1 “A person who pretends to have virtues or qualities that he or she does not have.”
2 “A person whose actions contradict their stated beliefs or feelings.”
“The virtues build a new person radiating love to the world.”
(Metropolitan Paul (Yazigi) of Aleppo who consecrated our temple.)
“For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
SUNDAY 10th DECEMBER. Martyrs Menas, Hermogenes, and Eugraphus of Alexandria (c 313). St. Joasaph, Bishop of Belgorod (1754).
HIEROMARTYR GREGORY (PERADZE) OF GEORGIA.
Feastday 6th December.
St. Gregory was born in Georgia on 31st August 1899 and was martyred in the chaotic hell of the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland on 6th December 1942. His life revolved around academic studies, collecting and finding Georgian manuscripts and treasures thought to have been lost. In his life he visited many countries in his researches, including Great Britain where he became a member of the Fellowship of St. Alban and St. Sergius. He was tonsured a monk in 1931 and became a priest, eventually becoming an Archimandrite. Apart from his academic career he was known for his hard work and humility. His international prestige did not protect him from the savagery of the Nazi regime. Living at this time in Warsaw he was arrested for among other things helping and protecting Jews. He was sent to Auschwitz in 1942 where he suffered death on 6th December. Details of his martyrdom vary, not surprising in the chaos and brutality of Auschwitz. Suffice it to say that St. Gregory gave his life to save others. “Greater love as no one than this, that to lay down one's life for his friends.” (John 15:13). Let us not forget that we are all related in the family of humanity and like in the parable of the Good Samaritan the question was asked of Christ “Who is my neighbour?” It was the one who showed compassion, regardless of race, creed or colour!
“No sin is unforgivable except the sin that is not repented of.”
“Most people neither hear or understand God speaking in their hearts: they listen to the urging of passion, which inhabits the soul and with its clamour drowns the still small voice of God.”
(St. Sophrony of Essex)
TODAY'S GOSPEL, Luke 13:10-17 “Now He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. And behold, there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bent over and could in no way raise herself up. But when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him and said to her, “Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity.” And He laid His hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God. But the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath he said to the crowd, “There are six days on which men ought to work; therefore come and be healed on them, and not on the Sabbath day.” The Lord then answered him and said, “Hypocrite!” Does not each of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or donkey from the stall, and lead it away to water it? So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound – think on it – for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?” And when He said these things, all His adversaries were put to shame; and all the multitude rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by Him.”
We who try to follow Christ in the world are called to listen to Him and act on His words. In the Gospel account we hear today, is He saying to us “Hypocrite!" Are we like the President of the synagogue quite happy to espouse our faith in words and outward appearances only and not behaving and treating others as He would have us do? Our beautiful faith that uses all of our senses in our worship should not be used as a cover for all our misdeeds, bad thoughts and feelings towards others. It should not be used as a prop for our own selfishness, our own fears, our own perceived importance or a cover for our spiritual weaknesses. We may hide our faults and failings from others but we cannot hide them from the Creator of all. He knows us and loves us even when like St. Peter, who denied knowing Christ in His darkest hours, betrayed Him. Peter's tears on realising what he had done were the showers of water that washed him clean and brought him back to God.
The people in the synagogue, we are told, rejoiced in the wonderful things that Christ did. Obviously there were other healings, but the woman who was healed after eighteen years of infirmity must have been overjoyed just to get back to ordinary daily life. He comes to us in the Holy Mysteries in simple bread and wine and like the woman in the Gospel, He calls us to Him, to be healed, to wash away our sins and to rejoice in the wonderful things He does for us. We may all be hypocrites of one sort or another but like the woman bent double, if we repent and allow His hand to touch us will be made straight.
Please try and support our visit to the carol service at St. John the Baptist Church in Edlington on Wednesday 20th December at 6.30 pm. I don't want to be the only representative of our church!
Also please note that arrangements for Christmas have changed. The services for the Feast of the Nativity will be as follows:-
Sunday 24th December (Christmas Eve) Divine Liturgy 10.00 am.
Monday 25th December (Christmas Day) Divine Liturgy 10.00 am.
Please pray for the sick and those in need:
Anne Marie and her baby daughter; Magdalena; Mother Esodia; Doris; Mary, Maria; Emma; Megan; Olga; James; Jessie; Nick, Maddy and family; Catrina and Michael; Cornelia; Theo Valentino, Fr Gregory and Helen; George; Ondar; Christine, Christos and family. Also Archbishops Paul and John and all held in captivity.
and for the departed whose memory occurs this month:
Patriarch Ignatius IV of Antioch (5th); Grigori (16th)
Name days this month:
Katia (? - 8th); Christian and Elena (Sts Constantine and Elena - 25th)
(Please note: any additions, alterations or requests for names to be included in the this prayer list should be addressed to me, James, either by SMS: 07412884765 or email: