6th SUNDAY OF PASCHA — Tone 5. Blind Man. Ven. Bessarion, Wonderworker of Egypt (4th-5th c.).
Tone 5 Troparion (Resurrection)
Let us, the faithful, praise and worship the Word,
co-eternal with the Father and the Spirit,
born for our salvation from the Virgin;
for He willed to be lifted up on the Cross in the flesh,
to endure death,
and to raise the dead//
by His glorious Resurrection.
Tone 4 Kontakion (Pentecostarion)
I come to You, O Christ, blind from birth in my spiritual eyes,
and call to You in repentance://
“You are the most radiant Light of those in darkness.”
Tone 8 Kontakion (Pascha)
You descended into the tomb, O Immortal,
You destroyed the power of death.
In victory You arose, O Christ God,
proclaiming: “Rejoice!” to the Myrrhbearing Women,//
granting peace to Your Apostles, and bestowing Resurrection on the fallen.
Tone 8 Prokeimenon (Pentecostarion)
Pray and make your vows / before the Lord, our God! (Ps. 75:10a)
V. In Judah God is known; His name is great in Israel. (Ps. 75:1)
Acts 16:16-34 (Epistle)
Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune-telling. This girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying, “These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.” And this she did for many days. But Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And he came out that very hour. But when her masters saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to the authorities. And they brought them to the magistrates, and said, “These men, being Jews, exceedingly trouble our city; and they teach customs which are not lawful for us, being Romans, to receive or observe.” Then the multitude rose up together against them; and the magistrates tore off their clothes and commanded them to be beaten with rods. And when they had laid many stripes on them, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to keep them securely. Having received such a charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks. But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed. And the keeper of the prison, awaking from sleep and seeing the prison doors open, supposing the prisoners had fled, drew his sword and was about to kill himself. But Paul called with a loud voice, saying, “Do yourself no harm, for we are all here.” Then he called for a light, ran in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized. Now when he had brought them into his house, he set food before them; and he rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household.
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!
V. Look upon me and have mercy on me! (Ps.118:132a)
V. Guide my steps according to Your word! (Ps. 118:133a)
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.
John 9:1-38 (Gospel)
Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him. I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
When He had said these things, He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay. And He said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent). So he went and washed, and came back seeing.
Therefore the neighbors and those who previously had seen that he was blind said, “Is not this he who sat and begged?” Some said, “This is he.
Others said, “He is like him.”
He said, “I am he.”
Therefore they said to him, “How were your eyes opened?”
He answered and said, “A Man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to the pool of Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed, and I received sight.”
Then they said to him, “Where is He?”
He said, “I do not know.”
They brought him who formerly was blind to the Pharisees. Now it was a Sabbath when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes. Then the Pharisees also asked him again how he had received his sight. He said to them, “He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.”
Therefore some of the Pharisees said, “This Man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath.”
Others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” And there was a division among them.
They said to the blind man again, “What do you say about Him because He opened your eyes?”
He said, “He is a prophet.”
But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind and received his sight, until they called the parents of him who had received his sight. And they asked them, saying, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?”
His parents answered them and said, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; but by what means he now sees we do not know, or who opened his eyes we do not know. He is of age; ask him. He will speak for himself.” His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had agreed already that if anyone confessed that He was Christ, he would be put out of the synagogue. Therefore his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”
So they again called the man who was blind, and said to him, “Give God the glory! We know that this Man is a sinner.”
He answered and said, “Whether He is a sinner or not I do not know. One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see.”
Then they said to him again, “What did He do to you? How did He open your eyes?”
He answered them, “I told you already, and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become His disciples?”
Then they reviled him and said, “You are His disciple, but we are Moses’ disciples. We know that God spoke to Moses; as for this fellow, we do not know where He is from.”
The man answered and said to them, “Why, this is a marvelous thing, that you do not know where He is from; yet He has opened my eyes! Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him. Since the world began it has been unheard of that anyone opened the eyes of one who was born blind. If this Man were not from God, He could do nothing.”
They answered and said to him, “You were completely born in sins, and are you teaching us?”
And they cast him out. Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when He had found him, He said to him, “Do you believe in the Son of God?”
He answered and said, “Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?”
And Jesus said to him, “You have both seen Him and it is He who is talking with you.”
Then he said, “Lord, I believe!” And he worshiped Him.
Our Schedule this Week
- Monday, June 7 — Parish Council meeting 6:30 p.m.; youth Zoom meeting 7 p.m.
- Wednesday, June 9 — Vigil 6 p.m.
- Thursday, June 10 — Feast of Ascension Hours and Liturgy 9:10 a.m.
- Friday, June 11 — Our first service of the Akathist to St. Nicholas 6 p.m. After this month, we plan to serve this Akathist every second Wednesday evening. /li>
Subject to change based on feasts, etc.
- Wednesday, June 16 — Vespers 6 p.m.
- Friday, June 18 — Vespers 6 p.m.
- Sunday June 20 — Pentecost Matins, Liturgy, and Vespers with Kneeling Prayers 8:30 a.m.
- Monday, June 21 — youth Zoom meeting 7 p.m.
- Wednesday, June 23 — Akathist to the Mother of God 6 p.m.
- Friday, June 25 — Vespers 6 p.m.
- Monday, June 28 — Sts. Peter and Paul Fast (one day), Vigil for Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul 6 p.m.
- Tuesday, June 29 — Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul Hours and Liturgy 9:10 a.m.
- Wednesday, June 30 — Vespers 6 p.m.
- Thursday, July 1 — Great Vespers for St. John Maximovitch, 6 p.m.
- Friday, July 2 — Feast of St. John Maximovitch — Hours and Liturgy 9:10 a.m.; Vespers 6 p.m.
See the online calendar for further details.
Friday, July 9 —Our parish will host a Red Cross Blood Drive from noon to 5 p.m. downstairs in the Hall. Sign up spaces are limited, by appointment. Book online to donate blood! Search by date, and you will find our parish listed. This is open to anyone in the parish and the community.
Social-distanced with masks. After Great Vespers, Saturday evenings, or during the week by appointment. Please email or call Fr. John to make arrangements for this.
“Works of the People”: prosphora baking team, door greeters, church cleaning, and more, contact Jennifer McDonald. Church School: This is offered to children from 3yrs old up through high school. At this time however due to COVID, church school has been temporarily halted. Contact Barbara Eng.
Church School: This is offered to children from 3 years old up through high school. At this time, however, due to COVID, church school has been temporarily halted. Contact Barbara Eng.
Charitable Outreach: From time to time throughout the year, we will have special collections. For example, during the Nativity fast, we took a collection for Portland Rescue Mission, and during Great Lent we took a collection for the Gobezie Goshu Home in Ethiopia and the Portland Rescue Mission. Thanks to your generosity, we raised more $10,000 for the Gobezie Goshu Home and almost $3,000 for the Portland Rescue Mission. These donations were matched (up to $5,000 each) by the St. Martin’s Fund.
St. Martin’s Good Works Fund, a fund started by a large bequest to offer financial help for targeted needs internationally, nationally, and locally. It is overseen by the clergy, and parish council members, and a small number of the laity of the parish. Contact Fr. John or Jan Bear.
St. Elizabeth Pastoral Care Team: Helps with arrangements for meals, rides to church, a monthly prayer list, an intercessory prayer group, provides hand-knitted prayer shawls, sends greeting and condolence cards, and provides periodic “bulletin board” tips, thoughts, and general health related advice & news. Contact Mat. Karen Hadley.
Without Suffering the Cross Cannot be Embraced
In comparison to eternity, the trials we suffer in this life are but a blip on the meter. Many are suffering job loss, illnesses, mortgage foreclosures, and all kinds of strife and hardships. Yet if we look at all these difficulties in light of eternity, this time of trial is nothing. “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us (Romans 8:18)”.
God’s desire that we all come to the knowledge of the truth, and be saved, is real. His love for us is all consuming, and nothing that happens in our life is without value in this journey to eternity. Our God does not send anything our way that is beyond our ability to withstand, for His grace is sufficient. Suffering has a salvific role, for it is in suffering that we are able to take up our cross and follow Christ. Without ascetic struggle, we remain unchanged, and transformation of self is unattainable.
God desires all be saved, yet this gift of salvation has to be accepted by the believer, since God will not force salvation on humanity. As we are free to reject the gift of salvation, suffering allows us to remember that this world is transitory, and that we need God. It is in that turning to God during periods of struggle that we grow in our faith, becoming one step closer to deification, where we are united, in our humanity, to God’s divinity. This transformation takes place when we give ourselves over in humility to the will of God, embracing repentance as a way of life, and placing ourselves before God’s mercy.
There is nothing a person can do to earn salvation, for it is a gift from God. Yet to be saved, we must work together with God in a synergeia whereby our entire being, including our will, effort and actions, are perfectly conformed with, and united to, the Divine.
Our Orthodox life is a life of suffering love, and this is perhaps the most difficult for most of us to accept. We are familiar with suffering, but will do anything we can to avoid it, forgetting that Christ told us that if we were to follow him, we had to take up our cross. Without suffering, the cross cannot be embraced.
St. Nicholas Velimirovich
When you go to the Holy Mountain and see the humble monks, you might think that they live a lazy life, without purpose. It may seem like this if you see things from the outside, because not many people are able to understand the terrible, unceasing warfare that’s conducted in the souls of the monks.
This warfare is almost supernatural, invisible and is conducted not only against the demonic powers of the princes of darkness, but, for beginners, also against the flesh, that is against carnal passions and desires.
In his writings, Father Silouan describes how this warfare brought him to despair, and almost to suicide. Our Lady the Mother of God appeared to him and encouraged him so that he could overcome and trample down worldly thoughts and the evil spirits. So it was that, after a quarter of a century of fierce and exhausting warfare, he emerged victorious. Until then he’d been seeking God; now he knew him. He’d been a disciple, but now became a teacher.
Elder Silouan was also my own teacher. One time I asked him: ‘Father Silouan, doesn’t having all these people around bring turmoil to your mind and to your prayer? Wouldn’t it be better for you to go to a hermitage in Karoulia and live in peace, like Fr. Artemios, Fr. Dorotheos, and Fr. Kallinikos? Or to live in a remote cave, like Fr. Gorgonios?’. ‘I do live in a cave’, Fr. Silouan answered. ‘My body is the cave of my soul. And my soul is the cave of the Holy Spirit. I love the people of God and serve them without leaving my cave’.
Always willing to serve each person, wonderfully modest and most caring of others, he would talk about God with great enthusiasm, and with the familiarity you might show if you were talking about a friend. ‘I know God. He’s caring, good and swift to help’. As the Elder was saying this, another monk, Fr. Theofan, overheard and was concerned that Silouan had lost the fear of God. Later, however, when Fr. Theofan read the writings of Fr. Silouan he changed his mind and said: ‘Fr. Silouan advanced so far he reached the level of the Fathers of the Church’.
In my view, the works of Father Silouan should take their place among books on psychology. If for no other reason than that they confirm that their author was a great spiritual warrior of the 20th century and that they endorse what was taught and written by the glorified Fathers of the Church.
There’s something new in the teachings of Father Silouan: ‘Keep your mind in hell and despair not’. Through this reminder, he expresses encouragement against melancholy and sloth. I personally had never heard such words before. Another expression is also important: ‘Love is superior to knowledge’. This is the everyday, fundamental teaching of Saint Silouan.
With his love, which was accompanied by prayers and tears, he forgave sins, supported the weak, corrected those who were acting wickedly, healed the sick and stilled the winds. He did exhausting work in the monastery, where he was in charge of a warehouse with heavy goods.
I once told him that the Russian monks were greatly upset because of the tyrannical behavior of the Bolsheviks towards the Church of God. He replied: ‘I was also troubled about this in the beginning. After much prayer, however, I arrived at the following thoughts: The Lord loves everyone inexpressibly. He knows everyone’s plans and the time allotted to them. The Lord has permitted the persecution of the Russian people for some future good. I can neither understand what this might be, nor can I stop it. I say to my brothers who are agitated: “You can help Russia only through prayer and love”. All that’s left to me is prayer and love. Anger and inveighing against the atheists isn’t going to set matters to rights’.