St. George
Serbian Orthodox Church
Carmichaels, PA

Bulletin 273 - March 15/March 28, 2004

Chronicle of St. George Serbian Orthodox Church
Diocesan Bishop - His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN
Parish Priest - Fr. Rodney Torbic
296 Old Route 21
Carmichaels, Pennsylvania 15320

March 15/March 28, 2004
Fifth Sunday of Great Lent
No. 273

Luke 7:50

Then He said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you. Go in peace."

Services This Past Week

March 21 - Thirty-eight people came for Divine Liturgy. Seven communicants.
March 22 - Two people came for First, Third and Sixth Hours.
March 24 - Three people came for Liturgy of Presanctified Gifts. One communicant.
March 25 - Liturgy of Presantified Gifts. Akathist to Holy Trinity. Akathist to Jesus Christ. Akathist to Christ's Passion. Akathist to the Cross. This was the parish retreat. Eight people came during the course of the day. Two communicants during the Liturgy.
March 26 - Liturgy of Presanctified Gifts. Three people came. One communicant.
March 27 - Three people came for Matins and First Hour at St. George Church. Eight people came for Divine Liturgy at Holy Trinity Mission, Fairmont, W.Va. One communicant. Five people came for Akathist to Holy Communion and Vespers at St. George Church. Pomen held at funeral home in Pt. Marion for Mildred Seja Woatich.

Services This Coming Week - Call to Confirm Weekday Schedule

Today - Divine Liturgy is held each Sunday at 10:00 AM except on Pascha when it is held earlier.
Morning services - Monday, Thursday at 6:30 AM.
Friday - Liturgy of Presanctified Gifts at 8:00 AM.
Saturday - Divine Liturgy at 8:00 AM.
Afternoon services - Monday, Friday and Saturday at 4:30 PM.

Remember Monastery Marcha with Prayers and Contributions

Important Dates

Tonight - Vespers, St. Nicholas Church, Johnstown at 5:30 PM.
April 3 - Lazarus Saturday
April 4, Palm Sunday - Vespers, Holy Resurrection Church, Steubenville.

If you are too busy to are too busy!

Parish Life

Thank you to all parishioners making an effort to attend Deanery lenten services.
An Executive Board meeting will be held on Thursday morning, April 1 at 10:00 AM.
Eight people attended the parish retreat this past Thursday. No adult classes until after Pascha. In addition to services held for the retreat, a video about Decani Monastery was shown. A report was received on another lenten retreat. A talk was given on Spiritual Direction.
May God give comfort and strength to the family of +Mildred Seja Woatich departed this life on March 24.
Pray for the suffering people in Kosovo and Metohija.
Pray for the men and women serving in the military and their families.
Honor the fast until the Paschal Divine Liturgy.
Remember to listen to the parish radio broadcast each Sunday afternoon at 12:15 on WMBS, 590 AM, Uniontown.

A Thought from Prota Dragan Filipovic

I am sorry to see that there are those who have not even started this Lenten journey. Some because they think it is too hard, others because they are "too busy" to worry about the condition of their eternal soul, others because they couldn't care less. The ones that I worry about the most are those who do not believe that Lent can make a difference in their lives. The ones who have "given up" without even trying to fast, pray, do good and attend church etc. have already lost the battle for their eternal salvation. But guess what! It is not too late to start right now. Make an effort and God will meet you more than half way.
(The Shield, March 2004 )

Remember the Students at St. Sava School of Theology, Libertyville

To Consider

The days remaining in Great Lent.
Seeking God's guidance in daily living.
Being thankful for blessings received.
Living according to God's commandments.

Recent Activities of Parish Priest

March 21 - Attended Vespers in Monroeville.
March 22 - Visited parishioner at St. Margaret Hospital, Pittsburgh area. Attended Shadeland meeting at Diocesan Center, Mars.
March 23 - Attended Clergy Brotherhood Meeting, Cleveland. Visited Monastery Marcha, Richfield, Ohio.
March 24 - Attended service at St. Mary Church, Clairton, Pa. Went to Rolling Meadows Nursing Home in Waynesburg to see parishioner
March 25 - Parish Retreat.
March 26 - Attended service at St. Elijah Church, Aliquippa.
March 27 - Served Divine Liturgy at Mission in Fairmont, West Virginia. Pomen in Pt.Marion, Pa.

From the Desert fathers

He (Poemen) also said, 'What is the good of giving oneself to a trade without seeking to learn it?'

The Fifth Sunday of Great Lent
Sunday of St. Mary of Egypt

Mark 10:32-45
Luke 7:36-50

Now they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was going before them; and they were amazed. And as they followed they were afraid. Then He took the twelve aside again and began to tell them the things that would happen to Him. "Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death and deliver Him to the Gentiles; and they will mock Him, and scourge Him, and spit upon Him, and kill Him. And the third day He will rise again. Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Him, saying, 'Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask.' And He said to them, 'What do you want Me to do for you?' They said to Him, 'Grant us that we may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on Your left, in Your glory.' But Jesus said to them, 'You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?' They said to Him, 'We are able.' So Jesus said to them, "You will indeed drink the cup that I drink, and with the baptism I am baptized with you will be baptized; but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared.'And when the ten heard it, they began to be greatly displeased with James and John. But Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, 'You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.

Then one of the Pharisees asked Him to eat with him. And He went to the Pharisee's house, and sat down to eat. And behold a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil. Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him say this, he spoke to himself saying 'This Man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner.' And Jesus answered and said to him, 'Simon, I have something to say to you." So he said, 'Teacher, say it.' There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denari and the other fifty. And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?' Simon answered and said, 'I suppose the one whom he forgave more.' And He said to him, 'You have rightly judged.' Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, 'Do you see this woman?' I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little. Then He said to her, 'Your sins are forgiven.' And those who sat at the table with Him began to say to themselves, 'Who is this who even forgives sins?' Then He said to the woman, 'Your faith has saved You. Go in peace."

The Fifth Sunday of Great Lent has arrived. The final days of Great Lent are before us. Holy Week is on the horizon. Each remaining day takes on increased importance. The time remaining in Great Lent is coming to an end.

God gives us each day. Each day has value in our lives. Each day represents a step toward the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Holy Orthodox Church stresses repentance and return to God during Great Lent. The Holy Orthodox Church emphasizes the importance of the soul and care of the soul.

During Great Lent, serious believers assess the extent of their sinfulness. The services of the Church encourage believers to draw near. The services of the Church offer strength and divine nourishment. The services of the Church provide structure.

We receive our lives from God. We are dependent on God for the continuation of our lives. We are dependent on God for each breath and each movement of the body. We are dependent on God for our speech, our sight and the ability to think and to feel.

We are dependent on God for the ability to form relationships. We are dependent on God to be able to love.

Great Lent helps us to realize the truths of God.Great Lent helps us to think more carefully about them.

Each person has choices to make throughout life. Adherence to and attentiveness to the teachings of God enable the believer to make choices pleasing to God.

This morning's Gospel of St.Luke reveals the forgiveness of God. This morning's Gospel of St. Luke provides assurances for repentant sinners drawing near in faith. Drawing near to God in faith brings good results. Drawing near to God is movement away from the devil.

The remaining days of Great Lent will be full of temptations from the devil. The remaining days of Great Lent will be full of opportunities to be united with Christ.

Christ is the foundation and guide of the serious believer. Christ is the fullness and reason for life of the serious believer. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ said: "Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life and I will raise him up at the last day." (Jn.6:54)

The effects of Holy Confession and Holy Communion are immeasurable. The effects of Holy Confession and Holy Communion are lasting.

Today the Holy Orthodox Church places St. Mary of Egpyt before us as a model example of repentance. St. Mary of Egypt changed from being an extremely sinful woman to being a saint recognized throughout the Orthodox world and throughout the centuries. 1

St. Mary of Egpyt is an inspiration for sinners seeking to change their lives. For us to follow the path of St. Mary to Christ, we must know our own sinfulness and the degree to which we violate the ways of God. We must be intricately familiar with the teachings of God.

With all that God has done for us and given us, how can we not devote significant portions of our lives to the worship and study of God? How can we not come to God in prayer and with great thanksgiving?

How can we not spend significant portions of time in God's Holy Church? How can we not spend time and effort in prayer and fasting in preparing to receive the Precious Body and Blood of Christ?

Why at times do we seek to do the minimum when God gives us the maximum? Our Lord Jesus Christ died upon the Cross for each of us. There has been no greater sacrifice.

The Church calls us to fast. The Holy Apostle Paul calls us to pray without ceasing. (I Thess.5:17) Being the sinners we are, how can we think of doing less than the Church and St. Paul ask of us?

St. Hesychios the Priest tells us: "To invoke Jesus continually with a sweet longing is to fill the heart in its great attentiveness with joy and tranquility. But it is Jesus Christ, the son of God, and Himself God, cause and creator of all blessings, who completely purifies the heart..." 2

In these remaining days of Great Lent, let us concentrate completely on the Lord Jesus Christ. Let us consider Christ's teachings. Let us consider Christ's sufferings. Let us consider Christ's complete love... Christ on Mt. Tabor... Christ on the Cross... Christ risen from the dead. Christ ascended... Christ coming again...

1 St. NIKOLAI Velimirovic. The Prologue of Ohrid. Vol. l. Western Diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Alhambra, California, 2002. Pp. 337-338.
2 The Philokalia Vol.1. Faber and Faber, London, 1979, pp. 177-178.

St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
Fifth Sunday of Great Lent.
St. Mary of Egypt. St. Agapius and Others with him, Martyrs.
March 15/March 28, 2004

Fr. Rodney Torbic

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