O God, the strength of all who put their trust in thee: Mercifully accept our prayers; and because through the weakness of our mortal nature, we can do no good thing without thee, give us the help of thy grace, that in keeping thy commandments we may please thee both in will and deed; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
First Lesson: Ecclesiasticus 15:11-20
Say not: "It was God's doing that I fell away"; for what he hates he does not do.
Say not: "I was he who set me astray"; for he has no need of wicked men.
Abominable wickedness the Lord hates, he does not let it befall those who fear him.
When God, in the beginning, created man, he made him subject to his own free choice.
If you choose you can keep the commandments; it is loyalty to do his will.
There are set before you fire and water; to whichever you choose, stretch forth your hand.
Before man are life and death, whichever he chooses shall be given him.
Immense is the wisdom of the Lord; he is mighty in power, and all seeing.
The eyes of God see all he has made; he understands man's every deed.
No man does he command to sin, to none does he give strength for lies.
Second Lesson: 1 Corinthians 3:1-9
Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly--mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men? For when one says, "I follow Paul," and another, "I follow Apollos," are you not mere men?
What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe--as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building.
Gospel: Matthew 5:21-24,27-30,33-37
"You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.' But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca,' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell.
"Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.
27 "You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery.' But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.
33"Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not break your oath, but keep the oaths you have made to the Lord.' But I tell you, Do not swear at all: either by heaven, for it is God's throne; 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 even one hair white or black. Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one."
Collect & Psalm from the Book of Common Prayer
Other excerpts from the New International Bible