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26 June, 2011

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Отим скінчили ми сьогоднішну радіо передачу в українській мові. Слухайте нас кожної неділі о другій годині на ра­діо стації WJJL 1440 AM. Які небудь питання, коментарі або поради скируйте до Церкви Св. Мико­лая в Боффало.

Наш адрес: 308 Фільмор вулиця, Боффало, Н.Й. 14206, а наш телєфон є 716-852-7566.

На Радіо передачу зложила:

$25.00 дол. пані Оксана Салдит у пам’ять Св. Пам. Ірени Остапчук. Вічная Пам’ять покійній Ірені!

Сердечна подяка. Нехай Господь щедро поблагословить.

А тепер перейдемо до нашої англомовної частини.



You are listening to the “Good Samaritan” Ukrainian Radio Program, under the patronage of the Buffalo Ukrainian Catholic Deanery. Our intention is to bring the word of God to all of you, who are unable to attend church on Sundays. Please say a prayer for the success of this project!

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ!


The second Sunday after Pentecost shows us the practical application of the great call to discipleship given by Jesus in today’s Gospel, which tells of the calling of the first Apostles.  On the shore near Galilee, Jesus sees Simon and Andrew fishing.  He says to them: “Follow me”.  He wants to make them fishers of men.  And they straight away left their nets, and followed him”.  Further on, Jesus meets James and John, also fishermen, in the company of their father, Zebedee.  Jesus calls them and scripture tells us that: “They immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him”.  The new disciples abandon their nets and their ships: Jesus sometimes asks us to forsake the things we want most in life in order to follow Him.  Yet Jesus’ call also has a very positive aspect: one must follow the Master in order to learn the way to salvation.  But the first Apostles could not have followed the Master if they had not first of all left their ships and their nets.  Today’s Gospel reading compels us to ask ourselves the following questions: What have we abandoned in order to follow Jesus?  What does the Lord want us to leave behind?

“Follow me” is not the invitation to be saved; it is the call of the believer to service.  It is no small decision to follow Jesus.  It is possible to have heard the Lord’s teaching and still not be a disciple, to be a camp-follower without being a soldier, to be a hanger-on in some great work without pulling one’s weight.  But to really follow Jesus is to set aside our own goals and pleasures and to embrace the purposes for which God created us. Those purposes are: to know the Lord in a personal way and to make disciples of others by teaching them the way of the Lord.  All those who truly follow Christ must exchange their affections, their goals and priorities for His.  When Jesus called Peter and Andrew, their goal was to be successful fishermen.  In asking them to forsake this goal, Jesus asked them to follow Him, and He would “make them fishers of men’s souls.” Jesus did not simply command His disciples to become fishers of men, but rather He promised to make them fishers of men. The requirements for following Jesus are not the same for everyone. But for each of us it certainly involves a willingness to exchange our personal desires for those of the Lord.

Jesus, in entering this world, let go of equality with God the Father, and He became one of us.  As a man, Jesus knew God completely and personally, and chose to live God’s way.  His relationship with other people was the living image of God’s holiness, truth and love.  In His very person was the power and presence of the
kingdom of God, the light that would shine in the darkness and change the world forever. And what did Jesus do with that power?  To fisherman and priests, tax collectors and Samaritans, children and women, lepers and adulterers, He gave.  He gave His time, His touch, His love and most importantly, God’s forgiveness.  Jesus used His power to forgive the sinner, to make the sick well, the blind see, and the lame walk. He communicated with stories that people could relate to and understand, and Jesus gave away his knowledge of God.  Though His giving would bring Him great suffering and even death, Jesus continued to use His power to give by pouring out His love for the world.  And when He died on the cross, Jesus gave again and broke the power of sin and death. He used His power to die so that we would have the gift of Eternal life.  Jesus used the bondage and sorrow of the cross to bring us freedom and joy.  He used His power to give us His life, so that we might become the children of God; that we could become filled with God’s Holy Spirit, just like Jesus.  He gave and trusted that no matter what seemed to happen, God would use the outcome for good.  My brothers and sisters, can we make the purpose in our life better reflect the light of Christ to those around us?  Will we take opportunities to share with others what Jesus has done for us in our own life?  Jesus said: “Follow me and I will make you Fishers of Men.  Jesus never promised that the journey would be easy, but He did promise a place in God’s Kingdom for all those who believe and follow Him.

One day St. Francis was giving out money which he had collected for the poor, to those in the community who were suffering from famine, poverty, and disease. A wealthy man who had done some building work in a Church for St. Francis saw this and was envious. He went up to St. Francis asking for money on the basis that he had been underpaid for his work. St. Francis simply filled the builder’s hands full to overflowing with coins and told him to come back if the money was insufficient. The builder left and did not return for some time. He had wanted this money more than anything; he had even planned on how he would use this money for his own benefit.  But before the builder could even spend a single coin, a tremendous feeling came over him, and he knew right away what he must do. When the builder returned to St. Francis, he had sold all he owned, he gave the money to St. Francis to give away to the poor, and he joined the religious order. Sometimes giving can seem like giving in, like loosing, even like madness, but only God can give us the wisdom and power for this sort of giving. We will always be amazed by the wondrous things that can happen when we place our trust in the hands of the Lord.

Christ’s power to give came from His intimacy with God and it is this same intimacy that we Christians are offered through the Holy Spirit. With the Holy Spirit dwelling inside of us, we can grow an inner knowledge that God’s ways are not only right - but good.  Then, knowing by experience the goodness of His righteousness, we find we can agree with the will of God much more easily. There is no order to obey but a divine ‘yes’ to follow, and it fills us with Christ’s innate ability to give. We too can want to give, see the goodness and righteousness in giving, and be empowered to give, if we ask Jesus to transform our hearts and minds for the better.  When Nelson Mandela was a political prisoner in South African jails for twenty some years, he discovered even there he had something he could give to others: dignity and respect.  The privileges he fought hardest for were things which would give the prisoner’s in general, some small amount of dignity and respect.  And as a result he became their spokesman.  And even when he was taunted, abused and beaten by his captors, he tried with all his might to treat even the abusers with dignity and respect, and encouraged others to do the same.  This spirit gave both prisoners and guards hope, and significantly reduced the violence that occurred.  It also marked Mandela as a man who could be respected and trusted, a man with whom the government could negotiate the hand over of political power with safety.  And what an incredible change it made for the people of
South Africa.

The epistle reading for this Sunday, deals with themes of the law and of faith that we will continue to contemplate in the weeks ahead.  Today, we hear St. Paul compare the state of the Jews and of the Gentiles in relation to the Law.  The Jews have received the law; they will be judged by it.  But the Gentiles, who do not know the Law, nevertheless are not without law.  St. Paul writes: “When the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: which show the work of the law written on their hearts.”  In any case, what is most important is not simply to hear the Law, but to fulfill it.  St. Paul further urges us to realize: “For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.”  Our actions must speak louder than our words in the eyes of God.  For words are transient, but actions remain a living testimony of our faith.  This is why the Apostle, St. Paul, pays homage to whosoever does good things, whatever his persuasion or denomination might be: “Glory, honor, and peace to every man that performs good works, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile.”  We must not be too quick, therefore, either to exclude from the Kingdom of God those who do not share our faith, or to think that our faith dispenses us from doing what is good.  Let us rather give thanks to God and examine in ourselves our own faithfulness to the teachings of Christ.

I have discovered over the years that the worst thing in life is not failing, but rather succeeding in a worldly pursuit that leaves no room for God in our lives. There have been times in the life of every Christian when we recognize that the greatest thing we can do with our life is to bring someone else closer to Christ.  The call of the first disciples was to make them “fishers of men’s souls” - a discipleship that would bring people closer to Christ and ultimately closer to God the Father.  We all know people that we have wanted to give up on in life, because we forget to consider the following: Jesus wants us to be someone whose heart is moved to reach out to all the people around us and bring them closer to the Lord.  But in order to accomplish this goal in life, are we willing to lay aside our personal ambitions and plans in order to fully follow Christ?  We witnessed in today’s Gospel, that the first disciples did just this.  They left everything behind them, every worldly pursuit that had, and followed Christ.  God is always calling, always summoning us into being - our Lord is never inactive, never uninvolved.   I believe our Lord is always calling out to each of us, saying: ‘Come and follow Me’.  In the same way St. Paul once wrote, "Let us cease in fighting one another, so we may learn to forgive and love one another".  It is the personal duty of every Christian to demonstrate this kind of love to everyone, withholding no one.  Jesus said: “Follow me and I will make you Fishers of Men.”


You have been listening to the Good Samaritan, Ukrainian Radio Program. If you have any questions, commentaries, or suggestions, please contact us at St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church, located at 308 Fillmore Avenue, in Buffalo, NY 14206. Our telephone number is area code 716-852-7566.

We received the following donations:

$25.00 donation from Mrs. Oksana Saldyt in loving memory of Irene Ostapchuk. Eternal Memory. Vichnaya Pamiat’!

Thank you for your generosity and may the good Lord bless you a hundredfold.

Please join us again next Sunday at 2:00 PM, on WJJL 1440 AM for the “Good Samaritan Ukrainian Radio Program”.