Today we commemorate the Holy Fathers who participated in the first six Ecumenical
Councils of the Church, that is: the 318 Fathers who assembled in Nicaea in 325 to condemn Arius who denied that the Son of
God is consubstantial with the Father; the 150 Fathers who assembled in Constantinople in 381 to condemn Macedonius, Patriarch
of Constantinople, who denied the Divinity of the Holy Spirit; the 200 Fathers who assembled in Ephesus in 431 to condemn
Nestorius, Patriarch of Constantinople. who denied Mary the title of Theotokos; the 630 Fathers who assembled in Chalcedon
in 451 to condemn Eutyches, who taught that there was only one nature -- the Divine -- in Christ after the Incarnation; the
165 Fathers who assembled in Constantinople in 553 for a second time who sought to explain how the two natures of Christ unite
to form a single person; and the 170 Fathers who gathered a third time in Constantinople in 680 to condemn the Monothelite
heresy, which taught that there is in Christ but one will, the Divine.
The readings below are for Sunday, July 16, 2017:
Today's Epistle reading [Hebrews 13.7-16]:
Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of
God; consider the outcome of their life, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for
ever. Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings; for it is well that the heart be strengthened by grace, not
by foods, which have not benefited their adherents. We have an altar from which those who serve the tent have no right to
eat. For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest as a sacrifice for
sin are burned outside the camp. So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood.
Therefore let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing abuse for him. For here we have no lasting city, but
we seek the city which is to come. Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the
fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are
pleasing to God.
The Gospel reading for today
When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven and said,
"Father, the hour has come; glorify thy Son that the Son may glorify thee, since thou hast given him power over all flesh,
to give eternal life to all whom thou hast given him. And this is eternal life, that they know thee the only true God,
and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent. I glorified thee on earth, having accomplished the work which thou gavest me to
do; and now, Father, glorify thou me in thy own presence with the glory which I had with thee before the world was made.
I have manifested
thy name to the men whom thou gavest me out of the world; thine they were, and thou gavest them to me, and they have kept
thy word. Now they know that everything that thou hast given me is from thee; for I have given them the words which
thou gavest me, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from thee; and they have believed that thou didst
send me. I am praying for them; I am not praying for the world but for those whom thou hast given me, for they are thine;
all mine are thine, and thine are mine, and I am glorified in them. And now I am no more in the world, but they are
in the world, and I am coming to thee. Holy Father, keep them in thy name which thou hast given me, that they may be
one, even as we are one. While I was with thee, I kept them in thy name which thou hast given me; I have guarded them,
and none of them is lost but the son of perdition, that the scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to thee,
and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves.