St. Peter Newsletter May 9, 2017 — The Samaritan Woman, Mother’s Day, Christ Pantocrator Icon and more.

Christ is Risen!

The Fifth Sunday after Pascha

Sunday of the Samaritan Woman

The Samaritan Woman

The Samaritan Woman

Tne of the most ancient cities of the Promised Land was Shechem, also called Sikima, located at the foot of Mount Gerazim. There the Israelites had heard the blessings in the days of Moses and Jesus of Navi. Near to this town, Jacob, who had come from Mesopotamia in the nineteenth century before Christ, bought a piece of land where there was a well.

This well, preserved even until the time of Christ, was known as Jacob’s Well. Later, before he died in Egypt, he left that piece of land as a special inheritance to his son Joseph (Gen. 49:22).

This town, before it was taken into possession by Samaria, was also the leading city of the kingdom of the ten tribes. In the time of the Romans it was called Neapolis, and at present Nablus. It was the first city in Canaan visited by the Patriarch Abraham. Here also, Jesus of Navi (Joshua) addressed the tribes of Israel for the last time. Almost three hundred years later, all Israel assembled there to make Roboam (Rehoboam) king.

When our Lord Jesus Christ, then, came at midday to this city, which is also called Sychar (John 4:5), He was wearied from the journey and the heat. He sat down at this well. After a little while the Samaritan woman mentioned in today’s Gospel passage came to draw water. As she conversed at some length with the Lord and heard from Him secret things concerning herself, she believed in Him; through her many other Samaritans also believed.

Read more on the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese website.

Mother’s Day This Sunday

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers, God-mothers, aunts, and more! In honor of all moms (and in all the ways women are mom’s). To honor you we will distribute flowers after Liturgy this Sunday.

Christ Pantocrator (Ruler of All)

Christ Pantocrator / Christ of Sinai

Christ Pantocrator / Christ of Sinai

The word Pantocrator is of Greek origin meaning “ruler of all”. Christ Pantocrator is an icon of Christ represented full or half-length and full-faced. He holds the book of the Gospels in his left hand and blesses with his right hand. This is also why the eyes appear different, one is softer, the other more severe.

The icon portrays Christ as the Righteous Judge and the Lover of Mankind, both at the same time. The Gospel is the book by which we are judged, and the blessing proclaims God’s loving kindness toward us, showing us that he is giving us his forgiveness.

Although ruler of all, Christ is not pictured with a crown or scepter as other kings of this world. The large open eyes look directly into the soul of the viewer. The high curved forehead shows wisdom. The long slender nose is a look of nobility, the small closed mouth, the silence of contemplation.

It is the tradition of the Church to depict “God is with us” by having the a large Pantocrator icon inside of the central dome, or ceiling of the church.

The oldest known Pantocrator icon was written in the sixth century. It was preserved in the monastery of St. Catherine in the Sinai desert. This remote location enabled the image to survive the iconoclastic era in Byzantine history (726-815) when most icons were destroyed.

Source: OrthodoxWiki.

Calendar At A Glance

  • May 21, 2017 (Sunday) Baptism of Konnie Yankopolus grandsons (Please sign up if attending)
 

Wisdom From The Elders

It is very useful to know that a fruit of pure unwandering prayer is the renewal of our nature, and that our renewed nature is adorned and endowed with gifts of divine grace.
St. Ignatius Brianchaninov

And thus, if it is needful for man again to come into the original condition in which he was created, that is, to become incorrupt, no human free will whatsoever can raise him up into this condition, but only a Divine power received by him through a mingling with the Divine nature.
St. Symeon the New Theologian

Another time some people where discussing politics at a certain house. “So, what do you say, Father?” they asked him. Once he recovered from the depth of his thought, he wanted to say something. “Who is governing now?”
The Life of Papa Nicholas Planas

It is difficult for you, but think of how it was for the Savior on the Cross. The end is near; life passes quickly. We are guests on earth, migratory birds.
Archbishop Seraphim (Sobolev) of Bogucharsk

As man I deliberately transgressed the divine commandments, when the devil, enticing me with the hope of divinity, dragged me down from my natural stability into the realm of sensual pleasure; and he was proud to have thus brought death into existence, for he delights in the corruption of human nature.

Because of this, God became perfect man. In this way, by enticing the insatiable serpent with the bait of the flesh, He provoked him to open his mouth and swallow it. This flesh proved poison to him, destroying him utterly by the power of the Divinity within it; but to human nature it proved a remedy restoring it to its original grace by that same power of the Divinity within it.
St. Maximos the Confessor

If here in exile, in this accursed land of weeping, our holy God has given us so much beauty to enjoy, I wonder how much there will be in the place where God Himself dwells!
Elder Ephraim

Be careful not to judge anyone. Judgement of your neighbor is linked to pride, and pride is our number one enemy; all our unhappiness comes from it.
Elder Sergei of Vanves

Remember in Your Prayers

Sonja
Carol Ann
Matthew
Gerhard
Valerie
Chrysostom
Tim
Ron
Ivy-Jean
Pat
Christina
Baby Samuel
Jennie
Mary
Baby Kyriake
Maximos
Marian
Photini
Nicholas
Brad William
Ryan
Sarah
Robert Jarvis
Petronia (Wife of Phil Pappas)
Anna Marie Smith Baker
Iris Kuring (Bettina Zifiris' mother)
Constantine Houpis
Ron Chromulak
Beverly Chromulak
Katerina
Dianne
Loucine Kassis
Mary Kassis
Baby Maximus
Annette Star
Christine
Maria
Claire Livaditis
Eva Chandilles
Baby Dani
Scott Nedoff
Anthony Mourgis
John Hansen
Constandina James
James Hord
Bob Smith
Tom and Jean, parents of Patty and Jerry.

How should we pray for the sick? Remember them daily. Say their names (first names are sufficient) and ask God to bestow mercy and grace on them.

Add or remove names and print this list for easy reference during your prayer time on the St. Peter website.

 

Sunday Readings

Search the Scriptures

Epistle

How great are Thy works, O Lord! In wisdom hast Thou made them all.
Bless the Lord, O my soul!

The Reading from the Acts of the Saintly and Pure Apostles. (11:19-30)

In those days, the Disciples, who were scattered because of the persecution 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, upon 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 had 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 Saul.

Gospel

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. John. (4:5-42)

At that time, 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 away into the city to buy food. The Samaritan woman said to Him, “How is it that Thou, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. 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, Thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep; where do you get that living water? Art Thou greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, and his sons, and his cattle?” Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst forever; 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.”

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 Thou art a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain; and Thou sayest 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 worship what we know, 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 Messiah is coming [He Who is called Christ]; when He comes, He will tell 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 dost Thou wish?” or, “Why art Thou talking with 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 of which you do not know.” So the Disciples said to one another, “Has anyone 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, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see how the fields are already white for harvest. He who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, so that 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 said to 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. And many more believed because of His words. 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.”