My soul is bereft of peace; I have forgotten what happiness is; so I say, "Gone is my glory, and all that I had hoped for from the Lord." The thought of my affliction and my homelessness is wormwood and gall! My soul continually thinks of it and is bowed down within me. But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. "The Lord is my portion," says my soul, "therefore I will hope in him." The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul that seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. For the Lord will not reject forever. Although he causes grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love; for he does not willingly afflict or grieve anyone.
This is the word of the Lord. Lamentations 3. 17-26, 31-33
Or:A reading from the book of Wisdom.
The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and no torment will ever touch them. In the eyes of the foolish they seemed to have died, and their departure was thought to be a disaster, and their going from us to be their destruction; but they are at peace. For though in the sight of others they were punished, their hope is full of immortality. Having been disciplined a little, they will receive great good, because God tested them and found them worthy of himself; like gold in the furnace he tried them, and like a sacrificial burnt offering he accepted them. In the time of their visitation they will shine forth, and will run like sparks through the stubble. They will govern nations and rule over peoples, and the Lord will reign over them forever. Those who trust in him will understand truth, and the faithful will abide with him in love, because grace and mercy are upon his holy ones, and he watches over his elect.
This is the word of the Lord. Wisdom 3. 1-9
|R||The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God|
[no torment will ever touch them].
The Lord revives my soul
and guides me along right pathways for his name's sake.
Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I shall fear no evil;
for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. R
You spread a table before me
in the presence of those who trouble me;
you have anointed my head with oil,
and my cup is running over. R
Surely your goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. R Psalm 23
|R||God's love has been poured into our hearts|
[through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us].
When evildoers came upon me to eat up my flesh,
it was they, my foes and my adversaries, who stumbled and fell.
Though an army should encamp against me,
yet my heart shall not be afraid. R
One thing have I asked of the Lord; one thing I seek;
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life;
to behold the fair beauty of the Lord
and to seek him in his temple. R
What if I had not believed
that I should see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living!
O tarry and await the Lord's pleasure;
be strong and he shall comfort your heart;
wait patiently for the Lord. R From Psalm 27
Hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person -- though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us. Much more surely then, now that we have been justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more surely, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life. But more than that, we even boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
This is the word of the Lord. Romans 5. 5-11
Or:A reading from the First Letter of Peter.
Blessèd be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who are being protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, even if now for a little while you have had to suffer various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith -- being more precious than gold that, though perishable, is tested by fire -- may be found to result in praise and glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed. Although you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, for you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
This is the word of the Lord. 1 Peter 1. 3-9Hear the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John.
Jesus said to the Jews, "Very truly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise. The Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing; and he will show him greater works than these, so that you will be astonished. Indeed, just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whomever he wishes. The Father judges no one but has given all judgement to the Son, so that all may honour the Son just as they honour the Father. Anyone who does not honour the Son does not honour the Father who sent him. Very truly, I tell you, anyone who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life, and does not come under judgement, but has passed from death to life. Very truly, I tell you, the hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. "
This is the gospel of Christ. John 5. 19-25
Or:Hear the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John.
Jesus said to the crowds, "Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and anyone who comes to me I will never drive away; for I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. This is indeed the will of my Father, that all who see the Son and believe in him may have eternal life; and I will raise them up on the last day."
This is the gospel of Christ. John 6. 37-40