attention and Darkness than Light is in us at present, we ought not
efforts on the various aspects of our Christian Life than to be either discouraged nor feel hopeless.
being tempted, distracted, misguided and disturbed We must express our continued gratitude to our Lord for
by nonsense. the Light that is in us - no matter how dim it appears.
If our Lord Jesus Christ had just been yet another We must make every effort to ignite it further so that it
Rabbi/Teacher, then it would not have mattered when may Illuminate the Darkness that lurks within us as
people frequently argued about His Teachings and well as our surroundings.
lived as they pleased. But that is not our Faith. Our Lord has conquered the Darkness of Death, the
Our Lord Jesus Christ is truly God (the Eternal Son of God) tomb, and Hades - and He wants to do the same in us
and truly Man (the Son of Mankind). —and He will, if we choose to continue our Spiritual
He is - without any question nor doubt - our Resurrected Growth in Union with Him.
Lord and Saviour, in Whom we share the Life Eternal As we fulfil the Good Works that are presented to us each
of Heaven. day, our personal Transformation brings us a brief
He is the True Divine Light Who is “...never overtaken by glimpse of the Glory of Heaven.
night...” (Spiritual Darkness) - Who Calls us to become Our Sacred Calling is to become the Light of the world so
the Light of the world, by manifesting the Glory of His that others will also behold the Divine Truth and
Salvation in even the smallest details of our Life. Glorify God by being drawn to the New Life in our
There are no secret Mysteries nor hidden teachings, Lord, God, and Saviour, Jesus Christ, Who is certainly
motives or agendas that require endless debate, for the Uncreated Divine Light Who shines in the
our Lord Jesus Christ did not come to Save only a few Darkness of Spiritual Death - Illuminating and Saving
select Philosophers. even habitual sinners like you and me.
There is no ‘secret code’ for knowing when He will Amen
Reappear in all His Magnificent Glory, nor for FATHER PHILIP LEMASTERS
HTTP://EASTERNCHRISTIANINSIGHTS.BLOGSPOT.COM/2012/07
S T P AISIOS OF M OU NT AT H OS
Nothing happens without God’s Providence, and wherever there is Divine Providence,
we can be certain that whatever happens – however bitter it may be – it will bring great Spiritual Benefit to our soul.
E LDE R J OSE PH THE H ESYC H AST OF M OU NT A THOS
Whenever God tests us as He knows how,
it is a good opportunity for us to demonstrate and strengthen our Patience
and express our Eternal Gratitude to the Lord our God.

24 4TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 4TH OF ST MATTHEW – LIGHT OF THE WORLD - 14 JULY 2019
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.
17 JULY 2019
ST MARINA/MARGARITA
G R E AT H OLY V IR GIN M AR TY R OF A NTIOCH

Also the Feast of St Nicholas, St Alexandra, St Tatiana, St Maria, St Alexis, St Olga & St Anastasia,
Imperial Holy Martyrs of Russia – St Irenarchos, Abbot of Solovki Monastery – St Lazaros,
Wonderworker of Mount Galesios, Ephessos – St Leonid of Ustnedumsk

THE SUNDAY AND FESTAL HYMNS ARE PUBLISHED IN BOOKLET FORM EACH MONTH - FREELY
DOWNLOADABLE ON www.scribd.com/writers4574. LINKS ARE ALSO POSTED ON FACEBOOK
“ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN EASTERN CAPE.” (OR CAN BE EMAILED DIRECTLY, ON REQUEST TO
marguerite.paizis@gmail.com)
F E STAL P R OKE IM E NON – P SALM 67 – T ONE 4
God is Marvellous in His Saints!
Bless the Lord in the Congregation!
T H E E PISTLE OF S T P AUL TO TH E G AL ATIANS 3 : 23 – 4 : 5
OUR ADOPTION AS CO-HEIRS WITH CHRIST THROUGH OUR FAITH AND HOLY BAPTISM
Brethren: before Faith came, we were kept under guard by the Law – kept for the Faith that would afterward be
revealed. Therefore, the Law was our Tutor - to bring us to Christ, so that we might be Justified by Faith. After Faith
has come, we are no longer under a Tutor.
You are all sons of God through Faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were Baptised into Christ have put on
Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek; there is neither slave nor free; there is neither male nor female. You are all
one in Christ Jesus. If you are Christ’s then you are Abraham’s seed, and Heirs according to the Promise.
I say that the Heir – as long as he is a child – does not differ at all from a slave, although he is master of all, but is under
Guardians and Stewards until the time appointed by the Father. Even so, we – when we were children – were in
bondage under the elements of the world. When the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son – Born of a
Woman - Born under the Law - to Redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the Adoption as
sons.
✶ “...before Faith...we were kept ... by the Law...” ✶ We “...are all sons of God...” We are the adopted
 THE NATURAL LAWS FOLLOWED BY THE OLD COVENANT LAWS, Children (‘sons’) of our Lord God through the Holy
KEPT MANKIND AND CREATION IN RELATIVE ORDER. Mystery of Baptism and Chrismation.
 NATURAL LAW STILL APPLIES to those who have never heard ✶ “For as many of you as were Baptised into Christ have
of our Lord God WHEREBY THEY WILL BE JUDGED. put on Christ,” is our ANCIENT BAPTISM HYMN THAT IS
 THE OLD COVENANT LAWS WERE GIVEN TO GOD’S CHOSEN CHANTED DURING THE PROCESSION OF THE NEWLY
PEOPLE OF ISRAEL IN ORDER TO KEEP THEM MORAL AND REGENERATED INTO THE ASSEMBLY – THE HOLY CHURCH OF
HEALTHY, ACCORDING TO THE WILL AND LOVE OF GOD, in CHRIST.
preparation for the First Coming/Appearance of the ✶ We “...have put on Christ...” like OUR OWN GARMENT OF
Great Messiah, our Lord Jesus Christ and His New RIGHTEOUSNESS and - having Vowed Allegiance to our
Covenant of Love. Lord Jesus Christ as our Divine Saviour - we now
✶ “...kept for the Faith ...” Although THE PEOPLE OF THE “...LIVE IN CHRIST...” by APPLYING EVERYTHING HE HAS
OLD COVENANT WITH GOD HAD COMPLETE FAITH IN GOD, TAUGHT US TO OUR WORDS, THOUGHTS AND DEEDS.
they COULD NOT PARTICIPATE IN THE FAITH OF CHRIST for  WE ARE “THE CHURCH MILITANT” while in this short lifespan,
our Saviour had not yet appeared to them. who are INVOLVED IN CEASELESS SPIRITUAL WARFARE
 FAITH IN CHRIST IS ALSO FAITH OF CHRIST because TWO AGAINST THE EVIL ONE.
FAITHS ARE COOPERATING TOGETHER:  OUR LIFE IN CHRIST CONSISTS OF OUR PERPETUAL REPENTANCE-
3. THE FAITH OF CHRIST, CONFESSION in order to Cleanse ourselves, to make
4. THE FAITH IN CHRIST OF THOSE WHO BELIEVE. good Spiritual Progress and be physically and
✶ “...the Law was our Tutor - to bring us to Christ...” Spiritually Healthy and Strong.
 Because God’s Love of us is infinite and absolute, He  OUR FAITH IN CHRIST IS ONE OF PERSONAL COMMITMENT AND
provided us with a set of TEN COMMANDMENTS OR LAWS ALLEGIANCE TO ALMIGHTY GOD.
THAT GUIDE US TOWARDS ETERNAL LIFE AND PROTECT US  Not only have we been Baptised into the Christian Faith,
FROM FALLING INTO A STATE OF PERMANENT SPIRITUAL but WE HAVE VESTED OURSELVES WITH CHRIST AND
DEATH. ACCEPTED OUR SACRED MISSION OF BECOMING CHRIST-LIKE
 The Ten Commandments or Mosaic Law that prepared BY IMITATING HIM - thereby REGAINING OUR LOST LIKENESS
the Hebrew Nation for the Coming of God STILL APPLY TO GOD
TO US, THE NEW ISRAEL – THE ADOPTED CHILDREN OF GOD.  SAVING FAITH AND BEING BAPTISED ARE INTERWOVEN – we
 The Ten Commandments TEACH US OBEDIENCE to the Will cannot claim to have one without the other!
of God. WITHOUT HUMILITY AND OBEDIENCE, WE CANNOT ✶ “..There is neither...” discrimination, separation nor
MAKE ANY SPIRITUAL PROGRESS NOR ENJOY SPIRITUAL WELL- any type of distinction for as Disciples of Christ we
BEING. are all BRETHREN IN CHRIST.
 Those who keep THE DIVINE COMMANDMENTS given by God  WE SHARE ONE HUMAN NATURE IN CHRIST. Therefore,
to Moses, which forever apply to us as Faithful ASSESSING PEOPLE ACCORDING TO OUR OWN OPINION,
Disciples, BRINGS US CLOSER TO GOD. ATTITUDE, VALUE, GENDER OR ETHNICITY IS FORBIDDEN in
 THE TEN DIVINE COMMANDMENTS, THE DIVINE REVELATIONS Christ’s Holy Church,
AND TEACHINGS OF CHRIST OUR LORD, ARE ALL ASPECTS OF  If we are genuinely TRYING TO IMITATE CHRIST we must do
ABSOLUTE, PERFECT DIVINE TRUTH, which is vital to our so without fail: HE NEVER DISCRIMINATED AGAINST ANYONE
Salvation. so how dare we do so!
 THESE LAWS ARE ETERNAL  ANY DISCRIMINATION, BIGOTRY, INTOLERANCE OR PREJUDICE
 THEY INSTRUCT AND GUIDE US to Love God with all our mind, WILL CAUSE US SERIOUS SPIRITUAL CONDEMNATION, which -
heart, strength and soul, as well as how to Love unless we quickly correct ourselves with sincere
each other as God Loves us! Repentance - will affect our Eternity!
S T M AR INA /M AR GAR ITA THE GRE AT V IR GIN M AR TY R 17 JU LY 2019 25
✶ We are “...one in Christ ...” being UNITED, LIVING FULFILLED WHEN THE EVER BLESSED, ALL PURE AND HOLY
TOGETHER AS EQUALS IN THE SIGHT OF GOD. VIRGIN MARY GAVE BIRTH TO OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.
 WE ARE ALL ONE IN NATURE AND EQUAL IN DIGNITY.  Her lineage was Royal and Jewish, proceeding from
 WE ARE SANCTIFIED MEMBERS OF THE BODY OF CHRIST – His King David, Divinely Ordained King of the Israelites.
Holy Church.  The only time WE COULD ACTUALLY SEE GOD WAS WHEN CHRIST
 We are all HABITUAL SINNERS WHO HAVE TO SPIRITUALLY STRIVE – the Word and Son of God – BECAME “... THE SON OF
AND STRUGGLE. MAN(KIND)” – BECAME INCARNATE – took on physical
 We are all JOURNEYING TOWARDS ETERNITY and by matter – a Flesh and Bone, human Body.
ENCOURAGING, ASSISTING AND GUIDING EACH OTHER ALONG ✶ “...to Redeem those who were under the Law...”
THE WAY – always with Love/Agape – we are able to  WITH GOD’S NEW COVENANT, CHRIST REVEALED THE TRUE
make good Spiritual Progress. NATURE OF OUR MOST MERCIFUL, LOVING AND BENEVOLENT
✶ “...Heirs according to the Promise...” WE HAVE BECOME GOD TO US AND TAUGHT US THE WAY TO ETERNAL LIFE,
CO-HEIRS WITH CHRIST to our Heavenly Father’s Eternal which the ancient people of God only understood
Kingdom of Love. instinctively at first and then through the Teachings
 DUE TO OUR SPIRITUAL INEXPERIENCE AND IMMATURITY WE ARE of the Holy Prophets of God.
UNDER THE AUTHORITY AND DISCIPLINE OF OUR TRIUNE LORD  AT THE HARROWING OF HADES AFTER HIS DEATH ON THE CROSS
GOD. IN HIS HUMAN NATURE, CHRIST - IN HIS DIVINE, ALMIGHTY
 Like small children, OUR WORDS, THOUGHTS AND DEEDS NEED NATURE - SMASHED OPEN THE IMPRISONING DOORS OF
TO BE DISCIPLINED WHILE WE ARE TAUGHT HOW TO BECOME HADES, AND FREED ALL HUMANITY FROM THE ENSLAVING
GOOD CITIZENS of the Heavenly Kingdom. POWER OF EVIL.
✶ “...God sent forth His Son...” SO WE WERE ABLE TO  OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST HAS RE-OPENED PARADISE where HIS
ACTUALLY SEE HIM, SPEAK TO HIM, AND LEARN HIS DIVINE FAITHFUL PEOPLE REPOSE IN PEACE UNTIL THE GENERAL
TRUTH DIRECTLY FROM HIM. RESURRECTION AND OUR FINAL JUDGEMENT. (The
 THE HOLY TRINITY IS OMNIPRESENT - ever-present. Repentant Thief, St Demas, was the first to enter
 THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A TIME OR PLACE WHEN GOD THE FATHER, Paradise since the banishment of Adam and Eve.)
THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT WAS NOT PRESENT!  THOSE WHO STUBBORNLY REJECTED HIM, REMAIN IN HADES
 THE PURPOSE OF OUR LIFE ON EARTH HAS ALWAYS BEEN A VITAL where they suffer the hideous Foretaste of the
PREPARATORY PERIOD FOR ETERNITY. vileness and torment of Eternal Alienation from God.
✶ “...Born of a Woman, Born under the Law...” THE
ANCIENT PROPHECIES OF GOD’S HOLY PROPHETS WERE
T H E H OLY G OSPEL AC COR D ING T O S T M ARK 5: 24 – 34
THE HEALING OF THE BLEEDING WOMAN ON THE WAY TO JAIRUS’ DYING DAUGHTER
At that time, a great multitude followed our Lord Jesus and thronged Him. And a certain Woman who had a flow of
blood for twelve years, and had suffered many things from many Physicians, and had spent all that she had and
was no better but rather grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she went behind Him in the crowd and touched
His garment. She thought: “If only I may touch His garment, I shall be made well.” And immediately the source of
her bleeding dried up and she felt in her body that she was Healed of the affliction.
And Jesus - instantly knowing in Himself that Power had gone out of Him - turned around in the crowd and asked: “Who
touched My garment?” And His Disciples said to Him: “Thou see the multitude thronging Thee and Thou ask
‘Who touched Me?’” And He looked around to see her who had done so. The woman, fearing and trembling,
knowing what had happened to her, went and fell down before Him and told Him the whole Truth. He said to her:
“Daughter, your Faith has made you well. Go in Peace, and be Healed of your affliction.”
✶ ”... a certain Woman...” is known to us today as ST It was a risk that she was willing to take – after all
VERONICA. what more could she lose? People had already
✶ ”... for twelve years...” she had suffered the chronic taken everything she had, but now GOD WOULD
affliction and various ‘treatments’ - for more than GRANT HER WHAT SHE REALLY NEEDED!
a decade - and SHE WAS UNDERSTANDABLY UTTERLY ✶ “...instantly knowing ... that Power had gone out
DESPERATE AND DETERMINED TO SEEK A CURE. of Him...”
✶ ”... she had spent all that she had...” on every type of  HIS DIVINE ENERGY OR POWER WENT DIRECTLY FROM CHRIST
treatment by physicians and charlatans who had TO ST VERONICA, WHEREAS THE ENABLING POWER AND
made impoverished her yet could not heal her. AUTHORITY BESTOWED BY CHRIST ON HIS APOSTLES
✶ ”... If only I may touch His garment...” SHE WORKED INDIRECTLY THROUGH THEM.
INSTINCTIVELY KNEW THAT BY MERELY COMING INTO ✶ “...Who touched My clothes?” seemed to be a
CONTACT WITH OUR LORD, SHE WOULD BE HEALED, which peculiar question under the circumstances.
REVEALED THE DEPTH OF HER FAITH IN THE MESSIAH of  However, our Lord WANTED ST VERONICA TO OPENLY
Whom she had heard. ACKNOWLEDGE HER FAITH IN HIM SO THAT OTHERS WOULD
 EVERYTHING THAT IS TOUCHED BY GOD BECOMES SANCTIFIED LEARN FROM HER AND GLORIFY GOD.
AND WILL PASS THAT SANCTIFICATION ONTO THE FAITHFUL. ✶ “... fearing and trembling...” SHE KNEW THE
So THE INSTANT ST VERONICA SOFTLY TOUCHED THE ROBES OF CONSEQUENCES OF BREAKING THE JUDAIC LAWS of being
CHRIST SHE WAS HEALED AND GOD KNEW HER SINCERE ‘unclean,’ and thus a ‘social outcast,’ which were
FAITH IN HIM. severe and brutal.
 AUTHORITY OVER LIFE AND DEATH IS BY THE WILL OF GOD ✶ St Veronica “... fell down before Him and told Him the
ALONE FOR BEING OF THE SAME DIVINE ESSENCE AS GOD whole Truth...” which obviously TOOK IMMENSE COURAGE.
THE FATHER, OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST POSSESSES THAT  HER GREAT SPIRITUAL STRENGTH AND BRAVERY WAS COMPELLED
SAME DIVINE AUTHORITY. BY HER EXTREME GRATITUDE FOR BEING COMPLETELY
 THE HEALING OF ST VERONICA, DEMONSTRATED OUR LORD HEALED BY GOD.
JESUS’ POWER TO CLEANSE US FROM OUR SINS AND TO HEAL ✶ “...Daughter, thy Faith has made thee well...” OUR
ALL OUR AFFLICTIONS – THE SPIRITUAL AND THE PHYSICAL. LORD ADDRESSED HER AS ONE OF HIS CHILDREN AND
 According to the Old Covenant Laws, any type of MENTIONED HER FAITH PUBLICALLY SO THAT THE WITNESSES
haemorrhaging caused ceremonial defilement, MIGHT FOLLOW HER GOOD EXAMPLE.
which imposed religious and social restrictions  Our Holy Church Fathers believed that ST VERONICA
upon the sufferers for ANY CONTACT WITH BLOOD WAS SYMBOLISES HUMAN NATURE IN GENERAL because ALL
STRICTLY PROHIBITED AND AVOIDED AT ALL COSTS. HUMANITY CONSTANTLY SUFFERS AND IS SUBJECT TO DEATH,
 THIS WRETCHED SUFFERING WOMAN WAS THUS REGARDED AS WHICH WAS SYMBOLISED BY HER HAEMORRHAGING.
BEING ‘UNCLEAN’ SO SHE HAD FOLLOWED ALL THE  THE PHYSICIANS WHO COULD NOT HEAL HER SYMBOLISE THE
REQUIREMENTS AS A ‘SOCIAL OUTCAST.’ VARIOUS IMPERFECT RELIGIONS OF THE WORLD, AS WELL AS
 However, SHE HAD REACHED SUCH A DEGREE OF MISERY AND THE OLD COVENANT LAW, WHICH ARE UNABLE TO GRANT
DESPERATION THAT SHE RISKED FURTHER SHAME AND LIFE TO HUMANITY – THEY CANNOT SAVE US
HUMILIATION IN THE CONVICTION THAT ONLY CHRIST  ONLY GOD CAN SAVE OR REDEEM US!
COULD HEAL HER.

26 S T M AR INA /M ARGAR ITA TH E GRE AT V IR GIN M AR TYR 17 JU LY 2019


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.
20 JULY 2019
ST ELIAS (ELIJAH) GREAT HOLY PROPHET OF GOD
Also the Feast of St Abramios of Gallich, Disciple of St Sergios of Radonezh & the Holy
“Chukhloma” Icon of our Lady, Theotokos – St Athanasios, Abbot of Brest-Litovsk Monastery (
Uncovering of Holy Relics) – St Ilia Chavchavadze of Georgia – St Maria Skobtsova the Righteous
of Latvia – St Demetrios Klepinine, Hieromartyr – St Alexei Medvedkov, Hieromartyr – St Salome the
Georgian of Jerusalem & Kartli
THE SUNDAY AND FESTAL HYMNS ARE PUBLISHED IN BOOKLET FORM EACH MONTH. THESE ARE PUBLISHED AND FREELY
DOWNLOADABLE ON www.scribd.com/writers4574. LINKS ARE ALSO POSTED ON FACEBOOK “ORTHODOX
CHRISTIAN EASTERN CAPE.” (OR CAN BE EMAILED DIRECTLY, ON REQUEST TO marguerite.paizis@gmail.com)

P R OKE IME NON – P SALM 109/110 – TO NE 1


Thou art a Priest forever, according to the Order of Melchizedek.
The Lord said to my Lord: “Sit at My right Hand, until I make Thine enemies the footstool for Thy Feet.
T H E U NIVE R SAL E P ISTL E OF S T J AME S 5: 10 - 20
ENCOURAGEMENT TO THE OPPRESSED & HEALING – THE WORK OF FAITH
Brethren: take the Prophets who spoke in the Name of the Lord as an example of Suffering and Patience,. Behold: we
count them Blessed who Endure. You have heard of the Endurance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord –
for the Lord is very Compassionate and Merciful.
Above all, my Brethren, do not swear – neither by Heaven nor by Earth, or with any other Oath. Let your ‘yes’ be ‘yes,’
and your ‘no’ be “no,” in case you fall into Judgement. Is anyone among you suffering? Pray. Is anyone cheerful?
Sing Psalms. Is anyone among you sick? Call for the Elders of the Church, and let them pray over him, anointing
him with Oil in the Name of our Lord. And the Prayer of Faith will Save the sick, and our Lord will raise him up. If he
has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for each other so that you
may be Healed. The effective, Fervent Prayer of a Righteous person avails much.
Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land
for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the Heavens gave forth rain, and the Earth produced its
fruit.
Brethren, if any among you wanders from the Truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a
sinner from the error of his way will Save a soul from Death and cover a multitude of sins.
✶ “...the Prophets ... as an example of Suffering and SERIOUS SINS by BLASPHEMING THE LORD OUR God’s Holy
Patience...” THE HOLY PROPHETS OF GOD who are Name attached to A BLATANT LIE!
certainly True Saints of God and our best Models or  KNOWN HABITUAL LIARS’ OATHS ARE USELESS AND FUTILE and
Examples of the Holy Virtues, whom WE SHOULD STRIVE each time they swear an oath, THEY CONDEMN
TO IMITATE. THEMSELVES MORE AND MORE.
 Being Faithful Christians – Disciples of Christ and His  TRUST AND TRUTH ARE INSEPARABLE VIRTUES. Only when we
New Covenant – we HONOUR AND VENERATE THESE HOLY are consistently Trustworthy and Truthful will others
PROPHETS AS WELL AS ALL THE HOLY SAINTS AND MARTYRS, be able to take us at our word. The instant that
ACKNOWLEDGING THEM AS BEING MOST VIRTUOUS AND Sacred Trust is broken, we lose our Integrity, our
BLESSED WITH THE DIVINE GRACE OF GOD. authenticity and our legitimacy.
✶ “... do not swear ... “ THIS IS A POLEMIC (contentious or  THOSE WHO HABITUALLY LIE ARE MORE OFTEN THAN NOT ALSO
HABITUAL THIEVES due to the fact that THEY LACK
strong argument) AGAINST THE COMMON PRACTISE -
HONESTY AND ETHICS, AND THEY ALWAYS HAVE A READY
STEMMING FROM BAD FAITH - OF ‘SWEARING BY GOD’ OR
EXCUSE TO ‘JUSTIFY’ THEMSELVES!
SOMETHING THAT SIGNIFIES A SERIOUS VOW/OATH - as
 LYING AND THIEVING ARE THE NOXIOUS VICES OF SATAN AND
though swearing proved Truthfulness! MUST BE CORRECTED IMMEDIATELY AND MOST
 We may swear an Oath when absolutely necessary but DETERMINEDLY – through personal Discipline and
THE SOLUTION TO THE LACK OF TRUST IS GENUINE GOOD
True Repentance and Confession.
FAITH – proof of our personal Integrity and  THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR LYING OR STEALING, WHICH REVEALS A
Truthfulness between us and God. SPIRITUAL DARKNESS AND DEATH FROM WITHIN and make
 M A T T H E W 5 : 3 3 – 3 7 : ” . . . it was said to those of old: us murderers of God’s Divine Truth and slaves of the
‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your evil one.
Oaths to the Lord.’ I say to you: do not swear at all:  Thus WE MUST BE EVER WATCHFUL OVER THE STATE OF OUR
neither by Heaven , for it is God’s Throne; nor by the WORDS, THOUGHTS AND DEEDS, ensuring that we quickly
Earth, for it is His Footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is correct our errors and emergent habits.
the City of the Great king. Nor shall you swear by ✶ “...Call for the Elders ...” We ought to REQUEST THE FERVENT
your head, because you cannot make one hair white PRAYERS OF OUR PRIESTS AND HOLY FATHERS for our Spiritual
or black. Let your ‘yes’ be yes, and your ‘no’ be no, for and physical Healing.
whatever is more than these is from the evil one.”
✶ “...the Prayer of Faith...” HEALS AND CLEANSES US
 With these Words, CHRIST OUR SAVIOUR TAUGHT US HOW TO
according to Divine Will because our SALVATION
HONOUR OUR DIVINE ADOPTION AS HEIRS to God’s Eternal
CONCERNS BOTH BODY AND SOUL – OUR VISIBLE AND
Kingdom AND AS HIS FAITHFUL DISCIPLES.
INVISIBLE BEING.
 TRUTH CANNOT BE SECURED BY SWEARING AN OATH by things
 Thus HOLY UNCTION SERVES A DOUBLE PURPOSE – HEALING AND
that are not in our possession anyway, but ONLY BY
THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS.
SIMPLE INTEGRITY!
 PRIESTS ARE GRANTED CERTAIN DIVINE GIFTS FOR THE HOLY
 In this Spiritually Dark, dead and fallen world of the
MINISTRY AT THEIR ORDINATION – at the Laying on of
Last Days, PEOPLE SWEAR WITHOUT ANY THOUGHT OR
Hands.
REGARD FOR THE TRUTH. All too often, THEY COMMIT TWO

S T E LIAS (EL IJAH ) TH E H OLY P R OP HET OF G OD 20 JU LY 27


 1 T I M O T H Y 4 : 1 4 “...do not neglect the Gift that is in But AS THE HOLY CHURCH GREW, NON-CHRISTIANS - the
you, which was given to you by Prophecy with the uninitiated or untaught - WHO WERE UNFAMILIAR
Laying on of the Hands of the Eldership.” WITH THE SANCTITY AND TRUST OF PUBLIC CONFESSION
This referred to St Timothy’s Ordination into the Holy OFTEN ATTENDED THE HOLY SERVICES.
Priesthood of Christ, which was conferred upon him Consequently, IT BECAME MORE PRACTICAL AND EFFICIENT
by the Holy Apostles of Christ, exactly as it is still FOR REPENTANT SINNERS TO CONFESS THEIR SINS IN
done today by the Bishops. PRIVATE BEFORE A PRIEST who represents our fellow
 PRAYERS ARE COMBINED WITH OLIVE OIL, which was not only humanity - and God - AGAINST WHOM WE
THE PRIMARY MEDICINE of ancient times, but also HABITUALLY TRESPASS OR SIN. .
symbolised THE PRESENCE AND ACTIVITY OF THE HOLY  PRIVATE CONFESSION ONLY TO GOD IS CERTAINLY NOT
SPIRIT in the Church of Christ. TAUGHT IN HOLY SCRIPTURE !
 THE HOLY MYSTERY OF UNCTION EFFECTS A HEALING FOR OUR BY REJECTING THE HOLY MYSTERY OF CONFESSION, WE
COMPLETE BEING – physical and Spiritual Welfare and THEREBY REFUSE TO ACKNOWLEDGE OUR SIN TO THE
Healing through the Forgiveness of our sins that CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY – to our fellow sinners.
enslave and sicken us.  1 J O H N 1 : 8 – 1 0 : “...if we say we have no sin, we
The essential Elements of Holy Unction include deceive ourselves, and the Truth is not in us. If
1. a PRIEST, we confess our sins, He is Faithful and Just to
2. the PRAYERS of the Faith that Saves us, forgive us our sins and to Cleanse us from all
3. connected to THE WORK OF CHRIST Who will Resurrect unrighteousness. If we say that we have not
us all sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is
4. THE HOLY SPIRIT manifested in the Blessed, Sanctified not in us!”
Olive Oil,  OUR FAITH IS REVEALED AND PROVED BY OUR ACTIONS – OUR
5. as well as the REPENTANCE-CONFESSION of personal WORDS, OUR THOUGHTS AND OUR DEEDS – which must
sins PRIOR TO THE ANOINTING WITH OIL – THE MYSTERY produce Purity – i.e. WE MUST PRACTISE AND LIVE
OF HOLY UNCTION, which explains why St James TRUTH, WHICH VALIDATES OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD
wrote: “...he will be forgiven...”concerning the – living every moment in Holiness and
Holy Mystery of Confession before receiving Righteousness.
Holy Unction.  OUR FAITH COMPELS US TO SEEK FORGIVENESS AND SPIRITUAL
 THE HOLY MYSTERY OF UNCTION IS GRANTED TO ORTHODOX CLEANSING for all our sins – great and small.
CHRISTIANS WHO ARE SICK OR AILING - WHETHER IN DANGER  Sin is our fallen, human condition but GOD HAS
OF DYING OR NOT. PROVIDED US WITH EVERY MEANS TO IMPROVE AND
Every year ON HOLY WEDNESDAY OF HOLY WEEK (before Holy CORRECT OURSELVES THROUGH CONSTANT
Pascha), ALL FAITHFUL ORTHODOX CHRISTIANS RECEIVE WATCHFULNESS AND REPENTANCE-CONFESSION, which
HOLY UNCTION - HAVING PREPARED THEMSELVES CORRECTLY is the established basis for Spiritual Growth
WITH PRAYERS, SPIRITUAL SELF-EXAMINATION AND towards Righteousness.
REPENTANCE-CONFESSION AS WELL AS (OF COURSE) HAVING  OUR LIFE IN CHRIST IS A PERPETUAL, DAILY STRUGGLE to
KEPT THE GREAT LENTEN FAST. follow Him Faithfully - learning to recognise and
✶ “.... Confess your trespasses to one another...” resist the onslaught of temptations - even though
 Although some people allege that confessing our sins to we will continue to sin in varying degrees until
God before a Priest is ‘not Biblical,’ THE ANCIENT we draw our last breath.
CHRISTIAN CUSTOM WAS TO CONFESS THEIR SINS –  SALVATION IN CHRIST IS A CONTINUOUS PROCESS and as
“TRESPASSES” - TO ONE ANOTHER. long as we do the best we can to fulfil the Will of
 THE EARLY CHRISTIANS CONFESSED THEIR SINS BEFORE THE God, we need not fear our Final Judgement as
ENTIRE CONGREGATION AS AN ACT OF HUMBLE REPENTANCE. much as those who rebel and disobey God at
every opportunity.
T H E H OLY G OSPEL ACCO R D ING TO S T LU KE 4 : 22 - 30
TH E UNBELIEF OF NAZARETH
At that time, all bore witness and marvelled at the Gracious Words that proceeded out of the Mouth of our Lord Jesus.
And they said: “Is this not Joseph’s Son?” And He said to them: “You will surely say this Proverb to Me: ‘Physician,
heal Thyself! Whatever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in Thy country.’”
He said: “Assuredly, I say to you: no Prophet is accepted in his own country. I tell you truly: many widows were in
Israel in the days of Elijah, when the Heaven was shut up for three years and six months, and there was a great
famine throughout all the land. And to none of them was Elijah sent except to Zarephath, in the region of Sidon,
to a woman who was a widow. And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elisha the Prophet, and none of
them was Cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.”
And all those in the Synagogue were filled with wrath when they heard these things. And they rose up and thrust Him
out of the city. And they led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, so that they might throw Him
down over the cliff. Passing through their midst He went His way.
✶ “...all bore witness and marvelled...” was like a double- FORESHADOWED HIS REJECTION BY THE ENTIRE JEWISH
edged sword for ALTHOUGH THE JUDEANS INITIALLY NATION at His unjust Trial before the Roman
MARVELLED AT THE PROFOUND WISDOM, KNOWLEDGE AND TRUTH Governor, Pontios Pilate. (JOHN 19: 14 & 15)
OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, THEIR REJECTION AND CONTEMPT ✶ “...all those in the Synagogue were filled with wrath...”OUR
WAS AROUSED TO THE POINT OF WANTING TO KILL HIM. LORD JESUS ACCEPTED HIS SUFFERING AND DEATH
 Sadly, that rejection and hatred of the ungodly for ACCORDING TO THE DIVINE WILL OF HIS ETERNAL, HEAVENLY
Christ our Lord has continued throughout the ages FATHER – but not according to the wicked, misguided
and will do so until the end of time. ( L U K E 1 1 : 1 4 - 1 6 will of the Judeans.
& JOHN 9:16) ✶ “ ... they rose up and thrust Him out ...” Anyone whom
✶ “...no Prophet is accepted in his own country...” THE they considered to have blasphemed against the
SPIRITUALLY BLIND AND DEAD REFUSE TO ACCEPT CHRIST AND Lord our God, the Judeans would force out of the
HIS DIVINE TRUTH, stubbornly preferring the Spiritual city, village or town, where they would be either
Darkness and enslavement of ignorance and thrown off cliffs or stoned to death.
disobedience to everything that we were created to ✶ “...passing through their midst...” no one was able to
be. lay a hand upon Christ because THE HOUR OF HIS
 THE REJECTION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST IN HIS OWN GREAT PASSION HAD NOT YET COME. (J O H N 8 : 2 0 )
‘COUNTRY’ FULFILLED THE REJECTION OF THE OLD COVENANT
PROPHETS OF God such as St Elijah and St Elisha, AND
S T J OH N OF K R ONSTAD T
If Christ is within us through frequent Holy Communion, then we must become like Him. We must be Meek
and Humble, Long-suffering, full of Love, and not be attached to worldly goods. Our mind should
contemplate the Heavens and we should be Obedient and rational. We must take care to allow the
Holy Spirit to reside within us by not being proud, impatient, devoted to material things, avaricious nor
gluttonous.
28 S T E L IAS (EL IJAH ) TH E H OLY P R OP HE T OF G OD 20 JU LY
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 4 21 JULY 2019
5TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 5TH OF ST MATTHEW
THE GERGESENE DEMONIACS
Also the Feast of St Symeon & St John, Holy Ascetics & Fools for Christ of
Emessa, Syria - St Parthenios of Arta - St Onuphrios the Silent & St Onesimos of
Near Caves of St Anthony Monastery, Kiev – The Holy Icon of our Lady,
Theotokos of Armatia Monastery, Constantinople
THE SUNDAY AND FESTAL HYMNS ARE PUBLISHED IN BOOKLET FORM EACH MONTH. THESE ARE PUBLISHED AND FREELY
DOWNLOADABLE ON www.scribd.com/writers4574. LINKS ARE ALSO POSTED ON FACEBOOK “ORTHODOX
CHRISTIAN EASTERN CAPE.” (OR CAN BE EMAILED DIRECTLY, ON REQUEST TO marguerite.paizis@gmail.com)

RESURRECTION GOSPEL 5 - LUKE 24 : 12 – 35

R ESUR REC TION P R OKE IME NON –P SAL M 103/104 – T ONE 4

Greatly Magnified art Thy Works, O Lord! All things Thou made in Wisdom!
Bless, O my soul, the Lord! O Lord my God! Exceedingly Magnified!
T H E E PISTLE OF S T P AUL TO TH E R OM ANS 10 : 1 – 10
Brethren, my heart’s desire and Prayer to God for Israel is that they may be Saved. I bear them witness, therefore, that
they have a zeal for God, yet it is unknown. For, being unaware of God’s Righteousness, and seeking to establish
their own, they did not submit to God’s Righteousness. For the End of the Law is Christ, that everyone who has Faith
may be Justified.
Moses wrote that those who practise Righteousness that is based on the Law, shall live by it. Righteousness based on
Faith says: ‘Do not say in your heart: “Who will Ascend into Heaven?” (that is to bring Christ down,) nor “Who will
descend into the Abyss?” (that is to bring Christ up from the dead.)”’ But what does it say?
The Word is near you – on your lips and in your heart (that is: the Word of Faith that we preach) - because, if you
Confess with your lips that Jesus is our Lord, and believe in your heart that God Raised Him from the dead, you will
be Saved. For Faith of the heart is Justification and Confession with the lips, is Salvation.
✶ “...my heart’s desire and Prayer to God for Israel...”  The Coming of the Great Divine Messiah (our Lord
means that ST PAUL WISHED ONLY GOOD FOR THE NATION OF Jesus Christ) was THE END OF THE LAW AND THE
ISRAEL – “... that they may be Saved.” FULFILMENT OF GOD’S DIVINE RIGHTEOUSNESS.
✶ Although “... they have a zeal for God... it is unknown...”  Although THE TEN COMMANDMENTS ARE ETERNAL for THEY
because it was NOT BASED UPON DIVINE TRUTH. MUST BE OBSERVED BY MANKIND UNTIL THE END OF TIME,
 MOSAIC LAW HAD BECOME DISTORTED BY THOSE WHO HAD THEY HAVE BEEN PERFECTLY FULFILLED BY CHRIST HIMSELF
INTERPRETED THE LAW according to their own limited according to His human Nature, WHOM WE ARE
belief and understanding, which was NOT BASED URGED TO IMITATE.
UPON DIVINE TRUTH – THE ABSOLUTE, PURE AND PERFECT  ALL THE LAWS OF THE OLD COVENANT WERE FULFILLED BY OUR
TRUTH OF GOD. LORD JESUS CHRIST WHO HAS PRESENTED A NEW
 THEY BELIEVED THAT OUR LORD GOD WAS A WRATHFUL AND COVENANT TO US – A COVENANT OF LOVE AND MERCY,
VENGEFUL GOD WHO STRUCK DOWN HIS OPPONENTS, which is THE TRUE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF OUR LOVING AND
which is certainly NOT THE ALMIGHTY GOD OF LOVE BENEVOLENT ALMIGHTY GOD.
AND GREAT MERCY WHO IS REVEALED TO US BY HIS ✶ “...Righteousness that is based on the Law... on Faith...”
ETERNAL SON, OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. The Way of the Law and the Way of Faith are
✶ “... they did not submit to God’s Righteousness...” but contrasted.
FOLLOWED THEIR OWN ERRONEOUS AND UNMERCIFUL WAY  MERE OBEDIENCE TO THE LAW HAS ALWAYS FAILED, while
OF LIFE. FAITH IN CHRIST JESUS – the Great, Divine
 As Christ had pointed out, IF THEY HAD MERELY BEEN Messiah/Saviour – BRINGS ALL MANKIND SALVATION.
IGNORANT IN THEIR REJECTION OF OUR DIVINE SAVIOUR,  FAITH IS COMPLETE TRUST, CONFIDENCE AND ASSURANCE IN
THEIR OFFENCE AGAINST GOD WOULD HAVE BEEN CHRIST because our FAITH DRAWS US CLOSER TO GOD
PARDONABLE. AND TRANSFORMS US – completely changes us in
 However, their rejection was caused by far more than body and soul.
ignorance for it was not because that they did  FAITH BRINGS US CLOSER TO OUR CREATED STATE AS PHYSICAL
know Who our Lord Jesus Christ is, but because AND SPIRITUAL BEINGS who are created IN THE LIKENESS
THEY WERE BENT ON ESTABLISHING THEIR OWN IDEAS of AND IMAGE OF OUR LORD GOD.
righteousness RATHER THAN HUMBLY AND OBEDIENTLY ✶ ”... Who will Ascend into Heaven... descend into the
SUBMITTING TO THE TRUE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF OUR LORD Abyss...”
GOD.  Deuteronomy 30 : 12 “...It is not in Heaven Above, that
 THEY trusted only in themselves and REJECTED THE WAY you should say ‘Who will Ascend into Heaven for
OF TRUE FAITH WHEN IT WAS PRESENTED TO THEM BY OUR us and bring it to us, so that we may hear and do
LORD GOD – JESUS CHRIST. it?...”
✶ “ ... the End of the Law is Christ...” Who is THE ETERNAL  WE ATTAIN TRUE RIGHTEOUSNESS BY ASKING SUCH QUESTIONS,
WORD AND SON OF OUR HEAVENLY FATHER. which is another way of asking HOW CAN THESE ALL
 CHRIST HAS ALWAYS BEEN THE WAY OF SALVATION in both the THESE MARVELLOUS THINGS BE POSSIBLE, which is what
Old and New Covenants. St Nikodemos (the secret Disciple) asked our Lord
 HE GAVE THE DIVINE LAW – THE TEN COMMANDMENTS – TO Jesus when they met secretly at night.
MOSES, WHICH PREPARED HIS CHOSEN PEOPLE OF ISRAEL  St John Chrysostom explained that “... earthly things...”
FOR HIS FIRST APPEARANCE. referred to DIVINE GRACE AND HOLY BAPTISM THAT ARE
GRANTED TO US BY GOD, which are “earthly” – not in
the sense of being ‘unspiritual,’ but because THEY

5TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 5TH OF ST MATTHEW – THE GERGESENE DEMONIACS – 21 JULY 2019 29
OCCUR ON EARTH and are granted to God’s creatures  DIVINE TRUTH IS RIGHTEOUSNESS THROUGH FAITH – the Faith
– mankind. of Abraham, who CAST OUT ALL HUMAN REASONING AND
“HEAVENLY THINGS...” INVOLVE ALL THE UNGRASPABLE DIVINE THE IMPOSSIBILITIES RAISED BY THAT LIMITED,
MYSTERIES OF THE ETERNAL GENERATION OF GOD THE SON UNENLIGHTENED HUMAN REASONING.
FROM GOD THE FATHER, WHICH RELATE TO HIS ETERNAL  DIVINE TRUTH LEAVES EVERYTHING TO THE POWER AND GLORY
EXISTENCE BEFORE ALL TIME AND TO GOD’S DIVINE PLAN OF OUR LORD GOD. (Romans 4: 19-22)
OF SALVATION.  ST JOHN CHRYSOSTOM EXPLAINED THE MEANING of “the
 WE MUST FIRST COMPREHEND THE WAYS IN WHICH OUR LORD Word:” “...What does the phrase mean: ‘The Word
GOD WORKS AMONG MANKIND before we can even is near you?’ It means that it is easy, for in your
begin to understand Divine Aspects that pertain to hear and on your tongue is your Salvation. There
Almighty God. is no long Journey to undertake, no seas to sail
 These questions raise THE ALLEGED ‘IMPOSSIBILITIES’ BASED over, no mountains to climb, to get Saved. But if
ON OUR LIMITED HUMAN REASONING, which Christ you have such a heart, you may even be Saved
answered by saying “... the Things that are while at home. For ‘... in your mouth and heart...’
impossible for mankind are possible for God!” is the Source of Salvation.
(L U K E 1 8 : 2 7 ) “On another score, St Paul also makes of the Word of
 ✶ “... the Word is near you...” St Moses had explained Faith says, and says: ‘God raised Him (Christ)
how such doubts, based on human reasoning are from the dead.’ For just reflect upon the
resolved: “... the Word is very near you, in your Worthiness of the Worker, and you will no longer
mouth, in your heart, and in your hands, so that see any difficulty in the matter.”
you may do it.” ✶ “...if you Confess with your mouth... and believe in your
 G E N E S I S 1 8 : 1 4 “Is anything impossible with God?” heart... “ are far more than simply mental
 The Word concerns OUR ATTAINMENT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS acknowledgement that something is True.
BEFORE GOD, FOR IT CASTS OUT HUMAN REASONING AND  Rather, TRUE BELIEF MEANS PLACING OUR ENTIRE TRUST IN
THE SUPPOSED IMPOSSIBILITIES. OUR RESURRECTED LORD JESUS CHRIST AND BY LIVING IN
 THE WORD – DIVINE TRUTH - is so close to us for It IS IN OUR CHRIST AS OUR DIVINE LORD AND SAVIOUR.
MOUTH, HEART AND HANDS and we do not have to  ONLY BY GIVING OUR ENTIRE BEING – BY COMMITTING
Ascend to Heaven nor descend into the very OURSELVES COMPLETELY TO OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST AS HIS
depths in order to find It. FAITHFUL DISCIPLE IS OUR BELIEF TRULY RIGHTEOUS.
 GOD’S WORD – HIS DIVINE TRUTH – IS SOWN IN THE HEART OF
US WHO BELIEVE, AND CONFESSED WITH OUR MOUTH AND
WORKED WITH OUR HANDS (GOOD DEEDS.)
T H E H OLY G OSPEL ACCO R D ING TO S T M ATTHE W 8 : 28 – 9 : 1
THE TWO GERGESENE DEMONIACS
At that time, when our Lord Jesus went into the land of the Gergesenes, two demoniacs met Him, coming out of the
tombs, exceedingly fierce, so that no one could pass that way. And behold: they cried out, saying: “What have we
to do with Thee, Jesus, Son of God? Hast Thou come there to torment us before the Time?”
At a distance from them there was a herd of many swine grazing. The demons begged Him, saying: “If Thou cast us
out, permit us to go away in the herd of swine.” And He said to them: “Go!” When they had gone out, they went into
the herd of swine. And behold: the whole herd ran frantically down the steep place into the sea, and perished in
the water.
Those who kept them fled. And they went into the city and told everything - and what had happened to the demoniacs.
And behold: the whole city went out to meet Jesus. And when they saw Him, they begged Him to depart from their
region.
And He got into a boat, crossed over, and went to His own city.
✶ “... the land of the Gergesenes...” referred to THE “Outer Darkness” that is THE ABSOLUTE ABSENCE OF THE
EASTERN SIDE OF THE SEA OF GALILEE (Golan Heights) - LOVING LIGHT, LOVE AND PRESENCE OF GOD.
the region of the ancient Decapolis cities that  THEY THOUGHT THEIR (LIMITED) POWER TO DECEIVE, MISGUIDE
included Gadara and Gerasa - an informal AND TORMENT MANKIND WAS ALREADY BEING TERMINATED
grouping of Greco-Roman cities that were situated as it will be at the time of the General Resurrection
South of Caesarea Philippi, where Christ and His and God’s Final Judgement of Creation.
Apostles resided.  GOD PERMITS US TO STRUGGLE AGAINST THE TEMPTATIONS of
Gergesa was a lakeside village, Gadara was the the evil one and his wicked demons SO THAT WE
next, larger city, and Gerasa was a better known BECOME SPIRITUALLY STRONGER AND DRAW CLOSER TO
city in that same region. HIM.
These were GENTILE CITIES WHOSE CITIZENS WERE  HOWEVER, THE DEMONS HAVE NO REAL POWER OVER US, UNLESS
CULTURALLY MORE GREEK THAN SEMITIC, which would WE ALLOW THEM TO DO SO BY SUBMITTING TO THE PASSIONS
account for the herds of (forbidden) swine. AND OUR OWN SPIRITUAL WEAKNESSES, WHICH THEY
 As usual, MINOR DETAILS ARE INSIGNIFICANT COMPARED TO GLEEFULLY USE AGAINST US.
THE MORE IMPORTANT SIGNIFICANCE OF THE ENCOUNTER ✶ “...The demons begged Him... permit us...” clearly
WITH CHRIST. indicates that ALTHOUGH THEIR MALICIOUS HATRED OF
✶ “...two demoniacs met Him...” ST MATTHEW WROTE ABOUT MANKIND IS STRONG, THE DEMONS CAN DO NOTHING AT ALL
TWO GERGESENE DEMONIACS, while St Luke and St Mark WITHOUT THE PERMISSION OF GOD.
noted one naked, terrifyingly strong demoniac who  They feared their Eternal Banishment to the dreaded
could neither be restrained nor restricted by chains, Abyss so deeply that THEY WANTED TO DELAY THEIR
who lived amongst the tombs. INEVITABLE EXILE AND BE ALLOWED MORE TIME BETWEEN
 THESE DEMONIACS HID THEMSELVES IN THE TOMBS, outside HEAVEN AND EARTH, BY BEGGING FOR CHRIST’S GREAT
the cities, which implies that THEY WERE SPIRITUAL MERCY.
DEAD AND ISOLATED from the healthy citizens, due to  THEY CANNOT PERCEIVE THEIR ROLE IN MANKIND’S SALVATION
their demonic possession. BUT ONLY WANT MORE TIME TO DO THEIR EVIL WORK.
 ST MATTHEW’S ACCOUNT OF THIS EVENT IS FAR LESS DETAILED  The only reason for God permitting them a little more
BUT THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THIS EVENT AND ITS TEACHING time to tempt us, is FOR THE SAKE OF OUR IMMORTAL
ARE EQUALLY IMPORTANT. SOULS THAT NEED TO BE TESTED AND THUS STRENGTHENED
✶ “...What have we to do with Thee, Jesus, Son of God? ...” AND FIRMLY ROOTED IN OUR FAITH IN GOD.
clearly shows how THE DEMONS IMMEDIATELY  When we are tempted or even when we fall, but
RECOGNISED OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST AS THE ETERNAL SON manage to RESIST OR IMMEDIATELY REPENT, we are
OF GOD. able to MAKE GOOD SPIRITUAL PROGRESS AND RETURN TO
✶ “...Hast Thou come here to torment us before the Time...” LIFE IN CHRIST.
THE DEMONS WERE SHOCKED TO SEE CHRIST, THINKING  BRIEF PERIODS OF SPIRITUAL DEATH when we suffer the
THAT IT WAS TIME FOR THEIR ETERNAL EXILE AND absence of our Lord’s Presence due to our sins,
BANISHMENT INTO THE GREATLY FEARED “ABYSS” – the MAKE US PAINFULLY AWARE OF HOW DEVASTATINGLY SAD IT
IS. WE SUFFER INTENSE SPIRITUAL SORROW AND PAIN.

30 5TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 5TH OF ST MATTHEW – THE GERGESENE DEMONIACS – 21 JULY 2019
 AS SOON AS WE BECOME CONTRITE AND YEARN TO RETURN TO ✶ “...the whole city.... saw Him ... begged Him to depart...”
SPIRITUAL LIFE IN CHRIST BY REPENTANCE-CONFESSION,  ALL THE CITIZENS RUSHED OUT TO SEE OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
WE ARE JOYFULLY AND MOST GRATEFULLY RESTORED TO AND THE EMPTY GRAZING GROUNDS.
DIVINE GRACE AND LOVE.  THEY WERE MORE CONCERNED ABOUT THEIR LOSS OF SWINE,
 WE ARE ABLE TO CORRECT OUR ERRORS AND RETURN TO THE which was obviously far more important to them
PATH OF RIGHTEOUSNESS UNTIL OUR LAST BREATH, but THAN THE FACT THAT TWO OF THEIR OWN PEOPLE HAD BEEN
should we perish in a State of Spiritual Death, we RESTORED TO FULL HEALTH OR THAT THEY WOULD NO
will remain Spiritually Dead for all Eternity. – LONGER BE TERRORISED BY THE FIERCE DEMONIACS.
together with the evil one and his demons!  The citizens seemed to be COMPLETELY UNAWARE OF THE
✶ “...’Go!”...” THIS ONE WORD SHOWS THE ALMIGHTY POWER AND GREAT DIVINE MIRACLE that had occurred, AND OF THE
AUTHORITY OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST OVER ALL DIVINE PRESENCE OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.
CREATION.  Their disregard for His Presence or the restoration of
✶“...the whole herd of swine ran violently... and one of their own people implies THE DEPTH OF THEIR
perished...” DEMON POSSESSION HAS AN IMMEDIATE, SPIRITUAL BLINDNESS DUE TO UNBELIEF AND LACK OF LOVE,
FRIGHTENING EFFECT ON THEIR VICTIMS and THE COMPASSION OR MERCY FOR THEIR FELLOW HUMAN BEINGS.
WRETCHED SWINE WENT BERSERK AND STAMPEDED ✶ “... tell what Great Things God has done for you...”
FRANTICALLY OVER THE CLIFFS and were brutally According to the Gospel of St Luke THESE WORDS OF
killed. CHRIST WERE ADDRESSED TO THE MAN/MEN WHO HAD BEEN
 THIS DEMENTED REACTION OF THE ANIMALS TO THE EVIL EXORCISED AND RESTORED.
PRESENCE OF THE DEMONS DEMONSTRATES THEIR WICKED  THEY HAD WANTED TO ACCOMPANY OUR KIND, MERCIFUL AND
DESTRUCTION OF EVERYTHING THEY CONTAMINATE. COMPASSIONATE LORD JESUS AND HIS APOSTLES, BUT
 The evil one and his demons obsessively desire our CHRIST ENCOURAGED THEM TO RETURN TO THEIR PEOPLE SO
destruction but THEY CAN ONLY TEMPT US TO HARM THAT THEY COULD PREACH HIS DIVINE TRUTH TO THEM AS
OURSELVES BY USING OUR PERSONAL WEAKNESSES AGAINST LIVING PROOF OF HIS GREAT MERCY AND LOVE.
US.  EVERY ONE OF US IS CALLED BY OUR LORD GOD TO SERVE HIS
 AS SOON AS WE ARE BAPTISED AND CHRISMATED, WE BECOME DIVINE WILL UPON EARTH, while we are preparing
EMPOWERED to resist temptations and BY LIVING IN ourselves for Eternity.
CHRIST, WE ARE STRONGLY ARMOURED AGAINST THEIR  As Faithful Disciples of Christ, WE OUGHT TO SHARE THE
WICKED SPIRITUAL WARFARE. GOOD NEWS – THE DIVINE TRUTH – OF CHRIST JESUS WITH
 LIFE IN CHRIST DOES NOT MEAN THAT WE ARE NEVER TEMPTED, OTHERS – especially those who are seeking or
because the evil one uses every means he can to yearning for Perfect Truth or the meaning of this
lure us away from God. short lifespan.
✶ "... Those who kept them fled...” The swine-herders were  The best way of ‘Preaching” Christ’s Divine Truth is to
understandably more than terrified – not only by BECOME LIVING PROOF – LIVING EXAMPLES – THAT OTHERS
what they had witnessed, but how the owners of the WILL WANT TO EMULATE.
swine would react towards them who were paid to  WE MUST SHARE OUR PERSONAL EXPERIENCES AND ENCOUNTERS
take care of their herds. WITH CHRIST AS WELL AS OUR KNOWLEDGE AND
They reported the entire sequence of events, including UNDERSTANDING OF HIS DIVINE TRUTH AS WE GROW IN OUR
the Miraculous Exorcism – no doubt blaming Christ for FAITH, THEREBY ENCOURAGING, GUIDING AND SUPPORTING
their financial catastrophe! ONE ANOTHER.
5 T H
S U ND AY A FTER P ENTEC OST – 5 T H
OF S T M ATTHE W – TH E G ER GE SENE DE M ONIAC S
✞ In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the experience of this life with its continual Spiritual
Holy Spirit. Warfare that is waged against all mankind.
Dearly Beloved, today’s Sacred Lesson concerns the In this context let us consider the meaning of the term
casting out of demons from two possessed men, “demonic possession.”
their entry into many herds of swine and the Our Holy Fathers have taught us that that we cannot
destruction of those swine. suddenly become demon possessed because it is
Firstly, we should note that the Gergesenes who the ultimate stage of a Spiritual Process.
owned the swine disobeyed the Mosaic Law that The first stage is when we begin to surrender our free
forbade owning or working with swine and the will by ‘entertaining’ or ‘welcoming’ demons and
consumption of pork. demonic thoughts in a habitual manner.
This was no doubt due to concern for the health of the The second stage is when we become obsessed with
people, for pork can carry many parasites and cause demons and - due to their very real presence – we
various diseases that can harm or even kill. (So can other are unable to fight against their pervading
meat, chicken and fish.) influence over us, for demonic thoughts stalk us
These days all aspects of edible products are very carefully
and begin to control our thoughts, words and
monitored to ensure good health.
deeds.
The large herds of swine provided the citizens with a The third stage is demonic possession of us – body
very lucrative, although illegal, business, which and soul – because they have entered us and
was why they begged our Lord Jesus Christ to taken over our free will, enslaving us to do
depart from their region - thereby rejecting the whatever they want.
Divine Son of God and their own Salvation! By this stage, we are unable to resist them or escape
Their self-serving disregard of God and His Laws their influence over us.
explains why at least, two of them had become Therefore we learn that the Devil and demonic
demon-possessed, for disobedience of God always possession is a terrifying and horrific reality to be
leads to misfortune. avoided by all means possible.
Secondly, it is clearly evident from this account that Today’s Sacred Lesson shows us three characteristics
the evil one and his wicked, destructive demons do of demons.
certainly exist and that they can take possession of 1. In those days demons or demoniacs dwelt in tombs
us when we are too weak or ignorant to recognise for they are Spiritually Dead.
and fight against their temptations that lure us into
sin. Cemeteries are now ‘places of Rest or Sleep’, where the
All too often, naïve people who regard themselves as departed souls Repose peacefully until the General
being “Christian” but - having been so deluded Resurrection and Final Judgement.
and blinded by the evil one - insist that demons 2. Demons are violent and “...exceedingly fierce...”
do not exist nor can they possess us. because they are utterly incompatible to the
Such Spiritually Blinded and deceived people have spirit of Peace, Harmony and Gentleness with
obviously neither properly read nor understood which all Creation was instilled by our Loving,
Holy Scripture, nor have they had much Benevolent Creator.

5TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 5TH OF ST MATTHEW – THE GERGESENE DEMONIACS – 21 JULY 2019 31
3. Demons also believe in our Triune God, for they The immediate reaction of the wretched swine was to
once dwelt in the Heavenly Realms – in the stampede in blind terror and the need to escape
Loving Presence of our Lord. They are bodiless, when they became possessed by those evil spirits.
spiritual beings - fallen angels – who rebelled They could not bear the presence of evil within them
against God, have been banished from His and acting on the natural response of “fight or
Presence and expelled from Heaven forever, flight,” by trying to flee from such evil, they
belonging neither in Heaven nor on Earth. perished.
There are different types of Spirituality, one of which is Animals do not kill their own species, and often act
that of the demons. compassionately towards other species in times of
Unlike us human beings, who become foolish when extreme danger or shared disaster.
we are deluded either by bodily, material things, All creatures are very sensitive to the presence of evil
or the temptations of the evil one, the demons see and will instinctively try to flee from anything that
and understand Reality as it is because they can is perceived as dangerous or threatening.
see both the spiritual and material aspects of Having no immortal soul, they belong to the natural
everything. world that fears anything that is supernatural.
Thus they confess our Lord Jesus Christ as He really is - On the contrary, we who are created as intellectual,
the Eternal “Son of God.” physical and spiritual beings, belong to both the
They have no illusions that our Divine Saviour might natural, material world, and to the Spiritual World.
only be an ordinary “Man” - either a Holy Prophet We are therefore subject to the influence of not only
of God, or merely an intelligent, Gifted human our material world, but also to the Spiritual World
Being Who teaches us Divine Truth. of Godly, Angelic Spirits and demonic spirits.
They immediately recognise Him and acknowledge All mankind is motivated by Spiritual Influences that
Him as the Eternal, Only Begotten Son of God for are good or wicked.
they exist in an Eternal Spiritual Reality! Our Loving and Compassionate Lord God provides us
According to St Symeon the New Theologian, the with every possible means to avoid the spirits of
demons lack Love – i.e. every aspect and Holy evil and to remain in a state of Spiritual Life in
Virtue concerning Love, which is beyond their Christ rather than suffering the dreadful outcome
fallen nature. of Spiritual Death.
God is Love itself and our Lord Jesus Christ epitomises Let us instead cleave tightly to our Triune Lord God,
all Holy Attributes of Divine Love. by imitating His Saints – by Living in Christ Who
Therefore, by Living in Christ, we Strive ceaselessly to Empowers and Strengthens us for the perpetual
acquire Divine Love because it is the Acquisition of Spiritual Warfare that is waged against us all.
our Divine Likeness as God created us. Glory to God for His Great Mercy.
Animals behave better than mankind for they usually Amen.
act according to their created state. Protopresbyter Andrew Phillips – Orthodox England
Mankind has distorted, corrupted and destroyed (Adapted & edited by mp)
everything on Earth due to unbridled greed, pride http://orthochristian.com/54694.html
and envy.
H OW A RE WE T O BE U ND ER STOOD A ND R EC OGNIZED A S T HE ‘I M AGE O F G OD ’?
Any donation of body tissue or an organ is a kind of According to St Maximos the Confessor, we are not to
self-sacrifice. Despite this, it would be be equated with only our body nor soul – neither
untheological to consider such an action to be in with an admixture nor a summation of the two
imitation of the Sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ, because we are something that Transcends and
for He offers His Body and Blood to give people - holds together all of that - without being held
not some transitory existence - but Real Life, which together nor being defined by either body nor
might, in fact, involve the sacrifice of this soul.
temporary existence. Having been created in the Image of God, we are
This fleeting existence should not be separated from always to be understood as such and recognized
Real Life and become independent. as such.
However, adherence to this transitory existence And this comprehension and recognition of our
extinguishes the desire for Eternal Life, nature as Image is true of all mankind, as it is of
 MATTHEW 24:5 (MARK 8:35) “...for those who want to save each of us and our individual actions.
their life will lose it, and those who lose their Beyond any divisive distinction between matter and
life for My Sake will Save it.” spirit, individual and society, as images of the
 JOHN 12:25 – “Those who love their life will lose it, Divine Word, by observing His Commandment of
and those who hate their life in this world will Love, we reside in God, Who is Love, and all
retain it for Eternal Life.” together we make up the One Body of the Holy
Although those who love their life so much, will lose it, Church of Christ.
those who care nothing for their existence in this Within this dynamic and multi-dimensional view of
world, will preserve it for Eternal Life. the human being, every drop of blood offered to
This Path of the Holy Gospel, which is so paradoxical our neighbour is an all-encompassing Offering of
in terms of human reason - the Path that was first the whole person.
trodden by Christ - certainly cannot be applied to So every pedantic investigation regarding the
transplants. repercussions, which the donation of tissue or an
Nevertheless, the charitable or heroic act of the organ might have on bodily integrity, loses its
voluntary donation of tissue or organs for meaning.
transplantation is still of much value, as is the It becomes apparent just how irreconcilable with the
pastoral support for people who are in critical Church’s View of the person is this mechanistic
condition. view of people and the handling of tissues and
The considerations presented by some concerning the organs of the body merely as curative or
bodily integrity after death of those who give replacement matter...
organs are of a scholastic nature. George Mantzarides, Professor Emeritus of the
Theological School of the Aristotle University of
Thessaloniki
S T J OH N C HRY SOSTOM
The cause of moral lapses
is not the nature of the temptations,
but the heedlessness of those who are tempted!

32 5TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 5TH OF ST MATTHEW – THE GERGESENE DEMONIACS – 21 JULY 2019
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.
25 JULY 2019
DORMITION OF ST ANNA
VENERABLE MOTHER OF OUR LADY, THEOTOKOS

Also the Feast of St Olympias, Deaconess of Constantinople – St Eupraxia, Virgin Martyr of


Tabenna – St Makarios of Zheltovod & Unzha – The 165 Holy Fathers of the 5th Ecumenical
Council, Constantinople

THE SUNDAY AND FESTAL HYMNS ARE PUBLISHED IN BOOKLET FORM EACH MONTH. THESE
ARE PUBLISHED AND FREELY DOWNLOADABLE ON www.scribd.com/writers4574.
LINKS ARE ALSO POSTED ON FACEBOOK “ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN EASTERN CAPE.”
(OR CAN BE EMAILED DIRECTLY, ON REQUEST TO marguerite.paizis@gmail.com)

P R OKE IME NON – P SALM 67/66 – T ONE 4


Wondrous is God in His Saints!
In the Congregation Bless God – the Lord of the Fount of Israel!

T H E E PISTLE OF S T P AUL TO TH E G AL ATIANS 4 : 22 – 27


TH E D IFFERENCE BETWEEN SLA VERY AND SONSHIP
Brethren: ... Abraham had two sons - the one by a Bondwoman and the other by a Freewoman. But he who was of the
Bondwoman was born according to the flesh - he of the Freewoman through Promise, which things are symbolic.
These are thus the two Covenants - the one from Mount Sinai, which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar – for this
Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem, which now is - in bondage with her children.
The Jerusalem Above is free, which is the Mother of us all. For it is written: “Rejoice, O Barren - you who do not bear!
Break forth and shout, you who are not in labour! For the desolate has many more Children than she who has a
husband.”
✶ “...Abraham had two sons ...” This fact and related who was born after the flesh. Therefore, let it not
events, were HISTORICAL, AS WELL AS BEING SYMBOLIC disturb you (Christians) that you were not born
(allegoreo) because as St Paul asserted, OLD after the flesh, for – from the very reason that you
COVENANT HISTORY ANNOUNCED SOMETHING FAR GREATER. are not so born – are you most of all Abraham’s
✶ “... of the Bondwoman ...born according to the flesh...” kindred.”
ISHMAEL WAS THE ILLEGITIMATE SON OF HAGAR, A SLAVE St John Chrysostom was referring to BAPTISED AND
OR BONDWOMAN. CHRISMATED (SANCTIFIED) CHRISTIANS who have become
 Muslims claim Ishmael as their Forefather and, being the ADOPTED CHILDREN OF GOD and thus CO-HEIRS WITH
the first born son, the ‘rightful heir’ of Abraham CHRIST OUR LORD – the Eternal Son of our Heavenly
and thus to the land of Israel. Father – to His Heavenly Kingdom of Love.
✶ “... of the Freewoman through Promise...” ISAAC WAS THE THE HOLY MYSTERY OF BAPTISM AND CHRISMATION, AS WELL AS
LEGITIMATE SON OF SARAH AND ABRAHAM, who was BORN OUR CONTINUED LIFE IN CHRIST MAKES US LEGITIMATE AND
ACCORDING THE DIVINE PROMISE AND WILL OF OUR LORD HONOURABLE HEIRS OF GOD’S HEAVENLY KINGDOM.
GOD. ✶ “... the desolate has many more Children... “ are those
✶ “... two Covenants...” refers to THOSE WHO ARE PRESENTLY Sanctified Members of the Holy Church of Christ -
“...IN BONDAGE” ON EARTH, AND THOSE WHO WILL BE FREE especially the Gentiles – all the non-Jews - who
CITIZENS OF “... JERUSALEM ABOVE ... “ – I.E. GOD’S would become FAITHFUL DISCIPLES OF CHRIST OUR
HEAVENLY KINGDOM. LORD – THE NEW ISRAEL.
✶ “...Hagar ... Mount Sinai ...” symbolise EARTHLY JERUSALEM,  I S A I A H 5 4 : 1 “’... be glad, O barren woman, who does
AND THE JUDEANS WHO ARE UNDER THE OLD COVENANT not bear, break forth and cry out, you who are
LAW. not in travail, for more are the children of the
✶ “...the Mother of us all...” refers to ST SARAH, THE desolate than the children of the married
FREEWOMAN AND LEGITIMATE WIFE OF ABRAHAM AND woman,’ says the Lord.”
MOTHER OF ISAAC.  THE GENTILES (PAGANS) WERE ONCE SPIRITUALLY “BARREN”
 SHE SYMBOLISES THE HEAVENLY JERUSALEM – i.e. the Holy AND “DESOLATE” but now the Holy Church of the
Church of Christ – the New Israel. Gentiles gives Birth in the (Holy) Spirit to MANY MORE
 She is A TYPE OF THEOTOKOS – Mother/Bearer of God – for SPIRITUAL CHILDREN THAN ISRAEL HAS IN THE FLESH.
HER SON, ISAAC, WAS BORN ACCORDING TO THE DIVINE  THE NEW COVENANT CHURCH OF CHRIST IS ONE, UNIFIED
PROMISE AND WILL OF OUR LORD GOD. HOLY FAMILY, with innumerable Spiritual Children,
 Her son, Isaac has A SIGNIFICANT ROLE IN MANKIND’S Spiritual Fathers, God-parents, and Patronal
ETERNAL SALVATION AS ONE OF THEOTOKOS’ ANCESTORS. Saints.
 According to St John Chrysostom: Isaac “... was the  WE ARE UNITED TOGETHER AS THE ADOPTED, SANCTIFIED
issue of bodies that were ‘dead,’ and of a womb CHILDREN OF OUR HEAVENLY FATHER.
that was ‘dead’ through age and barrenness. But ✶ “...She who has a husband,’ refers to the people of Israel
the Word of God (Christ our Lord and Creator) – THOSE WHO WERE FAITHFUL TO GOD AND WHO OBSERVED
fashioned him... (Isaac) who was not according ALL HIS DIVINE COMMANDMENTS.
to the flesh, was more honourable than (Ishmael)
T H E H OLY G OSPEL ACCO R D ING TO S T LU KE 8 : 16 – 21
T A K E CARE OF HOW WE HEAR GOD’S DIVINE & PERFECT TRUTH
At that time, our Lord Jesus Christ said: “...No one, when he has lit a lamp, covers it with a vessel or puts it under a
bed, but sets it on a Lampstand so that those who enter may see the Light. For nothing is secret that will not be
revealed, nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light.
For nothing is secret. For whoever has, to him more will be given; and whoever does not have, even what he seems
to have will be taken from him.”
His Mother and Brothers went to Him, but could not approach Him because of the crowd. And He was told by some
who said: “Thy Mother and Thy Brothers are standing outside, wanting to see Thee.” He answered and said to them:
“My Mother and My Brothers are these who hear the Word of God and do It.”

THE DORMITION OF ST ANNA, VENERABLE MOTHER OF OUR LADY, THEOTOKOS 25 JULY 2019 33
✶ “...sets it on a Lampstand so that those who enter ✶ “ ... His Mother and Brothers went to Him ...” refers to
may see the Light ...” The Divine Truth that Christ THE EVER BLESSED THEOTOKOS AND HER COUSINS who
our Lord has granted us, must always be shown and were the sons of St Joseph the Betrothed and his
shared with others. wife, Salome (a sister of St Anna).
 THE DIVINE TRUTH IS LIKE A BRIGHT SPIRITUAL LIGHT OR  Due to Her Betrothal to Her aged uncle, Joseph, (as
BEACON THAT ENLIGHTENS, GUIDES AND ILLUMINATES Her Venerable Guardian and Protector), his
ALL WHO ARE HIDDEN AND LOST in the Darkness of sin children were regarded as HER CHILDREN,
and ignorance. ACCORDING TO MOSAIC LAW.
 HAVING BEEN ENLIGHTENED BY OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, WE ✶ “... these who hear the Word of God and do It... “
MUST TEACH OTHERS BY OUR OWN GOOD EXAMPLE HOW meant that OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST WAS NOT IN THE
TO LIVE IN CHRIST – how to Live in His Divine Light COMPANY OF HIS RELATIVES ACCORDING TO THE FLESH,
- so that our honourable and worthy thoughts, for He had left them in order to devote Himself to
words and deeds that Glorify, Honour and His Spiritual Teaching – His Divine Mission on
Worship God ENCOURAGE OUR FELLOW HUMAN BEINGS Earth.
TO ALSO DESIRE A MARVELLOUS, BLESSED LIFE IN CHRIST.  When told that His Family had arrived - either
✶ “...nothing is secret...” EVERY THOUGHT, WORD AND DEED IS wanting to listen to His Teaching or to discuss
WITNESSED BY A VAST, INFINITE “CLOUD OF WITNESSES” – personal matters with Him - OUR LORD POINTED OUT
the Church Triumphant – all the Saints and THAT HIS FAMILY WAS NOT RESTRICTED TO THE FEW WHO
Martyrs, the Righteous souls – as well as all the WERE RELATED TO HIM ACCORDING TO THE FLESH.
Heavenly Hosts, and, of course, our Triune Lord  WE ARE ALL ONE HOLY FAMILY who are related to Christ
God. by being SANCTIFIED THROUGH THE HOLY MYSTERIES
 THE HOLY MYSTERY OF REPENTANCE-CONFESSION REMOVES OF HIS NEW COVENANT.
THE SINS WE HAVE SINCERELY REPENTED AND CONFESSED  Being the ADOPTED CHILDREN OF OUR HEAVENLY FATHER
TO OUR LORD GOD AND HIS PRIEST, OUR SPIRITUAL THROUGH HOLY BAPTISM, we are CO-HEIRS WITH
FATHER, (who represents our neighbours against CHRIST of His Eternal Kingdom of Love.
whom we have trespassed), which WE MUST  When entrusted with serving Almighty God by
STRUGGLE NOT TO COMMIT AGAIN. Labouring in His Holy Vineyard - WE ALWAYS PUT
 THE SINS WE HAVE REPENTED AND CONFESSED, AND AVOIDED GOD’S SERVICE BEFORE EVERYTHING ELSE – INCLUDING
REPEATING, ARE FORGIVEN AND FORGOTTEN, BEING OUR BELOVED FAMILY AND FRIENDS.
COMPLETELY REMOVED FROM OUR BOOK OF LIFE.  THIS DECLARATION OF OUR LORD JESUS UNDER NO
✶ “...Take heed how you hear...” means that WE MUST PAY CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD BE TAKEN AS BEING INSULTING
VERY CAREFUL ATTENTION TO THE TEACHINGS AND TO EITHER HIS BELOVED MOTHER OR TO HIS RELATIVES.
COMMANDMENTS OF OUR LORD GOD, so that we apply  Our Lord emphasised that fact that HE HAD COME TO
them correctly to every thought, word and deed. SERVE ALL MANKIND AND TO MAKE EVERYONE MEMBERS
 WHEN WE ARE EXAMINED BY OTHERS – some who OF HIS DIVINE FAMILY.
genuinely seek God’s Truth but some who seek a  BY MERELY LISTENING TO OR READING THE WORDS OF GOD
reason for persecution of Christ’s Faithful –GOD’S WILL NOT SAVE ANYONE - and could actually cause
TRUTH SHINES EXTREMELY BRIGHTLY AS HIS DIVINE our Eternal Condemnation!
LIGHT.  ONLY THOSE OF US WHO HEAR THE DIVINE WORDS AND OBEY
 DIVINE TRUTH ALWAYS EXPOSES THE LIARS, THE FRAUDSTERS THEM BY APPLYING THEM TO OUR THOUGHTS, WORDS AND
AND THE DECEIVERS. DEEDS, WILL ATTAIN GOD’S DIVINE SALVATION AND
 WE HONOUR, GLORIFY AND WORSHIP GOD WHEN HIS DIVINE ETERNAL LIFE.
TRUTH IS HELD UP FOR ALL TO SEE AND HEAR.  READING ALL THE HOLY SCRIPTURES – the Teachings and
✶ “... more will be given...” wHEN WE ARE DILIGENT AND Commandments of God – AND ALL THE DIVINELY-
ZEALOUS concerning God’s Truth, for WE RECEIVE INSPIRED WRITINGS AND TEACHINGS OF OUR HOLY
DIVINE GRACE. CHURCH FATHERS - AND EVEN ENDLESSLY STUDYING
✶ “... what he seems to have will be taken...” THOSE WHO THEOLOGY - WILL DO US ABSOLUTELY NO GOOD
ARE NEGLIGENT, EXTINGUISH AND LOSE THE DIVINE WHATSOEVER UNLESS WE OBEY GOD BY PUTTING THEM
GRACE RECEIVED FROM GOD. INTO PRACTISE. .
T H E ETERNAL, INS P IR ED W ISD OM OF OU R H OLY FA THE R S
S T P AISIOS OF MOUNT ATHOS
From a young age, I had great Reverence for the Holy A R CH IMANDR ITE S OP HR ONY
Ancestors of God. Indeed, I had told someone that The worst ordeal of all is that – despite our utmost
when they make me a Monk, I would want them to straining to be Faithful to God, there are periods when
give me the name “Joachim.” we feel forsaken by Him. Our Spiritual Poverty,
How much have I Benefitted from them! St Joachim and together with the pain of God’s (seeming) Absence,
St Anna are the most Dispassionate could who ever plunges us into despair. It seems as if some terrible
existed! They did not possess any carnal mindset at curse hangs over us.
all! This is how our Lord God created mankind, and No one genuinely seeking Salvation can escape the
this is how He wanted us to be born – Dispassionately. Experience of being bereft of God. At some moments
However, after the Fall, passion entered the Relationship that feeling of having been abandoned becomes so
between man and woman. acute that even a fleeting instant of it seems timeless.
As soon as a Dispassionate Couple was found, which is The Purpose behind this Withdrawal of (Divine ) Grace
how God created mankind, and as He wished us to be is to give (us) the opportunity to manifest (our)
born, our Beloved Panagia was born – such a Pure freedom and fidelity to our Lord God.
Creature, and then our Lord Jesus Christ became
Incarnate. ELDER JOSEPH THE HESYCHAST OF MOUNT ATHOS
My thoughts tell me that our Divine Saviour would have The most fearsome form of the passion of sleep is when
descended much earlier to Earth if there had been Grace retires from us, and when negligence and
such a Pure Couple as were St Joachim and St Anna obscurity take hold of us, not letting the least
S T D IM ITR I OF R OSTOV Consolation shine through. Once I was roughly tested
“... every day, at the conclusion of the Divine Services – at by this passion - struggling not to give way and nearly
the Dismissal – our Holy Church beseeches our Lord at the end of my strength. I interrupted my Struggle to
God for Mercy and Salvation for those going out of His cry our to our Lord with tears: “O Lord, are they going
Holy Temple through the Prayers of our Lady, the All to overcome me?” Immediately I heard a Voice deep
Holy Mother of God, and of the Holy and Righteous within me say: “Will you not endure even this for Love
Ancestors of God, St Joachim and St Anna...” of Me?” And my intense sorrow disappeared instantly,
as I leapt with Joy, exclaiming: “Yes! O Lord! For
S T G RE GORY P AL AM AS
Thee! Come and help my weakness!”
No others were found at that time more superior in Holy
Virtue nor Nobility of character and birth than the
childless couple, St Joachim and St Anna.

34 T H E D O R M I T I O N OF ST ANNA, VENERABLE MOTHER OF OUR LADY, THEOTOKOS 25 JULY 2019


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.
26 JULY 2019
ST PARASKEVE OF ROME
V IR GIN M AR TYR & M IR ACL E W OR KE R

Also the Feast of S T H E R M O L A O S , S T H E R M I P P O S & S T H E R M O C R A T E S , H I E R O M A R T Y R S O F


NIKOMEDIA St Jacob Netsvetov, Enlightener of Alaska –– St Moses the Hungarian of Kiev Near Caves
Monastery – St Gerontios, Venerable Founder of the Skete of St Anne on Mount Athos – St Sava III of
Serbia
THE SUNDAY AND FESTAL HYMNS ARE PUBLISHED IN BOOKLET FORM EACH MONTH. THESE ARE PUBLISHED AND FREELY
DOWNLOADABLE ON www.scribd.com/writers4574. LINKS ARE ALSO POSTED ON FACEBOOK “ORTHODOX
CHRISTIAN EASTERN CAPE.” (OR CAN BE EMAILED DIRECTLY, ON REQUEST TO marguerite.paizis@gmail.com)

P R OKE IME NON – P SALM 67 /78 – T ONE 4

Wondrous is God in His Saints.


In the Congregations Bless God – The Lord from the Fountain of Israel.
T H E E PISTLE OF S T P AUL TO TH E G AL ATIANS 3 : 23 – 4 : 5
OUR ADOPTION AS CO-HEIRS WITH CHRIST THROUGH OUR FAITH AND HOLY BAPTISM
Brethren: before Faith came, we were kept under guard by the Law – kept for the Faith that would afterward be
revealed. Therefore, the Law was our Tutor - to bring us to Christ, so that we might be Justified by Faith. After Faith
has come, we are no longer under a Tutor. You are all sons of God through Faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of
you as were Baptised into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek; there is neither slave nor free;
there is neither male nor female. You are all one in Christ Jesus. If you are Christ’s then you are Abraham’s seed,
and Heirs according to the Promise. I say that the Heir – as long as he is a child – does not differ at all from a slave,
although he is master of all, but is under Guardians and Stewards until the time appointed by the Father. Even so,
we – when we were children – were in bondage under the elements of the world.
When the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son – Born of a Woman, Born under the Law - to Redeem those
who were under the Law, that we might receive the Adoption as sons.
✶ “...before Faith...we were kept ... by the Law...”  THEY INSTRUCT AND GUIDE US to Love God with all our
 THE NATURAL LAWS FOLLOWED BY THE OLD COVENANT LAWS, mind, heart, strength and soul, as well as how to
KEPT MANKIND AND CREATION IN RELATIVE ORDER. Love each other as God Loves us!
 NATURAL LAW STILL APPLIES to those who have never ✶ We “...are all sons of God...” We are the adopted
heard of our Lord God WHEREBY THEY WILL BE JUDGED. Children (‘sons’) of our Lord God through the Holy
 THE OLD COVENANT LAWS WERE GIVEN TO GOD’S CHOSEN Mystery of Baptism and Chrismation.
PEOPLE OF ISRAEL IN ORDER TO KEEP THEM MORAL AND ✶ We “...have put on Christ...” like OUR OWN GARMENT OF
HEALTHY, ACCORDING TO THE WILL AND LOVE OF GOD, in RIGHTEOUSNESS and - having Vowed Allegiance to our
preparation for the First Coming/Appearance of Lord Jesus Christ as our Divine Saviour - we now
the Great Messiah, our Lord Jesus Christ and His “...LIVE IN CHRIST...” by APPLYING EVERYTHING HE HAS
New Covenant of Love. TAUGHT US TO OUR WORDS, THOUGHTS AND DEEDS.
✶ “...kept for the Faith ...” Although THE PEOPLE OF THE OLD  WE ARE “THE CHURCH MILITANT” while in this short
COVENANT WITH GOD HAD COMPLETE FAITH IN GOD, they lifespan, who are INVOLVED IN CEASELESS SPIRITUAL
COULD NOT PARTICIPATE IN THE FAITH OF CHRIST for our WARFARE AGAINST THE EVIL ONE.
Saviour had not yet appeared to them.  OUR LIFE IN CHRIST CONSISTS OF OUR PERPETUAL REPENTANCE-
 FAITH IN CHRIST IS ALSO FAITH OF CHRIST because TWO CONFESSION in order to Cleanse ourselves, to make
FAITHS ARE COOPERATING TOGETHER: good Spiritual Progress and be physically and
5. THE FAITH OF CHRIST, Spiritually Healthy and Strong.
6. THE FAITH IN CHRIST OF THOSE WHO BELIEVE.  OUR FAITH IN CHRIST IS ONE OF PERSONAL COMMITMENT AND
✶ “...the Law was our Tutor - to bring us to Christ...” ALLEGIANCE TO ALMIGHTY GOD.
 Because God’s Love of us is infinite and absolute, He  Not only have we been Baptised into the Christian
provided us with a set of TEN COMMANDMENTS OR Faith, but WE HAVE VESTED OURSELVES WITH CHRIST AND
LAWS THAT GUIDE US TOWARDS ETERNAL LIFE AND PROTECT ACCEPTED OUR SACRED MISSION OF BECOMING CHRIST-
US FROM FALLING INTO A STATE OF PERMANENT SPIRITUAL LIKE BY IMITATING HIM - thereby REGAINING OUR LOST
DEATH. LIKENESS TO GOD
 The Ten Commandments or Mosaic Law that  SAVING FAITH AND BEING BAPTISED ARE INTERWOVEN – we
prepared the Hebrew Nation for the Coming of cannot claim to have one without the other!
God STILL APPLY TO US, THE NEW ISRAEL – THE ADOPTED  “For as many of you as were Baptised into Christ have
CHILDREN OF GOD. put on Christ,” is our ANCIENT BAPTISM HYMN THAT IS
 The Ten Commandments TEACH US OBEDIENCE to the CHANTED DURING THE PROCESSION OF THE NEWLY
Will of God. WITHOUT HUMILITY AND OBEDIENCE, WE REGENERATED INTO THE ASSEMBLY – THE HOLY CHURCH OF
CANNOT MAKE ANY SPIRITUAL PROGRESS NOR ENJOY CHRIST.
SPIRITUAL WELL-BEING. ✶ “..There is neither...” discrimination, separation nor
 Those who keep THE DIVINE COMMANDMENTS given by any type of distinction for as Disciples of Christ we are
God to Moses, which forever apply to us as Faithful all BRETHREN IN CHRIST.
Disciples, BRINGS US CLOSER TO GOD.  WE SHARE ONE HUMAN NATURE IN CHRIST. Therefore,
 THE TEN DIVINE COMMANDMENTS, THE DIVINE REVELATIONS ASSESSING PEOPLE ACCORDING TO OUR OWN OPINION,
AND TEACHINGS OF CHRIST OUR LORD, ARE ALL ASPECTS OF ATTITUDE, VALUE, GENDER OR ETHNICITY IS FORBIDDEN in
ABSOLUTE, PERFECT DIVINE TRUTH, which is vital to our Christ’s Holy Church,
Salvation.  If we are genuinely TRYING TO IMITATE CHRIST we must
 THESE LAWS ARE ETERNAL do so without fail: HE NEVER DISCRIMINATED AGAINST
ANYONE so how dare we do so!

S T P AR ASKEV E OF R OME – H OLY M AR TYR & M IR ACL E W OR KE R 26 J ULY 35


 ANY DISCRIMINATION, BIGOTRY, INTOLERANCE OR PREJUDICE ✶ “...Born of a Woman, Born under the Law...” THE ANCIENT
WILL CAUSE US SERIOUS SPIRITUAL CONDEMNATION, which PROPHECIES OF GOD’S HOLY PROPHETS WERE FULFILLED WHEN
- unless we quickly correct ourselves with sincere THE EVER BLESSED, ALL PURE AND HOLY VIRGIN MARY GAVE
Repentance - will affect our Eternity! BIRTH TO OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.
✶ We are “...one in Christ ...” being UNITED, LIVING  Her lineage was Royal and Jewish, proceeding from
TOGETHER AS EQUALS IN THE SIGHT OF GOD. King David, Divinely Ordained King of the
 WE ARE ALL ONE IN NATURE AND EQUAL IN DIGNITY. Israelites.
 WE ARE SANCTIFIED MEMBERS OF THE BODY OF CHRIST – His  The only time WE COULD ACTUALLY SEE GOD WAS WHEN
Holy Church. CHRIST – the Word and Son of God – BECAME “... THE
 We are all HABITUAL SINNERS WHO HAVE TO SPIRITUALLY SON OF MAN(KIND)” – BECAME INCARNATE – took on
STRIVE AND STRUGGLE. physical matter – a Flesh and Bone, human Body.
 We are all JOURNEYING TOWARDS ETERNITY and by ✶ “...to Redeem those who were under the Law...”
ENCOURAGING, ASSISTING AND GUIDING EACH OTHER  WITH GOD’S NEW COVENANT, CHRIST REVEALED THE TRUE
ALONG THE WAY – always with Love/Agape – we are NATURE OF OUR MOST MERCIFUL, LOVING AND
able to make good Spiritual Progress. BENEVOLENT GOD TO US AND TAUGHT US THE WAY TO
✶ “...Heirs according to the Promise...” WE HAVE BECOME CO- ETERNAL LIFE, which the ancient people of God only
HEIRS WITH CHRIST to our Heavenly Father’s Eternal understood instinctively at first and then through
Kingdom of Love. the Teachings of the Holy Prophets of God.
 DUE TO OUR SPIRITUAL INEXPERIENCE AND IMMATURITY WE ARE  AT THE HARROWING OF HADES AFTER HIS DEATH ON THE CROSS
UNDER THE AUTHORITY AND DISCIPLINE OF OUR TRIUNE IN HIS HUMAN NATURE, CHRIST - IN HIS DIVINE, ALMIGHTY
LORD GOD. NATURE - SMASHED OPEN THE IMPRISONING DOORS OF
 Like small children, OUR WORDS, THOUGHTS AND DEEDS HADES, AND FREED ALL HUMANITY FROM THE ENSLAVING
NEED TO BE DISCIPLINED WHILE WE ARE TAUGHT HOW TO POWER OF EVIL.
BECOME GOOD CITIZENS of the Heavenly Kingdom.  OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST HAS RE-OPENED PARADISE where HIS
✶ “...God sent forth His Son...” SO WE WERE ABLE TO ACTUALLY FAITHFUL PEOPLE REPOSE IN PEACE UNTIL THE GENERAL
SEE HIM, SPEAK TO HIM, AND LEARN HIS DIVINE TRUTH RESURRECTION AND OUR FINAL JUDGEMENT.
DIRECTLY FROM HIM. (The Repentant Thief, St Demas, was the first to enter
 THE HOLY TRINITY IS OMNIPRESENT - ever-present. Paradise since the banishment of Adam and Eve.)
 THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A TIME OR PLACE WHEN GOD THE  THOSE WHO STUBBORNLY REJECTED HIM, REMAIN IN HADES
FATHER, THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT WAS NOT PRESENT! WHERE THEY SUFFER THE HIDEOUS FORETASTE OF THE
 THE PURPOSE OF OUR LIFE ON EARTH HAS ALWAYS BEEN A VITAL VILENESS AND TORMENT OF ETERNAL ALIENATION from
PREPARATORY PERIOD FOR ETERNITY. God.
T H E H OLY G OSPEL ACCO R D ING TO S T M AR K 5 : 24 – 34
THE HEALING OF ST VERONICA WHO HAD HAEMORRHAGED FOR TWELVE YEARS
At that time, many people followed our Lord Jesus, and thronged Him. And there was a certain Woman who had had
a flow of blood for twelve years, and had suffered much from many Physicians. And she had spent all that she had
and was not better, but rather, grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she went behind Him in the crowd and
touched His garments. She had thought: “If only I may touch His garment, I shall be made well.”And immediately
the source of her bleeding dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction. And Jesus -
instantly knowing in Himself that Power had gone out of Him - turned around in the crowd and asked: “Who
touched My clothes?” And His Disciples said to Him: “Thou see the multitude thronging Thee, and Thou ask: ‘Who
touched Me?’” And He looked around to see her who had done this thing. The Woman – fearing and trembling –
knowing what had happened to her, went and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. He said to her:
“Daughter, your Faith has made you well. Go in Peace, and be healed of your affliction.”
✶ ”... a certain Woman...” is known to us today as ST ✶ “...instantly knowing ... that Power had gone out of
VERONICA. Him...”
✶ ”... for twelve years...” she had suffered the chronic  HIS DIVINE ENERGY OR POWER WENT DIRECTLY FROM CHRIST
affliction and various ‘treatments’ - for more than TO ST VERONICA, WHEREAS THE ENABLING POWER AND
a decade - and SHE WAS UNDERSTANDABLY UTTERLY AUTHORITY BESTOWED BY CHRIST ON HIS APOSTLES
DESPERATE AND DETERMINED TO SEEK A CURE. WORKED INDIRECTLY THROUGH THEM.
✶ ”... she had spent all that she had...” on every type of ✶ “...Who touched My clothes?” seemed to be a peculiar
treatment by physicians and charlatans who had question under the circumstances.
made impoverished her yet could not heal her.  However, our Lord WANTED ST VERONICA TO OPENLY
✶ ”... If only I may touch His garment...” SHE INSTINCTIVELY ACKNOWLEDGE HER FAITH IN HIM SO THAT OTHERS WOULD
KNEW THAT BY MERELY COMING INTO CONTACT WITH OUR LEARN FROM HER AND GLORIFY GOD.
LORD, SHE WOULD BE HEALED, which REVEALED THE DEPTH ✶ “... fearing and trembling...” SHE KNEW THE CONSEQUENCES
OF HER FAITH IN THE MESSIAH of Whom she had heard. OF BREAKING THE JUDAIC LAWS of being ‘unclean,’ and
 EVERYTHING THAT IS TOUCHED BY GOD BECOMES SANCTIFIED thus a ‘social outcast,’ which were severe and
AND WILL PASS THAT SANCTIFICATION ONTO THE FAITHFUL. brutal.
So THE INSTANT ST VERONICA SOFTLY TOUCHED THE ROBES OF ✶ St Veronica “... fell down before Him and told Him the
CHRIST SHE WAS HEALED AND GOD KNEW HER SINCERE whole Truth...” which obviously TOOK IMMENSE COURAGE.
FAITH IN HIM.  HER GREAT SPIRITUAL STRENGTH AND BRAVERY WAS COMPELLED
 AUTHORITY OVER LIFE AND DEATH IS BY THE WILL OF GOD BY HER EXTREME GRATITUDE FOR BEING COMPLETELY
ALONE FOR BEING OF THE SAME DIVINE ESSENCE AS GOD HEALED BY GOD.
THE FATHER, OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST POSSESSES THAT ✶ “...Daughter, thy Faith has made thee well...” OUR LORD
SAME DIVINE AUTHORITY. ADDRESSED HER AS ONE OF HIS CHILDREN AND MENTIONED
 THE HEALING OF ST VERONICA, DEMONSTRATED OUR LORD HER FAITH PUBLICALLY SO THAT THE WITNESSES MIGHT
JESUS’ POWER TO CLEANSE US FROM OUR SINS AND TO HEAL FOLLOW HER GOOD EXAMPLE.
ALL OUR AFFLICTIONS – THE SPIRITUAL AND THE PHYSICAL.  ST VERONICA SYMBOLISES HUMAN NATURE IN GENERAL
According to Old Covenant Law, any type of haemorrhaging because ALL HUMANITY CONSTANTLY SUFFERS AND IS
caused ceremonial defilement, which imposed religious and SUBJECT TO DEATH, WHICH WAS SYMBOLISED BY HER
social restrictions upon sufferers. Any contact with blood HAEMORRHAGING.
 THE PHYSICIANS WHO COULD NOT HEAL HER SYMBOLISE THE
was strictly prohibited and avoided at all costs. This
VARIOUS IMPERFECT RELIGIONS OF THE WORLD, AS WELL AS
woman - being ‘unclean’ -had followed all the requirements THE OLD COVENANT LAW, WHICH ARE UNABLE TO GRANT
as a ‘social outcast.’ She had reached such a degree of LIFE TO HUMANITY – THEY CANNOT SAVE US
misery and desperation that she risked further shame and  ONLY GOD CAN SAVE OR REDEEM US! ONLY THROUGH OUR
humiliation in the conviction that only Christ could Heal LORD AND SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST, ARE WE GENUINELY FREED
AND DELIVERED FROM SUFFERING AND BONDAGE TO SIN.
her.

36. S T P AR ASKEVE OF R OME – H OLY M ARTY R & M IR ACLE W OR KE R 26 JU LY


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.
27 JULY 2019
ST PANTELEIMON
THE UNMERCENARY PHYSICIAN, WONDERWORKER & HOLY MARTYR
Also the Feast of St Nicholas Kochanov, Fool for Christ of Novgorod – St Anthousa, Abbess & 90
Venerable Holy Sisters of Mantinea Monastery, Asia Minor – St Clement of Ochrid, Equal to the
Apostles & Bishop, St Naum, St Sava, St Gorazd & St Angelar, Disciples of St Cyril & Methodios,
of Ochrid Monastery, Greater Macedonia

THE SUNDAY AND FESTAL HYMNS ARE PUBLISHED IN BOOKLET FORM EACH MONTH. THESE ARE PUBLISHED AND FREELY

DOWNLOADABLE ON www.scribd.com/writers4574. LINKS ARE ALSO POSTED ON FACEBOOK “ORTHODOX


CHRISTIAN EASTERN CAPE.” (OR CAN BE EMAILED DIRECTLY, ON REQUEST TO marguerite.paizis@gmail.com)

M ATINS – H OLY G OSPEL A CC ORD ING TO S T L UKE 21 : 12 – 19


At that time our Lord Jesus said: “... before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you,
delivering you up to the Synagogues and prisons. You will be brought before Kings and Rulers for My Name’s
sake. But it will turn out for you as an occasion for Testimony. Therefore settle it in your heart not to meditate
beforehand on what you will answer; for I will give you a mouth and Wisdom, which all your adversaries will not
be able to contradict or resist. You will be betrayed even by parents and brethren, relatives and friends; and
they will put some of you to death. And you will be hated by all for My Name’s sake. “And not a hair of your
head shall be lost.
“By your Patience possess your soul!”
✶ “... they will ... persecute you...” THIS PASSAGE IS READ WHEN WILL INSTINCTIVELY RECOGNISE IT AS BEING PURE AND
WE COMMEMORATE HOLY MARTYRS. BELIEVABLE.
 OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST PREPARED HIS HOLY APOSTLES AND ✶ “...You will be betrayed...” EVEN BY THOSE WHO ARE NEAR AND
DISCIPLES FOR THE PERSECUTION that they would soon DEAR TO US because MOST PEOPLE – especially by
have to contend with and endure, even to the those who neither Fear God nor believe the dire
point of death. consequences of our sins – ARE SELFISH, GREEDY AND
✶ “...delivering you up to the Synagogues and prisons...” DRIVEN BY THEIR WICKED PASSIONS.
They would be ARRESTED AND CHARGED BY BOTH THE  On the contrary, FAITHFUL CHRISTIANS PROTECT, DEFEND
JEWISH LEADERS AND BY THE ROMAN AUTHORITIES, like AND EVEN GIVE UP THEIR LIFE FOR OTHERS BECAUSE OF OUR
our Lord Jesus Christ. LOVE FOR GOD AND EACH OTHER.
✶ “... brought before Kings and Rulers for My Name’s ✶ “... you will be hated...” for OUR TRUE FAITH IN GOD AND OUR
sake...” AS THE HOLY CHURCH OF CHRIST GREW AND LIFE IN CHRIST that EXPOSES THE FLAWS AND SINS OF
INCREASED THROUGHOUT THE KNOWN WORLD, THE NONBELIEVERS AND EVERY ASPECT OF PAGANISM.
APOSTLES AND DISCIPLES OF CHRIST WOULD FACE MORE  OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST COMMANDS US TO LOVE EVERYONE,
POWERFUL OPPONENTS WHO WERE DETERMINED TO DESTROY EVEN OUR ENEMIES, which might be difficult to fulfill
OUR TRUE FAITH. but WITH GOD’S ASSISTANCE – BY DIVINE GRACE - WE ARE
 THE CHRISTIAN COMMUNITIES WERE PERSECUTED BY ABLE TO DO THE IMPOSSIBLE.
SPIRITUALLY BLIND, IGNORANT AND MISGUIDED JEWISH ✶ “... not a hair... shall be lost...” means that OUR BODY AND
AND GENTILE PRIESTS WHO FEARED THE LOSS OF THEIR SOUL SHALL BE PERFECTED IF OR WHEN WE ARE MARTYRED
POWER OVER THE PEople, which also meant a great FOR OUR STEADFAST BELIEF IN CHRIST JESUS.
loss of financial, social and material privileges  AT THE GENERAL RESURRECTION, WE SHALL NOT BE JUDGED BY
and wealth. GOD Who will lead us into His Eternal Heavenly
 THESE ENEMIES OF CHRIST AND HIS DISCIPLES SHARED THE Kingdom for He is our Good Shepherd while we
SAME BASIC FEARS – MOST OF THEM BEING UNCONCERNED are His Reason-endowed Sheep.
WITH THE WELFARE OF THE PEOPLE under their  SOMETIMES HOLY MARTYRS ARE RESTORED TO FULL HEALTH SO
jurisdiction. THAT THEY MAY CONTINUE THEIR HOLY MISSION FOR THE
✶ “...not to meditate beforehand ... I will give you a mouth GLORY, HONOUR AND WORSHIP OF OUR LORD GOD.
and Wisdom...”.  When this has happened, MANY SOULS HAVE TURNED TO
 When we TRUST IMPLICITLY IN OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST AND GOD AND ACCEPTED OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST AND HIS
IN THE HOLY TRINITY - we need not worry about what DIVINE TRUTH, GLORIFYING AND WORSHIPPING OUR TRIUNE
we will say. ALMIGHTY GOD.
 WHEN WE ARE FULFILLING THE DIVINE WILL OF OUR HEAVENLY ✶ “By your Patience, possess your soul!” We must NEVER
FATHER, BEING WELL ENLIGHTENED AND TAUGHT BY OUR ALLOW FRUSTRATION, ANGER NOR ANY OTHER NEGATIVE
DIVINE SAVIOUR, GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT WILL GRANT US THE PASSION TO TAKE CONTROL OF US.
CORRECT AND APPROPRIATE WORDS TO SPEAK – whether in  PATIENCE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT AND POWERFUL HOLY
defence of our True Faith or to Enlighten and Teach VIRTUE that we ought to acquire for THEREBY WE CAN
others by the Grace of God. FULFIL OUR HOLY MISSION in this short lifespan.
✶ “...your adversaries will not be able to contradict or  PATIENCE IS A PROFOUND ASPECT OF DIVINE LOVE, as St Paul
resist...” This happened time and again described the Holy Attributes of Love.
throughout the ages of persecution.  PATIENCE ENABLES US TO ACHIEVE MUCH IN A POSITIVE,
 DIVINE TRUTH IS PERFECT TRUTH because ITS SOURCE IS THE HARMONIOUS AND PRODUCTIVE MANNER.
LORD OUR GOD.  WHATEVER OUR CIRCUMSTANCES, WE MUST STRIVE TO BE
 IF ONE “IOTA OR TITTLE” IS CHANGED, OMITTED OR ADDED TO, REMAIN PATIENT, for it is A POWERFUL SPIRITUAL WEAPON
IT IS NO LONGER THE ABSOLUTE TRUTH OF ALMIGHTY GOD. AGAINST ALL GRIEVOUS PASSIONS THAT ARE UNPRODUCTIVE
 THE WISDOM OF GOD IS ALSO IRREFUTABLE, no matter how AND HARMFUL.
much people might try to argue against it, or  By acquiring Steadfast Patience, WE REGAIN A LITTLE
distort the facts to suit themselves. MORE DIVINE LIKENESS that we lost in the Fall but for
 THE DIVINE TRUTH AND WISDOM OF GOD IS ETERNAL AND which we strive during this short lifespan.
NATURAL so when heard, seen or practised, OTHERS

ST PANTELEIMON, UNMERCENARY PHYSICIAN, WONDERWORKER & HOLY MARTYR 27 JULY 37


T H E S EC OND EP ISTLE OF S T P AUL TO S T T IMOTHY 2 : 1 – 10
THANKSGIVING & THE POWER OF GOD
Timothy, my Son: ... be strong in the Grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that Thou hast heard from me among
many witnesses, commit these to Faithful men who will be able to teach others also. Thou therefore must endure
hardship as a Good Soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in Warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this
life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. Also, if anyone competes in athletics, he is not Crowned
unless he competes according to the Rules. The hardworking Farmer must be first to partake of the crops.
Consider what I say - may the Lord grant Thee Understanding in all things. Remember that Jesus Christ, of the Seed of
David, was Raised from the dead according to my Gospel, for which I suffer trouble as an evildoer, even to the point
of chains. But the Word of God is not chained. Therefore, I endure all things for the sake of the Elect, that they also
may obtain the Salvation, which is in Christ Jesus with Eternal Glory.
✶ “...be strong in the Grace that is in Christ Jesus...” ✶ “...commit these to Faithful men who will be able to
 DIVINE GRACE IS BESTOWED UPON US WHEN WE ARE FIRMLY teach others also...”
COMMITTED TO THE DIVINE TRUTH of our Lord Jesus  St Paul established A CLEAR CHAIN OF FAITHFUL WITNESSES
Christ and WHEN WE EXERT OURSELVES TO THE GREATEST TO ORAL TRADITION.
DEGREE TO REALLY LIVE IN CHRIST. 1. Christian Tradition is FOR ALL BELIEVERS.
✶ “... the things that Thou hast heard from me...” St 2. Christian Tradition is “CATHOLIC” – UNIVERSAL
Timothy had been verbally instructed and 3. Christian Tradition BELONGS TO THE ENTIRE HOLY
Enlightened by St Paul. CHURCH OF CHRIST.
WE ALL NEED TO RECEIVE THE ORAL TRADITION OF CHRIST’S HOLY 4. Christian Tradition is TO BE MOST CAREFULLY PRESERVED
CHURCH – THE TEACHINGS OF CHRIST AND HIS HOLY APOSTLES IN DIVINE TRUTH AND SPIRITUAL PERFECTION
- BEFORE WE CAN POSSIBLY UNDERSTAND THE WRITTEN 5. Christian Tradition is to be PASSED DOWN TO ALL
TRADITION - HOLY SCRIPTURE AND THE INSPIRED WRITINGS GENERATIONS – WITHOUT ANY HINDRANCE, WITHOUT
OF OUR HOLY FATHERS. ANY CHANGE AND WITHOUT INCORRECT
✶ “... many witnesses...” Without being properly INTERPRETATIONS
Enlightened by THOSE WHO HAVE ACTUAL SPIRITUAL  This stands IN CLEAR CONTRAST TO THE ELITISM OF THE
ST
EXPERIENCE AND TRUE KNOWLEDGE, or who teach by MAJOR RELIGIONS OF THE 1 CENTURY Roman world,
Divine Grace, WE CANNOT CORRECTLY COMPREHEND DIVINE including Gnosticism and the various ‘mysterious
TRUTH. religions.’
 WE ARE INTELLECTUAL BEINGS WHO HAVE A LIMITED CAPACITY ✶ “... endure hardship as a Good Soldier of Christ...”
THAT RESTRICTS OUR UNDERSTANDING to aspects of life  FAITHFUL MINISTRY REQUIRES FIRMLY ESTABLISHED AND
that are mundane, mathematical and scientific VOLUNTARY DISCIPLINE:
BUT MYSTIFIES US CONCERNING ANYTHING PHENOMENAL 1. OBEDIENCE
AND SPIRITUAL. 2. SELF-DENIAL
 Once we have been ENLIGHTENED AND ILLUMINED, 3. SPIRITUAL STRUGGLE
REGENERATED AND RESTORED, WE ARE ABLE TO RECEIVE ✶ “... enlisted... soldier... competes in athletics... hard-
AND TO UNDERSTAND THINGS THAT ARE HOLY, working farmer...” St Paul used these type of
SUPERNATURAL AND UNIMAGINABLE, PERTAINING TO GOD people as GOOD EXAMPLES FOR US TO EMULATE BECAUSE
AND ETERNITY. THEY CONSTANTLY STRIVE WITH ALL THEIR BEING TO
ACHIEVE THEIR GOALS.
T H E H OLY G OSPEL ACCO R D ING TO S T J OH N 15 : 17 – 16 : 2
UNION & COMMUNION WITH OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
At that time, our Lord Jesus said to His Disciples: “... these things I command you, that you Love one another. If the
world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its
own. Because you are not of the world for I chose you out of the world, the world hates you. Remember the
Word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his Master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute
you. If they kept My Word, they will keep yours also. But all these thing they will do to you for My Name’s sake,
because they do not know Him Who sent Me.
“If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin. Now they have no excuse for their sin. He who
hates Me also hates My Father. If I had not done the Works among them - which no one else did – they would
have no sin. Now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father. Yet this happened so that the Word
might be fulfilled, which is written in their Law: ‘They hated Me without a cause.’
”When the Helper comes – Whom I shall sent to you from the Father – the Spirit of Truth Who proceeds from the
Father – He will Testify of Me. And you, too, will bear witness, for you have been with Me from the beginning.”
“These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble. They will put you out of the
Synagogues. But the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he serves God.”
✶ “...the World...” is used in several distinct ways in Holy  ACCORDING TO OUR HEAVENLY FATHER’S WILL, OUR LORD
Scripture, usually pertaining to THE FALLEN STATE OF JESUS CHRIST SENT THE HOLY SPIRIT TO EMPOWER AND
MANKIND. ENABLE US FOR OUR ETERNAL SALVATION.
 In some cases, it refers to ALL THAT IS GLORIOUS, BEAUTIFUL  GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT ETERNALLY EXCLUSIVELY PROCEEDS
AND REDEEMABLE IN GOD’S WONDROUS CREATION. FROM GOD THE FATHER – HE RECEIVES HIS ETERNAL
 At other times, it refers to THAT WHICH IS FINITE IN EXISTENCE ONLY FROM GOD THE FATHER, which
CONTRAST TO THAT WHICH IS ETERNAL. conforms with Christ’s Words and our Confession of
 J O H N 8 : 2 3 – “(Christ) said to the Judeans: ‘You are Faith in the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed.
from beneath; I Am from Above. You are of this  THE SOURCE – THE DIVINE FOUNTAINHEAD – OF BOTH PERSONS
world. I Am not of this world.” OF GOD THE SON AND GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT – IS GOD THE
 “The world” indicates ALL THAT IS IN REBELLION AGAINST FATHER.
THE LORD OUR GOD, WHICH REVEALS SEVERAL ASPECTS:  OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST HAS GRANTED US THESE DIVINE
1. WHILE UNION WITH CHRIST BRINGS US HIS LOVE, TRUTH AND REVELATIONS TO TEACH US AND TO REVEAL HIS ETERNAL,
PEACE, IT ALSO BRINGS US PERSECUTION, because ABSOLUTE AND PERFECT TRUTH so that we will
WICKEDNESS HATES LOVE AND TRUTH. UNDERSTAND THEM FULLY AND ARE ABLE TO DIFFERENTIATE
2. THE WORLD HATED CHRIST SO THEREFORE IT HATES ALL WHO BETWEEN HIS DIVINE TRUTH AND MAN’S FLAWED, LIMITED
TRY TO BE CHRIST-LIKE – i.e. Christian. AND ERRONEOUS IDEAS.
3. THE WORLD HATES BECAUSE IT NEITHER KNOWS NOR DESIRES TO  OUR LORD GOD DOES NOT WANT US TO BE DECEIVED AND
KNOW GOD THE FATHER. MISLED by lies and deceptions that can cause our
 HATRED FOR OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST IS UTTERLY IRRATIONAL, Fall from Divine Grace, Spiritual Death, confusion,
ILLOGICAL AND UNREASONABLE for He brings all frustration and alienation from God and all His
humanity His infinite Divine Love and Great Goodness.
Mercy, so, as prophesied so many centuries  KNOWLEDGE IS INDEED POWER – so WE MUST ALWAYS MEASURE
before: OUR GREAT SAVIOUR IS “...hated without a EVERYTHING WE SEE, HEAR OR THINK, AGAINST THE DIVINE
cause!!” TRUTH.
✶ ”... the Helper... the Spirit of Truth...” is God the Holy  We must ALWAYS BE READY TO FACE ANIMOSITY AND
Spirit, the Third Person of the Holy Trinity. PERSECUTION, CONFIDENT IN OUR FAITH.

38 ST PANTELEIMON, UNMERCENARY PHYSICIAN, WONDERWORKER & HOLY MARTYR 27 JULY


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 (5) PLAGAL 1 28 JULY 2019
6TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 6TH OF ST MATTHEW
THE PARALYTIC & HIS FRIENDS
The Feast of ST PROCHOROS, ST NIKANOR, ST TIMON & ST PARMENAS, DEACONS OF THE 70
HOLY APOSTLES – St Irene Chrysovalonta– St Paul, Founder of Xeropotamou Monastery,
Mount Athos – St Pitirim, Bishop of Tambov – St Moses the Wonderworker of the Kiev
Caves Monastery – St Julian of Dalmatia – St Eustathios of Apamea – St Akakios of
Apamea
THE SUNDAY AND FESTAL HYMNS ARE PUBLISHED IN BOOKLET FORM EACH MONTH. THESE ARE PUBLISHED AND FREELY
DOWNLOADABLE ON www.scribd.com/writers4574. LINKS ARE ALSO POSTED ON FACEBOOK “ORTHODOX
CHRISTIAN EASTERN CAPE.” (OR CAN BE EMAILED DIRECTLY, ON REQUEST TO marguerite.paizis@gmail.com)

R ESUR REC TION G OSPEL 6 - L UKE 24 : 35 – 53

P R OKE IME NON – P SALM 11/12 – T ONE (5) P L AGAL 1


Thou, O Lord, shalt Guard us; Thou shalt Preserve us from this generation forever.
Save me, O Lord, for the Holy have ceases – the Truthful are diminished from among the sons of mankind.

T H E E PISTLE OF S T P AUL TO TH E R OM ANS 12 : 6 – 14


Brethren: ...having Gifts differing according to the Grace that is granted to us, let us use them: if Prophecy, let us
prophesy in proportion to our Faith; or Ministry, let us use it in our ministering; those who teach, in their Teaching,
those who exhort, in exhortations; those who give, with liberality; those who lead, with diligence; those who show
Mercy, with cheerfulness. Let Love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly
affectionate to one another with Brotherly Love, in Honour, giving preference to one another – serving the Lord;
rejoicing in Hope, Patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in Prayer; distributing to the needs of the Saints,
given to Hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you – Bless and do not curse.
✶ “...having Gifts differing according to the Grace...” refers  WHILE FAITHFUL BELIEVERS ARE JUSTIFIED BY FAITH, OUR FAITH
to THE DIVINE GIFTS THAT ARE BESTOWED on each of us IS INTIMATELY UNITED TO GOOD WORKS, which are
WHEN WE RECEIVE HOLY BAPTISM AND CHRISMATION TO GENUINE AND SINCERE EXPRESSIONS OF OUR TRUE FAITH IN
ENABLE US TO FULFIL OUR SACRED MISSION during this short, AND LOVE OF GOD.
preparatory lifespan.  FAITH AND GOOD DEEDS OR WORKS CANNOT BE SEPARATED –
 THE DIVINE GIFTS ARE BESTOWED ON US BY GOD THE HOLY we cannot have one without the other!!
SPIRIT, ACCORDING TO THE DIVINE WILL OF OUR HEAVENLY ✶ “...Love... without hypocrisy... abhor...evil... cling to...
FATHER. good..” St Paul concisely explains THE SACRED
 THE DIVINE GIFTS EMPOWER US by granting us THE REQUIREMENTS OF BEING A FAITHFUL DISCIPLE OF CHRIST.
NECESSARY ‘SPIRITUAL EQUIPMENT’ FOR DEVELOPING GOOD  AVOID ANY FORM OF HYPOCRISY, FOR CHRIST ABHORRED ITS
RELATIONSHIPS WITH GOD AND WITH EACH OTHER. WICKEDNESS.
✶ “...let us use them...” means that HAVING “...PUT ON  Detest any form of sin, but LOVE SINNERS FOR THEY NEED
CHRIST...” AT OUR HOLY BAPTISM, WE NOW LIVE IN ENLIGHTENMENT AND GOOD EXAMPLES, ASSISTANCE,
CHRIST AS HIS DISCIPLES who Struggle consistently to SPIRITUAL GUIDANCE, AND ENCOURAGEMENT.
regain our Spiritual Perfection with which we were  HOLD ON TIGHTLY TO ANYTHING THAT IS GENUINELY GOOD,
created. WORTHY AND HONOURABLE.
 WE MUST LIVE, DEVELOP AND SUSTAIN our close and ✶ “... Brotherly Love...” is HONOURABLE and “... kindly
Faithful Relationship with our Triune God and with affectionate...”
each other, IN HIS HOLY CHURCH, which is the  ALWAYS PUTS THE NEEDS OF OTHERS BEFORE ONESELF.
Sacred Body of Christ. ✶ “... serving our Lord... rejoicing in Hope...Patient...
 St Paul lists the various Divine Gifts granted to each Steadfast in Prayer... Hospitality...” describes OUR
person, exhorting us to USE EVERYTHING GOD GRANTS DAILY NECESSITIES CONCERNING OUR ATTITUDE,
US TO THE BEST OF OUR ABILITY. BEHAVIOUR, SPEECH AND VOLUNTARY DUTIES TO GOD AND
 THIS IS ONLY POSSIBLE WITH HUMILITY, SOBER THOUGHTS, AND TO EACH OTHER.
PROPER USE OF SPIRITUAL GIFTS, which are GRANTED TO ✶ “... Bless.. not curse...” As imitators of Christ, we must
US BY THE DIVINE GRACE OF GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT. NEVER CURSE ANYONE but rather BLESS THEM AND PRAY FOR
 FAITHFUL AND TRUE CHRISTIAN MINISTRY REQUIRES US TO THEM.
FUNCTION TOGETHER IN ALL OUR DIVERSITY – combining  We must always keep in mind that WHATEVER WE DO TO
all our Holy Gifts that have been granted to us by OTHERS WILL BE RETURNED TO US A HUNDRED TIMES MORE!
God.  Therefore, we must ensure that WHATEVER WE THINK,
 THE SEVEN HOLY GIFTS OF DIVINE GRACE THAT ST PAUL SPEAK OR DO IS WORTHY, HONOURABLE AND GOOD.
MENTIONED SHOULD NOT BE UNDERSTOOD AS BEING  If we ALWAYS TREAT OTHERS AS WE WOULD LIKE TO BE TREATED,
EXHAUSTIVE. we will BECOME WORTHY DISCIPLES OF CHRIST AND GOOD
 GOD’S INFINITE GIFTS OF DIVINE GRACE as mentioned CITIZENS of His Heavenly Kingdom of Love.
above REPRESENT ONLY SOME OF THE INFINITE DIVINE  Our Lord severely cautioned us about HOW WE BEHAVE
GIFTS OF GRACE that God has granted to His Faithful TOWARDS EACH OTHER, THE CONSEQUENCES OF WHICH WILL
Flock. EITHER BLESS OR CONDEMN US ETERNALLY!
T H E H OLY G OSPEL ACCO R D ING TO S T M ATTHE W 9 : 1 – 8
THE FAITH OF A PARALYTIC & HIS FOUR FRIENDS
At that time, our Lord Jesus got into a boat, crossed over, and went to His own city. And, behold: they brought to Him a
Paralytic lying on a bed. And seeing their Faith, Jesus said to the Paralytic: “Son, be of good cheer – your sins are
forgiven you.” And behold: at once some of the Scribes said within themselves: “He Blasphemes!” And Jesus –

6TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 6TH OF ST MATTHEW – PARALYTIC & FRIENDS – 28 JULY 2019 39
knowing their thoughts – said: “Why do you think evil in your heart? For which is easier: to say: ‘Your sins are
forgiven you,’ or to say: ‘Arise, and walk?’ But that you may know that the Son of Man has Power on Earth to
forgive sins...” He said to the Paralytic: “Take up your bed, and go to your house.” And he stood up, and departed
to his house. Beholding this Miracle, the multitude marvelled and Glorified God Who had granted such Power to
men.
✶ “...went to His own city ...” OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST HAD SET  It refers to the fact that OUR LORD, HAVING TAKEN ON THE
UP HIS ‘HOME BASE’ IN CAPERNAUM after departing from ALL PURE FLESH AND BLOOD OF THE EVER BLESSED VIRGIN
His home in the small, mountainous hamlet of MARY – our All Holy Lady, Theotokos/Mother of God
Nazareth, where the Spiritually Blind wanted to – BECAME GOD-MAN in order to live in our midst, to
hurl Him off a cliff and stone Him to death for Heal, Cleanse and Teach us His Divine Truth,
alleged “blasphemy.” thereby granting us Eternal Salvation.
 CAPERNAUM WAS A FISHING VILLAGE LOCATED ON THE  THE SON OF GOD BECAME THE SON OF MAN(KIND) – our Lord
NORTHERN SHORE OF THE SEA OF GALILEE, where St God Who is Eternal, invisible, infinite, incorporeal
Matthew Levi, the former Tax Collector lived. (bodiless), Spirit, became our visible, physical
 Our Lord might have stayed with St Matthew or His Divine Saviour Who voluntarily took on our human
other Faithful Disciples who lived there. condition for 33 years, before His Death,
 IT WAS NOT FAR FROM BETHSAIDA, where St Simon Peter, St Resurrection and Ascension.
Andrew, St James and St John resided.  OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST PROVES HIS DIVINE TRUTH BY MEANS
 MANY ACCOUNTS OF OUR LORD’S EARTHLY LIFE OCCURRED AT OF HIS OWN PERFECT EXAMPLE – by His Life, by His
CAPERNAUM. Death and by His Resurrection, as well as His
✶ “...they brought to Him a Paralytic...” St Mark and St Ascension.
Luke provided a more detailed account of this  WE, TOO, CAN LIVE EXACTLY AS HE TAUGHT US TO DO, no
particular Paralytic and his four friends. longer fearing death, which is the means of
Being UNABLE TO GET CLOSE TO OUR LORD DUE TO THE MULTITUDE leaving this short existence, entering a state of
who filled the house and the courtyard, THE FOUR physical Repose and Spiritual Sleep before our
FRIENDS CARRIED THE PALLET WITH THE PARALYTIC ONTO THE Resurrection and Eternal Life.
ROOF OF THE HOUSE, MADE A LARGE HOLE IN THE SUN BAKED ✶ “...the multitude marvelled and Glorified God...” THOSE
ROOF AND THEN LOWERED THE PARALYSED MAN into the WHO HAD PURE HEARTS ACCEPTED OUR LORD’S DIVINE
Presence of Christ our Lord. TRUTH, AND CONTINUED AS HIS FAITHFUL DISCIPLES who
✶ “... seeing their Faith... “ Christ Healed the Paralytic. shared our great Spiritual Treasure with others.
 FAITH IS AN INDISPENSABLE AND ESSENTIAL ELEMENT OF  THEY SINCERELY GLORIFIED GOD.
SALVATION .  THOSE WHO WERE AFRAID OF LOSING EITHER THEIR POWER OR
 TRUE FAITH IS COLLECTIVE AS WELL AS PERSONAL FEARFUL OF LOSING THEIR UNBENEFICIAL MATERIAL GOODS
 THE FAITH OF THE PARALYTIC’S FRIENDS ALSO HELPED IN HIS AND SOCIAL STATUS, PLOTTED AND SCHEMED AGAINST
HEALING. CHRIST and His Faithful Disciples.
✶ “...knowing their thoughts...” AS OUR DIVINE CREATOR, OUR  THE EVIL ONE ALWAYS USES MANKIND’S WEAKNESSES AGAINST
LORD JESUS CHRIST IMMEDIATELY KNOWS OUR THOUGHTS, US
FOR NOTHING CAN BE HIDDEN FROM HIM!  Thus ALL GRIEVOUS PASSIONS ARE DESTRUCTIVE AND MUST BE
 THREE SIGNS OF OUR LORD’S DIVINITY ARE EVIDENT: IMMEDIATELY ROOTED OUT AND REPENTED.
1. HE KNOWS OUR MOST SECRET THOUGHTS - such as those  THOSE WHO DID NOT GRASP THE DIVINE TRUTH THAT CHRIST IS
of the hypocritical Scribes and Pharisees, INDEED GOD, PRAISED GOD FOR GRANTING SUCH
2. HE FORGIVES SINS – a Divine Power that belongs to MIRACULOUS POWERS TO SUCH A “MAN.”
God alone. They stubbornly refused to accept the Truth that our
3. HE HEALS MERELY BY THE DIVINE POWER OF HIS WORD! Lord Jesus Christ is indeed the Eternal Son of God
✶ “... the Son of Man...” is a reference to or Title of the and the Great Divine Messiah/Saviour of mankind.
INCARNATE, ETERNAL, ONLY BEGOTTEN SON AND WORD OF
GOD.
6 T H
S U ND AY AF TE R P E NTEC OST – 6 T H
S U ND AY OF S T M ATTHE W – THE P AR ALY TIC & H IS F R IE NDS

✞ In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the but by responding faithfully to the Merciful Grace of
Holy Spirit. our Divine Saviour.
Dearly Beloved Brethren in Christ, There are surely many Today’s Sacred Gospel Lesson gives us a clear example of
people who have little interest in the Christian Faith what it means to Encounter our Lord in this manner.
because the Christians they know do not seem to be Our Lord Jesus Christ did not only forgive the paralyzed
different from anyone else. man’s sins. He also provided visible proof to those
That can easily be used as an excuse not to believe, but it who doubted or rejected His Divine Authority by
is also perfectly understandable when people are not enabling the former Paralytic to stand up, carry his
attracted to something that does not appear to make bed, and walk home.
much of a positive difference. Our Lord’s Miraculous Healing of the man’s soul was not
St Paul made it very clear in his Epistle to the Roman an invisible act that was somehow totally separate
Christian Community that we must energetically use from the rest of his life.
the Gifts granted to us by our Lord, which is another His Miraculously Renewed Health was a visible Sign of his
way of saying that we must be actively faithful, Restoration as a whole human being who was
regardless of what our particular abilities may be. created in God’s Image and Likeness.
Those who follow his advice will not simply blend in with Our Lord Jesus Christ Restored his freedom, his strength,
the larger culture of any age, but will instead become and his integrity as an embodied person, and He
vivid Icons of what God’s Salvation means for human also commanded him to live accordingly by doing
beings. what the Paralytic could never have done by his own
St Paul urged us to be sincere, Faithful Disciples of Christ strength and will - to stand up, pick up his bed, and
by showing Love, Mercy, and Honour to all our then walk home.
neighbours as we cling tightly onto what is Good and Whether we recognize it or not, that is the Will of our Lord
to strictly avoid anything that is evil, unworthy, for each and every one of us.
dishonourable or destructive. Our Divine Saviour came to Heal our physical ailments
He instructed us to respond to difficult challenges with and Spiritual Corruption - to Strengthen us so that we
Hope, Patience, and Prayer - and just as Christ taught will not be enslaved by our sins and grievous
us - he reminded us to “Bless those who persecute you passions, and to Enable us to share fully in His
- Bless and do not.” Restoration of mankind in the Divine Image and
Obedience to these Sacred Teachings demands a deep Likeness as the New Adam.
commitment that extends from the very depths of our Even as our Lord Jesus rose bodily from the tomb and
soul to every thought, word, and deed, which is not Ascended to Heaven, He Enables us to serve Him
something we accomplish simply by our own power, faithfully in our own body by undertaking the

406 SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 6TH ST MATTHEW – PARALYTIC & FRIENDS – 28 JULY 2019
T H
OF
practical challenges that confront us in this So, Christ first forgave the Paralytic’s sins, thereby Healing
temporary world. and Cleansing him of the corruption that reached to
He not only forgave the sins of the Paralytic, but also the depths of his soul, which prevented his personal
Empowered him, and commanded him to embrace a Union with God.
New Life. Our Salvation is an infinite Journey, for in order for us to
He does the same for us - calling us to pursue a Life of become as close as possible to the Spiritual Perfection
Holiness - a Life that displays the Healing of every of our Heavenly Father, is our Sacred Calling that has
dimension of our humanity to this world. no limit.
We soon enter the two-week period known as “the The Restored Paralytic began his Salvific Journey by
Dormition Fast” (1 August – 15 August), when we standing up, carrying his bed, and walking home.
Commemorate the end of the earthly life of the Most Our Divine Saviour granted him the necessary Healing
Holy Theotokos. and Cleansing that enabled him to take that first step.
By abstaining from the richest and most satisfying foods, All that is required of us is to co-operate with our Lord
and especially by striving to fulfil the ongoing Jesus Christ by obeying His Commandments and
Spiritual Fast, we ought to devote ourselves to Prayer Teachings so that we can Spiritually Progress and
and Repentance. Sustain ourselves as we Journey towards Eternity –
We must emulate the Good Example of our Lady, the All one step at a time.
Holy Theotokos, who declared to God: “Behold, the We are all exactly like that former Paralytic, because we
Handmaiden of the Lord! Let It be to me according suffer the debilitating helplessness of Spiritual
to Thy Word...” when the Archangel of God, St Paralysis until we are Cleansed, Healed and
Gabriel, announced that She was to become the Empowered beyond our own abilities, in Christ Jesus
Virgin Mother of the Eternal, Only Begotten Son of Who commands us to move forward.
God. By the Holy Mysteries of Baptism and Chrismation, we
We must follow Her Good Example for She lived every day receive everything necessary to begin our Great, Holy
of Her Life in humble Obedience to the Will of God, Pilgrimage to the Heavenly Kingdom of Divine Love.
and had so Joyfully welcomed our Lord Jesus Christ Our Lord Jesus Christ constantly Nourishes and Sustains
as His Living Temple. us with His own Precious, Life-giving Body and Blood
At Her Dormition, the Ever Blessed Mother of God of the Holy Eucharist, and He Cleanses and Heals us
followed Her Beloved Son – as a whole, embodied when we Repent and Confess our sins, and when we
person – into His Heavenly Kingdom. seek Forgiveness and His Great Mercy whenever we
Consequently, She is the first Perfected Christian whose stumble, fall or wander from His Path of
entire Lifestyle of Humility and Obedience to God Righteousness.
alone, we ought to imitate to the best of our ability. We cannot undertake this Salvific Journey alone, but
Unfortunately, most of us are not at all like our All Pure linked together as Sanctified, Struggling Members of
Lady, Theotokos. His Holy Body – His Holy Militant Church - who
Instead of devoting ourselves with Humility and Mystically and most gratefully partake of His
Obedience to the Will of our Heavenly Father, as well Heavenly Banquet during every Divine Liturgy.
as to Prayer and Purity, we are captivated and On a daily basis, we receive further Spiritual Strength and
enslaved by our grievous passions, and every type of Healing through our Prayers, by reading and
temptation and sin. contemplating Holy Scripture as well as the Life and
Our worldly attachments may not be bad in and of Teachings of the Saints, which we then apply to our
themselves, but in our corrupt state we have own thoughts, words and deeds.
developed unholy relationships with them, which At first, it is difficult for anyone who has been extremely ill
weakens and Spiritually Paralyses us. for very long periods - to begin leading an active life
Although we resolve not to commit anything that is once again.
negative or harmful - despite detesting bad attitudes Likewise, it is quite difficult for us to begin an active
or behaviour - we all, too often, lack the strength, Spiritual Life in Christ, which is required of us to in
knowledge or ability to avoid doing so for we have order to participate in the Fullness of Christ’s Healing
become Spiritually Paralysed, lying helplessly on our and Restoration, so we must take it one small step at a
bed of sin. time, doing the best we can each day as we slowly
When the four friends had lowered the Paralytic into the become Stronger.
Presence of our Lord Jesus Christ, He did not During the Dormition Fast, let us look to the Ever Blessed
immediately Heal him of his physical paralysis, but Theotokos as our greatest Example to emulate.
first forgave him his sins, which is extremely And let us use the Disciplines of the Dormition Fast to
significant. develop a greater sense of our constant dependence
WE CANNOT RECEIVE NOR ACQUIRE OUR OWN FORGIVENESS AND upon the Mercy of Christ even as we step forward in
SALVATION BY DOING GOOD DEEDS OR BY OBEYING THE DIVINE Faithfulness.
LAWS because if that were at all possible, we would That is how, by God’s Grace, we may become vivid Icons
not need our Divine Saviour to conquer sin and death of the Healing and Salvation that the world so
on our behalf. desperately needs.
Similar to any Paraplegic who has lost the ability to stand Amen
up and to walk, we lack the ability to free ourselves Father Philip LeMasters
from our slavery to sin caused by disobedience to our https://blogs.ancientfaith.com/easternchristianinsights/201
Lord God. 6/07/31
We are unable to Resurrect ourselves in order to
participate in the Eternal Life of God, having been
created in His Image and Likeness.
S T J OH N C HRY SOSTOM – O N THE H OLY AND BL E SSED I NSTITU TION OF M AR R IAGE
Today, when the institution of Marriage – and morality 5. Do you devote time to being together and
in general - is in crisis all over the world, it might talking calmly - from what is left over (from
be useful to look at the Inspired Words of our Holy our daily commitments and responsibilities)?
Church Fathers as Guides to Life. 6. Or are you perhaps indifferent to the interests
In an article in Pemptousia Magazine (No. 25), Elder and problems of your spouse and let your
Ephraim, the Abbot of the Monastery of Vatopaidi, tongue run loose?
puts questions to those of us who are married: In seeking answers to these significant questions, we
1. How well do you communicate? ought to contemplate the Inspired Wisdom of Saint
2. Do you talk to each other? John Chrysostom :
3. Do you share your thoughts? “Communication - verbal or otherwise - is the
4. What actions do you take regarding your foundation of Married Life.
everyday communication?

6TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 6TH OF ST MATTHEW – PARALYTIC & FRIENDS – 28 JULY 2019 41
“The most important factor in communication is “’This is what St Paul advised when he taught us that
discussion on issues to do with the couple’s a husband does not choose what to do with his
common life and the family. body, his wife does, so if I do not have control
“It is good if the discussion can take place even over my own body, but you do, how much
comfortably - each person respecting the other - more is everything else yours?’”
in an atmosphere of freedom, equality and Love. St John Chrysostom continued his advice to husbands:
“Only then can a solution be found in the event of a “... Never talk prosaically, but with Kindness,
disagreement or conflict.“ Honour and a great deal of Love.
According to Saint John Chrysostom, THERE IS NOTHING “Honour her and she will not find herself in the
MORE BITTER THAN A QUARREL BETWEEN TWO PEOPLE WHO position of needing to seek it elsewhere.
LOVE EACH OTHER, FOR WHEN WE DISAGREE WITH A PART OF “She should be first in your estimation in all things: in
OURSELVES, THAT MUST NECESSARILY CAUSE GREAT beauty, in good sense, and in someone to praise.
BITTERNESS. “You should make it clear that you enjoy her
Saint John recognized that THE MANNER OF company and that you would rather stay at home
COMMUNICATION NEEDS CAREFUL ATTENTION IF CONFLICT with her than go into town (or be elsewhere).
IS TO BE AVOIDED. “You should prefer her over all your friends, even over
In other words, THE WAY PEOPLE SPEAK IS IMPORTANT FOR THE any children she has given you and whom you
OUTCOME OF THE DISCUSSION. Love for her sake.”.
St John Chrysostom strongly advised all husbands: Saint John Chrysostom pointed out that “...where there
“ ... Speak words of Love, (such as,) ‘I value your Love is a man and a woman and children, Concord
above all else and there is nothing more painful and Friendship, and where they are linked by the
for me than to be at odds with you. Sacred Bonds of Holy Virtue, there, in their midst,
“’If I have to lose everything - if I find myself in the is our Lord Jesus Christ.”’ (On Genesis).
greatest danger - I can bear whatever happens
to me, as long as you are all right. KLAIRI MAVROMATOU-HATZIKONTI
“’I Love our children very much, since you are fond of (FIRST PUBLISHED IN THE NEWSPAPER EMBROS, MYTILENE)
me. WWW.PEMPTOUSIA.COM

“’Everything is yours.
F ATHE R AN DR EAS A GATH OKLE OU S – O N OU R “GO OD I M AGE ”
It is not unusual for us to be very concerned that others The Holy Gospels mention the negative experiences of
should have a ‘good image’ (or a good opinion) of us. our Lord Jesus Christ - His frustration, His
This demonstrates a sad lack of Self-awareness, Humility abandonment, and His pain - even though these were
and Sincerity. followed by His Great Triumph and Victory by the time
In the depths of our being, the dominant passion is one of they were recorded.
egotism - the root cause of vanity. Although St Peter’s denial of Christ and St Paul’s
In other words, it is a state of Spiritual Imbalance in persecution of His Faithful Disciples are also recorded
which we have become dependent on the opinions of in the Holy Gospels, these two Saints became the most
others - taking them seriously into account and acting prominent and Faithful of all Christ’s Holy Apostles.
accordingly. Holy Tradition tells us about harlots, despised tax-
This causes us to ignore our True Self that consists of our collectors, robbers and criminals who became Saints -
personal weaknesses and our Gifts – and we also Transformed by their personal Repentance and
ignore the fickleness of others, who are quick to unwavering Faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and His
change their views. Divine Truth.
Furthermore - and most significantly - we ignore the Love They themselves spoke about their ‘former life’ -
of our Heavenly Father, Who is the only constant we accepting and even seeking contempt from those
have - whoever we may be. who knew them.
It is a well-observed fact that those of us who know In order for us to really experience the True Freedom of
ourselves and humbly accept our inability to change, being God’s adopted Children and Co-Heirs with
do not desperately seek the ‘good opinion’ of others. Christ our Lord, and the Joy of Life in Christ, the Holy
Neither, of course, do we reject it disdainfully. Church calls us to cast off the false image we have
We know that no opinion concerning our person - invented of ourselves, which we wanted others to
whether positive or negative - can change us, unless accept - not with external actions or feverish efforts,
that is what we want. but with True Humility and sincere contrition that
We also know that, in the blink of an eye, “Hosanna!”’ can leads to our full Repentance – that leads to our New
change into “Let Him be crucified!” - even when this is Life in Christ and to our own Resurrection from the
not a true reflection of events. dead that grants us Eternal Life in God’s Heavenly
Tension, turmoil, the denial of any inability or weakness, Kingdom.
insincerity and hypocrisy are the symptoms of the Only then will a real, New ‘Good Image’ emerge from
Spiritual Sickness of egoism and vanity. within us – a genuine Good Image of “...our New
Egoism and its bitter fruits have a most negative effect on Self...” that is “...made in accordance with Christ...”
our soul and body, which is the reason for most of us which grants us Peace of mind and soul.
to seek or invent a ‘good image’ of ourselves in order Consequently, without any false effort on our part,
to be well-liked by others and to gain their ‘respect’ everyone else will see our Restored Image and
and regard. Likeness, and will thereby be encouraged, and
However, it does not grant us any of the True Joy and Consoled, together with us.
Freedom that is so Beneficial to the health of our body
and soul. FATHER ANDREAS AGATHOKLEOUS
WWW.PEMPTOUSIA.COM
T H E E TE R NAL , I NSP IR ED W ISD OM OF OU R H OLY FA THE R S
S T BA SIL THE G RE AT Those who are seduced by human ‘glory’, do not render
Those who, with powerful and correct thinking, have any Glory and Honour to God, nor do those who
been able to study and understand each of the worship money or those who seek the pleasures of the
created things and, having done so, are able to pass flesh. Nor do those who admire and follow dogmas
on to others everything to do with God’s Goodness and that are foreign to Godliness.
His Just Judgement, are those who render Glory and S T P OR PHY R IOS OF K AVSOKALY V IA
Honour to our Lord God, as do those who Live a Life We must not look at what is happening to us, but look
that conforms to such study and Contemplation of our rather to the Divine Light of Christ, just as children
Lord God’s Creation. look to their Mothers when something happens.
The Light – the Radiant Example – of such people shines We must look at everything without anxiety, without
before others and, in this manner, they Glorify our worry, without pressure and, instead of surrendering
Heavenly Father with their words and Works, and with to any type of apprehension, we will joyfully praise
various acts of generosity. the Lord our God.
42. 6TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 6TH SUNDAY OF ST MATTHEW – PARALYTIC & FRIENDS – 8 JULY 2018