Sunday, December 27, 2020

First Reading (Genesis 15:1-6; 21: 1-3)

[1] Some time later the word of Adonai came to Avram in a vision: “Don’t be afraid, Avram. I am your protector; your reward will be very great.” [2] Avram replied, “Adonai, God, what good will your gifts be to me if I continue childless; and Eli‘ezer from Dammesek inherits my possessions?

[3] You haven’t given me a child,” Avram continued, “so someone born in my house will be my heir.” [4] But the word of Adonai came to him: “This man will not be your heir. No, your heir will be a child from your own body.”

[5] Then he brought him outside and said, “Look up at the sky, and count the stars — if you can count them! Your descendants will be that many!” [6] He believed in Adonai, and he credited it to him as righteousness.

[21:1] Adonai remembered Sarah as he had said, and Adonai did for Sarah what he had promised. [2] Sarah conceived and bore Avraham a son in his old age, at the very time God had said to him. [3] Avraham called his son, born to him, whom Sarah bore to him, Yitz’chak.

Second Reading (Hebrews 11:8, 11-12, 17-19)

[8] By trusting, Avraham obeyed, after being called to go outto a place which God would give him as a possession; indeed, he went out without knowing where he was going. [11] By trusting, he received potency to father a child, even when he was past the age for it, as was Sarah herself; because he regarded the One who had made the promise as trustworthy.

[12] Therefore this one man, who was virtually dead, fathered descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky, and as countless as the grains of the sand on the seashore. [17] By trusting, Avraham, when he was put to the test, offered up Yitz’chak as a sacrifice.

Yes, he offered up his only son, he who had received the promises, [18]to whom it had been said, “What is called your ‘seed’ will be in Yitz’chak.” [19] For he had concluded that God could even raise people from the dead! And, figuratively speaking, he did so receive him.

Gospel (Luke 2: 22-40)

[22] When the time came for their purification according to the Torah of Moshe, they took him up to Yerushalayim to present him to Adonai [23] (as it is written in the Torah of Adonai, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to Adonai” [24] and also to offer a sacrifice of a pair of doves or two young pigeons, as required by the Torah of Adonai.

[25] There was in Yerushalayim a man named Shim‘on. This man was a tzaddik, he was devout, he waited eagerly for God to comfort Isra’el, and the Ruach HaKodesh was upon him. [26] It had been revealed to him by the Ruach HaKodesh that he would not die before he had seen the Messiah of Adonai.

[27] Prompted by the Spirit, he went into the Temple courts; and when the parents brought in the child Yeshua to do for him what the Torah required, [28] Shim‘on took him in his arms, made a b’rakhah to God, and said, [29] “Now, Adonai, according to your word, your servant is at peace as you let him go; [30] for I have seen with my own eyes your yeshu‘ah, [31] which you prepared in the presence of all peoples – [32] a light that will bring revelation to the Goyim and glory to your people Isra’el.”

[33] Yeshua’s father and mother were marvelling at the things Shim‘on was saying about him. [34] Shim‘on blessed them and said to the child’s mother, Miryam, “This child will cause many in Isra’el to fall and to rise, he will become a sign whom people will speak against; [35] moreover, a sword will pierce your own heart too. All this will happen in order to reveal many people’s inmost thoughts.”

[36] There was also a prophet named Hannah Bat-P’nu’el, of the tribe of Asher. She was a very old woman — she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage [37] and had remained a widow ever since; now she was eighty-four. She never left the Temple grounds but worshipped there night and day, fasting and praying.

[38] She came by at that moment and began thanking God and speaking about the child to everyone who was waiting for Yerushalayim to be liberated.

[39]When Yosef and Miryam had finished doing everything required by the Torah of Adonai, they returned to the Galil, to their town Natzeret. [40] The child grew and became strong and filled with wisdom — God’s favor was upon him.

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