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,
Sunday July 28, 2013 / July 15, 2013
5th Sunday after Pentecost. Tone four.
Commemoration of the Holy Fathers of the First Six Councils (movable holiday on Sunday closest to July 16).
Martyrs Cyricus (Quiricus) and his mother Julitta of Tarsus (305).
Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Great Prince Vladimir (in holy baptism Basil), enlightener of the Russian Land (1015).
New Hieromartyr Peter deacon (1938).
Martyr Abudimus of the isle of Tenedos (4th c.).
St. Donald of Ogilvy (716) (Scotland).
St. Swithun, bishop and wonderworker of Winchester (862) (Celtic & British).
Finding of the head of St. Matrona of Chios (1462) (Greek).
Martyr Lollianus (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,
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
Israel Needs the Gospel
5 For Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the law, “The man who does those things shall live by them.” 6 But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down from above) 7 or, “‘Who will descend into the abyss?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Two Demon-Possessed Men Healed28 When He had come to the other side, to the country of the Gergesenes, there met Him two demon-possessed men, coming out of the tombs, exceedingly fierce, so that no one could pass that way. 29 And suddenly they cried out, saying, “What have we to do with You, Jesus, You Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?”
30 Now a good way off from them there was a herd of many swine feeding. 31 So the demons begged Him, saying, “If You cast us out, permit us to go away into the herd of swine.”
32 And He said to them, “Go.” So when they had come out, they went into the herd of swine. And suddenly the whole herd of swine ran violently down the steep place into the sea, and perished in the water.
33 Then those who kept them fled; and they went away into the city and told everything, including what had happened to the demon-possessed men. 34 And behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus. And when they saw Him, they begged Him to depart from their region.