Our holy father Meletius, archbishop of Antioch, was elected to the Patriarchal See in 360, but within a month was exiled by Emperor Constantius. Reinstated in 379, he held a council for 150 bishops and took a prominent role in the Ecumenical Council of Constantinople in 381. He was persecuted on account of the Nicene faith with frequent exile and soon after presiding over the First Ecumenical Council of Constantinople he fell asleep in the Lord. St. Meletius was the one who ordained the future hierarch St. Basil the Great as a deacon. St. Meletius also baptized and encouraged St. John Chrysostom, who later eulogized his former archpaster.
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 Meletius, intercede with Christ our God to save our souls.
The Macedonian apostate feared your spiritual courage and fled. We your servants gather around you in order to obtain your intercession. O father Meletius, you are equal to the angels and the fiery sword of Christ our God. We praise you as a star enlightening all of us.
1 Corinthians 8:8 – 9:2
Brothers and sisters: Now food does not bring us closer to God. We suffer no loss through failing to eat, and we gain no favor by eating. Take care, however, lest in exercising your right you become an occasion of sin to the weak. If someone sees you, with your “knowledge,” reclining at table in the temple of an idol, may not his conscience in its weak state be influenced to the point that he eats the idol-offering? Because of your “knowledge” the weak one perishes, that brother for whom Christ died. When you sin thus against your brothers and wound their weak consciences, you are sinning against Christ. Therefore, if food causes my brother to sin I will never eat meat again, so that I may not be an occasion of sin to him.
Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? And are you not my work in the Lord? Although I may not be an apostle for others, I certainly am one for you. You are the very seal of my apostolate in the Lord.
Matthew 25: 31-46
The Lord said: “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, escorted by all the angels of heaven, he will sit upon his royal throne, and all the nations will be assembled before him. Then he will separate them into two groups, as a shepherd separates sheep from goats. The sheep he will place on his right hand, the goats on his left. The king will say to those on his right, ‘Come. You have my Father’s blessing! Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food. I was thirsty and you gave me drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me. I was ill and you comforted me, in prison and you came to visit me.’ Then the just will ask him: ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you or see you thirsty and give you drink? When did we welcome you away from home or clothe you in your nakedness? When did we visit you when you were ill or in prison?’ The king will answer them: ‘I assure you, as often as you did it for one of my least brothers, you did it for me.’
“Then he will say to those on his left: ‘Out of my sight, you condemned, into that everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels! I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink. I was away from home and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing. I was ill and in prison and you did not come to comfort me.’ Then they in turn will ask: ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or away from home or naked or ill or in prison and not attend you in your needs?’ He will answer them: ‘I assure you, as often as you neglected to do it to one of these least ones, you neglected to do it to me.’ These will go off to eternal punishment and the just eternal life.”
Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications – ecpubs.com
Saturday, February 11 –