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Today's Scripture Readings

Saints, Feasts, and Readings for 4/17/2014

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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 Corinthians 11:23-32

For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread;

and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, " Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me."

In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me."

For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till He comes.

Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread and drink of that cup.

For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.

For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.

For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged.

But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.

Gospel Reading: Matthew 26:1-27:2

Now it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, that He said to His disciples,

"You know that after two days is the Passover, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified."

Then the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders of the people assembled at the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas,

and plotted to take Jesus by trickery and kill Him.

But they said, "Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar among the people."

And when Jesus was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper,

a woman came to Him having an alabaster flask of very costly fragrant oil, and she poured it on His head as He sat at the table.

But when His disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, " To what purpose is this waste?

"For this fragrant oil might have been sold for much and given to the poor."

But when Jesus was aware of it, He said to them, "Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a good work for Me.

"For you have the poor with you always, but Me you do not have always.

"For in pouring this fragrant oil on My body, she did it for My burial.

"Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her."

Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests

and said, "What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?" And they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver.

So from that time he sought opportunity to betray Him.

Now on the first day of the Feast of the Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying to Him, "Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover?"

And He said, "Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, 'The Teacher says, "My time is at hand; I will keep the Passover at your house with My disciples." ' "

So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them; and they prepared the Passover.

Now when evening had come, He sat down with the twelve.

Now as they were eating, He said, "Assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me."

And they were exceedingly sorrowful, and each of them began to say to Him, "Lord, is it I?"

Then He answered and said, "He who dipped his hand with Me in the dish will betray Me.

"The Son of Man goes as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born."

Then Judas, who was betraying Him, answered and said, " Rabbi, is it I?" He said to him, "You have said it."

And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed it and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, "Take, eat; this is My body."

Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you.

"For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

"But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father's kingdom."

And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Then Jesus said to them, "All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written: 'I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.'

"But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee."

Peter answered and said to Him, "Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble."

Jesus said to him, "Assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times."

Peter said to Him, "Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!" And so said all the disciples.

Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, "Sit here while I go and pray over there."

And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed.

Then He said to them, "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me."

He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, "O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will."

Then He came to the disciples and found them asleep, and said to Peter, "What, could you not watch with Me one hour?

"Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."

He went away again a second time and prayed, saying, "O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done."

And He came and found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy.

So He left them, went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.

Then He came to His disciples and said to them, "Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners.

"Rise, let us be going. See, he who betrays Me is at hand."

And while He was still speaking, behold, Judas, one of the twelve, with a great multitude with swords and clubs, came from the chief priests and elders of the people.

Now His betrayer had given them a sign, saying, "Whomever I kiss, He is the One; seize Him."

Then immediately he went up to Jesus and said, "Greetings, Rabbi!" and kissed Him.

And Jesus said to him, "Friend, why have you come?" Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and took Him.

And suddenly, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword, struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear.

Then Jesus said to him, "Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.

"Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels?

"How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus?"

In that hour Jesus said to the multitudes, "Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs to take Me? I sat daily with you, teaching in the temple, and you did not seize Me.

"But all this was done that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled." Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled.

And those who had laid hold of Jesus led Him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled.

But Peter followed Him at a distance to the high priest's courtyard. And he went in and sat with the servants to see the end.

Now the chief priests, the elders, and all the council sought false testimony against Jesus to put Him to death,

but found none. Even though many false witnesses came forward, they found none. But at last two false witnesses came FORWARD

and said, "This fellow said, 'I am able to destroy the temple of God and to build it in three days.' "

And the high priest arose and said to Him, "Do You answer nothing? What is it that these men testify against You?"

But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest answered and said to Him, "I adjure You by the living God that You tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God."

Jesus said to him, "It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven."

Then the high priest tore his clothes, saying, "He has spoken blasphemy! What further need do we have of witnesses? Look, now you have heard His blasphemy!

"What do you think?" They answered and said, "He is deserving of death."

Then they spat in His face and beat Him; and others struck Him with the palms of their hands,

saying, "Prophesy to us, Christ! Who is the one who struck You?"

Now Peter sat outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came to him, saying, "You also were with Jesus of Galilee."

But he denied it before them all, saying, "I do not know what you are saying."

And when he had gone out to the gateway, another girl saw him and said to those who were there, "This fellow also was with Jesus of Nazareth."

But again he denied with an oath, "I do not know the Man!"

And after a while those who stood by came to him and said to Peter, "Surely you also are one of them, because your speech betrays you."

Then he began to curse and swear, saying, "I do not know the Man!" And immediately a rooster crowed.

And Peter remembered the word of Jesus who had said to him, " Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times." Then he went out and wept bitterly.

When morning came, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put Him to death.

And when they had bound Him, they led Him away and delivered Him to Pontius Pilate the governor.

Saints and Feasts

Holy Thursday; George the Righteous of Maleon; Righteous Plato the Studite; Nicetas the Hieromartyr, Struggler of Serrai (1808); Righteous Zosimas

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