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Daily Devotional

Monday, August 20, 2018 (NS)
August 7, 2018 (OS)


Commemorations

Movable Calendar (Pascalion):

Monday of the Thirteenth Week

Fixed Calendar:

The commemoration of the Afterfeast of the Transfiguration, and the holy martyred Monk Dometios of Persia and his two disciples.


Fasting Information

Fast day. No Meat, Fish, or Dairy Allowed.


Scripture Readings

Movable Calendar (Pascalion):

Monday of the Thirteenth Week

Epistle:

The Reading is from the Second Epistle of Saint Paul to the Corinthians[§ 186]. Brethren:

8 7Even as ye abound in everything-in faith, and in word, and in knowledge, and in all earnestness, and in accordance with your love in us-see that ye be abounding in this grace also. 8I speak not by command, but as proving through the earnestness of others, the genuineness also of your love; 9for ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that being rich, He became poor for your sakes, that ye might become rich by the poverty of that One. 10And in this I give advice; for this is profitable for you, who began before not only to do, but also to will from last year. 11But now also accomplish the doing of it, that even as there was the readiness to will, so there may be the accomplishment also out of that which ye are able. 12For if the readiness is present, it is acceptable according to what one may have, not according to what one doth not have. 13For it is not that for others there may be ease and for you pressure; 14but in accordance with equality in the present time: your abundance for their want, that their abundance also might be for your want, so that there might come to be an equality- 15even as it hath been written: "The one who gathered much had nothing over; and the one who gathered little had no lack[cf. Ex. 16:18]."

Gospel:

The Reading is from the Holy Gospel according to Saint Mark [§ 11]. At that time:

3 6The Pharisees were holding counsel with the Herodians against Jesus, how they might destroy Him.

7And Jesus withdrew with His disciples to the sea; and a great multitude from Galilee followed Him, and from Judæa, 8and from Jerusalem, and from Idumæa, and from beyond the Jordan; and they about Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude, after they heard how much He was doing, came to Him. 9And He told His disciples that a small ship should be waiting on Him on account of the crowd, lest they should press hard upon Him. 10For He cured many; insomuch that they fell upon Him that they might touch Him for themselves, as many as had scourges. 11And the spirits, the unclean ones, whenever they beheld Him, were falling down before Him and crying out, saying, "Thou art the Son of God." 12And He was strictly warning them very much that they should not make Him manifest.

Fixed Calendar:

The commemoration of the Afterfeast of the Transfiguration, and the holy martyred Monk Dometios of Persia and his two disciples.

Epistle:

The Reading is from the Second Epistle of Saint Paul to Saint Timothy [§ 291]. Child Timothy:

1 8Do thou not become ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor me His prisoner, but suffer hardship with the Gospel, according to God's power, 9Who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before the ages of time, 10but now hath been made manifest by the appearance of our Savior Jesus Christ, Who brought death to nought indeed and brought to light life and incorruption through the Gospel, 11to which I was appointed a herald and apostle and teacher of nations. 12For which cause I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know Whom I have believed, and have been persuaded that He is able to guard the deposit entrusted to me until that day. 13Keep on holding fast an outline of sound words which thou heardest from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. 14Guard thou the good deposit entrusted to thee through the Holy Spirit indwelling in us.

15This thou knowest, that all they who are in Asia were turned away from me, of whom are Phygellos and Hermogenes. 16May the Lord grant mercy to the house of Onesiphoros, for many times he refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain; 17but having been in Rome, he sought me out most diligently and found me- 18may the Lord grant him to find mercy from the Lord in that day-and in how many things he ministered in Ephesus thou knowest better than I need say.

for Sl. usage, see [Eph. 6:10-17].

Gospel:

For the Afterfeast:

The Reading is from the Holy Gospel according to Saint Mark [§ 38]. At that time:

9 2Jesus taketh along with Him Peter and Iakovos and John, and bringeth them up alone into a high mountain in private; and He was transfigured before them. 3And His garments became shining, exceedingly white as snow, such as no fuller on the earth is able to whiten. 4And Elias appeared to them with Moses; and they were talking together with Jesus. 5And Peter answering, saith to Jesus, "Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles: one for Thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias." 6For he knew not what he should say, for they were greatly afraid. 7And there came to be a cloud overshadowing them. And a voice came to be out of the cloud, saying, "This is My Son, the Beloved; be hearing Him." 8And suddenly, after they looked round about, they saw no one any more, but Jesus alone with themselves. 9And as they came down from the mountain, He gave them express orders that they should relate to no one what they saw, except whenever the Son of Man should rise from the dead.

For the martyred Monk:

The Reading is from the Holy Gospel according to Saint John [§ 52]. The Lord said to His disciples:

15 17"These things I command you, that ye be loving one another.

18"If the world hate you, ye know that it hath hated Me before it hath hated you. 19"If ye were of the world, the world would love its own; but because ye are not of the world-but I chose you for Myself out of the world-therefore the world hateth you. 20"Keep on remembering the word which I said to you, 'A slave is not greater than his lord.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. 21"But all these things they will do to you for My name's sake, because they know not the One Who sent Me. 22"If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin, but now they have no pretext for their sin. 23"The one who hateth Me hateth My Father also. 24"If I did not do the works among them which no other one hath done, they would not have sin; but now they have both seen and hated both Me and My Father. 25"But this cometh to pass that the word might be fulfilled which hath been written in their law: 'They hated Me without a cause [cf. Ps. 34(35):22, 68(69):5(4)].' 26"But whenever the Paraclete should come, Whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of the truth Who proceedeth from the Father, that One shall bear witness concerning Me. 27"And ye also are bearing witness, because ye have been with Me from the beginning.

16 1"These things I have spoken to you, in order that ye should not be made to stumble. 2"They shall put you out of the synagogues; yea moreover, there cometh an hour that everyone who killeth you should think that he offereth God a service."


Lives of the Saints
(Prologue)

August 20th – Civil Calendar
August 7th - Church Calendar

1. Our Holy Father, the Martyr Dometius.

Born a pagan in Persia in the time of the Emperor Constantine, he came to know the Christian faith as a young man, forsook his paganism and received baptism. He was so enchanted with the true Faith that he left all worldly things and became a monk in a monastery near the town of Nisibis. He lived among the brethren for some time, then withdrew into silence, going to Archimandrite Urbel, of whom it is said that, for sixty years, he never ate anything cooked. Urbel made him a deacon, but, when he wanted to make him a priest, Dometian fled to a distant mountain and settled in a cave there. He attained such perfection through fasting, prayer, vigils and meditation that he was able to heal the sick. When Julian the Apostate came to that place, he heard of Dometius and sent men to wall him up alive in the cave, with two of his disciples. Thus died this saint of God, in 363, and went to the Kingdom of God.

2. Our Holy Father Or.

A solitary of the Thebaid, he achieved great perfection through very great asceticism. When he had become established in stability and dedicated to solitude, he founded several monasteries one after the other, and was an outstanding spiritual guide and the instructor of many monks. Rufinus, who visited him, writes thus of him: 'In appearance, he is like an angel of God; an old man of ninety with a long, snow-white beard. The impression left by his presence is delightful. His gaze is imbued with a more than human radiance.' He strove never to tell a lie, saw angels of God many times and also underwent great temptations from demons, but soberly and courageously overcame them all. He received Communion every day. Once, one of his disciples reminded him that Pascha had come, and that he must celebrate it. Hearing this, he went outside, raised his hands to heaven and spent three days in unbroken prayer. Then he explained to his disciples: 'This is the monk's celebration of Pascha: the lifting up of the mind to unity with God.' He entered into rest in great old age in about 390.

3. The Holy Martyrs Marinus and Asterius.

The first was a soldier and the second a Roman senator. In the time of the Emperor Gallienus, holy Marinus was serving as a soldier in Caesarea in Palestine. He was beheaded for his Christian faith. The senator Asterius was watching his suffering, himself being a Christian. He took off his toga, wrapped the martyr's body in it, took the body on his shoulders and bore it away to give it burial. Pagans who witnessed this beheaded him also. They suffered with honour for Christ in about 260.

4. Our Holy Father Pimen the Much-Ailing.

He was sickly from his youth, and from his youth desired monasticism. Brought to the Monastery of the Caves for healing, he remained there till his death. He prayed more for sickness than for health. One night, angels appeared to him and tonsured him as a monk, telling him at the same time that he would be sick until his death, and would be healed at that moment. And so it was; he lay sick for twenty years, working wonders even during his lifetime and being possessed of a rare gift of discernment. At the time of his death, he got up from his bed completely healed, immediately prepared his grave and entered into rest in the Lord, in the year 1110.

5. The Hieromartyr Narcissus, Patriarch of Jerusalem.

He was beheaded in the time of Antoninus, in the year 211, at the age of a hundred and sixteen.

FOR CONSIDERATION

Do not either fret yourself about the righteous or be envious of sinners. Remember always that the Lord Jesus Christ, by His Resurrection, triumphed over a shameful death and that Herod, Judas, Nero, Julian the Apostate, Valerian, Leo the Armenian and other of Christ's opponents, obliterated for ever by a shameful death their transitory success and victory. St Narcissus the Patriarch was slandered by envious men, who spread abroad that he had lost his chastity. The innocent Narcissus went off into the desert and spent many years in silence and patient waiting on God, for Him to bring about His will. Three patriarchs followed him, and only then did men come forward to give clear proof of his innocence, and he was urged by everyone to return from the desert to his throne. Thus God justified the righteous man.

The bloody Emperor Valerian slaughtered Christians through out the world with satanic passion. And how did he end? In battle with the Persians, he was overcome and captured by King Sapor. Sapor did not choose to kill him at once, but used him as a mounting-block when he rode out on horseback. Every day, servants brought Valerian along with the horses, and Sapor amused himself by standing on the neck of the Roman Emperor in order more easily to spring onto his horse. He who sows an evil seed will reap an evil harvest.


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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