The Lord will come like a thief in the night

Listen to the Daily Reading for December 1, 2016,

St. Paul’s First Letter to the Thessalonians 4:18-5:10

BRETHREN, comfort one another with these words. But as to the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves know well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. When people say, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as travail comes upon a woman with child, and there will be no escape. But you are not in darkness, brethren, for that day to surprise you like a thief. For you are all sons of light and sons of the day; we are not of the night or of darkness. So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. For those who sleep sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But, since we belong to the day, let us be sober, and put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we wake or sleep we might live with him.

The Gospel according to Luke 20:9-18

The Lord said this parable: “A man planted a vineyard, and let it out to tenants, and went into another country for a long while. When the time came, he sent a servant to the tenants, that they should give him some of the fruit of the vineyard; but the tenants beat him, and sent him away empty-handed. And he sent another servant; him also they beat and treated shamefully, and sent him away empty-handed. And he sent yet a third; this one they wounded and cast out. Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; it may be they will respect him.’ But when the tenants saw him, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir; let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours.’ And they cast him out of the vineyard and killed him. What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? He will come and destroy those tenants, and give the vineyard to others.” When they heard this, they said, “God forbid!” But he looked at them and said, “What then is this that is written: ‘The very stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner’? Every one who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces; but when it falls on any one it will crush him.”

Philaret the Merciful of Amnia

Saint Philaret a native of Paphlagonia in Asia Minor, was a virtuous Christian layman who lived in lawful wedlock and raised a family. He was most renowned for his generosity to all in need. With the permission of God, in a short space of time he lost the greater part of his possessions to theft and other misfortunes and was left with nothing but his family, his home, and a little livestock. Yet he continued to give generously to the poor despite the faint-heartedness of his family, who reproached him for giving alms when they were in need themselves; and God, seeing his faith, restored his prosperity to him many times over. He foresaw the day of his death, and reposed in an odour of sanctity in Constantinople in 789.

Apolytikion of Philaret the Merciful

From the inner wealth of a divine faith, thou didst deal thy riches to the needy; and thy works of compassion have glorified Christ, the Bestower of mercy, O Philaret; for thy whole life was adorned with a love like His. Intercede for us, O Almsgiver, that He richly grant great mercy and compassion unto us, the poor.

Kontakion of Philaret the Merciful

In all temptations, thou hadst Job’s courageous manliness, and in thy mercy thou didst give thy riches to the poor, being truly a living fountain of almsgiving. By the holy way of life that thou hast shown to us, thou dost also gladden all that cry to thee with love: Rejoice, O Philaret, faithful servant of Christ our God.

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