The commemoration of the dedication of the Church of the Resurrection of Our Lord in Jerusalem: When St. Helen found the Lord’s cross in Jerusalem, she stayed longer in the city and built churches in Gethsemane, in Bethlehem, on the Mount of Olives, and in other places connected to the life and death of the Lord. She began to build a huge church on Golgotha, which would house both the hill of Calvary and the tomb from which the Lord rose. St. Helen died before it was finished, and the church was consecrated on this date in 335.
The holy bishop-martyr Cornelius the Centurion was an officer in Palestine converted by the Apostle Peter (cf Acts 10). St. Peter also made Cornelius bishop and sent him to the pagan town of Skepseis. There he destroyed the temple of Apollo and baptized the local ruler. He was martyred in that town and buried with reverence by his church.
Lord, Life, and Resurrection of All, You showed the beauty of the holy dwelling place of Your glory on earth like the splendor of the firmament on high. Make it stand firm forever. Through the Theotokos, accept our prayers which we unceasingly offer to You within it.
You shared in the apostles’ way of life and succeeded to their throne, divinely inspired bishop. You found access to contemplation in the active life. Therefore, you rightly taught the word of truth and struggled for the faith to the shedding of your blood. O Priest-Martyr Cornelius, pray to Christ our God to save our souls.
Lord, we offer to You in intercession the goodness of Your life-creating cross which You gave to us, Your unworthy people. Save our nation and Your Church which implores You through the Theotokos. For You alone love mankind.
You have made of the Church a resplendent heaven, enlightening all the faithful. Therefore, we stand in the midst of this holy dwelling place and we cry out to You: Make firm this house, O Lord.
O God-wise Cornelius, priest of the Mysteries, the Church, receiving you as the holy first-fruit of the Gentiles, is enlightened by the acts of your good deeds.
Today the saving wood shines forth from the bosom of the earth. It is reverently lifted up in the church by the hands of the bishop. The whole world prostrates and kisses it with awe. Save us through Your cross, O Lord.
Hebrews 3: 1-4
Holy brethren who share a heavenly calling, fix your eyes on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we acknowledge in faith, who was faithful to him who appointed him. Moses, too, “was faithful in all God’s household,” but Jesus is more worthy of honor than he, as the founder of a house is more honorable than the house itself. Every house is founded by someone, but God is the founder of all.
Matthew 16: 13-19
At that time Jesus asked his disciples: “Who do the people say that the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptizer, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” “And you,” he said to them, “who do you say that I am?” “You are the Messiah,” Simon Peter answered, “the Son of the living God!” Jesus replied, “Blest are you, Simon son of Jonah! No mere man has revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. I for my part declare to you, you are ‘Rock,’ and on this rock I will build my church, and the jaws of death shall not prevail against it. I will entrust to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you declare bound on earth shall be bound in heaven; whatever you declare loosed on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
Galatians 2:21 – 3:7
Brothers and sisters: I will not treat God’s gracious gift as pointless. If justice is available through the law, then Christ died for no purpose! You senseless Galatians! Who has cast a spell over you – you before whose eyes Jesus Christ was displayed to view upon his cross? I want to learn only one thing from you; how did you receive the Spirit? Was it through observance of the law or through faith in what you heard? How could you be so stupid? After beginning in the spirit, are you now to end in the flesh? Have you had such remarkable experiences all to no purpose – if indeed they were to no purpose? Is it because you observe the law or because you have faith in what you heard that God lavishes the Spirit on you and works wonders in your midst? Consider the case of Abraham: he “believed God, and it was credited to him as justice.” This means that those who believe are sons of Abraham.
Mark 6: 1-7
At that time Jesus returned to his own part of the country followed by his disciples. When the sabbath came he began to teach in the synagogue in a way that kept his large audience amazed. They said: “Where did he get all this? What kind of wisdom is he endowed with? How is it that such miraculous deeds are accomplished by his hands? Is this not the carpenter, the son of Mary, a brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? Are not his sisters our neighbors here?” They found him too much for them. Jesus replied to all this: “No prophet is without honor except in his natice place, among his own kindred, and in his own house.” He could work no miracle there, apart from curing a few who were sick by laying hands on them, so much did their lack of faith distress him. He made the rounds of the neighboring villages instead, and spent his time teaching. Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two, giving them authority over unclean spirits.
Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications – ecpubs.com
Monday, September 12 –