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WEEKLY DIOCESAN BULLETIN

Sunday, February 5, 2017 

SUNDAY OF THE PUBLICAN & THE PHARISEE; THE HOLY HIEROMARTYR CLEMENT, BISHOP OF ANCYRA


RESURRECTIONAL TROPARION - TONE EIGHT:
Thou didst descend from on high, O Merciful One! Thou didst accept the three day burial to free us from our sufferings! O Lord, our Life and Resurrection: Glory to Thee!

TROPARION TO HIEROMARTYR CLEMENT – TONE FOUR:
You sprang up, most holy one, as a branch and stem of holiness, a most sacred flower of the contest of martyrdom and as a most sweet fruit given by God to the faithful. But as one who shared the struggle of the martyrs and the throne of hierarchs, intercede with Christ God that our souls may be saved.

RESURRECTIONAL KONTAKION - TONE EIGHT:
By rising from the tomb Thou didst raise the dead and resurrected Adam. Eve exults in Thy Resurrection, and the world celebrates Thy rising from the dead, O greatly Merciful One!

KONTAKION TO HIEROMARTYR CLEMENT – TONE FOUR:
You have become an honored branch of the vine of Christ, revealed as one of many struggles, all-praised Clement, with your fellow champion you cried out: “Christ is the shining joy of martyrs

THE PUBLICAN AND THE PHARISEE KONTAKION – TONE FOUR:
Let us flee from the pride of the Pharisee and learn humility from the Publican’s tears. Let us cry to our Savior: have mercy on us, O only merciful One.

EPISTLE READING

THE PROKIMENON IN THE 8TH TONE:
Pray and make your vows before the Lord our God!


SUNDAY OF THE PUBLICAN & PHARISEE:
2 TIMOTHY 3: 10-15

My son Timothy, you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra - what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

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

SUNDAY OF THE PUBLICAN & PHARISEE: LUKE 18: 10-14
Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men: extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

FROM THE PROLOGUE

JANUARY 23/FEBRUARY 5 BY ST. NIKOLAI VELIMIROVIC:

The Hieromartyr Clement, Bishop of Ancyra
Clement was born in the year 258 in the city of Ancyra of a pagan father and a Christian mother. His devout mother, Euphrosyne, prophesied that her son would die a martyr’s death; then she herself departed this world when Clement was twelve years old. Her friend Sophia took Clement into her home as a son, and assisted in rearing him with a Christian spirit. Clement was so famous for his virtuous living that he was elected Bishop of Ancyra at the age of twenty. In his youth he attained the wisdom of a mature adult, and by great abstinence he tamed and conquered his body. Clement fed on bread and vegetables only, and did not eat anything butchered or bloody. During the reign of Emperor Diocletian, he was tortured horribly, “as no one had ever been, since the beginning of the world.” He spent twenty-eight years in torments and in dungeons. Eleven different torturers tormented and tortured him. At one time, when they struck him in the face, spat upon him and broke his teeth, he cried out to Domentian, his torturer: “You are doing me great honor, O Domentian, and you are not torturing me, for the mouth of my Lord Jesus Christ was also beaten and struck in like manner—and behold: I, the unworthy one, have now been made worthy of this!” When Clement was brought to Rome before Diocletian, the emperor placed various weapons of torture on one side, and on the other side such gifts as medals, clothing, money and all that the emperor could bestow. Then he told Clement to choose. The martyr of Christ glanced with scorn at all the emperor’s gifts and chose the instruments of torture. Clement was indescribably tortured: piece by piece they removed the flesh from his body, so that the white bones showed beneath the flesh. Healed of these wounds, he was beheaded by a soldier in the church in Ancyra, while he was celebrating the Divine Liturgy as bishop, in the year 312. The miracles of St. Clement are without number.

The Sixth Ecumenical Council
The first session was held in Constantinople during the years 680–681. This Council condemned the Monothelite heresy, which erroneously taught that in Christ there was only one divine will and not a human will. The Council also passed several canons concerning the order and discipline of the clergy.

Saint Paulinus the Merciful
At first, Paulinus was a Roman senator, and afterward a bishop in Nola. He followed the example of his friend, St. Ambrose, and received baptism. Following his baptism, Paulinus withdrew to the Pyrenees Mountains in Spain, where he lived a life of asceticism. But as no lighted lamp can be hidden, so also was St. Paulinus discovered and elected Bishop of Nola. He was a good and merciful shepherd. He reposed peacefully in the year 431. His relics repose in the Church of St. Bartholomew in Rome.

HYMN OF PRAISE: To the Creator
O Infinite Creator, in soul I bow before Thee.
When I speak Thy name I belittle Thee;
With my every thought I belittle Thee.
What is the mind able to think before the open sea of Thy spaciousness?
What can the tongue say when it must remain silent
Before Thine awesome mountains and chasms?
Before Thine immeasurable height and width,
Before Thy plains, slopes, depths and distance—
And nearness, O God, oh yes, even nearness!
And still more miraculous, Thy humble lowliness!
Thou, as a man, didst lower Thyself to our lowliness,
Didst lower and constrain Thyself into a mortal valley,
That Thou mightest raise the valley to the heavenly firmament,
And make worn-out creation new.
Of all Thy qualities, Thy lowliness
Halts my thought. Thou bindest my lips!
What can I think, what can I say
About the hungry, thirsty and crucified God?
What can I say to Thee, O Thou Most-rich,
Who, because of me, becamest the poorest One?
Let the tongue keep silent, let tears speak:
Save, in Thy mercy, what Thy thought has created.

REFLECTION
Compassion has always been a characteristic of a true shepherd of Christ’s flock. In his glorious homilies, St. John Chrysostom did not emphasize or praise anything more strongly than compassion. St. John the Merciful, Patriarch of Alexandria, lamented every day wherein the opportunity was not given him to show compassion to someone. St. Paulinus deserved to be called the Merciful, for he was truly compassionate in the full Christian sense of the word. Once, when the Vandals looted Nola, they took many men into slavery. The Vandal Prince Rig took a certain widow’s only son as a slave. The widow came weeping to her bishop and sought money from him to pay the ransom for her son. Not possessing anything, Bishop Paulinus dressed in the clothes of a simple man and asked the widow to take him before the prince and exchange him for her son. The prince released the widow’s son and took Paulinus with him to Africa—where Paulinus
served as the prince’s gardener until, by God’s providence, he was freed and returned to Nola with the other slaves.

CONTEMPLATION
Contemplate the Lord Jesus as Healer:
1. As a Healer of bodily infirmities;
2. As an Exorcist of evil spirits from the insane;
3. As a Healer of the human spirit and mind, by the light of His divine teaching;
4. As my own Healer of all pains and evils.

HOMILY on the angelic state of the saints
But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world … Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels (Luke 20:35-36).
Thus speaks He Who knows, He Who has seen, and He Who cannot be deceived. Brethren, what have we to doubt anymore? This testimony is clearer than a summer’s noon, harder than diamonds and more precious than all the riches of this world; and this is the testimony: Those who are accounted worthy of that world and resurrection can no longer die, but are immortal like the angels of God.
What are the angels like? Those same angels who appeared at the time of Abraham and came to the aid of men are the same ones who today appear and aid men. They are not dead but alive; they have not grown old but are young. They are the same ones who beheld Adam in Paradise and who will behold the Final Resurrection, and the Judgment, and the Kingdom of the saints.
The righteous are similar to angels. The apostles, prophets, saints and martyrs live even today, and will live always and can no longer die. Hundreds and thousands of years pass, but they can neither die nor age anymore; rather, they are equal unto the angels.
The Lord testified to us in the above words that the righteous will be crowned with immortality, and He demonstrated this by His own Resurrection, and affirmed it through His glorified saints.
O my brethren, let us awaken and labor—to become worthy to obtain that blessed world!
O resurrected and immortal Lord, help us to become worthy of Thine Immortal Kingdom, in which Thou reignest with Thine angels and Thy saints throughout the ages of ages!
To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.

 


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