December 21, 2014 – Announcement of the Birth of Jesus

Luke 1:26-38

the-annunciation-1667.jpg!Blog26 Now in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man whose name was Joseph, of David’s house. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 Having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, you highly favored one! The Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women!”

29 But when she saw him, she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered what kind of salutation this might be. 30 The angel said to her, “Don’t be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 Behold, you will conceive in your womb, and give birth to a son, and will call his name ‘Jesus.’ 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father, David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever. There will be no end to his Kingdom.”

34 Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, seeing I am a virgin?”

35 The angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore also the holy one who is born from you will be called the Son of God. 36 Behold, Elizabeth, your relative, also has conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. 37 For nothing spoken by God is impossible.”[a]

38 Mary said, “Behold, the servant of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word.”

The angel departed from her.

Readings

First Reading: 2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8b-12,14a,16

When the king lived in his house, and Yahweh had given him rest from all his enemies all around, the king said to Nathan the prophet, “See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but God’s ark dwells within curtains.”

Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that is in your heart; for Yahweh is with you.”

That same night, Yahweh’s word came to Nathan, saying, “Go and tell my servant David, ‘Yahweh says, “Should you build me a house for me to dwell in?

Now therefore tell my servant David this, ‘Yahweh of Armies says, “I took you from the sheep pen, from following the sheep, to be prince over my people, over Israel. I have been with you wherever you went, and have cut off all your enemies from before you. I will make you a great name, like the name of the great ones who are in the earth. 10 I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in their own place, and be moved no more. The children of wickedness will not afflict them any more, as at the first, 11 and as from the day that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel. I will cause you to rest from all your enemies. Moreover Yahweh tells you that Yahweh will make you a house. 12 When your days are fulfilled, and you sleep with your fathers, I will set up your offspring[a] after you, who will proceed out of your body, and I will establish his kingdom.

14 I will be his father, and he will be my son. If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men;

16 Your house and your kingdom will be made sure forever before you. Your throne will be established forever.”’”

Second Reading: Romans 16:25-27

25 Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began 26 but now made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith— 27 to God, alone wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.[a]

December 20, 2014 – Announcement of the Birth of Jesus

Luke 1:26-38

appearance-of-angel-to-st-joseph-also-called-the-song-of-st-joseph.jpg!Blog annunciation-1914.jpg!Blog26 Now in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man whose name was Joseph, of David’s house. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 Having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, you highly favored one! The Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women!”

29 But when she saw him, she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered what kind of salutation this might be. 30 The angel said to her, “Don’t be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 Behold, you will conceive in your womb, and give birth to a son, and will call his name ‘Jesus.’ 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father, David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever. There will be no end to his Kingdom.”

34 Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, seeing I am a virgin?”

35 The angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore also the holy one who is born from you will be called the Son of God. 36 Behold, Elizabeth, your relative, also has conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. 37 For nothing spoken by God is impossible.”[a]

38 Mary said, “Behold, the servant of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word.”

The angel departed from her.

December 19, 2014 – Announcement of the Birth of John

Luke 1:5-25

birth-of-john-the-baptist-1526There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the priestly division of Abijah. He had a wife of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. They were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they both were well advanced in years. Now while he executed the priest’s office before God in the order of his division, according to the custom of the priest’s office, his lot was to enter into the temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10 The whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the hour of incense.

11 An angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right side of the altar of incense. 12 Zacharias was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him. 13 But the angel said to him, “Don’t be afraid, Zacharias, because your request has been heard, and your wife, Elizabeth, will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. 14 You will have joy and gladness; and many will rejoice at his birth. 15 For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and he will drink no wine nor strong drink. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. 16 He will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord, their God. 17 He will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to prepare a people prepared for the Lord.”

18 Zacharias said to the angel, “How can I be sure of this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years.”

19 The angel answered him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God. I was sent to speak to you, and to bring you this good news. 20 Behold,[a] you will be silent and not able to speak, until the day that these things will happen, because you didn’t believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their proper time.”

21 The people were waiting for Zacharias, and they marveled that he delayed in the temple. 22 When he came out, he could not speak to them, and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple. He continued making signs to them, and remained mute. 23 When the days of his service were fulfilled, he departed to his house. 24 After these days Elizabeth, his wife, conceived, and she hid herself five months, saying, 25 “Thus has the Lord done to me in the days in which he looked at me, to take away my reproach among men.”

December 18, 2014 – The Birth of Jesus

Matthew 1:18-25

nativity-birth-of-jesus.jpg!Blog18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was like this; for after his mother, Mary, was engaged to Joseph, before they came together, she was found pregnant by the Holy Spirit. 19 Joseph, her husband, being a righteous man, and not willing to make her a public example, intended to put her away secretly. 20 But when he thought about these things, behold,[a] an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take to yourself Mary, your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 She shall give birth to a son. You shall call his name Jesus, for it is he who shall save his people from their sins.”

22 Now all this has happened, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying,

23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child,
    and shall give birth to a son.
They shall call his name Immanuel”;
    which is, being interpreted, “God with us.”[b]

24 Joseph arose from his sleep, and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took his wife to himself; 25 and didn’t know her sexually until she had given birth to her firstborn son. He named him Jesus.

December 17, 2014 – The Genealogy of Jesus

Matthew 1:1-17

jesus-christ-1894.jpg!BlogThe book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ,[a] the son of David, the son of Abraham. Abraham became the father of Isaac. Isaac became the father of Jacob. Jacob became the father of Judah and his brothers. Judah became the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar. Perez became the father of Hezron. Hezron became the father of Ram. Ram became the father of Amminadab. Amminadab became the father of Nahshon. Nahshon became the father of Salmon. Salmon became the father of Boaz by Rahab. Boaz became the father of Obed by Ruth. Obed became the father of Jesse. Jesse became the father of King David. David became the father of Solomon by her who had been Uriah’s wife. Solomon became the father of Rehoboam. Rehoboam became the father of Abijah. Abijah became the father of Asa. Asa became the father of Jehoshaphat. Jehoshaphat became the father of Joram. Joram became the father of Uzziah. Uzziah became the father of Jotham. Jotham became the father of Ahaz. Ahaz became the father of Hezekiah. 10 Hezekiah became the father of Manasseh. Manasseh became the father of Amon. Amon became the father of Josiah. 11 Josiah became the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the exile to Babylon. 12 After the exile to Babylon, Jechoniah became the father of Shealtiel. Shealtiel became the father of Zerubbabel. 13 Zerubbabel became the father of Abiud. Abiud became the father of Eliakim. Eliakim became the father of Azor. 14 Azor became the father of Zadok. Zadok became the father of Achim. Achim became the father of Eliud. 15 Eliud became the father of Eleazar. Eleazar became the father of Matthan. Matthan became the father of Jacob. 16 Jacob became the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, from whom was born Jesus,[b] who is called Christ. 17 So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; from David to the exile to Babylon fourteen generations; and from the carrying away to Babylon to the Christ, fourteen generations.

December 16, 2014 – Witnesses to Jesus

John 5:33-36

icon-lamp.jpg!Blog33 You have sent to John, and he has testified to the truth. 34 But the testimony which I receive is not from man. However, I say these things that you may be saved. 35 He was the burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. 36 But the testimony which I have is greater than that of John, for the works which the Father gave me to accomplish, the very works that I do, testify about me, that the Father has sent me.

December 15, 2014 – The Authority of Jesus Questioned

Matthew 21:23-27

esus-among-the-crowd23 When he had come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him as he was teaching, and said, “By what authority do you do these things? Who gave you this authority?”

24 Jesus answered them, “I also will ask you one question, which if you tell me, I likewise will tell you by what authority I do these things. 25 The baptism of John, where was it from? From heaven or from men?”

They reasoned with themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ 26 But if we say, ‘From men,’ we fear the multitude, for all hold John as a prophet.” 27 They answered Jesus, and said, “We don’t know.”

He also said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.

December 14, 2014 – John the Baptist’s Testimony

John 1:6-8,19-28

st-john-the-baptist.jpg!BlogThere came a man, sent from God, whose name was John. The same came as a witness, that he might testify about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but was sent that he might testify about the light.

19 This is John’s testimony, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?”

20 He declared, and didn’t deny, but he declared, “I am not the Christ.”

21 They asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?”

He said, “I am not.”

“Are you the prophet?”

He answered, “No.”

22 They said therefore to him, “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”

23 He said, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’[a] as Isaiah the prophet said.”

24 The ones who had been sent were from the Pharisees. 25 They asked him, “Why then do you baptize, if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?”

26 John answered them, “I baptize in water, but among you stands one whom you don’t know. 27 He is the one who comes after me, who is preferred before me, whose sandal strap I’m not worthy to loosen.” 28 These things were done in Bethany beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.

Readings:

First Reading: Isaiah 61:1-2a,10-11

The Lord Yahweh’s Spirit is on me;
    because Yahweh has anointed me to preach good news to the humble.
He has sent me to bind up the broken hearted,
    to proclaim liberty to the captives,
    and release to those who are bound;
to proclaim the year of Yahweh’s favor,
    and the day of vengeance of our God;

10 I will greatly rejoice in Yahweh!
    My soul will be joyful in my God;
for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation.
    He has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
    as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland,
    and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
11 For as the earth produces its bud,
    and as the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring up;
    so the Lord Yahweh will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations.

 

Second Reading: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24

16 Rejoice always. 17 Pray without ceasing. 18 In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus toward you. 19 Don’t quench the Spirit. 20 Don’t despise prophesies. 21 Test all things, and hold firmly that which is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.

23 May the God of peace himself sanctify you completely. May your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

24 He who calls you is faithful, who will also do it.

December 13, 2014 ~ The Coming Of Elijah

Matthew 17:9a, 10-13

World English Bible (WEB)19TH SUNDAY ELIJAH

As they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, “Don’t tell anyone what you saw, until the Son of Man has risen from the dead.”

10 His disciples asked him, saying, “Then why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?”

11 Jesus answered them, “Elijah indeed comes first, and will restore all things, 12 but I tell you that Elijah has come already, and they didn’t recognize him, but did to him whatever they wanted to. Even so the Son of Man will also suffer by them.” 13 Then the disciples understood that he spoke to them of John the Baptizer.

 

December 12, 2014 – Jesus Laments

Matthew 11:16-19

World English Bible (WEB)

JesusPharisees16 “But to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces, who call to their companions 17 and say, ‘We played the flute for you, and you didn’t dance. We mourned for you, and you didn’t lament.’ 18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ 19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ But wisdom is justified by her children.”[a]