Sunday, February 1 / January 19 (Church Calendar)
Saints of the Day
January 19 / February 1. St. Macarius the Great of Egypt St. Macarius of Alexandria. Virgin Martyr Euphrasia of Nicomedia. St.Arsenius, Archbishop of Kerkyra (Corfu). Translation of the Relics of St. Gregory the Theologian. St. Mark, Archbishop of Ephesus.St. Meletius the Gallesiote, monk. Blessed Theodore of Novgorod, fool-for-Christ. Opening of the Relics of St. Sabbas of Storozhevor Zvenigorod. St. Macarius, deacon of the Kiev Caves. St. Macarius of the Kiev Caves. St. Anthony, hermit of Georgia. St.Macarius the Roman of Novgorod.
Thought for the Day:
There is the true story of a priest-monk (the renowned Starets Alexis of Goloseyevsky Hermitage, of the Kiev-Caves Lavra, who died in 1916) who was conducting the re-vesting of the relics of Saint Theodosius of Chernigov. of the Kieve-Caves Lavra. The Starets (Elder), becoming tired, fell asleep and saw before him the Saint, who told him: “I thank you for laboring with me. I beg you also, when you will serve the Liturgy, to commemorate my parents, the Priest Nikita an Maria.” Starets Alexis, startled by the request, asked, “How can you, O Saint, ask my prayers, when you yourself stand at the heavenly Throne and grant to people God’s mercy?” Saint Theodorsius responded with the words, “Yes, that is true, but the offering at the Liturgy is more powerful than my prayers.”
As a priest, I bear the awesome burden of offering the Holy Oblation before the Throne of God, on behalf of all the people who’s names are submitted to the monastery, and who are Orthodox. I offer for my spiritual children, and even for the whole world. I commemorate my own beloved parents, Albert and Dolores, who both converted to the Orthodox Faith, while in their mid seventies, and who both lived many years in Orthodoxy, before reposing in the Lord. I remember my best friend in college, Russell, who, like myself, converted from Lutheranism to Orthodoxy, and died in the pastoral care of my friend, Archpriest Nicholas Letten. I offer the Holy Oblation for the people who regularly attend the Sunday and Holy Day Liturgies, here in our monastery’s temple. I offer, like all other priests, the Holy Oblation, for our nation, our civil authorities, and our armed forces. I offer the Eucharistic sacrifice for our Holy Patriarch Kyrill, our Metropolitan Hillarion, my Archbishop Kyrill, and my Bishop Theodosy of Seattle. I offer the Oblation for all those who have no one to pray for them, and for those who have died, but are forgotten. I offer for myself.
As a priest, I am a Servant of the Altar, and a slave of Christ. I take this role very, very seriously. Heaven, the ultimate goal of all Christians, is the Eternal Kingdom wherein the Heavenly Banquet (The Eucharist) is eternally celebrated, eternally offered, in worship of the Holy Trinity.
As Orthodox Christians, we find life in this celebration, for the Eucharist is not only an offering to God, but the source of Life, for ourselves. Christ said, “he who eats of My Body, and drinks of my Blood, has life”. It is not a “symbol” or “memorial” of something that took place in the past, but a place where we meet Eternity. Within the celebration of the Divine Liturgy, we enter into the place where there is neither time, nor space. We enter into the Heavenly Kingdom, where the Church Triumphant (in heaven) unites with the Church Militant (on earth). We enter into the Communion of Saints!
I am a proponent of frequent communion, as are the fathers of the Holy Mountain of Athos, because we need the Eucharist. It sustains us, encourages us, fortifies us, heals us, transforms us. The early Christians receive whenever they gathered together, for they knew the communal participation in the Eucharistic banquet, was life giving.
When Saint Theodorsius asked for his late parents to be commemorated in The Offering, he knew the impact it would have on them, for it is efficacious for both those on earth, and for those who await the Final Judgement Seat of Christ. Glory to God for His loving kindness. Glory to God Who has shown us the Light.
With love in that very Christ,
Scripture Readings for the Day
1 Timothy 4:9-15
9 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance. 10 For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe. 11 These things command and teach.
Take Heed to Your Ministry
12 Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. 13 Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. 14 Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. 15 Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all.
Jesus Comes to Zacchaeus’ House
1 Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. 2 Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. 3 And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way. 5 And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” 6 So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully. 7 But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, “He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.”
8 Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.”
9 And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; 10 for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
Photo of the Day
Interior photo of the Monastery’s temple, dedicated to the Protection of the Holy Virgin.
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