St. George
Serbian Orthodox Church
Carmichaels, PA

Bulletin 892 - February 8 / 21, 2016

The Orthodox Faith

Chronicle of St. George Serbian Orthodox Church
296 Old Route 21
Carmichaels, Pennsylvania 15320

No. 892
February 8 / 21, 2016
Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee

Diocesan Bishop - His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN

Parish Priest - Father Rodney Torbic

Phone 724-966-7428
Phone/Fax 724-966-7780
Cellular Phone 412-860-0944

Remember to listen to the parish radio broadcast each Sunday afternoon at 12:15 on WMBS, 590 AM, Uniontown.

Luke 5:20

And when he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee.

Recent Services
February 13
Vespers was read.
February 14
Matins was read.
Third and Sixth Hours were read followed by Divine Liturgy. Nineteen people attended. Four communicants.
February 15
Four people attended the Divine Liturgy.
February 16
Vespers was read.
February 17
Matins was read.
Three people attended the Akathist of Thanks at Waynesburg University.
Ten people attended Vespers and class at Holy Trinity Serbian Orthodox Mission in Fairmont, W.Va.
February 18
Matins was read.

Services This Week. Always call to Confirm Weekday Schedule.

Third and Sixth Hours followed by Divine Liturgy.

5:30 AM on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday,

3:30 PM Akathist at Waynesburg University

3:00 PM Akathist and class afterwards.

4:00 PM Vespers

Remember St. Mark Monastery and Monastery Marcha with Prayers and Contributions

Important Dates

Today - Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee. St. Sava II of Serbian
February 24 - Apodasis of the Presentation
February 26 - Ven. Simeon the Myrrgusher
February 28 - Sunday of the Prodigal Son
March 5 - Memorial Saturday. Divine Liturgy in Fairmont.
March 6 - Meat-fare Sunday

If You Are Too Busy To Pray, You Are Too Busy

Remember the Suffering Serbian People in Kosovo and Metohijia and All People Suffering.

Parish Life

Sympathy extended to the family and friends of +Sophia Cutter newly departed this life.

See bulletin board for details on the IOCC dinner on February 28 in Pittsburgh.

See bulletin board for details on the Lifeline fundraiser for orphanages in Serbia, Republika Srpska and Kosovo to be held on March 5 in Pittsburgh.

The Pittsburgh Deanery schedule for Lenten Vespers is on the bulletin board.

Begin preparing for the arrival of Great Lent.

Plan to increase personal investment in Great Lent.

Become familiar with the changes in services during Great Lent.

Be serious about daily prayer.

Be serious about church attendance.

Invite a friend to come to church.

Thank God daily for personal blessings and St. George Serbian Orthodox Church.

Thank you to all continuing to contribute to the Greene County Food Bank. Contributions of non-perishable food items are always welcome to feed the needy.

If you want your home blessed, ask the priest.

Remember and appreciate the workers in mines, law-enforcement, corrections, probation and parole and firefighters, all working in dangerous occupations.

Remember and appreciate the men and women in the military and their families.

Remember the sick, the suffering, the imprisoned, those in rehab centers, the homebound, and the mentally ill. Appreciate their caretakers and the institution staffs.

If you have a question about the services or teachings of the Church ask the priest.

Remember the St. Sava School of Theology in Libertyville with prayers and contributions.
St. Sava School of Theology has helped greatly to fill the continuing need for priests in established and new parishes.

To Consider

The difference between the Publican and the Pharisee
The lesson of humility needing to be relearned each year.
The need for constant repentance.

Recent Activities of Parish Priest

February 8 - Blessed one restaurant. Visited parishioner
February 13 - Attended memorial service for +Helen Torbich Kosanovich.
February 13 - Went to Morgantown, W.Va. for printing.
February 17 - Visted parishioner. Went to Waynesburg University for Akathist of Thanks. Later went to Fairmont, W.Va. for Vespers and class at Holy Trinity Mission.
February 18 - Poemen scheduled in Belle Vernon for +Sophia Cutter.

Proverbs 10:17

The works of the righteous produce life, but the fruits of the ungodly produce sins.

( Orthodox Study Bible St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology, 2008 )

The Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee

Luke 18:10-14

Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. (KJV)

Believers hear the current Gospel each year. Each year the Gospel has the same and new meaning. The Gospel is proclaimed to benefit each listener. Improved relationships with the Lord Jesus Christ are intended results.

The publican acknowledged his personal sin. He sought mercy from God. God’s Holy Church is the best place to learn about mercy. The Church provides the Holy Mysteries for renewal and growth in Christ.

The Church has a long and proven history. The Church has a hierarchical succession from the time of the Holy Apostles. The Church has holy relics and miracle-working icons. The Church has oral and written accounts of miracles.

The Pharisee went to the temple and praised himself. The publican went to the temple and sought help from God. Each person coming to church determines whether he or she lives as the publican or Pharisee.

Individuals determine if they come to church to pray and seek mercy from God. Individuals decide if they come to church to praise themselves to God and tell God how much better they are than others.

The Church offers Holy Confession, Holy Communion and Holy Unction. The Church celebrates the Divine services. The Church offers instruction. The Church draws from the saints and martyrs through the centuries.

The Church is where to partake of the Precious Body and Blood. Receiving the Precious Body and Blood of Christ is integral to renewal in Christ. The believer’s view of self reflects readiness for renewal and growth in Christ.

The Pharisee in the current Gospel was content with himself. He was proud. He did not acknowledge personal sin. The publican readily admitted personal sin. The publican desired change for the better.

Every person benefits by honestly examining the self and determining the degree he or she is like the Pharisee or the publican. Honest self-examination will hopefully lead to beneficial change.

Peril exists in being prideful. Pride can lead to callousness. Pride can lead to hardness of heart. Pride can lead to failure to change and grow for the better. Humility opens the way for growth in Christ.

Humility is a major characteristic associated with Christ. Christ humbled Himself by taking on human flesh. Christ humbled Himself by washing the disciples’ feet. Christ humbled Himself when assenting to be taken into custody.

Christ humbled Himself when allowing Himself to be crucified between two criminals. Christ’s humility deserves constant consideration. Believers do well to guard against having the same attitude as the Pharisee in today’s Gospel.

The Jesus Prayer, “Lord Jesus Christ Son of God have mercy on me a sinner” is perfect for personal use. The Jesus Prayer is a constant reminder of personal sinfulness.

Use of the Jesus Prayer keeps Christ’s Name on the lips and in the mind. Frequent use of the Jesus Prayer makes the prayer an integral part of daily life. The Jesus Prayer strengthens and guides believers.

The Jesus Prayer nourishes and protects believers. When concentrating on the Jesus Prayer, believers strengthen the unity with Christ. Concentrating on the Jesus Prayer keeps the mind focused.

Use of the mind and heart for the Jesus Prayer is defense against the heart and mind being occupied with perilous thoughts. Vigilance is necessary even among individual praying regularly and extensively not to fall into perilous pride.

Christian love needs to be the defining characteristic of personal action. Recognition of personal sin is an admission of failing to love God sufficiently. Failing to love God sufficiently is demonstrated in many different ways.

The Pharisee was judgmental. He was arrogant. He was prideful. The publican was humble. He looked to God for help and did not look down on others. The publican did not look with disfavor at others.

This is the time of the year when Christians reorient their lives to complete unity with Christ. This is the time of the year to put sin behind and to embrace Christ completely.

The desire to embrace Christ and live in Christ comes from within. Each person determines the personal importance placed on the relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

Each person decides whether to be personally content with life or whether to repent. Repentance means Christ increases in personal life and sin is cast away. Every person commits sins. Repentance is always necessary.

Praying “Lord Jesus Christ Son of God have mercy on me a sinner” is aggressive action against sin. Fighting sin requires great vigor. Christ must be loved more than sin.

St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
February 8 / 21, 2016
Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee.

Fr. Rodney Torbic

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