Daily Reading for December 17, 2015

Daily Reading for December 17, 2015

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St. Paul’s Letter to the Hebrews 11:33-40; 12:1-2

Prokeimenon. Mode 4. Psalm 67.35,26

God is wonderful among his saints.
Bless God in the congregations.

BRETHREN, all the saints through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, received promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched raging fire, escaped the edge of the sword, won strength out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and scourging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were killed with the sword; they went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, ill-treated – of whom the world was not worthy – wandering over deserts and mountains and in dens and caves of the earth. And all these, though well attested by their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had foreseen something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect. Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfection of our faith.

 

Thursday of the 13th Week, the Gospel according to Mark 9:10-15

At that time, the disciples kept the word of Jesus to themselves, questioning what the rising from the dead meant. And they asked him, “Why do the scribes say that first Elijah must come?” And he said to them, “Elijah does come first to restore all things; and how is it written of the Son of man, that he should suffer many things and be treated with contempt? But I tell you that Elijah has come, and they did to him whatever they pleased, as it is written of him.” And when they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd about them, and scribes arguing with them. And immediately all the crowd, when they saw him, were greatly amazed, and ran up to him and greeted him.

Dionysius of Zakynthos, December 17

The holy hierarch, Saint Dionysius, who was born and reared on Zakynthos, was the son of pious and wealthy parents, Mocius and Paulina by name. In his youth he entered the ancient monastery of the Strophada Islands, which lie south of Zakynthos, and there he donned the monastic habit. Later, he was appointed Archbishop of Aegina, and adorned its throne for a considerable time. Thereafter he returned to his homeland. One incident in his life especially reveals to what virtue he attained. A man came to him in desperation, witnessing that he had committed a murder, and was being pursued by the slain man’s family. He asked Saint Dionysius to give him refuge. The Saint agreed to this, upon learning that it was his own brother whom the man had slain, he said nothing, but concealing the agony of his grief, hid him. When the Saint’s kinsmen arrived at the monastery, he told them that the Murderer had gone by such and such a way. When they had departed, he admonished the man concerning the gravity of his sin, instructed him in repentance, and sent him off in peace having forgiven him his brother’s murder. According to local tradition, this man later returned and became a monk at this same monastery. Saint Dionysius reposed in peace in 1621, leaving behind his sacred and incorrupt relics as a treasure for his fellow citizens.

Apolytikion of Dionysios of Zakynthos in the First Tone

The faithful son of Zakynthos, Aegina’s wise prelate, the protector of the august Monastery of Strophada, O wise Dionysius, with one voice, all we the faithful honour thee and cry: By thy prayers, save them that keep thy memorial and cry unto thee sincerely: Glory to Christ Who hath glorified thee. Glory to Him who hath made thee wondrous. Glory to Him Who made thee our unsleeping intercessor.

Kontakion of Dionysios of Zakynthos in the Third Tone

On this day doth Zakynthos call all the faithful together, rousing them to offer praise in songs and hymns of thanksgiving to our great and fervent helper in needs and sorrows, who doth swiftly rescue them that are caught in perils. And she honoureth him, crying: O Dionysius, boast of the faithful, rejoice!

The content on this page is under copyright and is used by permission. All rights reserved. These works may not be further reproduced, in print or on other websites or in any other form, without the prior written authorization of the copyright holder: Reading © Holy Transfiguration Monastery – Brookline, MA; Apolytikion of Dionysios of Zakynthos © Holy Transfiguration Monastery – Brookline, MA; Kontakion of Dionysios of Zakynthos © Holy Transfiguration Monastery – Brookline, MA

From the Online Chapel of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.


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Roger Hunt

Born and raised in Indiana as the son of a doctor who was gifted in writing, Roger devoted most of his talents in the field of music as composser, arranger, and producer of both live and recorded music since the 70’s. He currently lives in Florida and continues to create music (and various music-and-sound-related productions) for OCN and others; and, having converted to the Orthodox Faith in 2010, he enjoys writing the blog series “Musings of a Grateful Convert” for The Sounding.