The Lessons Appointed for Use on the

Sixth Sunday after Epiphany

Year A
BCP

Ecclesiasticus 15:11-20
1 Corinthians 3:1-9
Matthew 5:21-24,27-30,33-37
Psalm 119:1-16 or 119:9-16

The Collect

O God, the strength of all who put their trust in you: Mercifully accept our prayers; and because in our weakness we can do nothing good without you, give us the help of your grace, that in keeping your commandments we may please you both in will and deed; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The First Lesson

Ecclesiasticus 15:11-20

Do not say, "It was the Lord's doing that I fell away";
for he does not do what he hates.
Do not say, "It was he who led me astray";
for he has no need of the sinful.
The Lord hates all abominations;
such things are not loved by those who fear him.
It was he who created humankind in the beginning,
and he left them in the power of their own free choice.
If you choose, you can keep the commandments,
and to act faithfully is a matter of your own choice.
He has placed before you fire and water;
stretch out your hand for whichever you choose.
Before each person are life and death,
and whichever one chooses will be given.
For great is the wisdom of the Lord;
he is mighty in power and sees everything;
his eyes are on those who fear him,
and he knows every human action.
He has not commanded anyone to be wicked,
and he has not given anyone permission to sin.

The Psalm

Psalm 119:1-16 Page 763, BCP or

Psalm 119:9-16 Page 764, BCP

Aleph: Beati immaculati

1
Happy are they whose way is blameless, *
who walk in the law of the LORD!

2
Happy are they who observe his decrees *
and seek him with all their hearts!

3
Who never do any wrong, *
but always walk in his ways.

4
You laid down your commandments, *
that we should fully keep them.

5
Oh, that my ways were made so direct *
that I might keep your statutes!

6
Then I should not be put to shame, *
when I regard all your commandments.

7
I will thank you with an unfeigned heart, *
when I have learned your righteous judgments.

8
I will keep your statutes; *
do not utterly forsake me.

Beth: In quo corrigit?

9
How shall a young man cleanse his way? *
By keeping to your words.

10
With my whole heart I seek you; *
let me not stray from your commandments.

11
I treasure your promise in my heart, *
that I may not sin against you.

12
Blessed are you, O LORD; *
instruct me in your statutes.

13
With my lips will I recite *
all the judgments of your mouth.

14
I have taken greater delight in the way of your decrees *
than in all manner of riches.

15
I will meditate on your commandments *
and give attention to your ways.

16
My delight is in your statutes; *
I will not forget your word.

The Epistle

1 Corinthians 3:1-9

Brothers and sisters, I could not speak to you as spiritual people, but rather as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for solid food. Even now you are still not ready, for you are still of the flesh. For as long as there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not of the flesh, and behaving according to human inclinations? For when one says, "I belong to Paul," and another, "I belong to Apollos," are you not merely human?

What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you came to believe, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. The one who plants and the one who waters have a common purpose, and each will receive wages according to the labor of each. For we are God's servants, working together; you are God's field, God's building.

The Gospel

Matthew 5:21-24,27-30,33-37

Jesus said, "You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, `You shall not murder'; and `whoever murders shall be liable to judgment.' But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgment; and if you insult a brother or sister, you will be liable to the council; and if you say, `You fool,' you will be liable to the hell of fire. So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift.

"You have heard that it was said, `You shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members 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 of your members than for your whole body to go into hell.

"Again, you have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, `You shall not swear falsely, but carry out the vows you have made to the Lord.' But I say to you, Do not swear at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, 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 one hair white or black. Let your word be `Yes, Yes' or `No, No'; anything more than this comes from the evil one.


Optional parts of the readings are set off in square brackets.

The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle and Gospel lessons are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Church of Christ in the USA, and used by permission.

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