Sunday, 5 July 2015

A glimpse of Provence in
a summer thunderstorm

The Lavender Field in Kilmacanogue this afternoon … a glimpse of Provence (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2015)

Patrick Comerford

The Lavender season has arrived and the Lavender Field is in full bloom at Kilmacanogue, beneath the slopes of the Sugarloaf Mountain in Co Wicklow.

I was presiding and preaching at the Sung Eucharist in Saint Bartholomew’s Church, Ballsbridge, this morning. It had been raining for most of the morning, and as we left Ballsbridge at lunchtime a thunderstorm was beginning to rumble in the grey skies above.

A walk on the beach seemed to be out of the question and instead we headed towards the Avoca Farm House Café at Kilmacanogue, between Bray and Enniskerry, Co Wicklow.

Bread and olives in the Avoca shop in Kilmacanogue (Photographs: Patrick Comerford, 2015)

We stopped on the road to admire the Lavender Field which was in full bloom – a colourful sight under the grey skies of a summer Sunday in provincial Ireland and creating images of lavender under the blue skies of a summer Sunday in Provence.

The thunderstorm meant even the terrace at the Farm House Café was closed to the garden outside. But that did not deter the summer Sunday shoppers arriving in large numbers.

After snatching double espressos in the café, we bought lunch to take home, and then stopped again nearby at the Lavender Shop in Kilmacanogue, across the road from the Lavender Field.

Lavender products on sale in the Lavender shop in Kilmacanogue (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2015)

Each year in early July the shop celebrates the arrival of the lavender flowers with a Lavender Harvest Party, and the shop was busy this afternoon selling lavender plants, bunches, soap, oil and other products – lavender oil has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.

The ancient Greeks called the lavender herb nardus, after the Syrian city of Naarda, which is identified with the modern town of Dohuk in Iraq. The Greeks discovered early on that lavender if crushed and treated correctly would release a relaxing fume when burned.

Lavender may the expensive perfume known as nard in the Gospels. In Bethany, Mary, the sister of Lazarus uses a pint of pure nard to anoint the feet of Christ. Judas Iscariot asks why the ointment was not sold for 300 denarii instead, about a year’s wages, and the money given to the poor (see John 12: 1-10).

In the synoptic Gospels, two days before the Passover, an unnamed woman anoints Christ’s head. The costly perfume she uses comes from an alabaster jar, and contained nard, according to Saint Mark’s account (see Matthew 26: 6-13 and Mark 14: 3-9).

This afternoon, in the Lavender Shop in Kilmacanogue, the managing director, David Cox, and other members of his family were working behind the till, guiding shoppers through the purple and blue displays. With the purple balloons, wrapping paper and bows, it took away from the grey solemnity that has arrived after a week of summer sunshine.

A bunch of lavender in the shop in Kilmacanogue this afternoon (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2015)

The ‘fairy chimneys’, hot-air
balloons and cave churches
in Cappadocia of the Fathers

A hot air balloon flight over the ‘fairy chimneys’ and villages of Cappadocia (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2015)

Patrick Comerford

I spent some time after Easter in Cappadocia in south central Turkey. Although it snowed for part of the week, I did all the normal tourist things, including a hot-air balloon trip and visiting the “fairy chimneys,” the cave dwellings and the troglodyte underground cities.

The ‘fairy chimneys’ are part of a spectacular landscape of Cappadocia (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2015)

The “fairy chimneys” of Cappadocia look like sets for an episode of Star Wars or a destination for a school outing from Hogwarts. I was staying in the small town of Göreme where the “fairy chimneys” are part of a spectacular landscape. At every twist and turn in each and every backstreet in Göreme, there is yet another surrealist view of these strange geological formations that have often been the homes over the centuries to churches or families and now to hotels, bars and restaurants.

The formation of this strange landscape started 65 million to 2 million years ago, when three volcanoes on the edges of the region began erupting frequently. They deposited ash, lava and basalt that laid the foundations for the landscape, and earthquakes and persistent erosion helped form the valleys and the “fairy chimneys” as the rock below crumbled away leaving isolated pinnacles.

Troglodyte villages and subterranean cities were also carved into the rock formations, making striking cave-dwelling complexes.

An ancient people

A Roman tomb is carved into the soft volcanic rock of a ‘fairy chimney’ in Göreme (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2015)

However, my first reason for visiting Cappadocia was my interest in Patristic studies. This is the region that has given the Church the Cappadocian Fathers – great writers, theologians and thinkers in the fourth century such as Saint Basil the Great, Bishop of Caesarea, his younger brother, Saint Gregory of Nyssa, and their friend, Saint Gregory of Nazianzus, who became Patriarch of Constantinople. They advanced many developments in theology, particularly the Creeds and the doctrine of the Trinity.

Patristic relics … Saint Onuphorius, covered with a fig leaf, with Saint Thomas and Saint Basil in a cave church in Göreme (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2015)

The first caves in the soft volcanic rock in Cappadocia may have been built by the Phrygian people in the 8th and 7th centuries BC. There were Greek-speaking people in Cappadocia for thousands of years, and Xenophon provides the earliest written account of these underground cities.

On the first day of Pentecost, the good news is heard by a variety of nationalities and ethnic groups, including people from Cappadocia. Some of the rock-hewn churches and monasteries in Cappadocia date back to the Roman Empire. By the end of the second century, there was a large Christian community in Cappadocia, with two bishoprics were formed in area, one in Caesarea (present-day Kayseri) and one in Malatya.

Saint George slaying the Dragon … a Cappadocian martyr depicted in the chapel of Saint Basil in Göreme (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2015)

Many of the surviving dwellings, villages, convents and churches date from the 4th century to the arrival of the Seljuk Turks in 1071. They look like fossilised remains from the Byzantine Empire, and are the surviving relics of a long-disappeared civilisation.

Tunnels leading into the depths of Derinkuyu, the largest excavated underground city in Turkey (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2015)

Early one morning, I descended into the depths of Derinkuyu, the largest excavated underground city in Turkey. This multi-level city goes down 85 metres underground and was large enough to shelter 20,000 people, with their livestock and food, churches and chapels, schools, wine presses, wells, stables, cellars, storage rooms, refectories and even a burial chamber.

Derinkuyu was fully developed by the Byzantine era and was fortified against Arab invaders in the Arab-Byzantine wars (780-1180). In all, 200 underground cities, each with at least two levels, have been discovered in the area between Kayseri and Nevsehir. They continued to be used by the Greek-speaking people for centuries.

Rock-hewn monasteries

The clustered monastic buildings and the rock-hewn churches on the outskirts of Göreme (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2015)

On the outskirts of Göreme, the clustered monastic buildings and the rock-hewn churches include some unique examples of pre-iconoclast frescoes in the Byzantine world. They include churches, chapels, a dining room, kitchen, rooms or cells for the monks who lived here and connecting tunnels.

A six- or seven-storey rock-hewn mass is known as the “Nunnery” or Monastery. The monks probably used ladders or scaffolding to reach the higher levels.

In the barrel-vaulted 11th century chapel of Saint Basil, an image on the south wall represents Saint George slaying the Dragon. Saint George’s parents are said to have been from Cappadocia, and he said to have died a martyr’s death when he was beheaded in Lyda in 303 AD.

Little daylight enters the Dark Church in Göreme (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2015)

A larder, kitchen and refectory side-by-side in one massive area of rock are linked by tunnels. At one end of the long table in the refectory that may have seated up to 40 monks, is an image of the Last Supper. A narrow stairs leads up to the courtyard in front of the Dark Church, where the richly-coloured frescoes have been preserved because little daylight enters it.

The Church of the Holy Cross is also known as the Sandals Church because of two footprints at the entrance beneath a fresco depicting the Ascension, said to be an exact copy of one in the Church of the Ascension in Jerusalem.

The Church of the Buckle, restored in the 1980s, is richly decorated with frescoes, many predating the iconoclast controversy (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2015)

The largest church in Göreme, the Church of the Buckle, was restored in the 1980s and is divided into four sections: the Old Church, the larger New Church, the Parakklesion, and the Lower Church. Some of the frescoes in the Old Church, including the Murder of Zacchariah and the Flight of Elizabeth, are based on stories in the apocryphal Gospel of Saint James, illustrating the semi-isolation of this part of Cappadocia.

The Melendiz River flows through the Ihlara Valley, a 16 km gorge (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2015)

The small town of Ihlara, near Güzelyurt, provides access to the Ihlara Valley, a 16 km gorge. The Melendiz River flows through the valley, and the canyon walls are honeycombed with hundreds of churches and dwellings hewn into the rock in Byzantine times.

Many of these rock-hewn churches hold well-preserved and richly-coloured frescoes, and this is one of the few places in the Byzantine world with images from the pre-iconoclastic period before the use of religious images or icons was banned, from 726 to 787 and again from 814 to 842.

The Ascension, with Christ surrounded by angels, the apostles and prophets, in the dome of the Daniel Pantanassa Church (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2015)

At the entrance to the valley, the Daniel Pantanassa Church has frescoes from the 9th to the 11th centuries, including depictions of the Prophet Daniel in the Lions’ Den, the Annunciation, the Visitation, the Adoration of the Magi, the Flight into Egypt, the Baptism of Christ and the Dormition of the Virgin Mary.

Inside the dome there is a colourful depiction of the Ascension, with Christ surrounded by angels, the apostles and prophets.

Selime, dating from the eighth and ninth centuries, is the biggest religious building in Cappadocia (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2015)

Selime, at the end of Ihlara Valley, was known to Hittites, Assyrians, Persians, Greeks, Romans and Byzantines. A steep and slippery hill leads up through tunnels and corridors to the monastery, with secret passageways, and a series of twisting, ever-steeper rock stairways and ladders.

This is the biggest religious building in Cappadocia, dating from the eighth and ninth centuries. Inside the cathedral, the frescoes date from the late tenth and early 11th centuries, but are barely visible under layers of soot that cover the surfaces since the Turks used the cathedral as a cooking room. The monastery complex includes the monks’ quarters, a large kitchen and a stable. But their survival is threatened by continuing erosion of the rock.

From Selime, we travelled on to Uchisar, where Uchisar Castle towers above the valley below. Many rock-cut churches have been found on the outskirts of the castle and inside it, but most of the rooms on the north side of the castle are now used as pigeon houses or dovecotes.

Ottoman conquest

Elegant stone mansions built by 19th century Cappadocian Greek merchants are being restored in Göreme (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2015)

The Ottoman Turks conquered Cappadocia in the 15th century, and after the Ottoman conquest of Cyprus in 1571 Sultan Selim I moved large numbers of Greeks from Cappadocia, particularly the Kayseri region, to Cyprus.

Many people accepted the Turkish vernacular and were known as Karamanlides. But the people in the countryside remained largely Greek, and they kept their language, their religion and the original names of their towns and villages.

The town known as Hagios Prokopios in the Middle Ages was renamed Urgup, but was known to the local Greek people as Prokopion. Güzelyurt continued to be known as Karvali, Mustafapasa as Sinasos, and Derinkuyu as Malakopea.

Some Cappadocian Greeks later migrated to Constantinople, working in the caviar trade or as wine merchants. By the 19th century, many Cappadocian Greeks were wealthy, educated and westernised; some built large stone mansions and others published novels and literary works in Turkish using the Greek alphabet.

By the beginning of World War I, however, the Greeks of Anatolia were besieged by the Young Turks. It is estimated about 750,000 Anatolian Greeks were massacred and 750,000 forced into exile.

Rafet Bey, a Turkish official active in the genocide in Anatolia, stated in November 1916: “We must finish off the Greeks as we did with the Armenians … today I sent squads to the interior to kill every Greek on sight …”

A few weeks later, in January 1917, the German Chancellor, Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg, reported: “The Turks plan to eliminate the Greek element as enemies of the state, as they did earlier with the Armenians … exposing them to death, hunger, and illness. The abandoned homes are then looted and burnt or destroyed. Whatever was done to the Armenians is being repeated with the Greeks.”

In 1922-1923, the remaining Cappadocian Greeks were expelled to Greece as part of the population exchange between Greece and Turkey under the Treaty of Lausanne, and towns were emptied of Greek communities that had survived for thousands of years. The exiles named their new villages and towns in Greece after their homes in Cappadocia, including Nea Sinasos on the island of Euboea, Nea Karvali in northern Greece, and Neo Prokopi in central Greece.

A small number of Cappadocian Greeks continued to live in Constantinople, where they had settled in enclaves in the Ottoman era. But even these migrated to Greece in large numbers after the anti-Greek pogroms in Istanbul in 1955. Today, there are significant Cappadocian communities throughout Greece and throughout the Greek diaspora.

Forlorn and forgotten

The former Greek village around the base of the monastery at Selime stands empty and abandoned (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2015)


Behind the car park below Selime, the houses of the former Greek village that had grown up around the base of the monastery stand empty and abandoned. High above Çavuşin, the abandoned Greek Orthodox basilica of Saint John looks down on the mosque and the modern Turkish town.

The abandoned Greek Orthodox basilica of Saint John looks down on the mosque and the modern Turkish town of Çavuşin, north of Göreme (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2015)

Each town and village in Cappadocia now has a Turkish name today. But everyone remembers its original Greek name too.

As I emerged into the daylight from the underground city and tunnels of Derinkuyu there was a stark reminder that the town above was known to generations of Cappadocian Greek residents as Malakopea. Across the square from the entrance to the underground city stands the lonely and forlorn Greek Orthodox Church of Saint Theodoros Trion, like a sad scene in an Angelopoulos movie.

This once elegant church was built in 1858-1860, but has stood abandoned since 1923. Its walls have started to collapse, and inside the frescoes are probably crumbling. The promised restoration of the church and its bell-tower has been abandoned, reminders of a forgotten community and culture, and of forgotten promises.

The lonely and forlorn Church of Saint Theodoros Trion in Derinkuyu (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2015)

Canon Patrick Comerford lectures in the Church of Ireland Theological Institute. This feature was first published in July 2015 in the ‘Church Review’ (Dublin and Glendalough) and the ‘Diocesan Magazine’ (Cashel, Ferns and Ossory)

‘Is not this the carpenter,
the son of Mary …?’

‘Christ in the House of His Parents’ (1850) by John Everett Millais

Patrick Comerford

Saint Bartholomew’s Church, Ballsbridge, Dublin,

5 July 2015,

The Fifth Sunday after Trinity,

11 a.m., The Parish Eucharist


Readings: II Samuel 5: 1-5, 9-10 or Ezekiel 2: 1-5; Psalm 48 or Psalm 123; II Corinthians 12: 2-10; Mark 6: 1-13.

May I speak to you in the name of + the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen.

I just love coming home on these summer evenings.

Imagine the scene, some evening in the past week.

You have come home, eaten lightly, and you decide to sit out in the back garden or on the terrace, with a good book or the newspaper, perhaps you’ve poured yourself a glass of white wine, and put on some Mozart or some soft music in the background.

Or maybe you just want to laze back in front of EastEnders or your favourite soap, without anyone knowing.

Or you are more energetic and you ’phone a friend and arrange to go for a walk in the park.

You’re ready to enjoy the summer evening and the evening sunshine – and the doorbell rings.

Standing there are two fresh-faced young men, in dark suits that are inappropriate for this weather, satchels over their shoulders, and they want to talk to you, about the Watchtower, or the Book of Mormon, or something like that.

Telling them “No thanks, we’re Anglican,” or “we’re Church of Ireland” is hardly a scary thing these days. If anything, it makes them persistent. Being Anglican, you simply cannot be rude, not on your own doorstep.

But if you are not rude, if I am not as persistent as they are, there goes that summer’s evening.

I wonder if it was like that for the disciples sent out by Jesus in this morning’s Gospel, two-by-two?

No, I am not in any way comparing Jehovah’s Witnesses or Mormons with the first Christians … I do not even concede that they are Christians. But their experiences may have something in common.

Did the Twelve, as they were being sent out two-by-two, in six pairs, think they were being set up? Set-up for failure?

If you were one of the 12, who would you like to have been paired with? Who would have been fun to be sent out with, door-to-door, knocking on houses?

And who would you not like to have been paired with? Judas the Betrayer? Thomas the Doubter? Peter the Denier, flailing about and drowning in his own words? John – too young, too naïve and too enthusiastic? James or John with a mother too ambitious for their own good?

It is sometimes said that at least half the Twelve would never get through a selection conference for ordained ministry today. Half of them might have been no fun on the road either.

Anyone in HR or management knows the problems of mismatching people in pairs in work teams. Personality clashes arise even with the nicest and the best of people. I know … been there, done that.

So why did Christ send the Twelve out in twos, in pairs that are inevitably a set-up for some – many – forms of failure? We have no idea whether any pairing was successful … or, for that matter, a failure.

But perhaps it was an early immersion experience in giving and receiving hospitality. They are not sent out, at least in this passage they are not sent out, to raise money, to sell Bibles, to baptise new believers, to promote the brand … they are just asked to teach and to heal.

And they are told that they must be ready for rejection, that they are facing failure.

‘The Shadow of Death’ (1870-1873) by William Holman Hunt

In this reading, Saint Mark tells us that Christ is faced with rejection in his own hometown. He has returned to his hometown in Galilee, and he is spoken of in ways that, put together, amount to a very public rejection.

He has returned to his hometown in Galilee, and he is spoken of in ways that, put together, amount to a very public rejection. He is spoken of as “the carpenter” ὁ τέκτων (ho tékton). Now, as we all know, 1, being a carpenter is a very positive, beautiful craft exercise – look at the beauty of this church and imagine it without the contribution of arts-and-crafts carpenters, from the hammer-beam ceilings to the stalls, pews and panelling.

And 2, the word τέκτων in the New Testament describes a variety of people with interesting skills, including architects, planners, singers and poets.

But in a way that any of us who has lived in a small community, or in a small town, knows only too well, they are looking down on him. Other people are describing him as Rabbi, Teacher … even Lord. But never let him get above himself … let him always remember that he began his working life at the lathe and with the saw and hammer, wood and nails … the very way he is going to end his life too.

And he is described as ὁ υἱὸς τῆς Μαρίας (ho uios tis Marias), “the son of Mary.”

In a small community or a small town, just in case you forget, people can always tell you when you return: “We know who your people are.”

They know Jesus is the son of Joseph the Carpenter, they know where he was brought up, they know his mother, his family, as they say in some Irish villages, they know his “seed, breed and generation.”

Unlike two other Gospel writers, Saint Matthew and Saint Luke, Saint Mark provides no lengthy genealogy for Jesus, back through David, the Prophets and the Patriarchs (see Matthew 1: 1-17; Luke 3: 23-38).

But to refer to Jesus as “the son of Mary” is be dismissive, is to rob him of his legitimacy.

Christ already has had a difficult homecoming in this Gospel (see Mark 3: 19-35). So we are presented with a stark homecoming story where he is teaching in his home synagogue and is robbed of his reputation, his role and his legitimacy.

His healing and teaching ministry in Capernaum, on the seashore, throughout Galilee, is already well-known. But back home, in his own synagogue, he is rejected.

How do we respond to rejection?

Sometimes, we take stock, readjust, and move on.

Sometimes, we walk away in anger – the “I’ll-never-come-back-here-again” attitude.

Sometimes, our desire for acceptance is so strong that we buckle under and accept what others say, so that we become quiescent, conforming, uncritical operatives.

Sometimes, we seek comfort – comfort in parental figures, or inappropriate comfort in alcohol, distracting hobbies or even inappropriate relationships.

Sometimes, we accept the images others project onto us, so we remain imprisoned and never become ourselves fully and holistically.

Sometimes, we stand and fight … we stand on our dignity and aggressively assert ourselves, setting ourselves up for another put-down.

And sometimes we draw on a little bit of each of these defensive responses. We each know that we have responded with a little of one and a little of the other responses at different times, in different situations, to different people.

We say things to family members that we would never say to neighbours or employers; we say things to employees that we would never say to our own family members.

What does Jesus do this morning?

His response is often quoted but seldom understood. He actually understands where the people of Nazareth are. It’s difficult for them, but it’s not difficult for him.

It is passage which in the Greek has four poetic openings to phrases in the space of three verses: οὐχ οὗτός εἰσὶν ... οὐκ εἰσὶν ... Οὐκ ἔστιν ... οὐκ ἐδύνατο ... (verses 3-5). No, no, no, no way.

In the face of this strong negativity, Jesus does nothing, apart from laying his hands on a few people and healing them, apart from treating as fully human those who are on the margins and rejected in the community.

And then, instead of arguing, showing off, trying to prove who he is, or heading off to the Nazareth Arms, he continues his teaching in the neighbouring villages, and prepares the Disciples for similar responses in their mission and ministry.

We hear nothing about the experiences they had when they were sent out two-by-two. We know not whether they were successes or failures by today’s standards … we have no way of measuring their effectiveness, for there are no sales targets in the mission and ministry of the Church, there are no profit margins to boast about.

They go out in all their weaknesses, in their vulnerability – to each other and to the world – to live hand-to-mouth while on the road, with nothing to boast of but Christ.

The Apostle Paul responds clearly to those who would want to measure living the Gospel by these standards. Look, he says, I could boast too. Others are boasting about their visions and revelations, and he could boast in the same way too (II Corinthians 12: 1-4).

But he refuses to boast, lest anyone have too exalted an idea of him (verse 6), and he has a “thorn ... in the flesh” (verse 7), whatever that may be, that keeps him from “being too elated.”

Instead, he boasts of his “weaknesses” and accepts his condition “for the sake of Christ” (verse 10). When he feels weak, he is most effective in showing God’s power and being a “true apostle” (verse 12).

There are people in the Church today who are rejected and marginalised. Why, who do they think they are?

And there are people who sit in judgment on them, who believe they alone have access to a secret knowledge that permits them to make exclusive claims not only for Christ, but for their interpretation of the Church and the Bible.

They boast of exclusive revelations; they claim to speak for the only true Anglicans; they play power games in contrast to the self-emptying of Christ and the weakness of Saint Paul; they reject and deride any other interpretations of the Bible but their own; and they boast of their success based on filling pews and holding large conferences.

But size and numbers seem to disguise and excuse negativity and bigotry. None of this matches the self-emptying displayed by Christ in our Gospel reading, the humble practices he recommends to his Disciples, or the way Saint Paul lives out his life.

True success may only be found in the heart, in the words of the Collect in serving God in “holiness and truth.” For we honour God, as our Post-Communion Prayer reminds us, not only with our lips but also with our lives. And the true fruit of that may be seen in how we love God and in how we love others.

And so, may all we think, say and do, be to the praise, honour and glory of God, + Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen.

Inside Saint Bartholomew’s Church, Ballsbridge, Dublin … (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

(Revd Canon Professor) Patrick Comerford is Lecturer in Anglicanism, Liturgy and Church History, the Church of Ireland Theological Institute. This sermon was preached at the Eucharist in Saint Bartholomew’s Church, Ballsbridge, on Sunday 5 July 2015.

Mark 6: 1-13:

1 Καὶ ἐξῆλθεν ἐκεῖθεν, καὶ ἔρχεται εἰς τὴν πατρίδα αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἀκολουθοῦσιν αὐτῷ οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ. 2 καὶ γενομένου σαββάτου ἤρξατο διδάσκειν ἐν τῇ συναγωγῇ: καὶ πολλοὶ ἀκούοντες ἐξεπλήσσοντο λέγοντες, Πόθεν τούτῳ ταῦτα, καὶ τίς ἡ σοφία ἡ δοθεῖσα τούτῳ καὶ αἱ δυνάμεις τοιαῦται διὰ τῶν χειρῶν αὐτοῦ γινόμεναι;

3 οὐχ οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ τέκτων, ὁ υἱὸς τῆς Μαρίας καὶ ἀδελφὸς Ἰακώβου καὶ Ἰωσῆτος καὶ Ἰούδα καὶ Σίμωνος;

καὶ οὐκ εἰσὶν αἱ ἀδελφαὶ αὐτοῦ ὧδε πρὸς ἡμᾶς; καὶ ἐσκανδαλίζοντο ἐν αὐτῷ. 4 καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς ὅτι

Οὐκ ἔστιν προφήτης ἄτιμος εἰ μὴ ἐν τῇ πατρίδι αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐν τοῖς συγγενεῦσιν αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ αὐτοῦ.

5 καὶ οὐκ ἐδύνατο ἐκεῖ ποιῆσαι οὐδεμίαν δύναμιν, εἰ μὴ ὀλίγοις ἀρρώστοις ἐπιθεὶς τὰς χεῖρας ἐθεράπευσεν: 6 καὶ ἐθαύμαζεν διὰ τὴν ἀπιστίαν αὐτῶν.

Καὶ περιῆγεν τὰς κώμας κύκλῳ διδάσκων. 7 καὶ προσκαλεῖται τοὺς δώδεκα, καὶ ἤρξατο αὐτοὺς ἀποστέλλειν δύο δύο, καὶ ἐδίδου αὐτοῖς ἐξουσίαν τῶν πνευμάτων τῶν ἀκαθάρτων: 8 καὶ παρήγγειλεν αὐτοῖς ἵνα μηδὲν αἴρωσιν εἰς ὁδὸν εἰ μὴ ῥάβδον μόνον, μὴ ἄρτον, μὴπήραν, μὴ εἰς τὴν ζώνην χαλκόν, 9 ἀλλὰ ὑποδεδεμένους σανδάλια, καὶ μὴ ἐνδύσησθε δύο χιτῶνας. 10 καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς, Οπου ἐὰν εἰσέλθητε εἰς οἰκίαν, ἐκεῖ μένετε ἕως ἂν ἐξέλθητε ἐκεῖθεν. 11 καὶ ὃς ἂν τόπος μὴ δέξηται ὑμᾶς μηδὲ ἀκούσωσιν ὑμῶν, ἐκπορευόμενοι ἐκεῖθεν ἐκτινάξατε τὸν χοῦν τὸν ὑποκάτω τῶν ποδῶν ὑμῶν εἰς μαρτύριον αὐτοῖς. 12 Καὶ ἐξελθόντες ἐκήρυξαν ἵνα μετανοῶσιν, 13 καὶ δαιμόνια πολλὰ ἐξέβαλλον, καὶ ἤλειφον ἐλαίῳ πολλοὺς ἀρρώστους καὶ ἐθεράπευον.

1 He left that place and came to his home town, and his disciples followed him. 2 On the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astounded. They said, ‘Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands! 3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?’ And they took offence at him. 4 Then Jesus said to them, ‘Prophets are not without honour, except in their home town, and among their own kin, and in their own house.’ 5 And he could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them. 6 And he was amazed at their unbelief.

Then he went about among the villages teaching. 7 He called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. 8 He ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; 9 but to wear sandals and not to put on two tunics. 10 He said to them, ‘Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place. 11 If any place will not welcome you and they refuse to hear you, as you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.’ 12 So they went out and proclaimed that all should repent. 13 They cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.

Collect:

Almighty and everlasting God,
by whose Spirit the whole body of the Church
is governed and sanctified:
Hear our prayer which we offer for all your faithful people,
that in their vocation and ministry
they may serve you in holiness and truth
to the glory of your name;
through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Post Communion Prayer:

Holy and blessed God,
as you give us the body and blood of your Son,
guide us with your Holy Spirit,
that we may honour you not only with our lips
but also with our lives;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.