St. Peter Newsletter — February 18, 2013

Bible Study Tuesday at 7pm at the Hansens

bible-studyBible studiy resumes this Tuesday, February 19 at John and Frieda Hansen’s home starting and 7pm (get map). We will continue our study of the book of John. Mark you calendars and bring your questions. If you have a friend who would like to attend bring them along!

Visit to Anatole and Linda Kurdsjuk

holy-trinity-iconYesterday about 15 people went to visit Anatole and Linda Kurdsjuk at their home for lunch. Linda, always the gracious hostess, served us a great lunch and it was a rich three hours of friendship and fellowship.

Anatole has been home-bound since his operation but is slowly getting better. We pray for him during the Divine Liturgy and both he and Linda said they can “feel our prayers.”

Clearly our prayers aid them in this time of difficulty. The lesson we can draw from Anatole’s words is that our prayers our effectual. God hears them. And there is no prayer more powerful than a prayer for someone else.

St. Paul told Timothy, the man St. Paul put in charge of a Church that he started:

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men… (1 Timothy 2:11).

We are here to take care of one another. We will continue to pray for Anatole and Linda, particularly that God sheds His grace on them in their difficulty, and to assure them that we care for them.

Fr. Hans Out of Town on Sunday

airplaneI will be attending in conference in San Diego, California this week. Fr. George Townsend will serve liturgy this Sunday (February 24, 2013).

Just to be clear: Divine Liturgy will be held on Sunday at the Holiday Inn starting at 9:30.

About the conference: The conference includes about 25 people (about half Orthodox and half Catholic) who have contributed to discussions about religion in the public square, particularly how we live our lives as Christians in a society that is becoming increasingly de-Christianized. We will also study what our respective traditions say about bringing answers to the problems raised by our cultural crisis.

Some of the participants are theologians, some are writers, others are pastors and so forth. Orthodox participants include the media director for the Acton Institute (I write for the Acton Institute), the director of the Hogar Orphanage in Guatamala, the Co-Dean of St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Seminary and others.

I will be gone from Thursday to Monday.

Wisdom from St. John Chrysostom

chrysostom-1God draws, but He draws the willing one.

God, having placed good and evil in our power, has given us full freedom of choice; He does not keep back the unwilling, but embraces the willing.

Prayer should be the means by which I, at all times, receive all that I need, and, for this reason, be my daily refuge, my daily consolation, my daily joy, my source of rich and inexhaustible joy in life.

No matter how just your words may be, you ruin everything when you speak with anger.

Happiness can only be achieved by looking inward and learning to enjoy whatever life has and this requires transforming greed into gratitude.

Fr. Hans on the Resignation of Pope Benedict

As some of you know, I write an occasional column for Catholic Online. I usually write about Orthodox and Catholic issues.

Last week Catholic Online published my essay about the resignation of Pope Benedict and what it means for the Orthodox. You can read it here: Fr. Johannes L. Jacobse: An Orthodox Priest Reflects on the Retirement of Pope Benedict XVI.

Sunday Scripture Readings

Byzantine Bible Cover

Epistle

II Cor. 4:6-15 (St. John – Same as 15th Sunday after Pentecost)

The Reading is from Saint Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians

BRETHREN, it is the God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, to show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For while we live we are always being given up to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.

Since we have the same spirit of faith as he had who wrote, “I believed, and so I spoke,” We too believed, and so we speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.

Gospel

Luke 18:10-14 (Pharisee and Publican)

The Lord spoke this parable: “Two men went up into the Temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a Publican, (a tax collector). The Pharisee stood and prayed thus within himself, ‘God, I thank thee that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this Publican. I fast twice a week, I give tithes of all that I possess.’

But the Publican, standing afar off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for every one who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”