1 Paul, Silva'nus, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalo'nians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
2 Grace to you and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 We are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren, as is fitting, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing.
4 Therefore we ourselves boast of you in the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions which you are enduring.
5 This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be made worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering --
11 To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his call, and may fulfil every good resolve and work of faith by his power,
12 so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
PSALM: Psalms 96: 1 - 5
1 O sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth!
2 Sing to the LORD, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day.
3 Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!
4 For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; he is to be feared above all gods.
5 For all the gods of the peoples are idols; but the LORD made the heavens.
GOSPEL: Matthew 23: 13 - 22
13 "But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because you shut the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither enter yourselves, nor allow those who would enter to go in.
15 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you traverse sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves.
16 "Woe to you, blind guides, who say, `If any one swears by the temple, it is nothing; but if any one swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.'
17 You blind fools! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that has made the gold sacred?
18 And you say, `If any one swears by the altar, it is nothing; but if any one swears by the gift that is on the altar, he is bound by his oath.'
19 You blind men! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that makes the gift sacred?
20 So he who swears by the altar, swears by it and by everything on it;
21 and he who swears by the temple, swears by it and by him who dwells in it;
22 and he who swears by heaven, swears by the throne of God and by him who sits upon it.