Our Holy father Nicholas, Archbishop of Myra in Lycia, the Wonder-Worker. A native of Lycia, he became a monk at the New Zion monastery. When his parents died, he gave his entire inheritance to the poor. Ordained a priest in Patara, he was famous for his almsgiving. He was chosen as archbishop of Myra, and was a model shepherd in his care for the people of his flock. He was present at the First Ecumenical Council (Nicea, 325). Full of years, he entered into rest in 343.
Your life has shown you to your flock as a rule of faith, an image of gentleness, and a teacher of moderation. You acquired greatness through humility and wealth through poverty. O father and archbishop Nicholas, intercede with Christ our God to save our souls.
You were renowned as a priest in Myra, O holy Nicholas; for you fulfilled the Gospel of Christ, O venerable father. You risked your life for your people and saved the innocent from death. Thereby you have been initiated into the mysteries of the grace of God.
Hebrews 13: 17-21
Brothers and sisters: Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over you as men who must render an account. So act that they may fulfill their task with joy, not with sorrow, for that would be harmful to you. Pray for us; we are confident that we have a good conscience, wishing, as we do, to act rightly in every respect. I especially ask your prayers that I may be restored to you very soon. May the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep by the blood of the eternal covenant, Jesus our Lord, furnish you with all that is good, that you may do his will. Through Jesus Christ may he carry out in you all that is pleasing to him. To Christ be the glory forever! Amen.
At that time, coming down the mountain with the twelve, Jesus stopped at a level stretch where there were many of his disciples; a large crowd of people was with them from all Judea and Jerusalem and the coast of Tyre and Sidon, people who came to hear him and be healed of this diseases. Those who were troubles with unclean spirits were cured; indeed, the whole crowd was trying to touch him because power went out from him which cured all.
Then, raising his eyes to his disciples, he said: “Blest are you poor, the reign of God is yours. Blest are you who hunger; you shall be filled. Blest are you who are weeping; you shall laugh. Blest shall you be when men hate you, and proscribe your name as evil because of the Son of Man. On the day they do so, rejoice and exult, for your reward shall be great in heaven.”
1 Timothy 5: 11-21
Timothy, my son: Refuse to enroll younger widows, for when their passions estrange them from Christ they will want to marry. This will bring them condemnation for breaking their first pledge. Besides, they learn to be ladies of leisure, who go about from house to house–becoming not only time-wasters but gossips and busybodies as well, talking about things they ought not. That is why I should like to see the younger ones marry, have children, keep house, and in general give our enemies no occasion to speak ill of us. Already, some have turned away to follow Satan. If a woman church member has relatives who are widows, she must assist them. She should not let them become a burden to the church, which ought to be free to give help to the widows who are really in need.
Presbyters who do well as leaders deserve to be paid double, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. The Scripture says,” You shall not put a muzzle on an ox when he is threshing the grain,” and also, “The worker deserves his wages.”
Pay no attention to an accusation against a presbyter unless it is supported by two or three witnesses. The ones who do commit sin, however, are to be publicly reprimanded, so that the rest may fear to offend. I charge you before God, Christ Jesus, and the chosen angels: apply these rules without prejudice, act with complete impartiality!
Luke 21: 12-19
The Lord said to his disciples, “Before any of this [trouble] they will manhandle and persecute you, summoning you to synagogues and prisons, bringing you to trial before kings and governors, all because of my name. You will be brought to give witness on account of it. I bid you resolve not to worry about your defense beforehand, for I will give you words and a wisdom which none of your adversaries can take exception to or contradict. You will be delivered up even by your parents, brothers, relatives and friends, and some of you will be put to death. All will hate you because of me, yet not a hair of your head will be harmed. By patient endurance you will save your lives.”
Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications – ecpubs.com
Monday, December 5 –