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March 25, 2015 + The Christian's Road

St. Macarius the Great, Homily 15 from Spiritual Homilies

12. The men of God, then, ought to prepare themselves for conflict and combat. As a brave young man bears the blows that fall on him, and the wrestling match, and hits back, so Christians ought to put up with afflictions without and wars within, in order that, though belabored, they may conquer by endurance. That is the Christian's road. Where the Holy Spirit is, there follow, like a shadow, persecution and wrestling. You see the prophets, how they were persecuted by their countrymen from first to last, while the Holy Spirit worked upon them. You see how the Lord, who is the Way and the Truth, was persecuted, not by another nation, but by His own. By His own race of Israel He was persecuted and crucified. So was it with the apostles. The Paraclete Spirit removed from the quarter whence the cross came, and passed to the Christians. No Jew was persecuted; Christians were the only martyrs. For this reason they ought not to be surprised. The truth must needs be persecuted.

 

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The Annunciation of our Most Holy Lady, the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary

Troparion, Tone 4

Today is the beginning of our salvation, the revelation of the eternal mystery! The Son of God becomes the Son of the Virgin as Gabriel announces the coming of Grace. Together with him let us cry to the Theotokos: Rejoice, O Full of Grace, the Lord is with You!

Kontakion, Tone 8

O Victorious Leader of Triumphant Hosts! We, your servants, delivered from evil, sing our grateful thanks to you, O Theotokos! As you possess invincible might, set us free from every calamity so that we may sing: Rejoice, O unwedded Bride!