The holy apostles Aristarchus, Pudens, and Trophimus were members of the Seventy. Aristarchus was bishop of Apamea in Syria, and mentioned by Paul several times in his epistles (Acts 19:29l Col. 4:10; Philemon v.24). Paul calls him “my fellow-prisoner” and “my fellow-laborer.” Pudens was an important Roman citizen. Paul mentions him once (II Tim 4:21). Trophimus was an Asian (Acts 20:4) who accompanied Paul on his journeys. In one place, Paul laments, “Trophimus have I left at Miletum, sick.” (II Tim. 4:21) They died during the persecutions of the emperor Nero.
O holy apostles, intercede with the all-merciful God that He may grant us forgiveness for our sins.
This precious feast is truly apostolic, for it enlightens us and dispels the fog of sin for those who sing: The Light has been shown to us. Deliverance is at hand.
Acts 3: 11-16
In those days, as the man (who was cured) stood there clinging to Peter and John, the whole crowd rushed over to them excitedly in Solomon’s Portico. When Peter saw this, he addressed the people as follows: “Fellow Israelites, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if we had made this man walk by some power or holiness of our own? The God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his Servant Jesus, who you handed over and disowned in Pilate’s presence when Pilate was ready to release him. You disowned the Holy and Just One and preferred instead to be granted the release of a murdered. You put to death the Author of life. But God raised him from the dead, and we are his witnesses. It is his name, and trust in this name, that has strengthened the limbs of this man whom you see and know well. Such faith has given him perfect health, as all of you can observe.”
John 3: 22-33
At that time Jesus and his disciples came into Judean territory, and he spent some time with them there baptizing. John who was baptizing at Aenon near Salim where the water was plentiful, and people kept coming to be baptized. (John, of course, had not yet been thrown in prison.) A controversy about purification arose between John’s disciples and a certain Jew. So they came to John, saying, “Rabbi, the man who was with you across the Jordan – the one about whom you have been testifying – is baptizing now, and everyone is flocking to him.”
John answered: “No one can lay hold on anything unless it is given him from on high. You yourselves are witnessed to the fact that I said: ‘I am not the Messiah; I am sent before him.’ It is the groom who has the bride. The groom’s best man waits there listening for him and is overjoyed to hear his voice. That is my joy, and it is complete. He must increase, while I must decrease. The One who comes from above is above all; the one who is of the earth is earthly, and he speaks on an earthly plane. The One who comes from heaven (who is above all) testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony. Whoever does accept his testimony certifies that God is truthful.”
Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications – ecpubs.com
Friday, April 14 –