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Wednesday, July 30, 2014 | Epep 23, 1730

The Twenty Third Day of the Blessed Month of Epep

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 45:1,7

God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah

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 1:16-22

And as He walked by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then Jesus said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men." They immediately left their nets and followed Him. When He had gone a little farther from there, He saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the boat mending their nets. And immediately He called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants, and went after Him. Then they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and taught. And they were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
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 Matthew 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 145:1,5

Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD, O my soul! Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, Whose hope is in the LORD his 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.
Matthew 4:18-22

And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then He said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men." They immediately left their nets and followed Him. Going on from there, He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets. He called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him.
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 Galatians. May his blessings be upon us. Amen
Galatians 1:1-19

Paul, an apostle (not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him from the dead), and all the brethren who are with me,To the churches of Galatia: Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ. But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ. For you have heard of my former conduct in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it. And I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my own nation, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers. But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mothers womb and called me through His grace, to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went to Arabia, and returned again to Damascus. Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and remained with him fifteen days. But I saw none of the other apostles except James, the Lords brother.
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 1:1-12

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.
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 15:13-21

And after they had become silent, James answered, saying, "Men and brethren, listen to me: Simon has declared how God at the first visited the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name. And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written: After this I will return And will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down; I will rebuild its ruins, And I will set it up; So that the rest of mankind may seek the LORD, Even all the Gentiles who are called by My name, Says the LORD who does all these things. "Known to God from eternity are all His works. Therefore I judge that we should not trouble those from among the Gentiles who are turning to God, but that we write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality,from things strangled, and from blood. For Moses has had throughout many generations those who preach him in every city, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath."
The word of the Lord shall grow, multiply, be mighty, and be confirmed, in the holy Church of God. Amen.

Synaxarium

The Twenty Third Day of the Blessed Coptic Month of Epep, 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 Longinus the Soldier
On this day, St. Longinus the Soldier, was martyred. He was Greek by nationality, from one of the countries of Cappadocia. When Tiberius Caesar reigned, and appointed Pilate governor of the land of Judah, Longinus was one of the soldiers that accompanied him. When the time arrived that Our Lord wished to save the creation, Longinus was one of the soldiers that were in charge of crucifying the Lord of Glory. It happened that after the Lord had delivered up His soul, Longinus pierced His side with a spear, and blood and water flowed from His Side. Longinus marveled exceedingly when he saw this, and his amazement increased when he saw that the sun became dark, the curtain of the Temple was rent, the rocks were split, and that the dead rose up from the tombs. He believed and realized all the miracles which Our Lord performed from His Birth to His Crucifixion. When the righteous Joseph took the body of the Savior, shrouded Him, and laid it in the sepulcher, this Saint was standing there with the guards when they sealed the tomb. When Our Lord rose from the sealed tomb, Longinus was perplexed, and he asked God to explain to him this mystery. Our Lord sent to him the Apostle Peter, who told him everything which had been prophesied concerning the Redeemer. He believed, abandoned the military service, went back to his country, and preached the Name of Christ. When Pilate heard about this, he wrote to Tiberius about him, who ordered his head cut off, and thus he received the crown of martyrdom.
May his prayers be with us, Amen.

Martyrdom of Saint Marina of Antioch
On this day also, is the commemoration of the martyrdom of the blessed St. Marina, who overcame the Devil. She was one of the daughters of the nobles of Antioch. Her parents were pagan. When her mother died, her father sent her to a nanny to raise her, who was a Christian. She taught Marina the Faith of Christ. When Marina reached the age of fifteen years, her father died. One day she heard her nurse talking about the biography of the martyrs and what glory they receive in the Kingdom of Heaven. She longed to become a martyr in the Name of the Lord Christ. One day St. Marina went out of her house with her maiden servants, and on her way she passed by Lopharius Ebrotus, the governor, who admired her much when he saw her. He ordered her brought to him. When the soldiers came to her, she told them that she was Christian. In turn, when they told the governor this, he was distressed for he liked her, and he had her brought to him by force. He offered her the worship of the idols and asked her to forsake God, but she refused. Then he asked her, 'What is your name? and from where are you?' She told him, 'I am Christian. I believe in the Lord Christ, and my name is Marina.' He tried to persuade her by many promises and promised to marry her, but she did not heed him. When she cursed and insulted him, he ordered her body scraped with iron combs, then rubbed with vinegar, salt and lime, which they did. Nevertheless, she endured with patience. They cast her in prison, thinking that she was about to die. Immediately the angel of the Lord came, and healed all her wounds. While she was standing up praying, and her hands were extended in the form of a cross, a huge and terrifying serpent came forth. When she saw it she was frightened and her whole body trembled. The serpent swallowed her up, and her soul almost departed from her. She made the sign of the cross and prayed while she was in the belly of the serpent. It split open and fell on the ground dead. St. Marina went out unharmed. The next morning, the governor ordered her brought to him. When he saw that she was well, he marveled much, and told her, 'Marina, your sorcery has become evident today, so listen to me. Worship the gods and much good would be for you, and I will give you all that I have promised you.' She looked to him and to the dumb idols with contempt and said, 'I worship the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, the God of heavens and earth, and whatever you wish to do with me, do, for I will not heed you.' The governor ordered her hanged on the wheel, the squeezing wheel, and squeezed very tightly. They did so, then cast her in prison. The angel of the Lord came to her, and healed her. Then the Devil appeared to her and said, 'O Marina, if you obey the governor that would be for your good for he is merciless, and he wishes to erase your name from the face of the earth.' She realized that he was the Devil. Straightway she caught the hair of his head, and she took an iron rod and started to beat him, saying, 'Stop it O Satan.' Then she bound him with the sign of the cross, not to depart from before her until he told her all about what he does to the human race. When she pressed him, he told her, 'I am the one who makes adultery, stealing, blasphemy, and earthly desires, good and desirable to the human. And if I do not overcome him, I steer sleep and laziness against him, so he will not pray and ask for the forgiveness of his sins.' The Saint straightway expelled him. When the governor saw her he marveled much, then he ordered to uncover her body, and to fill a large cauldron with melted lead, and to immerse her in it. When they did so, she asked the Lord to make this a baptism for her. The Lord sent his angel in the form of a dove. She immersed while saying, 'In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, one God Amen.' A voice from heaven called her and said, 'O Marina you have been baptized in the baptismal water.' She rejoiced exceedingly, and those who were present heard what had happened to the saint. Many of them believed, and the governor ordered to cut off their necks, and afterwards ordered to cut off St. Marina's holy head. The executioner took her and went outside the city, then told her, 'My lady Marina, I see the angel of the Lord and with him a crown of bright light.' She said, 'I ask you to tarry on me until I have prayed.' She extended her arms and prayed fervently, then told the executioner, 'Do what you have been ordered to do.' She bowed her neck to the executioner who told her, 'I could not do so.' The saint told him, 'If you do not do so, you would not have a share in the Kingdom of God.' When he heard what she said, he took the sword and cut her neck off then he cut his neck also while he was saying, 'I believe in the God of St. Marina.' He fell down beside her and he received the crown of martyrdom in the Kingdom of Heaven. The Lord had manifested from her body many signs and healing miracles. Her body is presently located in the church of the Lady the Virgin Mary in Haret El-Roum.
May her prayers and intercession be with us and Glory be to 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 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 77:6;134:5

For I know that the LORD is great, And our Lord is above all gods.

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 10:35-45

Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Him, saying, "Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask." And He said to them, "What do you want Me to do for you?" They said to Him, "Grant us that we may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on Your left, in Your glory." But Jesus said to them, "You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?" They said to Him, "We are able."So Jesus said to them, "You will indeed drink the cup that I drink, and with the baptism I am baptized with you will be baptized; but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared." And when the ten heard it, they began to be greatly displeased with James and John. But Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, "You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."
And Glory be to God forever


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