Scripture Readings (KJV)
Composite 2 - Proverbs 10, 3, 8 (Vespers)
1The memory of a just man is praised, and the Lord’s blessing is upon his head. Blessed is one who has found wisdom; a mortal who knows understanding. To import her is better than treasures of gold and silver. She is more valuable than precious stones; nothing of value equals her worth. Justice proceeds from her mouth; she bears law and mercy on her tongue. Therefore, my children, listen to me, for I speak weighty things. And blessed is the one who keeps my ways. For my goings out are the goings out of life, and favour is prepared from the Lord. Therefore I exhort you, and utter my voice to the children of humankind. Because I, Wisdom, have prepared counsel, knowledge and understanding. I have called on them. Counsel and sureness are mine; prudence is mine, strength is mine. I love those who are my friends, while those who seek me will find grace. You innocent, then, understand cunning; you untaught, take it to heart. Listen to me, for I will speak weighty things, and I will open right things from my lips. Because my throat will meditate truth; lying lips are abominable before me. All the words of my mouth are with justice, there is nothing crooked in them nor twisted. They are all straight for those who understand, and right for those who find knowledge. For I teach you what is true, that your hope may be in the Lord and that you may be filled with spirit.
Proverbs 10.31-11.12 (Vespers)
31The mouth of the just bringeth forth wisdom: but the froward tongue shall be cut out.
32The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable: but the mouth of the wicked speaketh frowardness.
1A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight.
2When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.
3The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.
4Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivereth from death.
5The righteousness of the perfect shall direct his way: but the wicked shall fall by his own wickedness.
6The righteousness of the upright shall deliver them: but transgressors shall be taken in their own naughtiness.
7When a wicked man dieth, his expectation shall perish: and the hope of unjust men perisheth.
8The righteous is delivered out of trouble, and the wicked cometh in his stead.
9An hypocrite with his mouth destroyeth his neighbour: but through knowledge shall the just be delivered.
10When it goeth well with the righteous, the city rejoiceth: and when the wicked perish, there is shouting.
11By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted: but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked.
12He that is void of wisdom despiseth his neighbour: but a man of understanding holdeth his peace.
Wisdom of Solomon 4.7-15 (Vespers)
7But though the righteous be prevented with death, yet shall he be in rest.
8For honourable age is not that which standeth in length of time, nor that is measured by number of years.
9But wisdom is the gray hair unto men, and an unspotted life is old age.
10He pleased God, and was beloved of him: so that living among sinners he was translated.
11Yea speedily was he taken away, lest that wickedness should alter his understanding, or deceit beguile his soul.
12For the bewitching of naughtiness doth obscure things that are honest; and the wandering of concupiscence doth undermine the simple mind.
13He, being made perfect in a short time, fulfilled a long time:
14For his soul pleased the Lord: therefore hasted he to take him away from among the wicked.
15This the people saw, and understood it not, neither laid they up this in their minds, That his grace and mercy is with his saints, and that he hath respect unto his chosen.
9I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
10The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
11I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
12But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.
13The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.
14I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
15As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
16And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
1 Corinthians 1.26-29 (Epistle)
26For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
27But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
28And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
29That no flesh should glory in his presence.
(Epistle, St Tikhon)
26For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;
27Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.
28For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated for evermore.
1Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens;
2A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.
Matthew 20.29-34 (Gospel)
29And as they departed from Jericho, a great multitude followed him.
30And, behold, two blind men sitting by the way side, when they heard that Jesus passed by, cried out, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son of David.
31And the multitude rebuked them, because they should hold their peace: but they cried the more, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son of David.
32And Jesus stood still, and called them, and said, What will ye that I shall do unto you?
33They say unto him, Lord, that our eyes may be opened.
34So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him.
(Gospel, St Tikhon)
14Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
15Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
16Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
17Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
18For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
19Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
St Maximos the Confessor (662)
He was from a noble family in Constantinople, and became the private secretary of the Emperor Heraclius and his grandson Constans. But when the Monothelite heresy (that Christ possesses one divine will, rather than a divine and a human will) took hold in the Imperial court, the Saint could not bear to be surrounded by this error and left the court for the Monastery at Chrysopolis, where in time he became the abbot. From the monastery he continued to speak and write in defense of Orthodox belief. The Emperor Constans ordered him either to accept Monothelite belief or to cease speaking against it, but St Maximos would do neither. For this, his tongue was torn out, his right hand was cut off, and he was sent into exile, where he reposed in 662. He is also commemorated on January 21; see that day for a slightly fuller account.
St Tikhon of Zadonsk (1783)
He is one of the best-loved Saints of the Russian people. He was born into a very poor family in Novgorod province and received the baptismal name of Timothy. He went to seminary in Novgorod, where he excelled, later teaching Greek and other subjects. He was tonsured a monk at the age of thirty-four, receiving the monastic name of Tikhon. As his ascesis and wisdom became known, he quickly became eminent in the Church and in 1761 was made a bishop. In 1763 he was consecrated Bishop of Voronezh. After serving as bishop for about seven years, he retired to the monastery of Zadonsk, where he spent the remainder of his life. He devoted his “retirement” to prayer and the writing of books, producing a huge collection of writings that have earned him the name “the Russian Chrysostom.” He reposed in peace in 1783 at the age of fifty-nine. Many miracles were wrought by him after his death, and he was soon proclaimed a Saint by the people. When his body was exhumed in 1845 (over sixty years later) to make way for a new church in Zadonsk, his relics were found to be whole and incorrupt; even his vestments were free from decay. He was officially glorified in 1863; some three hundred thousand pilgrims attended his glorification.
Holy Martyr Hippolytus of Rome and 18 Martyrs with him (258)
He was the pagan jailkeeper who guarded St Laurence (see August 10); seeing his prisoner’s holiness and the wonders wrought by him, Hippolytus was convinced of the truth of the Faith and became a Christian. When St Laurence baptized him, he was granted a vision of heaven and said ‘I see innocent souls in great joy.’ He took Laurence into his own home, and his entire household were baptized, nineteen in all.
When St Laurence was martyred, Hippolytus retrieved his body by night and buried it. He was detected and brought before the Emperor Valerian on the third day after Laurence’s death. Despite severe beatings he would not renounce his faith. The Emperor ordered that he be stripped and flayed but, standing naked before the emperor, Hippolytus said ‘You have not stripped me, but have begun to clothe me.’ Despite all torments, neither Hippolytus nor any of his household would deny Christ. All of his household were slain, one by one, before Hippolytus. Finally Hippolytus himself was bound behind a wild horse and dragged to death.
Our Holy Mother the Empress Irene (Xenia in Monasticism) (12th c.)
She was the pious wife of the Emperor John II Comnenus (reigned 1118-1143), but retired into monastic life. She founded the Monastery of the Pantokrator in Constantinople.