The Ruling Power Inherent in our Nature
According to Saint Gregory Palamas, God has given us lordship over all the earth because of our capacity for sovereignty. With this sovereignty comes the responsibility to be good stewards of that which God has given us.
“There is within our soul’s nature a governing and ruling faculty, and there is also that which is naturally subservient and obedient, namely, will, appetite, sense-perception, and in general everything that is sequent to the intellect and that was created by God together with the intellect.”
Our fallen nature has also given us the capacity to reject the will of God and to misuse our sovereignty, refusing to use our freedom in a God pleasing way. We overindulge ourselves with food and drink, over-graze our lands, destroy our rain forests, saturate our oceans and atmosphere with carbon based fuels, pave over our food producing farmlands and pump chemicals and other pollutants into our rivers and streams.
As though that were not enough, we squander our mental faculties with endless hours before our computers, cell phones, and i pods. We text message hours of meaningless communication to our friends, often while sitting with other friends.
As creatures who were created to commune with God we waste our time in mindless pursuits, giving little thought to things that are spiritual and of eternal value. We battle against not only the all-ruling God but also against the ruling power inherent in our nature.
With love in Christ,
Tuesday June 1, 2021 / May 19, 2021
Fifth Week of Pascha. Tone four.
Hieromartyr Patrick, bishop of Prusa, and his companions: Presbyters Acacius, Menander, and Polyenus (362).
Venerable Cornelius, abbot of Komel (Vologda) (1537).
Right-believing Prince Demetrius Donskoy (1389) and Venerable Euphrosyne (Princess Eudocia) of Moscow (1407).
New Hieromartyr Matthias priest (1919).
New Hieromartyr Victor (1937).
New Hieromartyrs Onuphrius, archbishop of Kursk; Anthony, bishop of Belgorod, and with him priests Metrophan, Alexander, Michael, Matthew, Hippolytus, Nicholas, Basil, Nicholas, Maxim, Alexander, Paul, and Paul, and Martyrs Michael and George (1938).
New Hieromartyr Onuphrius, archbishop of Kursk (1938).
New Hieromartyr Valentine (1940).
Venerable Cornelius, abbot of Paleostrov and Valaam (1420).
St. John, prince of Uglich, tonsured as Ignatius (Vologda) (1522).
Venerable Sergius, monk, of Shukhtom (1609).
Martyr Acoluthus of the Thebaid (284-305).
Venerable John, bishop of the Goths in Crimea (787).
Sts. Parthenius and his brother Calogerius (250).
St. Dunstan, archbishop of Canterbury (988) (Celtic & British).
Entrance of St. Nina (Nino), Equal-to-the-Apostles, into Georgia (323) (Georgia).
Monk-martyrs and confessors John, Conon, Jeremias, Cyril, Theoctistus, Barnabas, Maximus, Theognostus, Joseph, Gennadius, Gerasimus, Mark, and Herman of Cyprus, who suffered under the Latins (1231).
Synaxis of Hieromartyrs of Kharkov.
Martyrs Cyriaca and Theotima (311) (Greek).
The Scripture Readings
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 one to 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.”
Barnabas and Saul Appointed
25 And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem when they had fulfilled their ministry, and they also took with them John whose surname was Mark.
Paul and Barnabas Are Sent to the Gentiles
13 Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 2 As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3 Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away.
Preaching in Cyprus
4 So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus. 5 And when they arrived in Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews. They also had John as their assistant.
6 Now when they had gone through the island to Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew whose name was Bar-Jesus, 7 who was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man. This man called for Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God. 8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for so his name is translated) withstood them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith. 9 Then Saul, who also is called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him 10 and said, “O full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord? 11 And now, indeed, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you shall be blind, not seeing the sun for a time.”
And immediately a dark mist fell on him, and he went around seeking someone to lead him by the hand. 12 Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had been done, being astonished at the teaching of the Lord.
51 Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death.”
52 Then the Jews said to Him, “Now we know that You have a demon! Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and You say, ‘If anyone keeps My word he shall never taste death.’53 Are You greater than our father Abraham, who is dead? And the prophets are dead. Who do You make Yourself out to be?”
54 Jesus answered, “If I honor Myself, My honor is nothing. It is My Father who honors Me, of whom you say that He is your God. 55 Yet you have not known Him, but I know Him. And if I say, ‘I do not know Him,’ I shall be a liar like you; but I do know Him and keep His word. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.”
57 Then the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?”
58 Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”
59 Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.
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.
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.