Our venerable father Pimen the Great was born about the year 340 in Egypt. He went to one of the Egyptian monasteries with his two brothers, Anoub and Paisius, and all three received monastic tonsures. The brothers were such strict ascetics that when their mother came to the monastery to see her children, they did not come out to her from their cells. For many monks, St. Pimen was a spiritual guide and instructor. They wrote down his answers to ser for the edification of others besides themselves. St. Pimen was strict in his fasting and sometimes would not partake of food for a week or more. He advised others to eat every day but to do so without eating their fill. Abba Pimen heard of a certain monk who went for a week without eating, but had lost his temper. The saint lamented that the monk was able to fast for an entire week, but was unable to abstain from anger for even a single day. St. Pimen died at the age of 110. Soon after his death, he was acknowledged as a saint pleasing to God. He was called “the Great” as a sign of his great humility, uprightness, ascetic struggles, and self-denying service to God.
Your abundant tears made the wilderness sprout and bloom, and your deep sighing made your labor fruitful a hundredfold. You became a star shining over the world with miracles, holy father Pimen. Pray to Christ God that He may save our souls.
Today the holy memory of your splendid struggles has dawned, gladdening the souls of the pious, O divinely wise Pimen, our venerable father.
1 Corinthians 16: 13-24
Brethren: Be on your guard, stand firm in the faith, and act like men. In a word, be strong. Do everything with love. You know that the household of Stephanus is the first fruits of Achaia and is devoted to the service of the saints. I urge you to serve under such men and under everyone who cooperates and toils with them. I was very happy at the arrival of Stephanus, Fortunatus, and Achaicus, because they made up for your absence. They have refreshed my spirit as they did yours. You should recognize the worth of such men.
The churches of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Prisca, together with the assembly that meets in their house, send you cordial greetings in the Lord. All the brethren greet you. Greet one another with a holy kiss.
It is I, Paul, who send you this greeting in my own hand. If anyone does not love the Lord, let a curse be upon him. O Lord, come! The favor of the Lord Jesus be with you. My love to all of you in Christ Jesus.
Matthew 21: 33-42
The Lord said to the chief priests and the elders of the people, “Listen to another parable. There was a property owner who planted a vineyard, put a hedge around it, dug a vat, and erected a tower. Then he leased it out to tenant farmers and went on a journey. When vintage time arrived he dispatched slaves to the tenants to obtain his share of the grapes. The tenants responded by seizing the slaves. They beat one, killed another, and stoned a third. A second time he dispatched even more slaves than before, but they treated them the same way. Finally he sent his son to them, thinking, ‘They will respect my son.’ When they saw the son, the tenants said to one another, ‘Here is the one who will inherit everything. Let us kill him and then we shall have his inheritance!’ With that they seized him, dragged him outside the vineyard, and killed him. What do you suppose the owner of the vineyard will do to those tenants when he comes?”
They replied, “He will bring that wicked crowd to a bad end and lease his vineyard out to others who will see to it that he has grapes at vintage time.” Jesus said to them, “Did you never read in Scriptures, ‘The stone which the builders rejected has become the keystone of the structure. It was the Lord who did this and we find it marvelous to behold’?”
Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications – ecpubs.com
Saturday, August 26 –