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.
Acts 9.32-42 (Epistle)
32And it came to pass, as Peter passed throughout all quarters, he came down also to the saints which dwelt at Lydda.
33And there he found a certain man named Æneas, which had kept his bed eight years, and was sick of the palsy.
34And Peter said unto him, Æneas, Jesus Christ maketh thee whole: arise, and make thy bed. And he arose immediately.
35And all that dwelt at Lydda and Saron saw him, and turned to the Lord.
36Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did.
37And it came to pass in those days, that she was sick, and died: whom when they had washed, they laid her in an upper chamber.
38And forasmuch as Lydda was nigh to Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent unto him two men, desiring him that he would not delay to come to them.
39Then Peter arose and went with them. When he was come, they brought him into the upper chamber: and all the widows stood by him weeping, and shewing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them.
40But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up.
41And he gave her his hand, and lifted her up, and when he had called the saints and widows, presented her alive.
42And it was known throughout all Joppa; and many believed in the Lord.
John 5.1-15 (Gospel)
1After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
2Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches.
3In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.
4For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.
5And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.
6When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?
7The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.
8Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.
9And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.
10The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed.
11He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk.
12Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk?
13And he that was healed wist not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place.
14Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.
15The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole.
St Pachomius the Great, founder of cenobitic monasticism (346)
His name in his native Coptic, Pachom, means “eagle.” He was an Egyptian pagan who entered the Roman army at a young age. While quartered at Thebes, he was amazed at the kindness of the local Christians, who brought food and drink to the soldiers. Learning who they were, he believed in Christ and vowed, once released from the army, to serve him for the rest of his life. At the end of his military service, he was baptised and became the disciple of the hermit Palamon, with whom he lived for ten years.
At a place called Tabennisis an angel appeared to him dressed in the robes of a monk and gave him a tablet on which was written a rule for a cenobitic monastery — one in which the brethren live communally rather than as hermits, something that had not been seen before among Christians. The angel commanded him to found such a monastery. Pachomius set to work, building many cells though there was no one to live there but himself and his brother John. When John questioned the unnecessary building, Pachomius only said that he was following God’s command, without saying who would live there or when.
But soon men began to assemble there, and in time so many came to be his disciples that he eventually founded nine monasteries housing thousands of monks. The rule that he gave (or had been given) for these monasteries became the model for all communal Christian monasticism thereafter. St Pachomius reposed in 346, before his great Egyptian fellow-strugglers St Anthony the Great and St Athanasius the Great.
Entertaining angels unawares: Christian believers’ simple acts of kindness toward their pagan oppressors may have seemed foolish to many, but it was such acts that opened the eyes of Pachomius to the light of Christ, and which bore incalculably great fruit: the founding of the monastic life which is still the backbone of Christ’s Church.
Our Father among the Saints Achillius, Bishop of Larissa (330)
He was born in Cappadocia, and was one of the 318 God-bearing Fathers who attended the First Ecumenical Council. At the council, Achillius took up a stone and said to the Arians, ‘If Christ is a creature of God, as you say, tell oil to flow from this stone.’ When the heretics kept silent, Achilleus went on, ‘And if the Son of God is equal to the Father, as we believe, let oil flow from this stone,’ at which oil flowed out. Returning to Larissa, the holy bishop cast down many pagan temples, built many churches, cast out many demons, and reposed in peace.