The Nativity of Our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary.
Sts. Ioane (Maisuradze), archimandrite (1957), and Giorgi- Ioane (Mkheidze), schema-archimandrite (1962), confessors, of Georgia. St. Serapion, monk of Spaso-Eleazar Monastery (Pskov) (1481). St. Lucian, abbot, of Alexandrov (1654).
New Martyr Alexander Jacobson, at Solovki (1930).
Icons of the Most Holy Theotokos: Syamsk (1524), Glinsk (16th c.), Lukianov (16th c.), and Isaakov (1659). Icons of the Most Holy Theotokos: “Kursk Root” (1295), Pochaev (1559), Domnitsk (1696), Kholmsk (1st c.), and Lesna (1696).
St. Ina, King of Wessex, and his wife Queen Ethelburga (8th c.). New Martyr Athanasius of Thessalonica (1774). St. Sophronius of Achtalea in Georgia, bishop (1803).
Repose of Archbishop Dionysius of Ufa (1896), Elder Daniel of Katounakia, Mt. Athos (1929), and Priest Dimitrie Bejan of Romania (1995).
Friday. [Eph. 4:17-25; Mark 12:1-12]
In the parable about the vineyard is
depicted the Old Testament Church and God’s care for
it. The New Testament Church succeeded the Old, and so
this parable can be applied to it as well. Since each
Christian is also a living church of God, it can be
applied to him as well. The latter is more needful for us.
What is the vineyard? It is the soul that has received
remission of sins, the grace of rebirth, the gift of the
Holy Spirit as a promise of the heritage of the eternal
kingdom, the word of God, the holy mysteries, a guardian
angel. Who are the husbandmen? Consciousness and freedom.
They receive the gifts and give a commitment to cultivate
them and bear fruit to the Lord. Who are the careless
husbandmen? Those who want to use the advantages of being
a Christian as befits the external order of their lives,
but do not bring worthy spiritual fruits to the Lord. Who
are those sent from the Lord? The conscience and the fear
of God, the word of God, teachers and pastors by whom the
Lord wants to give understanding to the careless. Those
who do not want to change themselves do not heed them;
some drive them away and try to muffle their voice. Others
even start to war against the Lord Himself, when they
reject faith in Him in various forms. In the end, they
will be miserably destroyed (cf. Mt. 21:41).