The Beheading of John the Baptist
Hear my prayer, O Lord,
and in your faithfulness give ear to my supplications;
answer me in your righteousness.
Enter not into judgement with your servant,
for in your sight shall no one living be justified.
For the enemy has pursued me,
crushing my life to the ground,
making me sit in darkness like those long dead.
My spirit faints within me;
my heart within me is desolate.
I remember the time past; I muse upon all your deeds;
I consider the works of your hands.
I stretch out my hands to you;
my soul gasps for you like a thirsty land.
O Lord, make haste to answer me; my spirit fails me;
hide not your face from me
lest I be like those who go down to the Pit.
Let me hear of your loving-kindness in the morning,
for in you I put my trust;
show me the way I should walk in,
for I lift up my soul to you.
Deliver me, O Lord, from my enemies,
for I flee to you for refuge.
Teach me to do what pleases you, for you are my God;
let your kindly spirit lead me on a level path.
Revive me, O Lord, for your name’s sake;
for your righteousness’ sake, bring me out of trouble.
In your faithfulness, slay my enemies,
and destroy all the adversaries of my soul,
for truly I am your servant.
Praise the Lord, O my soul:
while I live will I praise the Lord;
as long as I have any being,
I will sing praises to my God.
Put not your trust in princes,
nor in any human power,
for there is no help in them.
When their breath goes forth, they return to the earth;
on that day all their thoughts perish.
Happy are those who have the God of Jacob for their help,
whose hope is in the Lord their God;
Who made heaven and earth,
the sea and all that is in them;
who keeps his promise for ever;
Who gives justice to those that suffer wrong
and bread to those who hunger.
The Lord looses those that are bound;
the Lord opens the eyes of the blind;
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
the Lord loves the righteous;
The Lord watches over the stranger in the land;
he upholds the orphan and widow;
but the way of the wicked he turns upside down.
The Lord shall reign for ever,
your God, O Zion, throughout all generations.
Do not boast about tomorrow,
for you do not know what a day may bring.
Let another praise you, and not your own mouth—
a stranger, and not your own lips.
A stone is heavy, and sand is weighty,
but a fool’s provocation is heavier than both.
Wrath is cruel, anger is overwhelming,
but who is able to stand before jealousy?
Better is open rebuke
than hidden love.
Well meant are the wounds a friend inflicts,
but profuse are the kisses of an enemy.
The sated appetite spurns honey,
but to a ravenous appetite even the bitter is sweet.
Like a bird that strays from its nest
is one who strays from home.
Perfume and incense make the heart glad,
but the soul is torn by trouble.
Do not forsake your friend or the friend of your parent;
do not go to the house of your kindred on the day of your calamity.
Better is a neighbour who is nearby
than kindred who are far away.
Be wise, my child, and make my heart glad,
so that I may answer whoever reproaches me.
The clever see danger and hide;
but the simple go on, and suffer for it.
Take the garment of one who has given surety for a stranger;
seize the pledge given as surety for foreigners.
Whoever blesses a neighbour with a loud voice,
rising early in the morning,
will be counted as cursing.
A continual dripping on a rainy day
and a contentious wife are alike;
to restrain her is to restrain the wind
or to grasp oil in the right hand.
Iron sharpens iron,
and one person sharpens the wits of another.
Anyone who tends a fig tree will eat its fruit,
and anyone who takes care of a master will be honoured.
Just as water reflects the face,
so one human heart reflects another.
Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied,
and human eyes are never satisfied.
The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold,
so a person is tested by being praised.
Crush a fool in a mortar with a pestle
along with crushed grain,
but the folly will not be driven out.
Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them. And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus, ‘Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.’ He did not know what to say, for they were terrified. Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!’ Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them any more, but only Jesus.
As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one about what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead. So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what this rising from the dead could mean. Then they asked him, ‘Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?’ He said to them, ‘Elijah is indeed coming first to restore all things. How then is it written about the Son of Man, that he is to go through many sufferings and be treated with contempt? But I tell you that Elijah has come, and they did to him whatever they pleased, as it is written about him.’
who called your servant John the Baptist
to be the forerunner of your Son in birth and death:
strengthen us by your grace
that, as he suffered for the truth,
so we may boldly resist corruption and vice
and receive with him the unfading crown of glory;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.