Sunday of the Last Judgment
St. Nicholas Bulletin - March 7, 2021
Christ is in our midst! Христос међу нама! Cristo entra esta nosotros
On the Sunday of the Last Judgment
Homily from Fr. Peter DeFonce
When one of the lawyers from the Pharisees asked Jesus what was the greatest commandment of the Law of Moses, to test Him, He responded in the following way: “The first is ‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one, and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these” (Luke 12:29-31). In a clear and concise manner, the Lord weaves together the three great and God-given “loves” of humanity: the love we should have for God, the love we should have for our neighbor, and the love we should have for ourselves. Indeed, the entire Law and the Prophets can be summed up in this way; everything God offers us, expects of us, and will require of us on the Last Day, boils ultimately down to pure love, and nothing else.

As Christ explained to the Pharisee lawyer, our first and primary duty is to love God. God is our King and Creator, so we must love Him before anything or anyone else. The second commandment is to love our neighbor as ourselves. Obviously, it is presupposed that we do indeed love ourselves, the way that we ought to—we could hardly be expected to know what the law of love requires, if we have not first come to understand very viscerally what it means to love ourselves. In the modern world, in particular, this cannot be overstressed; in our age of widespread depression, soul-withering isolation, drug and alcohol abuse, and numerous other crippling addictions, we are seeing (as perhaps never before) just what it means when people do not properly love themselves.

Do we really understand the difference between the passion-driven and ego-stroking “self-love” condemned by the Scriptures and the Fathers, and the proper “self-love” actually expected by the Lord, as the model upon which we are to base the love of our neighbor? There is an exhaustive amount of talk these days about how we want to run our lives: our rights, our choices, our privileges, our demands, our goals, our expectations from society, our gifts, our vocations, our self-realization, etc. Consider the delights of food, for example. Do we not rejoice in eating our favorite meals, sometimes looking forward to eating more than any other part of our day? Do we not decide what we want to eat, when, and how much, fulfilling as many of our culinary fantasies as we can afford, all the while relishing the “freedom” and the “fellowship opportunities” that come along with our meals? What does this kind of lifestyle really do to us? Is it a sign of proper self-love, nourishing our bodies, keeping us healthy, building muscles and strengthening bones, or is it a diabolical trap… disfiguring our bodies with fat, rotting our teeth, saturating our blood with sugar and our blood vessels with plaque, stealing years from our lifespan, and enslaving us to consume everything that crosses our path?

Real love cannot abide by this manner of torture, by this degree of abuse, by this unyielding and intolerable burden of selfishness, by this burnt offering of our diseased souls. If this is how we treat ourselves, God forbid that we turn to our neighbors and treat them likewise! Brothers and sisters, this is not love! We cannot live our lives in this manner, and call it anything other than what it is—death, sin, or evil… Hades, Sheol, or Gehenna. In order for us to leave our homes and bring the love of the Risen Lord Jesus to those outside, we must begin at the beginning. Charity begins at home. We have to change the way in which we love ourselves, fleeing from idolatry of every sort, and drawing near to the spirit of Great Lent: fasting, abstinence, humility, chastity, obedience, perseverance, reverence, stillness, and prayer.

Once this understanding of real love is in place, then we can approach other human beings and perform the holy works for which we will stand in judgment on the Last Day. Jesus asks us to demonstrate the love God has for every person He has made, going directly to touch each of our “neighbors” in the place of his or her most obvious need. Furthermore, it is not as if we were given impossible demands; considering the immense weight of the glory which shall be revealed to us, the sweetness and delight of the eternal Face of the Father, the radiant dawn of the day which knows no evening, of what matter to us are a few humble offerings of bread, water, clothing, shelter, and welcome?

In this way, we show not only our love for other human beings, but for God who created them and sent His only-begotten Son to die for them. Christ takes every one of these interpersonal encounters, personally: “As you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to me.” There really is no better way to demonstrate our love for God, since He has no need of anything from us. Note, however, that it isn’t just any person whom God asks us to love, but specifically the “least” (elachiston) of His brothers and sisters… although the Lord naturally expects us to help and care for our friends, family members, and co-workers, He is specifically concerned that we love those whom the world has forgotten. Where others pass by, we must stop and help. Where others ignore an outstretched hand, we must put something into it. Where others are too busy to share their time, we must share ours. Where others turn a cold shoulder, we must smile and engage. If we refuse to do these simple things, it is Christ Himself whom we deny.

When the end comes, Christ the King will ascend His glorious throne, surrounded by legions of angels, and He will call us all to stand before Him. Books will be opened, and the earthly deeds of all human beings shall be made known. Christ will confess before His Father and His holy angels all the persons whose names are inscribed in the Book of Life, and then He will proceed to separate us out to His right side and to His left, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. When that fearful day comes, let us remember that God desires “that all would be saved and come to the knowledge of the Truth,” and that the Lake of Fire was destined for the devil and his angels, not for any of us. If we are finally revealed to be those “blessed” of God the Father, inheriting the Kingdom which was prepared for us before the foundation of the world, we will see clearly that all along the way, behind the face of every person whom we chose to love with Christ’s love, was the Lord Jesus Himself. To Him be the glory, honor, power, and dominion, unto ages of ages. Amen.
~Hymnography of the Day~
RESURRECTION TROPARION — TONE 6
The angelic powers were at Your tomb; the guards became as dead men. Mary stood by Your grave, seeking Your most pure body. You captured hell, not being tempted by it. You came to the Virgin, granting life. O Lord, Who rose from the dead, glory to You.

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.

LENTEN TRIODION KONTAKION—TONE 1
When You, O God, shall come to earth with glory, all things shall tremble, and the river of fire shall flow before Your judgment seat; the books shall be opened, and the hidden things disclosed; then deliver me from the unquenchable fire, and make me worthy to stand at Your right hand, O Righteous Judge!

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: Milan Radanovic Epistle: Marijana Rocknage
Matins Next Week: Lenny Tepsich Epistle Next Week: Stefan Gligorevic

EPISTLE: I Corinthians 8:8-9:2
 
DEACON:      Let us pay attention. 
PRIEST:        Peace be unto all!
READER:      And with your spirit!
DEACON:      Wisdom.
READER:      The Prokeimenon in the Third Tone: Great is our Lord, and abundant in power, His understanding is beyond measure.
CHOIR: Great is our Lord, and abundant in power, His understanding is beyond measure.
READER: v: Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God!
CHOIR: Great is our Lord, and abundant in power, His understanding is beyond measure.
READER: Great is our Lord, and abundant in power.
CHOIR: His understanding is beyond measure.
DEACON: Wisdom!
READER: The Reading is from the First Epistle of the Holy Apostle Paul to the Corinthians
DEACON: Let us attend!
READER: Brethren, but food does not commend us to God; for neither if we eat are we the better, nor if we do not eat are we the worse. But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak. For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will not the conscience of him who is weak be emboldened to eat those things offered to idols? And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble. Am I not an apostle? Am I not free? Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord? If I am not an apostle to others, yet doubtless I am to you. For you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.
PRIEST: Peace be unto you, reader!
READER: And with your spirit! Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!
CHOIR: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!
READER: Come, let us rejoice in the Lord! Let us make a joyful noise to God our Savior!
CHOIR: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!
READER: Let us come before His face with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to Him with songs of praise!
CHOIR: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!
 

АПОСТОЛ: I Коринћанима 8:8-9:2

Ђакон:         Пазимо
Свештеник: Мир свима!
Читач:           I Духу Твоме!
Ђакон:         Премудрост
Читач : ПРОКИМЕН- глас 3 Велик је Господ наш и велика је крјепост Његова, и разуму Његовом нема мјере.
Хор: Велик је Господ наш и велика је крјепост Његова, и разуму Његовом нема мјере.
Читач: Хвалите Господа, јер је слатко пјевати Бога нашега, јер Благоме доликује хвала.
Хор: Велик је Господ наш и велика је крјепост Његова, и разуму Његовом нема мјере.
Читач: Велик је Господ наш и велика је крјепост Његова,
Хор: и разуму Његовом нема мјере.
Ђакон: Премудрост
Читач: Читање је од Прве посланице Светог апостола Павла до Коринћана
Ђакон: Пазимо
Читач: Браћо, јело нас не поставља пред Бога: јер нити добијамо ако једемо, нити губимо ако не једемо. А чувајте се да како ова ваша слобода не постане спотицање слабима. Јер ако тебе, који имаш знање, види неко гдје сједиш за трпезом у идолском храму, неће ли се савјест његова. зато што је слаб, охрабрити да једе идолске жртве? И због твога знања пропада слаби брат, за којега Христос умрије. А тако, гријешећи се о браћу и рањавајући њихову слабу савјест, о Христа се гријешите. Зато, ако јело саблажњава брата мојега, нећу јести меса до вијека, да не саблазним брата својега. Нисам ли апостол? Нисам ли слободан? Зар нисам видио Исуса Христа, Господа нашега? Нисте ли ви дјело моје у Господу? Ако другима нисам апостол. али вама јесам, јер сте ви печат мојега апостолства у Господу.
Свештеник: Мир свима Читачу!
Читач: I Духом Твоме! Алилуиа, Алилуиа, Алилуиа
Хор: Алилуиа, Алилуиа, Алилуиа
Читач: Ходите, запјевајмо Господу, покликнимо Богу Спаситељу нашем.
Хор: Алилуиа, Алилуиа, Алилуиа
Читач: Изађимо пред лице Његово с хвалом, ускликнимо му у пјесмама.
Хор: Алилуиа, Алилуиа, Алилуиа
LITURGY GOSPEL:  
Matthew 25: 31-46

When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: ’for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; ’I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’  
Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? ’When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? ’Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’  
And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: ’for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; ’I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’  
Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.
ЈЕВАНЂЕЉЕ:   
Матеј 25: 31-46

А када дође Син Човјечији у слави својој и сви свети анђели са њим, тада ће сјести на пријесто славе своје. И сабраће се пред њим сви народи, и разлучиће их једне од других као пастир што разлучује овце од јаради. И поставиће овце са десне стране себи, а јарад са лијеве. Тада ће рећи Цар онима што му стоје са десне стране: Ходите благословени Оца мојега; примите Царство које вам је припремљено од постања свијета. Јер огладњех, и дадосте ми да једем; ожедњех, и напојисте ме; странац бијах, и примисте ме; Наг бијах, и одјенусте ме; болестан бијах, и посјетисте ме; у тамници бијах, и дођосте ми. Тада ће му одговорити праведници говорећи: Господе, када те видјесмо гладна, и нахранисмо? Или жедна, и напојисмо? Кад ли те видјесмо странца, и примисмо? Или нага, и одјенусмо? Кад ли те видјесмо болесна или у тамници, и дођосмо ти? И одговарајући Цар, рећи ће им: Заиста вам кажем: кад учинисте једноме од ове моје најмање браће, мени учинисте. Тада ће рећи и онима што му стоје с лијеве стране: Идите од мене, проклети, у огањ вјечни који је припремљен ђаволу и анђелима његовим. Јер огладњех, и не дадосте ми да једем; ожедњех, и не напојисте ме; Странац бијах, и не примисте ме; наг бијах, и не одјенусте ме; болестан и у тамници бијах, и не посјетисте ме. Тад ће му одговорити и они говорећи: Господе, када те видјесмо гладна или жедна, или странца или нага, или болесна или у тамници, и не послужисмо ти? Тада ће им одговорити говорећи: Заиста вам кажем: кад не учинисте једноме од ових најмањих, ни мени не учинисте. И ови ће отићи у муку вјечну, а праведници у живот вјечни. 
 

~ 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) 
~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!

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!

EASTER WALNUT ROLL SALE
Limited quantities available. Nut Rolls are $18/each. Pick-Up will be Thursday, April 1st from 4:00pm - 6:00pm. To place orders please contact Popadija Andreja.
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. 
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.
Memory Eternal
† His Grace, ATANASIJE,
Bishop of Zahumlije and Hercegovina
His Grace, ATANASIJE, Retired Bishop of the Diocese of Zahumlije and Hercegovina, fell asleep in the Lord on Thursday, March 4, 2021 of complications from COVID19. He was one of the shining theological lights of our time. As a student of St. Justin of čelije, he was singularly focused upon teaching the Serbian people to live a life in Christ. He and Metropolitan Amfilohije, of blessed memory, were instrumental in translating the Old Testament into the Serbian language to help educate the faithful. He was a world-renowned professor of the Church Fathers (Patristics), and dedicated a significant portion of his ministry to the Patristic renewal in the Church. He served as the Dean of the Orthodox Theological Faculty at the University of Belgrade, one of the most prestigious in the world under his leadership. He was consecrated as Bishop of Banat on the Feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist at the cathedral of St. Nicholas in Vršac in 1991. In 1992, he was elected as bishop of the Diocese of Zahumlije and Hercegovina. He leaves behind a cherished legacy of students who are now called upon to carry on the work of fanning the embers of faith into a fire in the hearts of all Serbian Christians.
Icon Project Continues