Sunday Off?

Let us not, out of laziness, miss the Sunday Liturgy

It seems we all go through periods in our lives when our church attendance drops off. Work and home life can seem hectic, and we fall into the trap of letting ourselves feel overwhelmed. Given the fast pace of our active lives, and feeling like we just don’t have enough time in the day, it is easy to let the Sunday Divine Liturgy fall the the wayside, and convince ourselves that we need to have “Sunday off.”

Saint Gregory Palamas begs to differ with us: “Let no one out of laziness or continuous worldly occupations miss these holy Sunday gatherings, which God Himself handed down to us, lest he be justly abandoned by God… If you are detained and do not attend on one occasion, make up for it the next time, bringing yourself to Christ’s Church. Otherwise you may remain uncured, suffering from unbelief in your soul because of deeds or words, and failing to approach Christ’s surgery to receive… holy healing.”

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Sunday March 24, 2019 / March 11, 2019
Second Sunday of the Great Lent. Tone two.
Great Lent. Food with Oil
St. Gregory Palamas the Archbishop of Thessalonica (movable holiday on the 2nd Sunday of the Great Lent).
Synaxis of all Venerable Fathers of the Kiev Caves (movable holiday on the 2nd Sunday of the Great Lent).
St. Sophronius, patriarch of Jerusalem (638).
St. Euthymius, Bishop of Novgorod, wonderwoker (1458).
Venerable Alexis of Goloseyevsky Skete, Kiev Caves (1917).
Venarable Patrikius confessor (1933).
New Hieromartyr Basil, priest (1937).
Venerable Sophronius, recluse of the Kiev Caves (13th c.).
Hieromartyr Pionius of Smyrna and those with him: Asclepiades, Macedonia, Linus and Sabina (250).
Translation of the relics of Martyr Epimachus of Pelusium to Constantinople (250).
St. Sophronius of Vratsa (1815) (Bulgaria).
Venerable George, abbot of Sinai, brother of St. John Climacus (7th c.).
Venerable John Moskhos (622).
Venerable Oengus the Culdee, compiler of first Irish martyrology (824) (Celtic & British).
Venerable George the New, wonderworker of Constantinople (970) (Greek).
St. Theodora, queen of Arta, wife of Despot Michael II of Epirus (1275) (Greek).
Hieromartyr Eulogius, metropolitan of Cordova (859).
Martyrs Trophimus and Thalus of Laodicea (300) (Greek).
Hieromartyr Constantine, in Kintyre.

The Scripture Readings

John 21:1-14

Breakfast by the Sea

21 After these things Jesus showed Himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias, and in this way He showed Himself: 2 Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of His disciples were together. 3 Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.”

They said to him, “We are going with you also.” They went out and immediately got into the boat, and that night they caught nothing. 4 But when the morning had now come, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 5 Then Jesus said to them, “Children, have you any food?”

They answered Him, “No.”

6 And He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast, and now they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish.

7 Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment (for he had removed it), and plunged into the sea. 8 But the other disciples came in the little boat (for they were not far from land, but about two hundred cubits), dragging the net with fish. 9 Then, as soon as they had come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid on it, and bread. 10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish which you have just caught.”

11 Simon Peter went up and dragged the net to land, full of large fish, one hundred and fifty-three; and although there were so many, the net was not broken. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and eat breakfast.” Yet none of the disciples dared ask Him, “Who are You?”—knowing that it was the Lord. 13 Jesus then came and took the bread and gave it to them, and likewise the fish.

14 This is now the third time Jesus showed Himself to His disciples after He was raised from the dead.

Hebrews 1:10-2:3

10 And:

“You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth,
And the heavens are the work of Your hands.
11 They will perish, but You remain;
And they will all grow old like a garment;
12 Like a cloak You will fold them up,
And they will be changed.
But You are the same,
And Your years will not fail.”

13 But to which of the angels has He ever said:

“Sit at My right hand,
Till I make Your enemies Your footstool”?

14 Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?

Do Not Neglect Salvation

2 Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. 2 For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, 3 how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him,

Mark 2:1-12

Jesus Forgives and Heals a Paralytic

2 And again He entered Capernaum after some days, and it was heard that He was in the house. 2 Immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door. And He preached the word to them. 3 Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. 4 And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying.

5 When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.”

6 And some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, 7 “Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

8 But immediately, when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they reasoned thus within themselves, He said to them, “Why do you reason about these things in your hearts? 9 Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise, take up your bed and walk’? 10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”—He said to the paralytic, 11 “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” 12 Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!”

Abbot Tryphon

About Abbot Tryphon

The Very. Rev. Abbot Tryphon All-Merciful Saviour Monastery on Vashon Island, Washington. The Monastery is under the omophore of The Most Rev. Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America, of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. Situated in the heart of a beautiful forest, surrounded by the Salish Sea, the monastery is reached by ferry from either Seattle, or Tacoma, Washington.

4 comments:

  1. Just when I was thinking of skipping church this morning, after attending all the Lenten services in this my first Orthodox ‘seeking’ year, Abbot Tryphon, your timing is incredible.

  2. Thank you Fr Tryphon for giving us needed “heads up”. Also for idea of making up for Sunday service missed instead of thinking the opposite, ie
    I went Wednesday or Saturday so I can skip Sunday!!
    Nina
    We go not only to praise and thank God but also for healing!!

    1. Father bless,
      I think we have an imaginary idea of how new things and other blessing come to us. We expect immediate results, so that often standing for Liturgy seems so opposed to where we want to be in our state of being.
      For example, I know a certain fellow who attends your Church, and he claims you started a practice of beginning services at 10 instead of 9a.m. so that this person–who works a night shift on Saturdays, could attend the full service . Although for awhile he harbored the suspicion that you did this so that you would not have to hear the sound of his car tires on the gravel drive while you were trying to give your homily, really he knows better. He also knows that for his sake the Sunday labors, if they can be called that, of the the monks have been extended one hour, since they yet have to rise from bed at the same time as before.
      Anyway, long story short, this person tells me that although Sunday services are still difficult for him after being up most of the night, his Sundays feel, towards evening, like the most full day of the week, and his Mondays are often the days in which he has the most energy and optimism.
      For myself, when I first began to attend the island Church I witnessed another churchgoer, who lived on the mainland, and who had a debilitating and progressive illness, who yet made gargantuan efforts to attend the Liturgy each Sunday, who stood for services as long as his aged legs would allow and then some, and who finally had to be convinced to mitigate his own efforts. From him I learned a strange truth: The more one wants to be in Church, the more difficult it is to get there. You monks, and others who accept responsibility, are certainly no exception to this, since you bear the full labor of the Harvest.

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