Deisis (Novogorod)

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

January 7-14, 2016

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

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied." (Matthew 5:6 ESV)

Feasts & Fasts

March
5 - First Sunday of the Great Fast (Sunday of Orthodoxy)
11 - Second All-Souls Saturday
12 - Second Sunday of the Great Fast (St. Gregory Palamas)
18 - Third All Souls Saturday
19 - Third Sunday of the Great Fast (Veneration of the Cross)
25 - Annunciation to the the Mother of God
26 - Fourth Sunday of the Great Fast (St. John of the Ladder)
30 - Canon of St. Andrew of Crete

April
1 - Akathistos Saturday
2 - Fifth Sunday of the Great Fast (St. Mary of Egypt)
8-16 - Great and Holy Week
8 - Lazarus Saturday
9 - Palm (Flowery) Sunday
13 - Great and Holy Thursday
14 - Great and Holy Friday
15 - Great and Holy Saturday
16 - Pascha - Feast of the Resurrection of Christ (Easter Sunday)
16-23 - Bright Week
23 - Second Sunday of Pascha (Apostle Thomas)
30 - Third Sunday of Pascha (Myrrh-Bearing Women)

Lenten Prayer of St. Ephrem

O Lord and Master of my life, drive away from me the spirit of despondency, carelessness, love of power, and idle chatter. (Prostration)

Rather grant to me, Your servant, the spirit of wholeness of being, humility, patience, and love. (Prostration)

Yes, O Lord and King, grant that I may see my own faults and not condemn my brother; for You are blessed to the ages of ages. Amen. (Prostration)

Annunciation

Today is the fountainhead of our salvation, * and the revelation of an eternal mystery: * The Son of God becomes the Son of a Virgin, * and Gabriel announces the good news of grace. * Therefore, let us also cry with him to the Mother of God: * "Rejoice, O Full of Grace, the Lord is with you!” (Troparion, Tone 4)

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

To you, O Mother of God, our leader and defender, * we, your servants, delivered from calamity, offer hymns of victory and thanksgiving. * So you, who have invincible might, * set us free from every peril * that we may cry to you: * "Rejoice, O unwedded Bride!" (Kontakion, Tone 8)

Random Proverb

"When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom." (Proverbs 11:2 ESV)

This Week's Scripture

March 26, 2017
Fourth Sunday of Great Lent (Saint John of the Ladder)
- Matins: Matthew 28:16-20 (Gospel 1)
- Liturgy: Hebrews 6:13-20, Mark 9:17-31 (Sun), Ephesians 5:9-19, Matthew 4:25-5:12 (St. John)

Fifth Week of Great Lent
- Monday: Isaiah 37:33-36:6, Genesis 13:12-18, Proverbs 14:27-15:4
- Tuesday: Isaiah 40:18-31, Genesis 15:1-15, Proverbs 15:7-19
- Wednesday: Isaiah 41:4-14, Genesis 17:1-9, Proverbs 15:20-16:9
- Thursday: Isaiah 42:5-16, Genesis 18:20-33, Proverbs 16:17-17:17
- Friday: Isaiah 45:11-17, Genesis 22:1-18, Proverbs 17:17-18:5
- Saturday: Hebrews 9:24-28, Mark 8:27-31 (Saturday) Luke 10:38-42, 11:27-28, Hebrews 9:1-7 (Akathistos Saturday)

April 2, 2017
Fifth Sunday of Great Lent (Saint Mary of Egypt)
- Matins: Mark 16:1-8 (Matins Gospel 2)
- Liturgy: Hebrews 9:11-14, Mark 10:32-45

Sixth Week of Great Lent
- Monday: Isaiah 48:17-49:4, Genesis 27:1-41, Proverbs 19:16-25
- Tuesday: Isaiah 49:6-10, Genesis 31:3-16, Proverbs 21:3-21
- Wednesday: Isaiah 58:1-11, Genesis 43:26-31; 45:1-16, Proverbs 21:23-22:4
- Thursday: Isaiah 65:8-16, Genesis 46:1-7, Proverbs 23:15-24:5
- Friday: Isaiah 66:10-24, Genesis 49:33-50:26, Proverbs 31:8-31

April 8-16, 2017
Great and Holy Week

April 8, 2017
Saturday of Saint Lazarus the Righteous
: Hebrews 12:28-13:8, John 11:1-45

April 9, 2017
Palm Sunday
The Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem    
- Vespers: Genesis 49:1,2,8-12, Zephaniah 3:14-19, Zechariah 9:9-15
- Matins: Matthew 21:1-11,15-17
- Liturgy: Philippians 4:4-9, John 12:1-18

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Demons often transform themselves into angels of light and take the form of martyrs, and make it appear to us during sleep that we are in communication with them. Then, when we wake up, they plunge us into unholy joy and conceit. But you can detect their deceit by this very fact. For angles reveal torments, judgments and separations; and when we wake up we find that we are trembling and sad. As soon as we begin to believe the demons in dreams, then they make sport of us when we are awake too. He who believes in dreams is completely inexperienced. 'But he who distrusts all dreams is a wise man. Only believe dreams that warn you of torments and judgments. But if despair afflicts you, then such dreams are also from demons.

St. John Climacus, The Ladder of Divine Ascent