April 2 (Daily Scripture)

MATINS
Luke 21:5-38
The Destruction of the Temple Foretold
5 When some were speaking about the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and gifts dedicated to God, he said,
6 ‘As for these things that you see, the days will come when not one stone will be left upon another; all will be thrown down.’
Signs and Persecutions
7 They asked him, ‘Teacher, when will this be, and what will be the sign that this is about to take place?’
8 And he said, ‘Beware that you are not led astray; for many will come in my name and say, “I am he!” and, “The time is near!” Do not go after them.
9 ‘When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for these things must take place first, but the end will not follow immediately.’
10 Then he said to them, ‘Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom;
11 there will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and plagues; and there will be dreadful portents and great signs from heaven.
12 ‘But before all this occurs, they will arrest you and persecute you; they will hand you over to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors because of my name.
13 This will give you an opportunity to testify.
14 So make up your minds not to prepare your defence in advance;
15 for I will give you words and a wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to withstand or contradict.
16 You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, by relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death.
17 You will be hated by all because of my name.
18 But not a hair of your head will perish.
19 By your endurance you will gain your souls.
The Destruction of Jerusalem Foretold
20 ‘When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near.
21 Then those in Judea must flee to the mountains, and those inside the city must leave it, and those out in the country must not enter it;
22 for these are days of vengeance, as a fulfilment of all that is written.
23 Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing infants in those days! For there will be great distress on the earth and wrath against this people;
24 they will fall by the edge of the sword and be taken away as captives among all nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
The Coming of the Son of Man
25 ‘There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves.
26 People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
27 Then they will see “the Son of Man coming in a cloud” with power and great glory.
28 Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.’
The Lesson of the Fig Tree
29 Then he told them a parable: ‘Look at the fig tree and all the trees;
30 as soon as they sprout leaves you can see for yourselves and know that summer is already near.
31 So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near.
32 Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things have taken place.
33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
Exhortation to Watch
34 ‘Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day does not catch you unexpectedly,
35 like a trap. For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth.
36 Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.’
37 Every day he was teaching in the temple, and at night he would go out and spend the night on the Mount of Olives, as it was called.
38 And all the people would get up early in the morning to listen to him in the temple.

DIVINE LITURGY
Isaiah 66:1-24
The Worship God Demands
1 Thus says the Lord: Heaven is my throne and the earth is my footstool; what is the house that you would build for me, and what is my resting-place?
2 All these things my hand has made, and so all these things are mine, says the Lord. But this is the one to whom I will look, to the humble and contrite in spirit, who trembles at my word.
3 Whoever slaughters an ox is like one who kills a human being; whoever sacrifices a lamb, like one who breaks a dog’s neck; whoever presents a grain-offering, like one who offers swine’s blood; whoever makes a memorial offering of frankincense, like one who blesses an idol. These have chosen their own ways, and in their abominations they take delight;
4 I also will choose to mock them, and bring upon them what they fear; because, when I called, no one answered, when I spoke, they did not listen; but they did what was evil in my sight, and chose what did not please me.
The Lord Vindicates Zion
5 Hear the word of the Lord, you who tremble at his word: Your own people who hate you and reject you for my name’s sake have said, ‘Let the Lord be glorified, so that we may see your joy’; but it is they who shall be put to shame.
6 Listen, an uproar from the city! A voice from the temple! The voice of the Lord, dealing retribution to his enemies!
7 Before she was in labour she gave birth; before her pain came upon her she delivered a son.
8 Who has heard of such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall a land be born in one day? Shall a nation be delivered in one moment? Yet as soon as Zion was in labour she delivered her children.
9 Shall I open the womb and not deliver? says the Lord; shall I, the one who delivers, shut the womb?
says your God.
10 Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad for her, all you who love her; rejoice with her in joy, all you who mourn over her—
11 that you may nurse and be satisfied from her consoling breast; that you may drink deeply with delight
from her glorious bosom.
12 For thus says the Lord: I will extend prosperity to her like a river, and the wealth of the nations like an overflowing stream; and you shall nurse and be carried on her arm, and dandled on her knees.
13 As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you; you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.
The Reign and Indignation of God
14 You shall see, and your heart shall rejoice; your bodies shall flourish like the grass; and it shall be known that the hand of the Lord is with his servants, and his indignation is against his enemies.
15 For the Lord will come in fire, and his chariots like the whirlwind, to pay back his anger in fury,
and his rebuke in flames of fire.
16 For by fire will the Lord execute judgement, and by his sword, on all flesh; and those slain by the Lord shall be many.
17 Those who sanctify and purify themselves to go into the gardens, following the one in the centre, eating the flesh of pigs, vermin, and rodents, shall come to an end together, says the Lord.
18 For I know their works and their thoughts, and I am coming to gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come and shall see my glory,
19 and I will set a sign among them. From them I will send survivors to the nations, to Tarshish, Put, and Lud—which draw the bow—to Tubal and Javan, to the coastlands far away that have not heard of my fame or seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the nations.
20 They shall bring all your kindred from all the nations as an offering to the Lord, on horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and on mules, and on dromedaries, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, says the Lord, just as the Israelites bring a grain-offering in a clean vessel to the house of the Lord.
21 And I will also take some of them as priests and as Levites, says the Lord.
22 For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, says the Lord,
so shall your descendants and your name remain.
23 From new moon to new moon, and from sabbath to sabbath, all flesh shall come to worship before me,
says the Lord.
24 And they shall go out and look at the dead bodies of the people who have rebelled against me; for their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.

Colossians 2:8-3:17
8 See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ.
9 For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily,
10 and you have come to fullness in him, who is the head of every ruler and authority.
11 In him also you were circumcised with a spiritual circumcision, by putting off the body of the flesh in the circumcision of Christ;
12 when you were buried with him in baptism, you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.
13 And when you were dead in trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive together with him, when he forgave us all our trespasses,
14 erasing the record that stood against us with its legal demands. He set this aside, nailing it to the cross.
15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and made a public example of them, triumphing over them in it.
16 Therefore do not let anyone condemn you in matters of food and drink or of observing festivals, new moons, or sabbaths.
17 These are only a shadow of what is to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.
18 Do not let anyone disqualify you, insisting on self-abasement and worship of angels, dwelling on visions, puffed up without cause by a human way of thinking,
19 and not holding fast to the head, from whom the whole body, nourished and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows with a growth that is from God.
Warnings against False Teachers
20 If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the universe, why do you live as if you still belonged to the world? Why do you submit to regulations,
21 ‘Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch’?
22 All these regulations refer to things that perish with use; they are simply human commands and teachings.
23 These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-imposed piety, humility, and severe treatment of the body, but they are of no value in checking self-indulgence.
The New Life in Christ
1 So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth,
3 for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
4 When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory.
5 Put to death, therefore, whatever in you is earthly: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed (which is idolatry).
6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming on those who are disobedient.
7 These are the ways you also once followed, when you were living that life.
8 But now you must get rid of all such things—anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive language from your mouth.
9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have stripped off the old self with its practices
10 and have clothed yourselves with the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of its creator.
11 In that renewal there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all!
12 As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.
13 Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful.
16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God.
17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Matthew 22:34-23:39
The Greatest Commandment
34 When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together,
35 and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him.
36 ‘Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?’
37 He said to him, ‘ “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.”
38 This is the greatest and first commandment.
39 And a second is like it: “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.”
40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’
The Question about David’s Son
41 Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them this question:
42 ‘What do you think of the Messiah? Whose son is he?’ They said to him, ‘The son of David.’
43 He said to them, ‘How is it then that David by the Spirit calls him Lord, saying,
44 “The Lord said to my Lord, ‘Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet’ ”?
45 If David thus calls him Lord, how can he be his son?’
46 No one was able to give him an answer, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions.
Jesus Denounces Scribes and Pharisees
1 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples,
2 ‘The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat;
3 therefore, do whatever they teach you and follow it; but do not do as they do, for they do not practise what they teach.
4 They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on the shoulders of others; but they themselves are unwilling to lift a finger to move them.
5 They do all their deeds to be seen by others; for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long.
6 They love to have the place of honour at banquets and the best seats in the synagogues,
7 and to be greeted with respect in the market-places, and to have people call them rabbi.
8 But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all students.
9 And call no one your father on earth, for you have one Father—the one in heaven.
10 Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Messiah.
11 The greatest among you will be your servant.
12 All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted.
13 ‘But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you lock people out of the kingdom of heaven. For you do not go in yourselves, and when others are going in, you stop them.
15 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cross sea and land to make a single convert, and you make the new convert twice as much a child of hell as yourselves.
16 ‘Woe to you, blind guides, who say, “Whoever swears by the sanctuary is bound by nothing, but whoever swears by the gold of the sanctuary is bound by the oath.”
17 You blind fools! For which is greater, the gold or the sanctuary that has made the gold sacred?
18 And you say, “Whoever swears by the altar is bound by nothing, but whoever swears by the gift that is on the altar is bound by the oath.”
19 How blind you are! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that makes the gift sacred?
20 So whoever swears by the altar, swears by it and by everything on it;
21 and whoever swears by the sanctuary, swears by it and by the one who dwells in it;
22 and whoever swears by heaven, swears by the throne of God and by the one who is seated upon it.
23 ‘Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint, dill, and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. It is these you ought to have practised without neglecting the others.
24 You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel!
25 ‘Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.
26 You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup, so that the outside also may become clean.
27 ‘Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which on the outside look beautiful, but inside they are full of the bones of the dead and of all kinds of filth.
28 So you also on the outside look righteous to others, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
29 ‘Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous,
30 and you say, “If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.”
31 Thus you testify against yourselves that you are descendants of those who murdered the prophets.
32 Fill up, then, the measure of your ancestors.
33 You snakes, you brood of vipers! How can you escape being sentenced to hell?
34 Therefore I send you prophets, sages, and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town,
35 so that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar.
36 Truly I tell you, all this will come upon this generation.
The Lament over Jerusalem
37 ‘Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!
38 See, your house is left to you, desolate.
39 For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.” ’

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