Seventh Sunday after Epiphany

O Lord, who hast taught us that all our doings without charity are nothing worth; Send thy Holy Ghost and pour into our hearts that most excellent gift of charity, the very bond of peace and of all virtue, without which whosoever liveth is counted dead before thee. Grant this for thine only Son Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

First Lesson: Leviticus 19:1-2,9-18
The LORD said to Moses, "Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: 'Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy.

9" 'When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the alien. I am the LORD your God.
" 'Do not steal.'
" 'Do not lie.'
" 'Do not deceive one another.'
" 'Do not swear falsely by my name and so profane the name of your God. I am the LORD.'
" 'Do not defraud your neighbor or rob him.'
" 'Do not hold back the wages of a hired man overnight.'
" 'Do not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block in front of the blind, but fear your God. I am the LORD.'
" 'Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly.'
" 'Do not go about spreading slander among your people.'
" 'Do not do anything that endangers your neighbor's life. I am the LORD.'
" 'Do not hate your brother in your heart. Rebuke your neighbor frankly so you will not share in his guilt.'
" 'Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.'"

Second Lesson: 1 Corinthians 3:10-11,16-23
By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.

16 Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him; for God's temple is sacred, and you are that temple.

Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a "fool" so that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God's sight. As it is written: "He catches the wise in their craftiness"; and again, "The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile." So then, no more boasting about men! All things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future--all are yours, and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.

Psalm: 71

  1. In you, O LORD, have I taken refuge; *
    let me never be ashamed.
  2. In your righteousness, deliver me and set me free; *
    incline your ear to me and save me.
  3. Be my strong rock, a castle to keep me safe; *
    you are my crag and my stronghold.
  4. Deliver me, my God, from the hand of the wicked, *
    from the clutches of the evildoer and the oppressor.
  5. For you are my hope, O Lord GOD, *
    my confidence since I was young.
  6. I have been sustained by you ever since I was born;
    from my mother's womb you have been my strength; *
    my praise shall be always of you.
  7. I have become a portent to many; *
    but you are my refuge and my strength.
  8. Let my mouth be full of your praise *
    and your glory all the day long.
  9. Do not cast me off in my old age; *
    forsake me not when my strength fails.
  10. For my enemies are talking against me, *
    and those who lie in wait for my life take counsel together.
  11. They say, "God has forsaken him;
    go after him and seize him; *
    because there is none who will save."
  12. O God, be not far from me; *
    come quickly to help me, O my God.
  13. Let those who set themselves against me be put to shame and
    be disgraced; *
    let those who seek to do me evil be covered with scorn
    and reproach.
  14. But I shall always wait in patience, *
    and shall praise you more and more.
  15. My mouth shall recount your mighty acts
    and saving deeds all day long; *
    though I cannot know the number of them.
  16. I will begin with the mighty works of the Lord GOD; *
    I will recall your righteousness, yours alone.
  17. O God, you have taught me since I was young, *
    and to this day I tell of your wonderful works.
  18. And now that I am old and gray-headed, O God, do not
    forsake me, *
    till I make known your strength to this generation
    and your power to all who are to come.
  19. Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the heavens; *
    you have done great things;
    who is like you, O God?
  20. You have showed me great troubles and adversities, *
    but you will restore my life
    and bring me up again from the deep places of the earth.
  21. You strengthen me more and more;
    you enfold and comfort me,
  22. Therefore I will praise you upon the lyre for your
    faithfulness, O my God; *
    I will sing to you with the harp, O Holy One of Israel.
  23. My lips will sing with joy when I play to you, *
    and so will my soul, which you have redeemed.
  24. My tongue will proclaim your righteousness all day long, *
    for they are ashamed and disgraced who sought
    to do me harm.

Gospel: Matthew 5:38-48
"You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.' But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect."

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

Sts. Vidicon & Isidore