St. Emilian, Bishop of Cyzicus, lived during the reign of the Iconoclast emperor Leo the Armenian (813-820). He was summoned together with the other bishops to the court of the emperor, who insistently urged the bishops to refrain from the veneration of holy icons. St. Emilian was the first to tell the emperor firmly that the question of the veneration of holy icons ought to be discussed and decided only within the Church by its spiritual leaders, and not at the imperial court. In the year 815 he was sent to prison for the Orthodox Faith, where he died as a confessor.
Your life has shown you to your flock as a rule of faith, an image of gentleness, and a teacher of moderation. You acquired greatness through humility and wealth through poverty. O father and bishop Emilian, intercede with Christ our God to save our souls.
The Church recognizes you, O father Emilian, as an advocate of the most Holy Trinity, and she glorifies you with hymns of praise. You even laid down your life as proof of your devotion. For all of this we honor your memory. Deliver your servants from pagan invasions.
1 Corinthians 15: 12-19
Brothers and sisters: Tell me, if Christ is preached as raised from the dead, how is it that some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, Christ himself has not been raised. Ans of Christ has not been raised, our preaching is void of content and your faith is empty too. Indeed, we should then be exposed as false witnesses of God, for we have borne witness before him that he raised up Christ; but he certainly did not raise him up if the dead are not raised. Why? Because if the dead are not raised, your faith is worthless. You are still in your sins, and those who have fallen asleep in Christ are the deadest of the dead. If our hopes in Christ are limited to this life only, we are the most pitiable of men.
Matthew 21: 18-22
At that time, as Jesus was returning to the city, he felt hungry. Seeing a fig tree by the roadside he went over to it, but found nothing there except leaves. He said to it, “Never again shall you produce fruit!”; and it withered up instantly. The disciples were dumbfounded when they saw this. They asked, “Why did the fig tree wither up so quickly?” Jesus said: “Believe me, if you trust and do not falter, not only will you do what I did to the fig tree, but if you say to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ even that will happen. You will receive all that you pray for, provided you have faith.”
Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications – ecpubs.com
Sunday, August 7 –