· Dean of the Pittsburgh Deanery, Protopresbyter Stavrofor Stevan Stepanov came
on Tuesday for the annual review of parish operations.
The Proverbs of Solomon
The thoughts of the righteous are right, but the counsels of the wicked are deceitful.
The words of the wicked are: "Lie in wait for blood," but the mouth of the upright will
deliver them. The wicked are overthrown and are no more, but the house of the righteous will
stand. A man will be commended according to his wisdom, but he who is of a perverse heart
will be despised.
Remember the Students at St. Sava School of Theology, Libertyville
· Jesus Christ in the heart.
· Jesus Christ in the mind.
· Jesus Christ in daily life.
Recent Activities of Parish Priest
June 26 - Went to public meeting in Masontown regarding the Hatfield Ferry Power plant
expansion. Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection representatives participated.
From the Desert Fathers
A brother came to Scetis to visit Abba Moses and asked him for a word.
The old man said to him,'Go sit in your cell, and your cell will teach you everything.'
The Fifth Sunday After Pentecost
Matthew 8:28-34, 0:1
When He had come to the other side, to the country of the Gergesenes, there met Him two
demon-possessed men, coming out of the tombs, exceedingly fierce, so that no one could pass
that way. And suddenly they cried out, saying, "What have we to do with You, Jesus, You Son
of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?" Now a good way off from them there
was a herd of many swine feeding. So the demons begged Him, saying, "If you cast us out, permit
us to go away into the herd of swine." And He said to them, "Go." So when they had come out,
they went into the herd of swine. And suddenly the whole herd of swine ran violently down the
steep place into the sea, and perished in the water. Then those who kept them fled; and they
went away into the city and told everything, including what had happened to the demon-possessed
men. And behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus. And when they saw Him, they begged Him
to depart from their region. So He got into a boat, crossed over, and came to His own city.
Jesus cast the demons from the fierce and possessed men. The demons entered the swine
and perished in the sea. Demons are no match for the Lord Jesus Christ.
Each of us must face demons in our lives. Demons can keep us from following Christ
if we do not appeal to Christ for help in dealing with them. Demons can take many forms
Demons can be little voices in our heads that tell us it is okay to compromise our
principles. Demons can be the power of suggestion in our minds to yield to temptation.
Demons can say it is "okay" to indulge, be greedy or deceptive.
Demons serve as barriers in our relationship with Christ. Demons serve as bullies
attempting to coerce us to live in ways not Christian. Demons stand in the middle of the
road to God's Kingdom and try to keep us from advancing.
The First Epistle of St. John provides assurance for believers in the face of adversity.
The Epistle states: "He who is in you is greater then he who is in the world"
(I Jn. 4:4)
St. Lazar and the martyrs who died with him in Kosovo in 1389 were faced with a choice.
They could yield to the demons confronting them or they could choose Christ. The martyrs of
Kosovo chose the Heavenly Kingdom and not the earthly. The martyrs of Kosovo embraced Christ
and the maintained their integrity.
Today in Kosovo and in other areas of the world believers face demons in daily life.
Believers are confronted with adversaries advocating life styles and community tolerances
that corrupt and weaken society.
Today in Kosovo Serbian Orthodox faithful face peril and great loss. Demons threaten to
rearrange history. Demons threaten churches and monasteries. Demons threaten Orthodox life.
Direct appeals to the Lord Jesus Christ are necessary. The Lord Jesus Christ conquered
death. The Lord Jesus Christ destroyed the demons in the present Gospel account.
Peace comes through the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ said: "Peace I leave with
you. My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be
troubled, neither let it be afraid." (Jn. 14:27)
The only security in this world is the life in Christ. We can lose everything but if we
have Christ, we can rebuild our lives. The lives of the saints are an education in the
transformation of sinners.
Never underestimate the words of the Lord Jesus Christ: "With God all things are possible."
(Mt. 19:26). Think about the Serbian immigrants and refugees coming to
this country with little more than the clothes they wore and faith in God in their hearts.
The Serbian immigrants and refugees coming to this land have built new lives due to faith
in God. Serbian Orthodox Churches have arisen in this land due to the hard work and sacrifice
of men and women who did not yield to demons. They pressed on with faith in Christ.
The Psalmist David said: "The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed. A refuge in
times of trouble." (Ps. 9:9). Seeking refuge in the Lord God each day
provides the necessary shelter against the storms and demons we face in life.
Psalm 90/91`states: Under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield
and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror of night, nor of the arrow that flies by day.
(Ps. 90?91: 4-5).
Periodically we must pause when confronted with demons and turn to Christ. Christ provides
the peace and joy which abide under all circumstances. When Christ is the foundation of our
lives, when Christ is the Guide of our lives, the world unfolds in ways beyond expectation.
We experience new life in Christ when we love Christ, follow Christ, and are obedient to
Christ. We experience new life in Christ when we confess our sins and partake of His Precious
Body and Blood.
We experience new life in Christ when we pray with the greatest sincerity. We experience
new life in Christ when we confess Christ with our mouth, our heart, our mind, and our actions.
We experience new life in Christ when we use our time and talents for the life in Christ
and the love of Christ. We experience new life in Christ when we rely totally upon Christ in
combating the demons in our lives.
These words of the Lord Jesus Christ are an inspiration for confronting the demons in
our lives: "No one having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, Is fit for the kingdom
of God." (Lk. 9:62).
St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
Fifth Sunday of Pentecost.
Holy Martyr Leontius, Theodulus and Hypatius.
June 16 / July 1, 2007
Fr. Rodney Torbic
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