Nineteenth Week after Pentecost

October 5-11, 2009

Holy Apostle James Alpheus Luke 7:17-30 - And this report concerning him spread through the whole of Judea and all the surrounding country. The disciples of John told him of all these things. And John, calling to him two of his disciples, sent them to the Lord, saying, "Are you he who is to come, or shall we look for another?" And when the men had come to him, they said, "John the Baptist has sent us to you, saying, `Are you he who is to come, or shall we look for another?'" In that hour he cured many of diseases and plagues and evil spirits, and on many that were blind he bestowed sight. And he answered them, "Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is he who takes no offense at me."

When the messengers of John had gone, he began to speak to the crowds concerning John: "What did you go out into the wilderness to behold? A reed shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft clothing? Behold, those who are gorgeously appareled and live in luxury are in kings' courts. What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is he of whom it is written, `Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, who shall prepare thy way before thee.' I tell you, among those born of women none is greater than John; yet he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he." (When they heard this all the people and the tax collectors justified God, having been baptized with the baptism of John; but the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected the purpose of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him.) (RSV – Gospel for the Third Thursday of Luke)

The Least is Great in the Kingdom of God – Jesus brings the blessed Baptist to our attention as one who had attained the foremost place in legal righteousness and to incomparable praise. Still he is ranked as less than one who is least. He says: “The least is greater than he in the kingdom of God.” The kingdom of God signifies, as we affirm, the grace that is by faith, by means of which we are accounted worthy of every blessing and of the possession of the rich gifts which come from above from God. It frees us from all blame and makes us to be the sons of God, partakers of the Holy Spirit and heirs of a heavenly inheritance. (St. Cyril of Alexandria)

Scripture

  • Monday - Philippians 1:1-7, Luke 6:24-30
  • Tuesday - Philippians 1:8-14, Luke 6:37-45 (19th Tue), 1 John 1:1-7, James 1:1-12, Jude 1-7,17,25, 1 Corinthians 4:9-16, John 20:19-31 (Apostle Thomas)
  • Wednesday - Philippians 1:12-20, Luke 6:46-7:1
  • Thursday - Philippians 1:20-27, Luke 7:17-30
  • Friday - Philippians 1:27-2:4, Luke 7:31-15 (19th Fri), 1 Corinthians 4:9-16, Luke 10:16-21 (Apostle James Alpheus)
  • Saturday - 1 Corinthians 15:58-16:3, Luke 5:27-32
  • Sunday - 2 Corinthians 11:31-12-9, Luke 7:11-16 (19th Sun), Hebrews 13:7-16, John 17:1-13 (Holy Fathers of the Seventh Ecumenical Council)

The Icon is the Holy Apostle James Alpheus, whose day is October 9th on the Church Calendar.

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Exaltation of the Cross

Save Your people, O Lord, and bless Your inheritance; * grant victory to Your Church over her enemies * and protect Your commonwealth by Your Cross. (Troparion - Tone 1)

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

Willingly lifted up on the Cross, O Christ God, * bestow Your compassions upon the new commonwealth that bears Your name. * By your power grant joy to Your Church, * granting her victory over her enemies. * May she have your Cross as the weapon of peace * and the invincible ensign of victory. (Kontakion - Tone 4)

The Church celebrates the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross on September 14th.

Random Proverb

"Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments, and live." (Proverbs 4:4 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Good and God-loving men accuse people of something bad when they are present, but when they are absent they not only refrain from accusing them, but do not permit others to do so when they attempt to speak of them.

From St. Anthony the Great (170 Texts on Saintly Life no. 30) REF: Fr. Seraphim Rose, "Letters"