St. Peter Newsletter — May 29, 2013

Current Addresses for Bob Smith, Anatole Kurdsjuk, and Jeremiah Tewis

Several parishioners have asked for current addresses for our St. Peter’s parishioners who we are praying for so they could send them a card:

Anatole and Linda Kurdsjuk
470 Dawn Drive
North Fort Myers, FL 33904

Dylan Jeremiah Tewis
Resident Center
Apt #509
2020 Peachtree Road NW
Altanta, GA 30309

Please note that Jeremiah’s address is new. He is now in outpatient therapy for a month of so. Fr. Hans will be visiting him this week.

Bob and Jane Smith
Address Coming

The Living Waters of Mid-Pentecost

By Fr. Stephen Rogers

pentecost185x250

Nothing is more elemental to life than water. Water sustains life; all the processes of our bodies are dependent on it. In fact, more than anything else, our bodies are composed of water. To thirst is to desire that which sustains us on the most basic level.

On May 9 of this year [2012], the Church celebrates the Feast of Mid-Pentecost, that Wednesday marking the mid-point between Pascha and Pentecost. On that day the Church continues to celebrate what has already come – the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, the second person of the Holy Trinity – while looking forward to what is to come – the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Holy Trinity.

At Mid-Pentecost we celebrate the enormity of God’s love for us, the full revelation of the means established for our salvation. On the Cross, Christ conquers sin and death, the empty tomb proclaims the fruit of that victory and the Church is the kingdom established by the Holy Spirit and headed by Jesus Christ – the One who conquers.

Read the full article on the Antiochian Archdiocese website.

More on Prayer

I wrote this short essay a while back and it ended up translated on a French website.

soldier-praying

God answers our prayers. He answers them because He is good. All the good things that are directed toward us have their source and origin in God. We can have confidence in God because His love for us never changes.

What, then, is our responsibility? Our responsibility is to seek God. And, as we seek God, wisdom grows. We begin to see things in ourselves that keep us from God because they are displeasing to God.

Yet, God never withholds His mercy from us. If He is a good God then He works with us to remove those sins so that we can draw even closer to Him. He is like a doctor who works with us so that our soul can be healed. He does not judge us for our sickness and sin. Instead He seeks to heal us.

When we are responsible sons of God (men and women alike), we follow God’s instructions for the healing of our soul, just like we follow the instructions of our doctor to restore our health and renew our strength.

If we take on our responsibilities — if we pick up our cross, then we orient ourselves toward God. When we learn to hear God, when His presence in our lives becomes more tangible and concrete, then prayer becomes stronger. God hears us and we hear Him.

Want to see if this really works? Try praying for others. You will see you prayers answered. Then, when you see your prayers answered for others, you can have confidence that God hears your prayer and has heard your prayer for your needs too. God’s answer to your prayer for your neighbor becomes your assurance that He hears you.

When someone asks you to pray for them, stop what you are doing and say a prayer right then. It does not have to be a long prayer, but it should be a prayer that you pray in full awareness of what you ask. Ask for God’s blessing on their life and that he will lead them and meet their needs.

If we cannot stop what you are doing, then say the prayer at the first available opportunity. It is important not to forget our promise to pray for people. If you do forget, then say a prayer as soon as you remember.

Mention the person by name. When you say their name and bring it into the presence of God through your prayer, you are asking God to come into the life of the person you are praying for. In that mysterious way that God works He ends up working in that person’s life.

Sunday Scripture Readings

Epistle

Acts 11:19-30 (Sunday of the Samaritan Woman)

bible

How great are thy works, O Lord!
Thou hast made all things in wisdom
Bless the Lord O my soul.

The Reading is from the Acts of the Saintly and Pure Apostles

Those who were scattered because of the persecutions that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the word to none except Jews. But there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who on coming to Antioch spoke to the Greeks also, preaching the Lord Jesus. And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number that believed turned to the Lord.

News of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad; and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose; for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a large company was added to the Lord. So Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul; and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church, and taught a large company of people; and in Antioch the disciples were for the first time called Christians.

Now in these days prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. And one of them named Agabus stood up and foretold by the Spirit that there would be a great famine over all the world; and this took place in the days of Claudius. And the disciples determined, every one according to his ability, to send relief to the brethren who lived in Judea; and they did so, sending it to the elders by the hand of Barnabas and Paul.

Gospel

John 5:1-15 (Sunday of the Paralytic)

The Reading of the Holy Gospel according to St. John

Jesus came to a city of Samaria called Sychar, near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and so Jesus, wearied as he was with his journey, sat down beside the well. It was about the sixth hour.

There came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” For his disciples had gone into the city to buy food. The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?” Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink, you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep; where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us this well, and drank from it himself, and his sons, and his cattle?” Jesus said to her, “Every one who drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst; the water that I shall give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.”

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Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and he whom you now have is not your husband; this you said truly.” The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain; and you say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.” Jesus said to her. “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for such the Father seeks to worship him. God is spirit and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” The woman said to him, “I know that the Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ); when he comes, he will show us all things.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.”

Just then his disciples came. They marveled that he was talking with a woman, but none said, “What do you seek?” or, “Why are you talking to her?” So the woman left her water jar, and went away into the city, and said to the people, “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” They went out of the city and were coming to him.

Meanwhile the disciples besought him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” But he said to them, “I have food to eat which you do not know.” So the disciples said to one another, “Has any one brought him food?” Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to accomplish his work. Do you not say, ‘In four months comes the harvest?’ I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see how the fields are already white for the harvest. He who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, so that the sower and reaper may rejoice together. For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor; others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.”

Many Samaritans from that city believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.” So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them; and he stayed there two days. Any many more believed because of his word. They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of your words that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.”