Great and Holy Wednesday

April 17, 2017

Bridegroom ChristMatthew 26:6-16 - Now when Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, a woman came up to him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he reclined at table. And when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, "Why this waste? For this could have been sold for a large sum and given to the poor." But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, "Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me. For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. In pouring this ointment on my body, she has done it to prepare me for burial. Truly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her."

Then one of the twelve, whose name was Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, "What will you give me if I deliver him over to you?" And they paid him thirty pieces of silver. And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray him. (ESV)

Are You free? - The woman acknowledges Jesus as Lord and anoints Him to prepare Him for burial. Judas seeks to betray the Master. Which one was set free? Which one condemned himself? What about us? Do our daily lives embrace Christ and choose the forgiveness He offers? Or do we betray Christ and crucify Him?

Today we also continue the readings from the Prophecy of Ezekiel (the Call of the Prophet), Exodus (the Passion, Death and Resurrection of our Lord prefigured in the journey of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt into the Promised Land) and Job (his tenacious faith in God).

This evening many parishes celebrate the Sacrament of Holy Anointing, offered on Great and Holy Wednesday for the healing of soul and body and for the forgiveness of sins.

Scripture

  • Wednesday - Ezekiel 2:3-3:3, Exodus 2:11-22, Job 2:1-10, Matthew 26:6-16

The icon is a detail of the Extreme Humility of Christ.


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Teachings of Christ

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:43-44 ESV)

Scripture

July 14, 2019
Fifth Sunday After Pentecost
- Matins: Luke 24:12-35 (Gospel 5)
- Liturgy: Romans 10:1-10, Matthew 8:28-9:1

Fathers of the First Six Ecumenical Councils
- Vespers: Genesis 17:15-17, 19; 18:11-14; 21:1-7, Judges 13:2-8, 13-14, Composite 19 (EOT)
- Liturgy: Hebrews 13:7-16, John 17:1-12

Sixth Week After Pentecost
- Monday: Romans 16:17-24, Matthew 13:10-23
- Tuesday: 1 Corinthians 1:1-9, Matthew 13:24-30
- Wednesday: 1 Corinthians 2:9-3:8, Matthew 13:31-36
- Thursday: 1 Corinthians 3:18-23, Matthew 13:36-43
- Friday: 1 Corinthians 4:5-8, Matthew 13:44-54
- Saturday: Romans 9:1-5, Matthew 9:18-26

July 20, 2019
Holy Prophet Elias
- Vespers: 1) 1[3] Kings 17:1-23, 2) 1[3] Kings 18:1, 17, 41, 42, 45-46, 19:1-16, 3) 1[3] Kings 19:19-21
- Matins: Luke 4:22-30
- Divine Liturgy: James 5:10-20, Luke 4:22-30

July 21, 2019
Sixth Sunday After Pentecost
- Matins: Luke 24:36-53 (Gospel 6)
- Liturgy: Romans 12:6-14, Matthew 9:1-8

Seventh Week After Pentecost
- Monday: 1 Corinthians 5:9-6:11, Matthew 13:54-58
- Tuesday: 1 Corinthians 6:20-7:12, Matthew 14:1-13
- Wednesday: 1 Corinthians 7:12-24, Matthew 14:35-15:11
- Thursday: 1 Corinthians 7:24-35, Matthew 15:12-21
- Friday: 1 Corinthians 7:35-8:7, Matthew 15:29-31
- Saturday: Romans 12:1-3, Matthew 10:37-11:1

July 28, 2019
Seventh Sunday After Pentecost
- Matins: John 20:1-10 (Gospel 7)
- Liturgy: Romans 15:1-7, Matthew 9:27-35

Feasts & Fasts

July
1 Canada Day (Canada)
4 Independence Day (USA)
14 Sunday of the Holy Fathers of the First Six Ecumenical Councils
20 Holy, Glorious Prophet Elijah

August
1-14 Dormition Fast
6 Transfiguration of Our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ
15 The Dormition of our Most Holy Lady, the Mother of God and Ever-Virgin Mary
29 Beheading of St. John the Baptist

Please pray!

"They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword...." (Hebrews 11:37a)

Please lift up in prayer all those who are persecuted and deprived of liberty, everywhere in the world. Please especially remember the peoples of Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Niger - the whole Middle East and Africa - who are literal martyrs for Christ. Also the peoples of Ukraine. They are our brothers, for all are one in Christ.

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Pentecost

Blessed are You, O Christ our God, * Who has shown the fishermen to be all wise, * by sending down to them the Holy Spirit, * and through them You have caught the whole world in Your net. * O Lover of Mankind, glory to You. (Troparion - Tone 8)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

When the Most High descended, confusing tongues, * He divided the nations; * but when He distributed the tongues of fire, * He called all to unity; * and, with one voice, * we glorify the Most Holy Spirit. (Kontakion - Tone 8)

Random Proverb

"The wage of the righteous leads to life, the gain of the wicked to sin." (Proverbs 10:10 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

The Holy Eucharist is the first, most important, and greatest miracle of Christ. All the other Gospel miracles are secondary. How could we not call the greatest miracle the fact that simple bread and wine were once transformed by the Lord into His very Body and His very Blood, and then have continued to be transformed for nearly two thousand years by the prayers of priests, who are but simple human beings? And what is more, this mystery has continued to effect a miraculous change in those people who communicate of the Divine Mysteries with faith and humility. 

St. Ambrose of Optina