SUNDAY OF SAINT JOHN CLIMACOS
Sunday, March 26th, 2023
Always a Spiritual Focus, First
Dear Parish Family Members,
Wow. How fast? This weekend has been a spiritual intensity of worship services: on Friday evening, our amazingly peaceful Salutations service to the Theotokos; on Saturday, our worship service commemorating the huge Annunciation, which triggers everything in our faith; and now, as of this writing, our Fourth Sunday service, commemorating Saint John Climacos, whom I shall be happy to talk about during our service, as well.
Please look at the Icon featured above today. One of the most amazing (and devastating) icons I have ever seen in my life is the Icon of the Ladder of Divine Ascent. Just to see this metaphor illustrated, from Saint John Climacos, of our ascent to grow closer to God and Christ be a ladder that reaches upward into Heaven. It’s purely breath-taking. Such an Icon becomes inspirational for all of us to hold fast to the ladder, to do all we can in our lives to ascend, one rung at a time. I do strongly recommend the book on Saint John Climacos, The Ladder of Divine Ascent. Although written more for an audience of monastics, it is still strongly spiritually helpful for laypeople, too. Please do incorporate into your Great Lent fasting the time to read such spiritually-helpful texts.
Faithfully, Father Samaras
Fourth Sunday of Lent: Saint John Climacos
LITURGY OF SAINT BASIL
On March 26th, 2023, we hold services in honor of the Archangel Gabriel, which practice was instituted very early on, since he ministered the divine and supernal and ineffable mystery; the holy twenty-six martyrs who witnessed in the land of the Goths: two priests Bathouses and Wirkas with Wirkas's two sons and three daughters, and the monk Arpylas; the laymen Abippas, Agnas, Ryax, Hegathrax, Eskoes, Silas, Sigetzas, Suerilas, Seimblas, Thermas, Filgas; and the women Anna, Alla, Baris, Moiko, Mamika, Wirko, and Animais; the holy martyrs Quadratos, Theodosios, Manuel, and another forty in the Anatolia; our devout father Stephen the confessor, Abbot of Triglia; and we read the edifying story about the monk Malchos who was taken captive.
Συναξάριον Τοῦ Μηναίου. Τῇ ΚϚʹ τοῦ αὐτοῦ μηνός, τὴν Σύναξιν ἐπιτελοῦμεν τοῦ Ἀρχαγγέλου Γαβριήλ, ἐξ ἀρχῆς καὶ ἄνωθεν παραδεδομένην, ὡς τῷ θείῳ καὶ ὑπερφυεῖ Μυστηρίῳ καὶ ἀποῤῥήτῳ καθυπουργήσαντος. Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, μνήμη τῶν Ἁγίων κϚʹ Μαρτύρων, τῶν ἐν Γοτθίᾳ μαρτυρησάτνων· ἐξ ὧν εἰσὶ Πρεσβύτεροι δύο, Βαθούσης καὶ Οὐῒρκας, μετὰ δύο υἱῶν αὐτοῦ καὶ τριῶν θυγατέρων, καὶ Ἀρπύλας μονάζων· λαϊκοὶ δέ, Ἀβίππας, Ἁγνάς, Ῥύαξ, Ἠγάθραξ, Ἡσκόης, Σίλας, Σιγήτζας, Σουηρίλας, Σεῒμβλας, Θέρμας, Φίλγας· καὶ ἐκ τῶν Γυναικῶν, Ἄννα, Ἀλλάς, Βάρις, Μωϊκώ, Μαμίκα, Οὐϊρκώ, καὶ Ἀνιμαῒς. Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, μνήμη τῶν Ἁγίων Μαρτύρων, Κοδράτου, Θεοδοσίου, Μανουήλ, καὶ ἑτέρων Μʹ τῶν ἐν τῇ Ἀνατολῇ. Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, μνήμη τοῦ Ὁσίου Πατρὸς ἡμῶν Στεφάνου τοῦ ὁμολογητοῦ, τοῦ Τριγλίας Ἡγουμένου. Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἀναγινώσκεται Διήγησις ὠφέλιμος Μάλχου Μοναχοῦ αἰχμαλωτισθέντος.
The Epistle 4th Sunday of Lent
Pray and return to the Lord Your God.
In Judah, God is known; His name is great in Israel.
The reading is from Saint Paul's Letter to the Hebrews 6:13-20
Brethren, when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore to himself, saying, "Surely I will bless you and multiply you." And thus Abraham, having patiently endured, obtained the promise. Men indeed swear by a greater than themselves, and in all their disputes an oath is final for confirmation.
So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he interposed with an oath, so that through two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible that God should prove false, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to seize the hope set before us.
We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner shrine behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.
The Gospel 4th Sunday in Lent
The reading is from the holy Gospel according to Saint Mark 9:17-31
At that time, a man came to Jesus kneeling and saying: "Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a dumb spirit; and wherever it seizes him it dashes him down; and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid; and I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able." And he answered them, "O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me."
And they brought the boy to him; and when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. And Jesus asked his father, "How long has he had this?"
And he said, "From childhood. And it has often cast him into the fire and into the water, to destroy him; but if you can do anything, have pity on us and help us."
And Jesus said to him, "If you can! All things are possible to him who believes."
Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, "I believe; help my unbelief!"
And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, "You dumb and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him, and never enter him again."
And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse; so that most of them said, "He is dead."
But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose.
And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, "Why could we not cast it out?" And he said to them, "This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer and fasting." They went on from there and passed through Galilee. And he would not have any one know it; for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, "The Son of man will be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him; and when he is killed, after three days he will rise."
Ὁ Ἀπόστολος Κυριακὴ Δʹ τῶν Νηστειῶν
Εὔξασθε καὶ ἀπόδοτε Κυρίῳ τῷ Θεῷ ἡμῶν.
Γνωστὸς ἐν τῇ Ἰουδαίᾳ ὁ Θεός, ἐν τῷ Ἰσραὴλ μέγα τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ.
Πρὸς Ἑβραίους Ἐπιστολῆς Παύλου 6:13-20
Ἀδελφοί, τῷ Ἀβραὰμ ἐπαγγειλάμενος ὁ Θεός, ἐπεὶ κατʼ οὐδενὸς εἶχε μείζονος ὀμόσαι, ὤμοσε καθʼ ἑαυτοῦ, λέγων· ἦ μὴν εὐλογῶν εὐλογήσω σε καὶ πληθύνων πληθυνῶ σε· καὶ οὕτω μακροθυμήσας ἐπέτυχε τῆς ἐπαγγελίας. Ἄνθρωποι μὲν γὰρ κατὰ τοῦ μείζονος ὀμνύουσι, καὶ πάσης αὐτοῖς ἀντιλογίας πέρας εἰς βεβαίωσιν ὁ ὅρκος· ἐν ᾧ περισσότερον βουλόμενος ὁ Θεὸς ἐπιδεῖξαι τοῖς κληρονόμοις τῆς ἐπαγγελίας τὸ ἀμετάθετον τῆς βουλῆς αὐτοῦ, ἐμεσίτευσεν ὅρκῳ, ἵνα διὰ δύο πραγμάτων ἀμεταθέτων, ἐν οἷς ἀδύνατον ψεύσασθαι Θεόν, ἰσχυρὰν παράκλησιν ἔχωμεν οἱ καταφυγόντες κρατῆσαι τῆς προκειμένης ἐλπίδος· ἣν ὡς ἄγκυραν ἔχομεν τῆς ψυχῆς ἀσφαλῆ τε καὶ βεβαίαν καὶ εἰσερχομένην εἰς τὸ ἐσώτερον τοῦ καταπετάσματος, ὅπου πρόδρομος ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν εἰσῆλθεν Ἰησοῦς, κατὰ τὴν τάξιν Μελχισεδέκ, Ἀρχιερεὺς γενόμενος εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα.
Τὸ Εὐαγγέλιον Κυριακὴ Δʹ τῶν Νηστειῶν
Ἐκ τοῦ κατὰ Μᾶρκον ἁγίου Εὐαγγελίου θʹ 17 - 31
Τῷ καιρῷ ἐκείνῳ, ἄνθρωπός τις προσῆλθε τῷ Ἰησοῦ γονυπετῶν αὐτῷ καὶ λέγων· Διδάσκαλε, ἤνεγκα τὸν υἱόν μου πρὸς σέ, ἔχοντα πνεῦμα ἄλαλον. καὶ ὅπου ἂν αὐτὸν καταλάβῃ, ῥήσσει αὐτόν, καὶ ἀφρίζει καὶ τρίζει τοὺς ὀδόντας αὐτοῦ, καὶ ξηραίνεται· καὶ εἶπον τοῖς μαθηταῖς σου ἵνα αὐτὸ ἐκβάλωσι, καὶ οὐκ ἴσχυσαν. ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς αὐτῷ λέγει· Ὦ γενεὰ ἄπιστος, ἕως πότε πρὸς ὑμᾶς ἔσομαι; ἕως πότε ἀνέξομαι ὑμῶν; φέρετε αὐτὸν πρός με. καὶ ἤνεγκαν αὐτὸν πρὸς αὐτόν. καὶ ἰδὼν αὐτὸν εὐθέως τὸ πνεῦμα ἐσπάραξεν αὐτόν, καὶ πεσὼν ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς ἐκυλίετο ἀφρίζων. καὶ ἐπηρώτησε τὸν πατέρα αὐτοῦ· Πόσος χρόνος ἐστὶν ὡς τοῦτο γέγονεν αὐτῷ; ὁ δὲ εἶπε· Παιδιόθεν. καὶ πολλάκις αὐτὸν καὶ εἰς πῦρ ἔβαλε καὶ εἰς ὕδατα, ἵνα ἀπολέσῃ αὐτόν· ἀλλʼ εἴ τι δύνασαι, βοήθησον ἡμῖν σπλαγχνισθεὶς ἐφʼ ἡμᾶς. ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτῷ· Τὸ εἰ δύνασαι πιστεῦσαι, πάντα δυνατὰ τῷ πιστεύοντι. καὶ εὐθέως κράξας ὁ πατὴρ τοῦ παιδίου μετὰ δακρύων ἔλεγε· Πιστεύω, Κύριε· βοήθει μου τῇ ἀπιστίᾳ. ἰδὼν δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς ὅτι ἐπισυντρέχει ὄχλος ἐπετίμησε τῷ πνεύματι τῷ ἀκαθάρτῳ λέγων αὐτῷ· Τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἄλαλον καὶ κωφὸν, ἐγὼ σοι ἐπιτάσσω, ἔξελθε ἐξ αὐτοῦ καὶ μηκέτι εἰσέλθῃς εἰς αὐτόν. καὶ κράξαν καὶ πολλὰ σπαράξαν αὐτόν ἐξῆλθε, καὶ ἐγένετο ὡσεὶ νεκρός, ὥστε πολλοὺς λέγειν ὅτι ἀπέθανεν. ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς κρατήσας αὐτὸν τῆς χειρὸς ἤγειρεν αὐτόν, καὶ ἀνέστη. Καὶ εἰσελθόντα αὐτὸν εἰς οἶκον οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ ἐπηρώτων αὐτόν κατʼ ἰδίαν, ὅτι ἡμεῖς οὐκ ἠδυνήθημεν ἐκβαλεῖν αὐτό. καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς· Τοῦτο τὸ γένος ἐν οὐδενὶ δύναται ἐξελθεῖν εἰ μὴ ἐν προσευχῇ καὶ νηστείᾳ. Καὶ ἐκεῖθεν ἐξελθόντες παρεπορεύοντο διὰ τῆς Γαλιλαίας, καὶ οὐκ ἤθελεν ἵνα τις γνῷ· ἐδίδασκε γὰρ τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς ὅτι Ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου παραδίδοται εἰς χεῖρας ἀνθρώπων, καὶ ἀποκτενοῦσιν αὐτόν, καὶ ἀποκτανθεὶς τῇ τρίτῃ ἡμέρᾳ ἀναστήσεται.
2023 PARISH COUNCIL
President - Theo Christ
Vice President – Yvonne Anastasiou
Treasurer – Chris Pappas
Secretary – Dina Mastoras
Parish Council Member - Evdokia Sofos
Parish Council Member - Dialecti Voudouris
Parish Council Member - Anastassios Mentis
Parish Council Member – Paula Refolo
SAINT JOHN'S SCHEDULE
Sunday, March 26, 2023
Sunday of St. John Climacus
9:00am Orthros/10:00am Divine Liturgy
Friday, March 31, 2023
5th Salutations to the Theotokos
Sunday, April 2, 2023
Sunday of Mary of Egypt
9:00am Orthros/10:00am Divine Liturgy
Saturday, April 8, 2023
9:00am Orthros/10:00am Divine Liturgy