Scripture Readings (KJV)
Wisdom of Solomon 3.1-9 (Vespers)
1But the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and there shall no torment touch them.
2In the sight of the unwise they seemed to die: and their departure is taken for misery,
3And their going from us to be utter destruction: but they are in peace.
4For though they be punished in the sight of men, yet is their hope full of immortality.
5And having been a little chastised, they shall be greatly rewarded: for God proved them, and found them worthy for himself.
6As gold in the furnace hath he tried them, and received them as a burnt offering.
7And in the time of their visitation they shall shine, and run to and fro like sparks among the stubble.
8They shall judge the nations, and have dominion over the people, and their Lord shall reign for ever.
9They that put their trust in him shall understand the truth: and such as be faithful in love shall abide with him: for grace and mercy is to his saints, and he hath care for his elect.
Wisdom of Solomon 5.15-6.3 (Vespers)
15But the righteous live for evermore; their reward also is with the Lord, and the care of them is with the most High.
16Therefore shall they receive a glorious kingdom, and a beautiful crown from the Lord’s hand: for with his right hand shall he cover them, and with his arm shall he protect them.
17He shall take to him his jealousy for complete armour, and make the creature his weapon for the revenge of his enemies.
18He shall put on righteousness as a breastplate, and true judgment instead of an helmet.
19He shall take holiness for an invincible shield.
20His severe wrath shall he sharpen for a sword, and the world shall fight with him against the unwise.
21Then shall the right aiming thunderbolts go abroad; and from the clouds, as from a well drawn bow, shall they fly to the mark.
22And hailstones full of wrath shall be cast as out of a stone bow, and the water of the sea shall rage against them, and the floods shall cruelly drown them.
23Yea, a mighty wind shall stand up against them, and like a storm shall blow them away: thus iniquity shall lay waste the whole earth, and ill dealing shall overthrow the thrones of the mighty.
1Hear therefore, O ye kings, and understand; learn, ye that be judges of the ends of the earth.
2Give ear, ye that rule the people, and glory in the multitude of nations.
3For power is given you of the Lord, and sovereignty from the Highest, who shall try your works, and search out your counsels.
Wisdom of Solomon 4.7-15 (Vespers)
7But though the righteous be prevented with death, yet shall he be in rest.
8For honourable age is not that which standeth in length of time, nor that is measured by number of years.
9But wisdom is the gray hair unto men, and an unspotted life is old age.
10He pleased God, and was beloved of him: so that living among sinners he was translated.
11Yea speedily was he taken away, lest that wickedness should alter his understanding, or deceit beguile his soul.
12For the bewitching of naughtiness doth obscure things that are honest; and the wandering of concupiscence doth undermine the simple mind.
13He, being made perfect in a short time, fulfilled a long time:
14For his soul pleased the Lord: therefore hasted he to take him away from among the wicked.
15This the people saw, and understood it not, neither laid they up this in their minds, That his grace and mercy is with his saints, and that he hath respect unto his chosen.
17And he came down with them, and stood in the plain, and the company of his disciples, and a great multitude of people out of all Judæa and Jerusalem, and from the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon, which came to hear him, and to be healed of their diseases;
18And they that were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed.
19And the whole multitude sought to touch him: for there went virtue out of him, and healed them all.
20And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.
21Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.
22Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.
23Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.
James 4.7-5.9 (Epistle)
7Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
8Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
9Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.
10Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
11Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.
12There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?
13Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:
14Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
15For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.
16But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.
17Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
1Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.
2Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.
3Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.
4Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth.
5Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.
6Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.
7Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.
8Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.
9Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.
2 Corinthians 4.6-15
(Epistle, St Theodosius)
6For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
7But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
8We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
9Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;
10Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.
11For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.
12So then death worketh in us, but life in you.
13We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak;
14Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you.
15For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.
Luke 18.31-34 (Gospel)
31Then he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished.
32For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on:
33And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again.
34And they understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.
(Gospel, St Theodosius)
27All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.
28Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Our Holy Father Theodosius the Cenobiarch (519)
“This Saint had Cappadocia as his homeland. He lived during the years of Leo of Thrace, who reigned from 457 to 474. The Saint established in the Holy Land a great communal monastery wherein he was the shepherd of many monks. While Saint Sabbas was the head of the hermits of Palestine, Saint Theodosius was governor of those living the cenobitic life, for which reason he is called the Cenobiarch. Together with Saint Sabbas, towards whom he cherished a deep brotherly love in Christ, he defended the whole land of Palestine from the heresy of the Monophysites, which was championed by the Emperor Anastasius and might very well have triumphed in the Holy Land without the opposition of these two great monastic fathers and their zealous defence of the holy Council of Chalcedon. Having lived for 103 years, he reposed in peace.” (Great Horologion)
The Venerable Vitalis (5th c.)
He lived for many years as a monk in Palestine, then went to Alexandria to labor for the salvation of women living as prostitutes. He worked with his hands by day, keeping only a tenth of his earnings for himself. By night, he would take the rest of his earnings to the prostitutes’ quarter and offer his money to one of them, on condition that she would not give herself up to sin that night, but instead stay with him, praying all night for his salvation. When he left her, he would make her promise to tell no one of this arrangement. Not surprisingly, complaints soon reached the Patriarch, St John the Merciful (November 12) about this monk who was causing scandal by his immoral life; but the Patriarch, discerning Vitalis’ heart, did nothing. When St Vitalis died, a writing tablet was found near his body, on which was written: “Inhabitants of Alexandria, judge not before the time, until the coming of the Day of the Lord.” Then many women who had been converted from an immoral life by the Saint came forward and told of his good deeds. The people of Alexandria honored him with a lavish funeral.
Saint Vitalis shows us in at least two ways that the wisdom of the holy is foolishness to the world: He never sought to justify himself in the eyes of the world, but on the contrary did everything he could to hide his virtues; and, for all his holiness, he counted himself more sinful than the “fallen,” asking them to pray for his salvation.
Venerable Michael of Klops, Fool for Christ (1456)
In 1412, the monks of the Monastery of Klops (near Novgorod) found an unknown man, dressed as a monk, in the church, reading from the Epistles by candle-light. After the service they found him writing in one of the cells. He would not identify himself, but only repeated the questions that they asked him. They were about to eject him from the monastery, but the abbot, who was gifted with spiritual discernment, ordered that he be given a cell and allowed to remain. From that day on he lived in strict obedience and ascesis — he would eat only bread and water on Sundays, keeping a complete fast the rest of the week — but would never reveal his name or background.
In 1419 Prince Constantine Dimitrievitch, brother of Basil I, Grand Prince of Moscow, visited the monastery. During the meal, the still-unknown monk was assigned to read from the Lives of the Saints, and Prince Constantine immediately recognized him as Michael, son of his cousin Maxim, who had disappeared without a trace many years earlier. Constantine revealed his identity to the abbot; this same Constantine later became a monk himself.
Monk Michael lived for many more years at the monastery. In later years he was granted gifts of prophecy: once, meeting a young boy in the street, he accurately predicted that the boy would become Archbishop Jonas; he foretold the deaths of princes and archbishops, and predicted, years before the fact, that Novgorod would lose its independence. He reposed in peace in 1456.