Bible Reading (Wisdom 2:23-3:9)

(In the eyes of the unwise, they did appear to die, but they are in peace.)

God made man imperishable,

he made him in the image of his own nature;

it was the devil’s envy

that brought death into the world,

as those who are his partners will discover.

But the souls of the virtuous

are in the hands of God,

no torment shall ever touch them.

In the eyes of the unwise,

they did appear to die,

their going looked like a disaster,

their leaving us,

like annihilation;

but they are in peace.

If they experienced punishment

as men see it,

their hope was rich with immortality;

slight was their affliction,

great will their blessings be.

God has put them to the test

and proved them worthy to be with him;

he has tested them like gold in the furnace,

and accepted them as a holocaust.

When the time comes for his visitation

they will shine out;

as sparks run through the stubble,

so will they.

They shall judge nations,

rule over peoples,

and the Lord will be their king for ever.

They who trust in him

will understand the truth,

those who are faithful

will live with him in love;

for grace and mercy

await those he has chosen.

The word of the Lord.

R.) Thanks be to God.

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