Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Christ or Antichrist
St. Elizabeth Church (click to enlarge)
Christ will Triumph over Evil

Increasingly Christians have been talking about the coming of the Anti-Christ. Events around the world have created a sense of doom among many believers, seeing in the economic downswing, rise of Islam, extreme climate change,  and breakdown of societal norms, as precursors to the coming of the End Times.
It is important that we remember Christians in the first century were prepared for the end of times and the second coming of Christ. Christians have always been prepared, as we should. We are struggling against the principalities of darkness, just as God's people have been struggling since the fall of human kind. This life is full of spiritual warfare. The hour for the return of Christ is not to be revealed, for only the Father knows the time and the hour, as Christ Himself told us.

What is important is that we be prepared for our own end. None of us knows when our own end will come. At sixty-seven, I am more aware of my own ultimate end than ever before. I've had increasing numbers of friends depart this life, some after illnesses, some without warning. All of us must be prepared to give account for our lives before the Lord at any given moment. We can not expect time to repent, for most of us will meet our end without warning.

Whether these are the End Times or not, we must live our lives in preparation for that final moment of accountability. In the end, Christ will triumph over evil. That is a fact. For now, we must fight the battle, that we, too, will triumph over evil.

Come, Lord Jesus Christ.

Love in Christ, 
Abbot Tryphon

Photos: Our monthly meeting of the Washington Orthodox Clergy Association was held in Poulsbo, WA (the Norwegian town), hosted by Father Lawrence Gaudreau, rector of Saint Elizabeth Orthodox Church. We are blessed to have one of the strongest clergy associations in the United States, much to the leadership of Protopresbyter Ilija Balach, rector of Saint Sava Serbian Orthodox Church in Issaquah, WA.

click photo to enlarge
Wednesday January 16, 2013 / January 3, 2013
33rd Week after Pentecost. Tone seven.
Sviatki. Fast-free

Forefeast of the Theophany.
Prophet Malachias (400 B.C.).
Martyr Gordius at Caesarea in Cappadocia (314).
St. Genevieve of Paris (502).
Venerable Abelard, abbot.
Finding of the relics of New Monk-martyr Ephraim of Nea Makri, in 1950 (Greek).
St. Peter of Atroa (837).
St. Thomais of Lesbos (10th c.).
Venerable Euthymius (Taqaishvili) the Man of God of Tbilisi (1953).
St. Findlugan of Islay (7th c.) (Celtic & British).

You can read the life of the saint in green, by click on the name.

THANK YOU, to all of you who have been able to contribute towards the support of the monastery. These difficult times of economic hardship have impacted the monastery, and those of you who have been able to donate, have been our lifeline. May God bless you for your generosity, and kindness.
With love in Christ,  
Abbot Tryphon

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

1 Peter 4:1-11

4 Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. For we have spent enough of our past lifetime[b] in doing the will of the Gentiles—when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you. They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. For this reason the gospel was preached also to those who are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.

Serving for God’s Glory

But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.” Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. 10 As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11 If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Mark 12:28-37

The Scribes: Which Is the First Commandment of All?

28 Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, “Which is the first commandment of all?”
29 Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. 31 And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
32 So the scribe said to Him, “Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth, for there is one God, and there is no other but He. 33 And to love Him with all the heart, with all the understanding, with all the soul,[e] and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
34 Now when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, He said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.”
But after that no one dared question Him.

Jesus: How Can David Call His Descendant Lord?

35 Then Jesus answered and said, while He taught in the temple, “How is it that the scribes say that the Christ is the Son of David? 36 For David himself said by the Holy Spirit:

‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at My right hand,
Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.”’
37 Therefore David himself calls Him ‘Lord’; how is He then his Son?”
And the common people heard Him gladly.

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