Wednesday in the IX Week after Pentecost

Saint Elias in the cave (below) and on a chariot of fire. A fresco from Rila Monastery, Bulgaria, medieval Orthodox tradition, renovated 20th century From a Homily by St John Chrysostom, Bishop & Doctor of the Church

Truly, the just man is bold as a lion; for he stood up against the king just as a lion does against some vile cur.  Although the one had the purple, the other had the sheepskin, which was the more venerable garment of the two; for that purple brought forth the grievous famine; but this sheepskin effected a liberation from that calamity!  It divided the Jordan!  It made Elisha a two-fold Elias!  O how great is the virtue of the Saints! Not only their words; not only their bodies, but even their very garments are always esteemed venerable by the whole creation.  The sheepskin of this man divided the Jordan!  The sandals of the Three Children trampled down the fire!  The word of Elisha changed the waters, so that it made them to bear the iron on their surface!  The rod of Moses divided the Red Sea and cleft the rock!  The garments of Paul expelled diseases!  The shadow of Peter put death to flight! The ashes of the holy Martyrs drive away demons! For this reason they do all things with authority, even as Elias did.  For he looked not on the diadem, nor the outward pomp of the king, but he looked on the soul clad in rags, squalid, begrimed, and in a more wretched condition than that of any criminal; and seeing him the captive and slave of his passions, he despised his power. For he seemed to see a king but in a scene, and not a real one. For what was the advantage of outward abundance, when the poverty within was so great? And what harm could outward poverty do, when there was such a treasure of wealth within? Such a lion also was the blessed Paul; for when he had entered into the prison, and only raised his voice, he shook all the foundations; he gnawed in pieces the fetters, employing not his teeth, but words; on which account it were fitting to call such men not merely lions, but something more than lions; for a lion ofttimes, after he has fallen into a net, is taken; but the Saints when they are bound, become still more powerful; just as this blessed man did then in the prison, having loosed the prisoners, shaken the walls, and bound the keeper, and overcome him by the word of godliness.  The lion utters his voice, and puts all the wild beasts to flight.  The Saint utters his voice, and drives away the demons on every side!

Responsory. In his days || no man was more powerful than Eliseus. * In his life he did great wonders.  V. Eliseus said to Elias: I beseech thee that in me may be thy double spirit. * In his life … Glory be … In his life …