The holy martyr Gregory, bishop of Armenia, who after many labors withdrew into a cave near the confluence of tributaries of the Euphrates and there rested in peace in 332. He is called “the Illuminator” and is considered the apostle to the Armenians.
Today we faithful are invited to sign a hymn, to exalt with love in our assembly the daystar of the Unsetting Light, the long-suffering shepherd, the truly heroic pastor, the model of ascetics and martyrs, the radiant glory of the Church of Armenia. Let us bless with hymns of praise the divinely inspired Gregory who is adorned with the martyr’s crown.
O faithful, let us extol today with hymns and spiritual songs the glorious Priest-Martyr Gregory, the shepherd of souls and powerful teacher, the bright star and fighter for truth. He intercedes with Christ our God for the salvation of our souls.
1 Corinthians 15: 39-45
Brothers and sisters: Not all bodily nature is the same. Men have one kind of body, animals another. Birds are of their kind, fish are of theirs. There are heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies. The splendor of heavenly bodies is one thing, that of the earthly another. The sun has a splendor of its own, so has the moon, and the stars have theirs. Even among the stars, one differs from another in brightness. So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown in the earth is subject to decay, what rises is incorruptible. What is sown is ignoble, what rises is glorious. Weakness is sown, strength rises up. A natural body is put down and a spiritual body comes up. If there is a natural body, be sure there is also a spiritual body. Scripture has it that Adam, the first man, became a living soul; the last Adam has become a life-giving spirit.
Luke 5: 17-26
One day Jesus was teaching, and the power of the Lord made him heal. Sitting close by were Pharisees and teachers of the law who had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem. Some men came along carrying a paralytic on a mat. They were trying to bring him in and lay him before Jesus; but they found no way of getting him through because of the crowd, so they went up on the roof. There they let him down with his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd before Jesus. Seeing their faith, Jesus said, “My friend, your sins are forgiven you.”
The scribes and the Pharisees began a discussion, saying: ‘Who is this man who utters blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” Jesus, however, knew their reasoning and answered them by saying: “Why do you harbor these thoughts? Which is easier to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? In any case, to make it clear to you that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” – he then addressed the paralyzed man: “I say to you, get up! Take your mat with you, and return to your house.”
At once the man stood erect before them. He picked up the mat he had been lying on and went home praising God. At this they were all seized with astonishment. Full of awe, they gave praise to God, saying, “We have seen incredible things today!”
Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications – ecpubs.com
Friday, September 29 –