First ReadingIsaiah 41:17-29
When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue is parched with thirst, I the LORD will answer them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them. I will open rivers on the bare heights, and fountains in the midst of the valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water. I will put in the wilderness the cedar, the acacia, the myrtle, and the olive; I will set in the desert the cypress, the plane and the pine together, so that all may see and know, all may consider and understand, that the hand of the LORD has done this, the Holy One of Israel has created it. Set forth your case, says the LORD; bring your proofs, says the King of Jacob. Let them bring them, and tell us what is to happen. Tell us the former things, what they are, so that we may consider them, and that we may know their outcome; or declare to us the things to come. Tell us what is to come hereafter, that we may know that you are gods; do good, or do harm, that we may be afraid and terrified. You, indeed, are nothing and your work is nothing at all; whoever chooses you is an abomination. I stirred up one from the north, and he has come, from the rising of the sun he was summoned by name. He shall trample on rulers as on mortar, as the potter treads clay. Who declared it from the beginning, so that we might know, and beforehand, so that we might say, "He is right"? There was no one who declared it, none who proclaimed, none who heard your words. I first have declared it to Zion, and I give to Jerusalem a herald of good tidings. But when I look there is no one; among these there is no counselor who, when I ask, gives an answer. No, they are all a delusion; their works are nothing; their images are empty wind.
Second ReadingEphesians 2:11-22
So then, remember that at one time you Gentiles by birth, called "the uncircumcision" by those who are called "the circumcision"-- a physical circumcision made in the flesh by human hands-- remember that you were at that time without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us. He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace, and might reconcile both groups to God in one body through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility through it. So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God.
The Holy GospelMark 2:1-12
When he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. So many gathered around that there was no longer room for them, not even in front of the door; and he was speaking the word to them. Then some people came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. And when they could not bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him; and after having dug through it, they let down the mat on which the paralytic lay. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven." Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, "Why does this fellow speak in this way? It is blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?" At once Jesus perceived in his spirit that they were discussing these questions among themselves; and he said to them, "Why do you raise such questions in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Stand up and take your mat and walk'? But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins"-- he said to the paralytic-- "I say to you, stand up, take your mat and go to your home." And he stood up, and immediately took the mat and went out before all of them; so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, "We have never seen anything like this!"
Morning PsalmsPsalm 18 Part I Diligam te, Domine.
1 I love you, O LORD my strength, O LORD my stronghold, my crag, and my haven.
2 My God, my rock in whom I put my trust, my shield, the horn of my salvation, and my refuge; you are worthy of praise.
3 I will call upon the LORD, and so shall I be saved from my enemies.
4 The breakers of death rolled over me, and the torrents of oblivion made me afraid.
5 The cords of hell entangled me, and the snares of death were set for me.
6 I called upon the LORD in my distress and cried out to my God for help.
7 He heard my voice from his heavenly dwelling; my cry of anguish came to his ears.
8 The earth reeled and rocked; the roots of the mountains shook; they reeled because of his anger.
9 Smoke rose from his nostrils and a consuming fire out of his mouth; hot burning coals blazed forth from him.
10 He parted the heavens and came down with a storm cloud under his feet.
11 He mounted on cherubim and flew; he swooped on the wings of the wind.
12 He wrapped darkness about him; he made dark waters and thick clouds his pavilion.
13 From the brightness of his presence, through the clouds, burst hailstones and coals of fire.
14 The LORD thundered out of heaven; the Most High uttered his voice.
15 He loosed his arrows and scattered them; he hurled thunderbolts and routed them.
16 The beds of the seas were uncovered, and the foundations of the world laid bare, at your battle cry, O LORD, at the blast of the breath of your nostrils.
17 He reached down from on high and grasped me; he drew me out of great waters.
18 He delivered me from my strong enemies and from those who hated me; for they were too mighty for me.
19 They confronted me in the day of my disaster; but the LORD was my support.
20 He brought me out into an open place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.
Evening PsalmsPsalm 18:Part II Et retribuet mihi
21 The LORD rewarded me because of my righteous dealing; because my hands were clean he rewarded me;
22 For I have kept the ways of the LORD and have not offended against my God;
23 For all his judgments are before my eyes, and his decrees I have not put away from me;
24 For I have been blameless with him and have kept myself from iniquity;
25 Therefore the LORD rewarded me according to my righteous dealing, because of the cleanness of my hands in his sight.
26 With the faithful you show yourself faithful, O God; with the forthright you show yourself forthright.
27 With the pure you show yourself pure, but with the crooked you are wily.
28 You will save a lowly people, but you will humble the haughty eyes.
29 You, O LORD, are my lamp; my God, you make my darkness bright.
30 With you I will break down an enclosure; with the help of my God I will scale any wall.
31 As for God, his ways are perfect; the words of the LORD are tried in the fire; he is a shield to all who trust in him.
32 For who is God, but the LORD? who is the Rock, except our God?
33 It is God who girds me about with strength and makes my way secure.
34 He makes me sure-footed like a deer and lets me stand firm on the heights.
35 He trains my hands for battle and my arms for bending even a bow of bronze.
36 You have given me your shield of victory; your right hand also sustains me; your loving care makes me great.
37 You lengthen my stride beneath me, and my ankles do not give way.
38 I pursue my enemies and overtake them; I will not turn back till I have destroyed them.
39 I strike them down, and they cannot rise; they fall defeated at my feet.
40 You have girded me with strength for the battle; you have cast down my adversaries beneath me; you have put my enemies to flight.
41 I destroy those who hate me; they cry out, but there is none to help them; they cry to the LORD, but he does not answer.
42 I beat them small like dust before the wind; I trample them like mud in the streets.
43 You deliver me from the strife of the peoples; you put me at the head of the nations.
44 A people I have not known shall serve me; no sooner shall they hear than they shall obey me; strangers will cringe before me.
45 The foreign peoples will lose heart; they shall come trembling out of their strongholds.
46 The LORD lives! Blessed is my Rock! Exalted is the God of my salvation!
47 He is the God who gave me victory and cast down the peoples beneath me.
48 You rescued me from the fury of my enemies; you exalted me above those who rose against me; you saved me from my deadly foe.
49 Therefore will I extol you among the nations, O LORD, and sing praises to your Name.
50 He multiplies the victories of his king; he shows loving-kindness to his anointed, to David and his descendants for ever.
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The New Revised Standard Version Bible may be quoted and/or reprinted up to and inclusive of five hundred (500) verses without express written permission of the publisher, provided the verses quoted do not amount to a complete book of the Bible or account for fifty percent (50%) of the total work in which they are quoted.