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Lenten Meditation for March 28, 2013, Maundy Thursday

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  • ICON Moderators
    March 28, 2013, Maundy Thursday Bible Readings: Evening St. John 7: 45-52, 8: 12-20 Midnight First Qaumo St. Matthew 26: 1 -30 Second Qaumo St. John 6: 24- 40
    Message 1 of 4 , Mar 25, 2013
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      March 28, 2013, Maundy Thursday
      Bible Readings:

      Evening
      St. John 7: 45-52, 8: 12-20

      Midnight
      First Qaumo
      St. Matthew 26: 1 -30
      Second Qaumo
      St. John 6: 24- 40
      Third Qaumo
      St. John 6: 41-63

      Morning
      St. Luke 22: 1-13

      Third Hour (9 a.m.)
      St. John 12: 20-36

      Noon (12 p.m.)
      St. Luke 7 : 36 -50
      St. Mark 14: 1- 2

      Before Holy Qurbana
      Exodus 12: 1-11
      Leviticus 16: 3-10
      Ezekiel 45: 18 �C 25

      Holy Qurbana
      Acts 1: 15-20
      I Corinthians 5 :1 -8 11:23 - 34
      St. Luke 22: 14-30

      Ninth Hour (3 p.m.)
      St. Matthew 26: 31- 35

      For Feet Washing Service
      Exodus 34: 18-26
      II Kings 23: 21 - 25
      Isaiah 50: 4-10
      I Peter 3: 17-22
      Hebrews 10: 19 -29
      St. John 13: 1-20
      ��I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst.�� - St. John 6: 35

      On Holy Thursday we remember four events �C Jesus washing the disciples�� feet (John 13.1-11), the institution of the Lord's Supper (Luke 22.14-20), Jesus' agony in the garden (Luke 22.39-46), and the betrayal by Judas Iscariot (Luke 22.47-54).

      The liturgical celebration of the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday is not merely the annual remembrance of the institution of the sacrament of Holy Communion. On the contrary, it is where humanity made in God's own divine image and likeness, could be in the most intimate communion with Him for eternity, sitting at table with him, eating and drinking in His unending kingdom.

      The Mystical Supper of the Son of God�� which is continually celebrated in the Divine Liturgy of the Christian Church, is the very essence of what life in God's Kingdom will be for eternity. The Eucharist is at the center of the Church's life. It is her most profound prayer and principal activity. It is at one and the same time both the source and the summit of her life. In the Eucharist, the Church manifests her true nature and is continuously changed from a human community into the Body of Christ, the Temple of the Holy Spirit, and the People of God. Our new life in Christ is constantly renewed and increased by the Eucharist. The Eucharist imparts life and the life it gives is the life of God.

      The act of the washing of the feet (John 13:2-17) is closely related to the sacrifice of the Cross. Both reveal aspects of Christ's kenosis. While the Cross constitutes the ultimate manifestation of Christ's perfect obedience to His Father (Philippians 2:5-8), the washing of the feet signifies His intense love and the giving of Himself to each person according to that person's ability to receive Him (John 13:6-9). Jesus establishes a close link between him washing the disciples' feet and the disciples washing the feet of others. If the Eucharist is the place where the Lord washes our feet, daily life is the place where we ought to wash the feet of others. Eucharist leads to life leads to Eucharist. True Eucharist piety must lead to service of others. Jesus who broke the bread of the Eucharist also washed the feet of his disciples. We must follow his example both at the altar of the Eucharist and at the altar of life.

      Prayer:
      Dear God, You feed us with the bread of life and lift for us the cup of salvation, on this night You gave us this holy feast. Our Lord, this night You washed Your disciples' feet: may we follow this example of love and service. All honor and glory, praise and thanksgiving to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and always forever and ever. Amen.

      Courtesy:
      '2013 Lenten Devotionals' published by MGOCSM, Philadelphia
    • ICON Moderators
      March 29, 2013, Good Friday Bible Readings: Evening: St. Luke 22: 1-30 First Qauma: St. Matthew 26: 31-46 Second Qauma: St. Mark 14: 27-52 Third Qauma: St.
      Message 2 of 4 , Mar 26, 2013
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        March 29, 2013, Good Friday
        Bible Readings:
        Evening:
        St. Luke 22: 1-30

        First Qauma:
        St. Matthew 26: 31-46
        Second Qauma:
        St. Mark 14: 27-52
        Third Qauma:
        St. Luke 22: 31-62

        Morning:
        Leviticus 4: 1-7, 16; 3 - 34 Numbers 19: 1-11
        Acts 22: 30-23: 16 -I Corinthians 1: 18-31
        Hebrews 9: 11 -14
        St. Matthew 27: 3 -10
        St. Mark 15: 1-10
        St. Luke 22: 66-71

        Third Hour (9 a.m.):
        St. Matthew 27: 12 - 31
        St. Mark 15: 12 � 18

        Noon (12 p.m.):
        St. Luke 23: 26 -34
        St. Matthew 27:34.
        St. John 19:23-24.
        St. Matthew 27: 36- 37.
        St. Luke 23: 39 -45
        St. John 19: 25- 27

        Ninth Hour (3 p.m.):
        St. Matthew 27: 45-56
        St. Mark 15: 33-41
        St. Luke 23: 44-49
        St. John 19: 23-30

        Veneration of the Holy Cross: Genesis 22: 1-14
        Exodus 17: 8-14
        Isaiah 52: 13-53: 8
        I Peter 2: 19-25
        Galatians 2: 20 - 3: 14, 6: 11-18
        St. Luke 23: 55 - 56
        St. John 19: 31 - 42


        �For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.� - 1 Corinthians 1:18

        This is an astonishing statement made by the Apostle Paul, mostly because out-rightly he makes a divide between those who accept and those who do not accept the message of the cross. For everyone who believes in the message of the cross�which is Christ Crucified as Lord and Savior�it is the power of God; and for those who do not accept�it is utter foolishness. Further he states those who accept are being saved, and those who do not are perishing.

        The cross is the final message of God to the world. That is, all of creation and the whole economy of God was done for this one purpose�to glorify His Son Jesus Christ on the cross. There is nothing more that God can say or do that has not been said at the cross. It is God�s final revelation! And it is exactly, here, at the foot of the cross that we accept and acknowledge Jesus as Lord and Savior. Here, we are called to accept a foolish thing and thereby be saved, or reject and perish. The question is are we perishing or being saved?

        As Christians we have been baptized in the Church and claim that we are being saved, but notice that the Apostle says, being saved. This denotes that it is a process. Are we progressing in our Christian faith and growing in Christ? Or are we satisfied with where we are? The message of the cross calls us to carry our own cross and be Christ followers. (Matthew 10.38) This is what it means when the Apostle says, being saved. If we do not consider these divine biblical principles, then we most likely are ranked among the perishing, regardless of our baptism, church members or family heritage. It is difficult to think that we might be perishing, or to count ourselves among the ranks of those who consider the cross to be foolish. Nevertheless, however difficult it might be, we must make such considerations. Otherwise, we will be complacent in our faith, and risk our salvation and perish, like the majority of the world.

        Prayer:
        O Lord Jesus Christ, help me to be a Christ follower, and not a mere Christian. Lord, I accept the message of the cross, but I am struggling to live that message in my day-to-day life. Lord, I stand in your presence knowing that I too might be perishing like the unbeliever, and I ask that you have mercy on my soul. Accept me as your sheep on the day of judgment. Amen.

        Courtesy:
        '2013 Lenten Devotionals' published by MGOCSM, Philadelphia
      • ICON Moderators
        March 30, 2013, Holy Saturday Bible Readings: Evening: St.Matthew 27: 61 St. Luke 23: 50-24: 12 St. John 19: 31-42 Morning: St. Matthew 27:62-66 Before Holy
        Message 3 of 4 , Mar 26, 2013
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          March 30, 2013, Holy Saturday

          Bible Readings:
          Evening:
          St.Matthew 27: 61
          St. Luke 23: 50-24: 12
          St. John 19: 31-42

          Morning:
          St. Matthew 27:62-66

          Before Holy Qurbana:
          Genesis 8: 1-12
          Zechariah 12: 11-13: 7
          Jeremiah 38: 2-13
          Micah 7: 8 -13

          Holy Qurbana:
          I Peter 3: 13 -22
          Romans 6: 1-14
          St. Matthew 27: 62 - 66

          Shub-khono:
          I John 4: 11-21
          I Corinthians 13: 4-10
          St. Matthew 18: 12- 35

          �We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order hat, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.� - Romans 6:4

          It is difficult to comprehend that death could produce new life, yet that is exactly what is rendered through Jesus Christ�s death on the cross. How does Jesus Christ�s death enable us to live a new life? HOPE. We do not live in sorrow like those who are ignorant concerning those who have fallen asleep (1 Thess. 4:13) but we live with a hope that we are not destined for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him (1 Thess. 5:9). One cannot say, We only live once to justify sinful actions because such a mindset is a direct contradiction to the promise of eternal life. St. Paul instructs that since our old man was crucified with Him we are to walk in the newness of life. The old man was a slave to the household of sin, while the new man is a slave in the House of God. God, our heavenly Master, does not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness (1 Thess. 4:7). It is our Master�s will that we live a new life setting apart our lives for the glory of God.

          During Great Lent we are called to confess our sins and reorient our lives toward Christ. One of our goals during this Lenten journey should be to recover our experience and vows made at Baptism. Fr. Alexander Schmemann wrote that the fundamental connection between Pascha (death and resurrection of Christ) and Baptism is the totality of the Christian faith. Through Baptism we have put to death the old man and have been transformed, given a new direction and purpose in life � a new life. Baptism is not just the beginning of a new life in the Church, but it is the end of an old life not centered on Christ. Through Baptism, we have been crucified with Christ and if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him (Rom. 6:8). The hope of eternal life will renew our strength and help us to live a steadfast life in Christ.

          Prayer:

          God, O most heavenly Father, I thank You for sending Your only Son to die for me on the cross. I have set my hope on You, O Lord! Deliver me from the temptation of the Evil One who tempts me and actively persuades me to return to my old and sinful life. Send, O Lord, Your Holy Spirit upon me, to keep me on the path of righteousness and salvation. Lord, I am not worthy to be called Your Son. Purify me in order that my thoughts, words and deeds may be pleasing unto You. I pray this in the company of all Your heavenly angels and saints who adore and glorify You eternally. In Your name I pray. Amen.

          Courtesy:
          '2013 Lenten Devotionals' published by MGOCSM, Philadelphia
        • ICON Moderators
          March 31, 2013, Easter Sunday Bible Readings: Evening: St. Mark 16: 1-8 Midnight: St. Luke 24: 1-12 Morning: St. John 20: 1-18 Celebration of the Holy Cross
          Message 4 of 4 , Mar 26, 2013
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            March 31, 2013, Easter Sunday

            Bible Readings:

            Evening:
            St. Mark 16: 1-8

            Midnight:
            St. Luke 24: 1-12

            Morning:
            St. John 20: 1-18

            Celebration of the Holy Cross
            Isaiah 60: 17-22
            I Peter 5: 5-14
            Romans 16: 1-16
            St. John 14: 27, 15: 11-15, 17-19

            Before Holy Qurbana:
            Leviticus 23: 26-32
            Isaiah 60: 1-7, 11-16, 61:10-62:5

            Holy Qurbana:
            Acts 2: 22-36
            I Corinthians 15: 1-19
            St. Matthew 28: 1-20

            ��Do not be amazed; you seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen.�� - St. Mark 16: 6

            Today we read from the prophecy of Isaiah �DArise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you�� (Isaiah 60:1). Christ is Risen! His rising brings life to the dead, forgiveness to sinners, glory to the saints and light to the world. And so David the prophet summons all creation to join in celebrating the Feast of Resurrection: This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad (Psalm 118:24).

            St. John Chrysostom says You that have kept the fast, and you that have not, rejoice today for the Table is richly laden! Feast royally on it, the calf is a fatted one. Let no one go away hungry. Partake, all, of the cup of faith. Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated! Christ is Risen, and the evil ones are cast down! Christ is Risen, and the angels rejoice! Christ is Risen, and life is liberated! Christ is Risen, and the tomb is emptied of its dead; for Christ having risen from the dead, is become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. To Him be Glory and Power forever and ever. Amen!

            Today is the day of Resurrection: Christ Jesus rose from the dead! Death is not the end. It is only the door to the beyond. Let us not allow the resurrection of Jesus to have to fight for room in our lives, let Christ��s death and resurrection be the center of our lives. The light of Christ has shone in the world scattering darkness forever. This is the greatest celebration of the Church. This day is the most blessed of all as we hear in the Easter Proclamation. Jesus�� resurrection reminds us that there is life beyond the grave.

            The resurrection of Jesus Christ is full affirmation of the love of God��the One who promises to make all things new (Revelation 21:5). The resurrection of Christ shouts to every dark place in the world that brokenness, disappointment, failure, heartbreak, lack of meaning, isolation, absence of hope and death, are not the final words. The final word is the love of God. The gift of Qyomtho [is] a second, third, or infinite number of opportunities to start all over again.

            Like the apostles at the shore that Sunday morning, the Risen Christ feeds us, loves and cares for us, and then calls us to follow him. If you love Christ, then show His love. Tend and care for His creation. Show others that He is risen in love and in new life. And in doing so, you will experience the Risen Christ in your life. Christos anesti �C Christ is risen! Al ithos anesti �C He is risen indeed!

            M��sabrinan ikoom, qom Moran men qabro!

            Prayer:
            Lord, You are the Good Shepherd who laid down His life for His sheep and who deigned to die for His flock. Lord, You triumphed over death and destroyed the power of death in me, may I live only for You. I offer praise and thanksgiving to You, Your Father and the Holy Spirit, now and always forever and ever. Amen!

            Courtesy:
            '2013 Lenten Devotionals' published by MGOCSM, Philadelphia
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