SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH

READING MATTERS

FRIENDS

By Matushka Svetlana Chaykivska

 

I just can't imagine life without Hope

She is my air and surroundings

Real friends are able to read your feelings like a street sign.

She saw my face and knew without saying any words

"Hi what happened?"

Warm and friendly smiles.

 

Clear and simple

They never made things overloaded beyond our daily life

Happiness of mine is theirs too.

Hope she was the one that I share my great pregnancy news.

When my body is broken

They can heal it too.

She baked and brought an apple pie and we will sit together.

She pours a cup of coffee and we will talk about our youth and school years

And I forget about this sad moment and pain of my soul.

 

May all diseases depart from everyone.

The angels who protect us, from the demons that will divide our hearts.

May our friendship be like a mountain

That will be established for a long time.

 


 

Father Maryan's Sermon:

19th Sunday after Pentecost

 

Gospel Luke 6:31-36

The Lord said, “Even as you wish men to do to you, so also do you to them. And if you love those who love you, what merit have you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what merit have you? For even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive in return, what merit have you? For even sinners lend to sinners that they may get back as much in return. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, not hoping for any return, and your reward shall be great, and you shall be children of the Most High, for He is kind towards the ungrateful and evil. Be merciful, therefore, even as your Father is merciful.

 

 

 

In today’s Gospel Christ talks to us about some things that might sound strange, but should be an active part of our lives. Jesus encourages us to love our enemies and do good to them.

 

It would seem that if someone is my enemy, then why should I love them, and – even more so – do good to them? But Christ says to us: “as you wish that men would do to you, do so to them.” If someone is our enemy and we repay them with goodness, their behavior could change sooner or later. When someone hates us, and we love them – they could understand that they do something wrong or bad. Maybe it doesn’t happen immediately, on the same day or week, but when a person sees good examples and the opposite action of what they do, they start to think about their lives.

 

Christ came into this world and showed boundless love to all people. He died on the cross for each of us. Today’s Gospel says that God is “kind to the ungrateful and the selfish.” God is kind to all of us. He values everyone, whether he/she is good or bad. Because He always waits when people are open to His love, come back to Him, to the home of their Father. And the same thing encourages us to do so. He encourages us to love all people.

 

Of course, we could not love our enemies as we love our children, parents, husband/wife or our relatives and friends. But we should forgive them, do not wish them ill, do them good, show them different and good examples.

 

It’s hard to do. ‘We, sometimes, can’t forgive even people that are close to us. We are angry for ages if someone offends us. We remember the injustice, sometimes, our whole lives. And God says “love your enemies.”

 

Christ tells us these things and says that if we don’t do this, if we don’t show our love first, how are we different from the rest of the world? If we are Christians, followers of Christ, “light of the world” and “salt of the earth” – we should show it by our lives. We should show it, so that others can see who we are. And if we do good just for those people who do good to us, and don’t care about others – how are we different from the rest of the world? If we love those who love us, Christ asks: “what credit is that to you?” If we lend to those from whom we know we receive back – what is our merit?  If we do good just to those who are well placed to us – what is our merit?

 

Today’s world is consumerist. Every company, each brand offers us something that should be essential for us. There are different offers, sales…..and very often we follow this world….listen to advertisements, watch TV, receive calls from different people who convince us to buy that particular product….and we buy and think that this is really necessary for us, that this thing could satisfy us, bring us some joy….

 

Today Christ also does some kind of advertising. He asks us: “do what I ask you to do, do not expect anything in reward and your reward will be great, you will be sons of the Most High.”

 

Think and consider for the value of something in our lives. This world offers us everything, and very often we want everything. And God offers us one thing – to live with him forever. And we never think about this. What is most important for us?

 

That’s why I would like to wish all of us, if we want to receive this reward, we should remember about this every moment of our lives. I would like to wish that the thought about life with God be present in our lives; that we love God, one another, our enemies; that we do good things to all and really be sons and daughters of the Most High, and live with Him every day, that He gives us here, on earth and forever in heaven, that He prepared for each of us. Amen.     Fr. Maryan

 


 

 

Whatever excuse we have for not attending church and bringing our children and young people can only be judged by our Lord.  How will He judge our behavior when He sees these suffering Christians throughout the world continue to attend services.  How will He, Who sees all and knows all, judge our choices in living our lives without Him?  Perhaps we need to remember the prayer by St. Nikolali of  Ochrid who stated: l Bless my enemies, O Lord, even I bless them and do not curse them.  Enemies have driven me into Thy embrace more than friends have.

Whatever excuse we have for not attending church and bringing our children and young people can only be judged by our Lord. How will He judge our behavior when He sees these suffering Christians throughout the world continue to attend services. How will He, Who sees all and knows all, judge our choices in living our lives without Him? Perhaps we need to remember the prayer by St. Nikolali of Ochrid who stated: l Bless my enemies, O Lord, even I bless them and do not curse them. Enemies have driven me into Thy embrace more than friends have.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


CALENDAR

December 2019
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Akathist Healing Service followed by Parish Confessions 1:00 p.m......

Kontakion 3  -  "With power from on high, do Thou strengthen me, who am afflicted in body and soul, O good Lady, and vouchsafe me Thy visitation and provident care, dispelling the gloom of despondency and sorrow which enfold me, that saved by Thee I may unceasingly cry out ...