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by Fr. Dmitri, New Zealand
Saturday 1 August 2009 (25 Epip; 25 Abib)
St.Seraphim of Sarov.
Nothing doth countervail a faithful friend, and his
excellency is invaluable.
Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not
wanting to make her a public example, was minded
to put her away secretly. But while he thought about
these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him.
When it came to telling others about Jesus, we're
sometimes like a cautious farmer who keeps his eye
on the weather, looking for a perfect day to sow.
(Based on Eccl.11:4)
A little that righteous man hath is better than the riches
of many wicked.
The Apostles have obtained this blessing. They saw
Him, and this means that they have struggled to
know the Lord; they served, and this means that
the fruit of their struggle was manifested.
(St.Ambrose of Milan)
The mouth of the silent translates the mysteries of God.
Whoever speaks quickly moves away from his Creator.
(Elder John Saba)
This is the sign of Christianity, namely ... humility.
Nothing makes the person fall but his pride. Love
moves the person to walk ahead and go up, but
pride pushes him to fall.
Friendship constitutes accounting for those in exile,
a fortune for the poor, a remedy for the sick, and a life for the dead.
It provides pleasure for those who are well, strength
for the weak, and a reward for the strong.
Loving Father, grant us the great grace to form true
Christian friendships. May our friends help one another
to lead good lives and attain the Happiness of those
who serve You.
LETTER TO THE HEBREWS
Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing you are dull
The writer obviously regards the Old Testament Scriptures as the authoritative
Word of God Himself, full of figures and anticipations of the true realities of God's
We need to know to whom this Book is written. The writer clearly contrasts
the state in which his readers are with what they have been, what they ought to be, and what
they seem to be in danger of becoming.
As Christians they are slothful and despondent. They have lost their initial
enthusiasm for the faith. They have failed to grow or to progress and are
seriously deficient in spiritual understanding and discernment.
(5:11; 6:12; 3:6; 10:23; 5:12-14)
They need afresh to be exhorted to, imitate the faith of those who have gone
before. They tend to be easily carried away by new and strange teachings;
some think these were Gnostic in character and similar to those which
troubled the church in Colossae.
They are in danger of coming short of God's promise and drifting away from
the things they have heard. They are even in danger of completely abandoning the faith in
deliberate and persistent apostasy.
(13:7; 13:9; 4:1; 2:1; 3:12; 10:26)
Particularly as those who had once been zealous adherents of Judaism, and
they had been disappointed in Christianity, as it brought to them no visible earthly
kingdom. So Paul has to give them a Scripture and Bible Study.
1. The amazing revelation and salvation given by God to men in Christ.
2. The true heavenly and eternal character of the blessings, thus freely offered to the faithful.
3. The place of suffering and patient endurance by faith in the pathway of
God's purpose, and in God's discipline for all of His children.
4. The awful judgement that will befall any knowing all this, and still reject it.
The Epistle is full of exhortations, challenges and warnings. Do we place
ourselves in the
same condition as the Hebrews. Do we know the meaning the meaning of the Plan of Salvation?
To Thee be glory and praise, now and ever, unto Ages of Ages.
Evening: Psalm 17:35&40; Gospel Matt.8:5-13.
Morning: Psalm 67:36&4; Gospel Luke 12:4-12.
Liturgy: 2 Cor.10:1-18; 1 Peter 4:1-10; Acts 12:25-13:12;
Psalm 44:4; Gospel Matt.12:9-23
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