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Sunday January 21

Sunday of Zacchaeus

The paschal season of the Church is preceded by the season of Great Lent, which is also preceded by its own liturgical preparation. The first sign of the approach of Great Lent comes five Sundays before its beginning. On this Sunday the Gospel reading is about Zacchaeus the tax-collector. It tells how Christ brought salvation to the sinful man, and how his life was changed simply because he “sought to see who Jesus was” (Luke 19:3). The desire and effort to see Jesus begins the entire movement through Lent towards Pascha. It is the first movement of salvation.

Our lenten journey begins with a recognition of our own sinfulness, just as Zacchaeus recognized his. He promised to make restitution by giving half of his wealth to the poor, and by paying to those he had falsely accused four times as much as they had lost. In this, he went beyond the requirements of the Law (Ex. 22:3-12).

The example of Zacchaeus teaches us that we should turn away from our sins, and atone for them. The real proof of our sorrow and repentance is not just a verbal apology, but when we correct ourselves and try to make amends for the consequences of our evil actions.

We are also assured of God’s mercy and compassion by Christ’s words to Zacchaeus, “Today salvation is come to this house” (Luke 19:9). After the Great Doxology at Sunday Matins (when the Tone of the week is Tone 1, 3, 5, 7) we sing the Dismissal Hymn of the Resurrection “Today salvation has come to the world,” which echoes the Lord’s words to Zacchaeus.

Zacchaeus was short, so he climbed a tree in order to see the Lord. All of us have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23). We are also short in our spiritual stature, therefore we must climb the ladder of the virtues. In other words, we must prepare for spiritual effort and growth.

St Zacchaeus is also commemorated on April 20.


Icon of the Mother of God “Comfort” or “Consolation”

The Vatopedi “Comfort” or “Consolation” Icon of the Mother of God is in the old Vatopedi monastery on Athos, in the church of the Annunciation. It was called “Vatopedi” because near this monastery Arcadius, the son of Empreor Theodosius the Great, fell off a ship into the sea, and by the miraculous intercession of the Mother of God he was carried to shore safe and unharmed. He was found sleeping by a bush, not far from the monastery. From this event the name “Vatopedi” (“batos paidion,” “the bush of the child”) is derived. The holy Emperor Theodosius the Great (January 17), in gratitude for the miraculous deliverance of his son, embellished and generously endowed the Vatopedi monastery.

On the Vatopedi Icon, the Mother of God is depicted with Her face turned towards Her right shoulder. This is because on January 21, 807 She turned Her face towards the igumen of the monastery, who was standing near the holy icon, about to hand the keys of the monastery to the porter. A voice came from the icon and warned him not to open the monastery gates, because pirates intended to pillage the monastery. Then the Holy Child placed His hand over His Mother’s lips, saying, “Do not watch over this sinful flock, Mother, but let them fall under the sword of the pirates.” The Holy Virgin took the hand of Her Son and said again, “Do not open the gates today, but go to the walls and drive off the pirates.” The igumen took precautionary measures, and the monastery was saved.

In memory of this miraculous event a perpetual lamp burns in front of the wonderworking icon. Every day a Canon of Supplication is chanted in honor of the icon, and on Fridays the Divine Liturgy is celebrated. On Mt. Athos this icon is called “Paramythia,” “Consolation” (“Otrada”), or “Comfort” (“Uteshenie”).

Join Us!

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Service Schedule:

Wed  Jan 17

Fast: fish, wine, oil

 

Fri  Jan 19

Strict Fast

 

Sat  Jan 20

5 – 6pm Vespers

 

Sun  Jan 21

9:40am Hours

10:00am Divine Liturgy

12:30pm Annual Parish Meeting

 

Our Complete Calendar and Schedule is HERE:


Annual Parish Meeting

Sunday January 21st at 12:30

Please attend this important meeting

Election of Parish Council

and Annual Reports


What in the world is an Orthodox Christian?  

Click HERE for a brief explanation!

Click HERE for a more complete explanation!


Please Mark your calendar and Join Us !

 

His Eminence Benjamin

Archbishop of San Francisco and the West

will visit our Mission Parish

Saturday and Sunday March 3rd and 4th, 2018 


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Great Lent Begins 

February 19th!

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Orthodox Christianity on the Web

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Glossaries of Orthodox Terms

Orthodox Terminology  A very large glossary of Orthodox words from the website of The Orthodox Church of the Mother of God

A Short Glossary of Liturgical Terms from the website of the Holy Trinity Cathedral, San Francisco

St Mary Magdalene Orthodox Church

Who We Are 

 

 

     We are a family church of many cultures with intergenerational worship; we have a full liturgical life throughout the Church year, with many opportunities for joyful fellowship and enduring growth. Our vision is to “manifest the Kingdom of God by proclaiming and living the Orthodox Christian Faith.” Orthodox Christianity is for everyone — come and see!

 

     Located at the north end of California's San Joaquin Valley, St. Mary Magdalene Orthodox Church is dedicated to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to His promise of salvation to all mankind. The services of our mission-parish are located in the heart of Merced.

 

     Committed to serving Christ and His Holy Church, the people of St. Mary Magdalene welcome and encourage all visitors to be our guests, especially those who are truly seeking the path of salvation.  

Saint Mary Magdalene
Orthodox Church

Archpriest Lawrence Gaudreau
Sermons

"Sanity for Mankind"
January 14, 2018
"God's Goodwill Towards Man"
December 31, 2017
"The Grand and Incredible Mystery"
Dec 24, 2017
     




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