Sunday, December 2nd: “Lord, let me receive my sight.”

THE FIFTH EOTHINON GOSPEL

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to Saint Luke 24:12-35

At that time, Peter arose and ran to the tomb; and stooping down, he saw the linen cloths lying by themselves; and he departed, wondering to himself what had happened. That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were kept from recognizing Him. And He said to them, “What is this conversation which you are holding with each other as you walk?” And they stood still, looking sad. Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered Him, “Art Thou the only visitor to Jerusalem Who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” And He said to them, “What things?” And they said to Him, “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, Who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and rulers delivered Him up to be condemned to death, and crucified Him. But we had hoped that He was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since this happened. Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning and did not find His body; and they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that He was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb, and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see.” And He said to them, “O foolish men, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into His glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, He interpreted to them in all the scriptures the things concerning Himself. So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He appeared to be going further, but they constrained Him, saying, “Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.” So He went in to stay with them. When He was at table with them, He took the bread and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened and they recognized Him; and He vanished out of their sight. They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while He talked to us on the road, while He opened to us the scriptures?” And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven gathered together and those who were with them, who said, “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” Then they told what had happened on the road, and how He was known to them in the breaking of the bread.

THE EPISTLE

The Reading from the Epistle of St. Paul 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.

THE GOSPEL

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke 18:35- 43
At that time, when Jesus drew near to Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging; and hearing a multitude going by, he inquired what this meant. They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” And he cried, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” And those who were in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” And Jesus stopped, and commanded him to be brought to him; and when he came near, Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, let me receive my sight.” And Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, glorifying God; and all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God.

ORTHROS

RESURRECTIONAL APOLYTIKION

When Thou didst submit Thyself unto death, O Thou deathless and immortal One, then Thou didst destroy hell with Thy Godly power. And when Thou didst raise the dead from beneath the earth, all the powers of Heaven did cry aloud unto Thee: O Christ, Thou giver of life, glory to Thee.

RESURRECTIONAL APOLYTIKION

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. When Thou didst submit Thyself unto death, O Thou deathless and immortal One, then Thou didst destroy hell with Thy Godly power. And when Thou didst raise the dead from beneath the earth, all the powers of Heaven did cry aloud unto Thee: O Christ, Thou giver of life, glory to Thee.

RESURRECTIONAL THEOTOKION

Both now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Exceeding glorious beyond the power of thought are thy mysteries, O Theotokos; for being sealed in purity, and preserved in virginity, thou wast acknowledged to be in very truth the Mother who didst bring forth the true God. Wherefore, entreat Him to save our souls.

AT THE DIVINE LITURGY

RESURRECTIONAL APOLYTIKION

When Thou didst submit Thyself unto death, O Thou deathless and immortal One, then Thou didst destroy hell with Thy Godly power. And when Thou didst raise the dead from beneath the earth, all the powers of Heaven did cry aloud unto Thee: O Christ, Thou giver of life, glory to Thee.

THE APOLYTIKON OF THE PROTECTION OF THE MOST HOLY THEOTOKOS

Today the Virgin stands in the midst of the Church, and with choirs of Saints she invisibly prays to God for us. Angels and Bishops venerate Her, Apostles and prophets rejoice together, since for our sake she prays to the Eternal God!

KONTAKION OF PREPARATION OF CHRIST’S NATIVITY

On this day the Virgin cometh to the cave to give birth to * God the Word ineffably, * Who was before all the ages. * Dance for joy, O earth, on hearing * the gladsome tidings; * with the Angels and the shepherds now glorify Him * Who is willing to be gazed on * as a young Child Who * before the ages is God.

Profitable Word

Saint Nicholas Velimirovich

Christian love moves in a circle. First comes love for yourself, then love for your friends and, finally, love for God. Christ took our love for our self as the standard for measuring our love for our enemies and our love for God. He said: ‘Love your neighbour as you love yourself’.

Thirty-first Sunday after Pentecost The Blind Man at Jericho

Luke 18:35-43

From The Explanation of the Gospel of St. Luke by Blessed Theophylact, Archbishop of Ochrid and Bulgaria

35-43. And it came to pass, that as He was come nigh unto Jericho, a certain blind man sat by the way side begging. And hearing the multitude pass by, he asked what it meant. And they told him, that Jesus of Nazareth passeth by. And he cried, saying, Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me. And they which went before rebuked him, that he should keep silent; but he cried so much the more, Son of David, have mercy on me. And Jesus stood, and commanded him to be brought unto Him: and when He was come near, He asked him, saying, What wilt thou that I shall do unto thee? And he said, Lord, that I may receive my sight. And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Him, glorifying God: and all the people, when they saw it, gave praise unto God. The Lord performed this wayside miracle of the blind man so that even His passage along a road would yield a profitable teaching for His disciples and for us: that we should in all things, at all times, and in every place do what is beneficial and never be idle. The blind man believed that Jesus was the awaited Messiah; having been raised among the Jews, it is certain that he knew that the Christ would be of the seed of David. Therefore, he cries out with a great voice, Son of David, have mercy on me. His words have mercy on me show that he understood Jesus to be divine and not merely a man. Marvel at his staunch confession: although rebuked by many, he did not keep silent, but cried out all the more, urged on by the fervent zeal within him. Therefore, Jesus summons him as one who is truly worthy to approach Him, and asks him, What wilt thou that I shall do unto thee? He asks the question, not in ignorance of what the blind man wanted, but so that it would not appear to the others who were present that the Lord gave something different from what the man wanted. Otherwise, some might have said that the Lord, in a vainglorious show of power, healed the man’s blindness when the man had only been begging for alms. Envy might well have inspired some to slander the Lord with such foolishness as this. Therefore, the Lord asked the blind man what he wanted, and when He heard that he wanted his sight, He gave him his sight. Seeing the absence of vainglory the Lord says, “Thy faith hath made thee whole. For you have believed with faith that I am the Son of David, the Christ, Who is now revealed, and you have shown such zeal that you did not keep silent even when rebuked.” We may learn from this that when we ask with faith, God does not give something other than what we ask for, but the very same thing. However, when we ask for one thing and receive something else, it is clear that either we did not make a good request or we did not ask with faith. See also the power of the Lord: Receive thy sight. Which of the prophets ever healed in this manner, with such power? His voice, proceeding from Him Who is the true Light, became light to the blind man. See also the gratitude of the healed man: he followed Jesus, glorifying God, and causing others to do the same.

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