February 23rd, 2019

Polycarp of Smyrna, Pastor and Martyr


First Reading: Job 18:1-21


Bildad

 1 Then Bildad the Shuhite replied:

 2 "When will you end these speeches?
       Be sensible, and then we can talk.

 3 Why are we regarded as cattle
       and considered stupid in your sight?

 4 You who tear yourself to pieces in your anger,
       is the earth to be abandoned for your sake?
       Or must the rocks be moved from their place?

 5 "The lamp of the wicked is snuffed out;
       the flame of his fire stops burning.

 6 The light in his tent becomes dark;
       the lamp beside him goes out.

 7 The vigor of his step is weakened;
       his own schemes throw him down.

 8 His feet thrust him into a net
       and he wanders into its mesh.

 9 A trap seizes him by the heel;
       a snare holds him fast.

 10 A noose is hidden for him on the ground;
       a trap lies in his path.

 11 Terrors startle him on every side
       and dog his every step.

 12 Calamity is hungry for him;
       disaster is ready for him when he falls.

 13 It eats away parts of his skin;
       death's firstborn devours his limbs.

 14 He is torn from the security of his tent
       and marched off to the king of terrors.

 15 Fire resides [a] in his tent;
       burning sulfur is scattered over his dwelling.

 16 His roots dry up below
       and his branches wither above.

 17 The memory of him perishes from the earth;
       he has no name in the land.

 18 He is driven from light into darkness
       and is banished from the world.

 19 He has no offspring or descendants among his people,
       no survivor where once he lived.

 20 Men of the west are appalled at his fate;
       men of the east are seized with horror.

 21 Surely such is the dwelling of an evil man;
       such is the place of one who knows not God."

Footnotes:Job 18:15 Or Nothing he had remains


Second Reading: John 7:32-53


 32The Pharisees heard the crowd whispering such things about him. Then the chief priests and the Pharisees sent temple guards to arrest him.

 33Jesus said, "I am with you for only a short time, and then I go to the one who sent me. 34You will look for me, but you will not find me; and where I am, you cannot come."

 35The Jews said to one another, "Where does this man intend to go that we cannot find him? Will he go where our people live scattered among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks? 36What did he mean when he said, 'You will look for me, but you will not find me,' and 'Where I am, you cannot come'?"

 37On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. 38Whoever believes in me, as[a] the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." 39By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.

 40On hearing his words, some of the people said, "Surely this man is the Prophet."

 41Others said, "He is the Christ."

   Still others asked, "How can the Christ come from Galilee? 42Does not the Scripture say that the Christ will come from David's family[b] and from Bethlehem, the town where David lived?" 43Thus the people were divided because of Jesus. 44Some wanted to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him.

Unbelief of the Jewish Leaders
 45Finally the temple guards went back to the chief priests and Pharisees, who asked them, "Why didn't you bring him in?"

 46"No one ever spoke the way this man does," the guards declared.

 47"You mean he has deceived you also?" the Pharisees retorted. 48"Has any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed in him? 49No! But this mob that knows nothing of the law—there is a curse on them."

 50Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus earlier and who was one of their own number, asked, 51"Does our law condemn anyone without first hearing him to find out what he is doing?"

 52They replied, "Are you from Galilee, too? Look into it, and you will find that a prophet[c] does not come out of Galilee."

((The earliest and most reliable manuscripts and other ancient witnesses do not have John 7:53-8:11.))
 53Then each went to his own home.

Footnotes:John 7:38 Or / If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me. / And let him drink, 38 who believes in me. / As John 7:42 Greek seed John 7:52 Two early manuscripts the Prophet


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