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First Reading: Genesis Chapter 49 and 50
49:1 Then Jacob called for his sons and said: "Gather around so I can
tell you what will happen to you in days to come.
2 "Assemble and listen, sons of Jacob;listen to your father Israel.
3 "Reuben, you are my firstborn,my might, the first sign of my strength,excelling in honor, excelling in power. 4 Turbulent as the waters, you will no longer excel,for you went up onto your father's bed,onto my couch and defiled it.
5 "Simeon and Levi are brothers their swords are weapons of violence. 6 Let me not enter their council,let me not join their assembly,for they have killed men in their anger and hamstrung oxen as they pleased. 7 Cursed be their anger, so fierce,and their fury, so cruel!I will scatter them in Jacob and disperse them in Israel.
8 "Judah, your brothers will praise you;your hand will be on the neck of your enemies;your father's sons will bow down to you. 9 You are a lion's cub, O Judah;you return from the prey, my son.Like a lion he crouches and lies down,like a lioness who dares to rouse him? 10 The scepter will not depart from Judah,nor the ruler's staff from between his feet,until he comes to whom it belongs and the obedience of the nations is his. 11 He will tether his donkey to a vine,his colt to the choicest branch;he will wash his garments in wine,his robes in the blood of grapes. 12 His eyes will be darker than wine,his teeth whiter than milk.
13 "Zebulun will live by the seashore and become a haven for ships;his border will extend toward Sidon.
14 "Issachar is a rawboned donkey lying down between two saddlebags. 15 When he sees how good is his resting place and how pleasant is his land,he will bend his shoulder to the burden and submit to forced labor.
16 "Dan will provide justice for his people as one of the tribes of Israel. 17 Dan will be a serpent by the roadside,a viper along the path,that bites the horse's heels so that its rider tumbles backward.
18 "I look for your deliverance, O LORD.
19 "Gad will be attacked by a band of raiders,but he will attack them at their heels.
20 "Asher's food will be rich;he will provide delicacies fit for a king.
21 "Naphtali is a doe set free that bears beautiful fawns.
22 "Joseph is a fruitful vine,a fruitful vine near a spring,whose branches climb over a wall. 23 With bitterness archers attacked him;they shot at him with hostility. 24 But his bow remained steady,his strong arms stayed limber,because of the hand of the Mighty One of Jacob,because of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel, 25 because of your father's God, who helps you,because of the Almighty, who blesses you with blessings of the heavens above,blessings of the deep that lies below,blessings of the breast and womb. 26 Your father's blessings are greater than the blessings of the ancient mountains,than the bounty of the age-old hills.Let all these rest on the head of Joseph,on the brow of the prince among his brothers.
27 "Benjamin is a ravenous wolf;in the morning he devours the prey,in the evening he divides the plunder."
28 All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said to them when he blessed them, giving each the blessing appropriate to him.
29 Then he gave them these instructions: "I am about to be gathered to my people. Bury me with my fathers in the cave in the field of Ephron the Hittite, 30 the cave in the field of Machpelah, near Mamre in Canaan, which Abraham bought as a burial place from Ephron the Hittite, along with the field. 31 There Abraham and his wife Sarah were buried, there Isaac and his wife Rebekah were buried, and there I buried Leah. 32 The field and the cave in it were bought from the Hittites."
33 When Jacob had finished giving instructions to his sons, he drew his feet up into the bed, breathed his last and was gathered to his people.
50:1 Joseph threw himself upon his father and wept over him and kissed him.
2 Then Joseph directed the physicians in his service to embalm his father Israel.
So the physicians embalmed him, 3 taking a full forty days, for that was the
time required for embalming. And the Egyptians mourned for him seventy days.
4 When the days of mourning had passed, Joseph said to Pharaoh's court, "If I have found favor in your eyes, speak to Pharaoh for me. Tell him, 5'My father made me swear an oath and said, "I am about to die; bury me in the tomb I dug for myself in the land of Canaan." Now let me go up and bury my father; then I will return.'"
6 Pharaoh said, "Go up and bury your father, as he made you swear to do."
7 So Joseph went up to bury his father. All Pharaoh's officials accompanied him the dignitaries of his court and all the dignitaries of Egypt 8 besides all the members of Joseph's household and his brothers and those belonging to his father's household. Only their children and their flocks and herds were left in Goshen. 9 Chariots and horsemen also went up with him. It was a very large company.
10 When they reached the threshing floor of Atad, near the Jordan, they lamented loudly and bitterly; and there Joseph observed a seven-day period of mourning for his father. 11 When the Canaanites who lived there saw the mourning at the threshing floor of Atad, they said, "The Egyptians are holding a solemn ceremony of mourning." That is why that place near the Jordan is called Abel Mizraim.
12 So Jacob's sons did as he had commanded them: 13 They carried him to the land of Canaan and buried him in the cave in the field of Machpelah, near Mamre, which Abraham had bought as a burial place from Ephron the Hittite, along with the field. 14 After burying his father, Joseph returned to Egypt, together with his brothers and all the others who had gone with him to bury his father.
15 When Joseph's brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, "What if Joseph holds a grudge against us and pays us back for all the wrongs we did to him?" 16 So they sent word to Joseph, saying, "Your father left these instructions before he died: 17'This is what you are to say to Joseph: I ask you to forgive your brothers the sins and the wrongs they committed in treating you so badly.' Now please forgive the sins of the servants of the God of your father." When their message came to him, Joseph wept.
18 His brothers then came and threw themselves down before him. "We are your slaves," they said.
19 But Joseph said to them, "Don't be afraid. Am I in the place of God? 20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. 21 So then, don't be afraid. I will provide for you and your children." And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.
22 Joseph stayed in Egypt, along with all his father's family. He lived a hundred and ten years 23 and saw the third generation of Ephraim's children. Also the children of Makir son of Manasseh were placed at birth on Joseph's knees.
24 Then Joseph said to his brothers, "I am about to die. But God will surely come to your aid and take you up out of this land to the land he promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob." 25 And Joseph made the sons of Israel swear an oath and said, "God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up from this place."
26 So Joseph died at the age of a hundred and ten. And after they embalmed him, he was placed in a coffin in Egypt.
22:1 Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying: 2 "The kingdom of
heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. 3 He sent
his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come,
but they refused to come.
4 "Then he sent some more servants and said, 'Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.'
5 "But they paid no attention and went off-one to his field, another to his business. 6 The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. 7 The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.
8 "Then he said to his servants, 'The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. 9 Go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.' 10 So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, both good and bad, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.
11 "But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. 12'Friend,' he asked, 'how did you get in here without wedding clothes?' The man was speechless.
13 "Then the king told the attendants, 'Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'
14 "For many are invited, but few are chosen."
15 Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words. 16 They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. "Teacher," they said, "we know you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren't swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are. 17 Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?"
18 But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, "You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? 19 Show me the coin used for paying the tax." They brought him a denarius, 20 and he asked them, "Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?"
21 "Caesar's," they replied.
Then he said to them, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's."
22 When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away.
23 That same day the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him with a question. 24 "Teacher," they said, "Moses told us that if a man dies without having children, his brother must marry the widow and have children for him. 25 Now there were seven brothers among us. The first one married and died, and since he had no children, he left his wife to his brother. 26 The same thing happened to the second and third brother, right on down to the seventh. 27 Finally, the woman died. 28 Now then, at the resurrection, whose wife will she be of the seven, since all of them were married to her?"
29 Jesus replied, "You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. 30 At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. 31 But about the resurrection of the dead-have you not read what God said to you, 32'I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'? He is not the God of the dead but of the living."
33 When the crowds heard this, they were astonished at his teaching.
34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?"
37 Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
41 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42 "What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?"
"The son of David," they replied.
43 He said to them, "How is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls him 'Lord'? For he says,
44 "'The Lord said to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet." '
45 If then David calls him 'Lord,' how can he be his son?" 46 No one could say a word in reply, and from that day on no one dared to ask him any more questions.
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