December 19, 2017

The Holy Martyr Boniface (230)
Nativity Fast. Day of fast.

Hebrews 4:1-13; Luke 21:12-19

Glory be to Jesus Christ!

St. Cyrprian of Carthage on our Gospel Reading today:

For, that it is through Him that we conquer and that we come to the palm of the greatest struggle by overcoming the adversary, the Lord declares and teaches in His Gospel, saying: ‘But when they deliver you up, do not be anxious how or what you are to speak; for what you are to speak will be given you in that hour. For it is not you who are speaking, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks through you.’ And again: ‘Resolve therefore in your hearts not to meditate beforehand how you are to make your defense. For I will give you utterance and wisdom, which all your adversaries will not be able to resist.’ In this, indeed, there is the great hope of the believers and the greatest fault of the unbelievers not to believe Him who promises that He will give His help to those who confess Him and, on the other hand, not to fear Him who threatens eternal punishment to those who deny Him.

All of these things, most brave and faithful Soldiers of Christ, you have conveyed to our brethren, fulfilling in deeds what you before taught in words, about to be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven since the Lord promises and says: ‘Whoever carries them out and teaches them shall be called the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.’ Finally, having followed your example, a manifold portion of the people have confessed likewise with you and likewise have been crowned, joined to you with the bond of the strongest love and separated from their prelates neither by prison nor by the mines. Virgins are not lacking to this number in whom the hundredfold has been added to the sixty-fold fruit and whom the double glory has carried forward to the heavenly crown. In boys also, a courage greater than their age transcends their years with the praise of their confession, so that both sexes and all ages adorn the blessed flock of your martyrdom.