Since the Feast of Annunciation falls on a Sunday this year, we will have two readings in church on April 7. Below you will find the reading for the Fourth Sunday of Great Lent and Annunciation reading.
Also, because I've been a bit busy lately, and this coming week promises to be the same, for our Looking Ahead to Next Sunday series this week, I will only offer the texts, without any commentary or notes from me.
Fourth Sunday of Great Lent reading
IN those days, someone from the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, I brought You my son. He has a spirit that makes him unable to speak, and whenever it seizes him, it dashes him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. And I asked Your disciples to cast it out, but they could not do so.”
Jesus answered them, “You faithless generation, how much longer must I be among you? How much longer must I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.” And they brought the boy to Him. When the spirit saw Jesus, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. Jesus asked the father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. It has often cast him into the fire and into the water, to destroy him. But if you are able to do anything, have mercy on us and help us.” Jesus said to him, “If you are able! - All things can be done for the one who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out with tears, “I believe. Help my unbelief!”
When Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You spirit that keeps this boy from speaking and hearing, I command you, come out of him, and never enter him again!” After crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, “He is dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he was able to stand.
When He had entered the house, His disciples asked Him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” Jesus said to them, “This kind can come out only through prayer and fasting.” They went on from there and passed through Galilee. Jesus did not want anyone to know it, for He was teaching His disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill Him, and three days after being killed, He will rise again.”
IN those days, Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she remained in seclusion. She said, “This is what the Lord has done for me when He looked favorably on me and took away the disgrace I have endured among my people.”
In the sixth month [of Elizabeth's pregnancy], the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came to her and said, “Rejoice, O favored one! The Lord is with you, blessed are you among women.” But Mary was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and give birth to a Son, and you will name Him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to Him the throne of His ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His Kingdom there will be no end.”
Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore, the Child to be born will be Holy. He will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth, in her old age, has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” Then Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord. Let it be to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.
Yours in Christ,
Father Aleksey - your friendly Singac priest