Deisis (Novogorod)

The Holy Festival of the Lights

St. Gregory Nazianzus

BaptismChrist is bathed in light; let us also be bathed in light.  Christ is baptized; let us also go down with Him, and rise with Him.

John is baptizing when Jesus draws near.  Perhaps He comes to sanctify His baptizer; certainly He comes to bury sinful humanity in the waters.  He comes to sanctify the Jordan for our sake and in readiness for us; He Who is spirit and flesh comes to begin a new creation through Spirit and water.

The Baptist protests; Jesus insists.  Then John says: "I ought to be baptized by You."  He is the lamp in the presence of the Sun, the voice in the presence of the woman in the presence of the Firstborn of all creation, the one who leapt in his mother's womb in the presence of Him Who has already come and is to come again.  "I ought to be baptized by You"; we should add: "and for You," for John is to be baptized in blood, washed clean like Peter, not only by the washing of his feet.

Jesus rises from the waters; the world rises with Him.  The heavens like Paradise with its flaming sword, closed by Adam for himself and his descendants, are rent open.  The Spirit comes to Him as to an equal, bearing witness to His Godhead.  A voice bears witness to Him from heaven, His place of origin.  The Spirit descends in bodily form like a dove that so long ago announced the ending of the flood and so gives honor to the body that is one with God.

Today let us do honor to Christ's baptism and celebrate this feast in holiness.  Be cleansed entirely and continue to be cleansed.  Nothing gives such pleasure to God as the conversion and salvation of humanity, for whom His every word and every revelation exist.  He wants you to become a living force for all humanity, lights shining in the world.  You are to be radiant lights as you stand beside Christ, the great light, bathed in the glory of Him Who is the light of heaven.  You are to enjoy more and more the pure and dazzling light of the Trinity, as now you have received - though not in its fullness - a ray of its splendor, proceeding from the one God, in Christ Jesus our Lord, to Whom be glory and power now and ever, and to the ages of ages.  Amen!

Taken from Christ-bearers - Meditations for the Pre-Christmas Fast, Christmas, and Theophany.


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Teachings of Christ

“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account." (Matthew 5:11 ESV)

Feasts & Fasts

August
1-14 - Dormition Fast
6 - Transfiguration of Our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ
15 - Dormition of our Most Holy Lady the Mother of God and Ever-Virgin Mary
29 - Beheading of the Holy Glorious Prophet, Forerunner, and Baptist John

September
1 - Liturgical New Year (7526)
4 - Labor Day (USA, Canada)
8 - The Nativity of our Most Holy Lady, the Mother of God and Ever-Virgin Mary
14 - The Universal Exaltation of the Precious and Life-Giving Cross

October
1 - The Protection of our Most Holy Lady the Mother of God and Ever-Virgin Mary
9 - Columbus Day (USA), Thanksgiving Day (Canada)
15 - Sunday of the Fathers of the Seventh Ecumenical Council

Transfiguration

You were transfigured on the mountain, O Christ God, * showing Your glory to Your Disciples as far as they were able to bear it. * Through the prayers of the Mother of God, * let Your everlasting Light shine also upon us sinners. * O Giver of Light, glory to You! (Troparion, Tone 7)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Upon the mountain You were transfigured, O Christ God, * and Your Disciples beheld Your glory as far as they could receive it, * so that when they would see You crucified, * they would understand that You suffered willingly; * and they would preach to the world * that You are truly the radiance of the Father. (Kontakion, Tone 7)

Dormition

O Mother of God, in giving birth you preserved virginity; * and in falling asleep you did not forsake the world. * You are the Mother of Life and have been transferred to life, * and through your prayers you deliver our souls from death. (Troparion - Tone 1)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Neither the tomb nor death could detain the Mother of God, * who is unsleeping in her prayers and our unfailing hope in her intercession; * for He Who dwelt in her ever-virgin womb, * transferred to Life the Mother of Life. (Kontakion - Tone 2)

Random Proverb

"My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you." (Proverbs 3:1,2 ESV)

This Week's Scripture

Sunday, August 13, 2017
Tenth Sunday After Pentecost

- Matins: John 21:1-14 (Gospel 10)
- Liturgy: 1 Corinthians 4:9-16, Matthew 17:14-23

Eleventh Week After Pentecost
- Monday: 2 Corinthians 2:4-15, Matthew 23:13-22

August 15
Dormition of the Mother of God

- Vespers: Genesis 28:10-17, Ezekiel 43:27-44:4, Proverbs 9:1-11
- Matins: Luke 1:39-49, 56
- Liturgy: Philippians 2:5-11, Luke 10:38-42; 11:27,28

- Wednesday: 2 Corinthians 3:4-11, Matthew 23:29-39
- Thursday: 2 Corinthians 4:1-6, Matthew 24:13-28
- Friday: 2 Corinthians 4:13-18, Matthew 24:27-33,42-51
- Saturday: 1 Corinthians 1:3-9, Matthew 19:3-12

August 20, 2017
Eleventh Sunday After Pentecost

- Matins: John 21:15-25 (Gospel 11)
- Liturgy: 1 Corinthians 9:2-12, Matthew 18:23-35

Twelfth Week After Pentecost
- Monday: 2 Corinthians 5:10-15, Mark 1:9-15
- Tuesday: 2 Corinthians 5:15-21, Mark 1:16-22
- Wednesday: 2 Corinthians 6:11-16, Mark 1:23-28
- Thursday: 2 Corinthians 7:1-10, Mark 1:29-35
- Friday: 2 Corinthians 7:10-16, Mark 2:18-22
- Saturday: 1 Corinthians 1:26-29, Matthew 20:29-34

August 27, 2017
Twelfth Sunday After Pentecost

- Matins: Matthew 28:16-20 (Gospel 1)
- Liturgy: 1 Corinthians 15:1-11, Matthew 19:16-26

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

For Christians above all men are forbidden to correct the stumblings of sinners by force...it is necessary to make a man better not by force but by persuasion. We neither have autority granted us by law to restrain sinners, nor, if it were, should we know how to use it, since God gives the crown to those who are kept from evil, not by force, but by choice.

St. John Chrysostom