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Sunday, October 4, 2015

18th Sunday after Pentecost:
The Leave-taking of The Exaltation of the
Life-giving Cross;
The Holy Apostle Quadratus of the Seventy

RESURRECTIONAL TROPARION - TONE ONE: When the stone had been sealed by the Jews; while the soldiers were guarding Your most pure Body; You arose on the third day, O Savior, granting life to the world. The powers of heaven therefore cried to You, O Giver of Life: Glory to Your Resurrection, O Christ! Glory to Your Kingdom! Glory to Your dispensation, O You who loves mankind.

TROPARION TO THE LIFE-GIVING CROSS - TONE ONE: O Lord, save Thy people, and bless Thine inheritance. Grant victories to the Orthodox Christians over their adversaries; and by the virtue of Thy Cross, preserve Thy habitation.

TROPARION TO THE HOLY APOSTLE QUADRATUS - TONE THREE: O Holy Apostle Quadratus, pray to our merciful God, that He may grant to our souls remission of our transgressions.

RESURRECTIONAL KONTAKION - TONE ONE: As God, You arose from the tomb in glory, raising the world with Yourself. Human nature praises You as God, for death has vanished.  Adam exults, O Master!  Eve rejoices, for she is freed from bondage, and cries to You: You are the giver of resurrection to all, O Christ!

KONTAKION TO THE LIFE-GIVING CROSS - TONE FOUR:  As You were voluntarily crucified for our sake, grant mercy to those who are called by Your name, O Christ God.  Gladden all Orthodox Christians by Your power, granting them victory over their adversaries; and may they have as Your help the weapon of peace, the invincible trophy.

HYMN TO THE THEOTOKOS (REPLACES “IT IS TRULY MEET”): Magnify, O my soul, the most precious Cross of the Lord.  You are the mystical Paradise, O Theotokos, in which Christ blossomed; through Him the life-bearing wood of the Cross was   planted on earth. Now at its Elevation, as we bow in worship before it, we magnify you.


The Prokimenon in the 1st Tone: Let Your mercy, O Lord, be upon us, as we have set our hope on You.

18th after Pentecost: 2 Corinthians 9: 6-11 Brethren, this I say to you: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.  So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.  And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.  As it is written: “He has dispersed abroad; He has given to the poor; His righteousness endures forever.”  Now may he who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness, while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God.

Sunday after Exaltation of the Cross: Galatians 2: 16-20
Brethren, knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified. But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is Christ therefore a minister of sin? Certainly not! For if I build again those things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

The Alleluia Verses: God gives vengeance to me, and subdues people under me.  He magnifies the salvation of the King, and deals mercifully with His Christ, with David and his seed forever.


18th after Pentecost: Luke 5: 1-11: At that time, as the multitude pressed about Jesus to hear the word of God, He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, and saw two boats standing by the lake; but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets.  Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land.  And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat.  When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”  But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.”  And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking.  So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them.  And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink.  When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!”  For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken; and so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon.  And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid.  From now on you will catch men.”  So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him.

Sunday after Exaltation of the Cross: Mark 8: 34 - 9:  
At that time, when Jesus had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.  For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.  For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?  Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?  For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”  And He said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power.”

Spiritual Articles

From The Prologue for September 21/October 4 by St. Nikolai Velimirovic:

The Holy Apostle Quadratus Quadratus, one of the Seventy, was a disciple of the Great Apostles. He preached the Gospel in Athens and was at first bishop of Athens after St. Publius, and afterward bishop of Magnesia. Quadratus was highly educated in secular wisdom, and rich in the grace of the Holy Spirit. His biographer says of him: He was as the morning star among the clouds (Sirach 50:6). The clouds were the darkness of Hellenic paganism, without the light of piety. The Holy Apostle Quadratus, through the word of God, shone upon the Hellenes as a great light, illuminating the darkness, destroying the foul sacrifices, crushing the idols, and destroying the demonic temples by his prayer. However, darkness always hates the light, and the pagans hated holy Quadratus. First they stoned him, as once the Jews did St. Stephen. Then they threw him into prison and gave him no bread until he gave up his holy soul, and went to dwell in the Kingdom of Christ, his God. St. Quadratus wrote an Apologia for Christianity and gave it to Emperor Hadrian. This Apologia had such an effect on the pagan emperor that he ordered that Christians not be persecuted without specific cause. St. Quadratus suffered in about the year 130. He is buried in the city of Magnesia, where he suffered.

The Hieromartyrs Hypatius, Bishop of Ephesus, and Andrew the Presbyter
Both Hypatius and Andrew were born in Lycia, and were friends from childhood. When they matured, both of them dedicated themselves wholeheartedly to the service of God—Hypatius as a strict monk and ascetic, and Andrew as a priest among the people and a preacher of God’s word. Because of their great virtues, Hypatius was consecrated bishop of Ephesus, and Andrew was ordained a presbyter. Both suffered martyrdom under the reign of the iconoclast Emperor Leo the Isaurian. After horrible tortures for holy Orthodoxy they were beheaded in 730, and passed from this transitory life to life eternal.

Saint Dimitri, Bishop of Rostov
St. Dimitri’s life is celebrated on October 28, but today we commemorate the finding of his miracle-working relics in 1752.

The Synaxis of the Saints of the Monastery of the Kiev Caves
The blessed work of asceticism begun by the industrious and great God-pleaser Anthony grew throughout the centuries like a fruitful olive tree. The numerous saints who shone as stars in Anthony’s Caves are each celebrated on their own day. Today, however, the whole assembly of them is commemorated together and called upon by the faithful for aid.

HYMN OF PRAISE: The Holy Apostle Quadratus
St. Quadratus, like the morning star,
Shone forth the light of the Holy Gospel,
Shone forth rays through the thick darkness,
And grace upon empty hearts.

Quadratus dispelled the confusion of men’s thoughts,
Illumining the forebodings in men’s hearts,
Illumining them with the light of Christ,
And enlightening the world with Christ’s wisdom.

Unbelievers converted to the Most-high God,
And received cruel wounds for Christ.

To Hadrian, the persecutor of the Cross,
Quadratus wrote a great defense
With the eloquence and the skill of the Hellenes
And the simplicity of Christian truth.

Quadratus succeeded: the emperor was persuaded
To protect the Holy Church from evil.

O Quadratus, Christ’s disciple,
Wise defender of the Holy Church,
In word and deed, you were God’s servant—
With unfading glory, you are now crowned!

To you, we Christians pray fervently:
Help us, O holy Apostle!

Help us to overcome misfortunes,
And to endure all sufferings for Christ.

If only we begin with the firm intention to live according to God’s law, we need not be afraid of any assaults by unreasonable men. For he who truly begins to live according to God’s law finds that all things done to him by men happen for his benefit, and to the glory of God. One especially need not fear being compelled to move from a place that he loves to a place that he doesn’t care for. Instead of empty fear and fruitless lamentation, it is better to seek out God’s intention for us. What harm did the evil actions of Joseph’s brothers do to him? Did not his involuntary departure to Egypt glorify him, save his brothers from famine, and create the necessary conditions for all the wondrous things God worked through Moses in Egypt and in the wilderness? The pagans and heretics often drove Orthodox Christians into barbarian regions. What did they accomplish by that? Did they destroy Orthodoxy? No—rather, they strengthened it even more in the souls of the persecuted, and spread it among the barbarian peoples. The evil heretic Lucius exiled the glorious Macarius, with several Tabennisiot ascetics, from Egypt to a barbarian island, where the entire population worshiped idols. But by the teachings and example of these holy men, the entire populace of the island was soon baptized. That island was later renamed the “Island of Repentance.”

Contemplate God’s miraculous saving of Jerusalem because of the righteousness of Jehoshaphat (II Chronicles 20):

1. How a multitude of Moabites and Ammonites set off against Jerusalem;

2. How King Jehoshaphat prayed to God, and it was revealed to him through the prophet that the battle is not yours, but God’s (II Chronicles 20:15);

3. How the Moabites and the Ammonites fought among themselves, and perished to the last man.

on the divinity of the Son and His unity of Essence with the Father

He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father (John 14:9).

Philip saith unto Him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us (John 14:8). To these words, the Lord Jesus replied: Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known Me, Philip? He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father (John 14:9). Thus replied the Lord to His disciple. Philip wanted to see God with his bodily eyes. Yet, for three years he looked upon Christ, and did not recognize Him as God. Why? Because, before the descent of the Holy Spirit, Philip looked with the body at the body. In other words, he perceived with bodily eyes, and saw the Lord Jesus Christ as a man. He still had not seen the divinity in the Son of God Incarnate, and yet he sought to see God the Father! He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father. By this the Lord did not want to say that He was God the Father, but that He and the Father are of one Essence. Insofar as God could reveal Himself to men, He revealed Himself through the Son, who appeared to men as a man. God the Father did not become incarnate; God the Holy Spirit did not become incarnate; but God the Son did become incarnate. How then, could He show His Father to the bodily eyes of a mortal man? This is precisely why the Son became incarnate, to reveal Himself to men—Himself, the Father, and the Holy Spirit: consubstantial unity, in three Persons. He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father. Here, the Lord speaks of His divine nature. In that, he is completely equal and of one Essence with the Father. So it is that, had Philip perceived the divine nature of Christ, he would not have made the request: Show us the Father. Naturally, he could not have seen the divine nature, as it is spiritual and invisible; but he could see—and see clearly—the great works of Christ as a manifestation of His divine nature. Brethren, even today, some men say: “Show us God and we will believe!” We should say to them: “Behold, we show you the Lord Jesus—believe!” “I have been with you for nineteen centuries, O men, and have you not recognized Me?” Nineteen centuries filled with His glory, miracles, power, grace, mercy, saints and martyrs! And there are still imbeciles who ask: “Where is God?” O Lord Christ our God, open the spiritual eyes of those who still do not see, that they may see the majesty of Thy glory. To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.

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