St. Mary's Orthodox Cathedral


Sunday of the Last Judgment

When Christ comes to judge us, what will be the criterion of His judgment? Today's parable answers: love - not a mere humanitarian concern for abstract justice and the anonymous "poor", but concrete and personal love for the human person, any human person, that God makes me encounter in my life. This distinction is important because today more and more Christians tend to identify Christian love with political, economic, and social concerns; in other words, they shift from the unique person and its unique personal destiny, to anonymous entities such as "class", "race" , etc. Not that these concerns are wrong. It is obvious that in their respective walks of life, in their responsibilities as citizens, professionals, etc, Christians are called to care, to the best of their possibilities and understanding, for a just, equal, and in general more humane society. All this, to be sure, stems from Christianity and may be inspired by Christian love. But Christian love as such is something different, and this is difference is to be understood and maintained if the Church is to preserve her unique mission and not become a mere "social agency," which definitely she is not.

Christian love is the "possible impossibility" to see Christ in another person, whoever he is, and whom God, in His eternal and mysterious plan, has decided to introduce into my life, be it only for a few moments, not simply or only as an occasion for a "good deed" or an exercise in philanthropy, but as the beginning of an eternal companionship in God Himself. For, indeed, what is love if not that mysterious power that transcends the accidental and the external in the "other" - her physical appearance, social rank, ethnic origin, intellectual capacity - and reaches the very soul, the unique and uniquely personal "root" of a human being, truly the part of God in her? If God loves every one it is because He alone knows the priceless and absolutely unique treasure, the "soul" or "person" He gave each one. Christian love then is the participation in that divine knowledge and the gift of that divine love. There is no "impersonal" love because love is the wonderful discovery of the "person" in men and women, of the personal and unique in the common and general. It is the discovery in each person of that which is "loveable" in him, of that which is from God.

In this respect, Christian love is sometimes the opposite of "social activism" with which one so often identifies Christianity today. The "social activist" often has no interest for the personal, and easily sacrifices it to the "common interest". Christianity may seem to be, and in some ways actually is, rather skeptical about abstract "humanity," but it commits a mortal sin against itself each time it gives up its concern and love for the person. Social activism is always "futuristic" in its approach; it always acts in the name of justice, order, happiness to come, to be achieved. Christianity cares little about that problematic future but puts the whole emphasis on the now - the only decisive time for love. The two attitudes are not mutually exclusive, but they must not be confused.

Christians, to be sure, have responsibilities toward "this world" and they must fulfill them. This is the area of "social activism" which belongs entirely to "this world". Christian love, however, aims beyond "this world". It is itself a ray. A manifestation of the Kingdom of God; it transcends and overcomes all limitations, all "conditions" of this world because its motivation as well as its goals and consummation is in God. And we know that even in this world which "lies in evil", the only lasting and transforming victories are those of love. To remind man of this personal love and vocation, to fill the sinful world with this love - this is the true mission of the Church.

- Protopresbyter Alexander Schmemann


Service cancellation policy:

  • No one should travel to church for services if the road conditions are dangerous.
  • No services will be cancelled.
  • Those who cannot get to services should instead stay home, give thanks to God, be happy that at least a priest and a chanter are singing the services and praying for them.
  • Good church etiquiette also suggests staying home if you are sick or feel like you are coming down with an illness.

All services are held at the Cathedral unless otherwise noted.

Please watch the Messenger and website for places/times of other services.

Schedule of ServiceWednesday, February 22
6:15 PM Vespers @ Cathedral

Thursday, February 23
St. John the Baptist
9:00 AM Divine Liturgy

Saturday, February 25
4:30 PM Jesus Prayer
5:00 PM Great Vespers

Sunday, February 26
Forgiveness Sunday
:45 AM Matins @ Cathedral
9:00 AM Divine Liturgy @ Cathedral
Oath for Board Members and Service Attendants

9:00 AM Slavonic Service @ Cemetery Chapel

6:00 PM Forgiveness Vespers @ Cathedral

NOTE: Elevators available at both the Cathedral and the Parish Center.

This Week's EventsMonday, February 20
Church Office Closed
8:30 AM Perohi Making

Tuesday, February 21
8:30 AM Perohi Making
6:00 PM Stretchercise
No Balalaika Rehearsal

Wednesday, February 22
5:30 PM Slovak Class I
6:30 PM Slovak Class II
7:00 PM Choir Rehearsal
7:30 PM Slovak Class III

Friday, February 24
11-3:00 PM Perohi Sales

Sunday, February 26
11:00 AM Church School @ Parish Center
11:00 AM Information Meeting: Holy Land/Russia Pilgrimage @ Outside Library
11:15 AM 2nd Grade Parents @ Fr. Andrew’s Office
11:50 AM Youth Choir @ Music Room

7:30 PM Floor Hockey @ Gym


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