Agatha of Sicily, Martyr, 251

Wednesday, February 05, 2020Friday, February 05, 2021Saturday, February 05, 2022
The Collect: 

Rite I:
Almighty and everlasting God, who didst strengthen thy martyr Agatha with constancy and courage: Grant us for the love of thee to make no peace with oppression, to fear no adversity, and to have no tolerance for those who wouldst use their power to abuse or exploit; Through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom with thee and the Holy Ghost be all honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.

Rite II:
Almighty and everlasting God, who strengthened your martyr Agatha with constancy and courage: Grant us for the love of you to make no peace with oppression, to fear no adversity, and to have no tolerance for those who would use their power to abuse or exploit; Through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom with you and the Holy Spirit be all honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.

First Lesson: 
2 Esdras 15:1–12

1 Speak in the ears of my people the words of the prophecy that I will put in your mouth, says the Lord, 2 and cause them to be written on paper; for they are trustworthy and true. 3 Do not fear the plots against you, and do not be troubled by the unbelief of those who oppose you. 4 For all unbelievers shall die in their unbelief.

5 Beware, says the Lord, I am bringing evils upon the world, the sword and famine, death and destruction, 6 because iniquity has spread throughout every land, and their harmful doings have reached their limit. 7 Therefore, says the Lord, 8 I will be silent no longer concerning their ungodly acts that they impiously commit, neither will I tolerate their wicked practices. Innocent and righteous blood cries out to me, and the souls of the righteous cry out continually. 9 I will surely avenge them, says the Lord, and will receive to myself all the innocent blood from among them. 10 See, my people are being led like a flock to the slaughter; I will not allow them to live any longer in the land of Egypt, 11 but I will bring them out with a mighty hand and with an uplifted arm, and will strike Egypt with plagues, as before, and will destroy all its land.

12 Let Egypt mourn, and its foundations, because of the plague of chastisement and castigation that the Lord will bring upon it.

Psalm: 
Psalm 125

1 Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, *
       which cannot be moved, but stands fast for ever.
2 The hills stand about Jerusalem; *
       so does the Lord stand round about his people,
       from this time forth for evermore.
3 The scepter of the wicked shall not hold sway over the
                                land allotted to the just, *
       so that the just shall not put their hands to evil.
4 Show your goodness, O Lord, to those who are good *
       and to those who are true of heart.
5 As for those who turn aside to crooked ways,
   the Lord will lead them away with the evildoers; *
       but peace be upon Israel.

Gospel: 
Matthew 5:10–12

10 ‘Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 ‘Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

The Old Testament, New Testament and Gospels readings are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

The Collects, Psalms and Canticles are from the Book of Common Prayer, 1979.