Sunday, November 19, 2017 UTC

MARCH 25 & 26: 4TH SUNDAY OF THE GREAT FAST – JOHN CLIMACUS VENERABLE & SYNAXIS OF THE ARCHANGEL GABRIEL

11E41MARCH 25 – VIGIL DIVINE LITURGY: 4:00 PM; MARCH 26 – MATINS: 7:00 AM, DIVINE LITURGY: 10:00 AM; SPANISH LITURGY: 1:00 PM.

The Gospel Reading today, Mark 9: 17-31, is The Healing of a Boy from a Deaf and Dumb Spirit. Jesus Christ rebukes the deaf and dumb spirit and it leaves the boy so he is restored to health. How often in life are we influenced by such a demonic spirit that leaves us deaf at times when we should speak and dumb at times when we need to hear? We are given situations in which we can speak up for what is true and right, and instead we allow the dumb spirit to come upon us and we remain silent in the moment when our voice might make difference.  We could speak up for those who cannot defend themselves, or are oppressed, weak and vulnerable, but instead we become possessed with that demonic silence. We are overwhelmed with noise – constant talk shows, broadcast media, podcasts, and advertisements.  Yet when it matters and our words might uphold what is good, true, beautiful and just – then we let ourselves become possessed by the demon of dumbness. What can you do to change that?

On the Fourth Sunday of the Great Fast the Church commemorates our Righteous Father John Climacus. He is called Climacus due to his authorship of the great spiritual work “The Ladder of Divine Ascent,” in which he indicates a ladder, or succession of virtues which lead us up to the Throne of God. His commemoration is designated by the Church on one of the Sundays of Lent as his life and writings affirm him as a supreme bearer and proponent of Christian abstinence.

We also commemorate the Archangel Gabriel the day after the Feast of the Annunciation in which the Archangel Gabriel announced to the Virgin Mary that she would become the Theotokos (God-bearer).

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