June 12th, 2019

The Ecumenical Council of Nicaea, A.D. 325


First Reading: Num. 23:4-28

 4 God met with him, and Balaam said, "I have prepared seven altars, and on each altar I have offered a bull and a ram."

 5 The LORD put a message in Balaam's mouth and said, "Go back to Balak and give him this message."

 6 So he went back to him and found him standing beside his offering, with all the princes of Moab. 7 Then Balaam uttered his oracle:
       "Balak brought me from Aram,
       the king of Moab from the eastern mountains.
       'Come,' he said, 'curse Jacob for me;
       come, denounce Israel.'

 8 How can I curse
       those whom God has not cursed?
       How can I denounce
       those whom the LORD has not denounced?

 9 From the rocky peaks I see them,
       from the heights I view them.
       I see a people who live apart
       and do not consider themselves one of the nations.

 10 Who can count the dust of Jacob
       or number the fourth part of Israel?
       Let me die the death of the righteous,
       and may my end be like theirs!"

 11 Balak said to Balaam, "What have you done to me? I brought you to curse my enemies, but you have done nothing but bless them!"

 12 He answered, "Must I not speak what the LORD puts in my mouth?"

Balaam's Second Oracle
 13 Then Balak said to him, "Come with me to another place where you can see them; you will see only a part but not all of them. And from there, curse them for me." 14 So he took him to the field of Zophim on the top of Pisgah, and there he built seven altars and offered a bull and a ram on each altar.

 15 Balaam said to Balak, "Stay here beside your offering while I meet with him over there."

 16 The LORD met with Balaam and put a message in his mouth and said, "Go back to Balak and give him this message."

 17 So he went to him and found him standing beside his offering, with the princes of Moab. Balak asked him, "What did the LORD say?"

 18 Then he uttered his oracle:
       "Arise, Balak, and listen;
       hear me, son of Zippor.

 19 God is not a man, that he should lie,
       nor a son of man, that he should change his mind.
       Does he speak and then not act?
       Does he promise and not fulfill?

 20 I have received a command to bless;
       he has blessed, and I cannot change it.

 21 "No misfortune is seen in Jacob,
       no misery observed in Israel. [a]
       The LORD their God is with them;
       the shout of the King is among them.

 22 God brought them out of Egypt;
       they have the strength of a wild ox.

 23 There is no sorcery against Jacob,
       no divination against Israel.
       It will now be said of Jacob
       and of Israel, 'See what God has done!'

 24 The people rise like a lioness;
       they rouse themselves like a lion
       that does not rest till he devours his prey
       and drinks the blood of his victims."

 25 Then Balak said to Balaam, "Neither curse them at all nor bless them at all!"

 26 Balaam answered, "Did I not tell you I must do whatever the LORD says?"

Balaam's Third Oracle
 27 Then Balak said to Balaam, "Come, let me take you to another place. Perhaps it will please God to let you curse them for me from there." 28 And Balak took Balaam to the top of Peor, overlooking the wasteland.

New International Version (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

Second Reading: Lk. 22:47-71

Jesus Arrested

 47While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him, 48but Jesus asked him, "Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?"

 49When Jesus' followers saw what was going to happen, they said, "Lord, should we strike with our swords?" 50And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear.

 51But Jesus answered, "No more of this!" And he touched the man's ear and healed him.

 52Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple guard, and the elders, who had come for him, "Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come with swords and clubs? 53Every day I was with you in the temple courts, and you did not lay a hand on me. But this is your hour—when darkness reigns."

Peter Disowns Jesus

 54Then seizing him, they led him away and took him into the house of the high priest. Peter followed at a distance. 55But when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter sat down with them. 56A servant girl saw him seated there in the firelight. She looked closely at him and said, "This man was with him."

 57But he denied it. "Woman, I don't know him," he said.

 58A little later someone else saw him and said, "You also are one of them."
      "Man, I am not!" Peter replied.

 59About an hour later another asserted, "Certainly this fellow was with him, for he is a Galilean."

 60Peter replied, "Man, I don't know what you're talking about!" Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. 61The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: "Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times." 62And he went outside and wept bitterly.

The Guards Mock Jesus

 63The men who were guarding Jesus began mocking and beating him. 64They blindfolded him and demanded, "Prophesy! Who hit you?" 65And they said many other insulting things to him.

Jesus Before Pilate and Herod

 66At daybreak the council of the elders of the people, both the chief priests and teachers of the law, met together, and Jesus was led before them. 67"If you are the Christ,[a]" they said, "tell us."

   Jesus answered, "If I tell you, you will not believe me, 68and if I asked you, you would not answer. 69But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God."

 70They all asked, "Are you then the Son of God?"
      He replied, "You are right in saying I am."

 71Then they said, "Why do we need any more testimony? We have heard it from his own lips."

New International Version (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

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