Sixth Sunday of Matthew
Holy and Just Eudokimos of Cappadocia
Joseph of Arimathea
Holy and Just Eudokimos of Cappadocia
Saint Eudokimos was from Cappadocia, the son of pious and most illustrious parents, patricians in rank. He especially cultivated chastity and mercy.
When he was made military commander of Cappadocia, he continued in his righteous ways, showing mercy and uprightness in all his dealings. Having so lived in piety, quietly and without ostentation, he was called from this life at the age of thirty-three, about the year 840, during the reign of the Iconoclast Theophilus.
Not long after his burial, his grave became a fountain of unending miracles, as God revealed the virtue that Eudocimus had striven to hide; when his grave was later opened, his body was found incorrupt. His holy relics were translated to Constantinople.
Joseph of Arimathea
Righteous Joseph of Arimathea was a secret disciple of our Lord Jesus Christ. As a member of the Sanhedrin he did not participate in the “counsel and deed” of the Jews in passing a death sentence for Jesus Christ. After the Crucifixion and Death of the Saviour he made bold to go to Pilate and ask him for the Body of the Lord, to Which he gave burial with the help of Righteous Nicodemus, who was also a secret disciple of the Lord.
They took down the Body of the Saviour from the Cross, wrapped it in a winding-cloth, and placed it in a new tomb, in which no one had ever been buried, in the Garden of Gethsemane, in the presence of the Mother of God and the holy Myrrh-Bearing Women (St Joseph had prepared this tomb for himself). Having rolled a heavy stone before the entrance of the tomb, they departed (John 19:37-42; Matt 27:57-61; Mark 15:43-47; Luke 24:50-56). St Joseph travelled around the world, proclaiming the Gospel of Christ. He died peacefully in England.
Dormition of the Theotokos – August 1-15
From August 1 through 15 we commemorate the Dormition of the Theotokos. “Dormition” means “falling-asleep,” the term St. Paul uses for those who have died in Christ. Death in Christ is like a falling asleep and then awakening with Christ.
The Holy Scriptures tell us that when our Lord was dying on the Cross, He saw His mother and His disciple John and said to the Virgin Mary, “Woman, behold your son!” and to John, “Behold your mother!” (John 19:25-27). From that hour, the Apostle took care of the Theotokos in his own home.
The season ends on August 15 with a special Divine Liturgy held in the evening. During the two weeks leading up to that day, we will hold a smaller service called “The Paraklesis to the Theotokos” on Monday, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 6:30pm.
This is also a fasting period. The basic discipline is no meat from August 1 to 15.
Eggs for the Poor
Last week we got a call from the Cafe of Life asking if St. Peter’s could donate 16 hard boiled eggs (eight last week, eight this week)s for the working poor of Bonita Springs. St. Peter’s partners with Cafe of Life as part of our mission to help the poor around us.
St. Peter’s parishioners got to work and the eggs were delivered this week.
Do You Have a Couch to Donate?
Do you have a couch you don’t need? Cafe of Life is resettling a family and they need a couch. If you have one please mention it to Zannos Grekos.
The Vision of St. Peter’s
The Church is the Body of Christ. This means that Christ lives among us, and He will manifest Himself to us and we will be partakers of the life that only He offers. We must love another. If we love one another, then He will send people who want to know Him to St. Peter’s. Only the Lord adds people to the Church (Acts 2:47). The Lord will have confidence in us and people will find Him among us.
Our commitment then must be to Christ first, especially the private spaces of our heart. Deep inside we yearn for the life that only Christ can give us, the comfort, encouragement, wisdom and power that only comes from God. “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life” it says in Proverbs 4:23.
Christ first, our neighbor second. Yet these two commandments are first be realized in the Church because that is where we find God and neighbor. If we strive for what is necessary there, everything else in life will find their proper place. Knots become untangled, past mistakes become the ground for a better life, wounds are healed, the future has promise and purpose.
This does not mean that life will be easy (life is never easy). It does mean however that our lives get more on track, closer to God and His will for our lives. When that happens blessings and joy and meaning come too. Our souls are nourished and our minds get more clear. We see life as it is, we are more in reality and then we find God more too because God only lives in reality.
That is one reason why St. Peter’s does not have a focus on constant fund-raising. There will be no festivals, no endless appeals for money. We don’t believe that our energy should be solely focused on keeping the organization running. The Church has to run of course and has immediate financial needs (we have to keep the lights on and the air-conditioning running) but focusing on these needs alone mutes and often obscures the greater purposes of our calling as Sons of the Living God (men and women alike).
When we comprehend the larger purpose of St. Peter’s and our role in it, our responsibilities toward our parish become more clear as well. Right now we have a need. Summer giving is slow (it happens every summer) and we want to stay in the black. Please prayerfully consider if the Lord is directing you to help St. Peter’s with an increased financial gift to continue our important work.
Register Your Children for Sunday School
Sunday School begins September 11, 2016 — the first Sunday after Labor Day and parents need to register their children!
You can register you child in three ways:
- Fill in the registration online on the website or…
- Download and print the registration form, fill it in and bring it to Church or…
- During Social Hall on Sundays.
Please register early. Sunday School is growing and we need to plan. It is only about 7 weeks away.
No Choir practice August 3 and 10, 2016
We will hold Paraklesis Service at 6:30.
We will hold choir practice this Wednesday, July 27.
No Bible Study August 3 and 10, 2016
We will hold Paraklesis Service at 6:30.
We will hold Bible Study this Wednesday, July 27.
Wisdom from the Elders
Orthodoxy is life. If we don’t live Orthodoxy, we simply are not Orthodox, no matter what formal beliefs we might hold.
-Fr. Seraphim Rose
Humility is a Divine property and the perfection of the Christian life. It is attained through obedience. He who is not obedient cannot attain humility. There are very few in the world today who have obedience.
-Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica
God belongs to all free beings. He is the life of all, the salvation of all —faithful and unfaithful, just and unjust, pious and impious, passionate and dispassionate, monks and laymen, wise and simple, healthy and sick, young and old —just as the effusion of light, the sight of the sun, and the changes of the seasons are for all alike; “for there is no respect of persons with God.”
St. John Climacus
God loves us very much; He has us in mind in each and every moment and He protects us. We should know this and not be afraid of anything.
Prayer List on the St. Peter website
The Prayer List is now available on the St. Peter website. You can add or remove names using the form provided. More important is that you can print out the names periodically to keep on your family altar or near your icons and bible and reference the names whenever you pray.
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 (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 Sixth Sunday after Pentecost
Thou, O Lord, wilt preserve us and keep us from this generation.
Save me, O Lord, for the Godly man hath disappeared.
The Reading from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Romans. (12:6-14)
Brethren, having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; he who teaches, in his teaching; he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who contributes, in liberality; he who gives aid, with zeal; he who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with brotherly affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Never flag in zeal, be aglow with the Spirit, and serve the Lord. Rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints, practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.
For Sixth Sunday of Matthew
The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew. (9:1-8)
At that time, Jesus got into a boat, crossed over and came to His own city. And behold, they brought to Him a paralytic, lying on his bed; and when Jesus saw their faith He said to the paralytic, “Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven.” And behold, some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming.”
But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins”— He then said to the paralytic—“Rise, take up your bed and go home.” And he rose and went home. When the crowds saw it, they marveled, and they glorified God, Who had given such authority to men.