However, for the Orthodox believer, an icon has incomparably more than just a material
value or the artistic value it possesses, because of the fame and success of the artist
who painted it. It will have for him above all a religious value even if it does not
possess any other. It is a holy object for him. Holy in two senses: subjectively and
objectively. The subjective holiness of an icon consists, as we have already said, in
the feeling of holiness which it inspires in the soul ofman because of its associations.
The objective holiness of the icon lies in the fact that it has been consecrated by the
Church and must therefore be used only for prayers and divine service and not for any
other profane purposes.
"The Theology of Icons." The Serbian OrthodoxChurch: Its Past and Present.
Translated by Militsa Rekalich-Popovich. Published by"Pravoslavije"-Institution
of the Serbian Patriarchate, Belgrade 1972, p. 46
· The life of St.Mary of Egypt.
· The remaining days of Great Lent.
· Jesus Christ upon the Cross.
Recent Activities of Parish Priest
April 2 - Attended Vespers at Holy Resurrection Serbian Orthodox Church-Steubenville, Ohio.
April 5 - Went to Diocese for Clergy Confession. Visited parishioner in Waynesburg Hospital.
April 6 - Visited with two parole agents.
April 8 - Blessed one house.
From the Desert Fathers
He (Matoes) also said, 'When I was young, I would say to myself:
perhaps one day I shall do something good; but now that I am old,
I see that there is nothing good about me.'
Sunday of St. Mary of Egypt 2006
Mark 10:32-45 Luke 7:36-50
Now they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was going before them; and they
were amazed. And as they followed they were afraid. Then He took the twelve aside again and
began to tell them the things that would happen to Him. "Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem,
and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will
condemn Him to death and deliver Him to the Gentiles; and they will mock Him, and scourge Him,
and spit upon Him, and kill Him. And the third day He will rise again. Then James and John,
the sons of Zebedee, came to Him, saying, 'Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask.'
And He said to them, 'What do you want Me to do for you?' They said to Him, 'Grant us that we
may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on Your left, in Your glory.' But Jesus said to
them, 'You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, and to be
baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?' They said to Him, 'We are able.' So Jesus
said to them, "You will indeed drink the cup that I drink, and with the baptism I am baptized
with you will be baptized; but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give,
but it is for those for whom it is prepared.'And when the ten heard it, they began to be
greatly displeased with James and John. But Jesus called them to Himself and said to them,
'You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their
great ones exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires
to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall
be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give
His life as a ransom for many.
Then one of the Pharisees asked Him to eat with him. And He went to the Pharisee's house,
and sat down to eat. And behold a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that
Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil,
and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears,
and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the
fragrant oil. Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him say this, he spoke to himself saying
'This Man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is
touching Him, for she is a sinner.' And Jesus answered and said to him, 'Simon, I have
something to say to you." So he said, 'Teacher, say it.' There was a certain creditor who
had two debtors. One owed five hundred denari and the other fifty. And when they had nothing
with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will
love him more?' Simon answered and said, 'I suppose the one whom he forgave more.' And He
said to him, 'You have rightly judged.' Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon,
'Do you see this woman?' I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she
has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. You gave Me
no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. You did
not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil.
Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much.
But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little. Then He said to her, 'Your sins
are forgiven.' And those who sat at the table with Him began to say to themselves,
'Who is this who even forgives sins?' Then He said to the woman, 'Your faith has saved You.
Go in peace."
The Lord Jesus Christ told the woman anointing His feet that her faith saved her.
We need to aspire to the degree of faith that will save us. We need to have the love
for Jesus Christ that we would be willing to wash His feet with our tears of repentance.
Great Lent is about repentance. Great Lent is about returning to the road leading to
the heavenly Kingdom. Great Lent is about the narrow path that leads to life and not the
broad road leading to destruction. (Mt. 7:13-14).
We make decisions that affect the quality of our lives. We make decisions affecting
the way we follow Jesus Christ and live in ways pleasing to Jesus Christ.
Many temptations appear throughout the day. Too few people are strong enough to say
throughout the day as Jesus did: "Get behind Me Satan!" (Mt. 16:23).
Growing in Christ requires choices that build up the faith. Growing in Christ requires
choices that do not pull the person down to the depths of hell. Growing in Christ requires
decision-making shaped by and founded on the life and teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The first Psalm states clearly: "Blessed is the man that walks not in the counsel of
the ungodly." (Ps. 1:1). Great Lent is a time to examine the
decision-making process we use. Great Lent is a time to examine the way we spend our time.
Great Lent is a time to evaluate if we live in ways giving glory and appreciation to God?
Jesus Christ forgives the sins of the repentant person. Forgiveness is necessary for
the sinner is to move forward free of the weight of sin. Joy comes from knowing the
forgiveness of Christ. Joy comes in knowing the love and acceptance from Christ.
Trust in Christ is necessary to experience forgiveness. Trust in Christ is necessary to
bare the soul in Holy Confession. Trust in Christ is necessary to experience the life in Christ.
Martyrs for Christ are firmly and irrevocably convinced of the divinity of Christ.
Martyrs for Christ are firmly and irrevocably convinced of the value of living in Christ.
Christ upon the Cross shapes each succeeding fragment of time. Christ upon the Cross
shapes each succeeding century. Christ upon the Cross shapes the minds of believers.
Christ upon the Cross affects the hearts of believers.
The Holy Apostle Paul told the Corinthians: "Your faith should be in the power of God,
not in the wisdom of men." (I Cor. 2:5).
Is our thinking shaped by the Word of God? Does our thinking rest in the Word of God?
Are our hearts nourished by the Word of God?
On Pascha we hear the beginning of the Gospel of John. On Pascha we hear:
"Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ." (Jn. 1:17
Does truth guide our lives? Do we seek truth?
In Proverbs we read: "A wise man will hear and increase learning. And a man of
understanding will attain wise counsel.? (Prov. 1:5).
What do we fill our minds with during the course of a day? What do we fill our eyes
with during the course of a day? What thoughts dominate our minds? What reading do we
do during the course of a day?
Do the activities we engage in lead to the kingdom of God? Does the reading material
we have in our homes point us toward the kingdom of God? Do the conversations we have
enrich our life in Christ? Are we content with our life in Christ or do we acknowledge
that there is much more for us to learn about Christ and living in Christ?
Great Lent is drawing to a close. Will we complete Great Lent as better Orthodox
Christians than when Great Lent began?
St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
March 27 / April 9, 2006
Fifth Sunday of Great Lent.
Fr. Rodney Torbic
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