And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson
and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets; who through faith subdued kingdoms,
worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence
of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant
in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
Genuine piety cannot long be concealed in the heart without manifesting itself by exterior
practices of religion; and hence, though interior and exterior worship are distinct,
they cannot be separated in the present life. The fire cannot burn without sending forth
a flame and heat. Neither can the fire of devotion burn in the soul without reflecting
itself on our countenance, and even in our speech. It is natural for man to express his
sentiments by signs and ceremonies, for, from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaketh.
(The Holy Orthodox Church
Reprinted 1993 by St. Nectarios Church, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, p. 3.)
· The lenten journey.
· The investment each of us will make in Great Lent.
· Will we be better Orthodox Christians at the end of the lenten journey?
Recent Activities of Parish Priest
March 4 - Visited parishioner at home for purposes of Confession and Communion.
March 5 - Attended Forgiveness Vespers, St. Sava Church, Mckeesport.
March 9 - Attended Funeral of +Zora Trbovich, Holy Trinity Cathedral, Pittsburgh.
March 10 - Visited home of friends of St. George Church.
From the Desert Fathers
He was greater than many others in that if he was asked to interpret part of the
Scriptures or a scriptural saying, he would not reply immediately, but he would say
he did not know that saying. If he was asked again, he would say no more.
Sunday of Orthodoxy 2006
The following day Jesus wanted to go to Galilee, and He found Philip and said to him,
"Follow Me." Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peer. Philip found
Nathanael and said to him, "We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the
prophets, wrote---Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.." And Nathanael said to him,
"Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" Philip said to him, "Come and see." Jesus
saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, "Behold, an Israelite indeed,
in whom is no deceit!" Nathanael said to Him, "How do You know me?" Jesus answered
and said to him, "Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you."
Nathanael answered and said to Him, "Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of
Israel!" Jesus answered and said to him, "Because I said to you, 'I saw you under the
fig tree,' do you believe? You will see greater things than these." And He said to him,
"Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of
God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man."
Great Lent is underway. The focus is on Jesus Christ and our return to the road to the
Kingdom. We confess belief in Jesus Christ as King and God at Holy Baptism.
We accept the responsibility to follow Christ and be true to Christ at the time of Baptism.
The responsibility to Jesus Christ is our greatest responsibility.
We are changed completely by Holy Baptism and Chrismation. We are set apart from
non-believers and sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Our relationship with Jesus Christ is established and is to ever be renewed.
Throughout life Jesus Christ is to be the focus of our lives. Throughout life Jesus Christ
is to be the standard and goal of our lives. Every thing that we think, say and do is to be
measured according to Jesus Christ.
Jesus said Philip "Follow me." We accepted to follow Jesus when we were baptized.
As infants, we are not necessarily fully conscious of the commitment made.
This in no way dimishes the commitment made. Each moment of life is the time to renew the
Students of the Church sort thoughout centuries of written documents and oral history
to develop a greater understanding of Christ. Students of the Church contend with centuries
of evidence about Jesus Christ.
We know a certain amount about the immediate followers of Christ. We know a certain
amount of about Christ's followers in early church history. Many centuries have passed
since the birth of Jesus Christ. The divine services and teachings of the Church give
perspective and order to understanding Christ. The Church offers believers and potential
believers a welcome haven to meet and learn about Jesus Christ.
Great Lent is a call to fasting, prayer and almsgiving. Great Lent is a call to train
and discipline the body and focus the mind and heart on Jesus Christ.
Little by little, the believer can be distracted from Christ. Little by little,
the believer can inadvertently become a little less faithful to Christ.
Great Lent is a time to return to Christ.
Nathaniel called Jesus the Son of God. Our prayers to Jesus Christ and our confession
of faith to Jesus Christ reflect the degree of our faithfulness to Christ.
The passing of time in no way can diminish Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday,
today and forwever. (Heb.13:8)
Our prayers to Jesus Christ need not be sophisticated. Our prayers to Jesus Christ need
not be in lofty language. We have beautiful prayers of the Church to use at home.
We have beautiful prayers of the Church in the Divine services.
Regularity of prayer is important. Attentiveness in prayer is important.
Sincerity in prayer is important.
If we are not sincere in our prayers, if we pray for personal recognition,
if we are inattentive in prayer, our prayers will fall short of what they could be.
Prayers are to emanate from the heart. Prayers are for the benefit of the soul.
Prayers affect and are affected by the mind. The condition of the mind and consumption of
food affects the ability to pray.
Prayer is the way we communicate with Jesus Christ. Prayer is the way we learn from
Jesus Christ. Prayer is the way we discern what Jesus Christ would have us do.
Prayer requires work. To pray for one hour with concentration is work. St. Paul calls
us to pray without ceasing. (I Thess.5:17)
Praying without ceasing is a goal for all to strive for.
We should not be discouraged in prayer. We must begin where we are and continue.
When we grow tired, we should begin again and continue. All of our work should be
preceded by prayer. All our actions should be preceded by and should actually be a
form of prayer.
Each day should begin and end with prayer. Each day should be a form of prayer.
Each day should be a coming before God with our lives and dedicating our lives to the
way of God.
We are to follow Jesus Christ throughout life. We do not know how long the journey will be.
We do not know where it will lead. If we proceed with faith in Christ and with faithfulness
to Christ, we can proceed with confidence.
Jesus Christ is the author and finisher of our faith (Heb.12:2).
He is our hope and our joy. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ established a perspective
that cannot be hidden. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ enables a world view that cannot
Out of the darkness of Holy Friday came the brightness of Christ resurrecting.
The journey of Great Lent ultimately takes us to Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusalem,
His Betrayal, Crucifixion and to His Resurrection.
The events of Holy Week require us to think completely about Jesus Christ,
to remember His love for us and His sacrifice for us. Being faithful to Christ
in Great Lent is an investment in the Kingdom of God. We can make no better
investment with our lives than to invest our lives in following Jesus Christ.
St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
February 27 / March 12, 2006
Sunday of Orthodoxy
Fr. Rodney Torbic
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