Sunday, June 26, 2011

June 26, 2011 / June 13, 2011
2nd Sunday after Pentecost. All Russian Saints. Tone one.
Apostles' (Peter & Paul) Fast. Fish Allowed

All venerable and holy Fathers of the Holy Mount Athos (movable holiday on the 2nd Sunday of Pentecost).
All venerable and holy Fathers of Bulgaria (movable holiday on the 2nd Sunday of Pentecost).
"Kaluga" Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos (1771) (movable holiday on the first Sunday of the Apostles' Fast).
Martyr Aquilina of Byblos in Lebanon (293).
St. Triphyllius, bishop of Leucosia (Nicosia) in Cyprus (370).
St. Alexandra, foundress of Diveyevo Convent (1789).
New Hieromartyr Alexander priest (1918).
New Hieromartyr Demetrius priest (1940).
Virgin-Martyr Pelagea (1944).
Venerable Andronicus (1395), disciple of Venerable Sergius of Radonezh, and St. Sabbas (1410), abbots of Moscow.
Martyr Antonina of Nicaea (284-305).
Venerable Anna (826), and her son St. John of Constantinople (9th c.).
St. Antipater, bishop of Bostra in Arabia (458).
Finding of the relics of Martyr Nicholas the Deacon of Lesbos (Greek).
St. Eulogius, patriarch of Antioch (Greek).
Martyr Diodorus of Emesus who was crucified (Greek).
Hieromartyr Anthimus the Georgian, metropolitan of Wallachia (1716).

Words from the Abbot:

New York State just passed the Gay Marriage Act which allows homosexual couples to enter into a legal marriage contract. On face value many Americans look upon this as something that is simply a civil rights act that gives gay Americans a right that heterosexual couples have. The problem with this view is that it fails to observe that... marriage is an institution established by God. It is not about civil rights, but about procreation and the continuation of our species.

The United States has seen a terrible downward trend in the number of couples who get married. Of those who do almost fifty percent of those marriages end in divorce and of the marriages that do last only a tiny fraction produce more than one or two children. Many couples choose to limit the number of children because they want a more economically satisfying life and see additional children as nothing but hardship. This is in absolute opposition to the views held by our ancestors.

Much of the problem stems from an increasingly secularized society that does not value the traditional, biblical way of life. Couples, at an alarming rate, start out their relationships in an intimate manner. They indulge in sexual intercourse before marriage, seeing this component of their relationship as being necessary to see if they are compatible.

Living together before marriage dooms the relationship from the beginning because both the man and the woman are concentrating on their own needs to the exclusion of the "union". Such relationships are based on personal needs and not on the biblical basis for marriage, which is procreation. Society suffers as can be seen in the falling populations of Western European and North American. Only Islamic marriages are producing the numbers of children that will guarantee the cultural survival of future generations. Western Civilization is dying out as a direct result of this sociological and religious departure from the biblical image of marriage.

The Church's opposition to gay marriage is not about discrimination. We are not called to judge others or to discriminate against gay people. As Christians we are called upon to judge only ourselves and to recognize the daily struggle that can be filled with anguish and suffering of our gay brothers and sisters. As Christians we need to love and support them in their struggles as fellow Christians to live in chaste lives. Many gay people leave Christianity because they feel excluded and marginalized, even hated by their fellow Christians. They leave because they do not receive the love and support that is needed to live chaste lives.

That given, heterosexuals are also called upon to live chaste lives outside marriage. Marriage is not about human rights but about the bringing together of man and woman for the God sanctioned propagation of our species. God gives us sufficient grace to live virtuous lives. We Orthodox Christians know that salvation is not about ourselves alone, but about all of us together. A loving and supportive Christian community can aid all of us on our journey into God's kingdom.

With love in Christ,

Abbot Tryphon

Photos of the Day:


The Serbian Youth Conference that was held at Seattle Pacific University is concluding this weekend. The youth, along with their priests and youth advisers, came to the monastery on Saturday. What a joy it was to have these fine young people spend part of the day with us.

Scripture Readings for the Day:

Romans 2:10-16


10 but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 11 For there is no partiality with God.
12 For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law 13 (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified; 14 for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, 15 who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) 16 in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.

Matthew 4:18-23


Four Fishermen Called as Disciples
18 And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. 19 Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” 20 They immediately left their nets and followed Him.
21 Going on from there, He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets. He called them, 22 and immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him.
Jesus Heals a Great Multitude
23 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people.

Click photo to enlarge.

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