Sunday, March 4, 2012

Greek Orthodox Arch-Diocese of America Daily Scripture Readings for Sunday, 4 March 2012


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Daily Scripture Readings and Lives of the Saints for Sunday, March 4, 2012

Fast Day (Wine and Oil Allowed)

Feasts and Saints celebrated today:

      Sunday of Orthodoxy 
    Gerasimos the Righteous of Jordan
    Paul & his sister Juliana and their Companions
    Daniel, Prince of Moscow

Readings for today:

    Luke 24:13-35
    St. Paul's Letter to the Hebrews 11:24-26, 32-40
    John 1:43-51

Sunday of Orthodoxy 

Reading from the Synaxarion:

For more than one hundred years the Church of Christ was troubled by the persecution of the Iconoclasts of evil belief, beginning in the reign of Leo the Isaurian (717-741) and ending in the reign of Theophilus (829-842).  After Theophilus's death, his widow the Empress Theodora (celebrated Feb. 11), together with the Patriarch Methodius (June 14), established Orthodoxy anew.  This ever-memorable Queen venerated the icon of the Mother of God in the presence of the Patriarch Methodius and the other confessors and righteous men, and openly cried out these holy words:  "If anyone does not offer relative worship to the holy icons, not adoring them as though they were gods, but venerating them out of love as images of the archetype, let him be anathema."  Then with common prayer and fasting during the whole first week of the Forty-day Fast, she asked God's forgiveness for her husband.  After this, on the first Sunday of the Fast, she and her son, Michael the Emperor, made a proces
sion with all the clergy and people and restored the holy icons, and again adorned the Church of Christ with them.  This is the holy deed that all we the Orthodox commemorate today, and we call this radiant and venerable day the Sunday of Orthodoxy, that is, the triumph of true doctrine over heresy.

Resurrectional Apolytikion in the Plagal of the First Tone
Let us worship the Word who is unoriginate * with the Father and the Spirit, and from a Virgin was born * for our salvation, O believers, and let us sing His praise. * For in His goodness He was pleased * to ascend the Cross in the flesh, and to undergo death, * and to raise up those who had died, * by His glorious Resurrection.

Apolytikion in the Second Tone
We worship Thine immaculate icon, O Good One, asking the forgiveness of our failings, O Christ our God; for of Thine own will Thou wast well-pleased to ascend the Cross in the flesh, that Thou mightest deliver from slavery to the enemy those whom Thou hadst fashioned.  Wherefore, we cry to Thee thankfully:  Thou didst fill all things with joy, O our Saviour, when Thou camest to save the world.

Seasonal Kontakion in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone
To you, Theotokos, invincible Defender, having been delivered from peril, I, your city, dedicate the victory festival as a thank offering. In your irresistible might, keep me safe from all trials, that I may call out to you: "Hail, unwedded bride!"

Resurrectional Kontakion in the Plagal of the First Tone
You descended to Hades, my Savior, and shattered its gates, as the Almighty. As Creator, You raised the dead with yourself, and smashed the sting of death, O Christ. You freed Adam from the curse, O Lover of humanity. Therefore we all cry out to You, Save us, O Lord. 

This content is under copyright and is used with permission, all rights reserved:
    Reading (c) Holy Transfiguration Monastery - Brookline, MA 
    Resurrectional Apolytikion (c) Fr. Seraphim Dedes 
    Apolytikion (c) Holy Transfiguration Monastery - Brookline, MA 
    Seasonal Kontakion (c) Narthex Press 
    Resurrectional Kontakion (c) Fr. Seraphim Dedes 

Gerasimos the Righteous of Jordan

Reading from the Synaxarion:

Venerable Gerasimos lived during the reign of king Constantine Pogonatos in 670, as Sophronios of Jerusalem, who wrote his life, attests. He had fear of God since childhood and, after he became a monk, he went to the deepest parts of the desert of Thebais. He reached such a height of virtue and was graced with such intimacy with God, because he had preserved his image and likeness so pure, that he even had authority over wild beasts. A lion used to attend upon him and among other things this lion used to graze the donkey which fetched water to the saint. Once some merchants passed from that place. When they saw the donkey, they stole it. The lion was sleeping and did not feel a thing. So, in the evening he returned to the saint without having the donkey with him, as usual.

When the saint's servant saw the lion alone, he told the elder that the lion had eaten the donkey. So, the poor lion was condemned to carry the pitchers on his back and fetch water from the river instead of the donkey, for as long as the merchants kept it. However, the same merchants happened to pass from that place again and they had the donkey with them. As soon as the lion saw the donkey, he recognised it and rushed at the merchants with a loud roar. The people got scared and left. Together with the donkey the lion brought to St. Gerasimos' cell the camels which were tied on it. Knocking with his tail on the door of the saint's cell, he acted as if to show that he was offering them to the elder as game.

When the saint saw this thing, he smiled a bit and said to his disciple: "We wrongly accused the innocent lion that he had eaten the donkey. So, now we have to liberate him from his labour and allow him to go and graze at his usual place." Then the lion bowed his head, as if he had reason, and taking his leave from the saint he went to the wilderness. Once every week he used to come and bow before the saint. After the saint had died, the lion came, as his habit was, and asked to venerate him. However, when he did not find him, he seemed to be sad and angry. With many signs the saint's disciple helped him feel that the elder had died. The lion lamented the elder's death with a fine roar and seemed to be looking for the saint's grave. When the disciple led him to it, the lion fell on it and with a loud roar he breathed his last due to his extreme pain which he suffered from his love for the saint. This is how God glorifies those who glorify Him and makes wild beasts submit to t
hose who keep His image and likeness pure.

Apolytikion in the First Tone
Thou didst prove to be a citizen of the desert, an angel in the flesh, and a wonderworker, O Gerasimos, our God-bearing Father. By fasting, vigil, and prayer thou didst obtain heavenly gifts, and thou healest the sick and the souls of them that have recourse to thee with faith. Glory to Him that hath given thee strength. Glory to Him that hath crowned thee. Glory to Him that worketh healings for all through thee.

Kontakion in the Fourth Tone
As a star resplendent with the light of virtues, thou didst make the wilderness of Jordan radiantly shine with beams of sacred celestial light, O righteous Father, God-bearing Gerasimos.

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 

Orthros Gospel Reading

The reading is from Luke 24:13-35

At that time, two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. And he said to them, "What is this conversation which you are holding with each other as you walk?" And they stood still looking sad. Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, "Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?" And he said to them, "What things?" And they said to him, "Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since this happened. More
over, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning and did not find his body; and they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb, and found it just as the women had said; but him they did not see." And he said to them, "O foolish men, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?" And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He appeared to be going further, but they constrained him, saying, "Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent." So he went in to stay with them. When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened and they recognized him; and he vanished out of their sight. They said to each other, "Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the scriptures?" And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven gathered together and those who were with them, who said, "The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!" Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread.

    (c) 2012 Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

Epistle Reading

The reading is from St. Paul's Letter to the Hebrews 11:24-26, 32-40

Brethren, by faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to share ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.

And what more shall I say?  For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets -- who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, received promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched raging fire, escaped the edge of the sword, won strength out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign enemies to flight.  Women received their dead by resurrection.  Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, that they might rise again to a better life.  Others suffered mocking and scourging, and even chains and imprisonment.  They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword; they went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, ill-treated -- of whom the world was not worthy -- wandering over deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

And all these, though well attested by their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had foreseen something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect. 

    (c) 2012 Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

Gospel Reading

The reading is from John 1:43-51

At that time, Jesus decided to go to Galilee.  And he found Philip and said to him, "Follow me."  Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.  Philip found Nathanael, and he said to him, "We have found him of whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph."  Nathanael said to him, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?"  Philip said to him, "Come and see."  Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and said of him, "Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!"  Nathanael said to him, "How do you know me?"  Jesus answered him, "Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you."  Nathanael answered him, "Rabbi, you are the son of God!  You are the King of Israel!"  Jesus answered him, "Because I said to you, I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe?  You shall see greater things than these."  And he said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascen
ding and descending upon the Son of man."

    (c) 2012 Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

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