Our holy father Gregory the Wonder-worker, bishop of Neocaesarea embraced the Christian faith as a youth. He progressed in both human and divine knowledge, and was ordained a bishop. He was famous for his teaching, virtue, and apostolic labors. Having received a fine education, from his youth he strove for Truth, but the philosophers of antiquity were not able to quench his thirst for knowledge. Truth was revealed to him only in the Holy Gospel, and the youth became a Christian. St. Gregory went to Alexandria to continue his studies. He attended the Alexandria Catechetical School, where the presbyter Origen taught. Origen was a famous teacher, possessing a great strength of mind and profound knowledge. St. Gregory became a student of Origen, studied with him for eight years, and was baptized by him. St. Gregory fell asleep in the Lord in the year 270, and because of the many marvels he performed, he is called Wonder-worker.
You became worthy of your name through your way of life, through assiduous prayers and constant works of mercy. Therefore, Father Gregory, intercede with Christ God that He may enlighten our minds, lest we go to sleep in sin, which leads to death.
You received the power of performing many miracles and frightened the awful devils through your wonderworking and your healing of the sick. Therefore, O all-wise Gregory, your deeds entitled you to be called the Wonderworker.
2 Thessalonians 3: 6-18
Brothers and sisters: We command you, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, to avoid any brother who wanders from the straight path and does not follow the tradition you received from us. You know how you ought to imitate us. We did not live lives of disorder when we were among you, not depend on anyone for food. Rather, we worked day and night, laboring to the point of exhaustion so as not to impose on any of you. Not that we had no claim on you, but that we might present ourselves as an example for you to imitate. Indeed, when we were with you we used to lay down the rule that anyone who would not work should not eat.
We hear that some of you are unruly, not keeping busy but acting like busybodies. We enjoin all such, and we urge them strongly in the Lord Jesus Christ, to earn the food they eat by working quietly.
You must never grow weary of doing what is right, brethren. If anyone will not obey our injunction, delivered through this letter, single him out to be ostracized that he may be ashamed of his conduct. But do not treat him like an enemy; rather, correct him as you would a brother.
May he who is the Lord of peace give you continued peace in every possible way. The Lord be with you all.
This greeting is in my own hand – Paul’s. I append this signature to every letter I write. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
Luke 16: 15-18; 17: 1-4
The Lord said to the Pharisees: “You justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God reads your hearts. What man thinks important, God holds in contempt. The law and the prophets were in force until John [the Baptizer]. From this time on, the good news of God’s kingdom has been proclaimed, and people of every sort are forcing their way in. It is easier for the heavens and the earth to pass away than for a single stroke of a letter of the law to pass. Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery. The man who marries a woman divorced from her husband likewise commits adultery.
Jesus said to his disciples: “Scandals will inevitably arise, but woe to him through whom they come. He would be better off thrown into the sea with a millstone around his neck than giving scandal to one of these little ones. Be on your guard. If your brother does wrong, correct him; if he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times a day, and seven times a day turns back to you saying, ‘I am sorry,’ forgive him.”
Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications – ecpubs.com
Thursday, November 16 –