Post-Festive Days of the Theophany of Our Lord, God, and Savior, Jesus Christ

January 7-14, 2017

Baptism Matthew 4:1-11 - Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And he fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterward he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread." But he answered, "It is written, `Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'"

Then the devil took him to the holy city, and set him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written, `He will give his angels charge of you,' and `On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.'"

Jesus said to him, "Again it is written, `You shall not tempt the Lord your God.'"

Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them; and he said to him, "All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me."

Then Jesus said to him, "Begone, Satan! for it is written, `You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.'"

Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and ministered to him. (RSV – Gospel for the Saturday after Theophany)

Led by the Spirit – The text says “then.” Then when? This was after the descent of the Spirit, after the voice that was borne from above had said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Led by whom? This is marvelous. All of this was led by the Holy Spirit. For it says Jesus was “led up by the Spirit.” All this was for our instruction. The Lord does whatever is necessary for our salvation by both acting and being acted upon. He submitted himself to being led up there to wrestle against the devil. Now we should not be too troubled if, after our baptism, we too have to endure great temptations. We should not treat this as if unexpected but continue to endure all things nobly, as though it were happening in the natural course of things. (St. John Chrysostom, Commentary on Matthew)

The icon is a detail of the Baptism of Christ.


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Teachings of Christ

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you." (Matthew 7:7,8 ESV)

Scripture

February 17, 2019
Sunday of the Prodigal Son
- Matins: Luke 24:36-53 (Gospel 6)
- Liturgy: 1 Corinthians 6:12-20, Luke 15:11-32

Meat Fare Week
- Monday: 1 John 2:18-3:10, Mark 11:1-11
- Tuesday: 1 John 3:11-20, Mark 14:10-42
- Wednesday: 1 John 3:21-4:6, Mark 14:43-15:1
- Thursday: 1 John 4:20-5:21, Mark 15:1-15
- Friday: 2 John 1:1-13, Mark 15:22-25,33-41
- Saturday: 1 Corinthians 10:23-28, Luke 21:8,9,25-27,33-36
- All Souls Saturday: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17, John 5:24-30

February 24, 2019
Sunday of the Last Judgment (Meat Fare)
- Matins: John 20:1-10 (Gospel 7)
- Liturgy: 1 Corinthians 8:8-9:2, Matthew 25:31-46

Cheese Fare Week
- Monday: 3 John 1:1-14, Luke 19:29-40; 22:7-39
- Tuesday: Jude 1-10, Luke 22:39-42, 45-23:1
- Wednesday: Joel 2:12-26, Joel 3:12-21
- Thursday: Jude 11-25, Luke 23:2-34, 44-56
- Friday: Zechariah 8:7-14, Zechariah 8:19-23
- Saturday: (Commemoration of All the Holy and God-bearing Fathers Who Shone Forth in the Ascetic Life) Romans 14:19-23, 16:25-27 (Saturday), Galatians 5:22-6:2 (Ascetics), Matthew 6:1-13 (Saturday), Matthew 11:27-30 (Ascetics)

March 3, 2019
Forgiveness Sunday (Cheesefare)
- Matins: John 20:11-18 (Gospel 8)
- Liturgy: Romans 13:11b-14:4, Matthew 6:14-21

Feasts & Fasts

February
2 - Encounter of Our Lord, God, and Savior, Jesus Christ with Simeon and Anna (Presentation of Our Lord Into the Temple)
3 - Sunday of Zacchaeus
10 - Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee
17 - Sunday of the Prodigal Son
18 - President's Day (USA)
23 - First All-Souls Saturday
24 - Sunday of the Second Coming of Christ (Meat-Fare)

Please pray!

"They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword...." (Hebrews 11:37a)

Please lift up in prayer all those who are persecuted and deprived of liberty, everywhere in the world. Please especially remember the peoples of Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Niger - the whole Middle East and Africa - who are literal martyrs for Christ. Also the peoples of Ukraine. They are our brothers, for all are one in Christ.

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Encounter

Rejoice, O Mother of God, Virgin full of grace. * From you has risen the Sun of Righteousness, Christ our God, * shining upon those who are in darkness. * Rejoice also, you righteous Elder; * for you received in your arms the Deliverer of our souls, * Who has given us resurrection. (Troparion, Tone 1)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

O Christ God, through Your birth You sanctified the Virgin's womb; * and blessed, as it was proper, the hands of Simeon. * Now, having come, you saved us. * Give peace to Your commonwealth in times of war * and strengthen our civil authorities, whom You have loved, O You who alone loves mankind. (Kontakion, Tone 1)

(The Feast of the Encounter is February 2nd - the 40th Day of Christmas)

Random Proverb

"One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want." (Proverbs 11:24 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

When you are praying, watch over yourself so that not only your outward man prays, but your inward one also. Though you be sinful beyond measure, still pray. Do not heed the devil's provocation, craftiness, and despair, but overcome and conquer his wiles. Remember the abyss of the Saviour's mercy and love to mankind. The devil will represent the Lord's fact to you as terrible and unmerciful, rejecting your prayer and repentance; but remember the Saviour's own words, full of every hope and boldness for us: `Him that cometh to Me, I will in no wise cast out'; and `Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden' - with sins and iniquities, and wiles and calumnies of the devil - and I will give you rest.'

St. John of Kronstadt, My Life in Christ