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Sunday, January 16, 2022 | Tobe 8, 1738

The Eighth Day of the Blessed Month of Tobe

Annual Tune | Herbs and plants Season

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Vespers Gospel

Stand in the fear of God and listen to the Holy Gospel. A reading from the Gospel according to our teacher Saint Matthew the Evangelist. May His Blessings be with us all. From the Psalms of our teacher David the prophet. May his blessings be with us all.
Psalms 97:3,9

He has remembered His mercy and His faithfulness to the house of Israel; All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. before the LORD, For He is coming to judge the earth. With righteousness He shall judge the world, And the peoples with equity.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Our Lord God, Savior, and King of us all, Jesus Christ, the Living Son of God to whom be glory forever. Amen.
Matthew 14:22-36

Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary. Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, "It is a ghost!"And they cried out for fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, "Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid." And Peter answered Him and said, "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water." So He said, "Come."And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, "Lord, save me!" And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, "Truly You are the Son of God." When they had crossed over, they came to the land of Gennesaret. And when the men of that place recognized Him, they sent out into all that surrounding region, brought to Him all who were sick, and begged Him that they might only touch the hem of His garment. And as many as touched it were made perfectly well.
And Glory be to God forever


Matins Gospel

Stand in the fear of God and listen to the Holy Gospel. A reading from the Gospel according to our teacher Saint Mark the Evangelist. May His Blessings be with us all. From the Psalms of our teacher David the prophet. May his blessings be with us all.
Psalms 96:1,2

The LORD reigns; Let the earth rejoice; Let the multitude of isles be glad! Clouds and darkness surround Him; Righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Our Lord God, Savior, and King of us all, Jesus Christ, the Living Son of God to whom be glory forever. Amen.
Mark 3:7-12

But Jesus withdrew with His disciples to the sea. And a great multitude from Galilee followed Him, and from Judea and Jerusalem and Idumea and beyond the Jordan; and those from Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude, when they heard how many things He was doing, came to Him. So He told His disciples that a small boat should be kept ready for Him because of the multitude, lest they should crush Him. For He healed many, so that as many as had afflictions pressed about Him to touch Him. And the unclean spirits, whenever they saw Him, fell down before Him and cried out, saying, "You are the Son of God." But He sternly warned them that they should not make Him known.
And Glory be to God forever

Divine Liturgy

Pauline Epistle

Paul, the servant of our Lord Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, appointed to the Gospel of God. A reading from the Epistle of our teacher Paul to the Galatians. May his blessings be upon us. Amen
Galatians 5:2-10

Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love. You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump. I have confidence in you, in the Lord, that you will have no other mind; but he who troubles you shall bear his judgment, whoever he is.
The grace of God the Father be with you all. Amen.

Catholic Epistle

A Reading from the 1 Epistle of St. John. May his blessing be upon us. Amen
1 John 3:18-24

My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him. For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment. Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.
Do not love the world or the things in the world. The world passes away, and its desires; but he who does the will of God abides forever. Amen.

Acts of the Apostles

The Acts of our fathers the apostles, may their blessings be with us.
Acts of the Apostles 15:22-29

Then it pleased the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas, namely, Judas who was also named Barsabas, and Silas, leading men among the brethren. They wrote this, letter by them: The apostles, the elders, and the brethren, To the brethren who are of the Gentiles in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia: Greetings. Since we have heard that some who went out from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your souls, saying, "You must be circumcised and keep the law"to whom we gave no such commandment it seemed good to us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who will also report the same things by word of mouth. For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell.
The word of the Lord shall grow, multiply, be mighty, and be confirmed, in the holy Church of God. Amen.


The Eighth Day of the Blessed Coptic Month of Tobe, may God make it always received, year after year, with reassurance and tranquility, while our sins are forgiven by the tender mercies of our God my fathers and brothers, Amen.
Consecration of The Church of Saint Macarius the Great
On this day, the church of St. Macarius, in the monastery known after his name, was consecrated by the hand of Abba Benjamin, 38th Pope of Alexandria. This took place when El-Moquakas was appointed as a ruler and patriarch over Egypt by Emperor Heraclius. Both of them believed in the teachings of the Council of Chalcedon. El-Moquakas started to persecute the Christians of Egypt (the Copts) because they refused to follow him. He pursued Pope Benjamin, the legitimate Pope of Alexandria, who took flight to Upper Egypt. He moved from one church to another and from one monastery to another, confirming his flock in the faith. He did this for ten years, until the Arab conquest of Egypt and the death of El-Moquakas. When Abba Benjamin returned to his throne, the elders of the wilderness of the holy desert of Scete (Scetis) asked him to consecrate for them the new church that they built there in the name of St. Macarius. He went with them joyfully. As he approached the monastery, the monks received him with palm fronds and olive branches, just as the city of Jerusalem received Christ when He entered it.

When he was consecrating the church and as he was starting to consecrate the altar, he saw the Hand of Christ anointing the altar with him. He fell upon his face in great fear, and one of the Cherubim raised him up and comforted him. Abba Benjamin said, 'Truly this is the house of the Lord and this is the door of heaven.' He looked to the west side of the church and he saw an elder standing there with reverence and awesome appearance, and his shining face looked like an angel. He said to himself, 'Truly, if there a chair became vacant, I would make this man a bishop.' The angel told him, 'Would you make this man a bishop?, and he is St. Macarius, the father of Patriarchs, bishops, and all the monks. He has come today in the spirit to rejoice with his children, and this place will be forever filled with righteous monks, and it will never be short of leaders and spiritual fruits.' St. Benjamin said, 'Blessed is he and blessed are his children.' The angel said, 'If his children obey his commandments and follow his orders, they will be with him in glory, but if they disobey, they will have no share with him.'

Then St. Macarius said, 'Do not decide, my lord, what would happen to my children this way. For if one grape in a bunch remains, the blessing of the Lord will be on it. For if their love for one another remains among them, I believe that the Lord will never keep them away from His Kingdom.' St. Benjamin was amazed and marveled at the abundant mercy of St. Macarius. He wrote what had taken place and placed it in the church as a perpetual memorial. He asked the Lord Jesus Christ that his departure might take place on a similar day. This was fulfilled, and he departed on the eighth day of Tubah, after he had been on the throne for 39 years. The altar in which he saw the Lord Christ was named after him.
May his prayers be with us. Amen.

Departure of Pope Andronicus I (616-622) the 37th Patriarch of Alexandria and the See of Saint Mark
Also on this day, of the year 622 A.D., the holy father Abba Andronicus, 37th Pope of Alexandria, departed. This father was from a rich family of great influence and his cousin was the chief of the imperial court at Alexandria. He was very well educated and he studied the Holy Scriptures and excelled in their interpretation. Because of his knowledge, his righteousness and his charity toward the poor, he was ordained a deacon. By consensus he was chosen to be patriarch, although he never lived in any monastery. He remained in Alexandria all the days of his papacy, not intimidated by the authority of the Melkites. Shortly after the ordination of Abba Andronicus, the Persians invaded the East and crossed the river Euphrates. They seized Halab, Antioch in Syria, Jerusalem, and many other cities. They killed and imprisoned many Christians. They captured Egypt and went to the City of Alexandria, around which there were six hundred inhabited monasteries. They killed all the inhabitants, plundered their possessions, and destroyed the monasteries. When the people of Alexandria heard what they had done, because of their fear, they opened the gates of the city for them. The Persian King saw in a night dream someone saying to him, 'I have delivered to you the city. Do not destroy it. But kill its heroes for they are hypocrites.' He arrested the Governor of the city, and tied him up in chains. He ordered the elders of the city to bring forth the men, from 18 to 50 years old to come forward to give everyone twenty denari, and to enlist them as soldiers for the city. Eighty thousand men came forward and he killed them all by the sword. Afterward, the Persian King went with his army to Upper Egypt. He passed by the city of Nikios. He heard that there were some seven hundred monks living in cells and caves around it. He sent men to kill them. He continued to kill and destroy until Emperor Heraclius conquered him and drove him out of Egypt. As for Pope Andronicus, he lived a virtuous life. He remained on the throne of St. Mark for 6 years, then departed in peace.
May His prayers be with us. Amen.

Departure of Pope Benjamin I (622-659) the 38th Patriarch of Alexandria and the See of Saint Mark
On this day also, of the year 659 A.D., the blessed and holy father Abba Benjamin, 38th Pope of Alexandria, departed. This father was from the city of Barset (Barshout), the province of El-Behiera. He was the son of wealthy parents. He became a monk under the guidance of a holy elder by the name of Theonas in the monastery of St. Knobus nearby Alexandria. He grew in virtue and memorized the holy books of the church until he reached the level of Christian perfection. One night he heard in a night vision someone saying, 'Rejoice Benjamin, for you will shepherd the flock of Christ.' When he told his spiritual father about what he had heard, he said to him, 'The devil wants to hinder you. Beware of pride.' He increased in virtue. His spiritual father took him to Pope Andronicus and told him about Abba Benjamin's vision. The Pope ordained him priest and put him in charge of the church affairs, and he excelled in his care.
When he was chosen to the patriarchate, he faced many tribulations. The angel of the Lord had revealed to him the hardships that the church was about to experience. The angel told him to flee with his bishops. St. Benjamin celebrated the Divine Liturgy and administered the Holy Mysteries to the people. He also commanded them to be steadfast in the faith of their fathers and informed them of what was about to happen. He wrote a circular to all the bishops and all the heads of the monasteries, advising them to hide until the hardships were over. Then he went to the wilderness of St. Macarius, then to Upper Egypt. After the Pope had left Alexandria, the Chalcedonian El-Moquakas arrived, and took charge over the country and seized the church with authority from Emperor Heraclius. He persecuted the believers and arrested 'Mina', St. Benjamin's brother, and tortured him severely. Then he burnt his sides, and finally killed him by drowning him.
Shortly after, Amr Ebn-Elas invaded the land of Egypt and stayed there for three years. In 360 A.M. (Anno Martyri), Amr went to Alexandria and gained control of its fortress. Many evil men took the chance and burned many churches, among them was St. Mark's Church on the seashore, and many other monasteries that were surrounding Alexandria, and plundered their contents. One of the sailors went to the church of St. Mark during this disturbance and he thrust his hand into the sarcophagus of St. Mark, thinking that he would find money. He did not find anything except a body. He stole the clothing that was on it and took the head with him, and hid it in his ship and did not tell anyone. When Amr Ebn-Elas knew about the disappearance of Pope Benjamin, he sent a circular to all the cities of Egypt, giving orders that the Pope's hiding place be safe and secure. He asked the Pope to come back to his people and to take charge of the church. Pope Benjamin came back after he had been in hiding for 13 years. Amr Ebn-Elas was courteous toward him and honored him. He returned the churches and all their properties back to him. When Amr was about to leave Alexandria, heading to Pentapolis (the five western cities), one of the ships could not move and was unable to leave. The captain of the ship was questioned and when they searched the ship they found the head of St. Mark. They called upon Pope Benjamin and he carried it and walked with the priests and the people while they were joyfully singing hymns, until they arrived to Alexandria. The captain of the ship paid a great amount of money to the Pope to build a church after the name of St. Mark. This father was dedicated to converting the unbelievers to the Christian faith. He departed in peace after he had been on the apostolic throne for 37 years.
May His prayers be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.

Divine Liturgy Gospel

Stand in the fear of God and listen to the Holy Gospel. A reading from the Gospel according to our teacher Saint Luke the Evangelist. May His Blessings be with us all. From the Psalms of our teacher David the prophet. May his blessings be with us all.
Psalms 83:7;64:2

O You who hear prayer, To You all flesh will come.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Our Lord God, Savior, and King of us all, Jesus Christ, the Living Son of God to whom be glory forever. Amen.
Luke 11:27-36

And it happened, as He spoke these things, that a certain woman from the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, "Blessed is the womb that bore You, and the breasts which nursed You!" But He said, "More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!" And while the crowds were thickly gathered together, He began to say, "This is an evil generation. It seeks a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah the prophet. For as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so also the Son of Man will be to this generation. The queen of the South will rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and indeed a greater than Solomon is here. The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and indeed a greater than Jonah is here. "No one, when he has lit a lamp, puts it in a secret place or under a basket, but on a lampstand, that those who come in may see the light. The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is good, your whole body also is full of light. But when your eye is bad, your body also is full of darkness. Therefore take heed that the light which is in you is not darkness. If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, the whole body will be full of light, as when the bright shining of a lamp gives you light."
And Glory be to God forever

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