Today, November 20, is the feast day of Blessed Josaphata Hordashevska. Let us be united in prayer for Blessed Josaphata’s canonization.
Lord God, we praise and thank you for having called your servant, Blessed Josaphata Hordashevska, to uplift the hearts of the people in Ukraine, through evangelization, education and care of those in need. As Co-Foundress, she was the first to live the charism of a Sister Servant of Mary Immaculate. Her virtuous life and evangelical witness encouraged her Sisters to go beyond the borders, bringing the Gospel message to all people. May our prayers for her canonization be for your greater glory and the spiritual good of souls. Grant us the graces for which we humbly pray, through her intercession. Amen.
Our parish feast day celebration following the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, 6 November 2016.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us!
Today, the parish made pierogi…
Meditation by Very Rev. Dr. David Petras
Ephesians 6:10-17; Luke 12:16-21
“But God said to him, ‘You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?’ Thus will it be for the one who stores up treasure for himself but is not rich in what matters to God. (Luke 12:20-21)” This is a message of “good news” that Jesus, our Lord and God, shares with us often. In the gospel of St. Matthew, he tells us, “But store up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal. (Matthew 6:20)” And: “Why are you anxious about clothes? Learn from the way the wild flowers grow. They do not work or spin. But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them.(Matthew 6:28)” This is certainly a timely message for this Thanksgiving week, when we express gratitude to God for all the blessings we have received. Sometimes we think only of the material goods we own. I always remember one of my parishioners in the day I was active in a parish, he always gleefully said, “Here comes Turkey Day,” forgetting that it is the day of returning gratitude to God. We should also give thanks for our family, our friends and our neighbors, without whom we would have no human life. But even more than this, we give thanks for God’s gifts, for the “heavenly bread” of the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ and for the gifts of the Spirit, many of which are mentioned in today’s Epistle: truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith, salvation and the gift of the Spirit himself. Yes, we give thanks in the midst of “the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens. (Ephesians 6:12)” But it is God who will bring us to salvation, and for this is our eucharistia, our thanksgiving.
Pierogi Saturday will be held on November 19th.
This is a change of date: NOT on November 12th as previously scheduled but on November 19th.
St. Josaphat (1580-1623) was born to a devout religious family of Ruthenian ancestry in what is now Ukraine, and was baptized in the Eastern Orthodox Church. He devoted his virginity to the Virgin Mary and grew in his reverence for ancient liturgy. During a revival of Eastern Catholic monastic life he became a monk in the Order of St. Basil, and was ordained to Holy Orders in the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in 1609. He was noted for his life of asceticism, holiness, and virtue which led to his appointment as Archbishop of Polotsk in what is today Belarus. During his lifetime there was much sociopolitical and ecclesiastical rivalry between the Catholics and Orthodox and the Latin and Byzantine rites, especially in the wake of the 1596 Union of Brest which saw the Ruthenian Church break with Orthodox and place itself under the authority of the Holy See. St. Josaphat was passionate about working for the reunification with Rome and won many heretics and schismatics back to communion with the Holy See. However, he was also strongly opposed to the Latinization of his people. This combination of views drew ire from both Catholic and Orthodox clergy. His diocese was contested by the Orthodox, and a rival Orthodox bishop was set up to oppose him, causing riots. During one uprising Josaphat tried to calm the tensions and work for reunification and peace, but his enemies plotted to kill him. A mob of Orthodox Christians entered Josaphat’s home, stabbed and axed his body and threw it into a river. His body was seen glowing in the water and was recovered, and after his martyrdom many miracles were attributed to his intercession. Josaphat’s sacrifice became a blessing as regret and sorrow over his death converted many hearts toward reunification with Rome. In 1867 Josaphat became the first saint of the Eastern Church to be formally canonized by Rome. His feast day is November 12.
Meditation by the Very Rev. Dr. David M. Petras
Ephesians 5:9-19; Luke 10:25-37
This gospel must be read very carefully. Jesus tells a story to make a point. It is just a story, it didn’t happen. However, we get the point. The scholar of the law knew the basic message of faith. We must love God and we must love our neighbor as ourselves. Then he asked a question to justify himself. He saw a loophole in Jesus’ teaching. Yes, love your neighbor, but who is your neighbor? That is the problem. Jesus then tells a story in which those you would expect naturally to give help to the beaten man, the priest and the levite (in early Christianity, another name for deacon, one who gives service) pass the poor man without a thought. Who gives help? It is the “other,” the heretics to the Jews, the hated Samaritan. He, the “other,” shows mercy. Whether this story happened or not is irrelevant. Jesus tells us that our neighbor may be someone we do not expect. Therefore, we cannot “justify ourselves” by prejudice and racism, by hating the other. This gospel preaches itself. When I was a young priest, the “other” in our church were blacks and Jews. Today they are immigrants and Moslems. And we, like the “scholar of the law,” are still racists. Racism is the ugly face of our church today. It blocks us from being “true-believing Christians.” The scholar got the point, but he still couldn’t say the hated word, “Samaritan,” but only “the one who treated him with mercy.” Jesus responds “Go and do likewise,” that is, do not hate the other, but always show mercy and care for the other. God’s word is clear, but do we have eyes that do not see, and ears that do not hear? “Awake, O sleeper and rise from the dead (the death of the sin of racism), and Christ will give you light. (Ephesians 5:14)”
Brother Victor-Antoine d’Avila-Latourrette explores the absolute centrality of Christ in the prayer life of any Christian. The end result is a comprehensive confession of his faith and testimony to the many “names of Christ” that cross through historical, monastic, and mystical traditions. Keeping true to the hope for a unified Church, Christ the Merciful incorporates both Western and Eastern Orthodox sources.
Chapters situating Christ in context of his life in Palestine, his role as a son, friend, and family member, and his place in the living history of the church all help to create a full, well-rounded portrait of his divine and human lives. By viewing Christ through these various facets, the book helps readers enrich their relationship to the mystery of God, adding contour to their spiritual journey.
Brother Victor-Antoine makes difficult concepts clear in a straightforward manner, informed by years of Benedictine monastic practice.
Today, is the feast day of St Michael the Archangel, and all holy angels according to the Byzantine liturgical calendar (as a point of comparison, the Latin Church in her Novus Ordo liturgy, honors St Michael on September 29).
“Angels, archangels, thrones, dominions, principalities, virtues, powers, and the many-eyed cherubim praise you. You are surrounded by the six-winged seraphim; two wings cover their face, two their feet, and with two they fly, and they call one to another with never-ending and never-silent hymns of praise.” [Liturgy of St. Basil the Great]
“Princes of the heavenly hosts, we, though unworthy, beg you to encircle us through your prayers under the shelter of the wings of your spiritual glory. Guard us as we come to you and sincerely cry: Deliver us from dangers, O princes of the powers on high!”
The Church’s teaching on St. Michael is that he is the leader of the good angels, thus holding the title of “Archangel.” Angels are non-corporeal beings created by God. As spirits without bodies they’re invisible to the human eye. By definition, angels bring to us messages because this is one of the ways God communicates with us. Additionally, the “messengers of God” are the guardians of human persons, and their work is to be constantly singing the praise to God.
One commentator said, “God out of love created the angels and wanted to test them if they too really loved Him. God gave them a command to follow. The good angels readily and gladly obeyed. But some refused to obey and were cast out of heaven to live no longer with Him. Suffering and torment were theirs. The bad angels, also called ‘evil spirits, demons, or devils,’ tempt us, the children of God, to do evil – not listen to God nor to do the good God calls us to do.”