Thanks to the Holy Spirit who abides in the Church, and who is the "soul of the Church,"
each Christian can become a temple of the Holy Spirit, a small Church of God, if he becomes
a member of the body of Christ, the Church (Eph. 2:19-22, 3:5-6).
With the Mystery of Baptism man is clothed in Christ (Gal. 3:27)
and becomes the temple of the living God (2 Cor 6:16).
Whether or not man will receive the Holy Spirit depends on him himself.
His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN. (The Teaching of Saint Apostle Paul on the Church
Translated by Protopresbyter Stefan Zaremba. Sremski Karlovac 2001, p. 61)
· The discipline necessary to enter the Kingdom of God.
· The forgiveness of God enabling each person to begin anew.
· The love of God for each person in each century.
Recent Activities of Parish Priest
March 26 - Attended Vespers at St. George Church, Midland.
March 28 - Went to French Creek, West Virginia. Blessed one home.
Went to Holy Trinity Mission in Fairmont, W.Va.
March 29 - Visited parishioner in Uniontown, Hospital.
March 30 - Travelled to Chicago for Clergy Brotherhood Meeting and Sabor Committee meeting.
April 1 - Returned from Chicago.
From the Desert Fathers
Abba Pambo said, 'If you have a heart, you can be saved.'
The Fourth Sunday of Great Lent 2006
Mark 9:17-31 Matthew 4:25-5:12
Great multitudes followed Him - from Galilee, and from Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea,
and beyond the Jordan. And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when
He was seated His disciples came to Him. Then He opened His mouth and taught them,
saying: Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek,
for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who persecuted for righteousness'
sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you,
and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad,
for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Then one of the crowd answered and said, "Teacher, I brought you my son, who has a mute
spirit. And wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his
teeth, and becomes rigid. So I spoke to Your disciples, that they should cast it out, but
they could not. He answered him and said, "O faithless generation, how long shall I be with
you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to Me." Then they brought him to Him. And
when he saw Him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground and wallowed,
foaming at the mouth. So He asked his father, "How long has this been happening to him?"
And he said, "From childhood. And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the
water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.
Jesus said to him, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes."
Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, "Lord, I believe;
help my unbelief!" When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked
the unclean spirit, saying to it: "Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him
and enter him no more!" Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him.
And he became as one dead, so that many said, "He is dead." But Jesus took him by the hand
and lifted him up, and he arose. And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked
Him privately, 'Why could we not cast it out?" So He said to them, "This kind can come out
by nothing but prayer and fasting." Then they departed from there and passed through Galilee,
and He did not want anyone to know it. For He taught His disciples and said to them,
"The Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of men, and they will kill Him. And after
He is killed, He will rise the third day.
Jesus Christ told the father of the afflicted son: "If you can believe, all things
are possible to him who believes." The statement Jesus Christ made to the father is a
message to be heeded.
The future can look gloomy. The present can look gloomy. Problems arising can be
disconcerting. Regardless of the circumstances we face, the message of Jesus Christ
provides hope. The message of Jesus Christ is enduring. "If you can believe, all things
are possible to him who believes." (Mk. 9:23).
The April 2006 issue of The American Legion magazine describes the transformation of
Private Roderick Evans. Mr. Evans weighed 418 pounds and was rejected for being too big
when he tried to enter the military. He wanted to be a medic and during the next three
years he lost 230lbs by "exercise, determination and staying away from sweets."
Private Evans is shown in military uniform at 165 lbs, age 39, having entered training as
a medic and on schedule to be a nurse. 1
The lesson of Private Evans is a contemporary lesson in belief. It is a contemporary
lesson in the power of fasting. Private Evans is quoted as saying: "I never lost sight of
my goal." 2
The Kingdom of God is the goal adopted by Christians at Holy Baptism. Our Lord
Jesus Christ in His Sermon on the Mount said: "Seek first the kingdom of God..."
Everything done in the Christian life is to be measured against the goal of reaching
the Kingdom of God. Every thought we entertain, every step we take, every action undertaken,
every book read, every word uttered, every form of manual work performed should ideally be
directed toward the goal of the Kingdom.
The Beatitudes describe the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, those hungering
and thirsting for righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, peacemakers and those
persecuted for righteousness sake. (Mt. 5:1-11).
Jesus Christ sets forth the qualities necessary to experience the joy of the Kingdom.
Jesus Christ sets forth the qualities in life to be valued. During this Great Lent,
let us measure our lives against the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.
During this Great Lent, let us measure our lives against the lives of the Holy Apostles
and Holy Martyrs. Let us measure our lives against the lives of the saints, the Holy Fathers
and Mothers of the Church.
We must be careful in examining the values we hold and the values we encourage others
to embrace. Have we taught our children to embace Christian values and to live according to
the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ? Do we set a good example for others in following the
teachings of the Church? Do we show respect for one another, for family members and friends?
Do our lives reflect that Jesus Christ is foremost in our hearts and minds? Does Christ
shine from within us in our relationships in Church, on the job, with family members,
and the people we meet in the community?
The teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ are clear in the Holy Gospel. The teachings of
the Lord Jesus Christ are enduring. Christians error when not completely following the way
of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Imagine the transformation that can take place in our lives if we seriously devote each
of the remaining days of Great Lent to the glory of God and the salvation of our souls.
Abba Hyperechius said: "Let your thoughts be ever in the kingdom of heaven and soon you
will possess it as a heritage." 3
1The American Legion.
April 2006, p. 46.)
3The Sayings of the Desert Fathers.
Translated by Benedicta Ward.Cistercian Publications, Kalamazoo, Michigan, 1984, p. 239.
St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
March 20 / April 2, 2006
Fourth Sunday of Great Lent.
Fr. Rodney Torbic
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