Author Archives: stjosaphat

Curing an Epileptic Boy

Curing an Epileptic Boy

(Matthew 17:14-21; Mark 9:14-29; Luke 9:37-43)

Likely, when it became day, Jesus and his disciples 0descended from the location where he had been transfigured. Arriving where his other disciples were, he saw a large crowd around them. Certain scribes were disputing with his disciples. Possibly these scribes were trying to discredit Jesus, because of the inability of his disciples to cure a boy in his name.

Jesus’ unexpected arrival appears to have startled the crowd. Seeing Jesus, the people began to run toward him to greet him. In response to his inquiry about their disputing, a man in the crowd spoke up, “Teacher, I brought my son to you; he has a spirit of muteness.” After telling about the boy’s afflictions, the man added, “I brought him to your disciples, but they were unable to cure him.” (Matthew 17:16; Mark 9:14-18; Luke 9:37-40).

Possibly, after first speaking out from the midst of the crowd, the man knelt before Jesus, pleading, “Lord, pity my son, for he is an epileptic [literally, “moonstruck]” (Matthew 17:14, 15; Luke 9:38). Continue reading

Dormition of the Mother of God

The Dormition of the Mother of GodDivine Liturgy tonight
August 15th at 7 PM

In the Cathedral
The Dormition of the Mother of God is painted on the ceiling between the nave and the transept. Untraditionally, the Blessed Mother is depicted alone, without the Apostles. With hands folded, she is gazing towards heaven. The background for this painting consists of the wings of four angels.

 

PARISH GARAGE SALE

Community-wide Garage SaleOur parish will be holding a huge Garage Sale on Fri. August 18, 12 noon to 7 PM, and Sat. August 19, 8 AM to 3 PM.

We are now accepting any items you may have to donate in the church basement (auditorium).

Please make sure all items are in working order, clean and not damaged in any way. Volunteers are NEEDED both days of the sale and also for pricing and set-up prior to the sale.

Call Carol at 780-476-5834 to volunteer.

All proceeds are designated for the Restoration Fund.

Celebrate the Feast of the Transfiguration!

This Sunday, August 6, we celebrate the Feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord!

Great Vespers and Lytia will be served on Saturday, August 5, at 3:30 pm, followed by the celebration of the Festal Divine Liturgy at 5:00 pm.

Great Matins will be served early Sunday morning, August 6, at 7:30 am, followed by Festal Divine Liturgy at 9:30 am (English) and 11:00 am (Ukrainian).

The blessing of fruit will take place at the conclusion of each Festal Divine Liturgy. Fill you Easter basket with fruit and bring it to church for the blessing!

Faith Expressed in Persistence and Determination

Capernaum Today

If you visit Capernaum today, you will find only find а heap of rocks and ruins. Only the foundation stones of buildings remain, indicating the location and size of homes where people once lived and died; the synagogue where people worshipped God; and the narrow streets upon which people walked.

This is the place where Peter the Apostle lived. It was his home town. And we know today, the exact location of Peter’s house. Archeological digs in the past century have uncovered the ruins of a unique 4th century Byzantine Church, build in the shape of an octagon. Why? Because it was built around a small house and enclosing that house within its walls. Various inscriptions in stone indicate this house was the original house of St. Peter.

Peter’s house in Capernaum is also the place where Jesus lived for some time after leaving his hometown of Nazareth. The healing of the two blind men that we heard in today’s Gospel probably took place in Peter’s house, when Jesus had returned.

Jesus does not respond

Hearing today’s gospel reading, we can picture Jesus returning home to Capernaum after a very long day of teaching, healing, and being constantly in the presence of people. As he makes his way home amidst his disciples, not far behind him, are two blind beggars who are somehow following and continually shouting, “Son of David, have mercy on us.” It is interesting, however, that Jesus at first, shows no response to the pleas of the two blind men. They continue to cry out to him with persistence. Jesus hears them, but he does not stop to speak to them, as if Jesus is ignoring them, it is as if testing their faith and their determination to be healed.

It was not until after Jesus had come into the house, that the blind men finally caught up to him. Somehow, they managed to keep up and to persistently followed Jesus all the way home.

Jesus heals the blind men

It is then that Jesus turns to them and says, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?”

The question seems strange at first… These two blind men were acknowledging that Jesus was the Messiah. Even though they were physically blind, they were already seeing something that only a few were seeing at that time. They knew in their hearts that Jesus is the promised Messiah, the Christ – the Anointed One of God.

Without much fanfare or drama, Jesus simply touches their eyes and says, “Be it done to you according to your faith.” In other words, let what you believe happen to you; and because of their faith, their eyes were opened and they were healed of their blindness.

Jesus then strictly warns them not to let anyone else know about this. Of course, the issue here is not silence about the healing, but silence about acknowledging Jesus as the “Son of David,” the promised Messiah. Why did Jesus prevent them from doing this we do not know for sure… Obviously, Jesus had his reasons.

If they had boldly called Jesus the “Son of David” before they were healed, now they declared it even with greater courage. This would be an example of “blessed disobedience.” They disobeyed Jesus’ warning out of gratefulness to him. They went about, telling everyone that the Messiah, the Son of David, had healed them from their blindness.

Learning from the blind men to be persistent in our
prayer

The persistence and determination of the two blind men in today’s Gospel is very impressive. If they had given up along the way, they would not have been healed that day. It was their faith, their persistence and determination that made them irresistible in the eyes of God.

There are times in life when we turn to God with a special request or a petition, and one short prayer will just not do. Instead, Jesus will silently wait for us to affirm our faith, our persistence and determination. And that means following him blindly every day, seeking him out, continuing to cry out to him in prayer, even when it seems like he is not listening. It may take months, or it may even take years of persistence prayer, sacrifice and faithfulness. But in the end, our prayers will be answered. “Let it be done according to your faith”.

Although we see the physical world around us, we are all blind today to the reality of the spiritual world around us. We do not see God, nor do we see His angels, nor do we see the cherubim and the seraphim that surround the altar today as we prepare to celebrate the Eucharist. Like the blind men, we struggle to keep up and to persistently follow Jesus to the place where he dwells. Jesus is leading us into His kingdom. One day, at the sound of his voice and at the touch of his hand, our eyes will be opened and we shall see Him face to face.

No doubt, we have prayed for something and have felt that God wasn’t listening. It’s not that God didn’t hear us. He always hears us. But it may be the case that he is patiently waiting for to affirmed our faith, to show our persistence and determination, and to follow Him all the way home.

In some things, one short prayer, one Our Father, one Rosary or even one Divine Liturgy will not enough. It may take not only several months of persistent prayer, but maybe even several years. In the end, the words of Jesus still ring true today,

“Let it be done to you according to your faith.”

Jesus heals the blindSt. Josaphat’s Bulletin
July 23rd to July 29th

7th Sunday After Pentecost

Holy Martyrs Trophimus, Theophilus and those with them
(284-305); Miracle of the Pochaiv Icon of the Mother of
God against the Invaders (1675) | Tone 6