Third Sunday following the Holy Cross,
Feast of the Holy Cross of Varak
 She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her;
those who hold her fast are called happy.
 The LORD by wisdom founded the earth;
by understanding he established the heavens;
 by his knowledge the deeps broke forth,
and the clouds drop down the dew.
 My son, keep sound wisdom and discretion;
let them not escape from your sight,
 and they will be life for your soul
and adornment for your neck.
 Then you will walk on your way securely
and your foot will not stumble.
 If you sit down, you will not be afraid;
when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
 Do not be afraid of sudden panic,
or of the ruin of the wicked, when it comes;
 for the LORD will be your confidence
and will keep your foot from being caught.
 They shall not build and another inhabit;
they shall not plant and another eat;
for like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be,
and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands.
 They shall not labor in vain,
or bear children for calamity;
for they shall be the offspring of the blessed of the LORD,
and their children with them.
 Before they call I will answer,
while they are yet speaking I will hear.
 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together,
the lion shall eat straw like the ox;
and dust shall be the serpent’s food.
They shall not hurt or destroy
in all my holy mountain, says the LORD.”
 But far be it from me to glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
 For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.
 Peace and mercy be upon all who walk by this rule, upon the Israel of God.
 Henceforth let no man trouble me; for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.
 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brethren. Amen.
 then will appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory;
 and he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
 “From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near.
 So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates.
 Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away till all these things take place.
 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.
The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyright © National Council of Churches of Christ in America