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Daily Devotional

Tuesday, January 22, 2019 (NS)
January 9, 2019 (OS)


Commemorations

Movable Calendar (Pascalion):

Tuesday of the Thirty-Fifth Week

Fixed Calendar:

The commemoration of the Afterfeast of Theophany, and the holy Martyr Polyefktos of Melitene in Armenia, and the holy Metropolitan Philip of Moscow and All Russia, the new confessor.


Fasting Information

No Fasting.


Scripture Readings

Movable Calendar (Pascalion):

Tuesday of the Thirty-Fifth Week

Epistle:

The Reading is from the Epistle of Saint Paul to the Ephesians [§ 230]. Brethren:

For Gk. usage, see Eph. 5:20-25; for Sl. usage, Eph. 5:20-26.

5 20Keep on giving thanks always for all things to the God and Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21subordinating yourselves to one another in the fear of Christ.

22Wives, be subordinating yourselves to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23For the husband is head of the wife, as also the Christ is head of the Church, and is Himself Savior of the body. 24But even as the Church subordinateth herself to the Christ, so also the wives to their own husbands in everything. 25Husbands, be loving your own wives, even as the Christ also loved the Church, and gave Himself up for her, 26in order that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her in the laver of the water with the word.

Gospel:

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

3 23Jesus Himself was about thirty years old when He began, being, as was supposed, a son of Joseph, the son of Eli, 24the son of Matthan, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Joanna, the son of Joseph, 25the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos, the son of Naum, the son of Esli, the son of Nangai, 26the son of Maath, the son of Mattathias, the son of Semei, the son of Josech, the son of Juda, 27the son of Joannan, the son of Resa, the son of Zorobabel, the son of Salathiel, the son of Neri, 28the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Kosam, the son of Elmodam, the son of Er, 29the son of Jose, the son of Eliezer, the son of Joreim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, 30the son of Symeon, the son of Juda, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonan, the son of Eliakeim, 31the son of Melea, the son of Mainan, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, the son of David, 32the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Booz, the son of Salmon, the son of Naason, 33the son of Aminadab, the son of Aram, the son of Joram, the son of Esrom, the son of Phares, the son of Juda, 34the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Thara, the son of Nachor, 35the son of Saruch, the son of Ragav, the son of Phalek, the son of Ever, the son of Sala, 36the son of Kainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Sem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, 37the son of Mathusala, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Maleleel, the son of Kainan, 38the son of Enos, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.

4 1And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan, and was being led in the Spirit into the wilderness.

Fixed Calendar:

The commemoration of the Afterfeast of Theophany, and the holy Martyr Polyefktos of Melitene in Armenia, and the holy Metropolitan Philip of Moscow and All Russia, the new confessor.

Epistle:

For the Martyr:

The Reading is from the Second Epistle of Saint Paul to Saint Timothy[§ 292]. Child Timothy:

2 1Be thou empowered in the grace that is in Christ Jesus; 2and the things which thou heardest from me in the midst of many witnesses, commit thou these things to faithful men who shall be competent also to teach others. 3Thou therefore suffer hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 4No one serving as a soldier is entangled with the affairs of life, in order that he might please the one who enlisted him. 5And if anyone also contend as an athlete in the games, he is not crowned unless he contend lawfully. 6The farmer who laboreth must be first to partake of the fruits. 7Be considering what I say; O may the Lord give thee understanding in all things! 8Be remembering Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, Who hath been raised from the dead, according to my Gospel, 9in which I suffer hardship even to bonds as a malefactor, but the word of God hath not been bound. 10On this account I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they might also attain salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

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 Mid-feast:

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."

12And straightway, the Spirit driveth Him forth into the desert. 13And He was there in the desert forty days, being tempted by Satan; and He was with the wild beasts; and the angels were ministering to Him.

14Now after John was delivered up, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the Gospel of the kingdom of God, 15and saying, "The time hath been fulfilled, and the kingdom of God hath drawn near; repent ye and believe ye in the Gospel."

For the Hierarch:

The Reading is from the Holy Gospel according to Saint John [§ 36]. The Lord said to the Jews who had come to Him:

10 9"I am the door; by Me if anyone should enter, he shall be saved, and shall go in and go out and find pasture. 10"The thief cometh not, except that he might steal, and slay, and destroy. I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly. 11"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd layeth down his life for the sheep. 12"But the hireling, who indeed is not a shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep and fleeth; and the wolf seizeth them and scattereth the sheep. 13"Now the hireling fleeth, because he is a hireling and careth not about the sheep. 14"I am the good shepherd; and I know those that are Mine, and am known of those that are Mine. 15"Even as the Father knoweth Me, I also know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. 16"And I have other sheep which are not of this fold; them also it is needful for Me to bring, and they shall hear My voice; and there shall be one flock and one Shepherd."


Lives of the Saints
(Prologue)

January 22nd - Civil Calendar
January 9th - Church Calendar

1. The Holy Martyr Polyeuctus.

The Armenian town of Melitene was soaked in Christian blood, as was all the land of Armenia. The first blood shed for Christ in that town was that of St Polyeuctus, spilled in about the year 259, during the reign of Valerian. There were in the town two friends who were officers: Nearchus and Polyeuctus, the former baptized and the latter unbaptized. When a decree went out from the Emperor that all Christians were to be killed, Nearchus prepared himself for death, though with great sorrow at not having brought his friend Polyeuctus to the true Faith. When Polyeuctus became aware of Nearchus' sorrow, he promised to become a believer. On the following day, he related to Nearchus a dream that he had: the Lord Himself had appeared to him in light, stripped his old clothing from him, clothed him in new and shining raiment and set him upon the saddle of a winged horse. After relating this dream, Polyeuctus went off to the town, tore up the royal decree on the persecution of Christians and smashed many statues of idols. He was tortured and condemned to death. On the way to the place of execution, he caught sight of Nearchus in the crowd and called joyfully to him: 'Save your soul, my dear soul-friend! Remember the vow of love confirmed between us!' And St Nearchus later ended a martyr for Christ in the fire. His feast is on April 22nd.

2. Our Holy Father Eustratius.

A native of Tarsus, he was a great ascetic and man of prayer. During seventy-five years of monastic life, he never lay on his left side to sleep, but always on his right. In church, he repeated over to himself throughout the service: 'Lord, have mercy'. He died at the age of 95.

3. St Philip, Metropolitan of Moscow.

Born on February 11th, 1507, he was standing one day in church, while still a young man, when he heard the priest read from the Gospel the words: No man can serve two masters (Matt. 6:24). He was filled with awe at these words, as though they were said to him alone, and was enlightened in that same moment. He went off to the monastery of Solovetzk, where, after a long and hard novitiate, he received the monastic habit. In time he became abbot, and resplendent as the sun in holiness, became known throughout the land of Russia. Because of this, Tsar Ivan the Terrible translated him to the vacant See of Moscow as Metropolitan in 1566. But the holy man could not witness with indifference the atrocities of that terrible Tsar, but counseled him strongly and then fearlessly denounced him. The Tsar found false witnesses against Philip, dismissed him, stripped him of all but his simple monastic rank and imprisoned him at Tver. On December 23rd, 1569, Malyuta Skhuratov, an emissary of the Tsar, came into Philip's cell and suffocated him with a pillow. But a horrible death quickly overtook all who had opposed Philip.

After some years, the body of the saint was found to be whole and uncorrupt, and giving off a very beautiful fragrance. It was transferred to the monastery of Solovetzk.

FOR CONSIDERATION

The Orthodox Church, in teaching men perfect love, at the same time teaches them perfect obedience, from which flow both order and harmony among the faithful. The bishops owe obedience to the Lord, the priests to the bishops and the faithful to the one and the other. St Ignatius writes about this: It is your duty to obey without hypocrisy; he who would deceive his visible bishop would scorn also the Invisible ... I beg you, take care to fulfil all in the unity of God, under the guidance of your bishops, who occupy the place of God, and the priests, who constitute the assembly of the Apostles ... not thinking that whatever may seem to you to be right, that should you do on your own, in isolation.

The Orthodox have always accepted this, but when the bishop preaches anything other than true Orthodoxy, the faithful are admonished by the testimony of the Apostles, who were contemporaries of St Ignatios, that they must not be obedient to disobedience. The faithful have, in such instances, ousted the bishop and replaced him with one who is Orthodox.


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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