Weekly Diocesan Bulletin - Sunday, August 24, 2014

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WEEKLY DIOCESAN BULLETIN

Sunday, August 24, 2014


Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost; Dormition Fast; Afterfeast of the Transfiguration; Holy Martyr and Archdeacon Euplus


RESURRECTIONAL TROPARION - TONE TWO:

When You descended to death, O Life Immortal, You slayed hell with the splendor of Your Godhead! And when from the depths You raised the dead, all the powers of heaven cried out: O Giver of Life! Christ our God! Glory to You!

THE TRANSFIGURATION TROPARION - TONE SEVEN:  

You were transfigured on the mountain, O Christ God, revealing Your glory to Your disciples as far as they could bear it. Let Your everlasting light also shine upon us sinners, through the prayers of the Theotokos.  O Giver of Light, glory to You!

TROPARION TO THE HOLY MARTYR EUPLUS - TONE FOUR:  

Your holy martyr Euplus, O Lord, through his suffering has received an incorruptible crown from You, our God.  For having Your strength, he laid low his adversaries and shattered the powerless boldness of demons.  Through his intercessions save our souls.

RESURRECTIONAL KONTAKION - TONE TWO:

Hell became afraid, O Almighty Savior, seeing the miracle of Your Resurrection from the tomb!  The dead arose! Creation, with Adam, beheld this and rejoiced with You! And the world, O my Savior, praises You forever.

KONTAKION TO THE HOLY MARTYR EUPLUS - TONE ONE:

With the love of Christ as your only defense, you stood in the midst of your fight and said: ‘I endure this struggle willingly and with confidence.’  You rejoiced, O Euplus, to offer your head to the sword and so you completed your course.   

THE TRANSFIGURATION KONTAKION - TONE SEVEN:

On the mountain You were transfigured, O Christ God, and Your disciples beheld Your glory as far as they could see it; so that when they would behold You crucified, they would understand that Your suffering was voluntary, and would proclaim to the world that You are truly the Radiance of the  Father!

INSTEAD OF "IT IS TRULY MEET...":

Magnify, O my soul, the Lord who was transfigured on Mount Tabor! Your birthgiving was incorruptible! God came from your body and appeared on earth in flesh, dwelling among men. Therefore, we magnify you, O Theotokos!

EPISTLE READING

The Prokimenon in the 2nd Tone:       

The Lord is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation.

11th after Pentecost: 1 Corinthians 9: 2-12  

Brethren, if I am not an apostle to others yet doubtless I am to you.  For you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.  My defense to those who examine me is this: Do we have no right to eat and drink?  Do we have no right to take along a believing wife, as do also the other apostles, the brothers of the Lord and Cephas?  Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working?  Who ever goes to war at his own expense?  Who plants a vineyard and does not eat of its fruit?  Or who tends a flock and does not drink of the milk of the flock?  Do I say these things as a mere man?  Or does not the law say the same also?  For it is written in the law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain.”  Is it oxen God is concerned about?  Or does He say it altogether for our sakes?  For our sakes, no doubt, this is written that he who plows should plow in hope, and he who threshes in hope should be partaker of his hope.  If we have sown spiritual things for you, is it a great thing if we reap your material things?  If others are partakers of this right over you, are we not even more?  Nevertheless we have not used this right, but endure all things lest we hinder the gospel of Christ.

The Alleluia Verses:

The Lord answer you in the day of trouble!  The name of the God of Jacob protect you!  Save the king, O Lord, and hear us on the day we call!

GOSPEL READING

11th after Pentecost: Matthew 18: 23-35     

At that time Jesus said, “Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants.  And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents.  But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made.  The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’  Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.  But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’  So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’  And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt.  So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done.  Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant!  I forgave you all that debt because you begged me.  Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’  And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him.  So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”

Spiritual Articles

From The Prologue for August 11/24 by St. Nikolai Velimirovic:

The Holy Martyr Euplus

Euplus was a deacon in Catania, Sicily. Emperor Diocletian dispatched the Roman commander, Pentagurus, to Sicily to exterminate any Christians he found there. Pentagurus did not find a single Christian, for the few that were there hid from the persecutor and did not reveal themselves. Even so, someone accused Euplus of taking a book to secret Christians and reading to them. This book was the Holy Gospel. They soon brought him to court, hung that book around his neck, and led him to prison. After seven days of imprisonment and hunger, Euplus was given over to torture. While they were beating him with iron rods, Euplus mockingly said to the torturing judge: “O ignorant one, do you not see that, by God’s grace, these tortures are like a cobweb to me? If you can, find other, harsher tortures, for all of these are as toys.” After more of the same, they led the martyr of Christ to the scaffold. There St. Euplus opened the Holy Gospel and read from it to the people for a long time. Many converted to the Christian Faith. St. Euplus was beheaded in the year 304, and took up his habitation in the Kingdom of Heaven. His miracle-working relics repose in a village near Naples, called Vico della Batonia.

The Holy Martyr Susanna the Virgin, and others with her

Susanna was the daughter of the Roman presbyter Gabinus, and the niece of Pope Gaius. Gaius and Gabinus were of royal lineage, and kinsmen to the then-ruling Emperor Diocletian. Emperor Diocletian had an adopted son, Maximian Galerius, whom he wanted to marry Susanna. Susanna, completely dedicated to Christ the Lord, did not even want to consider marriage, and particularly not marriage with an unbaptized man. The aristocrats Claudius and Maximus had been pressuring her to marry the emperor’s son, but Susanna converted them and their entire household to the Christian Faith. Enraged by this, the emperor ordered that the executioners take Claudius, Maximus and their household to Ostia—where they burned them alive and threw their ashes into the sea. Susanna was beheaded in the home of her father Gabinus. The emperor’s wife, Serena, secretly a Christian, removed Susanna’s martyred body under cover of night, and honorably buried it. Pope Gaius converted Gabinus’s house into a church and celebrated services there, since this was the place where the young martyr Susanna was slain. Shortly following the suffering of this bride of Christ, her father Presbyter Gabinus and her uncle Pope Gaius also suffered. Susanna, her father and her uncle suffered honorably for the Lord and received their wreaths of glory, in the years 295 and 296.

Saint Niphon, Patriarch of Constantinople

Niphon was born in Greece. He was tonsured a monk in his youth and lived a life of asceticism, eventually making his way to Mount Athos. He practiced asceticism in various monasteries, remaining the longest in Vatopedi and Dionysiou. He was loved by all the holy Athonite fathers, as much for his rare wisdom as for his unusual meekness. He was consecrated Bishop of Thessalonica against his will, and then, two years later, he journeyed to Constantinople on business, where he was elected to the vacant patriarchal throne. Eventually the Sultan banished him to Jedrene, where he lived in exile. The Wallachian Prince Radul besought him from the Sultan, and made Niphon the archbishop of the Wallachian people. Then, because of Radul’s transgressions, Niphon departed Wallachia and returned to Mount Athos, to the Monastery of Dionysiou. There he lived a life of asceticism until his ninetieth year, when he took up his habitation in the Kingdom of God. He reposed in the year 1460. He composed the “Prayer of Absolution” read at the Burial Service.

The Venerable Basil and Theodore of the Monastery of the Kiev Caves

Both Basil and Theodore died by violence at the hands of the avaricious Prince Istislav, in the year 1098. The hagiography of St. Theodore is especially instructive for the avaricious. Theodore was very wealthy, but distributed all of his wealth to the poor and was tonsured a monk. After that, he repented of his charity and grieved for his wealth, being greatly tempted by the evil spirit of avarice—from which St. Basil freed him.

HYMN OF PRAISE: Saint Susanna the Virgin

A paradisal branch was planted,
And raised on earth.
The branch grew and matured;
Her heart was infused with heaven.
The black earth did not darken her;
The evil of the world did not bend her.
Susanna, who was this paradisal branch,
Was illumined by God’s Spirit.
A bride of Christ God,
She disdained the son of the emperor.
The emperor was angered, and made threats
That he would soon take bitter revenge.
Susanna did not even listen,
Contemplating instead the mind of God.
Her heart was illumined,
And betrothed to Christ.
Her kinsmen were amazed,
And were all baptized in Christ,
And became martyrs.
The emperor raised his bloody hand,
And inflicted suffering on Susanna.
But all suffering is as nothing,
When the soul is strong in faith.
Susanna’s head fell from her,
And her soul arose in Paradise.
In Paradise, Susanna’s pure soul stood before her Christ.

REFLECTION

If a man sets off on the path of righteousness, he should walk only on the path of righteousness, keeping both feet on the path: he should not set one foot on the righteous path and the other on the unrighteous path. For, through the prophet, God spoke thus about the righteous who commit unrighteousness: All his righteousness that he has done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he has trespassed and in his sins that he has sinned, in them shall he die (Ezekiel 18:24). The Wallachian Prince Radul was a just man, and performed many good deeds. He brought St. Niphon out of his bondage in Jedrene, and made him the Archbishop of Bucharest. Unexpectedly, Radul committed a dreadful transgression: he gave his sister to be the wife of the corrupt Prince Bogdan of Moldavia—while Bogdan’s wife was still living. Radul did not heed the protests of Niphon. Niphon prophesied an evil end for Radul and publicly excommunicated him from the Church; then he departed from Wallachia. Shortly thereafter, there was a drought and a great famine in Wallachia, and Radul fell into an incurable illness, whereby his entire body was covered with sores; and because of his putrefying stench, no one could bear to approach him. When Radul was buried, his grave shook for three days, as once did the grave of Empress Eudoxia, the persecutor of St. John Chrysostom.

CONTEMPLATION

Contemplate the self-will of the Jewish people (I Samuel 8):

1. How the Jews besought Samuel to appoint a king for them;

2. How Samuel protested this in the name of the Lord, Who proclaimed that He is the only King;

3. How the people remained stubborn, rejecting the will of God and the counsel of Samuel.

HOMILY on how ugliness comes with sin

Instead of sweet smell there shall be stink; and instead of a cincture a rent; and instead of well-set hair baldness … and burning instead of beauty (Isaiah 3:24).

These are words about extravagant and wayward women, about the daughters of Zion who have become haughty and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go and making a tinkling with their feet (Isaiah 3:16). What was it that made the Hebrew women proud? Was it virtue? Virtue never made anyone proud, for virtue is in fact a cure against pride. Was it the strength of a people and the stability of the state? No—on the contrary, the prophet precisely foretells the imminent bondage of the people, and the destruction of the state. And the prophet cites vain extravagance, spiritual vanity, and wayward women as the main causes of slavery and destruction. What, therefore, made them so proud and haughty? Ornaments and embroideries; strung beads and necklaces; trinkets and hairpins; garters and cinctures; perfumes and rings; seductive flutterings and mirrors. Behold, this is what made them proud and haughty! It is all an expression of their ignorant pride, but the true cause of their pride is spiritual perversity. From spiritual vanity comes pride—and that external melange of colors that women drape over their bodies is only an obvious manifestation of their ignorant pride. What will become of all this in the end? Stench, disintegration, baldness and burning. This will occur when the people fall into bondage. As it usually happens, the spirit is enslaved by the body, then the body is enslaved by an external enemy. Thus will be the case when the inescapable conqueror of our bodies, death, comes to us. Sweet smells will not help in the grave—the kingdom of stench. Neither will the naked spine of a skeleton have need of a girdle; nor will braided hair save the skull from baldness; nor will beauty save the black remains from burning. This is the inescapable fate of even the most beautiful, the most healthy, the most wealthy, and the most extravagant women. But this is not the greatest misfortune. The greatest misfortune is that the souls of these women—with their stench, disheveledness, baldness and burning—will come before God and the heavenly hosts of the most beautiful of God’s angels and righteous ones. Here, the stench of the body denotes the stench that depravity and vice leaves in the soul; a disheveled body denotes the insatiability of the soul for bodily pleasures; physical baldness denotes the nakedness of a soul devoid of good works and pure thoughts; and the burning of the body denotes the burning of a tortured conscience and an inflamed mind. Oh, how dreadful is the vision of Isaiah, the son of Amoz. It was dreadful then, and it is dreadful even today—dreadful, because it is true. O Holy and Most-pure Lord, help the women who make the sign of Thy Cross, that they may remember their souls, and cleanse their souls before Thy Righteous Judgment; so that their souls, together with their bodies, do not become eternal stench. To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.

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Weekly Diocesan Bulletin - Sunday, June 15, 2014

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WEEKLY DIOCESAN BULLETIN 

SUNDAY, JUNE 15, 2014

First Sunday after Pentecost – All Saints   

RESURRECTIONAL TROPARION - TONE EIGHT:

You descended from on high, O Merciful One!  You accepted the three-day burial to free us from our sufferings.  O Lord, our Life and Resurrection: Glory to You!

TROPARION TO THE SAINTS - TONE FOUR:

As with fine porphyry and royal purple, Your Church has been adorned with Your martyrs’ blood shed throughout all the world.  She cries to You, O Christ God: Send down Your bounties on Your people; grant peace to Your habitation, and great mercy to our souls! 

RESURRECTIONAL KONTAKION - TONE EIGHT:

By rising from the tomb You raised the dead and resurrected Adam.  Eve exults in Your Resurrection, and the world celebrates Your rising from the dead, O greatly Merciful One!

KONTAKION TO THE SAINTS - TONE EIGHT:

The universe offers You the God-bearing martyrs as the first-fruits of creation, O Lord and Creator.  By their prayers keep Your Church, Your habitation, in abiding peace, through the Theotokos, O most merciful One.

HYMN TO THE MOTHER OF GOD - TONE SIX:

Steadfast Protectress of Christians and constant advocate before the Creator, do not despise the cry of us sinners; but in your goodness come speedily to help us who call on you in faith.  Hasten to hear our petition and to intercede for us, O Theotokos, for you always protect those who honor you!

EPISTLE READING

The Prokimenon in the 8th Tone:       

Pray and make your vows before the Lord our God.  God is wonderful in His saints, the God of Israel.

1st after Pentecost: Hebrews 11: 33 – 12: 2

Brethren, who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again.  Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection.  Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment.  They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword.  They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented - of whom the world was not worthy.  They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth.  And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise.  God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.  Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

The Alleluia Verses:

The righteous called, and the Lord heard them. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers them out of them all.

GOSPEL READING

1st after Pentecost: Matthew 10: 32, 33, 37, 38; 19: 27-30    

At that time Jesus said, “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven.  But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.  He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me.  And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.  And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.”  Then Peter answered and said to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You.  Therefore what shall we have?”  So Jesus said to him, “Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.  And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life.  But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”

SPIRITUAL ARTICLES

From The Prologue for June 2/15 by St. Nikolai Velimirovic:

Saint Nicephorus the Confessor, Patriarch of Constantinople

Nicephorus was a nobleman of Constantinople. His father, Theodore, a high-ranking official of the imperial court, was wealthy and pious. Nicephorus served at the court for several years in the same profession as his father. Seeing all the vanity of the world, he withdrew to the shores of the Bosphorus and founded a monastery. The monastery was quickly filled with monks and he governed it; but he was not willing to receive the monastic tonsure, under the pretext that he was not worthy, even though in all things he served as a model to all. Before that, he had participated in the Seventh Ecumenical Council [Nicaea, 783] as a layman, at the wishes of the emperor and the patriarch, and the Council had benefitted greatly from his superior knowledge of Sacred Scripture. When Patriarch Tarasius died, Nicephorus was elected patriarch against his will. Immediately following his election in the year 806, he received the monastic tonsure and, in succession, all the ecclesiastical ranks. He was enthroned as patriarch in the Church of Hagia Sophia. This took place during the reign of Emperor Nicephorus, who immediately after that went to war against the Bulgarians and was slain. His son Stauracius reigned only two months and died. After him there ruled the good Emperor Michael, surnamed Rangabe, but he reigned for only two years, until he was overthrown by Leo the Armenian and exiled. When Leo was to be crowned, the patriarch sent him a book of the Orthodox Confession of Faith to sign (according to the custom of all Byzantine emperors, which was considered an oath that they would uphold and defend the true Faith). The emperor did not sign it but rather postponed signing it until after the coronation. When the patriarch crowned him, Leo refused to sign the book, and he quickly proved himself to be a heretic, an iconoclast. The patriarch attempted to advise him and restore him to the true Faith, but in vain. The emperor forcibly banished Nicephorus to the island of Proconnesus, where he remained for thirteen years, enduring every kind of misery and privation, and he entered into eternity in the year 827. He governed the Church of Christ as patriarch for nine years.

The Holy New Martyr Constantine

Constantine was born of Moslem parents on the island of Mitylene. Having been healed of a grave illness with the help of holy water in church, and having witnessed other miracles of the Faith of Christ, he was baptized on Mount Athos in the Skete of Kapsokalyvia. Later, Constantine fell into the hands of the Turks, who hanged him in Constantinople on June 2, 1819, after forty days of cruel torture.

The Holy Martyr John the New of Suceava

John was a nobleman from Trebizond. He was accused by an envious Latin and suffered for Christ in the city of Akerman in the year 1492. After being tortured for refusing to embrace the Persian religion (for the governor of the town was an adherent of that faith), St. John was tied to the legs of a horse and dragged through the town. Upon seeing John, an evil Jew ran up to him and slaughtered him. That night many saw a fiery pillar over his body and three light-bearing men around it. With great honor the Moldavian commander Joalexander later translated his honorable body to the town of Suceava and buried it in the metropolitanate church, where it reposes even today, miraculously saving men from various pains and illnesses. John suffered honorably and was glorified on June 2, 1492.

The Hieromartyr Erasmus of Ohrid

This saint was born in Antioch and lived during the reigns of Emperors Diocletian and Maximian. He lived a strict life of asceticism on Mount Lebanon and was endowed by God with the great gift of working miracles. As a bishop, he went out to preach the Gospel. Arriving at the town of Ohrid, Erasmus by his prayers resurrected the son of a man named Anastasius and baptized him. Through this fortuitous circumstance Erasmus baptized many other pagans and destroyed the altars of the idols in Ohrid. For this he was denounced before Emperor Maximian, who was residing at that time in Illyria. The emperor brought him before a copper idol of Zeus and ordered him to offer sacrifice and worship the idol. St. Erasmus manifested so great a power that a horrible dragon emerged from the idol, terrifying the people. Again the saint manifested great power and the dragon died. The saint then preached Christ and baptized twenty thousand souls. The embittered emperor ordered that all twenty thousand be beheaded, and he subjected Erasmus to severe tortures and cast him into prison. An angel of God appeared to Erasmus, as once to the Apostle Peter, and led Erasmus out of the prison. After that this servant of God departed for Campania, where he preached the Gospel to the people, and then he returned to the town of Hermelia, where he retreated to a cave, in order that he might live a life of asceticism there until his death. Before his repose, he bowed down three times toward the east and with uplifted arms prayed to God that He forgive the sins and grant eternal life to all those who would with faith call upon his name. At the completion of his prayer a voice from heaven was heard: “Let it be as thou didst pray, my little healer Erasmus!” Utterly joyful, the saint gazed up at the heavens once more and saw a wreath of glory descending upon him and choirs of angels, prophets, apostles and martyrs coming toward him to receive his holy soul. At last he cried out, “O Lord, receive my spirit!” and reposed, in about the year 303. The cave, with a small church dedicated to St. Erasmus, exists today not far from Ohrid, and from it the great power of the God-pleaser Erasmus the hieromartyr is manifested even today.

HYMN OF PRAISE: Saint Nicephorus
Great was Nicephorus, great among the saints;
Great was Nicephorus, like a giant among men.

But the emperor with the name of lion was small;
His entire “glory” consisted of spite and malice.

An emperor is to lead the affairs of state,
Not to judge the dogmas of the Orthodox Faith.

Patriarch Nicephorus interpreted for him the dogmas,

But the arrogant little emperor pretended to be wise.

Though he had become emperor, he remained a simple shudra,
Not heeding the counsels of the wise saint.

The emperor banished the patriarch to a desolate, distant place,
And he began himself to interpret divine truth.

Great was Nicephorus, great in exile,
As also on the throne in his dignity.

All of his greatness was from within,
And not false and incidental, changing from day to day.

Nicephorus became a saint by faith and purity,
By strong faith, fasting and humble simplicity.

And Emperor Leo was slain—terribly slain.

Perhaps he would have repented, but it was too late.

REFLECTION

The veneration of icons is an integral part of Orthodoxy, from which it cannot be separated. That the veneration of icons appears to some people to be the same as idolatry is no proof against icons. To the Jews it seemed that Christ worked miracles by the power of Satan and not God, and to the Romans it seemed that the Christian martyrs were ordinary sorcerers and magicians. St. Nicephorus said to Leo the Armenian, the iconoclastic emperor: “An icon is a divine thing, but not to be worshiped.” Then he explained how God commanded Moses to make a serpent of brass and to raise it in the wilderness, even though just before this He had commanded: Thou shall not make unto thee any graven image (Exodus 20:4). The latter He commanded in order to save the chosen people from the idolatry of the Egyptians, and He commanded the former that He, the One and Most-high God, might manifest His power through a visible thing. In the same manner He manifests His power through icons. This is His holy will and our aid for salvation. If icons are things of little significance or even idolatry, why would many of the holiest and most spiritual men and women in the history of the Church have suffered to the death for icons?

CONTEMPLATION

Contemplate the miraculous healing of the leper (Matthew 8:2):

1. How the leper implored the Lord to heal him and how the Lord touched him with His hand and he was healed;

2. How I, too, am leprous from sin, and how the Lord can touch my soul and heal it, if I pray to Him.

HOMILY
on how wisdom proclaims itself everywhere

Wisdom cries aloud in the street, in the open squares she raises her voice; down the crowded ways she calls out, at the city gates she utters her words (Proverbs 1:20–21).

The Wisdom of God is the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, through Whom every created thing was created. All that was created manifests its All-wise Creator, both that which is in the fields and that which is in the city. In the fields is pure and bright nature, while in the city is man with his trades and skills. The Wisdom of God cries out—and does not whisper—through all of nature and through all the beneficial trades and skills of man. She has covered all the fields; she has filled the entire city; she is above the earth and under the earth, in the starry firmament and in the depths of the seas. He who wants to hear her can hear her in every place; he who wants to learn from her and be delighted by her can be taught and delighted in every place; he who wants to be corrected and built up by her can be corrected and built up by her in every place. Thus the Wisdom of God is clear and evident in all created things in the world from its very beginning. But the Wisdom of God is clearer and more evident in the prophets and in other men of God who were made worthy to approach her outside created nature. Through their mouths, the Wisdom of God has been proclaimed in the fields, in the cities, on the streets of the cities, and at the doors of men. But the Wisdom of God is most audible and most clear in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. In the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Wisdom of God was manifested in the flesh and demonstrated to men in Its miraculous power and beauty. This Wisdom of God does not speak through things or through men, but speaks of Itself and from Itself alone, personally and directly. By His wisdom the Lord has filled the entire world through His Holy Church, so that it can be said that today, just as twenty centuries ago in Palestine, He cries out in the fields, on the streets, to the greatest throngs in the world, throughout the cities, and before all doors, through the servants of the Word.

O my brethren, let us open the doors of our souls to the Wisdom of God, incarnate in the Lord Jesus Christ! O Lord Jesus, Wisdom and Power of God, open our souls and abide in them. To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.


In the Slavonic Prologue and Menaion, St. Erasmus is commemorated on May 4, while in the Greek Synaxarion on June 2. The latter is more correct, since this saint has been commemorated in Ohrid on June 2 from time immemorial.

Shudra: one of the four original castes in India, whose members engaged in the lowest professions.—Trans.

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