Love turns chaos into harmony
The inevitability of death is particularly difficult to face for most Americans. We’ve become a people that eschew traditional funerals, preferring to “celebrate” the life of our loved one, while disposing of the body, and banning any sign of death from the memorial service. Yet the awareness of our own eventual death is the very thing we should be thinking about, if we want to be prepared for Eternity.
When we live our lives focused on enjoyment, pleasure, and the acquisition of material goods, we enslave ourselves. Freedom from the bondage of this slavery, and the fear of death that comes with this bondage, can only be found in a relationship of love with our Creator. This love creates perfection and faultlessness, and when we think on your own death we become free to perform every task for God.
In this relationship with God, our fallen and imprisoned heart is liberated. This love of God engenders a love that permeates our very essence, allowing us to love every person and every creature. Our heart burns with love. This love turns chaos into harmony and it is Divine Energy and Divine Strength that transforms us into the being God intended us to be. We are His child, deified and made whole, and the chaos of our lives is turned into harmony.
Love in Christ,
Wednesday February 5, 2020 / January 23, 2020
34th Week after Pentecost. Tone eight.
Fast. Fish Allowed
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
1 Peter 4:1-11
Christ’s Example to Be Followed
4 Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, 2 that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. 3 For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles—when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. 4 In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you. 5 They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6 For this reason the gospel was preached also to those who are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.
Serving for God’s Glory
7 But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. 8 And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.” 9 Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. 10 As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11 If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
The Scribes: Which Is the First Commandment of All?
28 Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, “Which is the first commandment of all?”
29 Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. 31 And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
32 So the scribe said to Him, “Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth, for there is one God, and there is no other but He. 33 And to love Him with all the heart, with all the understanding, with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
34 Now when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, He said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.”
But after that no one dared question Him.
Jesus: How Can David Call His Descendant Lord?
35 Then Jesus answered and said, while He taught in the temple, “How is it that the scribes say that the Christ is the Son of David?36 For David himself said by the Holy Spirit:
‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at My right hand,
Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.” ’
37 Therefore David himself calls Him ‘Lord’; how is He then his Son?”
And the common people heard Him gladly.