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Daily Devotional

Tuesday, October 20, 2020 (NS)
October 7, 2020 (OS)


Commemorations

Movable Calendar (Pascalion):

Tuesday of the Twentieth Week

Fixed Calendar:

7. The commemoration of the holy Martyrs Sergius and Bacchus.


Fasting Information

No Fasting.


Scripture Readings

Movable Calendar (Pascalion):

Tuesday of the Twentieth Week

Epistle:

The Reading is from the Epistle of Saint Paul to the Philippians [§ 242]. Brethren:

2 16I ran not in vain, nor labored in vain. 17But if also I am being poured out as a libation upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice, and rejoice with you all; 18and ye also be rejoicing in the same and be rejoicing with me.

19But I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy quickly to you, that I also may be of good courage, after I come to know the things concerning you. 20For I have no one like-minded, who genuinely will care for the things concerning you. 21For all seek their own things, not the things of Christ Jesus. 22But ye know the proof of him, that, as a child to a father, he served with me in regard to the Gospel. 23This one indeed therefore I hope to send at once, whensoever I shall have in view the things concerning me.

Gospel:

The Reading is from the Holy Gospel according to Saint Luke [§ 27]. The Lord said:

6 37“Cease judging, and in no wise shall ye be judged; cease condemning, and in no wise shall ye be condemned; keep on acquitting, and ye shall be acquitted. 38“Keep on giving, and it shall be given to you: a good measure which hath been pressed down and shaken together, and is overflowing shall they give into your bosom; for with the same measure with which ye measure, it shall be measured in turn to you.” 39And He spoke a parable to them: “A blind man is not able to guide a blind man, is he? Both shall fall into a pit, shall they not? 40“A disciple is not above his teacher; but everyone who hath been perfected shall be as his teacher. 41“But why seest thou the splinter that is in the eye of thy brother, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 42“Or how canst thou say to thy brother, ‘Brother, let me cast out the splinter that is in thine eye,’ when thou thyself seest not the beam in thine own eye? Hypocrite, cast out first the beam from thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the splinter that is in the eye of thy brother. 43“For there is no good tree which produceth rotten fruit, nor a rotten tree which produceth good fruit; 44“for each tree is known by its own fruit. For they do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they pick a bunch of grapes from a bramble bush. 45“The good man bringeth forth out of the good treasure of his heart that which is good; and the evil man bringeth forth out of the evil treasure of his heart that which is evil. For out of the abundance of the heart, his mouth speaketh.”

Fixed Calendar:

7. The commemoration of the holy Martyrs Sergius and Bacchus.

Epistle:

For Gk. usage, see [Heb. 11:33-12:2]. For Sl. usage, see [Heb. 11:33-40].

The Reading is from the Epistle of Saint Paul to the Hebrews [§§ 330, 331]. Brethren:

11 33All the saints through faith struggled against kingdoms, wrought righteousness, attained to promises, stopped mouths of lions, 34quenched the power of fire, escaped the edges of the sword, were empowered out of weakness, became strong in battle, turned back encampments of aliens. 35Women received their dead by resurrection. And others were tortured, not accepting release, that they might attain a better resurrection. 36And others received trial of mockings and of scourgings, and, moreover, of bonds and of imprisonment. 37They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted; they died, murdered by the sword. They went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being in need, afflicted, ill-treated— 38of whom the world was not worthy. They were made to wander in deserts, and in mountains, and in caves, and in the holes of the earth. 39And these all, having been approved by testimony through faith, received not for themselves the promise, 40God having foreseen some better thing concerning us, that they should not be made perfect without us.

12 1Therefore we also, having so great a cloud of witnesses which is set around us, and having laid aside every weight and sin that is easily circumvented, let us by means of patience be running the course which is set before us, 2looking to Jesus, the originator and accomplisher of our faith, Who, in exchange for the joy set before Him, endured a cross, having despised the shame, and hath sat down on the right of the throne of God.

Gospel:

The Reading is from the Holy Gospel according to Saint Luke [§ 106]. The Lord said to His disciples, “Be taking heed of men:

21 12For they shall lay their hands upon you and persecute you, delivering you up to synagogues and prisons, bringing you before kings and governors on account of My name; 13“but it shall prove to be a testimony for you. 14“Therefore settle it for yourselves in your hearts not to premeditate to make a defense; 15“for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all those who oppose you shall not be able to contradict nor withstand. 16“And ye shall be delivered up also by parents, and kinfolk, and friends, and brethren; and they shall put some of you to death. 17“And ye shall be hated by all for My name’s sake. 18“But a hair of your head in no wise shall perish. 19“In your patience win your souls.”


Lives of the Saints
(Prologue)

October 20th - Civil Calendar
October 7th - Church Calendar

1. The Holy Martyrs Sergius and Bacchus.

These holy and wonderful martyrs and heroes of the Christian faith were at first nobles at the court of the Emperor Maximian. The Emperor himself valued them greatly for their courage, wisdom and zeal, but, when he heard that these great nobles of his were Christians, his love for them turned to fury. And once, when there was a great offering of sacrifices to idols, the Emperor summoned Sergius and Bacchus to offer sacrifice together with him, and they openly refused to obey him in this. Beside himself with anger, the Emperor ordered that their robes, rings and marks of eminence be stripped from them and they be dressed in women's clothing. He then put iron yokes on their necks and led them thus through the streets of Rome, to be mocked by each and all. The Emperor then sent them to Asia, to Antiochus the governor, for torture. Antiochus had achieved his distinguished rank with the help of Sergius and Bacchus, who had at one time recommended him to the Emperor. When Antiochus began to urge them to deny Christ and save themselves from dishonourable suffering and death, the two saints replied: 'Both honour and dishonour, both life and death—all are one to him who seeks the heavenly Kingdom. Antiochus threw Sergius into prison and ordered that Bacchus be tortured first. The servants took turns in beating holy Bacchus until his whole body was broken into fragments. His holy spirit went forth from his broken and bloodstained body and was borne to the Lord by angels. St Bacchus suffered in the town of Varvallis. Then holy Sergius was led out. Iron shoes studded with nails were put on his feet, and he was driven out into the Syrian town of Resapha, and there beheaded with the sword. His soul went to Paradise where, together with his friend Bacchus, he received the wreath of immortal glory from Christ his King and Lord. These two glorious knights suffered for the Christian faith in about 303.

2. The Holy Martyr Polychronius.

Born in the district of Gampnanitus of peasant parents, he worked as a young man in the vineyard of a Constantinopolitan man, giving himself to fasting and prayer day and night. Seeing his way of life, angelic in its purity and restraint, the overseer was amazed and gave him far higher wages than they had agreed. St Polychronius used the money to build a church. At the time of the Council of Nicaea in 325, Polychronius was a reader and showed such zeal in the defence of Orthodoxy against the Arians that he was ordained priest. Later, these wicked heretics, out of revenge, fell on St Polychronius in the church itself and cut him to pieces. Thus suffered this great defender of the truth and purity of Orthodoxy, and received the wreath of glory from his most glorious Lord.

In the Greek Synaxarion there are also commemorated today the ninety-nine ascetics of Crete. It is said that the hundredth never joined them, which was interpreted as meaning that the hundredth was Christ the Lord Himself, their leader. The most renowned among them was St John, a great man of prayer and a wonderworker. He prayed so much kneeling that he was in the end unable to stand, but moved around on his knees. Seeing him going about like this, a woodcutter thought that he was a wild beast and shot him with an arrow. Then a very great wonder was wrought, for all the rest of the ninety-nine ascetics breathed their last on the selfsame day. It is not known when they lived.

FOR CONSIDERATION

A vision of St Andrew: Once holy Andrew was sitting with his disciple Epiphanius and talking with him of the salvation of the soul. At that time, a demon came to Epiphanius and began to set a trap for him, to turn his thoughts in another direction, but he dared not approach Andrew. Andrew then cried to him in fury: 'Get away from here, you impure adversary!' The devil recoiled and replied wickedly: 'You're the greatest enemy I have in the whole of Constantinople!' Andrew did not drive him away at once, but let him speak. And the devil began: 'I feel that the time is coming when my trade will be destroyed. At that time, men will be worse than I am now, and children more adept at wickedness than those who are full-grown. And I shall then take my rest and shall do nothing more to men, for they will do my will of themselves.' Andrew asked him. 'At what sins do your people most rejoice?' The devil replied: 'The service of idols, slander, evil against one's neighbour, the Sodomite sins of drunkenness and love of money—these give us most joy.' Andrew asked again: 'And how do you bear it when someone who has served you denies you and your works?' The devil replied: 'You know that better than I do. We find it hard to bear, and do our utmost to bring him back, for many who have denied us and turned to God have come back to us.' When the evil spirit had said this and much else, holy Andrew breathed on him and he disappeared.


Daily Scripture Readings taken from The Orthodox New Testament, translated and published by Holy Apostles Convent, Buena Vista, Colorado, copyright © 2000, used with permission, all rights reserved.

Daily Prologue Readings taken from The Prologue of Ochrid, by Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic, translated by Mother Maria, published by Lazarica Press, Birmingham, England, copyright © 1985, all rights reserved.


Archbishop Gregory
Dormition Skete
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