The holy apostles Herodion, Agabus, Rufus, Asyncritus, Phlegon, and Hermas were among the Seventy Apostles. St. Paul mentions them in his epistles. Herodion was a kinsman of Paul. He helped the Apostle Peter in Rome, and was beheaded along with many other Christians the day that St. Peter was crucified. Agabus had a spirit of prophecy; two of his prophecies are recorded in the Acts of the Apostles (11:28 and 21:11). Rufus was bishop of Thebes in Greece. He is mentioned by St. Paul: “Salute Rufus, chosen in the Lord.” (Rom 16:13). St. Asyncritus was bishop of Hyrcania in Asia. Phlegon, who is mentioned in the same place as Rufus, was bishop in the Thracian city of Marathon. Hermas, mentioned with the others, was bishop in Dalmatia.
O holy apostles, intercede with the all-merciful God that He may grant us forgiveness of our sins.
You have become disciples and true apostles of Christ, O glorious Herodion and fellow apostles. Pray to the Lord to forgive the sins of those who honor you.
Romans 6: 3b-11
Brothers and sisters: We who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death. Through baptism into his death we were buried with him, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live a new life. If we have been united with him through likeness to his death, so shall we be through a like resurrection. This we know: our old self was crucified with him so that the sinful body might be destroyed and we might be slaves to sin no longer. A man who is dead has been freed from sin. If we have died with Christ, we believe that we are also to live with him. We know that Christ, once raised from the dead, will never die again; death has no more power over him. His death was death to sin, once for all; his life is life for God. In the same way, you must consider yourselves dead to sin but alive for God in Christ Jesus.
Matthew 28: 1-20
After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene came with the other Mary to inspect the tomb. Suddenly there was a mighty earthquake, as the angel of the Lord descended from heaven. He came to the stone, rolled it back, and sat on it. In appearance he resembled a flash of lightning while his garments were as dazzling as snow. The guards grew paralyzed with fear of him and fell down like dead men. Then the angel spoke, addressing the women: “Do not be frightened. I know you are looking for Jesus the crucified, but he is not here. He has been raised, exactly as promised. Come and see the place where he was entombed. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has been raised from the dead and now goes ahead of you to Galilee, where you will see him.’ That is the message I have for you.”
They hurried away from the tomb half-overjoyed, half-fearful, and ran to carry the good news to his disciples. Suddenly, without warning, Jesus stood before them and said, “Peace!” The women came up and embraced his feet and did him homage. At this Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid! Go and carry the news to my brothers that they are to go to Galilee, where they will see me.”
As the women were returning, some of the guard went into the city to report to the chief priests all that had happened. They, in turn, convened with the elders and worked out their strategy, giving the soldiers a large bribe with the instructions: “You are to say, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him while we were asleep.’ If any word of it gets to the procurator, we will straighten it out with him and keep you out of trouble.” The soldiers pocketed the money and did as they had been instructed. This is the story that circulated among the Jews to this very day.
The eleven disciples made their way to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had summoned them. At the sight of him, those who had entertained doubts fell down in homage. Jesus came forward and addressed them in these words: “Full authority has been given to me both in heaven and on earth; go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations. Baptize them in the name ‘of the Father and of the Son, and the Holy Spirit.’ Teach them to carry out everything I have commanded you. And know that I am with you always, until the end of the world!”
Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications – ecpubs.com
Friday, April 7 –