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First Reading: Isaiah Chapter 55 and 56
55:1 An Invitation to Abundant Life
"Ho! Everyone who thirsts,Come to the waters;And you who have no money,Come,
buy and eat.Yes, come, buy wine and milk Without money and without price. 2
Why do you spend money for what is not bread,And your wages for what does not
satisfy?Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good,And let your soul delight
itself in abundance. 3 Incline your ear, and come to Me.Hear, and your soul
shall live;And I will make an everlasting covenant with you The sure
mercies of David. 4 Indeed I have given him as a witness to the people,A leader
and commander for the people. 5 Surely you shall call a nation you do not know,And
nations who do not know you shall run to you,Because of the LORD your God,And
the Holy One of Israel;For He has glorified you."
6 Seek the LORD while He may be found,Call upon Him while He is near. 7 Let the wicked forsake his way,And the unrighteous man his thoughts;Let him return to the LORD,And He will have mercy on him;And to our God,For He will abundantly pardon.
8 "For My thoughts are not your thoughts,Nor are your ways My ways," says the LORD. 9 "For as the heavens are higher than the earth,So are My ways higher than your ways,And My thoughts than your thoughts.
10 "For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven,And do not return there,But water the earth,And make it bring forth and bud,That it may give seed to the sower And bread to the eater, 11 So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;It shall not return to Me void,But it shall accomplish what I please,And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
12 "For you shall go out with joy,And be led out with peace;The mountains and the hills Shall break forth into singing before you,And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. 13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress tree,And instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree;And it shall be to the LORD for a name,For an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off."
56:1 Salvation for the Gentiles
Thus says the LORD:
"Keep justice, and do righteousness,For My salvation is about to come,And My righteousness to be revealed. 2 Blessed is the man who does this,And the son of man who lays hold on it;Who keeps from defiling the Sabbath,And keeps his hand from doing any evil."
3 Do not let the son of the foreigner Who has joined himself to the LORDSpeak, saying,"The LORD has utterly separated me from His people";Nor let the eunuch say,"Here I am, a dry tree." 4 For thus says the LORD:"To the eunuchs who keep My Sabbaths,And choose what pleases Me,And hold fast My covenant, 5 Even to them I will give in My house And within My walls a place and a name Better than that of sons and daughters;I will give them an everlasting name That shall not be cut off.
6 "Also the sons of the foreigner Who join themselves to the LORD, to serve Him,And to love the name of the LORD, to be His servants Everyone who keeps from defiling the Sabbath,And holds fast My covenant 7 Even them I will bring to My holy mountain,And make them joyful in My house of prayer.Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices Will be accepted on My altar;For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations." 8 The Lord GOD, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, says,"Yet I will gather to him Others besides those who are gathered to him."
9 Israel's Irresponsible Leaders
All you beasts of the field, come to devour,All you beasts in the forest. 10 His watchmen are blind,They are all ignorant;They are all dumb dogs,They cannot bark;Sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. 11 Yes, they are greedy dogs Which never have enough.And they are shepherds Who cannot understand;They all look to their own way,Every one for his own gain,From his own territory. 12 "Come," one says, "I will bring wine,And we will fill ourselves with intoxicating drink;Tomorrow will be as today,And much more abundant."Second Reading: John Chapter 4
4:1 A Samaritan Woman Meets Her Messiah
Therefore, when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made
and baptized more disciples than John 2(though Jesus Himself did not baptize,
but His disciples), 3 He left Judea and departed again to Galilee. 4 But He
needed to go through Samaria.
5 So He came to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6 Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour.
7 A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, "Give Me a drink." 8 For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.
9 Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, "How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?" For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.
10 Jesus answered and said to her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, 'Give Me a drink,' you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water."
11 The woman said to Him, "Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? 12 Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?"
13 Jesus answered and said to her, "Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life."
15 The woman said to Him, "Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw."
16 Jesus said to her, "Go, call your husband, and come here."
17 The woman answered and said, "I have no husband."
Jesus said to her, "You have well said, 'I have no husband,' 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly."
19 The woman said to Him, "Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship."
21 Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."
25 The woman said to Him, "I know that Messiah is coming" (who is called Christ). "When He comes, He will tell us all things."
26 Jesus said to her, "I who speak to you am He."
27 The Whitened Harvest
And at this point His disciples came, and they marveled that He talked with
a woman; yet no one said, "What do You seek?" or, "Why are You
talking with her?"
28 The woman then left her waterpot, went her way into the city, and said to the men, 29 "Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?" 30 Then they went out of the city and came to Him.
31 In the meantime His disciples urged Him, saying, "Rabbi, eat."
32 But He said to them, "I have food to eat of which you do not know."
33 Therefore the disciples said to one another, "Has anyone brought Him anything to eat?"
34 Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. 35 Do you not say, 'There are still four months and then comes the harvest'? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! 36 And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. 37 For in this the saying is true:'One sows and another reaps.' 38 I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors."
39 The Savior of the World
And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word
of the woman who testified, "He told me all that I ever did." 40 So
when the Samaritans had come to Him, they urged Him to stay with them; and He
stayed there two days. 41 And many more believed because of His own word.
42 Then they said to the woman, "Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world."
43 Welcome at Galilee
Now after the two days He departed from there and went to Galilee. 44 For Jesus
Himself testified that a prophet has no honor in his own country. 45 So when
He came to Galilee, the Galileans received Him, having seen all the things He
did in Jerusalem at the feast; for they also had gone to the feast.
46 A Nobleman's Son Healed
So Jesus came again to Cana of Galilee where He had made the water wine. And
there was a certain nobleman whose son was sick at Capernaum. 47 When he heard
that Jesus had come out of Judea into Galilee, he went to Him and implored Him
to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. 48 Then Jesus
said to him, "Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will by no means
49 The nobleman said to Him, "Sir, come down before my child dies!"
50 Jesus said to him, "Go your way; your son lives." So the man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him, and he went his way. 51 And as he was now going down, his servants met him and told him, saying, "Your son lives!"
52 Then he inquired of them the hour when he got better. And they said to him, "Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him." 53 So the father knew that it was at the same hour in which Jesus said to him, "Your son lives." And he himself believed, and his whole household.
54 This again is the second sign Jesus did when He had come out of Judea into Galilee.
SUPER HEROES OF THE BIBLE
JOHN THE BAPTIST
John the Baptist was a cousin of Jesus. He was born about six weeks before him. John was born with a mission to accomplish and he dedicated himself totally to that mission:
In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the Desert of Judea and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near." This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: "A voice of one calling in the desert, `Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.'" John's clothes were made of camel's hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. (Matthew 3:1-6)
John lived his life calling for repentance from the people to prepare them for Jesus. He lived a simple life and in humility thought of himself as unworthy to untie the shoes of his cousin, Jesus. In the end, because of his speaking the truth concerning King Herod, he was beheaded.
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