The Fourth Sunday of Great Lent — St. John of the Ladder
By St. John of the Ladder
The lessening of evil breeds abstinence from evil;
abstinence from evil is the beginning of repentance;
the beginning of repentance is the beginning of salvation; and the beginning of salvation is a good resolve;
a good resolve is the mother of labors.
The beginning of labors is the virtues;
the beginning of the virtues is a flowering,
the flowering of virtue is the beginning of activity.
The offspring of virtue is perseverance;
the fruit and offspring of persevering practice is habit,
the child of habit is character.
Good character is the mother of fear;
fear gives birth to the keeping of commandments in which I include both Heavenly and earthly.
The keeping of the commandments is a sign of love;
the beginning of love is an abundance of humility;
an abundance of humility is the daughter of dispassion;
the acquisition of the latter is the fullness of love, that is to say, the perfect indwelling of God in those who through dispassion are pure in heart, for they shall see God.
And to Him the glory for all eternity. Amen.
Listen to the podcast “St. John of the Cross” by Fr. Thomas Hopko on the St. Peter’s website.
Learn about St. John of the Ladder on the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese website.
Lenten Services next Week
All services will be held at St. Paul’s (get map) starting at 5:30pm. Services this week include:
Pre-Sanctified Liturgy on Wednesday, April 2 at 5:30pm.
Salutations on Friday, April 4 at 5:30pm.
Community Easter Card
Once again you can help sponsor the St. Peter Community Easter card.
This is a great way to offer your best wishes to other members of our parish family and support your church at the same time.
You can sign up for the card on the website or following Divine Liturgies on Sunday.
Deadline to be included in the card is April 12, 2014.
Palm Sunday Brunch — Please Note the New Location
Reserve Palm Sunday (April 13, 2014) for the annual St. Peter Palm Sunday Brunch to be held at the community center of Island Walk on Vanderbilt Beach Road east of I-75 (get map). Exact times to be announced.
Our brunches and pot-lucks are good — low key with plenty of rich conversation and fellowship. Also, the food is always exceptional.
Please sign-up on Sunday after Liturgy or use the sign-up form on the website.
Island Walk requires a full guest list and we need to know how many people to prepare for so please sign up ASAP.
Also, the Town Center at Island Walk is completely smoke free (enforced) and parking is allowed only in the parking lot and on the street (also enforced).
We Need a Secretary/Administrator!
St. Peter's needs your help!
There is some administrative/secretarial work to do to keep St. Peter's running smoothly. We need someone to help us for the next year.
Basically it involves such things as keeping track of who does the Sunday Fellowship hour, sending out thank you notes, notifying members of board meetings, keep track of necessary announcements, that sort of thing. (Think of what Mary Copeland has been doing.)
Most of this can be done at home through email.
If you can volunteer, please speak to either Jack Long, John Hansen, or Fr. Hans.
A special thank you to Mary Copeland who has handled so much of this over the past few years.
Sunday Scripture Readings
(For the Fourth Sunday of Great Lent)
The Lord will give strength to His people. The Lordwill bless His people with peace.
The Reading from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Hebrews. (6:13-20)
Brethren, when God made a promise to Abraham, sinceHe had no one greater by whom to swear, He swore by Himself, saying, “Surely I will bless you and multiply you.” And thus Abraham, having patiently endured, obtained the promise.
Men indeed swear by one greater than themselves, and in all their disputes an oath is final for confirmation. So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of His purpose, He interposed with an oath.
So that through two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible that God should prove false, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to seize the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner shrine behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.
(For the Fourth Sunday of Great Lent)
The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Mark. (9:16-30)
At that time, a man came to Jesus, kneeling down and saying unto him, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a dumb spirit. And wherever it seizes him, it dashes him down; and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid; and I asked Thy Disciples to cast it out, and they were not able.” And Jesus answered them, “O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to Me.” And they brought the boy to Him; and when the spirit saw Jesus, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth.
And Jesus asked his father, “How long has he had this?” And he said, “From childhood. And it has often cast him into the fire and into the water, to destroy him; but if Thou canst do anything, have pity on us and help us.” And Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”
And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You dumb and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him, and never enter him again.” And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse; so that most of them said, “He is dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose.
And when Jesus had entered the house, His Disciples asked Him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” And Jesus said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer and fasting.”
They went on from there and passed through Galilee. And Jesus would not have anyone know it; for He was teaching His Disciples, saying to them, “The Son of man will be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill Him; and after He is killed, He will rise on the third day.”