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DAILY VERSE
Rejoice in the LORD, you who are righteous, and praise his holy name.

Joy! Rejoicing! When we think about the glory of God and the grace that he has shared with us to make us righteous, how can we not rejoice? God is gloriously holy and majestic. He is eternal and just. We, on the other hand, are flawed, mortal, limited, and sinful. Yet in his rich mercy, he has made us righteous by the sacrifice of Jesus so that we could share an eternal home with him. Our response must be praise!

DAILY SYNEXARIUM
9 Hatour 1736

Day 9 of the Blessed Coptic Month of Hatour, may God make it always received, year after year, with reassurance and tranquility, while our sins after forgiven by the tender mercies of our God my fathers and brothers.
Amen.

The Ninth Day of the Blessed Month of Hatour

Departure of the Holy Father Anba Isaac, the Forty-First Pope of Alexandria

      On this day, of the year 679 A.D., the great holy father Anba Isaac, 41st Pope of Alexandria, departed. This father was born in El-Borolos from rich, God-fearing parents. They begot him long after their marriage. When they took him for baptism, the bishop who baptized him saw a cross of light over his head. The bishop laid the boy's hand over his head and prophesied concerning him saying, "The church of God will be entrusted to him." Then he told his parents, "Take care of him, for he is a chosen vessel of God." When he grew they taught him writing, the Christian doctrine and church subjects. He read extensively in the biography of saints and he was filled with their pure life. He longed for the monastic life, so he left his parents and went to the desert of St. Macarius. He became a monk and disciple of Anba Zacharias, the Hegumen. The angel of the Lord had informed the elder father beforehand of his coming and the father received him with joy. One day, one of the holy elders saw him in the church and prophesied about him saying, "The church of Christ will be entrusted to him." Pope John, the Patriarch of that time, asked for a monk to be his scribe and private secretary. The people who were present recommended this honorable father Isaac. The Pope had father Isaac brought to him. He gave him a book to scribe. Anba Isaac made mistakes in his writing deliberately, hoping that the Pope might send him back, for he had forsaken the glory of men.

      When the father knew his intention he said to him, "You have written well, do not leave this place." When Fr. Isaac realized that the Patriarch would not let him return, he used all his knowledge and writing ability and his virtues became known. The Patriarch rejoiced in him exceedingly. Nevertheless, because Fr. Isaac was still longing for solitary life, the Patriarch allowed him to return to the desert. When the departure of Pope John drew near, he asked the Lord Christ to let it be known to him who would be his successor. In a vision, he was told that his disciple Isaac would sit on the chair after him. The Pope commanded the people that, with a divine revelation and by the order of the Lord, Isaac would sit on the chair after him. When this father was enthroned to the See of St. Mark, the church was illumined. He restored many churches, especially the church of St. Mark the Evangelist, and the patriarchal cell. He suffered many tribulations and sat upon the throne for three and a half years, then departed in peace.

May his prayers and blessings be with us all. Amen.

Assembly of the Universal Holy Council at Nicea

      Also on this day, of the year 325 A.D., 318 fathers assembled in the city of Nicea, in the days of Emperor Constantine, the righteous Emperor. Among them were the heads of the four Sees and they were: Anba Alexandros, the 19th Pope of Alexandria, who was accompanied by Athanasius, his Archdeacon and private secretary; Estasius, archbishop of Antioch; Macarius, Archbishop of Jerusalem. Sylvestros, archbishop of Rome, because of his old age did not attend and sent two priests in his place. The reason for their assembly2was to judge Arius who was a priest in Alexandria. He blasphemed against the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ by saying that he was not equal in essence to God, His Father, and there was a time when the Son did not exist. Among those who attended this council were holy fathers, who were, in the rank of the Apostles, able to raise the dead, heal the sick and work great wonders. Among them also were those who were tortured for the sake of their faith, lost their eyes, or had their hands or feet cut off, or had their teeth smashed or their nails pulled out or their ribs broken. One of them was the fighter St.Bephnotius, the confessor, one of the bishops of upper Egypt who was tortured much during the days of Diocletian. They plucked out his right eye, burnt the flesh of his left leg, bound him in chains and took him to cut marble in a stone quarry. He was called the martyr among priests. He was a holy old man, loved by God and the people. The Lord worked many wonders through his supplications and prayers. When the fathers convened, they sat on the chairs prepared for them. Then the righteous Emperor Constantine came and greeted them, starting with St.Bephnotius, the Bishop, whom he respected much. The Emperor kissed with honor the scars of his wounds. Then he placed his royal scepter and his sword before them saying: "Behold, this day, you have the power of the priesthood and the Kingdom, to loosen and to bind as the Lord said, 'Whosoever you wish to exile or to keep, that will be in your authority.'" The Holy Spirit enlightened the minds of those present and they were counted and there were found to be 319 but when they counted the visible chairs, they counted 318! This fulfilled the saying of the Lord Christ, "For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them." (Matthew 18:20)

      They had Arius brought before them and asked him to state his faith. He blasphemed saying, "The Father was when the Son was not." When they explained to him his error and he did not change his opinion, they excommunicated him and all those who shared his opinion and belief. Then they wrote the Canon of the Christian faith which is known as the "Nicene Creed". It states: 
1. Truly we believe in one God, God the Father, the Pantocrator, Who created heaven and earth, and all things, seen and unseen. 
2. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the Only-Begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all ages; Light of Light; True God of True God; Begotten not created, of One Essence with the Father, by Whom all things were made. 
3. Who, for us men and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and of the Virgin Mary and became Man. 
4. And He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate; suffered and was buried. 
5. And the third day He arose from the dead, according to the Scriptures. 
6. Ascended into the heavens; He sits at the right hand of His Father. 
7. And He is coming again in His glory to judge the living and the dead, Whose kingdom shall have no end.

      Later on, when the council of one hundred and fifty assembled in the city of Constantinople to judge Macedonius, the enemy of the Holy Spirit, they formulated the remainder of that creed saying:

8. Yes, we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of Life, Who proceeds from the Father; Who, with the Father and the Son, is worshipped and glorified; Who spoke by the prophets. 
9. And in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. 
10. We confess one Baptism for the remission of sins. 
11. We look for the resurrection of the dead. 
12. And the life of the coming age. Amen.

      They forbade to add to or take away from the Creed and commanded all the believers, priests, laity, old and young, men and women, to recite it and to have it said during the Holy Liturgy and in all prayers.

After the fathers of the council of Nicea had excommunicated Arius and established the Creed, they issued other decisions as follows:

I. With regards to Melitus, Bishop of Assuit, who had resisted his superior St. Peter the martyr, the Alexandrian Pope, the council confirmed the authority of the Pope of Alexandria over his subjects in the ordinances 5, 6, and 7. 
II. They settled the controversy between the bishops of Africa and Asia Minor and the bishop of Rome regarding the baptism of heretics. The council decided that the baptism performed by heretics was worthless in contrast to what the Bishop of Rome and his followers had thought. 
III. They also established the Resurrection feast day. It was decided that it would be on the Sunday that followed the full moon, on which was the Passover of the Jews. Thus, they would not celebrate before the Jews or with them. They authorized the Popes of Alexandria, because of their knowledge and accuracy in calculating the dates, to notify all the churches about the day on which they would celebrate the feast.

The holy fathers confirmed the church, they established the light of the faith and then departed to their parishes.

May Their prayers and blessings be with us and Glory be to our Lord forever. Amen.

 

DAILY KATEMAROS
Wednesday, 18th November 2020 --- 9 Hatour 1737

Vespers

Vespers Psalm

From the Psalms of our teacher David the prophet.
May his blessings be with us all.

Psalms 32 : 11,6

Chapter 32

11 Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you righteous; And shout for joy, all you upright in heart!
6 For this cause everyone who is godly shall pray to You In a time when You may be found; Surely in a flood of great waters They shall not come near him.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Our Lord God, Savior, and King of us all, Jesus Christ, the Living Son of God to whom be glory forever.
Amen.

Vespers Gospel

Stand in the fear of God and listen to the Holy Gospel.
A reading from the Gospel according to our teacher Saint Matthew the Evangelist.
May His Blessings be with us all.

Matthew 25 : 14 - 23

Chapter 25

14 "For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them.
15 And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey.
16 Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents.
17 And likewise he who had received two gained two more also.
18 But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord's money.
19 After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them.
20 "So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, "Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.'
21 His lord said to him, "Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.'
22 He also who had received two talents came and said, "Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.'
23 His lord said to him, "Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.'

And Glory be to God forever.

 

 

Matins

Matins Psalm

From the Psalms of our teacher David the prophet.
May his blessings be with us all.

Psalms 112 : 1 - 2

Chapter 112

1 Praise the LORD! Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, Who delights greatly in His commandments.
2 His descendants will be mighty on earth; The generation of the upright will be blessed.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Our Lord God, Savior, and King of us all, Jesus Christ, the Living Son of God to whom be glory forever.
Amen.

 

Matins Gospel

Stand in the fear of God and listen to the Holy Gospel.
A reading from the Gospel according to our teacher Saint Luke the Evangelist.
May His Blessings be with us all.

Luke 6 : 17 - 23

Chapter 6

17 And He came down with them and stood on a level place with a crowd of His disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem, and from the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear Him and be healed of their diseases,
18 as well as those who were tormented with unclean spirits. And they were healed.
19 And the whole multitude sought to touch Him, for power went out from Him and healed them all.
20 Then He lifted up His eyes toward His disciples, and said: "Blessed are you poor, For yours is the kingdom of God.
21 Blessed are you who hunger now, For you shall be filled. Blessed are you who weep now, For you shall laugh.
22 Blessed are you when men hate you, And when they exclude you, And revile you, and cast out your name as evil, For the Son of Man's sake.
23 Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven, For in like manner their fathers did to the prophets.

And Glory be to God forever.

 

 

Liturgy Gospel

Paulines Epistle

Paul, the servant of our Lord Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, appointed to the Gospel of God.
A reading from the Epistle of our teacher Paul to the Romans .
May his blessings be upon us.
Amen.

Romans 4 : 13 - 5 : 5

Chapter 4

13 For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.
14 For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect,
15 because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression.
16 Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all
17 (as it is written, "I have made you a father of many nations" ) in the presence of Him whom he believed--God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did;
18 who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, "So shall your descendants be."
19 And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah's womb.
20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God,
21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.
22 And therefore "it was accounted to him for righteousness."
23 Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him,
24 but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead,
25 who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.

Chapter 5

1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance;
4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope.
5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

The grace of God the Father be with you all.
Amen.

 

Catholic Epistle

A Reading from Epistle 1 of St. Peter .
May his blessing be upon us.
Amen.

1 Peter 1 : 3 - 12

Chapter 1

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,
5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials,
7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,
8 whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,
9 receiving the end of your faith--the salvation of your souls.
10 Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you,
11 searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow.
12 To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven--things which angels desire to look into.

Do not love the world or the things in the world.
The world passes away, and its desires; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
Amen.

 

The Acts of our fathers the apostles, may their blessings be with us.

Acts 11 : 15 - 24

Chapter 11

15 And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them, as upon us at the beginning.
16 Then I remembered the word of the Lord, how He said, "John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.'
17 If therefore God gave them the same gift as He gave us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God?"
18 When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified God, saying, "Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life."
19 Now those who were scattered after the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to no one but the Jews only.
20 But some of them were men from Cyprus and Cyrene, who, when they had come to Antioch, spoke to the Hellenists, preaching the Lord Jesus.
21 And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord.
22 Then news of these things came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent out Barnabas to go as far as Antioch.
23 When he came and had seen the grace of God, he was glad, and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord.
24 For he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord.

The word of the Lord shall grow, multiply, be mighty, and be confirmed, in the holy Church of God.
Amen.

 

Divine Psalm

Stand in the fear of God and listen to the Holy Gospel.
A reading from the Gospel according to our teacher Saint John the Evangelist.
May His Blessings be with us all. Amen.
From the Psalms of our teacher David the prophet, and the Good King.
May his blessings be with us all.

 

Psalms 19 : 4

Chapter 19

4 Their line has gone out through all the earth, And their words to the end of the world. In them He has set a tabernacle for the sun,

 

 

Psalms 132 : 9 - 10

Chapter 132

9 Let Your priests be clothed with righteousness, And let Your saints shout for joy.
10 For Your servant David's sake, Do not turn away the face of Your Anointed.

 


Hallelujah.

 

Divine Gospel

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Our Lord God, Savior, and King of us all, Jesus Christ, the Living Son of God to whom be glory forever.
Amen.

Matthew 16 : 13 - 19

Chapter 16

13 When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, "Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?"
14 So they said, "Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets."
15 He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"
16 Simon Peter answered and said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
17 Jesus answered and said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.
18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.
19 And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."


And Glory be to God forever.

 

DAILY CONTEMPLATION
سنكسار يوم 9 من شهر هاتور لسنة 1733 لتقويم الشهداء الموافق 19 من شهر نوفمبر لسنة 2016 بالتقويم الميلادى

فرح الله هو الغفران، وحده الغفران يخلص.. تأمل روحي تتحدث امثال الرحمة الثلاثة: مثل الخروف الضائع، ومثل الدرهم الضائع ومثل الابن الضال. عن فرح الله: وما هو فرح الله؟ فرح الله هو الغفران! إنه فرح الراعي الذي يجد خروفه، وفرح المرأة التي تجد درهمها وفرح الأب الذي يستقبل ابنه الذي كان ميتًا فعاش وكان ضالاً فوجد. في هذه الأمثال الثلاثة نجد تعليم الإنجيل بأسره، لأن رحمة الله هي القوة الحقيقيّة التي يمكنها أن تخلّص الإنسان والعالم من الخطيئة والشر الخلقي والروحي ووحده الحب يملأ الفراغ الذي يتركه الشر في قلوبنا وفي التاريخ. إنه الله المتجسّد. كلّ منا هو ذلك الخروف الضائع والدرهم الضائع، كلّ منا هو ذلك الابن الذي فقد حريّته بإتباعه للأصنام ولسراب السعادة فأضاع كلّ شيء. لكن الله لا ينسانا والآب لا يتركنا أبدًا، يحترم حريتنا ويبقى أمينًا أبدًا وعندما نعود إليه يستقبلنا كالأبناء في بيته لأنه ينتظرنا دائمًا ويفرح قلبه بكل ابن يعود إليه. الخطر يكمن في أننا نعتقد بأننا أبرار ونحكم على الآخرين، وعلى الله أيضًا لأنه باعتقادنا أنه عليه أن يجازي الخطأة ويحكم عليهم بالموت بدلاً من أن يسامحهم ولذلك نبقى خارج بيت الآب تمامًا كالابن الأكبر الذي بدل أن يفرح بعودة أخيه غضب من الأب الذي استقبله وأقام له حفلاً. أضاف الحبر الأعظم يقول إن لم تكن في قلبنا الرحمة وفرح الغفران فلسنا بشركة مع الله حتى ولو حافظنا على الوصايا لأن الحب هو الذي يخلص، فحب الله والقريب هما كمال الوصايا. “العين بالعين والسن بالسن” فلن نخرج من دوامة الشر. الشيطان مخادع ويوهمنا بأن عدالتنا البشرية ستخلصنا وتخلص العالم، ولكن في الواقع وحدها عدالة الله يمكنها أن تخلصنا، وهذه العدالة قد ظهرت لنا بالصليب: فالصليب هو حكم الله علينا وعلى هذا العالم. ولكن كيف يديننا الله؟ الله يديننا بإعطائنا الحياة! وهذا هو فعل العدالة الأسمى الذي غلب سلطان هذا العالم، وفعل العدالة العظيم هذا هو فعل رحمة أيضا فيسوع يدعونا جميعًا لإتباع هذه المسيرة: “كونوا رحماء كما أن أباكم رحيم” (لوقا 6، 36). لنطلب إذا شفاعة العذراء مريم أم الرحمة. تشجعوا وسيروا دائمًا نحو الأمام…