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.
Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, with Mark the cousin of Barnabas (about whom you received instructions: if he comes to you, welcome him),
and Jesus who is called Justus. These are my only fellow workers for the kingdom of God who are of the circumcision; they have proved to be a comfort to me.
Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, greets you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.
For I bear him witness that he has a great zeal for you, and those who are in Laodicea, and those in Hierapolis.
Luke the beloved physician and Demas greet you.
Greet the brethren who are in Laodicea, and Nymphas and the church that is in his house.
Now when this epistle is read among you, see that it is read also in the church of the Laodiceans, and that you likewise read the epistle from Laodicea.
And say to Archippus, “Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you may fulfill it.”
This salutation by my own hand; Paul. Remember my chains. Grace be with you. Amen.
“For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known.
“Therefore whatever you have spoken in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have spoken in the ear in inner rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops.
“And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.
“But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!
“Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God.
“But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.
“Also I say to you, whoever confesses Me before men, him the Son of Man also will confess before the angels of God.
“But he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God.
“And anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but to him who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven.
“Now when they bring you to the synagogues and magistrates and authorities, do not worry about how or what you should answer, or what you should say.
“For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”
Categories: Nativity Fast