18th Sunday after Pentecost
Commemoration of Our Venerable Father Sergius the Wonder-Worker, Abbot of Radonezh
Reading from Proverbs (10:7,6; 3:13-16; 8:6,32,34,4,12.14,17,5-9; 1:23)
The memory of the just is praised, and the blessing of the Lord is upon his head. Blessed is the man who hath found wisdom, and the mortal who knoweth prudence. For it is better to traffic for her, than for treasures of gold and silver. And she is more valuable than precious stones: no precious thing is equal to her in value. For length of existence and years of life are in her right hand; and in her left hand are wealth and glory: out of her mouth righteousness proceedeth, and she carrieth law and mercy upon her tongue. Hearken to me, O children, for I will speak solemn truths. Blessed is the man who shall keep my ways; for my outgoings are the outgoings of life, and in them is prepared favour from the Lord. Ye, O men, do I exhort; and utter my voice to the sons of men. I, wisdom, have built up; upon counsel, knowledge and understanding have I called. Counsel and safety are mine; prudence is mine, and strength is mine. I love those who love me; those who seek me shall find grace. O ye simple, understand subtlety, and ye who are untaught, imbibe knowledge. Hearken unto me again; for I will speak solemn truths. For my throat shall meditate truth; and false lips are an abomination before me. All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing in them wrong or perverse. They are all evident to those who understand, and right to those who find knowledge. For I will instruct you in truth, that your hope may be in the Lord, and ye may be filled with the Spirit.
Reading from Proverbs (Proverbs 10:31-11:12)
The mouth of the righteous droppeth wisdom: but the tongue of the unjust shall perish. The lips of just men drop grace: but the mouth of the ungodly is perverse. False balances are an abomination before the Lord: but a just weight is acceptable unto Him. Wherever pride entereth, there will also disgrace: but the mouth of the humble doth meditate wisdom. The integrity of the upright shall guide them, but the overthrow of the rebellious shall spoil them. Possessions shall not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness will deliver from death. When a just man dieth, he leaveth regret: but the destruction of the ungodly is speedy and causeth joy. Righteousness traceth out blameless paths: but ungodliness encountereth unjust dealing. The righteousness of upright men delivereth them: but transgressors are caught in their own destruction. At the death of a just man his hope doth not perish: but the boast of the ungodly perisheth. A righteous man escapeth from a snare, and the ungodly man is delivered up in his place. In the mouth of ungodly men is a snare for citizens: but the understanding of righteous men is prosperous. In the prosperity of righteous men a city prospereth, but at the destruction of the wicked there is exultation. At the blessing of the upright a city shall be exalted, but by the mouths of ungodly men it is overthrown. A man void of understanding sneereth at his fellow citizens: but a sensible man is quiet.
Reading from the Wisdom of Solomon (Wisdom 3:1-9)
The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and there shall no torment touch them. In the sight of the unwise they seemed to die: and their departure is taken for misery, and their going from us to be utter destruction: but they are in peace. For though they be punished in the sight of men, yet is their hope full of immortality. And having been a little chastised, they shall be greatly rewarded: for God proved them, and found them worthy for Himself. As gold in the furnace hath He tried them, and received them as a burnt-offering. And in the time of their visitation they shall shine, and run to and fro like sparks among the stubble. They shall judge the nations, and have dominion over the people, and their Lord shall reign forever. Those who put their trust in Him shall understand the truth: and such as be faithful in love shall abide with Him: for grace and mercy is to His saints, and He hath care for His elect.
Holy Gospel according to John (20: 1-10)
At that time, the first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre and saw the stone taken away from the sepulchre. Then she ran and came to Simon Peter and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said unto them, ‘They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid Him!’ Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre. And they both ran together, and the other disciple outran Peter and came first to the sepulchre. And stooping down and looking in, he saw the linen cloths lying, yet he went not in. Then came Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre and saw the linen cloths as they lay and the napkin that had been about His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but wrapped together in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who came first to the sepulchre, went in also; and he saw, and believed. For as yet they knew not the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead. Then the disciples went away again unto their own home.
The Reading from the Second Epistle of the Holy Apostle Paul to the Corinthians (II Corinthians 9:6-11)
Brethren: He who soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly, and he who soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. As every man purposeth in his heart, so let him give, not grudgingly or out of compulsion; for God loveth the cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound in every good work. As it is written: ‘He hath dispersed abroad, he hath given to the poor; his righteousness remaineth for ever.’ Now may He that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness, ye being enriched in everything to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.
Epistle of the Holy Apostle Paul to the Galatians (5:22-6:2)
Brethren, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vainglory, provoking one another and envying one another. Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye who are spiritual restore such a one in the spirit of meekness, considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke (5:1-11)
At that time, Jesus stood by the Lake of Gennesaret and saw two boats standing by the lake, but the fishermen were gone out of them and were washing their nets. And He entered into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the people from the boat. Now when He was through speaking, He said unto Simon, ‘Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draft.’ And Simon answering said unto Him, ‘Master, we have toiled all the night and have taken nothing. Nevertheless, at Thy word I will let down the net.’ And when they had done this, they enclosed a great multitude of fishes, and their net began to break. And they beckoned unto their partners, who were in the other boat, that they should come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, ‘Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.’ For he was astonished, and all those who were with him, at the draft of the fishes which they had taken; and so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, ‘Fear not. From henceforth thou shalt catch men.’ And when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him.
Holy Gospel according to Luke (6:17-23a)
At that time, Jesus stood on the plain with the company of His disciples and a great multitude of people out of all Judea and Jerusalem, and from the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear Him and to be healed of their diseases, and those who were vexed with unclean spirits; and they were healed. And the whole multitude sought to touch Him, for there went virtue out of Him and healed them all. And He lifted up His eyes on His disciples and said, ‘Blessed be ye poor, for yours is the Kingdom of God. Blessed are ye that hunger now, for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now, for ye shall laugh. Blessed are ye when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man’s sake. Rejoice ye in that day and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in Heaven.’
Troparion of the Resurrection (Tone 1)
When the stone had been sealed by the Jews, and the soldiers were guarding Thine immaculate Body, Thou didst rise on the third day, O Saviour, granting life unto the world. Wherefore, the Hosts of the heavens cried out to Thee, O Life-giver: Glory to Thy Resurrection, O Christ. Glory to Thy kingdom. Glory to Thy dispensation, O only Lover of mankind.
Troparion of St Sergius of Radonezh (Tone 4)
As a champion of the virtues, and as a true soldier of Christ God, thou didst struggle mightily against the passions in this temporal life, and thou wast a model for thy disciples in chants, vigils, and fasting. Wherefore, the Most Holy Spirit dwelt in thee, and thou wast brightly adorned by His grace. But as thou hast boldness toward the Holy Trinity, remember the flock which thou didst gather so wisely, and forget not to visit thy children as thou didst promise, O Sergius, our holy father.
Kontakion of St Sergius of Radonezh (Tone 8)
Wounded with love for Christ, O Saint, and having followed Him with unwaning desire, thou didst hate all carnal pleasure, and like the sun thou didst shine on thy fatherland. Wherefore, Christ hath enriched thee with the gift of wonderworking. Remember us who honour thy most illustrious memory, that we may cry to thee: Rejoice, divinely-wise Sergius.
Kontakion of the Resurrection (Tone 1)
As God, Thou didst arise from the tomb in glory, and Thou didst raise the world together with Thyself. And mortal nature praiseth Thee as God, and death hath vanished. And Adam danceth, O Master, and Eve, now freed from fetters, rejoiceth as she crieth out: Thou art He, O Christ, that grantest unto all resurrection.
THE VENERABLE EUPHROSYNE
Euphrosyne was the daughter of Paphnutius, a wealthy and distinguished man of Alexandria. Her childless parents had besought God with prayer for the birth of a child, and they were given her. Her devout parents raised their daughter in the Christian Faith. Not wanting to enter into marriage, the young Euphrosyne hid from her father, changed into men’s clothing, and presented herself to the abbot of a monastery as a eunuch of Emperor Theodosius, giving the name Smaragdus. The abbot received her, and turned her over to the spiritual father Agapitus for guidance. By her fasting and prayerful asceticism, Smaragdus quickly surpassed all the monks in that monastery. When she had completed thirty-eight years of strict asceticism, her father Paphnutius visited that monastery, and the abbot directed him to Smaragdus for prayer and counsel. Smaragdus recognized Paphnutius, but Paphnutius did not recognize Smaragdus. When the father confessed his grief for his lost daughter, Smaragdus told him not to lose hope, for he would see his daughter again in this life, and besought him to come again within three days. When Paphnutius came again, Smaragdus was on her deathbed. The dying one said to Paphnutius: “I am Euphrosyne, your daughter; you are my father!” For a long time, the father was unable to come to himself due to his severe shock. Then, the Blessed Euphrosyne breathed her last, and her father wept over her. After burying her, Paphnutius himself entered the monastery, and settled in the cell of his holy, reposed daughter. After ten years of asceticism, Paphnutius also entered into rest in the Lord.
THE VENERABLE SERGIUS OF RADONEZH
Sergius was a great ascetic and light of the Russian Church. He was born in 1313 A.D., in Rostov, of devout parents, Cyril and Maria. After his parents’ deaths, Bartholomew–for that was his baptismal name–became a monk, and founded the Monastery of the Holy Trinity in the forests of Radonezh. As a quiet and gentle servant of God, he knew only labor and prayer. Because of the purity of his heart he was made worthy of the gift of miracle-working, even resurrecting the dead in the name of Christ. The Holy Theotokos appeared to him many times. Princes and bishops came to him for advice. He blessed Prince Dimitri Donskoy, and foretold his victory in the battle for the liberation of Russia from the Tartars. He saw into the hearts of men as well as future events. His monastery was full of monks, even during his lifetime and, century after century, has been one of the most important centers of spiritual life and God’s miracles. St. Sergius entered into rest in the year 1392 A.D. Following his repose, he appeared many times to various people.
THE VENERABLE EUPHROSYNE OF SUZDAL
Euphrosyne’s baptismal name was Theodula. She was the daughter of Michael Vsevolodovich, and the betrothed of Menas, the Prince of Suzdal. She did not at all desire to marry, and prayed to God to preserve her as a virgin until death. When they took her to Suzdal to be married, her betrothed, Menas, suddenly died. Euphrosyne did not return to the home of her parents but entered a convent, where she labored in asceticism until her repose. God endowed her with the gift of working miracles. She entered into rest in the year 1250 A.D.