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Tuesday, 28th February 2017 --- 21 Amshir 1733



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Readings for Sunday of first week of Great Lent



Vespers

Vespers Psalm

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

Psalms 17 : 1 - 2

Chapter 17

1Hear a just cause, O LORD, Attend to my cry; Give ear to my prayer which is not from deceitful lips.
2Let my vindication come from Your presence; Let Your eyes look on the things that are upright.

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

Matthew 6 : 34 - 7 : 12

Chapter 6

34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Chapter 7

1"Judge not, that you be not judged.
2For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.
3And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?
4Or how can you say to your brother, "Let me remove the speck from your eye'; and look, a plank is in your own eye?
5Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.
6"Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.
7"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
8For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
9Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?
10Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent?
11If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!
12Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

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 18 : 1 - 2

Chapter 18

1I will love You, O LORD, my strength.
2The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

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 7 : 22 - 29

Chapter 7

22Many will say to Me in that day, "Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?'
23And then I will declare to them, "I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'
24"Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock:
25and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
26"But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand:
27and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall."
28And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching,
29for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

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 13 : 1 - 14

Chapter 13

1Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.
2Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.
3For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same.
4For he is God's minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God's minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.
5Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience' sake.
6For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God's ministers attending continually to this very thing.
7Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.
8Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.
9For the commandments, "You shall not commit adultery,You shall not murder,You shall not steal,You shall not bear false witness,You shall not covet," and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
10Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
11And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.
12The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.
13Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy.
14But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.

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 1 : 13 - 21

Chapter 1

13Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone.
14But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.
15Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.
16Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.
17Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.
18Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.
19So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath;
20for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
21Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.

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 21 : 40 - 22 : 16

Chapter 21

40So when he had given him permission, Paul stood on the stairs and motioned with his hand to the people. And when there was a great silence, he spoke to them in the Hebrew language, saying,

Chapter 22

1"Brethren and fathers, hear my defense before you now."
2And when they heard that he spoke to them in the Hebrew language, they kept all the more silent. Then he said:
3"I am indeed a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, taught according to the strictness of our fathers' law, and was zealous toward God as you all are today.
4I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women,
5as also the high priest bears me witness, and all the council of the elders, from whom I also received letters to the brethren, and went to Damascus to bring in chains even those who were there to Jerusalem to be punished.
6"Now it happened, as I journeyed and came near Damascus at about noon, suddenly a great light from heaven shone around me.
7And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?'
8So I answered, "Who are You, Lord?' And He said to me, "I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting.'
9"And those who were with me indeed saw the light and were afraid, but they did not hear the voice of Him who spoke to me.
10So I said, "What shall I do, Lord?' And the Lord said to me, "Arise and go into Damascus, and there you will be told all things which are appointed for you to do.'
11And since I could not see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of those who were with me, I came into Damascus.
12"Then a certain Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good testimony with all the Jews who dwelt there,
13came to me; and he stood and said to me, "Brother Saul, receive your sight.' And at that same hour I looked up at him.
14Then he said, "The God of our fathers has chosen you that you should know His will, and see the Just One, and hear the voice of His mouth.
15For you will be His witness to all men of what you have seen and heard.
16And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.'

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 21 of the Blessed Coptic Month of Amshir, 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 Twenty-First Day of the Blessed Month of Amshir

Commemoration of the Virgin St.Mary

icon

We celebrate on this day the commemoration of the pure Lady St. Mary the Virgin, the Mother of God, the Word, through whom was the salvation of Adam and his offspring.

May her intercession be for us all. Amen.

Martyrdom of St.Onesimus, the Disciple of St.Paul

      On this day also St. Onesimus, the disciple of St. Paul, was martyred. This saint was a slave for a man from Rome called Philemon who believed at the hands of St.Paul, when he heard his preaching in Rome. Philemon departed from Rome on a business trip and took with him Onesimus among others of his servants. There the devil enticed Onesimus, so he stole money from his master and fled to Rome. According to the Divine Will, Onesimus attended the preaching of St. Paul, which he kept in his heart. He believed at the hand of St. Paul and his heart was filled with the grace and the fear of God. He remembered what he stole from his master and from others and since he did not have anything left from the stolen money to return to its rightful owners, he was sorrowful and told St.Paul about that. St. Paul comforted him and wrote an epistle to Onesimus' master, Philemon, informing him in it, that Onesimus became a follower of Christ saying, "I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten while in my chains." St. Paul asked him to treat him gently and not to mind what he did but to consider what he lost as owed by the apostle. When Onesimus took the epistle to his master Philemon, he was pleased by his faith and repentance and treated him as the apostle commanded. Furthermore, he offered him more money but St. Onesimus refused saying, "I am rich with Christ." Then he bid Philemon farewell and returned to Rome. St. Onesimus continued to serve St. Paul until his martyrdom and deserved to be ordained a priest. After the martyrdom of St. Paul, the governor of Rome seized him and exiled him to one of the islands. He remained there preaching and baptizing the people of the island. When the governor came to the island, he found him guiding the people to the belief in the Lord Christ. He was beaten severely and his legs were broken. He departed in peace.

May His prayers be with us. Amen.

Departure of St.Gabriel, the Fifty-Seventh Pope of Alexandria

      On this day also of the year 911 A.D., the great father St. Gabriel, 57th Pope of Alexandria, departed. This saint became a monk at a young age, practicing many worships. He loved solitary life and wept much while praying, asking the Lord to save him from the snares of the devil. When Pope Mikhael, 56th Pope, departed, they chose this father to be the Pope in his place. He was ordained in the year 900 A.D. against his will. He cared for the church affairs well, and the duties of the patriarchate did not prevent him from his worship and asceticism. He spent most of his days in the wilderness and whenever he had some affairs to take care of in Cairo or Alexandria, he would leave and then return back to the wilderness. He fought against the flesh and the devil by increasing fasting, watching, prayers and humility. He used to wake up in the night, put on a ragged garment, take a metal shovel and go around the bathrooms of the monks' cells, washing and cleaning them. He did the same for many years until the Lord looked upon his humility and humble heart, so He relieved his pains and gave him the grace of victory over sin and the body. This father was a worshipper, fighter and a preacher for 11 years, then he departed in peace.

May His prayers be with us. Amen.

Departure of St.Zacharias, Bishop of Sakha

      On this day also St. Zacharias, Bishop of Sakha, departed. He was the son of a scribe called John who left his job and was chosen to be a priest. His son Zacharias was raised on studying literary and religious subjects. When he grew up, El-Wazeer appointed him as a scribe in his court. Afterward he agreed with a friend called Ptolemy who was the prefect of the town of Sakha, to leave their work and go to the wilderness to become monks. That coincided with the coming of a monk from the monastery of St. John the Short, so they decided to go with him to the monastery. When the ruler (El-Wazeer) knew about that, he prevented them from going to the monastery. A few days later, they saw a vision as if someone was asking them, "Why did you not fulfill your vow?" Immediately, they left in secret, walking to the wilderness, without knowing their way. They met on their way, by the will of God, a monk who took them to the monastery of St. John the Short (Colobos). When their friends knew about that, they took a letter from the Governor to bring them back, but the Lord defeated their counsel. As for Zacharias and his friend, they put on the garb of the monks and exerted themselves in many worships. That was during the time of the saints Abba Gawargah and Abba Abraham who were the best guides for them. When the Bishop of Sakha departed, the people wrote to the father, the Patriarch, asking for Zacharias to be their bishop. The Patriarch brought him and ordained him against his will. At the time of the ordination, when the Pope was about to put his hands on Zacharias' head, a light shined in the church and his face appeared as a bright star. When he arrived to his diocese, the people rejoiced and went out to meet him with great honor. The church was illumined with his teachings. St. Zacharias was eloquent and filled with grace and he wrote many articles, sermons and discourses. He stayed on his chair for 30 years, then departed in peace.

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 25 : 1,2,4

Chapter 25

1To You, O LORD, I lift up my soul.
2O my God, I trust in You; Let me not be ashamed; Let not my enemies triumph over me.
4Show me Your ways, O LORD; Teach me Your paths.


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 6 : 19 - 33

Chapter 6

19"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal;
20but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.
21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
22"The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light.
23But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
24"No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
25"Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?
26Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
27Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
28"So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin;
29and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
30Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
31"Therefore do not worry, saying, "What shall we eat?' or "What shall we drink?' or "What shall we wear?'
32For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.
33But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.


And Glory be to God forever.


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