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Readings

January 19

Second Sunday After The Epiphany –

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!  This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’  I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.”

            Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him.  And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’  I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.”

            The next day John was there again with two of his disciples.  When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!”

            When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus.  Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?”

            They said, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?”

            “Come,” he replied, “and you will see.”

            So they went and saw where he was staying, and they spent that day with him.  It was about four in the afternoon.

            Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus.  The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ).  And he brought him to Jesus. – John 1:29-42a

January 26

Third Sunday After The Epiphany –

When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he withdrew to Galilee.  Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali — to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah:

            “Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali,
the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan,
Galilee of the Gentiles —
            the people living in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death
a light has dawned.”

            From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”

            As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew.  They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen.  “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”  At once they left their nets and followed him.

            Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John.  They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.

            Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.  News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them.  Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him. – Matthew 4:12-25

February 2

The Purification Of Mary And The Presentation Of Our Lord –

When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”), 24 and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”

            Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout.  He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him.  It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah.  Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts.  When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:

            “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you may now dismiss your servant in peace.
            For my eyes have seen your salvation,
            which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
            a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and the glory of your people Israel.” – Luke 2:22-32

February 9

Fifth Sunday After The Epiphany –

“You are the salt of the earth.  But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?  It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

            “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.  Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

            “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.  For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.  Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.  For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven. – Matthew 5:13-20

February 16

Sixth Sunday After The Epiphany –

“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’  But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment.  Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court.  And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.

            “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar.  First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.

            “Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court.  Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison.  Truly I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.

            “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’  But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.  If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away.  It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.  And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away.  It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.

            “It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’  But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

            “Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’  But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King.  And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black.  All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one. – Matthew 5:21-37

February 23

The Transfiguration Of Our Lord –

After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves.  There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light.  Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.

            Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here.  If you wish, I will put up three shelters — one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.”

            While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.  Listen to him!”

            When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified.  But Jesus came and touched them.  “Get up,” he said.  “Don’t be afraid.”  When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.

            As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, “Don’t tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.” – Matthew 17:1-9

February 26

Ash Wednesday –

“Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven. So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward.  But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”

            “And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. And whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward.  But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21

March 1

First Sunday In Lent –

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.  After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.  The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”

            Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

            Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple.  “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:

            “‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”

            Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

            Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor.  “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”

            Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan!  For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”

            Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him. – Matthew 4:1-11

March 8

Second Sunday In Lent –

Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council.  He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”

            Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”  “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked.  “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”

            Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.  Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.  You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’  The wind blows wherever it pleases.  You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going.  So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

            “How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.

            “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things?  Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony.  I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?  No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven — the Son of Man.  Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”

            For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. – John 3:1-17

March 15

Third Sunday In Lent –

So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph.  Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well.  It was about noon.

            When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)

            The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)

            Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

            “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep.  Where can you get this living water?  Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”

            Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst.  Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

            The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”

            He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”

            “I have no husband,” she replied.

            Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband.  The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband.  What you have just said is quite true.”

            “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet.  Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”

            “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.  You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews.  Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.  God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

            The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming.  When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”

            Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you — I am he.” – John 4:5-26

March 22

Fourth Sunday In Lent –

As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth.  His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

            “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.  As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.  While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

            After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes.  “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”).  So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.

            His neighbors and those who had formerly seen him begging asked, “Isn’t this the same man who used to sit and beg?”  Some claimed that he was.

            Others said, “No, he only looks like him.”

            But he himself insisted, “I am the man.”

            “How then were your eyes opened?” they asked.

            He replied, “The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes.  He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and then I could see.”

            “Where is this man?” they asked him.

            “I don’t know,” he said.

            They brought to the Pharisees the man who had been blind.  Now the day on which Jesus had made the mud and opened the man’s eyes was a Sabbath.  Therefore the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight.  “He put mud on my eyes,” the man replied, “and I washed, and now I see.”

            Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.”

            But others asked, “How can a sinner perform such signs?”  So they were divided.

            Then they turned again to the blind man, “What have you to say about him? It was your eyes he opened.”

            The man replied, “He is a prophet.”

            They still did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they sent for the man’s parents.  “Is this your son?” they asked.  “Is this the one you say was born blind?  How is it that now he can see?”

            “We know he is our son,” the parents answered, “and we know he was born blind.  But how he can see now, or who opened his eyes, we don’t know.  Ask him.  He is of age; he will speak for himself.”  His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders, who already had decided that anyone who acknowledged that Jesus was the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue.  That was why his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”

            A second time they summoned the man who had been blind.  “Give glory to God by telling the truth,” they said.  “We know this man is a sinner.”

            He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know.  I was blind but now I see!”

            Then they asked him, “What did he do to you?  How did he open your eyes?”

            He answered, “I have told you already and you did not listen.  Why do you want to hear it again?  Do you want to become his disciples too?”

            Then they hurled insults at him and said, “You are this fellow’s disciple!  We are disciples of Moses!  We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this fellow, we don’t even know where he comes from.”

            The man answered, “Now that is remarkable!  You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes.  We know that God does not listen to sinners.  He listens to the godly person who does his will.  Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind.  If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.”

            To this they replied, “You were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us!”  And they threw him out.

            Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”

            “Who is he, sir?” the man asked.  “Tell me so that I may believe in him.”

            Jesus said, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.”

            Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.

            Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.”

            Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What?  Are we blind too?”

            Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains. – John 9:1-41

March 29

Fifth Sunday In Lent –

Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha.  (This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.)  So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.”

            When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death.            No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.”  Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.  So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days, and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”

            “But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?”

            Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight?  Anyone who walks in the daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world’s light.  It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light.”

            After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.”

            His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.”  Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.

            So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe.  But let us go to him.”

            Then Thomas (also known as Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

            On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days.  Now Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother.  When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.

            “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died.  But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”

            Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”

            Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

            Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.  Do you believe this?”

            “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

            After she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside.  “The Teacher is here,” she said, “and is asking for you.”  When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him.  Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him.  When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there.

            When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

            When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.  “Where have you laid him?” he asked.

            “Come and see, Lord,” they replied.

            Jesus wept.

            Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”

            But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”

            Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb.  It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance.  “Take away the stone,” he said.

            “But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”

            Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”

            So they took away the stone.  Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me.  I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”

            When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!”  The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.

            Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”

            Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him. – John 11:1-45

April 5

Palm Sunday –

The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem.  They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna!”  “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”  “Blessed is the king of Israel!”

            Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, as it is written: “Do not be afraid, Daughter Zion; see, your king is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.”

                        At first his disciples did not understand all this.  Only after Jesus was glorified did they realize that these things had been written about him and that these things had been done to him.

            Now the crowd that was with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to spread the word.  Many people, because they had heard that he had performed this sign, went out to meet him.  So the Pharisees said to one another, “See, this is getting us nowhere.  Look how the whole world has gone after him!” – John 12:12-19

April 9

Maundy Thursday –

On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?”

            He replied, “Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My appointed time is near.  I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house.’ ”  So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover.

            When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve.  And while they were eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.”

            They were very sad and began to say to him one after the other, “Surely you don’t mean me, Lord?”

            Jesus replied, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me.  The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him.  But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man!  It would be better for him if he had not been born.”

            Then Judas, the one who would betray him, said, “Surely you don’t mean me, Rabbi?”

            Jesus answered, “You have said so.”

            While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”

            Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you.  This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.  I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”

            When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. – Matthew 26:17-30

April 10

Good Friday –

So they took Jesus; and carrying the cross by Himself, He went out to what is called The Place of the Skull, which in Hebrew is called Golgotha.  There they crucified Him, and with Him two others, one on either side, with Jesus between them.  Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross.  It read, ‘Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.’  Many of the Jews read this inscription, because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, in Latin, and in Greek.  Then the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but, ‘This man said, I am King of the Jews.’ ”  Pilate answered, ‘What I have written I have written.’  When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took His clothes and divided them into four parts, one for each soldier.  They also took His tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from the top.  So they said to one another, ‘Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see who will get it.’  This was to fulfill what the scripture says, ‘They divided my clothes among themselves, and for my clothing they cast lots.’  And that is what the soldiers did.

            Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.  When Jesus saw His mother and the disciple whom He loved standing beside her, He said to His mother, ‘Woman, here is your son.’  Then He said to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’  And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.

            After this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished, He said (in order to fulfill the scripture), ‘I am thirsty.’  A jar full of sour wine was standing there.  So they put a sponge full of the wine on a branch of hyssop and held it to His mouth.  When Jesus had received the wine, He said, ‘It is finished.’  Then He bowed His head and gave up His spirit. – John 19:17-30

April 12

The Resurrection Of Our Lord –

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance.  So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”  So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb.  Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first.  He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in.  Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb.  He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head.  The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen.  Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside.  He saw and believed.  (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.)  Then the disciples went back to where they were staying.

Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.

They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”

“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.”  At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.

He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?  Who is it you are looking for?”

Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”

Jesus said to her, “Mary.”

She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).

Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father.  Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ ”

Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!”  And she told them that he had said these things to her. – John 20:1-18

April 19

Second Sunday Of Easter –

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”  After he said this, he showed them his hands and side.  The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

            Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you!  As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”  And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.  If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

            Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came.  So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

            But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

            A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them.  Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”  Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands.  Reach out your hand and put it into my side.  Stop doubting and believe.”

            Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

            Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

            Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book.  But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. – John 20:19-31

April 26

Third Sunday Of Easter –

Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem.  They were talking with each other about everything that had happened.  As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him.

            He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”

            They stood still, their faces downcast.  One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?”

            “What things?” he asked.

            “About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied.  “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people.  The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel.  And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place.  In addition, some of our women amazed us.  They went to the tomb early this morning but didn’t find his body.  They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive.  Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.”

            He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken!  Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?”  And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

            As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther.  But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.”  So he went in to stay with them.

            When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them.  Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight.  They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”

            They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem.  There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together and saying, “It is true!  The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.”  Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread. – Luke 24:13-35

May 3

Fourth Sunday Of Easter –

“Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber.  The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.  The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice.  He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.  When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.  But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.”  Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them.

            Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep.  All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them.  I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.  They will come in and go out, and find pasture.  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. – John 10:1-10

May 10

Fifth Sunday Of Easter –

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.  My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.  You know the way to the place where I am going.”

            Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

            Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.  If you really know me, you will know my Father as well.  From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

            Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”

            Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time?  Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.  How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?  Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me?  The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority.  Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.  Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves.  Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.  And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. – John 14:1-14

May 17

Sixth Sunday Of Easter –

“If you love me, keep my commands.  And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever — the Spirit of truth.  The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him.  But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.  I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.  Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me.  Because I live, you also will live.  On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.  Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me.  The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.” – John 14:15-21

May 24

Seventh Sunday Of Easter –

After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed:

            “Father, the hour has come.  Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.  For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him.  Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.  I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do.  And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.

            “I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world.  They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word.  Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you.  For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them.  They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me.  I pray for them.  I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours.  All I have is yours, and all you have is mine.  And glory has come to me through them.  I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. – John 17:1-11

May 31

The Day Of Pentecost –

On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink.  Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”  By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive.  Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified. – John 7:37-39

June 7

The Holy Trinity –

Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.  When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.  Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.  And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – Matthew 28:16-20

June 14

Second Sunday After Pentecost –

Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.  When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.   Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.  Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

            Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.

            These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.

            These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans.  Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel.  As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’  Heal the sick, raise the dead, and cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give. – Matthew 9:35-10:8

June 21

Third Sunday After Pentecost –

These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: …

            “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death.  You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.  When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another.  Truly I tell you, you will not finish going through the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

            “The student is not above the teacher, nor a servant above his master.  It is enough for students to be like their teachers, and servants like their masters.  If the head of the house has been called Beelzebul, how much more the members of his household!

            “So do not be afraid of them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known.  What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs.  Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.  Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.  Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?  Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.  And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

            “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven.  But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven. – Matthew 10:5a, 21-33

June 28

Fourth Sunday After Pentecost –

“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth.  I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.  For I have come to turn

            “ ‘a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law —
            a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’

            “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.  Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.  Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.

            “Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me.  Whoever welcomes a prophet as a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever welcomes a righteous person as a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward.  And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.” – Matthew 10:34-42

July 5

Fifth Sunday After Pentecost –

At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.  Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.

            “All things have been committed to me by my Father.  No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

            “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:25-30

July 12

Sixth Sunday After Pentecost –

That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake.  Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore.  Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed.  As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up.  Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil.  It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow.  But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root.  Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants.  Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop — a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.  Whoever has ears, let them hear.” …

            “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means:  When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart.  This is the seed sown along the path.  The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy.  But since they have no root, they last only a short time.  When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.  The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful.  But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it.  This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” – Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23

July 19

Seventh Sunday After Pentecost –

[Jesus] put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away.  So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also.  And the servants of the master of the house came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?’  He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ So the servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’  But he said, ‘No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them.  Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, “Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.”’” …

                        Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples came to him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.”  He answered, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man.  The field is the world, and the good seed is the sons of the kingdom.  The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sowed them is the devil.  The harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels.  Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the end of the age.  The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, and throw them into the fiery furnace.  In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.  Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.  He who has ears, let him hear. – Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43

July 26

Eighth Sunday After Pentecost –

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field.  When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.

            “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls.  When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.

            “Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish.  When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore.  Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away.  This is how it will be at the end of the age.  The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

            “Have you understood all these things?” Jesus asked.

            “Yes,” they replied.

            He said to them, “Therefore every teacher of the law who has become a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.” – Matthew 13:44-52

August 2

Ninth Sunday After Pentecost –

When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place.  Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns.  When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.

            As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late.  Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.”

            Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away.  You give them something to eat.”

            “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.

            “Bring them here to me,” he said.  And he directed the people to sit down on the grass.  Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves.  Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people.  They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.  The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children. – Matthew 14:13-21