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Today's Scripture Readings

Saints, Feasts, and Readings for 12/17/2018

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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: Hebrews 8:7-13

For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second.

Because finding fault with them, He says: "Behold, the days are coming," says the LORD, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah;

"not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them," says the LORD.

"For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel: After those days," says the LORD, "I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

"None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them.

"For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more."

In that He says, "A new covenant," He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

Gospel Reading: Luke 20:27-44

Then some of the Sadducees, who deny that there is a resurrection, came to Him and asked Him,

saying: "Teacher, Moses wrote to us that if a man's brother dies, having a wife, and he dies without children, his brother should take his wife and raise up offspring for his brother.

"Now there were seven brothers. And the first took a wife, and died without children.

"And the second took her as wife, and he died childless.

"Then the third took her, and in like manner the seven also; and they left no children, and died.

"Last of all the woman died also.

"Therefore, in the resurrection, whose wife does she become? For all seven had her as wife."

And Jesus answered and said to them, "The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage.

"But those who are counted worthy to attain that age, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage;

"nor can they die anymore, for they are equal to the angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.

"Now even Moses showed in the burning bush passage that the dead are raised, when he called the Lord 'the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.'

"For He is not the God of the dead but of the living, for all live to Him."

Then some of the scribes answered and said, "Teacher, You have spoken well."

But after that they dared not question Him anymore.

And He said to them, "How can they say that the Christ is David's Son?

"Now David himself said in the Book of Psalms, 'The LORD said to my Lord, "sit at My right hand,

till I make Your enemies Your footstool." '

"David therefore calls Him 'Lord'; how is He then his Son?"

Saints and Feasts

Barbara the Great Martyr; John the Righteous of Damascus; New Hieromartyr Seraphim, Bishop of the Phanar in Greece; Juliana the Martyr of Heliopolis; Alexander Hotovitzky, New Hieromartyr of Russia, Missionary to America

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