The Mystery of the Church
And the corporate nature of salvation
There is a certain emptiness in trying to live the Christian life outside the life of the Church. This is because it is impossible to truly live as a Christian without the Church. The reading of the scriptures, and our commitment to prayer, are important foundations in the life of a Christian, but they are incomplete without the mystical and sacramental life that is found within the Church.
If we hope to grow spiritually, we will take advantage of the Mysteries that are found only within the Church. Without the Mystery of Penance, and the absolution of the Church, we have no hope of transformation and holiness, for without the corporate life of the Church, our sins keep us captive. Without the Mystery of Christ's Body and Blood, received during the celebration of the Church's Divine Liturgy, the healing of the soul remains undone, and salvation is next to impossible.
The center of the Church's Eucharistic liturgy is to be found in the descent, the appearance, the divine presence of the resurrected Christ, and is central to every moment of the liturgy. As believers, the partaking of Communion is actually that moment when we are encountering the living person of the Lord who enters the congregation as "King of the universe borne invisibly over their spears by the angelic hosts." This act is so central to the life of a Christian, as to make it the necessary component to being a Christian.
With love in Christ,
Wednesday September 17, 2014 / September 4, 2014
15th Week after Pentecost. Tone five.
Fast. By Monastic Charter: Strict Fast (Bread, Vegetables, Fruits)
Hieromartyr Babylas, bishop of Antioch, with Martyrs Urban, Prilidian, and Epolonius, and their mother Christodula (251).
Holy Prophet and God-seer Moses (1531 B.C.).
Uncovering of the relics (1911) of St. Ioasaph, bishop of Belgorod (1754).
Uncovering of the relics (1989) of St. Metrophanes, bishop of Voronezh (1703).
Synaxis of All Saints of Voronezh.
Hieromartyr Parthenius, abbot of Kiziltis Monastery in Crimea (1867).
New Hieromartyrs Paul, John, Nicholas, Nicholas, John, Nicholas, Alexander, Peter and Michael priests, Hieromartyr Stephen, Martyrs Basil, Peter, Stephen and Alexander (1937).
New Hieromartyrs Gregory (Lebedev) Bishop of Shliserburg and Sergius (Druzhinin) Bishop of Narva (1937).
Virgin-Martyr Helen (1942).
Martyr Hermione, daughter of Apostle Philip the Deacon (117).
Martyr Babylas of Nicomedia, and with him 84 children (4th c.).
Martyrs Theodore, Mianus (Ammianus), Julian, Kion (Oceanus), and Centurionus of Nicomedia (305-311).
Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos "The Unburnt Bush" (1680).
St. Joachim, patriarch of Alexandria.
Venerable Petronius of Egypt (346), disciple of St. Pachomius the Great.
Martyr Charitina of Amisus (Greek).
Martyrs Thathuil and Bebaia of Edessa (2nd c.) (Greek).
Martyr Jerusalem of Berroia (Greek).
Martyrs Theotimus and Theodulus the executioners (Greek).
St. Symeon, abbot and wonderworker of Garesja (1777).
St. Anthimus the Blind, new ascetic of Cephalonia (1782).
New Hieromartyr Peter, metropolitan of Dabro-Bosnia (1941).
Translation of the relics of St. Birinus, bishop of Dorchester-on-Thames and enlighterer of Wessex.
Translation of the relics St. Cuthberg, bishop of Lindisfarne.
You can read the life of the saint by clicking on the highlighted name.
"Blogs and social networks give us new opportunities for the Christian mission...Not to be present there means to display our helplessness and lack of care for the salvation of our brothers."
His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia
The Scripture Readings for the Day
The Changeless Promise15 Brethren, I speak in the manner of men: Though it is only a man’s covenant, yet if it is confirmed, no one annuls or adds to it. 16 Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Christ. 17 And this I say, that the law, which was four hundred and thirty years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ, that it should make the promise of no effect. 18 For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no longer of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise.
Purpose of the Law19 What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator. 20 Now a mediator does not mediate for one only, but God is one.
21 Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law. 22 But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.
Sending Out the Twelve7 And He called the twelve to Himself, and began to send them out two by two, and gave them power over unclean spirits. 8 He commanded them to take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bag, no bread, no copper in their money belts— 9 but to wear sandals, and not to put on two tunics.
10 Also He said to them, “In whatever place you enter a house, stay there till you depart from that place. 11 And whoever will not receive you nor hear you, when you depart from there, shake off the dust under your feet as a testimony against them. Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city!”
12 So they went out and preached that people should repent. 13 And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick, and healed them.
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