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: Acts 3:11-16
Now as the lame man who was healed held on to Peter and John,
all the people ran together to them in the porch which is called Solomon's,
So when Peter saw it, he responded to the people: "Men of
Israel, why do you marvel at this? Or why look so intently at us, as though
by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk?
"The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers,
glorified His Servant Jesus, whom you delivered up and denied in the
presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let Him go.
"But you denied the Holy One and the Just, and asked for a
murderer to be granted to you,
"and killed the Prince of life, whom God raised from the dead,
of which we are witnesses.
"And His name, through faith in His name, has made this man
strong, whom you see and know. Yes, the faith which comes through Him has
given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.
Gospel Reading: John 3:22-33
After these things Jesus and His disciples came into the land
of Judea, and there He remained with them and baptized.
Now John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there
was much water there. And they came and were baptized.
For John had not yet been thrown into prison.
Then there arose a dispute between some of John's disciples and
the Jews about purification.
And they came to John and said to him, "Rabbi, He who was with
you beyond the Jordan, to whom you have testified; behold, He is baptizing,
and all are coming to Him!"
John answered and said, "A man can receive nothing unless it
has been given to him from heaven.
"You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, 'I am not the
Christ,' but, 'I have been sent before Him.'
"He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the
bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the
bridegroom's voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled.
"He must increase, but I must decrease.
"He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth
is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all.
"And what He has seen and heard, that He testifies; and no one
receives His testimony.
"He who has received His testimony has certified that God is
Saints and Feasts
Martin the Confessor, Pope of Rome