February 8, 2015 Soyata — Sunday Bulletin

Volume 51; Number 6 February 8, 2015

Return from Exile: on the Sunday of the Prodigal Son

On the third Sunday of preparation for Lent, we hear the parable of the Prodigal Son (LK. 15:11-32). Together with the hymns on this day, the parable reveals to us the time of repentance as man’s return from exile. The prodigal son, we are told, went to a far country and there spent all that he had. A far country! It is this unique definition of our human condition that we must assume and make ours as we begin our approach to God. A man who has never had that experience, be it only very briefly, who has never felt that he is exiled from God and from real life, will never understand what Christianity is about. And the one who is perfectly “at home” in this world and its life, who has never been wounded by the nostalgic desire for another Reality, will not understand what is repentance.

Repentance is often simply identified as a cool and “objective” enumeration of sins and transgressions, as the act of “pleading guilty” to a legal indictment. Confession and absolution are seen as being of a juridical nature. But something very essential is overlooked– without which neither confession nor absolution have any real meaning or power. This “something” is precisely the feeling of alienation from God, from the joy of communion with Him, from the real life as created and given by God. It is easy indeed to confess that I have not fasted on prescribed days, or missed my prayers, or become angry. It is quite a different thing, however, to realize suddenly that I have defiled and lost my spiritual beauty, that I am far away from my real home, my real life, and that something precious and pure and beautiful has been hopelessly broken in the very texture of my existence. Yet this, and only this, is repentance, and therefore it is also a deep desire to return, to go back, to recover that lost home….

Fr. Alexander Schmemann Great Lent.

Priča o bludnom sinu (Lk. 15, 11-32)

Ova priča se čita u crkvi u dane kada verni počnu da se pripremaju za Veliki Post, za vreme pokajanja. Jevanđelje nam nigde bolje ne otkriva suštinu pokajanja nego upravo u ovoj priči.

Bludni sin je otišao daleko od zavičaja, u “zemlju daleku”. A ta “zemlja daleka”, ta tuđina jeste simvol koji nam otkriva samu suštinu našega grešnog i palog života, naše palosti. Naš povratak istinskom životu može da započne tek onda kada shvatimo da je naš svakodnevni život ustvari – život u dalekoj tuđini. Onaj ko bar jednom u svom životu nije osetio da je njegov život – život u tuđini, ko sebe nije osetio kao izgnanika i bezdomnika izgubljenog u duhovnoj tuđini, taj jedostavno ne može da shvati suštinu Hrišćanstva. Onaj ko se u ovom svetu i životu oseća potpuno “kod kuće”, ko nikada nije oskusio tugu za nekom drugom stvarnošću, ne može nikada shvatiti šta je to kajanje i pokajanje. Jer pokajanje nije u formalnom nabrajanju sopstvenih nedostataka, grešaka i prestupa. Ne, kajanje i pokajanje se rađaju iz našeg saznanja da smo se otuđili od Boga i iz naše radosti zbog saznanja da opet možemo da budemo zajedno sa Bogom. Relativno je lako priznati svoje prestupe i grehe. Međutim, neuporedivo je teže da sebi samom priznam da sam izdao, razrušio i izgubio svoju duhovnu lepotu, da sam se udaljio od svog stvarnog doma i stvarnog života, da je razruušeno i uništeno ono što je najdragocenije, najčistije i najlepše u samom tkivu moga života. A upravo tako i započinje pokajanje u čoveku i zato ono pretpostavlja kao svoj neophodni preduslov našu najdublju želju da se povratimo i vratimo u zavičaj, da iznova nađemo svoj izgubljeni dom. Neočekivano počinjem da shvatam da je mene moj Otac Nebeski obdario bescenim blagom: pre svega, samim životom i mogućnošću da istinski uživam u tom daru, a to znači – da ga preobražavam u smisao, u ljubav, u znanje. Otac Nebeski mi je u Sinu Svom Isusu Hristu darovao novi život, otkrivši mi Svoje večno Carstvo, radost i mir u Duhu Svetome.

Od Boga sam dobio na dar mogućnost bogopoznanja, i u tom bogopoznanju – silu da budem slobodni sin Božiji, sin koji voli svoga Oca. Sve sam to izgubio, svega sam se toga odrekao, ne samo svojim pojedinačnim “gresima” i “pregrešenjima”, već svojim grehom nad grehovima – odlaskom u “zemlju daleku”, svojim izborom da odem u “tuđinu”, da se odvojim i udaljim od Boga.

I onda – bludni sin se setio. Setio se oca i očevog doma i izgubljene radosti života. Ustao je i vratio se ocu svome. Otac ga je primio i oprostio mu.

o. Aleksandar Šmeman

READINGS FOR Today Sunday of the Prodigal Son
Epistle: 1 Cor. 6:12-20;        Gospels: St Luke 15:11-32.

READINGS For Next Sunday: Epistle: 1 Cor. 8:8-9:2; Heb. 7:7-17; Gospel: St. Matt. 25:31-46; St. Luke 2:22-40.

Remembered at the Litany for the Departed today are HELEN MALLOY; MILENA CILLAG; DOROTHY GRUBICH (req. by Milo Wuslich); STANLEY KOVACEVIC (req. by Karen Kovacevic); and all recent victims of disasters, epidemics and war.

ST. SAVA SCHOOL OF THEOLOGY. Today is designated as Seminary Sunday, and a special collection will be taken for the benefit of our St. Sava School of Theology in Libertyville, IL. Please plan to be generous with your gift.

PLAN NOW to participate in as many of the precious services that are served every evening of the first week of Great Lent, February 22 to March 1. Bring the children. You will be happy you came.

MISSION SUNDAY is February 22. A special collection will be taken to benefit the Orthodox Christian Mission Center.

SINGERS! You are invited to sing with the Pan Orthodox Choir for the Sunday of Orthodoxy Vespers on March 1. Rehearsal will be next Sunday, February 15, at 5 PM here at St. Stephen’s.

LITTLE FALCONS  The latest issue of Little Falcons children’s magazine is available for $2. Parents should purchase them for their children. The theme of the current issue is Holy Canons!

PLEASE KEEP THE FOLLOWING SOLDIERS IN YOUR PRAYERS: Thomas Vukcevic; Benjamin Pappas; Paul Campbell, Michael Rapasky; Brady Sexton, Jeffrey Izo, Michael Greenwood, James Koch, Adam Paich, John Stanz, Peter Mrvos, Michael Antecki, Matthew Ross, Steven Marrocco, Dane Gaynor. These soldiers are remembered at the Proskomedia (Service of Preparation) before every Divine Liturgy. If you have names to contribute to this list of servicemen serving overseas, please share them with Father.

COMMUNITY CALENDAR: SUNDAY, February 8 through SUNDAY, February 15, 2015.

We fast on Wednesday and Friday this week. This is the last week of eating meat. 

Sunday Divine Liturgy and Church School 10 AM; Sunday of the Prodigal Son; Special Collection for St. Sava School of Theology; Parastos for Milena Cillag.

Monday Tammies & Dancers.

Thursday Divine Liturgy for the Three Hierarchs 10 AM;

Saturday Saturday of the Souls–Zadusnice Divine Liturgy & General Parastos 10 AM; Vespers & Confession 6 PM

Sunday Divine Liturgy and Church School 10 AM; Meatfare Sunday; Feast of the Meeting of the Lord; Tammie Brunch.

COMING EVENTS

February 20 First Parish Fish Fry, Fridays during Lent. Details to follow

February 22 Forgiveness Sunday & Mission Sunday

February 23 First Day of Great Lent; Great Canon of St. Andrew and Pre-Sanctified Liturgy served during this solemn first week of Great Lent. All are encouraged to attend.

March 1 Sunday of Orthodoxy Vespers at Ss Peter & Paul Church 5 PM.

March 8 Pan-Orthodox Vespers here at St. Stephen Church 5 PM.

CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! — HE IS AND SHALL BE!
ХРИСТОС ЈЕ ПОСРЕД НАС! — И ЈЕСТЕ И БИЋЕ!

ST. PANTELEIMON COMMITTEE Pray for the health of all our ailing brothers and sisters.

Litany of Fervent Supplication: Archpriest Thomas Hopko (PA); Metodije Damljanovic; Irene Fruhauf; Branka Sciuk; Rick Zivic; Martha Masich Olka; Martin Darmstedter; Mother Ana; Rebecca Todd; Alexandra Lapchuk (NJ); Boranka Kajtaz (Banjaluka); Andrew Wojtaszczyk; Sam Poznanovich; Mary Ann Tomich (PA); Dan & Marilyn Wilson; Lauren Tasseff; Leisa Wheeler; John Butz (IL); Fr. Joseph Cervo; Katie Repaski; Serafima Zdjelar;  Caroline Magaris; Paul Just; Kosa Opacic; Danica Opacic; Georgene Stevanoff (OLV); Janice LeGresley; Eugenia Babitsch; Christine Schulz; Mary Krestos; Angeline Pappas; Zora Palavestra; Stephanie Frauer; Marta Jaskula Mondich; Mildred Kokanovich; Brady Mclaughlin (FL); John Schmitz; Spencer Calos; Kristin Engelhart; James Kovacevic (PA); Scott & Maxine Smatlak (PA); Carly Serra; Conrad & Mary Jean Toepfer; Linda Moran (MN); Olga Tracy (TX); (Ca); Dragan Reznicak (W.VA); Martha Pavlakis; Stojan Kosovac (Hamilton); Anna Tonarely (FL);.

Proskomedia: Helen Biggs; Jovana Marjanovic; Fr. Christopher Rocknage; Milenko Zdjelar; Erika Tiem (Germany); Carl Heinz Blashke (Germany); Dusan Curuvija; Popadija Tamara Spasojevic Natalie Hawkins; David Preljeva; Susan McLaughlin; Doreen Szczesniak Mirjana Pavlica; Steven Munich; James & Joann Raditic; Anna Evanoff Viruet; Svetozar Grgurevich; Tanja Trifkovic; Amanda Szczesniak; Milenko Zdjelar Sr.; Stevo Jojic; Wade (Vladimir) McFarland; Michalene Conti (FL); Annabelle Sauer; Melanie Rozwood; Milka Karlovic; Dan & Mary Stojanovich; Vladimir Popovic; Fr Laurence Lazar; Fr. John Nehrebecki; Fr Zvonimir Kotorcevic; Fr George Yatsko; Fr. Roman Braga (MI); Fr. Stephen Gousios; Paula Hughes; John & Joan Munich; Milan Pajic; Ljupka Palavestra; Kelly Pavich; Christine Kmitch (FL); Dan Bolam; Marcia Yunke; Katherine Lippard; Stephen Todorovich; Mile Zdjelar; Daniel Pavichevich (CA) Vladimir Jovic; Valu Tumpaloff; Nicole Dicioccio; Milka Bosilkovski; Nada Zdero; Nicholas Skirpan; Daniel Metz; Karl Stefanovich; Branko Guskic; Kathryn Frederick; ; Joseph York; Henry Darmstedter; Milan Jovic; Stevo Simic; Nancy Healy; George & Carol Kovacevic (NC); Jacqueline Fuellhart; Patricia Wilson; Maurie & James Jachimiak; Joann Panek; Vera & Mark Markoff; Darinka Nedelkov; Ramon Murphy; Matthew Barusic; Vukica Stojanovic; Milena Corhasanovic; Dale Hauser; Basil Korbut; John Stanz; Vidosava Toskovic; Miss Mary Korach (FrBakerMan); Leiselotte Siljegovic; Dragana Salom (Il); Robert Setter; Chrisante Gassett; Zarka Popovic (CA); Robert Boller; Wayne & Thomas Jousma; Marge Spano, Anthony Dipiano; Jeanette Stanley; Mary Karolewski; Marija Trbojevic (Il); Iso Bjelanovic; Dusan Samardzija; Drazen Jokanovic; Mary Parillo (MA); Wyatt & Tony Lamb; Kathy Hanny (FL); Jane Glass (Hamburg); Anname Gracer; Daniel Dicioccio; Joanne Hamilton; Christine Madej (MA); Diane & Ronald Kukavica; Miljan Vanovac; Richard Wyse; Arlene Schmitz; Peter Mitich; Dusko Vanovac; Anastasia Hiles (PA); Olga Yandrich (Pgh); Stephen Engle; Dorothy Baron (PA); Danielle Williams; Patricia Maletich (OH); Richard Carney;  Vlado, Jennifer, Peter Popovich; David Donald (PA); Ljubica Jevtic; Mary Beth Buntich (NM); Fr. Srboljub Bulich (Belgrade); Fr. Herman Schick; Fr. Miladin Garich; Fr. Michael Zaparyniuk (FL); Fr. Dennis Pavichevich; Joanne Markey; Joseph Rozwood Jr; Rose Gardina; Elaine Daminski; Paula Russian (FL); Gregory Smith (DC); Dan Neary; Margaret Nigrelli; Adam Brevner (Li); Richard Lockwood; Christine Marx (IL); Arthur Reis; Vera Sredanovic (CA); Ronald Bede (OH); Mary Lou Bremmer;  Helen Tanner (FrBakerMan); And any ill or hospitalized parishioners we may have missed.

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