‘It Is More Blessed to Give than to Receive

‘It Is More Blessed to Give than to Receive

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Listen to the Daily Reading for June 12, 2016, Fathers of the 1st Council and then watch a recorded Bible Study on Acts.

Acts of the Apostles 20:16-18, 28-36

IN THOSE DAYS, Paul had decided to sail past Ephesos, so that he might not have to spend time in Asia; for he was hastening to be at Jerusalem, if possible, on the day of Pentecost. And from Miletos he sent to Ephesos and called to him the elders of the church. And when they came to him, he said to them: “Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God which he obtained with the blood of his own Son. I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish every one with tears. And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified. I coveted no one’s silver or gold or apparel. You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities, and to those who were with me. In all things I have shown you that by so toiling one must help the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, ‘it is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ” And when he had spoken thus, he knelt down and prayed with them all.

The Gospel according to John 17:1-13

At that time, Jesus lifted up his eyes to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him power over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work which you gave me to do; and now, Father, you glorify me in your own presence with the glory which I had with you before the world was made.

“I have manifested your name to the men whom you gave me out of the world; yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you; for I have given them the words which you gave me, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you did send me. I am praying for them; I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are mine; all mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. And now I am no more in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me; I have guarded them, and none of them is lost but the son of perdition, that the scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to you; and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves.”

Onuphrius of Egypt

Saint Onuphrius flourished in the fourth century, first in the cenobium near Hermopolis of Thebes in Egypt, and later as a solitary in the desert, where he was discovered by Saint Paphnutius. When Paphnutius first encountered him deep in the desert, he was affrighted at the Saint’s appearance, seeing him covered with hair like a wild beast and naked except for a garment sewn of leaves covering his loins. After relating his life and the bitter conflicts he had endured as a hermit, Onuphrius told Paphnutius that he was about to die, and that Paphnutius had been sent to bury him, which soon came to pass. Although Paphnutius desired afterwards to remain in the Saint’s cave, as soon as he had buried him, the cave fell in and the palm tree, which had furnished the Saint with dates withered up, indicating that it was the will of God that Paphnutius return to his monastery and make Saint Onuphrius known to all.

Resurrectional Apolytikion

Angelic powers were above Thy tomb, and they that guarded Thee became as dead. And Mary stood by the grave seeking Thine immaculate Body. Thou hast despoiled Hades and wast not tried thereby. Thou didst meet the Virgin and didst grant us life. O Thou Who didst arise from the dead, Lord, glory be to Thee.

Apolytikion of Onuphrius of Egypt

Thou didst prove to be a citizen of the desert, an angel in the flesh, and a wonderworker, O Onuphrius, our God-bearing Father. By fasting, vigil, and prayer thou didst obtain heavenly gifts, and thou healest the sick and the souls of them that have recourse to thee with faith. Glory to Him that hath given thee strength. Glory to Him that hath crowned thee. Glory to Him that worketh healings for all through thee.

Seasonal Kontakion

O Christ our God, upon fulfilling Your dispensation for our sake, You ascended in Glory, uniting the earthly with the heavenly. You were never separate but remained inseparable, and cried out to those who love You, “I am with you and no one is against you.”

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; Resurrectional Apolytikion © Holy Transfiguration Monastery – Brookline, MA; Apolytikion of Onuphrius of Egypt © Holy Transfiguration Monastery – Brookline, MA; Seasonal Kontakion © Narthex Press

The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyrighted 1946, 1952, 1971, and 1973 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. and used by permission. From the Online Chapel of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

 

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About author
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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.