The holy forty-five martyrs in Nicopolis in Armenia: Of saints Leontius, Mauritius, Daniel, Antonius, Anicetus, Sisinnus, and others, who under the emperor Licinius and the governor Lysias were tortured in many ways in the year 319.
Our venerable father Anthony of Kiev was a hermit, who in the lavra called “the Caves”, followed the monastic life which he learned on Mt. Athos. He was the founder of Russian monasticism in the eleventh century.
The holy Maronite Franciscan brothers: Francis, Mutius and Raphael, Massabki, and eight others with them, killed in Damascus in 1860. They were deceitfully handed over to the enemy by a traitor and afflicted with various humiliations on account of their faith, they ended their lives with the glorious death of martyrs.
You renounced and left the world following Christ in the spirit of the Gospel. Living a life of an angel, you settled in the peaceful shelter of Mount Athos. After that you came to the mountains of Kiev with the blessing of the fathers. You ended your life of labor there, casting light over all your homeland. Showing the path of the kingdom to all monks, you led them on to Christ. Now beg Him to save our souls, O venerable Anthony.
From childhood you loved God with all your heart and lovingly followed Him, O venerable father. Scorning this passing world as a trifle, you took up residence in a cave. There you fought the army of invisible demons, and you were like the sun over the world. Now you stand before the throne with the angels, so remember us who honor you that we may sing: Rejoice, O father Anthony.
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 Christ Jesus 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
At that time, coming down the mountain with the Twelve, Jesus stopped at a level stretch where there were many of his disciples; a large crowd of people was with them from all Judea and Jerusalem and the coast of Tyre and Sidon, people who came to hear him and be healed of their diseases. Those who were troubles with unclean spirits were cured; indeed, the whole crowd was trying to touch him because power went out from him which cured all. Then, raising his eyes to his disciples, he said: “Blest are you poor; the reign of God is yours. Blest are you who hunger; you shall be filled. Blest are you who are weeping; you shall laugh. Blest shall you be when men hate you, when they ostracize you and insult you and proscribe your names as evil because of the Son of Man. On the day they do so, rejoice and exult, for your reward shall be great in heaven.”
1 Corinthians 5:9 – 6:11
Brothers and sisters: I wrote to you a letter not to associate with immoral persons. I was not speaking of association with immoral people in this world, or the covetous or thieves or idolaters. To avoid them, you would have to leave the world! What I really wrote about was your not associating with anyone who bears the title “brother” if he is immoral, covetous, an idolater, an abusive person, a drunkard, or a thief. It is clear that you must not eat with such a man. What business is it of mine to judge outsiders? Is it not those inside the community you must judge? God will judge the others. (Scripture says,) “Expel the wicked man from your midst.”
How can anyone with a case against another dare bring it for judgment to the wicked and not to God’s holy people? Do you not know that the believers will judge the world? If the judgment of the world is to be yours, are you to be thought unworthy of judging in minor matters? Do you know that we are to judge angels? Surely, then, we are up to deciding everyday affairs. If you have such matters to decide, do you accept as judges those who have no standing in the church? I say this in an attempt to shame you. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a case between one member of the church and another? Must brother drag brother into court, and before unbelievers at that? Why, the very fact that you have lawsuits against one another is disastrous for you. Why not put up with injustice, and let yourselves be cheated? Instead, you yourselves injure and cheat your very own brothers. Can you not realize that the unholy will not fall heir to the kingdom of God? Do not deceive yourselves: no fornicators, idolaters, or adulterers, no sodomites, thieves, misers, or drunkards, no slanderers or robbers will inherit God’s kingdom. And such were some of you; but you have been washed, consecrated, justified in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.
Matthew 12: 54-58
At that time, Jesus went to native place and spent his time teaching them in their synagogues. They were filled with amazement, and said to one another, “Where did this man get such wisdom and miraculous powers? Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t Mary known to be his mother and James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas his brothers? Aren’t his sisters our neighbors? Where did he get all this?” They found him altogether too much for them. Jesus said to them, “No prophet is without honor except in his native place, indeed in his own house.” And he did not work many miracles there because of their lack of faith.
Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications – ecpubs.com
Sunday, July 9 –