The Translation of the Precious Relics of our Father among the Saints John Chrysostom. In the year 438, thirty-three years after the death of St. John Chrysostom in Coman of Armenia, his relics were transferred to his episcopal see of Constantinople.
The holy church sings praise and the world rejoices. How joyful is the transfer of your sacred relics, O venerable pastor, John Chrysostom. You lived among pastors in holiness and became a martyr in your yearning. We therefore sing to you: O martyr and companion of pastors, beg Christ our God to save our souls.
The Church of Constantinople rejoiced greatly because of the transfer of your holy relics and she kept them as a treasure of great price. Through your intercession, these same remains convey the grace of healing upon those who sing to you a hymn of praise, O most glorious John Chrysostom.
Readings for the feast
Hebrews 7: 26- 8: 2
Brothers and sisters: It was fitting that we should have such a high priest [as Jesus]: holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners, higher than the heavens. Unlike the other high priests, he has no need to offer sacrifice day after day, first for his own sins and then for those of the people; he did that once for all when he offered himself. For the law sets up as high priests men who are weak, but the word of the oath which came after the law appoints as priests the Son, made perfect forever.
The main point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, who has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, minister of the sanctuary and of that true tabernacle set up, not by men, but by the Lord.
John 10: 1-9
The Lord said, “Truly I assure you: whoever does not enter the sheepfold through the gate but climbs in some other way is a thief and a marauder. The one who enters through the gate is shepherd of the sheep; the keeper opens the gate for him. The sheep hear his voice as he calls his own by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all those that are his, he walks in front of them, and the sheep follow him because they recognize his voice. They will not follow a stranger; such a one they will flee, because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.”
Even though Jesus used this figure with them, they did not grasp what he was trying to tell them. He therefore said to them again: “My solemn word is this: I am the sheepgate. All who came before me were thieves and marauders whom the sheep did not heed. I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be safe. He will go in and out, and find pasture.”
Readings for the day
James 4: 7- 5:9
Brothers and sisters: Submit to God; resist the devil and he will take flight. Draw close to God, and he will draw close to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, you backsliders. Begin to lament, to mourn, and to weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy into sorrow. Be humbled in the sight of the Lord and he will raise you on high.
Do not, my brothers and sisters, speak ill of one another. The one who speaks ill of his brother or judges his brother is speaking against the law. It is the law he judges. If, however, you judge the law you are no observer of the law, you are its judge. There is but one Lawgiver and Judge, one who can save and destroy. Who are you to judge your neighbor?
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we shall go to such and such a town, spend a year there, trade, and come off with a profit!” You have no idea what kind of life will be yours tomorrow. You are a vapor that appears briefly and vanishes. Instead of saying, “If the Lord wills it, we shall live to do this or that,” all you can do is make arrogant and pretentious claims. All such boasting is reprehensible. When a man knows the right thing to do and does not do it, he sins.
As for you, you rich, weep and wail over your impending miseries. Your wealth has rotted, your fine wardrobe has grown moth-eaten, your gold and silver has corroded, and their corrosion shall be a testimony against you; it will devour your flesh like a fire. See what you have stored up for yourselves against the last days. Here, crying aloud, are the wages you withheld from the farmhands who harvested your fields. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. You lived in wanton luxury on the earth; you fattened yourselves for the day of slaughter. You condemned, even killed, the just man; he does not resist you.
Be patient, therefore, my brothers and sisters, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer awaits the precious yield of the soil. He looks forward to it patiently while the solid receives the winter and spring rains. You, too, must be patient. Steady your hearts, because the coming of the Lord is at hand. DO not grumble against one another, my brothers and sisters, lest you be condemned. See! The judge stands at the gate.
Mark 11: 27-33
At that time Jesus and his disciples returned once more to Jerusalem. As he was walking in the temple precincts the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders approached him and said to him, “On what authority are you doing these things? Who has given you the power to do them?” Jesus said to them, “I will ask you a question. If you give me an answer, I will tell you on what authority I do the things I do. Tell me, was John’s baptism of divine origin or merely from men?” They thought to themselves, “If we say ‘divine,’ he will ask, “Then why did you not put faith in it?’ But can we say ‘merely human’?” (They had reason to fear the people, who all regarded John as a true prophet.) So their answer to Jesus was, “We do not know.” In turn, Jesus said to them, “Then neither will I tell you on what authority I do the things I do.”
Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications – ecpubs.com
Wednesday, January 26 –