Third Sunday after Pentecost

June 26, 2022
Nativity of St. John the Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist Matthew 6:26-30 - "Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O men of little faith?" (RSV)

Trust in the Lord - Jesus teaches us to trust in God our Father at all times and in all circumstances. St John Chrysostom, in his commentary on Matthew, speaks to us about the meaning of the images used in this passage. Just when the lilies of the field are all decked out Jesus no longer calls them lilies but “grass of the field.” He then points further to their vulnerable condition by saying “which are here today.” Then He does not merely say “and not tomorrow” but rather more callously “cast into the oven”. These creatures are not merely “clothed” but “so clothed” in this way as to be later brought to nothing. Do you see how Jesus everywhere abounds in amplifications and intensifications? He does so in order to press home his point. Then He adds, “Will he not much more clothe you?” The force of the emphasis is on “you” to indicate covertly how great is the value set upon your personal existence and the concern God shows for you in particular. It is as though He were saying, “You, to whom He gave a soul, for whom He fashioned a body, for whose sake He made everything in creation, for whose sake He sent prophets, and gave the law, and wrought those innumerable good works, and for whose sake he gave up his only begotten Son.” This is a powerful message.

Scripture Readings:

  • Matins: Mark 16:9-20
  • Divine Liturgy: Romans 5:1-10, Matthew 6:22-33

The Apostles Fast began after Vespers on All Saints Sunday (June 7th) and continues until June 29, the Feast of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul.

The icon is the Nativity of the Holy Prophet, Forerunner and Batpsist John (June 24th).


Jesus Christ the Lifegiver

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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)