The martyr Archdeacon Euplus suffered in the year 308 under the emperors Diocletian (284-305) and Maximian (305-311). He served in the Sicilian city of Catania. Always carrying the Gospel with him, St. Euplus preached constantly to the pagans about Christ. Once, while he read and explained the Gospel to the gathered crowd, they arrested him and took him to the governor of the city. St. Euplus confessed himself a Christian and denounced the impiety of idol-worship. For this, they sentenced him to torture. They threw the injured saint into prison, where he remained in prayer for seven days. The Lord made a spring of water flow into the prison for the martyr to quench his thirst. Brought to trial for a second time, strengthened and rejoicing, St. Euplus again confessed his faith in Christ and denounced the torturer for spilling the blood of innocent Christians. The judge commanded that the saint’s ears be torn off, and that he be beheaded. When they led the saint to execution, they hung the Gospel around his neck. Having asked for time to pray, the archdeacon began to read and explain the Gospel to the people, and many of the pagans listening came to believe in Christ. The soldiers beheaded the saint with a sword.
You martyr Euplus, O Lord our God, in his struggle received an incorruptible crown from You. With Your strength, he brought down the tyrants and broke the cowardly valor of demons. Through his prayers, O Christ our God, save our souls.
Carrying the law of Christ in your hands, O Euplus, you bravely confronted the enemy by crying out: I am ready and willing to be martyred. You bent your neck and they cut off your head. And thus you have completed your course.
2 Corinthians 4: 13-18
Brothers and sisters: We have that spirit of faith of which the Scripture says, “Because I believed, I spoke out.” We believe and so we speak, knowing that he who raised up the Lord Jesus will raise us up along with Jesus and place both us and you in his presence. Indeed, everything is ordered for your benefit, so that the grace bestowed in abundance may bring greater glory to God because they who give thanks are many.
We do not lose heart, because our inner being is renewed each day even though our body is being destroyed at the same time. The present burden of our trial is light enough, and earns for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison. We do not fix our gaze on what is seen but on what is unseen. What is seen is transitory; what is unseen lasts forever.
Matthew 24: 27-33, 42-51
The Lord said: “As lightning from the east flashes to the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be. Where the carcass lies, there the vultures gather. Immediately after the stress of that period, ‘the sun will be darkened, the moon will not shed her light, the stars will fall from the sky, and the hosts of heaven will be shaken loose.’ Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and ‘all the clans of the earth will strike their breasts’ as they see ‘the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven’ with power and great glory. He will dispatch his angels ‘with a mighty trumpet blast, and they will assemble his chosen from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.’ From the fig tree learn a lesson. When its branch grows tender and sprouts leaves, you realize summer is near. Likewise, when you see all these things happening, you will know that he is near, standing at your door.
“Stay awake, therefore! You cannot know the day your Lord is coming. Be sure of this: if the owner of the house knew when the thief was coming he would keep a watchful eye and not allow his house to be broken into. You must be prepared in the same way. The Son of Man is coming at the time you least expect. Who is the faithful, farsighted servant whom the master has put in charge of his household to dispense food at need? Happy the servant whom his master discovers at work on his return! I assure you, he will put him in charge of his property. But if the servant is worthless and tells himself, ‘My master is a long time in coming,’ and begins to beat his fellow servants, to eat and drink with drunkards, that man’s master will return when he is not ready and least expects him. He will punish him severely and settle with him as is done with hypocrites. There will be wailing then and grinding of teeth.”
Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications – ecpubs.com
Thursday, August 10 –