Saturday, June 5, 2021
St. Gregory the Enlightener (Deliverance from the Pit)
 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?
 Your sun shall no more go down,
nor your moon withdraw itself;
for the LORD will be your everlasting light,
and your days of mourning shall be ended.
 Your people shall all be righteous;
they shall possess the land for ever,
the shoot of my planting, the work of my hands,
that I might be glorified.
 The least one shall become a clan,
and the smallest one a mighty nation;
I am the LORD;
in its time I will hasten it.
 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to bring good tidings to the afflicted;
he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor,
and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn;
 to grant to those who mourn in Zion —
to give them a garland instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit;
that they may be called oaks of righteousness,
the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified.
 They shall build up the ancient ruins,
they shall raise up the former devastations;
they shall repair the ruined cities,
the devastations of many generations.
 Aliens shall stand and feed your flocks,
foreigners shall be your plowmen and vinedressers;
 but you shall be called the priests of the LORD,
men shall speak of you as the ministers of our God;
you shall eat the wealth of the nations,
and in their riches you shall glory.
 Instead of your shame you shall have a double portion,
instead of dishonor you shall rejoice in your lot;
therefore in your land you shall possess a double portion;
yours shall be everlasting joy.
 Obey your leaders and submit to them; for they are keeping watch over your souls, as men who will have to give account. Let them do this joyfully, and not sadly, for that would be of no advantage to you.
 Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things.
 I urge you the more earnestly to do this in order that I may be restored to you the sooner.
 Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant,
 equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in you that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
 Then Peter said in reply, “Lo, we have left everything and followed you. What then shall we have?”
 Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of man shall sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
 And every one who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life.
The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyright © National Council of Churches of Christ in America