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Readings for 14th January 2018 --- 6 Tubah 1734
First Sunday of Tubah





Today's Readings



Vespers

Vespers Psalm

From the Psalms of our teacher David the prophet.
May his blessings be with us all.

Psalms 47 : 1 - 2

Chapter 47

1Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples! Shout to God with the voice of triumph!
2For the LORD Most High is awesome; He is a great King over all the earth.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Our Lord God, Savior, and King of us all, Jesus Christ, the Living Son of God to whom be glory forever.
Amen.

Vespers Gospel

Stand in the fear of God and listen to the Holy Gospel.
A reading from the Gospel according to our teacher Saint Luke the Evangelist.
May His Blessings be with us all.

Luke 4 : 40 - 44

Chapter 4

40When the sun was setting, all those who had any that were sick with various diseases brought them to Him; and He laid His hands on every one of them and healed them.
41And demons also came out of many, crying out and saying, "You are the Christ, the Son of God!" And He, rebuking them, did not allow them to speak, for they knew that He was the Christ.
42Now when it was day, He departed and went into a deserted place. And the crowd sought Him and came to Him, and tried to keep Him from leaving them;
43but He said to them, "I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, because for this purpose I have been sent."
44And He was preaching in the synagogues of Galilee.

And Glory be to God forever.


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Matins

Matins Psalm

From the Psalms of our teacher David the prophet.
May his blessings be with us all.

Psalms 93 : 1 - 2

Chapter 93

1The LORD reigns, He is clothed with majesty; The LORD is clothed, He has girded Himself with strength. Surely the world is established, so that it cannot be moved.
2Your throne is established from of old; You are from everlasting.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Our Lord God, Savior, and King of us all, Jesus Christ, the Living Son of God to whom be glory forever.
Amen.


Matins Gospel

Stand in the fear of God and listen to the Holy Gospel.
A reading from the Gospel according to our teacher Saint Luke the Evangelist.
May His Blessings be with us all.

Luke 4 : 31 - 37

Chapter 4

31Then He went down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and was teaching them on the Sabbaths.
32And they were astonished at His teaching, for His word was with authority.
33Now in the synagogue there was a man who had a spirit of an unclean demon. And he cried out with a loud voice,
34saying, "Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are--the Holy One of God!"
35But Jesus rebuked him, saying, "Be quiet, and come out of him!" And when the demon had thrown him in their midst, it came out of him and did not hurt him.
36Then they were all amazed and spoke among themselves, saying, "What a word this is! For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits, and they come out."
37And the report about Him went out into every place in the surrounding region.

And Glory be to God forever.


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Liturgy Gospel

Paulines Epistle

Paul, the servant of our Lord Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, appointed to the Gospel of God.
A reading from the Epistle of our teacher Paul to the Romans .
May his blessings be upon us.
Amen.

Romans 15 : 4 - 19

Chapter 15

4For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.
5Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus,
6that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
7Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us, to the glory of God.
8Now I say that Jesus Christ has become a servant to the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made to the fathers,
9and that the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy, as it is written: "For this reason I will confess to You among the Gentiles, And sing to Your name."
10And again he says: "Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people!"
11And again: "Praise the LORD, all you Gentiles! Laud Him, all you peoples!"
12And again, Isaiah says: "There shall be a root of Jesse; And He who shall rise to reign over the Gentiles, In Him the Gentiles shall hope."
13Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
14Now I myself am confident concerning you, my brethren, that you also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.
15Nevertheless, brethren, I have written more boldly to you on some points, as reminding you, because of the grace given to me by God,
16that I might be a minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering of the Gentiles might be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
17Therefore I have reason to glory in Christ Jesus in the things which pertain to God.
18For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ has not accomplished through me, in word and deed, to make the Gentiles obedient--
19in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and round about to Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.

The grace of God the Father be with you all.
Amen.


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Catholic Epistle

A Reading from Epistle 1 of St. John .
May his blessing be upon us.
Amen.

1 John 3 : 1 - 11

Chapter 3

1Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.
2Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
3And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
4Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.
5And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin.
6Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him.
7Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous.
8He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.
9Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.
10In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother.
11For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another,

Do not love the world or the things in the world.
The world passes away, and its desires; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
Amen.


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Acts of the Apostles

The Acts of our fathers the apostles, may their blessings be with us.

Acts 14 : 24 - 15 : 3

Chapter 14

24And after they had passed through Pisidia, they came to Pamphylia.
25Now when they had preached the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia.
26From there they sailed to Antioch, where they had been commended to the grace of God for the work which they had completed.
27Now when they had come and gathered the church together, they reported all that God had done with them, and that He had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles.
28So they stayed there a long time with the disciples.

Chapter 15

1And certain men came down from Judea and taught the brethren, "Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved."
2Therefore, when Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and dispute with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas and certain others of them should go up to Jerusalem, to the apostles and elders, about this question.
3So, being sent on their way by the church, they passed through Phoenicia and Samaria, describing the conversion of the Gentiles; and they caused great joy to all the brethren.

The word of the Lord shall grow, multiply, be mighty, and be confirmed, in the holy Church of God.
Amen.


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Synaxarium

Day 6 of the Blessed Coptic Month of Tubah, may God make it always received, year after year, with reassurance and tranquility, while our sins after forgiven by the tender mercies of our God my fathers and brothers.
Amen.

The Sixth Day of the Blessed Month of Tubah

Commemoration of the Circumcision of the Lord Christ

      On this day, the church celebrates the commemoration of the circumcision of the Lord Christ, to Whom is the glory. God had ordained the law of circumcision as a sign that His people would become a particular people over all others. This was that every male of the seed of Abraham be circumcised on the eighth day of his birth. God put every soul that did not obey this law under judgement. As our Lord Jesus was born from the posterity of Abraham, according to the flesh, He willed to be circumcised on the eighth day, to fulfill the law of Moses and to relieve us from the heavy burden of this commandment, as St. Paul says, "Now I say that Jesus Christ has become a servant to the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made to the fathers." (Romans 15:8) He also gave us the sign of the new covenant through baptism, as St. Paul says, "In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in Baptism in which you also were raised with Him, through faith in the working of God, Who raised Him from the dead. And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses." (Colossians 2:11-13) Therefore, He demands from us to keep the spiritual circumcision, that is to say the circumcision of the heart, so that we may live for Him in righteousness and in holiness, for He says, "Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God." (John 3:5)

Glory be to our God forever. Amen.

Ascension of Elijah the Prophet

      Also, on this day was the departure of the prophet Elijah (Elias), the Tishbite, to heaven, alive. This prophet lived during the time of King Ahab. His heart was filled with sorrow, for he saw the king had turned from the worship of the God of Israel to the worship of idols. He followed Queen Jezebel, who helped the priests of Baalzebub. The worship of idols spread out in his days. Therefore, Elijah stood before the king and said, "As the Lord God of Israel lives, before Whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, except at my word." (I Kings 17: 1) Immediately the brooks dried up, for there had been no rain in the land, and the grass dried up and the drought set in the whole land. God however did not forsake his zealous servant. He commanded him to go to the brook of Cherith, and the ravens came to him everyday and brought him bread and meat in the morning and in the evening.

      The Lord ordered the water of the river to dry, but He did not forsake the prophet Elijah. God commanded him to go to Zarephath, which belonged to Sidon, where he found a widow gathering sticks and he asked her for bread to eat. She said to him, "As the Lord your God lives, I do not have bread, only a handful of flour in a bin and a little oil in a jar; and see, I am gathering a couple of sticks, that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it and die." Elijah said to her, "Do not fear; go and do as you have said, but make me a small cake from it first and bring it to me; and afterward make some for yourself and your son. For thus says the Lord God of Israel, 'The bin of flour shall not be used up; nor shall the jar of oil run dry, until the day the Lord sends rain on the earth.'" So she went away and did according to the words of Elijah, and she, the prophet, and her household ate for many days.

      Elijah stayed with the widow until the drought had ended. She had a son who was sick, and his sickness progressed until he died. The prophet saw the grief of the woman. He took her son from her and carried him to the upper room where he was staying and laid him on his own bed. Then he cried out to the Lord and he stretched himself out on the child three times. The Lord heard the voice of Elijah and the soul of the child came back to him, and he was revived. Elijah took the child and brought him down and gave him to his mother alive. (I Kings 17:17-23) When Jezebel knew that Elijah executed all the priests of Baal by the sword, she threatened to kill him. When he saw that, he arose and ran for his life. He went to Mount Horeb where he hid himself. The Lord talked to him, "What are you doing here, Elijah?" So he said, "I have been very zealous for the Lord God of Hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they seek to take my life." The Lord said to him, "... Yet I have reserved seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal... " (I Kings 19:10-18)

      When Ahab died and King Ahaziah reigned, he did evil in the sight of the Lord and walked in the way of his father Ahab. Ahaziah fell through the lattice of his upper room in Samaria and was injured. He sent messengers to inquire from Baalzebub, the god of Ekron, whether he would recover from his injury. Elijah, the Prophet, met with his messengers and he told them to go and tell the King, "Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are going to inquire of Baalzebub, the god of Ekron? Now therefore, thus says the Lord! You shall not come down from the bed to which you have gone up, but you shall surely die." When they said this to the King, the King knew that it was Elijah the prophet. The King sent to him a captain of fifty, and the prophet was sitting on the top of the hill. He said to Elijah, "Man of God, the King has said, 'Come down.'" So, Elijah answered and said to the captain, "If I am a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men." And the fire came down from heaven and consumed them. Then the King sent another captain of fifty and said to him what the first captain said. And the fire came down from heaven and consumed them. The third captain came to Elijah and fell on his knees before him and pleaded with him. Elijah arose and went down with him to the King whom he rebuked. The King died in his bed. (2 Kings 1:1-18)

      After that, Elijah went to the Jordan River and he took with him Elisha, his disciple. He struck the water with his mantle, and the river was divided and the two of them crossed over on dry ground. While they were talking to each other, suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, separated the two of them, and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. (2 Kings 2:1-12)

May His prayers be with us. Amen.

Departure of Marcianus, the Eighth Pope of Alexandria

      Also on this day in 154 A.D., St. Marcianus, 8th Pope of Alexandria, departed. He was born in Alexandria. When Pope Omanius departed, the fathers of the church gathered with the people of Alexandria and discussed whom they should choose for the vacant throne. By consensus, they chose Marcianus for his intellect and righteousness. He sat on the throne of St. Mark for 9 years, 2 months and 26 days. He was always teaching his flock and protecting the church from all the foreign teachings. When he completed his well pleasing course to God, he departed in peace.

May His prayers be with us. Amen.

Departure of St.Basil the Great, Bishop of Caesarea

      Today also of the year 379 A.D., the great St. Basil, Bishop of Caesarea, departed. His father's name was "Isosorus" (Isidore), who was a priest and a holy man. He begot five children: St. Basil of Caesarea, St. Gregory of Nyssa, St. Kisarion (Cherion), St. Peter of Sebastia, and St.Machrina. They all lived in holiness all their lives. He was instructed in the art of rhetoric, at the hands of the philosopher Libianius of Antioch, and he worked as an advocate. In 358 A.D., he abandoned the world and all its vain glories. He travelled through the wilderness of Egypt, where he witnessed the ascetics and was influenced by them. Upon his return, he withdrew to a wild and beautiful spot in Pontus and devoted himself to prayer and study. When the news of his holiness spread around, many came to him and they took him as a guide to lead them in the way of perfection. In 362 A.D., he was promoted to the priesthood. He continued to teach the believers, to defend the faith, and to save those who had been lost.

      In 370 A.D., he was ordained Bishop of Caesarea, Cappadocia. For his boldness in truth and for his rebuke of the emperors who conducted themselves against the doctrine and those who behaved immorally. Emperor Valens wanted to exile St. Basil, but he declined because of the death of his son. Another time, when the Emperor wanted to sign an order for his exile, the pen broke in his hand, he took another pen and that also broke, and the same thing happened to a third pen. Valens tore the paper and left the saint to shepherd his flock and manage his church in peace. St. Basil was filled with the Holy Spirit, and wrote the liturgy that is named after him. God wrought by his hands many signs and miracles. Among them, some heretics gained control over one of the churches and decided to close it unless someone opened it by his prayers. By the prayers of this saint, the church was opened and the believers gained access to it once again. Another sign: Abba Ephraim saw a pillar of light between earth and heaven and heard a voice saying, "This is Basil." St. Ephraim came to the city of Caesarea and witnessed the virtues of St.Basil. St. Basil ordained him a deacon.

      Among his miracles was that a woman wrote all her sins on paper and gave it to St. Basil. He prayed for her and her sins were forgiven, except one sin. He told her to go to Abba Ephraim to pray for her. When she went to Abba Ephraim, he sent her back to St. Basil saying, "Hurry, go back to meet him before his death." When she came back, she found that he had passed away. She wept and she put the paper that she had written on his body and the written sins were blotted out. Also among his miracles was a Jewish physician, who was known for his professional accuracy and who told the saint that he would die after three days. The saint prayed to God, Who prolonged his life, and he did not die on the day that the physician expected him to die. The physician believed and was baptized with all his household. Another example is that of a young man who wrote a covenant with the devil to deny his Christianity and his baptism. Through the prayer of the Saint, the young man was saved from the servitude of the devil. This saint had many virtues and performed many miracles besides the above mentioned ones. He wrote many articles, homilies, and discourses. He put down canons which the believers follow till now. He also wrote commentaries on some of the Books of the Old and New Testaments.

May His prayers be with us, and Glory be to our God forever and ever. Amen.


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Divine Psalm

Stand in the fear of God and listen to the Holy Gospel.
A reading from the Gospel according to our teacher Saint John the Evangelist.
May His Blessings be with us all. Amen.
From the Psalms of our teacher David the prophet, and the Good King.
May his blessings be with us all.

Psalms 98 : 2 - 3

Chapter 98

2The LORD has made known His salvation; His righteousness He has revealed in the sight of the nations.
3He has remembered His mercy and His faithfulness to the house of Israel; All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.


Hallelujah.


Divine Gospel

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Our Lord God, Savior, and King of us all, Jesus Christ, the Living Son of God to whom be glory forever.
Amen.

Matthew 2 : 13 - 23

Chapter 2

13Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, "Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him."
14When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt,
15and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, "Out of Egypt I called My Son."
16Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men.
17Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying:
18"A voice was heard in Ramah, Lamentation, weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, Refusing to be comforted, Because they are no more."
19Now when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt,
20saying, "Arise, take the young Child and His mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the young Child's life are dead."
21Then he arose, took the young Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel.
22But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea instead of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And being warned by God in a dream, he turned aside into the region of Galilee.
23And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, "He shall be called a Nazarene."


And Glory be to God forever.


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Today's Readings



Acknowledgement