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Martin Jr.

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Tuesday, December 7, 2021
Isaiah 40: 1 - 11
Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her service is at an end, her guilt is expiated; indeed, she has received from the hand of the Lord double for all her sins.
A voice cries out: In the desert prepare the way of the Lord! Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God! Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill shall be made low; the rugged land shall be made a plain, the rough country, a broad valley. Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken. A voice says, "Cry out!" I answer, "What shall I cry out?" "All flesh is grass, and all their glory like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower wilts, when the breath of the Lord blows upon it. So then, the people is the grass. Though the grass withers and the flower wilts, the word of our God stands forever."
Go up onto a high mountain, Zion, herald of glad tidings; cry out at the top of your voice, Jerusalem, herald of good news! Fear not to cry out and say to the cities of Judah: Here is your God! Here comes with power the Lord God, who rules by his strong arm; here is his reward with him, his recompense before him. Like a shepherd he feeds his flock; in his arms he gathers the lambs, carrying them in his bosom, and leading the ewes with care.

Psalm 96: 1 - 3, 10 - 13
Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all you lands. Sing to the Lord; bless his name; announce his salvation, day after day. Tell his glory among the nations; among all peoples, his wondrous deeds.
Say among the nations; The Lord is king. He has made the world firm, not to be moved; he governs the people with equity. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice; let the sea and what fills it resound; let the plains be joyful and all that is in them! Then shall all the trees of the forest exult before the Lord, for he comes; for he comes to rule the earth. He shall rule the world with justice and the peoples with his constancy.

Gospel of Matthew 18: 12 - 14
Jesus said to his disciples:
"What is your opinion? If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray, will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills and go in search of the stray? And if he finds it, amen, I say to you, he rejoices more over it than over the ninety-nine that did not stray. In just the same way, it is not the will of your heavenly Father that one of these little ones be lost."
 

Martin Jr.

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Tuesday, December 8, 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 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.

Letter of Paul to the Ephesians 1: 3 - 6, 11 - 12
Brothers and sister: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens, as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and without blemish before him. In love he destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ, in accord with the favor of his will, for the praise of the glory of his grace that he granted us in the beloved.
In him we were also chosen, destined in accord with the purpose of the One who accomplishes all things according to the intention of his will, so that we might exist for the praise of his glory, we who first hoped in Christ.

Gospel of Luke 1: 26 - 38
The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin's name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, "Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you." But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end." But Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?" And the angel said to her in reply, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. and behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God." Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word." Then the angel departed from her.
 

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Thursday, December 9, 2021
Isaiah 41: 13 - 20
For I am the Lord, your God, who grasp your right hand; It is I who say to you, "Fear not, I will help you." Fear not, O worm Jacob, O maggot Israel; I will help you, says the Lord; your redeemer is the Holy One of Israel. I will make of you a threshing sledge, sharp, new, and double-edged. To thresh the mountains and crush them, to make the hills like chaff. When you winnow them, the wind shall carry them off and the storm shall scatter them. But you shall rejoice in the Lord, and glory in the Holy One of Israel. The afflicted and the needy seek water in vain, their tongues are parched with thirst. I, the Lord, will answer them; I , the God of Israel, will not forsake them. I will open up rivers on the bare heights, and fountains in the broad valleys: I will turn the desert into springs of water, I will plant in the desert the cedar, acacia, myrtle, and olive; I will set in the wasteland the cypress, together with the plane tree and the pine, that all may see and know, observe and understand, that the hand of the Lord has done this, the Holy One of Israel has created it.

Psalm 145: 1, 9 - 13
I will extol you, O my God and King, and I will bless your name forever and ever.
O God, I will song a new song to you; with a ten-stringed lyre I will chant your praise, You who give victory to Kings, and deliver David, your servant. From the evil sword deliver me; and rescue me from the hands of aliens, whose mouths swear false promises while their right hands are raised in perjury. May our sons be like plants well-nurtures in their youth, Our daughters like wrought columns such as stand at the corners of the temple. May our garners be full, affording every kind of store; May our sheep be in the thousands, and increase to myriads in our meadows.

Matthew 11: 11 - 15
"I solemnly assure you, history has not known a man born of woman greater than John the Baptizer. Yet the least born into the kingdom of God is greater than he. From John the Baptizer's time until now the kingdom of God has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force. All the prophets as well as the law spoke prophetically until John. If your are prepared to accept it, he is Elijah, the one who was certain to come. Heed carefully what your hear!"
 

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Friday, December 10, 2021
Isaiah 48: 17 - 19
Thus says the Lord, your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I, the Lord, your God, teach you what is for your good, and lead you on the way you should go. If you would hearken to my commandments, your prosperity would be like a river and your vindication like the waves of the sea; Your descendants would be like the sand, and those born of your stock like its grains, their name never cut off or blotted out from my presence.

Psalm 1: 1 - 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. Therefore in judgment the wicked shall not stand, nor shall sinners, in the assembly of the just. For the Lord watches over the way of the just but the way of the wicked vanishes.

Matthew 11: 16 - 19
"What comparison can I use to describe this breed? They are like children squatting in the town squares, calling to their playmates:
'We piped you a tune but you did not dance!
We sang you a dirge but you did not wail!'
In other words, John appeared neither eating nor drinking, and people say, 'He is mad!' The Son of Man appeared eating and drinking, and they say, 'This one is a glutton and drunkard, a lover of tax collectors and those outside the law!' Yet time will prove where wisdom lies."
 

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Saturday, December 11, 2021
Sirach 48: 1 - 4, 9 - 11
In those days, like a fire there appeared the prophet Elijah whose words were as a flaming furnace. Their staff of bread he shattered, in his zeal he reduced them to straits; by the Lord's word he shut up the heavens and three times brought down fire. How awesome are you Elijah, in your wondrous deeds! Whose glory is equal to yours? You were taken aloft on a whirlwind of fire, in a chariot with fiery horses. You were destined, it is written, in time to come to put an end to wrath before the day of the Lord, to turn back the hearts of fathers toward their sons, and to re-establish the tribes of Jacob. Blessed is he who shall have seen you and who falls asleep in your friendship.

Psalm 80: 2 - 3, 15 - 16, 18 - 19
O shepherd of Israel, hearken, O guide of the flock of Joseph! From your throne upon the cherubim, shine forth before Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasseh. Rouse your power, and come to save us.
Once again, O Lord of hosts, look down from heaven, and see; take care of this vine, and protect what your right hand has planted [the son of man who you yourself made strong].
May your help be with the man of your right hand, with the son of man whom you yourself made strong. Then we will no more withdraw from you; give us new life, and we will call upon your name.

Gospel of Matthew 17: 9, 10 - 13
As they were coming down from the mountain, the disciples asked Jesus, "Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?" He said in reply, "Elijah will indeed come, and restore all things; but I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him but did to him whatever they pleased. So also will the Son of Man suffer at their hands" Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist.
 

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Sunday, December 12, 2021
Zephaniah 3: 14 - 18
Shout for joy, O daughter Zion! Sing joyfully, O Israel! Be glad and exult with all your heart, O daughter Jerusalem! The Lord has removed the judgment against you, he has turned away your enemies; the King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst, you have no further misfortune to fear. On that day, it shall be said to Jerusalem: "Fear not, O Zion, be not discouraged! The Lord, your God, is in your midst, a mighty savior; he will rejoice over you with gladness, and renew you in his love, he will sing joyfully because of you, as one sings at festivals!

Isaiah 12: 2 - 6
God indeed is my savior; I am confident and unafraid. My strength and my courage is the Lord, and he has been my savior. With joy you will draw water at the fountain of salvation, and say on that day: Give thanks to the Lord, exclaim his name; among the nations make known his deeds, proclaim how exalted is his name. Sing praise to the Lord for his glorious achievement; let this be known throughout all the earth. Shout with exultation, O city of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy one of Israel!

Philippians 4: 4 - 7
Brothers and sisters: Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice! Your kindness should be known to all. The Lord is near. Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Luke 3: 10 - 18
The crowds asked John the Baptist, "What should we so?" He said to them in reply, "Whoever has two cloaks should share with the person who has none. And whoever has food should do likewise." Even tax collectors came to be baptized and they said to him, "Teacher, what should we do?" He answered them, "Stop collecting more than what is prescribed." Soldiers also asked him, "And what is it that we should do?" He told them, "Do not practice extortion, do not falsely accuse anyone, and be satisfied with your wages."
Now the people were filled with expectation, and all were asking in their hearts whether John might be the Christ. John answered them all, saying, "I am baptizing you with water, but one mightier than I is coming. I am not worthy to loosen the strings of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire." Exhorting them in many other ways, he preached good news to the people.
 

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Monday, December 13, 2021
Numbers 24: 2 - 7, 15 - 17
When Balaam raised his eyes and saw Israel encamped, tribe by tribe, the spirit of God came upon him, and he gave voice to his oracle:
The utterance of Balaam, son of Beor, the utterance of a man whose eye is true, the utterance of one who hears what God says, and knows what the Most High knows, of one who sees what the Almighty sees, enraptured, and with eyes unveiled: How goodly are your tents, O Jacob; your encampments, O Israel! They are like gardens beside the cedars planted by the Lord. His wells shall yield free-flowing waters, he shall have the sea within reach; his king shall rise higher, and his royalty shall be exalted.
Then Balaam gave voice to his oracle: The utterance of Balaam, son of Beor, the utterance of the man whose eye is true, the utterance of one who hears what God says, and knows what the Most High knows, of one who sees what the Almighty sees, enraptured, and with eyes unveiled. I see him, though not now; I behold him, though not near; A star shall advance from Jacob, and a staff shall rise from Israel.

Psalm 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 frailities 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, he teaches the humble his way.

Gospel of Matthew 21: 23 - 27
When Jesus had come into the temple area, the chief priests and the elders of the people approached him as he was teaching and said, "By what authority are you doing these things? And who gave you this authority?" Jesus said to them in reply, "I shall ask you one question, and if you answer it for me, then I shall tell you by what authority I do these things. Were was John's baptism from? Was it of heavenly or of human origin?" They discussed this among themselves and said, "If we say 'Of heavenly origin,' he will say to us, 'Then why did you not believe him?' But if we say, 'Of human origin,' we fear the crowd, for they all regard John as a prophet." So they said to Jesus in reply, "We do not know." He himself said to them, "Neither shall I tell you by what authority I do these things."
 

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Tuesday, December 14, 2021
Zephaniah 3: 1 - 2, 9 - 13
Woe to the city, rebellious and polluted, to the tyrannical city! She hears no voice, accepts no correction; in the Lord she has not trusted, to her God she has not drawn near.
For then I will change and purify the lips of the peoples, that they all may call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one accord; far beyond the rivers of Ethiopia and as far as the recesses of the North, they shall bring me offerings.
On that day you need not be ashamed of all your deeds, your rebellious actions against me; for then will I remove from your midst the proud braggarts, and you shall no longer exalt yourself on my holy mountain. But I will leave as a remnant in your midst a people humble and lowly, who shall take refuge in the name of the Lord; the remnant of Israel, they shall do no wrong and speak no lies; nor shall there be found in their mouths a deceitful tongue; they shall pasture and couch their flocks with none to disturb them.

Psalm 34: 2 - 3, 6 - 7, 17 - 19, 23
I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall be ever in my mouth. Let my soul glory in the Lord; the lowly will hear me and be glad.
Look to him that you may be radiant with joy, and your faces may not blush with shame. When the afflicted man called out, the Lord heard and from all his distress he saved him.
The Lord confronts the evildoers, to destroy remembrance of them from the earth. When the just cry out, the Lord hears them, and from all their distress he rescues them. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; and those who are crushed in spirit he saves.
But the Lord redeems the lives of his servants; no one incurs guilt who takes refuge in him.

Gospel of Matthew 21: 28 - 32
Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people:
"What do you think of this case? There was a man who had two sons. He approached the elder and said, 'Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.' The son replied, 'I am on my way, sir'; but he never went. Then the man came to his second son and said the same thing. This son said in reply, 'No, I will not'; but afterward he regretted it and went. Which of the two did what the father wanted?" They said, "The second." Jesus said to them, "I assure you that tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God before you. When John came preaching a way of holiness, you put no faith in him; but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did believe in him. Yet even when you saw that, you did not repent and believe in him."
 

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Wednesday, December 15, 2021
Isaiah 45: 6 - 8, 18, 21 - 25
I am the Lord, there is no other; I form the light, and create the woe: I, the Lord, do all these things. Let justice descend, O heavens, like dew from above, like gentle rain let the skies drop it down. Let the earth open and salvation bud forth; let justice also spring up! I, the Lord, have created this.
For thus says the Lord, the creator of the heavens, who is God, the designer and maker of the earth who established it. Not creating it to be a waste, but designing it to be lived in: I am the Lord, and there is no other.
Come here and declare in counsel together: who announced this from the beginning and foretold it from of old? Was it not I, the Lord, besides whom there is no other God? There is no just and saving God but me.
Turn to me and be safe, all you ends of the earth, for I am God; there is no other! By myself I swear, uttering my just decree and my unalterable word: to me every knee shall bend; by me every tongue shall swear, saying, "Only in the Lord are just deeds and power. Before him in shame shall come all who vent their anger against him. In the Lord shall be the vindication and the glory of all the descendants of Israel."

Psalm 85: 9 - 14
I will hear what God proclaims; the Lord - for he proclaims peace to his people, and to his faithful ones. And to those who put in him their hope. Near indeed is his salvation to those who fear him, glory dwelling in our land. Kindness and truth shall meet; justice and peace shall kiss. Truth shall spring out of the earth, and justice shall look down from heaven. The Lord himself will give its benefits; our land shall yield its increase. Justice shall walk before him, and salvation, along the way of his steps.

Gospel of Luke 7: 18 - 23
The disciples of John brought their teacher word of all these happenings. Summoning two of them, John sent them to ask the Lord, "Are you 'He who is to come' or are we to expect someone else?" When the men came to him they said, "John the Baptizer sends us to you with this question: 'Are you "He who is to come" or do we look for someone else?' " (At that time he was curing many of their diseases, affliction, and evil spirits; he also restored sight to many who were blind.) Jesus gave this response: "Go and report to John what you have seen and heard. The blind recover their sight, cripples walk, lepers are cured, the deaf hear, dead men are raised to life, and the poor have the good news preached to them. Blest is that man who finds no stumbling block in me."
 

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Thursday, December 16, 2021
Isaiah 54: 1 - 10
Raise a glad cry, you barren one who did not bear, break forth in jubilant song, you who were not in labor, for more numerous are the children of the deserted wife than the children of her who has a husband, says the Lord. Enlarge the space for your tent, spread out your tent cloths unsparingly; lengthen your ropes and make firm your stakes. For you shall spread abroad to the right and to the left; your descendants shall dispossess the nations and shall people the desolate cities.
Fear not, you shall not be put to shame; you need not blush, for you shall not be disgraced. The shame of your youth you shall forget, the reproach of your widowhood no longer remember. For he who has become your husband is your Maker; his name is the Lord of hosts; your redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, called God of all the earth. The Lord calls you back, like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit, a wife married in youth and then cast off, says your God. For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with great tenderness I will take you back. In an outburst of wrath, for a moment I hid my face from you; but with enduring love I take pity on you, says the Lord, your redeemer.
This is for me like the days of Noah, when I swore that the waters of Noah should never again deluge the earth; so I have sworn not to be angry with you, or to rebuke you. Though the mountains leave their place and the hills be shaken, my love shall never leave you nor my covenant of peace be shaken, says the Lord, who has mercy on you.

Psalm 30: 2, 4 - 6, 12 - 13
I will extol you, O Lord, for you drew me clear and did not let my enemies rejoice over me.
O Lord, you brought me up from the nether world; you preserved me from among those going down into the pit. Sing praise to the Lord, you his faithful ones, and give thanks to his holy name. For his anger lasts but a moment; a lifetime, his good will. At nightfall, weeping enters in, but with the dawn, rejoicing.

Gospel of Luke 7: 24 - 30
When the messengers of John had set off, Jesus began to speak about him to the crowds. "What did you go out to see in the desert - a reed swayed by the wind? What really, did you go out to see - someone dressed luxuriously? Remember, those who dress in luxury and eat in splendor are to be found in royal palaces. Then what did you go out to see - a prophet? He is that, I assure you, and something more. This is the man of whom Scripture says, 'I send my messenger ahead of you to prepare your way before you.'
I assure you, there I no man born of woman greater than John. Yet the least born into the kingdom of God is greater than he."
The entire populace that had heard Jesus, even the tax collectors, gave praise to God, for they had received from John the baptismal bath administered. The Pharisees and the lawyers, on the other hand, by failing to receive his baptism defeated God's plan in their regard.
 

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Friday, December 17, 2021
Genesis 49: 2, 8 - 10
Jacob called his sons and said to them: "Assemble and listen, sons of Jacob, listen to Israel, your father.
You, Judah, shall your brothers praise - your hand on the neck of your enemies; the sons of your father shall bow down to you. Judah, like a lion's whelp, you have grown up on prey, my son. He crouches like a lion recumbent, the king of beasts - who would dare rouse him? The scepter shall never depart from Judah, or the mace from between his legs, while tribute is brought to him, and he receives the people's homage."

Psalm 72: 1 - 4, 7 - 8, 17
O God, with your judgment endow the king, and with your justice, the king's son; he shall govern your people with justice and your afflicted ones with judgment. The mountains shall yield peace for the people, and the hills justice. He shall defend the afflicted among the people, save the children of the poor, and crush the oppressor.
Justice shall flower in his days, and profound peace, till the moon be no more. May he rule from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.
May his name be blessed forever; as long as the sun his name shall remain. In him shall all the tribes of the earth be blessed; all the nations shall proclaim his happiness.

Gospel of Matthew 1: 1 - 7
The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
Abraham became the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers. Judah became the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar. Perez became the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram. Ram the father of Amminadab. Amminadab became the father of Nahshon, Nahshon the father of Salmon, Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab. Boaz became the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth. Obed became the father of Jesse, Jesse the father of David the king.
David became the father of Solomon, whose mother had been the wife of Uriah. Solomon became the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, Abijah the father of Asaph. Asaph became the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, Joram the father of Uzziah. Uzziah became the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, Ahaz the father of Hezekiah. Hezekiah became the father of Manasseah, Manasseh the father of Amos. Amos the father of Josiah. Josiah became the father of Jechoniah and his brothers at the time of the Babylonian exile.
After the Babylonian exile, Jechoniah became the father of Shealtiel, Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel. Zerubbabel the father of Abiud. Abiud became the father of Eliakim, Eliakim the father of Azor. Azor the father of Zadok. Zadok became the father of Achim, Achim the father of Eliud, Eliud the father of Eleazar. Eleazar became the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary. Of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ.
Thus the total number of generations from Abraham to David is fourteen generations; from David to the Babylonian exile, fourteen generations; from the Babylonian exile to the Christ, fourteen generations.
 

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Saturday, December 18, 2021
Jeremiah 23: 5 - 8
Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will raise up a righteous shoot to David; as king he shall reign and govern wisely, he shall do what is just and right in the land. In his days Judah shall be saved, Israel shall dwell in security. This is the name they give him: "The Lord our justice."
Therefore, the days will come, says the Lord, when they shall no longer say, "As the Lord lives, who brought the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt"; but rather, "As the Lord lives, who brought the descendants of the house of Israel up from the land of the north" - and from all the lands to which I banished them; they shall again live on their own land.

Psalm 72: 1 - 2, 12 - 13, 18 - 19
O God, with your judgment endow the king, and with your justice, the king's son; he shall govern your people with justice and your afflicted ones with judgment.
For he shall rescue the poor man when cries out, and the afflicted when he has no one to help him. He shall have pity for the lowly and the poor; the lives of the poor he shall save.
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous deeds. And blessed forever be his glorious name; may the whole earth be filled wilth his glory. Amen, Amen.

Gospel of Matthew 1: 18 - 25
This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph but before they lived together, she was found with child through the Holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 'Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel.' which means 'God is with us." When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home. He had no relations with her until she bore a son, and he named him Jesus.
 

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Sunday, December 19, 2021
Micah 5: 1 - 4
Thus says the Lord: You, Bethlehem-Ephrathah too small to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel: whose origin is from of old, from ancient times. Therefore the Lord will give them up, until the time when she who is to give birth has borne, and the rest of his kindred shall return to the children of Israel. He shall stand firm and shepherd his flock by the strength of the Lord, in the majestic name of the Lord, his God; and they shall remain, for now his greatness shall reach to the ends of the earth; he shall be peace.

Psalm 80: 2 - 3, 15 - 16, 18 - 19
O shepherd of Israel, hearken, O guide of the flock of Joseph! From your throne upon the cherubim, shine forth before Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasseh. Rouse your power and come to save us.
Once again, O Lord of hosts, look down from heaven, and see; take care of this vine, and protect what your right hand has planted, the son of man whom you yourself made strong.
May your help be with the man of your right hand, with the son of man whom you yourself made strong. Then we will no more withdraw from you; give us new life, and we will call upon your name.

Hebrews 10: 5 - 10
Brothers and sisters: When Christ came into the world, he said: "Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; in holocausts and sin offerings you took no delight. Then I said, 'As is written of me in the scroll, behold, I come to do your will, God.'"
First he says, "Sacrifices and offerings, holocausts and sin offerings, you neither desired nor delighted in." These are offered according to the law. Then he says, "Behold, I come to do your will." He takes away the first to establish the second. By this "will," we have been consecrated through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Luke 1: 39 - 45
Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.
 

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Monday, December 20, 2021
Isaiah 7: 10 - 14
Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz: Ask for a sign from the Lord, your God; let it be deep as the nether world, or high as the sky! But Ahaz answered, "I will not ask! I will not tempt the Lord!" Then he said: Listen, O house of David! Is it not enough for you to weary men, must you also weary my God? Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign: The virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel.

Psalms 24: 1 - 6
The Lord's are the earth and its fullness; the world and those who dwell in it. For he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers. Who can ascend the mountain of the Lord? or who may stand in his holy place? He whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean, who desires not what is vain, nor swears deceitfully to his neighbor. He shall receive a blessing from the Lord, a reward from God his savior. Such is the race that seeks for him, that seeks the face of the God of Jacob.

Luke 1: 26 - 38
In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary. Upon arriving, the angel said to her: "Rejoice, O highly favored daughter! The Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women." She was deeply troubled by his words, and wondered what his greeting meant. The angel went on to say to her: "Do not fear, Mary, You have found favor with God. You shall conceive and bear a son and give him the name Jesus. Great will be his dignity and he will be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of David his father. He will rule over the house of Jacob forever and his reign will be without end."
Mary said to the angel, "How can this be since I do not know man?" The angel answered her: "The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; hence, the holy offspring to be born will be called Son of God. Know that Elizabeth your kinswoman has conceived a son in her old age; She who was thought to be sterile is now in her sixth month, for nothing is impossible with God." May said, "I am the servant of the Lord. Let it be done to me as you say." With that the angel left her.
 

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Tuesday, December 21, 2021
Song of Songs 2: 8 - 14
Hark! my lover - here comes springing across the mountains, leaping across the hills. My lover is like a gazelle or a young stag. Here he stands behind our wall, gazing through the windows, peering through the lattices. My lover speaks; he says to me, "Arise, my beloved, my dove, my beautiful one, and come! For see, the winter is past, the rains are over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of pruning the vines has come, and the song of the dove is heard in our land. The fig tree puts forth its figs, and the vines, in bloom, give forth fragrance. Arise, my beloved, my beautiful one, and come!
O my dove in the clefts of the rock, in the secret recesses of the cliff, let me see you, let my hear your voice, for your voice is sweet and you are lovely."

Psalm 33: 2 - 3, 11 - 12, 20 - 21
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 of gladness.
But the plan of the Lord stands forever; the design of his heart, through all generations. Happy the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he has chosen for his own inheritance.
Our soul waits for the Lord, who is our help and our shield; for in him our hearts rejoice; in his holy name we trust.

Gospel of Luke 1: 39 - 45
Mary set out in those days and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where he she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, "Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled."
 

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Wednesday, December 22, 2021
First Samuel 1: 24 - 28
Once he (Samuel) was weaned, she brought him up with her, along with a three-year-old bull, and ephah of flour and a skin of wine, and presented him at the temple of the Lord in Shiloh. After the boy's father had sacrificed the young bull, Hannah, his mother, approached Eli and said: "Pardon, my lord! As you live my lord, I am the woman who stood near you here, praying to the Lord. I prayed for this child, and the Lord granted my request.
Now I, in turn, give him to the Lord; as long as he lives, he shall be dedicated to the Lord." She left him there.

First Samuel 2: 1, 4 - 8
And as she worshipped the Lord she said:
"My heart exults in the Lord, my horn is exalted in my God. I have swallowed up my enemies; I rejoice in my victory.
"The bows of the mighty are broken, while the tottering gird strength. The well-fed hire themselves out for bread, while the hungry batten on spoil. The barren wife bears seven sons, while the mother of many languishes. The Lord puts to death and gives life; he casts down to the nether world; he raises up again. The Lord makes poor and makes rich, he humbles, he also exalts. He raises the needy from the dust; from the ash heap he lifts up the poor, to seat them with nobles and make a glorious throne their heritage. He gives to the vower his vow, and blesses the sleep of the just. For the pillars of the earth are the Lord's and he has set the world upon them.

Luke 1: 46 - 56
Then Mary said:
"My being proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit finds joy in God my savior, for he has looked upon his servant in her lowliness; all ages to come shall call me blessed.
God who is mighty has done great things for me, holy is his name; his mercy is from age to age on those who fear him.
He has shown might with is arm; he has confused the proud in their inmost thoughts.
He has deposed the mighty from their thrones and raised the lowly to high places.
The hungry he has given every good thing, while the rich he has sent empty away.
He has upheld Israel his servant, ever mindful of his mercy; even as he promised our fathers, promised Abraham and his descendants forever."
 

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Thursday, December 23, 2021
Malachi 3: 1 - 4, 23 - 24
Lo, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me; and suddenly there will come to the temple the Lord whom you seek, and the messenger of the covenant whom you desire. Yes, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. But who will endure the day of his coming? And who can stand when he appears? For he is like the refiner's fire, or like the fuller's lye. He will sit refining and purifying silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi, refining them like gold or like silver that they may offer due sacrifice to the Lord! Then the sacrifice of Judah and Jerusalem will please the Lord, as in days of old, as in years gone by.
Lo, I will send you Elijah, the prophet, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and terrible day. To turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers lest I come and strike the land with doom.

Psalms 25: 4 - 5, 8 - 10, 14
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.
Good and upright is the Lord; thus he shows sinners the way. He guides the humble to justice, he teaches the humble his way. All the paths of the Lord are kindness and constancy toward those who keep his covenant and his decrees.
The friendship of the Lord is with those who fear him, and his covenant, for their instruction.

Luke 1: 57 - 66
When Elizabeth's time for delivery arrived, she gave birth to a son. Her neighbors and relatives, upon hearing that the Lord had extended his mercy to her, rejoiced with her. When they assembled for the circumcision of the child on the eighth day, they intended to name him after his father Zechariah. At this his mother intervened, saying, "No, he is to be called John."
They pointed out to her, "None of your relatives has this name." Then, using signs, they asked the father what he wished him to be called.
He signaled for a writing tablet and wrote the words, "His name is John." This astonished them all. At that moment his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he began to speak in praise of God.
Fear descended on all in the neighborhood; throughout the hill country of Judea these happenings began to be recounted to the last detail. All who heard stored these things up in their hearts, saying, "What will this child be?" and "Was not the hand of the Lord upon him?"
 

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Friday, December 24, 2021
Second Samuel 7: 1 - 5, 8 - 12, 14, 16
When King David was settled in his palace, and the Lord had given him rest from his enemies on every side, he said to Nathan the prophet, "Here I am living in a house of cedar while the ark of God dwells in a tent!" Nathan answered the king, "Go, do whatever you have in mind for the Lord is with you." But that night the Lord spoke to Nathan and said: "Go, tell my servant David, 'Thus says the Lord: Should you build me a house to dwell in?
It was I who took you from the pasture and from the care of the flock to be commander of my people Israel. I have been with you wherever you went, and I have destroyed all your enemies before you. And I will make you famous like the great ones of the earth. I will fix a place for my people Israel; I will plant them so that they may dwell in their place without further disturbance. Neither shall the wicked continue to afflict them as they did of old, since the time I first appointed judges over my people Israel. I will give you rest from all your enemies. The Lord also reveals to you that he will establish a house for you. And when your time comes and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your heir after you, sprung from your loins, and I will make his Kingdom firm. I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me. Your house and your Kingdom shall endure forever before me; your throne shall stand firm forever.'"

Psalm 89: 2 - 5, 27, 29
The favors of the Lord I will sing forever; through all generations my mouth shall proclaim your faithfulness. For you have said, "My kindness is established forever"; in heaven you have confirmed your faithfulness; "I have made a covenant with my chosen one, I have sworn to David my servant: Forever will I confirm your posterity and establish your throne for all generations."
"He shall say of me, 'You are my father, my God, the rock, my savior.
Forever I will maintain my kindness toward him, and my covenant with him stands firm."

Luke 1: 67 - 79
Zechariah his father, filled with the Holy Spirit, prophesied, saying: "Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; for he has come to his people and set them free. He has raised up for us a mighty Savior, born of the house of his servant David. Through his prophets he promised of old that he would save us from our enemies, from the hands of all who hate us. He promised to show mercy to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant. This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham: to set us free from the hand of our enemies, free to worship him without fear, holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life.
You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way, to give his people knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins. In the tender compassion of our God the dawn from on high shall break upon us, to shine on those who dwell in darkness of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace."
 

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Christmas Eve, December 24, 2021
Isaiah 9: 1 - 6
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shown. You have brought them abundant joy and great rejoicing, as they rejoice before you as at the harvest, as people make merry when dividing spoils. For the yoke that burdened them, the pole on their shoulder, and the rod of their taskmaster you have smashed, as on the day of Midian. For every boot that tramped in battle, every cloak rolled in blood, will be burned as fuel for flames. For a child is born to us, a son is given us; upon his shoulder dominion rests. They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace. His dominion is vast and forever peaceful, from David's throne, and over his kingdom, which he confirms and sustains by judgment and justice, both now and forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this!

Psalm 96: 1 - 3, 11 - 13
Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all you lands. Sing to the Lord; bless his name; announce his salvation, day after day. Tell his glory among the nations; among all peoples, his wondrous deeds.
Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice; let the sea and what fills it resound; let the plains be joyful and all that is in them! Then shall all the trees of the forest exult before the Lord, for he comes; for he comes to rule the earth. He shall rule the world with justice and the peoples with his constancy.

Letter of Paul to Titus 2: 11 - 14
Beloved: The grace of God has appeared, saving all and training us to reject godless ways and worldly desires and to live temperately, justly, and devoutly in this age, as we await the blessed hope, the appearance of the glory of our Great God and savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to deliver us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for himself a people as his own, eager to do what is good.

Gospel of Luke 2: 1 - 14
In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole world should be enrolled. This was the first enrollment, when Quirinius was governor of Syria. So all went to be enrolled, each to his own town. And Joseph too went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth to Judea, to the city of David that is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. While they were there, the time came for her to have her child, and she gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields and keeping the night watch over their flock. The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were struck with great fear. The angel said to them. "Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Christ and Lord. And this will be a sign for you; you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger." And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying;
"Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom the favor rests."
 

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Sunday, December 26, 2021
First Samuel 1: 20 - 22, 24 - 28
In those days Hannah conceived, and at the end of her term bore a son whom she called Samuel, since she had asked the Lord for him. The next time her husband Elkanah was going up with the rest of his household to offer the customary sacrifice to the Lord and to fulfill his vows, Hannah did not go, explaining to her husband, "Once the child is weaned, I will take him to appear before the Lord and to remain there forever; I will offer him as a perpetual nazirite."
Once Samuel was weaned, Hannah brought him up with her, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour, and a skin of wine, and presented him at the temple of the Lord in Shiloh. After the boy's father had sacrificed the young bull, Hannah, his mother, approached Eli and said: "Pardon, my lord! As you live, my lord, I am the woman who stood near you here, praying to the Lord. I prayed for this child, and the Lord granted my request. Now I, in turn, give him to the Lord; as long as he lives, he shall be dedicated to the Lord." Hannah left Samuel there.

Psalm 84: 2 - 3, 5 - 6, 9 - 10
How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts! My soul yearns and pines for the courts of the Lord. My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.
Happy they who dwell in your house! Continually they praise you. Happy the men whose strength you are! Their hearts are set upon the pilgrimage.
O Lord of hosts, hear my prayer; hearken , O God of Jacob! O God, behold our shield, and look upon the face of your anointed.

First letter of John 3: 1 - 2, 21 - 24
Beloved: see what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. And so we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God's children now; what we shall be has not yet been revealed. We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.
Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence in God and receive from him whatever we ask, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. And his commandment is this: we should believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another just as he commanded us. Those who keep his commandments remain in him, and he in them, and the way we know that he remains in us is from the Spirit he gave us.

Luke 2: 41 - 52
Each year Jesus' parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover, and when he was twelve years old, they went up according to festival custom. After they had completed its days, as they were returning, the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Thinking that he was in the caravan, they journeyed for a day and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances, but not finding him, they returned to Jerusalem to look for him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions, and all who heard him were astounded at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, "Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety." And he said to them, "Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?" But they did not understand what he said to them. He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart. and Jesus advanced in wisdom and age and favor before God and men.
 

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