Always and especially during Lent we should diligently read and listen to the Word of God,
Holy Scriptures, and pray to God both at home and in the Church with others, in this time
of adversity for our people. Fasting was not established by man but by God, Who through
the prophet Moses called it a "perpetual statute"(Lev.3:17). Christ consecrated it by
fasting Himself for forty days and ordered all His faithful ones to fast. Fasting was
practiced by the apostles, by all the faithful of that time, and subsequently for all
these 2000 years.
(His Holiness Patriarch PAVLE. "On Fasting." The Voice of Saint Stephen
Lackawanna, New York, Vol. 24 No. 2. March-April 2000, p. 1)
Remember the Students of St. Sava School of Theology in Libertyville
· Getting ready for Great Lent.
· The gradual approach of Great Lent.
· The importance of Great Lent.
Recent Activities of Parish Priest
February 20-22 - Travelled to St. Stephen Serbian Orthodox Church in Lackawanna,
New York for Christian Education Meeting.
February 24 - Blessed one restaurant and banquet facility.
February 24-25 - Travelled to St. George Serbian Orthodox Church in Midland,
Pennsylvania for Diocesan Assembly.
February 25 - Visited a Serbian Orthodox Christian at a nursing home.
From the Desert Fathers
Abba Matoes said, 'I prefer a light and steady activity, to one that is painful at the
beginning but is soon broken off.'
The Sunday of the Last Judgement - 2006
When the Son of Man come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit
on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate
them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the
sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His
right hand, "Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the
foundation of the world: 'For I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave
Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick
and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.' Then the righteous will answer Him,
saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?
When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we
see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' And the King will answer and say to them,
'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren,
you did it to Me' Then He will also say to those on the left hand, 'Depart from Me,
you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: 'for I was
hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger
and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you
did not visit Me.' Then they also will answer Him, saying 'Lord, when did we see You hungry
or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You? Then
He will answer them, saying 'Assuredly, I say to you, in as much as you did not do it to
one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.' And these will go away into everlasting
punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.
Today the Holy Orthodox Church focuses on the Holy Gospel message of the Last Judgment.
The words of the Lord Jesus Christ enter the hearts and souls of attentive listeners.
The Gospel message of the Last Judgment emphasizes sensitivity to the least of our
brethren. Jesus Christ is identified with the sick, the suffering, the stranger and the
Individuals are accountable to the Lord Jesus Christ for their actions. At Holy Baptism
and Chrismation, believers profess that Jesus Christ will come again to judge the living and
The Book of Revelation, as it draws to a close, concludes with the memorable words:
"Come, Lord Jesus."(Rev.22:20) Each time the Lord's Prayer is recited, reference is made
to the coming of the Divine Kingdom.
The Gospel message of the Last Judgment is a call to lifelong consideration for the sick,
the suffering, the imprisoned and the stranger. The Gospel message of the Last Judgment is
a reminder to always see Jesus Christ in each of the people we meet throughout life.
Serious believers seek the Kingdom of God. No one in his or her right mind would desire
the everlasting punishment. Laziness, lack of attentiveness, bigotry, racism, sinfulness,
and lack of consideration for others can readily lead to the everlasting punishment described
in St. Matthew's Gospel.
The Lord Jesus Christ stated in very clear terms believers are to care for the sick,
the suffering, the stranger and the imprisoned. Serious believers strive to meet the criteria
to enter the Kingdom.
Forgiveness from Christ is necessary during this earthly life when believers fail to honor
today's Gospel message and want to try again.
Believers can pray to God for an opening of the eyes to see Christ in each person we meet
in life. Believers can pray to God for an open mind and an open heart to see others as having
been created in the image and likeness of God.
Believers can pray to God for a forgiving heart and mind. Believers can pray to God for
the strength and the vision to see Christ in the lives of others. To live in Christ, requires
believers to be immersed in the reading and listening to the Holy Gospel.
To live in Christ requires believers to come regularly to Holy Confession and to partake
regularly of the Precious Body and Blood of Christ.
The present Gospel is a strong signal that Great Lent is at hand. Forgiveness Sunday
comes in a week and then Great Lent begins. It is best to move towards Great Lent clearly
participanting in the Church on a daily basis.
The Church prepares believers for the lenten journey. The Church nourishes believers
throughout the lenten journey. To benefit from Great Lent requires an investment in Great Lent.
As believers invest and participate in the lenten journey, so will they realize the
benefits of the journey. The man, woman or child treating Great Lent with great care will
appreciate having made the effort.
Today is a marking point in preparation for Great Lent. Believers are vividly reminded
of the Last Judgment. The time to return to God in all seriousness is at hand.
At Baptism, the Christian identity is realized. The total person is set aside for God
and for the life pleasing to God. All that is not pleasing to God is to be set aside.
Great Lent is an opportunity to begin anew. Great Lent is an opportunity to renew the
bapistmal commitment. Great Lent is a return to God in love for God.
The joy of participating is inherent in the lenten experience. Believers come to know
and experience God in Great Lent. The Cross defines the horizon and establishes the direction.
The Cross reveals the power of God and the love of God. The Cross summons the believer. The
Cross summons each person including the sick, the suffering, the imprisoned and the stranger.
Everyone is affected by the Cross. Everyone is affected by the Resurrection of Christ.
Everyone will be affected by Jesus Christ's glorious return and the Last Judgment.
St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
February 13 / February 26, 2006
Fr. Rodney Torbic
Back to St. George Serbian Orthodox Church,
Carmichaels - Home Page