Saints and Feasts: Menas of Egypt, Victor and Stephanie, Theodore the Studite, Holy Martyr Vincent
Second Orthros Gospel
Epistle Reading: St. Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians 4:6-15
Brethren, it is the God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, to show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For while we live we are always being given up to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.
Since we have the same spirit of faith as he had who wrote, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we too believe, and so we speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.
Gospel Reading: Luke 10:25-37
At that time, a lawyer stood up to put Jesus to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you read?” And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” And he said to him, “You have answered right; do this, and you will live.”
But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was; and when he saw him, he had compassion, and went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; then he set him on his own beast and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ Which of these three, do you think, proved neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed mercy on him.” And Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”
St. John Chrysostom on the hazard of wealth.
(John Chrysostom, Homilies on Philippians, X.)
“The advantages which we gain from riches include drunkenness, gluttony and kinky pleasures. If we were so minded, we could win heaven itself for our inheritance by our riches. ‘So then riches are good’. It is not riches, but the will of the possessor that accomplishes this; it is the will that does this, it is in the power even of a poor man to win heaven. God does not regard the amount of the gifts, but the will of the givers; it is possible even for one in poverty, who has given little, to surpass everyone. Since God requires a measure proportioned to our ability, riches won’t secure heaven to us, nor will poverty secure hell; but a good will can obtain heaven. These then let us correct; this let us repossess; this let us regulate, and everything will be easy for us.” “As the craftsman works the wood the same, whether his axe is made of iron or of gold, or rather he does it the better with an implement of iron, so the straight path of virtue is more easily kept in a state of poverty. Regarding riches we read, ‘It is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of Heaven’ (Matthew 19:24). But God has made no such declarations about poverty; in fact, the opposite. ‘Sell your goods, and give to the poor, and come follow Me’ (Matthew 19:21); as if the act of following were to spring from the selling of one’s goods.” “Never then let us flee from poverty as an evil, for we can use it to obtain heaven. Again, let us never follow riches as a good; for they are the ruin of such as walk unwarily. In everything let us direct our eyes to God, let us, as occasion requires, use those gifts which He has granted us, both strength of body, and abundance of money, and every other gift.”