* Weekly Quotes & Readings

Readings/ 2nd Sunday after Easter – New Sunday

Quote of the Week

“Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe”

 

2nd Sunday after Easter – New Sunday

23 April 2017

 

 1st Reading/ ACTS 4: 32-5:11

A reading from the Book of ACTS “Barikh-Mar“

The whole group of believers was united, heart and soul; no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, as everything they owned was held in common. The apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus with great power, and they were all accorded great respect. None of their members was ever in want, as all those who owned land or houses would sell them, and bring the money from the sale of them, to present it to the apostles; it was then distributed to any who might be in need. There was a Levite of Cypriot origin called Joseph whom the apostles surnamed Barnabas (which means ‘son of encouragement’). He owned a piece of land and he sold it and brought the money and presented it to the apostles. There was also a man called Ananias. He and his wife, Sapphira, agreed to sell a property; but with his wife’s connivance he kept back part of the price and brought the rest and presented it to the apostles. Peter said, ‘Ananias, how can Satan have so possessed you that you should lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land? While you still owned the land, wasn’t it yours to keep, and after you had sold it wasn’t the money yours to do with as you liked? What put this scheme into your mind? You have been lying not to men, but to God.’ When he heard this Ananias fell down dead. And a great fear came upon everyone present. The younger men got up, wrapped up the body, carried it out and buried it. About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had taken place. Peter challenged her, ‘Tell me, was this the price you sold the land for?’ ‘Yes,’ she said, ‘that was the price.’ Peter then said, ‘Why did you and your husband agree to put the Spirit of the Lord to the test? Listen! At the door are the footsteps of those who have buried your husband; they will carry you out, too.’ Instantly she dropped dead at his feet. When the young men came in they found she was dead, and they carried her out and buried her by the side of her husband. And a great fear came upon the whole church and on all who heard it…..Amen.

 

2nd Reading /Colossians 1: 1-12

Letter of St. Paul to  Colossians “Barikh-Mar“

From Paul, by the will of God an apostle of Christ Jesus, and from our brother Timothy to God’s holy people in Colossae, our faithful brothers in Christ. Grace and peace to you from God our Father. We give thanks for you to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, continually in our prayers, ever since we heard about your faith in Christ Jesus and the love that you show towards all God’s holy people because of the hope which is stored up for you in heaven. News of this hope reached you not long ago through the word of truth, the gospel that came to you in the same way as it is bearing fruit and growing throughout the world. It has had the same effect among you, ever since you heard about the grace of God and recognised it for what it truly is. This you learnt from Epaphras, our very dear fellow-worker and a trustworthy deputy for us as Christ’s servant, and it was he who also told us all about your love in the Spirit. That is why, ever since the day he told us, we have never failed to remember you in our prayers and ask that through perfect wisdom and spiritual understanding you should reach the fullest knowledge of his will and so be able to lead a life worthy of the Lord, a life acceptable to him in all its aspects, bearing fruit in every kind of good work and growing in knowledge of God, fortified, in accordance with his glorious strength, with all power always to persevere and endure, giving thanks with joy to the Father who has made you able to share the lot of God’s holy people and with them to inherit the light. The grace and peace be with you all brothers. Amen

 

Gospel Reading/John 20: 19-31

A reading from the Gospel of Saint John.

In the evening of that same day, the first day of the week, the doors were closed in the room where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews. Jesus came and stood among them. He said to them, ‘Peace be with you,’ and, after saying this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were filled with joy at seeing the Lord, and he said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. ‘As the Father sent me, so am I sending you.’ After saying this he breathed on them and said: Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven; if you retain anyone’s sins, they are retained. Thomas, called the Twin, who was one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples said to him, ‘We have seen the Lord,’ but he answered, ‘Unless I can see the holes that the nails made in his hands and can put my finger into the holes they made, and unless I can put my hand into his side, I refuse to believe.’ Eight days later the disciples were in the house again and Thomas was with them. The doors were closed, but Jesus came in and stood among them. ‘Peace be with you,’ he said. Then he spoke to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; look, here are my hands. Give me your hand; put it into my side. Do not be unbelieving any more but believe.’ Thomas replied, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Jesus said to him: You believe because you can see me. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe. There were many other signs that Jesus worked in the sight of the disciples, but they are not recorded in this book. These are recorded so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing this you may have life through his name.

Priest: Glory be to God for ever…All: Glory be to Christ Our Lord.

Readings: The Feast of Easter

Quote of the Week

He who believes in me will live, even though he dies

 

The Feast of Easter (Resurrection of the Lord)

16 April 2017

 

1st Reading/ Isaiah 60: 1- 7

Listen to the Book of Isaiah: Barikh-Mar.

Arise, shine out, for your light has come, and the glory of Yahweh has risen on you.  Look! though night still covers the earth and darkness the peoples, on you Yahweh is rising and over you his glory can be seen. The nations will come to your light and kings to your dawning brightness.  Lift up your eyes and look around: all are assembling and coming towards you, your sons coming from far away and your daughters being carried on the hip.  At this sight you will grow radiant, your heart will throb and dilate, since the riches of the sea will flow to you, the wealth of the nations come to you; camels in throngs will fill your streets, the young camels of Midian and Ephah; everyone in Saba will come, bringing gold and incense and proclaiming Yahweh’s praises.. Amen.

 

2nd Reading/ Romans 6: 1- 14

A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans: Barikh-Mar.

What should we say then? Should we remain in sin so that grace may be given the more fully? Out of the question! We have died to sin; how could we go on living in it? You cannot have forgotten that all of us, when we were baptised into Christ Jesus, were baptised into his death. So by our baptism into his death we were buried with him, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the Father’s glorious power, we too should begin living a new life.If we have been joined to him by dying a death like his, so we shall be by a resurrection like his; realising that our former self was crucified with him, so that the self which belonged to sin should be destroyed and we should be freed from the slavery of sin. Someone who has died, of course, no longer has to answer for sin. But we believe that, if we died with Christ, then we shall live with him too. We know that Christ has been raised from the dead and will never die again. Death has no power over him anymore. For by dying, he is dead to sin once and for all, and now the life that he lives is life with God. In the same way, you must see yourselves as being dead to sin but alive for God in Christ Jesus. That is why you must not allow sin to reign over your mortal bodies and make you obey their desires; or give any parts of your bodies over to sin to be used as instruments of evil. Instead, give yourselves to God, as people brought to life from the dead, and give every part of your bodies to God to be instruments of uprightness; and then sin will no longer have any power over you — you are living not under law, but under grace.

The grace and peace be with you all brothers. Amen.

 

3rd Reading/ Gospel John 20: 1-18

A reading from the Holy Gospel According Saint John.

It was very early on the first day of the week and still dark, when Mary of Magdala came to the tomb. She saw that the stone had been moved away from the tomb and came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved. ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb,’ she said, ‘and we don’t know where they have put him.’ So Peter set out with the other disciple to go to the tomb. They ran together, but the other disciple, running faster than Peter, reached the tomb first; he bent down and saw the linen cloths lying on the ground, but did not go in. Simon Peter, following him, also came up, went into the tomb, saw the linen cloths lying on the ground and also the cloth that had been over his head; this was not with the linen cloths but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in; he saw and he believed. Till this moment they had still not understood the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. The disciples then went back home. But Mary was standing outside near the tomb, weeping. Then, as she wept, she stooped to look inside, and saw two angels in white sitting where the body of Jesus had been, one at the head, the other at the feet. They said, ‘Woman, why are you weeping?’ ‘They have taken my Lord away,’ she replied, ‘and I don’t know where they have put him.’ As she said this she turned round and saw Jesus standing there, though she did not realise that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?’ Supposing him to be the gardener, she said, ‘Sir, if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and remove him.’ Jesus said, ‘Mary!’ She turned round then and said to him in Hebrew, ‘Rabbuni!’ — which means Master. Jesus said to her, ‘Do not cling to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to the brothers, and tell them: I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ So Mary of Magdala told the disciples, ‘I have seen the Lord,’ and that he had said these things to her.

Priest: Glory be to God forever…All: Glory be to the Christ Our Lord

Readings: Good Friday

 

Good Friday Readings

‘Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are doing

 

Good Friday

14 April 2017

 

1st Reading/ Daniel 9: 29- 27

Listen to the book of Daniel, Barikh-Mar

I was still speaking, still at prayer, confessing my own sins and the sins of my people Israel, and placing my plea before Yahweh my God for the holy mountain of my God, still speaking, still at prayer, when Gabriel, the being I had originally seen in vision, swooped on me in full flight at the hour of the evening sacrifice. He came, he spoke, he said to me, ‘Now, Daniel; I have come down to teach you how to understand. When your pleading began, a word was uttered, and I have come to tell you. You are a man specially chosen. Grasp the meaning of the word, understand the vision: ‘Seventy weeks are decreed for your people and your holy city, for putting an end to transgression, for placing the seal on sin, for expiating crime, for introducing everlasting uprightness for setting the seal on vision and on prophecy, for anointing the holy of holies. Know this, then, and understand: From the time there went out this message: “Return and rebuild Jerusalem” to the coming of an Anointed Prince, seven weeks and sixty-two weeks, with squares and ramparts restored and rebuilt, but in a time of trouble. And after the sixty-two weeks an Anointed One put to death without his . . . city and sanctuary ruined by a prince who is to come. The end of that prince will be catastrophe and, until the end, there will be war and all the devastation decreed. He will strike a firm alliance with many people for the space of a week; and for the space of one half-week he will put a stop to sacrifice and oblation, and on the wing of the Temple will be the appalling abomination until the end, until the doom assigned to the devastator.’ .Amen

 

2nd Reading/ Galatians 2: 17- 3: 8

A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Galatians: Barikh-Mar

Now if we too are found to be sinners on the grounds that we seek our justification in Christ, it would surely follow that Christ was at the service of sin. Out of the question! If I now rebuild everything I once demolished, I prove that I was wrong before. In fact, through the Law I am dead to the Law so that I can be alive to God. I have been crucified with Christ and yet I am alive; yet it is no longer I, but Christ living in me. The life that I am now living, subject to the limitation of human nature, I am living in faith, faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not setting aside God’s grace as of no value; it is merely that if saving justice comes through the Law, Christ died needless. You stupid people in Galatia! After you have had a clear picture of Jesus Christ crucified, right in front of your eyes, who has put a spell on you? There is only one thing I should like you to tell me: How was it that you received the Spirit — was it by the practice of the Law, or by believing in the message you heard? Having begun in the Spirit, can you be so stupid as to end in the flesh? Can all the favours you have received have had no effect at all — if there really has been no effect? Would you say, then, that he who so lavishly sends the Spirit to you, and causes the miracles among you, is doing this through your practice of the Law or because you believed the message you heard? Abraham, you remember, put his faith in God, and this was reckoned to him as uprightness. Be sure, then, that it is people of faith who are the children of Abraham. And it was because scripture foresaw that God would give saving justice to the gentiles through faith, that it announced the future gospel to Abraham in the words: All nations will be blessed in you.

The grace and peace be with you all brothers. Amen

 

 

 

 

 

Third Reading/ Luke22-  Matthew27-  John19

A reading from the Holy Gospel According to Saint Luke

The men who held Jesus in custody were ridiculing and beating him. They blindfolded him and questioned him, saying, “Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?” And they reviled him in saying many other things against him. When day came the council of elders of the people met, both chief priests and scribes, and they brought him before their Sanhedrin. They said, “If you are the Messiah, tell us,” but he replied to them, “If I tell you, you will not believe, and if I question, you will not respond. But from this time on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God.” They all asked, “Are you then the Son of God?” He replied to them, “You say that I am.” Then they said, “What further need have we for testimony? We have heard it from his own mouth.”  Then the whole assembly of them arose and brought him before Pilate. They brought charges against him, saying, “We found this man misleading our people; he opposes the payment of taxes to Caesar and maintains that he is the Messiah, a king.” Pilate asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” He said to him in reply, “You say so.” Pilate then addressed the chief priests and the crowds, “I find this man not guilty.” But they were adamant and said, “He is inciting the people with his teaching throughout all Judea, from Galilee where he began even to here.” On hearing this Pilate asked if the man was a Galilean; and upon learning that he was under Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod who was in Jerusalem at that time. Herod was very glad to see Jesus; he had been wanting to see him for a long time, for he had heard about him and had been hoping to see him perform some sign. He questioned him at length, but he gave him no answer. The chief priests and scribes, meanwhile, stood by accusing him harshly. (Even) Herod and his soldiers treated him contemptuously and mocked him, and after clothing him in resplendent garb, he sent him back to Pilate. Herod and Pilate became friends that very day, even though they had been enemies formerly. While he was still seated on the bench, his wife sent him a message, “Have nothing to do with that righteous man. I suffered much in a dream today because of him.” Pilate then summoned the chief priests, the rulers, and the people and said to them, “You brought this man to me and accused him of inciting the people to revolt. I have conducted my investigation in your presence and have not found this man guilty of the charges you have brought against him, nor did Herod, for he sent him back to us. So no capital crime has been committed by him. Therefore I shall have him flogged and then release him.” But all together they shouted out, “Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us.” (Now Barabbas had been imprisoned for a rebellion that had taken place in the city and for murder.) Again Pilate addressed them, still wishing to release Jesus, but they continued their shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” Pilate addressed them a third time, “What evil has this man done? I found him guilty of no capital crime. Therefore I shall have him flogged and then release him.” With loud shouts, however, they persisted in calling for his crucifixion, and their voices prevailed When Pilate saw that he was not succeeding at all, but that a riot was breaking out instead, he took water and washed his hands in the sight of the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood. Look to it yourselves.” And the whole people said in reply, “His blood be upon us and upon our children.”

The verdict of Pilate was that their demand should be granted. So he released the man who had been imprisoned for rebellion and murder, for whom they asked, and he handed Jesus over to them to deal with as they wished. As they led him away they took hold of a certain Simon, a Cyrenian, who was coming in from the country; and after laying the cross on him, they made him carry it behind Jesus. A large crowd of people followed Jesus, including many women who mourned and lamented him. Jesus turned to them and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep instead for yourselves and for your children, for indeed, the days are coming when people will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed.’ At that time people will say to the mountains, ‘Fall upon us!’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us!’ for if these things are done when the wood is green what will happen when it is dry?” Now two others, both criminals, were led away with him to be executed.  When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him and the criminals there, one on his right, the other on his left.  Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.”] They divided his garments by casting lots. The people stood by and watched; the rulers, meanwhile, sneered at him and said, “He saved others, let him save himself if he is the chosen one, the Messiah of God.” Even the soldiers jeered at him. As they approached to offer him wine they called out, “If you are King of the Jews, save yourself.” Above him there was an inscription that read, “This is the King of the Jews.” Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying, “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us.” The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply, “Have you no fear of God, for you are subject to the same condemnation? And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” He replied to him, “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” It was now about noon and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon because of an eclipse of the sun. Then the veil of the temple was torn down the middle. And behold, the veil of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom. 31 The earth quaked, rocks were split, tombs were opened, and the bodies of many saints who had fallen asleep were raised. And coming forth from their tombs after his resurrection, they entered the holy city and appeared to many. The centurion and the men with him who were keeping watch over Jesus feared greatly when they saw the earthquake and all that was happening, and they said, “Truly, this was the Son of God!” When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four shares, a share for each soldier. They also took his tunic, but the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from the top down. So they said to one another, “Let’s not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it will be,” in order that the passage of scripture might be fulfilled (that says): “They divided my garments among them, and for my vesture they cast lots.” This is what the soldiers did. Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. When Jesus saw his mother  and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home. After this, aware that everything was now finished, in order that the scripture might be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I thirst.” There was a vessel filled with common wine. So they put a sponge soaked in wine on a sprig of hyssop and put it up to his mouth. When Jesus had taken the wine, he said, “It is finished.” And bowing his head, he handed over the spirit. Now since it was preparation day, in order that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the sabbath, for the sabbath day of that week was a solemn one, the Jews asked Pilate that their legs be broken and they be taken down. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and then of the other one who was crucified with Jesus. But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs, but one soldier thrust his lance into his side, and immediately blood and water flowed out. An eyewitness has testified, and his testimony is true; he knows 16 that he is speaking the truth, so that you also may (come to) believe. For this happened so that the scripture passage might be fulfilled: “Not a bone of it will be broken.” And again another passage says: “They will look upon him whom they have pierced.” After this, Joseph of Arimathea, secretly a disciple of Jesus for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate if he could remove the body of Jesus. And Pilate permitted it. So he came and took his body. Nicodemus, the one who had first come to him at night, also came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes weighing about one hundred pounds. They took the body of Jesus and bound it with burial cloths along with the spices, according to the Jewish burial custom. Now in the place where he had been crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had yet been buried. So they laid Jesus there because of the Jewish preparation day; for the tomb was close by.

This is the Word of God. ………..Thanks be to God.

Readings: Passover Feast (The Feast of the Priesthood)

Quote of the Week

Anyone who does eat my flesh and drink my blood has eternal life

 

Holy Thursday- The Last Supper (Passover)

13 April 2017

 

1st Reading / Exodus 12: 1-11

Listen to the Book of Exodus: Barikh-Mar.

Yahweh said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt, ‘This month must be the first of all the months for you, the first month of your year. Speak to the whole community of Israel and say, “On the tenth day of this month each man must take an animal from the flock for his family: one animal for each household. If the household is too small for the animal, he must join with his neighbour nearest to his house, depending on the number of persons. When you choose the animal, you will take into account what each can eat. It must be an animal without blemish, a male one year old; you may choose it either from the sheep or from the goats. You must keep it till the fourteenth day of the month when the whole assembly of the community of Israel will slaughter it at twilight. Some of the blood must then be taken and put on both door-posts and the lintel of the houses where it is eaten. That night, the flesh must be eaten, roasted over the fire; it must be eaten with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. Do not eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but roasted over the fire, with the head, feet and entrails. You must not leave any of it over till the morning: whatever is left till morning you must burn. This is how you must eat it: with a belt round your waist, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. You must eat it hurriedly: it is a Passover in Yahweh’s honour….Amen.

 

2nd Reading / 1 Corinthians 5: 7-8, 10: 15- 17, 11: 23- 29

A reading from the first Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians: Barikh-Mar.

Throw out the old yeast so that you can be the fresh dough, unleavened as you are. For our Passover has been sacrificed, that is, Christ; let us keep the feast, then, with none of the old yeast and no leavening of evil and wickedness, but only the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. I am talking to you as sensible people; weigh up for yourselves what I have to say. The blessing-cup, which we bless, is it not a sharing in the blood of Christ; and the loaf of bread which we break, is it not a sharing in the body of Christ? And as there is one loaf, so we, although there are many of us, are one single body, for we all share in the one loaf. For the tradition I received from the Lord and also handed on to you is that on the night he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread, and after he had given thanks, he broke it, and he said, ‘This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.’ And in the same way, with the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Whenever you drink it, do this as a memorial of me.’ Whenever you eat this bread, then, and drink this cup, you are proclaiming the Lord’s death until he comes. Therefore anyone who eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily is answerable for the body and blood of the Lord. Everyone is to examine himself and only then eat of the bread or drink from the cup; because a person who eats and drinks without recognising the body is eating and drinking his own condemnation.

The grace and peace be with you all brothers Amen.

 

3rd Reading/ John 13: 1-17

A reading from the Gospel of Saint John.

Before the festival of the Passover, Jesus, knowing that his hour had come to pass from this world to the Father, having loved those who were his in the world, loved them to the end. They were at supper, and the devil had already put it into the mind of Judas Iscariot son of Simon, to betray him. Jesus knew that the Father had put everything into his hands, and that he had come from God and was returning to God, and he got up from table, removed his outer garments and, taking a towel, wrapped it round his waist; he then poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel he was wearing. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, ‘Lord, are you going to wash my feet?’ Jesus answered, ‘At the moment you do not know what I am doing, but later you will understand.’ ‘Never!’ said Peter. ‘You shall never wash my feet.’ Jesus replied, ‘If I do not wash you, you can have no share with me.’ Simon Peter said, ‘Well then, Lord, not only my feet, but my hands and my head as well!’ Jesus said, ‘No one who has had a bath needs washing, such a person is clean all over. You too are clean, though not all of you are.’ He knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said, ‘though not all of you are’. When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments again he went back to the table. ‘Do you understand’, he said, ‘what I have done to you? You call me Master and Lord, and rightly; so I am. If I, then, the Lord and Master, have washed your feet, you must wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example so that you may copy what I have done to you. ‘In all truth I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, no messenger is greater than the one who sent him. ‘Now that you know this, blessed are you if you behave accordingly.

Priest: Glory be to God forever.. All: Glory be to the Christ Our Lord

Readings: Palm Sunday (7th Sunday of Lent)

Quote of the Week

Have you never read ” From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise’?”

 

7th Sunday of Lent (Palm Sunday)

9 April 2017

 

1st Reading/ Zechariah4: 8-14, 7: 9-10, 8: 4-5, 9: 9- 12

Listen to the Book of Zechariah: Barikh-Mar.

The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows, ‘The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this Temple; his hands will finish it. (Then you will know that Yahweh Sabaoth has sent me to you.) A day of little things, no doubt, but who would dare despise it? How they will rejoice when they see the chosen stone in the hands of Zerubbabel!’ Then I went on to ask him, ‘What is the meaning of these two olive trees, to right and left of the lamp-stand?’ (And I went on to ask him further, ‘What is the meaning of the two olive branches discharging oil through the two golden openings?’) He replied, ‘Do you not know what they are?’ I said, ‘No, my lord He said, ‘These are the two anointed ones in attendance on the Lord of the whole world. This is the word of Yahweh with regard to Zerubbabel, ‘Not by might and not by power, but by my spirit’ — says Yahweh Sabaoth. ‘Yahweh Sabaoth says this.) He said, “Apply the law fairly, and show faithful love and compassion towards one another. Do not oppress the widow and the orphan, the foreigner and the poor, and do not secretly plan evil against one another.”Yahweh Sabaoth says this: Aged men and women once again will sit in the squares of Jerusalem, each with a stick to lean on because of their great age. And the squares of the city will be full of boys and girls playing there. Rejoice heart and soul, daughter of Zion! Shout for joy, daughter of Jerusalem! Look, your king is approaching, he is vindicated and victorious, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. He will banish chariots from Ephraim and horses from Jerusalem; the bow of war will be banished. He will proclaim peace to the nations, his empire will stretch from sea to sea, from the River to the limits of the earth. As for you, because of the blood of your covenant I have released your prisoners from the pit in which there is no water. Come back to the fortress, you prisoners waiting in hope. This very day, I vow, I shall make it up to you twice over. Amen.

 

2nd Reading / Romans 11: 13-24

A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans: Barikh-Mar.

Let me say then to you gentiles that, as far as I am an apostle to the gentiles, I take pride in this work of service; and I want it to be the means of rousing to envy the people who are my own blood relations and so of saving some of them. Since their rejection meant the reconciliation of the world, do you know what their reacceptance will mean? Nothing less than life from the dead! When the first-fruits are made holy, so is the whole batch; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. Now suppose that some branches were broken off, and you are wild olive, grafted among the rest to share with the others the rich sap of the olive tree; then it is not for you to consider yourself superior to the other branches; and if you start feeling proud, think: it is not you that sustain the root, but the root that sustains you. You will say, ‘Branches were broken off on purpose for me to be grafted in.’ True; they through their unbelief were broken off, and you are established through your faith. So it is not pride that you should have, but fear: if God did not spare the natural branches, he might not spare you either. Remember God’s severity as well as his goodness: his severity to those who fell, and his goodness to you as long as you persevere in it; if not, you too will be cut off. And they, if they do not persevere in their unbelief, will be grafted in; for it is within the power of God to graft them back again. After all, if you, cut off from what was by nature a wild olive, could then be grafted unnaturally on to a cultivated olive, how much easier will it be for them, the branches that naturally belong there, to be grafted on to the olive tree which is their own.

The grace and peace be with you all brothers. Amen.

 

Gospel Reading/ Matthew 21: 1- 17

A reading from the Gospel of Saint Matthew.

When they were near Jerusalem and had come to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, ‘Go to the village facing you, and you will at once find a tethered donkey and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, you are to say, “The Master needs them and will send them back at once.” ‘This was to fulfil what was spoken by the prophet: Say to the daughter of Zion: Look, your king is approaching, humble and riding on a donkey and on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden. So the disciples went and did as Jesus had told them. They brought the donkey and the colt, then they laid their cloaks on their backs and he took his seat on them. Great crowds of people spread their cloaks on the road, while others were cutting branches from the trees and spreading them in his path. The crowds who went in front of him and those who followed were all shouting: Hosanna to the son of David! Blessed is he who is coming in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heavens! And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil as people asked, ‘Who is this?’ and the crowds answered, ‘This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.’ Jesus then went into the Temple and drove out all those who were selling and buying there; he upset the tables of the money-changers and the seats of the dove-sellers. He said to them, ‘According to scripture, my house will be called a house of prayer; but you are turning it into a bandits’ den.’ There were also blind and lame people who came to him in the Temple, and he cured them. At the sight of the wonderful things he did and of the children shouting, ‘Hosanna to the son of David’ in the Temple, the chief priests and the scribes were indignant and said to him, ‘Do you hear what they are saying?’ Jesus answered, ‘Yes. Have you never read this: By the mouths of children, babes in arms, you have made sure of praise?’ With that he left them and went out of the city to Bethany, where he spent the night.

Priest: Glory be to God forever…All: Glory be to the Christ Our Lord

Readings: 6th Sunday of Lent

Quote of the Week

 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep.

6th Sunday of Lent

2nd April 2017

 

First Reading/ Joshua 21: 43- 22: 1-6   

Listen to the Book of Joshua: Barikh-Mar.

This was how Yahweh gave the Israelites the entire country which he had sworn to give to their ancestors. They took possession of it and settled in it. Yahweh granted them tranquillity on all their frontiers just as he had sworn to their ancestors and, of all their enemies, not one succeeded in resisting them. Yahweh put all their enemies at their mercy. Of all the promises that Yahweh had made to the House of Israel, not one failed; all were fulfilled. Joshua then summoned the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh and said to them, ‘You have observed everything that Moses, servant of Yahweh, ordered you, and whenever I have given you an order you have listened to me. You have not deserted your brothers, from long ago until today, keeping the observance of the commandment of Yahweh your God. Now that Yahweh your God has granted your brothers the rest that he promised them, go back to your tents, to the country belonging to you which Moses, servant of Yahweh, gave you on the other side of the Jordan. But take great care to practise the commandments and the Law which Moses, servant of Yahweh, has given you: to love Yahweh your God, always to follow his paths, to keep his commandments, to be loyal to him and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul. Joshua blessed them and sent them away, and they went home to their tents… Amen.

 

 

Second Reading/ Romans 14: 10- 19   

A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans: Barikh-Mar.

Why, then, does one of you make himself judge over his brother, and why does another among you despise his brother? All of us will have to stand in front of the judgement-seat of God: as scripture says: By my own life says the Lord, every knee shall bow before me, every tongue shall give glory to God. It is to God, then, that each of us will have to give an account of himself. Let us each stop passing judgement, therefore, on one another and decide instead that none of us will place obstacles in any brother’s way, or anything that can bring him down. I am sure, and quite convinced in the Lord Jesus, that no food is unclean in itself; it is only if someone classifies any kind of food as unclean, then for him it is unclean. And indeed, if through any kind of food you are causing offence to a brother, then you are no longer being guided by love. You are not to let the food that you eat cause the ruin of anyone for whom Christ died. A privilege of yours must not be allowed to give rise to harmful talk; for it is not eating and drinking that make the kingdom of God, but the saving justice, the peace and the joy brought by the Holy Spirit. It is the person who serves Christ in these things that will be approved by God and respected by everyone. So then, let us be always seeking the ways which lead to peace and the ways in which we can support one another.

The grace and peace be with you all brothers. Amen.

 

Third Reading/ Gospel John 10: 7- 21    

A reading from the Holy Gospel of Saint John,

So Jesus spoke to them again: In all truth I tell you, I am the gate of the sheepfold. All who have come before me are thieves and bandits, but the sheep took no notice of them. I am the gate. Anyone who enters through me will be safe: such a one will go in and out and will find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it to the full. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep. The hired man, since he is not the shepherd and the sheep do not belong to him, abandons the sheep as soon as he sees a wolf coming, and runs away, and then the wolf attacks and scatters the sheep; he runs away because he is only a hired man and has no concern for the sheep. I am the good shepherd; I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for my sheep. And there are other sheep I have that are not of this fold, and I must lead these too. They too will listen to my voice, and there will be only one flock, one shepherd. The Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me; I lay it down of my own free will, and as I have power to lay it down, so I have power to take it up again; and this is the command I have received from my Father. These words caused a fresh division among the Jews. Many said, ‘He is possessed, he is raving; why do you listen to him?’ Others said, ‘These are not the words of a man possessed by a devil: could a devil open the eyes of the blind?’

P: Glory be to God forever…….All: Glory be to the Christ Our Lord

Readings: 5th Sunday of Lent

Quote of the Week

“If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink”

5th Sunday of Lent

26th of March 2017

 

First Reading/ Joshua 9: 15- 21  

Listen to the Book of Joshua: Barikh-Mar.

Joshua made peace with them, and struck a treaty with them guaranteeing their lives, and the leaders of the community ratified it by oath. Now it so happened that three days after the treaty had been made, it became known that they were a neighbouring people, living in Israel’s region. The Israelites set out from camp, arriving in their towns three days later. Their towns were Gibeon, Chephirah, Beeroth and Kiriath-Jearim. The Israelites did not attack them, since the leaders of the community had sworn to them by Yahweh, God of Israel, but the whole community muttered against the leaders. The leaders, however, all said to the whole community, ‘Since we have sworn an oath to them by Yahweh, God of Israel, we cannot touch them now. This is what we shall do with them: let them live, rather than bring retribution down on ourselves on account of the oath which we have sworn to them.’ And the leaders went on, ‘Let them live, but let them be wood-cutters and water-carriers for the whole community.’ Thus spoke the leaders……. Amen.

Second Reading/ Romans 12: 1-2, 9- 21  

A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans: Barikh-Mar.

I urge you, then, brothers, remembering the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, dedicated and acceptable to God; that is the kind of worship for you, as sensible people. Do not model your behaviour on the contemporary world, but let the renewing of your minds transform you, so that you may discern for yourselves what is the will of God — what is good and acceptable and mature.

9 Let love be without any pretence. Avoid what is evil; stick to what is good. In brotherly love let your feelings of deep affection for one another come to expression and regard others as more important than yourself. In the service of the Lord, work not half-heartedly but with conscientiousness and an eager spirit. Be joyful in hope, persevere in hardship; keep praying regularly; share with any of God’s holy people who are in need; look for opportunities to be hospitable. Bless your persecutors; never curse them, bless them. Rejoice with others when they rejoice, and be sad with those in sorrow. Give the same consideration to all others alike. Pay no regard to social standing, but meet humble people on their own terms. Do not congratulate yourself on your own wisdom. Never pay back evil with evil, but bear in mind the ideals that all regard with respect. As much as possible, and to the utmost of your ability, be at peace with everyone. Never try to get revenge: leave that, my dear friends, to the Retribution. As scripture says: Vengeance is mine I will pay them back, the Lord promises. And more: If your enemy is hungry, give him something to eat; if thirsty, something to drink. By this, you will be heaping red-hot coals on his head. Do not be mastered by evil, but master evil with good.

The grace and peace be with you all brothers. Amen.

 

Third Reading/ Gospel John 7: 37-39, 8: 12-20   

A reading from the Holy Gospel of Saint John,

On the last day, the great day of the festival, Jesus stood and cried out: ‘Let anyone who is thirsty come to me! Let anyone who believes in me come and drink! As scripture says, “From his heart shall flow streams of living water.” He was speaking of the Spirit which those who believed in him were to receive; for there was no Spirit as yet because Jesus had not yet been glorified When Jesus spoke to the people again, he said: I am the light of the world; anyone who follows me will not be walking in the dark, but will have the light of life. At this the Pharisees said to him, ‘You are testifying on your own behalf; your testimony is not true.’ Jesus replied: Even though I am testifying on my own behalf, my testimony is still true, because I know where I have come from and where I am going; but you do not know where I come from or where I am going. You judge by human standards; I judge no one, but if I judge, my judgement will be true, because I am not alone: the one who sent me is with me; and in your Law it is written that the testimony of two witnesses is true. I testify on my own behalf, but the Father who sent me testifies on my behalf, too. They asked him, ‘Where is your Father then?’ Jesus answered: You do not know me, nor do you know my Father; if you did know me, you would know my Father as well. He spoke these words in the Treasury, while teaching in the Temple. No one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come.

P: Glory be to God forever…….All: Glory be to the Christ Our Lord

 

Readings: 4th Sunday of Lent

Quote of the Week

The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone.

 

4th Sunday of Lent

19th of March 2017

 

First Reading/ Joshua 7: 10-13

Listen to the Book of Joshua: Barikh-Mar.

Yahweh said to Joshua, ‘Stand up! Why are you lying prostrate like this? Israel has sinned; they have violated the covenant which I imposed on them. They have gone so far as to take what was under the curse of destruction, they have even stolen it; they have actually hidden it; they have put it in their baggage. That is why the Israelites cannot stand up to their foes, why they have turned tail on their enemies: because they have come under the curse of destruction themselves. Unless you get rid of the object among you which has been put under the curse of destruction, I shall be with you no longer.’ ‘Get up, sanctify the people and say, “Sanctify yourselves for tomorrow, since Yahweh, the God of Israel, declares: The curse of destruction has now fallen on you, Israel; you will not be able to stand up to your enemies, until you have rid yourselves of that object which has been put under the curse of destruction…Amen.

 

Second Reading/ Romans 8: 12- 19

A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans: Barikh-Mar.

So then, my brothers, we have no obligation to human nature to be dominated by it. If you do live in that way, you are doomed to die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the habits originating in the body, you will have life. All who are guided by the Spirit of God are sons of God; for what you received was not the spirit of slavery to bring you back into fear; you received the Spirit of adoption, enabling us to cry out, ‘Abba, Father!’ The Spirit himself joins with our spirit to bear witness that we are children of God. And if we are children, then we are heirs, heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ, provided that we share his suffering, so as to share his glory. In my estimation, all that we suffer in the present time is nothing in comparison with the glory which is destined to be disclosed for us, for the whole creation is waiting with eagerness for the children of God to be revealed………..The grace and peace be with you all brothers. Amen.

 

 Third Reading/ Gospel Matthew 21: 33- 46 

A reading from the Holy Gospel of Saint Matthew,

Listen to another parable. There was a man, the father of a family, who planted a vineyard, and surrounded it with a hedge, and dug a press in it, and built a tower. And he loaned it out to farmers, and he set out to sojourn abroad. Then, when the time of the fruits drew near, he sent his servants to the farmers, so that they might receive its fruits. And the farmers apprehended his servants; they struck one, and killed another, and stoned yet another. Again, he sent other servants, more than before; and they treated them similarly. Then, at the very end, he sent his son to them, saying: ‘They will revere my son.’ But the farmers, seeing the son, said among themselves: ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, and then we will have his inheritance.’ And apprehending him, they cast him outside the vineyard, and they killed him. Therefore, when the lord of the vineyard arrives, what will he do to those farmers?” They said to him, “He will bring those evil men to an evil end, and he will loan out his vineyard to other farmers, who shall repay to him the fruit in its time.” Jesus said to them: “Have you never read in the Scriptures: ‘The stone that the builders have rejected has become the cornerstone. By the Lord has this been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes?’ Therefore, I say to you, that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you, and it shall be given to a people who shall produce its fruits. And whoever will have fallen on this stone shall be broken, yet truly, on whomever it shall fall, it will crush him.” And when the leaders of the priests, and the Pharisees had heard his parables, they knew that he was speaking about them. And though they sought to take hold of him, they feared the crowds, because they held him to be a prophet.

P: Glory be to God forever…….All: Glory be to the Christ Our Lord

Readings: 3rd Sunday of Lent

Quote of the Week

“Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

 

3rd Sunday of the Lent.

12 March 2017

 

First Reading/ Joshua 5: 13-15, 6: 1-6

Listen to the Book of Joshua: Barikh-Mar.

Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him, grasping a naked sword. Joshua walked towards him and said to him, ‘Are you on our side or on that of our enemies?’ He replied, ‘On neither side. I have come now as the captain of the army of Yahweh.’ Joshua fell on his face to the ground, worshipping him, and said, ‘What has my Lord to say to his servant?’ The captain of the army of Yahweh answered Joshua, ‘Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.’ And Joshua did so. Now, Jericho had shut and barricaded its gates (against the Israelites): no one came out and no one went in. Yahweh then said to Joshua, ‘Look, I am putting Jericho, its picked troops and its king, at your mercy. All you warriors must march round the city (go right round the city once, doing the same on six successive days. Seven priests must carry seven ram’s-horn trumpets in front of the ark. On the seventh day, you will go seven times round the city and the priests will blow their trumpets). When the ram’s horn sounds (when you hear the sound of the trumpet), the entire people must utter a mighty war cry and the city wall will collapse then and there; the people will then go into the assault, each man straight ahead.’

Amen.

 

 

Second Reading/ Romans 7: 14- 25

A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans: Barikh-Mar. We are well aware that the Law is spiritual: but I am a creature of flesh and blood sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand my own behaviour; I do not act as I mean to, but I do things that I hate. While I am acting as I do not want to, I still acknowledge the Law as good, so it is not myself acting, but the sin which lives in me. And really, I know of nothing good living in me — in my natural self, that is — for though the will to do what is good is in me, the power to do it is not: the good thing I want to do, I never do; the evil thing which I do not want — that is what I do. But every time I do what I do not want to, then it is not myself acting, but the sin that lives in me. So I find this rule: that for me, where I want to do nothing but good, evil is close at my side. In my inmost self I dearly love God’s law, but I see that acting on my body there is a different law which battles against the law in my mind. So I am brought to be a prisoner of that law of sin which lives inside my body. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body doomed to death? God — thanks be to him — through Jesus Christ our Lord. So it is that I myself with my mind obey the law of God, but in my disordered nature I obey the law of sin.

The grace and peace be with you all brothers. Amen.

 

 

Third Reading/ Gospel Matthew 20: 20- 28  

A reading from the Gospel of Saint Matthew.

Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came with her sons to make a request of him, and bowed low;  and he said to her, ‘What is it you want?’ She said to him, ‘Promise that these two sons of mine may sit one at your right hand and the other at your left in your kingdom.’ Jesus answered, ‘You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?’ They replied, ‘We can.’ He said to them, ‘Very well; you shall drink my cup, but as for seats at my right hand and my left, these are not mine to grant; they belong to those to whom they have been allotted by my Father.’ When the other ten heard this they were indignant with the two brothers.  But Jesus called them to him and said, ‘You know that among the gentiles the rulers lord it over them, and great men make their authority felt. Among you this is not to happen. No; anyone who wants to become great among you must be your servant, and anyone who wants to be first among you must be your slave, just as the Son of man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’

P: Glory be to God forever…….All: Glory be to the Christ Our Lord

Readings: 2nd Sunday of the Lent

 

Quote of the Week

Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

 

2nd Sunday of the Lent.

5th of March 2017

 

First Reading/ Joshua 4: 15-24

Listen to the Book of Joshua: Barikh-Mar.

Yahweh said to Joshua, Order the priests carrying the ark of the Testimony to come up out of the Jordan.  And Joshua gave the order to the priests, Come up, out of the Jordan! Now, when the priests carrying the ark of the covenant of Yahweh came up out of mid-Jordan, no sooner had the soles of the priests’ feet touched solid ground, than the waters of the Jordan returned to their bed and ran on, in spate as before. It was the tenth day of the first month when the people came up from the Jordan and made their camp at Gilgal, on the eastern border of Jericho. As regards those twelve stones, which they had taken from the Jordan, Joshua set them up at Gilgal.

He then said to the Israelites, ‘When, in the future, your children ask their fathers, “What are these stones?” you will explain to your children, “Israel crossed this Jordan dry-shod. For Yahweh your God dried up the waters of the Jordan in front of you until you had crossed, just as Yahweh your God did to the Sea of Reeds, which he dried up before us until we had crossed it; so that all the peoples of the earth may know how mighty the hand of Yahweh is, and always stand in awe of Yahweh your God.” ……Amen.

 

Second Reading/ Romans 6: 1-11

A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans: Barikh-Mar.

What should we say then? Should we remain in sin so that grace may be given the more fully? Out of the question! We have died to sin; how could we go on living in it? You cannot have forgotten that all of us, when we were baptised into Christ Jesus, were baptised into his death. So by our baptism into his death we were buried with him, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the Father’s glorious power, we too should begin living a new life. If we have been joined to him by dying a death like his, so we shall be by a resurrection like his; realising that our former self was crucified with him, so that the self which belonged to sin should be destroyed and we should be freed from the slavery of sin. Someone who has died, of course, no longer has to answer for sin. But we believe that, if we died with Christ, then we shall live with him too. We know that Christ has been raised from the dead and will never die again. Death has no power over him anymore. For by dying, he is dead to sin once and for all, and now the life that he lives is life with God. In the same way, you must see yourselves as being dead to sin but alive for God in Christ Jesus….. The grace and peace be with you all brothers. Amen.

 

Third Reading/ Gospel Matthew 7: 15- 23

A reading from the Gospel of Saint Matthew.

Beware of false prophets who come to you disguised as sheep but underneath are ravenous wolves. You will be able to tell them by their fruits. Can people pick grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles?

In the same way, a sound tree produces good fruit but a rotten tree bad fruit. A sound tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor a rotten tree bear good fruit. Any tree that does not produce good fruit is cut down and thrown on the fire. I repeat, you will be able to tell them by their fruits. ‘It is not anyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” who will enter the kingdom of Heaven, but the person who does the will of my Father in heaven. When the day comes many will say to me, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, drive out demons in your name, work many miracles in your name?” Then I shall tell them to their faces: I have never known you; away from me, all evil doers!

P: Glory be to God for ever…….All: Glory be to the Christ Our Lord