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Alpha Omega Portal Journey Begins

Why does this Alpha Omega Portal blog now exist? 

  • Have you ever found yourself asking… “What is your life really about?”
  • Have you ever sensed there is more to help answer “Why am I here?” than frequently offered by science alone?
  • Do you have it in your heart to expand your own one-to-one relationship with God, our Heavenly Creator?

I’m convinced in time, you will conclude it was not by accident that you find yourself here; that you are reading and pondering right alongside with me.

In the Book of Revelations, the last book of the Holy Bible, Jesus Christ reveals to His Apostle John “…I am the Alpha and the Omega”.

You likely already know that Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. I offer to you that “Alpha” is intended to convey that Jesus Christ is the beginning of all. “Omega” is intended to help us perceive that in Jesus Christ is the “completion” of all!

Very briefly about me. I may be much like so many of you. I’m pretty shy. My career has been as an engineer and business person. I am not ordained as a minister, nor priest. Nor have I had formal academic training in theology.

As providence so provided for me, I found myself in the direct linage of either 11, 14 or 17 generations of Orthodox Christian Priests. (Yes, thankfully, Orthodox Priests may be married and have families.)

My family history details were a little uncertain regarding the number of generations of service to our Lord Jesus Christ vis-a-vis the details of my own grandfather, the most recent Priest in our family. Early in the 1900’s he started and served either 11, 14, or 17 Orthodox Christian parish communities around the mid-west and north east United States.

Yet, here I am. I am called upon through the Holy Spirit of God to share with you via this site and blog.

You may know the Biblical story of Jonah and the Whale. How Jonah resisted the Lord who directed him to take the message of repentance to the people of Nineveh.

Well, I too tried resisting bringing this message. I resisted for 21 years. Yet I’ve always known I must reach out with the Alpha Omega Portal.

My personal prayer is that our Good Lord will guide this Alpha Omega Portal and help me to be of service sharing together with you and others who may also find themselves here.

This Alpha Omega Portal is a web conversation between us (that is, each of YOU who find yourself here along with me). Along the journey, we will try to explore how Two Thousand Twenty Years of Orthodox Christian faith guide us toward understanding ourselves vis-a-vis the above three important questions.

I invite you to journey along with me in cyber space.

You are invited to share back how the Holy Spirit of God guides such understandings within your life.

First thoughts…

“Lord I believe. Help my unbelief!” I pray for faith to honestly “know” in my heart that you, Jesus Christ, are the “Son of God”!

I also foresee that I will come to “know” our God, my Heavenly Father, only as and when Jesus Christ finds my heart is open to my accepting His revealing to me of my Heavenly Creator.

In Holy Scripture 1 John 5:20, the Apostle John writes “And we know that the Son of God has arrived, and that he has given us understanding, so that we may know the true God, and so that we may remain in his true Son. This is the true God, and this is Eternal Life.”

Christ is “…true God, and this is Eternal Life” and true salvation. Namely, I seek to “know” Jesus Christ and God, our Heavenly Father, who has sent Him.

As I come to “know” Jesus Christ, and come to “know” God, our Heavenly Father, as Jesus Christ reveals Him to me, I also come to “know” the “fruit” or the “gifts” of God’s Blessed Holy Spirit.

And I realize what a wonderful benefit to my life are these “fruits”, these “gifts”!

Love

Joy

Peace

Patience

Kindness

Goodness

Faithfulness

Gentleness,

and Self-Control

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Our Journey

Thanks for joining with us!

Daily Readings from the Holy Scriptures of the day follow for you after these welcoming thoughts.

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Original post was on Christmas Day – December 25, 2019 and reposted December 2021

From today’s Orthodox Christian Holy Scripture (Bible) in Matthew 1:18-25, we read ‘…”she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel” (which means, God with us).’

Today, we acknowledge the birth of Jesus Christ with the exclamation to each other “Christ is Born!”

Today, we recall the beginning of the “New Testament” of the Holy Scriptures.

Today, we give prayful thankgivings to the Holy Trinity, our Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ, Holy Spirit, for the reality that “God …is…with …us”!

In future postings, we will return again and again to the fulfillment of Holy Scriptures Old Testament prophecies and teachings foretelling Jesus Christ, and as documented in the New Testament

Resolutions

My own New Year personal challenge is before me is from St. Paul’s First Letter to Timothy 6:11-16

“Timothy, my son,

aim at

righteousness,

godliness,

love,

faith,

steadfastness,

gentleness.

Fight the good fight of the faith;

take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

In the presence of God who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ;

and this will be made manifest (clear to us) at the proper time by the blessed and only Sovereign, and King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has ever seen or can see.

To Him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.

Good News!

In today’s December 29, 2019 posting, we start to return to the earlier theme that Jesus Christ came among us and fulfilled the prophecies written in the Old Testament of the Holy Bible.

Today’s Bible Gospel reading is from St Luke 24:36-53

‘At that time, Jesus, having risen from the dead, stood in the midst of his disciples and said to them, “Peace to you.” But they were startled and frightened; and supposed that they saw a spirit. And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do questionings rise in your hearts? See my hands and feet, that it is I myself; handle me, and see; for a spirit has not flesh and bones as you see that I have.” And when he said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. And while they still disbelieved for joy, and wondered, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate before them.

Then he said to them, “These are my words which I spoke to you, while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and the psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you; but stay in the city, until you are clothed with power from on high.”

Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands, he blessed them. While he blessed them, he parted from them, and was carried up into heaven. And they worshiped him, and they returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple blessing God.’

Epistle (New Testament letter) Reading is from St. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians 1:11-19

St. Paul testifies that the Good News (Gospel) is revealed from Jesus Christ to him. The following excerpt is from St. Paul’s letter written to the members of the Church in Galatia (located in that area of the Mid-east now part of the country of Turkey)

Today’s Epistle reading

‘Brethren, I would have you know that the gospel which was preached by me is not man’s gospel. For I did not receive it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through a revelation of Jesus Christ.

Holy Scriptures September 29 2022

ST. PAUL’S LETTER TO THE GALATIANS 5:22-26; 6:1-2

Brethren, the fruit of the Spirit is

love,

joy,

peace,

patience,

kindness,

goodness,

faithfulness ,

gentleness,

self-control;

against such there is no law.

And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.

Let us have no self-conceit, no provoking of one another, no envy of one another.

Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness.

Look to yourself, lest you too be tempted.

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

LUKE 6:12-19

At that time, Jesus went out to the mountain to pray; and all night he continued in prayer to God.

And when it was day, he called his disciples, and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles;

Simon, whom he named Peter, and

Andrew his brother, and

James and

John, and

Philip, and

Bartholomew, and

Matthew, and

Thomas, and

James the son of Alphaios, and

Simon who was called the Zealot, and

Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.

And he came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured.

And all the crowd sought to touch him, for power came forth from him and healed them all.

Holy Scriptures September 28 2022

ST. PAUL’S SECOND LETTER TO THE CORINTHIANS 4:6-15

Brethren, it is the God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness, ” who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, to show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not to us.

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed;

perplexed, but not driven to despair;

persecuted, but not forsaken;

struck down, but not destroyed;

always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.

For while we live we are always being given up to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh.

So death is at work in us, but life in you.

Since we have the same spirit of faith as he had who wrote, “I believed, and so I spoke, ” we too believe, and so we speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence.

For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.

LUKE 6:17-23

At that time, Jesus stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured.

And all the crowd sought to touch him, for power came forth from him and healed them all.

And he lifted up his eyes on His disciples, and said:

‘Blessed are you poor, for yours is the Kingdom of God.

Blessed are you that hunger now, for you shall be satisfied.

Blessed are you that weep now, for you shall laugh.

Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, on account of the Son of man!

Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven.”

Holy Scriptures September 27 2022

ST. PAUL’S LETTER TO THE GALATIANS 5:11-21

Brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why am I still persecuted?

In that case the stumbling block of the cross has been removed.

I wish those who unsettle you would mutilate themselves!

For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love be servants of one another.

For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

But if you bite and devour one another take heed that you are not consumed by one another.

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh.

For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you would.

But if you are led by the Spirit you are not under the law.

Now the works of the flesh are plain:

fornication,

impurity,

licentiousness,

idolatry,

sorcery,

enmity,

strife,

jealousy,

anger,

selfishness,

dissension,

party spirit,

envy,

murder,

drunkenness,

carousing,

and the like.

I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

LUKE 5:12-16

At that time, Jesus was in one of the cities, and there came a man full of leprosy; and when he saw Jesus, he fell on his face and besought him, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.”

And he stretched out his hand, and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.”

And immediately the leprosy left him.

And he charged him to tell no one; but “go and show yourself to the priest, and make an offering for your cleansing, as Moses commanded, for a proof to the people.”

But so much the more the report went abroad concerning him; and great multitudes gathered to hear and to be healed of their infirmities.

But he withdrew to the wilderness and prayed.

Holy Scriptures September 26 2022

ST. JOHN’S FIRST UNIVERSAL LETTER 4:12-19

No man has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his own Spirit.

And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son as the Savior of the world.

Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.

So we know and believe the love God has for us.

God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

In this is love perfected with us, that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so are we in this world.

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.

For fear has to do with punishment, and he who fears is not perfected in love.

We love, because he first loved us.

JOHN 19:25-27; 21:24-25

At that time, standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.

When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, 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 to his own home.

This is the disciple who is bearing witness to these things, and who has written these things; and we know that his testimony is true.

But there are also many other things which Jesus did; were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.

Holy Scriptures September 25 2022

ST. PAUL’S SECOND LETTER TO THE CORINTHIANS 4:6-15

Brethren, it is the God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness, ” who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, to show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not to us.

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed;

perplexed, but not driven to despair;

persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.

For while we live we are always being given up to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh.

So death is at work in us, but life in you.

Since we have the same spirit of faith as he had who wrote, “I believed, and so I spoke, ” we too believe, and so we speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence.

For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.

LUKE 5:1-11

At that time, as Jesus was standing by the lake of Gennesaret, he saw two boats by the lake; but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets.

Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, he asked him to put out a little from the land.

And he sat down and taught the people from the boat.

And when he had ceased speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”

And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.”

And when they had done this, they enclosed a great shoal of fish; and as their nets were breaking, they beckoned to their partners in the other boat to come and help them.

And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink.

But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”

For he was astonished, and all who were with him, at the catch of fish which they had taken; and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon.

And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; henceforth you will be catching men.” And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.

Holy Scriptures September 24 2022

ST. PAUL’S SECOND LETTER TO TIMOTHY 3:10-15

TIMOTHY, my son, you have observed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, my persecutions, my sufferings, what befell me at Antioch, at lconion, and at Lystra, what persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me.

Indeed all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil men and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceivers and deceived.

But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings which are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

LUKE 10:38-42, 11:27-28

At that time, Jesus entered a village; and a woman called Martha received him into her house.

And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving; and she went to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve you alone? Tell her then to help me.”

But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things; one thing is needful. Mary has chosen the good portion, which shall not be taken away from her.”

As he said this, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts that you sucked!”

But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”

Holy Scriptures September 23 2022

ST. PAUL’S LETTER TO THE GALATIANS 4:22-27

Brethren, Abraham had two sons, one by a slave and one by a free woman.

But the son of the slave was born according to the flesh, the son of the free woman through promise. Now this is an allegory: these women are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; she is Hagar.

Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia; she corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children.

But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother. For it is written, “Rejoice, O barren one who does not bear; break forth and shout, you who are not in travail; for the children of the desolate one are many more than the children of her that is married.”

LUKE 1:5-25

At that time, in the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah; and he had a wife of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth.

And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years.

Now while he was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty, according to the custom of the priesthood, it fell to him by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense.

And the whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the hour of incense.

And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense.

And Zacharias was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him.

But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.

And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth; for he will be great before the Lord, and he shall drink no wine nor strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb.

And he will turn many of the sons of Israel to the Lord their God, and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.”

And Zacharias said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.”

And the angel answered him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God; and I was sent to speak to you, and to bring you this good news.

And behold, you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things come to pass, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time.”

And the people were waiting for Zacharias, and they wondered at his delay in the temple.

And when he came out, he could not speak to them, and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple; and he made signs to them and remained dumb.

And when his time of service was ended, he went to his home.

After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she hid herself, saying, “Thus the Lord has done to me in the days when he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men.

Holy Scriptures September 22 2022

ST. PAUL’S LETTER TO THE GALATIANS 3:23-29; 4:1-5

Brethren, before faith came, we were confined under the law, kept under restraint until faith should be revealed.

So that the law was our custodian until Christ came, that we might be justified by faith.

But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a custodian; for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.

For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise. I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no better than a slave, though he is the owner of all the estate; but he is under guardians and trustees until the date set by the father.

So with us; when we were children, we were slaves to the elemental spirits of the universe.

But when the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.

LUKE 4:16-22

At that time, Jesus came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up; and he went to the synagogue, as his custom was, on the sabbath day.

And he stood up to read; and there was given to him the book of the prophet Isaiah.

He opened the book and found the place where it was written, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”

And he closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant, and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him.

And he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

And all spoke well of him, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth.

Holy Scriptures September 21 2022

ST. PAUL’S LETTER TO THE GALATIANS 3:15-22

Brethren, to give a human example: no one annuls even a man’s covenant, or adds to it, once it has been ratified.

Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring.

It does not say, “And to your offsprings, ” referring to many; but, referring to one, “

“And to your offspring, ” which is Christ.

This is what I mean: the law, which came four hundred and thirty years afterward, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to make the promise void.

For if the inheritance is by the law, it is no longer by promise; but God gave it to Abraham by a promise.

Why then the law?

It was added because of transgressions, till the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made; and it was ordained by angels through an intermediary.

Now an intermediary implies more than one; but God is one.

Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not; for if a law had been given which could make alive, then righteousness would indeed be by the law.

But the scripture consigned all things to sin, that what was promised to faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

LUKE 4:1-15

At that time Jesus returned from the Jordan, and was led by the Spirit for forty days in the wilderness, tempted by the devil.

And he ate nothing in those days; and when they were ended, he was hungry. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.”

And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.'”

And the devil took him up, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory; for it has been delivered to me, and I will give it to whom I will.

If you, then, will worship me, it shall all be yours.”

And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.’

And he took him to Jerusalem, and set him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here; for it is written, ‘He will give his angels charge of you, to guard you, ‘ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.'”

And Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.'”

And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.

And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee, and a report concerning him went out through all the surrounding country.

And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all.

Holy Scriptures September 20 2022

ST. PAUL’S LETTER TO THE EPHESIANS 6:10-17

Brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.

Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Therefore take the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Stand, therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the equipment of the gospel of peace; besides all these, taking the shield of faith, with which you can quench all the flaming darts of the evil one.

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

LUKE 21:12-19

The Lord said to his disciples, “Beware of men who will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name’s sake.

This will be a time for you to bear testimony.

Settle it therefore in your minds, not to meditate beforehand how to answer; for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict.

You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and kinsmen and friends, and some of you they will put to death; you will be hated by all for my name’s sake.

But not a hair of your head will perish.

By your endurance you will gain your lives.

Holy Scriptures September 19 2022

ST. PAUL’S LETTER TO THE GALATIANS 2:11-16

Brethren, when Cephas came to Antioch I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned.

For before certain men came from James, he ate with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party.

And with him the rest of the Jews acted insincerely, so that even Barnabas was carried away by their insincerity.

But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel,

I said to Cephas before them all, “if you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?”

We ourselves, who are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners, yet who know that a man is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ, and not by works of the law, because by works of the law shall no one be justified.

LUKE 3:19-22

At that time, Herod the tetrarch, who had been reproved by John for Herodias, his brother’s wife, and for all the evil things that Herod had done, added this to them all, that he shut up John in prison.

Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form, as a dove, and a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”

Holy Scriptures September 18 2022

ST. PAUL’S LETTER TO THE GALATIANS 2:16-20

Brethren, knowing that a man is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ, and not by works of the law, because by works of the law shall no one be justified.

But if, in our endeavor to be justified in Christ, we ourselves were found to be sinners, is Christ then an agent of sin? Certainly not! But if I build up again those things which I tore down, then I prove myself a transgressor.

For I through the law died to the law, that I might live to God.

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

MARK 8:34-38; 9:1

The Lord said: “If anyone wishes to come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.

For what does it profit a man, to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? For what can a man give in return for his life?

For whoever is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of man also be ashamed, when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

And he said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power.

Holy Scriptures September 17 2022

ST. PAUL’S FIRST LETTER TO THE CORINTHIANS 1:26-31; 2:1-5

Brethren, consider your call, not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth; but God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise, God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong,

God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.

He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom, our righteousness and sanctification and redemption; therefore, as it is written, “Let him who boasts, boast of the Lord.”

When I came to you, brethren, I did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God in lofty words or wisdom.

For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.

And I was with you in weakness and in much fear and trembling; and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

JOHN 8:21-30

The Lord said to the Jews who came to him, “I go away, and you will seek me and die in your sin; where I am going, you cannot come.”

Then said the Jews, “Will he kill himself, since he says, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come’? ”

He said to them, “You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world.

I told you that you would die in your sins, for you will die in your sins unless you believe that I am he.”

They said to him, “Who are you?”

Jesus said to them, “Even what I have told you from the beginning. I have much to say about you and much to judge; but he who sent me is true, and I declare to the world what I have heard from him.”

They did not understand that he spoke to them of the Father.

So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority but speak thus as the Father taught me.

And he who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what is pleasing to him.”

As he spoke thus, many believed in him.

Holy Scriptures September 16 2022

ST. PAUL’S SECOND LETTER TO THE CORINTHIANS 6:1-10

Brethren, working together with him, we entreat you not to accept the grace of God in vain.

For he says, “At the acceptable time I have listened to you, and helped you on the day of salvation.”

Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.

We put no obstacle in any one’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way:

through great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, tumults, labors, watching, hunger;

by purity, knowledge, forbearance, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love, truthful speech, and the power of God; \

with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; in honor and dishonor,

in ill repute and good repute.

We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown,

and yet well known; as dying, and behold we live; as punished, and yet not killed;

as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing;

as poor, yet making many rich; as

having nothing, and yet possessing everything.

LUKE 7:36-50

At that time, one of the Pharisees asked Jesus to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house, and took his place at table.

And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was at table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment,

and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.

Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw it, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.”

And Jesus answering said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he answered, “What is it, Teacher?” “A certain creditor had two debtors; one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he forgave them both. Now which of them will love him more?” Simon answered, “The one, I suppose, to whom he forgave more.”

And he said to him, “You have judged rightly.” Then turning toward the woman he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman?

I entered your house, you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair.

You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet.

You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment.

Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.” And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”

Then those who were at table with him began to say among themselves, “Who is this, who even forgives sins?”

And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

Holy Scriptures September 15 2022

ST.

PAUL’S LETTER TO THE COLOSSIANS 1:24-29, 2:1

Brethren, now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, of which I became a minister according to the divine office which was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now made manifest to his saints.

To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we proclaim, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man mature in Christ. For this I toil, striving with all the energy which he mightily inspires within me. For I want you to know how greatly I strive for you.

MATTHEW 10:16-22

The Lord said to his disciples, “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.

Beware of men; for they will deliver you up to councils, and flog you in theirown synagogues, and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear testimony before them and the Gentiles.

When they deliver you up, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

Brother will deliver up brother to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death; and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake.

But he who endures to the end will be saved.”

Holy Scriptures September 14 2022

ST. PAUL’S FIRST LETTER TO THE CORINTHIANS 1:18-24

Brethren, the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the cleverness of the clever I will thwart.”

Where is the wise man?

Where is the scribe?

Where is the debater of this age?

Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?

For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.

For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

JOHN 19:6-11, 13-20, 25-28, 30

At that time, when the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!”

Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no crime in him.”

The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and by that law he ought to die, because he has made himself the Son of God.

When Pilate heard these words, he was the more afraid; he entered the praetorium again and said to Jesus, “Where are you from?”

But Jesus gave no answer.

Pilate therefore said to him, “You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to release you, and power to crucify you?”

Jesus answered him, “You would have no power over me unless it had been given you from above; therefore he who delivered me to you has the greater sin.”

When Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called the Pavement, and in Hebrew, Gabbatha.

Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover; it was about the sixth hour.

He said to the Jews, “Behold your King!”

They cried out, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him!”

Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?”

The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.”

Then he handed him over to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus, and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called the place of a skull, which is called in Hebrew Golgotha.

There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them.

Pilate also wrote a title and put it on the cross; it read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.”

Many of the Jews read this title, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, in Latin, and in Greek.

But standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.

When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, 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 to his own home.

Then when Jesus had received the vinegar, he said, “It is finished”; and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Holy Scriptures September 13 2022

ST. PAUL’S LETTER TO THE HEBREWS 3:1-4

Holy brethren, who share in a heavenly call, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession.

He was faithful to him who appointed him, just as Moses also was faithful in all God’s house.

Yet Jesus has been counted worthy of as much more glory than Moses as the builder of a house has more honor than the house. (For every house is built by some one, but the builder of all things is God.)

MATTHEW 16:13-19

At that time, when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do men say that the Son of man is?”

And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”

Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.

And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.

I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

Holy Scriptures September 12 2022

ST. PAUL’S SECOND LETTER TO THE CORINTHIANS 12:10-19

Brethren, for the sake of Christ I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

I have been a fool!

You forced me to it, for I ought to have been commended by you. For I was not at all inferior to these superlative apostles, even though I am nothing.

The signs of a true apostle were performed among you in all patience, with signs and wonders and mighty works.

For in what were you less favored than the rest of the churches, except that I myself did not burden you? Forgive me this wrong!

Here for the third time I am ready to come to you.

And I will not be a burden, for I seek not what is yours but you; for children ought not to lay up for their parents, but parents for their children.

I will most gladly spend and be spent for your souls.

If I love you the more, am I to be loved the less?

But granting that I myself did not burden you,

I was crafty, you say, and got the better of you by guile. Did I take advantage of you through any of those whom I sent to you?

I urged Titus to go, and sent the brother with him. Did Titus take advantage of you? Did we not act in the same spirit? Did we not take the same steps?

Have you been thinking all along that we have been defending ourselves before you?

It is in the sight of God that we have been speaking in Christ, and all for your upbuilding, beloved.

JOHN 11:47-54

At that time, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered the council, and said, “What are we to do? For this man performs many signs.

If we let him go on thus, every one will believe in him, and the Romans will come and destroy both our place and our nation.”

But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all; you do not understand that it is expedient for you that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation should not perish.”

He did not say this of his own accord, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus should die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad.

So from that day on they took counsel how to put him to death.

Jesus therefore no longer went about openly among the Jews, but went from there to the country near the wilderness, to a town called Ephraim; and there he stayed with the disciples.

Holy Scriptures September 11 2022

ST. PAUL’S LETTER TO THE GALATIANS 6:11-18

Brethren, see with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand.

It is those who want to make a good showing in the flesh that would compel you to be circumcised, and only in order that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ.

For even those who receive circumcision do not themselves keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may glory in your flesh.

But far be it from me to glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.

Peace and mercy be upon all who walk by this rule, upon the Israel of God.

Henceforth let no man trouble me; for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brethren.

. Amen.

JOHN 3:13-17

The Lord said, “No one has ascended into heaven but he who descended from heaven, the Son of man who is in heaven.

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.

Holy Scriptures September 10 2022

ST. PAUL’S FIRST LETTER TO THE CORINTHIANS 2:6-9

Brethren, among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away.

But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glorification.

None of the rulers of this age understood this; for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him.”

MATTHEW 10:37-42, 11:1

The Lord said, “He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and he who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.

He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for my sake will find it.

He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives him who sent me.

He who receives a prophet because he is a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward, and he who receives a righteous man because he is a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward.

And whoever gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.”

And when Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in their cities.

Holy Scriptures September 9 2022

ST. PAUL’S LETTER TO THE GALATIANS 4:22-27

Brethren, Abraham had two sons, one by a slave and one by a free woman.

But the son of the slave was born according to the flesh, the son of the free woman through promise.

Now this is an allegory: these women are two covenants.

One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; she is Hagar. Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia; she corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children.

But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother.

For it is written, “Rejoice, O barren one who does not bear; break forth and shout, you who are not in travail; for the children of the desolate one are many more than the children of her that is married.”

LUKE 8:16-21

The Lord said, “No one after lighting a lamp covers it with a vessel, or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a stand, that those who enter may see the light.

For nothing is hid that shall not be made manifest, nor anything secret that shall not be known and come to light.

Take heed then how you hear; for to him who has will more be given, and from him who has not, even what he thinks that he has will be taken away.

Then his mother and his brothers came to him, but they could not reach him for the crowd.

And he was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, desiring to see you.”

But he said to them, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.