Friday, March 2, 2012

Greek Orthodox Arch-Diocese of America Daily Scripture Readings for Saturday, 3 March 2012


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Daily Scripture Readings and Lives of the Saints for Saturday, March 3, 2012

Fast Day (Wine and Oil Allowed)

Feasts and Saints celebrated today:

      First Saturday in Lent 
    Eutropios, Kleonikos, Vasiliskos, Zenos, & Zoilis the Martyrs
    Theodoretos the Holy Martyr of Antioch

Readings for today:

    St. Paul's Second Letter to Timothy 2:1-10
    Mark 2:23-28; 3:1-5

First Saturday in Lent 

Reading from the Synaxarion:

Julian the Apostate, knowing that the Christians purify themselves by fasting most of all during the first week of the Fast -- which is why we call it Clean Week -- planned to defile them especially at that time.  Therefore he secretly commanded that during those days the markets be filled with foods that had been defiled with the blood of animals offered in sacrifice to idols.  But by divine command the Martyr Theodore (see Feb. 17) appeared during sleep to Eudoxius, then Archbishop of Constantinople.  The Saint revealed to him the tyrant's plan, then told him to call the faithful together immediately on Monday morning and prevent them from purchasing those foods, but rather to make kollyva to supply their needs.  The bishop asked what kollyva might be, and the Saint answered, "Kollyva is what we call boiled wheat in Euchaita."  Thus, the purpose of the Apostate was brought to nought, and the pious people who were preserved undefiled for the whole of Clean Week, rendered tha
nks to the Martyr on this Saturday, and celebrated his commemoration with kollyva.  These things took place in 362.  Wherefore, the Church keeps this commemoration each year to the glory of God and the honour of the Martyr.

Apolytikion in the Second Tone
Great are the achievements of faith!  In the fountain of flame, as by the water of rest, the holy Martyr Theodore rejoiced; for having been made a whole-burnt offering in the fire, he was offered as sweet bread unto the Trinity.  By his prayers, O Christ God, save our souls.

Kontakion in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone
Having received the Faith of Christ in thy heart as a breastplate, thou didst trample upon the enemy hosts, O much-suffering champion; and thou hast been crowned eternally with a heavenly crown, since thou art invincible.

This content is under copyright and is used with permission, all rights reserved:
    Reading (c) Holy Transfiguration Monastery - Brookline, MA 
    Apolytikion (c) Holy Transfiguration Monastery - Brookline, MA 
    Kontakion (c) Holy Transfiguration Monastery - Brookline, MA 

Eutropios, Kleonikos, Vasiliskos, Zenos, & Zoilis the Martyrs

Reading from the Synaxarion:

These saints lived during the reign of king Diocletian in 296.They came from Amasia, the famous city in Cappadocia at the Black Sea. They were relatives and fellow-soldiers with St. Theodore of Tyre. Having been accused to governor Asclepiodotes, they were strongly beaten. St. Eutropios received wounds on his mouth, because he insulted the governor. However, although the soldiers who were hitting them were paralysed and tired, the saints were cured, because the Lord and holy martyr Theodore of Tyre had appeared to them. When they saw this miracle, many unbelievers believed in Christ and were beheaded. When the governor saw these things, he changed behaviour and tried to move St. Kleonikos from Christ's faith with flatteries. He gave him presents and promised to give him more but not only wasn't the saint's mind changed but he even got angry and ridiculed both the governor's lack of understanding as well as the idols' weakness. So, while the governor and the rest of the Greeks
  were offering sacrifices to their gods, St. Kleonikos prayed and toppled Diana's idol down.

When the idolaters saw this, they burnt with anger, boiled tar and asphalt in three boilers and poured them on the three Christian martyrs' backs. However, the martyrs were preserved unharmed but the servants who were pouring the mix were completely burnt. After this Sts. Eutropios and Kleonikos were crucified, received the crown of martyrdom and went to eternal life. St. Vasiliskoson the other hand was thrown to prison, where he died after he had spent quite some time there.

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
Thy Martyrs, O Lord, in their courageous contest for Thee received as the prize the crowns of incorruption and life from Thee, our immortal God.  For since they possessed Thy strength, they cast down the tyrants and wholly destroyed the demons' strengthless presumption.  O Christ God, by their prayers, save our souls, since Thou art merciful.

Kontakion in the Fourth Tone
Since divine Eutropios and Vasiliskos and the famed Kleonikos were bound in unity of faith, they cut asunder the foe's arrays when they contended courageously for the Lord.

This content is under copyright and is used with permission, all rights reserved:
    Reading (c) Holy Transfiguration Monastery - Brookline, MA 
    Apolytikion (c) Holy Transfiguration Monastery - Brookline, MA 
    Kontakion (c) Holy Transfiguration Monastery - Brookline, MA 

Epistle Reading

The reading is from St. Paul's Second Letter to Timothy 2:1-10

TIMOTHY, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me before many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier on service gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to satisfy the one who enlisted him. An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. It is the hardworking farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops. Think over what I say, for the Lord will grant you understanding in everything.

Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descended from David, as preached in my gospel, the gospel for which I am suffering and wearing fetters like a criminal. But the word of God is not fettered. Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain salvation in Christ Jesus with its eternal glory.

    (c) 2012 Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

Gospel Reading

The reading is from Mark 2:23-28; 3:1-5

At that time, Jesus was going through the grainfields; and as they made their way his disciples began to pluck heads of grain.  And the Pharisees said to him, "Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the sabbath?"  And he said to them, "Have you never read what David did, when he was in need and was hungry, he and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God, when Abiathar was high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those who were with him?"  And he said to them, "The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath; so the Son of man is lord even of the sabbath."

Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there who had a withered hand.  And they watched him, to see whether he would heal him on the sabbath, so that they might accuse him.  And he said to the man who had the withered hand, "Come here."  And he said to them, "Is it lawful on the sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?"  But they were silent.  And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, "Stretch it out," and his hand was restored.

    (c) 2012 Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

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