Great-martyr Menas of Egypt (304). Martyrs Victor and Stephanida, at Damascus (160). Martyr Vincent of Spain (304). St. Theodore the Confessor, abbot, of the Studion (826). Blessed Maximus of Moscow, fool-for-Christ (1433).
Great-martyr Stephen-Urosh III of Decani (1331). St. Martyrius, founder of Zelenets Monastery (Novgorod) (1603).
Myrrh-streaming “Montreal” Iveron Icon of the Theotokos (1982).
Martyr Drakonas of Arauraka in Armenia (4th c.). St. Martin the Merciful, bishop of Tours (397). St. Bartholomew the Younger, of Rossano, Calabria (ca. 1054). St. Nicodemus the Younger, of Beroea in Macedonia (ca. 1305). Blessed Euthymius and Nestor, of Decani (14th c.). Synaxis of the Saints of Decani. St. Neophytus and St. Stephen Urosica, of Serbia (14th c.). St. Milica, princess of Serbia (Eugenia in schema) (1405).
Repose of Metropolitan Platon (Levshin) of Moscow (1812).
Thursday. [II Thess. 2:13-3:5; Luke 13:1-9]
Pilate mingled the blood of Galileans
with their sacrifices—the Lord said: except ye
repent, ye shall all likewise perish; the tower of
Siloam fell and killed 18 people—the Lord again
said: except ye repent, ye shall all likewise
perish. This gives an understanding that when some
misfortune befalls others, we must not reason about why it
happened, but rather look at ourselves and examine whether
there are any sins on us deserving temporary punishment
for the instruction of others, and hasten to wipe them out
with repentance. Repentance cleanses sin and removes the
cause which attracts a catastrophe. While a person is in
sin, an axe is laid to the root of the tree of his life,
ready to cut it down. It does not cut because it waits for
repentance. Repent and the axe will be taken away, and
your life will flow to its end in the natural order of
things; if you do not repent—expect to be cut down.
What man can know whether he will live to the next year?
The parable about the fruitless fig tree shows that the
Saviour prays that Divine justice spare each sinner in the
hopes that he will repent and bring forth good fruits. But
it sometimes happens that Divine justice no longer hears
the intercessions, and perhaps He will only agree to allow
somebody one more year to remain alive. How do you know,
sinner, that you are not living your last year, your last
month, day and hour?
Friday. [II Thess. 3:6-18; Luke 13:31-35]
Behold, your house is left unto you
desolate, the Lord said about Jerusalem. This means
that there is a measure to God’s longsuffering.
God’s mercy is ready to be eternally patient,
awaiting good; but what should He do when we reach such
disorder that helping us is pointless? This is why we are
abandoned. So it will be in eternity as well. Everyone
says, “God’s mercy will not allow people to be
eternally outcast.” It does not want this; but what
can one do with those who are filled with evil and do not
want to correct themselves? They put themselves beyond the
limits of God’s mercy, and are left there because
they do not want to leave. Spiritualists have invented a
great number of reincarnations as a means for cleansing
sinners. But one who is defiled by sins in one incarnation
may be the same in ten others, and then without end. As
there is progress in good, so is there progress in evil.
On the earth we see people embittered in evil—they
could remain this way beyond the earth, and then forever.
When the end to everything comes, and it will inevitably
come, where is one to put those who are embittered in
evil? Of course somewhere outside of the bright region
determined for those who worked on themselves, for the
cleansing of their impurities. This is hell! Would those
who did not improve under the best of circumstances really
improve under the worst? And if not, this is eternal hell!
It is not God who is guilty of hell and the eternal
torments in it, but sinners themselves. If there were no
unrepentant sinners, there would be no hell. The Lord very
much desires for there to be no sinners; it is for this
that He came to the earth. If He desires sinlessness, this
means, that He desires that nobody fall into eternal
torments. Everything depends upon us. Let us agree and
destroy hell with sinlessness. The Lord will be glad of
this; He revealed hell so that everyone would be careful
not to end up there.