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.
For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven,
if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked.
For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life.
Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.
Therefore we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord.
For we walk by faith, not by sight.
We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.
Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him.
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases.
He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.
And He said to them, “Take nothing for the journey, neither staffs nor bag nor bread nor money; and do not have two tunics apiece.
“Whatever house you enter, stay there, and from there depart.
“And whoever will not receive you, when you go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet as a testimony against them.”
So they departed and went through the towns, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere.
7th Sunday of Luke; Lazarus the Wonderworker; 33 Martyrs of Melitene; Martyr Athenodorus; Alexander the Martyr of Thessaloniki
Sayings From The Church Fathers
People offend you, irritate you, breathe contempt and malice against you; do not repay them in the same way, but be gentle, meek, and kind, respectful and loving towards those very persons who behave unworthily to you. If you are agitated yourself, and speak excitedly, rudely, contemptuously – that is, unlovingly – then you will be vanquished yourself, and those who offend you will have the right to say, ‘Physician, heal thyself’ (Lk. 4:23)…Do not wonder, then, if the affronts of those who offend you are often repeated, for they will notice your weakness and will irritate you intentionally.
– St. John of Kronstadt, from My Life in Christ: Part 1, Holy Trinity Monastery pg. 112
Categories: Nativity Fast