Sunday, July 21, 2024

Prophet Ezekiel

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July 2024

In today's busy world it is easy for people to get distracted and misled, especially if we let our guard down. The world is changing before our eyes and it is changing fast; we have to be vigilant.

Sometimes it is difficult to find solid ground, something you can truly believe in, something firm to hold on to, something that is sure, unchangeable, solid, and safe. Society is in upheaval and there is much anxiety and anger among the people. The void that is in people's lives should be filled with Christ and His commandments, but usually it is filled with the passions and desires that are not in keeping with church teaching. But we must not lose our focus. It always seems a little harder to stay focused during the summer months, because people are going on vacation, kids are out of school and it sometimes takes a toll on us. But as Orthodox Christians we should truly understand that we have a solid foundation in Christ. And that we should be sharing that with the world. When we are troubled or in distress, we should know that the first and only solid and safe place to go is Christ and His church.

The world around us is troubled. People are longing for freedom, solace, and peace, things that fill that void. To an extent, that is a good thing if it leads them to Christ., because there is much suffering out there, and Christ can heal that suffering. We often hear these times spoken of as “post-Christian”, which means that the influence of Christianity no longer predominates where it once did. But then again, Christ did not come to set up empires, kingdoms, governments or social systems. The Gospel is not of this world any more than the kingdom of heaven is. The Gospel teaching opposes the very things that are foundational to earthly power. What Christ came to teach and to offer us cannot be legislated. The real battleground is the human heart where humility and obedience to Christ must be formed. The Fathers and others of the Church have said so over and over again. It has always been so and will always be so.

We should not be surprised when society does not hold to our cherished traditional Christian values. So much of what we call the Christian life makes no sense at all if you try and apply it outside of a living experience of Christ himself. As St. Paul wrote, “13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen: 14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:13-14)  Obedience without love is slavery. “If you love me,” Christ said, “keep my commandments.” Christ loves us! We must have faith in Christ, true deep faith, and not let our own wills guide us down a bad path. We must trust that he will never forsake us, or this world. We must know that no matter what happens around us God remains Who and What He is. And for this reason and this reason alone despair can have no place in us.

As we go through the summer we should always remember to keep Christ in our hearts and be prepared to share the love of Christ with everyone that we meet.

Fr.  Mikel

Today's Saints >

 

Regular Services

Saturday: Vespers, 5:00 pm

Sunday: Divine Liturgy, 9:00 am

 

Address

1614 E. Monte Vista Rd.

Phoenix, Az 85006

 

Phone / Email

Fr. Mikel: 907-444-8545

Church: 602-253-9515

 

Directions To Saints Peter & Paul

 

Announcements
 

 

This Week...

July 13, 2024

The nuns of St Mary of Egypt Monastery that were here last week gave me their names so we can pray for them, the list will be in the Narthex.

There is Bible Study/Class this Weds July 17th at 6pm.

On July 21st  there will be a blessing of the blue altar and analogy covers at the end of the Liturgy and following the Post-Communion prayers will be the Blessing of the cars.

In a few months we will begin to take collections for the Christmas program for the school kids, if you wish to be the primary coordinator for this project please see Fr. Mikel, or Bill Weiss.  No experience is required as there will be people to help and guide you throughout the process.

When parking please be courteous and do not block anyone in.  If the church lot is full you may park on the street or across the street at Bamboo Bakery.

If you are donating cash and you wish to receive a statement of your contributions to the church, please put the cash in an envelope with your name and email address.

During these summer months when you are traveling on vacation please don’t forget the church. Always remember to tithe, as this is very important, and an offering to God. The tithe goes into the operating budget to keep the church running, and in this way we are able to bring Christ to the community.    

We have within us deeply rooted weaknesses, passions, and defects. This can not all be cut out with one sharp motion, but patience, persistence, care and attention. The path leading to perfection is long. Pray to God so that he will strengthen you. Patiently accept your falls and, having stood up, immediately run to God, not remaining in that place where you have fallen. Do not despair if you keep falling into your old sins. Many of them are strong because they have received the force of habit. Only with the passage of time and with fervor will they be conquered. Don't let anything deprive you of hope.

St. Nectarios of Aegina

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The Mission of The Orthodox Church in America, the local autocephalous Orthodox Christian Church, is to be faithful in fulfilling the commandment of Christ to “Go into all the world and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…”

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The Holy Scripture is a collection of books written over multiple centuries by those inspired by God to do so. It is the primary witness to the Orthodox Christian faith, within Holy Tradition and often described as its highest point. It was written by the prophets and apostles in human language, inspired by the Holy Spirit, and collected, edited, and canonized by the Church.

Daily Readings >

Holiness or sainthood is a gift (charisma) given by God to man, through the Holy Spirit. Man's effort to become a participant in the life of divine holiness is indispensable, but sanctification itself is the work of the Holy Trinity, especially through the sanctifying power of Jesus Christ, who was incarnate, suffered crucifixion, and rose from the dead, in order to lead us to the life of holiness, through the communion with the Holy Spirit.

Today's Saints >

Saints Peter & Paul Orthodox Church
1614 E Monte Vista Road
Phoenix, Arizona 85006