The Holy Divine Liturgy is not a concert, or a dialogue between the officiating
clergyman and the choir, but a meeting of friends, of family, of blood-relatives;
not of the physical blood but of the sacramental blood, the redeeming Blood of Our
Saviour. It is a meeting of the Creator, Angels, Saints and of the faithful.
Sermons and Speeches
Prepared by Zivota Stevovich. Raska Skola, Belgrade. 1999
Remember the Students at St. Sava School of Theology, Libertyville, Illinois
The Jesus Prayer - “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.”
The frequency we pray The Jesus Prayer each day.
The continuous and unlimited power and value of The Jesus Prayer.
Recent Activities of Parish Priest
March 2 - Went to Morgantown for printing purposes.
March 3 - Served Divine Liturgy in Fairmont, West Virginia.
Blessed one home in Morgantown.
March 3 - Attended Mon Valley Orthodox Vespers at Nativity of the Mother of God
Orthodox Church in Monongahela.
March 5-6 - Participated in retreat of Orthodox Clergy at
St. John’s Orthodox Monastery in Hiram, Ohio.
March 7 - Attended Liturgy of Presanctified Gifts at St. John Orthodox Church, Monessen.
March 8 - Went to Diocesan Center and Monastery Marcha.
Better is a dry morsel with quiet than a house full of feasting with strife.
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.
Great Lent is the opportune time to consider the commitment made to God’s Holy
Church and to the life in Christ. The parish church needs individuals willing to
commit themselves with love to sustaining the parish.
The founders and benefactors of the parish church committed themselves fully
to building the parish church. Subsequent generations of believers need to commit
themselves to living the life of the Church and sustaining the parish.
The life in Christ is a fully consuming life of loving God and of experiencing
the love of God. The life in Christ involves more than minimal commitment.
The believer experiences Christ to the degree of commitment to Christ.
Today’s Gospel of St. John speaks about the shepherd willing to lay down His life
for the sheep. True and serious believers are prepared to give their lives for Christ.
True and serious believers invest themselves fully in the Church.
True and serious believers live for Christ each day. Prayer and fasting are
part of the essentials for true and serious believers. Attending Divine services
consistently is essential to the life in Christ.
Holy Confession and Holy Communion form the basis for the life in Christ
and enable the believer to experience Christ and remain united with Christ.
Parish churches do not remain strong or grow unless parishioners are strong in Christ.
Parishioners do not fully know the joy of Christ unless the commitment to the life
in Christ is firm and irrevocable. Love is the primary essential of living in Christ.
(I Cor. 13:13)
Love for the parish church is necessary for the parish to remain strong.
The degree of love for Christ will be revealed in family and personal relationships.
The degree of love for Christ will be revealed in Holy Confession. The degree of love
for Christ is revealed by interest shown in Holy Communion.
Interest in Christ will be revealed in personal practices of prayer.
Interest in Christ will be revealed by the joy that emanates from a person’s heart.
Care for the sick and the suffering will reveal commitment to Christ.
Love for the stranger and the needy reveal love for Christ. The Holy Gospel sets
forth the standards and the way for the life in Christ. Christ’s words and teachings
are found in the Holy Gospel.
The Holy Gospel is proclaimed in the Church throughout the year. Attentive
listeners have their lives affected by the Holy Gospel. Attentive listeners find
joy in hearing the Gospel and in taking the Gospel to heart.
Great Lent is a time for personal change. Each believer is expected to conclude
Great Lent as being more united with Christ and less sinful. Each believer will
experience the joy in Christ to the degree of love shown to Christ.
Christ offers change and newness in life. Christ offers the way out of sin.
Christ offers the way to have sin lifted from the heart, the mind and the soul.
Individuals seeking to improve their lives know that Christ is the only way.
Christ needs to be the foundation of life and the goal of life. Unity with
Christ shapes the believers values and activities. Unity with Christ enables the
believer to face any situation with confidence and certainty of purpose.
Temptations and distractions are perils that appear during the course of the
Christian life. Vigilant believers committed to Christ handle the perils with the
help of Christ. Vigilant believers seek Christ in time of peril and all others times.
Great Lent is set forth for all believers. Each believer chooses whether to honor
Great Lent and the degree to which Great Lent is honored. Each person has a mind and
the ability to make choices in life.
Each person is responsible and accountable for the choices made each day.
Sooner or later Christ will return for the final judgment.
Sooner or later each person’s earthly life comes to an end.
Each day is a day to prepare for the Second Coming of Christ.
Each day is a day to make the best of the life given by God.
St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
February 27 / March 11, 2012
Second Sunday of Great Lent.
Venerable Procopius of Decapolis.
Fr. Rodney Torbic
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