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Today's Scripture Readings

Saints, Feasts, and Readings for 7/15/2013

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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 9:18-33

Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens.

You will say to me then, "Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?"

But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, "Why have you made me like this?"

Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?

What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction,

and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory,

even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

As He says also in Hosea: "I will call them My people, who were not My people, and her beloved, who was not beloved."

"And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, 'You are not My people,' there they will be called sons of the living God."

Isaiah also cries out concerning Israel: "Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, the remnant will be saved.

For He will finish the work and cut it short in righteousness, because the LORD will make a short work upon the earth."

And as Isaiah said before: "Unless the LORD of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we would have become like Sodom, and we would have been made like Gomorrah."

What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness of faith;

but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness.

Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone.

As it is written: "Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense, and whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame."

Gospel Reading: Matthew 11:2-15

And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples

and said to Him, "Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?"

Jesus answered and said to them, "Go and tell John the things which you hear and see:

"The blind receive their sight and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them.

"And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me."

As they departed, Jesus began to say to the multitudes concerning John: "What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind?

"But what did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft garments? Indeed, those who wear soft clothing are in kings' houses.

"But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet.

"For this is he of whom it is written: 'Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, who will prepare Your way before You.'

"Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

"And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.

"For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.

"And if you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who is to come.

"He who has ears to hear, let him hear!

Saints and Feasts

Deposition of the Precious Robe of the Theotokos in Blachernae; St. Juvenal, Patriarch of Jerusalem; Juvenal the Protomartyr of America & Alaska; John Maximovitch, Archbishop of Shanghai and San Francisco

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