Sixteenth Sunday of Matthew
Synaxis of Holy and Righteous Simeon the God-Receiver
& Anna the Prophetess
Who was Righteous Simeon the God-Receiver?
Righteous Simeon the God-Receiver was, according to the testimony of the holy Evangelist Luke, a just and devout man waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him (Luke 2:25). God promised him that he would not die until the promised Messiah, Christ the Lord, came into the world.
When Saint Simeon beheld their arrival, the Holy Spirit revealed to him that the divine Child held by the All-Pure Virgin Mary was the Promised Messiah, the Savior of the world. The Elder took the Child in his arms and said, “Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace, according to Thy word, for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared before the face of all people, a light to enlighten the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel” (Luke 2:29-32).
There is a Christian epigram (Number 46) in “The Greek Anthology” which is addressed to Saint Simeon. It tells the righteous Elder to receive the Child Who was born before Adam, and Who will deliver Simeon from this life and bring him to eternal life. A similar idea is expressed in the Aposticha (Slavic use) for the Forefeast of the Nativity of the Lord (December 24). There the Mother of God refers to her Son as “older than ancient Adam.”
Simeon blessed the All-Pure Virgin and Saint Joseph, and turning to the Mother of God he said, “Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be spoken against. Yea, a sword shall pierce through your own soul also, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed” (Luke 2:34-35).
The holy Evangelist continues: “And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel of the tribe of Aser. She was of a great age, and had lived with a husband for seven years from her virginity; and she was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not leave the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. And coming at that very hour, also gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption at Jerusalem” (Luke 2:36-38).
Presentation of the Lord in the Temple Divine Liturgy, Saturday, February 2, 2019 at 9:30am
On Saturday February 2, 2017 at 9:30am we will celebrate the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple.
Forty days after Christ was born He was presented to God in the Jerusalem Temple according to the Mosaic Law. At this time as well His mother Mary underwent the ritual purification and offered the sacrifices as prescribed in the Law. Thus, forty days after Christmas, on the second of February, the Church celebrates the feast of the presentation called the Meeting (or Presentation or Reception) of the Lord.
Learn more on the Orthodox Church in America website.
House and Business Blessings for 2019
Fr. Hans has started house and business blessings.
You can schedule your blessing by:
- Filling in the form on the website
- Texting Fr. Hans at 239-248-4775 (leave a few good dates and times and your address – Fr. Hans will confirm)
- Talking to Fr. Hans at Social Hall
- Emailing the Church
Phone calls are fine too but only as a last resort please.
Please a several available dates ready. The schedule fills up fast but Fr. Hans will make every possible accommodation to meet it.
New Member Classes and Bible Studies Continue
Cathechumen/New Member class started on Monday, January 14 at 7:00pm. Catechumens are required to attend but anyone seeking a better understanding of the Orthodox faith is encouraged to attend as well.
General and Mens Bible studies on alternating Wednesdays beginning on Wednesday, January 16. The Mens Study will not begin until February 6.
St. Demetrios Brotherhood meetings (for young men) moved to Thursdays beginning January 17.
Our Stewardship to St. Peter’s: The Tree Must Bear Fruit
Please return your Stewardship Support of St. Peter’s for 2019.
We are responsible to increase what God has given us. In the Parable of the Talents, the master gave his servants talents that they are expected to nurture and grow. This is a responsibility we cannot avoid.
The Church is both a place where the increase begins on the inside of us, and to which we much give some our increase. This too is a responsibility we must take on.
A contribution form will be included in the letter you receive. Our goal this year is $200,000. We must meet this goal to avoid using our reserves. If we spend our reserves, we will not be able to obtain a mortgage to buy or build when the time comes to do so (and it will come sooner than later).
All of us may have to squeeze a bit to meet this goal. But if give, the Church flourishes and that flourishing spills over into our lives as well and the lives of our families.
We must increase what we have been given by God.
Mark Your Calendar!
NAMI Walk on February 26, 2019
The walk will start around 830 or 9 o’clock in the morning with a light breakfast before the walk. Water and energy drinks and coffee fresh fruit offered during the walk. A light lunch will be provided after the walk with some entertainment
If anyone would like to join Bill and Mary’s Copeland’s team please contact us in church or call 239-498-1331.
We are asking our church family to support NAMI financially with a small contribution to help fund local activities for the mentally challenged individuals that live in Collier and Lee County.
St. Valentine’s Day Potluck & Dance on Saturday Evening February 16, 2019 at 6:00pm
The St. Valentines Day Dance will be held on Saturday evening, February 16, 2019 starting at 6:00pm. There will be surprise entertainment.
The event will be chaired by Tina Kucera. Please call her if you can help at 239-980-1520.
How can you help? We need appetizers, liquids, paper products, and your time. For more information please contact Mary Copeland at 239-287-7837.
Calendar At A Glance
- Wednesday, January 30 — Community Bible Study at 7:00pm
- Thursday, January 31 — St. Demetrios Brotherhood at 7:00pm
- Saturday, February 2 — 9:30am Divine Liturgy Presentation of Christ in the Temple
- Monday, February 4 — Catechumen/New Member Class at 7:00pm
- Wednesday, February 6 — Mens Bible Study at 7:00pm
- Thursday, February 7 — St. Demetrios Brotherhood at 7:00pm
- Monday, February 11 — Catechumen/New Member Class at 7:00pm
- Wednesday, February 14 — Community Bible Study at 7:00pm
- Thursday, February 14 — St. Demetrios Brotherhood at 7:00pm
- Saturday, February 16 — St. Valentine’s Day Dance/Potluck 5:00pm
- Monday, February 18 — Catechumen/New Member Class at 7:00pm
- Wednesday, February 20 — Mens Bible Study at 7:00pm
- Thursday, February 21 — St. Demetrios Brotherhood at 7:00pm
- Monday, February 25 — Catechumen/New Member Class at 7:00pm
- Wednesday, February 27 — Community Bible Study at 7:00pm
- Thursday, February 28 — St. Demetrios Brotherhood at 7:00pm
Wisdom From The Elders
Let this always be the aim of your conduct: to be courteous and respectful to all. Venerable Isaac the Syrian, Bishop of Nineveh
Anger is by nature designed for waging war with the demons and for struggling with every kind of sinful pleasure. Therefore angels, arousing spiritual pleasure in us and giving us to taste its blessedness, incline us to direct our anger against the demons. But the demons, enticing us towards worldly lusts, make us use anger to fight with men, which is against nature, so that the mind, thus stupefied and darkened, should become a traitor to virtues. Abba Evagrius the Monk
Strive toward salvation, do not despair, do not grumble, do not offend anyone with a harsh word. Pray, and always try to keep before you the image of God. Abbot Nikon Vorobiev
We should never say that nothing is important. On the contrary, everything is important. Even the smallest of our actions impacts our eternal salvation. Elder Sergei of Vanves
If one is to work on one’s fallow soul, one must first weed out all the thorns, its passions, and then plant virtues in their place. However, this process is an arduous one and requires a strong will and great patience. Saint Paisios of Mount Athos
Remember in Your Prayers
Dennis H. and Family
Dimitri – Presbyter
Nikolay (5 year old boy in Bulgaria whose parents asked us to pray)
Anna Marie Smith Baker
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.
For the Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost
The Lord will give strength to His people.
Ascribe to the Lord, O sons of God, ascribe to the Lord honor and glory.
The Reading from the Second Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians. (6:1-10)
Brethren, working together with Him, then, we entreat you not to accept the grace of God in vain. For He says, “At the acceptable time I have listened to you, and helped you on the day of salvation.” Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation. We put no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: through great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, tumults, labors, watching, hunger; by purity, knowledge, forbearance, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love, truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; in honor and dishonor, in ill repute and good repute. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold we live; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing everything.
For the Sixteenth Sunday of Matthew
The reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew. (25:14-30)
The Lord spoke this parable: A man going on a journey called his servants and entrusted to them his property; to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them; and he made five talents more. So also, he who had the two talents made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money.
Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying: “Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.” His master said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master.” And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying: “Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.” His master said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master.” He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying: “Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sew, and gathering where you did not winnow; so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.”
But his master answered him, “You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sowed, and gather where I have not winnowed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.” As Jesus said these things He cried out: “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”