The Introit

The LORD of hosts is | with us;*
the God of Jacob is our | fortress.            God is our ref- | uge and strength,*
a very present help in | trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the | earth gives way,*
though the mountains be moved into the heart | of the sea,
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.                
God is our ref- | uge and strength,*
a very present help in | trouble.

The Collect of the Day

Almighty and gracious Lord, pour out Your Holy Spirit on Your faithful people. Keep us steadfast in Your grace and truth, protect and deliver us in times of temptation, defend us against all enemies, and grant to Your Church Your saving peace; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

 
Angel Carrying a Scroll  , 1746,  by Stefano Pozzi, Italian.  Philadelphia Art Museum

Angel Carrying a Scroll, 1746,  by Stefano Pozzi, Italian. Philadelphia Art Museum

The Gradual

Great is the LORD and greatly | to be praised*
in the city | of our God!
Walk about Zion, go around her, number her | towers,*
consider well her ramparts, go through her | citadels,
that you may tell the next gener- | ation*
that this is God, our God forever and | ever.

The First Reading

Revelation 14:6–7

Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth—to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people— saying with a loud voice, “Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.”

 

The Epistle

Romans 3:19–28

Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.

 
Martyrdom of St. John the Baptist  , 1796, by Francesco Rainaldi, Italian from  Philadelphia Art Museum

Martyrdom of St. John the Baptist, 1796, by Francesco Rainaldi, Italian from Philadelphia Art Museum

The Holy Gospel

Matthew 11:12-15

Alleluia. For this God is our God forever and ever. He will be our Guide even unto death. Alleluia.

And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who is to come. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!