St. Stephen, Bishop of Rome, his priests, deacons, and faithful
 Then the righteous man will stand with great confidence
in the presence of those who have afflicted him,
and those who make light of his labors.
 When they see him, they will be shaken with dreadful fear,
and they will be amazed at his unexpected salvation.
 They will speak to one another in repentance,
and in anguish of spirit they will groan, and say,
 “This is the man whom we once held in derision
and made a byword of reproach — we fools!
We thought that his life was madness
and that his end was without honor.
 Why has he been numbered among the sons of God?
And why is his lot among the saints?
 So it was we who strayed from the way of truth,
and the light of righteousness did not shine on us,
and the sun did not rise upon us.
 We took our fill of the paths of lawlessness and destruction,
and we journeyed through trackless deserts,
but the way of the Lord we have not known.
 What has our arrogance profited us?
And what good has our boasted wealth brought us?
 Thus says the LORD: “As the shepherd rescues from the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear, so shall the people of Israel who dwell in Sama’ria be rescued, with the corner of a couch and part of a bed.”
 “Hear, and testify against the house of Jacob,”
says the Lord GOD, the God of hosts,
 “that on the day I punish Israel for his transgressions,
I will punish the altars of Bethel,
and the horns of the altar shall be cut off
and fall to the ground.
 I will smite the winter house with the summer house;
and the houses of ivory shall perish,
and the great houses shall come to an end,” says the LORD.
 For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles —
 assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you,
 how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly.
 When you read this you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ,
 which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;
 that is, how the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.
 Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s grace which was given me by the working of his power.
 To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,
 and to make all men see what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things;
 that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places.
 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
 He who is a hireling and not a shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf snatches them and scatters them.
 He flees because he is a hireling and cares nothing for the sheep.
 I am the good shepherd; I know my own and my own know me,
 as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.
 And I have other sheep, that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will heed my voice. So there shall be one flock, one shepherd.
The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyright © National Council of Churches of Christ in America