The Sunday of the Prodigal Son affords us the opportunity to consider how much we value our inheritance, our identity, in Christ. The prodigal demands his inheritance from his father (even before his father dies) and squanders it on riotous living. Having become a slave to his passions, there’s no sating them. Having starved his soul to give the passions their want, the prodigal is left starving, longing to eat the pig’s slop. He’s lost everything: his very identity has been squandered. When he “returns to himself,” that is, he repents, he recovers the truth of who he is—his father’s unworthy son—and he returns from the far country. This is the very ‘icon’ of repentance (Gk. metanoia), that is, of a “change of heart and mind.” The son, in his returning, sees himself worthy only of being one of his father’s hired servants. His prideful arrogance is gone; only the humility of one who has seen the emptiness of losing one’s true self, one’s true identity, remains. But, in this humility and repentance, he is restored. Likewise, our true identity is who we are in Christ, who we are as God’s adopted sons, called to glory and participation in the life of God the Holy Trinity. When the son returns, he receives his father’s forgiveness, who runs to embrace him. Fittingly, in many Orthodox icons of this Parable, the father is portrayed as Christ Himself, before whom we repent, to whom we return when we “come to ourselves,” through Holy Confession—recovering our true identity and being made fit and worthy for life with God in His eternal and heavenly Kingdom. In Christ’s love, Fr. Robert+
THIS WEEK AT HOLY ARCHANGELS (all services at our church home—47 Spa Rd):
- Today: Pre-school aged children on up are invited to come to Sunday School during Trapeza
- Wed, Feb. 15 (weekly), 6:45 p.m., Galatians Bible Study Continues: “St. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians as the Early Christians Saw it.” This Week: Chapter 4-5: An Allegory, Sonship and Slavery, Liberty in the Spirit. Share the opportunity to learn & grow in faith with your friends!
- Friday, Feb. 17, 6:30 p.m., Mission Council Meeting, Rectory
- Sat, Feb. 18, 6 p.m., Great Vespers, Sunday of the Last Judgment, Confession following
- Sun, Feb. 19, 9:30a.m. Hours, 10 a.m., Divine Liturgy, Meatfare, Sunday of the Last Judgment, Trapeza for Sunday of Meatfare follows together with the Annual Meeting.
Looking Ahead: Mark your Calendars!
- *Sun., Feb. 26, Sunday of Adam’s Expulsion from Paradise, Cheesefare Trapeza (please sign up), followed by Forgiveness Vespers, Rite of Forgiveness (liturgical start of Lent)!
- *Mon., Feb. 27, Clean Monday, strict fast, beginning of fast for Great and Holy Lent.
- *Wed., Feb. 29, 6:30 p.m., First Presanctified Liturgy and new Bible study
- March 10-18, Robert leading National OCF Realbreak Mission to Romania
Go Fund Me Campaign: Please share this opportunity with family, friends to keep Holy Archangels going and growing and possibly to move into larger space in our building. All EXTRA gifts will help make that move possible. Sharing via email and through social media makes a big difference.
House Blessings: Last Call! Faithful Orthodox Christians invite Christ into their homes to have them blessed and manifesting Christ’s light, peace, truth, and love, harbors in the midst of the storm of the world, places of refuge for our souls. Please contact Fr. Robert with two suggested days and times for a house blessing as soon as possible. He will do his best to accommodate you (n.b., Mondays, his day off, he is generally not available).
Confession and Reception: In keeping with OCA Guidelines, it is the discipline at Holy Archangels to practice monthly confession. If you wish to receive Communion and a month has passed and you have not made confession for good reason, or are visiting, please talk with Fr. Robert prior to the service and before approaching the Chalice to ask for a blessing to receive.
- That God may grow our Mission “in spirit and in numbers…”
- For God’s financial provision for our Mission & ACM (Annapolis College Ministry);
- Forgiveness, memory eternal: Marie (Paul’s Aunt), victims of St. Mark Cathedral terrorist attack
- Metropolitan Isaiah of Georgia, Archpriest George, Rdr. John, Gov. Hogan, Benedict, Daniel, Mat. Janet, Eric, Daniel, Noah, Norm, Svetlana, Alex, Gary, Timothy, Arthur, the Church in Georgia & Romania as they address the relativism of the West, speaking the truth in love, our persecuted brethren in the Middle East, a peaceful resolution in Syria.
Troparion (Resurrection) Tone 1
When the stone had been sealed by the Jews,//while the soldiers were guarding Thy most pure body,
Thou didst rise on the third day, O Savior, // granting life to the world.
The powers of heaven therefore cried to Thee, O Giver of Life:
“Glory to Thy Resurrection, O Christ! // Glory to Thy Kingdom!//
Glory to Thy dispensation, O thou who lovest of mankind!”
Troparion (Angels) Tone 4
O Commanders of the heavenly hosts, // we who are unworthy beseech you:
by your prayers encompass us beneath the wings of your immaterial glory,
and faithfully preserve us who fall down and cry to you://
Deliver us from all harm, for you are the Commanders of the Powers on high!
Kontakion (from the Lenten Triodion) Tone 3
I have recklessly forgotten Thy glory, O Father;
and among sinners I have scattered the riches which Thou gavest me.
And now I cry to Thee as the Prodigal: // “I have sinned before Thee, O merciful Father;
receive me as a penitent, // and make me as one of Thy hired servants!”
Kontakion (Angels) Tone 2
Commanders of God’s armies//and ministers of the divine glory, // princes of the bodiless Angels
and guides of mankind;//ask for what is good for us, and for great mercy,//
O Supreme Commanders of the Bodiless Hosts.