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Martin Jr.

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Wednesday, December 14, 2022
Isaiah 45: 6 - 8, 18, 21 - 25
I am the Lord, there is no other; I form the light, and create the woe: I, the Lord, do all these things. Let justice descend, O heavens, like dew from above, like gentle rain let the skies drop it down. Let the earth open and salvation bud forth; let justice also spring up! I, the Lord, have created this.
For thus says the Lord, the creator of the heavens, who is God, the designer and maker of the earth who established it. Not creating it to be a waste, but designing it to be lived in: I am the Lord, and there is no other.
Come here and declare in counsel together: who announced this from the beginning and foretold it from of old? Was it not I, the Lord, besides whom there is no other God? There is no just and saving God but me.
Turn to me and be safe, all you ends of the earth, for I am God; there is no other! By myself I swear, uttering my just decree and my unalterable word: to me every knee shall bend; by me every tongue shall swear, saying, "Only in the Lord are just deeds and power. Before him in shame shall come all who vent their anger against him. In the Lord shall be the vindication and the glory of all the descendants of Israel."

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

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

Martin Jr.

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Thursday, December 15, 2022
Isaiah 54: 1 - 10
Raise a glad cry, you barren one who did not bear, break forth in jubilant song, you who were not in labor, for more numerous are the children of the deserted wife than the children of her who has a husband, says the Lord. Enlarge the space for your tent, spread out your tent cloths unsparingly; lengthen your ropes and make firm your stakes. For you shall spread abroad to the right and to the left; your descendants shall dispossess the nations and shall people the desolate cities.
Fear not, you shall not be put to shame; you need not blush, for you shall not be disgraced. The shame of your youth you shall forget, the reproach of your widowhood no longer remember. For he who has become your husband is your Maker; his name is the Lord of hosts; your redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, called God of all the earth. The Lord calls you back, like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit, a wife married in youth and then cast off, says your God. For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with great tenderness I will take you back. In an outburst of wrath, for a moment I hid my face from you; but with enduring love I take pity on you, says the Lord, your redeemer.
This is for me like the days of Noah, when I swore that the waters of Noah should never again deluge the earth; so I have sworn not to be angry with you, or to rebuke you. Though the mountains leave their place and the hills be shaken, my love shall never leave you nor my covenant of peace be shaken, says the Lord, who has mercy on you.

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

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

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Friday, December 16, 2022
Isaiah 56: 1 - 3, 6 - 8
Thus says the Lord: Observe what is right, do what is just; for my salvation is about to come, my justice, about to be revealed, happy is the man who does this, the son of man who holds to it; who keeps the sabbath free from profanation, and his hand from any evildoing. Let not the foreigner say, when he would join himself to the Lord, "The Lord will surely exclude me from his people".
And the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord, ministering to him, loving the name of the Lord, and becoming his servants, all who keep the sabbath free from profanation and hold to my covenant. Them I will bring to my holy mountain and make joyful in my house of prayer; their holocausts and sacrifices will be acceptable on my altar, for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.

Psalm 67: 2 - 3, 5, 7 - 8
May God have pity on us and bless us; may he let his face shine upon us. So may your way be known upon earth; among all nations, your salvation.
May the nations be glad and exult because you rule the peoples in equity; the nations on the earth you guide.
The earth has yielded its fruits; God, our God, has blessed us. May God bless us, and may all the ends of the earth fear him!

Gospel of John 5: 33 - 36
Jesus said to the Jews: "You have sent [emissaries] to John, who has testified to the truth. (Not that I myself accept such human testimony - I refer to these things only for your salvation.) He was the lamp, set aflame and burning bright, and for a while you exulted willing in his light. Yet I have testimony greater than John's, namely, the works the Father has given me to accomplish. These very works which I perform testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me."
 

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Saturday of the Third Week in Advent, December 17, 2022

Reading 1 Gn 49:2, 8-10

Jacob called his sons and said to them:
“Assemble and listen, sons of Jacob,
listen to Israel, your father.

“You, Judah, shall your brothers praise
–your hand on the neck of your enemies;
the sons of your father shall bow down to you.
Judah, like a lion’s whelp,
you have grown up on prey, my son.
He crouches like a lion recumbent,
the king of beasts–who would dare rouse him?
The scepter shall never depart from Judah,
or the mace from between his legs,
While tribute is brought to him,
and he receives the people’s homage.”

Responsorial Psalm Ps 72:1-2, 3-4ab, 7-8, 17

R. (see 7) Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
O God, with your judgment endow the king,
and with your justice, the king’s son;
He shall govern your people with justice
and your afflicted ones with judgment.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
The mountains shall yield peace for the people,
and the hills justice.
He shall defend the afflicted among the people,
save the children of the poor.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
Justice shall flower in his days,
and profound peace, till the moon be no more.
May he rule from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
May his name be blessed forever;
as long as the sun his name shall remain.
In him shall all the tribes of the earth be blessed;
all the nations shall proclaim his happiness.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.

Alleluia

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
O Wisdom of our God Most High,
guiding creation with power and love:
come to teach us the path of knowledge!
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 1:1-17
The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ,
the son of David, the son of Abraham.

Abraham became the father of Isaac,
Isaac the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers.
Judah became the father of Perez and Zerah,
whose mother was Tamar.
Perez became the father of Hezron,
Hezron the father of Ram,
Ram the father of Amminadab.
Amminadab became the father of Nahshon,
Nahshon the father of Salmon,
Salmon the father of Boaz,
whose mother was Rahab.
Boaz became the father of Obed,
whose mother was Ruth.
Obed became the father of Jesse,
Jesse the father of David the king.

David became the father of Solomon,
whose mother had been the wife of Uriah.
Solomon became the father of Rehoboam,
Rehoboam the father of Abijah,
Abijah the father of Asaph.
Asaph became the father of Jehoshaphat,
Jehoshaphat the father of Joram,
Joram the father of Uzziah.
Uzziah became the father of Jotham,
Jotham the father of Ahaz,
Ahaz the father of Hezekiah.
Hezekiah became the father of Manasseh,
Manasseh the father of Amos,
Amos the father of Josiah.
Josiah became the father of Jechoniah and his brothers
at the time of the Babylonian exile.

After the Babylonian exile,
Jechoniah became the father of Shealtiel,
Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,
Zerubbabel the father of Abiud.
Abiud became the father of Eliakim,
Eliakim the father of Azor,
Azor the father of Zadok.
Zadok became the father of Achim,
Achim the father of Eliud,
Eliud the father of Eleazar.
Eleazar became the father of Matthan,
Matthan the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary.
Of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ.

Thus the total number of generations
from Abraham to David
is fourteen generations;
from David to the Babylonian exile, fourteen generations;
from the Babylonian exile to the Christ,
fourteen generations.
 

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Sunday, December 18, 2022
Isaiah 7: 10 - 14
Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz: Ask for a sign from the Lord, your God; let it be deep as the nether world, or high as the sky! But Ahaz answered, "I will not ask! - I will not temp the Lord!" Then he said: Listen, O house of David! Is it not enough for you to weary men, must you also weary my God? Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel.

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.

Letter of Paul to the Romans 1: 1 - 7
Greetings from Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart to proclaim the gospel of God which he promised long ago through his prophets, as the holy Scriptures record - the gospel concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh but was made Son of God in power according to the spirit of holiness, by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. Through him we have been favored with apostleship, that we may spread his name and bring to obedient faith all the Gentiles, among whom are you who have been called to belong to Jesus Christ.

Gospel of Matthew 1: 18 - 24
Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the power of the Holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, an upright man unwilling to expose her to the law, decided to divorce her quietly. Such was his intention when suddenly the angel of the Lord appeared in a dream and said to him: "Joseph, son of David, have no fear about taking Mary as your wife. It is by the Holy Spirit that she has conceived this child. She is to have son and you are to name him Jesus because he will save his people from their sins." All this happened to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:
"The virgin shall be with child and give birth to a son, and they shall call him Emmanuel," a name which means "God is with us." When Joseph awoke he did as the angel of the Lord had directed him and received her into his home as his wife.
 

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Monday, December 19, 2022
Judges 13: 2 - 7, 24 - 25
There was a certain man from Zorah, of the clan of the Danites, whose name was Manoah. His wife was barren and had borne no children. An angel of the Lord appeared to the woman and said to her, "Though you are barren and have had no children, yet you will conceive and bear a son. Now, then, be careful to take no wine or strong drink and to eat nothing unclean. As for the son you will conceive and bear, no razor shall touch his head, for this boy is to be consecrated to God from the womb. It is he who will begin the deliverance of Israel from the power of the Philistines."
The woman went and told her husband, "A man of God came to me; he had the appearance of an angel of God, terrible indeed. I did not ask him where he came from, nor did he tell me his name. But he said to me, 'You will be with child and will bear a son. So take neither wine nor strong drink, and eat nothing unclean, for the boy shall be consecrated to God from the womb, until the day of his death.' "
The woman bore a son and named him Samson. The boy grew up and the Lord blessed him.

Psalm 71: 3 - 6, 16 - 17
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. On you I depend from birth; from my mother's womb you are my strength, constant has been my hope in you.
I will treat of the mighty works of the Lord; O God, I will tell of your singular justice. O God, you have taught me from my youth, and till the present I proclaim your wondrous deeds.

Gospel of Luke 1: 5 - 25
In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah of the priestly class of Abijah; his wife was a descendant of Aaron named Elizabeth. Both were just in the eyes of God, blamelessly following all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord. They were childless, for Elizabeth was sterile; moreover, both were advanced in years.
Once, when it was the turn of Zechariah's class and he was fulfilling his functions as a priest before God, it fell to him by lot according to priestly usage to enter the sanctuary of the Lord and offer incense. While the full assembly of people was praying outside at the incense hour, an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right of the altar of incense. Zechariah was deeply disturbed upon seeing him, and overcome by fear.
The angel said to him: "Do not be frightened, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard, Your wife Elizabeth shall bear a son whom you shall name John. Joy and gladness will be yours, and many will rejoice at his birth; for he will be great in the eyes of the Lord. He will never drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit from his mother's womb. Many of the sons of Israel will he bring back to the Lord their God. God himself will go before him, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the rebellious to the wisdom of the just, and to prepare for the Lord a people well-disposed."
Zechariah said to the angel: "How am I to know this? I am an old man; my wife too is advanced in age." The angel replied: "I am Gabriel, who stand in attendance before God. I was sent to speak to you and bring you this good news. But now you will be mute - unable to speak - until the day these thing take place, because you have not trusted my words. They will all come true in due season." Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah, wondering at his delay in the temple. When he finally came out he was unable to speak to them, and they realized that he had seen a vision inside. He kept making signs to them, for he remained speechless.
Then, when his time of priestly service was over, he went home. Afterward, his wife Elizabeth conceived. She went into seclusion for five months, saying: "In these days the Lord is acting on my behalf; he has seen fit to remove my reproach among men."
 

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Tuesday, December 20, 2022
Isaiah 7: 10 - 14
Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz: Ask for a sign from the Lord, your God; let it be deep as the nether world, or high as the sky! But Ahaz answered, "I will not ask! I will not tempt the Lord!" Then he said: Listen, O house of David! Is it not enough for you to weary men, must you also weary my God? Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son and shall name him Immanuel.

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

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Wednesday, December 21, 2022
Song of songs 2: 8 - 14
Hark! my lover - here he comes springing across the mountains, leaping across the hills. My lover is like a gazelle or a young stag. Here he stands behind our walls, gazing through the windows, peering through the latices. My lover speaks; he says to me, "Arise, my beloved, my beautiful one, and come! "For see, the winter is past, the rains are over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of pruning the vines has come, and the song of the dove is heard in our land. The fig tree puts forth its figs, and the vines, in bloom, give forth fragrance. Arise, my beloved, my beautiful one, and come!"

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

Psalm 33: 2 - 3, 11 - 12, 20 - 21
Give thanks to the Lord on the harp; with the ten-stringed lyre chant his praises. Sing to him a new song; pluck the strings skillfully, with shouts of gladness.
But the plan of the Lord stands forever; the design of his heart, through all generations. Happy the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he has chosen for his own inheritance.
Our soul waits for the Lord, who is our help and our shield, for in him our hearts rejoice; in his holy name we trust.


Gospel of Luke 1: 39 - 45
Thereupon Mary set out, proceeding in haste into the hill country to a town of Judah, where she entered Zechariah's house and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leapt in her womb. Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and cried out in a loud voice: "Blest are you among women and blest is the fruit of your womb. But who am I that the mother of my Lord should come to me? The moment your greeting sounded in my ears, the baby leapt in my womb for joy. Blest is she who trusted that the Lord's words to her would be fulfilled."
 

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Thursday, December 22, 2022
First Samuel 1: 24 - 28
In those days, Hannah brought Samuel with her, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour, and a skin of wine, and presented him at the temple of the Lord in Shiloh. After the boy's father had sacrificed the young bull, Hannah, his mother, approached Eli and said: "Pardon, my lord! As you live, my lord, I am the woman who stood near you here, praying to the Lord. I prayed for this child, and the Lord granted my request. Now I, in turn, give him to the Lord; as long as he lives, he shall be dedicated to the Lord." She left Samuel there.

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

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

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Friday, December 23, 2022
Malachi 3: 1 - 4, 23 - 24
Lo, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me; and suddenly there will come to the temple the Lord whom you seek, and the messenger of the covenant whom you desire. Yes, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. But who will endure the day of his coming? And who can stand when he appears? For he is like the refiner's fire, or like the fuller's lye. He will sit refining and purifying [silver], and he will purify the sons of Levi, refining them like gold or like silver that they may offer due sacrifice to the Lord. Then the sacrifice of Judah and Jerusalem will please the Lord, as in days of old, as in years gone by.
Lo, I will send you Elijah, the prophet, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and terrible day. To turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with doom.

Psalm 25: 4 - 5, 8 - 10, 14
Your ways, O Lord, make known to me; teach me your paths, guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my savior, and for you I wait all the day.
Good and upright is the Lord; thus he shows sinners the way. He guides the humble to justice, he teaches the humble his way. All the paths of the Lord are kindness and constancy toward those who keep his covenant and his decrees.
The friendship of the Lord is with those who fear him, and his covenant, for their instruction.

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

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Saturday, December 24, 2022
Second Samuel 7: 1 - 5, 8 - 12, 14, 16
When King David was settled in his palace, and the Lord had given him rest from his enemies on every side, he said to Nathan the prophet, "Here I am living in a house of cedar, while the ark of God dwells in a tent!" Nathan answered the king, "Go do whatever you have in mind, for the Lord is with you." But that night the Lord spoke to Nathan and said: "Go tell my servant David, 'Thus says the Lord: Should you build me a house to dwell in?
Now then, speak thus to my servant David, 'The Lord of hosts has this to say: It was I who took you from the pasture and from the care of the flock to be commander of my people Israel. I have been with you wherever you went, and I have destroyed all your enemies before you. And I will make you famous like the great ones of the earth. I will fix a place for my people Israel; I will plant them so that they may dwell in their place without further disturbance. Neither shall the wicked continue to afflict them as they did of old, since the time I first appointed judges over my people Israel. I will give you rest from all your enemies. The Lord also reveals to you that he will establish a house for you. And when your time comes and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your heir after you, sprung from your loins, and I will make his kingdom firm. I will be a father to him, and he shall be son to me. Your house and your kingdom shall endure forever before me; your throne shall stand firm forever.' "

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

Gospel of Luke 1: 67 - 79
Then Zechariah his father, filled with the Holy Spirit, uttered this prophecy: "Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel because he has visited and ransomed his people. He has raised a horn of saving strength for us in the house of David his servant, as he promised through the mouths of his holy ones, the prophets of ancient times: Salvation from our enemies and from the hands of all our foes. He has dealt mercifully with our fathers and remembered the holy covenant he made, the oath he swore to Abraham our father he would grant us: that, rid of fear and delivered from the enemy, we should serve him devoutly and through all our days be holy in his sight. And you, O child, shall be called prophet of the Most High; for you shall go before the Lord to prepare straight paths for him, giving his people a knowledge of salvation in freedom from their sins, all this is the work of the kindness of our God; he, the Dayspring, shall visit us in his mercy to shine on those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace."
 

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Sunday, Christmas, December 25, 2022
Isaiah 9: 1 - 6
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone. You have brought them abundant joy and great rejoicing, as they rejoice before you as at the harvest, as men make merry when dividing spoils. For the yoke that burdened them, the pole on their shoulder, and the rod of their taskmaster you have smashed, as on the day of Midian. For every boot that trampled in battle, every cloak rolled in blood, will be burned as fuel for flames.
For a child is born to us, a son is given us; upon his shoulder dominion rests. They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Price of Peace. His dominion is vast and forever peaceful, from David's throne, and over his kingdom; which he confirms and sustains by judgment and justice, both now and forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this!

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

Letter of Paul to Titus 2: 11 - 14
The grace of God has appeared, offering salvation to all men. It trains us to reject godless ways and worldly desires, and live temperately, justly, and devoutly in this age as we await our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of the great God and of our Savior Christ Jesus. It was he who sacrificed himself for us, to redeem us from all unrighteousness and to cleanse for himself a people of his own, eager to do what is right.

Gospel of Luke 2: 1 - 14
In those days Caesar Augustus published a decree ordering a census of the whole world. This first census took place whole Quirinius was governor of Syria. Everyone went to register, each to his own town. And so Joseph went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to David's town of Bethlehem - because he was of the house and lineage of David - to register with Mary, his espoused wife, who was with child.
While they were there the days of her confinement were completed. She gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the place where travelers lodged.
There were shepherds in that region living in the fields and keeping night watch by turn over their flocks. The angel of the Lord appeared to them as the glory of the Lord shown around them, and they were very much afraid. The angel said to them: "You have nothing to fear! I come to proclaim good news to you - tidings of great joy to be shared by the whole people. This day in David's city a savior has been born to you, the Messiah and Lord. Let this be a sign to you: in a manger you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes." Suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,
"Glory to God in high heaven, peace on earth to those on whom his favor rests."
 

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Christmas Day, December 25, 2022
Readings for the early hours of the day:
Isaiah 62: 11 - 12
See, the Lord proclaims to the ends of the earth: Say to daughter Zion, your savior comes! Here is his reward with him, his recompense before him. They shall be called the Holy people, the redeemed of the Lord, and you shall be called "frequented," a city that is not forsaken.
Psalms 97: 1, 6, 11 - 12
The Lord is king; let the earth rejoice; let the many isles be glad.
The heavens proclaim his justice, and all peoples see his glory.
Light dawns for the just; and gladness, for the upright of heart. Be glad in the Lord, you just, and give thanks to his holy name.
Titus 3: 4 - 7
But when the kindness and love of God our savior appeared, he saved us; not because of any rightness deeds we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through baptism of new birth and renewal by the Holy Spirit. This Spirit he lavished on us through Jesus Christ our savior, that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs, in hope, of eternal life.
Luke 2: 15 - 20
When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to one another: "Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this event which the Lord has made known to us." They went in haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger; once they saw, they understood what had been told them concerning this child. All who heard of it were astonished at the report given them by the shepherds. Mary treasured all these things and reflected on them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, in accord with what had been told them.
 

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Monday, December 26, 2022
Acts 6: 8 - 10; 7: 54 - 59
Stephen was a man filled with grace and power, who worked great wonders and signs among the people. Certain members of the so-called "Synagogue of Roman Freedmen" (that is, the Jews from Cyrene, Alexandria, Cilicia and Asia) would undertake to engage Stephen in debate, but they proved no match for the wisdom and spirit with which he spoke.
Those who listened to his words were stung to the heart; they ground their teeth in anger at him. Stephen meanwhile, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked to the sky above and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at God's right hand. "Look!" he exclaimed, "I see an opening in the sky, and the Son of Man standing at God's right hand." The onlookers were shouting aloud, holding their hands over their ears as they did so. Then they rushed at him as one man, dragged him out of the city, and began to stone him. The witnesses meanwhile were piling their cloaks at the feet of a young man named Saul. As Stephen was being stoned he could be heard praying, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit."

Psalm 31: 3 - 4, 6, 8, 16 - 17
Be my rock of refuge, a stronghold to give me safety. You are my rock and my fortress; for your name's sake you will lead and guide me.
Into your hands I commend my spirit; you will redeem me, O Lord, O faithful God.
I will rejoice and be glad of your kindness, when you have seen my affliction and watched over me in my distress.
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.

Gospel of Matthew 10: 17 - 22
Jesus said to his disciples:
"Be on your guard with respect to others. They will haul you into court, they will flog you in their synagogues. You will be brought to trial before rulers and kings, to give witness before them and before the Gentiles on my account. When they hand you over, do not worry about what you will say or how you will say it. When the hour comes, you will be given what you are to say. You yourselves will not be the speaker; the Spirit of your Father will be speaking in you.
Brother will hand over brother to death, and the father his child; children will turn against parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by all on account of me. But whoever holds out till the end will escape death."
 

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Tuesday, December 27, 2022
First John 1: 1 - 4
This is what we proclaim to you: what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked upon and our hands have touched - we speak of the word of life. This life became visible; we have seen and bear witness to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life that was present to the Father and became visible to us. What we have seen and heard we proclaim in turn to you so that you may share life with us, this fellowship of ours is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. Indeed, our purpose in writing you this is that your joy may be complete.

Psalm 97: 1 - 2, 5 - 6, 11 - 12
The Lord is king; let the earth rejoice; let the many isles be glad. Clouds and darkness are round about him, justice and judgment are the foundation of his throne.
The mountains melt like wax before the Lord, before the Lord of all the earth. The heavens proclaim his justice, and all peoples see his glory.
Light dawns for the just; and gladness, for the upright of heart. Be glad in the Lord, you just, and give thanks to his holy name.

Gospel of John 20: 1 - 8
Early in the morning on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb. She saw that the stone had been moved away, so she ran off to Simon Peter and the other disciple (the one Jesus loved) and told them, "The Lord has been taken from the tomb! We don't know where they have put him!" At that, Peter and the other disciple started out on their way toward the tomb. They were running side by side, but then the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He did not enter but bent down to peer in, and saw the wrappings lying on the ground. Presently, Simon Peter came along behind him and entered the tomb. He observed the wrappings on the ground and saw the piece of cloth which had covered the head not lying with the wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the disciple who had arrived first at the tomb went in. He saw and believed.
 

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Wednesday, December 28, 2022
First John 1: 5 - -2: 2
Here, then, is the message we have heard from Jesus Christ and announce to you: that God is light; in him there is no darkness.
If we say, "We have fellowship with him," while continuing to walk in darkness, we are liars and do not act in truth. But if we walk in light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of his Son Jesus cleanses us from all sin. If we say, "We are free of the guilt of sin," we deceive ourselves; the truth is not to be found in us. But if we acknowledge our sins, he who is just can be trusted to forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrong. If we say "We have never sinned," we make him a liar and his word finds no place in us.
My little ones, I am writing this to keep you from sin. But if anyone should sin, we have, in the presence of the Father, Jesus Christ, an intercessor who is just. He is an offering for our sins, and not for our sins only, but for those of the whole world.

Psalm 124: 2 - 8
Had not the Lord been with us - when men rose up against us, then would they have swallowed us alive. When their fury was inflamed against us, then would the waters have overwhelmed us; the torrent would have swept over us; over us then would have swept the raging waters.
Blessed be the Lord, who did not leave us a prey to their teeth. We were rescued like a bird from the fowlers' snare, and we were freed. Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

Gospel of Matthew 2: 13 - 18
After the magi had left, the angel of the Lord suddenly appeared in a dream to Joseph with the command: "Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you otherwise. Herod is searching for the child to destroy him." Joseph got up and took the child and his mother and left that night for Egypt. He stayed there until the death of Herod, to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: "Out of Egypt I have called my son."
Once Herod realized that he had been deceived by the astrologers, he became furious. He ordered the massacre of all the boys two years old and under in Bethlehem and its environs, making his calculations on the basis of the date he had learned from the astrologers. What was said through Jeremiah the prophet was then fulfilled: "A cry was heard at Ramah, sobbing and loud lamentation: Rachel bewailing her children; no comfort for her, since they are no more."
 

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Thursday, December 29, 2022
First John 2: 3 - 11
The way we can be sure of our knowledge of Jesus is to keep his commandments. The man who claims, "I have known him," without keeping his commandments, is a liar, in such a one there is no truth. But whoever keeps his word, truly has the love of God been made perfect in him. The way we can be sure we are in union with him is for the man who claims to abide in him to conduct himself just as he did.
Dearly beloved, it is no new commandment that I write to you, but an old one which you had from the start . The commandment, now old, is the word you have already heard. On second thought, the commandment that I write you is new, as it is realized in him and you, for the darkness is over and the real light begins to shine. The man who claims to be in light, hating his brother all the while, is in darkness even now. The man who continues in the light is the one who loves his brother; there is nothing in him to cause a fall. But the man who hates his brother is in darkness. He walks in shadows, not knowing where he is going, since the dark has blinded his eyes.

Psalm 96: 1 - 3, 5 - 6
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 all the gods of the nations are things of nought, but the Lord made the heavens. Splendor and majesty go before him; praise and grandeur are in his sanctuary.

Gospel of Luke 2: 22 - 35
When the day came to purify them according to the law of Moses, the couple brought Jesus up to Jerusalem so that he could be presented to the Lord, for it is written in the law of the Lord, "Every first-born male shall be consecrated to the Lord." They came to offer in sacrifice "a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons," in accord with the dictate in the law of the Lord.
There lived in Jerusalem at the time a certain man named Simeon. He was just and pious, and awaited the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It was revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not experience death until he had seen the Anointed of the Lord. He came to the temple now, inspired by the Spirit; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform for him the customary ritual of the law, he took him in his arms and blessed God in these words:
"Now, Master, you can dismiss your servant in peace; you have fulfilled your word. For my eyes have witnessed your saving deed displayed for all the peoples to see: a revealing light to the Gentiles, the glory of your people Israel."
The child's father and mother were marveling at what was being said about him. Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother: "This child is destined to be the downfall and the rise of many in Israel, a sign that will be opposed - and you yourself shall be pierced with a sword - so that the thoughts of many hearts may be laid bare."
 

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Friday, December 30, 2022
Sirach 3: 2 - 6, 12 - 14
The Lord sets a father in honor over his children; a mother's authority he confirms over her sons. He who honors his father atones for sins; he stores up riches who reveres his mother; He who honors his father is gladdened by children, and when he prays he is heard. He who reveres his father will live a long life; he obeys the Lord who brings comfort to his mother.
My son, take care of your father when he is old; grieve him not as long as he lives. Even if his mind fail, be considerate with him; revile him not in the fullness of your strength. For kindness to a father will not be forgotten, it will serve as a sin offering - it will take lasting root.

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

Gospel of Matthew 2: 13 - 15, 19 - 23
After the magi had left, the angel of the Lord suddenly appeared in a dream to Joseph with the command: "Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you otherwise. Herod is searching for the child to destroy him." Joseph got up and took the child and his mother and left that night for Egypt. He stayed there until the death of Herod, to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: "Out of Egypt I have called my son."
After Herod's death, the angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt with the command: "Get up, take the child and his mother, and set out for the land of Israel. Those who had designs on the life of the child are dead." He got up, took the child and his mother, and returned to the land of Israel. He heard, however, that Archelaus had succeeded his father Herod as king of Judea, and he was afraid to go back there. Instead, because of a warning received in a dream, Joseph went to the region of Galilee. There he settled in a town called Nazareth. In this way what was said through the prophets was fulfilled: "He shall be called a Nazarean."
 

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Saturday, December 31, 2022
First John 2: 18 - 21
Children, it is the final hour; just as you heard that the antichrist was coming, so now many such antichrists have appeared. This makes us certain that it is the final hour. It was from our ranks that they took their leave - not that they really belonged to us; for if they had belonged to us, they would have stayed with us. It only served to show that none of them was ours. But you have the anointing that comes from the Holy One, so that all knowledge is yours. My reason for having written you is not that you do not know the truth but that you do, and that no lie has anything in common with the truth.

Psalm 96: 1 - 2, 11 - 13
Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all you lands. Sing to the Lord; bless his name; announce his salvation, day after day.
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 John 1: 1 - 18
In the beginning was the Word; the Word was in God's presence, and the Word was God. He was present to God in the beginning. Through him all things came into being, and apart from him nothing came to be. Whatever came to be in him, found life, life for the light of men. The light shines on in darkness, a darkness that did not overcome it.
There was a man named John sent by God, who came as a witness to testify to the light, so that through him all men might believe - but only to testify to the light, for he himself was not the light. The real light which gives light to every man was coming into the world.
He was in the world, and through him the world was made, yet the world did not know who he was. To his own he came, yet his own did not accept him. Any who did accept him he empowered to become children of God.
These are they who believe in his name - who were begotten not by blood, nor by carnal desire, nor by man's willing it, but by God.
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we have seen his glory: the glory of an only Son coming from the Father, filled with enduring love.
John testified to him by proclaiming: "This is he of whom I said, 'The one who comes after me ranks ahead of me, for he was before me.' "
Of his fullness we have all had a share - love following upon love.
For while the law was given through Moses, this enduring love came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, ever at the Father's side, who has revealed him.
 

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Sunday, January 1, 2023
Numbers 6: 22 - 27
The Lord said to Moses: "Speak to Aaron and his sons and tell them: This is how you shall bless the Israelites. Say to them:
The Lord bless you and keep you! The Lord let his face shine upon you and be gracious to you! The Lord look upon you kindly and give you peace! So shall they invoke my name upon the Israelites, and I will bless them."

Psalm 67: 2 - 3, 5, 6, 8
May God have pity on us and bless us; may he let his face shine upon us. So may your way be known upon earth; among the nations, your salvation.
May the nations be glad and exult because you rule the peoples in equity; the nations on the earth you guide.
May the peoples praise you, O God; may all the peoples praise you!
May God bless us, and may all the ends of the earth fear him!

Letter of Paul to the Galatians 4: 4 - 7
When the designated time had come, God sent forth his Son born of a woman. Born under the law, to deliver from the law those who were subjected to it, so that we might receive our status as adopted sons. The proof that you are sons is the fact that God has sent forth into our hearts the spirit of his Son which cries out "Abba!" ("Father!"). You are no longer a slave but a son! And the fact that you are a son makes you an heir, by God's design.

Gospel of Luke 2: 16 - 21
The shepherds went in haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger; once they saw, they understood what had been told them concerning this child. All who heard of it were astonished at the report given them by the shepherds.
Mary treasured all these things and reflected on them in her heart. The shepherds returned glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, in accord with what had been told them.
When the eight day arrived for his circumcision, the name Jesus was given the child, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.
 
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