Saturday, December 15, 2018 | Koiahk 6, 1735

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Vespers Raising of Incense

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. Amen.
Psalms 109:4,7

In return for my love they are my accusers, But I give myself to prayer.

Alleluia.

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 16:13-19
When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, "Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?"So they said, "Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets."He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"Simon Peter answered and said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."Jesus answered and said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."

And Glory be to God forever. Amen.

Prime Raising of Incense

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. Amen.
Psalms 72:23,24,28

He will judge Your people with righteousness, And Your poor with justice.

Alleluia.

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 15:17-25
These things I command you, that you love one another. "If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, A servant is not greater than his master. If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My names sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates Me hates My Father also. If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father. But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, They hated Me without a cause.

And Glory be to God forever. Amen.

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 2 Epistle of our teacher Paul to the Corinthians. May his blessings be upon us. Amen.
2 Corinthians 4:5-5:11

For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus sake. For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus sake. For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus sake. For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus sake. For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus sake. For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus sake. For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus sake. For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus sake. For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus sake. For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus sake. For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus sake. For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus sake. For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus sake. For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus sake. For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus sake. For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus sake. For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus sake. For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus sake. For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus sake. For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus sake. For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus sake. For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus sake. For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus sake. For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus sake. For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus sake.

The grace of God the Father be with you all. Amen.

Catholic Epistle


A Reading from the 1 Epistle of St. Peter. May his blessing be upon us. Amen.
1 Peter 2:18-3:7

Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh. Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh. Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh. Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh. Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh. Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh. Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh. Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh. Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh. Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh. Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh. Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh. Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh. Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh. Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh.

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. Amen.
Acts of the Apostles 20:17-38

From Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called for the elders of the church. And when they had come to him, he said to them: "You know, from the first day that I came to Asia, in what manner I always lived among you, serving the Lord with all humility, with many tears and trials which happened to me by the plotting of the Jews; how I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house, testifying to Jews, and also to Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me. But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. "And indeed, now I know that you all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, will see my face no more. Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God. Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears. "So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. I have coveted no ones silver or gold or apparel. Yes, you yourselves know that these hands have provided for my necessities, and for those who were with me. I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, It is more blessed to give than to receive."And when he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all. Then they all wept freely, and fell on Pauls neck and kissed him, sorrowing most of all for the words which he spoke, that they would see his face no more. And they accompanied him to the ship.

The word of the Lord shall grow, multiply, be mighty, and be confirmed, in the holy Church of God. Amen.

Synaxarium


The Sixth 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 Anatolius
On this day also we commemorate St. Anatolius (Anatole - Patlas), the priest and martyr.
May his prayers be with us all. Amen.

Departure of Pope Abraam (975-978) the 62nd Patriarch of Alexandria and the See of Saint Mark
On this day, of the year 978 A.D., the saint Anba Abraam, 62nd Pope of Alexandria, departed. This father was a descendant of the Christians of the East, whose name was Ebn-Zaraa the Syrian. He was a rich merchant who visited Egypt often, then finally settled there. He was blessed with many virtues, including mercy to the needy. His reputation of righteousness and knowledge became well known. When the Patriarchal Chair became vacant, the bishops and the learned elders all agreed to choose him as Patriarch. When he sat on the chair of the See of St. Mark, he gave all his possessions to the poor and needy. During his days, Cosman Ebn-Mina, the Coptic minister, was appointed a Governor over Palestine. Before his departure to his new position, he entrusted one hundred thousand dinars to the father, the Patriarch, asking him to hold them until his return. He asked the Pope to give the money to the poor, the needy, the churches and the monasteries, if he died there. When the news of the taking over of Syria and Palestine by Hafktin (Kormati), reached the Patriarch, he thought that Cosman had died. He distributed that money according to Cosman's instructions. But Cosman was saved from death and returned to Egypt. The father, the Patriarch, told him what he did with the money, and Cosman was glad and exceedingly happy. Among his accomplishments was the abolition of some corrupt and erroneous customs. He prevented and excommunicated everyone who took bribes from anyone for the purpose of gaining a clerical position. He also strongly forbade the keeping of concubines. When the people who were practicing that knew his orders, the fear of God moved them, for they also feared that the Patriarch might excommunicate them. They set all their concubines free and went to the Patriarch repenting, except for one of the rich men of the country. This man did not fear God nor did he heed the fact that this father, who chided him repeatedly and was very patient with him, would excommunicate him. He did not return from his evil way and was not afraid lest God should destroy him. In spite of that, this father did not slacken in teaching and rebuking him. Furthermore he humbled himself like Christ, his teacher, and he went to that man's house. When the man heard of the arrival of the Patriarch to his house, he shut the door and refused to let him in. The father remained standing at the door for two hours knocking but the man neither opened the door for him, nor did he speak to him. The father realized that this wretched man had intentionally separated himself from the flock of Christ and became a corrupt member.

The Pope saw it fit to cut him from the body of the church, so as not to corrupt the rest of the body. He excommunicated him saying, 'Let his blood be on his own head,' and then the Pope shook off the dust from his sandals at the door of the house of that man. At this moment God manifested a sign before the eyes of those who were present, for the doorstep, which was made of granite, had split in two. Later on, the Lord showed his might, and the man lost all his wealth and he was fired from his position in disgrace. He became ill which led to his death in a horrible way. He became an example to the others; since many sinners learned a lesson and were afraid as a result of what happened to him. During the days of this father, El-Mu'izz, the Khalifa, had a Jewish Vizier; his name was, Jacob-Ebn-Yousef, who adopted the Muslim faith (Islam). That minister had a Jewish friend (Ebn-Killis), who used to go with him frequently to the Khalifa and converse with him. That Jew took advantage of the favor that his friend had with the Khalifa, and found this to be an opportunity to ask for the presence of the father, the Patriarch, in order that he might have a debate with him. Abba Abraam came along with Anba Severus Ebn-EI-Mukafaa, Bishop of Ashmunein. El-Mu'izz ordered them to sit, so they sat down silently. He asked, 'Why are you not debating?' Anba Severus answered, 'How can we argue in the presence of El-Khalifa, with a man who is less intelligent than an ox?' El-Mu'izz asked for an explanation. Anba Severus said, 'God has declared by the mouth of the prophet, 'the ox knows its owner, and the donkey its master's crib: but Israel does not know.'' (Isaiah 1:3) They debated that Jew and shamed him with all the irrefutable arguments that prove the soundness of the Christian faith. Then they left El-Mu'izz with great honor. The minister and his Jewish friend were not able to bear the insults. So they sought the chance to take revenge of on Christians. A few days later, the Jewish Vizier; Jacob-Ebn-Yousef went to El-Mu'izz and maliciously told him, 'your royal highness knows that the faith of the Christians does not have a sound base. Their Bible states, 'If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, move from here to there, and it will move. (Matthew 17:20) Prince of the faithful knows the falsehood of these sayings. And to verify this, we will summon the Patriarch to give us the proof that their Christ's sayings are true.' The Khalifa thought to himself, 'If the saying of Christ is true, that would be of great benefit to us, for the Mukatam mount is too close to Cairo. If the mountain can be moved away, that would make the position of the city greater than what it is now. If the saying is not true, that will give us the justification to persecute the Christians.' El-Mu'izz called the father, the Patriarch, and placed this saying before him, and asked for the proof of its soundness. The Pope asked for a three-day respite, which was granted. When the Pope left El-Khalifa, he gathered the monks and the bishops nearby and they all stayed in El-Mualaqua (the Suspended) Church in Old Cairo, three days fasting and supplicating God. Before dawn of the third day as Abba Abraam dozed off out of sheer weariness, our Holy Lady, the Virgin, St. Mary, the Mother of God, appeared to him and told him to rise up and go to the street which leads to the market. There he would find a one-eyed man bearing a pot of water on his shoulder. She instructed Abba Abraam to tell him that he was the man designated by God to perform this sign.

This holy man's name was Simon and he was a Tanner. The father, the Patriarch, took him along with some of the priests, monks and people to see El-Mu'izz, who was out with the government leaders and the nobles of the city nearby the Mukatam Mountain. The father, the Patriarch, stood with those who were with him on one side and El-Mu'izz and his entourage stood on the other side. The father, the Patriarch, and the believers prayed and knelt down three times, and every time they knelt, they said, 'Kirya-layson' Lord have mercy. Whenever the Patriarch and the congregation lifted up their heads after each bow, the mountain would lift up and when they bowed down, the mountain was lowered down to the ground, and whenever they walked, the mountain moved before them. A great fear came on the Khalifa and his companions and many fell on the ground. The Khalifa advanced on his horse toward the Patriarch and said, 'O great teacher, I now know that you are a holy man, ask whatsoever you wish and I will give it to you.' The Patriarch refused to ask for anything; but when the Khalifa insisted, he asked the Governor to allow him to build churches, especially the church of St. Mercurius (of the two swords) which was in Old Cairo. He wrote him a decree permitting the building and the renovation of churches and he gave him a large sum of money from the treasury. The Patriarch thanked him and prayed for him, but he refused to take the money. As a result, El-Mu'izz revered and respected him more for his piety and righteousness. When they started building the church of St. Mercurius, some evil men prevented them from working, whereupon El-Mu'izz came to the sight and kept the troublemakers away. He remained there, standing until they completed laying the foundation. This father renovated many churches all over the See of St. Mark. When he completed his course, he departed in peace after he sat on the chair for 3 years and 6 days.
May his prayers and blessings be with us all, and Glory be to God forever. Amen.

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. Amen.
Psalms 106:32,41,42

They angered Him also at the waters of strife, So that it went ill with Moses on account of them; And He gave them into the hand of the Gentiles, And those who hated them ruled over them. Remember me, O LORD, with the favor You have toward Your people. Oh, visit me with Your salvation,

Alleluia.

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 10:1-16
"Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers."Jesus used this illustration, but they did not understand the things which He spoke to them. Then Jesus said to them again, "Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.

And Glory be to God forever. Amen