FIRST READING: Ezekiel 1: 2 - 5, 24 - 28
2 On the fifth day of the month (it was the fifth year of the exile of King Jehoi'achin),
3 the word of the LORD came to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chalde'ans by the river Chebar; and the hand of the LORD was upon him there.
4 As I looked, behold, a stormy wind came out of the north, and a great cloud, with brightness round about it, and fire flashing forth continually, and in the midst of the fire, as it were gleaming bronze.
5 And from the midst of it came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance: they had the form of men,
24 And when they went, I heard the sound of their wings like the sound of many waters, like the thunder of the Almighty, a sound of tumult like the sound of a host; when they stood still, they let down their wings.
25 And there came a voice from above the firmament over their heads; when they stood still, they let down their wings.
26 And above the firmament over their heads there was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like sapphire; and seated above the likeness of a throne was a likeness as it were of a human form.
27 And upward from what had the appearance of his loins I saw as it were gleaming bronze, like the appearance of fire enclosed round about; and downward from what had the appearance of his loins I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and there was brightness round about him.
28 Like the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud on the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard the voice of one speaking.
PSALM: Psalms 148: 1 - 2, 11 - 14
1 Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD from the heavens, praise him in the heights!
2 Praise him, all his angels, praise him, all his host!
11 Kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all rulers of the earth!
12 Young men and maidens together, old men and children!
13 Let them praise the name of the LORD, for his name alone is exalted; his glory is above earth and heaven.
14 He has raised up a horn for his people, praise for all his saints, for the people of Israel who are near to him. Praise the LORD!
GOSPEL: Matthew 17: 22 - 27
22 As they were gathering in Galilee, Jesus said to them, "The Son of man is to be delivered into the hands of men,
23 and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day." And they were greatly distressed.
24 When they came to Caper'na-um, the collectors of the half-shekel tax went up to Peter and said, "Does not your teacher pay the tax?"
25 He said, "Yes." And when he came home, Jesus spoke to him first, saying, "What do you think, Simon? From whom do kings of the earth take toll or tribute? From their sons or from others?"
26 And when he said, "From others," Jesus said to him, "Then the sons are free.
27 However, not to give offense to them, go to the sea and cast a hook, and take the first fish that comes up, and when you open its mouth you will find a shekel; take that and give it to them for me and for yourself."