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December 18, 2023
Martyr Sebastian at Rome with his companions: Martyrs Nicostratus, his wife Zoe, Castorius, Tranquillinus the Presbyter and his sons the Deacons Marcellinus and Mark, Claudius, his son Symphorian and brother Victorinus, Tiburtius and Castulus (c287)
Daniel the Hesychast of Romania
Venerable Floros, bishop of Amisos
Venerable Michael Singelos, the Confessor of Constantinople
Venerable Sebastian of Poshekhonye Monastery
Holy Hierarch Modestos, archbishop of Jerusalem (c633-634)
Righteous Simeon, Wonderworker of Verkhotursk (1694)
Martyr Eubotios at Cyzicus
Monday of the 29th week after Pentecost
Heb 3.5-11, 17-19 (Epistle)
Brethren, Moses indeed was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which would be spoken afterward, but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end. Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, In the day of trial in the wilderness, Where your fathers tested Me, tried Me, And saw My works forty years. Therefore I was angry with that generation, And said, ‘They always go astray in their heart, And they have not known My ways.’ So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest.’” . . . Now with whom was He angry forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness? And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.
Mark 9.42-10.1 (Gospel)
The Lord said: whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea. If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having two hands, to go to hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched – where ‘Their worm does not die, And the fire is not quenched.’ And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame, rather than having two feet, to be cast into hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched – where ‘Their worm does not die, And the fire is not quenched.’ And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire – where ‘Their worm does not die, And the fire is not quenched.’ For everyone will be seasoned with fire, and every sacrifice will be seasoned with salt. Salt is good, but if the salt loses its flavor, how will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another. Then He arose from there and came to the region of Judea by the other side of the Jordan. And multitudes gathered to Him again, and as He was accustomed, He taught them again.