Saturday, February 11, 2023
Hieromartyr Blaise, Bishop of Sebaste (ca. 316). Ven. Dimitri (Dēmḗtrios), Wonderworker of Priluki (Vologdá—1392). Rt. Blv. Great Prince Vsevolod (in Baptism Gabriel), Wonderworker of Pskov (1138). Righteous Theodora, wife of Emperor Theophilus the Iconoclast (ca. 867).
Before Reading the Holy Scripture
Illumine our hearts, O Master Who lovest mankind, with the pure light of Thy divine knowledge. Open the eyes of our mind to the understanding of Thy gospel teachings. Implant also in us the fear of Thy blessed commandments, that trampling down all carnal desires, we may enter upon a spiritual manner of living, both thinking and doing such things as are well-pleasing unto Thee. For Thou art the illumination of our souls and bodies, O Christ our God, and unto Thee we ascribe glory, together with Thy Father, Who is from everlasting, and Thine all-holy, good, and life-creating Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.
2 Timothy 3:1-9
1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, 7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. 9 But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as their’s also was.
45 Then in the audience of all the people he said unto his disciples, 46 Beware of the scribes, which desire to walk in long robes, and love greetings in the markets, and the highest seats in the synagogues, and the chief rooms at feasts; 47 Which devour widows’ houses, and for a shew make long prayers: the same shall receive greater damnation. 1 And he looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury. 2 And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites. 3 And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all: 4 For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had.
SEASON OF REPENTANCE, by St. John of Kronstadt
The Season of Repentance
On the Publican and the Pharisee
[Part 2 of 2]
“Brothers and Sisters! Without a shadow of a doubt, we must appreciate the example of the humility of the publican… We must especially appreciate it, because we have seen how [the publican] was forgiven by God for his humility … Are you not the same man — condemned and sinful, like the publican? Have your virtues suddenly transformed you into a pure and sinless angel? Have you performed these good deeds through your own strength? How can you have suddenly forgotten about your weaknesses?… With all of your virtues, why do you not think that you have only done that which was your duty — that you remain the unprofitable servant? For according to the words of the Saviour: ‘So you, likewise, when you have done all those things, of which you are commanded, say, “We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do ”’ [Luke 17:10] .
“Lord! Without Thee, ‘we can do nothing’ [John 15:5]. Give us the humility of the publican, and expel from us every thought of pharisaical pride. And may we always remember that we all belong to Thee — together with everything that we possess and see around us; and that we have nothing, of which to boast. Amen. ”
Orthodox Agape by papademetrios