Saturday, November 11, 2017
Holy Archangels Gabriel and Michael
Spiritual beings created by God, angels are gifted with intelligence and free will. They are by nature invisible but can manifest themselves, if God so wills, in a physical form. The word ‘angel,’ (Armenian hreshdag) means ‘messenger.’ The Archangel Gabriel announced the birth of John the Baptist to his father Zechariah, and the birth of Christ to Mary, the Mother of God. The Archangel Michael, cited in the books of Daniel and Revelation, leads God’s armies against evil, guarding the Church.
The Armenian Church, like all Orthodox churches, believes in the existence of guardian angels. “See that you despise not one of these little ones,” Christ said, “for I say to you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.”(Matthew 18:10)
Angels sing and celebrate in perpetual glorification of God. Through Christ we are granted full heavenly citizenship with the angels and share the privilege of praising God with them, singing in their presence during Badarak.
Sunday, November 12, 2017
From Sunday’s Readings
Luke 8:49-56 The synagogue official Jairus had begged Jesus to heal his ailing daughter. Now Jesus hears the news that she has died. Jesus tells Jairus not to be afraid, but only believe, and she would be made well. And indeed, Jesus brings her back to life. Discussion: Jesus had his closest disciples Peter, James and John witness this miracle. They alone were also present at His Transfiguration and in His agonizing moments in the Garden of Gethsemane. Which friend(s) would you let into your toughest and your most life-changing moments? Why? (Keep in mind that nobody’s perfect: Jesus’ three closest fell asleep in the Garden and Peter betrayed Jesus three times after His arrest.)
Ephesians 5:15-33 St. Paul talks about how “God’s holy people and children of light” (5:3, 8) might best live. He compares the love between husband and wife with the love of Christ for the Church. Ephesians 5:22-33 is read during the Armenian marriage ceremony. Discussion: In verses 15- 21, what specific positive behaviors does St. Paul ask of us? (not to drink since it can lead to poor behavior, but instead to be filled with the Spirit; to speak to one another with words and songs of faith; to keep such words and songs in our hearts for God; to be grateful to Him always; to respect one another in honor of Christ.) What would it mean to you to “make music in your heart to the Lord?” (v 19)
Isaiah 24:1-12 Isaiah describes the devastation of the earth. Discussion: According to verses 5-6, what is the reason for the earth’s ruin? (People have disobeyed the sacred laws and broken the covenant.) How might we today be hurting ourselves or the world by ignoring God’s laws and covenant?
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