Sunday, August 9 | Afterfeast of the Transfiguration of our Lord
The Church's hymns today invite us to "ascend the holy mountain" and "with the eyes of faith," to "behold the radiant Transfiguration of the Lord." Christ has transformed our fallen human nature and restored its original beauty "by burning radiance of His divinity.
Scripture Readings: 1 Corinthians 3:9-17, St. Matthew 14:22-34, St. Herman: Galatians 5:22-6:2, St. Luke 6:17-23
Sunday's commemorated feasts and saints: 9th Sunday after Pentecost - Tone 8. Afterfeast of the Transfiguration. Glorification of Ven. Herman of Alaska, Wonderworker of All America (1970). Hieromartyr Euthymios of Rhodes (16th c.). Apostle Matthias (ca. 63). Martyr Anthony of Alexandria. Ven. Psoi of Egypt (4th c.). Mmartyrs Julian, Marcian, John, James, Alexius, Demetrius, Photius (Phocas), Peter, Leontius, and Mary, of Constantinople (730).
Next Divine Liturgy: Sunday, August 9 at 10:00 AM
Check your email and be sure to sign up in advance to reserve your spot in church.
Saturday, August 1: Beginning of the Dormition Fast
It is with great joy to inform you that St. Mark of Ephesus Orthodox Mission is now open for Divine Liturgy on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of every month!
Please Note: In light of the strict rules and regulations pertaning to COVID-19, St. Mark of Ephesus Orthodox Mission is not open to visitors at this present time. Only members of St. Mark are permitted to attend Divine Liturgy. In the near future, we hope to once again welcome vistors back to the St. Mark community. We appreciate your patience, cooperation and understanding.
Saint Mark Members: You are required to read the COVID-19 Attendance Rules located on the above tabs (in white) before attending Divine Liturgy.
Zoom Parish Council Meeting: Wednesday, August 19 at 6:30 PM
Please remember in your prayers: the ill and shut-in: Tony P. (Longinus Nikolai), Subdeacon Gregory, Marya "Cookie", Archpriest Marc V., Gina, Alban Frank R., Mat. Eleanor, Priest Antony, Kh. Diana, Eugenia, Reader George, Mat. Irene, Alexandra, the kidnapped Hierarchs Metropolitan Paul (Boulos Yazigi) & Archbishop John (Yohanna Ibrahim); the suffering Christians of Egypt/Syria; those who suffer from terrorist attacks, fires, storms, floods, earthquakes, pestilences; Catechumen Daniel; Penny S., Alexandra P., the Samiotes family, the Piraino family, the Kwong family, the Condrick family; reposed: Peter, Lybov, Johh, Theo, Anna, George, Katina, Mary, Bessie, Jean, Peter, Alexandra, Dorothy, Daniel, Joseph, Elizabeth, Demetri, Sophia
Special Petition: "Again we pray that the Lord our God, in His mercy and providential care for us, will call forth our Diocese of New England, a true shepherd of wisdom and strength, blessing us with an Archpastor to care for the well-being of our Diocese, and to unite His faithful people in a zealous confession of the Orthodox faith, in loving service to one another, and a bright witness to the glory of His Holy Name.
Gregory the Theologian (329-391) said: "God demands the following three virtues from every man who is baptized: for the soul, true faith; for the body, chastity; for the tongue, truth. It is more essential to remember God than to breathe...you must think of God more often than you breathe."
A New Message for Hope and Encouragement:
A Pslam for today (Psalm 1): Blessed is the man that hath not walked in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stood in the way of sinners, nor sat in the seat of the pestilent. But his will is rather in the law of the Lord, and in His law will he mediate day and night. And he shall be like the tree which is planted by the streams of the waters, which shall bring forth its fruit in its season; and its leaf shall not fall, and all things whatsoever he may do shall prosper. Not so are the ungodly, not so; but rather they are like the chaff which the wind doth hurl away from the face of the earth. For this reason shall the ungodly not stand up in judgement, nor sinners in the council of the righteous. For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous, and the way of the ungodly shall perish.
The weather shifts from cloudy to clear and then back to rain; thus it is with human nature. One must always expect clouds to hide the sun sometimes. Even the saints have had their dark hours, days and weeks. They say then that "God has left them" in order that they may know truly how utterly wretched they are of themselves, without His support. These times of darkness, when all seems meaningless, ridiculous and vain, when one is beset by doubt and temptations, are inevitable. But even these times can be harvested for good. (The Way of the Ascetic)
Some suffer much from poverty and sickness, but are not humbled, and so they suffer without profit. But one who is humbled will be happy in all circumstances, because the Lord is his riches and joy, and all people will wonder at the beauty of his soul. (St. Silouan the Athonite)
Faith: I implore you to live piously in order that you might preserve your Orthodox faith, in order that no one and nothing, no circumstances and no kind of sorrow can turn you away from it. For this you absolutely must pray, seeking God's help to keep your faith pure. (St. Nikon)
The rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock." - Matthew 7:25
Phil. 4:6-8: Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anthing praiseworthy-meditate on these things.
Do not despair! The Lord is near. Declare to Him all of our sorrows and confusion. When human means are insufficient for understanding, then God's help immediately grants beneficial thoughts, when we turn to Him as children to a father. (St. Moses)
In these times of uncertainty, is is well to remember that there is a time for everything and to everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8): A time to give birth and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to pluck what is planted; a time to kill and a time to heal; a time to pull down and a time to build up; a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance; a time to throw stones and a time to gather stones; a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek and a time to lose; a time to keep and a time to throw away; a time to tear and a time to sew; a time to keep silent and a time to speak; a time to love and a time to hate; a time of war and a time of peace.
"Fear not, for I am with you. Do not go astray, for I am your God who strenthens you; and I will help and secure you with my righteous hand." (Isaiah 41:10). Above all else, is it good to remember He is always in our midst.
A Message from Fr. John About Fasting and the Eucharist:
In our tradition, there is fasting before reception of the Eucharist, and fasting from the Eucharist. Everyone knows of fasting in preparation to approach the Holy Chalice: eating and drinking nothing from midnight, observing the weekly fasts of Wednesday and Friday, frequenting Confession, reciting the "Prayers of Preparation" and so on. Fasting from the Eucharist means not approaching the Chalice for any number of reasons, i.e., work responsiblities, illness, lack of prepartion, grave sin, not going to Confession and so on. We are now practicing "Fasting from the Eucharist" because of the suspension of Eucharistic celebrations. For all of us, it is a difficult condition. But, for whatever reason, it is an unusual discipline placed on us for an indeterminate period of time. But, I believe that because of our present obedience, we will be rewarded with great joy at the next opportunity to return to receiving the Holy Gifts from the Lord. In the meantime, we continue to pray, read parts of the Lenten services, study Holy Scripture, and continue to grow in our "cells" or "prayer closets." At this time, we learn patience. I am reminded of the faithful people of Alaska in the 19th century who had no Eucharistic celebrations for decades, yet, still continued private and public prayer; that is why in the Aleut tradition, the tonsured Reader was referred to as the "second priest" because he read Hours, Typica, Matins every Sunday. Due to the pandemic, it may be very difficult for many to sustain the restrictions of the Great Fast. Therefore, as parish Confessor, I am blessing you to do whatever is possible. I am not trying to undermine what you have already put into practice; however, there are shopping restrictions. And, if you cannot abstain from certain foods, double your time in Scripture reading, attend the "virtual" worship cycle on the internet, and keep faithful to your daily prayer rule.
Prayer in Time of Affliction
O God Almighty, Lord of heaven and earth, and of all creation visible and invisible, in thine ineffable goodness, look down upon us, they people gathered in thy Holy Name. Be our helper and defender in this day of affliction. Thou knowest our weakness. Thou hearest our cry in repentance and contrition of heart. O Lord who lovest mankind, deliver us from the impending threat of the Corona Virus. Send thine angle to watch over us and protect us. Grant health and recovery to those suffering from this virus. Guide the hands of physicians and preserve those who are healthy. Enable us to continue to serve our suffering brothers and sisters in peace that together we may glorify thy most honorable and majestic name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto agest of ages. Amen.