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.