Sunday, 1/28

  • + Τελώνου & Φαρισαίου (Αρχή Τριωδίου).
  • Sunday of the Publican & Pharisee (Triodion begins).
  • Orthros 8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am
  • Altar Boys: Team John – Anthony Mentas C, Yiani Roll C, Andrew Mentas, Kosta Georgakopoulos, Stamatis Zoumberakis, Ilias Zoumberakis, Joseph Best, Jacob Best.
  • Sunday School
  • FDF Recognition

Wednesday, 1/31

  • Panagia’s Little Lambs 10:30 am – 11:30 am
  • Greek School 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

Friday, 2/2

  • + Υπαπαντή Ιησού Χριστού. The Presentation of Our Lord.
  • Orthros 9:30 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am
  • GOYA Basketball practice 5pm – 9pm

Sunday, 2/4

  • + Του Ασώτου. Sunday of the Prodigal Son.
  • Orthros 8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am
  • Altar Boys: Team Mark – Aris Roubanis C, Alex Roubanis C, Emilio Platis, Mateo Platis, John Confrey, Dimitri Spiropoulos, Dimitri Stavros, George Stavros.
  • Sunday School

Saints and Feasts

Ephraim the Syrian – Saint Ephraim was born in Nisibis of Mesopotamia some time about the year 306, and in his youth was the disciple of Saint James, Bishop of Nisibis, one of the 318 Fathers at the First Ecumenical Council. Ephraim lived in Nisibis, practicing a severe ascetical life and increasing in holiness, until 363, the year in which Julian the Apostate was slain in his war against the Persians, and his successor Jovian surrendered Nisibis to them. Ephraim then made his dwelling in Edessa, where he found many heresies to do battle with. He waged an especial war against Bardaisan; this gnostic had written many hymns propagating his errors, which by their sweet melodies became popular and enticed souls away from the truth. Saint Ephraim, having received from God a singular gift of eloquence, turned Bardaisan’s own weapon against him, and wrote a multitude of hymns to be chanted by choirs of women, which set forth the true doctrines, refuted heretical error, and praised the contests of the Martyrs.

Of the multitude of sermons, commentaries, and hymns that Saint Ephraim wrote, many were translated into Greek in his own lifetime. Sozomen says that Ephraim “Surpassed the most approved writers of Greece,” observing that the Greek writings, when translated into other tongues, lose most of their original beauty, but Ephraim’s works “are no less admired when read in Greek than when read in Syriac” (Eccl. Hist., Book 111, 16). Saint Ephraim was ordained deacon, some say by Saint Basil the Great, whom Sozomen said “was a great admirer of Ephraim, and was astonished at his erudition.” Saint Ephraim was the first to make the poetic expression of hymnody and song a vehicle of Orthodox theological teachings, constituting it an integral part of the Church’s worship; he may rightly be called the first and greatest hymnographer of the Church, who set the pattern for these who followed him, especially Saint Romanos the Melodist. Because of this he is called the “Harp of the Holy Spirit.” Jerome says that his writings were read in some churches after the reading of the Scriptures, and adds that once he read a Greek translation of one of Ephraim’s works, “and recognized, even in translation, the incisive power of his lofty genius” (De vir. ill., ch. CXV).

Shortly before the end of his life, a famine broke out in Edessa, and Saint Ephraim left his cell to rebuke the rich for not sharing their goods with the poor. The rich answered that they knew no one to whom they could entrust their goods. Ephraim asked them, “What do you think of me?” When they confessed their reverence for him, he offered to distribute their alms, to which they agreed. He himself cared with his own hands for many of the sick from the famine, and so crowned his life with mercy and love for neighbor. Saint Ephraim reposed in peace, according to some in the year 373, according to others, 379.

Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee: Triodion Begins Today – The Pharisees were an ancient and outstanding sect among the Jews known for their diligent observance of the outward matters of the Law. Although, according to the word of our Lord, they “did all their works to be seen of men” (Matt. 23:5), and were hypocrites (ibid. 23: 13, 14, 15, etc.), because of the apparent holiness of their lives they were thought by all to be righteous, and separate from others, which is what the name Pharisee means. On the other hand, Publicans, collectors of the royal taxes, committed many injustices and extortions for filthy lucre’s sake, and all held them to be sinners and unjust. It was therefore according to common opinion that the Lord Jesus in His parable signified a virtuous person by a Pharisee, and a sinner by a Publican, to teach His disciples the harm of pride and the profit of humble-mindedness.

Since the chief weapon for virtue is humility, and the greatest hindrance to it is pride, the divine Fathers have set these three weeks before the Forty-day Fast as a preparation for the spiritual struggles of virtue. This present week they have called Harbinger, since it declares that the Fast is approaching; and they set humility as the foundation for all our spiritual labors by appointing that the parable of the Publican and the Pharisee be read today, even before the Fast begins, to teach, through the vaunting of the Pharisee, that the foul smoke of self-esteem and the stench of boasting drives away the grace of the Spirit, strips man of all his virtue, and casts him into the pits of Hades; and, through the repentance and contrite prayer of the Publican, that humility confers upon the sinner forgiveness of all his wicked deeds and raises him up to the greatest heights.

All foods are allowed the week that follows this Sunday.

Isaac the Syrian, Bishop of Ninevah – The great luminary of the life of stillness, Saint Isaac, was born in the early seventh century in Eastern Arabia, the present-day Qatar on the Persian Gulf. He became a monk at a young age, and at some time left Arabia to dwell with monks in Persia. He was consecrated Bishop of Nineveh (and is therefore sometimes called “Saint Isaac of Nineveh”), but after five months received permission to return to solitude; he spent many years far south of Nineveh in the mountainous regions of Beit Huzaye, and lastly at the Monastery of Rabban Shabur. He wrote his renowned and God-inspired Ascetical Homilies toward the end of his long life of monastic struggle, about the end of the seventh century. The fame of his Homilies grew quickly, and about one hundred years after their composition they were translated from Syriac into Greek by two monks of the Monastery of Mar Sabbas in Palestine, from which they spread throughout the monasteries of the Roman Empire and became a guide to the hesychasts of all generations thereafter.


Announcements

Memorial Service/Μνημόσυνo – Today we pray for the repose of the soul of the servants of God Fotini (Frances) Settas; (40 days) and Theodore Settas (30 years). May their memory be eternal.

Greek Dance – Congratulations to all our Dancers who participated at this year’s FDF in San Francisco. Today our community will honor all the dance groups and their directors.

Social Hour – Sponsored by Renee Settas

Philoptochos Membership Luncheon – The Philoptochos Membership Luncheon will be on Sunday, February 11, 2018 following church services. Adults $30; Children under 12 $15

To sponsor and decorate a table or to make reservations for yourself or your friends, please contact Bobbie Soupos at bsoupos@sbcglobal.net or (714) 307-1488 or Lia Kakaris at tlkakaris@charter.net or (562) 773-1778. (see the attached flyer)

A buffet lunch will be served, so it is not necessary to bring plates and flatware unless you feel you need those to decorate your tables.

Request for 2017 Year-End Tax Receipt – Contact Voula at office@assumptionlb.org or call 562.494.8929 to request your church year-end tax receipt for 2017.

Special Notice – Please note that the scheduled service for the “Three Hierarchs” on Tuesday, 1/30 will be cancelled due to the Metropolis Clergy Laity.

Upcoming 40 days Churching – February 4 – Lukas Paul Silva. Parents: Robert & Nicolette Silva.

Upcoming Memorial Service – February 4 – Helen Apostle (40 days); Jane Kotsakis (40 days) & Thomas Kotsakis (5 years); February 11 – Joanne Liakos (3 years); Christine Foutris (40 days); Alexandra Kiapos (6 months); Helen Foutris (35 years) & Markus Picoulas (35 years)

Jorge’s 1st week of vacation – Jorge, our church custodian will be on his 1st week of vacation from Friday, 2/2/18 to Tuesday, 2/13/18.

Panagia’s Pantry – We are collecting:

  • Non perishable/canned foods
  • Clothing
  • Toiletries
  • Blankets