June 12th, 2019

The Ecumenical Council of Nicaea, A.D. 325

First Reading: Num. 23:4-28

4 And God met Balaam, and he said to Him, “I have prepared the seven altars, and I have offered on each altar a bull and a ram.” 5 Then the LORD put a word in Balaam’s mouth, and said, “Return to Balak, and thus you shall speak.” 6 So he returned to him, and there he was, standing by his burnt offering, he and all the princes of Moab. 7 And he took up his oracle and said:
      “Balak the king of Moab has brought me from Aram,
      From the mountains of the east.
      ‘ Come, curse Jacob for me,
      And come, denounce Israel!’

 8 “How shall I curse whom God has not cursed?
      And how shall I denounce whom the LORD has not denounced?

 9 For from the top of the rocks I see him,
      And from the hills I behold him;
      There! A people dwelling alone,
      Not reckoning itself among the nations.

 10 “Who can count the dust[a] of Jacob,
      Or number one-fourth of Israel?
      Let me die the death of the righteous,
      And let my end be like his!” 11 Then Balak said to Balaam, “What have you done to me? I took you to curse my enemies, and look, you have blessed them bountifully!” 12 So he answered and said, “Must I not take heed to speak what the LORD has put in my mouth?”

Balaam’s Second Prophecy
    13 Then Balak said to him, “Please come with me to another place from which you may see them; you shall see only the outer part of them, and shall not see them all; curse them for me from there.” 14 So he brought him to the field of Zophim, to the top of Pisgah, and built seven altars, and offered a bull and a ram on each altar. 15 And he said to Balak, “Stand here by your burnt offering while I meet[b]the LORD over there.” 16 Then the LORD met Balaam, and put a word in his mouth, and said, “Go back to Balak, and thus you shall speak.” 17 So he came to him, and there he was, standing by his burnt offering, and the princes of Moab were with him. And Balak said to him, “What has the LORD spoken?” 18 Then he took up his oracle and said:
      “Rise up, Balak, and hear!
      Listen to me, son of Zippor!

 19 “God is not a man, that He should lie,
      Nor a son of man, that He should repent.
      Has He said, and will He not do?
      Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?

 20 Behold, I have received a command to bless;
      He has blessed, and I cannot reverse it.

 21 “He has not observed iniquity in Jacob,
      Nor has He seen wickedness in Israel.
      The LORD his God is with him,
      And the shout of a King is among them.

 22 God brings them out of Egypt;
      He has strength like a wild ox.

 23 “For there is no sorcery against Jacob,
      Nor any divination against Israel.
      It now must be said of Jacob
      And of Israel, ‘Oh, what God has done!’

 24 Look, a people rises like a lioness,
      And lifts itself up like a lion;
      It shall not lie down until it devours the prey,
      And drinks the blood of the slain.” 25 Then Balak said to Balaam, “Neither curse them at all, nor bless them at all!” 26 So Balaam answered and said to Balak, “Did I not tell you, saying, ‘All that the LORD speaks, that I must do’?”

Balaam’s Third Prophecy
    27 Then Balak said to Balaam, “Please come, I will take you to another place; perhaps it will please God that you may curse them for me from there.” 28 So Balak took Balaam to the top of Peor, that overlooks the wasteland.[c]

Footnotes:Numbers 23:10 Or dust cloud Numbers 23:15 Following Masoretic Text, Targum, and Vulgate; Syriac reads call; Septuagint reads go and ask God. Numbers 23:28 Hebrew Jeshimon

Second Reading: Lk. 22:47-71

Betrayal and Arrest in Gethsemane

    47 And while He was still speaking, behold, a multitude; and he who was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them and drew near to Jesus to kiss Him. 48 But Jesus said to him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?” 49 When those around Him saw what was going to happen, they said to Him, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” 50 And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear. 51 But Jesus answered and said, “Permit even this.” And He touched his ear and healed him. 52 Then Jesus said to the chief priests, captains of the temple, and the elders who had come to Him, “Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs? 53 When I was with you daily in the temple, you did not try to seize Me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness.”

Peter Denies Jesus, and Weeps Bitterly

    54 Having arrested Him, they led Him and brought Him into the high priest’s house. But Peter followed at a distance. 55 Now when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat among them. 56 And a certain servant girl, seeing him as he sat by the fire, looked intently at him and said, “This man was also with Him.” 57 But he denied Him,[a] saying, “Woman, I do not know Him.” 58 And after a little while another saw him and said, “You also are of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not!” 59 Then after about an hour had passed, another confidently affirmed, saying, “Surely this fellow also was with Him, for he is a Galilean.” 60 But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are saying!” Immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster[b] crowed. 61 And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, “Before the rooster crows,[c] you will deny Me three times.” 62 So Peter went out and wept bitterly.

Jesus Mocked and Beaten

    63 Now the men who held Jesus mocked Him and beat Him. 64 And having blindfolded Him, they struck Him on the face and asked Him,[d] saying, “Prophesy! Who is the one who struck You?” 65 And many other things they blasphemously spoke against Him.

Jesus Faces the Sanhedrin

    66 As soon as it was day, the elders of the people, both chief priests and scribes, came together and led Him into their council, saying, 67 “If You are the Christ, tell us.” But He said to them, “If I tell you, you will by no means believe. 68 And if I also ask you, you will by no means answer Me or let Me go.[e] 69 Hereafter the Son of Man will sit on the right hand of the power of God.” 70 Then they all said, “Are You then the Son of God?” So He said to them, “You rightly say that I am.” 71 And they said, “What further testimony do we need? For we have heard it ourselves from His own mouth.”

Footnotes:Luke 22:57 NU-Text reads denied it. Luke 22:60 NU-Text and M-Text read a rooster. Luke 22:61 NU-Text adds today. Luke 22:64 NU-Text reads And having blindfolded Him, they asked Him. Luke 22:68 NU-Text omits also and Me or let Me go.


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