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Sunday, January 25, 2015 | Tobe 17, 1731

The Seventeenth Day of the Blessed Month of Tobe

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 John 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 76:12,13

I will also meditate on all Your work, And talk of Your deeds. Your way, O God, is in the sanctuary; Who is so great a God as our God?

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 5:1-18

After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had. Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, "Do you want to be made well?" The sick man answered Him, "Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me." Jesus said to him, "Rise, take up your bed and walk." And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked. And that day was the Sabbath. The Jews therefore said to him who was cured, "It is the Sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your bed." He answered them, "He who made me well said to me, Take up your bed and walk." Then they asked him, "Who is the Man who said to you, Take up your bed and walk?" But the one who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a multitude being in that place. Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, "See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you." The man departed and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. For this reason the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath. But Jesus answered them, "My Father has been working until now, and I have been working." Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.
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 John 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 96:6,4

The heavens declare His righteousness, And all the peoples see His glory. His lightnings light the world; The earth sees and trembles.

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 3:1-21

There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, "Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him." Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mothers womb and be born?" Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, You must be born again. The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit." Nicodemus answered and said to Him, "How can these things be?" Jesus answered and said to him, "Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things? Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness. If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. "He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God."
And Glory be to God forever


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 Hebrews. May his blessings be upon us. Amen
Hebrews 10:19-39

Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. Anyone who has rejected Moses law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,"says the Lord. And again, "The LORD will judge His people." It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. But recall the former days in which, after you were illuminated, you endured a great struggle with sufferings: partly while you were made a spectacle both by reproaches and tribulations, and partly while you became companions of those who were so treated; for you had compassion on me in my chains, and joyfully accepted the plundering of your goods, knowing that you have a better and an enduring possession for yourselves in heaven. Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: "For yet a little while, And He who is coming will come and will not tarry. Now thejust shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him." But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.
The grace of God the Father be with you all. Amen.

Catholic Epistle

A Reading from the 1 Epistle of St. John. May his blessing be upon us. Amen
1 John 4:11-21

Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us. If someone says, "I love God,"and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.
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 2:38-45

Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call." And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, "Be saved from this perverse generation." Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.
The word of the Lord shall grow, multiply, be mighty, and be confirmed, in the holy Church of God. Amen.

Synaxarium

The Seventeenth Day of the Blessed Coptic Month of Tobe, 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.
Departure of Saint Maximus and Saint Domatius
On this day is the commemoration of the two honored saints Maximus and his brother Domatius . Their father's name was Walendianus, he was one of the Roman emperors who feared God and was Orthodox in faith. God gave him these two sons who were angelic in their purity and holiness since their young age, always praying and reading the holy books. When they realized the vanity of this world and all its glory, they decided to leave it and live a monastic life. They asked their father to allow them to go to the City of Nicea, to pray in the place where the first Universal Council was held in 325 A.D. Their father rejoiced, and he sent an entourage of soldiers and servants with them, as was the custom for the children of kings. When they arrived, they asked the soldiers to go back to their father and tell him that they wanted to stay there for some time. Then they revealed their thoughts to a saintly monk that they desired to put on the holy garb of the monks. The monk did not agree with them because he feared their father, but he advised them to go to Syria where St. Agabius abided. They went to St. Agabius and stayed with him until his departure. Before he departed, he put on them the monastic garb, and told them that he saw St. Macarius in a night vision saying, 'Command your two sons to come to me after your departure, so that they may become my children.' Then St. Agabius told them, 'I desired to see St. Macarius in the flesh, but I have seen him in the spirit. After my departure, you should go to him in peace.' God granted them the gift of healing the sick. Their report was heard in all the countries, especially among the sea merchants and the travelers. They learned the trade of making ships' sails, and they were able to support themselves with money earned from selling them, and they gave the rest to the poor and the needy.

One day, one of their father's stewards saw a ship with the names 'Maximus and Domatius' on its sail. He inquired of the owner of the ship about these names. The owner told the steward, 'These are the names of two monk brothers, which I have written on my ship as a blessing, so that God with their prayers may prosper my business.' He described the brothers to him, as one with a full beard, and the other without a beard. The steward recognized them and he took the man and brought him before the Emperor. When the Emperor made certain about what he had heard, he sent their mother and the princess, their sister, to meet them. When the women met with the two saints and recognized them, they wept. Their mother wanted them to return with her, but the Saints refused, and they comforted the hearts of their mother and sister. After a while, the Patriarch of Rome departed, and they remembered Maximus, whom they wanted to ordain in his place. His father rejoiced when he heard this. When the news arrived to St. Maximus and his brother, they remembered the command of their father Anba Agabius. They disguised themselves, and took the road along the Mediterranean sea shore, and when they were thirsty, God transformed for them the salty water into sweet water. They became very tired of walking, and their feet were bleeding. They slept on a hill because of their exhaustion and God sent them a certain power that carried them to the wilderness of Scetis where St. Macarius was residing. They told St. Macarius that they wanted to live under his guidance. When St. Macarius saw that they were of rich background, he thought that they would not be able to live in the desert because of its harsh living conditions. They answered him saying, 'If we are not able to live here, our father, we will return to where we came from.' Then he taught them how to plait palm leaves, and he helped in building a cave (cell) for them. He also told them about someone who would take the work of their hands to sell and bring them back bread.

They lived in this manner for three years, never communicating with anyone. They only went to church to partake of the Divine Sacraments silently. St. Macarius marveled, for they did not go to him all these years. He prayed to God to reveal to him their secret. He went to visit them in their cell where he stayed the night with them. When he woke up at midnight, as was his custom, to pray, he saw the two saints praying and a ray of light going from their mouths to heaven, and the devils were all around them like flies, and the angel of the Lord standing with a sword of fire to protect them. The next day, St. Macarius put on them the holy Eskiem, and asked them to pray for him. They bowed to the ground before him (made metanias) in silence. When they completed their course, and the Lord wanted to take them away from the sorrows of this temporal world, St. Maximus became sick. He sent word to St. Macarius, asking him to come. When St. Macarius arrived, he found St. Maximus ill with a fever, and he comforted him. St. Macarius saw a company of prophets and saints, including St. John the Baptist and Emperor Constantine, gathered around the Saint until he delivered his pure spirit in dignity and in honor. St. Macarius wept and said, 'Blessed are you, 0 Maximus.' St. Domatius, his brother, wept bitterly, and asked St. Macarius to pray on his behalf to the Lord Christ to take him also to be with his brother. After three days, he also became sick, and when St. Macarius knew by the spirit he went to visit him. On his way, he saw the company of saints who carried St. Maximus before carrying the soul of St. Domatius ascending up to heaven. When he arrived at the cave, St. Macarius found that St. Domatius had passed away. St. Macarius put St. Domatius' body with his brother's, whose departure was on the 14th day of this month. St. Macarius ordered that the monastery be called after their names, the monastery of 'El-Baramus' as it is known until today.
May their prayers be with us. Amen.

Departure of Saint Joseph (Yusab) the Bishop of Girga Known As El-Abbah
On this day also, of the year 1826 A.D., Anba Yusab, the great scholar and honorable father, departed. He was the Bishop of Girga and Ekhmiem, and was known by the name 'El-Abbah'. He was born in the town of Nekhila in Upper Egypt, to rich parents who were compassionate to the poor and the needy. When Anba Yusab was 25 years old, his parents wanted him to be wed, but he refused. Because of his inclination towards the monastic life, he went to the estate of St. Anthony's monastery in the city of Boash. He stayed there for some time, during which his humility and piety were evident. This convinced the abbot to send him to the monastery. When he arrived, the monks received him with joy, for they had heard of his virtues and his knowledge of the Holy Scriptures. Shortly after, they clothed him in the monk's tunic. When the reports of this father reached Pope John, 107th Patriarch, he called Anba Yusab and kept him with him. After the Pope verified what he heard of Anba Yusab' righteousness and knowledge, he counseled with the bishops who agreed to ordain Anba Yusab a bishop over Ekhmiem and Girga. Anba Yusab refrained from accepting this rank because of its responsibilities; however, he was ordained against his will.

When he arrived at his diocese, Anba Yusab found many heretics mingled with his people. He built a church, and made a great effort to gather his flock, to teach them, to restore those who were lost, and to guide many of the heretics to the faith. He wrote several articles on the Incarnation of the Lord Christ and explained several difficult issues and ambiguous verses in the Bible. He urged his people to forsake all the bad customs that they were engaged in, both inside and outside the church. He succeeded in putting an end to the quarrels and divisions from those who were in opposition to the truth. He was merciful to the poor, and never judged anyone by his appearance. He was fair in judgement, never took sides, and did not accept bribes. He sent whatever money he had left to his brethren, the monks, in their monasteries. He did not own anything except the clothes that he wore and those things, which fulfilled his basic needs. He never uttered anything but the truth, and was not afraid of the mighty rulers of the land. He shepherded his flock with the best of care. When God wanted to take him away from this world, Anba Yusab became ill for a short period of time. While he was sick, he stayed some time in his diocese, and then in the cell of Pope Anba Peter, 109th Pope. Then he went to his monastery in the wilderness. The monks rejoiced to see him, and his blessed life ended there, and he gave his pure spirit into the hand of the Lord who
loved him. He lived 91 years, 25 years before his monastic life, 31 years in the monastery, and 35 years as bishop.
May His prayers 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 John 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 65:12,8

You have caused men to ride over our heads; We went through fire and through water; But You brought us out to rich fulfillment. Oh, bless our God, you peoples! And make the voice of His praise to be heard,

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 3:22-36

After these things Jesus and His disciples came into the land of Judea, and there He remained with them and baptized. Now John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there. And they came and were baptized. For John had not yet been thrown into prison. Then there arose a dispute between some of Johns disciples and the Jews about purification. And they came to John and said to him, "Rabbi, He who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you have testifiedbehold, He is baptizing, and all are coming to Him!" John answered and said, "A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven. You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but, I have been sent before Him. He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegrooms voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease. He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all. And what He has seen and heard, that He testifies; and no one receives His testimony. He who has received His testimony has certified that God is true. For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God does not give the Spirit by measure. The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand. He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."
And Glory be to God forever


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