10th SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST — Tone 1. Leavetaking of the Transfiguration. St. Tikhon, Bishop of Vorónezh, Wonderworker of Zadónsk and All Russia (1783).
Tone 1 Troparion
When the stone had been sealed by the Jews, while the soldiers were guarding Your most pure body, You rose on the third day, O Savior, granting life to the world. The powers of heaven therefore cried to You, O Giver of Life: “Glory to Your Resurrection, O Christ! Glory to Your Kingdom!// Glory to Your dispensation, O Lover of mankind!”
Tone 7 Troparion (Feast)
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!
Tone 8 Troparion (St. Tikhon)
From your youth you loved Christ, O blessed one. You have been an example for all by word, life, love, faith, purity, and humility. Therefore, you now abide in the heavenly mansions, where you stand before the throne of the All-holy Trinity.// Holy Hierarch Tikhon, pray for the salvation of our souls!
Tone 8 Kontakion (St. Tikhon)
Successor to the Apostles, adornment of hierarchs, teacher of the Orthodox Faith,// beseech the Master of all to grant peace to the world and to our souls great mercy.
Tone 7 Kontakion (Feast)
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.
Tone 4 Prokeimenon (Feast)
O Lord, how manifold are Your works; / in wisdom have You made them all. (Ps. 103:26)
V. Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord, my God, You are very great! (Ps. 103:1)
Tone 1 Prokeimenon (St. Tikhon)
My mouth shall speak wisdom; / the meditation of my heart shall be understanding. (Ps. 48:3)
1 Corinthians 4:9-16 (Epistle)
For I think that God has displayed us, the apostles, last, as men condemned to death; for we have been made a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men. We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are distinguished, but we are dishonored! To the present hour we both hunger and thirst, and we are poorly clothed, and beaten, and homeless. And we labor, working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure; being defamed, we entreat. We have been made as the filth of the world, the offscouring of all things until now. I do not write these things to shame you, but as my beloved children I warn you. For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. Therefore I urge you, imitate me.
Hebrews 7:26-8:2 (Epistle, St. Tikhon)
For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for his own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. For the law appoints as high priests men who have weakness, but the word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints the Son who has been perfected forever. Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man.
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!
V. The heavens are Yours, the earth also is Yours! (Ps. 88:11a)
V. Blessed are the people who know the festal shout! (Ps. 88:14b)
V. The mouth of the righteous shall proclaim wisdom, and his tongue shall speak of judgment. (Ps. 36:31)
Matthew 17:14-23 (Gospel)
And when they had come to the multitude, a man came to Him, kneeling down to Him and saying, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and suffers severely; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water. So I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him.” Then Jesus answered and said, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to Me.” And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour. Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” Now while they were staying in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men, and they will kill Him, and the third day He will be raised up.” And they were exceedingly sorrowful.
Matthew 5:14-19 (Gospel, St. Tikhon)
You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Saint Tikhon of Zadonsk and Voronezh
Tikhon was born in a simple peasant family in the village of Korotsk, in the province of Novgorod, in the year 1724. He received the monastic tonsure at age thirty-four, and, because of his ascetic practice and great spiritual wisdom, he was soon elevated to higher positions of service, until he was consecrated Bishop of Voronezh. His episcopacy lasted for almost five years, but, because of frail health, he withdrew and took up residence in the Monastery of Zadonsk. In the year 1783, he died peacefully in Zadonsk, where his miracle-working relics now repose. He was a great ascetic of the Russian Church, a rare shepherd, a strong intercessor, and the author of the most beautiful spiritual works. By his wisdom, holiness and asceticism, Tikhon can be equated with the great fathers of the Orthodox Church of ancient times. Because of the many witnessed miracles that were performed over his relics, he was proclaimed a saint, first by the people, then officially by the Church in the year 1861.
Velimirovic, Saint Nikolai. The Prologue of Ohrid (p. 1257). Sebastian Press Publishing House.
On the awesome vision of the Prophet Isaiah
I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up (Isaiah 6:1) Here is the vision of visions! Here is the glory of glories and the majesty of majesties! God showed great mercy to all of mankind, in that He gave them to see the great starry firmament, the work of His hands. He showed an even greater mercy in allowing some to see the eternal and wondrous angelic world. He showed the greatest mercy to a small number of His chosen ones, whom He allowed to see Himself—the Lord of Sabaoth, the Only Uncreated One, and Creator of both worlds. How can mortal man see the Immortal God? Did not God Himself say to Moses: For there shall no man see Me and live (Exodus 33:20)? And does not the Gospel say: No man has seen God at any time (John 1:18)? Truly, no mortal can see the face of God—His Essence. But, by His condescension and infinite goodness and power, God can reveal—to some extent and in some form—how accessible He is to men. In a particular form and appearance, He appeared to Moses, Elias, Daniel and John the Theologian. He did not reveal His Essence, but a particular form and appearance. Isaiah saw Him on a throne high and lifted up—as the Judge raised above all the judges and all the earthly courts. The six-winged Seraphim stood around Him and cried one to another: Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of Hosts (Isaiah 6:3). The Lord did not allow Himself to be seen alone, but rather as the King in His Invisible Kingdom, surrounded by the most exalted of beings, who were created by His power. Around Him are the foremost orders of the heavenly hierarchy, the chief commanders of His innumerable immortal hosts, the foremost lampstands of His light and His unendurable radiance. This is the wondrous vision of Isaiah, the Son of Amoz, the prophet of God. O Holy, Holy, Holy Lord—Thrice Holy—have mercy on us and save us, impure and sinful as we are. To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.
Velimirovic, Saint Nikolai. The Prologue of Ohrid (p. 1255). Sebastian Press Publishing House. Kindle Edition.
Also celebrated today, the Icon of the Mother of God of the Seven Arrows.
Since we sinned in practice, denied Christ in practice, offended and betrayed him in practice, let’s now turn back to him in practice and prove that we won’t any longer bend the knee before any idol of sin.
— Elder Joseph Vatopaidinos
It’s a common effort
When people properly enter the spiritual life, from the very first moment the light of God’s hope begins to shine in them. But there’s certainly a journey involved and that journey requires an effort; it needs patience, it needs stamina and, above all it requires faith that God, as a good Father, has our journey in his hands; it’s a matter of cooperation between our freedom and the grace of the Holy Spirit.
— Metropolitan Athanasios