Went to Waynesburg University for Akathist.
From the Wisdom of Sirach 10:1
A wise leader will educate his people,
and the rule of an intelligent man will be well ordered.
The Orthodox Study Bible
St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology, 2008.
The Fifth Sunday of Great Lent
St. Mary of Egypt
And they were in the way going up to Jerusalem; and Jesus went before them:
and they were amazed; and as they followed, they were afraid. And he took again
the twelve, and began to tell them what things should happen unto him,Saying,
Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the
chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn him to death,
and shall deliver him to the Gentiles: And they shall mock him, and shall
scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him: and the third day
he shall rise again. And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, come unto him,
saying, Master, we would that thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire.
And he said unto them, What would ye that I should do for you? They said unto him,
Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand,
in thy glory. But Jesus said unto them, Ye know not what ye ask: can ye drink of
the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?
And they said unto him, We can. And Jesus said unto them, Ye shall indeed drink of
the cup that I drink of; and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye
be baptized: But to sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give;
but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared. And when the ten heard it,
they began to be much displeased with James and John. But Jesus called them to him,
and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles
exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them.
But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be
your minister: And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.
For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister,
and to give his life a ransom for many. (KJV)
And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him.
And he went into the Pharisee's house, and sat down to meat. And, behold,
a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at
meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment,
And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears,
and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet,
and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee which had bidden
him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet,
would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him:
for she is a sinner. And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon,
I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on.
There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence,
and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both.
Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? Simon answered and said,
I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him,
Thou hast rightly judged. And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon,
Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water
for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with
the hairs of her head. Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the
time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst
not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. Wherefore I
say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much:
but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. And he said unto her,
Thy sins are forgiven. And they that sat at meat with him began to say within
themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also? And he said to the woman,
Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace. (KJV)
More than twenty centuries have passed since the Lord Jesus Christ went to
the Cross. More than twenty centuries have passed since Jesus suffered, died
and rose from the grave. Repentance and remission of sins still have value today.
Christ’s message of repentance and remission of sins has endured for more
than twenty centuries. The passage of time has served to increase the value of
the message. The passage of time is testimony to the durability of the message.
The best way to test the messages of Christ is to confess Christ as King
and as God and to follow Christ. Individuals who live in Christ and are faithful
to Christ experience the joy of Christ and are not disappointed.
The Holy Apostle Paul told the Corinthians: “He who sows sparingly will
also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.”
(2 Cor. 9:6)
Individuals investing in the life in Christ are at peace and spiritually well.
Peace and wellness come from the forgiveness of sins. Peace and wellness
come from the healing power of the Lord Jesus Christ. Healing of the soul comes
from the Lord Jesus Christ. Healing of the mind and heart come from Christ.
Attacks of anxiety over sin, depression over sin, feelings of uncertainty
because of sin can be put to rest by repentance, Holy Confession and Holy Communion.
Fasting and prayer, the reading of the Holy Scriptures, discussions with the
parish priest and attendance at the Divine services of the Church help a person
to put problems into perspective and provide for the necessary direction.
Peace need not be elusive. Christ brings peace when individuals rest firmly
in Christ. The forgiveness of Christ in Holy Confession is complete.
Individuals can accept the forgiveness and go forth in Christ.
Believers are encouraged to always be mindful of the treasured message to the
Hebrews: “Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us,
and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus,
the author and finisher of our faith.”
When sin is peeled away from a single human life, the purity of life in Christ
has room to thrive. Christians can grow when sinful ways are put aside and efforts
are concentrated in ways pleasing to Christ.
Pride is always a concern and possible trap. Vigilance is always a necessity.
Laxity carries with it the inherent perils. Woe to those who think they are immune
from sinful ways. Danger to the soul lurks everywhere.
Love God and neighbor. Serve God and neighbor. Pray to God and for the neighbor.
Avoid giving in to sin and be tenacious in drawing near to God.
St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
March 16 / 29, 2015
Fifth Sunday of Great Lent.
St. Mary of Egypt.
Fr. Rodney Torbic
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