Fourth Sunday of Easter

THE FIRST READING                                  Acts 4:1-12 (ESV)

As they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees came upon them, greatly annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead.  And they arrested them and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening.  But many of those who had heard the Word believed, and the number of the men came to about five thousand.  On the next day their rulers and elders and scribes gathered together in Jerusalem, with Annas the high priest and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family.  And when they had set them in the midst, they inquired, “By what power or by what name did you do this?”  Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead--by Him this man is standing before you well.  This Jesus is the Stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the Cornerstone.  And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

 

THE EPISTLE                                                        1 John 3:16-24 (ESV)

By this we know love, that He laid down His life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.  But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?  Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.  By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before Him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and He knows everything.  Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do what pleases Him.  And this is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as He has commanded us.  Whoever keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in them.  And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.

 

THE HOLY GOSPEL                                             John 10:11-18 (ESV)

[Jesus said:]  “I am the Good Shepherd.  The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.  He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them.  He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.  I am the Good Shepherd.  I know My own and My own know Me, just as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.  And I have other sheep that are not of this fold.  I must bring them also, and they will listen to My voice.  So there will be one flock, one Shepherd.  For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again.  No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of My own accord.  I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again.  This charge I have received from My Father.”

Palm Sunday

THE OLD TESTAMENT READING                                                            Zechariah 9:9-12 (ESV)

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!  Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem!  Behold, your King is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is He, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.  I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the war horse from Jerusalem; and the battle bow shall be cut off, and He shall speak peace to the nations; His rule shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.  As for you also, because of the blood of My covenant with you, I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit.  Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope; today I declare that I will restore to you double.

 

 THE EPISTLE                                                                                                Philippians 2:5-11 (ESV)

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.  And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.  Therefore God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

 

THE HOLY GOSPEL                                                                                                     Mark 15:1-47 (ESV)

And as soon as it was morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole Council.  And they bound Jesus and led Him away and delivered Him over to Pilate.  And Pilate asked Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?”  And He answered him, “You have said so.”  And the chief priests accused Him of many things.  And Pilate again asked Him, “Have You no answer to make?  See how many charges they bring against You.”  But Jesus made no further answer, so that Pilate was amazed.  Now at the feast he used to release for them one prisoner for whom they asked.  And among the rebels in prison, who had committed murder in the insurrection, there was a man called Barabbas.  And the crowd came up and began to ask Pilate to do as he usually did for them.  And he answered them, saying, “Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?”  For he perceived that it was out of envy that the chief priests had delivered Him up.  But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release for them Barabbas instead.  And Pilate again said to them, “Then what shall I do with the Man you call the King of the Jews?”  And they cried out again, “Crucify Him.”  And Pilate said to them, “Why, what evil has He done?”  But they shouted all the more, “Crucify Him.”  So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified.  And the soldiers led Him away inside the palace (that is, the governor’s headquarters), and they called together the whole battalion.  And they clothed Him in a purple cloak, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on Him.  And they began to salute Him, “Hail, King of the Jews!”  And they were striking His head with a reed and spitting on Him and kneeling down in homage to Him.  And when they had mocked Him, they stripped Him of the purple cloak and put His own clothes on Him.  And they led Him out to crucify Him.  And they compelled a passerby, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry His cross.  And they brought Him to the place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull).  And they offered Him wine mixed with myrrh, but He did not take it.  And they crucified Him and divided His garments among them, casting lots for them, to decide what each should take.  And it was the third hour when they crucified Him.  And the inscription of the charge against Him read, “The King of the Jews.”  And with Him they crucified two robbers, one on His right and one on His left.  And those who passed by derided Him, wagging their heads and saying, “Aha!  You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save Yourself, and come down from the cross!”  So also the chief priests with the scribes mocked Him to one another, saying, “He saved others; He cannot save Himself.  Let the Christ, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross that we may see and believe.”  Those who were crucified with Him also reviled Him.  And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.  And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?”  And some of the bystanders hearing it said, “Behold, He is calling Elijah.”  And someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a reed and gave it to Him to drink, saying, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take Him down.”  And Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed His last.  And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.  And when the centurion, who stood facing Him, saw that in this way He breathed His last, he said, “Truly this Man was the Son of God!”  There were also women looking on from a distance, among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome.  When He was in Galilee, they followed Him and ministered to Him, and there were also many other women who came up with Him to Jerusalem.  And when evening had come, since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath, Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the Council, who was also himself looking for the kingdom of God, took courage and went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.  Pilate was surprised to hear that He should have already died.  And summoning the centurion, he asked him whether He was already dead.  And when he learned from the centurion that He was dead, he granted the corpse to Joseph.  And Joseph bought a linen shroud, and taking Him down, wrapped Him in the linen shroud and laid Him in a tomb that had been cut out of the rock.  And he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb.  Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where He was laid.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fifth Sunday in Lent

THE OLD TESTAMENT READING                                                           Jeremiah 31:31-34 (ESV)

“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord.  But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord:  I will put My Law within them, and I will write it on their hearts.  And I will be their God, and they shall be My people.  And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord.  For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

 

THE EPISTLE                                                                                                    Hebrews 5:1-10 (ESV)

Every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.  He can deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is beset with weakness.  Because of this he is obligated to offer sacrifice for his own sins just as he does for those of the people.  And no one takes this honor for himself, but only when called by God, just as Aaron was.  So also Christ did not exalt Himself to be made a high priest, but was appointed by Him who said to Him, “You are My Son, today I have begotten You”; as He says also in another place, “You are a Priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek.”  In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to Him who was able to save him from death, and He was heard because of His reverence.  Although He was a Son, He learned obedience through what He suffered.  And being made perfect, He became the Source of eternal salvation to all who obey Him, being designated by God a High Priest after the order of Melchizedek.

 

THE HOLY GOSPEL                                                                                          Mark 10:35-45 (ESV)

And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came up to Him and said to Him, “Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask of You.”  And He said to them, “What do you want Me to do for you?”  And they said to Him, “Grant us to sit, one at Your right hand and one at Your left, in Your glory.”  Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking.  Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?”  And they said to Him, “We are able.”  And Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized, but to sit at My right hand or at My left is not Mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.”  And when the ten heard it, they began to be indignant at James and John.  And Jesus called them to Him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them.  But it shall not be so among you.  But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all.  For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”

 

 

 

Fifth Sunday in Lent

THE OLD TESTAMENT READING                                                          Jeremiah 31:31-34 (ESV)

“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord.  But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord:  I will put My Law within them, and I will write it on their hearts.  And I will be their God, and they shall be My people.  And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord.  For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

 THE EPISTLE                                                                                                    Hebrews 5:1-10 (ESV)

Every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.  He can deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is beset with weakness.  Because of this he is obligated to offer sacrifice for his own sins just as he does for those of the people.  And no one takes this honor for himself, but only when called by God, just as Aaron was.  So also Christ did not exalt Himself to be made a high priest, but was appointed by Him who said to Him, “You are My Son, today I have begotten You”; as He says also in another place, “You are a Priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek.”  In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to Him who was able to save him from death, and He was heard because of His reverence.  Although He was a Son, He learned obedience through what He suffered.  And being made perfect, He became the Source of eternal salvation to all who obey Him, being designated by God a High Priest after the order of Melchizedek.

 

THE HOLY GOSPEL                                                                                         Mark 10:35-45 (ESV)

And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came up to Him and said to Him, “Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask of You.”  And He said to them, “What do you want Me to do for you?”  And they said to Him, “Grant us to sit, one at Your right hand and one at Your left, in Your glory.”  Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking.  Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?”  And they said to Him, “We are able.”  And Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized, but to sit at My right hand or at My left is not Mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.”  And when the ten heard it, they began to be indignant at James and John.  And Jesus called them to Him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them.  But it shall not be so among you.  But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all.  For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”