36th Sunday after Pentecost
St. Nicholas Bulletin - February 14, 2021
Christ is in our midst! Христос међу нама! Cristo entra esta nosotros
How to respond like Zacchaeus
When Salvation Comes to Your House
Homily from Fr. Philip LeMasters
I suspect that one of the reasons some do not take the Christian faith seriously today is that those who profess to be Christians do not always live out their faith with integrity. For example, many people who identify themselves as followers of Christ in our society give more time, energy, and attention to their favorite athletic teams, politicians, pastimes, entertainment, and self-centered desires of whatever kind than to living faithfully in how they treat other people. When Christians appear to live in ways that are no more virtuous than those of people without any religious faith at all, it is no wonder that some have little interest in or respect for our faith.

That is precisely why we all have a lot to learn from Zacchaeus, whose life was changed so profoundly by his encounter with Jesus Christ. No one would have had any illusions about what kind of person Zacchaeus was before the Lord entered His home. He was a traitor to his fellow Jews because he collected taxes for the Romans, who were occupying his country. He was a chief tax collector and quite wealthy because he took even more than was required from his own people. He lived in luxury from what he stole in the name of a hated foreign power. Though his way of life was about as far from God’s requirements as one could get, Zacchaeus wanted to see the Lord as He passed by. A short little man, he had to climb a sycamore tree in order to be above the crowd and get a decent view. There were probably some people in the crowd that day who would have liked to see him fall out of the tree and break his neck.
Zacchaeus certainly knew what people thought of him. So just imagine how shocked everyone must have been when the Messiah of Israel called out to this wicked man: “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.”   Then that little tax-collector quickly went home and got ready to welcome Christ. He received Him joyfully, but others grumbled about what was happening. How could any righteous Jew, let alone the Messiah, become a guest in the home of a notorious traitor and criminal? Christ would be defiled by going into the home of such a person and presumably eating with him. He would appear to endorse theft, greed, and even the oppression of the Romans. That would be a terrible scandal that would call into question the integrity of His ministry.

In that very stressful moment, just when the crowd was seething in anger at Christ and at Zacchaeus, the tax-collector did the unthinkable: He repented of his own free will. Yes, before Christ said or did anything else, Zacchaeus repented. He accepted the truth about himself, that he was a criminal exploiter of the needy. To make things right, he gave half of what he owned to the poor and restored four-fold what he had stolen from others. In that moment, this despised and miserable man began to turn his life around. And Jesus Christ accepted the sincere repentance of this sinner, proclaiming that salvation had come to this son of Abraham, for He came to seek and to save the lost.

If we ever wanted a sign of the difference that it should make in the life of a human being to encounter Christ, this is it. Though it may be hard to see, Zacchaeus’ story is the story of us all. The Savior has appeared in our world, born and baptized for our salvation. He enters not only our world and our humanity in general, but wants to commune personally with everyone created in His image and likeness, even though we “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Rom. 3:23)  As He says elsewhere, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.” (Rev. 3:20) He comes to fulfill the purposes for which He created food and fellowship to begin with, namely, to share Himself with us, to make us participants in His eternal, blessed, and holy life that conquers all forms of human corruption and even death itself. That is His intention for each and every human being.

Even as our lives are about far more than emotion, the life which Christ shares with us is not simply about how we feel. Even as our lives are about far more than the few hours a week we spend at church, the life which Christ shares with us is not simply about what we do in time set aside for prayer. He comes to bring salvation, to bring healing and fulfillment, to every dimension of the lives of His sons and daughters. That is why the Savior became fully one of us so that we could participate fully in the life of God by grace.

Notice that Zacchaeus did not repent by saying that he had a certain kind of religious experience or would change his habits about what he did one day a week. No, he took some very practical and visible steps that required him to sacrifice what he loved most, his money and comfort. He did what justice required for the victims of his crimes and then some, returning four times as much as he had taken. And he gave half of what he had to the poor, regardless of whether he had stolen from them personally. In response to the Savior’s overwhelming mercy toward him, Zacchaeus showed that same abundant grace toward others. He not only received the Lord into his house, but into his life–from the depths of his soul to how he made his living and treated other people on a daily basis.

Could the same be said of you and me? We commune with Christ in the Eucharist in every Divine Liturgy. We personally take His Body and Blood such that He dwells in our hearts by the power of the Holy Spirit. We dine at His heavenly banquet and receive Him into our bodies, souls, and spirits “for the forgiveness of sins and life everlasting.” If we think for one moment that communing with Christ is simply an ancient religious ritual or something that has merely an emotional or invisible significance, then we must think again. For to be united intimately with Christ, to be nourished by Him for the healing of our souls, must impact every dimension of who we are in this world. Salvation is not an escape from life as we know it, but its complete fulfillment. Salvation must come to our houses just as tangibly as it did to Zacchaeus’s. For through faith in Christ, we are also “Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Gal. 3:29)

One way of applying these lessons to our lives is to ask in what ways we need to open ourselves to fuller communion with Christ, to a deeper and healthier relationship with Him. Since how we treat our neighbors is also how we treat the Lord, we should ask with whom we need to make things right according to justice and then do even more for them. (Matt. 25:33ff.) If we have denied our spouses, children, and other family members the fullness of our love, we must make up for that also. We should consider what we have taken by selfishness from our neighbors, whether money, time, attention, or something else, and give it back in abundance. Like Zacchaeus, we should look for opportunities to help the poor as much as possible, regardless of whether their poverty is one of friendship, encouragement, or the resources necessary to buy food, clothing, and shelter.

We need to prayerfully consider what change is in order in our lives because of Jesus Christ’s gracious entrance in our souls. Zacchaeus is such a wonderful example of a sinner who received the Lord and became a shining beacon of holiness. He did so by deep, genuine, personal repentance that went to the heart of who he was before God and changed how he related to other people in practical ways. If we will follow his example, then we will be in intimate communion with Christ each day of our lives, always celebrating the liturgy of offering ourselves to Him in every thought, word, and deed. We will become a channel of blessing to others, and even skeptics will notice that salvation has come to our house. And then they may be so curious about what has happened that they will even climb a sycamore tree in order to get a better view.

~Hymnography of the Day~
RESURRECTION TROPARION - TONE 3
Let the heavens rejoice! Let the earth be glad! For the Lord has shown strength with His arm. He has trampled down death by death. He has become the first born of the dead. He has delivered us from the depths of hell, and has granted to the world great mercy.

FOREFEAST TROPARION - TONE 1
The celestial choir of heavenly Angels bends down to the earth and sees the First-born of all creation being carried into the Temple as a babe by a Mother who has not known man, and in amazement sings with us a pre-festal hymn.

HOLY FATHER NICHOLAS TROPARION—TONE 4
In truth 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.

HOLY GREATMARTYR TRYPHON OF LAMPSACUS TROPARION—TONE 4
Your holy martyr Tryphon, O Lord, through his suffering has received an incorruptible crown from You, our God. For having Your strength, he laid low his adversaries, and shattered the powerless boldness of demons. Through his intercessions, save our souls!

RESURRECTION KONTAKION - TONE 3
On this day You rose from the tomb, O Merciful One, leading us from the gates of death. On this day Adam exults as Eve rejoices; with the Prophets and Patriarchs they unceasingly praise the divine majesty of Your power.

FOREFEAST KONTAKION - TONE 6
The Word unseen with the Father, now is seen in the flesh, ineffably born of the Virgin, and is given into the arms of the priest and Elder. Let us worship Him, our True God.


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

EPISTLE: I Timothy 4: 9-15
 
DEACON:      Let us pay attention. 
PRIEST:        Peace be unto all!
READER:      And with your spirit!
DEACON:      Wisdom.
READER:      The Prokeimenon in the Third Tone: Sing praises to our God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises!
CHOIR: Sing praises to our God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises!
READER: v: Clap your hands, all peoples! Shout to God with loud songs of joy!
CHOIR: Sing praises to our God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises!
READER: Sing praises to our God, sing praises!
CHOIR: Sing praises to our King, sing praises! 
DEACON: Wisdom!
READER: The Reading is from the Epistle of the Holy Apostle Paul to Timothy.
DEACON: Let us attend!
READER: Timothy my son, this is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance. For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe. These things command and teach. Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all.
PRIEST: Peace be unto you, reader!
READER: And with your spirit! Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!
CHOIR: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!
READER: In You, O Lord, have I hoped; let me never be put to shame!
CHOIR: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!
READER: Be a God of protection for me, a house of refuge in order to save me!
CHOIR: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!
 
 
АПОСТОЛ: I Тимотеју 4:9-15

Ђакон:          Пазимо
Свештеник: Мир свима!
Читач:           I Духу Твоме!
Ђакон:           Премудрост
Читач : ПРОКИМЕН- глас 3 Појте Богу нашему, појте! Појте Цару нашему, појте!
Хор: Појте Богу нашему, појте! Појте Цару нашему, појте!
Читач: Сви народи, запљескајте рукама, покликните Богу гласом радосним!
Хор: Појте Богу нашему, појте! Појте Цару нашему, појте!
Читач: Појте Богу нашему, појте!
Хор: Појте Цару нашему, појте!
Ђакон: Премудрост
Читац: Читање је од посланице Светог апостола Павла до Тимотеја.
Ђакон: Пазимо
Читач: Чедо Тимотеје, ово је истинита ријеч и достојна свакога примања; јер за то се и трудимо и бивамо срамоћени, јер се надамо у Бога живога, који је спаситељ свију људи, особито вјерних. Ово заповиједај и учи. Нико да не презире твоју младост, али буди образац вјернима у ријечи, у живљењу, у љубави, у духу, у вјери, у чистоти. Докле не дођем пази на читање, утјешавање и учење. Не занемаруј благодатни дар у теби који ти је дат кроз пророчанство полагањем руку старјешина на тебе. Ово проучавај, у овоме стој, да се напредак твој покаже у свему. Пази на себе и на науку, истрај у томе; јер чинећи ово, спасићеш и себе и оне који те слушају.
Свештеник: Мир ти читачу!
Читач: I Духом Твоме! Алилуиа, Алилуиа, Алилуиа
Хор: Алилуиа, Алилуиа, Алилуиа
Читач: У тебе се, Господе, уздам, немој ме оставити под срамотом до вјека.
Хор: Алилуиа, Алилуиа, Алилуиа
Читач: Буди ми Бог заштитник, дом уточишта, да би ме спасао.
Хор: Алилуиа, Алилуиа, Алилуиа
 

LITURGY GOSPEL:  
Luke 19: 1-10

At that time, Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature. So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully. But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, “He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.” Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
 
 

 

ЈЕВАНЂЕЉЕ:   
Лука 19: 1-10

У вријеме оно, Исус ушавши у Јерихон, пролажаше кроз њега. И гле, човјек звани именом Закхеј, и он бјеше старјешина цариника, и бјеше богат. И тражаше да види Исуса ко је он; и не могаше од народа, јер бјеше малога раста. И он потрчавши напријед, попе се на дивљу смокву да га види; јер је поред ње требало да прође. А кад Исус дође на оно мјесто, погледавши горе, видје га и рече му: Закхеју, сиђи брзо; јер ми данас ваља бити у дому твоме. И сиђе брзо; и прими га радујући се. И сви који видјеше негодоваху, говорећи како уђе да гостује код грјешнога човјека. А Закхеј стаде и рече Господу: Господе, ево пола имања свога даћу сиромасима, и ако кога нечим оштетих, вратићу четвороструко. А Исус му рече: Данас дође спасење дому овоме; јер и ово је син Авраамов. Јер Син Човјечији дође да потражи и спасе изгубљено.
 
 
 
 

~ The Week Ahead: Scriptures and Services ~
February Birthdays
Linsay Barry (Feb 1), Lincoln Grey Moore (Feb 5), Pete & Joe Petrovich (Feb 6), Jasmine Jacobs (Feb 6), Rod Vorkapich (Feb 8), Sladjana Gligorevic (Feb 9), Ruby Cangialosi (Feb 12), Waad Jacobs (Feb 15), Blake Bazdar (Feb 16), Susan Jacobs (Feb 18), John Semic (Feb 21), Emily Fithian (Feb 22), Ethan Imschweiler (Feb 22), Janet Krnjaic (Feb 24), Michael York (Feb 24), Steve Cashman (Feb 27), Alan Radanovic (Feb 29), Mike Sunajko

February Anniversaries
Dean & Karen Stefan (Feb 6), Ferris & Jody Atty (Feb 28)
~Bulletin Board~
WELCOME PROTO ILIJA AND PROTINICA CAROLE BALACH!
We warmly welcome Proto Ilija and Protinica Carole Balach into our parish family as they move into the area this week. May God provide them with warmth, love and every good thing as they establish their home here.

DIOCESAN ANNUAL ASSEMBLY (VIRTUAL)
The Diocesan Annual Assembly will occur via videochat this year on Saturday, March 13, 2021. Our parish will be represented by our clergy and two officers of the parish council.

PARAMIA VIDEOS
Our Adult Bible Study on the Festal Old Testament Readings will continue on Saturday, February 27 after Vespers. The Zoom link will be provided via e-mail on Saturday morning.

2020 END OF YEAR STATEMENTS HAVE BEEN MAILED OUT
The End of Year statements for 2020 have been mailed out along with the 2021 Stewardship Pledge cards. Please let us know if you fail to receive them or if you find any discrepancies.

FR. CHRIS AVAILABLE FOR EMERGENCIES THIS WEEK
In order to help the Balach family prepare their new home for move-in, Fr. Chris will be available for emergencies only this week. All regular appointments will be postponed, and classes on a weekly break.

SPECIAL THANKS TO GOD
Thanks to God for all of you who participated in our Virtual Annual Meeting. Although the meeting was informational only, we had almost as many participants as our normal Annual Meeting gathered in the Church Hall. Anyone who missed the meeting, or would like hard copies of the reports, you may pick them up in the Church Office during regular office hours.

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.

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.

COMMISSION FOR LAND USAGE STUDY
Anyone who may be interested in participating in a commission for a land usage study of our property, please submit your name and contact information to Fr. Christopher at fr.chris@stnicholassteelton.org or by calling the parish house at 717.939.0251. 

February Charity
St. Sava School of Theology in Libertyville, IL


St. Sava School of Theology is named in memory of St. Sava, the first archbishop, teacher and enlightener of the Serbian people. On January 27th we celebrated St. Sava’s Day and it is fitting that we also offer support to the theological seminary in the US named for him. The main mission and goal of the school is to provide religious education and train candidates for the Holy Priesthood in the Serbian Orthodox Church specifically as well as interested Orthodox Christian individuals of other ethnic jurisdictions. St. Save School is the educational center for individuals committed to serving the Serbian Orthodox Church and her people in a multi-lingual environment. The school presently offers study leading to the Bachelor of Divinity Degree. Graduate level programs of study are also being developed at the School and in conjunction with other institutions. Funding is provided by an annual budget proposed by the School and adopted and implemented by the Central Council of the Serbian Orthodox Church in the US and Canada. Financial support is sought from all the Serbian Orthodox Dioceses and church congregations. More information about the School’s programs, plans and course of study may be found at the diocesan website at the following link:  http://www.serborth.org/education.html 

Stewardship Reflection
Today, Salvation has come to this house!
In Gospel reading on the first Sunday of the Triodion, we reflect on Zacchaeus' transformation - from a very corrupt tax collector - to someone who had the "desire" to see and meet Jesus. As Jesus told him that He must join him at his house that day - Jesus has this same desire to enter our house today - immediately, not tomorrow or next week. With this transformation, Zacchaeus also committed to sharing half of all he had - a way in which he could become a more focused Steward with what God had provided for him. During this upcoming Lenten season, reflect upon what God has provided for you and with your prayers, consider how you can make an immediate impact with your Time, Talents and Treasures. 

Данас дође спасење дому овом!
У Јеванђељу које читамо у првој недељи Триода - ми се подсећамо Закејевог преображаја- од веома корумпираног скупљача пореза до некога који жели да упозна и види Исуса. Како му и сам Исус рече да Он мора ући у дом његов тог дана - тако и сам Исус има жељу да уђе у наш дом, одмах данас а неки други пут. Са овим преображајем , Закеј се обавезао да ће да подели пола од оног што има - начин на који ће он постати прави Старатељ онога што му је Бог дао. Док смо у периоду припреме доласка Великог поста осврните се на све оно што вам је Бог дао и кроз молитве размислите како можете да направите непосредни утицај са вашим Талентима , Временом и Новцем.

Our Annual Stewardship drive is beginning this week. You will receive a mailing containing the annual statements from 2020, as well as your new Stewardship Commitment Card for 2021. Please fill it out and return it as soon as possible.

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 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!