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Monday after Epiphany

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Matthew 4:12-17,23-25

12 When Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew into Galilee.

13 He left Nazareth and went to live in Capernaum, a town by the lake of Galilee, at the border of Zebulun and Naphtali.

14 In this way, the word of the prophet Isaiah was fulfilled:

15 Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, crossed by the Road of the Sea; and you, who live beyond the Jordan, Galilee, land of pagans:

16 The people who lived in darkness have seen a great light; on those who live in the land of the shadow of death, a light has shone. 

17 From that time on, Jesus began to proclaim his message, “Change your ways: the kingdom of heaven is near.”

23 Jesus went around all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing all kinds of sickness and disease among the people.

24 The news about him spread through the whole of Syria; and the people brought all their sick to him, and all those who suffered: the possessed, the deranged, the paralyzed; and he healed them all.

25 Large crowds followed him from Galilee and the Ten Cities, from Jerusalem, Judea, and from across the Jordan.

Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord

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Matthew 2:1-12

1 When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, in Judea, during the days of king Herod, wise men from the East arrived in Jerusalem.

2 They asked, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw the rising of his star in the East and have come to honor him.”

3 When Herod heard this he was greatly disturbed, and with him all Jerusalem.

4 He immediately called a meeting of all high-ranking priests and teachers of the law, and asked them where the Messiah was to be born.

5 “In the town of Bethlehem in Judea,” they told him, “for this is what the prophet wrote:

6 And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, you are by no means the least among the clans of Judah, for from you will come a leader, one who is to shepherd my people Israel.”

7 Then Herod secretly called the wise men and asked them the precise time the star appeared.

8 He sent them to Bethlehem with these instructions, “Go and get accurate information about the child. As soon as you have found him, report to me, so that I, too, may go and honor him.”

9 After the meeting with the king, they set out. The star that they had seen in the East went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was.

10 The wise men were overjoyed on seeing the star again.

11 They went into the house, and when they saw the child with Mary his mother, they knelt and worshiped him. They opened their bags and offered him their gifts of gold, incense and myrrh.

12 In a dream they were warned not to go back to Herod, so they returned to their home country by another way.

Saturday before Epiphany

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John1:35-42 35 On the following day, John was standing there again, with two of his disciples. 36 As Jesus walked by, John looked at him and said, “There is the Lamb of God.” 37 On hearing this, the two disciples followed Jesus. 38 He turned and saw them following, and he said to them, “What are you looking for?” They answered, “Rabbi (which means Master), where are you staying?” 39 Jesus said, “Come and see.” So they went and saw where he stayed, and spent the rest of that day with him. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon. 40 Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, was one of the two who heard what John had said, and followed Jesus. 41 Early the next morning, he found his brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means the Christ), 42 and he brought Simon to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon, son of John, but you shall be called Cephas” (which means Rock).

Saturday before Epiphany

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John 1:35-42

35 On the following day, John was standing there again, with two of his disciples.

36 As Jesus walked by, John looked at him and said, “There is the Lamb of God.”

37 On hearing this, the two disciples followed Jesus.

38 He turned and saw them following, and he said to them, “What are you looking for?” They answered, “Rabbi (which means Master), where are you staying?”

39 Jesus said, “Come and see.” So they went and saw where he stayed, and spent the rest of that day with him. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon.

40 Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, was one of the two who heard what John had said, and followed Jesus.

41 Early the next morning, he found his brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means the Christ),

42 and he brought Simon to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon, son of John, but you shall be called Cephas” (which means Rock).

7th Day in the Octave of Christmas

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Gospel: John 1:1-18

The Word was first, the Word present to God, God present to the Word. The Word was God, in readiness for God from day one.

Everything was created through him; nothing—not one thing!— came into being without him. What came into existence was Life, and the Life was Light to live by. The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness; the darkness couldn’t put it out.

There once was a man, his name John, sent by God to point out the way to the Life-Light. He came to show everyone where to look, who to believe in.

John was not himself the Light; he was there to show the way to the Light. The Life-Light was the real thing: Every person entering Life he brings into Light.

He was in the world, the world was there through him, and yet the world didn’t even notice.

He came to his own people, but they didn’t want him. But whoever did want him, who believed he was who he claimed and would do what he said, He made to be their true selves, their child-of-God selves.

These are the God-begotten, not blood-begotten, not flesh-begotten, not sex-begotten. The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, Generous inside and out, true from start to finish.

John pointed him out and called, “This is the One! The One I told you was coming after me but in fact was ahead of me. He has always been ahead of me, has always had the first word.”

We all live off his generous bounty, gift after gift after gift. We got the basics from Moses, and then this exuberant giving and receiving, This endless knowing and understanding— all this came through Jesus, the Messiah.

No one has ever seen God, not so much as a glimpse. This one-of-a-kind God-Expression, who exists at the very heart of the Father, has made him plain as day.

Friday before Epiphany

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John1:29-34

29 The next day, John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “There is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

30 It is he of whom I said: A man comes after me, who is already ahead of me, for he was before me.

31 I myself did not know him, but I came baptizing to prepare for him, so that he might be revealed in Israel.”

32 And John also gave this testimony, “I saw the Spirit coming down on him, like a dove from heaven, and resting on him.

33 I myself did not know him, but God, who sent me to baptize, told me, ‘You will see the Spirit coming down, and resting on the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’

34 Yes, I have seen! And I declare that this is the Chosen One of God!”

6th Day of the Octave of Christmas

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Gospel: Luke 2:36-40

Anna the prophetess was also there, a daughter of Phanuel from the tribe of Asher. She was by now a very old woman. She had been married seven years and a widow for eighty-four. She never left the Temple area, worshiping night and day with her fastings and prayers. At the very time Simeon was praying, she showed up, broke into an anthem of praise to God, and talked about the child to all who were waiting expectantly for the freeing of Jerusalem.

When they finished everything required by God in the Law, they returned to Galilee and their own town, Nazareth. There the child grew strong in body and wise in spirit. And the grace of God was on him.

Thursday before Epiphany

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John1:19-28

19 This was the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites to ask him, “Who are you?”

20 John recognized the truth, and did not deny it. He said, “I am not the Messiah.”

21 And they asked him, “Then who are you? Elijah?” He answered, “I am not.” They said, “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.”

22 Then they said to him, “Tell us who you are, so that we can give some answer to those who sent us. How do you see yourself?”

23 And John said, quoting the prophet Isaiah, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness: Make straight the way of the Lord!”

24 Those who had been sent were Pharisees;

25 and they put a further question to John, “Then why are you baptizing, if you are not the Messiah, or Elijah, or the Prophet?”

26 John answered, “I baptize you with water, but among you stands one whom you do not know;

27 although he comes after me, I am not worthy to untie the strap of his sandal.”

28 This happened in Bethabara be yond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.

Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus,Mary and Joseph

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Gospel: Matthew 2:13-15,19-23

After the scholars were gone, God’s angel showed up again in Joseph’s dream and commanded, “Get up. Take the child and his mother and flee to Egypt. Stay until further notice. Herod is on the hunt for this child, and wants to kill him.”

Joseph obeyed. He got up, took the child and his mother under cover of darkness. They were out of town and well on their way by daylight. They lived in Egypt until Herod’s death. This Egyptian exile fulfilled what Hosea had preached: “I called my son out of Egypt.”

Later, when Herod died, God’s angel appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt: “Up, take the child and his mother and return to Israel. All those out to murder the child are dead.” Joseph obeyed. He got up, took the child and his mother, and reentered Israel.

When he heard, though, that Archelaus had succeeded his father, Herod, as king in Judea, he was afraid to go there. But then Joseph was directed in a dream to go to the hills of Galilee.

On arrival, he settled in the village of Nazareth. This move was a fulfillment of the prophetic words, “He shall be called a Nazarene.”

Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God

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Gospel

Luke 2:16-21

16 So they came hurriedly, and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the feeding trough.

17 On seeing him, they related what they had been told about the child;

18 and all were astonished on hearing the shepherds. 

19 As for Mary, she treasured all these words, and pondered them in her heart.

20 The shepherds then returned, giving glory and praise to God for all they had heard and seen, just as the angels had told them.

21 On the eighth day, the circumcision of the baby had to be performed; he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.

Feast of the Holy Innocents, Martyrs

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Gospel: Matthew 2:13-18

After the scholars were gone, God’s angel showed up again in Joseph’s dream and commanded, “Get up. Take the child and his mother and flee to Egypt. Stay until further notice. Herod is on the hunt for this child, and wants to kill him.”

Joseph obeyed. He got up, took the child and his mother under cover of darkness. They were out of town and well on their way by daylight. They lived in Egypt until Herod’s death. This Egyptian exile fulfilled what Hosea had preached: “I called my son out of Egypt.”

Herod, when he realized that the scholars had tricked him, flew into a rage. He commanded the murder of every little boy two years old and under who lived in Bethlehem and its surrounding hills. (He determined that age from information he’d gotten from the scholars.)

That’s when Jeremiah’s sermon was fulfilled: A sound was heard in Ramah, weeping and much lament. Rachel weeping for her children, Rachel refusing all solace, Her children gone, dead and buried.