How is it that we come to the Church but do not commune? Do we not lead a Christian life?
Do we not fast, pray, give alms, read the Scriptures? Does our life not differ from the life
of those who do not know Christ? If not, how can we claim to be believers, to be members of
His Body? How can we be members of His Body if we do not commune of His Body and Blood?
We can't! It is no small sin to not be prepared to commune. He who is not prepared to
commune must confess his sins to his spiritual father, rid his life of that which prevents
him of communing of the Life-giving mysteries, and to live a godly, Christ-centered,
Christian life that will allow him to be in communion with Christ the Lord.
From a recent sermon at St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church, St. Petersburg, Florida
The Holy Spirit in our lives.
Remember the Students at St. Sava School of Theology, Libertyville, Illinois
The Holy Spirit in the services of the Church.
The time devoted to the celebration of the Feast of Pentecost
Recent Activities of Parish Priest
May 25 - Went to Morgantown, W.Va. for printing purposes.
May 26-28 - ent to Houston, Texas for wedding of Dr. Nathan and Lucy Klingensmith
When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice;
But when a wicked man rules, the people groan.
Feast of Pentecost
John 7:37-52, 8:12
On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying,
“If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture
has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning
the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given,
because Jesus was not yet glorified. Therefore many from the crowd, when they heard this
saying, said, “Truly this is the Prophet.” Others said, “This is the Christ.” But some said,
“Will the Christ come out of Galilee? Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from
the seed of David and from the town of Bethlehem, where David was?” So there was a division
among the people because of Him. Now some of them wanted to take Him, but no one laid hands
on Him. Then the officers came to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them,
“Why have you not brought Him?” The officers said, “No man ever spoke like this Man!”
Then the Pharisees answered them, “Are you also deceived? Have any of the rulers or the
Pharisees believed in Him? But this crowd that does not know the law is accursed.”
Nicodemus(he who came to Jesus by night, being one of them) said to them, “Does our law
judge a man before it hears him and knows what he is doing?” They answered and said to him,
“Are you also from Galilee? Search and look, for no prophet has arisen out of Galilee.”
Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me
shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.
In the current Gospel, Jesus invites the thirsty to come to Him and drink.
Individuals having thirst in the soul seek out many different sources to quench the thirst.
Christ is the Source to satisfy the thirst.
Christ told the Samaritan woman at the well: Whoever drinks of the water I shall give
him will never thirst.”
In the current Gospel, Jesus said rivers of living water will flow from the hearts of those
drinking from Him.
Individuals need to be disciplined in the choices they make. Individuals need to focus
on Christ as the Source of nourishment. Too many roads lead away from the Kingdom of God.
Too many roads lead to dead-ends in life.
Christ describes Himself as the “Light of the world.” Faithful followers of Christ
are able to travel the road to the Kingdom because Christ’s lights the way.
Even when a wrong turn is taken, the light of Christ is visible to change the course.
Faith is necessary in following Christ. Many different books and testimonies exist
regarding false gods. The current Gospel states clearly: “No man ever spoke like this Man!”
Jesus said many centuries ago: “You will know them by their fruits.”
Care must be taken throughout life to follow the path to the Kingdom of God.
Many take wrong roads and perish.
Jesus was clear in warning about deceivers. He cautioned to be aware of false prophets.
Patience and attentive listening are necessary in drawing near to Christ.
The words of Christ are welcoming and instructive.
To grow in Christ, unity with Christ is necessary. Unity comes through prayer and communion.
At each moment of time a person draws closer to Christ or diverts the self away from Christ.
When Holy Communion is offered, the believer accepts and becomes united with Christ or
declines and maintains a distance. Jesus said: ”Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man
and drink His blood, you have no life in you.”
The Feast of Pentecost is a major feast of the Church. The Feast of Pentecost is a
time to be in Church. The Feast of Pentecost is a time to contemplate the Holy Spirit.
This is a time to contemplate the Holy Trinity.
The Feast of Pentecost is a time to consider the work of the Holy Spirit in your personal
life. At the time of Chrismation, believers are sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit.
St. Basil the Great said: “Light cannot be separated from what it makes visible,
and it is impossible for you to recognize Christ, the Image of the invisible God,
unless the Spirit enlightens you.” 2
Prayer is a way to be enlightened by the Holy Spirit. Prayer is a way to seek understanding
of the ways of God. Prayer is a way to discern the path toward the Kingdom of God.
Prayer helps the believer determine the choices to make that are God-pleasing.
The Feast of Pentecost comes fifty days after Pascha and ten days after the Feast
of the Ascension of Christ. This is an intense period for the soul.
Believers living the life of the Church feel the richness of the period from Pascha
to Pentecost. The lives of serious believers are shaped and influenced by Pascha,
Ascension and Pentecost.
Believers are expected to be better Christians with the arrival of each feast.
Believers are expected to grow in Christ each day. The Christian life is a life of
work in Christ. The Christian life requires action, not passivity.
The celebration of Pentecost and every feast is accompanied by the expectation the
believer will spiritually invest in the celebration. The believer benefits from each feast,
each day of life in proportion to the investment made.
The current Feast of Pentecost is an opportunity for each believer to be renewed.
Baptism and Chrismation are the beginning of the Christian life. Baptism and Chrismation
are times of great joy.
The joy of the life in Christ has a place in each day of life. Eternal life awaits
those faithful to Christ throughout life. Being faithful to Christ at the Feast of
Pentecost and throughout life ensures the joy continues.
Joy is a fruit of the Spirit.
1 The Great Book of Needs.Vol. 1.
Translated by St. Tikhon’s Monastery. St. Tikhon’s Seminary Press, South Canaan,
Pennsylvania, 1998. pp. 39-40.
2 St. Basil the Great. On the Holy Spirit.
St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, Crestwood, New York, 1980, p. 97.
St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
May 21 / June 3, 2012
The Feast of Pentecost.
Fr. Rodney Torbic
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