We cannot rest on our laurels and accomplishments. We have to look to the future of our
church and our nation. Our forefathers brought Orthodoxy to America. We, their children,
now have to BRING AMERICA TO ORTHODOXY. This we have to do by our own example. By a life
that is exemplary in all aspects-both spiritually and morally. Our life in the church has
to be taken into our life in the world---for ORTHODOXY is not a religion-but A WAY OF LIFE.
The ORTHODOX FAITH is perfect, our life has to be exemplary and a shining beacon to the world.
May 6, 1991 - Holy Trinity Serbian Orthodox Cathedral 2oth Anniversary, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Remember the Students at St. Sava School of Theology, Libertyville
· Experiencing forgiveness through Holy Confession.
· Experiencing unity with Christ through Holy Communion.
· Experiencing the life in Christ through daily prayer.
Recent Activities of Parish Priest
December 20 - Served Divine Liturgy at YWCA, Fairmont, W.Va. Visited Mission Chapel
in Fairmont. Recorded January radio broadcasts with Tom Hunter.
December 21 - Went to Diocesan Center in Mars, Pennsylvania.
December 22 - Visited parishioner.
From the Desert Fathers
He (Nilus) also said, 'Prayer is a remedy against grief and depression.'
Twenty-Eighth Sunday after Pentecost 2006
Then He said to him, "A certain man gave a great supper and invited many, and sent his servant
at supper time to say to those where invited, 'Come, for all things are now ready.' But they
all with one accord began to make excuses. The first said to him, 'I have bought a piece of
ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused. And another said, 'I have
bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused.' Still
another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.' So that servant came and
reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house, being angry, said to his
servant, 'Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring here the poor and
the maimed and the lame and the blind.' And the servant said, 'Master, it is done as you
commanded, and still there is room.' Then the master said to the servant, 'Go out into the
highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may filled. For I say to you
that none of those men who were invited shall taste my supper.'"
The invitation goes forth from the Lord Jesus Christ throughout the day. Individuals around
the world and throughout the centuries decide every moment of the day whether to accept the
invitation to draw near to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Our Lord Jesus Christ said: "Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will
give you rest." (Mt. 11:28) Rest and peace are found in the Lord Jesus
Christ. Many people look elsewhere.
Many people seek rest and peace of lesser quality than the peace and rest found in the
Lord Jesus Christ.
The Lord Jesus Christ invites us to the heavenly banquet each Divine Liturgy. Many people
seek fulfillment in life outside the Church. Many people seek nourishment for life outside the
Today's Gospel speaks of individuals occupied with their land, their property and their
families. These individuals declined the invitation of the master of the house.
God does not expect us to neglect our families. God does not expect us to neglect our
properties. God does not expect us to neglect our jobs. Serious students of the Church know
to love and respect family members to the fullest. Serious Christians know to do their jobs
to the best of their abilities. Personal possessions and resources are to be prudently managed.
Time for God is necessary. Time for Church is necessary. Time for participation in the
Holy Mysteries is necessary. Time for prayer is necessary. Time for caring for the sick,
the suffering and the needy is necessary.
When the invitation from the Lord Jesus Christ is answered throughout the day, when Christ
is the Guide of our hearts and minds, then our lives find order.
The Psalmist said: "Direct my steps by Your word, and let no iniquity have dominion over
me." (Ps. 119:133) Readers of the Psalms draw nourishment from God.
Readers of the Psalms find guidance in the Psalms.
Christians should utilize the nourishment found in God's Holy Church. Christians should
not waste time or resources looking outside the Church for lasting fulfillment.
Unity and peace with Christ comes in partaking of His Precious Body and Blood. Unity and
peace with Christ comes in Holy Confession, in repentance of sin and the desire to live in
ways pleasing to God.
When we give our lives to God at Holy Baptism, we are expected to honor God throughout
our lives. From the Baptismal fount to the departure from this life can be many, many years.
The joy of life is best found in Christ. Personal growth in best found in devoting our
talents and resources for the glory of God. Family unity and family strength is best realized
when the home is a small church.
The Holy Apostle Paul told the Corinthians: "We all, with unveiled face, beholding as in
a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory,
just as by the Spirit of the Lord." (II Cor. 3:18)
To grow in Christ, requires faith in Christ. To grow in Christ requires love of Christ.
To experience Christ, requires opening the heart and mind to Christ.
Constantly declining the invitations of Christ is perilous. Constantly being occupied
with activities having nothing to do with Christ is perilous.
The master of the house in the present Gospel was angry when so many declined the
invitation to attend the supper. In the Gospel of St. Matthew we are reminded of the words
of the Lord Jesus Christ: "I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness."
Giving lip service to being a Christian is not sufficient. Being lukewarm as a Christian
is not sufficient. In Revelation we read: "Because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot,
I will vomit you out of My mouth." (Rev. 3:16)
Constant prayer is necessary. Living the life in Christ every day is necessary. Being
nourished by Christ through reading the Holy Scriptures, partaking of His Precious Body and
Blood and experiencing the forgiveness of sins are necessary.
In this time of preparation for the Feast of the Nativity of the Lord Jesus Christ,
let us redouble our efforts as being faithful Orthodox Christians. Let us be true to the
path of St. Sava and all the saints.
St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
December 11 / December 24, 2006
Twenty-Eighth Sunday after Pentecost.
St. Daniel the Stylite.
Fr. Rodney Torbic
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