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Readings for Wednesday, Babah 12

Vespers

Vespers Psalm

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

Psalms 22:22-23

Chapter 22
 22 
I will declare thy name unto my brethren:
in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.
 23 Ye that fear the LORD, praise him;
all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him;
and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel.

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.
Amen.

Vespers Gospel

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

Matthew 9:9-13

Chapter 9
 9 
And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom:
and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him.
 10 And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples.
 11 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?
 12 But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.
 13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice:
for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

And Glory be to God forever


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Matins

Matins Psalm

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

Psalms 40:9-10

Chapter 40
 9 
I have preached righteousness in the great congregation:
lo, I have not refrained my lips, O LORD, thou knowest.
 10 I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart;
I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation:
I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation.

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.
Amen.

Matins 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 2:13-17

Chapter 2
 13 
And he went forth again by the sea side;
and all the multitude resorted unto him, and he taught them.
 14 And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the receipt of custom, and said unto him, Follow me. And he arose and followed him.
 15 And it came to pass, that, as Jesus sat at meat in his house, many publicans and sinners sat also together with Jesus and his disciples:
for there were many, and they followed him.
 16 And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners?
 17 When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick:
I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

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 Ephesians .
May his blessings be upon us.
Amen.

Ephesians 4:11-19

Chapter 4
 11 
And he gave some, apostles;
and some, prophets;
and some, evangelists;
and some, pastors and teachers;
 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
 14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
 16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
 17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,
 18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:
 19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.

The grace of God the Father be with you all.
Amen.


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Catholic Epistle

A Reading from Epistle 1 of St. Peter .
May his blessing be upon us.
Amen.

1 Peter 1:3-12

Chapter 1
 3 
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
 4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
 5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
 6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
 7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
 8 Whom having not seen, ye love;
in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
 9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.
 10 Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:
 11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.
 12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven;
which things the angels desire to look into.

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.
Amen.


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Acts of the Apostles

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

Acts 5:12-18

Chapter 5
 12 
And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people;
(and they were all with one accord in Solomon's porch.
 13 And of the rest durst no man join himself to them:
but the people magnified them.
 14 And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.)
 15 Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them.
 16 There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits:
and they were healed every one.
 17 Then the high priest rose up, and all they that were with him, (which is the sect of the Sadducees,) and were filled with indignation,
 18 And laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison.

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



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Coptic Synaxarium

Babah 12, 1731

Day 12 of the Blessed Coptic Month of Babah, 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.
Amen.

Departure of Abba Demetrius the First, the Twelfth Pope of Alexandria

On this day of the year 224 A.D., the pure and celibate father, the fighter of lusts, and the vanquisher of nature, Abba Demetrius I, 12th Pope of Alexandria, departed. This saint was an illiterate farmer, and was married. He lived with his wife 47 years until he was chosen a Patriarch. They did not know one another as married people, but remained throughout that period in their virginity and chastity, a fact which no one knew.

When the departure of St. Yulianus, 11th Pope, drew near, the angel of the Lord appeared to St. Yulianus in a vision and told him about this saint and that he was to be the Patriarch after him. He gave him a sign saying, "Tomorrow a man shall come to you having a cluster of grapes, seize him and pray over him." Then he woke from his sleep, he told the bishops and the priests who were with him about this vision.

So it happened on the next day that St. Demetrius found a cluster of grapes that was out of season. He carried it to St. Yulianus, to receive his blessing. The father, the Patriarch, took him by the hand and told those who were present, "This is your Patriarch who will be after me." Then he prayed over him; they held him and kept him until the departure of Abba Yulianus, whereupon they finished the prayers of ordination over him and he was filled with heavenly grace. The Lord enlightened his mind and he learned reading and writing. He studied the church books and their interpretations. Words of grace flew from his mouth when he preached.

He established the reckoning of the Epacts, by which the dates of fasting were determined on a fixed basis. Christians used to fast the holy 40 days, Lent, right after the feast of Ephiphany, as the Lord Christ fasted after His baptism. Then they fasted the Passion week separately, celebrating the Christian Passover on the Sunday that followed the Jewish Passover.

Some of the Christians used to celebrate Easter on the fourteenth of Neesan (April) and that meant they celebrated with the Jews, not recognizing that the Christian Passover was to be in memory of the Resurrection of the Lord Christ which was after the Mosaic Passover. For that reason, Pope Demetrius took interest in establishing a fixed bases for fasts and Christian holy days. He appended the Holy Fast to the Passion Week.

Pope Demetrius wrote in this respect to Agabius, Bishop of Jerusalem; to Maximus, Patriarch of Antioch; to the Patriarch of Rome and to others. All approved of it and continued to follow his rules up until the present. The Church of Rome deviated from that and followed, since the 16th century, the Gregorian Calendar. To the Popes of the Coptic Church was the prime credit in determining Easter Day; and they thus sent their Easter messages all over the world, so that the Christians would celebrate Easter on the same day forming a universal joy.

God was with Abba Demetrius because of his purity. God granted him a gift that after he finished the Liturgy and the people came forward to partake of the Holy Mysteries, he used to see the Lord Christ pushing forward with His Hand those who were worthy. But if one came forward who was not worthy of partaking of the Holy Communion, the Lord would reveal to the Pope his sins and the Pope would not allow him to partake of it until he confessed his sins. The Pope would admonish him for them and would say to him, "Turn away from your sin and repent, after that come and partake of the Holy Mysteries." His flocks conduct was straightened during his time.

Because he rebuked the sinners much, and urged them on repentance and purity, some of them murmured and said, "This man is married, how can he rebuke us?" The Lord Almighty wished to reveal to them his virtues, so the angel of the Lord came to him at night and told him, "O Demetrius, do not seek your salvation and let others be destroyed with their doubt." The father asked him to clarify his statement and the angel told him, "You must reveal the mystery which is between yourself and your wife to the people that you might remove the doubt from them." On the following morning, after he had celebrated the Divine Liturgy, he ordered the people not to leave the church. He took red-hot coal and placed it in his wife's shawl and his pallium, then they went around in the church and their clothes did not burn. The people were amazed at this miracle. He told them that he and his wife did not know each other as married people. The doubt was removed from the people and they realized the purity of this father and his virginity. During his time, some opposing men appeared whose names were Aklemos, Origen, and Orianus and others who wrote forbidden books, so he excommunicated them.

During the days of his papacy, he did not stop teaching and confirming the believers in the Orthodox Faith. When he had grown old and became weak, they carried him on a litter to the church to teach the people. He was 105 years old, having spent 15 years unmarried, 47 years until he became Patriarch and 43 years in office, then departed in peace.

The blessings of his prayers be with us. Amen.

Martyrdom of St. Matthew the Evangelist

On this day also, St. Matthew the Evangelist, was martyred. He was one of the Twelve Disciples and his name was Levi. He was the one sitting at the receipt of custom outside the city of Capernaum, when the Lord Christ said to him, "Follow Me." He left all, rose up, and followed Him. He made for the Lord Christ a great feast in his own house. That made the Pharisees murmur against Him saying to His disciples, "Why do your teacher eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?" Jesus answered and said to them, "Those who are well do not need a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." (Luke 5:27-32)

He preached in the land of Palestine and Tyre and Sidon. Then he went to Ethiopia. He entered the city of priests and converted them to the knowledge of God. When he wished to enter the city, he met a young man who told him, "You will not be able to go in unless you shave off the hair of your head and carry palm branches in your hand." He did as the young man told him. And, as he was thinking about that, the Lord Christ appeared to him in the form of the young man who had met him earlier, and after He encouraged and comforted him, disappeared. He realized that this young man was the Lord of Glory Himself.

He then entered the city as one of its priests. He went to the temple of Apollo and found the high priest, and talked with him concerning the idols that they were worshipping. He explained to him how those idols did not hear or sense anything and how the true Mighty Lord is He who created the Heaven and Earth. The Lord made through him a wonder: a table came down to them from Heaven and a great light shone around them. When Hermes the priest saw this wonder, he asked him, "What is the name of your God?" The apostle replied, "My God is the Lord Christ." Hermes, the priest, believed in Christ and many people followed him.

When the Governor of the city knew that, he ordered them burned. It happened at that time that the son of the Governor died. St. Matthew the Apostle prayed and made supplications to God to raise the son and the Lord answered him and raised the child from death. When the Governor saw that, he and the rest of the people of the city believed. St. Matthew baptized them and ordained a bishop and priests, and built a church for them.

After he had preached in other countries, he went back to Jerusalem. Some of the Jews which had been preached to, and had believed and been baptized by him, asked him to write down what he had preached to them. He wrote the beginning of the Gospel attributed to him in the Hebrew language but he did not complete it. It was said that he finished it during his preaching in India, in the first year of the reign of Claudius and the ninth year of the Ascension. His martyrdom was consummated by stoning by the hands of Justus the Governor, and his body was buried in Carthage of Caesarea by some believers, in a holy place.

His prayers be with us. Amen.

Commemorative Feast of Michael the Archangel

Commemorative Feast of Michael the Archangel On the twelfth of each month we celebrate commemorating the honorable Michael the Archangel, the head of the Heavenly Hosts, who stands at all times before the throne of the Divine Majesty on behalf of the human race.

May his intercessions and blessings be with us all, 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 68:11-12

Chapter 68
 11 
The Lord gave the word:
great was the company of those that published it.
 12 Kings of armies did flee apace:
and she that tarried at home divided the spoil.

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.
Amen.

Divine 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 5:27-32

Chapter 5
 27 
And after these things he went forth, and saw a publican, named Levi, sitting at the receipt of custom:
and he said unto him, Follow me.
 28 And he left all, rose up, and followed him.
 29 And Levi made him a great feast in his own house:
and there was a great company of publicans and of others that sat down with them.
 30 But their scribes and Pharisees murmured against his disciples, saying, Why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners?
 31 And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician;
but they that are sick.
 32 I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

And Glory be to God forever.


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