December 17 (Daily Scripture)

St. Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch,
St. Addai, Bishop of Edessa,
St. Maruthas, Bishop of Niphigerd

Wisdom 5:1-8
Jeremiah 6:16-21
I Corinthians 4:9-16
Mark 9:32-36

Wisdom 5:1-8
[1] Then the righteous man will stand with great confidence
in the presence of those who have afflicted him,
and those who make light of his labors.
[2] When they see him, they will be shaken with dreadful fear,
and they will be amazed at his unexpected salvation.
[3] They will speak to one another in repentance,
and in anguish of spirit they will groan, and say,
[4] “This is the man whom we once held in derision
and made a byword of reproach — we fools!
We thought that his life was madness
and that his end was without honor.
[5] Why has he been numbered among the sons of God?
And why is his lot among the saints?
[6] So it was we who strayed from the way of truth,
and the light of righteousness did not shine on us,
and the sun did not rise upon us.
[7] We took our fill of the paths of lawlessness and destruction,
and we journeyed through trackless deserts,
but the way of the Lord we have not known.
[8] What has our arrogance profited us?
And what good has our boasted wealth brought us?

Jeremiah 6:16-21
[16] Thus says the LORD:
“Stand by the roads, and look,
and ask for the ancient paths,
where the good way is; and walk in it,
and find rest for your souls.
But they said, `We will not walk in it.’
[17] I set watchmen over you, saying,
`Give heed to the sound of the trumpet!’
But they said, `We will not give heed.’
[18] Therefore hear, O nations,
and know, O congregation, what will happen to them.
[19] Hear, O earth; behold, I am bringing evil upon this people,
the fruit of their devices,
because they have not given heed to my words;
and as for my law, they have rejected it.
[20] To what purpose does frankincense come to me from Sheba,
or sweet cane from a distant land?
Your burnt offerings are not acceptable,
nor your sacrifices pleasing to me.
[21] Therefore thus says the LORD:
`Behold, I will lay before this people
stumbling blocks against which they shall stumble;
fathers and sons together,
neighbor and friend shall perish.’”

I Corinthians 4:9-16
[9] For I think that God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, like men sentenced to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels and to men.
[10] We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute.
[11] To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are ill-clad and buffeted and homeless,
[12] and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure;
[13] when slandered, we try to conciliate; we have become, and are now, as the refuse of the world, the offscouring of all things.
[14] I do not write this to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children.
[15] For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel.
[16] I urge you, then, be imitators of me.

Mark 9:32-36
[32] But they did not understand the saying, and they were afraid to ask him.
[33] And they came to Caper’na-um; and when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you discussing on the way?”
[34] But they were silent; for on the way they had discussed with one another who was the greatest.
[35] And he sat down and called the twelve; and he said to them, “If any one would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.”
[36] And he took a child, and put him in the midst of them; and taking him in his arms, he said to them,

The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyright © National Council of Churches of Christ in America

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December 16 (Daily Scripture)

Fourth Sunday of Heesnag

Isaiah 38:1-8
Hebrews 1:1-14
Luke 17:1-10

Isaiah 38:1-8
[1] In those days Hezeki’ah became sick and was at the point of death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him, and said to him, “Thus says the LORD: Set your house in order; for you shall die, you shall not recover.”
[2] Then Hezeki’ah turned his face to the wall, and prayed to the LORD,
[3] and said, “Remember now, O LORD, I beseech thee, how I have walked before thee in faithfulness and with a whole heart, and have done what is good in thy sight.” And Hezeki’ah wept bitterly.
[4] Then the word of the LORD came to Isaiah:
[5] “Go and say to Hezeki’ah, Thus says the LORD, the God of David your father: I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; behold, I will add fifteen years to your life.
[6] I will deliver you and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria, and defend this city.
[7] “This is the sign to you from the LORD, that the LORD will do this thing that he has promised:
[8] Behold, I will make the shadow cast by the declining sun on the dial of Ahaz turn back ten steps.” So the sun turned back on the dial the ten steps by which it had declined.

Hebrews 1:1-14
[1] In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets;
[2] but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.
[3] He reflects the glory of God and bears the very stamp of his nature, upholding the universe by his word of power. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
[4] having become as much superior to angels as the name he has obtained is more excellent than theirs.
[5] For to what angel did God ever say,
“Thou art my Son,
today I have begotten thee”?
Or again, “I will be to him a father,
and he shall be to me a son”?
[6] And again, when he brings the first-born into the world, he says, “Let all God’s angels worship him.”
[7] Of the angels he says, “Who makes his angels winds,
and his servants flames of fire.”
[8] But of the Son he says,
“Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever,
the righteous scepter is the scepter of thy kingdom.
[9] Thou hast loved righteousness and hated lawlessness;
therefore God, thy God, has anointed thee
with the oil of gladness beyond thy comrades.”
[10] And, “Thou, Lord, didst found the earth in the beginning,
and the heavens are the work of thy hands;
[11] they will perish, but thou remainest;
they will all grow old like a garment,
[12] like a mantle thou wilt roll them up,
and they will be changed.
But thou art the same,
and thy years will never end.”
[13] But to what angel has he ever said, “Sit at my right hand,
till I make thy enemies
a stool for thy feet”?
[14] Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to serve, for the sake of those who are to obtain salvation?

Luke 17:1-10
[1] And he said to his disciples, “Temptations to sin are sure to come; but woe to him by whom they come!
[2] It would be better for him if a millstone were hung round his neck and he were cast into the sea, than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin.
[3] Take heed to yourselves; if your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him;
[4] and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, and says, `I repent,’ you must forgive him.”
[5] The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”
[6] And the Lord said, “If you had faith as a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this sycamine tree, `Be rooted up, and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.
[7] “Will any one of you, who has a servant plowing or keeping sheep, say to him when he has come in from the field, `Come at once and sit down at table’?
[8] Will he not rather say to him, `Prepare supper for me, and gird yourself and serve me, till I eat and drink; and afterward you shall eat and drink’?
[9] Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded?
[10] So you also, when you have done all that is commanded you, say, `We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.’”

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December 15 (Daily Scripture)

St. James, Bishop of Nisibis,
Mar Awgen (Marouke) the Ascetic,
St. Meletius, martyr and Bishop

Wisdom 7:12-20
Isaiah 44:1-5
Hebrews 13:17-21
John 9:39-10:10

Wisdom 7:12-20
[12] I rejoiced in them all, because wisdom leads them;
but I did not know that she was their mother.
[13] I learned without guile and I impart without grudging;
I do not hide her wealth,
[14] for it is an unfailing treasure for men;
those who get it obtain friendship with God,
commended for the gifts that come from instruction.
[15] May God grant that I speak with judgment
and have thought worthy of what I have received,
for he is the guide even of wisdom
and the corrector of the wise.
[16] For both we and our words are in his hand,
as are all understanding and skill in crafts.
[17] For it is he who gave me unerring knowledge of what exists,
to know the structure of the world and the
activity of the elements;
[18] the beginning and end and middle of times,
the alternations of the solstices and the changes
of the seasons,
[19] the cycles of the year and the constellations of the stars,
[20] the natures of animals and the tempers of wild beasts,
the powers of spirits and the reasonings of men,
the varieties of plants and the virtues of roots;

Isaiah 44:1-5
[1] “But now hear, O Jacob my servant,
Israel whom I have chosen!
[2] Thus says the LORD who made you,
who formed you from the womb and will help you:
Fear not, O Jacob my servant,
Jeshu’run whom I have chosen.
[3] For I will pour water on the thirsty land,
and streams on the dry ground;
I will pour my Spirit upon your descendants,
and my blessing on your offspring.
[4] They shall spring up like grass amid waters,
like willows by flowing streams.
[5] This one will say, `I am the LORD’s,’
another will call himself by the name of Jacob,
and another will write on his hand, `The LORD’s,’
and surname himself by the name of Israel.”

Hebrews 13:17-21
[17] Obey your leaders and submit to them; for they are keeping watch over your souls, as men who will have to give account. Let them do this joyfully, and not sadly, for that would be of no advantage to you.
[18] Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things.
[19] I urge you the more earnestly to do this in order that I may be restored to you the sooner.
[20] Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant,
[21] equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in you that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

John 9:39-10:10
[39] Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind.”
[40] Some of the Pharisees near him heard this, and they said to him, “Are we also blind?”
[41] Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, `We see,’ your guilt remains.

Chapter 10
[1] “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber;
[2] but he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
[3] To him the gatekeeper opens; the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
[4] When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.
[5] A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.”
[6] This figure Jesus used with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.
[7] So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.
[8] All who came before me are thieves and robbers; but the sheep did not heed them.
[9] I am the door; if any one enters by me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.
[10] The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

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December 14 (Daily Scripture)

Fast Day

II Thessalonians 3:1-18
Luke 15:1-7

II Thessalonians 3:1-18
[1] Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed on and triumph, as it did among you,
[2] and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men; for not all have faith.
[3] But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from evil.
[4] And we have confidence in the Lord about you, that you are doing and will do the things which we command.
[5] May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.
[6] Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is living in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us.
[7] For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us; we were not idle when we were with you,
[8] we did not eat any one’s bread without paying, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not burden any of you.
[9] It was not because we have not that right, but to give you in our conduct an example to imitate.
[10] For even when we were with you, we gave you this command: If any one will not work, let him not eat.
[11] For we hear that some of you are living in idleness, mere busybodies, not doing any work.
[12] Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work in quietness and to earn their own living.
[13] Brethren, do not be weary in well-doing.
[14] If any one refuses to obey what we say in this letter, note that man, and have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed.
[15] Do not look on him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.
[16] Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in all ways. The Lord be with you all.
[17] I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. This is the mark in every letter of mine; it is the way I write.
[18] The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

Luke 15:1-7
[1] Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him.
[2] And the Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”
[3] So he told them this parable:
[4] “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it?
[5] And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
[6] And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, `Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost.’
[7] Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.

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December 13 (Daily Scripture)

Martyrs of Sebastia: Sts. Eustratius, Auxentius, Eugenius, Orestes, Marytrius

Proverbs 1:2-9
Nahum 2:1-6
Romans 5:1-5
Matthew 5:1-12

Proverbs 1:2-9
[2] That men may know wisdom and instruction,
understand words of insight,
[3] receive instruction in wise dealing,
righteousness, justice, and equity;
[4] that prudence may be given to the simple,
knowledge and discretion to the youth —
[5] the wise man also may hear and increase in learning,
and the man of understanding acquire skill,
[6] to understand a proverb and a figure,
the words of the wise and their riddles.
[7] The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge;
fools despise wisdom and instruction.
[8] Hear, my son, your father’s instruction,
and reject not your mother’s teaching;
[9] for they are a fair garland for your head,
and pendants for your neck.

Nahum 2:1-6
[1] The shatterer has come up against you.
Man the ramparts;
watch the road;
gird your loins;
collect all your strength.
[2] (For the LORD is restoring the majesty of Jacob
as the majesty of Israel,
for plunderers have stripped them
and ruined their branches.)
[3] The shield of his mighty men is red,
his soldiers are clothed in scarlet.
The chariots flash like flame
when mustered in array;
the chargers prance.
[4] The chariots rage in the streets,
they rush to and fro through the squares;
they gleam like torches,
they dart like lightning.
[5] The officers are summoned,
they stumble as they go,
they hasten to the wall,
the mantelet is set up.
[6] The river gates are opened,
the palace is in dismay;

Romans 5:1-5
[1] Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
[2] Through him we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in our hope of sharing the glory of God.
[3] More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,
[4] and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,
[5] and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us.

Matthew 5:1-12
[1] Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down his disciples came to him.
[2] And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
[3] “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
[4] “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
[5] “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
[6] “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
[7] “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
[8] “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
[9] “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
[10] “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
[11] “Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
[12] Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you.

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December 12 (Daily Scripture)

Fast Day

II Thessalonians 2:1-17
Luke 14:25-27

II Thessalonians 2:1-17
[1] Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our assembling to meet him, we beg you, brethren,
[2] not to be quickly shaken in mind or excited, either by spirit or by word, or by letter purporting to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.
[3] Let no one deceive you in any way; for that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of perdition,
[4] who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.
[5] Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you this?
[6] And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time.
[7] For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way.
[8] And then the lawless one will be revealed, and the Lord Jesus will slay him with the breath of his mouth and destroy him by his appearing and his coming.
[9] The coming of the lawless one by the activity of Satan will be with all power and with pretended signs and wonders,
[10] and with all wicked deception for those who are to perish, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.
[11] Therefore God sends upon them a strong delusion, to make them believe what is false,
[12] so that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
[13] But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God chose you from the beginning to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.
[14] To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
[15] So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter.
[16] Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace,
[17] comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.

Luke 14:25-27
[25] Now great multitudes accompanied him; and he turned and said to them,
[26] “If any one comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.
[27] Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

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December 11 (Daily Scripture)

St. Cornelius the Centurion,
St. Simeon, martyred in Jerusalem,
St. Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna,
Saints, martyrs that perished in the East

Wisdom 1:1-7
Jeremiah 16:16-21
Acts 1:12-14
Mark 6:6-13

Wisdom 1:1-7
[1] Love righteousness, you rulers of the earth,
think of the Lord with uprightness,
and seek him with sincerity of heart;
[2] because he is found by those who do not put him to the test,
and manifests himself to those who do not distrust him.
[3] For perverse thoughts separate men from God,
and when his power is tested, it convicts the foolish;
[4] because wisdom will not enter a deceitful soul,
nor dwell in a body enslaved to sin.
[5] For a holy and disciplined spirit will flee from deceit,
and will rise and depart from foolish thoughts,
and will be ashamed at the approach of unrighteousness.
[6] For wisdom is a kindly spirit and
will not free a blasphemer from the guilt of his words;
because God is witness of his inmost feelings,
and a true observer of his heart, and a hearer of his tongue.
[7] Because the Spirit of the Lord has filled the world,
and that which holds all things together knows what is said;

Jeremiah 16:16-21
[16] “Behold, I am sending for many fishers, says the LORD, and they shall catch them; and afterwards I will send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain and every hill, and out of the clefts of the rocks.
[17] For my eyes are upon all their ways; they are not hid from me, nor is their iniquity concealed from my eyes.
[18] And I will doubly recompense their iniquity and their sin, because they have polluted my land with the carcasses of their detestable idols, and have filled my inheritance with their abominations.”
[19] O LORD, my strength and my stronghold,
my refuge in the day of trouble,
to thee shall the nations come
from the ends of the earth and say:
“Our fathers have inherited nought but lies,
worthless things in which there is no profit.
[20] Can man make for himself gods?
Such are no gods!”
[21] “Therefore, behold, I will make them know, this once I will make them know my power and my might, and they shall know that my name is the LORD.”

Acts 1:12-14
[12] Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey away;
[13] and when they had entered, they went up to the upper room, where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot and Judas the son of James.
[14] All these with one accord devoted themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.

Mark 6:6-13
[6] And he marveled because of their unbelief.
And he went about among the villages teaching.
[7] And he called to him the twelve, and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits.
[8] He charged them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts;
[9] but to wear sandals and not put on two tunics.
[10] And he said to them, “Where you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place.
[11] And if any place will not receive you and they refuse to hear you, when you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet for a testimony against them.”
[12] So they went out and preached that men should repent.
[13] And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many that were sick and healed them.

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