Sunday, December 18, 2011

Angels Unaware
During this Holy Season let us be Angels Unaware

There is not one of us who does not meet someone in a given week who is not in need of encouragement, love, and mercy. They are often mothers, who's children are going to bed at night hungry for lack of food money. Old women who's husbands are long gone, and who's children are too busy to check in on them. The young college student down the hall in the dorm who has no place to go for Christmas, no caring family wanting to see him. There is the lonely bag lady, sitting on a park bench watching everyone avoid her.

The  world is full of lonely people in need of comfort, kindness, mercy. How about the crabby old neighbor who is always frowning? Is it not possible that his frown is masking grief for a lost wife, or a son who's turned his back on his father? There's the policeman who's pulled you over for going over the speed limit, and who's being rather abrupt with you? Is there a chance he's having marital problems, and is in a bad mood?

All these people can be in need of a word of kindness, a gentle smile and a word of encouragement. Can you imagine the impact on the officer's day, if you, after having been served with the traffic ticket, thanked him for making our roads safer, and possibly saving your life by calling you on your dangerous driving? What if you sat down next to the old bag lady and asked her how she's doing? What if you offered to take her into a cafe for an early Christmas dinner? What if you baked a plate full of cookies for the grumpy old man? What if you asked your parents if you could invite the lonely young man down the hall for Christmas in your home?

What if you quietly paid for the groceries of the young woman behind you in the check-out line? What if you collected all the old toys left over from your children, and gave them to a shelter for battered women? What if you gave out one hundred dollars worth of tens to homeless men on the street? What if you ordered an extra hamburger and fries, and gave the bag to a homeless man at the entrance of the fast food store, and included a twenty dollar bill as an extra gift?

What if you made a pact with yourself to do seven acts of kindness each and every day, without judgement. What if you took on the role of an angel unaware?

Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares (Hebrews 13:2).

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Sunday December 18, 2011 / December 5, 2011

27th Sunday after Pentecost. Tone two.
Nativity Fast. Fish Allowed

Venerable Sabbas the Sanctified (532).
New Hieromartyr Elias priest (1932).
New Hieromartyr Gennadius (1941).
St. Sergius confessor, priest (1950).
St. Gurias, archbishop of Kazan (156).
Martyr Anastasias.
Venerable Karion (Cyrion) and his son St. Zachariah of Egypt (4th c.).
Venerable Nectarius of Bitol (Serbia) (1500), and his elder, St. Philotheus, of Karyes Skete, Mt. Athos (Greek).
St. Nicetius, bishop of Trier (566) (Gaul).
Venerable Justinian, hermit of Wales (560) (Celtic & Britis).
Commemoration of St. Cosmas of Vatopedi (1276) and the monks of Karyes, Mt. Athos, martyred by the Latins (1283) (Greek).
Martyr Diogenes (Greek).
Martyr Abercius (Greek).
St. Nonnus, monk (Greek).
St. Gratus, monk (Greek).

You can make donations directly to the monastery through PayPal, or you may send donations to:

All-Merciful Saviour Monastery
PO Box 2420
Vashon Island, WA 98070-2420 USA


Ephesians 6:10-17


The Whole Armor of God
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;

Luke 17:12-19


12 Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off. 13 And they lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”
14 So when He saw them, He said to them, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed.
15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, 16 and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan.
17 So Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? 18 Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” 19 And He said to him, “Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.”

1 comment:

  1. Father, I write to relate a quick story along these lines. I don't want to toot my horn here, but I was extraordinarily moved by what I saw.

    A few years back in the Christmas season I took some cash to the Greyhound station downtown. I figured I'd run into people that needed a little extra money for fare, etc. I handed out some small amounts, rather discreetly saying "Merry Christmas" and handing folks the cash. No one refused, which I found gratifying.

    Towards the end of my stay there I had $40 left and felt I needed to give it all to one person. I sat down for a few minutes, looking for some inspiration. Just then a man and his little boy emerged from the restroom and walked towards me. I wadded up the cash and reached out to him. This sounds so inconspicuous when I write it, but its almost like he knew it was coming. He just discreetly said his thanks and carried on without skipping a beat, like we had planned some sort of Eastern European briefcase rendezvous. It was enormously gratifying and darn-near mystical for me.