|"Woe unto You, Scribes and Pharisees" -- by James Tissot|
FIRST READING: 1 Thessalonians 1: 1 - 5, 8 - 10
1 Paul and Sylvanus and Timothy: to the church of the Thessalonians, in God the Father, and in the Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Grace be to you and peace. We give thanks to God always for you all; making a remembrance of you in our prayers without ceasing,
3 Being mindful of the work of your faith, and labour, and charity, and of the enduring of the hope of our Lord Jesus Christ before God and our Father:
4 Knowing, brethren beloved of God, your election:
5 For our gospel hath not been unto you in word only, but in power also, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much fulness, as you know what manner of men we have been among you for your sakes.
8 For from you was spread abroad the word of the Lord, not only in Macedonia, and in Achaia, but also in every place, your faith which is towards God, is gone forth, so that we need not to speak any thing.
9 For they themselves relate of us, what manner of entering in we had unto you; and how you turned to God from idols, to serve the living and true God.
10 And to wait for his Son from heaven (whom he raised up from the dead,) Jesus, who hath delivered us from the wrath to come.
PSALM: Psalms 149: 1 - 6, 9
1 Sing ye to the Lord a new canticle: let his praise be in the church of the saints.
2 Let Israel rejoice in him that made him: and let the children of Sion be joyful in their king.
3 Let them praise his name in choir: let them sing to him with the timbrel and the psaltery.
4 For the Lord is well pleased with his people: and he will exalt the meek unto salvation.
5 The saints shall rejoice in glory: they shall be joyful in their beds.
6 The high praise of God shall be in their mouth: and two-edged swords in their hands.
9 To execute upon them the judgment that is written: this glory is to all his saints. Alleluia.
GOSPEL: Matthew 23: 13 - 22
13 But woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; because you shut the kingdom of heaven against men, for you yourselves do not enter in; and those that are going in, you suffer not to enter.
14 Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites: because you devour the houses of widows, praying long prayers. For this you shall receive the greater judgment.
15 Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; because you go round about the sea and the land to make one proselyte; and when he is made, you make him the child of hell twofold more than yourselves.
16 Woe to you blind guides, that say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but he that shall swear by the gold of the temple, is a debtor.
17 Ye foolish and blind; for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold?
18 And whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gift that is upon it, is a debtor.
19 Ye blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift?
20 He therefore that sweareth by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things that are upon it:
21 And whosoever shall swear by the temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth in it:
22 And he that sweareth by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon.