A-3 A reading from the Book of Wisdom 4:7-15

The just, though they 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,
and an unsullied life, the attainment of old age.

Those who pleased God were loved;
they who lived among sinners were transported–

Snatched away, lest wickedness pervert their mind
or deceit beguile their 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,
they reached the fullness of a long career;
for their souls were pleasing to the Lord,
therefore he sped them out of the midst of wickedness.

But the people saw and did not understand,
nor did they take this into account.

The word of the Lord.