Sunday Messenger

July 9, 2023

Paregentan of the Fast of the Transfiguration

Scripture and Feast Day Notes

From Today’s Readings

Matthew 14:13-21 Hearing of his cousin John’s execution, Jesus withdraws in solitude but becomes immediately compassionate towards the crowds that follow him. He heals the sick and when the disciples tell him it is late and the people must be sent away to find food, he asks them to feed the crowd themselves. With just two fish and five loaves of bread, Jesus feeds more than 5,000, giving thanks and breaking the bread in a moment that foreshadows the Last Supper. The twelve baskets of leftovers point to the Messianic banquet in the final coming of the Kingdom. Discuss/reflect: Prayerfully read and then retell in your own words the miracle recounted in today’s Gospel reading. What does this story tell you about Jesus’ power in our lives?

Romans 11: 13-24 St. Paul addresses the Gentiles whom he has helped bring to Christ, admitting that he had hoped to prompt envy in the Jews that they might also follow Jesus. Gentiles who count themselves among the faithful must remember that they have been grafted on to an ancient tree (Judaic roots) from which unbelievers have been trimmed. Rather than be arrogant, these new believers should realize that they can just as easily be cut from the tree because of unbelief. Discuss/reflect: Paul warns believers against thinking they have a better, stronger faith than others. Do churches and individuals exhibit this judgmental behavior today?

Isaiah 3: 1-11 Isaiah continues to convey God’s displeasure with the prideful people of Judah and Jerusalem; He warns of disorder and even chaos because “their words and deeds are against the Lord, defying His glorious presence…” (v 8) Discuss/reflect: What things make up Judah’s “supply and support” that the Lord is taking away? (3:1) What people, what things bolster your life? Do any of them keep you from God?

Today is the Paregentan of the Fast of Transfiguration
The church prepares to celebrate one of the five major feasts next Sunday, July 28, with a week of fasting preceded by a “paregentan” or day of celebration (lit: ‘good-living’). Fasting before a major feast is a lost practice for most Christians. How unfortunate since this signifies that the feast itself has lost both its historic and timeless impact on our lives. With prayer and other spiritual disciplines, fasting is a way of getting the entire body and soul ready for an important church event. Paregentan days precede fasts throughout the church year; the greatest season of fasting – Great Lent – is launched by the greatest Paregentan: “Poon Paregentan.” Reflection: In preparation for the Feast of the Transfiguration prayerfully read about it as recounted in Matthew 17:1–8, Mark 9:2–8, Luke 9:28–36. What unique detail appears in Luke 9:28-29 (compare with opening verses in the other Gospels)? What might this tell us about prayer?     

Requiem Service (Karasoonk) – for Kilhatir Alis Sisian (Alice) – Requested by her daughter Denise Sisian in loving memory of her mom.  Altar flowers are also donated in memory of Denise’s mom.

Coffee Hour Fellowship – Sponsored by Denise Sisian in memory of her mom Kilhatir Alis Sisian (Alice).

Attention Graduates! The next issue of the LOOYS will feature our graduates (all levels) and we invite you to submit your own details for inclusion. Write-up should include: full name, parents’ names, name of institution, grade level or degree achieved, activity involvement (church or school), and future plans (further education/work/other). Please include a picture (in high resolution color), if possible. Everything should be sent to by August 15, 2023.

Church Calendar (please mark your calendars)

July 16 – Feast of the Transfiguration of our Lord

July 30 – Participants depart for Pilgrimage to Armenia

August 13 – Feast of the Assumption of the Holy Mother-Of-God (Grapes Blessing)

September 17 – Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

September 21 – Armenian Independence Day

October 1 – Feast of the Holy Cross of Varak

Local Shredding & Electronic Recycling Event – Sponsored by State Senator Art Haywood’s office.