Weekly Update and Bulletin From Fr. Robert Miclean – February 24, 2013

How easy it is to be like the Pharisee.  All of us have been there: we’re focused on the ‘doing’ of the Faith, our book knowledge, or our ethnic heritage in the Church, to the exclusion of its inner meaning, our communion (koinonia) and relationship with God, which can only progress with growth in humility and love for God and our neighbor.  The sins which the Pharisee enumerates: extortion, adultery, injustice—are all evil, yes–they separate us from the life with God in His holiness.  But we know that God greatly desires to forgive and restore those who are guilty of these sins if they repent with a sincere heart—as does the Publican.  If God forgives one of our fellow human beings, who are we to judge that brother or sister?  Who are we to condemn men generally?  Rather, we’re called to strive for the healing from sin-sickness of ourselves and others, with our and their eternal salvation in view.  To stand by and do and say nothing while someone departs from God’s way or engages in behavior that separates them from God, or hurts themselves or others, is the opposite of true love.  We can become our own shameful judgment and condemnation of that individual.  By leaving them to their own devises, we can commit a sin of omission.  In other words, we strive to love the sinner and hate the sin.

So why do we shrink back from holding others accountable, of challenging those in sin, of calling them to repentance?  Perhaps it’s our prideful fear of their or society’s disapproval; we fear man more than we fear God; we love ‘fitting in’ more than we truly love those around us, who are created in the image of God and called to a common struggle for healing and holiness with us.  As we look toward the start of the Lenten Fast, we do well to keep ourselves from judging those around us for how they fast or what they do, or the sins they’ve committed.  We keep our focus on Christ and our own need for growth in humility.  At the same time, we speak the truth in love to those around us, we purge  ourselves of our own sins, and we refuse to be a party to the relativism and evil going on around us in our society, preferring instead to be a living witness of Christ’s love, power, healing, and glory, that others too may come to join us in our own repentance, and find their healing and salvation too.

In His love, Fr. Robert+

This week at Holy Archangels:

  • Wednesday, February 27, 6:30 p.m., Daily Vespers, St. John’s College Boathouse
  • Saturday, March 2, 6 p.m.,Great Vespers with Matins Gospel. Confession following.
  • Sunday, March 3, 9:30 a.m. Hours, Divine Liturgy followed by Trapeza.
  • Sunday, March 3, During Trapeza, First Holy Archangels Annual Meeting, all members welcome!

Looking Ahead: Save the Dates!

  • Sunday, March 19, Meat Fare, Baptism of Noel and Nini’s baby, Emiliane.
  • Sunday, March 17, Divine Liturgy—Sunday of Forgiveness and Cheesefare.  Forgiveness Vespers with the Rite of Forgiveness to follow Trapeza.  All are encouraged to attend as we begin Lent together in the spirit of mutual forgiveness!

Prayer Requests:

  • Pray for God’s ongoing financial provision for our Mission.
  • Please pray for our Mission that we may find a Choir Director and that we may continue to grow in spirit and in numbers as a living witness of God’s love, healing, power, and glory.
  • Healing for Fr. George Johnson, Viorica, Benedict, Marina, Colette, Mary, Carol, Katherine, Leah and her baby, and for the souls of the departed Drew, Dorothy.

Troparion              (Resurrection) Tone 5
Let us, the faithful, praise and worship the Word, // co-eternal with the Father and the Spirit,
born for our salvation from the Virgin; // for He willed to be lifted up on the Cross in the flesh,
to endure death, // and to raise the dead// by His glorious Resurrection.
Troparion              (for St John the Baptist) Tone 4
The head of the Forerunner has shone from the earth,
sending forth rays of incorruption and healings to the faithful.
It gathers together a multitude of Angels above
and summons the human race below//
to send up glory with one voice to Christ our God.
Troparion (Holy Archangels)            Tone 4
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              (for St John the Baptist) Tone 2
O Prophet of God and Forerunner of Grace,
we have found your head as a sacred rose.
Therefore we always receive healings from it,
and, as in times past, now you preach repentance to the world.
Kontakion            (from the Lenten Triodion) Tone 4            
Let us flee from the pride of the Pharisee! // Let us learn humility from the Publican’s tears!
Let us cry to our Savior: // “Have mercy on us, // O only merciful One!”
Kontakion            (Holy Archangels)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,//
Supreme Commanders of the Bodiless Hosts.