Friday, April 10, 2020 UTC

MAR 1, 4 & 6: 1ST SUNDAY OF THE GREAT FAST – SUNDAY OF ORTHODOXY & COMMEMORATION OF THE 42 MARTYRS OF AMMORIUM (MAR 6)

sunday_of_orthodoxy01 MAR 1: CONFESSION – 08:45 AM, 3RD HOUR – 09:40 AM, DIVINE LITURGY (SCM) – 10:00 AM, MARCH 4: CONFESSION – 4:30 – 5:30 PM, PRE-SANCTIFIED LITURGY – 6:00 PM, LENTEN POTLUCK TO FOLLOW; MARCH 6: CONFESSION – 4:30 – 5:30 PM,PRE -SANCTIFIED LITURGY – 6:00 PM.

Today’s Gospel is John 1: 43-51 in which Jesus Calls Philip and Nathaniel.  The Gospel today teaches us a simple way to our Christian life. We look at the calling of Nathaniel and the simple way he was told to approach his doubts; this applies to every doubt and difficulty in our life. We must heed the words of Philip, “Come and see!” For with the fullness of God in our hearts the Lord seeks out each of us, telling us to follow Him. This is a process that must be cultivated, and if we do, the “greater things” that Jesus promised to Nathaniel will be ours as well. On Saturday we remember the miracle of St Theodore and the boiled wheat.

The first Sunday of the Great Fast is called the “Sunday of Orthodoxy” or the “Sunday of the Triumph of the Holy Images,” wherein the Byzantine East commemorates “the restoration of icons, which had been banned for several decades, to their rightful liturgical use.” The English word “Orthodoxy” finds its root in the Greek word “ortodoxia” (or “thos” which means right and “doksa” which means praising) which signifies the true faith and the true worship of God. The “Orthodoxy” we celebrate on the first Sunday of the Great Fast is the universal-catholic orthodoxy, professed by the entire Church of Christ of the first eleven centuries in the battle against the heresy of Iconoclasm. (“breakers of icons”). The Council of Constantinople in the year 842 designated the first Sunday of Great Lent as the Triumph of Orthodoxy and decreed that it be celebrated yearly.

On March 6th, we commemorate the 42 Martyrs of Ammorium. The 42 Martyrs was a group of Byzantine senior officials who were taken prisoner by the Abbasid Caliphate in the Sack of Amorium in 838. They were executed in 845, after refusing to convert to Islam.