Scripture Readings (KJV)
2 Corinthians 5.1-10 (Epistle)
1For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
2For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:
3If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked.
4For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.
5Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.
6Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:
7(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
8We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
9Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.
10For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
1 Thessalonians 4.13-17
13But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
14For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
15For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Luke 7.1-10 (Gospel)
1Now when he had ended all his sayings in the audience of the people, he entered into Capernaum.
2And a certain centurion’s servant, who was dear unto him, was sick, and ready to die.
3And when he heard of Jesus, he sent unto him the elders of the Jews, beseeching him that he would come and heal his servant.
4And when they came to Jesus, they besought him instantly, saying, That he was worthy for whom he should do this:
5For he loveth our nation, and he hath built us a synagogue.
6Then Jesus went with them. And when he was now not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to him, saying unto him, Lord, trouble not thyself: for I am not worthy that thou shouldest enter under my roof:
7Wherefore neither thought I myself worthy to come unto thee: but say in a word, and my servant shall be healed.
8For I also am a man set under authority, having under me soldiers, and I say unto one, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.
9When Jesus heard these things, he marvelled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.
10And they that were sent, returning to the house, found the servant whole that had been sick.
24Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
25Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.
26For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;
27And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.
28Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
29And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
30I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.
St Abercius, Bishop of Hierapolis, Wonderworker and Equal to the Apostles (167)
He was bishop of Hierapolis in Phrygia of Asia Minor, during the reign of Marcus Aurelius, a persecutor of Christians. During a pagan festival, Abercius was instructed by an Angel to throw down the idols of Apollo and other pagan gods. When his work was discovered, the people of the city were outraged; but instead of hiding, the bishop went to the marketplace and openly confessed the Christian faith. The people grew angrier still, but when Abercius healed three possessed men they were amazed and listened to him more closely. He preached the Faith with such power that the entire city and surrounding countryside became Christian.
These miracles reached the ears of the Emperor, whose daughter was suffering from demonic possession. The Emperor summoned Abercius to Rome, where he was enabled to cast out the spirit and perform several other miracles. The Empress offered him a large reward of gold for healing her daughter, but he would not accept it. On his way home, he was instructed in a vision to travel to Syria. He travelled first to Antioch and surrounding cities, then as far as Mesopotamia, proclaiming Christ and teaching the faith everywhere he went. No other bishop of his time travelled so widely in the service of the Gospel; for this reason he is called Equal to the Apostles.
After several years he returned to Phrygia, where he lived the remainder of his life in peace, shepherding his flock.
Venerable Lot of Egypt (5th c.)
He was one of the company of ascetic Fathers who fled the world into the Egyptian desert in the fourth and fifth centuries.
Once Abba Lot went to his spiritual father Joseph and asked him, simply, ‘What shall I do to be saved?’ Abba Joseph stretched his hands toward heaven and his fingers became ten flames. He said, ‘If you desire it, you can become entirely as a fire.’
A brother once came to Abba Lot in terrible distress and said to him, ‘I have committed a great sin, that I cannot admit to the Fathers.’ ‘Confess it to me and I will bear it for you,’ answered the Elder. ‘I have fallen into fornication,’ the brother said, ‘and to do so, I sacrificed to idols.’ The Elder said to him, ‘Take heart: no sin is beyond God’s mercy. Repentance is always possible. Go and sit in your cave; eat only every other day, and we will each take an equal share of the burden of your offence.’ After three weeks of keeping the same penance, Abba Lot received assurance from God that the brother’s repentance was acceptable. For the rest of his life, the brother served as the Elder’s disciple.
Holy Seven Youths of Ephesus
They are also commemorated August 4. See that date for their story.