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Martin Jr.

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Sunday, May 9, 2021
Acts 10: 25 - 26, 34 - 35, 44 - 48
As Peter entered, Cornelius went to meet him, dropped to his knees before him and bowed low. Peter said as he helped him to his feet, "Get up! I am only a man myself."
Peter proceeded to address them in these words: "I begin to see how true it is that God shows no partiality. Rather, the man of any nation who fears God and acts uprightly is acceptable to him.
Peter had not finished these words when the Holy Spirit descended upon all who were listening to Peter's message. The circumcised believers who had accompanied Peter were surprised that the gift of the Holy Spirit should have been poured out on the Gentiles also, whom they could hear speaking in tongues and glorifying God. Peter put the question at that point: "What can stop these people who have received the Holy Spirit, even as we have, from being baptized with water?" So he gave orders that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. After this was done, they asked him to stay with them for a few days.

Psalm 98: 1 - 4
Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done wondrous deeds; his right hand has won victory for him, his holy arm. The Lord has made his salvation known: in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice. He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness toward the house of Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation by our God.
Sing joyfully to the Lord, all you lands; break into song, sing praise.

First letter of John 4: 7 - 10
Beloved, let us love one another because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten of God and has knowledge of God. The man without love has known nothing of God, for God is love. God's love was revealed in our midst in this way: He sent his only Son to the world that we might have life through him. Love, then, consists in this: not that we have loved God, but that he has loved us and has sent his Son as an offering for our sins.

Gospel of John 15: 9 - 17
Jesus said to his disciples:
"As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you, live on in my love. You will live in my love if you keep my commandments, even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and live in his love. All this I tell you that my joy may be yours and your joy may be complete. This is my commandment: love one another as I have loved you. There is no greater love than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I no longer speak of you as slaves, for a slave does not know what his master is about. Instead, I call you friends, since I have made known to you all that I heard from my Father. It was not you who chose me, it was I who chose you to go forth and bear fruit. Your fruit must endure, so that all you ask the Father in my name he will give you. The command I give you is this, that you love one another."
 

Martin Jr.

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Monday, May 10, 2021
Acts 16: 11 - 15
We put out to sea from Troas and set a course straight for Samothrace, and the next day on to Neapolis; from there we went to Philippi, a leading city in the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. We spent some time in that city. Once, on the Sabbath, we went outside the city gates to the bank of the river, where we thought there would be a place of prayer. We sat down and spoke to the women who were gathered there. One who listened was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple goods from the town of Thyatira. She already reverenced God, and the Lord opened her heart to accept what Paul was saying. After she and her household had been baptized, she extended us an invitation: "If you are convinced that I believe in the Lord, come and stay at my house." She managed to prevail on us.

Psalm 149: 1 - 6, 9
Sing to the Lord a new song of praise in the assembly of the faithful. Let Israel be glad in their maker, let the children of Zion rejoice in their king. Let them praise his name in the festive dance, let them sing praise to him with timbrel and harp. For the Lord loves his people, and he adorns the lowly with victory. Let the faithful exult in glory; let them sing for joy upon their couches; let the high praises of God be in their throats.
This is the glory of all his faithful. Alleluia.

Gospel of John 15: 26 - -16: 4
Jesus said to his disciples:
"When the Paraclete comes, the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father - and whom I myself will send from the Father - he will bear witness on my behalf. You must bear witness as well, for you have been with me from the beginning.
I have told you all this to keep your faith from being shaken. Not only will they expel you from synagogues; a time will come when anyone who puts you to death will claim to be serving God! All this they will do to you because they knew neither the Father nor me. But I have told you these things that when their hour comes you may remember my telling you of them."
 

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Tuesday, May 11, 2021
Acts 16: 16 - 34
It was while we were on our way out to the place of prayer that we met a slave girl who had a clairvoyant spirit. She used to bring substantial profit to her masters by fortune telling. The girl began to follow Paul and the rest of us shouting, "These men are servants of the Most High God; they will make known to you a way of salvation." She did this for several days until finally Paul became annoyed, turned around, and said to the spirit, "In the name of Jesus Christ I command you, come out of her!" Then and there the spirit left her.
When her masters saw that their source of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the main square before the local authorities. They turned them over to the magistrates with this complaint: "These men are agitators disturbing the peace of our city! Furthermore, they are Jews, which means they advocate customs which are not lawful for us Romans to adopt or practice." The crowd joined in the attack on them, and the magistrates stripped them and ordered them to be flogged. After receiving many lashes they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was given instructions to guard them well. Upon receipt of these instructions he put them in maximum security, going so far as to chain their feet to a stake.
About midnight, while Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God as their fellow prisoners listened, a severe earthquake suddenly shook the place, rocking the prison to its foundations. Immediately all the doors flew open and everyone's chains were pulled loose. The jailer woke up to see the prison gates wide open. Thinking that the prisoners had escaped, he drew his sword to kill himself; but Paul shouted to him: "Do not harm yourself! We are all still here." The jailer called for a light, then rushed in and fell trembling at the feet of Paul and Silas. After a brief interval he led them out and said, "Men, what must I do to be saved?" Their answer was, "Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, and all your household." They proceeded to announce the word of God to him and to everyone in his house. At that late hour of the night he took them in and bathed their wounds; then he and his whole household were baptized. He led them up into his house, spread a table before them, and joyfully celebrated with his whole family his newfound faith in God.

Psalm 138: 1 - 3, 7 - 8
I will give thanks to you, O Lord, with all my heart, for you have heard the words of my mouth; in the presence of the angels I will sing your praise; I will worship at your holy temple and give thanks to your name, because of your kindness and your truth; for you have made great above all things your name and your promise. When I called, you answered me; you built up strength within me.
Though I walk amid distress, you preserve me; against the anger of my enemies you raise your hand; your right hand saves me. The Lord will complete what he has done for me; our kindness, O Lord, endures forever; forsake not the work of your hands.

Gospel of John 16: 5 - 11
Jesus said to his disciples:
"Now that I go back to him who sent me, not one of you asks me, 'Where are you going?' Because I have had all this to say to you, you are overcome with grief. Yet I tell you the sober truth: it is much better for you that I go. If I fail to go, the Paraclete will never come to you, whereas if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will prove the world wrong about sin, about justice, about condemnation. About sin - in that they refuse to believe in me; about justice - from the fact that I go to the Father and you can see me no more; about condemnation - for the prince of this world has been condemned."
 

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Wednesday, May 12, 2021
Acts 17: 15, 22 - - 18:1
Paul was taken as far as Athens by his escort, who then returned with instructions for Silas and Timothy to join him as soon as possible.
Then Paul stood up in the Areopagus and delivered this Address: "Men of Athens, I note that in every respect you are scrupulously religions. As I walked around looking at your shrines, I even discovered an altar inscribed, 'To a God Unknown.' Now, what you are thus worshiping in ignorance I intend to make known to you. For the God who made the world and all that is in it, the Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in sanctuaries made by human hands; nor does he receive man's service as if he were in need of it. Rather, it is he who gives to all life and breath and everything else. From one stock he made every nation of mankind to dwell on the face of the earth. It is he who set limits to their epochs and fixed the boundaries of their regions. They were to seek God, yes to grope for him and perhaps eventually to find him - though he is not really far from any one of us. 'In him we live and move and have our being,' as some of our own poets have put it. 'For we too are his offspring.' If we are in fact God's offspring, we ought not to think of divinity as something like a statue of gold or silver or stone, a product of man's genius and his art. God may well have overlooked bygone periods when men did not know him; but now he calls on all men everywhere to reform their lives. He has set the day on which he is going to 'judge the world with justice' through a man he has appointed - one whom he has endorsed in the sight of all by raising him from the dead."
When they heard about the raising of the dead, some sneered, while others said, "We must hear you on this topic some other time." At this point, Paul left them. A few did join him, however, to become believers. Among theses were Dionysius, a member of the court of the Areopagus, a woman named Damaris, and a few others.
After that, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth.

Psalm 148: 1 - 2, 11 - 14
Praise the Lord from the heavens, praise him in the heights; praise him, all you his angels, praise him, all you his hosts.
Let the kings of the earth and all peoples, the princes and all the judges of the earth, young men too, and maidens, old men and boys, praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is exalted; his majesty is above earth and heaven, and he has lifted up the horn of his people. Be this his praise from all his faithful ones, from the children of Israel, the people close to him. Alleluia.

Gospel of John 16: 12 - 15
Jesus said to his disciples:
"I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. When he comes, however, being the Spirit of truth he will guide you to all truth. He will not speak on his own but will speak only what he hears, and will announce to you the things to come. In doing this he will give glory to me, because he will have received from me what he will announce to you. All that the Father has belongs to me. That is why I said that what he will announce to you he will have from me."
 

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Thursday, May 13, 2021
Acts 18: 1 - 8
Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla because Claudius had ordered all the Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to visit them and, because he practiced the same trade, stayed with them and worked, for they were tentmakers by trade. Every sabbath, he entered into discussions in the synagogue, attempting to convince both Jews and Greeks.
When Silas and Timothy came down from Macadonia, Paul began to occupy himself totally with preaching the word, testifying to the Jews that the Christ was Jesus. When they opposed him and reviled him, he shook out his garments and said to them, "Your blood be on your heads! I am clear of responsibility. From now on I will go to the Gentiles." So he left there and went to a house belonging to a man named Titus Justus, a worshiper of God; his house was next to a synagogue. Crispus, the synagogue official, came to believe in the Lord along with his entire household, and many of the Corinthians who heard believed and were baptized.

Psalms 98: 1 - 4
Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done wondrous deeds; his right hand has won victory for him, his holy arm. The Lord has made his salvation known; in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice. He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness toward the house of Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation by our God.
Sing joyfully to the Lord, all you lands; break into song sing; praise.

John 16: 16 - 20
Jesus said to his disciples:
"A little while and you will no longer see me, and again a little while later and you will see me." So some of his disciples said to one another, "What does this mean that he is saying to us, 'A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me,' and 'Because I am going to the Father'?" So they said, "What is this 'little while' of which he speaks? We do not know what he means." Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, "Are you discussing with one another what I said, 'A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me'? Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices; you will grieve, but your grief will become joy."
 

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Friday, May 14, 2021
Acts 1: 15 - 17, 20 - 26
At one point during those days, Peter stood up in the center of the brothers; there must have been a hundred and twenty gathered together. "Brothers," he said, "the saying in Scripture uttered long ago by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of David was destined to be fulfilled in Judas, the one who guided those that arrested Jesus. He was one of our number and he had been given a share in this ministry of ours.
It is written in the Book of Psalms. "Let his encampment be desolate. May no one dwell on it'. And again, 'May another take his office.'
It is entirely fitting therefore, that one of those who was of our company while the Lord Jesus moved among us, from the baptism of John until the day he was taken up from us, should be named as witness with us to his resurrection." At that they nominated two, Joseph (called Barsabbas, also known as Justus) and Matthias. Then they prayed: "O Lord, you read the hearts of men. Make known to us which of these two you choose for this apostolic ministry, replacing Judas, who deserted the cause and went the way he was destined to go." Then they drew lots between the two men. The choice fell to Matthias who was added to the eleven apostles.

Psalm 113: 1 - 8
Praise, you servants of the Lord, praise the name of the Lord. Blessed be the name of the Lord both now and forever. From the rising to the setting of the sun is the name of the Lord to be praised.
High above all nations is the Lord; above the heavens is his glory. Who is like the Lord, our God, who is enthroned on high and looks upon the heavens and the earth below?
He raises up the lowly from the dust; from the dunghill he lifts up the poor to seat them with princes, with the princes of his own people.

Gospel of John 15: 9 - 17
Jesus said to his disciples:
"As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; live on in my love. You will live in my love if you keep my commandments, even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and live in his love. All this I tell you that my joy may be yours and your joy may be complete. This is my commandment: love one another as I have loved you. There is no greater love than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I no longer speak of you as slaves, for a slave does not know what his master is about. Instead, I call you friends since I have made known to you all that I heard from my Father. It was not you who chose me, it was I who chose you to go forth and bear fruit. Your fruit must endure, so that all you ask the Father in my name he will give you. The command I give you is this, that you love one another."
 

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Saturday, May 14, 2021
Acts 18: 23 - 28
After spending some time there Paul set out again, traveling systematically through the Galatian country and Phrygia to reassure all his disciples.
A Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria and a man of eloquence, arrived by ship at Ephesus. He was both an authority on Scripture and instructed in the new way of the Lord. Apollos was a man full of spiritual fervor. He spoke and taught accurately about Jesus, although he knew only of John's baptism. He too began to express himself fearlessly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him home and explained to him God's new way in greater detail. He wanted to go on to Achaia, and so the brothers encouraged him by writing the disciples there to welcome him. When he arrived, he greatly strengthened those who through God's favor had become believers. He was vigorous in his public refutation of the Jewish party as he went about establishing from the Scripture that Jesus is the Messiah.

Psalms 47: 2 - 3, 8 - 9, 10
All you peoples, clap your hands, shout to God with cries of gladness, for the Lord, the Most High, the awesome, is the great king over all the earth.
For the king of all the earth is God, sing hymns of praise. God reigns over the nations, God sits upon his holy throne. The princes of the peoples are gathered together with the people of the God of Abraham. For God's are the guardians of the earth; he is supreme.

John 16: 23 - 28
"On that day you will have no questions to ask me. I give you my assurance, whatever you ask the Father, he will give you in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you shall receive, that your joy may be full. I have spoken these things to you in veiled language. A time will come when I shall no longer do so, but shall tell you about the Father in plain speech. On that day you will ask in my name and I do not say that I will petition the Father for you. The Father already loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. [I did indeed come from the Father;] I came into the world. Now I am leaving the world to go to the Father."
 

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Sunday, May 16, 2021
Acts 1: 1 - 11
In the first book, Theophilus, I dealt with all that Jesus did and taught until the day he was taken up, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. He presented himself alive to them by many proofs after he had suffered, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. While meeting with them, he enjoined them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for "the promise of the Father about which you have heard me speak; for John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit."
When they had gathered together they asked him, "Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?" He answered them, "It is not for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has established by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
When he had said this, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight. While they were looking intently at the sky as he was going, suddenly two men dressed in white garments stood beside them. they said, "Men of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky? This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven."

Psalms 47: 2 - 3, 6 - 9
All you peoples, clap your hands, shout to God with cries of gladness, for the Lord, the Most High, the awesome, is the great king over all the earth.
God mounts his throne amid shouts of joy; the Lord, amid trumpet blasts. Sing to God, sing praise; sing praise to our king, sing praise.
For the king of all the earth is God; sing hymns of praise. God reigns over the nations, God sits upon his holy throne.

Ephesians 1: 17 - 23
Brothers and sisters: May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, give you a Spirit of wisdom and revelation resulting in knowledge of him. May the eyes of your hearts be enlightened, that you may know what is the hope that belongs to his call, what are the riches of glory in his inheritance among the holy ones, and what is the surpassing greatness of his power for us who believe, in accord with the exercise of his great might, which he worked in Christ, raising him from the dead and seating him at his right hand in the heavens, far above every principality, authority, power, and dominion, and every name that is named not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things beneath his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of the one who fills all things in every way.

Mark 16: 15 - 20
Jesus said to his disciples:
"Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned. These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will drive out demons, they will speak new languages. They will pick up serpents with their hands, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them. They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."
So then the Lord Jesus, after he spoke to them was taken up into heaven and took his seat at the right hand of God. The Eleven went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word through accompanying signs.
 

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Monday, May 16, 2021
Acts 19: 1 - 8
While Appollos was in Corinth, Paul passed through the interior of the country and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples to whom he put the question, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?" They answered, "We have not so much as heard that there is a Holy Spirit." "Well, how were you baptized?" he persisted. They replied, "With the baptism of John." Paul then explained, "John's baptism was a baptism of repentance. He used to tell the people about the one who would come after him in whom they were to believe - that is, Jesus." When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. As Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came down on them and they began to speak in tongues and to utter prophecies. There were in the company about twelve men in all.
Paul entered the synagogue, and over a period of three months, debated fearlessly, with persuasive arguments, about the kingdom of God.

Psalms 68: 2 - 7
God arises; his enemies are scattered, and those who hate him flee before him. As smoke is driven away, so are they driven; as wax melts before the fire, so the wicked perish before God. But the just rejoice and exult before God; they are glad and rejoice. Sing to God, chant praise to his name, extol him who rides upon the clouds, whose name is the Lord; exult before him. The father of orphans and the defender of widows is God in his holy dwelling. God gives a home to the forsaken; he leads forth prisoners to prosperity; only rebels remain in the parched land.

John 16: 29 - 33
"At last you are speaking plainly," his disciples exclaimed, "without talking in veiled language! We are convinced that you know everything. There is no need for anyone to ask you questions. We do indeed believe you came from God."
Jesus answered them: "Do you really believe? An hour is coming - has indeed already come - when you will be scattered and each will go his way, leaving me quite alone. (Yet I can never be alone; the Father is with me.) I tell you all this that in me you may find peace. You will suffer in the world. But take courage! I have overcome the world."
 

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Tuesday, May 18, 2021
Acts 20: 17 - 27
Paul sent word from Miletus to Ephesus, summoning the presbyters of that church. When they came to him he delivered this address: "You know how I lived among you from the first day I set foot in the province of Asia - how I served the Lord in humility through the sorrows and trials that came my way from the plottings of certain Jews. Never did I shrink from telling you what was for your own good, or from teaching you in public or in private. With Jews and Greeks alike I insisted solemnly on repentance before God and on faith in our Lord Jesus. But now, as you see I am on my way to Jerusalem, compelled by the Spirit and not knowing what will happen to me there - except that the Holy Spirit has been warning me from city to city that chains and hardships await me. I put no value on my life if only I can finish my race and complete the service to which I have been assigned by the Lord Jesus, bearing witness to the gospel of God's grace. I know as I speak these words that none of you among whom I went about preaching the kingdom will ever see my face again. Therefore I solemnly declare this day that I take the blame for no man's conscience, for I have never shrunk from announcing to you God's design in its entirety.

Psalms 68: 10 - 11, 20, 21
A bountiful rain you showered down, O God, upon your inheritance; you restored the land when it languished; your flock settled in it; in your goodness, O God, you provided it for the needy.
Blessed day by day be the Lord, who bears our burdens; God, who is our salvation. God is a saving God for us; the Lord, my Lord, controls the passageways of death.

John 17: 1 - 11
After he had spoken these words, Jesus looked up to heaven and said: "Father, the hour has come! Give glory to your Son that your Son may give glory to you, inasmuch as you have given him authority over all mankind, that he may bestow eternal life on those you gave him. (Eternal life is this: to know you, the only true God, and him whom you have sent, Jesus Christ.) I have given you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. Do you now, Father, give me glory at your side, a glory I had with you before the world began. I have made your name known to those you gave me out of the world. These men you gave me were yours; they have kept your word. Now they realize that all that you gave me comes from you. I entrusted to them the message you entrusted to me, and they received it. They have known that in truth I came from you, they have believed it was you who sent me."
"For these I pray - not for the world but for these you have given me, for they are really yours. (Just as all that belongs to me is yours, so all that belongs to you is mine.) It is in them that I have been glorified, I am in the world no more, but these are in the world as I come to you. O Father most holy, protect them with your name which you have given me [that they may be one, even as we are one].
 

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Wednesday, May 19, 2021
Acts 20: 28 - 38
"Keep watch over yourselves, and over the whole flock the Holy Spirit has given you to guard. Shepherd the church of God, which he has acquired at the price of his own blood. I know that when I am gone, savage wolves will come among you who will not spare the flock. From your own number, men will present themselves distorting the truth and leading astray any who follow them. Be on guard, therefore. Do not forget that for three years, night and day, I never ceased warning you individually even to the point of tears. I commend you now to the Lord, and to that gracious word of his which can enlarge you, and give you a share among all who are consecrated to him. Never did I set my heart on anyone's silver or gold or envy the way he dressed. You yourselves know that these hands of mine have served both my needs and those of my companions. I have always pointed out to you that it is by such hard work that you must help the weak. You need to recall the words of the Lord Jesus himself, who said, 'There is more happiness in giving than receiving.'"
After this discourse, Paul knelt down with them all and prayed. They began to weep without restraint, throwing their arms around him and kissing him, for they were deeply distressed to hear that they would never see his face again. Then they escorted him to the ship.

Psalms 68: 29 - 30, 33, 36
Show forth, O God, your power. The power, O God, with which you took part; for your temple in Jerusalem let the kings bring you gifts.
You kingdoms of the earth, sing to God, chant praise to the Lord, who rides on the heights of the ancient heavens. Behold, his voice resounds, the voice of power; "Confess the power of God!" Over Israel in his majesty; his power is in the skies. Awesome in his sanctuary is God, the God of Israel; he gives power and strength to his people. Blessed be God!

John 17: 11 - 19
I am in the world no more, but these are in the world as I come to you. O Father most holy, protect them with your name which you have given me [that they may be one, even as we are one].
As long as I was with them, I guarded them with your name which you gave me. I kept careful watch, and not one of them was lost, none but him who was destined to be lost - in fulfillment of Scripture. Now, however I come to you; I say all this while I am still in the world that they may share my joy completely. I gave them your word, and the world has hated them for it; they do not belong to the world [any more than I belong to the world]. I do not ask you to take them out of the world, but to guard them from the evil one. They are not of the world any more that I belong to the world. Consecrate them by means of truth - 'Your word is truth.' As you have sent me into the world, so as I have sent them into the world; I consecrate myself for their sakes now, that they may be consecrated in truth.
 

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Thursday, May 20, 2021
Acts 22: 30 - 23: - 11
The next day the commander released Paul from prison, intending to look carefully into the charge which the Jews were bringing against him. He summoned the chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin to a meeting; then he brought Paul down and made him stand before them.
Paul gazed intently at the Sanhedrin. Then he said, "Brothers, to this day I have lived my life with a clear conscience before God." At that, the high priest Ananias ordered his attendants to strike Paul on the mouth. Paul said to him in rebuttal: "You are the one God will strike, you whitewashed wall! You sit there judging men according to the law, yet you violate the law yourself by ordering me to be struck!" At this, the attendants protested, "How dare you insult God's high priest?" Paul answered: "My brothers, I did not know that he was the high priest. Indeed Scripture has it, 'You shall not curse a prince of your people!'"
Paul, it should be noted, was aware that some of them were Sadducees and some Pharisees. Consequently he spoke out before the Sanhedrin: "Brothers, I am a Pharisee and was born a Pharisee. I find myself on trial now because of my hope in the resurrection of the dead." At these words, a dispute arose between Pharisees and Sadducees which divided the whole assembly. (The Sadducees, of course, maintain that there is no resurrection and that there are neither angels nor spirits, while the Pharisees believe in all these things.) A loud uproar ensued. Finally, some scribes of the Pharisee party arose and declared emphatically: "We do not find this man guilty of any crime. If a spirit or an angel has spoken to him . . ." At this, the dispute grew worse and the commander feared they would tear Paul to pieces. He therefore ordered his troops to go down and rescue Paul from their midst and take him back to headquarters. That night the Lord appeared at Paul's side and said: "Keep up your courage! Just as you have given testimony to me here in Jerusalem, so must you do in Rome."

Psalms 16: 1 - 2, 5, 7 - 11
Keep me, O God, for in you I take refuge; I say to the Lord, "My Lord are you. Apart from you I have no god."
O Lord, my allotted portion and my cup, you it is who hold fast my lot.
I bless the Lord who counsels me; even in the night my heart exhorts me. I set the Lord ever before me; with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed. Therefore my heart is glad and my soul rejoices, my body, too, abides, in confidence; because you will not abandon my soul to the nether world, nor will you suffer your faithful one to undergo corruption. You will show me the path of life, fullness of joys in your presence, the delights at your right hand forever.

John 17: 20 - 26
"I do not pray for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their word, that all may be one as you, Father, are in me, and I in you; I pray that they may be [one] in us, that the world may believe that you sent me. I have given them the glory you gave me that they may be one, as we are one - I living in them, you living in me - that their unity may be complete. So shall the world know that you sent me, and that you loved them as you loved me. Father, all those you gave me I would have in my company where I am, to see this glory of mine which is your gift to me, because of the love you bore me before the world began. Just Father, the world has not known you, but I have known you; and these men have known that you sent me. To them I have revealed your name, and I will continue to reveal it so that your love for me may live in them, and I may live in them."
 

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Friday, May 20, 2021
Acts 25, 13 - 21
A few days later King Agrippa and Bernice arrived in Caesarea and paid Festus a courtesy call. Since they were to spend several days there, Festus referred Paul's cast to the king. "There is a prisoner here, " he said, "whom Felix left behind in custody. While I was in Jerusalem the chief priests and the elders of the Jews presented their case against this man and demanded his condemnation. I replied that it was not the Roman practice to hand an accused man over before he had been confronted with his accusers and given a chance to defend himself against their charges. When they came here with me, I did not delay the matter. The very next day I took my seat on the bench and ordered the man brought in. His accusers surrounded him but they did not charge him with any of the crimes I expected. Instead they differed with him over issues in their own religion, and about a certain Jesus who had died but who Paul claimed is alive. Not knowing how to decide the case, I asked whether the prisoner was willing to go to Jerusalem and stand trial there on these charges. Paul appealed to be kept here until there could be an imperial investigation of his case, so I issued orders that he be kept in custody until I could send him to the emperor."

Psalms 103: 12, 11 - 12, 19 - 20
As far as the east if from the west, so far has he put our transgressions from us.
For as the heavens are high above the earth, so surpassing is his kindness toward those who fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has he put our transgressions from us.
The Lord has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all. Bless the Lord, all you his angels, you mighty in strength, who do his bidding, obeying his spoken word.

John 21: 15 - 19
When they had eaten their meal, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?" "Yes, Lord, he said, "you know that I love you." At which Jesus said, "Feed my lambs."
A second time he put this question, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" "Yes, Lord," Peter said, "you know that I love you." Jesus replied, "Tend my sheep."
A third time, Jesus asked him, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" Peter was hurt because he had asked a third time, "Do you love me?" So he said to him: "Lord, you know everything. You know well that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my sheep."
"I tell you solemnly: as a young man you fastened your belt and went about as you pleased; but when you are older you will stretch out your hands, and another will tie you fast and carry you off against your will."
(What he said indicated the sort of death by which Peter was to glorify God.) When Jesus had finished speaking he said to him, "follow me."
 

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Saturday, May 22, 2021
Acts 28: 16 - 20, 30 - 31
Upon our entry into Rome Paul was allowed to take a lodging of his own, although a soldier was assigned to keep guard over him.
Three days later Paul invited the prominent men of the Jewish community to visit him. When they had gathered he said: "My brothers, I have done nothing against our people or our ancestral customs; yet in Jerusalem I was handed over to the Romans as a prisoner. The Romans tried my case and wanted to release me because they found nothing against me deserving of death. When the Jews objected, I was forced to appeal to the emperor, though I had no cause to make accusations against my own people. This is the reason, then, why I have asked to see you and speak with you. I wear these chains solely because I share the hope of Israel."
For two full years Paul stayed on in his rented lodgings, welcoming all who came to him. With full assurance, and without any hindrance whatever, he preached the reign of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.

Psalms 11: 4, 5, 7
The Lord is in his holy temple; the Lord's throne is in heaven. His eyes behold, his searching glance is on mankind. The Lord searches the just and the wicked; the lover of violence he hates.
For the Lord is just, he loves just deeds; the upright shall see his face.

John 21: 20 - 25
Peter turned around at that, and noticed that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following (the one who had leaned against Jesus' chest during the supper and said, "Lord, which one will hand you over?") Seeing him, Peter was prompted to ask Jesus, "But Lord, what about him?"
"Suppose I want him to stay until I come." Jesus replied, "how does that concern you?" Your business is to follow me." This is how the report spread among the brothers that this disciple was not going to die. Jesus never told him, as a matter of fact, that the disciple was not going to die; all he said was, "Suppose I want him to stay until I come [how does that concern you]?"
 

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Sunday, May 23, 2021
Acts 2: 1 - 11
When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together. And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were. Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.
Now there were devout Jews from every nation under the heaven staying in Jerusalem. At this sound, they gathered in a large crowd, but they were confused because each one heard them speaking in his own language. They were astounded, and in amazement they asked, "Are not all these people who are speaking Galatians? Then how does each of us hear them in his native language? We are Parthians, Medes, and Elamites, inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya near Cyrene, as well as travelers from Rome, both Jews and converts to Judaism, Cretans and Arabs, yet we hear them speaking in our own tongues of the mighty acts of God."

Psalm 104: 1, 24, 29 - 31, 34
Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord, my God, you are great indeed! You are clothed with majesty and glory.
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.
May the glory of the Lord endure forever; may the Lord be glad in his works!
Pleasing to him be my theme; I will be glad in the Lord.

First letter of Paul to the Corinthians 12: 3 - 7, 12 - 13
Brothers and sisters: No one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.
There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; there are different forms of service but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone. To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit.
As a body is one though it has may parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons, and we were all given to drink of one Spirit.

Gospel of John 20: 19 - 23
On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, "Peace be with you." When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you." And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained."
 

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Monday, May 24, 2021
Genesis 3: 9 - 15, 20
After the man, Adam, had eaten of the tree, the Lord God 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."
The man called his wife Eve, because she became the mother of all the living.

Psalm 87: 1 - 3, 5 - 7
His foundation upon the holy mountains the Lord loves: The gates of Zion, more than any dwelling of Jacob. Glorious things are said of you, O city of God!
And of Zion they shall say: "One and all were born in her; and he who has established her is the Most High Lord." they shall note, when the peoples are enrolled: "This man was born there." And all shall sing, in their festive dance: "My home is within you."

Gospel of John 19: 25 - 34
Near the cross of Jesus there stood his mother, his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clophas, and Mary Magdalene. Seeing his mother there with the disciple whom he loved, Jesus said to his mother, "Woman, there is your son." In turn he said the disciple, "There is your mother." From that hour onward, the disciple took her into his care.
After that, Jesus, realizing that everything was now finished, said to full the Scripture, "I am thirsty." There was a jar there, full of common wine. They stuck a sponge soaked in this wine on some hyssop and raised it to his lips. When Jesus took the wine, he said, "Now it is finished." Then he bowed his head, and delivered over his spirit.
Since it was the Preparation Day the Jews did not want to have the bodies left on the cross during the sabbath, for that sabbath was a solemn feat day. They asked Pilate that the legs be broken and the bodies be taken away. Accordingly, the soldiers came and broke the legs of the me crucified with Jesus, first of the one, and then of the others. When they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. One of the soldiers thrust a lance into his side, and immediately blood and water flowed out.
 

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Tuesday, May 25, 2021
Sirach 35: 1 - 12
To keep the law is a great oblation, and he who observes the commandments sacrifices a peace offering. In works of charity one offers fine flour, and when he gives alms he presents his sacrifice of praise. To refrain from evil pleases the Lord, and to avoid injustice is an atonement. Appear not before the Lord empty-handed, for all that you offer is in fulfillment of the precepts. The just man's offering enriches the altar and rises as a sweet odor before the Most High. The just man's sacrifice is most pleasing, nor will it ever be forgotten. In generous spirit pay homage to the Lord, be not sparing of freewill gifts. With each contribution show a cheerful countenance, and pay your tithes in a spirit of joy. Give to the Most High as he has given to you, generously, according to your means.
For the Lord is one who always repays, and he will give back to you sevenfold. But offer no bribes, these he does not accept! Trust not in sacrifice of the fruits of extortion, for he is a God of justice, who knows no favorites.

Psalm 50: 5 - 8, 14, 23
Gather my faithful ones before me, those who have made a covenant with me by sacrifice. And for the heavens proclaim his justice; for God himself is the judge.
Hear, my people, and I will speak; Israel, I will testify against you; God, your God, am I. Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you, for your holocausts are before me always.
Offer to God praise as your sacrifice and fulfill your vows to the Most High.
He that offers praise as a sacrifice glorifies me; and to him that goes the right way I will show the salvation of God.

Gospel of Mark 10: 28 - 31
Peter was moved to say to Jesus, "We have put aside everything to follow you!" Jesus answered: "I give you my word, there is no one who has given up home, brothers or sisters, mother or father, children or property, for me and for the gospel who will not receive in this present age a hundred times as many homes, brothers and sisters, mothers, children and property - and persecution besides - and in the age to come, everlasting life. Many who are first shall come last, and the last shall come first."
 

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Wednesday, May 25, 2021
Sirach 36: 1, 4 - 5, 10 - 17
Come to our aid, O God of the universe, and put all the nations in dread of you!
Thus they will know as we know, that there is no God but you. Give new signs and work new wonders; show forth the splendor of your right hand and arm.
Gather all the tribes of Jacob, that they may inherit the land as of old, show mercy to the people called by your name; Israel, whom you named your first-born. Take pity on your holy city, Jerusalem, your dwelling place. Fill Zion with your majesty, your temple with your glory.
Give evidence of your deeds of old; fulfill the prophecies spoken in your name, reward those who have hoped in you, and let your prophets be proved true. Hear the prayer of your servants, for you are ever gracious to your people; thus it will be known to the very ends of the earth that you are the eternal God.

Psalm 79: 8 - 9, 11 - 13
Remember not against us the iniquities of the past; may your compassion quickly come to us, for we are brought very low.
Help us, O God our savior, because of the glory of your name; deliver us and pardon our sins for your name's sake.
Let the prisoners' sighing come before you; with your great power free those doomed to death. And repay our neighbors sevenfold into their bosoms the disgrace they have inflicted on you, O Lord. Then we, your people and the sheep of your pasture, will give thanks to you forever; through all generations we will declare your praise.

Gospel of Mark 10: 32 - 45
The disciples were on the road going up to Jerusalem, with Jesus walking in the lead. Their mood was one of wonderment while that of those who followed was fear. Taking the Twelve aside once more, he began to tell them what was going to happen to him. "We are on our way up to Jerusalem, where the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes. They will condemn him to death and hand him over to the Gentiles, who will mock him and spit at him, flog him, and finally kill him. But three days later he will rise."
Zebedee's sons, James and John, approached him, "Teacher," they said, "We want you to grant our request." "What is it:" he asked. They replied, "See to it that we sit, one at your right and the other at your left, when you come into your glory." Jesus told them, "You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup I shall drink or be baptized in the same bath of pain as I?" "We can," they told him. Jesus said in response, "From the cup I drink of you shall drink; the bath I am immersed in you shall share. But as for sitting at my right or my left, that is not mine to give; it is for those who whom it has been reserved." The other ten, on hearing this, became indignant at James and John. Jesus called them together and said to them: "You know how among the Gentiles those who seem to exercise authority lord it over them; their great ones make their importance felt. It cannot be like that with you. Anyone among you who aspires to greatness must serve the rest; whoever wants to rank first among you must serve the needs of all. The Son of Man has not come to be served but to serve - to give his life in ransom for the many."
 

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Thursday, May 27, 2021
Sirach 42: 15 - 25
Now will I recall God's works; what I have seen, I will describe. At God's word were his works brought into being; they do his will as he has ordained for them. As the rising sun is clear to all so the glory of the Lord fills all his works; yet even God's holy ones must fail in recounting the wonders of the Lord, though God has given these, his hosts, the strength to stand firm before his glory. He plumbs the depths and penetrates the heart; their innermost being he understands. The Most High possesses all knowledge, and sees from of old the things that are to come: he makes known the past and the future, and reveals the deepest secrets. No understanding does he lack; no single thing escapes him. Perennial is his almighty wisdom; he is from all eternity one and the same, with nothing added, nothing taken away; no need of a counselor for him! How beautiful are all his works, even to the spark and the fleeting vision! The universe lives and abides forever; to meet each need, each creature is preserved. All of them differ, one from another, yet none of them has he made in vain, for each in turn, as it comes, is good; can one ever see enough of their splendor?

Psalm 33: 2 - 9
Give thanks to the Lord on the harp; with the ten-stringed lyre chant his praises. Sing to him a new song; pluck the strings skillfully, with shouts of gladness. For upright is the word of the Lord, and all his works are trustworthy. He loves justice and right; of the kindness of the Lord the earth is full.
By the word of the Lord the heavens were made; by the breath of his mouth all their hosts. He gathers the waters of the sea as in a flask; in cellars he confines the deep.
Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all who dwell in the world revere him. For he spoke, and it was made; he commanded, and it stood forth.

Gospel of Mark 10: 46 - 52
They came to Jericho next and as he was leaving that place with his disciples and a sizable crowd, there was a blind beggar Bartimaeus ("son of Timaeus") sitting by the roadside. On hearing that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to call out, "Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!" Many people were scolding him to make him keep quiet, but he shouted all the louder, "Son of David, have pity on me!" Then Jesus stopped and said, "Call him over." So they called the blind man over, telling him as they did so, "You have nothing to fear from him! Get up! He is calling you!" He threw aside his cloak, jumped up and came to Jesus. Jesus asked him, "What do you want me to do for you? "Rabboni," the blind man said, "I want to see." Jesus said in reply, "Be on your way. Your faith has healed you." Immediately he received his sight and started to follow him up the road.
 

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Friday, May 28, 2021
Sirach 44: 1, 7 - 13
Now I will praise those godly men, our ancestors, each in his own time:
All these were glorious in their time, each illustrious in his day. Some of them have left behind a name and men recount their praise-worthy deeds.
But of others there is no memory, for when they ceased, they ceased. And they are as though they had not lived, they and their children after them. Yet these also were godly men whose virtues have not been forgotten; their wealth remains in their families, their heritage with their descendants; through God's covenant with them their family endures, their posterity, for their sake. And for all time their progeny will endure, their glory will never be blotted out.

Psalm 149: 1 - 6, 9
Sing to the Lord a new song of praise in the assembly of the faithful. Let Israel be glad in their maker, let the children of Zion rejoice in their king. Let them praise his name in the festive dance, let them sing praise to him with timbrel and harp. For the Lord loves his people, and he adorns the lowly with victory. Let the faithful exult in glory; let them sing for joy upon their couches; let the high praises of God be in their throats.
This is the glory of all his faithful. Alleluia.

Gospel of Mark 11: 11 - 26
Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple precincts. He inspected everything there, but since it was already late in the afternoon, he went out to Bethany accompanied by the Twelve.
The next day when they were leaving Bethany he felt hungry. Observing a fig tree some distance off, covered with foliage, he went over to see if he could find anything on it. When he reached it he found nothing but leaves; it was not the time for figs. Then addressing it he said, "Never again shall anyone eat of your fruit!" His disciples heard all this.
When they reached Jerusalem he entered the temple precincts and began to drive out those who were engaged in buying and selling. He overturned the money changers' tables and the stalls of the men selling doves; moreover, he would not permit anyone to carry things through the temple area.
Then he began to teach them: "Does not Scripture have it, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples'? But you have turned it into a den of thieves." The chief priests and the scribes heard of this and began to look for a way to destroy him. They were at the same time afraid of him because the whole crowd was under the spell of his teaching. When evening drew on, Jesus and his disciples went out of the city. Early next morning, as they were walking along, they saw the fig tree withered to its roots. Peter remembered and said to him, "Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered up." In reply Jesus told them: "Put your trust in God. I solemnly assure you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,' and has no inner doubts but believes that what he says will happen, shall have it done for him. I give you my word, if you are ready to believe that you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer, it shall be done for you. When you stand to pray forgive anyone against whom you have a grievance so that your heavenly Father may in turn forgive you your faults."
 

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