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Readings are updated
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The World Community
for Christian Meditation

The World Community for Christian Meditation
is an international organisation of meditators
whose practice of this universal tradition is
rooted in theteachings of the Gospels and
the early Christian monastic methods of
prayer and contemplation.
Forgotten over the centuries, this aspect of
Christian spirituality in the life of the Church was
rediscovered and revived by Fr. John Main, OSB
(1926-1982), a Benedictine monk
who in the 1970s
reintroduced it into the lives of religious
and lay people alike. Here in New Zealand
there are meditation groups in many cities
and towns meeting regularly in churches,
community halls and private homes.
To find out more visit
www.christianmeditationnz.org.nz





READINGS for:
31st December 2017 - Holy Family

Genesis 15:1-6, 21:1-3; Psalm 104; Hebrews 18, 11-12, 17-19; Luke 2:22-40
Genesis 15:1-6, 21:1-3; Psalm 104; Hebrews 18, 11-12, 17-19; Luke 2:22-40

FIRST READING: Genesis 15:1-6, 21:1-3

image Your heir shall be your own flesh and blood.

It happened some time later that the word of the Lord was spoken to Abram in a vision, ‘Have no fear, Abram, I am your shield; your reward will be very great.’

‘My Lord,’ Abram replied ‘what do you intend to give me? I go childless…’ Then Abram said, ‘See, you have given me no descendants; some man of my household will be my heir’. And then this word of the Lord was spoken to him, ‘He shall not be your heir; your heir shall be of your own flesh and blood’. Then taking him outside he said, ‘Look up to heaven and count the stars if you can. Such will be your descendants’ he told him. Abram put his faith in the Lord, who counted this as making him justified.

The Lord dealt kindly with Sarah as he had said, and did what he had promised her. So Sarah conceived and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the time God had promised.

The Word of the Lord.


Psalm 104:1-6. 8-9, R7-8

Response - He, the Lord, is our God: his judgments prevail in all the earth.


1. Give thanks to the Lord, tell his name,
make known his deeds among the peoples.
O sing to him, sing his praise;
tell all his wonderful works! - Response

2. Be proud of his holy name,
let the hearts that seek the Lord rejoice.
Consider the Lord and his strength;
constantly seek his face. - Response

3.Remember the wonders he has done,
his miracles, the judgments he spoke.
O children of Abraham, his servant,
O sons of the Jacob he chose. - Response

4. He remembers his covenant for ever,
his promise for a thousand generations,
the covenant he made with Abraham,
the oath he swore to Isaac. - Response


SECOND READING: Hebrews 18, 11-12, 17-19

The faith of Abraham, Sarah and Issac.

It was by faith that Abraham obeyed the call to set out for a country that was the inheritance given to him and his descendants, and that he set out without knowing where he was going.

It was equally by faith that Sarah, in spite of being past the age, was made able to conceive, because she believed that he who had made the promise would be faithful to it. Because of this, there came from one man, and one who was already as good as dead himself, more descendants than could be counted, as many as the stars of heaven or the grains of sand on the seashore.

It was by faith that Abraham, when put to the test, offered up Isaac. He offered to sacrifice his only son even though the promises had been made to him and he had been told: It is through Isaac that your name will be carried on. He was confident that God had the power even to raise the dead; and so, figuratively speaking, he was given back Isaac from the dead.

The Word of the Lord.


GOSPEL ACCLAMATION : Col.3:15,16

Alleluia, alleluia!
May the peace of Christ reign in your hearts;
let the message of Christ find a home in you.
Alleluia!


GOSPEL: Luke 2:22-40

The child grew, filled with wisdom.

When the day came for them to be purified as laid down by the Law of Moses, the parents of Jesus took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord — observing what stands written in the Law of the Lord: Every first-born male must be consecrated to the Lord — and also to offer in sacrifice, in accordance with what is said in the Law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons. Now in Jerusalem there was a man named Simeon. He was an upright and devout man; he looked forward to Israel’s comforting and the Holy Spirit rested on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death until he had set eyes on the Christ of the Lord. Prompted by the Spirit he came to the Temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the Law required, he took him into his arms and blessed God; and he said:

‘Now, Master, you can let your servant go in peace, just as you promised; because my eyes have seen the salvation which you have prepared for all the nations to see, a light to enlighten the pagans and the glory of your people Israel.’

As the child’s father and mother stood there wondering at the things that were being said about him, Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, ‘You see this child: he is destined for the fall and for the rising of many in Israel, destined to be a sign that is rejected — and a sword will pierce your own soul too — so that the secret thoughts of many may be laid bare.’ There was a prophetess also, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was well on in years. Her days of girlhood over, she had been married for seven years before becoming a widow. She was now eighty-four years old and never left the Temple, serving God night and day with fasting and prayer. She came by just at that moment and began to praise God; and she spoke of the child to all who looked forward to the deliverance of Jerusalem.

When they had done everything the Law of the Lord required, they went back to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. Meanwhile the child grew to maturity, and he was filled with wisdom; and God’s favour was with him.

The Gospel of the Lord.










Readings from The Jerusalem Bible © 1966 by Darton Longman & Todd Ltd and Doubleday and Company Ltd.
Psalm © The Grail (England) published by HarperCollins.



Understanding the Liturgical Cycle

The Lectionary is arranged into two cycles, one for Sundays and one for weekdays. The Sunday cycle is divided into three years, labeled A, B, and C. 2005 was Year A, 2006 was Year B, 2007 was Year C, and so on. The Liturgical Year begins on the 1st Sunday of Advent (usually late November) and ends with the Feast of Christ the King.

In Year A, we read mostly from the gospel of Matthew. In Year B, we read the gospel of Mark and chapter 6 of the gospel of John. In Year C, we read the gospel of Luke. The gospel of John is read during the Easter season in all three years.

The first reading, usually from the Old Testament, reflects important themes from the gospel reading. The second reading is usually from one of the epistles, a letter written to an early church community. These letters are read semi-continuously. Each Sunday, we pick up close to where we left off the Sunday before, though some passages are never read.

The weekday cycle is divided into two years, Year I and Year II. Year I is read in odd-numbered years (2003, 2005, etc.) and Year II is used in even-numbered years (2002, 2004, etc.) The gospels for both years are the same. During the year, the gospels are read semi-continuously, beginning with Mark, then moving on to Matthew and Luke. The gospel of John is read during the Easter season. For Advent , Christmas, and Lent , readings are chosen that are appropriate to the season. The first reading on weekdays may be taken from the Old or the New Testament. Typically, a single book is read semi-continuously (i.e. some passages are not read) until it is finished and then a new book is started.

This year (2018) is Year B/II





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