July 7, 2011 / June 24, 2011
4th Week after Pentecost. Tone two.
Fish AllowedNativity of St. John the Baptist.
Venerable Anthony, abbot of Dymsk (Novgorod) (1224).
Righteous Youths John (1566) and James (1569) of Meniugi (Novgorod).
Martyrs Orentius, Pharnacius, Eros, Firmus, Firminus, Cyriacus, and Longinus, in Georgia (3rd c.).
St. Nicetas, bishop of Remesiana (414) (Neth.).
Venerable John, monk, of Yaransk (Solovki) (1561).
St. Michael, great prince of Tver (1319).
New Martyr Panagiotes of Caesarea in Cappadocia (1765) (Greek).
Translation of the relics (1492) of Martyr John the New (1332) to Suceava, Romania (Romania).
Synaxis of the Righteous Zacharias and Elizabeth (Greek).
St. John the Hermit of Bohemia (904).
St. Athanasius of Paros (1813).
St. Gerasim (Dobroserdov), bishop of Astrakhan and Enotaeva (1880).
Words from the Abbot:
The Old Testament is filled with the image of God's people being a holy people, set apart. The ancient Israelites were not like their neighbors. Their values and their faith impacted everything about them. They dressed differently than many of their neighboring pagan tribes. Their worship was centered on the God that had revealed himself to them and made them his chosen people. Their spiritual and moral views reflected this relationship with the One God that had entered into communion with them and who had revealed Divine Truth through the prophets.
The Church is the continuation of the Church of the Old Testament and as such, we are the chosen people of God. Our lives should reflect this truth in everything we do and in the moral standards that guide our daily living.
These standards of faith should even govern the way we dress. It is not only Orthodox monks and priests who should hold themselves to dress codes that reflect modesty and purity. We are all called to be a people set apart from this world. Christ's Kingdom is not of this world and we need to dress in a way that does not bring temptation to others. For the Orthodox Christian, tight and revealing clothing are not appropriate. We should not reserve modest clothing for church services or when making pilgrimages to our monasteries.
The center of our being is in the heart and the attention of the mind must be fixed in the heart. What happens in the heart assists us in the battle against the passions and assumes a rational character. Modest attire for the layman is just as important as the robes of a monk in aiding the quest for living a life given over to being, in every way, God's chosen people.
With love in Christ,
Photos of the Day:
Wild foxglove grows abundantly on the grounds of our monastery.
Scripture Readings for the Day:
11 And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.
Romans 13:11-14:4Put on Christ
The Law of Liberty1 Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things. 2 For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables. 3 Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him. 4 Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.
Dedication to Theophilus1 Inasmuch as many have taken in hand to set in order a narrative of those things which have been fulfilled among us, 2 just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word delivered them to us, 3 it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write to you an orderly account, most excellent Theophilus, 4 that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed.
John’s Birth Announced to Zacharias5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah. His wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. 7 But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both well advanced in years.
8 So it was, that while he was serving as priest before God in the order of his division, 9 according to the custom of the priesthood, his lot fell to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. 10 And the whole multitude of the people was praying outside at the hour of incense. 11 Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right side of the altar of incense. 12 And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.
13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. 14 And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. 15 For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. 16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,' and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
18 And Zacharias said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years.”
19 And the angel answered and said to him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and was sent to speak to you and bring you these glad tidings. 20 But behold, you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time.”
21 And the people waited for Zacharias, and marveled that he lingered so long in the temple. 22 But when he came out, he could not speak to them; and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple, for he beckoned to them and remained speechless.
23 So it was, as soon as the days of his service were completed, that he departed to his own house. 24 Now after those days his wife Elizabeth conceived; and she hid herself five months, saying, 25 “Thus the Lord has dealt with me, in the days when He looked on me, to take away my reproach among people.”
Click photo to enlarge.