THE FIRST LESSON Revelation 7:9-17
9After this I looked, and there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, robed in white, with palm branches in their hands. 10They cried out in a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!” 11And all the angels stood around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12singing, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.” 13Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, robed in white, and where have they come from?” 14I said to him, “Sir, you are the one that knows.” Then he said to me, “These are they who have come out of the great ordeal; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15For this reason they are before the throne of God, and worship him day and night within his temple, and the one who is seated on the throne will shelter them. 16They will hunger no more, and thirst no more; the sun will not strike them, nor any scorching heat; 17for the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of the water of life, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
THE PSALM Psalm 34:1-10, 22
1I will bless the LORD at all times; the praise of God shall ever be in my mouth.
2I will glory in the LORD; let the lowly hear and rejoice.
3Proclaim with me the greatness of the LORD; let us exalt God’s name together.
4I sought the LORD, who answered me and delivered me from all my terrors.
5Look upon the LORD and be radiant, and let not your faces be ashamed.
6I called in my affliction, and the LORD heard me and saved me from all my troubles.
7The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear the LORD and delivers them.
8Taste and see that the LORD is good; happy are they who take refuge in God!
9Fear the LORD, you saints of the LORD, for those who fear the LORD lack nothing.
10The lions are in want and suffer hunger, but those who seek the LORD lack nothing that is good.
22O LORD, you redeem the life of your servants, and those who put their trust in you will not be punished.
THE SECOND LESSON 1 John 3:1-3
1See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is. 3And all who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.
THE GOSPEL LESSON Matthew 5:1-12
1When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. 2Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:
3“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
5“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
6“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. 7“Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
8“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
9“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
10“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11“Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
12Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”