Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves. And he was
transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly there appeared to them Moses
and Elijah, talking with him. Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here,
one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the
cloud a voice said, “This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!” When the disciples heard this, they fell to the
ground and were overcome by fear. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Get up and do not be afraid.” And when they looked up,
they saw no one except Jesus himself alone. As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus ordered them, “Tell no one about the vision
until after the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”
See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, death and adversity. If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I am
commanding you today, by loving the Lord your God, walking in his ways, and observing his commandments, decrees, and ordinances,
then you shall live and become numerous, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to possess. But if your
heart turns away and you do not hear, but are led astray to bow down to other gods and serve them, I declare to you today that you shall
perish; you shall not live long in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess. I call heaven and earth to witness against
you today that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live, loving the
Lord your God, obeying him, and holding fast to him; for that means life to you and length of days, so that you may live in the land that
the Lord swore to give to your ancestors, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.
Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he said, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in
the law? What do you read there?” He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with
all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” And he said to him, “You have given the right answer; do this,
and you will live.”
When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
‘With what shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before him with burnt-offerings, with calves a year old? 7 Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with tens of thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?’8 He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has
and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls; on finding one pearl of great value, he went
and sold all that he had and bought it. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and caught fish of every
kind; when it was full, they drew it ashore, sat down, and put the good into baskets but threw out the bad. So it will be at the end of the
age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous and throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be
weeping and gnashing of teeth.
At that very time there were some present who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. He
asked them, ‘Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were worse sinners than all other Galileans? No, I tell
you; but unless you repent, you will all perish as they did. Or those eighteen who were killed when the tower of Siloam fell on them—do
you think that they were worse offenders than all the others living in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish
just as they did.’
The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod
and your staff— they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup
overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD my whole life
Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he said, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the law? What do you read there?” He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” And he said to him, “You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.”
But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan while traveling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, ‘Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.’ Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”
It was fitting that God, for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing many children to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For the one who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one Father. For this reason Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters, saying,
“I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters,
in the midst of the congregation I will praise you.”
And again, “I will put my trust in him.”
And again, “Here am I and the children whom God has given me.”
Since, therefore, the children share flesh and blood, he himself likewise shared the same things, so that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death. For it is clear that he did not come to help angels, but the descendants of Abraham. Therefore he had to become like his brothers and sisters in every respect, so that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make a sacrifice of atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself was tested by what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested.
The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom; like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly, and
rejoice with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory
of the Lord, the majesty of our God. Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who are of a fearful
heart, ‘Be strong, do not fear! Here is your God. He will come with vengeance, with terrible recompense. He will come and save
you.’ Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the
tongue of the speechless sing for joy. For waters shall break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert; the burning sand shall
become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water; the haunt of jackals shall become a swamp, the grass shall become reeds and
rushes. A highway shall be there,and it shall be called the Holy Way; the unclean shall not travel on it, but it shall be for God’s
people; no traveller, not even fools, shall go astray. No lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it; they shall not
be found there, but the redeemed shall walk there. And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing;
everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, “Are you the one who is to
come, or are we to wait for another?” Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight,
the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. And blessed
is anyone who takes no offence at me.”
As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed
shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? Someone dressed in soft robes? Look, those who wear soft robes are in royal
palaces. What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is
written, ‘See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’ Truly I tell you, among those born
of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
Now in those days John the Baptist *came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” For this is the one referred to by Isaiah the prophet when he said,
“The voice of one crying in the wilderness,
‘Make ready the way of the Lord,
Make His paths straight!’”
Now John himself had a garment of camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey. Then Jerusalem was going out to him, and all Judea and all the district around the Jordan; and they were being baptized by him in the Jordan River, as they confessed their sins.
But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance; and do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father’; for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham. The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
“As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
The word that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. In days to come the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised above the hills; all the nations shall stream to it. Many peoples shall come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth instruction, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything
with patience, while joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light.
He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have
redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things in heaven
and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been
created through him and for him. He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the
church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. For in him all the
fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in
heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross.
When some were speaking about the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and gifts dedicated to God, he said, “As for these things that you see, the days will come when not one stone will be left upon another; all will be thrown down.” They asked him, “Teacher, when will this be, and what will be the sign that this is about to take place?” And he said, “Beware that you are not led astray; for many will come in my name and say, ‘I am he!’ and, ‘The time is near!’ Do not go after them. “When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for these things must take place first, but the end will not follow immediately.” Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and plagues; and there will be dreadful portents and great signs from heaven. But before all this occurs, they will arrest you and persecute you; they will hand you over to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors because of my name. This will give you an opportunity to testify. So make up your minds not to prepare your defense in advance; for I will give you words and a wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to withstand or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, by relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. You will be hated by all because of my name. But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your souls.
2 Thessalonians 1:1-4; 11-12
Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: 2 Grace to you and peace from God our* Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Thanksgiving
3 We must always give thanks to God for you, brothers and sisters,* as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing. 4Therefore we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith during all your persecutions and the afflictions that you are enduring. 11To this end we always pray for you, asking that our God will make you worthy of his call and will fulfil by his power every good resolve and work of faith, 12so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common. With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold. They laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. There was a Levite, a native of Cyprus, Joseph, to whom the apostles gave the name Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”). He sold a field that belonged to him, then brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
Will anyone rob God? Yet you are robbing me! But you say, “How are we robbing you?” In your tithes and offerings! You are
cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me—the whole nation of you! Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be
food in my house, and thus put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts; see if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour
down for you an overflowing blessing. I will rebuke the locust for you, so that it will not destroy the produce of your soil; and your
vine in the field shall not be barren, says the Lord of hosts. Then all nations will count you happy, for you will be a land of delight,
says the Lord of hosts.
He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. Then he called his disciples and said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”
1 CORINTHIANS 3:9-15
For we are God’s servants, working together; you are God’s field, God’s building. According to the grace of God given to me, like
a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building on it. Each builder must choose with care how to build on
it. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one that has been laid; that foundation is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on
the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw the work of each builder will become visible, for the Day will
disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each has done. If what has been built on the
foundation survives, the builder will receive a reward. If the work is burned, the builder will suffer loss; the builder will be saved,
but only as through fire.
JEREMIAH 32:1-3; 6-15
The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord in the tenth year of King Zedekiah of Judah, which was the eighteenth year of Nebuchadrezzar. At that time the army of the king of Babylon was besieging Jerusalem, and the prophet Jeremiah was confined in the court of the guard that was in the palace of the king of Judah, where King Zedekiah of Judah had confined him. Zedekiah had said, “Why do you prophesy and say: Thus says the Lord: I am going to give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall take it; Jeremiah said, The word of the Lord came to me: Hanamel son of your uncle Shallum is going to come to you and say, ‘Buy my field that is at Anathoth, for the right of redemption by purchase is yours.” Then my cousin Hanamel came to me in the court of the guard, in accordance with the word of the Lord, and said to me, “Buy my field that is at Anathoth in the land of Benjamin, for the right of possession and redemption is yours; buy it for yourself.” Then I knew that this was the word of the Lord.
And I bought the field at Anathoth from my cousin Hanamel, and weighed out the money to him, seventeen shekels of silver. I signed the deed, sealed it, got witnesses, and weighed the money on scales. Then I took the sealed deed of purchase, containing the terms and conditions, and the open copy; and I gave the deed of purchase to Baruch son of Neriah son of Mahseiah, in the presence of my cousin Hanamel, in the presence of the witnesses who signed the deed of purchase, and in the presence of all the Judeans who were sitting in the court of the guard. In their presence I charged Baruch, saying, Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel:
Take these deeds, both this sealed deed of purchase and this open deed, and put them in an earthenware jar, in order that they may last for a long time. For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Houses and fields and vineyards shall again be bought in this land.
1 TIMOTHY 2:1-7
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings should be made for everyone, for kings and all
who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity. This is right and is acceptable
in the sight of God our Savior, who desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one
God; there is also one mediator between God and humankind, Christ Jesus, himself human, who gave himself a ransom for all this
was attested at the right time. For this I was appointed a herald and
1 Timothy 1:12-17
I am grateful to Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because he judged me faithful and appointed me to his service, even though I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and a man of violence. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the foremost. But for that very reason I received mercy, so that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display the utmost patience, making me an example to those who would come to believe in him for eternal life. To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
1 THESSALONIANS 5:12-24
But we appeal to you, brothers and sisters, to respect those who labor among you, and have charge of you in the Lord and admonish
you; esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. And we urge you, beloved, to admonish
the idlers, encourage the faint-hearted, help the weak, be patient with all of them. See that none of you repays evil for evil, but always
seek to do good to one another and to all. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will
of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise the words of prophets, but test everything; hold fast to what
is good; abstain from every form of evil. May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body
be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do this.
James 2:8, 14-17
You do well if you really fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
What good is it, my brothers and sisters,* if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill”, and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.
I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.