Sunday of the Expulsion

Sunday Messenger

February 18, 2024

Sunday of the Expulsion

Sunday of Expulsion

Scripture notes for today’s readings

Matthew 5:17-48 – Having just proclaimed the Beatitudes — an astounding list of promised blessings — Jesus clarifies that these do not replace the Law, but rather fulfill it, bringing it to completion. Sins such as murder and adultery begin in the heart; honor, justice and commitment need to be taken seriously. Discuss/reflect: Jesus asks us to be completely reconciled with others before we honor God at the altar (23-24). What might this prompt us to do before we receive Holy Communion? (Consider those we have hurt and heal our differences.)

Romans 12:1-13:10 – A beautiful companion reading to Jesus’ teachings about the Law, St. Paul asserts that the Torah is no longer the norm for conduct, rather it is love that must guide our behavior; love is the true “fulfillment of the law.”(13:10) Discuss/reflect: In verses 12:9-21, which two commands are the easiest for you to keep? Which two the hardest?

Isaiah 33:2-22 – In the shadow of Israel’s enemy Assyria, Isaiah pleads for God’s power and presence, trusting that he will appear in all his majesty as lawgiver, judge and king. Discuss/reflect: What qualities of God in vv 2 and 3 are reflected in the titles given to him in v. 22? (God is gracious, strong, a source of salvation and terrifyingly great power; these qualities are reflected in his title of judge, lawgiver and king).

Today is the Sunday of the Expulsion

Expulsion Sunday reminds us of that original exile from God’s presence: Adam and Eve driven our of Paradise for eating from the tree that had been forbidden to them.

The notion that they were wiser than God in deciding to eat the fruit of the “knowledge of good and evil” is at the heart of every sinful thought or action to this day. And even now, when we do something we’re not proud of, facing God is indeed as difficult as it was for Adam and Eve who tried to hide from Him as He walked “in the Garden in the cool of the day.” (Genesis 3:8) Thankfully, in God’s loving mercy, this is an exile He will not let us endure forever. Great Lent is a unique opportunity to ponder God’s absence even as we seek Him in 40 days of prayer and reflection. Reflection: Read Genesis 3. Why would God allow Adam and Eve to fail wfhen tempted? What does this say about God? About what He wants from us?


Today the annual Vartanantz celebration, organized by the Philadelphia Inter-communal Committee, will take place at Holy Trinity Armenian Church @ 2pm.  We encourage all of our parishioners to remain after Badarak to enjoy a special performance of dance and song, presented by the Folk Ensemble direct from Armenia. We are fortunate to have this entertainment right in our own community, rather than going halfway across the world to see such a dynamic program.  There is no charge, but a free will offering would be appreciated. An array of refreshments will be served after the program.

REQUIEM SERVICES: Hokehankist today will be for:

Bryan Peckjian on the 1st anniversary of his eternal rest. Requested in loving memory by his wife Talene and daughters Ani and Alise.

Van Injaian who passed January 14, 2024, at home surrounded by his family. Requested in loving memory by his wife Suzanne, his children and the entire Injaian family.

Fellowship Today – In light of the Vartanantz Program, there will not be a coffee hour today.

2024 Lenten Series Begins February 16:  Our Adult Christian Education ministry has planned an enlightening and diverse program for its 2024 Lenten series; flyers with details about the hybrid (Zoom and In-Person) initiative are available in the narthex. As in the last three years, the series begins with a Zoom Rest Service featuring the penitential and eloquent “I Confess with Faith” prayers of St. Nersess Shnorhali. The 24 prayers will be read by several young adult members of our community. The service will be held via Zoom on Friday evening, February 16 at 7:00. Those who wish to attend the program are asked to contact in order to receive the link.

Annual Parish Assembly – Scheduled for February 25, 2024. If an alternative date is needed, it will be scheduled for March 2024.

Saintly Women’s Day – The Women’s Guild of St. Sahag & St Mesrob have invited us to participate in celebrating Saintly Women’s Day. This is the first time since COVID for this program. The details are in the flyer available in the Narthex & the hall. All Armenian women in the area are invited. Please join us.(02/18)

Stay Connected with our New Church Portal

Over the past several months Holy Trinity Armenian Apostolic Church has changed to a new Church Management System called One Church.  The new software puts you in control of your information (email, phone number, giving information, etc.), allows us to communicate with you more effectively, facilitates online, text, and app donations, and provides greater connectivity throughout our community.  You should have received an email.  If you have not gotten one (please make sure to check your spam folder), then reach out to the church office.

 FAR’s Ayo! Platform is excited to launch a new project in partnership with Teach for Armenia (TFA). TFA is committed to improving education for children all over the country by enlisting exceptional university graduates to teach in under-resourced village schools for two-year terms. When Azerbaijan was attacked last September, Ayo! was partnering with TFA to fund teacher-leaders in Artsakh, who were committed to teaching children under blockade. Following the forced displacement, Ayo! put the project on hold. Now they are restarting the campaign and funding two displaced teachers from Artsakh ($5000 for each) for one year. Ayo!’s goal is to raise $10,000 by the end of February. Support Tigran and Alise (and the students they serve!) here:

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 @

Mail your donations to Knights of Vartan, Mr. Ronald Nazeley, Treasurer, 558 Kentwood Bluffs Drive, Los Angeles 90045.

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, go to donations, scroll down to Open Donation and enter Artsakh.

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 @

~~~~~~~~~~TODAY’S EVENTS~~~~~~~~~~

Vartanantz Program

Feb 24 – Saintly Women’s Day @ St. Sahag & St. Mesrob Armenian Church (see flyer in our Narthex) Cost $25 must RSVP by Feb 10th
Feb 25 – Annual Parish Assembly
Mar 24 – Palm Sunday
Mar 28 – Holy Thursday
Mar 29 – Holy Friday
Mar 30 – Easter Eve and Fellowship
Mar 31 – Easter Sunday