The holy priest-martyr Hermolaus was a priest in Nicomedia in the time of the Emperor Maximian, and was with the 20,000 martyrs condemned to be burned in their church. He and two other priests escaped. They were caught, tortured, and martyred.
The holy venerable Paraskevia was born in Rome, to Christian parents. She preached Christ even as a small child. When her parents died, she gave away all her goods to the poor and received the monastic habit. She was denounced by the emperor Anoninus Pius and beheaded in the 2nd century.
Our Venerable Father Moses the Carpathian of the Monastery of the Caves was in the service of St. Boris, and after the saint’s death in 1015, Moses fled to Kiev. He was later taken captive by the Polish king when he invaded Kiev. Moses was bought by a widow who wanted him for her husband. Moses refused as he wished to become a monk, and endured 100 lashes everyday until the widows death. He fled back to Kiev to the Monastery of the Caves where pursued asceticism for 10 years; he died in about the year 1043 and was buried in the Near Caves.
Your martyrs, O Lord our God, in their struggle received incorruptible crowns from You. With Your strength, they brought down the tyrants and broke the cowardly valor of demons. Through their prayers, O Christ our God, save our souls.
Your promised pledge is like a marriage, for you promised your fidelity to the one faith, and you inherited life, O Paraskevia, the martyr named for Christ. From your heritage you bestow health, and you pray for the salvation of our souls.
We praise you with sacred hymns of another Joseph, O Most Honored Moses, great lover of purity and chastity, equal of the angels. We earnestly pray to you: Entreat Christ our God to heal all our passions and to grant us great mercy.
Living like a good pastor, you received a martyr’s crown. You scattered the sacrifices before the idols and proved yourself a good shepherd of your flock. You were an honest teacher for Panteleimon, O wise saint. We venerate you on this account, O father Hermolaus, and cry out: Deliver us from misfortune through your prayers.
Come you faithful, let us praise Paraskevia the martyr. She shines with miracles in the world, dispelling the mist of lies, and she gives bountiful grace to those who sing: Rejoice, O long-suffering martyr.
1 Corinthians 13:4 – 14:5
Brothers and sisters: Love is patient; love is kind. Love is not jealous, it does not put on airs, it is not snobbish. Love is never rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not prone to anger; neither does it brood over injuries. Love does not rejoice in what is wrong but rejoices with the truth. There is no limit to love’s forbearance, to its trust, its hope, its power to endure.
Love never fails. Prophecies will cease, tongues will be Silent, knowledge will pass away. Our knowledge is imperfect and our prophesying is imperfect. When the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away. When I was a child I used to talk like a child, think like a child, reason like a child. When I became a man I put childish ways aside. Now we see indistinctly, as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. My knowledge is imperfect now; then I shall know even as I am known. There are in the end three things that last: faith, hope, and love, and the greatest of these is love.
Seek eagerly after love. Set your hearts on spiritual gifts – above all, the gift of prophecy. A man who speaks in a tongue is talking not to men but to God. No one understands him, because he utters mysteries on the Spirit. The prophet, on the other hand, speaks to men for their up-building, their encouragement, their consolation. He who speaks in a tongue builds up himself, but he who prophesies builds up the church. I should like it if all of you spoke in tongues, but I much prefer that you prophesy. The prophet is greater than one who speaks in tongues, unless the speaker can also interpret for the upbuilding of the church.
Matthew 20: 1-16
The Lord told this parable: “The reign of God is like the case of the owner of an estate who went out at dawn to hire workmen for his vineyard. After reaching an agreement with them for the usual daily wage, he sent them out to his vineyard. He came out about midmorning and saw other men standing around the marketplace without work, so he said to them, ‘You too go along to my vineyard and I will pay you whatever is fair.’ At that they went away. He came out again around noon and midafternoon and did the same. Finally, going out in the late afternoon he found still others standing around. To these he said, ‘Why have you been standing here idle all day?’ ‘No one hired us,’ they told him. He said, ‘You go to the vineyard too.’
“When evening came the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workmen and give them their pay, but begin with the last group first.’ When those hired late in the afternoon came up they received a full day’s pay, and when the first group appeared they supposed they would get more; yet they received the same daily wage. ‘This last group did only an hour’s work, but you have put them on the same basis as us who have worked a full day in the scorching heat.’ ‘My friend,’ he said to one in reply, ‘I do you no injustice. You agreed on the usual wage, did you not? Take your pay and go home. I intend to give this man who was hired last the same pay as you. I am free to do as I please with my money, am I not? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ Thus the last shall be first and the first shall be last.”
Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications – ecpubs.com
Tuesday, July 25 –