Great and Holy Monday
 In the morning, as he was returning to the city, he was hungry.
 And seeing a fig tree by the wayside he went to it, and found nothing on it but leaves only. And he said to it, “May no fruit ever come from you again!” And the fig tree withered at once.
 When the disciples saw it they marveled, saying, “How did the fig tree wither at once?”
 And Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and never doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, `Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ it will be done.
 And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”
 And when he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came up to him as he was teaching, and said, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?”
 Jesus answered them, “I also will ask you a question; and if you tell me the answer, then I also will tell you by what authority I do these things.
 The baptism of John, whence was it? From heaven or from men?” And they argued with one another, “If we say, `From heaven,’ he will say to us, `Why then did you not believe him?’
 But if we say, `From men,’ we are afraid of the multitude; for all hold that John was a prophet.”
 So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And he said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.
 “What do you think? A man had two sons; and he went to the first and said, `Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’
 And he answered, `I will not’; but afterward he repented and went.
 And he went to the second and said the same; and he answered, `I go, sir,’ but did not go.
 Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.
 For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the harlots believed him; and even when you saw it, you did not afterward repent and believe him.
 “Hear another parable. There was a householder who planted a vineyard, and set a hedge around it, and dug a wine press in it, and built a tower, and let it out to tenants, and went into another country.
 When the season of fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants, to get his fruit;
 and the tenants took his servants and beat one, killed another, and stoned another.
 Again he sent other servants, more than the first; and they did the same to them.
 Afterward he sent his son to them, saying, `They will respect my son.’
 But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, `This is the heir; come, let us kill him and have his inheritance.’
 And they took him and cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him.
 When therefore the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?”
 They said to him, “He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and let out the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the fruits in their seasons.”
 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the scriptures:
`The very stone which the builders rejected
has become the head of the corner;
this was the Lord’s doing,
and it is marvelous in our eyes’?
 Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a nation producing the fruits of it.”
 When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they perceived that he was speaking about them.
 But when they tried to arrest him, they feared the multitudes, because they held him to be a prophet.
 And again Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying,
 “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a marriage feast for his son,
 and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the marriage feast; but they would not come.
 Again he sent other servants, saying, `Tell those who are invited, Behold, I have made ready my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves are killed, and everything is ready; come to the marriage feast.’
 But they made light of it and went off, one to his farm, another to his business,
 while the rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them.
 The king was angry, and he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.
 Then he said to his servants, `The wedding is ready, but those invited were not worthy.
 Go therefore to the thoroughfares, and invite to the marriage feast as many as you find.’
 And those servants went out into the streets and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good; so the wedding hall was filled with guests.
 “But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment;
 and he said to him, `Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless.
 Then the king said to the attendants, `Bind him hand and foot, and cast him into the outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.’
 For many are called, but few are chosen.”
 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters.
 And God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.
 And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.
 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.
 And God said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.”
 And God made the firmament and separated the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament. And it was so.
 And God called the firmament Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day.
 And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so.
 God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.
 And God said, “Let the earth put forth vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, upon the earth.” And it was so.
 The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
 And there was evening and there was morning, a third day.
 And God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to separate the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years,
 and let them be lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so.
 And God made the two great lights, the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night; he made the stars also.
 And God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light upon the earth,
 to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good.
 And there was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.
 And God said, “Let the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the firmament of the heavens.”
 So God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
 And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.”
 And there was evening and there was morning, a fifth day.
 And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so.
 And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the cattle according to their kinds, and everything that creeps upon the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.”
 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
 And God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.”
 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food.
 And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so.
 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, a sixth day.
 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
 And on the seventh day God finished his work which he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had done.
 So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all his work which he had done in creation.
 These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created.
In the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,
 when no plant of the field was yet in the earth and no herb of the field had yet sprung up — for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was no man to till the ground;
 but a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground —
 then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.
 And the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east; and there he put the man whom he had formed.
 And out of the ground the LORD God made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
 A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and there it divided and became four rivers.
 The name of the first is Pishon; it is the one which flows around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold;
 and the gold of that land is good; bdellium and onyx stone are there.
 The name of the second river is Gihon; it is the one which flows around the whole land of Cush.
 And the name of the third river is Tigris, which flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.
 The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it.
 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may freely eat of every tree of the garden;
 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.”
 Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”
 So out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name.
 The man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for the man there was not found a helper fit for him.
 So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh;
 and the rib which the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.
 Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman,
because she was taken out of Man.”
 Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh.
 And the man and his wife were both naked, and were not ashamed.
 Now the serpent was more subtle than any other wild creature that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God say, `You shall not eat of any tree of the garden’?”
 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden;
 but God said, `You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.'”
 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not die.
 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, and he ate.
 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons.
 And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.
 But the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?”
 And he said, “I heard the sound of thee in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.”
 He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?”
 The man said, “The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.”
 Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent beguiled me, and I ate.”
 The LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this,
cursed are you above all cattle,
and above all wild animals;
upon your belly you shall go,
and dust you shall eat
all the days of your life.
 I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your seed and her seed;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.”
 To the woman he said, “I will greatly multiply your pain in childbearing;
in pain you shall bring forth children,
yet your desire shall be for your husband,
and he shall rule over you.”
 And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife,
and have eaten of the tree
of which I commanded you,
`You shall not eat of it,’
cursed is the ground because of you;
in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth to you;
and you shall eat the plants of the field.
 In the sweat of your face
you shall eat bread
till you return to the ground,
for out of it you were taken;
you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.”
 The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.
 And the LORD God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins, and clothed them.
 Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil; and now, lest he put forth his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever” —
 therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he was taken.
 He drove out the man; and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.
 That men may know wisdom and instruction,
understand words of insight,
 receive instruction in wise dealing,
righteousness, justice, and equity;
 that prudence may be given to the simple,
knowledge and discretion to the youth —
 the wise man also may hear and increase in learning,
and the man of understanding acquire skill,
 to understand a proverb and a figure,
the words of the wise and their riddles.
 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge;
fools despise wisdom and instruction.
 Hear, my son, your father’s instruction,
and reject not your mother’s teaching;
 for they are a fair garland for your head,
and pendants for your neck.
 Comfort, comfort my people,
says your God.
 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and cry to her
that her warfare is ended,
that her iniquity is pardoned,
that she has received from the LORD’s hand
double for all her sins.
 A voice cries:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD,
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
 Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.
 And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed,
and all flesh shall see it together,
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
 A voice says, “Cry!”
And I said, “What shall I cry?”
All flesh is grass,
and all its beauty is like the flower of the field.
 The grass withers, the flower fades,
when the breath of the LORD blows upon it;
surely the people is grass.
 The grass withers, the flower fades;
but the word of our God will stand for ever.
 And as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside, and on the way he said to them,
 “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man will be delivered to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death,
 and deliver him to the Gentiles to be mocked and scourged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day.”
 Then the mother of the sons of Zeb’edee came up to him, with her sons, and kneeling before him she asked him for something.
 And he said to her, “What do you want?” She said to him, “Command that these two sons of mine may sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.”
 But Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?” They said to him, “We are able.”
 He said to them, “You will drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.”
 And when the ten heard it, they were indignant at the two brothers.
 But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them.
 It shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant,
 and whoever would be first among you must be your slave;
 even as the Son of man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyright © National Council of Churches of Christ in America