Twenty-Sixth Week After Pentecost

Twenty-Sixth Week After Pentecost 11/27/2017 to 12/10/2017


1 Timothy 1:1-7

Luke 14:12-15


1 Timothy 1:8-14

Luke 14:25-35


1 Timothy 1:18-20; 2:8-15

Luke 15:1-10


1 Timothy 3:1-13

Luke 16:1-9


1 Timothy 4:4-8, 16

Luke 16:15-18, 17:1-4


Galatians 3:8-12

Luke 9:57-62

Twenty-Sixth Sunday After Pentecost


Luke 24:1-12 (Matins Gospel 4)


Ephesians 5:9-19

Luke 12:16-21

Twenty-Fourth Week After Pentecost

Twenty-Fourth Week After Pentecost


1 Thessalonians 2:20-3:8

Luke 11:29-33


1 Thessalonians 3:9-13

Luke 11:34-41


1 Thessalonians 4:1-12

Luke 11:42-46


1 Thessalonians 5:1-8

Luke 11:47-12:1


1 Thessalonians 5:9-13,24-28

Luke 12:2-12


2 Corinthians 11:1-6

Luke 9:1-6

Twenty-Fourth Sunday After Pentecost


Mark 16:1-8 (Matins Gospel 2)


Ephesians 2:4-22

Luke 8:41-56 (Slavs), Luke 16:19-31 (Greeks)

Twenty-Third Week After Pentecost


1 Thessalonians 1:1-5

Luke 10:22-24


1 Thessalonians 1:6-10

Luke 11:1-10


1 Thessalonians 2:1-8

Luke 11:9-13


1 Thessalonians 2:9-14

Luke 11:14-23


1 Thessalonians 2:14-19

Luke 11:23-26


2 Corinthians 8:1-5

Luke 8:16-21

Twenty-Third Sunday After Pentecost


Matthew 28:16-20 (Matins Gospel 1)


Ephesians 2.4-10

Luke 8:26-39 (Slavs), Luke 8:41-46 (Greeks




Glory to Jesus Christ!

“Pylypivka” or Philip’s Fast that begins on November 14th is upon us. It is a time of preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We are once again called to embark on a journey to welcome Emmanuel among us! In a short forty days we will celebrate the Feast of Nativity of Our Lord. At the Matins of the Nativity we will sing:

“Christ is born, let us glorify Him. Christ comes down from heaven; let us go out and meet Him. Christ lives on earth, let us exalt in joy. All you faithful sing to the Lord, for He has been glorified.”
Hirmos 1, Canon Matins of the Nativity of Our Lord.

How can we prepare ourselves to welcome God among us? How will we glorify Him? Can this Christmas season be a profound and spiritual experience for me?

In order to properly prepare to meet Christ on His feast of the Nativity, Mother Church is giving us forty days to challenge ourselves to live our Christian calling and vocation: to deepen knowledge of the Word of God, to live a life of community and personal prayer, and to perform acts of charity and mercy both in the church, and in the world. In these three points, we can describe our vocation as a Christian, as well as the vocation of the entire Church.

If every parish is called to be a place to encounter the living Christ, then Christ the Teacher must have a central place in our lives and our parish life. Now is the time to daily set aside time for reading the Sacred Scripture and to meditate upon it. We are also called to learning of Divine truth, the truths of the Christian faith and the foundations of Christian life.

Gathered together “at the breaking of the bread”, that is at the Eucharistic Sacrifice, we are mystically united among ourselves, and are also united with Christ’s sacrifice, offered to God the Father for us and by us. The Eucharist is the center of the Christian life. The parish – the community gathers for the “breaking of the bread,” that is for the Eucharistic service. The Eucharist is at the same time the culmination of the parish life and also the source of all its spiritual blessings. Let us invite a friend or neighbor to join us for the liturgical services in our parish community.

During these days, we are called both personally, and as a member of the community to pray, for oneself, and for others, to offer one’s self as a sacrifice to God, to forgive others and to ask God for forgiveness, to bless God and to be a blessing for others.

What is most important: all of us together are called to strive for holiness, to be a truly holy people. What does this mean? In parish life, every liturgical service and all of our liturgical practices and prayer life is to promote the sanctification of the time and the place where we are, and we ourselves become sanctified as well, as a gift consecrated to God. That is why during the time of preparation for coming of our Lord we should guard oneself from sin, and strive to grow in the virtue of moderation, purity of body and soul, according to one’s state in life.

We are also called to look beyond ourselves and be of service to others, especially the less fortunate among us. During the Philip Feast let us look at our community and find those who need our help and assistance. We can visit the sick, assist the poor, give food for the hungry, care for orphans, support those who suffer injustice, promote peace, and offer comfort for those grieving. We can perform all of this in our community where we live and work, as the needy live among us.

Let us start this season together! Let us pray, meditate upon the Word of God, sacrifice for one another and trust in God.

Then with joy we will be able to welcome God among us!

+Stefan Soroka
Archbishop of Philadelphia for Ukrainian
Metropolitan of Ukrainian Catholics in the United States

+Paul Chomnycky, OSBM
Eparch of Stamford

+Benedict Aleksiychuk
Eparch of St. Nicholas in Chicago

+ Bohdan J. Danylo (author)
Eparch of St. Josaphat in Parma

+John Bura
Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia

+Andriy Rabiy
Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia

Pylypivka 2017

Reflections on the Scripture Readings for this Weekend — 207097

During the past week, Thursday the 14th of September, we celebrated the great feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. This weekend we continue that celebration and venerate the Cross of Christ.

Our Epistle reading is taken from the letter of Paul to the Galatians. In it he has these words:

…knowing that a man is not justified by legal observance but by faith in Jesus Christ, we too have believed in him in order to be justified by faith…. I have been crucified with Christ, and the life I live now is not my own; Christ is living in me. I still live my human life, but it is a life of faith in the Son of God….

Indeed similar words should be on the lips and in the heart of each and every Christian. Paul indeed shows us how to think as a Christian and how to live.

Our second reading, taken from Mark’s Gospel, presents the doctrine of the Cross. Mark summarizes the doctrine of the Cross in this manner:

If a man wishes to come after me, he must deny his very self, take up his cross, and follow in my steps…. Whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will preserve it.

The story of the Cross of Jesus is perhaps the greatest story every told since it tells us humans how to live life. It is a story of great faith in God and great personal strength. Jesus was a man who truly lived what He believed and He clearly showed us how to live. It is a story about what is possible for human beings if they hope and trust in God.

I know that many will immediately say that Jesus was able to endure His crucifixion because He was God. That is not what our faith tells us. He truly endured crucifixion because of the way that He embraced life and what He thought about the meaning and purpose of life. He did not endure the crucifixion the way that He did because He is God.

I know that this may be difficult for some to believe. Our human instinct is to deny that a human could go through what Jesus did only because of His faith. We don’t want to believe that He endured what He did simply as a human person. We don’t want to believe any differently because it would mean that we too could live like He did. Our faith tells us that He endured all as truly a human.

Reflections on the Scripture Readings for this Weekend — 20170910

This weekend we prepare ourselves for the celebration of the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. Our first reading is taken from Paul’s Letter to the Galatians wherein he asserts that the Cross is the true boast of all true followers of Jesus Christ. In fact he states: “May I never boast of anything by the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Through it, the world has been crucified to me and I to the world.”

Hopefully we, who call ourselves Christian might say the same thing as Paul. The Cross of Christ is truly the symbol of those who willingly embrace the real and true challenges of life in the same way that Jesus did.

While Christians embrace, as the ultimate symbol of the Christian life, the Resurrection of Christ, the resurrection is never seen out of the context of the Crucifixion. In the Crucifixion of Christ we see how we must approach life. We see that the challenges of life have a meaning. They are the means that life is providing us to grow in the likeness of God, as seen in the Person of Jesus.

Our second reading, which is taken from John’s Gospel, stresses the fact that the Crucifixion of Christ symbolizes a “way of living.” The Crucifixion of Christ presents us with a “way of living” which embraces all of the challenges of life as opportunities for spiritual growth. Jesus showed us that when we can finally see that the challenges of life present true and real opportunities for spiritual growth, we begin to see that the meaning and true purpose of life is to spiritually grow – to lean how to accept life as it is presented to us.

The Cross was the true opportunity of Jesus to tell us that if we embrace life’s challenges with an open mind and heart and refuse to allow the challenges of life to distract us from being people who TRUST IN GOD and who are willing to FORGIVE OTHERS, then we spiritually grow (these are the themes that have been presented to us during the past several weeks in our readings).

Again this requires that we begin to understand the true meaning and purpose of life. God created us and gave us a free will. The purpose of life is to grow in the likeness of Jesus, which will allow us to truly become children of God and allow us to understand why we were created.

Reflections on the Scripture Readings for this Weekend — 20170903

Our first reading this weekend is taken from St. Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians wherein he tells them and us: “Be on your guard, stand firm in the faith… In a word, be strong. Do everything with love.” He clearly states a way of living that is based on the teachings of Jesus. A Christian is ever watchful so that when life presents challenges he can respond to them in a manner similar to that way Jesus met the challenges in His life. If we base our response to the events of life in the manner that our faith tells us, then we will have peace and will grow in our likeness of Christ. It is our job as Christians to support and to encourage one another to live in the manner that Jesus did.

Our second reading, taken from Matthew’s Gospel, presents the parable of the “tenants”. It is one of Jesus’ parable of which we should all be aware. This parable also goes by the name of the Parable of the Wicked Husbandmen.

Matthew has somewhat expanded this parable in order to make the point entirely clear, although the parable is not obscure in Mark. The description of the vineyard is given in words that closely echo Isaiah 5:2., where the vineyard symbolizes Israel. The parable of Jesus has allegorical features. The owner is an absentee landlord, and in the New Testament (NT) such disputes between landlords and tenants were not unknown. Matthew increases the number of the slaves so that their allegorical significance may be completely clear; the slaves represent the prophets. The allegorical significance of the son is not equally clear. No Old Testament figure can be intended and the death of John the Baptizer cannot be attributed to the Jews. If the son is an allegorical figure, he can represent no one but Jesus; and one would expect more to be made of this feature of the parable. As a suggestion that Jesus himself is the son who is killed, this passage is extremely delicate; that it is an ecclesiastical expansion inserted in the primitive Church seems unlikely because it is a part of the climactic structure of the parable.

So as we think about both of these readings we hear an exhortation to be aware that the message is that we must be on guard to maintain a way of responding to the challenges of life that is in accord with the Jesus way. The parable also tells us not to take advantage of any of the situations in life that we think might benefit us as the tenants did. To benefit at the expense of others is not the way.

Reflections on the Scripture Readings for this Weekend — 20170827

Our first reading this weekend is again taken from Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. In the passage we hear, he again reminds the Corinthians and us that he has preached the Lord crucified and risen from the dead. He also states that he himself saw the resurrected Christ. He then states this: “by God’s favor I am what I am. This favor of His to me has not proved fruitless”.

I believe that this has a very important and poignant message for us. We must be able to look at ourselves in a mirror and say exactly what Paul said – I am what I am by God’s favor.
I is critical, I have found, that we have a true appreciation for who we are. Why? Because it is by the grace of God that we are who we are. In some mysterious way, God chose us to be who we are in order that His creation could be complete. We must have a true respect for this fact and feel in our heart of hearts that we are His creation and that what He created He found good. I would remind my readers that if we find that we cannot love ourselves, we cannot love others.

Our second reading, taken from Matthew’s Gospel, relates what Jesus said to the man who asked Jesus this question: “what good must I do to possess everlasting life?” After Jesus states several of the commandments and the young man says: “I have kept all these; what do I need to do further?” Jesus then says, “If you seek perfection, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor. You will then have treasure in heaven”.

The clear message is that the things of this world can become true obstacles to spiritual growth since they seem to have the power to seduce people into becoming attached to them. When we become too attached to things of this world, we see to forget the things of the Kingdom. It seems that “things” have a natural impact on many people and it is easy to become true “slaves” to the things that we own.

Often attachment to the things of this world bespeak of a person desire to control life since they realize, at some level, that life is unpredictable and, of course, uncontrollable. We quickly forget that we can’t take the things of this world with us when we die.