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A reading from the book of Wisdom

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 a 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.