FOURTH SUNDAY OF LENT — Tone 3. St. John Climacus (of The Ladder).
Tone 3 Troparion (Resurrection)
Let the heavens rejoice!
Let the earth be glad!
For the Lord has shown strength with His arm.
He has trampled down death by death.
He has become the first born of the dead.
He has delivered us from the depths of hell,
and has granted to the world//
Tone 4 Troparion (St. Nicholas)
The truth of your deeds has revealed you to your flock as a rule of faith, an image of meekness and a teacher of self-control;
your humility exalted you; your poverty enriched you.//
O Father Bishop Nicholas, pray to Christ God that our souls may be saved.
Tone 1 Troparion (St. John Climacus)
O dweller of the wilderness and angel in the body,
you were a wonderworker, O our God-bearing Father John.
You received heavenly gifts through fasting, vigil and prayer,
healing the sick and the souls of those drawn to you by faith.
Glory to Him Who gave you strength!
Glory to Him Who granted you a crown!//
Glory to Him Who grants healing to all!
for You, O my Savior, have come and cried to those in hell://
“Enter again into Paradise!”
Tone 3 Kontakion (Resurrection)
On this day You rose from the tomb, O Merciful One,
leading us from the gates of death.
On this day Adam exults as Eve rejoices;
with the Prophets and Patriarchs//
they unceasingly praise the divine majesty of Your power.
Tone 3 Kontakion (St. Nicholas)
You proved yourself to be be a holy priest, O Nicholas.
You served God in Myra and lived the gospel of Christ.
You offered your life for your people,
And rescued the innocent from death.
There God has glorified you as a trustworthy guide of things divine.
Tone 4 Kontakion (St. John Climacus)
The Lord truly set you on the heights of abstinence,
to be a guiding star, showing the way to the universe,//
O our father and teacher John.
Tone 3 Prokeimenon (Resurrection)
Sing praises to our God, sing praises! / Sing praises to our King, sing praises! (Ps. 46:6)
V. Clap your hands, all peoples! Shout to God with loud songs of joy! (Ps. 46:1)
Tone 7 Prokeimenon (St. John Climacus)
Let the saints exult in glory; / let them sing for joy on their couches! (Ps. 149:5)
Hebrews 6:13-20 (Epistle)
For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, saying, “Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you.” And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. For men indeed swear by the greater, and an oath for confirmation is for them an end of all dispute. Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.
Ephesians 5:9-19 (Epistle, Saint)
(Dor the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. Therefore He says — “Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.” See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!
V. In You, O Lord, have I hoped; let me never be put to shame! (Ps. 30:1a)
V. Be a God of protection for me, a house of refuge in order to save me! (Ps. 30:2b)
V. They that are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. (Ps. 91:12)
Prayer Before the Gospel
Illumine our hearts, O Master and Lover of mankind, with the pure light of Your divine knowledge, and open the eyes of our mind to the understanding of Your Gospel teachings. Implant also in us the fear of Your blessed commandments, that trampling down all carnal desires, we may enter upon a spiritual manner of living, both thinking and doing such things as are well-pleasing to You. For You are the illumination of our souls and bodies, O Christ our God, and unto You do we send up glory, together with Your Father, Who is without beginning, and Your all-holy, good, and life-giving Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.
Mark 9:17-31 (Gospel)
Then one of the crowd answered and said, “Teacher, I brought You my son, who has a mute spirit. And wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. So I spoke to Your disciples, that they should cast it out, but they could not.” He answered him and said, “O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to Me.” Then they brought him to Him. And when he saw Him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground and wallowed, foaming at the mouth. So He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it — “Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!” Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that many said, “He is dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.” Then they departed from there and passed through Galilee, and He did not want anyone to know it. For He taught His disciples and said to them, “The Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of men, and they will kill Him. And after He is killed, He will rise the third day.”
Matthew 4:25-5:12 (Gospel, Saint)
Great multitudes followed Him — from Galilee, and from Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and beyond the Jordan. And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying — “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Happening this Month
See the calendar for more detailed info.
- April 14 — Wednesday 6 p.m. Great Canon of St. Andrew w/ life of St. Mary of Egypt.
- April 15 — 7 p.m. Choir practice
- April 16 — 6 p.m. Presanctified Liturgy
- April 17 — Saturday 6 p.m. Great Vespers and Confessions
- April 18 — Sunday 8:30 a.m. Matins, 9:30 a.m. Liturgy
- April 19 — 7 p.m. *Holy Unction* (New day/time), Youth Zoom ,meeting
- April 20 — 7 p.m. Choir rehearsal
- April 21 — 6 p.m. Presanctified Liturgy
- April 22 — 7 p.m. Choir rehearsal
- April 23 — 6 p.m. Presanctified liturgy
- April 24 — Lazarus Saturday 8:30 a.m. Matins, 9:30 a.m. Liturgy; 6 p.m. Vigil for Palm Sunday
- April 25 — Palm Sunday 9:10 a.m. Hours, 9:30 a.m. Liturgy; 7 p.m. Bridegroom Matins
- April 26 — 7 p.m. Bridegroom Matins
- April 27 — 7 p.m. Bridegroom Matins
- April 28 — 6 p.m. last confessions before Pascha; 7 p.m. Bridegroom Matins
- April 29 — 11 a.m. Vesperal Liturgy; 7 p.m. Passion Vigil
- April 30 — Holy Friday 8:30 a.m. Royal Hours, *Time changed; 1 p.m. Vespers; 7 p.m. Lamentations Vigil
- May 1 — Holy Saturday 11 a.m. Vesperal Liturgy; 11 p.m. Paschal Resurrection Vigil
- May 2 — Pascha Sunday! *Second Pascha Liturgy 10 a.m.* ; 1 p.m. Agape Vespers
- May 3 — Bright Monday 9:30 a.m. Divine Liturgy
Social-distanced with masks. Before or after Vespers, Saturday evenings, before Presanctified Liturgies (5 p.m.) or during the week by appointment or by phone. Please email or call Fr. John to make arrangements for this.
Virtual Coffee Hour
Every Sunday at 1 p.m.
Meeting ID: 890 2782 2896
We must confront our own weaknesses
As we continue our Lenten journey, this is a time when the Church puts much emphasis on the role of repentance. We strive to go to confession more frequently during Great Lent, just as we’ve increased our level of fasting, and frequency of attending the services. Holy Week is almost upon us, and as we celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation, when the Angel Gabriel announced to the Holy Virgin that she was to bear the Son of God, let us examine how we are living our lives. There are certain sins that have become habitual, and behavior that we would like to change, but seem to repeat, even against our will. Saint Isaac the Syrian suggested that we confront these struggles head on. “If you bear your weakness constantly in mind, you will not overstep the bounds of caution.” Part of the problem is that we allow our guard to be down, and we find ourselves repeating the same sins over and over. If we take Saint Isaac’s suggestion, we will keep vigil, watching out for those situations that bring us into moments of temptation, where we find ourselves falling into the same sins, over and over again.
When we keep ourselves vigilant, we are able to avoid those very situations that cause us to stumble, and, with Christ’s help, triumph over our sins. God’s grace is sufficient to bring about the transformation of our heart, but we must cooperate. Just as a soldier enters into combat prepared, so too must we be vigilant, keeping watch for the enemy. Then, just as the Holy Virgin received the Son of God into her womb, becoming a living tabernacle of the Most High, so too will we receive Christ into our hearts. On this Feast of the Annunciation of the Birth-giving of God, let us remember that this Feast reflects the fullness of Christian teaching, and touches on the mystery of God within us. The Feast is a reminder that we must also give birth to God within ourselves, by cleansing and restoring our ailing human condition through the Medicine of Immortality, wherein we take Christ into our imperfect bodies.
In doing so, we allow Christ to purify us from within, as He purified His Mother, when She gave birth with the whole of Her body and being. For this pure and virgin vessel, the Prototype of our salvation, brought forth in mystery God Himself as the Archetype of Perfected Man, Who guides us by Scripture, Holy Tradition, and the example of His Pure Mother, to the fullness of life. Most Holy Theotokos, save us.
The Fourth Sunday of Lent is dedicated to Saint John of the Ladder (Climacus), the author of the work, The Ladder of Divine Ascent. The abbot of Saint Catherine’s Monastery on Mount Sinai (6th century) stands as a witness to the violent effort needed for entrance into God’s Kingdom (Mt. 10-12). The spiritual struggle of the Christian life is a real one, “not against flesh and blood, but against … the rulers of the present darkness … the hosts of wickedness in heavenly places …” (Eph 6:12). Saint John encourages the faithful in their efforts for, according to the Lord, only “he who endures to the end will be saved” (Mt. 24:13).