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 this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another,
not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous.
Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world hates you.
We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death.
Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?
My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.
And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him.
For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.
Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Him to them.
So when they heard it, they were glad, and promised to give him money. So he sought how he might conveniently betray Him.
Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they killed the Passover lamb, His disciples said to Him, “Where do You want us to go and prepare, that You may eat the Passover?”
So He sent out two of His disciples and said to them, “Go into the city, and a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him.
“And wherever he goes in, say to the master of the house, ‘ The Teacher says, “Where is the guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples?” ‘
“Then he will show you a large upper room, furnished and prepared; there make ready for us.”
And His disciples went out, and came into the city, and found it just as He had said to them; and they prepared the Passover.
In the evening He came with the twelve.
Now as they sat and ate, Jesus said, “Assuredly, I say to you, one of you who eats with Me will betray Me.”
And they began to be sorrowful, and to say to Him one by one, ” Is it I?” And another said, “Is it I?”
Then He answered and said to them, “It is one of the twelve, who dips with Me in the dish.
“The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had never been born.”
And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed it and broke it, and gave it to them and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.”
Then He took the cup, and when He had given thanks He gave it to them, and they all drank from it.
And He said to them, “This is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many.
“Assuredly, I say to you, I will no longer drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”
And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written: ‘I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’
“But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee.”
But Peter said to Him, “Even if all are made to stumble, yet I will not be.”
And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you that today, even this night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times.”
But he spoke more vehemently, “If I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” And they all said likewise.
Then they came to a place which was named Gethsemane; and He said to His disciples, “Sit here while I pray.”
And He took Peter, James, and John with Him, and He began to be troubled and deeply distressed.
Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch.”
He went a little farther, and fell on the ground, and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him.
And He said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.”
Then He came and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, ” Simon, are you sleeping? Could you not watch one hour?
“Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.”
Again He went away and prayed, and spoke the same words.
And when He returned, He found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy; and they did not know what to answer Him.
Then He came the third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? It is enough! The hour has come; behold, the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners.
“Rise up, let us go. See, My betrayer is at hand.”
Leavetaking of the Presentation of Our Lord and Savior in the Temple; Nicephoros the Martyr of Antioch; Markellos, Philagrios, & Pankratios the Hieromartyrs; Teilo, Bishop of Llandaff