2 Chronicles 30-31 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
Invitation to Passover. 1 Hezekiah sent word to all Israel and Judah, and even wrote letters to Ephraim and Manasseh, saying that they should come to the house of the Lord in Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover to the Lord, the God of Israel. 2 The king, his princes, and the entire assembly in Jerusalem had agreed to celebrate the Passover during the second month. 3 They could not celebrate it at the regular time because the priests had not sanctified themselves in sufficient numbers, and the people were not gathered at Jerusalem. 4 This seemed right to the king and the entire assembly, 5 and they issued a decree to be proclaimed throughout all Israel from Beer-sheba to Dan, that everyone should come to celebrate the Passover to the Lord, the God of Israel, in Jerusalem; for not many had kept it in the prescribed manner. 6 By the king’s command, the couriers, with the letters written by the king and his princes, went through all Israel and Judah. They said: “Israelites, return to the Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, that he may return to you, the remnant left from the hands of the Assyrian kings. 7 Do not be like your ancestors and your kin who acted treacherously toward the Lord, the God of their ancestors, so that he handed them over to desolation, as you yourselves now see. 8 Do not be stiff-necked, as your ancestors were; stretch out your hands to the Lord and come to his sanctuary that he has consecrated forever, and serve the Lord, your God, that he may turn his burning anger from you. 9 If you return to the Lord, your kinfolk and your children will find mercy with their captors and return to this land. The Lord, your God, is gracious and merciful and he will not turn away his face from you if you return to him.”
10 So the couriers passed from city to city in the land of Ephraim and Manasseh and as far as Zebulun, but they were derided and scoffed at. 11 Nevertheless, some from Asher, Manasseh, and Zebulun humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem. 12 In Judah, however, the hand of God brought it about that the people were of one heart to carry out the command of the king and the princes by the word of the Lord. 13 Thus many people gathered in Jerusalem to celebrate the feast of Unleavened Bread in the second month; it was a very great assembly.
Passover Celebrated. 14 They proceeded to remove the altars that were in Jerusalem as well as all the altars of incense, and cast them into the Wadi Kidron. 15 They slaughtered the Passover on the fourteenth day of the second month. The priests and Levites were shamed into sanctifying themselves and brought burnt offerings into the house of the Lord. 16 They stood in the places prescribed for them according to the law of Moses, the man of God. The priests splashed the blood given them by the Levites; 17 for many in the assembly had not sanctified themselves, and the Levites were in charge of slaughtering the Passover victims for all who were unclean so as to consecrate them to the Lord. 18 The greater part of the people, in fact, chiefly from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves. Nevertheless they ate the Passover, contrary to the prescription; because Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, “May the good Lord grant pardon to 19 all who have set their heart to seek God, the Lord, the God of their ancestors, even though they are not clean as holiness requires.” 20 The Lord heard Hezekiah and healed the people.
21 Thus the Israelites who were in Jerusalem celebrated the feast of Unleavened Bread with great rejoicing for seven days, and the Levites and the priests sang the praises of the Lord day after day with all their strength. 22 Hezekiah spoke encouragingly to all the Levites who had shown themselves well skilled in the service of the Lord. And when they had completed the seven days of festival, sacrificing communion offerings and singing praises to the Lord, the God of their ancestors, 23 the whole assembly agreed to celebrate another seven days. So with joy they celebrated seven days more. 24 King Hezekiah of Judah had contributed a thousand bulls and seven thousand sheep to the assembly, and the princes a thousand bulls and ten thousand sheep. The priests sanctified themselves in great numbers, 25 and the whole assembly of Judah rejoiced, together with the priests and Levites and the rest of the assembly that had come from Israel, as well as the resident aliens from the land of Israel and those that lived in Judah. 26 There was great rejoicing in Jerusalem, for since the days of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel, there had been nothing like it in the city. 27 Then the levitical priests rose and blessed the people; their voice was heard and their prayer reached heaven, God’s holy dwelling.
Liturgical Reforms. 1 After all this was over, those Israelites who had been present went forth to the cities of Judah and smashed the sacred pillars, cut down the asherahs, and tore down the high places and altars throughout Judah, Benjamin, Ephraim, and Manasseh, until they were all destroyed. Then the Israelites returned to their cities, each to his own possession.
2 Hezekiah re-established the divisions of the priests and the Levites according to their former divisions, assigning to each priest and Levite his proper service, whether in regard to burnt offerings or communion offerings, thanksgiving or praise, or ministering in the gates of the encampment of the Lord. 3 From his own wealth the king allotted a portion for burnt offerings, those of morning and evening and those on sabbaths, new moons, and festivals, as is written in the law of the Lord. 4 He also commanded the people living in Jerusalem to provide for the support of the priests and Levites, that they might firmly adhere to the law of the Lord.
5 As soon as the order was promulgated, the Israelites brought, in great quantities, the best of their grain, wine, oil, and honey, and all the produce of the fields; they gave a generous tithe of everything. 6 Israelites and Judahites living in other cities of Judah also brought in tithes of oxen, sheep, and votive offerings consecrated to the Lord, their God; these they brought in and heaped up in piles. 7 It was in the third month that they began to establish these heaps, and they completed them in the seventh month.[a] 8 When Hezekiah and the princes had come and seen the piles, they blessed the Lord and his people Israel. 9 Then Hezekiah questioned the priests and the Levites concerning the piles, 10 and the priest Azariah, head of the house of Zadok, answered him, “Since they began to bring the offerings to the house of the Lord, we have eaten, been satisfied, and had much left over, for the Lord has blessed his people. This great supply is what was left over.”
11 Hezekiah then gave orders that chambers be constructed in the house of the Lord. When this had been done, 12 they deposited the offerings, tithes, and votive offerings there for safekeeping. The overseer of these things was Conaniah the Levite, and his brother Shimei was second in command. 13 Jehiel, Azaziah, Nahath, Asahel, Jerimoth, Jozabad, Eliel, Ismachiah, Mahath, and Benaiah were supervisors subject to Conaniah the Levite and his brother Shimei by appointment of King Hezekiah and of Azariah, the prefect of the house of God. 14 Kore, the son of Imnah, a Levite and the keeper of the eastern gate, was in charge of the voluntary offerings made to God; he distributed the offerings made to the Lord and the most holy of the votive offerings. 15 Under him in the priestly cities were Eden, Miniamin, Jeshua, Shemaiah, Amariah, and Shecaniah, who faithfully made the distribution to their brothers, great and small alike, according to their divisions.
16 There was also a register by ancestral houses of males three years of age[b] and over, for all priests who were eligible to enter the house of the Lord according to the daily schedule to fulfill their service in the order of their divisions. 17 The priests were inscribed in their family records according to their ancestral houses, as were the Levites twenty years of age and over according to their various offices and divisions. 18 A distribution was also made to all who were inscribed in the family records, for their little ones, wives, sons and daughters—thus for the entire assembly, since they were to sanctify themselves by sharing faithfully in the votive offerings. 19 The sons of Aaron, the priests who lived on the lands attached to their cities, had in every city men designated by name to distribute portions to every male of the priests and to every Levite listed in the family records.
20 Hezekiah did this in all Judah. He did what was good, upright, and faithful before the Lord, his God. 21 Everything that he undertook, for the service of the house of God or for the law and the commandment, was to seek his God. He did this with all his heart, and he prospered.
Proverbs 22:1-16 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
1 A good name is more desirable than great riches,
Romans 15 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
Patience and Self-Denial. 1 We who are strong ought to put up with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves; 2 let each of us please our neighbor for the good, for building up. 3 For Christ did not please himself; but, as it is written, “The insults of those who insult you fall upon me.”[a] 4 For whatever was written previously was written for our instruction, that by endurance and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope. 5 May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to think in harmony[b] with one another, in keeping with Christ Jesus, 6 that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
God’s Fidelity and Mercy.[c] 7 Welcome one another, then, as Christ welcomed you, for the glory of God. 8 For I say that Christ became a minister of the circumcised to show God’s truthfulness, to confirm the promises to the patriarchs, 9 but so that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written:
“Therefore, I will praise you among the Gentiles
10 And again it says:
“Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people.”[d]
11 And again:
“Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles,
12 And again Isaiah says:
“The root of Jesse shall come,
13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the holy Spirit.
Apostle to the Gentiles. 14 [e]I myself am convinced about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness,[f] filled with all knowledge, and able to admonish one another. 15 But I have written to you rather boldly in some respects to remind you, because of the grace given me by God 16 to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in performing the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering up of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the holy Spirit. 17 In Christ Jesus, then, I have reason to boast in what pertains to God. 18 For I will not dare to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to lead the Gentiles to obedience by word and deed, 19 by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit [of God], so that from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum[g] I have finished preaching the gospel of Christ. 20 Thus I aspire[h] to proclaim the gospel not where Christ has already been named, so that I do not build on another’s foundation, 21 but as it is written:
“Those who have never been told of him shall see,
Paul’s Plans; Need for Prayers. 22 That is why I have so often been prevented from coming to you. 23 But now, since I no longer have any opportunity in these regions and since I have desired to come to you for many years, 24 I hope to see you in passing as I go to Spain and to be sent on my way there by you, after I have enjoyed being with you for a time. 25 [j]Now, however, I am going to Jerusalem to minister to the holy ones. 26 For Macedonia and Achaia[k] have decided to make some contribution for the poor among the holy ones in Jerusalem; 27 they decided to do it, and in fact they are indebted to them, for if the Gentiles have come to share in their spiritual blessings, they ought also to serve them in material blessings. 28 So when I have completed this and safely handed over this contribution to them, I shall set out by way of you to Spain; 29 and I know that in coming to you I shall come in the fullness of Christ’s blessing.
30 I urge you, [brothers,] by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in the struggle by your prayers to God on my behalf, 31 that I may be delivered from the disobedient in Judea, and that my ministry for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the holy ones, 32 so that I may come to you with joy by the will of God and be refreshed together with you. 33 The God of peace be with all of you. Amen.