For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee: If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate; Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake. One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth. Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate. But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:
Then began he to speak to the people this parable; A certain man planted a vineyard, and let it forth to husbandmen, and went into a far country for a long time. And at the season he sent a servant to the husbandmen, that they should give him of the fruit of the vineyard: but the husbandmen beat him, and sent him away empty. And again he sent another servant: and they beat him also, and entreated him shamefully, and sent him away empty. And again he sent a third: and they wounded him also, and cast him out. Then said the lord of the vineyard, What shall I do? I will send my beloved son: it may be they will reverence him when they see him. But when the husbandmen saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, This is the heir: come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours. So they cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him. What therefore shall the lord of the vineyard do unto them? He shall come and destroy these husbandmen, and shall give the vineyard to others. And when they heard it, they said, God forbid. And he beheld them, and said, What is this then that is written, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner? Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.
+ + +
GREAT MARTYR BARBARA
ST JOHN OF DAMASCUS
Troparion of Great Martyr Barbara Tone 4Let us praise holy Barbara who has broken the snares of the enemy./ By the help of the weapon of the Cross/ she has escaped as a bird and flown Godwards.
Troparion of St John of Damascus Tone 3Thou wast a holy instrument/ and a tuneful harp of godliness./ Thy teachings shone forth to the ends of the world,/ O righteous John,/ entreat Christ our God to grant us His great mercy.
Kontakion of Great Martyr Barbara Tone 4Great Martyr Barbara, thou didst follow Him Who is praised in Trinity,/ having abandoned the idols' shrines./ Thou didst strive in the midst of the arena, not shrinking from the tyrants' threats./ Thou didst cry out in a strong voice:/ I worship the Trinity, the One Divinity.
Kontakion of St John of Damascus Tone 4Let us praise the illustrious hymnographer John,/ teacher of the Church and champion against her enemies./ For armed with the weapon of the Lord's Cross,/ he has banished the errors of heresy./ He fervently intercedes with God Who grants forgiveness to all.