Let Us Attend, pg. 41 - 42:
"It is a dangerous thing to hear the words of the Gospel, for to whom much is given, of him much is required (Luke 12:48). If we hear the truth of Christ, we will be responsible to God for what we do with it. We must not be like the man given a talent by his lord who went and hid it in the ground, doing nothing with it (Matt. 25:18). When we hear the words of the Gospel, we are being entrusted with a treasure, and we must let these words bear fruit in our lives. Otherwise we will hear truth to our condemnation on the Last Day. That is why, before the Gospel is even chanted, the priest prays the Gospel prayer for all who are about to hear it: 'Illumine our hearts, O Master and Lover of mankind, with the pure light of Your divine knowledge. Open the eyes of our mind to the understanding of Your Gospel teachings. Implant also in us the fear of Your 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 to You.'
"In this prayer, the celebrant lifts up his voice to God that He may shine His light upon our hearts so that, as we listen to His Gospel, we might know Him better. Understanding the Gospel is not an intellectual exercise, but a spiritual operation. It requires not so much a keen mind as an open and humble heart. We need a fear of God's commandments, a reverence for His Word. 'But on this one will I look,' God says, 'On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit,/And who trembles at My word' (Is. 66:2). If we listen to Christ's words with a true and and trembling heart, eager to learn and accept correction, eager to receive a commandment that we may zealously perform it, then we will indeed listen to our salvation. Then the fruit of hearing the Gospel chanted will be that 'we enter upon a spiritual manner of doing,' pleasing God in work and word. We will be not forgetful hearers, but effectual doers (see James 1:25). With so much depending upon our response to hearing the Gospel, no wonder the celebrant first prays for us!"