Holy Ascension of Christ
October 1, 2022
Sermon from Fr. Nicholas
Sermon for September 2nd, 2007
14th Sunday After Pentecost
Afterfeast of Dormition / Prophet Samuel
Gospel: Matt. 22:1-14 (§89)
In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
In today’s Gospel, the Lord compares the kingdom of heaven to a marriage feast. The king has prepared a lavish feast to celebrate his son’s marriage, and he has sent servants to call the guests, but the guests would not come.
Again, the king sends his servants, this time with details saying, “Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.” It says that the bidden guests “made light of it”, that is, they mocked the invitation, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise.
That sentence could well describe our modern world, from the mockery of things spiritual, particularly Christianity, to the preoccupation with work and profit. Every morning, modern men and women get up and spend all day passionately involved in building things that will soon turn to dust in lives that are just an illusion. The eternal, on the other hand, is made light of. But Jesus said that this would be exactly the way it would happen: the wise and the prudent of this world would not recognize God, but all Truth will be opened to the babes and sucklings.
Others from among the invited guests in the parable took the servants, beat them and killed them. This too, unfortunately is part of our modern world, where Christians being persecuted and killed is as commonplace as it is unnoticed.
The king was wroth and sent his army to destroy the murderers and burn their city. Then he commanded his servants to go out to the highways and gather all they find, and bid them to come to the marriage. The servants did as they were told gathering both good and bad, and bringing them to the feast. The king then comes to see the guests, and finds one without a wedding garment on. It should be noted that at that time, someone inviting guests to a wedding also provides each of his guests with a beautiful garment for the occasion, and it would be a great insult not to wear it. Nevertheless, the king approaches, and says, “Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment?” But when the guest ignores him, he commands his servant to bind him hand and foot and cast him into outer darkness.
Notice that the Gospel says that the servants brought good and bad people, but only the one who was found without the wedding garment was cast out. It is very important to understand what the wedding garment is.
St. Gregory the Great writes, “What do we think is meant by the wedding garment, dearly beloved? For if we say it is baptism or faith, is there anyone who has entered this marriage feast without them? A person is outside because he has not yet come to believe. What then must we understand by the wedding garment but love.”
Blessed Augustine also writes, “Suppose someone who speaks in tongues comes in and is asked, ‘How did you get in here without a wedding garment?’ Suppose he answers, ‘But I have the gift of prophecy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains.’ But if he has no love, he has nothing. Such may be the clothing of those who in fact lack the wedding garment.”
So, my brothers and sisters in Christ, even those who have lived badly up until that point, if they clothe themselves with the garment of Christ’s love, will be welcomed into the feast. As the Lord says, “to those who loved much, much is forgiven.” Let us live by Christian love as this is the essence of the entire Gospel.
Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God have mercy on us.
From the Parish Council
Thank you to all who are dedicating time, effort, and prayers for our church and community. Glory to God for all things!
If you are interested in helping with projects and chores (large or small), please reach out to our church warden, Sasha Soubotin (email@example.com), or our head sisters, Christina Roller (firstname.lastname@example.org), Vicky Selznick (email@example.com), and Stephanie Rindell (firstname.lastname@example.org).
On Sunday, September 18th after Divine Liturgy we were blessed with another beautiful day for our Parish Picnic in Ellison Park at our usual Sycamore Shelter.
Special thanks to our Sisterhood, Starosta, and all who contributed to the festivities!
Enjoy the photos of our fun and fellowship!
October 2 - Holy Martyr Trophimus - Vigil on Saturday as usual and no services at Holy Ascension on Sunday.
- All are encouraged to attend services on Sunday at St. Maximus in Oswego to celebrate their approaching parish feast day. God willing, our Metropolitan will be there.
October 9 - Repose of the Apostle John - No services at Holy Ascension
October 16 - St. Dionysius the Areopagite
October 23 - Holy Fathers of the Seventh Ecumenical Council
October 30 - Prophet Hosea -Hierarchical visit by Metropolitan Demitrius
Please note the following service schedule:
- Vigil is served at 6:30pm each Saturday and before each Feast.
- Hours and Divine Liturgy are served at 9:00am unless otherwise noted.
- Each Friday at 6:30pm, Father Nicholas will serve Vespers.
Following Vespers each Friday, Fr. Nicholas will offer a Catechism Class.