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Daily Devotional

Tuesday, December 12, 2017 (NS)
November 29, 2017 (OS)


Commemorations

Movable Calendar (Pascalion):

Tuesday of the Twenty-Eighth Week

Fixed Calendar:

The commemoration of the holy Martyrs Paramon in Bithynia, and Philoumenos of Ankyra, and those with them.


Fasting Information

Fast day, but Fish, Wine and Oil Allowed.


Scripture Readings

Movable Calendar (Pascalion):

Tuesday of the Twenty-Eighth Week

Epistle:

The Reading is from the Second Epistle of Saint Paul to Saint Timothy[§ 297]. Child Timothy:

3 16Every Scripture is God-inspired and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness, 17in order that the man of God may be perfect, equipped for every good work.

4 1I bear witness therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is about to judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: 2proclaim the word; attend to it in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and teaching. 3For there will be a time when they will not uphold sound teaching, but according to their own desires, they who have an itching ear will heap up to themselves teachers; 4and indeed they shall turn away their ear from the truth, and shall be turned aside over to fables.

Gospel:

The Reading is from the Holy Gospel according to Saint Luke [§ 98]. At that time:

19 45 Jesus, having entered into the temple, began to cast out those who sold and bought in it, 46saying to them, "It hath been written: 'My house is a house of prayer [Is. 56:7],' but ye made it 'a den of robbers [Jer. 7:11].'"

47And He was teaching daily in the temple. But the chief priests and the scribes and the chief of the people were seeking to destroy Him, 48and they were not finding anything which they might do; for all the people were hanging upon His words, listening.

Fixed Calendar:

The commemoration of the holy Martyrs Paramon in Bithynia, and Philoumenos of Ankyra, and those with them.

Epistle:

The Reading is from the Epistle of Saint Paul to the Romans [§ 97]. Brethren:

8 14As many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15For ye did not receive a spirit of bondage again to fear, but ye received a Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, "Abba, Father." 16The Spirit Himself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are children of God: 17And if children, also heirs-on the one hand heirs of God, on the other hand joint-heirs of Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, in order that we might also be glorified together. 18For I reckon that the sufferings of the present time are not worthy in comparison to the future glory to be revealed in us. 19For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly awaiteth the revelation of the sons of God. 20For creation was subjected to vanity, not willingly, but on account of Him Who subjected it in hope, 21that the creation itself also shall be freed from the bondage of corruption into the glorious freedom of the children of God.

Gospel:

No reading given.


Lives of the Saints
(Prologue)

December 12th - Civil Calendar
November 29th - Church Calendar

1. The Holy Martyr Paramon, and 370 others with him.

In Asian Bithynia, the governor, Aquilinus, was ferociously persecuting Christians. He once seized three hundred and seventy Christians and took them with him in bonds to some place where there was a temple to the god Poseidon. Here, the wicked governor tried to force them to offer sacrifice to idols. Although he threatened with death any who refused to obey his command, not a single one of the Christians submitted to it. At that time, there passed along the road running beside the temple a respected man called Paramon. He stopped beside the group of bound men and learned what was happening, then cried out: 'Oh, how many innocent and righteous men does this foul governor desire to slaughter because they will not bow down to his dumb and dead idols?' Paramon then continued on his way, and the furious governor sent servants to kill him. They caught up with him and seized him, first piercing his tongue with a thorn and then stripping him and stabbing him all over. Holy Paramon, with prayer in his heart, gave his soul into God's hands. After that, these three hundred and seventy martyrs, great sons of God and innocent lambs, were beheaded with the sword and thus entered into the immortal Kingdom of Christ the Lord. They suffered in the year 250.

2. Our Holy Father Acacius of Sinai.

In his famous book, 'The Ladder', St John Climacus records the life of this saint. The young Acacius was a novice with an evil elder in the monastery on Sinai. The foul-tempered elder daily groused and grumbled at Acacius, and often beat him, tormenting and ill-treating him in every possible way. Acacius did not complain, but bore it all patiently and with trust that it would work for his salvation. When people saw his bruises and asked him how he survived, he replied : 'Well, as before the Lord God'. After nine years of obedience and ill-treatment, Acacius died. The elder buried him and then went off to lament to another elder, a holy man, saying: 'Acacius, my disciple, is dead.' 'I don't believe it,' replied the holy elder, 'Acacius is not dead.' They then both went to the dead man's grave, and the holy elder called out: 'Brother Acacius, are you dead?' The obedient Acacius, obedient even in death, replied: 'I am not dead; the obedient cannot die.' Then the evil elder repented and shut himself in a cell near Acacius' grave, where he spent the rest of his life in repentance and prayer.

3. The Holy Martyr Dionysius, Bishop of Corinth.

A well-known pastor and teacher, he was beheaded for Christ the Lord in 182.

4. St Tiridates, King of Armenia.

He was a contemporary of Diocletian. He at first persecuted Christians with great ferocity, but God's punishment fell on him and he went mad and became like a beast, as happened aforetime to Nebuchadnezzar. St Gregory miraculously healed him of his madness (see Sept. 30th). From that time until his death, Tiridates spent his life in repentance and devotion. He died peacefully in the fourth century.

5. The Holy Martyr Apollonius.

He was a Roman senator. Denounced for his faith, he confessed it before the entire senate, for which he was beheaded in the year 186.

FOR CONSIDERATION

God's punishment often falls on sinners immediately after they have sinned, that the sinners may fear and the righteous be encouraged. However, it sometimes falls much later, suddenly and unexpectedly, that sinners may know that God forgets nothing. The earth swallowed up Dathan and Abiram immediately after they had sinned, but King Balthazzar saw the hand that wrote his deadly fate at a time when he felt himself at ease at a wedding feast, among friends and admirers.

A gravely-sick soldier was brought to St Stephen the New, to be healed by his prayers. Stephen told him to venerate the icons of Christ and the Mother of God. The soldier did this, and was immediately healed, and this wonder was spoken of on all sides. Hearing of it, the iconoclast Emperor Copronymos summoned this soldier and questioned him. When the soldier acknowledged that he had received healing from the holy icons, the Emperor furiously began to rebuke him for his veneration of them. The terrified soldier repudiated his veneration before the Emperor, and was ashamed of his faith in the icons. When this soldier left the court and mounted his horse, it became maddened under him, threw him off and trampled him with its hooves until he gave up the ghost. This is an example of a punishment that follows immediately on the sin.

King Tiridates, a persecutor of Christians, threw St Gregory into a deep pit and killed thirty-seven holy nuns, and he went unpunished. Later, when the king and his entourage had gone hunting for pleasure, madness suddenly fell on him. The reason for his madness and the means of restoring him to sanity were revealed to his devout sister in a dream. St Gregory was taken out of his pit, and at his prayers, King Tiridates was healed, repented and received baptism.

Punishment sometimes follows as quickly on sin as day does night, and sometimes as slowly as year follows year. But it never fails to come, except at those times when repentance takes the place of punishment.


Daily Scripture Readings taken from The Orthodox New Testament, translated and published by Holy Apostles Convent, Buena Vista, Colorado, copyright © 2000, used with permission, all rights reserved.

Daily Prologue Readings taken from The Prologue of Ochrid, by Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic, translated by Mother Maria, published by Lazarica Press, Birmingham, England, copyright © 1985, all rights reserved.


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