St. Aret and his Companions, martyrs of Ethiopia,
St. Artemius, martyr of Alexandria,
St. Christopher, martyr of Scythia,
I Thessalonians 2:13-16
 for whoever despises wisdom and instruction is miserable.
Their hope is vain, their labors are unprofitable,
and their works are useless.
 Their wives are foolish, and their children evil;
 their offspring are accursed.
For blessed is the barren woman who is undefiled,
who has not entered into a sinful union;
she will have fruit when God examines souls.
 Blessed also is the eunuch whose hands have
done no lawless deed,
and who has not devised wicked things against the Lord;
for special favor will be shown him for his faithfulness,
and a place of great delight in the temple of the Lord.
 For the fruit of good labors is renowned,
and the root of understanding does not fail.
 But children of adulterers will not come to maturity,
and the offspring of an unlawful union will perish.
 Even if they live long they will be held of no account,
and finally their old age will be without honor.
 Thus says your Lord, the LORD,
your God who pleads the cause of his people:
“Behold, I have taken from your hand the cup of staggering;
the bowl of my wrath
you shall drink no more;
 and I will put it into the hand of your tormentors,
who have said to you,
`Bow down, that we may pass over’;
and you have made your back like the ground
and like the street for them to pass over.”
 Awake, awake,
put on your strength, O Zion;
put on your beautiful garments,
O Jerusalem, the holy city;
for there shall no more come into you
the uncircumcised and the unclean.
 Shake yourself from the dust, arise,
O captive Jerusalem;
loose the bonds from your neck,
O captive daughter of Zion.
 For thus says the LORD: “You were sold for nothing, and you shall be redeemed without money.
I Thessalonians 2:13-16
 And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.
 For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus which are in Judea; for you suffered the same things from your own countrymen as they did from the Jews,
 who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out, and displease God and oppose all men
 by hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles that they may be saved — so as always to fill up the measure of their sins. But God’s wrath has come upon them at last!
 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
 Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
 You are my friends if you do what I command you.
 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.
 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide; so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.
The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyright © National Council of Churches of Christ in America