Scripture Readings (KJV)
(5th Matins Gospel)
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.
13And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs.
14And they talked together of all these things which had happened.
15And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them.
16But their eyes were holden that they should not know him.
17And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad?
18And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days?
19And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people:
20And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him.
21But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.
22Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre;
23And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive.
24And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not.
25Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:
26Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?
27And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
28And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further.
29But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.
30And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them.
31And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.
32And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?
33And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them,
34Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon.
35And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread.
(Epistle, Sunday before Elevation)
11Ye see how large a letter I have written unto you with mine own hand.
12As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ.
13For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh.
14But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.
15For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.
16And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.
17From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.
18Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.
2 Corinthians 6.1-10 (Epistle)
1We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.
2(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)
3Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed:
4But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses,
5In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings;
6By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned,
7By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,
8By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true;
9As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed;
10As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.
(Gospel, Sunday before Elevation)
13And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.
14And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
15That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
Matthew 25.14-30 (Gospel)
14For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.
15And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.
16Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.
17And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.
18But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.
19After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.
20And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.
21His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
22He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.
23His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
24Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed:
25And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.
26His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:
27Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.
28Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.
29For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.
30And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Our Holy Mother Theodora of Alexandria (490)
While a young married woman, she committed adultery with another man. Seized by remorse, she fled her husband’s house, dressed herself as a man, renamed herself Theodore, and entered a men’s monastery, pretending to be a eunuch. “Theodore“‘s fasts, prayers, vigils and tears amazed “his” brethren. Her secret was only discovered after her death. She had spent nine full years devoting her life to repentance for one sin. During her life she showed herself to be a wonderworker, taming wild beasts and healing sicknesses. Her husband came to her funeral, then lived until his death in the cell of his former wife.
St Euphrosynos the Cook of Alexandria (9th c.)
His icon is found in countless Orthodox kitchens. A simple and holy man, when he entered monastic life in Alexandria he was judged unfit for any service more demanding than kitchen work. There he labored without complaint, looked down upon by most of the other monks. One night the abbot dreamed that he was in Paradise, and there met Euphrosynos, who gave him a branch that bore three fragrant apples. Awakening, the abbot found the same apples on his pillow. He hurried to find Euphrosynos and asked him, `Where were you last night, brother?’ Euphrosynos only replied, `Where were you, Father?’ The abbot gathered the monks and told them the wonderful story, by which they all realized the cook’s holiness. But Euphrosynos, unwilling to endure the praise of men, fled the monastery for the desert.
St Paphnutius the Confessor (4th c.)
“A bishop of the Egyptian Thebaid, he suffered greatly for the Orthodox faith: heretics put out one of his eyes and broke his left leg. He took part in the First Ecumenical Council, refuting the Arian heresy with great power. The Emperor Constantine valued him greatly and often kissed him on the missing eye, lost for the truth of Orthodoxy. At the council, he stood in opposition to the western representatives, who proposed that secular priests be completely forbidden to marry. He was chaste throughout the whole of his life.” (Prologue)
Canonization of St Xenia of St Petersburg (1978)
She is commemorated on January 24.