Prayer Before Reading Holy Scripture
O Master Who loves mankind, illuminate our hearts with the pure light of Your divine knowledge and open the eyes of our mind to understand the teachings of Your Gospel. Instill in us also the fear of Your blessed commandments, that we may overcome all carnal desires, entering upon a spiritual life and understanding and acting in all things according to Your holy will. For You are the enlightenment of our souls and bodies, O Christ God, and to You we give glory together with Your eternal Father and Your all-holy, gracious and life-giving Spirit, now and ever and forever. Amen.
Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 40:18-31
To whom then will you liken God? Or what likeness will you compare to Him?
The workman molds a graven image, the goldsmith overspreads it with gold, and the silversmith casts silver chains.
Whoever is too impoverished for such a contribution chooses a tree that will not rot; He seeks for himself a skillful workman to prepare a carved image that will not totter.
Have you not known? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?
It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.
He brings the princes to nothing; He makes the judges of the earth useless.
Scarcely shall they be planted, scarcely shall they be sown, scarcely shall their stock take root in the earth, when He will also blow on them, and they will wither, and the whirlwind will take them away like stubble.
“To whom then will you liken Me, Or to whom shall I be equal?” says the Holy One.
Lift up your eyes on high, and see who has created these things, Who brings out their host by number; He calls them all by name, by the greatness of His might and the strength of His power; not one is missing.
Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel: “My way is hidden from the LORD, and my just claim is passed over by my God”?
Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. There is no searching of His understanding.
He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength.
Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall,
But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.
Old Testament Reading: Genesis 13:12-18
Abram dwelt in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelt in the cities of the plain and pitched his tent even as far as Sodom.
But the men of Sodom were exceedingly wicked and sinful against the LORD.
And the LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him: “Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are; northward, southward, eastward, and westward;
“for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever.
“And I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth; so that if a man could number the dust of the earth, then your descendants also could be numbered.
“Arise, walk in the land through its length and its width, for I give it to you.”
Then Abram moved his tent, and went and dwelt by the terebinth trees of Mamre, which are in Hebron, and built an altar there to the LORD.
Old Testament Reading: Proverbs 15:7-19
The lips of the wise disperse knowledge, but the heart of the fool does not do so.
The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, but the prayer of the upright is His delight.
The way of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, but He loves him who follows righteousness.
Harsh correction is for him who forsakes the way, and he who hates reproof will die.
Hell and Destruction are before the LORD; so how much more the hearts of the sons of men.
A scoffer does not love one who reproves him, nor will he go to the wise.
A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance, but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.
The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge, but the mouth of fools feeds on foolishness.
All the days of the afflicted are evil, but he who is of a merry heart has a continual feast.
Better is a little with the fear of the LORD, than great treasure with trouble.
Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a fatted calf with hatred.
A wrathful man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger allays contention.
The way of the slothful man is like a hedge of thorns, but the way of the upright is a highway.
Saints and Feasts
Cyril, Patriarch of Jerusalem; Trophimos & Eukarpion, Monk-martyrs of Nicomedea; Edward the Martyr, King of England