The Prologue from Ohrid: May 6
1. THE HOLY RIGHTEOUS AND LONG-SUFFERING JOB
Job was a descendant of Esau the grandson of Abraham and lived in Arabia
about 2,000 years before Christ. His father's name was Zareth and his mother's
name was Bosora. However, his full name was Jobab. Job was an honorable,
god-fearing man and very wealthy. In the seventy-ninth year of his life, God
permitted difficult temptations to befall him through Satan as it is written in
detail in the Book of Job. In one day, Job lost all his enormous estates, his
sons and his daughters. After that a terrible disease befell him and his entire
body was covered with sores from his head to his feet and Job lay on the rubbish
heap outside the town and with a piece of potsherd scrapped away the pus from
his wounds. Job did not murmur against God, but patiently endured all sufferings
to the end. That is why God restored his health, gave him much greater riches
than that which he had before and seven sons and three daughters were born to
him as many as he previously had. Job lived for a total of two-hundred
forty-eight years always glorifying and praising God. Job is considered to be
the model of patient endurance of every suffering which God sends upon us and
Job is a proto-type of the suffering of the Lord Jesus.
2. THE HOLY MARTYR BARBARUS
Barbarus was a soldier during the reign of Julian the Apostate. When the
emperor's commander Bacchus led the Roman army against the Franks, Barbarus, who
was secretly a Christian, was serving in the army. In battle there appeared a
certain hero on the side of the Franks, similar to Goliath of old and he
challenged the Romans to send one of their men to come out to do battle.
Commander Bacchus advised Barbarus to go. Barbarus prayed in his heart to the
Living Lord, went out and defeated that giant. As a result, the Frankish army
became confused and fled. Then the commander prepared a great celebration and
ordered that sacrifices be offered to the idols. During the sacrificial
offerings, the commander learned that Barbarus kept himself apart. When he was
asked about that, Barbarus declared that he is a Christian. The commander
informed the emperor and the emperor ordered that Barbarus be subjected to the
most severe tortures. But Barbarus endured all with rare courage and composure.
During his tortures, many miracles were manifested and many soldiers,
witnessing this, accepted the Faith of Christ. Among them was the Commander
Bacchus along with Callimachus and Dionysius. All three were beheaded for the
Name of Christ and, after them, Barbarus was also beheaded in the year 362 A.D.
Their souls took up habitation in the kingdom of Christ the Immortal King.
3. SAINT BARBARUS THE ROBBER
After having committed many crimes, Barbarus repented and at first condemned
himself to crawl on all fours for three years and to eat with dogs and, second,
to live twelve years in the forest without clothes, without a roof and without
food except grass and leaves. He received news from the angels that his sins
are forgiven. Some merchants traveling through the forest and seeing Barbarus
from afar thought that it was an animal and not a man, aimed their arrows at him
and pierced him. Dying, Barbarus begged them to inform the nearest priest about
him. The priest arrived and buried him honorably. From his body flowed healing
myrrh (oil) which cured various diseases and pains of men.
HYMN OF PRAISE
JOB, THE SUFFERING SERVANT
Tell me brother, what you are able to endure,
And how much of a man you are, I will tell you.
Job the righteous rich man and all glorious
By Satan, on a dunghill was thrown,
And with pus and sores covered,
To dogs and to men, a horrifying sight!
Whatever he had, in a day perished
Except faith and except patience.
But with the weapon of faith and patience
Job, the horrible Satan overcame.
The uneven struggle, God looked on,
To the righteous one, victory He imparted.
With victory, all other riches,
And the envious devil shamed.
Abba Isaiah said of himself: "I see myself resembling a horse
wandering around without a rider. Whoever finds him, sits on him and rides him
to his content. When one rider dismounts the horse, another saddles him and
does the same, and so with the third and so forth." This great ascetic,
about whom everyone spoke with amazement that he had attained perfection, said
this of himself either out of humility or from remembrance of his time of
imperfection. The main thing is that these words are true in relation to every
Christian who walks spiritually unbridled and unrestrained. Just as soon as one
passion dismounted from him, another mounted him. Just as soon as one wearied
him and left him in despair, another mounted him with deluded hope that it will
make him happy. Such a man does not have a rider who would direct him to the
true path without digressing to the left or to the right. The only friendly
rider which should be greeted with a welcome is the holy and powerful Christian
To contemplate the Ascension of the Lord Jesus:
1. How He first resurrected bodily and then ascended bodily;
2. How the souls of righteous men after death first ascend into heaven while
the body awaits the general resurrection, general transfiguration and general
About the power that God gave to the words of the
"Behold, I made My words in your mouth, a fire. And this
people is the wood that it shall devour!" (Jeremiah 5:14).
You see brethren, that the effect of the word of God is different according
to different people. The word of God is like fire, in whom the righteous one
rejoices, as one frozen in the cold of this world; and the word of God is like
fire which burns the unrighteous one whom this material world has overly warmed.
The experienced spiritual fathers have left us proof that only the Name of
Jesus brings power, joy and refreshment to the faithful - and this Name consumes
evil spirits as a living fire. That is the way with every word of God. With
some it creates comfort, with others irritation, with some it quiets anger, with
others it increases anger, with some it provokes respect with fear and with
others scorn. To the healthy it is honey; to the unhealthy it is the honey of
But, why should the people be as wood which will be consumed? For, are the
people to be blamed if the godless elders and false prophets lead them astray?
The people are not to blame to such a degree as their elders and false prophets
but nevertheless they are to blame to a certain extent. For God also gave the
people to know the right path through conscience and through the preaching of
God's word and the people should not blindly follow their blind leaders when
they lead them on the false paths and distance them from God and God's law.
Brethren, God is Just and He knows the measure of everyone's faults, and He will
not permit the illiterate and the least to suffer as much as the literate and
O All-seeing God, save us that we neither be blind leaders not blind
followers. Strengthen our hearts that, as leaders and as followers, we will
always be Your servants and only Your servants.
To You be glory and thanks always. Amen.