Our holy father Athanasius, Archbishop of Alexandria, is one of the four great doctors of the Byzantine Church, called the Father of Orthodoxy. He opposed the Arians with admirable zeal and endured exile for 46 years. He died in 373.
Our holy father Cyril, Archbishop of Alexandria, opposed the Nestorians and taught that the divine and human natures in Christ are united in oneness of person, and that the Theotokos ought truly to be called Mother of God. He presided over the 3rd Ecumenical Council at Ephesus in 431. He died in 444.
Shining with works of true faith, you quenched every heretical dogma. You were conquerors in victory and enriched everyone by your holiness. You adorned the Church with regal glory, and you justly found Christ who shows us mercy.
O archbishops, remarkable for your piety and devotion, heroic defenders of the Church of Christ, protect all those who beg of you: O merciful Ones, through your intercession save those who honor you with fervor.
1 Peter 4:12 – 5:5
Dearly beloved: Do not be surprised that a trial by fire is occurring in your midst. It is a test for you, but it should not catch you off guard. Rejoice instead, in the measure that you share Christ’s sufferings. When his glory is revealed, you will rejoice exultantly. Happy are you when you are insulted for the sake of Christ, for then God’s Spirit in its glory has come to rest on you. See to it that none of you suffers for being a murderer, a thief, a malefactor, or a destroyer of another’s rights. If anyone suffers for being a Christian, however, he ought not to be ashamed. He should rather glorify God in virtue of that name. The season of judgment has begun, and began with God’s own household. If it begins this way with us, what must be the end for those who refuse obedience to the gospel of God? And if the just man is saved only with difficulty, what is to become of the godless and the sinner? Accordingly, let those who suffer as God‘s will requires continue in good deeds, and then trust their lives to a faithful creator.
To the elders among you I, a fellow elder, a witness of Christ suffering and sharer in the glory that is to be revealed, make this appeal. God’s flock is in your midst; give it a shepherd’s care. Watch over it willingly as God would have you do, not under constraint; and not for shameful profit either, but generously. Be examples to the flock, not lording it over those assigned to you, so that when the chief Shepherd appears you will win for yourselves the unfailing crown of glory.
In the same way, you younger men must be obedient to the elders. In your relations with one another, clothe yourselves with humility, because God, (as Scripture says,) “is stern with the arrogant but to the humble he shows kindness.”
Mark 12: 38-44
The Lord said: “Be on guard against the scribes, who like to parade around in their robes and accept marks of respect in public, front seats in the synagogues, and places of honor at banquets. These men devour the savings of widows and recite long prayers for appearance’ sake; it is they who will receive the severest sentence.”
Taking a seat opposite a treasury, Jesus observed the crowd putting money into the collection box. Many of the wealthy put in sizable amounts; but one poor widow came and put in two small copper coins worth a few cents. Jesus called his disciples over and told them: “I want you to observe that this poor widow contributed more than all the others who donated to the treasury. They gave from their surplus wealth, but she gave from her want, all that she had to live on.”
Icon image courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications – ecpubs.com
Wednesday, January 17 –