Twentieth Sunday After Pentecost

October 18, 2020

James, Brother of the LordLuke 8:5-15 - "A sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell along the path, and was trodden under foot, and the birds of the air devoured it. And some fell on the rock; and as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns grew with it and choked it. And some fell into good soil and grew, and yielded a hundredfold." As he said this, he called out, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."

And when his disciples asked him what this parable meant, he said, "To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God; but for others they are in parables, so that seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand. Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. The ones along the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, that they may not believe and be saved. And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy; but these have no root, they believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away. And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature. And as for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bring forth fruit with patience. (RSV)

How deeply is the Lord rooted in you? – This good seed is worthy of admiration. Rich and well-productive land brings froth fruit a hundredfold. They say that the best soils sometimes under cultivation produce a hundredfold, so this is a mark of every fertile and productive spot. One of the holy prophets said from the mouth of God, “And all nations shall congratulate you because you are a desirable land.” (Mal 3:12) When the divine word falls upon a pure mind skillful in cleansing itself from things hurtful, it fixes its root deeply and shoots up like an ear of corn. It brings its fruit to perfection being strong in blade and beautifully flowered. (St. Cyril of Alexandria)

Scripture

- Matins: John 20:19-31 (Gospel 9)
- Divine Liturgy: Galatians 1:11-19, Luke 8:5-15

 October is Respect Life Month

"The love of God does not distinguish between the newly-conceived infant still in the mother's womb, the baby, the youth, the grown adult or the elderly because in each of them He sees the sign of His own image and likeness." (Pope Benedict XVI)

Forty Days for Life - Join with your parish and community and witness the value of life. Website: Forty Days for Life

The Icon is of James, the Brother of the Lord. The Church celebrates his memory on October 23rd.


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Teachings of Christ

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." (John 10:10 ESV)

Feasts & Fasts

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

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 - Entry of the Most Holy Mother of God into the Temple
26 - Thanksgiving Day (USA)

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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Entrance of the Mother of God into the Temple

Today is the prelude of the goodwill of God * and the heralding of the salvation of mankind; * the Virgin appears clearly in the temple of God * and foretells Christ to all. * Let us also with a mighty voice cry out to her: * “Rejoice, O Fulfillment of the Creator’s divine plan.” (Troparion - Tone 4)

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

The most pure Temple of the Savior, * the most precious Bridal-Chamber and Virgin, the sacred Treasury of the glory of God, * is brought today into the house of the Lord, * bringing with her the grace that is in the Divine Spirit. * The angels of God praise her in song: * “She is the heavenly tabernacle.” (Kontakion - Tone 4)

(November 21st)

Random Proverb

"Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give it”—when you have it with you." (Proverbs 3:28 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

The soul has followed Moses and the cloud, both of these serving as guides for those who would advance in virtue; Moses here represents the commandments of the Law; and the cloud that leads the way, its spiritual meaning. The soul has been purified by crossing the Sea; it has removed from itself and destroyed the enemy army. It has tasted of the waters of Marah, that is, of life deprived of all sinful pleasure; and this at first had seemed bitter and unpleasant to the taste but offered a sensation of sweetness to those who accepted the wood. Next it enjoyed the beauty of the palm trees of the gospel and the springs; it filled itself with the living water, that is, the rock. It took within itself the bread of heaven. It overwhelmed the foreign host - a victory due to the extended arms of the Lawgiver, which thus foreshadowed the mystery of the Cross. Only then can the soul go on to the contemplation of transcendent Being.

St. Gregory of Nyssa