Today’s Vespers – 1st reading is Composite 2 – Proverbs 10, 3, 8
The memory of the righteous is with praise and the blessing of the Lord is upon his head. Blessed is the man who has found wisdom and the mortal who has understanding. For it is better to purchase her than treasuries of gold and silver. She is more precious than precious stones and all that is precious is unworthy of her. For length of days and years of life are in her right hand; and in her left hand are riches and glory. Out of her mouth proceeds righteousness and she bears law and mercy upon her tongue. Hear me, O child, for I will speak noble things. Blessed is the man who keeps my ways, for my ways are the ways of life, and in them is prepared favor from the Lord. Therefore, I pray thee, and utter my voice to the sons of men: For I, wisdom, have dwelt with counsel and knowledge and I have called upon understanding. Counsel and safety are mine, understanding and strength are mine. I love those who love me and those seeking me shall find grace. Understand craftiness, O you who are simple, and imbibe knowledge, you who are untaught. Hear me again, for I will speak noble things: I will open my mouth and from my lips shall come what is right. For my throat shall meditate truth; false lips are an abomination before me. All the words of my mouth are righteous; there is nothing in them that is twisted or perverse. They are all straight to him who understands and right to those who find knowledge. I shall instruct you in truth, so that your hope will be in the Lord and you shall be filled with the Spirit.
Today’s Vespers – 2nd reading is Composite 4 – Proverbs 10; Wisdom of Solomon 6, 7, 8, 9
The mouth of the righteous bringeth forth wisdom; the lips of the wise man know grace. The mouth of the wise speaketh wisdom, and the truth delivereth them from death. If a righteous man dies, hope doth not, for the son of the righteous is born to life, and in his own good things he acquireth the fruit of righteousness. There is always light for the righteous and they obtain grace and glory from the Lord. The tongue of the wise is a good sister-in-law, and in their hearts resteth wisdom. The Lord loveth the hearts of the holy, and acceptable to Him are all the undefiled in the way. The wisdom of the Lord illumineth the faces of the wise. For she takes hold of those desiring her by making herself first known to them. She is easily seen by those who love her. He who rises early to seek her shall have no difficulty, and those keeping vigil for the sake of her shall quickly be without sorrows. For she goeth about seeking those worthy of her, and graciously revealeth herself in the pathways. Against wisdom evil doth not prevail. Therefore I was a lover of her beauty; I loved her and sought her out from my youth. I desired to make her my bride, and even the Master of All loved her. For she is an initiate in the knowledge of God, and a discoverer of His works. Her labors are virtues, for she teaches temperance and prudence, justice and courage; nothing in life is more necessary for men than these. And if anyone desireth much knowledge, she knoweth the things of old, and beholdeth things to come; she understandeth turns of speech and the solution of riddles; she has foreknowledge of signs and wonders and the outcome of times and seasons. She is a mediator of good things for all, for immortality is in her, and glory in the company of her words. Therefore I appealed to the Lord and prayed to Him, and said to Him with all my heart: “O God of my fathers and Lord of mercy, Who hast made all things by Thy word, and by Thy wisdom hast fashioned man that he should have dominion over the creatures made by Thee, that he should rule the world in holiness and righteousness: Give me wisdom that sits by Thy throne, and cast me not away from among Thy children, for I am Thy servant and the son of Thy handmaid. Send her forth from the heavens, from Thy holy abode, and from the throne of Thy glory, that she may be with me, and instruct me in what is pleasing to Thee. And she shall guide me in understanding, and preserve me in her glory. For the thoughts of mortals are miserable, and their intentions likely to fail.”
Today’s Vespers – 3rd reading is Wisdom of Solomon 4:7-15
But the righteous man, though he die early, will be at rest. For old age is not honored for length of time, nor measured by number of years; but understanding is gray hair for men, and a blameless life is ripe old age. There was one who pleased God and was loved by him, He was caught up lest evil change his understanding or guile deceive his soul. For the fascination of wickedness obscures what is good, and roving desire perverts the innocent mind. Being perfected in a short time, he fulfilled long years; for his soul was pleasing to the Lord, therefore he took him quickly from the midst of wickedness. Yet the peoples saw and did not understand, nor take such a thing to heart, that God’s grace and mercy are with his elect, and he watches over his holy ones.
Today’s Matins Gospel reading is John 10:1-9
Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” Jesus used this illustration, but they did not understand the things which He spoke to them. Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.
Today’s Epistle – Saint reading is 1 Corinthians 12:7-11
But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.
Today’s Gospel – Saint reading is John 10:9-16
I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.
Today’s Epistle reading is 1 Thessalonians 5:14-23
Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all. See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil. Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Today’s Gospel reading is Luke 16:10-15
He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own? No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, also heard all these things, and they derided Him. And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.
Saints and Feasts celebrated today
Saint Gregory the Theologian, Archbishop of Constantinople
Troparion — Tone 1
The sweet-sounding shepherd’s pipe of your theology
overpowered the trumpeting of the orators;
for having searched the depths of the Spirit
eloquence was also bestowed upon you.
Pray to Christ God, Father Gregory,
that our souls may be saved.
Kontakion — Tone 3
By words of theology you unraveled the complex webs of the orators,
and adorned the Church with the robe of Orthodoxy woven from on high.
Wearing it, she cries out with us, her children:
“Rejoice, O Father, supreme mind of theology.”
Martyr Felicitas of Rome, and her seven sons
Troparion — Tone 4
Your holy martyr Felicitas, O Lord,
Through her sufferings has received an incorruptible crown from You, our God.
For having Your strength, she laid low her adversaries,
And shattered the powerless boldness of demons.
Through her intercessions, save our souls!
Translation to Moscow of the Icon of the Mother of God “Assuage my Sorrow”
Troparion — Tone 5
Assuage the sickness of my much-sighing soul,
you who wipe away every tear from the face of the earth:
for you drive away the sicknesses of mankind,
and destroy the despondency of sinners.
Through you, Most Holy Virgin Mother,
we all acquire hope and the confirmation of faith.
Kontakion — Tone 6
Do not entrust me to human protection, Most Holy Sovereign Lady,
but accept the prayers of your servant,
for I am fettered by sorrow, and I cannot endure the arrows fired by demons;
I have no shelter and there is nowhere to run.
I am wretched and my enemies are on every side, and I have no consolation except you,
O Sovereign Lady of the world, the hope and protection of the faithful.
Do not despise my prayers,
but do that which is beneficial for me.
Icon of the Mother of God “The Unexpected Joy”
Kontakion — Tone 6
We have no other help, we have no other hope, but you, O Lady.
Help us, for in you we hope,
and of you we boast, for we are your servants.
Let us not be put to shame.
Additional Saints and Feasts (without hymns):
- Saint Moses, Archbishop of Novgorod
- Saint Publius the Ascetic of Syria
- Saint Mares the Singer in Syria
- Saint Vladimir, Metropolitan of Kiev and Gallich
- New Martyr Auxentius of Constantinople
- Venerable Anatole I of Optina
- Saint Dositheus of Tbilisi
- Saint Gabriel, Bishop of Imereti
Today’s Fasting Guidelines
Strict Fast. Refrain from meat, fish, oil, wine, dairy, and eggs.