FIRST READING: 2 Kings 2: 1, 6 - 14
1 Now when the LORD was about to take Eli'jah up to heaven by a whirlwind, Eli'jah and Eli'sha were on their way from Gilgal.
6 Then Eli'jah said to him, "Tarry here, I pray you; for the LORD has sent me to the Jordan." But he said, "As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you." So the two of them went on.
7 Fifty men of the sons of the prophets also went, and stood at some distance from them, as they both were standing by the Jordan.
8 Then Eli'jah took his mantle, and rolled it up, and struck the water, and the water was parted to the one side and to the other, till the two of them could go over on dry ground.
9 When they had crossed, Eli'jah said to Eli'sha, "Ask what I shall do for you, before I am taken from you." And Eli'sha said, "I pray you, let me inherit a double share of your spirit."
10 And he said, "You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it shall be so for you; but if you do not see me, it shall not be so."
11 And as they still went on and talked, behold, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them. And Eli'jah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.
12 And Eli'sha saw it and he cried, "My father, my father! the chariots of Israel and its horsemen!" And he saw him no more. Then he took hold of his own clothes and rent them in two pieces.
13 And he took up the mantle of Eli'jah that had fallen from him, and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan.
14 Then he took the mantle of Eli'jah that had fallen from him, and struck the water, saying, "Where is the LORD, the God of Eli'jah?" And when he had struck the water, the water was parted to the one side and to the other; and Eli'sha went over.
PSALM: Psalms 31: 20 - 21, 24
20 In the covert of thy presence thou hidest them from the plots of men; thou holdest them safe under thy shelter from the strife of tongues.
21 Blessed be the LORD, for he has wondrously shown his steadfast love to me when I was beset as in a besieged city.
24 Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD!
GOSPEL: Matthew 6: 1 - 6, 16 - 18
1 "Beware of practicing your piety before men in order to be seen by them; for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.
2 "Thus, when you give alms, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.
3 But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,
4 so that your alms may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
5 "And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.
6 But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
16 "And when you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.
17 But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face,
18 that your fasting may not be seen by men but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.