Thomas Sunday - AntiPascha
St. Nicholas Bulletin - May 1, 2022 - Sunday of the Belief of Thomas
Christ is Risen! Христос Васкрсе! Χριστός Ανέστη! Cristo ha Resucitado!
Commentary on Thomas Sunday
Offered by St. Theophylact of Ochrid
19–23. Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. And when He had so said, He showed unto them His hands and His side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you. And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Spirit: Whosoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whosoever sins ye retain, they are retained.

When Mary Magdalene brought her news to the disciples, it is likely that they reacted in one of two ways: either they did not believe her, or, if they did, they were crestfallen because they were not deemed worthy to see Christ. Meanwhile, fear of the Jews was increasing the disciples’ longing to see the only One Who could relieve their anxiety. And so the Lord appeared to them that very evening, when all of them were gathered together. It is written that He appeared when the doors were shut, meaning, He entered through locked doors. This was to show that He had risen in the very same manner, while the entrance to the tomb was shut with a stone. One would think they might have taken Him for a ghost, but Mary Magdalene’s testimony had greatly strengthened their faith. Also, He manifested Himself in such a way as to calm their tumultuous thoughts: Peace be unto you, He said gently, meaning, “Be not afraid.” This was to remind them of what He had told them before the crucifixion: My peace I give unto you (Jn. 14:27). Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. This, too, He had foretold before His death: I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice (Jn. 16:22). It was well that He should say to them again, Peace, for the disciples were now engaged in desperate struggle with the Jews. As He had said, Rejoice! to the women (Mt. 28:9), because sorrows were their lot, so He grants peace to the disciples, who were now, and would always be, at war with the Jews.

It is fitting that He grants joy to the women, condemned to bear children in pain and suffering; and peace to the men, on account of the warfare that would engulf them for preaching the Gospel. At the same time He reveals that the cross has ushered in peace: “The cross has brought peace: now I send you forth to proclaim it.” To strengthen and embolden the disciples, He declares, “As My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you. It is My work you have undertaken, so do it boldly: I will be with you.” Behold the authority of his command: “It is I Who sends you (̓Εγὼ πέμπω ὑμᾶς).” No longer does He condescend to the limitations of their understanding, saying as He often did before the resurrection, “I will ask My Father and He will send you.” Now He breathes on them and gives them the Holy Spirit—but not the entirety of the gift He would bestow at Pentecost. Receive ye the Holy Spirit, means, “Let this partial bestowal of grace make you ready to receive later the fullness of the Holy Spirit.” The words, Whosever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them, indicate the particular gift He gives the disciples now: power to forgive sins. Later, on Pentecost, the Holy Spirit Himself would descend in all His might, lavishing upon the apostles every spiritual gift and power to work wondrous deeds, such as raising the dead.

It is worth considering why John records only that Christ appeared to His disciples in Jerusalem, while Matthew and Mark say that He promised to appear to them in Galilee (see Mt. 26:32; Mk. 14:28). Some have explained it this way: “Christ never said He would appear to the disciples only in Galilee, and not in Jerusalem. In Jerusalem, He appeared to the twelve, whereas in Galilee, He appeared to all His disciples, in accordance with His promise. The fact that He showed Himself many times to the twelve indicates that He honored them more highly than the others.” From this we again see that there are no irreconcilable disagreements between the accounts of the Evangelists. There were many appearances of the Lord after His resurrection, and each Evangelist selected certain ones to record. When two Evangelists describe the same event, the second usually tells what the first has omitted. And now, O reader, reflect upon the divine rank of the priesthood. The power to forgive sins is a divine power; hence, we must show honor to the priests as to God. Even if they are unworthy, they are still ministers of divine gifts, and grace empowers them (ἐνεργεῖ διʹαὐτῶν) just as it empowered Balaam’s ass, enabling it to speak (see Num. 22:28-30). Human frailty does not hinder the working of grace. Therefore, since grace is bestowed through the priests, let us honor them.

24–29. But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into His side, I will not believe. And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. Then saith He to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold My hands; and reach hither thy hand and thrust it into My side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto Him, My Lord and My God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

Thomas … was not with the disciples, perhaps because he had not yet returned from where he was hiding after the disciples had scattered. Elsewhere, we learned that the Hebrew name “Cephas” means “Rock” (Πέτρος, see Jn. 1:42); here we are told that “Thomas” means “Twin” (Δίδυμος). The Evangelist provides the meaning of the name here to indicate that Thomas was prone to be of two minds—a doubter by nature. He doubted the news brought to him by the others, not because he thought they were liars, but because he considered it impossible for a man to rise from the dead. And his doubt made him excessively inquisitive. Gullibility is a sign of light-mindedness; but stubborn resistance to truth is a sure indication of thick-headedness. Thomas would not even trust his eyes, but demanded proof by touch, the least discriminating of the senses: except I shall … thrust my hand into His side. How did Thomas know there were wounds in Christ’s hands and side? Because the other disciples had told him. And why does the Lord wait eight days before appearing to him? To allow time for each of Thomas’ fellow disciples to tell him what they had witnessed. Hearing the same story from each one individually made him more willing to believe, and increased his desire to see the Lord. In order to show that He was invisibly present eight days earlier, when Thomas had expressed disbelief, the Lord does not wait for Thomas to speak. Instead, He straightway proposes exactly what Thomas desired, quoting his very words.

First He rebukes Thomas, saying, Reach hither thy hand; then He admonishes him: and be not faithless, but believing. From this it is clear that Thomas’ doubt was caused by lack of faith, and not because he was careful to verify the facts (as some say, wishing to put him in better light). But as soon as Thomas touched the Lord’s side, he was revealed as a superb theologian, proclaiming the two natures and single hypostasis of the one Christ. Thomas refers to the human nature of Christ, calling Him Lord; for the term “Lord” (Κύριος) is applied not just to God, but to men as well. (Thinking that Jesus was the gardener, Mary Magdalene had said to Him, Sir (Κύριε), if thou have borne Him hence… (v. 15). But when Thomas cries out, …and My God, he confesses Christ’s divine essence, and affirms that the names Lord and God refer to one and the same Person. By declaring blessed those who have not seen, and yet have believed, the Lord teaches us that faith means the acceptance of things not seen. He is referring, first to the disciples who believed without touching His side or the print of the nails, and second to those who would later believe (without any physical confirmation). He is not depriving Thomas of his share of blessedness, but encouraging all who have not seen. There was a common saying, “Blessed are the eyes that have seen the Lord.” Christ, however, praises those who will believe without seeing, declaring them to be truly blessed.

A question arises: how can an incorruptible body display the mark of nails and be touched by human hands? The answer is that such things are possible as part of the divine economia: they are manifestations of God’s condescension and love for man. By entering the room when the doors were shut, Christ makes it absolutely clear that after the resurrection His body is altered: it is now light and subtle, free of all material coarseness. But to confirm that it is indeed their Lord and Master Who has appeared to them, He permits His resurrected body, bearing the wounds of the crucifixion, to be touched. For the same reason, when He walked on the water before the Passion (see Mk. 6:48]), His body was unchanged from when He was walking about on land, and this reassured the disciples. But though He allows His resurrected body to be touched, it is now impassible and incorruptible. When Christ eats now with the disciples, it is no longer to satisfy any physical demands of His body (for there were none). Food once eaten is altered in the stomach and passes out into the drain (see Mt. 15:17). But it was not so with Christ after the resurrection. The food He ate during that time was consumed by an invisible, divine power. His only purpose in eating was to confirm the reality of His resurrection, and He permitted His incorruptible body to bear the mark of nails, and to be handled, for the same reason. Do you see, O reader, how, in order to save one doubting soul, the Lord did not spare His own dignity, but condescended to bare His side? Neither should we despise even the least of our brethren.

30–31. And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His name.

To what other signs is the Evangelist referring? To those that Jesus did after the resurrection, and not those before His crucifixion, as one might suppose. The Evangelist is speaking about the signs which Jesus did in the presence of His disciples only. The miracles before the Passion were performed in the presence of the multitude and revealed Jesus to all as the Son of God. The miracles after the resurrection were performed while He was alone with the disciples during the forty days: their purpose was to convince them that He was still the Son of man, with a human body, albeit one now incorruptible, more Godlike, and no longer subject to the laws of the flesh. Of the many miracles after the resurrection, only these are written. They are not described ostentatiously, to vaunt the glory of the Only-begotten, but simply, as the Evangelist says—that ye might believe. So what is the profit here, and to whom does it accrue? Certainly not to Christ, for what does He gain by our belief? It is we who gain. The Evangelist himself tells us that he wrote so that believing ye might have life through Jesus’ name. When we believe that Jesus rose from dead and lives, we win for ourselves eternal life. He arose, and is alive, for our sake. But whoever imagines that Christ is dead and did not rise from the grave has no life in him. Indeed, by thinking this he confirms and ensures his own eternal death and corruption.

~Hymnography of the Day~
Commemorating the Belief of the Holy Apostle Thomas, St Cosmas Bishop of Chalcedon and his fellow ascetic St Auxentius, St Basil Ratishvili of Georgia, Martyr Victor and his companions of Nicomedia, New Martyr John the New of Epirus, Venerable John disciple of Venerable Gregory of Decapolis, Venerable Euthymius Enlightener of Karelia Finland and the Righteous Anthony and Felix

From the sealed tomb, You shone forth, O Life! Through closed doors You came to Your Disciples, O Christ God. Renew in us, through them, an upright spirit, by the greatness of Your mercy, O Resurrection of all!

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit; now and forever and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Thomas touched Your life-giving side with an eager hand, O Christ God, when You came to Your Apostles through closed doors. He cried out with all: “You are my Lord and my God!”

Instead of “It is Truly Meet…”
The Angel cried to the Lady, full of grace: “Rejoice, O pure Virgin! Again, I say: ‘Rejoice, your Son is risen from His three days in the tomb! With Himself He has raised all the dead.’” Rejoice, O Ye people! Shine, shine, O new Jerusalem! The glory of the Lord has shone on you. Exult now, and be glad, O Zion! Be radiant, O pure Theotokos, in the Resurrection of your Son!
Priest: “Blessed is the Kingdom…” Choir: Amen. Priest: Tropar 2 1/2 times. Choir: Finishes.
Priest: “In the fear of God …”   Choir: “Blessed is He that comes in the Name of the Lord … “
Priest: “O Lord, save Your people …” Choir: “Christ is risen from the dead … “ (slow version)  
Priest: “Always, now and ever …” Choir: “Let our mouths be filled …”
(At the Dismissal, the Priest says: “Glory to You, O Christ….,” and the choir sings “Christ is risen from the dead….” (thrice).
~Scripture Readings of the Day~
Matins: No Matins Epistle: Nicholas Govelovich
Matins Next Week: Nick Ressetar Epistle Next Week: Lincoln Govelovich

EPISTLE: Acts 5: 12-20
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 Acts of the Apostles.
DEACON: Let us attend!
READER: Brothers and Sisters, and through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people. And they were all with one accord in Solomon’s Porch.  Yet none of the rest dared join them, but the people esteemed them highly. And believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, so that they brought the sick out into the streets and laid them on beds and couches, that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might fall on some of them. Also a multitude gathered from the surrounding cities to Jerusalem, bringing sick people and those who were tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all healed. Then the high priest rose up, and all those who were with him (which is the sect of the Sadducees), and they were filled with indignation, and laid their hands on the apostles and put them in the common prison.  But at night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out, and said,  “Go, stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this life.”
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: For the Lord is a great God, and a great King over all the earth.
CHOIR: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

АПОСТОЛ:  Дјела Ап. 5: 12-20

Ђакон:          Пазимо
Свештеник: Мир свима!
Читач:           I Духу Твоме!
Ђакон:           Премудрост
Читач : ПРОКИМЕН- глас 3 Велик је Господ наш и велика је снага Његова и разуму Његовом нема мјере.
Хор: Велик је Господ наш и велика је снага Његова и разуму Његовом нема мјере.
Читач: Хвалите Господа, јер је слатко пјевати Богу нашему, јер Благоме приличи хвала.
Хор: Велик је Господ наш и велика је снага Његова и разуму Његовом нема мјере.
Читач: Велик је Господ наш и велика је снага Његова
Хор: и разуму Његовом нема мјере.
Ђакон: Премудрост
Читач: читање из књиге дјела апостолских
Ђакон: Пазимо
Читач: Браћо, у дане оне, преко апостолских руку збивали су се многи знаци и чудеса у народу; и бијаху сви једнодушно у тријему Соломоновом. Од осталих пак нико не смједе да им се придружи, али их народ хваљаше; И све се више умножаваху они који вјероваху у Господа, мноштво људи и жена, тако да су на улице износили болеснике и полагали на постељама и носилима, да би кад прође Петар бар сјенка његова осјенила кога од њих. А стицаше се и мноштво народа из околних градова у Јерусалим доносећи болесне и од нечистих духова мучене, и сви се исцјељиваху. Али се подиже првосвештеник и сви који бијаху с њим, секта садукејска, и испунише се зависти, и дигоше руке своје на апостоле, и бацише их у општи затвор. А анђео Господњи отвори ноћу врата тамнице, изведе их и рече: Идите и станите у храму па говорите народу све ријечи овога живота.
Свештеник: Мир свима Читачу!
Читач: I Духом Твоме! Алилуиа, Алилуиа, Алилуиа
Хор: Алилуиа, Алилуиа, Алилуиа
Читач: Ходите, запјевајте Господу, покликнимо Богу Спаситељу нашему.
Хор: Алилуиа, Алилуиа, Алилуиа
Читач: Јер је Господ велики Бог, и велики Цар над свом земљом.
Хор: Алилуиа, Алилуиа, Алилуиа
John 20: 19-31

Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.”  When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”  And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.  If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came.  The other disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” So he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!”  Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.

Јован 20: 19-31

А кад би увече онога првога дана седмице, и док су врата била затворена, гдје се бијаху ученици његови сакупили због страха од Јудејаца, дође Исус, и стаде на средину и рече им: Мир вам! И ово рекавши, показа им руке и ребра своја. Тада се ученици обрадоваше видјевши Господа. А Исус им рече опет: Мир вам! Као што је Отац послао мене, и ја шаљем вас. И ово рекавши, дуну и рече им: Примите Дух Свети! Којима опростите гријехе, опраштају им се; и којима задржите, задржани су. А Тома, звани Близанац, један од Дванаесторице, не бјеше са њима када дође Исус. А други му ученици говораху: Видјели смо Господа. А он им рече: Ако не видим на рукама његовим ране од клинова, и не метнем прст свој у ране од клинова, и не метнем руку своју у ребра његова, нећу вјеровати. И послије осам дана опет бијаху унутра ученици његови и Тома с њима. Дође Исус кад бијаху врата затворена, и стаде на средину и рече: Мир вам! Затим рече Томи: Пружи прст свој амо и види руке моје; и пружи руку своју и метни у ребра моја, и не буди невјеран него вјеран. И одговори Тома и рече му: Господ мој и Бог мој! Рече му Исус: Зато што си ме видио, повјеровао си; блажени који не видјеше а вјероваше. А и многа друга знамења учини Исус пред ученицима својим, која нису записана у књизи овој. А ова су записана да вјерујете да Исус јесте Христос, Син Божији, и да вјерујући имате живот у име његово.

~ The Week Ahead: Scriptures and Services ~
May Birthdays
Nicholas Hernjak (May 1), Cody Hewitt (May 2), Jelena Bowser (May 7), Chloe Lewis (May 8), Kaila Chung (May 8), Bobbi Lynn Wenner (May 10), Bella Gilroy (May 10), Meghan Livingston (May 11), Brankica Skinder (May 12), Trenton Petrovich (May 13), Maria Bowers, (May 21), Jelena Lojpur (May 22), Inna Reznitchenko (May 23), Nikki Lewis (May 24), Ryan Spangler (May 25)

May Anniversaries
Michelle & Donald Kingsbury (May 1), Heather & Erik Barber (May 1), Pete & Arlene Barber (May 3), Fr Srboljub & Protinica (May 14), Mike & Carole Radosinovich (May 15), Ben & Jovanka Shaffer (May 15), Rod & Angie Vorkapich (May 20), Sam & Peggy Radanovic (May 25), Nina & Eric Gilroy (May 26), Matt & Pam Healy (May 29), Greg & Haley Book (May 29)
~Bulletin Board~
The Seniors will meet on Tuesday, May 10 at 12 noon in the Church Social Hall Hope to see you there.

If you are not receiving envelopes and wish to, or  receiving envelopes and no longer wish to receive them, or you need to make an address change, please inform the office by May 15!

We have a great pleasure to host our brothers and sisters from our sister parish from Lackawana NY this coming July 6th and 7th. In conjunction with their group of children and parents on July 6th we are organizing a trip to the Sight and Sound theatre in Lancaster to see "David", followed by dinner and fellowship at our church, and the lecture from visiting priest Fr. Vladislav Golić, and on the 7th we will have the Liturgy at 9am and then go to the Hershey Park for the rest of the day. We are inviting everybody to join us, children, parents, grandparents, and friends, just let us know by the end of April, so we can buy the tickets and plan accordingly. For more details and questions please see or call Dn. Bojan. 717-333-6258

Our Annual Church Picnic is Back! And is being held at Serb Park on Sunday, June 5 beginning at 12 noon. If you are willing to help get the word out and distribute fliers around the area, please see Daria. There will also be available fliers in the church lobby (help yourself). And a big Thank You in advance.
119th Church Slava

May Charity
Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC)
St Augustine, FL
The Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC) is the official international mission agency of the Standing Conference of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA) and was created to "establish vibrant Eucharistic communities throughout the world, to develop and support indigenous church leaders, and to strengthen the infrastructure of their churches." OCMC recruits and trains Orthodox missionaries to minister to people in need of spiritual, physical and emotional support. OCMC missionaries are currently serving in Albania, Romania and Tanzania. Orthodox Mission Teams are periodically organized to serve where needed and you may volunteer to participate in this activity. Mission teams have built churches and offered training and services to communities in need. OCMC also operates a Support a Mission Priest (SAMP) program offering financial assistance to priests living in extremely poor areas in more than a dozen countries around the world. Through SAMP donations, priests can tend more fully to the needs of their flock. The donation you make this month will support an Orthodox Christian organization that provides important services and spiritual comfort to many people in Eastern Europe and Africa. Visit the OCMC website at for more information.

The Paschal Greeting
El Messieh kahm! Hakken kahm!
Xris-Tuu-Sax Agla-Gi-Kux! Aga-ngu-lakan Agla-Gi-Kux!
Khrystos uvaskros! Saprawdy uvaskros!
Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen!
Kristus nousi kuolleista! Totisesti nousi!
Le Christ est ressuscité! En vérité, il est ressuscité!
Kristé ardsga! Tchechmaritad ardsga!
Christus ist erstanden! Wahrlich ist Er erstanden!
Christos anesti! Aléthos anesti!
Harisutosu hukkatsu! Jitsu ni hukkatsu!
Christus resurrectus est! Vere resurrectus est!
Massiha uyirthu ezhunettu! Sathyamayum avan uyirthu ezhunettu!
Hristos a-înviat! Adevarat a-înviat!
Hristos váskrse! Vaïstinu váskrse!
Hristos voskrese! Voistinu voskrese!
Cristo ha resucitado! En Verdad, ha resucitado!