Saturday, December 18, 2021
St. James, Bishop of Nisibis,
Mar Awgen (Marouke) the Ascetic,
St. Meletius, martyr and Bishop
 I rejoiced in them all, because wisdom leads them;
but I did not know that she was their mother.
 I learned without guile and I impart without grudging;
I do not hide her wealth,
 for it is an unfailing treasure for men;
those who get it obtain friendship with God,
commended for the gifts that come from instruction.
 May God grant that I speak with judgment
and have thought worthy of what I have received,
for he is the guide even of wisdom
and the corrector of the wise.
 For both we and our words are in his hand,
as are all understanding and skill in crafts.
 For it is he who gave me unerring knowledge of what exists,
to know the structure of the world and the
activity of the elements;
 the beginning and end and middle of times,
the alternations of the solstices and the changes
of the seasons,
 the cycles of the year and the constellations of the stars,
 the natures of animals and the tempers of wild beasts,
the powers of spirits and the reasonings of men,
the varieties of plants and the virtues of roots;
 “But now hear, O Jacob my servant,
Israel whom I have chosen!
 Thus says the LORD who made you,
who formed you from the womb and will help you:
Fear not, O Jacob my servant,
Jeshu’run whom I have chosen.
 For I will pour water on the thirsty land,
and streams on the dry ground;
I will pour my Spirit upon your descendants,
and my blessing on your offspring.
 They shall spring up like grass amid waters,
like willows by flowing streams.
 This one will say, `I am the LORD’s,’
another will call himself by the name of Jacob,
and another will write on his hand, `The LORD’s,’
and surname himself by the name of Israel.”
 Obey your leaders and submit to them; for they are keeping watch over your souls, as men who will have to give account. Let them do this joyfully, and not sadly, for that would be of no advantage to you.
 Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things.
 I urge you the more earnestly to do this in order that I may be restored to you the sooner.
 Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant,
 equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in you that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
 Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind.”
 Some of the Pharisees near him heard this, and they said to him, “Are we also blind?”
 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, `We see,’ your guilt remains.
 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber;
 but he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
 To him the gatekeeper opens; the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
 When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.
 A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.”
 This figure Jesus used with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.
 So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.
 All who came before me are thieves and robbers; but the sheep did not heed them.
 I am the door; if any one enters by me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.
 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyright © National Council of Churches of Christ in America