Verse of the Day

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Twelfth Sunday after Trinity

Today we celebrated the Twelfth Sunday after Trinity. 

On Point
Someone asked, where do the quotes come from?  The answer is from the people who uttered them.  But, how did you find them?  Oh, that.  Some from Bishop Jerry, many from Rev Bryan Dabney, a few from other places, some from Rev Geordie Menzies-Grierson, but overall mostly from Bryan.  He always has some great ones to share.  On to the On Point quotes –

Ignorance can be cured. Stupid is forever.

On death
On the one hand Death is the triumph of Satan, the punishment of the Fall, and the last enemy. Christ shed tears at the grave of Lazarus and sweated blood in Gethsemane: the Life of Lives that was in Him detested this penal obscenity not less than we do, but more. On the other hand, only he who loses his life will save it. We are baptised into the death of Christ, and it is the remedy for the Fall. Death is, in fact, what some modern people call “ambivalent.” It is Satan’s great weapon and also God’s great weapon: it is holy and unholy; our supreme disgrace and our only hope; the thing Christ came to conquer and the means by which He conquered.

Satan produced human Death. But when God created Man He gave him such a constitution that, if the highest part of it rebelled against Himself, it would be bound to lose control over the lower parts: i.e., in the long run to suffer Death. This provision may be regarded equally as a punitive sentence (“In the day ye eat of that fruit ye shall die”), as a mercy, and as a safety device. It is punishment because Death—that Death of which Martha says to Christ, “But . . . Sir . . . it’ll smell”—is horror and ignominy. (“I am not so much afraid of death as ashamed of it,” said Sir Thomas Browne.) It is mercy because by willing and humble surrender to it Man undoes his act of rebellion and makes even this depraved and monstrous mode of Death an instance of that higher and mystical Death which is eternally good and a necessary ingredient in the highest life. “The readiness is all”—not, of course, the merely heroic readiness but that of humility and self-renunciation. Our enemy, so welcomed, becomes our servant: bodily Death, the monster, becomes blessed spiritual Death to self, if the spirit so wills—or rather if it allows the Spirit of the willingly dying God so to will in it. It is a safety device because, once Man has fallen, natural immortality would be the one utterly hopeless destiny for him. Aided to the surrender that he must make by no external necessity of Death, free (if you call it freedom) to rivet faster and faster about himself through unending centuries the chains of his own pride and lust and of the nightmare civilisations which these build up in ever-increasing power and complication, he would progress from being merely a fallen man to being a fiend, possibly beyond all modes of redemption. This danger was averted. The sentence that those who ate of the forbidden fruit would be driven away from the Tree of Life was implicit in the composite nature with which Man was created. But to convert this penal death into the means of eternal life—to add to its negative and preventive function a positive and saving function—it was further necessary that death should be accepted. Humanity must embrace death freely, submit to it with total humility, drink it to the dregs, and so convert it into that mystical death which is the secret of life. But only a Man who did not need to have been a Man at all unless He had chosen, only one who served in our sad regiment as a volunteer, yet also one who was perfectly a Man, could perform this perfect dying; and thus (which way you put it is unimportant) either defeat Death or redeem it. He tasted death on behalf of all others. He is the representative “Die-er” of the universe: and for that very reason the Resurrection and the Life. Or conversely, because He truly lives, He truly dies, for that is the very pattern of reality. Because the higher can descend into the lower He who from all eternity has been incessantly plunging Himself in the blessed death of self-surrender to the Father can also most fully descend into the horrible and (for us) involuntary death of the body. Because Vicariousness is the very idiom of the reality He has created, His death can become ours. The whole Miracle, far from denying what we already know of reality, writes the comment which makes that crabbed text plain: or rather, proves itself to be the text on which Nature was only the commentary. In science we have been reading only the notes to a poem; in Christianity we find the poem itself.
Jack Lewis
Miracles: A Preliminary Study.

Deliverance or Strength
As a Christian you have to live in the midst of an ungodly world, and it is of little use for you to cry “Woe is me.” Jesus did not pray that you should be taken out of the world, and what he did not pray for, you need not desire. Better far in the Lord’s strength to meet the difficulty, and glorify him in it. The enemy is ever on the watch to detect inconsistency in your conduct; be therefore very holy. Remember that the eyes of all are upon you, and that more is expected from you than from other men. Strive to give no occasion for blame. Let your goodness be the only fault they can discover in you. Like Daniel, compel them to say of you, “We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God.” Seek to be useful as well as consistent. Perhaps you think, “If I were in a more favourable position I might serve the Lord’s cause, but I cannot do any good where I am”; but the worse the people are among whom you live, the more need have they of your exertions; if they be crooked, the more necessity that you should set them straight; and if they be perverse, the more need have you to turn their proud hearts to the truth. Where should the physician be but where there are many sick? Where is honour to be won by the soldier but in the hottest fire of the battle? And when weary of the strife and sin that meets you on every hand, consider that all the saints have endured the same trial. They were not carried on beds of down to heaven, and you must not expect to travel more easily than they. They had to hazard their lives unto the death in the high places of the field, and you will not be crowned till you also have endured hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. Therefore, “stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.”
Rev Charles H. Spurgeon
English Pastor

The Other Cheek?
There are three ways of taking the command to turn the other cheek. One is the Pacifist interpretation; it means what it says and imposes a duty of nonresistance on all men in all circumstances. Another is the minimising interpretation; it does not mean what it says but is merely an orientally hyperbolical way of saying that you should put up with a lot and be placable. Both you and I agree in rejecting this view. The conflict is therefore between the Pacifist interpretation and a third one which I am now going to propound. I think the text means exactly what it says, but with an understood reservation in favour of those obviously exceptional cases which every hearer would naturally assume to be exceptions without being told. . . . . That is, insofar as the only relevant factors in the case are an injury to me by my neighbour and a desire on my part to retaliate, then I hold that Christianity commands the absolute mortification of that desire. No quarter whatever is given to the voice within us which says, “He’s done it to me, so I’ll do the same to him.”
Jack Lewis
The Weight of Glory

Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image , neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I am the LORD your God.
Leviticus 26:1

The LORD will not suffer the soul of the righteous to famish: but he casteth away the substance of the wicked.
Proverbs 10:3

Fear, and the pit, and the snare, are upon thee, O inhabitant of the earth.
Isaiah 24:17

O LORD, correct me, but with judgment; not in thine anger, lest thou bring me to nothing.
Jeremiah 10:24

And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.
St. Mark 11:22

Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: he is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock...
St. Luke 6:47-48

According to Roman Catholic tradition Peter was the first bishop of Rome... The remarkable thing, however, about Peter’s bishopric in Rome, is that the New Testament has not one word to say about it. The word Rome occurs only nine times in the Bible, and never is Peter mentioned in connection with it. There is no allusion to Rome in either of his epistles. There is in fact no New Testament evidence, nor any historical proof of any kind, that Peter ever was in Rome. All rests on legend.
Dr. Loraine Boettner
20th century American theologian and author
(Roman Catholicism, p. 117)

Each Sunday there are Propers: special prayers and readings from the Bible.  There is a Collect for the Day; that is a single thought prayer, most written either before the re-founding of the Church of England in the 1540s or written by Bishop Thomas Cranmer, the first Archbishop of Canterbury after the re-founding. 

The Collect for the Day is to be read on Sunday and during Morning and Evening Prayer until the next Sunday. The Epistle is normally a reading from one of the various Epistles, or letters, in the New Testament.  The Gospel is a reading from one of the Holy Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.  The Collect is said by the minister as a prayer, the Epistle can be read by either a designated reader (as we do in our church) or by one of the ministers and the Holy Gospel, which during the service in our church is read by an ordained minister.

The propers are the same each year, except if a Red Letter Feast, that is one with propers in the prayerbook, falls on a Sunday, then those propers are to be read instead, except in a White Season, where it is put off.  Red Letter Feasts, so called because in the Altar Prayerbooks the titles are in red, are special days.  Most of the Red Letter Feasts are dedicated to early saints instrumental in the development of the church, others to special events.  Some days are particularly special and the Collect for that day is to be used for an octave (eight days) or an entire season, like Advent or Lent.

The Propers for today are found on Page 206-207, with the Collect first:

The Twelfth Sunday after Trinity.

The Collect.

LMIGHTY and everlasting God, who art always more ready to hear than we to pray, and art wont to give more than either we desire or deserve; Pour down upon us the abundance of thy mercy; forgiving us those things whereof our conscience is afraid, and giving us those good things which we are not worthy to ask, but through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, thy Son, our Lord. Amen

The Epistle came from Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians, the Third Chapter beginning at the Fourth Verse.  Paul reminds  us through the Grace of God we can be able ministers of the new testament, on our own we can be in the end no good.  If we are able to completely follow the Law, with good intent, we can through that please God, but inasmuch as that is impossible we fall short.  The letter of the Law, which cannot be complied with is death.  But following the spirit of the Law gives life.  That is Jesus’ message, for in the Law is death and in the spirit life.  For if there is glory in administering the Law, how much more glory is there in the spirit of the Law, which is Jesus’ message?

Uch trust have we through Christ to God-ward: not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away: how shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious? For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.

Today’s Holy Gospel started in the Seventh Chapter of the Gospel according to St. Mark, beginning at the Thirty-First Verse. Jesus came in to the coast of Decapolis[1].   The people brought unto him a deaf mute.  Jesus examined the man, put his fingers in his ears, touched his tongue and said “Ephphatha”[2], that is, “Be opened.”  What Jesus did here for the deaf mute physically is what he does for each of us spiritually.  Through Jesus, we hear the Word of God and are given the ability to speak it.  Conversely, there are none so deaf as those who will not hear and none so blind as those who will not see.  It is up to each of us to choose if we will remain blind, deaf and dumb or open our eyes to see, hear and speak the Word of God.  When we receive the gift of sight, hearing and speech we embark on a new life of freedom.

esus, departing from the coasts of Tyre and Sidon, came unto the sea of Galilee, through the midst of the coasts of Decapolis. And they bring unto him one that was deaf, and had an impediment in his speech; and they beseech him to put his hand upon him. And he took him aside from the multitude, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spit, and touched his tongue; and looking up to heaven, he sighed, and saith unto him, Ephphatha, that is, Be opened. And straightway his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spake plain. And he charged them that they should tell no man: but the more he charged them, so much the more a great deal they published it; and were beyond measure astonished, saying, He hath done all things well: he maketh both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak.

Sermon – Reverend Jack Arnold - Time and Action
Church of the Faithful Centurion - Descanso, California
Today’s sermon tied the Collect, Epistle and Gospel together and talked, as is oft the case, of the need for action, not simply diction.

Consider the words of the Collect, wherein we ask God who is … more ready to hear than we to pray, and art wont to give more than either we desire or deserve; Pour down upon us the abundance of thy mercy; forgiving us those things whereof our conscience is afraid, and giving us those good things which we are not worthy to ask …

For the first time in a long time, this collect acknowledges that we are continually pray to God, asking Him for what WE want.  Yet, how oft do we listen to Him when He responds?  If we will listen to Him and DO what He asks, He will give us more than we have need of, more than we ask for, more than we can even desire.  Yet, it requires us to listen to Him, then ACT on what we are told.  When we ask His forgiveness, when He gives it, we need to accept it and live it; if we live in the past, we never will benefit. We have to accept it in the present. We have to remember that the only time in which we can influence our action with the help of the Holy Ghost is within the present. We are never in tomorrow, and we are never in the past, but we are always within the present. Then let us accept His forgiveness now, not tomorrow, not yesterday, but today.

God gives us guidance through the Holy Ghost, if we will but accept it.  He gives us the power to act in the spirit of The Law.  The Law or actually 613 little laws turned out to be in of itself a death sentence.  The Jews could or would not comply with the 613 Mosaic Laws, which brought them death.  Jesus gave us the summary of The Law, which through Him would bring life, everlasting life and happiness here on earth:

HOU shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.

Only two laws to comply with, which though simpler, are harder:

1.     Love God
2.     Love your neighbor like yourself

Think about it, if you do those two things, you will find you need no other real moral guidance.  If you understand the Big Picture, you know what to do on your part of the Little Picture to make your world line up with His World.  Just like the sight picture on a rifle, lining up the sights with the target. We want our sights to line up with His Picture. We want our sight picture to be the same as His. The problem is just like the Jews, we cannot perfectly follow those either. Because we come from the same common ancestor, Adam, we have the curse of free will. We often exercise this free will poorly, rather than in the way God intended it, which is to focus on Him.  But we can at least do our very best to follow those directions and change course whenever we aren’t.

Doing our best is all that God asks of us, not just saying we are doing our best when we aren’t.  But, happily for us, Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf accounts us as just before God.  So, now that we know that, who do we tell about it?  Do we let people know, or do we hide our allegiance to the Lord?   If you hide your allegiance, you really have none. But we must be open about our allegiance and share the Good News with others, that they in time may come to seek the joys of His Kingdom. They may not understand right away, but the seed of the Lord may germinate and grow within them, so that within due course they may understand the Word and come to seek Him. A seed does not instantly become a large sycamore tree, it takes years of watering and good sunshine for the plant to grow into the large tree. It is the same with us, it takes years of good spiritual food and drink (The Holy Scripture and the Holy Ghost) and of being with fellow believers who are learning along with you to grow spiritually.

When Jesus opened the ears and mouth of the deaf mute, He did for him what the Holy Ghost will do for us, if we will but let Him open first our ears to hear, then our mouths to testify, communicate and direct.  We must lead people to God, not try to push them.  Thus, we need to strive, each of us, to follow God more closely that we can pull on the lead rope.  Leading requires being in front of the people you are attempting to lead, having them follow your example towards an objective.  Study Jesus’ life, He is a perfect example of a leader.  We cannot ever be perfect, but we can strive for that perfection in our actions.

Action counts.  For by their actions ye shall know them. 

Heaven is at the end of an uphill trail.  The easy downhill trail does not lead to the summit.

The time is now, not tomorrow.  The time has come, indeed.  How will you ACT?

It is by our actions we are known.

Be of God - Live of God - Act of God

Rev Bryan Dabney of Saint John’s Sunday Sermon
We are fortunate to have Bryan’s Sunday Sermon.  If you want people to come to The Truth, you have to speak the truth, expouse the truth and live the truth.    This is really a good piece and I commend it to your careful reading.

Twelfth Sunday after Trinity

The first lesson[3] for Morning Prayer today is Isaiah 29:18-24 (KJV):

18 And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness.
19 The meek also shall increase their joy in the Lord, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.
20 For the terrible one is brought to nought, and the scorner is consumed, and all that watch for iniquity are cut off:
21 That make a man an offender for a word, and lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate, and turn aside the just for a thing of nought.
22 Therefore thus saith the Lord, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob, Jacob shall not now be ashamed, neither shall his face now wax pale.
23 But when he seeth his children, the work of mine hands, in the midst of him, they shall sanctify my name, and sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, and shall fear the God of Israel.
24 They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding, and they that murmured shall learn doctrine.

The prophet Isaiah speaks not only of a near-term event in his day, but of something that will transpire in the future.  Look again at verse 20 wherein we read, For the terrible one is brought to nought, and the scorner is consumed, and all that watch for iniquity are cut off.

In the prophet’s day, the Assyrian king Sennacherib was preparing his army to march against King Hezekiah of Judah. The Assyrians were well known by the 8th century BC as a cruel and vicious people. They were approaching the land of Judah with an army which likely exceeded two hundred thousand strong. The bulk of that force would eventually lay siege to Jerusalem. In the face of so great a host, the LORD informed the prophet that he would preserve the city and turn Sennacherib back. In a later chapter (37:33-37), the prophet set forth the details of the invasion and siege by the Assyrian army, as well as its destruction. What a relief it must have been for the people of Jerusalem to see the corpses of the Assyrians who only a day before had been preparing for their initial assault upon their city. This miracle was accomplished by one angel who passed through the Assyrian camp and slew the whole lot of them. Sennacherib’s military campaign against Judah was further complicated by news that the Ethiopian king, Tirhakah, was approaching to do battle with him. The Assyrian king was then in command of a much smaller force which had been besieging another town. Finding the bulk of his army destroyed, the king retreated to his own land only to die at the hands of two of his sons (37:38).

The scorning leaders of the Assyrians and their army were defeated by him who has never known defeat. The mocking comments by Rabshakeh — or “chief cup bearer” of the king (36:2-20) — were brought to nought with the destruction of the Assyrian army assigned to take Jerusalem. God had been angered by the Assyrian king’s hubris, while at the same time he was pleased by King Hezekiah’s humbleness (37:1-7). Humility on the part of the kings of Israel and Judah was a rare commodity and God rewarded Hezekiah for his recognition that he, the LORD, was his sure defence in the face of such an overwhelming force.

Across the millennia, Satan’s minions have sought to harm those who are of the camp of God. Sennacherib’s campaign against the kingdom of Judah is just one of many examples we might consider. Others, such as Amalek (Deuteronomy 25:17-19); Haman (Esther 3:1-13); as well as the wicked rulers of Edom (Obadiah 10-14) are good examples as well for God did indeed curse and crush those wicked men. But let us not omit God’s judgment on those traitors within the congregation of his people. Just as Jeroboam (I Kings 12:25-33) and Ahab (I Kings 21:17-26) had sought to turn the people from their worship of the LORD by following after false deities, so too did God judge and destroy their houses.

God does not delight in the destruction of the wicked (Ezekiel 18:23), but he will pour out his wrath upon all who have succumbed to Satan which includes those who would seek to harm his own. The prophets of old were given God’s laundry list of offenders who would suffer his wrath. Consider those on his short list without regard to chronology.

The prophet Nahum was given to prophesy about destruction of Nineveh— the capital of ancient Assyria (3:7). Isaiah prophesied against Damascus (17:1) saying, ... it shall be a ruinous heap. Ezekiel prophesied against the great city of Tyre (26:1-6) saying, ... I will also scrape her dust from her, and make her like the top of a rock. It shall be a place for the spreading of nets in the midst of the sea. . . Jeremiah prophesied against the wickedness of Moab and said that he, ... shall be destroyed from being a people (49:42) on account of their idolatry and their trust in riches. Again, while the aforementioned offenders were not the only ones; nevertheless, all of the above had taken advantage of God’s people either through the transmission of idolatry, conquest or mistreatment.

And while the above are Old Testament examples; in the New Testament, God has promised to bring vengeance upon those who persecute his church (II Thessalonians 1:5-10; and St. Jude 14-15). In the future, God is going to deal with those who have rejected his Christ and who will attempt to destroy the descendants of Jacob. God loves Israel with an everlasting love. He promised their forefathers that he would, in spite of their stiffnecked and refusenik attitude, eventually restore them. The LORD gave the prophet Jeremiah to proclaim to those same disobedient and backsliding people of his day that, Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers ... which ... they brake ... but this shall be the covenant that I will make ... after those days, saith the LORD. I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people (31:31- 33).

The prophet then wrote the following: Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and stars for light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name: If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever... If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that have done, saith the LORD (31:35-37).

Other prophets such as Ezekiel (36:16-38), Daniel (9:20-27), Micah (4:1-13; 5:1-15) and Zechariah (2:8-12; 8:1-8) were given to speak on the matter of the regathering and reclamation of the nation because from it would come the Messiah — the deliverer for all mankind. All who will love and seek after him, will be freed from their sins and trespasses. And all, therefore, who trust in him shall never be confounded (I St. Peter 2:6).

But Satan and his minions have sought to undo the eternal plan of God to restore his creation and vanquish evil for ever. So we should not be surprised to see the devil using his puppet rulers upon the earth as instruments in his schemes to short-circuit God’s plan of redemption. As Sennacherib was dismayed and forced to retreat, so shall the same happen to all who come against God’s plan and purpose for his own.

Are there days in your life when the forces of darkness seem to surround you? Do you hear the taunts and the malicious remarks of those who bear not the blood of Christ upon them? It may seem that such people will overwhelm you but be of good cheer, . . . because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world (I St. John 4:4). We have the Holy Ghost the Comforter. We have the Spirit of the living God within us. Yes, we will face trials and tribulations, but we know who our Lord is. He has promised us in his word written that he, . . . will never leave [us] nor forsake [us] (Hebrews 13:5).We also know that on a predetermined day in the future, God will bring his judgment upon those of the wicked who will follow after the Beast of Revelation (13 & 14). The apostle Paul noted that this man of sin and son of perdition (II Thessalonians 2:3) shall be consumed by the Lord with the spirit of his mouth, and shall be destroyed with the brightness of his coming (II Thessalonians 2:8). This evil man will oppose and exalt himself above all that is called God. He will also be worshipped... as God... in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God (II Thessalonians 2:4). The arrogance and hubris of this man of sin will exceed even that of Sennacherib in his pronouncements to King Hezekiah. The same force who was behind the wicked Sennacherib will thus find his masterpiece of evil in a human agent— the Antichrist.

No doubt such people may cause us grief, but the Bible tells us that people like Sennacherib will come and go. The vicious, the hateful as well as those who vex our souls and dampen our spirits will be present with us as long as we are in this world. But we know in whom we trust. We know that our good and gracious God has not left us without a Comforter. We know that at his right hand is our Saviour who will do for us in ways that we can hardly perceive beforehand, but will, nevertheless, be made abundantly clear through their operation before our eyes.

So let us trust in Christ Jesus our Lord and lean upon him. For in his strength we find strength. In his love we find grace. In his forbearance we find mercy. And in his righteous judgment we, who were formerly fit subjects of God’s wrath, are now justified by his blood. Let us therefore go forth and proclaim his message of salvation to all that they too might turn unto him and be saved from his wrath to come.

Let us pray,

 holy and righteous God, whose mighty hand no power can turn away; protect us from all the evil plans and designs of the devil, that we might better serve thee in this life as we look for that life to come; and these things we ask in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

Have a blessed week, Bryan+

[1] Decapolis - ten cities=deka, ten, and polis, a city, a district on the east and south-east of the Sea of Galilee containing "ten cities, " which were chiefly inhabited by Greeks. It included a portion of Bashan and Gilead, and is mentioned three times in the New Testament (Matt. 4: 25; Mark 5: 20; 7: 31). These cities were Scythopolis, i. e., "city of the Scythians", (ancient Bethshean, the only one of the ten cities on the west of Jordan), Hippos, Gadara, Pella (to which the Christians fled just before the destruction of Jerusalem), Philadelphia (ancient Rabbath-ammon), Gerasa, Dion, Canatha, Raphana, and Damascus. When the Romans conquered Syria (B. C. 65) they rebuilt, and endowed with certain privileges, these "ten cities, " and the province connected with them they called "Decapolis. "
[2] Ephphatha the Greek form of a Syro-Chaldaic or Aramaic word, meaning "Be opened", uttered by Christ when healing the man who was deaf and dumb (Mark 7: 34). It is one of the characteristics of Mark that he uses the very Aramaic words which fell from our Lord's lips. (See 3: 17; 5: 41; 7: 11; 14: 36; 15: 34. )
[3] The First Lesson is normally from the Old Testament.

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