It (the Church) means the house where the Christians held prayers, the Holy Mysteries and
Holy Rites; in a word, the Divine Services. Thus for example, the house in Rome of the
work-loving and God-loving spouses Aquila and Priscilla
(Rom.16:5; I Cor.16:19), Nymphans's house in Closse
(Col.4:15), as well as Philemon's
(Philem 1:2) were all put at the
disposal of the Christian community for worship.
(His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN
The Teaching of Saint Apostle Paul on the Church
Translated by Protopresbyter Stefan Zaremba. Sremski Karlovac 2001, p. 2
Remember the Students of St. Sava School of Theology in Libertyville
· The benefits of attending Shadeland Camp.
· The potential of the Shadeland Campgrounds.
· The love for Shadeland among campers.
Recent Activities of Parish Priest
July 23 - Attended Open House at the Hunchuck Home.
July 24 - Went to French Creek, West Virginia.
July 25 - Went to Diocesan Center, Mars and French Creek, West Virginia.
July 27 - Served Divine Liturgy at YWCA, Fairmont, West Virginia. Four people attended.
July 28-29 - Scheduled to attend Monastery Marcha, Slava.
From the Desert Fathers
Abba Poemen often said, 'We do not need anything except a vigilant spirit.'.
The Seventh Sunday After Pentecost 2006
When Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed Him, crying, and saying, "Thou Son of David,
have mercy on us". And when He was come into the house, the blind men came to Him: and Jesus
said unto them, "Believe you that I am able to do this?" They said unto Him, "Yes Lord."
Then He touched their eyes saying, "According to your faith, be it unto you." And their eyes
were opened; and Jesus straightly charged them, saying: "See that no man know it." But they,
when they were departed, spread abroad His fame in all that country. As they went out, behold,
they brought to Him a dumb man possessed with a devil. And when the devil was cast out,
the dumb spake: and the multitudes marveled, saying, "It was never so seen in Israel."
But the Pharisees said, "He casteth out devils through the prince of devils. And Jesus went
about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel
of the kingdom and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.
The Sunday of the Holy Fathers of the First Six Ecumenical Councils
Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: "Father, the hour has come.
Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all
flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. And this is eternal
life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. I have
glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. And now,
O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the
world was. I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world.
They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. Now they have known that
all things which You have given Me are from You. For I have given to them the words which You
have given Me; and they have received them and have known surely that I came forth from You;
and they have believed that You sent Me. I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for
those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine,
and I am glorified in them. Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and
I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may
be one as We are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You
gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture
might be fulfilled. But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they
may have My joy fulfilled in themselves.
Today the Holy Orthodox Church commemorates the Holy Fathers of the First Six Ecumenical
Councils. Today is a time to reflect on the conciliar nature of the Church. Today is a time
to reflect on the gathering of the Church to consider matters of great magnitude.
The collective mind of the Church, the work of the Holy Spirit in the Church, the Church
as the Body of Christ must be considered when thinking of the Ecumenical Councils.
Parish churches have annual assemblies and when needed special assemblies. Dioceses have
annual assemblies and meetings of the Diocesan Administrative Board and Diocesan Council.
In America, Sabors are held periodically, bringing together the hierarchs, clergy,
monastics and parish representatives of the Dioceses encompassing North and South America.
The Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church meets at least annually in
Belgrade. In America, the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops (SCOBA) meets
Matters great and small require attention in the Church. Conciliation and seeking wisdom
from God are necessary. Seeking the will of God in deliberations is of primary importance.
In the present Gospel for the Sunday of the Ecumenical Councils, Jesus speaks as His
earthly life is drawing to a close. Believers need to think about Christ from the great
antipation of His coming centuries before, to His Virgin Birth, to His youthful and adult
teachings, to His miracles, eventual Crucifixion and Resurrection.
Believers benefit by contemplating Christ, seeking to know and appreciate as much as
possible. Drawing near to Christ is an act of faith. Drawing near to Christ is an investment
in the Kingdom of God.
The Gospel reading for the Seventh Sunday after Pentecost, today's Gospel, describes
Jesus healing two blind men and a man who was unable to speak. Believers benefit when praying
to God for open eyes to see the glory and wisdom of God. Believers benefit when praying to
God to hear the word of God and confessing Jesus as Son of God with their lips
(I John 4:15)
The distance between man and God is established by man. God is ever-near.
(Acts.17:28) Man will distance himself from God by certain actions.
Man can never escapes the presence of God but man can create a spiritual distance by living
in ways not pleasing to God.
Ecumenical Councils were formats to make decisions and put into words beliefs of the
Church. The Orthodox Church today uses the work and decisions of the Ecumenical Councils
in daily life.
The work of the Ecumenical Councils provides a certain structure and gives a certain
foundation for the Church in subsequent centuries. The Ecumenical Councils serve as reference
points for succeeding generations of believers.
Let us think of the coming together of the Church in collective deliberation. Let us think
of the great minds of the Church coming together to express beliefs of the Church. Let us think
of the presence of great believers gathering to speak as the Holy Spirit would have them speak.
The love of God is unending. The love of God cannot be exhausted. The love of God reaches
to the least of the brethren (Matthew 25:31-46).
In the contemporary world, it is good periodically to return in thought to much earlier
periods of history. It is good to think carefully about the words of the Lord Jesus Christ
and their meaning for today.
It is good to think carefully about the life and teachings of Jesus Christ and their
meaning to each believer today. The mercy of God edureth forever.
Our lives need to reflect an appreciation for the suffering of the Lord Jesus Christ on
the Cross and the enduring mercy and love of God.
Our lives need to reflect conscious thoughts of miracles and teachings, His Crucifixion
and Resurrection. Our lives need to reflect anticipation of the return of Christ,
His glorious Second Coming.
While there is time, while there is hope, while we have faculty of mind, let us use
the remaining days of our lives for repentance and investment in the Kingdom of God.
St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
July 17 / July 30, 2006
Seventh Sunday after Pentecost.
Holy Fathers of the First Six Ecumenical Councils.
Fr. Rodney Torbic
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