Posted on July 13, 2019

Act of Consecration to Our Lady of Perpetual Help

Most Holy Virgin Mary who, to inspire me with the fullest confidence, hast been willing to take the sweet name of Mother of Perpetual Help, I. N. N. (say your name) acknowledge that my sins render me unworthy to be admitted among the number of thy privileged children. Nevertheless, desirous of enjoying thy merciful favor, I cast myself at thy feet and humbly prostrate before thee, I consecrate to thee my understanding, that I may always think of thee; I consecrate to thee my heart in order that, after God, I may love thee above all things.

O my Sovereign Lady, deign to receive me among the number of thy favored children, take me under thy protection, help me in all my spiritual and temporal wants, but especially at the hour of my death.

O Mother of Perpetual Help, I know that thou lovest me more than I can love myself, I entrust all my interests to thy care: dispose of me, and all that belongs to me, according to thy good pleasure.

O Mother, bless me, and by thy powerful intercession support my weakness, so that having been faithful in serving thee during this life, I may praise thee, love thee and thank thee eternally in the next. Amen.

This past Sunday we heard “Icon of our Mother of Perpetual Help (or Icon of our Lady of Perpetual Help)”.

These icons, and the others throughout the year, are commemorated in a special way to remind us of the miracles and wonders worked through the Holy Images as they reveal the Power, Love, Mercy and Hope of our Holy Lady and Mother of God herself, and of her Beloved Son, revealed in the icons.
How blessed are the churches and parishes named after one of the Holy Icons! So it was last Sunday, July 7, with the community of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Lackawanna, NY, as you celebrated your Praznyk and renewed your devotion and commitment personally, and as a parish family, to the Most Holy Theotokos, our Heavenly Queen and Mother in the holy icon of Perpetual Help.
Prior to 2018 there was no official Feast Day of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in our Byzantine Rite. (The Roman Church has June 27 as their Feast Day). It is true, that for us in the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church, parishes with the name, “Our Lady of Perpetual Help,” generally celebrated their “Praznyk” on October 1 (n.s.), or October 14 (o.s.), the Feast of the Holy Protection.
However, beginning in July of 2018 that practice has been changed. Last June, His Beatitude Sviatoslav, officially promulgated the new feast of our church as “The Feast of our Mother of
Perpetual Help.” Patriarch Sviatoslav proclaimed the first Sunday of every July to be the Feast Day of our Mother of Perpetual Help. Last year the first Sunday of July was July 1st, and this year July 7, 2019 was the Feast Day….. “Happy Feast Day, OLPH!”
On this special Feast Day, and always, we are invited to study and “read” what is “written” in and on the icon. As we face the holy image, we see the Archangel Michael to the left, and Archangel Gabriel to the right. Michael holds in his veiled hands the spear and the sponge; Gabriel holds the Cross and nails,

also with veiled hands. Jesus looking away from His Mother at these instruments of His passion, is contemplating His future suffering and death. The ‘dangling shoe’ shows how, in His fear of what He sees, He runs to His Mother for safety and protective comfort and loses His shoe in His haste.
The icon, while indeed reminding us of the Passion and Death of our Lord, also tells us of the Victory of the Resurrection. Notice that the angels hold those terrible instruments in a triumphant manner as they present the Holy Things only with veiled hands. The spear, the sponge on the reed, the nails and the cross are now signs of the Victory of our Lord and God over Death. “Through the Cross, Joy has come to the world.”
Our gaze next falls on the grasp of Jesus to His Mother’s thumb, showing safety and comfort in her hands and on her lap. She points to her Son as she gazes out at us. She is at once revealing her Son, and calling all of us who look at this icon, to Him. Mary, as Theotokos, God-bearer, in iconography has a star or stars painted upon her, one on each shoulder and her forehead. The stars remind us of the truth of our Faith that Mary, as Mother of God, is a virgin before, during and after the birth of her Divine Son.
One last observation is to notice that there are crowns upon the heads of Mary and Jesus. Crowns such as this are a Latin addition. In the eastern icon tradition, crowns are never placed on the heads, but if an icon is to have a ‘coronation’ in the Byzantine tradition, the entire icon, except for face and hands receives a metal covering called “ryza”, usually made of gold or silver and engraved with the image. The coronation and placing of the crowns upon our icon was performed by Pope Pius IX in 1867. Jesus is King of Kings and Mary is Queen of all.
The original icon is ‘written’ on hard wood and is approximately 16” by 20” and was already old when it got to Rome. This image, known in the East as “Theotokos of the Passion”, was brought from a Greek monastery in Crete and had been written sometime in the 13th century. (It has been scientifically analyzed over the years and also has undergone restoration, and in some cases overpainting). The icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help came to Rome, perhaps even stolen, by a merchant who had visited that monastery. Upon his deathbed, he said the Holy Mother had directed that the icon be placed in a certain church in Rome, which was St. Matthew. It remained there, known as the “Madonna of St. Matthew”, for over 300 years and was the object of veneration and pilgrimage by thousands and thousands of worshippers. Many, many miracles, healings and answered prayers have been attributed to pleas heard before this holy icon. Around 1812 the church of St. Matthew was destroyed by Napoleon’s forces and the icon was quietly kept in a small church under the care of the Augustinian Fathers. Eventually a new church was to be built on the spot of the destroyed St. Matthew’s.
The new church was called St. Alphonsus Ligouri and was being built by the Redemptorist Fathers, Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer. Through the efforts of Pope Pius IX, who truly fell in love with the image, the icon was given to the Redemptorist Fathers to care for, to place in
the new church, and also with the command of the Holy Father to “make her known throughout the world.
The icon is still in the church of St. Alphonsus, and venerated by thousands upon thousands of pilgrims annually. The Redemptorist Fathers also commissioned several artists to paint copies of the original icon. Some 200 artists then painted various renditions or artistic interpretations. No doubt this is why we see so many variations of the Icon of our Lady of Perpetual Help.
The Redemptorist order is, and has been, very active in Ukraine. (We presently have 8 bishops who belong to that order). Of course the early Redemptorist missionaries would have brought the icon to Ukraine where it has become beloved as any other icon of our Holy Mother. As she has done for the last 700-800 years, the Mother of Perpetual Help still continues to show us her Son Jesus as she shows us the way and calls us all to Him. I hope we will forever look upon this icon in a new and completely different and holy way!
This is only a short history and explanation of the icon. There is much more to be learned for those who wish to delve into it. May we all continue to “read” what is “written” on the Holy Icon. Hopefully, as we become aware of the treasure that is the icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, we will realize that we are under her never ending protection and help. Just as she was there to comfort and hold her Divine Son, so let us all be aware that she is always there to comfort and hold us! We hear her voice calling, just as we heard our own Mothers call us to home and safety. We run to her and climb up on her lap and hold her hand and are protected from all evil! Let this day be a renewal in our love and devotion to our Most Holy Mother and to her Son Jesus Christ, our Lord!
“Dear Holy Mother, obtain for us the forgiveness of our sins, love for Jesus your Son, final perseverance and the grace to come to you at all times!” Most Holy Mother of Perpetual Help, be our help and protection as you show us the way to your Son! Most Holy Mother of God, save us! Sermon Feast Day.July 7. Fr. Raymond Palko.

Sunday of the Fathers of the First Six Ecumenical Councils. Fifth Sunday After Pentecost.

Posted on July 13, 2019

Gospel: (John 17:1-13)

At the time the Jesus, looked up to heaven and said, ‘Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all people, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do. So now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had in your presence before the world existed. ‘I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one. While I was with them, I protected them in your name that you have given me. I guarded them, and not one of them was lost except the one destined to be lost, so that the scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to you, and I speak these things in the world so that they may have my joy made complete in themselves.

(Ів 17,1-13) В той час Ісус, підвівши очі свої до неба, проказав: «Отче, прийшла година! Прослав свого Сина, щоб Син твій тебе прославив, згідно з владою, що її ти дав йому над усяким тілом: дарувати життя вічне тим, яких ти передав йому. А вічне життя у тому, щоб вони спізнали тебе, єдиного, істинного Бога, і тобою посланого – Ісуса Христа. Я тебе на землі прославив, виконавши те діло, яке ти дав мені до виконання. Тепер же прослав мене, Отче, у себе – славою тією, що її я мав у тебе перед тим, як постав світ! Я об’явив твоє ім’я людям, яких ти від світу передав мені. Вони були твої, ти ж передав мені їх, і зберегли вони слово твоє. Нині збагнули вони, що все, тобою дане мені – від тебе; слова бо, тобою мені дані, я їм дав, і сприйняли вони їх, і справді збагнули, що від тебе я вийшов, і увірували, що ти мене послав. Молю ж за них: не за світ молю, лише за тих, яких ти передав мені, бо вони – твої. І все моє – твоє, твоє ж – моє, і в них я прославився. Я вже більш не у світі, а вони у світі, і я до тебе йду. Отче Святий! Заради імени твого бережи їх, тих, що їх ти мені передав, щоб були одно, як ми! Бувши з ними у світі, я беріг їх у твоє ім’я; тих, яких ти передав мені, я їх стеріг, і ніхто з них не пропав, лише син загибелі, щоб збулося Писання. Тепер же іду до тебе, і кажу те, у світі бувши, щоб вони радощів моїх мали у собі вщерть.

July 13-20

4th Sunday after Pentecost; All Saints of Rus’-Ukraine.

Posted on July 11, 2019

Troparion, Tone 4: O you, who glorified Christ:* princes and bishops,* monastics and martyrs,* and steadfast confessors of Christian Ukraine throughout all times,*pray Christ God to look with favour on our people* and to grant them the grace to persevere in the faith* that the souls of prayerful faithful* who revere your sacred memory* may be saved.

Євангеліє: (Мт 5,1-16) (Усіх святих українського народу):

У той час Ісус зійшов на гору. І коли він сів, підійшли до нього його учні; а він, відкривши уста, почав навчати їх: “Блаженні вбогі духом, бо їхнє Царство Небесне. Блаженні тихі, бо вони успадкують землю. Блаженні засмучені, бо будуть утішені. Блаженні голодні та спраглі справедливости, бо вони наситяться. Блаженні милосердні, бо вони зазнають милосердя. Блаженні чисті серцем, бо вони побачать Бога. Блаженні миротворці, бо вони синами Божими назвуться. Блаженні переслідувані за правду, бо їхнє Царство Небесне. Блаженні ви, коли вас будуть зневажати, гонити та виговорювати всяке лихо на вас, обмовляючи мене ради. Радійте й веселіться, бо нагорода ваша велика на небі; так бо переслідували пророків, які були перед вами. Ви – сіль землі. Коли ж сіль звітріє, чим її солоною зробити? Ні на що не придатна більше, хіба – викинути її геть, щоб топтали люди. Ви – світло світу. Не може сховатись місто, що лежить на верху гори. І не запалюють світла та й не ставлять його під посудиною, лише на свічник, і воно світить усім у хаті. Так нехай світить перед людьми ваше світло, щоб вони, бачивши ваші добрі вчинки, прославляли вашого Отця, що на небі.

Gospel: (Matthew 5:1-16) (Saints):

At that time Jesus went up the mountain, and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him. He began to teach them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land. Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, forthey will be called children of God. Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you (falsely) because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven. Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you. “You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lamp stand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.

Bulletin July 6 -13

Posted on July 2, 2019

Наше парафіяльне свято Матері Божої Неустанної Помочі будемо св’яткувати в першу неділю Липня. Цього року буде це буде 7 липня. Ми як парафія будемо св’яткувати це св’ято божественнoю Літургією в 10:00 годині ранку в неділю, і мати пікнік після Літургій . Запрошуємо всіх парафіян і гостей на наш празник.

Next Sunday we will be celebrating our parish feast day OUR LADY OF PERPETUAL HELP on the first Sunday of July 7. All parishioners and guests are welcome to gathering after the Divine Liturgy on Sunday July 7, 2019 by the church for a family picnic. Come join us in this celebration. Parishioners are obligated to attend major parish functions such as the Praznyk

Third Sunday After Pentecost

Posted on July 2, 2019

Seek First His Kingdom And His Righteousness.

Bulletin June 29 -July 6

Posted on June 24, 2019

65th Holy Dormition (Assumption) Pilgrimage August 10-11, 2019
Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate St. Mary’s Villa / Sloatsburg, New York
Pilgrimage 2019 Poster(1)

Second Sunday after Pentecost.

Posted on June 24, 2019

As Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen. He said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed him. He walked along from there and saw two other brothers, James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They were in a boat, with their father Zebedee, mending their nets. He called them, and immediately they left their boat and their father and followed him. He went around all of Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and curing every disease and illness among the people. (Mt 4:18-23)

Євангеліє: (Мт 4,18-23):
Ідучи попри Галилейське море, Ісус побачив двох братів: Симона, що звався Петром, і Андрія, його брата, що закидали сіті у море, бо були рибалки. І до них мовив: “Ідіть за мною, я вас зроблю рибалками людей.” І ті негайно кинули сіті й пішли за ним. Пройшовши звідтіль далі, побачив інших двох братів: Якова, сина Заведея, та Йоана, його брата, що в човні з батьком Заведеєм лагодили свої сіті, і їх покликав. Вони зараз же, кинувши човна і свого батька, пішли слідом за ним. І ходив Ісус по всій Галилеї, навчаючи по їхніх синагогах, звіщаючи Добру Новину про Царство й вигоюючи всяку хворобу й всяку недугу в народі.

65-та Святоуспенська Проща 10-11 серпня 2019
Згромадження Сестер Служебниць Непорочної Діви Марії Віллa Пресвятої Богородицi /Слотсбурґ, Н.Й.

Тема: «Відповісти Серцем, як Богородиця та Блаженна Йосафата»
Неділя, 11 серпня

* оо. душпастирі сповідатимуть увесь день від 8-ї год рано
8:30 – 9:30 am Молитва Maтерів у Молитві – Вервиця / Спів – Каплиця Св. Марії
10:30 am Архиєрейська св. Літургія з процесією до печери/ґрота – посвячення квітів
Головний служитель і проповідник – Високопреосвященніший Митрополит Борис Гудзяк
Пр. Владика Павло Хомницький, ЧСВВ – Єпарх Семфордський
Пр. Владика Богдан Данило – Єпарх Пармський
Пр. Владика Венедикт Алексійчук – Єпарх Чикагський
Пр. Владика Андрій Рабій – єпископ-помічник Філядельфійської Архиєпархії
Пр. Владика Іван Бура – Єпископ Помічник Філядельфійської Архиєпархії
Пр. Владика Василь Лостен – Єпископ Емерит Стемфордський
Співає Хор Церкви Св. Михаїла – New Haven, CT
12:00 pm Божественна Літургія для молоді – о. Богдан Гедзь – St. Mary’s Chapel
1:30 pm Благословення хворих – на сходах біля Грота
Благословення релігійних предметів – перед домом св. Йосифа
2:00 pm Презентації – о. Іван Терлецький (Ukr.) – Gallery
Контемплятивна природа життя Марії та Йосафати
2:30 pm Хресна дорога – отці Василіяни
Програма для дітей – Сестра Ілляна – Внутрішня тераса
3:30 pm Молебен до Матері Божої – при престолі у ґроті
Пр. Владика Венедикт Алексійчук – Єпарх Чикагський
Благословення авт та автобусів
Виставка: 100-ліття відходу у вічність Блаженної Йосафати Гордашевської

65th Holy Dormition (Assumption) Pilgrimage August 10-11, 2019
Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate St. Mary’s Villa / Sloatsburg, New York

Theme: “Responding with the heart, as did Mary and Josaphata”
Saturday, August 10th
12:00 pm Food Available at Pavilion
1:00 pm Akathist to the Mother of God – Rev. Joseph Bertha – St. Mary’s Chapel
Cantor: Patricia Dietz, St. Thomas Byzantine in Rahway, NJ
1:00 pm Children’s Activity – Sr. Eliane, SSMI – Inside Terrace
2:00 pm Presentation – Sr. Natalya Stoczanyn, SSMI (Eng.) – Gallery
“Responding with the heart, as did Mary and Josaphata”
3:30 pm Blessing of the Sick – Grotto steps and St. Mary’s Chapel
Blessing of Religious Articles – front of St. Joseph’s Home
5:00 pm Divine Liturgy – Rev. Hryhoriy Lozinskyy – Grotto
Blessing of Holy Water at St. Mary’s fountain
Cantor: Patricia Dietz
7:30 pm Panakhyda – Blessed Mother’s Circle in front of St. Mary’s Villa
8:00 pm Moleben to the Mother of God with candlelight procession – Grotto
Most Rev. Kurt Burnette – Bishop of Passaic Eparchy – main celebrant / homilist
Sunday, August 11th
*Confessions will be available throughout the day beginning at 8:00 am
8:30 – 9:30 am Materi Molitvy / Mothers in Prayer – Rosary / Singing – St. Mary’s Chapel
10:30 am Pontifical Divine Liturgy with procession to the Grotto – blessing of flowers
Most Rev. Borys Gudziak – Metropolitan Archbishop – Celebrant and Homilist
Most Rev. Paul Chomnycky, OSBM, Bishop of the Eparchy of Stamford
Most Rev. Bohdan Danylo – Bishop of the Eparchy of Parma
Most Rev. Benedict Aleksiychuk – Bishop of the Eparchy of Chicago
Most Rev. Andriy Rabiy – Auxiliary Bishop of the Archeparchy of Philadelphia
Most Rev. John Bura – Auxiliary Bishop of the Archeparchy of Philadelphia
Most Rev. Basil Losten, Bishop Emeritus of the Eparchy of Stamford
Choir: St. Michael Ukrainian Catholic Church – New Haven, CT
12:00 pm Divine Liturgy for the Youth – Rev. Bohdan Hedz – St. Mary’s Chapel
1:30 pm Blessing of the Sick – Grotto steps
Blessing of Religious Articles – front of St. Joseph’s Home
2:00 pm Presentation – Msgr. John Terlecky (Ukr.) – Gallery
The Contemplative Nature of the lives of Mary and Josaphata – Gallery
2:30 pm Stations of the Cross – Basilian Father
Activity for Children – Sr. Eliane – Inside Terrace
3:30 pm Moleben to the Mother of God – Grotto altar – Bishop Benedict Aleksiychuk
Blessing of cars and buses
Exhibit: 100th Anniversary of Blessed Josaphata Hordashevska’s Entering Eternal Life

Feast of the Descent of the Holy Spirit.

Posted on June 10, 2019

“Heavenly King-Царю Небесний”.
O Heavenly King, Comforter, Spirit of Truth! You are everywhere present and fill all things. Treasury of Blessings and Giver of Life, come and dwell within us, cleanse us of all stain, and save our souls, O gracious Lord.

Царю Небесний, Утішителю, Душе істини, що всюди єси і все наповняєш‚ Скарбе добра і життя Подателю, прийди і вселися в нас, і очисти нас від усякої скверни, і спаси, Благий, душі наші.

St. John Chrysostom – Homily on Pentecost.

Let us spiritually extol the grace of the Holy Spirit in spiritual hymns, since spiritual grace has on this day shown upon us from heaven. Though our words are too weak to express adequately the greatness of this grace, we shall praise its power and activity to the extent of our abilities; for the Holy Spirit probes all things, even the depths of divinity.

We are celebrating the day of Pentecost, the day of the Descent of the Holy Spirit to the Apostles, the day of the hope of perfection, the end of expectation, the longing for salvation, the fulfillment of prayer and the image of patience. Today the Spirit Who acted to scatter the nations in the time of Heber has formed tongues of fire among the Apostles. His action of old led to the confusion of the nations, in order to restrain the will of man from its brazenness and consequent chastisement; on this occasion, however, amidst fiery tongues, the deeds wrought by the activity of the Holy Spirit served to preserve us as recipients of preaching, in fulfillment of the will of God.

In the beginning the Spirit of God moved over the water, and later, in the time of Christ, the same Holy Spirit of God rested upon him . Then He moved, and now He rested, as being one in essence, equal in honor, ever-existent and unoriginate together with the Father and the Son.

He Who by the flight of a dove over the waters of the Flood heralded fair weather to Noah, the same Holy Spirit, by the sight of a dove at the waters of the Jordan, showed the world the Sonship of Him Who was baptized. Moreover, the Lord had a terrifying answer for those who dared to utter blasphemy against the Holy Spirit:

“Whoever speaks blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.”

David, declaring his desire for this Holy Spirit, prayed to God, saying: “Cast me not away from Thy presence, O Lord; and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me.”

As is well known, where He is absent, every sort of corruption sets in. Thus, the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit entered into him, wherefore David said,

“Take not Thy Holy Spirit from me.”

This same Holy Spirit sanctified the prophets, instructed the apostles and empowered the mar­tyrs. This same Holy Spirit consecrated Isaiah, taught Ezekiel and revealed the resurrection of the dead. As he says,

“The hand of the Lord was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the Lord.”

This same Holy Spirit chose Jeremiah from his mother’s womb, and raised up Daniel to deliver Susanna. As it is written,

“God raised up by the Holy Spirit a young youth, whose name was Daniel.”

David so loved the presence of this same Holy Spirit that he prayed to God, saving,

“Thy Holy Spirit shall lead me in the land of uprightness.”

This same Holy Spirit of God came to dwell in the holy Virgin Mary, embracing her with the communion of the Divine Word at the good pleasure of the Father, and making her the Theotokos. Elizabeth, being filled with this same Holy Spirit, understood that the Lord had come to her by means of the Virgin; wherefore she said,

“And whence is this to me, that the Mother of my Lord should come to me?”

Zachariah, the father of John, was filled with the same Holy Spirit, whereby he declared that the son born to him would be the prophet and forerunner of the King Who was to come. John himself was also filled with the same Holy Spirit; the eyes of his intellect were given light, and he beheld the heavens opened, and the Holy Spirit hovering over Him Who was being bap­tized, Him Who baptized with the Spirit and fire.

By the action of the same Holy Spirit, the Lord Himself, when He was giving His Apostles His teaching in detail and strength­ening their minds for the time of His Passion, said to them:

“If I go not away, the Com­forter will not come unto you.”

Moreover, revealing to them the Spirit’s consubstantial power, He said:

“When the Holy Spirit is come, Which proceedeth from the Father, He will guide you into all truth.”

The holy Apostles waited expectantly for the coming of the power of this same Holy Spirit; they waited together to be clothed with power from on high, according to the commandment of the Lord, Who had said:

“Tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high; for, behold, I shall send the promise of My Father upon you.”

And, as it is written,

“when the day of Pentecost was fully come, all the holy Apostles were assembled with one accord in one place, and the Paraclete was sent to them under the appearance of tongues of fire.”

Having received the abundant promise of the Father and the Holy Spirit, they were strengthened, and they manifested Him Who was sent to them, His grace and His power. The martyr and protodeacon Stephen, filled with the same Holy Spirit, Whom he received by the laying-on of hands of the Apostles, did great wonders and miracles among the people. Being full of the Holy Spirit, he saw the doors of heaven opened and the Only-begotten Son and Word of God standing in the flesh at the right hand of the power of God. Filled with this same Holy Spirit, Paul became the preacher of divine mysteries. As Ananias said to him:

“The Lord, even the Savior, hath sent me to thee, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”

And Paul afterwards said with assurance:

“And I think also that I have the Spirit of God.”

The same Holy Spirit came to Cornelius and those that were to be baptized with him, and each of them spoke in his own tongue and magnified God. This same Holy Spirit came upon the Ethiopian eunuch after he went down into the water [of baptism], and he was filled with joy, and he went on his way rejoicing.

This is the same Holy Spirit Who preached by the prophets, Who gave understanding to the apostles, Who spoke to men. He was given to them by the Lord, and all their adversaries were not able to gainsay or resist Him. For, as the Lord said,

“It is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father Which speaketh in you.”

This Holy Spirit also or­dains priests, consecrates churches, purifies altars, perfects sacrifices and cleanses people of their sins. This Holy Spirit abides with the godly, refines the righteous and guides kings. This same Holy Spirit preserved the soul of Simeon, lengthening the time of his life and re­versing the rules of death, until the day when he beheld Him Who is the Redeemer of life and death; for it had been promised unto him by the Holy Spirit, that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.

It was the same Holy Spirit Who gave strength to Elijah, and Whose power Elisha desired when he asked of Elijah:

“Let there be, I pray thee, a double portion of thy spirit upon me.”

This Holy Spirit enlightens souls and sanctifies bodies. It was the same Holy Spirit Who descended upon the Apostles and filled them with divine wisdom. Having received His gifts, they were all filled with the knowledge of God; not only were they given divine knowledge, but also spiritual gifts.

Simon Magus, being a stranger to the Holy Spirit, fell to his perdition. As Peter said to Simon:

“Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast desired to purchase the priceless grace of the Holy Spirit with money.”

Therefore, beloved, let us strive to keep our bodies uncorrupted; for one who has acquired a new body, which is a temple of the Holy Spirit, has become a true victor over the devil. What the Spirit of God has said, may it be done unto me.

Moreover, Joseph, strength­ened by this same Holy Spirit, desired not that his body be defiled by the vile deeds of this life; for he knew that the Spirit does not abide in a body that has commerce with sin; there­fore, he attained a royal rank. This Spirit enlightened Bezaleel, so that he fashioned the tabernacle with all beauty and skill. Joshua the son of Nun, possessing the same Spirit, be­came a faithful heir to Moses and obtained the inheritance of the Promised Land for his people. As God said to Moses:

“Take to thyself Joshua the son of Nun, a man who has the Spirit of God in him.”

This is the Spirit of Whom the Lord, when He breathed upon His disciples after His Resurrection from the dead on the third day, said:

“Receive ye the Holy Spirit.”

And again, it is the same Spirit Who has vouchsafed to give eternal life to the faithful after the general resurrection from the dead. As it is written:

“Thou wilt send forth Thy Spirit, and they shall be created; and Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.”

Many are the gifts of the Holy Spirit; many and all-powerful are His gifts.

As it says in a certain place: By the Word of the Lord were the heavens established, and all the might of them by the Spirit of His mouth. And Isaiah says:

“The Spirit of God shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and strength, the spirit of knowledge and godliness.”

And Paul adds,

“The Spirit of adoption and of grace.”

He Who is equally ever-existent, and equally unoriginate, and Who shares the throne and the honor of God, His Son and Word, called this Spirit the Spirit Who is our Comforter. David calls Him the Holy Spirit, since the Holy Spirit is sent by holiness; the governing Spirit, since He has dominion over all, be­cause all things came from Him and are kept in existence by Him; and the good Spirit, since salvation and all kinds of goodness are from Him.

And what does Isaiah call Him? The Spirit of God, because He proceeds from God the Father; thus does God Himself speak of the Spirit of God as proceeding, in the words, Which proceedeth from the Father. Isaiah further calls Him the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, because all wisdom and good understanding have been given through Him; and the Spirit of counsel and strength, because He is able to bring to pass that which is desired; and also the Spirit of knowledge and godliness. Ezekiel, a man of the spirit, says:

“And I will give you a new heart and a new Spirit.”

He is one in essence, one in principle and one in counsel with the Father and the Son. Wouldst thou believe? Listen to what the Scriptures say of Him:

“When He prepared the heaven, I was present with Him.”

The prophet further says:

“The Lord, and His Spirit hath sent me.”

Lest anyone think, from what was said, that this new Spirit would come from any creatures living or yet to come, or from any other person, He says:

“And I will put My Spirit in you;”

inasmuch as He said,

“A new Spirit.”

In the Acts of the holy Apostles, this was ex­pressed in commandments:

“The Holy Spirit said, ‘Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.’”

And again,

“It seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us;”

even as it had been said,

“I will put My Spirit in you.”

Would you demonstrate that this was indeed His coming, as was foretold in parables, and that it was His grace acting upon the holy Apostles? Will you believe what was said? Listen to St. John the Evangelist, who says:

“The Holy Spirit was not yet given, because that Jesus was not yet glorified.”

Paul called this Spirit the Spirit of adoption and the Spirit of grace, inasmuch as in the waters of the baptismal font men are born again of water and the Spirit, and we receive the adoption of sons. In the same way, the Lord said to Nicodemus:

“Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”

Thus, the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of sonship and the Spirit of grace; for grace and truth came by Jesus Christ, through the Holy Spirit, for those who have been born by the power of God.

Moreover, the Spirit is called the Comforter, because He is also our advocate with the Father. And not only is He with the Father, but He is always with us also as a gift.

“And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever,”

comforting your hearts and making them steadfast in divine patience and trust in Christ. Whereas the holy Apostles re­ceived this testament after Christ’s holy Rising from the dead, and were sent forth to teach and to baptize in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and whereas we have already been vouchsafed this true washing by the Holy Spirit, let us strive to keep our souls and our bodies undefiled as we glorify the Most holy and consubstantial Trinity, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen

Bulletin June 8 – 15

4th Sunday after Pascha. Sunday of the Paralitic Man

Posted on May 11, 2019

Bulletin May 11-19

A Prayer for Mothers.
Good and Gentle God, we pray in gratitude for our mothers and for all the women who have joined with Youin the wonder of bringing forth new life. You, who became human through a woman, grant to all mothers the courage they need to face the uncertain future that life with children always brings. Give them the strength to live and to be loved in return. Give them the faithful support of husband, family and friends as they care for the physical and spiritual growth of their children. Give them joy and delight in their children to sustain them through the trials of motherhood. Most of all, give them the wisdomto turn to you for help when they need it most. Amen.

3th Sunday after Pascha. Sunday of the Myrrh-Bearing Women

Posted on May 11, 2019

Bulletin May 4-11.