Sunday, September 5, 2021
Fourth Sunday after Assumption,
Eve of Fast of Exaltation of the Holy Cross
II Corinthians 7:4-16
 On a bare hill raise a signal,
cry aloud to them;
wave the hand for them to enter
the gates of the nobles.
 I myself have commanded my consecrated ones,
have summoned my mighty men to execute my anger,
my proudly exulting ones.
 Hark, a tumult on the mountains
as of a great multitude!
Hark, an uproar of kingdoms,
of nations gathering together!
The LORD of hosts is mustering
a host for battle.
 They come from a distant land,
from the end of the heavens,
the LORD and the weapons of his indignation,
to destroy the whole earth.
 Wail, for the day of the LORD is near;
as destruction from the Almighty it will come!
 Therefore all hands will be feeble,
and every man’s heart will melt,
 and they will be dismayed.
Pangs and agony will seize them;
they will be in anguish like a woman in travail.
They will look aghast at one another;
their faces will be aflame.
 Behold, the day of the LORD comes,
cruel, with wrath and fierce anger,
to make the earth a desolation
and to destroy its sinners from it.
 For the stars of the heavens and their constellations
will not give their light;
the sun will be dark at its rising
and the moon will not shed its light.
 I will punish the world for its evil,
and the wicked for their iniquity;
I will put an end to the pride of the arrogant,
and lay low the haughtiness of the ruthless.
II Corinthians 7:4-16
 I have great confidence in you; I have great pride in you; I am filled with comfort. With all our affliction, I am overjoyed.
 For even when we came into Macedo’nia, our bodies had no rest but we were afflicted at every turn — fighting without and fear within.
 But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus,
 and not only by his coming but also by the comfort with which he was comforted in you, as he told us of your longing, your mourning, your zeal for me, so that I rejoiced still more.
 For even if I made you sorry with my letter, I do not regret it (though I did regret it), for I see that that letter grieved you, though only for a while.
 As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting; for you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us.
 For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation and brings no regret, but worldly grief produces death.
 For see what earnestness this godly grief has produced in you, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what zeal, what punishment! At every point you have proved yourselves guiltless in the matter.
 So although I wrote to you, it was not on account of the one who did the wrong, nor on account of the one who suffered the wrong, but in order that your zeal for us might be revealed to you in the sight of God.
 Therefore we are comforted.
And besides our own comfort we rejoiced still more at the joy of Titus, because his mind has been set at rest by you all.
 For if I have expressed to him some pride in you, I was not put to shame; but just as everything we said to you was true, so our boasting before Titus has proved true.
 And his heart goes out all the more to you, as he remembers the obedience of you all, and the fear and trembling with which you received him.
 I rejoice, because I have perfect confidence in you.
 Then he returned from the region of Tyre, and went through Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, through the region of the Decap’olis.
 And they brought to him a man who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech; and they besought him to lay his hand upon him.
 And taking him aside from the multitude privately, he put his fingers into his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue;
 and looking up to heaven, he sighed, and said to him, “Eph’phatha,” that is, “Be opened.”
 And his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly.
 And he charged them to tell no one; but the more he charged them, the more zealously they proclaimed it.
 And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, “He has done all things well; he even makes the deaf hear and the dumb speak.”
The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyright © National Council of Churches of Christ in America