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Today's Scripture Readings

Saints, Feasts, and Readings for 7/07/2013

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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.

Epistle Reading: Romans 2:10-16

but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

For there is no partiality with God.

For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law

(for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified;

for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things contained in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves,

who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them)

in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.

Epistle Reading: Romans 13:11-14:4

And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.

The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.

Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in licentiousness and lewdness, not in strife and envy.

But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.

Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things.

For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables.

Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him.

Who are you to judge another's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.

Gospel Reading: Matthew 4:18-23

Now Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen.

And He said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men."

Then they immediately left their nets and followed Him.

And going on from there, He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets. And He called them,

and immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him.

Now Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people.

Gospel Reading: Luke 1:5-25,57-68,76,80

There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah. His wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth.

And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both well advanced in years.

So it was, that while he was serving as priest before God in the order of his division,

according to the custom of the priesthood, his lot fell to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord.

And the whole multitude of the people was praying outside at the hour of incense.

Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right side of the altar of incense.

And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.

But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.

"And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth.

"For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb.

"And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God.

"He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ' to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,' and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord."

And Zacharias said to the angel, "How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years."

And the angel answered and said to him, "I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and was sent to speak to you and bring you these glad tidings.

"But behold, you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time."

And the people waited for Zacharias, and marveled that he lingered so long in the temple.

But when he came out, he could not speak to them; and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple, for he beckoned to them and remained speechless.

And so it was, as soon as the days of his service were completed, that he departed to his own house.

Now after those days his wife Elizabeth conceived; and she hid herself five months, saying,

"Thus the Lord has dealt with me, in the days when He looked on me, to take away my reproach among men."

Now Elizabeth's full time came for her to be delivered, and she brought forth a son.

When her neighbors and relatives heard how the Lord had shown great mercy to her, they rejoiced with her.

Now so it was, on the eighth day, that they came to circumcise the child; and they would have called him by the name of his father, Zacharias.

And his mother answered and said, "No; he shall be called John."

But they said to her, "There is no one among your relatives who is called by this name."

So they made signs to his father; what he would have him called.

And he asked for a writing tablet, and wrote, saying, "His name is John." And they all marveled.

Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, praising God.

Then fear came on all who dwelt around them; and all these sayings were discussed throughout all the hill country of Judea.

And all those who heard them kept them in their hearts, saying, " What kind of child will this be?" And the hand of the Lord was with him.

Now his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying:

"Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, for He has visited and redeemed His people,

and you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest; for you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways,

So the child grew and became strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his manifestation to Israel.

Saints and Feasts

Birth of Saint John the Baptist; Nativity of the Forerunner John the Baptist; St. Elizabeth, Mother of the Forerunner; Panagiotis the New Martyr

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