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Readings for Fourth Sunday of Misra


Vespers Psalm

From the Psalms of our teacher David the prophet.
May his blessings be with us all.

Psalms 119:170,176

 170 Let my supplication come before thee:
deliver me according to thy word.
 176 I have gone astray like a lost sheep;
seek thy servant;
for I do not forget thy commandments.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Our Lord God, Savior, and King of us all, Jesus Christ, the Living Son of God to whom be glory forever.

Vespers Gospel

Stand in the fear of God and listen to the Holy Gospel.
A reading from the Gospel according to our teacher Saint Luke the Evangelist.
May His Blessings be with us all.

Luke 17:20-37

Chapter 17
And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:
 21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
 22 And he said unto the disciples, The days will come, when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and ye shall not see it.
 23 And they shall say to you, See here;
or, see there:
go not after them, nor follow them.
 24 For as the lightning, that lighteneth out of the one part under heaven, shineth unto the other part under heaven;
so shall also the Son of man be in his day.
 25 But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation.
 26 And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.
 27 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.
 28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot;
they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;
 29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.
 30 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.
 31 In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away:
and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back.
 32 Remember Lot's wife.
 33 Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it;
and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.
 34 I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed;
the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left.
 35 Two women shall be grinding together;
the one shall be taken, and the other left.
 36 Two men shall be in the field;
the one shall be taken, and the other left.
 37 And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord?
And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.

And Glory be to God forever

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Matins Psalm

From the Psalms of our teacher David the prophet.
May his blessings be with us all.

Psalms 90:1-2

Chapter 90
Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations.
 2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Our Lord God, Savior, and King of us all, Jesus Christ, the Living Son of God to whom be glory forever.

Matins Gospel

Stand in the fear of God and listen to the Holy Gospel.
A reading from the Gospel according to our teacher Saint John the Evangelist.
May His Blessings be with us all.

John 20:1-18

Chapter 20
The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.
 2 Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the LORD out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.
 3 Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre.
 4 So they ran both together:
and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre.
 5 And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying;
yet went he not in.
 6 Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie,
 7 And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.
 8 Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed.
 9 For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.
 10 Then the disciples went away again unto their own home.
 11 But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping:
and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre,
 12 And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.
 13 And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou?
She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my LORD, and I know not where they have laid him.
 14 And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.
 15 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou?
whom seekest thou?
She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.
 16 Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni;
which is to say, Master.
 17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not;
for I am not yet ascended to my Father:
but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father;
and to my God, and your God.
 18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the LORD, and that he had spoken these things unto her.

And Glory be to God forever

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Liturgy Gospel

Paulines Epistle

Paul, the servant of our Lord Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, appointed to the Gospel of God.
A reading from the Epistle of our teacher Paul to the Thessalonians .
May his blessings be upon us.

1 Thessalonians 2:13-3:13

Chapter 2
For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.
 14 For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus:
for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews:
 15 Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us;
and they please not God, and are contrary to all men:
 16 Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alway:
for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost.
 17 But we, brethren, being taken from you for a short time in presence, not in heart, endeavoured the more abundantly to see your face with great desire.
 18 Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again;
but Satan hindered us.
 19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing?
Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?
 20 For ye are our glory and joy.
Chapter 3
Wherefore when we could no longer forbear, we thought it good to be left at Athens alone;
 2 And sent Timotheus, our brother, and minister of God, and our fellowlabourer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you, and to comfort you concerning your faith:
 3 That no man should be moved by these afflictions:
for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto.
 4 For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation;
even as it came to pass, and ye know.
 5 For this cause, when I could no longer forbear, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter have tempted you, and our labour be in vain.
 6 But now when Timotheus came from you unto us, and brought us good tidings of your faith and charity, and that ye have good remembrance of us always, desiring greatly to see us, as we also to see you:
 7 Therefore, brethren, we were comforted over you in all our affliction and distress by your faith:
 8 For now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord.
 9 For what thanks can we render to God again for you, for all the joy wherewith we joy for your sakes before our God;
 10 Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith?
 11 Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you.
 12 And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you:
 13 To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.

The grace of God the Father be with you all.

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Catholic Epistle

A Reading from Epistle of St. James .
May his blessing be upon us.

James 4:7-5:5

Chapter 4
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
 8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners;
and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
 9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep:
let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.
 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
 11 Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law:
but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.
 12 There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy:
who art thou that judgest another?
 13 Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:
 14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life?
It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
 15 For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.
 16 But now ye rejoice in your boastings:
all such rejoicing is evil.
 17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
Chapter 5
Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.
 2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.
 3 Your gold and silver is cankered;
and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.
 4 Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth:
and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth.
 5 Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton;
ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.

Do not love the world or the things in the world. The world passes away, and its desires; but he who does the will of God abides forever.

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Acts of the Apostles

The Acts of our fathers the apostles, may their blessings be with us.

Acts 11:19-30

Chapter 11
Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only.
 20 And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, which, when they were come to Antioch, spake unto the Grecians, preaching the LORD Jesus.
 21 And the hand of the Lord was with them:
and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord.
 22 Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem:
and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch.
 23 Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.
 24 For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith:
and much people was added unto the Lord.
 25 Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul:
 26 And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.
 27 And in these days came prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch.
 28 And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world:
which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar.
 29 Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judaea:
 30 Which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.

The word of the Lord shall grow, multiply, be mighty, and be confirmed, in the holy Church of God.

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Coptic Synaxarium

Misra 25, 1730

Day 25 of the Blessed Coptic Month of Misra, may God make it always received, year after year, with reassurance and tranquility, while our sins after forgiven by the tender mercies of our God my fathers and brothers.

Departure of St. Bessarion, the Great

Departure of St. Bessarion, the Great
On this day, the great ascetic father, St. Bessarion, departed. He was born in Misr (Egypt) to Christian parents. When he grew up, he longed for the monastic life, so he went to Anba Anthony (Antonius), under whose direction he remained for a while. Then he went to Anba Macarius, and stayed under his guidance for a while. Later on, he wandered about in the desert, never lodging in a place with a roof. He possessed absolutely nothing of this world, and he had only one coarse hairy sack-cloth. He used to carry the Gospel, and went round the cells of the monks crying. If they asked him the reason for his weeping, he would reply, My riches have all been stolen, and I have escaped from death. My family have fallen from honor into disgrace. His words referred to the great loss that befell the human race by the fall of the first father Adam by breaking the first commandment. Those who did not understand what his words meant would console him saying, God shall restore what has been stolen from you.
The fathers had recorded for him many signs:
+ Once he was walking with his two disciples, John and Dulas, by the shore of the Red Sea (salty water). When they became thirsty, St. Bessarion took some of its water and prayed over it. The water became sweet and they all drank of it.
+ Another time, they brought to the wilderness of Scetis a mad man, who was possessed by demons, for the elders to pray over. Because the elders knew that St. Bessarion despised the glory of men, they did not want to ask him to pray over the sick man, but rather they put the man in the church where the saint usually stood. When St. Bessarion came into the church and found the man there asleep, he woke him up, and the man rose up healed and with a sound mind. God wrought many signs on his hands. He pleased God and then departed in peace.

May his prayers be with us. Amen.

Departure of St. Macarius III, the 114th Pope of Alexandria

Departure of St. Macarius III, the 114th Pope of Alexandria
On this day also, of the year 1661 A.M. (August 31st, 1945 A.D.), Pope Macarius III, 114th Patriarch of Alexandria, departed. He was born in the city of El-Mahalla El-Koubra, on February 18th, 1872 A.D., to an old, respectable family. His family was know by El-Kasees family (The family of the priest), which was virtuous and godly. He grew up from a young age in a religious and pious atmosphere. He received his primary and secondary education in El-Mahalla El-Koubra and Tanta. Even as a young man, he was ascetic, longed for solitary life, and enthusiastic about memorizing the church hymns. When he was sixteen years old, he deserted the world and went to the monastery of Anba Bishoy in Wadi El-Natroun, in the year 1888 A.D., to fulfill his desire for asceticism and worship. His name was Monk Abdel-Mesieh. He devoted himself to worship and to the study of the Holy Bible, ecclesiastical books, and Coptic rituals. In a short time his virtues and righteousness were evident, and his pure life became known to the monks. He was distinguished for transcribing books, and his Coptic and Arabic penmanship was exquisite. He perfected the religious Coptic artistic decorations. After he was ordained a priest he spent about six years in the pure ascetic life.
In the year 1895 A.D., Macarius went to the Baramous monastery, where he was ordained Archpriest (hegumen) by Pope Kyrillos V, and became his private secretary. The Pope delegated him to teach the Coptic and French languages in the theological school for monks. He intended to ordain him a bishop for Misr (Cairo), but two years after the arrival of Fr. Abdel-Meseih to Cairo, Anba Michael, bishop of Assiut, departed. A delegation from Assiut came to Cairo, they chose this honorable hegumen and nominated him to be a metropolitan for Assiut. In the beginning, the Pope did not accept their petition, for he kept Macarius in order to ordain him a bishop for Cairo and as an assistant to His Holiness, in managing the affairs of the See of St. Mark. But when the delegation persisted in their demand, the Pope accepted their petition, and ordained Macarius a metropolitan for Assiut on July 11th, 1897 A.D. (Abib 5th, 1613 A.M.). He called him Macarius, and he was twenty-four years old. He went to his parish as a young man, with no armors but his piety, asceticism, and knowledge. He embarked, with the wisdom of the elders inspite of his young age, with his strong will, and with the help of the Lord, on bringing together the factions of his congregation, and establishing the Faith. So, he maintained the unity of his people, and the position and reverence of the church, and he was quite successful in it. He was not content with the program that he placed for the church reform, but he also held an immense Coptic conference in the city of Assiut in year 1910 A.D., inspite of all the objections that rose against it. He also submitted along with Anba Theophilus, then bishop of Manfalot and Abnoup, in early 1920 A.D., a petition to Pope Kyrillos V. This petition contained the required administrative and financial reforms, which indicated his great competence.
When Pope Kyrillos V, departed in 1928 A.D., the people nominated Abba Macarius for the Patriarchal chair to achieve the required reforms, but the circumstances then prevented that. When Pope Yoannis IXX, departed, the Divine grace permitted that Anba Macarius be enthroned on the throne of St. Mark. He was ordained Patriarch for the See of St. Mark on Sunday, February 19th, 1944 A.D. After his enthronement to the Patriarchal chair, Anba Macarius issued on February 22nd, 1944 A.D., a historical document. Its main objective was to reform the monasteries, and promote their monks spiritually, and scientifically. He also ordered that the heads and the administrators of the monasteries be accountable. This lead to a major contention between the Holy Synod and the General Coptic Community Council (Maglis El-Milli). On June 7th, 1944 A.D., the Holy Synod submitted a memorandum to the Pope and to the minister of Justice. They objected to the draft of the Marital and Personal Law for the non-Muslim denominations, for it subverted a canon of the Coptic Orthodox Church, as it affected two of the Holy Sacraments of the church which are the sacrament of Priesthood and Matrimony. These sacraments are cornerstone of the Christian religion and worship. The dispute between the Synod and the Council continued, and all the attempts of reconciliation failed. The efforts of the Pope to eliminate the misunderstanding failed also. The council insisted on interfering in what was not its jurisdiction, and in what was the core jurisdiction of the Holy Synod. As a result, the Pope was compelled to leave the Capital, and the Papal residence, for seclusion in Helwan, then went to the Eastern monasteries accompanied by the metropolitans. He remained for a while in St. Antony's monastery then went to the monastery of Anba Paul. All these painful events had strong impact in all the circles and distressed every devout in the church.
When the Prime Minister knew about the departure of the Pope to the monastery, he worked on the return of the Pope in honor to his Chair, and his efforts were successful. Meanwhile, the Coptic Community Council (Maglis El-Milli) sent a letter to the Pope asking for his return, to be able to manage the affairs of the church, and promised the cooperation in the needed reforms. Later, the Pope returned from the monastery, and the people received him with joy and reverence.
The Holy Synod convened, with Anba Macarius presiding, on January 1st, 1945, and issued many resolutions, which follow:
+ The representation of The Ethiopian church in the Alexandrian Synod.
+ The exchange of delegations between Egypt and Ethiopia, and the establishment of a seminary in Ethiopia.
+ Restriction of divorce on the grounds of adultery only.
+ Legislation of the Family and Marital Law.
+ Rules for nominating and electing the Patriarch that coincide with the canons of the church and its tradition.
+ Establishment of a Theological seminary for the monks.
+ Formation of a permanent committee to revue all the ecclesiastical books.
+ The safeguarding of the endowment funds, and improvement of the office procedures at the administrative offices of the patriarchate.
+ Strict enforcement of the Monastic Law that was issued on June 3rd, 1937 A.D., and the return of all the monks that were living outside their monasteries.
+ Establishment of a record in each church to register the members of each Coptic family, and another to register the baptized, the departed, and the deacons.
On June 6th, 1945 A.D., the Russian Patriarch visited Cairo. Pope Macarius sent a delegation of metropolitans and bishops to be in his reception. Then they exchanged the cordial visits. Once again a dispute between H.H. the Pope and the General Coptic Community Council (Maglis El-Milli) took place. This time the dispute was not resolved before the Pope took the initiative to defend the position and dignity of his nation, the canons of the churches, and the Family Marital Law for non-Muslims in particular. On May 30th, 1945 A.D. all the leaders of the non-Muslim denominations in Egypt, headed by the Patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church, presented a memorandum to the minister of Justice objecting to the special law that regulated the denominational family affairs courts. Also copies were sent to the senate and the house of representatives. The memorandum focused on the objections, to better suit the Christian rites and traditions. The Pope suffered from a severe weakness two weeks before his departure that forced him to rest in his residence. On Thursday evening, the 24th of Misra, 1661 A.M. (August 30th, 1945 A.D.), he felt fatigued and he suffered from heart failure. The doctors rushed to his bedside trying to save him till dawn. At 9:15 Friday morning, 31st of August, 1945 A.D., his pure soul departed to its creator. On Sunday, the second of September, his pure body was taken to its final resting place in the church with the signs of grief and sorrow. His coffin was placed beside the bodies of the patriarchs, his predecessors. He remained on the Patriarchal throne for one year, six months, and nineteen days. May God accept him in the habitations of the righteous. Coincidentally, an earthquake was felt in Cairo at 2:45pm at the time of his burial. Everyone felt it, and the believers were touched, for nature shared their sorrow for the departure of this pure saint.
May his prayers be with us and Glory be to God forever. Amen.

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Divine Liturgy

Divine Psalm

From the Psalms of our teacher David the prophet.
May his blessings be with us all.

Psalms 89:11-12

Chapter 89
The heavens are thine, the earth also is thine:
as for the world and the fulness thereof, thou hast founded them.
 12 The north and the south thou hast created them:
Tabor and Hermon shall rejoice in thy name.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Our Lord God, Savior, and King of us all, Jesus Christ, the Living Son of God to whom be glory forever.

Divine Gospel

Stand in the fear of God and listen to the Holy Gospel.
A reading from the Gospel according to our teacher Saint Mark the Evangelist.
May His Blessings be with us all.

Mark 13:3-37

Chapter 13
And as he sat upon the mount of Olives over against the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately,
 4 Tell us, when shall these things be?
and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled?
 5 And Jesus answering them began to say, Take heed lest any man deceive you:
 6 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ;
and shall deceive many.
 7 And when ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars, be ye not troubled:
for such things must needs be;
but the end shall not be yet.
 8 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom:
and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles:
these are the beginnings of sorrows.
 9 But take heed to yourselves:
for they shall deliver you up to councils;
and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten:
and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them.
 10 And the gospel must first be published among all nations.
 11 But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate:
but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye:
for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.
 12 Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son;
and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death.
 13 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake:
but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
 14 But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains:
 15 And let him that is on the housetop not go down into the house, neither enter therein, to take any thing out of his house:
 16 And let him that is in the field not turn back again for to take up his garment.
 17 But woe to them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!
 18 And pray ye that your flight be not in the winter.
 19 For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be.
 20 And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved:
but for the elect's sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days.
 21 And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ;
or, lo, he is there;
believe him not:
 22 For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.
 23 But take ye heed:
behold, I have foretold you all things.
 24 But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,
 25 And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.
 26 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.
 27 And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.
 28 Now learn a parable of the fig tree;
When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near:
 29 So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors.
 30 Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done.
 31 Heaven and earth shall pass away:
but my words shall not pass away.
 32 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.
 33 Take ye heed, watch and pray:
for ye know not when the time is.
 34 For the Son of Man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.
 35 Watch ye therefore:
for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:
 36 Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.
 37 And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.

And Glory be to God forever.

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