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Tuesday, 9th February 2016 --- 1 Amshir 1732



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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 1 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 First Day of the Blessed Month of Amshir

Commemoration of the Universal Ecclesiastical Council in Constantinople

      On this day of the year 381 A.D., one hundred and fifty fathers assembled upon the order of Emperor Theodosius the Great, in the city of Constantinople. They assembled to judge Macedonius, Patriarch of Constantinople, and Sabellius and Apollinaris, for their blasphemy against God the Word and the Holy Spirit. When this blasphemy became widespread, the fathers of the church were concerned about the peace of the church, and made these heresies known to Emperor Theodosius. He ordered that a council be assembled, and invited Abba Timothy, 22nd Pope of Alexandria; Abba Damasus, Pope of Rome; Abba Petros (Peter), Patriarch of Antioch; and Abba Cyril (Kyrillos), Patriarch of Jerusalem. They came to the council with their bishops, except the Pope of Rome, who delegated others to attend on his behalf. When the holy council convened in Constantinople, they called upon Macedonius. Abba Timothy, Pope of Alexandria, who was presiding over the council, asked him, "What is your belief?" Macedonius answered that the Holy Spirit was created like any other creature. Abba Timothy said, "The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God. If we say as you claim that the Spirit of God is created, we are saying, in essence, that His Life is created, and therefore, He is 'lifeless' without it." He advised Macedonius to renounce his erroneous belief. When he refused, Macedonius was excommunicated, anathematized and striped of his rank.

      Then Abba Timothy asked Sabellius, "And you, what is your belief?" He answered, "The Trinity is one being and one person." Abba Timothy said, "If the Trinity is as you claim, then the mentioning of the Trinity is groundless, and your baptism is futile, because it is in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and the Trinity would have suffered pain and died, and the saying of the gospel would be invalid, when it is said that the Son was in the Jordan River, and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in the likeness of a dove, and the Father called upon Him from heaven." Then Abba Timothy advised him to renounce his belief. When Sabellius did not accept, Abba Timothy excommunicated, anathematized and striped him of his rank. Then Abba Timothy asked Apollinaris, "And you, what is your belief?" Apollinaris said, "The Incarnation of the Son was by His union with the human flesh without the rational being, for His divinity replaced the soul and the mind of the human being." Abba Timothy replied, "God the Word united with our nature to save us, therefore if He only united with the animal body, then He did not save mankind but the animals. Humans will rise on the day of Resurrection with the rational and speaking soul with which there will be the communication and the judgement, and with it they will be granted the blessing or the condemnation. Accordingly, the Incarnation would be in vain. If that was the case, why did He call Himself a man if He did not unite with the rational speaking soul?" Then Abba Timothy advised him to turn away from his erroneous belief, but he also refused. He excommunicated Apollinaris as he did the other two friends.

      Ultimately, the council excommunicated these three and all those who agreed with them. Then they completed the creed that was established by the fathers at the Council of Nicea until its saying, "Of Whose Kingdom shall be no end." The fathers of the Council of Constantinople added, "Truly we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, Giver of Life... to the end." They put down many canons that are still in the hands of the believers today.

May The prayers of these holy fathers be with us. Amen.

Commemoration of the Consecration of the First Church that was Built after the Name of St.Peter, the Seal of the Martyrs

      On this day also, we celebrate the commemoration of the consecration of the Church of St. Peter, 17th Pope of Alexandria and the Seal of Martyrs. He was martyred in Alexandria during the last days of the reign of Diocletian the Infidel. When Emperor Constantine the Great reigned, and all the idol temples were destroyed, churches were built. So the believers built this church west of Alexandria in the name of St. Peter, the Seal of Martyrs. The church existed till shortly after the reign of the Arabs over Egypt, when it was destroyed.

May His blessings 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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