Scripture Readings (KJV)
(8th Matins Gospel)
11But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre,
12And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.
13And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.
14And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.
15Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.
16Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.
17Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.
18Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her.
1 Corinthians 1.10-18 (Epistle)
10Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
11For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.
12Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.
13Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?
14I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius;
15Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name.
16And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other.
17For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.
18For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
Matthew 14.14-22 (Gospel)
14And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.
15And when it was evening, his disciples came to him, saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals.
16But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat.
17And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes.
18He said, Bring them hither to me.
19And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.
20And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full.
21And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.
22And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away.
Martyrs Florus and Laurus of Illyria (2nd c.)
“Brothers in both the flesh and the spirit, they were both zealous Christians, and stonemasons by craft. They lived in Illyria. Some pagan prince set them to build a pagan temple. It happened during the course of their work that a fragment of stone splintered off and flew into the eye of the pagan priest’s son, who was watching the building work with curiosity. Seeing his son blinded and bleeding, the priest shouted at Florus and Laurus and tried to thrash them. Then the holy brothers told him that, if he would believe in the God in whom they believed, his son would be restored to health. The priest promised. Florus and Laurus prayed to the one, living Lord with tears and made the sign of the Cross over the child’s stricken eye. The child was healed instantly and his eye became whole as it had been before. Then the priest, Merentius, and his son were baptised, and they both very soon suffered for Christ in the flames. But Florus and Laurus, when they had finished the temple, put a Cross on it, called together all the Christians, and consecrated it in the name of the Lord Jesus with an all-night vigil of hymns. Hearing of this, the governor of Illyria burned many of these Christians by fire and had Florus and Laurus thrown alive into a well, which was then filled with earth. Their relics were later discovered and taken to Constantinople. These two wonderful brothers suffered for Christ, and were glorified by Him, in the second century.” (Prologue)
Our Holy Father John, Abbot of Rila (946)
He was born near Sophia in Bulgaria during the reign of the Emperor Boris. When his parents died he withdrew from the world to a cave high in the mountains, where he gave himself to the ascetical struggle. There the Prologue says that he ‘endured many assaults both by demons and men, from robbers and from his kinsmen.’ In time he moved to the mountain of Rila, where he lived in a hollow tree, eating only the wild herbs and fruits there. On Rila he saw no human being for many years, but was eventually discovered by a shepherd, after which his fame spread quickly: many came to him for counsel and for the healing of diseases, and Peter, King of Bulgaria, visited him for advice. Many people seeking their salvation settled near him, and soon a church and monastery developed around him. St John reposed in 946 and appeared to his disciples after his death. His relics are venerated at the monastery of Rila, which has for centuries been a lighthouse of Orthodox spirituality in Bulgaria.