Today’s Scripture Readings
Vespers, 1st Reading: Composite 2 – Proverbs 10, 3, 8
The memory of the righteous is with praise and the blessing of the Lord is upon his head. Blessed is the man who has found wisdom and the mortal who has understanding. For it is better to purchase her than treasuries of gold and silver. She is more precious than precious stones and all that is precious is unworthy of her. For length of days and years of life are in her right hand; and in her left hand are riches and glory. Out of her mouth proceeds righteousness and she bears law and mercy upon her tongue. Hear me, O child, for I will speak noble things. Blessed is the man who keeps my ways, for my ways are the ways of life, and in them is prepared favor from the Lord. Therefore, I pray thee, and utter my voice to the sons of men: For I, wisdom, have dwelt with counsel and knowledge and I have called upon understanding. Counsel and safety are mine, understanding and strength are mine. I love those who love me and those seeking me shall find grace. Understand craftiness, O you who are simple, and imbibe knowledge, you who are untaught. Hear me again, for I will speak noble things: I will open my mouth and from my lips shall come what is right. For my throat shall meditate truth; false lips are an abomination before me. All the words of my mouth are righteous; there is nothing in them that is twisted or perverse. They are all straight to him who understands and right to those who find knowledge. I shall instruct you in truth, so that your hope will be in the Lord and you shall be filled with the Spirit.
Vespers, 2nd Reading: Composite 4 –
Proverbs 10; Wisdom of Solomon 6, 7, 8, 9
The mouth of the righteous bringeth forth wisdom; the lips of the wise man know grace. The mouth of the wise speaketh wisdom, and the truth delivereth them from death. If a righteous man dies, hope doth not, for the son of the righteous is born to life, and in his own good things he acquireth the fruit of righteousness. There is always light for the righteous and they obtain grace and glory from the Lord. The tongue of the wise is a good sister-in-law, and in their hearts resteth wisdom. The Lord loveth the hearts of the holy, and acceptable to Him are all the undefiled in the way. The wisdom of the Lord illumineth the faces of the wise. For she takes hold of those desiring her by making herself first known to them. She is easily seen by those who love her. He who rises early to seek her shall have no difficulty, and those keeping vigil for the sake of her shall quickly be without sorrows. For she goeth about seeking those worthy of her, and graciously revealeth herself in the pathways. Against wisdom evil doth not prevail. Therefore I was a lover of her beauty; I loved her and sought her out from my youth. I desired to make her my bride, and even the Master of All loved her. For she is an initiate in the knowledge of God, and a discoverer of His works. Her labors are virtues, for she teaches temperance and prudence, justice and courage; nothing in life is more necessary for men than these. And if anyone desireth much knowledge, she knoweth the things of old, and beholdeth things to come; she understandeth turns of speech and the solution of riddles; she has foreknowledge of signs and wonders and the outcome of times and seasons. She is a mediator of good things for all, for immortality is in her, and glory in the company of her words. Therefore I appealed to the Lord and prayed to Him, and said to Him with all my heart: “O God of my fathers and Lord of mercy, Who hast made all things by Thy word, and by Thy wisdom hast fashioned man that he should have dominion over the creatures made by Thee, that he should rule the world in holiness and righteousness: Give me wisdom that sits by Thy throne, and cast me not away from among Thy children, for I am Thy servant and the son of Thy handmaid. Send her forth from the heavens, from Thy holy abode, and from the throne of Thy glory, that she may be with me, and instruct me in what is pleasing to Thee. And she shall guide me in understanding, and preserve me in her glory. For the thoughts of mortals are miserable, and their intentions likely to fail.”
Vespers, 3rd Reading: Composite 5 – Wisdom of Solomon 4, 6, 7, 2
When the righteous is praised, the people rejoice: For his memory is immortality, since it is known both by the Lord and by men, for his soul was pleasing to the Lord. Therefore love wisdom, O men, and live. Desire her and be instructed: For her beginning is love and the keeping of her laws. Honor wisdom that you may reign forever. I will tell you and not hide the mysteries of God from you. For He is the Guide of wisdom, the Corrector of the wise and the Artisan of all thoughts and deeds. Wisdom will teach with all understanding: For in her is a Spirit, intelligent and holy, the Radiance of the Everlasting Light and the Image of the Grace of God. She fashions friends of God and prophets. For she is more beautiful than the sun and above all the order of the stars. Compared with the light she is found to be first. She delivered from infirmities those pleasing her and guided them on the paths of righteousness. She gave to them understanding to be holy and to preserve them from those who would ensnare them, and she granted them strength in struggles, so that all might understand that the most powerful of all is piety, and that evil might not prevail against wisdom, nor judgment pass away without convicting the wicked. Having reasoned unrighteously, they said to themselves, “Let us oppress the righteous man and not spare his venerableness, nor let us be ashamed of the gray hairs of the old man of many years. But let our might be our law and let us seize the righteous, because he is inconvenient to us and is opposed to our deeds; he reproaches us for apostasy against the law and divulges the sins of our training. “He declares to us to have knowledge of God and calls himself a child of the Lord. He became to us a reproof of our thoughts; the very sight of him is a burden to us, because his life is unlike that of others, and his ways are very different. We are considered by him to be an insult, and he avoids our ways as unclean; he calls the end of the righteous blessed. “Let us see if his words are true; let us test him to see what will happen to him. Let us torment him with revilement and tortures, that we may understand his meekness and test his guilelessness. Let us condemn him to a shameful death, for, according to his own words, he shall be respected.” Thus they reasoned, but were deceived, for their wickedness blinded them. They did not know the mysteries of God, nor did they discern that Thou alone art God, having the power of life and death: Who savest in times of affliction and deliverest from every evil; Who art compassionate and merciful, granting Grace to His venerable ones, and opposing the proud with His arm.
Matins Gospel Reading: John 10:9-16
I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.
Epistle, Saint Reading: Galatians 1:11-19
But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ. For you have heard of my former conduct in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it. And I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my own nation, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers. But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went to Arabia, and returned again to Damascus. Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and remained with him fifteen days. But I saw none of the other apostles except James, the Lord’s brother.
Gospel, Saint Reading: John 10:1-9
Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” Jesus used this illustration, but they did not understand the things which He spoke to them. Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.
Epistle Reading: Acts 4:1-10
Now as they spoke to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came upon them, being greatly disturbed that they taught the people and preached in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. And they laid hands on them, and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening. However, many of those who heard the word believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand. And it came to pass, on the next day, that their rulers, elders, and scribes, as well as Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the family of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem. And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, “By what power or by what name have you done this?” Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders of Israel: If we this day are judged for a good deed done to a helpless man, by what means he has been made well, let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole.
Gospel Reading: John 3:16-21
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”
Saints and Feasts celebrated today
- Day of Rejoicing
- Commemoration of the Apparition of the Sign of the Precious Cross Over
Jerusalem, in 351 AD
- Repose of St Alexis Toth the confessor and defender of Orthodoxy in America
- Martyr Acacius the Centurion at Byzantium
- Repose of the Venerable Nilus the Abbot of Sora
- St. John Zedazeni of Zaden, in Georgia with his 12 Disciples
- Venerable Nilus the Myrrhgusher of Lavra of Mount Athos
- Monkmartyr Pachomius of Mt Athos
- Icon of the Mother of God of Zhirovits
- Icon of the Mother of God of Lubech
- St. Akaki Asistavi of Georgia
- Martyr Quadratus and his companions
Today’s Fasting Guidelines
Today is Fast Free
No fasting restrictions