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Daily Bible reading

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Thursday, April 27, 2023
Acts 8: 26 - 40
An angel of the Lord then addressed himself to Philip: "Head south toward the road which goes from Jerusalem to Gaza, the desert route." Philip began the journey. It happened that an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official in charge of the entire treasury of Candace (a name meaning queen) of the Ethiopians, had come on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and was returning home. He was sitting in his carriage reading the prophet Isaiah. The spirit said to Philip, "Go and catch up with that carriage." Philip ran ahead and heard the man reading the prophet Isaiah. He said to him, "Do you really grasp what your are reading? "How can I, " the man replied, "unless someone explains it to me?" With that, he invited Philip to get in and sit down beside him. This was the passage of Scripture he was reading:
"Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter, like a lamb before its shearer he was silent and opened not his mouth. In his humiliation he was deprived of justice, Who will ever speak of his posterity, for he is deprived of his life on earth?"
The eunuch said to Philip, "Tell me, if you will, of whom the prophet says this - himself or someone else?" Philip launched out with this Scripture passage as hes starting point, telling him the good news of Jesus. As they moved along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, "Look, there is some water right there. What is to keep me from being baptized?" He ordered the carriage stopped, and Philip went down into the water with the eunuch and baptized him. When they came out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away and the eunuch saw him no more. Nevertheless the man went on his way rejoicing. Philip found himself at Azotus next, and he went about announcing the good news in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.

Psalms 66: 8 - 9, 16 - 17, 20
Bless our God, you peoples, loudly sound his praise; He has given life to our souls, and has not let our feet slip.
Hear now, all you who fear God, while I declare what he has done for me. When I appealed to him in words, praise was on the tip of my tongue.
Blessed be God who refused me not my prayer or his kindness!

John 6: 44 - 51
Jesus told them: "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him; I will raise him up on the last day. It is written in the prophets: 'They shall all be taught by God.' Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me. Not that anyone has seen the Father - only the one who is from God has seen the Father. Let me firmly assure you, he who believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate manna in the desert, but they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven for a man to eat and never die. I myself am the living bread come down from heaven. If anyone eats this bread he shall live forever; the bread I will give is my flesh, for the life of the world."
Friday, April 28, 2023
Acts 9: 1 - 20
Saul, still breathing murderous threats against the Lord's disciples, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus which would empower him to arrest and bring to Jerusalem anyone he might find, man or woman, living according to the new way. As he traveled along and was approaching Damascus, a light from the sky suddenly flashed about him. He fell to the ground and at the same time heard a voice saying, "Saul, Saul, why do your persecute me?" "Who are you, sir?" he asked. The voice answered, "I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting. Get up and go into the city, where you will be told what to do." The men who were traveling with him stood there speechless. They had heard the voice but could see no one. Saul got up from the ground unable to see, even though his eyes were open. They had to take him by the hand and lead him into Damascus. For three days he continued blind, during which time he neither ate nor drank.
There was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias to whom the Lord had appeared in a vision. "Ananias!" he said. "Here I am, Lord." came the answer. The Lord said to him, "Go at once to Straight Street, and at the house of Judas ask for a certain Saul of Judas of Tarsus. He is there praying." (Saul saw in a vision a man named Ananias coming to him and placing his hands on him so that he might recover his sight.) But Ananias protested: "Lord, I have heard from many sources about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem. He is here now with authorization from the chief priests to arrest any who invoke your name." The Lord said to him" "You must go! This man is the instrument I have chosen to bring my name to the Gentiles, and their kings and to the people of Israel. I myself shall indicate to him how much he will have to suffer for my name." With that Ananias left. When he entered the house he laid his hands on Saul and said, "Saul, my brother, I have been sent by the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the way here, to help you recover your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit." Immediately something like scales fell from his eyes and he regained his sight. He got up and was baptized, and his strength returned to him after he had taken food.
Saul stayed some time with the disciples in Damascus, and soon began to proclaim in the synagogues that Jesus was the Son of God.

Psalms 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.

John 6: 52 - 59
At this the Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, "How can he give us his flesh to eat?" Thereupon Jesus said to them: "Let me solemnly assure you, if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. He who feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has life eternal and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood real drink. The man who feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. Just as the Father who has life sent me and I have life because of the Father, so the man who feeds on me will have life because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and died nonetheless, the man who feeds on this bread shall live forever.
Saturday, April 29, 2023
Acts 9: 31 - 42
Meanwhile throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria the church was at peace. It was being built up and was making steady progress in the fear of the Lord; at the same time it enjoyed the increased consolation of the Holy Spirit.
Once when Peter was making numerous journeys, he went - among other places - to God's holy people living in Lydda. There he found a man named Aeneas, a paralytic who had been bedridden for eight years. Peter said to him, "Aeneas, Jesus Christ cures you! Get up and make your bed." The man got up at once. All the inhabitants of Lydda and Sharon, upon seeing him, were converted to the Lord.
Now in Joppa there was a certain woman convert named Tabitha (in Greek Dorcas, meaning a gazelle). Her life was marked by constant good deeds and acts of charity. At about that time she fell ill and died. They washed her body and laid it out in an upstairs room. Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples who had heard that Peter was there sent two men to him with the urgent request, "Please come over to us without delay." Peter set out with them as they asked. Upon his arrival they took him upstairs to the room. All the widows came to him in tears and showed him the various garments Dorcas had made when she was still with them. Peter first made everyone go outside; then he knelt down and prayed. Turning to the dead body, he said, "Tabitha, stand up." She opened her eyes, then looked at Peter and sat up. He gave her his hand and helped her to her feet. The next thing he did was to call in those who were believers and the widows to show them that she was alive. This became known all over Jopa, and because of it, many came to believe in the Lord.

Psalms 116: 12 - 17
How shall I make a return to the Lord for all the good he has done for me? The cup of salvation I will take up, and I will call upon the name of the Lord; My vows to the Lord I will pay in the presence of all his people. Precious in the eyes of the Lord is the death of his faithful ones. O Lord, I am your servant; I am your servant, the son of your handmaid; you have loosed my bonds. To you will I offer sacrifice of thanksgiving, and I will call upon the name of the Lord.

John 6: 60 - 69
After hearing his words, many of his disciples remarked, "This sort of talk is hard to endure! How can anyone take it seriously?" Jesus was fully aware that his disciples were murmuring in protest at what he had said. "Does it shake your faith?" he asked them.
"What, then, if you were to see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before ...? It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh is useless. The words I spoke to you are spirit and life. Yet among you there are some who do not believe." (Jesus knew from the start, of course, the ones who refused to believe, and the one who would hand him over.) He went on to say:
"This is why I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father."
From this time on, many of his disciples broke away and would not remain in his company any longer. Jesus then said to the Twelve, "Do you want to leave me too?" Simon Peter answered him. "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe; we are convinced that you are God's holy one."
Sunday, April 30, 2023
Acts 2: 14, 36 - 41
Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice, and proclaimed: "Let the whole house of Israel know for certain that God has made both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified."
Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and they asked Peter and the other apostles, "What are we to do, my brothers?" Peter said to them, "Repent and be baptized, everyone of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is made to you and to your children and to all those far off, whomever the Lord our God will call." He testified with many other arguments, and was exhorting them, "Save yourselves from this corrupt generation." Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand persons were added that day.

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.

First letter of Peter 2: 20 - 25
Beloved: If you are patient when you suffer for doing what is good, this is a grace before God. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in his footsteps. 'He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.'
When he was insulted, he returned no insult; when he suffered, he did not threaten; instead, he handed himself over to the one who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body upon the cross, so that, free from sin, we might live for righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you had gone astray like sheep, but you have now returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.

Gospel of John 10: 1 - 10
Jesus said: "Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever does not enter a sheepfold through the gate but climbs over elsewhere is a thief and a robber. But whoever enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice, as the shepherd calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has driven out all his own, he walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they recognize his voice. But they will not follow a stranger; they will run away from him, because they do not recognize the voice of strangers." Although Jesus used this figure of speech, the Pharisees did not realize what he was trying to tell them.
So Jesus said again, "Amen, amen, I say to you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy; I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly."
Monday, May 1, 2023
Acts 11: 1 - 18
All through Judea the apostles and the brothers heard that Gentiles, too, had accepted the word of God. As a result, when Peter went up to Jerusalem some among the circumcised took issue with him, saying, "You entered the house of uncircumcised men and ate with them." Peter then explained the whole affair to them step by step from the beginning: "I was at prayer in the city of Joppa when, in a trance, I saw a vision. An object like a big canvas came down; it was lowered down to me from the sky by its four corners. As I stared at it I could make out four-legged creatures of the earth, wild beasts and reptiles, and birds of the sky. I listened as a voice said to me, 'Get up Peter! Slaughter, then eat.' I replied: 'Not for a moment, sir! Nothing unclean or impure has ever entered my mouth!" A second time the voice from the heavens spoke out: 'What God has purified you are not to call unclean.' This happened three times; then the canvas with everything in it was drawn up again into the sky.
"Immediately after that, the three men who had been sent to me from Caesarea came to the house where we were staying. The Spirit instructed me to accompany them without hesitation. These six brothers came along with me, and we entered the man's house. He informed us that he had seen an angel standing in his house and that the angel had said: 'Send someone to Joppa and fetch Simon, known also as Peter. In the light of what he will tell you, you shall be saved, and all your household.' As I began to address them the Holy Spirit came upon them, just as it had upon us at the beginning. Then I remembered what the Lord had said: 'John baptized with water but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.' If God was giving them the same gift he gave us when we first believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to interfere with him?" When they heard this they stopped objecting, and instead began to glorify God in these words: "If this be so, then God has granted life-giving repentance even to the Gentiles."

Psalms 42: 2 - 3, 43: 3 - 4
As the hind longs for the running waters, so my soul longs for you, O God. Athirst is my soul for God, the living God. When shall I go and behold the face of God?
Fairer in beauty are you than the sons of men: grace is poured out upon your lips; thus God has blessed you forever. Gird your sword upon your thigh, O mighty one! in your splendor and your majesty ride on triumphant.

John 10: 11 - 18
" I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand - who is no shepherd nor owner of the sheep -catches sight of the wolf coming and runs away, leaving the sheep to be snatched and scattered by the wolf. That is because he works for pay; he has no concern for the sheep.
I am the good shepherd. I know my sheep and my sheep know me in the same way that the Father knows me and I know the Father; for these sheep I will give my life. I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must lead them, too, and they shall hear my voice. There shall be one flock then, one shepherd. The Father loves me for this: that I lay down my life to take it up again. No one takes it from me; I lay it down freely. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. This command I received from my Father."
Tuesday, May 2, 2023
Acts 11: 19 - 26
Those in the community who had been dispersed by the persecution that arose because of Stephen went as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, making the message known to none but Jews. However, some men of Cyprus and Cyrene among them who had come to Antioch began to talk even to the Greeks, announcing the good news of the Lord Jesus to them. The hand of the Lord was with them and a great number of them believed and were converted to the Lord. News of this eventually reached the ears of the church in Jerusalem, resulting in Barnabas' being sent to Antioch. In his arrival he rejoiced to see the evidence of God's favor. He encouraged them all to remain firm in their commitment to the Lord, since he himself was a good man filled with the Holy Spirit and faith. Thereby large numbers were added to the Lord. Then Barnabas went off to Tarsus to look for Saul; once he had found him, he brought him back to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and instructed great numbers. It was in Antioch that the disciples were called Christians for the first time.

Psalms 87: 1 - 7
His foundation upon the holy mountains the Lord loves: The gates of Zion, more than any dwelling of Jacob. Glorious things are said of you, O city of God! I tell of Egypt and Babylon among those that know the Lord; of Philistia, Tyre, Ethiopia: "This man was born there." And of Zion they shall say" "One and all were born in her; and he who has established her is the Most High Lord." They shall note, when the peoples are enrolled: "This man was born there." And all shall sing, in their festive dance: "My home is within you."

John 10: 22 - 30
It was winter, and the time came for the feast of the Dedication in Jerusalem. Jesus was walking in the temple area, in Solomon's Portico, when the Jews gathered around him and said, "How long are you going to keep us in suspense" If you really are the Messiah, tell us so in plain words" Jesus answered:
"I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father's name give witness in my favor, but you refuse to believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one shall snatch them out of my hand. My Father is greater than all, in what he has given me, and there is no snatching out of his hand. The Father and I are one."
Wednesday, May 3, 2023
First letter of Paul to the Corinthians 15: 1 - 8
I am reminding you, brothers and sisters, of the Gospel I preached to you, which you indeed received and in which you also stand. Through it you are also being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you unless you believed in vain. For I handed on to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures; that he was buried; that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures; that he appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at once, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. After that he appeared to James, then to all the Apostles. Last of all, as to one born abnormally, he appeared to me.

Psalm 19: 2 - 5
The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament proclaims his handiwork. Day pours out the word to day, and night to night imparts knowledge; not a word nor a discourse whose voice is not heard; through all the earth their voice resounds, and to the ends of the world, their message.

Gospel of John 14: 6 - 14
Jesus said to Thomas, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, then you will also know my Father. From now on you do know him and have seen him." Philip said to him, "Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us." Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you for so long a time and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father?' Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own. The Father who dwells in me is doing his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else, believe because of the works themselves. Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these, because I am going to the Father. And whatever you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it."
Thursday, May 4, 2023
Acts 13: 13 - 25
From Paphos, Paul and his companions put out to sea and sailed to Perga and Pamphylia. There John left them and returned to Jerusalem. They continued to travel on from Perga and came to Antioch in Pisidia. On the sabbath day they entered the synagogue and sat down.
After the reading of the law and of the prophets, the leading men of the synagogue sent this message to them: "Brothers, if you have any exhortation to address to the people, please speak up."
So Paul arose, motioned to them for silence, and began: "Fellow Israelites and you others who reverence our God, listen to what I have to say! The God of the people Israel once chose our fathers. He made this people great during their sojourn in the land of Egypt, and with an outstretched arm he led them out of it. For forty years he put up with them in the desert: then he destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan to give to them that country as their heritage at the end of some four hundred and fifty years. Later on he set up judges to rule them until the time of the prophet Samuel. When they asked for a king, God gave them Saul son of Kish, of the tribe of Benjamin, who ruled for forty years. Then God removed him and raised up David as their king; on his behalf God testified, 'I have found David son of Jesse to be a man after my own heart who will fulfill my every wish.'
"According to his promise, God has brought forth from this man's descendants Jesus, a savior for Israel. John heralded the coming of Jesus by proclaiming a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. As John's career was coming to and end, he would say, 'What you suppose me to be I am not. Rather, look for the one who comes after me. I am not worthy to unfasten the sandals on his feet.'"

Psalms 89: 2 - 3, 21 - 22, 25, 27
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 found David, my servant; with my holy oil I have anointed him, that my hand may be always with him, and that my arm may make him strong.
My faithfulness and my kindness shall be with him, and through my name shall his horn be exalted.
He shall say of me 'You are my father, my God, the rock, my savior.'

John 13: 16 - 20
"I solemnly assure you, no slave is greater than his master; no messenger outranked the one who sent him. Once you know all these things, blest will you be if you put them into practice.
What I say is not said of all, for I know the kind of men I chose, my purpose here is the fulfillment of Scripture. 'He who partook of bread with me has raised his heel against me.' I tell you this now, before it takes place, so that when it takes place you may believe that I AM.
I solemnly assure you, he who accepts anyone I send accepts me, and in accepting me accepts him who sent me."
Friday, May 5, 2023
Acts 13: 26 - 33
Paul continues:
"My brothers, children of the family of Abraham and you others who reverence our God, it was to us that this message of salvation was sent forth. The inhabitants of Jerusalem and their rulers failed to recognize him, and in condemning him they fulfilled the words of the prophets which we read sabbath after sabbath. Even though they found no charge against him which deserved death, they begged Pilate to have him executed. Once they had thus brought about all that had been written of him, they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb. Yet God raised him from the dead, and for many days thereafter Jesus appeared to those who had come up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem. These are his witnesses now before the people.
We ourselves announce to you the good news that what God promised our fathers he has fulfilled for us, their children, in rising up Jesus, according to what is written in the second psalm, 'You are my son; this day I have begotten you.'"

Psalms 2: 6 - 11
"I myself have set up my king on Zion, my holy mountain." I will proclaim the decree of the Lord: The Lord said to me, "You are my son; this day I have begotten you. Ask of me and I will give you the nations for an inheritance and the ends of the earth for your possession. You shall rule them with an iron rod; you shall shatter them like an earthen dish." And now, O kings, give heed; take warning, you rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice before him; with trembling pay homage to him, lest he be angry and you perish from the way, when his anger blazes suddenly. Happy are all who take refuge in him!

John 14: 1 - 6
"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Have faith in God and faith in me. In my Fathers's house there are many dwelling places; otherwise, how could I have told you that I was going to prepare a place for you? I am indeed going to prepare a place for you, and then I shall come back to take you with me, that where I am you also may be. You know the way that leads where I go."
"Lord," said Thomas, "we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?" Jesus told him:
"I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through me."
Saturday, May 6, 2023
Acts 13: 44 - 52
The following sabbath, almost the entire city gathered to hear the word of God. When the Jews saw the crowds, they became very jealous and countered with violent abuse whatever Paul said. Paul and Barnabas spoke out fearlessly, nonetheless: "The word of God has to be declared to you first of all; but since your reject it and thus convict yourselves as unworthy of everlasting life, we now turn to the Gentiles. For thus were we instructed by the Lord: 'I have made you a light to the nations, a means of salvation to the ends of the earth.'"
The Gentiles were delighted when they heard this and responded to the word of the Lord with praise. All who were destined for life everlasting believed in it. Thus the word of the Lord was carried throughout that area.
But some of the Jews stirred up their influential women sympathizers and the leading men of the town, and in that way got a persecution started against Paul and Barnabas. The Jews finally expelled them from their territory. So the two shook the dust from their feet in protest and went on to Iconium. The disciples could not but be filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.

Psalms 98: 1, 2 - 4
Sing to the Lord a new song, for he 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.

John 14: 7 - 14
"If you really knew me, you would know my Father also. From this point on you know him; you have seen him."
"Lord," Philip said to him, "show us the Father and that will be enough for us." "Philip," Jesus replied, "after I have been with you all this time, you still do not know me?
Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I speak are not spoken of myself; it is the Father who lives in me accomplishing his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else, believe because of the works I do. I solemnly assure you, the man who has faith in me will do the works I do, and greater than these. Why? Because I go to the Father and whatever you ask in my name I will do, so as to glorify the Father in the Son. Anything you ask me in my name I will do."
Sunday, May 7, 2023
Acts 6: 1 - 7
As the number of disciples continued to grow, the Hellenists complained against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. So the Twelve called together the community of the disciples and said, "It is not right for us to neglect the word of God to serve at table. Brothers, select from among you seven reputable men, filled with the Spirit and wisdom, whom we shall appoint to this task, whereas we shall devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word." The proposal was acceptable to the whole community, so they chose Stephen, a man filled with faith and the Holy Spirit, also Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicholas of Antioch, a convert to Judaism. They presented these men to the apostles who prayed and laid hands on them. The word of God continued to spread, and the number of the disciples in Jerusalem increased greatly; even a large group of priests were becoming obedient to the faith.

Psalm 33: 1 - 2, 4 - 5, 18 - 19
Exult, you just, in the Lord, praise from the upright is fitting. Give thanks to the Lord on the harp; with ten-stringed lyre chant his praises.
For upright is the word of the Lord, and all his words are trustworthy. He loves justice and right; of the kindness of the Lord the earth is full.
But see, the eyes of the Lord are upon those who fear him, upon those who hope for this kindness, to deliver them from death and preserve them in spite of famine.

First letter of Peter 2: 4 - 9
Beloved: Come to him, a living stone, rejected by human beings but chosen and precious in the sight of God, and, like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it says in Scripture: 'Behold, I am laying a stone in Zion, a cornerstone, chosen and precious, and whoever believes in it shall not be put to shame.'
Therefore, its value is for you who have faith, but for those without faith: 'The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.' and 'A stone that will make people stumble, and a rock that will make them fall.' They stumble by disobeying the word, as is their destiny.
You are 'a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may announce the praises' of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

Gospel of John 14: 1 - 12
Jesus said to his disciples; "Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. In my Father's house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that were I am you also may be. Where I am going you know the way." Thomas said to him, "Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?" Jesus said to him, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, then you will also know my Father. From now on you do know him and have seen him." Philip said to him, "Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us." Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you for so long at time and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own. The Father who dwells in me is doing his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else, believe because of the works themselves. Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these, because I am going to the Father."
Monday, May 8, 2023
Acts 14: 5 - 18
A move was made by Gentiles and Jews, together with their leaders, to abuse and stone Paul and Barnabas. When Paul and Barnabas learned of this, they fled to the Lycaonian towns of Lystra and Derbe and to the surrounding country, where they continued to proclaim the good news.
At Lystra there was a man who was lame from birth; he used to sit crippled, never having walked in his life. On one occasion he was listening to Paul preaching, and Paul looked directly at him and saw that he had the faith to be saved. He called out to him in a loud voice, "Stand up! On your feet!" The man jumped up and began to walk around. When the crowds saw what Paul had done, they cried out in Lycaonian, "Gods have come to us in the form of men!" They named Barnabas Zeus; Paul they called Hermes, since he was the spokesman. Even the priest of the temple of Zeus, which stood outside the town, brought oxen and garlands to the gates because he wished to offer sacrifice to them with the crowds.
When the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of this, they tore their garments and rushed out into the crowd. "Friends, why do you do this?" They shouted frantically. "We are only men, human like you. We are bringing you the good news that will convert you from just such follies as these to the living God, 'the one who made heaven and earth and the sea and all that is in them.' In past ages he let the Gentiles go their way. Yet in bestowing his benefits, he has not hidden himself completely, without a clue. From the heavens he sends down rain and rich harvests; your spirits he fills with food and delight." Yet even with a speech such as this, they could scarcely stop the crowds from offering sacrifice to them.

Psalm 115: 1 - 4, 15 - 16
Not to us, O Lord, not to us but to your name give glory because of your kindness, because of your truth. Why should the pagans say, "Where is their God?" Our God is in heaven; whatever he wills, he does.
Their idols are silver and gold, the handiwork of men.
May you be blessed by the Lord, who made heaven and earth. Heaven is the heaven of the Lord, but the earth he has given to the children of men.

Gospel of John 14: 21 - 26
Jesus said to his disciples:
He who obeys the commandments he has from me is the man who loves me; and he who loves me will be loved by my Father. I too will love him and reveal myself to him."
Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said to him, "Lord, why is it that you will reveal yourself to us and not to the world?" Jesus answered:
"Anyone who loves me will be true to my word, and my Father will love him; we will come to him and make our dwelling place with him. He who does not love me does not keep my words. Yet the word you hear is not mine; it comes from the Father who sent me. This much have I told you while I was still with you; the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name, will instruct you in everything, and remind you of all that I told you."
Tuesday, May 9, 2023
Acts 14: 19 - 28
Just at that point, some Jews from Antioch and Iconium arrived and won the people over. They stoned Paul and dragged him out of the town, leaving him there for dead. His disciples quickly formed a circle about him, and before long he got up and went back into the town. The next day he left with Barnabas for Derbe. After they had proclaimed the good news in that town and made numerous disciples, they retraced their steps to Lystra and Iconium first, then to Antioch. They gave their disciples reassurances, and encouraged them to persevere in the faith with this instruction: "We must undergo many trials if we are to enter into the reign of God.' In each church they installed presbyters and, with prayer and fasting, commended them to the Lord in whom they had put their faith.
Then they passed through Pisidia and came to Pamphylia. After preaching the message in Perga, they went down to Attalia. From there they sailed back to Antioch, where they had first been commended to the favor of God for the task they had now completed. On their arrival, they called the congregation together and related all that God had helped them accomplish, and how he had opened the door of faith to the gentiles. Then they spent some time there with the disciples.

Psalm 145: 10 - 13, 21
Let all your works give you thanks, O Lord, and let your faithful ones bless you. Let them discourse of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might, making known to men your might and the glorious splendor of your kingdom. Your kingdom is a kingdom for all ages and your dominion endures through all generations. The Lord is faithful in all his words and holy in all his works.
May my mouth speak the praise of the Lord, and may all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever.

Gospel of John 14: 27 - 31
Jesus said to his disciples:
"Peace is my farewell to you, my peace is my gift to you; I do not give it to you as the world gives peace. Do not be distressed or fearful. You have heard me say, 'I go away for a while, and I come back to you.' If you truly loved me you would rejoice to have me go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. I tell you now, before it takes place, so that when it takes place you may believe. I shall not go on speaking to you longer; the Prince of this world is at hand. He has no hold on me but the world must know that I love the Father and do as the Father has commanded me. Come, then! Let us be on our way."
Wednesday, May 10, 2023
Acts 15: 1 - 6
Some men came down to Antioch from Judea and began to teach the brothers: "Unless you are circumcised according to Mosaic practice, you cannot be saved." This created dissension and much controversy between them and Paul and Barnabas. Finally it was decided that Paul, Barnabas, and some others should go up to see the apostles and presbyters in Jerusalem about this question.
The church saw them off and they made their way through Phoenicia and Samaria, telling everyone about the conversion of the Gentiles as they went. Their story caused great joy among the brothers. When they arrived in Jerusalem they were welcomed by that church, as well as by the apostles and the presbyters, to whom they reported all that God had helped them accomplish. Some of the converted Pharisees then got up and demanded that such Gentiles be circumcised and told to keep the Mosaic law.
The apostles and the presbyters accordingly convened to look into the matter.

Psalm 122: 1 - 5
I rejoiced because they said to me, "We will go up to the house of the Lord." And now we have set foot within your gates, O Jerusalem - Jerusalem, built as a city with compact unity.
To it the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord, according to the decree for Israel, to give thanks to the name of the Lord. In it are set up judgment seats, seats for the house of David.

Gospel of John 15: 1 - 8
Jesus said to his disciples:
"I am the true vine and my Father is the vine-grower. He prunes away every barren branch, but the fruitful ones he trims clean to increase their yield. You are clean already, thanks to the word I have spoken to you. Live on in me, as I do in you. No more than a branch can bear fruit of itself apart from the vine, can you bear fruit apart from me. I am the vine, you are the branches, He who lives in me and I in him, will produce abundantly, for apart from me you can do nothing. A man who does not live in me is like a withered, rejected branch, picked up to be thrown in the fire and burnt. If you live in me, and my words stay part of you, you may ask what you will - it will be done for you. My Father has been glorified in your bearing much fruit and becoming my disciples.
Thursday, May 11, 2023
Acts 15: 7 - 21
After much discussion, Peter took the floor and said to them: "Brothers, you know well enough that from the early days God selected me from your number to be the one from whose lips the Gentiles would hear the message of the gospel and believe. God, who reads the hearts of men, showed his approval by granting the Holy Spirit to them just as he did to us. He made no distinction between them and us, but purified their hearts by means of faith also. Why, then, do you put God to the test by trying to place on the shoulders of these converts a yoke which neither we nor our fathers were able to bear? Our belief is rather that we are saved by the favor of the Lord Jesus and so are they." At that whole assembly fell silent. They listened to Barnabas and Paul as the two described all the signs and wonders God had worked among the Gentiles through them.
When they concluded their presentation, James spoke up: "Brothers, listen to me. Symeon has told you how God first concerned himself with taking from among the Gentiles a people to bear his name. The words of the prophets agree with this, where it says in Scripture: 'Hereafter I will return and rebuild the fallen hut of David: from its ruins I will rebuild it and set it up again, so that all the rest of mankind and all the nations that bear my name may seek out the Lord. Thus says the Lord who accomplishes these things known to him from of old.' It is my judgment, therefore, that we ought not to cause God's Gentile converts any difficulties. We should merely write to them to abstain from anything contaminated by idols, from illicit sexual union, from the meat of strangled animals, and from eating blood. After all, for generations now Moses has been proclaimed in every town and has been read aloud in the synagogues on every Sabbath."

Psalm 96: 1 - 3, 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.
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 John 15: 9 - 11
Jesus said to his disciples:
"As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you, live on in my love if you keep my commandments, even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and live in his love. All this I tell you that my joy may be yours and your joy may be complete."
Friday, May 12, 2023
Acts 15: 22 - 31
It was resolved by the apostles and the presbyters in agreement with the whole Jerusalem church, that representatives be chosen from among their number and sent to Antioch along with Paul and Barnabas. Those chosen were leading men of the community, Judas, known as Barsabbas, and Silas. They were to deliver this letter:
"The apostles and the presbyters, your brothers, send greetings to the brothers if gentile origin in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia. We have heard that some of our number without any instructions from us have upset you with their discussions and disturbed your peace of mind. Therefore we have unanimously resolved to choose representatives and send them to you, along with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, who have dedicated themselves to the cause of our Lord Jesus Christ. Those whom we are sending you are Judas and Silas, who will convey this message by word of mouth: 'It is the decision of the Holy Spirit, and ours too, not to lay on you any burden beyond that which is strictly necessary, namely, to abstain from meat sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals, and from illicit sexual union. You will be well advised to avoid these things. Farewell.' "
Thus were the representatives sent on their way to Antioch; and upon their arrival there they called the assembly together to deliver the letter. When it was read there was great delight at the encouragement it gave.

Psalm 57: 8 - 10, 12
My heart is steadfast, O God; my heart is steadfast; I will sing and chant praise. Awake, O my soul; awake, lyre and harp! I will wake the dawn. I will give thanks to you among the peoples, O Lord. I will chant your praise among the nations.
Be exalted above the heavens, O God; above all the earth be your glory!

Gospel of John 15: 12 - 17
Jesus said to his disciples:
"All this I tell you that my joy may be yours and your joy may be complete. This is my commandment: love one another as I have loved you. There is no greater love than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I no longer speak of you as slaves, for a slave does not know what his master is about. Instead, I call you friends, since I have made known to you all that I heard from my Father. It was not you who chose me, it was I who chose you to go forth and bear fruit. Your fruit must endure, so that all you ask the Father in my name he will give you. The command I give you is this, that you love one another."
Saturday, May 13, 2023
Acts 16: 1 - 10
Paul arrived first at Derbe; next he came to Lystra, where there was a disciple named Timothy, whose mother was Jewish and a believer, and whose father was a Greek. Since the brothers in Lystra and Iconium spoke highly of him, Paul was anxious to have him come along on the journey. Paul had him circumcised because of the Jews of that region for they all knew that it was only his father who was Greek. As they made their way from town to town, they transmitted to the people for observance the decisions which the apostles and presbyters had made in Jerusalem.
Through all this, the congregations grew stronger in faith and daily increased in numbers.
They next traveled through Phrygia and Galatian territory because they had been prevented by the Holy spirit from preaching the message in the province of Asia. When they came to Mysia they tried to go on into Bithynia, but again the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them. Crossing through Mysia instead, they came down to Troas. There one night Paul had a vision. A man of Macedonia stood before him and invited him, "Come over to Macedonia and help us."
After this vision, we immediately made efforts to get across to Macedonia, concluding that God had summoned us to proclaim the good news there.

Psalm 100: 1 - 5
Sing joyfully to the Lord, all you lands; serve the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful song. Know that the Lord is God; he made us, his we are; his people, the flock he tends. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, his courts with praise; give thanks to him; bless his name, for he is good: the Lord, whose kindness endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.

Gospel of John 15: 18 - 21
Jesus said to his disciples:
"If you find that the world hates you, know it has hated me before you. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own; the reason it hates you is that you do not belong to the world. But I chose you out of the world. Remember what I told you: no slave is greater than his master. They will harry you as they harried me. They will respect your words as much as they respected mine. All this they will do to you because of my name, for they know nothing of him who sent me."
Sunday, May 14, 2023
Acts 8: 5 - 8, 14 - 17
Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed the Christ to them. With one accord, the crowds paid attention to what was said by Philip when they heard it and saw the signs he was doing. For unclean spirits, crying out in a loud voice, came out of many possessed people, and many paralyzed or crippled people were cured. There was great joy in that city.
Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent them Peter and John, who went down and prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit, for it had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.

Psalm 66: 1 - 7, 16, 20
Shout joyfully to God, all you on earth, sing praise to the glory of his name; proclaim his glorious praise. Say to God, "How tremendous are your deeds! For your great strength your enemies fawn upon you. Let all on earth worship and sing praise to you, sing praise to your name!"
Come and see the works of God, his tremendous deeds among men. He has changed the seas into dry land; through the river they passed on foot; therefore let us rejoice in him. He rules by his might forever; his eyes watch the nations; rebels may not exalt themselves.
Hear now, all you who fear God, while I declare what he has done for me.
Blessed be God who refused me not my prayer or his kindness.

First Letter of Peter 3: 15 - 18
Beloved: Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts. Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a for a reason for your hope, but do it with gentleness and reverence, keeping your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who defame your good conduct in Christ may themselves be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that be the will of God, than for doing evil. For Christ also suffered for sins once, the righteous for the sake of the unrighteous, that he might lead you to God. Put to death in the flesh, he was brought to life in the Spirit.

Gospel of John 14: 15 - 21
Jesus said to his disciples:
"If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept, because it neither sees nor knows him. But you know him, because he remains with you, and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me, because I live and you will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father and you are in me and I in you. Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me. And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him."
Monday, May 15, 2023
Acts 16: 11 - 15
We put out to sea from Troas and set a course straight for Samothrace, and the next day on to Neapolis; from there we went to Philippi, a leading city in the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. We spent some time in that city. Once, on the sabbath, we went outside the city gate to the bank of the river, where we thought there would be a place of prayer. We sat down and spoke to the women who were gathered there. One who listened was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple goods from the town of Thyatira. She already reverenced God, and the Lord opened her heart to accept what Paul was saying. After she and her household had been baptized, she extended us an invitation: "If you are convinced that I believe in the Lord, come and stay at my house." She managed to prevail on us.

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

Gospel of John 15: 26 - -16: 4
Jesus said to his disciples:
"When the Paraclete comes, the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father - and whom I myself will send from the Father - he will bear witness on my behalf. You must bear witness as well, for you have been with me from the beginning.
I have told you all this to keep your faith from being shaken. Not only will they expel you from synagogues; a time will come when anyone who puts you to death will claim to be serving God! All this they will do to you because they knew neither the Father nor me. But I have told you these things that when their hour comes you may remember my telling you of them."
Tuesday, May 16, 2023
Acts 16: 16 - 34
It was while we were on our way out to the place of prayer that we met a slave girl who had a clairvoyant spirit. She used to bring substantial profit to her masters by fortune telling. The girl began to follow Paul and the rest of us shouting, "These men are servants of the Most High God; they will make known to you a way of salvation." She did this for several days until finally Paul became annoyed, turned around, and said to the spirit, "In the name of Jesus Christ I command you, come out of her!" Then and there the spirit left her.
When her masters saw that their source of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the main square before the local authorities. They turned them over to the magistrates with this complaint: "These men are agitators disturbing the peace of our city! Furthermore, they are Jews, which means they advocate customs which are not lawful for us Romans to adopt or practice." The crowd joined in the attack on them, and the magistrates stripped them and ordered them to be flogged. After receiving many lashes they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was given instructions to guard them well. Upon receipt of these instructions he put them in maximum security, going so far as to chain their feet to a stake.
About midnight, while Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God as their fellow prisoners listened, a severe earthquake suddenly shook the place, rocking the prison to its foundations. Immediately all the doors flew open and everyone's chains were pulled loose. The jailer woke up to see the prison gates wide open. Thinking that the prisoners had escaped, he drew his sword to kill himself; but Paul shouted to him: "Do not harm yourself! We are all still here." The jailer called for a light, then rushed in and fell trembling at the feet of Paul and Silas. After a brief interval he led them out and said, "Men, what must I do to be saved?" Their answer was, "Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, and all your household." They proceeded to announce the word of God to him and to everyone in his house. At that late hour of the night he took them in and bathed their wounds; then he and his whole household were baptized. He led them up into his house, spread a table before them, and joyfully celebrated with his whole family his newfound faith in God.

Psalm 138: 1 - 3, 7 - 8
I will give thanks to you, O Lord, with all my heart, for you have heard the words of my mouth; in the presence of the angels I will sing your praise; I will worship at your holy temple and give thanks to your name, because of your kindness and your truth; for you have made great above all things your name and your promise. When I called, you answered me; you built up strength within me.
Though I walk amid distress, you preserve me; against the anger of my enemies you raise your hand; your right hand saves me. The Lord will complete what he has done for me; our kindness, O Lord, endures forever; forsake not the work of your hands.

Gospel of John 16: 5 - 11
Jesus said to his disciples:
"Now that I go back to him who sent me, not one of you asks me, 'Where are you going?' Because I have had all this to say to you, you are overcome with grief. Yet I tell you the sober truth: it is much better for you that I go. If I fail to go, the Paraclete will never come to you, whereas if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will prove the world wrong about sin, about justice, about condemnation. About sin - in that they refuse to believe in me; about justice - from the fact that I go to the Father and you can see me no more; about condemnation - for the prince of this world has been condemned."

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