Saturday, November 5, 2011

November 6, 2011 - 21st Suday After Pentecost (7th of Luke)

FEASTS AND SAINTS CELEBRATED TODAY:



Paul the Confessor, Patriarch of Constantinople



Άγιος Παύλος Α' ο Ομολογητής και Ιερομάρτυρας Αρχιεπίσκοπος Κωνσταντινούπολης

Μνήμη της μετά φιλανθρωπίας κατενεχθείσης κόνεως επί Λέοντος του Μεγάλου

Όσιος Λουκάς

Όσιος Παύλος «ὁ διὰ Χριστὸν σαλὸς»

Όσιος Βαρλαάμ «ὁ ἐν Χουτινῇ»

Όσιος Λουκάς «ὁ ἐν Σπηλαίῳ»



READINGS FROM THE BIBLE:



Tenth Orthros Gospel

The Reading is from John 21:1-14

At that time, Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias; and he revealed himself in this way. Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples were together. Simon Peter said to them, "I am going fishing." They said to him, "We will go with you." They went out and got into the boat; but that night they caught nothing. Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the beach; but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, "Children, have you any fish?" They answered him, "No." He said to them, "Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some." So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, for the quantity of fish. The disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord!" When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his clothes, for he was stripped for work, and sprang into the sea. But the other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, but about a hundred yards off.

When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish lying on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish that you have just caught." So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred and fifty-three of them; and although there were so many, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, "Come and have breakfast." Now none of the disciples dared ask him, "Who are you?" They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish. This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.



Κατὰ Ἰωάννην 21.1-14

Τῷ καιρῷ ἐκείνῳ, ἐφανέρωσεν ἑαυτὸν πάλιν ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς τοῖς μαθηταῖς ἐπὶ τῆς θαλάσσης τῆς Τιβεριάδος· ἐφανέρωσε δὲ οὕτως. ἦσαν ὁμοῦ Σίμων Πέτρος, καὶ Θωμᾶς ὁ λεγόμενος Δίδυμος, καὶ Ναθαναὴλ ὁ ἀπὸ Κανᾶ τῆς Γαλιλαίας, καὶ οἱ τοῦ Ζεβεδαίου, καὶ ἄλλοι ἐκ τῶν μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ δύο. λέγει αὐτοῖς Σίμων Πέτρος· ὑπάγω ἁλιεύειν. λέγουσιν αὐτῷ· ἐρχόμεθα καὶ ἡμεῖς σὺν σοί. ἐξῆλθον καὶ ἐνέβησαν εἰς τὸ πλοῖον εὐθύς, καὶ ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ νυκτὶ ἐπίασαν οὐδέν. πρωΐας δὲ ἤδη γενομένης ἔστη ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς εἰς τὸν αἰγιαλόν· οὐ μέντοι ᾔδεισαν οἱ μαθηταὶ ὅτι ᾿Ιησοῦς ἐστι. λέγει οὖν αὐτοῖς ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς· παιδία, μή τι προσφάγιον ἔχετε; ἀπεκρίθησαν αὐτῷ· οὔ. ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς· βάλετε εἰς τὰ δεξιὰ μέρη τοῦ πλοίου τὸ δίκτυον, καὶ εὑρήσετε. ἔβαλον οὖν, καὶ οὐκέτι αὐτὸ ἑλκύσαι ἴσχυσαν ἀπὸ τοῦ πλήθους τῶν ἰχθύων. λέγει οὖν ὁ μαθητὴς ἐκεῖνος, ὃν ἠγάπα ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς, τῷ Πέτρῳ· ὁ Κύριός ἐστι. Σίμων οὖν Πέτρος ἀκούσας ὅτι ὁ Κύριός ἐστι, τὸν ἐπενδύτην διεζώσατο· ἦν γὰρ γυμνός· καὶ ἔβαλεν ἑαυτὸν εἰς τὴν θάλασσαν· οἱ δὲ ἄλλοι μαθηταὶ τῷ πλοιαρίῳ ἦλθον· οὐ γὰρ ἦσαν μακρὰν ἀπὸ τῆς γῆς, ἀλλ᾽ ὡς ἀπὸ πηχῶν διακοσίων, σύροντες τὸ δίκτυον τῶν ἰχθύων. ὡς οὖν ἀπέβησαν εἰς τὴν γῆν, βλέπουσιν ἀνθρακιὰν κειμένην καὶ ὀψάριον ἐπικείμενον καὶ ἄρτον. λέγει αὐτοῖς ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς· ἐνέγκατε ἀπὸ τῶν ὀψαρίων ὧν ἐπιάσατε νῦν. ἀνέβη Σίμων Πέτρος καὶ εἵλκυσε τὸ δίκτυον ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς, μεστὸν ἰχθύων μεγάλων ἑκατὸν πεντήκοντα τριῶν· καὶ τοσούτων ὄντων οὐκ ἐσχίσθη τὸ δίκτυον. λέγει αὐτοῖς ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς· δεῦτε ἀριστήσατε. οὐδεὶς δὲ ἐτόλμα τῶν μαθητῶν ἐξετάσαι αὐτὸν σὺ τίς εἶ, εἰδότες ὅτι ὁ Κύριός ἐστιν. ἔρχεται οὖν ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς καὶ λαμβάνει τὸν ἄρτον καὶ δίδωσιν αὐτοῖς, καὶ τὸ ὀψάριον ὁμοίως. Τοῦτο ἤδη τρίτον ἐφανερώθη ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ ἐγερθεὶς ἐκ νεκρῶν.



The Reading is from St. Paul's Letter to the Galatians 2:16-20

BRETHREN, you know that a man is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ, and not by works of the law, because by works of the law shall no one be justified. But if, in our endeavor to be justified in Christ, we ourselves were found to be sinners, is Christ then an agent of sin? Certainly not! But if I build up again those things which I tore down, then I prove myself a transgressor. For I through the law died to the law, that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.



Πρὸς Γαλάτας 2:16-20

Ἀδελφοί, εἰδότες ὅτι οὐ δικαιοῦται ἄνθρωπος ἐξ ἔργων νόμου, ἐὰν μὴ διὰ πίστεως Ἰησοῦ χριστοῦ, καὶ ἡμεῖς εἰς χριστὸν Ἰησοῦν ἐπιστεύσαμεν, ἵνα δικαιωθῶμεν ἐκ πίστεως χριστοῦ, καὶ οὐκ ἐξ ἔργων νόμου· διότι οὐ δικαιωθήσεται ἐξ ἔργων νόμου πᾶσα σάρξ. Εἰ δέ, ζητοῦντες δικαιωθῆναι ἐν χριστῷ, εὑρέθημεν καὶ αὐτοὶ ἁμαρτωλοί, ἆρα χριστὸς ἁμαρτίας διάκονος; Μὴ γένοιτο. Εἰ γὰρ ἃ κατέλυσα, ταῦτα πάλιν οἰκοδομῶ, παραβάτην ἐμαυτὸν συνίστημι. Ἐγὼ γὰρ διὰ νόμου νόμῳ ἀπέθανον, ἵνα θεῷ ζήσω. Χριστῷ συνεσταύρωμαι· ζῶ δέ, οὐκέτι ἐγώ, ζῇ δὲ ἐν ἐμοὶ χριστός· ὃ δὲ νῦν ζῶ ἐν σαρκί, ἐν πίστει ζῶ τῇ τοῦ υἱοῦ τοῦ θεοῦ, τοῦ ἀγαπήσαντός με καὶ παραδόντος ἑαυτὸν ὑπὲρ ἐμοῦ.



The Reading is from 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 he 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 you and press upon you!" But Jesus said, "Some one 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 he said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace." While he was still speaking, a man from the ruler's house came and said, "Your daughter is dead; do not trouble the Teacher any more." But Jesus on hearing this answered him, "Do not fear; only believe, and she shall be well." And when he came to the house, he permitted no one to enter with him, except Peter and John and James, and the father and mother of the child. And all were weeping and bewailing her; but he 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 he called, saying, "Child, arise." And her spirit returned, and she got up at once; and he 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.



Κατὰ Λουκᾶν 8.41-56

Τῷ καιρῷ ἐκείνῳ, ἄνθρωπός τις προςῆλθε τῷ Ἰησοῦ ᾧ ὄνομα ᾽Ιάϊρος, καὶ ἰδοὺ ἦλθεν ἀνὴρ ᾧ ὄνομα ᾿Ιάειρος, καὶ αὐτὸς ἄρχων τῆς συναγωγῆς ὑπῆρχε· καὶ πεσὼν παρὰ τοὺς πόδας τοῦ ᾿Ιησοῦ παρεκάλει αὐτὸν εἰσελθεῖν εἰς τὸν οἶκον αὐτοῦ,ὅτι θυγάτηρ μονογενὴς ἦν αὐτῷ ὡς ἐτῶν δώδεκα, καὶ αὕτη ἀπέθνησκεν. ᾿Εν δὲ τῷ ὑπάγειν αὐτὸν οἱ ὄχλοι συνέπνιγον αὐτόν.καὶ γυνὴ οὖσα ἐν ῥύσει αἵματος ἀπὸ ἐτῶν δώδεκα, ἥτις ἰατροῖς προσαναλώσασα ὅλον τὸν βίον οὐκ ἴσχυσεν ὑπ᾿ οὐδενὸς θεραπευθῆναι,προσελθοῦσα ὄπισθεν ἥψατο τοῦ κρασπέδου τοῦ ἱματίου αὐτοῦ, καὶ παραχρῆμα ἔστη ἡ ῥύσις τοῦ αἵματος αὐτῆς.καὶ εἶπεν ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς· τίς ὁ ἁψάμενός μου; ἀρνουμένων δὲ πάντων εἶπεν ὁ Πέτρος καὶ οἱ σὺν αὐτῷ· ἐπιστάτα, οἱ ὄχλοι συνέχουσί σε καὶ ἀποθλίβουσι, καὶ λέγεις τίς ὁ ἁψάμενός μου;ὁ δὲ ᾿Ιησοῦς εἶπεν· ἥψατό μού τις· ἐγὼ γὰρ ἔγνων δύναμιν ἐξελθοῦσαν ἀπ᾿ ἐμοῦ.ἰδοῦσα δὲ ἡ γυνὴ ὅτι οὐκ ἔλαθε, τρέμουσα ἦλθε καὶ προσπεσοῦσα αὐτῷ δι᾿ ἣν αἰτίαν ἥψατο αὐτοῦ ἀπήγγειλεν αὐτῷ ἐνώπιον παντὸς τοῦ λαοῦ, καὶ ὡς ἰάθη παραχρῆμα.ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτῇ· θάρσει, θύγατερ, ἡ πίστις σου σέσωκέ σε· πορεύου εἰς εἰρήνην.῎Ετι αὐτοῦ λαλοῦντος ἔρχεταί τις παρὰ τοῦ ἀρχισυναγώγου λέγων αὐτῷ ὅτι τέθνηκεν ἡ θυγάτηρ σου· μὴ σκύλλε τὸν διδάσκαλον.ὁ δὲ ᾿Ιησοῦς ἀκούσας ἀπεκρίθη αὐτῷ λέγων· μὴ φοβοῦ· μόνον πίστευε, καὶ σωθήσεται.ἐλθὼν δὲ εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν οὐκ ἀφῆκεν εἰσελθεῖν οὐδένα εἰ μὴ Πέτρον καὶ ᾿Ιωάννην καὶ ᾿Ιάκωβον καὶ τὸν πατέρα τῆς παιδὸς καὶ τὴν μητέρα.ἔκλαιον δὲ πάντες καὶ ἐκόπτοντο αὐτήν. ὁ δὲ εἶπε· μὴ κλαίετε· οὐκ ἀπέθανεν, ἀλλὰ καθεύδει.καὶ κατεγέλων αὐτοῦ, εἰδότες ὅτι ἀπέθανεν.αὐτὸς δὲ ἐκβαλὼν ἔξω πάντας καὶ κρατήσας τῆς χειρὸς αὐτῆς ἐφώνησε λέγων· ἡ παῖς, ἐγείρου.καὶ ἐπέστρεψε τὸ πνεῦμα αὐτῆς, καὶ ἀνέστη παραχρῆμα, καὶ διέταξεν αὐτῇ δοθῆναι φαγεῖν.καὶ ἐξέστησαν οἱ γονεῖς αὐτοῖς. ὁ δὲ παρήγγειλεν αὐτοῖς μηδενὶ εἰπεῖν τὸ γεγονός.



READINGS FROM THE SYNAXARION:



Τῇ ς' τοῦ αὐτοῦ μηνός, Μνήμη τοῦ ἐν Ἁγίοις Πατρὸς ἡμῶν Παύλου, Ἀρχιεπισκόπου Κωνσταντινουπόλεως τοῦ Ὁμολογητοῦ.

Τὴν εἰς φάρυγγα Παῦλος αὐχῶν ἀγχόνην,

Λύει φάρυγξι ῥευμάτων τὴν ἀγχόνην.

Οὕνεκα ὡμολόγει Παῦλος Θεόν, ἄγχεται ἕκτῃ.

Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, Μνήμη τῆς μετὰ φιλανθρωπίας κατενεχθείσης κόνεως, ἐπὶ Λέοντος τοῦ Μεγάλου.

Φλέγειν ἀπειλεῖς, ἀλλὰ πάλιν οὐ φλέγεις,

Ὀργῇ κεράσας μακροθυμίαν Λόγε.

Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, Μνήμη τοῦ Ὁσίου Πατρὸς ἡμῶν Λουκᾶ.

Ἀρεστά, Λουκᾶ, τῷ Θεῷ πράξας Λόγῳ.

Τῆς εὐαρέστων ἐκθανὼν μοίρας γίνῃ.

Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, ὁ Ἅγιος Παῦλος, ὁ διὰ Χριστὸν Σαλός, ἐν εἰρήνῃ τελειοῦται.

Ὑποκριθεὶς ὁ Παῦλος ἐν γῇ μωρίαν,

Χορῷ θανὼν σύνεστι τῶν θεοφρόνων.

Μνήμη τῶν Ὁσίων πατέρων ἡμῶν Ἀβραὰμ τοῦ ἐν Χοτίνῃ, καὶ Λουκᾶ τοῦ ἐν τῷ σπηλαίῳ Ῥώσσων.

Ταῖς αὐτῶν ἁγίαις πρεσβείαις, ὁ Θεὸς ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς. Ἀμήν.



Saint Paul was from Thessalonica. He became the secretary of Alexander, Patriarch of Constantinople (see Aug. 30), a deacon, and then the successor of Saint Alexander in about 337. Because of his virtue, his eloquence in teaching, and his zeal for Orthodoxy, the Arians hated and feared him. When the Arian Emperor Constantius, who was in Antioch, learned of Paul's election, he exiled Paul and proclaimed the Arian Eusebius Patriarch. Saint Paul went to Rome, where he found Saint Athanasius the Great also in exile. Provided with letters by Pope Julius, Paul returned to Constantinople, and after the death of Eusebius in 342, ascended again his rightful throne; the Arians meanwhile elected Macedonius, because he rejected the Son's con-substantiality with the Father (and the divinity of the Holy Spirit besides). When Constantius, yet at Antioch, learned of Paul's return, he sent troops to Constantinople to drive Paul out. The Saint returned to Rome, where Saint Athanasius also was again in exile. Constans, Emperor of the West, Constantius' brother, but Orthodox, wrote to Constantius that if Athanasius and Paul were not allowed to return to their sees, he would come with troops to restore them him-self. So Paul again returned to his throne. After the death of Constans, however, Constantius had Paul deposed. Because of the love of the people for Saint Paul, Philip the Prefect, who was sent for him, was compelled to arrest him secretly to avoid a sedition. Paul was banished to Cucusus, on the borders of Cilicia and Armenia; a town through which his most illustrious successor, Saint John Chrysostom would also pass on his way to Comana in his last exile. In Cucusus, about the year 350, as Saint Paul was celebrating the Divine Liturgy in the little house where he was a prisoner, the Arians strangled him with his own omophorion, so much did they fear him even in exile. His holy relics were brought back to Constantinople with honour by the Emperor Theodosius the Great.



Apolytikion in the Third Tone

Θείας πίστεως ομολογία, άλλον Παύλόν σε τή Εκκλησία, ζηλωτήν εν ιερεύσιν ανέδειξε, Συνεκβοά σοι καί Άβελ πρός Κύριον, καί Ζαχαρίου τό αίμα τό δίκαιον, Πάτερ Όσιε, Χριστόν τόν Θεόν ικέτευε, δωρήσασθαι ημίν τό μέγα έλεος

Thy confession of the one divine Faith showed thee to the Church to be a new Paul and a zealot among priests, O holy one. The righteous blood both of Abel and Zachary with thee doth cry out together unto the Lord. Righteous Father, intercede with Christ God in our behalf that His great mercy may be granted unto us.



Kontakion in the Second Tone

Αστράψας εν γή, ως άστρον ουρανόφωτον, τήν καθολικήν φωτίζεις Εκκλησίαν νύν, υπέρ ής καί ήθλησας, τήν ψυχήν σου Παύλε προθέμενος, καί ως Ζαχαρίου καί Άβελ τρανώς, βοά σου τό αίμα πρός Κύριον.

Thou shonest on earth, a star bright with celestial light, and now thou dost shine enlightenment on all the Church, in behalf of which thou didst struggle, laying down thine own life, O Paul, and like Abel and Zachary, thy blood doth cry out most clearly to the Lord.



Στην τελευταία του ομιλία ο Ιησούς Χριστός προς τους μαθητάς του μετά τον μυστικό Δείπνο, μέσα στα άλλα είπε και τα εξής: "Ο πιστεύων εις εμέ, τα έργα α εγώ ποιώ κακείνος ποιήσει...". Αυτό πραγματοποιήθηκε και πραγματοποιείται στη ζωή των Αγίων, όπως το βλέπομε στον βίο του οσίου Λουκά του Σικελιώτου, του οποίου η Εκκλησία σήμερα γιορτάζει την μνήμη. Όταν έφυγε από το σπίτι του, στην αρχή της ασκητικής του πολιτείας, πήγε στην έρημο και έμεινε όπως ο Χριστός σαράντα ημέρες νηστικός. Στο τέλος έγινε και σ' αυτόν ό,τι και στον Κύριο, "άγγελοι προσήλθον και διηκόνουν αυτώ". Προσευχότανε και μελετούσε διαρκώς τις θείες Γραφές, όπου στο τέλος ήταν σε θέση να απαντά σε δυσκολώτατες απορίες των ανθρώπων. Τόσο, που όλοι εθαύμαζαν, παρόμοια όπως εθαύμαζαν οι Ιουδαίοι στα Ιεροσόλυμα κι έλεγαν για τον Ιησού Χριστό· "Πώς ούτος οίδε γράμματα μη μεμαθηκώς;".



Paul the Confessor, Archbishop of Constantinople (~350)

A native of Thessalonica, he rose from secretary to Alexander, Patriarch of Constantinople (commemorated August 30), to deacon, then succeeded St Alexander as Patriarch around 337. For his virtue and his zeal for Orthodoxy he was hated by the Arians, who were still powerful in the Empire. The Arian Emperor Constantius, learning of Paul's election, exiled him and made the Arian Eusebius Patriarch in his place. St Paul went to Rome, where he joined St Athanasius the Great in exile. Furnished with letters from Pope Julius, he was able to ascend the Patriarchal throne once again upon the death of Eusebius. But once again the Arians were able to put one of their party on the Patriarchal throne: Macedonius, who even went beyond the Arian heresy denied the divinity of the Holy Spirit. Once again the legitimate, Orthodox Patriarch found himself in exile in Rome. In succeeding years St Paul stood firm for Orthodoxy while complex political and military intrigues swirled around him, with the Orthodox Constans, Emperor of the West (and Constantius' brother) supporting him while Constantius continued to oppose him. For a time Constans was able to enforce Paul's place on the Patriarchal throne, but when he died, Constantius Banished St Paul to Cucusus on the Black Sea. There, while he was celebrating the Divine Liturgy in the house where he was kept prisoner, the Arians strangled him with his own omophorion. His relics were brought back to Constantinople by the Emperor Theodosius the Great.



Saint Germanus, Archbishop of Kazan (1568)

He was born in Tver to a princely family. Drawn to a life of holiness from his earliest childhood, he became a monk at the age of twenty-five, at the Monastery of St Joseph of Volokolamsk. In time he became Archimandrite of the Monastery of the Dormition at Staritsk; but after a few years he returned to Volokolamsk to live in solitude. When his teacher St Gurias (October 4), first Archbishop of Kazan, reposed, Germanus succeeded him as Archbishop, but continued to live as ascetically as when he was a hermit. He was offered the office of Metropolitan of Moscow, but refused. As a faithful shepherd of his church, he fearlessly confronted Tsar Ivan the Terrible for his many and various cruelties; for this he was killed in 1568 by the Tsar's assassins.

Note: Recently, a bizarre movement has arisen among some nationalist sectarians in Russia to canonize Ivan the Terrible. Among the many obvious reasons against such an action (which has been firmly rejected by the Patriarch of Moscow), we could list the Tsar's murder of some of the Church's own Saints, Germanus among them.



Ὁ Ἅγιος Παῦλος ὁ Ὁμολογητὴς καὶ Ἱερομάρτυρας Ἀρχιεπίσκοπος Κωνσταντινουπόλεως

Γεννήθηκε στὴ Θεσσαλονίκη, στὶς ἀρχὲς τοῦ 4ου αἰῶνα μ.Χ. Ἔγινε διάκονος στὴν Ἐκκλησία τῆς Κωνσταντινουπόλεως καὶ γραμματέας τοῦ Πατριάρχη Ἀλεξάνδρου. Ὅταν πέθανε ὁ Ἀλέξανδρος, Πατριάχης ἐξελέγη -τὸ 340- ὁ Παῦλος. Ἡ χειροτονία του ἔγινε ἐν ἀγνοίᾳ τοῦ ἀρειανόφιλου αὐτοκράτορα Κωνσταντίου, ποὺ ἔλειπε τότε στὴν Ἀντιόχεια. Ὅταν ὁ Κωνστάντιος ἐπέστρεψε στὴν Πόλη, ἐξεδίωξε ἀπὸ τὸ θρόνο τὸν Παῦλο καὶ ἀντ᾿ αὐτοῦ τοποθέτησε τὸν ἀρειανιστὴ Εὐσέβειο Νικομήδειας. Τότε ὁ Παῦλος πῆγε στὴ Ῥώμη, ὅπου ἦταν ἐξόριστος ὁ Μέγας Ἀθανάσιος. Ἔπειτα, μὲ τὴν ἐπέμβαση τοῦ πάπα Ῥώμης Ἰουλίου, οἱ ἐξόριστοι ἀνέκτησαν τοὺς θρόνους τους. Ἀλλὰ καὶ πάλι, μὲ ἐνέργειες τῶν Ἀρειανῶν, ὁ Παῦλος ἐκδιώκεται ἀπὸ τὸ θρόνο. Κατόπιν καὶ πάλι, μὲ ἀπειλὲς τοῦ Κώνσταντα στὸν ἀδελφό του Κωνστάντιο, ὁ Παῦλος ἐπανέρχεται στὸ θρόνο του, καὶ γιὰ τρία χρόνια ἀδιάλειπτα ἐργάζεται γιὰ τὴν Ὀρθοδοξία. Ὅμως, μετὰ τὸ θάνατο τοῦ Κώνσταντα, ὁ Κωνστάντιος ἐξόρισε καὶ πάλι τὸν Παῦλο στὴν Κουκουσὸ τῆς Ἀρμενίας, ὅπου μὲ πανουργία οἱ Ἀρειανοὶ τὸν ἔπνιξαν μὲ τὸ ἴδιο του τὸ ὠμοφόριο. Ἔτσι, ὁ μέγας αὐτὸς Ὁμολογητής, μέσα σὲ ταλαιπωρίες καὶ βάσανα, παρέδωσε τὴν ψυχή του στὸ Χριστό, χωρὶς νὰ καμφθεῖ. Καὶ τήρησε ἀπόλυτα τὴν ἐντολὴ τῆς Ἁγίας Γραφῆς, ποὺ λέει, «κρατῶμεν τῆς ὁμολογίας», ἂς κρατᾶμε, δηλαδή, καλὰ τὴν ὁμολογία τῆς πίστης μας πρὸς τὸ Χριστό.



Τῇ αὑτῇ ἡμέρᾳ μνήμη τῆς μετὰ φιλανθρωπίας κατενεχθείσης κόνεως ἐπὶ Λέοντος τοῦ Μεγάλου

Γράφει ο Άγιος Νικόδημος ο Αγιορείτης για το γεγονός αυτό:

«Kατά τον δέκατον όγδοον χρόνον της βασιλείας Λέοντος του Mεγάλου, του επικαλουμένου Mακέλλη και Θρακός, ήτοι εν έτει υοε΄ [475], εν τη έκτη του Nοεμβρίου μηνός, κατά την ώραν του μεσημερίου, έγινεν όλος ο ουρανός συνεφιασμένος. Tην δε συνειθισμένην μελανάδα των νεφελών μεταβαλών εις κόκκινον χρώμα, εφαίνετο ότι μέλλει να κατακαύση όλον τον κόσμον. Tόσον γαρ πολλά εξέπληξεν όλους τους ανθρώπους, ώστε οπού και από μόνην την θεωρίαν του ουρανού ενόμιζον όλοι, ότι ανίσως πέση βροχή από τα τοιαύτα κατακόκκινα σύνεφα, βέβαια η βροχή εκείνη θέλει είναι φωτία και φλόγα, ήτις έχει να κατακαίη. Kαθώς εκατέκαιε και η εις τα Σόδομα πεσούσα πυρίνη βροχή. Διά την αμφίβολον λοιπόν ταύτην προσδοκίαν, όλοι οι Xριστιανοί εκατέφευγαν εις τας ιεράς Eκκλησίας, και παρεκάλουν τον Θεόν με δεήσεις και κλαυθμούς. Όθεν ο φιλάνθρωπος Kύριος, συγκεράσας την αγαθότητά του με την τιμωρίαν, επρόσταξε τα νέφη και έβρεχον μίαν βροχήν ασυνείθιστον και παράξενον, η οποία επροξένει φόβον εις τους αμαρτάνοντας, διότι η βροχή εκείνη αρχίσασα από την ώραν του εσπερινού, εβάσταξεν έως εις το μεσονύκτιον.

H δε καταπίπτουσα βροχή, ήτον μία σκόνις μαύρη, και έκαιε δυνατά παρομοίως με την στάκτην της αναμμένης καμίνου. Kαι τόση πολλή έπεσεν, ώστε οπού ευρέθη επάνω από την γην και από τα κεραμίδια των οίκων, περισσότερον από μίαν πιθαμήν ανδρός. Kατέφλεξε δε και κατέκαυσεν όλα τα χορτάρια της γης και βοτάνας και δένδρα. Ήτον δε και πολλά δυσκολόπλυτος, εφανέρονε δε με τούτο, τόσον την αγανάκτησιν του Θεού, όσον και την δυσκολόπλυτον αμαρτίαν. Διότι μετά ταύτα, έπεσαν μεν πολλαί και ραγδαίαι βροχαί εις διάστημα πολλών ημερών, μόλις δε και μετά βίας εδυνήθηκαν να ξεπλύνουν την σκόνιν εκείνην. Tούτο δε ήτον αίνιγμα. Eπειδή γαρ η αμαρτία ευρίσκεται εις ημάς ωσάν σκόνις πυρίνη και μαύρη, και κατατρώγει ωσάν φωτία τα της αρετής βλαστήματα, διά τούτο χρειαζόμεθα ωσάν βροχήν, πολλά δάκρυα, αναδιδόμενα κάτωθεν από αυτό το βάθος της καρδίας με στεναγμόν και πικρίαν ψυχής. Ίνα με αυτά, την μεν της κακίας φλογίζουσαν στάκτην εκπλύνωμεν, ποτίσωμεν δε την καλήν γην του νοός μας, και ποιήσωμεν αυτήν να καρποφορή αρετάς. Kαι έτζι διά τούτων γλυτώσωμεν από την τιμωρίαν της γείνης, η οποία κατακαίει τας ψυχάς ημών και τα σώματα. Eπιτύχωμεν δε της Bασιλείας των Oυρανών».



Ὁ Ὅσιος Λουκᾶς

Ξένος πρὸς τὶς μάταιες κλήσεις καὶ ἐπιθυμίες, καταγινόταν ἥσυχα μὲ τὴν ἐργασία του καὶ τὸν ὑπόλοιπο καιρὸ χρησιμοποιοῦσε γιὰ λογικὴ ἀνάπαυση, μελέτη καὶ ἀγάπη πρὸς τὸν πλησίον του. Ὁ Ὅσιος Λουκᾶς ἦταν ἀπὸ τὸ Ταυρομένιο τῆς Σικελίας καὶ ἀπὸ μικρὸ παιδὶ διακρινόταν γιὰ τὴν ζωντανὴ εὐσέβειά του. Ἀπὸ τὸν ἱδρώτα του ἔδινε στοὺς φτωχοὺς καὶ πολλὲς φορὲς ἀγρύπνησε κοντὰ στὰ κρεβάτια δυστυχισμένων, ποὺ χωρὶς οἰκογένεια περνοῦσαν τὴν ἀσθένεια μέσα στὴ θλίψη καὶ τὴν μόνωση. Οἱ γονεῖς του θέλησαν νὰ τὸν παντρέψουν, ἀλλ᾿ ὁ Λουκᾶς δὲν δέχτηκε. Δὲν περιφρονῶ, ἔλεγε τὸν γάμο, ἀφοῦ τόσο τὸν τίμησε ὁ Κύριός μας καὶ ἡ Ἐκκλησία. Ἀλλ᾿ εἶναι τάχα ἀνάγκη νὰ παντρευτοῦμε ὅλοι; Ὑπάρχουν τόσες διακονίες πρὸς τὸν πλησίον, ποὺ μπορεῖ νὰ ἐκτελεῖ ὁ ἄγαμος μὲ περισσότερη εὐκολία. Ἐπίσης εἶναι ὑποχρεωτικὸ νὰ ἀποκτήσει κανεὶς παιδιά; Καὶ μήπως τάχα δὲν εἶναι ἱερὸ καὶ ὡραῖο νὰ δώσει κανεὶς ψωμὶ καὶ νὰ φέρει κάποια ἀκτίνα παρηγοριᾶς στὶς καρδιὲς ἀπόρων ὀρφανῶν; Ἀργότερα ὁ Λουκᾶς ἔγινε μοναχὸς καὶ ἀσκήτευε σὲ κάποια τοποθεσία τῆς Αἴτνας. Στὴ συνέχεια ταξίδεψε στὸ Βυζάντιο, ὅπου ὑπῆρχαν τόσοι θησαυροὶ τῆς Ἐκκλησίας. Τελικὰ τὸν τράβηξε ἡ Κόρινθος, ὅπου δίδασκε καὶ οἰκοδομοῦσε μὲ τὶς εὐσεβεῖς ὁμιλίες του καὶ τὶς πατρικὲς συμβουλές του. Ἐκεῖ ἐπίσης τὸν βρῆκε καὶ ὁ εἰρηνικὸς θάνατος τοῦ δικαίου.



Sainted Paul, Archbishop of Constantinople, was chosen to the patriarchal cathedra-seat after the death of Patriarch Alexander (+ 340), when the Arian heresy had again flared up. Many of the Arians were present at the Council which selected the new Constantinople patriarch. They revolted in opposition to the choice of Saint Paul, but the Orthodox at the Council were in the majority. The emperor Constantius, ruling over the Eastern half of the Roman empire, was an Arian. At the time of the election of the patriarch he was not in Constantinople. Upon his return, he convened a council, which illegally declared the dethronement of Saint Paul, and the emperor banished him from the capital. In place of the saint they raised up Eusebios of Nicomedia. Patriarch Paul withdrew to Rome, where also were other Orthodox bishops banished by Eusebios.

Not for long did Eusebios rule the Constantinople Church. When he died, Saint Paul returned to Constantinople. He was greeted by his flock with love. But Constantius exiled the saint a second time, and so he returned to Rome. The Western emperor Constans wrote his Eastern co-ruler an harsh letter, which he dispatched to Constantinople along with the holy exiled archpastor. The threats worked, and Saint Paul was reinstated upon the patriarchal throne.

But soon the pious emperor Constans, a defender of the Orthodox, was treacherously murdered during a palace coup. They again banished Saint Paul from Constantinople and this time sent him off in exile to Armenia, to the city of Kukuz, where he accepted a martyr's death. When the Patriarch was celebrating the Divine Liturgy, Arians rushed upon him by force and strangled him with his own hierarchical omophor. This occurred in the year 350. In the year 381 the holy Emperor Theodosius the Great solemnly transferred the relics of Saint Paul the Confessor from Kukuz to Constantinople. In 1326 the relics of Saint Paul were then transferred to Venice.

Saint Athanasias the Great, a contemporary of Saint Paul, writes briefly about his exiles: "Saint Paul the first time was dispatched by Constantine to Pontus, the second time fettered in chains by Constantius, and then he was locked up in Mesopotamian Syngara and from there moved to Emesus, and the fourth time to Cappadocian Kukuz in the Taurian wilderness".





THE PROLOGUE FROM ORCHID:



1. Saint Paul the Confessor, Patriarch of Constantinople

When Blessed Patriarch Alexander lay on his deathbed, the sorrowing faithful asked him who he would have follow him as the chief shepherd of the spiritual flock of Christ. He said: ``If you desire a shepherd who will teach you and who will shine with virtues, choose Paul; but if you only want a suitable man, externally adorned, choose Macedonius.'' The people chose Paul. Unfortunately, this was not accepted by the Arian heretics, nor was it accepted by Emperor Constantius, who was then in Antioch. Paul was soon deposed, and fled to Rome with St. Athanasius the Great. In Rome, Pope Julian and Emperor Constans received them warmly and upheld them in their Orthodox Faith. Emperor Constans and Pope Julian saw to it that Paul was returned to his throne, but when Emperor Constans died the Arians raised their heads again, and Patriarch Paul was banished to Cucusus in Armenia. Once, as Paul was celebrating the Divine Liturgy in exile, he was attacked by the Arians and strangled with his omophorion, in the year 351. In 381, during the reign of Emperor Theodosius, Paul's relics were transferred to Constantinople, and in the year 1236 they were translated to Venice, where they still repose. His beloved priests and notaries, Marcian and Martyrius (October 25), suffered soon after their patriarch.



2. The Venerable Barlaam of Khutyn, the Miracle-worker

Barlaam was born and raised as a Christian in Novgorod the Great. After the death of his parents, he was tonsured a monk and devoted himself to a life of strict asceticism. He founded a monastery on the bank of the Volkhov River, at a place where a heavenly light appeared to him. Barlaam was a great miracle-worker both during his life and after his death: he saw into the secrets of men's hearts, expelled unclean spirits and healed all sicknesses. After his repose, a servant of Prince Vasili Vasilievich became gravely ill and begged to be taken to the saint's grave. He further instructed them that, if he should die on the way, they should carry his dead body to the saint. And thus it happened-he died on the way and they carried him dead to the monastery, where he returned to life, stood up and prostrated before the grave of the saint. In the year 1471, Tsar Ivan the Terrible ordered that the saint's grave be dug up. As soon as they began to dig, a flame sprang from the grave and flared up along the walls of the church. The Tsar was so frightened that he ran out of the church and, in his haste, forgot his staff, which is still preserved beside the grave of the saint. The commemoration of this miracle is celebrated on the Friday after the Sunday of All Saints.



3. Commemoration of the falling of ash from the sky

This took place in Constantinople in the year 472 during the reign of Emperor Leo the Great and Patriarch Gennadius. (See ``Reflection'' below.)



HYMN OF PRAISE

The Lord's mercy and goodness

Our Lord is mercy and true goodness,

Yet He allows man to suffer for his sin:

Floods, sickness, earthquakes, droughts,

Horror and pains for body and soul.

He who does not see the Father when He offers gifts

Will see Him at the Judgment as the Righteous Judge.

The awesome Judge has many servants,

And employs them all for man's salvation-

The earth's thorns; serpents and beasts;

And floods, lightning, thunder from the sky;

And evil winds of illness; the sun, heat and darkness;

And the field, which gives either wheat or empty straw.

As many gifts await the faithful,

So many scourges are woven for the evil.

Adam's fields are watered with gentle dew,

But Sodom and Gomorrah are mowed with a flaming sword.

Above other created things, God loves man:

Therefore He forgives much; therefore He waits long.

But, when God's patience exceeds all bounds,

Then fire, not dew, does the work.



REFLECTION

If God can bring forth water from a rock as a comfort to men, He is also able to send down fire from the heavens as a punishment. The fate of Sodom and Gomorrah is a classic example of God's punishment upon incorrigible sinners. That God can repeat this punishment was demonstrated over Constantinople in the year 472, during the time of Emperor Leo the Great and Patriarch Gennadius. At noon on November 6 of that year, the sky became overcast with thick, dark clouds, causing darkness on the land. These clouds turned red as fire, then became dark, and alternated their appearance continuously. This phenomenon over Constantinople lasted for a full forty days. The frightened people turned to repentance and prayer. With the emperor and patriarch, they walked in procession through the streets from church to church and prayed to God with tears and lamentation. On the final day hot black ash fell like rain from evening until midnight, then stopped. The following day dawned clear and bright, but the sooty ash lay on the ground to a depth of nine inches. With great effort, the people cleaned their houses and streets of this sooty ash, but the crops in the field were utterly destroyed. All who had understanding, understood that this was God's punishment, and that it was God's gentle punishment because the people hastened to repent before Him. Had it not been for this profound repentance for their great and accumulated sins, who knows what would have happened to Constantinople in those days? But the timely repentance of sinners, and the prayers of the Most-holy Theotokos, as well as the prayers of the countless saints and martyrs of Constantinople, greatly lessened the punishment.



HOMILY

the Head of the Church and the Body of Christ

And gave Him to be the head over all things to the Church, which is His body (Ephesians 1:22-23).

Headless humanity is given a head in the Lord Jesus, risen from the dead. The body separated from the head is grafted to its head, part by part, member by member. Not all men are the body-only those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. All are called, but only those who respond are received under the Head. The ones who respond comprise the Body that is called the Church, whose Head is the Lord. But, as the risen and glorified man, Jesus is exalted within the Holy Trinity, above all and everything on earth and in heaven, so also will His Church, His Body, be exalted to its Head, above all and everything. The whole Church, together with its Head, will stand at the right hand of the Holy Trinity-for where the head is, there also is the body. The redeemed and repentant sinners, the erstwhile adversaries of God-wandering astray like the Prodigal Son and headless as a dead body, but now adopted through Christ and for Christ, and clothed in the beauty of divine life and splendor-will be exalted to such heights, greatness and glory. For it is a great thing, brethren: the Incarnation of the Son of God on earth, His suffering on the Cross and His death for our sake. His visit to earth brought about a great change in the destiny of men, and in the meaning of all things. He changed all things and made all things new. Therefore, brethren, let us not live and conduct ourselves as the old man, but rather as the new man; let us not live according to sin, but according to righteousness; let us not act according to the flesh, but according to the spirit. May we be made worthy of those heights, of the greatness and glory to which we are called by our Head.

O Lord Jesus, the Holy Head of the Holy Church, make us worthy to be members forever of Thy Most-pure Body.

To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.



ΚΥΡΙΑΚΗ Ζ΄ ΛΟΥΚΑ

(Λουκ. 8, 41-56)

Ὁ Χριστὸς εἶναι ὁ ἰατρὸς τῆς ἀνθρώπινης ὑπάρξεως· καὶ στὴν ψυχὴ καὶ στὸ σῶμα. Καὶ στὰ δύο θαύματα τοῦ σημερινοῦ Εὐαγγελίου, δηλαδὴ τὴ θεραπεία τῆς γυναικὸς μὲ τὸ μακροχρόνιο πρόβλημα καὶ τὴν ἀνάσταση τοῦ κοριτσιοῦ, περιγράφεται ἡ ἐπέμβασή Του μὲ τὴν ἰδιότητα τὴν ἰατρική.

Προσεγγίζοντας αὐτὴν τὴν ἰδιότητα τοῦ Χριστοῦ, εἰσπράττουμε τὰ δύο βασικὰ προσόντα Του. Πρῶτο τὴν ἀπεριόριστη ἀγάπη Του, ποὺ ὁ ἀνθρώπινος νοῦς δὲν μπορεῖ νὰ κατανοήσει. Γιατὶ ὁ Χριστὸς «μᾶς ἀγαπάει ὅσο δὲν τὸ βάζει ὁ νοῦς μας» καὶ ἐνδιαφέρεται γιὰ μᾶς ὅσο δὲν τὸ ἔχουμε φανταστεῖ.

Ὁ Χριστὸς ὡς ἄνθρωπος ἔχει ἐμπειρία τοῦ πόνου καὶ ἀντιμετώπισε καθημερινὰ τὴν ἀρρώστια. Καὶ ὡς Θεὸς «εἶναι ὁ ἐπίσημα ἐξουσιοδοτημένος μὲ τὴν ἀποστολὴ νὰ μᾶς λυτρώσει ἀπὸ τὸν πόνο». Νὰ μᾶς γιατρέψει ὡς ὁ μοναδικὸς ἰατρός. Ἐνῶ ἡ Ἐκκλησία παίρνει τὰ λόγια τοῦ ἀποστόλου Ἰωάννου ὅτι «Αὐτὸς» δηλαδὴ ὁ Χριστός, «εἶναι θῦμα, ποὺ μὲ τὸ αἷμα Του ἐξιλεώνει τὸ Θεὸ γιὰ τὶς ἁμαρτίες μας, ἀλλὰ καὶ γιὰ τὶς ἁμαρτίες ὅλου τοῦ κόσμου...». Καὶ τὰ μετατρέπει σὲ ὕμνο δοξολογίας, ποὺ ψάλλει καθημερινὰ στὸ Ναό. «Ὁ αἴρων τὴν ἁμαρτίαν τοῦ κόσμου· ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς, ὁ αἵρων τὰς ἁμαρτίας τοῦ κόσμου».

Δεύτερον προσὸν τοῦ Χριστοῦ ὡς ἰατροῦ εἶναι ἡ δύναμη νὰ μπορεῖ νὰ κάνει τὰ πάντα. Ἔτσι, δὲν ὑπάρχει κάτι ποὺ νὰ μὴν μπορεῖ καὶ τίποτε δὲν στέκεται ἐμπόδιο στὴ δική Του δύναμη. Γιατὶ λειτουργεῖ ὡς Θεός, μὲ ὅ,τι συνεπάγεται αὐτό, γι᾿ αὐτὸ μπροστὰ στὴ θεϊκὴ βούληση τὰ πάντα ὑποχωροῦν καὶ σβήνουν.

Στὴν Παλαιὰ Διαθήκη καὶ ἰδιαιτέρως στὸ βιβλίο τοῦ πολυάθλου Ἰώβ, ὁ Θεὸς παρουσιάζεται ὡς ὁ δυνατὸς ποὺ μπορεῖ νὰ πράξει τὰ πάντα. Τίποτε δὲν ἀντιστέκεται στὴ δύναμή Του. «Γνωρίζω» λέγει τὸ κείμενο «ὅτι δύνασαι νὰ πράξεις τὰ πάντα καὶ δὲν ὑπάρχει γιὰ Σένα τίποτε ποὺ νὰ μὴν μπορεῖς νὰ τὸ κάνεις...».

Μὲ τὰ δύο αὐτὰ προσόντα, τοῦ ἰατροῦ ποὺ ἀγαπάει καὶ τοῦ ἰατροῦ ποὺ μπορεῖ νὰ κάνει τὰ πάντα, ὁ Χριστὸς πορεύεται στὴν ἐγκόσμια ζωή Του.Ὅ,τι καὶ ἂν κάνει, ἐκφράζει ὄχι μόνο τὴν παντοδυναμία Του, μὰ κυρίως τὴν ἀγάπη Του. «Μᾶς ἀγαπάει κι ἐπειδὴ μᾶς ἀγαπάει, γι᾿ αὐτὸ δείχνει τὴ δύναμή Του στὸν κόσμο».

Ἄρα λοιπὸν ὁ Χριστὸς ἔρχεται ὡς ὁ ἰατρὸς τῆς ἀγάπης καὶ τῆς εὐσπλαγχνίας. Αὐτὸς δὲ «δὲν κάνει διαγνώσεις, δὲν γράφει συνταγές, δὲν ὀρίζει θεραπεῖες». Κάνει κάτι πολὺ σπουδαιότερο καὶ ὠφελιμότερο· δίδει στὸν ἄρρωστο τὴ δική Του δύναμη. Τὸν ἑαυτόν Του! Τὸ καταγράφει ἄλλωστε στὸ Εὐαγγέλιό του ὁ εὐαγγελιστὴς Λουκᾶς στὴ θεραπεία τῆς αἱμορροούσης γυναικός. Νὰ τὶ λέγει, ἀναφέροντας τὰ ἴδια λόγια τοῦ Χριστοῦ: «Ἐγὼ κατάλαβα πὼς βγῆκε δύναμη ἀπὸ πάνω μου!».

Εἶναι συγκλονιστικὸ τὸ γεγονὸς πὼς ὁ ἴδιος ὁ Χριστὸς γίνεται ὁ ἰατρὸς γιὰ τὶς ψυχὲς καὶ τὰ σώματά μας. Καὶ ἀκόμη περισσότερο, γίνεται ἡ πηγὴ τῆς ζωῆς μας. Ἀπὸ τὴ δική Του ζωὴ παίρνουμε τὶς ἀναγκαῖες δυνάμεις καὶ τὰ ἀπαραίτητα στηρίγματα, γιὰ νὰ οἰκοδομήσουμε τὴ δική μας.

Ὁ Χριστὸς πρὸ πάντων γνωρίζει ἄριστα πὼς στὸν ἄνθρωπο κεντρικότατο καὶ καθοριστικὸ ρόλο παίζει ὁ ψυχικὸς κόσμος του. Γι᾿ αὐτὸ πάντα ἀπευθύνεται σ᾿ αὐτὸν καὶ κατόπιν στὸ σῶμα. Δίδει πρῶτα τὴν γιατρειὰ στὴν ἄρρωστη ψυχὴ καὶ ὕστερα στὸ ἄρρωστο σῶμα.

Ἡ ψυχὴ λοιπὸν ποὺ κινεῖ τὸ σῶμα καὶ τὸ καθοδηγεῖ, πρέπει νὰ στέκει ζωντανὴ καὶ ὑγιής. Ἐὰν εἶναι ἄρρωστη ἢ πεθαμένη, τότε καὶ τὸ σῶμα θὰ εἶναι τὸ ἴδιο. Μπορεῖ τὸ σῶμα νὰ φαίνεται ὑγιὲς καὶ ζωντανό, νὰ τρώει, νὰ πίνει, νὰ κινεῖται, μὰ στὴν οὐσία συμβαίνει τὸ ἀντίθετο, ἀφοῦ ἡ ψυχὴ εἶναι ἄρρωστη ἢ νεκρή.

Ποιὸς θὰ παράσχει τὴ ζωὴ καὶ θὰ κάνει ὑγιῆ τὴν ψυχή; Μὰ «ὁ Χριστὸς ποὺ εἶναι ἡ ζωὴ καὶ ἡ Ἀνάσταση». Κι᾿ αὐτὸ δὲν πρέπει νὰ τὸ ξεχνοῦμε. Ἔτσι δὲν παρατᾶμε τὴν ψυχή μας σὲ κακὴ κατάσταση· δὲν θ᾿ ἀφήνουμε νὰ φεύγει ἀπ᾿ αὐτὴ τὴ ζωὴ ἄρρωστη ἢ νεκρή. Γιατί τότε δὲν θὰ προσδοκοῦμε «Ἀνάστασιν ζωῆς» ἀλλὰ «Ἀνάστασιν κρίσεως».

Ἀγαπητοὶ ἀδελφοί, ὅταν εἴμαστε ἄρρωστοι, φυσικὰ θὰ ἀπευθυνθοῦμε στὸν ἰατρό, στὴν ἐπιστήμη. Ἀλλ᾿ ὅμως μὴν ξεχνοῦμε πρῶτα ἀπ᾿ ὅλα νὰ ζητοῦμε τὴ δύναμη καὶ τὴν χάρη τοῦ μεγάλου μας ἰατροῦ, τοῦ Χριστοῦ.

Ὁ Χριστὸς εἶναι ὁ δικός μας ἰατρός, ποὺ μᾶς ἀγαπάει καὶ δίνει τὴ δική Του δύναμη γιὰ τὴ δική μας ἐνδυνάμωση καὶ γιατρειά. Καὶ τὴν ὥρα τοῦ πόνου, τῆς ἀρρώστιας, ἡ δική Του παρουσία εἶναι καθοριστική. Αὐτὸ δὲν μπορεῖ κανεὶς νὰ τὸ ἀμφισβητήσει.

Ἂν λοιπὸν ἀρρωστήσουμε, ἔχουμε τὸν Χριστό. Ἂν μᾶς βρεῖ ὁ θάνατος καὶ φεύγουμε γιὰ τὴν αἰωνιότητα, «ἔχουμε ζωή μας τὸν Χριστό». Ἂν φοβόμαστε τὶς σωματικὲς ἀρρώστιες, καλύτερα νὰ φροντίζουμε, ὥστε νὰ μὴν ἀρρωστήσουμε τὴν ψυχή μας. Μὴν πεθάνει καὶ νεκρωθεῖ!

Καὶ τέλος ὅταν ἔλθει ἡ ὥρα μας ν᾿ ἀναχωρήσουμε ἀπ᾿ αὐτὸν τὸν κόσμο, νὰ εἴμαστε ἕτοιμοι μὲ μετάνοια καὶ κάθαρση ἐσωτερικὴ γιὰ «νὰ ᾿ναι ἡ ψυχή μας ζωντανή». Γιατὶ τελικὰ ὅλοι μας ἐπιθυμοῦμε ἐκεῖ ποὺ θὰ πᾶμε, νὰ βροῦμε ἀνάπαυση καὶ νὰ περιμένουμε Ἀνάσταση καὶ ζωή.