Daily Readings for Sunday December 04,2016

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Reading 1, Num 22:30-35 : Balaam gets instructions from the ange

20 And God came to Balaam at night and said to him, "If the men have come to call you, rise, go with them; but only what I bid you, that shall you do."
21 So Balaam rose in the morning, and saddled his ass, and went with the princes of Moab.
22 But God's anger was kindled because he went; and the angel of the LORD took his stand in the way as his adversary. Now he was riding on the ass, and his two servants were with him.
23 And the ass saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road, with a drawn sword in his hand; and the ass turned aside out of the road, and went into the field; and Balaam struck the ass, to turn her into the road.
24 Then the angel of the LORD stood in a narrow path between the vineyards, with a wall on either side.
25 And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she pushed against the wall, and pressed Balaam's foot against the wall; so he struck her again.
26 Then the angel of the LORD went ahead, and stood in a narrow place, where there was no way to turn either to the right or to the left.
27 When the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she lay down under Balaam; and Balaam's anger was kindled, and he struck the ass with his staff.
28 Then the LORD opened the mouth of the ass, and she said to Balaam, "What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?"
29 And Balaam said to the ass, "Because you have made sport of me. I wish I had a sword in my hand, for then I would kill you."
30 And the ass said to Balaam, "Am I not your ass, upon which you have ridden all your life long to this day? Was I ever accustomed to do so to you?" And he said, "No."
31 Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, with his drawn sword in his hand; and he bowed his head, and fell on his face.
32 And the angel of the LORD said to him, "Why have you struck your ass these three times? Behold, I have come forth to withstand you, because your way is perverse before me;
33 and the ass saw me, and turned aside before me these three times. If she had not turned aside from me, surely just now I would have slain you and let her live."
34 Then Balaam said to the angel of the LORD, "I have sinned, for I did not know that thou didst stand in the road against me. Now therefore, if it is evil in thy sight, I will go back again."
35 And the angel of the LORD said to Balaam, "Go with the men; but only the word which I bid you, that shall you speak." So Balaam went on with the princes of Balak.


Reading 2, Is 43:25-44:5 : Restoration and protection promesed to Israel

25 "I, I am He who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.
26 Put me in remembrance, let us argue together; set forth your case, that you may be proved right.
27 Your first father sinned, and your mediators transgressed against me.
28 Therefore I profaned the princes of the sanctuary, I delivered Jacob to utter destruction and Israel to reviling.
1 "But now hear, O Jacob my servant, Israel whom I have chosen!
2 Thus says the LORD who made you, who formed you from the womb and will help you: Fear not, O Jacob my servant, Jeshu'run whom I have chosen.
3 For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon your descendants, and my blessing on your offspring.
4 They shall spring up like grass amid waters, like willows by flowing streams.
5 This one will say, `I am the LORD's,' another will call himself by the name of Jacob, and another will write on his hand, `The LORD's,' and surname himself by the name of Israel."


Reading 3, Col 4:2-6 : Pray with gratitude

2 Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving;
3 and pray for us also, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison,
4 that I may make it clear, as I ought to speak.
5 Conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders, making the most of the time.
6 Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer every one.


Gospel, Lk 1:26-38 : Birth of Jesus is announced

26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth,
27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.
28 And he came to her and said, "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!"
29 But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be.
30 And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.
32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David,
33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there will be no end."
34 And Mary said to the angel, "How shall this be, since I have no husband?"
35 And the angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.
36 And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren.
37 For with God nothing will be impossible."
38 And Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.


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