Weekly Liturgical Calender
Monday, January 23: Commemoration of the Sixth Ecumenical Council (680-681); Hieromartyr Clement of Ancyra; Martyr Agathangelus
Tuesday, January 24: Blessed Xenia of St. Petersburg; Venerable Xenia of Rome; Martyr Babylas of Sicily
Wednesday, January 25: St. Gregory the Theologian, Archbishop of Constantinople (389); New Hieromartyr Vladimir, Metropolitan of Kievn and Galich (1918)
Thursday, January 26: Venerable Xenophon, Mary, Arcadius and John; Right Beloved David of Georgia
Friday, January 27: Translation of the Relics of St. John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople (438)
Saturday, January 28: Venerable Ephraim the Syrian; St. Isaac the Syrian, Bishop of Nineveh
Sunday, January 29: Zacchaeus Sunday; Hieromartyr Ignatius, the God-bearer
For today's scripture readings, click on the following link: https://www.oca.org/readings
Remember in Your Prayers: ill & shut-in: Mitred Archpriest Vasily, Mitred Archpriest Andrew Tregubov, Matushka Katherine, Priest John Bernardi, Matushka Barbara Bernardi, Marie Bernardi, Mary Anne, Helen, Katherine, Daniel H., James, Luis, Ramon, Maria, Marya, Paul, Simon, Alban Frank Ryles, Matushka Eleanor, Priest Antony, Matushka Beverly, Alexandra, Conor, Peter, Alexandra; Catechumens: Judith, Ryan, Rebecca, Ari, Selah, Robert, Gabriel, David; the kidnapped Hierarchs Metropolitan Paul (Boulos Yazigi) & Archbishop John (Yohanna Ibrahim); deployed: Andrew; for the cessation of hostilities in Ukraine.
Icon: St. Gregory the Theologian, Archbishop of Constantinople
The Story of Zacchaeus
(Commemorated on January 29)
The paschal season of the Church is preceded by the season of Great Lent, which is also preceded by its own liturgical preparation. The first sign of the approach of Great Lent comes five Sundays before its beginning. On this Sunday, the Gospel reading is about Zacchaeus the tax-collector. It tells how Christ brought salvation to the sinful man, and how his life was changed simply because he “sought to see who Jesus was” (Luke 19:3). The desire and effort to see Jesus begins the entire movement through Lent towards Pascha. It is the first movement of salvation.
Our lenten journey begins with a recognition of our own sinfulness, just as Zacchaeus recognized his. He promised to make restitution by giving half of his wealth to the poor, and by paying to those he had falsely accused four times as much as they had lost. In this, he went beyond the requirements of the Law (Ex. 22:3-12). The example of Zacchaeus teaches us that we should turn away from our sins and atone for them. The real proof of our sorrow and repentance is not just a verbal apology, but when we correct ourselves and try to make amends for the consequences of our evil actions.
We are also assured of God’s mercy and compassion by Christ’s words to Zacchaeus, “Today salvation is come to this house” (Luke 19:9). After the Great Doxology at Sunday Matins (when the Tone of the week is Tone 1, 3, 5, 7) we sing the Dismissal Hymn of the Resurrection “Today salvation has come to the world,” which echoes the Lord’s words to Zacchaeus.
Zacchaeus was short, so he climbed a tree in order to see the Lord. All of us have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23). We are also short in our spiritual stature, therefore we must climb the ladder of the virtues. In other words, we must prepare for spiritual effort and growth. Saint Zacchaeus is also commemorated on April 20.
Icon: Zacchaeus Sunday
Make peace with yourself, and both heaven and earth will make peace with you
The following are teachings of Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica
As for people, they are never satisfied. Nothing is enough. This began right after the fall of our forebears, when Cain slew Abel out of envy, because Abel's sacrifice was pleasing to God and Cain's wasn't. That is when it all started. Today there is no peace. Everyone behaves as though they will live forever. It really seems though that the end is very near. The factories pollute the environment so much that very soon life will not be possible.
Animals have the joy of living, but we have taken it away from them. They have joy, and we have so much besides joy, yet we are never satisfied. The animals never worry about the future, they do not stack food in granaries and barns, yet the Lord always feeds them. They nibble a twig here, peck at a seed there, they find protection in a hole or a burrow, and they are grateful to God. Not so us men. The birds are always singing praises to the Lord. They begin their song early, at three o'clock in the morning, and don't stop until nine. At nine they calm down a little bit - it's only then that they go looking for food to feed their young. Then they start singing again. Nobody tells them to sing - they just do. And what about us? We're always frowning, always pouting; we don't feel like singing or doing anything else. We should follow the example of the birds. They're always joyful whereas we're always bothered by something. What is it that bothers us? Nothing, really...isn't that right?
We must bear everything patiently and forgive all.
Repentance is a change of life.
Do not be afraid! It is not true that you cannot get along with anyone. You just cannot get along with yourself!
Make peace with yourself, and both heaven and earth will make peace with you.
If we ourselves do not learn humility, God will not stop humbling us.
When there is no human being that can bring us comfort, then God comes and brings us joy through a book.
As the old Byzantine saying goes: If it is the king that is persecuting you, run; if it is God Who is persecuting you, sit down!
All things here on this earth, all that is good and also all that is not, everything comes from our thoughts. Our thoughts determine our whole life. If our thoughts are destructive, we will have no peace. If they are quiet, meek and simple, our life will be the same, and we will have peace within us. It will radiate from us and influence all beings around us - rational beings, animals, and even plants.
Icon: The Mother of God "Assuage my Sorrow" commemorated on January 25
To learn more about this beautiful icon, click here: Translation to Moscow of the Icon of the Mother of God “Assuage my Sorrow” - Orthodox Church in America (oca.org)