Our venerable father Simeon, fool for Christ, and his fellow ascetic John: Simeon, called Salus [i.e., of the sea; he lived for 29 years next to the Dead Sea], at Emesa in Syria. Moved by the divine Spirit, Simeon desired to be considered a Fool for Christ and ignoble among people. Likewise the commemoration of St. John, hermit, who for almost thirty years was a companion to St. Simeon in his holy wandering and in a hermitage at the Dead Sea in the late 6th century.
The holy prophet Ezekiel was a son of the priest Buzi. At the time of the exile in the land of the Chaldeans, he was notable for his vision of the glory of the Lord. As an examiner placed before the house of Israel, he reproved the unfaithfulness of the Chosen People. He foresaw that the holy city of Jerusalem would be overthrown into ruins and the people deported. He himself was in the midst of the captives; he nourished their hope and prophesied to them that the dry bones would return to life.
O God of our ancestors, You always deal with us according to your everlasting compassion, take not your mercy away from us; but through the prayers of our ancestors, guide our lives along the ways of peace.
O prophet of God Ezekiel, through the gift of the Spirit you saw the sealed door of the Word’s entrance. Beg Him to open the doors of his mercy to us and save the souls of those who honor your memory.
Let us praise with love and faith the angelic Simeon. Acting like an angel in the flesh, he glows with virtue. Let us remember John along with him, since they pray together unceasingly to the Lord for us.
You were a prophet of God, O wonderful Ezekiel. You predicted the Lord’s coming in the flesh, and the Creator has come like a lamb. The Son of God has been revealed to the ages.
1 Corinthians 11: 8-22
Brothers and sisters: Man was not made from woman but woman from man. Neither was man created for woman but woman for man. For this reason a woman ought to have a sign of submission on her head, because of the angels. Yet, in the Lord, woman is not independent of man nor man independent of woman. In the same way that woman was made from man, so man is born of a woman; and all is from God. I will let you judge for yourselves. Is it proper for a woman to pray to God unveiled? Does not nature itself teach you that it is dishonorable for a man to wear his hair long, while the long hair of a woman is her glory? Her hair has been given her for a covering. If anyone wants to argue about this, remember that neither we nor the churches of God recognize any other usage.
What I now have to say is not said in praise, because your meetings are not profitable but harmful. First of all, I hear that when you gather for a meeting there are divisions among you, and I am inclined to believe it. There may even have to be factions among you for the tried and true to stand out clearly. When you assemble it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper, for everyone is in haste to eat his own supper. One person goes hungry while another gets drunk. Do you not have homes where you can eat and drink? Would you show contempt for the church of God, and embarrass those who have nothing? What can I say to you? Shall I praise you? Certainly not in this manner!
Matthew 17: 10-18
At that time the disciples put this question to Jesus: “Why do the scribes claim that Elijah must come first?” In reply he said: “Elijah is indeed coming, and he will restore everything. I assure you, though, that Elijah has already come, but they do not recognize him and they did as they pleased with him. The Son of Man will suffer at their hands in the same way.” The disciples then realized that he had been speaking to them about John the Baptizer.
As they approached the crowd, a man came up to Jesus and knelt before him. “Lord,” he said, “take pity on my son who is demented and in a serious condition. For example, he often falls into the fire and frequently into the water. I have brought him to your disciples but they could not cure him.” In reply Jesus said: “What an unbelieving and perverse lot you are! How long must I remain with you? How long can I endure you? Bring him here to me!” Then Jesus reprimanded the demon and it came out of the boy. That very moment the boy was cured.
Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications – ecpubs.com
Thursday, July 20 –