Epistle Reading: Romans 9:18-33
Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He
You will say to me then, "Why does He still find fault? For
who has resisted His will?"
But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the
thing formed say to him who formed it, "Why have you made me like this?"
Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same
lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?
What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power
known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for
and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the
vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory,
even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the
As He says also in Hosea: "I will call them My people, who
were not My people, and her beloved, who was not beloved."
"And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to
them, 'You are not My people,' there they will be called sons of the living
Isaiah also cries out concerning Israel: "Though the number
of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, the remnant will be
For He will finish the work and cut it short in righteousness,
because the LORD will make a short work upon the earth."
And as Isaiah said before: "Unless the LORD of Sabaoth had
left us a seed, we would have become like Sodom, and we would have been
made like Gomorrah."
What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue
righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness of
but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not
attained to the law of righteousness.
Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were,
by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone.
As it is written: "Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone
and rock of offense, and whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame."
Gospel Reading: Matthew 11:2-15
And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ,
he sent two of his disciples
and said to Him, "Are You the Coming One, or do we look for
Jesus answered and said to them, "Go and tell John the
things which you hear and see:
"The blind receive their sight and the lame walk; the
lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor
have the gospel preached to them.
"And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me."
As they departed, Jesus began to say to the multitudes
concerning John: "What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed
shaken by the wind?
"But what did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft
garments? Indeed, those who wear soft clothing are in kings' houses.
"But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to
you, and more than a prophet.
"For this is he of whom it is written: 'Behold, I send My
messenger before Your face, who will prepare Your way before You.'
"Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there
has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the
kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
"And from the days of John the Baptist until now the
kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.
"For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.
"And if you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who is
"He who has ears to hear, let him hear!
Saints and Feasts
Deposition of the Precious Robe of the Theotokos in Blachernae; St. Juvenal, Patriarch of Jerusalem; Juvenal the Protomartyr of America & Alaska; John Maximovitch, Archbishop of Shanghai and San Francisco; Synaxis of the Most Holy Theotokos of the Bereft