Our father Paul the Confessor, archbishop of Constantinople, was frequently exiled by the Arians because of his adherence to the Nicene faith, and was as often restored to dignity. Finally, he was sent by Constantius the emperor to Cucusum, a small village in Cappadocia. There, it is said, he was strangled in a conspiracy of the Arians in the year 351. St. Athanasius the Great, a contemporary of St. Paul, writes briefly about his exiles, “St. Paul the first time was sent by Constantine to Pontus, the second time he was fettered with chains by Constantius, and then he was locked up in Mesopotamian Syngara and from there moved to Emesus, and the fourth time to Cappadocian Cucusus in the Taurian wilderness.”
The Church sees you among her priests as another Paul because of your confession of the divine faith. The blood of Abel and Zechariah calls for you to the Lord. O venerable father, pray to Christ our God to grant great mercy to our souls.
You shone over the earth like a heavenly star, and now you enlighten the universal Church. For her sake, you suffered, shed your blood and made a gift of your soul, O Paul. And like the blood of Abel and Zechariah, your blood cried out to the Lord with might.
1 Thessalonians 2:20 – 3:8
Brothers and sisters: You are our boast and our delight. That is why, when we could endure it no longer, we decided to remain alone at Athens and send you Timothy. He is our brother and God’s fellow worker in preaching the gospel of Christ, and so we sent him to strengthen and encourage you in regard to your faith lest any of you be shaken by these trials. You know well enough that such trials are our common lot. When we were still with you, we used to warn you that we would undergo trial; now it has happened, and you know what we meant. That is why I sent to find out about your faith when I could stand the suspense no longer, fearing that the tempter had put you to the test and all our labor might have gone for nothing. But no, brethren, since Timothy has returned to us from you reporting the good news of your faith and love, and telling us that you constantly remember us and are as desirous to see us as we are you, we have been much consoled by your faith throughout our distress and trial–so much so that we shall continue to flourish only if you stand firm in the Lord!
Luke 12: 13-15; 22-31
At that time someone in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, tell my brother to give me my share of our inheritance.”Jesus replied, “Friend, who has set me up as your judge or arbiter?” Then Jesus said to the crowd, “Avoid greed in all its forms. A man may be wealthy, but his possessions do not guarantee him life.”
Then Jesus said to his disciples: “That is why I warn you, Do not be concerned for your life, what you are to eat, or for your body, what you are to wear. Life is more important than food and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they do not sow, they do not reap, they have neither cellar nor barn–yet God feeds them. How much more important you are than the birds! Which of you by worrying can add a moment to his life-span? If the smallest things are beyond your power, why be anxious about the rest?
“Or take the lilies: they do not spin, they do not weave; but I tell you, Solomon in all his splendor was not arrayed like any one of them. If God clothes in such splendor the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown on the fire tomorrow, how much more will he provide you, O weak in faith! It is not for you to be in search of what you are to eat or drink. Stop worrying. The unbelievers of this world are always running after these things. Your Father knows that you need such things. Your Father knows that you need such things. Seek out instead the kingship over you, and the rest will follow in turn.”
Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications – ecpubs.com
Sunday, November 5 –