My beloved spiritual children in Christ Our Only True God and Our Only True Savior,
CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! HE WAS, IS, AND EVER SHALL BE. Ο ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΕΝ ΤΩ ΜΕΣΩ ΗΜΩΝ! ΚΑΙ ΗΝ ΚΑΙ ΕΣΤΙ ΚΑΙ ΕΣΤΑΙ.
CONTRITE PRAYERS TO THE EVER VIRGIN MARY THE THEOTOKOS AND TO THE HOLY TRINITY
Most Glorious, Ever-Virgin, Blessed Mother of God, Present our prayer to your Son and our God, and pray for us that He may save our souls. Amen.
My hope is the Father, My refuge is the Son, My shelter is the Holy Spirit, O Holy Trinity, Glory be to Thee. Amen.
TODAY'S SYNAXARION (THE COMMEMORATION OF TODAY'S SAINTS):
On January 20th Our Holy Orthodox Church commemorates, honors, and entreats the holy intercessions of the following Saints: Righteous Efthymius the Great; Zacharias the New Martyr; Saint John the Hieromartyr.
Through their holy intercessions, O Christ Our God, have mercy on us and save us. Amen.
THE SACRED READINGS TODAY ARE:
II Corinthians 4:6-15
Saint Luke 6:17-23
RIGHTEOUS EUTHYMIUS THE GREAT. This Saint, who was from Melitene in Armenia, was the son of pious parents named Paul and Dionysia. He was born about 377 AD. Since his mother had been barren, he was named Euthymius-which means "good cheer" or "joy" -for this is what his parents experienced at his birth. He studied under Eutroius, the bishop of Melitene, by whom he was ordained and entrusted with the care of the monasteries of Melitene. Then, after he had come to Palestine about the year 406 AD, he became the leader of a multitude of monks. Through him, a great tribe of Arabs was turned to piety, when he healed the ailing son of their leader Aspebetos. Aspebetos was baptized with all his people; he took the Christian name of Peter, and was later consecrated Bishop for his tribe, being called "Bishop of the Tents." Saint Euthymius also fought against the Nestorians, Eutychians, and Manichaens. When Eudocia, the widow of Saint Theodosius the Younger, had made her dwelling in Palestine, and had fallen into heresy of the Monophysites which was championed in Palestine by a certain Theodosius, she sent envoys to Saint Symeon the Stylite in Syria, asking him his opinion of Eutyches and the Council of Chalcedon which had condemned him; Saint Symeon, praising the holiness and Orthodoxy of Saint Euthymius near whom she dwelt, sent her to him to be delivered from her error (the holy Empress Eudocia is commemorated Aug. 13th). He became the divine oracle of the Church, or rather, "the vessel of divine utterance," as a certain historian writes. He was the instructor and elder of Saint Savvas the Sanctified. Having lived for 96 years, he reposed in 473 AD, on January 20th.
LIFE ACCORDING TO THE HOLY GOSPELS
by Saint Ignatius Brianchninov (+ 1867)
Do not be content with a mere fruitless reading of the Gospel; strive to fulfill its commandment, and read it with your deeds. This is the Book of Life, and it must be read by life. We will be judged according to the Gospel Commandments at the judgment by God for us Orthodox Christians...we will be judged according to the Gospel, that carelessness in fulfilling the Gospel Commandments is an active rejection of the Lord Himself.
The Gospel is the image of the qualities of the new man, who is "the Lord from the heavens" (1 Corinthians 15:47). This new man is God by nature. He takes His holy tribe of men, who believe in Him and are transformed in accordance with Him, gods by grace.
Humility, love, meekness, and so it would follow, all the Holy Commandments of Christ are a throne and resting place, so to say, for the Holy Spirit. Take counsel with the Gospels concerning your own thoughts as well as your neighbor's thoughts and advice.
The Gospel beatitudes are a spiritual state that is revealed in the Christian from his fulfillment of the Gospel Commandments; beatitudes are revealed one after the other, one giving birth to another. The Holy Spirit effects purification in a person who expresses by his life the will for purification. Confessing God with the lips without confessing Him through deeds and the hidden life of the heart, through only a few external church rites and institutions, is recognized as empty, soul-destroying hypocrisy.
The Commandment should be the soul of each Christian, and of Christian society. Spiritual discernment is acquired by reading the Holy Scripture, first and foremost the New Testament, and reading the Holy Fathers whose writings correspond to the type of life the Christian lives.
It is necessary that reading be assisted by a way of life: "Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves" (St. James 1:22).
Our abode in the sonship of God received through holy Baptism is upheld and continued by a life according to the Gospel Commandments. This abiding in sonship is lost by departing from a life according to the Gospel Commandments.
It is necessary for salvation that the one who has been baptized into Christ should live according to the laws of Christ. Damage to humanity consists in the mixing of good with evil; healing consists in the gradual removal of evil, when it begins to act more than good in us.
MY BLESSING TO ALL OF YOU
The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God and Father, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.
Glory Be To GOD For All Things!
With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia,
The sinner and unworthy servant of God