Iconography and Hand painted icons

What our part should be: take on the history of mankind, and carry them on our shoulders in an act of mercy and of love. Let us be those who bring the world to the perfect beauty God has willed for it! Anthony Bloom Metropolitan of Sourozh

Ιησούς Χριστός θεραπεία της συγκύπτουσας_Christ healing a Woman’s Infirmities in the synagogue on the sabbath_ womanTenth Sunday of Luke
Healing a woman in the synagogue on the Sabbath (Luke 13:10-17)

Saint Sabbas the Sanctified (532).
Saint Karion (Cyrion) and his son St. Zachariah of Egypt (4th c.).
Saints Nectarius of Bitol (1500), and his elder, St. Philotheus, of Karyes Skete, Mt. Athos
Commemoration of St. Cosmas the Protos and Companions, killed by the Latins (1276) and the monks of Karyes, Mt. Athos, martyred by the Latins (1283). The Righteous Martyrs dwelling in the cells on Athos who censured the Latin-minded Emperor Michael Paleologus and the Patriarch John Beccus.

Commemorated on December 5

Miracles of Christ on the Sabbath Day
Anthony Bloom Metropolitan of Sourozh
9 December 1979

In the name, of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.

Time and again we read in the Gospel of the anger which the Lord Jesus Christ provoked by performing an act of mercy, a miracle of healing on a Sabbath day. And we cannot help asking ourselves a question: Why did He do it so constantly, so persistently, with such insistence? Could it be to challenge those who surrounded Him? Could it be to provoke them? Could it be simply a pedagogical action?

I believe that there is a great deal more in His action. The Lord created the world in six days; on the seventh day He rested of His toils and labours. But what happened to the world then? The seventh day was the day when the world came into the hands of man to be brought to its fulfilment and to its completeness; the seventh day, the Sabbath of the Lord is the day of man. The whole of human history falls in that day. But God did not leave man to work alone as the Lord Jesus Christ says in the Gospel, as reported by Saint John, My Father still works, He shows His work to His Son for Him to fulfil them. And in another passage He teaches us, He tells us that His judgment is true because it is not His judgment; He hears the words of the Father and that is the judgment He pronounces.

And so, history is the day of man, but man is called to be guided by the wisdom, by the love of God. It is because we are so often seeking for our own ways, it is because we do not ask ourselves what is God’s way in one situation or the other that the world has become so ugly, and so frightening, and so tragic. There is a Hebrew poem that describes the misery of this world into which man does not bring the love of God; it says, Man has ceased to believe in God and love has departed this world. Men have hanged themselves in forests, have drowned themselves in lakes, in rivers. Heaven is no longer mirrored in the lakes, in the woods; the bird does no longer sing songs of paradise, and the Prophet himself on his pedestal has become a mere statue.

Is this not what we have become? Not statues but so much alike the wife of Lot who turned back and who became a statue of salt. We have remained salt and yet we are petrified, immobile, we do not fulfil on earth this function of ours. And Christ shows us, by working His miracles, His acts of love and of compassion on Sabbath day, time and again, He Who is the only true man, the only man who is in total, ultimate oneness with God, what our part should be: take on the history of mankind, take every situation in which we or others find themselves, and carry them on our shoulders in an act of mercy and of love. A Western writer has said that a Christian is the one to whom God has committed the care of His world and of other people. Are we discharging this basic central commission of ours, do we care? We may care with tenderness, we may care sternly, but we must care. And then, this seventh day when God in His mercy and love has committed this world to our care, still can become the day of the Lord. And the City of man which is been built without God, which so often is like the Tower of Babel, may still unfold and attain the greatness and the holiness of the City of God in which the Lord Jesus Christ, true God but also true Man, is called to be a citizen, the heart of it, but also one of us.

Is not this call great enough? Is not God’s faith in us sufficiently inspiring? Are we going to defeat His hope, to reject His love for ourselves or for others? Or are we going to learn from the ways in which Christ fulfils His human vocation in the day of the Lord, shall we not learn from Him and together with Him build the world which God has dreamed, has willed and is still loving in his distress and so often in our betrayal of Him!

Let us learn to love one another actively, bear one another’s burdens, listen to the Living God when He speaks, listen with all our energy, look into His ways and be those who fulfil His will and bring the world to the perfect beauty He has willed for it! Amen.


Blessed Nicolai Velomirivitch posits a significant aspect of this healing – none can plausibly claim that it was the result of auto-suggestion, a common slander of miracles by unbelievers:
“The Lord worked this wonderful miracle, not at the request of, or in response to the faith of, the woman, but on His own initiative and in His own power. Is this not a clear rebuttal to all those who seek maliciously to belittle the divine greatness of Christ’s miracles, intimating that these miracles only come about through auto-suggestion on the part of those to whom they happen? Where is there a trace of “magical” auto-suggestion in this twisted woman? Her infirmity prevented her from even seeing Christ’s face. She did not ask Christ for mercy, nor did she express faith in Him by any sign. Not only thins; the woman was not even near Christ. She did not go up to Him, but He called her to Him.” (Homilies, Volume 2, Page 279)

Saint Sabbas the Sanctified, Lord Jesus Christ, our true Enlightener and Savior, into Thy hands we give over our minds and our hearts.

Faithful is He Who commanded us not to be concerned about bodily things, and mighty is He to feed us in time of hunger. Saint Sabbas the Sanctified
https://iconandlight.wordpress.com/2019/12/04/36138/Σάββας ο Ηγιασμένος_St Sabbas the Sanctified_св. Савва Освященный_ 334521354Troparion of the saint, in Tone VIII—

With streams of thy tears thou didst irrigate the barren desert, and with sighs from the depths of thy soul thou didst make it to bear fruit an hundredfold. Thou wast a beacon to the whole world, radiating miracles. O Sabbas, our father, entreat Christ God, that our souls be saved!

Ikos: O leader of the fathers, adornment of the venerable, boldness of fasters before Christ, citizen and gardener of the desert: how can I hymn thy life, O venerable one? for thou dost shine forth in brilliance unto the ends of the earth, like the sun. Wherefore, I cry unto thee:
Rejoice, beauteous glory of the Cappadocians!
Rejoice, honored standard of the whole world!
Rejoice, most goodly scion of the desert!
Rejoice, godly delight of the righteous!
Rejoice, for thou didst disdain that which is fleeting and corruptible!
Rejoice, for thou dost dwell with the angels in the heavens!
Rejoice, correction and rule of monastics!
Rejoice, rousing of the slothful to God!
Rejoice, divinely flowing fountain of miracles!
Rejoice, honored instrument of the Spirit!
Rejoice, thou by whom the East is adorned!
Rejoice, thou through whom the western lands shine forth!
Rejoice, O Sabbas most rich!

At the Aposticha, these stichera, in Tone V: Spec. Mel: “Rejoice…”—

Rejoice, truly fragrant vessel of the struggles of fasting; for, having taken thy cross upon thy shoulder and offered thyself to Christ the Master, O most blessed one, thou didst trample down the base understanding of the flesh, didst illumine thy soul with the virtues, and didst take flight to divine desire. Wherefore, surrounding thy most holy shrine, O all-lauded Sabbas, we ask that, by thy supplications, we may receive God’s love for mankind, and that the world be granted great mercy.

Stichos: Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.

O God-bearing Sabbas, having drawn nigh unto the fire of the Spirit, thou hast shown thyself forth as a divinely radiant ember, enlightening the souls of those who have recourse to thee in faith, O thou of godly wisdom, leading them to the never-waning Light, O venerable one. And, bedewed from on high with grace divine, thou didst quench the burning coal of the desert. Wherefore, Christ, the Helmsman of divine righteousness, hath manifestly bestowed upon thee a crown of victory, O blessed one. Him do thou entreat, that He grant our souls great mercy.

Stichos: Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord; in His commandments shall he greatly delight.

Thy life was clearly a ladder spanning the gulf between earth and the heavens, O divinely wise one, whereby thou didst ascend to the heights and wast vouchsafed to converse with the Master, O most blessed one. Having enlightened thy mind with the radiance there, with the rays thereof thou didst receive splendor equal to that of the angels. Standing now before Him, pray thou, O venerable one, that we who celebrate thy divine and most sanctified memory may stand with thee, and that He grant the world great mercy.

Glory…, in Tone VIII—

We honor thee as the instructor of a multitude of monks, O Sabbas, our father; for we have truly learned to walk aright in thy steps. Blessed art thou, who didst labor for Christ and didst renounce the power of the adversary, O converser with the angels. With them entreat the Lord, that He have mercy upon our souls.

Now and ever…, Theotokion—

O unwedded Virgin, who ineffably gavest birth unto God in the flesh, Mother of God Most High: Accept thou the entreaties of thy servants, O all-immaculate one, bestowing upon all cleansing from transgression. And now, receiving our supplications, do thou pray that we all be saved.

Gospel of St. Luke (Chapter 10, Verses 10-17)
Luke 13:10-17

Now He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. And behold, there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bent over and could in no way raise herself up. But when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him and said to her, “Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity.” And He laid His hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God. But the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath; and he said to the crowd, “There are six days on which men ought to work; therefore come and be healed on them, and not on the Sabbath day.” The Lord then answered him and said, “Hypocrite! Does not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or donkey from the stall, and lead it away to water it? So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound-think of it-for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath? And when He said these things, all His adversaries were put to shame; and all the multitude rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by Him.


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