Scripture Readings (KJV)
(4th Matins Gospel)
1Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.
2And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.
3And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.
4And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:
5And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?
6He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee,
7Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.
8And they remembered his words,
9And returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest.
10It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles.
11And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not.
12Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass.
4When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
5Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
6For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:
7In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.
8But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
9Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;
10And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:
11Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.
16Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many:
17And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready.
18And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused.
19And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused.
20And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.
21So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.
22And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.
23And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.
24For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.
Our Venerable Father Daniel the Stylite (490)
He was from Samosata in Mesopotamia, and became a monk at the age of twelve. As a young monk he visited St Symeon the Stylite (September 1) to receive his blessing. Years later he moved to the neighborhood of Constantinople at the request of the holy Patriarch Anatolius (July 3), whom he had healed of a deadly ailment through his prayers. For a time Daniel lived in the church of the Archangel Michael at Anaplus, but nine years later St Symeon the Stylite appeared to him in a vision and told him to imitate Symeon’s ascesis of living on a pillar. For the remaining thirty-three years of his life the Saint did just that. He stood immovably in prayer regardless of the weather: once after a storm his disciples found him standing covered with ice. He was much loved by several Emperors (including Leo the Great), who sought him out for counsel. He reposed at the age of eighty-four, having lived through the reigns of three Emperors.
Saint Nikon the Dry of the Kiev Caves (1101)
He was a monk in Kiev, taken into slavery by a band of Polovtsi (Turkic raiders who were troubling the country at that time) along with the holy Martyr Eustratius (March 28). He humbly refused to be ransomed by his family and therefore suffered a harsh captivity for three years. Despite this, he prayed constantly for his captors, worked miracles for their sake, and once healed their leader from a deadly illness. One day St Eustratius appeared to him in a vision and told him that he would be set free in three days. When he told his captors, they severed the tendons of his knees and ankles and kept him under guard. But at the appointed time he was miraculously transported to Kiev, where he suddenly appeared in church among his astonished brethren. The Saint did not want his chains removed until his Abbot said “Brother, if the Lord wanted to see you in these chains, he would not have delivered you from captivity!” He was so withered from his hardships that he became known as Nikon the Dry. Later, the captor whom he had healed came to the Monastery of the Caves and became a disciple of his former slave.
Our Venerable Father Luke the New Stylite (979)
He was an Anatolian, and in his youth served in the Byzantine army in the war against the Bulgar Tsar Symeon. After the war, he left the army to become a monk, and was in time ordained to the priesthood. For a time he served as an army chaplain, living even more austerely than he had as a monk and distributing all his possessions to soldiers in need.
He entered the Monastery of St Zacharias on Mount Olympus in Bithynia, where he was appointed steward. Here his ascetical labors reached new levels. He kept a large stone in his mouth so that he would be unable to speak, and spent each night in a tree. When his exploits threatened to attract admiration, Luke fled to his homeland and lived for a few years in an isolated cave. Then, following in the footsteps of Symeon the Elder (September 1), Symeon the Younger (May 24), Daniel (today) and Alypius (November 26), he began to live as a stylite, dwelling on a tall pillar near Constantinople. Here he became a powerful intercessor for those who flocked to him for healing or counsel, and countless miracles were worked through his prayers.
Saint Luke lived on his pillar for more than forty years without interruption, and fell asleep in peace, aged more than one hundred. He was buried in the Monastery of St Bassian.