First readings: Old testament
Then God said, “And now we will make human beings; they will be like us and resemble us. They will have power over the fish, the birds, and all animals, domestic and wild, large and small.” So God created human beings, making them to be like himself. He created them male and female, blessed them, and said, “Have many children, so that your descendants will live all over the earth and bring it under their control. I am putting you in charge of the fish, the birds, and all the wild animals. I have provided all kinds of grain and all kinds of fruit for you to eat; but for all the wild animals and for all the birds I have provided grass and leafy plants for food”—and it was done. God looked at everything he had made, and he was very pleased. Evening passed and morning came—that was the sixth day.
Genesis 2: 18-24
Then the Lord God said, "It is not good for the man to live alone. I will make a suitable companion to help him." So he took some soil from the ground and formed all the animals and all the birds. Then he brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and that is how they all got their names. So the man named all the birds and all the animals; but not one of them was a suitable companion to help him. Then the Lord God made the man fall into a deep sleep, and while he was sleeping, he took out one of the man's ribs and closed up the flesh. He formed a woman out of the rib and brought her to him. Then the man said, "At last, here is one of my own kind - Bone taken from my bone, and flesh from my flesh. "Woman' is her name because she was taken out of man." That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united with his wife, and they become one.
When Tobias and Sarah were alone behind closed doors, Tobias got up from the bed and said to his wife,Get up, dear. Let's pray for the Lord to be merciful and to protect us. Sarah got up so that they could pray together and ask God for his protection. Then Tobias prayed: God of our ancestors, you are worthy of praise. May your name be honored forever and everby all your creatures in heaven and on earth.You created Adam and gave him his wife Eve to be his helper and support.They became the parents of the whole human race.You said, It is not good for man to live alone. I will make a suitable helper for him. Lord, I have chosen Sarah because it is right, not because I lusted for her. Please be merciful to us and grant that we may grow old together.Then they both said Amen and went to bed for the night.
Ecclesiasticus or Sirach 26: 1-4, 13-16
The husband of a good wife is a fortunate man; he will live twice as long because of her. A fine wife is a joy to her husband, and he can live out his years in peace. A good wife is among the precious blessings given to those who fear the Lord. Whether such men are rich or poor, they will be happy and always look cheerful.
A gracious wife is her husband's delight; her abilities make him a stronger man. A wife who doesn't talk too much is a gift from the Lord. Such restraint is admirable beyond words. A modest wife has endless charm; it is a quality too precious to measure. The beauty of a good wife in her well-kept home is like the noonday sun shining in the Lord's sky.
1 Peter 3:1-9
In the same way you wives must submit yourselves to your husbands, so that if any of them do not believe God's word, your conduct will win them over to believe. It will not be necessary for you to say a word, because they will see how pure and reverent your conduct is. You should not use outward aids to make yourselves beautiful, such as the way you fix your hair, or the jewellery you put on, or the dresses you wear.
Instead, your beauty should consist of your true inner self, the ageless beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of the greatest value in God's sight. For the devout women of the past who placed their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful by submitting themselves to their husbands. Sarah was like that; she obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are now her daughters if you do good and are not afraid of anything.
In the same way you husbands must live with your wives with the proper understanding that they are more delicate than you. Treat them with respect, because they also will receive, together with you, God's gift of life. Do this so that nothing will interfere with your prayers.
To conclude: you must all have the same attitude and the same feelings; love one another, and be kind and humble with one another. Do not pay back evil with evil or cursing with cursing; instead, pay back with a blessing, because a blessing is what God promised to give you when he called you.
Jeremiah 31: 10-31
The Lord says, "The time is coming when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah.It will not be like the old covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand and led them out of Egypt. Although I was like a husband to them, they did not keep that covenant.The new covenant that I will make with the people of Israel will be this: I will put my law within them and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.None of them will have to teach a neighbor to know the Lord, because all will know me, from the least to the greatest. I will forgive their sins and I will no longer remember their wrongs. I, the Lord, have spoken."
How hard it is to find a capable wife! She is worth far more than jewels! Her husband puts his confidence in her, and he will never be poor. As long as she lives, she does him good and never harm. She keeps herself busy making wool and linen cloth. She brings home food from out-of-the-way places, as merchant ships do. She gets up before daylight to prepare food for her family and to tell her servant women what to do. She looks at land and buys it, and with money she has earned she plants a vineyard.
She is a hard worker, strong and industrious. She knows the value of everything she makes, and works late into the night. She spins her own thread and weaves her own cloth. She is generous to the poor and needy. She doesn't worry when it snows, because her family has warm clothing. She makes bedspreads and wears clothes of fine purple linen. Her husband is well known, one of the leading citizens.
She makes clothes and belts, and sells them to merchants. She is strong and respected and not afraid of the future. She speaks with a gentle wisdom. She is always busy and looks after her family's needs. Her children show their appreciation, and her husband praises her. He says, "Many women are good wives, but you are the best of them all." Charm is deceptive and beauty disappears, but a woman who honors the Lord should be praised. Give her credit for all she does. She deserves the respect of everyone.
But Ruth answered, "Don't ask me to leave you! Let me go with you. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God.
Wherever you die, I will die, and that is where I will be buried. May the Lord's worst punishment come upon me if I let anything but death separate me from you!"When Naomi saw that Ruth was determined to go with her, she said nothing more.
Second readings: New testament.
Romans 8:31-35, 37-39
In view of all this, what can we say? If God is for us, who can be against us? Certainly not God, who did not even keep back his own Son, but offered him for us all! He gave us his Son - will he not also freely give us all things? Who will accuse God's chosen people? God himself declares them not guilty! Who, then, will condemn them? Not Christ Jesus, who died, or rather, who was raised to life and is at the right side of God, pleading with him for us! Who, then, can separate us from the love of Christ? Can trouble do it, or hardship or persecution or hunger or poverty or danger or death?
No, in all these things we have complete victory through him who loved us! For I am certain that nothing can separate us from his love: neither death nor life, neither angels nor other heavenly rulers or powers, neither the present nor the future, neither the world above nor the world below - there is nothing in all creation that will ever be able to separate us from the love of God which is ours through Christ Jesus our Lord.
Love must be completely sincere. Hate what is evil, hold on to what is good.Love one another warmly as Christians, and be eager to show respect for one another.Work hard and do not be lazy. Serve the Lord with a heart full of devotion.Let your hope keep you joyful, be patient in your troubles, and pray at all times.Share your belongings with your needy fellow Christians, and open your homes to strangers.
1 Corinthians 6:13-15, 17-20
Someone else will say, "Food is for the stomach, and the stomach is for food." Yes; but God will put an end to both. The body is not to be used for sexual immorality, but to serve the Lord; and the Lord provides for the body. God raised the Lord from death, and he will also raise us by his power. You know that your bodies are parts of the body of Christ. Shall I take a part of Christ's body and make it part of the body of a prostitute? Impossible!
But he who joins himself to the Lord becomes spiritually one with him. Avoid immorality. Any other sin a man commits does not affect his body; but the man who is guilty of sexual immorality sins against his own body. Don't you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and who was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourselves but to God; he bought you for a price. So use your bodies for God's glory.
1 Corinthians 13:1-13
I may be able to speak the languages of human beings and even of angels, but if I have no love, my speech is no more than a noisy gong or a clanging bell.I may have the gift of inspired preaching; I may have all knowledge and understand all secrets; I may have all the faith needed to move mountains - but if I have no love, I am nothing.
I may give away everything I have, and even give up my body to be burned - but if I have no love, this does me no good. Love is patient and kind; it is not jealous or conceited or proud; love is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable; love does not keep a record of wrongs;love is not happy with evil, but is happy with the truth.Love never gives up; and its faith, hope, and patience never fail. Love is eternal. There are inspired messages, but they are temporary; there are gifts of speaking in strange tongues, but they will cease; there is knowledge, but it will pass.
For our gifts of knowledge and of inspired messages are only partial;but when what is perfect comes, then what is partial will disappear.When I was a child, my speech, feelings, and thinking were all those of a child; now that I am an adult, I have no more use for childish ways.What we see now is like a dim image in a mirror; then we shall see face-to-face. What I know now is only partial; then it will be complete - as complete as God's knowledge of me.Meanwhile these three remain: faith, hope, and love; and the greatest of these is love.
Submit yourselves to one another because of your reverence for Christ.Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands as to the Lord.For a husband has authority over his wife just as Christ has authority over the church; and Christ is himself the Savior of the church, his body.And so wives must submit themselves completely to their husbands just as the church submits itself to Christ.
Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave his life for it.He did this to dedicate the church to God by his word, after making it clean by washing it in water,in order to present the church to himself in all its beauty - pure and faultless, without spot or wrinkle or any other imperfection. Men ought to love their wives just as they love their own bodies. A man who loves his wife loves himself
(None of us ever hate our own bodies. Instead, we feed them, and take care of them, just as Christ does the church;for we are members of his body.)As the scripture says, "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and unite with his wife, and the two will become one."There is a deep secret truth revealed in this scripture, which I understand as applying to Christ and the church.But it also applies to you: every husband must love his wife as himself, and every wife must respect her husband.
You are the people of God; he loved you and chose you for his own. So then, you must clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.Be tolerant with one another and forgive one another whenever any of you has a complaint against someone else. You must forgive one another just as the Lord has forgiven you.
And to all these qualities add love, which binds all things together in perfect unity.The peace that Christ gives is to guide you in the decisions you make; for it is to this peace that God has called you together in the one body. And be thankful.Christ's message in all its richness must live in your hearts. Teach and instruct one another with all wisdom. Sing psalms, hymns, and sacred songs; sing to God with thanksgiving in your hearts.Everything you do or say, then, should be done in the name of the Lord Jesus, as you give thanks through him to God the Father.
1 Peter 3:1-9
In the same way you wives must submit yourselves to your husbands, so that if any of them do not believe God's word, your conduct will win them over to believe. It will not be necessary for you to say a word,because they will see how pure and reverent your conduct is.You should not use outward aids to make yourselves beautiful, such as the way you fix your hair, or the jewelry you put on, or the dresses you wear.Instead, your beauty should consist of your true inner self, the ageless beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of the greatest value in God's sight.For the devout women of the past who placed their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful by submitting themselves to their husbands.Sarah was like that; she obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are now her daughters if you do good and are not afraid of anything.
In the same way you husbands must live with your wives with the proper understanding that they are more delicate than you. Treat them with respect, because they also will receive, together with you, God's gift of life. Do this so that nothing will interfere with your prayers.To conclude: you must all have the same attitude and the same feelings; love one another, and be kind and humble with one another.Do not pay back evil with evil or cursing with cursing; instead, pay back with a blessing, because a blessing is what God promised to give you when he called you.
1 John 3:18-24
My children, our love should not be just words and talk; it must be true love, which shows itself in action.This, then, is how we will know that we belong to the truth; this is how we will be confident in God's presence.If our conscience condemns us, we know that God is greater than our conscience and that he knows everything.And so, my dear friends, if our conscience does not condemn us, we have courage in God's presence.
We receive from him whatever we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him.What he commands is that we believe in his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as Christ commanded us.Those who obey God's commands live in union with God and God lives in union with them. And because of the Spirit that God has given us we know that God lives in union with us.
1 John 4:7-12
Dear friends, let us love one another, because love comes from God. Whoever loves is a child of God and knows God.Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.And God showed his love for us by sending his only Son into the world, so that we might have life through him.This is what love is: it is not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the means by which our sins are forgiven.Dear friends, if this is how God loved us, then we should love one another.No one has ever seen God, but if we love one another, God lives in union with us, and his love is made perfect in us.
Then there came from the throne the sound of a voice, saying, "Praise our God, all his servants and all people, both great and small, who have reverence for him!"Then I heard what sounded like a crowd, like the sound of a roaring waterfall, like loud peals of thunder. I heard them say, "Praise God! For the Lord, our Almighty God, is King!Let us rejoice and be glad; let us praise his greatness! For the time has come for the wedding of the Lamb, and his bride has prepared herself for it.
She has been given clean shining linen to wear." (The linen is the good deeds of God's people.)Then the angel said to me, "Write this: Happy are those who have been invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb." And the angel added, "These are the true words of God."I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, "Don't do it! I am a servant together with you and with other believers, all those who hold to the truth that Jesus revealed. Worship God!" For the truth that Jesus revealed is what inspires the prophets.
Then some Pharisees and teachers of the Law came from Jerusalem to Jesus and asked him,"Why is it that your disciples disobey the teaching handed down by our ancestors? They don't wash their hands in the proper way before they eat!"Jesus answered, "And why do you disobey God's command and follow your own teaching? For God said, "Respect your father and your mother,' and "If you curse your father or your mother, you are to be put to death.'
But you teach that if people have something they could use to help their father or mother, but say, "This belongs to God,'they do not need to honor their father. In this way you disregard God's command, in order to follow your own teaching.You hypocrites! How right Isaiah was when he prophesied about you! "These people, says God, honor me with their words, but their heart is really far away from me.It is no use for them to worship me, because they teach human rules as though they were my laws!' “Then Jesus called the crowd to him and said to them, "Listen and understand!It is not what goes into your mouth that makes you ritually unclean; rather, what comes out of it makes you unclean."Then the disciples came to him and said, "Do you know that the Pharisees had their feelings hurt by what you said?"
"You are like salt for the whole human race. But if salt loses its saltiness, there is no way to make it salty again. It has become worthless, so it is thrown out and people trample on it."You are like light for the whole world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid.No one lights a lamp and puts it under a bowl; instead it is put on the lampstand, where it gives light for everyone in the house.In the same way your light must shine before people, so that they will see the good things you do and praise your Father in heaven.
"Not everyone who calls me "Lord, Lord' will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only those who do what my Father in heaven wants them to do.When the Judgment Day comes, many will say to me, "Lord, Lord! In your name we spoke God's message, by your name we drove out many demons and performed many miracles!'Then I will say to them, "I never knew you. Get away from me, you wicked people!'"So then, anyone who hears these words of mine and obeys them is like a wise man who built his house on rock.The rain poured down, the rivers flooded over, and the wind blew hard against that house. But it did not fall, because it was built on rock.
Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’?So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment.And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Mark 10: 2-9
Some Pharisees came and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?”“What did Moses command you?” he replied.They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away.”“It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law,” Jesus replied.“But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife,and the two will become one flesh.’So they are no longer two, but one flesh.Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there,and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding.When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”“Woman,why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.”His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.
Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim.Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.”They did so,and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom asideand said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.You are my friends if you do what I command.I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message,that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
So watch what you do! “If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if they repents, forgive him.If hesins against you seven times in one day, and each timehe comes to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.”