None can be saved without compassion for others
We must not be so self-consumed as to have no compassion for others. Saint Basil tells us that a man who has two coats or two pair of shoes, when his neighbor has none, is a thief. In the Holy Scriptures we read, “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell in it (Psalm 24:1).” No one can be saved, according to Saint John Chrysostom, without giving alms and without caring for the poor. We are but stewards of what belongs to God, and must share the gifts of God’s creation with one another as much as we can. To store up earthly possessions, according to Christ, is the epitome of foolishness, and a rich man shall hardly be saved (Luke 12:15-21).
When we turn our attention towards the needs of others we cease to be consumed with self. In this turning of the heart towards those in need, we are turning our hearts to God. “Verily I say unto you, Since you have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me (Matthew 25:40).” In our fasting, increased time spent in prayer, and acts of alms giving (charity), we are energized in our battle against the passions, and our hearts become at rest in Christ.
With love in Christ,
Photos: We hosted the first meeting after the two month summer break, of the Washington Orthodox Clergy Association meeting. Father Michael Johnson gifted the monastery with a large framed photo of a painting by Russian painter, Mikhail Shankov, titled “Paschal Procession of Saint Innocent of Alaska”.
Wednesday September 11, 2019 / August 29, 2019
13th Week after Pentecost. Tone three.
Fast. Food with Oil
The Beheading of the Glorious Prophet, Forerunner, and Baptist John.
Commemoration of Orthodox soldiers killed on a battle fields.
Venerable Alexander, abbot of Voche, of Galich (16th c.).
New Martyr Anastasius of Bulgaria (1794).
St. Sebbi, king of the East Saxons (694) (Celtic & British).
Venerable Theodora, nun, of Thessalonica (892) (Greek).
Venerable Arcadius of Arsinoe, Cyprus, bishop and wonderworker (Greek).
Translation of the relics of Venerable Joseph the Sanctified of Samaka (Greek).
New Hieromartyr Peter, metropolitan of Krutitsa (1936).
Sts. Candida (418) and Gelasia (422) of Constantinople.
The Scripture Readings
John the Baptist Beheaded
14 At that time Herod the tetrarch heard the report about Jesus 2 and said to his servants, “This is John the Baptist; he is risen from the dead, and therefore these powers are at work in him.” 3 For Herod had laid hold of John and bound him, and put him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife. 4 Because John had said to him, “It is not lawful for you to have her.” 5 And although he wanted to put him to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet.
6 But when Herod’s birthday was celebrated, the daughter of Herodias danced before them and pleased Herod. 7 Therefore he promised with an oath to give her whatever she might ask.
8 So she, having been prompted by her mother, said, “Give me John the Baptist’s head here on a platter.”
9 And the king was sorry; nevertheless, because of the oaths and because of those who sat with him, he commanded it to be given to her. 10 So he sent and had John beheaded in prison. 11 And his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought itto her mother. 12 Then his disciples came and took away the body and buried it, and went and told Jesus.
Feeding the Five Thousand
13 When Jesus heard it, He departed from there by boat to a deserted place by Himself. But when the multitudes heard it, they followed Him on foot from the cities.
25 And as John was finishing his course, he said, ‘Who do you think I am? I am not He. But behold, there comes One after me, the sandals of whose feet I am not worthy to loose.’
26 “Men and brethren, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you who fear God, to you the word of this salvation has been sent. 27 For those who dwell in Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they did not know Him, nor even the voices of the Prophets which are read every Sabbath, have fulfilled them in condemning Him. 28 And though they found no cause for death in Him, they asked Pilate that He should be put to death. 29 Now when they had fulfilled all that was written concerning Him, they took Him down from the tree and laid Him in a tomb. 30 But God raised Him from the dead. 31 He was seen for many days by those who came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are His witnesses to the people. 32 And we declare to you glad tidings—that promise which was made to the fathers.
John the Baptist Beheaded
14 Now King Herod heard of Him, for His name had become well known. And he said, “John the Baptist is risen from the dead, and therefore these powers are at work in him.”
15 Others said, “It is Elijah.”
And others said, “It is the Prophet, or like one of the prophets.”
16 But when Herod heard, he said, “This is John, whom I beheaded; he has been raised from the dead!” 17 For Herod himself had sent and laid hold of John, and bound him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife; for he had married her. 18 Because John had said to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.”
19 Therefore Herodias held it against him and wanted to kill him, but she could not; 20 for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just and holy man, and he protected him. And when he heard him, he [c]did many things, and heard him gladly.
21 Then an opportune day came when Herod on his birthday gave a feast for his nobles, the high officers, and the chief men of Galilee. 22 And when Herodias’ daughter herself came in and danced, and pleased Herod and those who sat with him, the king said to the girl, “Ask me whatever you want, and I will give it to you.” 23 He also swore to her, “Whatever you ask me, I will give you, up to half my kingdom.”
24 So she went out and said to her mother, “What shall I ask?”
And she said, “The head of John the Baptist!”
25 Immediately she came in with haste to the king and asked, saying, “I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.”
26 And the king was exceedingly sorry; yet, because of the oaths and because of those who sat with him, he did not want to refuse her. 27 Immediately the king sent an executioner and commanded his head to be brought. And he went and beheaded him in prison, 28 brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl; and the girl gave it to her mother. 29 When his disciples heard of it, they came and took away his corpse and laid it in a tomb.
Feeding the Five Thousand
30 Then the apostles gathered to Jesus and told Him all things, both what they had done and what they had taught.