Fifth Sunday After Pentecost & Fifth Sunday of Matthew
Righteous Fathers John of Edessa in Mesopotamia and Simeon of Homs (Emesa), the Fool-for-Christ; Parthenios, bishop of Radovizlios; Martyr Victor of Marseilles
July 21, 2019
“Having learned the joyful message of the Resurrection from the angel the women disciples of the Lord cast from them their parental condemnation. And proudly broke the news to the Disciples, saying: Death hath been spoiled; Christ God is risen, granting the world Great Mercy.”
+Resurrectional Apolytikion in Tone Four
From the Synaxarion (What is that?)
On July 21 in the Holy Orthodox Church we commemorate our Righteous Fathers John of Edessa in Mesopotamia; and Simeon of Homs (Emesa), the Fool-for-Christ.
Both men received the monastic tonsure at the hands of the Abbot Nicon in the Monastery of St. Gerasimos. They withdrew into the wilderness near the Dead Sea where they lived an austere life of asceticism for nearly thirty years. They mortified their bodies so much that they resembled two withered trees. One day Simeon told John that, according to God’s command, he must depart from the wilderness, go among the people and serve God there. John said to Simeon, “Pray to God for me, that He does not separate us, one from the other, in the future life.” Simeon went among the people of Homs, Syria as a “fool for Christ,” to teach people and to convert them to the Faith of Christ. He pretended insanity before everyone but his heart was the temple of the Holy Spirit and, in that temple, was unceasing prayer. Simeon possessed abundant grace from God and was able to discern all the inner secrets of people, healing them from evil spirits and other ailments. Simeon came across a young fornicator who went out of his mind. Simeon struck him across the face with his hand and said: “Do not commit fornication.” At that moment the unclean demon departed from the young man and he became well. Simeon reposed in 570; by the providence of God, John, who had remained in the wilderness, departed soon after.
On this day, we also commemorate Parthenios, bishop of Radovizlios; and Martyr Victor of Marseilles.
By the intercessions of Thy Saints, O Christ God, have mercy upon us. Amen.
The Reading from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Romans. (10:1-10)
Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that it may be saved. I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but it is not enlightened. For, being ignorant of the righteousness that comes from God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. For Christ is the end of the law, that everyone who has faith may be justified. Moses writes that the man who practices the righteousness which is based on the law shall live by it. But the righteousness based on faith says: Do not say in your heart, “Who will ascend into Heaven?” (that is, to bring Christ down) or “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 which we preach); because, if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For man believes with his heart and so is justified, and he confesses with his lips and so is saved.
The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew. (8:28-9:1)
At that time, when Jesus came to the country of the Gergesenes, two demoniacs met Him, coming out of the tombs, so fierce that no one could pass that way. And behold, they cried out, “What have we to do to Thee, O Son of God? Art Thou come here to torment us before the time?” Now a herd of many swine was feeding at some distance from them. And the demons begged Him, “If Thou castest us out, send us away into the herd of swine.” And He said to them, “Go.” So they came out and went into the swine; and behold, the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea, and perished in the waters. The herdsmen fled, and going into the city they told everything, and what had happened to the demoniacs. And behold, all the city came out to meet Jesus; and when they saw Him, they begged Him to leave their neighborhood. And getting into a boat He crossed over and came to His own city.
The Mount Lebanon Orthodox Choir at the Bachkovo Monastery in Bulgaria
Patriarchate of Antioch continues deep-unity with the Patriarchate of Bulgaria and Patriarchate of Romania
The famous Mount Lebanon Orthodox Choir has traveled to Bulgaria for a special performance on July 17 and again on July 19, 2019 in celebration of the Feast of St. Marina. Joining the Mount Lebanon Orthodox Choir is Nectarie Protopsaltul from Romania as well as the Bulgarian group “Holy Apostle Erm of the Metropolitan Church of Plovdiv”. This is another wonderful testimony to the uniting beauty of Orthodox Christianity across cultures as they meet in common worship and love for the Creator of the Universe expressed through Byzantine Music.
There is a good chance the performance(s) will be streamed live on Facebook.
Stay tuned on the SEM Facebook page.
[SEM: School of Ecclesiastical Music in the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch – the Archdiocese of Mount Lebanon under Metropolitan Silouan]
*Fr. Paul, with Joe and Matt Ablan, venerated a holy relic of St. Marina (her hand) at the Holy Monastery of Vatopedi on Mt. Athos
Feast of the Holy Glorious Prophet Elias (Elijah) The Thesbite
Friday July 19, 2019
Festal Orthros 6:00PM
Divine Liturgy w/Litia & Artoklasia 7:00PM
Learn more about the Holy Prophet Elias (HERE), who is greatly revered and honored across the Orthodox Christian world – especially in the Patriarchate of Antioch.
Make plans to come commemorate the holy prophet that “shut the heavens” so no rain would fall for three years and six months.
Make plans to come commemorate the holy prophet that called upon the LORD to send down fire and consume his sacrifice, when the false priests were unable as they called on their empty “gods”.
From the Synaxarion (What is that?)
On July 20 in the Holy Orthodox Church, we commemorate the fiery ascent as it were into the Heaven of the holy and glorious Elias (Elijah) the Thesbite.
Elias was born in the town of Tishba for which he was called the Thesbite. When Elias was born, his father Savah saw an angel of God hovering around the child, wrapping the child in fire and giving him a flame to eat. This foreshadowed Elias’s fiery character and his God-given fiery power. Elias confronted the Israelite King Ahab and his evil wife Jezebel. They worshipped idols and were turning the people away from serving the One and Living God. Jezebel, a Syrian, persuaded her husband to erect a temple to the Syrian god Baal. Through great miracles Elias displayed the power and authority of God: he closed up the heavens, so that there was not any rain for three years and six months; he lowered a fire from heaven and burned the sacrifice to his God which the pagan priests of Baal were unable to do; he accurately prophesied to Ahab that the dogs will lick up his blood and to Jezebel that the dogs will consume her flesh. Before his death Elias took Elisseus (Elisha) and designated him as his successor in the prophetic calling. Elias was taken up into the heavens in a fiery chariot by flaming horses. He appeared on Mount Tabor to our Lord Jesus Christ with Moses on the Transfiguration. Before the end of the world Elias will appear again to put an end to the power of the anti-Christ (Revelation, Chapter 11).
On this day, we also commemorate Righteous Iliya Chavchavadze of Georgia.
By the intercessions of Thy Saints, O Christ our God, have mercy on us. Amen.
Join us immediately after the Divine Worship each Sunday for Fellowship Coffee Hour.
There is great joy in serving, offering hospitality, and “breaking bread” together, which are essential elements of the Christian life.
In order to avoid allowing this “labor of love” to fall upon the same few people week-after-week, please sign-up to sponsor the Fellowship Coffee Hour on any available Sunday.
“Great – what exactly am I signing up for?”
Simply bring 1 1/2 – 2 dozen Bagels sliced in half (or specialty breads, breakfast cake, etc.) to the kitchen, upon arrival to service Sunday morning. After service, set the food out and then clean up at the end – there is help so you’re not alone! We already have the toppers (peanut butter, jam, etc.), paper goods, and coffee at the parish!
“Can I support Fellowship Coffee Hour in a different way?”
No problem – make an offering that would donate towards the bagels and we will handle the rest!
Either way, keep it simple and give it a shot!
May it be blessed!
Weekly Community Bible Study
If we don’t know our faith, how can we live it?
Come learn about the Faith, which was “once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). We will continue our “pilgrimage” through the edifying spiritual counsels of St. Paisios the Athonite concerning the “Passions and Virtues”.
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
#1 Tennis Players In The World Are Orthodox Christian
Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic: “Before I am an athlete, I am an Orthodox Christian” (Read Story)
Halpe is a Romanian Orthodox Christian. Christianity Today reports that Halpe is a strict Orthodox Christian and always carry an Orthodox icon. She was awarded the Order of the Patriarchal Cross for laypersons (the highest distinction of the Romanian Patriarchate) after capturing the 2019 Wimbledon Championship. In 2018 Halep received the Cross of St. Andrew the Apostle from the Romanian Orthodox Patriarchate as well.
‘It’s an important thing for me in my life,’ she said of her faith. (Read Story)