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Thursday, December 8, 2016
St. Paul’s Second Letter to the Thessalonians 2:13-17; 3:1-5
BRETHREN, we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God chose you from the beginning to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter.
Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.
Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed on and triumph, as it did among you, and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men; for not all have faith. But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from evil. And we have confidence in the Lord about you, that you are doing and will do the things which we command. May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.
The Lord said to his disciples,
“Look up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
And he told them a parable:
“Look at the fig tree, and all the trees; as soon as they come out in leaf, you see for yourselves and know that the summer is already near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away till all has taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.”
Saints & Feasts
Forefeast of the Conception by St. Anna of the Most Holy Theotokos,
Patapius the Righteous of Thebes
Apollos, Tychikos, Sosthenes, Cephas, Epaphroditos, Caesar, & Onesiphoros, – Apostles of the 70
Saints Apollos, Cephas, Tychicus, Epaphroditus, Caesar, Onesiphorus, Apostles of the 70 were chosen and sent by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself to preach. They were chosen some time after the selection of the Twelve Apostles (Luke 10:1-24). All of these saints departed peacefully to the Lord (they are also commemorated on March 30).
Apostle Apollos of the Seventy
St Apollos (September 10) was a native of Alexandria and was a man of erudition. The chief place of his service was at Corinth. He toiled there for a long time and converted many to Christ. Towards the end of his life he preached on the island of Crete and was Bishop of Caesarea.
Saint Sosthenes, before accepting Christianity, was head of the Jewish synagogue at Corinth. During a riot against the Apostle Paul, he too suffered a beating. He was converted by Paul to faith in Christ and afterwards became bishop at Caesarea.
Saint Cephas was bishop at Colophon, Pamphylia.
Saint Tychicus, a native of Asia Minor, was a disciple and companion of the holy Apostle Paul. During Saint Paul’s first imprisonment, he delivered the Epistles to the Ephesians and to the Colossians. He replaced Saint Sosthenes on the episcopal throne at Caesarea.
Saint Epaphroditus, one of the Apostle Paul’s closest assistants and companions, was bishop of the Thracian city of Adriaca.
Saint Caesar preached at and was bishop of Dyrrhachium, a district of the Peloponnesos in Greece.
The Seventy Apostles are those whom the Lord chose, in addition to the original Twelve Apostles, to go before Him into the cities He would visit (Luke 10:1), and lay down the groundwork and infrastructure for the Early Church. According to the Gospel of Luke, the only gospel in which they appear (Luke 10:1–24), Jesus appointed them and sent them out in pairs to preach the gospel. The Twelve generally remained at Christ’s side, serving as witnesses to His life; but the Seventy preceded Him in every place He visited.
We do not know the names of all of the original Seventy, for as Saint John the Evangelist tells us, the time came when:
“…many of His disciples went back, and walked with Him no more. Then said Jesus to the Twelve, Do you also want to go away?” (John 6:66-67)
As the Lord’s Passion approached, the number of His disciples decreased further: hardly any of the Seventy remained, and one of the Twelve betrayed Him.
After the Resurrection, Matthias was numbered with the Twelve, while the ranks of the Seventy were gradually filled with men newly converted to piety by the Twelve Apostles and by Saint Paul, who was called by heaven to preside (with Saint Peter) over the apostolic choir. (more)
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