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!


Peter & Paul

O first-enthroned of the apostles * and teachers of the whole world. * Beseech the Master of All * to grant peace to the world * and great mercy to our souls. (Troparion - Tone 4)

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

O Lord, You have received the steadfast and divinely eloquent preachers, * the foremost of Your apostles, * into the enjoyment of your good gifts and repose. * You have accepted their sufferings and death above any whole burnt offering, * O You Who alone knows the secrets of the heart. (Kontakion - Tone 2)

The Church celebrates the memory of the Holy Apostles Peter & Paul on June 29th.

Random Proverb

For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. (Proverbs 2:6 ESV)

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

The soul has followed Moses and the cloud, both of these serving as guides for those who would advance in virtue; Moses here represents the commandments of the Law; and the cloud that leads the way, its spiritual meaning. The soul has been purified by crossing the Sea; it has removed from itself and destroyed the enemy army. It has tasted of the waters of Marah, that is, of life deprived of all sinful pleasure; and this at first had seemed bitter and unpleasant to the taste but offered a sensation of sweetness to those who accepted the wood. Next it enjoyed the beauty of the palm trees of the gospel and the springs; it filled itself with the living water, that is, the rock. It took within itself the bread of heaven. It overwhelmed the foreign host - a victory due to the extended arms of the Lawgiver, which thus foreshadowed the mystery of the Cross. Only then can the soul go on to the contemplation of transcendent Being.

St. Gregory of Nyssa