Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Today's Readings

Ah more of this day's readings (Wed 21 Nov):

Matthew 12: 46-50
While Jesus was still speaking to the crowds, his mother and brothers came and stood outside, asking to speak to him. Someone told him, “Look, your mother and your brothers are standing outside wanting to speak to you.” To the one who had said this, Jesus replied, “Who is my mother and who are my brothers?” And pointing toward his disciples he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

Luke 19: 11-28
While the people were listening to these things, Jesus proceeded to tell a parable, because he was near to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear immediately. Therefore he said, “A nobleman went to a distant country to receive for himself a kingdom and then return. And he summoned ten of his slaves, gave them ten minas [1 mina = 50 shekels], and said to them, ‘Do business with these until I come back.’ But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to be king over us!’ When he returned after receiving the kingdom, he summoned these slaves to whom he had given the money. He wanted to know how much they had earned by trading. So the first one came before him and said, ‘Sir, your mina [50 shekels] has made ten minas more.’ And the king said to him, ‘Well done, good slave! Because you have been faithful in a very small matter, you will have authority over ten cities.’ Then the second one came and said, ‘Sir, your mina [50 shekels] has made five minas.’ So the king said to him, ‘And you are to be over five cities.’ Then another slave came and said, ‘Sir, here is your mina [50 shekels] that I put away for safekeeping in a piece of cloth. For I was afraid of you, because you are a severe man. You withdraw what you did not deposit and reap what you did not sow.’ The king said to him, ‘I will judge you by your own words, you wicked slave! So you knew, did you, that I was a severe man, withdrawing what I didn’t deposit and reaping what I didn’t sow? Why then didn’t you put my money in the bank, so that when I returned I could have collected it with interest?’ And he said to his attendants, ‘Take the mina [50 shekels] from him, and give it to the one who has ten.’ But they said to him, ‘Sir, he has ten minas already!’ ‘I tell you that everyone who has will be given more, but from the one who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. But as for these enemies of mine who did not want me to be their king, bring them here and slaughter them in front of me!’” After Jesus had said this, he continued on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.

2 Maccabees 7: 1, 20-31
It happened also that seven brothers and their mother were arrested and compelled by the king [Antiochus IV Epiphanes], under torture with whips and cords, to partake of unlawful pig's flesh. ...The mother was especially admirable and worthy of honorable memory. Though she saw her seven sons perish within a single day, she bore it with good courage because of her hope in the Lord. She encouraged each of them in the language of their fathers. Filled with a noble spirit, she combined her womanly reasoning with manly courage, and said to them, "I do not know how you came into being in my womb. It was not I who gave you life and breath, nor I who set in order the elements within each of you. Therefore the Creator of the world, Who shaped the beginning of man and devised the origin of all things, will in His mercy give life and breath back to you again, since you now forget yourselves for the sake of his laws." Antiochus felt that he was being treated with contempt, and he was suspicious of her reproachful tone. The youngest brother being still alive, Antiochus not only appealed to him in words, but promised with oaths that he would make him rich and enviable if he would turn from the ways of his fathers, and that he would take him for his friend and entrust him with public affairs. Since the young man would not listen to him at all, the king called the mother to him and urged her to advise the youth to save himself. After much urging on his part, she undertook to persuade her son. But, leaning close to him, she spoke in their native tongue [Aramaic] as follows, deriding the cruel tyrant: "My son, have pity on me. I carried you nine months in my womb, and nursed you for three years, and have reared you and brought you up to this point in your life, and have taken care of you. I beseech you, my child, to look at the heaven and the earth and see everything that is in them, and recognize that God did not make them out of things that existed. Thus also mankind comes into being. Do not fear this butcher, but prove worthy of your brothers. Accept death, so that in God's mercy I may get you back again with your brothers." While she was still speaking, the young man said, "What are you waiting for? I will not obey the king's command, but I obey the command of the law that was given to our fathers through Moses. But you, who have contrived all sorts of evil against the Hebrews, will certainly not escape the hands of God."

Daily Bible Verse

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