Thirty-Seventh Week After Pentecost

January 27 - February 2, 2014

Saints Gregory the Theologian Luke 18:35-43 - As [Jesus] drew near to Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging; and hearing a multitude going by, he inquired what this meant. They told him, "Jesus of Nazareth is passing by." And he cried, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" And those who were in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent; but he cried out all the more, "Son of David, have mercy on me!" And Jesus stopped, and commanded him to be brought to him; and when he came near, he asked him, "What do you want me to do for you?" He said, "Lord, let me receive my sight." And Jesus said to him, "Receive your sight; your faith has made you well." And immediately he received his sight and followed him, glorifying God; and all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God. (RSV)

Come! Receive the Light - As Jesus approached the blind man the blind man cried out and said, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” The beggar’s hand was stretched out to receive a penny from man but found himself receiving the gift of God. “Son of David, have mercy on me!” He understood that Jesus was the Son of David, the David who had spared the blind and the lame of the Jebusites (2 Sam 5:6-8). How did Jesus answer him? He said, “Receive your sight; you faith has made you well.” The blind man’s faith first gave him life and then gave him bodily sight. (St. Ephrem the Syrian)

The Icon is of the Three Holy Hierarchs: Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian and John Chrysostom (January 30th).


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Teachings of Christ

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40 ESV)

Feasts & Fasts

February
2 Encounter of Our Lord, God, and Savior, Jesus Christ with Simeon and Anna
(Presentation of Our Lord Into the Temple)
2 Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee
9 Sunday of the Prodigal Son
15 First All-Souls Saturday
16 Sunday of the Second Coming of Christ (Meat-Fare)
17 President's Day (USA)
23 Forgiveness Sunday (Cheese-Fare)
24 Beginning of the Holy Forty Days Fast

March
1 First Sunday of the Great Fast (Sunday of Orthodoxy)
7 Second All-Souls Saturday
8 Second Sunday of the Great Fast (St. Gregory Palamas)
14 Third All Souls Saturday
15 Third Sunday of the Great Fast (Veneration of the Cross)
21 Fourth All-Souls Saturday
22 Fourth Sunday of the Great Fast (St. John of the Ladder)
24 Canon of St. Andrew of Crete
25 Annunciation to the Mother of God
28 Akathistos Saturday
29 Fifth Sunday of the Great Fast (St. Mary of Egypt)

Please pray!

"They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword...." (Hebrews 11:37a)

Please lift up in prayer all those who are persecuted and deprived of liberty, everywhere in the world. Please especially remember the peoples of Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Niger - the whole Middle East and Africa - who are literal martyrs for Christ. Also the peoples of Ukraine. They are our brothers, for all are one in Christ.

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Lenten Prayer of St. Ephrem

O Lord and Master of my life, drive away from me the spirit of despondency, carelessness, love of power, and idle chatter. (Prostration)

Rather grant to me, Your servant, the spirit of wholeness of being, humility, patience, and love. (Prostration)

Yes, O Lord and King, grant that I may see my own faults and not condemn my brother; for You are blessed to the ages of ages. Amen. (Prostration)

Random Proverb

"My son, keep my words and treasure up my commandments with you; keep my commandments and live." (Proverbs 7:1,2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

According to the text, `We are the body of Christ and each of us is one of its members' (cf. 1 Cor. 12:27), we are said to be the body of Christ. We do not become this body through the loss of our own bodies; nor again because Christ's Body passes into us hypostatically or is divided into members; but rather because we conform to the likeness of the Lord's flesh by shaking off the corruption of sin. For just as Christ in His manhood was sinless by nature both in flesh and in soul, so we too who believe in Him, and have clothed ourselves in Him through the Spirit, can be without sin to Him if we so choose.

St. Maximus the Confessor, Second Century on Theology, Philokalia, V. 2