Christ is Risen!
The Sunday of Thomas
Today the fragrance of spring is shed forth, and the new creation shall rejoice. Today the locks shall be lifted from the doors with the faithlessness of the beloved Thomas, as he shouteth out, Thou art my Lord and my God.
-Orthros of the Feast
On the second Sunday of Pascha, we inaugurate the celebration of Christ’s Resurrection, and the occasion whereon the Holy Apostle Thomas touched the Savior’s side.
St. Thomas Sunday Dedicated to Abducted Bishops, Metropolitan Paul and Archbishop Youhanna
Received from the Antiochian Archdiocese:
As you may know, on April 22, 2015 the two abducted Bishops, Metropolitan Paul and Archbishop Youhanna will complete their second year in captivity. Therefore His Beatitude Patriarch JOHN X and His Eminence Metropolitan JOSEPH would like you to dedicate St.Thomas Sunday, May 8, 2016 to pray for them and to print the attached statement from His Beatitude Patriarch JOHN X and to give it out to all parishioners to read it.
Print and read the essay sent to all parishioners that accompanies the request on the St. Peter website.
Who are Metropolitan Paul and Archbishop John?
During the Divine Liturgy right after the petitions for Metropolitan Joseph and Bishop Antoun we say these words:
For Metropolitan Paul, Archbishop John, and for their quick release from captivity and safe return, let us pray to the Lord.
Who are Metropolitan Paul and Archbishop John? Why are we praying for them?
From the Assembly of Orthodox Canonical Bishops:
[O]n April 22, 2013, the Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Boulos Yazigi (brother of His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch) and the Syriac Orthodox Archbishop Yohanna Ibrahim, both of Aleppo, Syria were kidnapped by Islamist extremists during a joint philanthropic mission in the region.
With sorrowful hearts we recognize a growing lack of interest on the part of civil authorities to assist in the recovery of the two Christian leaders. We encourage all people of good conscience to communicate with their elected officials and ask them to assist in the effort to find and retrieve the two bishops.
We implore the Holy Great-Martyr Saint George, the patron of Christians of the Middle East and upon the eve of whose Feast the Hierarchs were kidnapped, to intercede for their salvation and safe return.
Moreover, we appeal to the world’s 2.2 billion Christians, as well as to all people of faith and good will, and ask them to keep the two bishops in their daily thoughts and prayers.
You cannot be too gentle, too kind. Shun even to appear harsh in your treatment of each other.
Joy, radiant joy, streams from the face of him who gives and kindles joy in the heart of him who receives.
All condemnation is from the devil. Never condemn each other. We condemn others only because we shun knowing ourselves.
When we gaze at our own failings, we see such a swamp that nothing in another can equal it. That is why we turn away, and make much of the faults of others. Instead of condemning others, strive to reach inner peace.
Keep silent, refrain from judgement. This will raise you above the deadly arrows of slander, insult and outrage and will shield your glowing hearts against all evil.
—St Seraphim of Sarov
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Remember in Your Prayers
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.
For St. John the Theologian
His sound hath gone forth into all the earth. The heavens declare the glory of God.
The Reading from the First Epistle of St. John. (1:1-7)
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life – the life was made manifest, and we saw it, and testify to it, and proclaim to you the eternal life which was with the Father and was made manifest to us – that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you may have fellowship with us; and our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.
And we are writing this that our joy may be complete. This is the message we have heard from Him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with Him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not live according to the truth; but if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.
For Thomas Sunday
The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. John. (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 Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the Disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” And when He had 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.”
Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other Disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and place my finger in the mark of the nails, and place my hand in His side, I will not believe.”
Eight days later, His Disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. The doors were shut, but Jesus came and stood among them, and said, “Peace be with you.” Then He said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see My hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side; do not be faithless, but believing.” Thomas answered Him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen Me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.”
Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the Disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His Name.