First Readings

Click Here to return to Catholic Tributes.

Job 19: 1, 23-26

Then Job answered and said:

Oh, would that my words were written down! Would that they were inscribed in a record:

That with an iron chisel and with lead they were cut in the rock forever!

But as for me, I know that my Vindicator lives, and that he will at last stand forth upon the dust;

And from my flesh I shall see God; my inmost being is consumed with longing.


Wisdom 3: 1-9

But the souls of the just are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them.

They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead; and their passing away was thought an affliction

and their going forth from us, utter destruction. But they are in peace.

For if before men, indeed, they be punished, yet is their hope full of immortality;

Chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed, because God tried them and found them worthy of himself.

As gold in the furnace, he proved them, and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself.

In the time of their visitation they shall shine, and shall dart about as sparks through stubble;

They shall judge nations and rule over peoples, and the LORD shall be their King forever.

Those who trust in him shall understand truth, and the faithful shall abide with him in love: Because grace and mercy are with his holy ones, and his care is with the elect.


Wisdom 4: 7-15

But the just man, though he die early, shall be at rest.

For the age that is honorable comes not with the passing of time, nor can it be measured in terms of years.

Rather, understanding is the hoary crown for men, and an unsullied life, the attainment of old age.

He who pleased God was loved; he who lived among sinners was transported - 

Snatched away, lest wickedness pervert his mind or deceit beguile his soul;

For the witchery of paltry things obscures what is right and the whirl of desire transforms the innocent mind.

Having become perfect in a short while, he reached the fullness of a long career;

for his soul was pleasing to the LORD, therefore he sped him out of the midst of wickedness. But the people saw and did not understand, nor did they take this into account.


Isaiah 25: 6-9

On this mountain the LORD of hosts will provide for all peoples A feast of rich food and choice wines, juicy, rich food and pure, choice wines.

On this mountain he will destroy the veil that veils all peoples, The web that is woven over all nations;

he will destroy death forever. The Lord GOD will wipe away the tears from all faces; The reproach of his people he will remove from the whole earth; for the LORD has spoken.

On that day it will be said: "Behold our God, to whom we looked to save us! This is the LORD for whom we looked; let us rejoice and be glad that he has saved us!"


Lamentations 3: 17-26

My soul is deprived of peace, I have forgotten what happiness is;

I tell myself my future is lost, all that I hoped for from the LORD.

The thought of my homeless poverty is wormwood and gall;

Remembering it over and over leaves my soul downcast within me.

But I will call this to mind, as my reason to have hope:

The favors of the LORD are not exhausted, his mercies are not spent;

They are renewed each morning, so great is his faithfulness.

My portion is the LORD, says my soul; therefore will I hope in him.

Good is the LORD to one who waits for him, to the soul that seeks him;

It is good to hope in silence for the saving help of the LORD.


Daniel 12: 1-3

At that time there shall arise Michael, the great prince, guardian of your people; It shall be a time unsurpassed in distress since nations began until that time. At that time your people shall escape, everyone who is found written in the book.

Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake; some shall live forever, others shall be an everlasting horror and disgrace.

But the wise shall shine brightly like the splendor of the firmament, And those who lead the many to justice shall be like the stars forever.


Proverbs 31: 10-31

When one finds a worthy wife, her value is far beyond pearls.

Her husband, entrusting his heart to her, has an unfailing prize.

She brings him good, and not evil, all the days of her life.

She obtains wool and flax and makes cloth with skillful hands.

Like merchant ships, she secures her provisions from afar.

She rises while it is still night, and distributes food to her household.

She picks out a field to purchase; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.

She is girt about with strength, and sturdy are her arms.

She enjoys the success of her dealings; at night her lamp is undimmed.

She puts her hands to the distaff, and her fingers ply the spindle.

She reaches out her hands to the poor, and extends her arms to the needy.

She fears not the snow for her household; all her charges are doubly clothed.

She makes her own coverlets; fine linen and purple are her clothing.

Her husband is prominent at the city gates as he sits with the elders of the land.

She makes garments and sells them, and stocks the merchants with belts.

She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs at the days to come.

She opens her mouth in wisdom, and on her tongue is kindly counsel.

She watches the conduct of her household, and eats not her food in idleness.

Her children rise up and praise her; her husband, too, extols her:

"Many are the women of proven worth, but you have excelled them all."

Charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting; the woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

Give her a reward of her labors, and let her works praise her at the city gates.