2019-03-24-bulletin-for-sunday

Holy Cross Melkite Catholic Church Bulletin.
March 24, 2019. Sunday of the Holy Cross.

March 24. Preparation of the Feast of the Annunciation. Commemoration of our Holy Father Zachary the recluse.

Fasting and Abstinence Guidelines. There are a variety of traditions regarding the forty day period of the Great Fast. A distinction needs to be made between fasting and abstinence. Fasting means not eating anything for a period of time. Abstinence is when certain foods are not eaten. The traditional Fast in the Melkite Catholic Church consists of the following:
(1) From Monday-Friday: A fast consisting of no food or drink from midnight until noon. The older and stricter discipline consists of no food or drink until after the evening service.
(2) Everyday: No meat, no fish with spines, or dairy until Easter Sunday. Shell fish are permitted as these were considered easier to catch and took less time to cook.
(3) Fish and wine are permitted on March 25, the Feast of the Annunciation (Eed-Al-Bishara), and on Palm Sunday.
These traditions developed to encourage the faithful to simplify their life, eat less expensive food, and spend less time cooking. When this is done, the time saved can be used to pray more and to spend more time reading the Bible. As well, the extra money saved can be put towards charitable purposes. Most important, this should be a time of self-reflection, repentance, forgiveness, humility, virtue, acts of charity, and an increased sense of a total dependence on God.

On Fasting by St. John Chrysostom. The value of fasting consists not in abstinence only from food, but in a renouncing of sinful practices. Do you fast? Give me proof of it by your works. If you see a poor man, take pity on him! If you see a friend being honored, do not envy him. Do not let only your mouth fast, but also the eye and the ear and the feet and the hands and all members of your bodies. Let the hands fast, by being free from greed. Let the feet fast, by ceasing to run after sin. Let the eyes fast, by observing modesty and disciplining them not to glare at that which is sinful. For it would be an instance of the highest ridiculousness to abstain from meats and unlawful food because of the fast, but with the eyes to feed on what is forbidden. Let the ear fast, by not listening to evil talk and gossip. Let the mouth fast from foul words and unjust criticism. For what good is it if we abstain from birds and fish, and yet bite and devour our brothers?

Byzantine Divine Liturgy at the L.A. Religious Educators Congress will be on Friday, March 22, 2019 at 5:15 p.m. Location: Marriott Grand Ballroom. Open to the public. No need to register. The Byzantine Catholic book at the congress is #240 in the exhibit hall.

Pots, Plants, and landscape rocks. We are regularly improving the look of the Church grounds. Within the last two years we planted many plants, flowers, and succulents. If you would like to donate plants, extra pots of any size, or landscape rocks of any size please contact the office.
We will also be building two pergolas to provide shade in the gathering area outside the Church. The labor has been fully donated and the materials will cost approximately $1800. If you would like to donate to this project please contact the office.

Thank you for the following recent donations:
-March 6, 2019. $769.44 full donation for plants, planters, paint, and renovation items purchased from Lowe’s.
-March 6, 2019. Full donation of wood planks for new shelving in storage room.
-March 12, 2019. Full donation of a new Canon XA30 high definition video camera and installation.
-March 13, 2019. $673.92 full donation for printing of new service books and envelopes.
-March 14, 2019. $100.00 donation to purchase plants.
-March 15, 2019. $1050.00 full donation for 6 outdoor picnic tables.
-March 16, 2019. Full donation of 2 tractor rentals and labor to clear the overgrown weeds in back lot and level the area.
-March 20, 2019. Donation of many miscellaneous maintenance items from Fr. Bill Barman and La Purisima Roman Catholic Church in Orange.
-March 21, 2019. Donation of a new sink food waste disposer from Fr. John Neneman, Deacon Russ Millspaugh, and San Antonio Roman Catholic Church in Anaheim.
We are very grateful for your continued generosity.

You may subscribe and view Father François Beyrouti’s weekly homilies on: YouTube.com/MelkiteTV
To get weekly notifications join our parish mailing list or subscribe to YouTube.com/MelkiteTV and YouTube.com/HolyCrossMelkite
If you would like to receive the emailed weekly parish bulletin or homily please sign up on our website or contact the office. To read past homilies and bulletins visit: holycrossmelkite.org

April 6, 2019. 2:00-4:00 p.m. “Unplanned.” Special Movie Showing at Starlight Cinema City Theatres. 5635 East La Palma Avenue. Anaheim, CA 92807. This movie will be showing in many local theatres from March 29, 2019. St. Martin de Porres Roman Catholic Church’s Respect Life and Family Ministry is hosting a special showing of "Unplanned"- a movie about the youngest clinic director in the history of Planned Parenthood, who has a life-changing experience that turns her into a pro-life activist. Fr. Sy Nguyen will give an introduction prior to the movie. The $5 special ticket price is only available until March 25, 2019 at unplannedmoviesmdpyl.eventbrite.com.

The Melkite Eastern Catholic Community at Saint Kilian’s Roman Catholic Church. Please invite your family and friends and remind everyone in the area to join us. We will meet in the hall at 5:45 p.m. to review the hymns and the Divine Liturgy will begin in the Church at exactly 6:30 p.m. on April 7, 2019, at Saint Kilian’s. 26872 Estanciero Drive, Mission Viejo, CA 92691 (off Marguerite Parkway).
2019 dates: April 7, May 12, June 9, July 14, August 11, September 8, October 13, November 10, and December 8.
If you live or know anyone who lives in the area surrounding Mission Viejo please give us their contact information so that we can keep everyone informed on upcoming events. Please send contact details to the parish office at (714) 985-1710 or email a list of names to Father François at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
“Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain” (Psalm 127:1).

Choir practice. “Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God” (Colossians 3:16). Please join our choir practices to review the regular hymns of the Divine Liturgy and learn new ones. Everyone is welcome.
At Holy Cross Melkite Catholic Church every Sunday at 9:55 a.m.-10:45 a.m.

Holy Cross Youth Ministry Spiritual Meetings take place every Sunday following the Divine Liturgy for all those in grades 9-12.

Holy Cross College Ministry. We are planning social and religious activities to build our College Community at Holy Cross Church. For further details contact the office or see calendar for event details (holycrossmelkite.org/ministries/college-ministry).

Holy Cross Young Adults Ministry for ages 21-35. We are planning social and religious activities to build our Young Adults Community at Holy Cross Church. Feel free to bring your friends and family. See calendar for event details (Holycrossmelkite.org/ministries/young-adults). Contact: Tony Helo (562) 371-5466; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Upcoming events:
Sunday, March 31: 3:30 p.m.-7:00 p.m. Young Adults Group Ages 21-35. Volunteer Event: Isaiah House.
Sunday, April 7: 12:15 p.m. Young Adults Group for ages 21-35. Review Sunday Readings and Sky Zone Trampoline Park (1301 N Kellogg Dr., Anaheim, CA 92807).

Eastern Christian Formation (Sunday School) program for all children in Kindergarten to grade 8 is after the Sunday Divine Liturgy.

Isaiah House Women’s Shelter next date: Sunday, March 31, 2019. Holy Cross Church prepares and serves a meal for the women at Isaiah House (316 South Cypress Avenue, Santa Ana) every month. We prepare the food at Holy Cross Church on the fifth Sunday of every month. If you or your family would like assist on those days or if you would like to sponsor a Saturday to prepare food at your home, serve the food with your family, and enjoy a meal with those in need please contact the office. Schedule: 3:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Prepare meal in the Holy Cross Hall Kitchen. 4:30 p.m. Carpool to Isaiah House (316 South Cypress Avenue, Santa Ana. http://occatholicworker.org). 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Set up, serve meals, visit with the women, and clean up. 2019 dates: Sunday, March 31, Saturday, April 27, Saturday, May 25, Sunday, June 30, Saturday, July 27, Saturday, August 31, Sunday, September 29, Saturday, October 26, Saturday, November 23, and Sunday, December 29.

March 30, 2019. 7:00 p.m.-12:00 a.m. Saint Joseph Maronite Catholic Church’s Feast Day Party at Sheraton Garden Grove (12221 Harbor Blvd., Garden Grove CA 92874). Gala Dinner, Dancing, Live Music, and Raffle Prizes. Tickets: $75 for Adults & $50 Kids (12 years & under). Contact: Nevart (951) 907-6666 or Rosy (951) 224-1142.

An disabled elderly lady who lives in La Habra is in great need of help with light housework/organizing and laundry. She needs assistance once a week, for a few hours. Call Bea (714) 914-9577 for further compensation and job details.

Listen to Melkite audio links on our parish website at holycrossmelkite.org/Melkite-hymns
We uploaded many Melkite hymns for the Divine Liturgy and other important services. To practice or become more familiar with our beautiful liturgical hymns you can listen or download them by visiting the above link.

Vocation Awareness. In today’s Epistle, Saint Paul explains how Christ is the perfect High Priest. He is chosen by God, precisely because He is close to both the Father and to human beings, being sensitive to and understanding both. Men who are called by God to the ministerial priesthood must also have that closeness to God and people. Please pray that God will call many to the priesthood, who will be willing to take up the cross to serve, direct, and encourage the royal priesthood of the faithful.

Vocation View. Saint Paul urges Christian readers to live a life of communion, in mutual love, and in the love that God has given us. Jesus teaches us the importance and implications of that life of loving communion. Who shall preach and teach it to us today? Pray for an increase of vocations to the priesthood and monastic life and encourage possible candidates.

A Prayer for Vocations. O Lord God, in every age, You invite men and women to hear Your call to serve You and the Church. We bow before You now, asking that You call forth more persons to serve our Melkite Church in America. Give us priests, deacons, monks and nuns, who will lead and guide your holy people. By Your will, bless us with vocations so that we continue to be the church which You called us to be, centuries ago. Let all hear Your voice inviting them to care for and serve Your people. Strengthen us in being disciples of Jesus Christ, Your Only-begotten Son and fishers of men. Inspire in us the spirit and pride of Antioch, our holy heritage. We ask You, O Lover of mankind, to raise up men and women who appreciate what they have received from You and who want to be generous in their service, willing to offer their lives and all their gifts, to serve others, to give You glory, thanksgiving and worship, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and always and forever and ever. Amen.

Your Sunday donation envelopes are mailed to you every two months. These envelopes are dated with your envelope number on the back. Please contact the office if you are not registered or did not receive your envelopes. Thank you.

Do you want to be inspired and learn more about your Catholic Faith? Listen to Relevant, a Catholic Radio station on 930 am. For further information visit their website or call 1-888-887-7120.

Thank you for your ongoing generous donations:
-Saturday, March 2 collection: $425 in 9 envelopes (average of $47 per envelope) + $48 cash = $473.
-Sunday, March 3 collection: $1,930 in 28 envelopes (average of $69 per envelope) + $280 candles + $206 cash = $2,416.
-Sunday, March 3 first Sunday of the month building fund collection: $1,015 in 20 envelopes (average of $51 per envelope).
-Wednesday, March 6 building fund deposit: $1,490.
-Sunday, March 10 collection: $1,858 in 48 envelopes (average of $39 per envelope) + $107 candles + $236 cash = $2,201
-Sunday, March 10 Mission Viejo collection: $546 in 11 envelopes (average of $50 per envelope) + $56 cash = $601.
-Wednesday, March 13 building fund deposit: $4,107.
-Sunday, March 17 collection: $1,020 in 31 envelopes (average of $33 per envelope) + $216 cash + $249 candles = $1,485.
-Wednesday, March 20 building fund deposit: $2,279.

Total deposits in the past four months: December: $89,704, January: $24,729, February: $20,291, March: $15,052.

Sample Holy Cross Church Expenses:
$164.49 paid on February 1, 2019 for Christopherson Fire Protection.
$439.19 paid on February 8, 2019 for So Cal Edison Electricity.
$347.24 paid on February 12, 2019 for OSV Envelope services.
$18.07 paid on February 12, 2019 for Sparkletts water.
$277.00 paid on February 19, 2019 for Church cleaning services.
$150.00 paid on February 20, 2019 for Landscaping services.
$171.94 paid on February 21, 2019 for Republic Trash Services.
$200.00 paid on February 22, 2019 for Gardening services.
$118.63 paid on March 1, 2019 for Printer lease and services.
$466.59 paid on March 4, 2019 for Golden State Water Company.

Hymns: (See our Church’s website for Audio Recordings: holycrossmelkite.org/Melkite-hymns)
Troparion of the Resurrection (Tone 3). Let all in heaven rejoice and all on earth be glade, for the Lord has exerted power with His arm: By death He has trampled upon Death and has become the firstborn from the dead. He has delivered us from the bosom of Hades and has granted to the world great mercy.
Troparion of the Holy Cross (Tone 2). O Lord save your people and bless your inheritance, granting peace to the world; and protect your community by the power of your Cross.
Kondakion of the Annunciation (Tone 8). Triumphant leader to you belongs our prize of victory! And since you saved us from adversity we offer you our thanks. We are your people O mother of God! So as you have that invincible power, continue to deliver us from danger that we may cry out to you Hail, O Virgin and bride ever pure.

Epistle: Hebrews 4:14-5:6. Full reading below. If you would like to read the Epistle please contact the office.
Gospel: Mark 8:34-9:1. Full reading below.

Today’s Divine Liturgy is celebrated for the repose of the souls of:
Amaal Sabbagh (March 21, 2019), Gus Christopoulos (March 6, 2019), Issa Ibrahim Eid (March 2, 2019), Nada Nesheiwat (March 2, 2019), Manuel Gonzales (March 1, 2019), Abdalla Fadel Nader, Hanna Darouze (February 28, 2019), George Balian (February 18, 2019), Peter Ibrahim Zakak (February 18, 2019), Nadia Dib (February 14, 2019), Laurice (Jadaa) Bassil (February 11, 2019), Rasmieh Akleh, Rose Akleh, Fahimeh Marjieh, Naifeh Marjieh.
the health, safety, and salvation of:
Raji Abou Saada, Rosalia Arroyo, Joseph Estephan, Adel & Denise Hallis, Noha Jarjoura, Father Christopher Manuele, Najiba Nasser, Said Saghbini, Bassem Sidhom, George Semaan, Marie Semaan, Sabat Semaan, Florence Shaib, baby Isaac.
For vocations to the priesthood, monastic life, and lay parish ministries.
For peace in Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, and all the troubled regions around the world.

Scripture Memory:
“Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. [15] For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. [16] Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:14-16).

“Jesus called to him the multitude with his disciples, and said to them, ‘If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. [35] For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. [36] For what does it profit a man, to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? [37] For what can a man give in return for his life?’ ” (Mark 8:34-37).

Calendar:
Friday, March 22.
7:00 p.m. Akathist Hymn, followed by a presentation by Father François Beyrouti, “The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic: Prayer, Study, Service, Evangelization.”

Saturday, March 23.
4:30 p.m. Confession.
5:00 p.m. Vespers (Evening prayer).

Sunday, March 24.
9:45 a.m. Orthros (Morning prayer).
9:55 a.m.-10:45 a.m. Choir practice.
11:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy.
12:15 p.m.-1:15 p.m. Eastern Christian Formation/Sunday School for children in kindergarten to grade 8.
12:15 p.m.-1:15 p.m. Youth Ministry spiritual discussion for all in grades 9-12. “Fasting.” Presented by Eliana Haddadin, Marina Nassar, and Sherene Tajdini.

2:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. House blessings.

Monday, March 25.
7:00 p.m. Divine Liturgy for the Feast of the Annunciation, followed by Hilbe in the hall provided by Noel Zaadah.

Wednesday, March 27.
2:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. House blessings.
7:00 p.m. Pre-Sanctified Liturgy.

Thursday, March 28.
2:00 p.m.-8:30 p.m. House blessings.

Friday, March 29.
2:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. House blessings.
7:00 p.m. Akathist Hymn. A spiritual presentation by Deacon Elias Kashou. Topic: Walk in the Light.

Saturday, March 30.
9:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Holy Cross Church Leadership team follow-up meeting.
1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. Holy Cross Church spring clean-up. Please join us to keep the Church looking clean and beautiful.
4:30 p.m. Confession.
5:00 p.m. Vespers (Evening prayer).

Sunday, March 31.
9:45 a.m. Orthros (Morning prayer).
9:55 a.m.-10:45 a.m. Choir practice.
11:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy.
12:15 p.m.-1:15 p.m. Eastern Christian Formation/Sunday School for children in kindergarten to grade 8.
12:15 p.m.-1:15 p.m. Youth Ministry spiritual discussion for all in grades 9-12.
12:30 p.m. Falafel Luncheon sponsored by Kabab Grill Restaurant (Westminister). Plates are $10 and come with falafel, hummus, salad, bread, soda, and dessert. Invite your friends and family to enjoy delicious luncheon. All proceeds will go to our building fund.
2:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. House blessings.

3:30 p.m.-7:00 p.m. Young Adults Group Ages 21-35. Volunteer Event: Isaiah House.
3:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Prepare meal in the Holy Cross Hall Kitchen for Isaiah House Catholic Worker’s Women’s shelter.
4:30 p.m. Carpool to Isaiah House (316 South Cypress Avenue, Santa Ana. http://occatholicworker.org).
5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Set up, serve meals, visit with the women, and clean up.

Monday, April 1.
7:00 p.m. Great Compline

Wednesday, April 3.
2:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. House blessings.
7:00 p.m. Pre-Sanctified Liturgy.

Thursday, April 4.
2:00 p.m.-8:30 p.m. House blessings.

Friday, April 5.
2:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. House blessings.
7:00 p.m. Final Akathist Hymn.

Saturday, April 6.
9:30 a.m. “Be My Witness” leadership team meeting.
5:00 p.m. Divine Liturgy in Arabic.

Sunday, April 7.
On the first Sunday of each month, you may use your building fund envelope (or a specially marked envelope) and deposit it in the regular collection. Thank you for your continued generosity as we move closer to our parish goal of a new hall and church building.
9:45 a.m. Orthros (Morning Prayer).
9:55 a.m.-10:45 a.m. Choir practice.
11:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy in English.
12:15 p.m.-1:15 p.m. Eastern Christian Formation/Sunday School for children in kindergarten to grade 8.
12:15 p.m.-1:15 p.m. Youth Ministry spiritual discussion for all in grades 9-12.
12:15 p.m. Young Adults Group for ages 21-35. Review Sunday Readings and Sky Zone Trampoline Park (1301 N Kellogg Dr., Anaheim, CA 92807).
12:15 p.m. College Ministry: Join Young Adults Group for ages 21-35. Review Sunday Readings and Sky Zone Trampoline Park (1301 N Kellogg Dr., Anaheim, CA 92807).

2:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. House blessings.

5:45 p.m. Music practice in the hall.
6:30 p.m. Divine Liturgy. The Melkite Eastern Catholic Community at Saint Kilian’s Roman Catholic Church. 26872 Estanciero Drive, Mission Viejo, CA 92691.

Monday, April 8.
7:00 p.m. Great Compline.

Wednesday, April 10.
2:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. House blessings.
7:00 p.m. Pre-Sanctified Liturgy.

Friday, April 12.
2:00 p.m.-8:30 p.m. House blessings.

Saturday, April 13. Lazarus Saturday.
11:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy. (In the Church)
12:30 p.m. Voluenteer day: Set-up tents, tables, palms, decorations, flowers, ect.

4:15 p.m. - 4:45 p.m. Confession (In the Church).
5:00 p.m. Triumphal Entry Vespers (In the Church).

Sunday, April 14. Palm Sunday.
9:55 a.m.-10:45 a.m. Choir practice.
11:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy, Blessing of Palms and Procession (In the large covered tent). After the Divine Liturgy, we need everyone to help clean-up and realign the chairs in the tent.
12:30 p.m. Bake Sale organized by “Our Lady's Society.”
No ECF/Sunday School or Youth Ministry spiritual discussion.

Monday, April 15. Great and Holy Monday.
7:00 p.m. Bridegroom Service (In the Church).

Tuesday, April 16. Great and Holy Tuesday.
6:15 p.m. - 6:45 p.m. Confession (In the Church).
7:00 p.m. Bridegroom Service (In The Church).

Wednesday, April 17. Great and Holy Wednesday.
6:15 p.m. - 6:45 p.m. Confession (In the Church).
7:00 p.m. Mystery Of Holy Anointing (In the Church).

Thursday, April 18. Great and Holy Thursday.
11:00 a.m. The Divine Liturgy of Saint Basil the Great. Institution of the Holy Eucharist (In the Church).
7:00 p.m. Washing of the Feet, Passion Gospels, and Crucifixion Service (In the Church).

Friday, April 19. Great and Holy Friday.
11:00 a.m. Royal Hours, Descent from the Cross, and Burial of Christ (In the Church).
12:30 p.m. Please come to help decorate the Tomb of Christ.
7:00 p.m. Service Of Lamentations (Funeral of Christ / Genaz Al-Maseeh) (In the large covered tent).

Saturday, April 20. Great and Holy Saturday.
11:00 a.m. Blessing of the New Light, Vespers, and Discovery of the Empty Tomb. The Divine Liturgy of Saint Basil the Great (In the Church).
10:00 p.m. Hajmeh, Resurrection Matins, and Divine Liturgy. Following the Divine Liturgy, we will bless the bread and eggs.

Sunday, April 21. Great and Holy Pascha/Easter Sunday. The Feast of The Resurrection of Christ.
9:55 a.m. Choir practice.
11:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy of the Holy Resurrection (In the Church). Christ is Risen. Al-Maseeh Qaam.
-No ECF/Sunday School or Youth Ministry meeting.

Saturday, April 27.
4:30 p.m. Confession.
5:00 p.m. Vespers (Evening prayer).

Sunday, April 28.
9:45 a.m. Orthros (Morning prayer).
10:00 a.m. Choir practice.
11:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy. Special Catholic Home Missions collection. For further information visit: usccb.org
12:30 p.m. Annual Holy Cross Church post-Easter Parish Luncheon.
-Eastern Christian Formation (Sunday School) and Youth Ministry spiritual discussions resume on Sunday, May 5.

Readings for Sunday, March 24, 2019.
Prokimenon (Tone 6)
O Lord, save your people and bless your inheritance!
Stichon: To you, O Lord, I have called: O my Rock, be not deaf to me!

A Reading from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Hebrews: 4:14-16; 5:1-6.
Brethren, since we have a great high priest who has passed into the heavens, let us hold fast out profession of faith. For we have not a high priest unable to pity our weaknesses, but one tried as we are in all things, save sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
For every high priest taken from among men is appointed for men in matters pertaining to God, so that he may offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He is able to have compassion on the ignorant and erring, because he himself also is beset with weakness, and therefore must make offerings for sin in his own behalf as in behalf of the people. And no one invests himself with this honor: only one who is called by God takes it, as Aaron was. So also Christ did not glorify himself with the high priesthood, but glorified the One who had spoken to him, “You are my son, I this day have begotten you (Ps. 2:7). “As he says also in another place, “You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchisedek (Ps. 109:4).”

ALLELUIA (Tone 6)
Remember your congregation which you have acquired from the beginning: you redeemed the scepter of your inheritance.
Stichon: God is our King forever: he brought about salvation in the midst of the earth.

The Holy Gospel According to St. Mark 8:34-9:1.
The Lord said: “If anyone wishes to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me. For anyone who would save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake and for the sake of Good News will save it. For what does it profit a man, if he gains the whole world, but suffers the loss of his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes with the holy angels in the glory of his Father.” And he said to them, “Amen I say to you, there are some of those standing here who will not taste death, till they have seen the kingdom of God coming in power.”

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Holy Cross Melkite Catholic Church.
451 West Madison Avenue, Placentia, CA 92870-4537
Telephone: (714) 985-1710.
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Parish Web site: HolyCrossMelkite.org
Facebook Page: Facebook.com/HolyCrossMelkite
YouTube Page: Youtube.com/HolyCrossMelkite
Twitter: https://twitter.com/HCMelkite

Pastor: Father François Beyrouti.
Electronic mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - Cellular phone: (714) 914-1710

Pastoral Associate: Deacon Elias Kashou.
Office Manager: Tony Helo.
Parish Hall Rentals: Hala Nakhoul (714) 920-6180.
Choir Directors: Reader Saad Tashman and Lupe Ojeda.
Sunday School / Eastern Christian Formation Program: Every Sunday after the Divine Liturgy from September-May. Pre-School to Grade 8.
Our Lady’s Society: Iman Lutfi (714) 595-7999.

LITURGICAL SCHEDULE
SATURDAY: 4:30 p.m. Confession. 5:00 p.m. Vespers (Evening prayer).
SUNDAY: 9:45 p.m. Orthros (Morning prayer). 11:00 a.m. The Divine Liturgy.

ARABIC DIVINE LITURGY: 5:00 p.m. Saturday before the first Sunday of the month. In 2019: March 2, April 6, May 4, June 1, July 6, August 3, August 31, October 5, November 2, November 30.

ENGLISH DIVINE LITURGY: 11:00 a.m. First Sunday of the month. In 2019: March 3, April 7, May 5, June 2, July 7, August 4, September 1, October 6, November 3, December 1.

HOLY DAYS AND WEEKDAYS: Please check the bulletin.

THE HOLY MYSTERIES
MYSTERIES OF CHRISTIAN INITIATION: The three Mysteries of Baptism, Chrismation and Holy Eucharist are always celebrated together in one ceremony. One month notice is required and one baptismal preparation meeting is required with the priest.
MYSTERY OF HOLY CROWNING: Six month notice, an initial meeting with the priest, marriage preparation sessions, and a wedding license are required. You must be an active member of the parish.
MYSTERY OF HOLY CONFESSION: Saturday at 4:30 p.m.
MYSTERY OF HOLY ANOINTING: Available for anyone who is ill.
PLEASE NOTE: There is no charge for the celebration of the Sacramental Mysteries, however, it is appropriate to offer a gift of thanksgiving. Therefore the Parish Advisory Council suggests an offering of $200 for Baptisms; $500 for Weddings; $300 for Funerals; and $100 for a Memorial Service.

HALL RENTAL POLICY.
MERCY-MEAL ON THE DAY OF THE FUNERAL, MERCY-MEAL FOR THE 40th DAY OR OTHER MEMORIALS: $200.00 for registered parishioners of Holy Cross Church who regularly use donation envelopes.
A PARTY WITH MUSIC, FOOD, AND DRINKS (up to 5 hours of use): $400.00 for parishioners + $100 insurance payable to the diocese. $500.00 for non-parishioners + $100 insurance payable to the diocese.
DAMAGE/CLEANING DEPOSIT: $200.00. Refundable if the hall is left in the condition it was given to you.
SECURITY FEE: $150 charge will be added to cover security for 5 hours.
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2019-03-17 Father Francois Beyrouti's Homily: "Perposterous"

 

Preposterous.
Father François Beyrouti homily on Sunday, March 17, 2019.

Readings and homily text below. 

Second Sunday of the Great Fast (Lent). The Holy Relics and St. Gregory Palamas.
Epistle. Hebrews 1:10-2:4. Gospel. Mark 2:1-12.
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Excuse us: the sound quality changes half way through the homily. We’re working on it.

Epistle. Hebrews 1:10-2:4.
You in the beginning, O Lord, did found the earth, and the heavens are works of your hands.  They shall perish, but you shall continue; and they shall all grow old as does a garment, and as clothing shall you change them, and they shall be changed.  But you are the same, and your years shall not fail (Ps. 101: 26-28). Now, to which of the angels has he ever said, “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies the footstool at your feet” (Ps. 109: 1)? Are they not all ministering spirits, sent for service, for the sake of those who shall inherit salvation? That is why we should all the more earnestly observe the things we have heard, lest perhaps we drift away.  For if the word spoken by angels proved to be valid, and every transgression and disobedience received a just punishment, how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?  For it was first announced by the Lord and was confirmed to us by those who heard it.

Gospel. Mark 2:1-12. Healing of the Paralytic.
At that time Jesus entered Caparnaum, and it was reported that he was at home.  And immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer room, not even around the door.  And he spoke the word to them.  And they came, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four.  And since they could not bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where he was, and, having made an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic was lying.  And Jesus, seeing their faith, said to the Paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.” Now some of the Scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, “Why does this man blaspheme in this way? Who can forgive sins, beside God?” And at once Jesus, knowing in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, said to them, “Why are you arguing these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise, and take up your pallet, and walk’? But that you may know the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins” ― he said to the paralytic ― “I say to you, arise, take up your pallet, and go to your house,” And immediately he arose and, taking up his pallet, went forth in the sight of all, so that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, “Never did we see anything like this!”
 
Homily

Some things in life are preposterous.

Although we don’t use the word preposterous very often, related words to preposterous are: unreasonable, excessive, ridiculous, insane, or crazy.


A lawyer can use this word in court when he asks: “What proof do you have of your preposterous allegation?”

In Latin, praeposterus, means reversed. This word comes from two words, “prae,” which means before and “posterus,” which means after. Therefore, something is preposterous when we reverse and put before what should be after.

For example, it is preposterous to put on your shoes before you put on your socks. The right order is socks and then shoes. To reverse the pre (before) and the post (after) would be preposterous.

Also if you go to a buffet and start on the desert side, you would put before what should be after. This would be preposterous.

This may be obvious but it is difficult to put some things in the right order. For example, in relationships, often people focus on looks and intimacy before friendship, trust, and commitment. The he looks good/she looks good dynamic is not a good starting point if you can’t even have a reasonable discussion with someone. Relationships are week when we put before what should be after.

Today’s Gospel can be called preposterous on at least two levels. At the level of being ridiculous, the friends of the paralyzed man, could not bring him in through the door, so they lowered him in from the roof.

Mark 2:2 and 4 reads: “Many were gathered together, so that there was no longer room for them, not even about the door…and when they could not get near Jesus because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him; and when they had made an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic lay.”

Everyone must have said, “This is insane and crazy. This is preposterous.”

But in today’s Gospel Jesus also does something that is preposterous. Everyone wanted Jesus to heal the paralyzed man, but instead Jesus forgives his sins: “When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, ‘My son, your sins are forgiven’ ” (Mark 2:5).

This is an example of putting first what should have come after. This is preposterous and the scribes complained: “Why does this man speak thus? It is blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” (Mark 2:7). They thought it was crazy that Jesus forgave the paralyzed man’s sins. And everyone thought it was crazy that Jesus forgave the man’s sins before he healed him.

Therefore, everyone agreed that Jesus acted preposterously.

But in this Gospel Jesus was not preposterous, everyone around him was preposterous for thinking that the body is more important than the soul. We all see each other externally first and often overlook what is happening on the inside. Jesus sees us on the inside first and reminds us that all externals are only temporary.

Therefore, who, Jesus or us, is preposterous by putting before what should be after? Who is really preposterous, Jesus who sees inner healing as a priority or everyone else who sees physical healing as more important.

Jesus loves to reverse the pre and the post. Jesus loves it when we think He is preposterous, because He wants to show us that our priorities are preposterous, when we reverse the before and after.

We read this preposterous Gospel on the second Sunday of the Great Fast (lent), to remind us that it is important to fast, simplify our life, and pray more often. For some fasting is unnecessary and preposterous. This time of the Great Fast encourages us to arrange our priorities to make sure that we do not have post (after) what should be pre (first) in our lives.

What is the first thing you think of in the morning? Is food the first thing you think of in the morning? But, food will only keep you full for a few hours.

How about do the think/thank exchange? Instead of think of food, thank God first. Before you think of what someone can do for you, thank someone for who they are for you. Grow closer to God, know and develop your strengths and build trust in your relationships. These should be first. 

Is what we’re seeking bringing us happiness? Everyone is busy, but busy doing what? Jesus reminds us “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well” (Matthew 6:33). What is first in our life and is that what should be first?

“Jesus said to the paralytic -- [11] ‘I say to you, rise, take up your pallet and go home.’ [12] And he rose, and immediately took up the pallet and went out before them all; so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, ‘We never saw anything like this!’ ” (Mark 2:11-12).

Jesus knew what to put first.

When we don’t put God and the needs of others first we are being preposterous.

Father François Beyrouti
Holy Cross Melkite Catholic Church
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Placentia, CA 92870-4537
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