8th SUNDAY OF LUKE, Luke 10: 25- 37
There are some people who think that worshiping God in beautiful liturgical services distracts us from serving our neighbors and accomplishing His purposes for us in the world. There are those who say that focusing on prayer, fasting, and other spiritual disciplines wastes time and energy that could be better used in helping others. On November 17 we commemorate St John Chrysostom, whose life and ministry demonstrate that we do not have to choose between liturgical life and practical service, for true worship and prayer enable us to make all dimensions of our life in the world an entrance into the heavenly kingdom through Jesus Christ, our eternal High Priest.
~ Words of the Church Fathers ~
Do you wish to honour the Body of the Saviour? Do not despise it when it is naked.
Do not honour it in church with silk vestments while outside it is naked and numb with cold. He who said, “This is my body,” and made it so by His word, is the same who said, “You saw me hungry and you gave me no food. As you did it not to the least of these, you did it not to me.”
Honour Him then by sharing your property with the poor. For what God needs is not golden chalices but golden souls.
St John Chrysostom, Homily 50, Homilies on the Gospel of St Matthew
~ Words of the Church Fathers ~
The venerable Saint Paisios the Athonite used to pray and commemorate the departed souls.
The Elder related:
“As soon as I went to live at the skete, old Thanassis, who worked for Philotheou as a forester, found out about it and came to see
me. He was a friend of mine, and he brought me some blessings, since it was early on then, and I didn’t have anything. I thanked him, and I told him to write down the names of his departed relatives , so that I could commemorate them. Influenced by a Jehovah’s Witness, he replied, ‘When someone dies, there’s nothing else―after death everything’s lost.’ Soon after that, he himself died. When I found out, I went to Philotheou and saw his grave. Every day I prayed from the heart that God would give rest to his soul. About thirty days afterward, I found out that someone from Philotheou was looking for me. He came to me all upset. It was one of the stewards of the monastery. ‘Father,’ he said to me, ‘old Thanassis, the one who just died, came to me and complained that I’ve forgotten him and haven’t done anything for him, and that you’re the only one who helps him
with your prayers. And the truth is, I haven’t commemorated him in my prayers. I’m in charge of things at the monastery now, and I have a lot of work. What can I do? I’ve had to put my prayer rule aside.’
‘Well, now you’ll have to do even more.’ ”
This event strengthened the Elder, so that he prayed even more for the souls of all the departed.
Elder Paisios of Mount Athos
©2012 For the English Language by The Holy Monastery Saint Arsenios the Cappadocian
The Holy Nektarios of Aegina was born on October 1, 1846, in Silyvria, Eastern Thrace and is considered one of the most widely known and beloved Greek Orthodox Saints. His parents Demosthenes and Vasiliki were poor, humble and pious Christians having been blessed with seven children. He was the third child and at Holy Baptism was named Anastasios. As a young child, he was very humble and obedient to his parents who brought him up in a God pleasing manner. His faith was also cultivated by his devout grandmother who played a significant role in his spiritual upbringing.
Beloved Children in the Lord,
Grace and peace be with you all in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, in whose name we invoke every paternal and patriarchal blessing upon this holy community here in Merrick that bears the name of Saint Demetrios the Great Martyr and Myrrh-Streamer. What a joy it is to be here with so many of the faithful, and to wish all of you “Chronia Polla” on this eve of the feast – your patronal feast – and especially to those who share the name of our great intercessor and wonderworking protector. Most especially do we extend these festal greetings to our beloved brother Archbishop Demetrios of America. Many years to you, Your Eminence!
Some seven hundred years ago, St. Gregory Palamas delivered a beautiful and inspiring homily regarding the Dormition of the Mother of God and Ever Virgin Mary. Below are some excerpts:
…There is also nothing dearer or more necessary for me than to expound with due honor in church the wonders of the ever-virgin Mother of God…If “precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints” (Ps. 116:15) and “the memory of the just is praised” (Prov. 10:7 LXX), how much more fitting is it for us to celebrate with highest honors the memory of the ever virgin Mother of God, the Holy of Holies, through whom the saints receive their hallowing?
This Saint, who had Nicomedia as his homeland, was the son of Eustorgius and Eubula. His father was an idolater, but his mother was a Christian from her ancestors. It was through her that he was instructed in piety, and still later, he was catechized in the Faith of Christ by Saint Hermolaus (see July 26) and baptized by him. Being proficient in the physician’s vocation, he practiced it in a philanthropic manner, healing every illness more by the grace of Christ than by medicines. Thus, although his parents had named him Pantoleon (“in all things a lion”), because of the compassion he showed for the souls and bodies of all, he was worthily renamed Panteleimon, meaning “all-merciful.”
On one occasion, when he restored the sight of a certain blind man by calling on the Divine Name, he enlightened also the eyes of this man’s soul to the knowledge of the truth. This also became the cause for the martyrdom of him who had been blind, since when he was asked by whom and in what manner his eyes had been opened, in imitation of that blind man of the Gospel he confessed with boldness both who the physician was and the manner of his healing. For this he was put to death immediately. Panteleimon was arrested also, and having endured many wounds, he was finally beheaded in the year 305, during the reign of Maximian. Saint Panteleimon is one of the Holy Unmercenaries, and is held in special honour among them, even as Saint George is among the Martyrs.