Sunday after Theophany

christ-the-light-detailWhen we began the Feasts of Light on the second Sunday before Christmas, the first words of Scripture were: “When Christ our life appears, then you will also appear with him in glory. (Colossians 3:4). Today, the last words from Scripture for this feast are: “The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death Light has dawned. (Matthew 12:16)” St. Paul in his epistle writes about Jesus descending and ascending: “He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things (Ephesians 4:10)”

Christmas and Theophany, are called feasts of light. They celebrate the coming into the world of Light: Jesus our Lord. Being God, he descended to live among us (his birth, the Gospels of Matthew and Luke) and to take our sins upon his shoulders (baptism, the Gospels of Mark, Matthew and Luke) to lift us into light and glory. It is the feast of beginnings, and a model for our lives, which on this earth are all just beginnings, in which we descend (living life and laying it down in death), and ascend (in love of God and neighbor to divine glory). This feast is our beginning, as we now turn to the fulfillment of Jesus’ glory in his crucifixion and resurrection into life and glory. The Gospel tells us to make a good beginning: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. (Matthew 4:17)”

Meditation by Archpriest David Petras

Divine Liturgy this week

GLORY TO JESUS CHRIST * SLAVA ISUSU XRYSTU!

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Sun., January 8, 2017      Sunday after Theophany
9:00 a.m.    + Mychajlo Kuchnij, requested by Jaroslaw Paluha
10:30 a.m.    PRO POPULO*ZA PARAFI|N

Epistle: Ephesians 4:7-13
Gospel: Matthew 8:11-21, Tone 1

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Mon.  January 9, 2017      Holy Martyr Polyeuctus
8:00 a.m.    no intention for the Liturgy

Tue. , January 10, 2017      Father Gregory, Venerable Dometian
8:00 a.m.    +Halyna Choma (40 days, Pan.), requested by the Family

Wed., January 11, 2017      Venerable Father Theodosius
8:00 a.m.    no intention for the Liturgy

Thu.  January 12, 2017      Holy Martyr Tatiana
8:00 a.m.    no intention for the Liturgy

Fri.,  January 13, 2017      Holy Martyrs Hermylus & Stratonicus
8:00 a.m.    no intention for the Liturgy

Sat., January 14, 2017      Our Venerable Fathers massacred in Sinai
8:00 a.m.    no intention for the Liturgy

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Sun., January 15, 2017      35th Sunday after Pentecost
ONLY ONE (1) Divine Liturgy today –in English and Ukrainian
10:30 a.m.    PRO POPULO*ZA PARAFI|N

Epistle: Colossians 3:12-16
Gospel: Luke 18:18-27, Tone 2

Feast of the Holy Prophet Malachi

prophet-malachiThe Byzantine Church keeps the liturgical memorials of the Old Testament prophets, even though the Latin Church has their names on Roman Martyrology, and perhaps on a different day. May the Holy Prophet Malachi intercede for us.

As we celebrate the great feast of Light, we remember the Holy Prophet Malachi. Malachi foresaw the coming of the Baptist, God’s messenger, “Now I am sending my messenger – he will prepare the way before me; and the lord whom you seek will come suddenly to his temple; the messenger of the covenant whom you desire – see, he is coming! says the Lord of hosts. (3:1)” The Baptist preached repentance as the way to prepare for the coming of the Lord. Jesus came to his temple, as Malachi predicted, to make it a house of prayer. Moreover, by his own death and resurrection Christ became the temple. Malachi also predicted that the sacrifice of our Lord undertook for our salvation would be offered in “all times and places.” “From the rising of the sun to its setting, my name is great among the nations; incense offerings are made to my name everywhere, and a pure offering; for my name is great among the nations, says the Lord of hosts. (Malachi 1:11)”

We offer this sacrifice of praise in every Liturgy, as the celebrant “always and everywhere, we praise you, we bless you, we thank you, and we pray to you, our God.” We must continually turn to the Lord, hearing the message of John the Baptist, and perfecting our baptism through the Divine Liturgy.

Meditation by Archpriest David Petras

Divine Liturgy for Theophany Jan. 6

theophanyDivine Liturgy for Theophany of Our Lord, Friday, January 6
 
9:15 a.m. Great Compline
10:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy with the Great Sanctification of Water; immediately following the Liturgy there will be an Anointing.
 
7:00 p.m. Divine Liturgy
Theophany is a Holy Day of Obligation.

Circumcision of the Lord

circumscion-of-the-lordToday, the Byzantine Church keeps two feasts: the Circumcision of the Lord, the 8th day since Christmas (new calendar) and Saint Basil (see the blog post below).

“I will keep my love for him always, with him my covenant will last” (Psalm 88:29)
Having taken the human nature in his birth, our Lord fulfills the covenant God made with his people by circumcision on the eighth day. The covenant between God and his people is therefore perfected by God himself becoming both God who initiates the covenant and man who submits to God’s will. This is confirmed in the second part of today’s Gospel: Jesus goes to the Temple to fulfill the will of the Father by his teaching. When Mary and Joseph find him, he fulfills the Law, “He went down with them and came to Nazareth and was subject to them. (Luke 2:51)”

Jesus taught, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. (Matthew 5:17)” St. Paul teaches that he restored the spirit of the Law, “for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. (2 Corinthians 3:6)”

For Christians, baptism replaces circumcision as the entry into the covenant. At baptism, we submit to the law of Christ: “Do you renounce Satan, and all his works, and all his angels and all his service, and all his pride?” “I do renounce him.” “Do you commit yourself to Christ?” “Yes, I commit myself to Him.”

By his death on the Cross, our Lord established a new covenant, and fulfills the will of the Father, “Not my will, but yours be done. (Luke 22:42)” He tells us to pray, “Our Father who art in heaven .. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” The feast of Christmas and Circumcision celebrates the birth of the Lord according to the flesh and his birth among his people by circumcision. It foreshadows and sheds light on our birth according to the flesh and our rebirth in Christ in baptism.

Meditation by Archpriest David Petras

Praying with Pope Francis

pope-francisThe Pope’s intention for January 2017 is for Christian Unity.
 
That all Christians may be faithful to the Lord’s teaching by striving with prayer and fraternal charity to restore ecclesial communion and by collaborating to meet the challenges facing humanity.
Let us be united in prayer with the Holy Father in praying to the Most Holy Trinity for the intention of Christian unity.

St Basil the Great

basil-the-greatSt. Basil fell asleep in the Lord on January 1, 379, and the young age of 49. He is truly called “Great” for in his short life the light of Christ shone through him, revealing how a Christian should live – in faith, for he opposed the Arian heresy, and proclaimed the divinity of our Lord, in hope, for he established monasteries looking toward God in spirit, confessing Christ to be “our hope, the image of your (the Father’s) goodness, and the seal bearing your likeness.” (Anaphora of St. Basil) and in love, for he established hospitals and orphanages to house and feed the poor.

In the meantime, he also composed the bulk of the Divine Liturgy anaphora that bears his name, showing a profound understanding of Scripture. Here the incarnation of the Word of God is proclaimed, “Although he (the Father’s Son) is the reflection of your glory and the express image of your person, sustaining all things by his powerful word, he did not deem equality with you, God and Father, something to be grasped; rather, while remaining everlasting God, he appeared on earth and lived among men.” (Anaphora of St. Basil, quoting Hebrews 1:3; Philippians 2:6 and Baruch 3:38) His whole anaphora is a wondrous weaving together of texts from Scripture giving us a complete profession of God’s salvation story. Hearing this prayer, we must be led to become true Christians, imitating our Lord as much as possible according to our weakness. He was also the author of numerous theological discourses, where he wrote about the mystery of the Incarnation: “The actual, first birth of Christ, his actual birth from all eternity in the bosom of his Father, must be venerated in silence. We should never permit our mind to investigate this mystery. Since time and space did not exist, since no form of expressions had yet been created, since there is not a single eyewitness, nor anyone who can describe this eternal birth, how can reason form any concept for reflection?

How can the tongue give expression to thoughts that cannot be formulated? The Father was, and the Son was born! Do not say: “when?” but rather leave that question unasked. Do not ask “how?” for there is not answer! For the word “when” suggests time, and “how” suggests birth in the flesh…God is on earth, he is among men, not in the fire nor amid the sound of trumpets; not in the smoking mountain, or in the darkness, or in the terrible and roaring tempest giving the Law, but manifested in the flesh, the gentle and good One dwells with those he condescends to make his equals! God is in the flesh, not operating from a distance, as did the prophets, but through him human nature, one with ours, he seeks to bring back the whole human race to himself.” (St. Basil the Great “On the Incarnation” (From the Descent of the Holy Spirit Ukrainian Catholic Church, South Deerfield, Massachusetts website)

Dates for Pierogi Saturdays in 2017

olenaThe Schedule for Pierogi Saturday for 2017:

January – vacation
February – vacation
March 18
April 8 (for Pascha)
May 20
June 17
July – vacation
August – vacation
September 16
October 21
November 18
December 16

The Pyrohy Project sells the varenyky in the church hall for $6.00 per dozen. Checks payable to “Pyrohy Project.”

More information is noted on the Pierogi page –see the link to the left.

Synaxis of the Theotokos

synaxis-of-the-theotokosToday, the day after the Christmas feast the Byzantine Church honors Mary, the Mother of God (Theotokos) with a special feast day of remembrance.

Our meditation is given by Father David Petras.

Many Byzantine feasts have a commemoration on the day after a great feast called a “synaxis,” that is, an “assembly” or “gathering” in honor of one who participated in the feast. No more honorable person could ever be found than the holy Lady, the Mother of God. This feast of her Synaxis was actually the most ancient, the first, celebration of her memory on the church calendar, because her giving birth to the Son of God was truly her greatest glory. It was by her free will, ““Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word. (Luke 1:38),” that our God and Creator became one of us. It was certainly her joy that she gave birth to this child, but we commemorate on this day all the suffering she bore because of her choice, the near repudiation by Joseph, the persecution of her son by Herod, causing them to flee for their lives to Egypt, until, at the end, she had to endure seeing her beloved son crucified as a common criminal on the cross.

So, Simeon the prophet told her, “ “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted, and you yourself a sword will pierce, so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed. (Luke 2:34-35)” Truly, she became by her suffering an intercessor with her Son. We must ask if we are prepared, as St. Paul, who wrote “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body. (Colossians 1:24)” We also have the comfort of knowing, if we unite our will with that of Mary, that we, too, can become bearers of God through Communion in his Body and Blood by our own free will.