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First Reading: Isaiah Chapter 61 and 62
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, 2 to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God,to comfort all who mourn, 3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,the oil of gladness instead of mourning,and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.They will be called oaks of righteousness,a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.
4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated;they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations. 5 Aliens will shepherd your flocks;foreigners will work your fields and vineyards. 6 And you will be called priests of the LORD,you will be named ministers of our God.You will feed on the wealth of nations,and in their riches you will boast.
7 Instead of their shame my people will receive a double portion,and instead of disgrace they will rejoice in their inheritance;and so they will inherit a double portion in their land,and everlasting joy will be theirs.
8 "For I, the LORD, love justice;I hate robbery and iniquity.In my faithfulness I will reward them and make an everlasting covenant with them. 9 Their descendants will be known among the nations and their offspring among the peoples.All who see them will acknowledge that they are a people the LORD has blessed."
10 I delight greatly in the LORD;my soul rejoices in my God.For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness,as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest,and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. 11 For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow,so the Sovereign LORD will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.
For Zion's sake I will not keep silent,for Jerusalem's sake I will not remain quiet,till her righteousness shines out like the dawn,her salvation like a blazing torch. 2 The nations will see your righteousness,and all kings your glory;you will be called by a new name that the mouth of the LORD will bestow. 3 You will be a crown of splendor in the LORD's hand,a royal diadem in the hand of your God. 4 No longer will they call you Deserted,or name your land Desolate.But you will be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah;for the LORD will take delight in you,and your land will be married. 5 As a young man marries a maiden,so will your sons marry you;as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride,so will your God rejoice over you.
6 I have posted watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem;they will never be silent day or night.You who call on the LORD,give yourselves no rest, 7 and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth.
8 The LORD has sworn by his right hand and by his mighty arm:"Never again will I give your grain as food for your enemies,and never again will foreigners drink the new wine for which you have toiled; 9 but those who harvest it will eat it and praise the LORD,and those who gather the grapes will drink it in the courts of my sanctuary."
10 Pass through, pass through the gates!Prepare the way for the people.Build up, build up the highway!Remove the stones.Raise a banner for the nations.
11 The LORD has made proclamation to the ends of the earth:"Say to the Daughter of Zion,'See, your Savior comes!See, his reward is with him,and his recompense accompanies him.'" 12 They will be called the Holy People,the Redeemed of the LORD;and you will be called Sought After,the City No Longer Deserted.
5:1 Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for a feast of the Jews. 2
Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called
Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. 3 Here a great
number of disabled people used to lie-the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. 5
One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw
him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time,
he asked him, "Do you want to get well?"
7 "Sir," the invalid replied, "I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me."
8 Then Jesus said to him, "Get up! Pick up your mat and walk." 9 At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.
The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, 10 and so the Jews said to the man who had been healed, "It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat."
11 But he replied, "The man who made me well said to me, 'Pick up your mat and walk.'"
12 So they asked him, "Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?"
13 The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there.
14 Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, "See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you." 15 The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well.
16 So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jews persecuted him. 17 Jesus said to them, "My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working." 18 For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.
19 Jesus gave them this answer: "I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, to your amazement he will show him even greater things than these. 21 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it. 22 Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, 23 that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.
24 "I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. 25 I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. 26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in himself. 27 And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.
28 "Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice 29 and come out-those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned. 30 By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.
31 "If I testify about myself, my testimony is not valid. 32 There is another who testifies in my favor, and I know that his testimony about me is valid.
33 "You have sent to John and he has testified to the truth. 34 Not that I accept human testimony; but I mention it that you may be saved. 35 John was a lamp that burned and gave light, and you chose for a time to enjoy his light.
36 "I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the very work that the Father has given me to finish, and which I am doing, testifies that the Father has sent me. 37 And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form, 38 nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent. 39 You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me to have life.
41 "I do not accept praise from men, 42 but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts. 43 I have come in my Father's name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him. 44 How can you believe if you accept praise from one another, yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from the only God?
45 "But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set. 46 If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. 47 But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?"
REPENT: to be sorry, to turn away from sin. "Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, everyone according to his ways, saith the Lord God. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin. Ezekiel 18:30
BAPTISM: immersion, submersion in water, to dip (as in dye). "Therefore we are buried with him by baptism; that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." Romans 6:5
DISCIPLE: a learner, pupil, student. "The disciple is not above his master; but every one that is perfect shall be as his master." Luke 6:40
APOSTLE: messenger, one sent. And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle--I am telling the truth, I am not lying--and a teacher of the true faith to the Gentiles. I Timothy 2:7
SAINT: Holy one."Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus:" Ephesians 1:1.
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