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Daily Devotional

Monday, July 13, 2020 (NS)
June 30, 2020 (OS)


Commemorations

Movable Calendar (Pascalion):

Monday of the Sixth Week

Fixed Calendar:

The commemoration of the Synaxis of the holy, glorious, and all-praised Twelve Apostles.


Fasting Information

No Fasting.


Scripture Readings

Movable Calendar (Pascalion):

Monday of the Sixth Week

Epistle:

The Reading is from the Epistle of Saint Paul to the Romans [§ 121].

16 17Brethren, I beseech you to look out for those who cause the divisions and the stumbling blocks contrary to the teaching which ye learned, and turn away from them. 18For such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by smooth speech and fine speaking, they deceive the hearts of the simple. 19For your obedience reached to all. I rejoice therefore over you. But on the one hand, I wish you to be wise indeed in regard to the good, and on the other hand, pure in regard to the evil. 20And the God of peace shall crush Satan under your feet quickly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

21Timothy my fellow worker, and Lucius, and Jason, and Sosipater, my kinsmen, greet you. 22I, Tertius, who wrote down the epistle, greet you in the Lord. 23Gaios, my host and host of the whole church, greeteth you. Erastos, the administrator of the city, greeteth you, and Quartus the brother.

24The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

Gospel:

The Reading is from the Holy Gospel according to Saint Matthew [§ 51]. At that time:

13 10The disciples came to Jesus and said to Him, “Why speakest Thou to them in parables?” 11And He answered and said to them, “Because it hath been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of the heavens, but to them it hath not been given. 12“For whosoever hath, to him it shall be given, and he shall be made to abound; but whosoever hath not, even what he hath shall be taken from him. 13“On account of this I speak to them in parables, because seeing they see not, and hearing they hear not, nor do they understand. 14“And in them is being fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, ‘In hearing ye shall hear, and in no wise shall understand; and seeing ye shall see, and in no wise shall perceive [Is. 6:9]. 15“‘For the heart of this people was made fat; and with their ears they heard heavily; and their eyes they closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart and be converted; and I shall heal them [cf. Is. 6:10].’ 16“But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear. 17“For verily I say to you that many prophets and righteous ones desired to see what ye see, and saw not, and to hear what ye hear, and heard not. 18“Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower: 19“When anyone heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, the evil one cometh and seizeth that which hath been sown in his heart. This is the one who was sown by the wayside. 20“But the one who was sown upon the rocky places, this is the one who heareth the word and straightway with joy receiveth it, 21“but hath no root in himself, but is temporary. And after affliction or persecution ariseth on account of the word, straightway he is made to stumble. 22“And the one who was sown among the thorns, this is the one who heareth the word, and the care of this age and the deceit of wealth together choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. 23“But the one who was sown on the good ground, this is the one who heareth and understandeth the word, who truly beareth fruit and produceth: some indeed a hundred, but some sixty, and some thirty.”

Fixed Calendar:

The commemoration of the Synaxis of the holy, glorious, and all-praised Twelve Apostles.

Epistle:

The Reading is from the First Epistle of Saint Paul to the Corinthians [§ 131]. Brethren:

4 9I think that God showed forth us the apostles last, as condemned to death; for we became a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men. 10We are fools for Christ’s sake, but ye are wise in Christ. We are weak, but ye are strong. Ye are held in honor, but we are dishonored. 11Until the present hour, we both hunger and thirst, and are naked, and are being buffeted, and never at rest. 12And we toil working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we bear up; 13being evilly spoken of, we beseech. We became as the filth of the world, the off-scouring of all until now. 14I do not write these things shaming you, but admonishing you as my beloved children. 15For if ye have myriads of tutors in Christ, yet ye have not many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I begot you through the Gospel. 16Therefore, I beseech you, keep on becoming imitators of me.

Gospel:

The Reading is from the Holy Gospel according to Saint Matthew [§ 34]. At that time:

9 36Jesus, having seen the crowds, was moved with compassion for them, because they were wearied and cast down, as sheep not having a shepherd. 37Then He saith to His disciples, “The harvest indeed is great, but the workers are few. 38“Entreat therefore the Lord of the harvest that He would send forth workers into His harvest.”

10 1And after He called to Himself His twelve disciples, He gave to them authority over unclean spirits, so as to cast them out, and to cure every disease and every weakness. 2Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; Iakovos the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; 3Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; Iakovos the son of Alphæos, and Lebbæos, who was surnamed Thaddæos; 4Simon the Cananite, and Judas the Iscariote, who also delivered Him up. 5These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, “Do not begin to go into the way of the nations, and do not begin to enter into a city of the Samaritans. 6“But go rather to the sheep, the lost of the house of Israel. 7“And as ye go, be preaching, saying, ‘The kingdom of the heavens hath drawn near.’ 8“Be healing the sick, cleansing lepers, raising the dead, casting out demons; freely ye received, freely give.”

For Sl. usage, see [Mk. 3:13-19].


Lives of the Saints
(Prologue)

July 13th — Civil Calendar
June 30th - Church Calendar

1. The Assembly of the Holy, Glorious and All-praised Apostles.

The Assembly of the Holy, Glorious and All-praised Apostles.Although each of the Twelve Apostles has his own Feast Day during the year, the Church has set aside this day for a general Feast of all of them together, including St Paul. The names and Feast Days of the Twelve are:

Peter - June 29th and January 16th.
Andrew - November 30th.
James the Son of Zebedee - April 30th.
John the Theologian - September 26th and May 8th.
Philip - November 14th.
Bartholomew - June 11th and August 25th .
Thomas - October 6th.
Matthew the Evangelist - November 16th.
James the Son of Alphaeus - October 9th.
Thaddeus (or Jude the brother of James) - June 19th.
Simon the Zealot - May 10th.
Matthias - August 9th.
Paul -June 29th.

Let us also remember here how these most holy and selfless men in the history of the world died and finished their earthly course:

Peter was crucified upside-down.
Andrew was crucified.
James was beheaded.
John the Theologian died peacefully in a miraculous way.
Philip was crucified.
Bartholomew was crucified, then flayed and beheaded.
Thomas was pierced with five spears.
Matthew was burned by fire.
James the Son of Alphaeus was crucified
Thaddeus was crucified.
Simon the Zealot was crucified.
Matthias was stoned, then beheaded with an axe when dead.
Paul was beheaded.

2. Blessed Peter the Heir.

A Tartar by race and the nephew of the Tartar King Berkai, he once listened to a sermon on salvation by Kiril, Bishop of Rostov, and the words embedded themselves deeply in his heart. When he saw the miraculous healing of Berkai's son by Kiril's prayers, he secretly left the Golden Horde and ran off to Rostov, where he was baptised and devoted himself heart and soul to the ascetic life and to training himself in faith and devotion. Once he spent the night on the shore of a lake, and the Apostles Peter and Paul appeared to him in his sleep and told him to build a church dedicated to their memory on that spot, giving him the money he would need to accomplish this. Peter built a beautiful church there, and was there made a monk in old age, after the death of his wife. He finished his earthly course peacefully on June 29th, 1290, and his church became and remains the Petrovski monastery.

3. Our Holy Father George the Georgian.

Born in Iberia or Georgia in 1014, he was a kinsman of the Georgian king, Bagrat. He received a good classical education in his early years, but his heart ever drew him towards the spiritual life. He laboured in asceticism under the renowned spiritual teacher George on the Black Mountain. He then went off to the Holy Mountain and continued his asceticism in the monastery of Iviron, becoming the abbot of that monastery. With the assistance of the Byzantine Emperor, Constantine Monomachus, he restored Iviron and roofed the church with lead. This same leaden roof remains to this day. He translated the Holy Scriptures, the Prologue and the books for Divine Service into Georgian. Bagrat summoned him back to Georgia to teach the people, and he received a royal welcome in his homeland. He travelled far and wide, instructing the clergy and the people. Reaching old age, he desired to depart this life on the Holy Mountain and set out on the road, but death overtook him in Constantinople in 1067. His relics were taken to Iviron. Although he died on May 24th, the Georgians celebrate his memory on June 30th, counting him as equal to the apostles.

FOR CONSIDERATION

Concern for the good of all men. Such concern filled the exalted spirits and noble hearts of the apostles to overflowing. St John Chrysostom wrote about the Apostle Paul, calling him 'the father of all the world, as if he himself had given birth to all men, for he was so concerned and strove so greatly to bring all into the Kingdom'. 'Father of all the world' is indeed a very high title, and if there is anyone, under God, to whom this title should be given, it is the apostles of Christ. Having the concern of a parent for the whole world, they were truly 'fathers of all the world'. There are many mothers in the world who care less for their own children than did the apostles for the good of their persecutors and adversaries. The Apostle Peter twice saved his most bitter adversary, Simon the Magician, from death; once when the crowd wanted to set fire to him and once when a dog tried to tear him to pieces. Just think of the way that the world paid its debt to these workers of good! As if they were the greatest robbers and evil-doers! How true are St Cyprian's words: 'While we are in the body, we Christians look the same on the surface as pagans. The difference lies in the spirit.'


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.


Archbishop Gregory
Dormition Skete
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