Weekly Diocesan Bulletin - Sunday, October 2, 2016

Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost: Sunday after the Exaltation of the Life-giving Cross; The Holy Martyrs Trophimus, Sabbatius, and Dorymedon

RESURRECTIONAL TROPARION - TONE SIX: The angelic powers were at Thy tomb; the guards became as dead men.  Mary stood by Thy grave, seeking Thy most pure Body.  Thou didst capture hell, not being tempted by it.  Thou didst come to the Virgin, granting life.  O Lord who rose from the dead: Glory to Thee!

THE LIFE-GIVING CROSS TROPARION - TONE ONE: O Lord, save Your people, and bless Your inheritance. Grant victory to the Orthodox Christians over their adversaries; and by virtue of Your Cross, preserve Your habitation.

RESURRECTIONAL KONTAKION - TONE SIX: When Christ God, the Giver of Life, raised all of the dead from the valleys of misery with His mighty hand, He bestowed resurrection on the human race. He is the Savior of all, the Resurrection, the Life, and God of all.

THE LIFE-GIVING CROSS KONTAKION - TONE FOUR: As You were voluntarily crucified for our sake, grant mercy to those who are called by Your name, O Christ God.  Gladden all Orthodox Christians by Your power, granting them victory over their adversaries; and may they have as Your help the weapon of peace, the invincible trophy.

HYMN TO THE THEOTOKOS (REPLACES "IT IS TRULY MEET"): Magnify, O my soul, the most precious Cross of the Lord.  You are the mystical Paradise, O Theotokos, in which Christ blossomed; through Him the life-bearing wood of the Cross was   planted on earth. Now at its Elevation, as we bow in worship before it, we magnify you.


The Prokimenon in the 6th Tone:
O Lord, save Your people and bless Your inheritance.

Sunday after the Exaltation of the Cross: Galatians 2: 16-20 - Brethren, knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified. But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is Christ therefore a minister of sin? Certainly not! For if I build again those things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost: 2 Corinthians 4: 6-15 
Brethren, for it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.  But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.  We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed - always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.  For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.  So then death is working in us, but life in you.  And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak, knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you.  For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.

The Alleluia Verses:
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the heavenly God.  He will say to the Lord: “My Protector and my Refuge; my God, in whom I trust.”


 Sunday after the Exaltation of the Cross:
Mark 8: 34 – 9: 1

At that time, when Jesus had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, "Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For  whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels." And He said to them, "Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power."

Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost: Matthew 22: 35-46 
At that time, a certain lawyer asked Jesus a question, testing Him, and saying, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”  Jesus said to him, “’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’  This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’  On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”  While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, saying, “What do you think about the Christ?  Whose Son is He?”  They said to Him, “The Son of David.”  He said to them, “How then does David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord,’ saying, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool.”’  If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his Son?”  And no one was able to answer Him a word, nor from that day on, did anyone dare question Him anymore.

From The Prologue

September 19/October 2 by St. Nikolai Velimirovic:
The Holy Martyrs Trophimus, Sabbatius and Dorymedon
In the third century, during the reign of Emperor Probus, when Atticus was governing Antioch, two Christians, Trophimus and Sabbatius, both eminent and honorable citizens, came to that city. They arrived just as a pagan festival and sacrificial offerings to the idol of Apollo were taking place at nearby Daphne. Atticus made every effort to ensure that all citizens took part in this festivity. When someone noticed that Trophimus and Sabbatius were not participating in the festivity, he told Atticus. Atticus brought them to trial, and when they refused to renounce Christ he subjected them to tortures, one after the other. After he beat and tortured Trophimus, Atticus sent him to Phrygia to Dionysius, an even crueler torturer of Christians. Then Atticus took Sabbatius from prison and began to try him. When the torturer asked Sabbatius who he was and what his rank was, he replied: “My rank and dignity and homeland and glory and wealth is Christ, the Son of God, Who lives forever, and by Whose providence the universe exists and is governed.” For that, he was beaten and torn and scraped with an iron implement until the bones showed through beneath his flesh. Under these tortures he reposed. In Phrygia, the torturer Dionysius subjected Trophimus to great torture, then kept him in prison for even greater tortures. A certain senator Dorymedon, a secret Christian, came to the prison and ministered to Trophimus. When the torturer learned of this, he began to torture both of them in the same way, and finally threw them to the wild beasts, but the wild beasts did not touch them. Holy Dorymedon even shouted at the she-bear, pulling her ears so that she would tear him apart, but in spite of all that, the bear became gentler. In the end, the torturer ordered that Saints Trophimus and Dorymedon be beheaded with the sword. The souls of both of these holy martyrs now reign in heaven.

The Holy Martyr Zosimas the Hermit
Dometian, a Sicilian prince, went hunting in the mountains with his servants. There he saw an old man surrounded by wild beasts as tame as lambs. Asked who and what he was, the elder replied that his name was Zosimas, that he was a Christian, and that he had lived long among the wild beasts, who were better than those who lived in the city and torturered Christians. This offended Dometian, who was himself a cruel persecutor of Christians. He chained Zosimas and sent him ahead to Nazareth, as he especially wanted to torture him there, to intimidate those who believed in Christ. When Dometian had wounded and bloodied Zosimas with blows, he tied a stone around his neck and suspended him from a tree. Then the prince mocked him, saying: “Command that a wild beast come forth so that we may all believe!” The holy martyr prayed to God, and, indeed, an enormous lion appeared, drew near to Zosimas, and placed his head under the stone to alleviate the martyr’s suffering. In great fear, the prince freed Zosimas, but the latter soon rendered his spirit into the hands of his Lord.

Saint Theodore, Prince of Yaroslavl

Theodore was a righteous and merciful man. He received the great schema before his repose, and entered into rest in the year 1298.

HYMN OF PRAISE: The Holy Martyr Zosimas the Hermit

To the arid wilderness, far from men,
Early in life, St. Zosimas had fled.

In solitude he conversed with God,
And spent his life in many labors—
In prayer, fasting, all-night vigils,
And in salvific contemplation of God.

He was like an angel in vigil, like a giant in faith.

Even the beasts sensed his innocence.

The beasts, despisers of cruel men, loved the saint,
And obeyed him as children obey their father.

The merciful saint tamed them with mercy,
And the beasts responded with goodness to goodness,
Since beasts remember goodness, and repay it in kind,
With gratitude to their benefactors.

Persecuted by men, but dear to the beasts,
Among the beasts Zosimas took up his habitation.

But the beastly men discovered his home
And killed his body by cruel torture.

Now St. Zosimas rejoices in heaven;
In Paradise, he exults with the saints.

He prays for us, that we may overcome our hardships
And rejoice with him in Paradise.


Even the dead sense and know the good deeds that are performed for them. Christians need not have any doubt in this. A good deed spreads through the heavenly world like an electrical current. An imperial clerk, Magistrian, was sent by the emperor on an important errand. Along the way, Magistrian saw a poor dead man, completely naked. He was moved with pity, removed his shirt, dressed the dead man, and buried him honorably. After a while, Magistrian had an unfortunate accident: he fell from his horse and broke his leg, and lay sick in bed for a long time. On one occasion, several doctors gathered around him to take counsel concerning his illness. The doctors agreed that his leg would have to be amputated. That night Magistrian could not sleep, but grieved and wept. At midnight a man suddenly appeared in his room and asked him: “Why are you weeping?” When Magistrian explained his condition, the unknown man then rubbed the infected leg with his hand and the leg was healed. “For God’s sake, tell me—who are you?” asked Magistrian. The unknown man replied: “Look at me, and see, is not this your shirt? I am he whom you saw naked and dead, and whom you dressed in this shirt. And behold, for your good deed God has sent me to heal you. Give thanks to God!”


Contemplate the sin of King Asa, and God’s punishment on him (II Chronicles 16):

1. How Asa, frightened of a neighboring king, took God’s gold out of the Temple in order to buy an alliance with the King of Syria;

2. How the Syrian king took the gold, but betrayed him;

3. How God allowed a grave illness to befall Asa.

on the sorrow of Christ

Now is My soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save Me from this hour? But for this cause came I unto this hour (John 12:27).

Nothing more real came into this earthly world than the Lord Jesus Christ—nothing more real as God, and nothing more real as man. In truth, besides Jesus Christ, this whole world is like a mirage. Neither earth, nor water, nor air, nor light even comes close to His reality. Behold, all of this will pass, but He will remain. Indeed, He is the cornerstone of the eternal, intransitory world; and only He, and those who cling to Him, will have a part in that eternal, intransitory reality. The stormy but helpless waves of time have furiously assaulted, and continue assaulting, the reality of Christ’s divinity and even His humanity. As much effort was needed for Christians to open the eyes of the pagans and to prove the divinity of Christ, as was needed to open the eyes of the heretics to prove His humanity. The omniscient Holy Spirit foresaw this, and, through the Evangelists, prepared the weapons for Christian warriors. Now is My soul troubled. Would the Lord feel sorrow if He were not a true man, subject to all the weaknesses of the physical nature except sin? And He would feel not only sorrow, but also fear: Father, save Me from this hour! This is said by weak human nature which fears death (for this is about death). However, His human nature was not sinful, but sinless, for our Lord immediately adds: But for this cause came I unto this hour. Do you see how important the death of Christ is? By it we are redeemed, and by it we are saved. Therefore, let no one stop at the teachings of Christ; rather, let him take himself to Golgotha, and observe with horror the bloody sacrifice on the Cross that was offered for our sins—for our salvation from the foul jaws of the serpent of the netherworld.

O Lord Jesus Christ, Who suffered for our sake and for the sake of our salvation—have mercy on us, again and again.

To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.

Source: Western American Diocese