Feasts: Fast Free
Constant communication with God is imperative as believers. I ask that we pray the following prayer.
O Lord, our God, please bless the everlasting memory of our departed loved ones, the Orthodox Christian Church, our Patriarch Bartholomew, Metropolitan Gerasimos, all clergy, deacons, monastics who God has established to feed the flock of Your Word with a sacred desire to serve with gladness and dedicated hearts. Assign a Guardian Angel to walk before them so that they grow in faith and discernment. Multiply their efforts, sanctify their work and bless all of their endeavors. Grant them well-being and health. Grant them understanding, peace and happiness in this life to help them fulfill Your will. AMEN
Theophilus the Confessor
2nd Sunday of Luke
Tone of the week: Plagal of the Second Tone
Resurrectional Apolytikion in the Plagal of the Second Tone
Angelic powers were above Thy tomb, and they that guarded Thee became as dead. And Mary stood by the grave seeking Thine immaculate Body. Thou hast despoiled Hades and wast not tried thereby. Thou didst meet the Virgin and didst grant us life. O Thou Who didst arise from the dead, Lord, glory be to Thee.
Seasonal Kontakion in the Second Tone
O Protection of Christians that cannot be put to shame, mediation unto the creator most constant: O despise not the voices of those who have sinned; but be quick, O good one, to come unto our aid, who in faith cry unto thee: Hasten to intercession and speed thou to make supplication, O thou who dost ever protect, O Theotokos, them that honor thee.
The Holy Hieromartyr Cyprian and the Virgin Martyr Justina
Saint Justina who was from Damascus, lived in virginity for the sake of Christ. Saint Cyprian, who was from Antioch, began as an initiate of magic and worshipper of the demons. A certain foolish young man who had been smitten with Justina's beauty hired Cyprian to draw her to love him; when Cyprian had wed every demonic device he knew, and had failed, being repulsed by the power of Christ Whom Justina invoked, he understood the weakness of the demons and came to know the truth. Delivered from demonic delusion, he came to Christ and burned all his books of magic, was baptized, and later ascended the episcopal throne in his country. Later, he and Justina were arrested by the Count of Damascus, and having endured many torments at his hands, they were sent finally to Diocletian in Nicomedia, where they were beheaded about the year 304.
Apolytikion of Martyrs Cyprian and Justina in the Fourth Tone
As a sharer of the ways and a successor to the throne of the Apostles, O inspired of God, thou foundest discipline to be a means of ascent to divine vision. Wherefore, having rightly divided the word of truth, thou didst also contest for the Faith even unto blood, O Hieromartyr Cyprian. Intercede with Christ our God that our souls be saved.
Kontakion of Martyrs Cyprian and Justina in the First Tone
When thou, O godly-minded one, hadst been converted from magic art to knowledge of God, thou becamest a most skilful healer for the whole world, O wise Cyprian, granting cures to them that honour thee with Justina; with her, pray the man-befriending Master to save us, thy servants who sing thy praise.
Matins Gospel Reading
Fourth Orthros Gospel
The Gospel according to Luke 24:1-12
On the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices which they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel; and as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, "Why do you seek the living among the dead? Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of man must be delivered in to the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and on the third day rise." And they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb they told all this to the eleven and to all the rest. Now it was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told this to the apostles; but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them.
But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home wondering at what had happened.
St. Paul's Second Letter to the Corinthians 4:6-15
O Lord, save your people and bless your inheritance.
Verse: To you, O Lord, I have cried, O my God.
Brethren, it is the God who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, to show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For while we live we are always being given up to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.
Since we have the same spirit of faith as he had who wrote, "I believed, and so I spoke," we too believed, and so we speak, knowing that He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into His presence. For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.
2nd Sunday of Luke
The Gospel according to Luke 6:31-36
The Lord said, "And as you wish that men would do to you, do so to them. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the selfish. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful."
Third Hour Prayers
Lord, Who sent down Your Holy Spirit in the third hour to Your Apostles; take not Your Spirit from us, but rather restore Your Spirit in us who pray to You, O Good One.
You are blessed, O Christ our God, Who made the fishermen wise by sending down Your Holy Spirit. Through them You have captured the world into their nets. Glory to You, O Lover of Mankind!
Prayer of St. Mardarios
O God the Master, Father All-Powerful, O Lord, the Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit; One Godhead, One Power, have mercy on me a sinner and save me, Your unworthy servant, as You are the knower of all judgments. For You are blessed now and always. Amen.
Fr Gary's New Year's Challenge:
Educate yourself in the Word of God. A weekday, Monday - Friday, reading guide has been prepared for the year. By sticking to this plan you will read the entire New Testament (The Gospel of Matthew through Revelation) by the end of the 2016. Milestones are easily set and marked so that you do not fall behind. Reading and knowing God’s Word is essential to Christian growth.