Saint Joseph, March 19

O God, who from the family of thy servant David didst raise up Joseph to be the guardian of thy incarnate Son and the spouse of his virgin mother: Give us grace to imitate his uprightness of life and his obedience to thy commands; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

First Lesson: 2 Samuel 7:4, 8-16
That night the word of the LORD came to Nathan, saying:

8 "Now then, tell my servant David, 'This is what the LORD Almighty says: I took you from the pasture and from following the flock to be ruler over my people Israel. I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have cut off all your enemies from before you. Now I will make your name great, like the names of the greatest men of the earth. And I will provide a place for my people Israel and will plant them so that they can have a home of their own and no longer be disturbed. Wicked people will not oppress them anymore, as they did at the beginning 11and have done ever since the time I appointed leaders over my people Israel. I will also give you rest from all your enemies.

"'The LORD declares to you that the LORD himself will establish a house for you: When your days are over and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with the rod of men, with floggings inflicted by men. But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.'"

Second Lesson: Romans 4:13-18
It was not through law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. For if those who live by law are heirs, faith has no value and the promise is worthless, because law brings wrath. And where there is no law there is no transgression.

Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham's offspring--not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. As it is written: "I have made you a father of many nations." He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed--the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were.

Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, "So shall your offspring be."

Psalm: 89:1-29 or 89:1-4, 26-29

  1. Your love, O LORD, for ever will I sing; *
    from age to age my mouth will proclaim your faithfulness.
  2. For I am persuaded that your love is established for ever; *
    you have set your faithfulness firmly in the heavens.
  3. "I have made a covenant with my chosen one; *
    I have sworn an oath to David my servant:
  4. 'I will establish your line for ever, *
    and preserve your throne for all generations.'"
  5. The heavens bear witness to your wonders, O LORD, *
    and to your faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones;
  6. For who in the skies can be compared to the LORD? *
    who is like the LORD among the gods?
  7. God is much to be feared in the council of the holy ones, *
    great and terrible to all those round about him.
  8. Who is like you, LORD God of hosts? *
    O mighty LORD, your faithfulness is all around you.
  9. You rule the raging of the sea *
    and still the surging of its waves.
  10. You have crushed Rahab of the deep with a deadly wound; *
    you have scattered your enemies with your mighty arm.
  11. Yours are the heavens; the earth also is yours; *
    you laid the foundations of the world and all that is in it.
  12. You have made the north and the south; *
    Tabor and Hermon rejoice in your Name.
  13. You have a mighty arm; *
    strong is your hand and high is your right hand.
  14. Righteousness and justice are the foundations of your throne; *
    love and truth go before your face.
  15. Happy are the people who know the festal shout! *
    they walk, O LORD, in the light of your presence.
  16. They rejoice daily in your Name; *
    they are jubilant in your righteousness.
  17. For you are the glory of their strength, *
    and by your favor our might is exalted.
  18. Truly, the LORD is our ruler; *
    the Holy One of Israel is our King.
  19. You spoke once in a vision and said to your faithful people: *
    "I have set the crown upon a warrior
    and have exalted one chosen out of the people.
  20. I have found David my servant; *
    with my holy oil have I anointed him.
  21. My hand will hold him fast *
    and my arm will make him strong.
  22. No enemy shall deceive him, *
    nor any wicked man bring him down.
  23. I will crush his foes before him *
    and strike down those who hate him.
  24. My faithfulness and love shall be with him, *
    and he shall be victorious through my Name.
  25. I shall make his dominion extend *
    from the Great Sea to the River.
  26. He will say to me, 'You are my Father, *
    my God, and the rock of my salvation.'
  27. I will make him my firstborn *
    and higher than the kings of the earth.
  28. I will keep my love for him for ever, *
    and my covenant will stand firm for him.
  29. I will establish his line for ever *
    and his throne as the days of heaven."

Gospel: Luke 2:41-52
Every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover. When he was twelve years old, they went up to the Feast, according to the custom. After the Feast was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, "Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you."

"Why were you searching for me?" he asked. "Didn't you know I had to be in my Father's house?" But they did not understand what he was saying to them.

Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.

Collect & Psalm from the Book of Common Prayer
Other excerpts from the New International Bible

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