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Readings for Monday, 9th December 2019 --- 29 Hatour 1736





Today's Readings



Vespers

Vespers Psalm

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

Psalms 89 : 36,29

Chapter 89

36His seed shall endure forever, And his throne as the sun before Me;
29His seed also I will make to endure forever, And his throne as the days of heaven.

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 9 : 18 - 27

Chapter 9

18And it happened, as He was alone praying, that His disciples joined Him, and He asked them, saying, "Who do the crowds say that I am?"
19So they answered and said, "John the Baptist, but some say Elijah; and others say that one of the old prophets has risen again."
20He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Peter answered and said, "The Christ of God."
21And He strictly warned and commanded them to tell this to no one,
22saying, "The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day."
23Then He said to them all, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
24For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.
25For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?
26For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father's, and of the holy angels.
27But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the kingdom of God."

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 107 : 32,41,42

Chapter 107

32Let them exalt Him also in the assembly of the people, And praise Him in the company of the elders.
41Yet He sets the poor on high, far from affliction, And makes their families like a flock.
42The righteous see it and rejoice, And all iniquity stops its mouth.

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

Mark 8 : 22 - 29

Chapter 8

22Then He came to Bethsaida; and they brought a blind man to Him, and begged Him to touch him.
23So He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the town. And when He had spit on his eyes and put His hands on him, He asked him if he saw anything.
24And he looked up and said, "I see men like trees, walking."
25Then He put His hands on his eyes again and made him look up. And he was restored and saw everyone clearly.
26Then He sent him away to his house, saying, "Neither go into the town, nor tell anyone in the town."
27Now Jesus and His disciples went out to the towns of Caesarea Philippi; and on the road He asked His disciples, saying to them, "Who do men say that I am?"
28So they answered, "John the Baptist; but some say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets."
29He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Peter answered and said to Him, "You are the Christ."

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 Hebrews .
May his blessings be upon us.
Amen.

Hebrews 4 : 14 - 5 : 14

Chapter 4

14Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.
15For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.
16Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Chapter 5

1For every high priest taken from among men is appointed for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins.
2He can have compassion on those who are ignorant and going astray, since he himself is also subject to weakness.
3Because of this he is required as for the people, so also for himself, to offer sacrifices for sins.
4And no man takes this honor to himself, but he who is called by God, just as Aaron was.
5So also Christ did not glorify Himself to become High Priest, but it was He who said to Him: "You are My Son, Today I have begotten You."
6As He also says in another place: "You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek";
7who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear,
8though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.
9And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him,
10called by God as High Priest "according to the order of Melchizedek,"
11of whom we have much to say, and hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.
12For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food.
13For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe.
14But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

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


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Catholic Epistle

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

1 Peter 1 : 1 - 9

Chapter 1

1Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,
2elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied.
3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
4to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,
5who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
6In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials,
7that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,
8whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,
9receiving the end of your faith--the salvation of 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 12 : 1 - 24

Chapter 12

1Now about that time Herod the king stretched out his hand to harass some from the church.
2Then he killed James the brother of John with the sword.
3And because he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to seize Peter also. Now it was during the Days of Unleavened Bread.
4So when he had arrested him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four squads of soldiers to keep him, intending to bring him before the people after Passover.
5Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church.
6And when Herod was about to bring him out, that night Peter was sleeping, bound with two chains between two soldiers; and the guards before the door were keeping the prison.
7Now behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the prison; and he struck Peter on the side and raised him up, saying, "Arise quickly!" And his chains fell off his hands.
8Then the angel said to him, "Gird yourself and tie on your sandals"; and so he did. And he said to him, "Put on your garment and follow me."
9So he went out and followed him, and did not know that what was done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision.
10When they were past the first and the second guard posts, they came to the iron gate that leads to the city, which opened to them of its own accord; and they went out and went down one street, and immediately the angel departed from him.
11And when Peter had come to himself, he said, "Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent His angel, and has delivered me from the hand of Herod and from all the expectation of the Jewish people."
12So, when he had considered this, he came to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose surname was Mark, where many were gathered together praying.
13And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a girl named Rhoda came to answer.
14When she recognized Peter's voice, because of her gladness she did not open the gate, but ran in and announced that Peter stood before the gate.
15But they said to her, "You are beside yourself!" Yet she kept insisting that it was so. So they said, "It is his angel."
16Now Peter continued knocking; and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished.
17But motioning to them with his hand to keep silent, he declared to them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, "Go, tell these things to James and to the brethren." And he departed and went to another place.
18Then, as soon as it was day, there was no small stir among the soldiers about what had become of Peter.
19But when Herod had searched for him and not found him, he examined the guards and commanded that they should be put to death. And he went down from Judea to Caesarea, and stayed there.
20Now Herod had been very angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon; but they came to him with one accord, and having made Blastus the king's personal aide their friend, they asked for peace, because their country was supplied with food by the king's country.
21So on a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat on his throne and gave an oration to them.
22And the people kept shouting, "The voice of a god and not of a man!"
23Then immediately an angel of the Lord struck him, because he did not give glory to God. And he was eaten by worms and died.
24But the word of God grew and multiplied.

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 29 of the Blessed Coptic Month of Hatour, 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-Ninth Day of the Blessed Month of Hatour

Martyrdom of St.Peter, the Seal of the Martyrs

    This day marks the martyrdom of St. Peter, 17th Pope of Alexandria and the seal of the martyrs. His father was the archpriest of Alexandria and his name was Theodosius and his mother's name was Sophia. They were God-fearing people and they had no children. On the fifth day of the Coptic month of Abib, the feast of St. Peter and St. Paul, his mother went to church where she saw other mothers carrying their children. She was exceedingly sorrowful and she wept. She besought our Lord Jesus Christ with many tears, to grant her a son. That night, Peter and Paul appeared to her and told her that the Lord had accepted her prayers and that He would give her a son, and to call him Peter. They commanded her to go to the Patriarch, to bless her. When she woke up, she told her husband about what she saw and he was exceedingly glad. Then she went to the father, the Patriarch and told him about what she saw and asked him to pray for her. He prayed and blessed her. Shortly after, she gave birth to this saint and called him Peter. When he was 7 years old, they gave him to Pope Theonas, as was done with Samuel the prophet and he became as a son to him. He placed him in the theological school where he received his education and excelled in preaching and counseling. He then ordained him as a reader, then as a deacon, and shortly after as a priest. He relieved the Pope of many church administrative duties.

     Before Pope Theonas' departure, he recommended that Abba Peter be his successor. When he was enthroned on the See of St. Mark, the church was enlightened by his teachings. It came to pass in the city of Antioch, that a man of high authority had agreed with Diocletian the Emperor, to return to paganism. That man had two children and because of him, their mother could not baptize them there. Therefore, she took them to Alexandria. On her way there, the sea was troubled by a violent storm and she was afraid that her two sons would drown and die without being baptized. She therefore dipped them in the sea three times saying, "In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit," then she cut her breast and with her blood made the sign of the Holy Cross over their foreheads. Eventually, the troubled sea calmed down and she arrived safely to Alexandria with her sons. On the same day, she brought them to be baptized. Whenever, the Patriarch, St. Peter tried to baptize them, the water would solidify as stone. This happened three times. When he questioned her, she informed him of what had happened to her at sea. He marvelled and praised God saying, "That is what the church proclaims, that it is one baptism." Therefore, the baptism she performed in the sea was accepted by the Lord.

     Also in the days of this Pope, Arius the heretic appeared and St. Peter advised him several times to turn from his wicked thoughts, but he would not hearken to him. Consequently, he excommunicated him and prevented him from the fellowship of the church. Arius contacted Emperor Maximianus, the infidel, and reported to him that Peter, the Patriarch of Alexandria, incited the people not to worship the gods. The Emperor was outraged and he sent messengers with orders to cut off his head. When they arrived in Alexandria, they attacked the people and destroyed most of the cities of Egypt. They robbed all their valuables, their women and children. In total, about 840 thousand of them were killed, some with the sword, some with starvation and some with imprisonment. Then they returned to Alexandria and captured the father, the Patriarch, and imprisoned him. When the people heard about their shepherd's arrest, they gathered in front of the prison door and wanted to save him by force. The officer in charge of his slaying was worried that the general peace would be disrupted, so he postponed the execution till the next day. When the saint saw what had happened, he wanted to deliver himself to death for his people, for he feared what might happen to his flock. He wished to depart and be with Christ, without causing any disturbances or troubles. He sent for his people and he comforted them and advised them to adhere to the true faith.

      When Arius, the infidel, learned that St. Peter was departing to be with the Lord, leaving him under the band of excommunication, he entreated him, through the high priests, to absolve him. St. Peter refused and told them that the Lord Christ had appeared to him this night in a vision, wearing a torn robe. St. Peter asked Him, "My Lord, who rent Your robe?" The Lord replied, "Arius has rent My robe, because he separated Me from My Father. Beware of accepting him." After this, St. Peter summoned the Emperor's messenger in secret and advised him to dig a hole in the prison's wall on the side where there were no Christians. The officer was amazed at the bravery of the father and he did as he commanded him. He took him out of prison secretly and brought him outside the city, to where the tomb of St. Mark the evangelist, Egypt's evangelist. There, he kneeled down and asked the Lord, "Let the shedding of my blood mark the end of the worship of idols and be the end of the shedding of the blood of Christians." A voice came from heaven and was heard by a saintly virgin who was near that place. It said, "Amen. May it be to you according to your wishes." When he finished his prayer, the swordsman advanced and cut off his holy head. The body remained in its place until the people went out hurriedly from the city to the place where he was martyred, because they did not know what had happened. They took the pure body and dressed it in the pontifical clothes and seated him on the seat of St. Mark, which he refused to sit on during his life. He used to say that he saw the power of God sitting on the Chair and therefore, he did not dare to sit on it. Then they placed his body with the bodies of the saints. He occupied the throne of St. Mark for 11 years.

May His prayers be with us. Amen.

Martyrdom of St.Clement, Pope of Rome

      This day also marks the martyrdom of St. Clement, Pope of Rome. This Saint was born in Rome to an honorable father whose name was Fostinus; who was a member of the Senate. His father educated him and taught him Greek literature. When St. Peter, the Apostle, came to Rome and Clement heard about his teaching, he called him to appear before him and they discussed many things together. The Apostle explained to him the falsehood of idol worship and proved to him the Divinity of the Lord Christ, in Whose Name they preached and performed miracles. He believed at his hands, was baptized by him, and followed him since that day. St. Clement wrote the biography of the Apostles and what happened to them at the hands of the kings and rulers. He preached in numerous cities and many believed at his hands. He was the one to whom the apostles gave their Canon Books. He became the Archbishop of Rome in the latter part of the first century A.D. He preached there and brought many of its people to the knowledge of the Lord Christ.

      Emperor Trajan heard of him and ordered him to be seized and brought to him. The Emperor commanded him to worship the idols and deny the Lord Christ, but St. Clement refused. Because the Emperor feared torturing him before the people of the city and before his family, he exiled him to a city and wrote a message to its Governor, telling him to torture St. Clement, then to kill him. The Governor tied his neck to an anchor and cast him into the sea. In this way, the Saint delivered up his pure spirit and received the crown of martyrdom, in the year 100 A.D. One year after his departure, the sea water receded off his body, which appeared in the bottom of the sea as though he was alive. Many went in and were blessed and they decided to take the body away from its place. They brought a marble coffin and laid him in it and when they wanted to take his body out of the sea, they were unable to move it. They knew that he did not wish to be moved from his place, so they left him and departed. On the day of his feast each year, the sea would flow back and the visitors would enter and be blessed by him. Many frequently travelled to see this wonder. Among the many miracles written about him: One year the visitors went in to visit and to be blessed by him and when they left, they forgot a little child who was behind the coffin of the Saint. This was according to the Lord Christ's Will, in order to reveal the honor of His beloved ones and the grace they had received from Him. When the child's parents remembered their son, they went back to the sea, but they found the water was back and that it had covered the casket. They realized that their son must be dead and devoured by the beasts of the sea. They wept over him and commemorated him as was the custom. The next year, when the sea waters receded, the people entered, as was their custom, and were amazed to find the child alive. They asked him how he existed and what he had eaten. He replied, "The Saint fed me, gave me drink, and protected me from the beasts of the sea." They praised the Lord Christ Who is glorified in all His saints.

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 110 : 4,5,7

Chapter 110

4The LORD has sworn And will not relent, "You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek."
5The Lord is at Your right hand; He shall execute kings in the day of His wrath.
7He shall drink of the brook by the wayside; Therefore He shall lift up the head.


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 16 : 13 - 19

Chapter 16

13When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, "Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?"
14So they said, "Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets."
15He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"
16Simon Peter answered and said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
17Jesus answered and said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.
18And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.
19And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."


And Glory be to God forever.


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Today's Readings



Acknowledgement