Sunday, January 19, 2014 - Feast of Epiphany

Sunday, January 19, 2014 - Feast of Epiphany

 

On this day the Church commemorates the holy feast of Epiphany, may the blessings and grace of this feast be with us all, Amen.

 

Christ tells us that He is able to make all things new. Through baptism He washes us and the old nature from within is weeded out and His light brings forth the new nature that is akin to His. Although outwardly I may continue to commit the acts of the old man, as long as I cling to Him, His work is continuously within me.

 

What is does Christ desire to wash me of? What addictions and habits does He want to set me free from?

 

Lord,

 

I thank you for the special grace you give me today, to recognize the things within me that you will wash from me, and the readiness with which You yearn to dress me with the new man, the man truly parallel to Your image and your nature. Amen.

 

Readings for The Feast of Epiphany

Vespers

Psalm

Psalm 42:6,11 [Arabic]

        Therefore I will remember You from the land of the Jordan, 
        Hope in God; 
        For I shall yet praise Him, 
        The help of my countenance and my God.
 

Gospel

Matt 3:1 - 12 [Arabic]

In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!" For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying: 
        "The voice of one crying in the wilderness: 
        "Prepare the way of the LORD; 
        Make His paths straight."' 

Now John himself was clothed in camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey. Then Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him and were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins. 

But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, "Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not think to say to yourselves, "We have Abraham as our father.' For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire."

 

Matins

Psalm

Psalm 29:3 - 4 [Arabic]

The voice of the LORD is over the waters; 
        The God of glory thunders; 
        The LORD is over many waters. 
        The voice of the LORD is powerful; 
        The voice of the LORD is full of majesty. 
 

Gospel

Mk 1:1 - 11 [Arabic]

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in the Prophets: 
        "Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, 
        Who will prepare Your way before You." 
        "The voice of one crying in the wilderness: 
        "Prepare the way of the LORD; 
        Make His paths straight."' 

John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. Then all the land of Judea, and those from Jerusalem, went out to him and were all baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins. 

Now John was clothed with camel's hair and with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. And he preached, saying, "There comes One after me who is mightier than I, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to stoop down and loose. I indeed baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit." 

It came to pass in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And immediately, coming up from the water, He saw the heavens parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove. Then a voice came from heaven, "You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

 

Liturgy

Pauline Epistle

Titus 2:11-end ; Titus 3:1-7 [Arabic]

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. 

Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you. Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men. For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

 

Catholic Epistle

1Jn 5:5 - 21 [Arabic]

Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? 

This is He who came by water and blood--Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one. 

If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which He has testified of His Son. He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son. And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God. 

Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him. 

If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin which does not lead to death, he will ask, and He will give him life for those who commit sin not leading to death. There is sin leading to death. I do not say that he should pray about that. All unrighteousness is sin, and there is sin not leading to death. 

We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him. 

We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one. 

And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. 

Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.

 

Acts

Acts 18:24-end ; Acts 19:1-6 [Arabic]

Now a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus. This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord, though he knew only the baptism of John. So he began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately. And when he desired to cross to Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him; and when he arrived, he greatly helped those who had believed through grace; for he vigorously refuted the Jews publicly, showing from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ. And it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. And finding some disciples he said to them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" 

So they said to him, "We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit." 

And he said to them, "Into what then were you baptized?" 

So they said, "Into John's baptism." 

Then Paul said, "John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus." 

When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.

 

Synaxarium

 The Holy Theophany of Our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ (Baptism of the Lord christ).

 

Psalm

Psalm 118:26 ; Psalm 118:28 [Arabic]

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD! 
        We have blessed you from the house of the LORD. You are my God, and I will praise You; 
        You are my God, I will exalt You.

 

Gospel

Jn 1:18 - 34 [Arabic]

No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him. 

Now this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, "Who are you?" 

He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, "I am not the Christ." 

And they asked him, "What then? Are you Elijah?" 

He said, "I am not." 

"Are you the Prophet?" 

And he answered, "No." 

Then they said to him, "Who are you, that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?" 

He said: "I am 
        "The voice of one crying in the wilderness: 
        "Make straight the way of the LORD,"' 

as the prophet Isaiah said." 

Now those who were sent were from the Pharisees. And they asked him, saying, "Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?" 

John answered them, saying, "I baptize with water, but there stands One among you whom you do not know. It is He who, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose." 

These things were done in Bethabara beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing. 

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is He of whom I said, "After me comes a Man who is preferred before me, for He was before me.' I did not know Him; but that He should be revealed to Israel, therefore I came baptizing with water." 

And John bore witness, saying, "I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him. I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, "Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.' And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God."