Friday, May 27, 2011

May 27, 2011 / May 14, 2011

Fifth Week of Pascha. Tone four.
Fast. Fish Allowed
Martyr Isidore of Chios (251). St. Isidore, fool-for-Christ, wonderworker of Rostov (1474). St. Matthew, Hieromonk of Yaramsk in Vyatka (1927).
New Hieromartyr Peter priest (1939).
Venerable Nicetas, bishop of Novgorod and recluse of the Kiev Caves (1108). Martyr Maximus, under Decius (250). Venerable Serapion the Sindonite, monk, of Egypt (542). St. Leontius, patriarch of Jerusalem (1175). Trebensk (1654) and Yaroslavl (Pechersk) Icons of the Mother of God (1823). New Martyr John-Raiko of Shumena, Bulgaria (1802)) (Greek).
New Martyr Mark of Crete, at Smyrna (1643) (Greek).
First opening of the relics (1846) of St. Tikhon of Zadonsk (1783).
St. Aprunculus, bishop of Clermont in Gaul (Gaul).
Sts. Alexander, Barbarus, and Acolythus, martyred at the Church of Holy Peace by the Sea in Constantinople (Greek).
St. Andrew, abbot of Raphael (Tobolsk) (1820).

Words from the Abbot:

Almost thirty years ago, during my first year as a monk, I was walking down a street in San Francisco, with an elderly bishop (as I now think about it, he was about the same age as I am now!) So, as I was saying, I was walking down the street with a young bishop......

On the same side of the street, walking in our direction, was a homeless man, who's cloths were filthy, and tattered.
As we got closer to the man, I could see his bare feet, with only tops to his shoes. His face and hands looked as though they'd not been washed in years, and his hair was matted. I instinctively took the arm of the bishop, and tried to direct him to the other side of the street, in the middle of the block. When the bishop said we should continue as we were, I commented that we needed to cross the street, in order to avoid the crazed looking man that was approaching us. The bishop ignored my protests, and we continued toward the filthy street person.

Just as we met up with the man, the bishop stopped, reached out to the man, taking his filthy hands into his own, and gave him a twenty dollar bill, telling him to buy himself something to eat. The man, who'd been looking toward the ground during the whole time, to my utter surprise, looked directly at us, and, with the clearest blue eyes I'd ever seen, smiled, and took the money.

I was stunned, and commented, as we continued to walk, that those eyes were not the eyes of a crazy man, or even a down and out street person, but looked like the eyes of a very intelligent person. The bishop responded that we'd just met "an angel unaware."

The memory of this man, those eyes seemed full of wisdom and divine love, have never left me, and have served as a reminder, to this day, that we must greet everyone we meet, as thought they were Christ Himself.

With love and blessings,
Abbot Tryphon

Photo of the Day:

It was my great joy to spend part of Thursday morning, with the Orthodox student group on the campus of Pacific Lutheran University. Their graduation takes place on Sunday, and I'll be missing my time on their campus. Fall seems a long ways away, when you are an old monk, who loves to be in the presence of such wonderful young people. I pray the Lord, in His great, and loving mercy, will protect all these, my beloved college students, both at PLU, and Seattle Pacific University, during the coming Summer months.

Scripture Readings for the Day:

Acts 15:5-34
5 But some of the sect of the Pharisees who believed rose up, saying, “It is necessary to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.”
The Jerusalem Council
6 Now the apostles and elders came together to consider this matter. 7 And when there had been much dispute, Peter rose up and said to them: “Men and brethren, you know that a good while ago God chose among us, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe. 8 So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us, 9 and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. 10 Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? 11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved in the same manner as they.”
12 Then all the multitude kept silent and listened to Barnabas and Paul declaring how many miracles and wonders God had worked through them among the Gentiles. 13 And after they had become silent, James answered, saying, “Men and brethren, listen to me: 14 Simon has declared how God at the first visited the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name. 15 And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written:
       16 ‘ After this I will return
      And will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down;
      I will rebuild its ruins,
      And I will set it up;
       17 So that the rest of mankind may seek the LORD,
      Even all the Gentiles who are called by My name,
      Says the LORD who does all these things.’

18 “Known to God from eternity are all His works. 19 Therefore I judge that we should not trouble those from among the Gentiles who are turning to God, 20 but that we write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from things strangled, and from blood. 21 For Moses has had throughout many generations those who preach him in every city, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath.”
The Jerusalem Decree
22 Then it pleased the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas, namely, Judas who was also named Barsabas, and Silas, leading men among the brethren.
23 They wrote this, letter by them:
   The apostles, the elders, and the brethren,
   To the brethren who are of the Gentiles in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia:
 24 Since we have heard that some who went out from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your souls, saying, “You must be circumcised and keep the law”—to whom we gave no such commandment— 25 it seemed good to us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, 26 men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who will also report the same things by word of mouth. 28 For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: 29 that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well.
Continuing Ministry in Syria
30 So when they were sent off, they came to Antioch; and when they had gathered the multitude together, they delivered the letter. 31 When they had read it, they rejoiced over its encouragement. 32 Now Judas and Silas, themselves being prophets also, exhorted and strengthened the brethren with many words. 33 And after they had stayed there for a time, they were sent back with greetings from the brethren to the apostles.
34 However, it seemed good to Silas to remain there.

John 10:27-38
27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. 30 I and My Father are one.”
Renewed Efforts to Stone Jesus
31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him. 32 Jesus answered them, “Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?”
33 The Jews answered Him, saying, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God.”
34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, “You are gods”’? 35 If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), 36 do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? 37 If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; 38 but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him.”

Click photo to enlarge.

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