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Wed 29 August

The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist

First reading

Jeremiah 1:17-19

Stand up and tell them all I command you; do not be dismayed at their presence

The word of the Lord was addressed to me, saying:
‘Brace yourself for action.
Stand up and tell them
all I command you.
Do not be dismayed at their presence,
or in their presence I will make you dismayed.

‘I, for my part, today will make you
into a fortified city,
a pillar of iron,
and a wall of bronze
to confront all this land:
the kings of Judah, its princes,
its priests and the country people.
They will fight against you
but shall not overcome you,
for I am with you to deliver you –
it is the Lord who speaks.’

Psalm or canticle

Psalm 70(71):1-6,15,17

In you, O Lord, I take refuge;
 let me never be put to shame.
In your justice rescue me, free me:
 pay heed to me and save me.

Be a rock where I can take refuge,
 a mighty stronghold to save me;
 for you are my rock, my stronghold.
Free me from the hand of the wicked.

It is you, O Lord, who are my hope,
 my trust, O Lord, since my youth.
On you I have leaned from my birth,
 from my mother’s womb you have been my help.

My lips will tell of your justice
 and day by day of your help.
O God, you have taught me from my youth
 and I proclaim your wonders still.

Gospel

Mark 6:17-29

The beheading of John the Baptist

Herod sent to have John arrested, and had him chained up in prison because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife whom he had married. For John had told Herod, ‘It is against the law for you to have your brother’s wife.’ As for Herodias, she was furious with him and wanted to kill him; but she was not able to, because Herod was afraid of John, knowing him to be a good and holy man, and gave him his protection. When he had heard him speak he was greatly perplexed, and yet he liked to listen to him.
An opportunity came on Herod’s birthday when he gave a banquet for the nobles of his court, for his army officers and for the leading figures in Galilee. When the daughter of this same Herodias came in and danced, she delighted Herod and his guests; so the king said to the girl, ‘Ask me anything you like and I will give it you.’ And he swore her an oath, ‘I will give you anything you ask, even half my kingdom.’ She went out and said to her mother, ‘What shall I ask for?’ She replied, ‘The head of John the Baptist.’ The girl hurried straight back to the king and made her request, ‘I want you to give me John the Baptist’s head, here and now, on a dish.’ The king was deeply distressed but, thinking of the oaths he had sworn and of his guests, he was reluctant to break his word to her. So the king at once sent one of the bodyguard with orders to bring John’s head. The man went off and beheaded him in prison; then he brought the head on a dish and gave it to the girl, and the girl gave it to her mother. When John’s disciples heard about this, they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.


This site copyright © 1996-2018 Universalis Publishing Ltd.

Scripture readings taken from The Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and

Tue 28 August

Saint Augustine, Bishop, Doctor

First reading

1 John 4:7-16

Let us love one another, since love comes from God

My dear people,
let us love one another
since love comes from God
and everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God.
Anyone who fails to love can never have known God,
because God is love.
God’s love for us was revealed
when God sent into the world his only Son
so that we could have life through him;
this is the love I mean:
not our love for God,
but God’s love for us when he sent his Son
to be the sacrifice that takes our sins away.
My dear people,
since God has loved us so much,
we too should love one another.
No one has ever seen God;
but as long as we love one another
God will live in us
and his love will be complete in us.
We can know that we are living in him
and he is living in us
because he lets us share his Spirit.
We ourselves saw and we testify
that the Father sent his Son
as saviour of the world.
If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God,
God lives in him, and he in God.
We ourselves have known and put our faith in
God’s love towards ourselves.
God is love
and anyone who lives in love lives in God,
and God lives in him.

Psalm or canticle

Psalm 118(119):9-14

How shall the young remain sinless?
 By obeying your word.
I have sought you with all my heart;
 let me not stray from your commands.

I treasure your promise in my heart
 lest I sin against you.
Blessed are you, O Lord;
 teach me your statutes.

With my tongue I have recounted
 the decrees of your lips.
I rejoiced to do your will
 as though all riches were mine.

Gospel

Matthew 23:8-12

The greatest among you must be your servant

Jesus said to his disciples, ‘You must not allow yourselves to be called Rabbi, since you have only one master, and you are all brothers. You must call no one on earth your father, since you have only one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor must you allow yourselves to be called teachers, for you have only one Teacher, the Christ. The greatest among you must be your servant. Anyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and anyone who humbles himself will exalted.’


This site copyright © 1996-2018 Universalis Publishing Ltd.

Scripture readings taken from The Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd and Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc, and used by permission of the publishers. For on-line information about other Random House, Inc. books and authors, see the Internet web site at http://www.randomhouse.com.

Mon 27 August

Saint Monica

First reading

Ecclesiasticus 26:1-4,13-16

A perfect wife is the joy of her husband

Happy the husband of a really good wife;
 the number of her days will be doubled.
A perfect wife is the joy of her husband,
 he will live out his years in peace.
A good wife is the best of portions,
 reserved for those who fear the Lord:
rich or poor, they will be glad of heart,
 cheerful of face, whatever the season.
The grace of a wife will charm her husband,
 her accomplishments will make him the stronger.
A silent wife is a gift from the Lord,
 no price can be put on a well-trained character.
A modest wife is a boon twice over,
 a chaste character cannot be weighed on scales.
Like the sun rising over the mountains of the Lord
 is the beauty of a good wife in a well-kept house.

Psalm or canticle

Psalm 130(131)

O Lord, my heart is not proud
 nor haughty my eyes.
I have not gone after things too great
 nor marvels beyond me.

Truly I have set my soul
 in silence and peace.
A weaned child on its mother’s breast,
 even so is my soul.

O Israel, hope in the Lord
 both now and forever.

Gospel

Luke 7:11-17

The only son of his mother, and she a widow

Jesus went to a town called Nain, accompanied by his disciples and a great number of people. When he was near the gate of the town it happened that a dead man was being carried out for burial, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a considerable number of the townspeople were with her. When the Lord saw her he felt sorry for her. ‘Do not cry’ he said. Then he went up and put his hand on the bier and the bearers stood still, and he said, ‘Young man, I tell you to get up.’ And the dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him to his mother. Everyone was filled with awe and praised God saying, ‘A great prophet has appeared among us; God has visited his people.’ And this opinion of him spread throughout Judaea and all over the countryside.


This site copyright © 1996-2018 Universalis Publishing Ltd.

Scripture readings taken from The Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd and Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc, and used by permission of the publishers. For on-line information about other Random House, Inc. books and authors, see the Internet web site at http://www.randomhouse.com.

Sun 26 August

21st Sunday in Ordinary Time

First reading

Joshua 24:1-2,15-18

We will serve the Lord, for he is our God

Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel together at Shechem; then he called the elders, leaders, judges and scribes of Israel, and they presented themselves before God. Then Joshua said to all the people, ‘If you will not serve the Lord, choose today whom you wish to serve, whether the gods that your ancestors served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are now living. As for me and my House, we will serve the Lord.’
The people answered, ‘We have no intention of deserting the Lord and serving other gods! Was it not the Lord our God who brought us and our ancestors out of the land of Egypt, the house of slavery, who worked those great wonders before our eyes and preserved us all along the way we travelled and among all the peoples through whom we journeyed? What is more, the Lord drove all those peoples out before us, as well as the Amorites who used to live in this country. We too will serve the Lord, for he is our God.’

Psalm or canticle

Psalm 33(34):2-3,16-23

I will bless the Lord at all times,
 his praise always on my lips;
in the Lord my soul shall make its boast.
 The humble shall hear and be glad.

The Lord turns his face against the wicked
 to destroy their remembrance from the earth.
The Lord turns his eyes to the just
 and his ears to their appeal.

They call and the Lord hears
 and rescues them in all their distress.
The Lord is close to the broken-hearted;
 those whose spirit is crushed he will save.

Many are the trials of the just man
 but from them all the Lord will rescue him.
He will keep guard over all his bones,
 not one of his bones shall be broken.

Evil brings death to the wicked;
 those who hate the good are doomed.
The Lord ransoms the souls of his servants.
 Those who hide in him shall not be condemned.

Second reading

Ephesians 5:21-32+

Christ loves the Church, because it is his body

Give way to one another in obedience to Christ. Wives should regard their husbands as they regard the Lord, since as Christ is head of the Church and saves the whole body, so is a husband the head of his wife; and as the Church submits to Christ, so should wives to their husbands, in everything. Husbands should love their wives just as Christ loved the Church and sacrificed himself for her to make her holy. He made her clean by washing her in water with a form of words, so that when he took her to himself she would be glorious, with no speck or wrinkle or anything like that, but holy and faultless. In the same way, husbands must love their wives as they love their own bodies; for a man to love his wife is for him to love himself. A man never hates his own body, but he feeds it and looks after it; and that is the way Christ treats the Church, because it is his body – and we are its living parts. For this reason, a man must leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one body. This mystery has many implications; but I am saying it applies to Christ and the Church.

Gospel

John 6:60-69

Who shall we go to? You are the Hol

Sat 25 August

Saturday of week 20 in Ordinary Time, or Saint Louis , or Saint Joseph of Calasanz, Priest , or Saturday memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary

First reading

Ezekiel 43:1-7

The vision of the coming of the glory of the Lord to the Temple

The angel took me to the gate, the one facing east. I saw the glory of the God of Israel approaching from the east. A sound came with it, like the sound of the ocean, and the earth shone with his glory. This vision was like the one I had seen when I had come for the destruction of the city, and like the one I had seen on the bank of the river Chebar. Then I prostrated myself.
The glory of the Lord arrived at the Temple by the east gate. The spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court; I saw the glory of the Lord fill the Temple. And I heard someone speaking to me from the Temple while the man stood beside me. The voice said, ‘Son of man, this is the dais of my throne, the step on which I rest my feet. I shall live here among the sons of Israel for ever.’

Psalm or canticle

Psalm 84(85):9-14(Sat20)

I will hear what the Lord God has to say,
 a voice that speaks of peace,
 peace for his people and his friends.
His help is near for those who fear him
 and his glory will dwell in our land.

Mercy and faithfulness have met;
 justice and peace have embraced.
Faithfulness shall spring from the earth
 and justice look down from heaven.

The Lord will make us prosper
 and our earth shall yield its fruit.
Justice shall march before him
 and peace shall follow his steps.

Gospel

Matthew 23:1-12

They do not practise what they preach

Addressing the people and his disciples Jesus said, ‘The scribes and the Pharisees occupy the chair of Moses. You must therefore do what they tell you and listen to what they say; but do not be guided by what they do: since they do not practise what they preach. They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but will they lift a finger to move them? Not they! Everything they do is done to attract attention, like wearing broader phylacteries and longer tassels, like wanting to take the place of honour at banquets and the front seats in the synagogues, being greeted obsequiously in the market squares and having people call them Rabbi.
‘You, however, must not allow yourselves to be called Rabbi, since you have only one master, and you are all brothers. You must call no one on earth your father, since you have only one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor must you allow yourselves to be called teachers, for you have only one Teacher, the Christ. The greatest among you must be your servant. Anyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and anyone who humbles himself will be exalted.’


This site copyright © 1996-2018 Universalis Publishing Ltd.

Scripture readings taken from The Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd and Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc, and used by permission of the publishers. For on-line information about other Random House, Inc. books and authors, see the Internet web site at http://www.randomhouse.com.

Fri 24 August

Saint Bartholomew, Apostle

First reading

Apocalypse 21:9-14

He showed me Jerusalem, the holy city, coming down from God out of heaven

The angel came to speak to me, and said, ‘Come here and I will show you the bride that the Lamb has married.’ In the spirit, he took me to the top of an enormous high mountain and showed me Jerusalem, the holy city, coming down from God out of heaven. It had all the radiant glory of God and glittered like some precious jewel of crystal-clear diamond. The walls of it were of a great height, and had twelve gates; at each of the twelve gates there was an angel, and over the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel; on the east there were three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates. The city walls stood on twelve foundation stones, each one of which bore the name of one of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

Psalm or canticle

Psalm 144(145):10-13a,17-18

All your creatures shall thank you, O Lord,
 and your friends shall repeat their blessing.
They shall speak of the glory of your reign
 and declare your might, O God.

They make known to men your mighty deeds
 and the glorious splendour of your reign.
Yours is an everlasting kingdom;
 your rule lasts from age to age.

The Lord is just in all his ways
 and loving in all his deeds.
He is close to all who call him,
 who call on him from their hearts.

Gospel

John 1:45-51

You will see heaven laid open, and the Son of Man

Philip found Nathanael and said to him, ‘We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, the one about whom the prophets wrote: he is Jesus son of Joseph, from Nazareth.’ ‘From Nazareth?’ said Nathanael ‘Can anything good come from that place?’ ‘Come and see’ replied Philip. When Jesus saw Nathanael coming he said of him, ‘There is an Israelite who deserves the name, incapable of deceit.’ ‘How do you know me?’ said Nathanael. ‘Before Philip came to call you,’ said Jesus ‘I saw you under the fig tree.’ Nathanael answered, ‘Rabbi, you are the Son of God, you are the King of Israel.’ Jesus replied, ‘You believe that just because I said: I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.’ And then he added ‘I tell you most solemnly, you will see heaven laid open and, above the Son of Man, the angels of God ascending and descending.’


This site copyright © 1996-2018 Universalis Publishing Ltd.

Scripture readings taken from The Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd and Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc, and used by permission of the publishers. For on-line information about other Random House, Inc. books and authors, see the Internet web site at http://www.randomhouse.com.

Thu 23 August

Thursday of week 20 in Ordinary Time, or Saint Rose of Lima, Virgin

First reading

Ezekiel 36:23-28

I will remove the heart of stone from your bodies and give you a heart of flesh

The word of the Lord was addressed to me as follows: ‘I mean to display the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned among them. And the nations will learn that I am the Lord – it is the Lord who speaks – when I display my holiness for your sake before their eyes. Then I am going to take you from among the nations and gather you together from all the foreign countries, and bring you home to your own land. I shall pour clean water over you and you will be cleansed; I shall cleanse you of all your defilement and all your idols. I shall give you a new heart, and put a new spirit in you; I shall remove the heart of stone from your bodies and give you a heart of flesh instead. I shall put my spirit in you, and make you keep my laws and sincerely respect my observances. You will live in the land which I gave your ancestors. You shall be my people and I will be your God.’

Psalm or canticle

Psalm 50(51):12-15,18-19

A pure heart create for me, O God,
 put a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from your presence,
 nor deprive me of your holy spirit.

Give me again the joy of your help;
 with a spirit of fervour sustain me,
that I may teach transgressors your ways
 and sinners may return to you.

For in sacrifice you take no delight,
 burnt offering from me you would refuse,
my sacrifice, a contrite spirit.
 A humbled, contrite heart you will not spurn.

Gospel

Matthew 22:1-14+

Invite everyone you can to the wedding

Jesus began to speak to the chief priests and elders of the people in parables: ‘The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a feast for his son’s wedding. He sent his servants to call those who had been invited, but they would not come. Next he sent some more servants. “Tell those who have been invited” he said “that I have my banquet all prepared, my oxen and fattened cattle have been slaughtered, everything is ready. Come to the wedding.” But they were not interested: one went off to his farm, another to his business, and the rest seized his servants, maltreated them and killed them. The king was furious. He despatched his troops, destroyed those murderers and burnt their town. Then he said to his servants, “The wedding is ready; but as those who were invited proved to be unworthy, go to the crossroads in the town and invite everyone you can find to the wedding.” So these servants went out on to the roads and collected together everyone they could find, bad and good alike; and the wedding hall was filled with guests. When the king came in to look at the guests he noticed one man who was not wearing a wedding garment, and said to him, “How did you get in here, my friend, without a wedding garment?” And the man was silent. Then the king said to the attendants, “Bind him hand and foot and throw him out into the dark, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.” For many are called, but few are chosen.’


This site copyright © 1996-2018 Universalis Publishing Ltd.

Scripture readings taken from <

Wed 22 August

Our Lady, Mother and Queen

First reading

Isaiah 9:1-7

A Son is given to us

The people that walked in darkness
has seen a great light;
on those who live in a land of deep shadow
a light has shone.
You have made their gladness greater,
you have made their joy increase;
they rejoice in your presence
as men rejoice at harvest time,
as men are happy when they are dividing the spoils.

For the yoke that was weighing on him,
the bar across his shoulders,
the rod of his oppressor,
these you break as on the day of Midian.

For all the footgear of battle,
every cloak rolled in blood,
is burnt,
and consumed by fire.

For there is a child born for us,
a son given to us
and dominion is laid on his shoulders;
and this is the name they give him:
Wonder-Counsellor, Mighty-God,
Eternal-Father, Prince-of-Peace.
Wide is his dominion
in a peace that has no end,
for the throne of David
and for his royal power,
which he establishes and makes secure
in justice and integrity.
From this time onwards and for ever,
the jealous love of the Lord of Hosts will do this.

Psalm or canticle

Psalm 112(113):1-8

Praise, O servants of the Lord,
 praise the name of the Lord!
May the name of the Lord be blessed
 both now and for evermore!

From the rising of the sun to its setting
 praised be the name of the Lord!
High above all nations is the Lord,
 above the heavens his glory.

Who is like the Lord, our God,
 who has risen on high to his throne
yet stoops from the heights to look down,
 to look down upon heaven and earth?

From the dust he lifts up the lowly,
 from the dungheap he raises the poor
to set him in the company of princes,
 yes, with the princes of his people.

Gospel

Luke 1:26-38

'I am the handmaid of the Lord'

The angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the House of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. He went in and said to her, ‘Rejoice, so highly favoured! The Lord is with you.’ She was deeply disturbed by these words and asked herself what this greeting could mean, but the angel said to her, ‘Mary, do not be afraid; you have won God’s favour. Listen! You are to conceive and bear a son, and you must name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David; he will rule over the House of Jacob for ever and his reign will have no end.’ Mary said to the angel, ‘But how can this come about, since I am a virgin?’ ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you’ the angel answered ‘and the power of the Most High will cover you with its shadow. And so the child will be holy and will be called Son of God. Know this too: your kinswoman Elizabeth has, in her old age, herself conceived a son, and she whom people called barren is now in her sixth month, for nothing is impossible to God.’ ‘I am the handmaid of the Lord,’ said Mary ‘let what you have said be done to me.’ And the angel left her.


This site copyright © 1996-2018 Universalis Publishing Ltd.

Scripture

Tue 21 August

Saint Pius X, Pope

First reading

1 Thessalonians 2:2-8

We were eager to hand over to you not only the Good News but our whole lives

It was our God who gave us the courage to proclaim his Good News to you in the face of great opposition. We have not taken to preaching because we are deluded, or immoral, or trying to deceive anyone; it was God who decided that we were fit to be entrusted with the Good News, and when we are speaking, we are not trying to please men but God, who can read our inmost thoughts. You know very well, and we can swear it before God, that never at any time have our speeches been simply flattery, or a cover for trying to get money; nor have we ever looked for any special honour from men, either from you or anybody else, when we could have imposed ourselves on you with full weight, as apostles of Christ.
Instead, we were unassuming. Like a mother feeding and looking after her own children, we felt so devoted and protective towards you, and had come to love you so much, that we were eager to hand over to you not only the Good News but our whole lives as well.

Psalm or canticle

Psalm 88(89):2-5,21-22,25,27

I will sing for ever of your love, O Lord;
 through all ages my mouth will proclaim your truth.
Of this I am sure, that your love lasts for ever,
 that your truth is firmly established as the heavens.

‘I have made a covenant with my chosen one;
 I have sworn to David my servant:
I will establish your dynasty for ever
 and set up your throne through all ages.

‘I have found David my servant
 and with my holy oil anointed him.
My hand shall always be with him
 and my arm shall make him strong.

‘My truth and my love shall be with him;
 by my name his might shall be exalted.
He will say to me: “You are my father,
 my God, the rock who saves me.”’

Gospel

John 21:15-17

Feed my lambs, feed my sheep

Jesus showed himself to his disciples, and after they had eaten he said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me more than these others do?’ He answered, ‘Yes Lord, you know I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my lambs.’ A second time he said to him, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ He replied, ‘Yes, Lord, you know I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Look after my sheep.’ Then he said to him a third time, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ Peter was upset that he asked him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ and said, ‘Lord, you know everything; you know I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my sheep.’


This site copyright © 1996-2018 Universalis Publishing Ltd.

Scripture readings taken from The Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd and Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc, and used by permission of the publishers. For on-line information about other Random House, Inc. books and authors, see the Internet web site at http://www.randomhouse.com.

Mon 20 August

Saint Bernard, Abbot, Doctor

First reading

Ecclesiasticus 15:1-6

Whoever grasps the Law will obtain wisdom

Whoever fears the Lord will act like this,
 and whoever grasps the Law will obtain wisdom.
She will come to meet him like a mother,
 and receive him like a virgin bride.
He will lean on her and will not fall,
 he will rely on her and not be put to shame.
She will raise him high above his neighbours,
 and in full assembly she will open his mouth.
He will find happiness and a crown of joy,
 he will inherit an everlasting name.

Psalm or canticle

Psalm 118(119):9-14

How shall the young remain sinless?
 By obeying your word.
I have sought you with all my heart;
 let me not stray from your commands.

I treasure your promise in my heart
 lest I sin against you.
Blessed are you, O Lord;
 teach me your statutes.

With my tongue I have recounted
 the decrees of your lips.
I rejoiced to do your will
 as though all riches were mine.

Gospel

John 17:20-26

Father, may they be completely one

Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said:
‘Holy Father,
I pray not only for these,
but for those also
who through their words will believe in me.
May they all be one.
Father, may they be one in us,
as you are in me and I am in you,
so that the world may believe it was you who sent me.
I have given them the glory you gave to me,
that they may be one as we are one.
With me in them and you in me,
may they be so completely one
that the world will realise that it was you who sent me
and that I have loved them as much as you loved me.
Father, I want those you have given me
to be with me where I am,
so that they may always see the glory you have given me
because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
Father, Righteous One,
the world has not known you,
but I have known you,
and these have known that you have sent me.
I have made your name known to them
and will continue to make it known,
so that the love with which you loved me may be in them,
and so that I may be in them.’


This site copyright © 1996-2018 Universalis Publishing Ltd.

Scripture readings taken from The Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd and Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc, and used by permission of the publishers. For on-line information about other Random House, Inc. books and authors, see the Internet web site at http://www.randomhouse.com.

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