Prosfora: Nikki G.
Altar Servers: D. Abshear, J. Cunningham
Greeter(s): MK Smith, M. Adrian
Epistle: D. Holobeny
Donut Sponsor(s): Topalov
Chapel Vacuum: S. Osman
Candle care: Garber
Counters: B. Lootens, M. Pearson
9:00am Hours: D. Holobeny
9:30am Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom
11:30am Fellowship Hour: Potluck
11:45am Church School/Youth Group
Hymns & Readings:
Tone 7 Troparion (Resurrection)
By Your Cross You destroyed death. To the thief You opened Paradise. For the Myrrhbearers You changed weeping into joy. And You commanded Your disciples, O Christ God, to proclaim that You are risen, granting the world great mercy.
Hymn of St. Paul
O blessed and Holy Paul the Apostle, Enlightener of the Nations; Your preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, has brought salvation to the ends of the earth. Never cease to intercede for us your children, that within us the Love of God may abide, bringing great joy to our neighbors and for us the salvation of our souls!
Tone 7 Hymn (Last Judgement)
When You, O God, shall come to earth with glory, all things shall tremble and the river of fire shall flow before Your judgment seat; the books shall be opened and the hidden things disclosed! Then deliver me from the unquenchable fire, and make me worthy to stand at Your right hand, righteous Judge!
Tone 3 Prokeimenon
Great is our Lord, and abundant in power, His understanding is beyond measure.
Epistle: 1 Corinthians 8:8-9:2
But food does not commend us to God; for neither if we eat are we the better, nor if we do not eat are we the worse. But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak. For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will not the conscience of him who is weak be emboldened to eat those things offered to idols? And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble. Am I not an apostle? Am I not free? Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord? If I am not an apostle to others, yet doubtless I am to you. For you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.
Gospel: Matthew 25:31-46
When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
For Further Reading:
The Fearful Judgment of Christ
If those who did not give nourishment to Christ when he was hungry are condemned with the devil to the fire that never dies, what about those who have reduced to famine choirs of monks and virgins, and have reduced to nakedness those who were clothed? And those who have not only not welcomed strangers but have chased them away; and those who have not only not cared for the sick but have afflicted them yet more; and those who have not only not visited the captives but have cast into prison those who had been free of chains? Imagine what torments they will suffer! Then, you will see them grilled, burning, enchained, weeping, their teeth gnashing, henceforth wailing futilely, and repenting uselessly and without recompense, just as that rich man. These same people will see you in the blessed state, crowned, chanting with the angels, reigning together with Christ; and they will cry out much, and wail, and repent of the inconsiderate words they said against you, addressing to you their supplications, and invoking your mercy and philanthropy. But all of this will be of no avail to them. (St. John Chrysostom, Letters to Saint Olympia, p. 77)
What to Do with Enemies and Evil People
Think about the word prayer. Prayer is the giant step of taking into your heart, the center of your life, your appeal to God for the well-being and healing of another person's life. It is not a sentimental action but an act of will and an obedience to God, knowing that God seeks the well-being and salvation of each person. After all, each person, no matter how misguided or damaged, is nonetheless a bearer of the image of God. If it pains you to imagine the intentional destruction of an icon, how much more distress should we feel when an human being is harmed or killed?
I'm talking now about the Gospel according to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John - not the Gospel according to Hollywood. The latter provides us with a never-ending parade of stories about evil people killed by good people. The basic story tempts us to prefer heroism to sanctity, or to confuse the two. A basic element of the Gospel According to Hollywood is that the evil people are so evil that there is no real solution short of hastening their death.
Confronted by such pure evil, what else can one do? But the teaching of Christ is not to kill enemies but to overcome enmity. It's like the transformation of water into wine that Christ performed at the wedding feast in Cana. We are commanded to convert our enmity into love, and it starts with prayer. (Jim Forest, “The Healing of Enmity,” In Communion, p. 13)
Love the Lord Your God
For example, God says, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all our might’ (Deut. 6:5); yet how much have the fathers said and written - and still say and write - without equalling what is contained in that single phrase? For, as St. Basil the Great has said, to love God with all our soul means to love nothing together with God; for if someone loves his own soul, he loves God, not with all his soul, but only partially; and if we love ourselves and innumerable other things as well, how can we love God or dare to claim that we love Him? It is the same with the love of one’s neighbor. If we are not willing to sacrifice this temporal life, or perhaps even the life to come, for the sake of our neighbor, as were Moses and St. Paul, how can we say that we love him? For Moses said to God concerning his people, ‘If Thou wilt forgive their sins, forgive; but if not, blot me as well out of the book of life which Thou hast written’ (exod. 32:32); while St. Paul said, ‘For I could wish that I myself were severed from Christ for the sake of my brethren’ (Rom. 9:3). He prayed, that is to say, that he should perish in order that others might be saved - and those others were the Israelites who were seeking to kill him. (St. Peter of Damaskos, The Philokalia, pp. 175-176)
Seeing Christ in Others
I searched for singers and for prophets
who wait by the ladder to heaven,
see signs of the mysterious end,
sing songs beyond our comprehension.
And I found people who were restless, orphaned, poor,
drunk, despairing, useless,
lost whichever way they went,
homeless, naked, lacking bread.
There are no prophecies. Only life
continuously acts as a prophet.
The end approaches, days grow shorter.
You took a servant’s form. Hosanna.
(Mother Maria Sobtskova, Pearl of Great Price, p. 51-52)
The Law of Love
Righteousness does not consist in correct behavior but in genuine co-suffering love...No deed has any moral value unless it proceeds from the heart motivated by love. Otherwise it is simply ethical or correct behavior according to one or another system of laws, a human work which anyone in any culture with or without faith in God can attain to. The Old Testament Law could help to preserve society but it could not save anyone, no matter how diligently they fulfilled it to the letter. Moreover, since it could not transform the heart, it could not even preserve the nation from falling constantly away from God. Our Lord Jesus Christ, the only one who fulfilled righteousness was motivated solely by love, co-suffering love. And this is why our Lord Jesus Christ became our righteousness on the cross and imputed that righteousness to us through faith. (Lazar Puhalo, For a Culture of Co-Suffering Love, p. 14)
Recent Posts on Fr Ted’s Blog
Wednesday Adult Discussion Group
Our Wednesday morning discussion is meeting March 6 at 11am to continue discussing “The Didache.” Please join us in discussing this 2nd Century Christian document where we get insight into what the earliest Christians thought was most important for Christians to know and do. We will be discussing the Didache for the next couple of weeks and then will begin a new discussion: Metropolitan Kallistos Ware’s book How Are We Saved? You can order your copy online.
Attention All Area Orthodox College Students: Two Upcoming Events
Orthodox Christian Fellowship is meeting Thursday, March 7 at 8:45pm at the University of Dayton, Artstreet Studio E. Join the friendship, come eat pizza and play a board game. For more information contact UDaytonOCF@gmail.com. This is open to any Orthodox college student in the area, not just UD students.
The OCF Great Lakes Spring Regional Retreat is coming up March 29-31 at Camp Kern in Oreonia, Ohio. The presenter will be Fr. Silviu and the topic is “Dating, Descernment, & Finding “The One.” For more info or to register, visit ocf.net/events.
Great Lent - Time for Confession
The time for repentance is at hand! Great Lent begins in one week. Now is the time also to come to Confession, so that you can use the entirety of Great Lent as a time of repentance. We do pray that we might "spend the remaining time of our life in peace and repentance" - at a minimum we should spend the 6 weeks of Lent in repentance following our confession. Prepare yourself now and come to confession. The times when Fr. Ted is at the church for Confession is listed in the weekly schedule. Coming to the sacrament of Confession to receive Christ’s forgiveness is something we all are to do every year as part of our Christian discipline. We do Confession for our own salvation, for in our sins being forgiven, we are united to Christ and we are given eternal life. We confess our sins to empty our hearts of the burden of sin, to make room for Christ our God to enter our hearts and abide in us.
Pysanky Egg Decorating Workshop
The Pysanky Easter Egg Workshop is scheduled for the second full weekend in March: Friday, March 8 (10 am to 4 pm and 5 pm to 9 pm) and Saturday, March 9 2018 (10 am to 3 pm). Please check the bulletin board for reservation sign-up and additional information. Due to some problems that have occurred in the past, please do not announce the workshop on social media.
Prosphora Baking Workshop
Led by Dot & Audrey, our annual prosphora baking workshop will be March 16 from 10am-12pm at the church. Anyone interested in learning to make prosphora and maybe some of the significance behind the seal is invited. See Erin Caldwell with questions.
Sunday Lenten Book Discussion
Interested in joining a book discussion on four Sundays during Great Lent? We will be discussing the book TIME AND DESPONDENCY on Sundays March 17, 24, 31 and April 7. This discussion is open to all who would like to add a spiritual study to their Lenten discipline this year. We will meet for about 45 minutes each time starting about Noon. We need to know how many will attend, so please tell Fr. Ted or David Abshear if you will attend. You can purchase the book online and it is available as an ebook. Fr. Ted can also place an order for the books but needs to know this week if you want him to order you a copy, so tell him or email him ASAP.
The Feast of the Annunciation
We are invited to celebrate the Feast at our sister parish of the Annunciation for their Patronal Feast Day. Vespers will be celebrated at 6pm on Sunday evening, March 24. Divine Liturgy will be on Monday, March 25 beginning at 9:30am at Annunciation Church. Please plan to come and celebrate the Feast with your fellow Orthodox Christians of Dayton.
St. Paul Prayer Team
If you would like to submit prayer requests for the prayer team, forms can be found on the greeter’s table. Please place requests in the box on the greeter table or by email to email@example.com. If you would like to be a part of praying with the team - and pray daily for others in the parish, or if you have further questions please contact Mark Pearson.
As we enter into Great Lent, a time of food fasting and giving to the poor, we will be giving our charity funds to help local families in need through the area food banks. Please do remember the working poor in your prayers and give to those in need as part of your own Lenten discipline. Jesus said: “‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you . . . for I was hungry and you gave Me food. . . . inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.”
This Week’s Schedule:
Monday, March 4
8:30am Matins 9am Confession 10am Office Hours
Tuesday, March 5
Wednesday, March 6
8:30am Matins 9am Office Hours 11am Discussion Group 4-6pm Confession 6pm Vespers
Thursday, March 7
8:45pm OCF at UD
Friday, March 8
8:30am Matins 9am Confession 10am Office Hours
10am-4pm Pysanky Workshop 5-9pm Pysanky Workshop
Saturday, March 9
10am-3pm Pysanky Workshop
4pm Church School Confession
Sunday, March 10
Altar Servers: V. Weis, D. Holobeny
Greeter(s): D. Short, M. Brausch
Epistle: L. Short
Donut Sponsor(s): Turri
Chapel Vacuum: T. Jacobs
Candle care: V. Weis
Counters: B. Garber, J. Elash
9:00am Hours: L. Short
9:30am Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom
11:30am Fellowship Hour: Team 2
11:45am Church School/Youth Group
Upcoming Dates to Remember:
March 11 Great Lent Begins
March 16 Prosphora Workshop
March 17 Book Study Begins after Fellowship Hour
March 24 Vespers at Annunciation Greek Church 6pm
March 25 Feast of the Annunciation at Annunciation Greek Church 9:30am
April 20 Baptisms of Jarret, Vera & Max Sainz, Thomas, Layla & Josie Ryan
April 28 Pascha