SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH

News from St. John's for May........

Apr 26, 2020
News from St. John's for May........

The Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ is celebrated on Thursday, May 28 and a live-streaming service will be available at 9:30 am that day. May 27, Wednesday evening at 5:00 pm, Great Vespers with Litya will be served and also live-streamed. The prayers of the faithful are always accepted by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and it is this hope in His mercy and love that inspires us to believe that soon we will all be able to attend these beautiful services in person together. Live-streaming is available on our facebook page: St. John the Baptist Orthodox Church and next to the name is an Icon of St. John the Baptist, the beloved Patron Saint of our church. For the Sunday service of Divine Liturgy, on May 3, Sunday of the Myrrbearing Women, a printable copy of the readings for that Sunday is available under the heading “Printable Weekly Readings” shown above. Candles for all live-streaming services can be purchased and will be lit for the services specified. Larger candles are $2 and thinner candles are $1 each. Also, donations for Easter, Easter Flowers, or Food Pantry can be sent to the rectory to Father Maryan Chaykivsky, 160 Lexington Avenue, Passaic, New Jersey 07055.

 

Happy Birthday to all  those who celebrated their birthday in April and to those who will celebrate their birthday in May:  David Baron on April 5; Valentina Szestawicka on April 16; Michael Chaykivsky on April 22; Marion Nagel on May 3; Jennifer Czech on May 15,  Dorothy Fabian on May 24; and Richard Paul Rahnefeld on May 27.  Happy Birthday to all of you and may God grant you all  Many Years!

 

Last Sunday, April 26, was dedicated to Saint Thomas who needed reassurance of Jesus’ Resurrection by touching His side and His hands and feeling His wounds. Eight days following the Resurrection, Jesus lovingly tells Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” He further states to Thomas, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (NKJV John 20:26-29) A beautiful message to all of us who believe even though we have not seen.

 

“After these things Jesus showed Himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias, and in this way He showed Himself: Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of His disciples were together. Simon Peter said to them, "I am going fishing." They said to him, "We are going with you also." They went out and immediately got into the boat, and that night they caught nothing. But when the morning had now come, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Then Jesus said to them, "Children, have you any food?" They answered Him, "No." And He said to them, "Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some." So they cast, and now they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish. Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord!" Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment (for he had removed it), and plunged into the sea. But the other disciples came in the little boat (for they were not far from land, but about two hundred cubits), dragging the net with fish. Then, as soon as they had come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish which you have just caught." Simon Peter went up and dragged the net to land, full of large fish, one hundred and fifty-three; and although there were so many, the net was not broken. Jesus said to them, "Come and eat breakfast." Yet none of the disciples dared ask Him, "Who are You?" — knowing that it was the Lord. Jesus then came and took the bread and gave it to them, and likewise the fish. This is now the third time Jesus showed Himself to His disciples after He was raised from the dead. (John 21:1-14 NKJV)

 

Near the end of Jesus’ mission after the Resurrection and close to His Ascension, Jesus met with his eleven disciples on a mountain in Galilee and Matthew 28:16-20 reports: “Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen.” (Matt 28:16-20) NKJV This was His Great Commission.

 

“After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. Then last of all He was seen by me [Paul] also, as by one born out of due time. For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. Therefore, whether it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.” (1 Cor 15:6-11) NKJV

 

“And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them. Now it came to pass, while He blessed them, that He was parted from them and carried up into heaven. And they worshiped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple praising and blessing God. Amen.” (Luke 24:50-53) NKJV  And although Jesus “was carried into heaven” at this time of His Ascension, He remains close to His creation.

 

Later, Saul was confronted by Jesus on the road to Damascus. Saul was on his way to destroy any semblance of Christ’s followers. "Now it happened, as I [Paul] journeyed and came near Damascus at about noon, suddenly a great light from heaven shone around me. And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?' So I answered, 'Who are You, Lord?' And He said to me, 'I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting.' "And those who were with me indeed saw the light and were afraid, but they did not hear the voice of Him who spoke to me. So I said, 'What shall I do, Lord?' And the Lord said to me, 'Arise and go into Damascus, and there you will be told all things which are appointed for you to do.' And since I could not see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of those who were with me, I came into Damascus.” (Acts 22:6-11) NKJV   Paul had been a fierce furious persecutor of any who professed the Christian religion and his conversion could only have been through divine power. He had no inclinations or positive opinions of Christianity and yet he was baptized and became a true believer and great messenger of God’s word and devoted follower of His son.

 

Hopefully we will all gather together to celebrate the Holy Day of the Glorious and All-praised Leaders of the Holy Apostles, Peter and Paul on June 29. Divine Liturgy will be served at 9:30 am.

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Moleben to the Theotokos - 9:00 AM

O blessed Theotokos, open the doors of compassion to us whose hope is in you, that we may not perish but be delivered from adversity through you, who are the salvation of the Christian people.