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 41:4-14
Who has performed and done this, calling the generations from the beginning? I, the LORD, the first, and with the last; I am He. The coastlands have seen and are afraid, the ends of the earth tremble; they have drawn near and come. Every one helps his neighbor, and says to his brother, “Take courage!” The craftsman encourages the goldsmith, and he who smoothes with the hammer him who strikes the anvil, saying of the soldering, “It is good”; and they fasten it with nails so that it cannot be moved.
But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, the offspring of Abraham, my friend; you whom I took from the ends of the earth, and called from its farthest corners, saying to you, “You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off”; fear not, for I am with you, be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.
Behold, all who are incensed against you shall be put to shame and confounded; those who strive against you shall be as nothing and shall perish. You shall seek those who contend with you, but you shall not find them; those who war against you shall be as nothing at all. For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I will help you.” Fear not, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel! I will help you, says the LORD; your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.
Old Testament Reading: Genesis 17:1-9
When Abram was ninety-nine years old the LORD appeared to Abram, and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless. And I will make my covenant between me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.” Then Abram fell on his face; and God said to him, “Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come forth from you. And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you. And I will give to you, and to your descendants after you, the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”
Old Testament Reading: Proverbs 15:20-16:9
A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish man despises his mother. Folly is a joy to him who has no sense, but a man of understanding walks aright. Without counsel plans go wrong, but with many advisers they succeed. To make an apt answer is a joy to a man, and a word in season, how good it is! The wise man’s path leads upward to life, that he may avoid Sheol beneath. The LORD tears down the house of the proud, but maintains the widow’s boundaries. The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD, the words of the pure are pleasing to him. He who is greedy for unjust gain makes trouble for his household, but he who hates bribes will live. The mind of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things. The LORD is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous. The light of the eyes rejoices the heart, and good news refreshes the bones. He whose ear heeds wholesome admonition will abide among the wise. He who ignores instruction despises himself, but he who heeds admonition gains understanding. The fear of the LORD is instruction in wisdom, and humility goes before honor. The plans of the mind belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the LORD. All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the spirit. Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established. The LORD has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble. Every one who is arrogant is an abomination to the LORD; be assured, he will not go unpunished. By loyalty and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for, and by the fear of the LORD a man avoids evil. When a man’s ways please the LORD, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him. Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues with injustice. A man’s mind plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps.
Saints and Feasts
Aristarchus, Pudens, Trophimus the Apostles of the 70; Thomais the Martyr of Alexandria; Ardalion the Actor and Martyr; Demetrios the New-Martyr of Arcadia