FIRST READING: 1 Kings 21: 17 - 29
17 Then the word of the LORD came to Eli'jah the Tishbite, saying,
18 "Arise, go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, who is in Sama'ria; behold, he is in the vineyard of Naboth, where he has gone to take possession.
19 And you shall say to him, `Thus says the LORD, "Have you killed, and also taken possession?"' And you shall say to him, `Thus says the LORD: "In the place where dogs licked up the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick your own blood."'"
20 Ahab said to Eli'jah, "Have you found me, O my enemy?" He answered, "I have found you, because you have sold yourself to do what is evil in the sight of the LORD.
21 Behold, I will bring evil upon you; I will utterly sweep you away, and will cut off from Ahab every male, bond or free, in Israel;
22 and I will make your house like the house of Jerobo'am the son of Nebat, and like the house of Ba'asha the son of Ahi'jah, for the anger to which you have provoked me, and because you have made Israel to sin.
23 And of Jez'ebel the LORD also said, `The dogs shall eat Jez'ebel within the bounds of Jezreel.'
24 Any one belonging to Ahab who dies in the city the dogs shall eat; and any one of his who dies in the open country the birds of the air shall eat."
25 (There was none who sold himself to do what was evil in the sight of the LORD like Ahab, whom Jez'ebel his wife incited.
26 He did very abominably in going after idols, as the Amorites had done, whom the LORD cast out before the people of Israel.)
27 And when Ahab heard those words, he rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his flesh, and fasted and lay in sackcloth, and went about dejectedly.
28 And the word of the LORD came to Eli'jah the Tishbite, saying,
29 "Have you seen how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Because he has humbled himself before me, I will not bring the evil in his days; but in his son's days I will bring the evil upon his house."
PSALM: Psalms 51: 3 - 6, 11, 16
3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.
4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done that which is evil in thy sight, so that thou art justified in thy sentence and blameless in thy judgment.
5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.
6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.
11 Cast me not away from thy presence, and take not thy holy Spirit from me.
16 For thou hast no delight in sacrifice; were I to give a burnt offering, thou wouldst not be pleased.
GOSPEL: Matthew 5: 43 - 48
43 "You have heard that it was said, `You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.'
44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?
47 And if you salute only your brethren, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?
48 You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.