lived during the fifth and sixth centuries, and was the founder of cenobitic monasticism. He was born in Cappadocia to pious parents. Endowed with a splendid voice, he zealously toiled at church readings and singing.
Yearning for a solitary life, St. Theodosius settled in Palestine into a desolate cave, in which, according to tradition, the three Magi had spent the night, having come to worship the Savior after his Nativity. He lived there for thirty years in great abstinence and unceasing prayer. People flocked to the ascetic, wishing to live under his guidance. When the cave could no longer hold all the monks, St. Theodosius prayed that the Lord Himself would indicate a place for the monks. Taking the censer with cold charcoal and incense, the monk started walking into the desert.
At a certain spot the charcoal ignited by itself and the incense smoke began to rise. Here the monk established the first cenobitic monastery or Lavra. Soon the Lavra of St. Theodosius became renowned, and up to 700 monks gathered there.
Before his death, St. Theodosius summoned to him three beloved bishops and revealed to them that we would soon depart for the Lord. After three days, he died at the age of 105 (in the year 529). The saint’s body was buried with the reverence in the cave in which he lived at the beginning of his ascetic life.
Your abundant tears made the wilderness bloom, and your sufferings made your labors fruitful a hundredfold; you became a shining torch over the world. O venerable Father Theodosius, pray to Christ our God that He may save our souls.
You were planted in the courts of your Lord and blossomed forth with beautiful and admirable virtues, O master of God’s holy sheepfold. You multiplied your children in the wilderness and quenched their thirst with your abundant tears. Therefore we cry out: Rejoice O father Theodosius.
Readings for Theodosius
2 Corinthians 4: 6-15
Brothers and sisters: God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts, that we in turn might make known the glory of God shining on the face of Christ. This treasure we possess in earthen vessels to make it clear that its surpassing power comes from God and not from us. We are afflicted in every way possible, but we are not crushed; full of doubts, we never despair. We are persecuted but never abandoned; we are struck down but never destroyed. Continually we carry about in our bodies the dying of Jesus, so that in our bodies the life of Jesus may also be revealed. While we live we are constantly being delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may be revealed in our mortal flesh. Death is at work in us, but life in you. 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 to your benefit, so that the grace bestowed in abundance may bring greater glory to God because they who give thanks are many.
Matthew 11: 27-30
The Lord said to his disciples: “everything has been given over to me by my Father. No one knows the Son but the Father, and no one knows the Father but the Son– and anyone whom the Son wished to reveal him.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and find life burdensome, and I will refresh you. Take my yoke upon your shoulders and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart. Your souls will find rest, for my yoke is easy and my burden light.”
Readings for the Day
Hebrews 9: 8-10; 15-23
Brothers and sisters: The Holy Spirit was showing thereby that while the first tabernacle was still standing, the way into the sanctuary had not yet been revealed. This is a symbol of the present time, in which gifts and sacrifices are offered that can never make perfect the conscience of the worshiper, but can only cleanse in matters of food and drink and various ritual washings: regulations concerning the flesh, imposed until the time of the new order.
This Is why Christ is mediator of a new covenant: since his death has taken place for deliverance from transgressions committed under the first covenant, those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance. Where there is a testament, it is necessary that the death of the testator be confirmed. For a testament comes into force only in the case of death; it has no force while the testator is alive. Hence, not even the first covenant was inaugurated without blood. When Moses had read all the commandments of the law to the people, he took the blood of goats and calves, together with water and crimson wool and hyssop, and sprinkled the book and all the people, saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which God has enjoined upon you.” He also sprinkled the tabernacle and all the vessels of worship with blood. According to the law almost everything is purified by blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. It was necessary that the copies of the heavenly models be purified in this way, but the heavenly realities themselves called for better sacrifices.
Mark 8: 22-26
At that time when Jesus arrived in Bethsaida, some people brought him a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. Jesus took the blind man’s hand and led him outside the village. Putting spittle in the man’s eyes Jesus laid his hands on the man and asked, “Can you see anything?” The man opened his eyes and said, “I can see people but they look like walking trees!” Then a second time Jesus laid hands on the man’s eyes, and he saw perfectly; his sight was restored and he could see everything clearly. Jesus sent him home with the admonition, “Do not even go into the village.”
Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications – ecpubs.com
Monday, January 10 –