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 if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward,
how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him,
God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?
For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels.
But one testified in a certain place, saying: “What is man that You are mindful of him, or the son of man that You take care of him?
You made him a little lower than the angels; You crowned him with glory and honor, and set him over the works of Your hands.
You have put all things in subjection under his feet.” For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him.
But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.
For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the author of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
“He who hears you hears Me, he who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me.”
Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.”
And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.
“Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
“Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”
In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight.
Nektarius the Wonderworker, Metropolitan of Pentapolis; Onesiphorus and Porphyrius of Ephesus; Matrona, Abbess of Constantinople; Theoktisti of the Isle of Lesbos; Symeon the Translator
Categories: Nativity Fast