Sunday of St. Mary of Egypt
St. Nicholas Bulletin - April 18, 2021
Christ is in our midst! Христос међу нама! Cristo entra esta nosotros
Humble Repentance or Paralyzing Guilt?
Homily from Fr. Philip LeMasters
Whenever we experience guilt and shame because of something we have done wrong, we need to ask ourselves a question. Do we feel that way because we are sorrowful that we have disobeyed God or because we cannot stand being less than perfect in our own eyes or those of others? The first kind of humiliation is spiritually beneficial and may lead to repentance, but the second kind is simply a form of pride that easily paralyzes us in obsessive despair. At this point in our lives, most of us probably experience some mixture of these two types of shame. As we grow closer to Christ, the first must increase and the second must decrease.

When we wonder if there is hope for the healing of our souls in this way, we should remember St. Mary of Egypt. She stands as a brilliant icon of how to repent from even the most shameful sins. Mary experienced a healthy form of guilt when her eyes were opened to how depraved she had become through her life of addiction to perverse sexual pleasure. Through the intercessions and guidance of the Theotokos, she venerated the Holy Cross at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and received Communion on her way to decades of ascetical struggle in the desert. When the monk Zosima stumbled upon her almost 50 years later, he was amazed at her holiness. He saw this holy woman walk on water and rise up off the ground in prayer, but like all the saints she knew only her own sins and perpetual need for the Lord’s mercy.

Perhaps what makes St. Mary of Egypt’s story such a beautiful icon of true repentance is that she was genuinely humble before God. She was not sorrowful for her sin out of a sense of wounded pride, obsessive self-centered guilt, or fear of what others thought of her. Instead, she said earnestly to the Theotokos “Be my faithful witness before your Son that I will never again defile my body by the impurity of fornication, but as soon as I have seen the Tree of the Cross I will renounce the world and its temptations and will go wherever you will lead me.” And she did precisely that, abandoning all that she had known for the long and difficult journey that led to the healing of her soul. Her focus was completely on doing whatever it took to reorient her life toward God, to purify her desires so that she would find true fulfillment in Him.

Today the Orthodox Church calls us all to follow her example of repentance, regardless of the details of how we have sinned in thought, word, and deed. By commemorating a notorious sex addict who became a great saint, we proclaim that no sin is so shameful that we cannot repent of it. An honest look at our lives, as we should all take during Lent, dredges up shame and regret in various forms. St. Mary of Egypt reminds us to accept humbly the truth about our failings as we confess our sins, call for the Lord’s mercy, and do what is necessary to find healing. Her example reminds us not to be paralyzed by prideful obsessions that block us from being freed from slavery to our passions. Even her depraved way of life did not exclude St. Mary of Egypt from acquiring remarkable holiness. If she did not let a perverse form of pride deter her from finding salvation, then no one should be ashamed to kneel before Christ in humility. The Savior did not reject her and He will not reject us when we come to Him as she did.

In today’s gospel text, James and John related to Christ in a very different way, for they wanted the best positions of power when He came into His Kingdom. The Lord challenged their prideful delusions by reminding the disciples that humility, not self-exaltation, is the way to life eternal. He said “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” How shocking that today we celebrate honest, humble repentance from a woman with a truly scandalous past while some of the men closest to Christ in His earthly ministry think only of getting worldly power for themselves.

Perhaps the key difference is that St. Mary of Egypt got over obsession with herself. Instead of assuming that she was “damaged goods” for whom there was no hope, she humbly died to self by taking up her cross. Indeed, her repentance began in the context of venerating the Holy Cross at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. The rest of her journey required profound faith, sacrifice, and courage. To undo with God’s help the harm that she had done to herself through years of debauchery must have been incredibly difficult. But sustained by the Lord’s mercy and the intercessions of the Theotokos, that is precisely what she did over the remaining decades of her life.

Today, so near the end of Lent and only a week from Palm Sunday, we see that this is the path we must take also. In order to follow it, we must not be paralyzed in prideful shame about anything we have said, thought, done, or otherwise experienced or participated in at any point in our lives. Instead, we must have the brutal honesty and deep humility of St. Mary of Egypt, a woman with a revolting past who became a shining beacon of holiness. That is how she found healing for her soul and it is how we will find healing for ours also. The good news of this season is that the Lord makes such blessedness possible for us all through His Cross, His descent into Hades, and His glorious resurrection on the third day. But in order to participate in the great mystery of His salvation, we too must get over our pride, accept His mercy, and actually repent. If St. Mary of Egypt could do that with her personal history, we can too. 

~Hymnography of the Day~
RESURRECTION TROPARION—TONE 4
When the women Disciples of the Lord learned from the Angel the joyous message of the Resurrection, they cast away the ancestral curse and elatedly told the Apostles: “Death is overthrown! Christ God is risen, granting the world great mercy!”

HOLY FATHER NICHOLAS TROPARION — TONE 4
Truly you were revealed to your flock as a rule of faith, an image of humility and a teacher of abstinence; your humility exalted you; your poverty enriched you. Hierarch Father Nicholas, entreat Christ our God that our souls may be saved. 

ST MARY OF EGYPT TROPARION — TONE 8
The image of God was truly preserved in you, O Mother, for you took up the Cross and followed Christ. By so doing, you taught us to disregard the flesh for it passes away; but to care instead for the soul, for it is immortal. Therefore your spirit, O holy Mother Mary, rejoices with the angels.

RESURRECTION KONTAKION — TONE 4
My Savior and Redeemer as God rose from the tomb and delivered the earth-born from their chains. He has shattered the gates of hell, and as Master, He has risen on the third day!

THEOTOKOS KONTAKION—TONE 6
Steadfast Protectress of Christians and constant Advocate before the Creator; despise not the cry of us sinners, but come speedily to help those who call on You in faith. Hasten to hear our petition and to intercede for us, O Theotokos, for You always protect those who honor You!

HYMN TO THE THEOTOKOS (Instead of “It is Truly Meet…”)
All of creation rejoices in you, O Full of Grace: the assembly of Angels and the race of men. O sanctified temple and spiritual paradise, the glory of virgins, from whom God was incarnate and became a Child – our God before the ages. He made your body into a throne, and your womb He made more spacious than the heavens. All of creation rejoices in you, O Full of Grace. Glory to you!

~Scripture Readings of the Day~
READERS:
Matins: Nicholas Ressetar Epistle: Natalija Gligorevic
Matins Next Week: Milan Radanovic Epistle Next Week: Dasha Gencturk

EPISTLE: Hebrews 9: 11-14
 
DEACON:      Let us pay attention. 
PRIEST:        Peace be unto all!
READER:      And with your spirit!
DEACON:      Wisdom.
READER:      The Prokeimenon in the Fourth Tone: O Lord, how manifold are Your works; in wisdom have You made them all!
CHOIR: O Lord, how manifold are Your works; in wisdom have You made them all!
READER: v: Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord, my God, You are very great!
CHOIR: O Lord, how manifold are Your works; in wisdom have You made them all!
READER: O Lord, how manifold are Your works.
CHOIR: In wisdom have You made them all!
DEACON: Wisdom!
READER: The Reading is from the Epistle of the Holy Apostle Paul to the Hebrews
DEACON: Let us attend!
READER: Brethren, Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation.  Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.  For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
PRIEST: Peace be unto you, reader!
READER: And with your spirit! Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!
CHOIR: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!
READER: Go forth, prosper and reign, for the sake of meekness, righteousness and truth!
CHOIR: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!
READER: For You love righteousness, and hate iniquity.
CHOIR: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!
 

АПОСТОЛ: Јеврејима 9: 11-14

Ђакон:          Пазимо
Свештеник: Мир свима!
Читач:           I Духу Твоме!
Ђакон:           Премудрост
Читач : ПРОКИМЕН- глас 4 Како је много дјела Твојих, Господе! Све си премудро створио.
Хор: Како је много дјела Твојих, Господе! Све си премудро створио.
Читач: Благослови, душо моја Господа! Господе Боже мој, велик си веома.
Хор: Како је много дјела Твојих, Господе! Све си премудро створио.
Читач: Како је много дјела Твојих, Господе!  
Хор: Све си премудро створио.
Ђакон: Премудрост
Читач: Читање посланице Св. Апостола Павла Јеврејима
Ђакон: Пазимо
Читач: Браћо, али кад је дошао Христос, Првосвештеник будућих добара, кроз већу и савршенију скинију, нерукотворену, то јест не од ове творевине, не са крвљу јарчијом ни јунчијом, него са својом крвљу уђе једном за свагда у Светињу извршивши вјечно искупљење. Јер ако крв јараца и јунаца и пепео од јунице, којом кад се кропе нечисти освећује их да буду тјелесно чисти, колико ли ће више крв Христа, који Духом вјечним принесе себе непорочна Богу, очистити савјест вашу од мртвих дјела, да би служили Богу живоме и истинитоме.
Свештеник: Мир свима Читачу!
Читач: I Духом Твоме! Алилуиа, Алилуиа, Алилуиа
Хор: Алилуиа, Алилуиа, Алилуиа
Читач: Похитај, напредуј и владај, ради истине, кротости и правде.
Хор: Алилуиа, Алилуиа, Алилуиа
Читач: Љубиш правду и мрзиш безакоње.
Хор: Алилуиа, Алилуиа, Алилуиа

LITURGY GOSPEL:  
Mark 10:32-45,
Luke 7:36-50 (St Mary of Egypt)


Now they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was going before them; and they were amazed. And as they followed they were afraid. Then He took the twelve aside again and began to tell them the things that would happen to Him:  “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death and deliver Him to the Gentiles; and they will mock Him, and scourge Him, and spit on Him, and kill Him. And the third day He will rise again.” Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Him, saying, “Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask.” And He said to them, “What do you want Me to do for you?” They said to Him, “Grant us that we may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on Your left, in Your glory.” But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” They said to Him, “We are able.” So Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink the cup that I drink, and with the baptism I am baptized with you will be baptized; but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared.” And when the ten heard it, they began to be greatly displeased with James and John.  But Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them.  Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant.  And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all.  For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
Then one of the Pharisees asked Him to eat with him. And He went to the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to eat. And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil. Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he spoke to himself, saying, “This Man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner.” And Jesus answered and said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” So he said, “Teacher, say it.” “There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?” Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.” And He said to him, “You have rightly judged.” Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.” Then He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” And those who sat at the table with Him began to say to themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” Then He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”
 

 

ЈЕВАНЂЕЉЕ:   
Марко 10: 32-45,
Лука 7: 36-50 (Св. Марије Египћанке)

У вријеме оно, узе Исус дванаесторицу, и поче им казивати шта ће му се догодити: Ево идемо горе у Јерусалим, и Син Човјечији биће предан првосвештеницима и књижевницима, и осудиће га на смрт, и предаће га незнабошцима; И наругаће му се, и шибаће га, и пљуваће га, и убиће га, и трећи дан васкрснуће. И дођоше пред њега Јаков и Јован, синови Зеведејеви, говорећи: Учитељу, хоћемо да нам учиниш што ћемо те молити. А он им рече: Шта хоћете да вам учиним? А они му рекоше: Дај нам да сједнемо један с десне стране теби а други са лијеве, у слави твојој. А Исус им рече: Не знате шта иштете; можете ли пити чашу коју ја пијем, и крстити се крштењем којим се ја крстим? А они му рекоше: Можемо. А Исус им рече: Чашу, дакле, коју ја пијем испићете; и крштењем којим се ја крстим крстићете се; Али да сједнете с десне стране мени и с лијеве није моје да дам, него ће се дати којима је припремљено. И чувши то десеторица почеше се срдити на Јакова и Јована. А Исус дозвавши их рече им: Знате да они који се сматрају владарима народа господаре њима, и великаши њихови владају над њима. Али међу вама да не буде тако; него који хоће да буде међу вама велики, нека вам служи: И који хоће међу вама да буде први, нека буде свима слуга. Јер Син Човјечији није дошао да му служе него да служи, и да даде живот свој у откуп за многе.
Мољаше га пак један од фарисеја да би обедовао у њега; и ушавши у кућу фарисејеву, седе за трпезу. И гле, жена у граду која беше грешница, дознавши да је Исус за трпезом у кући фарисејевој, донесе мирис у суду од алавастра. И ставши позади код ногу његових плакаше, и стаде квасити ноге његове сузама, и косом главе своје отираше, и целиваше ноге његове, и мазаше мирисом. А кад виде фарисеј који га је позвао, рече у себи: „Да је он пророк, знао би ко и каква га се жена дотиче; јер је грешница.” И одговарајући Исус рече му: „Симоне, имам ти нешто казати.” А он рече: „Учитељу, кажи.” А Исус рече: „Двојица беху дужни једноме повериоцу, један беше дужан пет стотина динара, а други педесет. А кад они не имадоше да му врате, поклони обојици. Кажи, који ће га од њих двојице већма љубити?” А Симон одговарајући рече: „Мислим онај коме више поклони.” А он му рече: „Право си судио.” И окренувши се жени, рече Симону: „Видиш ли ову жену? Уђох ти у кућу, ни воде ми на ноге ниси дао, а она ми сузама обли ноге, и косом главе своје обриса. Целива ми ниси дао; а она, откако уђе, не преста целивати ми ноге. Уљем ниси помазао главу моју, а она мирисом помаза ми ноге. Зато ти кажем: Опраштају јој се греси многи, јер је велику љубав имала; а коме се мало опрашта малу љубав има.” А њој рече: „Опраштају ти се греси.” И стадоше у себи говорити они што сеђаху с њим за трпезом: „Ко је овај што и грехе опрашта?” А жени рече: „Вера твоја спасла те је; иди у миру.”
~ The Week Ahead: Scriptures and Services ~
April Birthdays
Doni Cashman (April 3), Fr Dcn Bojan Gligorevic (April 9), Sandy Marijan (April 10), Shirley Hathaway (April 11), Sue Petrovich (April 12), Andrew Imschweiler (April 12), Parker Brosius (April 13), Philip Werner (April 16), Ava Carricato (April 17), Marina Radanovic (April 18), Jessica Barry (April 18), Nicholas Govelovich (April 20), Cameron Barber (April 21), Evan Filepas (April 22), Grant Govelovich (April 22), Sladjana Jovic (April 24), Olga Gaydebouroff (April 25), Dragan Lalovic (April 25), Fr Christopher (April 26), Angie Bagley (April 27), Luis Radanovic (April 30) 

April Anniversaries
Bill & Ruth Yovanovich (April 3), Jelena & Justin Bowser (April 21), Russ & Amy Hewitt (April 27) 
Paschal Service Adjustment

We will begin the Paschal Service at 10pm
with the Paschal Nocturne, Procession, and Matins,
followed by the Paschal Liturgy.

~Bulletin Board~
PASCHAL MESSENGER
Calling all organizations: please send any pictures, announcements, or other information to Father Chris (fr.chris@stnicholassteelton.org) to be included in the Paschal Messenger no later than Monday, April 19th.

SOTAYA IS SELLING EGGS AGAIN!!!
SOTAYA is keeping its tradition, even through tough times, and will be selling Peanut Butter Easter Eggs. The eggs, POSNO (Vegan) or REGULAR, will be $2 each. The eggs can be coated in your choice of white, milk, or dark chocolate! Preorder by calling or texting Sladjana Gligorevic (717-538-2073) or Angie Vorkapich (717-813-5128). The delivery dates are March 28, April 11 and April 25. Thank you in advance and stay safe.

2021 STEWARDSHIP CARDS
We thank God for you all, and your commitment to Him in the form of your Time, Talents and Treasures. Take some time this week as you complete your card to consider how your offering reflects your thanksgiving to God for all that He has given you: family, kumovi, friends, life, livelihood— and most importantly—Eternal Salvation through the Sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ!

SERBIAN-AMERICAN CLUB 2021 SCHOLARSHIP
The Serbian-American Club is once again offering a scholarship to a graduating high school senior continuing their education. The guidelines and application can be found on the Tutors stand in the Narthex. Application deadline is May 1, 2021. The Club is accepting additional scholarship donations which will be added to the amount already collected for the scholarship. If you are interested in donating, see Chris Radanovic.

ASSEMBLING PALMS & PUSSYWILLOWS
Friday evening, April 23 at 5:30pm we will be assembling palms and pussywillows for Palm Sunday. Come and help, if you are able.

EASTER LILIES & PASCHA ITEMS
If you would like to purchase an Easter Lily to help decorate the Lord’s Tomb on Great & Holy Friday, please contact Daria in the church office. Cost is $9.00.  Also contact Daria if you would like to make donations for red candles, wine, incense, rose oil or olive oil. If you would like the item for the health of someone or in memory of someone, please have your request/money in by April 25 for it to appear in the Pascha bulletin.

GUARDING THE TOMB OF CHRIST
Sign up for the guarding of Christ’s Tomb from the Burial Vespers until the Resurrection Service. This is a noble and prayerful way to participate in Christ’s death and burial, so we may also participate in His Glorious Resurrection. Email Father Chris at fr.chris@stnicholassteelton.org or call the parish house at 717.939.0251.

SIMPLE INSTRUCTIONS
FOR A FRUITFUL LENT
The Great Fast begins tomorrow. The pandemic has ushered in a time of great renewal. This Lenten Season, take advantage of all that the Church has to offer to help renew your relationship to Christ.

Come to the additional services. Offer your confession and receive absolution. Receive the Holy Body and Precious Blood of our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Read the Scriptures each day. Utilize the Lenten Prayer of St. Ephraim the Syrian.

Fast from sin. Be mindful of what you allow into your body, mind and soul.

Fast as best you are able from meat and dairy. Those with greater strength can increase the fast through also abstaining from fish, wine and oil.

Above all, keep the Lenten Fast with Joyful Sadness, that you might be united with our Lord in His Glorious Pascha!


GIFT SHOP HAS NEW ITEMS
The gift shop in the lobby has added new greeting cards for Pasha as well more incense and many other new items. Stop by after Liturgy.

SERBIAN/AMERICAN CLUB 2021 DUES
Peggy Radanovic is collecting club dues once again. Please mail your dues to her at her new address (203 Community Circle, Palmyra 17078) or here at church. You may call her with questions at 717-641-4249. Dues are $5 for the year.

ST NICHOLAS SENIORS 2021 DUES
JoAnn Filepas is collecting 2021 dues for the St Nicholas Seniors. Please mail your dues to her at (7054 Red Top Road, Harrisburg 17111). Dues are $5 for the year.

PASCHAL SERVICE TIME ADJUSTMENT
We will begin the Paschal Service at 10pm with the Paschal Nocturne and Matins, followed by the Paschal Liturgy.


Paramia:
Festal Readings from the OT

The Feast of Holy Theophany
The Holy Prophet and Forerunner John baptized the Lord prior to the beginning of His earthly ministry. The next few weeks, we will encounter the Old Testament Readings related to this feast.

This week, explore the second reading from the Book of Exodus, chapter 15.
April Charity
Bethesda Women & Children’s Shelter

A House of Refuge
For over 34 years Bethesda Women and Children’s Mission has offered a place of healing, change, and hope for women in need of addiction recovery, safety and stability, a new start in life, and place where they can call home.
A House of Change
A Christ-Centered facility, we offer hope to those searching for their purpose and their place in this world, by offering an array of programs and services geared toward reconciliation, renewal and change. Our initial Discipleship and Recovery program is at least ONE YEAR long, and upon completion, women have the option to move to into our Transitional Living Program before moving out on their own.
A House of Healing
We have found that a long-termed recovery program is successful when each individual is permitted to rest, reflect, renew, and re-enter. Time to heal, encouragement for others, and new experiences assist in offering new life to those that come through our doors.
A House of Hope
In addition to internal programming, we utilize local social, medical, and educational services to help each new person to set attainable goals during their stay. Some women, after completing our programming either return to the workforce or continue their education at our local college. Many of our graduates remain in contact through calls, mentoring, or volunteering of their time.

https://www.bethesdamission.org/our-ministries/womens-mission/
Church School Corner
We hope you enjoy this new addition to our weekly bulletin during the Great Fast. Each week, we will include lessons and activities for our children to help them navigate the Lenten Journey. May it enable us all to bear the good fruit of holy repentance!

Take some time this week to review this with your children or grandchildren by clicking on the button below to download the PDF.