Deisis (Novogorod)

Twenty-Third Sunday After Pentecost

November 16, 2014

Holy Apostle PhilipLuke 10:25-37 - And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" He said to him, "What is written in the law? How do you read?" And he answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself." And he said to him, "You have answered right; do this, and you will live."

But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" Jesus replied, "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him, an departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was; and when he saw him, he had compassion, and went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; then he set him on his own beast and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, `Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.' Which of these three, do you think, proved neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?" He said, "The one who showed mercy on him." And Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise." (RSV – Gospel for the Eighth Sunday of Luke)

If you do not love your neighbor you do not love the Lord – The Lord teaches that the man going down was the neighbor of no one except of him who wanted to keep the Commandments and prepare himself to be a neighbor to everyone that needs help. This is what is found after the end of the parable, “Which of these three does it seem to you is the neighbor of the man who fell among robbers?” Neither the priest nor the Levite was his neighbor, but – as the teacher of the law himself answered – “he who showed pity” was his neighbor. The Savior says, “Go and do likewise.” (Origen)

The icon of is of the Holy Apostle Philip, whose memory is celebrated on November 14th.

Philip's Fast / Advent began at sundown on Friday, November 14th. Forty days until Christmas!


Hoy Fathers

Great are the accomplishmets of faith: * three holy youths rejoiced in the source of the flame * as though on the waters of refreshment; * and the Prophet Daniel appeared to be a shepherd of the lions, as of sheep. * Through their prayers, O Christ God, save our souls. (Troparion, Tone 2)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

You did not honor a hand-depicted image, O thrice-blessed ones, * but, defended by the undepicted Being, you were glorified in a trial by fire. * And, standing in the midst of unbearable flame, you called upon God: * “Hasten, O Compassionate One, and speed to our help, * for You are merciful and You can do whatever you will.” (Kontakion, Tone 6, December18-19)

Now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Rejoice, O Bethlehem! * Prepare yourself, O Ephratha! * The Lamb is on her way to give birth to the Chief Shepherd she carries in her womb. * Beholding Him, the God-bearing forefathers will rejoice, * and, with the shepherds, they will glorify the Virgin nursing Him. (Kontakion, Tone 4, December 20-24)

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Do we forgive our neighbors their trespasses? God also forgives us in His mercy. Do we refuse to forgive? God, too, will refuse to forgive us. As we treat our neighbors, so also does God treat us. The forgiveness, then, of your sins or unforgiveness, and hence also your salvation or destruction, depend on you yourself, man. For without forgiveness of sins there is no salvation. You can see for yourself how terrible it is.

St. Tikhon of Zadonsk, Journey to Heaven