Then who can be saved?

Listen to the Daily Reading for November 23, 2016,

St. Paul’s First Letter to the Thessalonians 2:1-8

BRETHREN, you yourselves know that our visit to you was not in vain; but though we had already suffered and been shamefully treated at Philippi, as you know, we had courage in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in the face of great opposition. For our appeal does not spring from error or uncleanness, nor is it made with guile; but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please men, but to please God who tests our hearts. For we never used either words of flattery, as you know, or a cloak for greed, as God is witness; nor did we seek glory from men, whether from you or from others, though we might have made demands as apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, like a nurse taking care of her children. So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our very own selves, because you had become very dear to us.

The Gospel according to Luke 18:15-17, 26-30

At that time, they were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them; and when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”

Those who heard it said, “Then who can be saved?” But he said, “What is impossible with men is possible with God.” And Peter said, “Lo, we have left our homes and followed you.” And he said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there is no man who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not receive manifold more in this time, and in the age to come eternal life.”

Amphilochius, Bishop of Iconium

Saint Amphilochius, who was born in Cappadocia, shone forth in asceticism and divine knowledge even from his youth. He was consecrated Bishop of Iconium in 341, he struggled courageously against the blasphemies of Eunomius, Macedonius the enemy of the Holy Spirit, and the followers of Arius. He was present at the Second Ecumenical Council of the 150 Fathers, which took place in Constantinople, convoked during the reign of Theodosius the Great in the year 381. In 383 Amphilochius wished to persuade the Emperor Theodosius to forbid the Arians from gathering in Constantinople and to commit the churches to the Orthodox, but the Emperor was reluctant to do such a thing. The next time that Amphilochius entered the palace, he addressed Theodosius with proper honour, but slighted his young son Arcadius in his presence. Theodosius was indignant, and said the dishonour shown to his son was equally an insult to himself. To this Saint Amphilochius answered that as he would not suffer an insult to his son, so he ought to believe that God is wroth with those who blaspheme His Only-begotten. Saint Theodosius understood and admired Amphilochius’ ingenious device, and he issued the desired edict in September of the same year. Saint Amphilochius, having reached deep old age, reposed in peace about the year 395. Saint Basil the Great wrote many letters to Saint Amphilochius, his friend and Fellow champion of the Faith, and at his request wrote his treatise On the Holy Spirit, which besides demonstrating the divinity of the Holy Spirit and His equality with the Father and the Son, defends the Church’s unwritten ancient traditions, such as making the sign of the Cross, turning towards the East in prayer, no kneeling on Sunday, and so forth.

Apolytikion of Amphilochius, Bp. Of Iconium

O God of our Fathers, ever dealing with us according to Thy gentleness: take not Thy mercy from us, but by their entreaties guide our life in peace.

Kontakion of Amphilochius, Bp. Of Iconium

O thunder divine, thou husbandman of faithful men, the Spirit’s clear trump, O axe that hewest heresies, Hierarch Amphilochius, thou great servant of God the Trinity, ever with the Angels on high cease not interceding for us all, O Saint.

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