Sunday, January 20: “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.”

THE FIRST EOTHINON GOSPEL

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to Saint Matthew 28:16-20

At that time, the eleven Disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw Him they worshiped Him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.” Amen.

THE EPISTLE

The Reading from the Second Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians 4:6-15

Brethren, it is the God Who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” Who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, to show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. While we live, we are always being given up to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So, death is at work in us, but life in you. Since we have the same spirit of faith as he had who wrote, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we too believe, and so we speak, knowing that He Who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into His presence. For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.

THE GOSPEL

The reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke 17:12- 19

At that time, as Jesus entered a village, He was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance and lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” When He saw them He said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went they were cleansed. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving Him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus said, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” And He said to him, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.”

ORTHROS

RESURRECTIONAL APOLYTIKION

While the stone was sealed by the Jews, and the soldiers were guarding Thy most pure body, Thou didst arise on the third day, O Savior, granting life to the world. For which cause the heavenly powers cried aloud unto Thee, O giver of life. Glory to Thy Resurrection, O Christ, glory to Thy kingdom, glory to Thy providence, O Thou Who alone art the lover of mankind.

APOLYTIKION FOR ST. EUTHYMIOS

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Be glad, O barren one that hast not given birth; be of good cheer, thou that hast not travailed; for a man of desires hath multiplied thy children of the Spirit, having planted in them piety and reared them in continence to the perfection of the virtues. By his prayers, O Christ God, make our life peaceful.

RESURRECTIONAL THEOTOKION IN TONE FOUR

Both now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

The Mystery which was hidden from everlasting and was unknown of the angels, O Theotokos, was revealed through thee, to those who dwell upon earth. In that God, having become incarnate—in unconfused union—of His own good will accepted the Cross for our sake. Whereby He raised again the first created, and hath saved our souls from death.

AT THE DIVINE LITURGY

While the stone was sealed by the Jews, and the soldiers were guarding Thy most pure body, Thou didst arise on the third day, O Savior, granting life to the world. For which cause the heavenly powers cried aloud unto Thee, O giver of life. Glory to Thy Resurrection, O Christ, glory to Thy kingdom, glory to Thy providence, O Thou Who alone art the lover of mankind.

APOLYTIKION OF ST. EUTHYMIOS

Be glad, O barren one that hast not given birth; be of good cheer, thou that hast not travailed; for a man of desires hath multiplied thy children of the Spirit, having planted in them piety and reared them in continence to the perfection of the virtues. By his prayers, O Christ God, make our lives peaceful.

THE APOLYTIKON OF THE PROTECTION OF THE MOST HOLY THEOTOKOS

Today the Virgin stands in the midst of the Church, and with choirs of Saints she invisibly prays to God for us. Angels and Bishops venerate Her, Apostles and prophets rejoice together, since for our sake she prays to the Eternal God!

KONTAKION OF THE PRESENTATION OF CHRIST

Thou, O Christ God, Who by Thy Birth, didst sanctify the Virgin’s womb, and, as is meet, didst bless Simeon’s arms, and didst also come to save us; preserve Thy fold in wars, and confirm them whom Thou didst love, for Thou alone art the Lover of mankind.

Profitable Word

Saint Nicholas Velimirovich

Christian love moves in a circle. First comes love for yourself, then love for your friends and, finally, love for God. Christ took our love for our self as the standard for measuring our love for our enemies and our love for God. He said: ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself’.

Twenty-ninth Sunday after Pentecost

The Healing of the Ten Lepers

Luke 17:12-19

From The Explanation of the Gospel of St. Luke by Blessed Theophylact, Archbishop of Ochrid and Bulgaria

11-19. And it came to pass, as He went to Jerusalem, that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. And as He entered into a certain village, there met Him ten men that were lepers, who stood afar off: and they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. And when He saw them, He said unto them, Go show yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? There are not found any that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. And He said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole. From this one may learn that nothing prevents a man from living in a manner pleasing to God, not even if he belongs to a despised race, if only he has a good will and disposition. For behold, ten lepers met Jesus as He was about to enter a certain city. They met Him outside the city, for those who were considered unclean were not permitted to go into the city. They stood afar off, as if ashamed of their supposed uncleanness, and did not dare to draw near, thinking that Jesus abhorred them as did the others. They lifted up their voices and made supplication. By physical location they were standing afar off, but in their supplication they were near. For the Lord is nigh unto all that call upon Him in truth (Ps. 144:19). And they did not make supplication to Him as to a mere man, but as to One greater than a man. For they called Him Master, meaning Lord, Protector, and Guardian, which is not far from thinking of Him as God.

The Lord instructs them to show themselves to the priests. Initially the priests would examine men such as these to determine whether they were lepers or not. For there were certain signs by which the priests could recognize incurable leprosy. But in addition to this, if it should happen that someone who had been suffering from leprosy was healed, the priests would again examine him to verify the cure, in which event the gift commanded by the law would be offered (Lev. 14). In this case, since these men were already confirmed lepers, why should they show themselves to the priests, unless indeed they were about to be cleansed? To command them to go the priests indicated nothing less than that they would be healed. This is why the Evangelist says that as they went, they were cleansed. Of the ten lepers, the nine who were Israelites showed themselves to be ungrateful, while it was the Samaritan, an accursed foreigner, as we said earlier, who returned to voice his gratitude. The Samaritans were Assyrians; therefore, let no Gentile despair, and let no one descended from holy forebears boast. This miracle also signifies the common salvation that came to the whole human race. For the ten lepers represent all of human nature—it was leprous with wickedness, carrying about with it the ugliness of sin, passing its life outside the heavenly city on account of its uncleanness, and standing afar off from God. But this very distance from God is itself a supplication. For when the Lover of mankind, Who wills that all should be saved and receive good things, sees someone who is not sharing in His goodness, then He is most quick to show mercy and to heal those who are so miserably afflicted. But He also healed the whole leprous nature of man, when, for every man’s sake, He took flesh and tasted of death. Although the Jews had been cleansed of the uncleanness of their leprous sin, as far as it was the Lords part to do, they showed themselves ungrateful and did not return from the path of their vain foolishness to give glory to God Who saved them, that is, to believe in Him Who is God and Who endured the extremes of suffering. For this is the glory of God: His Flesh and His Cross. These Jews, then, did not confess the incarnate and crucified Lord of glory. But the foreign and accursed people of the Gentiles recognized the One Who makes clean, and they glorified Him by believing in Him. They believed that God loves man so much and is so powerful that He accepted the very depth of dishonor for our sake—this is His love of man; and having accepted it, He suffered no harm to His own nature—this is His power.