Holy One, make speed to save us:
O God, come quickly to help us.
Glory to God, Source of all being,
Eternal Word and Holy Spirit;*
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and shall be for ever. Amen.
Wednesdays: From Psalm 73, QUAM BONUS ISRAEL
Truly, God is good to Israel, *
to those who are pure in heart.
But as for me, my feet had nearly slipped; *
I had almost tripped and fallen;
because I envied the proud *
and saw the prosperity of the wicked:
For they suffer no pain, *
and their bodies are sleek and sound;
in the misfortunes of others they have no share; *
they are not afflicted as others are;
therefore they wear their pride like a necklace *
and wrap their violence about them like a cloak.
Their iniquity comes from gross minds, *
and their hearts overflow with wicked thoughts.
They scoff and speak maliciously; *
out of their haughtiness they plan oppression.
They set their mouths against the heavens, *
and their evil speech runs through the world.
And so the people turn to them *
and find in them no fault.
They say, ”How should God know? *
Is there knowledge in the Most High?”
So then, these are the wicked; *
always at ease, they increase their wealth.
In vain have I kept my heart clean, *
and washed my hands in innocence.
I have been afflicted all day long, *
and punished every morning.
Had I gone on speaking this way, *
I should have betrayed the generation of your children.
When I tried to understand these things, *
it was too hard for me;
Yet I am always with you; *
you hold me by my hand.
You will guide me by your counsel, *
and afterwards receive me with glory.
CLOSING: A song of Pilgrimage (from Sirach 51)
While I was still young, before I began my travels,*
I sought for wisdom openly in my prayers.
I asked for her outside the temple sanctuary,*
and I will seek her to the end.
She has been the delight of my heart.*
from first blossom to early fruit.
I have kept firmly to the true path;*
I have followed her steps since my youth.
I bowed my ear a little and received her;*
I found wisdom and was well instructed.
Glory to the One who gives me wisdom!*
I will live according to her way.
Because I longed to find her with all my heart,*
I have gained a good possession.
As my reward the Lord has given me a tongue*
with which I shall sing his praises.
READING: Matthew 23:27–39
‘Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which on the outside look beautiful, but inside they are full of the bones of the dead and of all kinds of filth. So you also on the outside look righteous to others, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
‘Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous, and you say, “If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.” Thus you testify against yourselves that you are descendants of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of your ancestors. You snakes, you brood of vipers! How can you escape being sentenced to hell? Therefore I send you prophets, sages, and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town, so that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar. Truly I tell you, all this will come upon this generation.
‘Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! See, your house is left to you, desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.” ’
We have judged others too harshly and thought ourselves superior to them.
Lord, have mercy upon us.
We have judged ourselves too harshly and thought ourselves inferior to others.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
We have refused to accept that there is no condemnation, only compassion, in God’s heart.
Lord, have mercy upon us.
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Do not bring us to the time of trial,
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours,
now and for ever. Amen.
Wednesdays:Bless us, Lord Christ; you give peace to our hearts when the unthinkable happens, the suffering of the innocent. Amen
O Lord, let the world be ordered in peace, according to your will: that your people may be free to worship you with joy; 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.
Lord God almighty, come and dispel the darkness from our hearts, that in the radiance of your brightness we may know you, the only unfading light, glorious in all eternity. Amen.
The God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing: through the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.