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Selected Scripture Readings

December 05, 2021 - 28th Sunday after Pentecost
EPISTLE: Colossians (1: 12 - 18)

Brothers and Sisters! Give thanks to the Father for having made you worthy to share the lot of the saints in light. He rescued us from the power of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of his beloved Son. Through him we have redemption, the forgiveness of our sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creatures. In him everything in heaven and on earth was created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominations, principalities or powers; all were created through him, and for him. He is before all else that is. In him everything continues in being. It is he who is head of the body, the church; he who is the beginning, the first-born of the dead, so that primacy may be his in everything.

GOSPEL: Luke (14: 16 - 24)

At that time the Lord said this parable: “A man was giving a large dinner and he invited many. At dinner time he sent his servant to say to those invited, ‘Come along, everything is ready now.’ But they began to excuse themselves, one and all. The first one said to the servant, ‘I have bought some land and must go out and inspect it. Please excuse me.’ Another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen and I am going out to test them. Please excuse me.’ A third said, ‘I am newly married and so I cannot come.’ The servant returning reported all this to his master. The master of the house grew angry at the account. He said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor and the crippled, the blind and the lame.’ The servant reported, after some time, ‘Your orders have been carried out, my lord, and there is still room.’ The master then said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and along the hedgerows and force them to come in. I want my house to be full, but I tell you that not one of those invited shall taste a morsel of my dinner. For many are called, but few are chosen.’ “
December 09, 2021 - Immaculate Conception
EPISTLE: Gakatians (4: 22 - 3`)

Brothers and Sisters! Abraham had two sons, one by the slave girl, the other by his freeborn wife. The son of the slave girl had been begotten in the course of nature, but the son of the free woman was the fruit of the promise. All this is an allegory: the two women stand for the two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, and brought forth children to slavery: this is Hagar. The mountain Sinai is in Arabia and corresponds to the Jerusalem of our time, which is likewise in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem on high is freeborn, and it is she who is our mother. That is why Scripture says: “Rejoice, you barren one who bear no children; break into song, you stranger to the pains of childbirth! For many are the children of the wife deserted -- far more than of her who has a husband!” You, my brothers, are children of the promise, as Isaac was. But just as in those days the son born in nature’s course persecuted the one whose birth was in the realm of spirit, so do we find it now. What does Scripture say on the point? “Cast out slave girl and son together; for the slave girl’s son shall never be an heir on equal terms with the son” of the one born free. Therefore, my brothers, we are not children of a slave girl, but of a mother who is free.

GOSPEL: Luke (8: 16 - 21)

The Lord said: “No one lights a lamp and puts it under a bushel basket or under a bed; he puts it on a lamp stand so that whoever comes in can see it. There is nothing hidden that will not be exposed, nothing concealed that will not be known and brought to light. Take heed, therefore, how you hear: to the man who has, more will be given; and he who has not, will lose even the little he thinks he has.” His mother and brothers came to be with him, but they could not reach him because of the crowd. He was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside and they wish to see you.” He told them in reply, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act upon it.”

December 12, 2021 - Sunday of Holy Forefathers; Post Feast of Immaculate Conception
EPISTLE: Colossians (3: 4 - 11)

Brothers and Sisters! When Christ our life appears, then you shall appear with him in glory. Put to death whatever in your nature is rooted in earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desires, and that lust which is idolatry. These are the sins which provoke God's wrath. Your own conduct was once of this sort, when these sins were your very life. You must put that aside now: all the anger and quick temper, the malice, the insults, the foul language. Stop lying to one another. What you have done is put aside your old self with its past deeds and put on a new man, one who grows in knowledge as he is formed anew in the image of his Creator. There is no Greek or Jew here, circumcised or uncircumcised, foreigner Scythian, slave, or freeman. Rather, Christ is everything in all of you.

GOSPEL: Luke (14: 16 - 24)

At that time the Lord said this parable: ''A man was giving a large dinner and he invited many. At dinner time he sent his servant to say to those invited, 'Come along, everything is ready now.' But they began to excuse themselves, one and all. The first one said to the servant, 'I have bought some land and must go out and inspect it. Please excuse me.' Another said, 'I have bought five yoke of oxen and I am going out to test them. Please excuse me.' A third said, 'I am newly married and so I cannot come.' The servant returning reported all this to his master. The master of the house grew angry at the account. He said to his servant, 'Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor and the crippled, the blind and the lame.' The servant reported, after some time, 'Your orders have been carried out, my lord, and there is still room.' The master then said to the servant, 'Go out into the highways and along the hedgerows and force them to come in. I want my house to be full, but I tell you that not one of those invited shall taste a morsel of my dinner. For many are called, but few are chosen.' ''

December 19, 2021 - Sunday before Nativity - the Holy Fathers

EPISTLE: Hebrews (11: 9 - 10; 32 - 40)

Brothers and Sisters! By faith Abraham 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 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.” He reasoned that God was able to raise from the dead, and so he received Isaac back as a symbol. By faith Isaac invoked for Jacob and Esau blessings that were still to be. By faith Jacob, when dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshipped God, leaning on the head of his staff. By faith Joseph, near the end of his life spoke of the Exodus of the Israelites, and gave instructions about his burial. By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after his birth, thereby disregarding the king’s edict because they saw that he was a beautiful child. 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.


GOSPEL: Matthew (1: 1 - 25)


A family record of Jesus Christ, Son of David, son of Abraham. Abraham was the father of Isaac. Isaac the father of Jacob. Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers. Judah was the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar. Perez was the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram. Ram was the father of Amminadab, Amminadab the father of Nahshon, Nahshon the father of Salmon. Salmon was the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz was the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth. Obed was the father of Jesse, Jesse the father of King David, David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been the wife of Uriah. Solomon was the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, Abijah the father of Asa. Asa was the father of Jehosaphat, Jehosaphat the father of Joram, Joram the father of Uzziah. Uzziah was the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, Ahaz the father of Hezekiah. Hezekiah was the father of Manesseh, Manesseh the father of Amos, Amos the father of Josiah. Josiah became the father of Jechoniah and his brothers at the time of the Babylonian exile. After the Babylonian exile Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel, Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel. Zerubbabel was the father of Abiud, Abiud the father of Eliakim, Eliakim the father of Azor. Azor was the father of Zadok, Zadok the father of Achim, Achim the father of Eliud. Eliud was the father of Eleazar, Eleazar the father of Matthan, Matthan the father of Jacob. Jacob was the father of Joseph the husband of Mary. It was of her that Jesus who is called the Messiah was born. Thus the total number of generations is: from Abraham to David, fourteen generations; from David to the Babylonian captivity, fourteen generations; from the Babylonian captivity to the Messiah, fourteen generations. Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the power of the Holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, an upright man unwilling to expose her to the law, decided to divorce her quietly. Such was his intention when suddenly the angel of the Lord appeared in a dream and said to him: “Joseph, son of David, have no fear about taking Mary as your wife. It is by the Holy Spirit that she has conceived this child. She is to have a son and you are to name him Jesus because he will save his people from their sins.” All this happened to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin shall be with child and give birth to a son. and they shall call him Emmanuel,” a name which means “God is with us.” When Joseph awoke he did as the angel of the Lord had directed him and received her into his home as his wife. He had no relations with her at any time before she bore a son, whom he named Jesus.

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