Thursday, December 16, 2021
Martyrs of Sebastia: Sts. Eustratius, Auxentius, Eugenius, Orestes, Marytrius,
 That men may know wisdom and instruction,
understand words of insight,
 receive instruction in wise dealing,
righteousness, justice, and equity;
 that prudence may be given to the simple,
knowledge and discretion to the youth —
 the wise man also may hear and increase in learning,
and the man of understanding acquire skill,
 to understand a proverb and a figure,
the words of the wise and their riddles.
 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge;
fools despise wisdom and instruction.
 Hear, my son, your father’s instruction,
and reject not your mother’s teaching;
 for they are a fair garland for your head,
and pendants for your neck.
 The shatterer has come up against you.
Man the ramparts;
watch the road;
gird your loins;
collect all your strength.
 (For the LORD is restoring the majesty of Jacob
as the majesty of Israel,
for plunderers have stripped them
and ruined their branches.)
 The shield of his mighty men is red,
his soldiers are clothed in scarlet.
The chariots flash like flame
when mustered in array;
the chargers prance.
 The chariots rage in the streets,
they rush to and fro through the squares;
they gleam like torches,
they dart like lightning.
 The officers are summoned,
they stumble as they go,
they hasten to the wall,
the mantelet is set up.
 The river gates are opened,
the palace is in dismay;
 Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
 Through him we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in our hope of sharing the glory of God.
 More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,
 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,
 and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us.
 Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down his disciples came to him.
 And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
 “Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you.
The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyright © National Council of Churches of Christ in America