The holy apostle Thaddeus was one of the Seventy, not the same as the Jude Thaddeus who was one of the Twelve. He went to Edessa in Syria and preached the gospel, there and throughout Syria and Phoenicia, and fell asleep in the Lord in Beirut.
The holy martyr Bassa, who was the wife of a pagan priest, was a secret Christian. She brought up her sons in the Faith as well. Her husband handed her over to the torturers with her sons. They were beheaded in the persecutions of Maximian in the 3rd century.
Edessa rejoices today as its baptism through you. Abgar has been freed from passion and praises you. We join in his hymn, and we sing to you: Fill our lives with spiritual happiness and heal our passions through your prayers, O apostle Thaddeus.
Your lamb Bassa, O Jesus, cries out in a loud voice: I love You my Bridegroom; I seek You with painful longing; I am crucified with You; in Your baptism, I am buried with You; I suffer for You that I may reign with You; and I die for You that I may live with You. Receive me as a spotless sacrifice immolated with love for You. By her prayers, O merciful One, save our souls.
O Apostle Thaddeus, the Church recognizes you as a brilliant star and she is ever illumined by your miracles. Save those who keep your memory with faith.
You put out the fires of the torments by the dew of the Spirit, O blessed saint. You were taken into the divine and spiritual light, and after your passing, you shower cures upon us, suppressing the urge of passions through your prayers.
2 Corinthians 8: 7-15
Brothers and sisters: Just as you are rich in every respect, in faith and discourse in knowledge, in total concern, and in the love we bear you, so may you abound in this charity [begun among you by Titus].
I am not giving an order but simply testing your generous love against the concern which others show. You are well acquainted with the favor shown you by our Lord Jesus Christ: how for your sake he made himself poor though he was rich, so that you might become rich by his poverty. I am about to give you some advice on this matter of rich and poor. It will help you who began this good work last year, not only to carry it through, but to do so willingly. Carry it through now to a successful completion, so that your ready resolve may be matched by giving according to your means. The willingness to give should accord with one’s means, not go beyond them. The relief of others ought not to impoverish you: there should be a certain equality. Your plenty at the present time should supply their need so that their surplus may one day supply your need, with equality as a result. It is written, “He who gathered much had no excess and he who gathered little had no lack.”
Mark 3: 6-12
At that time the Pharisees began to plot with the Herodians how they might destroy Jesus. Jesus withdrew toward the lake with his disciples. A great crowd followed him from Galilee, and an equally great multitude came to him from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, Transjordan, and the neighborhood of Tyre and Sidon, because they had heard what he had done. In view of their numbers, he told his disciples to have a fishing boat ready for him so that he could avoid the press of the crowd against him. Because he had cured many, all who had afflictions kept pushing toward him to touch him. Unclean spirits would catch sight of him, fling themselves down at his feet, and shout, “You are the Son of God!”, while he kept ordering them sternly not to reveal who he was.
Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications – ecpubs.com
Sunday, August 20 –