THE SUNDAY MESSENGER
November 26, 2023
First Sunday of Advent
Scripture and Feast Day Notes
From Today’s Readings
Luke 12:13-31 Jesus tells the parable of a rich fool who plans to build a bigger place to store his surplus grain so he might “eat, drink, and be merry” (v.19) only to die that very night; how much wiser to be “rich toward God” rather than for ourselves! Jesus continues to reorder our priorities: do not be anxious, He advises, about anything (12:22-31) – better to seek God’s Kingdom from which all things will flow in abundance as it does for the birds and the flowers of the field. Discuss/reflect: Jesus could not be clearer: “A man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” (12:16) What do you need or like to have around you in great number? How can you come out from under this burden to live the trusting, care-free life to which our Lord invites you?
1 Thessalonians 1:1-10 In this first chapter of his letter, St. Paul overflows with praise and thanksgiving for a beloved community. Their exemplary faith, even in suffering, had inspired countless others across the region. Discuss/reflect: Read verse 3 aloud. Prayerfully turn the questions around: “Does my faith produce work, does love prompt labor, does hope inspire better endurance?”
Isaiah 36:1-9 The king of Assyria has invaded Judah and from captured Lachish sends a commander to demand Jerusalem’s surrender (an Assyrian wall relief depicting this capture has been excavated at the site). He questions King Hezekiah’s reliance on God. Discuss/reflect: In v.4, the Assyrian enemy mocks King Hezekiah’s faith: in the face of enemy assault, on what could he possibly base his confidence? What forces assail your faith today? How do you respond?
Today is the First Sunday of Advent
Unlike the four-week Advent of the Western Church, the season preceding Christmas in the Armenian Church is fifty days, called Heesnag (from the word for fifty, heesoon). As a period of spiritual preparation, Heesnag contains a total of three designated weeks of fasting (aside from the usual Wednesday and Friday fasts). So, unlike Great Lent, it is not a continuous period of this discipline. Bottom line: Our Advent or Heesnag is a beautiful time to prepare, body and soul, for the celebration of the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Prayerful activity: Every day, spend five minutes reading some part of the Christmas story: Luke 1:26-56; Luke 2:1-20; Matthew 1:18-25; Matthew 2. Read only a few verses at a time and savor them. Keep reading and repeating in preparation for Christmas.
There will be no coffee hour today. Please use the “extra” time to do something thoughtful for family, friends or a total stranger.
Reminder: According to the Diocesan Bylaws, membership dues are to be paid no later than December 31st each year, in order to be a member in “good standing” and to be eligible to vote at the annual assembly. Any monies received after that date will be applied to the new year. For any questions regarding your status, please call the church office.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 @ email@example.com.
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.
First Sunday of Advent
Dec 9 – Feast of the Conception of the Holy Virgin Mary
Dec 17 – Inspiring guest speaker following Badarak.