Paul Shinji Sasaki and Philip Lindel Tsen: Bishop of Mid-Japan, and of Tokyo, 1946, Bishop of Honan, China, 1954

Tuesday, October 31, 2017Wednesday, October 31, 2018Thursday, October 31, 2019Saturday, October 31, 2020
The Collect: 

Rite I:
Almighty God, we offer thanks for the faith and witness of Paul Sasaki, bishop in the Nippon Sei Ko Kai, tortured and imprisoned by his government, and Philip Tsen, leader of the Chinese Anglican Church, arrested for his faith. We pray that all Church leaders oppressed by hostile governments may be delivered by thy mercy, and that by the power of the Holy Spirit we may be faithful to the Gospel of our Savior Jesus Christ; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Rite II:
Almighty God, we thank you for the faith and witness of Paul Sasaki, bishop in the Nippon Sei Ko Kai, tortured and imprisoned by his government, and Philip Tsen, leader of the Chinese Anglican Church, arrested for his faith. We pray that all Church leaders oppressed by hostile governments may be delivered by your mercy, and that by the power of the Holy Spirit we may be faithful to the Gospel of our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Old Testament: 
Ezekiel 34:22-31

22I will save my flock, and they shall no longer be ravaged; and I will judge between sheep and sheep.

23 I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd. 24And I, the Lord, will be their God, and my servant David shall be prince among them; I, the Lord, have spoken.

25 I will make with them a covenant of peace and banish wild animals from the land, so that they may live in the wild and sleep in the woods securely. 26I will make them and the region around my hill a blessing; and I will send down the showers in their season; they shall be showers of blessing. 27The trees of the field shall yield their fruit, and the earth shall yield its increase. They shall be secure on their soil; and they shall know that I am the Lord, when I break the bars of their yoke, and save them from the hands of those who enslaved them. 28They shall no more be plunder for the nations, nor shall the animals of the land devour them; they shall live in safety, and no one shall make them afraid. 29I will provide for them splendid vegetation, so that they shall no more be consumed with hunger in the land, and no longer suffer the insults of the nations. 30They shall know that I, the Lord their God, am with them, and that they, the house of Israel, are my people, says the Lord God. 31You are my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, and I am your God, says the Lord God.

Psalm: 
Psalm 20

1 May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble, *
       the Name of the God of Jacob defend you;
2 Send you help from his holy place *
       and strengthen you out of Zion;
3 Remember all your offerings *
       and accept your burnt sacrifice;
4 Grant you your heart's desire *
       and prosper all your plans.
5 We will shout for joy at your victory
  and triumph in the Name of our God; *
       may the Lord grant all your requests.
6 Now I know that the Lord gives victory to his anointed; *
       he will answer him out of his holy heaven,
       with the victorious strength of his right hand.
7 Some put their trust in chariots and some in horses, *
       but we will call upon the Name of the Lord our God.
8 They collapse and fall down, *
       but we will arise and stand upright.
9 O Lord, give victory to the king *
       and answer us when we call.

Epistle: 
1 Thessalonians 2:1-8

1 You yourselves know, brothers and sisters, that our coming to you was not in vain, 2but though we had already suffered and been shamefully maltreated at Philippi, as you know, we had courage in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in spite of great opposition. 3For our appeal does not spring from deceit or impure motives or trickery, 4but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the message of the gospel, even so we speak, not to please mortals, but to please God who tests our hearts. 5As you know and as God is our witness, we never came with words of flattery or with a pretext for greed; 6nor did we seek praise from mortals, whether from you or from others, 7though we might have made demands as apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, like a nurse tenderly caring for her own children. 8So deeply do we care for you that we are determined to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you have become very dear to us.

Gospel: 
Mark 4:26-32

26 He also said, ‘The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, 27and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. 28The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. 29But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.’

30 He also said, ‘With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? 31It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; 32yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.’

The Old Testament, New Testament and Gospels readings are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

The Collects, Psalms and Canticles are from the Book of Common Prayer, 1979.

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