The Wednesday which follows the fifth Sunday after Easter is the day when, in liturgical terminology, we ‘take leave’ of the Easter feast. We commemorate the last day of the physical presence of the risen Christ amongst his disciples; and to honour this presence, to honour the Resurrection once more, the Church on this Wednesday repeats the service for Easter Sunday in its entirety. And then we come to the fortieth day after Easter, the Thursday on which the Church celebrates the feast of the Ascension. The Lord Jesus passed forty days on earth after His Resurrection from the dead, appearing continually in various places to His disciples, with whom He also spoke, ate, and drank, thereby further demonstrating His Resurrection.
Category Archives: Readings
Mark 15: 43-47, 16: 1-8, 8 May 2022
When reading the Holy Gospels, one of the most striking things we see is that after the Lord’s Resurrection, His Disciples were not the first to see Him. Instead, it was the women who had anointed Jesus’ dead body with myrrh, who would receive the blessing to see the Lord first. These pious women, who remained faithful to Him since the beginning, kept the flame of devotion constantly burning in their hearts. They followed Jesus and the Twelve Apostles during their public ministry, and served them in the needs of daily life. St. Luke the Evangelist notes that the women who accompanied Jesus provided for His needs from what they had (see Luke 8:3). Some of them were wealthy, such as Joanna, the wife of Chuza, who was an official for King Herod. Continue reading
SUNDAY OF THOMAS, John 20: 19-31
On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.
John 20:19-20, Thomas Sunday Continue reading
And the angel said to them, “Be not afraid, far I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people” (Luke 2:10)
What is the good news? In the Nativity story, the Angels gave the message, “For to you is born this day in the city of David, a Saviour who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11)
What does that mean to us? Continue reading
Christ is late…
Today’s Gospel reading (Luke 8, 41-56) is truly wonderful. It has to do with the raising of Jairus’ daughter and the healing of the woman with an issue of blood.
According to the text, an important figure in the synagogue, Jairus, approached Jesus and asked Him to accompany him to his home to cure his only daughter, who was twelve years old and at death’s door. Christ set off for the house, but a woman who’d been suffering from haemorrhaging for twelve years and had found no cure from doctors approached Him and touched the hem of His garment. When she did so, the bleeding stopped. Christ realized that power had left Him and asked who it was who’d touched Him. The woman approached, explained that she’d been cured and He said to her: ‘Take courage, your faith has saved you. Go in peace’. In the meantime, Jairus’ daughter died. Jesus went to the house, however, and restored the girl to life.
5TH SUNDAY OF LUKE, Luke 16: 19-31
The Parable of the Holy Gospel does not refer to the Second Coming of Christ, neither to His Last Judgement, but to the period of time between man’s death and the Second Glorious Coming of Christ our Lord and God. This period is called: The Middle Condition of the souls.
What is death?
Death, according to Holy Scriptures, is the separation of the human’s soul from his body. Death was not created by God right from the beginning, but came as the result of man’s Fall, disobedience and unrepentance (Gen. 3:9-13). “And unto Adam He said, because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it was thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return”(Gen. 3:17-19). Continue reading
6TH SUNDAY OF LUKE, Luke 8: 26-39
As our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ visited the villages of Judaea, he met a man from the village of Gergesene. Now, this particularly man few years ago became possessed by many demons, who made him suffer in many ways. The possessed man was in a wild condition, the result of the demons’ influence. He was ripping off his clothes and was living in the tombs of the dead. Although his relatives were tiding him up with chains, in order that he will be unable to harm any other human being, he was breaking his chains and was led by the demons into the wilderness.
Homily by St John of Kronstadt on the Parable: Sower and the Seed – On the Varying Effects of God’s Word Upon Man’s Heart, Owing to Differences Among Hearts
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
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.