Sunday of the Blind Man
[Sixth Sunday of Pascha]
June 2, 2019
“Let us believers praise and worship the Word; coeternal with the Father and the Spirit, born of the Virgin for our salvation. For, He took pleasure in ascending the Cross in the flesh to suffer death; and to raise the dead by His glorious Resurrection.”
+ Resurrectional Apolytikion in Tone 5
From the Synaxarion (What is that?)
On June 2 in the Holy Orthodox Church, we commemorate Nikephoros the Confessor, archbishop of Constantinople; New-martyrs Demetrios of Philadelphia, John of Trebizond, and Constantine of Athos.
On this day, the sixth Sunday of Pascha, we celebrate the miracle wrought by our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ upon the man who was blind from his birth.
O Light of Light most perfect, and Light-provider,
On the blind from birth, O Word, eyes Thou bestowest.
The Savior met this man, born blind and incurable after every human effort, while leaving the Temple on the Sabbath. Saints John Chrysostom, Basil the Great and Irenaeus teach that the man was born without eyes. Jesus spat into the dirt, made clay, rubbed it in his eye sockets and told him to wash in the pool of Siloam, a famous water spring in Jerusalem. The Savior did not send him there because his eye sockets were covered in clay, nor did the pool have healing power, but instead to test his faith and obedience. The blind man proclaimed that Jesus healed him, but this confession caused him to be cast out by the enemies of the truth. Even his own parents would not defend him. However, the blind man followed Jesus from that moment forward.
By Thine infinite mercy, O Christ our God, Giver of light, have mercy on us. Amen.
The Reading from the Acts of the Apostles. (16:16-34)
In those days, as we Apostles were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners much gain by soothsaying. She followed Paul and us, crying, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation.” And this she did for many days. But Paul was annoyed, and turned and said to the spirit, “I charge you in the Name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And it came out that very hour. But when her owners saw that their hope of gain was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the market place before the rulers; and when they had brought them to the magistrates they said, “These men are Jews and they are disturbing our city. They advocate customs which it is not lawful for us Romans to accept or practice.” The crowd joined in attacking them; and the magistrates tore the garments off them and gave orders to beat them with rods. And when they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into prison, charging the jailer to keep them safely. Having received this charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks. But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened and every one’s fetters were unfastened. When the jailer woke and saw that the prison doors were open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul cried with a loud voice, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.” And he called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas, and brought them out and said, “Men, what must I do to be saved?” And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their wounds, and he was baptized at once, with all his family. Then he brought them up into his house, and set food before them; and he rejoiced with all his household that he had believed in God.
The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. John. (9:1-38)
At that time, when Jesus was passing, He saw a man blind from his birth. And His Disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be made manifest in him. I must work the works of Him Who sent me, while it is day; night comes, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” As He said this, he spat on the ground and made clay of the spittle and anointed the man’s eyes with the clay, saying to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” [which means Sent]. So he went and washed and came back seeing. The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar, said, “Is not this the man who used to sit and beg?” Some said, “It is he”; others said, “No, but he is like him.” He said, “I am the man.” They said to him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” He answered, “The man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash’; so I went and washed and received my sight.” They said to him, “Where is He?” He said, “I do not know.” They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. Now it was a Sabbath day when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes. The Pharisees again asked him how he had received his sight. And he said to them, “He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.” Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for He does not keep the Sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” There was a division among them. So they again said to the blind man, “What do you say about Him, since He has opened your eyes?” He said, “He is a prophet.” The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight, until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight, and asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?” His parents answered, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; but how he now sees we do not know, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age, he will speak for himself.” His parents said this because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone should confess Him to be Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue. Therefore his parents said, “He is of age, ask him.” So for the second time they called the man who had been blind, and said to him, “Give God the praise; we know that this man is a sinner.” He answered, “Whether He is a sinner, I do not know; one thing I know, that though I was blind, now I see.” They said to him, “What did He do to you? How did He open your eyes?” He answered them, “I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you too want to become His disciples?” And they reviled him, saying, “You are His disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where He comes from.” The man answered, “Why, this is a marvel! You do not know where He comes from, and yet He opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, God listens to him. Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind. If this man were not from God, He could do nothing.” They answered him, “You were born in utter sin, and would you teach us?” And they cast him out. Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him He said, “Do you believe in the Son of God?” He answered, “And Who is He, Sir, that I may believe in Him?” Jesus said to him, “You have seen Him, and it is He who speaks to you.” He said, “Lord, I believe”; and he worshiped Him.
“BUILDING” OUR FUTURE
A note from Fr. Paul Girgis and Elias Hebeka
Dear St. Paul Church family,
Christ is risen! Truly He is risen!
Looking ahead to the promising future of St. Paul, the Parish Council has formed a Building Committee to explore the options available to accommodate the continued steady growth (spiritually, physically and socially) of our parish.
The Building Committee consists of:
Steve Jackson – Chair
Rdr. Demetri Agoristas
The goal of the committee is to explore the feasibility of building a climate-controlled Fellowship Hall, determine a suitable and convenient location, size, amenities and in a style that complements the architecture of our present beautiful church building. God willing, this new building will replace the pavilion as the main parish social space.
Through the prayers of the holy Apostle Paul – our patron and protector – the Building Committee is moving prayerfully, cautiously and responsibly. As such, periodic updates will be provided to the Parish family as the exploration and feasibility progresses.
May it be blessed.
Fr. Paul Girgis Elias Hebeka
Presiding Priest Parish Council Chair
Community Bible Study
If we don’t know our faith, how can we live it?
Join us in gathering together to learn about the Holy Scriptures through the lens of the Ancient Christian Faith.
This is not a lecture hour with Fr. Paul but rather a warm-discussion about the relevant reading and how it fits into our personal life, local community, and world.
This is how we learn about the Faith, which was “once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3).
Why is Great Vespers important?
“The service leads to the meditation of God’s word and the glorification of his love for men. It instructs and allows us to praise God for the particular events or persons whose memory is celebrated and made present to us in the Church. It prepares us for the sleep of the night and the dawn of the new day to come. On the eves of the Divine Liturgy, it begins the movement into the most perfect communion with God in the sacramental mysteries.”
Learn more about Great Vespers here
Metropolitan JOSEPH, Delegation in Russia for Two-week Pilgrimage
His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph of the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America spent the last two weeks with a delegation visiting Russia on pilgrimage and to reaffirm the brotherly love and support between the Patriarchate of Antioch and the Patriarchate of Moscow.
Wednesday (June 5): Leave-Taking of PASCHA
Preparation Prayers: 9:00AM
Divine Liturgy: 9:30AM
Thursday (June 6): Great & Holy Ascension of Christ
Festal Orthros: 8:30AM
Divine Liturgy: 9:30AM