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Dormition of the Righteous Anna 


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On the 25th of July we celebrate the Dormition of the Righteous Anna, mother of the Most Holy Theotokos.   Anna was from the tribe of Levi, and was the daughter of Mattah the priest.   After a long and God-pleasing life, she died in old age: according to tradition, Anna, lived for sixty-nine years, and her spouse, Joachim, for eighty.   Tradition also holds that the Theotokos had been orphaned by both her parents prior to her living in the Temple.   Saint Anna is invoked for conceiving children, and for help in difficult childbirth.  Please see the related article in “Father Quotes.”


Both the Epistle and Gospel readings today are those prescribed for the Feast of Saint Anna rather than those for the 9th Sunday after Pentecost.  The Gospel reading continues the theme of last Sunday’s Gospel regarding ‘light’ and makes reference to the Mother of the Lord.   The Epistle reading presents us with the allegory of Hagar and Sarah.

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The following readings below are for Sunday, July 25, 2021:


Today's Epistle reading [Galatians 4.22-31]:

For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave and one by a free woman. 
 But the son of the slave was born according to the flesh, the son of the free woman through promise. 
 Now this is an allegory: these women are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; she is Hagar. 
 Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia; she corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. 
 But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother. 
 For it is written, "Rejoice, O barren one who does not bear; break forth and shout, you who are not in travail; for the children of the desolate one are many more than the children of her that is married." 
 Now we, brethren, like Isaac, are children of promise. 
 But as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so it is now. 
 But what does the scripture say? "Cast out the slave and her son; for the son of the slave shall not inherit with the son of the free woman." 
 So, brethren, we are not children of the slave but of the free woman.

 


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The Gospel reading for today [Luke 8.16-21]:

"No one after lighting a lamp covers it with a vessel, or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a stand, that those who enter may see the light. 
 For nothing is hid that shall not be made manifest, nor anything secret that shall not be known and come to light. 
 Take heed then how you hear; for to him who has will more be given, and from him who has not, even what he thinks that he has will be taken away." 
 Then his mother and his brothers came to him, but they could not reach him for the crowd. 
 And he was told, "Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, desiring to see you." 
 But he said to them, "My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it."