35th Sunday after Pentecost
St. Nicholas Bulletin - January 31, 2021
Christ is in our midst! Христос међу нама! Cristo entra esta nosotros
The Rich Young Man in Luke's Gospel,
Homily from St. Luke of Simferapol
I think that many of you are surprised by the answer of our Lord Jesus Christ to the young man who questioned him and called Him a Good Master: Why callest thou Me good? None is good, save one, that is, God.

These words sound as if the Lord were teaching people that He is not God, that it is not necessary to render Him Divine honors.

But if we think thus, then what will we say about the other parts of the Gospel, in which the Lord Jesus Christ did not forbid His Apostles from calling Him the Son of God, that is, God?

When He called Nathaniel, His future Apostle and, in his conversation with him, revealed His Divine omniscience, then Nathaniel, amazed thereby, cried out: Rabbi, Thou art the Son of God; Thou art the King of Israel (John 1:49). Christ did not forbid him to call Him the Son of God.

When the Lord Jesus Christ asked His disciples who they believed Him to be, then Peter answered: Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God. And Christ not only did not forbid him to call Him this, but said: Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father Which is in heaven (Matthew 16:16-17).

But even more than that, we read in the Gospel that the Lord, in the presence of all the people in the synagogue, more than once directly called Himself God. There, when He was once surrounded by scribes and Pharisees who demanded that He reveal Who He was, answered: From the beginning, I Am (John 8:25).

Who is from the beginning, except God alone? By this reply, He called Himself God.
Another time He said even more precisely to His questioner: I and My Father are one (John 10:30). Is this not a declaration of Himself as God? I am one with My Heavenly Father. This answer so outraged those listening that they picked up stones in order to stone Him for blasphemy. But Jesus told them: Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? (John 10:34). If He called gods those to whom the Word of God had come – and Scripture cannot be broken – say ye of Him, Whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God? (John 10:36), and they put down their hands that were holding the stones…

How then can we explain that the Lord Jesus Christ permitted His disciples to call Him the Son of God, that He Himself openly called Himself God, One with the Father, and existing from the beginning – but he stopped this young man who was questioning Him and addressing Him with the words “Good Master,” by saying: Why callest thou Me good? None is good, save one, that is, God, thereby, as it were, directly rejecting His Divinity, prohibiting him from calling him God, or even to call Him good?  
 
How do we explain this? With my meager mind, I will attempt to explain this to you.

This means that it is one thing to allow His disciples, His Apostles, privately moreover, to call Him the Son of God; and another thing to call Himself one God with the Father, existing from the beginning; and another thing to allow everyone to call Him by the Divine name.

What would have happened if the Lord Jesus Christ had not hindered anyone from the crowd, such as was this young man, who addressed the Lord to call Him by that name which belongs to God alone?  

What would have happened? It would have been very bad. His many enemies and all those who did not believe in Him would have immediately accused Him, from the very beginning, of the fact that He allowed Himself to be called God. This would have called forth the hatred and bitterness of His enemies; it would have prevented many from following Him, being instructed by His miracles, and believing in Him. It would have been a difficult, essential hindrance to Christ’s great work. That which could have been acceptable and could have brought forth good fruits at one time, could have been harmful in other times and in other circumstances.

In the beginning of His ministry, the Lord Himself did not call Himself the Son of God, and if He did not object when the Apostles called Him the Son of God, this was only among the Apostles, only between Him and the Twelve Apostles, but not among the people; this was not known to the people and could not tempt anyone.

The Lord Jesus openly called Himself existing from the beginning and one with the Heavenly Father only at the end of His ministry, when the time had come for this.

This is how we should understand the Lord Jesus Christ’s reply: Why callest thou Me good? None is good, save one, that is, God.

You have just heard the rest of the conversation with the young man. To his question, the Lord reminded him of the commandments given by Moses on Mount Sinai. The young man replied that he had kept and fulfilled all these commandments from his very earliest youth. What do I lack? Hearing this, the Lord said to him: you still lack one thing: sell all thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven, and come, follow Me.

The young man lowered his head and walked away, for he was very rich, and did not want to, and could not, fulfill this commandment of Christ.

Then the Lord, turning to the disciples and the people, said: How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God? For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

This answer amazed and surprised all those listening, even the Apostles, and they asked: Who then can be saved? And He said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.

How can we explain the Apostles’ question? Only by the fact that the ancient Jews considered riches to be God’s blessing; and people who had been awarded riches, this blessing of God, were considered pleasing to God and righteous – and suddenly the Lord says that the rich cannot enter the Heavenly Kingdom…

The Lord answered: The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.
How can we explain these words of Christ: why did He say that the rich cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven, just as a camel cannot pass through the eye of a needle?

I think that the explanation can be found only in the fact that the rich who do not part with their riches among the poverty and misery surrounding them, who do not part with their riches to help the perishing, are opposed to God for their lack of mercy and therefore entry to the Kingdom of Heaven is closed to them. But if, Christ adds, that which is impossible for man is possible to God, this means that God can correct a merciless heart with a single of His words, for we know of many examples of how the word of God shook the hearts of people and radically changed their way of life. There are many striking examples in the lives of saints. I will cite only the account of the extraordinary St. Anthony the Great.

Once in church he heard today’s Gospel reading, heard the requirement to sell and give away to the poor one’s property – and he was the son of very rich parents, who had given him an excellent education and left him the extraordinary legacy of their possessions – and nonetheless, without consideration or hesitation, he fulfilled Christ’s command. Giving everything to the poor, he himself left for the wild African desert, where he labored for many decades. He fought with the demons, with the devil himself, and attained great spiritual perfection, becoming someone that could be called an angel in the flesh.

Let this serve as an example for us. Although there are no rich people among us, we do have at least some prosperity, and this should not be an excuse for us. We should remember Anthony the Great and, to the extent we can, fulfill Christ’s requirements by distributing our possessions to the indigent.

May our Lord and God Jesus Christ help us therein. Amen.
~Hymnography of the Day~
RESURRECTION TROPARION - TONE 1
When the stone had been sealed by the Jews, while the soldiers were guarding Your most pure body, You rose on the third day, O Savior, granting life to the world. The powers of heaven therefore cried to You, O Giver of Life: “Glory to Your Resurrection, O Christ! Glory to Your Kingdom! Glory to Your dispensation, O Lover of mankind!”

SAINTS ATHANASIUS AND CYRIL TROPARION - TONE 3
You shone forth with works of Orthodoxy and quenched all heresy, and became victorious trophy-bearers, hierarchs Athanasius and Cyril. You enriched all things with piety and greatly adorned the Church, and worthily found Christ God, Who grants His great mercy to all, intercede before the Word, Christ our God, to save our souls!

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. 

RESURRECTION KONTAKION - TONE 1
As God, You rose from the tomb in glory, raising the world with Yourself. Human nature praises You as God, for death has vanished. Adam exults, O Master! Eve rejoices, for she is freed from bondage and cries to You: “You are the Giver of Resurrection to all, O Christ!”

HYMN TO THE MOTHER OF GOD 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!

~Scripture Readings of the Day~
READERS:
Matins: Lenny Tepsich Epistle: Dasha Gencturk
Matins Next Week: Lenny Tepsich Epistle Next Week: Marijana Rocknage

EPISTLE: Colossians 3: 12-16
 
DEACON:      Let us pay attention. 
PRIEST:        Peace be unto all!
READER:      And with your spirit!
DEACON:      Wisdom.
READER:      The Prokeimenon in the First Tone: Let Your mercy, O Lord, be upon us as we have set our hope on You!
CHOIR: Let Your mercy, O Lord, be upon us as we have set our hope on You!
READER: v: Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous! Praise befits the just!
CHOIR: Let Your mercy, O Lord, be upon us as we have set our hope on You!
READER: Let Your mercy, O Lord, be upon us ...
CHOIR: … as we have set our hope on You!
DEACON: Wisdom!
READER: The Reading is from the Epistle of the Holy Apostle Paul to the Colossians.
DEACON: Let us attend!
READER: Brethren, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
PRIEST: Peace be unto you, reader!
READER: And with your spirit! Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!
CHOIR: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!
READER: God gives vengeance unto me, and subdues people under me.
CHOIR: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!
READER: He magnifies the salvation of the King and deals mercifully with David, His anointed, and his seed forever.
CHOIR: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!
 
АПОСТОЛ: Колошанима  3: 12-16

Ђакон:          Пазимо
Свештеник: Мир свима!
Читач:           I Духу Твоме!
Ђакон:           Премудрост
Читач : ПРОКИМЕН- глас 1 Нека буде милост Твоја, Господе, на нама, као што се уздасмо у Тебе.
Хор: Нека буде милост Твоја, Господе, на нама, као што се уздасмо у Тебе.
Читач: Веселите се, праведници, пред Господом, праведнима доликује похвала.
Хор: Нека буде милост Твоја, Господе, на нама, као што се уздасмо у Тебе.
Читач: Нека буде милост Твоја, Господе,
Хор: на нама, као што се уздасмо у Тебе.
Ђакон: Премудрост
Читач: Читање посланице Светога апостола Павла Колошанима .
Ђакон: Пазимо
Читач: Браћо, обуците се, дакле, као изабраници Божији, свети и љубљени, у милосрђе, доброту, смиреноумље, кротост, дуготрпељивост, подносећи један другога, и опраштајући један другоме ако ко има тужбу на кога; као што Христос опрости вама, тако и ви. А поврх свега тога, обуците се у љубав, која је свеза савршенства. И мир Божији нека влада у срцима вашим, на који сте и позвани у једноме тијелу, и будите захвални. Ријеч Христова нека обитава у вама богато, у свакој мудрости учите и уразумљујте себе: псалмима и славопојима и пјесмама духовним, у благодати пјевајући Господу у срцима својим.
Свештеник: Мир ти читачу!
Читач: I Духом Твоме! Алилуиа, Алилуиа, Алилуиа
Хор: Алилуиа, Алилуиа, Алилуиа
Читач: Бог ми даје освету и покорава људе испод мене.
Хор: Алилуиа, Алилуиа, Алилуиа
Читач: Он увећава спасење Краља и милостиво се односи са Давидом, његовим помазаником и његовим сјеменом заувијек.
Хор: Алилуиа, Алилуиа, Алилуиа 


LITURGY GOSPEL:  
Luke 18: 18-27

At that time, a certain ruler asked Him, saying, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’ ” And he said, “All these things I have kept from my youth.” So when Jesus heard these things, He said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But when he heard this, he became very sorrowful, for he was very rich. And when Jesus saw that he became very sorrowful, He said, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” And those who heard it said, “Who then can be saved?” But He said, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.”
 

 

ЈЕВАНЂЕЉЕ:   
Лука 18: 18 - 27

У вријеме оно, неки човјек приђе Исусу и упита га: Учитељу благи, шта да учиним па да наслиједим живот вјечни? А Исус му рече: Што ме зовеш благим? Нико није благ осим једнога Бога. Заповијести знаш: Не чини прељубу; не убиј; не укради; не свједочи лажно; поштуј оца својега и матер своју. А он рече: Све сам ово сачувао од младости своје. А када то чу Исус, рече му: Још ти једно недостаје: продај све што имаш и раздај сиромасима; и имаћеш благо на небу; па хајде за мном. А кад он то чу, постаде жалостан; јер бјеше веома богат. А кад га Исус видје да постаде жалостан, рече: Како је тешко онима који имају богатство ући у Царство Божије! Јер лакше је камили проћи кроз иглене уши неголи богатоме ући у Царство Божије. А они који чуше рекоше: Па ко се може спасти? А он рече: Што је људима немогуће Богу је могуће.
 
 

~ 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~
COVID-19
Protocol & Updates
 
Governor Wolf announced new restrictions for gatherings in Pennsylvania. One of those alluded to having no gatherings of more than 10 people. However, essential businesses may operate at 50% capacity. The Church is the most essential organization. Thus, we will continue to serve Christ in all that we do. Those who are comfortable coming to worship will be welcomed. Physical distancing efforts and masks are mandatory protocol for attendance in Church. This means that currently, we can have about 50 people in Church (including clergy and choir) and roughly 70 people in the hall. Those in the hall will be able to see the service, and receive Holy Communion as well.
Slava celebrations will be performed in the Church only. Please bring your kolach and koljevo to the Church to be blessed.
Due to the increase in cases in our local area, we remind everyone that if you are at high risk, you should remain at home if possible. 
Fr. Christopher is available to bring the Holy Mysteries of Repentance and Communion to those unable to come to Church.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that the underlying medical conditions which increase the risk of severe illness from COVID-19 are:
  • People 65 years and older
  • People living in a nursing home or long-term care
  • People of ALL ages with chronic medical conditions, particularly if poorly controlled:
  • Chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
  • Serious heart conditions
  • Immunocompromised, especially cancer treatment, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune-deficiencies, HIV/AIDS, prolonged use of corticosteroids or other immune weakening medications
  • Severe obesity (BMI of 40 or higher)
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic Kidney Disease undergoing dialysis
  • Liver Disease

PARISH ANNUAL ASSEMBLY
At the direction of His Grace, Bishop IRINEJ and the Diocesan Council, we will not be having an in person Annual Assembly this year. Parish Council Officers will remain the same as in 2020. We will have a virtual meeting which will present informational reports only, on Sunday, February 7, at 1pm. This will enable our continued transparency, while maintaining a safe environment for all parishioners.

HOUSE BLESSING
The season for house blessings will soon be upon us. We will not be scheduling house blessings as normal this year. Father Christopher will be able to visit those who request a blessing during the weeks following Holy Theophany. Appointments can be made with Daria Milletics by calling into the Church Office. Later in the year, a time for normally scheduled blessings will occur once restrictions have been eased.

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.

SOTAYA CEVAPI SALE
SOTAYA is once again selling frozen Cevapi, in packages of 32 for $12. They can be bought on Sunday’s or during the week while the office is open (9am-noon). Forms are on the Tutors stand and can be given to Dn. Bojan, Sladjana or Daria.
 



January Charity
The International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC)


IOCC is a humanitarian aid agency of Orthodox Christians. Established in 1992 by the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA), it works in cooperation with the Orthodox Church and on behalf of Orthodox Christians. In carrying out its mission, offering emergency relief and development programs to those in need worldwide, without discrimination, and strengthening the capacity of the Orthodox Church to so respond, IOCC applies the highest profession standards and renders itself fully accountable to the public and its donors. Since its inception, IOCC has administered more than $580 million in humanitarian relief, sustainable development and self-help programs worldwide.
 Approximately 92% of all money donated directly helps those facing dire situations and every dollar given helps secure $7 in support from various sources. All assistance is provided solely on the basis of need and benefits orphans, refugees and displaced persons, the elderly, school children, families and people with disabilities. Over the course of their history, IOCC has been able to assist people in 50 countries with priority currently in the Balkans (Bosnia, Herzegovina, Kosovo, Serbia, Montenegro), Cameroon, Ethiopia, Georgia, Greece, Haiti, Iraq, Jerusalem, West Bank and Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon, Romania, Syria, Uganda, and the United States. Since the need for help is great, IOCC continually works to expand its programs to other areas. Visit www.iocc.org for additional information.

Archpastoral Message-
His Grace, IRINEJ,
Bishop of the Eastern American Diocese
of the Serbian Orthodox Church