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Monday, December 22, 2014 | Koiahk 13, 1731

The Thirteenth Day of the Blessed Month of Koiahk

Vespers

Vespers 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. From the Psalms of our teacher David the prophet. May his blessings be with us all.
Psalms 9:11,14

Sing praises to the LORD, who dwells in Zion! Declare His deeds among the people. That 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.
Mark 14:3-9

And being in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard. Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head. But there were some who were indignant among themselves, and said, "Why was this fragrant oil wasted? For it might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor."And they criticized her sharply. But Jesus said, "Let her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for Me. For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always. She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial. Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her."
And Glory be to God forever


Matins

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. From the Psalms of our teacher David the prophet. May his blessings be with us all.
Psalms 101:19,20,21

For He looked down from the height of His sanctuary; From heaven the LORD viewed the earth, To hear the groaning of the prisoner, To release those appointed to death, To declare the name of the LORD in Zion, And His praise in Jerusalem,

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.
Mark 12:41-44

Now Jesus sat opposite the treasury and saw how the people put money into the treasury. And many who were rich put in much. Then one poor widow came and threw in two mites, which make a quadrans. So He called His disciples to Himself and said to them, "Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood."
And Glory be to God forever


Divine Liturgy

Pauline 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. Amen
Romans 1:1-17

Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead. Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name, among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ; To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers, making request if, by some means, now at last I may find a way in the will of God to come to you. For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established that is, that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me. Now I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that I often planned to come to you (but was hindered until now), that I might have some fruit among you also, just as among the other Gentiles. I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and to unwise. So, as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome also. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith."
The grace of God the Father be with you all. Amen.

Catholic Epistle

A Reading from the Epistle of St. James. May his blessing be upon us. Amen
James 1:1-18

James, a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,To the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad: Greetings. My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. Let the lowly brother glory in his exaltation, but the rich in his humiliation, because as a flower of the field he will pass away. For no sooner has the sun risen with a burning heat than it withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beautiful appearance perishes. So the rich man also will fade away in his pursuits. Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.
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.

Acts of the Apostles

The Acts of our fathers the apostles, may their blessings be with us.
Acts of the Apostles 7:2-7

And he said, "Brethren and fathers, listen: The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Haran, and said to him, Get out of your country and from your relatives, and come to a land that I will show you. Then he came out of the land of the Chaldeans and dwelt in Haran. And from there, when his father was dead, He moved him to this land in which you now dwell. And God gave him no inheritance in it, not even enough to set his foot on. But even when Abraham had no child, He promised to give it to him for a possession, and to his descendants after him. But God spoke in this way: that his descendants would dwell in a foreign land, and that they would bring them into bondage and oppress them four hundred years. And the nation to whom they will be in bondage I will judge, said God, and after that they shall come out and serve Me in this place.
The word of the Lord shall grow, multiply, be mighty, and be confirmed, in the holy Church of God. Amen.

Synaxarium

The Thirteenth Day of the Blessed Coptic Month of Koiahk, may God make it always received, year after year, with reassurance and tranquility, while our sins are forgiven by the tender mercies of our God my fathers and brothers, Amen.
Martyrdom of Saint Barsanuphius
This day marks the martyrdom of St. Barsanuphius the monk in the early days of the Islamic era in Egypt. He lived in the church of Mari Mina in the old district of Cairo (Fum-El-Khaleeg). He worshipped God with dedication and piety. He fasted two days at a time, praying incessantly with numerous metanias. Some wicked people accused him of cursing the judges and the Muslim sheikhs. They brought him and tortured him severely, then they finally cut off his head, thus St. Barsanuphius received the crown of martyrdom.
May His prayers be with us. Amen.

Departure of Saint Abracius
On this day also, the father St. Abracius (Apraxios) departed. He was from Upper Egypt and became a monk in one of the monasteries when he was 20 years old. He fought a perfect fight until Satan grew tired of tempting him. Satan faced him saying, 'You still have 50 more years to live in this world,' wishing by these words to cast the saint into despair. The saint replied, 'You have made me sorrowful for I have thought that I had another hundred years to live and I have slackened in my fight and in my worship. If this is the case, I have to fight harder before I die.' In this way, he overcame the devil that tried to put slackness in his heart. He fought strenuously and departed in peace in the same year after spending 70 years of worship and asceticism.
May His prayers be with us. Amen.

Consecration of The Church of Saint Misael the Anchorite
On this day also we commemorate the consecration of the church of St. Misaeal, the Anchorite. While Abba Isaac, the head of El-Qualamoon monastery, was sitting in the monastery a young man came to him. Abba Isaac made the sign of the cross over his face, as is the custom of the monks 12 and allowed him to draw near. The young man came closer and prostrated himself before the saint and told him, 'My father, Abba Isaac, accept my weakness for the sake of the Lord Christ. Help me to save my soul and count me among your children.' The abbot marveled, for he called him by his name and asked him, 'Who told you about my name?' The young man replied, 'The grace that dwells in you informed me.' The abbot asked Misaeal to sit down and he told him, 'May God Almighty make you a holy temple. And now tell me about yourself.' The young man replied, 'My name is Misaeal. My father loved the world, which kept him from worshipping God, and he was sad because he did not have children. One day he hosted a holy old monk and expressed to him his sorrow for not having a child to inherit his wealth. The monk told him, 'Reform your way with the Lord, the Lover of mankind, Who will give you a blessed son.' He asked the monk, 'How can I go about that?' The holy old monk replied, 'Live a perfect life and live according to the commandments of the church that are required of the believers; do not stay away from the holy church and have a priest to consult with, in all your affairs. If you do that, you and your wife will have what you wish.'' St. Misaeal said, 'My father did all that the holy old monk commanded, and his words were fulfilled and my mother gave birth to a son, me.' 'When I was six years old, my parents departed. The father, the bishop, took care of raising me, he also took care of my education and of managing my money. When I studied the Scripture, I longed for the monastic life, so I came here.' The abbot was pleased as a result of what the young man, Misaeal, told him. He entrusted him to one of the elders in the monastery who trained him in asceticism, in worship and in the fight in the spiritual life. Afterwards, they put on him the garb of the monastic life and the holy Eskeem. From there on, he lived a solitary life in worship and asceticism.

One day, one of the brothers in the monastery came to Abba Misaeal. He found him standing up praying and when he knocked at the door of his cell, he opened it to him. They prayed together, blessed each other and sat discussing the ways to overcome the evil enemy. St. Misaeal told him, 'The devil flees away when our spiritual prayers are sincere and warm.' After they ended their spiritual talk, they praised God and the brother left him. After a while that brother came to Abba Misaeal and found him praying saying, 'O Lord save me, look upon my meekness; wash me of my iniquities, for my mother and father have forsaken me but the Lord accepted me.' When the brother saw how thin he was and how his skin cleaved to his bones, he cried and told Abba Miseael, 'Your body looks like it has been burnt.' The saint told him, 'I thank my God for he has given me my eyesight and my hearing to read the Scriptures (Holy Books) and hear the word of God and he also gave me the strength to stand as I pray.' When the abbot of the monastery heard about St. Miseael's asceticism, he came to visit him. St. Misaeal told the abbot, 'My holy father, after three days some people looking like soldiers will come and ask you about me. Do not keep me away from them. Do not be afraid or sorrowful for it is the Will of God. Also you should know that a famine will happen next year and I shall come back to see you at that time.' After a while, the people resembling soldiers came, took the saint and left.

The abbot listened to what the saint said and he bought much of the grain. As St. Misaeal predicted, the famine took place and wheat was in shortage. The Governor came with his men to take whatever grains he might find in the monastery. Soldiers appeared and prevented him from doing so and he went back empty handed. The abbot welcomed those soldiers, thanked them and offered them food to eat. They told him, 'We do not need any of that food.' One of the them came forward, took the abbot's hand, and took him aside and told him, 'I am your son Misaeal and those people who look like soldiers are hermits who came last year and took me with them. I ask you now to go to Abba Athanasius, the bishop of my town where I was raised; tell him about me, and ask him for my father's money with which you should build a church in my name. Then call our father, the bishop, to consecrate it.' The abbot did as St. Misaeal asked. He went to the bishop and took the gold, the silver, many books and 500 heads of sheep from him. Besides, he also received fabrics, jewels and utensils that belonged to the saint. The abbot tore down the saint's old house, bought the land next to the house and built the church there. While the father, the Bishop, was celebrating the consecration of the church, St. Misaeal and the fathers, the hermits, came and attended the consecration prayers. St. Misaeal told the abbot of the monastery, Abba Isaac, that he would depart from this world in the following year. Then they went back to wherever they came from.
May the prayers of these saints be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.

Divine Liturgy 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. From the Psalms of our teacher David the prophet. May his blessings be with us all.
Psalms 101:13,16,17

You will arise and have mercy on Zion; For the time to favor her, Yes, the set time, has come. For the LORD shall build up Zion; He shall appear in His glory. He shall regard the prayer of the destitute, And shall not despise their prayer.

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 1:1-25

Inasmuch as many have taken in hand to set in order a narrative of those things which have been fulfilled among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write to you an orderly account, most excellent Theophilus, that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed. There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah. His wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both well advanced in years. So it was, that while he was serving as priest before God in the order of his division, according to the custom of the priesthood, his lot fell to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. And the whole multitude of the people was praying outside at the hour of incense. Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mothers womb. And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord." And Zacharias said to the angel, "How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years." And the angel answered and said to him, "I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and was sent to speak to you and bring you these glad tidings. But behold, you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time." And the people waited for Zacharias, and marveled that he lingered so long in the temple. But when he came out, he could not speak to them; and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple, for he beckoned to them and remained speechless. So it was, as soon as the days of his service were completed, that he departed to his own house. Now after those days his wife Elizabeth conceived; and she hid herself five months, saying, "Thus the Lord has dealt with me, in the days when He looked on me, to take away my reproach among people."
And Glory be to God forever


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