The holy martyr Agrippina was a Roman by birth. She did not wish to marry, and totally dedicated her life to God. During the time of persecution against Christians under the emperor Valerian (253-259), the saint went before the court and bravely confessed her faith in Christ, for which she was given over to torture. They beat the holy virgin with sticks so severely that they broke her bones. Afterwards, they put St. Agrippina in chains, but an angel freed her from her bonds. The holy confessor died from the tortures she endured. The Christians Bassa, Paula, and Agathonike secretly took the body of the holy martyr and transported it to Sicily, where many miracles were worked at her grave. In the 11th century the relics of the holy martyr Agrippina were transferred to Constantinople.
You were overcome with love of the heavenly Lord and turned from the world and care of the flesh. You endured the afflictions imposed on you, saying: Receive me into your love, O Christ, King of ages, for I am being consumed for You. Make those who honor you happy in his mercy, O most praiseworthy martyr Agrippina.
The radiant day of your shining virtues has arrived. On this day the Church of God honors you and calls all to cry out joyfully: Rejoice, O virgin and martyr, most honorable Agrippina.
Romans 11: 25-36
Brothers and sisters: I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery lest you be conceited: blindness has come upon part of Israel until the full number of Gentiles enter in, and then all Israel will be saved. As Scripture says: “Out of Zion will come the deliverer who shall remove all impiety from Jacob; and this is the covenant I will make with them when I take away their sins.” In respect to the gospel, the Jews are enemies of God for your sake; in respect to the election, they are beloved by him because of the patriarchs. God’s gift and his call are irrevocable.
Just as you were once disobedient to God and now have received mercy through their disobedience, so they have become disobedient – since God wished to show you mercy – that they too may receive mercy. God has imprisoned all in disobedience that he might have mercy on all.
How deep are the riches and the wisdom and the knowledge of God! How inscrutable his judgments, how unsearchable his ways! For, [Scripture says:] who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor? Who has given him anything so as to deserve return? For from him and through him and for him all things are. To him be glory forever. Amen.
Matthew 12: 1-8
Once on the sabbath Jesus walked through the standing grain. His disciples felt hungry, so they began to pull off the heads of grain and eat them. When the Pharisees spied this, they protested: “See here! Your disciples are doing what is not permitted on the sabbath.” Jesus replied: “Have you not read what David did when he and his men were hungry, how he entered God’s house and ate the holy bread, a thing forbidden to him and his men to anyone other than priests? Have you not read in the law how the priests on temple duty can break the sabbath rest without incurring guilt? I assure you, there is something greater than the temple here. If you understood the meaning of the text, ‘It is mercy I desire and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned these innocent men. The Son of Man is indeed Lord of the sabbath.”
Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications – ecpubs.com
Thursday, June 22 –