34th =Week After Pentecost v SATURDAY Today-s readings, followed by a few pastoral & personal thoughts. 2 Timothy 2:11-19 11 It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: 12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: 13 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself. 14 Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers. 15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. 17 And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; 18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some. 19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. Luke 18:2-8 2 Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: 3 And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. 4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; 5 Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. 6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. 7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? 8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? ?Though all deny Thee, I will not deny thee.¦ Upon hearing the Lord's question: "Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?", within the heart of the Christian must spring up the words "Though all deny thee, I will not deny thee" Cf. Matthew 26:35: ?Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples.¦, Mar 14:31 ?But he spake the more vehemently, If I should die with thee, I will not deny thee in any wise. Likewise also said they all¦., coupled with a holy fear that asks "Is it I, Lord?" Mar 14:19 And they began to be sorrowful, and to say unto him one by one, Is it I? and another said, Is it I? For all Christians can deny or proclaim the Lord Jesus, moment by moment. As moments stretch into minutes, and minutes hours, and hours days, it may be that for the sleepy and slothful servant, days would become years and years a lifetime - spent squandering his inheritance, having long forgotten the buried talent. The Lord is referring here not only to the day when He comes at the end of all things, to judge the living and the dead, but also, we must consider his promise of visitation upon the earth to be being fulfilled right now, at this moment, in our lives. If we were to die today, for us the end of all things is upon us, and the Lord-s question will receive its final answer from us. Will He find faith in us? Will He look within us, as if we are glass, for all things are known to Him, and see His carefully cared for image within us? If He does not find this image, crafted by our repentance into His perfect likeness, then He will say "depart from me, for I do not know you!" Cf. Mat 25:41 ?Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels¦ This theme has been mentioned many times in homilies at St Nicholas. His question to us, ?will He find faith upon the earth¦, must be answered by every person, at every moment. It is not a question that gives us time for preparation. It asks us right now: Are you living with faith? Are you persevering? Are you burnishing my image, which I have implanted into you, and fed with my body and refreshed by the waters of baptism into my likeness? It is clear from ascripture that the vast majority of men will be speechless. Commentary- 14 pt Times New Roman Bibliography 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 2009. St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas http://www.orthodox.net/scripture/pentecost-saturday-34_2timothy2;11-19+ luke18;2-8.html http://www.orthodox.net/scripture/pentecost-saturday-34_2timothy2;11-19+ luke18;2-8.rtf http://www.orthodox.net/scripture/pentecostpentecost-saturday-34_2timoth y2;11-19+luke18;2-8.pdf New commentaries are posted on our BLOG: http://www/.orthodox.net/redeemingthetime Archive of: commentaries: http://www.orthodox.net/scripture Archive of homilies: http://www.orthodox.net/sermons Use this for any edifying reason, but please give credit, and include the URL were the text was found. We would love to hear from you with comments!