Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Despondency
When despondency seizes us

The renowned 19th century Russian saint, Seraphim of Sarov (1759-1833), said of himself, "I don't know anything". These words were remarkable coming from a hermit who was the most sought after spirit
ual adviser of his age, with even the Tsar seeking out his counsel. Yet Saint Seraphim recognized that he was but a funnel from which anything good that came out of him, was from God.

As a priestmonk, I am often troubled by the knowledge that I am a poor example to others, and that I fall short, daily, of living out the image of Christ in me. Yet I am compelled to live out every day with joyfulness of heart, no matter what. I am also compelled to preach, teach, and write of the things of the Lord, and to try to trust God, no matter what. I try, as best I can, to remember the words, "Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice (Philippians 4:4)".

I try to remember the words of Saint Basil the Fool for Christ, whose holy relics reside in Saint Basil's Cathedral in Red Square, who said, "winter is cold, but paradise is sweet". Knowing that true validation comes only from God, I try not to be hurt when I do not receive validation from my peers, remembering that I am called upon to give to others, what I want to receive.
 

Like Saint Anthony the Great, I cry out to God, "where are You?", all the while floating in a river of grace. I want to be a friend of God, yet often feel like the chick who has been pushed out of the nest by the mother eagle.

Yet I am comforted by the counsel of Saint Seraphim, who instructed his spiritual children with the words: "When despondency seizes us, let us not give in to it. Rather, fortified and protected by the light of faith, let us with great courage say to the spirit of evil: "What are you to us, you who are cut off from God, a fugitive for Heaven, and a slave of evil? You dare not do anything to us: Christ, the Son of God, has dominion over us and over all. Leave us, you thing of bane. We are made steadfast by the uprightness of His Cross. Serpent, we trample on your head."

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon


click on photo to enlarge
Notice: In previous postings on this blog, I wrote that the monastery is not supported by the Western American Diocese, of which we are a part. This statement was incorrect, and in fact our diocese holds a special collection each year for its two main monasteries, of which All-Merciful Saviour Monastery is one, and parishes all throughout the diocese, which are often themselves extremely poor, offer what they are able on our behalf. Additionally, the diocese has in the past offered us additional financial support in cases of extreme need, and has even this year made adjustments to its collections to help bring funds to us earlier in the year. As a monastery of the Western American Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, we are grateful to the diocese, and to its parishes and many faithful who contribute to our life in this way--whose small but heartfelt contributions join with those of our many other benefactors to make our life here possible.







Wednesday April 23, 2014 / April 10, 2014
Bright Wednesday.
Bright Week. Fast-free

Synaxis of the Venerable Fathers of the Holy Mount Sinai (movable holiday on the Wednesday of the Bright Week).
"Kasperov" Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos (movable holiday on the Wednesday of the Bright Week).
Martyrs Terence, Pompeius, Africanus, Maximus, Zeno, Alexander, Theodore, and 33 others, beheaded at Carthage (250).
New Hieromartyr Flegont priest (1938).
Martyr Demetrius (1942).
Martyrs James, presbyter, and Azadanes and Abdicius, deacons, of Persia (ca. 380).
New Hieromartyr Gregory V, patriarch of Constantinople (1821) (Greek).
Prophetess Huldah (Olda) (II Kings 22:14).
St. Milteades, pope of Rome.
The Holy Martyrs of the Kvabtakhevi Monastery, who suffered during the invasion of Tamerlane (1386) (Georgia).
New Martyr Demos of Smyrna (1763) (Greek).
Nun-martyr Anastasia, abbess of Uglich and 34 nuns with her (1609).
Monk-martyr Chrysanthus of Xenophontos, Mt. Athos (Greek).
Martyrs Beocca, Hethor and others, at Chertsey.
You can read the life of the saint by clicking on the highlighted name.


The Scripture Readings for the Day

Acts 2:22-36

22 “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know— 23 Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; 24 whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it. 25 For David says concerning Him:

‘I foresaw the Lord always before my face,
For He is at my right hand, that I may not be shaken.
26 Therefore my heart rejoiced, and my tongue was glad;
Moreover my flesh also will rest in hope.
27 For You will not leave my soul in Hades,
Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.
28 You have made known to me the ways of life;
You will make me full of joy in Your presence.’
29 “Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30 Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne, 31 he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption. 32 This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. 33 Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear.
34 “For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he says himself:

‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand,
35 Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.”’
36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”


John 1:35-51

The First Disciples

35 Again, the next day, John stood with two of his disciples. 36 And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, “Behold the Lamb of God!”
37 The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. 38 Then Jesus turned, and seeing them following, said to them, “What do you seek?”
They said to Him, “Rabbi” (which is to say, when translated, Teacher), “where are You staying?”
39 He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where He was staying, and remained with Him that day (now it was about the tenth hour).
40 One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41 He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated, the Christ). 42 And he brought him to Jesus.
Now when Jesus looked at him, He said, “You are Simon the son of Jonah. You shall be called Cephas” (which is translated, A Stone).

Philip and Nathanael

43 The following day Jesus wanted to go to Galilee, and He found Philip and said to him, “Follow Me.” 44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”
46 And Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”
Philip said to him, “Come and see.”
47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!”
48 Nathanael said to Him, “How do You know me?”
Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.”
49 Nathanael answered and said to Him, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!”
50 Jesus answered and said to him, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” 51 And He said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”


I invite my readers to listen to my
Ancient Faith Radio podcasts:

http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/morningoffering


All-Merciful Saviour Monastery is a non-profit, 501 C3 organization, under IRS regulations. All donations are therefore tax deductible. We depend on the generosity of our friends and benefactors. You can donate to the monastery through PayPal, or by sending donations directly to the monastery's mailing address.


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

Abbot Tryphon's email address:
frtryphon@vashonmonks.com

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Authority

The authority of the Church

 If she be true to herself, the Church acts with an authority that is grounded in love. She holds within her realm the authority to make her people the children of God. She has the authority to forgive, and the capacity to love. And just as her Head, Jesus Christ, she exists to serve, and not to be served. She guides her people with love, recognizing that each person is unique, and is to be ministered to with an authority that is based on serving, not being served.

Christianity itself is in crisis, and many people are embracing the materialist approach of self-help, rather than ascetic struggle and self-denial. Increased numbers of young people are turning to atheism, or wandering in a wasteland of spiritual confusion, having witnessed the betrayal of Christian morality and faith within many churches. Our young have been turned off by the news of televangelists raking in the money as charismatic superstars, living lavish lifestyles that are anything but imitations of Christ's vision of servant.

"The incarnation of Christ was considered and was celebrated by the Fathers of the Church and the worshiping ecclesiastical community as the abolishing of religion and its transformation into a Church. In fact, the ever memorable Father John Romanides had said in the most categorical way that Christ became human, in order to free us of the illness of religion (Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos)."

Until we put off religion, and put on Christ, we will continue to fail in our vocation as servants. Unless the Church demonstrates, with holiness and humility, and in imitation of the Image of Our Saviour as servant, the Church will have become nothing but a religion that has lost her way, and the authentic witness of Christ will have been lost.

The youth of today are drawn to authenticity, and until they see Christ in the lives of churchman who are living icons of Christ, and who are loving, humble servants of this very Christ, they will continue looking for truth in a wasteland of spiritual confusion. The Church must proclaim the Good News in all humility and love, for "the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve (Mark 10:45),"
 
With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Photos: Bishop Theodosy of Seattle, during the Agape Vespers on Pascha Day. Abbot Tryphon holding a large bottle of wine that was served during the celebration meal following the Agape Vesper service, and
Cathedral dean, Archpriest Alex Kotar, with his adorable grandson.




Notice: In previous postings on this blog, I wrote that the monastery is not supported by the Western American Diocese, of which we are a part. This statement was incorrect, and in fact our diocese holds a special collection each year for its two main monasteries, of which All-Merciful Saviour Monastery is one, and parishes all throughout the diocese, which are often themselves extremely poor, offer what they are able on our behalf. Additionally, the diocese has in the past offered us additional financial support in cases of extreme need, and has even this year made adjustments to its collections to help bring funds to us earlier in the year. As a monastery of the Western American Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, we are grateful to the diocese, and to its parishes and many faithful who contribute to our life in this way--whose small but heartfelt contributions join with those of our many other benefactors to make our life here possible.


Cathedral dean, Archpriest Alex Kotar, and his grandson.

Tuesday April 22, 2014 / April 9, 2014
Bright Tuesday.
Bright Week. Fast-free

"Iveron" Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos (movable holiday on the Tuesday of the Bright Week).
Blessed Martyrs and Fathers of the St. David-Gareji Monastery (17th c.) (Georgia) (movable holiday on the Tuesday of the Bright Week).
"Shuisky" Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos (movable holiday on the Tuesday of the Bright Week).
Martyr Eupsychius of Caesarea in Cappadocia (362).
New Martyr Gabriel (1942).
Martyrs Desan bishop, Mariabus presbyter, Abdiesus, and 270 other martyrs in Persia (362).
Hieromartyr Bademus (Vadim), archimandrite of Persia (379).
Venerable Woutruide, foundress of a monastery (688) (Neth.).
Newly revealed Martyrs Raphael, Nicholas, and Irene of Lesbos (1463) (Greek).
Martyrs Fortunatus, Donatus, twelve virgins and six laymen at Sirmium (304).
St. Acacius, bishop of Amida in Mesopotamia (5th c.).
You can read the life of the saint by clicking on the highlighted name.


The Scripture Readings for the Day

Acts 2:14-21


Peter’s Sermon

14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. 15 For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. 16 But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
17 ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God,
That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
Your young men shall see visions,
Your old men shall dream dreams.
18 And on My menservants and on My maidservants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days;
And they shall prophesy.
19 I will show wonders in heaven above
And signs in the earth beneath:
Blood and fire and vapor of smoke.
20 The sun shall be turned into darkness,
And the moon into blood,
Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.
21 And it shall come to pass
That whoever calls on the name of the Lord
Shall be saved.’

Luke 24:12-35

12 But Peter arose and ran to the tomb; and stooping down, he saw the linen cloths lying by themselves; and he departed, marveling to himself at what had happened.

The Road to Emmaus

13 Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened. 15 So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. 16 But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him.
17 And He said to them, “What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?”
18 Then the one whose name was Cleopas answered and said to Him, “Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in these days?”
19 And He said to them, “What things?”
So they said to Him, “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him. 21 But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened. 22 Yes, and certain women of our company, who arrived at the tomb early, astonished us. 23 When they did not find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said He was alive. 24 And certain of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see.”
25 Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” 27 And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.

The Disciples’ Eyes Opened

28 Then they drew near to the village where they were going, and He indicated that He would have gone farther. 29 But they constrained Him, saying, “Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.” And He went in to stay with them.
30 Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight.
32 And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?” 33 So they rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, 34 saying, “The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” 35 And they told about the things that had happened on the road, and how He was known to them in the breaking of bread.


I invite my readers to listen to my
Ancient Faith Radio podcasts:

http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/morningoffering



All-Merciful Saviour Monastery is a non-profit, 501 C3 organization, under IRS regulations. All donations are therefore tax deductible. We depend on the generosity of our friends and benefactors. You can donate to the monastery through PayPal, or by sending donations directly to the monastery's mailing address.


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

Abbot Tryphon's email address:
frtryphon@vashonmonks.com

Monday, April 21, 2014

Jubilation

And the Resurrection of Jesus Christ


The jubilation of the Church is also the jubilation of the Divine Persons of the Holy Trinity at the accomplishment of our salvation. The resurrection of Christ, which brought on the defeat of the power of death, is the cause of joyful praise, because He is the cause of the death of death, and the destruction of Hades. Christ's resurrection is the beginning of an eternal life. Because of Christ's resurrection, death no longer separates us from God, and we are no longer destined for the darkness of Hades, but rather brought into heavenly mansions, to dwell there eternally in the fullness of everything good.

Christ is risen! 
Truly He is risen!

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon


Notice: In previous postings on this blog, I wrote that the monastery is not supported by the Western American Diocese, of which we are a part. This statement was incorrect, and in fact our diocese holds a special collection each year for its two main monasteries, of which All-Merciful Saviour Monastery is one, and parishes all throughout the diocese, which are often themselves extremely poor, offer what they are able on our behalf. Additionally, the diocese has in the past offered us additional financial support in cases of extreme need, and has even this year made adjustments to its collections to help bring funds to us earlier in the year. As a monastery of the Western American Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, we are grateful to the diocese, and to its parishes and many faithful who contribute to our life in this way--whose small but heartfelt contributions join with those of our many other benefactors to make our life here possible.
 
Monday April 21, 2014 / April 8, 2014
Bright Monday.
Bright Week. Fast-free

Entire week, fast-free.
Holy Apostles of the Seventy: Herodion, Agabus, Asyncritus, Rufus, Phlegon, Hermes, and those with them (1st c.).
New Hieromartyr Sergius priest (1933)
St. Niphont, bishop of Novgorod (1156).
Venerable Rufus the Obedient of the Kiev Caves (14th c.).
Martyr Pausilippus of Heraclea in Thrace (117-138).
St. Celestine, pope of Rome (432).
New Martyr John Naukliros ("the Navigator") in Thessaly (1699).
Monk-martyrs Josias and Joseph of Mt. Kharasam, Persia (341).
New Martyr John (Koulika) (1564).
St. Philaret of Seminara, Calabria (1070).
Spanish Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos (792).

You can read the life of the saint by clicking on the highlighted name.



The Scripture Readings for the Day

Acts 1:12-17


The Upper Room Prayer Meeting

12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey. 13 And when they had entered, they went up into the upper room where they were staying: Peter, James, John, and Andrew; Philip and Thomas; Bartholomew and Matthew; James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot; and Judas the son of James. 14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.

Matthias Chosen

15 And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples (altogether the number of names was about a hundred and twenty), and said, 16 “Men and brethren, this Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke before by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus; 17 for he was numbered with us and obtained a part in this ministry.”


Acts 1:21-26

21 “Therefore, of these men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22 beginning from the baptism of John to that day when He was taken up from us, one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection.”
23 And they proposed two: Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. 24 And they prayed and said, “You, O Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which of these two You have chosen 25 to take part in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.” 26 And they cast their lots, and the lot fell on Matthias. And he was numbered with the eleven apostles.


John 1:18-28

18 No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.

A Voice in the Wilderness

19 Now this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?”
20 He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.”
21 And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?”
He said, “I am not.”
“Are you the Prophet?”
And he answered, “No.”
22 Then they said to him, “Who are you, that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?”
23 He said: “I am
‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
“Make straight the way of the Lord,”’
as the prophet Isaiah said.”
24 Now those who were sent were from the Pharisees. 25 And they asked him, saying, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”
26 John answered them, saying, “I baptize with water, but there stands One among you whom you do not know. 27 It is He who, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose.”
28 These things were done in Bethabara beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.

I invite my readers to listen to my
Ancient Faith Radio podcasts:

http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/morningoffering



All-Merciful Saviour Monastery is a non-profit, 501 C3 organization, under IRS regulations. All donations are therefore tax deductible. We depend on the generosity of our friends and benefactors. You can donate to the monastery through PayPal, or by sending donations directly to the monastery's mailing address.


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

Abbot Tryphon's email address:
frtryphon@vashonmonks.com

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Holy Pascha
The Resurrection of Our Lord, God,
and Saviour, Jesus Christ

Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!

Хрїстóсъ воскрéсе! Воистину воскресе!

Kristus er oppstanden! Han er sannelig oppstanden!

Christus ist auferstanden! Er ist wahrhaftig auferstanden!

Χριστός ἀνέστη! Ἀληθῶς ανέστη!

Христос воскресе! Воистину воскресе!

Tha Crìosd air èiridh! Gu dearbh, tha e air èiridh!

ハリストス復活!実に復活!
המשיח קם! באמת קם!


Kristus nousi kuolleista! Totisesti nousi!

¡Cristo ha resucitado! ¡En verdad ha resucitado!

Hristos a înviat! Adevărat a înviat!

Kristos Tenestwal! Bergit Tenestwal!

Pikhristos Aftonf! Khen oumethmi aftonf!

المسيح قام! حقا قام!

Քրիստոս յարեաւ ի մեռելոց՜ Օրհնեալ է Յարութիւնն Քրիստոսի՜

基督復活了 他確實復活了

Kristus är uppstånden! Han är sannerligen uppstånden!

Kristus aq ungwektaq! Pichinuq ungwektaq!

Christus resurrexit! Resurrexit vere!




Paschal message by
His Holiness Patriarch Kirill
of Moscow and All Russia



Pascha is not some beautiful legend, not some theoretical theology and not a nod towards a popular custom established in the distant past. It is the essence and kernel of Christianity.

19 April 2014




Beloved in the Lord

Your Graces the archpastors,

all-honourable pastors and deacons,

God-loving monks and nuns,

dear brothers and sisters!


On ‘this chosen and holy Day’ when the world ‘that is visible and invisible’ (see: the Canon of Holy Pascha) glorifies the Prince of life and Victor over death, I send my heartfelt greetings to all of you through the Paschal exclamation:

CHRIST IS RISEN!


From year to year the good news of the Resurrection resounds victoriously, encouraging us to render praise to God and the Saviour, who has trampled down death by death and has made us co-participants in the life eternal which is to come.


As we celebrate this ‘Feast of feasts and Triumph of triumphs,’ it is with a special spiritual feeling that we recall the redemptive act of the Saviour of the world, his sufferings on the Cross and bright resurrection. Pascha is not some beautiful legend, not some theoretical theology and not a nod towards a popular custom established in the distant past. It is the essence and kernel of Christianity. It is the victory that God has granted to us.
 
From the time of the apostles and up to the present the Church has preached Christ’s resurrection as the greatest miracle in the history of humanity. She speaks of this miracle not only as a fact of the Gospels, but – and what is especially important – as a moment of destiny for all those who have received the Paschal good news. This feast bears the most direct relationship to us, for Christ’s resurrection, the Lord’s redemption of the fallen world, is the greatest joy which the human person can experience. No matter how difficult our life, no matter what everyday troubles besiege us, no matter what grief and imperfections we have to endure from the world around us – all of this is nothing in comparison to the spiritual joy, to the hope of eternal salvation that God gives us.


As St. Paul says, ‘he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken our mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwells in us’ (cf. Rom 8:11).
On the radiant day of Christ’s resurrection the souls of millions of the faithful are replete with thanksgiving to the Creator, and our earthly life acquires true meaning. Christ’s Passover is the greatest triumph of life, the triumph over death bringing love, peace and spiritual transformation.
 
In celebrating Pascha we each time open up a new period in our lives, for the risen Lord renews human nature, fortifies us in tribulations, and grants to us the strength to accomplish good deeds.

The Paschal message, which has transformed the whole course of world history, encourages us to be morally transformed, to be spiritually renewed, which is so essential for modern-day society. It reminds all people of the sources of Christianity, as well as of the coming eternal Kingdom where ‘God may be all in all’ (1 Cor 15:28).


During these radiant days of the Paschal feast we are called upon to share our joy with our relatives and those close to us, to show them active love and mercy. Such are the traditions sanctified over the centuries, and in following them we testify to our participation in Christ’s heritage and belief that the Lord has truly risen.


Now, as before, the Russian Orthodox Church diligently carries out her saving mission, tirelessly proclaiming God’s truth, affirming the importance of the Gospel commandments, calling for peace and harmony, serving the spiritual unity of nations living in the countries under the pastoral care of the Moscow Patriarchate.

Our special prayer today is for the peoples of Russia and Ukraine that peace will reign in the minds and hearts of our brothers and sisters by blood and in faith so that the ties that have been lost and co-operation which is so needed may be restored.


In proclaiming the love of God which surpasses all knowledge (cf. Eph 3:19), Christianity brings people together by overcoming national, cultural and state boundaries, for ‘the light of Christ illumines all’ (cf. Jn 1:9).
 
May the risen Lord grant that we may all with benefit for our souls continue our earthly pilgrimage in recalling our lofty Christian responsibility and vocation to create within ourselves and those around us a strong faith, sincere love and steadfast hope. May the joy of this feast day strengthen and inspire us to accomplish good works, grant to us the courage and strength amidst the stormy waves of the sea of life to retain our endurance and calm, to withstand temptation and trials, to overcome, in the words of St. Sergius of Radonezh, ‘the hateful divisions of this world.’


May the light of Christ’s glory that has shone forth from the Life-bearing Tomb abide with us and illumine our hearts, extending to those who are close to us and those far removed from us, and upon all who are in need of our care and support.


In congratulating all of you on the great feast of Holy Pascha, I prayerfully wish for you generous spiritual gifts, physical strength and the gracious aid which is from above in the triumphant journeying with Christ. Amen.


+KIRILL

Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia
Moscow Pascha 2014 AD
Sunday April 20, 2014 / April 7, 2014
The Bright Resurrection of Christ, The Pascha of the Lord.
The End of the Great Lent.

Venerable George the Confessor, bishop of Mitylene (820).
New Hieromartyr Arcadius priest (1933).
Martyr Eudocia (1939).
Venerable Daniel, abbot, of Pereyaslavl-Zalesski (1540).
Martyr Calliopus at Pompeiopolis in Cilicia (304).
Martyrs Rufinus deacon, Aquilina, and 200 soldiers at Sinope (310).
Venerable Serapion of Egypt, monk (5th c.).
Venerable Nilus, abbot of Sora (1508).
Venarable Serapion archbishop of Novgorod.
The Byzantine Icon of the Mother of God.
St. George, patriarch of Jerusalem (807).
St. Gerasimus of Byzantium (1739).
Venerable Leucius, abbot of Volokolamsk (1492).
St. Govan of Cornwall.
You can read the life of the saint by clicking on the highlighted name.



The Scripture Readings for the Day


Acts 1:1-8


Prologue

1 The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, until the day in which He was taken up, after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen, to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.

The Holy Spirit Promised

And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”


John 1:1-17


The Eternal Word

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

John’s Witness: The True Light

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.
10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

The Word Becomes Flesh

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
15 John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’”
16 And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.



John 20:19-25


The Apostles Commissioned

19 Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.
21 So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” 22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

Seeing and Believing

24 Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 The other disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the Lord.”
So he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”

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

Abbot Tryphon's email address:
frtryphon@vashonmonks.com