Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Midlands, U.K.

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Wednesday, April 1, 2015 | Paremhotep 23, 1731

The Twenty Third Day of the Blessed Month of Paremhotep

Prophecy

From the book of Proverbs, may his holy blessings be with us all. Amen
Proverbs 10:32-11:13

The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable, But the mouth of the wicked what is perverse. Dishonest scales are an abomination to the LORD, But a just weight is His delight. When pride comes, then comes shame; But with the humble is wisdom. The integrity of the upright will guide them, But the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them. Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, But righteousness delivers from death. The righteousness of the blameless will direct his way aright, But the wicked will fall by his own wickedness. The righteousness of the upright will deliver them, But the unfaithful will be caught by their lust. When a wicked man dies, his expectation will perish, And the hope of the unjust perishes. The righteous is delivered from trouble, And it comes to the wicked instead. The hypocrite with his mouth destroys his neighbor, But through knowledge the righteous will be delivered. When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices; And when the wicked perish, there is jubilation. By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted, But it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked. He who is devoid of wisdom despises his neighbor, But a man of understanding holds his peace. A talebearer reveals secrets, But he who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter.

From the book of Isaiah, may his holy blessings be with us all. Amen
Isaiah 58:1-11

"Cry aloud, spare not; Lift up your voice like a trumpet; Tell My people their transgression, And the house of Jacob their sins. Yet they seek Me daily, And delight to know My ways, As a nation that did righteousness, And did not forsake the ordinance of their God. They ask of Me the ordinances of justice; They take delight in approaching God. Why have we fasted, they say, and You have not seen? Why have we afflicted our souls, and You take no notice? "In fact, in the day of your fast you find pleasure, And exploit all your laborers. Indeed you fast for strife and debate, And to strike with the fist of wickedness. You will not fast as you do this day, To make your voice heard on high. Is it a fast that I have chosen, A day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head like a bulrush, And to spread out sackcloth and ashes? Would you call this a fast, And an acceptable day to the LORD? "Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, To undo the heavy burdens, To let the oppressed go free, And that you break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; When you see the naked, that you cover him, And not hide yourself from your own flesh? Then your light shall break forth like the morning, Your healing shall spring forth speedily, And your righteousness shall go before you; The glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer; You shall cry, and He will say, Here I am. "If you take away the yoke from your midst, The pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, If you extend your soul to the hungry And satisfy the afflicted soul, Then your light shall dawn in the darkness, And your darkness shall be as the noonday. The LORD will guide you continually, And satisfy your soul in drought, And strengthen your bones; You shall be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.

From the book of Job, may his holy blessings be with us all. Amen
Job 40:1-41:34

Moreover the LORD answered Job, and said: "Shall the one who contends with the Almighty correct Him? He who rebukes God, let him answer it." Then Job answered the LORD and said: "Behold, I am vile; What shall I answer You? I lay my hand over my mouth. Once I have spoken, but I will not answer; Yes, twice, but I will proceed no further." Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said: "Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me: "Would you indeed annul My judgment? Would you condemn Me that you may be justified? Have you an arm like God? Or can you thunder with a voice like His? Then adorn yourself with majesty and splendor, And array yourself with glory and beauty. Disperse the rage of your wrath; Look on everyone who is proud, and humble him. Look on everyone who is proud, and bring him low; Tread down the wicked in their place. Hide them in the dust together, Bind their faces in hidden darkness. Then I will also confess to you That your own right hand can save you. "Look now at the behemoth, which I made along with you; He eats grass like an ox. See now, his strength is in his hips, And his power is in his stomach muscles. He moves his tail like a cedar; The sinews of his thighs are tightly knit. His bones are like beams of bronze, His ribs like bars of iron. He is the first of the ways of God; Only He who made him can bring near His sword. Surely the mountains yield food for him, And all the beasts of the field play there. He lies under the lotus trees, In a covert of reeds and marsh. The lotus trees cover him with their shade; The willows by the brook surround him. Indeed the river may rage, Yet he is not disturbed; He is confident, though the Jordan gushes into his mouth, Though he takes it in his eyes, Or one pierces his nose with a snare. "Can you draw out Leviathan with a hook, Or snare his tongue with a line which you lower? Can you put a reed through his nose, Or pierce his jaw with a hook? Will he make many supplications to you? Will he speak softly to you? Will he make a covenant with you? Will you take him as a servant forever? Will you play with him as with a bird, Or will you leash him for your maidens? Will your companions make a banquet of him? Will they apportion him among the merchants? Can you fill his skin with harpoons, Or his head with fishing spears? Lay your hand on him; Remember the battle Never do it again! Indeed, any hope of overcoming him is false; Shall one not be overwhelmed at the sight of him? No one is so fierce that he would dare stir him up. Who then is able to stand against Me? Who has preceded Me, that I should pay him? Everything under heaven is Mine. "I will not conceal his limbs, His mighty power, or his graceful proportions. Who can remove his outer coat? Who can approach him with a double bridle? Who can open the doors of his face, With his terrible teeth all around? His rows of scales are his pride, Shut up tightly as with a seal; One is so near another That no air can come between them; They are joined one to another, They stick together and cannot be parted. His sneezings flash forth light, And his eyes are like the eyelids of the morning. Out of his mouth go burning lights; Sparks of fire shoot out. Smoke goes out of his nostrils, As from a boiling pot and burning rushes. His breath kindles coals, And a flame goes out of his mouth. Strength dwells in his neck, And sorrow dances before him. The folds of his flesh are joined together; They are firm on him and cannot be moved. His heart is as hard as stone, Even as hard as the lower millstone. When he raises himself up, the mighty are afraid; Because of his crashings they are beside themselves. Though the sword reaches him, it cannot avail; Nor does spear, dart, or javelin. He regards iron as straw, And bronze as rotten wood. The arrow cannot make him flee; Slingstones become like stubble to him. Darts are regarded as straw; He laughs at the threat of javelins. His undersides are like sharp potsherds; He spreads pointed marks in the mire. He makes the deep boil like a pot; He makes the sea like a pot of ointment. He leaves a shining wake behind him; One would think the deep had white hair. On earth there is nothing like him, Which is made without fear. He beholds every high thing; He is king over all the children of pride."


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 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 56:1

Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me! For my soul trusts in You; And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, Until these calamities have passed by.

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 14:28-35

For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, This man began to build and was not able to finish? Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace. So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple. "Salt is good; but if the salt has lost its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is neither fit for the land nor for the dunghill, but men throw it out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!"
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 Romans. May his blessings be upon us. Amen
Romans 10:4-13

For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. For Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the law, "The man who does those things shall live by them." But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, "Do not say in your heart, Who will ascend into heaven?"(that is, to bring Christ down from above) or, "Who will descend into the abyss?"(that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart"(that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame." For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For "whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved."
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 1:13-21

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. So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save 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.

Acts of the Apostles

The Acts of our fathers the apostles, may their blessings be with us.
Acts of the Apostles 19:23-26

And about that time there arose a great commotion about the Way. For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Diana, brought no small profit to the craftsmen. He called them together with the workers of similar occupation, and said: "Men, you know that we have our prosperity by this trade. Moreover you see and hear that not only at Ephesus, but throughout almost all Asia, this Paul has persuaded and turned away many people, saying that they are not gods which are made with hands.
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 Paremhotep, 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 Daniel the Prophet
On this day of the last year of king Cyrus King of Babylon, the great righteous prophet Daniel Departed. This prophet was from the tribe of Judah, and from the posterity of king David. He was taken captive along with the Israelites by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon when he captured Jerusalem in the year 3398 of the world. He stayed in Babylon for seventy years. This prophet was very young in age, however, he conducted himself in virtuous life, the Holy Spirit filled him and he prophesied in Babylon. In the fourth year of the exile, Nebuchadnezzar the king saw a dreadful dream and was extremely frightened. When he woke up, he forgot the detail of his dream. He gathered all the wise men of Babylon to tell the king his dream and its meaning. If they failed to tell the king the dream and its interpretation they would all be killed, among those also were Daniel and the three young men. Daniel and the young men prayed to God with supplications to reveal to them the King's dream. God answered their prayers and revealed to Daniel the dream and its interpretation. Daniel went to the king and told him his dream and its interpretation. He also told him about the kings that they are about to rule after him, and what would happen to every one of them. Nebuchadnezzar was pleased with Daniel, and fell on his face before him. The king presented Daniel with great gifts and appointed him over the wise men of Babylon.
After some time had passed, Nebuchadnezzar saw another dream, and Daniel interpreted the dream for him. Daniel told the king that because of his arrogance, God would drive him from among men, to dwell among the beasts of the wild and would eat grass like oxen for seven years, and then God would bring him back to his kingdom, and all that happened to Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel also explained to Belshazzar, the son of Nebuchadnezzar, what the angel of the Lord had written on the wall, when king Belshazzar drank wine in the gold and silver vessels of the temple of the Lord. Daniel told the king: ' O king, the Most High gave Nebuchadnezzar your father, a kingdom and majesty, glory and honor... But when his heart was lifted up in pride, he was deposed from his kingdom and thrown from his throne into among the animals. And you, Belshazzar, although you knew all what happened to your father, yet you also lifted your heart against the Lord of heaven. They brought the vessels of the house of the Lord before you, and you, your lords, wives and concubines (mistresses) drank wine from these vessels... Then the fingers of a Hand were send from the Lord, and His writing was written: 'Mene, Mene, Tekel, and Upharsin..which meant:
Mene means: God has numbered your days as a king and terminated you rule.
Tekel means: You have been weighed in the balances of the Lord and was found wanting.
Upharsin means: your kingdom has been divided and given to the Medes and Persians after you.
All of them came to pass and the king was killed with all his lords and the kingdom of the Chaldeans ended. Darius, king of Persia, ruled after him. There was an idol in Babylon named 'Bael' which king Darius worshiped. When Daniel was asked why he did not worship it, Daniel answered: 'I do not worship something that has no life in it.' The king said to him: 'He is alive for he eats and drinks every day.' Daniel told him that could not be true. The king was angry and wanted to check the matter for himself. He put the food and the drinks in the temple of the idol and closed the door and sealed it. On the next day, he went to the temple, opened the door and did not find the food or the drinks. But Daniel with the help of some of his companions, covered the floor of the temple with fine ashes, found the feet tracks of those who entered the temple by night and stole the food and drinks. The king arrested the seventy priests of the idol Bael, together with their wives and children and tortured them until they told him about the secret entrance to the temple. The king then ordered them all to be killed and allowed Daniel to destroy the idol and its altar. The people rebelled against the king and asked him to deliver Daniel to their hands. The king surrendered to their demands and Daniel was cast into the den of lions. However God kept Daniel safe and destroyed his enemies. Daniel saw in a vision the kingdoms and the kings to come after him to rule the world to the end of time. He also saw the glory of God and the Divinity of Christ the Savior. He prophesied about His coming and His death, the destruction of Jerusalem, and the abolition of the sacrifice and the offerings, and all has been fulfilled. This great prophet remained in Babylon for seventy years, then departed in peace.
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 50:2,3

Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions, And my sin is always before me.

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 6:35-45

And Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day." The Jews then complained about Him, because He said, "I am the bread which came down from heaven." And they said, "Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that He says, I have come down from heaven?" Jesus therefore answered and said to them, "Do not murmur among yourselves. No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, And they shall all be taught by God.Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.
And Glory be to God forever