The holy prophet Joel announced the great day of the Lord and the mysterious pouring out of the Spirit on all flesh, which the divine majesty in Christ deemed fit to fulfill marvelously on the day of Pentecost.
The holy martyr Varus was a soldier, who, under Maximianus the emperor, visited and refreshed six holy hermits in a prison. When a seventh died in the wilderness, Varus wished to take his place and suffered cruel torments with them in Egypt in the year 307.
Troparion – Joel
You knew beforehand of the coming of God in the flesh and the descent of the Holy Spirit. You announced the impending judgment, O prophet Joel. Through your prayers, save those who venerate you from all sorrow.
Troparion – Martyr
You saw the army of passion-bearers suffer according to the law, and showing courage, you sought to endure it as well. You longed to die for Christ, and you received the martyr’s crown from Him, O Varus. Therefore, pray for the salvation of our souls.
Kontakion – Martyr
Having followed Christ, O Varus, you drank from His chalice. You received the crown of martyrdom and exult forever with the angels. Never cease to intercede before the Lord for our souls.
Colossians 1: 24-29
Brothers and sisters: Even now I find my joy in the suffering I endure for you. In my own flesh I fill up what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ for the sake of his body, the church. I became a minister of this church through the commission God gave me to preach among you his word in its fullness, that mystery hidden from the ages and generations past but now revealed to his holy ones. God has willed to make known to them the glory beyond price which this mystery brings to the Gentiles – the mystery of Christ in you, your hope of glory. This is the Christ we proclaim while we admonish all men to teach them in the full measure of wisdom, hoping to make every man complete in Christ. For this I work and struggle, impelled by that energy of his which is so powerful a force within me.
Luke 9: 49-56
At that time it was the disciple John who said, “Master, we saw a man using your name to expel demons, and we tried to stop him because he is not of our company.” Jesus told him in reply, “Do not stop him, for any man who is not against you is on your side.”
As the time approached when Jesus was to be taken from this world, he firmly resolved to proceed toward Jerusalem, and sent messengers on ahead of him. These entered a Samaritan town to prepare for his passing through, but the Samaritans would not welcome him because he was on his way to Jerusalem. When his disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, would you not have us call down fire from heaven and destroy them?” He turned toward them only to reprimand them. Then they set off for another town.
Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications – ecpubs.com
Wednesday, October 18 –