I must accuse myself, blame myself, judge myself
When I see other people’s sins, I must remind myself that I don’t know whether they have made peace with God. I don’t know if the person who has sinned regrets it, but I must always remember that I am not called to judge them, but only to forgive them. As I become more aware of my own sins, and begin to realize how much forgiveness and mercy I need, I am less likely to see the sins of others.
If I find myself judging others, I must simply turn it around, and judge only myself. Every Orthodox Christian should struggle to truly forgive others, and turn our gaze away from our neighbors sin, and focus only on our own need for change.
I must accuse myself, blame myself, judge myself, and get my focus off the other person. The only way I can overcome the sin of judging others, is to see only my sins. True repentance comes only when I work on my own fallen nature.
With love in Christ,
Photos: Our first snow of the season.
Tuesday February 5, 2019 / January 23, 2019
37th Week after Pentecost. Tone three.
Hieromartyr Clement, bishop of Ancyra, and Martyr Agathangelus (296).
New Hieromartyr Seraphim, Virgin-martyrs Evdokia and Ecaterine. Virgin-martyr Militsa (1938).
Venerable Gennadius of Kostroma, monk (1565).
Synaxis of All Saints of Kostroma.
Translation of the relics (1786) of St. Theoctistus, archbishop of Novgorod (1310).
Venerable Mausimas the Syrian, monk (4th c.).
Venerable Salamanes the Silent of the Euphrates, monk (ca. 400).
St. Paulinus the Merciful, bishop of Nola (431).
Commemoration of the Sixth Ecumenical Council (680-681).
St. Eusebius, recluse of Mt. Coryphe near Antioch (5th c.) (Greek).
Venerable Dionysius of Olympus and Mt. Athos (1541) (Greek).
The Scripture Readings
The Untamable Tongue
3 My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. 2 For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. 3 Indeed, we put bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. 4 Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. 5 Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things.
See how great a forest a little fire kindles! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. 7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. 8 But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. 10 Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.
11 And Jesus went into Jerusalem and into the temple. So when He had looked around at all things, as the hour was already late, He went out to Bethany with the twelve.
The Fig Tree Withered
12 Now the next day, when they had come out from Bethany, He was hungry. 13 And seeing from afar a fig tree having leaves, He went to see if perhaps He would find something on it. When He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. 14 In response Jesus said to it, “Let no one eat fruit from you ever again.”
And His disciples heard it.
Jesus Cleanses the Temple
15 So they came to Jerusalem. Then Jesus went into the temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. 16 And He would not allow anyone to carry wares through the temple. 17 Then He taught, saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’ ”
18 And the scribes and chief priests heard it and sought how they might destroy Him; for they feared Him, because all the people were astonished at His teaching. 19 When evening had come, He went out of the city.
The Lesson of the Withered Fig Tree
20 Now in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. 21 And Peter, remembering, said to Him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree which You cursed has withered away.”
22 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. 23 For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.