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Daily Devotional

Sunday, January 19, 2020 (NS)
January 6, 2020 (OS)


Commemorations

Movable Calendar (Pascalion):

Sunday of the Thirty-First Week

Mode Plagal Two — Ninth Eothinon

Fixed Calendar:

The commemoration of the holy Theophany of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ.


Fasting Information

No Fasting.


Scripture Readings

Movable Calendar (Pascalion):

Sunday of the Thirty-First Week

Mode Plagal Two — Ninth Eothinon

Epistle:

The Reading is from the First Epistle of Saint Paul to Timothy [§ mid 280]. Child Timothy:

1 15Faithful is the saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am first. 16But for this cause I was shown mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all long-suffering, for a pattern to those who are about to believe on Him to life everlasting. 17Now to the King of the ages, incorruptible, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory, to the ages of the ages. Amen.

Gospel:

The Reading is from the Holy Gospel according to Saint Matthew [§ 62]. At that time:

15 21Jesus withdrew into the parts of Tyre and Sidon. 22And behold, a Cananæan woman came out from those borders, and cried out to Him, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is badly possessed by a demon.” 23But He answered her not a word. And His disciples came and were beseeching Him, saying, “Dismiss her, for she crieth aloud after us.” 24And He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the sheep, the lost of the house of Israel.” 25But she came and kept on making obeisance to Him, saying, “O Lord, help me.” 26And He answered and said, “It is not good to take the bread of the children, and to cast it to the little dogs.” 27But she said, “Yes, Lord, indeed even the little dogs eat from the little crumbs which fall from the table of their masters.” 28Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is thy faith! Let it be to thee as thou wilt.” And her daughter was healed from that hour.

Fixed Calendar:

The commemoration of the holy Theophany of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ.

Epistle:

The Reading is from the Epistle of Saint Paul to Saint Titus [§ 302]. Child Titus:

2 11The grace of God which bringeth salvation appeared to all men, 12instructing us that, after we deny impiety and worldly lusts, we should live in the present age soberly and righteously and piously, 13waiting for the happy hope and appearance of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14Who gave Himself for us, in order that He might ransom us for Himself from all lawlessness and might purify to Himself a people for a private possession, zealous of good works....

3 4But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward mankind appeared— 5not by works which we did in righteousness, but according to His mercy—He saved us through the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6Whom He poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7that having been justified by the grace of this One, we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Gospel:

In the Orthros

The Reading is from the Holy Gospel according to Saint Mark [§ 2]. In those days:

1 9Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10And straightway, coming up from the water, He saw the heavens being parted, and the Spirit as a dove descending upon Him; 11and there came to be a voice out of the heavens, “Thou art My Son, the Beloved, in Thee I am well pleased.”

In the Liturgy

The Reading is from the Holy Gospel according to Saint Matthew [§ 6]. At that time:

3 13Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. 14But John was trying to hinder Him, saying, “I have need to be baptized by Thee, and comest Thou to me?” 15But Jesus answered and said to him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is becoming for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he permitteth Him. 16And Jesus, having been baptized, went up straightway from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and coming upon Him. 17And behold, there came to be a voice out of the heavens, saying, “This is My Son, the Beloved, in Whom I am well pleased.”


Lives of the Saints
(Prologue)

January 19th — Civil Calendar
January 6th — Church Calendar

1. The Theophany.

The
  Theophany.When the Lord Jesus had lived for thirty years from His birth in the flesh, He began His teaching and saving work. He marked this very beginning of the beginning by His Baptism in the Jordan. St Cyril of Jerusalem says: ‘The beginning of the world—water; the beginning of the Gospel—the Jordan.’ At the Baptism of the Lord in the water, that mystery was revealed to the world that was predicted in the Old Testament and fabled in ancient Egypt and India—the mystery of the Holy Trinity of God. The Father revealed Himself to the sense of hearing, the Spirit to the sense of sight and the Son, further beyond these, to the sense of touch. The Father gave His testimony of the Son, the Son was baptized in the waters and the Holy Spirit, in the form of a dove, hovered over the waters. And when John the Baptist bore witness of Christ and said: ‘Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world’ (Jn. 1:29), and when he immersed the Lord in the Jordan and baptized Him, there were thus revealed both the mission of Christ in the world and the path of our salvation. That is to say: Christ takes upon Himself the sin of the whole human race. He dies under it (the immersion) and rises again (the coming up out of the water), and we must die to the old, sinful man and rise again, cleansed, renewed and re-born. Here is the Savior and here is the way of salvation. The Feast of the Theophany is also called the Feast of Lights. The word Theophany means the revelation of God.

FOR CONSIDERATION

In some periods the fables of heretics vexed the Church of God. but now she is vexed by the fables of unbelievers. By endurance in the Faith, by diligent prayer, by witness and even by martyrdom—only by these things will this new vexation be brought to naught. And the Church of God, the vessel of the truth of God, will triumph in the end, for the enemy will lose his weapons (Ps. 9:6). Blessed Clement of Alexandria says about heretics who left the Church: ‘He who falls into heresy wanders through a dry desert, forsaking the one, true God. Separated from God, he seeks water in the arid wastes and moves into an uninhabited and thirsty land.’ The same can be said today of many who, studying hypotheses and theories, are guided by figments of their own imagination and not by the truth of God.


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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