Tuesday, November 12, 2019 UTC

NOV 16 & 17: 23RD SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST & COMMEMORATION OF MATTHEW APOSTLE – EVANGELIST

NOV 16: CONFESSION – 3:00 PM, VESPERAL DIVINE LITURGY – 4:00 PM; NOV 17: 3RD HOUR – 09:40 AM, DIVINE LITURGY – 10:00 AM (1ST ADVENT CANDLE LIT, ADVENT CHAINS).

The Gospel Reading this Sunday comes from Luke 12: 16-21 about a Certain Rich Man. We are taught – thoughts that exclude God; thoughts so centered in self, in self-ambition and self-enjoyment, leave God out.  This kind of person is laying up treasure for himself, “and is not rich toward God.” To be rich toward God means – whatever you have, or do not have . . . you do have God in your life, with all the attending blessings of fellowship with Him, through Jesus Christ. Whether you have worldly success or financial ease or not – you can be rich toward God.

We commemorate on November 16th, The Holy Apostle and Evangelist Matthew, who was also named Levi and was one of the Twelve Apostles and was brother of the Apostle James Alphaeus. He was a publican, or tax-collector for Rome, in a time when the Jews were under the rule of the Roman Empire. When Matthew heard the voice of Jesus Christ: “Come, follow Me”, left everything and followed the Savior. Christ and His disciples did not refuse Matthew’s invitation and they visited his house, where they shared table with the publican’s friends and acquaintances. Matthew, acknowledging his sinfulness, repaid 4-fold anyone he had cheated, and distributed his remaining possessions to the poor, and followed after Christ with the other apostles. He was attentive to the instructions of Jesus, beheld His innumerable miracles, & went with the Twelve Apostles to preach. He was a witness to the suffering, death, and Resurrection of the Savior, and His glorious Ascension into Heaven. Having received the grace of the Holy Spirit, which descended upon the Apostles on the day of Pentecost, St Matthew preached in Palestine for several years. At the request of the Jewish converts at Jerusalem, the holy Apostle Matthew wrote his Gospel describing the earthly life of the Savior, before leaving to preach the Gospel in faraway lands. In the order of the books of the New Testament, the Gospel of Matthew comes first. .