FIRST READING 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise the words of prophets, 21 but test everything; hold fast to what is good; 22 abstain from every form of evil.
23 May the God of peace sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 The one who calls you is faithful and will do this.
Word of God, word of life.
Thanks be to God.
FROM THE 126th PSALM
1 When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion,
then were we like those who dream.
2 Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy.
Then they said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.”
3 The LORD has done great things for us,
and we are glad indeed.
4 Restore our fortunes, O LORD,
like the watercourses of the Negeb.
5 Those who sowed with tears
will reap with songs of joy.
6 Those who go out weeping, carrying the seed,
will come again with joy, shouldering their sheaves.
THE GOSPEL READING
The Holy Gospel According to John the first chapter
Glory to you, O Lord
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. 8 He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. 19 This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, "Who are you?" 20 He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, "I am not the Messiah." 21 And they asked him, "What then? Are you Elijah?" He said, "I am not." "Are you the prophet?" He answered, "No." 22 Then they said to him, "Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?" 23 He said,
"I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness,
'Make straight the way of the Lord,'"
as the prophet Isaiah said.24 Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. 25 They asked him, "Why then are you baptizing if you are neither the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?" 26 John answered them, "I baptize with water. Among you stands one whom you do not know, 27 the one who is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandal." 28 This took place in Bethany across the Jordan where John was baptizing.
The gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.