Sunday Reading

Fourth Sunday of Advent

Sin, Faith, Duty

Jesus said to his disciples: “Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come. It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble. So watch yourselves.

“If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.”

The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”

He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.

“Suppose one of you has a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Will he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’? Won’t he rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’? Will he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’”

Luke 17:1-10

Saints James of Nisibis, Marouke the Hermit and Mellitus the Bishop (Dec 15)  


Bishop Jacob (also known as James) was called the Alert, the Wise, and the Great, and was considered the “Moses of Mesopotamia.” He was the son of Khosrovoohi, the aunt of St. Gregory the Illuminator.

Jacob, like St. Gregory the Illuminator, was carried by maidens to Caesarea where he was brought up with the Christian spirit. Later, his sister took him with her to Persia. Preferring the ascetic life, Jacob traveled to Assyria and gave himself to solitude near Nisibis.

He lived in the woods and high mountains and ate the vegetables and fruits of wild trees. His garb was made from the skin of goats. He attained great holiness through prayers and asceticism, and therefore God granted him the grace of prophesy.

When St. Jacob came down from the mountains, he learned that the inhabitants of Nisibis and its vicinity, although Christian converts, were mocking the deluge and Noah’s ark. Therefore, he traveled to Mount Ararat in order to bring back a piece of the ark which rested on top of the mountain and thereby to dismiss the doubts of the faithful about the biblical event. But before he reached the peak a miracle happened. When he was asleep, a piece of the ark in the form of a cross was placed under his head. He returned with the piece and performed many wonders with it. Upon his return, St. Jacob was consecrated Bishop of Nisibis and he converted many with his sermons. He established schools and churches. He also lead the seventy-day protection of the city during its siege by the Persian king Sapor II.

When the saint died, his body released sweet scents and his ashes were covered by light. Later, a church was built on his tomb.

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The deacon presents the incense to the p

Morning And Evening Worship

Bend down, Lord, and hear me • for I a

Morning And Evening Worship

Holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immo

Morning And Evening Worship

Prayer of the Evening Hour Blessed be ou