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.
But food does not commend us to God; for neither if we eat are we the better, nor if we do not eat are we the worse.
But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak.
For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will not the conscience of him who is weak be emboldened to eat those things offered to idols?
And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?
But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ.
Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.
Am I not an apostle? Am I not free? Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord?
If I am not an apostle to others, yet doubtless I am to you. For you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.
“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.
“All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.
“And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.
“Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
‘for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in;
‘I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’
“Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?
‘When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You?
‘Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’
“And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
“Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:
‘for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink;
‘I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’
“Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’
“Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’
“And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
Holy Father Auxentius of the Mountain; Cyril, Equal-to-the-Apostles & Teacher of the Slavs; Nicholas the New Martyr of Corinth; Abraham, Bishop of Carrhes in Mesopotamia