Deisis (Novogorod)

The Holy Festival of the Lights

St. Gregory Nazianzus

BaptismChrist is bathed in light; let us also be bathed in light.  Christ is baptized; let us also go down with Him, and rise with Him.

John is baptizing when Jesus draws near.  Perhaps He comes to sanctify His baptizer; certainly He comes to bury sinful humanity in the waters.  He comes to sanctify the Jordan for our sake and in readiness for us; He Who is spirit and flesh comes to begin a new creation through Spirit and water.

The Baptist protests; Jesus insists.  Then John says: "I ought to be baptized by You."  He is the lamp in the presence of the Sun, the voice in the presence of the woman in the presence of the Firstborn of all creation, the one who leapt in his mother's womb in the presence of Him Who has already come and is to come again.  "I ought to be baptized by You"; we should add: "and for You," for John is to be baptized in blood, washed clean like Peter, not only by the washing of his feet.

Jesus rises from the waters; the world rises with Him.  The heavens like Paradise with its flaming sword, closed by Adam for himself and his descendants, are rent open.  The Spirit comes to Him as to an equal, bearing witness to His Godhead.  A voice bears witness to Him from heaven, His place of origin.  The Spirit descends in bodily form like a dove that so long ago announced the ending of the flood and so gives honor to the body that is one with God.

Today let us do honor to Christ's baptism and celebrate this feast in holiness.  Be cleansed entirely and continue to be cleansed.  Nothing gives such pleasure to God as the conversion and salvation of humanity, for whom His every word and every revelation exist.  He wants you to become a living force for all humanity, lights shining in the world.  You are to be radiant lights as you stand beside Christ, the great light, bathed in the glory of Him Who is the light of heaven.  You are to enjoy more and more the pure and dazzling light of the Trinity, as now you have received - though not in its fullness - a ray of its splendor, proceeding from the one God, in Christ Jesus our Lord, to Whom be glory and power now and ever, and to the ages of ages.  Amen!

Taken from Christ-bearers - Meditations for the Pre-Christmas Fast, Christmas, and Theophany.


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Teachings of Christ

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied." (Matthew 5:6 ESV)

Feasts & Fasts

July
1 - Canada Day (Canada)
4 - Independence Day (USA)
16 - Sunday of the Holy Fathers of the First Six Ecumenical Councils
20 - Holy, Glorious Prophet Elias

August
1-14 - Dormition Fast
6 - Transfiguration of Our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ
15 - Dormition of our Most Holy Lady the Mother of God and Ever-Virgin Mary
29 - Beheading of the Holy Glorious Prophet, Forerunner, and Baptist John

Pentecost

Blessed are You, O Christ our God, * Who has shown the fishermen to be all wise, * by sending down to them the Holy Spirit, * and through them You have caught the whole world in Your net. * O Lover of Mankind, glory to You. (Troparion - Tone 8)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

When the Most High descended, confusing tongues, * He divided the nations; * but when He distributed the tongues of fire, * He called all to unity; * and, with one voice, * we glorify the Most Holy Spirit. (Kontakion - Tone 8)

Random Proverb

Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine. (Proverbs 3:9,10 ESV)

This Week's Scripture

July 9, 2017

Fifth Sunday: After Pentecost
- Matins: Luke 24:12-35 (Gospel 5)
- Liturgy: Romans 10:1-10, Matthew 8:28-9:1

Sixth Week After Pentecost
- Monday: Romans 16:17-24, Matthew 13:10-23
- Tuesday: 1 Corinthians 1:1-9, Matthew 13:24-30
- Wednesday: 1 Corinthians 2:9-3:8, Matthew 13:31-36
- Thursday: 1 Corinthians 3:18-23, Matthew 13:36-43
- Friday: 1 Corinthians 4:5-8, Matthew 13:44-54
- Saturday: Romans 9:1-5, Matthew 9:18-26

July 16, 2017
Sixth Sunday: After Pentecost
- Matins: Luke 24:36-53 (Gospel 6)
- Liturgy: Romans 12:6-14, Matthew 9:1-8

Fathers of the First Six Ecumenical Councils
- Vespers: Genesis 17:15-17, 19; 18:11-14; 21:1-7, Judges 13:2-8, 13-14. Composite 19 (EOT)
- Liturgy: Hebrews 13:7-16, John 17:1-12
 
Seventh Week After Pentecost
- Monday: 1 Corinthians 5:9-6:11, Matthew 13:54-58
- Tuesday: 1 Corinthians 6:20-7:12, Matthew 14:1-13
- Wednesday: 1 Corinthians 7:12-24, Matthew 14:35-15:11
 
July 20, 2017
Holy Prophet Elias
- Vespers: 1) 1[3] Kings 17:1-23, 2) 1[3] Kings 18:1, 17, 41, 42, 45-46, 19:1-16, 3) 1[3] Kings 19:19-21
- Matins: Luke 4:22-30
- Liturgy: James 5:10-20, Luke 4:22-30
 
- Thursday: 1 Corinthians 7:24-35, Matthew 15:12-21
- Friday: 1 Corinthians 7:35-8:7, Matthew 15:29-31
- Saturday: Romans 12:1-3, Matthew 10:37-11:1
 
July 23, 2017
Seventh Sunday After Pentecost
- Matins: John 20:1-10 (Gospel 7)
- Liturgy: Romans 15:1-7, Matthew 9:27-35
 
Eighth Week After Pentecost
- Monday: 1 Corinthians 9:13-18, Matthew 16:1-6
- Tuesday: 1 Corinthians 10:5-12, Matthew 16:6-12
- Wednesday: 1 Corinthians 10:12-22, Matthew 16:20-24
- Thursday: 1 Corinthians 10:28-11:7, Matthew 16:24-28
- Friday: 1 Corinthians 11:8-22, Matthew 17:10-18
- Saturday: Romans 13:1-10, Matthew 12:30-37
 
July 30, 2017
Eighth Sunday After Pentecost
- Matins: John 20:11-18 (Gospel 8)
- Liturgy: 1 Corinthians 1:10-18, Matthew 14:14-22

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

"And the second commandment of the Teaching; 2. Thou shalt not commit murder, thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not commit paederasty, thou shalt not commit fornication, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not practise magic, thou shalt not practise witchcraft, thou shalt not murder a child by abortion nor kill that which is begotten."

Ante-Nicene Fathers: Volume VII, Apostolic Teachings and Constitutions, Chapter II. - The Second Commandment: Gross Sin Forbidden.