Scripture Readings (KJV)
Acts 28.1-31 (Epistle)
1And when they were escaped, then they knew that the island was called Melita.
2And the barbarous people shewed us no little kindness: for they kindled a fire, and received us every one, because of the present rain, and because of the cold.
3And when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and laid them on the fire, there came a viper out of the heat, and fastened on his hand.
4And when the barbarians saw the venomous beast hang on his hand, they said among themselves, No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he hath escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffereth not to live.
5And he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm.
6Howbeit they looked when he should have swollen, or fallen down dead suddenly: but after they had looked a great while, and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds, and said that he was a god.
7In the same quarters were possessions of the chief man of the island, whose name was Publius; who received us, and lodged us three days courteously.
8And it came to pass, that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and of a bloody flux: to whom Paul entered in, and prayed, and laid his hands on him, and healed him.
9So when this was done, others also, which had diseases in the island, came, and were healed:
10Who also honoured us with many honours; and when we departed, they laded us with such things as were necessary.
11And after three months we departed in a ship of Alexandria, which had wintered in the isle, whose sign was Castor and Pollux.
12And landing at Syracuse, we tarried there three days.
13And from thence we fetched a compass, and came to Rhegium: and after one day the south wind blew, and we came the next day to Puteoli:
14Where we found brethren, and were desired to tarry with them seven days: and so we went toward Rome.
15And from thence, when the brethren heard of us, they came to meet us as far as Appii forum, and The three taverns: whom when Paul saw, he thanked God, and took courage.
16And when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard: but Paul was suffered to dwell by himself with a soldier that kept him.
17And it came to pass, that after three days Paul called the chief of the Jews together: and when they were come together, he said unto them, Men and brethren, though I have committed nothing against the people, or customs of our fathers, yet was I delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans.
18Who, when they had examined me, would have let me go, because there was no cause of death in me.
19But when the Jews spake against it, I was constrained to appeal unto Cæsar; not that I had ought to accuse my nation of.
20For this cause therefore have I called for you, to see you, and to speak with you: because that for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain.
21And they said unto him, We neither received letters out of Judæa concerning thee, neither any of the brethren that came shewed or spake any harm of thee.
22But we desire to hear of thee what thou thinkest: for as concerning this sect, we know that every where it is spoken against.
23And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening.
24And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not.
25And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers,
26Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive:
27For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
28Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it.
29And when he had said these words, the Jews departed, and had great reasoning among themselves.
30And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him,
31Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.
1 Thessalonians 4.13-17
13But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
14For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
15For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
1 Corinthians 15.47-57
(Epistle, Departed, variant)
47The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.
48As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.
49And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
50Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
51Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
53For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
54So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
55O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
56The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
57But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
John 21.15-25 (Gospel)
15So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.
16He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
17He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
18Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not.
19This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me.
20Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee?
21Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do?
22Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.
23Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?
24This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true.
25And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.
24Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
25Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.
26For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;
27And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.
28Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
29And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
30I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.
(Gospel, Departed, variant)
35And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
36But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not.
37All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
38For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
39And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
St Cyril, archbishop of Alexandria (444)
“St Cyril was… from Alexandria, born about the year 376, the nephew of Theophilus, Patriarch of Alexandria, who also instructed the Saint in his youth. Having first spent much time with the monks of Nitria, he later became the successor to his uncle’s throne in 412. In 429, when Cyril heard tidings of the teachings of the new Patriarch of Constantinople, Nestorius, he began attempting through private letters to bring Nestorius to renounce his heretical teachings about the Incarnation; and when the heresiarch did not repent, Saint Cyril, together with Pope Celestine of Rome, led the Orthodox opposition to his error. Saint Cyril presided over the Third Ecumenical Council of the 200 holy Fathers in the year 431, who gathered in Ephesus under Saint Theodosius the Younger. At this Council, by his most wise words he put to shame and convicted the impious doctrine of Nestorius, who, although he was in town, refused to appear before Cyril. Saint Cyril, besides overthrowing the error of Nestorius, has left to the Church full commentaries on the Gospels of Luke and John. Having shepherded the Church of Christ for thirty-two years, he reposed in 444.” (Great Horologion)
Today we commemorate St Cyril’s repose. He is also commemorated on January 18, the date of his restoration to his see in Alexandria after he had been driven out by Nestorians.
St Columba of Iona (597)
He was born to a prominent noble family, the Ui-Niall clan of Ireland, but he forsook all worldly things and became a monk at a young age. He founded the monasteries of Derry and Durrow, and traveled as a missionary in Ireland for almost twenty years. In 565 he settled on the island of Iona, off the coast of Scotland; there he remained for 32 years, establishing the famous monastery of Iona and continuing in his missionary labors. He reposed in peace at Iona.
Saint Kyril of Belozersk (1427)
He was born in Moscow in 1337, and took up the monastic life while young. Though he desired a life of strict silence and solitude, he was made abbot of the Simonov Monastery against his will. After a few years, obeying a revelation from the most holy Theotokos, he left his abbacy and went to the wilderness of Belozersk (White Lake) to live as a hermit. Others gathered there to live under his guidance, and in time the community became the Monastery of Belozersk. Saint Kyril was sought from far off as a staretz, or spiritual father, and was granted gifts of wonderworking. His humility was remarkable, as the following story shows.
Once one of his monks conceived a terrible hatred for Kyril, which tormented him for a whole year. Finally the monk worked up the courage to reveal his hatred to Kyril himself. Though the monk was full of shame and remorse at his malicious passion, Kyril comforted him and said, ‘All the others are in error about me; only you have perceived my unworthiness.’ Saint Kyril then forgave the man and sent him away with his blessing.
Saint Kyril reposed in peace in 1427, at the age of ninety.