First Reading: Eccl. 6:1-7:10
1 There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, and it is
common among men: 2 A man to whom God has given riches and wealth and honor, so that he lacks nothing for himself of all he desires; yet God does not give him power to eat of it, but a foreigner consumes it. This is
vanity, and it is
an evil affliction.
3 If a man begets a hundred children
and lives many years, so that the days of his years are many, but his soul is not satisfied with goodness, or indeed he has no burial, I say that
a stillborn child is
better than he— 4 for it comes in vanity and departs in darkness, and its name is covered with darkness. 5 Though it has not seen the sun or known anything,
this has more rest than that man, 6 even if he lives a thousand years twice—but has not seen goodness. Do not all go to one place?
7 All the labor of man is
for his mouth,
And yet the soul is not satisfied.
8 For what more has the wise man
than the fool?
What does the poor man have,
Who knows how
to walk before the living?
9 Better is
the sight of the eyes than the wandering of desire.
This also is
vanity and grasping for the wind.
10 Whatever one is, he has been named already,
For it is known that he is
And he cannot contend with Him who is mightier than he.
11 Since there are many things that increase vanity,
man the better?
12 For who knows what is
good for man in life, all the days of his vain life which he passes like a shadow? Who can tell a man what will happen after him under the sun?
The Value of Practical Wisdom
1 A good name is
better than precious ointment,
And the day of death than the day of one’s birth;
2 Better to go to the house of mourning
Than to go to the house of feasting,
For that is
the end of all men;
And the living will take it
3 Sorrow is
better than laughter,
For by a sad countenance the heart is made better.
4 The heart of the wise is
in the house of mourning,
But the heart of fools is
in the house of mirth.
5 It is
better to hear the rebuke of the wise
Than for a man to hear the song of fools.
6 For like the crackling of thorns under a pot,
the laughter of the fool.
This also is vanity.
7 Surely oppression destroys a wise man’s
And a bribe debases the heart.
8 The end of a thing is
better than its beginning;
The patient in spirit is
better than the proud in spirit.
9 Do not hasten in your spirit to be angry,
For anger rests in the bosom of fools.
10 Do not say,
“ Why were the former days better than these?”
For you do not inquire wisely concerning this.
Second Reading: John 8:21-38
Jesus Predicts His Departure
21 Then Jesus said to them again, “I am going away, and you will seek Me, and will die in your sin. Where I go you cannot come.” 22 So the Jews said, “Will He kill Himself, because He says, ‘Where I go you cannot come’?” 23 And He said to them, “You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” 25 Then they said to Him, “Who are You?” And Jesus said to them, “Just what I have been saying to you from the beginning. 26 I have many things to say and to judge concerning you, but He who sent Me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I heard from Him.” 27 They did not understand that He spoke to them of the Father. 28 Then Jesus said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things. 29 And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.” 30 As He spoke these words, many believed in Him.
The Truth Shall Make You Free
31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” 33 They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?” 34 Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. 35 And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. 36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.
Abraham’s Seed and Satan’s
37 “I know that you are Abraham’s descendants, but you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you. 38 I speak what I have seen with My Father, and you do what you have seen with[a] your father.” Footnotes:
John 8:38 NU-Text reads heard from.