The virtuous will be blessed - Extracted from Psalms, Chapter 37:


1[Of David] Do not get heated about the wicked or envy those who do wrong.


2 Quick as the grass they wither, fading like the green of the fields.


3 Put your trust in Yahweh and do right, make your home in the land and live secure.


4 Make Yahweh your joy and he will give you your heart's desires.


5 Commit your destiny to Yahweh, be confident in him, and he will act,


6 making your uprightness clear as daylight, and the justice of your cause as the noon.


7 Stay quiet before Yahweh, wait longingly for him, do not get heated over someone who is making a fortune, succeeding by devious means.


8 Refrain from anger, leave rage aside, do not get heated - it can do no good;


9 for evil-doers will be annihilated, while those who hope in Yahweh shall have the land for their own.


10 A little while and the wicked will be no more, however well you search for the place, the wicked will not be there;


11 but the poor will have the land for their own, to enjoy untroubled peace.


12 The wicked plots against the upright and gnashes his teeth at him,


13 but Yahweh only laughs at his efforts, knowing that his end is in sight.


14 Though the wicked draw his sword and bend his bow to slaughter the honest and bring down the poor and the needy,


15 his sword will pierce his own heart, and his bow will be shattered.


16 What little the upright possesses outweighs all the wealth of the wicked;


17 for the weapons of the wicked shall be shattered, while Yahweh supports the upright.


18 The lives of the just are in Yahweh's care, their birthright will endure for ever;


19 they will not be put to shame when bad times come, in time of famine they will have plenty.


20 The wicked, enemies of Yahweh, will be destroyed, they will vanish like the green of the pasture, they will vanish in smoke.


21 The wicked borrows and will not repay, but the upright is generous in giving;


22 those he blesses will have the land for their own, and those he curses be annihilated.


23 Yahweh guides a strong man's steps and keeps them firm; and takes pleasure in him.


24 When he trips he is not thrown sprawling, since Yahweh supports him by the hand.


25 Now I am old, but ever since my youth I never saw an upright person abandoned, or the descendants of the upright forced to beg their bread.


26 The upright is always compassionate, always lending, so his descendants reap a blessing.


27 Turn your back on evil and do good, you will have a home for ever,


28 for Yahweh loves justice and will not forsake his faithful. Evil-doers will perish eternally, the descendants of the wicked be annihilated,


29 but the upright shall have the land for their own, there they shall live for ever.


30 Wisdom comes from the lips of the upright, and his tongue speaks what is right;


31 the law of his God is in his heart, his foot will never slip.


32 The wicked keeps a close eye on the upright, looking out for a chance to kill him;


33 Yahweh will never abandon him to the clutches of the wicked, nor let him be condemned if he is tried.


34 Put your hope in Yahweh, keep to his path, he will raise you up to make the land your own; you will look on while the wicked are annihilated.


35 I have seen the wicked exultant, towering like a cedar of Lebanon.


36 When next I passed he was gone, I searched for him and he was nowhere to be found.


37 Observe the innocent, consider the honest, for the lover of peace will not lack children.


38 But the wicked will all be destroyed together, and their children annihilated.


39 The upright have Yahweh for their Saviour, their refuge in times of trouble;


40 Yahweh helps them and rescues them, he will rescue them from the wicked, and save them because they take refuge in him.


Jesus is the Way, Truth and Life - Extracted from John, Chapter 14:


6 Jesus said: I am the Way; I am Truth and Life. No one can come to the Father except through me.


7 If you know me, you will know my Father too. From this moment you know him and have seen him.


8 Philip said, 'Lord, show us the Father and then we shall be satisfied.' Jesus said to him,


9 'Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? 'Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father, so how can you say, "Show us the Father"?


10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? What I say to you I do not speak of my own accord: it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his works.


11 You must believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe it on the evidence of these works.


12 In all truth I tell you, whoever believes in me will perform the same works as I do myself, and will perform even greater works, because I am going to the Father.


13 Whatever you ask in my name I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.


14 If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.


15 If you love me you will keep my commandments.


16 I shall ask the Father, and he will give you another Paraclete (the Holy Spirit) to be with you for ever,


17 the Spirit of truth whom the world can never accept since it neither sees nor knows him; but you know him, because he is with you, he is in you.


18 I shall not leave you orphans; I shall come to you.


19 In a short time the world will no longer see me; but you will see that I live and you also will live.


20 On that day you will know that I am in my Father and you in me and I in you.


21 Whoever holds to my commandments and keeps them is the one who loves me; and whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I shall love him and reveal myself to him.'


Back to Encouragements-97


First Miracle of the Loaves - Extracted from Mark, Chapter 6:


30 The apostles re-joined Jesus and told him all they had done and taught.


31 And he (Jesus) said to them, 'Come away to some lonely place all by yourselves and rest for a while'; for there were so many coming and going that there was no time for them even to eat.


32 So they went off in the boat to a lonely place where they could be by themselves.


33 But people saw them going, and many recognised them; and from every town they all hurried to the place on foot and reached it before them.


34 So as he (Jesus) stepped ashore he saw a large crowd; and he took pity on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd, and he set himself to teach them at some length.


35 By now it was getting very late, and his disciples came up to him and said, 'This is a lonely place and it is getting very late,


36 so send them away, and they can go to the farms and villages round about, to buy themselves something to eat.'


37 He (Jesus) replied, 'Give them something to eat yourselves.' They answered, 'Are we to go and spend two hundred denarii on bread for them to eat?'


38 He asked, 'How many loaves have you? Go and see.' And when they had found out they said, 'Five, and two fish.'


39 Then he ordered them to get all the people to sit down in groups on the green grass,


40 and they sat down on the ground in squares of hundreds and fifties.


41 Then he (Jesus) took the five loaves and the two fish, raised his eyes to heaven and said the blessing; then he broke the loaves and began handing them to his disciples to distribute among the people. He also shared out the two fish among them all.


42 They all ate as much as they wanted.


43 They collected twelve basketfuls of scraps of bread and pieces of fish.


44 Those who had eaten the loaves numbered five thousand men.




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