As Christians in this post-Christian era, we must live with the knowledge that God still reigns, even though the evidence is to the contrary. In this post-Christian era, we are like exiles, but like the Jews who were in bondage under the Babylonians, we can not live in the past, remembering only the time when society was Christian. Nor can we focus on critiquing the present secular age. Rather, we must become the leaven for restoring the faith of our neighbors.
We must energize the nation by being agents of love, mercy, beauty, and peace. We must become the reconciling force between the secular world, and God. Even if our churches are closed for lack of membership, we must be as living repositories for the wisdom and grace of faith, bringing about, by our lives, the restoration of Christianity in this age of unbelief. We must show our neighbors what love looks like, and be that shining light of Christ in this age of darkness. We must not let this era change us, we must change this era.
Love in Christ,
Sunday March 30, 2014 / March 17, 2014
Fourth Sunday of the Great Lent. Tone seven.
Great Lent. Food with Oil
Venerable John Lestvichnik (movable holiday on the 4th Sunday of the Great Lent).
Venerable Alexis the Man of God, in Rome (411).
Venerable Macarius, abbot of Kalyazin (1483).
New Hieromartyr Alexander priest (1919).
New Hieromartyr Victor priest (1942).
Martyr Marinus, soldier, at Caesarea in Palestine (260).
Venerable Patrick, enlightener of Ireland (451) (Celtic & British).
Monk-martyr Paul of Crete (767).
St. Withburga, solitary at Holkham and East Dereham (ca. 743) (Celtic & British).
St. Ambrose, deacon, and disciple of St. Didymus the Blind of Alexandria (400).
St. Gertrude, abbess of Nijvel (659) (Neth.).
St. Theosterictus the Confessor, abbot of Pelecete Monastery near Prusa (826).
Venerable Hieromartyr Gabriel the Lesser of Garesja (1802) (Georgia).
St. Beccan of Rhum (677) (Celtic & British).You can read the life of the saint by clicking on the highlighted name.
The Scripture Readings for the Day
God’s Infallible Purpose in Christ13 For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, 14 saying, “Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you.” 15 And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. 16 For men indeed swear by the greater, and an oath for confirmation is for them an end of all dispute. 17 Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, 18 that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us.
19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, 20 where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.
19 He answered him and said, “O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to Me.” 20 Then they brought him to Him. And when he saw Him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground and wallowed, foaming at the mouth.
21 So He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?”
And he said, “From childhood. 22 And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”
23 Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”
25 When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it: “Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!” 26 Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that many said, “He is dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose.
28 And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?”
29 So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.”
Jesus Again Predicts His Death and Resurrection30 Then they departed from there and passed through Galilee, and He did not want anyone to know it. 31 For He taught His disciples and said to them, “The Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of men, and they will kill Him. And after He is killed, He will rise the third day.”
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