May 24, 2020
Sunday of the Blind Man
Today is the Sunday of the Blind Man. Though the Gospel account of the healing of the blind man touches many subjects, there is but one theme: Christ is the divine Light which illuminates the hearts of those who behold Him in faith. Despite the intimidation of the authorities, despite the confusion of the people who know him, despite the fear of his parents, the blind man given sight refuses to deny what he knows is the truth: Jesus has given him sight, has healed the affliction he has born from birth, and one who does such good is from God. To deny his healer is to deny the truth, and he prefers persecution and rejection to that denial. More than his eyes have been opened; his heart has been opened to true and eternal Light. As were the Israelites cast into the dark despair of his fear, as are we all blinded by the frustration of sin and of our weakness, so this man was trapped by his closed eyes; and, as may all be, he was freed by the coming of the Messiah. In faith we open our eyes to the radiant glory of our Lord and King.
Acts 16:16-34: In our reading from Acts we see Paul and Silas imprisoned unjustly; but the Lord uses the circumstances to bring the jailer to Himself by means of a dramatic rescue.
John 9:1-38: After Jesus heals a man born blind, we see the hypocrisy and unbelief of the Pharisees as they seek to learn how the man came to see. After being put out of the temple, the formerly blind man again encounters Jesus, whom he worships as his savior.
Troparion of the Resurrection: Let us believers praise and worship the Word, co-eternal with the Father and the Spirit, born of the Virgin for our salvation; for he took pleasure in ascending the Cross in the flesh, to suffer death, and to raise the dead by his glorious Resurrection.
Troparion of the Chains of St. Peter: O Holy Apostle, Peter, thou dost preside over the Apostles by the precious chains which thou didst bear. We venerate them with faith and beseech thee that by thine intercessions we be granted the great mercy.
Kontakion of Pascha: When Thou didst descend into the grave, O Immortal, Thou didst destroy the power of Hades. In victory didst Thou arise, O Christ God, proclaiming Rejoice to the myrrh-bearing women, granting peace to Thine apostles and bestowing resurrection on the fallen.
UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE: All services listed on the calendar will be available through streaming and webcast.
9:00 a.m. — Orthros (webcast)
10:00 a.m. — Divine Liturgy (webcast)
Monday, May 25 (The Forerunner – 3rd Discovery)
Father John’s Day Off
Wednesday, May 27 (Leave-taking of Pascha)
6:00 p.m. –Orthros followed by Divine Liturgy
Thursday, May 28 (Feast of Ascension)
The fortieth day after Easter is the day of the Ascension, the liturgical end to the celebration of the Resurrection and the opening of the season observing the glory of the Messiah. This is a day too often associated with the sadness of departure; yet this day brought great joy to the Disciples. They saw not the departure of one dear to them, but the glorious entry of their King to His heavenly throne. They saw not the loss of their Intercessor, but the Father accepting the eternal sacrifice and blessing the completion of man’s salvation. They saw not their separation from Christ but their assumption with Him into glory through the Incarnation. They saw not the removal of the blessed One but the promise from Him of further blessings. This day is another step in our procession into eternity, a remembrance of heavenly things, a reminder that the essence of our lives is the heavenly, a refreshing of the image of our God in all His glory.
6:00 p.m. — Great Vespers (No Ninth Hour Prayers)
Sunday, May 31 (Sunday of the Holy Fathers of the 1st Ecumenical Council)
9:00 a.m. — Orthros (webcast)
10:00 a.m. — Divine Liturgy (webcast)
Eucharist Bread …was offered by the Daniel Roots for the Divine Liturgy this morning.
Please remember that the schedule for prosphora is still in place as we will continue to serve the Divine Liturgy. Also, please remember that we still need your tithes and offerings which should be sent to: St. Peter Orthodox Church, P.O. Box 2084, Madison, MS 39130-2084. If you need Father John for anything, do not hesitate to get in touch with him. If you become ill, please let him know.
Eucharist Bread Schedule (NO Coffee Hour):
Eucharist Bread Coffee Hour
May 24 D. Root
May 27 (Wed. p.m.) Karam
(Feast of Ascension)
May 31 Brock
June 6 (Sat. a.m.) Baker
(Saturday of the Souls)
June 7 Henderson
June 14 Algood
June 21 Katool
June 28 Schelver
June 29 (Mon. a.m.) Morris
(Sts. Peter and Paul)
Please remember the following in your prayers: Steve, Sheryl Chamblee; Aidan Milnor, the Milnor family; Sam and Lamia Dabit; Mary Greene (Lee and Kh. Sharon’s sister); Lynda Costas; Fr. Nicholas, Kh. Jan and Angelina Speier; David Morris and his family; Jay and Joanna; Chris and Rebecca Dansereau and their daughters; Fr. Leo and Kh. Be’Be’ and their family; Emad and Natalia Alaeetawi and their family; Tom and Kathy Willingham.
Continue to pray for Metropolitan Paul (who is also the brother of our Patriarch) and the Syriac Archbishop John of Aleppo who were abducted while on a humanitarian mission in Syria.
Please continue to pray for the following members of St. Peter:
Warren Strain and their family. Warren is hospitalized following a stroke on December 23rd.
All those affected by the Corona-virus Pandemic.
Please remember Fr. Joseph and Kh. Joanna Bittle, and their daughter Abigail, in your prayers.
A Benevolence account has been established at St. Peter to help the Strain family deal with Warren’s medical bills and other needs. If you would like to make a donation to this fund, please note on your check that it is for the Warren Strain Benevolence Fund. 100% of these funds will go to the Strain family.
Instructions for streaming our services can be found on the parish website.
Virtual PLC (VLC): Due to the pandemic, the Archdiocese cancelled all Parish Life Conferences for this summer. In its place our Diocese will be holding a Virtual Parish Life Conference through zoom and band June 8-13, 2020. Father John will be sending an email shortly with the information for registration (which is free) and the schedule of events. There are a couple of book studies in the morning during that week, but almost all of the events are in the evening. You must register for the VLC in order to participate in the sessions. If you do not receive an email shortly, please contact Father John.
Kh. Ruth Bibeaux, wife of Fr. David Bibeaux, from St. Paul Mission in Tupelo, MS will be here in June and part of July while she is working on her clinicals. She will be staying with the Woods during that time.
Fasting Discipline for May
There will be no fasting on Wednesdays and Fridays until the Feast of Ascension (May 28th this year), for the full forty days, as decided by the Holy Synod of the Church of Antioch in 1997. (this is a departure from what we have done in the past, but is what we have been directed to do by the Archdiocese.)
Major Commemorations for May
May 24 Sunday of the Blindman
May 25 The Forerunner (3rd Discovery)
May 28 Feast of the Ascension
May 31 Sunday of the Holy Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council
ead of ManHead of Maonasteries
Quotable: “But the head of every good endeavor and the guiding force of right actions is perseverance in prayer. By means of it, we can daily obtain the rest of the virtues by asking God for them. By this means are engendered in those deemed worthy the fellowship of God’s holiness and of spiritual energy and the attachment of the mind disposed toward the Lord in ineffable love. For the person who daily forces himself to persevere in prayer is enflamed with divine passion and fiery desire from a spiritual love toward God, and he receives the grace of the sanctifying perfection of the Spirit.”
St. Makarios the Great
Worship: Sunday, May 31, 2020 (Sunday of the Holy Fathers of the 1st Ecumenical Council)
Scripture: Acts 20:16-18, 28-36; John 17:1-13
Celebrant: Father John