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Friday, 22nd August 2014 --- 16 Misra 1730





Today's Readings



Readings for St Mary's Feast




Vespers

Vespers Psalm

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

Psalms 87 : 3,5,7

Chapter 87

3Glorious things are spoken of you, O city of God!Selah
5And of Zion it will be said, "This one and that one were born in her; And the Most High Himself shall establish her."
7Both the singers and the players on instruments say, "All my springs are in you."

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 10 : 38 - 52

Chapter 10

38Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house.
39And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus' feet and heard His word.
40But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, "Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me."
41And Jesus answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things.
42But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her."

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 48 : 8,1

Chapter 48

8As we have heard, So we have seen In the city of the LORD of hosts, In the city of our God: God will establish it forever.Selah
1Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised In the city of our God, In His holy mountain.

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 : 35 - 50

Chapter 12

35A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.
36But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.
37For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned."
38Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered, saying, "Teacher, we want to see a sign from You."
39But He answered and said to them, "An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.
40For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
41The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and indeed a greater than Jonah is here.
42The queen of the South will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and indeed a greater than Solomon is here.
43"When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none.
44Then he says, "I will return to my house from which I came.' And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order.
45Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation."
46While He was still talking to the multitudes, behold, His mother and brothers stood outside, seeking to speak with Him.
47Then one said to Him, "Look, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, seeking to speak with You."
48But He answered and said to the one who told Him, "Who is My mother and who are My brothers?"
49And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, "Here are My mother and My brothers!
50For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother."

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 Hebrews .
May his blessings be upon us.
Amen.

Hebrews 9 : 1 - 12

Chapter 9

1Then indeed, even the first covenant had ordinances of divine service and the earthly sanctuary.
2For a tabernacle was prepared: the first part, in which was the lampstand, the table, and the showbread, which is called the sanctuary;
3and behind the second veil, the part of the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of All,
4which had the golden censer and the ark of the covenant overlaid on all sides with gold, in which were the golden pot that had the manna, Aaron's rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant;
5and above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. Of these things we cannot now speak in detail.
6Now when these things had been thus prepared, the priests always went into the first part of the tabernacle, performing the services.
7But into the second part the high priest went alone once a year, not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the people's sins committed in ignorance;
8the Holy Spirit indicating this, that the way into the Holiest of All was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle was still standing.
9It was symbolic for the present time in which both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make him who performed the service perfect in regard to the conscience--
10concerned only with foods and drinks, various washings, and fleshly ordinances imposed until the time of reformation.
11But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation.
12Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.

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


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Catholic Epistle

A Reading from Epistle 2 of St. John .
May his blessing be upon us.
Amen.

2 John 1 : 1 - 13

Chapter 1

1The Elder, To the elect lady and her children, whom I love in truth, and not only I, but also all those who have known the truth,
2because of the truth which abides in us and will be with us forever:
3Grace, mercy, and peace will be with you from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.
4I rejoiced greatly that I have found some of your children walking in truth, as we received commandment from the Father.
5And now I plead with you, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment to you, but that which we have had from the beginning: that we love one another.
6This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it.
7For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.
8Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward.
9Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son.
10If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him;
11for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.
12Having many things to write to you, I did not wish to do so with paper and ink; but I hope to come to you and speak face to face, that our joy may be full.
13The children of your elect sister greet you. Amen.

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 1 : 1 - 14

Chapter 1

1The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,
2until the day in which He was taken up, after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen,
3to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.
4And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, "which," He said, "you have heard from Me;
5for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now."
6Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, "Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?"
7And He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.
8But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."
9Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.
10And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel,
11who also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven."
12Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day's journey.
13And when they had entered, they went up into the upper room where they were staying: Peter, James, John, and Andrew; Philip and Thomas; Bartholomew and Matthew; James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot; and Judas the son of James.
14These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.

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 16 of the Blessed Coptic Month of Misra, 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 Sixteenth Day of the Blessed Month of Misra

Assumption of the Body of the Pure Virgin St.Mary

     On this day, was the assumption of the body of our pure Lady St. Mary, the Mother of God. While she was keeping vigil, praying in the Holy Sepulchre, and waiting for the happy minute of her liberation from the bonds of the flesh, the Holy Spirit informed her of her forthcoming departure from this vain world. When the time drew near, the disciples and the virgins of the Mt. of Olives (Zeiton) came and the Lady was lying on her bed. Our Lord, surrounded by thousands and thousands of angels, came to Her. He consoled her, and announced her with the everlasting joy which was prepared for Her. She was happy, and she stretched out her hands, blessed the Disciples, and the Virgins. Then, she delivered up her pure soul in the hand of her Son and God, Jesus Christ, Who ascended her to the higher habitations. As of the pure body, they shrouded it and carried it to Gethsemane. On their way, some of the Jews blocked the way in the face of the disciples to prevent the burial. One of them seized the coffin. His hands were separated from his body, and remained hanging until he believed and repented for his mischievous deed. With the prayers of the holy disciples, his hands were reattached to his body as they had been before. St.Thomas was absent at the time of St.Mary's departure, but he came after the burial. On his way back to Jerusalem, St. Thomas saw angels carrying St.Mary's pure body and ascending with it to heaven, and one of the angels said to him, "Hurry and kiss the pure body of St. Mary."

      When he arrived to the disciples, they informed him about St. Mary's departure. He told them, "I will not believe, unless I see her body, as you all know how I did doubt the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ before." They took him to the tomb, to uncover the body but they did not find it, and they were perplexed and amazed. St. Thomas told them how he saw the pure body ascending to heaven, carried by angels. The Holy Spirit then told them, "The Lord did not Will to leave Her Holy body on earth." The Lord had promised his pure apostles that they would see her in flesh another time. They were waiting for the fulfillment of this truthful promise, until the sixteenth day of the month of Misra, when the promise of seeing her was fulfilled. They saw her sitting on the right hand of her Son and her Lord, surrounded by the angelic Host, as David prophesied and said, "At your right hand stands the queen." (Psalm 45:9) St. Mary's life on earth was sixty years. She spent twelve years of them in the temple, thirty years in the house of the righteous St. Joseph, and fourteen years in the care of St. John the Evangelist, as the Lord commanded her saying, "Woman behold your Son," and to St. John, "Behold your Mother."

May Her intercession be with us. Amen.

Departure of St.Mattias IV (Mattheos), the 102nd Patriarch of Alexandria

      On this day also, of the year 1391 A.M. (August 15, 1675 A.D.) Pope Mattias IV (Mattheos), 102nd Patriarch, departed. He was known as Matta El-Meeri. This father was born to pious Christian parents, who were righteous, merciful and benevolent. They were of the rich people of the city of Meer, Ashmonain district, the diocese of Qousqam, which is known as El-Mouharaq. They had vast farm land and live-stock. They had three boys, one of them was this righteous Father. He was the closest to his parents, and his name was Guirguis. They raised him with prudence, and brought him up with good manners and decency. They never asked him, as they did his brothers, to work on the farm, or attend to the live-stock. Instead he dedicated himself to reading and learning until he became more informed about the Holy books than his contemporaries. He was able to explain and interpret their meanings to those who had difficulties with them. When he grew up, he renounced this vain world and went to the monastery of St. Mary known as "El-Baramos" in the wilderness of Sheahat (Scetis), where he stayed for six years. He saw in a dream that his parents were grieved over him for they thought that he was dead, since they had not found him. Immediately he informed his brothers in the monastery who advised him to go to his home-town to see his parents. He went to Meer and greeted his parents who became exceedingly happy when they saw him alive. Afterwards, they wished to wed him, but when the Saint learned from a friend what his parents intended to do, he escaped and returned again to the monastery. The monks welcomed him back with great joy. He lived with these holy men in love and faithful service, so they nominated him to the monastic rank.

      Then he was ordained a priest for the monastery, and after a short time, he wore the Eskeem. He exhausted himself with vigilance, prayers, worships, and kneeling more than was required from the other monks. He fasted from sunset to the sunset of the next day and in the winter he fasted two days at a time. He kept this manner all the days of his life until he realized the favor of God, because of his good deeds, acceptable worship, and asceticism. When Pope Marcos VI, 101St Patriarch, departed, the bishops, priests, and the lay leaders sought a new righteous shepherd to ordain in his place. They asked the monks of the wilderness and the monasteries to guide them to one fit for this position. The monks guided them to this father. When they asked him to come to Misr (Cairo), he refused to comply with their request. So they were forced to send a soldier from the government, who seized him, and brought him to Misr. Meanwhile the people of Misr (Cairo) seized another righteous priest called John, and wanted to ordain him Patriarch, and as a result of that a conflict developed. The governor apprehended the two candidates and imprisoned them for forty days. When the matter prolonged, the bishops met and decided to cast an altar lot which was done before all the congregation. The soldiers also cast among them another lot in the government building. Each time they drew the lot it fell on Guirguis. One night the soldiers of the governor saw a burning candle hovering over Father Guirguis' head while he was in prison. Finally they nominated this father after the considerable contention, and all the congregation was pleased. He was ordained on Sunday, 30th of Hatour, 1377 A.M. (Dec. 6th, 1660 A.D.) during the reign of the Ottoman Sultan, Mohammed IV. The celebration of his ordination was a splendid and grand celebration which was attended by many of the other Christian denominations. When he was enthroned as the Patriarch in the Patriarchal cell at Haret-Zewailah, he considered marital and family matters, and church affairs in stern, just and fair judgements. He was meek and humble, disliked attention and exaltedness, so he never sat on a chair in the church, but stood beside it until the end of the service. He visited widows, orphans, and prisoners, and cared for the monks in the monastery, fulfilling their needs. He cherished the monasteries and the churches, as he lived a simple life as those monks lived in the wilderness. During his papacy the church was in peace and tranquility and the church was enlightened with his grace. In the year 1387 A.M. (1671 A.D.), a grievous plague befell Egypt, which perished many.

       He ordained two successive metropolitans for Ethiopia after the departure of its Metropolitan Youanis the Thirteenth. The first was Anba Khristozollo II, who remained on the chair from 1665 to 1672 A.D., during the reign of King Wasilidis. The second was Anba Shenouda I, who remained on the chair from 1672 to 1694 A.D. during the time of John I. Pope Mattias IV, was the last to dwell in the patriarchal cell at Haret-Zewailah for he moved his residency to Haret-El-Roum in 1660 A.D. just after his ordination.

During his papacy Pope Mattias endured some hardships. + The devil entered the heart of a Christian man and motivated him to go to the tax collector to over tax the Christians, which put a great burden on them. They complained to the Pope, who sent for the tax collector. The Pope forbade him, but he did not cease his wicked act. The Pope ex-communicated him, and the man died a horrible death. + Another time, a woman came to the pope complaining that her husband had divorced her and married another woman. The Pope sent for him and asked him to come with his second wife. When this man came, the Pope ordered them to be separated, but the second wife refused saying, "How can that be while I am pregnant with his child?" Then the Pope said, "The Lord Christ will judge between the two marriages." Just as the second woman left the Pope's cell, she aborted and the fetus came out of her womb. A great fear transpired because of this incident. The man separated from her and returned to his first wife. Pope Mattias became respected, honored, and revered by his people. + Another time, some infidels wanted to demolish St. Marcurius' "of the two swords," Church at old Cairo. They went to the governmental office and appointed someone in charge of this matter. When the Pope heard about their intentions, he grieved much and spent that night's vigil beseeching God, and interceding with St.Marcurius to annul their conspiracy and save the church from destruction. While the soldiers were asleep around the church, a wall fell on them. They all died, and the news spread around the city. The wicked conspiracy was annulled and everyone glorified God.

    During Pope Mattias' days, the enemy of good, stirred up the unbelievers against the Christians. But Christ, to Whom is the Glory, always vanquished their council and perished them through the prayers of Pope Mattias, for he shepherded the flock of Christ faithfully. When the time of his departure drew near, he went to the tomb of the Patriarchs in Misr and said to it, "Open and receive me so I can dwell with my righteous brothers." After he returned to his residence, he fell sick with the illness of death. He called the bishops and priests and commended them on the flock of Christ. He also called the Abbess of the convent and gave her all he had, and asked her to hand them to his successor, as they were the property of the church. Then he departed in peace at a good old age, after he had remained on the chair of St. Mark for fourteen years, eight months, and nine days. He was seventy-five years old and was buried in the tomb of the Patriarchs in the church of St.Marcurius in Old Cairo. The chair remained vacant after him for seven months.

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 45 : 12 - 13

Chapter 45

12And the daughter of Tyre will come with a gift; The rich among the people will seek your favor.
13The royal daughter is all glorious within the palace; Her clothing is woven with gold.


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.

Luke 1 : 39 - 56

Chapter 1

39Now Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah,
40and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth.
41And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.
42Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!
43But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
44For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.
45Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord."
46And Mary said: "My soul magnifies the Lord,
47And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
48For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.
49For He who is mighty has done great things for me, And holy is His name.
50And His mercy is on those who fear Him From generation to generation.
51He has shown strength with His arm; He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
52He has put down the mighty from their thrones, And exalted the lowly.
53He has filled the hungry with good things, And the rich He has sent away empty.
54He has helped His servant Israel, In remembrance of His mercy,
55As He spoke to our fathers, To Abraham and to his seed forever."
56And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her house.


And Glory be to God forever.


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Today's Readings



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