The holy great-martyr Panteleimon’s Christian mother passed away when he was just a child. His pagan father sent him to study the medical sciences. He became such a skilled physician that he was invited to become the doctor to the royals in Nicomedia. His curiosity for Truth, Goodness and Beauty was not satiated by his studies though and he was led to meet and hear the wisdom of the monastics. After raising a snake-bitten boy from the dead through the intercession of Christ, he was baptized. He lived his life using both his human skills as a physician and his access to the miraculous as a Christian to heal all who came to him without cost. His faith, and the jealousy of the other physicians in the region caused the emperor to torture and finally kill him. His relics continue to heal many who approach them in faith. He is the patron of soldiers and healers.
The memory of our holy father Clement the Wonderworker, archbishop of Ohrid in Illyricum (modern Bulgaria) was notable for his learning and his knowledge of sacred scriptures, and carried the light of faith to the Bulgarian people. With him are commemorated the holy bishops Gorazd, Nahum, Sabas, and Angelarius, who continued the work of Saints Cyril and Methodius in Bulgaria.
O holy victorious healer Panteleimon, intercede with the merciful God that He may grant our souls the forgiveness of sins.
You imitated the merciful Lord. By the grace to heal which He gave you, heal our souls through your effective prayers, O martyr of Christ our God. Drive away the demons from those who honor you and who sing in their faith: Save us, O Lord.
2nd Timothy 2: 1-10
Timothy, my son: You must be strong in the grace which is ours in Christ Jesus. The things which you have heard from me through many witnesses you must hand on to trustworthy men who will be able to teach others. Bear hardship along with me as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier becomes entangled in the affairs of civilian life; he avoids this in order to please his commanding officer. Similarly, if one takes part in an athletic contest, he cannot receive the winner’s crown unless he has kept the rules. The hardworking farmer is the one who should have the first share of the crop. Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will make my meaning fully clear.
Remember that Jesus Christ, a descendant of David, was raised from the dead. This is the gospel I preach; in preaching it I suffer as a criminal, even to the point of being thrown into chains–but there is no chaining the word of God! Therefore I bear with all of this for the sake of those whom God has chosen, in order that they may obtain the salvation to be found in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory.
John 15:27 – 16:2
The Lord said to his disciples: “The command I give you is this, that you love one another. If you find that the world hates you, know that it has hated me before you. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own; the reason it hated you is that you do not belong to the world. But I chose you out of the world. Remember what I told you: no slave is greater than his master. They will harry you as they harried me. They will respect your words as much as they respected mine. All this they will do to you because of my name, for they know nothing of him who sent me. If I had not come to them and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; now, however, their sin cannot be excused.
“To hate me is to hate my Father. Had I not performed such works among them as no one has ever done before, they would not be guilty of sin; but as it is, they have seen, and they go on hating me and my Father. However, this only fulfills the text in their law: ‘They hated me without cause.’ When the Paraclete comes, the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father – and whom I myself will send from the Father – he will bear witness on my behalf. You must bear witness as well, for you have been with me from the beginning.
“I have told all this to keep your faith from being shaken. Not only will they expel you from synagogues; a time will come when anyone who puts you to death will claim to be serving God!”
1 Corinthians 14: 6-19
Brothers and sisters, just suppose that I should come to you speaking in tongues. What good will I do you if my speech does not have some revelation, or knowledge, or prophecy, or instruction for you? Even in the case of lifeless things which produce a sound, such as a flute or a harp, how will anyone know what is being played if there is no distinction among the notes? If the bugle’s sound is uncertain, who will get ready for battle? Similarly, if you do not utter unintelligible speech because you are speaking in a tongue, how will anyone know what you are saying? You will be talking to the air. There are many different languages in the world and all are marked by sound; but if I do not know the meaning, I shall be a foreigner to the speaker and he a foreigner to me. Since you have set your hearts on spiritual gifts, try to be rich in those that build up the church.
This means that the man who speaks in a tongue should pray for the gift of interpretation. If I pray in a tongue my spirit is at prayer but my mind contributes nothing. What is my point here? I want to pray with my spirit, and also to pray with my mind. I want to sing with my spirit and with my mind as well. If your praise of God is solely with the spirit, how will the one who does not comprehend be able to say “Amen” to your thanksgiving? He will not know what you are saying. You will be uttering praise very well indeed, but the other man will not be helped. Thank God, I speak in tongues more than any of you, but in the church I would rather say five intelligible words to instruct others than ten thousand words in a tongue.
Matthew 20: 17-28
At that time as Jesus was starting to go up to Jerusalem, he took the Twelve aside on the road and said to them: “We are going up to Jerusalem now. There the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and scribes, who will condemn him to death. They will turn him over to the Gentiles, to be made sport of and flogged and crucified. But on the third day he will be raised up.”
The mother of Zebedee’s sons came up to Jesus accompanied by her sons, to do him homage and ask of him a favor. “What is it you want?” Jesus said. She answered, “Promise me that these sons of mine will sit, one at your right hand and the other at your left, in your kingdom.” In reply Jesus said, “You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink of the cup I am to drink of?” “We can,” they said. He told them, “From the cup I drink of, you shall drink. But sitting at my right hand or my left is not mine to give. That is for those to whom it has been reserved by my Father.”
The other then, on hearing this, became indignant at the two brothers. Jesus called them together and said: “You know how those who exercise authority among the Gentiles lord it over them; their great ones make their importance felt. It cannot be like that with you. Anyone among you who aspires to greatness must serve the rest, and whoever wants to rank first among you must serve the needs of all. Such is the case with the Son of Man who has come, not to be served by others, but to serve, to give his own life as a ransom for the many.”
Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications – ecpubs.com
Wednesday, July 26 –