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Martin Jr.

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Wednesday, February 3, 2021
Letter to the Hebrews 12: 4 - 7, 11 - 15
Brothers and sisters:
In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood. You have also forgotten the exhortation addressed to you as children: 'My son, do not disdain the discipline of the Lord or lose heart when reproved by him; for whom the Lord loves he disciplines; he scourges every son he acknowledges.' Endure your trials as "discipline"; God treats you as his sons. For what "son" is there whom his father does not discipline? At the time, all discipline seems a cause not for joy but for pain yet later it brings the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who are trained by it.
So strengthen your drooping hands and your weak knees. Make straight paths for your feet, that what is lame may not be dislocated but healed. Strive for peace with everyone, and for that holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one be deprived of the grace of God, that no bitter root spring up and cause trouble, through which many may become defiled.

Psalm 103: 1 - 2, 13 - 14, 17 - 18
Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all my being, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul and forget not all his benefits.
As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him. For he knows how we are formed; he remembers that we are dust.
But the kindness of the Lord is from eternity to eternity toward those who fear him, and his justice toward children's children among those who keep his covenant and remember to fulfill his precepts.

Gospel of Mark 6: 1 - 6
Jesus departed from there and came to his native place, accompanied by his disciples. When the sabbath came he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished. They said, "Where did this man get all this? What kind of wisdom has been given him? What mighty deeds are wrought by his hands! Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary, and the brother of James and Joseph and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?" And they took offense at him. Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house." So he was not able to perform any mighty deed there, apart from curing a few sick people by laying his hands on them. He was amazed at their lack of faith.
 

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Thursday, February 4, 2021
Letter to the Hebrews 12: 18 -19, 21 - 24
Brothers and sisters:
You have not approached that which could not be touched and a blazing fire and gloomy darkness and storm and a trumpet blast and a voice speaking words such that those who heard begged that no message be further addressed to them. Indeed, so fearful was the spectacle that Moses said, "I am terrified and trembling."
No, you have approached Mount Zion and the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and countless angels in festal gathering, and the assembly of the firstborn enrolled in heaven, and God the judge of all, and the spirits of the just made perfect, and Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and the sprinkled Blood that speaks more eloquently than that of Abel.

Psalm 48: 2 - 4, 9 - 11
Great is the Lord and wholly to be praised in the city of our God. His holy mountain, fairest of heights, is the joy of all the earth; Mount Zion, "the recesses of the North," is the city of the great King. God is with her castles; renowned is he as a stronghold.
As we had heard, so have we seen in the city of the Lord of hosts, in the city of our God; God makes it firm forever. O God, we ponder your kindness within your temple. As your name, O God, so also your praise reaches to the ends of the earth. Of justice your right hand is full.

Gospel of Mark 6: 7 - 13
Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over unclean spirits. He instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick - no food, no sack, no money in their belts. They were, however, to wear sandals but not a second tunic. He said to them, "Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave from there. Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you, leave there and shake the dust off your feet in testimony against them." So they went off and preached repentance. The Twelve drove out many demons, and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.
 

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Friday, February 5, 2021
Letter to the Hebrews 13: 1 - 8
Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect hospitality, for through it some have unknowingly, entertained angels. Be mindful of prisoners as if sharing their imprisonment, and of the ill treated as of yourselves, for you also are in the body. Let marriage be honored among all and the marriage bed be kept undefiled, for God will judge the immoral and adulterers. Let your life be content with what you have, for he has said, 'I will never forsake you or abandon you.' Thus we may say with confidence: 'The Lord is my helper, and I will not be afraid. What can anyone do to me?'
Remember your leaders who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Psalm 27: 1, 3, 5, 8, 9
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear? The Lord is my life's refuge; of whom should I be afraid.
Though an army encamp against me, my heart will not fear; though war be waged upon me, even then will I trust.
For he will hide me in his abode in the day of trouble; he will conceal me in the shelter of his tent, he will set me high upon a rock.
Of you my heart speaks; you my glance seeks; your presence, O Lord, I seek. Hide not your face from me; do not in anger repel your servant. You are my helper: cast me not off; forsake me not, O God my savior.

Gospel of Mark 6: 14 - 29
King Herod heard about Jesus, for his fame had become widespread, and people were saying, "John the baptist has been raised from the dead; that is why mighty powers are at work in him." Others were saying, "He is Elijah"; still others, "He is a prophet like any of the prophets." But when Herod learned of it, he said, "It is John whom I beheaded. He has been raised up." Herod was the one who had John arrested and bound in prison on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, whom he had married. John had said to Herod, "It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife." Herodias harbored a grudge against him and wanted to kill him but was unable to do so. Herod feared John, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man, and kept him in custody. When he heard him speak he was very much perplexed, yet he liked to listen to him. Herodias had an opportunity one day when Herod, on his birthday gave a banquet for his courtiers, his military officers, and the leading men of Galilee. His own daughter came in and performed a dance that delighted Herod and his guests. The king said to the girl, "Ask of me whatever you wish and I will grant it to you." He even swore many things to her, "I will grant you whatever you ask of me, even to half of my kingdom." She went out and said to her mother, "What shall I ask for?" Her mother replied, "The head of John the Baptist." The girl hurried back to the king's presence and made her request. "I want you to give me at once on a platter the head of John the Baptist." The king was deeply distressed, but because of his oaths and the guests he did not wish to break his word to her. So he promptly dispatched an executioner with orders to bring back his head. He went off and beheaded him in the prison. He brought in the head on a platter and gave it to the girl. The girl in turn gave it to her mother. When his disciples heard about it, they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.
 

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Saturday, February 6, 2021
Letter to the Hebrews 13: 15 - 17, 20 - 21
Brothers and sisters:
Through Jesus, let us continually offer God a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of the lips that confess his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have; God is pleased by sacrifices of that kind.
Obey your leaders and defer to them, for they keep watch over you and will have to give an account, that they may fulfill their task with joy and not with sorrow, for that would be of no advantage to you.
May the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great shepherd of the sheep by the Blood of the eternal covenant, furnish you with all that is good, that you may do his will. May he carry out in you what is pleasing to him through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Psalm 23: 1 - 6
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. In verdant pastures he gives me repose; beside restful waters he leads me; he refreshes my soul. He guides me in right paths for his name's sake. Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil, for you are at my side with your rod and your staff that give me courage.
You spread the table before me in the sight of my foes; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Only goodness and kindness follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord for years to come.

Gospel of Mark 6: 30 - 34
The apostles gathered together with Jesus and reported all they had done and taught. He said to them, "Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while." People were coming and going in great numbers, and they had no opportunity even to eat. So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place. People saw them leaving and many came to know about it. They hastened there on foot from all the towns and arrived at the place before them.
When Jesus disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.
 

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Sunday, February 7, 2021
Job 7: 1 - 4, 6 - 7
Is not man's life on earth a drudgery? Are not his days those of a hireling? He is a slave who longs for the shade, a hireling who waits for his wages. So I have been assigned months of misery, and troubled nights have been told off for me. If in bed I say, "When shall I arise?" then the night drags on; I am filled with restlessness until the dawn.
My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle; they come to an end without hope. Remember that my life is like the wind; I shall not see happiness again.

Psalms 147: 1 - 6
Praise the Lord, for he is good; sing praise to our God, for he is gracious; it is fitting to praise him. The Lord rebuilds Jerusalem; the dispersed of Israel he gathers. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He tells the number of the stars; he calls each by name. Great is our Lord and mighty in power: to his wisdom there is no limit. The Lord sustains the lowly; the wicked he casts to the ground.

First Corinthians 9: 16 - 19, 22 - 23
Yet preaching the gospel is not the subject of a boast; I am under compulsion and have no choice. I am ruined if I do not preach it! If I do it willingly, I have my recompense; if unwillingly, I am nonetheless entrusted with a charge. And this recompense of mine? It is simply this, that when preaching I offer the gospel free of charge and do not make full use of the authority the gospel gives me.
Although I am not bound to anyone, I made myself the slave of all so as to win over as many as possible.
To the weak I became a weak person with a view to winning the weak. I have made myself all things to all men in order to save at least some of them. In fact, I do all that I do for the sake of the gospel in the hope of having a share in its blessings.

Mark 1: 29 - 39
Immediately upon leaving the synagogue, Jesus entered the house of Simon and Andrew with James and John. Simon's mother-in-law lay ill with a fever, and the first thing they did was to tell him about her. He went over to her and grasped her hand and helped her up, and the fever left her. She immediately began to wait on them.
After sunset as evening drew on, they brought him all who were ill, and those possessed by demons. Before long the whole town was gathered outside the door. Those whom he cured, who were variously afflicted, were many, and so were the demons he expelled. But he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him. Rising early the next morning, he went off to a lonely place in the desert; there he was absorbed in prayer. Simon and his companions managed to track him down, and when they found him, they told him, "Everybody is looking for you!" He said to them: "Let us move on to the neighboring villages so that I may proclaim the good news there also. That is what I have come to do." So he went into their synagogues preaching the good news and expelling demons throughout the whole of Galilee.
 

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Monday, February 8, 2021
Genesis 1: 1 - 19
In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless wasteland, and darkness covered the abyss, while a mighty wind swept over the waters. Then God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. God saw how good the light was. God then separated the light from the darkness. God called the light "day," and the darkness he called "night." Thus evening came, and morning followed - the first day.
Then God said, "let there be a dome in the middle of the waters, to separate one body of water from the other." And so it happened: God made the dome, and it separated the water above the dome from the water below it. God called the dome "the sky." Evening came, and morning followed - the second day.
Then God said, "Let the water under the sky be gathered into a single basin, so that the dry land may appear." And so it happened: the water under the sky was gathered into its basin, and the dry land appeared. God called the dry land "the earth," and the basin of the water he called "the sea." God saw how good it was. Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth vegetation: every kind of plant that bears seed and every kind of fruit tree on earth that bears fruit with its seed in it." And so it happened: The earth brought forth every kind of plant that bears seed and every kind of fruit tree on earth that bears fruit with its seed in it. God saw how good it was. Evening came, and morning followed - the third day.
Then God said; "Let there be lights in the dome of the sky, to separate day from night. Let them mark the fixed times, the days and the years, and serve as luminaries in the dome of the sky, to shed light upon the earth." And so it happened: God made the two great lights, the greater one to govern the day, and the lesser one to govern the night; and he made the stars. God set them in the dome of the sky, to shed light upon the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. God saw how good it as. Evening came, and morning followed - the forth day.

Psalm 104: 1 - 2, 5 - 6, 10, 12, 24, 35
Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord, my God, you are great indeed! You are clothed with majesty and glory, robed in light as with a cloak. You have spread out the heavens like a tent-cloth.
You fixed the earth upon its foundation, not to be moved forever; with the ocean, as with a garment, you covered it; above the mountains the waters stood.
You sent forth springs into the watercourses that wind among the mountains.
Beside them the birds of the heaven dwell; from among the branches they send forth their song.
How manifold are your works, O Lord! In wisdom you have wrought them all - the earth is full of your creatures.
May sinners cease from the earth, and may the wicked be no more. Bless the Lord, O my soul! Alleluia.

Gospel of Mark 6: 53 - 56
After making the crossing they came ashore at Gennesaret, and tied up there. As they were leaving the boat people immediately recognized him. The crowds scurried about the adjacent area and began to bring in the sick on bedrolls to the place where the heard he was. Wherever he put in an appearance, in villages, in towns, or at crossroads, they laid the sick in the market places and begged him to let them touch just the tassel of his cloak. All who touched him got well.
 

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Tuesday, February 9, 2021
Genesis 1: 20 - - 2: 4
God said, "Let the water teem with an abundance of living creatures, and on the earth let birds fly beneath the dome of the sky." And so it happened: God created the great sea monsters and all kinds of swimming creatures with which the water teems, and all kinds of winged birds. God saw how good it was, and God blessed them, saying "Be fertile, multiply, and fill the water of the seas; and let the birds multiply on the earth." Evening came, and morning followed - the fifth day.
Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth all kinds of living creatures: cattle, creeping things, and wild animals of all kinds." And so it happened: God made all kinds of wild animals, all kinds of cattle, and all kinds of creeping things of the earth. God saw how good it was. Then God said: "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and the cattle, and over all the wild animals and all the creatures that crawl on the ground."
God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them, saying: "Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and all the living things that move on the earth." God also said: "See, I give you every seed-bearing plant all over the earth and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit on it to be your food; and to all the animals of the land, all the birds of the air, and all the living creatures that crawl on the ground. I give all the green plants for food." And so it happened. God looked at everything he had made, and he found it very good. Evening came, and morning followed - the sixth day.
Thus the heavens and the earth and all their array were completed. Since on the seventh day God was finished with the work he had been doing, he rested on the seventh day from all the work he had undertaken. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work he had done in creation.
Such is the story of the heavens and the earth at their creation.

Psalm 8: 4 - 9
When I behold your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars which you set in place; what is man that you should be mindful of him, or the son of man that you should care for him."
You have made him little less than the angels, and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him rule over the works of your hands, putting all things under his feet: all sheep and oxen, yes, and the beasts of the field.

Gospel of Mark 7: 1 - 13
When the Pharisees with some scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus, they observed that some of his disciples ate their meals with unclean, that is, unwashed, hands. For the Pharisees and, in fact, all Jews, do not eat without carefully washing their hands, keeping the tradition of the elders. And on coming from the marketplace they do not eat without purifying themselves. And there are many other things that they have traditionally observed, the purification of cups and jugs and kettles and beds." So the Pharisees and scribes questioned him, "Why do your disciples not follow the tradition of the elders but instead eat a meal with unclean hands?" He responded, "Well did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites, as it is written;
'This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrine human precepts.' You disregard God's commandment but cling to human tradition." He went on to say, "How well you have set aside the commandment of God in order to uphold your tradition! For Moses said, 'Honor your father and your mother, and whoever curses father or mother shall die.' Yet you say, "If someone says to father or mother, "Any support you might have had from me is qorban'" (meaning, dedicated to God), you allow him to do nothing more for his father or mother. You nullify the word of God in favor of your tradition that you have handed on. And you do many such things."
 

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Wednesday, February 10, 2021
Genesis 2: 4 - 9, 15 - 17
At the time when the Lord God made the earth and the heavens - while as yet there was no field shrub on earth and no grass of the field had sprouted, for the Lord God had sent no rain upon the earth and there was no man to till the soil but a stream was welling up out of the earth and was watering all the surface of the ground - the Lord God formed man out of the clay of the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and so man became a living being.
Then the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and he placed there the man whom he had formed. Out of the ground the Lord God made various trees grow that were delightful to look at and food for food, with the tree of life in the middle of the garden and the tree of the knowledge of good and bad.
The Lord God then took the man and settled him in the garden of Eden, to cultivate and care for it. The Lord God gave man this order: "You are free to eat from any of the trees of the garden except the tree of knowledge of good and bad. From that tree you shall not eat; the moment you eat from it you are surely doomed to die."

Psalm 104: 1 - 2, 27 - 30
Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord, my God, you are great indeed! You are clothed with majesty and glory, robed in light as with a cloak. You have spread out the heavens like a tent-cloth.
They all look to you to give them food in due time. When you give it to them, they gather it; when you open your hand, they are filled with good things. If you hide your face, they are dismayed; if you take away their breath, they perish and return to their dust. When you send forth your spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the earth.

Gospel of Mark 7: 14 - 23
Jesus summoned the crowd again and said to them: "Hear me, all of you, and try to understand. Nothing that enters a man from outside can make him impure; that which comes out of him, and only that constitutes impurity. Let everyone heed what he hears!"
When he got home, away from the crowd, his disciples questioned him about the proverb. "Are you too, incapable of understanding?" He asked them. "Do you not see that nothing that enters a man from outside can make him impure? It does not penetrate his being, but enters his stomach only and passes into the latrine." Thus did he render all foods clean. He went on: "What emerges from within a man, that and nothing else is what makes him impure. Wicked designs come from the deep recesses of the heart; acts of fornication, theft, murder, adulterous conduct, greed, maliciousness, deceit, sensuality, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, an obtuse spirit. All these evils come from within and render a man impure."
 

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Thursday, February 11, 2021
Genesis 2: 18 - 25
The Lord God said: "It is not good for the man to be alone, I will make a suitable partner for him." So the Lord God formed out of the ground various wild animals and various birds of the air, and he brought them to the man to see what he would call them; whatever the man called each of them would be its name. The man gave names to all the cattle, all the birds of the air, and all the wild animals; but none proved to be the suitable partner for the man.
So the Lord God cast a deep sleep on the man, and while he was asleep, he took out one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. The Lord God then built up into a woman the rib that he had taken from the man. When he brought her to the man, the man said: "This one, at last, is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh; this one shall be called 'woman,' for out of 'her man' this one has been taken." That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body.
The man and his wife were both naked, yet they felt no shame.

Psalm 128: 1 - 5
Happy are you who fear the Lord, who walk in his ways! For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork; happy shall you be, and favored. Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine in the recesses of your home; your children like olive plants around your table. Behold, thus is the man blessed who fears the Lord.
The Lord bless you from Zion: may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life.

Gospel of Mark 7: 24 - 30
From that place Jesus went off to the territory of Tyre and Sidon. He retired to a certain house and wanted no one to recognize him; however, he could not escape notice. Soon a woman, whose small daughter had an unclean spirit, heard about him. She approached him and crouched at his feet. The woman who was Greek - a Syro-Phoenician by birth - began to beg him to expel the demon from her daughter. He told her: "Let the sons of the household satisfy themselves at table first. It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs." "Please, Lord," she replied, "even the dogs under the table eat the family's leavings." Then he said to her, "For such a reply, be off now! The demon has already left your daughter." When she got home, she found the child lying in bed and the demon gone.
 

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Friday, February 12, 2021
Genesis 3: 1 - 8
Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the animals that the Lord God had made. The serpent asked the woman, "Did God really tell you not to eat from any of the trees in the garden?" The woman answered the serpent: "We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; it is only about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden that God said, 'You shall not eat it or even touch it, lest you die.' " But the serpent said to the woman: "You certainly will not die! No, God knows well that the moment you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods who know what is good and what is bad." The woman saw that the tree was good for food, pleasing to the eyes, and desirable for gaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized that they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made loin cloths for themselves.
When they heard the sound of the Lord God moving about in the garden at the breezy time of the day, the man and his wife hid themselves from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.

Psalm 32: 1 - 2, 5 - 7
Happy is he whose fault is taken away, whose sin is covered. Happy the man to whom the Lord imputes not guilt, in whose spirit there is no guile.
Then I acknowledged my sin to you, my guilt I covered not. I said, "I confess my faults to the Lord," And you took away the guilt of my sin. For this shall every faithful man pray to you in time of stress. Though deep waters overflow, they shall not reach him. You are my shelter; from distress you will preserve me; with glad cries of freedom you will ring me round.
I will instruct you and show you the way you should walk; I will counsel you, keeping my eye in you.

Gospel of Mark 7: 31 - 37
Jesus then left Tyrian territory and returned by way of Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, into the district of the Ten Cities. Some people brought him a deaf man who had a speech impediment and begged him to lay his hand on him. Jesus took him off by himself away from the crowd. He put his fingers into the man's ears and, spitting, touched his tongue; then he looked up to heaven and emitted a groan. He said to him, "Ephphatha!" (that is, "Be opened!") At once, the man's ears were opened, he was freed from the impediment, and began to speak plainly. Then he enjoined them strictly not to tell anyone; but the more he ordered them not to, the more they proclaimed it. Their amazement went beyond all bounds: "He has done everything well! He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak!"
 

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Saturday, February 13, 2021
Genesis 3: 9 - 24
The Lord God then called to the man and asked him, "Where are you?" He answered, "I heard you in the garden; but I was afraid, because I was naked, so I hid myself." Then he asked, "Who told you that you were naked? You have eaten, then, from the tree of which I had forbidden you to eat!" The man replied, "The woman whom you put here with me - she gave me fruit from the tree, and so I ate it." The Lord God then asked the woman, "Why did you do such a thing?" The woman answered, "The serpent tricked me into it, so I ate it."
Then the Lord God said to the serpent: "Because you have done this, you shall be banned from all the animals and from all the wild creatures; on your belly shall you crawl, and dirt shall you eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers, he will strike at your head, while you strike at his heel."
To the woman he said: "I will intensify the pangs of your childbearing: in pain shall you bring forth children. Yet your urge shall be for your husband, and he shall be your master."
To the man he said: "Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree of which I had forbidden you to eat, cursed be the ground because of you! In toil shall you eat its yield all the days of your life. Thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to you, as you eat of the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face shall you get bread to eat, until you return to the ground, from which you were taken; for you are dirt, and to dirt you shall return.
The man called his wife Eve, because she became the mother of all the living. For the man and his wife the Lord God made leather garments, with which he clothed them. Then the Lord God said: "See! The man has become like one of us, knowing what is good and what is bad! Therefore, he must not be allowed to put out his hand to take fruit from the tree of life also, and thus eat of it and live forever." The Lord God therefore banished him from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he had been taken. When he expelled the man, he settled him east of the garden of Eden, and he stationed the cherubim and the fiery revolving sword, to guard the way to the tree of life.

Psalm 90: 2 - 6, 12 - 13
Before the mountains were begotten and the earth and the world were brought forth, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. You turn man back to dust, saying, "Return, O children of men." For a thousand years in your sight are as yesterday, now that it is past, or a watch of the night. You make an end of them in their sleep; the next morning they are like the changing grass, which at dawn springs up anew, but by evening wilts and fades.
Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain wisdom of heart. Return, O Lord! How long? Have pity on your servants!

Gospel of Mark 8: 1 - 10
At that time another large crowd assembled, and they were without anything to eat. He called the disciples over to him and said: "My heart is moved with pity for the crowd. By now they have been with me three days and have nothing to eat. If I send them home hungry, they will collapse on the way. Some of them have come a great distance." His disciples replied, "How can anyone give these people sufficient bread in this deserted spot?" Still he asked them, "How many loaves do you have?" "Seven," they replied. Then he directed the crowd to take their places on the ground. Taking the seven loaves he gave thanks, broke them, and gave them to his disciples to distribute, and they handed them out to the crowd. They also had a few small fish; asking a blessing on the fish, he told them to distribute these also. The people in the crowd ate until they had their fill; then they gathered up seven wicker baskets of leftovers. Those who had eaten numbered about four thousand.
He dismissed them and got into the boat with his disciples to go to the neighborhood of Dalmanutha.
 

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Sunday, February 14, 2021
Leviticus 13: 1 - 2, 43 - 46
The Lord said to Moses an Aaron, "If someone has on his skin a scab or pustule or blotch which appears to be the sore of leprosy, he shall be brought to Aaron, the priest, or to one of the priests, among his descendants.
The priest shall examine him; and if the scab on the sore of the bald spot has the same pink appearance as that of skin leprosy of the fleshy part of the body, the man is leprous and unclean, and the priest shall declare him unclean by reason of the sore on his head.
The one who bears the sore of leprosy shall keep his garments rent and his head bare, and shall muffle his beard; he shall cry out, 'Unclean, unclean!' As long as the sore is on him he shall declare himself unclean, since he is in fact unclean. He shall dwell apart, making his abode outside the camp."

Psalms 32: 1 - 2, 5, 11
Happy is he whose fault is taken away, whose sin is covered. Happy the man to whom the Lord imputes not guilt, in whose spirit there is no guile.
Then I acknowledged my sin to you, my guilt I covered not. I said, "I confess my faults to the Lord," and you took away the guilt of my sin.
Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you just; exult, all you upright of heart.

First Corinthians 10: 31 - - 11: 1
The fact is that whether you eat or drink - whatever you do - you should do all for the glory of God. Give no offense to Jew or Greek or to the church of God, just as I try to please all in any way I can by seeking, not my own advantage, but that of the many, that they may be saved.
"All things are lawful" but not all are advantageous. "All things are lawful" - which does not mean that everything is constructive.

Mark 1: 40 - 45
A leper approached Jesus with a request, kneeling down as he addressed him; "If you will to do so, you can cure me." Moved with pity, Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him, and said: "I do will it. Be cured." the leprosy left him then and there, and he was cured. Jesus gave him a stern warning and sent him on his way. "Not a word to anyone, now," he said. "Go off and present yourself to the priest and offer for your cure what Moses prescribed. That should be a proof for them." The man when off and began to proclaim the whole matter freely, making the story public. As a result of this, it was no longer possible for Jesus to enter a town openly. He stayed in desert places; yet people kept coming to him from all sides.
 

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Monday, February 15, 2021
Genesis 4: 1 - 15, 25
The man had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, "I have produced a man with the help of the Lord." Next she bore his brother Abel. Abel became a keeper of flocks, and Cain a tiller of the soil. In the course of time Cain brought an offering to the Lord God from the fruit of the soil, while Abel, for his part, brought one of the best firstlings of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not. Cain greatly resented this and was crestfallen. So the Lord said to Cain: "Why are you so resentful and crestfallen? If you do well, you can hold up hour head; but if not, sin is a demon lurking at the door; his urge is toward you, yet you can be his master.
Cain said to his brother Abel, "Let us go out in the field." When they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him. Then the Lord asked Cain, "Where is your brother Abel?" He answered, "I do not know. Am I my brother's keeper?" The Lord then said: "What have you done! Listen: your brother's blood cries out to me from the soil! Therefore you shall be banned from the soil that opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand. If you till the soil, it shall no longer give you its produce. You shall become a restless wanderer on the earth." Cain said to the Lord: "My punishment is too great to bear. Since you have now banished me from the soil, and I must avoid your presence and become a restless wanderer on the earth, anyone may kill me at sight." "Not so!" the Lord said to him, "If anyone kills Cain, Cain shall be avenged sevenfold." So the Lord put a mark on Cain, lest anyone should kill him at sight.
Adam again had relations with his wife, and she gave birth to a son whom she called Seth. "God has granted me more offspring in the place of Abel," she said, "because Cain slew him."

Psalm 50: 1, 8, 16 - 17, 20 - 21
God the Lord has spoken and summoned the earth, from the rising of the sun to its setting.
Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you, for your holocausts are before me always.
But to the wicked man God says: "Why do you recite my statutes, and profess my covenant with your mouth, though you hate discipline and cast my words behind you?
You sit speaking against your brother; against your mother's son you spread rumors. When you do these things, shall I be deaf to it? Or do you think that I am like yourself? I will correct you by drawing them up before your eyes.

Gospel of Mark 8: 11 - 13
The Pharisees came forward and began to argue with Jesus. They were looking for some heavenly sign from him as a test. With a sigh from the depths of his spirit he said, "Why does this age seek a sign? I assure you, no such sign will be given it!" Then he left them, got into the boat again, and went off to the other shore.
 

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Tuesday, February 16, 2021
Genesis 6: 5 - 8; 7: 1 - 5, 10
When the Lord saw how great was man's wickedness on earth, and how no desire that his heart conceived was every anything but evil, he regretted that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was grieved.
So the Lord said: "I will wipe out from the earth the men whom I have created, and not only the men, but also the beasts and the creeping things and the birds of the air, for I am sorry that I made them." But Noah found favor with the Lord.
Then the Lord said to Noah: "Go into the ark, you and all you household, for you alone in this age have I found to be truly just. Of every clean animal, take with you seven pairs, a male and its mate; and of the unclean animals, one pair, a male and its mate; likewise, of every clean bird of the air, seven pairs, a male and a female, and of all the unclean birds, one pair, a male and a female. Thus you will keep their issue alive over all the earth. Seven days from now I will bring rain down on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and so I will wipe out from the surface of the earth every moving creatures that I have made." Noah did just as the Lord had commanded him.
As soon as the seven days were over, the waters of the flood came upon the earth.

Psalm 29: 1 - 4, 9 - 10
Give to the Lord, you sons of God, give to the Lord glory and praise, give to the Lord the glory due his name; adore the Lord in holy attire.
The voice of the Lord is over the waters, the God of glory thunders, the Lord, over vast waters. The voice of the Lord is mighty; the voice of the Lord is majestic.
The voice of the Lord twists the oaks and strips the forests, and in his temple all say, "Glory!"
The Lord is enthroned above the flood; the Lord is enthroned as king forever.

Gospel of Mark 8: 14 - 21
They had forgotten to bring any bread along; except for one loaf they had none with them in the boat. So when he instructed them, "Keep your eyes open! Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod," they concluded among themselves that it was because they had no bread. Aware of this he said to them, "Why do you suppose that it is because you have no bread? Do you still not see or comprehend? Have you eyes but no sight? Ears but no hearing? Do you remember when I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets of fragments you gathered up?" They answered, "Twelve." When I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many full hampers of fragments did you collect?" They answered, "Seven." He said to them again, "Do you still not understand?"
 

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Wednesday, February 17, 2021
Joel 2: 12 - 18
Even now, says the Lord, return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping, and mourning; rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the Lord, your God. For gracious and merciful is he, slow to anger, rich in kindness, and relenting in punishment. Perhaps he will again relent and leave behind him a blessing, offerings and libations for the Lord, your God.
Blow the trumpet in Zion! proclaim a fast, call an assembly; gather the people, notify the congregation; assemble the elders, gather the children and the infants at the breast; let the bridegroom quit his room and the bride her chamber. Between the porch and the altar let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep, and say, "Spare, O Lord, your people, and make not your heritage a reproach, with the nations ruling over then! Why should they say among the people, 'Where is their God?' "
Then the Lord was stirred to concern for his land and took pity on his people.

Psalm 51: 3 - 6, 12 - 14, 17
Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness; in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense. Thoroughly wash me from my guilt and of my sin cleanse me. For I acknowledge my offense, and my sin is before me always: "Against you only have I sinned, and done what is evil in your sight" - that you may be justified in your sentence, vindicated when you condemn.
A clean heart create for me, O God, and a steadfast spirit renew within me. Cast me not out from your presence, and your holy spirit take not from me. Give me back the joy of your salvation, and a willing spirit sustain in me.
O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Second letter of Paul to the Corinthians 5: 20 - -6: 2
This makes us ambassadors for Christ, God as it were appealing through us. We implore you, in Christ's name: be reconciled to God! For our sakes God made him who did not know sin to be sin, so that in him we might become the very holiness of God.
As your fellow workers we beg you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For he says, "In an acceptable time I have heard you; on a day of salvation I have helped you." Now is the acceptable time! Now is the day of salvation!

Gospel of Matthew 6: 1 - 6, 16 - 18
Jesus said to his disciples:
" Be on guard against performing religious acts for people to see, Otherwise expect no recompense from your heavenly Father. When you give alms, for example, do not blow a horn before you in synagogues and streets like hypocrites looking for applause. You can be sure of this much, they are already repaid. In giving alms you are not to let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Keep your deeds of mercy secret, and your Father who sees in secret will repay you.
When you are praying, do not behave like the hypocrites who love to stand and pray in synagogues or on street corners in order to be noticed. I give you my word, they are already repaid. Whenever you pray, go to your room, close your door, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees what no man sees, will repay you.
When you fast, you are not to look glum as the hypocrites do. They change the appearance of their faces so that others may see they are fasting. I assure you, they are already repaid. When you fast, see to it that you groom your hair and wash your face. In that way no one can see you are fasting but your Father who is hidden; and your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you."
 

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Thursday, February 18, 2021
Deuteronomy 30: 15 - 20
"Here, then I have today set before you life and prosperity, death and doom. If you obey the commandments of the Lord, your God, which I enjoin on you today, loving him, and walking in his ways, and keeping his commandments, statutes and decrees, you will live and grow numerous, and the Lord, your God, will bless you in the land you are entering to occupy. If, however, you turn away your hearts and will not listen, but are led astray and adore and serve other gods, I tell you now that you will certainly perish; you will not have a long life on the land which you are crossing the Jordan to enter and occupy. I call heaven and earth today to witness against you: I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life, then, that you and your descendants may live, by loving the Lord your God, heeding his voice, and holding fast to him. For that will mean life for you, a long life for you to live on the land which the Lord swore he would give to your fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob."

Psalms 1: 1 - 4, 6
Happy the man who follows not the counsel of the wicked nor walks in the way of sinners, nor sits in the company of the insolent, but delights in the law of the Lord and meditates on his law day and night. He is like a tree planted near running water, that yields its fruit in due season, and whose leaves never fade. [Whatever he does, prospers.]
Not so the wicked, not so; they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
I myself have set up my kingdom on Zion, my holy mountain."

Luke 9: 22 - 25
"The Son of Man," Jesus said, "must first endure many sufferings, be rejected by the elders, the high priests and the scribes, and be put to death, and then be raised up on the third day."
Jesus said to all: "Whoever wishes to be my follower must deny his very self, take up his cross each day, and follow in my steps."
 

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Friday, February 19, 2021
Isaiah 58: 1 - 9
Cry out full-throated and unsparingly, lift up your voice like a trumpet blast; tell my people their wickedness, and the house of Jacob their sins. They seek me day after day, and desire to know my ways, like a nation that has done what is just and not abandoned the law of their God; they ask me to declare what is due them, pleased to gain access to God. "Why do we fast, and you do not see it? Afflict ourselves, and you take no note of it?"
Lo, on your fast day you carry out your own pursuits, and drive all your laborers. Yes, your fast ends in quarreling and fighting, striking with wicked claw. Would that today you might fast so as to make your voice heard on high! Is this the manner of fasting I wish, of keeping a day of penance: that a man bow his head like a reed, and lie in sackcloth and ashes? Do you call this a fast, a day acceptable to the Lord? This, rather, is the fasting that I wish: releasing those bound unjustly, untying the thongs of the yoke; setting free the oppressed and the homeless; clothing the naked when you see them, and not turning your back on your own.
Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your wound shall quickly be healed; your vindication shall go before you, and the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer, you shall cry for help, and he will say: Here I am! If you remove from your midst oppression, false accusation and malicious speech.

Psalms 51: 3 - 6, 18 - 19
Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness; in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense. Thoroughly wash me from my guilt and of my sin cleanse me. For I acknowledge my offense, and my sin is before me always; Against you only have I sinned, and done what is evil in your sight" - that you may be justified in your sentence, vindicated when you condemn.
For you are not pleased with sacrifices; should I offer a holocaust, you would not accept it. My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit; a heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.

Matthew 9: 14 - 15
Later on, John's (the Baptist) disciples came to Jesus with the objection, "Why is it that while we and the Pharisees fast, your disciples do not?" Jesus said to them: "How can wedding guests go in mourning so long as the groom is with them? When the day comes that the groom is taken away, then they will fast."
 

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Saturday, February 20, 2021
Isaiah 58: 9 - 14
Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer, you shall cry for help, and he will say; Here I am! If you remove from your midst oppression, false accusation and malicious speech; if you bestow your bread on the hungry and satisfy the afflicted; then light shall rise for you in the darkness, and the gloom shall become for you like midday; then the Lord will guide you always and give you plenty even on the parched land. He will renew your strength, and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring whose water never fails. The ancient ruins shall be rebuilt for your sake, and the foundations from ages past you shall raise up; "Repairer of the breach," they shall call you, "Restorer of ruined homesteads."
If you hold back your foot on the sabbath from following your own pursuits on my holy day; if you call the sabbath a delight, and the Lord's holy day honorable; if you honor it by not following your ways, seeking your own interests, or speaking with malice - then you shall delight in the Lord, and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth; I will nourish you with the heritage of Jacob, your father, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

Psalms 86: 1 - 6
Incline your ear, O Lord; answer me, for I am afflicted and poor. Keep my life, for I am devoted to you; save your servant who trusts in you. You are my God; have pity on me, O Lord, for to you I call all the day. Gladden the soul of your servant, for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul; for you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in kindness to all who call upon you. Hearken, O Lord, to my prayer and attend to the sound of my pleading.

Luke 5: 27 - 32
Afterward Jesus went out and saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at his customs post. He said to him, "follow me." Leaving everything behind, Levi stood up and became his follower. After that Levi gave a great reception for Jesus in his house, in which he was joined by a large crowd of tax collectors and others at dinner. The Pharisees and the scribes of their party said to his disciples, "Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and non-observers of the law?" Jesus said to them, "The healthy do not need a doctor; sick people do. I have not come to invite the self-righteous to a change of heart, but sinners."
 

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Sunday, February 21, 2021
Genesis 9: 8 - 15
God said to Noah and to his sons with him; "See, I am now establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you and with every living creature that was with you: all the birds, and the various tame and wild animals that were with you and came out of the ark. I will establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all bodily creatures be destroyed by the waters of a flood; there shall not be another flood to devastate the earth." God added: "This is the sign that I am giving for all ages to come, of the covenant between me and you and every living creature with you: I set my bow in the clouds to serve as a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth, and the bow appears in the clouds, I will recall the covenant I have made between me and you and all living beings, so that the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all mortal beings."

Psalms 25: 4 - 9
Your ways, O Lord, make known to me; teach me your paths, guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my savior, and for you I wait all the day. Remember that your compassion, O Lord, and your kindness are from of old. The sins of my youth and my frailties remember not; in your kindness remember me, because of your goodness, O Lord.
Good and upright is the Lord; thus he shows sinners the way. He guides the humble to justice, the teaches the humble his way.

First Peter 3: 18 - 22
The reason why Christ died for sins once for all, the just man for the sake of the unjust, was that he might lead you to God. He was put to death insofar as fleshly existence goes, but was given life in the realm of the spirit. It was in the spirit also that he went to preach to the spirits in prison. They had disobeyed as long ago as Noah's day, while God patiently waited until the ark was built. At that time, a few persons, eight in all, escaped in the ark through the water. You are now saved by a baptismal bath which corresponds to this exactly. This baptism is no removal of physical stain but the pledge to God of an irreproachable conscience through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. He went to heaven and is at God's right hand, with angelic rulers and powers subjected to him.

Mark 1: 12 - 15
At that point the Spirit sent Jesus out toward the desert. He stayed in the wasteland forty days, put to the test there by Satan. He was with the wild beasts, and angels waited on him.
After John's arrest, Jesus appeared in Galilee proclaiming the good news of God. "This is the time of fulfillment. The reign of God is at hand! Reform your lives and believe in the gospel!"
 

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Monday, February 22, 2021
First letter of Peter 5: 1 - 4
Beloved: I exhort the presbyters among you, as a fellow presbyter and witness to the sufferings of Christ and one who has a share in the glory to be revealed. Tend the flock of God in your midst, overseeing not by constraint but willingly, as God would have it, not for shameful profit but eagerly. Do not lord it over those assigned to you, but be examples to the flock. and when the chief Shepherd is revealed, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.

Psalm 23: 1 - 6
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. In verdant pastures he gives me repose; beside restful waters he leads me; he refreshes my soul. He guides me in right paths for his name's sake. Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side with your rod and your staff that give me courage.
You spread the table before me in the sight of my foes; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Only goodness and kindness follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord for years to come.

Gospel of Matthew 16: 13 - 19
When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" They replied, "Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter said in reply, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus said to him in reply, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the nether world shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."
 

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