When we responded to God’s love, all estrangement is cast aside
When we feel estranged from God it is a true sign we are in need of working more diligently on building up our faith. Faith is a gift from God that requires our cooperation and when we are feeling dry we must quickly turn our eyes to Christ, asking him to fill the void and quicken our belief. Our cooperative response begins when we commit to increasing our time in prayer, both corporate and in private. The corporate prayer of the Church brings us into contact with the Holy Mysteries, which in turn feeds our souls.
The hearing of God’s Word and the partaking of the Lord’s Body and Blood, together with a repentant heart, push aside the estrangement and open the door to a deepening faith. Like the spouse who responds to the touch of her husband, so too does our soul respond to the love of God and our faith comes alive by the power of the Holy Spirit.
A woman whose husband never tells of his love will feel her love diminish, whereas the husband who tenderly expresses his love for his wife will see the rebuilding of a relationship that began with love and passion. Our soul, as well, responds to our tenderly expressed love of God and sees love of Christ increase and faith restored to a state of blissful vigor, with all estrangement cast aside.
With love in Christ,
Photos: I’m in Rogue River, Oregon for the ordination of Joshua Cardoza, the son of Father Seraphim Cardoza.
Monday June 29, 2020 / June 16, 2020
4th Week after Pentecost. Tone two.
Apostles’ (Peter & Paul) Fast. Fish Allowed
St. Tychon, bishop of Amathus in Cyprus (425).
Venerable Tikhon of Kaluga or Medin (1492).
Venerable Tikhon of Lukhov (1503).
Venerable Moses of Optina, founder of the Optina Skete (1862).
New Martyr Hermogenes (Germogen), bishop of Tobolsk, Euphremius, Michael and Peter priests and Martyr Constantine (1918).
Translation of the relics (2002) of St. Theophan the Recluse, bishop of Tambov (1894).
Martyrs Tigrius and Eutropius of Constantinople (404).
Venerable Tikhon of Krestogorsk (Vologda).
St. Mark the Just of Apollonias, nephew of the Apostle Barnabas.
Five Martyrs of Nicomedia (Greek).
Forty Martyrs of Rome (Greek).
St. Kaikhosro the Georgian (1612) (Georgia).
St. Ismael, bishop of Menevia.
The Scripture Readings
18 Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens.
19 You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?” 20 But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?
22 What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, 24 even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?
25 As He says also in Hosea:
“I will call them My people, who were not My people,
And her beloved, who was not beloved.”
26 “And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them,
‘You are not My people,’
There they shall be called sons of the living God.”
27 Isaiah also cries out concerning Israel:
“Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea,
The remnant will be saved.
28 For He will finish the work and cut it short in righteousness,
Because the Lord will make a short work upon the earth.”
29 And as Isaiah said before:
“Unless the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed,
We would have become like Sodom,
And we would have been made like Gomorrah.”
Present Condition of Israel
30 What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness of faith; 31 but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness. 32 Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone. 33 As it is written:
“Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense,
And whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”
2 And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples 3 and said to Him, “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?”
4 Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: 5 The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them. 6 And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.”
7 As they departed, Jesus began to say to the multitudes concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? 8 But what did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft garments? Indeed, those who wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses.9 But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet. 10 For this is he of whom it is written:
‘Behold, I send My messenger before Your face,
Who will prepare Your way before You.’
11 “Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. 13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. 14 And if you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who is to come.15 He who has ears to hear, let him hear!