25th SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST — Tone 8. Glorification of Hieromartyr Protopresbyter Alexander (Hotovitzky) (1994). Greatmartyr Barbara and Martyr Juliana, at Heliopolis in Syria (ca. 306). Ven. John of Damascus (776)
Tone 8 Troparion (Resurrection)
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!
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 4 Troparion (St. Barbara)
Let us honor the holy Martyr Barbara, for, as a bird, she escaped the snares of the Enemy,// and destroyed them through the help and defense of the Cross!
Tone 8 Troparion (St. John)
O Champion of Orthodoxy, teacher of purity and of true worship, the enlightener of the universe and the adornment of hierarchs; all wise Father John, your teachings have gleamed with light upon all things.// Intercede before Christ God to save our souls!
Tone 6 Troparion (St. Alexander)
In a time of fiery temptations for the Church of Russia, you manifested Christ’s love to your flock through meekness and humility. As a good pastor you laid down your life for Him.// Pray for us, Hieromartyr Alexander, that our souls may be illumined!
Tone 8 Kontakion (Resurrection)
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!
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 your people, And rescued the innocent from death. Therefore God has glorified you as a trustworthy guide of things divine.
Tone 2 Kontakion (St. Barbara)
Singing the praises of the Trinity, you followed God by enduring suffering; you renounced the multitude of idols, O holy martyr Barbara. In your struggles, you were not frightened by the threats of your torturers, but cried out in a loud voice:// “I worship the Trinity in one Godhead.”
Tone 4 Kontakion (St. John)
Let us sing praises to John, worthy of great honor, the composer of hymns, the star and teacher of the Church, the defender of her doctrines: through the might of the Lord’s Cross he overcame heretical error,// and as a fervent intercessor before God he entreats that forgiveness of sins may be granted to all!
Tone 2 Kontakion (St. Alexander)
Hieromartyr Alexander, you bore labors and illness upon your shoulders, and joyfully took the narrow path of suffering for Christ, through which you attained the heavenly Kingdom.// Entreat God the Savior to grant us mercy on the Day of Judgment!
Tone 4 Kontakion (Steadfast Protectress)
Steadfast Protectress of Christians, Constant Advocate before the Creator; Do not despise the cries 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!
Tone 8 Prokeimenon (Resurrection)
Pray and make your vows / before the Lord, our God! (Ps. 75:10a)
V. In Judah God is known; His Name is great in Israel. (Ps. 75:1)
Ephesians 4:1-6 (Epistle)
I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with long-suffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
Hebrews 13:7-16 (Epistle, St. Alexander)
Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines. For it is good that the heart be established by grace, not with foods which have not profited those who have been occupied with them. We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat. For the bodies of those animals, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned outside the camp. Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach. For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come. Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!
V. Come, let us rejoice in the Lord! Let us make a joyful noise to God our Savior! (Ps. 94:1)
V. Let us come before His face with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to Him with songs of praise! (Ps. 94:2)
Luke 17:12-19 (Gospel)
Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off. And they lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” So when He saw them, He said to them, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan. So Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner? And He said to him, “Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.”
Luke 12:32-40 (Gospel, St. Alexander)
Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell what you have and give alms; provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning; and you yourselves be like men who wait for their master, when he will return from the wedding, that when he comes and knocks they may open to him immediately. Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them. And if he should come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
On Prayer: Spiritual Counsels of St. Paisios, Volume VI
On Preparation for Holy Communion
One does not prepare for Holy Communion by changing his clothes and brushing his teeth. Most important of all is the examination of one’s own self in order to determine the following: Does he consider Holy Communion as a need? Is his spiritual life in order? Is there something hindering him from receiving Holy Communion that he has not confessed? In order to sense Holy Communion, underlying conditions must be present. The best prerequisite is the humble effort to cut off the passions so that Christ will remain in our heart. Otherwise, Christ comes to us when we receive Holy Communion, but leaves immediately and we do not feel anything. When Christ remains within us, then a transformation of the person takes place. There are people who feel Christ within them from one Holy communion to the next without any interruption.
— Question: Geronda (Elder), oftentimes when the priest says, “With the fear of God, faith, and Love, draw near”, I feel that I am not ready to receive Holy Communion.
— In the hospitals (in Greece), at a determined hour, the doctors see the patients, and the nurses call out, “Doctor rounds!” At that time, all the visitors leave the wards, while the patients return to their beds to wait for the doctors making their rounds. The patients will inform them of their condition and receive their instructions for therapy. By the same token, when the priest says, “With the fear of God…” you should consider that healing is taking place, and approach to receive the Holy Communion with a sense of your sinfulness, while asking humbly for the mercy of God.
On Thanksgiving for Holy Communion
— Geronda, you became very tired during the Divine Liturgy; you should not have stayed for the reading of the thanksgiving prayers. (This was one month before his repose)
— What are you saying? I received Holy Communion and should I not stay to say a “Thank You” to God? Only in the event of some urgent need can one leave earlier. You should never leave before having heard the Thanksgiving Prayers, and you should continually say, “I thank You, my God, I thank You. Glory to You, O God; glory to You, O God!” As you say that, your heart should be soaring.
— Remembrance of God nourishes and increases love for him and for our neighbors, because, as Saint Gregory Palamas emphasizes in his homilies, love for others is a concomitant of love for God. Illumination of the mind isn’t the result of study and instruction, but of personal participation in the uncreated knowledge of God.
Elder Efraim Vatopaidinos
— God forgives easily, because he loves us and wants our salvation. ‘Here’s a gift for you’, he says. He’s prepared to forgive our debt. He sacrificed himself for the sake of our salvation, even though we’re sinners. This demonstrates his great love. And he says: ‘Love your enemies’, because they’re also his children. Evil is overcome by good.
Elder Panayis from Lysi