The Righteous Patriarch Abraham and His Nephew Lot

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The holy Patriarch Abraham, born a pagan, ten generations after Noah, when the knowledge of God had perished from among men, became the beginning of God’s dispensation for the universal renewal and salvation of man. He was called out of his country–the land of the Chaldees, that is, Mesopotamia–to the land of Canaan, and received the promise that through his seed all the nations of the earth should be blessed; through his singular faith in the promises of God, he was justified before the giving of the Law and the coming of Grace; through his willingness to sacrifice Isaac, he portrayed the love wherewith God loved the world in sacrificing His only-begotten Son. The greatness of Abraham, and the trials that he and his righteous nephew Lot underwent, are set forth in the Book of Genesis in the Old Testament, chapters twelve through twenty-five. See also the Sunday of the Holy Forefathers, December 11-17.

Feast Day: October 9

Apolytikion in the Plagal of the First Tone

In the night universal of ignorance towards God, and in that starless, profound gloom bereft of heavenly light, thou, O Abraham, wast kindled in the firmament, burning with bright far-shining faith in the Everlasting Light, Who shone forth to us from thy seed. Do thou entreat Him with fervour, that He enlighten us and save our souls.

Kontakion in the Second Tone

The servant wast thou, a mortal fashioned from the earth; thy master was God, creation’s Lord and Fashioner; yet, well-pleased to glorify thy celestial greatness, the Lord of all called Himself the God of Abraham. Procure for us mercies from thy merciful Lord.

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Mosaic from Saint Vitale in Ravenna, 6th century

Elder Paisios on how Abraham used his mind properly

 

Among the Holy Saints we celebrate today, we honor the Righteous Abraham from the Old Testement. I found a beautiful quote by Fr. Paisios on how Abraham used his mind properly, while we corrupt our minds, which are gifts from God. The quote is from With Pain and Love for Contemporary Man, by Elder Paisios, and published by the Monastery of St. John the Theologian is Souroti, Greece (where Fr. Paisios is buried).

” -In other words, Geronda, we should use our mind against the passions?

-Not only that, but more generally, we should take notice of God’s beneficence and of the universe all around us and give Him thanks and praise. You see, it was Abraham that first sought God, not the other way around.

-What do you mean?

-Abraham’s father was a pagan; he worshipped idols. But Abraham saw the universe and was puzzled that his people were worshipping inanimate idols. So he put his mind to work: ‘It’s not possible,’ he thought ‘that these soulless things, these pieces of wood are divine, and creators of the universe. Who made the sky, the stars and the sun? I might find the true God and once I do, I will believe and worship only Him.’ Then God came and revealed Himself to Abraham and said,Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And He led him to Hebron and made him a favourite son.”

“…We must get to know the beneficence of God; we must understand what has been given to us. Why did God give us a mind? So that we may examine, study and observe ourselves and everything around us. God did not give us a mind so that we may constantely spend our time figuring out how to find the fastest means of transportation from one country to another. He gave us a mind because He wants us to preoccupy ourselves with the most important thing: how to reach our true destination, how to get close to God, to what is our one true country, Paradise.”

 

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Priest-King Melchizedek of Salem and Abraham (Gen 14:17-20) Santa Maria Maggiore,Rome.