your Son came to save us
and bore our sins on the cross:
may we trust in your mercy
and know your love,
rejoicing in the righteousness
that is ours through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
John said to him, ‘Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.’ But Jesus said, ‘Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterwards to speak evil of me. Whoever is not against us is for us. For truly I tell you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose the reward.
‘If any of you put a stumbling-block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea. If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed than to have two hands and to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame than to have two feet and to be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into hell, where their worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched.
‘For everyone will be salted with fire. Salt is good; but if salt has lost its saltiness, how can you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.’
Lord, how many are my adversaries;
many are they who rise up against me.
Many are they who say to my soul,
‘There is no help for you in your God.’
But you, Lord, are a shield about me;
you are my glory, and the lifter up of my head.
When I cry aloud to the Lord,
he will answer me from his holy hill;
I lie down and sleep and rise again,
because the Lord sustains me.
I will not be afraid of hordes of the peoples
that have set themselves against me all around.
Rise up, O Lord, and deliver me, O my God,
for you strike all my enemies on the cheek
and break the teeth of the wicked.
Salvation belongs to the Lord:
may your blessing be upon your people.