Epistle of the Apostle Paul to the Philippians 3:1-8
Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. For me to write the same things to you is not tedious, but for you it is safe.
Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation. For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh, though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law; blameless.
But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ...
Prayer Before Reading of the Gospel In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Illumine our hearts, O Master Who lovest mankind, with the pure light of Thy divine knowledge. Open the eyes of our mind to the understanding of Thy Gospel teachings. Implant also in us the fear of Thy blessed commandments, that trampling down all carnal desires, we may enter upon a spiritual manner of living, both thinking and doing such things as are well pleasing unto Thee. For Thou art the illumination of our souls and bodies, O Christ our God, and unto Thee do we send up glory, together with Thy Father, Who is from everlasting, and to Thine All-Holy, Good, and Life-creating Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen
The reading from the Gospel according to St. Luke 13:1-9
There were present at that season some who told Him (Jesus) about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answered and said to them. "Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish."
He also spoke this parable: "A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, 'Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?' But he answered and said to him, 'Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that you can cut it down.'"