THE SUNDAY MESSENGER
February 21, 2021
The Sunday of the Expulsion
This Sunday invokes the loss of happiness as Adam and Eve are driven out of Paradise. The day’s hymn recounts how the forbidden fruit tasted of sin and death. Our ancestors knew they had made a mistake after eating the fruit, for they were ashamed of their nakedness and foolishly tried to cover themselves and hide from God. 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. We often experience this in daily life. And when we do something we’re not proud of, facing God is indeed difficult. Expulsion Sunday reminds us of our original exile from God’s presence but an exile that His loving mercy 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. Read Genesis 3. In verses 1-5, the serpent undermines Eve’s trust in God; what erodes your trust in God?
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).
REQUIEM SERVICES: Hokehankist today will be for:
PEARL SERABIAN JOSEPHS requested in loving memory of my mother by Larry and Dolly Grocott.
“Lord, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night….” (Nehemiah 1:5–6). Prayers are requested for Ethel Terzian, Taron Poghosyan, Alice Charles, Theodora Mirakian, Leslie Movsesian & Larry Grocott.
ALTAR CANDLES are donated today by Larry and Dolly Grocott in loving memory of PEARL SERABIAN JOSEPH.
Adult Christian Education (ACE) will present the following ZOOM programs this season of Lent. All sessions will begin at 7:00 pm unless otherwise noted. Register at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the link.
Friday 2/19– An Interactive Lenten Worship Experience with the Prayers of St. Nersess Shnorhali
Friday 2/26 – His Grace Bishop Daniel Findikyan – Message – to be announced
Saturday 3/6 @10:30 am – Very Rev. Mesrop Parsamyan, Dean of Etchmiadzin Seminary – Path to Hope
Friday 3/12 – Dn. Armen Terjimanian, Pastoral Intern – The Luke Connection: Lent & Advent
Friday 3/19 – Dn. Albert Keshgegian – Beside Still Waters: Day by Day Book Discussion
Friday 3/26 – Rev. Fr. Garabed Kochakian – Holy Week though the Sacred Art of Armenian Miniatures
PEACE AND REST SERVICES
In-person attendance is invited for these services that will take place at church every Friday at noon starting February 26 through March 26. Masks are required and social distancing must be maintained. Access to the church is through the main entrance doors ONLY.
MEN’S CLUB NEWS – The February 200 CLUB drawing for 2020-21 was completed on 2/14/21. You can see the results on our HTAC Website. Click on: Organizations, Men’s Club. Congratulations to the Winners!
DIVINE LITURGY IN YOUR HOME
Since we do not stream services at our church every week, we invite you to click on one of the following links to partake of Badarak at any of the following:
https://www.facebook.com/SSSMAAC/live/ (St. Sahag & St. Mesrob Armenian Church)
http://www.stleon.org (St Leon Live Stream)
https://www.facebook.com/stvartancathedral (St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral)
http://www.holy-martyrs.org (Holy Martyrs Live Stream)
EMERGENCY CLOSINGS: In an effort to inform parishioners and guests when a Holy Trinity church service or program needs to be canceled or delayed due to inclement weather or other reasons, we request that you check our website (www.holytrinity-pa.org) or facebook page (www.facebook.com/holytrinitypa) for the most accurate information.