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Monday, 20th February 2017 --- 13 Amshir 1733


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Readings for Holy Great Lent


Matins


Exodus 2 : 23 - 3 : 5 Isaiah 1 : 2 - 18

Exodus 2 : 23 - 3 : 5

Chapter 2

23Now it happened in the process of time that the king of Egypt died. Then the children of Israel groaned because of the bondage, and they cried out; and their cry came up to God because of the bondage.
24So God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.
25And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God acknowledged them.

Chapter 3

1Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. And he led the flock to the back of the desert, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.
2And the Angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed.
3Then Moses said, "I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn."
4So when the LORD saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, "Moses, Moses!" And he said, "Here I am."
5Then He said, "Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground."


Isaiah 1 : 2 - 18

Chapter 1

2Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth! For the LORD has spoken: "I have nourished and brought up children, And they have rebelled against Me;
3The ox knows its owner And the donkey its master's crib; But Israel does not know, My people do not consider."
4Alas, sinful nation, A people laden with iniquity, A brood of evildoers, Children who are corrupters! They have forsaken the LORD, They have provoked to anger The Holy One of Israel, They have turned away backward.
5Why should you be stricken again? You will revolt more and more. The whole head is sick, And the whole heart faints.
6From the sole of the foot even to the head, There is no soundness in it, But wounds and bruises and putrefying sores; They have not been closed or bound up, Or soothed with ointment.
7Your country is desolate, Your cities are burned with fire; Strangers devour your land in your presence; And it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers.
8So the daughter of Zion is left as a booth in a vineyard, As a hut in a garden of cucumbers, As a besieged city.
9Unless the LORD of hosts Had left to us a very small remnant, We would have become like Sodom, We would have been made like Gomorrah.
10Hear the word of the LORD, You rulers of Sodom; Give ear to the law of our God, You people of Gomorrah:
11"To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices to Me?" Says the LORD. "I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams And the fat of fed cattle. I do not delight in the blood of bulls, Or of lambs or goats.
12"When you come to appear before Me, Who has required this from your hand, To trample My courts?
13Bring no more futile sacrifices; Incense is an abomination to Me. The New Moons, the Sabbaths, and the calling of assemblies--I cannot endure iniquity and the sacred meeting.
14Your New Moons and your appointed feasts My soul hates; They are a trouble to Me, I am weary of bearing them.
15When you spread out your hands, I will hide My eyes from you; Even though you make many prayers, I will not hear. Your hands are full of blood.
16"Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil,
17Learn to do good; Seek justice, Rebuke the oppressor; Defend the fatherless, Plead for the widow.
18"Come now, and let us reason together," Says the LORD, "Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.




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Matins

Matins Psalm

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

Psalms 6 : 1 - 2

Chapter 6

1O LORD, do not rebuke me in Your anger, Nor chasten me in Your hot displeasure.
2Have mercy on me, O LORD, for I am weak; O LORD, heal me, for my bones are troubled.

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 Matthew the Evangelist.
May His Blessings be with us all.

Matthew 12 : 24 - 34

Chapter 12

24Now when the Pharisees heard it they said, "This fellow does not cast out demons except by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons."
25But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: "Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.
26If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand?
27And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges.
28But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you.
29Or how can one enter a strong man's house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house.
30He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.
31"Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men.
32Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.
33"Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit.
34Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

And Glory be to God forever.


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Liturgy

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 1 : 26 - 2 : 7

Chapter 1

26For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature.
27Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.
28And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting;
29being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers,
30backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
31undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful;
32who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.

Chapter 2

1Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.
2But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things.
3And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God?
4Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?
5But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,
6who "will render to each one according to his deeds":
7eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality;

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


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Catholic Epistle

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

James 2 : 1 - 13

Chapter 2

1My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality.
2For if there should come into your assembly a man with gold rings, in fine apparel, and there should also come in a poor man in filthy clothes,
3and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say to him, "You sit here in a good place," and say to the poor man, "You stand there," or, "Sit here at my footstool,"
4have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?
5Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?
6But you have dishonored the poor man. Do not the rich oppress you and drag you into the courts?
7Do they not blaspheme that noble name by which you are called?
8If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself," you do well;
9but if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors.
10For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.
11For He who said, "Do not commit adultery," also said, "Do not murder." Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law.
12So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty.
13For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

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 : 19 - 28

Chapter 14

19Then Jews from Antioch and Iconium came there; and having persuaded the multitudes, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead.
20However, when the disciples gathered around him, he rose up and went into the city. And the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe.
21And when they had preached the gospel to that city and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch,
22strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, "We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God."
23So when they had appointed elders in every church, and prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.
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.

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

The Thirteenth Day of the Blessed Month of Amshir

Martyrdom of St.Sergius of Atripe and His Father, Mother, Sister, and Many Others with Them

      On this day, St. Sergius, his father, his mother, his sister and many others with them, were martyred. This saint was born in the city of Atripe to a righteous father whose name was Theodore, and a faithful mother whose name was Mary. When he was 20 years old, St. Sergius desired to die for the Name of the Lord Christ. He presented himself to Cyprianus (Cyprian), the governor, and confessed his faith in the Lord Christ. The governor commanded him to be tortured with different kinds of tortures and to cast him in prison. At night he saw in a vision as if he was in heaven, and he saw the mansions of the saints. His soul was greatly comforted, and the Lord Christ healed him from his afflictions. A priest by the name of Mansoon heard about the labors of St. Sergius. Fr. Mansoon came with two deacons to Atripe and confessed the Name of the Lord Christ before the governor. The governor beat them with great cruelty. A multitude of people watched the tortures, and moved with compassion toward the priest, who could not do anything but to look at them, preach and command them to be steadfast in their faith in the Lord Christ. He prayed and blessed them and they all confessed the Orthodox faith. After they had been tortured, they were all beheaded, and received the crown of life. However, the Governor tortured the priest with fire, but the Lord saved him. The Governor sent him to Alexandria where he received his crown of martyrdom.

      As for St. Sergius, Governor Cyprianus brought him and tortured him with excruciating tortures but the Lord healed, strengthened and comforted him. They brought an idol and ordered him to worship it. He kicked the idol with his foot and it fell and broke. Cyprianus believed instantly and said, "The god that cannot save itself, cannot save others." The captain of the soldiers "Ohios" continued to torture St. Sergius, and ordered to skin him and to rub his wounds with salt and vinegar, but the Lord gave him strength and grace. His mother and his sister came to visit him and saw him in this condition, they wept bitterly, until his sister died from her extreme grief, but God raised her up by the prayers of the saint. St. Julius of Agfahs came, wrote the biography of St. Sergius, and promised him that he would take care of his body and his burial. The captain "Ohios" ordered that St. Sergius be tortured by pressing his body through the pressing wheel (Hinbazeen), that his nails be pulled out, that he be placed over an iron bed, with a fire under it, and that torches of fire be placed in his ears. The Lord strengthened him through all of this and healed him. When "Ohios" the captain was tired of torturing him, he decided to behead him.

      St. Sergius called his mother and sister to bid them farewell. They came with the rest of his family and when they saw him tied up with the bridle of a horse that was dragging him to the place of his martyrdom, they protested to the Governor for his extreme cruelty. He ordered to behead them all and they all received the crown of life and the eternal bliss. There was a young boy among the crowd whose eyes were opened by the Lord and he saw the souls of the saints who were martyred carried by the angels, ascending to heaven. He cried with a loud voice saying, "O My Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy upon me." His parents were afraid that the governor would hear him and destroy them because of him. When they could not calm him down, they put their hands upon his mouth to prevent him from screaming, asking the help of the Lord Christ, until he gave up his pure soul at the hand of the Lord.

May Their prayers be with us all. Amen.

Departure of St.Timothy the Third, the Thirty-Second Pope of Alexandria

      On this day also of the year 528 A.D., the holy father Abba Timothy III, 32nd Pope of Alexandria, departed. His enthronement on the apostolic throne was in 511 A.D. He suffered many hardships because he was steadfast in the Orthodox faith. In his days, St. Severus, Patriarch of Antioch, came to Egypt escaping persecution. The two saints traveled together to Egyptian cities and monasteries confirming the people in the Orthodox faith. Because he did not agree with Emperor Marcion with regard to the canons of the Council of Chalcedon, he was exiled. On the day of his exile, the faithful opposed the enforcement of the order of his exile, and many of them were killed, about two hundred thousand, by the order of the Emperor. The saint departed in exile together with St. Severus of Antioch, after he had been on the apostolic throne for 17 years.

May His prayers be with us and Glory be to our God forever. 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 22 : 26

Chapter 22

26The poor shall eat and be satisfied; Those who seek Him will praise the LORD. Let your heart live forever!


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.

Mark 9 : 33 - 50

Chapter 9

33Then He came to Capernaum. And when He was in the house He asked them, "What was it you disputed among yourselves on the road?"
34But they kept silent, for on the road they had disputed among themselves who would be the greatest.
35And He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, "If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all."
36Then He took a little child and set him in the midst of them. And when He had taken him in His arms, He said to them,
37"Whoever receives one of these little children in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him who sent Me."
38Now John answered Him, saying, "Teacher, we saw someone who does not follow us casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow us."
39But Jesus said, "Do not forbid him, for no one who works a miracle in My name can soon afterward speak evil of Me.
40For he who is not against us is on our side.
41For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink in My name, because you belong to Christ, assuredly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.
42"But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea.
43If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having two hands, to go to hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched--
44where "Their worm does not die And the fire is not quenched.'
45And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame, rather than having two feet, to be cast into hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched--
46where "Their worm does not die And the fire is not quenched.'
47And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire--
48where "Their worm does not die And the fire is not quenched.'
49"For everyone will be seasoned with fire, and every sacrifice will be seasoned with salt.
50Salt is good, but if the salt loses its flavor, how will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another."


And Glory be to God forever.


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