Wisdom of Sirach 2
God’s Faithfulness and Mercy
1 My son, if you draw near to serve the Lord, Prepare your soul for temptation.†
2 Set your heart right and be steadfast, And do not strive anxiously in distress.
3 Cleave to Him and do not fall away, That you may be honored at the end of your life.
4 Accept whatever is brought upon you, And in exchange for your humiliation, be patient;
5 Because gold is tested in fire And acceptable men in the furnace of abasement.
6 Believe in Him, and He will help you; Make your ways straight and hope in Him.
7 You who fear the Lord, wait for His mercy, And do not turn aside, lest you fall.
8 You who fear the Lord, believe in Him, And your reward will not fail.
9 You who fear the Lord, hope for good things And for everlasting gladness and mercy.
10 Consider the ancient generations and see: Who believed in the Lord and was put to shame? Or who stood fast in His fear and was forsaken? Or who called upon Him and was overlooked?
11 Because the Lord is compassionate and merciful, He forgives sins and saves in time of affliction.
12 Woe to cowardly hearts and weakened hands, And to a sinner who walks on two paths!†
13 Woe to a fainting heart, because it does not believe! Therefore it will not be sheltered.
14 Woe to you who have lost your patient endurance! What will you do when the Lord visits you?
15 Those who fear the Lord will not disobey His words, And those who love Him will keep His ways.
16 Those who fear the Lord will seek His approval, And those who love Him will be filled with the law.
17 Those who fear the Lord will prepare their hearts And will humble their souls before Him.
18 We will fall into the hands of the Lord And not into the hands of men; For as His majesty is, so is His mercy.
1 For the End; concerning the hidden things of the Son; a psalm of David. †
2 I will give thanks to You, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will tell of all Your wondrous things;
3 I will be glad and rejoice in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.
4 When my enemy turns backward, They shall be feeble and perish before Your face.
5 For You maintain my judgment and my right; You sit upon the throne, judging in righteousness.
6 You rebuke the nations, and the ungodly man destroys himself; You blotted out their name, in their lifetime and unto ages of ages;
7 The swords of the enemy are completely forsaken, And You pulled down their cities; Their memory was destroyed with a noise.
8 But the Lord abides forever; He prepared His throne in judgment,
9 And He shall judge the world in righteousness; He shall judge the peoples in uprightness.
10 The Lord is also a refuge for the poor man, A helper in seasons of affliction;
11 And let those who know Your name put their hope in You; For You, O Lord, do not forsake those who seek You.
12 Sing to the Lord who dwells in Zion. Proclaim His dealings among the nations,
13 For He who avenges blood remembers them; He does not forget the cry of the poor.
14 Have mercy on me, O Lord, and see how my enemies have humbled me, You who raise me up from the gates of death,
15 That I may proclaim all Your praises In the gates of the daughter of Zion. I will rejoice in Your salvation.
16 The nations are trapped in the destruction they caused; Their foot is caught in the trap they hid.
17 The Lord is known in the judgments He makes; The sinner is caught in the works of his hands. (Pause)
Proverbs of Solomon 1
30 For it shall be, when you shall call upon me, I will not listen to you;
31 Evil men will seek me, but not find me, For they hate wisdom, and choose not the fear of the Lord.
32 Neither do they wish to follow my counsels, But despise my reproofs.
33 Therefore, they shall eat the fruits of their own way And be filled with their own ungodliness.
34 For since they wrong the simple, they shall be killed, And a close examination shall destroy the ungodly.
35 But he who obeys me shall dwell in hope, And shall be at rest without fear from every evil.”
Circumcision in Antioch
1 And certain men came down from Judea and taught the brethren, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.”†
2 Therefore, when Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and dispute with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas and certain others of them should go up to Jerusalem, to the apostles and elders, about this question.†
3 So, being sent on their way by the church, they passed through Phoenicia and Samaria, describing the conversion of the Gentiles; and they caused great joy to all the brethren.
4 And when they had come to Jerusalem, they were received by the church and the apostles and the elders; and they reported all things that God had done with them.
5 But some of the sect of the Pharisees who believed rose up, saying, “It is necessary to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.”
The Council in Jerusalem
6 Now the apostles and elders came together to consider this matter.†
7 And when there had been much dispute, Peter rose up and said to them: “Men and brethren, you know that a good while ago God chose among us, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe.†
8 So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us,
9 and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.
10 Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?
11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved in the same manner as they.”
12 Then all the multitude kept silent and listened to Barnabas and Paul declaring how many miracles and wonders God had worked through them among the Gentiles.
13 And after they had become silent, James answered, saying, “Men and brethren, listen to me:†
14 Simon has declared how God at the first visited the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name.
15 And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written:
16 ‘After this I will return And will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down; I will rebuild its ruins, And I will set it up;
17 So that the rest of mankind may seek the LORD, Even all the Gentiles who are called by My name, Says the LORD who does all these things.’
18 “Known to God from eternity are all His works.
19 Therefore I judge that we should not trouble those from among the Gentiles who are turning to God,
20 but that we write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from things strangled, and from blood.
21 For Moses has had throughout many generations those who preach him in every city, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath.”