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: Hebrews 4:1-13
Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it.
For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.
For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said: ” So I swore in My wrath, they shall not enter My rest,” although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.
For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works”;
and again in this place: “They shall not enter My rest.”
Since therefore it remains that some must enter it, and those to whom it was first preached did not enter because of disobedience,
again He designates a certain day, saying in David, “Today,” after such a long time, as it has been said: “Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.”
For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day.
There remains therefore a rest for the people of God.
For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.
Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall after the same example of disobedience.
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.
Gospel Reading: Luke 21:12-29
“But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and rulers for My name’s sake.
“But it will turn out for you as an occasion for testimony.
“Therefore settle it in your hearts not to meditate beforehand on what you will answer;
“for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist.
“You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends; and they will send some of you to your death.
“And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake.
“But not a hair of your head shall be lost.
“In your patience possess your souls.
“But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near.
“Then let those in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her.
“For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.
“But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people.
“And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
“And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring;
“men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of heaven will be shaken.
“Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
“Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”
And He spoke to them a parable: “Look at the fig tree, and all the trees.
Saints and Feasts
The Conception by St. Anna of the Most Holy Theotokos; Hannah the Righteous, mother of Samuel the Prophet; Narses the Martyr of Persia; The Consecration of the Church of the Resurrection (Holy Sepulchre) in the Holy City of Jerusalem
Categories: Nativity Fast, prayer
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