Saturday, January 31 / January 18 (Church Calendar)
Saints of the Day
January 18 / 31. St. Athanasius the Great, and St. Cyril, Archbishops. of Alexandria [Heb 13:7-16; Matt 5:14-19]. St. Marcian of Cyrrhus in Syria, monk. Martyr Xenia. St. Maximus, ruler of Serbia, metropolitan. St. Athanasius, abbot of Syandemsk. St.Silvanus of Palestine, monk. St. Athanasius of Novolotsk, monk. St. Leobardus of Marmoutier (Gaul).
Thought for the Day:
Many of us have made the mistake oftrying to convert our friends and relatives to the Orthodox Church, only to be disappointed. We’ve found a great treasure, and we wish to share it with those whom we love, and we feel confounded and disappointed when they do not see what we have seen. Yet, the best way to share the treasure that is Orthodoxy, is to LIVE ORTHODOXY. Living a serious and loving life of commitment to Christ and our Orthodox Faith, will bring about many a change of heart, with those who are outside the very Church established by Christ Himself. Most importantly, I believe, we must remember that our own conversion was effected, not by debate and persuasion, but rather, by the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit that brings people into the Faith, and not us. A true missionary, in the Orthodox sense, is not one who is pigeon holing others, but one who is living the Faith. When we are immersed in our Orthodox faith, and our commitment to growth in the Lord is strong, the grace of the Holy Spirit abounds, and transforms all those around us.
Scripture Readings for the Day
1 Thessalonians 5:14-23 (New King James Version)
14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all. 15 See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all.
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies. 21 Test all things; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.
Blessing and Admonition
23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Luke 17:3-10 (New King James Version)
3 Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. 4 And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.”
Faith and Duty
5 And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.”
6 So the Lord said, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you. 7 And which of you, having a servant plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down to eat’? 8 But will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for my supper, and gird yourself and serve me till I have eaten and drunk, and afterward you will eat and drink’? 9 Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not. 10 So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.'”
Photo of the Day
Dawn over the monastery’s temple, the Church of the Protection of the Holy Virgin.