4TH SUNDAY OF LUKE, Luke 8: 5-15
Today, beloved, the Gospel parable was read about the sower and the seed, about the unequal quality of the land upon which the seed fell, and about the varying fates of the seed. At the end of the Gospel reading the Lord Himself, at the request of His disciples, explained the parable (Luke 8:5-15). Continue reading
I have known people who have been troubled by the question of whether God is primarily characterized by human standards of love or justice. Some of them have worried that a God of love would simply overlook evil and hold no one accountable for their actions. Others have reacted against the view that God is primarily a harsh judge Who is out to get us and to make sure that we pay our pound of flesh for our sins. Continue reading
~ Words of the Church Fathers ~
Whatever’s wrong with people is coincidental. Don’t look down on anybody even if you see how immoral, prone to drink or blasphemous they are. The image of God is in them, somewhere, too, although, of course, they aren’t aware of it.
It’s natural for the enemy to come and besmirch that image. It’s not easy to see the image of God in those who mock you and behave like brutes towards you. You should feel even more sorry for them because their souls have been distorted, to the extent that perhaps they’re beyond correction, which will condemn them to eternal torment.
How difficult is this: Love your enemies!
~ Blessed Gabriel the New Confessor and Fool for Christ, from Georgia
Saints Eulampius and Eulampia were brother and sister. They lived at the beginning of the fourth century in the city of Nicomedia. Eulampius became upset after reading the decree of the emperor Maximian (284-305) sentencing all Christians to execution. Eulampius was horrified that the emperor was taking up arms against his own subjects rather than fighting the enemies of his country. The youth was brought to trial and commanded to renounce the Christian Faith. When he refused, they first raked him with iron hooks, and then placed him upon a red-hot bed of coals. All of a sudden the sufferer expressed a wish to visit the pagan temple. The judges were delighted, supposing that they had turned him from Christianity. In the pagan temple of Mars the saint approached the idol and cried out, “In the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ I command you to fall to the floor and crumble into dust!” The idol immediately crashed down to the floor and was destroyed.
The people exclaimed, “The Supreme God is the Christian God, Who is great and mighty!” Saint Eulampius was again taken away for torture. This time his sister, Eulampia, appeared before the judges and declared that she also was a Christian. Eulampius told her, “Sister, do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul” (Mt.10:28). The martyrs were tortured and thrown into a red-hot furnace, but the Lord protected them from the fire. Finally, they beheaded Eulampius, but Eulampia died from her torments before she could be beheaded.
Two hundred martyrs were converted to Christ after seeing the miracles of Saint Eulampius and Saint Eulampia as they were being tortured. They were also put to death and received the crown of martyrdom.
Filed under Readings, Saints
Luke 6: 31-36
31 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.
32 For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.
33 And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same.
34 And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. 35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.
36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, today’s Holy Gospel is only six verses long – but in these six short verses there is an entire universe of meaning and an encapsulation of the Gospels themselves. Continue reading