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Today's Scripture Readings

Saints, Feasts, and Readings for 7/17/2013

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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 11:2-12

God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel, saying,

"LORD, they have killed Your prophets and torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life"?

But what does the divine response say to him? "I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal."

Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.

What then? Israel has not obtained what it seeks; but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were hardened.

Just as it is written: "God has given them a spirit of stupor, eyes that they should not see and ears that they should not hear, to this very day."

And David says: "Let their table become a snare and a trap, a stumbling block and a recompense to them;

let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back always."

I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles.

Now if their fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness!

Gospel Reading: Matthew 11:20-26

Then He began to upbraid the cities in which most of His mighty works had been done, because they did not repent:

"Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.

"But I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you.

"And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades; for if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.

"But I say to you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for you."

At that time Jesus answered and said, "I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes.

"Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight.

Saints and Feasts

Andrew of Crete Author of the Great Canon; St. Martha, mother of St. Symeon Stylites the Younger; Asclepias the Wonderworker; Holy Royal Martyrs of Russia

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