St. Nicholas Orthodox Christian Church
Sunday, August 26, 2018
Tone 3 / Eothinon 1; Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost
& Thirteenth Sunday of Matthew
After-feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos
Today we Commemorate: Holy Martyr Andrew the Commander and those with him; Venerable Theophanes of Docheiariou monastery on Athos; Saint Pitirim, Bishop of Perm; Martyrs Timothy, Agapius and Thekla of Palestine
Today’s Hymns and Readings:
Ordinary Entrance Hymn:
Come, let us worship, and fall down before Christ. Save us, O Son of God, Who art risen from the dead; who sing to Thee. Alleluia.
Resurrectional Apolytikion, Tone 3:
Let the heavens rejoice and the earth be glad, for the Lord hath done a mighty act with His own arm. He hath trampled down death by death, and become the first-born from the dead. He hath delivered us from the depths of Hades, granting the world the Great Mercy.
Apolytikion of the Dormition, Tone 1:
In thy birth-giving, O Theotokos, thou didst keep and preserve virginity; and in thy falling-asleep thou hast not forsaken the world; for thou wast translated into life, being the Mother of Life. Wherefore, by thine intercessions, deliver our souls from death.
Apolytikion of our Patron St Nicholas, Tone 3:
In truth you were revealed to your flock as a rule of faith, a model of meekness, and a teacher of self-control. Therefore you have won the heights by humility, riches by poverty, Holy Father, Bishop Nicholas, intercede with Christ our God that our souls may be saved.
Kontakion of the Dormition, Tone 2:
Verily, the Theotokos, who is ever watchful in intercessions, and whose prayers are never rejected, neither tomb nor death could control. But since she is the Mother of Life, He Who dwelt in her ever-virgin womb did translate her to life.
Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us. (3x)
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
both now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.
Holy and Immortal, have mercy on us
Holy God, Holy and Mighty, Holy and Immortal, Have mercy on us.
(For the Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost)
Sing praises to our God, sing praises. Clap your hands, all ye nations.
The Reading from the First Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians. (15:1-11)
Brethren, I would remind you in what terms I preached to you the Gospel, which you received, in which you stand, by which you are saved, if you hold it fast—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He rose on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve. Then He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then He appeared to James, then to all the Apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared also to me. For I am the least of the Apostles, unfit 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. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God, which is with me. Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.
(For the Thirteenth Sunday of Matthew)
The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew. (19:16-26)
At that time, a young man came up to Jesus, kneeling and saying, “Good Teacher, what good deed must I do, to have eternal life?” And He said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.” He said to Him, “Which?” And Jesus said, “You shall not kill, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not bear false witness, honor your father and mother, and you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The young man said to Him, “All these I have observed; what do I still lack?” Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” When the young man heard this, he went away sorrowful; for he had great possessions. And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, it will be hard for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” When the disciples heard this they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Thoughts For the Day
“In going to church, think that thou art going to the house of the King of Heaven, where with fear and joy one ought to stand as in heaven before the King of Heaven. While standing in church, do not look around to the sides and do not look at how someone is standing and praying, lest thou be condemned with the Pharisee, since thou didst not come to judge others, but to ask for mercy for thyself from God the Judge and Knower of hearts. Gaze with compunction toward the altar alone, where the holy sacrifice is offered. More than anything else, beware of laughter and conversations, for whoever laughs or converses while standing in church does not render honor to the holy place and tempts others and prevents others from praying.”
— St. Tikhon of Zadonsk
Sinners that repent are still saved; both publicans and fornicators cleansed by repentance enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. The compassionate God still calls to Himself all that have turned away, and He awaits them and promises them mercy. The loving Father still receives His prodigal sons come back from a far country and He opens the doors of His house and clothes them in the best robe, and gives them each a ring on their hand and shoes on their feet and commands all the saints to rejoice in them.
— St. Tikhon of Zadonsk: Journey to Heaven
“Prayer does not consist merely in standing and bowing your body or in reading written prayers….it is possible to pray at all times, in all places, with mind and spirit. You can lift up your mind and heart to God while walking, sitting, working, in a crowd and in solitude. His door is always open, unlike man’s. We can always say to Him in our hearts Lord , Lord have mercy.”
— St. Tikhon of Zadonsk
Abba Poemen said that Abba John said that the saints are like a group of trees, each bearing different fruit, but watered from the same source. The practices of one saint differ from those of another, but it is the same Spirit that works in all of them.
Source: Sr. Benedicta Ward, The Sayings of the Desert Fathers