Epistle Reading: 1 Corinthians 9:19-27
For though I am free from all men, I have made myself
a servant to all, that I might win the more;
and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win
Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win
those who are under the law;
to those who are without law, as without law (not
being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might
win those who are without law;
to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the
weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save
Now this I do for the gospel's sake, that I may be
partaker of it with you.
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run,
but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.
And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate
in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an
Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I
fight: not as one who beats the air.
But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection,
lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.
Gospel Reading: Luke 3:1-18
Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar,
Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, Herod being tetrarch of Galilee,
his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and the region of Trachonitis, and
Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene,
Annas and Caiaphas being high priests, the word of God came to
John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.
And he went into all the region around the Jordan, preaching a
baptism of repentance for the remission of sins,
as it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet,
saying: "The voice of one crying in the wilderness: 'Prepare the way of the
LORD, make His paths straight.
Every valley shall be filled and every mountain and hill brought
low; and the crooked places shall be made straight and the rough ways made
and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.' "
Then he said to the multitudes that came out to be baptized by
him, "Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
"Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not begin
to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' For I say to you
that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones.
"And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees.
Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown
into the fire."
So the people asked him, saying, "What shall we do then?"
He answered and said to them, "He who has two tunics, let him
give to him who has none; and he who has food, let him do likewise."
Then tax collectors also came to be baptized, and said to him, "
Teacher, what shall we do?"
And he said to them, "Collect no more than what is appointed
Likewise the soldiers asked him, saying, "And what shall we do?"
So he said to them, "Do not intimidate anyone or accuse falsely, and be
content with your wages."
Now as the people were in expectation, and all reasoned in
their hearts about John, whether he was the Christ or not,
John answered, saying to them all, "I indeed baptize you with
water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not
worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.
"His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly
purge His threshing floor, and gather the wheat into His barn; but the
chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire."
And with many other exhortations he preached to the people.
Saints and Feasts
Eve of the Theophany of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; The Holy Martyrs Theopemptus and Theonas; Righteous Syncletike of Alexandria; Apollinaria of Egypt; Gregory of Akrita