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Martin Jr.

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Thursday, August 18, 2022
Ezekiel 36: 23 - 28
I will prove the holiness of my great name, profaned among the nations, in whose midst you have profaned it. Thus the nations shall know that I am the Lord, says the Lord God, when in their sight I prove my holiness through you. For I will take you away from among the nations, gather you from all the foreign lands and bring you back to your own land. I will sprinkle clean water upon you to cleanse you from all your impurities, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. I will give you a new heart and place a new spirit within you, taking from your bodies your stony hearts and giving you natural hearts. I will put my spirit within you and make you live by my statutes, careful to observe my decrees. You shall live in the land I gave your fathers; you shall be my people, and I will be your God.

Psalm 51: 12 - 14, 18 - 19
A clean heart create for me, O God, and steadfast spirit renew within me. Cast me not out from your presence, and your holy spirit take not from me. Give me back the joy of your salvation, and a willing spirit sustain in me.
For you are not pleased with sacrifices; should I offer a holocaust, you would not accept it. My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit, a heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.

Gospel of Matthew 22: 1 - 14
Jesus began to address them, once more using parables. "The reign of God may be likened to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son. He dispatched his servants to summon the invited guests to the wedding, but they refused to come. A second time he sent other servants, saying: 'Tell those who were invited, 'See, I have my dinner prepared! My bullocks and corn-fed cattle are killed, everything is ready. Come to the feast.' Some ignored the invitation and went their way, one to his farm, another to his business. The rest laid hold of his servants, insulted them, and killed them. At this the king grew furious and sent his army to destroy those murderers and burn their city. Then he said to his servants: 'The banquet is ready, but those who were invited were unfit to come. That is why you must go out into the byroads and invite to the wedding anyone you come upon.' The servants then went out into the byroads and rounded up everyone they met, bad as well as good. This filled the wedding hall with banqueters.
When the king came into meet the guests, however, he caught sight of a man not properly dressed for a wedding feast. 'My friend,' he said, 'how is it you came in here not properly dressed?' The man had nothing to say, the king then said to the attendants, 'Bind him hand and foot and throw him out into the night to wail and grind his teeth. The invited are many, the elect are few."
 

Martin Jr.

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Friday, August 19, 2022
Ezekiel 37: 1 - 14
The hand of the Lord came upon me, and he led me out in the spirit of the Lord and set me in the center of the plain, which was now filled with bones. He made me walk among them in every direction so that I saw how many they were on the surface of the plain. How dry they were! He asked me: Son of man, can these bones come to life: "Lord God," I answered, "you alone know that." Then he said to me: Prophesy over these bones, and say to them: Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! Thus says the Lord God to these bones: See! I will bring spirit into you, that you may come to life. I will put sinews upon you, make flesh grow over you, cover you with skin, and put spirit in you so that you may come to life and know that I am the Lord. I prophesied as I had been told, and even as I was prophesying I heard a noise; it was a rattling as the bones came together, bone joining bone. I saw the sinews and the flesh come upon them, and the skin cover them, but there was no spirit in them. Then he said to me: Prophesy to the spirit, prophesy, son of man, and say to the spirit: Thus says the Lord God: From the four winds come, O spirit, and breathe into these slain that they may come to life. I prophesied as he told me, and the spirit came into them; they came alive and stood upright, a vast army. Then he said to me: Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They have been saying, "Our bones are dried up, our hope is lost, and we are cut off." Therefore, prophesy and say to them: Thus says the Lord God: O my people, I will open your graves and have you rise from them, and bring you back to the land of Israel. Then you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and have you rise from them, O my people! I will put my spirit in you that you may live, and I will settle you upon your land; thus you shall know that I am the Lord. I have promised, and I will do it, says the Lord.

Psalm 107: 2 - 9
Thus let the redeemed of the Lord say, those whom he has redeemed from the hand of the foe and gathered from the lands, from the east and the west, from the north and the south.
They went astray in the desert wilderness; the way to an inhabited city they did not find. Hungry and thirsty, their life was wasting away within them. They cried to the Lord in their distress; from their straits he rescued them. And he led them by a direct way to reach an inhabited city. Let them give thanks to the Lord for his kindness and his wondrous deeds to the children of men, because he satisfied the longing soul and filled the hungry soul with good things.

Gospel of Matthew 22: 34 - 40
When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they assembled in a body; and one of them, a lawyer, in an attempt to trip him up, asked him, "Teacher, which commandment of the law is the greatest?" Jesus said to him: " 'You shall love the Lord your God with your whole heart, with your whole soul, and with all your mind.' This is the greatest and first commandment. The second is like it: 'you shall love your neighbor as yourself.' On these two commandments the whole law is based, and the prophets as well."
 

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Saturday, August 20, 2022
Ezekiel 43: 1 - 7
Then the angel led me to the gate which faces the east, and there I saw the glory of the God of Israel coming from the east. I heard a sound like the roaring of many waters, and the earth shone with his glory. The vision was like that which I had seen when he came to destroy the city, and like that which I had seen by the river Chebar. I fell prone as the glory of the Lord entered the temple by way of the gate which faces the east, but spirit lifted me up and brought me to the inner court. And I saw that the temple was filled with the glory of the Lord. Then I heard someone speaking to me from the temple, while the man stood beside me. The voice said to me: Son of man, this is where my throne shall be, this is where I will set the soles of my feet; here I will dwell among the Israelites forever. Never again shall they and their kings profane my holy name with their harlotries and with the corpses of their kings.

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 his benefits; our land shall yield its increase. Justice shall walk before him, and salvation, along the way of his steps.

Gospel of Matthew 23: 1 - 12
Then Jesus told the crowds and his disciples: "The scribes and the Pharisees have succeeded Moses as teachers; therefore, do everything and observe everything they tell you. But do not follow their example. Their words are bold but their deeds are few. They bind up heavy loads, hard to carry, to lay on other men's shoulders, while they themselves will not lift a finger to budge them. All their works are performed to be seen. They widen their phylacteries and wear huge tassels. They are fond of places of honor at a banquet and the front seats in synagogues, of marks of respect in public and of being called 'Rabbi.' As to you, avoid the title 'Rabbi.' One among you is your teacher, the rest are learners. Do not call anyone on earth your father. Only one is your father, the One in heaven. Avoid being called teachers. Only one is your teacher, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be the one who serves the rests. Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled, but whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.
 

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Sunday, August 21, 2022
Isaiah 66: 18 - 21
I come to gather nations of every language; they shall come and see my glory. I will set a sign among them; from them I will send fugitives to the nations: to Tarshish, Put and Lud, Mosoch, Tubal and Javan, to the distant coastlands that have never heard of my fame, or seen my glory; and they shall proclaim my glory among the nations. They shall bring all your brethren from all the nations as an offering to the Lord, on horses and in chariots, in carts, upon mules and dromedaries, to Jerusalem, my holy mountain, says the Lord, just as the Israelites bring their offering to the house of the Lord in clean vessels. Some of these I will take as priests and Levites, says the Lord.

Psalm 117: 1 - 2
Alleluia. Praise the Lord, all you nations; glorify him, all you peoples! For steadfast is his kindness toward us, and the fidelity of the Lord endures forever.

Letter to the Hebrews 12: 5 - 7, 11 - 13
Moreover, you have forgotten the encouraging words addressed to you as sons: "My sons, do not disdain the discipline of the Lord nor lose heart when he reproves you; for whom the Lord loves, he disciplines; he scourges every son he receives."
Endure your trials as the discipline of God, who deals with you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?
At the time it is administered, all discipline seems a cause for grief and not for joy, but later it brings forth the fruit of peace and justice to those who are trained in its school. So strengthen your drooping hands and your weak knees. Make straight the paths you walk on, that your halting limbs may not be dislocated but healed.

Gospel of Luke 13: 22 - 30
Jesus went through cities and towns teaching - all the while making his way toward Jerusalem. Someone asked him, "Lord, are they few in number who are to be saved?" He replied: "Try to come in through the narrow door. Many, I tell you, will try to enter and be unable. When once the master of the house has risen to lock the door and you stand outside knocking and saying, 'Sir, open for us,' he will say in reply, 'I do not know where you come from.' Then you will begin to say, 'We ate and drank in your company. You taught in our streets.' But he will answer, 'I tell you, I do not know where you come from. Away from me, you evildoers!'
There will be wailing and grinding of teeth when you see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets safe in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves rejected. People will come from the east and the west, from the north and the south, and will take their place at the feast in the kingdom of God. Some who are last will be first and some who are first will be last."

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Martin Jr.

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Monday, August 22, 2022
Second letter of Paul to the Thessalonians 1: 1 - 5, 11 - 12
Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy to the Church of the Thessalonians who belong to God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace and peace by yours from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
It is no more than right that we thank God unceasingly for you, brothers, because your faith grows apace and your mutual love increases; so much so that in God's communities we can boast of your constancy and your faith in persecution and trial. You endure these as an expression of God's just judgment, in order to be found worthy of his kingdom - it is for his kingdom you suffer.
We pray for you always that our God may make you worthy of his call, and fulfill by his power every honest intention and work of faith. In this way the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you and you in him, in accord with the gracious gift of our God and of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Psalm 96: 1 - 5
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.
For great is the Lord and highly to be praised; awesome is he beyond all gods. For all the gods of the nations are things of nought, but the Lord made the heavens.

Gospel of Matthew 23: 13 - 22
Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples:
"Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, you frauds! You shut the doors of the kingdom of God in men's faces, neither entering yourselves nor admitting those who are trying to enter. Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, you frauds! You travel over sea and land to make a single convert, but once he is converted you make a devil of him twice as wicked as yourselves. It is an evil day for you, blind guides! You declare, 'If a man swears by the temple it means nothing, but if he swears by the gold of the temple he is obligated.' Blind fools! Which is more important, the gold or the temple which makes it sacred? Again you declare 'If a man swears by the altar it means nothing, but if he swears by the gift on the altar he is obligated.' How blind you are! Which is more important, the offering or the altar which makes the offering sacred? The man who swears by the altar is swearing by it and by everything on it. The man who swears by the temple is swearing by it and by him who dwells there. The man who swears by heaven is swearing by God's throne and by him who is seated on that throne."
 

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Tuesday, August 23, 2022
Second letter of Paul to the Thessalonians 2: 1 - 3, 14 - 17
On the question of the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we beg you, brothers, not to be so easily agitated or terrified, whether by an oracular utterance, or rumor, or a letter alleged to be ours, into believing that the day of the Lord is here.
He has called you through our preaching of the good news so that you might achieve the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, brothers, stand firm. Hold fast to the traditions you received from us, either by our word or by letter. May our Lord Jesus Christ himself, may God our Father who loved us and in his mercy gave us eternal consolation and hope, console your hearts and strengthen them for every good work and word.

Psalm 96: 10 - 13
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 23: 23 - 26
Jesus said:
"Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, you frauds! You pay tithes on mint and herbs and seeds while neglecting the weightier matters of the law, justice and mercy and good faith. It is these you should have practiced without neglecting the others.
Blind guides! You strain out the gnat and swallow the camel! Woe to you scribes and Pharisees you frauds! You cleanse the outside of cup and dish, and leave the inside filled with loot and lust! Blind Pharisee! First cleanse the inside of the cup so that its outside may be clean."
 

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Wednesday, August 24, 2022
Revelation 21: 9 - 14
One of the seven angels who held the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came and said to me, "Come, I will show you the woman who is the bride of the Lamb." He carried me away in spirit to the top of a very high mountain and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God. It gleamed with the splendor of God. The city had the radiance of a precious jewel that sparkled like a diamond. Its wall, massive and high, had twelve gates at which Twelve names were written on the gates, the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. There were three gates facing east, three north, three south and three west. The wall of the city had twelve courses of stones as its foundation on which were written the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

Psalm 145: 10 - 13, 17 - 18
Let all your works give you thanks, O Lord, and let your faithful ones bless you. Let them discourse of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might, making known to men your might and the glorious splendor of your kingdom. Your kingdom is a kingdom of all ages, and your dominion endures through all generations. The Lord is faithful in all his words and holy in all his works.
The Lord is just in all his ways and holy in all his works. The Lord is near to all who call upon him, to all who call upon him in truth.

Gospel of John 1: 45 - 51
Philip sought out Nathanael and told him, "We have found the one Moses spoke of in the Law - the prophets too - Jesus, son of Joseph, from Nazareth." Nathanael said to him, "Can anything good come from Nazareth?" Philip said to him, "Come and see." Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said to him, "Here is a true child of Israel. There is no duplicity in him, " Nathanael said to him, "How do you know about me?" Jesus answered and said to him, "Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree." Nathanael answered him, "Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel." Jesus answered and said to him, "Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this." And he said to him, "Amen, amen, I say to you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man."
 

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Thursday, August 25, 2022
First letter of Paul to the Corinthians 1: 1- 9
Paul, called by God's will to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and Sosthenes our brother, send greetings to the church of God which is in Corinth; to you who have been consecrated in Christ Jesus and called to be a holy people, as to all those who, wherever they may be, call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours. Grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
I continually thank my God for you because of the favor he has bestowed on you in Christ Jesus, in whom you have been richly endowed with every gift of speech and knowledge. Likewise, the witness I bore to Christ has been so confirmed among you that you lack no spiritual gift as you wait for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ. He will strengthen you to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, and it was he who called you to fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Psalm 145: 2 - 7
Every day will I bless you, and I will praise your name forever and ever. Great is the Lord and highly to be praised; his greatness is unsearchable. Generation after generation praises your works and proclaims your might. They speak of the splendor of your glorious majesty and tell of your wondrous works, They discourse of the power of your terrible deeds and declare your greatness. They publish the fame of your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your justice.

Gospel of Matthew 24: 42 - 51
Jesus said to his disciples:
"Stay awake, therefore! You cannot know the day your Lord is coming.
Be sure of this: if the owner of the house knew when the thief was coming he would keep a watchful eye and not allow his house to be broken into. You must be prepared in the same way. The Son of Man is coming at the time you least expect. Who is the faithful, farsighted servant whom the master has put in charge of his household to dispense food at need? Happy that servant whom his master discovers at work on his return! I assure you, he will put him in charge of all his property. But if the servant is worthless and tells himself, 'My master is a long time in coming,' and begins to beat his fellow servants, to eat and drink with drunkards, that man's master will return when he is not ready and least expects him. He will punish him severely and settle with him as is done with hypocrites. There will be wailing then and grinding of teeth."
 

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Friday, August 26, 2022
First letter of Paul to the Corinthians 1: 17 - 25
Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel - not with wordy "wisdom," however, lest the cross of Christ be rendered void of its meaning!
The message of the cross is complete absurdity to those who are headed for ruin, but to us who are experiencing salvation it is the power of God. Scripture says, "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and thwart the cleverness of the clever."
Where is the wise man to be found? Where the scribe? Where is the master of worldly argument? Has not God turned the wisdom of this world into folly? Since in God's wisdom the world did not come to know him through "wisdom," it pleased God to save those who believe through the absurdity of the preaching of the gospel. Yes, Jews demand "signs" and Greeks look for "wisdom," but we preach Christ crucified - a stumbling block to Jews and an absurdity to Gentiles; but to those who are called Jews and Greeks alike, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For God's folly is wiser than men, and his weakness more powerful than men.

Psalm 33: 1 - 2, 4 - 5, 10 - 11
Exult, you just, in the Lord, praise from the upright is fitting. Give thanks to the Lord on the harp; with the ten-stringed lyre chant his praises.
For upright is the word of the Lord, and all his works are trustworthy. He loves justice and right; of the kindness of the Lord the earth is full.
The Lord brings to nought the plans of nations; he foils the designs of peoples. But the plan of the Lord stands forever; the design of his heart, through all generations.

Gospel of Matthew 25: 1 - 13
Jesus told his disciples this parable:
"The reign of God can be likened to ten bridesmaids who took their torches and went out to welcome the groom, Five of them were foolish, while the other five were sensible. The foolish ones, in taking their torches, brought no oil along, but the sensible ones took flasks of oil as well as their torches. The groom delayed his coming, so they all began to nod, then to fall asleep. At midnight someone shouted, 'The groom is here! Come out and greet him!' At the outcry all the virgins woke up and got their torches ready. The foolish ones said to the sensible, 'Give us some of your oil. Our torches are going out.' But the sensible ones replied, 'No, there may not be enough for you and us. You had better go to the dealers and buy yourselves some.' While they went off to buy it the groom arrived, and the ones who were ready went into the wedding with him, Then the door was barred. Later the other bridesmaids came back. 'Master, master!' they cried. 'Open the door for us.' But he answered, 'I tell you, I do not know you.' The moral is: keep your eyes open, for you know not the day or the hour."
 

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Saturday, August 27, 2022
First letter of Paul to the Corinthians 1: 26 - 31
Brothers you are among those called. Consider your situation. Not many of you are wise, as men account wisdom; not many are influential; and surely not many are well-born. God chose those whom the world considers absurd to shame the wise; he singled out the weak of this world to shame the strong. He chose the world's low-born and despised, those who count for nothing, to reduce to nothing those who were something; so that mankind can do no boasting before God. God it is who has given you life in Christ Jesus. He has made him our wisdom and also our justice, our sanctification, and our redemption. This is just as you find it written, "Let him who would boast, boast in the Lord."

Psalm 33: 12 - 13, 18 - 21
Happy the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he has chosen for his own inheritance. From heaven the Lord looks down; he sees all mankind.
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, for in him our hearts rejoice; in his holy name we trust. May your kindness, O Lord, be upon us who have put our hope in you.

Gospel of Matthew 25: 14 - 30
Jesus told his disciples this parable:
"The case of a man who was going on a journey is similar. He called in his servants and handed his funds over to them according to each man's abilities. To one he disbursed five thousand silver pieces, to a second two thousand, and to a third a thousand. Then he went away. Immediately the man who received the five thousand went to invest it and made another five. In the same way, the man who received the two thousand doubled his figure. The man who received the thousand went off instead and dug a hole in the ground, where he buried his master's money. After a long absence, the master of those servants came home and settled accounts with them. The man who had received the five thousand came forward bringing the additional five. 'My lord,' he said, 'you let me have five thousand. See, I have made five thousand more.' His master said to him, 'Well done! You are an industrious and reliable servant. Since you were dependable in a small matter I will put you in charge of larger affairs. Come, share your master's joy!' The man who had received the two thousand then stepped forward. 'My lord,' he said, ' you entrusted me with two thousand and I have made two thousand more.' His master said to him, 'Cleverly done! You too are an industrious and reliable servant. Since you were dependable in a small matter I will put you in charge of larger affairs. Come, share your master's joy!'
Finally the man who had received the thousand stepped forward. 'My Lord,' he said, 'I knew you were a hard man. You reap where you did not sow and gather where you did not scatter, so out of fear I went off and buried your thousand silver pieces in the ground. Here is your money back.' His master exclaimed; 'You worthless, lazy lout! You know I reap where I did not sow and gather where I did not scatter. All the more reason to deposit my money with the bankers, so that on my return I could have had it back with interest. You there! Take the thousand away from him and give it to the man with the ten thousand. Those who have will get more until they grow rich, while those who have not will lose even the little they have. Throw this worthless servant into the darkness outside, where he can wail and grind his teeth.' "
 

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Sunday, August 28, 2022
Sirach 3: 17 - 18, 20, 28 - 29
My son, conduct your affairs with humility, and you will be loved more than a giver of gifts. Humble yourself the more, the greater you are, and you will find favor with God.
What is too sublime for you, seek not, into things beyond your strength search not.
The mind of a sage appreciates proverbs, and an attentive ear is the wise man's joy.
Water quenches a flaming fire, and alms atone for sins.

Psalm 68: 4 - 7, 10 - 11
The just rejoice and exult before God; they are glad and rejoice. Sing to God, chant praise to his name, extol him who rides upon the clouds, whose name is the Lord; exult before him. The father of orphans and the defender of widows is God in his holy dwelling. God gives a home to the forsaken; he leads forth prisoners to prosperity, only rebels remain in the parched land.
A bountiful rain you showered down, O God, upon your inheritance; you restored the land when it languished; your flock settled in it; in your goodness, O God, you provided it for the needy.

Letter to the Hebrews 12: 18 - 19, 22 - 24
You have not drawn near to an untouchable mountain and a blazing fire, nor gloomy darkness and storm and trumpet blast, nor a voice speaking words such that those who heard begged that they be not addressed to them.
No, you have drawn near to Mount Zion and the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to myriads of angels in festal gathering, to the assembly of the first-born enrolled in heaven, to God the judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood which speaks more eloquently than that of Abel.

Gospel of Luke 14: 1, 7 - 14
When Jesus came on a sabbath to eat a meal in the house of one of the leading Pharisees, they observed him closely.
Jesus went on to address a parable to the guests, noticing how they were trying to get the places of honor at the table: "When you are invited by someone to a wedding party, do not sit in the place of honor in case some greater dignitary has been invited. Then the host might come and say to you, 'Make room for this man,' and you would have to proceed shamefacedly to the lowest place. What you should do when you have been invited is go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host approaches you he will say, 'My friend, come up higher.' This will win you the esteem of your fellow guests. For everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled and he who humbles himself shall be exalted."
He said to the one who had invited him: "Whenever you give a lunch or dinner, do not invite your friends or brothers or relatives or wealthy neighbors. They might invite you in return and thus repay you. No, when you have a reception, invite beggars and the crippled, the lame and the blind. You should be pleased that they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid in the resurrection of the just."
 

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Monday, August 29, 2022
First letter of Paul to the Corinthians 2: 1 - 5
As for myself, brothers, when I came to you I did not come proclaiming God's testimony with any particular eloquence or "wisdom." No, I determined that while I was with you I would speak of nothing but Jesus Christ and him crucified. When I came among you it was in weakness and in fear, and with much trepidation. My message and my preaching had none of the persuasive force convincing power of the Spirit. As a consequence, your faith rests not on the wisdom of men but on the power of God.

Psalm 119: 97 - 102
How I love your law, O Lord! It is my meditation all the day. Your command has made me wiser than my enemies, for it is ever with me. I have more understanding then all my teachers when your decrees are my meditation. I have more discernment than the elders, because I observe your precepts. From every evil way I withhold my feet, that I may keep your words. From your ordinances I turn not away, for you have instructed me.

Gospel of Mark 6: 17 - 29
Herod was the one who had ordered John arrested, chained, and imprisoned on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, whom he had married. That was because John had told Herod, "It is not right for you to live with your brother's wife." Herodias harbored a grudge against him for this and wanted to kill him but was unable to do so. Herod feared John, knowing him to be an upright and holy man, and kept him in custody. When he heard him speak he was very much disturbed; yet he felt the attraction of his words. Herodias had her chance one day when Herod held a birthday dinner for his court circle, military officers, and the leading men of Galilee. Herodias' own daughter came in at one point and performed a dance which delighted Herod and this guests. The king told the girl, "Ask for anything you want and I will give it to you." He went so far as to swear to her: "I will grant you whatever you ask, even to half my kingdom!" She went out and said to her mother, "What shall I ask for?" The mother answered, "The head of John the Baptizer." At that the girl hurried back to the king's presence and made her request: "I want you to give me, at once, the head of John the Baptizer on a platter." The king bitterly regretted the request; yet because of his oath and the presence of the guests, he did not want to refuse her. He promptly dispatched an executioner, ordering him to bring back the Baptizer's head. The man went and beheaded John in the prison. He brought in the head on a platter and gave it to the girl, and the girl gave it to her mother. Later, when his disciples heard about this, they came and carried his body away and laid it in a tomb.
 

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Tuesday, August 30, 2022
First letter of Paul to the Corinthians 2: 10 - 16
The Spirit scrutinizes all matters, even the deep things of God. Who, for example, knows a man's innermost self but the man's own spirit within him? Similarly, no one knows what lies at the depths of God but the Spirit of God. The Spirit we have received is not the world's spirit but God's Spirit, helping us to recognize the gifts he has given us. We speak of these, not in words of human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, thus interpreting spiritual things in spiritual terms. The natural man does not accept what is taught by the Spirit of God. For him, that is absurdity. He cannot come to know such teaching because it must be appraised in a spiritual way. The spiritual man, on the other hand, can appraise everything, though he himself can be appraised by no one. For, "Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ.

Psalm 145: 8 - 14
The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness. The Lord is good to all and compassionate toward all his works.
Let all your works give you thanks, O Lord, and let your faithful ones bless you. Let them discourse of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might, making known to men your might and the glorious splendor of your kingdom. Your kingdom is a kingdom for all ages, and your dominion endures through all generations. The Lord is faithful in all his words and holy in all his works. The Lord lifts up all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down.

Gospel of Luke 4: 31 - 37
Jesus then went down to Capernaum, a town of Galilee, where he began instructing them on the sabbath day. They were spellbound by his teaching, for his words had authority.
In the synagogue there was a man with an unclean spirit, who shrieked in a loud voice: "Leave us alone! What do you want of us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are: the Holy One of God." Jesus said to him sharply, "Be quiet! Come out of him." At that, the demon threw him to the ground before everyone's eyes and came out of him without doing him any harm. All were struck with astonishment, and they began saying to one another: "What is there about his speech? He commands the unclean spirits with authority and power, and they leave." His renown kept spreading through the surrounding country.
 

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Wednesday, August 31, 2022
First letter of Paul to the Corinthians 3: 1 - 9
Brothers, the trouble was that I could not talk to you as spiritual men but only as men of flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, and did not give you solid food because you were not ready for it. You are not ready for it even now, being still very much in a natural condition. For as long as there are jealousy and quarrels among you, are you not of the flesh? And is not your behavior that of ordinary men? When someone says, "I belong to Paul," and someone else, "I belong to Apollos," is it not clear that you are still at the human level?
After all, who is Apollos? And who is Paul? Simply ministers through whom you became believers, each of them doing only what the Lord assigned him, I planted the seed and Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. This means that neither he who plants nor he who waters is of any special account, only God, who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters work to the same end. Each will receive his wages in proportion to his toil. We are God's co-workers, while you are his cultivation, his building.

Psalm 33: 12 - 15, 20 - 21
Happy the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he has chosen of his own inheritance.
From heaven the Lord looks down; he sees all mankind. From his fixed throne he beholds all who dwell on the earth, he who fashioned the heart of each, he who knows all their works.
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 4: 38 - 44
After leaving the synagogue, Jesus entered the house of Simon. Simon's mother-in-law was in the grip of a severe fever, and they interceded with him for her. He stood over her and addressed himself to the fever, and it left her. She got up immediately and waited on them.
At sunset, all who had people sick with a variety of diseases took them to him, and he laid hands on each of them and cured them. Demons departed from many, crying out as they did so, "You are the Son of God!" He rebuked them and did not allow them to speak because they knew that he was the Messiah.
The next morning he left the town and set out into the open country. The crowds went in search of him, and when they found him they tried to keep him from leaving them. But he said to them, "To other towns I must announce the good news of the reign of God, because that is why I was sent." And he continued to preach in the synagogues of Judea.
 

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Thursday, September 1, 2022
First letter of Paul to the Corinthians 3: 18 - 23
Let no one delude himself. If anyone of you thinks he is wise in a worldly way, he had better become a fool. In that way he will really be wise, for the wisdom of this world is absurdity with God. Scripture says, "He catches the wise in their craftiness"; and again, "The Lord knows how empty are the thoughts of the wise." Let there be no boasting about men. All things are yours, whether it be Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or the present, or the future: all these are yours, and you are Christ's and Christ is God's.

Psalm 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.

Gospel of Luke 5: 1 - 11
As Jesus stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, and the crowd pressed in on him to hear the word of God, he saw two boats moored by the side of the lake; the fishermen had disembarked and were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to pull out a short distance from the shore; then, remaining seated, he continued to teach the crowds from the boat. When he had finished speaking he said to Simon, "Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch." Simon answered, "Master, we have been hard at it all night long and have caught nothing; but if you say so, I will lower the nets." Upon doing this they caught such a great number of fish that their nets were at the breaking point. They signaled to their mates in the other boat to come and help them. These came, and together they filled the two boats until they nearly sank.
At the sight of this, Simon Peter fell at the knees of Jesus saying, "Leave me, Lord. I am a sinful man." For indeed, amazement at the catch they had made seized him and all his shipmates, as well as James and John, Zebedee's sons, who were partners with Simon. Jesus said to Simon, "Do not be afraid. From now on you will be catching men." With that they brought their boats to land, left everything, and became his followers.
 

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Friday, September 2, 2022
First letter of Paul to the Corinthians 4: 1 - 5
Men should regard us as servants of Christ and administrators of the mysteries of God. The first requirement of an administrator is that he prove trustworthy. It matters little to me whether you or any human court pass judgment on me. I do not even pass judgment on myself. Mind you, I have nothing on my conscience. But that does not mean that I am declaring myself innocent. The Lord is the one to judge me, so stop passing judgment before the time of his return. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and manifest the intentions of hearts. At that time, everyone will receive his praise from God.

Psalm 37: 3 - 5 , 27 - 28. 39 - 40
Trust in the Lord and do good, that you may dwell in the land and enjoy security. Take delight in the Lord, and he will grant you your heart's requests. Commit to the Lord your way; trust in him, and he will act.
Turn from evil and do good, that you may abide forever; for the Lord loves what is right, and forsakes not this faithful ones.
The salvation of the just is from the Lord; he is their refuge in time of distress. And the Lord helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him.

Gospel of Luke 5: 33 - 39
The scribes and Pharisees said to Jesus, "John's disciples fast frequently and offer prayers; the disciples of the Pharisees do the same. Yours, on the contrary, eat and drink freely." Jesus replied: "Can you make guests of the groom fast while the groom is still with them? But when the days come that the groom is removed from their midst, they will surely fast in those days."
He then proposed to them this figure: "No one tears a piece from a new coat to patch an old one. If he does, he will only tear the new coat, and the piece taken from it will not match the old. Moreover, no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Should he do so. the new wine will burst the old skins, the wine will spill out, and the skins will be lost. New wine should be pure in to fresh skins. No one, after drinking old wine, wants new. He says, 'I find the old wine better.' "
 

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Saturday, September 3, 2022
First letter of Paul to the Corinthians 4: 6 - 15
May you learn from us not to go beyond what is set down, so that none of you will grow self-important by reason of his association with one person rather than another. Who confers any distinction on you? Name something you have that you have not received. If, then, you have received it, why are you boasting as if it were your own? At the moment you are completely satisfied. You have grown rich! You have launched upon your reign with no help from us. Would that you had really begun to reign that we might be reigning with you!
As I see it, God has put us apostles at the end of the line, like men doomed to die in the arena. We have become a spectacle to the universe, to angels and men alike. We are fools on Christ's account. Ah, but in Christ you are wise! We are the weak ones, you the strong! They honor you, while they sneer at us! Up to this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, poorly clad, roughly treated, wandering about homeless. We work hard at manual labor. When we are insulted we respond with a blessing. Persecution comes our way; we bear it patiently. We are slandered, and we try conciliation. We have become the world's refuse, the scum of all; that is the present state of affairs.
I am writing you in this way not to shame you but to admonish you as my beloved children. Granted you have ten thousand guardians in Christ, you have only one father. It was I who begot you in Christ Jesus through my preaching of the gospel.

Psalm 145: 17 - 21
The Lord is just in all his ways and holy in all his works. The Lord is near to all who call upon him, to all who call upon him in truth. He fulfills the desire of those who fear him, he hears their cry and saves them. The Lord keeps all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy.
May my mouth speak the praise of the Lord, and may all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever.

Gospel of Luke 6: 1 - 5
Once on a sabbath Jesus was walking through the standing grain. His disciples were pulling off grain heads, and eating them. Some of the Pharisees asked, "Why are you doing what is prohibited on the sabbath?" Jesus said to them: "Have you not read what David did when he and his men were hungry - how he entered God's house and took and ate the holy bread and gave it to his men, even though only priests are allowed to eat it?" Then he said to them, "The Son of Man is Lord even of the sabbath."
 

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Sunday, September 4, 2022
Wisdom 9: 13 - 18
What man knows God's counsel, or who can conceive what our Lord intends? For the deliberations of mortals are timid, and unsure are our plans. For the corruptible body burdens the soul and the earthen shelter weights down the mind that has many concerns. And scarce do we guess the things of earth, and what is within our grasp we find with difficulty; but when things are in heaven, who can search them out? Or who ever knew your counsel, except you had given them Wisdom and sent your holy spirit from on high? And thus were the paths of those on earth made straight, and men learned what was your pleasure, and were saved by Wisdom.

Psalm 90: 3 - 6, 12 - 14, 17
You turn man back to dust, saying, "Return, O children of men." For a thousand years in your sight are as yesterday, now that it is past, or as a watch of the night. You make an end of them in their sleep; the next morning they are like the changing grass, which at dawn springs up anew, but by evening wilts and fades.
Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain wisdom of heart. Return, O Lord! How long? Have pity on your servants! Fill us at daybreak with your kindness, that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days.
And may the gracious care of the Lord our God be ours; prosper the work of our hands for us! Prosper the work of our hands!

Letter of Paul to Philemon 9 - 10, 12 - 17
I prefer to appeal in the name of Love. Yes, I, Paul, ambassador of Christ and now a prisoner for him, appeal to you for my child, whom I have begotten during my imprisonment.
It is he whom I am sending to you - and that means I am sending my heart!
I had wanted to keep him with me, that he might serve me in your place while I am in prison for the gospel; but I did not want to do anything without your consent, that kindness might not be forced on you but might be freely bestowed. Perhaps he was separated from you for a while for this reason: that you might possess him forever, no longer as a slave but as more than a slave, a beloved brother, especially dear to me; and how much more to you, since now you will know him both as a man and in the Lord.
If then you regard me as a partner, welcome him as you would me.

Gospel of Luke 14: 25 - 33
On one occasion when a great crowd was with Jesus, he turned to them and said, "If anyone comes to me without turning his back on his father and mother, his wife and his children, his brothers and sisters indeed his very self, he cannot be my follower. Anyone who does not take up his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. If one of you decides to build a tower, will he not first sit down and calculate the outlay to see if he has enough money to complete the project? He will do that for fear of laying the foundation and then not being able to complete the work; for all who saw it would jeer at him, saying 'That man began to build what he could not finish.'
Or if a king is about to march on another king to do battle with him, will he not sit down first and consider whether, with ten thousand men, he can withstand and enemy coming against him with twenty thousand? If he cannot, he will send a delegation while the enemy is still at a distance, asking for terms of peace. In the same way, none of you can be my disciple if he does not renounce all his possessions."
 

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Monday, September 5, 2022
First letter of Paul to the Corinthians 5: 1 - 8
It is actually reported that there is lewd conduct among you of a kind not even found among the pagans - a man living with his father's wife. Still you continue to be self-satisfied, instead of grieving, and getting rid of the offender! As for me, though absent in body I am present in spirit, and have already passed sentence in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ on the man who did this deed. United in spirit with you and empowered by our Lord Jesus, I hand him over to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord.
This boasting of yours is an ugly thing. Do you not know that a little yeast has its effect all through the dough? Get rid of the old yeast to make of yourselves fresh dough, unleavened loaves, as it were; Christ our Passover has been sacrificed. Let us celebrate the feast not with the old yeast, that of corruption and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

Psalm 5: 5 - 7, 12
For you, O God, delight not in wickedness; no evil man remains with you; the arrogant may not stand in your sight. You hate all evildoers; you destroy all who speak falsehood; the bloodthirsty and the deceitful the Lord abhors.
But let all who take refuge in you be glad and exult forever. Protect them, that you maybe the joy of those who love your name.

Gospel of Luke 6: 6 - 11
On another sabbath Jesus came to teach in a synagogue where there was a man whose right hand was withered. The scribes and Pharisees were on the watch to see if he would perform a cure on the sabbath so that they could find a charge against him. He knew their thoughts however, and said to the man whose hand was withered, "Get up and stand here in front." The man rose and remained standing. Jesus said to them, "I ask you, is it lawful to do good on the sabbath - or evil? To preserve life - or destroy it?" He looked around at them all and said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." The man did so and his hand was perfectly restored.
At this they became frenzied and began asking one another what could be done to Jesus.
 

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Tuesday, September 6, 2022
First letter of Paul to the Corinthians 6: 1 - 11
How can anyone with a case against another dare bring it for judgment to the wicked and not to God's holy people? Do you not know that the believers will judge the world? If the judgment of the world is to be yours, are you to be thought unworthy of judging in minor matters? Do you not know that we are to judge angels? Surely, then, we are up to deciding everyday affairs. If you have such matters to decide, do you accept as judges those who have no standing in the church? I say this in an attempt to shame you, Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a case between one member of the church and another? Must brother drag brother into court, and before unbelievers at that? Why, the very fact that you have lawsuits against one another is disastrous for you. Why not put up with injustice, and let yourselves injure and cheat your very own brothers. Can you not realize that the unholy will not fall heir to the kingdom of God? Do not deceive yourselves: no fornicators, idolaters, or adulterers, no homosexual perverts, sodomites, thieves, misers, or drunkards, no slanderers or robbers will inherit God's kingdom. And such were some of you; but you have been washed, consecrated, justified in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

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

Gospel of Luke 6: 12 - 19
Jesus went out to the mountain to pray spending the night in communion with God. At daybreak he called his disciples and selected twelve of them to be his apostles: Simon, to whom he gave the name Peter, and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew, Matthew and Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, and Simon called the Zealot, Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who turned traitor.
Coming down the mountain with them, he stopped at a level stretch where were many of his disciples; a large crowd of people was with them from all Judea and Jerusalem and the coast of Tyre and Sidon, people who came to hear him and be healed of their diseases. Those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured; indeed, the whole crowd was trying to touch him because power went out from him which cured all.
 

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