Lazarus Saturday

Friday evening we sing, “Having completed the forty days to the profit of our souls.” What profit, indeed, should we have earned from the holy and great forty-day fast? The virtue of humility should be first. We have learned that no matter how much we fast, no matter how much we pray, no matter how much we give to the poor, it is not enough to redeem us. As finite being, we cannot “earn merit” with the infinite God.

So TODAY it all changes. Christ takes control of our lives. When his friend Lazarus dies, Jesus comes to raise him from the dead. In a flash of lightning, in a thunderclap, all at once the Lord destroys the power of death. We understand this not only in regard to physical death, but also to our spiritual death. The two have meaning for one another. So at Matins, we chant, “You raised Lazarus by your divine word, O Christ; I have been put to death by my many faults; I beseech you to also raise me up.”

The stench that would come from a four-day dead body is not mentioned lightly, we must also deal with the stench of our evil passions, our sins and our failures. However, we see today what is the greatest profit of all – to be friends with God. “You are my friends if you do what I command you. I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father. (John 15:14-15)”

There can be no greater blessing than to be a friend of Jesus, our Lord and Savior and God.
“O Christ, the joy of all, the Truth, the Light, the Life, the Resurrection of the world, has appeared to those on earth because of his goodness. He became the pattern of our resurrection, granting divine forgiveness to all.
(Kontakion, Lazarus Saturday).”

Meditation by Archpriest David Petras

Fr Gregory Lozinskyy preaches parish mission 2021

At this morning’s Divine Liturgy for Lazarus Saturday, Part II of the Parish Mission was given by Father Gregory Lozinskyy, SSD, pastor of St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Church, Trumbull. If you were not there, you missed a great bi-lingual homily.

Father Gregory spoke about the place of Lazarus in our spirituality and the place of the Word of God in our life. He drew our attention to one of the pillars of our spirituality, the Word of God, not merely the Bible, but a person –Jesus Christ. The Word of God is a Love letter given to humanity. Father Gregory cited the Prophet Isaiah 55 and 1 Corinthians 13.

Highly recommended by the preacher is to pray with the Word of God, rely on the Word of God, read and study the Word of God so as to LIVE the Word of God!

Happy Great and Holy Week!

Father Iura blessed bread at the conclusion of the Liturgy.

Lazarus Saturday

Jesus said to her [Martha], “Your brother [Lazarus] will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:23-26)