A Reading (Lesson) from the Book of Isaiah [49: 1 – 6]
Listen to me, O coastlands, and hearken, you peoples from afar. The Lord called me from the womb, from the body of my mother he named my name. He made my mouth like a sharp sword, in the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me a polished arrow, in his quiver he hid me away. And he said to me, “You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified.” But I said, “I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity; yet surely my right is with the Lord, and my recompense with my God.” And now the Lord says, who formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob back to him, and that Israel might be gathered to him, for I am honored in the eyes of the Lord, and my God has become my strength — he says: “It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved of Israel; I will give you as a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”
Psalm 71: 1 – 12 [page 683]
1. In you, O LORD, have I taken refuge; *
let me never be ashamed.
2. In your righteousness, deliver me and set me free; *
incline your ear to me and save me.
3. Be my strong rock, a castle to keep me safe; *
you are my crag and my stronghold.
4. Deliver me, my God, from the hand of the wicked, *
from the clutches of the evildoer and the oppressor.
5. For you are my hope, O LORD GOD, *
my confidence since I was young.
6. I have been sustained by you ever since I was born;
from my mother’s womb you have been my strength; *
my praise shall be always of you.
7. I have become a portent to many; *
but you are my refuge and my strength.
8. Let my mouth be full of your praise *
and your glory all the day long.
9. Do not cast me off in my old age; *
forsake me not when my strength fails.
10. For my enemies are talking against me, *
and those who lie in wait for my life
take counsel together.
11. They say, “GOD has forsaken him;
go after him and seize him; *
because there is none who will save.”
12. O God, be not far from me; *
come quickly to help me, O my GOD.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be world without end. Amen.
A Reading (Lesson) from the First Letter of Paul to the Corinthians [1: 18 – 31]
The word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the cleverness of the clever I will thwart.” Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For consider your call, brethren; not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth; but God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise, God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong, God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom, our righteousness and sanctification and redemption; therefore, as it is written, “Let him who boasts, boast of the Lord.”
The Holy Gospel ✠ of Our Lord Jesus Christ According to Mark [11: 15 – 19]
Jesus and those who followed came to Jerusalem. And Jesus entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons; and he would not allow any one to carry anything through the temple. And he taught, and said to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.” And the chief priests and the scribes heard it and sought a way to destroy him; for they feared him, because all the multitude was astonished at his teaching. And when evening came they went out of the city.
The Holy Gospel ✠ of Our Lord Jesus Christ According to John [12: 37 – 38, 42 – 50]
Though Jesus had done so many signs before the people, yet they did not believe in him; it was that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled, “Lord, who has believed our report; and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” Nevertheless many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God. And Jesus cried out and said, “He who believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. And he who sees me sees him who sent me. I have come as light into the world, that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. If anyone hears my sayings and does not keep them I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. He who rejects me and does not receive my sayings has a judge; the word that I have spoken will be his judge on the last day. For I have not spoken on my own authority; the Father who sent me has himself given me commandment what to say and what to speak. And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has bidden me.”