Our venerable father Bessarion the Wonder-worker was an anchorite in Skete in Egypt, stood as a beggar for the love of God and as a pilgrim in the fifth century. The Greek fathers compared him to Moses and Elijah because of his virtues and miracles.
Our venerable father Hilary the Younger was hegumen of the Dalmatian Monastery, and for the sake of the cult of holy icons, he suffered imprisonment, lashes, and exile with unconquered faith in the ninth century.
O God of our ancestors, You always deal with us according to your everlasting compassion, take not your mercy away from us; but through the prayers of our ancestors, guide our lives along the ways of peace.
Imitating the powers of heaven, O venerable father, you lived a soaring life like a bird, flying upward with unquenchable desire to Christ the King until you reached Him. O Bessarion, pray unceasingly for all of us.
O father Hilarion, you were a courageous fighter, and the fire did not harm you because of the refreshing dew that came from God. You exceeded the limits of human endurance in fighting your battles; and now you rejoice with the saints. As you join with them, we beg you to pray for all of us.
Romans 4: 4-12
Brothers and sisters: When a man works, his wages are not regarded as a favor but as his due. But when a mar, does nothing, yet believes in him who justifies the sinful, his faith is credited as justice. Thus David congratulates the man to whom God credits justice without requiring deeds [when he says]: “Blest are they whose iniquities are forgiven, whose sins are covered over. Blest is the man to whom the Lord imputes no guilt.”
Does this blessedness apply only to the circumcised, or to the uncircumcised as well? For we say that Abraham’s faith was “credited as justice.” What were the circumstances in which it was credited? Was it after he was circumcised or before? It was before. In fact, he received the sign of circumcision as a seal attesting to the justice received through faith while he was still uncircumcised. Thus he was to be the fighter of all the uncircumcised who believe, so that for them too faith might be credited as justice, as well as the father of those circumcised who are not merely so but who follow the path of faith which Abraham walked while still uncircumcised.
Matthew 7: 15-21
The Lord said: “Be on your guard against false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but underneath are wolves on the prowl. You will know them by their deeds. Do you ever pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from prickly plants? Never! Any sound tree bears good fruit, while a decayed tree bears bad fruit. A sound tree cannot bear bad fruit any more than a decayed tree can bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. You can tell a tree by its fruit. None of those who cry out, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of God but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.”
Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications – ecpubs.com
Monday, June 5 –