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.
Epistle Reading: 1 Timothy 5:11-21
But refuse the younger widows; for when they have begun to grow wanton against Christ, they desire to marry,
having condemnation because they have cast off their first faith.
And besides they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not.
Therefore I desire that the younger widows marry, bear children, manage the house, give no opportunity to the adversary to speak reproachfully.
For some have already turned aside after Satan.
If any believing man or woman has widows, let them relieve them, and do not let the church be burdened, that it may relieve those who are really widows.
Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine.
For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer is worthy of his wages.”
Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses.
Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear.
I charge you before God and the Lord Jesus Christ and the elect angels that you observe these things without prejudice, doing nothing with partiality.
Gospel Reading: Luke 17:26-37
“And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man:
“They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.
“Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built;
“but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all.
“Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.
“In that day, he who is on the housetop, and his goods are in the house, let him not come down to take them away. And likewise the one who is in the field, let him not turn back.
“Remember Lot’s wife.
“Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.
“I tell you, in that night there will be two men in one bed: the one will be taken and the other will be left.
“Two women will be grinding together: the one will be taken and the other left.
“Two men will be in the field: the one will be taken and the other left.”
And they answered and said to Him, “Where, Lord?” So He said to them, “Wherever the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together.”
Saints and Feasts
Catherine the Great Martyr of Alexandria; Apodosis of the Presentation of the Theotokos into the Temple; Mercurius the Great Martyr of Caesarea in Cappadocia
Categories: Nativity Fast, prayer
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