Listen Now. We will now be together with the each day studying of Epistle and Gospel with The Prayer Team.

By religion Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be referred to as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, selecting somewhat to share ill-treatment with the folks of God than to benefit from the fleeting pleasures of sin. He thought of abuse suffered for the Christ higher wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he appeared to the reward. And what extra shall I say? For time would fail me to inform of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets— who by way of religion conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, acquired guarantees, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched raging fireplace, escaped the sting of the sword, received power out of weak point, turned mighty in conflict, put overseas armies to flight. Women acquired their lifeless by resurrection. Some have been tortured, refusing to simply accept launch, that they could rise once more to a higher life. Others suffered mocking and scourging, and even chains and imprisonment. They have been stoned, they have been sawn in two, they have been killed with the sword; they went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, bothered, ill-treated— of whom the world was unfit—wandering over deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And all these, although nicely attested by their religion, didn’t obtain what was promised, since God had foreseen one thing higher for us, that other than us they shouldn’t be made excellent.  Hebrews 11: 24-26, 32-40 (Epistle of the First Sunday of Lent)


Good morning Prayer Team!

The First Sunday of Lent is recognized affectionately because the “Sunday of Orthodoxy”.  It is a day we bear in mind the historic occasion of the returning of the icons to the church buildings in 843 after a practically 150 12 months absence.  The church spent practically 150 arguing about whether or not icons constituted a violation of the second commandment that we aren’t worship graven photographs.  The Seventh Ecumenical Council decreed in 787 that icons have been in actual fact not a heresy however a assist.  And then it took practically 60 extra years till the matter was lastly laid to relaxation.  In most Orthodox Churches, there is a stunning procession of icons on this Sunday.

Following the procession, there is a studying of a Synodic Statement, learn yearly on the Sunday of Orthodoxy since 843.  The assertion boldly proclaims Orthodoxy because the true expression of the religion, stating “This is the faith of the Apostles. This is the faith of the Fathers.  This is the faith of the Orthodox.  This is the faith on which the world is established.”  (Synodikon, Sunday of Orthodoxy, Trans. by Fr. Seraphim Dedes)

Today’s Epistle to the Hebrews purposefully takes us again to the time earlier than Christ, when folks lived in expectation of the approaching of the Messiah.  An glorious definition of “faith” is too dwell in expectation and hope, however with out full understanding of what is coming.  The main figures of the Old Testament—Moses, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets—all talked about by title within the Epistle lesson, all had not less than two issues in frequent.  First, all lived in religion.  And second, all suffered in a roundabout way as a result of of it.

Today’s Epistle reminds us that we too, are to dwell like these folks.  We are to dwell with religion—with hope, with expectation.  Even if we don’t have full data—and none of us has full comprehension of God, salvation or the long run—we proceed on in religion and hope and expectation of an everlasting reward that God has promised for all those that consider in Him.  If we dwell a honest Christian life, at many factors on the highway to salvation, we’re going to endure.  If one has by no means been questioned or criticized for his or her religion, one has to surprise how robust that religion is.  Just like if one has by no means impressed another person as a result of of their religion, one has to surprise how robust that religion is.  Because religion does deliver a specific amount of criticism from others, however our religion additionally has the facility to encourage others as nicely.

Those whom we examine within the Epistle lesson have been capable of do some fairly unimaginable issues—“conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, received promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched raging fire, escaped the edge of the sword, won strength out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight.” (Hebrews 11: 33-34)  Through religion and thru God’s mercies, we are able to do superb issues.  God works by way of the religion of folks and typically even by way of their lack of it.

It’s exhausting to have religion typically.  Faith has its sorrows but additionally its rewards.  If we actually are going to be the religion “on which the WORLD is established,” this may solely begin when every of us upholds our personal nook of the world with our personal dedication to the Christian religion.

Moses, after a time of self-control, acquired the legislation and received over the folks. Elias, in fasting, prompted the closing of the heavens; and the three youths, descendants of Abraham, by fasting overcame the law-breaking tyrant. Through fasting make us additionally worthy, O Savior, to reach at Your Resurrection, as thus we cry aloud, “Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us.” (Doxastikon from Matins, Sunday of Orthodoxy, Trans. by Fr. Seraphim Dedes)

Strengthen your religion in order that God will work by way of you as nicely.  Don’t hearken to criticism on your religion.  Instead concentrate on inspiring others by way of it.

+Fr. Stavros


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With Roger Hunt offering at present’s Daily Reading: Listen Now.

These readings are underneath copyright and is utilized by permission. All rights reserved. These works will not be additional reproduced, in print or on different web sites or in some other type, with out the prior written authorization of the copyright holder: Reading © Holy Transfiguration Monastery – Brookline, MA, Apolytikion of Abbot Marcellus © Narthex Press, Kontakion of Abbot Marcellus © Holy Transfiguration Monastery – Brookline, MA.

The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyrighted 1946, 1952, 1971, and 1973 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the united statesA. and utilized by permission. From the Online Chapel of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

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