Please Remember in Your Prayers

Archpriest Michael Hatrak; Deacon Michael Bishop; Mat. Myra Kovalak; Mat. Klavdiya Burbelo; Kh. Frederica Mathewes-Green; Nun Elizabeth; Nun Magdalena; Mat. Natalia Kosich; Priest Gregory and    Mat. Diane Winsky; Mat. Catherine Kowalchik; Marie Vass; Charles Snipes; Arthur-Stephen Lisowsky; Yelena Radchenko; Lydia Zorina; Tatiana; Katherine Plaskowitz; Philip Plaskowitz; Bernadine Borawick; Julia Aymold; Lilli Ann Hoffman; Lara Marinich; Oleg Marinich; Ioann and Galina Zernetkin; Monika-Anastasia & Stephanie Handley; Blanche-Julia Stolkovich; Ekaterina Koroleva; Nina Lewis; Maryann Black; Lyudmila, Anton & Aleksander Karnup; John Alexander Bylen; Katherine Garrett; Stephen Kaminitsky; John-Thomas Planinshek; Kenneth Pukita; William and Ann Ferkile; Sergei Krektyshev; Irina Kononova; Petr and Lyudmila Borodkin; Anthony Bakie; Svetlana & Aleksey; Nina; Alla; Anna; Alla; Raisa, Zinaida; Joseph Germano; Pavel, Vladimir, Valentina, Nina, and Maria; Maria Pappas; Bonnie Duke; Joseph Lacomy; Diana Radchenko; Aleksey & Lidia Potapov; Oleg and Andrei; Vitaliy, Tatiana, Olena & Nicholas Berchuk; David, Selina-Sophia, John, Maryann, David, Joseph, Lisa Ann Eichelberger; Cynthia and Bill (Basil) Popomaronis; Andrei, Marina, Valentina and Vladimir; Archpriest Cezar, Mat. Christina, Cezara–Maria, Darius, Justina, Christian; Victoria Lardiero; Richard Wright; Valentina Shultieva; Shanna, Stephen, Trent-Michael, Grant-Alexander, Adalynn Lisowsky; Julie Smith; Tayisia Solvieva; Lubov Pavuk; Leonid and Zoya; James McAteer; Jayne Sudol; Rita and Richard Herber; Svetlana, Mary Orzolek, Shane-Michael Sierakowski; George Matassov; Janice DesLauriers; John DesLauriers.

 

 

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Bulletin

4th Sunday of Pascha

Sunday of the Paralytic

 

Christ is Risen!  Truly, He is Risen!

Христос Воскресе!  Воистину Воскресе!

Χριστος Ανεστη !    Αλιθως Ανεστη !

Hristos a înviat! Cu adevărat a înviat!

ქრისტე აღსდგა!    ჭეშმარიტად აღსდგა

May 6/19, 2019

 

Righteous Job the Long-Suffering; Righteous Tabitha (1st c.); Martyrs Barbarus the Soldier, Bacchus, Callimachus, and Dionysius, in Morea (362); Venerable Micah, disciple of St. Sergius of Radonezh (1385); Venerable Job, abbot and wonderworker of Pochaev (1651); Martyr Barbarus the former robber in Epirus (9th c.); Translation of the relics of Martyr Abramius of Bulgaria (1230).

 

 

Today’s Scriptural Readings:

Acts 9: 32-42   /   John 5: 1-15 

Fr. John’s Sermons (Video): Click here  

 

We magnify Thee O Life-Giving Christ, Who for our sake didst descend into hell,

and Who with Thyself didst resurrect all.

 

This Week’s Liturgical  Calendar

Saturday, May 25th – 6:00 PM

Vigil Service in the Chapel

Sunday, May 26th – 10:00 AM

Confessions begin at 9:00 AM

Divine Liturgy in the Chapel

Sunday of the Samaritan Woman

 

Divine Services at Holy Trinity are live-streamed at 

https://www.youtube.com/user/HolyTrinitySermons

 

 

Special Petitions for the Unity of the Orthodox Church

Again we pray to the Lord and our Savior to preserve the Orthodox Church abiding in the whole world in unity and right belief, and to grant her peace and tranquility, love and consent, let us all say, Lord, hearken and have mercy.

 

Again we pray to look upon the Holy Orthodox Church with the goodness of heart and with mercy, and to preserve her from divisions and schisms, from hostility and disorder, so her unity will not be diminished or shaken, but Thine Thrice-Holy name be glorified in her, let us all say, Lord, hearken and have mercy.

 

 

Please join us for coffee hour after services

Sponsors for today: Sue Reshetiloff, Paraskeva Gaines, Mary Ann Lucas

 

Installation of new flooring

The installation of the new flooring in the church will run from Monday, May 20 through Thursday, June 13. The work will be extensive and will require that we close the church during this period. First, the old carpeting will be removed, the base flooring will be applied and then the porcelain tile will be installed. Time permitting, the pews will be removed, and new carpeting will be installed under and around the pews. The new carpet has been ordered; the color is wine/burgundy. However, if the new carpeting does not arrive in time, we will install it after the feast of Pentecost. We will make every effort to reopen the church in time for our altar feast – Holy Pentecost. For the next three Sundays we will serve Divine Liturgy at the chapel. We will follow this schedule:

 

All services at the Chapel – 6480 Elibank Drive, Elkridge, MD 21075

Saturday, May 25th – 6:00 PM

Vigil Service

---

Sunday, May 26th – 10:00 AM

Blessing of Graves – 2:00 PM

Divine Liturgy

Coffee Hour in the pavilion

Saturday, June 1st – 6:00 PM

Vigil Service

---

Sunday, June 2nd – 10:00 AM

Divine Liturgy

Corned Beef Picnic in the pavilion

Sisterhood Meeting

Wednesday, June 5th – 6:00 PM

Vigil Service

Vigil for Ascension

Thursday, June 6th – 9:00 AM

Divine Liturgy

Feast of Ascension

Saturday, June 8th

No Services

Sunday, June 9th – 10:00 AM

Divine Liturgy

Coffee Hour in the pavilion

Sunday School Graduation

Saturday, June 15th – 10:00 AM

Divine Liturgy

Trinity Ancestral Saturday

 

 

Challenge Grant – Matching Donations

Three families in our parish have pledged to match all donations for the flooring and altar icons on a 1:1 ratio. For every dollar you donate, they will match one dollar, up to $30,000, towards the Church Restoration Fund.  Double the value of your donation:  $20 becomes $40, $50 becomes $100, and $100 becomes $200! Special donation forms are on the candle stand in the vestibule of the church. 

 

Orthodox Pilgrimage Tours

https://www.orthodoxpilgrimagetours.com/

Our sister parish in Tampa, FL coordinates Orthodox Pilgrimage Tours and announces its next pilgrimage to Moscow, Russia for eight days, July 15-23, 2019. Cities to be visited: Moscow, Sergiev Posad, Kozelsk, Optina Pustyn and Shamordino. Please visit their website for more information on this pilgrimage and other trips scheduled for the remainder of this year. All questions please direct to Irina Pakhomova 215-816-8132. Airline tickets will be purchased by the tour group. 

 

Convocation of the Patriarchal Parishes

The next Convocation of the Patriarchal Parishes is scheduled for September 30 – October 3, 2019 at Antiochian Village in Western PA. At this conference we will discuss plans for celebrating in 2020 the 50th Anniversary of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA. All parishes are requested to present proposals on how best to mark this milestone. Please discuss your ideas with any member of the parish council. Contact Fr. John for more information. 


 

Please join the WhatsApp group!

As many of you know, the Jerusalem pilgrimage group of 2019 created its WhatsApp group. It was a great decision promoting our Christian unity, human connections, allowing memories and information exchange, and simply bringing us a lot of joy. We stay in touch continuously to this day. During the Centennial celebration of our parish, the incredible feeling of unity of our church family gave birth to the idea- to create our own, independent, church WhatsApp group. We hope that this mode of communication will bring us all even closer together, and the multi-lingual beauty of our unique parish will continue to grow and blossom! Open this link to join the Holy Trinity WhatsApp Group: https://chat.whatsapp.com/LCMO7XxsMgfBEDiwaHY13L We sincerely thank Nikolai Shasheev and Natalia Gerachenko for creating this for us! O Lord bless!

 

International Coffee Hour – June 23rd 

In our parish, we are blessed to have 10 different languages spoken. What a rich culture our many parishioners bring to our church! What interesting histories from their native lands! What delicious and unique cuisine! Our Orthodox faith unites us! Our love for God nourishes our friendships! And, in many ways, such richness is also expressed through food. To celebrate this, a few times during the year, our Sisterhood will conduct International Coffee Hours, when the cuisine of certain countries will be prepared for us. On Sunday, June 23rd our second International Coffee Hour will feature the delectable cuisine of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. Don’t miss it! For more information please contact Larisa Hidar at 443-986-0047. 

 

Birthday / Anniversary Celebrations:  May 19-26

We offer our best wishes and birthday congratulations to Benedict-Basil Cardell (5/22), Nina Lewis (5/23), Katerina Hansen (5/24), and Calin Frujinoiu (5/26).  May God bless them with health, prosperity and many years. To include your birthday/anniversary in the bulletin call Fr. John.

 

 

Parish Picnics at ‘Cathedral Gardens’ / Ray Zaitin Pavilion

On the following days, Divine Liturgy will be celebrated at Sts. Peter & Paul Chapel located at Cathedral Gardens, our parish cemetery. Afterwards, we will conduct picnics at the Ray Zaitin Pavilion. 

 

Sunday, June 2 – Liturgy at the Chapel (10:00 AM) and Corned Beef Picnic – Menu: Corned Beef sandwiches, hot dogs and traditional picnic fare. We need donations of salads, side dishes and homemade desserts; contact Art Lisowsky 410-697-3324 or Vadim Radchenko 410-465-6172

 

Sunday, July 14 – Liturgy at the Chapel (10:00 AM) and Mid-Summer Picnic. Menu: Shaslik, hamburgers, hot dogs and picnic fare. We need donations of salads, side dishes and homemade desserts. To help contact Albert Blaszak 410-799-3226 or Vadim Radchenko 410-465-6172

 

Sunday, August 18  – Liturgy at the Chapel (10:00 AM) and our Annual ‘Spas’ Fish Fry – An expanded menu of various grilled fish and fish kabobs will be offered. More information to come… 

 

 

Water Park Trip – For ages 6 - 99

Again this summer we will conduct a Sunday School trip to Guppy Gulch http://guppygulchcamp.com a water park north of Bel Air on a Saturday in July or August. Everyone in the parish is invited. We ask for your suggestions on convenient days. Please contact Olga Hansen 410-967-6738.

 


Vigil Candles: On the Altar and near St. Barbara

May 19-25: Candles offered by the Alexey Shevelkin & Olga Mychko for the health/salvation of the servants of God: Valery, Alexey, Ekaterina Shevelkin. A $15 donation will keep all three candles lit for one week. Schedule your candle offering with Elena Loyko   443-537-8978. 

 

Submit your 2019 Pledge

The mission of our parish is to spread the Word of God, to grow, to expand, to improve and not just to preserve our traditions.  Our parish shouldn’t become stale, but pursue holiness. We strive to fulfill the mission of our parish, through prayer, work and sacrifice. Prayer – because we are called to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17); work – because we are taught to increase the talents given to us (Matt. 25: 14-30); and sacrifice – because "everyone to whom much is given, from him will much be required" (Luke 12:48).

 

Please Remember in Your Prayers…

Archpriest Michael Hatrak; Deacon Michael Bishop; Mat. Myra Kovalak; Mat. Klavdiya Burbelo; Kh. Frederica Mathewes-Green; Nun Elizabeth; Nun Magdalena; Mat. Natalia Kosich; Priest Gregory and    Mat. Diane Winsky; Mat. Catherine Kowalchik; Marie Vass; Charles Snipes; Arthur-Stephen Lisowsky; Yelena Radchenko; Lydia Zorina; Tatiana; Katherine Plaskowitz; Philip Plaskowitz; Bernadine Borawick; Julia Aymold; Lilli Ann Hoffman; Lara Marinich; Oleg Marinich; Ioann and Galina Zernetkin; Monika-Anastasia & Stephanie Handley; Blanche-Julia Stolkovich; Ekaterina Koroleva; Nina Lewis; Maryann Black; Lyudmila, Anton & Aleksander Karnup; John Alexander Bylen; Katherine Garrett; Stephen Kaminitsky; John-Thomas Planinshek; Kenneth Pukita; William and Ann Ferkile; Irina Kononova; Petr and Lyudmila Borodkin; Anthony Bakie; Svetlana & Aleksey; Nina; Alla; Anna; Alla; Raisa, Zinaida; Joseph Germano; Pavel, Vladimir, Valentina, Nina, and Maria; Maria Pappas; Bonnie Duke; Joseph Lacomy; Diana Radchenko; Aleksey & Lidia Potapov; Oleg and Andrei; Vitaliy, Tatiana, Olena & Nicholas Berchuk; David, Selina-Sophia, John, Maryann, David, Joseph, Lisa Ann Eichelberger; Cynthia and Bill (Basil) Popomaronis; Andrei, Marina, Valentina and Vladimir; Archpriest Cezar, Mat. Christina, Cezara–Maria, Darius, Justina, Christian; Victoria Lardiero; Richard Wright; Valentina Shultieva; Shanna, Stephen, Trent-Michael, Grant-Alexander, Adalynn Lisowsky; Julie Smith; Tayisia Solvieva; Lubov Pavuk; Leonid and Zoya; James McAteer; Jayne Sudol; Rita and Richard Herber; Svetlana, Mary Orzolek, Shane-Michael Sierakowski; George Matassov; Janice DesLauriers; John DesLauriers.

 

Next Council Meeting: Tuesday, June 11th – 7:00 PM in the Church Hall

 

Fr. John Vass, Rector    443-527-7067

Fr. Deacon Michael Bishop:                             410-563-0472

Victor Marinich, Council President:                         443-512-0985

Vadim Radchenko, Vice President:                    410-465-6172

Andrei Burbelo,  Recording Secretary:                  443-567-6031

Albert Blaszak, Treasurer:                                 410-799-3226

Oxana Chumak-Strianese, Stewardship Chair:      831-673-1937

Anna-Zumrat Shkurba Member-At-Large:          443-857-8541

Natallia Makarava Sisterhood President:                443-625-8470

Michael Mickel, Cemetery Manager:                   410-666-2870

 

Acts 9:32-42

Now it came to pass, as Peter went through all parts of the country, that he also came down to the saints who dwelt in Lydda. There he found a certain man named Aeneas, who had been bedridden eight years and was paralyzed. And Peter said to him, "Aeneas, Jesus the Christ heals you. Arise and make your bed." Then he arose immediately. So all who dwelt at Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord. At Joppa there was a certain disciple named Tabitha, which is translated Dorcas. This woman was full of good works and charitable deeds which she did. But it happened in those days that she became sick and died. When they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room. And since Lydda was near Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent two men to him, imploring him not to delay in coming to them. Then Peter arose and went with them. When he had come, they brought him to the upper room. And all the widows stood by him weeping, showing the tunics and garments which Dorcas had made while she was with them. But Peter put them all out, and knelt down and prayed. And turning to the body he said, "Tabitha, arise." And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. Then he gave her his hand and lifted her up; and when he had called the saints and widows, he presented her alive. And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed on the Lord.

 

John 5:1-15

After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had. Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, "Do you want to be made well?" The sick man answered Him, "Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me." Jesus said to him, "Rise, take up your bed and walk." And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked. And that day was the Sabbath. The Jews therefore said to him who was cured, "It is the Sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your bed." He answered them, "He who made me well said to me, 'Take up your bed and walk.' " Then they asked him, "Who is the Man who said to you, 'Take up your bed and walk'?" But the one who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a multitude being in that place. Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, "See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you." The man departed and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well.

 

Sunday of the Paralytic – Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee (John 5:14). Sin does not strike only the soul, but the body as well. In some cases this is exceedingly obvious; in others, although not so clearly, the truth remains that the illnesses of the body always stem from sins. A sin is committed in the soul and directly makes it sick; but since the life of the body comes from the soul, then the life coming from a sick soul is of course not healthy. The mere fact that sin brings darkness and sorrow must unfavorably act on the blood, in which lies the basis of bodily health. But when you remember that it separates man from God, the Source of life, and places man in disharmony with all laws acting in himself and in nature, then one must marvel how a sinner remains alive after sinning. This is the mercy of God, Who awaits repentance and conversion. Consequently, a sick person must rush first of all to be cleansed of sins and make peace with God in his conscience. This paves the way for the beneficial action of medicine. They say that there was one distinguished doctor who would not begin treatment until the patient had confessed and received the holy Mysteries; and the more serious the disease, the more urgently he insisted upon this.   Holy Hierarch Theophan the Recluse

 

"A fearful thing is sin, fearful, and the ruin of the soul, and the mischief oftentimes through its excess has overflowed and attacked men's bodies also. For since for the most part when the soul is diseased we feel no pain, but if the body receive though but a little hurt, we use every exertion to free it from its infirmity, because we are sensible of the infirmity, therefore God oftentimes punishes the body for the transgressions of the soul, so that by means of the scourging of the inferior part, the better part also may receive some healing."  

(St. John Chrysostom, Homily 38 on the Gospel of  St. John the Theologian)

 

The Feast of Mid-Pentecost and the Pentecostarion

The fifty days following Pascha until the Feast of Pentecost are known as the period of the Pentecostarion in the Orthodox Church. At the mid-point between these great feasts of Pascha and Pentecost, on the twenty-fifth day which is always a Wedneday, is one of the most beloved feasts for the most devout Orthodox Christians known quit simply as Mid-Pentecost. Mid-Pentecost is to the Pentecostarion what the Third Sunday of Great Lent which honors the Holy Cross is to the period of Great Lent. It is a day which helps us focus on the central theme of the entire period. Whereas the mid-point of Great Lent reminds us to bear up the Cross of Christ bravely so that we may daily die with Christ in order to experience the Resurrection of our Lord, so also the mid-point of the Pentecostarion enlightens us regarding the theme of the fifty days following Pascha - which is the acquisition of the Holy Spirit poured out as a gift upon all the faithful who partake of the living water which is Christ Himself. 

 

The central theme woven throughout the period of the Pentecostarion therefore is water. This becomes the central theme of the period because it is the central theme of the Gospel of John which we read in its entirety during the Pentecostarion and which naturally flows into the Acts of the Apostles which is also read during this period in its entirety. This theme appears for the first time on Pascha itself in the joyous Canon of the Feast of Feasts written by Saint John the Damascene when he invites us to "drink a new drink," not "brought forth from a barren rock," as in the Old Testament under Moses, but which rather "springeth forth from the grave of Christ." Then during the Pa schal Divine Liturgy the priest processes with the Gospel and chants loudly from Psalm 67:27 saying: "In the congregations bless ye God, the Lord from the well-springs of Israel." 

 

When Renewal or Bright Week is over the Church wisely sets up two Sundays in which to abolish all doubts concerning the Resurrection of Christ, that of the Sunday of Saint Thomas and the Sunday of the Myrrh-bearing Women. This is done in order to ensure that we all partake of the living water that only the risen Lord can give. The following three Sundays, as we approach Pentecost, the theme of water becomes more and more central in the hymns of the Church. Thus we are found one Sunday at the Sheep's Pool with the Paralytic, then at the Well of Jacob with the Samaritan Woman, and finally at the Pool of Siloam with the Blind Man. During this festive period we hear concerning the "living water" which if one partakes of "he will never thirst". We are taught that it is our Savior Himself who is this living water, and we partake of Him through the baptismal waters and the Cup of Life which issued forth from His side at His crucifixion unto remission of sins and life everlasting. Then on Pentecost we have grace rained upon our parched souls and bodies so that we may be fruitful and have a great harvest as we hear from the holy Gospel on that day: "If any man thirst, let him come unto Me and drink". Finally the Pentecostarion concludes with the Feast of All Saints, that is those who partook of the "waters of piety", which is the harvest of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. 

 

The Fathers teach us that the feast of Mid-Pentecost stands in the middle of the fifty-day period from Pascha to Pentecost as a mighty flowing river of divine grace which have these two great feasts as its source. Pascha and Pentecost are united in Mid-Pentecost. Without Pascha there is no Pentecost and without Pentecost there is no purpose to Pascha. 

 

We read the following entry in The Great Horologion that further explains the details of the feast: 

"After the Saviour had miraculously healed the paralytic, the Jews, especially the Pharisees and Scribes, were moved to envy and persecuted Him, and sought to slay Him, using the excuse that He did not keep the Sabbath, since He worked miracles on that day. Jesus then departed to Galilee. About the middle of the Feast of Tabernacles, He went up again to the Temple and taught. The Jews, marveling at the wisdom of His words, said, 'how knoweth this man letters, having never learned?' But Christ first reproached their unbelief and lawlessness, then proved to them by the Law that they sought to slay Him unjustly, supposedly as a despiser of the Law, since He had healed the paralytic on the Sabbath. 

 

"Therefore, since the things spoken of by Christ in the middle of the Feast of the Tabernacles are related to the Sunday of the Paralytic that is just passed, and since we have already reached the midpoint of the fifty days between Pascha and Pentecost, the Church has appointed this present feast as a bond between the two great Feasts, thereby uniting, as it were, the two into one, and partaking of the grace of them both. Therefore today’s feast is called Mid‐Pentecost, and the Gospel Reading, 'At Mid‐feast'—though it refers to the Feast of the Tabernacles—is used. 

 

"It should be noted that there were three great Jewish feasts: the Passover, the Pentecost, and the Feast of Tabernacles. Passover was celebrated on the 15th of Nissan, the first month of the Jewish calendar, which roughly coincides with our March. This feast commemorated that day on which the Hebrews were commanded to eat the lamb in the evening and anoint the doors of its houses with its blood. Then, having escaped bondage and death at the hands of the Egyptians, they passed through the Red Sea to come to the Promised Land. It is called 'the feast of Unleavened Bread,' because they ate unleavened bread for seven days. Pentecost was celebrated fifty days after Passover, first of all, because the Hebrew tribes had reached Mount Sinai after leaving Egypt, and there received the Law from God; secondly, it was celebrated to commemorate their entry into the Promised Land, where also they ate bread, after having been fed with manna forty years in the desert. Therefore, on this day they offered to God a sacrifice of bread prepared with new wheat. Finally, they also celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles from the 15th to the 22nd of 'the seventh month,' which corresponds roughly to our September. During this time, they lived in booths made of branches in commemoration of the forty years they spent in the desert, living in tabernacles, that is, in tents (Ex. 12:10‐20; Lev. 23 LXX). " 

 

The Feast of Mid-Pentecost is celebrated for an entire week until the following Wednesday, making it an eight day feast. During this entire time the hymns of Mid-Pentecost are joined with that of Pascha. Because of the theme of water, traditionally the Church celebrates the Lesser Blessing of the Waters on this day, preferably with a procession with the Holy Cross to a water spring. 

 

The theme of the feast not only invokes water, but even more central to the Gospel chronology it honors Christ as Teacher and Wisdom as He reveals Himself between the stories of the Paralytic and that of the Blind Man. During this time we are told: "Now about the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught...Jesus answered them, and said, 'My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself'" (John 7:14-30). The icon for this feast depicts the young Jesus teaching the elders in the Temple (Luke 2:46, 47) at which time Jesus first revealed Himself as a teacher or rabbi. Traditional Orthodox icons will depict Jesus as larger than the elders, showing his superior spiritual status. 

 

Since the hymns of the Church invoke and praise our Lord as the Wisdom of God spoken of in the Book of Proverbs, it is traditional that all churches named after Holy Wisdom or Hagia Sophia celebrate their feast on this day. In fact, Greek scholar Constantine Kalokyre has written a study titled "The Churches of the Wisdom of God and the Date of their Celebration", which appeared in the periodical Saint Gregory Palamas, no. 71 (723) (1988), pp. 538-617. In this study he comes to the conclusion that the Great Church of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople celebrated its feast day on Mid-Pentecost.     From Mystagogy http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/46565.htm  

 

Sunday of the Paralytic

Archimandrite Tikhon (Shevkunov)

Today is a feast day for all of us paralytics. Today, brothers and sisters, we to a certain degree are meeting our name-day, our feast day. Who among us can boast that he is strong, courageous, bearing all the misfortunes of this age, fulfilling all of Christ’s commandments? Deliver us, O Lord, if such a person stands in our midst -- one cannot imagine a worse righteous or strong man! The Apostle Paul says: Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong (2 Cor 12:10). But the Apostle did not deprive himself of one thing: strong faith and undoubting hope in the Savior. “The power of God is made perfect in weakness!” How can the world, which does not believe in God and preaches the illusory omnipotence of mankind, understand this?

 

Paralytic brothers and sisters! Let us rejoice that we at least understand ourselves as we are! The Lord came into the world to save paralytic sinners, and us among them. The strong crucified Jesus Christ, and the Lord allowed them this terrible, mindless power to crucify God. When we become proud and sure of ourselves, then we repeat this terrible crime of the God-killers: the crucifixion of the Savior.

 

Let us recognize ourselves for who we are in fact. The Apostle James writes: For what is your life? It is a vapour that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away (James 4:14). No matter how strongly our pride rebels agains this, let us look dispassionately at the universe: the myriads of planets, the thousands of generations, endlessly following one another, the billions of people who are erased from the memory of their descendants and their neighbors.

 

I had a friend to whom I owe very much, and my faith in the first place. He died twelve years ago, and I thought that I would never forget him, that I would always remember him, and certainly at the Liturgy. And I suddenly realized with horror that one Liturgy had gone by, and another, and I did not remember him, one of the dearest people to me. And my spiritual paralysis, my ingratitude to a man who did so much for me, became terrible to me. Do we every day remember with the necessary zeal our parents -- both alive and departed? Do we every day remember our own salvation -- the most important thing for which we live?

 

Yet something within us tells us unmistakably that man is something more than vapor. Our life, yes, is transient and withering, like the grass under the hot summer sun. Recall in the Psalter: as the flower of the field, so hath he blossomed forth (Ps. 103:15). But the soul – a unique human personality created by God – its story in time and eternity is altogether different. If the soul is united with its Creator and God, then it becomes the most beautiful, the most precious of everything that is on earth. In the memory of God, in God such a soul receives not simply life, but life “more abundantly,” as the Apostle Paul writes. He can not with human words express in any other way the mystery revealed to him of the future age. And the same Apostle writes: Eye hath no seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him (1 Cor 2:9).

 

In the lives of each one of us there will still be moments of weakness and failures, of what we call paralysis. They can last for many years, just as with the paralytic at the Sheep pool, of which the Gospel speaks. This paralytic lay for many years awaiting healing. But he believed that a messenger of God would come and heal him.

 

Let us not recognize ourselves as strong, because out strength is Christ alone. Let us never recognize ourselves as indestructible and not prone to sin, because we are fallen people. And let us strive not to lose faith in Christ, because the Lord Jesus Christ is eternally powerful and has the power to save us not only from temporal passions and misfortunes. The Lord, “trampling down death by death,” can give eternal life to us, who one day will be in the grave, and will free us from this eternal and final paralysis.

 

Let us not think highly of ourselves, let us not be surprised by our infirmities, let us not, because of them, fall into despair and despondency. Let us sincerely, with all our strength, strive towards correction, struggling against the evil and sin living within us. Let us firmly believe that our Lord Jesus Christ will help us in this. He loves us, because we are His children. We, who recognize ourselves as paralytics and asking help from our Heavenly Father, will not be left behind, for He gives us His invincible power. Only by this are we strong – just as only by this were the Apostles, Confessors, Venerable Ones, and Martyrs strong.  Translation by Ora et Labora    http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/53334.htm 

 

 

O Most Holy Trinity, Our God, Glory to Thee!