Listen Now. We will now be together with the every day studying of Epistle and Gospel with The Prayer Team.

And, “Thou, Lord, didst found the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of Thy hands; they will perish, but Thou remainest; they will all grow old like a garment, like a mantle thou wilt roll them up, and they will be changed. But Thou art the same, and Thy years will never end.” But to what angel has He ever mentioned, “Sit at my right hand till I make Thy enemies a stool for Thy feet”? Are they not all ministering spirits despatched forth to serve, for the sake of those that are to acquire salvation? Therefore we should pay the nearer consideration to what now we have heard, lest we drift away from it. For if the message declared by angels was legitimate and each transgression or disobedience obtained a simply retribution, how lets escape if we neglect such an ideal salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those that heard Him.  Hebrews 1:10-14, 2:1-Three (Epistle Reading from Sunday of St. Gregory Palamas)

 

Good morning Prayer Team!

Many occasions, folks in our church surprise, typically reasonably loudly, why we do “the same and the same,” in the case of our liturgical providers and calendar for the 12 months.  Saint Paul helps present a solution in his Epistle to the Hebrews, when he writes: “Therefore we must pay the closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.”  (Hebrews 2:1)  Saint Paul writes these phrases in his Epistle to the Hebrews. 

Marketing specialists say that it takes at the least seven “touches” to get folks to recollect issues they see marketed.  That’s why firms run the similar commercials time and again, hoping the product they’re promoting will stick in our heads, particularly the subsequent time we buy groceries. 

The Church may be very sensible in establishing the Lent and Holy Week journey in the approach that it does, in the approach that it repeats annually.  That’s as a result of all through life, we expertise this particular time of 12 months otherwise.  When I used to be a toddler, we thought Holy Week was nice as a result of we bought to remain up late.  We begged our dad and mom to allow us to go to the late providers, not as a result of we knew who Christ is, or as a result of we had an appreciation for what we have been seeing or listening to.  We needed to go simply to remain up late.  Even then, nonetheless, we understood that Holy Week was one thing particular.

When I bought older and served in the altar, Holy Week was particular as a result of this nice “play” that the priest was placing on, the altar boys bought to be on middle stage with him.  Again, not the holiest of ideas about Holy Week, however the week nonetheless had a particular feeling for us.  I bear in mind one 12 months on Holy Thursday, I noticed our priest kneeling at the cross and he began crying.  That second has at all times caught with me.  That was a really personal second in the center of a really public service.  Now that I function a priest, I understand that which may have been his solely personal second of worship the total Holy Week.  His tears instructed me that what we have been doing is definitely fairly vital, critical and shifting. 

As I’ve come to know who Christ is, Holy Week takes on a special that means.  I do know why Christ got here, I do know what He did, and I’ve learn it sufficient occasions in the Bible.  Now, I hearken to the hymns and Scripture passages of Holy Week and decide up new and completely different layers of that means.  On Holy Tuesday, for example, we hear of a harlot who anointed Jesus’ ft together with her tears contrasted to Judas, a trusted disciple who betrayed Jesus for 30 items of silver.  This reminds us that it’s not how we begin however how we end that issues.  It makes me study the place I’m in relationship to God as I run my “race” via life.  Am I extra like the repentant girl, or the fallen disciple?

Let’s go away Holy Week for a minute and converse of the Divine Liturgy that we have a good time so typically in our church.  Why the repetition?  There are three causes.

First, the Divine Liturgy affords us a solution to BE with Christ that’s distinctive to the Liturgy—the alternative to obtain Holy Communion.  This is as near “perfection” as we are able to get, as Holy Communion affords us the alternative to the touch God, and for God to the touch us.  As they saying goes “You can’t improve on perfection.”  So we come time and again to expertise perfection.

Second, the Divine Liturgy is the most full prayer—it touches the whole lot we are able to consider in prayer.  For peace in the world, for our nation, our metropolis, our president, for many who are sick, for deliverance from any form of affliction and want—these are issues we might neglect to wish about each day.  If we come to the Divine Liturgy every Sunday, not every week will go by that we don’t bear in mind and elevate up all of this stuff in prayer. 

Third, the Divine Liturgy brings to thoughts issues that I would like fixed reminding about.  For occasion, when the priest prays for “all that’s good and helpful to our souls and for peace in the world,” it jogs my memory to make my choices based mostly on these two metrics—is it good for my soul?  Does it promote peace in the world?  Not every week in my life has passed by the place I’ve made each resolution on these two requirements.  I’m nonetheless in search of my first good week.  The Divine Liturgy is a reminder of the issues I’m alleged to do, the issues that assist me present love for God and for my neighbor. 

Today’s Epistle studying is a reminder that we should “pay the nearer consideration to what now we have heard, lest we drift away from it.”  It is a reminder that if we don’t pay shut consideration to what we hear, both as a result of we aren’t in attendance or we aren’t making an attempt to grasp what we’re listening to, we’re going to drift away from what God is looking us to be.

Beacon of Orthodox perception, the robust assist of the Church and her instructor impressed by God, you might be the decoration of monks, the unassailable champion of theologians, O Gregory the Wonder-worker and the boast of Thessalonica, the messenger of grace. Forever earnestly entreat for the salvation of our souls. (Apolytikion, Sunday of St. Gregory Palamas, Trans. by Fr. Seraphim Dedes)

Plan to go to church this Sunday, and each Sunday, and now throughout Lent, plan to attend some extra providers as nicely!

 

+Fr. Stavros

         

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With Roger Hunt offering at this time’s Daily Reading: Listen Now.

These readings are underneath copyright and is utilized by permission. All rights reserved. These works will not be additional reproduced, in print or on different web sites or in every other kind, with out the prior written authorization of the copyright holder: Reading © Holy Transfiguration Monastery – Brookline, MA, Apolytikion of Abbot Marcellus © Narthex Press, Kontakion of Abbot Marcellus © Holy Transfiguration Monastery – Brookline, MA.

The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyrighted 1946, 1952, 1971, and 1973 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. and utilized by permission. From the Online Chapel of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

 

 

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