The Second Sunday


Readings for Sunday of the second week of Great Lent

Psalm (Psalm 51:1, 9 )
Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness. According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions. Hide Your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.

Gospel (Mark 1:12-15 )
Immediately the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness. And He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan, and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to Him. Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel."

Psalm (Psalm 57:1)
Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me. For my soul trusts in You. And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, until these calamities have passed by.

Gospel (Luke 4:1-13)
Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry. And the devil said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread." But Jesus answered him, saying, "It is written, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God."' Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, "All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours." And Jesus answered and said to him, "Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, "You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve."' Then he brought Him to Jerusalem, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here. For it is written: "He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you,' and, "In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone."' And Jesus answered and said to him, "It has been said, "You shall not tempt the LORD your God."' Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time.

Pauline Epistle (Romans 14:19-15:7)
Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another. Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats with offense. It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak. Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin. We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification. For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, "The reproaches of those who reproached You fell on Me." For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us, to the glory of God.

Catholic Epistle (James 2:1-13)
My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality. For if there should come into your assembly a man with gold rings, in fine apparel, and there should also come in a poor man in filthy clothes, and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say to him, "You sit here in a good place," and say to the poor man, "You stand there," or, "Sit here at my footstool," have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him? But you have dishonored the poor man. Do not the rich oppress you and drag you into the courts? Do they not blaspheme that noble name by which you are called? If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself," you do well; but if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors. For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. For He who said, "Do not commit adultery," also said, "Do not murder." Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty. For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

Acts (Acts 23:1-11)
Then Paul, looking earnestly at the council, said, "Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day." And the high priest Ananias commanded those who stood by him to strike him on the mouth. Then Paul said to him, "God will strike you, you whitewashed wall! For you sit to judge me according to the law, and do you command me to be struck contrary to the law?" And those who stood by said, "Do you revile God's high priest?" Then Paul said, "I did not know, brethren, that he was the high priest; for it is written, "You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people."' But when Paul perceived that one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, "Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee; concerning the hope and resurrection of the dead I am being judged!" And when he had said this, a dissension arose between the Pharisees and the Sadducees; and the assembly was divided. For Sadducees say that there is no resurrection--and no angel or spirit; but the Pharisees confess both. Then there arose a loud outcry. And the scribes of the Pharisees' party arose and protested, saying, "We find no evil in this man; but if a spirit or an angel has spoken to him, let us not fight against God." Now when there arose a great dissension, the commander, fearing lest Paul might be pulled to pieces by them, commanded the soldiers to go down and take him by force from among them, and bring him into the barracks. But the following night the Lord stood by him and said, "Be of good cheer, Paul; for as you have testified for Me in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness at Rome."

Synaxarium (Amshir 18)
- The Departure of St. Malatius the Confessor, Patriarch of Antioch.

On this day of the year 381 A.D., St. Malatius (Miltius) the Confessor, Patriarch of Antioch, departed. He was ordained a bishop for Sebaste in the year 357 A.D. He left it because of the rudeness of its people and lived a solitary life nearby the city of Halab in Syria. In the year 360 A.D., he was chosen a patriarch for Antioch during the days of Constantius, the son of Constantine the Great. He was an eminent, learned and meek man, who was loved by everyone. When he entered the city of Antioch, he resisted the Arians and kept them away from the churches. When the Emperor heard that, he exiled him in the same year that he was enthroned patriarch. The noble men of the city of Antioch, the bishops and the priests met and wrote to the Emperor asking for the return of the Patriarch. The Emperor returned St. Malatius in shame to them.
When St. Malatius came back in the year 362 A.D., he did not cease resisting the Arians, excommunicating them and all those who believed in their doctrines. He made clear to them their errors and explained to them their blasphemy. He declared, preached and confirmed that the Son was of the same essence as the Father, consubstantial with Him in essence and in Godship. The followers of Arius returned to slander St. Malatius before Emperor Valens, who exiled him again to a country further away than the one to which he was exiled first. When he arrived to his exile, the bishops and the fathers that were exiled from different countries came and gathered around and stayed with him. St. Malatius did not slack in teaching and interpreting what was difficult to understand in the Holy Scriptures. His epistles reached his flock, in spite of the distance, confirming their faith in the Holy Trinity, preaching the faith of the Council of Nicea and refuting the teachings of Arius. He was in exile for many years until his return to Antioch in the year 378 A.D. He was present in the Council of Constantinople in the year 381 A.D. Then he departed in peace. St. John Chrysostom (Golden Mouthed) praised St. Malatius on his feast day declaring his greatness and that he was not in any less stature than the apostles in honor for what he suffered from exile and humiliation for the sake of the Orthodox faith.
His prayers be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.

Psalm (Psalm 27:8-10)
When You said, "Seek My face," My heart said to You, "Your face, LORD, I will seek." Do not hide Your face from me. Do not turn Your servant away in anger. You have been my help. Do not leave me nor forsake me, O God of my salvation. When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take care of me.

Gospel (Matthew 4:1-11)
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, "If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread." But He answered and said, "It is written, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God."' Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: "He shall give His angels charge over you,' and, "In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone."' Jesus said to him, "It is written again, "You shall not tempt the LORD your God."' Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, "All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me." Then Jesus said to him, "Away with you, Satan! For it is written, "You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve."' Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.