Calendar Factoid: Only Christ is Perfect

Conception of St. John the BaptistReady to do some counting (think in months, not days)? According to the Byzantine Liturgical Calendar, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Conception of the Honorable, Glorious Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist, John, on September 23rd. We celebrate John's nativity on June 24th. We celebrate the Feast of the Conception of Mary, the Most Holy Mother of God by the Righteous Anna on December 9th. We celebrate Mary's nativity on September 8th. On March 25th we celebrate the Annunciation of our Most Holy Lady, the Mother of God and Ever-Virgin Mary (the conception of our Lord). We celebrate his nativity on December 25th. Elizabeth carries John in her womb for 9 months + 1 day. Anna carries Mary, the Mother of God in her womb for 9 months - 1 day. Mary, the Mother of God, carries our Lord in her womb for exactly 9 months. Only Christ is perfect.

The conception and birth of the Forerunner is part of God's saving plan which was foretold to us by the Prophet Malachi: "Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me" (Mal 3:1). The Church Fathers note that John is Elijah and Elijah is John for those willing to receive this, but also that John is something more. Irenaeus teaches us that while John "announced beforehand the advent of the Christ he actually saw him when He came and pointed Him out, and persuaded many to believe in Him, so that he himself holds the place of both prophet and apostle". (See "Against Heresies 3.11.4 and 1 Cor 12:28)

Rejoice, O barren one, who formerly did not bear a child,
for you have conceived the Lamp of the Sun,
who is to enlighten the whole universe which has been darkened by blindness.
Rejoice, O Zachariah, and cry out with boldness:
"The prophet of the Most High desires to be born!"
Troparion of the Conception of the Forerunner (September 23)


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Teachings of Christ

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied." (Matthew 5:6 ESV)

Scripture

October 7, 2018
Twentieth Sunday After Pentecost
- Matins: John 20:19-31 (Gospel 9)
- Liturgy: 1 Galatians 1:11-19, Luke 7:11-16

Twenty-First Week After Pentecost
- Monday: Philippians 4:10-23, Luke 7:36-50
- Tuesday: Colossians 1:1,2,7-11, Luke 8:1-3
- Wednesday: Colossians 1:18-23, Luke 8:22-25
- Thursday: Colossians 1:24-29, Luke 9:7-11
- Friday: Colossians 2:1-7, Luke 9:12-18
- Saturday: 2 Corinthians 3:12-18, Luke 6:1-10

October 14, 2018
Twenty-First Sunday After Pentecost
Holy Fathers of the Seventh Ecumenical Council
- Matins: John 21:1-14 (Gospel 10)
- Liturgy: Galatians 2:16-20, Luke 8:5-15 (21st Sun), Hebrews 13:7-16, John 17:1-13 (Fathers)

Twenty-Second Week After Pentecost
- Monday: Colossians 2:13-20, Luke 9:18-22
- Tuesday: Colossians 2:20-3:3, Luke 9:23-27
- Wednesday: Colossians 3:17-4:1, Luke 9:44-50
- Thursday: Colossians 4:2-9, Luke 9:49-56
- Friday: Colossians 4:10-18, Luke 10:1-15
- Saturday: 2 Corinthians 5:1-10, Luke 7:1-10

October 21, 2018
Twenty-Second Sunday After Pentecost
- Matins: John 21:15-25 (Gospel 11)
- Liturgy: Galatians 6:11-18, Luke 16:19-31 (Slavs), Luke 8:26-39 (Greeks)

Feasts & Fasts

September
1 - Liturgical New Year (7526)
4 - Labor Day (USA & Canada)
8 - The Nativity of our Most Holy Lady, the Mother of God and Ever-Virgin Mary
14 - The Universal Exaltation of the Precious and Life-Giving Cross

October
1 - The Protection of our Most Holy Lady the Mother of God and Ever-Virgin Mary
8 - Columbus Day (USA), Thanksgiving Day (Canada)
15 - Sunday of the Fathers of the Seventh Ecumenical Council

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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Exaltation of the Cross

Save Your people, O Lord, and bless Your inheritance; * grant victory to Your Church over her enemies * and protect Your commonwealth by Your Cross. (Troparion - Tone 1)

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

Willingly lifted up on the Cross, O Christ God, * bestow Your compassions upon the new commonwealth that bears Your name. * By your power grant joy to Your Church, * granting her victory over her enemies. * May she have your Cross as the weapon of peace * and the invincible ensign of victory. (Kontakion - Tone 4)

The Church celebrates the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross on September 14th.

Random Proverb

For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. (Proverbs 2:6 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

The knowledge of the Cross is concealed in the sufferings of the Cross.

St. Isaac the Syrian