Wednesday April 8, 2020 / March 26, 2020
Sixth Week of the Great Lent. Tone one.
Great Lent. By Monastic Charter: Strict Fast (Bread, Vegetables, Fruits)Synaxis of the Archangel Gabriel. Martyr Parasceva (1939). Hieromartyr Irenaeus, bishop of Srem (Sirmium), Serbia (304). Martyrs Bathusius and Bercus presbyters, monk Arpilus, laymen Abibus, Agnus, Reasus, Igathrax, Iscoeus (Iskous, Escoes), Silas, Signicus, Sonerilas, Suimbalus, Thermus, Phillus (Philgas), and the women Anna, Alia, Larissa, Monco (Manca), Mamica, Uirko (Virko), Animais (Animaida), Gaatha, and Duklida, in Crimea (375). Venerable Malchus of Chalcis in Syria (4th c.). Venerable Basil the Younger, anchorite near Constantinople (944
The Scripture Readings
Sobor-Synaxis of Archangel Gabriel
Note: The Annunciation of the Mother of God was celebrated 25 March 7529 (7 April 2020)
Commemorated on March 26, June 13, November 8
Sobor-Synaxis of Archangel Gabriel: The Archangel Gabriel was chosen by the Lord to make the blest-announcement to the Virgin Mary about the Incarnation of the Son of God from Her, to the great rejoicing of all mankind. Therefore on the day after the feast of the Annunciation – the day itself on which the All-Pure Virgin Herself is glorified, we give thanks to the Lord and we venerate His messenger Gabriel, who contributed to the mystery of our salvation.
The holy Archistrategos (Leader of the Heavenly Hosts) Gabriel acted in service to the Almighty God. He announced to Old Testament mankind about the future Incarnation of the Son of God; he inspired the Prophet Moses during the writing of the Pentateuch books of the Bible, he announced to the Prophet Daniel about the coming tribulations of the Hebrew People (Dan. 8: 16, 9: 21-24); he appeared to Righteous Anna with the news of the birth from her of the Ever-Blessed Virgin Mary. The holy Archangel Gabriel stayed constantly with the Holy Virgin Mary when She was a child in the Jerusalem Temple and afterwards watched over Her throughout all Her earthly life. He appeared to the Priest Zachariah, foretelling the birth of the Forerunner of the Lord – John the Baptist. The Lord dispatched him to Saint Joseph the Betrothed: he appeared to him in a dream, to reveal to him the mystery of the Incarnation of the Son of God from the All-Pure Virgin Mary, and warned him of the wicked intentions of Herod, ordering him to flee into Egypt with the Divine-Infant and the Mother of God. When the Lord before His Passion prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane to the extent of sweating blood, according to Church tradition, to strengthen Him there was sent from Heaven the Archangel Gabriel, whose very name signifies “Strength of God” (Lk. 22: 43).
The Myrh-Bearing Women heard from the Archangel the joyous news about the Resurrection of Christ.
Mindful this day of the manifold appearances of the holy Archangel Gabriel and of his zealous fulfilling of the Divine Will, and confessing his intercession before the Lord for Christians, the Orthodox Church calls upon its children with faith and with fervour to have recourse in prayer to the great Angel.
(The account about the Sobor-Assemblage of the Bodiless Powers is located under 8 November.)
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.
HYMN OF PRAISE
Golden-headed seven, of angelic rank,
Seven archangels, the highest spirits:
Michael, the sword against adversaries, is the first;
By the sword he renders payment to those who wage war against God.
Gabriel is the herald of God’s Incarnation,
The all-wondrous recorder of human salvation.
Raphael, like a sun, is the servant of the Trinity;
He is the physician of vast human afflictions.
Uriel is the radiant light of God,
The enlightener of human souls.
Selathiel, the intercessor, offers up prayers,
And brings the prayers of the people before God.
Jegudiel, glorifier of God the Almighty,
Encourages the willing man to glory.
Barachiel, dispenser of the blessing of heaven
Gives men what they need from God.
When a miracle occurs, do not be confused by it, but rejoice. God has placed His finger there to reward, or punish, or encourage His faithful, or to lead sinners on the path of salvation.
People frequently compare this world to a locomotive. When you see a locomotive or another steam engine, you know that there is an engineer within it. That does not surprise you, does it? If the engineer puts his head out of the cab, waves his hand, extends a rod, waves a handkerchief, tosses out a letter, or makes some other sign, you know that this does not interfere with the operation of the locomotive and does not damage one rivet in it. Why, then, do the faithless say that God with His miracles interferes with the movement of earthly machines? Why? Because thet are dim-witted (unreasonable). The faithful rejoice at God’s signs. A child is frightened at a locomotive but rejoices when a man, resembling himself, appears from it. Oh, how dear it is to us when, from this mute universe which hurtles around us, someone resembling us appears and that someone is one who recognizes and loves us! When a miracle occurs, know that He Who resembles us greets us and says: “Do not be afraid, I am behind all of this.” St. Basil the New worked many miracles. Through prayer he healed the sick and discerned the fate of people like an open book. Through His chosen ones, God has always demonstrated His love and power to men in order to firmly establish the faithful in the Faith, and to shame the unfaithful and return them to the Faith.
Contemplate the Lord Jesus crucified on the Cross:
1. How He used the last breath of life and saved a thief on the Cross;
2. How He commended His soul into the hands of the Father: Father, into Thy hands I commend My Spirit (Luke 23:46).
on the imminence of the coming of the Lord
“Behold, I come quickly” (Revelation 22:7).
Unbelievers and those who are perishing in spirit will say: “Nearly two thousand years ago He promised that He would come, and He has not come yet!” This is how they laugh–those who will lament in eternal torment. But we who are prepared for happiness in His Kingdom know that He will come in power and glory just as He promised.
We know that He has already come countless times and showed Himself to His faithful ones. Did He not come to John the Divine, to whom He spoke these words: Behold, I come quickly (Revelation 3:11)? John saw Him in power and glory, and felt His hand on him when he was frightened, and fell before His feet as dead: And He laid his right hand upon me (Revelation 1:17). Did He not come to Saul, when he breathed hatred against the Christians and when on the road to Damascus he fell on the ground, seeing the Lord and hearing His voice saying: Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me (Acts 9:4)? And again, did He not enter into the heart of the Apostle Paul when he recognized that nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me (Galatians 2:20)? Did He not come to the countless martyrs, both male and female, who suffered for His name, to encourage them, to heal them, and to have mercy on them? Did He not come to Anthony the Great, Theodore Stratelates, St. Charalampus, St. Marina, St. Sylvester and many, many more?
But what are we saying? Did He not return from the kingdom of death on the third day and appear before the apostles? Did He not come to the aid of the Church many, many times? And did He not resurrect her as from the dead whenever her enemies rejoiced, thinking that they had given His Church over to death forever? Did He not manifest His power in the Church in the time of Nero as well as in the time of Constantine; in the time of Julian, as well as in the time of Justinian; in the time of Arab tyranny, as well as in the time of the Turkish and Mongolian oppression of Christians?
O my faithful brethren, do not submit to deception. He came countless times and comes even today. He comes to every soul that is accessible, regardless of impurity. However, we are all waiting for Him to come for the last time in power and glory. We know that His coming is certain. O Lord Most-gracious, before Thou comest, make us worthy to recognize Thy face and to be ashamed of our own faces, darkened by sin.
To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.