Sharing the truth in a world devoid of hope
If you wish to share the truth of the Orthodox Church, and Christ Who is her head, you must give witness to the love of Christ by loving everyone. Without Christ, Orthodoxy is just another religion, devoid of the power to transform and deify the human heart. Without Christ the Church is nothing but a human institution, no different than a political party. For the Church to be herself, Christ must be visible in the love of her bishops and priests. Christ must be seen in the love of her people, and the charity and kindness that is displayed by all who call themselves Orthodox.
Without Christ our world is devoid of hope, and for others to know this Christ, they must be able to see Him in us. The light of this very Christ must shine forth through the love of His Church and be made manifest in the works of His people. Without this love there is only darkness upon the face of our world, and the world will remain without hope.
Others can not know they need Christ if they do not see Him in us. They do not know this Christ fills hearts and transforms lives if they do not see transformation in us. If we are fearful, angry, judgmental, arrogant or aloof, the world will see nothing in our Christian faith worthy seeking.
If others do not see in you a forgiving heart, how will they know there is forgiveness in Christ? If others do not see in you a heart filled with joy, how will they know they need the very Christ whom you proclaim as your Lord and Savior? If others see in you a judgmental, narrow minded, unhappy person, why would they be drawn to the Orthodoxy you claim is the true faith?
With love in Christ,
Photo: My book, The Morning Offering, is now translated and published in Greece and Romania.
Thursday August 10, 2017 / July 28, 2017
10th Week after Pentecost. Tone eight.
Appearance of the “Smolensk” “Directress” Icon of the Mother of God brought from Constantinople in 1046.
Holy Apostles of the Seventy and Deacons: Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, and Parmenas (1st c.).
St. Pitirim, bishop of Tambov (1698).
Synaxis of All Saints of Tambov.
New Hieromartyr Nicholas deacon (1918).
New Hieromartyr Basil, Virgin-martyrs Anastasia and Hellen, Martyrs Aretha, John, John, John amd Virgin-martyr Mavra (1937).
New Hieromartyr Ignatius of Jablechna (Chelm and Podlasie, Poland) (1942).
Venerable Moses, wonderworker of the Kiev Caves (14th c.).
Martyr Julian of Dalmatia (2nd c.), Martyr Eustathius (Eustace) the Soldier of Ancyra (316) and Martyr Acacius of Apamea (321).
Venerable Paul of Xeropotamou, Mt. Athos (820).
“Grebensk” (1380), “Kostroma” (1672) and “Umileniye” (“of Tender Feeling”) (1885) of Diveyevo, before which St. Seraphim reposed.
Reverence list of an “Smolensk” Icon of the Mother of God: “Ustiuzh” (1290), “Vydropussk” (15th c.), “Voronin” (1524), “Xristopor” (16th c.), “Supralsk” (16th c.), “Yug” (1615), “Igritsky”(1624), “Shuysk” (1654-16-55), “Sedmiezersk” (17th c.), “Sergievsk” (Troitsk-Sergievsky Lavra) (1730).
“Tambov” (1692) Icon of the Mother of God.
Venerable Irene Chrysoyolantou of Cappadocia (912).
Venerables Ursus and Leobatius (Leubais), brother-abbots (500) (Gaul).
St. Samson, bishop of Dol in Brittany (565) (Celtic & British).
New Martyr Christodoulos of Kassandra (1777) (Greek).
New Martyr Anastasius of Ancyra (1777) (Greek).
Venerable George of Mt. Athos, the Builder (1033) (Georgia).
The Scripture Readings
Mary Visits Elizabeth
39 Now Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah, 40 and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. 41 And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. 45 Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.”
The Song of Mary
46 And Mary said:
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
47 And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
48 For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant;
For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.
49 For He who is mighty has done great things for me,
And holy is His name.
56 And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her house.
2 Corinthians 1:1-7
1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,
To the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints who are in all Achaia:
2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Comfort in Suffering
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ. 6 Now if we are afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effective for enduring the same sufferings which we also suffer. Or if we are comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. 7 And our hope for you is steadfast, because we know that as you are partakers of the sufferings, so also you will partake of the consolation.
43 “Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it. 44 And whoever falls on this stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.”
45 Now when the chief priests and Pharisees heard His parables, they perceived that He was speaking of them. 46 But when they sought to lay hands on Him, they feared the multitudes, because they took Him for a prophet.