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Martin Jr.

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Sunday, January 22, 2023
Isaiah 8: 23 - - 9: 3
First the Lord degraded the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali; but in the end he has glorified the seaward road, the land west of the Jordan, the District of the Gentiles.
Anguish has taken wing, dispelled is darkness; for there is no gloom where but now there was distress. 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.

Psalm 27: 1, 4, 13 - 14
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear? The Lord is my life's refuge; of whom should I be afraid?
One thing I ask of the Lord; this I seek: to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, that I may gaze on the loveliness of the Lord and contemplate his temple.
I believe that I shall see the bounty of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord with courage; be stouthearted, and wait for the Lord.

Letter of Paul to the Corinthians 1: 10 - 13, 17
I beg you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to agree in what you say. Let there be no factions; rather, be united in mind and judgment. I have been informed, my brothers, by certain members of Chloe's household that you are quarreling among yourselves. This is what I mean: One of you will say, "I belong to Paul," another, "I belong to Apollos," still another, "Cephas has my allegiance," and the fourth, "I belong to Christ." Has Christ them been divided into parts? Was it Paul who was crucified for you? Was it in Paul's name that you were baptized?

Gospel of Matthew 4: 12 - 23
When Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew to Galilee. He left Nazareth and went down to live in Capernaum by the sea near the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, to fulfill what had been said through Isaiah the prophet:
"Land of Zebulun, land of Naphtali along the sea beyond the Jordan, heathen Galilee: a people living in darkness has seen a great light. On those who inhabit a land overshadowed by death, light has arisen."
From that time on Jesus began to proclaim this theme: "Reform your lives! The kingdom of heaven is at hand."
As he was walking along the Sea of Galilee he watched two brothers, Simon now known as Peter, and his brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea. They were fishermen. He said to them, "Come after me and I will make you fishers of men." They immediately abandoned their nets and became his followers. He walked along farther and caught sight of two other brothers, James, Zebedee's son, and his brother John. They too were in their boat, getting their nets in order with their father, Zebedee. He called them, and immediately they abandoned boat and father to follow him.
Jesus toured all of Galilee. He taught in their synagogues, proclaimed the good news of the kingdom, and cured the people of every disease and illness.
 

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Monday, January 23, 2023
Letter to the Hebrews 9: 15, 24 - 28
Jesus is mediator of a new covenant since his death has taken place for deliverance from transgressions committed under the first covenant, those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance.
For Christ did not enter into a sanctuary made by hands, a mere copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself that he might appear before God now on our behalf. Not that he might offer himself there again and again, as the high priest enters year after year into the sanctuary with blood that is not his own; if that were so, he would have had to suffer death over and over from the creation of the world. But now he has appeared at the end of ages to take away sins once for all by his sacrifice. Just as it is appointed that men die once, and after death be judged, so Christ was offered up once to take away the sins of many; he will appear a second time not to take away sin but to bring salvation to those who eagerly await him.

Psalm 98: 1 - 6
Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done wondrous deeds; his right hand has won victory for him, his holy arm. The Lord has made his salvation known: in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice. He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness toward the house of Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation by our God.
Sing joyfully to the Lord, all you lands; break into song; sing praise. Sing praise to the Lord with the harp, with the harp and melodious song. With trumpets and the sound of the horn sing joyfully before the King, the Lord.

Gospel of Mark 3: 22 - 30
The scribes who arrived from Jerusalem asserted, "He is possessed by Beelzebul," and "He expels demons with the help of the prince of demons." Summoning them, he then began to speak to them by way of examples: "How can Satan expel Satan? If a kingdom is torn by civil strife, that kingdom cannot last. If a household is divided according to loyalties, that household will not survive. Similarly, if Satan has suffered mutiny in his ranks and is torn by dissension, he cannot endure; he is finished. No one can enter a strong man's house and despoil his property unless he has first put him under restraint. Only then can he plunder his house.
I give you my word, every sin will be forgiven mankind and all the blasphemies men utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven. He carries the guilt of his sin without end." He spoke thus because they had said, "He is possessed by an unclean spirit."
 

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Tuesday, January 24, 2023
Letter to the Hebrews 10: 1 - 10
Since the law had only a shadow of the good things to come, and no real image of them, it was never able to perfect the worshipers by the same sacrifices offered continually year after year. Were matters otherwise, the priests would have stopped offering them, for the worshipers, once cleansed, would have had no sin on their conscience. But through those sacrifices there came only a yearly recalling of sins, because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take sins away. Wherefore, on coming into the world, Jesus said:
"Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you have prepared for me; holocausts and sin offerings you took no delight in. Then I said, 'As is written of me in the book, I have come to do your will, O God.' "
First he says, "Sacrifices and offerings, holocausts and sin offerings, you neither desired nor delighted in."
(These are offered according to the prescriptions of the law.) Then he says:
"I have come to do your will."
In other words, he takes away the first covenant to establish the second.
By this "will," we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Psalm 40: 2, 4, 7 - 8, 10 - 11
I have waited, waited for the Lord, and he stooped toward me and heard my cry. And he put a new song into my mouth, a hymn to our God. Many shall look on in awe and trust in the Lord.
Sacrifice or oblation you wished not, but ears open to obedience you gave me. Holocausts or sin-offerings you sought not; then said I, "Behold I come; in the written scroll it is prescribed for me."
I announced your justice in the vast assembly; I did not restrain my lips, as you, O Lord, know. Your justice I kept not hid within my heart; your faithfulness and your salvation I have spoken of; I have made no secret of your kindness and your truth in the vast assembly.

Gospel of Mark 3: 31 - 35
The mother of Jesus and his brothers arrived, and as they stood outside they sent word to him to come out. The crowd seated around him told him, "Your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside asking for you.' He said in reply, "Who are my mother and my brothers?" And gazing around him at those seated in the circle he continued, "These are my mother and my brothers. Whoever does the will of God is brother and sister and mother to me."
 

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Wednesday, January 25, 2023
Acts 22: 3 - 16
Paul addressed the people:
"I am a Jew, born in Tarsus in Cilicia, but I was brought up in this city. Here I sat at the feet of Gamaliel and was educated strictly in the law of our fathers. I was a staunch defender of God, just as all of you are today. Furthermore, I persecuted this new way to the point of death. I arrested and imprisoned both men and women.
On this point the high priest and the whole council of elders can bear me witness, for it was from them that I received letters to our brother Jews in Damascus. I set out with the intention of bringing the prisoners I would arrest back to Jerusalem for punishment. As I was traveling along, approaching Damascus around noon, a great light from the sky suddenly flashed all about me. I fell to the ground and heard a voice say to me, "Saul, Saul, why do your persecute me?' I answered, 'Who are you, sir?' He said to me, 'I am Jesus the Nazorean whom you are persecuting.' My companions saw the light but did not hear the voice speaking to me. 'What is it I must do, sir?' I asked, and the Lord replied, "Get up and go into Damascus. There you will be told about everything you are destined to do.' But since I could not see because of the brilliance of the light, I had to be taken by the hand and led into Damascus by my companions.
A certain Ananias, a devout observer of the law and well spoken of by all the Jews who lived there, came and stood by me. 'Saul, my brother,' he said, 'recover your sight.' In that instant I regained my sight and looked at him. The next thing he said was, 'The God of our fathers long ago designated you to know his will, to look upon the Just One and to hear the sound of his voice; before all men you are to be his witness to what you have seen and heard. Why delay, then; Be baptized at once and wash away your sins as you call upon his name.' "

Psalm 117: 1 - 2
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.

Gospel of Mark 16: 15 -18
Jesus appeared to the Eleven and said to them: "Go into the whole world and proclaim the good news to all creation. The man who believes in it and accepts baptism will be saved; the man who refuses to believe in it will be condemned. Signs like these will accompany those who have professed their faith: they will use my name to expel demons, they will speak entirely new languages, they will be able to handle serpents, they will be able to drink deadly poison without harm, and the sick upon whom they lay their hands will recover."
 

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Thursday, January 26, 2023
Second Timothy 1: 1 - 8
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by command of God our savior and Christ Jesus our hope, to Timothy, my own true child in faith. May grace, mercy, and peace by yours from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
I repeat the directions I gave you when I was on my way to Macedonia: stay on in Ephesus in order to warn certain people there against teaching false doctrines and busying themselves with interminable myths and genealogies rather than that training in faith which God requires.
What we are aiming at in this warning is the love that springs from a pure heart, a good conscience, and sincere faith. Some people have neglected these and instead have turned to meaningless talk, wanting to be teachers of the law but actually not understanding the words they are using, much less the matters they discuss with such assurance.
We know that the law is good, provided one uses it in the way law is supposed to be used.

Psalm 96: 1 - 3, 7 - 8, 10
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.
Give to the Lord, you families of nations, give to the Lord glory and praise; give to the Lord the glory due his name! Bring gifts, and enter his courts.
Say among the nations: The Lord is king. He has made the world firm, not to be moved; he governs the peoples with equity.

Gospel of Mark 4: 21 - 25
Jesus said to his disciples: "Is a lamp acquired to be put under a bushel basket or hidden under a bed? Is it not meant to be put on a stand? Things are hidden only to be revealed at a later time; they are covered so as to be brought out into the open. Let him who has ears to hear me, hear!" He said to them another time: "Listen carefully to what you hear. In the measure you give you shall receive, and more besides. To those who have, more will be given; from those who have not, what little they have will be taken away."
 

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Friday, January 27, 2023
Letter to the Hebrews 10: 32 - 39
Recall the days gone by when, after you had been enlightened, you endured a great contest of suffering. At times you were publicly exposed to insult and trial; at other times you associated yourselves with those who were being so dealt with. You even joined in the sufferings of those who were in prison and joyfully assented to the confiscation of your goods, knowing that you had better and more permanent possessions. Do not, then, surrender your confidence; it will have great reward. You need patience to do God's will and receive what he has promised.
For, just a brief moment, and he who is to come will come; he will not delay.
My just man will live by faith, and if he draws back I take no pleasure in him.
We are not among those who draw back and perish, but among those who have faith and live.

Psalm 37: 3 - 6, 23 - 24, 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. He will make justice dawn for you like the light; bright as the noonday shall be your vindication.
By the Lord are the steps of a man made firm, and he approves his way. Though he fall, he does not lie prostrate, for the hand of the Lord sustains him.
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 Mark 4: 26 - 34
Jesus said to the crowds: "This is how it is with the reign of God. A man scatters seed on the ground. He goes to bed and gets up day after day. Through it all the seed sprouts and grows without his knowing how it happens. The soil produces of itself first the blade, then the ear, finally the ripe wheat in the ear. When the crop is ready he 'wields the sickle, for the time is ripe for harvest.' "
He went on to say: "What comparison shall we use for the reign of God? What image will help to present it? It is like mustard seed, which, when planted in the soil is the smallest of all the earth's seeds, yet once it is sown, springs up to become the largest of shrubs, with branches big enough for the birds of the sky to build nests in its shade." By means of many such parables he taught them the message in a way they could understand. To them he spoke only by way of parable, while he kept explaining things privately to his disciples.
 

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Saturday, January 28, 2023
Letter to the Hebrews 11: 1 - 2, 8 - 19
Faith is confident assurance concerning what we hope for, and conviction about things we do not see. Because of faith the men of old were approved by God.
By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called, and went forth to the place he was to receive as a heritage; he went forth, moreover, not knowing where he was going. By faith he sojourned in the promised land as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs of the same promise; for he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose designer and maker is God. By faith Sarah received power to conceive though she was past the age, for she thought that the One who had made the promise was worthy of trust. As a result of this faith, there came forth from one man, who was himself as good as dead, descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and the sands of the seashore.
All of these died in faith. They did not obtain what had been promised but saw and saluted it from afar. By acknowledging themselves to be strangers and foreigners on the earth, they showed that they were seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking back to the place from which they had come, they would have had the opportunity of returning there. But they were searching for a better, a heavenly home. Wherefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. By faith Abraham, when put to the test, offered up Isaac; he who had received the promises was ready to sacrifice his only son, of whom it was said, "Through Isaac shall your descendants be called."

Luke 1: 69 - 75
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.

Gospel of Mark 4: 35 - 41
That day as evening drew on Jesus said to his disciples, "Let us cross over to the farther shore." Leaving the crowd, they took him away in the boat in which he was sitting, while the other boats accompanied him. It happened that a bad squall blew up. The waves were breaking over the boat and it began to ship water badly. Jesus was in the stern through it all, sound asleep on a cushion. They finally woke him and said to him, "Teacher, does it not matter to you that we are going to drown?" He awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea: "Quiet! Be still!" The wind fell off and everything grew calm. Then he said to them, "Why are you so terrified? Why are you lacking in faith?" A great awe overcame them at this. They kept saying to one another, "Who can this be that the wind and the sea obey him?"
 

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Sunday, January 29, 2023
Zephaniah 2: 3; 3: 12 - 13
Seek the Lord, all you humble of the earth, who have observed his law; seek justice, seek humility; perhaps you may be sheltered on the day of the Lord's anger.
But I will leave as a remnant in your midst a people humble and lowly, who shall take refuge in the name of the Lord; the remnant of Israel. They shall do no wrong and speak no lies; nor shall there be found in their mouths a deceitful tongue; they shall pasture and couch their flocks with none to disturb them.

Psalm 146: 6 - 10
The Lord keeps faith forever, secures justice for the oppressed, gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets captives free; the Lord gives sight to the blind. The Lord raises up those that were bowed down; the Lord loves the just. The Lord protects strangers, the fatherless and the widow he sustains, but the way of the wicked he thwarts. The Lord shall reign forever; your God, O Zion, through all generations. Alleluia.

First 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."

Gospel of Matthew 5: 1 - 12
When Jesus saw the crowds he went up on the mountainside. After he had sat down his disciples gathered around him, and he began to teach them:
"How blest are the poor in spirit: the reign of God is theirs.
Blest too are the sorrowing; they shall be consoled.
Blest are the lowly; they shall inherit the land.
Blest are they who hunger and thirst for holiness; they shall have their fill.
Blest are they who show mercy; mercy shall be theirs.
Blest are the single-hearted for they shall see God.
Blest too the peacemakers; they shall be called sons of God.
Blest are those persecuted for holiness sake; the reign of God is theirs.
Blest are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of slander against you because of me.
Be glad and rejoice, for your reward is great in heaven; they persecuted the prophets before you in the very same way."
 

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Monday, January 30, 2023
Letter to the Hebrews 11: 32 - 40
What more shall I recount? I have no time to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets, who by faith conquered kingdoms, did what was just, obtained the promises; they broke the jaws of lions, put out raging fires, escaped the devouring sword; though weak they were made powerful, became strong in battle, and turned back foreign invaders. Women received back their dead through resurrection. Others were tortured and would not receive deliverance, in order to obtain a better resurrection. Still others endured mockery, scourging, even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, sawed in two, put to death at sword's point; they went about garbed in the skins of sheep or goats, needy, afflicted, tormented. The world was not worthy of them. They wandered about in deserts and on mountains, they dwelt in caves and in holes of the earth. Yet despite the fact that all of these were approved because of their faith, they did not obtain what had been promised. God had made a better plan, a plan which included us. Without us, they were not to be made perfect.

Psalm 31: 20 - 24
How great is the goodness, O Lord, which you have in store for those who fear you, and which, toward those who take refuge in you, you show in the sight of men. You hide them in the shelter of your presence from the plottings of men; you screen them within your abode from the strife of tongues. Blessed be the Lord whose wondrous kindness he has shown me in a fortified city. Once I said in my anguish, "I am cut off from your sight"; yet you heard the sound of my pleading when I cried out to you. Love the Lord, all you his faithful ones! The Lord keeps those who are constant, but more than requites those who act proudly.

Gospel of Mark 5: 1 - 20
Jesus and his disciples came to Gerasene territory on the other side of the lake. As he got out of the boat, he was immediately met by a man from the tombs who had an unclean spirit. The man had taken refuge among the tombs; he could no longer be restrained even with a chain. In fact, he had frequently been secured with handcuffs and chains, but had pulled the chains apart and smashed the fetters, No one had proved strong enough to tame him. Uninterruptedly night and day, amid the tombs and on the hillsides, he screamed and gashed himself with stones. Catching sight of Jesus at a distance, he ran up and did him homage, shrieking in a loud voice, "Why meddle with me, Jesus, Son of God Most High? I implore you in God's name, do not torture me!" (Jesus had been saying to him, "Unclean spirit, come out of the man!") "What is your name?" Jesus asked him. "Legion is my name," he answered. "There are hundreds of us." He pleaded hard with Jesus not to drive them away from that neighborhood.
It happened that a large herd of swine was feeding there on the slope of the mountain. "Send us into the swine," they begged him. "Let us enter them." He gave the word, and with it the unclean spirits came out and entered the swine. The herd of about two thousand went rushing down the bluff into the lake, where they began to drown. The swineherds ran off and brought the news to field and village, and the people came to see what had happened. As they approached Jesus, they caught sight of the man who had been possessed by Legion sitting fully clothed and perfectly sane, and they were seized with fear. The spectators explained what had happened to the possessed man, and told them about the swine. Before long they were begging him to go away from their district. As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed was pressing to accompany him. Jesus did not grant his request, but told him instead: "Go home to your family and make it clear to them how much the Lord in his mercy has done for you." At that the man went off and began to proclaim through the Ten Cities what Jesus had done for him. They were all amazed at what they heard.
 

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Tuesday, January 31, 2023
Letter to the Hebrews 12: 1 - 4
Therefore, since we for our part are surrounded by this cloud of witnesses, let lay aside every encumbrance of sin which clings to us and persevere in running the race which lies ahead; let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, who inspires and perfects our faith. For the sake of the joy which lay before him he endured the cross, heedless of its shame. He has taken his seat at the right of the throne of God. Remember how he endured the opposition of sinners; hence do not grow despondent or abandon the struggle. In your fight against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood.

Psalm 22: 26 - 28, 30 - 32
I will fulfill my vows before those who fear him. The lowly shall eat their fill; they who seek the Lord shall praise him: "May your hearts be ever merry!"
All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord; all the families of the nations shall bow down before him.
To him alone shall bow down all who sleep in the earth; before him shall bend all who go down into the dust. And to him my soul shall live; my descendants shall serve him. Let the coming generation be told of the Lord that they may proclaim to a people yet to be born the justice he has shown.

Gospel of Mark 5: 21 - 43
Now when Jesus had crossed back to the other side again in the boat, a large crowd gathered around him and he stayed close to the lake. One of the officials of the synagogue, a man named Jairus, came near. Seeing Jesus, he fell at his feet and made this earnest appeal: "My little daughter is critically ill. Please come and lay your hands on her so that she may get well and live." The two went off together and a large crowd followed, pushing against Jesus.
There was a woman in the area who had been afflicted with a hemorrhage for a dozen years. She had received treatment at the hands of doctors of every sort and exhausted her savings in the process, yet she got no relief; on the contrary, she only grew worse. She had heard about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and put her hand to his cloak. "If I just touch his clothing," she thought, "I shall get well." Immediately her flow of blood dried up and the feeling ran through her whole body. Jesus was conscious at once that healing power had gone out from him. Wheeling about in the crowd, he began to ask, "Who touched my clothing?" His disciples said to him, "You can see how this crowd hems you in, yet you ask, "Who touched me?'" Despite this, he kept looking around to see the woman who had done it. Fearful and beginning to tremble now as she realized what had happened, the woman came and fell in front of him and told him the whole truth. He said to her, "Daughter, it is your faith that has cured you. Go in peace and be free of this illness."
He had not finished speaking when people from the official's house arrived saying, "Your daughter is dead. Why bother the Teacher further?" Jesus disregarded the report that had been brought and said to the official: "Fear is useless. What is needed is trust." He would not permit anyone to follow him except Peter, James, and James' brother John. As they approached the house of the synagogue leader, Jesus was struck by the noise of people wailing and crying loudly on all sides. He entered and said to them: "Why do you make this din with your wailing? The child is not dead. She is asleep." At this they began to ridicule him. Then he put them all out.
Jesus took the child's father and mother and his own companions and entered the room where the child lay. Taking her hand, he said to her, "Talitha, koum," which means, "Little girl, get up." The girl, a child of twelve, stood up immediately and began to walk around. At this the family's astonishment knew no bounds. He enjoined them strictly not to let anyone know about it, and told them to give her something to eat.
 

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Wednesday, February 1, 2023
Letter to the Hebrews 12: 4 - 7, 11 - 15
In your fight against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood. 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.
Strive for peace with all men, and for that holiness without which no one can see the Lord. See to it that no man falls away from the grace of God; that no bitter root springs up through which many may become defiled.

Psalm 103: 1 - 2, 13 - 14, 17 - 18
O Lord, hear my prayer, and let my cry come to you. Hide not your face from me in the day of my distress. Incline your ear to me; in the day when I call, answer me speedily.
But you, O Lord, abide forever, and your name through all generations. You will arise and have mercy on Zion, for it is time to pity her, for the appointed time has come.
When the Lord has rebuilt Zion and appeared in his glory; when he has regarded the prayer of the destitute, and not despised their prayer.

Gospel of Mark 6: 1 - 6
Jesus departed from there and returned to his own part of the country followed by his disciples. When the sabbath came he began to teach in the synagogue in a way that kept his large audience amazed. They said: "Where did he get all this? What kind of wisdom is he endowed with? How is it that such miraculous deeds are accomplished by his hands? Is this not the carpenter, the son of Mary, a brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? Are not his sisters our neighbors here?" They found him too much for them. Jesus' response to all this was: "No prophet is without honor except in his native place, among his own kindred, and in his own house." He could work no miracle there, apart from curing a few who were sick by laying hands on them, so much did their lack of faith distress him. He made the rounds of the neighboring villages instead, and spent his time teaching.
 

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Thursday, February 2, 2023
Malachi 3: 1 - 4
Thus says the Lord:
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.

Psalm 24: 7 - 10
Lift up, O gates, your lintels; reach up, you ancient portals, that the king of glory may come in! Who is this king of Glory? The Lord, strong and mighty, the Lord, mighty in battle. Lift up, O gates, your lintels; reach up, you ancient portals, that the king of glory may come in! Who is this king of Glory? The Lord of hosts; he is the king of glory.

Letter to the Hebrews 2: 14 - 18
Since the children are men of blood and flesh, Jesus likewise had a full share in ours, that by his death he might rob the devil, the prince of death, of his power and free those who through fear of death had been slaves with their whole life long. Surely he did not come to help angels, but rather the children of Abraham; therefore he had to become like his brothers in every way, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest before God on their behalf, to expiate the sins of the people. Since he was himself tested through what he suffered, he is able to help those who are tempted.

Gospel of Luke 2: 22 - 40
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 he 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."
There was also a certain prophetess, Anna by name, daughter of Phanuel of the tribe of Asher. She had seen many days, having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She was constantly in the temple, worshiping day and night in fasting and prayer. Coming on the scene at this moment, she gave thanks to God and talked about the child to all who looked forward to the deliverance of Jerusalem.
When the pair had fulfilled all the prescriptions of the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee and their own town of Nazareth. The child grew in size and strength, filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him.
 

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Friday, February 3, 2023
Letter to the Hebrews 13: 1 - 8
Love your fellow Christians always. Do not neglect to show hospitality, for by that means some have entertained angels without knowing it. Be as mindful of prisoners as if you were sharing their imprisonment, and of the ill-treated as of yourselves, for you may yet suffer as they do. Let marriage be honored in every way and the marriage bed be kept undefiled, for God will judge fornicators and adulterers. Do not love money but be content with what you have, for God has said, "I will never desert you, nor will I forsake you." Thus we may say with confidence: "The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid; what can man do to me?"
Remember your leaders who spoke the word of God to you; consider how their lives ended, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Psalm 27: 1, 3, 5, 8 - 9
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear? The Lord is my life's refuge; of whom should I be afraid?
Though an army encamp against me, my heart will not fear; though war be waged upon me, even then will I trust.
For he will hide me in his abode in the day of trouble; he will conceal me in the shelter of his tent, he will set me high upon a rock.
Your presence, O Lord, I seek. Hide not your face from me; do not in anger repel your servant. You are my helper: cast me not off; forsake me not, O God my savior.

Gospel of Mark 6: 14 - 29
King Herod came to hear of Jesus, for his reputation had become widespread and people were saying, "John the Baptizer has been raised from the dead; that is why such miraculous powers are at work in him." Others were saying, "He is Elijah"; still others, "He is a prophet equal to any of the prophets." On hearing of Jesus, Herod exclaimed, "John, whose head I had cut off, has been raised up!"
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 his guests. The king told the girl, "Ask for anything you what 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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Saturday, February 4, 2023
Letter to the Hebrews 13: 15 - 17, 20 - 21
Through Jesus let us continually offer God a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of lips which acknowledge his name.
Do not neglect good deeds and generosity; God is pleased by sacrifices of that kind. Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over you as men who must render an account. So act that they may fulfill their task with joy, not with sorrow, for that would be harmful to you.
May the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep by the blood of the eternal covenant, Jesus our Lord, furnish you with all that is good, that you may do his will. Through Jesus Christ may he carry out in you all that is pleasing to him. To Christ be glory forever! Amen.

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

Gospel of Mark 6: 30 - 34
The apostles returned to Jesus and reported to him all that they had done and what they had taught. He said to them, "Come by yourselves to an out-of-the-way place and rest a little." People were coming and going in great numbers, making it impossible for them to so much as eat. So Jesus and the apostles went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place. People saw them leaving, and many got to know about it. People from all the towns hastened on foot to the place arriving ahead of them.
Upon disembarking Jesus saw a vast crowd. He pitied them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd and he began to teach them at great length.
 

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Sunday, February 5, 2023
Isaiah 58: 7 - 10
Thus says the Lord:
Share your bread with the hungry, sheltering the oppressed and the homeless; clothing the naked when you see them and not turning your back on your own.
Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your wound shall quickly be healed; your vindication shall go before you, and the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer, you shall cry for help, and he will say: Here I am! If you remove from your midst oppression, false accusation and malicious speech; if you bestow your bread on the hungry and satisfy the afflicted; then light shall rise for you in the darkness, and the gloom shall become for you like midday.

Psalm 112: 4 - 9
Light shines through the darkness, a light for the upright; he is gracious and merciful and just. Well for the man who is gracious and lends, who conducts his affairs with justice; he shall never be moved; the just man shall be in everlasting remembrance, an evil report he shall not fear; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord. His heart is steadfast; he shall not fear till he looks upon his foes. Lavishly he gives to the poor; his generosity shall endure forever; his horn shall be exalted in glory.

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 of "Wise" argumentation, but the convincing power of the Spirit. As a consequence, your faith rests not on the wisdom of men but on the power of God.

Gospel of Matthew 5: 13 - 16
Jesus said to his disciples:
"You are the salt of the earth. But what if salt goes flat? How can you restore its favor? Then it is good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Men do not light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket. They set it on a stand where it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, your light must shine before men so that they may see goodness in your acts and give praise to your heavenly Father."
 

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Monday, February 6, 2023
Genesis 1: 1 - 19
In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless wasteland, and darkness covered the abyss, while a mighty wind swept over the waters. Then God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. God saw how good the light was. God then separated the light from the darkness. God called the light "day," and the darkness he called "night." Thus evening came, and morning followed - the first day.
Then God said. "Let there be a dome in the middle of the waters, to separate one body of water from the other." And so it happened: God made the dome, and it separated the water above the dome from the water below it. God called the dome "the sky." Evening came, and morning followed - the second day.
Then God said, "Let the water under the sky be gathered into a single basin so that the dry land may appear." And so it happened: the water under the sky was gathered into its basin, and the dry land appeared. God called the dry land "the earth," and the basin of the water he called "the sea." God saw how good it was. Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth vegetation: every kind of plant that bears seed and every kind of fruit tree on earth that bears fruit with its seed in it." And so it happened: the earth brought forth every kind of plant that bears seed and every kind of fruit tree on earth that bears fruit with its seed in it. God saw how good it was. Evening came, and morning followed - the third day.
Then God said: "Let there be lights in the dome of the sky, to separate day from night. Let them mark the fixed times, the days and the years, and serve as luminaries in the dome of the sky, to shed light upon the earth." And so it happened: God made the two great lights, the greater one to govern the day, and the lesser one to govern the night, and he made the stars. God set them in the dome of the sky, to shed light upon the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. God saw how good it was. Evening came, and morning followed - the fourth day.

Psalm 104: 1 - 2, 5 - 6, 10, 12, 24, 35
Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord, my God, you are great indeed! You are clothed with majesty and glory. Robed in light as with a cloak . You have spread out the heavens like a tent-cloth.
You fixed the earth upon its foundation, not to be moved forever; with the ocean as with a garment, you covered it; above the mountains the water stood.
You sent forth springs into the watercourses that wind among the mountains.
Beside them the birds of heaven dwell; for among the branches they send forth their song.
How manifold are your works, O Lord! In wisdom you have wrought them all - the earth is full of your creatures.
Bless the Lord O my soul! Alleluia!

Gospel of Mark 6: 53 - 56
After making the crossing to the other side of the sea, Jesus and his disciples came ashore at Gennesaret, and tied up there. As they were leaving the boat, people immediately recognized him. The crowds scurried about the adjacent area and began to bring in the sick on bedrolls to the place where they heard he was. Whenever he put in an appearance, in villages, in towns, or at crossroads, they laid the sick in the market places and begged him to let them touch just the tassel of his cloak. All who touched him got well.
 

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Tuesday, February 7, 2023
Genesis 1: 20 - -2: 4
Then God said, "Let the water teem with an abundance of living creatures, and on the earth let birds fly beneath the dome of the sky." And so it happened: God created the great sea monsters and all kinds of swimming creatures with which the water teems, and all kinds of winged birds. God saw how good it was, and God blessed them, saying, "Be fertile, multiply, and fill the water of the seas; and let the birds multiply on the earth." Evening came, and morning followed - the fifth day.
Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth all kinds of living creatures: cattle, creeping things, and wild animals of all kinds." And so it happened: God made all kinds of wild animals, all kinds of cattle, and all kinds of creeping things of the earth. God saw how good it was. Then God said: "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and the cattle, and over all the wild animals and all the creatures that crawl on the ground."
God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them.
God blessed them, saying: "Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and all the living things that move on the earth." God also said: "See, I give you every seed-bearing plant all over the earth and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit on it to be your food, and to all the animals of the land, all the birds of the air, and all the living creatures that crawl on the ground, I give all the green plants for food." And so it happened. God looked at everything he had made, and he found it very good. Evening came and morning followed - the sixth day.
Thus the heavens and the earth and all their array were completed. Since on the seventh day God was finished with the work he had been doing, he rested on the seventh day from all the work he had undertaken. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work he had done in creation.
Such is the story of the heavens and the earth at their creation.

Psalm 8: 4 - 9
When I behold your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars which you set in place - what is man that you should be mindful of him or the son of man that you should care for him?
You have made him little less than the angels, and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him rule over the works of your hands, putting all things under his feet: all sheep and oxen, yes, and the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, the fishes of the sea, and whatever swims the paths of the seas.

Gospel of Mark 7: 1 - 13
The Pharisees and some of the experts in the law who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus. They had observed a few of his disciples eating meals without having purified - that is to say, washed - their hands. The Pharisees, and in fact all Jews, cling to the custom of their ancestors and never eat without scrupulously washing their hands. Moreover, they never eat anything from the market without first sprinkling it. There are many other traditions they observe - for example, the washing of cups and jugs and kettles. So the Pharisees and the scribes questioned him: "Why do your disciples not follow the tradition of our ancestors, but instead take food without purifying their hands?" He said to them: "How accurately Isaiah prophesied about you hypocrites when he wrote, 'This people pays me lip service but their heart is far from me. Empty is the reverence they do me because they teach as dogmas mere human precepts." You disregard God 's commandment and cling to what is human tradition."
He went on to say: "You have made a fine art of setting aside God's commandment in the interests of keeping your traditions! For example, Moses said, 'Honor your father and mother'; and in another place 'Whoever curses father or mother shall be put to death,' Yet you declare, 'If a person says to his father or mother, Any support you might have had from me is korban' (that is, dedicated to God), you allow him to do nothing more for his father or mother. That is the way you nullify God's word in favor of the traditions you have handed on. And you have many other such practices besides."
 

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