Sunday of the Prodigal Son
St. Nicholas Bulletin - February 28, 2021
Christ is in our midst! Христос међу нама! Cristo entra esta nosotros
The Prodigal Son
Homily from His Grace, +David,
Bishop of Sitka and all Alaska of Blessed Memory
One of the most referenced parables from the Gospels is the one we read before Great Lent concerning the Progidal Son. It is the perhaps the supreme example of how the love of God is manifested to us in understandable language. We should never forget that, even though we all may feel we grasp repentance, forgiveness, and salvation, it is never entirely completed in a single reading, or a single study, or a single homily. One of the reasons we revisit the Prodigal Son at this time of year, as we prepare for our Lenten journey, is exactly this: because each year is different for us, no matter how we may think we have not changed, or have changed, we need the reminder so we better contemplate our life and relationship to both Christ and each other.
So as we approach this great teaching of Christ this time, can we spend a little time in reflection on what, in its content, is the similar and familiar and what is different, and can we see anything new in it for ourselves?
Let us start with the familiar. Here is a loving father, with two sons. One is a dedicated and loyal man, the other an impatient man, anxious for his own future in his own way. When the son asks for his inheritance now, his father does not hesitate, or argue with him; he simply gives him what he asks for, knowing he is surely bound for a troubled future. When he has spent all his inheritance in a far country he comes to his senses and returns, hoping his father will let him live as a hired servant. Not only does the father welcome him gladly, he holds a great feast in his honor. 
The other son, who never left his father’s side, now sees this and is distressed, angry that his father does such a thing to his brother who squandered his inheritance. 
In both cases, it is the father who goes to each of them, in love, to reconcile them to himself and to each other. While it is sometimes hard to understand, the father’s rejoicing cannot be understood by the older and more loyal brother; and we, too, share in his frustration because we do not have the capacity to fully appreciate what has taken place. In the end, the father explains, your brother was lost and is found, was dead and is alive.
To think of ourselves as dead is hard to grasp. To be living the life of the Church, each in our own way, and to think of being lost is also difficult. Those two terms belong to the vagrants of society, the ones we “know” are true sinners, who only show up at services occasionally. The ones we “know” never do anything for anyone but themselves, or are avoiding church altogether. Yes, they are lost, they are dead, but not us, it can’t be us. We say our prayers, we come regularly to worship, go to confession, always kiss father’s hand out of respect, and so on. How could we be lost? We know the path and we’re on it, right?
This is precisely why we need to visit this parable every year. We get comfortable with who we are, and the trouble is all around us, but it is not in us, or so we think. We have never lived in an age with so many conflicting arguments for the truth going on at the same time. Whether we are speaking about political turmoil, or human dignity, or human relationships, it seems every particular group calls out for attention, citing the litany of reasons why they are right and cannot be wrong; and if you disagree with them, you are wrong, or a hater, or ignorant, or whatever catch phrase they may want to use. It all still boils down to one thing: no one is able to see the fulness of truth and therefore does not understand how we can live in relationship with each other.
By now you must think me pretty far afield of the purpose of the parable, but let me explain. In the beginning the young son was sure of his future and did not want to live any longer under his father’s guidance. He wanted what was his and he was going to go somewhere and enjoy it without being under his father’s or brother’s prying eyes. For that he needed a far country, and away he went. As long as his money lasted, he had friends aplenty. But once it was gone, they all forgot about him. He ends up doing a task he must have despised; and feeling sorry for himself, for the first time in his life he realized he had made a great deal of wrong decisions. He “came to himself,” as the Scripture says, and yearned to be a simple servant in his father’s house, for surely his father must despise him by now for what he has done. But deep down inside, he never forgot how loving his father was, and that is what gave him the strength to return. 
Of course, now he comes onto an unexpected consequence of his actions as his father who had been waiting and longing for his return runs to greet him. He ignores his son’s words asking to be a hired servant and immediately calls for a celebration. How wonderful!
But there is a catch: there is another son who is not so pleased and says so to his father, not even being able to refer to him as his brother, but now only “your son”—who, by the way, spent his inheritance in a despicable way—must also be dealt with. The parable ends without us really knowing the outcome of that portion of the story, but we can hope that over time they were healed and reconciled. I believe the love of the father would have enabled that to happen.
Those of us who have children who are now grown have all lived this parable in one way or another. Whatever we may believe the “far country” to be, a fall into addiction, a fall into sexual immorality, or even simply apostasy, it is hard to accept and even harder to understand. If we truly love them, as our heavenly Father loves us, we must imitate Him. We must be watching and waiting for their return. As the Gospel says, that “while he was still a long way from home his father saw him, and his heart went out to him,” and he ran to him and embraced him. His love for his son never changed, but his joy was increased because he returned.
Then we have the other son, who was always “doing the right thing.” It is even hard to tell at whom he is more angry, the brother or the father? How could this squandering son be of more importance to him than I am? How sad that he cannot share in his father’s joy. How sad that he turns out to be the one who is “lost” if he cannot see the great love of his father. And we know that if he does not change his thinking, eventually he will be dead to his father, dead to love, and dead to the future in the Kingdom of God. How sad would that be?
So today, as we think on this parable, we need to remind ourselves that, in the “family” of the Church, there are perhaps wayward sons and daughter, some our own, some from others and some we hardly know. We may consider ourselves to be in that “far country” because of our life choices. But what we should always seek to emulate, the example we have been given, is to have a heart that will go out to them, even while they are afar off, and be ready to rejoice in their return. In whatever form that takes, in however many ways there are, let us not be like the elder son so full of pride and ridicule that he could no longer love his brother; but let us be willing to participate in the rejoicing over their return. 
So no one remains lost or dead, but all are alive in Christ. Amen.
Bishop David (Mahaffey) is the Bishop of the Diocese of Alaska of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA), the oldest Orthodox episcopal see in North America.

~Hymnography of the Day~
RESURRECTION TROPARION—TONE 5
Let us, the faithful, praise and worship the Word, co-eternal with the Father and the Spirit, born for our salvation from the Virgin; for He willed to be lifted up on the Cross in the flesh, to endure death, and to raise the dead by His glorious Resurrection. 

HOLY APOSTLE ONESIMUS OF THE 70 TROPARION—TONE 3
O Holy Apostle Onesimus of the seventy, entreat the Merciful God to grant us forgiveness of our transgressions.

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. 

PRODIGAL SON KONTAKION—TONE 3
I have recklessly forgotten Your glory, O Father; and among sinners I have scattered the riches which You gave me. And now I cry to You as the Prodigal: “I have sinned before You, O merciful Father; receive me a penitent, and make me as one of Your hired servants!”

HYMN OF THE THEOTOKOS—TONE 6
Steadfast Protectress of Christians, Constant Advocate before the Creator; despise not the cry of us sinners, but in your goodness come speedily to help us 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!


~Scripture Readings of the Day~
READERS:
Matins: Nicholas Ressetar Epistle: Teddy Sukhernik
Matins Next Week: Lenny Tepsich Epistle Next Week: Marijana Rocknage

EPISTLE: I Corinthians 6: 12-20
 
DEACON:      Let us pay attention. 
PRIEST:        Peace be unto all!
READER:      And with your spirit!
DEACON:      Wisdom.
READER:      The Prokeimenon in the Fifth Tone: You, O Lord, shall protect us and preserve us from this generation forever.
CHOIR: You, O Lord, shall protect us and preserve us from this generation forever.
READER: v: Save me, O Lord, for there is no longer any that is godly!
CHOIR: You, O Lord, shall protect us and preserve us from this generation forever.
READER: You, O Lord, shall protect us ...
CHOIR: ...and preserve us from this generation forever.
DEACON: Wisdom!
READER: The Reading is from the First Epistle of the Holy Apostle Paul to the Corinthians
DEACON: Let us attend!
READER: Brethren, all things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.  Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods, but God will destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not!  Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her?  For “the two,” He says, “shall become one flesh.” But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him. Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.  Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.
PRIEST: Peace be unto you, reader!
READER: And with your spirit! Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!
CHOIR: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!
READER: I will sing of Your mercies, O Lord, forever; with my mouth I will proclaim Your truth from generation to generation.
CHOIR: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!
READER: For You have said: “Mercy will be established forever; My truth will be prepared in the heavens.”
CHOIR: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!
 

АПОСТОЛ: I Коринћанима 6: 12-20

Ђакон:         Пазимо
Свештеник: Мир свима!
Читач:           I Духу Твоме!
Ђакон:          Премудрост
Читач : ПРОКИМЕН- глас 5 Ти ћеш нас, Господе, одбранити и сачувати од рода овога до вјека.
Хор: Ти ћеш нас, Господе, одбранити и сачувати од рода овога до вјека.
Читач: Помилуј ме Господе, јер неста Светих, јер је мало вјерних међу синовима човјечијим.
Хор: Ти ћеш нас, Господе, одбранити и сачувати од рода овога до вјека.
Читач: Ти ћеш нас, Господе, одбранити 
Хор: и сачувати од рода овога до вјека.
Ђакон: Премудрост
Читач: Читање је од Прве посланице Светог апостола Павла до Коринћана
Ђакон: Пазимо
Читач: Браћо, све ми је дозвољено, али све не користи; све ми је дозвољено, али не дам да ишта овлада мноме. Јела су за стомак и стомак за јела, али ће Бог и једно и друго укинути. А тијело није за блуд него за Господа, и Господ за тијело. А Бог и Господа васкрсе, и нас ће васкрснути силом својом. Не знате ли да су тјелеса ваша удови Христови? Хоћу ли, дакле, узети удове Христове и од њих начинити удове блуднице? Никако! Или не знате, да ко се са блудницом свеже једно је тијело с њом? Јер је речено: Биће двоје једно тијело. А ко се сједини са Господом, један је дух с Њиме. Бјежите од блуда. Сваки гријех који човјек учини ван тијела је, а који блудничи своме тијелу гријеши. Или не знате да је тијело ваше храм Светога Духа који је у вама, којега имате од Бога и нисте своји? Јер сте купљени скупо. Прославите дакле, Бога тијелом својим и духом својим, јер су Божији.
Свештеник: Мир свима Читачу!
Читач: I Духом Твоме! Алилуиа, Алилуиа, Алилуиа
Хор: Алилуиа, Алилуиа, Алилуиа
Читач: Пјеваћу увјек милости Господње; од кољена на кољено јавићу истину Твоју устима својим.
Хор: Алилуиа, Алилуиа, Алилуиа
Читач: Јер си рекао: Милост ће бити основана заувјек; на Небесима си утврдио истину Своју.
Хор: Алилуиа, Алилуиа, Алилуиа
 


LITURGY GOSPEL:  
Luke 15: 11-32

The Lord said: “A certain man had two sons.  And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood.  And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living.  But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want.  Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.  And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything. “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!  I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.”’
“And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.  And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet.  And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry;  for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.
“Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing.  So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant.  And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.’ “But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him.  So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends.  But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.’ “And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.’”
 


ЈЕВАНЂЕЉЕ:   
Лука 15: 11-32

Каза Господ причу ову: Човјек неки имађаше два сина, и рече млађи од њих оцу: Оче, дај ми дио имања што припада мени. И он им подијели имање. И послије неколико дана покупи млађи син све своје, и отиде у земљу далеку, и онамо просу имање своје живећи развратно. А кад потроши све, настаде велика глад у земљи оној, и он поче оскудијевати. И отишавши приби се код једнога житеља оне земље, и он га посла у поље своје да чува свиње. И жељаше напунити трбух свој рошчићима које свиње јеђаху, и нико му не даваше. А кад дође себи, рече: Колико најамника у оца мога имају хљеба исувише, а ја умирем од глади! Уставши отићи ћу оцу својему, па ћу му рећи: Оче, сагријеших небу и теби, и више нисам достојан назвати се сином твојим: прими ме као једнога од најамника својих. И уставши отиде оцу својему. А кад је још подалеко био, угледа га отац његов и сажали му се, и потрчавши загрли га и пољуби. А син му рече: Оче, сагријеших небу и теби, и више нисам достојан назвати се сином твојим. А отац рече слугама својим: Изнесите најљепшу хаљину и обуците га, и подајте му прстен на руку и обућу на ноге. И доведите теле угојено те закољите, да једемо и да се веселимо. Јер овај син мој бјеше мртав, и оживје; и изгубљен бјеше, и нађе се. И стадоше се веселити. А син његов старији бијаше у пољу и долазећи, када се приближи кући, чу пјевање и играње. И дозвавши једнога од слугу питаше: Шта је то? А он му рече: Брат је твој дошао; и отац твој закла теле угојено што га је здрава дочекао. А он се расрди и не хтједе да уђе. Тада изиђе отац његов и мољаше га. А он одговарајући рече оцу: Ето служим те толико година и никад не преступих заповијест твоју, па мени никад ниси дао ни јарета да бих се провеселио са пријатељима својим. А када дође тај твој син, који је расуо имање твоје са блудницама, заклао си му теле угојено. А он му рече: Чедо, ти си свагда са мном, и све моје јесте твоје. Требало је развеселити се и обрадовати, јер овај брат твој мртав бјеше, и оживје; и изгубљен бјеше, и нађе се.
 

~ 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~
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.

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!

WALNUT ROLL SALE
We will be having our Nut Roll Sale this year. Rolls are $18 each and the last day to order will be Wednesday, March 17th. There will be limited quantities, so order soon. Order forms are available at the tutors stand and can be turned in to Popadija Andreja. Or call her at 717-939-0251. Pick Up will be Thursday, April 1 from 4 pm - 6 pm (drive thru style)

SPECIAL THANKS TO GOD
We want to thank our St Nicholas Church family for their prayers during our recent battle with Covid. We truly appreciate all your prayers. In Christ’s love, Stephanie, Mike & Mikey York.

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.

DEADLINE IS APPROACHING
If you are not receiving envelopes and wish to, receiving envelopes and no longer wish to, or you need to make an address change, please inform the office by March 14!
 

Paramia: Festal Readings from the Old Testament

Video lessons are available on our St. Nicholas YouTube Channel. Currently, we are exploring the Prophecies concerning the Nativity of Christ.
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
The Sunday of the Prodigal Son
 
I have recklessly forgotten Your glory, O Father; and among sinners I have scattered the riches which You had given me. Therefore, I cry to You like the Prodigal: "I have sinned before You, O compassionate Father; receive me a penitent and make me as one of Your hired servants."
                                       -Kontakion from the Sunday of the Prodigal Son

This Sunday, the Gospel reading focuses on the Prodigal Son's return to his father. The Holy Fathers have said that if this were the only Scripture to survive, it would fully represent the love that God, as our Father, has for us. The question we must reflect upon is are we good and faithful Stewards with what God has given us? Do we squander all that He provides or do we take responsibility for how we use our Time, Talents and Treasures? As we contemplate our personal return to God through Great Lent, will we take the time to reflect on our Stewardship? God loves us and will continue to take care of us, however, we have to be responsible in all that we do. As our Church represents the love that God has for us and through the death of His Son, the forgiveness for our sins, what explanation would we ever need when asked to support our Church? Through Stewardship, we can return our love to God, and be thankful for all that He continues to do. 
 
 
Старатељска Порука 

Удаљих се од Твоје славе Оче, безумно и међу злима потроших богатство које си ми предао. Зато Ти глас блудног сина при-носим: Сагреших пред Тобом, Оче Милостиви, прими ме у покајању, и учини ме да будем као један од слугу Твојих."
Кондак у Недељу Блуднога Сина
 
Ове Недеље , у Јеванђељу читамо о Блудноме сину који се враћа оцу. Свети Оци кажу да је ово јединна Јеванђељска прича која постоји , у пуноћи би преставила љубав коју Бог, као наш Отац , има за нас. Питање које треба себе да питамо јесте , да ли смо ми добри и верни Старатељи оног што нам је Бог даривао? Да ли мо протраћимо све љто нам је поверено и дати или или се према томе односимо одговорно - како користимо наше Време , Таленте и Благо? И док размишљамо о нашем личном односу према Богу кроз Часни и Велики Пост , да ли ће мо размишљати о нашем Стратељству? Господ нас воли и наставља да се брине о нама али ми морамо да будемо одговорни у свему што радимо. Као што наша Црква преставља Божију љубав коју Он има за нас, и кроз смрт свога Сина , опраштање наших грехова - и када нас питају да помогнемо нашој Цркви - шта ту још има нејасно? Кроз Старатељство , ми узвраћамо љубав Божију кроз захвалност за све што Он непрестано чини за нас.

Our Annual Stewardship drive has begun. 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!
Icon Project Continues