READINGS – FEBRUARY 17TH

FIRST LESSON                                                                             Jeremiah 17:5-10
Lector         A reading from the Book of the Prophet Jeremiah.
 
Thus says the LORD: Cursed are those who trust in mere mortals and make mere flesh their strength, whose hearts turn away from the LORD. They shall be like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see when relief comes. They shall live in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land. Blessed are those who trust in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. They shall be like a tree planted by water, sending out its roots by the stream. It shall not fear when heat comes, and its leaves shall stay green; in the year of drought it is not anxious, and it does not cease to bear fruit. The heart is devious above all else; it is perverse-- who can understand it? I the LORD test the mind and search the heart, to give to all according to their ways, according to the fruit of their doings.
 
SECOND LESSON                                                         1 Corinthians 15:12-20
Lector     A reading from the First Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians.
 
Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation has been in vain and your faith has been in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified of God that he raised Christ--whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised. If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have died in Christ have perished. If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died.
 
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
 
For his blessings on all that he has made, let us pray to the Lord.
 
Strengthen the Church to flourish like a tree planted by the water, bringing forth fruit to the glory of your Kingdom. Keep your people steadfast in trouble, always trusting in your promises.
 
Change and heal the inequalities and injustices of the world. Guide the rich that they may help the poor, and the well fed that they may relieve the hungry. Teach the powerful not to trust in their own strength but only in your love.
 
We pray for grace that we, our families and friends and neighbors, may hear and receive your word and walk in your ways. Make us more worthy to be members of your Kingdom.
 
Grant healing to the sick in body or mind and empower those who minister to them. Be with those who are near death and give us all the assurance of eternal life.
 
Receive the souls of the faithful by the power of Christ, into the company of the saints in light. Confirm our hope in him when we reach the end of our mortal lives.
 

     [Here other intercessions may be offered.]
 
We offer our prayers as those who come to Christ that they may be healed. Amen.