All Saints Sunday
May 26, 2013
First Sunday after Pentecost
Matthew 10:32-33 - “So every one who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven; but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.” (RSV)
Confession with the lips leads to salvation - The Son does not here speak soothing words but instead speaks of the consequences of denial. Note carefully: It is not by some power within yourself that you make your confession but by the help of grace from above. But if you deny me, the Son, he is saying, then I will deny you in the presence of the Father. Someone may then object: “How then am I to be blamed if God, forsaking me, denies me?” The answer is, your being forsaken is the fault of you yourself, the forsaken person, not of God.
“But why,” you object, “should I need to confess faith with my mouth if I confess faith in my mind?” No. We must confess with our mouths in order that we may be steadily trained to speak boldly. It is only through this more abundant love and determination that we will be raised on high.
In this way Jesus addresses himself to each one of us personally. He is not here addressing only his original disciples but also every one of us who follows after his disciples in accord with their witness to him. One who learns this lesson will teach it in boldness to others, prepared to suffer all things easily and with a ready mind. That is why so many have come to have faith in the witness of the apostles and the saints to this Word. (St. John Chrysostom, Adapted from the Homily on Matthew.)
The Apostles Fast begins after Vespers on Sunday evening and continues until June 29, the Feast of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul.
The icon is of "All Saints".
Still no word on kidnapped Orthodox prelates in Syria
- Created on 08 May 2013
CWN - Church leaders in Syria have not been able to establish the whereabouts of two Orthodox bishops who were kidnapped on April 22, or to understand the motive for the abductions.
“We are groping in the dark,” admitted Archbishop Jean-Clement Jeanbart of Aleppo. The Melkite Catholic archdiocese has been seeking to make contact with the kidnappers—to date, without success. Orthodox Church leaders have remained quiet about the matter, hoping to avoid the spread of false or alarming stories.
Archbishop Jeanbart reports that the continuing civil war in Syria has strained the resources of the people in Aleppo, causing shortages of food, fuel, and other resources. With electrical and internet service breaking down, the only communication with the outside world is by cell phones, he said.
Syria: ‘prayers mingled with tears’ at Easter
- Created on 07 May 2013
CWN - Easter, which was celebrated on May 5 on the Julian calendar, was a time of continued weeping for Syria’s Christians, according to the Chaldean Catholic bishop of Aleppo, the nation’s largest city. The Syriac Orthodox and Greek Orthodox archbishops of Aleppo were kidnapped on April 22, following the abduction of two priests in February.
“They sang, ‘Christ is risen,’ and while repeating those words of joy and victory, they all had tears in their eyes,” said Bishop Antoine Audo, SJ. “All their prayers mingled with their tears.”
“Everyone is wondering what will become of the bishops and priests,” he continued. “The time that goes by is not a good sign.”
“The daily struggle for survival also prevents one from having a clear overall perception with regard to the ongoing conflict, the consequences of Israeli air raids and the dangers of contagion at a regional scale,” he added. “We are often with no electricity, no water … As president of Caritas, I spend all the time receiving people who are looking for help. And I also had to cancel every transfer from Aleppo, because every movement has become dangerous.”