• Evangelization Summit at Christ Cathedral. October 5, 2016.
  • Youth Hermit Falls Hike. April 9, 2016.
  • Holy Cross Parish Meeting. February 2, 2016.
  • Spiritual Talk with Deacon Elias Kashou. June 3, 2016.
  • Sunday School Graduation on Pentecost Sunday. May 15, 2016.
  • Knights of the Holy Sepulchre. March 4, 2016.
  • Sunday of the Relics. Project Faith in Youth. February 21, 2016.
  • Youth Group Hike at Mount Rubidoux. Riverside, CA. February 20, 2016.
  • Spiritual Discussion with Deacon Elias Kashou. April 1, 2016.
  • Alpha Sessions at St. Vincent de Paul Church. April 12, 2016.

2018-02-18-bulletin-for-sunday

Holy Cross Melkite Catholic Church Bulletin. Sunday, February 18, 2018.
First Sunday of Lent. Sunday of Orthodoxy.

February 18. Commemoration of our Father among the Saints, Leo, Pope of Rome.
At the time of his election as Bishop of Rome in 440, Leo was only an archdeacon. He wrote a long letter to the Fourth Ecumenical Council in Chalcedon, developing the doctrine of the Church in relation to the points under discussion. After it had been read before the general assembly, all the fathers stood up and declared: “This is the faith of the Fathers! This is the faith of the apostles! This is our faith! Peter has spoken through Leo.” Leo is the author of several theological treatises in Latin. He died on November 10, 461 and was buried in St. Peter’s Basilica. His tomb was unearthed in 1607, and in 1754, Pope Benedict XIV declared him Doctor of the Universal Church.

February 25. Falafel Luncheon. 1:00 p.m. Organized by Our Lady’s Society. $10 a plate. Come and enjoy a delicious luncheon at Holy Cross Church.

Thank you to all those who supported our Valentine’s Party at Holy Cross Church. It was a cheerful party, filled with fun and laughter.

On Fasting, by St. John Chrysostom. Are you fasting? Show me your fast with your works. Which works? If you see someone who is poor, show him mercy. If you see an enemy, reconcile with him. If you see a friend who is becoming successful, do not be jealous of him! In other words, not only should the mouth fast, but the eyes and the legs and the arms and all the other parts of the body should fast as well. Let the hands fast, remaining clean from stealing and greediness. Let the legs fast, avoiding roads which lead to sinful sights. Let the eyes fast by observing modesty.

Choir practice. Please join our choir practice every Sunday at 10:00 a.m. at Holy Cross Melkite Catholic Church to review the regular hymns of the Divine Liturgy and learn new ones. Everyone is welcome.
The choir practice for the Melkite Eastern Catholic community at Saint Kilian’s Roman Catholic Church (26872 Estanciero Drive, Mission Viejo, CA 92691) will be at 7:00 p.m. on the second and fourth Wednesday of the month. The upcoming choir practice is on February 28th and March 21st Parish center. Room 6.

Our Eastern Christian Formation (Sunday School) program is for all children up to grade 8. Please contact the office if you would like to register your children or would like to teach our wonderful children.

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 Sunday March 11, 2018, at Saint Kilian’s. 26872 Estanciero Drive, Mission Viejo, CA 92691 (off Marguerite Parkway).
2018 dates: Sunday, March 11, Sunday, April 8, Sunday, May 13, Sunday, June 10, Sunday, July 15, Sunday, August 12, Sunday, September 16, Sunday, October 14, Sunday, November 11, Sunday, December 9.
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).

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

Holy Cross Young Adults Group. 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. Ages 21-35. Meet at Holy Cross Church every first Sunday of the month after the Divine Liturgy.

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, Moses as a leader identifies with the people, in order to lead them to greater freedom and a new identity as the People of God. In the Gospel, Philip leads Nathaniel to Christ, facilitating an encounter that will ultimately touch Nathaniel’s deepest needs. We need many more priests in our diocese to help people strengthen their faith in Christ and grow in holiness. Pray for an increase of responses to God’s call to the priestly ministry.

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. The next mail out also contains the March and April Church calendar. Please contact the office if you are not registered or did not receive your envelopes. Thank you.

Receive the emailed weekly Holy Cross Church Bulletin and Homily. If you or someone you known would like to receive the emailed weekly parish bulletin or homily please sign up on our website or email or call the office. Please also let us know if you are on our list but have changed your email. To read past homilies visit: holycrossmelkite.org/parish/homilies

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

Thank you for your ongoing generous donations:
-Saturday, January 6 collection: $1,105 in 22 envelopes (average of $50.23 per envelope) + $282 = $1,387.
-Sunday, January 7 collection: $1,870 in 33 envelopes (average of $56.67 per envelope) + $176 cash + $263 candles = $2,289.
-Wednesday, January 10 building fund deposit: $2,690.
-Sunday, January 14 collection: $2,500 in 53 envelopes (average of $47.17 per envelope) + $247 cash + $139 candles = $2,886.
-Sunday, January 14 St. Kilian’s collection: $1,315 in 13 envelopes (average of $101.15 per envelope).
-Wednesday, January 17 building fund deposit: $4,200.
-Sunday, January 21 collection: $1,548 in 44 envelopes (average of $35.18 per envelope) + $175 cash + $99 candles = $1,822.
-Wednesday, January 25 building fund deposit: $16,150.
-Sunday, January 28 collection: $1,740 in 43 envelopes (average of $40.47 per envelope) + $291 cash + $126 candles = $2,157.
-Wednesday, January 31 building fund deposit: $1,534.
-Sunday, February 4 collection: $2,827 in 38 envelopes (average of $74.39 per envelope) + $267 cash + $166 candles = $3,260.
-Sunday, February 11 collection: $2,720 in 39 envelopes (average of $69.74 per envelope) + $266 cash + $194 candles = $3,180.
-Wednesday, February 14 building fund deposit: $1,035.

Total deposits in the past three months: December: $86,734, January: $36,013, February: $7,475.

Sample Holy Cross Church Expenses:
$189.94 paid on January 11, 2018 for Our Sunday Visitor mailed donation envelopes.
$876.17 paid on January 11, 2018 for General Wax Candle Company.
$263.51 paid on January 18, 2018 for Christopherson Fire Protection.
$372.21 paid on January 29, 2018 for Cleaning Services.
$20.94 paid on January 29, 2018 for Sparkletts water services.
$200.00 paid on January 29, 2018 for gardening services.

Hymns: (See our Church’s website for Audio Recordings: holycrossmelkite.org/Melkite-hymns)
Troparion of the Resurrection (Tone 4). The Women disciples of the Lord heard from the Angels the joyful news of the resurrection, and casting away the ancestral sentence, they announced with pride to the Apostles: Death is vanquished, Christ God is risen! And has bestowed great mercy upon the world.
Troparion of the Holy Icons (Tone 2). Before Your most pure image, we bow in worship, O Good One, begging forgiveness of our stumbling, Christ God: because You chose of your own free will to ascend upon the cross in the flesh in order to deliver from the enemy’s yoke those You had created. For this reason we cry out to You in thanksgiving: “You our Savior have Filled all things with joy when You came to save the world.”
Troparion of the Holy Cross (Tone 2). O Lord, save your people and bless your inheritance. Strengthen our Public Authorities in every good deed and protect your nation with 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 11:24-26; 32-40; 12:1-2. Gabriel Semaan will read this Sunday’s Epistle. Full reading below. If you would like to read the Epistle please contact the office.
Gospel: John 1:43-51. Full reading below.

Today’s Divine Liturgy is celebrated for
the repose of the souls of:
40th day memorial for Hanna Haddad (January 3, 2018).
22nd year memorial for Jamil Mikhael Semaan (February 24, 1996).
Salim Semaan (February 1, 2018), Ray Woods (January 27, 2018), Rodger Aeschliman (January 18, 2018), Izzat Abdallah Lutfi (January 16, 2018), Suad Francis Wakim (January 9, 2018), Nicola Canawati (January 8, 2018), Youssef Laham (January 7, 2018), Rosette Boulos-Deek (January 4th, 2018), Hanna Haddad (January 3, 2018), Youssef Mitri Al-Shaini (December 29, 2017), Zahia Sidhom (February 5, 2006), Elias Sidhom (January 2004), Nabil Sidhom 1979, Kassani Haddad, Margo (Eid) Daydeh, Gabby Eid.
the health, safety, and salvation of:
Jimmy Bahnan, Griffith Family, Tahani Gammoh, Laila Habis, Brother Gabriel Jon, Corliss Martin, Jamal Nesheiwat, Andre Saikaly, Marie Semaan, Florence Shaib, Yasmeen Tashman.
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 we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, [2] looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:1-2).

“Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, ‘Follow me.’ [44] Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. [45] Philip found Nathanael, and said to him, ‘We have found him of whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph’ ” (John 1:43-45).

Calendar:
Friday, February 16.
7:00 p.m. Akathist Hymn.

Saturday, February 17.
9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Magnificat Prayer Breakfast welcomes Missionary, Human Rights Advocate & RN, Louise Allard to address the topic: "Nothing is Impossible for God!” A woman of great courage, Louise left the security of home to answer the Lord’s call to help suffering mothers and babies in Africa. Through her yes the Lord brought forth the most unexpected and amazing grace! Come and bring a friend to be blessed! Embassy Suites Anaheim – South, 11767 Harbor Blvd., Garden Grove, CA 92840. Registration by mail must be postmarked by Feb 12, 2018: $28 per person. Registration at the door: $33 per person. Reserved Seating for Tables of 10 - $280. Mail to Magnificat Ministry: P.O. Box 4381, Orange, CA 92863 . The meal includes a full plated breakfast as well as the speaker’s program. Flyers are also available in the vestibule of your parish Church. For registration information contact Anne at (714) 420-5482.

4:30 p.m. Confession.
5:00 p.m. Vespers (Evening prayer).

Sunday, February 18.
9:45 a.m. Orthros (Morning prayer).
10:00 a.m. Choir practice.
11:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy. 40th day memorial for Hanna Haddad (January 3, 2018).
22nd year memorial for Jamil Mikhael Semaan (February 24, 1996).
12:15 p.m.-1:15 p.m. Eastern Christian Formation/Sunday School for children in kindergarten to grade 8. How do I Read the Bible? Class led by Father François.
12:15 p.m.-1:15 p.m. Youth Ministry spiritual discussion for all in grades 9-12.
2:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. House blessings.

Monday, February 19.
7:00 p.m. Great Compline

Wednesday, February 21.
11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. House blessings.
7:00 p.m. Pre-Sanctified Liturgy.

Thursday, February 22.
3:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. House blessings.

Friday, February 23.
3:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. House blessings.
7:00 p.m. Akathist Hymn.

Saturday, February 24.
4:30 p.m. Confession.
5:00 p.m. Vespers (Evening prayer). Youth will conduct the Vespers Service. Introduction to Vespers by Fr. François. Dinner following Vespers.

Sunday, February 25.
9:45 a.m. Orthros (Morning prayer).
10:00 a.m. Choir practice.
11:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy. 10 year memorial Ibrahim Odeh Salman (February 22, 2008).
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.
1:00 p.m. Falafel luncheon organized by Our Lady’s Society. $10 a plate.

Monday, February 26.
7:00 p.m. Great Compline

Wednesday, February 28.
7:00 p.m. Pre-Sanctified Liturgy.
7:00 p.m. Choir practice for the Melkite Eastern Catholic community at Saint Kilian’s Roman Catholic Church. 26872 Estanciero Drive, Mission Viejo, CA 92691. Parish center. Room 6. Second and fourth Thursdays of each month.

Thursday, March 1.
3:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. House blessings.

Friday, March 2.
3:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. House blessings.
7:00 p.m. Akathist Hymn.
8:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. Seniors night. Holy Cross Church hall. Join us for a game of cards, backgammon, other activities, and socializing.

Saturday, March 3.
5:00 p.m. Divine Liturgy in Arabic

Sunday, March 4.
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).
10:00 a.m. Choir practice.
11:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy in English. Fr. Loc will give the homily on his ministry in the prison.
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. Web-meeting with the youth of Saint John of the Desert Melkite Catholic Church, Phoenix, Arizona.
12:15-1:30 p.m. Young Adults Group for ages 21-35.

Monday, March 5.
7:00 p.m. Great Compline

Wednesday, March 7.
7:00 p.m. Pre-Sanctified Liturgy.

Thursday, March 8.
3:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. House blessings.

Friday, March 9.
3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. House blessings.
7:00 p.m. Akathist Hymn.

Saturday, March 10.
9:00 a.m. First Group for Forming a Leadership community Module. (Renew International).
4:30 p.m. Confession.
5:00 p.m. Vespers (Evening prayer).

Sunday, March 11.
9:45 a.m. Orthros (Morning prayer).
10:00 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.
1:00 p.m. Luncheon organized by Holy Cross Youth. Contact person: Antoinette Hilo.

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, March 12.
7:00 p.m. Great Compline

Wednesday, March 14.
7:00 p.m. Pre-Sanctified Liturgy.

Friday, March 16.
7:00 p.m. Akathist Hymn.

Saturday, March 17.
4:30 p.m. Confession.
5:00 p.m. Divine Liturgy. 40th day memorial for Salim Hanna Semaan (February 1, 2018).

Sunday, March 18. (Holy Land Collection).
9:45 a.m. Orthros (Morning prayer).
10:00 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.

Monday, March 19.
7:00 p.m. Great Compline.

Wednesday, March 21.
7:00 p.m. Pre-Sanctified Liturgy.

7:00 p.m. Choir practice for the Melkite Eastern Catholic community at Saint Kilian’s Roman Catholic Church. 26872 Estanciero Drive, Mission Viejo, CA 92691. Parish center. Room 6. Second and fourth Thursdays of each month.

Readings for Sunday, February 18, 2018.
Epistle: Hebrews 11:24-26; 32-40; 12:1-2.
Prokimenon (Tone 4)
Blessed are you, O Lord, God of our fathers, and your name is worthy of praise and glorious forever.
Stichon: For you are just in all you have done to us, and all your works are true and your ways right.

Reading from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Hebrews.
Brethren, by faith Moses, when he was grown up, denied he was a son of Pharaoh’s daughter (CF. Ex, 2: 11) ― choosing to be afflicted with God’s people rather than to have the enjoyment of sin for a time, estimating the indignities suffered by Christ to be of greater value than the Egyptians’ treasures (Cf. Ex. 2:32): for he was considering the reward. By faith he left Egypt not fearing the king’s wrath: for he persevered as if he were seeing the One who cannot be seen. By faith, he celebrated the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, so that the one who destroyed the first-born might not touch these. By faith, they passed through the Red Sea, as through dry land ― whereas the Egyptians attempting it were swallowed up. By faith, the walls of Jericho fell after people had gone around them for seven days. By faith, Rahab the prostitute who had received the spies in peace did not perish with the unbelievers.
And what more shall I say? For time will be too short to speak of Gideon, of Barac, of Samson, of Jephthe, of David and of Samuel and the prophets, who by faith conquered kingdoms, wrought justice, obtained the fulfillment of promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, recovered strength from weakness, became valiant in battle routed foreign armies.
Women had their dead restored to them through resurrection. Others were tortured, refusing to yield for their release, in order to obtain a better resurrection. Others again suffered mockery and blows, even chains and jailing. They were stoned, cut to pieces, put to the question, killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, distressed, afflicted (of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts, mountains, caves and holes in the ground.
And none of these, despite the positive witnessing of faith, received what was promised, for God had something better in store for us, so that they were not to reach their final perfection without us.

ALLELUIA (Tone 4)
Moses and Aaron were among his priests and Samuel among those who called upon his name.
Stichon: They called upon the Lord, and he answered them; from the pillar of cloud he spoke to them.

Gospel: John 1:43-51
The Holy Gospel According To St. John.
At that time Jesus was about to leave for Galilee, and he found Philip. And Jesus said to him, “Follow me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the town of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found the one of whom Moses in the Law and the Prophets wrote, Jesus the son of Joseph of Nazareth.” And Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him and said of him, “Look, a true Israelite in whom there is no guile!” Nathanael said to him, “Where do you know me from?” Jesus answered him and said to him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” Nathanael answered him and said, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God, you are King of Israel.” Answering, Jesus said to him, “Because I said to you that I saw you under the fig tree, you believe. Greater things than these shall you see.” And he said to him, “Amen, amen, I say to you, you shall see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”

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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.
Administrative Assistant: Rosemarie Nasr.
Parish Hall Rentals: Hala Nakhoul (714) 920-6180.
Choir Director: Reader Saad Tashman.
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 2018: March 3, May 5, June 2, June 30, August 4, September 1, October 6, November 3, December 1.

ENGLISH DIVINE LITURGY: 11:00 a.m. First Sunday of the month. In 2018: March 4, May 6, June 3, July 1, August 5, September 2, October 7, November 4, December 2.

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.
A MEETING (Use of the chairs and tables only. No use of the kitchen, oven, or refrigerator). $75 / hour for parishioners. $100 for non-parishioners.
ADDITIONAL CHARGE FOR A RENTAL OVER 5 HOURS: $100 / hour.

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2018-01-28 Homily. Fr. François Beyrouti. "Becoming a Saint by recognizing you are a sinner."

"Becoming a Saint by recognizing you are a sinner."
Sunday, January 28, 2018 homily by Father François Beyrouti.

Prokimenon (Tone 1) Psalm 32:22,1
May your kindness, O Lord, be upon us, for we have hoped in you.
Exult, you just, in the Lord; praise from the upright is fitting.

A Reading from the First Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 6:12-20).
Brethren, all things are lawful for me, but not all things are fitting. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of anyone. Food is for the belly, and the belly for food, but God will destroy both the one and the other. Now, the body is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. For God has raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them the members of a prostitute? By no means! Or do you not know that one who cleaves tot a prostitute becomes one body with her? For the two, it is said, shall be one flesh (Gn.2 : 24). But he who cleaves to the Lord is one spirit with him. Flee immortality. Every sin a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your members are the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God and that you are not your own? For you have been bought at a great price. Glorify God therefore in your body and in your soul which both are God’s.

Alleluia (Tone 1) Psalm 17:48,50
O God, you granted me retribution and make peoples subject to me and saved me from my raging enemies. Stichon: Therefore I will proclaim you, O Lord, among the nations, and I will sing praise to your name.

Gospel: Luke 15:11-32. The Parable of the Prodigal Son.
The Lord told this parable: “A man had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the property that falls to me.’ And he divided his possessions between them. And not many days later, the younger son gathered up all his wealth and traveled to a far country; and there he squandered his fortune in loose living. And after he had spent all, there came a severe famine over that country, and he began to suffer from it. And he went and joined one of the local landowners, who sent him to his fields to feed the pigs. And he longed to fill himself with the pods the pigs were eating, but no one offered to give them to him. But when he had come to his senses, he said, ‘How many hired men in my father’s house have bread in abundance, while I am perishing with hunger! I will get up and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me as one of your hired men.” And he got up and went to his father. But while he was yet a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with compassion and ran and fell upon his neck and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the Father said to his servants, ‘Fetch quickly the best robe and put it on him, and give him a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet; and bring out the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and make merry; because this my son was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to make merry. Now his elder son was in the field; and as he came close to the house, he heard music and dancing. And calling one of the servants he asked what this meant. And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has got him back safe.’ But he was angered and would not go in. His father, therefore, came out and began to beg him. But he answered and said to his father, ‘Look, these many years I have been serving you, and have never disobeyed any of your orders; and yet, you have never given me a kid that I might make merry with my friends. But when this son of yours comes, who has devoured your wealth with prostitutes; you have killed for him the fattened calf!’ But he said to him, ‘Son you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours; but we were bound to make merry and rejoice, for this your brother was dead, and has come to life; he was lost and is found.’”


Homily.
In our Melkite Catholic Church and all other Catholic and Orthodox Churches that follow the Byzantine liturgical tradition there are always periods of preparation for a big feast.

We don’t just celebrate Easter, we prepare for it in a special way with an entire week of extra prayers that help us re-live the events before Jesus died and rose from the dead. We also don’t just celebrate this week, we prepare for it for forty days of fasting and praying. And we don’t just celebrate these forty days, we also prepare to begin our time of fasting by reflecting on important themes before we begin our fast.

Last week we began our preparations for the period of the Great Fast, which is also called Lent. This forty day fast, is our preparation for holy week, which is our preparation for Pascha, the great feast of feasts, which celebrates Jesus’ death and resurrection. Of course the hope is that after all these preparations we will actually be prepared to sing “Christ is Risen.”

Last week we read the Gospel of the Pharisee and the Publican which focusses on the importance of humility in order for our prayer to be authentic and real. The humble Publican who went to the temple and bowed his head in prayer should be a model for us. Jesus says: “I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for every one who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 18:14). We are reminded that before we even think about fasting we need to be humble.

Today is the second Sunday of preparation for the Great fast and is called the Sunday of the Prodigal Son. The Gospel focusses on the importance of self-knowledge and repentance. We can also say that last week was a preparation for this week as without humility we can never develop a true picture of who we are and we can never be honest enough to admit that even if we were the greatest of saints we still need to repent.

We have to always remember that saints are those who know they are sinners, while those who remain sinners are those who can’t believe that God made them to become saints.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells the parable of the Prodigal Son, which is one of the most famous stories in the Bible. It is quite a dramatic and touching story that focusses on the hard work and jealousy of the older son, the selfishness, ingratitude, but then repentance and humility of the younger son, and the enormous patience, mercy, forgiveness, and love of the father.

A parable is meant to teach us a lesson about how much God loves us, but how we are sometimes distant. In this parable, the younger son demands from the father his share of the inheritance. Since children get their inheritance when parents die, the greed of the younger son led him to treat his father as if he were already dead. This parable is not meant to tell us how silly the younger son is, but is meant to challenge us to ask whether God is alive or dead in our lives.

The fact that we’re here shows that God is alive for all of us. But, how alive God is in our life will be determined by how we live our faith the rest of the week. It is easy to love God when we are here praying, but it is much more difficult when we face tough situations that really challenge or shake us. How we live the rest of this week will show whether we are part-time Sunday Christians or are lifetime Christians.

In addition to inviting us to reflect on how alive God is in our life, this Gospel also reminds us that everyone of us needs to change and become better in some aspect in our lives. We have to always keep the healthy balance of knowing we are precious children of God while at the same time have the daily intensity of recognizing our failures and working on them so that our lives can reflect that we are truly children of God.

When the younger son realizes what he did was wrong he says: “I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; [19] I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me as one of your hired servants’ ” (Luke 15:18-:19). We all need to have that humility. When we return to our heavenly Father’s house, it is there that we will find mercy and love, not rejection.

Jesus tells us that when the younger son returned home, the father saw him in a distance and went out to hug him. God does not hide and does not close the door. His doors are not only open, but God is always looking for us. Even if we are distant, He is with us and waiting for our return.

There are many other important themes in this beautiful story found in Luke 15:11-32. I encourage everyone to go home and read it slowly and reflect on how the different parts of the parable apply to different elements in your life.

Are we arrogant or are we humble? Is God dead in our lives or are our lives proof of how alive and wonderful God is? Are we able to recognize our sins, ask forgiveness from those whom we hurt and go to confession?

There are other lessons as well which you will find in this gospel when you reflect slowly on it.

Our preparation for the forty days of fasting, which is a preparation for holy week, which is a preparation for Easter, which enables us to sing “Christ is Risen” actually begins now. This time of fasting and repentance is above all meant to remind us that at the end of the journey we will celebrate Christ’s victory over sin and death, but that victory is meaningless if we don’t renew ourselves through humility, fasting, prayer, and repentance.

When we pray more often, realize we need to be humble, and think of our sins, this time of year will not only be a period of preparation. It will be a time of true and authentic growth in our spiritual life and in our relationship with God, our heavenly Father, who is always with us, who always loves us, and who always patiently waits for us to commit and re-commit our lives to Him.

Father François Beyrouti
Holy Cross Melkite Catholic Church
451 West Madison Avenue
Placentia, CA 92870-4537
Office: (714) 985-1710
My cell: (714) 914-1710
HolyCrossMelkite.org
YouTube.com/HolyCrossMelkite
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Facebook.com/HolyCrossMelkite
Twitter.com/HCMelkite

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