Tuesday, October 16, 2018 UTC

SEPT 1 & 2: BEGINNING OF THE CHURCH YEAR; COMMEMORATION OF SIMEON – VENERABLE; & 15TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST

jesus-teaching SEPT 1: VIGIL DIVINE LITURGY – 4:00 PM (SN); SEPT 2: DIVINE LITURGY (SCM) – 10:00 AM.

Among the ancient Mediterranean cultures, it was common to begin a new year in the autumn, with the end of the previous year’s harvest. From at least the time of the Emperor Constantine, the civil year of the Byzantine (Eastern Roman) Empire began in September, and September 1 became the first day of the Church’s year as well. On this day, the Church’s readings from the Old and New Testament announce “a year of grace of the Lord”, and encourage Christians to pray for the needs of all. In the Troparion of the New Year, we sing: “O Lord, maker of the universe, who alone has power over times and seasons, bless this year with your bounty, preserve our country in peace, and keep your people in peace.”

Also, on September 1st, we commemorate Simeon, Venerable. Saint Simeon Stylitesalso called Simeon The Elder was a Syrian monk who was the first known stylite or pillar hermit. He was called Simeon the Elder to distinguish him from a 6th-century stylite also named Simeon.

Sunday’s Gospel Reading is Matthew 22:35-46, The Greatest Commandment, in which Jesus answers a question from a lawyer about what is the greatest commandment. Jesus teaches us that we should not love God partially, but we must give all of ourselves to God.  This is the first and greatest commandment. While the second is to love thy neighbor. For he who loves his neighbor fulfills all the commandments, and he who fulfills all the commandments, loves God.  The Pharisees, like many of us today, argue over the details of the law and lose sight of their greater meaning!  As a result we, like them, find ourselves unable to answer before God when we’re selfish and self-centered.  God’s grace is provided to us in our humility.