Fifth Day of Theophany
 No one has ever seen God; the only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known.
 And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?”
 He confessed, he did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.”
 And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the prophet?” And he answered, “No.”
 They said to him then, “Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”
 He said, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, `Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.”
 Now they had been sent from the Pharisees.
 They asked him, “Then why are you baptizing, if you are neither the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?”
 John answered them, “I baptize with water; but among you stands one whom you do not know,
 even he who comes after me, the thong of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.”
 This took place in Bethany beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
 For you have not come to what may be touched, a blazing fire, and darkness, and gloom, and a tempest,
 and the sound of a trumpet, and a voice whose words made the hearers entreat that no further messages be spoken to them.
 For they could not endure the order that was given, “If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned.”
 Indeed, so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I tremble with fear.”
 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering,
 and to the assembly of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven, and to a judge who is God of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
 and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks more graciously than the blood of Abel.
 See that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less shall we escape if we reject him who warns from heaven.
 His voice then shook the earth; but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heaven.”
 This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of what is shaken, as of what has been made, in order that what cannot be shaken may remain.
 In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah,
 and she entered the house of Zechari’ah and greeted Elizabeth.
 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit
 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!
 And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
 For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy.
 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”
 And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord,
 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
 for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden.
For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed;
 for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
 And his mercy is on those who fear him
from generation to generation.
 He has shown strength with his arm,
he has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts,
 he has put down the mighty from their thrones,
and exalted those of low degree;
 he has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent empty away.
 He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
 as he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his posterity for ever.”
 And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her home.
The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyright © National Council of Churches of Christ in America