Weekly Diocesan Bulletin - Sunday, June 4, 2017

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 wEEKLY DIOCESAN BULLETIN

SUNDAY, JUNE 4, 2017

PENTECOST SUNDAY:
THE DESCENT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

FIRST ANTIPHON:

VERSE: The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims His handiwork.

REFRAIN: Through the prayers of the Theotokos, Savior, save us.

VERSE: Their proclamation has gone out into all the earth, and their words to the ends of the universe.

REFRAIN: Through the prayers of the Theotokos, Savior, save us.

VERSE: Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages.  Amen.

REFRAIN: Through the prayers of the Theotokos, Savior, save us.

SECOND ANTIPHON:

VERSE: The Lord answer you in the day of trouble; the name of the God of Jacob protect you.

REFRAIN: Gracious Comforter, save us who sing to Thee: Alleluia!

VERSE: May He send you help from the sanctuary, and give you support from Zion!

REFRAIN: Gracious Comforter, save us who sing to Thee: Alleluia!

VERSE: May He remember all your offerings, and fulfill all your plans.

REFRAIN: Gracious Comforter, save us who sing to Thee: Alleluia!

VERSE: Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages.  Amen.  Only-begotten Son and Immortal Word of God...

THIRD ANTIPHON:

VERSE: In Your strength the King rejoices, O Lord, and exults greatly in Your salvation.

PENTECOST TROPARION - TONE EIGHT:
Blessed are Thou, O Christ our God, who hast revealed the fishermen as most wise, by sending down upon them the Holy Spirit; through them Thou didst draw the world into Thy net.  O Lover of Mankind, Glory to Thee!

VERSE: You have given him his heart’s desire, and have withheld the request of his lips.

PENTECOST TROPARION - TONE EIGHT:
Blessed are Thou, O Christ our God, who hast revealed the fishermen as most wise, by sending down upon them the Holy Spirit; through them Thou didst draw the world into Thy net.  O Lover of Mankind, Glory to Thee!

INTROIT OF THE LITTLE ENTRANCE:
Be exalted, O Lord, in Your strength!  We will sing and praise Your power!  

PENTECOST TROPARION - TONE EIGHT:
Blessed are Thou, O Christ our God, who hast revealed the fishermen as most wise, by sending down upon them the Holy Spirit; through them Thou didst draw the world into Thy net.  O Lover of Mankind, Glory to Thee!

PENTECOST KONTAKION - TONE EIGHT:
When the Most High came down and confused the tongues, He divided the nations; but when He distributed the tongues of fire, He called all to unity.  Therefore, with one voice, we glorify the All-holy Spirit!

INSTEAD OF “HOLY GOD…”:
As many as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ.  Alleluia!

INSTEAD OF “IT IS TRULY MEET...”:
Rejoice, O Queen! Glory of mothers and virgins! No mouth, however sweet or fluent, is eloquent enough to praise you worthily! Every mind is overawed by your childbearing. Therefore with one voice we glorify you!

EPISTLE READING

PROKEIMENON IN TONE EIGHT:
Their proclamation has gone out into all the earth, and their words to the ends of the universe.

PENTECOST SUNDAY: ACTS 2: 1-11
In those days, when the day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.  And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.  Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them.  And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.  And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven.  And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language.  Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, “Look, are not all these who speak Galileans?  And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born?  Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs -- we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.”

THE ALLELUIA VERSES:
By the Word of the Lord the heavens were made; and all their host by the Spirit of His mouth. The Lord looked down from heaven, and saw all the sons of men.

GOSPEL READING

PENTECOST SUNDAY: JOHN 7: 37-52; 8: 12
At that time, on the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.  He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”  But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.  Therefore many from the crowd, when they heard this saying, said, “Truly this is the Prophet.”  Others said, “This is the Christ.”  But some said, “Will the Christ come out of Galilee?  Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the seed of David and from the town of Bethlehem, where David was?”  So there was a division among the people because of Him.  Now some of them wanted to take Him, but no one laid hands on Him.  Then the officers came to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, “Why have you not brought Him?”  The officers answered, “No man ever spoke like this Man!”  Then the Pharisees answered them, “Are you also deceived?  Have any of the rulers or the Pharisees believed in Him?  But this crowd that does not know the law is accursed.”  Nicodemus (he who came to Jesus by night, being one of them) said to them, “Does our law judge a man before it hears him and knows what he is doing?”  They answered and said to him, “Are you also from Galilee?  Search and look, for no prophet has arisen out of Galilee.” Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

FROM THE PROLOGUE:
MAY 22/JUNE 4, BY SAINT NIKOLAI VELIMIROVIC:

The Holy Martyr Basiliscus
Basiliscus was a kinsman of St. Theodore the Tyro. He was tortured together with Eutropius and Cleonicus. When the latter two were crucified and had died (March 3), Basiliscus was returned to prison. At that time the emperor’s deputy was being replaced, and so Basiliscus remained imprisoned for a long time. Basiliscus prayed with tears that God would not deprive him of a martyr’s death. After he had prayed at length, the Lord Jesus Himself appeared to him, promised to fulfill his wish, and sent him to his village to bid farewell to his mother and brothers. Then a new deputy, Agrippa, arrived and ordered that Basiliscus be brought from the village immediately. While Basiliscus was on his way from the village to the town of Amasea, the Lord worked a great miracle through His martyr, as a result of which many people believed in Christ. Agrippa ordered the martyr to offer a sacrifice to the idol Apollyon. “‘Apollyon’ means ‘destroyer,’” said Basiliscus, and with fervent prayer he turned the idol into dust and burned the temple with fire from heaven. The frightened Agrippa attributed this to magic and ordered that Basiliscus be beheaded. At that moment, Agrippa went insane. In his madness, he went to the scaffold, found a little blood of the martyr in the dust, and placed it under his belt, and was healed. Coming to his senses, he was baptized. Marinus, a citizen of Comana, later built a church over the relics of the saint, at the place of Basiliscus’s execution, and many afflicted people found healing there.

The Holy Martyr Jovan Vladimir, King of Serbia
Jovan Vladimir was of princely lineage from Zahumlje. His grandfather was called Hvalimir and his father Petrislav. As a ruler, he was wise, merciful, meek, chaste and brave. He fervently prayed to God and voluntarily built churches and supported them. However, he had difficult struggles both internally and externally: internally from heretics and the Bogomils, and externally from Tsar Samuel and Tsar Basil who wanted to conquer him. Samuel captured him deceitfully and cast him into prison. While he languished in prison an angel of God appeared to him and foretold that he would shortly be freed, but that he would die a martyr’s death. Getting to know him better, Samuel grew to like him and gave his daughter Kosara to be his wife. When Samuel died, his son Radomir was crowned Tsar. But Vladislav, Radomir’s twin brother, slew Radomir, then deceitfully summoned Vladimir and beheaded him in the year 1015. The relics of this saintly king are preserved incorrupt in his monastery near Elbasan, and numerous miracles have been worked over them throughout the ages and to this day. In 1925 a church was built to honor this crowned martyr near the Monastery of St. Nahum, since Jovan Vladimir had been a benefactor of that glorious monastery.

The Second Ecumenical Council
This Council was called during the reign of Emperor Theodosius the Great in Constantinople in the year 381. Its goal was to confirm the Orthodox teaching concerning the Holy Spirit. Macedonius, Patriarch of Constantinople, had erroneously taught that the Holy Spirit was God’s creature and not a Divine Person [Hypostasis], and therefore not equal to the Father or the  Son, or One in Essence with Them in the Holy Trinity. Macedonius was condemned by this Council, and the teaching about the Holy Spirit was added to the Nicaean Creed.

The Holy Righteous Melchisedek, King of Salem
Melchisedek was a contemporary of our forefather Abraham. According to the words of the Apostle Paul he was a king, a priest, and a type of the Lord Jesus Christ (Hebrews 7).

HYMN OF PRAISE: Melchisedek, King of Salem

Melchisedek, King of Salem:
Whence is his family?

He was a king and a priest
Of the Highest King—God.

He was greater than Abraham;
He was and remains a mystery.

He blessed Abraham;
To him Abraham gave a tribute.

He was a king and priest in the world,
And became a forefigure of Christ.

He proclaimed peace and justice;
He was and remains a mystery.

His origin and end are unknown,
As is the length of his earthly life,

But it is known that he lived—
A beautiful example of a man.

King, saint, righteous one:
Such was Melchisedek—
A prophet and forefigure of Christ.

A prophet he was, without words,
But with a most beautiful personality.

A prophet he was, without words;
A prophet—with righteousness and mercy.

REFLECTION

How was Moses able to fast for forty days? How were the many Christian ascetics able to live a long life in extreme abstinence from food and drink? For the physical man who does not know about the spiritual life, this is impossible to believe. It is impossible even to prove it to him, for the understanding of it is achieved only by experience. When the torturers of St. Basiliscus detained him for three days without food and water, and when they did offer him food to eat, he refused, saying that he was not hungry. “I am,” said he, “filled with immortal food and do not want to receive mortal food. You are fed by earthly bread, but the heavenly word of God feeds me; wine makes you happy, but the grace of the Holy Spirit makes me happy; meat satisfies you, but fasting satisfies me; physical power strengthens you, but the Cross of Christ strengthens me; gold makes you rich, but the love of Christ enriches me; clothing adorns you, but good works adorn me; you are made happy with laughter, but I am comforted by the Spirit through prayer.” Behold this man, one of many, in whom the word of the Lord was confirmed: Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4).

CONTEMPLATION

Contemplate the grace of God the Holy Spirit in the Mystery of Baptism:

1. How that grace cleanses man from original sin;

2. How it brings man to participation in the freedom of Christ.

HOMILY
on the bodies of men as temples

Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price (I Corinthians 6: 19–20).

How is it, brethren, that our bodies became the temple of the Holy Spirit? Because we are bought with a price. The Lord Jesus bought us with His cares, labors, sufferings and death. Because of this price we were made worthy to become the temple of the Holy Spirit.

But someone will say: “That price was paid a long time ago, and we live twenty centuries later!” It is all the same: the price was not paid for one time and for one generation, but rather for all times and for all generations from Adam to the Dreadful Judgment. And if billions and billions of human beings are born on earth, the price is paid for all of them. The price is so great and rich that, if all the sand in the sea were changed into men, the price would be sufficient.

Brethren, from what moment do our bodies become the temple of the Holy Spirit? From the moment of our baptism. Although the price is paid for all men, only those who are baptized become the temple of the Holy Spirit.

Brethren, what is the consequence of the Holy Spirit’s taking up His abode in us? The consequence is this: that we are not our own anymore. When the Holy Spirit takes up His abode in our bodies, then He becomes the Master over us, and not we over our bodies or over ourselves. Then, brethren, we are the possession of God the Holy Spirit.

Brethren, what did it mean at the Mystical Supper, when the Lord washed even the feet of Judas, and Judas received a piece of bread from the Lord, when the Scripture says: Satan entered into him (John 13:27). Oh, what dreadful words! Oh, what a horrible punishment for the traitor of God! Brethren, does this not mean that when we reject God, Who washes and feeds us, the Spirit of God departs from us and Satan settles in His place? Oh, what a harsh meaning! Oh, what a terrible reminder to all of us who are baptized! The Holy Spirit settled in us during our baptism and made us a temple for Himself. But the Holy Spirit does not dwell in us by force, but rather according to our good will. If we transgress against Him, He departs from us; Satan enters in His place, and our physical temple is transformed into a pigsty.

O All-good Holy Spirit, do not leave us. Have mercy on us and forgive us.

To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.


+++ DIOCESAN NEWS +++
Patronal Feast Day Celebration in Seattle
28 May 2017
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
Living the Faith in Our Daily Lives in Jackson,CA
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

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Saint Steven’s Serbian Orthodox Cathedral Alhambra, California

THE CHURCH AS FAMILY & 
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“You are no longer strangers and aliens, but the members of the household of God”
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