Sunday, February 21, 2021
Second Sunday of Great Lent,
Sunday of the Expulsion
 And when it was day he departed and went into a lonely place. And the people sought him and came to him, and would have kept him from leaving them;
 but he said to them, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other cities also; for I was sent for this purpose.”
 And he was preaching in the synagogues of Judea.
 While the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennes’aret.
 And he saw two boats by the lake; but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets.
 Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat.
 And when he had ceased speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”
 And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.”
 And when they had done this, they enclosed a great shoal of fish; and as their nets were breaking,
 they beckoned to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink.
 But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”
 For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the catch of fish which they had taken;
 and so also were James and John, sons of Zeb’edee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; henceforth you will be catching men.”
 And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.
 O LORD, be gracious to us; we wait for thee.
Be our arm every morning,
our salvation in the time of trouble.
 At the thunderous noise peoples flee,
at the lifting up of thyself nations are scattered;
 and spoil is gathered as the caterpillar gathers;
as locusts leap, men leap upon it.
 The LORD is exalted, for he dwells on high;
he will fill Zion with justice and righteousness;
 and he will be the stability of your times,
abundance of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge;
the fear of the LORD is his treasure.
 Behold, the valiant ones cry without;
the envoys of peace weep bitterly.
 The highways lie waste,
the wayfaring man ceases.
Covenants are broken,
witnesses are despised,
there is no regard for man.
 The land mourns and languishes;
Lebanon is confounded and withers away;
Sharon is like a desert;
and Bashan and Carmel shake off their leaves.
 “Now I will arise,” says the LORD,
“now I will lift myself up;
now I will be exalted.
 You conceive chaff, you bring forth stubble;
your breath is a fire that will consume you.
 And the peoples will be as if burned to lime,
like thorns cut down, that are burned in the fire.”
 Hear, you who are far off, what I have done;
and you who are near, acknowledge my might.
 The sinners in Zion are afraid;
trembling has seized the godless:
“Who among us can dwell with the devouring fire?
Who among us can dwell with everlasting burnings?”
 He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly,
who despises the gain of oppressions,
who shakes his hands, lest they hold a bribe,
who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed
and shuts his eyes from looking upon evil,
 he will dwell on the heights;
his place of defense will be the fortresses of rocks;
his bread will be given him, his water will be sure.
 Your eyes will see the king in his beauty;
they will behold a land that stretches afar.
 Your mind will muse on the terror:
“Where is he who counted, where is he who weighed the tribute?
Where is he who counted the towers?”
 You will see no more the insolent people,
the people of an obscure speech which you cannot comprehend,
stammering in a tongue which you cannot understand.
 Look upon Zion, the city of our appointed feasts!
Your eyes will see Jerusalem,
a quiet habitation, an immovable tent,
whose stakes will never be plucked up,
nor will any of its cords be broken.
 But there the LORD in majesty will be for us
a place of broad rivers and streams,
where no galley with oars can go,
nor stately ship can pass.
 For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our ruler,
the LORD is our king; he will save us.
 I appeal to you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
 Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
 For by the grace given to me I bid every one among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith which God has assigned him.
 For as in one body we have many members, and all the members do not have the same function,
 so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
 Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith;
 if service, in our serving; he who teaches, in his teaching;
 he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who contributes, in liberality; he who gives aid, with zeal; he who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
 Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good;
 love one another with brotherly affection; outdo one another in showing honor.
 Never flag in zeal, be aglow with the Spirit, serve the Lord.
 Rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
 Contribute to the needs of the saints, practice hospitality.
 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.
 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
 Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; never be conceited.
 Repay no one evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all.
 If possible, so far as it depends upon you, live peaceably with all.
 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”
 No, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head.”
 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.
 Therefore he who resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.
 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of him who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval,
 for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain; he is the servant of God to execute his wrath on the wrongdoer.
 Therefore one must be subject, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience.
 For the same reason you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing.
 Pay all of them their dues, taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due.
 Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.
 The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this sentence, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
 “Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfil them.
 For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished.
 Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
 “You have heard that it was said to the men of old, `You shall not kill; and whoever kills shall be liable to judgment.’
 But I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother shall be liable to the council, and whoever says, `You fool!’ shall be liable to the hell of fire.
 So if you are offering your gift at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you,
 leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
 Make friends quickly with your accuser, while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison;
 truly, I say to you, you will never get out till you have paid the last penny.
 “You have heard that it was said, `You shall not commit adultery.’
 But I say to you that every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
 If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and throw it away; it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell.
 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.
 “It was also said, `Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’
 But I say to you that every one who divorces his wife, except on the ground of unchastity, makes her an adulteress; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
 “Again you have heard that it was said to the men of old, `You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’
 But I say to you, Do not swear at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God,
 or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.
 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black.
 Let what you say be simply `Yes’ or `No’; anything more than this comes from evil.
 “You have heard that it was said, `An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’
 But I say to you, Do not resist one who is evil. But if any one strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also;
 and if any one would sue you and take your coat, let him have your cloak as well;
 and if any one forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.
 Give to him who begs from you, and do not refuse him who would borrow from you.
 “You have heard that it was said, `You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’
 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
 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.
 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?
 And if you salute only your brethren, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?
 You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyright © National Council of Churches of Christ in America