22nd Week After Pentecost v FRIDAY 

Today-s readings, followed by a few pastoral & personal thoughts. 

Colossians 4:10-18 Aristarchus my fellowprisoner saluteth you, and
Marcus, sister's son to Barnabas, (touching whom ye received
commandments: if he come unto you, receive him;) 11 And Jesus, which is
called Justus, who are of the circumcision. These only are my
fellowworkers unto the kingdom of God, which have been a comfort unto
me. 12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you,
always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect
and complete in all the will of God. 13 For I bear him record, that he
hath a great zeal for you, and them that are in Laodicea, and them in
Hierapolis. 14 Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you. 15
Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church
which is in his house. 16 And when this epistle is read among you, cause
that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye
likewise read the epistle from Laodicea. 17 And say to Archippus, Take
heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou
fulfil it. 18 The salutation by the hand of me Paul. Remember my bonds.
Grace be with you. Amen.

Luke 10:1-15 After these things the LORD appointed other seventy also,
and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place,
whither he himself would come. 2 Therefore said he unto them, The
harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the
Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his
harvest. 3 Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves.
4 Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes: and salute no man by the
way. 5 And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this
house. 6 And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon
it: if not, it shall turn to you again. 7 And in the same house remain,
eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy
of his hire. Go not from house to house. 8 And into whatsoever city ye
enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you: 9
And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of
God is come nigh unto you. 10 But into whatsoever city ye enter, and
they receive you not, go your ways out into the streets of the same, and
say, 11 Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do
wipe off against you: notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the
kingdom of God is come nigh unto you. 12 But I say unto you, that it
shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city. 13
Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty
works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they
had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. 14 But
it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment, than for
you. 15 And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shalt be
thrust down to hell.

Luke 10:1 After these things the LORD appointed other seventy also, and
sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither
he himself would come. 

The sending of the 70 disciples was prophesied in the OT: 

?And they came to Elim, where were twelve wells of water, and threescore
and ten palm trees: and they encamped there by the waters.¦ (Exo 15:27) 

The 12 and the 70 foreshadow the 12 and the 70 apostles. Note how the 12
Apostles are wells (or fountains) of water, which in turn nourish the 70
palm trees. The teaching of the Apostles is preeminent, and feeds their
disciples, and the entire church. It is fully appropriate that these
fountains and palm trees were found at ?Elim¦, which interpreted means
?ascent¦. The fruit of the palm tree fully describes the teaching of the
church, because, as Blessed Theophylact points out, the fruit is ?sweet,
yet tempered with astringency¦ (Commentary of Luke 10:1-3) This same
idea is expressed when the Good Samaritan, our Savior, poured into the
wounds of the traveler oil and wine. Luke 10:33-34  But a certain
Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he
had compassion on him,  (34)  And went to him, and bound up his wounds,
pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him
to an inn, and took care of him. Any true Christian teaching will have
these qualities. We need to be encouraged and rebuked, many times at the
same moment in time. The oil soothes us, and without it we would lose
heart, but the wine cleanses us, and without it, our wounds, caused by
our passions and sins, would fester and we would die.  

We know these things about this passage because it is part of the mind
of the church. Correct biblical exegesis is not possible unless we share
the mind of the church. This is obtained not only by reading the
commentaries of the holy fathers (the meaning of this passage, for
instance is expounded in Blessed Theophylact), but also especially by
living the life of the church, and worshipping in an Orthodox manner. 

The scriptures are continually interpreted in our services, especially
in the matins service, and its canons. We can learn the inner meaning of
the scriptures if we think and live liturgically. The word ?liturgy¦
means ?the work of the people¦. It is not only a Sunday morning service,
but the whole of our life. It is a terrible shame that we moderns have
become by and large a non-liturgical people, with the liturgy confined
to less than two hours on Sunday, instead of including daily perusal of
the Holy Scriptures, fasting, standing in the other services in worship,
with intent to learn of the things of God. 

I have stated before and do so again that the most important two hours
of the entire week is the matins service on Saturday evening. In it we
take time out to stop all other distractions of life, and try to learn
of the things of God, where the scriptures, the commandments and the way
of life is expounded. . The Divine Liturgy is the center of our
liturgical life, but it cannot be fully appreciated or understood
without the entirety of our life being liturgical. If we wish to
understand the scriptures, we must not only read them, but also worship
with them and follow them. 

Luke 10:5 And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to
this house. 6 And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest
upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again.

For many years this verse was a puzzle to me. How can our peace return
to us again? Now after many years, it is clear: in all things we should
bless and be bringers of peace. This describes a way of life, an
attitude which we should bring to every encounter. There is no trace of
cynicism in this way of life, and neither is there simple mindedness. We
are to be ?harmless as doves and wise as serpents¦. Mat 10:16  Behold, I
send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as
serpents, and harmless as doves. 

This passage tells us that we will never lose our peace, no matter how
it is received. We must, give the ?benefit of the doubt¦ to every man,
in every situation. If our teaching, or help is rejected, our peace
returns to us, and we are no poorer, but only if our efforts were
accomplished in the spirit of peace. I have learned the hard way that
nothing in my ministry has ever been successful unless I first said
?Peace be to this house¦, and then proceeded. 


The Explanation of the Holy Gospel according to St Luke, by Blessed
Theophylact, published by Chrysostom Press -
http://www.chrysostompress.org/. ALL FOUR BOOKS ARE HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Priest Seraphim Oct 18/31 2008.                                         
                                                    St Nicholas Russian
Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas 



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