Weekly Update and Bulletin From Fr. Robert Miclean – March 3, 2013

We live in a culture of ‘rights.’  Indeed, many people interpret democracy today to mean something along the lines of ‘I can do whatever I want.’  Even the laws of the land can become subjectively defined according to these so-called ‘rights.’  The younger son, the prodigal, demands his share of the inheritance prematurely as if it is his by right, rather than a gracious gift from his father: he feels he has it coming to him.  There’s no prostration here, but rather a command, “Give me the portion of goods that falls to me.”

So, he goes off to the far country and there squanders the gracious gift of his inheritance on riotous living, carousing.  He gives himself completely over to his passions, but in the end, finds himself barren, hungry, and in want.  It cannot satisfy or fill the emptiness in his soul.

So it is for man: there’s no sating the passions; there’s no way to satisfy their greedy want.  The more we give in to them, the more they will demand—until our soul is dead, until we are dead.  Compromise with the priorities and values of this culture: making peace with humanism, secularism and nihilism for the sake of oversensitivity, prideful fear of standing out as Orthodox, will not save us or lead to deification and salvation.  Instead, it will lead our souls step by step into exile away from our Heavenly Father and the inheritance of the Saints we hope for in faith.

Now is the time to repent of our exiled minds and hearts.  Now is the time to purge ourselves of whatever degree of enslavement we have to this culture’s godlessness, dehumanization, and vainglory. God desires so much better for us: He runs to meet us in our repentance as the father in the parable does as he first sees the son coming home.  God showers us with His forgiveness and love even before we can prostrate ourselves before Him or muster anything close in terms of a response to His graciousness and love for us. God receives us.  He loves us.  He makes us not into one of His hired servants, but instead restores us to sonship.  He feeds us with the fatted calf, that is, His Lamb, the Body and Blood of Christ, the Foretaste of the Heavenly Banquet of our inheritance with God in all the Saints.

In His love, Fr. Robert+

This week at Holy Archangels:

  • Sunday, March 3, During Trapeza, First Holy Archangels Annual Meeting, all members welcome!
  • Saturday, March 9, 6 p.m.,Great Vespers with Matins Gospel. Confession following.
  • Sunday, March 10, 9:30 a.m. Hours, Baptism and Divine Liturgy followed by Trapeza. Meat Fare, Baptism of Noel and Nini’s baby, Emiliane. Last day to eat MEAT!

Looking Ahead: Save the Dates!

  • 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!
  • Monday, March 18, Great and Holy Lent Begins!
  • Wednesday, March 20, 6:30, First Presanctified Liturgy Lenten Potluck Dinner following, St. John’s Boathouse

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 6
The angelic powers were at Your tomb; // the guards became as dead men.
Mary stood by Your grave, // seeking Your most pure body.
You took hell captive,// not being tempted by it.
You came to the Virgin, granting life.//
O Lord, Who rose from the dead, glory to You.
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            (from the Lenten Triodion) Tone 3            
I have recklessly forgotten Your glory, O Father;
and among sinners I have scattered the riches which You gave me.
And now I cry to You as the Prodigal:
“I have sinned before You, O merciful Father;
receive me a penitent,
and make me as one of Your hired servants!”
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.