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.


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Teachings of Christ

“If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’" (John 7:37-38 ESV)

Feasts & Fasts

October
1 - The Protection of our Most Holy Lady the Mother of God and Ever-Virgin Mary
9 - Columbus Day (USA), Thanksgiving Day (Canada)
15 - Sunday of the Fathers of the Seventh Ecumenical Council

November
8 - Synaxis of the Archangel Michael and the Other Bodiless Powers
11 - Veterans' Day (USA), Remembrance Day (Canada)
15 - Nativity Fast (Philip's Fast also known as Advent)
21 - The Entry of the Most Holy Mother of God into the Temple
23 - Thanksgiving Day (USA)

Exaltation of the Cross

Save Your people, O Lord, and bless Your inheritance; * grant victory to Your Church over her enemies * and protect Your commonwealth by Your Cross. (Troparion - Tone 1)

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

Willingly lifted up on the Cross, O Christ God, * bestow Your compassions upon the new commonwealth that bears Your name. * By your power grant joy to Your Church, * granting her victory over her enemies. * May she have your Cross as the weapon of peace * and the invincible ensign of victory. (Kontakion - Tone 4)

The Church celebrates the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross on September 14th.

Random Proverb

"My son, do not lose sight of these — keep sound wisdom and discretion, and they will be life for your soul." (Proverbs 3:21,22a ESV)

This Week's Scripture

October 1, 2017

Feast of the Protection of the Mother of God
Seventeenth Sunday After Pentecost
- Matins: Luke 24:36-53 (Gospel 6)
- Liturgy: 2 Corinthians 6:16-7:1, Luke 6:31-36
For the Feast:
- Vespers: Genesis 28:10-17, Ezekiel 43:27-44:4, Proverbs 9:1-11
- Matins: Luke 1:39-49,56
- Liturgy: Hebrews 9:1-7, Luke 10:38-42; 11:27-28

Eighteenth Week After Pentecost
- Monday: Ephesians 4:25-32, Luke 6:24-30
- Tuesday: Ephesians 5:20-26, Luke 6:37-45
- Wednesday: Ephesians 5:25-33, Luke 6:46-71
- Thursday: Ephesians 5:33-6:9, Luke 7:17-30
- Friday: Ephesians 6:18-24, Luke 7:31-35
- Saturday: 1 Corinthians 15:39-45, Luke 5:27-32

October 8, 2017
Eighteenth Sunday After Pentecost
- Matins: John 20:1-10 (Gospel 7)
- Liturgy: 2 Corinthians 9:6-11, Luke 7:11-16

Nineteenth Week After Pentecost
- Monday: Philippians 1:1-7, Luke 7:36-50
- Tuesday: Philippians 1:8-14, Luke 8:1-3
- Wednesday: Philippians 1:12-20, Luke 8:2225
- Thursday: Philippians 1:20-27, Luke 9:7-11
- Friday: Philippians 1:27-2:4, Luke 9:12-18
- Saturday: 1 Corinthians 15:58-16:3, Luke 6:1-10

October 15, 2017
Nineteenth Sunday After Pentecost
Fathers of the Seventh Ecumenical Council
- Vespers: Genesis 14:14-20, Deuteronomy 1:8-11, 15-17, Deuteronomy 10:14-21
- Matins: John 20:11-18 (Gospel 8)
- Liturgy: 2 Corinthians 11:31-12:9, Luke 8:5-15 (19th Sun), Hebrews 13:7-16, John 17:1-13 (Fathers)

Twentieth Week After Pentecost
- Monday: Philippians 2:12-16, Luke 9:18-22
- Tuesday: Philippians 2:17-23, Luke 9:23-27
- Wednesday: Philippians 2:24-30, Luke 9:44-50
- Thursday: Philippians 3:1-8, Luke 9:49-56
- Friday: Philippians 3:8-19, Luke 10:1-15
- Saturday: 2 Corinthians 1:8-11, Luke 7:1-10

October 22, 2017
Twentieth Sunday After Pentecost
- Matins: John 20:19-31 (Gospel 9)
- Liturgy: Galatians 1:11-19, Luke 16:19-31 (Slavs) or Luke 8:26-39 (Greeks)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Let us consider, then, brethren, of what matter we were formed, who we are, and with what nature we came into the world, and how He Who formed and created us brought us into His world from the darkness of a grave, and prepared his benefits for us before we were born. Since, therefore, we have everything from Him, we ought in everything to give Him thanks, to Whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

St. Clement of Rome