October 1, 2020
Luke 10:38-42 - Now as they went on their way, [Jesus] entered a village; and a woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving; and she went to him and said, "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me." But the Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things; one thing is needful. Mary has chosen the good portion, which shall not be taken away from her." (RSV)
Are you sitting at the Lord's feet? - Mary came and sat at his feet. This was as through she were sitting on firm ground at the feet of him who had forgiven the sinful woman her sins (Luke 7:38). She had put on a crown in order to enter into the kingdom of the Firstborn. She had chosen the better portion, the Benefactor, the Messiah himself. This will never be taken away from her. Martha’s love was more fervent than Mary’s, for before He had arrived there, she was ready to serve him. “Do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone?” When He came to raise Lazarus to life, she ran and came out first. (St. Ephreim the Syrian)
Why does the Church place this Gospel reading about Martha and Mary (a different Mary than Mary, the Mother of God) before us on the Feast of the Protection of the Mother of God? Because it’s all about discipleship. Mary, the Mother of God, is the first and foremost disciple of Christ.
- Vespers: Genesis 28:10-17, Ezekiel 43:27-44:4, Proverbs 9:1-11
- Matins: Luke 1:39-49,56
- Divine Liturgy: Hebrews 9:1-7, Luke 10:38-42; 11:27,28
Respect Life Sunday - Sunday October 4th
"The love of God does not distinguish between the newly-conceived infant still in the mother's womb, the baby, the youth, the grown adult or the elderly because in each of them He sees the sign of His own image and likeness." (Pope Benedict XVI)
- Texts for a Divine Liturgy for Life (in pdf).
The Icon commemorates the Protection of the Mother of God. October 1st remembers this historic occasion in the 10th century in which the Mother of God appeared in the Blachernae Church in Constantinople while the city was under attack and joined in prayer with the faithful, saving them from destruction.