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Psalm 118

1 O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    his steadfast love endures for ever!

2 Let Israel say,
    ‘His steadfast love endures for ever.’
3 Let the house of Aaron say,
    ‘His steadfast love endures for ever.’
4 Let those who fear the Lord say,
    ‘His steadfast love endures for ever.’

5 Out of my distress I called on the Lord;
    the Lord answered me and set me in a broad place.
6 With the Lord on my side I do not fear.
    What can mortals do to me?
7 The Lord is on my side to help me;
    I shall look in triumph on those who hate me.
8 It is better to take refuge in the Lord
    than to put confidence in mortals.
9 It is better to take refuge in the Lord
    than to put confidence in princes.

10 All nations surrounded me;
    in the name of the Lord I cut them off!
11 They surrounded me, surrounded me on every side;
    in the name of the Lord I cut them off!
12 They surrounded me like bees;
    they blazed like a fire of thorns;
    in the name of the Lord I cut them off!
13 I was pushed hard, so that I was falling,
    but the Lord helped me.
14 The Lord is my strength and my might;
    he has become my salvation.
15 There are glad songs of victory in the tents of the righteous:
‘The right hand of the Lord does valiantly;
16     the right hand of the Lord is exalted;
    the right hand of the Lord does valiantly.’
17 I shall not die, but I shall live,
    and recount the deeds of the Lord.
18 The Lord has punished me severely,
    but he did not give me over to death.

19 Open to me the gates of righteousness,
    that I may enter through them
    and give thanks to the Lord.

20 This is the gate of the Lord;
    the righteous shall enter through it.

21 I thank you that you have answered me
    and have become my salvation.
22 The stone that the builders rejected
    has become the chief cornerstone.
23 This is the Lord’s doing;
    it is marvellous in our eyes.
24 This is the day that the Lord has made;
    let us rejoice and be glad in it.
25 Save us, we beseech you, O Lord!
    O Lord, we beseech you, give us success!

26 Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.
    We bless you from the house of the Lord.
27 The Lord is God,
    and he has given us light.
Bind the festal procession with branches,
    up to the horns of the altar.

28 You are my God, and I will give thanks to you;
    you are my God, I will extol you.

29 O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
    for his steadfast love endures for ever.

Gospel Reading - Guardian angels

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1About that time the disciples came to Jesus to ask which of them would be greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven!

2Jesus called a small child over to him and set the little fellow down among them, 3and said, “Unless you turn to God from your sins and become as little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. 4 Therefore anyone who humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. 5And any of you who welcomes a little child like this because you are mine is welcoming me and caring for me. 6But if any of you causes one of these little ones who trusts in me to lose his faith,a it would be better for you to have a rock tied to your neck and be thrown into the sea.

7“Woe upon the world for all its evils.b Temptation to do wrong is inevitable, but woe to the man who does the tempting. 8So if your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. Better to enter heaven crippled than to be in hell with both of your hands and feet. 9And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. Better to enter heaven with one eye than to be in hell with two.

10“Beware that you don’t look down upon a single one of these little children. For I tell you that in heaven their angels have constant accessc to my Father. 11And I, the Messiah,d came to save the lost.

12“If a man has a hundred sheep, and one wanders away and is lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others and go out into the hills to search for the lost one? 13And if he finds it, he will rejoice over it more than over the ninety-nine others safe at home! 14Just so, it is not my Father’s will that even one of these little ones should perish.

. . . . .Matthew 18:1-14
  1. Literally, “to stumble.”
  2. Literally, “because of occasions of stumbling.”
  3. Or “do always behold.”
  4. Literally, “the Son of Man.” Verse 11 is left out of many manuscripts, some ancient.

The Lord's Prayer

Our Father in heaven,
     hallowed be your name,
     your kingdom come,
     your will be done,
          on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
     as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial
     and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours
     now and for ever.
Amen.