And his gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists,
some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building
up the body of Christ untill we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge
of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the meaure of the stature of the fulness of Christ...
St. Paul tells us, "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined
to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." This is a great mystery, but I speak
concerning Christ and the church" (Eph 5:31-32).
In Homily 20 on Ephesians, Chrysostom comments on several ways that marriage is a great
mystery. First, marriage is a mystery in that a man should leave his parents who gave him
life, who suffered in labor and childbirth, and who raised him. Second, for a man to leave
his immediate family who favored him with so many great blessings and with whom he has been
so close his entire life to unite with one whom he has not always known and to honor her more
than all others, this is a great mystery. Finally, for the parents to happily give up their
children to join with another, this is also a mystery.
(Chrysostom's third Sermon on Marriage). (Paper: Teachings on Christian
Marriage based upon the Pauline Epistles to the Corinthians and Ephesians
· The cumulative contributions of the St. George Choir.
· The joy of God spread by the St. George Choir.
· The reassurance in God provided by the singing of the St. George Choir.
Recent Activities of Parish Priest
· November 10-Travelled to Chicago for Sabor Committee meetings and for meeting
of Serbian Orthodox Clergy Brotherhood Executive Board. Returned November 12.
From the Desert Fathers
Abba Euprepius said, 'Knowing that God is faithful and mighty, have faith in him and you will
share what is his. If you are depressed, you do not believe. We all believe that he is mighty
and we believe all is possible to him. As for your own affairs, behave with faith in him about
them, too, for he is able to work miracles in you also.'
Twenty-First Sunday After Pentecost 2005
"A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was
trampled down, and the birds of the air devoured it. Some fell on rock; and as soon as it
sprang up, it withered away because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns, and the
thorns sprang up with it and choked it. But others fell on good ground, and sprang up, and
yielded a crop a hundredfold." When He had said these things He cried, "He who has ears to
hear, let him hear!" Then His disciples asked Him, saying "What does this parable mean?"
And He said, "To you it is has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God,
but to the rest it is given in parables, that 'Seeing they may not see, and hearing they
may not understand.' "Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the
wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their
hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. But the ones on the rock are those who,
when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for awhile
and in time of temptation fall away. Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who,
when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasure of life,
and bring no fruit to maturity. But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who,
having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience."
Somehow we must grow to love the word of God. Somehow we must savor reading the words
of Holy Scripture. Somehow we must draw near to God.
The salvation of our souls is of utmost importance. Our Lord Jesus Christ said:
"For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?"
In the Gospel of Sts. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John we find the words of the Lord
Jesus Christ. In the Acts of the Holy Apostles and the Epistles of the New Testament
we find treasured words about the Lord Jesus Christ. In reading Revelation, we are
compelled to think about the glorious Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
We must take time in our lives to think carefully about the meaning of life and about God.
We must take time in our lives to pray with great seriousness for the salvation of our souls.
We must take time in our lives seek the forgiveness of God and to repent of our sins.
The very air we breathe is a gift from God. The very water we drink is a gift from God.
The very earth from which our food comes is a gift from God.
We cannot escape the presence of God. There is no benefit in our denying the existence of
God. We can only experience the fulness of life when our lives are directed toward pleasing God.
The present Gospel message reveals the different effects of the word of God in listeners.
Not everyone hearing the word of God welcomes the word of God and is serious about living
according to the word of God.
The present Gospel message speaks about a noble and good heart. Would God call our
hearts good and noble? What is required of each of us to have a good and noble heart?
The love of God is manifested everyday. It is our each of us to find the presence of God
in daily life. If we look for God, we will find God. We will not be disappointed.
We now are in the Twenty First Century. Centuries and centuries have preceded the present.
It is important to exercise our minds, to think about the believers who came before the present.
It is important to remember the sacrifices made to protect the Holy Gospel
and to share the Holy Gospel with succeeding generations.
The love of the Lord Jesus Christ was manifested in His Virgin Birth. The love of the
Lord Jesus Christ was manifested in His miracles. The love of the Lord Jesus Christ was
manfested in His death on the Cross and in His glorious Resurrection.
We need to seek God's forgiveness for being unfaithful in our efforts toward living
according to the way of God. We need to exercise our minds, searching through the centuries
of evidence verifying the Death and Resurrection of Christ.
We need to think of the sacrifices for Christ through the centuries including those
documented by present day Orthodox believers.
Saints such as St.John Chrysostom and St. Cyril of Alexandria enable us to more greatly
appreciate and understand the word of God. Blessed Theophyact offers believers the opportunity
to learn much more about the Holy Gospel.
Each moment of each day, believers face choices about the Lord Jesus Christ. Each moment
of each day, believer must choose between growing toward Christ or drawing further from Christ.
The love of Christ heals all hurt. The love of Christ is enduring.
The love of Christ is inexhaustible.
The path to the Kingdom of God is a narrow path (Mt.7:13).
It is a path to be travelled with the greatest of care.
The time is now to take the word of God to heart.
The time is now to demonstrate complete love of Christ.
St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
October 31 / November 13, 2005
Twenty-First Sunday after Pentecost.
Sts. Stachus, Amplias and Companions.
Fr. Rodney Torbic
Back to St. George Serbian Orthodox Church,
Carmichaels - Home Page