Scripture Readings (KJV)
1 Timothy 3.1-13 (Epistle)
1This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.
2A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
3Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;
4One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
5(For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
6Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.
7Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
8Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;
9Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.
10And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.
11Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.
12Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.
13For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.
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 18.31-34 (Gospel)
31Then he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished.
32For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on:
33And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again.
34And they understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.
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 (ca. 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.