Epistle: 1 Corinthians 6:12-20
Gospel: Luke 15:11-32
Schedule of Services:
-Saturday, February 18th, Great Vespers at 4pm.
-Sunday, February 19th, Divine Liturgy at 10am. Hours begin at 9:40am.
-Next Church School for children: Sunday, February 19th.
-This week is a regular week with fasting on Wednesday and Friday, as we prepare for the Great Fast coming up.
-This year, on Saturday, March 11th, the weekend of the Sunday of St. Gregory Palamas, we will be hosting a Lenten Retreat. There has been a change of plans. Dn. Vitaly Permiakov now has to travel to Texas that weekend. Matushka Mary’s sister, Phoebe, will come instead to give a presentation on “Joy and the Christian Life.” She wrote a book on this topic some years ago, as we were going to have her come for our Lenten Retreat in the Spring of 2020, which never took place. We are grateful for her acceptance to come to us at such late notice. Some copies of her book will be available at the Retreat. Please set aside time to engage in such a necessary topic!!
-The weekend after our Retreat, Fr. Deacon Corrado will be presenting at St. Mark’s Orthodox Church in Wrightstown, PA, for another Retreat. Our parish has been invited to St. Mark’s to attend their Retreat and attend Great Vespers. Fr. Raymond Martin Browne, the parish priest of St. Mark’s, and I, have opened our Retreats to our respective parishes. Therefore, instead of holding Vespers here that evening, we have been invited to go to St. Mark’s, as they are invited to our parish. Fr. Deacon Corrado will be speaking on the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin—the burial shroud of Jesus Christ.
-Sunday, February 26th is Forgiveness Sunday. It is important that we are all here in church to ask one another forgiveness as the first step to our Lord’s Pascha! The foundation of heaven is built on the pillars of forgiveness!
Departed: Fr. Sergius (Kuharsky) The victims of the earthquake in Turkey.
Living: Steven, Nellie, Paul, Melissa, Helen, John, Stephen, Michele, Janet, Teresa, Irina, Alla, Ira, Victor, the child of God, Gideon; the servant of God, Brendan; Metropolitan Onuphry and the faithful of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church; the suffering people and innocent victims of the Ukrainian/Russian war and those being persecuted; the suffering people of Yemen, Syria, and Palestine. And the suffering people of Turkey.
Words for the Day:
Adorn yourself with truth, try to speak truth in all things; and do not support a lie, no matter who asks you. If you speak the truth and someone gets mad at you, don't be upset, but take comfort in the words of the Lord: Blessed are those who are persecuted for the sake of truth, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven (Matt. 5:10).
(St. Gennadius of Constantinople, The Golden Chain, 26,29).
Do not lose your temper with those who sin. Do not have a passion for noticing every sin in your neighbor and judging it, as we usually do. Everyone will give an answer for himself before God. Especially, do not look with evil intention on the sins of those older than you, with whom you have no business. But correct your own sins, your own heart.
(St. John of Kronstadt, My Life in Christ, I.6)
Next Week’s Readings:
Epistle: 1 Corinthians 8:8-9:2. Food will not commend us to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol's temple, will he not be encouraged, if his conscience is weak, to eat food offered to idols? And so by your knowledge this weak person is destroyed, the brother
for whom Christ died. Thus, sinning against your brothers and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.
Gospel: Matthew 25:31-46. “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”