The holy martyr Thecla, first among women and equal to the Apostles, was converted to the faith by the preaching of the Apostle Paul when he came to Iconium with Barnabas. Thecla became a follower of Paul, and went with him to Antioch. She settled in a solitary place near Seleucia, and was martyred in the year 51 by the local physicians who were jealous over her gifts of healing.
O bride of God, Thecla, you were instructed by the words of Paul, you were made firm in the faith by Peter. You were revealed a protomartyr called by God among women and the first woman to suffer. You walked into the flames as into a flowering garden; the beasts and the brutes were frightened of you, for you were armed with the cross. O all-praiseworthy Thecla, pray to Christ God to save our souls.
You were radiant with the goodness of virginity and you were adorned with the crown of martyrdom. You were entrusted with the work of the apostles, O Virgin Thecla, for you are most glorious since you transformed the flames of the fire into dew. Through your prayers, you tamed the anger of the youth, for you were the first woman to suffer martyrdom.
2nd Corinthians 6:16- 7:1
Brothers and sisters: You are the temple of the living God, just as God has said: “I will dwell with them and walk among them. I will be their God and they shall be my people. Therefore, ‘Come out from among them and separate yourselves from them.’ says the Lord; ‘and touch nothing unclean. I will welcome you and be a father to you and you will be my sons and daughters,’ says the Lord Almighty.”
Since we have these promises, beloved, let up purify ourselves from every defilement of flesh and spirit, and in the fear of God strive to fulfill consecration perfectly.
Luke 5: 1-11
At that time as Jesus stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, and the crowd pressed in on him to hear the word of God, he saw two boats moored by the side of the lake; the fisherman had disembarked and were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the other belonging to Simon, and asked him to pull out a short distance from the shore; then, remaining seated, he continued to teach the crowds from the boat. When he had finished speaking he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water and lower your net for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we have been hard at work all night long and have caught nothing; but if you say so, I will lower the nets.” Upon doing this they caught such a great number of fish that their nets were at the breaking point. They signaled to their mates in the other boat to come and help them. These came, and together they filled the two boats until they nearly sank.
At the sight of this, Simon Peter fell at the knees of Jesus saying, “Leave me, Lord. I am a sinful man.” For indeed, amazement at the catch they had made seized him and all his shipmates, as well as James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. Jesus said to Simon, “So not be afraid. From now on you will be catching men.” With that they brought their boats to land, left everything, and became his followers.
Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications – ecpubs.com
Saturday, September 23 –