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Martin Jr.

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Monday, April 4, 2022
Daniel 13: 1 - 9, 15 - 17, 19 - 30, 33 - 62
In Babylon there lived a man named Joakim, who married a very beautiful and God-fearing woman, Susanna, the daughter of Hilkiah; her pious parents had trained their daughter according to the Law of Moses. Joakim was a very rich; he had a garden near his house, and the Jews had recourse to him often because he was the most respected of them all.
That year, two elders of the people were appointed judges, of whom the Lord said, "Wickedness has come out of Babylon: from the elders who were to govern the people as judges." These men, to whom all brought their cases, frequented the house of Joakim. When the people left at noon, Susanna used to enter her husband's garden for a walk. When the old men saw her enter everyday for her walk, they began to lust for her. They suppressed their consciences; they would not allow their eyes to look to heaven, and did not keep in mind just judgments.
One day, while they were waiting for the right moment, she entered the garden as usual, with two maids only. She decided to bathe, for the weather was warm. Nobody else was there except the two elders, who had hidden themselves and were watching her. "Bring me oil and soap," she said to the maids, "and shut the garden doors while I bathe."
As soon as the maids had left; the two old men got up and hurried to her. "Look," They said, "the garden doors are shut, and no one can see us; give in to our desire, and lie with us. If you refuse, we will testify against you that you dismissed your maids because a young man was here with you."
"I am completely trapped," Susanna groaned. "If I yield, it will be my death; if I refuse, I cannot escape your power. Yet it is better for me to fall in your power without guilt than to sin before the Lord." Then Susanna shrieked, and the old men also shouted at her, as one of them ran to open the garden doors. When the people in the house heard the cries from the garden, they rushed in by the side gate to see what had happened to her. At the accusations by the old men, the servants felt very much ashamed, for never heard any such thing been said about Susanna.
When the people came to her husband Joakim the next day, the two wicked elders also came, fully determined to put Susanna to death. Before all the people they ordered: "Send for Susanna, the daughter of Hilkiah, the wife of Joakim." When she was sent for, she came with her parents, children and all her relatives. All her relatives and the onlookers were weeping.
In the midst of the people the two elders rose up and laid their hands on her head. Through her tears she looked up to heaven, for she trusted in the Lord wholeheartedly. The elders made this accusation: "As we were walking in the garden alone, this woman entered with two girls and shut the doors of the garden dismissing the girls. A young man, who was hidden there, came and lay with her. When we, in a corner of the garden, saw this crime, we ran toward them. We saw them lying together, but the man we could not hold, because he was stronger than we; he opened the doors and ran off. Then we seized this one and asked who the young man was, but she refused to tell us. We testify to this." The assembly believed them, since they were elders and judges of the people, and they condemned her to death.
But Susanna cried aloud: "O eternal God, you know what is hidden and are aware of all things before they come to be: you know that they have testified falsely against me. Here I am about to die, though I have done none of the things with which these wicked men have charged me."
The Lord heard her prayer. As she was being led to execution, God stirred up the holy spirit of a young boy named Daniel, and he cried aloud: "I will have no part in the death of this woman." All the people turned and asked him, "What is this you are saying?" He stood in their midst and continued, "Are you such fools, O Israelites! To condemn a woman of Israel without examination and without clear evidence? Return to court, for they have testified falsely against her."
Then all the people returned in haste. To Daniel the elders said. "Come, sit with us and inform us, since God has given you the prestige of old age." But he replied, "Separate these two far from one another that I may examine them."
After they were separated one from the other, he called one of them and said: "How you have grown evil with age! Now have your past sins come to term: passing unjust sentences, condemning the innocent, and freeing the guilty, although the Lord says, 'The innocent and the just you shall not put to death.' Now, then, if you were a witness, tell me under what tree you saw them together." "Under a mastic tree," he answered. "Your fine lie has cost you your head," Said Daniel; "for the angel of God shall receive the sentence from him and split you in two." Putting him to one side, he ordered the other one to be brought. "Offspring of Canaan, not of Judah," Daniel said to him, "beauty has seduced you, lust has subverted your conscience. This is how you acted with the daughters of Israel, and in their fear they yielded to you; but a daughter of Judah did not tolerate your wickedness. Now then, tell me under what tree you surprised them together." "Under an oak," he said. "Your fine lie has cost you also your head," said Daniel; "for the angel of God waits with a sword to cut you in two so as to make an end of you both."
The whole assemble cried aloud, blessing God who saves those that hope in him. They rose up against the two elders, for by their own words Daniel had convicted them of perjury. According to the law of Moses, they inflicted on them the penalty they had plotted to impose on their neighbor: they put them to death. Thus was innocent blood spared that day.

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

Gospel of John 8: 12 - 20
Jesus spoke to them once again; "I am the light of the world, No follower of mine shall ever walk in darkness; no, he shall possess the light of life."
This caused the Pharisees to break in with; "You are you own witness. Such testimony cannot be valid." Jesus answered: "What if I am my own witness? My testimony is valid nonetheless, because I know where I came from and where I am going; you know neither the one nor the other. You pass judgment according to appearances but I pass judgment on no man. Even if I do judge, that judgment of mine is valid because I am not alone; I have at my side the One who sent me [the Father]. It is laid down in your law that evidence given by two persons is valid. I am one of those testifying in my behalf. The Father who sent me is the other."
They pressed him: "And where is this 'Father' of yours?" Jesus replied: "You know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father too."
He spoke these words while teaching at the temple treasury. Still, he went unapprehended because his hour had not yet come.
 

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Tuesday, April 5, 2022
Numbers 21: 4 - 9
From Mount Hor the children of Israel set out on the Red Sea road, to by-pass the land of Edom. But with their patience worn out by the journey, the people complained against God and Moses, "Why have you brought us up from Egypt to die in this desert, where there is no food or water? We are disgusted with this wretched food!"
In punishment the Lord sent among the people seraph serpents, which bit the people so that many of them died. Then the people came to Moses and said, "We have sinned in complaining against the Lord and you. Pray the Lord to take the serpents from us." So Moses prayed for the people, and the Lord said to Moses, "Make a seraph and mount it on a pole, and if anyone who has been bitten looks at it, he will recover." Moses accordingly made a bronze serpent and mounted it on a pole, and when ever anyone who had been bitten by a serpent looked at the bronze serpent, he recovered.

Psalm 102: 2 - 3, 16 - 21
O Lord, hear my prayer, and let my cry come to you. Hide not your face from me in the day of my distress. Incline your ear to me; in the day when I call, answer me speedily.
The nations shall revere your name, O Lord, and all the kings of the earth your glory, when the Lord has rebuilt Zion and appeared in his glory. When he has regarded the prayer of the destitute, and not despised their prayer.
Let this be written for the generation to come, and let his future creatures praise the Lord: "The Lord looked down from his holy height, from heaven he beheld the earth, to hear the groaning of the prisoners to release those doomed do die."

Gospel of John 8: 21 - 30
Jesus said to the Pharisees:
"I am going away. You will look for me but you will die in your sins. Where I am going you cannot come."
At this some of the Jews began to ask, "Does he mean he will kill himself when he claims, 'Where I am going you cannot come'?" Jesus went on: "You belong to what is below; I belong to what is above. You belong to this world - a world which cannot hold me. That is why I said you would die in your sins. You will surely die in your sins unless you come to believe that I AM."
"Who are you, then" they asked him. Jesus answered: "What I have been telling you from the beginning. I could say much about you in condemnation, but no, I only tell the world what I have heard from him, the truthful One who sent me."
They did not grasp that he was speaking to them of the Father. Jesus continued: "When you lift up the Son of Man, you will come to realize that I AM and that I do nothing by myself. I say only what the Father has taught me. The One who sent me is with me. He has not deserted me since I always do what pleases him."
Because he spoke this way, many came to believe in him.
 

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Wednesday, April 6, 2022
Daniel 3: 14 - 20, 91 - 92, 95
King Nebuchadnezzar questioned them: "Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you will not serve my god, or worship the golden statue that I set up? Be ready now to fall down and worship the statue I had made, whenever you hear the sound of the trumpet, flute, lyre, harp, psaltery, bagpipe, and all the other musical instruments; otherwise, you shall be instantly cast into the white-hot furnace, and who is the God that can deliver you out of my hands?" Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered King Nebuchadnezzar, "There is no need for us to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If our God, whom we serve, can save us from the white-hot furnace and from your hand, O king, may he save us! But even if he will not, know, O king that we will not serve your god or worship the golden statue which you set up."
Nebuchadnezzar's face became livid with utter rage against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He ordered the furnace to be heated seven times more than usual and had some of the strongest men in his army bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and cast them into the white-hot furnace.
Hearing them sing, and astonished at seeing them alive, Nebuchadnezzar rose in haste and asked his nobles, "Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?" "Assuredly, O king," they answered. "But," he replied, "I see four men unfettered and unhurt, walking in there, and the fourth looks like a son of God."
Nebuchadnezzar exclaimed, "Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who sent his angel to deliver the servants that trusted in him; they disobeyed the royal command and yielded their bodies rather than serve or worship any god except their own God."

Daniel 3: 52 - 56
Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of our father, praiseworthy and exalted above all forever; and blessed is your holy and glorious name, praiseworthy and exalted above all for all ages. Blessed are you in the temple of your holy glory, praiseworthy and glorious above all forever. Blessed are you on the throne of your kingdom, praiseworthy and exalted above all forever. Blessed are you who look into the depths from your throne upon the cherubim, praiseworthy and exalted above all forever. Blessed are you in the firmament of heaven, praiseworthy and glorious forever.

Gospel of John 8: 31 - 42
Jesus went on to say to those Jews who believed in him: "If you live according to my teaching, you are truly my disciples; then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." "We are descendants of Abraham," was their answer. "Never have we been slaves to anyone. What do you mean by saying, 'You will be free'?" Jesus answered them: "I give you my assurance, everyone who lives in sin is the slave of sin.(No slave has a permanent place in the family, but the son has a place there forever.) That is why, if the son frees you, you will really be free. I realize you are one of Abraham's stock. Nonetheless you are trying to kill me because my word finds no hearing among you. I tell you what I have seen in the Father's presence; you do what you have heard from your father."
The retorted, "Our father is Abraham." Jesus told them: "If you were Abraham's children, you would be following Abraham's example. The fact is, you are trying to kill me, a man who has told you the truth which I have heard from God. Abraham did nothing like that. Indeed you are doing your father's works!"
They cried, "We are no illegitimate breed! We have but one father and that is God himself." Jesus answered: "Were God your father you would love me, for I came forth from God and am here. I did not come of my own will; it was he who sent me."
 

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Thursday, April 7, 2022
Genesis 17: 3 - 9
When Abraham prostrated himself, God continued to speak to him: "My covenant with you is this: you are to become the father of a host of nations. No longer shall you be called Abram; your name shall be Abraham, for I am making you the father of a host of nations. I will render you exceedingly fertile; I will make nations of you; kings shall stem from you. I will maintain my covenant with you and your descendants after you throughout the ages as an everlasting pact, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. I will give to you and to your descendants after you the land in which you are now staying, the whole land of Canaan, as a permanent possession; and I will be their God."
God also said to Abraham: "On your part, you and your descendants after you must keep my covenant throughout the ages."

Psalm 105: 4 - 9
Look to the Lord in his strength; seek to serve him constantly. Recall the wondrous deeds that he has wrought, his portents, and the judgments he has uttered, you descendants of Abraham, his servants, sons of Jacob, his chosen ones!
He, the Lord, is our God; through the earth his judgments prevail. He remembers forever his covenant which he made binding for a thousand generations - which he entered into with Abraham and by his oath to Isaac.

Gospel of John 8: 51 - 59
Jesus said to the Jews:
I solemnly assure you, if a man is true to my word he shall never see death."
Now we are sure you are possessed," the Jews retorted. "Abraham is dead. The prophets are dead. Yet you claim, 'A man shall never know death if he keeps my word.' Surely you do not pretend to be greater than our father Abraham, who died! Or the prophets, who died! Whom do you make yourself out to be?"
Jesus answered: "If I glorify myself, that glory comes to nothing. He who gives me glory is the Father, the very one you claim for your God, even though you do not know him. But I know him. Were I to say I do not know him, I would be no better than you - a liar! Yes, I know him well, and I keep his word. Your father Abraham rejoiced that he might see my day. He saw it and was glad."
At that the Jews objected: "You are not yet fifty! How can you have seen Abraham?" Jesus answered them" "I solemnly declare it: before Abraham came to be, I AM
At that they picked up rocks to throw at Jesus, but he hid himself and slipped out of the temple precincts.
 

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Friday, April 8, 2022
Jeremiah 20: 10 - 13
Yes, I hear the whisperings of many: "Terror on every side! Denounce! Let us denounce him!" All those who were my friends are on the watch for any misstep of mine. "Perhaps he will be trapped; then we can prevail, and take our vengeance on him." But the Lord is with me, like a mighty champion: my persecutors will stumble, they will not triumph. In their failure they will be put to utter shame, to lasting, unforgettable confusion. O Lord of hosts, you who test the just, who probe mind and heart, let me witness the vengeance you take on them, for to you I have entrusted my cause. Sing to the Lord, praise the Lord, for he has rescued the life of the poor from the power of the wicked!

Psalm 18: 2 - 7
I love you, O Lord, my strength, O Lord, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer. My God, my rock of refuge, my shield, the horn of my salvation, my stronghold! Praise be the Lord, I exclaim, and I am safe from my enemies.
The breakers of death surged round about me, the destroying floods overwhelmed me; the cords of the nether world enmeshed me, the snares of death overtook me. In my distress I called upon the Lord and cried out to my God; from his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears.

Gospel of John 10: 31 - 42
When some of the Jews again reached for rocks to stone him, Jesus protested to them, "Many good deeds have I shown you from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?" "It is not for any 'good deed' that we are stoning you," the Jews retorted, "but for blaspheming. You who are only a man are making yourself God."
Jesus answered: "Is it not written in your law, 'I have said, you are gods'? If it calls those men gods to whom God's word was addressed - and Scripture cannot lose its force - do you claim that I blasphemed when, as he whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, I said, 'I am God's Son'? If I do not perform my Father's works, put no faith in me. But if I do perform them, even though you put no faith in me, put faith in these works, so as to realize what it means that the Father is in me and I in him." At these words they again tried to arrest him, but he eluded their grasp.
Then Jesus went back across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing earlier, and while he stayed there many people came to him. "John may never have performed a sign," they commented, "but whatever John said about this man was true." In that place, many came to believe in him.
 

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Saturday, April 9, 2022
Ezekiel 37: 21 - 28
Thus says the Lord God: I will take the Israelites from among the nations to which they have come, and gather them from all sides to bring them back to their land. I will make them one nation upon the land, in the mountains of Israel, and there shall be one prince for them all. Never again shall they be two nations, and never again shall they be divided into two kingdoms.
No longer shall they defile themselves with their idols, their abominations, and all their transgressions. I will deliver them from all their sins of apostasy, and cleanse them so that they may be my people and I may be their God. My servant David shall be prince over them, and there shall be one shepherd for them all; they shall live by my statutes and carefully observe my decrees. They shall live on the land which I gave to my servant Jacob, the land where their fathers lived; they shall live on it forever, they, and their children, and their children's children, with my servant David their prince forever. I will make with them a covenant of peace; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them and I will multiply them, and put my sanctuary among them forever. My dwelling shall be with them; I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Thus the nations shall know that it is I, the Lord, who make Israel holy, when my sanctuary shall be set up among them forever.

Jeremiah 31: 10 - 13
Hear the word of the Lord, O nations, proclaim it on distant coasts, and say: He who scattered Israel, now gathers them together, he guards them as a shepherd his flock. The Lord shall ransom Jacob, he shall redeem him from the hand of his conqueror. Shouting, they shall mount the heights of Zion, they shall come streaming to the Lord's blessings: the grain, the wine, and the oil, the sheep and the oxen; they themselves shall be like watered gardens, never again shall they languish. Then the virgins shall make merry and dance, and young men and old as well. I will turn their mourning into joy, I will console and gladden them after their sorrows.

Gospel of John 11: 45 - 56
This caused many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, to put their faith in him. Some others, however, went to the Pharisees and reported what Jesus had done. The result was that the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin. "What are we to do," they said, "with this man performing all sorts of signs? If we let him go on like this, the whole world will believe in him. Then the Romans will come in and sweep away our sanctuary and our nation." One of their number named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, addressed them at this point: "You have no understanding whatever! Can you not see that it is better for you to have one man die for the people than to have the whole nation destroyed?" (He did not say this on his own. It was rather as high priest for that year that he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation - and not for this nation only, but to gather into one all the dispersed children of God.)
From that day onward there was a plan afoot to kill him. In consequence, Jesus no longer moved about freely in Jewish circles. He withdrew instead to a town called Ephraim in the region near the desert, where he stayed with his disciples.
The Jewish Passover was near, which meant that many people from the country went up to Jerusalem for Passover purification. They were on the lookout for Jesus, various people in the temple vicinity saying to each other, "What do you think,? Is he likely to come for the feast?"
 

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Palm Sunday, March 10,22
Gospel of Luke 19: 28 - 40
Jesus proceeded on his journey up to Jerusalem. As he drew near to Bethphage and Bethany at the place called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples. He said, "Go into the village opposite you, and as you enter it you will find a colt tethered on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it here. And if anyone should ask you, "Why are you utying it?' you will answer, 'The Master has need of it.'" So those who had been sent went off and found everything just as he had told them. And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, "Why are you untying this colt?" They answered, "The Master has need of it." So they brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks over the colt, and helped Jesus to mount. As he rode along, the people were spreading their cloaks on the road; and now as he was approaching the slope of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of his disciples began to praise God aloud with joy for all the mighty deeds they had seen. They proclaimed: "Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord. Peace in heaven and glory in the highest."
Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him "Teacher rebuke your disciples." He said in reply, "I tell you, if they keep silent, the stones will cry out!"

Isaiah 50: 4 - 7
The Lord God has given me a well-trained tongue, that I might know how to speak to the weary a word that will rouse them. Morning after morning he opens my ear that I may hear; and I have not rebelled, have not turned back. I gave my back to those who beat me, my checks to those who plucked my beard; my face I did not shield from buffets and spitting.
The Lord God is my help, therefore I am not disgraced; I have set my face like flint, knowing that I shall not be put to shame.

Psalm 22: 8 - 0, 17 - 20, 23 - 24
My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
All who see me scoff at me; they mock me with parted lips, they wag their heads; "He relied on the Lord; let him deliver him, let him rescue him, if he loves him." Indeed, many dogs surround me, a pack of evildoers closes in upon me; they have pierced my hands and my feet; I can count all my bones. They divide my garments among them, and for my vesture they cast lots. But you, O Lord, be not far from me; O my help, hasten to aid me. I will proclaim your name to my brethern; in the midst of the assembly I will praise you: 'You who fear the Lord, praise him; all you descendants of Jacob, give glory to him; revere him, all you descendants of Israel!"


Letter of Paul to the Philippians 2: 6 - 11
Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness, and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the father.
 

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Palm Sunday, March 10, 2022
Gospel of Luke 22: 14 - -23:56
The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke:
When the hour came, Jesus took his place at table with the apostles. He said to them,
"I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer, for, I tell you, I shall not eat it again until there is fulfillment in the kingdom of God."
Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and said, "Take this and share it among yourselves; for I tell you that from this time on I shall not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes."
Then he took the bread, said the blessing, broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body, which will be given for you; do this in memory of me."
And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, 'This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which will be shed for you.
And yet behold, the hand of the one who is to betray me is with me on the table; for the Son of Man indeed goes as it has been determined; but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed." And they began to debate among themselves who among them would do such a deed.
Then an argument broke out among them about which of them should be regarded as the greatest. He said to them,
"The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them and those in authority over them are addressed as "Benefactors'; but among you it shall not be so. Rather, let the greatest among you be as the youngest, and the leader as the servant. For who is greater; the one seated at table or the one who serves? Is it not the one seated at table?" I am among you as the one who serves. It is you who have stood by me in my trials; and I confer a kingdom on you, just as my Father has conferred one on me, that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom; and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
"Simon, Simon, behold Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed that your own faith may not fail; and once you have turned back, you must strengthen your brothers."
Peter said to him, "Lord, I am prepared to go to prison and to die with you." But Jesus replied, "I tell you, Peter, before the cock crows this day, you will deny three times that you know me."
He said to them, "When I sent you forth without a money bag or a sack or sandals, were you in need of anything?" "No, nothing," they replied. He said to them, "But now one who has a money bag should take it, and likewise a sack, and one who does not have a sword should sell his cloak and buy one. For I tell you that this Scripture must be fulfilled in me, namely, 'He was counted among the wicked'; and indeed what is written about me is coming to fulfillment."
They they said, "Lord, look, there are two swords here." But he replied, "It is enough!"

Then going out, he went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. When he arrived at the place he said to them, "Pray that you may not undergo the test."
After withdrawing about a stone's throw from them and kneeling, he prayed, saying, "Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me; still, not my will but yours be done."
And to strengthen him an angel from heaven appeared to him. He was in such agony and he prayed so fervently that his sweat became like drops of blood falling on the ground. When he rose from prayer and returned to his disciples, he found them sleeping from grief. He said to them, "Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not undergo the test."
While he was still speaking, a crowd approached and in front was one of the Twelve, a man named Judas. He went up to Jesus to kiss him. Jesus said to him,, "Judas are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?" His disciples realized what was about to happen and then asked, "Lord shall we strike with a sword?' And one of them struck the high priest's servant and cut off his right ear. But Jesus said in repy, "Stop, no more of this!" Then he touched the servant's ear and healed him. And Jesus said to the chief priests and temple guards and elders who had come for him, "Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs. Day after day I was with you in the temple area, and you did not seize me; but this is your hour, the time for the power of darkness."
 

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After arresting him they led him away and took him into the house of the high priest; Peter was following at a distance. They lit a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat around it, and Peter sat down with them. When a maid saw him seated in the light, she looked intently at him and said, "This man too was with him." But he denied it saying, "Woman, I do not know him." A short while later someone else saw him and said, "You too are one of them"; but Peter answered, "My friend, I am not." About an hour later, still another insisted, "Assuredly this man too was with him, for he also is a Galilean." But Peter said, " My friend, I do not know what you are talking about." Just as he was saying this, the cock crowed, and the Lord turned and looked at Peter; and Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said to him, "Before the cock crows today, you wil deny me three times." He went out and began to weep bitterly.
The men who held Jesus in custody were ridiculing and beating him. They blindfolded him and questioned him, saying, "Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?' And they reviled him in saying many other things against him.
When day came the council of elders of the people met, both chief priests and scribes, and they brought him before their Sanhedrin. They said, "If you are the Christ, tell us," But he replied to them, "If I tell you, you will not believe, and if I question, you will not respond. But from this time on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God." They all asked, "Are you then the Son of God?" He replied to them "You say that I am." Then they said, "What further need have we for testimony? We have heard it from his own mouth."

Then the whole assembly of them arose and brought him before Pilate. They brought charges against him, saying, "We found this man misleading our people; he opposes the payment of taxes to Caesar and maintains that he is the Christ, a king."
Pilate asked him, "Are you the king of the Jews?" He said to him in reply, "You say so." Pilate then addressed the chief priests and the crowds, "I find this man not guilty." But they were adamant and said, "He is inciting the people with his teaching throughout all Judea, from Galilee where he began even to here."
On hearing this, Pilate asked if the man was a Galilean; and upon learning that he was under Herod's jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod who was in Jerusalem at that time. Herod was very glad to see Jesus; he had been wanting to see him for a long time, for he had heard about him and had been hoping to see him perform some sign. He questioned him at length, but he gave him no answer. The chief priests and scribes meanwhile, stood by accusing him harshly. Herod and his soldiers treated him contemptuously and mocked him, and after clothing him in resplendent garb, he sent him back to Pilate. Herod and Pilate became friends that very day, even though they had been enemies formerly. Pilate then summoned the chief priests, the rulers, and the people and said to them:
"You brought this man to me and accused him of inciting the people to revolt. I have conducted my investigation in your presence and have not found this man guilty of the charges you have brought against him, nor did Herod, for he sent him back to us. So no capital crime has been committed by him. Therefore I shall have him flogged and then release him."
But all together they shouted out, "Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us."
Now Barabbas had been imprisoned for a rebellion that had taken place in the city and for murder - Again Pilate addressed them, Still wishing to release Jesus, but they continued their shouting, "Crucify him!" Pilate addressed them a third time, "What evil has this man done" I found him guilty of no capital crime. Therefore I shall have him flogged and them release him."
With loud shouts, however, they persisted in calling for his crucifixion, and their voices prevailed. The verdict of Pilate was that their demand should be granted. So he released the man who had been imprisoned for rebellion and murder, for whom they asked, and he handed Jesus over to them to deal with as they wished.
As they led him away they took hold of a certain Simon, a Cyrenian, who was coming in from the country; and after laying the cross on him they made him carry it behind Jesus. A large crowd of people followed Jesus, including many women who mourned and lamented him. Jesus turned to them and said:
"Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep instead for yourselves and for your children, for indeed, the days are coming when people will say, 'Blessed are the barren, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed.' At that time people will say to the mountains, 'Fall upon us!' and to the hills, 'Cover us!' for if these things are done when the wood is green what will happen when it is dry?"
Now two others, both criminals, were led away with him to be executed.
When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him and the criminals there, one on his right, the other on his left. Then Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, they know not what they do." They divided his garments by casting lots. The people stood by and watched; the rulers, meanwhile sneered at him and said,
"He saved others, let him save himself if he is the chosen one, the Christ of God." Even the soldiers jeered at him. As they approached to offer him wine they called out, "If you are King of the Jews, save yourself."
Above him there was an inscription that read, "This is the King of the Jews.
Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus saying, "Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us." The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply, "Have you no fear of God, for you are subject to the same condemnation? And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal." Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." Jesus replied to him, "Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise."
It was now about noon and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon because of an eclipse of the sun. Then the veil of the temple was torn down the middle. Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit."' And when he had said this he breathed his last:

The Centurian who witnessed what had happened glorified God and said, "This man was innocent beyond doubt." When all the people who had gathered for this spectacle saw what had happened, they returned home beating their breasts; but all his acquaintances stood at a distance, including the women who had followed him from Galilee and saw these events.
Now there was a virtuous and righteous man named Joseph who, though he was a member of the council, had not consented to their plan of action. He came from the Jewish town of Arimathaea and was awaiting the kingdom of God. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. After he had taken the body down, he wrapped it in a linen cloth and laid him in a rock-hewn tomb in which no one had yet been buried. It was the day of preparation, and the sabbath was about to begin. The women who had come from Galilee with him followed behind, and when they had seen the tomb and the way in which his body was laid in it, they returned and prepared spices and perfumed oils. Then they rested on the sabbath according to the commandment.
 

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Palm Sunday, March 10, 2022
Gospel of Luke 19: 28 - 40
Jesus proceeded on his journey up to Jerusalem. As he drew near to Bethphage and Bethany at the place called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples. He said, "Go into the village opposite you, and as you enter it you will find a colt tethered on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it here. And if anyone should ask you, "Why are you utying it?' you will answer, 'The Master has need of it.'" So those who had been sent went off and found everything just as he had told them. And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, "Why are you untying this colt?" They answered, "The Master has need of it." So they brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks over the colt, and helped Jesus to mount. As he rode along, the people were spreading their cloaks on the road; and now as he was approaching the slope of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of his disciples began to praise God aloud with joy for all the mighty deeds they had seen. They proclaimed: "Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord. Peace in heaven and glory in the highest."
Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him "Teacher rebuke your disciples." He said in reply, "I tell you, if they keep silent, the stones will cry out!"

Isaiah 50: 4 - 7
The Lord God has given me a well-trained tongue, that I might know how to speak to the weary a word that will rouse them. Morning after morning he opens my ear that I may hear; and I have not rebelled, have not turned back. I gave my back to those who beat me, my checks to those who plucked my beard; my face I did not shield from buffets and spitting.
The Lord God is my help, therefore I am not disgraced; I have set my face like flint, knowing that I shall not be put to shame.

Psalm 22: 8 - 0, 17 - 20, 23 - 24
My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
All who see me scoff at me; they mock me with parted lips, they wag their heads; "He relied on the Lord; let him deliver him, let him rescue him, if he loves him." Indeed, many dogs surround me, a pack of evildoers closes in upon me; they have pierced my hands and my feet; I can count all my bones. They divide my garments among them, and for my vesture they cast lots. But you, O Lord, be not far from me; O my help, hasten to aid me. I will proclaim your name to my brethern; in the midst of the assembly I will praise you: 'You who fear the Lord, praise him; all you descendants of Jacob, give glory to him; revere him, all you descendants of Israel!"


Letter of Paul to the Philippians 2: 6 - 11
Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness, and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the father
 

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Monday, April 11, 2022
Isaiah 42: 1 - 7
Here is my servant whom I uphold, my chosen one with whom I am pleased, upon whom I have put my spirit; he shall bring forth justice to the nations, not crying out, not shouting, not making his voice heard in the street. A bruised reed he shall not break, and a smoldering wick he shall not quench, until he establishes justice on the earth; the coastlands will wait for his teaching.
Thus says God, the Lord, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spreads out the earth with its crops, who gives breath to its people and spirit to those who walk on it: I, the Lord have called you for the victory of justice, I have grasped you by the hand; I formed you, and set you as a covenant of the people, a light for the nations. To open the eyes of the blind, to bring out prisoners from confinement, and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness.

Psalm 27:1 - 3, 13 - 14
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear? The Lord is my life's refuge; of whom should I be afraid? When evildoers come at me to devour my flesh, my foes and my enemies themselves tumble and fall. Though an army encamp against me, my heart will not fear; though war be waged upon me, even then will I trust.
I believe that I shall see the bounty of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord with courage; be stouthearted, and wait for the Lord.

Gospel of John 12: 1 - 11
Six days before Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the village of Lazarus whom Jesus had raised from the dead. There they gave him a banquet, at which Martha served. Lazarus was one of those at table with him. Mary brought a pound of costly perfume made from genuine aromatic nard, with which she anointed Jesus' feet. Then she dried his feet with her hair, and the house was filled with the ointment's fragrance. Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one about to hand him over), protested: "Why was not this perfume sold? It could have brought three hundred silver pieces, and the money have been given to the poor." (He did not say this out of concern for the poor, but because he was a thief. He held the purse, and used to help himself to what was deposited there,) To this Jesus replied: "Leave her alone. Let her keep it against the day they prepare me for burial. The poor you always have with you, but me you will not always have."
The great crowd of Jews discovered he was there and came out, not only because of Jesus but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. The fact was, the chief priests planned to kill Lazarus too, because many Jews were going over to Jesus and believing in him on account of Lazarus.
 

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Tuesday, April 12, 2022
Isaiah 49: 1 - 6
Hear me, O coastlands, listen, O distant peoples. The Lord called me from birth, from my mother's womb he gave me my name. He made of me a sharp-edged sword and concealed me in the shadow of his arm. He made me a polished arrow, in his quiver he hid me. You are my servant, He said to me, Israel, through whom I show my glory.
Though I thought I had toiled in vain, and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength, yet my reward is with the Lord, my recompense is with my God. For now the Lord has spoken who formed me as his servant from the womb, and I am made glorious in the sight of the Lord, and my God is now my strength! It is too little, he says, for you to be my servant, to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and restore the survivors of Israel; I will make you a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.

Psalm 71: 1 - 5. 15, 17
In you, O Lord, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame. In your justice rescue me, and deliver me; incline your ear to me, and save me. Be my rock of refuge, a stronghold to give me safety, for you are my rock and my fortress. O my God, rescue me from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of the criminal and the violent. For you are my hope, O Lord; my trust, O God, from my youth.
My mouth will declare your justice, day by day your salvation, though I know not their extent.
O God, you have taught me from my youth, and till the present I proclaim your wondrous deeds.

Gospel of John 13: 20 - 33, 36 - 38
Jesus said at the table:
I solemnly assure you, he who accepts anyone I send accepts me, and in accepting me accepts him who sent me."
After saying this, Jesus grew deeply troubled. He went on to give this testimony:
"I tell you solemnly, one of you will betray me."
The disciples looked at one another, puzzled as to whom he could mean. One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, reclined close to him as they ate. Simon Peter signaled him to ask Jesus whom he meant. He leaned back against Jesus' chest and said to him, "Lord, who is he?" Jesus answered, "The one to whom I give the bit of food I dip in the dish." He dipped the morsel, then took it and gave it to Judas, son of Simon Iscariot. Immediately after, Satan entered his heart. Jesus addressed himself to him: "Be quick about what you are to do." (Naturally, none of those reclining at table understood why Jesus said this to him. A few had the idea that, since Judas held the common purse, Jesus was telling him to buy what was needed for the feast, or to give something to the poor.) No sooner had Judas eaten the morsel than he went out. It was night.
Once Judas had left, Jesus said: "Now is the Son of Man glorified and God is glorified in him. [If God has been glorified in him.] God will, in turn, glorify him in himself, and will glorify him soon. My children, I am not to be with you much longer. You will look for me, but I say to you now what I once said to the Jews: 'where I am going you cannot come.'
"Lord," Simon Peter said to him, "Where do you mean to go?" Jesus answered: "I am going where you cannot follow me now; later on you shall come after me."
"Lord," Peter said to him, "why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you!" "You will lay down your life for me, will you?" Jesus answered, "I tell you truly, the cock will not crow before you have three times disowned me!"
 

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Wednesday, April 13, 2022
Isaiah 50: 4 - 9
The Lord God has given me a well-trained tongue, that I might know how to speak to the weary a word the will rouse them. Morning after morning he opens my ear that I may hear; and I have not rebelled, have not turned back. I gave my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who plucked my beard; my face I did not shield from buffets and spitting.
The Lord God is my help, therefore I am not disgraced; I have set my face like flint, knowing that I shall not be put to shame. He is near who upholds my right; if anyone wishes to oppose me, let us appear together. Who disputes my right? Let him confront me. See, the Lord God is my help; who will prove me wrong? Lo, they will all wear out like cloth, the moth will eat them up.

Psalm 69: 8 - 10, 21 - 22, 31, 33 - 34
Since for your sake I bear insult, and shame covers my face. I have become an outcast to my brothers, a stranger to my mother's sons, because zeal for your house consumes me, and the insults of those who blaspheme you fall upon me.
Insult has broken my heart, and I am weak, I looked for sympathy, but there was none; for comforters, and I found none. Rather they put gall in my food, and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.
I will praise the name of God in song, and I will glorify him with thanksgiving.
See you lowly ones, and be glad; you who seek God, may your hearts be merry! For the Lord hears the poor, and his own who are in bonds he spurns not.

Gospel of Matthew 26: 14 - 25
One of the Twelve whose name was Judas Iscariot went off to the chief priests and said, "What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?" They paid him thirty pieces of silver, and from that time on he kept looking for an opportunity to hand him over.
On the first day of the feast of Unleavened bread, the disciples came up to Jesus and said, "Where do you wish us to prepare the Passover supper for you?" He said, "Go to this man in the city and tell him, 'The Teacher says, My appointed time draws near. I am to celebrate the Passover with my disciples in your house.'"
The disciples then did at Jesus had ordered, and prepared the Passover supper.
When it grew dark he reclined at table with the Twelve. In the course of the meal he said, "I assure you, one of you is about to betray me." Distressed at this, they began to say to him one after another, "Surely it is not I, Lord?" he replied: "The man who has dipped his hand into the dish with me is the one who will hand me over. The Son of Man is departing, as Scripture says of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed. Better for him if he had never been born."
Then Judas, his betrayer, spoke: "Surely it is not I, Rabbi?" Jesus answered. "It is you who have said it."
 

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Thursday, April 14, 2022
Exodus 12: 1 - 8, 11 - 14
The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, "This month shall stand at the head of your calendar; you shall reckon it the first month of the year. Tell the whole community of Israel: On the tenth of this month every one of your families must procure for itself a lamb, one apiece for each household. If a family is too small for a whole lamb, it shall join the nearest household in procuring one and shall share in the lamb in proportion to the number of persons who partake of it. The lamb must be a year-old male and without blemish. You may take it from either the sheep or the goats. You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, and then, with the whole assembly of Israel present, it shall be slaughtered during the evening twilight. They shall take some of its blood and apply it to the two doorposts and the lintel of very house in which they partake of the lamb. That same night they shall eat its roasted flesh with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.
This is how you are to eat it: with your loins girt, sandals on your feet and your staff in hand, you shall eat like those who are in flight. It is the Passover of the Lord. For on this same night I will go through Egypt, striking down every firstborn of the land, both man and beast, and executing judgment on all the gods of Egypt - I, the Lord! But the blood will mark the houses where you are. Seeing the blood, I will pass over you; thus, when I strike the land of Egypt, no destructive blow will come upon you.
This day shall be a memorial feast for you, which all your generations shall celebrate with pilgrimage to the Lord, as a perpetual institution."

Psalm 116: 12 - 13, 15 - 18
How shall I make a return to the Lord for all the good he has done for me? The cup of salvation I will take up, and I will call upon the name of the Lord.
Precious in the eyes of the Lord is the death of his faithful ones. O Lord, I am your servant; I am your servant, the son of your handmaid; you have loosed my bonds. To you will I offer sacrifice of thanksgiving, and I will call upon the name of the Lord. My vows to the Lord I will pay in the presence of all his people.

First letter of Paul to the Corinthians 11: 23 - 26
I received from the Lord what I handed on to you, namely, that the Lord Jesus on the night in which he was betrayed took bread, and after he had given thanks, broke it and said, "This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me." Every time, then, you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes!

Gospel of John 13: 1 - 15
Before the feast of Passover, Jesus realized that the hour had come for him to pass from this world to the Father. He had loved his own in this world, and would show his love for them to the end. The devil had already induced Judas, son of Simon Iscariot, to hand him over; and so, during the supper, Jesus - fully aware that he had come from God and was going to God, the Father who had handed everything over to him - rose from the meal and took off his cloak. He picked up a towel and tied it around himself. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples' feet and dry them with the towel he had around him. Thus he came to Simon Peter, who said to him, "Lord, are you going to wash my feet?" Jesus answered, "You may not realize now what I am doing, but latter you will understand!" Peter replied, "You shall never wash my feet!" "If I do not wash you," Jesus answered, "you will have no share in my heritage." "Lord," Simon Peter said to him, "then not only my feet, but my hands and head as well." Jesus told him, "The man who has bathed has no need to wash [except for his feet ]; he is entirely cleansed, just as you are; though not all." (The reason he said, "Not all are washed clean," was that he knew his betrayer.")
After he had washed their feet, he put his cloak back on and reclined at table once more. He said to them: "Do you understand what I just did for you? You address me as 'Teacher' and Lord,' and fittingly enough, for that is what I am. But if I washed your feet - I who am Teacher and Lord - then you must wash each other's feet. What I just did was to give you an example; as I have done, so you must do.
 

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Good Friday, April 15, 2022
Isaiah 52: 13 - -53: 12
See, my servant shall prosper, he shall be raised high and greatly exalted. Even as many were amazed at him - so marred was his look beyond that of man, and his appearance beyond that of mortals - so shall he startle many nations, because of him kings shall stand speechless; for those who have not been told shall see, those who have not heard shall ponder it.
Who would believe what we have heard? To whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? He grew up like a sapling before him, like a shoot from the parched earth; there was in him no stately bearing to make us look at him, nor appearance that would attract us to him. He was spurned and avoided by men, a man of suffering, accustomed to infirmity, one of those from whom men hide their faces, spurned, and we hold him in no esteem.
Yet it was our infirmities that he bore, our sufferings that he endured, while we thought of him as stricken, as one smitten by God and afflicted. But he was pierced for our offenses, crushed for our sins; upon him was the chastisement that makes us whole, by his stripes we were healed. We had all gone astray like sheep, each following his own way; but the Lord laid upon him the guilt of us all. Though he was harshly treated, he submitted and opened not his mouth; like a lamb led to the slaughter or a sheep before the shearers, he was silent and opened not his mouth. Oppressed and condemned, he was taken away, and who would have thought any more of his destiny? When he was cut off from the land of the living, and smitten for the sins of his people, a grave was assigned him among the wicked and a burial place with evildoers, though he had done no wrong nor spoken any falsehood. But the Lord was pleased to crush him in infirmity.
If he gives his life as an offering for sin, he shall see his descendants in a long life, and the will of the Lord shall be accomplished through him. Because of his affliction he shall see the light in fullness of days; through his suffering, my servant shall justify many, and their guilt he shall bear. Therefore I will give him his portion among the great, and he shall divide the spoils with the mighty, because he surrendered himself to death and was counted among the wicked; and he shall take away the sins of many, and win pardon for their offenses.

Psalm 31: 2, 6, 12 - 13, 15 - 17, 25
In you, O Lord, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame. In your justice rescue me.
For all my foes I am an object of reproach, a laughing stock to my neighbors, and a dread to my friends; they who see me abroad flee from me. I am forgotten like the unremembered dead; I am like a dish that is broken.
But my trust is in you, O Lord; I say, "You are my God." In your hands is my destiny; rescue me from the clutches of my enemies and my persecutors. Let your face shine upon your servant; save me in your kindness.
Take courage and be stouthearted, all you who hope in the Lord.

Letter to the Hebrews 4: 14 - 16; 5: 7 - 9
Since, then, we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our profession of faith. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weakness, but one who was tempted in every way that we are, yet never sinned. So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and favor and to find help in time of need.
In the days when he was in the flesh, he offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears to God, who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered; and when perfected, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him, designated by God as high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.

Gospel of John 18: 1 - - 19: 42
After this discourse, Jesus went out with his disciples across the Kidron Valley. There was a garden there, and he and his disciples entered it. The place was familiar to Judas as well (the one who was to hand him over) because Jesus had often met there with his disciples. Judas took the cohort as well as guards supplied by the chief priests and the Pharisees, and came there with lanterns, torches and weapons. Jesus, aware of all that would happen to him stepped forward and said to them, "Who is it you want?" "Jesus the Nazorean," they replied. "I am he," he answered. (Now Judas, the one who was to hand him over, was there with them. " As Jesus said to them, "I am he," they retreated slightly and fell to the ground. Jesus put the question to them again "Who is it you want?" "Jesus the Nazorean," they repeated, "I have told you I am he," Jesus said. "If I am the one you want let these men go." (This was to fulfill what he had said, I have not lost one of those you gave me.")
Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the slave of the high priest, severing his right ear. (The slave's name was Malchus.) At that, Jesus said to Peter, "Put your sword back in its sheath. Am I not to drink the cup the Father has given me?"
Then the soldiers of the cohort, their tribune, and the Jewish guards arrested Jesus and bound him. They led him first to Annas, the father -in-law of Caiaphas who was high priest that year. (It was Caiaphas who had proposed to the Jews the advantage of having one man die for the people.)
Simon Peter, in company with another disciple kept following Jesus closely. This disciple who was known to the high priest, stayed with Jesus as far as the high priests' courtyard, while Peter was left standing at the gate. The disciple known to the high priest came out and spoke to the woman at the gate, and then brought Peter in. This servant girl who kept the gate said to Peter, "Are you not one of this man's followers?" "Not I," he replied.
Now the night was cold, and the servants and the guards who were standing around had made a charcoal fire to warm themselves by. Peter joined them and stood there warming himself.
The high priest questioned Jesus first about his disciples, then about his teaching. Jesus answered by saying: "I have spoken publicly to any who would listen. I always taught in a synagogue or in the temple area where all the Jews come together. There was nothing secret about anything I said."
"Why do you question me? Question those who heard me when I spoke. It should be obvious that they will know what I said." At this reply one of the guards who was standing nearby gave Jesus a sharp blow on the face. "Is that the way to answer the high priest?" he said. Jesus replied, "If I said anything wrong produce the evidence. But if I spoke the truth why hit me?" Annas next sent him, bound, to the high priest Caiaphas.
All through this, Simon Peter had been standing there warming himself. They said to him, "Are you not a disciple of his?" He denied it and said, "I am not!" "But did I not see you with him in the garden?" insisted one of the high priest's slaves - as it happened a relative of the man whose ear Peter had severed. Peter denied it again. At that moment a cock began to crow.
At daybreak they brought Jesus from Caiaphas to the praetorium. They did not enter the preatorium themselves, for they had to avoid ritual impurity if they were to eat the Passover supper. Pilate came out to them. "What accusation do you bring against this man?" he demanded. "If he were not a criminal," they retorted, "we would certainly not have handed him over to you." At this Pilate said, "Why do you not take him and pass judgment on him according to your law?" "We may not put anyone to death," the Jews answered. (This was to fulfill what Jesus had said indicating the sort of death he had to die.)
 

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Pilate went back into the praetorium and summoned Jesus. "Are you the king of the Jews?" he asked him. Jesus answered, "Are you saying this on your own, or have others been telling you about me?" "I am no Jew!" Pilate retorted. "It is your own people and the chief priests who have handed you over to me. What have you done?" Jesus answered:
"My kingdom does not belong to this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my subjects would be fighting to save me from being handed over to the Jews. As it is, my kingdom is not here."
At this Pilate said to him, "So, then, you are a king?" Jesus replied: "It is you who say I am a king. The reason I was born, the reason why I came into the world, is to testify to the truth. Anyone committed to the truth hears my voice."
"Truth!" said Pilate. "What does that mean?"
After this remark, Pilate went out again to the Jews and said to them: "Speaking for myself, I find no case against this man. Recall your custom whereby I release someone to you at Passover time. Do you want me to release to you the king of the Jews?" They shouted back, "We want Barabbas, not this one!" (Barabbas was an insurrectionist.)
Pilate's next move was to take Jesus and have him scourged. The soldiers then wove a crown of thorns and fixed it on his head, throwing around his shoulders a cloak of royal purple. Repeatedly they came up to him and said, "All hail, king of the Jews!" slapping his face as they did so.
Pilate went out a second time and said to the crowd: Observe what I do. I am going to bring him out to you to make you realize that I find no case against him." When Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple cloak, Pilate said to them, "Look at the man!" As soon as the chief priests and the temple guards saw him they shouted, "Crucify him! Crucify him!" Pilate said, "Take him and crucify him yourselves; I find no case against him." "We have our law," the Jews responded, "and according to that law he must die because he made himself God's Son." When Pilate heard this kind of talk, he was more afraid than ever.
Going back into the praetorium, he said to Jesus, "Where do you came from?" Jesus would not give him any answer. "Do you refuse to speak to me?" Pilate asked him. "Do you not know that I have the power to release you and the power to crucify you?"
Jesus answered: "You would have no power over me whatever unless it were given you from above. That is why he who handed me over to you is guilty of the greater sin."
After this, Pilate was eager to release him, but the Jews shouted, "If you free this man you are no 'Friend of Caesar.' " Anyone who makes himself a king becomes Caesar's rival." Pilate heard what they were saying, then brought Jesus outside and took a seat on a judge's bench at the place called the Stone Pavement - Gabbatha in Hebrew. (It was the Preparation Day for Passover and the hour was about noon.) He said to the Jews, "Look at your king!" At this they shouted, "Away with him! Away with him! Crucify him!" "What!" Pilate exclaimed "Shall I crucify your king?" The chief priests replied, "We have no king but Caesar." In the end, Pilate handed Jesus over to be crucified.
Jesus was led away, and carrying the cross by himself, went out to what is called the Place of the Skull (in Hebrew, Golgotha). There they crucified him, and two others with him; one on either side, Jesus in the middle. Pilate had an inscription placed on the cross which read, JESUS THE NAZOREAN THE KING OF THE JEWS.
This inscription, in Hebrew, Latin and Greek, was read by many of the Jews, since the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city. The chief priests and the Jews tried to tell Pilate, "You should not have written, 'The King of the Jews.' Write instead, 'this man claimed to be King of the Jews.' " Pilate answered, "What I have written, I have written."
After the soldiers had crucified Jesus they took his garments and divided them four ways, one for each soldier. There was also his tunic, but this tunic was woven in one piece from top to bottom and had no seam. They said to each other, 'We should not tear it. Let us throw dice to see who gets it." (The purpose of this was to have the Scriptures fulfilled: "They divided my garments among them; for my clothing they cast lots.") And this was what the soldiers did.
Near the cross of Jesus there stood his mother, his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, 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 to 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 fulfill 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 Preparation Day the Jews did not want to have the bodies left on the cross during the Sabbath, for that sabbath was a solemn feast 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 men crucified with Jesus, first of the one, then of the other. 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. (This testimony has been given by an eyewitness, and his testimony is true. He tells what he knows is true, so that you may believe.) These events took place for the fulfillment of Scripture: 'Break none of his bones." There is still another Scripture passage which says: "They shall look on him whom they have pierced."
Afterward, Joseph of Aramathea, a disciple of Jesus (although a secret one for fear of the Jews,) asked Pilate's permission to remove Jesus' body. Pilate granted it, so they came and took the body away. Nicodemus (the man who had first come to Jesus at night) likewise came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes which weighed about a hundred pounds. They took Jesus' body, and in accordance with Jewish burial custom bound it up in wrappings of cloth with perfumed oils. In the place where he had been crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had ever been buried. Because of the Jewish Preparation Day they buried Jesus there, for the tomb was close at hand.
 

Martin Jr.

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Saturday, April 16, 2022
Easter Vigil
Genesis 1: 1 - - - 2: 2
In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless wasteland, and darkness covered the abyss, while a mighty wind swept over the waters.
Then God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. God saw how good the light was. God then separated the light from the darkness. God called the light "day," and the darkness he called "night." Thus evening came, and morning followed - the first day.
Then God said, "Let there be a dome in the middle of the waters, to separate one body of water from the other." And so it happened: God made the dome, and it separated the water above the dome from the water below it. God called the dome "the sky." Evening came, and morning followed - the second day.
Then God said, "Let the water under the sky be gathered into a single basin, so that the dry land may appear." And so it happened: the water under the sky was gathered into its basin, and the dry land appeared. God called the dry land "the earth," and the basin of the water he called "the sea." God saw how good it was. Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth vegetation: every kind of plant that bears seed and every kind of fruit tree on earth that bears fruit with its seed in it." And so it happened: the earth brought forth every kind of plant that bears seed and every kind of fruit tree on earth that bears fruit with its seed in it. God saw how good it was. Evening came, and morning followed - the third day.
Then God said: "Let there be lights in the dome of the sky, to separate day from night. Let them mark the fixed times, the days and the years, and serve as luminaries in the dome of the sky, to shed light upon the earth." And so it happened: God made the two great lights, the greater one to govern the day, and the lesser one to govern the night; and he made the stars. God set them in the dome of the sky, to shed light upon the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. God saw how good it was. Evening came, and morning followed - the fourth day.
Then God said, "Let the water teem with an abundance of living creatures, and on the earth let birds fly beneath the dome of the sky." And so it happened: God created the great sea monsters and all kinds of swimming creatures with which the water teems, and all kinds of winged birds. God saw how good it was, and God blessed them, saying, "Be fertile, multiply, and fill the water of the seas; and let the birds multiply on the earth." Evening came, and morning followed - the fifth day.
Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth all kinds of living creatures: cattle, creeping things, and wild animals of all kinds." And so it happened: God made all kinds of wild animals, all kinds of cattle, and all kinds of creeping things of the earth. God saw how good it was. Then God said" "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and the cattle, and over all the wild animals and all the creatures that crawl on the ground."
God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them, saying: "Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and all the living things that move on the earth." God also said: "See, I give you every seed-bearing plant all over the earth and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit on it to be your food, and to all the animals of the land, all the birds of the air, and all the living creatures that crawl on the ground, I give all the green plants for food." And so it happened. God looked at everything he had made, and he found it very good. Evening came, and morning followed - the sixth day.
Thus the heavens and the earth and all their array were completed. Since on the seventh day God was finished with the work he had been doing, he rested on the seventh day from all the work he had undertaken.

Psalms 104: 1 - 2, 5 - 6, 10, 12 - 14, 24, 35
Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord, my God, you are great indeed! You are clothed with majesty and glory, robed in light as with a cloak. You have spread out the heavens like a tent-cloth.
You fixed the earth upon its foundation, not to be moved forever; with the ocean, as with a garment, you covered it; above the mountains the waters stood.
You sent forth springs into the watercourses that wind among the mountains.
Beside them the birds of the heaven dwell; from among the branches they send forth their song. You water the mountains from your palace; the earth is replete with the fruit of your works. You raise grass for the cattle, and vegetation for man's use, producing bread from the earth.
How manifold are your works, O Lord! In wisdom you have wrought them all - the earth is full of your creatures.
May sinners cease from the earth, and may the wicked be no more. Bless the Lord, O my soul! Alleluia.

Romans 6: 3 - 11
Are you not aware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Through baptism into his death we were buried with him, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live a new life. If we have been united with him through likeness to his death, so shall we be through a like resurrection. This we know, our old self was crucified with him so that the sinful body might be destroyed and we might be slaves to sin no longer. A man who is dead has been freed from sin. If we have died with Christ, we believe that we are also to live with him. We know that Christ, once raised from the dead, will never die again; death has no more power over him. His death was death to sin, once for all; his life is life for God. In the same way, you must consider yourselves dead to sin but alive for God in Christ Jesus.

Luke 24: 1 - 12
On the first day of the week, at dawn, the women came to the tomb bringing spices they had prepared. They found the stone rolled back from the tomb; but when they entered the tomb, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were still at a loss over what to think of this, two men in dazzling garments stood beside them. Terrified, the women bowed to the ground. The men said to them? "Why do you search for the Living One among the dead? He is not here; he has been raised up. Remember what he said to you while he was still in Galilee - that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again." With this reminder, his words came back to them.
On their return from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and the others. The women were Mary of Magdala, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James. The other women with them also told the apostles, but the story seemed like nonsense and they refused to believe them. Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. He stooped down but could see nothing but the wrappings. So he went away full of amazement at what had occurred.
 

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Easter Sunday, March 17, 2022
Acts 10: 34, 37 - 43
Peter proceeded to speak and said: "You know what has happened all over Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptizm that John preached, how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power. He went about doing good and healing all those oppressed by the devil, for God was with him, We are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree. This man God raised on the third day and granted that he be visible, not to all the people, but to us, the witnesses chosen by God in advance, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commissioned us to preach to the people and testify that he is the one appointed by God as judge of the living and the dead. To him all the prophets bear witness, that everyone who believes in him will receive forgiveness of sins through his name."

Psalm 118: 1 - 2, 16 - 17, 22 - 23
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his mercy endures forever. Let the house of Israel say, "His mercy endures forever."
The right hand of the Lord is exalted; the right hand of the Lord has struck with power." I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord.
The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. By the Lord has this been done; it is wonderful in our eyes.

Letter of Paul to the Colossians 3: 1 - 4
Brothers and sisters:
If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Think of what is above, not of what is on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ your life appears, then you too will appear with him in glory.

Gospel of John 20: 1 - 9
On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, "They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don't know where they put him." So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb. They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and arrived at the tomb first; he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in. When Simon Peter arrived after him, he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, and the cloth that had covered his head, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place. Then the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed. For they did not yet understand the Scriptures that he had to rise from the dead.
 

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Monday, April 18, 2022
Acts 2: 14, 22 - 33
Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice, and addressed them: "You who are Jews, indeed all of you staying in Jerusalem! Listen to what I have to say."
"Men of Israel, listen to me! Jesus the Nazorean was a man whom God sent to you with miracles, wonders, and signs as his credentials. These God worked through him in your midst, as you well know. He was delivered up by the set purpose and plan of God, you even made use of pagans to crucify and kill him. God freed him from death's bitter pangs, however, and raised him up again, for it was impossible that death should keep its hold on him:
David says of him: 'I have set the Lord ever before me, with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed. My heart has been glad and my tongue has rejoiced, my body will live on in hope, for you will not abandon my soul to the nether world, nor will you suffer your faithful one to undergo corruption. You have shown me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.'
Brothers, I can speak confidently to you about our father David. He died and was buried, and his grave is in our midst to this day. He was a prophet and knew that God had sworn to him that one of his descendants would sit upon his throne. He said that he was not abandoned to the nether world, nor did his body undergo corruption, thus proclaiming before hand the resurrection of the Messiah. This is the Jesus God has raised up, and we are his witnesses. Exalted at God's right hand, he first received the promised Holy Spirit from the Father, then poured this Spirit out on us. This is what you now see and hear."

Psalm 16: 1 - 2, 5 - 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 good."
O Lord, my allotted portion and my cup, you it is who hold fast my lot. For me the measuring lines have fallen on pleasant sites; fair to me indeed is my inheritance.
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.

Gospel of Matthew 28: 8 - 15
Mary Magdalene and the other Mary hurried away from the tomb half-overjoyed, half-fearful, and ran to carry the good news to his disciples. Suddenly, without warning, Jesus stood before them and said, "Peace!" The women came up and embraced his feet and did him homage. At this Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid! Go and carry the news to my brothers that they are to go to Galilee, where they will see me."
As the women were returning, some of the guard went into the city and reported to the chief priests all that had happened. They, in turn, convened with the elders and worked out their strategy, giving the soldiers a large bribe with the instructions: "You are to say 'His disciples came during the night and stole him while we were asleep.' If any word of this gets to the procurator, we will straighten it out with him and keep you out of trouble." The soldiers pocketed the money and did as they had been instructed. This is the story that circulates among the Jews to this very day.
 

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Tuesday, April 19, 2022
Acts 2: 36 - 41
On the day of Pentecost, Peter said to the Jewish people:
"Therefore let the whole house of Israel know beyond any doubt that God has made both Lord and Messiah this Jesus whom you crucified."
When they heard this, they were deeply shaken. They asked Peter and the other apostles, "What are we to do, brothers?" Peter answered: "You must reform and be baptized, each one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, that your sins may be forgiven; then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. It was to you and your children that the promise was made, and to all those still far off whom the Lord our God calls."
In support of his testimony he used many other arguments, and kept urging, "Save yourselves from this generation which has gone astray." Those who accepted his message were baptized; some three thousand were added that day.

Psalm 33: 4 - 5, 18 - 20, 22
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 if full.
But see, the eyes of the Lord are upon those who fear him, upon those who hope for his kindness, to deliver them from death and preserve them in spite of famine.
Our soul waits for the Lord, who is our help and our shield.
May your kindness, O Lord, be upon us who have put our hope in you.

Gospel of John 20: 11 - 18
Meanwhile, Mary stood weeping beside the tomb. Even as she wept, she stopped to peer inside, and there she saw two angels in dazzling robes. One was seated at the head and the other at the foot of the place where Jesus' body had lain. "Woman," they asked her, "why are you weeping?" She answered them, "Because the Lord has been taken away and I do not know where they have put him." She had no sooner said this than she turned around and caught sight of Jesus standing there. But she did not know him. "Woman," he asked her, "why are you weeping? Who is it you are looking for?" She supposed he was the gardener, so she said, "Sir, if you are the one who carried him off, tell me where you have laid him and I will take him away." Jesus said to her, "Mary!" She turned to him and said [in Hebrew], "Rabboni!" (meaning "Teacher"). Jesus then said: "Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Rather, go to my brothers and tell them, 'I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God!' " Mary Magdalene went to the disciples. "I have seen the Lord!" she announced. Then she reported what he had said to her.
 

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