Sunday, June 20, 2021
First Reading (Job 38:1-4, 8-11)
 Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said,  Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?
 Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.  Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.
 Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb?  When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddlingband for it,  And brake up for it my decreed place, and set bars and doors,
 And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed?
Second Reading (2 Corinthians 5:14-17)
 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:  And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.
 Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Gospel (Mark 4:35-41)
 And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side.  And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships.
 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.  And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?
 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.  And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?
 And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?
Saturday, June 19, 2021
Reading (2 Corinthians 12:1-10)
 I have to boast. There is nothing to be gained by it, but I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord.  I know a man in union with the Messiah who fourteen years ago was snatched up to the third heaven; whether he was in the body or outside the body I don’t know, God knows.
 And I know that such a man — whether in the body or apart from the body I don’t know, God knows —  was snatched into Gan-‘Eden and heard things that cannot be put into words, things unlawful for a human being to utter.
 About such a man I will boast; but about myself I will not boast, except in regard to my weaknesses.  If I did want to boast, I would not be foolish; because I would be speaking the truth.
But, because of the extraordinary greatness of the revelations, I refrain, so that no one will think more of me than what my words or deeds may warrant.  Therefore, to keep me from becoming overly proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from the Adversary to pound away at me, so that I wouldn’t grow conceited.
 Three times I begged the Lord to take this thing away from me;  but he told me, “My grace is enough for you, for my power is brought to perfection in weakness.” Therefore, I am very happy to boast about my weaknesses, in order that the Messiah’s power will rest upon me.
 Yes, I am well pleased with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions and difficulties endured on behalf of the Messiah; for it is when I am weak that I am strong.
Gospel (Matthew 6:24-34)
 No one can be slave to two masters; for he will either hate the first and love the second, or scorn the second and be loyal to the first. You can’t be a slave to both God and money.
 “Therefore, I tell you, don’t worry about your life — what you will eat or drink; or about your body — what you will wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothing?
 Look at the birds flying about! They neither plant nor harvest, nor do they gather food into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than they are?  Can any of you by worrying add a single hour to his life?
 “And why be anxious about clothing? Think about the fields of wild irises, and how they grow. They neither work nor spin thread,  yet I tell you that not even Shlomo in all his glory was clothed as beautifully as one of these.
 If this is how God clothes grass in the field — which is here today and gone tomorrow, thrown in an oven — won’t he much more clothe you? What little trust you have!  “So don’t be anxious, asking, ‘What will we eat?,’ ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘How will we be clothed?’
 For it is the pagans who set their hearts on all these things. Your heavenly Father knows you need them all.  But seek first his Kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
 Don’t worry about tomorrow — tomorrow will worry about itself! Today has enough tsuris already!
Friday, June 18, 2021
Reading (2 Corinthians 11:18, 21b-30)
 Since many people boast in a worldly way, I too will boast this way.  To my shame, I must admit that we have been too “weak” to do such things! But if anyone dares to boast about something — I’m talking like a fool! — I am just as daring.
 Are they Hebrew-speakers? So am I. Are they of the people of Isra’el? So am I. Are they descendants of Avraham? So am I.  Are they servants of the Messiah? (I’m talking like a madman!)
I’m a better one! I’ve worked much harder, been imprisoned more often, suffered more beatings, been near death over and over.  Five times I received “forty lashes less one” from the Jews.  Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked. I spent a night and a day in the open sea.
 In my many travels I have been exposed to danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the desert, danger at sea, danger from false brothers.
 I have toiled and endured hardship, often not had enough sleep, been hungry and thirsty, frequently gone without food, been cold and naked.  And besides these external matters, there is the daily pressure of my anxious concern for all the congregations.
 Who is weak without my sharing his weakness? Who falls into sin without my burning inside?  If I must boast, I will boast about things that show how weak I am.
Gospel (Matthew 6:19-23)
 “Do not store up for yourselves wealth here on earth, where moths and rust destroy, and burglars break in and steal.  Instead, store up for yourselves wealth in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and burglars do not break in or steal.
 For where your wealth is, there your heart will be also.  ‘The eye is the lamp of the body.’ So if you have a ‘good eye’ [that is, if you are generous] your whole body will be full of light;  but if you have an ‘evil eye’ [if you are stingy] your whole body will be full of darkness.
If, then, the light in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
Thursday, June 17, 2021
Reading (2 Corinthians 11:1-11)
 I would like you to bear with me in a little foolishness — please do bear with me!  For I am jealous for you with God’s kind of jealousy; since I promised to present you as a pure virgin in marriage to your one husband, the Messiah;  and I fear that somehow your minds may be seduced away from simple and pure devotion to the Messiah, just as Havah was deceived by the serpent and his craftiness.
 For if someone comes and tells you about some other Yeshua than the one we told you about, or if you receive a spirit different from the one you received or accept some so-called “good news” different from the Good News you already accepted, you bear with him well enough!
 For I don’t consider myself in any way inferior to these “super-emissaries.”  I may not be a skilled speaker, but I do have the knowledge; anyhow, we have made this clear to you in every way and in every circumstance.
 Or did I sin in humbling myself so that you could be exalted, in proclaiming God’s Good News to you free of charge?  I robbed other congregations by accepting support from them in order to serve you.
 And when I was with you and had needs, I did not burden anyone: my needs were met by the brothers who came from Macedonia. In nothing have I been a burden to you, nor will I be.
 The truthfulness of the Messiah is in me, so that this boast concerning me is not going to be silenced anywhere in Achaia.  Why won’t I ever accept your support? Is it that I don’t love you? God knows I do!
Gospel (Matthew 6:7-15)
 “And when you pray, don’t babble on and on like the pagans, who think God will hear them better if they talk a lot.  Don’t be like them, because your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
 You, therefore, pray like this: ‘Our Father in heaven! May your Name be kept holy.  May your Kingdom come, your will be done on earth as in heaven.  Give us the food we need today.
 Forgive us what we have done wrong, as we too have forgiven those who have wronged us.  And do not lead us into hard testing, but keep us safe from the Evil One. For kingship, power and glory are yours forever. Amen.’ [
14] For if you forgive others their offenses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you;  but if you do not forgive others their offenses, your heavenly Father will not forgive yours.
Wednesday, June 16, 2021
Reading (2 Corinthians 9:6-11)
 Here’s the point: he who plants sparingly also harvests sparingly.  Each should give according to what he has decided in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
 Moreover, God has the power to provide you with every gracious gift in abundance, so that always in every way you will have all you need yourselves and be able to provide abundantly for every good cause —  as the Tanakh says, “He gave generously to the poor; his tzedakah lasts forever.”
 He who provides both seed for the planter and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed and increase the harvest of your tzedakah.  You will be enriched in every way, so that you can be generous in everything. And through us your generosity will cause people to thank God,
Gospel (Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18)
 “Be careful not to parade your acts of tzedakah in front of people in order to be seen by them! If you do, you have no reward from your Father in heaven.
 So, when you do tzedakah, don’t announce it with trumpets to win people’s praise, like the hypocrites in the synagogues and on the streets. Yes! I tell you, they have their reward already!  But you, when you do tzedakah, don’t even let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.
 Then your tzedakah will be in secret; and your Father, who sees what you do in secret, will reward you.  “When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites, who love to pray standing in the synagogues and on street corners, so that people can see them.
Yes! I tell you, they have their reward already!  But you, when you pray, go into your room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. Your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
 “Now when you fast, don’t go around looking miserable, like the hypocrites. They make sour faces so that people will know they are fasting. Yes! I tell you, they have their reward already!
 But you, when you fast, wash your face and groom yourself,  so that no one will know you are fasting — except your Father, who is with you in secret. Your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Tuesday, June 15, 2021
Reading (2 Corinthians 8:1-9)
 Now, brothers, we must tell you about the grace God has given the congregations in Macedonia.  Despite severe trials, and even though they are desperately poor, their joy has overflowed in a wealth of generosity.
 I tell you they have not merely given according to their means, but of their own free will they have given beyond their means.  They begged and pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service for God’s people.
 Also, they didn’t do this in the way we had expected, but first they gave themselves to the Lord, which means, by God’s will, to us.  All this has led us to urge Titus to bring this same gracious gift to completion among you, since he has already made a beginning of it.
 Just as you excel in everything — in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in diligence of every kind, and in your love for us — see that you excel in this gift too.  I am not issuing an order; rather, I am testing the genuineness of your love against the diligence of others.
 For you know how generous our Lord Yeshua the Messiah was — for your sakes he impoverished himself, even though he was rich, so that he might make you rich by means of his poverty.
Gospel (Matthew 5:43-48)
 “You have heard that our fathers were told, ‘Love your neighbor — and hate your enemy.’ 44] But I tell you, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!
 Then you will become children of your Father in heaven. For he makes his sun shine on good and bad people alike, and he sends rain to the righteous and the unrighteous alike.  What reward do you get if you love only those who love you? Why, even tax-collectors do that!
 And if you are friendly only to your friends, are you doing anything out of the ordinary? Even the Goyim do that!  Therefore, be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
Monday, June 14, 2021
Reading (2 Corinthians 6.1-10)
 As God’s fellow-workers we also urge you not to receive his grace and then do nothing with it.  For he says, “At the acceptable time I heard you; in the day of salvation I helped you.” We try not to put obstacles in anyone’s path, so that no one can find fault with the work we do.
 On the contrary, we try to commend ourselves in every way as workers for God by continually enduring troubles, hardships, calamities,  beatings, imprisonments, riots, overwork, lack of sleep and food.
 We commend ourselves by our purity, knowledge, patience and kindness; by the Ruach HaKodesh; by genuineness of love  and truthfulness of speech; and by God’s power.
We commend ourselves through our use of righteous weapons, whether for pressing our cause or defending it;  through being honored and dishonored, praised and blamed, considered deceptive and sincere,  unknown and famous.
And we commend ourselves as God’s workers headed for death, yet look! we’re alive! as punished, yet not killed;  as having reason to be sad, yet always filled with joy; as poor, yet making many people rich; as having nothing, yet having everything!
Gospel (Matthew 5.38-42)
 “You have heard that our fathers were told, ‘Eye for eye and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you not to stand up against someone who does you wrong.
On the contrary, if someone hits you on the right cheek, let him hit you on the left cheek too!  If someone wants to sue you for your shirt, let him have your coat as well!
 And if a soldier forces you to carry his pack for one mile, carry it for two!  When someone asks you for something, give it to him; when someone wants to borrow something from you, lend it to him.
Sunday, June 13, 2021
First Reading (Ezekiel 17:22-24)
 “Adonai Elohim says, ‘From the top of this tall cedar, from its highest branch, I will take a shoot and plant it myself on a high and prominent mountain.
 I will plant it on the highest mountain in Isra’el, where it will put out branches, bear fruit, and become a noble cedar. Under it will live all kinds of birds; winged creatures of every description will live there in the shadow of its branches.
 Then all the trees of the field will know that I, Adonai, bring down the tall tree and raise up the low tree, wither the green tree and make the withered tree bear fruit. I, Adonai, have spoken; and I will do it.’”
Second Reading (2 Corinthians 5:6-10)
 So we are always confident — we know that so long as we are at home in the body, we are away from our home with the Lord;  for we live by trust, not by what we see.
 We are confident, then, and would much prefer to leave our home in the body and come to our home with the Lord.
 Therefore, whether at home or away from home, we try our utmost to please him;  for we must all appear before the Messiah’s court of judgment, where everyone will receive the good or bad consequences of what he did while he was in the body.
Gospel (Mark 4:26-34)
 And he said, “The Kingdom of God is like a man who scatters seed on the ground.  Nights he sleeps, days he’s awake; and meanwhile the seeds sprout and grow — how, he doesn’t know.
 By itself the soil produces a crop — first the stalk, then the head, and finally the full grain in the head.  But as soon as the crop is ready, the man comes with his sickle, because it’s harvest-time.”
 Yeshua also said, “With what can we compare the Kingdom of God? What illustration should we use to describe it?
 It is like a mustard seed, which, when planted, is the smallest of all the seeds in the field;  but after it has been planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all the plants, with such big branches that the birds flying about can build nests in its shade.”
 With many parables like these he spoke the message to them, to the extent that they were capable of hearing it.
 He did not say a thing to them without using a parable; when he was alone with his own talmidim he explained everything to them.
Saturday, June 12, 2021
Reading (Isaiah 61:9-11)
 Their descendants will be known among the nations, their offspring among the peoples; all who see them will acknowledge that they are the seed Adonai has blessed.
 I am so joyful in Adonai! My soul rejoices in my God, for he has clothed me in salvation, dressed me with a robe of triumph, like a bridegroom wearing a festive turban, like a bride adorned with her jewels.
 For just as the earth brings forth its plants, or a garden makes its plants spring up, so Adonai, God, will cause victory and glory to spring up before all nations.
Gospel (Luke 2:41-51)
 Every year Yeshua’s parents went to Yerushalayim for the festival of Pesach.  When he was twelve years old, they went up for the festival, as custom required.  But after the festival was over, when his parents returned, Yeshua remained in Yerushalayim.
They didn’t realize this;  supposing that he was somewhere in the caravan, they spent a whole day on the road before they began searching for him among their relatives and friends.  Failing to find him, they returned to Yerushalayim to look for him.
 On the third day they found him — he was sitting in the Temple court among the rabbis, not only listening to them but questioning what they said;  and everyone who heard him was astonished at his insight and his responses.
 When his parents saw him, they were shocked; and his mother said to him, “Son! Why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been terribly worried looking for you!”  He said to them, “Why did you have to look for me?
Didn’t you know that I had to be concerning myself with my Father’s affairs?”  But they didn’t understand what he meant.  So he went with them to Natzeret and was obedient to them. But his mother stored up all these things in her heart.
Friday, June 11, 2021
First Reading (Hosea 11:1-4, 8-9)
 “When Isra’el was a child, I loved him; and out of Egypt I called my son.  But the more [the prophets] called them, the farther they went from them. They sacrificed to the ba‘alim and offered incense to idols.
 “Yet it was I who taught Efrayim to walk; I took them by their arms. But they did not know that it was I who was healing them,  who was guiding them on through human means with reins made of love.
With them I was like someone removing the yoke from their jaws, and I bent down to feed them.  Efrayim, how can I give you up, or surrender you, Isra’el? How could I treat you like Admah or make you like Tzvoyim? My heart recoils at the idea, as compassion warms within me.
 I will not give vent to the fierceness of my rage, I will not return to destroy Efrayim; for I am God, not a human being, the Holy One among you; so I will not come in fury.
Second Reading (Ephesians 3:8-12, 14-19)
 To me, the least important of all God’s holy people, was given this privilege of announcing to the Gentiles the Good News of the Messiah’s unfathomable riches,  and of letting everyone see how this secret plan is going to work out.
This plan, kept hidden for ages by God, the Creator of everything,  is for the rulers and authorities in heaven to learn, through the existence of the Messianic Community, how many-sided God’s wisdom is.
 This accords with God’s age-old purpose, accomplished in the Messiah Yeshua, our Lord.  In union with him, through his faithfulness, we have boldness and confidence when we approach God.  For this reason, I fall on my knees before the Father,  from whom every family in heaven and on earth receives its character.
 I pray that from the treasures of his glory he will empower you with inner strength by his Spirit,  so that the Messiah may live in your hearts through your trusting.
Also I pray that you will be rooted and founded in love,  so that you, with all God’s people, will be given strength to grasp the breadth, length, height and depth of the Messiah’s love,  yes, to know it, even though it is beyond all knowing, so that you will be filled with all the fullness of God.
Gospel (John 19:31-37)
 It was Preparation Day, and the Judeans did not want the bodies to remain on the stake on Shabbat, since it was an especially important Shabbat. So they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies removed.
 The soldiers came and broke the legs of the first man who had been put on a stake beside Yeshua, then the legs of the other one;  but when they got to Yeshua and saw that he was already dead, they didn’t break his legs.
 However, one of the soldiers stabbed his side with a spear, and at once blood and water flowed out.  The man who saw it has testified about it, and his testimony is true. And he knows that he tells the truth, so you too can trust. 36 For these things happened in order to fulfill this passage of the Tanakh: “Not one of his bones will be broken.”  And again, another passage says, “They will look at him whom they have pierced.”