Fourth Sunday of Lent -
Sunday of St. John of the Ladder

March 29, 2020

Dear parishioners,

When we began the Great and Holy Lent, we did not expect that a pandemic would deprive us of the Holy Sacraments and the divine services. We have no choice but to rise to this unique challenge as citizens of this great country and as Christians. We all miss the Church and our gatherings together for worship and social activities, but we have to follow the guidance and recommendations of our Diocese and the state and city authorities, prohibiting more than 10 faithful in the Church at one-given time.

“We must see the goodness of God in all the things that are happening now. Thus, there is no room for morbid dismay. Neither should we resist the measures that the government is taking in order to diminish the spreading of the afflictions we see in the lives of so many people.

Nothing can harm us, we must simply be patient for a certain period of time and God will see our patience, take away every obstacle, every temptation and we shall again see the dawn of joyful days, and we shall celebrate our common hope and love that we have in Christ Jesus,” wrote Archmandrit Father Zacharias recently.

Also, let us be mindful and pray for those who are under the threat of this virus - those who are suffering and those who are recovering. Let us pray for the health and safety of the brave nurses, doctors and researchers on the front lines.

  Let this also be a time to rediscover and reexamine our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the time to make our home a place of prayer, as Saint Paul tells us that the home is a “small church.” In a time like this, he gives us the following advice: “Be alert, stand firm in the faith, be brave and be strong. Let everything you do be done in love. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you! My love be with you all in Christ Jesus” (1 Corinthians 16: 13, 23-24). Faith, Hope and Love are the three greatest Christian virtues and they are the essence of our Christian living. Let us keep them and practice them.

To keep connected, I am sending the Gospel reading of the Fourth Sunday of Lent – -Sunday of St. John of the Ladder (Climacus), Sermon on the Gospel of St. Mark, Chapter 9, 17-31, and a “Prayer for Protection Against a Pandemic.”

 

May God bless us all and keep us safe and healthy.

 

Your fervent intercessor before Christ the Lord, 

Father Branko

 

***

FOURTH SUNDAY OF LENT - ST. JOHN OF THE LADDER

 

Dear parishioners,

When we began the Great and Holy Lent, we did not expect that a pandemic would deprive us of the Holy Sacraments and the divine services. We have no choice but to rise to this unique challenge as citizens of this great country and as Christians. We all miss the Church and our gatherings together for worship and social activities, but we have to follow the guidance and recommendations of our Diocese and the state and city authorities, prohibiting more than 10 faithful in the Church at one-given time.

“We must see the goodness of God in all the things that are happening now. Thus, there is no room for morbid dismay. Neither should we resist the measures that the government is taking in order to diminish the spreading of the afflictions we see in the lives of so many people.

Nothing can harm us, we must simply be patient for a certain period of time and God will see our patience, take away every obstacle, every temptation and we shall again see the dawn of joyful days, and we shall celebrate our common hope and love that we have in Christ Jesus,” wrote Archmandrit Father Zacharias recently.

Also, let us be mindful and pray for those who are under the threat of this virus - those who are suffering and those who are recovering. Let us pray for the health and safety of the brave nurses, doctors and researchers on the front lines.

  Let this also be a time to rediscover and reexamine our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the time to make our home a place of prayer, as Saint Paul tells us that the home is a “small church.” In a time like this, he gives us the following advice: “Be alert, stand firm in the faith, be brave and be strong. Let everything you do be done in love. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you! My love be with you all in Christ Jesus” (1 Corinthians 16: 13, 23-24). Faith, Hope and Love are the three greatest Christian virtues and they are the essence of our Christian living. Let us keep them and practice them.

To keep connected, I am sending the Gospel reading of the Fourth Sunday of Lent – -Sunday of St. John of the Ladder (Climacus), Sermon on the Gospel of St. Mark, Chapter 9, 17-31, and a “Prayer for Protection Against a Pandemic.”

 

May God bless us all and keep us safe and healthy.

 

Your fervent intercessor before Christ the Lord, 

Father Branko

 

***

FOURTH SUNDAY OF LENT - ST. JOHN OF THE LADDER

 

GOSPEL READING: Mark 9:17–31 17

 

A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. 18 Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.” 19 “You unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.” 20 So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth. 21 Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?” “From childhood,” he answered. 22 “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” 23 “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” 24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

 

25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the impure spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” 26 The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, “He’s dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up. 28 After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” 29 He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer.” 30 They left that place and passed through Galilee. Jesus did not want anyone to know where they were, 31 because he was teaching his disciples. He said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise.”

 

***

ЧЕТВРТА НЕДЕЛА НА ВЕЛИКИОТ ПОСТ –
 
Свети Јован Лествичник ЕВАНГЕЛИЕ: Марко 9, 17-31 17.
 
Тогаш еден од народот одговори и рече: „Учителе, го доведов при Тебе сина ми, во кого има нем дух; 18. и секогаш, каде и да го фати, го кутнува, и тој се запенува, и крцка со забите, и се здрвува. И им кажав на учениците Твои да го изгонат, но тие не можеа.” 19. А Исус одговори и рече: „О, роде неверен, до кога ќе бидам со вас? До кога ќе ве трпам? Доведете го при Мене!” 20. И кога го доведоа кај Него – штом го виде, веднаш духот го стресе; и тој падна наземи и се валкаше запенет. 21. Го праша Исус татка му: „Колку време има откако станува тоа со него?” Тој одговори: „Од детинство; 22. и многупати духот го фрлал во оган, и во вода, за да го погуби; но, ако можеш, смили се над нас и помогни ни!” 23. А Исус му рече: „Ако можеш да поверуваш? Сè е можно за оној што верува!” 24. И одеднаш таткото на момчето извика и со солзи рече: „Верувам, Господи, помогни му на моето неверие!” 25. А Исус, штом виде дека се собра многу народ, му забрани на нечистиот дух и му рече „Дух нем и глув, Јас ти заповедам: излези од него, и не влегувај веќе во него!” 26. И кога извика, силно го стресе и излезе; а момчето беше како мртво – така што мнозина велеа дека умрело. 27. Исус, пак, откако го фати за рака, го исправи; и тоа стана. 28. И кога влезе Исус во една куќа, учениците Негови Го прашаа насамо: „Зошто ние не можевме да го истераме?” 29. Им одговори: „Тој род си ништо не може да се истера, освен со молитва и пост.” 30. И кога излегоа оттаму, минеа преку Галилеја; и Он не сакаше некој да разбере. 31. Оти ги учеше учениците Свои и им велеше дека Синот Човечки ќе биде предаден во човечки раце, и ќе Го убијат, и на третиот ден по убивањето ќе воскресне.
 
St. George Macedonian Orthodox Church

(315) 487-1265

father.branko@gmail.com

5083 Onondaga Road

Syracuse, New York 13215

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