Presvytera Vassi Makris Haros is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati's College of Design, Art, Architecture & Planning and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. She is the owner, designer and photographer of V’s Cardbox, In Service and Love. a greeting card company featuring cards with an Orthodox voice. She strongly feels that experiencing the Orthodox Faith through the church’s cyclical calendar of feasts and fasts is a gift that is too often overlooked.
Listen to the Daily Reading for July 13, 2016, Stephen of Mar Sabbas Monastery.
St. Paul’s Letter to the Hebrews 2:2-10
BRETHREN, if the message declared by angels was valid and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard him, while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his own will. For it was not to angels that God subjected the world to come, of which we are speaking. It has been testified somewhere, “What is man that thou art mindful of him, or the son of man, that thou carest for him? Thou didst make him for a little while lower than the angels, thou hast crowned him with glory and honor, putting everything in subjection under his feet.” Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. As it is, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. But we see Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for every one. For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through suffering.
The Gospel according to Matthew 11:20-26
At that time, Jesus began to upbraid the cities where most of his mighty works had been done, because they did not repent. “Woe to you, Chorazin! woe to you, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, it shall be more tolerable on the day of judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You shall be brought down to Hades. For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I tell you that it shall be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom than for you.” At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes; yea, Father, so it was well pleasing before you.”
Stephen of Mar Sabbas Monastery
According to some, the Saint Stephen celebrated today was a nephew of Saint John of Damascus, different from the one celebrated on October 28, who later also became a Bishop.
Apolytikion of Righteous Stephen
You are a guide of Orthodoxy, a teacher of piety and modesty, a luminary of the world, the God inspired pride of monastics. O wise Stephanos, you have enlightened everyone by your teachings. You are the harp of the Spirit. Intercede to Christ our God for the salvation of our souls.
Kontakion of Righteous Stephen
Since thou wast a man of prayer and an ascetic, O Stephen, thou wast pleasing to the Lord, Who crowned thy labours with wonders; having sought the light of Heaven throughout thy whole life, thou dost now rejoice on high, chanting with the Angels. Hence we honour thee with longing, O righteous Father, as an initiate of God.
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