Our goal must be directed towards repentance and the remembrance of death
In our struggle on the path to God, repentance must be the central theme. Only in repentance will we find the true meaning of life, for only in repentance can one enter into communion with God. This life has been given to us for one purpose, that we might be deified, and be united with God, as was His purpose from the very beginning. In our fallen state, our brokenness keeps us separated from God, for our darkened nous can not see clearly. Repentance changes our nous, clearing the way for complete union with Christ, and thus making us whole.
Saint Ephrem the Syrian urges us to prepare daily for our death, “for at the hour when we are not awaiting it, the fearful command will come and God help the unprepared.” Saint Ephrem further counsels us with the words: “The harvest has arrived; this age has come to its end; angels are holding the scythe and awaiting for the Lord’s signal. Let us be fearful, dear friends, for it is the eleventh hour…. Let us be vigilant and keep awake as sleepless.” We must be prepared as penitent sinners and be vigilant and to keep the memory of death, that we be saved from eternal death and fear not the death of the body.
Love in Christ,
Tuesday December 18, 2018 / December 5, 2018
30th Week after Pentecost. Tone four.
Nativity (St. Philip’s Fast). Fish Allowed
Venerable Sabbas the Sanctified (532).
New Hieromartyr Elias priest (1932).
New Hieromartyr Gennadius (1941).
St. Sergius confessor, priest (1950).
St. Gurias, archbishop of Kazan (156).
Venerable Karion (Cyrion) and his son St. Zachariah of Egypt (4th c.).
Venerable Nectarius of Bitol (Serbia) (1500), and his elder, St. Philotheus, of Karyes Skete, Mt. Athos (Greek).
St. Nicetius, bishop of Trier (566) (Gaul).
Venerable Justinian, hermit of Wales (560) (Celtic & Britis).
Commemoration of St. Cosmas of Vatopedi (1276) and the monks of Karyes, Mt. Athos, martyred by the Latins (1283) (Greek).
Martyr Diogenes (Greek).
Martyr Abercius (Greek).
St. Nonnus, monk (Greek).
St. Gratus, monk (Greek).
The Scripture Readings
Jesus Heals a Great Multitude
17 And He came down with them and stood on a level place with a crowd of His disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem, and from the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear Him and be healed of their diseases, 18 as well as those who were tormented with unclean spirits. And they were healed. 19 And the whole multitude sought to touch Him, for power went out from Him and healed them all.
20 Then He lifted up His eyes toward His disciples, and said:
“Blessed are you poor,
For yours is the kingdom of God.
21 Blessed are you who hunger now,
For you shall be filled.
Blessed are you who weep now,
For you shall laugh.
22 Blessed are you when men hate you,
And when they exclude you,
And revile you, and cast out your name as evil,
For the Son of Man’s sake.
23 Rejoice in that day and leap for joy!
For indeed your reward is great in heaven,
For in like manner their fathers did to the prophets.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
Bear and Share Burdens
6 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
27 All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the oneto whom the Son wills to reveal Him. 28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”