The reading from the Gospel according to St. Matthew for the 5th Sunday after Pentecost seems very familiar because the same story in the Gospel according to St. Luke is chanted on the 23rd Sunday after Pentecost. It is often referred to as “The Pigs Gospel.” To modern day readers of the New Testament, it seems a rather innocuous episode in the life of our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ. Why did our Church Fathers consider this episode so important that it was assigned to be chanted on two different Sundays during the liturgical year?
Moving on to today’s meditation, St Olha is distant from us in time but no less an example of holiness both aspired to and achieved in this life. Her name means “holy,” and presumably she possessed insight, depth, and a sober mind. Olha’s husband Prince Igor was killed in battle in 945, and Olha took over governance with firm hands, instituting many improvements through building and organization across the realm, elevating the culture of her time.