Scripture Readings (KJV)
1 Peter 4.1-11 (Epistle)
1Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;
2That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.
3For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:
4Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:
5Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.
6For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.
7But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.
8And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
9Use hospitality one to another without grudging.
10As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
11If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Mark 12.28-37 (Gospel)
28And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?
29And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
30And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
31And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
32And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he:
33And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.
34And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask him any question.
35And Jesus answered and said, while he taught in the temple, How say the scribes that Christ is the Son of David?
36For David himself said by the Holy Ghost, The LORD said to my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool.
37David therefore himself calleth him Lord; and whence is he then his son? And the common people heard him gladly.
Holy Martyr Tryphon (250)
He was the son of humble, pious parents in Phrygia, and as supported himself keeping geese. At a very early age he was granted the gift of healing illnesses of man and animals, and driving out unclean spirits.
The daughter of the Emperor Gordian (238-244) was possessed by a demon, which no physician or pagan sorcerer had been able to drive away. One day the demon shouted, ‘Only Tryphon is able to drive me out!’ Gordian sent servants to scour the Empire in search of the unknown healer; eventually their inquiries led them to the teenaged goose-keeper, and they brought him to Rome, where his prayers immediately drove out the demon. The Emperor showered Tryphon with gifts, which he gave away to the poor on his journey homeward.
When the persecution of Christians under Decius (250) broke out, Tryphon was denounced to the regional government as a dangerous promoter of Christianity (though he had continued to live as a humble peasant, his miracles and healings had made him known). His former service to the Emperor was either forgotten or of no account to the governor, who had him viciously tortured, then sent to Nicaea for further interrogation. There, when no torment would persuade him to deny Christ or worship the idols, he was beheaded outside the city gates. His relics were returned to Lampsacus, near his home, where he continued to work many miracles of healing.
Saint Tryphon is especially invoked for the protection of gardens and farmland against locusts, reptiles, and all small pests.
Holy Martyrs Perpetua and Felicity, and those with them at Carthage (203)
Perpetua, Felicity, Saturus, Saturninus, Secundus and Revocatus were all young catechumens living near Carthage. Perpetua was of noble birth; Felicity (Felicitas) was her slave. All were arrested under Emperor Valerian’s persecution and sent to Carthage. Perpetua had a young child still at the breast, which she asked to take with her.
The holy martyrs appeared before the tribunal and joyfully received their sentence of condemnation to be thrown to the wild beasts in the arena. Felicity, who was eight months pregnant, was concerned that her martyrdom might be postponed because of her pregnancy, but at the prayers of her friends, she went into labor three days before the games. As she groaned in labor, a jailer mocked her, telling her that the pain she felt was nothing to the pain that she would feel in the arena. The Saint replied, ‘Here I suffer for myself; then there will be Another with me, who will suffer with me; and my sufferings will be for Him!’ When she gave birth, she entrusted her newborn child to the care of a Christian couple and prepared for her end.
On the day of the games, the brothers and sisters in Christ entered the arena together. The men were soon killed by the beasts, but Perpetua and Felicity, though mauled, remained alive. The impatient persecutors ordered that they be beheaded. Walking to the center of the arena, the two spiritual sisters exchanged the kiss of peace and gave up their souls to God.
Our Holy Mother Brigid of Kildare (524)
Her name is also spelled Brigit or Bridget; she is considered, equally with St Patrick (March 17), patron of Ireland. She was born in Ulster of a noble Irish family which had been converted by St Patrick. She was uncommonly beautiful, and her father planned to marry her to the King of Ulster. But at the age of sixteen she asked her Lord Jesus Christ to make her unattractive, so that no one would marry her and she could devote herself to Him alone. Soon she lost an eye and was allowed to enter a monastery. On the day that she took monastic vows, she was miraculously healed and her original beauty restored.
Near Dublin she built herself a cell under an oak tree, which was called Kill-dara, or Cell of the Oak. Soon seven other young women joined her and established the monastery of Kill-dara, which in time became the cathedral city of Kildare. The monastery grew rapidly and became a double monastery with both men’s and women’s settlements, with the Abbess ranking above the Abbot; from it several other monasteries were planted throughout Ireland. (Combined men’s and women’s monastic communities are virtually unknown in the east, but were common in the golden age of the Irish Church).
The Saint predicted the day of her death and fell asleep in peace in 524, leaving a monastic Rule to govern all the monasteries under her care. During the Middle Ages her veneration spread throughout Europe.