Sie sind auf Seite 1von 21

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa

Archdiocese of Good Hope


All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever, and
unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most Blessed and Glorious Lady,
Maria, Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together with all the Saints. And let us commit ourselves and one another
and our whole Life to Christ our God. Amen.
TONE 1 5 APRIL 2020
41ST SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
9TH SUNDAY OF TRIODION
5TH SUNDAY OF GREAT LENT – ST MARY OF EGYPT
The Feast of St Claudios & St Nikiphoros – St Theodora of Thessalonika – St Evpomoni Virgin Martyr - St
Agathopodes the Deacon, St Theodoulos the Reader and those Martyred with them at Thessalonika – St
Publios, St Theonas, St Phorbinos and St Symeon of Egypt - St Mark the Anchorite of Athens – St Plato the
Confessor of Studion – St Job, Patriarch of Moscow & All Russia (Holy Relics) – the Holy Icon of our Lady
Theotokos of Kasperov

R ESUR REC TION G OSPEL 9 - J OH N 20 : 1 9 - 3 1

P R OKE IME NON – P SALM 32 – T ONE 1


Let O Lord, Thy Mercy be upon us, as we Hope in Thee.
Rejoice greatly, O Righteous, in the Lord! Praise is fitting for the Upright!

T HE E P ISTL E OF S T P AUL TO TH E H E BRE WS 9 : 11 – 14


Brethren: Christ came as High Priest of the Good Things to come – with the greater and more Perfect Tabernacle Not
Made With Hands – that is, not of this Creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own Blood He
entered the Most Holy Place once, for all – having obtained Eternal Redemption. For, if the blood of bulls and goats,
and the ashes of heifers, sprinkled upon the unclean Sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall
the Blood of Christ - Who through the Eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God - Cleanse our conscience
from dead works, to Serve the Living God?!
✶ “… Christ came as High Priest of the Good Things to life-long Spiritual Battle, while Striving to acquire
come...” Spiritual Perfection by Living in Christ in all
 Contrary to the imperfect Old Covenant High Priests, circumstances.
OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST – THE ETERNAL SON OF GOD – IS  GOD PROVIDES US WITH ALL ESSENTIAL PHYSICAL AND SPIRITUAL
THE ONLY, DIVINE HIGH PRIEST OF THE NEW COVENANT OF NECESSITIES.
LOVE.  IT IS UP TO US TO CHOSE WHETHER TO ACCEPT THEM and
✶ “...with the greater and more Perfect Tabernacle Not apply them to our thoughts, words and deeds OR
Made With Hands – that is, not of this Creation...” REJECT THEM and follow our own egocentric path
 HE ASCENDED to Heaven IN HIS HUMAN, VISIBLE, PHYSICAL that leads to Spiritual Death.
BODY.  GOD NEVER FORCES OUR FREE WILL TO OBEY HIM.
 THE TABERNACLE REFERS TO OUR PHYSICAL BODY, which is THE  THE EVIL ONE ENTICES US INTO SPIRITUAL ENSLAVEMENT with
TEMPLE OF GOD BECAUSE OF THE INDWELLING OF OUR his temptations by using our grievous passions
TRIUNE GOD WITHIN US when we have been and personal weaknesses to lure us into Spiritual
SANCTIFIED BY BAPTISM AND then BY OUR CEASELESS Death AND SIN.
REPENTANCE AND STRIVING FOR SPIRITUAL PERFECTION in ✶ “..., if the blood of bulls and goats, and the ashes of
Christ. heifers, sprinkled upon the unclean Sanctifies ...
 OUR LORD JESUS is the “Second Adam” – the Perfect Man how much more shall the Blood of Christ ...
Who IS SINLESS AND SPIRITUALLY PERFECT, which is why Cleanse our conscience from dead works....”
we need to follow Him in all circumstances, in  St Paul had addressed this Epistle to the Faithful Old
order to BECOME LIKE HIM, thus regaining our Covenant Hebrews, in order to emphasise THE
created Spiritual Perfection. DIVINE TRUTH OF THE NEW COVENANT.
✶ “...Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His  If they believed that the blood and ashes of sacrificial
own Blood He entered the Most Holy Place once, animals could Cleanse and Heal them from their
for all “ sins, they should know that THE PRECIOUS, LIFE-
 As God-Man HE ENTERED THE HEAVENLY SANCTUARY ONCE GIVING BLOOD OF OUR DIVINE SAVIOUR - Who is our
FOR ALL MANKIND FOREVER. Living God Incarnate - HAS EVEN MORE POWER AND
 Our Divine High Priest has no need for more animals ENERGY TO HEAL AND CLEANSE BOTH OUR BODY AND SOUL.
to be sacrificed for the forgiveness of our sins.  OUR LORD JESUS CLEANSES, HEALS AND RESTORES US by His
 OUR LORD’S PERFECT BLOOD SACRIFICE – His own Precious, Word, His Touch and His Divine Power, for He is our
Life-giving Blood that was shed during His Creator.
indescribable Suffering from the unjust tortures of  If our Lord Jesus Christ was not the Incarnate Eternal
scourgings, beatings and crucifixion EXPIATED ALL Son of God, He would not be able to ACCOMPLISH
THE SINS OF MANKIND FOREVER. ALL HIS DIVINE MIRACLES BY HIS OWN POWER.
 Christ our Saviour was both THE OFFERER – OUR HIGH ✶ “ ... Cleanse our conscience from dead works, to Serve
PRIEST – AND OUR OFFERING – HIMSELF, which was the the Living God?!
ultimate, Most Purest of all Sacrifices.  Only ACCORDING TO THE WILL OF OUR HEAVENLY FATHER,
✶ “...– having obtained Eternal Redemption...” THROUGH THE DIVINE TRUTH OF CHRIST AND BY THE POWER
 His All Pure human Blood HEALED OUR CORRUPT HUMAN AND ENERGY OF GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT, ARE WE ABLE TO
NATURE AND RESTORED US – BODY AND SOUL - to our PROPERLY SERVE OUR LIVING TRIUNE LORD GOD.
proper, healthy Relationship with God.  IN ORDER TO SERVE GOD by Living in Christ – by applying
 When we have CLEANSED, PURIFIED AND HEALED our His Divine Truth to our thoughts, words and deeds,
conscience by REPENTING our sins, we are WE NEED TO BECOME HUMBLE AND OBEDIENT.
SANCTIFIED BY THE HOLY MYSTERIES OF CONFESSION AND  Without sincere Humility and Obedience, WE REMAIN
HOLY EUCHARIST, which draws us closer to our EGOCENTRIC, SELFISH AND STUBBORN, wanting to do
Heavenly Father – especially with our Liturgical everything according our own weak and flawed
Worship and Life in Christ Jesus. ego.
 CHRIST OUR DIVINE SAVIOUR HAS GRANTED US ETERNAL  The Acquisition of Humility and Obedience is A VERY
SALVATION as long as we Struggle against the LONG AND SLOW SPIRITUAL PROGRESS THAT REQUIRES
temptations and our grievous passions through a MUCH STRUGGLE AND STRIVING.

41ST SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 9TH TRIODION – 5TH LENT – ST MARY OF EGYPT – 5 APRIL 2020 1
 Humility and Obedience grants us AN AMAZING  The Acquisition of HUMILITY AND OBEDIENCE MAKES IT
SPIRITUAL FREEDOM THAT EMBRACES ALL DIVINE TRUTH POSSIBLE TO ACQUIRE THE OTHER ESSENTIAL HOLY VIRTUES
and rejects the deceptions that lure us away from necessary to our Spiritual Perfection.
God and His Divine Goodness and Love.
THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST MARK 10 : 32 – 45
At that time, they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus had gone before them; and they were amazed.
And as they followed, they were afraid, for He had taken the Twelve aside again and had begun to tell them the things
that would happen to Him.
“Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the Chief Priests, and to the Scribes.
And they will condemn Him to death and deliver Him to the Gentiles; and they will mock Him and spit on Him,
and kill Him. And the third day He will Rise again.”
And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, went to Him and asked: “Teacher, we want Thee to do for us whatever we
ask.” He said to them: “What do you want Me to do for you?” They said to Him: “Grant us that we may sit - one on
Thy right hand side and the other on Thy left - in Thy Glory.” Jesus said to them: “You do not know what you ask.
Are you able to drink from the Cup from which I drink, and be Baptised with the Baptism with which I Am
Baptised?” They answered: “We are able.” Jesus said to them: “You will indeed drink the Cup from which I drink,
and with the Baptism with which I Am Baptised you will be Baptised. But to sit on My right hand side and on My
left is not Mine to grant, since it is for those for whom it is prepared.”
And when the ten heard about it, they were greatly displeased with James and John.
Jesus called them to Himself and said to them: “You know that those who are considered Rulers over the Gentiles lord
it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; for whoever
desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desire to be first shall be slave of
all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to Serve and to give His Life as a Ransom for many.”
“...they were ... going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus had ✶ “...James and John, the sons of Zebedee, went to Him
gone before them; and they were amazed. And and asked: “Teacher, we want Thee to do for us
as they followed, they were afraid...” whatever we ask... Grant us that we may sit - one on
 The Apostles followed our Lord Jesus to Jerusalem Thy right hand side and the other on Thy left - in Thy
after He had already set off. Glory...”
 They were amazed that He went to Jerusalem and  SUCH A QUEST FOR TEMPORAL POWER AND GLORY IS
they were understandably afraid because they UNFITTING/UNWORTHY OF ANY OF CHRIST’S DISCIPLES.
knew that HIS POWERFUL ENEMIES SOUGHT TO KILL HIM  This request revealed their UTTER MISUNDERSTANDING OF
AND WOULD ALSO PERSECUTE AND KILL THOSE WHO WERE THE ETERNAL, HEAVENLY KINGDOM OF GOD.
FAITHFUL TO HIM.  ST JOHN AND ST JAMES were related to our Lady,
✶ “...He had taken the Twelve aside again and had Theotokos and HAD KNOWN AND LOVED OUR LORD FOR A
begun to tell them the things that would happen MANY YEARS.
to Him....”  ACKNOWLEDGING THEIR SINCERE DEVOTION TO HIM, OUR LORD
 These Revelations concerning His forthcoming Passion THEN EXPLAINED MORE CLEARLY THE WILL OF OUR
were iNTENDED TO ENCOURAGE AND STRENGTHEN HIS HEAVENLY FATHER Whom Christ implicitly obeyed in
FAITHFUL DISCIPLES so that they would endure the all circumstances.
terrifying Events that would soon confront them. ✶ “...You do not know what you ask...”
 He also wanted them to understand that HE WAS GOING  Our Lord knew HOW LITTLE HIS APOSTLES HAD GRASPED
TO HIS DEATH DUE TO HIS OWN WILL and not according WHAT HE HAD TAUGHT AND REVEALED TO THEM.
to the plots and schemes of His enemies.  He also knew that after the Descent of God the Holy
 He wanted them to understand that HIS ULTIMATE Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, after His Ascension,
BLOOD SACRIFICE WAS VOLUNTARY FOR THE SAKE OF ALL THEY WOULD BE EMPOWERED AND ENABLED TO UNDERSTAND
MANKIND FOREVER. FAR MORE .
 Although initially they failed to understand most of  These words apply to many of us who beseech God to
what He told them, later, BY THE POWER AND ENERGY grant us all kinds of Blessings and Favours, THE
OF GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT THEY WOULD RECALL ALL HIS CONSEQUENCES OF WHICH WE DO NOT FULLY COMPREHEND.
WORDS AND TEACHINGS AND FULLY COMPREHEND THEIR  Therefore, it is far better to LEAVE EVERYTHING TO THE
PROFOUND MEANING AND PURPOSE. DIVINE WILL AND WISDOM OF GOD Who always knows
✶ “...the Son of Man will be betrayed to the Chief Priests, what is best for us and for everyone concerned.
and to the Scribes. And they will condemn Him to ✶ “... You will indeed drink the Cup from which I drink,
death and deliver Him to the Gentiles; and they and with the Baptism with which I Am Baptised
will mock Him and spit on Him, and kill Him. And you will be Baptised....”
the third day He will Rise again...”  Our Lord Jesus referred to HIS CRUCIFIXION as “... the
 Our Divine Saviour spoke of HIS IMPENDING PASSION, Cup from which I drink...” and HIS DEATH as “the
CRUCIFIXION AND RESURRECTION. Baptism with which I Am Baptised...”
 HE REFERRED TO HIMSELF AS “SON OF MAN” THEREBY MEANING  His Crucifixion was a “Cup” because HE VOLUNTARILY
THAT ONLY ACCORDING TO HIS HUMAN NATURE, WOULD HE DRANK FROM IT. (He allowed His Sacrificial Passion
SUFFER all the degradation, humiliation, and to occur.)
torture inflicted on Him by the wicked and  HEBREWS 12:2 – “... Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our
ungodly. Faith, Who for the Joy that was set before Him
 According to His Divine Nature – as the Eternal Son of endured the Cross, despising the shame, and has sat
God - HE WAS PAINFULLY AWARE OF EVERYTHING that He down at the right Hand of the Throne of God...”
was to suffer in Jerusalem in a short while.  Our Lord Jesus is both THE INITIATOR AND THE PERFECTER
 HE KNEW EXACTLY WHO WAS TO BETRAY HIM, WHO WAS TO OF FAITH WHOSE JOY IT IS TO FULFIL THE WILL OF OUR
CONDEMN HIM TO DEATH AND EVERYONE WHO WOULD SPIT, HEAVENLY FATHER.
BEAT, INSULT, SCOURGE AND CRUCIFY HIM.  Furthermore, HE ENDURED HIS PASSION because He
 He not only told His Apostles about His forthcoming voluntarily accepted humiliation and death,
Passion, but also ANNOUNCED HIS MOST WONDERFUL WHICH WE ARE TO IMITATE WITH DETERMINATION AND
RESURRECTION. PERSEVERANCE.
 HIS RESURRECTION WAS THE FIRST RESURRECTION INTO  His Death was His “Baptism” for HE WAS COMPLETELY
ETERNAL LIFE. IMMERSED IN IT, YET IT CLEANSED THE ENTIRE FALLEN
 For Forty Days after His Resurrection, He showed WORLD.
Himself to His Faithful Apostles and Disciples so  ROMANS 6: 3 – 6 "... as many of us as were Baptised in
that they would know that WE, TOO, WILL TRULY BE Christ Jesus were Baptised into His Death... we were
RESURRECTED ON THE EIGHTH DAY (at the end of buried with Him through Baptism into Death, that
ages/time) – on the Day of His Glorious just as Christ was Raised from the dead by the Glory
Reappearance (Parousia) when all Creation of the Father, even so we also should walk in
would be Judged. Newness of Life... we have been United together in
the likeness of His Death, certainly we also shall be in

2 41ST SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 9TH TRIODION – 5TH LENT – ST MARY OF EGYPT – 5 APRIL 2020
the likeness of His Resurrection... our old man  Thus “THE DEISIS” ICON DEPICTS THE ALL HOLY MOTHER OF
(nature) was crucified with Him, so that the body of GOD AND THE FORERUNNER AND BAPTIST OF CHRIST as
sin might be done away with, that we should no long having been granted this most honoured status.
be slaves of sin...” ✶ “...whoever desires to become great among you shall
 Our Holy Baptism is A REALITY NOT MERELY AN OUTWARD be your servant. And whoever of you desire to be
SYMBOL. first shall be slave of all.
 Our ‘old man’ does not refer to human nature as such  THOSE WHO WISH TO BECOME SUPERIOR OR ELEVATED, WILL BE
but to THE POWER OF SIN IN OUR FALLEN NATURE THAT HUMBLED.
ONCE CONTROLLED AND ENSLAVED US.  THOSE WHO ARE SPIRITUALLY GREAT ARE THOSE WHO ARE MOST
 THE BODY OF SIN IS not a reference to our human body, HUMBLE AND OBEDIENT TO THE WILL OF GOD, serving our
but to ALL INIQUITY. Lord and our fellow mankind.
 According to St John Chrysostom, “... just as he calls the  HUMILITY AND OBEDIENCE ARE THE TWO MOST IMPORTANT
whole sum of wickedness ‘old man,’ again the HOLY VIRTUES, for they enable us to acquire all the
wickedness that consists of different parts of iniquity other Holy Virtues that Spiritually Perfect us.
St Paul refers to as ‘the body.”  PRIDE , STUBBORNNESS, DISOBEDIENCE AND ALL OTHER
 Thus IT IS SIN ITSELF THAT IS CRUCIFIED WITH OUR LORD JESUS GRIEVOUS PASSIONS CAUSES US TO FALL INTO SPIRITUAL
CHRIST AND NOT SOME VAGUE KIND OF SINFUL NATURE, for DEATH – self-imposed alienation from God and
we commit sin, but SIN IS NOT WHAT WE ARE for we each other.
were created without sin in the Image and ✳ “…For even the Son of Man did not come to be served,
Likeness of God. but to Serve and to give His Life as a Ransom for
 ST JOHN AND ST JAMES WOULD PARTICIPATE in the similar many…”
Cup and Baptism THROUGH THEIR LIFE OF PERSECUTION  NOT EVEN THE ETERNAL, DIVINE SON OF GOD CAME “… TO BE
AND MARTYRDOM after the Descent of God the Holy SERVED…”
Spirit.  HE BECAME INCARNATE by taking on our human nature -
 ALTHOUGH ST JOHN WOULD BE THE ONLY HOLY APOSTLE WHO and endured all aspects of our weak, difficult and
WOULD NOT BE CRUCIFIED NOR EXECUTED, HE ALSO harsh social conditions (with the excepting of
SUFFERED MUCH PERSECUTION for being our Lord’s concupiscence – the inclination to commit sin) , IN
Faithful Apostle. THE MOST HUMBLE OBEDIENCE TO GOD OUR HEAVENLY
 ST JOHN FINALLY REPOSED IN CHRIST AT THE AGE OF FATHER.
APPROXIMATELY 103.  OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST WAS SENT TO SERVE MANKIND by
✶ “... But to sit on My right hand side and on My left is not Teaching, Commanding and Enlightening us with
Mine to grant, since it is for those for whom it is His Divine Truth.
prepared.”  By following the Perfect Example and Teachings of
 THIS DOES NOT AT ALL IMPLY THAT OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST HAS our Divine Saviour WE ARE ABLE TO JOYFULLY AND
NO DIVINE AUTHORITY. CONSCIOUSLY ACCEPT HIS ETERNAL SALVATION BY
 THESE POSITIONS OF GREAT HONOUR ARE NOT HIS TO GIVE STRUGGLING AND STRIVING TO BECOME WORTHY CITIZENS
ARBITRARILY. AND CO-HEIRS of God’s Heavenly Kingdom of Love.
 Instead THEY ARE GRANTED TO THOSE FOR WHOM OUR LORD  OUR LORD paid the “… Ransom…” that has SET US FREE
GOD HAS PREPARED THEM. FROM THE ENSLAVEMENT TO SIN, now it is entirely up to
 WITH REGARD TO ‘SITTING’ AS EQUALS at the right and left us to do whatever we can to BECOME FAITHFUL
had side of Christ in His Eternal, Heavenly DISCIPLES AND WORTHY CO-HEIRS.
Kingdom, St John Chrysostom explained that NO  WE ARE MOTIVED AND COMPELLED BY THE DEGREE AND EXTENT
ONE COULD POSSIBLY OCCUPY SUCH A POSITION. OF OUR LOVE OF GOD AND EACH OTHER TO FULFIL THE WILL
 With regard to the highest position of honour that OF OUR HEAVENLY FATHER IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES.
could be granted to any human being, our Holy  If we choose to reject our Spiritual Heritage, we will
Icons universally depict STANDING ON EITHER SIDE OF have to contend with THE CONSEQUENCES OF SPIRITUAL
OUR ENTHRONED LORD JESUS CHRIST OUR LADY, THE EVER DEATH AND ISOLATION THAT MAKE US WRETCHED AND
BLESSED, ALL HOLY THEOTOKOS – the Most Blessed of MISERABLE.
all women – AND ST JOHN THE BAPTIST – the greatest
born of all women.
41st Sunday After Pentecost – 9th Sunday of Triodion – 5th Sunday of Lent – St Mary of Egypt
✞ In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the She was in fact a veritable slave to her destructive
Holy Spirit… grievous passions, which eventually led her to board
Dearly Beloved Brethren in Christ, today being the fifth a ship sailing out of Alexandria, bound for the Holy
Sunday of Great and Holy Lent we Commemorate St Land.
Mary of Egypt who is a Unique and Eternal Example The ship was full of young men going on a Sacred
of Repentance and of Rehabilitation and Spiritual Pilgrimage to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and
Perfection in Christ. other Sacred Sites associated with our Lord Jesus
As we enter the final stage before the Spotless Passion, Christ and His Ever Blessed, All Pure and Holy Mother,
and the Life-Bearing Resurrection of our Lord Jesus our Lady, Theotokos.
Christ, the need becomes ever more urgent and The young woman was certainly not one of those well
imperative for our proper Spiritual Preparation intentioned Christian Pilgrims for she intended
through Repentance, Contemplation and Fasting so seducing as many of them as she could and she was
that in a Redemptive Manner we can truly Experience a diabolical snare who entrapped several of those
the Cross and Resurrection – the True Meaning and young men, robbing them of of their sense of decency
Purpose of Holy Pascha! while they were on their way to receive the Blessings
This is why, on this Sunday, the Church highlights the of a Sacred Pilgrimage.
figure and example of Saint Mary, in order to provide And so, because of her, the voyage that was meant to be
the help we need. a quest for Repentance and Holiness, was
St Mary of Egypt is of such great importance to our own transformed into a shameful trip on the putrid and
Repentance and Life in Christ, that we Commemorate stinking billows of lewdness, which caused great
her twice - on the anniversary of her Repose on 1 April mourning and loud lamentations among the
and also on the 5th Sunday of Great Lent, for her good Heavenly Hosts and all those who witnessed the fall of
example should encourage every one of us sinners. so many immature souls.
She was initially a pagan Egyptian, who since the age of When the ship arrived at its destination and all the
twelve, had been trapped in the coils of depravity of passengers disembarked, they continued their
the flesh, a pathetic victim of the repulsive demon of journey to Jerusalem.
lust - not because of some wretched poverty or And as always, the Great Mercy and Wondrous Ways of
destitution, as were so many others who had been our Lord God - Whose Ineffable Love for all mankind
enslaved by their miserable, vile circumstances - but does not seek nor desire the death of sinners - offers us
due to rampant promiscuity and the unquenchable a multitude of means to bring about our Repentance
desire for sin. and Salvation!

41ST SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 9TH TRIODION – 5TH LENT – ST MARY OF EGYPT – 5 APRIL 2020 3
As they proceeded towards Jerusalem and the Holy That Holy Icon of our All Pure Lady, Theotokos, is now
Church of the Resurrection, the Faithful had spoken preserved in the cave of St Athanasios, near the
excitedly and with much anticipation about seeing Monastery of the Great Lavra, on the Holy Mountain –
the Life-giving Holy Cross of our Divine Saviour as well Mount Athos.
as about our Lord Jesus Christ and our Ever Blessed, St Mary obeyed the Advice of our Most Pure Lady and
All Holy Lady. immediately renounced the world and everything in
When they finally arrived at their destination, when Mary it, and hastened to the Sacred River Jordan.
tried to enter the Holy Church with the reverent She washed herself in the Jordan River before going to
crowds of Faithful to celebrate the Great Feast of the the Church of St John the Baptist, where she made her
Exaltation of the Precious, Life-giving Holy Cross of Confession and with overwhelming Joy received the
Christ, an immovable, invisible force prevented her Holy Mysteries of Baptism, Chrismation and Holy
from crossing the threshold. Eucharist.
No matter how hard she tried, again and again, while St John Chrysostom described St Mary of Egypt as having
others passed her and entered unrestricted, she alone cast her former miserable life of sin into the Furnace
could not move one step closer. of Repentance-Confession when she honestly
And the more she tried the more she felt a need to behold declared, with much sorrow, great pain and intense
that Wondrous Tree of Life of which she had heard so remorse in her heart and soul, the repulsive lifestyle
much, yet she was held back. she had led, after which she received a Most Blessed
In tears, she looked up and beheld a Holy Icon of our and Justified Absolution before receiving Holy
Lady, Theotokos, and, remembering everything she Communion.
had heard, she suddenly realised the hideous depth May we all Repent and Confess our sins with such intense
and extent of her sinful behaviour and debased view sorrow and contrition – by casting all our sinful
of life, and was most deeply wounded by extreme, thoughts, words and deeds into that same Furnace of
intense remorse and compunction. Repentance-Confession - so that we, too, might
She wept copious tears of deep-seated contrition and receive such a Blessed Absolution before partaking of
begged our Lord Jesus Christ for Mercy. She turned Holy Eucharist.
her gaze to the Holy Icon of His All Holy Mother and For, as St John Chrysostom explained it to us: “…the
fervently Her for Her Maternal Assistance, Intercession Power of Repentance-Confession is as great and
and Support, sincerely Vowing to change her way of mighty as its force while the Power and Salvific Energy
life immediately, and to please our Lord God by the of the Holy Mysteries are also certainly of the highest
Repentance of all her sins, and to lead a Godly Life order when we partake of them with the Repentance
from that moment onwards. and Confession of our sins…”
And the Sweet All Holy and Ever Blessed Virgin Theotokos Thus St Mary of Egypt was so greatly Fortified and
who is the Hope, the Protection, the Intercessor and Spiritually Sustained by these Salvific and Most Holy
the means of Eternal Salvation of all who flee to Her in Mysteries that she survived in the wilderness for the
Faith, heard that young woman’s heartfelt cries of rest of her life, in a state of ceaseless Struggle against
Supplication and in that instant she was at last able to all temptations and Spiritual Strivings that caused her
step over the threshold of the Holy Church unimpeded to become so Spiritually Perfected.
and, together with the multitudes of others, to behold St Mary of Egypt is our shining example that no matter the
and reverence with Joy and Gratitude the Precious depth and extent of our sins, God is indeed All
Life-giving Holy Cross of our Divine Saviour. Merciful and Gracious to those of us who Repent our
Afterwards, Mary stood before and reverenced the Holy sins and return eagerly to His Loving Embrace, with
Icon of the Ever Blessed Theotokos, and vowed that all due Humility and Obedience, eager and
she would entrust herself entirely to Her Benevolent determined to fulfil His Divine Will.
Care and be Guided by Her in order to fulfil a Life of Amen
ceaseless Repentance.
She heard a most lovely Voice address her, which said: “If METROPOLITAN JOSEPH OF PROIKONISSOS
you go beyond the Jordan, you will find rest.” ADAPTED & EDITED BY MP
HTTPS://PEMPTOUSIA.COM/2014/04/SAINT-MARY-THE-EGYPTIAN/

T H E E TE R NAL , I NSP IR ED W ISD OM OF OU R H OLY FA THE R S


S T S E RAP H IM OF S AR OV not take anything the wrong way and we will not
The Door of Repentance is open to everyone but we do condemn others. We will accept everyone with Love.
not know who will go through first – either those of us
who condemn others or those whom are condemned S T P AISIOS OF M OU NT AT H OS
by us! When people quarrel among themselves they all think that they
are right and others are wrong. The only trouble is that they
S T S IL OU AN THE AT H ONITE
take more right than they have a right to, and they is why
they are always quarrelling!
Each of us will have an opinion about God that is
commensurate with the Measure of Divine Grace of S T G RE GORY THE TH EOLOGIAN
God the Holy Spirit we have been granted. Because, Our body is a ‘well-meaning enemy’ and a ‘threatening friend.’
how is it possible to think about and judge anything What a strange affiliation and alienation. What we fear, we
we have not seen and do not know? The Saints say honour and what we take care of, we fear. Before we wage
they have seen God but there are some people who war against it, we are reconciled to it, and before we make
claim that God does not exist! It is obvious that they peace with it, we oppose it.
believe that because they do not know our Lord, but
S T J OH N OF K R ONSTAD T
that does not at all mean that He does not exist. The
For our Lord God the world is nothing more than an insignificant
Saints speak about thing that they have actually seen, spider’s web. Equally insignificant is our body. Yet every
Experienced and know about. They do not say, for particle of matter is testament to Wisdom and is preserved
example, that they saw a horse a kilometre long, or a with Wisdom, with the Eternal Laws of Wisdom. All of us owe
ship that was ten kilometres long. our very existence to Divine Wisdom. Our death and
I believe that, if there was no God, they would not talk decomposition show us what an insignificant spider’s web we
about Him here on Earth. But people want to live in are!
the manner they themselves choose, so they say that
S T P AISIOS OF M OU NT AT H OS
there is no God. By doing so, they probably confirm
With those who have personal issues with each other, we give our
that God does indeed exist! opinion in the presence of both of them, so that neither of
them can take what we say for their own benefit and use it as
S T P ORPHY R IOS OF K AVSOKALY V IA heavy artillery (if what we say carries any weight) in order to
Divine Grace will Visit us gradually. We will enter into blast his opponent, enlisting us to load the cannons, while we
Joy. We will begin to Live in Peace and then, by the are at it. The best thing to do, as far as we can, is to avoid
Grace of God, we will become Stronger. We will not those who are like that, in order to preserve our Peace, and to
pray for their Peace, and for the Peace of the whole world in
become angry, we will not lose our tempter, we will
general.

4 41ST SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 9TH TRIODION – 5TH LENT – ST MARY OF EGYPT – 5 APRIL 2020
Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa
Archdiocese of Good Hope
All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and
forever, and unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most
Blessed and Glorious Lady, Maria, Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together with all the Saints. And let us
commit ourselves and one another and our whole Life to Christ our God. Amen.
11 FEBRUARY 2020
SATURDAY OF THE RAISING OF ST LAZAROS
The Feast of St Antipas of Pergamum – St Tryfemis of Kyziko – St Pharmuthios the Anchorite – St
John of Decapolis, Egypt – St Kallinikos of Cernica – St James of Zheleznoborov – St
Barsanuphios of Tver
HOLY WEEK BOOKS ARE ESSENTIAL FROM TOMORROW, PALM SUNDAY
UNTIL NEXT SUNDAY - HOLY PASCHA

T RIOD ION - P R OKE IME NON – P SALM 26 – T ONE 3


The Lord is my Light and my Saviour!
The Lord is the Defender of my Life!
T H E E PISTLE O F S T P AUL T O T HE HE BR EWS 12 : 28 – 13 : 8
Brethren: Since we are receiving a Kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us have Grace, by which we may serve God
acceptably with Reverence and Godly Fear. For our God is a Consuming Fire.
Let Brotherly Love continue. Do not forget to welcome strangers, for by doing so some have unwittingly hosted Angels.
Remember the prisoners as if chained with them – those who are mistreated – since you yourselves are in the body
also. Marriage is honourable among all, and the bed undefiled - but fornicators and adulterers God will Judge.
Let your conduct be without covetousness - be content with the things that you have. For Christ Himself has said; “I will
never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my Helper; I will not fear. What can mankind
do to me?”
Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the Word of God to you, whose Faith you follow, considering the
outcome of their conduct.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.
✳ “…a Kingdom that cannot be shaken…” discourse IMPLORING US ALL TO SEEK THE ETERNAL
 THE ETERNAL KINGDOM OF GOD IS PERFECT, FIRMLY KINGDOM OF GOD.
ESTABLISHED AND EVERLASTING, and will remain so for  The New Covenant of Love enables us to Ascend to
all Eternity. this Heavenly Kingdom in Worship and Prayer,
 ONLY CREATED MATTER CAN BE CHANGED, SHAKEN AND which is experienced in the Divine Liturgy.
DESTROYED because they are all temporal,  D E U T E R O N O M Y 4 : 2 4 – “… the Lord your God is a
impermanent and imperfect. Consuming Fire – jealous God…”
 THE FINAL CONSUMMATION OF THE ETERNAL KINGDOM OF  According to St Gregory the Theologian and St John of
GOD IS UNSHAKABLE AND INDESTRUCTIBLE for it endures Damascus, THE NAME “GOD” MEANS “BURNING.” Thus
forever – for all eternity. our Lord God is referred to as a “Consuming Fire”
 Everything of ETERNITY IS EVERLASTING, UNCHANGEABLE Who BURNS UP SIN AND CORRUPTION IN THOSE WHO
AND IMPERISHABLE. REPENT THEIR SINS.
 WE ONLY HAVE OUR ALLOTTED LIFESPAN IN WHICH TO CORRECT  According to St Athanasios the Great, OUR LORD GOD
OURSELVES THROUGH REPENTANCE, and Strengthen our CLEANSES US WITH HIS PURIFYING FIRE.
immortal soul and develop a close Relationship  St Ambrose of Milan reminded us that GOD ALSO GRANTS
with God and each other by Living in Christ. US HIS LIVING WATER, WHICH QUENCHES OUR SPIRITUAL
 OUR SPIRITUAL PERFECTION IS ONLY POSSIBLE BY APPLYING THE THIRST that once burnt due to our sins, by now
DIVINE TRUTH – everything our Lord Jesus Christ has yearns for our Lord God and His Eternal Kingdom
taught us and commanded us – TO OUR THOUGHTS, of Love.
WORDS AND DEEDS - LIFE IN CHRIST IN ALL  DEUTERONOMY 9 : 3 – “…the Lord your God is He Who goes
CIRCUMSTANCES. before you as a Consuming Fire. He will destroy (our
 THE NEW COVENANT IS A COVENANT OF LOVE, so we must enemies) and turn them from your face, and you will
learn to Love without reservation or restriction. destroy them, as the Lord said to you…”
 ETERNAL LIFE IS A CONTINUOUS EUCHARISTIC (Thanksgiving)  St John Cassian commented: “… To those who have
DIVINE LITURGY. their eyes opened and their ears ready to pay
 “…let us have Grace, by which we may serve God attention, does this not plainly say: ‘When your
acceptably with Reverence and Godly Fear…” Struggle with fleshly faults goes well for you, and you
 We receive Divine Grace when WE ARE SANCTIFIED BY THE see that you are free from the filth of them, and from
HOLY MYSTERY OF BAPTISM AND CHRISMATION. the fashions of this world, do not become puffed up
 GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT BESTOWS DIVINE GRACE UPON US that by the success of the Conflict and Victory, and
enables us to fulfil the Will of our Heavenly Father. ascribe it to your own ‘power and wisdom,’ nor fancy
 From our Baptism until our Repose, we ought to that you have gained Victory over Spiritual
SUSTAIN AND PRESERVE THAT DIVINE GRACE by following Wickedness and fleshly sins through your own
our Lord Jesus Christ with our thoughts, words and exertions and energy, and free will’! For there is no
deeds. doubt in all this that you could not possibly have
 When WE FALL INTO SPIRITUAL DEATH DUE TO UNREPENTED succeeded, unless you were Fortified and Protected
SIN, we lose that Divine Grace, until we Repent and by the Help of our Lord!”
are restored to Spiritual Life.  ISAIAH 33:14 – “… the lawless in Zion departed – trembling
 St Paul urges us to REMAIN IN A STATE OF SPIRITUAL LIFE will seize the ungodly. Who will tell you a Fire is
AND DIVINE GRACE so that we can become worthy burning? Who will tell you about the Eternal Place?”
Disciples of Christ.  These words refer to our Lord Jesus Christ Who has
 By the Grace of God we are able to FULFIL THE WILL OF told His Faithful Disciples about “… the Eternal
OUR HEAVENLY FATHER AND SUSTAIN AN ACCEPTABLE Place…” of torment for those who are “…lawless…”
LIFESTYLE, WITH PROPER “….REVERENCE AND GODLY FEAR.” and “…ungodly...”
✳ “…our God is a Consuming Fire…”  ISAIAH 30:27 – “Behold! The Name of the Lord comes after
 ST PAUL ADDRESSED THIS EPISTLE TO HIS FELLOW OLD a long time – a Burning Anger! The Teaching of His
COVENANT FAITHFUL who had awaited the Great Lips is with Glory, a Revelation full of Wrath, and the
Messiah for a very long time - a progressive Wrath of His Anger shall devour like fire…”

S ATU RD AY O F T HE R AISING O F S T L AZAR OS 5


✳ “… Let Brotherly Love continue…”  Holy Marriage is not only for the procreation of
 PRACTICAL BROTHERLY LOVE IS TO BE SHOWN TOWARDS ALL mankind but FOR THE NURTURING AND SUSTAINING OF
OUR BRETHREN IN CHRIST, AND ESPECIALLY TOWARDS all CHRIST’S HOLY CHURCH AND OUR ETERNAL SALVATION.
those who are considered to be ‘insignificant’ and  Parents who have BECOME ONE BODY AND ONE FLESH BY THE
powerless – THE WEAK, THE DEFENCELESS AND THE POWER AND ENERGY OF GOD, ought to WORK TOGETHER
EXTREMELY VULNERABLE AND ALL VICTIMS OF INJUSTICE to TEACH, GUIDE AND CARE FOR THEIR OFFSPRING so that
AND CRUELTY. they, in turn, will grow well and LIVE IN CHRIST.
✳ “…welcome strangers, for by doing so some have ✳ “…Let your conduct be without covetousness - be
unwittingly hosted Angels…” content with the things that you have….”
 ALL VISITORS TO OUR CHURCH AND COMMUNITY OUGHT TO BE  WHEN WE ARE GRATEFUL for whatever God has granted
WELCOMED AND HOSTED as an Act of Charity/Love. us, WE WILL NEITHER YEARN FOR NOR COVET ANYTHING
 This is a reference to the ancient Patriarch, ST MORE.
ABRAHAM, who EPITOMISED CHARITABLE HOSPITALITY.  Once we comprehend the infinite Blessings God
St Abraham the Ancient Patriarch never ate a meal unless he bestows upon us WE ARE SATISFIED AND FULFILLED.
had others with whom to share it. The day came when he  We must learn to BE CONTENTED with our circumstances,
hosted three very special Visitors – the Holy Trinity Who wherever and whatever they might be, KNOWING
Appeared as three identical Angels – at the Oaks of THAT GOD WILL PROVIDE us with all significant
Mamre.. They left Their three wooden Staffs/Rods of necessities.
Cypress, Cedar and Pine imbedded in the sand, which grew  Our Lord Jesus taught that THE MORE WE SHARE OUR
into a most unique Tree. (Genesis 18 : 1 – 8 & 19: 1 – 3) BLESSINGS WITH OTHERS, THE MORE THEY ARE RETURNED TO
When King Solomon was building his first great Temple in US, so there is no need to want more.
Jerusalem centuries later, the Trinity Tree was cut down  Greediness and selfishness urge us to want more, but
but the wood was never used and merely thrown aside, we seldom do actually need more!
until the Crucifixion of Christ when He was forced to ✳ “…Christ Himself has said; “I will never leave you nor
carry the heavy cross-bar (not the whole cross) as part of forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “The Lord is
His public humiliation and punishment, before His Wrists my Helper; I will not fear. What can mankind do
were nailed to it. The cross-bar was then fastened to the to me?”
upright pole, which was secured in a hole in the rock on  DEUTERONOMY 31: 6 - 8 “… be valiant and strong. Do no
Golgotha – which still exists to this day. MP fear nor be afraid of them, nor be terrified before
them, for the Lord your God… goes before you and
✳ “…Remember the prisoners as if chained with them –
with you and among you. He will not leave nor
those who are mistreated – since you yourselves
forsake you.”
are in the body also…”
 OUR LORD GOD ALWAYS FULFILS HIS DIVINE PROMISES. So He
 We ALWAYS PRAY FOR THOSE HELD IN CAPTIVITY – whether in
will never forsake, abandon nor leave His Faithful
physical imprisonment or Spiritual Enslavement.
Disciples.
 We PRAY FOR THEIR LIBERATION AND FOR THEIR DELIVERANCE
 His Divine Promise is truly Faithful, Dependable and
from pain and torture inflicted upon them by their
Bold – and NEVER FAILS US.
cruel persecutors.
 FAITHFULNESS AND BOLDNESS on our part to completely
 We SHARE THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS WITH ALL OUR
trust in and believe our Lord God GRANTS US
BRETHREN, by suffering and sorrowing with them
CONTENTMENT AND DELIVERS US FROM COVETOUSNESS,
and we Rejoice and offer Thanksgiving to God for
WHILE GIVING US COURAGE to contend with all threats
their Deliverance and Salvation.
and impending dangers.
 We share the same human conditions so we STRUGGLE
 JOSHUA 1: 5 - “…no man shall be able to oppose you all
AND STRIVE TOGETHER throughout this short lifespan.
the days of your life, and, as I was with Moses, thus I
 We all need Prayers, Encouragement, Guidance and
will be also with you. I will not forsake you nor
Support because WE CANNOT PROGRESS WITHOUT THE
disregard you. Be strong and courageous… “
LOVE AND GREAT MERCY OF GOD - AND EACH OTHER.
 The Lord Who spoke to St Joshua, son of Nun, was THE
 WE ARE ALTOGETHER IN THE SACRED BODY OF CHRIST –
ETERNAL, ONLY BEGOTTEN SON AND WORD OF GOD our
SANCTIFIED MEMBERS OF HIS HOLY CHURCH and thus
Heavenly Father.
are also Members of each other. (1 CORINTHIANS 12: 12
– 27)  HE ENCOURAGED HIM TO BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUS when
✳ “…Marriage is honourable among all, and the bed confronted by war and death.
undefiled - but fornicators and adulterers God will  According to St Athanasios the Great, WHEN OUR LORD
Judge…” JESUS CHRIST STOOD BEFORE HEROD AND PILATE HE DID
NOT FEAR DEATH, for as He told His Apostles and
 Our HOMES ARE LIKE SMALL CHURCHES THAT ARE SANCTIFIED
BY PRAYERS AND BLESSINGS, AS WELL AS BY THOSE WHO LIVE
Disciples : “Do not be afraid of those who kill the
IN CHRIST.
body…” and He had told St Abraham “…Do not
 As His Eminence, Panteleimon Lampadarios, fear…” the terror of Death because HE NOT ONLY HAD
NO FEAR OF DEATH BUT DESTROYED IT BY HIS OWN DEATH
Metropolitan of Antinoes explains:
UPON THE CROSS.”
“Marriage is the Holy Mystery whereby through the
Blessings of the Holy Church of Christ, the physical  LUKE 12:4 -5 “… do not be afraid of those who kill the
bond between a man and a woman is Sanctified. body, and after that have no more that they can do.
Husband and wife are joined together by God for their But I will show you Whom you should Fear – Fear
entire lifetime in a Holy Communion of Life. Divine Him Who, after He has killed, has Power to cast into
Grace Restores this Divine Blessing that was granted to Hell! Yes, I say to you, Fear Him!”
the first-formed man and woman – Adam and Eve – and  Although we should not fear those who can kill our
aims at the Fulfilment of the Divine Plan as described mortal body, WE SHOULD ALWAYS FEAR THE LORD OUR
in the Book of Genesis. GOD.
Consequently, Holy Matrimony was the Divine Institution  Our Lord Jesus Christ and God’s New Covenant of
Commanded by our Creator for the assistance of each Love have taught us that GODLY FEAR MEANS HAVING
ABSOLUTE LOVE AND RESPECT FOR OUR TRIUNE LORD GOD
other of the first couple and the granting of the Divine
Blessing for the multiplying of the human race on WHOM WE DO NOT WISH TO DISAPPOINT OR FAIL.
Earth. Holy Matrimony was Instituted as a Divine  When we truly Love someone, we always want to
Mystery by our Lord Jesus Christ according to His New please and honour them. EVEN MORE SO DO WE
Covenant of Love. The physical Union of husband DESIRE TO PLEASE AND HONOUR AND GLORIFY OUR LORD
and wife was thus Elevated to the Image of the GOD.
Mysterious Union of Christ our Divine Saviour with  PROVERBS 9:10 “… send forth (Wisdom) from Thy Holy
His Holy Orthodox Church in an insoluble and Holy Heavens, and send Her from Thy Glorious Throne,
Union, which secures Divine Grace granted to those who that She might be present with me and Labour,
voluntarily enter into the Sacred Communion of and that I might know what is well-pleasing to
Marriage in order to achieve its High and Sacred Goals – Thee…”
Spiritual Perfection.” (Orthodox Teachings)  According to St Ambrose of Milan, our body will
eventually perish – one way or another. So THE

6 S ATU RD AY O F T HE R AISING O F S T L AZAR OS


DEATH OF OUR BODY IS not itself a punishment, but impossible for God to lie, we might have strong
rather THE END OF OUR EARTHLY PUNISHMENTS, WHEREAS Consolation, who have fled for Refuge to lay hold of
OUR IMMORTAL SOUL CONTINUES TO EXIST UNCHANGED FOR the Hope set before us.”
ALL ETERNITY.  HIS DIVINE PURPOSE IS FULFILLED IN THE AGE TO COME – IN
 Since THE LORD OUR GOD IS THE DIVINE JUDGE OF OUR ETERNITY – and PRESENTED TO THE HEIRS OF HIS DIVINE
IMMORTAL SOUL, ALL OUR EFFORTS in this world, during PROMISE.
this short, preparatory lifespan, OUGHT TO BE WELL-  St Isaac and all the Old Covenant Faithful held onto
PLEASING, HUMBLE AND OBEDIENT TO HIS DIVINE WILL. that Divine Promise and the Hope it gave them.
 GENESIS 26:24 “… the Lord Appeared to him and said: ‘ I  Our Lord Jesus Christ encouraged us to continue our
Am the God of your Father, Abraham. Do not fear, Struggles and Strivings in order to finally RECEIVE
for I Am with you….” THAT DIVINE PROMISE AS WORTHY CITIZENS AND CO-HEIRS
 GOD THE SON APPEARED TO ST ISAAC at the Well of Oath of our Heavenly Father’s Eternal Kingdom of Love.
AND VOWED TO FULFIL DIVINE PROMISE made to St  HEBREWS 6: 19 – 20 “… this Hope we have as an Anchor of
Abraham. the soul – both sure and Steadfast…”
 THIS DIVINE VOW/OATH/PROMISE EMPHASISES THE  THE DIVINE PROMISES MOTIVATE AND ENCOURAGE US to
UNCHANGEABLE DIVINE WILL AND PURPOSE of God. Struggle and Strive all the more determinedly.
 DIVINE TRUTH AND PERFECTION ARE ETERNAL AND  ETERNAL LIFE in God’s Heavenly Kingdom IS THE ENTIRE
UNCHANGING. PURPOSE OF OUR EXISTENCE.
 HEBREWS 6 : 17 – 18 “… Thus God, determining to show  All our Struggles and Strivings bring us closer to our
more abundantly to the Heirs of Promise the Ultimate Goal.
Immutability of His Counsel, Affirmed it by an
Oath, that by two Immutable Things, in which it is
T H E H OLY G OSPEL ACCO RD ING T O S T JO H N 11: 1 – 45
At that time, a certain man was sick - Lazaros of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister, Martha. It was that Mary
who had anointed our Lord with fragrant oil and wiped His Feet with her hair, whose brother, Lazaros, was sick.
Therefore, the sisters sent a message to Jesus, saying: “Lord, behold: he whom Thou Love, is sick.” When Jesus heard
that, He said: “This sickness is not unto death, but for the Glory of God so that the Son of God may be Glorified
through it.”
Jesus Loved Martha and her sister, and Lazaros, so when He heard that Lazaros was sick, He stayed two more days in
the place where He was. Then He said to His Disciples: “Let us go to Judea again.” The Disciples said to Him:
“Rabbi, lately the Hebrews sought to stone Thee, and art Thou going there again?” And Jesus answered: “Are there
not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this
world. But if one walks in the night, he stumbles, because the Light is not in him.”
These things He said, and after that He said to them: “Our Friend, Lazaros, sleeps, but I go so that I may wake him
up.” And His Disciples said: “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get well.” However, Jesus spoke of his death, but they thought
that He spoke of taking rest in sleep. So Jesus told them plainly: “Lazaros is dead, and I Am glad for your sakes
that I was not there, so that you may believe. Nevertheless, let us go to him.” And Thomas, who was called “the
Twin,” said to his fellow Disciples: “Let us also go, that we may die with Him.”
Jesus went, and found that Lazaros had already been in the tomb for four days.
Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles away, and many of the Judeans had joined the women around Martha
and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother. As soon as Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to
meet Him - while Mary sat in the house.
Martha said to Jesus: “Lord, if Thou had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now, I know that
whatever Thou ask of God, God will grant Thee.” Jesus said to her: “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to
Him: “I know that he will rise again in the Resurrection at the Last Day.” Jesus said to her: “I Am the Resurrection
and the Life: he who believes in me, although he may die, he shall Live. And whoever Lives and believes in
Me, shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to Him: “Yes, Lord, I believe that Thou art the Christ – the Son of
God Who is to come into the world.”
And having said these things, Martha went her way, and secretly called Mary, her sister, saying: “The Teacher has
come and is calling for you.” As soon as Mary heard that, she quickly arose and went to Him.
Jesus had not yet gone into the town, but was in the place where Martha had met Him. When the Judeans, who were
with her in the house, comforting her, saw that Mary had quickly arisen and gone out, they followed her, saying:
“She is going to the tomb to weep there.”
And when Mary arrived where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at His Feet, saying to Him: “O Lord, if Thou had
been here, my brother would not have died.” When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Judeans who had come with
her, weeping, He groaned in Spirit and was troubled. And He said: “Where have you laid him?” They said to Him:
“Lord, come and see.” Jesus wept. And the Judeans said; “See how He Loved him!” Some of them said: “Could not
this Man Who opened the eyes of the blind, also have kept this man from dying?”
Jesus, again groaning within Himself, went to the tomb, which was a cave, and a stone lay against it. And Jesus said:
“Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him: “Lord, by this time there is a stench, for
he has been dead four days!” Jesus said to her: “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the
Glory of God?” Then they took away the stone from the cave where the dead man was lying.
Jesus lifted up His Eyes and said: “O Father, I thank Thee that Thou hast heard Me. And I know that Thou always
hears Me, but because of the people who are standing by, I say this, so that they may believe that Thou sent
Me.” And when Jesus had said these things, He cried with a loud Voice: “Lazaros! Come forth!” And he who had
died came out, bound hand and foot with grave-cloths, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. And Jesus said to
them: “Loosen him, and let him go.”
And many of the Judeans who had gone to Mary, and had seen the things that Jesus did, believed in Him...
✳ The Raising of St Lazaros of Bethany after being four Sunday, all of which should be attended. (Holy Week
days dead, and already in a state of decomposition, Books are essential.) The Paschal period continues until
is THE SEVENTH SIGN OF THE DIVINE IDENTITY AND SERVICE OF Wednesday before Ascension Thursday. mp
OUR DIVINE SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST, according to the Holy ✳ “… a certain man was sick - Lazaros of Bethany, the
Gospel of St John, the Beloved Apostle, Evangelist and town of Mary and her sister, Martha…”
Theologian.  BETHANY IS SITUATED ON THE EASTERN SLOPE OF THE MOUNT
 THIS DIVINE MIRACLE SEALED THE JUDEAN AUTHORITIES’ OF OLIVES – about two miles from Jerusalem.
DECISION TO EXECUTE OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST under the  The name “Lazaros” is the same as “Eleazar” – literally
unjust and false guise of blasphemy. translated as “God Helps.”
This Miraculous Event is celebrated Liturgically on “Saturday ✳ “…It was that Mary who had anointed our Lord with
of the Raising of St Lazaros” – the day before “Palm fragrant oil and wiped His Feet with her hair,
Sunday,” at the end of Great Lent. whose brother, Lazaros, was sick…”
Next week is Holy Week, which consists of a very strict Fast  During a previous visit, ST MARY OF BETHANY HAD USED AN
and daily Holy Services throughout the week, until Pascha EXPENSIVE PERFUME WITH WHICH TO ANOINT OUR LORD’S

S ATU RD AY O F T HE R AISING O F S T L AZAR OS 7


HEAD AND FEET. JUDAS ISCARIOT HAD PROTESTED because  CHRIST IS OUR DIVINE LIGHT so those who cleave to Him -
he would have preferred the cost to have been Live in Him – have nothing to fear and will neither
donated to their funds, from which he stole. stumble nor fall into sin.
It was customary to anoint the head and wash the feet of  Some interpret “THE DAY” AS MEANING CHRIST’S MINISTRY
visitors in order to refresh them after having walked in BEFORE HIS CRUCIFIXION AND “THE NIGHT” AS HIS PASSION
the heat and dust. St Mary had purposely purchased the AND THE PERSECUTION OF HIS FAITHFUL DISCIPLES THAT
costly perfume because she wanted to anoint Christ with ENSUED AFTERWARDS – the darkness of their anguish,
it, as she was profoundly Faithful and so utterly devoted trials and tribulations that would threaten, and
to Him. eventually martyr them.
✳ “…This sickness is not unto death, but for the Glory of ✳ “…Our Friend, Lazaros, sleeps...” reveals that GOD IS IN
God so that the Son of God may be Glorified CONTROL OF ALL CREATION.
through it...”  After proving His own physical Resurrection, our Lord
 OUR LORD JESUS SENT THIS MESSAGE to St Mary and St has taught us that WE NO LONGER “DIE” BUT RATHER WE
Martha in order TO STRENGTHEN AND COMFORT THEM “FALL ASLEEP” OR “REPOSE,” UNTIL OUR RESURRECTION on
when St Lazaros Reposed, and so that THEY WOULD the Eighth Day – the Day of Judgement and the
HAVE FAITH AND CONFIDENCE IN HIS WORDS. beginning of Eternal Life or Death – another
 This was to be THE FINAL GREAT DIVINE MIRACLE that our temporary state.
Saviour performed at the end of His public  BY HIS OWN DEATH, CHRIST DEFEATED DEATH, which no
Ministry. longer is a dire threat to us.
 He had previously returned to life the daughter of  PHYSICAL DEATH IS NECESSARY FOR THE SEPARATION OF BODY
Jairos, the Synagogue Ruler, who had died just AND SOUL. The body is returned to the earth
before they arrived at the house, and later, also whence it originated while the immortal soul
the Widow of Nain’s son who had been dead for proceeds towards either Paradise or Hades.
several hours and was about to be interred.  LIKE CHRIST WE WILL ALL BE RESURRECTED IN BODY AND SOUL,
 THE FACT THAT ST LAZAROS had been dead for four days, but neither male nor female.
and HAD BEGUN TO DECOMPOSE, PROVED without any ✳ “…’Lazaros is dead, and I Am glad for your sakes that I
doubt at all, THAT CHRIST IS INDEED OUR DIVINE was not there, so that you may believe’…”
CREATOR AND MASTER OF ALL CREATION.  There were several reasons why our Lord first referred
 THE GLORIFICATION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST as the Great to death as ‘sleep.’
Divine Messiah WAS CERTAINLY NOT THE CAUSE OF OR  HE AVOIDED ANY APPEARANCE OF BOASTING so He veiled His
REASON FOR ST LAZAROS’ DEATH. Divine Power by LATER DESCRIBING HIS RAISING OF ST
 Instead, it indicated that our Lord Jesus Christ would LAZAROS FROM THE DEAD AS AN ‘AWAKENING,’ which
be Glorified due to St Lazaros’ death, which had would have been meaningless unless He had first
been caused by a physical illness, and being referred to Death as being “Asleep”
RESTORED TO LIFE FOUR DAYS LATER BY OUR DIVINE  HE PREFERRED TO REVEAL HIS DIVINE POWER BY HIS
SAVIOUR – AN IRREFUTABLE DIVINE MIRACLE! MIRACULOUS DEEDS and He taught us to BE VERY
✳ “…He stayed two more days … where He was…” CAREFUL ABOUT MAKING PROMISES unless we are
 OUR LORD JESUS PURPOSELY DELAYED HIS RETURN TO BETHANY certainly able to fulfil them.
in order that St Lazaros would be dead and buried  OUR LORD WANTS US TO UNDERSTAND THAT DEATH IS MERELY A
long enough so that DECOMPOSITION WOULD HAVE FORM OF REPOSE and that HE DID NOT SIMPLY HEAL ST
BEGUN and that THERE COULD NEVER BE ANY DOUBT OF LAZAROS FROM HIS AFFLICTION, BUT ACTUALLY RAISED HIM
THE GREAT DIVINE MIRACLE our Lord performed. FROM THE DEAD,
 THE OBVIOUS DIVINE POWER OF OUR LORD GOD WOULD BE ✳ “…Thomas…said…: “Let us also go, that we may die
CLEARLY WITNESSED by all those who were present, with Him...” was AN UNWITTING PROPHECY OF THEIR
and future generations could not argue that St OWN FUTURE MARTYRDOM, while it illustrated the Path
Lazaros had merely been ‘comatose’ - not dead that all Faithful Disciples must take – that WE MUST
and decomposing! DIE DAILY TO THE WORLD FOR THE SAKE OF FOLLOWING OUR
✳ ” …Let us go to Judea again….” LORD. (LUKE 9 : 23 – 24)
 THIS IS THE FIRST TIME OUR LORD ANNOUNCES WHERE THEY ✳ “…Lazaros had already been in the tomb for four
WERE GOING SO THAT HIS TERRIFIED DISCIPLES WOULD NOT days…”
PANIC since they did not fully comprehend Who He  The Old Covenant belief was that the soul lingered
is, and were afraid for Him as well as for about the body for three days, but AFTER FOUR DAYS,
themselves. RESUSCITATION WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE.
✳ “…Are there not twelve hours in the day? …” ✳ “…many of the Judeans had joined the women around
 THE SALVIFIC MINISTRY OF OUR LORD JESUS HAD NOT YET Martha and Mary, to comfort them …”
ELAPSED so there was still time for Him to continue  According to Judaic Tradition, mourning began,
His Sacred Labours. obviously, on the day of the person’s Repose.
 HE WANTED TO REASSURE HIS APOSTLES that for now they Weeping and wailing went on for three days.
were all safe from the impending threats of His Lamentations lasted one week, followed by
enemies AND THAT HE NEEDED TO MAKE GOOD USE OF THE general mourning over the next 30 days.
TIME THAT WAS LEFT.  THE MANY MOURNERS FROM JERUSALEM RESPECTED THE
 WHEN HE HAD ACCOMPLISHED HIS DIVINE MISSION, HE SISTERS’ NOBLE AND RIGHTEOUS WAY OF LIFE and
PERMITTED HIS ENEMIES to arrest Him and do what He sympathised with them for the sudden loss of their
knew they would to humiliate, to torture and to beloved brother. Many were not ‘evil-minded’ and
execute Him. believed in Christ after witnessing His raising of St
✳ “…if one walks in the night, he stumbles, because the Lazaros from the dead.
Light is not in him…” ✳ “…As soon as Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she
 Unless we have the Divine Light in us, WE WILL STUMBLE went to meet Him - while Mary sat in the house…”
AND FALL DUE TO THE BLINDING DARKNESS OF IGNORANCE  ST MARTHA IMMEDIATELY WENT TO CHRIST before informing
AND SIN. her sister of His Presence, in order to keep all the
 OUR LORD WANTED TO ENLIGHTEN AS MANY SOULS AS POSSIBLE others from knowing that He was there, for HE HAD
before He faced His Passion, so that we would not COME TO SEE THEM AND COMFORT THEM IN PRIVATE.
lose Hope and give up our Spiritual Striving.  Similar to the previous account, THESE TWO SISTERS
 According to St Theophylact, these Words meant that REACTED DIFFERENTLY TO OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST’S
AS LONG AS WE WALK IN THE LIGHT OF OUR GOOD DEEDS, PRESENCE. St Martha, being inclined to active
WE HAVE NOTHING TO FEAR, BUT THOSE WHO COMMIT FOUL service, rushed out to meet Him while St Mary
DEEDS OUGHT TO BE AFRAID. remained in mourning until He Called her. (LUKE
 Our Lord assures His Disciples that their conscience 10:38-42)
was clear for THEY HAD DONE NOTHING TO WARRANT THE  ACCORDING TO JUDAIC TRADITION THE BEREAVED REMAINED
PUNISHMENT OF SPIRITUAL DEATH. SEATED while mourning and receiving other
mourners. (JOB 2:8 & EZEKIEL 8:14)

8 S ATU RD AY O F T HE R AISING O F S T L AZAR OS


✳ “…Lord, if Thou had been here, my brother would not  Many Icons of the Raising of St Lazaros depict
have died. But even now… whatever Thou ask of witnesses covering their noses, thereby illustrating
God, God will grant Thee…” THE REALITY OF HIS CORRUPTED FLESH and that many
 Although St Martha possessed deep Faith in God, SHE were shocked that our Lord Jesus Christ could
DID NOT YET REALISE THAT HE IS OUR LORD GOD Whose Raise the dead.
Divine Authority acts according to His Will and  There could be no doubt at all, that St Lazaros had
Purpose. been dead and that NO ONE HAS EVER RETURNED TO
✳ “…“Your brother will rise again …I Am the Resurrection LIFE AFTER DECOMPOSITION HAS BEGUN.
and the Life: he who believes in me, although he ✳ “… if you … believe you would see the Glory of God…”
may die, he shall Live. And whoever Lives and  THOSE WHO TRULY BELIEVE and know our Lord God
believes in Me, shall never die. Do you believe through His Divine Truth, will CLEARLY BEHOLD ALL
this?” THE GLORY OF GOD – both now and later, for our
 Our Lord’s Words are truthful and straightforward, yet physical and Spiritual Sight is ENLIGHTENED AND
WE ALL TOO OFTEN MISS THE TRUTH DUE TO OUR OWN AWARE.
WARPED PERCEPTION AND BELIEF. ✳ ”… they took away the stone … (our Lord) Jesus lifted up
 St Lazaros did indeed live again for OUR LORD JESUS IS His Eyes and said: “O Father, I thank Thee that
TRULY THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE. Thou hast heard Me… I know that Thou always
 BY LIVING IN CHRIST because we believe – we know - He hears Me, but because of the people … I say this,
is our Almighty Lord God, WE ARE GRANTED so that they may believe that Thou sent Me…”
IMMORTALITY – ETERNAL LIFE.  HE PRAYED ALOUD FOR THE SAKE THE WITNESSES WHO WOULD
 Life in Christ means APPLYING ALL HIS DIVINE TRUTH TO TESTIFY TO OTHERS.
OUR THOUGHTS, WORDS AND DEEDS, which requires our  HEARING HIS PRAYER THEY WOULD NOW KNOW THAT OUR LORD
concerted Struggles and Strivings. JESUS CHRIST’S WILL WAS ONE WITH GOD THE FATHER and
 To correct St Martha’s lack of perception, OUR LORD that HIS WILL WAS FREELY , HUMBLY AND OBEDIENTLY
DECLARED HIS DIVINE AUTHORITY TO RESURRECT all those SUBJECT IN EVERY WAY TO OUR HEAVENLY FATHER’S WILL.
who Reposed on the Eighth Day, as well as here in ✳ “…He cried with a loud Voice: “Lazaros! Come forth!”
this world. And he who had died came out, bound hand and
 CHRIST ADDRESSES THE QUESTION OF BELIEF TO EACH AND foot with grave-cloths, and his face was wrapped
EVERY ONE OF US, which we should closely with a cloth….”
contemplate.  OUR DIVINE REDEEMER CALLED ST LAZAROS BACK TO LIFE BY
✳ “…I believe that Thou art the Christ – the Son of God HIS OWN DIVINE WILL AND POWER – not in the Name of
Who is to come into the world…” our Heavenly Father nor by the Power of the Holy
 THE IMPACT OF HIS DIVINE WORDS LED ST MARTHA TO THIS Spirit.
CONFESSION of her Faith in Christ.  This proves that although OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST was
✳ “…(St Martha) secretly called … her sister… she quickly sent by God the Father, He ALSO FULLY POSSESSES
arose and went to Him… in the place where DIVINE AUTHORITY AND POWER, being the Second
Martha had met Him...” Person of the Holy Trinity and thus CO-EQUAL IN ALL
 AGAIN, ST MARTHA TRIED NOT TO ATTRACT THE ATTENTION OF DIVINE ATTRIBUTES as the other two Persons of the
ALL THE OTHER MOURNERS when she informed St Mary Holy Trinity.
that our Lord awaited her.  ST LAZAROS EMERGED from his tomb still BOUND IN HIS
 ST MARY OF BETHESDA went to Christ and, falling down BURIAL WRAPPINGS – indicating that HE WOULD LATER
before him, she made USED THE SAME WORDS AS ST NEED THEM AGAIN when he eventually Reposed.
MARTHA: “Lord, if Thou had been here...”  OUR DIVINE SAVIOUR’S BURIAL CLOTHS WOULD BE FOUND TO BE
 While our Lord consoled St Martha with words, HE USED EMPTY AND ABANDONED IN HIS TOMB, while His inner
DEEDS TO COMFORT ST MARY. Face Cloth was neatly folded and left with His
✳ “ … When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Judeans Image mystically imprinted upon it – “Not Made by
who had come with her, weeping, He groaned in Hands.”
Spirit and was troubled …”  Unlike the Divine Resuscitation of St Lazaros, THE
 The exasperation of our Lord is quite understandable, GLORIOUS RESURRECTION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
for His People had still not grasped the Reality of TRANSFIGURED OUR HUMAN NATURE, which He had
His Divine Truth, and His Public Ministry was assumed at His Incarnation, and thus - in His
coming to an end. human Nature as Son of Man - He would never die
✳ “… Jesus wept…” is THE SHORTEST SENTENCE in the Holy again.
Gospel.  This Seventh Sign – the Raising of St Lazaros – not only
 His frustration and sorrow demonstrated the depth of PREPARED OUR LORD’S APOSTLES AND DISCIPLES TO
HIS FULLY HUMAN NATURE, which SUBJECTED HIM TO ALL BELIEVE IN HIS RESURRECTION but also “... CONFIRMED
OUR EMOTIONS. THE UNIVERSAL RESURRECTION...” OF ALL MANKIND,
 Weeping is our natural response to sadness or thereby proving that OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, the
tragedy, and clearly SHOWED HIS OWN PERSONAL Incarnate, Eternal Word and Son of God, HAS THE
HEARTACHE, COMPASSION AND SORROW FOR HIS BELOVED POWER TO FULFIL THE DIVINE PROMISE GIVEN TO ST
FRIENDS – and indeed, for all mankind. EZEKIEL that all those who had died will one day
 “Shedding tears by Thy own choice, Thou hast granted rise again. (EZEKIEL 37:1–14)
us proof of Thy heartfelt Love…” (COMPLINE HYMN)  According to St Ambrose of Milan: “… Great is the
✳ “…Jesus said: “Take away the stone.” Martha…said …: Loving-Kindness of our Lord, that the Divine Prophet
“Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has is … Witness of the Future Resurrection so that we,
been dead four days!”…” too, might see it… the Operations of the Spirit of Life
 Although the Faith of St Martha had deepened, SHE again resumed… the dead are raised from the
STILL DID NOT FULLY COMPREHEND THE DIVINE WILL AND opened tombs… he who has believed that the dead
POWER OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. shall rise again ‘… in a moment… at the last trump
 SO MANY OF US, UPON HEARING DIVINE TRUTH, WILL TRY TO (for the Trumpet shall sound) … shall be caught up
ARGUE AGAINST IT because WE LACK FAITH IN GOD AND among the First in the Clouds to meet Christ in the
DO NOT FULLY COMPREHEND HIS INFINITE DIVINE POWER. air.’ But he who has not believed shall be left, and
 When WE INSIST ON OUR OWN LIMITED AND FLAWED subject himself to the Sentence of his own unbelief!”
PERCEPTIONS INSTEAD OF ACCEPTING DIVINE TRUTH, it  St Ireneaus commented: “…our Creator is …
also reveals A LACK OF HUMILITY AND OBEDIENCE to the represented as vivifying our dead bodies and
Divine Will of our Heavenly Father. promising Resurrect to them …conferring upon
 THE SPICES AND OILS (MYRRH) used to anoint the Reposed them immortality, He is shown to be the only God
ONLY DISGUISED THE STENCH of decomposition for a Who accomplishes these Things… conferring Life
very short time. upon those who have no life from themselves…”

S ATU RD AY O F T HE R AISING O F S T L AZAR OS 9


Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa
Archdiocese of Good Hope
All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever, and
unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most Blessed and Glorious
Lady, Maria, Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together with all the Saints. And let us commit ourselves and one
another and our whole Life to Christ our God. Amen.
TONE 2 12 APRIL 2020

42ND SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST


10TH SUNDAY OF TRIODION
PALM SUNDAY – THE TRIUMPHANT ENTRY INTO JERUSALEM OF OUR LORD

The Feast of St Basil the Confessor, Bishop of Parium – St Zeno, Bishop of Verona – St Isaac the Syrian,
Abbot of Spoleto Monastery – St Menas, St David & St John Monk-Martyrs of Palestine – St Anthousa of
Constantinople – St Athanasia, Abbes of Aegina – St Akakios the Younger of Mount Athos – The Holy
Icon of our Lady, Theotokos, of Murom – The Holy Icon of our Lady, Theotokos, of Belynich

F E STAL M ATINS – G OSPEL M ATTHE W 21:1–11 & 15-17


At that time, when they drew near Jerusalem, and came to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two Disciples,
saying to them: “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with
her. Loosen then and bring them to Me. And if anyone says anything to you, you shall say: “The Lord has need
of them,’ and immediately he will send them.”
All this was done so that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Prophet, saying: “Tell the daughter of Zion,
‘Behold, Thy King is coming to you, lowly, and sitting on a donkey, a colt, a foal of a donkey.” So the Disciples went
and did as Jesus commanded them. They brought the donkey and the colt, laid their clothes on them, and set Him
on them. A very great multitude spread their clothes upon the road; others cut down branches from the trees and
spread them upon the road. The multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: “Hosanna
to the Son of David! Blessed is He Who comes in the Name of the Lord! Hosanna in the Highest!”
And when He had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying: “Who is this?” So the multitudes said: “This is
Jesus, the Prophet from Nazareth of Galilee!” But when the Chief Priests and Scribes saw the wonderful things that
He did, and the children crying out in the Temple and saying: “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant,
and said to Him: “Dost Thou hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them: “Yes. Have you never read: “Out
of the mouth of babes and nursing infants Thou hast Perfected Praise”? And He left them and went out of the city
to Bethany, and He lodged there.
P R OKE IME NON – P SALM 117 – T ONE 4
Blessed is He Who comes in the Name of our Lord!
Give Thanks to our Lord, for He is Good – for His Mercy endureth forever!
T H E EP ISTLE OF S T P AUL TO TH E P H IL IP P IANS 4 : 4 – 9
Brethren: Rejoice in the Lord always! Again, I say: Rejoice! Let all men know your Forbearance. Our Lord is at hand.
Do not be anxious about anything but in everything by Prayer and Supplication, with Thanksgiving; let your
requests be made known to God. And the Peace of God, which surpasses all Understanding, will keep your heart
and mind in Christ Jesus.
Finally, Brethren: whatever is True, whatever is Honourable, whatever is Just, whatever is Pure, whatever is Lovely,
whatever is Gracious – if there is any Excellence, if there is anything worthy of Praise, think of these Things.
What you have learnt and received and heard and seen in me – do. And the God of Peace will be with you.
✳ “…Rejoice in the Lord always! Again, I say: Rejoice!...” UTTER FAITH IN THE WILL OF GOD, Who alone knows
 St Paul repeatedly urged us to REJOICE IN OUR TRUE what is best for us – what we really need.
FAITH – especially when WE PRAY AND DRAW CLOSE TO ✳ “…the Peace of God, which surpasses all
HIS DIVINE PRESENCE. Understanding, will keep your heart and mind in
 The ability to always Rejoice is THE SPIRITUAL FRUIT OF Christ Jesus...”
PERSEVERANCE in our ceaseless, daily Prayers.  By laying everything before our Lord God, TRUSTING IN
 1 THESSALONIANS 5: 16-18 “… Rejoice always, pray without HIS INFINITE WISDOM AND GREAT MERCY, WE CAN FOCUS
ceasing, in everything give Thanks, for this is the ON OUR STRUGGLES AND STRIVINGS – attend to our Life
Will of God in Christ Jesus for you…” in Christ.
✳ “… Our Lord is at hand…”  This does not imply that we can neglect our worldly
 We cope with the daily pressures of life by having duties and responsibilities, but rather that WE MUST
FAITH IN THE DIVINE PROVIDENCE AND GREAT MERCY OF FULFIL THEM ACCORDING TO CHRIST’S TEACHINGS AND
OUR LORD GOD WHO IS OMNIPRESENT – ever present COMMANDMENTS.
with us. ✳ “…whatever is True… Honourable, … Just, … Pure, …
✳ “…Do not be anxious about anything but in everything Lovely, … Gracious – … any Excellence, …
by Prayer and Supplication, with Thanksgiving; let anything worthy of Praise, think of these Things…”
your requests be made known to God…”  These are EIGHT RIGHTEOUS ATTRIBUTES WORTHY OF
 STEADFAST FAITH IN GOD PREVENTS US FROM BECOMING FAITHFUL DISCIPLES OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, who
WORRIED OR ANXIOUS about matters that are beyond hope to become Citizens and Co-Heirs of our
our control, for we REST ASSURED IN THE WILL AND LOVE Heavenly Father’s Eternal Kingdom of Love.
OF OUR GOD OUR HEAVENLY FATHER.  These are THE SPIRITUAL FRUITS OF HOLY VIRTUE that we
 With constant Prayers, Thanksgiving, Meditation, Strive to acquire in our Sacred Quest for Spiritual
Contemplation and by imitating those who are Perfection – in the Likeness of our Lord Jesus
Godly and Righteous, we can ACQUIRE THE HOLY Christ.
VIRTUES THAT LEAD TO OUR SPIRITUAL PERFECTION. ✳ “…What you have learnt … received … heard and seen
 We THANK GOD FOR EVERYTHING - GOOD OR BAD – because in me – do. And the God of Peace will be with
WITHOUT ADVERSITY OR FAILURE, WE LEARN NOTHING and you…”
make no Spiritual Progress.  St Paul wanted all Christ’s Faithful Disciples TO
 ADVERSITY DRAWS US CLOSER TO GOD, Spiritually EXPERIENCE, TO ENCOUNTER AND TO SUSTAIN THE DIVINE
Strengthening us. PRESENCE OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST WHO TRANSFORMS
 OUR PRAYERS AND SUPPLICATIONS TO GOD MUST BE OFFERED US – often in spite of our habitual inclinations and
without ‘bargaining’ nor expectation, but only WITH weaknesses.

10 42 N D
S U ND AY A FTER P E NTEC OST – 10 T H
OF TR IODION – P ALM S U ND AY 12 A PR IL 2020
 WHEN WE ARE TRULY ENLIGHTENED BY DIVINE TRUTH THROUGH ONLY WISH IS FOR OUR BRETHREN TO EXPERIENCE THE
A PERSONAL ENCOUNTER OR INTENSE SPIRITUAL MARVELLOUS WONDER OF IT ALL.
EXPERIENCES, WE ARE TRANSFORMED FOREVER, and
being FILLED WITH DIVINE LOVE, PEACE AND JOY, OUR
T H E H OLY G OSPEL ACCO RD ING T O S T JO H N 12: 1 – 18
At that time, six days before the Passover, our Lord Jesus went to Bethany, where Lazaros was who had been dead and
whom He had raised from the dead. There they made Him a supper; and Martha served but Lazaros was one of
those who sat at the table with Him. Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the Feet of Jesus
and wiped Them with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil. And one of His Disciples -
Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, who would betray Him - said: “Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred
denarii and given to the poor?” This he said - not that he cared for the poor - but because he was a thief, and had
the money box; and he used to take what was put in it. Jesus said: “Leave her alone; she has kept this for the Day
of My Burial. For the poor you have with you always, but Me you do not have always.”
Now a great many of the Judeans knew that He was there; and they came - not for Jesus’ sake only - but so that they
might also see Lazaros whom He had raised from the dead. However, the Chief Priests plotted to put Lazaros to
death also, because on account of him, many of the Judeans had gone away and believed in Jesus.
The next day a great multitude who had gone to the Feast - when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem -
took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, crying out: “Hosanna! Blessed is He Who comes in the Name
of the Lord! The King of Israel!” And Jesus - when He had found a young donkey - sat upon it, as it is written: “Fear
not, Daughter of Zion; behold, your King is coming, sitting upon a donkey’s colt.”
His Disciples did not understand these things at first; but when Jesus was Glorified, then they remembered that these
things were written about Him and that they had done these things to Him. Therefore, those who were with Him
when He called Lazaros out of his tomb, and Raised him from the dead, bore witness. For that reason the people
also met Him because they heard that He had done that Sign.
✳ “…six days before the Passover, our Lord Jesus went to FOR JUDAS ISCARIOT TO STRUGGLE AGAINST HIS GRIEVOUS
Bethany, where Lazaros was … whom He had PASSIONS AND BE SAVED:
raised from the dead…” 1. Our Divine Saviour FULFILLED JUDAS ISCARIOT’S LUST FOR
 THIS PASSOVER/PASCHA IS THE THIRD MENTIONED BY ST JOHN, MONEY,
which was the setting for THE LAST WEEK OF OUR LORD 2. He ALLOWED HIM TO EXERCISE APOSTOLIC AUTHORITY, (MARK
JESUS CHRIST’S EARTHLY MINISTRY, which is narrated 6:7)
in careful detail. 3. He WASHED HIS FEET together with those of His other
 OUR DIVINE SAVIOUR HAD ALREADY BEEN GLORIFIED THROUGH Faithful Apostles, (JOHN 13:5)
HIS SIGNS (Divine Miracles) AND WORDS (Divine 4. HE ALLOWED HIM TO PARTAKE OF THE MYSTICAL SUPPER. (JOHN
Truth.) 6:11)
 Subsequently, HE WAS ALSO GLORIFIED THROUGH HIS  YET JUDAS ISCARIOT NEITHER RESISTED NOR OVERCAME HIS
SALVIFIC DEATH AND RESURRECTION. GRIEVOUS PASSIONS, and suffered the dire
 AS GOD AND MAN IN ONE PERSON, CHRIST OUR LORD POURED consequences forever. (JOHN 13:26)
HIS DIVINITY INTO ALL HUMAN NATURE, for ANYTHING NOT  According to St John Chrysostom, the Apostles were
ASSUMED BY HIM IN HIS INCARNATION, WOULD NOT HAVE not wrong in principle for MERCY SHOWN TO THE POOR
BEEN HEALED AND SAVED. AND NEEDY IS MORE FITTING THAN OUTWARD WORDS AND
✳ “…Martha served … Lazaros … sat at the table with DEEDS shown even to God.
Him. Mary took a pound of very costly oil of  TO SEE OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST IN OTHERS IS THE FULFILMENT
spikenard, anointed the Feet of Jesus and wiped OF HIS GOLDEN COMMANDMENT OF LOVE for God and
Them with her hair. And the house was filled with for each other. (MATTHEW 25:40)
the fragrance of the oil….”  We are Commanded and Taught to LOVE EACH OTHER AS
 While St Martha of Bethany took care of the supper, St BEING OF THE SAME HUMAN NATURE for WE ARE ALL
Lazaros sat speaking with Christ and His Apostles CREATED IN THE IMAGE AND LIKENESS OF GOD, and thus
at the table, ST MARY EXPRESSED HER HUMILITY AND WE DISCOVER OUR TRUE SELF when we acquire
DEVOTION TO CHRIST BY ANOINTING HIM with “… very unconditional Love for one another. (MATTHEW 22:39)
costly spikenard…” and used her hair to dry His  The relationship between FAITH AND WORKS CONSISTS OF
Feet. 1. MASTERY OVER SPEECH, for whatever comes out of our
 ST MARY OF BETHANY IS OFTEN ERRONEOUSLY CONFUSED WITH mouth flows from our heart and thus our words
ANOTHER WOMAN who had washed Christ’s Feet with and deeds will REVEAL THE QUALITY OF OUR FAITH IN
her tears and dried them with her hair – GOD.
expressing her Love and Gratitude for His Great 2. MINISTRY TO THE POOR AND NEEDY, for as Disciples of Christ
Mercy. (MATTHEW 26: 6 – 13) we ought to be the GUARDIANS AND PROTECTORS OF THE
 OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST ACCEPTED THEIR ACTS OF LOVE, IMPOVERISHED, DESTITUTE AND VULNERABLE – especially
DEVOTION AND WORSHIP AS EXPRESSIONS OF THEIR for those who have no guardians to protect and
PROFOUND FAITH AND LOVE, as well as SIGNIFYING HIS care for them.
FORTHCOMING DEATH AND BURIAL. 3. MORAL PURITY IN THOUGHT AND DEED for this AN IMPORTANT
Spikenard was an extremely costly perfumed ointment that INDICATOR OF OUR WORKING FAITH. “… let us hasten to
was highly valued in ancient times. It is also known as wash away through Fasting the filth of our
‘nard,’ ‘nardin,’ and ‘muskroot,’ and is a class of aromatic transgressions, and through the Acts of Mercy and
amber-coloured essential oil derived from Nardostachys Compassion to the needy, let us enter the Bridal
Jatamansi, a flowering plant of the Valerian family, which Chamber of the Bridegroom, Christ Who grants us
grows in the Himalayas of Nepal, China, and India. His Great Mercy.” (TRIODION VESPERS) (JAMES 1 : 27)
The essential oil is extracted from the rhizomes, or stem of  DRIVEN BY HIS OWN INITIATIVE, JUDAS ISCARIOT SOUGHT TO
the plant. It has a sweet, woody and spicy fragrance, BETRAY OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST and although his
similar to moss. motives have been debated, our Holy Fathers and
✳ “…Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, who would betray Him - according to our Liturgical Hymns, HIS PRIMARY
said: “Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three MOTIVE WAS GREED.
hundred denarii and given to the poor?” This he  THE DEPTH AND EXTENT OF JUDAS ISCARIOT’S BETRAYAL IS ALL
said - not that he cared for the poor - but because THE MORE SHOCKING SINCE HE WAS ONE OF OUR LORD’S
he was a thief, and had the money box; and he CLOSEST DISCIPLES. (MATTHEW 26: 14 – 16)
used to take what was put in it…” ✳ “…the poor you have with you always, but Me you do
 ALTHOUGH THE OTHER DISCIPLES HAD VOICED SIMILAR not have always…”
CONCERNS, THEY HAD VERY DIFFERENT MOTIVES, for JUDAS  The poor, destitute and needy are always with us and
ISCARIOT WAS DRIVEN BY GREED, whereas THEIR thus we are required to help whenever and
INTENTIONS WERE VIRTUOUS AND CHARITABLE. however we can.
 The fact that our Lord put a thief in charge of their  OUR ACTS OF CHARITY/LOVE for those in need and to
finances shows how HE PRESENTED EVERY OPPORTUNITY each other – whom we can see - EXPRESS AND
DEMONSTRATE THE DEPTH (OR LACK OF) OUR DEVOTION TO

42 N D
S UND AY AF TE R P ENTEC OST – 10 T H
OF TR IOD ION – P AL M S U ND AY 12 A PR IL 2020 11
GOD Whom we cannot see but Who is ever present, all mankind from the enslavement of sin and
watching, seeing and knowing our thoughts, death.
words and deeds.  CHRIST IS INDEED THE ETERNAL KING OF ISRAEL – the Old
 THE POOR AND NEEDY ARE THE MEANS OF TESTING OUR LOVE and New Covenant Israel – all God’s Faithful
AND FAITH – according to which we shall be judged people.
– Blessed or Condemned.  PSALM 117/118: 26 “…Blessed is He Who comes in the
 GOD IS LOVE, HIS NEW COVENANT IS A COVENANT OF LOVE Name of the Lord. We Blessed Thee from the House
AND HIS ETERNAL KINGDOM IS A KINGDOM OF LOVE, so of the Lord…”
obviously WE REALLY NEED TO ACQUIRE PERFECT LOVE –  THIS INSPIRED PSALM of St David the ancient King of
Agape – in order to become worthy Citizens and Israel EXPRESSES OUR NEED FOR SINCERE THANKSGIVING to
Co-Heirs. our Lord God Who is Good and Whose Mercy is
 OUR LORD REFERRED TO HIS PHYSICAL PRESENCE, WITH WHICH Eternal.
EVERYONE COULD INTERACT, whereas now only those  IT EXPRESSES OUR PROFOUND GRATITUDE TO OUR LORD JESUS
who are in a state of Divine Grace are able to CHRIST FOR HIS SALVATION through His Sufferings,
Experience and Encounter His Divine Presence. Death and Resurrection, which ought to
✳ “…the Chief Priests plotted to put Lazaros to death also, Encourage and Comfort us in all circumstances.
because on account of him, many of the Judeans  It reveals THE EXCEEDING JOY OF HIS GLORIOUS
had gone away and believed in Jesus…” RESURRECTION AND refers to THE ORIGINAL PALM SUNDAY
 THE SPIRITUALLY BLIND AND ARROGANT CHIEF PRIESTS FELT – the Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem of our Lord
THREATENED BY OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST for various Jesus Christ.
reasons. THEY REFUSED TO ACKNOWLEDGE HIM AS THE ✳ “…“Fear not, Daughter of Zion; behold, your King is
GREAT MESSIAH Whom they had awaited for so coming, sitting upon a donkey’s colt…”
many centuries.  ZECHARIAH 9: 9 “… Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion!
 They probably thought their lifestyle would become Proclaim it aloud, O Daughter of Jerusalem! Behold!
defunct and useless because THEY WERE MORE Thy King comes to Thee! He is Righteous and Saving!
CONCERNED ABOUT THEIR WORLDLY STATUS AND He is Gentle, and mounted upon a donkey, even a
POSSESSIONS THAN FULFILLING THE DIVINE WILL OF OUR young foal…”
LORD GOD.  THESE WORDS FORETELL THE TRIUMPHANT ENTRY into
 They failed to understand that THEY WOULD HAVE Jerusalem of our Lord Jesus Christ.
CONTINUED TO GUIDE AND LEAD GOD’S FAITHFUL PEOPLE  St Ambrose of Milan commented: ‘…Rather than
ACCORDING TO HIS NEW COVENANT OF LOVE. riding proudly on a warrior’s chariot in Victory, our
 THEY REJECTED GOD’S WILL in favour of their own selfish Messiah King rides most humbly upon a
desires and ambitions! And even worse, THEY donkey…”
FORCED OTHERS INTO THEIR OWN DISOBEDIENCE AND SIN.  St Justin Martyr pointed out that the ancient Patriarch,
 They failed to realise that THE NEW COVENANT IS THE St “… Jacob predicted that Christ would ride upon
FULFILMENT OF THE OLD COVENANT. an ass, and St Zechariah confirmed it.”
 BY KILLING ST LAZAROS, THEY COULD PERSUADE OTHERS THAT  GENESIS 49:11 “… (to Him shall be the expectation of the
CHRIST NEVER RAISED HIM FROM THE DEAD four days Nations.) Binding His colt to a Vine, and His
later, even while he had already decomposed! donkey’s colt to its Branch…”
✳ “…a great multitude …. heard that Jesus was coming …  He viewed the unharnessed colt as signifying the
took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Gentiles (the pagan non-Judeans) and the
Him…” harnessed donkey symbolising the Faithful
 MANY FAITHFUL JUDEANS WERE READY AND WILLING TO Judeans.
WELCOME OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST AS THEIR GREAT  OUR LORD JESUS IS THE DIVINE ‘GRAPEVINE’ AND WE ARE HIS
MESSIAH Who performed so many Divine Miracles. ‘BRANCHES’ who are expected to bear abundant
 Their great Joy and eager welcoming of Christ into Spiritual Fruit for the Glory and Honour of God.
Jerusalem must have terrified His enemies who ✳ “…His Disciples did not understand these things at first;
became determined to kill Him. but when Jesus was Glorified, then they
 BY WAVING PALM FRONDS AND LAYING DOWN THEIR GARMENTS remembered …”
FOR CHRIST to walk upon, WAS THE TRIUMPHANT  BY THE POWER AND ENERGY OF GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT, OUR
WELCOME USUALLY GRANTED TO A GREAT, POWERFUL AND LORD’S FAITHFUL APOSTLES AND DISCIPLES WERE ABLE TO
VICTORIOUS KING OR MILITARY COMMANDER. FULLY REMEMBER AND COMPREHEND EVERYTHING that
 By their actions THE FAITHFUL FULFILLED THE ANCIENT they had heard, seen and Experienced while
PROPHECIES CONCERNING OUR GREAT SAVIOUR. It also being with our Lord Jesus Christ.
signifies OUR NEED TO LAY DOWN OUR OWN FLESH – OUR  OFTEN IT TAKES A LITTLE LONGER FOR US TO FULLY APPRECIATE
OWN LIFE – FOR OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST. OR UNDERSTAND OUR EXPERIENCES.
 We follow Christ along His Path of Righteousness BY  ONLY BY THE GRACE OF OUR LORD ARE WE ABLE TO
APPLYING ALL HIS DIVINE TRUTH – TEACHINGS AND UNDERSTAND THE SPIRITUAL SIGNIFICANCE of certain
COMMANDMENTS – TO OUR THOUGHTS, WORDS AND DEEDS. Experiences and Knowledge.
 Having “… put on Christ…” when we were Baptised, WE  FAITH AND BELIEF CONCERNS OUR INTELLECT AND OUR SOUL
NEED TO CONTINUE TO “LIVE IN CHRIST,” which requires for no one can make us believe unless our mind
much Struggle and Striving. and soul agree.
✳ “…Hosanna! Blessed is He Who comes in the Name of Our immortal soul, being the very Breath of God,
the Lord! The King of Israel!…” perceives His Divine Truth, unless our selfish, sinful
 “Hosanna!” means “Save us…!” and is used as an and demanding fleshy desires have stifled and
expression of Adoration, Joy and Praise of God. overwhelmed it.
 OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST IS THE ONE WHO COMES IN THE NAME Repentance and the desire for Divine Truth removes our
OF OUR HEAVENLY FATHER Who sent Him to Redeem Spiritual Blindfold so that we can perceive all God’s
Love, Goodness and Mercy unimpeded.
42 N D
S UND AY AF TE R P ENTEC OST – 10 T H
S UNDAY OF T R IOD ION – P ALM S U ND AY
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the On Palm Sunday we all need this reminder as we enter
Holy Spirit… into the Divine Mystery of our Salvation as our Lord
Dearly Beloved in Christ, we intellectual, human beings Jesus Christ approaches His Cross, descent into Hades,
are Blessed with the ability to focus on what is most and Glorious Resurrection.
important. Nothing concerning Holy Week comes naturally or easily
So much of what we do at work or school, for example, to us.
requires that we tune out distractions and focus our We might understand wanting our enemies to suffer, but
mind on the task before us. not freely suffering for their sake. We might
St Paul reminds us that we especially need to focus our understand sanctimonious people judging others with
minds on what is True, Noble, Just, Pure, Lovely, self-righteousness, but not Loving sinners to the point
Virtuous, and Praise worthy. of dying on their behalf. We can understand wanting
our favourite team to win a game or contest, but we

12 42 N D
S U ND AY A FTER P E NTEC OST – 10 T H
OF TR IODION – P ALM S U ND AY 12 A PR IL 2020
cannot understand how True Victory is possible by True than on this Great and Holy Feast Day as we
laying aside all Authority and Power in this world. Joyfully celebrate the Triumphant Entry into
We think we might understand a remote and invisible Jerusalem of our Divine Saviour.
God in Heaven Who could not possibly understand During Holy Week, what had been vaguely understood
how difficult it is to live on Earth, or our Lord Jesus becomes clear; the Truth is out in the open and we
Christ Who was crucified upon a Cross, died, was cannot ignore it any longer.
buried in a tomb, descended into Hades, and then Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Paschal Lamb - the Sacrificial
was Resurrected.t Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world.
There are times when what has been vague and He is our Victorious Champion, our Divine Saviour and
confused becomes bright and clear - when what has our Eternal King, yet in His Humility and Love, the
been hidden is made manifest for all to see. Incarnate Son of God suffers on the Cross as the lowest
Today is one of those times. For our Lord Jesus Christ, of the low in order to bring us to the Heights of Heaven
Who revealed that He is the Resurrection and the Life and the Joy of Life Eternal through His Empty Tomb.
when He raised His friend, St Lazaros, from the dead, During this Great and Holy Week we accompany our
now entered Jerusalem as the long-awaited Messiah Lord Jesus Christ to that Cross, becoming participants
to the welcoming cheers of the crowd. and witnesses to His Passion.
Yet, even before He arrived at Jerusalem, the forces of Like St Lazaros, we sit and eat with Him. Like St Mary of
Darkness had decided to kill Christ because they Bethany, we anoint Him for burial. Like those who
thought that Someone Who could raise the dead was had gathered in Jerusalem, we welcome Him with
a grave threat to their power since He was neither a palm fronds and Joyful Praises and Hymns. Like His
powerful ‘conqueror’ nor a Pharisee-like ‘interpreter’ of Faithful Disciples, we eat the Paschal Supper with
the Law, and the nationalistic religious leaders had Him. Like His Ever Blessed and All Holy Mother, our
no use for a Messiah Who did not serve their own Lady, Theotokos, and the other Faithful Women and St
egotistic, selfish schemes of domination and control. John the Beloved Apostle, we kneel at the foot of His
On Palm Sunday, it becomes clear that our Divine Saviour Cross. Like St Joseph of Arimathea and St Nikodemos,
Who entered Jerusalem so humbly yet triumphantly is we reverently bury Him.
truly “…the Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of And then, in the early hours of next Sunday morning –
the world.” He is “the Paschal Lamb” Whose Death Paschal Sunday - like the stunned Holy Myrrh-bearers
and Resurrection will conquer Death itself. and the incredulous Apostles, we will marvel with
St Mary of Bethany – the Righteous sister of St Lazaros - indescribably Joy at His Resurrection. For what seems
had performed a Prophetic Act when she anointed like complete failure and defeat is truly Absolute
Christ with the same kind of costly ointment (Myrrh) Glorious Triumph and Victory!
that was used to anoint the bodies of the dead. Holy Week is the climax of our Lord Jesus Christ’s earthly
This Great, Divine Messiah, Who was truly Anointed (by Life - and of ours, too. For He goes to the Cross for us;
our Heavenly Father) to Save not only His Chosen He Dies and Rises for our Salvation - to bring us into
People but also all mankind, was rejected by the the Unending Joy of Eternal Life, to defeat our ancient
leaders of the Hebrew Nation, and would be crucified foe.
under the authority of the Roman Empire. So let us all lay aside our usual distractions, excuses, and
However, when He is lifted up upon the Cross, He would obsessions, and enter altogether into the Passion of
draw all who believe in Him – Judean and Gentile, our Lord Jesus Christ by worshipping Him
male and female, rich and poor, slave and free of all communally in the Holy Services throughout this
Nations — to the Eternal Life of a Kingdom that week, as well as with our thoughts, our words, and our
Transcends this material world and our petty divisions deeds.
and prejudices. If – for any justifiable reason - we are unable to attend
Our Lord Jesus Christ does not reign as a military every Holy Service, we can all pray at home, read the
prescribed Holy Scriptures pertaining to this most Holy
conqueror, a politician, nor as a rich, influential
Week, and pay less attention to the world while
member of society, but as a Suffering Servant, a
focusing all the more on God.
slaughtered Lamb, a despised Victim of unjust torture It is the perfect opportunity to sincerely Embrace the
and capital punishment. Great Mystery of our Salvation and of our Saviour’s
The crowds were right on that original Palm Sunday to so infinite Love and Mercy, and thereby Experience a
Joyfully welcome Him as a conquering King in Whom Foretaste of the Blessedness and Joy of the Kingdom of
God’s Promises are fulfilled. Heaven.
Regrettably, however, they misunderstood what kind of During Holy Week we are able to enter into the Divine
King He is and how He Conquers! For He Reigns from Light that shines brightly even from the hideous terror
a Life-giving Holy Cross and an Empty Tomb and of the Cross and the Darkness of the tomb.
instead of killing Roman soldiers, He kills Death by Certainly, our Divine Saviour has endured all these evils
allowing Himself to be killed; in the place of a for us purely out of Love for mankind; yet He Rises
magnificent stallion or golden chariot fit for a King, over them Gloriously and Triumphantly forever!
He is seated upon a humble donkey that would Palm Sunday confirms exactly Who our Lord Jesus Christ
impress no one. is – He is truly the Lamb of God Who takes away the
The crowd rightfully chanted again and again: “Blessed sins of the world.
is He Who comes in the Name of the Lord! The King of How do we respond to Christ our Lord as He goes to the
Israel!” and they shouted “Hosanna!” which is a plea Cross for us? Hopefully, we will all respond with the
for God’s Salvation, which is fulfilled and confirmed Holy Fear of God and with unwavering Faith and
Love, drawing closer to Him and never again
through our Lord’s Death and Glorious Resurrection.
abandoning nor disregarding Him and His Divine
But that was not what the crowds expected, neither,
Truth.
apparently, was it what the Faithful Disciples and This will require our personal commitment, intentional
anyone else anticipated. and determined focus and the discipline necessary to
Our Lord God’s Divine Salvation goes far beyond all our avoid temptations, distractions, and unworthy
preconceived notions of what is actually ‘successful,’ thoughts that are obstacles along our path.
‘Powerful,’ ‘respectable’ ‘Honourable, ‘Victorious’ and Nonetheless, we must “…be anxious for nothing…” and
‘Faithful.’ allow “…the Peace of God, which surpasses all
And our Lord’s Divine Truth continues to be very difficult understanding…[to] guard your hearts and minds
for us to accept and to comprehend, for we are all far through Christ Jesus.”
too much influenced by the world around us - and the “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord, the
demons tempt us all the more bitterly when we Strive king of Israel. Hosanna in the highest!”
to grow closer to Christ. Amen
For all these reasons, we need to follow the advice of St
Paul, who encourages us to focus on what is Truly FATHER PHILIP LEMASTERS
HTTPS://BLOGS.ANCIENTFAITH.COM/EASTERNCHRISTIANINSIGHTS/2013/04/27/HOMIL
Righteous and Holy this week - to Rejoice always, and Y-FOR-PALM-SUNDAY-IN-THE-ORTHODOX-CHURCH/
to “…Let all men know your Forbearance … ” for
indeed, “…our Lord is at hand…” which is never more

42 N D
S UND AY AF TE R P ENTEC OST – 10 T H
OF TR IOD ION – P AL M S U ND AY 12 A PR IL 2020 13
Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa
Archdiocese of Good Hope
All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and
forever, and unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most
Blessed and Glorious Lady, Maria, Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together with all the Saints. And let
us commit ourselves and one another and our whole Life to Christ our God. Amen.
TONE 1 26 APRIL 2020

Christ is Risen!
Truly, He is Risen!
2ND SUNDAY OF HOLY PASCHA
THE BELIEF OF ST THOMAS
The Feast of St Basil, Bishop of Amasea – St Stephen, Enlightener & Bishop of Perm – St
Glaphyra, Virgin Martyr – St Joannikios of Devich, Serbia – 6,000 Holy Martyrs of St David Gareji
Monastery, Georgia - the Holy Icon of our Lady, Theotokos of Mozdok and Dubno-Krasnogorsk

P ASC HAL A P OLYTIKION – T ONE (5) P L AGAL 1

✶ ✞ Hristos Anesti, ek nekron, Thanato thanaton ✶ ✞ Christ is Risen from the dead; By Death trampling
patisas, Ke tis en tis mnimasin, Zoin harisamenos [3] upon death, And has bestowed Life to those in the
tombs. [3]

R ESUR REC TION G OSPEL 1 – M ATTHE W 28 : 16 - 20

P R OKE IME NON – T ONE 3

Great is our Lord, and Great is His Strength.


Praise the Lord, for the Lord is Good; sing unto His Name, for it is Good.
T H E A CTS OF THE AP OSTLE S ACC ORD ING TO S T L U KE 5 : 12 – 20
In those days, many Signs and Wonders were done among the people by the hands of the Apostles. (And they were all
together in Solomon’s Portico.) None of the rest dared join them, but the people held them in high honour.
And more than ever Believers were added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women. They carried out the sick
into the streets, and laid them on beds and pallets, so that as Peter went by, at least his shadow might fall on some
of them. The people also gathered from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing the sick and those afflicted with
unclean spirit, and they were all Healed.
The High Priest rose up, and all who were with him – that is, the party of the Sadducees – and filled with jealousy they
arrested the Apostles and put them in the common prison.
An Angel of the Lord at night opened the prison doors and led them out, saying: “Go and stand in the Temple, and
speak to the people all the Words of this Life.”
✳ THE BOOK OF THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES WAS WRITTEN BY ST were determined to eradicate all who believed in
LUKE THE HOLY APOSTLE OF CHRIST, which was a Christ as our True Messiah, so THEY KEPT THEIR
continuation of his Holy Gospel, recording the DISTANCE FROM THE APOSTLES AND FAITHFUL DISCIPLES
growth and development of the Holy Church of WHO WERE MORE COURAGEOUS.
Christ throughout the known world. ✳ “…more than ever Believers were added to the Lord…”
THESE EVENTS OCCURRED FROM THE DAY OF PENTECOST, WHEN DESPITE FEARS OF THE EVER INCREASING PERSECUTION of
GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT DESCENDED from Heaven TO Christians.
EMPOWER AND ENABLE US TO CONTINUE GOD’S SACRED ✳ “…They carried out the sick into the streets, and laid
MISSION OF ETERNAL SALVATION. them … so that as Peter went by… his shadow
WITHOUT GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT, WE WOULD HAVE SPIRITUALLY might fall on some of them…”
STAGNATED and been unable to acquire the Holy  While many people had great Faith, ST PETER WAS
Virtues and all essential necessities for our GRANTED A PARTICULAR GRACE TO HEAL in order to
Spiritual Perfection. draw people to the Holy Unity of the Church.
✳ “…many Signs and Wonders were done … by the hands  OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST WORKED HIS DIVINE MIRACLES
of the Apostles …” THROUGH HIS FAITHFUL APOSTLES AND CERTAIN OF HIS
 OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST BESTOWED HIS DIVINE AUTHORITY ON DISCIPLES .
HIS FAITHFUL APOSTLES, which Empowered and  OUR LORD GOD WORKS THROUGH HIS PHYSICAL CREATION, for
allowed them to Heal, to Exorcise and to Teach even LIGHT AND SHADOW ARE GRANTED DIVINE POWER
others. according to His Divine Will.
 AFTER PENTECOST AND THE DESCENT OF GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT,  THE DIVINE MIRACLES THAT WERE PERFORMED THROUGH HIS
THEY RECEIVED EVEN GREATER POWER AND ENERGY by FAITHFUL APOSTLES AND DISCIPLES followed those
Divine Grace. performed by our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and
 THE DIVINE POWER AND AUTHORITY OF THE LORD OUR GOD CLEARLY CONFIRM THAT OUR DIVINE SAVIOUR LIVES AND
RESTS IN HIS HOLY, ORTHODOX CHURCH. WORKS THROUGH HIS FAITHFUL DISCIPLES.
  PHYSICAL MATTER, OBJECTS AND PEOPLE ARE SANCTIFIED BY
✳ “…they were all together in Solomon’s Portico…” - a GOD AND BECOME INSTRUMENTS OF GRACE when
colonnade or cloister, which was located on the touched by those who possess great Faith.
Eastern side of the Temple’s Outer Court (women’s  Our Lord God works Miracles through His Saints and
courtyard) in Jerusalem, named in honour of King through created material objects shows that
Solomon, the great King of Israel. CREATION ITSELF IS BEING RENEWED AND SANCTIFIED.
 THE APOSTLES HAD GATHERED TOGETHER AT THE TEMPLE to  NUMBERS 21:8 “… the Lord said to Moses: ‘Make a
pray and to worship communally. serpent… put it on a signal pole… if a serpent
✳ “…None of the rest dared join them, but the people held should bite… when the one bitten looks at it, he
them in high honour…” shall be Healed…” because THE DESTRUCTIVE POWER
Many Disciples of Christ were afraid of being persecuted OF THE VENOM (or sin) WAS ELIMINATED BY GOD.
by the Judean Priests, Pharisees and Scribes who
N D
14 2 S U ND AY OF H OLY P ASCH A – T HE BEL IEF OF S T TH OM AS - 26 A PR IL 2020
 4 KINGS 13 : 21 “… as they were burying a man, they  The “greater Works” refer to CHRIST WORKING THROUGH
beheld a … band of raiders, and cast (his body) into HIS FAITHFUL DISCIPLES AFTER PENTECOST, BY THE POWER
the tomb of Elisha. When (it) touched the bones of AND ENERGY OF GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT, which He
Elisha, he revived and stood up…” which is why we regarded as being ‘greater’ than the Divine
respect the mortal relics of those who Reposed in Miracles He performed while physically in our
God, for BEING SANCTIFIED BY GOD, INNUMERABLE DIVINE midst.
MIRACLES HAVE OCCURRED THROUGH CONTACT WITH  These greater Deeds are attested to by St Luke in his
THEM. Book of the Acts of the Apostles, which included
 As St Cyril pointed out: “… if a dead man is raised to life THE SPREADING OF GOD’S DIVINE TRUTH – HIS HOLY
by touching the bones of St Elisha, is it not much GOSPEL – THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE WORLD, MIRACULOUS
easier (or more likely) for our Creator to be Raised HEALINGS AND EVEN THE RAISING OF THE DEAD.
 ALL DIVINE MIRACLES ARE not possible through any
(Resurrected) by the Power of our Heavenly
human effort or power, but ONLY BY THE DIVINE
Father?...”
POWER AND AUTHORITY OF ALMIGHTY GOD.
 MARK 6 : 12 “…they went out and preached that the
 These Divine Miracles show that HE LIVES AND WORKS
people should Repent. And they cast out many
THROUGH HIS FAITHFUL DISCIPLES.
demons… Anointed… many who were sick and
✳ “…The High Priest rose up, and all who were with him …
Healed them…”
filled with jealousy … arrested the Apostles and
 ANOINTING WITH BLESSED AND SANCTIFIED OIL (Holy Unction)
put them in the common prison…”
has not only MEDICINAL VALUE – HEALING POWER – but  THE HIGH PRIEST AND THE SADDUCEES WERE SPIRITUALLY
also Sacramental Value – SPIRITUAL POWER - for it is BLIND, ARROGANT AND SELF-RIGHTEOUS, like the Scribes
SANCTIFIED AND EMPOWERED BY GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT
and the Pharisees.
THROUGH THE HOLY MYSTERY OF UNCTION, IN THE NAME
 Being socially influential and powerful, THEY
OF OUR TRIUNE LORD GOD.
INSTIGATED THE PERSECUTION OF THE DISCIPLES OF CHRIST
 Thus THE ELEMENT OF THE CREATED, MATERIAL olive oil that BECAUSE THEY REJECTED GOD’S NEW COVENANT OF LOVE.
is used in the Holy Mystery of Unction, IS THE MEANS  THEIR FEAR AND HATRED REVEALED THE DEPTH OF THEIR
OF GOD’S GREAT MERCY AND HEALING, WHEN SANCTIFIED
SPIRITUAL BLINDNESS AND IGNORANCE concerning our
AND EMPOWERED BY GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT.
Divine Messiah and His Eternal New Covenant.
 LUKE 8 : 46 – 48 While on His Way to the house of Jairus,  The fact that the High Priest and their supporters were
the hem of our Lord’s garment was touched by St
“… filled with jealousy…” and willing to persecute –
Veronica who had suffered a haemorrhaging even unto death - their own people who were truly
affliction for twelve years. Immediately our Lord Faithful to God, exposes THE IMPERFECTION AND
“…Jesus said: ‘Who touched Me? For I perceived ERRORS OF THEIR PRACTISES AND INTERPRETATION OF
Power going out from Me.” GOD’S WILL AND TEACHINGS.
 Our Lord had not simply meant a physical touch or
 Although the Apostles and Disciples were imprisoned,
contact but rather ST VERONICA’S PROFOUND FAITH IN
THEY CONTINUED TO SHARE OUR LORD’S DIVINE TRUTH AND
HIM – her utter confidence that He alone could
LOVE WITH SO MANY OTHERS.
Heal her.
 THEIR COURAGE, FORTITUDE AND FAITH INSPIRED OTHERS who
 Just as “… the Temple Sanctifies the gold…” so, too,
sought Divine Truth in the darkness of sin, misery,
CREATED MATTER IS DIVINELY SANCTIFIED BY CHRIST,
corruption and adversity that surrounded and
which is why even contact with the hem of His
overwhelmed them.
garment had the Power to Heal her.
 As St Paul pointed out, DIVINE TRUTH CANNOT BE CHAINED,
 Consequently, WHEN WE TOUCH OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST IMPRISONED NOR SILENCED.
THROUGH HIS HOLY ICONS AND THROUGH HIS HOLY
✳ “…An Angel of the Lord … opened the prison doors and
MYSTERIES - the Sanctified elements of the oil of
led them out, saying: “… stand in the Temple, and
Holy Unction, the water of Holy Baptism and the
speak to the people all the Words of this Life.”
bread and wine that become His actual Body and
 Angels are INVISIBLE, BODILESS (INCORPOREAL)
Blood in the Holy Eucharist – WE RECEIVE THE HEALING
INTELLECTUAL BEINGS who were CREATED BY GOD
AND SANCTIFYING DIVINE POWER OF OUR LORD JESUS
BEFORE HIS CREATION OF THE VISIBLE, PHYSICAL AND
CHRIST HIMSELF.
MATERIAL UNIVERSE.
 JOHN 9 : 6 – 7 Concerning the Divine Miracle of the
 Angels are the MESSENGERS OF GOD who Obediently
man born without eyes, our Lord Jesus Christ “… and most Faithfully serve and fulfil His Divine Will
spat on the ground… made clay with the saliva, and in all circumstances.
Anointed the eyes (the empty sockets) of the blind  They act as OUR INTERCESSORS, GUARDIAN ANGELS,
man…” SPIRITUAL GUIDES AND HOLY PROTECTORS.
 St Irenaeus believed that THE MIXTURE OF CLAY AND THE  There are Nine Orders of Angelic Hosts: ANGELS,
DIVINE SALIVA OF CHRIST WAS SIMILAR TO THE CREATION ARCHANGELS, POWERS, AUTHORITIES, PRINCIPALITIES,
OF MANKIND . DOMINIONS, THRONES, CHERUBIM AND SERAPHIM, each of
 It also REVEALED THE DIVINE, CREATIVE NATURE OF OUR LORD whom serve a particular Divine Purpose.
JESUS WHO RESTORED ONE OF HIS CREATED BEINGS by  Angels not only Guide and Protect us but can also FREE
using THE SAME EARTHLY, MATERIAL ELEMENT of clay US FROM PHYSICAL AND SPIRITUAL IMPRISONMENT AND
WHEREBY HE HAD ORIGINALLY CREATED US.
BONDS.
 GENESIS 2:7 “… then God formed man out of clay from  ACCORDING TO THE WILL OF GOD, HIS ANGEL ALSO
the ground, and Breathed in his face the Breath of INSTRUCTED THE APOSTLES TO CONTINUE THEIR SACRED
Life, and man became a living soul…” MISSION by speaking to His Faithful people AT THE
 THE BREATH OF LIFE IS THE DIVINE GRACE OF GOD THE HOLY TEMPLE of Jerusalem where great multitudes
SPIRIT, THE GIVER OF LIFE. gathered.
 Therefore, mankind is a living soul because we are  ACTS 12: 1 – 11 - On another occasion AN ANGEL OF GOD
CREATED WITH A MORTAL BODY, AN IMMORTAL SOUL AND ALSO FREED ST PETER FROM HIS CHAINS AND LED HIM OUT
DIVINE GRACE. OF A VERY SECURED PRISON despite having been
 AFTER HIS RESURRECTION, OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST ALSO chained and guarded by soldiers deep within a
BREATHED UPON HIS DISCIPLES and said: “Receive the military stronghold.
Holy Spirit,” for MANKIND FAILED TO KEEP THE DIVINE  THE INTERACTION OF OUR LORD GOD’S HOLY ANGELS AND HIS
GRACE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, but through His Glorious PEOPLE SEEMED ALMOST NATURAL to the early Apostles
Resurrection, OUR DIVINE SAVIOUR ABUNDANTLY GRANTS and Disciples of our Lord.
HIS FAITHFUL DISCIPLES THE LIFE-GIVING DIVINE GRACE of  MATTHEW 28: 2 – 7 - THE ANGEL AT THE EMPTY TOMB of our
God the Holy Spirit. Resurrected Lord Jesus Christ WAS THE FIRST TO
 It is our Most Sacred Responsibility to LIVE BY HIS DIVINE ANNOUNCE “He is Risen!”
GRACE.  HE THEN INSTRUCTED THE SHOCKED HOLY MYRRH-BEARERS TO
 JOHN 14:12 “… he who believes in Me, the Works that I ANNOUNCE THE GREATEST OF ALL GOOD TIDINGS to the
do, he will do also – and greater Works than these other Holy Apostles and Faithful Disciples.
will he do, because I go to My Father…”

2 N D
S U ND AY OF P ASC H A – A NTIP ASC H A – BEL IE F OF S T T H OM AS –26 APR IL 2020 15.
T H E H OLY G OSPEL ACCO RD ING TO S T J OH N 20 : 19 – 31
On the evening of that day – the first day of the week – the doors being shut where the Disciples were, for fear of the
Judeans, Jesus came and stood among them, and said to them: “Peace be with you!” And when He had said this,
He showed them His Hands and His Side.
The Disciples were glad when they beheld our Lord.
Jesus said to them again: “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent Me, even so, I send you.” And having said this,
He breathed on them, and said to them: “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven.
If you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”
Thomas – one of the Twelve, who was called “the Twin” – was not with them when Jesus had Appeared. The other
Disciples told him: “We have seen our Lord!” He said to them: “Unless I see in His Wrists the imprint of the nails, and
place my finger in the marks of the nails, and place my hand in His Side, I will not believe!”
And eight days later, His Disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. The doors were shut, but Jesus
came, and stood amidst them, and said: “Peace be with you!” To Thomas He said: “Put thy finger here, and see
My Wrists; and stretch forth thy hand, and place it in My Side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe!” And
answering, Thomas said to Him: “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him: “Thou hast believed because thou hast
seen Me. Blessed are those who have not seen, yet believe!”
Many other Signs were done by Jesus in the presence of His Disciples, which are not written in this book. These are
written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ – the Son of God – and that believing, you may have Life in
His Name.
✳ This is ONE OF THE ELEVEN DIVINE APPEARANCES OF OUR  To be an “Apostle” means one is SENT BY OUR LORD GOD
RESURRECTED LORD and Saviour, Jesus Christ, to His TO SERVE AND FULFIL HIS DIVINE WILL FOR THE SALVATION
Faithful Holy Apostles and Disciples. OF ALL MANKIND.
✳ “…the first day of the week…” is Sunday.. ✳ “…He breathed on them, and said … “Receive the Holy
 Sunday is referred to as “ the Lord’s Day” because WE Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are
ALWAYS CELEBRATE HIS GLORIOUS RESURRECTION and forgiven. If you retain the sins of any, they are
DEDICATE THE ENTIRE DAY TO WORSHIP AND GOOD WORKS retained…”
that GLORIFY AND HONOUR HIM.  GOD BESTOWS HIS DIVINE AUTHORITY AND POWER to forgive
✳ “…the doors being shut where the Disciples were, for or retain the sins of those who Repented or failed
fear of the Judeans… ” to Repent their sins BY BREATHING UPON THEM –
 The Apostles and Disciples GATHERED TOGETHER IN A enabling them TO WORK TOGETHER BY THE POWER AND
SECURE LOCATION to pray and worship. ENERGY OF GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT Who would be with
 The doors and windows were tightly shut so that NO us forever.
ONE COULD SUDDENLY ENTER.  THIS IS SIMILAR TO WHEN HE BREATHED THE LIFE-GIVING SPIRIT
 THE JUDEAN AUTHORITIES HAD INSTIGATED SEVERE INTO ADAM AT OUR ORIGINAL CREATION. Had he
PERSECUTION OF CHRIST’S FAITHFUL in the erroneous remained Obedient to the Will of God, he and Eve
belief that they were blasphemers who were to be would have become Spiritually Perfected without
stoned to death. the pain and sorrow of our sinful inclinations
 Although THE JUDEANS HAD NO AUTHORITY to execute caused by pride and disobedience.
anyone, THEY USED THE AUTHORITY AND POWER OF THE At the beginning of the Holy Mystery of Baptism, the Priest
ROMAN EMPIRE to do so – usually with false blows upon the Candidate in the form of a Cross, in
accusations against their victims. imitation of our Lord on this Occasion, so that as His
✳ Our Resurrected Lord “…Jesus came and stood among Faithful Disciple, we can receive God the Holy Spirit Who
them, and said to them: “Peace be with you!” And Empowers and Enables us to fulfil the Will of our
… He showed them His Hands and His Side….” Heavenly Father.
 OUR RESURRECTED LORD IS ABLE TO APPEAR WHEREVER HE At the moment of each conception, God Breathes Life into the
WILLS, for He is UNRESTRICTED BY TIME AND SPACE. dividing cells that form a new infant.
Scientists have actually seen a Mysterious flash of Light at
 HIS APPEARANCE MIGHT HAVE BEEN DIFFERENT, which is why
that very moment of conception, proving that life truly
HE ALWAYS CLEARLY IDENTIFIES HIMSELF, and why HIS
begins at conception – and not at birth as some try to
MOST FAITHFUL APOSTLES FAILED TO RECOGNISE HIM justify the brutal murder of developing babies in the
when they first Encountered Him after His womb.
Resurrection.
 OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST’S DIVINE POWER AND AUTHORITY IS
 THE WORDS OF HIS GREETING ARE USED THROUGHOUT ALL OUR
PASSED THROUGH THE UNBROKEN “APOSTOLIC SUCCESSION”
HOLY SERVICES. Our Priests say: “Peace be with you”
onto the Successors of His Holy Apostles - to all
to which and we respond “And with Thy spirit.”
Bishops and Priests throughout the centuries -
 OUR LORD INVITED HIS APOSTLES TO EXAMINE THE WOUNDS IN
DURING THE HOLY MYSTERY OF ORDINATION.
HIS WRISTS, which were caused by His Crucifixion
✳ “…Thomas – one of the Twelve, who was called “the
and the piercing Wound IN HIS SIDE between His
Twin” – was not with them…”
fifth and six Ribs caused by a Centurion’s spear -
 ST THOMAS WAS ONE OF THE TWELVE APOSTLES OF CHRIST
to prove that He had died.
whom He had CHOSEN AND SENT FORTH TO CONTINUE
The word interpreted as “Hands” actually refers to the wrists, HIS SALVIFIC MISSION.
through which the crucified were nailed to their cross bars.
 OUR LORD HAD NICK-NAMED HIM “DIDYMOS” - “THE TWIN” –
This made it possible to support the full weight of the body for a
BECAUSE HE WAS “DOUBLE-MINDED” - HE ALWAYS EXAMINED
very long time, while those crucified slowly suffocated and
AND CONSIDERED EVERYTHING VERY CAREFULLY before
drowned in the fluid that gradually filled their lungs, for it
was impossible to breathe normally while suspended in that accepting or rejecting it as being worthy or
most brutal manner. truthful.
✳ “…The Disciples were glad when they beheld our  PEOPLE TRUSTED ST THOMAS BECAUSE OF HIS GENUINE HONESTY
AND INTEGRITY.
Lord….”
 This is A GREAT UNDERSTATEMENT of course, for they were  St Thomas became THE ONE WHO WOULD CONFIRM THE
certainly OVERWHELMINGLY JOYFUL TO BE RE-UNITED REALITY AND TRUTH OF BOTH OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST AND
WITH OUR BELOVED LORD, as well as being relieved to
much later, His All Holy and Ever Blessed Mother,
OUR LADY, THEOTOKOS.
know it was really our Lord Jesus and not an
‘apparition’ or Vision of Him.  ST THOMAS HAD GREAT FAITH AND WAS DEVOTED TO OUR LORD,
ALWAYS READY TO ACCOMPANY HIM, no matter where it
 Furthermore, KNOWING THAT HE IS TRULY RISEN, CONFIRMS
HIS TEACHING CONCERNING OUR OWN RESURRECTION. led them or how dangerous it might be for them.
 THE REMEMBRANCE OF OUR IMPENDING REPOSE AND ✳ “…Unless I see in His Wrists the imprint of the nails, and
RESURRECTION OUGHT TO MOTIVATE US to Strive all the place my finger in the marks of the nails, and
more harder to acquire CONTINUOUS REPENTANCE AND place my hand in His Side, I will not believe!...”
SPIRITUAL PERFECTION.  ST THOMAS HAD NO DOUBTS AT ALL CONCERNING OUR SAVIOUR,
BUT TYPICALLY, WOULD NOT TAKE THE WORD OF OTHERS
✳ “…As the Father has sent Me, even so, I send you.”
 Christ Ordained His Chosen, Faithful Disciples as His before examining, contemplating and confirming
Holy Apostles by these Words.

16. 2 N D
S U ND AY OF P ASCH A – A NTIP ASCH A – B EL IEF OF S T T H OM AS –26 AP R IL 2020
every aspect to satisfy his perception of absolute FROM THE IMMORTAL SOUL and is AN IMMEDIATE
Truth. RESPONSE TO THE PRESENCE, REALITY AND TRUTH OF GOD.
 This characteristic attribute of St Thomas is described ✳ “…Many other Signs were done by Jesus in the
in our Hymns as “Blessed” for IT WAS NOT A DOUBT OR presence of His Disciples, which are not written in
RESISTANCE TO THE TRUTH but rather his desire for this book. These are written so that you may
Divine Truth – Absolute Truth, not anyone’s idea of believe that Jesus is the Christ – the Son of God –
truth or reality. and that believing, you may have Life in His
 Thus today is correctly referred to as Sunday of THE Name…”
BELIEF OF ST THOMAS.  ST JOHN WROTE ABOUT SEVEN DIVINE MIRACLES OF CHRIST in
✳ “…eight days later, His Disciples were again in the his Holy Gospel.
house, and Thomas was with them. The doors  ST JOHN USED THE TERM “SIGNS” TO SHOW that the
were shut, but Jesus came, and stood amidst Miraculous Deeds of Christ pointed far beyond
them…” themselves to THE REALITY AND TRUTH that THE
 THIS IS LIKE A FORETASTE OF “THE EIGHTH DAY” – at the end ETERNAL KINGDOM OF GOD’S DIVINE LOVE has come to
of time - when OUR LORD JESUS WILL REAPPEAR in all us IN THE PERSON OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.
His Divine Glory and EVERYTHING WILL BE REVEALED,  We ought to MEASURE AND WEIGH UP EVERYTHING
MEASURED AND WEIGHED according to His Divine ACCORDING TO THE DIVINE TRUTH, which our Lord
Truth. Jesus Christ has taught us – ACCORDING TO BOTH OUR
✳ “…To Thomas He said: “Put thy finger here, and see My VERBAL AND WRITTEN HOLY TRADITION that is not
Wrists; and stretch forth thy hand, and place it in restricted to only one aspect of our Faith but
My Side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe!” INCLUSIVE OF IT ALL.
And answering, Thomas said to Him: “My Lord and  St John emphatically stated that THE NEW COVENANT
my God!”…” HOLY GOSPELS AND HOLY SCRIPTURE RECORD ONLY A FEW
 ST THOMAS’ INCREDULITY WAS “... A DOUBT THAT GAVE BIRTH TO OF THE MOST SIGNIFICANT EVENTS AND DIVINE TRUTH THAT
FAITH...” WHEN THE TRUTH WAS CONFIRMED BY GOD GRANTS US.
REVELATION.  NOT ONLY HIS FAITHFUL DISCIPLES BUT INNUMERABLE OTHERS
 According to the Hymns of Sunday of St Thomas, his WERE FIRST HAND WITNESSES to Christ’s Divine Truth
“...incredulity will teach (Christ’s) Passion and and Miracles.
Resurrection to all!”  THERE IS SO MUCH MORE TO OUR FAITH than only the Holy
 And indeed it is affirmed that THE “DOUBLE-MINDEDNESS” Scriptures.
OF ST THOMAS “... brought the heart of Believers to  HIS HOLY, ORTHODOX CHURCH WAS FIRMLY ESTABLISHED BY
Knowledge!” CHRIST BEFORE THE NEW COVENANT SCRIPTURES WERE
 THE FINAL CONFIRMATION OF HIS FAITH AND THE DIVINE WRITTEN BY HIS HOLY APOSTLES.
TRUTH COMPELLED HIM TO THE CLEAREST, PROFOUND  Before reading Holy Scripture IT IS ESSENTIAL TO BE
CONFESSION of our Saviour’s Divinity. TAUGHT AND GUIDED BY OUR VERBAL HOLY, ORTHODOX
 WITHOUT TOUCHING OR EXAMINING OUR LORD’S WOUNDS, St TRADITION that is VERY CAREFULLY PRESERVED and
Thomas sincerely proclaimed “My Lord and my passed down from one generation to the next.
God!”  OUR HUMBLE AND OBEDIENT SPIRITUAL FATHERS AND
Years later, after the Dormition and entombment of our Lady TEACHERS ARE ESSENTIAL TO OUR PROPER ENLIGHTENMENT
Theotokos, once again, it was St Thomas who had arrived late, AND SPIRITUAL WELFARE for without them we can
and upon whose insistence the sealed, guarded tomb had been become very confused and misguided.
opened to pay his last respects, which revealed the absence of
Her Sanctified, All Pure Body. mp  By applying all the Teachings and Commandments of
our Lord Jesus Christ to our thoughts, words and
 THE EXHORTATION TO BELIEVE WAS LIKELY ADDRESSED TO ALL
deeds, we BECOME FAITHFUL DISCIPLES AND HAVE TRUE
CHRIST’S DISCIPLES.
LIFE IN HIS DIVINE NAME.
 WE ARE CONSTANTLY ENCOURAGED, GUIDED AND TAUGHT TO
 At our Baptism we “…put on Christ…” and
BELIEVE – to fully accept and Live by Divine Truth -
subsequently need to “… LIVE IN CHRIST…” IN ORDER
which is SO CAREFULLY PRESERVED INTACT BY HIS HOLY
TO ACQUIRE SPIRITUAL PERFECTION AS GOD INTENDED US
ORTHODOX CHURCH.
TO DO.
✳ “…Thou hast believed because thou hast seen Me.
 Our Lord’s Salvific Mission that His Holy Apostles and
Blessed are those who have not seen, yet believe!”
Faithful Disciples were to fulfil consists of
 The Faith of those who believe in God and His Divine
1. MAKING DISCIPLES OF ALL NATIONS
Truth without requiring proof, is more remarkable
2. BAPTISING THEM IN THE NAME OF OUR TRIUNE LORD GOD
and far more Blessed because SUCH FAITH ARISES
3. TEACHING THEM EVERYTHING THAT HE HAD TAUGHT,
COMMANDED AND REVEALED
THE ETERNAL, INSPIRED W ISD OM OF OU R H OLY FA THE R S
S T P AUL , H OLY APOSTLE OF CHRIST but rather those who worked their entire life to
“… I see in my members another law at war with the law acquire Holy Virtue with sound Discernment.
of my mind, making me captive to the law of sin that Because Discernment is the greatest of all Virtues,
dwells in my members. O wretched man that I am! since it is the Queen of Virtues – the Virtue of Holy
Who will Rescue me from this body of death?” (ROMANS Virtues.
7:23-24)
S T M AKAR IOS TH E G RE AT OF E GYP T
E LDE R P ORPHY R IOS OF K IE V No one can reach Spiritual Heights all at once nor easily.
Evil is passed on so quickly – like a contagious disease! If There are years of intense effort and Struggle, trials
we mix with those who gossip, who slander, who love and all types of temptations before the grievous
worldly things, then, without realising it, we will fall passions cease to trouble us. In this way, if we have
into the same grievous passions. On the contrary, if been tested with pain, sorrow and much labour, if we
we spend more time with those who are truly Spiritual have bravely borne all temptations caused by
and Prayerful, then their Holy Virtues will be passed wickedness, we will be found worthy of receiving all
on to us. Great Honours and Gifts of the Holy Spirit, as well as
Divine Riches. We will inherit the Kingdom of Heaven.
S T J OH N OF D AM ASC US
Each of us gains the Salvation of our soul by the
As our God-bearing Holy Fathers teach us, when our
Divine Grace of God the Holy Spirit, but we also are
intellect forgets the Purpose of Piety, then even an
required to contribute as much as possible with our
action that is demonstrably Virtuous becomes useless!
own efforts.
And those that are performed without Discernment
not only are of no Benefit, but are actually harmful. S T THE OPH AN THE R E CLU SE
The opposite is True of those that are thought to be If we do not want it and do not pursuit it, Divine Grace
bad, but which are performed with Pious Intent - like will not begin to act in us. God does not want to
the man who went into a brothel and dragged a intrude on the Freedom He has granted us. Otherwise
harlot out. From this it is clear that those people are everyone would become a Saint from one moment to
not generous who have occasionally given Charity, the next, at God’s Commandment!
nor are they chaste who restrained themselves a little,

2 N D
S U ND AY OF P ASC H A – A NTIP ASC H A – BEL IE F OF S T T H OM AS –26 APR IL 2020 17.
Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa
Archdiocese of Good Hope
All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever, and
unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most Blessed and Glorious
Lady, Maria, Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together with all the Saints. And let us commit ourselves and one
another and our whole Life to Christ our God. Amen.
30 APRIL 2020

Christ is Risen!
Truly, He is Risen!
ST JAMES ALPHAEOS (ZEBEDEE) OF THE 12 HOLY APOSTLES OF CHRIST
(BROTHER OF ST JOHN ALPHAEOS (ZEBEDEE) - THE BELOVED APOSTLE)

Also the Feast of St Clement – St Argyris the New Martyr of Pikridos - St Nikita, Bishop of Novgorod (Holy Relics) – St Donatos,
Bishop of Euroea, Epiros – St Basil, Bishop of Amasea (Holy Relics) – St Maximos of Ephesos – St Ignatios Brianchaninov,
Bishop of Stavropol – the Holy Icon of our Lady, Theotokos, ‘of the Passion’

P R OKE IME NON - P SALM 18 – T ONE 4


His Proclamation went forth into all the Earth
The Heavens declare the Glory of God!
T H E A CTS OF THE AP OSTLE S 12 : 1 – 11
About that time, Herod the King laid violent hands upon some who belonged to the Church. He executed James, the
brother of John, with the sword. And seeing that it pleased the Judeans, he also had Peter arrested. This was
during the Days of Unleavened Bread. When he had seized him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four
squads of soldiers to guard him, intending, after Passover, to take him out to the people.
Peter was kept imprisoned. Earnest Supplications were made by the Church to God for him. The very night before
Herod was to take him out, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and before the door
sentries guarded the prison. And behold! An Angel of the Lord appeared, and a Light shone in the cell. He struck
Peter on his side to wake him, saying to him: “Get up quickly!” And the chains fell off his hands. The Angel said to
him: “Put your sandals on your feet!” He did so. And he said to him: “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me!”
And going out he followed him, and he did not know that what was done by the Angel was real, for he thought that he
was seeing a Vision. When they had passed the first and the second guard, they came to the iron gate leading into
the city. It opened to them of its own accord! And they went out, going through one street. And immediately the
Angel left him.
And Peter came to himself, and said: “Now I am sure that the Lord has sent His Angel to rescue me from the hand of
Herod and from all that the Judeans were expecting!”
✳ This passage is read for the Commemoration of Holy  ST PETER HAD BEEN ARRESTED, IMPRISONED CHAINED AND
Martyrs. GUARDED by ‘… four squads of soldiers…’ IN THE MOST
✳ “…Herod the King laid violent hands upon some who SECURE PART OF THE PRISON.
belonged to the Church. He executed James, the  KING HEROD AGRIPPA INTENDED HOLDING THE PUBLIC TRIAL OF
brother of John, with the sword…” ST PETER AFTER THE SACRED PASCHAL COMMEMORATIONS.
 HEROD AGRIPPA WAS THE GRANDSON OF HEROD THE GREAT  HE INTENDED TO SENTENCE ST PETER TO DEATH TO SATISFY
(who had tried to kill our Lord Jesus Christ while AND PLEASE THE JUDEAN LEADERS whose influential
He was an Infant - Matthew 2:16) support and co-operation he needed (like any
 HEROD AGRIPPA WAS A TETRARCH RULER OF PALESTINE under politician!)
the authority of the Roman Empire DURING 41 – 44. ✳ “…Peter was kept imprisoned. Earnest Supplications
 THE PERIOD OF HIS REIGN DETERMINES WHEN THE HOLY were made by the Church to God for him…”
APOSTLES WERE PERSECUTED – when St James  Whenever the Apostles and Disciples were
Alphaeos, the Brother of St John the Beloved imprisoned, THEY CONTINUED TO PRAY, CHANT THE
Disciple of Christ was executed and St Peter was PSALMS, AND PREACH THE DIVINE TRUTH, which often
imprisoned. sowed the Seeds of Faith in the heart of those who
 ST JAMES ALPHAEOS WAS THE FIRST OF THE TWELVE FAITHFUL heard – especially those who listened, understood
APOSTLES OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST TO BE MARTYRED. and responded.
 BY 44 THE PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS HAD INCREASED and  Although we have always prayed for the Salvation of
continues to this very day! our leaders, our Brethren and for everyone’s
✳ “…seeing that it pleased the Judeans, he also had Peter Protection, Deliverance and Salvation, WE OFFER
arrested…” SPECIAL PRAYERS FOR THOSE WHO SUFFER EXTRAORDINARY
 PERSECUTION of Christians - and all prejudice and AND EXTREME CIRCUMSTANCES.
torment inflicted upon ethnic and religious groups  THE COMMUNAL, INTERCESSORY PRAYERS of the Faithful
- IS USUALLY DUE TO POLITICAL AMBITION AND MOTIVES. Disciples of Christ were SINCERE AND POWERFUL and
 This proves how THE EVIL ONE USES ALL THE GRIEVOUS OFFERED WITH LOVE AND FAITH in God.
PASSIONS - such as pride, ambition and hatred -  SUCH INTERCESSORY PRAYERS ARE ALWAYS HEARD by our Lord
AGAINST MANKIND, causing wars, oppression, mass God and thus St Peter was Delivered from his
exterminations, terrifying holocausts and millions unjust imprisonment.
of wretched, destitute and desperate refugees.  ST PETER HAD MUCH TO FULFIL before his final Martyrdom.
✳ “…This was during the Days of Unleavened Bread…”  WE CONTINUE TO ASK THE SAINTS FOR THEIR INTERCESSORY
 This was during the Sacred period of the Old PRAYERS to God on our behalf, knowing that they
Covenant Passover – THE OLD COVENANT PASCHA – will be heard.
AND the Commemoration of our Lord Jesus Christ’s  GOD KNOWS PRECISELY WHAT WE NEED in order to acquire
Passion and Resurrection – THE NEW COVENANT HOLY Spiritual Perfection, so we must trust in His Divine
PASCHA. Will and Love.
✳ “…… seized him, …put him in prison, … four squads of  SOMETIMES WE HAVE TO SUFFER, ENDURE AND CONTINUE OUR
soldiers to guard him, intending, after Passover, to STRUGGLES before being Delivered, because we
take him out to the people…”

18 S T J AME S AL P H AEOS OF TH E T WEL VE A P OSTLE S OF C HR IST 30 AP RIL 2020


need to grow Spiritually Stronger and draw ever  Most of us would have initially reacted the same,
closer to our Lord. under similar circumstances, as St Peter.
✳ “…The very night before Herod was to take him out,  ONLY LATER DOES THE FULL IMPACT OF WHAT OCCURRED
Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound BECOME CLEARER to us, ALTHOUGH IT OFTEN REMAINS A
with two chains, and … sentries guarded the DIVINE MYSTERY – something beyond our limited,
prison … “ human comprehension.
 ST PETER HAD BEEN IMPRISONED FOR A WHILE before he was ✳ “…they … passed the first and the second guard … the
to be publically tried. iron gate … opened … of its own accord! And they
 St Luke noted THE DETAILED INCARCERATION OF ST PETER to went out, going through one street. And
EMPHASISE the fact that NO ONE COULD POSSIBLY ESCAPE immediately the Angel left him…”
from that type of secure imprisonment.  NONE OF THE PRISON GUARDS REACTED AT ALL AND EVEN THE
1. St Peter was tightly shackled by two chains, HEAVY, PROTECTIVE IRON GATE SWUNG OPEN for them to
2. two soldiers guarded him pass through - again WITHOUT ANY EFFORT OR
3. many other sentries were on guard throughout CONTACT.
the prison.  WHEN THE ANGEL OF GOD HAD LED ST PETER TO A SAFE
 The fact that St Peter was asleep shows that HE HAD DISTANCE from the prison, HE DISAPPEARED from sight
COMPLETE FAITH IN GOD’S GREAT MERCY AND COULD REST returning to his incorporeal (invisible) state.
WELL – enjoying ‘the sleep of the Righteous’ before ✳ “…Peter came to himself, and said: “Now I am sure that
his impending trial a few hours later. the Lord has sent His Angel to rescue me from the
✳ “…An Angel of the Lord appeared, and a Light shone in hand of Herod and from all that the Judeans were
the cell…” expecting!”
 THE ANGEL OF THE LORD MATERIALISED inside the cell,  St Peter’s initial confusion and subsequent
BRINGING THE DIVINE LIGHT WITH HIM. understanding show us that GOD’S DIVINE DEEDS ARE
 The fact that NONE OF THE SOLDIERS REACTED to his NOT ALWAYS CLEAR TO US WHILE THEY ARE UNFOLDING.
presence implies that either THEY HAD FALLEN INTO A  As soon as St Peter realised that what had occurred
DEEP SLEEP, OR WERE MYSTICALLY PREVENTED FROM was neither his imagination nor a ‘Vision,’ he
REGISTERING his presence and the Light that shone UNDERSTOOD THE LOVE, THE GREAT MERCY AND THE
so brightly. ALMIGHTY POWER OF OUR LORD GOD.
✳ “…He struck Peter on his side to wake him, saying to  AMAZING THINGS ARE INDEED POSSIBLE when they are
him: “Get up quickly!” And the chains fell off his ACCORDING TO THE DIVINE WILL OF OUR HEAVENLY
hands. … “Put your sandals on your feet! … FATHER.
Wrap your cloak around you and follow me…”  Guardian Angels, various people and certain
 This all implies that ST PETER WAS IN A VERY DEEP, RESTFUL circumstances SERVE THE DIVINE PURPOSE OF GOD and
SLEEP AND HAD TO BE AWOKEN. are FOR THE SPIRITUAL BENEFIT OF EACH OF US.
 THE ANGEL HAD TO INSTRUCT ST PETER who was befuddled  This certainly does not mean that we will never have
by sleep, to arise, get dressed, and to follow him. to contend with difficulties, suffering, sorrow and
 THE CHAINS THAT BOUND HIM, FELL OFF ST PETER, without the all kinds of obstacles but rather how we USE THEM
Angel of God touching or unlocking them, for THE AS OPPORTUNITIES TO HUMBLY OBEY THE WILL OF OUR
WILL AND POWER OF OUR LORD GOD IS FAR GREATER THAN HEAVENLY FATHER AND THUS DRAW CLOSER TO OUR LORD.
ANYTHING WE CAN BEGIN TO IMAGINE!  The persecutors of St Peter and the Disciples of Christ
✳ “…he did not know that what was done by the Angel expected to condemn, torture and execute them
was real, for he thought that he was seeing a easily because THEY USED THE AUTHORITY AND POWER
Vision…” OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE AND ITS CIVIL LAWS TO SERVE THEIR
OWN UNGODLY PURPOSES.
T H E H OLY G OSPEL ACCO RD ING TO S T LU KE 9 : 1 - 6
At that time, our Lord Jesus called His Twelve Disciples together and gave them Power and Authority over all demons
and to Cure diseases. And He sent them out to Preach the Kingdom of God and to Heal.
And He said to them: “Take nothing for your Journey – no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money – and do not have two
cloaks. And whatever house you enter, stay there, and from there depart. And wherever they do not receive
you, when you leave that city, shake off the dust from you feet as a Testimony against them.”
And they departed and went through the villages, preaching the Gospel and Healing everywhere.
“… our Lord Jesus called His Twelve Disciples together  All Miracles, Signs and Wonders are THE MANIFESTATION
and gave them Power and Authority over all demons OF GOD’S ALMIGHTY AND DIVINE POWER OVER ALL
and to Cure diseases…” CREATION – BOTH VISIBLE AND INVISIBLE.
 THE TERMS ‘APOSTLES” AND “DISCIPLES” WERE ✳ “…He sent them out to Preach the Kingdom of God and
INTERCHANGEABLE because to Heal…”
1. THE TWELVE HAD BEEN ESPECIALLY CHOSEN by our Divine  The Kingdom of God is OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST AND HIS
Saviour. NEW COVENANT OF LOVE.
2. They were ENLIGHTENED AND INSTRUCTED DIRECTLY BY  To Preach the Kingdom of God INCLUDES ALL THE
CHRIST WRITTEN AND VERBAL TEACHINGS AND COMMANDMENTS
3. They were sent out by Him to Cleanse, Heal and of our Lord God whereby we ought to live –
Preach others. applying all Divine Truth and Knowledge to our
4. They VOLUNTARILY LIVED A DISCIPLINED AND SELF- thoughts, words and deeds in all circumstances.
SACRIFICING LIFE ACCORDING TO HIS DIVINE TRUTH – His  OUR LORD SENT HIS APOSTLES FORTH IN PAIRS, for we cannot
Teachings, Revelations and Commandments. make any Spiritual Progress on own or by our own
5. They HUMBLY AND OBEDIENTLY SERVED AND FULFILLED THE efforts and ideas.
WILL OF OUR HEAVENLY FATHER, through the  WE ENCOURAGE, SUPPORT AND ASSIST EACH OTHER so that we
Teachings and Life of Christ, by the Power and do not grow weary, discouraged or drift away.
Energy of God the Holy Spirit.  DIVINE TRUTH IS PERFECT so to alter it or misinterpret it,
 WE ARE ALL DISCIPLES OF CHRIST WHEN WE LIVE UNDER HIS means It is no longer Perfect but distorted and
DIVINE DISCIPLINE – by STRUGGLING against erroneous.
temptation and grievous passions and STRIVING for  THERE CAN BE NO COMPROMISE with Divine Truth.
Spiritual Perfection by applying His Divine Truth to  WE ONLY HAVE THIS SHORT LIFESPAN TO REPENT our sins and
our thoughts, words and deeds. Strive for Spiritual Perfection, so no precious time
✳ “…gave them Power and Authority over all demons and should be wasted on unbeneficial distractions.
to Cure diseases…”  WE ARE PHYSICALLY AND SPIRITUALLY HEALED BY LIVING IN
 Our Lord Jesus performs His Divine Miracles BY HIS OWN CHRIST.
DIVINE POWER AND AUTHORITY.  WE ARE ALSO WONDERFULLY LIBERATED as well, which
 He bestows His Divine Power and Authority on THOSE grants us amazing Divine Love, Peace and Joy.
WHOM HE CHOOSES TO SEND FORTH TO OTHERS in order to ✳ “…Take nothing for your Journey…”
Miraculously Cleanse and Heal.

S T J AME S AL PH AE OS OF THE TW ELVE A POSTLE S OF C HR IST 30 A P R IL 2020 19


 This was THE STRICT INSTRUCTION TO HIS APOSTLES WHEN  OUR LORD KNEW THAT MANY OF HIS CHOSEN PEOPLE WOULD BE
THEY SET OUT ON THEIR FIRST MISSIONARY JOURNEY. ADVERSELY INFLUENCED AND INTIMIDATED by the
 Our Lord wanted them to DEPEND ON THE PROVIDENTIAL arrogant, self-righteous and Spiritually Blind
LOVE AND MERCY OF OUR HEAVENLY FATHER and learn Priests and Judean Leaders.
to HUMBLY ACCEPT CHARITABLE ACTS FROM OTHERS,  The people were humble and trusting, so THEY OBEYED
without expectation. THE WILL OF THEIR SPIRITUAL LEADERS IN FEAR OF
 OUR LORD ALWAYS PUTS OPPORTUNITIES FOR ACTS OF ANGERING THEM AND BEING SHUNNED, rather than
CHARITY/LOVE BEFORE US. We are free to accept or following Christ and fulfilling the Will of our
reject them. Heavenly Father.
 When we are too self-sufficient and too proud to  Therefore, Christ issued this severe instruction of
accept any help or assistance from others, WE FAIL rejection, for as He said, THOSE WHO REJECTED HIM
TO EXPERIENCE AGAPE – DIVINE LOVE AND GRACE – and AND HIS APOSTLES WHO WERE SENT BY HIM, ALSO REJECTED
will not learn the great Joy of giving and OUR HEAVENLY FATHER Whose Divine Will we must
receiving. humbly and freely obey.
✳ “…whatever house you enter, stay there, and from there ✳ “…went through the villages, preaching the Gospel and
depart…” Healing everywhere…”
 We must ALWAYS BE GRACIOUS AND THANKFUL FOR ANY  BY THE DIVINE GRACE, POWER AND ENERGY OF OUR LORD
HOSPITALITY AND KINDNESS WE ARE OFFERED. JESUS CHRIST, HIS APOSTLES WERE ABLE TO PREACH HIS
 We should NEVER REJECT THE KINDNESS OF ANYONE when HOLY GOSPEL TO HIS PEOPLE AND PERFORM ALL DEGREES
we think there is something better elsewhere. OF PHYSICAL AND SPIRITUAL HEALING, thereby
 We must BE CONTENTED WITH WHATEVER WE RECEIVE from confirming the Truth of what they Preached.
God and from each other.  Although OUR FAITH SHOULD NOT BE BASED UPON DIVINE
 CONTINUOUS CHANGE OF LOCATIONS CAN BE VERY MIRACLES, they certainly confirm and strengthen
UNBENEFICIAL FOR ALL CONCERNED, and we might find our Faith.
ourselves in far worse conditions and  During that First Missionary Journey of His Holy
circumstances. Apostles, OUR LORD’S CHOSEN NATION OF ISRAEL WERE
✳ “…wherever they do not receive you, when you leave GREATLY RECEPTIVE TO ALL THEY HEARD, WITNESSED AND
that city, shake off the dust from your feet as a EXPERIENCED.
Testimony against them…”  Only when their misguided Spiritual Leaders
 THE APOSTLES WERE SENT TO “…THE LOST SHEEP OF ISRAEL…” convinced them otherwise did they begin to turn
who needed to hear about our Eternal Saviour, His against our Lord and His Faithful Disciples,
Divine Truth, and His New Covenant of Love. rejecting Him and His New Covenant of Love.
T H E F E AST OF S T J AMES A LP HAEOS THE AP OSTLE
The Fruit of Good Deeds is Honourable. goods a spoil, by bringing them to Christ by means of
For those who wish to lead lives pure and undefiled as far their Faith in Him.
as is possible, Christ will adorn with His Gifts, and Great, therefore, was the Power given to His Holy Apostles
grant them an abundant recompense for all their by the Decree and Will of Christ, the Divine Saviour of
Saintly Deeds, and make them Partakers of His Glory. all mankind!
The Glorious and Noble Holy Apostles were highly Illustrious Divine Grace thus was bestowed upon
distinguished, and crowned with more than human mankind when the Only-begotten Son and Word of
glory, by the Gift bestowed by Christ, Who “…gave God crowned our human nature with this Great
them Power and Authority over all demons and to Honour by His becoming Incarnate - taking upon
Cure diseases…" Himself our weak human likeness - and so, without
The Incarnate Word of God exceeds the measure of departing from the Glories of His Divine Majesty, He
humanity, and is radiant with the dignities of the wrought Miraculous Divine Deeds even though He
Godhead for He Transcends the limits of human became like us, with flesh and blood – and broke the
nature, being able to grant His Authority over unclean power of Satan by His Almighty Word.
spirits to whomsoever He Will and to Enable (Empower) And by His rebuking of the evil spirits, the inhabitants of
them to Heal those who were afflicted. Earth also were enabled and Empowered to rebuke
For God, indeed, bestows on whomever He wills, Powers them.
of this kind and - on His Decree alone - it depends Yet, even while our Divine Saviour was rebuking the
that any are able, according to His Good Pleasure, to unclean spirits, the Pharisees derided His Divine Glory,
work Divine Miracles, and act as Ministers of His having the effrontery to say, "This Man casts not out
Divine Grace. devils, but by Beelzebub, prince of the devils!”
Even His Heavenly Hosts, who are higher in dignity than Therefore, our Lord Jesus Christ rebuked them for being
any of us, possess pre-eminent Authority by the Powers prone to mockery, ill-disposed and utterly without
given to them by God yet they are all unable to understanding, saying: "…If I, by Beelzebub, cast out
impart such Powers and Authority on others. demons, by whom do your sons cast them out?
The Divine Grace that Christ bestowed upon His Holy Therefore shall they be your judges…" because His
Apostles is worthy of all admiration. Blessed Disciples were sons of Israel by their descent
However, the Bountifulness of our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh and became the terror of Satan
surpasses all Praise for He bestowed the Divine Gifts and his demons for they cast them out in the Divine
upon them according to His own Divine Glory. Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
The Apostles received Divine Authority over evil spirits, And our Lord Jesus said: "…But if I - by the Spirit of God -
and reduced unto nothingness their pride that was so cast out demons, then the Kingdom of God has
high exalted and arrogant, even that of the devil - come upon you…" because, as the Only-begotten Son
their wickedness the Apostles rendered ineffectual, and Word of our Heavenly Father, He is Eternally
and, by the Might and Efficacy of the Holy Spirit, burnt Omnipotent and nothing is impossible for Him.
them as with Fire, making them come forth with So, inasmuch as He, in His Incarnate Nature – as Man -
groans and weeping from those whom they had rebuked evil spirits, our human nature Triumphed in
possessed. Him - being Crowned with Godlike Glory, for it was
Despite the demons vaunting themselves over the capable of rebuking by His Divine Power even the evil
infirmity of mankind, our Almighty Lord God spirits!
marshalled against them His Ministers of Sacred By our Lord’s casting out of all evil spirits, the Eternal
Proclamations, which had been foretold by one of His Kingdom of God came to us as it is the Perfection of
Holy Prophets when speaking of the evil one and the Godlike Majesty to be able to subdue the evil one and
Sanctified Teachers: "...suddenly They shall arise to his demons despite their persistent resistance.
bite you [Satan and his demons] and They shall awaken Our Lord Jesus Glorified His Disciples by granting them
to afflict you, and you shalt be Their prey…" His Divine Authority and Power over evil and
And, indeed, the Holy Apostles and Faithful Disciples bit afflictions. He thereby Honoured them because it was
Satan by attacking his vainglory, and making his necessary for them to be Enabled and Empowered to

20 S T J AME S AL P H AEOS OF TH E T WEL VE A P OSTLE S OF C HR IST 30 AP RIL 2020


perform Divine Miracles, after being appointed as His Divine Saviour, they will also inherit an Incorruptible
Ordained Ministers of the Sacred Proclamations. Crown.
Consequently, what they wrought has forever convinced Although we might wonder how our Lord’s Apostles and
so many others that they are indeed God’s Ministers Disciples obtained whatever was essential and
and our Mediators who invite us all to Reconciliation indispensable, that, too, was provided for them by
and Justification by Faith - by teaching us and by those who welcomed them into their home and took
guiding us along the Path of Salvation through Life in care of all their needs.
Christ Jesus. He thereby taught them that the Spiritual Fruit that they
Those who are devout and intelligent need only teaching obtained from those they Enlightened would be
to make them understand Divine Truth, but those who sufficient, for those who joyfully received the New
have wandered without restraint into Spiritual Covenant Teachings of Love from them were granted
Rebellion and stubborn disobedience, remain Divine Sustenance for their soul, for which they
unprepared and unwilling to receive our Lord’s expressed their Joy and Gratitude by taking care of
Divine Truth that would grant them Eternal Spiritual all the material needs of our Lord’s Holy Apostles.
Profit, for they demand visible, material and scientific And this no one can blame, for as the wise St Paul told the
‘proof,’ which would also fail to convince them. ever increasing Christian Communities: "If we have
Since the time when our Lord Jesus Christ lived in our sown unto you Spiritual Things, is it a great thing if
midst, there were those who believed and accepted we shall reap your material things?”
His indisputable Divine Truth and Miracles - and those Our Lord Jesus Christ commanded all His Faithful
who refused to believe and rejected them. Disciples – and especially those who preach the
Despite having wrought many, self-evident Divine Gospel – to Live according to His Holy Gospel.
Miracles and delivering Inspired Teachings to the Therefore, for His Holy Apostles to receive these trifling
Spiritually Starved people, His Faithful Apostles and and easily procurable things is in no respect injurious.
Disciples had to Struggle and Strive far harder than He also commanded them to abide in and depart from
any of us, which they did for the utter Love of God with one house only, for it was right that those who had
their unwavering Faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. received them should not be defrauded of the Gift,
Yet so many remained Spiritually Blind and hard- nor should there be any impediment in the way of
hearted, continuing to travail with bitter ill-will their own zeal and earnestness while preaching God’s
against our Lord God and His Faithful Disciples. Message.
Having first invested His Apostles with His Divine Authority This prevented His Apostles from being carried off to
and Power, our Lord then sent them forth, to proclaim various houses by those whose motive was - not to
the Divine Truth and New Covenant of Love – first to learn from them some necessary Sacred Lesson - but
His “…Lost Sheep of Israel…” and, later, to “…all to set before them an abundant, luxuriant and
Nations…” on Earth. sumptuous table, beyond what was moderate and
Military Commanders send their soldiers into battle necessary.
against their enemy forces once they have been It is by no means without its Reward to honour the Saints,
properly prepared and equipped. for as our Divine Saviour told us: "…whosoever
Similarly, our Lord Jesus Christ sent forth His Holy receives you receives Me, and whosoever receives
Teachers of the Divine Mysteries and Truth after He Me receives Him Who sent Me."
had Enlightened, Instructed and Spiritually Armoured He purposely makes His own, and takes unto Himself, the
them with His Divine Grace, to engage in our honours paid to His Saints, in order that on every side
ceaseless Spiritual Warfare against Satan and his they may have security. For what is better or far more
demons. comparable than the Honour and Love due unto God,
His Apostles were unconquerable, courageous and which is rendered by honouring His Saints?
steadfast Combatants, who fought so valiantly Thus, if those who received them were rightly Blessed with
against those ancient Spiritual Enemies who have Glorious Hope, how must not also the converse be
alienated, oppressed and enslaved mankind. entirely and absolutely true!
Those Sanctified Apostles vexed and defeated the Consequently, those who rejected and were indifferent to
enemies of our Lord and His Faithful Disciples with our Lord Jesus and His Holy Apostles, were filled with
supreme Love, Truth and Enlightenment. utter misery and sin, which is why our Lord instructed
They brought the Divine Light and Love of our Lord Jesus them to “…shake off the dust from your feet as a
Christ to those who stumbled about in the Spiritual Testimony against them!”
Darkness of sin and ignorance. Our Lord did not want His Apostles to have anything to do
Our Lord had instructed them to take nothing with them, with those who refused to receive them because they
so that they would trust in Divine Providence and be were unwilling to accept and obey the New Covenant
free from all worldly care – rejecting any desire for of Love that our Lord Jesus Christ and His Apostles
worldly possessions and financial gain. presented to us,
Their Crowning Glory consisted of Humility, Obedience Even before He sent them forth, our Lord Jesus knew that
and Poverty, for they carried nothing extraneous it is unlikely that those who despise the Master would
whatsoever – “…no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor welcome or be generous to His servants, neither will
money…” nor any extra clothing or cloaks. those who impiously disregard the Heavenly
He withdrew them from all vain material and physical Summons, ask for nor accept the Blessings of His
distractions and anxiety, in order to live unhampered Preachers.
by worldly concerns, so that they could then devote Our Lord Jesus Christ – the Incarnate, Eternal Son of God
themselves entirely to the Sacred Proclamation of His our Heavenly Father - clearly and concisely stated
Divine Mystery, and Labour unceasingly to share the that “…he who is not with Me is against Me; and he
Good and Blessed Tidings of our Salvation. that gathers not with Me altogether, scatters."
As His Faithful Disciples, He requires of us a ready mind Whatsoever, therefore, that our Divine Saviour
and body that is eager and willing to implement commanded His Holy Apostles before He send them
every Good Work and a heart that is filled with His forth on their First Missionary Journey was exactly
Divine Light and Love. fitted for their use (necessity) and Benefit, by Whom
It is neither fitting nor worthy for those of us who are and with Whom to God our Heavenly Father and God
charged with His Divine Message, if we prosper in our the All Holy and Life-giving Spirit be Praise and
Sacred Duties and Commitments yet remain Dominion, both now and forever, and unto the Ages of
stationary, stagnant and unfruitful. ages.
It is essential for us all to be constantly moving forward, Amen.
to be Spiritually Fruitful, and to acquire our Glorious
Victory. ST CYRIL, PATRIARCH OF ALEXANDRIA
Even those who had fallen under the oppressive Spiritual ADAPTED AND EDITED BY MP
Slavery of our ancient enemy but Repented their sins https://ccel.org/ccel/pearse/morefathers/files/cyril_on_luke_05_ser
and with Faith engaged in ceaseless Spiritual mons_47_56.htm
Warfare against the evil one, for the Love of our

S T J AME S AL PH AE OS OF THE TW ELVE A POSTLE S OF C HR IST 30 A P R IL 2020 21