Basil the Great and Gregory of Nazianzus, Bishops, Teachers of the Faith, 379 and 389
Seraphim, Monk of Sarov, Spiritual Guide, 1833
Vedanayagam Samuel Azariah, Bishop in South India, Evangelist, 1945
I love you, O Lord my strength.
The Lord is my crag, my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock in whom I take refuge, my shield, the horn of my salvation and my stronghold. I cried to the Lord in my anguish and I was saved from my enemies.
The cords of death entwined me and the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me. The cords of the Pit fastened about me and the snares of death entangled me.
In my distress I called upon the Lord and cried out to my God for help. He heard my voice in his temple and my cry came to his ears. The earth trembled and quaked; the foundations of the mountains shook; they reeled because he was angry. Smoke rose from his nostrils and a consuming fire went out of his mouth; burning coals blazed forth from him.
He parted the heavens and came down and thick darkness was under his feet.
He rode upon the cherubim and flew; he came flying on the wings of the wind.
He made darkness his covering round about him, dark waters and thick clouds his pavilion.
From the brightness of his presence, through the clouds burst hailstones and coals of fire. The Lord also thundered out of heaven; the Most High uttered his voice with hailstones and coals of fire. He sent out his arrows and scattered them; he hurled down lightnings and put them to flight.
The springs of the ocean were seen, and the foundations of the world uncovered at your rebuke, O Lord, at the blast of the breath of your displeasure. He reached down from on high and took me; he drew me out of the mighty waters. He delivered me from my strong enemy, from foes that were too mighty for me.
They came upon me in the day of my trouble; but the Lord was my upholder. He brought me out into a place of liberty; he rescued me because he delighted in me. The Lord rewarded me after my righteous dealing; according to the cleanness of my hands he recompensed me, because I had kept the ways of the Lord and had not gone wickedly away from my God, for I had an eye to all his laws, and did not cast out his commandments from me. I was also wholehearted before him and kept myself from iniquity; therefore the Lord rewarded me after my righteous dealing, and according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight.
With the faithful you show yourself faithful; with the true you show yourself true; with the pure you show yourself pure, but with the crooked you show yourself perverse. For you will save a lowly people and bring down the high looks of the proud. You also shall light my candle; the Lord my God shall make my darkness to be bright. By your help I shall run at an enemy host; with the help of my God I can leap over a wall.
Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will appear over you. Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.
Lift up your eyes and look around; they all gather together, they come to you; your sons shall come from far away, and your daughters shall be carried on their nurses’ arms. Then you shall see and be radiant; your heart shall thrill and rejoice, because the abundance of the sea shall be brought to you, the wealth of the nations shall come to you. A multitude of camels shall cover you, the young camels of Midian and Ephah; all those from Sheba shall come. They shall bring gold and frankincense, and shall proclaim the praise of the Lord. All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered to you, the rams of Nebaioth shall minister to you; they shall be acceptable on my altar, and I will glorify my glorious house.
Who are these that fly like a cloud, and like doves to their windows?
For the coastlands shall wait for me, the ships of Ta rshish first, to bring your children from far away, their silver and gold with them, for the name of the Lord your God, and for the Holy One of Israel, because he has glorified you. Foreigners shall build up your walls, and their kings shall minister to you; for in my wrath I struck you down, but in my favour I have had mercy on you. Your gates shall always be open; day and night they shall not be shut, so that nations shall bring you their wealth, with their kings led in procession. For the nation and kingdom that will not serve you shall perish; those nations shall be utterly laid waste.
The next day John again was standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he exclaimed, ‘Look, here is the Lamb of God!’ The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. When Jesus turned and saw them following, he said to them, ‘What are you looking for?’ They said to him, ‘Rabbi’ (which translated means Teacher), ‘where are you staying?’ He said to them, ‘Come and see.’ They came and saw where he was staying, and they remained with him that day. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon. One of the two who heard John speak and followed him was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his brother Simon and said to him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (which is translated Anointed). He brought Simon to Jesus, who looked at him and said, ‘You are Simon son of John. You are to be called Cephas’ (which is translated Peter).
Lord God,whose servants Basil and Gregory proclaimed the mystery of your Word made flesh, to build up your Church in wisdom and strength: grant that we may rejoice in his presence among us, and so be brought with them to know the power of your unending love;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.