Epistle Reading: Acts 28:1-31
Now when they had escaped, they then found out that the island
was called Malta.
And the natives showed us unusual kindness; for they kindled a
fire and made us all welcome, because of the rain that was falling and
because of the cold.
But when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and laid them on
the fire, a viper came out because of the heat, and fastened on his hand.
So when the natives saw the creature hanging from his hand,
they said to one another, "No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he
has escaped the sea, yet justice does not allow to live."
But he shook off the creature into the fire and suffered no
However, they were expecting that he would swell up or suddenly
fall down dead; but after they had looked for a long time and saw no harm
come to him, they changed their minds and said that he was a god.
Now in that region there was an estate of the leading citizen
of the island, whose name was Publius, who received us and entertained us
courteously for three days.
And it happened that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever
and dysentery. Paul went in to him and prayed, and he laid his hands on him
and healed him.
So when this was done, the rest of those on the island who had
diseases also came and were healed.
They also honored us in many ways; and when we departed, they
provided such things as were necessary.
After three months we sailed in an Alexandrian ship whose
figurehead was the Twin Brothers, which had wintered at the island.
And landing at Syracuse, we stayed three days.
From there we circled round and reached Rhegium. And after one
day the south wind blew; and the next day we came to Puteoli,
where we found brethren, and were invited to stay with them
seven days. And so we went toward Rome.
And from there, when the brethren heard about us, they came to
meet us as far as Appii Forum and Three Inns. When Paul saw them, he
thanked God and took courage.
Now when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the
prisoners to the captain of the guard; but Paul was permitted to dwell by
himself with the soldier who guarded him.
And it came to pass after three days that Paul called the
leaders of the Jews together. So when they had come together, he said to
them: "Men and brethren, though I have done nothing against our people or
the customs of our fathers, yet I was delivered as a prisoner from
Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans,
"who, when they had examined me, wanted to let me go, because
there was no cause for putting me to death.
"But when the Jews spoke against it, I was compelled to
appeal to Caesar, not that I had anything of which to accuse my nation.
"For this reason therefore I have called for you, to see you
and speak with you, because for the hope of Israel I am bound with this
And they said to him, "We neither received letters from Judea
concerning you, nor have any of the brethren who came reported or spoken
any evil of you.
"But we desire to hear from you what you think; for
concerning this sect, we know that it is spoken against everywhere."
So when they had appointed him a day, many came to him at his
lodging, to whom he explained and solemnly testified of the kingdom of God,
persuading them concerning Jesus from both the Law of Moses and the
Prophets, from morning till evening.
And some were persuaded by the things which were spoken, and
So when they did not agree among themselves, they departed
after Paul had said one word: "The Holy Spirit spoke rightly through Isaiah
the prophet to our fathers,
"saying, 'Go to this people and say: "Hearing you will hear,
and shall not understand; and seeing you will see, and not perceive;
For the heart of this people has grown dull. their ears are
hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with
their eyes and hear with their ears, lest they should understand with their
heart and turn, so that I should heal them." '
"Therefore let it be known to you that the salvation of God
has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will hear it!"
And when he had said these words, the Jews departed and had a
great dispute among themselves.
Then Paul dwelt two whole years in his own rented house, and
received all who came to him,
preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which
concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, no one forbidding him.
Gospel Reading: John 21:15-25
So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "
Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?" He said to Him, "Yes,
Lord; You know that I love You." He said to him, "Feed My lambs."
He said to him again a second time, "Simon, son of Jonah, do
you love Me?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." He
said to him, "Tend My sheep."
He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you
love Me?" Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, "Do you
love Me?" And he said to Him, "Lord, You know all things; You know that I
love You." Jesus said to him, "Feed My sheep.
"Most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger, you
girded yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will
stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you
do not wish."
This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God.
And when He had spoken this, He said to him, "Follow Me."
Then Peter, turning around, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved
following, who also had leaned on His breast at the supper, and said, "Lord,
who is the one who betrays You?"
Peter, seeing him, said to Jesus, "But Lord, what about this
Jesus said to him, "If I will that he remain till I come, what
is that to you? You follow Me."
Then this saying went out among the brethren that this
disciple would not die. Yet Jesus did not say to him that he would not die,
but, "If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you?"
This is the disciple who testifies of these things, and wrote
these things; and we know that his testimony is true.
And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if
they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could
not contain the books that would be written. Amen.
Saints and Feasts
Cyril, Patriarch of Alexandria; 3 Virgin-martyrs of Chios; 5 Nuns beheaded in Persia: Thecla, Mariamne, Martha, Mary, & Enmatha; Righteous Father Columba of Iona; Righteous Father Cyril of Belozersk