St. George
Serbian Orthodox Church
Carmichaels, PA

Bulletin 289 - July 5/July 18, 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

July 5/July 18, 2004
Seventh Sunday after Pentecost
No. 289

Remember to listen to the parish radio broadcast each Sunday afternoon at 12:15 on WMBS, 590 AM, Uniontown.

Matthew 9:28

Then He touched their eyes, saying, "According to your faith let it be to you."

Services This Past Week

July ll - Forty-one persons attended Divine Liturgy. One communicant.
July 12 - Five people came for Divine Liturgy on the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul. One communicant.
July 13 - Two people came for Matins and First Hour. Two people came for Ninth Hour and Vespers.
July 14 - Three people came for Matins and First Hour.
July 15 - Three people came for Matins and First Hour. One person came for Akathist to the Mother of God.
July 16 - One person came for Matins and First Hour. Three people came for Ninth Hour and Vespers.
July 17 - Three people came for Matins and First Hour. Two people came for Akathist for Communion and Vespers.

Services This Coming Week - Call to Confirm Weekday Schedule

Today - Divine Liturgy at 10:00 AM
Morning services - Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 6:30 AM.
Afternoon services - Friday at 4:30 PM. Other days as announced daily.
Wednesday at 6:30 PM.

Remember Monastery Marcha with Prayers and Contributions

Important Dates

July 31 - Monastery Marcha Slava celebration.
August 2 - St. Elijah
August 7-8 - Diocesan Days at Shadeland.
August 9 - St. Panteleimon
August 15 - Parish Healthcare Day, Covered dish dinner.
August 19 - Feast of Holy Transfiguration
August 28 - Dormition of Mother of God, St. George Kolo hosting KSS Federation

If you are too busy to are too busy!

Parish Life

His Grace Bishop Dr. ARTEMIJE, Diocese of Raska-Prizren, was in the parish on Friday to acknowledge and express appreciation for the charitable work and kindness of Mr. Milan Puskar, Chairman of the Board of Mylan Laboratories. His Grace was accompanied by Iguman Mihaljo of Sopocani Monastery and Velko Sikirica. Mr.Stan Brozik hosted His Grace, Iguman Mihaljo and Mr.Skirica during their visit.
Three people came to Adult class this past Thursday. Discussion began on the Divine Liturgy and will continue for the next several classes. Class this week will be on Wednesday evening at 7:00 PM following the evening service.
Thank you to Tom Hunter for continuing to make computer skills, recording and sound skills and electrical skills available for the benefit of the Church.
Thank you to all helping the Kolo with the baking this past week.
Include Monastery Marcha's Slava and Diocesan Days at Shadeland in your plans for the summer. Sign up on the bulletin board for Diocesan Days.
Remember to listen to the parish radio program each Sunday.
Make an effort to increase weekday attendance at church services.

A Thought from St. Basil the Great

The Spirit does not take up His abode in someone's life through the physical approach; how could a corporeal being approach the Bodiless one? Instead, the Spirit comes to us when we withdraw ourselves from evil passions, which have crept into the soul through its friendship with the flesh, alienating us from a close relationship with God. Only when a man has been cleansed from the shame of his evil, and has returned to his natural beauty, and the original form of the Royal Image has been restored in him, is it possible for him to approach the Paraclete. Then, like the sun, He will show you in Himself the image of the invisible, and with purified eyes you will see in this blessed image the unspeakable beauty of its prototype. Through Him hearts are lift up, the infirm are held by the hand, and those who progress are brought to perfection.
(St. Basil the Great. On the Holy Spirit. St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1980. p. 44 )

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

To Consider

The amount of time we give each day to thinking about the Holy Spirit.
The inseparability of our lives and the Holy Spirit.
The dependency of our lives on the Holy Spirit.

Recent Activities of Parish Priest

July ll - Travelled to Westmoreland Regional Hospital, Greensburg.
July 13 - Travelled to Morgantown, West Virginia.
July 14 - Travelled to St.Sava Camp, Shadeland, Springboro, Pa.
July 16 - Travelled to Holy Trinity Mission, Fairmont, West Virginia.

From the Desert fathers

A brother asked Abba Sisoes, 'Did Satan pursue them like this in the early days? The old man said to him, 'He does this more at the present time, because his time is nearly finished and he is enraged.'

The Seventh Sunday After Pentecost 2004

Matthew 9:27-35

When Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed Him, crying, and saying, "Thou Son of David, have mercy on us". And when He was come into the house, the blind men came to Him: and Jesus said unto them, "Believe you that I am able to do this?" They said unto Him, "Yes Lord." Then He touched their eyes saying, "According to your faith, be it unto you." And their eyes were opened; and Jesus straightly charged them, saying: "See that no man know it." But they, when they were departed, spread abroad His fame in all that country. As they went out, behold, they brought to Him a dumb man possessed with a devil. And when the devil was cast out, the dumb spake: and the multitudes marveled, saying, "It was never so seen in Israel." But the Pharisees said, "He casteth out devils through the prince of devils. And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.

Today's Gospel shows the interest of Jesus Christ in individuals having bodily afflictions. The present Gospel describes the healing of two men who were blind and one man who could not speak.

The healing of the man possessed with the devil and unable to speak was the first of its kind in Israel. The healing of the man who could not speak brings to mind the healing of the blind man recorded in the Gospel of St. John.

In Gospel of St. John we find the words: "Since the world began it has been unheard of that anyone opened the eyes of one who was born blind." (Jn. 9:32). The healing of the two men in today's Gospel and the healing of the blind man reported in St. John's Gospel are added evidence of Jesus' interest in people who suffer.

The conclusion of today's Gospel of St. Matthew states Jesus preached the gospel of the kingdom and healed every sickness and disease among the people.

When a person becomes ill, there is only so much medical science can do. Health and the restoration of health requires more than good medical care. The granting and continuation of life is inseparable from God.

Wise individuals learn their dependence on God for life. Wise individuals devote their attention to God and give continuous thanks to God for having granted them life.

Jesus told the two blind men that according to their faith, it would be done unto them. Illness may ravage a body. The way a person responds to illness has to do with the person's belief in God. If a person is a firm believer in God, the soul may glisten in an illness plagued body.

The New Martyr Maria of Gatchina is a vivid example of a person totally paralyzed, yet extraordinarily capable of bringing cheer, and hope and vision to the visitors coming for help with their depression.

Matushka Maria suffered from encephalitis. She had Parkinson's Disease and was unable to move. Her prayerful life attracted many seeking help with depression. Visitors coming to Matushka Maria were uplifted. Lives were changed by this woman of God. Today's Gospel shows the Lord Jesus Christ teaches many by the healing of souls and bodies. Men, women and children do well when they are attentive to the healing power of Jesus Christ.

We may not be able to control the bodily ailments that afflict us. We do have a responsibility to care for our bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit. We do have a responsibility to glorify God in our bodies. (I Cor. 6:19-20)

We do control the degree of faithfulness to our baptismal commitment. We do control our thoughts and the amount of time we devote to prayer and love of God.

Our Lord Jesus Christ said: "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." (Mt. 6:21) If we love God with all our hearts, with all our minds, with all our souls, it will be evident regardless of our physical conditions.

The Holy Apostle Paul writing to the Romans had powerful words worthy of remembering. The Holy Apostle Paul said: "Neither death nor life, nor angels or principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:38-39)

We never know when tragedy will enter our lives. We never know when blindness or the inability to speak or another bodily affliction will come upon us or a loved one.

As Orthodox believers we have centuries of evidence revealing the healing power of Jesus Christ. As Orthodox believers we experience the healing power of Christ each time we come to Holy Confession. We are healed each time we receive the Precious Body and Blood of Christ.

The darkness of Great and Holy Friday is replaced by the brightness of Pascha. The Lord Jesus Christ has the healing power to replace the depressive effects of bodily afflictions.

Faith in Christ is the deciding difference in the way individuals adjust to illnesses and afflictions. Faith in Christ is nourished by constant prayer, fasting and attendance at the Divine services of the Church.

Faith in Christ is nourished by consistent attention to one's own sinfulness, repentance and singleness of focus on the Kingdom of God. Our bodies are time limited in their current form. Psalm 90 tells us to: "Number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom." (Ps. 90:12)

Individuals mindful of the words of the Holy Apostle Paul will be very serious about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Individuals mindful of the life and words of the Holy Apostle Paul will cherish the wisdom of his words: "The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Rom. 6:23)

Let us be grateful for everyday of life. Let us devote each day of life to the glory of God.

St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
July 5/July 18, 2004
Venerable Athanasius of Mt. Athos. St. Sergius of Radonezh.

Fr. Rodney Torbic

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