Please Remember in Your Prayers

Schema-Archimandrite Joachim; Archpriest Vincent Saverino; Archpriest Michael Lepa; Archpriest Michael Hatrak; Mat. Klavdiya Burbelo; Deacon Michael Bishop; Nun Elizabeth; Nun Magdalena; Mat. Natalia Kosich; Mat. Diane Winsky; Mat. Catherine Kowalchik; Marie Vass; Charles Snipes; Arthur-Stephen Lisowsky; Yelena Radchenko; Lydia Zorina; Katherine Plaskowitz; Philip Plaskowitz, Michael Stanka; Bernadine Borawick; John Antoniak; Julia Aymold; Mary Johnson; Olga Chanat; Lilli Ann Hoffman; Lara Marinich; Oleg Marinich; Ioann and Galina Zernetkin; Monika-Anastasia & Stephanie Handley; Blanche-Julia Stolkovich; Ekaterina Koroleva; Nina Lewis; Maryann Black; Matushka Marianne Lobalbo; Lyudmila, Anton & Aleksander Karnup; John Alexander Bylen; Katherine Garrett; Stephen Kaminitsky; Constantine; John-Thomas Planinshek; Kenneth Pukita; William and Ann Ferkile; Maria and Alexander Lozada; Sergei Krektyshev; Irina Kononova; Petr Borodkin; Anthony and John Bakie; Svetlana & Aleksey; Nina; Mat. Galina, Alla; Anna; Alla; Raisa, Zinaida; Maksim Krayushkin; Valentina; Joseph Germano; Pavel, Vladimir, Valentina and Maria; Maria Pappas; Bonnie Duke; Joseph Lacomy; Diana Radchenko; Aleksey Potapov; Oleg and Andrei; Vitaliy, Tatiana, Olena & Nicholas Berchuk; Marian, Irena and Isabella; Kateryna Koshlaba; David, Selina-Sophia, John, Maryann, David, Joseph, Lisa Ann Eichelberger.

ru

Bulletin

6th Sunday of Pascha

Sunday of the Blind Man

 

Christ is Risen!  Truly, He is Risen!

Христос Воскресе!  Воистину Воскресе!

Χριστος Ανεστη !    Αλιθως Ανεστη !

Hristos a înviat! Cu adevărat a înviat!

ქრისტე აღსდგა!    ჭეშმარიტად აღსდგა

 

May 8/21, 2017

 

Holy Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian (98-117); Venerable Arsenius the Great of Scetis (448); Venerable Arsenius, the Lover of Labor (14th C.) and Pimen the Ascetic (12th C.) of the Kiev Caves; Martyr Nicephorus (1942).

 

 

Today’s Scriptural Readings:      

Acts 16: 16-34   /   John 9: 1-38 (Sunday)

1 John 1: 1-7   /   John 19:25-27; 21:24-25 (Apostle)

Fr. John’s Sermons (Video): Click here  

 

Today, the last Sunday of Pascha, we’ll conduct a Paschal Procession around the church

 

This  Week’s  Liturgical  Calendar

Wednesday, May 24th – 6:00 PM

Vigil Service at the Chapel

Thursday, May 25th – 9:00 AM

Divine Liturgy in Church

Ascension of our Lord

Saturday, May 27th – 6:00 PM

Vigil Service at the Chapel

Sunday, May 28th – 10:00 AM

Confessions begin at 9:15 AM

Divine Liturgy in Church

 

 

Divine Services at Holy Trinity are now live-streamed at

https://www.youtube.com/user/HolyTrinitySermons

 

 

Please Join us for Coffee Hour – Today after Services

 

 

Sisterhood Meeting – May 21st

The St. Catherine Sisterhood will meet Sunday, May 21st . All members are urged to attend. Thank you.

 

Last Sunday’s Picnic – Thank you !!!

All of us offer our special thanks to Michael Mickel and all the members of the Cemetery Committee for coordinating last Sunday’s Mother’s Day Picnic at Cathedral Gardens. We genuinely appreciate all of your efforts -- everyone who helped with setting up the pavilion, cooking, serving, and cleaning up. This was the first time that we organized a picnic in honor of Mother’s Day. More than 70 people attended. Thank you to everyone who helped make this picnic successful. The proceeds will help support the needs of the cemetery. 

 

Book Discussion Group – May 31st

After the Akathist service on Wednesday, May 31st we will continue our discussion of the book

The Field: Cultivating Salvation a collection of works by St. Ignatius (Brianchaninov).  To prepare please read Parts 5-6.

 

Volunteers Needed

We are forming a schedule of volunteers who will stand at the back of the church to greet people as they come into church, to answer their questions and to sell candles. This is a very important responsibility that more of our parishioners should share. Please contact Natalie Burbelo for more information.

 

Water Park Trip – For ages 6 - 99

Again this summer we will conduct a Sunday School trip to Guppy Gulch http://guppygulchcamp.com a water park north of Bel Air on Saturday, July 22nd from 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM. Everyone in the parish is invited. Please make your reservations early. Contact Olga Hansen bryolg@verizon.net 410-967-6738.

 

Vigil Candles: On the Altar and near St. Barbara

May 21-27:  Candles offered by Lidia Potapova for the health/salvation of the servants of God: Alexey, Lidia and their family.

A $15 donation will keep all three candles lit for one week. Schedule your candle offering with Vadim Radchenko 410-465-6172. Thank you.

 

Birthday / Anniversary Celebrations:  May 21-27

We offer our best wishes and birthday congratulations to Benedict-Basil Cardell (5/22), Nina Lewis (5/23), Katerina Hansen (5/24), Calin Frujinoiu (5/26) and Lidia Potapova (5/27).  May God bless them with health, prosperity and many years. To include your birthday/anniversary in the bulletin call Fr. John.

 

The Holy Fire burns in our church and chapel

The miracle of the Holy Fire that emanates from the Holy Sepulcher of Christ each year on Holy Saturday has reached the USA! With the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, the Synodal Chancery, and with the support of the St Andrew the First-Called Foundation, the Holy Fire has been brought from the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem to the USA. Bring lanterns/candles and take the Holy Fire to your homes.

 

For more information on the Holy Fire, please visit:

http://www.holyfire.org/eng/

http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/102734.htm

http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/102739.htm

http://www.eadiocese.org/news_170416_3.html



 

Parish Picnics at ‘Cathedral Gardens’ / Ray Zaitin Pavilion

On the following days, Divine Liturgy will be celebrated at Sts. Peter & Paul Chapel located at Cathedral Gardens, our parish cemetery. Afterwards, we will conduct picnics at the Ray Zaitin Pavilion. We need your help, please contact Natalie Burbelo, Albert Blaszak or Vadim Radchenko.

 

Sunday, June 11th – Liturgy at the Chapel (10:00 AM) and Corned Beef Picnic – The menu will feature Corned Beef sandwiches, hot dogs and traditional picnic fare. We need donations of salads, side dishes and homemade desserts; please contact Natalie Burbelo 443-567-6031 nbsf49@verizon.net, Art Lisowsky    410-697-3324 artsky@juno.com or Vadim Radchenko 410-465-6172 vradchenko@comcast.net

 

Sunday, July 16 – Liturgy at the Chapel (10:00 AM Feast of Sts. Peter & Paul) and Mid-Summer Picnic – Menu: Traditional BBQ Shashlik (Shish-a-bob), hamburgers, hot dogs and picnic fare. We need donations of salads, side dishes and homemade desserts.

 

Sunday, August 20  – Liturgy at the Chapel (10:00 AM) and our Annual ‘Spas’ Fish Fry – An expanded menu of various grilled fish and fish kabobs will be offered. More information to come… 

 

Russian School Celebration

Today at 3:00 PM in our church hall there will be a “Russian Celebration”. Everyone is invited to attend. Several students of various ages will read poetry and recite prose as a part of their year-end celebrations. The students attend private tutoring offered by Galina Samoilovna Khodorkovskaya. We welcome them all and wish them success with their performance and with their future studies.

 

Preparing for Holy Communion?

O Lord, Jesus Christ, before I partake of Thy most pure Body and Thy most precious Blood, I run to Thee in Confession to ask forgiveness and admit my fault because: I have angered others, been angry, impatient and resentful; I have not attended Sunday Divine Liturgy and missed other services; I have been harsh and judgmental toward others; I have been prideful, lustful, selfish and stubborn; I have neglected prayer, been lazy, ignored the fasts and have not been to Confession in several weeks… O Lord, help me to prepare more worthily to receive the Holy Mysteries… 

 

 

The Christian receives great benefit from the Divine Mysteries, both in his soul and in his body. . .  Before he communes, he must make the necessary preparation, that is, he must confess to his spiritual father, correct himself, feel compunction and acquire inner attention... Similarly, he must exercise self-restraint, pray, be inwardly awake, become more devout, and do every other kind of good deed, reflecting what awesome King he is about to receive within himself; especially if he considers that the grace which is given to him from Communion is proportionate to his preparation. It is evident that the more one makes such preparation, the more benefit he receives.     St. Macarius of Corinth  (+1805)

 

The means to confirm and strengthen Christian hope are prayer, especially frequent and sincere prayer, confession of our sins, frequent reading of the Word of God, and, above all, frequent communion of the holy and life-giving sacraments of the Body and Blood of Christ. Holy Righteous John of Kronstadt (+1908)

 


Cleaning Group – Group #5 /  Join a Group – Help your brothers and sisters

Group #5 will clean this week May 22-27: Larisa Hidar, Valentina Bosaya, Aleftina Gumenyuk,

Lidia & Aleksei Potapov. This group needs more members. Any volunteers??

 

Cathedraticum Offering

Our box of offering envelopes has a variety of additional envelopes for special collections.  One asks for donations for the Cathedraticum.  Please note that this offering is in addition to your pledge. The Cathedraticum is what each and every one of our Patriarchal Parishes offers in support of our diocese and our St. Nicholas Cathedral in NYC.  Every individual adult is expected to offer $50.00 to support our cathedral and bishop, as per the Operating Budget of the Patriarchal Parishes. Single pledging adult = $50; Married couple under one family pledge = $100…etc. Submit your Cathedraticum Offering to the Parish Treasurer, Albert Blaszak. Write “Cathedraticum” on the memo line of your check or in a specially marked envelope. Thank you for your commitment to our Church.

 

Submit your 2017 Pledge

Please be generous as the Lord is generous to you. Our church cannot operate without your financial contributions. Our parish will grow only through your prayers, work and generous sacrifice.

 

He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.   (2 Corinthians 9:6)

 

Please Remember in Your Prayers…

Schema-Archimandrite Joachim; Archpriest Vincent Saverino; Archpriest Michael Lepa; Archpriest Michael Hatrak; Mat. Klavdiya Burbelo; Deacon Michael Bishop; Nun Elizabeth; Nun Magdalena; Mat. Natalia Kosich; Mat. Diane Winsky; Mat. Catherine Kowalchik; Marie Vass; Charles Snipes; Arthur-Stephen Lisowsky; Yelena Radchenko; Lydia Zorina; Katherine Plaskowitz; Philip Plaskowitz, Michael Stanka; Bernadine Borawick; John Antoniak; Julia Aymold; Mary Johnson; Olga Chanat; Lilli Ann Hoffman; Lara Marinich; Oleg Marinich; Ioann and Galina Zernetkin; Monika-Anastasia & Stephanie Handley; Blanche-Julia Stolkovich; Ekaterina Koroleva; Nina Lewis; Maryann Black; Matushka Marianne Lobalbo; Lyudmila, Anton & Aleksander Karnup; John Alexander Bylen; Katherine Garrett; Stephen Kaminitsky; Constantine; John-Thomas Planinshek; Kenneth Pukita; William and Ann Ferkile; Maria and Alexander Lozada; Sergei Krektyshev; Irina Kononova; Petr Borodkin; Anthony and John Bakie; Svetlana & Aleksey; Nina; Mat. Galina, Alla; Anna; Alla; Raisa, Zinaida; Maksim Krayushkin; Valentina; Joseph Germano; Pavel, Vladimir, Valentina and Maria; Maria Pappas; Bonnie Duke; Joseph Lacomy; Diana Radchenko; Aleksey Potapov; Oleg and Andrei; Vitaliy, Tatiana, Olena & Nicholas Berchuk; Marian, Irena and Isabella; Kateryna Koshlaba; David, Selina-Sophia, John, Maryann, David, Joseph, Lisa Ann Eichelberger.

 

Next Council Meeting: Thursday, June 22nd – 7:00 PM in the Church Hall

 

Fr. John Vass, Pastor  410-997-0802

Fr. Deacon Michael Bishop:                       410-563-0472

Victor Marinich, Council President:          443-512-0985

Vadim Radchenko, Vice President:              410-465-6172

Andrei Burbelo,  Recording Secretary:    443-567-6031

Albert Blaszak, Treasurer:                             410-799-3226

Monika Handley, Stewardship Chair:      410-263-5758

Anna-Zumrat Shkurba, Member-At-Large: 443-857-8541

Natalie Burbelo, Sisterhood President:   443-567-6031

Michael Mickel, Cemetery Manager:             410-666-2870

 

 

Holy Hierarch Theophan the Recluse:   Thoughts for Each Day of the Year

Simplicity of faith argues with crafty unbelief. Faith, coming to the blind man who received sight, enlightened his mind’s eyes, and he clearly saw the truth. See how everything was logical for him. They ask him: what do you say of Him who gave you sight? He is a prophet, he answered, that is the messenger of God, clothed in miracle-working power. An indisputably true conclusion! But learned erudition does not want to see this trueness and seeks to evade its consequences. However, this being impossible, it approaches unlearned simplicity with the suggestion: give God the praise: we know that this man is a sinner. Simplicity of faith does not know how to connect these concepts—sinfulness and miracle-working, and expresses this openly: Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see. What can one say against such deduction? But the logic of the unbelievers is obstinate, and even in the face of obviousness it is not ashamed to affirm that it does not know where he who opened the blind man’s eyes is from. Why herein is a marvelous thing, the sensible logic of faith says to them, that ye know not from whence He is, and yet He hath opened mine eyes. Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth His will, him he heareth. Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind. If this man were not of God, He could do nothing (John 9:17–33). It would seem as though after this nothing remained other than to bow down before the power of such a conclusion. But learned erudition could not stand the sensible logic of faith, and drove it away... Go now, prove the truth of the faith to those whose mind has been corrupted with obstinate unbelief. The unbelievers of all times are cut from the same cloth.  (www.pravoslavie.ru) 

 

The Holy Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian

The Holy Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian occupies an unique place in the ranks of the chosen Disciples of Christ the Savior. Often in iconography the Apostle John is depicted as a gentle, majestic and spiritual elder, with features of innocent tenderness, with the imprint of complete calm upon his forehead and the deep look of a contemplator of unuttered revelations. Another main trait of the spiritual countenance of the Apostle John is revealed through his teaching about love, for which the title "Apostle of Love" is preeminently designated to him. Actually, all his writings are permeated by love, the basic concept of which leads to the comprehension, that God in His Being is Love (1 Jn. 4: 8). In his writings, Saint John dwells especially upon the manifestations of the inexpressible love of God for the world and for mankind, the love of his Divine Teacher. He constantly exhorts his disciples to mutual love one for another.

 

The qualities of calmness and profound contemplation were in him combined with an ardent fidelity, tender and boundless love with intensity and even a certain abruptness. From the brief indications of the Evangelists it is apparent, that he was endowed in the highest degree with an ardent nature, and his hearty passionateness sometimes reached such a stormy zealousness, that Jesus Christ was compelled to give the admonishment, that it was discordant with the spirit of the new teaching (Mk. 9: 38-40; Lk. 9: 49-50, 54‑56) and He called the Apostle John and his brother by birth the Apostle James "Sons of Thunder" ("Boanerges"). During this while Saint John shows scant modesty, and besides his particular position among the Apostles as "the disciple whom Jesus loved", he did not stand out among the other disciples of the Savior. The distinguishing features of his character were the observance and sensitivity to events, permeated by a keen sense of obedience to the Will of God. Impressions received from without rarely showed up in his word or actions, but they penetrated deeply and powerfully into the inner life of the holy Apostle John. Always sensitive to others, his heart ached for the perishing. The Apostle John with pious tremulation was attentive to the Divinely-inspired teaching of his Master, to the fullness of grace and truth, in pure and sublime comprehending the Glory of the Son of God. No feature of the earthly life of Christ the Savior slipped past the penetrating gaze of the Apostle John, nor did any event occur, that did not leave a deep impression on his memory, since in him was concentrated all the fullness and wholeness of the human person. The thoughts also of the Apostle John the Theologian are imbued with such like an integral wholeness. The dichotomy of person did not exist for him. In accord with his precepts, where there is not full devotion, there is nothing. Having chosen the path to service to Christ, to the end of his life he fulfilled it with complete and undivided devotion. The Apostle John speaks about holistic a devotion to Christ, about the fullness of life in Him, wherefore also sin is considered by him not as a weakness and injury of human nature, but as evil, as a negative principle, which is completely set in opposition to the good (Jn. 8: 34; 1 Jn. 3: 4, 8-9). In his perspective, it is necessary to belong either to Christ or to the devil, it is not possible to be of a mediocre lukewarm, undecided condition (1 Jn. 2: 22, 4: 3; Rev. 3: 15-16). Therefore he served the Lord with undivided love and self-denial, having repudiated everything that appertains to the ancient enemy of mankind, the enemy of truth and the father of lies (1 Jn. 2: 21-22). Just as strongly as he loves Christ, just as strongly he contemns the Anti-Christ; just as intensely he loves truth, with an equal intensity does he contemn falsehood, – for light doth expel darkness (Jn. 8: 12; 12: 35-36). By the manifestation of the inner fire of love he witnesses with the unique power of spirit about the Divinity of Jesus Christ (Jn. 1: 1-18; 1 Jn. 5: 1-12).

 

To the Apostle John was given to express the last word of the Divine Revelation (i.e. the final book of the Holy Scripture), ushering in the most treasured mysteries of the Divine inner life, known only to the eternal Word of God, the Only-Begotten Son. Truth is reflected in his mind and in his words, wherein he senses and grasps it in his heart. He has comprehension of eternal Truth, and as he sees it, he transmits it to his beloved spiritual children. The Apostle John with simplicity affirms or denies and speaks always with absolute precision (1 Jn. 1: 1). He hears the voice of the Lord, revealing to him what He Himself hears from the Father.

 

The theology of the Apostle John abolishes the borderline between the present and the future. Looking at the present time, he does not halt at it, but transports his gaze to the eternal in the past time and to the eternal in the future time. And therefore he, exhorting for holiness in life, solemnly proclaims, that "all, born of God, sin not" (1 Jn. 5: 18; 3: 9). In communion with God the true Christian partakes of life Divine, whereby the future of mankind is accomplished already on earth. In his explanation and disclosing of the teaching about the Economia of salvation, the Apostle John crosses over into the area of the eternal present, in which Heaven would coincide with earth and the earth would be enlightened with the Light of Heavenly Glory. 

 

Thus did the Galilean fisherman, this son of Zebedee, become Theologian proclaiming through Revelation the mystery of world-existence and the fate of mankind. The celebration on 8/21 May of the holy Apostle John the Theologian was established by the Church in remembrance of the annual drawing forth on this day at the place of his burial of fine rose ashes, which believers gathered for healing from various maladies. The account about the life of the holy Evangelist John the Theologian is found under 26 September, the day of his repose. © 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.

 

 

Sermon on the Sunday of the Blind Man

Bishop Tikhon (Shevkunov)

 

Perhaps today’s story of the healing of the blind man is especially important for us, for our generation. When the Savior walked near the blind man—who was known throughout Jerusalem—but did not ask him anything, not even about his faith, he passed by him and healed him. The blind man became a man who sees. The Pharisees began interrogating him, asking him who worked this great good for him—something they themselves would never have been able to do. 

 

They took the man to task, accusing the Savior of doing this great deed on God’s day—Saturday. Unable to find a single word to refute the Truth that shone brilliantly before them in this unprecedented miracle, the Pharisees where nevertheless unable to restrain themselves, and in their envy and wrath they blasphemed God and the Holy Spirit. 

 

Some ask, “What is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit?” This terrible sin is described in today’s Gospel reading: the Pharisees see the power of God—manifested in the healing of the man blind from birth—but they nevertheless stubbornly deny that power. They say mockingly, Give God the praise: we know that this man is a sinner. But the healed man says, Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth. Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind. If this man were not of God, he could do nothing. Then the Pharisees cast him out of the synagogue, and severed him from the society of the Israelites. 

 

He was deprived of all rights. From that time on, according to Jewish law, no one could associate with him, help him, or live with him. His mother and father disowned him. 

 

For my father and mother have forsaken me, but the Lord hath taken me to Himself (Ps. 26:12)… At that very moment the Savior Himself finds him and says to him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? The one who had gained his sight asks, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him? The Savior then says to him something very similar to what He said to the Samaritan woman last week: Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee. The man blind who was born blind needed no other proof. He worshipped Him as God and said, Lord, I believe. It is no coincidence that a week ago the Holy Church emphasized the Savior’s same revelation to a sinful but pure-hearted Samaritan woman. Both of these people in the Gospels saw God. 

 

All of us are a generation of people born blind. We were born, for the most part, outside of faith in the Lord. According to an ancient plan, our spiritual eyes should have remained closed until our very death. And millions upon millions of people would have gone to eternity without knowing God, or their own souls, or even the spiritual world itself. Everything was done to ensure that we, born blind from parents who were to one or another extent born blind, would remain that way forever. 

 

But God worked a miracle on us. Without asking us whether we believe or not, without tormenting us over this question, but to the contrary knowing that this faith was not in us, the Lord anointed us with clay and sorrows as with holy myrrh, and millions upon millions of people in our country were healed. Their spiritual eyes were opened. 

 

Our contemporaries, blind people who were healed liked the man blind from birth, where subjected to difficult trials, interrogations, and mockery by the Pharisees of this age, and many of us were cut off from the society of our friends and relatives. What happened to the man blind from birth in the Gospels happened also to many of us. 

 

But why did the Savior heal him in particular? Why was this miracle of God manifest in this particular person, and not in the whole crowd of people standing near him, who were just as misfortunate, injured, or sick? Two weeks ago we read in the Gospels how the Savior healed the paralytic. That man thirsted and hoped for healing over the course of thirty-eight years, but the man blind from birth did not even have faith, for he did not know who to believe in. He simply could not see the Lord; he did not see the One Who said to him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam. The Savior revealed His Divinity to precisely this man, because He saw his courageous confession before the enemies of the Truth, the enemies of God. 

 

Even so, why was one man healed, and no one else? Why did the Savior pass by the crowd of wretched, poor, crippled, and paralyzed, take one of them, and heal him? Why, out of the millions and billions of those born blind does only a little flock gain its sight spiritually? Why, out of hundreds of different nations living in the world, do only a few of them confess the saving Orthodox Faith? 

 

Humanly speaking, it is not fair. Humanly speaking: What made the other blind men any worse than this one? And the other paralytics who lay by the pool of Siloam—what made them any worse than that paralytic who was healed? Why are you and me (and each of us knows our own worth: not so very high) any better than the millions of our brothers and sister in this world, who were not enlightened by the light of faith? 

 

Even during the Savior’s earthly life, when He walked the earth, He chose out of many only those… whom He chose. The same thing is happening now. Even out of those nations all together, the Lord chooses only those whom He chooses.  So who, after all, are those whom the Savior chooses? 

 

Before His sufferings, at the Last Supper, He said to His disciples, I have chosen you out of the world (Jn. 15:19). Later, in his High-Priestly prayer, He says to the Father, Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me (Jn 17:11). Who are they? Wealthy and great people? Of course not. Only the poor? Again, wrong. Amongst God’s chosen were people of every economic class. Or perhaps they were people who were rich in something else—reason and wisdom? Nothing of the sort. There were wise people who recognized the feebleness of their minds, and there were people entirely unlearned, even holy fools, to whom extraordinary revelations were suddenly sent. Perhaps these were people rich in sins, because the Lord was sent to save sinners? But we know that all are sinful before God. Or maybe these were people rich in faith? Yes, the Lord required faith of people. But He healed the man blind from birth without the latter’s faith. He healed the man sick of the palsy, for whom the roof of the house was opened and broken up, and who was lowered down before Him (cf. Mk. 2:4), only because of the faith of those who had brought him. But we also know that the demons believe, and tremble… So who does the Lord choose for His inheritance? 

 

The Apostle says in one of his epistles, nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me (Gal. 2:20). These are the ones whom the Savior chooses: those who can deny themselves and become God’s dwelling. 

 

By God’s unsearchable care for mankind, only such people are chosen, even though they may be faint-hearted like the paralytic, who betrayed the Savior two weeks ago. Even he could say, if only once in his life, “See—Christ lives in me.” He could have become God’s temple. Judas was also God’s temple at one time! But God will give over to corruption those who corrupt God’s temple… 

 

I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me. Anyone who has been chosen by God can say the same. The “old man” is done away with, and Christ is born in him. 

 

However, Christ lives in us in a way that is not at all mere speculation—not only in our minds. There are many believing Christians with Christ in their minds: Protestants, Catholics, and those who simply say, yes, I believe in Christ, but I do not belong to the Church. There are people who philosophize about Christ, who make dreamy assumptions about Him, and want to hear about Him; but the life of Christ is not in them. They are outside the Body of Christ, outside the Church of Christ. Therefore, it turns out that many peoples who have heard about Christ nevertheless live outside of His body, outside of His Divinity. 

 

Of course, we speak of this not in order to feel proud. The Holy Church speaks of the chosen ones as God’s great mercy towards sinful people, but also as a great responsibility. Because the chosen, unfortunately, can also be like Judas; they can become apostates, in whom Christ once lived, but who later betray and crucify their Savior. 

 

Our gaining of sight consists in our beginning to see ourselves as full of sins and capable of every evil and betrayal. Our gaining of sight consists in our seeing the world as it really is: lying in evil. Our gaining of sight consists in our beginning to see and appreciate in this world only God’s great mercy toward us and all of blind humankind. But if we do not see all of this, it means that we only think we that we see, but in fact we remain in our blindness—from which may the Lord deliver us!   Christ is Risen! http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/35149.htm 

 

O Most Holy Trinity, Our God, Glory to Thee!