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Thursday, 25th May 2017 --- 17 Bashans 1733

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Readings for Ascension


Vespers Psalm

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

Psalms 68 : 32 - 34

Chapter 68

32Sing to God, you kingdoms of the earth; Oh, sing praises to the Lord,Selah
33To Him who rides on the heaven of heavens, which were of old! Indeed, He sends out His voice, a mighty voice.
34Ascribe strength to God; His excellence is over Israel, And His strength is in the clouds.

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.

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 9 : 51 - 62

Chapter 9

51Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem,
52and sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him.
53But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem.
54And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, "Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?"
55But He turned and rebuked them, and said, "You do not know what manner of spirit you are of.
56For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men's lives but to save them." And they went to another village.
57Now it happened as they journeyed on the road, that someone said to Him, "Lord, I will follow You wherever You go."
58And Jesus said to him, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head."
59Then He said to another, "Follow Me." But he said, "Lord, let me first go and bury my father."
60Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God."
61And another also said, "Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house."
62But Jesus said to him, "No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God."

And Glory be to God forever.

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Matins Psalm

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

Psalms 68 : 18 - 19

Chapter 68

18You have ascended on high, You have led captivity captive; You have received gifts among men, Even from the rebellious, That the LORD God might dwell there.
19Blessed be the Lord, Who daily loads us with benefits, The God of our salvation!Selah

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.

Matins Gospel

Stand in the fear of God and listen to the Holy Gospel.
A reading from the Gospel according to our teacher Saint Mark the Evangelist.
May His Blessings be with us all.

Mark 16 : 12 - 20

Chapter 16

12After that, He appeared in another form to two of them as they walked and went into the country.
13And they went and told it to the rest, but they did not believe them either.
14Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen.
15And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.
16He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.
17And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues;
18they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."
19So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.
20And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.

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 Timothy .
May his blessings be upon us.

1 Timothy 3 : 13 - 16

Chapter 3

13For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a good standing and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.
14These things I write to you, though I hope to come to you shortly;
15but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
16And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory.

The grace of God the Father be with you all.

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Catholic Epistle

A Reading from Epistle 1 of St. Peter .
May his blessing be upon us.

1 Peter 3 : 15 - 22

Chapter 3

15But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;
16having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed.
17For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.
18For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit,
19by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison,
20who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water.
21There is also an antitype which now saves us--baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
22who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him.

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.

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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.

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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 24 : 9 - 10

Chapter 24

9Lift up your heads, O you gates! Lift up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in.
10Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, He is the King of glory.Selah


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.

Luke 24 : 36 - 53

Chapter 24

36Now as they said these things, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them, and said to them, "Peace to you."
37But they were terrified and frightened, and supposed they had seen a spirit.
38And He said to them, "Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts?
39Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have."
40When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet.
41But while they still did not believe for joy, and marveled, He said to them, "Have you any food here?"
42So they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and some honeycomb.
43And He took it and ate in their presence.
44Then He said to them, "These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me."
45And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.
46Then He said to them, "Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day,
47and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
48And you are witnesses of these things.
49Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high."
50And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them.
51Now it came to pass, while He blessed them, that He was parted from them and carried up into heaven.
52And they worshiped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy,
53and were continually in the temple praising and blessing God. Amen.

And Glory be to God forever.

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Not to be read in the Church during this time of the year.


Day 17 of the Blessed Coptic Month of Bashans, 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.

The Seventeenth Day of the Blessed Month of Bashans

Departure of St.Epiphanius, Bishop of Cyprus

      On this day, of the year 402 A.D., the great father St. Epiphanius, Bishop of Cyprus, departed. He was born to Jewish parents, his father died, and left him with a sister and their mother brought them up well. His father left him an untrained donkey and his mother asked him to sell it. He met a Christian man called Philotheus who wanted to buy the donkey, but the donkey kicked Epiphanius in his thigh, and he fell down on the ground unconscious. Philotheus made the sign of the cross over the place of injury and Epiphanius was cured of his pain instantly. Then Philotheus cried out over that donkey asking God that the donkey would die God answered his prayer, and the donkey fell down and died. Epiphanius inquired about the secret of the donkey's death and Philotheus told him that it was the cross. He guided him to the crucified Christ, the Son of God, Whom the Jews crucified in Jerusalem by His own will for the Salvation of the world. This remained in the mind of Epiphanius. When one of the rich Jewish men died and had no one to inherit him, he left all his inheritance to Epiphanius. He used this inheritance to spend on the teachers of religion and Law. Once, when he was walking in the road, he saw a poor man asking for charity from one of the monks, and as the monk did not have any money to give, he took off his garment and gave it to him.

      As the poor man took this garment, St. Epiphanius saw a white dress coming down from heaven upon the monk instead off the garment that he gave away. He was astonished and went to the monk and asked him: "Who are you and what is your faith?" The monk told him that he was Christian. He asked the monk to guide him to the facts of the Christian faith. The monk brought him to the bishop who taught him the law of the Christian faith and baptized him. Epiphanius desired to become a monk, and the bishop sent him to the monastery of St. Lucianus. He became a disciple to St. Hilarion, and the grace of God was with him. He excelled in the church subjects, monastic virtues, and its cannons. St. Hilarion prophesied that he would become a bishop and commanded him to go to Cyprus, and not to refuse the office of bishop if it was offered to him. When the bishop of Cyprus departed, it happened that Epiphanius entered the city to buy certain necessities, and he had two monks with him. A saintly bishop was inspired to go to the market place to choose the monk that had two clusters of grapes, whose name was Epiphanius, to ordain him a bishop for Cyprus. When the bishop went to the market, he found him with the other two monks, with two clusters of grapes in his hand. He asked him about his name and he knew that he was the chosen one by God. He took him to the church and ordained him deacon, priest, then bishop. He revealed to the people his vision about him and the prophecy of St. Helarion was fulfilled.

      St. Epiphanius followed a right course of conduct in his diocese, which was well pleasing to God. He wrote many books and discourses and he always preached about mercy. It happened that John, bishop of Jerusalem, was not merciful, so St. Epiphanius borrowed from him some of his gold and silver table vessels, and sold them and gave its price to the poor and the needy. When Abba John asked him to return them, he struck him in his eyes and he became blind. John asked the Saint to pray to heal him, and he prayed, and God opened one of John's eyes. In the year 402 A.D., Empress Eudoxia called Epiphanius to help her to drive out St. John Chrysostom (Of the Golden Mouth) from Constantinople. However, he tried to reconcile them together, but he failed. She threatened him that she would open the temples of idols and close the churches if he did not work on his removal. But since he could not reconcile the differences between her and St. John, he returned to Cyprus and departed in the same year. (His body was relocated on the 28th. of Bashans).

May His prayers be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.

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