Deisis (Novogorod)

The Holy Festival of the Lights

St. Gregory Nazianzus

BaptismChrist is bathed in light; let us also be bathed in light.  Christ is baptized; let us also go down with Him, and rise with Him.

John is baptizing when Jesus draws near.  Perhaps He comes to sanctify His baptizer; certainly He comes to bury sinful humanity in the waters.  He comes to sanctify the Jordan for our sake and in readiness for us; He Who is spirit and flesh comes to begin a new creation through Spirit and water.

The Baptist protests; Jesus insists.  Then John says: "I ought to be baptized by You."  He is the lamp in the presence of the Sun, the voice in the presence of the woman in the presence of the Firstborn of all creation, the one who leapt in his mother's womb in the presence of Him Who has already come and is to come again.  "I ought to be baptized by You"; we should add: "and for You," for John is to be baptized in blood, washed clean like Peter, not only by the washing of his feet.

Jesus rises from the waters; the world rises with Him.  The heavens like Paradise with its flaming sword, closed by Adam for himself and his descendants, are rent open.  The Spirit comes to Him as to an equal, bearing witness to His Godhead.  A voice bears witness to Him from heaven, His place of origin.  The Spirit descends in bodily form like a dove that so long ago announced the ending of the flood and so gives honor to the body that is one with God.

Today let us do honor to Christ's baptism and celebrate this feast in holiness.  Be cleansed entirely and continue to be cleansed.  Nothing gives such pleasure to God as the conversion and salvation of humanity, for whom His every word and every revelation exist.  He wants you to become a living force for all humanity, lights shining in the world.  You are to be radiant lights as you stand beside Christ, the great light, bathed in the glory of Him Who is the light of heaven.  You are to enjoy more and more the pure and dazzling light of the Trinity, as now you have received - though not in its fullness - a ray of its splendor, proceeding from the one God, in Christ Jesus our Lord, to Whom be glory and power now and ever, and to the ages of ages.  Amen!

Taken from Christ-bearers - Meditations for the Pre-Christmas Fast, Christmas, and Theophany.


Welcome!

Welcome to byzcath.org. Here you will find news and general information about the Byzantine Catholic (Greek Catholic) and other Eastern Christian Churches. This site is unofficial.

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.

Join Our Community

Check out The Byzantine Forum, a discussion community focusing on everything Eastern Christian. Here you can share your faith, ask questions, request prayers and offer prayers. It's a cross between a panel of experts and a cyber coffee hour. Believers and non-believers welcome!

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

May
7 - Fourth Sunday of Pascha (Paralytic) Feast of Saints Cyril & Methodius
10 - Mid-Pentecost
14 - Fifth Sunday of Pascha (Samaritan Women at the Well)
21 - Sixth Sunday of Pascha (Man Born Blind)
22 - Victoria Day (Canada)
25- Feast of the Ascension of Our Lord, God, and Savior, Jesus Christ
28 - Seventh Sunday of Pascha (Holy Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council)
29 - Memorial Day (USA)

June
3 - Fifth All-Souls Saturday
4 - Pentecost - Descent of the Holy Spirit
5 - Feast of the Holy Trinity
11 - All Saints Sunday
12-28 - The Apostles' Fast
24 - Nativity of the Holy Glorious Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist John
29 - The Holy Glorious and All-Praised Leaders of the Apostles, Peter & Paul

Resurrection

Christ is risen from the dead * trampling down Death by death, * and to those in the tombs bestowing life! (Troparion)

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

Although You descended into the tomb, O Immortal One, * You destroyed the power of Hades; * You arose as the victor, O Christ God, * proclaiming to the myrrh-bearing women: “Rejoice!” * And granting peace to Your Apostles, * O, You, Who gives resurrection to the fallen. (Kontakion)

Random Proverb

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

This Week's Scripture

May 7, 2017
Fourth Sunday of Pascha
Paralytic
- Matins: Luke 24:1-12 (Gospel 4)
- Liturgy: Acts 9:32-42, John 5:1-15
    
Fourth Week of Pascha
- Monday: Acts 10:1-16, John 6:56-69
- Tuesday: Acts 10:21-33, John 7:1-13
- Wednesday (Mid-Pentecost): Acts 14:6-18, John 7:14-30
- Thursday: Acts 10:34-43, John 8:12-20
- Friday: Acts 10:44-11:10, John 8:21-30
- Saturday: Acts 12:1-11, John 8:31-42

May 14, 2017
Fifth Sunday of Pascha
Samaritan Woman
- Matins: John 20:1-10 (Gospel 7)
- Liturgy: Acts 11:15-26, 29-30, John 4:5-4:2

Fifth Week of Pascha
- Monday: Acts 12:12-17, John 8:42-51
- Tuesday: Acts 12:25-13:12, John 8:51-59
- Wednesday: Acts 13:13-24, John 6:5-14
- Thursday: Acts 14:20-27, John 9:39-10:9
- Friday: Acts 15:5-34, John 10:17-28
- Saturday: Acts 15:35-41, John 10:27-38

May 21, 2017
Sixth Sunday of Pascha (Blind Man)
- Matins: John 20:11-18 (Gospel 8)
- Liturgy: Acts 16:16-34, John 9:1-38

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Repentance is the renewal of baptism. Repentance is a contract with God for a second life. A penitent is a buyer of humility. Repentance is constant distrust of bodily comfort. Repentance is self-condemning reflection, and carefree self-care. Repentance is the daughter of hope and the renunciation of despair. A penitent is an undisgraced convict. Repentance is reconciliation with the Lord by the practice of good deeds contrary to the sins. Repentance is purification of conscience. Repentance is the voluntary endurance of all afflictions. A penitent is the inflicter of his own punishments. Repentance is a mighty persecution of the stomach, and a striking of the soul into vigorous awareness.

St. John of the Ladder