FIRST READING

please choose one

 

A-1     A reading from the second Book of Maccabees     12:43-46

Judas, the ruler of Israel,

     took up a collection among all his soldiers,

     amounting to two thousand silver drachmas,

     which he sent to Jerusalem to provide for an expiatory sacrifice.

 

In doing this he acted in a very excellent and noble way,

     inasmuch as he had the resurrection of the dead in view;

     for if he were not expecting the fallen to rise again,

     it would have been useless and foolish to pray for them in death.

But if he did this with a view to the splendid reward

     that awaits those who had gone to rest in godliness,

     it was a holy and pious thought.

Thus he made atonement for the dead

     that they might be freed from this sin.

The word of the Lord. 

 

A-2    A reading from the Book of Wisdom          3:1-6, 9

The souls of the just are in the hand of God

     and no torment shall touch them.

They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead;

     and their passing away was thought an affliction

     and their going forth from us, utter destruction.

     But they are in peace.

For if in the eyes of men, indeed they be punished,

     yet is their hope full of immortality;

Chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed,

     because God tried them,

     and found them worthy of himself.

As gold in the furnace, he proved them,

     and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself.

Those who trust in him shall understand truth,

     and the faithful shall abide with him in love:

Because grace and mercy are with his holy ones,

     and his care is with his elect.

The word of the Lord.

 

A-3     A reading from the Book of Wisdom          4:7-15

The just, though they die early,

     shall be at rest.

For the age that is honorable comes not

     with the passing of time,

     nor can it be measured in terms of years.

Rather, understanding is the hoary crown,

     and an unsullied life, the attainment of old age.

Those who pleased God were loved;

     they who lived among sinners were transported–

Snatched away, lest wickedness pervert their mind

     or deceit beguile their soul;

For the witchery of paltry things obscures what is right

     and the whirl of desire transforms the innocent mind.

Having become perfect in a short while,

     they reached the fullness of a long career;

     for their souls were pleasing to the Lord,

     therefore he sped them out of the midst of wickedness.

But the people saw and did not understand,

     nor did they take this into account.

The word of the Lord.

 

A-4    A reading from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah      25:6a, 7-9

On this mountain the Lord of hosts

     will provide for all peoples.

On this mountain he will destroy

     the veil that veils all peoples,

The web that is woven over all nations;

     he will destroy death forever.

The Lord God will wipe away

     the tears from all faces;

The reproach of his people he will remove

     from the whole earth; for the Lord has spoken.

     On that day it will be said:

“Behold our God, to whom we looked to save us!

     This is the Lord for whom we looked;

     let us rejoice and be glad that he has saved us!”

The word of the Lord.

 

A-5    A reading from the Book of Lamentations     3:17-26

My soul is deprived of peace,

     I have forgotten what happiness is;

I tell myself my future is lost,

     all that I hoped for from the Lord.

The thought of my homeless poverty

     is wormwood and gall;

Remembering it over and over

     leaves my soul downcast within me.

But I will call this to mind,

     as my reason to have hope:

The favors of the Lord are not exhausted,

     his mercies are not spent;

They are renewed each morning,

     so great is his faithfulness.

My portion is the Lord, says my soul;

     therefore will I hope in him.

Good is the Lord to one who waits for him,

     to the soul that seeks him;

It is good to hope in silence

     for the saving help of the Lord.

The word of the Lord.

 

A-6   A reading from the Book of Ecclesiastes           3:1-11

 

There is an appointed time for everything,

          and a time for every thing under the heavens.

A time to be born, and a time to die;

          a time to plant, and a time to uproot the plant.

A time to kill, and a time to heal;

          a time to tear down, and a time to build.

A time to weep, and a time to laugh;

          a time to mourn, and a time to dance.

A time to scatter stones, and a time to gather them;

          a time to embrace, and a time to be far from embraces.

A time to seek, and a time to lose;

          a time to keep, and a time to cast away.

A time to rend, and a time to sew;

          a time to be silent, and a time to speak.

A time to love, and a time to hate;

          a time of war, and a time of peace.

 

The word of the Lord.

 

First Reading – Easter Season

AA-1   A reading from the Acts of the Apostles    10:34-36, 42-43

 

Peter proceeded to speak, saying:

“In truth, I see that God shows no partiality.

Rather, in every nation whoever fears him and acts uprightly

     is acceptable to him.

You know the word that he sent to the children of Israel

     as he proclaimed peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.

He commissioned us to preach to the people

     and testify that he is the one appointed by God

     as judge of the living and the dead.

To him all the prophets bear witness,

     that everyone who believes in him

     will receive forgiveness of sins through his name.”

The word of the Lord.

 

 

AA-2   A reading from the Book of Revelation                14:13

I, John, heard a voice from heaven say, “Write this:

     Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.”

“Yes,” said the Spirit,

     “let them find rest from their labors,

     for their works accompany them.”

 

The word of the Lord.

 

 

AA-3   A reading from the Book of Revelation          21:1-5a, 6b-7

I, John, saw a new heaven and a new earth.

The former heaven and the former earth had passed away,

     and the sea was no more.

I also saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem,

     coming down out of heaven from God,

     prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,

     “Behold, God’s dwelling is with the human race.

He will dwell with them and they will be his people

     and God himself will always be with them as their God.

He will wipe every tear from their eyes,

     and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain,

     for the old order has passed away.”

The One who sat on the throne said,

     “Behold, I make all things new.”

I am the Alpha and the Omega,

     the beginning and the end.

To the thirsty I will give a gift

     from the spring of life-giving water.

The victor will inherit these gifts,

     and I shall be his God,

     and he will be my son.”

The word of the Lord.