Lord God, the source of truth and love,
keep us faithful to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship,
united in prayer and the breaking of bread,
and one in joy and simplicity of heart,
in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
He left that place and went to the region of Judea and beyond the Jordan. And crowds again gathered around him; and, as was his custom, he again taught them.
Some Pharisees came, and to test him they asked, ‘Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?’ He answered them, ‘What did Moses command you?’ They said, ‘Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of dismissal and to divorce her.’ But Jesus said to them, ‘Because of your hardness of heart he wrote this commandment for you. But from the beginning of creation, “God made them male and female.” “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife,and the two shall become one flesh.” So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.’
Then in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter. He said to them, ‘Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.’
People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.’ And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them.
Why stand so far off, O Lord?
Why hide yourself in time of trouble?
The wicked in their pride persecute the poor;
let them be caught in the schemes they have devised.
The wicked boast of their heart’s desire;
the covetous curse and revile the Lord.
The wicked in their arrogance say, ‘God will not avenge it’;
in all their scheming God counts for nothing.
They are stubborn in all their ways,
for your judgements are far above out of their sight;
they scoff at all their adversaries.
They say in their heart, ‘I shall not be shaken;
no harm shall ever happen to me.’
Their mouth is full of cursing, deceit and fraud;
under their tongue lie mischief and wrong.
They lurk in the outskirts
and in dark alleys they murder the innocent;
their eyes are ever watching for the helpless.
They lie in wait, like a lion in his den;
they lie in wait to seize the poor;
they seize the poor when they get them into their net.
The innocent are broken and humbled before them;
the helpless fall before their power.
They say in their heart, ‘God has forgotten;
he hides his face away; he will never see it.’
Arise, O Lord God, and lift up your hand;
forget not the poor.
Why should the wicked be scornful of God?
Why should they say in their hearts, ‘You will not avenge it’?
Surely, you behold trouble and misery;
you see it and take it into your own hand.
The helpless commit themselves to you,
for you are the helper of the orphan.
Break the power of the wicked and malicious;
search out their wickedness until you find none.
The Lord shall reign for ever and ever;
the nations shall perish from his land.
Lord, you will hear the desire of the poor;
you will incline your ear to the fullness of their heart,
To give justice to the orphan and oppressed,
so that people are no longer driven in terror from the land.