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 6: 2-10
Brothers and sisters: Help carry one another’s burdens; in that way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks he amounts to something, when in fact he is nothing, he is only deceiving himself. Each man should look to his conduct; if he has reason to boast of anything, it will be because the achievement is his and not another’s. Everyone should bear his own responsibility.
The man instructed in the word should share all he has with his instructor. Make no mistake about it, no one makes a fool of God! A man will reap only what he sows. If he sows in the field of the flesh, he will reap a harvest of corruption; but if he seed-ground is the spirit, he will reap everlasting life. Let us not grow weary of doing good; if we do not relax our efforts, in due time we shall reap our harvest. While we have the opportunity, let us do good to all men-but especially those of the household of the faith.
Luke 4: 1-15
At that time Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was conducted by the Spirit into the desert for forty days, where he was tempted by the devil. During that time he ate nothing, and at the end of it he was hungry. The devil said to him, “ If you are the Son of God, command this stone to turn into bread.” Jesus answered him, “Scripture has it, ‘Not on bread alone shall man live.’”
Then the devil took Jesus up higher and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a single instant. The devil said to Jesus, “I will give you all this power and glory of these kingdoms; the power has been given to me and I give it to whomever I wish. Prostrate yourself in homage before me, and it shall all be yours.” In reply, Jesus said to him, “Scripture has it, ‘You shall do homage to the Lord your God; him alone shall you adore.’”
Then the devil led Jesus to Jerusalem, set him on a parapet of the temple, and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for Scripture has it, ‘He will bid his angels watch over you’; and again [it says] ‘With their hands they will support you, that you may never stumble on a stone.’”
Jesus said to him in reply, “It also says, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
When the devil had finished all the tempting he left him, to await another opportunity. Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and his reputation spread throughout the region. He was teaching in their synagogues, and all were loud in his praise.
Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications – ecpubs.com
Tuesday, September 12 –