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Today's Scripture Readings

Saints, Feasts, and Readings for 12/20/2012

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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: Hebrews 7:1-6

For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him,

to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all, first being translated "king of righteousness," and then also king of Salem, meaning " king of peace,"

without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, remains a priest continually.

Now consider how great this man was, to whom even the patriarch Abraham gave a tenth of the spoils.

And indeed those who are of the sons of Levi, who receive the priesthood, have a commandment to receive tithes from the people according to the law, that is, from their brethren, though they have come from the loins of Abraham;

but he whose genealogy is not derived from them received tithes from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises.

Gospel Reading: Luke 21:28-33

"Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near."

And He spoke to them a parable: "Look at the fig tree, and all the trees.

"When they are already budding, you see and know for yourselves that summer is now near.

"So you, likewise, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near.

"Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things are fulfilled.

"Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.

Saints and Feasts

Ambrose, Bishop of Milan; Athenodoros the Martyr of Mesopotamia; Righteous Father Gerasimus, Ascetic of Euboia

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