James Theodore Holly: Bishop of Haiti, Dominican Republic, 1911

Friday, March 13, 2015Monday, March 13, 2017Tuesday, March 13, 2018
The Collect: 

Most gracious God, by the calling of your servant James Theodore Holly you gave us our first bishop of African American heritage. In his quest for life and freedom, he led your people from bondage into a new land and established the Church in Haiti. Grant that, inspired by his testimony, we may overcome our prejudice and honor those whom you call from every family, language, people, and nation; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Old Testament: 
Deuteronomy 6:20-25

20 When your children ask you in time to come, ‘What is the meaning of the decrees and the statutes and the ordinances that the Lord our God has commanded you?’ 21then you shall say to your children, ‘We were Pharaoh’s slaves in Egypt, but the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand. 22The Lord displayed before our eyes great and awesome signs and wonders against Egypt, against Pharaoh and all his household.23He brought us out from there in order to bring us in, to give us the land that he promised on oath to our ancestors. 24Then the Lord commanded us to observe all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our lasting good, so as to keep us alive, as is now the case. 25If we diligently observe this entire commandment before the Lord our God, as he has commanded us, we will be in the right.’

Psalm 86:11-17

11 Teach me your way, O Lord,
   that I may walk in your truth;
   give me an undivided heart to revere your name. 
12 I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart,
   and I will glorify your name for ever. 
13 For great is your steadfast love towards me;
   you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol. 

14 O God, the insolent rise up against me;
   a band of ruffians seeks my life,
   and they do not set you before them. 
15 But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious,
   slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. 
16 Turn to me and be gracious to me;
   give your strength to your servant;
   save the child of your serving-maid. 
17 Show me a sign of your favour,
   so that those who hate me may see it and be put to shame,
   because you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.

Acts 8:26-39

26 Then an angel of the Lord said to Philip, ‘Get up and go towards the south* to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.’ (This is a wilderness road.) 27So he got up and went. Now there was an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official of the Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, in charge of her entire treasury. He had come to Jerusalem to worship 28and was returning home; seated in his chariot, he was reading the prophet Isaiah.29Then the Spirit said to Philip, ‘Go over to this chariot and join it.’ 30So Philip ran up to it and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah. He asked, ‘Do you understand what you are reading?’ 31He replied, ‘How can I, unless someone guides me?’ And he invited Philip to get in and sit beside him. 32Now the passage of the scripture that he was reading was this:
‘Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter,
   and like a lamb silent before its shearer,
     so he does not open his mouth. 
33 In his humiliation justice was denied him.
   Who can describe his generation?
     For his life is taken away from the earth.’ 
34The eunuch asked Philip, ‘About whom, may I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?’ 35Then Philip began to speak, and starting with this scripture, he proclaimed to him the good news about Jesus. 36As they were going along the road, they came to some water; and the eunuch said, ‘Look, here is water! What is to prevent me from being baptized?’* 38He commanded the chariot to stop, and both of them, Philip and the eunuch, went down into the water, and Philip* baptized him. 39When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away; the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing.

John 4:31-38

31 Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, ‘Rabbi, eat something.’ 32But he said to them, ‘I have food to eat that you do not know about.’ 33So the disciples said to one another, ‘Surely no one has brought him something to eat?’ 34Jesus said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to complete his work. 35Do you not say, “Four months more, then comes the harvest”? But I tell you, look around you, and see how the fields are ripe for harvesting. 36The reaper is already receiving* wages and is gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. 37For here the saying holds true, “One sows and another reaps.” 38I sent you to reap that for which you did not labour. Others have laboured, and you have entered into their labour.’