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Fourth Sunday in Great Lent. Saint John Climacus of Sanai.

Troparion (Tone 8)

By a flood of tears you made the desert fertile

And by your longing for God you brought forth fruits in abundance.

By the radiance of miracles you illuminated the whole universe.

O our holy Father John Climacus, pray to Christ our God to save our souls.

Kontakion (Tone 1)

You offered us your teachings as fruits of everlasting freshness,

To sweeten the hearts of those who receive them with attention.

O blessed and wise John, they are the rungs of a ladder,

Leading the souls of those who honor you from earth to Eternal glory in Heaven!

 

 

 

 

Epistle and Gospel readings in ENGLISH, GREEK, ROMANIAN AND RUSSIAN.

EPISTLE 1Hebrews 6:13-20 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

The Certainty of God’s Promise

13 When God made a promise to Abraham, because he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself, 14 saying, “I will surely bless you and multiply you.” 15 And thus Abraham,[a] having patiently endured, obtained the promise. 16 Human beings, of course, swear by someone greater than themselves, and an oath given as confirmation puts an end to all dispute. 17 In the same way, when God desired to show even more clearly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it by an oath, 18 so that through two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible that God would prove false, we who have taken refuge might be strongly encouraged to seize the hope set before us. 19 We have this hope, a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters the inner shrine behind the curtain, 20 where Jesus, a forerunner on our behalf, has entered, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

 

 

Epistle 2: Ephesians 5:9-19 New International Version (NIV)

(for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. 14 This is why it is said:

“Wake up, sleeper,
    rise from the dead,
    and Christ will shine on you.”

15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord,

Gospel 1 : Mark 9:17-31 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

17 Someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought you my son; he has a spirit that makes him unable to speak; 18 and whenever it seizes him, it dashes him down; and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid; and I asked your disciples to cast it out, but they could not do so.” 19 He answered them, “You faithless generation, how much longer must I be among you? How much longer must I put up with you? Bring him to me.” 20 And they brought the boy[a] to him. When the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy,[b] and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. 21 Jesus[c] asked the father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. 22 It has often cast him into the fire and into the water, to destroy him; but if you are able to do anything, have pity on us and help us.” 23 Jesus said to him, “If you are able!—All things can be done for the one who believes.” 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out,[d] “I believe; help my unbelief!” 25 When Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You spirit that keeps this boy from speaking and hearing, I command you, come out of him, and never enter him again!” 26 After crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, “He is dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he was able to stand. 28 When he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” 29 He said to them, “This kind can come out only through prayer.”[e]

30 They went on from there and passed through Galilee. He did not want anyone to know it; 31 for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, and three days after being killed, he will rise again.”

 

Gospel 2 : Matthew 4:25 – 5:12

25 And great crowds followed him from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and from beyond the Jordan.

The Beatitudes

When Jesus[a] saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely[b] on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

 

ΕΠΙΣΤΟΛΗ A ΠΡΟΣ ΕΦΕΣΙΟΥΣ 5:9-19 SBL Greek New Testament (SBLGNT)

ὁ γὰρ καρπὸς τοῦ [a]φωτὸς ἐν πάσῃ ἀγαθωσύνῃ καὶ δικαιοσύνῃ καὶ ἀληθείᾳ, 10 δοκιμάζοντες τί ἐστιν εὐάρεστον τῷ κυρίῳ· 11 καὶ μὴ συγκοινωνεῖτε τοῖς ἔργοις τοῖς ἀκάρποις τοῦ σκότους, μᾶλλον δὲ καὶ ἐλέγχετε, 12 τὰ γὰρ κρυφῇ γινόμενα ὑπ’ αὐτῶν αἰσχρόν ἐστιν καὶ λέγειν· 13 τὰ δὲ πάντα ἐλεγχόμενα ὑπὸ τοῦ φωτὸς φανεροῦται, 14 πᾶν γὰρ τὸ φανερούμενον φῶς ἐστιν. διὸ λέγει· Ἔγειρε, ὁ καθεύδων, καὶ ἀνάστα ἐκ τῶν νεκρῶν, καὶ ἐπιφαύσει σοι ὁ Χριστός.

15 Βλέπετε οὖν [b]ἀκριβῶς πῶς περιπατεῖτε, μὴ ὡς ἄσοφοι ἀλλ’ ὡς σοφοί, 16 ἐξαγοραζόμενοι τὸν καιρόν, ὅτι αἱ ἡμέραι πονηραί εἰσιν. 17 διὰ τοῦτο μὴ γίνεσθε ἄφρονες, ἀλλὰ [c]συνίετε τί τὸ θέλημα τοῦ κυρίου· 18 καὶ μὴ μεθύσκεσθε οἴνῳ, ἐν ᾧ ἐστιν ἀσωτία, ἀλλὰ πληροῦσθε ἐν πνεύματι, 19 λαλοῦντες [d]ἑαυτοῖς ψαλμοῖς καὶ ὕμνοις καὶ ᾠδαῖς πνευματικαῖς, ᾄδοντες καὶ [e]ψάλλοντες τῇ καρδίᾳ ὑμῶν τῷ κυρίῳ,

ΕΠΙΣΤΟΛΗ B ΠΡΟΣ ΕΒΡΑΙΟΥΣ 6:13-20 SBL Greek New Testament (SBLGNT)

13 Τῷ γὰρ Ἀβραὰμ ἐπαγγειλάμενος ὁ θεός, ἐπεὶ κατ’ οὐδενὸς εἶχεν μείζονος ὀμόσαι, ὤμοσεν καθ’ ἑαυτοῦ, 14 λέγων· [a]Εἰ μὴν εὐλογῶν εὐλογήσω σε καὶ πληθύνων πληθυνῶ σε· 15 καὶ οὕτως μακροθυμήσας ἐπέτυχεν τῆς ἐπαγγελίας. 16 [b]ἄνθρωποι γὰρ κατὰ τοῦ μείζονος ὀμνύουσιν, καὶ πάσης αὐτοῖς ἀντιλογίας πέρας εἰς βεβαίωσιν ὁ ὅρκος· 17 ἐν ᾧ περισσότερον βουλόμενος ὁ θεὸς ἐπιδεῖξαι τοῖς κληρονόμοις τῆς ἐπαγγελίας τὸ ἀμετάθετον τῆς βουλῆς αὐτοῦ ἐμεσίτευσεν ὅρκῳ, 18 ἵνα διὰ δύο πραγμάτων ἀμεταθέτων, ἐν οἷς ἀδύνατον ψεύσασθαι [c]θεόν, ἰσχυρὰν παράκλησιν ἔχωμεν οἱ καταφυγόντες κρατῆσαι τῆς προκειμένης ἐλπίδος· 19 ἣν ὡς ἄγκυραν ἔχομεν τῆς ψυχῆς, [d]ἀσφαλῆ τε καὶ βεβαίαν καὶ εἰσερχομένην εἰς τὸ ἐσώτερον τοῦ καταπετάσματος, 20 ὅπου πρόδρομος ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν εἰσῆλθεν Ἰησοῦς, κατὰ τὴν τάξιν Μελχισέδεκ ἀρχιερεὺς γενόμενος εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα.

 

 

ΕΥΑΓΓΕΛΙΟ A ΚΑΤΑ ΜΑΡΚΟΝ 9:17-31 SBL Greek New Testament (SBLGNT)

17 καὶ [a]ἀπεκρίθη αὐτῷ εἷς ἐκ τοῦ ὄχλου· Διδάσκαλε, ἤνεγκα τὸν υἱόν μου πρὸς σέ, ἔχοντα πνεῦμα ἄλαλον· 18 καὶ ὅπου [b]ἐὰν αὐτὸν καταλάβῃ ῥήσσει αὐτόν, καὶ ἀφρίζει καὶ τρίζει τοὺς [c]ὀδόντας καὶ ξηραίνεται· καὶ εἶπα τοῖς μαθηταῖς σου ἵνα αὐτὸ ἐκβάλωσιν, καὶ οὐκ ἴσχυσαν. 19 ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς [d]αὐτοῖς λέγει· Ὦ γενεὰ ἄπιστος, ἕως πότε πρὸς ὑμᾶς ἔσομαι; ἕως πότε ἀνέξομαι ὑμῶν; φέρετε αὐτὸν πρός με. 20 καὶ ἤνεγκαν αὐτὸν πρὸς αὐτόν. καὶ ἰδὼν αὐτὸν [e]τὸ πνεῦμα εὐθὺς [f]συνεσπάραξεν αὐτόν, καὶ πεσὼν ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς ἐκυλίετο ἀφρίζων. 21 καὶ ἐπηρώτησεν τὸν πατέρα αὐτοῦ· Πόσος χρόνος ἐστὶν ὡς τοῦτο γέγονεν αὐτῷ; ὁ δὲ εἶπεν· [g]Ἐκ παιδιόθεν· 22 καὶ πολλάκις [h]καὶ εἰς πῦρ αὐτὸν ἔβαλεν καὶ εἰς ὕδατα ἵνα ἀπολέσῃ αὐτόν· ἀλλ’ εἴ τι [i]δύνῃ, βοήθησον ἡμῖν σπλαγχνισθεὶς ἐφ’ ἡμᾶς. 23 ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτῷ· Τὸ Εἰ [j]δύνῃ, πάντα δυνατὰ τῷ πιστεύοντι. 24 [k]εὐθὺς κράξας ὁ πατὴρ τοῦ [l]παιδίου ἔλεγεν· [m]Πιστεύω· βοήθει μου τῇ ἀπιστίᾳ. 25 ἰδὼν δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς ὅτι ἐπισυντρέχει ὄχλος ἐπετίμησεν τῷ πνεύματι τῷ ἀκαθάρτῳ λέγων αὐτῷ· Τὸ [n]ἄλαλον καὶ κωφὸν πνεῦμα, ἐγὼ [o]ἐπιτάσσω σοι, ἔξελθε ἐξ αὐτοῦ καὶ μηκέτι εἰσέλθῃς εἰς αὐτόν. 26 καὶ [p]κράξας καὶ πολλὰ σπαράξας ἐξῆλθεν· καὶ ἐγένετο ὡσεὶ νεκρὸς ὥστε [q]τοὺς πολλοὺς λέγειν ὅτι ἀπέθανεν. 27 ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς κρατήσας [r]τῆς χειρὸς αὐτοῦ ἤγειρεν αὐτόν, καὶ ἀνέστη. 28 καὶ [s]εἰσελθόντος αὐτοῦ εἰς οἶκον οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ [t]κατ’ ἰδίαν ἐπηρώτων αὐτόν· Ὅτι ἡμεῖς οὐκ ἠδυνήθημεν ἐκβαλεῖν αὐτό; 29 καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς· Τοῦτο τὸ γένος ἐν οὐδενὶ δύναται ἐξελθεῖν εἰ μὴ ἐν [u]προσευχῇ.

30 Κἀκεῖθεν ἐξελθόντες [v]παρεπορεύοντο διὰ τῆς Γαλιλαίας, καὶ οὐκ ἤθελεν ἵνα τις γνοῖ· 31 ἐδίδασκεν γὰρ τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς ὅτι Ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου παραδίδοται εἰς χεῖρας ἀνθρώπων, καὶ ἀποκτενοῦσιν αὐτόν, καὶ ἀποκτανθεὶς [w]μετὰ τρεῖς ἡμέρας ἀναστήσεται.

 

ΕΥΑΓΓΕΛΙΟ B ΚΑΤΑ ΜΑΤΘΑΙΟΝ 4:25-5:12 SBL Greek New Testament (SBLGNT)

25 καὶ ἠκολούθησαν αὐτῷ ὄχλοι πολλοὶ ἀπὸ τῆς Γαλιλαίας καὶ Δεκαπόλεως καὶ Ἱεροσολύμων καὶ Ἰουδαίας καὶ πέραν τοῦ Ἰορδάνου.

Ἰδὼν δὲ τοὺς ὄχλους ἀνέβη εἰς τὸ ὄρος· καὶ καθίσαντος αὐτοῦ προσῆλθαν αὐτῷ οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ· καὶ ἀνοίξας τὸ στόμα αὐτοῦ ἐδίδασκεν αὐτοὺς λέγων·

Μακάριοι οἱ πτωχοὶ τῷ πνεύματι, ὅτι αὐτῶν ἐστιν ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν.

μακάριοι οἱ πενθοῦντες, ὅτι αὐτοὶ παρακληθήσονται.

μακάριοι οἱ πραεῖς, ὅτι αὐτοὶ κληρονομήσουσι τὴν γῆν.

μακάριοι οἱ πεινῶντες καὶ διψῶντες τὴν δικαιοσύνην, ὅτι αὐτοὶ χορτασθήσονται.

μακάριοι οἱ ἐλεήμονες, ὅτι αὐτοὶ ἐλεηθήσονται.

μακάριοι οἱ καθαροὶ τῇ καρδίᾳ, ὅτι αὐτοὶ τὸν θεὸν ὄψονται.

μακάριοι οἱ εἰρηνοποιοί, ὅτι αὐτοὶ υἱοὶ θεοῦ κληθήσονται.

10 μακάριοι οἱ δεδιωγμένοι ἕνεκεν δικαιοσύνης, ὅτι αὐτῶν ἐστιν ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν.

11 μακάριοί ἐστε ὅταν ὀνειδίσωσιν ὑμᾶς καὶ διώξωσιν καὶ εἴπωσιν πᾶν [a]πονηρὸν καθ’ ὑμῶν ψευδόμενοι ἕνεκεν ἐμοῦ. 12 χαίρετε καὶ ἀγαλλιᾶσθε, ὅτι ὁ μισθὸς ὑμῶν πολὺς ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς· οὕτως γὰρ ἐδίωξαν τοὺς προφήτας τοὺς πρὸ ὑμῶν.

 

EPISTOLĂ 1 Evrei 6:13-20 Cornilescu 1924 - Revised 2010, 2014 (RMNN)

13 Dumnezeu, când a dat lui Avraam făgăduinţa, fiindcă nu putea să Se jure pe unul mai mare decât El, s-a jurat pe Sine Însuşi 14 şi a zis: „Cu adevărat te voi binecuvânta şi îţi voi înmulţi foarte mult sămânţa”. 15 Şi astfel, fiindcă a aşteptat cu răbdare, a dobândit făgăduinţa. 16 Oamenii, ce-i drept, obişnuiesc să jure pe cineva mai mare; jurământul este o chezăşie care pune capăt oricărei neînţelegeri dintre ei. 17 De aceea, şi Dumnezeu, fiindcă voia să dovedească cu mai multă tărie moştenitorilor făgăduinţei nestrămutarea hotărârii Lui, a venit cu un jurământ, 18 pentru ca, prin două lucruri care nu se pot schimba şi în care este cu neputinţă ca Dumnezeu să mintă, să găsim o puternică îmbărbătare noi, a căror scăpare a fost să apucăm nădejdea care ne era pusă înainte, 19 pe care o avem ca o ancoră a sufletului; o nădejde tare şi neclintită, care pătrunde dincolo de perdeaua dinăuntrul Templului, 20 unde Isus a intrat pentru noi ca înainte-mergător, când a fost făcut „Mare Preot în veac după rânduiala lui Melhisedec”.

 

EPISTOLĂ 2

Efeseni 5:9-19 Nouă Traducere În Limba Română (NTLR)

Iar rodul luminii este găsit în tot ce este bun, drept şi adevărat. 10 Căutaţi să descoperiţi ceea ce-I este plăcut Domnului. 11 Nu luaţi parte la faptele nefolositoare ale întunericului, ci mai degrabă demascaţi-le, 12 căci este ruşinos şi numai să vorbim despre lucrurile pe care le fac ei în ascuns. 13 Tot ce este demascat de lumină devine vizibil, 14 pentru că lumina face ca totul să se vadă clar. De aceea se spune:

„Trezeşte-te, tu, care dormi,
    învie din morţi,
        iar Cristos te va lumina!“[a]

15 Fiţi atenţi deci cum trăiţi – nu ca nişte neînţelepţi, ci ca nişte înţelepţi. 16 Folosiţi orice ocazie pe care o aveţi, pentru că zilele sunt rele. 17 Nu fiţi neînţelepţi, ci înţelegeţi care este voia Domnului. 18 Nu vă îmbătaţi cu vin, căci aceasta duce la destrăbălare, ci fiţi plini de Duh. 19 Vorbiţi între voi cu psalmi, imnuri şi cântece duhovniceşti, cântând şi lăudându-L pe Domnul în inima voastră.

EVANGHELIEI  1 Marcu 9:17-31 Cornilescu 1924 - Revised 2010, 2014 (RMNN)

17 Şi un om din norod I-a răspuns: „Învăţătorule, am adus la Tine pe fiul meu, care este stăpânit de un duh mut. 18 Oriunde îl apucă, îl trânteşte la pământ. Copilul face spumă la gură, scrâşneşte din dinţi şi rămâne ţeapăn. M-am rugat de ucenicii Tăi să scoată duhul, şi n-au putut.” 19 „O, neam necredincios!” le-a zis Isus. „Până când voi fi cu voi? Până când vă voi suferi? Aduceţi-l la Mine.” 20 L-au adus la El. Şi, cum a văzut copilul pe Isus, duhul l-a scuturat cu putere, copilul a căzut la pământ şi se zvârcolea făcând spumă la gură. 21 Isus a întrebat pe tatăl lui: „Câtă vreme este de când îi vine aşa?” „Din copilărie”, a răspuns el. 22 „Şi, de multe ori, duhul l-a aruncat când în foc, când în apă, ca să-l omoare. Dar, dacă poţi face ceva, fie-Ţi milă de noi şi ajută-ne.” 23 Isus a răspuns: „Tu zici: ‘Dacă poţi’. Toate lucrurile sunt cu putinţă celui ce crede!” 24 Îndată, tatăl copilului a strigat cu lacrimi: „Cred, Doamne! Ajută necredinţei mele!” 25 Când a văzut Isus că norodul vine în fuga mare spre El, a mustrat duhul necurat şi i-a zis: „Duh mut şi surd, îţi poruncesc să ieşi din copilul acesta şi să nu mai intri în el”. 26 Şi duhul a ieşit, ţipând şi scuturându-l cu mare putere. Copilul a rămas ca mort, aşa că mulţi ziceau: „A murit!” 27 Dar Isus l-a apucat de mână şi l-a ridicat. Şi el s-a sculat în picioare. 28 Când a intrat Isus în casă, ucenicii Lui L-au întrebat deoparte: „Noi de ce n-am putut să scoatem duhul acesta?” 29 „Acest soi de draci”, le-a zis El, „nu poate ieşi decât prin rugăciune şi post”.

Isus vesteşte moartea şi învierea Sa

30 Au plecat de acolo şi au trecut prin Galileea. Isus nu voia să ştie nimeni că trece. 31 Căci învăţa pe ucenicii Săi şi zicea: „Fiul omului va fi dat în mâinile oamenilor; ei Îl vor omorî şi a treia zi, după ce-L vor omorî, va învia”.

 

EVANGHELIEI  2  Matei 4:25-5:12 Cornilescu 1924 - Revised 2010, 2014 (RMNN)

25 După El au mers multe noroade din Galileea, din Decapole, din Ierusalim, din Iudeea şi de dincolo de Iordan.

Cuvântarea de pe munte. Fericirile

Când a văzut Isus noroadele, S-a suit pe munte şi, după ce a şezut jos, ucenicii Lui s-au apropiat de El. Apoi a început să vorbească şi să-i înveţe astfel: „Ferice de cei săraci în duh, căci a lor este Împărăţia cerurilor! Ferice de cei ce plâng, căci ei vor fi mângâiaţi! Ferice de cei blânzi, căci ei vor moşteni pământul! Ferice de cei flămânzi şi însetaţi după neprihănire, căci ei vor fi săturaţi! Ferice de cei milostivi, căci ei vor avea parte de milă! Ferice de cei cu inima curată, căci ei vor vedea pe Dumnezeu! Ferice de cei împăciuitori, căci ei vor fi chemaţi fii ai lui Dumnezeu! 10 Ferice de cei prigoniţi din pricina neprihănirii, căci a lor este Împărăţia cerurilor! 11 Ferice va fi de voi când, din pricina Mea, oamenii vă vor ocărî, vă vor prigoni şi vor spune tot felul de lucruri rele şi neadevărate împotriva voastră! 12 Bucuraţi-vă şi veseliţi-vă, pentru că răsplata voastră este mare în ceruri; căci tot aşa au prigonit pe proroci, care au fost înainte de voi.

 

 

 ПОСЛАНИЕ 1 К Евреям 6:13-20 Russian New Testament: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV-RU)

13 Когда Бог дал обещание Аврааму, то поклялся Собою, так как не было никого, кто стоял бы выше Него. 14 Он сказал: «Я осыплю тебя благословениями и дарую тебе великое множество потомков». [a] 15 И после терпеливого ожидания Авраам получил обещанное Богом.

16 Люди всегда клянутся именем Того, Кто выше их, и клятва эта подтверждает сказанное и кладёт конец всем спорам. 17 Бог пожелал, чтобы всем наследникам обещания было совершенно ясно, что Его замысел неизменен. Поэтому Он скрепил Своё обещание клятвой, 18 которая даёт нам великое ободрение и уверенность в двух неизменных истинах: «Бог не лжёт», и «Бог верен Своей клятве».

Мы являемся теми людьми, кто крепко держится за предложенную нам надежду. 19 Мы храним эту надежду как якорь, незыблемый и прочный. Эта надежда проникает в святилище за завесой, 20 куда Иисус вошёл первым и указал нам путь. Он стал Первосвященником навечно, подобно Мелхиседеку.

 

ПОСЛАНИЕ 2 К Ефесянам 5:9-19 Russian New Testament: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV-RU)

Потому что влияние Света проявляется во всякой доброте, праведности и истине. 10 Всегда старайтесь установить, что угодно Господу, 11 и не участвуйте ни в каких пустых деяниях, принадлежащих тьме, а напротив, обличайте их. 12 Потому что позорно даже говорить об их тайных деяниях, 13 но всё становится явным при обличающем свете, 14 а всё, что становится явным, может также стать светлым. Вот почему мы говорим:

«Проснись, о спящий!
    Восстань из мёртвых,
    и Христос осияет тебя».

15 Так будьте же осторожны в образе жизни. Не поступайте, как неразумные, будьте разумны, 16 как те, кто пользуется любой возможностью творить добро, потому что время сейчас недоброе. 17 Так не будьте же глупцами, а постигните волю Господнюю. 18 И не напивайтесь вином, так как это приводит к распутству, но лучше исполняйтесь Духом. 19 Продолжайте общаться друг с другом в псалмах, гимнах и духовных песнях, посылаемых Духом. Пойте и воспевайте Господа в сердцах ваших

ЕВАНГЕЛИЕ 1 От Марка 9:17-31 Russian New Testament: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV-RU)

17 Человек из толпы ответил Ему: «Учитель! Я привёл к Тебе моего сына. Он одержим духом, который делает его неспособным говорить. 18 Когда этот дух набрасывается на сына и кидает его на землю, на губах у него появляется пена, он скрежещет зубами и впадает в оцепенение. Я просил Твоих учеников изгнать духа, но они не смогли».

19 Тогда Иисус обратился к ним: «Неверное поколение! Как долго Я должен быть с вами? Как долго Я должен терпеть вас? Приведите его ко Мне».

20 Мальчика привели к Нему. Когда дух увидел Иисуса, то сразу же поверг ребёнка в приступ эпилепсии, и тот, упав на землю, бился в судорогах и испускал пену изо рта.

21 Тогда Иисус спросил его отца: «Как давно это с ним?»

Тот ответил: «С детства. 22 Много раз дух бросал его в огонь и в воду, чтобы погубить. Но если Ты сможешь что-нибудь сделать, сжалься над нами и помоги нам».

23 Иисус ответил ему: «Почему спрашиваешь Меня: „Если сможешь? Всё возможно для того, кто верует”».

24 Отец мальчика сразу вскрикнул и сказал: «Воистину, я верую! Помоги мне, чтобы вера моя ещё более укрепилась!»

25 Когда Иисус увидел, что к ним приближается толпа народа, Он сказал нечистому духу: «Я повелеваю тебе, дух, который сделал мальчика глухим и мешаешь ему говорить: выйди и никогда больше не входи в него!»

26 И дух, вскрикнув и повергнув мальчика в сильные судороги, вышел из него. Мальчик лежал как мёртвый, так что большинство людей подумало: «Он умер». 27 Но Иисус взял его за руку и помог ему подняться.

28 После того как Иисус вошёл в дом, ученики спросили Его наедине: «Почему мы не смогли изгнать духа?»

29 Иисус ответил им: «Этот дух не может быть изгнан иначе как молитвой [и постом] [a]».

Иисус говорит о своей смерти

30 Выйдя оттуда, они пошли через Галилею. Иисус не хотел, чтобы кто-либо знал об этом, 31 потому что Он хотел быть наедине со Своими учениками и учить их. Он говорил им: «Сын Человеческий будет отдан в руки людей, которые Его убьют, но через три дня Он воскреснет».

 

ЕВАНГЕЛИЕ 2 От От Матфея 4:25-5:12 Russian New Testament: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV-RU)

25 Множество народа следовало за Ним из Галилеи, Десятиградия, Иерусалима, Иудеи и из-за Иордана.

Иисус учит народ

Увидев толпы народа, Иисус поднялся на гору, а Его ученики пришли к Нему. Там Он сел и стал проповедовать людям:

«Блаженны осознающие духовную потребность в Боге, [a]
    так как Царство Небесное принадлежит им.
Блаженны печалящиеся,
    так как Бог их утешит.
Блаженны кроткие,
    так как унаследуют они землю, обещанную Богом. [b]
Блаженны изголодавшиеся и томящиеся жаждой праведности [c],
    так как удовлетворены они будут Богом сполна.
Блаженны милостивые,
    так как будет им оказана Божья милость.
Блаженны те, чьи помыслы чисты,
    так как они будут с Богом.
Блаженны миротворцы,
    так как они будут названы детьми Божьими.
10 Блаженны преследуемые за праведность,
    так как Царство Небесное принадлежит им.

11 Блаженны вы, когда вас оскорбляют, преследуют и клевещут на вас только потому, что вы Мои ученики. 12 Ликуйте и радуйтесь, потому что награда ваша на Небесах будет велика. Так же преследовали и пророков, живших до вас».

 

Quotes from Saint John Climacus from Orthopedia.

"Nothing equals or excels God's mercies. Therefore, he who despairs is committing suicide. A sign of true repentance is the acknowledgment that we deserve all the afflictions, visible and invisible, that come upon us, and ever greater ones. Moses, after seeing God in the bush, returned again to Egypt, that is, to darkness and to the brick-making of Pharaoh, who was symbolical of the spiritual Pharaoh. But he went back again to the bush, and not only to the bush, but also up the mountain. Whoever has known divine vision will never despair of himself. Job became a beggar, but he became twice as rich again."

"Repentance is the renewal of baptism. Repentance is a contract with God for a second life. A penitent is a buyer of humility. Repentance is constant distrust of bodily comfort. Repentance is self-condemning reflection, and carefree self-care. Repentance is the daughter of hope and the renunciation of despair. A penitent is an undisgraced convict. Repentance is reconciliation with the Lord by the practice of good deeds contrary to the sins. Repentance is purification of conscience. Repentance is the voluntary endurance of all afflictions. A penitent is the inflicter of his own punishments. Repentance is a mighty persecution of the stomach, and a striking of the soul into vigorous awareness."

"Let us charge into the good fight with joy and love without being afraid of our enemies. Though unseen themselves, they can look at the face of our soul, and if they see it altered by fear, they take up arms against us all the more fiercely. For the cunning creatures have observed that we are scared. So let us take up arms against them courageously. No one will fight with a resolute fighter."

"Do not be surprised that you fall every day; do not give up, but stand your ground courageously. And assuredly, the angel who guards you will honour your patience."

"He who really keeps account of his actions considers as lost every day in which he does not mourn, whatever good he may have done in it."

"I consider those fallen mourners more blessed than those who have not fallen and are not mourning over themselves; because as a result of their fall, they have risen by a sure resurrection."

"But Adam did not wish to say, "I sinned," but said rather the contrary of this and placed the blame for the transgression upon God Who created everything "very good," saying to Him, "The woman whom Thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree and I ate." And after him she also placed the blame upon the serpent, and they did not wish at all to repent and, falling down before the Lord God, beg forgiveness of Him. For this, God banished them from Paradise, as from a royal palace, to live in this world as exiles. At that time also He decreed that a flaming sword should be turned and should guard the entrance into Paradise. And God did not curse Paradise, since it was the image of the future unending life of the eternal Kingdom of Heaven. If it were not for this reason, it would have been fitting to curse it most of all, since within it was performed the transgression of Adam. But God did not do this, but cursed only the whole rest of the earth, which also was corrupt and brought forth everything by itself; and this was in order that Adam might not have any longer a life free from exhausting labors and sweat..."

 

Holy Saint John Pray to God for us all.

 

Fr Christopher

ON THE SUNDAY OF SAINT JOHN OF THE LADDER

In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Today is the fourth in Great Lent and the Holy Orthodox Church commemorates Saint John of the Ladder.

Saint John lived in the sixth and seventh centuries. He became a novice at the age of sixteen at Saint Catherine's Monastery on Mt Sinai, he later became a hermit and then the Abbot of the same  Monastery. There he lived in monasticism for 64 years, before he reposed at the age of eighty in the year 649.

Mount Sinai is the mountain where Moses received the Ten Commandments, where God spoke to man: for our salvation. Saint  John was a man of grace who lived in unceasing prayer and he also wrote down what he had learnt from his life in God in his book called 'The Ladder'. It is this life-work which has given Saint John his familiar title 'of the Ladder'.

In this book the Saint describes in thirty chapters, or rungs, how we can raise ourselves up from our fallen, earthly states, overcoming our sinful inclinations. The soul rises up towards God as if on a ladder conquering previous failings.  However, we can say that the first rungs of this ladder are those which are most suitable for us. Like the man in today's Gospel, they are for those who cry out to God: 'Lord, I believe, help thou mine unbelief'. But the later chapters are for those who are able to cast out demons, as Christ did also in today's Gospel. The last five chapters of this book in particular are quite difficult and challenging even for monastics but especially perhaps for those of us who live in the world, the earlier chapters can be read by all, giving us great profit. This book, The Ladder, is in print today and can be bought by any who wish to read it with care and attention over time, taking in its precious words a little at a time.

Today I would simply like to relate to you just one saying of Saint John, a simple saying which I know has changed lives and saved people from their sins. Here is his saying:

Saint John related that monastic life was similar to a number of stones being shaken together in a jar. At first the stones were sharp and hard, with rough, cutting edges. However as the jar was shaken, so the stones became smoother and rounder, like the pebbles one can find on the seashore.

Although Saint John spoke of monastic life in this saying, it can be applied to any sort of community, in a family, at home, at work, at school, at the docks, in the office and also in our parish churches. By this saying Saint John was indicating that our salvation comes through others. In whatever position God places us, we can find salvation through the difficulties or even friction that we encounter with others. This does not mean that we should go looking for, still less create, difficulties. God will only allow us the difficulties which we are capable of coping with through His Grace and which we encounter naturally in the course of our everyday lives.

The next time that we encounter difficulties in any aspect of our lives where we are with others, let us consider this saying of St John, let us think of the rough, sharp stones in the jar, wearing each other into rounded, smooth and even beautiful pebbles. For those rough, angular stones which are worked into smooth and well-rounded pebbles represent ourselves, providing only that we persevere in patience in the life in Christ.

Holy Father John, pray to God for us!

Troparion (Tone 8)

By a flood of tears you made the desert fertile

And by your longing for God you brought forth fruits in abundance.

By the radiance of miracles you illuminated the whole universe.

O our holy Father John Climacus, pray to Christ our God to save our souls.

Kontakion (Tone 1)

You offered us your teachings as fruits of everlasting freshness,

To sweeten the hearts of those who receive them with attention.

O blessed and wise John, they are the rungs of a ladder,

Leading the souls of those who honor you from earth to Eternal glory in Heaven!

 

Quotes from Saint John Climacus from Orthopedia.

"Nothing equals or excels God's mercies. Therefore, he who despairs is committing suicide. A sign of true repentance is the acknowledgment that we deserve all the afflictions, visible and invisible, that come upon us, and ever greater ones. Moses, after seeing God in the bush, returned again to Egypt, that is, to darkness and to the brick-making of Pharaoh, who was symbolical of the spiritual Pharaoh. But he went back again to the bush, and not only to the bush, but also up the mountain. Whoever has known divine vision will never despair of himself. Job became a beggar, but he became twice as rich again."

"Repentance is the renewal of baptism. Repentance is a contract with God for a second life. A penitent is a buyer of humility. Repentance is constant distrust of bodily comfort. Repentance is self-condemning reflection, and carefree self-care. Repentance is the daughter of hope and the renunciation of despair. A penitent is an undisgraced convict. Repentance is reconciliation with the Lord by the practice of good deeds contrary to the sins. Repentance is purification of conscience. Repentance is the voluntary endurance of all afflictions. A penitent is the inflicter of his own punishments. Repentance is a mighty persecution of the stomach, and a striking of the soul into vigorous awareness."

"Let us charge into the good fight with joy and love without being afraid of our enemies. Though unseen themselves, they can look at the face of our soul, and if they see it altered by fear, they take up arms against us all the more fiercely. For the cunning creatures have observed that we are scared. So let us take up arms against them courageously. No one will fight with a resolute fighter."

"Do not be surprised that you fall every day; do not give up, but stand your ground courageously. And assuredly, the angel who guards you will honour your patience."

"He who really keeps account of his actions considers as lost every day in which he does not mourn, whatever good he may have done in it."

"I consider those fallen mourners more blessed than those who have not fallen and are not mourning over themselves; because as a result of their fall, they have risen by a sure resurrection."

"But Adam did not wish to say, "I sinned," but said rather the contrary of this and placed the blame for the transgression upon God Who created everything "very good," saying to Him, "The woman whom Thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree and I ate." And after him she also placed the blame upon the serpent, and they did not wish at all to repent and, falling down before the Lord God, beg forgiveness of Him. For this, God banished them from Paradise, as from a royal palace, to live in this world as exiles. At that time also He decreed that a flaming sword should be turned and should guard the entrance into Paradise. And God did not curse Paradise, since it was the image of the future unending life of the eternal Kingdom of Heaven. If it were not for this reason, it would have been fitting to curse it most of all, since within it was performed the transgression of Adam. But God did not do this, but cursed only the whole rest of the earth, which also was corrupt and brought forth everything by itself; and this was in order that Adam might not have any longer a life free from exhausting labours and sweat..."

 

Holy Saint John Pray to God for us all.

 

Fr Christopher