Holiness comes only to those who struggle
Not an hour should pass without taking time to examine our heart, for the hour of judgement can come at any time, and we must be ready to give account to God for our life. When we practice examination of the heart, we do so with the knowledge that there is no spiritual improvement if we do not seek to please God with holiness of life. If we find good in our deeds, we must attribute it to God. If we find we’ve neglected our spiritual struggle, and acted with foolish abandon, we must turn to God in repentance. Each moment of each hour we must resolve to turn ourselves around, and with God’s help, fight against the enemy of our souls. Holiness comes only to those who struggle.
With love in Christ,
Thursday January 11, 2018 / December 29, 2017
32nd Week after Pentecost. Tone six.
The 14,000 Infants (Holy Innocents) slain by Herod at Bethlehem (1st c.).
Venerable Marcellus, abbot of the monastery of the Unsleeping Ones (485).
St.Basiliscus the Hesychast of Siberia (1824).
New Hieromartyr Theodosius priests (1938).
Virgin-martyrs Natalia, Natalia, Eudokia, Anna, Matrona, Barbara, Anna, Eudokia, Ephrosia, Agrippina and Natalia (1942).
Venerable Mark the Grave-digger of the Kiev Caves (11th c.).
Sts. Theophilus and John of the Kiev Caves (11th-12th c.).
Venerable Theophilus of Luga and Omutch (1412).
Venerable Laurence of Chernigov (1950).
Venerable Thaddeus, confessor, of the Studion (818).
Venerable Benjamin, monk, of Nitria in Egypt (392).
Venerable Athenodorus, disciple of St. Pachomius the Great (4th c.).
St. George, bishop of Nicomedia (9th c.).
St. Trophimus, first bishop of Aries (3rd c.).
Commemoration of all Orthodox Christians who died from hunger, thirst, the sword, and freezing.
The Scripture Readings
Humility Cures Worldliness
7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse yourhands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.
Do Not Judge a Brother
11 Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. 12 There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judge another?
Do Not Boast About Tomorrow
13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; 14 whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” 16 But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.
17 Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.
Rich Oppressors Will Be Judged
5 Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you! 2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. 3 Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days. 4 Indeed the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. 5 You have lived on the earth in pleasure and luxury; you have fattened your hearts as in a day of slaughter. 6 You have condemned, you have murdered the just; he does not resist you.
Be Patient and Persevering
7 Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. 8 You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.
9 Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned. Behold, the Judge is standing at the door!
Jesus’ Authority Questioned
27 Then they came again to Jerusalem. And as He was walking in the temple, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders came to Him. 28 And they said to Him, “By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority to do these things?”
29 But Jesus answered and said to them, “I also will ask you one question; then answer Me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things: 30 The baptism of John—was it from heaven or from men? Answer Me.”
31 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ 32 But if we say, ‘From men’”—they feared the people, for all counted John to have been a prophet indeed. 33 So they answered and said to Jesus, “We do not know.”
And Jesus answered and said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”