The Introit

Rejoice in the Lord | always;*
again I will | say, Rejoice.
Let your reasonableness be known to | everyone.*
The Lord | is at hand.

LORD, you were favorable | to your land;*
you restored the fortunes of | Jacob.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen.
 
Rejoice in the Lord | always;*
again I will | say, Rejoice.
Let your reasonableness be known to | everyone.*
The Lord | is at hand.
       

The Collect of the Day

Lord Jesus Christ, we implore You to hear our prayers and to lighten the darkness of our hearts by Your gracious visitation; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

 

 
Christ Healing,   1612, Friedrich Christoph Steinhammer, German, from the  Philadelphia Museum of Art

Christ Healing, 1612, Friedrich Christoph Steinhammer, German, from the Philadelphia Museum of Art

The Gradual

You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, | shine forth.*
Stir up your might and come to | save us!
Give ear, O Shepherd of | Israel,*
you who lead Joseph | like a flock!

The Old Testament

Isaiah 40:1-8

“Comfort, yes, comfort My people!”
Says your God.
“Speak comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out to her,
That her warfare is ended,
That her iniquity is pardoned;
For she has received from the Lord’s hand
Double for all her sins.”

The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
“Prepare the way of the Lord;
Make straight in the desert
A highway for our God.
Every valley shall be exalted
And every mountain and hill brought low;
The crooked places shall be made straight
And the rough places smooth;
The glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
And all flesh shall see it together;
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

The voice said, “Cry out!”
And he said, “What shall I cry?”

“All flesh is grass,
And all its loveliness is like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
Because the breath of the Lord blows upon it;
Surely the people are grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
But the word of our God stands forever.”

The Epistle

1 Corinthians 4:1-5

Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by a human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. For I know of nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord. Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God.

 
Christ Healing the Sick,    1837 , Célestin François Nanteuil, French from the  Philadelphia Museum of Art

Christ Healing the Sick, 1837, Célestin François Nanteuil, French from the Philadelphia Museum of Art

The Holy Gospel

Matthew 11:2-10

Alleluia . Stir up your might and come to save us. Alleluia.

And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples and said to Him, “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?”

Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: Theblind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.”

As they departed, Jesus began to say to the multitudes concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? But what did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft garments? Indeed, those who wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses.But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet. For this is he of whom it is written:

‘Behold, I send My messenger before Your face,
Who will prepare Your way before You.’