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Readings for Friday, 17th January 2020 --- 8 Tubah 1736





Today's Readings



Vespers

Vespers Psalm

From the Psalms of our teacher David the prophet.
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.

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 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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Matins

Matins Psalm

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

Psalms 73 : 23 - 24

Chapter 73

23Nevertheless I am continually with You; You hold me by my right hand.
24You will guide me with Your counsel, And afterward receive me to glory.


Psalms 73 : 28

Chapter 73

28But it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, That I may declare all Your works.


Psalms 9 : 14

Chapter 9

14That I may tell of all Your praise In the gates of the daughter of Zion. I will rejoice in Your salvation.


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

John 15 : 17 - 25

Chapter 15

17These things I command you, that you love one another.
18"If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.
19If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.
20Remember the word that I said to you, "A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also.
21But all these things they will do to you for My name's sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me.
22If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin.
23He who hates Me hates My Father also.
24If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father.
25But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, "They hated Me without a cause.'

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 Corinthians .
May his blessings be upon us.
Amen.

2 Corinthians 4 : 5 - 5 : 11

Chapter 4

5For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus' sake.
6For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
7But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.
8We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
9persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed--
10always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.
11For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus' sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.
12So then death is working in us, but life in you.
13And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, "I believed and therefore I spoke," we also believe and therefore speak,
14knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you.
15For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.
16Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.
17For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,
18while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Chapter 5

1For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
2For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven,
3if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked.
4For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life.
5Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.
6So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord.
7For we walk by faith, not by sight.
8We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.
9Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him.
10For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
11Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences.

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 2 : 18 - 3 : 7

Chapter 2

18Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh.
19For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully.
20For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God.
21For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:
22"Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth";
23who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously;
24who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness--by whose stripes you were healed.
25For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

Chapter 3

1Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives,
2when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear.
3Do not let your adornment be merely outward--arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel--
4rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.
5For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands,
6as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror.
7Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.

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 20 : 17 - 38

Chapter 20

17From Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called for the elders of the church.
18And when they had come to him, he said to them: "You know, from the first day that I came to Asia, in what manner I always lived among you,
19serving the Lord with all humility, with many tears and trials which happened to me by the plotting of the Jews;
20how I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house,
21testifying to Jews, and also to Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
22And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there,
23except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me.
24But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
25"And indeed, now I know that you all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, will see my face no more.
26Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men.
27For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God.
28Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.
29For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.
30Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.
31Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.
32"So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.
33I have coveted no one's silver or gold or apparel.
34Yes, you yourselves know that these hands have provided for my necessities, and for those who were with me.
35I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, "It is more blessed to give than to receive."'
36And when he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all.
37Then they all wept freely, and fell on Paul's neck and kissed him,
38sorrowing most of all for the words which he spoke, that they would see his face no more. And they accompanied him to the ship.

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 8 of the Blessed Coptic Month of Tubah, 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 Eighth Day of the Blessed Month of Tubah

Consecration of St.Macarius' Church

      On this day, the church of St. Macarius, in the monastery known after his name, was consecrated by the hand of Abba Benjamin, 38th Pope of Alexandria. This took place when El-Moquakas was appointed as a ruler and patriarch over Egypt by Emperor Heraclius. Both of them believed in the teachings of the Council of Chalcedon. El-Moquakas started to persecute the Christians of Egypt (the Copts) because they refused to follow him. He pursued Pope Benjamin, the legitimate Pope of Alexandria, who took flight to upper Egypt. He moved from one church to another and from one monastery to another, confirming his flock in the faith. He did this for ten years, until the Arab conquest of Egypt and the death of El-Moquakas. When Abba Benjamin returned to his throne, the elders of the wilderness of the holy desert of Scete (Scetis) asked him to consecrate for them the new church that they built there in the name of St. Macarius. He went with them joyfully. As he approached the monastery, the monks received him with palm fronds and olive branches, just as the city of Jerusalem received Christ when He entered it.

      When he was consecrating the church and as he was starting to consecrate the altar, he saw the Hand of Christ anointing the altar with him. He fell upon his face in great fear, and one of the Cherubim raised him up and comforted him. Abba Benjamin said, "Truly this is the house of the Lord and this is the door of heaven." He looked to the west side of the church and he saw an elder standing there with reverence and awesome appearance, and his shining face looked like an angel. He said to himself, "Truly, if there a chair became vacant, I would make this man a bishop." The angel told him, "Would you make this man a bishop?, and he is St. Macarius, the father of Patriarchs, bishops, and all the monks. He has come today in the spirit to rejoice with his children, and this place will be forever filled with righteous monks, and it will never be short of leaders and spiritual fruits." St. Benjamin said, "Blessed is he and blessed are his children." The angel said, "If his children obey his commandments and follow his orders, they will be with him in glory, but if they disobey, they will have no share with him."

      Then St. Macarius said, "Do not decide, my lord, what would happen to my children this way. For if one grape in a bunch remains, the blessing of the Lord will be on it. For if their love for one another remains among them, I believe that the Lord will never keep them away from His Kingdom." St. Benjamin was amazed and marvelled at the abundant mercy of St. Macarius. He wrote what had taken place and placed it in the church as a perpetual memorial. He asked the Lord Jesus Christ that his departure might take place on a similar day. This was fulfilled, and he departed on the eighth day of Tubah, after he had been on the throne for 39 years. The altar in which he saw the Lord Christ was named after him.

May his prayers be with us. Amen.

Departure of St.Andronicus, the Thirty-Seventh Pope of Alexandria

      Also on this day, of the year 617 A.D., the holy father Abba Andronicus, 37th Pope of Alexandria, departed. This father was from a rich family of great influence and his cousin was the chief of the imperial court at Alexandria. He was very well educated and he studied the holy scriptures and excelled in their interpretation. Because of his knowledge, his righteousness and his charity toward the poor, he was ordained a deacon. By consensus he was chosen to be patriarch, although he never lived in any monastery. He remained in Alexandria all the days of his papacy, not intimidated by the authority of the Melkites. Shortly after the ordination of Abba Andronicus, the Persians invaded the East and crossed the river Euphrates. They seized Halab, Antioch in Syria, Jerusalem, and many other cities. They killed and imprisoned many Christians. They captured Egypt and went to the City of Alexandria, around which there were six hundred inhabited monasteries. They killed all the inhabitants, plundered their possessions, and destroyed the monasteries. When the people of Alexandria heard what they had done, because of their fear, they opened the gates of the city for them. The Persian King saw in a night dream someone saying to him, "I have delivered to you the city. Do not destroy it. But kill its heroes for they are hypocrites." He arrested the Governor of the city, and tied him up in chains. He ordered the elders of the city to bring forth the men, from 18 to 50 years old to come forward to give everyone twenty denari, and to enlist them as soldiers for the city. Eighty thousand men came forward and he killed them all by the sword. Afterward, the Persian King went with his army to Upper Egypt. He passed by the city of Nikios. He heard that there were some seven hundred monks living in cells and caves around it. He sent men to kill them. He continued to kill and destroy until Emperor Heraclius conquered him and drove him out of Egypt. As for Pope Andronicus, he lived a virtuous life. He remained on the throne of St. Mark for 6 years, then departed in peace.

May His prayers be with us. Amen.

Departure of St.Benjamin, the Thirty-Eighth Pope of Alexandria

      On this day also, of the year 656 A.D., the blessed and holy father Abba Benjamin, 38th Pope of Alexandria, departed. This father was from the city of Barset (Barshout), the province of El-Behiera. He was the son of wealthy parents. He became a monk under the guidance of a holy elder by the name of Theonas in the monastery of St. Knobus nearby Alexandria. He grew in virtue and memorized the holy books of the church until he reached the level of Christian perfection. One night he heard in a night vision someone saying, "Rejoice Benjamin, for you will shepherd the flock of Christ." When he told his spiritual father about what he had heard, he said to him, "The devil wants to hinder you. Beware of pride." He increased in virtue. His spiritual father took him to Pope Andronicus and told him about Abba Benjamin's vision. The Pope ordained him priest and put him in charge of the church affairs, and he excelled in his care.

      When he was chosen to the patriarchate, he faced many tribulations. The angel of the Lord had revealed to him the hardships that the church was about to experience. The angel told him to flee with his bishops. St. Benjamin celebrated the Divine Liturgy and administered the Holy Mysteries to the people. He also commanded them to be steadfast in the faith of their fathers and informed them of what was about to happen. He wrote a circular to all the bishops and all the heads of the monasteries, advising them to hide until the hardships were over. Then he went to the wilderness of St. Macarius, then to Upper Egypt. After the Pope had left Alexandria, the Chalcedonian El-Moquakas arrived, and took charge over the country and seized the church with authority from Emperor Heraclius. He persecuted the believers and arrested "Mina", St. Benjamin's brother, and tortured him severely. Then he burnt his sides, and finally killed him by drowning him.

      Shortly after, Amr Ebn-Elas invaded the land of Egypt and stayed there for three years. In 360 A.M. (Anno Martyri), Amr went to Alexandria and gained control of its fortress. Many evil men took the chance and burned many churches, among them was St. Mark's Church on the seashore, and many other monasteries that were surrounding Alexandria, and plundered their contents. One of the sailors went to the church of St. Mark during this disturbance and he thrust his hand into the sarcophagus of St. Mark, thinking that he would find money. He did not find anything except a body. He stole the clothing that was on it and took the head with him, and hid it in his ship and did not tell anyone. When Amr Ebn-Elas knew about the disappearance of Pope Benjamin, he sent a circular to all the cities of Egypt, giving orders that the Pope's hiding place be safe and secure. He asked the Pope to come back to his people and to take charge of the church. Pope Benjamin came back after he had been in hiding for 13 years. Amr Ebn-Elas was courteous toward him and honored him. He returned the churches and all their properties back to him. When Amr was about to leave Alexandria, heading to Pentapolis (the five western cities), one of the ships could not move and was unable to leave. The captain of the ship was questioned and when they searched the ship they found the head of St. Mark. They called upon Pope Benjamin and he carried it and walked with the priests and the people while they were joyfully singing hymns, until they arrived to Alexandria. The captain of the ship paid a great amount of money to the Pope to build a church after the name of St. Mark. This father was dedicated to converting the unbelievers to the Christian faith. He departed in peace after he had been on the apostolic throne for 37 years.

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 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.


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.

John 10 : 1 - 16

Chapter 10

1"Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.
2But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
3To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
4And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.
5Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers."
6Jesus used this illustration, but they did not understand the things which He spoke to them.
7Then Jesus said to them again, "Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.
8All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them.
9I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.
10The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
11"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.
12But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them.
13The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep.
14I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own.
15As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.
16And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.


And Glory be to God forever.


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Today's Readings



Acknowledgement