|"The Man At The Plough" - James Tissot|
FIRST READING: Nehemiah 2: 1 - 8
1 In the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Ar-ta-xerx'es, when wine was before him, I took up the wine and gave it to the king. Now I had not been sad in his presence.
2 And the king said to me, "Why is your face sad, seeing you are not sick? This is nothing else but sadness of the heart." Then I was very much afraid.
3 I said to the king, "Let the king live for ever! Why should not my face be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers' sepulchres, lies waste, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?"
4 Then the king said to me, "For what do you make request?" So I prayed to the God of heaven.
5 And I said to the king, "If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight, that you send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers' sepulchres, that I may rebuild it."
6 And the king said to me (the queen sitting beside him), "How long will you be gone, and when will you return?" So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time.
7 And I said to the king, "If it pleases the king, let letters be given me to the governors of the province Beyond the River, that they may let me pass through until I come to Judah;
8 and a letter to Asaph, the keeper of the king's forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the fortress of the temple, and for the wall of the city, and for the house which I shall occupy." And the king granted me what I asked, for the good hand of my God was upon me.
PSALM: Psalms 137: 1 - 6
1 By the waters of Babylon, there we sat down and wept, when we remembered Zion.
2 On the willows there we hung up our lyres.
3 For there our captors required of us songs, and our tormentors, mirth, saying, "Sing us one of the songs of Zion!"
4 How shall we sing the LORD's song in a foreign land?
5 If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand wither!
6 Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I do not remember you, if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy!
GOSPEL: Luke 9: 57 - 62
57 As they were going along the road, a man said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go."
58 And Jesus said to him, "Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head."
59 To another he said, "Follow me." But he said, "Lord, let me first go and bury my father."
60 But he said to him, "Leave the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God."
61 Another said, "I will follow you, Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home."
62 Jesus said to him, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God."