4) Understanding Cancer
· February 25 - Went to St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church, Pittsburgh
for Sunday of Orthodoxy service.
· February 28 & March 1 - Went to Presbyterian Care Rehab Center, Washington
to visit patient.
· February 28 - Went to hospital in Waynesburg to visit parishioner.
· March 2 - Blessed two homes.
· March 1 - Blessed one business.
· March 3 - Blessed one home.
· March 1, 2, 3 - Went to Morgantown for printing.
From the Desert Fathers
He also said (Abba Poemen) 'As the breath which comes out of his nostrils,
so does a man need humility and the fear of God.
The Second Sunday of Great Lent
And again, He entered Capernaum after some days, and it was heard that He was in the house.
Immediately, many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them,
not even near the door. And He preached the word to them. Then they came to Him, bringing
a paralytic who was carried by four men. And when they could not come near Him because of
the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let
down the bed on which the paralytic was lying. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the
paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven you." And some of the scribes were sitting there
and reasoning in their hearts. "Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can
forgive sins but God alone? But immediately, when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they
reasoned thus within themselves, He said to them, "Why do you reason about these things in
your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, "Your sins are forgiven you, or to say,
'Arise, take up your bed and walk? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on
earth to forgive sins"-He said to the paralytic, "I say to you, arise, take up your bed,
and go to your house." Immediately, he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence
of them all so that all were amazed and glorified God, saying,
"We never saw anything like this!"
I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find
pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come
that they may have life, and they may have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd.
The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd,
one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees;
and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. The hireling flees because he is a
hireling and does not care about the sheep. I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep
and am known by my own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down
My life for the sheep. And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must
bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.
The Second Sunday of Great Lent has arrived. Two weeks of the Lenten journey are completed.
Four weeks remain until the arrival of Holy Week.
Individuals conscious of time will use the days wisely.
The Psalmist said: "Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
(Ps. 89/90-12). Wisdom comes from God, All good comes from God.
Recognizing dependency on God is necessary. The person is never separated from
God in the complete sense. For the mind and heart to work, for the lungs to breathe,
for the blood to flow, God is necessary.
Life in the body continues only with God. Learning to use the body and the mind for the
glory of God is challenging. Learning to live in ways pleasing to God is a daily experience.
Great Lent is the time to focus completely on the relationship with God. Great Lent
is the time all believers are to come together in the Church in ways pleasing to God.
Repentance and seeking forgiveness of sins is proper to Great Lent. Jesus forgave the
sins of the paralytic. Jesus healed the paralytic and gave him the ability to walk.
Jesus frees each repentant believer from the weight of sin. Jesus gives mobility and
freedom to each believer coming to Him in faith. (Jn 8:31-36)
Great Lent encourages the believer to perform a careful self-examination.
All aspectsof life require analysis. The Church expects the believer to complete
Great Lent with a life more pleasing to God.
Each believer determines the way he or she will honor Great Lent. Some will treat
Great Lent with great seriousness. Some will honor only a portion of Great Lent.
Some will give Great Lent less than casual attention.
Great Lent is an opportunity to invest in the Kingdom of God. Each day is a gift for
the believer to use in ways that are pleasing to God. Each day is a day to seek conscious
unification with God.
Each day is a day to seek the joy of life with God. Each day is a day to draw near to God.
Each day is a day to perform acts pleasing to God.
The believer faces adversity in Great Lent. Temptations arise. Diversions appear.
Thoughts and feelings arise which if entertained will lead to devastation of the soul.
The amount of time each person devotes to the care of the soul deserves regular
consideration. The Lord Jesus Christ put the value of the soul in perspective with
these words: "For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses
his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?"
To learn to care for the soul requires studying God's teachings about the soul.
To learn to care for the soul requires becoming very familiar with Jesus Christ's words
about the soul.
The Psalmist said: "To thee, O Lord, I lift up my soul. O my God, in thee I put my trust,
let me not be put to shame." (Ps. 25:1-2) Avoiding shame,
putting shame behind, is integral to Great Lent.
Every believer has the same amount of hours each day. The choices made during the day
determine and reflect the priorities of the believer. The person seeking first the kingdom
of God each day lives consistent with the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Gospel of St. John says the good shepherd knows His sheep and is known by His own
(Jn.10:14). The Lord Jesus Christ knows whether we belong to Him.
The Lord Jesus Christ knows whether we are serious Christians or whether we are lukewarm
The time of Great Lent is precious time. Each day is a precious
gift from God to be used for the glory of God and for our salvation.
St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
February 19 / March 4, 2007
Second Sunday of Great Lent.
Fr. Rodney Torbic
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