Thursday in the Twenty-Third Week after Pentecost
The Lesson of the Epistle of the Holy Apostle Paul to the Thessalonians.
I Thessalonians §265 (2:9-14a).
Brethren: You remember our labour and toil: working night and day, lest we should be chargeable to any of you, we preached among you the gospel of God. You are witnesses, and God also, how holily, and justly, and without blame, we have been to you that have believed: as you know in what manner, entreating and comforting you, (as a father doth his children,) we testified to every one of you, that you would walk worthy of God, Who hath called you unto His kingdom and glory. Therefore, we also give thanks to God without ceasing: because, that when you had received of us the word of the hearing of God, you received it not as the word of men, but (as it is indeed) the word of God, Who worketh in you that have believed. For you, brethren, are become followers of the churches of God which are in Judea, in Christ Jesus.
The Lesson of the Holy Gospel according to Saint Luke.
Saint Luke §57 (11:14-23).
At that time: Jesus was casting out a devil, and the same was dumb: and when He had cast out the devil, the dumb spoke: and the multitudes were in admiration at it: but some of them said: He casteth out devils by Beelzebub, the prince of devils. And others tempting, asked of Him a sign from heaven. But He seeing their thoughts, said to them: Every kingdom divided against itself, shall be brought to desolation, and house upon house shall fall. And if Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? Because you say, that through Beelzebub I cast out devils. Now if I cast out devils by Beelzebub; by whom do your children cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges. But if I by the finger of God cast out devils; doubtless the kingdom of God is come upon you. When a strong man armed keepeth his court, those things are in peace which he possesseth. But if a stronger than he come upon him, and overcome him; he will take away all his armour wherein he trusted, and will distribute his spoils. He that is not with Me, is against Me; and he that gathereth not with Me, scattereth.