Sunday of Zacchaeus

January 17, 2021
Thirty-Third Sunday after Pentecost

Zacchaeus Luke 19:1-10 – [Jesus] entered Jericho and was passing through. And there was a man named Zacchae'us; he was a chief tax collector, and rich. And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not, on account of the crowd, because he was small of stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, "Zacchae'us, make haste and come down; for I must stay at your house today." So he made haste and came down, and received him joyfully. And when they saw it they all murmured, "He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner." And Zacchae'us stood and said to the Lord, "Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have defrauded any one of anything, I restore it fourfold." And Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man came to seek and to save the lost." (RSV)

Do you desire Christ? - This Sunday marks the first of five Sundays before the beginning of the Great Fast in preparation for the celebration of Holy Week and Pascha. The Gospel lesson for today is clear: everything begins with the desire to see Jesus Christ. Zacchaeus, the rich tax collector, desired to see Jesus so much that he even climbed a sycamore tree to get a good view, not worrying about what others thought of him.  Jesus saw him, called him down and visited his house.  Zacchaeus then acknowledged his sinfulness and voluntarily offered to give half of what he had to the poor and four times what he had taken from anyone by false accusation.  The joy of the occasion is evidenced in Christ's words: "Today salvation has come to this house... for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost." Zacchaeus' desire to see Jesus led to his salvation.

Scripture

  • Matins - John 20:19-31 (Gospel 9)
  • Divine Liturgy - 1 Timothy 4:9-15, Luke 19:1-10

The icon is a detail of Zacchaeus's Encounter with the Lord.

March for Life - Friday, January 29, 2021

Plan now to participate in the annual March for Life! Your witness is vitally important as Americans work to ensure the respect for life for everyone from the moment of conception until the moment of natural death. Prayer is the most powerful weapon we have against the evils of abortion and euthanasia. Please note that events are different this year because of COVID-19. The March for LIfe is fully virtual. Some of annual events are not going to be held and others held in a different manner. But everyone can pray!

"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)


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Teachings of Christ

“The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45 ESV)

Feasts & Fasts

February
2 - Encounter of Our Lord, God, and Savior, Jesus Christ with Simeon and Anna
6 - First All-Souls Saturday
7 - Sunday of the Second Coming of Christ (Meat-Fare)
17 - President's Day (USA)
14 - Forgiveness Sunday (Cheese-Fare)
15 - Beginning of the Holy Forty Days Fast
21 - First Sunday of the Great Fast (Sunday of Orthodoxy)
27 - Second All-Souls Saturday
28 - Second Sunday of the Great Fast (St. Gregory Palamas)

March
6 - Third All Souls Saturday
7 - Third Sunday of the Great Fast (Veneration of the Cross)
13 - Fourth All-Souls Saturday
14 - Fourth Sunday of the Great Fast (St. John of the Ladder)
18 - Canon of St. Andrew of Crete
20 - Akathistos Saturday
21 - Fifth Sunday of the Great Fast (St. Mary of Egypt)
25 - Annunciation to the Mother of God
27 - April 4 - Great and Holy Week

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)

Encounter

Rejoice, O Mother of God, Virgin full of grace. * From you has risen the Sun of Righteousness, Christ our God, * shining upon those who are in darkness. * Rejoice also, you righteous Elder; * for you received in your arms the Deliverer of our souls, * Who has given us resurrection. (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.

O Christ God, through Your birth You sanctified the Virgin's womb; * and blessed, as it was proper, the hands of Simeon. * Now, having come, you saved us. * Give peace to Your commonwealth in times of war * and strengthen our civil authorities, whom You have loved, O You who alone loves mankind. (Kontakion, Tone 1)

(The Feast of the Encounter is February 2nd - the 40th Day of Christmas)

Random Proverb

"When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom." (Proverbs 11:2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

As long as the flesh is in full health, let us observe abstinence at all times and in every place. When it has been tamed (which I do not suppose is possible this side of the grave), then let us hide our accomplishment.

St. John Climacus, "The Ladder of Divine Ascent,
STEP 14: On That Clamorous Mistress, the Stomach