First Reading: (Sirach 2:1-11)
My child, if you aspire to serve the Lord, prepare yourself for an ordeal. Be sincere of heart, be steadfast, and do not be alarmed when disaster comes.
Cling to him and do not leave him, so that you may be honoured at the end of your days. Whatever happens to you, accept it, and in the uncertainties of your humble state, be patient, since gold is tested in the fire, and the chosen in the furnace of humiliation.
Trust him and he will uphold you, follow a straight path and hope in him. You who fear the Lord, wait for his mercy; do not turn aside, for fear you fall. You who fear the Lord, trust him, and you will not be robbed of your reward.
You who fear the Lord, hope for those good gifts of his, everlasting joy and mercy. Look at the generations of old and see: whoever trusted in the Lord and was put to shame? Or whoever, steadfastly fearing him, was forsaken? Or whoever called to him and was ignored?
For the Lord is compassionate and merciful, he forgives sins and saves in the time of distress.
Put your trust in Yahweh and do right, make your home in the land and live secure.
Make Yahweh your joy and he will give you your heart’s desires.
The lives of the just are in Yahweh’s care, their birthright will endure for ever; they will not be put to shame when bad times come, in time of famine they will have plenty.
Turn your back on evil and do good, you will have a home for ever, for Yahweh loves justice and will not forsake his faithful.
Evil-doers will perish eternally, the descendants of the wicked be annihilated, The upright have Yahweh for their Saviour, their refuge in times of trouble;
Yahweh helps them and rescues them, he will rescue them from the wicked, and save them because they take refuge in him.
After leaving that place they made their way through Galilee; and he did not want anyone to know, because he was instructing his disciples; he was telling them, ‘The Son of man will be delivered into the power of men; they will put him to death; and three days after he has been put to death he will rise again.’
But they did not understand what he said and were afraid to ask him. They came to Capernaum, and when he got into the house he asked them, ‘What were you arguing about on the road?’ They said nothing, because on the road they had been arguing which of them was the greatest.
So he sat down, called the Twelve to him and said, ‘If anyone wants to be first, he must make himself last of all and servant of all.’ He then took a little child whom he set among them and embraced, and he said to them, ‘Anyone who welcomes a little child such as this in my name, welcomes me; and anyone who welcomes me, welcomes not me but the one who sent me.’
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