But the movie alone is not enough. Alone, it simply cannot convey all that our faith teaches
us and offers us as we come to the Feast of the Incarnation of our Lord: God becomes Man.
Our greatest saints have been teaching us about this mystery for centuries. It's no wonder
that one movie can't teach it all. It seems, then, that the teaching and the learning falls
on us: in Church Schools, through writing in our parish bulletins, in sermons, in studying
iconography and frescoes in our churches, in prayer and fasting, and finally, in our
preparation to receive the Holy Sacraments of the Church. The Nativity Story falls short
in many of the areas mentioned above, but it's a good starting point for us and for the
discussions that we may even have lost interest in. The Nativity Story just might help us
open our minds and our eyes and our hearts to the Coming Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord.
Excerpt from a review of the movie The Nativity Story
Remember the Students at St. Sava School of Theology, Libertyville
· The place of fasting in the Orthodox Church.
· The days set aside throughout the year for fasting.
· The results of taking fast periods seriously.
Recent Activities of Parish Priest
December 16 - Attended Christian Education Deanery meeting in Midland, Pennsylvania
From the Desert Fathers
He (Hyperechius) also said, "Let your thoughts ever be in the kingdom of heaven
and soon you will possess it as an heritage."
Twenty-Seventh Sunday after Pentecost 2006
Now He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. And behold, there was a woman who
had spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bent over and could in no way raise herself up.
But when Jesussaw her, He called her to Him and said to her, "Woman, you are loosed from your
infirmity." And He laidHis hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and glorified
God. But the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because Jesus had healed on the
Sabbath; and he said to the crowd, "There are six days on which men ought to work; therefore
come and be healed on them, and not on the Sabbath day." The Lord then answered him and said,
"Hypocrite! does not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or donkey from the stall,
and lead it away to water it? So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan
has bound-think of it-for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?" And when
He said these things, all His adversaries were put to shame; and all the multitude rejoiced
for all the glorious things that were done by Him.
So Jesus went with him, and a great multitude followed Him and thronged Him. Now a certain
woman had a flow of blood for twelve years, and had suffered many things from many physicians.
She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse. When she heard about
Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. For she said, "If only I may
touch His clothes, I shall be made well." Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up,
and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction. And Jesus, immediately knowing
in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, "Who touched
My clothes?" But His disciples said to Him, "You see the multitude thronging You and You say,
"Who touched Me?" And He looked around to see her who had done this thing. But the woman,
fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and
told Him the whole truth. And He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well.
Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction
This is the time of the Nativity Fast. This is the time of preparation for the Feast of
the Nativity of the Lord Jesus Christ. Each day we advance to the Feast of the Nativity.
Each day is a gift from God to be used for the glory of God and the care of our souls.
The present Gospel lessons describe the healing power of the Lord Jesus Christ even when
long term afflictions exist.
Our souls may be tarnished after years of sin. Our souls may be in need of great
attention. We may have departed far from the path taken at the time of Holy Baptism.
We may have not come to Holy Confession or Communion for a long period of time.
e many have not repented of sins from long ago that are buried deep in our memory.
To experience the joy of the Lord Jesus Christ, we must turn to Him in faith and in love.
We must turn to Him with trust and seek His mercy and understanding.
To experience the joy of the Lord Jesus Christ, we must desire to return to the path
entered at Holy Baptism. We must be interested in experiencing the love and forgiveness
of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The woman with the issue of blood and the woman with the longstanding infirmity learned of
the love of the Lord Jesus Christ. They learned of the healing power of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus told the woman with the issue of blood: "Your faith has made you well. Go in peace."
The woman loosed from her eighteen year infirmity glorified God.
When God heals us of infirmities, when God forgives our sins, we have the responsibility
to glorify God in our new found wholeness. We have the responsibility to live in ways pleasing
When we come to God in faith, when we partake of the Lord Jesus Christ's Precious Body
and Blood, we are united with Christ. We are expected to live in ways pleasing to Christ.
As Orthodox Christians we are expected to live in ways consistent with the teachings of
the Holy Orthodox Church. We are expected to live in ways consistent with the practices of
the Serbian Orthodox Church.
The joy and peace of God are desirable and obtainable. Sin separates us from peace.
Sin separates us from joy. If we read the lives of the martyrs, if we read the lives of
the confessors of Christ, we will see that they are at peace in the midst of adversity.
We will see they have confidence in Christ and face the fiercest of enemies with total
commitment to Christ.
Search the heart and mind during this Nativity Fast. Take time to evaluate the personal
use of time and resources. Take time to assess personal faithfulness to God.
Each day draw near to the Lord Jesus Christ. Each day increase involvement in the life of
the Church. Each day become more serious in prayer.
The saints are examples of ways to live pleasing to God. The saints give instruction in
how to deal with adversity. The saints reveal the value of staying true to Christ in adverse
We live in a pluralistic society. Orthodoxy Christianity is not dominant in this society.
To keep our faith in Christ consistent with the Orthodox Church, we must be firm and consistent
in our way of living.
Serbian Orthodox Christians and other Orthodox Christians came to these shores with
Orthodoxy in their hearts. They founded this and many other Orthodox churches in the past
We cannot forget the faith of those building this church. We cannot forget the teachings
and way of the Lord Jesus Christ as proclaimed in the Holy Gospel
Let us draw near in faith and in love to the Lord Jesus Christ. Let us prepare for the
Feast of the Nativity with serious and joyful anticipation.
St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
December 4 / December 17, 2006
Twenty-Seventh Sunday after Pentecost.
Great Martyr Barbara. St. John Damascene.
Fr. Rodney Torbic
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