Monday, 31 December 2007

Today's Readings

Ah the last day of the year! Any resolutions for the new year 2008? Religious, financial, etc.?Anyway, here's the readings for today:

John 1: 1-18
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was fully God. The Word was with God in the beginning. All things were created by him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created. In him was life, and the life was the light of mankind. And the light shines on in the darkness, but the darkness has not mastered it.
A man came, sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify about the light, so that everyone might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify about the light. The true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was created by him, but the world did not recognize him. He came to what was his own, but his own people did not receive him. But to all who have received him – those who believe in his name – he has given the right to become God’s children – children not born by human parents or by human desire or a husband’s decision, but by God.
Now the Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We saw his glory – the glory of the one and only, full of grace and truth, who came from the Father. John testified about him and shouted out, “This one was the one about whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is greater than I am, because he existed before me.’” For we have all received from his fullness one gracious gift after another. For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came about through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. The only one, himself God, who is in closest fellowship with the Father, has made God known.

1 John 2: 18-21
Children, it is the last hour, and just as you heard that the antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have appeared. We know from this that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us, since if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us. But they went out from us to demonstrate that all of them do not belong to us.
Nevertheless you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know. I have not written to you that you do not know the truth, but that you do know it, and that no lie is of the truth.

Sunday, 30 December 2007

Today's Readings

Ah more readings for today Sun 30 Dec (Feast of the Holy Family):

Matthew 2: 13-15, 19-23
After they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother and flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to look for the child to kill him.” Then he got up, took the child and his mother during the night, and went to Egypt. He stayed there until Herod died. In this way what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet was fulfilled: “I called my Son out of Egypt.”
...After Herod had died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt saying, “Get up, take the child and his mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who were seeking the child’s life are dead.” So he got up and took the child and his mother and returned to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. After being warned in a dream, he went to the regions of Galilee. He came to a town called Nazareth and lived there. Then what had been spoken by the prophets was fulfilled, that Jesus would be called a Nazarene.

Colossians 3: 12-21
Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with a heart of mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if someone happens to have a complaint against anyone else. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also forgive others. And to all these virtues add love, which is the perfect bond. Let the peace of Christ be in control in your heart (for you were in fact called as one body to this peace), and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and exhorting one another with all wisdom, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, all with grace in your hearts to God. And whatever you do in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be embittered against them. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this is pleasing in the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children, so they will not become disheartened.

Sirach 3: 2-6, 12-14
God sets a father in honor over his children;
a mother’s authority he confirms over her sons.
Whoever honors his father atones for sins,
and preserves himself from them.
When he prays, he is heard;
he stores up riches who reveres his mother.
Whoever honors his father is gladdened by children,
and, when he prays, is heard.
Whoever reveres his father will live a long life;
he who obeys his father brings comfort to his mother.
...My son, take care of your father when he is old;
grieve him not as long as he lives.
Even if his mind fail, be considerate of him;
revile him not all the days of his life;
kindness to a father will not be forgotten,
firmly planted against the debt of your sins
—a house raised in justice to you.

Saturday, 29 December 2007

Today's Readings

Yet more readings for today Sat 29 Dec as below:

Luke 2: 22-35
Now when the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, Joseph and Mary brought Jesus up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (just as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every firstborn malewill be set apart to the Lord”), and to offer a sacrifice according to what is specified in the law of the Lord, a pair of doves or two young pigeons.
Now there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon who was righteous and devout, looking for the restoration of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. So Simeon, directed by the Spirit, came into the temple courts, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what was customary according to the law, Simeon took him in his arms and blessed God, saying, “Now, according to your word, Sovereign Lord, permit your servant to depart in peace.
For my eyes have seen your salvation
that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples:
a light, for revelation to the Gentiles,
and for glory to your people Israel.”
So the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, “Listen carefully: This child is destined to be the cause of the falling and rising of many in Israel and to be a sign that will be rejected. Indeed, as a result of him the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed – and a sword will pierce your own soul as well!”

1 John 2: 3-11
Now by this we know that we have come to know God: if we keep his commandments. The one who says “I have come to know God” and yet does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in such a person. But whoever obeys his word, truly in this person the love of God has been perfected. By this we know that we are in him. The one who says he resides in God ought himself to walk just as Jesus walked.
Dear friends, I am not writing a new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have already heard. On the other hand, I am writing a new commandment to you which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. The one who says he is in the light but still hates his fellow Christian is still in the darkness. The one who loves his fellow Christian resides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. But the one who hates his fellow Christian is in the darkness, walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

Friday, 28 December 2007

Today's Readings

More readings for today (Fri 28 Dec) as below:

Matthew 2: 13-18
After they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother and flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to look for the child to kill him.” Then he got up, took the child and his mother during the night, and went to Egypt. He stayed there until Herod died. In this way what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet was fulfilled: “I called my Son out of Egypt.”
When Herod saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, he became enraged. He sent men to kill all the children in Bethlehem and throughout the surrounding region from the age of two and under, according to the time he had learned from the wise men. Then what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled:
“A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and loud wailing,
Rachel weeping for her children,
and she did not want to be comforted
because they were gone.”

1 John 1: 5 - 2: 2
Now this is the gospel message we have heard from him and announce to you: God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him and yet keep on walking in the darkness, we are lying and not practicing the truth. But if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we do not bear the guilt of sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous, forgiving us our sins and cleansing us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar and his word is not in us. (My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin.) But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous One, and he himself is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for our sins but also for the whole world.

Thursday, 27 December 2007

Today's Readings

Some more of today's readings (Thu 27 Dec) below:

John 20: 1-8
Now very early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been moved away from the entrance. So she went running to Simon Peter and the other disciple whom Jesus loved and told them, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!” Then Peter and the other disciple set out to go to the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down and saw the strips of linen cloth lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter, who had been following him, arrived and went right into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen cloth lying there, and the face cloth, which had been around Jesus’ head, not lying with the strips of linen cloth but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, came in, and he saw and believed.

1 John 1: 1-4
This is what we proclaim to you: what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and our hands have touched (concerning the word of life – and the life was revealed, and we have seen and testify and announce to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us). What we have seen and heard we announce to you too, so that you may have fellowship with us (and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ). Thus we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.

Wednesday, 26 December 2007

Today's Readings

More readings for today Wed 26 Dec:

Matthew 10: 17-22
"Beware of people, because they will hand you over to councils and flog you in their synagogues. And you will be brought before governors and kings because of me, as a witness to them and the Gentiles. Whenever they hand you over for trial, do not worry about how to speak or what to say, for what you should say will be given to you at that time. For it is not you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you."
“Brother will hand over brother to death, and a father his child. Children will rise against parents and have them put to death. And you will be hated by everyone because of my name. But the one who endures to the end will be saved."

Acts 6: 8-10 & 7: 54-59
Now Stephen, full of grace and power, was performing great wonders and miraculous signs among the people. But some men from the Synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called), both Cyrenians and Alexandrians, as well as some from Cilicia and the province of Asia, stood up and argued with Stephen. Yet they were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit with which he spoke.
...When they heard these things, they became furious and ground their teeth at him. But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked intently toward heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. “Look!” he said. “I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” But they covered their ears, shouting out with a loud voice, and rushed at him with one intent. When they had driven him out of the city, they began to stone him, and the witnesses laid their cloaks at the feet of a young man named Saul. They continued to stone Stephen while he prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!”

Tuesday, 25 December 2007

Christmas' Readings

First of all I wish all my readers a very joyous and meaningful Christmas. Many happy returns of the day!
Now to today's readings, as below:

Vigil Mass:
Matthew 1: 1-25
This is the record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, Judah the father of Perez and Zerah (by Tamar), Perez the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram, Ram the father of Amminadab, Amminadab the father of Nahshon, Nahshon the father of Salmon, Salmon the father of Boaz (by Rahab), Boaz the father of Obed (by Ruth), Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David the king.
David was the father of Solomon (by the wife of Uriah), Solomon the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, Abijah the father of Asa, Asa the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, Joram the father of Uzziah, Uzziah the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of Amon, Amon the father of Josiah, and Josiah the father of Jeconiah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon.
After the deportation to Babylon, Jeconiah became the father of Shealtiel, Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, Abiud the father of Eliakim, Eliakim the father of Azor, Azor the father of Zadok, Zadok the father of Achim, Achim the father of Eliud, Eliud the father of Eleazar, Eleazar the father of Matthan, Matthan the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, by whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ.
So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon, fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to Christ, fourteen generations.
Now the birth of Jesus Christ happened this way. While his mother Mary was engaged to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph, her husband to be, was a righteous man, and because he did not want to disgrace her, he intended to divorce her privately. When he had contemplated this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son and you will name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” This all happened so that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet would be fulfilled: “Look! The virgin will conceive and bear a son, and they will call him Emmanuel,” which means “God with us.” When Joseph awoke from sleep he did what the angel of the Lord told him. He took his wife, but did not have marital relations with her until she gave birth to a son, whom he named Jesus.

Acts 13: 16-17, 22-25
When Paul reached Antioch in Pisidia and entered the synagogue, he stood up, gestured with his hand and said, “Men of Israel, and you Gentiles who fear God, listen: The God of this people Israel chose our ancestors and made the people great during their stay as foreigners in the country of Egypt, and with uplifted arm he led them out of it.
...After removing him [Saul], God raised up David their king. He testified about him: ‘I have found David the son of Jesse to be a man after my heart, who will accomplish everything I want him to do.’ From the descendants of this man God brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus, just as he promised. Before Jesus arrived, John had proclaimed a baptism for repentance to all the people of Israel. But while John was completing his mission, he said repeatedly, ‘What do you think I am? I am not he. But look, one is coming after me. I am not worthy to untie the sandals on his feet!’

Isaiah 62: 1-5
“For the sake of Zion I will not be silent;
for the sake of Jerusalem I will not be quiet,
until her vindication shines brightly
and her deliverance burns like a torch.”
Nations will see your vindication,
and all kings your splendor.
You will be called by a new name
that the Lord himself will give you.
You will be a majestic crown in the hand of the Lord,
a royal turban in the hand of your God.
You will no longer be called, “Abandoned,”
and your land will no longer be called “Desolate.”
Indeed, you will be called “My Delight is in Her,” and your land “Married.”
For the Lord will take delight in you,
and your land will be married to him.
As a young man marries a young woman,
so your sons will marry you.
As a bridegroom rejoices over a bride,
so your God will rejoice over you.

Midnight Mass:
Luke 2: 1-14
Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus to register all the empire for taxes. This was the first registration, taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria. Everyone went to his own town to be registered. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family line of David. He went to be registered with Mary, who was promised in marriage to him, and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
Now there were shepherds nearby living out in the field, keeping guard over their flock at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were absolutely terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid! Listen carefully, for I proclaim to you good news that brings great joy to all the people: Today your Savior is born in the city of David. He is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a vast, heavenly army appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among people with whom he is pleased!”

Titus 2: 11-14
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all people. It trains us to reject godless ways and worldly desires and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, as we wait for the happy fulfillment of our hope in the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. He gave himself for us to set us free from every kind of lawlessness and to purify for himself a people who are truly his, who are eager to do good.

Isaiah 9: 1-6
The people walking in darkness see a bright light;
light shines on those who live in a land of deep darkness.
You have enlarged the nation; you give them great joy.
They rejoice in your presence, as harvesters rejoice;
as warriors celebrate when they divide up the plunder.
For their oppressive yoke, and the club that strikes their shoulders,
the cudgel the oppressor uses on them,
you have shattered, as in the day of Midian’s defeat.
Indeed every boot that marches and shakes the earth
and every garment dragged through blood
is used as fuel for the fire.
For a child has been born to us, a son has been given to us.
He shoulders responsibility, and is called:
Extraordinary Strategist,
Mighty God,
Everlasting Father,
Prince of Peace.

Dawn Mass:
Luke 2: 15-20
When the angels left them and went back to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, that the Lord has made known to us.” So they hurried off and located Mary and Joseph, and found the baby lying in a manger. When they saw him, they related what they had been told about this child, and all who heard it were astonished at what the shepherds said. But Mary treasured up all these words, pondering in her heart what they might mean. So the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen; everything was just as they had been told.

Titus 3: 4-7
"But when the kindness of God our Savior and his love for mankind appeared, he saved us not by works of righteousness that we have done but on the basis of his mercy, through the washing of the new birth and the renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us in full measure through Jesus Christ our Savior. And so, since we have been justified by his grace, we become heirs with the confident expectation of eternal life.”

Isaiah 62: 11-12
Look, the Lord announces to the entire earth:
“Say to Daughter Zion,
‘Look, your deliverer comes!
Look, his reward is with him
and his reward goes before him!’”
They will be called, “The Holy People,
the Ones Protected by the Lord.”
You will be called, “Sought After,
City Not Abandoned.”

Day Mass:
John 1: 1-18
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was fully God. The Word was with God in the beginning. All things were created by him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created. In him was life, and the life was the light of mankind. And the light shines on in the darkness, but the darkness has not mastered it.
A man came, sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify about the light, so that everyone might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify about the light. The true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was created by him, but the world did not recognize him. He came to what was his own, but his own people did not receive him. But to all who have received him – those who believe in his name – he has given the right to become God’s children – children not born by human parents or by human desire or a husband’s decision, but by God.
Now the Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We saw his glory – the glory of the one and only, full of grace and truth, who came from the Father. John testified about him and shouted out, “This one was the one about whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is greater than I am, because he existed before me.’” For we have all received from his fullness one gracious gift after another. For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came about through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. The only one, himself God, who is in closest fellowship with the Father, has made God known.

Hebrew 1: 1-6
After God spoke long ago in various portions and in various ways to our ancestors through the prophets, in these last days he has spoken to us in a son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he created the world. The Son is the radiance of his glory and the representation of his essence, and he sustains all things by his powerful word, and so when he had accomplished cleansing for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. Thus he became so far better than the angels as he has inherited a name superior to theirs.For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my son! Today I have fathered you”? Or in another place he said, “I will be his father and he will be my son.”? But when he again brings his firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all the angels of God worship him!”

Isaiah 52: 7-10
How delightful it is to see approaching over the mountains
the feet of a messenger who announces peace,
a messenger who brings good news, who announces deliverance,
who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!”
Listen, your watchmen shout;
in unison they shout for joy,
for they see with their very own eyes the Lord’s return to Zion.
In unison give a joyful shout, O ruins of Jerusalem!
For the Lord consoles his people;
he protects Jerusalem.
The Lord reveals his royal power
in the sight of all the nations;
the entire earth sees
our God deliver.

Monday, 24 December 2007

Today's Readings

Ah, the last day of Advent. Here are the readings for the day (Mon 24 Dec):

Luke 1: 67-79
Then his [John the Baptist] father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied,
“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
because he has come to help and has redeemed his people.
For he has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David,
as he spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from long ago,
that we should be saved from our enemies,
and from the hand of all who hate us.
He has done this to show mercy to our ancestors,
and to remember his holy covenant–
the oath that he swore to our ancestor Abraham.
This oath grants that we, being rescued from the hand of our enemies,
may serve him without fear,
in holiness and righteousness before him for as long as we live.
And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High.
For you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
to give his people knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins.
Because of our God’s tender mercy
the dawn will break upon us from on high
to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

2 Samuel 7: 1-5, 8-12, 14, 16
... The king settled into his palace, for the Lord gave him relief from all his enemies on all sides. The king said to Nathan the prophet, “Look! I am living in a palace made from cedar, while the ark of God sits in the middle of a tent.” Nathan replied to the king, “You should go and do whatever you have in mind, for the Lord is with you.” That night the Lord told Nathan, “Go, tell my servant David: ‘This is what the Lord says: Do you really intend to build a house for me to live in?”
...“So now, say this to my servant David: ‘This is what the Lord of hosts says: I took you from the pasture and from your work as a shepherd to make you leader of my people Israel. I was with you wherever you went, and I defeated all your enemies before you. Now I will make you as famous as the great men of the earth. I will establish a place for my people Israel and settle them there; they will live there and not be disturbed any more. Violent men will not oppress them again, as they did in the beginning and during the time when I appointed judges to lead my people Israel. Instead, I will give you relief from all your enemies. The Lord declares to you that he himself will build a dynastic house for you. When the time comes for you to die, I will raise up your descendant, one of your own sons, to succeed you, and I will establish his kingdom.
...I will become his father and he will become my son. When he sins, I will correct him with the rod of men and with wounds inflicted by human beings.
...Your house and your kingdom will stand before me permanently; your dynasty will be permanent.”

Yesterday's Readings

Sorry forgot to psot these readings yesterday (Sun 23 Dec) anyway here they are:

Matthew 1: 18-24
This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the Holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means “God is with us.” When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home.

Romans 1: 1-7
From Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God. This gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy scriptures, concerning his Son who was a descendant of David with reference to the flesh, who was appointed the Son-of-God-in-power according to the Holy Spirit by the resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord. Through him we have received grace and our apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles on behalf of his name. You also are among them, called to belong to Jesus Christ. To all those loved by God in Rome, called to be saints: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!

Isaiah 7: 10-14
The LORD spoke to Ahaz, saying: Ask for a sign from the LORD, your God; let it be deep as the netherworld, or high as the sky! But Ahaz answered, “I will not ask! I will not tempt the LORD!” Then Isaiah said: Listen, O house of David! Is it not enough for you to weary people, must you also weary my God? Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel."

Saturday, 22 December 2007

Today's Readings

Yet more readings for today Sat 22 Dec:

Luke 1: 46-56
And Mary said,
“My soul exalts the Lord,
and my spirit has begun to rejoice in God my Savior,
because he has looked upon the humble state of his servant.
For from now on all generations will call me blessed,
because he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name;
from generation to generation he is merciful to those who fear him.
He has demonstrated power with his arm;
he has scattered those whose pride wells up from the sheer arrogance of their hearts.
He has brought down the mighty from their thrones, and has lifted up those of lowly position;
he has filled the hungry with good things, and has sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel, remembering his mercy,
as he promised to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”
So Mary stayed with Elizabeth about three months and then returned to her home.

1 Samuel 1: 24-28
Once she had weaned him, she took him up with her, along with three bulls, an ephah of flour, and a container of wine. She brought him to the Lord’s house at Shiloh, even though he was young. Once the bull had been slaughtered, they brought the boy to Eli. She said, “Just as surely as you are alive, my lord, I am the woman who previously stood here with you in order to pray to the Lord. I prayed for this boy, and the Lord has given me the request that I asked of him. Now I dedicate him to the Lord. From this time on he is dedicated to the Lord.” Then they worshiped the Lord there.

Friday, 21 December 2007

Today's Readings

More of today's readings below (Fri 21 Dec):

Luke 1: 39-45
In those days Mary got up and went hurriedly into the hill country, to a town of Judah, and entered Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. She exclaimed with a loud voice, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child in your womb! And who am I that the mother of my Lord should come and visit me? For the instant the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that what was spoken to her by the Lord would be fulfilled.”

Zephaniah 3: 14-18
Shout for joy, Daughter Zion!
Shout out, Israel!
Be happy and boast with all your heart, Daughter Jerusalem!
The Lord has removed the judgment against you;
he has turned back your enemy.
Israel’s king, the Lord, is in your midst!
You no longer need to fear disaster.
On that day they will say to Jerusalem,
“Don’t be afraid, Zion!
Your hands must not be paralyzed from panic!
The Lord your God is in your midst;
he is a warrior who can deliver.
He takes great delight in you;
he renews you by his love;
he shouts for joy over you.”
He will sing joyfully because of you,
as one sings at festivals."

Song of Songs 2: 8-14
Listen! My lover is approaching!
Look! Here he comes,
leaping over the mountains,
bounding over the hills!
My lover is like a gazelle or a young stag.
Look! There he stands behind our wall,
gazing through the window,
peering through the lattice.
My lover spoke to me, saying:
“Arise, my darling;
My beautiful one, come away with me!
Look! The winter has passed,
the winter rains are over and gone.
The pomegranates have appeared in the land,
the time for pruning and singing has come;
the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.
The fig tree has budded,
the vines have blossomed and give off their fragrance.
Arise, come away my darling;
my beautiful one, come away with me!”
O my dove, in the clefts of the rock,
in the hiding places of the mountain crags,
let me see your face,
let me hear your voice;
for your voice is sweet,
and your face is lovely.

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Today's Readings

Some more readings with relations 2 today Thu 20 Dec:

Luke 1: 26-38
In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, a descendant of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. The angel came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled by his words and began to wonder about the meaning of this greeting. So the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God! Listen: You will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and his kingdom will never end.” Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I have not had sexual relations with a man?” The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called the Son of God.
“And look, your relative Elizabeth has also become pregnant with a son in her old age – although she was called barren, she is now in her sixth month! For nothing will be impossible with God.” So Mary said, “Yes, I am a servant of the Lord; let this happen to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

Isaiah 7: 10-14
The Lord again spoke to Ahaz: “Ask for a confirming sign from the Lord your God. You can even ask for something miraculous.” But Ahaz responded, “I don’t want to ask; I don’t want to put the Lord to a test.” So Isaiah replied, “Pay attention, family of David. Do you consider it too insignificant to try the patience of men? Is that why you are also trying the patience of my God? For this reason the sovereign master himself will give you a confirming sign. The virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and will name him Immanuel."

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Today's Readings

More readings for today Wed 19 Dec:

Luke 1: 5-25
During the reign of Herod king of Judea, there lived a priest named Zechariah who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah, and he had a wife named Elizabeth, who was a descendant of Aaron. They were both righteous in the sight of God, following all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blamelessly. But they did not have a child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both very old.
Now while Zechariah was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty, he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to enter the holy place of the Lord and burn incense. Now the whole crowd of people were praying outside at the hour of the incense offering. An angel of the Lord, standing on the right side of the altar of incense, appeared to him. And Zechariah, visibly shaken when he saw the angel, was seized with fear. But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son; you will name him John. Joy and gladness will come to you, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He must never drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even before his birth. He will turn many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. And he will go as forerunner before the Lord in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers back to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared for him.”
Zechariah said to the angel, “How can I be sure of this? For I am an old man, and my wife is old as well.” The angel answered him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. And now, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time you will be silent, unable to speak, until the day these things take place.”
Now the people were waiting for Zechariah, and they began to wonder why he was delayed in the holy place. When he came out, he was not able to speak to them. They realized that he had seen a vision in the holy place, because he was making signs to them and remained unable to speak. When his time of service was over, he went to his home.
After some time his wife Elizabeth became pregnant, and for five months she kept herself in seclusion. She said, “This is what the Lord has done for me at the time when he has been gracious to me, to take away my disgrace among people.”

Judges 13: 2-7, 24-25
There was a man named Manoah from Zorah, from the Danite tribe. His wife was infertile and childless. The Lord’s angelic messenger appeared to the woman and said to her, “You are infertile and childless, but you will conceive and have a son. Now be careful! Do not drink wine or beer, and do not eat any food that will make you ritually unclean Look, you will conceive and have a son. You must never cut his hair, for the child will be dedicated to God from birth. He will begin to deliver Israel from the power of the Philistines.”
The woman went and said to her husband, “A man sent from God came to me! He looked like God’s angelic messenger – he was very awesome. I did not ask him where he came from, and he did not tell me his name. He said to me, ‘Look, you will conceive and have a son. So now, do not drink wine or beer and do not eat any food that will make you ritually unclean. For the child will be dedicated to God from birth till the day he dies.’”
...Manoah’s wife gave birth to a son and named him Samson. The child grew and the Lord empowered him. The Lord’s spirit began to control him in Mahaneh Dan between Zorah and Eshtaol.

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Today's Readings

More readings below 4 2day Tue 18 Dec:

Matthew 1: 18-25
Now the birth of Jesus Christ happened this way. While his mother Mary was engaged to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph, her husband to be, was a righteous man, and because he did not want to disgrace her, he intended to divorce her privately. When he had contemplated this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son and you will name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” This all happened so that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet would be fulfilled: “Look! The virgin will conceive and bear a son, and they will call him Emmanuel,” which means “God with us.” When Joseph awoke from sleep he did what the angel of the Lord told him. He took his wife, but did not have marital relations with her until she gave birth to a son, whom he named Jesus.

Jeremiah 23: 5-8
“I, the Lord, promise that a new time will certainly come
when I will raise up for them a righteous branch, a descendant of David.
He will rule over them with wisdom and understanding
and will do what is just and right in the land.
Under his rule Judah will enjoy safety and Israel will live in security.
This is the name he will go by: ‘The Lord has provided us with justice.’
“So I, the Lord, say: ‘A new time will certainly come. People now affirm their oaths with “I swear as surely as the Lord lives who delivered the people of Israel out of Egypt.” But at that time they will affirm them with “I swear as surely as the Lord lives who delivered the descendants of the former nation of Israel from the land of the north and from all the other lands where he had banished them.” At that time they will live in their own land.’”

Monday, 17 December 2007

Today's Readings

Below can be seen today's readings, today being Mon 17 Dec:

Matthew 1: 1-17
This is the record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, Judah the father of Perez and Zerah (by Tamar), Perez the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram, Ram the father of Amminadab, Amminadab the father of Nahshon, Nahshon the father of Salmon, Salmon the father of Boaz (by Rahab), Boaz the father of Obed (by Ruth), Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David the king.
David was the father of Solomon (by the wife of Uriah), Solomon the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, Abijah the father of Asa, Asa the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, Joram the father of Uzziah, Uzziah the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of Amon, Amon the father of Josiah, and Josiah the father of Jeconiah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon.
After the deportation to Babylon, Jeconiah became the father of Shealtiel, Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, Abiud the father of Eliakim, Eliakim the father of Azor, Azor the father of Zadok, Zadok the father of Achim, Achim the father of Eliud, Eliud the father of Eleazar, Eleazar the father of Matthan, Matthan the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, by whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ.
So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon, fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to Christ, fourteen generations.

Genesis 49: 2, 8-10
“Assemble and listen, you sons of Jacob; listen to Israel, your father.
...Judah, your brothers will praise you.
Your hand will be on the neck of your enemies,
your father’s sons will bow down before you.
You are a lion’s cub, Judah,
from the prey, my son, you have gone up.
He crouches and lies down like a lion;
like a lioness – who will rouse him?
The scepter will not depart from Judah,
nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,
until he comes to whom it belongs;
the nations will obey him."

Sunday, 16 December 2007

Today's Readings

More readings 4 2day Sun 16 Dec:

Matthew 11: 2-11
Now when John heard in prison about the deeds Christ had done, he sent his disciples to ask a question: “Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?” Jesus answered them, “Go tell John what you hear and see: The blind see, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news proclaimed to them. Blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me.”
While they were going away, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? What did you go out to see? A man dressed in fancy clothes? Look, those who wear fancy clothes are in the homes of kings! What did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written:
‘Look, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way before you.’
“I tell you the truth, among those born of women, no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he is."

James 5: 7-10
So be patient, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s return. Think of how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the ground and is patient for it until it receives the early and late rains. You also be patient and strengthen your hearts, for the Lord’s return is near. Do not grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be judged. See, the judge stands before the gates! As an example of suffering and patience, brothers and sisters, take the prophets who spoke in the Lord’s name.

Isaiah 35: 1-6, 10
Let the desert and dry region be happy;
let the wilderness rejoice and bloom like a lily!
Let it richly bloom;
let it rejoice and shout with delight!
It is given the grandeur of Lebanon,
the splendor of Carmel and Sharon.
They will see the grandeur of the Lord,
the splendor of our God.
Strengthen the hands that have gone limp,
steady the knees that shake!
Tell those who panic,
“Be strong! Do not fear!
Look, your God comes to avenge!
With divine retribution he comes to deliver you.”
Then blind eyes will open,
deaf ears will hear.
Then the lame will leap like a deer,
the mute tongue will shout for joy;
for water will flow9 in the desert,
streams in the wilderness.
...those whom the Lord has ransomed will return that way.
They will enter Zion with a happy shout.
Unending joy will crown them,
happiness and joy will overwhelm them;
grief and suffering will disappear.

Saturday, 15 December 2007

Today's Readings

More readings for today Sat 15 Dec as below:

Matthew 17: 9-13
As they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, “Do not tell anyone about the vision until the Son of Man is raised from the dead.” The disciples asked him, “Why then do the experts in the law say that Elijah must come first?” He answered, “Elijah does indeed come first and will restore all things. And I tell you that Elijah has already come. Yet they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they wanted. In the same way, the Son of Man will suffer at their hands.” Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them about John the Baptist.

Sirach 48: 1-4, 9-11
And Elias the prophet stood up, as a fire, and his word burnt like a torch. He brought a sore famine upon them, and by his zeal he diminished their number. By the word of the Lord he shut up the heaven, and he brought down fire from heaven thrice. Thus was Elias magnified in his wondrous works. No one else can boast of such deeds!
... [Elijah] Who was taken up in a whirlwind of fire, in a chariot of fiery horses. Who is ready to appear at the designated time to appease the wrath of the Lord, before it broke forth into fury, to reconcile the heart of the father to the son, and to restore the tribes of Jacob. Blessed are they that live to see you come, and were honoured with your friendship.

Friday, 14 December 2007

Today's Readings

Here r more readings for Fri 14 Dec (i.e. today):

Matthew 11: 16-19
“To what should I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the marketplaces who call out to one another,
‘We played the flute for you, yet you did not dance;
we wailed in mourning, yet you did not weep.’
For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon!’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look at him, a glutton and a drunk, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ But wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.”

Isaiah 48: 17-19
This is what the Lord, your protector, says, the Holy One of Israel:
“I am the Lord your God,
who teaches you how to succeed,
who leads you in the way you should go.
If only you had obeyed my commandments,
prosperity would have flowed to you like a river,
deliverance would have come to you like the waves of the sea.7
Your descendants would have been as numerous as sand,
and your children like its granules.
Their name would not have been cut off
and eliminated from my presence."

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Today's Readings

Yet more readings for Thu 13 Dec (which is today):

Matthew 11: 11-15
“I tell you the truth, among those born of women, no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he is. From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and forceful people lay hold of it. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John appeared. And if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah, who is to come. The one who has ears had better listen!"

Isaiah 41: 13-20
For I am the Lord your God,
the one who takes hold of your right hand,
who says to you, ‘Don’t be afraid, I am helping you.’
Don’t be afraid, despised insignificant Jacob, men of Israel.
I am helping you,” says the Lord,
your protector, the Holy One of Israel.
“Look, I am making you like a sharp threshing sledge, new and double-edged.
You will thresh the mountains and crush them;
you will make the hills like straw.
You will winnow them and the wind will blow them away; the wind will scatter them.
You will rejoice in the Lord; you will boast in the Holy One of Israel.
The oppressed and the poor look for water, but there is none;
their tongues are parched from thirst.
I, the Lord, will respond to their prayers;
I, the God of Israel, will not abandon them.
I will make streams flow down the slopes
and produce springs in the middle of the valleys.
I will turn the desert into a pool of water
and the arid land into springs.
I will make cedars, acacias, myrtles, and olive trees grow in the wilderness;
I will make evergreens, firs, and cypresses grow together in the desert.
I will do this so people will observe and recognize,
so they will pay attention and understand
that the Lord’s power has accomplished this,
and that the Holy One of Israel has brought it into being.”

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Today's Readings

Below r more readings 4 today Wed 12 Dec:

Matthew 11: 28-30
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke on you and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and my load is not hard to carry.”

Luke 1: 26-38
In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, a descendant of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. The angel came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled by his words and began to wonder about the meaning of this greeting. So the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God! Listen: you will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and his kingdom will never end.” Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I have not had sexual relations with a man?” The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called the Son of God.
“And look, your relative Elizabeth has also become pregnant with a son in her old age – although she was called barren, she is now in her sixth month! For nothing will be impossible with God.” So Mary said, “Yes, I am a servant of the Lord; let this happen to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

Zechariah 2: 10-13
“Sing out and be happy, Zion my daughter! For look, I have come; I will settle in your midst,” says the Lord. “Many nations will join themselves to the Lord on the day of salvation, and they will also be my people. Indeed, I will settle in the midst of you all.” Then you will know that the Lord who rules over all has sent me to you. The Lord will take possession of Judah as his portion in the holy land and he will choose Jerusalem once again. Be silent in the Lord’s presence, all people everywhere, for he is being moved to action in his holy dwelling place.

Judith 13: 18-19
..."Judith, my dear, the Most High God has blessed you more than any other woman on earth. How worthy of praise is the Lord God who created heaven and earth! He guided you as you cut off the head of our deadliest enemy. Your trust in God will never be forgotten by those who tell of God's power."

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Today's Readings

More readings 4 2day Tue 11 Dec:

Matthew 18: 12-14
Do you not think that if someone owns a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray he will not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go look for the one that went astray? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he will rejoice more over it than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray. In the same way, your Father in heaven is not willing that one of these little ones be lost.

Isaiah 40: 1-11
Comfort, comfort my people,” says your God.
“Speak kindly to Jerusalem, and tell her
that her time of warfare is over,
that her punishment is completed.
For the Lord has made her pay double for all her sins.”
A voice cries out,
“In the wilderness clear a way for the Lord;
construct in the desert a road for our God.
Every valley must be elevated,
and every mountain and hill leveled.
The rough terrain will become a level plain,
the rugged landscape a wide valley.
The splendor of the Lord will be revealed,
and all people will see it at the same time.
For the Lord has decreed it.”
A voice says, “Cry out!”
Another asks, “What should I cry out?”
The first voice responds: “All people are like grass,
and all their promises are like the flowers in the field.
The grass dries up, the flowers wither,
when the wind sent by the Lord blows on them.
Surely humanity is like grass.
The grass dries up, the flowers wither,
but the decree of our God is forever reliable.”
Go up on a high mountain, O herald Zion!
Shout out loudly, O herald Jerusalem!
Shout, don’t be afraid!
Say to the towns of Judah,
“Here is your God!”
Look, the sovereign Lord comes as a victorious warrior;
his military power establishes his rule.
Look, his reward is with him; his prize goes before him.
Like a shepherd he tends his flock;
he gathers up the lambs with his arm;
he carries them close to his heart;
he leads the ewes along.

Monday, 10 December 2007

Today's Readings

Yet more readings for today Mon 10 Dec:

Luke 5: 17-26
Now on one of those days, while Jesus was teaching, there were Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting nearby (who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem), and the power of the Lord was with him to heal. Just then some men showed up, carrying a paralyzed man on a stretcher. They were trying to bring him in and place him before Jesus. But since they found no way to carry him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down on the stretcher through the roof tiles right in front of Jesus. When Jesus saw their faith he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” Then the experts in the law and the Pharisees began to think to themselves, “Who is this man who is uttering blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” When Jesus perceived their hostile thoughts, he said to them, “Why are you raising objections within yourselves? Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Stand up and walk’? But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” – he said to the paralyzed man – “I tell you, stand up, take your stretcher and go home.” Immediately he stood up before them, picked up the stretcher he had been lying on, and went home, glorifying God. Then astonishment seized them all, and they glorified God. They were filled with awe, saying, “We have seen incredible things today.”

Isaiah 35: 1-10
Let the desert and dry region be happy;
let the wilderness rejoice and bloom like a lily!
Let it richly bloom; let it rejoice and shout with delight!
It is given the grandeur of Lebanon, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon.
They will see the grandeur of the Lord, the splendor of our God.
Strengthen the hands that have gone limp, steady the knees that shake!
Tell those who panic,
“Be strong! Do not fear!
Look, your God comes to avenge!
With divine retribution he comes to deliver you.”
Then blind eyes will open, deaf ears will hear.
Then the lame will leap like a deer,
the mute tongue will shout for joy;
for water will flow in the desert,
streams in the wilderness.
The dry soil will become a pool of water,
the parched ground springs of water.
Where jackals once lived and sprawled out,
grass, reeds, and papyrus will grow.
A thoroughfare will be there –
it will be called the Way of Holiness.
The unclean will not travel on it;
it is reserved for those authorized to use it –
fools will not stray into it.
No lions will be there, no ferocious wild animals will be on it –
they will not be found there.
Those delivered from bondage will travel on it,
those whom the Lord has ransomed will return that way.
They will enter Zion with a happy shout.
Unending joy will crown them, happiness and joy will overwhelm them;
grief and suffering will disappear.

Sunday, 9 December 2007

Today's Readings

More readings just 4U from today (Sun 9 Dec):

Matthew 3: 1-12
In those days John the Baptist came into the wilderness of Judea proclaiming, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” For he is the one about whom Isaiah the prophet had spoken:
“The voice of one shouting in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make his paths straight.’”
Now John wore clothing made from camel’s hair with a leather belt around his waist, and his diet consisted of locusts and wild honey. Then people from Jerusalem, as well as all Judea and all the region around the Jordan, were going out to him, and he was baptizing them in the Jordan River as they confessed their sins.
But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “You offspring of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Therefore produce fruit that proves your repentance, and don’t think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that God can raise up children for Abraham from these stones! Even now the ax is laid at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
“I baptize you with water, for repentance, but the one coming after me is more powerful than I am – I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clean out his threshing floor and will gather his wheat into the storehouse, but the chaff he will burn up with inextinguishable fire.”

Romans 15: 4-9
For everything that was written in former times was written for our instruction, so that through endurance and through encouragement of the scriptures we may have hope. Now may the God of endurance and comfort give you unity with one another in accordance with Christ Jesus, so that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Receive one another, then, just as Christ also received you, to God’s glory. For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the circumcised on behalf of God’s truth to confirm the promises made to the fathers, and thus the Gentiles glorify God for his mercy. As it is written, “Because of this I will confess you among the Gentiles, and I will sing praises to your name.”

Isaiah 11: 1-10
On that day, a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse,
and from his roots a bud shall blossom.
The spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him:
a spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
a spirit of counsel and of strength,
a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD,
and his delight shall be the fear of the LORD.
Not by appearance shall he judge,
nor by hearsay shall he decide,
but he shall judge the poor with justice,
and decide aright for the land’s afflicted.
He shall strike the ruthless with the rod of his mouth,
and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked.
Justice shall be the band around his waist,
and faithfulness a belt upon his hips.
Then the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb,
and the leopard shall lie down with the kid;
the calf and the young lion shall browse together,
with a little child to guide them.
The cow and the bear shall be neighbors,
together their young shall rest;
the lion shall eat hay like the ox.
The baby shall play by the cobra’s den,
and the child lay his hand on the adder’s lair.
There shall be no harm or ruin on all my holy mountain;
for the earth shall be filled with knowledge of the LORD,
as water covers the sea.
On that day, the root of Jesse,
set up as a signal for the nations,
the Gentiles shall seek out,
for his dwelling shall be glorious.

Saturday, 8 December 2007

Today's Readings

Ah more readings below for today Sat 8 Dec:

Luke 1: 26-38
In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, a descendant of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. The angel came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled by his words and began to wonder about the meaning of this greeting. So the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God! Listen: You will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and his kingdom will never end.” Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I have not had sexual relations with a man?” The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called the Son of God. And look, your relative Elizabeth has also become pregnant with a son in her old age – although she was called barren, she is now in her sixth month! For nothing will be impossible with God.” So Mary said, “Yes, I am a servant of the Lord; let this happen to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

Ephesians 1: 3-6, 11-12
Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms in Christ. For he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world that we may be holy and unblemished in his sight in love. He did this by predestining us to adoption as his sons through Jesus Christ, according to the pleasure of his will – to the praise of the glory of his grace that he has freely bestowed on us in his dearly loved Son.
...In Christ we too have been claimed as God’s own possession, since we were predestined according to the one purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to the counsel of his will so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, would be to the praise of his glory.

Genesis 3: 9-15, 20
But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” The man replied, “I heard you moving about in the orchard, and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.” And the Lord God said, “Who told you that you were naked? Did you eat from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” The man said, “The woman whom you gave me, she gave me some fruit from the tree and I ate it.” So the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman replied, “The serpent tricked me, and I ate.”
The Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all the wild beasts and all the living creatures of the field! On your belly you will crawl and dust you will eat all the days of your life. And I will put hostility between you and the woman and between your offspring and her offspring; her offspring will attack your head, and you will attack her offspring’s heel.”
...The man named his wife Eve, because she became the mother of all the living.

Friday, 7 December 2007

Today's Readings

Here's more readings for today Fri 7 Dec:

Matthew 9: 27-31
As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, shouting, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!” When he went into the house, the blind men came to him. Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to him, “Yes, Lord.” Then he touched their eyes saying, “Let it be done for you according to your faith.” And their eyes were opened. Then Jesus sternly warned them, “See that no one knows about this.” But they went out and spread the news about him throughout that entire region.

Isaiah 29: 17-24
In just a very short time Lebanon will turn into an orchard,
and the orchard will be considered a forest.
At that time the deaf will be able to hear words read from a scroll,
and the eyes of the blind will be able to see through deep darkness.
The downtrodden will again rejoice in the Lord;
the poor among humankind will take delight in the Holy One of Israel.
For tyrants will disappear, those who taunt will vanish,
and all those who love to do wrong will be eliminated –
those who bear false testimony against a person, who entrap the one who arbitrates at the city gate and deprive the innocent of justice by making false charges.
So this is what the Lord, the one who delivered Abraham, says to the family of Jacob:
“Jacob will no longer be ashamed; their faces will no longer show their embarrassment.
For when they see their children, whom I will produce among them, they will honor my name.
They will honor the Holy One of Jacob; they will respect the God of Israel.
Those who stray morally will gain understanding;
those who complain will acquire insight.

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Today's Readings

Some more readings for today Thu 6 Dec:

Matthew 7: 21, 24-27
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of heaven – only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven."
"...Everyone who hears these words of mine and does them is like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the flood came, and the winds beat against that house, but it did not collapse because it had been founded on rock. Everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain fell, the flood came, and the winds beat against that house, and it collapsed; it was utterly destroyed!”

Isaiah 26: 1-6
At that time this song will be sung in the land of Judah:
“We have a strong city! The Lord’s deliverance, like walls and a rampart, makes it secure.
Open the gates so a righteous nation can enter – one that remains trustworthy.
You keep completely safe the people who maintain their faith, for they trust in you.
Trust in the Lord from this time forward, even in Yahweh, the Lord, an enduring protector!
Indeed, the Lord knocks down those who live in a high place, he brings down an elevated town;
he brings it down to the ground, he throws it down to the dust.
It is trampled underfoot by the feet of the oppressed, by the soles of the poor.”

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Today's Readings

Yet more readings from today Wed 5 Dec:

Matthew 15: 29-37
When he left there, Jesus went along the Sea of Galilee. Then he went up a mountain, where he sat down. Then large crowds came to him bringing with them the lame, blind, crippled, mute, and many others. They laid them at his feet, and he healed them. As a result, the crowd was amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled healthy, the lame walking, and the blind seeing, and they praised the God of Israel.
Then Jesus called the disciples and said, “I have compassion on the crowd, because they have already been here with me three days and they have nothing to eat. I don’t want to send them away hungry since they may faint on the way.” The disciples said to him, “Where can we get enough bread in this desolate place to satisfy so great a crowd?” Jesus said to them, “How many loaves do you have?” They replied, “Seven – and a few small fish.” After instructing the crowd to sit down on the ground, he took the seven loaves and the fish, and after giving thanks, he broke them and began giving them to the disciples, who then gave them to the crowds. They all ate and were satisfied, and they picked up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full.

Isaiah 25: 6-10
The Lord who commands armies will hold a banquet for all the nations on this mountain.
At this banquet there will be plenty of meat and aged wine – tender meat and choicest wine.
On this mountain he will swallow up the shroud that is over all the peoples,
the woven covering that is over all the nations;
he will swallow up death permanently.
The sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from every face,
and remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth.
Indeed, the Lord has announced it!
At that time they will say,
“Look, here is our God!
We waited for him and he delivered us.
Here is the Lord! We waited for him.
Let’s rejoice and celebrate his deliverance!”
For the Lord’s power will make this mountain secure.

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Today's Readings

Ah more readings below (Tue 4 Dec):

Luke 10: 21-24
On that same occasion Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your gracious will. All things have been given to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son decides to reveal him.”
Then Jesus turned to his disciples and said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see! For I tell you that many prophets and kings longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”

Isaiah 11: 1-10
A shoot will grow out of Jesse’s root stock,
a bud will sprout from his roots.
The Lord’s spirit will rest on him–
a spirit that gives extraordinary wisdom,
a spirit that provides the ability to execute plans,
a spirit that produces absolute loyalty to the Lord.
He will take delight in obeying the Lord.
He will not judge by mere appearances or make decisions on the basis of hearsay.
He will treat the poor fairly and make right decisions for the downtrodden of the earth.
He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth and order the wicked to be executed.
Justice will be like a belt around his waist,
integrity will be like a belt around his hips.
A wolf will reside with a lamb,
and a leopard will lie down with a young goat;
an ox and a young lion will graze together, as a small child leads them along.
A cow and a bear will graze together, their young will lie down together.
A lion, like an ox, will eat straw.
A baby will play over the hole of a snake;
over the nest of a serpent an infant will put his hand.
They will no longer injure or destroy on my entire royal mountain.
For there will be universal submission to the Lord’s sovereignty,
just as the waters completely cover the sea.
At that time a root from Jesse will stand like a signal flag for the nations.
Nations will look to him for guidance, and his residence will be majestic.

Monday, 3 December 2007

Today's Readings

Yet more readings 4 today (Mon 3 Dec):

Matthew 8: 5-11
When Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him asking for help: “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, in terrible anguish.” Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.” But the centurion replied, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof. Instead, just say the word and my servant will be healed. For I too am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I say to this one, ‘Go’ and he goes, and to another ‘Come’ and he comes, and to my slave ‘Do this’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard this he was amazed and said to those who followed him, “I tell you the truth, I have not found such faith in anyone in Israel! I tell you, many will come from the east and west to share the banquet with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven..."

Isaiah 4: 2-6
At that time the crops given by the Lord will bring admiration and honor;
the produce of the land will be a source of pride and delight to those who remain in Israel.
Those remaining in Zion, those left in Jerusalem, will be called “holy,”
all in Jerusalem who are destined to live.
At that time the sovereign master will wash the excrement from Zion’s women,
he will rinse the bloodstains from Jerusalem’s midst,
as he comes to judge and to bring devastation.
Then the Lord will create over all of Mount Zion
and over its convocations a cloud and smoke by day
and a bright flame of fire by night;
indeed a canopy will accompany the Lord’s glorious presence.
By day it will be a shelter to provide shade from the heat,
as well as safety and protection from the heavy downpour.

Sunday, 2 December 2007

Today's Readings

More readings for today Sun 2 Dec here:

Matthew 24: 37-44
For just like the days of Noah were, so the coming of the Son of Man will be. For in those days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark. And they knew nothing until the flood came and took them all away. It will be the same at the coming of the Son of Man. Then there will be two men in the field; one will be taken and one left. There will be two women grinding grain with a mill; one will be taken and one left. “Therefore stay alert, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: if the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have been alert and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.

Romans 13: 11-14
And do this because we know the time, that it is already the hour for us to awake from sleep, for our salvation is now nearer than when we became believers. The night has advanced toward dawn; the day is near. So then we must lay aside the works of darkness, and put on the weapons of light. Let us live decently as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in discord and jealousy. Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh to arouse its desires.

Isaiah 2: 1-5
Here is the message about Judah and Jerusalem1 that was revealed to Isaiah son of Amoz.
In the future the mountain of the Lord’s temple will endure as the most important of mountains,
and will be the most prominent of hills. All the nations will stream to it, many peoples will come and say, "Come, let us go up to the Lord’s mountain, to the temple of the God of Jacob, so he can teach us his requirements, and we can follow his standards.”
For Zion will be the center for moral instruction; the Lord will issue edicts from Jerusalem. He will judge disputes between nations; he will settle cases for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nations will not take up the sword against other nations, and they will no longer train for war. O descendants of Jacob, come, let us walk in the Lord’s guiding light.

Saturday, 1 December 2007

Today's Readings

More of today's readings (Sat 1 Dec) below:

Luke 21: 34-36
“But be on your guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day close down upon you suddenly like a trap. For it will overtake all who live on the face of the whole earth. But stay alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that must happen, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

Daniel 7: 15-27
As for me, Daniel, my spirit was distressed, and the visions of my mind were alarming me. I approached one of those standing nearby and asked him about the meaning of all this. So he spoke with me and revealed to me the interpretation of the vision: ‘These large beasts, which are four in number, represent four kings who will arise from the earth. The holy ones of the Most High will receive the kingdom and will take possession of the kingdom forever and ever."
Then I wanted to know the meaning of the fourth beast, which was different from all the others. It was very dreadful, with two rows of iron teeth and bronze claws, and it devoured, crushed, and trampled anything that was left with its feet. I also wanted to know the meaning of the ten horns on its head, and of that other horn which came up and before which three others fell. This was the horn that had eyes and a mouth speaking arrogant things, whose appearance was more formidable than the others. While I was watching, that horn began to wage war against the holy ones and was defeating them, until the Ancient of Days arrived and judgment was rendered in favor of the holy ones of the Most High. Then the time came for the holy ones to take possession of the kingdom. This is what he told me:
‘The fourth beast means that there will be a fourth kingdom on earth that will differ from all the other kingdoms. It will devour all the earth and will trample and crush it. The ten horns mean that ten kings will arise from that kingdom. Another king will arise after them, but he will be different from the earlier ones. He will lay low three kings. He will speak words against the Most High. He will harass the holy ones of the Most High continually. His intention will be to change times established by law. They shall be handed over to him for a year, two years, and a half-year. But the court will convene, and his ruling authority will be removed – destroyed and abolished forever! Then the kingship and dominion and majestyof all the kingdoms under the heavensshall be given to the holy people of the Most High. His kingdom is an eternal kingdom;
all authorities will serve him and obey him."

Daily Bible Verse

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