or [Common of a Theologian and Teacher] [Of the Incarnation]

Preface of a Saint (3)

The Collect

Gracious God, we give you thanks for the lives and work of Richard Rolle, Walter Hilton, and Margery Kempe, hermits and mystics, who, passing through the cloud of unknowing, beheld your glory. Help us, after their examples, to see you more clearly and love you more dearly, in the Name of Jesus Christ our Savior; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Old Testament

Job 26:1–14

Then Job answered:

"How you have helped one who has no power!
How you have assisted the arm that has no strength!

How you have counselled one who has no wisdom,
and given much good advice!

With whose help have you uttered words,
and whose spirit has come forth from you?

The shades below tremble,
the waters and their inhabitants.

Sheol is naked before God,
and Abaddon has no covering.

He stretches out Zaphon over the void,
and hangs the earth upon nothing.

He binds up the waters in his thick clouds,
and the cloud is not torn open by them.

He covers the face of the full moon,
and spreads over it his cloud.

He has described a circle on the face of the waters,
at the boundary between light and darkness.

The pillars of heaven tremble,
and are astounded at his rebuke.

By his power he stilled the Sea;
by his understanding he struck down Rahab.

By his wind the heavens were made fair;
his hand pierced the fleeing serpent.

These are indeed but the outskirts of his ways;
and how small a whisper do we hear of him!
But the thunder of his power who can understand?"

The Response

Psalm 63:1–8

Deus, Deus meus

1 O God, you are my God; eagerly I seek you; *
my soul thirsts for you, my flesh faints for you,
as in a barren and dry land where there is no water.

2 Therefore I have gazed upon you in your holy place, *
that I might behold your power and your glory.

3 For your loving-kindness is better than life itself; *
my lips shall give you praise.

4 So will I bless you as long as I live *
and lift up my hands in your Name.

5 My soul is content, as with marrow and fatness, *
and my mouth praises you with joyful lips,

6 When I remember you upon my bed, *
and meditate on you in the night watches.

7 For you have been my helper, *
and under the shadow of your wings I will rejoice.

8 My soul clings to you; *
your right hand holds me fast.

The Epistle

Romans 11:33–12:2

O the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!

‘For who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been his counsellor?’

‘Or who has given a gift to him,
to receive a gift in return?’

For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory for ever. Amen.

I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.

The Gospel

Matthew 5:43–48

Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

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