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Sunday, 27th April 2014 --- 19 Baramoudah 1730


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Readings for Thomas Sunday


Vespers

Vespers Psalm

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

Psalms 33 : 3,4

Chapter 33

3Sing to Him a new song; Play skillfully with a shout of joy.
4For the word of the LORD is right, And all His work is done in truth.

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 5 : 1 - 11

Chapter 5

1So it was, as the multitude pressed about Him to hear the word of God, that He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret,
2and saw two boats standing by the lake; but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets.
3Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon's, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat.
4When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, "Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch."
5But Simon answered and said to Him, "Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net."
6And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking.
7So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink.
8When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!"
9For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken;
10and so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, "Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men."
11So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him.

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 96 : 1 - 2

Chapter 96

1Oh, sing to the LORD a new song! Sing to the LORD, all the earth.
2Sing to the LORD, bless His name; Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day.

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

John 21 : 1 - 14

Chapter 21

1After these things Jesus showed Himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias, and in this way He showed Himself:
2Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of His disciples were together.
3Simon Peter said to them, "I am going fishing." They said to him, "We are going with you also." They went out and immediately got into the boat, and that night they caught nothing.
4But when the morning had now come, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus.
5Then Jesus said to them, "Children, have you any food?" They answered Him, "No."
6And He said to them, "Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some." So they cast, and now they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish.
7Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord!" Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment (for he had removed it), and plunged into the sea.
8But the other disciples came in the little boat (for they were not far from land, but about two hundred cubits), dragging the net with fish.
9Then, as soon as they had come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid on it, and bread.
10Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish which you have just caught."
11Simon Peter went up and dragged the net to land, full of large fish, one hundred and fifty-three; and although there were so many, the net was not broken.
12Jesus said to them, "Come and eat breakfast." Yet none of the disciples dared ask Him, "Who are You?"--knowing that it was the Lord.
13Jesus then came and took the bread and gave it to them, and likewise the fish.
14This is now the third time Jesus showed Himself to His disciples after He was raised from the dead.

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 Ephesians .
May his blessings be upon us.
Amen.

Ephesians 4 : 20 - 32

Chapter 4

20But you have not so learned Christ,
21if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus:
22that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts,
23and be renewed in the spirit of your mind,
24and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
25Therefore, putting away lying, "Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor," for we are members of one another.
26"Be angry, and do not sin": do not let the sun go down on your wrath,
27nor give place to the devil.
28Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.
29Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.
30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
31Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.
32And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

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 2 : 7 - 17

Chapter 2

7Brethren, I write no new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you heard from the beginning.
8Again, a new commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining.
9He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now.
10He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him.
11But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
12I write to you, little children, Because your sins are forgiven you for His name's sake.
13I write to you, fathers, Because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, Because you have overcome the wicked one. I write to you, little children, Because you have known the Father.
14I have written to you, fathers, Because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, Because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, And you have overcome the wicked one.
15Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16For all that is in the world--the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life--is not of the Father but is of the world.
17And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.

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 17 : 16 - 34

Chapter 17

16Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him when he saw that the city was given over to idols.
17Therefore he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and with the Gentile worshipers, and in the marketplace daily with those who happened to be there.
18Then certain Epicurean and Stoic philosophers encountered him. And some said, "What does this babbler want to say?" Others said, "He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign gods," because he preached to them Jesus and the resurrection.
19And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, "May we know what this new doctrine is of which you speak?
20For you are bringing some strange things to our ears. Therefore we want to know what these things mean."
21For all the Athenians and the foreigners who were there spent their time in nothing else but either to tell or to hear some new thing.
22Then Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, "Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious;
23for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you:
24God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands.
25Nor is He worshiped with men's hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things.
26And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings,
27so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;
28for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, "For we are also His offspring.'
29Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man's devising.
30Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent,
31because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead."
32And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked, while others said, "We will hear you again on this matter."
33So Paul departed from among them.
34However, some men joined him and believed, among them Dionysius the Areopagite, a woman named Damaris, and others with them.

The word of the Lord shall grow, multiply, be mighty, and be confirmed, in the holy Church of God.
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 : 1,4

Chapter 98

1Oh, sing to the LORD a new song! For He has done marvelous things; His right hand and His holy arm have gained Him the victory.
4Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth; Break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises.


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.

John 20 : 19 - 31

Chapter 20

19Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, "Peace be with you."
20When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.
21So Jesus said to them again, "Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you."
22And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit.
23If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."
24Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came.
25The other disciples therefore said to him, "We have seen the Lord." So he said to them, "Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe."
26And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, "Peace to you!"
27Then He said to Thomas, "Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing."
28And Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord and my God!"
29Jesus said to him, "Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."
30And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book;
31but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.


And Glory be to God forever.


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Not being read in the Church during this period.

Synaxarium

The Nineteenth Day of the Blessed Month of Baramoudah

Martyrdom of St.Simeon the Armenian, Bishop of Persia and 150 with him

      On this day, St. Simeon the Armenian, Bishop of the country of Persia, and 150 with him, were martyred. This Bishop lived during the reign of Sapor (Shapur), the son of Hormiz, king of Persia, who was unjust and oppressive to the Christians. This Saint wrote a letter to king Sapor and told him: "Those whom the Lord Christ has bought with His honorable Blood had rid themselves from the servitude of men, and it is not conceivable for them to be in servitude for those who transgress the Law." When the king had read this letter, he became exceedingly wrath. He brought him, bound him with chains, and cast him into the prison. In prison, he found prisoners who worshipped the sun. The Saint rebuked them, taught them, and they believed in the Lord Christ. They confessed their faith before the king, who brought the Saint from the prison, because he preached them the faith. The king ordered to cut off the heads of the Saint and the 150 persons with him, and they received the crown of martyrdom.

May their prayers be with us. Amen.

Martyrdom of the blessed Youhanna (John) Abu Nagaah El-Kabeer

      On this day also, of the year 719 A.M., the blessed Youhanna (John) Abu Nagaah El-Kabeer, was martyred. He was one of the nobel Copts in the tenth and eleventh centuries. He was the head scribe in his time, as he was the lay leader during the reign of Al-Hakim Be-Amr Ellah the Fatimid Caliph. This great elder was a contemporary to Pope Philotheos, 63rd Patriarch, who was enthroned on March 28th. 979 A.D. and departed on November 8th. 1003 A.D. Youhanna was a devout Christian, righteous, virtuous, charitable, and loving to the church. He was zealous in the Orthodox faith. When Al-Hakim Be-Amr Ellah completed the extermination of the people close to him and the leaders of the army, he turned to the notables and chiefs of the scribes. He called ten of them and offered them to adopt Islam. Youhanna, who was their head, was called first. Al-Hakim told him: "I want you to leave your faith and adopt my faith, the Islam. I will make you my minister to manage the affairs of my kingdom." Youhanna replied saying: "Give me a chance until tomorrow to deliberate the matter with myself" Youhanna went to his house, called his friends, informed them with what had happened, and told them: "I am ready to die in the Name of the Lord Christ, and my reason for asking for the delay, not to deliberate the matter with myself but to see you and my family, to bid you and my family farewell, and to commend you and them. Now my brothers, do not ask for this vain glory, for you will loose the eternal glory of the Lord Christ Who satisfied us with the richness of the world, and now with His mercy, He had called us to the Kingdom of Heaven, so strengthen your hearts." His golden words, which were full of wisdom, influenced those who heard them, strengthened their hearts, and they decided to die in the Name of the Lord Christ also. He made a great feast for them, and then they went to their homes. The next morning, Youhanna went to Al-Hakim Be-Amr Ellah who asked him: "O Nagaah, have you decided?" Youhanna (John) replied saying "Yes". The Caliph asked: "Which way have you decided?" Youhanna answered steadfastly and with courage: "Remaining in my faith." The Governor attempted with all ways of persuasion and threatening to make him forsake Christianity. John was steadfast as a rock; nothing shook him away from the Christian faith, and the Governor could not with all his powers make him renounce the faith of his fathers.

      When the Governor failed with Youhanna, he ordered to remove his clothes, be tied to the squeezing wheels, and be beaten. They beat him five hundred lashes on his delicate body, and his flesh was torn and his blood flew as water. The whips that were used were made of cow hides; even the mighty ones could not bear one lash from it on their bodies, much less, this gentle branch. Then the Governor ordered to beat him up to one thousand lashes. After he was beaten three hundred more lashes, he said as his Master: "I am thirsty." They stopped beating him and informed the Governor who told them: "Water him after you tell him forsake your faith." When they came to him with the water and told him as the Caliph ordered, Youhanna replied with pride and dignity: "Take the water back to him, for I do not need it, because My Master Jesus Christ had watered me and quenched my thirst." The people who were standing around testified that they saw at this moment water dripping from his beard. When he said that, he delivered up his soul. When they told the tyrant Governor about his death, he ordered them to beat the dead body to complete the one thousand lashes, and thus he was martyred, and received the crown of martyrdom that was prepared for him by the Great King Jesus Christ. The History of the Patriarch did not mention the day that he was martyred, but El-Makrizi in his manuscripts said: "The Vizier Fahd Ibn Ibrahim, one of the ten men and the companion of Youhanna Ibn Nagaah, was slained in the nineteenth of Barmoudah, 719 A.M. (April 14th., 1003 A.D.)" The martyrdom of the blessed Youhanna Ibn Nagaah was mentioned in the History of the Patriarchs, before the mentioning of the martyrdom of the Vizier Fahd Ibn Ibrahim. Youhanna, in the feast that he made for his friends and kinfolks among whom were the other nine chosen ones, did not mention the account of the martyrdom of the Vizier Fahd in what he said during the feast. Accordingly, the martyrdom of this Saint was on the same day of the martyrdom of the Vizier fahd.

May His blessings be with us. Amen

Martyrdom of the Vizier Abu Elaala Fahd Ibn Ibrahim and his companions

      This day also marks the commemoration of the martyrdom of the Elder the Vizier Abu Elaala Fahd Ibn Ibrahim, who was distinguished in the later half of the tenth century and early the eleventh century. He was also contemporary to Pope Philotheos, 63rd Patriarch, and from the Fatimid Caliphs, Al Emam Al-Azeez Be Allah, and his son Al-Hakim Be-Amr Allah. He was an Orthodox Archon, adhered to his faith, faithful to his church, and charitable. During his life, he never turned down anyone who asked him. Whenever he went through the streets riding and one asked him, he would extend the sleeve of his cloak and the one asking would find much good in it, and that to hide his virtue of giving. This vizier was one of the powerful and influential men of the government during the Fatimid Rule. Al-Hakim Be-Amr Allah appointed him head of all the scribes and department heads. He built the church of the martyr St. Mercurius in the present monastery of Anba Rowais, which was known then by Dair El-Khandaq.

      It is documented in the History of the Patriarchs that when Al-Hakim Be-Amr Allah wanted to make the notable Coptic scribes apostatize their faith, the Vizier Fahd was one of the ten that was chosen for that purpose. He brought him and told him: "You know that I have chosen and appointed you ahead of all the men in my government, then listen to me and be with me in my religion, so I will promote you more than what you are in now and be like a brother to me." When he did not answer him, he ordered his neck to be cut off and to burn his body. The fire remained burning for three days and the body did not burn, and his right hand that he extended to give alms, was sound at all the time as the fire never touched it. It was mentioned also in the book of El-Khetat El-Tawfikiah that the Vizier Abu Elaala Fahd Ibn Ibrahim was discussing the affairs of the government with the head of the army, El-Housain Ibn Gawhar, and El-Hakim was luring him to apostatize his faith with many promises. When Fahd refused, he ordered his head to be cut off and to burn his body but God protected his body from burning. He was buried in the southern corner of the church of St. Mercurius, which he built in Dair El-khandaq. El-Makrizi wrote in his manuscripts: "Fahd Ibn Ibrahim was killed after he had remained as a chief minister of the government for five years, nine months and twelve days." God had took revenge severely from the wicked people that discredited Abu Elaala Fahd before the Caliph and changed his heart against him. Twenty-nine days after the departure of Fahd, the wicked man, Aly Ibn Omar Ibn El-addas, was killed, then his companion, Taher Mahmoud Ibn El-Nahawy, was killed. The church also commemorates the rest of the ten chief ministers that the Governor asked them to apostatize their faith. When they refused and disobeyed him, he ordered to torture them. They were beaten with whips, and when the beating became cruel, four of them became Muslims, one of them died the same night, and the other three returned to their Christian Faith after the end of the time of persecution. The rest departed while they were being tortured and received the crown of martyrdom and acquired the eternal life.

Martyrdom of Daoud (David), the Monk

      On this day also, Daoud Ibn Ghobrial El-Bargy, the monk, was martyred. He was from the village of Berkit Karmout. He was tortured severely but did not forsake the faith, and he received the crown of martyrdom in the year 1099 A.M.

May Their intercession be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.


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