Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Joy is the Infallible Sign of God's Presence

Although we have no written evidence that Our Lord Jesus Christ laughed, I am personally convinced that he did. How could He not have shared in our humanity with perfection had he not had a sense of humor, and shared moments of laughter with His disciples? Laughter is such a precious gift, for it allows us to share circumstances in our lives in a special way. When we allow ourselves to see with joy those often funny events that take place around us, we are able to put ourselves in a proper perspective. Our ability to laugh at ourselves helps reduce our sense of self-importance.

That a Christian can laugh in no way suggests it is proper to smile at dirty humor, or make light of another persons infirmity or failure. Our humor must never be based on ridicule, or the demeaning of another. Christ used humor when He depicted a camel struggling to get through the eye of a needle. (Matt. 19:24). And we read in Proverbs 17:22, "that a merry heart does good, like medicine".

A sense of humor demonstrates to others that we live with joy and gladness in our hearts, because we have reason to be happy. We believe the gift of salvation is good reason to be happy, since the Lord's ministry did not end on the Cross, but was followed by His Holy Resurrection. Living with a joyful heart adds value to our faith because it makes others want to share in the joy they see in us.

We can laugh because we know that all will work out in the end because God loves us, and we believe His providential hand is at work in our lives. We believe that God knows there is plenty of sadness, sorrow, and sickness in this life, but that it will not prevail, because His plan for our salvation is at work. The old Celtic saying, “Life is all about loving, living, and laughing, not about hating, dying, and moaning,” has as it's basis the Orthodox Christianity of the Celtic people. That is why it is an oxymoron for a Christian to be crabby, griping, and whining, and why "Joy is the infallible sign of God's presence".

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Photo: Father Artemy of Moscow, Russia

Wednesday November 13, 2013 / October 31, 2013
21st Week after Pentecost. Tone three.
Fast. By Monastic Charter: Strict Fast (Bread, Vegetables, Fruits)

Apostles Stachys, Amplias, Urban, Narcissus, Apelles, and Aristobulus of the Seventy (1st c.).
Martyr Epimachus of Pelusium, who suffered at Alexandria (250).
New Hieromartyr Priest John Kochurov of Chicago and St. Petersburg (1917).
New Hieromartyr Leonid (1918).
New Hieromartyrs Vsevolod, Alexander, Sergius, Alexis, Basil priests, Hieromartyrs Anatolius, Euphrosynus amd Martyr James (1937).
New Hieromartyr Innocent (1938).
Venerables Spyridon and Nicodemus the Prosphorabakers of the Kiev Caves (1148).
Venerable Maura of Constantinople (436).
Venerable Anatolius, recluse of the Kiev Caves (12th c.).
New Martyr Nicholas the New of Chios (1754) (Greek).
Venerable Foillan, Irish monk-martyr (655) (Neth.).
Martyr Quentin of Rome (3rd-4th c.).
St. James, bishop of Mygdonia (4th. c.).
Commemoration of the Martyrs of Tbilisi slain under Jelaluddin (1227) (Georgia).
Martyr Epimachus the Roman and his companion Gordian (361-363) (Greek).
Martyrs Stephen, Barnabas, Trophimus, Dorymedon, Cosmas, Damian, Sabbas, Bassa, Abraham, and others with them (Greek).
Martyrs Seleucius and Stratonica his wife, myrr-gushers (Greek).
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

Colossians 1:18-23

18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.

Reconciled in Christ

19 For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, 20 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.
21 And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled 22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight— 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.

Luke 11:42-46

42 “But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass by justice and the love of God. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. 43 Woe to you Pharisees! For you love the best seats in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces. 44 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like graves which are not seen, and the men who walk over them are not aware of them.
45 Then one of the lawyers answered and said to Him, “Teacher, by saying these things You reproach us also.”
46 And He said, “Woe to you also, lawyers! For you load men with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers.

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