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Today's Scripture Readings

Saints, Feasts, and Readings for 12/23/2013

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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: 1 Timothy 5:1-10

Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father, the younger men as brothers,

the older women as mothers, the younger as sisters, with all purity.

Honor widows who are really widows.

But if any widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show piety at home and to repay their parents; for this is good and acceptable before God.

Now she who is really a widow, and left alone, trusts in God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day.

But she who lives in pleasure is dead while she lives.

And these things command, that they may be blameless.

But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

Do not let a widow under sixty years old be taken into the number, and not unless she has been the wife of one man,

well reported for good works: if she has brought up children, if she has lodged strangers, if she has washed the saints' feet, if she has relieved the afflicted, if she has diligently followed every good work.

Gospel Reading: Mark 8:11-21

And the Pharisees came out and began to dispute with Him, seeking from Him a sign from heaven, testing Him.

But He sighed deeply in His spirit, and said, "Why does this generation seek a sign? Assuredly, I say to you, no sign shall be given to this generation."

And He left them, and getting into the boat again, departed to the other side.

Now the disciples had forgotten to take bread, and they did not have more than one loaf with them in the boat.

Then He charged them, saying, "Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod."

So they reasoned among themselves, saying, "It is because we have no bread."

And Jesus, being aware of it, said to them, "Why do you reason because you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive nor understand? Is your heart still hardened?

"Having eyes, do you not see? And having ears, do you not hear? And do you not remember?

"When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments did you take up?" They said to Him, "Twelve."

"And when I broke the seven for the four thousand, how many large baskets full of fragments did you take up?" And they said, "Seven."

So He said to them, "How is it you do not understand?"

Saints and Feasts

The Holy Martyrs Menas, Hermogenes, and Eugraphus; Thomas the Righteous of Bithynia

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