Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Midlands, U.K.

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Wednesday, September 3, 2014 | Mesore 28, 1730

The Twenty Eighth Day of the Blessed Month of Mesore

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 46:8,9

God reigns over the nations; God sits on His holy throne. The princes of the people have gathered together, The people of the God of Abraham. For the shields of the earth belong to God; He is greatly exalted.

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 15:7-16

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. "As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Fathers commandments and abide in His love. "These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down ones life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.
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 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 104:3,4

Glory in His holy name; Let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the LORD! Seek the LORD and His strength; Seek His face evermore!

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 16:19-31

"There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich mans table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abrahams bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. "Then he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us. "Then he said, I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my fathers house, for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment. Abraham said to him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent. But he said to him, If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead."
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 Hebrews. May his blessings be upon us. Amen
Hebrews 11:1-10

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks. By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, "and was not found, because God had taken him"; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith. By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
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 2:14-23

What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, "Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,"but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, "You have faith, and I have works."Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believeand tremble! But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness."And he was called the friend of God.
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 7:20-34

At this time Moses was born, and was well pleasing to God; and he was brought up in his fathers house for three months. But when he was set out, Pharaohs daughter took him away and brought him up as her own son. And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and deeds. "Now when he was forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren, the children of Israel. And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended and avenged him who was oppressed, and struck down the Egyptian. For he supposed that his brethren would have understood that God would deliver them by his hand, but they did not understand. And the next day he appeared to two of them as they were fighting, and tried to reconcile them, saying, Men, you are brethren; why do you wrong one another? But he who did his neighbor wrong pushed him away, saying, Who made you a ruler and a judge over us? Do you want to kill me as you did the Egyptian yesterday? Then, at this saying, Moses fled and became a dweller in the land of Midian, where he had two sons. "And when forty years had passed, an Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire in a bush, in the wilderness of Mount Sinai. When Moses saw it, he marveled at the sight; and as he drew near to observe, the voice of the Lord came to him, saying, I am the God of your fathersthe God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses trembled and dared not look. Then the LORD said to him, "Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground. I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt; I have heard their groaning and have come down to deliver them. And now come, I will send you to Egypt."
The word of the Lord shall grow, multiply, be mighty, and be confirmed, in the holy Church of God. Amen.

Synaxarium

The Twenty Eighth Day of the Blessed Coptic Month of Mesore, 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.
Commemoration of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob the Patriarchs
On this day, the church celebrates the holy Patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

1. Our father Abraham:
Who can describe the virtues of he who became father to many nations? He believed in God, obeyed Him, and did not doubt His promises. The Lord appeared to him in a vision at night and told him, 'Get out of your country, away from your family and from your father's house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing.' (Genesis 12:1-2) Then the Lord appeared to Abraham in the form of three men. He welcomed them, for they were strangers, and God promised him the birth of Isaac. Abraham was then one hundred years old; Sarah, his wife, was advanced in age, and they believed the promise of God. When Isaac was born, Abraham, his father, circumcised him on the eighth day of his birth. Although he
was sure that through his procreation all the nations of the earth would be blessed, God told him, 'Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and offer him there as a burnt offering.' He did not doubt the promise of God. He began to offer his son as a sacrifice, confident that God would raise him, and raise offspring through him. When he fulfilled the sacrifice of Isaac by intention, God revealed his virtues to the generations to come by saying, 'By Myself I have sworn, says the LORD, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son, in blessing I will bless you, and in multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven.' (Genesis 22:1-18) That was fulfilled and he was called the father of Christ in flesh. (Luke 3:34) He departed in peace when he was one hundred seventy-five years old. May his prayers be with us. Amen.

2. Our father Isaac:
He was born by a divine promise, and he was perfect in piety and obedience to God and to his father. He was willing to be sacrificed by his father as an offering to God, although he was the son of the promise, and his father begot him when he was one hundred years old. Isaac was not a child then, for the Bible said, 'So Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son, and went to the place which was afar off.' Some historians say that Isaac's age then was about thirty-seven years old. He obeyed his father, and laid down his neck for slaying, but the angel of the Lord ordered his father not to lay his hand on the lad. As it was considered that Abraham had fulfilled the sacrifice of his son by intention, it was also considered that Isaac was sacrificed by intention.

He suffered many tribulations and sorrows. God gave him two sons, Esau and Jacob. Isaac loved Esau for his bravery. When Isaac was old and his eyes were so dim that he could not see, he called Esau, his older son, and said to him, 'My son ... behold now, I am old. I do not know the day of my death. Now therefore, please ... go out to the field and hunt game for me. And make me savory food ... that I may eat, that my soul may bless you before I die.' Rebekah was listening when Isaac spoke to Esau his son. She spoke to Jacob her son, saying, '... Go now to the flock and bring me from there two choice kids of the goats, and I will make savory food from them for your father, such as he loves ... that he may bless you before his death.' Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, 'Look, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth-skinned man. Perhaps my father will feel me, and I shall seem to be a deceiver to him; and I shall bring a curse on myself and not a blessing.' But his mother said to him, 'Let your curse be on me, my son.' (Genesis 27:1-29) She did that by a divine inspiration. Jacob did as his mother ordered him, and his father ate and blessed him. Isaac departed in peace when he was one hundred eighty years old. May his prayers be with us. Amen.

3. The father of the Tribes Jacob:
Esau, his brother, hated him for he took the blessing of their father from him. Jacob feared Esau, and fled to Laban, his uncle. He shepherded Laban's sheep for seven years and Laban gave Jacob his daughter, Leah, in marriage. Then Jacob served another seven years, and Laban gave him his second daughter, Rachel, in marriage. (Genesis 29:15-30) Then Laban, his uncle, told him, 'The sheep that are streaked shall be your wages, then all the flocks bore streaked.' (Genesis 31:4-8) God made him exceedingly wealthy. He returned with his two wives, Leah and Rachel, and God blessed him with twelve sons. He saw God face to face and wrestled with him until the breaking of day, and God called him Israel.

He suffered many sorrows and tribulations, such as the selling of Joseph his son as a servant to the Egyptians, the loss of his sight, the severe famine, and others as mentioned in the Holy Bible. His son Joseph then rose to power and became the second man in Egypt after the Pharaoh, and he tried until he was able to bring his father Jacob to Egypt, where he stayed for seventeen years. When his departure drew near he called his twelve sons and blessed them. When he blessed Judah, he said, 'The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh comes; and to Him shall be the obedience of the people.' That was a prophesy about the coming of the Lord Christ from his
seed. When he was one hundred forty-seven years, he departed in peace, after commanding that he be buried in the tomb of his fathers. Joseph carried him in the chariot of Pharaoh, brought him to the land of Canaan, where he was buried with his fathers. 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 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 104:8,9,10

He remembers His covenant forever, The word which He commanded, for a thousand generations, The covenant which He made with Abraham, And His oath to Isaac, And confirmed it to Jacob for a statute, To Israel as an everlasting covenant,

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 12:18-27

Then some Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Him; and they asked Him, saying: "Teacher, Moses wrote to us that if a mans brother dies, and leaves his wife behind, and leaves no children, his brother should take his wife and raise up offspring for his brother. Now there were seven brothers. The first took a wife; and dying, he left no offspring. And the second took her, and he died; nor did he leave any offspring. And the third likewise. So the seven had her and left no offspring. Last of all the woman died also. Therefore, in the resurrection, when they rise, whose wife will she be? For all seven had her as wife." Jesus answered and said to them, "Are you not therefore mistaken, because you do not know the Scriptures nor the power of God? For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. But concerning the dead, that they rise, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the burning bush passage, how God spoke to him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living. You are therefore greatly mistaken."
And Glory be to God forever