Saturday, January 16, 2021
St. Peter the Patriarch,
St. Blaise, Bishop of Sebastia,
St. Absalom the Deacon
 Then the righteous man will stand with great confidence
in the presence of those who have afflicted him,
and those who make light of his labors.
 When they see him, they will be shaken with dreadful fear,
and they will be amazed at his unexpected salvation.
 They will speak to one another in repentance,
and in anguish of spirit they will groan, and say,
 “This is the man whom we once held in derision
and made a byword of reproach — we fools!
We thought that his life was madness
and that his end was without honor.
 Why has he been numbered among the sons of God?
And why is his lot among the saints?
 So it was we who strayed from the way of truth,
and the light of righteousness did not shine on us,
and the sun did not rise upon us.
 We took our fill of the paths of lawlessness and destruction,
and we journeyed through trackless deserts,
but the way of the Lord we have not known.
 What has our arrogance profited us?
And what good has our boasted wealth brought us?
 No one knows the way to her,
or is concerned about the path to her.
 But he who knows all things knows her,
he found her by his understanding.
He who prepared the earth for all time
filled it with four-footed creatures;
 he who sends forth the light, and it goes,
called it, and it obeyed him in fear;
 the stars shone in their watches, and were glad;
he called them, and they said, “Here we are!”
They shone with gladness for him who made them.
 This is our God;
no other can be compared to him!
 He found the whole way to knowledge,
and gave her to Jacob his servant
and to Israel whom he loved.
 Afterward she appeared upon earth
and lived among men.
 She is the book of the commandments of God,
and the law that endures for ever.
All who hold her fast will live,
and those who forsake her will die.
 Turn, O Jacob, and take her;
walk toward the shining of her light.
 Do not give your glory to another,
or your advantages to an alien people.
 Happy are we, O Israel,
for we know what is pleasing to God.
 We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose.
 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the first-born among many brethren.
 And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified.
 What then shall we say to this? If God is for us, who is against us?
 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, will he not also give us all things with him?
 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies;
 who is to condemn? Is it Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us?
 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
 As it is written, “For thy sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
 For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,
 nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
 He who is a hireling and not a shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf snatches them and scatters them.
 He flees because he is a hireling and cares nothing for the sheep.
 I am the good shepherd; I know my own and my own know me,
 as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.
 And I have other sheep, that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will heed my voice. So there shall be one flock, one shepherd.
The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyright © National Council of Churches of Christ in America