10th SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST — Tone 1. Afterfeast of the Dormition. Apostle Thaddeus of the Seventy (ca. 44).
Tone 1 Troparion (Resurrection)
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 1 Troparion (Feast)
In giving birth you preserved your virginity. In falling asleep you did not forsake the world, O Theotokos. You were translated to life O Mother of Life,// and by your prayers you deliver our souls from death.
Tone 4 Troparion (St. Nicholas)
The truth of your deeds has revealed you to your flock as a rule of faith, an image of meekness and a teacher of self-control; your humility exalted you; your poverty enriched you.// O Father Bishop Nicholas, pray to Christ God that our souls may be saved.
Tone 3 Troparion (St. Thaddeus)
Holy Apostle Thaddeus, entreat the merciful God to grant our souls forgiveness of transgressions.
Tone 1 Kontakion (Resurrection)
As God, You rose from the tomb in glory, raising the world with Yourself. Human nature praises You as God, for death has vanished. Adam exults, O Master! Eve rejoices, for she is freed from bondage and cries to You:// “You are the Giver of Resurrection to all, O Christ!”
Tone 3 Kontakion (St. Nicholas)
You proved yourself to be be a holy priest, O Nicholas. You served God in Myra and lived the gospel of Christ. You offered your life for people, And rescued the innocent from death. Therefore God has glorified you as a trustworthy guide of things divine.
Tone 4 Kontakion (St. Thaddeus)
The Church sees you as a shining star, O Apostle Thaddeus, and is enlightened by your wonders.//Save those who honor your memory in faith!
Tone 2 Kontakion (Feast)
Neither the tomb, nor death, could hold the Theotokos, who is constant in prayer and our firm hope in her intercessions. For being the Mother of Life,// she was translated to life by the One Who dwelt in her virginal womb.
Tone 1 Prokeimenon (Resurrection)
Let Your mercy, O Lord, be upon us /as we have set our hope on You! (Ps. 32:22)
V. Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous! Praise befits the just! (Ps. 32:1)
Tone 3 (Song of the Theotokos)
My soul magnifies the Lord, / and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior. (Lk. 1:46-47)
Tone 7 Prokeimenon (Feast)
O Lord, how manifold are Your works; / in wisdom have You made them all. (Ps. 103:26)
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.
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!
V. God gives vengeance unto me, and subdues people under me. (Ps. 17:48)
V. He magnifies the salvation of the King and deals mercifully with David, His anointed, and his seed forever. (Ps. 17:51)
V. Arise, O Lord, into Your rest, You and the Ark of Your sanctification! (Ps. 131:8)
Matthew 14:22-34 (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.
Fr. Thomas Hopko
The foundation of all Christian virtue and life is faith. Faith is the natural possession of all men who are wise and virtuous. For if a person lacks faith in man’s ability to know, to do good and to find meaning in life; if he does not believe that this is possible, profitable and worthy of man’s efforts, then nothing wise or virtuous can be achieved. The striking characteristic of all prophets of doom, apostles of despair and preachers of absurdity is the absence of faith in man’s capabilities for goodness and truth, and the absence of faith in the meaning and value of life. It is also an absence of faith in God.
Faith in God is the fundamental virtue of all the saints (cf. Heb 11). The prototype of the believer in God is Abraham, the father of Israel.
The promise to Abraham and his descendants that they should inherit the world did not come through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.
That is why righteousness depends on faith in order to guarantee it to all his descendants . . . who share the faith of Abraham, for he is the father of us all . . . in the presence of God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist.
No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what He had promised. That is why his faith was “reckoned to him as righteousness” (Gen 15.6). But the words “it was reckoned to him,” were written not for his sake only, but for ours also. It will be reckoned to us who believe in Him that raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was put to death for our trespasses and raised for our justification (Rom 4.13–25).
Faith in God is fundamental for the spiritual life. And to believe in God is to believe in His Son Jesus Christ as well.
Let not your hearts be troubled, you believe in God, believe also in Me. [. . .] Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me; or else believe Me for the sake of My works themselves (Jn 14.1–11).
Faith in Jesus as “the Christ, the Son of the living God,” is the center of the Christian life and the foundation of the Church (Mt 16.16). It is the source of all wisdom, power and virtue. It is the means by which man can know and do all things, for “all things are possible to him who believes” (Mk 9.23, Mt 17.20).
Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing (Jn 15.4–5).
Faith, first of all, is “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Heb 11.1). It is confidence in the spiritual capabilities of man and in the goodness and power of God. It is intellectual assent and existential everyday trust in the promises and gifts of God, given to the world in creation and in salvation in Christ and the Holy Spirit. Faith itself is a “gift of God” given to all and accepted by the poor in spirit and the pure in heart, who are open to the activity of God in their lives (Eph 2.8).
Genuine faith is not a blind leap in the dark, an irrational and unreasonable acceptance of the unreasonable and the absurd. Genuine faith is eminently reasonable; it is rooted and grounded in man’s reasonable nature as made in the image of God. Not to believe, according to the scriptures and the saints, is the epitome of absurdity and foolishness.
The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none that does good. The Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any that act wisely that seek after God. (Pss 14.1–2, 53.1–2)
Man was made to have faith in God. Not to believe in God is a perversion of human nature and the cause of all evils. The weakness and absence of faith in God is rooted in sin, impurity and pride. It is never simply the result of an intellectual mistake or mental confusion. It is always the result of the suppression of the truth through wickedness, the exchange of God’s truth for a lie, the refusal, consciously or unconsciously, to acknowledge God with honor and thanksgiving (cf. Rom 1).
You shall indeed hear but never understand, and you shall see, but never perceive. For this people’s heart has drawn dull, and their ears are heavy of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should perceive with their eyes and hear with their ears, understand with their heart, and turn to Me to heal them (Is 6.9–10, Mt 13.14–15).
The spiritual person lives “by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Gal 2.20). The spiritual person is the one who, by the grace of God’s Spirit, is faithful in all things.
Christians aren’t dressed in the old person with its passions and sinful desires, but are clothed in the new person. They’ve put on Christ himself, who now lives in their hearts. The word ‘clothed’ doesn’t mean an ordinary outer garment, but something deeper, something essential and inalienable.
— Saint Nektarios of Pentapolis, the Wonder-Worker
Run to Christ, begging him constantly and fervently, as the blind man in Jericho once did: ‘Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me’. And he’ll ask you mystically, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’. You, who are blind in your soul, will say: ‘Lord, I want to regain my sight’. Seeing your faith, your repentance, the fervor of your supplication, he’ll have pity on you and will cure you, granting you light in your soul.
— Saint Symeon the New Theologian
The Church calls upon people to be glorified, sanctified, saved, and gives them a specific course of treatment which has been proved to be an effective cure. The saints are proof of this. They too, were once sick (spiritually) and they’ve told us that there are ways and means for us to be healed.
— Metropolitan Athanasios of Limassol
Contemporary Miracle of St. Kionysios of Zakynthos
Fr. Theodore Petrides
Signs in Our Times (Click to play podcast)