THE SUNDAY MESSENGER
June 4, 2023
Remembrance of the Prophet Elijah
Scripture and Feast Day Notes
From Today’s Readings
1 Kings 18:29-46 Elijah’s prayer to God brings rain after a long drought, whereas the prayers of Baal’s prophets prove futile. This ‘contest’ is spectacular: 850 pagan prophets against the one prophet Elijah of the one God Yahweh. Discuss/reflect: Where is the one true God competing with the false gods in your life?
2 Kings 2:1-15 The prophet Elijah continues to remind his protégé Elisha that God would soon be taking his master from him. When Elijah is taken up to heaven in a fiery chariot, he drops his cloak to the ground. Elisha picks it up, taps the nearby Jordan river with it, and the water parts for him. God’s spirit had descended now upon Elijah’s pupil. Discuss/reflect: Have you ever had the mantle of leadership passed on to you? What quality of your mentor did you value most?
James 5:16-20 In these concluding verses of James’ epistle, he advises his listeners to confess to and pray for each other, as the “prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” He cites Elijah as a man whose prayers were indeed effective. Discuss/reflect: Have you ever helped someone make a better, more God-pleasing decision? Consider the far-reaching consequences!
Luke 4: 25-30 Jesus is in a synagogue in his hometown of Nazareth. To the congregation’s amazement, he famously dF@ith2023eclares that no prophet is accepted in his hometown. He cites the examples of the prophets Elijah and Elisha whose healings were more readily accepted by non-Jews. So angered by this, the people drive him to the edge of a cliff to throw him down; but Jesus manages to leave them peacefully. Discuss/reflect: Perhaps we have more in common with this congregation of two thousand years ago than we think. Is there anything about what Jesus teaches that makes you so uncomfortable you would rather drive him out of your life?
Today is the Remembrance of the Prophet Elijah
Tomorrow, St. Hripsime and her companions – St. Hripsime and the community of nuns traveling with her (led by St. Gayane) are the unsung heroines of the Christianization of Armenia. Fleeing persecution from the Emperor Diocletian in the late 3rd century AD, they escaped to Armenia and settled in Vagharshapat. King Drtad himself then pursued the beautiful Hripsime only to be rebuffed by the devout young woman. The 5th century historian Agathangelos recorded her story along with St. Gregory’s, vividly describing the physical battle between her and the king. In his new book, Women Too Were Blessed: The Portrayal of Women in Early Armenian Christian Texts, scholar David Zakarian speaks of the fight as significant on two levels: Christian virtue and faith overpowering paganism and a powerless young woman physically defeating a tyrannical king. In the renowned icon (a copy of which adorns a side altar in the St. Nersess Seminary chapel), Hripsime is depicted as triumphant and glorified. What one rarely notices is how she tramples upon the head of King Drtad who brandishes a useless sword. One of the first things St. Gregory did was build shrines over the relics of the fallen Hripsime and Gayane and their fellow nuns. Two churches in their names stand near Holy Etchmiadzin to this day. Reflection: Pray for these beloved saints, grateful for the heroic martyrdom that inspired a nation’s faith.
REQUIEM: Hokehankisd for: Edward L. Zarzatian Jr., on the 25th anniversary of his eternal rest requested by Rosemarie Zarzatian, Keytanjian, Jordan and Zarzatian families.
Coffee Hour, Altar Flowers, and Candles: Sponsored by the Zarzatian Family in memory of Edward Zarzatian, beloved husband, father, and grandfather on the 25th anniversary of his eternal life.
FAR UPDATE: The Fund for Armenian Relief’s Children’s Center desperately needs to renovate the bedrooms and replace decrepit windows to ensure vulnerable kids have decent living conditions. The Center safeguards children who are victims of abuse, abandonment and neglect. Since 2000, more than 11,000 children have been helped by them. If this touches your heart, please support their efforts by going to Ayo (weareayo.org)
Attic Treasures – Bazaar 2023: Please do not bring your Attic Treasures to the church until September 15th. While we appreciate the donations, we ask you to store them at your homes as we do not have a storage area. Thank you.
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.
CHURCH CALENDAR (please mark your calendars)
Wednesday Bible Study with Fr. Hakob
June 4 – Youth Concert following Badarak
June 11 – Feast of Holy Etchmiadzin
June 18 – Father’s Day
July 4 – Independence Day
July 16 – Feast of the Transfiguration of our Lord