St. John Chyrostom wrote of the holy priest-martyr Babylas, “this great and wonderful man–if one can call him a man.” He was archbishop of Antioch in the time of the evil emperor Numerian. St. Babylas forbade the emperor entrance into the church because he was an idolator. In response, the emperor threw him into prison, and had students of his tortured in front of him in an attempt to have Babylas apostatize. St. Babylas encouraged them to stand firm and, after they were martyred, he joined them as a victim of the sword in the year 283.
The holy prophet Moses, was chosen by God to free his people who were oppressed in Egypt and to lead them to the promised land. God revealed himself to Moses on Mount Sinai saying, “I am who I am,” and gave the law which would direct the life of the chosen people. The servant of God died in the fullness of years on Mount Nebo, in the land of Moab near the promised land.
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 Babylas, pray to Christ our God to save our souls.
O prophet Moses, you reached the summit of virtues. By this you came to see the glory of God. You received the tablets of the grace-giving Law and became the crown of the prophets and a mystery of piety; for you carried grace deep within you.
O glorious Babylas, the Church praises you. Today you are revered as a preacher of holiness and the fortitude of martyrs. Since you have become a favorite of the Lord, beg Christ to keep us in perfect peace; for we praise and glorify you, O martyr.
Because their prophecy is fulfilled among us, Moses, Aaron, and the choir of prophets rejoice. The cross is triumphant today because by it You saved us. By the prayers of these holy men, save us, O Christ our God.
Galatians 2: 11-16
Brothers and sisters: When Cephas came to Antioch I directly withstood him, because he was clearly in the wrong. He had been taking his meals with the Gentiles before others came who were from James. But when they arrived he drew back to avoid trouble with those who were circumcised. The rest of the Jews joined in his dissembling till even Barnabas was swept away by their pretense. As soon as I observed that they were not being straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I had this to say to Cephus in the presence of all: “If you who are a Jew are living according to Gentile ways rather than Jewish, by what logic do you force the Gentiles to adopt Jewish ways?”
We are Jews by birth, not sinners of Gentile origin. Nevertheless, knowing that a man is not justified by legal observance but by faith in Jesus Christ, we too have believed in him in order to be justified by faith in Christ, not by observance of the law; for by works of the law no one will be justified.
Mark 5: 24-34
At that time a large crowd followed, pushing against Jesus. There was a woman from the area who had been afflicted with a hemorrhage for a dozen years. She had received treatment at the hands of doctors of every sort and exhausted her savings in the process, yet she got no relief; on the contrary, she only grew worse. She had heard about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and put her hand on his cloak. “If I just touch his clothing,” she thought, “I shall get well.” Immediately her flow of blood dried up and the feeling that she was cured of her affliction ran through her whole body. Jesus was conscious at once that healing power had gone out from him. Wheeling about in the crowd, he began to ask, “Who touched my clothing?” His disciples said to him, “You can see how this crowd hems you in, yet you ask, ‘Who touched me?’” Despite this, he kept looking around to see the woman who had done it. Fearful and beginning to tremble now as she realized what had happened, the woman came and fell in front of him and told him the whole truth. He said to her, “Daughter, it is your faith that has cured you. Go in peace and be free of this illness.”
Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications – ecpubs.com
Sunday, September 3 –