Thoughts and Reflection
Today we are reminded about self-control. If we lack self-control, we will be defenseless against attack. A virtuous person has the ability to say no to themselves.
John the Baptist baptized people at the mouth of the Jordan River into the Dead Sea. This is the same area where Joshua led the people of Israel across the Jordan into the Promised Land. This is the lowest spot in the world and Jesus shows us his humility by being baptized here. He also reveals that he is about to bring us a new exodus.
At Jesus’ baptism, the Father says, “you are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased” (Luke 3:22). We also become the children of the Father in baptism. Jesus is anointed priest, prophet, and King and goes out into the wilderness and does battle with Satan. In the wilderness, the people of Israel doubted and complained about the Lord. Jesus does the opposite and trusts his Father.
About This Project
For the year 2022, I decided that my New Year’s Resolution was to read the whole Bible following the Bible in the Year plan presented by Fr. Mike Schmitz. It is a big and bold undertaking. You can follow along by subscribing. Feel free to look at previous day’s post and comment. It’s something we can all learn from together!
1 In the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar’s reign, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judaea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of the territories of Ituraea and Trachonitis, Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene,
2 and while the high-priesthood was held by Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah, in the desert.
3 He went through the whole Jordan area proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins,
4 as it is written in the book of the sayings of Isaiah the prophet: A voice of one that cries in the desert: Prepare a way for the Lord, make his paths straight!
5 Let every valley be filled in, every mountain and hill be levelled, winding ways be straightened and rough roads made smooth,
6 and all humanity will see the salvation of God.
7 He said, therefore, to the crowds who came to be baptised by him, ‘Brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the coming retribution?
8 Produce fruit in keeping with repentance, and do not start telling yourselves, “We have Abraham as our father,” because, I tell you, Godcan raise children for Abraham from these stones.
9 Yes, even now the axe is being laid to the root of the trees, so that any tree failing to produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown on the fire.’
10 When all the people asked him, ‘What must we do, then?’
11 he answered, ‘Anyone who has two tunics must share with the one who has none, and anyone with something to eat must do the same.’
12 There were tax collectors, too, who came for baptism, and these said to him, ‘Master, what must we do?’
13 He said to them, ‘Exact no more than the appointed rate.’
14 Some soldiers asked him in their turn, ‘What about us? What must we do?’ He said to them, ‘No intimidation! No extortion! Be content with your pay!’
15 A feeling of expectancy had grown among the people, who were beginning to wonder whether John might be the Christ,
16 so John declared before them all, ‘I baptise you with water, but someone is coming, who is more powerful than me, and I am not fit to undo the strap of his sandals; he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
17 His winnowing-fan is in his hand, to clear his threshing-floor and to gather the wheat into his barn; but the chaff he will burn in a fire that will never go out.’
18 And he proclaimed the good news to the people with many other exhortations too.
19 But Herod the tetrarch, censured by John for his relations with his brother’s wife Herodias and for all the other crimes he had committed,
20 added a further crime to all the rest by shutting John up in prison.
21 Now it happened that when all the people had been baptised and while Jesus after his own baptism was at prayer, heaven opened
22 and the Holy Spirit descended on him in a physical form, like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son; today have I fathered you.’
23 When he began, Jesus was about thirty years old, being the son, as it was thought, of Joseph son of Heli,
24 son of Matthat, son of Levi, son of Melchi, son of Jannai, son of Joseph,
25 son of Mattathias, son of Amos, son of Nahum, son of Esli, son of Naggai,
26 son of Maath, son of Mattathias, son of Semein, son of Josech, son of Joda,
27 son of Joanan, son of Rhesa, son of Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel, son of Neri,
28 son of Melchi, son of Addi, son of Cosam, son of Elmadam, son of Er,
29 son of Jesus, son of Eliezer, son of Jorim, son of Matthat, son of Levi,
30 son of Symeon, son of Judah, son of Joseph, son of Jonam, son of Eliakim,
31 son of Melea, son of Menna, son of Mattatha, son of Nathan, son of David,
32 son of Jesse, son of Obed, son of Boaz, son of Sala, son of Nahshon,
33 son of Amminadab, son of Admin, son of Arni, son of Hezron, son of Perez, son of Judah,
34 son of Jacob, son of Isaac, son of Abraham, son of Terah, son of Nahor,
35 son of Serug, son of Reu, son of Peleg, son of Eber, son of Shelah,
36 son of Cainan, son of Arphaxad, son of Shem, son of Noah, son of Lamech,
37 son of Methuselah, son of Enoch, son of Jared, son of Mahalaleel, son of Cainan,
38 son of Enos, son of Seth, son of Adam, son of God.
1 Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the desert,
2 for forty days being put to the test by the devil. During that time he ate nothing and at the end he was hungry.
3 Then the devil said to him, ‘If you are Son of God, tell this stone to turn into a loaf.’
4 But Jesus replied, ‘Scripture says: Human beings live not on bread alone.’
5 Then leading him to a height, the devil showed him in a moment of time all the kingdoms of the world
6 and said to him, ‘I will give you all this power and their splendour, for it has been handed over to me, for me to give it to anyone I choose.
7 Do homage, then, to me, and it shall all be yours.’
8 But Jesus answered him, ‘Scripture says: You must do homage to the Lord your God, him alone you must serve.’
9 Then he led him to Jerusalem and set him on the parapet of the Temple. ‘If you are Son of God,’ he said to him, ‘throw yourself down from here,
10 for scripture says: He has given his angels orders about you, to guard you, and again:
11 They will carry you in their arms in case you trip over a stone.’
12 But Jesus answered him, ‘Scripture says: Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’
13 Having exhausted every way of putting him to the test, the devil left him, until the opportune moment.
14 Jesus, with the power of the Spirit in him, returned to Galilee; and his reputation spread throughout the countryside.
15 He taught in their synagogues and everyone glorified him.
16 He came to Nazara, where he had been brought up, and went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day as he usually did. He stood up to read,
17 and they handed him the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. Unrolling the scroll he found the place where it is written:
18 The spirit of the Lord is on me, for he has anointed me to bring the good news to the afflicted. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives, sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free,
19 to proclaim a year of favour from the Lord.
20 He then rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the assistant and sat down. And all eyes in the synagogue were fixed on him.
21 Then he began to speak to them, ‘This text is being fulfilled today even while you are listening.’
22 And he won the approval of all, and they were astonished by the gracious words that came from his lips. They said, ‘This is Joseph’s son, surely?’
23 But he replied, ‘No doubt you will quote me the saying, “Physician, heal yourself,” and tell me, “We have heard all that happened in Capernaum, do the same here in your own country.” ‘
24 And he went on, ‘In truth I tell you, no prophet is ever accepted in his own country.
25 ‘There were many widows in Israel, I can assure you, in Elijah’s day, when heaven remained shut for three years and six months and a great famine raged throughout the land,
26 but Elijah was not sent to any one of these: he was sent to a widow at Zarephath, a town in Sidonia.
27 And in the prophet Elisha’s time there were many suffering from virulent skin-diseases in Israel, but none of these was cured — only Naaman the Syrian.’
28 When they heard this everyone in the synagogue was enraged.
29 They sprang to their feet and hustled him out of the town; and they took him up to the brow of the hill their town was built on, intending to throw him off the cliff,
30 but he passed straight through the crowd and walked away.
31 He went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and taught them on the Sabbath.
32 And his teaching made a deep impression on them because his word carried authority.
33 In the synagogue there was a man possessed by the spirit of an unclean devil, and he shouted at the top of his voice,
34 ‘Ha! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are: the Holy One of God.’
35 But Jesus rebuked it, saying, ‘Be quiet! Come out of him!’ And the devil, throwing the man into the middle, went out of him without hurting him at all.
36 Astonishment seized them and they were all saying to one another, ‘What is it in his words? He gives orders to unclean spirits with authority and power and they come out.’
37 And the news of him travelled all through the surrounding countryside.
38 Leaving the synagogue he went to Simon’s house. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was in the grip of a high fever and they asked him to do something for her.
39 Standing over her he rebuked the fever and it left her. And she immediately got up and began to serve them.
40 At sunset all those who had friends suffering from diseases of one kind or another brought them to him, and laying his hands on each he cured them.
41 Devils too came out of many people, shouting, ‘You are the Son of God.’ But he warned them and would not allow them to speak because they knew that he was the Christ.
42 When daylight came he left the house and made his way to a lonely place. The crowds went to look for him, and when they had caught up with him they wanted to prevent him leaving them,
43 but he answered, ‘I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns too, because that is what I was sent to do.’
44 And he continued his proclamation in the synagogues of Judaea.
1 Now it happened that he was standing one day by the Lake of Gennesaret, with the crowd pressing round him listening to the word of God,
2 when he caught sight of two boats at the water’s edge. The fishermen had got out of them and were washing their nets.
3 He got into one of the boats — it was Simon’s — and asked him to put out a little from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat.
4 When he had finished speaking he said to Simon, ‘Put out into deep water and pay out your nets for a catch.’
5 Simon replied, ‘Master, we worked hard all night long and caught nothing, but if you say so, I will pay out the nets.’
6 And when they had done this they netted such a huge number of fish that their nets began to tear,
7 so they signalled to their companions in the other boat to come and help them; when these came, they filled both boats to sinking point.
8 When Simon Peter saw this he fell at the knees of Jesus saying, ‘Leave me, Lord; I am a sinful man.’
9 For he and all his companions were completely awestruck at the catch they had made;
10 so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were Simon’s partners. But Jesus said to Simon, ‘Do not be afraid; from now on it is people you will be catching.’
11 Then, bringing their boats back to land they left everything and followed him.
12 Now it happened that Jesus was in one of the towns when suddenly a man appeared, covered with a skin-disease. Seeing Jesus he fell on his face and implored him saying, ‘Sir, if you are willing you can cleanse me.’
13 He stretched out his hand, and touched him saying, ‘I am willing. Be cleansed.’ At once the skin-disease left him.
14 He ordered him to tell no one, ‘But go and show yourself to the priest and make the offering for your cleansing just as Mosesprescribed, as evidence to them.’
15 But the news of him kept spreading, and large crowds would gather to hear him and to have their illnesses cured,
16 but he would go off to some deserted place and pray.
17 Now it happened that he was teaching one day, and Pharisees and teachers of the Law, who had come from every village in Galilee, from Judaea and from Jerusalem, were sitting there. And the power of the Lord was there so that he should heal.
18 And now some men appeared, bringing on a bed a paralysed man whom they were trying to bring in and lay down in front of him.
19 But as they could find no way of getting the man through the crowd, they went up onto the top of the house and lowered him and his stretcher down through the tiles into the middle of the gathering, in front of Jesus.
20 Seeing their faith he said, ‘My friend, your sins are forgiven you.’
21 The scribes and the Pharisees began to think this over. ‘Who is this man, talking blasphemy? Who but God alone can forgive sins?’
22 But Jesus, aware of their thoughts, made them this reply, ‘What are these thoughts you have in your hearts?
23 Which of these is easier: to say, “Your sins are forgiven you,” or to say, “Get up and walk”?
24 But to prove to you that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins,’ — he said to the paralysed man-‘I order you: get up, and pick up your stretcher and go home.’
25 And immediately before their very eyes he got up, picked up what he had been lying on and went home praising God.
26 They were all astounded and praised God and were filled with awe, saying, ‘We have seen strange things today.’
27 When he went out after this, he noticed a tax collector, Levi by name, sitting at the tax office, and said to him, ‘Follow me.’
28 And leaving everything Levi got up and followed him.
29 In his honour Levi held a great reception in his house, and with them at table was a large gathering of tax collectors and others.
30 The Pharisees and their scribes complained to his disciples and said, ‘Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?’
31 Jesus said to them in reply, ‘It is not those that are well who need the doctor, but the sick.
32 I have come to call not the upright but sinners to repentance.’
33 They then said to him, ‘John’s disciples are always fasting and saying prayers, and the disciples of the Pharisees, too, but yours go on eating and drinking.’
34 Jesus replied, ‘Surely you cannot make the bridegroom’s attendants fast while the bridegroom is still with them?
35 But the time will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them; then, in those days, they will fast.’
36 He also told them a parable, ‘No one tears a piece from a new cloak to put it on an old cloak; otherwise, not only will the new one be torn, but the piece taken from the new will not match the old.
37 ‘And nobody puts new wine in old wineskins; otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins and run to waste, and the skins will be ruined.
38 No; new wine must be put in fresh skins.
39 And nobody who has been drinking old wine wants new. “The old is good,” he says.’
27 It is not good to eat too much honey, nor to seek for glory on top of glory.
28 An open town, and without defences: such is anyone who lacks self-control.