We celebrate the Feast of the Protection of the Mother of God, Pokrov. This feast which in the Slavic tradition is next in line after the twelve major feastdays. It celebrates a historical event that occurred in Constantinople centuries ago, invoking the protection of the Mother of God over the besieged city and its inhabitants.
Today’s gospel lesson is the Parable of the Wedding Feast, from Matthew 22:1-14. In our lives we have all experienced the joy of attending a wedding within our families and among our friends. Usually a wedding is envisioned as a great feast or celebration not only for the couple but for all of us. We don our best clothes and cherish and anticipate the great event in our minds and hearts. We are already looking forward to this special day!
The First day of September is the beginning of the Church New Year. We often think of New Years to be January, but in the Orthodox Faith, September 1st is the beginning of the Ecclesiastical Cycle. This is the period when the summer harvest has been brought in and stored and school will be beginning in our area.
Today we hear the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant from the Gospel of Matthew 18:21-35, in which the Apostle Peter asked Jesus how many times should we forgive someone who has wronged us, offering what he thought was a generous number of seven. Jesus said that we must forgive seventy times seven, much unlike the Old Testament Jews who felt you must forgive three times but no further.
Today we hear the Gospel from Matthew 17:14-23, In which we hear the story of the epileptic boy who is possessed by a demon. From the reading we know that the boy’s father knelt before Jesus entreating him to heal his son from this devastating affliction which forces him into the fire and the water.
One of the most memorable stories from the Bible that we learned when we were children, is from the Gospel of Matthew 14:22-33, concerning the miracle of the walking on the water which specifically shows Jesus divine powers as Lord of creation.