Middle Sunday

Sunday Messenger

February 24, 2019

Middle Sunday

Resurrection and Eternal Life

During the Feast of Tabernacles, prayers were offered in thanksgiving to God for his provision, for rain and water to be further provided, as well as prayers for the resurrection of the dead. Earlier in John’s Gospel, in his dialogue with the Samaritan woman at the well, Jesus refers to living water (John 4:13-14):

Every one who drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst; the water that I shall give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.

In the Old Testament, we read a prophecy from Ezekiel (47:1-12), where a new river will flow from under the Temple threshold, and will get deeper and deeper, finally making its way to the Dead Sea, where it will revive the stagnant waters, making it fresh and bringing it to life. This is a foreshadowing of the Messiah, an image of the resurrection. Jesus is the Temple from which this water flows, and we are those whom he brings back to life into communion with him and with one another.

In Sunday’s Gospel reading, the discourse between Nicodemus and the Pharisees further brings out the motif of resurrection, but in a hidden manner. Threatened by a new paradigm, the Kingdom of God, the Pharisees wrongly claim that no prophet has come from Galilee. Not only has Jesus come from Galilee (see Matthew 21:11), but the prophets Jonah and Hosea were also from Galilee.

Interestingly, Jonah’s story is one of resurrection, after being three days in the belly of a great fish. Moreover, Hosea prophecies that God will raise us up on the third day (see Hosea 6:2). John in his own way is setting up for the reader that Jesus’ death and resurrection will happen. God’s plan of salvation cannot be thwarted even when we try to cover or deny it. Whether we believe it or not, participate in it or not, eternal life will prevail. And Jesus invites us into that eternal life when he calls those who are thirsty to drink his living water.

Keep in mind, all of us are thirsty for the living water that Jesus offers, but not all of us drink from that well. And so something from us is required. The new life that Jesus promises us through the Holy Spirit is a life of repentance. St. Cyril of Jerusalem writes,

And as the dry tree, after being nourished with water, puts forth shoots, so also the soul in sin, when it has been through repentance made worthy of the Holy Spirit, brings forth clusters of righteousness.

This is precisely why some Armenian Crosses feature motifs of life such as budded beams, rays of light, or wheat and grapes growing out from its base. Even the ornate floral designs and intricately interwoven lines found in Armenian khachkars, convey themes of eternity and resurrection. The idea is that the cross, once a symbol of torture and execution, or dead stone, are brought to vivid life by way of Jesus’ life-giving presence and resurrection.

The Pharisees failed to make a complete inquiry into who Jesus was, perhaps not even wanting to recognize him. Jesus is looking for those who will seek and recognize him for who he is. At times, does our life and actions reflect that of the Pharisees, threatened by accountability to the Truth, that is Jesus, or do we strive to have a heart like the officers who were unable to follow through on their authoritative duty because in the words and person of Jesus, they perceived His divine, life-giving nature? What distracts or threatens us, as a parish or as individuals, from seeing and experiencing eternal life, here and now, through Jesus Christ? Let’s pray that the Holy Spirit awaken us and alter our priorities.

By Dn. Eric Vozzy


Titus 1: 1-11 (page 194) New Testament
John 7: 37-52 (page 92) New Testament – (Please follow the Armenian Reading in your Bible)
Isaiah 63:18-64:12 (page 739) Old Testament

REQUIEM SERVICES: Karasoonk (40th Day memorial Service) today will be for:

– ANNABELLE ALEXANIAN on the 40th Day of Her eternal life requested by the Alexanian Family.

Hokehankist today will be for:

– GEORGE LAMARRA (1st Anniversary of His eternal life) requested by Barbara Papazian, his sister, Barbara, his brother, Steven, Family and Friends.

“Now, my God, may your eyes be open and your ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place (2 Chron 6:40). Please pray for Rev. Fr. Shnork Souin, Alice Charles, Pearl Jamgochian and Tyrone Thompson for a return to improved health and to feel the presence of God in their lives. Pray also for those you know who have lost a loved one. Pray for and reach out to those who are going through hardship. Remember to pray for our country and her leaders so that peace and kindness can prevail.

COFFEE HOUR: is sponsored today by the Alexanian Family in loving memory of ANNABELLE ALEXANIAN on the 40th Day of Her eternal life. All are welcome.

ALTAR FLOWERS are donated to by Barbara Papazian and Family in loving memory of GEORGE LAMARRA (1st Anniversary of His eternal life)

SAVE THE DATE!! The Ladies of Holy Trinity will sponsor and commemorate Saintly Women’s Day 2019 on Saturday, March 23. Mark your calendars. Details to follow.

PARISH DIRECTORY: The 2019 update of the Parish Directory is available in the Narthex and the Parish Office. Please pick up a copy. If you find that your information is not what you expected, please submit corrections to brianj.hoyle@outlook.com or call at 301-351-7669 and copy the Parish Office.

THE VARTANANTZ COMMEMORATION, under the auspices of the Armenian Inter-communal Committee of Philadelphia, will be held on Thursday, February 28 beginning at 7 PM at the Armenian Sisters Academy in Radnor. This year’s event will feature a re-enactment and performances by the Academy students. Please plan to attend and honor this important event in our history.

COFFEE HOUR: This year we are looking for individuals or families, to run a Coffee Hour each Sunday. (Those who have been running it, are overloaded with doing more than one job on Sundays.) There are sign-up sheets for the next 4 month of Sundays. Anyone wishing to sponsor a special Coffee Hour (Birthday, Anniversary, 40 Days or more, etc.) other than the normal Coffee Hour must contact Merle Santerian 215-205-1507, to make arrangements 2 weeks ahead of time. Under the new scheduling, if a Sunday has no one signed up on the Board, to run the Coffee Hour, there will be no Coffee Hour that Sunday. So, please volunteer and let’s fill all the Sundays in on the Schedule. It is not that involved, and Merle will explain what you have to do to run one. Any questions just see her on any Sunday or call her at the above phone number. Thanks, for your cooperation! We know how much everyone enjoys the Fellowship Hour and we would like to keep it going.

FAR UPDATE: CASP Support Helps One Child to Better Cope with his Grief After his father was killed by sniper fire in the Four-Day War of April 2016, 10-year-old Rafayel Danielyan could not cope. “Rafayel was traumatized. He isolated himself from family and peers, and wouldn’t talk to anyone for a while,” said his grandma, Nona. After his father was killed, Rafayel’s mother Lusine was left on her own to figure out a way to support her children. What helped Lusine and her children was the Children of Armenia Sponsorship Program (CASP), which, through the generous support from the Knights of Vartan, extended additional financial aid to children who had lost their fathers in the Four-Day War. Since 2017, 18 children from Artsakh and 44 children from Armenia have received this aid, which totals $250 per child, annually. CASP also supports 550 other children with stipends throughout Armenia and Javakhk. To read more, go to: https://farusa.org/2019/02/12/casp-casp-support-helps-one-child-to-better-cope-with-his-grief/To support project’s like CASP, go to: https://farusa.org/donate/

2019 Attendance: Plate/Candle Collection:

6 – 207 people $1180.00
Weekly Expenses: $6,000.00

Armenian Sisters Academy: Open House
March 12, 2019 9:30 -11:30 a.m. Join us for a look into the lives of ASA students. The open house will include a tour with our student ambassadors, followed by open discussion with faculty, staff, and parents. RSVP to lsanterian@asaphila.org or 610-687-4100

CHURCH CALENDAR (please mark your calendars)

Thursday February 28 – VARTANANTZ COMMEMORATION at 7 PM at the Armenian Sisters Academy

Sunday March 3rd: Poon Paregentan
Friday March 8th, 15th: Lenten Evenings
Saturday March 23rd: Saintly Women’s Day
Friday March 29th: Lenten Evening
Sunday March 31st: A “tour” of the sanctuary guided by Fr. Hakob

Using the Pew Book: In order to enrich understanding of the Divine Liturgy, we encourage our faithful to follow along in the large two-part Pew Book. Part One includes the classical Armenian used in the Liturgy; the facing page is the translation in modern Western Armenian. Part Two contains the transliteration of the classical Armenian; the right-hand page has the English translation. This Pew Book includes the prayers of the celebrant usually offered inaudibly. The prayers offered aloud are indicated in boldface type.

> Non-Disabled Persons parking spaces are designated with white lines.
> Disabled Persons Parking spaces are designated with blue lines and are reserved for vehicles with a State-authorized disability placard or license plate.
> No parking is allowed in the driveway nearest to the kitchen door.
THANK YOU for your cooperation!

THE NICENE CREED/ HAVADAMK – This is the Profession of our Faith which is recited every Sunday moments after the Gospel is read from the altar. Sometimes it is sung, but more often it is recited by the Deacons and/or the Choir. We invite you to affirm your own “Profession of Faith” by reciting along with us. God longs for all of us to express our faith and devotion to Him.

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 greetings 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.

Anyone who wishes to request any Requiem Services MUST inform the office by 1:30pm Wednesday the week before. If you also want to sponsor the Fellowship Hour you MUST call Merle Santerian at 215-947-3777.

Would you like to:
– receive this Bulletin on Friday via email?
– request a Hokehankist, house blessing or hall rental information?
– find in-depth information on our faith, our parish and our activities?
– sign up for an event online?
If the answer to any of these questions is YES, please visit our parish website at www.holytrinity-pa.org

WE ASK THAT EVERYONE KINDLY TURN OFF ALL CELL PHONES and all other such electronic devices prior to entering the sanctuary out of respect for the sanctity of our services.