Sunday, July 26: “Have mercy on us, Son of David.”

THE SEVENTH EOTHINON GOSPEL

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to Saint John 20:1-10

On the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. So, she ran, and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb and we do not know where they have laid Him.” Peter then came out with the other disciple, and they went toward the tomb. They both ran, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first; and stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; he saw the linen cloths lying, and the napkin, which had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen cloths but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not know the Scripture, that Jesus must rise from the dead. Then the disciples went back to their homes.

THE EPISTLE

The Reading from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Galatians 3:23-4:5

Brethren, before faith came, we were confined under the Law, kept under restraint until faith should be revealed. So that the Law was our custodian until Christ came, that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a custodian; for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise. I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no better than a slave, though he is the owner of all the estate; but he is under guardians and trustees until the date set by the father. So, with us; when we were children, we were slaves to the elemental spirits of the universe. But when the time had fully come, God sent forth His Son, to redeem those who were under the Law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.

THE GOSPEL

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew 9:27-35

At that time, as Jesus passed on from there, two blind men followed him, crying aloud: “Have mercy on us, Son of David.” When He entered the house, the blind men came to Him; and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.” Then He touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith be it done to you.” And their eyes were opened. And Jesus sternly charged them, “See that no one knows it.” But they went away and spread His fame through all that district. As they were going away, behold, a dumb demoniac was brought to Him. And when the demon had been cast out, the dumb man spoke; and the crowds marveled, saying, “Never was anything like this seen in Israel.” But the Pharisees said, “He casts out demons by the prince of demons.” And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every infirmity.

ORTHROS

RESURRECTIONAL APOLYTIKION

When Mary stood at Thy grave, looking for Thy sacred body, angelic powers shone above Thy revered tomb; and the soldiers who were to keep guard became as dead men. Thou led Hades captive and wast not tempted thereby. Thou didst meet the Virgin and didst give life to the world, O Thou, Who art risen from the dead, O Lord, glory to Thee.

APOLYTIKION OF ST. PARASKEVA

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

Showing a diligence befitting thy calling, O namesake of preparedness, thou hast gained, as thy dwelling, a faith worthy of thy name, O prize-winning Paraskeva. Hence, thou pourest forth healings and intercedest for our souls.

RESURRECTIONAL THEOTOKION

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

As Gabriel cried aloud unto thee, “Hail, O Virgin,” with that cry did the Lord of all become incarnate in thee, O holy ark, as spake the righteous David; and Thou wast revealed, as more spacious than the heavens, in that thou bore thy Creator. Wherefore, glory to Him Who abode in thee; glory to Him Who came from thee; glory to Him, Who through thy birth-giving hath set us free.

DIVINE LITURGY

RESURRECTIONAL APOLYTIKION

When Mary stood at Thy grave, looking for Thy sacred body, angelic powers shone above Thy revered tomb; and the soldiers who were to keep guard became as dead men. Thou led Hades captive and wast not tempted thereby. Thou didst meet the Virgin and didst give life to the world, O Thou, Who art risen from the dead, O Lord, glory to Thee.

APOLYTIKION OF ST. PARASKEVA

Showing a diligence befitting thy calling, O namesake of preparedness, thou hast gained, as thy dwelling, a faith worthy of thy name, O prize-winning Paraskeva. Hence, thou pourest forth healings and intercedest for our souls.

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!

ORDINARY KONTAKION

O protection of Christians that cannot be put to shame, mediation unto the Creator most constant, O despise not the suppliant voices of those who have sinned; but be thou quick, O good one, to come unto our aid, who in faith cry unto thee: Hasten to intercession, and speed thou to make supplication, thou who dost ever protect, O Theotokos, them that honor thee.

Seventh Sunday after Pentecost

Healing of the Two Blind Men

Matthew 9:27-35

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

27. And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed Him, crying, and saying, Thou Son of David, have mercy on us. The blind men addressed to God the words have mercy, but as to a man, O Son of David. For it was well known among the Jews that the Messiah would come from the seed of David.

28. And when He was come into the house, the blind men came to Him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe, ye that I am able to do this? They said unto Him, Yea, Lord. He led the blind men along even as far as the house, to show their steadfast faith and thus to condemn the Jews. He asks them if they believe, showing that faith can accomplish all things.

29-30. Then touched He their eyes, saying, According, to your faith be it unto you. And their eyes were opened. He healed within the house and in private, to show us how to avoid vainglory. In everything He did He taught humility.

30-31. And Jesus sternly charged them, saying, See, that no man knows it. But they, when they were departed, spread abroad His fame in all that country. Do you see Christ’s humility? They spread abroad His fame in thanksgiving, not out of disobedience. But if in another place Christ says, Go and tell of the glory of God [Lk.8:39], there is nothing contradictory in this. For He wants them to say nothing about Himself, but to speak of the glory of God.

32-33. As they went out, behold, they brought to Him a mute man possessed with a demon. And when the demon was cast out, the mute spake. The disease was not a natural one, but from the demon. This is why others brought him forward. He himself was not able to call upon Jesus, as the demon had bound his tongue. Therefore, Jesus does not require faith of him, but immediately heals him by casting out the demon which had prevented his speech. And the multitudes marveled, saying, “It was never so seen in Israel”. The multitude marveled, placing Christ even above the prophets and the patriarchs. For He healed with authority, unlike those who first had to pray. But let us see what the Pharisees said.

34. But the Pharisees said, He casteth out demons through the prince of demons. These words are the height of stupidity, for no demon casts out other demons. But let us suppose that He cast out demons as one who served the prince of demons, that is, as a magician. How then did He heal diseases, forgive sins, and preach the Kingdom? For the demon does just the opposite: he brings on diseases and separates man from God.

35. And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the Gospel of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every infirmity among the people. As Lover of mankind He did not wait for them to come to Him, but He Himself went all around. Therefore, they could not say as an excuse that “no one taught us.” He draws them to Himself by word and deed, teaching and working wonders.

Profitable Word

The appropriate organs to receive the divine gifts

Saint Maximos the Confessor

“The intellect is the organ of wisdom, whereas the reason is that of knowledge. The natural, internal certainty of the intellect and of the reason is the organ of faith, which is a product of wisdom and knowledge. Natural charity is the organ of the gift of healing. Because every divine gift has the apposite and appropriate receptor of the organ as a force or attraction or inclination. For example, people who cleanse their intellect of every fantasy, receive wisdom. People who have set reason in control of their innate passions, I mean longing and desire, receive knowledge. People who have unshakable certainty, with their intellect and reason, as regards divine matters, receive faith that is capable of anything. And those who have performed natural charity, having completely uprooted their selfishness, receive the gifts of healing.” understand, and those whom you wish to drive away from yourself will understand. And both goals will be achieved.”

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Saint Nikolai Velimirovic Stupid, false and deceptive

RELFECTION

“A monk complained to St. Arsenius that while reading Holy Scripture he felt neither the power of the words he read nor gentleness in his heart. The great saint replied to him: “My child, just read! I heard that when snake-charmers cast a spell upon serpents, these sorcerers utter words which they themselves do not understand, but the serpents, hearing the words spoken, sense their power and are tamed. An so it is with us, when the words of Holy Scripture are continually on our lips, although we do not feel the power of the words, evil spirits tremble and flee for they are unable to endure the words of the Holy Spirit.” My child, just read! The Holy Spirit, Who wrote these divine words through inspired men, will hear, understand and hasten to your assistance. Likewise, the demons will hear and understand, and will flee from you. That is: He to Whom you are calling for help will

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Saint Symeon the New Theologian

Our Governor

“A soul governed by God should have the following properties: straightforwardness, meekness, truth, humility, goodness, righteousness and great piety. It should also have forbearance, charity, sympathy, unfeigned love, clemency, endurance and patience. If you don’t have these things, you aren’t being governed by God.”

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Profitable Word

Saint John of Kronstadt Sinners won’t achieve remission of their sins unless they first realize with all their heart that these are senseless, destructive and illusory. Just as they committed the sin and found it pleasant and enjoyable, so now they must repent and confess that it was deceptive and leads to perdition. Natural charity is the organ of the gift of healing. Because every divine gift has the opposite and appropriate receptor of the organ as a force or attraction or inclination. For example, people who cleanse their intellect of every fantasy, receive wisdom. People who have set reason in control of their innate passions, I mean longing and desire, receive knowledge. People who have unshakable certainty, with their intellect and reason, as regards divine matters, receive faith that is capable of anything. And those who have performed natural charity, having completely uprooted their selfishness, receive the gifts of healing.

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