Friday, January 30 / January 17 (Church Calendar)
Saints of the Day
January 17 / 30. St. Anthony the Great. Emperor St. Theodosius the Great. St. Achilles the Confessor, hermit of Egypt. St.Anthony the New, of Berrhia in Macedonia. St. Anthony of Dymsk (Novgorod). St. Anthony of Krasny Kholm, monk. St. Anthony of Chernoezersk, monk. St. Anthony the Roman, of Novgorod. New-Martyr George of Ioannina.
Thought for the Day:
Good Morning! I’m late this morning, so you are all receiving The Morning Offering at a later hour than usual. As you can see by the size of the type, and the location of the “thought for the day”, I am still making changes, in an attempt to make this blog more user friendly. I would, of course, welcome any feedback you may like to offer.
As I’ve said before, I believe it is of vital importance that all of us begin our day with prayer, and readings from the assigned Scripture for the day according to the Church’s calendar. To begin our day without a conscious effort to commune with God, should be unthinkable. Who among us would walk into the kitchen, see our wife, husband, child, mother, or housemate, and say nothing! It would be the height of rudeness. Do do this to God, would be the beginning of spiritual death.
Christianity is a communal religion, one where even the concept of “salvation” is corporate. It is not about being “saved” in some vacuum, all by yourself. Salvation, according to the teachings of the Apostolic Church, is corporate. Your salvation, and my salvation, are connected. Saint Seraphim of Sarav said: “Acquire the Holy Spirit, and a thousand around you will be saved.” It is the whole of the Cosmos that is being transformed in Jesus Christ!
Our unity as the People of God is based in the Unity of the Holy Trinity. This is why we Orthodox Christians don’t simply wake up on a Sunday morning, and decide which church we’ll try today. We are part of a Community of Believers, where we grow spiritually together, as a family, with those who know us well. Like all families, ours is not perfect. There are some members of this family that may irritate us, some that we gravitate toward more than others, some that we are attached to more than others. One of the central important attributes of this family is that of accountability. If you are flitting from one parish to another, it is easy to simply miss church all together (who’ll know?) We are accountable to one another, and weekly attendance at one’s chosen parish is a way of making ourselves accountable!
So, with all this in mind, I am, by preparing The Morning Offering, trying to help us all, myself included, to be accountable before God and each other. May God bless us all, together, this day!
With love and blessings,
Scripture Readings for the Day
2 Peter 1
Greeting the Faithful
1 Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:
2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, 3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
Fruitful Growth in the Faith
5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.
10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble;
Mark 13:1-8 (New King James Version)
Jesus Predicts the Destruction of the Temple
1 Then as He went out of the temple, one of His disciples said to Him, “Teacher, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here!”
2 And Jesus answered and said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone shall be left upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”
The Signs of the Times and the End of the Age
3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked Him privately, 4 “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign when all these things will be fulfilled?”
5 And Jesus, answering them, began to say: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 6 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,‘ and will deceive many. 7 But when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be troubled; for such things must happen, but the end is not yet. 8 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be earthquakes in various places, and there will be famines and troubles. These are the beginnings of sorrows.
Photo of the Day
The Monastery’s central plaza, with the Metropolitan Lauras Memorial Library on the left, the trapeza (dining room) in the middle, and the bookstore on the right.