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WEEKLY DIOCESAN BULLETIN

SUNDAY, APRIL 19, 2015

Second Sunday of Pascha: The Holy Apostle Thomas; Saint Eutychius, Patriarch of Constantinople


PASCHAL TROPARION – TONE ONE: Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life!

THOMAS SUNDAY TROPARION - TONE SEVEN: From the sealed tomb, You shone forth, O Life!  Through closed doors You came to Your disciples, O Christ God!  Renew in us, through them, an upright spirit, by the greatness of Your mercy, O Resurrection of all!

THOMAS SUNDAY KONTAKION - TONE EIGHT: Thomas touched Your life-giving side with an eager hand, O Christ God; for when You came to Your apostles through closed doors, he cried out with them all: “You are my Lord and my God!”

PASCHAL KONTAKION – TONE EIGHT: You descended into the tomb, O Immortal; You destroyed the power of death.  In victory You arose, O Christ God, proclaiming ‘Rejoice’ to the myrrh-bearing women, granting peace to Your disciples, and bestowing resurrection on the fallen.

INSTEAD OF “IT IS TRULY MEET…”: The angel cried to the Lady Full of Grace: Rejoice, O Pure Virgin!  Again I say: Rejoice!  Your Son is risen from His three days in the tomb!  With Himself He has raised all the dead!  Rejoice, all ye people!  Shine!  Shine!  O New Jerusalem!  The glory of the Lord has shone on you!  Exult now and be glad, O Zion!  Be radiant, O Pure Theotokos, in the Resurrection of your Son!

INSTEAD OF “WE HAVE SEEN THE TRUE LIGHT…”: Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life! (once)


EPISTLE READING


The Prokimenon in the 3rd Tone: Great is our Lord and abundant in power.  His understanding is beyond measure.

Thomas Sunday: Acts 5: 12-20
In those days, through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people.  And they were all with one accord in Solomon’s Porch.  Yet none of the rest dared join them, but the people esteemed them highly.  And believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, so that they brought the sick out into the streets and laid them on beds and couches, that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might fall on some of them.  Also a multitude gathered from the surrounding cities to Jerusalem, bringing sick people and those who were tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all healed.  Then the high priest rose up, and all those who were with him (which is the sect of the Sadducees), and they were filled with indignation, and laid their hands on the apostles and put them in the common prison.  But at night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out, and said, “Go, stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this life.”

The Alleluia Verses: Come, let us rejoice in the Lord!  Let us make a joyful noise to God our Savior!  For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all the earth!

GOSPEL READING

Thomas Sunday: John 20: 19-31
At that time, the same day at evening being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.”  When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side.  Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.  So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you!  As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”  And when He said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.  If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”  Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came.  The other disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the Lord.”  So he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”  And after eight days His disciples were again inside and Thomas with them.  Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!”  Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here and put it into My side.  Do not be unbelieving, but believing.”  And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”  Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed.  Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”  And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.


Spiritual Articles
From The Prologue for April 6/19 by
St. Nikolai Velimirovic:


Saint Eutychius, Patriarch of Constantinople
Eutychius was born in Phrygia of pious and devout parents. His father was an officer. Once, as a child, when Eutychius was playing with his playmates, their game was that each of them would write his name on a wall and, beside his name, would guess what rank he would attain in life. When it was Eutychius’s turn he wrote: Eutychius—Patriarch! In his thirtieth year he became abbot of a monastery in Amasea. At age forty, he was sent by the Metropolitan of Amasea to represent him at the Fifth Ecumenical Council [Constantinople, 553]. At the Council, he glowed like a shining star among the Fathers of the Church, both by his learning and by his zeal. When the debate began as to whether heretics could be anathematized after their deaths, he supported the opinion that they could be, by calling upon the Third Book of Kings 13:1–8 and the Fourth Book of Kings 23:16. Eutychius endeared himself greatly to Emperor Justinian and Patriarch Menas. The emperor sought his advice on many occasions, and Patriarch Menas (who at that time was very rich) designated Eutychius as his successor, imploring the emperor to carry this out in deed. And so it happened! St. Eutychius governed the Church in peace for twelve years. Then the devil raised up a tempest against him. This tempest reached Justinian himself. The emperor became deluded and succumbed to the Monophysite heresy, which falsely taught that the Lord Jesus, before His Resurrection, had a divine and incorruptible body, not feeling hunger, thirst or pain. Eutychius adamantly opposed this heresy, for which the emperor exiled him to his original monastery. Eutychius remained there for twelve years and eight months. He proved himself to be a great miracle-worker, healing people of various illnesses through prayer, and by anointing them with holy oil. Justinian repented and died, and was succeeded by Justin, who restored Eutychius to the patriarchal throne, where this saint remained, governing the Church of God in peace until his death. In 582, in his seventieth year, he took up his habitation in the Kingdom of Christ the Lord, Whom he had faithfully and courageously served throughout his entire life.

The Holy 120 Martyrs who suffered in Persia
When the Persian King Sapor plundered the lands of Byzantium, he enslaved 120 Christians. Since his attempts to persuade them to deny Christ and worship fire proved to be in vain, the king threw them into the fire and burned them alive. Among those martyrs were nine virgins dedicated to God. They all suffered honorably between the years 344 and 347, and took up their habitation in the mansions of Christ the King.

HYMN OF PRAISE: Saint Eutychius

Eutychius witnessed Christ to the emperor:
“Christ,” said he, “had a feeble body,
A body susceptible to hunger and pain,
Similar to, but not the same as, the body on the throne.

The King of Glory bore on earth the air of a servant,
But He raised glorified flesh into heaven.

Where would be the tears in an illusory body?
Where the bloody sweat, O Emperor—on an illusory brow?
‘I hunger! I thirst!’ spoke the Truth.

Why do you make the Son of God a liar?
When He witnesses His hunger to the world,
You say to Him, ‘Thou art satiated!’ Do you say that to His face?

Thirsting, He cries out while hanging on the Cross,
And you respond to Him, ‘Thou art not thirsty, Thou art not!’
O great Emperor, do not speak impurity.

Behind your words the demon himself hides.

In vain do you build churches, when you destroy the Faith;
And vain are your votive offerings, when you extinguish their flames.

Christ’s sufferings are greater than all other sufferings.

The whole of history revolves around the Cross.

The Cross is thus honorable, awesome, and capable of healing,
Because it is the source of pain, brimming over and abundant.

On the Cross is Christ—a man nailed,
Blood, sweat and moaning—and not a dream that is dreamed.”

REFLECTION
It is said about an ancient orator that he labored day and night to perfect himself in the art of oratory. Someone said to him: “Demosthenes does not want you to be the chief orator.” To which he immediately retorted: “Neither will I allow him to be the only one.” If you cannot be a first-class saint like St. Anthony, do not shrug your shoulders and say: “Nothing can come of me!” Increase your efforts and double your talent. In My Father’s house are many mansions, said the Lord (John 14:2). If you merit to settle in the least of these dwelling places, you will be more glorious and more fortunate than all of the rulers who have ever existed on earth. To each according to his own talent. You will not be a St. Anthony, but neither will St. Anthony, alone, occupy the Kingdom of God.

CONTEMPLATION
Contemplate the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus:
1. How the stone on the tomb did not split, neither was the seal on it broken;
2. How the All-powerful and meek Lord did not damage the tomb during His Resurrection, as the Virgin’s womb was not harmed in His birth.

HOMILY on victory over the last enemy

The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death (I Corinthians 15:26).
Man’s first enemy is the devil, the second is sin, and the third is death. The Lord Jesus conquered all three of these enemies of the human race. By His humiliation He conquered the proud devil; by His death He conquered sin; and by His Resurrection He conquered death. In conquering all of our enemies, He invites us to be partakers in His glorious victory. It is not that we ourselves conquer, but that we are joined to the Victor. Only His power conquers, only His weapons vanquish. We are without power and weapons, but our enemies are frightful. With Him and alongside Him, we conquer those mightier than ourselves. What is the price He offers to us for His victory? A meager price, my brethren; for a very paltry price He offers us the most precious victory. To humble ourselves and to submit ourselves to the will of God—that is the price He seeks to conquer the devil for us. To die unto ourselves, to die to fleshly desires and passions—that is the price He seeks to conquer sin for us. To live for Him and not for ourselves, to receive Him into our hearts—that is the price He seeks to conquer death for us. He conquered all the enemies openly and completely, but this is the price for which He offers His victory to each of us. The Apostle Paul says: Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (I Corinthians 15:57).

O resurrected Lord, enlighten, strengthen and heal us by Thy victory.
We who are grateful raise up to Thee glory and praise forever. Amen.


In some translations called the First Book of Kings.—Trans.
In some translations called the Second Book of Kings.—Trans.

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