Our venerable father Sampson the Hospitaller was the son of rich and illustrious Roman parents. In his youth he received an excellent education. He studied the medical arts and doctored the sick without charge. After the death of his parents, St. Sampson generously distributed alms and set his slaves free, preparing himself to go into the wilderness. With this intent in mind he soon journeyed from Rome to the East. But the Lord directed him into a different path, that of service to neighbor, and so St. Sampson came to Constantinople. Settling into a small house, the saint began to take in homeless wanderers, the poor and the sick, and he attended to them. The Lord blessed the efforts of St. Sampson and endowed him with the power of wonderworking. He healed the sick not only through being a skilled physician but also as a bearer of the grace of God. News of St. Sampson spread abroad. The patriarch heard of his great virtue and ordained him to the holy priesthood. It was revealed to the grievously ill Emperor Justinian (527-565), that he could receive healing only through St. Sampson. While praying, the saint put his hand on the afflicted area and Justinian was healed. In gratitude, the emperor wanted to reward his healer with silver and gold, but the saint refused and instead asked Justinian to build a home for the poor and the sick. The emperor readily fulfilled his request. St. Sampson devoted the rest of his life to serving his neighbor.
By your patience you reaped your reward, O venerable Father. Your prayers were without end as was your love and solicitude for the poor. Pray to Christ for our salvation, O blessed and merciful Sampson.
You come quickly bearing heaven’s cures like some skillful doctor, O wise Sampson. We have assembled together with songs and chants, desiring to glorify Christ who works these marvels through you.
Romans 14: 9-18
Brothers and sisters: Christ died and came to life again, that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living. But you, how can you sit in judgment on your brother? Or you, how can you look down on your brother? We shall all have to appear before the judgment seat of God. It is written, “As surely as I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bend before me and every tongue shall give praise to God.”
Everyone of us will have to give an account of himself before God. Therefore we must no longer pass judgment on one another. Instead you should resolve to put no stumbling block or hindrance in your brother’s way. I know with certainty on the authority of the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; it is only when a man thinks something unclean that it becomes so for him. If, then, your brother feels remorse for the food he has eaten, you have ceased to follow the rule of love. You must not let the food you eat bring to ruin him for whom Christ died; neither may you allow your privilege to become an occasion for blasphemy. The kingdom of God is not a matter of eating or drinking, but of justice, peace, and the joy that is given by the Holy Spirit. Whoever serves Christ in this way pleases God and wins the esteem of men.
Matthew 12: 14-16, 22-30
At that time the Pharisees began to plot against Jesus to find a way to destroy him. Jesus was aware of this, and so he withdrew from that place.
Many people followed him and he cured them all, though he sternly ordered them not to make public what he had done.
Then a possessed man who was blind and mute was brought to Jesus. Jesus cured the man so that he could speak and see. All in the crowd were astonished. “Might this not be David’s son?” they asked. When the Pharisees heard this, they charged, “This man can expel demons only with the help of Beelzebub, the prince of demons.” Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said to them; “A kingdom torn by strife is headed for a downfall. A town or household split into factions cannot last for long. If Satan is expelling Satan, he must be torn by dissension. How, then, can his dominion last? If I expel demons with Beelzebub’s help, by whose help do your people expel them? Let them be the ones who judge you. But if it is by the Spirit of God that I expel demons, then the reign of God has overtaken you. How can anyone enter a strong man’s house and make off with his property unless he first ties him securely? Only then can he rob his house. He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters.”
Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications – ecpubs.com
Monday, June 26 –