Our holy father Amphilochius, Bishop of Iconium, was the cousin of St. Gregory the Theologian and close friend of St. Basil the Great. St. Amphilochius lived in the wilderness as a strict ascetic for 40 years until the Lord summoned him in a vision, telling him to go to Iconium to replace the bishop who had just died. As Bishop of Iconium, St. Amphilochius fought the Arian and Eunomian heresies. He participated in the 2nd Ecumenical Council, and headed the struggle against the heresy of Macedonius. The holy Bishop Amphilochius of Iconium departed peacefully to the Lord in the year 394.
Our holy father Gregory, Bishop of Agrigento, was a holy child, who was given to the clergy of the church of Agrigento at the age of 12 where he spent ten years under the spiritual guidance of the archdeacon. St. Gregory then felt called to visit Jerusalem, where he stayed for several years. After leaving Jerusalem, St. Gregory went to Constantinople, where he was received with love by the brethren of the monastery of the holy Martyrs Sergius and Bacchus. The ascetic efforts of St. Gregory were noticed by Patriarch Eutychius of Constantinople, who insisted the saint participate in the 5fth Ecumenical Council (553). The Pope appointed St. Gregory as Bishop of Agrigento through divine inspiration.
God of our fathers, You always deal with us in Your kindness. Take not Your mercy away from us; but through their prayers guide our life in peace.
Divine thunder, trumpet of the Spirit, sower of faith, and axe that cuts down heresies, servant of the Trinity, O great hierarch Amphilochius, pleasing to the Trinity, you stand forever with the angels. Pray unceasingly for all of us.
The Church of the Holy Spirit leads righteously with bright rays of light the fulfillment of your dormition, O all-blessed venerable father Gregory.
2 Thessalonians 2: 1-12
Brothers and sisters: On the question of the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we beg you, brethren, not to be so easily agitated or terrified, whether by an oracular utterance, or rumor, or a letter alleged to be ours, into believing that the day of the Lord is here.
Let no one seduce you, no matter how. Since the mass apostasy has not yet occurred nor the man of lawlessness been revealed–that son of perdition and adversary who exalts himself about every so-called god proposed for worship, he who seats himself in God’s temple and even declares himself to be God – do you not remember how I used to tell you about these things when I was still with you? You know what restrains him until he shall be revealed in his own time. The secret force of lawlessness is already at work, mind you, but there is one who holds him back until that restrainer shall be taken from the scene. Thereupon the lawless one will be revealed, and the Lord Jesus will destroy him with the breath of his mouth and annihilate him by manifesting his own presence. This lawless one will appear as part of the workings of Satan, accompanied by all the power and signs and wonders at the disposal of falsehood–by every seduction the wicked can devise for those destined to ruin because they have not opened their hearts to the truth in order to be saved. Therefore God is sending upon them a perverse spirit which leads them to give credence to falsehood, so that all who have not believed the truth but have delighted in evildoing will be condemned.
Luke 18: 15-17, 26-30
At that time they even brought babies to be touched by Jesus. When the disciples saw this, they scolded the people roundly; but Jesus called for the children, saying, “Let the little children come to me. Do not shut them off. The reign of God belongs to such as these. Trust me when I tell you that whoever does not accept the kingdom of God as a child will not enter into it.”
His listeners asked him, “Who, then, can be saved?” to which Jesus replied, “Things that are impossible for men are possible for God.” Peter said, “We have left all we own to become your followers.” Jesus’ answer was, “I solemnly assure you, there is no one who has left home or wife or brothers, parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God who will not receive a plentiful return in this age and life everlasting in the age to come.”
Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications – ecpubs.com
Tuesday, November 22 –