Weekly Diocesan Bulletin - Sunday, May 28, 2017

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SUNDAY, MAY 28, 2017

SEVENTH SUNDAY OF PASCHA: THE HOLY FATHERS OF THE FIRST ECUMENICAL COUNCIL; THE VENERABLE PACHOMIUS THE GREAT

RESURRECTIONAL TROPARION – TONE SIX:
The angelic powers were at Thy tomb; the guards became as dead men.  Mary stood by Thy grave, seeking Thy most pure Body.  Thou didst capture hell, not being tempted by it.  Thou didst come to the Virgin, granting life.  O Lord who didst rise from the dead:  Glory to Thee!

ASCENSION TROPARION – TONE FOUR:
Thou hast ascended in glory, O Christ our God, granting joy to Thy disciples by the promise of the Holy Spirit.  Through the blessing they were assured that Thou art the Son of God, the Redeemer of the world!

TROPARION TO THE HOLY FATHERS - TONE EIGHT:
You are most glorious, O Christ our God!  You have established the Holy Fathers as lights on the earth!  Through them You have guided us to the true faith!  O greatly Compassionate One, glory to You!

TROPARION TO SAINT PACHOMIUS – TONE EIGHT:
By a flood of tears you made the desert fertile, and your longing for God brought forth fruits in abundance.  By the radiance of miracles you illumined the whole universe!  Our Father Pachomius pray to Christ God to save our souls.

RESURRECTIONAL KONTAKION - TONE SIX:
When Christ God, the Giver of Life, raised all of the dead from the valleys of misery with His mighty hand, He bestowed resurrection on the human race. He is the Savior of all, the Resurrection, the Life, and God of all.

KONTAKION TO THE HOLY FATHERS - TONE EIGHT:
The Apostles’ preaching and the Fathers’ doctrines have established one faith for the Church.  Adorned with the robe of truth, woven from heavenly theology; it defines and glorifies the great mystery of piety.

ASCENSION KONTAKION - TONE SIX:
When Thou didst fulfill the dispensation for our sake, and unite earth to heaven:  Thou didst ascend in glory, O Christ our God, not being parted from those who love Thee, but remaining with them and crying:  I am with you and no one will be against you!

INSTEAD OF “IT IS TRULY MEET…”:
Magnify, O my soul, Christ the Giver of Life, who has ascended from earth to heaven!  We magnify you, the Mother of God, who beyond reason and understanding gave birth in time to the Timeless One!

INSTEAD OF, “WE HAVE SEEN THE TRUE LIGHT…,” ASCENSION TROPARION – TONE FOUR: Thou hast ascended in glory, O Christ our God, granting joy to Thy disciples by the promise of the Holy Spirit.  Through the blessing they were assured that Thou art the Son of God, the Redeemer of the world!

EPISTLE READING

PROKIMENON IN TONE FOUR:
Blessed are You, O Lord God of our Fathers, and praised and glorified is Your name forever!

SEVENTH SUNDAY OF PASCHA: ACTS 20: 16-18, 28-36: In those days, it happened that Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus, so that he would not have to spend time in Asia; for he was hurrying to be at Jerusalem, if possible, on the Day of Pentecost. From Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called for the elders of the church.  And when they had come to him, he said to them, “You know, from the first day that I came to Asia, in what manner I always lived among you; therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.  For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.  Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.  Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.  So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.  I have coveted no one’s silver or gold or apparel.  Yes, you yourselves know that these hands have provided for my necessities, and for those who were with me.  I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak.  And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”  And when he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all.

THE ALLELUIA VERSES:
The Lord, the God of gods, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting! Gather to me my venerable ones, who made a covenant with me by sacrifice.

GOSPEL READING

SEVENTH SUNDAY OF PASCHA: JOHN 17: 1-13
At that time, Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come.  Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him.  And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.  I have glorified You on the earth.  I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.  And now,     O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.  I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world.  They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word.  Now they have known that all things which You have given Me are from You.  For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me.  I pray for them.  I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours.  And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them.  Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You.  Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are.  While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name.  Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.  But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves.”

FROM THE PROLOGUE:
MAY 15/28, BY SAINT NIKOLAI VELIMIROVIC:

The Venerable Pachomius the Great
Pachomius was born in Egypt and was a pagan in his youth. As a soldier, he fought alongside Emperor Constantine in battle against Maxentius. After that, he learned of the One God from Christians and, witnessing their devout life, he was baptized. He withdrew to the Thebaid desert, to the famous ascetic Palamon, with whom he practiced the ascetic life for ten years. Then, at a place called Tabennisi, an angel appeared to him in the robes of a schemamonk and gave him a board upon which was written the rule for a cenobitic monastery. The angel ordered him to establish such a monastery in that place, prophesying to him that to this monastery many monks would come for the sake of the salvation of their souls. Heeding the angel of God, Pachomius began to build many cells, even though no one was at that place except his brother John and himself. When his brother reproached him for building unnecessary cells, Pachomius simply said to him that he was following the command of God without regard as to who would come to live there and when. Soon many men, moved by the Spirit of God, gathered at that place and began to live a life of asceticism according to the Rule of Pachomius, which he had received from the angel. As the number of monks increased, Pachomius gradually established six more monasteries. The number of his disciples amounted to about seven thousand. St. Anthony is considered to be the founder of the eremitic life; and St. Pachomius, of the monastic, cenobitic way of life. The humility, love of labor, and abstinence of this Holy Father were and remain rare examples for imitation by a vast number of monks. St. Pachomius worked numerous miracles, but he also endured numerous temptations from demons as well as from men. He served men as both a father and a brother. He inspired many to follow the path to salvation and directed many on the path to truth. He was and remains a great light of the Church and a great witness to the truth and righteousness of Christ. He died peacefully in the year 348 in the seventy-fourth year of his earthly life. The Church has included many of his disciples in the ranks of the saints, such as: Theodore, Job, Paphnutius, Pecusius, Athenodorus, Eponichus, Sorus, Psois, Dionysius, Psentaesis and others.

Saint Achilles, Bishop of Larissa
Achilles, the great hierarch and miracle-worker, was born in Cappadocia. He participated in the First Ecumenical Council, at which he shamed the heretics and commanded great astonishment by his learning as well as by his sanctity. Picking up a rock, St. Achilles shouted to the Arians: “If Christ is a creation of God, as you say, then command oil to flow from this rock.” The heretics remained silent and were amazed at such a request from St. Achilles. Then the saint said: “And if the Son of God is equal to the Father, as we believe, let oil flow from this rock.” And, indeed, oil did flow to the amazement of all. St. Achilles reposed peacefully in Larissa in the year 330. When the Macedonian King Samuel conquered Thessaly he translated the relics of Achilles to Prespa, to an island in a lake, which even today is called Achilles or Ailus.

The Venerable Silvanus
At first, Silvanus was a comedian, impersonating everyone and everything. But then he was inflamed with love for Christ and became a disciple of St. Pachomius. “I am ready to give my life,” St. Silvanus would say, “only to receive forgiveness of my sins.”

HYMN OF PRAISE: The Venerable Pachomius the Great

With the Spirit of God, Pachomius burns;
With the angels, Pachomius speaks.

Around him the monks gather;
Like candles, they all stand before God.

One day, the knocker sounded;
The Abba’s sister came to see the Abba.

For many years she had not seen him.

Let him appear; why does he hide himself from her?

The gatekeeper brings the message to the Abba,
And the Abba gives him greetings to take to her:
“I, my sister, wish you every good fortune,
But I will not come to see you.

I once bade farewell to the world
And renounced everything in the world.

My sister, renounce it yourself.

Hurry, Sister, dedicate yourself to God.

What can the world give you, except the grave?

Christ will crown you with life.

Worldly pleasures are illusionary dreams;
Asleep with these dreams, a person is fattened;
But when he is awakened, he feels hungry,
And in another dream he is robbed by the adversary,
And roars for food like a hungry lion.

Cry out and shout for true Bread.

Christ hears all who call upon Him
And gives Living Bread to the hungry.

That is real—all else is a daydream.

Outside Christ, there is no hoping.”

The sister heard and began to weep;
Her brother’s counsel she quickly obeyed.

REFLECTION

When a tyrant commits violence against the righteous out of greed, then the violence brings about loss and gain; that is, a loss to the tyrant and a gain to the one who suffered violence. Boris Godunov murdered Dimitri, the eight-year-old crown prince, to gain control of the throne without competition. The imperial days of Boris ended quickly, and the tyrant was given over to corruption and condemnation, but Dimitri was proclaimed a saint. After lying in the grave for fifteen years, the body of Dimitri was exhumed and found to be incorrupt and miracle-working. Forty-five miraculous healings occurred over his body. Who, therefore, receives the injury, and who receives the benefit from tyranny? If the tyrant knew that by his tyranny he would help his opponent to be included among the saints and that he would prepare defeat and damnation for himself, he would desist from his plan of violence. But twisted thinking is the forerunner and companion of tyranny.

CONTEMPLATION

Contemplate the action of God the Holy Spirit upon the apostles:

1. How, by the Holy Spirit, the apostles received mystical visions of the other world;

2. How, by the Holy Spirit, the apostles perceived mysteries in the hearts of men.

HOMILY
on the prophesied and actual destruction of the idols of Egypt

And the houses of the gods of the Egyptians shall burn with fire (Jeremiah 43:13).

Who will burn them? Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant, said the Lord (Jeremiah 25:9). This prophecy came true. Nebuchadnezzar conquered Egypt and by fire destroyed the houses of the false gods, the idols of the Egyptians. He burned them but he did not destroy them forever. For after that came the destruction of Babylon, again according to the prophecy of the holy Prophet Jeremiah, and Babylon became and remains to this day heaps, a dwelling place for dragons, an astonishment and a hissing, without an inhabitant (Jeremiah 51:37). But there is a tradition, recorded by St. Epiphanius of Cyprus, that there remained another prophecy of Jeremiah about the final destruction of the idols of Egypt: “All the idols will fall,” says this prophecy, “and all that is made by hands will be destroyed at the time when a Virgin Mother comes here with a young Child, Who was born in a cave and placed in a manger.” This prophecy was preserved by the pagan priests themselves, who from the time of Jeremiah introduced the custom of depicting the Virgin as she reclines on a bed and her young Child wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger.

Nebuchadnezzar, the servant, was able by God’s permission to cut down evil, but not to pluck it out by the roots. Sheared evil, like sheared grass, grows again. When the Lord came to earth, He plucked out evil by the roots. Nebuchadnezzar, the servant, burned the temples and the idols, but the temples were rebuilt and new idols were made, for they were not plucked out from the souls of men. When the Lord came and began His reign in the souls of the Egyptians, the temples and idols fell forever. So it was the same with the disobedient Jews who waged war against God. Nebuchadnezzar, the servant, took them into bondage for seventy years, and the offended Lord scattered them throughout the world, where many of them find themselves in dispersion today even after two thousand years. This scattering of the Jewish people throughout the world was clearly prophesied by Jeremiah. Thus, time justified the prophet of God in all his words.

O All-seeing Lord, grant us that we adhere to the words of Thy true prophet.

To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.

+++ DIOCESAN NEWS +++
Slava Celebration at St. George Parish in San Diego, California
07 May 2017
Ordination of Joseph Wesseler to the Deaconate
April 2017 13
20th Annual Diocesan
KSS Retreat, Alhambra

Apr 2017 01
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12 Mar 2017
Sunday of Orthodoxy Pan-Orthodox Vespers in Los Angeles
05 Mar 2017
Sunday of Orthodoxy in Alhambra 2017
05 Mar 2017
Historic Meeting in Jackson at St. Sava Mission


11 March 2017


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

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