Daily Reading for December 19, 2015

Daily Reading for December 19, 2015

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St. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians 3:8-12

Prokeimenon. Mode Plagal 2. Psalm 31.11,1

Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous.
Blessed are they whose transgressions have been forgiven.

BRETHREN, the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “in you shall all the nations be blessed.” So then, those who are men of faith are blessed with Abraham who had faith. For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be every one who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law, and do them.” Now it is evident that no man is justified before God by the law; for “the righteous shall live by faith”; but the law does not rest on faith, for “He who does them shall live by them.”

Saturday before Nativity, the Gospel according to Luke 13:19-29

The Lord said this parable, “The kingdom of God is like a grain of mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his garden; and it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches.” And again he said, “To what shall I compare the kingdom of God? It is like leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened.” He went on his way through towns and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem. And some one said to him, “Lord, will those who are saved be few?” And he said to them, “Strive to enter by the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. When once the householder has risen up and shut the door, you will begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, open to us.’ He will answer you, ‘I do not know where you come from.’ Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.’ But he will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you come from; depart from me, all you workers of iniquity!’ There you will weep and gnash your teeth when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God and you yourselves thrust out. And men will come from east and west, and from north and south, and sit at table in the kingdom of God.”

 Martyrs Boniface, Probus, Ares, Timothy, Polyeuktos, Eutychios and Thessaloniki, December 19

This Saint, who lived during the reign of Diocletian, was the servant of a certain Roman woman of senatorial rank named Aglais. Mistress and servant lived together in an unlawful union, and Boniface was moreover given to drunkenness and riotous living. Nevertheless, he was generous to the poor, hospitable to strangers, and compassionate to those in misfortune.

At last, Aglais, moved at hearing the accounts of the Martyrs, and believing in the power of their intercessions to obtain the mercy of God, sent Boniface to Tarsus to obtain relics of holy Martyrs. Before he departed, he asked her in jest, “And what if they bring back my body as holy relics?” He then set out with some of his fellow slaves for Cilicia, where the Saints were contesting in martyrdom. As he went among the Martyrs and encouraged them in their pains he was arrested by the ruler and confessed Christ with boldness, and suffered death as a martyr in the year 290.

Thus what he had said in jest to his mistress was fulfilled when he himself was brought back to her as sacred relics by his fellow servants. Saint Aglais devoted the remainder, of her life to prayer and works of virtue, and reposed in sanctity. Saint Boniface is especially invoked for help against the passion of drinking.

Apolytikion of Martyr Boniface & Companions in the Fourth Tone

Thy Martyr, O Lord, in his courageous contest for Thee received the prize of the crowns of incorruption and life from Thee, our immortal God. For since he possessed Thy strength, he cast down the tyrants and wholly destroyed the demons’ strengthless presumption. O Christ God, by his prayers, save our souls, since Thou art merciful.

Kontakion of Martyr Boniface & Companions in the Fourth Tone

Thou didst offer up thyself of thine own choosing as a spotless sacrifice to Him that for thy sake, O Saint, shall soon be born of a Virgin Maid, O all-renowned and wise crown-bearer Boniface.

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 Martyr Boniface & Companions © Holy Transfiguration Monastery – Brookline, MA; Kontakion of Martyr Boniface & Companions © 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.