Our venerable father Athanasius of Mt. Athos, hegumen, humble and peaceful, who founded the cenobitic way of living in the Great Lavra. Despite many trials, he was father to many monks who followed his ascetic model. He lived during the end of the 10th century.
The angels in heaven marveled at your life on earth, for you occupied your flesh as a spirit from on high. You disarmed legions of demons, O glorious saint, and Christ rewarded you with bountiful gifts. Because of this, O Father, we ask you now to pray for the salvation of all.
Your flock invokes you as a man of special sight and a zealous preacher of God, O inspired saint. Do not cease praying for your servants that they may be delivered from attacks and assaults. We cry to you: Rejoice, O father Athanasius.
Galatians 5:22 – 6:2
Brothers and sisters: The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patient endurance, kindness, generosity, faith, mildness, and chastity. Against such there is no law! Those who belong to Jesus Christ have crucified their flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the spirit, let us follow the spirit’s lead. Let us never be boastful, or challenging, or jealous toward one another.
Brothers and sisters, if someone is detected in sin, you who live by the spirit should gently set him right, each of you trying to avoid falling into temptation himself. Help carry one another’s burdens; in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
Luke 6: 17-23
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.”
Romans 14: 9-18
Brothers and sisters: Christ died and came to life again, that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living. But you, how can you sit in judgment on your brother? Or you, how can you look down on your brother? We shall all have to appear before the judgment seat of God. It is written, “As surely as I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bend before me and every tongue shall give praise to God.”
Everyone of us will have to give an account of himself before God. Therefore we must no longer pass judgment on one another. Instead you should resolve to put no stumbling block or hindrance in your brother’s way. I know with certainty on the authority of the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; it is only when a man thinks something unclean that it becomes so for him. If, then, your brother feels remorse for the food he has eaten, you have ceased to follow the rule of love. You must not let the food you eat bring to ruin him for whom Christ died; neither may you allow your privilege to become an occasion for blasphemy. The kingdom of God is not a matter of eating or drinking, but of justice, peace, and the joy that is given by the Holy Spirit. Whoever serves Christ in this way pleases God and wins the esteem of men.
Matthew 12: 14-16, 22-30
At that time the Pharisees began to plot against Jesus to find a way to destroy him. Jesus was aware of this, and so he withdrew from that place.
Many people followed him and he cured them all, though he sternly ordered them not to make public what he had done.
Then a possessed man who was blind and mute was brought to Jesus. Jesus cured the man so that he could speak and see. All in the crowd were astonished. “Might this not be David’s son?” they asked. When the Pharisees heard this, they charged, “This man can expel demons only with the help of Beelzebub, the prince of demons.” Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said to them; “A kingdom torn by strife is headed for a downfall. A town or household split into factions cannot last for long. If Satan is expelling Satan, he must be torn by dissension. How, then, can his dominion last? If I expel demons with Beelzebub’s help, by whose help do your people expel them? Let them be the ones who judge you. But if it is by the Spirit of God that I expel demons, then the reign of God has overtaken you. How can anyone enter a strong man’s house and make off with his property unless he first toes him securely? Only then can he rob his house. He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters.”
Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications – ecpubs.com
Monday, July 4 –