Monday, June 24, 2013

Towards a Life of Transformation in Christ

Saint John Chrysostom tells us that when we fail in our spiritual journey towards transformation, it is not due to "the nature of the trial, but by your own laziness". Since we were created by God will free will, the Lord does not force salvation on us, but offers it freely to us as a gift. The only thing that is required of us is that we cooperate with His offer of communion with Him.

When our sins block the pathway to God, it is not because He does not open the way, but because our laziness keeps us off the path. Daily we must face up to our part in this journey, and force ourselves to make an effort at becoming like Christ. We must imitate the Lord in every aspect of our life, for it is in how we love, how we are quick to forgive, how we reach out to others in charity, how we become the peacemakers, that progress is made.

If we are serious about our relationship with Christ, we must remember that everything we do will reflect upon Him.  If we have indeed been crucified with Him and raised again with Him then we are to seek those things that are of the Kingdom of Heaven.  It is in Christ's Kingdom that we are to have our affections (Col. 3:1, 2, Phil. 3:20), because, if we have our focus here, on earthly things and affections, then it reflects upon Christ Whom we profess. 

Christianity has developed a bad name in our world today, because many professing Christians live the same way as the world, and sometimes living worse then the world. If we have been joined to the Lord then we are one spirit (I Cor. 6:15-17), and others see Christ in us. If I take the Lord's name in vain, it reflects on Christ. If I lose my temper, it affects the Body of Christ. Our behavior is important because we represent Christ to a lost and dying world. What we do and what we say, is seen by the world as representing Christ.

God has opened the Gates of Paradise to us, but our movement towards the Gates requires the navigation of a straight and narrow path. This journey requires commitment on our part, and this commitment begins with repentance, for it is only in repentance that we are given the grace needed to navigate the dangerous road that is before us. Through love of God, and love of neighbor, we will enter into the Kingdom of God, and live forever.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Monday June 24, 2013 / June 11, 2013
Day Of the Holy Spirit. Tone seven.
Fast-free Week. Fast-free

"Tupichevsk" and "Cyprus" Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos (movable holiday on the Day Of the Holy Spirit).
Holy Apostles Bartholomew and Barnabas (1st c.).
Venerable Barnabas, abbot of Vetluga (1445).
Uncovering of the relics (1572) of Venerable Ephraim, abbot of New Torzhok (1053).
Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos "It is Truly Meet" ("Axion Estin") (10th c.).
Translation of the relics of Venerable Arcadius, monk of Vyazma and New Torzhok (1077).
St. Niphont patriarch of Constantinople (Romania).
Commemoration of the appearance of the Archangel Gabriel (10th c.) to a monk on Mt. Athos, and the revelation of the hymn "It Is Truly Meet" (Axion Estin).
St. Barnabus of Basa near Limasol in Cyprus (Greek).
Martyr Theopemptus and four otherss (Greek).

You can read the life of the saint in
red, by clicking on the name.

THANKS to all of you who have been able to contribute towards the support of the monastery. These difficult times of economic hardship have impacted the monastery, and those of you who have been able to donate, have been our lifeline. May God bless you for your generosity, and kindness.
With love in Christ,  
Abbot Tryphon

Donations can be made directly to the monastery through PayPal, or you may send donations to:

All-Merciful Saviour Monastery
PO Box 2420
Vashon Island, WA 98070-2420 USA

The Scripture Readings for the Day

Ephesians 5:9-19

(for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. 14 Therefore He says:

“Awake, you who sleep,
Arise from the dead,
And Christ will give you light.”

Walk in Wisdom

15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord,

Matthew 18:10-20

The Parable of the Lost Sheep

10 “Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven. 11 For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.
12 “What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying? 13 And if he should find it, assuredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray. 14 Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.

Dealing with a Sinning Brother

15 “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ 17 And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.
18 “Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
19 “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”

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