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Wednesday, 14th February 2018 --- 7 Amshir 1734

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Readings for Wednesday of first week of Great Lent


Isaiah 2 : 3 - 11 Joel 2 : 12 - 27

Isaiah 2 : 3 - 11

Chapter 2

3Many people shall come and say, "Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths." For out of Zion shall go forth the law, And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
4He shall judge between the nations, And rebuke many people; They shall beat their swords into plowshares, And their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war anymore.
5O house of Jacob, come and let us walk In the light of the LORD.
6For You have forsaken Your people, the house of Jacob, Because they are filled with eastern ways; They are soothsayers like the Philistines, And they are pleased with the children of foreigners.
7Their land is also full of silver and gold, And there is no end to their treasures; Their land is also full of horses, And there is no end to their chariots.
8Their land is also full of idols; They worship the work of their own hands, That which their own fingers have made.
9People bow down, And each man humbles himself; Therefore do not forgive them.
10Enter into the rock, and hide in the dust, From the terror of the LORD And the glory of His majesty.
11The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, The haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, And the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day.

Joel 2 : 12 - 27

Chapter 2

12"Now, therefore," says the LORD, "Turn to Me with all your heart, With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning."
13So rend your heart, and not your garments; Return to the LORD your God, For He is gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, and of great kindness; And He relents from doing harm.
14Who knows if He will turn and relent, And leave a blessing behind Him--A grain offering and a drink offering For the LORD your God?
15Blow the trumpet in Zion, Consecrate a fast, Call a sacred assembly;
16Gather the people, Sanctify the congregation, Assemble the elders, Gather the children and nursing babes; Let the bridegroom go out from his chamber, And the bride from her dressing room.
17Let the priests, who minister to the LORD, Weep between the porch and the altar; Let them say, "Spare Your people, O LORD, And do not give Your heritage to reproach, That the nations should rule over them. Why should they say among the peoples, "Where is their God?"'
18Then the LORD will be zealous for His land, And pity His people.
19The LORD will answer and say to His people, "Behold, I will send you grain and new wine and oil, And you will be satisfied by them; I will no longer make you a reproach among the nations.
20"But I will remove far from you the northern army, And will drive him away into a barren and desolate land, With his face toward the eastern sea And his back toward the western sea; His stench will come up, And his foul odor will rise, Because he has done monstrous things."
21Fear not, O land; Be glad and rejoice, For the LORD has done marvelous things!
22Do not be afraid, you beasts of the field; For the open pastures are springing up, And the tree bears its fruit; The fig tree and the vine yield their strength.
23Be glad then, you children of Zion, And rejoice in the LORD your God; For He has given you the former rain faithfully, And He will cause the rain to come down for you--The former rain, And the latter rain in the first month.
24The threshing floors shall be full of wheat, And the vats shall overflow with new wine and oil.
25"So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, The crawling locust, The consuming locust, And the chewing locust, My great army which I sent among you.
26You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, And praise the name of the LORD your God, Who has dealt wondrously with you; And My people shall never be put to shame.
27Then you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel: I am the LORD your God And there is no other. My people shall never be put to shame.

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Matins Psalm

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

Psalms 25 : 6 - 7

Chapter 25

6Remember, O LORD, Your tender mercies and Your lovingkindnesses, For they are from of old.
7Do not remember the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions; According to Your mercy remember me, For Your goodness' sake, O LORD.

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

Luke 6 : 24 - 34

Chapter 6

24"But woe to you who are rich, For you have received your consolation.
25Woe to you who are full, For you shall hunger. Woe to you who laugh now, For you shall mourn and weep.
26Woe to you when all men speak well of you, For so did their fathers to the false prophets.
27"But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,
28bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.
29To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either.
30Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back.
31And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.
32"But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.
33And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.
34And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back.

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.

Romans 14 : 19 - 15 : 7

Chapter 14

19Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.
20Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats with offense.
21It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak.
22Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves.
23But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin.

Chapter 15

1We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves.
2Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification.
3For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, "The reproaches of those who reproached You fell on Me."
4For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.
5Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus,
6that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
7Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us, to the glory of God.

The grace of God the Father be with you all.

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Catholic Epistle

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

2 Peter 1 : 4 - 11

Chapter 1

4by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
5But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge,
6to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness,
7to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.
8For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.
10Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble;
11for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

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 10 : 9 - 20

Chapter 10

9The next day, as they went on their journey and drew near the city, Peter went up on the housetop to pray, about the sixth hour.
10Then he became very hungry and wanted to eat; but while they made ready, he fell into a trance
11and saw heaven opened and an object like a great sheet bound at the four corners, descending to him and let down to the earth.
12In it were all kinds of four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air.
13And a voice came to him, "Rise, Peter; kill and eat."
14But Peter said, "Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean."
15And a voice spoke to him again the second time, "What God has cleansed you must not call common."
16This was done three times. And the object was taken up into heaven again.
17Now while Peter wondered within himself what this vision which he had seen meant, behold, the men who had been sent from Cornelius had made inquiry for Simon's house, and stood before the gate.
18And they called and asked whether Simon, whose surname was Peter, was lodging there.
19While Peter thought about the vision, the Spirit said to him, "Behold, three men are seeking you.
20Arise therefore, go down and go with them, doubting nothing; for I have sent them."

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

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Day 7 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.

The Seventh Day of the Blessed Month of Amshir

Departure of St.Alexandros the Second, the Forty-Third Pope of Alexandria

      On this day of the year 715 A.D., the Holy Father Abba Alexandros the Second, the Forty-Third Pope of Alexandria, departed. He was from the City of Bana. He became a monk in the monastery of Pateron (Barbarun) or the monastery of the fathers, which was also known as El-Zugag monastery, which was west of Alexandria. Because of his righteousness and his knowledge, he was chosen to the throne of St. Mark. During his papacy, he suffered many hardships. He was contemporary to the Caliph El-Walid Ibn Abd-Elmalek. When the latter took the caliphate, he appointed his brother Abdallah a governor of Egypt in the year 698 A.D. He mistreated the Christians of Egypt, and confiscated the monasteries of the wilderness of Shiheet (Scetis). His evil nature went to the extreme. One day he entered a monastery in Upper Egypt, and saw an icon of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, and inquired about it. He was told that it was the Virgin Mary, the Mother of Christ, the Savior of the world, he spat on the icon and said, "If I live, I shall destroy all the Christians." He then blasphemed against the Lord Christ also. At night, he saw a vision during his sleep which disturbed him, and filled his heart with fear. He wrote to his brother saying, "that he suffered the day before as he saw a Man sitting on a great throne, and His face shone more than the sun, and around Him were thousands carrying arms. We were bound behind Him. When I asked who He was, I was told that He was Christ Jesus, the King of the Christians, Whom I mocked and despised the day before. One of the armed men came and pierced my side with a spear."

      His brother was extremely sad when he heard about the vision. The same night, that man, Abdallah, caught a severe fever and died. Forty days later, his brother El-Walid died also. In 701 A.D. another Governor replaced Abdallah, and he followed his predecessor's policy. He mistreated the Christians, and arrested St.Alexandros and tortured him until the believers collected for him three thousand Dinari. God perished this Governor soon after that. The following Governor, was even more wicked than the one before him. He ordered the arrest of the Pope, and asked him for three thousand Dinari. The Pope excused himself saying that part of the money that he paid to his predecessor was collected from some of the believers and the rest was borrowed. The Governor did not accept his words, and finally the Pope asked him for a grace period. The Pope went to Upper Egypt to collect the money from the believers. During his travel, an ascetic monk asked two of his disciples to dig out a cave. While they were digging, they found five copper jars filled with gold. They kept one of them and gave the rest to the hermit, which he sent to the Pope. The two disciples took the gold and left the desert. They went out into the world, married, and owned cattle, slaves and maidenservants. The Governor was informed about these two men, and he called them to him. He threatened them if they did not tell him the truth about their sudden wealth. They told him about the five jars of gold, and that four jars were given to the Pope. He rushed to the patriarchate and plundered all the church vessels. He seized the Pope, insulted him and put him in prison. He demanded from the Pope the jars and the three thousand Dinari. He did not release him until the Pope gave it all to him.

      Shortly after that, this Governor died, and another even more evil came after him. He ordered the Christians to tattoo on their wrists, instead of the sign of the honorable Cross, the name of the "beast" that St. John the Theologian had prophesied about in all the land. He also commanded the Pope to tattoo the sign of the beast on his wrist, but the Pope refused. As the Governor insisted, the Pope asked him for three days. The Pope went to his cell and prayed to the Lord Jesus Christ not to forsake him so that he would not fail in this test. The Lord answered his prayer, so he fell with a brief sickness. He went to the Governor and asked his permission to go to Alexandria. The Governor refused, thinking that the Pope was pretending to be sick just to escape the tattooing. Afterwards, the Lord inspired him that he would depart from this world after four days. He told this to his disciples, and asked them to prepare a carriage to carry his body and to bury him beside the holy fathers. He departed in peace, and was carried for his burial as he requested. During the papacy of Abba Alexandros, the Melkites had a Patriarch in Egypt by the name of Anastasius, who was hated by his own people because he loved the Orthodox Copts and was peaceful with them. He left his own congregation and went to Pope Alexandros, and confessed the Orthodox faith before him. The Pope treated the Patriarch well, honored him and wanted to hand him the affairs of the patriarchate so he could go and worship in seclusion in one of the monasteries. Father Anastasius refused and said to him, "If I had desired the patriarchal seat, I could have remained there, for I was a patriarch, but now I want to be your disciple." He finally accepted, however, to become a bishop in one of the bishoprics, and he shepherded the flock entrusted to him well. Abba Alexandros remained on the seat of St. Mark for 24 years and 9 months.

May His prayers be with us all. Amen.

Departure of St.Theodorus (Theodor), the Forty-Fifth Pope of Alexandria

      On this day also, of the year 728 A.D., St. Theodorus (Theodore), 45th Pope of Alexandria, departed. He was a monk in a monastery near Mariut, which was known as the monastery of Tanboura, under the guidance of a virtuous elder called Yoannis (John). Abba Yoannis was inspired by the Holy Spirit that his disciple Tadros one day would become a Pope. He told those who were in authority. Tadros struggled in his worship, and was perfect in his humility and meekness. He was chosen by the will of God to become the Pope of Alexandria. He shepherd the flock of the Lord Christ well. He continued to read and to preach to his people, especially on Sundays and on feast days. He completed 12 years on the seat of St. Mark and 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 : 20,16

Chapter 25

20Keep my soul, and deliver me; Let me not be ashamed, for I put my trust in You.
16Turn Yourself to me, and have mercy on me, For I am desolate and afflicted.


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 6 : 35 - 38

Chapter 6

35But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil.
36Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.
37"Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
38Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you."

And Glory be to God forever.

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