Selected Scripture Readings

February 18, 2018
EPISTLE: Hebrews (11: 24-26: 32- 12:2)

Brothers and Sisters! By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; he wished to be illtreated along with God’s people rather than enjoy the fleeting rewards of sin. Moses considered the reproach borne by God’s Anointed greater riches than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward. 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. Therefore, since we for our part are surrounded by this cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every encumbrance of sin which clings to us and persevere in running the race which lies ahead. Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, who inspires and perfects our faith

GOSPEL: John (1: 43 - 51)

At that time Jesus set out for Galilee, but first he came upon Philip. “Follow me,” Jesus said to him. Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the same town as Andrew and Peter. Philip sought out Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses spoke of in the law -- the prophets too -- Jesus, son of Joseph, from Nazareth.” Nathanael”s response to that was, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” and Philip replied, “Come, see for yourself.” When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he remarked: “This man is a true Israelite. There is no guile in him.” “How do you know me?” Nathanael asked him. “Before Philip called you,” Jesus answered, “I saw you under the fig tree.” “Rabbi,” said Nathanael, “you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.” Jesus responded: “Do you believe just because I told you I saw you under the fig tree? You will see much greater things than that.” He went on to tell them, “I solemnly assure you, you shall see the sky opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

February 25, 2018
EPISTLE: Hebrews (1: 10 - 2:3)

Lord of old you established the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; all of them will grow old like a garment. You will roll them up like a cloak, like a garment they will be changed. But you are the same, and your years will have no end. To which of the angels has God even said, “Sit at my right hand till I make your enemies your footstool?” Are they not all ministering spirits, sent to serve those who are to inherit salvation? In view of this, we must attend all the more to what we have heard, lest we drift away. For if the word spoken through angels stood unchanged, and all transgression and disobedience received its due punishment, how shall we escape if we ignore a salvation as great as ours? Announced first by the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who had heard him.

GOSPEL: Mark (2: 1-12)

At that time when Jesus came to Capernaum after a lapse of several days and word got around that he was at home. At that they began to gather in great numbers. There was no longer any room for them, even around the door. While he was delivering God’s word to them, some people arrived bringing a paralyzed man to him. The four who carried him were unable to bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, so they began to open up the roof over the spot were Jesus was. When they had made a hole, they let down the mat on which the paralytic was lying. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “My son, your sins are forgiven.” Now some of the scribes were sitting there asking themselves: “Why does the man talk in that way? He commits blasphemy! Who can forgive sins except God alone?” Jesus was immediately aware of their reasoning, though they kept it to themselves, and he said to them: “Why do you harbor these thoughts? Which is easier to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven, or to say, ‘Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk again.’? That you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” (he said to the paralyzed man), “I command you: Stand up! Pick up your mat and go home.” The man stood and picked up his mat and went outside in the sight of everyone. They were awestruck; all gave praise to God saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”

March 04, 2018
EPISTLE: Hebrews (4: 14 - 5: 6)

Brothers and Sisters! Since, then, we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our profession of faith. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weakness, but one who was tempted in every way that we are, yet never sinned. So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and favor and to find help in time of need. Every high priest is taken from among men and made their representative before God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He is able to deal patiently with erring sinners, for he himself is beset by weakness and so must make sin offerings for himself as well as for the people. One does not take this honor on his own initiative, but only when called by God as Aaron was. Even Christ did not glorify himself with the office of high priest; he received it from the One who said to him: “You are my son; today I have begotten you”; just as he says in another place, “You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek.”

GOSPEL: Mark (8: 34 - 9:1)

The Lord said: “If a man wishes to come after me, he must deny his very self, take up his cross, and follow in my steps. Whoever would preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will preserve it. What profit does a man show who gains the whole world and destroys himself in the process? What can a man offer in exchange for his life! If anyone in this faithless and corrupt age is ashamed of me and my doctrine, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes with the holy angels in his Father's glory.” He also said to them: “I assure you, among those standing here there are some who will not taste death until they see the reign of God established in power.”

March 11, 2018
EPISTLE: Hebrews (6: 13 - 20)

Brothers and Sisters! When God made his promise to Abraham, he swore by himself, having no one greater to swear by, and said, “I will indeed bless you, and multiply you.’’ And so, after patient waiting, Abraham obtained what God had promised. Men swear by someone greater than themselves; an oath gives firmness to a promise and puts an end to all argument. God, wishing to give the heirs of his promise even clearer evidence that his purpose would not change, guaranteed it by oath, so that, by two things that are unchangeable, in which he could not lie, we who have taken refuge in him might be strongly encouraged to seize the hope which is placed before us. Like a sure and firm anchor, that hope extends beyond the veil through which Jesus, our forerunner, has entered on our behalf, being made high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

GOSPEL: Mark (9: 17-31)

At that time a man came up to Jesus and said: “Teacher, I have brought my son to you because he is possessed by a mute spirit. Whenever it seizes him it throws him down; he foams at the mouth and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. Just now I asked your disciples to expel him, but they were unable to do so.’’ He replied by saying to the crowd, “What an unbelieving lot you are! How long must I remain with you? How long can I endure you? Bring him to me.’’ When they did so the spirit caught sight of Jesus and immediately threw the boy into convulsions. As he fell to the ground he began to roll around and foam at the mouth. Then Jesus questioned the father: “How long has this been happening to him?’’ “From childhood,’’ the father replied. “Often it throws him into fire and into water. You would think it would kill him. If out of the kindness of your heart you can do anything to help us, please do!’’ Jesus said: “If you can? Everything is possible to a man who trusts.’’ The boy’s father immediately exclaimed, “I do believe! Help my lack of trust!’’ Jesus, on seeing a crowd rapidly gathering, reprimanded the unclean spirit by saying to him, “Mute and deaf spirit, I command you: Get out of him and never enter him again!’’ Shouting and throwing the boy into convulsions, it came out of him; the boy became like a corpse, which caused many to say, “He is dead.’’ But Jesus took him by the hand and helped him to his feet. When Jesus arrived at the house his disciples began to ask him privately, “Why is it that we could not expel it?’’ He told them, “this kind you can drive out only by prayer. They left that district and began a journey through Galilee, but he did not want anyone to know about it. He was teaching his disciples in this vein: “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men who will put him to death; three days after his death he will rise.’’

March 18, 2018
EPISTLE: Hebrews (9: 11- 14 )

Brothers and Sisters! When Christ came as high priest of the good things which have come to be, he entered once for all into the sanctuary passing through the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made by hands, that is, not belonging to this creation. He entered, not with the blood of goats and calves, but with his own blood, and achieved eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls and the sprinkling of a heifers ashes can sanctify those who are defiled so that their flesh is cleansed, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal spirit offered himself up unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from dead works to worship the living God!

GOSPEL: Mark (10: 32-45)

At that time, Jesus taking the twelve aside once more, began to tell them what was going to happen to him. "We are on our way up to Jerusalem, where the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes. They will condemn him to death and hand him over to the Gentiles, who will mock him and spit at him, flog him, and finally kill him. But three days later he will rise. Zebedee's sons, James and John, approached him, "Teacher," they said, "we want you to grant our request." "What is it?" he asked. They replied, "See to it that we sit, one at your right and the other at your left, when you come into your glory." Jesus told them, "You do not know what your are asking. Can you drink the cup I shall drink or be baptized in the same bath of pain as I?" "We can," they told him. Jesus said in response, "From the cup I drink of you shall drink; the bath I am immersed in you shall share. But as for sitting at my right or my left, that is not mine to give, it is for those to whom it has been reserved." The other ten, on hearing this, became indignant at James and John. Jesus called them together and said to them: "You know how among the Gentiles those who seem to exercise authority lord it over them; their great ones make their importance felt. It cannot be like that with you. Anyone among you who aspires to greatness must serve the rest; whoever wants to rank first among you must serve the needs of all.

This page was last updated February 17, 2018
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