9How can a young man keep his | way pure?*
By guarding it according | to your word.
10With my whole heart I | seek you;*
let me not wander from your com- | mandments!
11I have stored up your word | in my heart,*
that I might not sin a- | gainst you.
12Blessèd are you, | O LORD;*
teach me your | statutes!
13With my lips | I declare*
all the just decrees | of your mouth.
14In the way of your testimonies | I delight*
as much as in all | riches.
15I will meditate on your | precepts*
and fix my eyes | on your ways.
16I will delight in your | statutes;*
I will not for- | get your word.
Additional Psalm: Psalm 118:22–29
Old Testament Reading: Proverbs 4:1–27
A Father’s Wise Instruction
1Hear, O sons, a father’s instruction,
and be attentive, that you may gain insight,
2for I give you good precepts;
do not forsake my teaching.
3When I was a son with my father,
tender, the only one in the sight of my mother,
4he taught me and said to me,
“Let your heart hold fast my words;
keep my commandments, and live.
5Get wisdom; get insight;
do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth.
6Do not forsake her, and she will keep you;
love her, and she will guard you.
7The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom,
and whatever you get, get insight.
8Prize her highly, and she will exalt you;
she will honor you if you embrace her.
9She will place on your head a graceful garland;
she will bestow on you a beautiful crown.”
10Hear, my son, and accept my words,
that the years of your life may be many.
11I have taught you the way of wisdom;
I have led you in the paths of uprightness.
12When you walk, your step will not be hampered,
and if you run, you will not stumble.
13Keep hold of instruction; do not let go;
guard her, for she is your life.
14Do not enter the path of the wicked,
and do not walk in the way of the evil.
15Avoid it; do not go on it;
turn away from it and pass on.
16For they cannot sleep unless they have done wrong;
they are robbed of sleep unless they have made someone stumble.
17For they eat the bread of wickedness
and drink the wine of violence.
18But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn,
which shines brighter and brighter until full day.
19The way of the wicked is like deep darkness;
they do not know over what they stumble.
20My son, be attentive to my words;
incline your ear to my sayings.
21Let them not escape from your sight;
keep them within your heart.
22For they are life to those who find them,
and healing to all their flesh.
23Keep your heart with all vigilance,
for from it flow the springs of life.
24Put away from you crooked speech,
and put devious talk far from you.
25Let your eyes look directly forward,
and your gaze be straight before you.
26Ponder the path of your feet;
then all your ways will be sure.
27Do not swerve to the right or to the left;
turn your foot away from evil.
New Testament Reading: John 12:1–19
Mary Anoints Jesus at Bethany
1Six days before the Passover, Jesus therefore came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2So they gave a dinner for him there. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those reclining with him at table. 3Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. 4But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, 5“Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” 6He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it. 7Jesus said, “Leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial. 8For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.”
The Plot to Kill Lazarus
9When the large crowd of the Jews learned that Jesus was there, they came, not only on account of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 10So the chief priests made plans to put Lazarus to death as well, 11because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus.
The Triumphal Entry
12The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. 13So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” 14And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written,
15“Fear not, daughter of Zion;
behold, your king is coming,
sitting on a donkey’s colt!”
16His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about him and had been done to him. 17The crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to bear witness. 18The reason why the crowd went to meet him was that they heard he had done this sign. 19So the Pharisees said to one another, “You see that you are gaining nothing. Look, the world has gone after him.”
For Christ’s sake, and not for the sake of our works, we obtain the forgiveness of sins through faith… In the doctrine of repentance works are required, because certainly a new life is required. But here the adversaries wrongly add that by such works we merit the forgiveness of sins, or justification… Good fruit must necessarily follow [repentance and forgiveness]… If good fruit do not follow, the repentance is hypocritical and fake… [Also,] we have need of outward signs of so great a promise. A conscience full of fear has need of much consolation. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are signs that continually remind, cheer, and encourage despairing minds to believe more firmly that their sins are forgiven. So the same promise is written and portrayed in good works, in order that these works may remind us to believe more firmly. Those who produce no good works do not encourage themselves to believe, but despise these promises. On the other hand, the godly embrace them and rejoice that they have the signs and testimonies of so great a promise. So they exercise themselves in these signs and testimonies.
The adversaries give the worst advice to godly consciences when they teach that the forgiveness of sins is earned by works. Conscience, in seeking forgiveness through works, cannot be confident that the work will satisfy God. It is always tormented, and continually invents other works and other acts of worship, until it completely despairs… Paul in Romans 4:5 … proves that the promise of righteousness is not obtained because of our works. We could never affirm that we had a reconciled God, for the Law always accuses. So the promise would be in vain and uncertain. He concludes that this promise of the forgiveness of sins and of righteousness is received through faith, not because of works… In [this] the greatest consolation is offered to godly consciences, and Christ’s glory is shown forth. He certainly was given to us for this purpose, namely, that through Him we might have grace, righteousness, and peace.
—Apology of the Augsburg Confession V 153–55, 164
From Olivet they followed
Mid an exultant crowd,
The victor palm branch waving
And chanting clear and loud.
The Lord of earth and heaven
Rode on in lowly state
Nor scorned that little children
Should on His bidding wait. (LSB 443:2)
Prayer of the Day
Almighty God, grant that in the midst of our failures and weaknesses we may be restored through the passion and intercession of Your only-begotten Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. (L29)
Suggested Reading from the Book of Concord
Small Catechism Part II