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Daily Devotional

Thursday, February 20, 2020 (NS)
February 7, 2020 (OS)


Commemorations

Movable Calendar (Pascalion):

Thursday of the Thirty-Fifth Week

Fixed Calendar:

The commemoration of the Afterfeast of the Meeting of the Lord, and our holy father, Parthenios, Bishop of Lampsakos on the Hellespont, and our holy Father Luke of Hellas.


Fasting Information

No Fasting.


Scripture Readings

Movable Calendar (Pascalion):

Thursday of the Thirty-Fifth Week

Epistle:

The Reading is from the First General Epistle of Saint John [§ 74]. Beloved:

4 20If anyone should say, “I love God,” and be hating his brother, he is a liar; for the one not loving his brother whom he hath seen, how is he able to love God Whom he hath not seen? 21And this commandment have we from Him, that the one loving God, be loving his brother also.

5 1Everyone who believeth that Jesus is the Christ hath been born of God; and everyone who loveth Him Who begat loveth also him who hath been begotten of Him. 2In this we know that we love the children of God, whenever we love God and keep His commandments. 3For this is the love of God, that we be keeping His commandments. And His commandments are not heavy. 4For everything that hath been born of God overcometh the world. And this is the victory, the victory having overcome the world—our faith. 5Who is the one overcoming the world, if not the one believing that Jesus is the Son of God? 6This is the One Who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ; not in the water only, but in the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the One Who beareth witness, because the Spirit is the truth. 7For there are three bearing witness in the heaven: the Father, the Logos, and the Holy Spirit; and these Three are One. 8And there are three bearing witness in the earth: the Spirit, and the water, and the blood; and the three are for the one. 9If we receive the witness of man, the witness of God is greater; for this is the testimony of God which He hath testified concerning His Son. 10The one believing in the Son of God hath the witness in himself; the one not believing God hath made Him a liar, because he hath not believed in the testimony which God hath testified concerning His Son. 11And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12The one having the Son hath the life; the one not having the Son of God hath not the life.

13I am writing these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and in order that ye may believe in the name of the Son of God. 14And this is the boldness which we have toward Him, that if we be asking anything for ourselves according to His will, He heareth us. 15And if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we may be asking for ourselves, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him. 16If anyone should see his brother sinning a sin not unto death, he shall ask, and He shall give life to him, for those that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death; not concerning that do I say one should make request. 17All unrighteousness is sin; and there is a sin not unto death. 18We know that everyone who hath been born of God sinneth not, but the one who was born of God keepeth himself, and the evil one doth not take hold of him. 19We know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in the evil one. 20But we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, in order that we may know Him Who is true; and we are in the true One, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and Life Eternal.

21Little children, guard yourselves from the idols. Amen.

Gospel:

The Reading is from the Holy Gospel according to Saint Mark [§ 66]. At that time:

15 1The chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole sanhedrin, and bound Jesus, and carried Him away, and delivered Him up to Pilate. 2And Pilate questioned Him, “Thou art the King of the Jews?” And He answered and said to him, “Thou sayest.” 3And the chief priests were accusing Him of many things, but He answered nothing. 4And Pilate was questioning Him again, saying, “Answerest Thou nothing? Behold how many things they bear witness against Thee.” 5But Jesus answered nothing any more, so that Pilate marvelled. 6Now at the feast he used to release to them one prisoner, whomsoever they were asking for themselves. 7And there was one called Barabbas, who had been bound with fellow insurrectionists who had committed murder in the sedition. 8And the crowd, having cried out, began to ask him to do even as he always used to do for them. 9But Pilate answered them, saying, “Do ye wish that I release to you the King of the Jews?” 10For he was perceiving that the chief priests had delivered Him up by reason of envy. 11But the chief priests stirred up the crowd, in order that he should rather release Barabbas to them. 12And Pilate answered and said again to them, “What do ye wish then that I should do to Him Whom ye call King of the Jews?” 13And they cried out again, “Crucify Him.” 14But Pilate was saying to them, “Why, what evil did He do?” And they cried out more exceedingly, “Crucify Him.” 15And Pilate, willing to do that which was satisfactory to the crowd, released Barabbas to them; and he delivered up Jesus, after he scourged Him, in order that He might be crucified.

Fixed Calendar:

The commemoration of the Afterfeast of the Meeting of the Lord, and our holy father, Parthenios, Bishop of Lampsakos on the Hellespont, and our holy Father Luke of Hellas.

No readings given.


Lives of the Saints
(Prologue)

February 20th - Civil Calendar
February 7th - Church Calendar

1. St Parthenius, Bishop of Lampsacus.

He was the son of a deacon from the city of Melitopolis. He knew the words of the Gospel by heart from his early youth, and strove to fulfill them. Settling beside a lake, he caught fish, sold them and shared the proceeds with the poor. By God's providence, he was chosen as bishop of Lampsacus. He cleansed the city of paganism, closed the temples dedicated to idol-worship, built many churches and strengthened the faithful. He healed all manner of sickness through prayer, and was especially powerful over spirits. At one time when he was about to drive the evil spirit out of a madman, the evil spirit begged him not to. 'I will give you another man, into whom you can enter and in whom you can dwell', Parthenius told him. 'And who is that man?' 'I am he.', replied the saint, 'Come and make your abode in me'. Hearing this, the evil spirit fled as though burned by fire, crying out: 'How can I enter into the house of God?' St Parthenius lived long and showed in his deeds the greatness of his love for God and man. He entered into the eternal peace of Christ in the 4th century.

2. Our Holy Father Luke of Hellas.

Luke was born in Castorius. Even as a child, he had no desire to taste meat, and spent the whole of his life in purity and prayer. One day he went to sow his field with wheat. On the way, he gave the greater part of the wheat to a poor man and the lesser part, which remained to him, he sowed. God provided that, from this small amount of seed, there came a greater harvest than had previously come from the whole amount. After that, Luke ran away from his mother and entered a monastery. His widowed mother prayed ardently to God to reveal to her where her son was to be found, and God heard her prayer. The abbot of that monastery dreamed three times in succession that a woman was vehemently accusing him of having taken her only son. The abbot then ordered Luke to return at once to his mother. Luke went and saw his mother, but once again left her, this time for good. He laboured on a mountain called 'John's Mountain'. He prayed at night and worked in the gardens and fields by day, not for himself but for the poor and the visitors, himself living only on barley bread. He was endowed by God with wonder-working gifts, and entered peacefully into rest in the year 946. From time to time, myrrh flowed from his relics.

3. Our Holy Mother Mastridia.

She lived a life of great asceticism in Jerusalem. A young man who saw her began to pester her, so to save them both from sin she took some soaked beans in a basket and went off into the desert. There she spent seventeen years, during which time, by the power of God, the beans did not come to an end nor her clothing wear out. She entered peacefully into rest in about 580.

4. The Thousand and Three Martyrs of Nicomedia

They suffered in the reign of Diocletian.

FOR CONSIDERATION

St Isidore of Pelusium interprets certain words from Holy Scripture: 'Of two grinding grain, the one shall be taken and the other left' (Matt. 24:41), to mean that many will give themselves to the spiritual life, but with very different dispositions; one sincerely and steadily, another slackly and conceitedly. The first will be taken into the Kingdom of God, and the second left. What is the meaning of the Lord's prayer about the Cup? Why did the Lord beg that the cup of suffering should pass from Him (Matt. 26:42)? It means that no one should seek danger, but that, when it comes, a Christian must accept and endure it courageously.

On the five foolish virgins (Matt. 25), St Isidore says: 'They all kept their virginity, but had no other virtues, such as that of compassion. Virginity by itself is not sufficient for entry into the Kingdom of God. Virginity is of no use if the virgin is filled with pride and self seeking.'


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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