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Reading 1, Acts 7:51--8:1

51 'You stubborn people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears. You are always resisting the Holy Spirit, just as your ancestors used to do.

52 Can you name a single prophet your ancestors never persecuted? They killed those who foretold the coming of the Upright One, and now you have become his betrayers, his murderers.

53 In spite of being given the Law through angels, you have not kept it.'

54 They were infuriated when they heard this, and ground their teeth at him.

55 But Stephen, filled with the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at God's right hand.

56 'Look! I can see heaven thrown open,' he said, 'and the Son of man standing at the right hand of God.'

57 All the members of the council shouted out and stopped their ears with their hands; then they made a concerted rush at him,

58 thrust him out of the city and stoned him. The witnesses put down their clothes at the feet of a young man called Saul.

59 As they were stoning him, Stephen said in invocation, 'Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.'

60 Then he knelt down and said aloud, 'Lord, do not hold this sin against them.' And with these words he fell asleep.

1 Saul approved of the killing. That day a bitter persecution started against the church in Jerusalem, and everyone except the apostles scattered to the country districts of Judaea and Samaria.


Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 31:3-4, 6, 7, 8, 17, 21

3 You are my rock, my rampart; true to your name, lead me and guide me!

4 Draw me out of the net they have spread for me, for you are my refuge;

6 you hate those who serve useless idols; but my trust is in Yahweh:

7 I will delight and rejoice in your faithful love! You, who have seen my misery, and witnessed the miseries of my soul,

8 have not handed me over to the enemy, but have given me freedom to roam at large.

17 I call on you, Yahweh, so let disgrace fall not on me, but on the wicked. Let them go down to Sheol in silence,

21 Blessed be Yahweh who works for me miracles of his faithful love (in a fortified city)!


Gospel, John 6:30-35

30 So they said, 'What sign will you yourself do, the sight of which will make us believe in you? What work will you do?

31 Our fathers ate manna in the desert; as scripture says: He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'

32 Jesus answered them: In all truth I tell you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, it is my Father who gives you the bread from heaven, the true bread;

33 for the bread of God is the bread which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.

34 'Sir,' they said, 'give us that bread always.'

35 Jesus answered them: I am the bread of life. No one who comes to me will ever hunger; no one who believes in me will ever thirst.


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New Jerusalem Bible

The New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) is a Catholic translation of the Bible published in 1985. The New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) has become the most widely used Roman Catholic Bible outside of the United States. It has the imprimatur of Cardinal George Basil Hume.

Like its predecessor, the Jerusalem Bible, the New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) version is translated "directly from the Hebrew, Greek or Aramaic." The 1973 French translation, the Bible de Jerusalem, is followed only "where the text admits to more than one interpretation." Introductions and notes, with some modifications, are taken from the Bible de Jerusalem.

Source: The Very Reverend Dom (Joseph) Henry Wansbrough, OSB, MA (Oxon), STL (Fribourg), LSS (Rome), a monk of Ampleforth Abbey and a biblical scholar. He was General Editor of the New Jerusalem Bible. "New Jerusalem Bible, Regular Edition", pg. v.

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St. Rufus
December 18: Rufus and Zosimus were citizens of Antioch (or perhaps Philippi) ... Read More

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