Lord of heaven and earth,
as Jesus taught his disciples to be persistent in prayer,
give us patience and courage never to lose hope,
but always to bring our prayers before you;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Jesus departed with his disciples to the lake, and a great multitude from Galilee followed him; hearing all that he was doing, they came to him in great numbers from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, beyond the Jordan, and the region around Tyre and Sidon. He told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, so that they would not crush him; for he had cured many, so that all who had diseases pressed upon him to touch him. Whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and shouted, ‘You are the Son of God!’ But he sternly ordered them not to make him known.
He went up the mountain and called to him those whom he wanted, and they came to him. And he appointed twelve, whom he also named apostles, to be with him, and to be sent out to proclaim the message, and to have authority to cast out demons. So he appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter); James son of Zebedee and John the brother of James (to whom he gave the name Boanerges, that is, Sons of Thunder); and Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.
Then he went home;
Truly, God is loving to Israel,
to those who are pure in heart.
Nevertheless, my feet were almost gone;
my steps had well-nigh slipped.
For I was envious of the proud;
I saw the wicked in such prosperity;
For they suffer no pains
and their bodies are sleek and sound;
They come to no misfortune like other folk;
nor are they plagued as others are;
Therefore pride is their necklace
and violence wraps them like a cloak.
Their iniquity comes from within;
the conceits of their hearts overflow.
They scoff, and speak only of evil;
they talk of oppression from on high.
They set their mouth against the heavens,
and their tongue ranges round the earth;
And so the people turn to them
and find in them no fault.
They say, ‘How should God know?
Is there knowledge in the Most High?’
Behold, these are the wicked;
ever at ease, they increase their wealth.
Is it in vain that I cleansed my heart
and washed my hands in innocence?
All day long have I been stricken
and chastened every morning.
If I had said, ‘I will speak as they do,’
I should have betrayed the generation of your children.
Then thought I to understand this,
but it was too hard for me,
Until I entered the sanctuary of God
and understood the end of the wicked:
How you set them in slippery places;
you cast them down to destruction.
How suddenly do they come to destruction,
perish and come to a fearful end!
As with a dream when one awakes,
so, Lord, when you arise you will despise their image.
When my heart became embittered
and I was pierced to the quick,
I was but foolish and ignorant;
I was like a brute beast in your presence.
Yet I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.
You will guide me with your counsel
and afterwards receive me with glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing upon earth that I desire
in comparison with you.
Though my flesh and my heart fail me,
God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever.
Truly, those who forsake you will perish;
you will put to silence the faithless who betray you.
But it is good for me to draw near to God;
in the Lord God have I made my refuge,
that I may tell of all your works.