St. Peter Newsletter November 20, 2018

The Thirteenth Sunday of Luke
Leave-Taking (Apodosis) of the Entrance of the Theotokos
St. Katherine the Great

St. Katherine of Alexandria the Great Martyr

Who was St. Katherine the Great?

Living in the capital—the centre of Hellenistic knowledge—and possessed of an uncommon beauty and intellect, Catherine received a most splendid of educations, having studied the works of the finest philosophers and teachers of antiquity.

[…]

At this time the emperor Maximian was himself in Alexandria for a pagan feast day. Because of this, the feast was especially splendid and crowded. The cries of the sacrificial animals, the smoke and the smell of the sacrifices, the endless blazing of fires, and the bustling crowds at the arenas filled Alexandria. Human victims also were brought — because they consigned to death in the fire the confessors in Christ, those not recanting from Him under torture. The Saint’s love for the Christian martyrs and her fervent desire to lighten their fate impelled Katherine to go to the pagan head-priest and ruler of the empire, the emperor-persecutor Maximian.

Introducing herself, the saint confessed her Christian faith and with wisdom denounced the errors of the pagans. The beauty of the maiden captivated the emperor. In order to convince her and show the superiority of pagan wisdom, the emperor gave orders to gather 50 of the most learned men of the empire, but the Saint got the better of the wise men, such that they themselves came to believe in Christ. Saint Katherine shielded them with the sign of the cross, and they bravely accepted death for Christ and were burnt by order of the emperor.

On the following day they again brought the her to the judgment court where, under the threat of being broken on the wheel, they urged that she recant from the Christian faith and offer sacrifice to the pagan gods. The saint steadfastly confessed Christ and she herself approached the wheels; but an Angel smashed the instruments of execution, which broke up into pieces with many pagans passing nearby. Having beheld this wonder, the empress Augusta and the imperial courtier Porphyry with 200 soldiers confessed their faith in Christ in front of everyone, and they were beheaded. Maximian again tried to entice Saint Katherine, proposing marriage to her, and again he received a refusal. She confessed her fidelity to the Heavenly Bridegroom — Christ, and with a prayer to Him she herself put her head on the block under the sword of the executioner.

Read the complete biography on the Orthodox Church of America website.

 

Entrance of the Theotokos Divine Liturgy on Tuesday, November 20, 2017 at 6:30pm

Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple

Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple

The Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple, also called The Presentation, is one of the Great Feasts of the Orthodox Church, celebrated on November 21.

According to Tradition, the Theotokos was taken – presented – by her parents Joachim and Anna into the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem as a young girl, where she lived and served as a Temple virgin until her betrothal to St. Joseph. One of the earliest sources of this tradition is the non-canonical Protoevangelion of James, also called the Infancy Gospel of James.

Mary was solemnly received by the temple community which was headed by the priest Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist. She was led to the holy place to become herself the “holy of holies” of God, the living sanctuary and temple of the Divine child who was to be born in her. The Church also sees this feast as a feast which marks the end of the physical temple in Jerusalem as the dwelling place of God.

Source: The OrthodoxWiki website.

 

NOTE DATE CHANGE – St. Nicholas Children’s Celebration on Wednesday, December 6, 2018

St. Nicholas

The date of the program has been moved to December 6, 2018. Bp. Nicholas will be visiting St. Paul’s the day before on December 5, 2018.

The kids love it!

Schedule:

  • St. Nickolas program atarts at 6pm.

Parents: Bring you children!

Christmas Fast Continues

The Nativity Fast is one of the four Canonical Fasting Seasons in the Church year. This is a joyous fast in anticipation of the Nativity of Christ. That is the reason it is less strict than other fasting periods. The fast is divided into two periods. The 1st period is November 15th through December 19th when the traditional fasting discipline (no meat, dairy, fish, wine, and oil) is observed. There is dispensation given for wine and oil on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Similarly, fish, wine, and oil are permitted on Saturdays and Sundays.

The 2nd period is December 20th through 24th when the traditional fasting discipline (no meat, dairy, fish, wine, and oil) is observed. There is dispensation given for wine and oil only on Saturday and Sunday during this period.

Fasting always works in conjuction with prayer and giving alms (helping the poor, giving to worthy charities, etc.). Fasting helps us reorder the interior life, but the reordering does not occur with greater prayer and greater concern for the poor.

The reordering is a clarification — we end up seeing things more clearly, we get stronger in the fight against sin and temptation. The fast always ends on a great Feast Day of our Lord.

For a complete list, visit the Antiochian website or click on the image below:

 

Toys for Tots Drive Until December 2, 2018

Give to Toys for Tots

Let’s make our Second Annual Toys for Tots Drive the best one yet!

Please bring new, unwrapped toys to Church to make Christmas brighter for kids who otherwise would have none.

A Toys for Tots contribution box will be in the Social Hall until December 2, 2018.

Every child deserves a Christmas!

 

Interfaith Charities Needs Soups

Interfaith Charities, the local assembly of churches that helps the poor in our area, needs soups.

Publix is running a two for one on soups this week. Buy some and give double!

If you bring to the church, we will get them to Interfaith Charities.

 

Calendar At A Glance

  • Thursday, November 15 — Christmas Fast Begins
  • Tuesday, November 20, 2018 — 6:30pm Entrance of the Theotokos Divine Liturgy
  • Wednesday December 6, 2018 — St. Nicholas Celebration. 6:00pm.

Wisdom From The Elders

The Word of God must be understood as the holy fathers understood it, as the Orthodox Church understands it, and not as we ourselves might wish. Priest Daniel Sysoev

What we gain from fasting does not compensate for what we lose through anger. Our profit from scriptural reading in no way equals the damage we cause ourselves by showing contempt for a brother. We must practice fasting, vigils, withdrawal, and the meditation of Scripture as activities which are subordinate to our main objective, purity of heart, that is to say, love, and we must never disturb this principal virtue for the sake of those others. If this virtue remains whole and unharmed within us nothing can injure us, not even if we are forced to omit any of those other subordinate virtues. Nor will it be of any use to have practiced all these latter if there is missing in us that principal objective for the sake of which all else is undertaken. St. John Cassian

The chief thing is faith, or the spiritual vision of the Lord and the hope of receiving everything from Him, as the Most-merciful, the Most-true. This is the truth! This is from experience! Righteous John, Wonderworker of Kronstadt

Stablish in your heart the following truth: one thing alone is worthy of all our hatred— that is, sin or vice; and towards men nourish exclusively love. Righteous John, Wonderworker of Kronstadt

Coming to understand the passions rightly is a critical need in the Christian life—and this is nowhere truer than in our present world, where the desires and impulses of the mind are often conceived of as good in themselves. Bishop Irenei Steenberg

Remember in Your Prayers

Helen (Rogers)
Doug Spencer
Kathy Spencer
Kathy D
Andreas
Sofia Tešanovic
Paul
Dennis H. and Family
Victor Evan
Ann
James
Vasiliki
Efstratia
Alexandra
Nikos
Georgia
Ioannis
Costandinos
Jeffrey
Vaso
Dave
Dimitri – Presbyter
Vassiliki
Octavio
Tom
Carl
Rena
Nikolay (5 year old boy in Bulgaria whose parents asked us to pray)
David
Eva K.
Rosie
Kathryn
Jeremy
Constantine
Robert
Jane
Theodora
David
Gina
Baby Brynn L.
Micheal
Haralambos
Lillian
Presbytera Rosy
Valentina
Eva W.
Barbara
Angela
Carol Ann
Matthew
Chrysostom
Tim
Pat
Christina
Maria Louise
Maximos
Marian
Photini
Nicholas
Sarah
Petronia (Wife of Phil Pappas)
Constantine Houpis
Anna Marie Smith Baker
Ron Chromulak
Beverly Chromulak
Katerina
Loucine Kassis
Mary Kassis
Baby Maximus
Christine
Maria
Annette Star
Claire Livaditis
Eva Chandilles
Baby Dani
Scott Nedoff
James Hord
Tom

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.

 

Sunday Readings

Christ Giving Blessing

Epistle

For the Twenty-fifth Sunday after Pentecost

For St. Katherine the Great-Martyr

God is wondrous in His saints.
Bless God in the congregations.

The Reading from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Galatians. (3:23-4:5)

Brethren, before faith came, we were confined under the Law, kept under restraint until faith should be revealed. So that the Law was our custodian until Christ came, that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a custodian; for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise. I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no better than a slave, though he is the owner of all the estate; but he is under guardians and trustees until the date set by the father. So with us; when we were children, we were slaves to the elemental spirits of the universe. But when the time had fully come, God sent forth His Son, to redeem those who were under the Law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.

Gospel

For the Thirteenth Sunday of Luke

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke. (18:18-27)

At that time, a man came testing Jesus and asking, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery. Do not kill. Do not steal. Do not bear false witness. Honor your father and mother.’” And the man said, “All these I have observed from my youth.” And when Jesus heard it, he said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”

But when the man heard this he became sad, for he was very rich. Jesus, seeing him sad, said, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” Those who heard it said, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus said, “What is impossible with men is possible with God.”

St. Peter Orthodox Church