O Lord, through spiritual discipline you strengthened your servant Monnica to persevere in offering her love and prayers and tears for the conversion of her husband and of Augustine their son: Deepen our devotion, we pray, and use us in accordance with your will to bring others, even our own kindred, to acknowledge Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
2 There was a certain man of Zorah, of the tribe of the Danites, whose name was Manoah. His wife was barren, having borne no children. 3And the angel of the Lord appeared to the woman and said to her, ‘Although you are barren, having borne no children, you shall conceive and bear a son. 4Now be careful not to drink wine or strong drink, or to eat anything unclean, 5for you shall conceive and bear a son. No razor is to come on his head, for the boy shall be a nazirite* to God from birth. It is he who shall begin to deliver Israel from the hand of the Philistines.’ 6Then the woman came and told her husband, ‘A man of God came to me, and his appearance was like that of an angel* of God, most awe-inspiring; I did not ask him where he came from, and he did not tell me his name; 7but he said to me, “You shall conceive and bear a son. So then drink no wine or strong drink, and eat nothing unclean, for the boy shall be a nazirite* to God from birth to the day of his death.” ’
8 Then Manoah entreated the Lord, and said, ‘O Lord, I pray, let the man of God whom you sent come to us again and teach us what we are to do concerning the boy who will be born.’
12 The Lord has been mindful of us; he will bless us;
he will bless the house of Israel;
he will bless the house of Aaron;
13 he will bless those who fear the Lord,
both small and great.
14 May the Lord give you increase,
both you and your children.
15 May you be blessed by the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
16 The heavens are the Lord’s heavens,
but the earth he has given to human beings.
17 The dead do not praise the Lord,
nor do any that go down into silence.
18 But we will bless the Lord
from this time on and for evermore.
Praise the Lord!
1 My point is this: heirs, as long as they are minors, are no better than slaves, though they are the owners of all the property; 2but they remain under guardians and trustees until the date set by the father. 3So with us; while we were minors, we were enslaved to the elemental spirits* of the world. 4But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children. 6And because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our* hearts, crying, ‘Abba!* Father!’ 7So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God.*
8 Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to beings that by nature are not gods. 9Now, however, that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and beggarly elemental spirits?* How can you want to be enslaved to them again? 10You are observing special days, and months, and seasons, and years. 11I am afraid that my work for you may have been wasted.
12 Friends,* I beg you, become as I am, for I also have become as you are. You have done me no wrong.
11 Soon afterwards* he went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went with him. 12As he approached the gate of the town, a man who had died was being carried out. He was his mother’s only son, and she was a widow; and with her was a large crowd from the town. 13When the Lord saw her, he had compassion for her and said to her, ‘Do not weep.’ 14Then he came forward and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, ‘Young man, I say to you, rise!’ 15The dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus* gave him to his mother. 16Fear seized all of them; and they glorified God, saying, ‘A great prophet has risen among us!’ and ‘God has looked favourably on his people!’ 17This word about him spread throughout Judea and all the surrounding country.
20Very truly, I tell you, you will weep and mourn, but the world will rejoice; you will have pain, but your pain will turn into joy. 21When a woman is in labour, she has pain, because her hour has come. But when her child is born, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy of having brought a human being into the world. 22So you have pain now; but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. 23On that day you will ask nothing of me.* Very truly, I tell you, if you ask anything of the Father in my name, he will give it to you.* 24Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.