2 Return, O Israel, to the LORD, your God; you have collapsed through your guilt.
3 Take with you words and return to the LORD; say to him, "Take away all iniquity; accept that which is good and we will render the fruit of our lips.
4 Assyria shall not save us, we will not ride upon horses; and we will say no more, `Our God,' to the work of our hands. In thee the orphan finds mercy."
5 I will heal their faithlessness; I will love them freely, for my anger has turned from them.
6 I will be as the dew to Israel; he shall blossom as the lily, he shall strike root as the poplar;
7 his shoots shall spread out; his beauty shall be like the olive, and his fragrance like Lebanon.
8 They shall return and dwell beneath my shadow, they shall flourish as a garden; they shall blossom as the vine, their fragrance shall be like the wine of Lebanon.
9 O E'phraim, what have I to do with idols? It is I who answer and look after you. I am like an evergreen cypress, from me comes your fruit.
10 Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; whoever is discerning, let him know them; for the ways of the LORD are right, and the upright walk in them, but transgressors stumble in them.
PSALM: Psalms 51: 3-4, 8-9. 12-14, 17
3 Have mercy on me, God, in your goodness; in your abundant compassion blot out my offense.
4 Wash away all my guilt; from my sin cleanse me.
8 Still, you insist on sincerity of heart; in my inmost being teach me wisdom.
9 Cleanse me with hyssop, that I may be pure; wash me, make me whiter than snow.
12 A clean heart create for me, God; renew in me a steadfast spirit.
13 Do not drive me from your presence, nor take from me your holy spirit.
14 Restore my joy in your salvation; sustain in me a willing spirit.
17 Lord, open my lips; my mouth will proclaim your praise.
GOSPEL: Matthew 10: 16 - 23
16 "Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.
17 Beware of men; for they will deliver you up to councils, and flog you in their synagogues,
18 and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear testimony before them and the Gentiles.
19 When they deliver you up, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour;
20 for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
21 Brother will deliver up brother to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death;
22 and you will be hated by all for my name's sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.
23 When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next; for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel, before the Son of man comes.