St Memnon of EgyptChrist is Risen! Truly He is Risen! Let us glorify our Lord and Christ! In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen. Dear beloved, let us remember St Memnon the Wonderworker. May St Memnon pray for us.

St Memnon was a monk since his youth, praying in the wilderness of Egypt. God rewarded his ascetic efforts with a victory of his spirit over his flesh. Later, St Memnon became a monk in an Egyptian monastery, guided his brethren there, and continued his prayerful struggles. Through his unceasing prayers and ascetic struggles, God gifted the saint with the gift of spiritual insight, and wonderworking. After the repose of the saint, those who prayed for his intercession were able to dispel pests and evil spirits.

St Memnon showed us that in all things, prayer and spiritual struggles are what make us different from others as Christians. A Christian who does not pray to God, or struggle with temptations even as he falls and falls again, is no different from a non-Christian. We are fallible, and full of flaws. God does not forsake us as long as we keep running to Him, despite our numerous and countless falls, just as Christ promised us in St John 5:24-30. In the same Gospel, Christ reminded us of death and the Judgment, so that we keep vigilant about our spiritual struggles and journeys, and to keep our eyes on the prize – eternal life.

In Exodus 14:13-14, God promised His people that they would not see their enemies again (the Egyptians), and that His people must hold their peace. God told His people NOT to battle their enemies, but leave judgment to Him instead. God, and our Lord Jesus Christ, commanded us to love our enemies. The saints also taught us that we are always to consider the others as holy and saintly, and to consider ourselves as the worst sinners. God is our shield, and God is just and right. We are only to concern with our own failings, and to struggle against our own flaws. We are never to pick up arms against others, lest we are the exact demons we imagine others to be. There is no goodness in making enemies of others, and there is no salvation.

But you may wonder, what do we do with perceived enemies, and those who do not yet hear the Truth of God? God asked us to be brave, as we reflect on Acts 4:23-31. The holy martyr saints of antiquity till today, have shown us how they sacrificed life and limb, for evangelizing the Truth of God to the world. We are not to be ashamed of the Word of God, but to heartily share His Truth to those who have ears, and to help them reconcile with God. God does not prejudice against any of His creation.

Even as these are turbulent times, these are also times of poverty and want around the world. As we struggle ourselves, do not neglect the cries of the needy, as Proverbs 22:16-23 admonished us. Do not oppress the poor to boost our coffers, but help whenever we can. If there are those who are unjust, leave the justice to God. It is not ours to judge. And always trust in our God, and listen to all wise counsel of His people, for any words of reprimand or wisdom that can steer us even an inch closer to God, is worthy of our attention and action.

“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner”.

Let us close by praying the thanksgiving prayer:

It is truly meet to call thee blest, the Theotokos, ever blessed and most pure, and the Mother of our God. More honorable than the Cherubim, and more glorious than the Seraphim, without corruption thou gavest birth to God the Word: True Theotokos, we magnify thee.

O virgin Theotokos, rejoice; O Mary full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, for thou hast borne the Savior of our souls, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Fr Raphael+

Readings
Exodus 14:13-14
Proverbs 22:16-23
John 5:24-30
Acts 4:23-31