The Hieromartyr Methodius, bishop of Patara (Lycia in Asia Minor), was distinguished for his genuine monastic humility. Calmly and with mildness he instructed his flock, but he firmly defended the purity of Orthodoxy and he energetically contended against heresies, especially the widespread heresy of the Origenists. He left behind a rich literary legacy: works in defense of Christianity against paganism, explications of Orthodox dogmas against the heresy of Origen, moral discourses, and explanations of Holy Scripture. St. Methodius was arrested by pagans, steadfastly confessed before them his faith in Christ, and he was sentenced to death by beheading in the year 312.
Your blood cries out from the earth like that of Abel, O wise saint, for you preached the Incarnation with fearsome boldness. You shamed the lies of Origen, O father Methodius, and now you have been admitted to the court of heaven. Beg Christ our God to save our souls.
You were a priest and a mystic of the Holy Trinity. You preached divine decrees which surpass comprehension. You are strength for the faithful, O Methodius. You prevailed against evil plots, becoming a martyred priest in your blood for the faith. As you stand before Christ, pray for our salvation.
Romans 10:11 – 11:2a
Brothers and sisters: Scripture says: “No one who believes in him will be put to shame.” Here there is no difference between Jew and Greek; all have the same Lord, rich in mercy toward all who call upon him. [Scripture says:] “Everyone who calls the name of the Lord will be saved.”
But how shall they call on him in whom that have not believed? And how can they believe unless they have heard of him? And how can they hear unless there is someone to preach? And how can men preach unless they are sent? Scripture says, “How beautiful are the feet of those who announce good news!” But not all have believed the gospel. Isaiah asks, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” Faith, then, comes through hearing, and what is heard is the word of Christ. I ask you, have they not heard? Certainly they have, for the Psalmist says, “their voice has sounded over the whole earth, and their words to the limits of the world.” I put the question again, did Israel really not understand? First of all, Moses says, “I will make you jealous of those who are not even a nation: with a senseless nation I will make you angry.” Then Isaiah says boldly, “I was found by those who were not seeking me; to those who were not looking for me I revealed myself.” But of Israel Isaiah says, “All day long I stretched out my hand to an unbelieving and contentious people.”
I ask, then, has God rejected his people? Of course not! I myself am an Israelite, descended from Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. No, God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew.
Matthew 11: 16-20
The Lord said: “What comparison can I use to describe this breed? They are like children squatting in the town squares, calling to their playmates: ‘We piped you a tune but you did not dance! We sang you a dirge but you did not wail!’
“In other words, John appeared neither eating nor drinking, and people say, ‘He is mad!’ The Son of Man appeared eating and drinking, and they say, ‘This one is a glutton and drunkard, a lover of tax collectors and those outside the law!’ Yet time will prove where wisdom lies.”
Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications – ecpubs.com
Monday, June 19 –