Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Incarnation
 God Himself Appeared in the Flesh

We Orthodox Christians who keep the ancient Church Calendar are approaching our celebration of the Nativity of Christ Our Lord. On January 7th we will all be gathering together in monasteries, chapels, churches, and cathedrals, to celebrate the Liturgy of the Nativity of Our Lord, God, and Saviour, Jesus Christ. The very incarnation of the Son of God and His coming into the world is singularly one of the greatest events in the history of human kind. That God Himself would take on our image, and join His Divinity to our humanity, is one of the great mysteries of our faith.

A Virgin, who by her humility was obedient to the will of God, agreeing to become a living tabernacle of the very God who created her, and who by her obedience became the first disciple of the Lord, and the New Eve, ushered in our salvation. 

By His condescension salvation entered our world, and the power of death was overcome. The very Word of God, by Whom the whole of the cosmos came into being, became a little child, born of a woman. At that moment the demons trembled, knowing they'd already lost their battle, and rebellion against God had seen it's demise.

Let us prepare ourselves for the reception of the Holy Mysteries, that as we take in the Body and Blood of Our Lord during the upcoming Nativity Liturgy, we may give birth, anew, to Christ in our hearts. Let us be reborn in the spirit, transformed and made whole by the living God of Lights. Together with the angels, and all the heavenly hosts, let us sing: 

Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Lord God of Hosts, heaven and earth are filled with Thy glory.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Thursday January 5, 2012 / December 23, 2011
30th Week after Pentecost. Tone four.
Nativity Fast. Food without Oil

Forefeast of the Nativity of Christ.

Holy Ten Martyrs of Crete: Theodulus, Saturninus, Euporus, Gelasius, Eunician, Zoticus, Pompeius, Agathopus, Basilides, and Evaristus (250).
New Hieromartyr Basil priest and Hieromartyrs Macarius and John (1938).
St. Theoctistus, archbishop of Novgorod (1310).
Venerable Niphon bishop of Cyprus (4th c.).
Venerable Paul, bishop of Neo-Caesarea (4th c.).
St. Nahum of Ochrid, enlightener of the Bulgarians (910) (Bulgaria).
New Hieromartyrs John Piankov and Nicholas Yakhontov priests (1918).
Venerable David of Echmiadzin in Armenia (693).
Venerable Niphon, bishop of Cyprus (4th c.).
New Hieromartyr Paul (Kratirov) bishop of Starobelsk.
St. Egbert of Rathmelsigi (729) (Neth.).

I wish to thank those of you who have been contributing towards the principle of our mortgage ($250,000.00). For those of you who can't donate due to the depressed economy, please remember to pray for the monastery. It would be such a great blessing if we were able to retire the mortgage debt altogether.

Donations can be made 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

Hebrews 10:35-11:7


35 Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise:
       37 “ For yet a little while,
      And He who is coming will come and will not tarry.
       38 Now the just shall live by faith;
      But if anyone draws back,
      My soul has no pleasure in him.”
 39 But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.

Hebrews 11

By Faith We Understand
 1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.
3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.
Faith at the Dawn of History
4 By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks.
5 By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, “and was not found, because God had taken him”; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God. 6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
7 By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.

Mark 10:17-27

Jesus Counsels the Rich Young Ruler
17 Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?”
18 So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. 19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’
20 And he answered and said to Him, “Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.”
21 Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.”
22 But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
With God All Things Are Possible
23 Then Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 And the disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, “Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God! 25 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.”
26 And they were greatly astonished, saying among themselves, “Who then can be saved?”
27 But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.” 
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