THE SUNDAY MESSENGER
October 29, 2023
Feast of the Discovery of the Holy Cross
Scripture and Feast Day Notes
From Today’s Readings:
Matthew 24:27-36 Although no one but the Father knows the exact day or hour, Jesus speaks of His return as unmistakable, as clear as the fig tree’s transformation when summer draws near. He will appear in the sky with power and great glory and will send His angels with a loud trumpet blast to gather the elect from the four corners of the world. Discuss/reflect: What does it mean, practically, to be ready for Jesus’ return if we do not know when that will be? If it were tomorrow, are you ready to eagerly present yourself to Him, or hang back in embarrassment?
I Corinthians 1:18-24 St. Paul talks about the different reactions to the message of the cross. Some believed it to be foolish; others believed it to be offensive; it was a stumbling block to those who sought a sign of worldly power and wisdom. God’s foolishness and weakness are wiser and stronger than anything non-believers could readily understand! Discuss/reflect: Where do you derive the wisdom and strength to be happy? Pray for God’s wisdom that you might understand the true, life-transforming message of the cross.
Isaiah 33:22-34:1 Isaiah encourages God’s people to place their trust in Him. As in today’s reading from Wisdom, we encounter images of a ship in disarray. Discuss/reflect: With what four roles is Jesus (Lord) identified in verse 22? (Judge, lawgiver, king, savior). How can each guide your behavior?
Wis.14:1-8 On the Feast of the Discovery of the Holy Cross as well as the earlier Feast of the Exaltation, this reading (which can only be found in the Armenian Bible or a Bible that includes the Deuterocanonical books) offers an image of a floundering ship and the raft that brings people to safety. “The people trust their lives to the smallest piece of wood …for blessed is the wood by which righteousness comes…” (14:5-7) – a reference for Christians to the Cross of Christ and the true path to salvation (as opposed to wooden idols). Discuss/reflect: Do you trust your life to God’s sovereignty? If not, what idols are your gods?
Feast of the Discovery of the Holy Cross
In the 4th century, the Emperor Constantine sent his mother Queen Helena to find the actual cross upon which Christ was crucified. She found the site (c.326), but three crosses were there. To authenticate the true cross of Christ, the body of a young man who had recently died was placed on each cross. The Holy Cross of Christ was ‘discovered’ when the deceased youth came back to life! Christians in Jerusalem began to venerate that cross, and since then it has been broken into fragments and dispersed among various churches. There is a fragment of the cross in Etchmiadzin, as well as in St. Vartan Cathedral in New York City. Discuss/Reflect: Although this was a discovery made long ago, even today we are called to discover the mystery of the cross in our daily lives. Are you willing to transform your life by taking up the cross, and allowing its power to give you new life in Christ?
Department of Christian Education/Diocese of the Armenian Church (Eastern)/firstname.lastname@example.org
REQUIEM SERVICES: Hokehankist today will be for:
Movsesyan Vahan on the 5th anniversary of his Eternal Rest. Requested by Gevork Sarkisian, Karen Sarkissian and family members.
Sunday Short Studies – Tasting Goodness: When we come to church, we not only see and hear the Badarak, but we experience God in two other ways: SCENT and TASTE. Psychology has identified that certain smells bypass our normal brain processes and go straight into our deeper memories. What does the smell of khoong (incense) bring up in your mind? What about the taste of Holy Communion? Join us this Sunday, October 29 at 10AM in the Sanctuary before Badarak as we explore these questions.
Artsakh Support Desperately Needed – Since early this year, we have closely followed the news from and about Artsakh. We prayed often, deeply and fervently. We didn’t know what else to do. Our hearts broke when the unimaginable happened and Artsakh was lost to us. Now is our time to help the thousands of refugees who had to flee to mainland Armenia to seek a safe haven. They left their homes and most of their belongings forever. We are appealing to our faithful to give generously from your heart to help our sisters and brothers who have given their all.
Checks should be made to Holy Trinity Armenian Church, Memo: Artsakh, and brought or mailed to church. Online donations can be made by going to www.holytrinity-pa.org, go to donations, scroll down to Open Donation and enter Artsakh.
Humanitarian Support for Artsakh Ongoing From The Knights And Daughters Of Vartan – As the Azeri government still cracks down on the Armenian people in the nation of Artsakh, the people are not giving up! Please consider making a donation to the Knights and Daughters of Vartan Call to Action Committee! Donations will go towards humanitarian aid. For further information please visit the Knights and Daughters of Vartan website @ https://kofv.org/a-call-to-action-from-kdv-for-artsakh/
Mail your donations to Knights of Vartan, Mr. Ronald Nazeley,Treasurer, 558 Kentwood Bluffs Drive, Los Angeles 90045.
Operation Christmas Child is underway. Samaritan’s Purse, the organization that sponsors the shoebox project, provided 30 tons of humanitarian aid to those who were forced from their homes as a result of the Artsakh War. We ask you to consider filling one or more shoeboxes in appreciation for what they have done to help our homeland in our time of need. The shipping fees of $10 per box are being underwritten by the generosity of the Adult Christian Education (ACE) Ministry. For those who are unable to fill a shoebox, donations will be gratefully accepted. Checks should be made payable to: Holy Trinity Armenian Church, Memo: OCC. To receive materials, please see Jeanette or Berjoohy.
REVISED ABSOLUTE DEADLINE IS SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2023
Sisterhood of Widows – The next get-together, sponsored by ACE, will take place on Sunday, October 29th, following Badarak. Please look for signs posted in the lobby for the meeting location. For more information, call Lucy Aghazarian at 215-901-7642. DISCUSSION TOPIC: Strategies for Fighting Loneliness.
Pastor’s Weekly ZOOM Bible Study – Our Adult Christian Education ministry team is pleased to invite our faithful to Fr. Hakob’s Bible Study on the GOSPEL OF LUKE. We will meet every Wednesday evening from 7:00 to 8:00 via Zoom. Last year, we journeyed with Der Hayr methodically through the Gospel of Matthew and learned a great deal. So, why are we studying the Gospel of Luke? Isn’t it just another gospel? Join us beginning November 8 to discover how Luke’s account of Jesus’ life and ministry differs from the other gospels and what it means for us. To receive the Zoom link, contact email@example.com
Seeking Part-time Organists – the Choir of Holy Trinity continues to seek multiple talented musicians who would be seriously interested in playing the organ for the Sunday morning Divine Liturgy (Badarak) on a rotating schedule. Organ lessons will be provided to the interested candidates, along with one-on-one direction from a senior choir person. For further information, contact Karinne Andonian @ firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Kiss Of Peace: After the gifts of the Eucharist are brought to the Altar Table, the deacon proclaims, “Greet one another with a holy kiss.” The person giving the greeting says, Kristos ee mech mer Haydnetsav – Christ is revealed amongst us. The recipient would respond, Orhnial eh Haydnootiunun Kristosee – Blessed is the revelation of Christ.
Lost & Found: Please take a look at the coat racks in the hallway as we have begun to accumulate miscellaneous pieces of clothing. We will be donating any remaining items to charity in November.
Oct 28 – Twelve Holy Doctors of the Church
Oct 29 – Discovery of the Holy Cross
Oct 29 – Sisterhood of Widows after Badarak
Nov 5 – Return (Fall Back) to Standard Time