Saints and Readings

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Saturday 6th June 2020

Soul Sabbath

Today we commemorate:
St. Hilarion the New, abbot of the Dalmatian monastery (845). St. Bessarion the Wonderworker, of Egypt (466). Venerable Attalus the Wonderworker. St. Jonah, bishop of Perm (1470). Virgin Martyrs Archelais, Thecla, and Susanna, beheaded at Salerno (293). The Five virgins of Caesarea in Palestine: Martha, Mary, Cyria, Valeria, and Marcia.
British Isles and Ireland:
St. Eigrad of Anglesey (6th C). St. Cocca. St. Gudwall (6th C). St. Jarlath, bishop of Tuam (c.550).

Today's Readings:
Acts 28:1-31; John 21:14-25
For the Departed: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17; John 5:24-30

Readings in bold type are those appointed by the Typikon for use at the Liturgy

Acts 28:1-31
They were saved! And then they learnt that the island was called Malta. The natives showed us no little kindness, for they welcomed us all, kindling a fire because of the continuing rain and because of the cold. As Paul was gathering up a bundle of firewood to put on the fire, a viper emerged – because of the heat – and clung to his hand. When the natives saw the creature hanging from his hand they said one to another, “Surely this man is a murderer. Having escaped from the sea, Justice has not allowed him to live.” Although, having shaken the creature off into the fire, he felt no ill-effects, they nevertheless were expecting him to swell up at any moment or suddenly to drop down dead. But, waiting a long time and seeing nothing strange happening to him, they changed their minds. They said he was a god. Now near that place were the grounds of the principal man of the island named Publius who welcomed us and courteously put us up for three days. It happened that Publius’ father was laid up, afflicted with fever and dysentery. Paul went in and prayed and, laying hands on him, healed him. After this had happened the others in the island who had diseases also came, and they were healed. Then they honoured us in many ways, and on our departure they provided what was needed. Three months later we set sail in a ship of Alexandria with the figurehead ‘The Sons of Zeus’ which had overwintered in the island. Putting in at Syracuse, we stayed three days. From there, circling around, we arrived at Rhegium and one day later a south wind sprang up. On the second day we reached Puteoli where we found brothers and sisters and were invited to stay with them for seven days. Then after that we made our way to Rome from where, hearing about us, the brothers and sisters came out to meet us as far as the Appian Forum and The Three Taverns. When Paul saw them he gave thanks to God and took courage. When we reached Rome the centurion handed over the prisoners to the captain of the guard, but Paul was allowed to stay by himself, with the soldier who guarded him. Three days later, Paul called together those who were prominent among the Jews. When they had assembled he said to them, “Men, brothers, I, who have done nothing against [our] people or the customs of [our] ancestors, am a prisoner from Jerusalem, betrayed into the hands of the Romans. Having questioned me, they wanted to release me because there was no fault in me [worthy] of death. But when the Jews objected I was forced to appeal to Caesar – not that I had any accusation to make against my nation. So this is the reason I asked to see you and to talk, for it is because of the hope of Israel that I am shackled with this chain.” They told him, “We have received no letters from Judea concerning you, nor has any brother arrived reporting or mentioning anything discreditable about you. But we think it is worth hearing from you what is in your mind, because we are aware that everywhere this sect is spoken against.” Having made an appointment with him for a particular day, they began coming – many more of them – to [his] lodgings. From dawn until dusk he was expounding, both from the Law of Moses and from the prophets, testifying earnestly about the Kingdom of God and convincing them of things concerning Jesus. Now some did indeed believe what was said, but others did not. Then, disagreeing with one another, they began to leave. Paul said one [final] thing. “How well the Holy Spirit spoke through Isaiah the prophet to our ancestors, saying, ‘Go to this people and say: You will listen to what you are hearing but never understand; you will look at what you are seeing but never perceive; for the heart of this people has grown fat and their ears are hard of hearing and their eyes they have closed, fearing they might see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart, and might turn again. Then I will heal them.’ Therefore you should know that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will listen.” When Paul had said this the Jews departed, arguing fiercely among themselves. Paul remained for two whole years in his own rented [accommodation], receiving all who were coming to him, proclaiming the Kingdom of God and teaching things concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with total confidence, without restraint.

John 21:14-25
This was now the third time that Jesus, having risen from the dead, had been revealed to his disciples. Now when they had eaten Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love me more than these?” He told him, “Yes, Lord. You know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” He asked him again, a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love me?” Peter replied, “Yes, Lord. You know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He asked him a third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love me?” Peter was distressed because he asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. Truly, truly, I tell you that when you were young you were dressing yourself and going wherever you wanted, but when you grow old you will stretch out your hands and someone else will dress you and carry you where you would rather not go.” Now he said this to indicate by what kind of death he would glorify God. Having said this he told him, “Follow me.” Turning round, Peter saw, following, the disciple whom Jesus loved – the one who at supper had leant on his breast and asked, “Lord, who is going to betray you?” Seeing him, Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?” Jesus answered him, “If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You, follow me.” So this saying spread among the brothers and sisters that this disciple would not die, but Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but, “If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you?” This is the disciple who bears witness to these things. He has also written these things and we know that his testimony is true. Now there are also many other things which Jesus did. If they were to be recorded individually I suppose that not even the world itself could accommodate the books that would be written.

For the Departed:
1 Thessalonians 4:13-17

We do not want you to be ignorant, brothers and sisters, about those who have fallen asleep, so that you may not grieve like all those who have no hope. In that we believe that Jesus died and rose again, so God, through Jesus, will also bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For we say this to you by the word of the Lord that we who are living, we who survive until the coming of the Lord, will not go ahead of those who have fallen asleep, because the Lord himself, with a shout, at the archangel’s cry and at the trumpet-call of God, will descend from heaven. The dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are living, who have survived, will be carried off together with them into the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. After that we shall always be with the Lord.

John 5:24-30
“Truly, truly, I tell you that the one who listens to my word and believes in the One who sent me has eternal life and does not come to judgement, but has passed from death to life. Amen, amen, I tell you, the hour is coming, and it is here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted to the Son also to have life in himself, and he also gave him authority to execute judgement because he is Son of Man. Do not be amazed by this, because the hour is coming when all who are in the tombs shall hear his voice and come out: those who have done good things to a resurrection of life, and those who have done foul things to a resurrection of judgement. I can do nothing of myself; as I hear, I judge. And my judgement is just because I do not seek my own will, but the will of the Father who sent me.”