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Selected Scripture Readings

January 07, 2018
EPISTLE: Ephesians (4: 7 - 13)

Brothers and Sisters! Each of us has received God’s favor in the measure in which Christ bestows it. Thus you find Scripture saying: “When he ascended on high, he took a host of captives and gave gifts to men.” “He ascended,” what does this mean but that he had first descended into the lower regions of the earth? He who descended is the very one who ascended high above the heavens, that he might fill all men with his gifts. It is he who gave apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers in roles of service for the faithful to build up the body of Christ, till we become one in faith and in the knowledge of God’s Son, and form that perfect man who is Christ come to full stature

GOSPEL: Matthew (4: 12 - 17)

At that time 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.”

January 14, 2018
EPISTLE: 1 Timothy (4: 9 - 15)

Timothy, my son! You can depend on this as worthy of complete acceptance. This explains why we work and struggle as we do; our hopes are fixed on the living God who is the savior of all men, but especially of those who believe. Such are the things you must urge and teach. Let no one look down on you because of your youth, but be a continuing example of love, faith, purity to believers. Until I arrive, devote yourself to the reading of Scripture, to preaching and teaching. do not neglect the gift you received when, as a result of prophecy, the presbyters laid their hands on you. Attend to your duties; let them absorb you, so that everyone may see your progress.

GOSPEL: Luke (19: 1-10)

At that time Jesus was passing through Jericho. There was a man there named Zaccheus, the chief tax collector and a wealthy man. He was trying to see what Jesus was like, but being small of stature, was unable to do so because of the crowd. He first ran on in front, then climbed a sycamore tree which was along Jesus route, in order to see him. When Jesus came to the spot he looked up and said, “Zaccheus, hurry down. I mean to stay at your house today.” He quickly descended, and welcomed him with delight. When this was observed, everyone began to murmur, “He has gone to a sinner’s house as a guest.” Zaccheus stood his ground and said to the Lord: “I give half my belongings, Lord, to the poor. If I have defrauded anyone in the least, I pay him back four-fold.” Jesus said to him: “Today salvation has come to this house, for this is what it means to be a son of Abraham. The Son of Man has come to search out and save what was lost.”

Januaryt 21, 2018
EPISTLE: 2 Timothy (3: 10 -15)

Timothy, my son! You have followed closely my teaching and my conduct. You have observed my resolution, fidelity, patience, love and endurance, through persecution and sufferings in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra. You know what persecutions I have had to bear, and you know how the Lord saved me from them all. Anyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus can expect to be persecuted. But all the while evil men and charlatans will go from bad to worse, deceiving others, themselves deceived. You, for your part, must remain faithful to what you have learned and believed, because you know who your teachers were. Likewise, from your infancy you have known the sacred Scriptures, the source of the wisdom which through faith in Jesus Christ leads to salvation.

GOSPEL: Luke (18: 10 - 14)

The Lord told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray; one was a Pharisee, the other a tax collector. The pharisee with head unbowed prayed in this fashion: ‘I give you thanks, O God, that I am not like the rest of men -- grasping, crooked, adulterous -- or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week, I pay tithes on all I possess.’ The other man, however, kept his distance, not even daring to raise his eyes to heaven. All he did was beat his breast and say, ‘O God, be merciful to me, a sinner.’ Believe me, this man went home from the temple justified but the other did not. For everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled while he who humbles himself shall be exalted.”

January 28, 2018
EPISTLE: 1 Corinthians (6: 12 - 20)

Brothers and Sisters! “Everything is lawful for me’’ -- but that does not mean that everything is good for me. “Everything is lawful for me’’ -- but I will not let myself be enslaved by anything. “Food is for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will do away with them both in the end.’’ but the body is not for immorality; it is for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body. God, who raised up the Lord, will raise us also by his power. Do you not see that your bodies are members of Christ? Would you have me take Christ’s members and make them the members of a prostitute? God forbid! Can you not see that the man who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? Scripture says, “The two shall become one flesh.’’ But whoever is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. Shun lewd conduct. Every other sin a man commits is outside his body, but the fornicator sins against his own body. You must know that your body is temple of the Holy Spirit, who is within -- the Spirit you have received from God. You are not your own. You have been purchased, and at a price. So glorify God in your body.

GOSPEL: Luke (15: 11-32)

At that time the Lord told this parable: “A man had two sons. The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the estate that is coming to me.’ So the father divided up the property. Some days later this younger son collected all his belongings and went off to a distant land, where he squandered his money on dissolute living. After he had spent everything, a great famine broke out in that country and he was in dire need. So he attached himself to one of the propertied class of the place, who sent him to his farm to take care of the pigs. He longed to fill his belly with the husks that were fodder for the pigs, but no one made a move to give him anything. Coming to his senses at last, he said: ‘How many hired hands at my father’s place have more than enough to eat, while here I am starving! I will break away and return to my father, and say to him, Father, I have sinned against God and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son. Treat me like one of your hired hands.’ With that he set off for his father’s house. While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him and was deeply moved. He ran out to meet him, threw his arms around his neck, and kissed him. The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against God and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son.’ The father said to his servants; ‘Quick! bring out the finest robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and shoes on his feet. Take the fatted calf and kill it. Let us eat and celebrate because this son of mine was dead and has come back to life. He was lost and is found.’ Then the celebration began. Meanwhile the elder son was out on the land. As he neared the house on his way home, he heard the sound of music and dancing. He called one of the servants and asked him the reason for the dancing and the music. The servant answered, ‘Your brother is home, and your father has killed the fatted calf because he has him back in good health.’ The son grew angry at this and would not go in; but his father came out and began to plead with him. He said to his father in reply: ‘For years now I have slaved for you. I never disobeyed one of your orders, yet you never gave me so much as a kid goat to celebrate with my friends. Then, when this son of yours returns after having gone through your property with loose women, you kill the fatted calf for him.’ ‘My Son,’ replied the father, ‘you are with me always, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and rejoice! This brother of yours was dead, and has come back to life. He was lost, and is found.’ ‘‘


February 04, 2018
EPISTLE: 1 Corinthians (8:8 - 9:2 )

Brothers and Sisters! Food does not bring us close to God. We suffer no loss through failing to eat, and we gain no favor by eating. Take care, however, lest in exercising your right you become an occasion of sin to the weak. If someone sees you, with your “knowledge,'' reclining at table in the temple of an idol, may not his conscience in its weak state be influenced to the point that he eats the idoloffering? Because of your “knowledge'' the weak one perishes, that brother for whom Christ died. When you sin thus against your brothers and wound their weak consciences, you are sinning against Christ. Therefore, if food causes my brother to sin I will never eat meat again, so that I many not be an occasion of sin to him. Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? And are you not my work in the Lord Although I may not be an apostle for others, I certainly am one for you. You are the very seal of my apostolate in the Lord.


GOSPEL: Matthew (25: 31-46)

The Lord said: “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, escorted by all the angels of heaven, he will sit upon his royal throne, and all the nations will be assembled before him. Then he will separate them into two groups, as a shepherd separates sheep from goats. The sheep he will place on his right hand, the goats on his left. The king will say to those on his right: ‘Come. You have my Father's blessing! Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food. I was thirsty and you gave me drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me. I was ill and you comforted me, in prison and you came to visit me.' Then the just will ask him: ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you or see you thirsty and give you drink? When did we welcome you away from home or clothe you in your nakedness? When did we visit you when you were ill or in prison?' The king will answer them: ‘I assure you, as often as you did it for one of my least brothers, you did it for me.' Then he will say to those on his left: ‘Out of my sight, you condemned, into that everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels! I was hungry and you gave me no food. I was thirsty and you gave me no drink. I was away from home and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing. I was ill and in prison and you did not come to comfort me.' Then they in turn will ask: ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or away from home or naked or ill or in prison and not attend you in your needs?' He will answer them: ‘I assure you, as often as you neglected to do it to one on these least ones, you neglected to do it to me.' These will go off to eternal punishment and the just to eternal life.''

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