Fifth Sunday following Pentecost,
Feast of the Discovery of the Box of St. Mary the Mother of God
 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth,
 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.
 And he came to her and said, “Hail, O favored one, the Lord is with you!”
 But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be.
 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.
 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High;
and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David,
 and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever;
and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
 And Mary said to the angel, “How shall this be, since I have no husband?”
 And the angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you;
therefore the child to be born will be called holy,
the Son of God.
 And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren.
 For with God nothing will be impossible.”
 And Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
 O house of Jacob,
come, let us walk
in the light of the LORD.
 For thou hast rejected thy people,
the house of Jacob,
because they are full of diviners from the east
and of soothsayers like the Philistines,
and they strike hands with foreigners.
 Their land is filled with silver and gold,
and there is no end to their treasures;
their land is filled with horses,
and there is no end to their chariots.
 Their land is filled with idols;
they bow down to the work of their hands,
to what their own fingers have made.
 So man is humbled,
and men are brought low —
forgive them not!
 Enter into the rock,
and hide in the dust
from before the terror of the LORD,
and from the glory of his majesty.
 The haughty looks of man shall be brought low,
and the pride of men shall be humbled;
and the LORD alone will be exalted
in that day.
 What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, righteousness through faith;
 but that Israel who pursued the righteousness which is based on law did not succeed in fulfilling that law.
 Why? Because they did not pursue it through faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the stumbling stone,
 as it is written, “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone that will make men stumble,
a rock that will make them fall;
and he who believes in him will not be put to shame.”
 Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved.
 I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but it is not enlightened.
 For, being ignorant of the righteousness that comes from God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness.
 For Christ is the end of the law, that every one who has faith may be justified.
 Another parable he put before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field;
 but while men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away.
 So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also.
 And the servants of the householder came and said to him, `Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then has it weeds?’
 He said to them, `An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, `Then do you want us to go and gather them?’
 But he said, `No; lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them.
 Let both grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.’”
The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyright © National Council of Churches of Christ in America