Sebastian the Martyr & his Companions
Saints, Feasts, and Readings for 12/18/2023
Saints and Feasts: Sebastian the Martyr & his Companions; Our Righteous Father Michael Syngellon the Confessor
Epistle Reading: Hebrews 3:5-11,17-19
Brethren, Moses was faithful in all God’s house as a servant, to testify to the things that were to be spoken later, but Christ was faithful over his house as a son. And we are his house if we hold fast our confidence and pride in our hope firm to the end. Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, “Today, when you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the wilderness, where your fathers put me to the test and saw my works for forty years. Therefore I was provoked with that generation, and said, ‘They always go astray in their hearts; they have not known my ways.’ As I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall never enter my rest.'” And with whom was he provoked forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? And to whom did he swear that they should never enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient? So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.
Gospel Reading: Mark 9:42-50; 10:1
The Lord said, “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung round his neck and he were thrown into the sea. And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire, where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched. And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame than with two feet to be thrown into hell, where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched. For every one will be salted with fire and every sacrifice will be salted with salt. Salt is good; but if the salt has lost its saltness, how will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.” And he left there and went to the region of Judea and beyond the Jordan, and crowds gathered to him again; and again, as his custom was, he taught them.