Sunday, October 27, 2013

Orthodox Witness?
Within the Fold but Without Love

That our Orthodox Church possesses the Fullness of Truth is a given, yet in our weakness as believers, the obviousness of that Truth is often invisible to others. In our weakness as sinful people, we Orthodox clergy, as well as the laity, often fail to demonstrate the love and joy that would make our faith attractive to others.

When people visit an Orthodox temple for the first time, if all they see is beautiful ritual, and a mystical interior, but are not received warmly by the Orthodox worshipers,  they likely will walk away thinking this Faith has no impact on the soul. Beautiful worship and sublime theology mean nothing if we don't live it out in love for others.

Grand services can be performed on any stage as reenactments of ancient Christian worship, complete with beautiful costumes, and authentic images of an ancient faith. Yet these rites will be nothing but empty externals, devoid of any meaning, if we Orthodox Christians make no effort to breath in the faith, and allow Christ to change our hearts, and transform us into a holy people.
It is only when we invite God to make us His holy people, that the spiritual power of the services, and the beauty of our temples, become irresistible to others, and they, by God's grace, become seekers themselves. 

Love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Photo: These young people from Maple Valley Presbyterian Church, donated two hours of community service to the monastery, weeding the pathways of our large garden. The youth of this church have been doing this for a number of years now, and are a blessing to us.

Sunday October 27, 2013 / October 14, 2013
18th Sunday after Pentecost. Tone one.

Commemoration of the Holy Fathers of the Seventh Ecumenical Council (787).
Martyrs Nazarius, Gervase, Protase, and Celsus of Milan (1st c.).
Venerable Parasceva (Petka) of Epibatima, Thrace, whose relics are in Iasi, Romania (11th c.).
New Hieromartyr Michael priest (1921).
New Hieromartyr Peter priest (1937).
New Hieromartyr Maximilian (1938).
Venerable Nikola Sviatosha, prince of Chernigov and wonderworker of the Kiev Caves (1143).
Hieromartyr Silvanus of Gaza (311).
"Yakhrom" (15th c.) Icon of the Mother of God.
Venerable Cosmas, abbot of Yakhroma (1494).
Venerable Euthymius the New of Thessalonica, confessor (889) (Greek).
St. Ignatius, metropolitan of Mithymna (1566) (Greek).
Martyr Peter Apselamus of Eleutheropolis in Palestine (309).
St. Burchard, first bishop of Wurzburg, English missionary to Germany (754).
St. Cosmas the Hymnographer, bishop of Maiuma (787) (Greek).
Venerable Manacca, abess of Cornwall.
You can read the life of the saint by clicking on the highlighted name.

THANKS 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

The Scripture Readings for the Day

2 Corinthians 9:6-11

The Cheerful Giver

But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. As it is written:
“He has dispersed abroad,
He has given to the poor;
His righteousness endures forever.”

10 Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness, 11 while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God.

Luke 8:5-15

“A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trampled down, and the birds of the air devoured it. Some fell on rock; and as soon as it sprang up, it withered away because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up with it and choked it. But others fell on good ground, sprang up, and yielded a crop a hundredfold.” When He had said these things He cried, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”

The Purpose of Parables

Then His disciples asked Him, saying, “What does this parable mean?”
10 And He said, “To you it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is given in parables, that
‘Seeing they may not see,
And hearing they may not understand.’

The Parable of the Sower Explained

11 “Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. 12 Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. 13 But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away. 14 Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity. 15 But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.

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