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Daily Devotional

Wednesday, May 22, 2019 (NS)
May 9, 2019 (OS)


Commemorations

Movable Calendar (Pascalion):

The Wednesday of the Mid-Pentecost

Fixed Calendar:

The commemoration of the holy Prophet Esaias, and the Great-martyr Christopher, and the translation of the precious relics from Myra to Bari of our holy father among the saints and wonder-worker, Nicholas, Archbishop of Myra in Lycia (commemorated on Gk. calendar on the 20th of May).


Fasting Information

Fast day, but Wine and Oil Allowed.


Scripture Readings

Movable Calendar (Pascalion):

The Wednesday of the Mid-Pentecost

Epistle:

The Reading is from the Acts of the Apostles [§ 34]. In those days:

14 6The apostles fled for refuge to the cities of Lycaonia, Lystra, and Derbe, and the country round about; 7and there they were preaching the Gospel.

8And a certain man in Lystra, disabled in his feet, who was lame from his mother's womb and who never had walked, was sitting. 9This same one heard Paul speaking, who, having looked intently on him and perceiving that he had faith to be made well, 10said with a loud voice, "Stand upright on thy feet." And he leaped and was walking about. 11And after the crowds saw what Paul did, they lifted up their voice in Lycaonian, saying, "The gods, having become like men, came down to us." 12And they indeed began calling Barnabas Zeus, and Paul Hermes, since he was the leader of the discourse. 13And the priest of Zeus, whose temple was before their city, brought oxen and garlands to the gateways, and was intending to sacrifice with the crowds. 14But the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, after they heard this, tore their garments and rushed into the crowd, crying out, 15and saying, "Men, why do ye these things? We also are men of like feelings with you, preaching the Gospel to you to turn you from these vanities to the living God, Who made the heaven, and the earth, and the sea, and all the things in them, 16"Who in the generations which have gone by suffered all the nations to walk in their own ways. 17"And yet indeed, He left not Himself without witness, doing good, giving rain from heaven to us and fruit-bearing seasons, filling our hearts with food and good cheer." 18And saying these things, they scarcely stopped the crowds from sacrificing to them.

Gospel:

The Reading is from the Holy Gospel according to Saint John [§ 26].

7 14 It now already being the middle of the feast, Jesus went up into the temple and began to teach. 15And the Jews were wondering, saying, "How knoweth this One letters, since He hath not learned?" 16Jesus answered them and said, "My teaching is not Mine, but of the One Who sent Me. 17"If anyone be willing to do His will, he shall know concerning the teaching, whether it is from God or whether I speak from Myself. 18"The one who speaketh from himself seeketh his own glory; but the One Who seeketh the glory of the One Who sent Him, this One is true, and unrighteousness is not in Him. 19"Moses hath given you the law, hath he not? And yet not one of you doeth the law. Why do you seek to kill Me?" 20The crowd answered and said, "Thou hast a demon; who seeketh to kill Thee?" 21Jesus answered and said to them, "I did one work, and ye all wonder on this account. 22"Moses hath given you circumcision-not that it is of Moses, but of the fathers-and on a sabbath ye circumcise a man. 23"If a man receive circumcision on a sabbath, in order that the law of Moses should not be broken, are ye bilious because I made a whole man sound on a sabbath! 24"Cease judging according to appearance, but judge the righteous judgment." 25Then some of those from Jerusalem were saying, "This is the One Whom they seek to kill, is it not? 26"But behold, He speaketh boldly, and they say nothing to Him. Can it be that the rulers indeed came to know that this is truly the Christ? 27"But we know from what place this One is; but the Christ, whenever He may be coming, no one knoweth where He is from." 28Then Jesus cried out in the temple, teaching and saying, "Ye both know Me, and ye know from what place I am; and I have not come of Myself, but the One Who sent Me is true, Whom ye know not. 29"But I know Him; for I am from Him, and that One sent Me forth." 30Then they began seeking to lay hold of Him; but no one laid his hand upon Him, because His hour had not yet come.

Fixed Calendar:

The commemoration of the holy Prophet Esaias, and the Great-martyr Christopher, and the translation of the precious relics from Myra to Bari of our holy father among the saints and wonder-worker, Nicholas, Archbishop of Myra in Lycia (commemorated on Gk. calendar on the 20th of May).

Epistle:

For the Prophet:

The Reading is from the First Epistle of Saint Paul to the Thessalonians [§ 266].

For Gk. usage, see 1 Thess. 2:14-20; for Sl. usage, see 1 Thess. 2:14-19.

2 14Brethren, ye became imitators of the churches of God which are in Judæa in Christ Jesus. For ye also suffered the same things by your own countrymen, even as they have by the Jews, 15who both killed the Lord Jesus and their own prophets, and persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men, 16forbidding us to speak to the nations that they might be saved, to the end that they fill up their sins always. But the wrath came upon them to the uttermost.

17But we, brethren, having been made orphans from you for an hour's time-in person, not in heart-endeavored more abundantly to see your face with great desire. 18Wherefore we wished to come to you, indeed I Paul, both once and twice, and yet Satan hindered us. 19For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of boasting? Are not also ye before our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming? 20For ye are our glory and joy.

For the Hierarch:

The Reading is from the Epistle of Saint Paul to the Hebrews [§ 335]. Brethren:

13 17Be obedient to those who lead you, and keep on submitting, for they are watchful for your souls, as those about to render an account, that they may do this with joy, and not groaning; for this would be unprofitable for you. 18Keep on praying for us; for we trust that we have a good conscience, in all things wishing to conduct ourselves well. 19But I beseech you more abundantly to do this, that I might be restored more quickly to you.

20Now the God of peace Who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus, the Shepherd of the sheep, the great One, in the blood of an everlasting covenant, 21may He render you perfect in every good work, in order to do His will, doing in you that which is well-pleasing before His face, through Jesus Christ, to Whom be glory to the ages of the ages. Amen.

Gospel:

For the Prophet:

The Reading is from the Holy Gospel according to Saint Luke [§ 14]. At that time:

4 22 The crowds were wondering at the words of grace which were proceeding out of Jesus' mouth, and were saying, "This is the Son of Joseph, is it not?" 23And He said to them, "No doubt, ye will say this parable to Me, 'Physician, heal thyself; as much as we heard was done in Capernaum, do also here in Thy country.'" 24And He said, "Verily I say to you that not one prophet is accepted in his own country. 25"But in truth I say to you, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up for three years and six months, when a great famine arose over all the land; 26"and to not even one of them was Elias sent, except to Sarepta of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. 27"And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elisaios the prophet, and not one of them was cleansed, except Neman the Syrian." 28And all in the synagogue were filled with anger when they heard these things. 29And they rose up and cast Him outside of the city; and they led Him up to the brow of the hill on which their city had been built, in order to throw Him down headlong. 30But He, having passed through the midst of them, kept going on His way.

For the Hierarch:

The Reading is from the Holy Gospel according to Saint Luke [§ 24]. At that time:

6 17 Jesus stood upon a level place. And there was a crowd of His disciples, and a great multitude of the people from all of Judæa and Jerusalem and the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear Him, and to be healed of their diseases- 18even those who were troubled by unclean spirits; and they were cured. 19And all the crowd was seeking to touch Him, for power was coming forth from Him and healing all. 20And He lifted up His eyes to His disciples, and began to say:
   "Blessed are the poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.
   21"Blessed are ye who hunger now, for ye shall be filled.
Blessed are ye who weep now, for ye shall laugh.
   22"Blessed are ye whenever men hate you, and whenever they separate you, and reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man.
   23"Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in the heavens."


Lives of the Saints
(Prologue)

May 22nd – Civil Calendar
May 9th - Church Calendar

1. The Holy Prophet Isaiah.

The Holy Prophet Isaiah.This great prophet was of royal birth. He was born in Jerusalem of Amoz the brother of Amaziah, King of the Jews. By the great grace of God that was within him, Isaiah was made worthy to see the Lord of Sabaoth on His heavenly throne, surrounded by six-winged seraphim which cried unceasingly: 'Holy, holy, holy Lord of Sabaoth' (Is. 6). Isaiah prophesied many things, both to individuals and to nations. Once he walked for three days naked through the streets of Jerusalem, prophesying the imminent fall of the city to the Assyrian king, Sennacherib, and warning the king and the leaders of the people not to seek help from Egypt and Ethiopia, because they too would shortly be over-run by the same Sennacherib, but to seek the aid of the all-seeing God. And this prophecy, like all the rest, was literally fulfilled (37:31-35). But his most important prophecies were on the incarnation of God, on the conception of the most pure Mother of God, on John the Baptist and on many events in the life of Christ. This clairvoyant, because of his pure heart and zeal for God, also received the gift of working miracles. Thus, when the besieged city of Jerusalem was suffering from thirst, he prayed to God and water flowed out from beneath the hill of Sion. This water was named Siloam (Sent), and it was to that water that, later, the Lord sent the man born blind, to wash himself and receive his sight (Is. 8:6; Jn 9:7). In the time of King Manasseh, when Isaiah thundered against the pagan practices of the king and the leaders of the people, comparing that generation with Sodom and Gomorrah, the anger of the leaders and the people was lifted up against this great prophet, and he was seized, taken out of Jerusalem and sawn in half. He lived and prophesied seven hundred years before Christ.

2. St Nicolas the Wonderworker of Myra in Lycia.

St Nicolas the Wonderworker of Myra in Lycia.On this day is commemorated the translation of his relics. In the time of the Emperor Alexius I Comnenus and Patriarch Nicolas Grammaticus, in 1087, the body of this saint was taken from Myra in Lycia to the town of Bari in Italy. This came to pass because of a Moslem attack on Lycia. The saint appeared to a priest in Bari and commanded that his relics be taken there. At that time, the town of Bari was Orthodox and under the administration of an Orthodox patriarch. At the translation of the saint's relics, many miracles were wrought on those who touched them, and a healing myrrh flowed in abundance from them. Also on this day is commemorated the miracle worked by St Nicolas on Stefan of Decani, King of Serbia. This was when the saint restored the sight of the blind King Stefan.

3. The Holy Martyr Christopher.

The Holy Martyr Christopher.A great wonderworker, he is especially venerated in Spain. His help is invoked particularly against infectious illnesses and great pestilence. He was martyred for Christ and glorified in 249.

FOR CONSIDERATION

Every Christian can take on himself some martyrdom for his Faith, both in times of persecution of the Faith and in times of peace. Abba Athanasius says: 'Be tortured by your conscience, die to sin, be as a dead man on earth, and you will be a martyr by desire. They fought aforetime with kings and princes; you have the king of sin–the devil–and the princes, the demons. Formerly there were idols, heathen temples and those who sacrificed to idols. And these remain as thoughts in the soul. He who is a slave to lust bows down before the idol of Aphrodite. He who is in anger and fury bows down to the idol of Ares. He who is avaricious and blind to the trouble of his neighbour bows down to the idol of Hermes. But if you restrain yourself from all this, and keep yourself from the passions, you have conquered the idols, turned from evil and false belief and become a martyr for the Faith.' And so, a man does not need to yearn for persecution and martyrdom. Every man in every age can endure martyrdom for the sake of Christ and His Gospel.


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
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