Tuesday, September 17, 2019 UTC

JULY 13 & 14: SUNDAY OF THE FATHERS OF THE SIX ECUMENICAL COUNCILS & 5TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST

orthodoxy-icon-feeding-5000JULY 14: VIGIL DIVINE LITURGY – 4:00 PM; JULY 15: DIVINE LITURGY – 10:30 AM.

The first Gospel Reading for this Sunday is from Matthew 8:28 – 9:3 in which Jesus Restores Two Demon-Possessed Men & cast the demons into the Pigs. In this reading Jesus is now in His public ministry and encountered humans who are “demon-possessed”, because the demons took control of their faculties and tormented and twisted their lives out of control. But when Jesus came to their area, He brought deliverance for them from the powers of darkness. During the confrontation, the demons begged Jesus to send them into a herd of pigs that was nearby. These powerful evil spirits are in a panic, afraid of Christ, worried their days are coming to an end, knowing that a judgment is appointed for them. The news quickly spread to the town about what happened, but the amazing thing is that when they saw Jesus they pleaded with Him to leave their region. Why would they not welcome Him? Perhaps they thought only of their loss of the pigs. Or, perhaps they were more afraid for themselves, for this was no ordinary prophet in their midst, but one who judges and casts out evil. We do not know, as we do not understand why some believe and accept Jesus and some do not. So this Gospel record is one in which though Christ leaves when asked, He is always willing to help those who receive and asks for them to spread “the Good News.”

The 2nd Gospel Reading is John 17:1-13, Jesus Prays for Himself and for His Disciples, in which “through Jesus’ resurrection and ascension He returns to the heavenly glory that God prepared for him in love, and Jesus prays that his followers will one day join him in the Father’s presence to share in this glory and love.”