The holy martyr Longinus the Centurion, a Roman soldier, served in Judea under the command of the governor, Pontius Pilate. When our Savior Jesus Christ was crucified, it was the detachment of soldiers under the command of Longinus which stood watch on Golgotha, at the very foot of the holy Cross. Longinus and his soldiers were eyewitnesses of the final moments of the earthly life of the Lord, and of the great and awesome portents that appeared at His death. These events shook the centurion’s soul. Longinus believed in Christ and confessed before everyone, “Truly this was the Son of God” (Mt. 27:54). According to tradition, Longinus was the soldier who pierced the side of the Crucified Savior with a spear, and received healing from an eye affliction when blood and water poured forth from the wound.
Your martyr Longinus, O Lord our God, in his struggle received an incorruptible crown from You. With Your strength, he brought down the tyrants and broke the cowardly valor of demons. Through his prayers, O Christ our God, save our souls.
The Church greatly rejoices today in commemorating the courageous ever-memorable Longinus, and it cries out, “O Christ, You are my strength and my stronghold.”
Philippians 4: 10-23
Brothers and sisters: It gave me great joy in the Lord that your concern for me bore fruit once more. You had been concerned all along, of course, but lacked the opportunity to show it. I do not say this because I am in want, for whatever the situation I find myself in I have learned to be self sufficient. I am experienced in being brought low, yet I know what it is to have an abundance. I have learned how to cope with every circumstance – how to eat well or go hungry, to be well provided for or do without. In him who is the source of my strength I have strength for everything.
Nonetheless, it was kind of you to want to share in my hardships. You yourselves know, my dear Philippians, that at the start of my evangelizing, when I left Macedonia, not a single congregation except yourselves shared with me by giving me something for what it had received. Even when I was at Thessalonica you sent something for my needs, not once but twice. It is not that I am eager for the gift; rather, my concern is for the ever-growing balance in your account. Herewith is my receipt, which says that I have been fully paid and more. I am well supplied because of what I received from you through Epaphroditus, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God.
My God in turn will supply your needs fully, in a way worthy of his magnificent riches in Christ Jesus. All glory to our God and Father for unending ages! Amen.
Give my greetings in Christ Jesus to every member of the church. My brethren here send you theirs, as do all those who believe, particularly those in Caesar’s service. May the favor of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.
Luke 9: 18-22
At that time Jesus went to pray in seclusion and his disciples were with him. He put this question to them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” “John the Baptizer,” they replied, “and some say Elijah, while others claim that one of the prophets of old has returned from the dead.” Then Jesus asked them, “But you–who do you say that I am?” Peter said in reply, “The Messiah of God.” Jesus strictly forbade them to tell this to anyone. “The Son of Man,” he said, “must first endure many sufferings, be rejected by the elders, the high priests and the scribes, and be put to death, and then be raised up on the third day.”
Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications – ecpubs.com
Sunday, October 15 –