Scripture Readings (KJV)
1 Thessalonians 5.9-13, 24-28 (Epistle)
9For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
10Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.
11Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.
12And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;
13And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves.
24Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.
25Brethren, pray for us.
26Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss.
27I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren.
28The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.
1Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary.
2For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary.
3And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all;
4Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant;
5And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly.
6Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God.
7But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people:
Luke 19.12-28 (Gospel)
12He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.
13And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.
14But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.
15And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.
16Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds.
17And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities.
18And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds.
19And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities.
20And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin:
21For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow.
22And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow:
23Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury?
24And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds.
25(And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.)
26For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him.
27But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.
28And when he had thus spoken, he went before, ascending up to Jerusalem.
Luke 10.38-42, 11.27-28
38Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.
39And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.
40But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.
41And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
42But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.
27And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked.
28But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.
Holy Great Martyr and Most Wise Catherine of Alexandria and those with her (305)
“Saint Catherine, who was from Alexandria, was the daughter of Constas (or Cestus). She was an exceedingly beautiful maiden, most chaste, and illustrious in wealth, lineage, and learning. By her steadfast understanding, she utterly vanquished the passionate and unbridled soul of Maximinus, the tyrant of Alexandria; and by her eloquence, she stopped the mouths of the so-called philosophers who had been gathered to dispute with her. She was crowned with the crown of martyrdom in the year 305. Her holy relics were taken by Angels to the holy mountain of Sinai, where they were discovered many years later; the famous monastery of Saint Catherine was originally dedicated to the Holy Transfiguration of the Lord and the Burning Bush, but later was dedicated to Saint Catherine.” (Great Horologion) So great was St Catherine’s eloquence that the fifty orators assigned to debate her recognized their error and, as a body, asked for baptism, for which Maximinus condemned them all to death. The Saint was then subjected to torture on a specially-constructed spiked wheel (with which she is usually shown in her icon), but an angel loosed her and miraculously smashed the wheel. Maximinus’ own wife and 200 soldiers, seeing her sufferings and the nobility with which she bore them, were moved to profess their faith in Christ and their yearning to be baptized. All of them were put to death. Finally Catherine herself was led outside the walls of Alexandria and, after a prayer of thanksgiving to God, was beheaded.
Great Martyr Mercurius (~259)
He was born in the province of Asia, to a Scythian who had secretly converted to Christianity. Like his parents, he was a secret follower of Christ, serving as a legionary in the Roman army during the reign of the Emperor Decius. During a campaign, an Angel appeared to him, gave him a sword and told him to go into battle trusting in Christ’s help. Mercurius plunged into battle, fought his way alone through the enemy lines, and reached the barbarian commander Rigas, whom he killed. Upon the death of their chief the barbarians scattered and the victory was won.
The Emperor, hearing of the young soldier’s exploits, promoted him to a position at court. There, lulled by the pleasures and honors of the court, Mercurius forgot his duties to Christ his King. One night the same Angel who had given him the sword appeared to him once again and reminded him of the sword that Christ had given him, an emblem of the battle of martyrdom that he was about to enter. The next day Mercurius, now returned to his senses, refused to offer sacrifice to the gods. When called before the Emperor, he boldly proclaimed Christ and threw off his badges of office. He was thrown in prison and subjected to cruel tortures, all of which he bore with peace and joy, encouraged by the Angel who appeared to him again to offer comfort and encouragement. After long torment he was beheaded in Caesarea in Cappadocia, at the age of twenty-five.