FIRST READING: Isaiah 54: 1 - 10
1 "Sing, O barren one, who did not bear; break forth into singing and cry aloud, you who have not been in travail! For the children of the desolate one will be more than the children of her that is married, says the LORD.
2 Enlarge the place of your tent, and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out; hold not back, lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes.
3 For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left, and your descendants will possess the nations and will people the desolate cities.
4 "Fear not, for you will not be ashamed; be not confounded, for you will not be put to shame; for you will forget the shame of your youth, and the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more.
5 For your Maker is your husband, the LORD of hosts is his name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth he is called.
6 For the LORD has called you like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit, like a wife of youth when she is cast off, says your God.
7 For a brief moment I forsook you, but with great compassion I will gather you.
8 In overflowing wrath for a moment I hid my face from you, but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you, says the LORD, your Redeemer.
9 "For this is like the days of Noah to me: as I swore that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth, so I have sworn that I will not be angry with you and will not rebuke you.
10 For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed, says the LORD, who has compassion on you.
PSALM: Psalms 30: 2, 4 - 6, 11 - 13
2 O LORD my God, I cried to thee for help, and thou hast healed me.
4 Sing praises to the LORD, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name.
5 For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.
6 As for me, I said in my prosperity, "I shall never be moved."
11 Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing; thou hast loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness,
12 that my soul may praise thee and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to thee for ever.
GOSPEL: Luke 7: 24 - 30
24 When the messengers of John had gone, he began to speak to the crowds concerning John: "What did you go out into the wilderness to behold? A reed shaken by the wind?
25 What then did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft clothing? Behold, those who are gorgeously appareled and live in luxury are in kings' courts.
26 What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.
27 This is he of whom it is written, `Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, who shall prepare thy way before thee.'
28 I tell you, among those born of women none is greater than John; yet he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he."
29 (When they heard this all the people and the tax collectors justified God, having been baptized with the baptism of John;
30 but the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected the purpose of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him.)