Our venerable and divinely inspired father, Anthony the Great, was Egyptian by birth, who went into the desert during the reign of Constantine the Great, in the year 312. Living to the age of 105, he died in 356. He was a friend of St. Paul the Hermit and was one of the founders of the cenobitical life.
Father Anthony, you imitated Elijah in his zeal, and you followed John the Baptist in his holy way of life. You took up your abode in the desert and strengthened the world by your prayers. Intercede with Christ our God that He may save our souls.
You rejected the troubles of this world, most venerable Anthony, and spent your life in peace by imitating John the Baptist. With him, we exalt your name; for you are a perfect example of good conduct.
Readings for Anthony
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 sorrow, for that would be harmful to you. Pray for us; we are confident that we may have a good conscience. Wishing, as we do, to ask 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 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.”
Readings for the day
Hebrews 11: 17- 31
Brothers and sisters: By faith Abraham, when put to the test, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was ready to offer his only son, of whom it was said, “Through Isaac descendants shall bear your name.” He reasoned that God was able to raise even from the dead, and he received Isaac back as a symbol. By faith regarding things still to come Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau. By faith Jacob, when dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph and “bowed in worship, leaning on the top of his staff.” By faith Joseph, near the end of his life, spoke of the Exodus of the Israelites and gave instructions about his bones.
By faith Moses was hidden by his parents for three months after his birth, because they saw that he was a beautiful child, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict. By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; he chose to be ill-treated along with the people of God rather than enjoy the fleeting pleasure of sin. He considered the reproach of the Anointed greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the recompense. By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s fury, for he persevered as if seeing the one who is invisible. By faith he kept the Passover and sprinkled the blood, that the Destroyer of the firstborn might not touch them. By faith they crossed the Red Sea as if it were dry land, but when the Egyptians attempted it they were drowned. By faith the walls of Jericho fell after being encircled for seven days. By faith Rahab the harlot did not perish with the disobedient, for she had received the spies in peace.
Mark 9:42- 10:1
The Lord said, “It would be better if anyone who leads astray one of the simple believers were to be plunged in the sea with a great millstone fastened around his neck. If your hand is your difficulty, cut it off! Better for you to enter life maimed than to keep both hands and enter Gehenna with his unquenchable fire. If your foot is your own doing, cut it off! Better for you to enter life crippled than to be thrown into Gehenna with both feet. If your eye is your downfall, tear it out! Better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to be thrown with both eyes into Gehenna, where ‘the worm dies not and the fire is never extinguished.’ Everyone will be salted with fire. Salt is excellent in its place; but if salt becomes tasteless, how can you season it? Keep salt in your heart and you will be at peace with one another.”
From where Jesus moved on to the districts of Judea and across the Jordan. Once more crowds gathered around him, and as usual he began to teach them.
Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications – ecpubs.com
Sunday, January 16 –