St. George
Serbian Orthodox Church
Carmichaels, PA

Bulletin 421 - January 22 / February 4, 2007

The Orthodox Faith

Chronicle of St. George Serbian Orthodox Church
Diocesan Bishop - His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN
Parish Priest - Fr. Rodney Torbic
296 Old Route 21
Carmichaels, Pennsylvania 15320
January 22 / February 4, 2007
Sunday of Prodigal Son
No. 421

Remember to listen to the parish radio broadcast each Sunday afternoon at 12:15 on WMBS, 590 AM, Uniontown.

Galatians 3:7

Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham.

Services This Past Week
January 28
One person came for Midnight Office, Matins and First Hour.
Twenty-five people came for Divine Liturgy including Blessing of Kolac and Kolijvo for St. Sava. One communicant.
January 29
The Vespers service was read
January 30
One person came for Midnight Office, Matins and First Hour.
Three people came for Ninth Hour and Vespers
January 31
One person came for Midnight Office, Matins and First Hour.
Four people came for Ninth Hour and Vespers.
February 1
Four people came for the Akathist ot Jesus Christ.
Five people came for the Akathist to St. George.
Father Dimitre Dimitrov came to concelebrate.
February 2
One person came for Midnight Office, Matins and First Hour.
Three people came for Ninth Hour and Vespers
February 3
One person came for Midnight Office, Matins and First Hour at St. George Church.
Three people came to Divine Liturgy at the YWCA in Fairmont, W.Va.
Three people came to St. George Church for Ninth Hour and Vespers.

Services This Coming Week - Always Call to Confirm Weekday Schedule

Midnight Office, Matins, First Hour, Divine Liturgy.

Monday, Tueday, Wednesday, Thursday at 5:30 AM

Monday, Tuesday at 4:00 PM, Wednesday at 6:30 PM

At this time no services scheduled Thursday evening, Friday morning or evening and Saturday morning or evening.

Remember Monastery Marcha with Prayers and Contributions

Important Dates

Today, February 4 - Sunday of the Prodigal Son
February 11 - Meatfare Sunday
February 12 - Synaxis of Holy Three Hierarchs.
February 15 - Feast of the Presentation of the Lord
February 18 - Cheesefare Sunday, Sunday of Forgiveness
February 19 - Great Lent begins.
February 25 - Sunday of Orthodoxy
March 9-10 - Diocesan Assembly, Boston

If you are too busy to are too busy!

Parish Life

Thank you to all supporting and participating in the St. Sava Program.

His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN, President of the Diocesan Administrative Board, has approved the results of the Annual Assembly.

Three people came to Adult Class this past Thursday to discuss the Gospel of the Feast of Annunciation. Father Dimirte also came. Adult Class this Wednesday at 7:00 PM.

Pray for the suffering Serbian People in Kosovo.

Prayer for miners, living and departed.

Pray for the sick, the suffering, the imprisoned, those in care homes, the homebound and those in rehab centers and hospitals. Pray for the staffs and caretakers.

Pray for victims of violent crime.

Pray for the men and women in the military and their families.

Read your Bible daily for the benefit of your soul.

Listen to the St. George radio broadcast on the radio or parish website.

Honor the fast days of the Church.

Come to church more often and bring a friend or relative.

Today's collection is for the St. Sava School of Theology.

A Thought from St. Gregory of Nyssa

Since the goal of the virtuous way of life was the very thing we have been seeking, and this goal has been found in what we have said, it is time for you, noble friend ,to look to that example and by transferring to your own life what is contemplated through spiritual interpretation of the things spoken literally, to be known by God and to become His friend. This is true perfection: not to avoid a wicked life because like slaves we servilely fear punishment, not to do good because we hope for rewards, as if cashing in on the virtuous life by some busineness-like and contractual arrangement.

(The Life of Moses. Paulist Press, New York, 1978, p. 137. )

Remember the Students at St. Sava School of Theology, Libertyville

To Consider

Care of the soul.
Requirements for care of the soul.
Daily care of the soul.

Recent Activities of Parish Priest

January 29 - Went to Monroeville for Slava.
January 30 & 31 - Went to Morgantown for printing.
January 31 - Blessed two homes
January 31 - Went to hospital in Waynesburg to visit Orthodox Christian.
February 1 - Blessed three homes.
February 2 - Blessed two homes.
February 3 - Went to Fairmont, W.Va. for Divine Liturgy.

From the Desert Fathers

Abba Paul said: Keep close to Jesus.

Sunday of the Prodigal Son 2007

Luke 15:11-32

Then He said: "A certain man had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, 'Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.' So he divided them his livelihood. And not many days after, the young son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living. But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want. Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything. But when he came to himself, he said, 'How many of my father's hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, " Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants"' And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.' But the father said to his servants, 'Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' And they began to be merry. Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. And he said to him, 'Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.' But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him. So he answered and said to his father, 'Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.' And he said to him, 'Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.

The Sunday of the Prodigal Son heightens awareness of the approach of Great Lent. The Sunday of the Prodigal Son emphasizes the importance of returning to God.

Sinners depart from God. Sinners go to a far country and waste time and treasurers. The compassionate and merciful God receives returning sinners with great joy.

Our Lord said "There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance." (Lk. 15:7) The Lord is consistent in welcoming repentant sinners.

The Lord Jesus Christ was very specific about His purpose. He said: "I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance." (Mt. 9:13) Who among us is not a sinner?

We need only look at the handling of the adulterous woman to see Jesus' compassion and concern for fairness. When the scribes and Pharisees brought the adulterous woman before Jesus, Jesus said to them: "He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first." (Jn. 8:3-7)

We all are sinners. If we look carefully at the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ, if we study the Holy Scriptures carefully, if we read the teachings of the Church, our sins become very apparent.

The determining factor is what we do about our sins. Do we fast and pray and come to Holy Confession? Do we seek God's help for a changed life? Do we live in ways pleasing to God?

Rationalizing our sins, saying that we are not as bad as others will not make our sins go away. God gives each of us certain talents and responsibilities. The way we are stewards of our talents and the way we meet our responsibilities determines the way we will be judged by God.

Jesus taught individuals to see the logs in their own eyes and not the specks in the eyes of others. (Mt. 7:3) We share our religious life with all in the Church. We must be good stewards of the life God gives to each of us.

We are expected to make good use of our lives given to us by God. We have a responsibility to wisely use the time, talents and resources given to us by God.

Regardless of our age and condition in life, it is not too late to repent. Regardless of the seriousness of our sins, it is not too late to return to God and seek forgiveness of sins.

The father in the present Gospel rejoiced upon the return of his wayward son. Parish churches should rejoice when a prodigal son or daughter returns. Families should rejoice when a wayward and repentant relative returns.

Believers should be careful when greeting returning prodigal sons and daughters of a parish. The present Gospel teaches receiving the prodigals with love and joy.

The temptation exists to be like the faithful son and look with askance at the returning prodigal. Jesus taught the presence of joy over a returning sinner. A parish should reflect the joy of Christ when a truly repentant sinner returns.

Great Lent is approaching. Each believer needs to begin the process of self-assessment. Each believer needs to do a personal examination. The time to battle sin is now. The time to repent is at hand. Our Lord Jesus Christ preached the gospel of the kingdom and said: "Repent, and believe in the gospel." (Mk. 1:14-15).

Much of the present Gospel parable focused on the returning prodigal son. The love of father for both sons was clearly evident. God loves each person. It is important for each person to love God and to demonstrate this love each day.
St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
January 22 / February 4, 2007
Sunday of the Prodigal Son.

Fr. Rodney Torbic

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