Scripture Readings (KJV)
Hebrews 8.7-13 (Epistle)
7For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.
8For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:
9Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.
10For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
11And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.
12For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
13In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.
Mark 8.11-21 (Gospel)
11And the Pharisees came forth, and began to question with him, seeking of him a sign from heaven, tempting him.
12And he sighed deeply in his spirit, and saith, Why doth this generation seek after a sign? verily I say unto you, There shall no sign be given unto this generation.
13And he left them, and entering into the ship again departed to the other side.
14Now the disciples had forgotten to take bread, neither had they in the ship with them more than one loaf.
15And he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod.
16And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have no bread.
17And when Jesus knew it, he saith unto them, Why reason ye, because ye have no bread? perceive ye not yet, neither understand? have ye your heart yet hardened?
18Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember?
19When I brake the five loaves among five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? They say unto him, Twelve.
20And when the seven among four thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? And they said, Seven.
21And he said unto them, How is it that ye do not understand?
Holy Martyrs Hermylus and Stratonicus (315)
Hermylus was a deacon in Singidunum (modern-day Belgrade) during the reign of Licinius. When he was arrested he joyously welcomed the soldiers who came to seize him. When he confessed Christ before the magistrate, he was beaten, tormented, then thrown in jail. There he prayed to be allowed to partake in Christ’s saving Passion, and heard a voice assuring him that in three days he would receive a Martyr’s crown.
Stratonicus, his jailer, was a kind-hearted man and secretly a Christian, and wept to see the torments to which Hermylus was subjected. Seeing this, the soldiers began to question him; and, seeing that his hour had come, he in turn openly confessed Christ. For this he was seized, flogged and thrown into prison with his brother in Christ. The following day, both were bound, tied in a net and thrown into the Danube, where they received their divinely-promised crowns. Their bodies were washed up a few days later, recovered by Christians and buried with honor.
Our Holy Father Maximos Kavsokalybites (the Hut-burner) (1365)
A native of Lampsacus on the Hellespont, he became a monk at the age of seventeen. When his spiritual Father died, he went on pilgrimage to Constantinople, where he took up the ascesis of folly for Christ, pretending madness in order to conceal his virtues and struggles from the world. He then went to the Great Lavra of St Athanasius on Mount Athos, where he lived as a simple monk in complete obedience. One day, he was told in a dream to go to the summit of Athos to receive (like Moses) the tablets of the spiritual law. He prayed continuously atop the Holy Mountain for three days, after which the Mother of God appeared to him surrounded by angels. She gave him a miraculous loaf for his sustenance and told him to live in solitude on the wild slopes of Mount Athos. Henceforth he lived apart, barefoot in all weather. He would build himself crude shelters of branches and brush; after living in one for a short time he would burn it and move to a new place. Thus he received the name Kavsokalybites “the Hut Burner” from the other monks, who dismissed him as a madman.
Saint Gregory the Sinaite (April 6), one of the great Hesychasts, heard of St Maximos, and hurried to meet him. When they met, St Maximos put aside his usual silence at St Gregory’s pleading, and they discoursed together for many hours. Saint Gregory was astonished at the wonders that God had accomplished in St Maximos, at his depth of spiritual understanding and his eloquence. Returning to the nearby monks, he said “He is an angel and not a man!” He begged St Maximos to give up his nomadic life and his pretended madness, and to live among his fellow monks for their edification. This St Maximos did. He settled in one of his crude huts, living on bread miraculously provided from heaven and on sea-water, which was made sweet by his prayer. He received and counseled any monks who sought him out, and over the years was visited by two Emperors and by the Patriarch of Constantinople. In his last years he returned to a small cell in his Lavra, where he reposed in peace at the age of ninety- five. The monks of Mt Athos immediately venerated him as a Saint.
Our Holy Father Hilary, Bishop of Poitiers (369)
“The holy Hierarch Hilary was born of pagan parents in Gaul, and was trained in philosophy and rhetoric. At a time when paganism was still strong in Gaul, Saint Hilary understood the falsehood of polytheism, and became a Christian, and a great defender of his new Faith. About the year 350 he was ordained Bishop of Poitiers, when Arles and Milan were in the hands of the Arians and the Arian Constantius was sole Emperor. Like his contemporary Saint Athanasius, Saint Hilary’s episcopate was one long struggle against the Arians. As Bishop of Poitiers, Saint Hilary foresaw the future greatness of Martin (see Nov. 12), and attached him to himself. In 355, when required to agree to the condemnation of Saint Athanasius by the Council of Milan, Hilary wrote an epistle to Constantius condemning the wrongs done by the Arians and requesting, among other things, the restoration of the Orthodox bishops, including Athanasius. For this, Hilary was banished to Asia Minor, where he wrote his greatest work, On the Trinity. Saint Hilary returned to his see in 360, where Saint Martin sought him out again. It was at this time that Saint Hilary blessed Martin to found a monastery near Poitiers, where Martin remained until being consecrated Bishop of Tours in 371. In his last years, Saint Hilary strove for the deposition of Auxentius, the Arian Bishop of Milan, but by affecting an Orthodox confession Auxentius retained his see. Saint Hilary reposed in peace about the year 368. Auxentius died in 374 and was succeeded by Saint Ambrose, who continued Saint Hilary’s battle against Arianism.” (Great Horologion, adapted)