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WEEKLY DIOCESAN BULLETIN

SUNDAY, JULY 9, 2017

FIFTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST:
VENERABLE FATHER DAVID OF THESSALONICA


RESURRECTIONAL TROPARION - TONE FOUR: When the women disciples of the Lord learned from the angel the joyous message of Your Resurrection, they cast away the ancestral curse and elatedly told the apostles: Death is overthrown!  Christ God is risen, granting the world great mercy!

TROPARION TO SAINT DAVID OF THESSALONICA – TONE EIGHT: The image of God was truly preserved in you, O Father, 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, venerable David, rejoices with the angels.

RESURRECTIONAL KONTAKION - TONE FOUR: My Savior and Redeemer as God rose from the tomb and delivered the earthborn from their chains.  He has shattered the gates of hell, and as Master, He has risen on the third day!

KONTAKION TO SAINT DAVID OF THESSALONICA – TONE TWO: We bless you, servant of God David; you are like the angels and estranged from earthly things.  Now you rejoice in divine gifts.  Grant us to share in them also, O holy and righteous Father.

HYMN TO THE MOTHER OF GOD - TONE SIX: Steadfast Protectress of Christians and constant advocate before the Creator, do not despise the cry of us sinners; but in your goodness come speedily to help us who call on you in faith.  Hasten to hear our petition and to intercede for us, O Theotokos, for you always protect those who honor you!

EPISTLE READING

PROKEIMENON IN TONE FOUR:
O Lord, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all.

FIFTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST: ROMANS 10: 1-10  
Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved.  For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.  For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.  For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.  For Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the law, “The man who does those things shall live by them.”  But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down from above) 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, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.  For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

THE ALLELUIA VERSES:
Go forth and prosper and reign, because of truth and meekness and righteousness.  You love righteousness and hate iniquity.

GOSPEL READING

FIFTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST: MATTHEW 8: 28 – 9: 1
At that time, when Jesus had come to the other side, to the country of the Gergesenes, there met Him two demon-possessed men, coming out of the tombs, exceedingly fierce, so that no one could pass that way.  And suddenly they cried out, saying, “What have we to do with You, Jesus, You Son of God?  Have You come here to torment us before the time?”  Now a good way off from them there was a herd of many swine feeding.  So the demons begged Him, saying, “If You cast us out, permit us to go away into the herd of swine.”  And He said to them, “Go.”  So when they had come out they went into the herd of swine.  And suddenly the whole herd of swine ran violently down the steep place into the sea, and perished in the water. Then those who kept them fled; and they went away into the city and told everything, including what had happened to the demon-possessed men.  And behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus.  And when they saw Him, they begged Him to depart from their region.  So He got into a boat, crossed over, and came to His own city.

FROM THE PROLOGUE:
JUNE 26/JULY 9, BY SAINT NIKOLAI VELIMIROVIC:

The Venerable David
David was born in Thessalonica. At first he lived in asceticism near Thessalonica in a hut built beneath an almond tree. Later he continued his asceticism in Thessaly. So much did he purify himself by fasting, prayer and vigils that he was made worthy to receive great grace from God. Once he took live coals in his hand, placed incense on the coals and censed the emperor without any injury to his hand. Seeing this, the emperor bowed down to the ground before him. The people were amazed by his numerous miracles. He reposed peacefully and took up his habitation in eternal blessedness in the year 540. 

The Feast of the Tikhvin Icon of the Mother of God
This icon of the Holy Theotokos was first in Constantinople, but in 1383, seventy years before the fall of Constantinople, it suddenly appeared in the sky near the town of Tikhvin in northern Russia. On the spot where it came down to the ground, a church and monastery were established. The icon is named for the town of Tikhvin. Countless miracles have been wrought from this miraculous icon; many of the sick, especially, have received healing from it. 

The Feast of the Hodigitria Icon of the Mother of God
 This icon was painted on wood by the Evangelist Luke himself, and the All-holy Theotokos saw it and blessed it. St. Luke gave the icon as a gift to the state official Theophilus, for whom he wrote the Acts of the Apostles. The icon was later brought from Antioch to Jerusalem; from Jerusalem Empress Eudocia took it and sent it to Constantinople as a gift to the emperor’s sister, the pious Pulcheria. Pulcheria placed the icon in the Church of Blachernae, a church she herself founded. The All-holy Theotokos once appeared to two blind men and led them into the Church of Blachernae, before her icon, and there restored their sight. Because of this, the icon received the name Hodigitria—the Guide. When the armies of the Persian King Chozroes and the Scythian King Kagan attacked Constantinople, Patriarch Sergius brought this icon out and processed with it around the ramparts of the city. Then the All-holy Theotokos saved the Christians from the non-Christians. The armies of the adversaries became confused, the sea became agitated, their boats sank, and the enemies who remained alive fled. Since then, this miracle of the All-holy Theotokos has been commemorated on the Saturday of the Fifth Week of Great Lent with the reading of the Akathist. During the time of iconoclasm, this icon was brought to the Monastery of the Pantocrator, and there it was sealed in a wall and a lampada was left burning in front of it. It was later found just as it was when it had been sealed. 

The Feast of the Icon of the Mother of God of Lydda or Rome

HYMN OF PRAISE: The Icon of the Mother of God of Lydda

The Lydda icon of the Mother of God
Was sent by Patriarch Germanus, a prisoner for the Faith,
From Constantinople to the pope
When the East suffered for the icons.

The icon set out upon the water,
Faster than the boats that sail the sea,
Lighter than water and the zephyr;
Atop the waves, the water touched it not.

The icon long remained in Rome
For much time, many years,
Until the iconoclastic emperors
From fatigue ceased their battle with Christ.

And when golden peace gilded the East,
The icon of Lydda returned home,
Lighter than water and the zephyr;
Atop the waves, the water touched it not.

Two capital cities, two martyrs,
Recognized the power of the Theotokos,
The power of the most wonderful icon of Lydda,
That raises the dead and heals the sick. 

REFLECTION
Ceaseless repentance is necessary for a Christian until his last breath. St. Mark the Ascetic says: “Think and you will see that the mystery of devotion in the saints of God was realized through repentance.” Repentance, even at the hour of death! The following incident occurred: An old ascetic and renowned spiritual father was dying, and he called for a priest to give him Holy Communion. Along the way a robber joined the priest and desired to see for himself how a holy man dies. The holy elder peacefully received Holy Communion and peacefully talked with the priest. The robber then wept and said: “Blessed are you! Alas, what kind of death will I be worthy of?” The holy elder suddenly became proud and responded to him: “Be as I am, and it will be for you as it is for me!” The robber returned along the road weeping all the while and lamenting over himself and, at that moment, fell dead. Then the people saw a fool-for-Christ weeping over the holy elder but dancing and singing over the robber. When he was asked the reason for this, he replied: “By pride that one lost all merits; by repentance this one reaped all the fruits!” 

CONTEMPLATION
Contemplate the miraculous healing of the deformed woman (Luke 13:11):

1. How the Lord placed His hands on the deformed woman and the woman straightened up;
2. How my soul is deformed like the woman and is bent over to the ground;
3. How the Lord can place His hand, that is, His Holy Spirit, upon my soul and the deformity will immediately be set aright. 

HOMILY
on the fear of the impious man

The impious man flees although no one pursues him; but the just man, like a lion, feels sure of himself (Proverbs 28:1).

Impious men are even afraid of shadows; to them the shadows of trees seem like an army. Wherever something rustles, the impious man thinks: the avenger is coming! He hears the trembling of leaves as the sound of chains; he takes the voices of birds as the shouts of hunters who give chase after game; he sees the grass as spying on his evil deed, the water as a witness against him, the sun as a judge, and the stars as those who taunt him. Oh, my brethren, how many lies are born out of fear! For fear is of sin, sin is of the devil, and the devil is the father of all lies.

Fear is the first fruit of sin. When Adam sinned, he hid from the face of God. And when God cried out to him, Adam said: I heard Thy voice in the garden and I was afraid (Genesis 3:10). Adam did not know about fear before he sinned, nor did he hide from the face of God but, on the contrary, always hastened to encounter God. But as soon as he sinned he was afraid.

But the just man, like a lion, feels sure of himself. Without sin—without fear. Without sin—without weakness. The sinless ones are powerful, very powerful, and brave, very brave. The righteous ones are strong and fearless. Such are the righteous ones, only the righteous ones.

O sinless Lord, save us from empty fear, but before that, preserve us from sin, the parent of fear.

To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.

+++ DIOCESAN NEWS +++
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25 June 2017
In Memoriam: Protopresbyter Stavrophor Ilija Dajkovich
17 June 2017
Pentecost in
Kalispell & Butte, Montana
03 June 2017
Patronal Feast Day Celebration in Seattle
28 May 2017

Slava Celebration
at St. George Parish
in San Diego
07 May 2017

Ordination of Joseph Wesseler to the Deaconate
April 2017 13


UPCOMING EVENTS

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DIOCESAN DAYS 2017

21st Annual Diocesan
Days Gathering

Sept. 1st – Sept. 3rd 

Saint Steven’s Serbian Orthodox Cathedral Alhambra, California

THE CHURCH AS FAMILY & 
THE FAMILY AS CHURCH

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“You are no longer strangers and aliens, but the members of the household of God”
(Eph. 2:19)

With
Fr. Timothy Pavlatos and the St. Simeon Choir (Paris) 

SCHEDULE


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