Fourth Sunday after Pentecost

June 20, 2021

Nativity of St. John the Baptist Matthew 8:5-10, 13 - As [Jesus] entered Caper'na-um, a centurion came forward to him, beseeching him and saying, "Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, in terrible distress." And he said to him, "I will come and heal him." But the centurion answered him, "Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; but only say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to one, `Go,' and he goes, and to another, `Come,' and he comes, and to my slave, `Do this,' and he does it." When Jesus heard him, he marveled, and said to those who followed him, "Truly, I say to you, not even in Israel have I found such faith." … And to the centurion Jesus said, "Go; be it done for you as you have believed." And the servant was healed at that very moment. (RSV, From the Gospel for the Fourth Sunday)

Embrace Faith - There is no coercion with God. He always has a good will towards us. He gives reliable counsel to men and angels (who are also rational beings), to whom He has given the power of choice. Those who yield obedience therefore possess what is good freely and justly. It is given by God but preserved by themselves…. The human spirit is possessed of free will from the beginning, and God is possessed of free will, in whose likeness man was created. Man is advised to hold fast to the good and thereby be responsive to God. This refers not only to works but to faith as well. God preserved the human will free and under self-control, as is shown in Jesus' words to the centurion: “Go. Be it done for you as you have believed.” (Irenaeus, From Against Heresies)

Scripture Readings:

  • Matins: Luke 24:1-12
  • Divine Liturgy: Romans 6:18-23, Matthew 8:5-13

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

The icon is of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, whose feast we clebrate on June 24th.


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Teachings of Christ

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40 ESV)

Feasts & Fasts

July
1 Canada Day (Canada)
4 Independence Day (USA)
18 Sunday of the Holy Fathers of the First Six Ecumenical Councils
20 Holy, Glorious Prophet Elijah

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

Please pray!

"They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword...." (Hebrews 11:37a)

Please lift up in prayer all those who are persecuted and deprived of liberty, everywhere in the world. Please especially remember the peoples of Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Niger - the whole Middle East and Africa - who are literal martyrs for Christ. Also the peoples of Ukraine. They are our brothers, for all are one in Christ.

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Holy Prophet Elias

The glorious Elias, * an angel in the flesh, the foundation of prophets and the second Forerunner of the coming of Christ * sent grace from on high to Elisha * to drive away sickness and cleanse lepers. * Wherefore, he pours forth healings for those who honor him. (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 Prophet and foreseer of the great works of our God, * O renowned Elias, who, by your word restrained the clouds of rain, * pray for us to the only One Who loves mankind. (Kontakion - Tone 2)

The Church celebrates the memory of the Holy Prophet Elias on July 20th.

Random Proverb

"My son, do not lose sight of these — keep sound wisdom and discretion, and they will be life for your soul." (Proverbs 3:21,22a ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

What toil we must endure, what fatigue, while we are attempting to climb hills and the summits of mountains! What, that we may ascend to heaven! If you consider the promised reward, what you endure is less. Immortality is given to the one who perseveres; everlasting life is offered; the Lord promises His Kingdom.

St. Cyprian