Forgiveness Sunday
St. Nicholas Bulletin - March 14, 2021
Christ is in our midst! Христос међу нама! Cristo entra esta nosotros
Return with the New Adam to Paradise
Forgiveness Sunday Homily from Fr. Phlip LeMasters
Today the Church calls us to see ourselves in Adam and Eve, cast out of Paradise and stripped of their original glory. God created them in His own image and likeness and had clothed them with a robe of light, which they lost when they chose their own pride and self-centered desires over humble obedience. Their great potential for growth in holiness squandered, now they are reduced to covering themselves with fig leaves and wearing the flesh of corruption and mortality. Adam sits with Eve outside the shut gates of Paradise and weeps bitterly for what they did to themselves and to the entire creation.
 
In ways obvious and not so obvious, their tragic story is also ours. We live in a world of people who, from generation to generation, have chosen to satisfy themselves rather than to flourish in the glory of those who bear the divine image and likeness. Due to advances in communications, we are more aware today of the details of the world’s problems than were previous generations, but not much really changes from age to age in the human soul. Fear, hatred, violence, greed, abuse of the weak, self-centeredness, and addiction to pleasure plague every generation and have ruined the lives of so many who were created for eternal joy. We do not have to look very hard at our society or world, or at ourselves, to see that we live very far from Paradise.
 
The good news, of course, is that the God-Man Jesus Christ is the New Adam Who clothes us with a robe of light in baptism. As St. Paul wrote, “As many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” (Gal. 3:27) The father restored the prodigal son by giving him fine clothing, and the Savior restores us when put Him on in baptism. (Lk. 15:22)  He entered into death, the ultimate consequence of Adam’s sin, in order to conquer it through His resurrection. We are baptized into His death in order to rise with Him into the life of Heaven, even as we live and breathe in this world. (Rom. 6:3-4) He comes to bring us back to Paradise.
 
Even though we have put on Christ and are members of His own Body, the Church, there is still much of the old Adam in us. Time and again, we fall back to the nakedness and despair of those who strip themselves of the divine glory through sin. That is why St. Paul told the Christians in Rome to “cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.” He told them to strip themselves of the pitiful garments of sin and death and “put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh to gratify its desires.” That means ripping from their lives whatever diminished and weakened them as the children of God. That means living faithfully to our identity as those who have died to sin and risen to eternal life with our Savior. The season of Great Lent provides a blessed opportunity for each and every one of us to do precisely that.
 
With Adam and Eve, sin and death came into the world through unrestrained indulgence in food. We fast in Lent from the richest and most satisfying foods in order to find healing from the self-centered desires of our stomachs and taste buds, which in turn helps to free us from addiction to other forms of self-centeredness. Humble fasting is the enemy of lust, pride, and anger, for example. As our Lord taught, we do not fast in order to impress others, but in secret. We must not draw attention to ourselves or inconvenience others as we fast. As St. Paul wrote, we must not judge anyone for what they eat or do not eat. Remember that the self-righteous Pharisee lost the benefit of his spiritual disciplines due to pride and judgment, while the sinful tax-collector was justified due to his humility. (Lk. 18:9ff.) If we turn the blessed discipline of fasting into an instrument of pride, we will end up doing more harm than good to our souls.
 
Instead of wasting our time in evaluating others, we focus in Lent on more fully participating in the healing and restoration that Christ has brought to the world. Since we have put Him on in baptism, we must live in a way that reflects and reveals His mercy and blessing. The Lord is very clear about what this means: If we want forgiveness for our sins, we must forgive others for their offenses against us. He says that because forgiveness is not some kind of legal decision about justice, but a characteristic of a relationship that reveals the health or sickness of our souls. The prodigal son had no claim to restoration as a son, and he knew that, but the overwhelming love of his father healed the deep wounds that the young man’s behavior had caused. If we want to open ourselves to the unfathomable divine mercy, we must become channels of that same mercy to others. If we are “participants of the divine nature” by grace, our Lord’s forgiveness will become characteristic of who we are. (2 Pet. 1:4) Like an iron left in the fire takes on the qualities of the fire and conveys heat and light to other objects, those who truly share in Christ’s life will share what they have received with others. As St. Paul wrote, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” (Gal. 2:20) If we want God’s forgiveness for ourselves and refuse to forgive others, we are very far from the life of the New Adam.
 
At Forgiveness Vespers this evening, we will personally bow before one another as we ask for and extend forgiveness to everyone in the parish. We begin our journey toward the deep mystery of Christ’s death and resurrection with humility and reconciliation. What greater sign is there of our sinfulness than how easily we offend, harm, and disregard one another, even those we love most and with whom we share a common life? To the extent that none of us has lived as faithfully as possible, we have all weakened one another spiritually because we are members of one Body. Now is the time to grant to one another the forgiveness that we ask from the Lord. We open ourselves to His mercy as we show mercy to others. If we begin Lent this way, we will also find new strength to heal broken relationships in all areas of our lives. Then we will grow in humility as we overcome our stupid pride and make things right with our neighbors.
 
The Lord taught that our hearts will be wherever we place our treasure, wherever we invest ourselves. As we give of our time, energy, and resources to the needy during Lent, we serve Christ in them. We also turn from the idolatry rooted in Adam and Eve’s desire to use the blessings of the creation simply for themselves and not for the purposes for which God created them, namely, to meet the needs of everyone. We must “make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires,” by making our fast a feast for the poor and hungry. Whenever we limit our own self-centered desires in order to bless others in any way, we take a step toward Paradise and away from life as usual in our world of corruption.
 
The spiritual disciplines of Lent have nothing to do with legalism or punishing ourselves. Instead, they are tools to help us find healing and strength as we wear the robe of light, as we grow in our personal participation in the salvation that the Second Adam has brought to a world of despair and decay. Now is the time to strip ourselves of all that would hold us back from following our Lord to His cross and glorious resurrection, for it is through His Passion that we will enter into the fullness of the glory for which He created us in the first place. Now is the time to turn from our spiritual weakness and nakedness to “put on the armor of light” as we begin an intense struggle for the healing of our souls. Let us struggle joyfully, for the journey will truly lead us to Paradise.

~Hymnography of the Day~
RESURRECTION TROPARION — TONE 7
By Your Cross You destroyed death. To the thief You opened Paradise. For the Myrrhbearers You changed weeping into joy. And You commanded Your disciples, O Christ God, to proclaim that You are 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.

HOLY VIRGIN-MARTYR EUDOKIA OF HELIOPOLIS TROPARION—TONE 8
With an upright mind you bound your soul to the love of Christ. As a disciple of the Word you turned from corruption and all that passes away, for you were not moved by earthly beauty. First you mortified the passions through fasting, then you put the enemy to shame by your suffering. Therefore, Christ has granted you a two-fold crown. Glorious Eudokia, venerable passion-bearer, entreat Christ God that our souls may be saved!

LENTEN TRIODION KONTAKION—TONE 6
O Master, Teacher of wisdom, Bestower of virtue, Who teaches the thoughtless and protects the poor, strengthen and enlighten my heart! O Word of the Father, let me not restrain my mouth from crying to You: “Have mercy on me, a transgressor, O merciful Lord!”

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: Stefan Gligorevic
Matins Next Week: Nick Ressetar Epistle Next Week: Matthew Hoover

EPISTLE: Romans 13:11-14:4
 
DEACON:    Let us pay attention. 
PRIEST:       Peace be unto all!
READER:     And with your spirit!
DEACON:    Wisdom.
READER:     The Prokeimenon in the Eighth Tone: Pray and make your vows before the Lord, our God!
CHOIR: Pray and make your vows before the Lord, our God!
READER: v: In Judah God is known; His name is great in Israel.
CHOIR: Pray and make your vows before the Lord, our God!
READER: Pray and make your vows ...
CHOIR: … before the Lord, our God!
DEACON: Wisdom!
READER: The Reading is from the Epistle of the Holy Apostle Paul to the Romans
DEACON: Let us attend!
READER: Brethren, do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awaken out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent; the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in rioting and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things. For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables. Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him. Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.
PRIEST: Peace be unto you, reader!
READER: And with your spirit! Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!
CHOIR: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!
READER: It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to Your Name, O Most High.
CHOIR: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!
READER: To declare Your mercy in the morning, and Your truth by night.
CHOIR: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!
 
АПОСТОЛ: Римљанима 13:11-14:4

Ђакон:         Пазимо
Свештеник: Мир свима!
Читач:          I Духу Твоме!
Ђакон:             Премудрост
Читач : ПРОКИМЕН- глас 8 Завјетујте се и испуните завјете Господу Богу нашем.
Хор: Завјетујте се и испуните завјете Господу Богу нашем.
Читач: Познат је у Јудеји Бог, у Израиљу је велико име Његово.
Хор: Завјетујте се и испуните завјете Господу Богу нашем.
Читач: Завјетујте се и испуните завјете
Хор: Господу Богу нашем.
Ђакон: Премудрост
Читач: Читање је од посланице Светог апостола Павла до Римљанима
Ђакон: Пазимо
Читач: Браћо, тим прије што знате вријеме, да је већ час да устанемо од сна, јер нам је сада спасење ближе него кад повјеровасмо. Ноћ поодмаче, а дан се приближи. Одбацимо, дакле, дјела таме и обуцимо се у оружје свјетлости. Да ходимо поштено као по дану: не у пировању и пијанству, не у разврату и бестидности, не у свађи и зависти. Него се обуците у Господа Исуса Христа; и старање за тијело не претварајте у похоте. Треба сносити слабе и не саблажњавати браћу. Царство Божије је у Духу Светом, Славослов Богу. А слабога у вјери примајте, без расправљања о мишљењима. Јер један вјерује да смије све јести, а који је слаб једе зеље. Који једе нека не презире онога који не једе; и који не једе нека не осуђује онога који једе, јер га Бог прими. Ко си ти што осуђујеш туђега слугу? Својему господару он стоји или пада. Али ће стајати, јер је Бог моћан да га усправи.
Свештеник: Мир свима Читачу!
Читач: I Духом Твоме! Алилуиа, Алилуиа, Алилуиа
Хор: Алилуиа, Алилуиа, Алилуиа
Читач: Добро је исповједати се Господу, и пјевати Имену Твоме Вишњи.
Хор: Алилуиа, Алилуиа, Алилуиа
Читач: Објављивати ујутро милост Твоју и истину Твоју током ноћи.
Хор: Алилуиа, Алилуиа, Алилуиа 

LITURGY GOSPEL:  
Matthew 6: 14-21

For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
“Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
ЈЕВАНЂЕЉЕ:   
Матеј 6: 14-21

Ако опростите људима сагрјешења њихова, опростиће и вама Отац ваш небески. Ако ли не опростите људима сагрјешења њихова, ни Отац ваш неће опростити вама сагрјешења ваша. А кад постите, не будите суморни као лицемјери: јер они натмуре лица своја да се покажу људима како посте. Заиста вам кажем: примили су плату своју. А ти када постиш, намажи главу своју, и лице своје умиј, да те не виде људи гдје постиш, него Отац твој који је у тајности; и Отац твој који види тајно, узвратиће теби јавно. Не сабирајте себи блага на земљи, гдје мољац и рђа квари, и гдје лопови поткопавају и краду; Него сабирајте себи блага на небу, гдје ни мољац ни рђа не квари, и гдје лопови не поткопавају и не краду. Јер гдје је благо ваше, ондје ће бити и срце ваше.

~ The Week Ahead: Scriptures and Services ~
March Birthdays
Ruth Yovanovich (Mar 1), Gregory Yanich (Mar 1), Karen Stefan (Mar 2), Matea Jovic (Mar 3), George Radanovic (Mar 4), Dasha Gencturk (Mar 4), Alex Bazdar (Mar 5), Nick Ressetar (Mar 7), Mark Gruin (Mar 9), Kirsten Geib (Mar 10), Monroe Semic (Mar 10), Sylvia Velencia (Mar 11), Stephani Yanich (Mar 13), Millie Trayer (Mar 14), Vega Stevenson (Mar 14), Tootsie Krnjaich (Mar 16), Donna Carricato (Mar 18), Tosha Yanich (Mar 19), Natalija Gligorevic (Mar 19), Rohan Radanovic (Mar 19), Mileva Jovic (Mar 21), Danielle Van Huysen (Mar 21), Protinica Carole Balach (Mar 22), Val Radosevich (Mar 26), Anastasija Vukalo (Mar 27), Ava Kingsbury (Mar 28), Zorka Starcevich (Mar 29), Beba Yanich (Mar 30), Blagica Raic (Mar 30), Clark Filepas (Mar 30), Mya Rose Petrovich (Mar 30), Mitch Matovich (Mar 31), Donald Semic

March Anniversaries
Igor & Brankica Skinder (Mar 21) 
The Rite of Forgiveness
The Sunday of Forgiveness centers around the Reception of Holy Communion and the Rite of Forgiveness. Due to our current state in the pandemic, it would be unwise for us to practice the traditional rite of forgiveness with the threefold Kiss of Peace. 
 
Instead, all of those who desire to participate, will have an opportunity to come onto the solea in front of the gathered community, and ask for forgiveness by making a bow/prostration before the faithful. Those who are unable to come to the solea, may ask for forgiveness from those around you.
 
This will enable us all to keep the spirit of asking forgiveness on this day, while maintaining necessary precautionary measures to keep the spread of the coronavirus at bay. 
~Bulletin Board~
PRE-SANCTIFIED LITURGY
His Grace instructs that the fast in preparation for receiving the Holy Eucharist at the Pre-Sanctified Liturgy is to begin at noon. After this time, you should refrain from eating and drinking until receiving the Holy Body and Blood of Christ that evening.

DEADLINE IS TODAY
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 TODAY, March 14!

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 27, April 10 and April 24. 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 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.
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.
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!


St. Nicholai Lecture

St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary is presenting its first "St. Nicholai Lecture" on Tuesday, March 23 at 7pm ET.

His Grace, IRINEJ, Bishop of the Eastern American Diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church, will be presenting on the last years of the life of St. Nikolai. Join in this virtual presentation by clicking on the link below for FaceBook or YouTube connections.
March Charity
St. Sava School Pro-Cathedral in NYC


The St. Sava Pro-Cathedral in New York City was burned in a fire on Pascha in 2016. The Cathedral is the Seat of our Diocese of Eastern America. As such, it also belongs to all of the faithful in the Diocese. The Cathedral is currently being renovated, and in need of funds to do so. The entirety of the project will eventually amount to around $62 million when completed. Thus, it is indeed a long range project in need of renewed support. Currently, the Cathedral has completed the Secure & Enclosure Phase. This consisted of securing the walls, including rebuilding segments of the roof line; installing new roof and floor beams; putting up the roof, all save the final slate layer, originally replaced in the years preceding the fire; pouring the floor, except for the final layer, which is to be determined by other factors, such as heating and finish; framing the doors and windows; and installing temporary fireproof metal doors and plexiglas windows. According to His Grace Bishop Irinej of Eastern America, "with the removal of the interior scaffolding completed, once again the steeply pitched roof, which soars to the height of nearly two stories above the roofline, covering the broad expanse of our magnificent Cathedral, appears likened unto hands stretched forth in prayer". Spanning an entire city block, "the vast grandeur of this edifice, stands before God and humanity, likened unto the very image of Christ's Resurrection". According to the Bishop's vision, "our Cathedral promises to be a perfect harmony of East and West, where, in the timeless words of our Holy Bishop Nicholai (Velimirovich), 'the light of the East and the Light of the West will rest at their noon'." With the issuance of a temporary occupancy permit, our faithful will be allowed to return to their house of worship, the St. Sava Cathedral, which is now saved for posterity. Progress reports are available at https://www.easterndiocese.org or at the cathedral website: https://stsavanyc.org.
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.