The place where heaven and earth are united
As a priest, I bear the awesome burden of offering the Holy Oblation before the Throne of God, on behalf of all the people whose 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 at the age of 56, 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 priests, the Holy Oblation for our nation, our civil authorities, and our armed forces. I offer the Eucharistic sacrifice for our Holy Patriarch Kirill, our Metropolitan Hilarion, for Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco, 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 the Holy Sacrifice for all the clergy of the Seattle area, and for my brother priests of the diocese. I offer the Holy Sacrifice for myself.
As a priest, I am a Servant of the Altar, and when I stand before the holy table I am bound together with every priest who has ever served, and with everyone who has laid down his life for Christ, as a martyr. I am bound to every Christian who has ever lived. I am bound to Christ in His Eternal Kingdom wherein the Heavenly Banquet is eternally celebrated, eternally offered, and am falling down, together with all the heavenly hosts, in worship of the Holy Trinity.
The whole of the cosmos is united together in this heavenly offering, for it is the very source of Life itself. This offering is not simply a “symbol” or “memorial” of something that took place in the past, but a place where we meet the Eternal God, for Christ said, “he who eats of My Body, and drinks of my Blood, has life”. Within this celebration we enter into the place where there is neither time, nor space, and 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 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.
With love in Christ,
Wednesday November 13, 2019 / October 31, 2019
22nd Week after Pentecost. Tone four.
Fast. By Monastic Charter: Strict Fast (Bread, Vegetables, Fruits)
Apostles Stachys, Amplias, Urban, Narcissus, Apelles, and Aristobulus of the Seventy (1st c.).
Martyr Epimachus of Pelusium, who suffered at Alexandria (250).
New Hieromartyr Priest John Kochurov of Chicago and St. Petersburg (1917).
New Hieromartyr Leonid (1918).
New Hieromartyrs Vsevolod, Alexander, Sergius, Alexis, Basil, Peter, Basil priests, Hieromartyrs Anatolius, Euphrosynus and Martyr James (1937).
New Hieromartyr Innocent (1938).
Venerables Spyridon and Nicodemus the Prosphorabakers of the Kiev Caves (1148).
Venerable Maura of Constantinople (436).
Venerable Anatolius, recluse of the Kiev Caves (12th c.).
New Martyr Nicholas the New of Chios (1754) (Greek).
Venerable Foillan, Irish monk-martyr (655) (Neth.).
Martyr Quentin of Rome (3rd-4th c.).
St. James, bishop of Mygdonia (4th. c.).
Commemoration of the Martyrs of Tbilisi slain under Jelaluddin (1227) (Georgia).
Martyr Epimachus the Roman and his companion Gordian (361-363) (Greek).
Martyrs Stephen, Barnabas, Trophimus, Dorymedon, Cosmas, Damian, Sabbas, Bassa, Abraham, and others with them (Greek).
Martyrs Seleucius and Stratonica his wife, myrr-gushers (Greek).
The Scripture Readings
17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
The Christian Home
18 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them.
20 Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord.
21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.
22 Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God. 23 And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. 25 But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality.
Christian Graces; Final Greetings
4:1 Masters, give your bondservants what is just and fair, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.
42 “But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass by justice and the love of God. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. 43 Woe to you Pharisees! For you love the best seats in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces. 44 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like graves which are not seen, and the men who walk over them are not aware of them.”
45 Then one of the lawyers answered and said to Him, “Teacher, by saying these things You reproach us also.”
46 And He said, “Woe to you also, lawyers! For you load men with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers.