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Preface of Apostles

The Collect

Almighty God, in your providence you chose your servant Patrick to be the apostle of the Irish people, to bring those who were wandering in darkness and error to the true light and knowledge of you: Grant us so to walk in that light that we may come at last to the light of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Old Testament

Ezekiel 36:33–38

Thus says the Lord God: On the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will cause the towns to be inhabited, and the waste places shall be rebuilt. The land that was desolate shall be tilled, instead of being the desolation that it was in the sight of all who passed by. And they will say, ‘This land that was desolate has become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined towns are now inhabited and fortified.’ Then the nations that are left all around you shall know that I, the Lord, have rebuilt the ruined places, and replanted that which was desolate; I, the Lord, have spoken, and I will do it.

Thus says the Lord God: I will also let the house of Israel ask me to do this for them: to increase their population like a flock. Like the flock for sacrifices, like the flock at Jerusalem during her appointed festivals, so shall the ruined towns be filled with flocks of people. Then they shall know that I am the Lord.

The Response

Psalm 97:1–2,7–12

Dominus regnavit

1 The LORD is King;
let the earth rejoice; *
let the multitude of the isles be glad.

2 Clouds and darkness are round about him, *
righteousness and justice are the foundations of his throne.

7 Confounded be all who worship carved images
and delight in false gods! *
Bow down before him, all you gods.

8 Zion hears and is glad, and the cities of Judah rejoice, *
because of your judgments, O LORD.

9 For you are the LORD,
most high over all the earth; *
you are exalted far above all gods.

10 The LORD loves those who hate evil; *
he preserves the lives of his saints
and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.

11 Light has sprung up for the righteous, *
and joyful gladness for those who are truehearted.

12 Rejoice in the LORD, you righteous, *
and give thanks to his holy Name.

The Epistle

1 Thessalonians 2:2b–12

We had courage in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in spite of great opposition. For our appeal does not spring from deceit or impure motives or trickery, but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the message of the gospel, even so we speak, not to please mortals, but to please God who tests our hearts. As you know and as God is our witness, we never came with words of flattery or with a pretext for greed; nor did we seek praise from mortals, whether from you or from others, though we might have made demands as apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, like a nurse tenderly caring for her own children. So deeply do we care for you that we are determined to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you have become very dear to us. You remember our labor and toil, brothers and sisters; we worked night and day, so that we might not burden any of you while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God. You are witnesses, and God also, how pure, upright, and blameless our conduct was toward you believers. As you know, we dealt with each one of you like a father with his children, urging and encouraging you and pleading that you lead a life worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.

The Gospel

Matthew 28:16–20

The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

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