Friday 21st February 2020
Fast day: strict fast
Today we commemorate:
Righteous Timothy of Symbola in Bithynia (795). St. John Scholasticus of Antioch, patriarch of Constantinople (577). St. Eustathius (Eustace), archbishop of Antioch (c.337). St. Zachariah, patriarch of Jerusalem (633). St. George, bishop of Amastris on the Black Sea (811).
British Isles and Ireland:
St. Erkengota, Princess of Kent (660).
2 John 1:1-13; Mark 15:22-25, 33-41
Readings in bold type are those appointed by the Typikon for use at the Liturgy
2 John 1:1-13
The presbyter to the Chosen Lady 1 and to her children whom I truly love – and not I alone, but also all who have understood what is true through the Truth which is living in us and will be with us forever. Grace, mercy, peace be with you from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love. I am delighted to have found some of your children walking in the truth in accordance with the commandment we have received from the Father. Now I beg you, Lady, not as one writing to you about a new commandment, but the one we have had from the beginning, that we should love one another. And this is love: that we should be walking according to his commandments. This is the commandment – exactly as you heard [it] from the beginning so that you might walk in it because many deceivers have come into the world, those who are not acknowledging Jesus Christ coming in the flesh. This is the Deceiver and the Antichrist. Watch yourselves so that we may not lose what we have worked for but may receive a full reward. Anyone who is transgressing and not continuing in the teaching of Christ does not have God; but the one who is continuing in the teaching of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If any should come to you not bringing this teaching do not give them hospitality or greet them, for whoever welcomes them shares in their evil deeds. As I have many things to write to you I do not intend [to do so] with paper and ink, but I am hoping to come to you and speak face to face so that our joy may be complete. The children of your Chosen Sister 2 greet you. Amen.
1 This almost certainly refers to the particular Church to which the letter was written.
2 And this to the Church from which the letter was sent.
Mark 15:22-25, 33-41
They brought him to a place, Golgotha, which is in translation ‘Place of the Skull’ and offered him wine mixed with myrrh to drink which he did not accept. Then they crucified him and began sharing his clothes among themselves, throwing dice for them [to decide] what each would carry away. It was the third hour when they crucified him. ... When the sixth hour came darkness fell upon the whole land until the ninth hour, and at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice saying, “Eloi, Eloi, lima sabachthani?” which is in translation, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” When they heard this some of the bystanders said, “Look! He is calling Elijah!” Someone ran and filled a sponge with vinegar and, putting it on a reed, gave it to him to drink, saying, “Wait! Let us see if Elijah is coming to take him down.” Then Jesus, letting out a great cry, breathed his last. The veil of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom. When the centurion who was standing facing him saw the way he cried out and breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was Son of God.” There were women there too, looking on from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the Little and of Joses, and Salome – they had started following him when he was in Galilee and used to serve him – and many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem.