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

January 7-14, 2017

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

“Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:13-14 ESV)

Feasts & Fasts

February
2 - Encounter of Our Lord, God, and Savior, Jesus Christ with Simeon and Anna
6 - First All-Souls Saturday
7 - Sunday of the Second Coming of Christ (Meat-Fare)
17 - President's Day (USA)
14 - Forgiveness Sunday (Cheese-Fare)
15 - Beginning of the Holy Forty Days Fast
21 - First Sunday of the Great Fast (Sunday of Orthodoxy)
27 - Second All-Souls Saturday
28 - Second Sunday of the Great Fast (St. Gregory Palamas)

March
6 - Third All Souls Saturday
7 - Third Sunday of the Great Fast (Veneration of the Cross)
13 - Fourth All-Souls Saturday
14 - Fourth Sunday of the Great Fast (St. John of the Ladder)
18 - Canon of St. Andrew of Crete
20 - Akathistos Saturday
21 - Fifth Sunday of the Great Fast (St. Mary of Egypt)
25 - Annunciation to the Mother of God
27 - April 4 - Great and Holy Week

Please pray!

"They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword...." (Hebrews 11:37a)

Please lift up in prayer all those who are persecuted and deprived of liberty, everywhere in the world. Please especially remember the peoples of Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Niger - the whole Middle East and Africa - who are literal martyrs for Christ. Also the peoples of Ukraine. They are our brothers, for all are one in Christ.

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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)

Encounter

Rejoice, O Mother of God, Virgin full of grace. * From you has risen the Sun of Righteousness, Christ our God, * shining upon those who are in darkness. * Rejoice also, you righteous Elder; * for you received in your arms the Deliverer of our souls, * Who has given us resurrection. (Troparion, Tone 1)

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

O Christ God, through Your birth You sanctified the Virgin's womb; * and blessed, as it was proper, the hands of Simeon. * Now, having come, you saved us. * Give peace to Your commonwealth in times of war * and strengthen our civil authorities, whom You have loved, O You who alone loves mankind. (Kontakion, Tone 1)

(The Feast of the Encounter is February 2nd - the 40th Day of Christmas)

Random Proverb

For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. (Proverbs 2:6 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

The demons are sleepless and immaterial, death is at hand, and I am weak. Lord, help me; do not let Your creature perish, for You care for me in my misery.

St. Peter of Damascus