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.
Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving;
meanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in chains,
that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.
Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time.
Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.
Tychicus, who is a beloved brother, a faithful minister, and a fellow servant in the Lord, will tell you all the news about me.
I am sending him to you for this very purpose, that he may know your circumstances and comfort your hearts,
with Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will make known to you all things which are happening here.
“Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets, and your fathers killed them.
“In fact, you bear witness that you approve the deeds of your fathers; for they indeed killed them, and you build their tombs.
“Therefore the wisdom of God also said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they will kill and persecute,’
“that the blood of all the prophets which was shed from the foundation of the world may be required of this generation,
“from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah who perished between the altar and the temple. Yes, I say to you, it shall be required of this generation.
“Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge. You did not enter in yourselves, and those who were entering in you hindered.”
And as He said these things to them, the scribes and the Pharisees began to assail Him vehemently, and to cross-examine Him about many things,
lying in wait for Him, and seeking to catch Him in something He might say, that they might accuse Him.
In the meantime, when an innumerable multitude of people had gathered together, so that they trampled one another, He began to say to His disciples first of all, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.
Galaktion & his wife Episteme, the Martyrs of Emesa; Hermas, Patrobos, Gaios, Linos, & Philologos, Apostles of the 70
Sayings From The Church Fathers
What a truly heavenly sight it is when, before sitting down to table, the numerous and various members of a family with one heart and mouth say: ‘Our Father,’ acknowledging the one Heavenly Father as the All-Holy King, desiring the fulfillment of His will alone upon earth, recognizing Him alone as the Nourisher of all! What an elevating sight it is when the master of the household ascribes the blessings of food and drink, not to himself, but to God…
– St. John of Kronstadt , from My Life in Christ: Part 1, Holy Trinity Monastery pg. 122
Categories: Nativity Fast