On Monday morning, October 19, 2020, His Beatitude Metropolitan Theodosius (Lazor), former Archbishop of Washington, Metropolitan of All-America and Canada, fell asleep in the Lord in Canonsburg, PA after an extended illness. He was the Primate of the Orthodox Church in America from 1977 until his retirement in 2002.
Today in the Orthodox Church we read the Gospel for the third Sunday of Luke, the story of the raising from the dead of the only son of the widow of Nain. As we recall, Jesus was entering the town of Nain and coming out of the town was a funeral procession with mourners including the mother of this boy to which Jesus said, “Don’t Cry”. He then approached the bier carrying the body and touched it saying “Young man I say to thee, arise”, and the young man rose and began talking, and Jesus gave him back to his mother, and they all praised Him.
This Sunday marks the first gospel reading from the Evangelist Luke, in which Jesus calls forth his first disciples, which is an act that is always contemporary. The same Jesus of the New Testament continues to call disciples to his holy Church to this day.
Feast of the Elevation of the Holy Cross: This feast is the most important of the Fall season, celebrating God’s redeeming love and its renewable consequences for us. We seek redemption, the love of God in Christ shown forth in His Holy Cross. This great feast of the exaltation celebrates our redemption and renewed life through the blood of God, granting us eternal righteousness and salvation!
Today we hear in our churches the Parable of the Tenants in the Vineyard. The image of the vineyard is one of the most endeared backdrop in the lands of the Gospels and surrounding areas. According to the Old Testament prophets, Israel is referred to as the vineyard of God. In the New Testament, the Church is often referred to as the Lord’s vineyard. You see there is great joy and fulfillment in working in and belonging to the vineyard, for the Lord Himself is the owner and provider of all things. There is great satisfaction in watching its rich fruit growing, maturing and then being shared with others for the glory of God’s Holy Church.
This Sunday August 30, 2020 is unique in that it commemorates the 12th Sunday of St. Matthew Chapter 19:16-24, which is the story of the Rich Man and Eternal life. In this story, the rich young man asks his momentous question, “What must I do to receive eternal life?” To which Jesus answers you must keep the commandments if you wish to receive eternal life. Then Jesus proceeds to recite the commandments, but adds to be perfect you must sell your possessions and give to the poor, then you will have treasures in heaven, then come follow me!