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Daily Devotional

Saturday, October 19, 2019 (NS)
October 6, 2019 (OS)


Commemorations

Movable Calendar (Pascalion):

Saturday of the Eighteenth Week

Fixed Calendar:

The commemoration of the holy Apostle Thomas.


Fasting Information

No Fasting.


Scripture Readings

Movable Calendar (Pascalion):

Saturday of the Eighteenth Week

Epistle:

The Reading is from the First Epistle of Saint Paul to the Corinthians[§ 162]. Brethren:

15 39Not all flesh is the same flesh, but there is indeed one kind of flesh of men, and another of beasts, and another of fish, and another of birds. 40And there are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies; but indeed, the glory of the heavenly is one thing, and that of the earthly is another. 41There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differeth from star in glory. 42So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. 43It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. 44It is sown an animal body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is an animal body, and there is a spiritual body. 45And so it hath been written: "The first man Adam became a living soul [cf. Gen. 2:7]; the last Adam became a life-creating Spirit."

Gospel:

The Reading is from the Holy Gospel according to Saint Luke [§ 20]. At that time:

5 27 When Jesus passed by, He saw a tax collector, by name Levi, sitting at the custom-house. And He said to him, "Follow thou Me." 28And he left all, rose up, and followed Him. 29And Levi made a great reception for Him in his house. And there was a great crowd of tax collectors and others who were with them reclining at table. 30And their scribes and the Pharisees were murmuring against His disciples, saying, "Why do ye eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?" 31And Jesus answered and said to them, "They who are sound have no need of a physician, but they who are ill. 32"I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."

Fixed Calendar:

The commemoration of the holy Apostle Thomas.

Epistle:

The Reading is from the First Epistle of Saint Paul to the Corinthians [§ 131]. Brethren:

4 9I think that God showed forth us the apostles last, as condemned to death; for we became a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men. 10We are fools for Christ's sake, but ye are wise in Christ. We are weak, but ye are strong. Ye are held in honor, but we are dishonored. 11Until the present hour, we both hunger and thirst, and are naked, and are being buffeted, and never at rest. 12And we toil working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we bear up; 13being evilly spoken of, we beseech. We became as the filth of the world, the off-scouring of all until now. 14I do not write these things shaming you, but admonishing you as my beloved children. 15For if ye have myriads of tutors in Christ,yet ye have not many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I begot you through the Gospel. 16Therefore, I beseech you, keep on becoming imitators of me.

Gospel:

The Reading is from the Holy Gospel according to Saint John [ § 65].

20 19When it was evening on that day, the first of the week-and the doors were closed where the disciples were gathered together for fear of the Jews-Jesus came and stood in the midst, and saith to them, "Peace be to you." 20And after He said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then were the disciples glad, after they saw the Lord. 21Then Jesus said to them again, "Peace be to you; even as the Father hath sent Me forth, I also send you." 22And after He said this, He breathed on them, and saith to them, "Receive ye the Holy Spirit: 23"if ye forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven to them; if ye retain the sins of any, they are retained." 24But Thomas, one of the twelve, who is called Didymos, was not with them when Jesus came. 25The other disciples therefore were saying to him, "We have seen the Lord." But he said to them, "Unless I should see in His hands the mark of the nails, and put my finger into the mark of the nails, and put my hand into His side, in no wise will I believe." 26And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Then cometh Jesus, the doors having been shut, and He stood in the midst, and said, "Peace be to you." 27Then He saith to Thomas, "Bring thy finger here, and behold My hands; and bring thy hand, and put it into My side. And cease being unbelieving, but believing." 28And Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord and my God." 29Jesus said to him, "Because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed; blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed."

30Then indeed Jesus also did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; 31but these things have been written that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing ye may have life in His name.


Lives of the Saints
(Prologue)

October 19th - Civil Calendar
October 6th - Church Calendar

1. The Holy Apostle Thomas.

The Touch of ThomasHe was one of the twelve Great Apostles. Through his doubt of the Resurrection of the Lord Christ, a new confirmation was given of that wonderful and saving event, for the risen Lord appeared again to His disciples, to convince Thomas. The Lord said to Thomas: 'Reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into My side; and be not faithless, but believing', and Thomas cried: 'My Lord and my God! (John 20). After the descent of the Holy Spirit, when the apostles cast lots to see who would go where to preach the Gospel, it fell to Thomas to got to India. He was somewhat saddened at having to go so far away, but the Lord appeared to him and comforted him. In India, St Thomas converted many, both rich and poor, to the Christian faith, and founded a Church there, making priests and bishops. Among others, St Thomas converted two sisters, Tertiana and Mygdonia, wives of Indian princes. Both sisters were ill-treated for their faith by their husbands, who would not live with them after their baptism, and divorced them. Being freed from their marriages, they lived godly lives till their deaths. Dionysius and Pelagia, a couple at first betrothed to each other, heard the Apostle's teaching and did not live together, but devoted themselves to the ascetic life. Pelagia died a martyr for the Faith and Dionysius was made bishop by the Apostle. Prince Misdaeus, the husband of Tertiana, whose wife and son Iuzanes Thomas baptised, condemned the Apostle to death, and sent five soldiers who ran him through with their lances, and thus the holy Apostle Thomas gave his soul into the hands of his Christ. Before his death, he, with the other apostles, was miraculously borne to Jerusalem for the funeral of the most holy Mother of God. Arriving late, he grieved bitterly and, at his request, the tomb of the Most Pure was opened, but the body was not there: the Lord had taken His Mother to His heavenly home. Thus St Thomas first, by his unbelief, confirmed the faith in the Resurrection of the Lord and then, by his late arrival, revealed to us the wondrous glorification of the Mother of God.

2. Our Holy Father, the New Martyr Macarius.

Born in Cion in Bithynia, of Christian parents Peter and Anthusa, he was baptised with the name Manuel. His parents had him taught tailoring as a trade, then his father embraced Islam and moved to Brussa. Once, when Manuel went to Brussa in the course of his work, his father found him and put great pressure on him to follow his example. Manuel refused, but in vain: the Turks circumcised him by force. Then Manuel fled to the Holy Mountain and became a monk in the skete of St Anne, receiving the name Macarius. He was a model monk for twelve years, but his soul could find no peace. 'Whosoever shall deny Me before men, him will I also deny before My Father' (Matt. 10:33) -- these words of Christ's were constantly ringing in Macarius' ears. He therefore resolved, with his elder's blessing, to go to Brussa and openly confess his faith in Christ before the Turks, calling Mahomet a false prophet. After being flogged for a hundred and thirty days and enduring even harsher tortures, he was beheaded with the sword in Brussa on October 6th, 1590. A part of his wonderworking relics is preserved in the skete of St Anne on Mount Athos.

FOR CONSIDERATION

'We have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens' (II Cor. 5:1), says the discerning Apostle Paul. All our labour on earth for God has this one aim: to strive with all our strength to attain to that eternal home not made with hands in the heavens. An Indian king, Gundafor, decided to build himself a magnificent palace, the like of which had never been seen on earth. When his envoy, Havan, sought skilled workers capable of building such a palace for the king, they came, by God's providence, to meet the Apostle Thomas, who told them that he was skilled in such work and that no-one could build the king what he wanted without his, Thomas', help. Thomas therefore received a great sum of gold from the king to build this palace. As soon as he left the king's presence, he gave all the gold away to the poor. After two years, the king sent servants to ask Thomas if the palace was ready, as it was being built at some distance from the capital. Thomas replied: 'All is ready except for the roof', and he asked for more money from the king and was given it. Thomas again gave it all away to the poor and went around the kingdom doing his own work, which was the preaching of the Gospel. The king discovered that Thomas had not even begun to build the palace, so he seized him and threw him into prison. That night, the king's brother died, and the king was grief-stricken. An angel took the dead man's soul and carried it to Paradise, and showed him a wonderful palace such as the mind of man could not imagine. The soul of the dead man wanted to go into that palace, but the angel told him that he could not, as it was the palace that the Apostle Thomas had built for his brother with the alms he had given. Then the angel returned the man's soul to his body. When the man came to himself, he said to the king, his brother: 'Swear that you will give me anything I ask of you.' And the king swore that he would. His brother then said: 'Give me the palace you have in heaven.' The king was amazed, and doubted greatly that there could be any such palace in heaven, but, when his brother explained it all to him, he was convinced and immediately released Thomas from prison. When they heard from the Apostle's lips the words of salvation and eternal life, the king and his brother were both baptised. The king gave himself to further almsgiving, that he might build himself a yet more wonderful palace in heaven.


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.


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