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 5:11-6:8
of whom we have much to say, and hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.
For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food.
For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe.
But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,
of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
And this we will do if God permits.
For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit,
and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come,
if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.
For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and bears herbs useful for those by whom it is cultivated, receives blessing from God;
but if it bears thorns and briars, it is rejected and near to being cursed, whose end is to be burned.
Gospel Reading: Luke 21:5-7,10-11,20-24
Then, as some spoke of the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and donations, He said,
“As for these things which you see, the days will come in which not one stone shall be left upon another that shall not be thrown down.”
And they asked Him, saying, “Teacher, but when will these things be? And what sign will there be when these things are about to take place?”
Then He said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.
“And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven.
“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.
Saints and Feasts
The Holy Martyrs Menas, Hermogenes, and Eugraphus; Thomas the Righteous of Bithynia