St. Macarius the Great of Egypt (390-391). St. Mark, archbishop of Ephesus (1444). Blessed Theodore of Novgorod, fool-for-Christ (1392). St. Macarius the Roman, abbot (Novgorod) (16th c-17th c.).
Virgin-martyr Euphrasia of Nicomedia (303). St. Macarius of Alexandria (394-395). St. Anthony the Stylite, of Martqopi, Georgia (6th c.). St. Arsenius, archbishop of Corfu (8th c.). St. Macarius the Faster, of the Kiev Caves (12th c.). St. Macarius, hierodeacon of the Kiev Caves (13th c.-14th c.). Uncovering of the relics of St. Sabbas, founder of Storozhev Monastery (Zvenigorod) (1652).
New Hieromartyr Peter Skipetrov, archpriest, of Petrograd (1918).
St. Branwalader (Breward) of Cornwall and the Channel Islands (6th c.). Martyr Anthony Rawah the Qoraisite (797). Translation of the relics (950) of St. Gregory the Theologian (389). St. Meletius, confessor, of Mt. Galesion, monk (1286).
Repose of Schemanun Anatolia of Diveyevo (1949).
Wednesday. [I Pet. 4:1–11; Mark 12:28–37]
One lawyer asked the Lord: Which is the first
commandment of all? The Lord answered: Thou
shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with
all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy
strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is
like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as
thyself. There is none other commandment greater than
these (Mark 12:28, 30–31). This also
serves as a supplement to the portrayal of the hidden man
of the heart. Sanctifying the Lord is his spirit, and
love—his soul; all the other virtues are his various
members—arms, legs, eyes, ears, tongue. Remembrance
of this is very needful, because it sometimes happens
that, considering the doing of good to be the final
virtue, people think they can get by with only this, not
thinking about the Lord, and forgetting about love. Doing
good without faith and a desire to please God is not holy;
it is like a house that has not been blessed, or a room
without icons. Without love, the doing of good is like a
building filled with lifeless sculptures, succumbing to
mustiness and mould. Pay attention to this, each of you;
and setting out to create a new person in yourself, try to
place him before the Lord, who is without any flaw.
Thursday. [I Pet. 4:12–5:5; Mark 12:38–44]
The widow placed in the treasury (the church
collection box) two mites (a half-kopeck piece,
approximately); but the Lord said that she cast in more
than anyone, although the others were casting in rubles
and tens of rubles. What gave extra weight to her mite? It
is the disposition with which the offering was made. Do
you see the difference between the doing of good without
soul, by habit, and the doing of good with soul and heart?
It is not the external aspects of a deed which give it
value, but the inner disposition. It may happen that a
deed which is outstanding in every regard has no value
whatsoever before God, yet a deed which is insignificant
in appearance is valued greatly. What follows from this is
evident in and of itself. But do not take it into your
head to be careless about external things, intending to
limit yourself only to inner things. That widow would not
have received approval if she had said to herself,
“I too have the desire to put in money—but
what should I do? I only have two mites. If I give them
away, I myself will be left with nothing. She had the
desire and acted upon it as well, committing her life into
the hands of God. Nobody would have condemned her If she
had put in nothing—neither people, nor God. But then
she would not have revealed such a disposition, which
singled her out from the ranks of others and made her
renowned throughout the entire Christian world.