Epistle: Hebrews 4:14-5:6
Gospel: Mark 8:34-9:1
Schedule of Services:
-Wednesday, March 22nd, Pre-sanctified Liturgy at 6:30pm.
-Saturday, March 25th, Annunciation, Vesperal Liturgy at 10am.
-Sunday, March 26th, Divine Liturgy at 10am. Hours begin at 9:40am.
-Please note that the Feast of the Annunciation is on Saturday. We will celebrate a Vesperal Liturgy at 10am. There will be no Vespers that evening.
-Thank you, John and Pam, for coordinating coffee hour today!
-So far, Pre-sanctified Liturgies on Wednesdays have been very well attended. Let’s keep it up. We will have a pot-luck, again, this Wednesday after service. It’s such a blessed thing to be present together and share a meal together after partaking of the Eucharist during this very special time.
-A deanery mission Vespers will be served at St. Vladimir Church in Trenton, NJ tonight at 4pm.
-Please be reminded that it is the universal practice of the Orthodox Church to make a private confession before Pascha. Remember, we really do receive God’s grace when we do this, as it is an essential sacrament of the Church. As we were reminded at our Lenten Retreat, repentance means we consciously turn ourselves around to face Christ and to face his light, rather than walk in denial and darkness. Indeed, confession is a reorientation of our mind and heart to walk and live in God’s forgiving love. Fr. Tristan will be available before and after every Vespers on Saturday evenings, and before any Pre-sanctified Liturgy. If this does not work for you, please call and schedule a time. We are asked to go to confession before the start of Holy Week, so kindly plan ahead. During Holy Week, we are to make our best effort to keep our focus on Christ, not on our shortcomings and ourselves. Please plan a time for confession before Holy Week.
-In the past, Adult Education sessions have been held during coffee hour on the first Sunday of the month. This will change, now, to the fourth Sunday of the month. Therefore, we will hold an Adult Education session next Sunday. Historically, Great Lent was initially a time for “catechesis” for those entering the Church in anticipation for baptism. In time, Lent became a time of “catechesis” for the baptized faithful and “catechumens” alike. Therefore we will hold a final education session next week, until after Pascha. Please come, as there will be no Adult Education sessions during the month of April.
-Finally, to do our best to accommodate all our differing schedules and responsibilities, for singers, starting this Wednesday (before Presanctified Liturgy), March 22nd, until Holy Week begins, choir rehearsals will be held 45 mins. before all Presanctified Liturgies on Wednesdays, 45 mins. before all scheduled Vespers Services on Saturdays, and 45 mins. before all Divine Liturgies on Sundays. Also, a rehearsal will be held after the Divine Liturgy on Lazarus Saturday. Thank you, Mila and Brendan, for your coordination and dedication to facilitate and to rehearse during these times. Fr. Tristan will be there, as well, to the extent he can be.
Departed: Archpriest Daniel
Living: Steven, 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 Turkey, and Palestine.
Words for the Day:
A discerning man, when he eats grapes, takes only the ripe ones and leaves the sour. Thus also the discerning mind carefully marks the virtues which he sees in any person. A mindless man seeks out the vices and failings ... Even if you see someone sin with your own eyes, do not judge; for often even your eyes are deceived.
(St. John of the Ladder, Ladder, 10.16-17)
Next Week’s Readings:
Epistle: Hebrews 6:13-20. For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself, saying, “Surely I will bless you and multiply you.” And thus Abraham, having patiently waited, obtained the promise. For people swear by something greater than themselves, and in all their disputes an oath is final for confirmation. So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.
Gospel: Mark 9:17-31. And someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a spirit that makes him mute. And whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able.” And he answered them, “O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me.” And they brought the boy to him. And when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, “He is dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.” They went on from there and passed through Galilee. And he did not want anyone to know, for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him. And when he is killed, after three days he will rise.