Saints and Feasts: Synaxis of the 70 Holy Apostles; Our Righteous Father Theoctistus, Abbot of Cucomo in Sicily; Forefeast of the Theophany of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; Zosimos the Monk and Athanasios the Notary; Righteous Apollinaria the Senator; Martyrs Chrysanthos and Euphemia; Righteous Euthymios the Younger; New Martyr Onuphrios; Righteous Euthymios of Vatopedi; Righteous John Scholarios; Eustathios Archbishop of Serbia; Nikephoros the Leper
Epistle Reading: St. Paul's First Letter to Timothy 3:13-16; 4:1-5
TIMOTHY, my son, those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and also great confidence in the faith which is in Christ Jesus. I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these instructions to you so that, if I am delayed, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth. Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of our religion:
God was manifested in the flesh,
justified in the Spirit,
seen by angels,
preached among the nations,
believed on in the world,
taken up in glory.
Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by giving heed to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, through the pretensions of liars whose consciences are seared, who forbid marriage and enjoin abstinence from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving; for then it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 3:1-6
At that time, John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said, "The voice of one crying in the wilderness: prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight." Now John wore a garment of camel's hair, and a leather girdle around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey. Then went out to him Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region about the Jordan, and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.