Sunday, October 28: “Do not fear; only believe!”

THE NINTH EOTHINON GOSPEL

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to Saint John 21:14-25

At that time, Jesus showed Himself to His Disciples after He was risen from the dead. When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; Thou knowest that I love Thee.” He said to him, “Feed My lambs.” A second time He said to him, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; Thou knowest that I love Thee.” He said to him, “Tend My sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, Thou knowest everything; Thou knowest that I love Thee.” Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep. Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you girded yourself and walked where you would; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish to go.” (This He said to show by what death he was to glorify God.) And after this He said to him, “Follow Me.” Peter turned and saw following them the Disciple whom Jesus loved, who had lain close to His breast at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is it that is going to betray Thee?” When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?” Jesus said to him, “If it is My will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? Follow Me!” The saying spread abroad among the brethren that this Disciple was not to die; yet Jesus did not say to him that he was not to die, but, “If it is My will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?” This is the Disciple who is bearing witness to these things, and who has written these things; and we know that his testimony is true. But there are also many other things which Jesus did; were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen.

THE EPISTLE

The Reading from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Galatians 6:11-18

Brethren, see with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand. It is those who want to make a good showing in the flesh that would compel you to be circumcised and only in order that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. For even those who receive circumcision do not themselves keep the Law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may glory in your flesh. But far be it from me to glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me and I to the world. For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. Peace and mercy be upon all, who walk by this rule, upon the Israel of God. Henceforth let no man trouble me; for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brethren. Amen.

THE GOSPEL

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke 8:41-56

At that time, there came to Jesus a man named Jairus, who was a ruler of the synagogue; and falling at Jesus’ feet he besought Him to come to his house, for he had an only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she was dying. As Jesus went, the people pressed round Him. And a woman, who had had a flow of blood for twelve years, and had spent all her living upon physicians, and could not be healed by anyone, came up behind Him, and touched the fringe of His garment; and immediately her flow of blood ceased. And Jesus said, “Who was it that touched Me?” When all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the multitudes surround Thee and press upon Thee! And Thou sayest, ‘Who touched Me?’” But Jesus said, “Someone touched Me; for I perceive that power has gone forth from Me.” And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before Him declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched Him, and how she had been immediately healed. And Jesus said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.” While Jesus was still speaking, a man from the ruler’s house came and said, “Your daughter is dead; do not trouble the Teacher anymore.” But Jesus on hearing this answered him, “Do not fear; only believe, and she shall be well.” And when Jesus came to the house, He permitted no one to enter with Him, except Peter and James and John, and the father and mother of the child. And all were weeping and bewailing her; but Jesus said, “Do not weep; for she is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. But taking her by the hand Jesus called, saying, “Child, arise.” And her spirit returned, and she got up at once; and Jesus directed that something should be given her to eat. And her parents were amazed; but He charged them to tell no one what had happened.

ORTHROS

RESURRECTIONAL APOLYTIKION

Let us believers praise and worship the Word; coeternal with the Father and the Spirit, born of the Virgin for our salvation. For, He took pleasure in ascending the Cross in the flesh to suffer death; and to raise the dead by His glorious Resurrection.

RESURRECTIONAL APOLYTIKION

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. Let us believers praise and worship the Word; coeternal with the Father and the Spirit, born of the Virgin for our salvation. For, He took pleasure in ascending the Cross in the flesh to suffer death; and to raise the dead by His glorious Resurrection.

RESURRECTIONAL THEOTOKION

Both now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen. Rejoice, O uncrossed gate; rejoice, O wall and protection of those who hasten unto thee; rejoice, O quiet haven, who hast not known wedlock, O thou who hast given birth in the flesh to thy Creator and God. Thou shalt continue to intercede for the sake of those who praise and worship thy birthgiving.

AT THE DIVINE LITURGY

RESURRECTIONAL APOLYTIKION

Let us believers praise and worship the Word; coeternal with the Father and the Spirit, born of the Virgin for our salvation. For, He took pleasure in ascending the Cross in the flesh to suffer death; and to raise the dead by His glorious Resurrection.

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.

Profitable Word

They’re silent out of indifference…In these difficult days each must do what’s in their power. And leave what’s out of their power to the will of God. In this way our conscience will be clear.

If we don’t resist, then our ancestors will arise from their graves. They suffered so much for the Fatherland, and we? What are we doing for it?.. If Christians don’t begin to witness their faith, to resist evil, then thedestroyers will become even more insolent. But today’s Christians are no warriors. If the Church keeps silent, to avoid conflict with the government, if the Metropolitans are silent, if the monks hold their peace, then who will speak up?

St. Paisios of Mt. Athos

Twenty-fourth Sunday after Pentecost

Jairus’ Daughter and the Woman With an Issue of Blood

Luke 8:41-56

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

40-44. And it came to pass, that, when Jesus was returned, the multitude gladly received Him: for they were all waiting for Him. And, behold, there came a man named Jairus, and he was ruler of the synagogue: andhe fell down at Jesus feet, and besought Him that He would come into his house: for he had one only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she lay a dying. But as he went, the multitude thronged Him. And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, who had spent allher living upon physicians, and could not be healed by any, came behind Him, and touched the border of His garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched. Jesus returned from the country of the Gadarenes, and the multitude was waiting for Him, eager for both His teaching and His miracles. Then He was approached by a certain ruler of the synagogue, a man who was neither poor nor insignificant, but the foremost of society. The Evangelist even gives the man’s name, so that the miracle might become the more renowned through this confirmable evidence of its truth. In his great need this man falls down before Jesus, although even without the urgency of this need, he ought to have fallen down and acknowledged Jesus as God. Nevertheless, affliction can compel a man to turn to what is better, as David says when he speaks of the horse or mule which has no understanding, whose jaws thou must afflict with bit and bridle when they come not nigh unto thee (Ps. 31:9). But as Jesus went along the way to the house of Jairus, a woman drew near to Him who showed exceedingly great faith. She approached and touched the border of His garment with the firm faith that if she could only touch His clothing, she would be made whole. Immediately the flow of blood stopped. Like a man who brings his eye close to a bright light, or brings a dry stick close to fire, and they immediately react, so also the woman brought her faith close to Him Who has power to heal—and immediately she obtained healing. She gave no thought to anything else, neither the many years of her illness, nor the failure of her doctors. She only believed and was made whole. Understand that first she touched Jesus noetically, and only then did she touch Him bodily.

45-48. And Jesus said, Who touched Me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with Him said, Master, the multitude throng Thee and press Thee, and sayest Thou, Who touched Me? And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched Me: for I perceive that power is gone out of Me. And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before Him, she declared unto Him before all the people for what cause she had touched Him, and how she was healed immediately. And He said unto her, Daughter, take courage: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace. The Lord desires to show the womans faith to all the people so that they might become imitators of her, and also so that Jairus might have good hope for his daughter. Therefore He makes manifest what had happened in secret and asks who it was that touched Him. Peter, being bold, scolds the Lord for His question, saying, “So many people throng Thee, and yet sayest Thou, Who touched Me?” But he did not understand what the Lord was asking. The Lord was inquiring, “Who touched Me with faith?” and not simply, “Whose hand touched Me?” Just as one man has ears with which he hears, while another has ears but does not hear, so also one man touches with faith, while another may draw near but his heart is far away. The Lord knows that it was the woman, but He asks the question, as I have said, in order to reveal her faith and to give hope to the ruler of the synagogue. He asks, and thus draws attention to the woman. For I perceive that power is gone out of Me, He says, and rightly so. The prophets did not have power that went out from them; instead, they worked miracles by the grace of God. But Jesus is the source of every good thing and the source of all power, and He indeed has power that goes out from Him. The Lord grants the woman a double healing: He first heals her sickness and then dispels the fear from her trembling soul by saying, Daughter, take courage.

49-56. While He yet spake, there cometh one from the ruler of the synagogues house, saying to Him, Thy daughter is dead; trouble not the Master. But when Jesus heard it, He answered him, saying, Fear not: only believe, and she shall be made whole. And when He came into the house, He permitted no man to go in, save Peter, and James, and John, and the father and the mother of the maiden. And all wept, and bewailed her: but He said, Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed Him to scorn, knowing that she wasdead. And He putthem all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid, arise. And her spirit came again, and she arose straightway: and He commanded to give her food. And her parents were astonished: but He charged them that they tell no man what was done. When Jesus heard a man say to the ruler of the synagogue, trouble not the Master, He did not wait for the ruler of the synagogue to speak to Him, but speaks first Himself, so that the ruler of the synagogue could not say, “I have no need for You; the evil deed has already happened; behold she has died, the one whom we expected You to heal,” or any such words as these. For he did not believe, and was a Jew. Christ, therefore, speaks first and says, “Fear not; only believe. Consider the woman who had the issue of blood. Imitate her and you will not miss the mark.” He permits only Peter, John, and James to enter because they were the Lords favorites and chief of the Apostles, and because they were able to keep silent concerning the miracle. The Lord did not want to reveal Himself to many before it was time, perhaps because of the spite of the Jews. Thus He hid most of His deeds so that the Jews would not become inflamed with envy and thus liable to judgment. We ought also to do the same; when someone becomes envious of us, let us not reveal our accomplishments to him, so as not to wound him and cause him to be even more envious and cast him into sin. Instead, we should strive to go unnoticed by him. The Lord said, she is not dead, but sleepeth, calling death sleep because He was about to raise her from the dead as if from sleep. Those who heard Him laughed Him to scorn, so that the miracle would be all the more miraculous. In order that later they would not be able to claim that she was not dead, but had been asleep, the Lord arranged by divine economy that He should first be mocked when He said that she was not dead but asleep. Thus He shut the mouths of those who wanted to slander Him, for it was so clear that she was dead that they even mocked Him when He said that she was not dead. He put them all outside, perhaps to teach us not to crave glory and not to do anything for show, and also to teach that when someone is about to work a miracle, he ought not to be in the midst of many people, but alone and undistracted. Then the Lord brought back the spirit of the young girl. He did not put another soul into her but made the same soul which had slipped away return to her body again. He commanded that she be given something to eat, to provide even greater assurance and confirmation that she had risen from the dead. These things may also be understood in this manner: the woman with the issue of blood represents every soul which pours forth bloody and murderous sin. For each and every sin is the murderer and slayer of the soul. When this soul, therefore, touches the clothing of Jesus, when it touches, that is, His Incarnation, believing that the Son of God took on human flesh, then the soul is healed. And this is possible even if someone should be a ruler of the synagogue, that is, if someone has a mind which rules over the many things it has collected in its greed. Then the daughter of hat mind, its thought, is sick. But let that mind only call upon Jesus and believe, and his thought will be made whole.

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