or [Common of a Theologian and Teacher] [Common of a Prophetic Witness] [For Prophetic Witness in the Church]
Preface of God the Holy Spirit
O God, your justice continually challenges your Church to live according to its calling: Grant us who now remember the work of John Wyclif contrition for the wounds which our sins inflict on your Church, and such love for Christ that we may seek to heal the divisions which afflict his Body; through the same Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
The First Reading
Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) 43:26–33
Because of him each of his messengers succeeds,
and by his word all things hold together.
We could say more but could never say enough;
let the final word be: ‘He is the all.’
Where can we find the strength to praise him?
For he is greater than all his works.
Awesome is the Lord and very great,
and marvellous is his power.
Glorify the Lord and exalt him as much as you can,
for he surpasses even that.
When you exalt him, summon all your strength,
and do not grow weary, for you cannot praise him enough.
Who has seen him and can describe him?
Or who can extol him as he is?
Many things greater than these lie hidden,
for I have seen but few of his works.
For the Lord has made all things,
and to the godly he has given wisdom.
4 For the word of the Lord is right, *
and all his works are sure.
5 He loves righteousness and justice; *
the loving-kindness of the Lord fills the whole earth.
6 By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, *
by the breath of his mouth all the heavenly hosts.
7 He gathers up the waters of the ocean as in a water-skin *
and stores up the depths of the sea.
8 Let all the earth fear the Lord; *
let all who dwell in the world stand in awe of him.
9 For he spoke, and it came to pass; *
he commanded, and it stood fast.
10 The Lord brings the will of the nations to naught; *
he thwarts the designs of the peoples.
11 But the Lord'S will stands fast for ever, *
and the designs of his heart from age to age.
Indeed, the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And before him no creature is hidden, but all are naked and laid bare to the eyes of the one to whom we must render an account.
Since, then, we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Jesus said to his followers, “Do you not understand this parable? Then how will you understand all the parables? The sower sows the word. These are the ones on the path where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them. And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: when they hear the word, they immediately receive it with joy. But they have no root, and endure only for a while; then, when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away. And others are those sown among the thorns: these are the ones who hear the word, but the cares of the world, and the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things come in and choke the word, and it yields nothing. And these are the ones sown on the good soil: they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.”
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