Second Sunday of the Great Fast

Paralytic ManThe Epistle to the Hebrews begins today: ““At the beginning, O Lord, you established the earth, and the heavens are the works of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; and they will all grow old like a garment. You will roll them up like a cloak, and like a garment they will be changed. But you are the same, and your years will have no end.” In the first part of the journey we call the Great Fast, we remembered first the story of creation, and how God found it very good. But at the end of these two weeks, we heard that because of our sins, “The Lord regretted making human beings on the earth, and his heart was grieved. So the Lord said: I will wipe out from the earth the human beings I have created. (Genesis 6:6-7)” What is the inspired Scripture telling us – that the human race is completely broken and dysfunctional because we have refused to follow God’s loving providence? The Gospel (Mark 2:1-12) becomes a key hinge in this story. The paralytic man lowered through the roof is a symbol of our crippled, broken and dysfunctional human race. Fortunately, there are still some who know this and want to help heal it – the four friends who lower the broken man through the roof. And the healing follows, “When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, ‘Child, your sins are forgiven.’” (v. 5) We are broken and sinners, but if we can have faith, creation can be made good again – this is our hope. Sin is an offense against God, so those who do not have faith grumble, “Who but God alone can forgive sins?” (v. 7) Who but God alone can repair the damage done by rebellion against his plan? And so this story is key in the Gospel, Jesus is God, the Son of the Father, as he created the world, and is always “the same.,” he alone can repair the damage. To prove this, he makes the man to walk again. But Jesus is also a human being, and as such, has imparted the power to forgive sin to the Church, which is his body, and in which we find healing and forgiveness. This is truly a mystery beyond expression. Yet a further point can be made.

We have a saying, “To err is human, to forgive divine.” Sin can only be forgiven through the Church by the power of the Spirit, but we do have the human power to forgive one another the trespasses we have between each other, and in so doing, we imitate God, who has created all for unity and forgiveness, and who commanded us to pray, “forgive us our trespasses and we forgive those who trespass against us,” and Jesus adds, “If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.” (Matthew 6:14-15) We can believe in God only if we are willing to forgive and to be forgiven. This alone is of God.

St. Gregory Palamas honored today

Gregory of PalamasOn this Second Sunday of Great Lent the Church honors St. Gregory Palamas. He’s remarkable saint and theologian. Here is a taste:

“We believe that at the Transfiguration He manifested not some other sort of light, but only that which was concealed beneath His fleshly exterior. This Light was the Light of the Divine Nature, and as such, it was Uncreated and Divine. So also, in the teachings of the Fathers, Jesus Christ was transfigured on the Mount, not taking upon Himself something new nor being changed into something new, nor something which formerly He did not possess. Rather, it was to show His disciples that which He already was, opening their eyes and bringing them from blindness to sight. For do you not see that eyes that can perceive natural things would be blind to this Light?

Thus, this Light is not a light of the senses, and those contemplating it do not simply see with sensual eyes, but rather they are changed by the power of the Divine Spirit. They were transformed, and only in this way did they see the transformation taking place amidst the very assumption of our perishability, with the deification through union with the Word of God in place of this.”

St. Gregory Palamas, Homily on the Transfiguration (http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/38767.htm)

“At once he appears like a flash of lightning.
Do my words seem blasphemous?
Then open your heart to him and let yourself receive
the one who is opening to you so deeply.
For if we genuinely love him,
We wake up in Christ’s body
Where all our body
All over, every most hidden part of it,
Is realized in joy in Him,
And he makes us utterly real.”

Divine Liturgy for the coming week

During Great Lent the Liturgy of Saint Basil the Great is prayed at Divine Liturgy and not the Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom.

Sunday, 3/12/17   Second Sunday of Lent —Commemoration of St. Gregory Palamas
9:00 Pro Populo
10:30 Thanksgiving Divine Liturgy requested by Maria Wysowskyj

Epistle: Hebrews 1:10-2:3
Gospel: Mark 2:1-12, Tone 2

Monday, 3/13/17  —Transfer of the Relics of Our Holy Father St. Nicephorus, Patriarch of Constantinople
8:00 a.m.  No special intention for the Liturgy

Tuesday, 3/14/17 —Our Venerable Father St. Benedict of Nursia
8:00 a.m. +Helen Wasylyk requested by Sestrichi

Wednesday, 3/15/17 —The Holy Martyr Agapius and the Six Martyrs with Him
9:00 a.m.   Liturgy of the Pre-Sanctified Gifts

Thursday, 3/16/17 —The Holy Martyrs Sabinus and Papas
8:00 a.m. +Rosemary DeFilippo (Pan.)

Friday, 3/17/17 —Our Venerable Father Alexis, Man of God
7:00 p.m. Liturgy of the Pre-Sanctified Gifts

Saturday,  3/18/17 —Our Holy Father Cyril, Archbishop of Jerusalem
8:30 a.m. All deceased of Parish
9:00 a.m. Sorokousty

Sunday, 3/19/17 Third Sunday of Lent —Veneration of the Holy Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ — First Parish Mission
9:00 a.m. +Gregory Dubno requested by Luba Dubno
10:30 a.m. Pro Populo

Epistle: Hebrews 4:14-5:6
Gospel: Mark 8:34-9:1, Tone 3

Parish announcements this week

1. Sorokousty: will be celebrated during Lent on All Souls’ Saturdays, March 18, April 1, June 3. Please take a book found in the entrance of the church, fill it out. Place it in envelope, and drop it in the collection basket. Let us remember all our loved ones who have gone to their heavenly reward. Eternal Memory!

2. Lenten Parish Mission: On Sunday, March 19 and April 9 , we will have Father Robert Markovitch giving a Mission in our parish. I would like to see all of our parishioners participate in this Mission in order to prepare themselves spiritually for the upcoming Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

3. Pysanka —Ukrainian Easter Egg Workshop —will be held on Sunday, April 2, 2017 in the church hall from 1:00 to 3:30 p.m. It is open to youth and adults, but children must be accompanied by an adult. Bring your children and grandchildren to learn their heritage. Free to parish youth and Ridna Shkola students. See flyer for details or call Gloria Horbaty (203)269-5909 for information. Sponsored by: UNWLA,  Branch 108, the Heritage Center and the CT Ukrainian American Historical Society.

4. The Ukrainian National Association, Branch 414, New Haven, will hold their 14th Annual EASTER EGG HUNT on Palm Sunday, April 9, 2017 at 12 noon on the church grounds. For information contact Gloria Horbaty at (203)269-5909.

5. The next meeting of the Ukrainian American Veterans, Bishop John Stock Post 33 of New Haven will be held on Sunday, March 19, 2017. We will begin the meeting immediately after the second Divine Liturgy. The meeting ill be held in Classroom 2. For more information, contact the Post Commander Carl Harvey at (203) 389-6076 or crharv3841@optimum.net.

6. Our next Pyrohy Saturday will be on Saturday, March 18, 2017. We need your help also on Friday 17 to peel potatoes. Please come and help.  See Walter Ushchak for more information.

7. Sales: cabbage with sausage for $10.00 per container, stew with meat and mushrooms for $8.00, pierogies in bags for $12.00 or in container for $5.00.

8. SUMA Federal Credit Union, New Haven Branch, 555 George St., New Haven, CT.   Business hours: Tuesdays from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m.,  AND Saturdays, 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Phone: (203) 785-8805; Fax: (203) 785-8677.

9. Mercy for the Needy: A container is in our church vestibule for non-perishable food. This collection will be taken every week. Father Iura will distribute the food to those in need. Thank you for your generosity. See Judy Ellis for more information.

Friday Liturgy of the Pre-Sanctified

The Liturgy of the Pre-Sanctified Gifts is on Friday evening at 7:00 p.m.

The Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts is celebrated during Great Lent on those days when the ordinary Liturgy is not celebrated. This Lenten Liturgy is typically offered on Wednesdays and Fridays. “Strictly speaking, this office is not considered a ” complete Liturgy,” but is only a service of a solemn Holy Communion.”

Annual Clergy Retreat 2017

Clergy retreat Wappingers Falls, NY Mar 1 2017During the first week of the Great Fast clergy of the Stamford Eparchy attended their annual clergy retreat at Mt. Alvernia Retreat Center in Wappingers Falls, NY.

This year’s retreat master was Father Ihor Boyko, S.T.D., Rector of Holy Spirit Seminary in Lviv, Ukraine.

Parish announcements this week

1. The Knights of Columbus Blessed Andrey Sheptysky will hold its next regular meeting on Monday, March 6, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. in the church hall. All men of parish are invited to attend to see what the Knights are all about and what can do for our parish.

2. The next meeting of the Ukrainian American Veterans, Bishop John Stock Post 33 of New Haven will be held on Sunday, March 19, 2017. We will begin the meeting immediately after the second Divine Liturgy. The meeting ill be held in Classroom 2. For more information, contact the Post Commander at (203) 389-6076 or email: crharv3841@optimum.net.

3. SOROKOUSTY: will be celebrated during Lent on All Souls’ Saturdays, March 11, 18, April 1, June 3. Please ask Father Iura for a booklet for the names of the deceased, fill it out. Place it in envelope, and drop it in the collection basket. Let us remember all our loved ones who have gone to their heavenly reward. Eternal Memory!

4. The Vigil Light: This week vigil light is offered by Dionizia Brochinsky in memory of +Alice Brochinsky.

5. All new announcements for upcoming events should be submitted to rectory office before Tuesday of the week prior to when the event is to be posted in the bulletin.

First Sunday of the Great Fast –Sunday of Orthodoxy

Christ and 2 ApostlesThis Sunday is called the “Sunday of Orthodoxy” because it commemorates the restoration of the Church’s teaching on making images (icons) of our Lord and the saints in the year 843. Before that, it was the Sunday of the Commemoration of the Holy Prophets. This explains the Gospel, Phillip witnesses to Nathanael: “We have found him of whom Moses in the law and also the prophets, wrote – Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” This is our goal in the Great Fast – to find our faith in Jesus. The Great Fast was the training period for those about to be baptized, and it was a time for the whole community to rediscover its faith. Along the journey to Holy Week, we read especially from the book of Genesis and from Isaiah to guide us to Christ, who will perfect his covenant with us by his death and resurrection. This is why, in the Apostolic reading, we remember Moses, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David and Samuel and all the prophets. It was all for Jesus, “Yet all these, though approved because of their faith, did not receive what had been promised. God had foreseen something better for us, so that without us they should not be made perfect. (Hebrews 11:39)”

How, then, should we keep the Fast? Hebrews tells us: “since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith. (Hebrews 12:1-2)” The Sunday of Orthodoxy helps us to fulfill this plan, for “keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus,” gazing upon his image, we are led to God, to faith, to life.

Meditation by Archpriest David Petras

Divine Liturgy for the coming week

During Great Lent the Liturgy of Saint Basil the Great is prayed at Divine Liturgy and not the Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom.

Sunday, 3/05/17     First Sunday of Lent — The Sunday of Orthodoxy
9:00 a.m. PRO POPULO
10:30 a.m. God’s blessing and health for Anna requested by Maria Wysowskyj

Epistle: Hebrews 11:24-26, 32-12:2
Gospel: John 1:43-51, Tone 1

Monday, 3/06/17     The 40 Martyrs of Ammorium
8:00 a.m. +Sophie Plachtyna requested by Sestrichi

Tuesday, 3/07/17      The Holy Priest-Martyrs and Bishops of Cherson
8:00 a.m. +Eugenia Harvey (Pan.) requested by Carl Harvey

Wednesday, 3/08/17     Our Venerable Father and Confessor Theophylactus
8:00 a.m. +Helen Wasylyk requested by Sestrichi

Thursday, 3/09/17     The Holy 40 Martyrs of Sebaste
8:00 a.m. +Catherine Levitzky (Pan.) requested by Joseph M. Levitzky

Friday, 3/10/17     The Holy Martyr Condratus, Cyprian and those with him
7:00 p.m.  Liturgy of the Pre-Sanctified Gifts

Saturday, 3/11/17     Our Holy Father Sophronius, Patriarch of Jerusalem
8:30 a.m.  For All deceased members of the Parish
9:00 a.m. Sorokousty
9:30 a.m. +Myron Gali (29th Anniv., Pan.) requested by Anastazia Gali

Sunday, 3/12/17 Second Sunday of Lent —Commemoration of St Gregory Palamas
9:00 a.m. PRO POPULO
10:30 a.m. Thanksgiving Divine Liturgy  requested by Maria Wysowskyj

Epistle: Hebrews 1:10-2:3
Gospel: Mark 2:1-12, Tone 2