Thursday, June 21, 2018 UTC

JULY 7, 8 & 10: 7TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST & COMMEMORATION OF ANTHONY OF THE CAVES VENERABLE

01-anonymous-christ-heals-the-two-blind-men-on-the-road-to-jericho-duomo-di-monreale-monreale-sicily-it JULY 7: VIGIL DIVINE LITURGY (SN)  – 4:00 PM; JULY 8: DIVINE LITURGY – 9:30 AM (SCM) NOTE NEW DIVINE LITURGY START TIME!; JULY 10: DIVINE LITURGY – 11:00 AM, JULY 11: DIVINE LITURGY – 6:00 PM.

In today’s Gospel Reading, Matthew 9:27-35, Two Blind Men are Healed. Today’s Gospel reading speaks of truths that are of great importance to our everyday lives. It speaks of the love of God for man and of the love of man for God; of the fact that God never leaves us without His merciful assistance. Two blind men, cry out: “Have mercy on us, Jesus!” They are very persistent. They know and believe in the power of the Lord Jesus Christ without any doubt whatsoever. They plead: “Heal us!” The Lord asks them: “Do you believe in Me? Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They reply: “Yes, Lord, of course we believe!” Then He touches their eyes and they are opened – the blind men recover their sight. We all resemble these two blind men not only in our spiritual blindness, but our bodily infirmities, which torment us as did theirs and we ask for things from the Lord: for the alleviation of suffering, for our healing, for the return of our health and the joy of life, which we have somehow lost. But we do not always resemble the blind men in their faith in the Lord and in His power. The Lord Jesus Christ walked the earth very long ago, healing every infirmity and disease in people, just as He healed these two blind men of the Gospel who had unwavering faith in Him. Let us believe Him and be faithful, as the two blind men believed Him.

On July 10th we commemorate Anthony of the Caves, Venerable. Anthony of Kiev (c. 983-1073) was a monk and the founder of the monastic tradition in the Kievan Rus’. Also called Anthony of the Caves he, together with Theodosius of Kiev, co-founded the Kiev Monastery of the Caves. Anthony in his early years was well known for his strict asceticism. He ate rye bread every other day and drank only a little water. With the spread of his fame came those who offered to join him. Eventually, Anthony accepted the company of a few of them. The first was a priest named Nikon. The second was Theodosius. As more monks joined the order, he and Theodosius decided to build a larger stone church to accommodate the ever increasing number of monks. Anthony himself did not live to see the church completed. He died in 1073, shortly after blessing the foundation of the new church, at 90 years old. Shortly before his death he called the monks together and consoled them about his coming death. He also asked them that his remains be hidden away forever. The monks carried out his request. He was reportedly buried in his cave, but no relics have ever been found. Many however have subsequently come to the cave to pray and many of them have reported being healed there.

 

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