The holy martyrs Proclus and Hilary (Hilarion) were arrested for being Christians during the reign of the emperor Trajan (98-117). Proclus was the uncle of Hilary. Proclus said to the tortures, “When you are afraid to transgress the Emperor’s commands and risk falling into temporal punishment, how much more do we Christians fear to transgress against God’s commands and fall into eternal torment!”
Our venerable father Michael of Malein was a wealthy man of noble birth who gave away all his goods and became a hermit on Mt. Kyminas in Bithynia. He had many disciples, of whom the best-known is St. Athanasius the Athonite. He lived during the 3rd century.
The angels looked down and were amazed by your sufferings. By your flesh you vanquished the spirit foes, O holy ones, and spread him by the power of the cross. Pray for us in our need, O Proclus and Hilarion, that we too may conquer the enemy and save our souls.
Having soared on mental wings to a vision of God, you left behind all the noises of the world, O blessed saint. You despised all the explanations according to the flesh, but sought the wisdom from on high. You present yourself as a model for all of us, saying; It is a good thing to live with God.
The sufferings of these martyrs shine with the brilliance of miracles like morning stars. Therefore, we celebrate their memory and beg Christ to save our souls.
O Michael, you purified your flesh with good works, and you plumbed the spirit of mediation. You are clearly revealed to us as a home of the Trinity. O Michael, pray unceasingly for all of us.
1 Corinthians 7: 12b-24
Brothers and sisters: If any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever but is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. And if any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever but is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. The unbelieving husband is consecrated by his believing wife; the unbelieving wife is consecrated by her believing husband. If it were otherwise, your children should be unclean; but as it is, they are holy.
If the unbeliever wished to separate, however, let him do so. The unbelieving husband or wife is not bound in such cases. God has called you to live in peace. Wife, how do you know that you will not save your husband; or you, husband, that you will not save your wife?
The general rule is that each one should lead the life the Lord has assigned him, continuing as he was when the Lord called him. This is the rule I give in all the churches. Was someone called after he had been circumcised? He should not try to hide his circumcision. Did the call come to another who had never been circumcised? He is not to be circumcised. Circumcision counts for nothing, and its lack makes no difference either. What matters is keeping God’s commandments. Everyone ought to continue as he was when he was called. Were you a slave when your name came? Give it no thought. Even supposing you could go free, you would be better off making the most of your slavery. The slave called in the Lord is a freedman of the Lord, just as the freeman who has been called is a slave of Christ. You have been bought at a price! Do not enslave yourselves to men. Brothers and sisters, each of you should continue before God in the condition of life that was his when he was called.
Matthew 14:34 – 15:11
At that time making the crossing Jesus and the disciples reached the shore at Gennesaret; and when the men of that place recognized him they spread the word throughout the region. People bright him all the afflicted, with the plea that he let them do no more than touch the tassel of his cloak. As many as touched it were fully restored to health.
Pharisees and scribes from Jerusalem approached Jesus with the question: “Why do your discipled act contrary to the tradition of our ancestors? They do not wash their hands, for example, before eating a meal.” In reply Jesus said to them: “Why do you for your part act contrary to the commandments of God for the sake of your ‘traditions’? For instance, God has said, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and ‘Whoever curses father and mother shall be put to death.’ Yet you declare, ‘Whoever says to his father or his mother, Any support you might have had from me is dedicated to God, need not honor his father or mother.’ This means that for the sake of your tradition you have nullified God’s word.
“You hypocrites! How accurately did Isaiah prophesy about you when he said: ‘This people pays me lip service but their heart is far from me. They do me empty reverence, making dogmas out of human precepts.’”
Jesus summoned the crowd and said to them: “Give ear and try to understand. It is not what goes into a man’s mouth that makes him impure; it is what comes out of his mouth.”
Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications – ecpubs.com
Tuesday, July 11 –