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Daily Devotional

Sunday, June 24, 2018 (NS)
June 11, 2018 (OS)


Commemorations

Movable Calendar (Pascalion):

Sunday of the Fourth Week

Mode Three -- Fourth Eothinon

Fixed Calendar:

11. The commemoration of the holy Apostles Bartholomew and Barnabas.


Fasting Information

Fast day, but Fish, Wine and Oil Allowed.


Scripture Readings

Movable Calendar (Pascalion):

Sunday of the Fourth Week

Mode Three -- Fourth Eothinon

Epistle:

The Reading is from the Epistle of Saint Paul to the Romans[§ 93]. Brethren:

6 18Having been freed from sin, ye were made slaves to righteousness. 19I speak in human terms on account of the weakness of your flesh. For as ye presented your members as slaves to uncleanness and to lawlessness unto lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness unto sanctification. 20For when ye were slaves of sin, ye were free as to righteousness. 21Therefore what fruit were ye having then in the things of which ye are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22But now having been freed from sin, and having been made slaves to God, ye have your fruit to sanctification, and the end everlasting life. 23For the wages of sin is death; but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Gospel:

The Reading is from the Holy Gospel according to Saint Matthew [§ 25]. At that time:

8 5After Jesus entered into Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, beseeching Him, 6and saying, "Lord, my servant is laid on a sickbed in the house, a paralytic, being terribly tormented." 7And Jesus saith to him, "I will come and cure him." 8And the centurion answered and said, "Lord, I am not fit that Thou shouldest come under my roof; but speak with a word only, and my servant shall be healed. 9"For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, 'Go,' and he goeth; and to another, 'Come,' and he cometh; and to my slave, 'Do this,' and he doeth it." 10And after Jesus heard it, He marvelled, and said to those who followed, "Verily I say to you, not even in Israel did I find so great faith. 11"And I say to you that many shall come from the east and west, and shall recline at table with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of the heavens. 12"But the sons of the kingdom shall be cast out into the darkness, the outer one; there shall be there the weeping and the gnashing of the teeth." 13And Jesus said to the centurion, "Go thy way; and as thou didst believe, let it be to thee." And his servant was healed in that hour.

Fixed Calendar:

11. The commemoration of the holy Apostles Bartholomew and Barnabas.

Epistle:

The Reading is from the Acts of the Apostles [§ 28]. In those days:

For Gk usage, see Acts 11:19-30; for Sl. usage. see Acts 11:19-26, 29, 30.

11 19The apostles, who were scattered because of the affliction that arose about Stephen, went abroad as far as Phœnicia and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the word to no one except to Jews only. 20But some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who, after they came to Antioch, began speaking to the Hellenists, preaching as good tidings the Lord Jesus. 21And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord. 22Then the report concerning them was heard in the ears of the Church which was in Jerusalem. And they sent forth Barnabas to go through as far as Antioch, 23who, after he came and saw the grace of God, was glad and was exhorting all to keep on remaining near to the Lord with purpose of heart. 24For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Spirit and of faith; and a considerable crowd was added to the Lord. 25And Barnabas went forth to Tarsus to search for Saul. 26And having found him, he brought him to Antioch. And it came to pass that they were gathered together with the Church for a whole year, and taught a considerable crowd. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.

27And in these days prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28And one of them, by name Agavos, rose up, and signified by the Spirit that there was about to be a great famine over all the inhabited world, which also came to pass in the time of Claudius Cæsar. 29And according as any one of the disciples was prospered, each of them determined to send relief toward ministering to the brethren who dwelt in Judæa, 30which also they did, sending it off to the presbyters by the hand of Barnabas and Saul.

for Sl. usage, see [Acts 11:19-26, 29, 30].

Gospel:

The Reading is from the Holy Gospel according to Saint Luke [§ 51]. The Lord said to His disciples:

10 16"The one who heareth you heareth Me, and the one who rejecteth you rejecteth Me, and the one who rejecteth Me rejecteth the One Who sent Me forth."

17And the seventy returned with joy, saying, "Lord, even the demons are being made subject to us in Thy name." 18And He said to them, "I was beholding Satan as lightning having fallen out of the heaven. 19"Behold, I give you the authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and upon all the power of the enemy; and nothing in anywise shall injure you. 20"However cease rejoicing in this, that the spirits are being made subject to you; but be rejoicing that your names were written in the heavens." 21In the same hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit, and said, "I give thanks to Thee, O Father, Lord of the heaven and of the earth, that Thou didst hide these things from the wise and intelligent, and didst reveal them to babes. Yea, Father, for thus it was well-pleasing before Thee."


Lives of the Saints
(Prologue)

June 24th – Civil Calendar
June 11th - Church Calendar

1. The Holy Apostle Bartholomew.

Saint Nathanael (Bartholomew)He was one of the Twelve Great Apostles. It is generally agreed that Bartholomew and Nathaniel are one and the same person. He was a companion of the Apostle Philip and his sister, the virgin Mariamne. He accompanied St John the Theologian in preaching the Gospel in Asia. He also preached the Holy Gospel in India and finally in Armenia, where he died a martyr. In Hierapolis, the holy apostles, by their prayers, killed a great snake which had been kept in a temple and deified by the pagans. In this same town, they restored the sight of one Stachius, who had been blind for forty years. This roused the mob against them, and Philip and Bartholomew were crucified - Barthlomew upside down. Suddenly a great earthquake struck, and the earth opened up and swallowed the mayor together with all the pagan priests and a multitude of the impious. Seeing this as a punishment from God, many ran to take the apostles down from their crosses, but Philip was already dead although Bartholomew was still alive. After that, Bartholomew went to India, where he preached and translated the Gospel of Matthew into the Indian language. After that, he moved to Armenia, where he cured the king's daughter of madness. But the king's envious brother, Astyages, took the apostle of God and crucified him, then had him flayed and beheaded in the Armenian town of Ourbanopolis. His body was buried by Christians in a leaden coffin. When many miracles had been wrought over his relics, pagans took the coffin and threw it into the sea. But the sea carried the coffin to the island of Lipara, where the bishop, Agathon, who had been warned by revelation in a dream, was waiting for it and buried it in the church. St Bartholomew appeared to St Joseph the Hymnographer in church one day, robed in white, and blessed him with the Gospels to sing spiritual songs, saying: 'Let streams of heavenly wisdom flow from thy tongue!' He also appeared to the Emperor Anastasius (491-518), and told him that he would protect the newly-built town of Dara. Later, the relics of this apostle were translated to Benevento, and then to Rome. Great and wondrous miracles have been wrought over them.

2. The Holy Apostle Barnabas.

Saint Barnabas. Church of the Holy Cross, Platanistasa, Cyprus (15th c.).One of the Seventy, he was born in Cyprus, of wealthy parents of the tribe of Levi, and studied with Gamaliel together with Saul. He was first named Joseph, but the apostles called him Barnabas, Son of Consolation, because he had a rare gift for comforting men's souls. After Saul's conversion, Barnabas was the first to welcome him among the apostles. After that, with Paul and Mark, he preached the Gospel in Antioch and other places. All accounts agree that he was the first to preach in Rome and in Milan. He suffered at the hands of the Jews on the island of Cyprus and was buried by Mark at the western gate of the city of Salamis, holding a copy of the Gospel of Matthew which he had transcribed with his own hand. His grave remained unknown for several centuries, but when many people had been healed of sickness in that place, it became known as 'the place of healing'. In the time of the Emperor Zeno, the Apostle appeared three times, on three successive nights, to Archbishop Anthemius of Cyprus, and revealed the whereabouts of his grave. This revelation by the Apostle took place just at the time when Peter, the power-hungry Patriarch of Antioch, was seeking to bring the Cypriot Church under his jurisdiction. After the revealing and finding of the miraculous relics of the holy Apostle Barnabas, it was established that the Cypriot Church, as an apostolic foundation, should be independent, and thus the autocephaly of the Church of Cyprus was finally confirmed.

3. The Feast of the Icon: 'It is Truly Meet...', and the miracle that was wrought in front of it in the time of Patriarch Nicolas Chrysoverges.

This miracle came about thus: One night a monk was reading the Canon of the Mother of God and singing: 'More honourable than the cherubim ...' in the Skete of the Pantocrator (now called after the icon). The monk's elder had gone to Karyes. Suddenly a man appeared in the church and began to sing: 'It is Truly Meet...', a hymn which till that time had been unknown in the Church. The monk, hearing this hymn, was greatly struck both by the words and the heavenly singing. The stranger turned to the monk and said: 'We sing it like this at home.' The monk desired to have it written down, and brought a marble tablet, onto which the stranger wrote the hymn with his finger as though the tablet were made of wax, and then suddenly disappeared. This stranger was the Archangel Gabriel. The tablet was taken to Constantinople, and the hymn is sung to this day in the Church.

(For those who are not familiar with the text, it is as follows: It is truly meet to call thee blest, the Theotokos, the ever-blessed and all immaculate and mother of our God. More honourable than the Cherubim and beyond compare more glorious than the Seraphim, thee who without corruption gavest birth to God the Word, the very Theotokos, thee do we magnify.' -Translator.)

FOR CONSIDERATION

A true friend prays to God for his friend. A true friend cares about the salvation of his friend's soul. To draw a friend back from false ways and set him on the true path–that is a precious friendship. The saints of God are a man's greatest friends.

The two young men, Barnabas and Paul, were friends and went together to Gamaliel's school. When Barnabas became a Christian, he persistently and with tears prayed to God that he would enlighten Paul's understanding and turn his heart, that he, too, might become a Christian. Barnabas often spoke to Paul about Christ the Lord, but Paul mocked him and thought him misguided. But the gracious Lord did not leave Barnabas' prayer unfruitful. He appeared to Paul, turned him from the false way and set him on the way of truth. The converted Paul fell at the feet of his friend and cried: 'O Barnabas, teacher of the truth, now I am convinced of the truth of what you said to me about Christ!' Barnabas wept for joy and embraced his friend. The friend saved his friend's soul by his fervent prayers. If Barnabas had succeeded in making Paul Emperor of Rome, he would have done less than he in fact did by bringing him to the truth by his prayers.


Daily Scripture Readings taken from The Orthodox New Testament, translated and published by Holy Apostles Convent, Buena Vista, Colorado, copyright © 2000, used with permission, all rights reserved.

Daily Prologue Readings taken from The Prologue of Ochrid, by Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic, translated by Mother Maria, published by Lazarica Press, Birmingham, England, copyright © 1985, all rights reserved.


Archbishop Gregory
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