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.
If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land;
but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword”; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.
How the faithful city has become a harlot! It was full of justice; righteousness lodged in it, but now murderers.
Your silver has become dross, your wine mixed with water.
Your princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves; Everyone loves bribes, and follows after rewards. They do not defend the fatherless, nor does the cause of the widow come before them.
Therefore the Lord says, the LORD of hosts, the Mighty One of Israel, “Ah, I will rid Myself of My adversaries, and take vengeance on My enemies.
I will turn My hand against you, and thoroughly purge away your dross, and take away all your alloy.
I will restore your judges as at the first, and your counselors as at the beginning. Afterward you shall be called the city of righteousness, the faithful city.”
Zion shall be redeemed with justice, and her penitents with righteousness.
The destruction of transgressors and of sinners shall be together, and those who forsake the LORD shall be consumed.
For they shall be ashamed of the terebinth trees which you have desired; and you shall be embarrassed because of the gardens which you have chosen.
For you shall be as a terebinth whose leaf fades, and as a garden that has no water.
The strong shall be as tinder, and the work of it as a spark; both will burn together, and no one shall quench them.
The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it.
Many people shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; he will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
Old Testament Reading: Genesis 1:14-23
Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years;
“and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so.
Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also.
God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth,
and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good.
So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
Then God said, “Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens.”
So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.”
So the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
Wisdom calls aloud outside; she raises her voice in the open squares.
She cries out in the chief concourses, at the openings of the gates in the city she speaks her words:
“How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity? For scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge.
Turn at my reproof; Surely I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you.
Because I have called and you refused, I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded,
because you disdained all my counsel, and would have none of my reproof,
I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your terror comes,
when your terror comes like a storm, and your destruction comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you.
“Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently, but they will not find me.
Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the LORD,
they would have none of my counsel and despised all my reproof,
therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way, and be filled to the full with their own fancies.
For the turning away of the simple will slay them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them;
but whoever listens to me will dwell safely, and will be secure, without fear of evil.”
Polycarp the Holy Martyr & Bishop of Smyrna; Proterios, Archbishop of Alexandria; Gorgonia the Righteous, sister of Gregory the Theologian; Damian the New Martyr of Mount Athos; Boswell, Abbot of Melrose Abbey