Our venerable father Bucolus was a disciple of St. John the Evangelist, who consecrated him Bishop of Smyrna. In Smyrna there were few that were baptized. In the darkness of paganism, St. Bucolus shone as bright as a candle. He distinguished himself with every virtue, especially meekness and humility. Before his death, Bucolus consecrated the glorious Polycarp as his successor to the episcopacy. He died peacefully in the 2nd century.
The holy martyr Silvanus of Esmesa in Syria, was a bishop, who, when he had led the same Church for forty years, finally, under the emperor Maximinus, was thrown to the wild beasts. Together with Luca the deacon and Mocius the lector he received the palm of martyrdom in 313.
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 Bucolus, intercede with Christ our God to save our souls.
Radiant with the light of the priesthood, you illuminated the people, O pastor. You destroyed the darkness of idolatry, and you dispersed the clouds of passions by your cures. You went before the unsetting Light. Now we ask you to pray for us who honor you, O blessed Bucolus.
1 John 2:18 – 3:10
Children, it is the final hour; just as you heard that the antichrist was coming, so now many such antichrists have appeared. This makes us certain that it is the final hour. It was from our ranks that they took their leave — not that they really belong to us; for if they had belonged to us, they would have stayed with us. It only served to show that none of them was ours. But you have the anointing that comes from the Holy One, so that all knowledge is yours. My reason for having written you is not that you do not know the truth but that you do, and that no lie has anything in common with the truth. Who is the liar? Who denies that Jesus is the Christ. He is the antichrist, denying the Father and the Son. Anyone who denies the Son has no claim on the Father, but he who acknowledges the Son can claim the Father as well.
As for you, let what you heard from the beginning remain in your hearts. If what you heard from the beginning does remain in your hearts, then you will in turn will remain in the Son and in the Father.
He himself made us a promise and the promise is no less than this: eternal life. I have written you these things about those who try to deceive you.
As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in your heart. This means you have no need for anyone to teach you. Rather, as his anointing teaches you about all things and is true — free from any lie — remain in him as that anointing taught you.
Remain in him now, little ones, so that, when he reveals himself, we may be fully confident and not retreat in shame at his coming. If you consider the holiness that is his, you can be sure that everyone who acts in holiness has been begotten by him.
See what love the Father has bestowed on us in letting us be called children of God! Yet that is what we are. The reason the world does not recognize us is that it never recognized the Son. Dearly beloved, we are God’s children now; what we shall later be has not yet come to light. We know that when it comes to light we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope based on him keeps himself pure, as he is pure.
Everyone who sins acts lawlessly for sin is lawlessness. You know well that the reason he revealed himself was to take away sins; in him there is nothing sinful. The man who remains in him does not sin. The man who sins has not seen him or known him.
Little ones, let no one deceive you; the man who acts in holiness is holy indeed, even as the Son is holy. The man who sins belongs to the devil, because the devil is a sinner from the beginning. It was to destroy the devil‘s works that the Son of God revealed himself. No one begotten of God acts sinfully because he remains of God’s stock; he cannot sin because he is begotten of God. That is the way to see who are God’s children, and who are the devils.
Mark 11: 1-11
At that time as Jesus and the disciples neared Bethphage and Bethany on the Mount of Olives, close to Jerusalem, he sent off two of his disciples with the instruction: “Go to the village straight ahead of you, and as soon as you enter it you will find tethered there a colt on which no one has ridden. Untie it and bring it back. If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing that?’ say, ‘The Master needs it but he will send it back here at once.’” So they went off, and finding a colt tethered out on the street near a gate, they untied it. Some of the bystanders said to them, “What do you mean by untying that colt?” They answered as Jesus had told them to, and the men let them take it. They brought the colt back to Jesus and threw their cloaks across its back, and Jesus sat on it. Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread reeds which they had cut in the fields. Those preceding Jesus as well as those who followed cried out: “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the reign of our father David to come! Hosanna in the highest!” Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple precincts. He inspected everything there, but since it was already the afternoon, he went out to Bethany accompanied by the Twelve.
Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications – ecpubs.com
Sunday, February 5 –