26TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST:
THE HOLY APOSTLE AND EVANGELIST MATTHEW
RESURRECTIONAL TROPARION - TONE ONE: When the stone had been sealed by the Jews; while the soldiers were guarding Your most pure Body; You arose on the third day, O Savior, granting life to the world. The powers of heaven therefore cried to You, O Giver of Life: Glory to Your Resurrection, O Christ! Glory to Your Kingdom! Glory to Your dispensation, O You who loves mankind.
“There is no one like God”—in this is expressed all of the great Archangel’s knowledge of his God. He doesn’t describe Him, nor does he explain—he stands and witnesses. In this is his inclusion in the radiance of the Divinity, and in this is the measure by which he manifests this radiance and opens for us the way to the Lord’s mystery by his word, and by those names that express all his unfathomable experience of the unfathomable God.
There is a place in the book of Revelations where the seer of mysteries, St. John, tells us that when the time comes and we will all be in the Kingdom of God, then each will receive a mystical name by which only God Who gives it knows and recognizes the one who receives it. This name as if contains in itself the whole mystery of the person; by this name is everything said about him; no one can know this name other than God and the one who receives it, because it determines the unique, inimitable relationship that exists between God and His creature—each and every one, and for Him one and only.
25TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST:
THE HOLY MARTYRS ONESIPHORUS AND PORPHYRIUS; SAINT NECTARIOS, METROPOLITAN OF PENTAPOLIS
RESURRECTIONAL TROPARION - TONE EIGHT: Thou didst descend from on high, O Merciful One! Thou didst accept the three day burial to free us from our sufferings! O Lord, our Life and Resurrection: Glory to Thee!
It is always a good thing, surely, to examine the meanings of the words we speak, but when we speak about God critical reflection is downright imperative.
Take, for instance, the adjectives “eternal” and “infinite,” which for many centuries have been used as descriptive of God. If we spend a minute or so examining these modifiers, it should be obvious that they are not, in our usual sense, descriptive. To declare that God is infinite is not something on the order of saying the soup is hot. Nor is ascribing eternity to God like attributing roundness to a pipe.
24TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST: THE HOLY MARTYRS ACINDYNUS, PEGASIUS, AND COMPANIONS
RESURRECTIONAL TROPARION - TONE SEVEN: By Thy Cross, Thou didst destroy death! To the thief, Thou didst open Paradise! For the myrrh-bearers, Thou didst change weeping into joy! And Thou didst command Thy disciples, O Christ God, to proclaim that Thou art risen, granting the world great mercy!
One may well wonder why we are commemorating this particular earthquake. After all, there have been many earthquakes, as well as other natural disasters in human history – so why commemorate this one?
This earthquake in Constantinople took place in 740 AD. This was at the time Emperor Leo was destroying icons and the people of Constantinople felt that it was God’s anger that led to this disaster. The believers prayed to St. Demetrius of Thessalonica and the earthquakes ceased.
St. Demetrius of Thessalonica is a third to 4th century martyr. He was born in 270 AD in Thessalonica. He came from a noble Roman background and according to some traditions he was a soldier, and is depicted as a solder on his icons. He was martyred in approximately 306 AD during the persecution of the Roman Emperors Diocletian and Galerias. During the reign of the Emperor St. Constantine (306-337) his relics were exhumed and it was found that the relics streamed myrrh, a miraculous sign which pointed to St. Demetrius being a saint, and a church was built for these remains in Thessalonica and they remain there today. Emperors sometimes tried to bring the relics to Constantinople, but the saint always revealed that his relics should stay where they were. For centuries, the people of Thessalonica prayed to St. Demetrius to save them from natural disasters and enemy attack.