Wednesday 23rd June 2021
Afterfeast of Pentecost
Today we commemorate:
Virgin-martyr Agrippina of Rome and those with her (260). Holy Martyrs Eustochius, Gaius, Probus, Lollius, and Urban, of Ancyra (4th C). Venerable Barbaros Pentapolites. Translation of the relics of St. Herman, archbishop of Kazan (1567).
British Isles and Ireland:
St. Etheldreda (Audrey), foundress of Ely Abbey, Virgin (679). St. Mochaoi, abbot of Nendrum (498).
Romans 1:18-27; Matthew 5:20-26
Readings in bold type are those appointed by the Typikon for use at the Liturgy
God’s anger is revealed from heaven against all the impiety and unrighteousness of those who are suppressing the truth through injustice, because what can be known of God is evident to them – because God has made it plain to them. For, since the creation of the world, what is invisible about him – both his everlasting power and his divine nature – is clearly seen by observing what has been created. So they are without excuse, because, being aware of God, they have not glorified him as God nor have they expressed gratitude, but they have become perverse in their reasoning and their foolish hearts are benighted. Claiming to be wise, they have become stupid; and they have exchanged the glory of the immortal God for an imitation – an image of a mortal human being, or of birds, or of four-footed creatures, or of reptiles. For this reason God has delivered them up to the lusts of their hearts, to impurity, to the dishonouring of their bodies with others. These people have exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and have reverenced and worshipped the creature rather than the Creator who is blessed for evermore. Amen. Because of this God has delivered them up to shameful passions, for their women have even exchanged natural intercourse for what is against nature; and likewise the men – they have abandoned natural intercourse with a woman and have burned with their lust for one another: men with men doing what is indecent, and receiving in themselves the fitting penalty for their deviation.
The Lord said to the people … “I tell you that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven. You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not kill’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be held liable at the Judgement’, but what I am telling you is that all who are angry with their brother or sister without reason shall be held liable at the Judgement. Whoever calls a brother or sister ‘worthless’ shall be answerable to the courts, and whoever says, ‘Fool!’ shall be liable to the hell of fire. So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift at the altar and go away. Be reconciled with your brother or sister first, and then come to offer your gift. Be reconciled quickly with the one who takes you to court – while you are still together on the way – in case your accuser hands you over to the judge, and the judge hands you over to the officer, and you are thrown into prison. Truly I tell you that you will not get out of there until you have paid the last penny.”