St. Peter Newsletter — Sunday of the Blind Man

Christ is Risen!
The Sixth Sunday of Pascha
Sunday of the Blind Man

Healing of the Man Born Blind

Healing of the Man Born Blind

As with all of His miracles, there is great significance to Jesus Christ healing the blind man. It is the only time we hear of a person whose sight was received after having been blind from birth.

In those days, there was a pervasive belief that sickness was a direct result of sin. Therefore, the Lord is questioned whether the sin of the man or his parents is the root cause of his blindness. And while humanity’s sin, the primordial sin, is the reason for all sickness, suffering, and death, Jesus Christ discredits the notion that it was the personal sin of either this man or his parents that led to his impairment.

Rather, the man’s lack of sight will serve a greater purpose—to glorify God. Although few of us need to be healed of physical blindness, all of us need to be cured of our spiritual blindness—the sin that keeps us from living a life in Christ.

Read more on the Greek Orthodox website.

Baptism of Andrew and Kyriaki Forgeron on Saturday, June 4

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The parish is invited to the baptism of Andrew Fegeron and his daughter Kyriaki on Saturday, June 4 at 1pm. Andrew is the fiance of Ashley Clark, the granddaughter of Pauline Poulos.

Anthea Tuefel is Godmother to both Andrew and Kyriaki, Dr. Zannos Grekos is Godfather to Andrew.

A reception follows in the Social Hall. Please RSVP to Anthea Teufel at 239-994-6975 (text or call), or on the website.

Looking for a Companion for a Senior

Many widowed and single Seniors look for live-in companions for friendship, help and more. This can be very helpful to both because expenses and chores are shared, less chance to be lonely, and more.

If you know of anyone looking for this kind of situation, please mention it to Fr. Hans.

Need Help With Prayer?

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The Orthodox Prayer website has many different prayers for many different occasions.

Always pray with awareness. God hears you. “The fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (James 5:16).

Paschal Season Ends Next Week, June 8

Wednesday, June 8 is the end of the Paschal season. We call this the “Leave-taking of Pascha.” No more “Christ is Risen!” after that. The day following is Ascension, the ascending of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ into heaven.

Ascension is a Great Holy Day in the Orthodox Church commemorated by a Divine Liturgy. We will hold the Liturgy on Ascension Eve to enable more people to attend. Ascension Divine Liturgy begins at 6:30pm on June 8, 2016.

Acension Divine Liturgy on Ascension Eve, June 8, 6:30pm

Mark you calendar!

Choir Practice Cancelled Wednesday, June 8, 2016

We will be celebrating the Ascension Divine Liturgy that evening. Choir practice will be held tomorrow (Wednesday) June 1, 2016 at 6:00pm.

Bible Study Cancelled Wednesday, June 8, 2016

We will be celebrating the Ascension Divine Liturgy that evening. Bible Study will be held tomorrow (Wednesday) June 1, 2016 at 7:00pm.

Pentecost/Father’s Day Luncheon June 19

Fathers Day Luncheon

Mark you calendars for June 19 for a Pentecost/Father’s Day Luncheon following Divine Liturgy and the Pentecost Prayers.

The luncheon will begin following the Pentecost Kneeling Prayers after Divine Liturgy.

More details are coming but tentative plans include hot dogs and hamburgers.

Please RSVP on the website.

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Orthodox Wisdom

The unattainableness of perfection obliges us all to continually turn to God in prayer for understanding and help.

—Father Sophrony

If our purpose is to fight the spiritual fight and to defeat, with God’s help, the demons of malice, we should take every care to guard our heart from the demon of dejection, just as a moth devours clothing and a worm devours wood, so dejection devours a man’s soul. It persuades him to shun every helpful encounter and stops him accepting advice from his true friends or giving them a courteous and peaceful reply.

Seizing the entire soul, it fills it with bitterness and listlessness. Then it suggests to the soul that we should go away from other people, since they are the cause of its agitation. It does not allow the soul to understand that its sickness does not come from without, but lies hidden within, only manifesting itself when temptations attack the soul because of our ascetic efforts.

—St. John Cassian

Prayer revives the Divine breath which God breathed into Adam’s nostrils.

—Father Sophrony

Remember in Your Prayers

Maria Karela

Anthony Mourgis

John Simon

John Hansen

Constandina James

Peter Wouralis

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 and ask God to bestow mercy and grace on them.

Sunday Readings

Search the Scriptures

Epistle

Thou, O Lord, shalt keep us and preserve us.
Save me, O Lord, for the godly man hath disappeared.

The Reading from the Acts of the Apostles. (16:16-34)

In those days, as we Apostles were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners much gain by soothsaying. She followed Paul and us, crying, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation.” And this she did for many days. But Paul was annoyed, and turned and said to the spirit, “I charge you in the Name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And it came out that very hour.

But when her owners saw that their hope of gain was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the market place before the rulers; and when they had brought them to the magistrates they said, “These men are Jews and they are disturbing our city. They advocate customs which it is not lawful for us Romans to accept or practice.” The crowd joined in attacking them; and the magistrates tore the garments off them and gave orders to beat them with rods. And when they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into prison, charging the jailer to keep them safely. Having received this charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.

But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened and every one’s fetters were unfastened. When the jailer woke and saw that the prison doors were open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul cried with a loud voice, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.”

And he called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas, and brought them out and said, “Men, what must I do to be saved?” And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their wounds, and he was baptized at once, with all his family. Then he brought them up into his house, and set food before them; and he rejoiced with all his household that he had believed in God.

Gospel

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. John. (9:1-38)

At that time, when Jesus was passing, He saw a man blind from his birth. And His Disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be made manifest in him. I must work the works of Him Who sent me, while it is day; night comes, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

As He said this, he spat on the ground and made clay of the spittle and anointed the man’s eyes with the clay, saying to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” [which means Sent]. So he went and washed and came back seeing.

The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar, said, “Is not this the man who used to sit and beg?” Some said, “It is he”; others said, “No, but he is like him.” He said, “I am the man.” They said to him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” He answered, “The man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash’; so I went and washed and received my sight.” They said to him, “Where is He?” He said, “I do not know.” They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind.

Now it was a Sabbath day when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes. The Pharisees again asked him how he had received his sight. And he said to them, “He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.” Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for He does not keep the Sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” There was a division among them. So they again said to the blind man, “What do you say about Him, since He has opened your eyes?” He said, “He is a prophet.”

The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight, until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight, and asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?” His parents answered, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; but how he now sees we do not know, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age, he will speak for himself.” His parents said this because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone should confess Him to be Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue. Therefore his parents said, “He is of age, ask him.”

So for the second time they called the man who had been blind, and said to him, “Give God the praise; we know that this man is a sinner.” He answered, “Whether He is a sinner, I do not know; one thing I know, that though I was blind, now I see.” They said to him, “What did He do to you? How did He open your eyes?” He answered them, “I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you too want to become His disciples?” And they reviled him, saying, “You are His disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where He comes from.”

The man answered, “Why, this is a marvel! You do not know where He comes from, and yet He opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, God listens to him. Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind. If this man were not from God, He could do nothing.” They answered him, “You were born in utter sin, and would you teach us?” And they cast him out.

Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him He said, “Do you believe in the Son of God?” He answered, “And Who is He, Sir, that I may believe in Him?” Jesus said to him, “You have seen Him, and it is He who speaks to you.” He said, “Lord, I believe”; and he worshiped Him.