On Saturday | February 24



The Readings from the Regular Cycle

The Epistle

Saturday of the 33rd Week

The reading is from Paul’s Second Letter to Timothy.

2 Tim. 2:11-19

Timothy, my son, the saying is sure: If we have died with him, we shall also live with him; if we endure, we shall also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful - for he cannot deny himself. Remind them of this, and charge them before the Lord to avoid disputing about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers. Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. Avoid such godless chatter, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, and their talk will eat its way like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaios and Philetos, who have swerved from the truth by holding that the resurrection is past already. They are upsetting the faith of some. But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let every one who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.” [RSV]

The Gospel

Saturday of the Sixeenth Week of Luke

The reading is from the holy Gospel according to Luke.

Lk. 18:2-8

The Lord said this parable, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor regarded man; and there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Vindicate me against my adversary.’ For a while he refused; but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow bothers me, I will vindicate her, or she will wear me out by her continual coming.’” And the Lord said, “Hear, what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God vindicate his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will vindicate them speedily.” [RSV]



The Readings for the Commemoration


February 24

Finding of Forerunner’s Head

The Readings from Vespers the Previous Evening

From Menaion - - -

Is 40:1-5, 9; 41:17b-18; 45:8; 48:20b-21a; 54:1

Thus says the Lord: “Comfort, yes, comfort My people,” says God. “O priests, speak to the heart of Jerusalem, comfort her, for her humiliation is ended, her sin is pardoned; for she received from the Lord’s hand double for her sins.” The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the Lord; make straight the paths of our God. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill humbled; the crooked places shall be made straight, and the rough places into plains. The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see the salvation of God; for the Lord has spoken.” O you who bring good tidings to Zion, go into the high mountain; O you who bring good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid. Say to the cities of Judah, “Behold your God.” I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them. But I will open rivers in the mountain and fountains in the midst of the plains. I will make the desert into marsh-meadows, and the dry land into aqueducts. Let heaven above be glad, and let the clouds sprinkle righteousness. Let the earth bring forth mercy and righteousness together. Proclaim a voice of gladness and let it become well known. Proclaim it to the end of the earth, and say, “The Lord delivered His servant Jacob.” If they shall thirst, He will lead them through the desert, and water shall flow from the rock for them. Be glad, O barren woman who does not bear; break forth and cry out, you who are not in travail, for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married woman. [SAAS]

Mal 3:1a, 2, 3a, 5a, 5c, 6a, 7b, 12a, 17, 18b, 24, 22-23

Thus says the Lord Almighty: “Behold, I send My messenger, and he will prepare the way before Me, and the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come into His temple, but who can endure the day of His coming? And who can withstand His appearance? For He enters like a refiner’s fire and as soap in one’s wash. He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver and gold. And I will draw near to you in judgment, a swift witness against sorcerers, adulterers, those who swear falsely by My name, and those who do not fear Me,” says the Lord Almighty. “For I am the Lord your God; I have not changed. But you, O sons of Jacob, you have turned away from My ordinances and have not kept them. Return to Me and I will return to you,” says the Lord Almighty. “And all nations will call you blessed. They shall be mine,” says the Lord Almighty, “in the day that I make them My possession, and I will choose them as a man chooses his own son who serves him. Then you shall return, and you will discern between the righteous and the wicked. Be in remembrance of the Law of Moses My servant as I commanded him, with its statutes and judgments, at Horeb for all Israel. Behold, I will send you Elijah before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. And he will turn the heart of the father to his son, and a man’s heart to his neighbor, lest I come and strike the earth completely,” says the Lord Almighty, God, the Holy One of Israel. [SAAS]

WSol 4:7a, 16a, 17a, 19b-20; 5:1-7

But though a righteous man may die before his time, he shall be at rest. But a righteous man who is dead shall condemn the ungodly who are living. For they will see the end of the wise man, but will not understand what the Lord purposed for him, because He will dash them headlong and speechless to the ground and shake them from the foundations. They shall be left dry and barren to the very end; they shall be in pain, and their memory shall perish. They will come with dread in the day of reckoning for their sins, and their lawless deeds will convict them to their face. Then the righteous man will stand with confidence in the presence of those who afflict him; and those who reject his labors, when they see him, will be shaken with dreadful fear; and they shall be amazed at his unexpected salvation. They will speak among themselves with regret, and in anguish of spirit they will groan and say, “This is the man whom we fools once held in derision and made a byword of disgrace. We considered his life to be madness and his death as without honor. How has he been numbered among the sons of God? and how is his portion among the saints? Therefore we went astray from the way of truth, for the light of righteousness did not shine on us, and the sun did not rise upon us. We were satisfied with the paths of lawlessness, and we traveled through impassable deserts; but the way of the Lord we have not known. [SAAS]

The Epistle

For the Forerunner.

The reading is from Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians.

2 Cor. 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 believed, 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. [RSV]

The Gospel

For the Forerunner.

The reading is from the holy Gospel according to Matthew.

Mt. 11:2-15

At that time, when Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in their cities. Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, “Are you he who is to come, or shall we look for another?” And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is he who takes no offense at me.” As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to behold? A reed shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, those who wear soft raiment are in kings’ houses. What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is he of whom it is written, ‘Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who shall prepare your way before you.’ Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has risen no one greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has been coming violently and men of violence take it by force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John; and if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” [RSV]



Stand for the reading of the Synaxarion.


From the Menaion.

On February 24, we commemorate the finding of the venerable head of the holy Prophet and Forerunner John the Baptist.

By the intercessions of Your Forerunner, O God, have mercy on us. Amen.



Fasting Rule

Fast Free: All foods allowed.