St. Gregory the Wonderworker, of Neo-Caesarea (266). St. Nikon, abbot, of Radonezh, disciple of St. Sergius. (1426).
St. Lazarus the Iconographer, of Constantinople (857). Martyrs Gobron (Michael) and 133 soldiers, of Georgia (914).
Hieromartyr Basil, bishop of Hamah (ca. 282). Martyrs Zachariah the Cobbler and his wife Mary (3rd c.). Martyrs Gregory, Victor, and Geminus, of Heracleon in Thrace (304). 150 philosophers converted by St. Catherine and martyred at Alexandria (305). St. Longinus of Egypt (4th c.). St. Maximus (Maximian), archbishop of Constantinople (434). St. Vulfolaic, stylite, of Trier (6th c.). St. Gregory, bishop of Tours (594). St. Hilda, abbess of Whitby (680). St. John the Cobbler, of Olumba, Cairo, and Sinai (7th c.). St. Gennadius, steward of Vatopedi, Mt. Athos (14th c.). Archimandrite Sebastian (Dabovich), missionary in America (1940).
Wednesday. [I Tim. 1:18-20, 2:8-15; Luke 15:1-10]
The parable about the stray sheep
and the lost silver piece. How great is the
Lord’s mercy toward us sinners! He leaves all those
who are proper and turns to the improper to correct them;
He seeks them, and when He finds them, He Himself rejoices
and calls all the heavens to rejoice with Him. How is it
that He seeks them? Does He not know where we are who have
stepped away from Him? He knows and sees all; but if it
were only a matter of taking and transferring them to His
own, all sinners would immediately reappear in the same
ranks. But one must first dispose them to repentance, so
that their conversion and return to the Lord would be
free; and this cannot be done by command or other external
order. The Lord seeks a sinner by guiding him to
repentance. He arranges everything around him so that the
sinner comes to his senses, and, seeing the abyss into
which he has been rushing, returns. All the circumstances
of life are directed in this way, all meetings with
moments of sorrow and joy, even words and looks. And the
inner actions of God through the conscience and other
right thoughts lying in the heart never cease. How much is
done to convert sinners to the path of virtue, while
sinners still remain sinners!… The enemy covers
them in darkness and they think that everything is all
right, and all will pass. If worries arise they say,
“Tomorrow I will stop,” and remain in their
former state. Thus day after day passes; indifference to
their salvation grows and grows. A bit more and it will
harden into sin. Who knows if conversion will come?