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S.K.S.S.
Annual Lenten Women's Retreat

“Contemporary Women in an Uncontemporary Church: 
A Mother, a Life,
and a Mission” 

GUEST SPEAKER: 
Very Reverend Professor 
Archimandrite Irenei

Archimandrite of the Russian
Orthodox Church Outside Russia.
BA, M.St., D.Phil


mary sm

Friday, March 27th - 
Saturday, March 28th, 2015
St. John the Baptist Cathedral
San Francisco, CA

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Call 626-289-9061
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Mail Registration portion of the Flyer!  

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WEEKLY DIOCESAN BULLETIN

SUNDAY, MARCH 29, 2015

Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great

Fifth Sunday of Great Lent: Saint Mary of Egypt; Holy Apostle Aristobulos; Holy Martyr Sabinas 

RESURRECTIONAL TROPARION - TONE ONE:
When the stone had been sealed by the Jews; while the soldiers were guarding Your most pure Body; You arose on the third day, O Savior, granting life to the world. The powers of heaven therefore cried to You, O Giver of Life: Glory to Your Resurrection, O Christ! Glory to Your Kingdom! Glory to Your dispensation, O You who loves mankind.

TROPARION TO ST. MARY OF EGYPT - TONE EIGHT:
The image of God was truly preserved in you, O mother, for you took up the Cross and followed Christ.  By so doing you taught us to disregard the flesh, for it passes away; but to care instead for the soul, since it is immortal.  Therefore your spirit,       O holy mother Mary, rejoices with the angels.

TROPARION TO THE HOLY MARTYR SABINAS - TONE ONE: With godliness you preached to the ungodly that the Creator of all took flesh without undergoing change.  You excelled in your holy contest, for by meeting death in the river you attained to the Source of incorruption.  Therefore, we praise you, blessed Sabinas.

RESURRECTIONAL KONTAKION - TONE ONE:
As God, You arose from the tomb in glory, raising the world with Yourself. Human nature praises You as God, for death has vanished.  Adam exults, O Master!  Eve rejoices, for she is freed from bondage, and cries to You: You are the giver of resurrection to all, O Christ!

KONTAKION TO ST. MARY OF EGYPT - TONE THREE:
Once you were filled with every impurity, but today you have become a bride of Christ through repentance.  Desiring the angelic life, you defeated the demons with the weapon of the Cross!  Therefore, O most glorious Mary, you were made a bride of the Kingdom!

KONTAKION TO THE HOLY MARTYR SABINAS - TONE TWO:  God-bearing Sabinas, you are a divine root, an unfading blossom, a branch heavily-laden with fruit.  Fill with gladness those who honor your memory, and unceasingly pray for us all.


KONTAKION OF THE FIVE SUNDAYS OF GREAT LENT
To thee, the Champion Leader, do I offer thanks of victory, O Theotokos, thou who hast delivered me from terror; but as thou that hast that power invincible, O Theotokos, thou alone can set me free: from all forms of danger free me and deliver me, that I may cry unto thee: ‘Rejoice, O Bride without Bridegroom!’

HYMN TO THE THEOTOKOS (INSTEAD OF “IT IS TRULY MEET”): All of creation rejoices in you, O full of grace; the assembly of angels and the race of men.  O sanctified temple and spiritual paradise, the glory of virgins, from whom God was incarnate and became a Child, our God before the ages.  He made your body into a throne, and your womb He made more spacious than the heavens.  All of creation rejoices in you, O full of grace.  Glory to you!

EPISTLE READING

The Prokimenon in the 8th Tone:
Pray and make your vows before the Lord our God! 

Fifth Sunday of Lent: Hebrews 9: 11-14
Brethren, Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation.  Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.  For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

St. Mary of Egypt: Galatians 3: 23-29
Brethren, before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed.  Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.  But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.  For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.  For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.  And if you are Christ’s then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

The Alleluia Verses:
Come let us rejoice in the Lord!  Let us make a joyful noise to God our Savior!  Let us come before His face with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to Him with psalms! 

GOSPEL READING

Fifth Sunday of Lent: Mark 10: 32-45
At that time, they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was going before them, and they were amazed.  And as they followed they were afraid.  Then He took the twelve aside again and began to tell them the things that would happen to Him: “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes, and they will condemn Him to death and deliver Him to the Gentiles; and they will mock Him, and scourge Him, and spit on Him, and kill Him.  And the third day He will rise again.”  Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Him, saying, “Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask.”  And He said to them, “What do you want Me to do for you?”  They said to Him, “Grant us that we may sit, one on Your right hand and the other one on Your left, in Your glory.”  But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you ask.  Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?”  They said to Him, “We are able.”  So Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink the cup that I drink, and with the baptism I am baptized with you will be baptized; but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared.”  And when the ten heard it, they began to be greatly displeased with James and John.  But Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them.  Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant.  And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all.  For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

St. Mary of Egypt: Luke 7: 36-50
At that time, one of the Pharisees asked Him to eat with him.  And He went to the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to eat.  And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash 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 oil.  Now 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 answered and said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.”  So he said, “Teacher, say it.”  “There was a certain creditor who had two debtors.  One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty.  And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both.  Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?”  Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.”  And He said to him, “You have rightly judged.”  Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman?  I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head.  You gave me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in.  You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil.  Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much.  But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.”  Then He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”  And those who sat at the table with Him began to say to themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”  Then He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you.  Go in peace.” 


Spiritual Articles
From The Prologue for March 16/29 by St. Nikolai Velimirovic:

The Holy Apostle Aristobulus, one of the Seventy Apostles
Born in Cyprus, Aristobulus was the brother of the Apostle Barnabas. He followed the Apostle Paul, who mentions him in his Epistle to the Romans (Romans 16:10). When the great Apostle appointed many bishops throughout the various parts of the world, he appointed Aristobulus as bishop for the British, that is, for England. In Britain the people were savage, heathen and wicked. Aristobulus endured many indescribable tortures, misfortunes and evils among them. They struck and beat him mercilessly, dragged him through the streets, ridiculed, and mocked him. Finally this holy man succeeded, by the power of the grace of God. He enlightened the people, baptized them in the name of Christ the Lord, built churches, ordained priests and deacons, and in the end died there peacefully and entered into the Kingdom of the Lord, Whom he had faithfully served.

The Holy Martyr Sabinus
Sabinus was a Syrian from the city of Hermopolis and an official of that city. At the time of a persecution against the Christians, he withdrew to a mountain with a large number of other Christians and closed himself off in a hut. There he spent his time in fasting and prayer. A certain beggar, who brought him food and for whom Sabinus had done much good, reported him. As Judas did to Christ, so also this unfortunate one betrayed his benefactor for two pieces of gold. Sabinus, along with six others, was apprehended, bound by the soldiers and brought to stand trial. After severe torments, he was cast into the River Nile, where he gave up his soul to God in the year 287.

The Hieromartyrs Trophimus and Thallus
They were born in Syria and were brothers by birth. They openly and freely preached Christ and denounced the folly of the Hellenes and Romans. The enraged pagans decided to stone them to death. However, when they began hurling stones at these two holy brothers, the stones turned back and struck the assailants, and the brothers remained unharmed. Afterward they were both crucified. From their crosses the brothers taught and encouraged those Christians who stood sorrowfully around. After much agony they presented their souls to the Lord, to Whom they had remained faithful to the end. They suffered honorably in the year 300 in the city of Bofor.

HYMN OF PRAISE: Saints Trophimus and Thallus

Two blood-brothers imbued by the Spirit,
Illumined and regenerated by faith.

These two brothers, on the cross crucified,
Counseled the masses of right-believing people:

“O brethren, why do you gaze upon us from below?

Do not bitterly weep because of our difficult sufferings!

Christ our Savior, Doer of heroic deeds,
Became the Redeemer because of such sufferings,
The Redeemer of the whole human race.

Listening to Him, we are being saved.

He obeyed the Father, and to the earth descended;
He suffered and resurrected, and into heaven ascended.

To Him we hearken, and we endure sufferings;
Through sufferings we walk into His Kingdom.

Fear not, brethren, either fire or the sword;
The justice of Christ is stronger than the whole world.

Fear not, brethren; neither feel sorrow for yourselves.

Deny yourselves for the sake of eternal salvation.

All sufferings are small, trivial and bearable
Compared to the rewards of Paradise, eternal and sublime.

The world, a false mask, is an insane illusion.

Eternity: that is our true homeland.

Give the world to those who love the lie of the world;
Because of lies, they forfeit life and truth.

But you—seize the pearl above the mud of the world.”

Harken, brethren, to Trophimus and Thallus!


REFLECTION
If we fulfill the Law of God in our thoughts, how much easier will it be for us to fulfill it in our deeds? That is, if we do not transgress the Law of God in our thoughts, how much easier will it be not to transgress it in our deeds? Furthermore, if our hearts are with God, then our tongues, hands, feet—our entire body—cannot be against God. Your heart! Your heart! Prepare your heart for God. Consecrate it to God and worship Him, fulfill the Law of God in it, unite it with God, and all the rest will follow and will be governed by the heart. It is not he who holds a spoke of the wheel that steers the wheel, but he who holds its axis. The heart is the axis of our being. Speaking about the commandments of God, the Venerable Hesychius says: “If you compel yourself to fulfill them in your thoughts, then you will rarely have the need to strain yourself to fulfill them in deed.” That is, if you set your heart on God, as on an axis, then the wheels will easily and comfortably follow the axis. In other words, the entire man will follow after his own heart. Thy law is within my heart (Psalm 40:9), says the all-wise David.

CONTEMPLATION

Contemplate the Lord Jesus, how He carried the Cross to Golgotha:

1. How He quietly and patiently carried His Cross;
2. How they took the Cross from Him and gave it to Simon of Cyrene; how Simon carried the Cross, walking after Christ;
3. How He looked upon the women of Jerusalem, who were weeping, and said to them: Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for Me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children (Luke 23:28), declaring by this His victory and the defeat of His murderers.


HOMILY On Christ’s humiliation as wealth

By faith Moses … esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt … had respect unto the recompense of the reward (Hebrews 11:24-26).

Moses did not want to remain in the palace of Pharaoh nor to be called his adopted son. Desiring more, he chose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season (Hebrews 11:25). How different was Moses from his descendants, who for reasons similar to Pharaoh’s condemned the King of Glory to death! All of them would have rather lived one more year in the decaying court of Pharaoh than to travel with God for forty years in the wilderness. Moses left all honors, riches and vanities, which only the wealth of Egypt could provide. At the command of God, Moses started out through the foodless and waterless wilderness with faith that beyond it lay the Promised Land. All of this also means to hold Christ’s humiliation above all the wealth of Egypt.

Christ’s humiliation is what worldly men, who exude a powerful stench of the earth, are ashamed of in Christ. That is Christ’s poverty on earth: His fasting, His vigil, His prayer, His wandering without a roof over His head, His condemnation, His humiliation, and His shameful death. Christ’s humiliation was valued by the apostles, and after them by countless saints, who thought this to be greater wealth than all the riches in the entire world. Following these indignities, the Lord resurrected, opened the gates of heaven and revealed the Promised Land of Paradise, into which He led mankind along the path of His humiliation and through the wilderness of His suffering.

O Lord, glorified and resurrected, help us that we may hold unwaveringly every drop of Thy sweat and Thy blood as a treasure greater than all worldly riches.

To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.



In the Greek Synaxarion the Venerable Christodulos is also mentioned on this day. He lived a life of asceticism on the island of Patmos, where he built a monastery dedicated to John the Theologian. He died in the year 1111. Many miracles have occurred over his relics.

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S.K.S.S.
Annual Lenten Women's Retreat


“Contemporary Women in an Uncontemporary Church: A Mother, a Life,
and a Mission” 

GUEST SPEAKER: 
Very Reverend Professor 
Archimandrite Irenei

Archimandrite of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia. BA, M.St.,D.Phil

mary sm

Friday, March 27th - 
Saturday, March 28th, 2015
St. John the Baptist Cathedral
San Francisco, CA

VIEW FLYER

Call 626-289-9061 to Register or Print and Mail Registration portion of the Flyer! 


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