Wednesday: Reflection on the Twenty-forth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Roman Catholic Proper 24
Revised Common Lectionary Proper 19

Complementary Hebrew Scripture Lesson from the Writings: Job 40:6-14; 42:1-6

Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind:
“Gird up your loins like a man;
 I will question you, and you declare to me.
Will you even put me in the wrong?
 Will you condemn me that you may be justified?
Have you an arm like God,
 and can you thunder with a voice like his?

“Deck yourself with majesty and dignity;
 clothe yourself with glory and splendor.
Pour out the overflowings of your anger,
 and look on all who are proud, and abase them.
Look on all who are proud, and bring them low;
 tread down the wicked where they stand.
Hide them all in the dust together;
 bind their faces in the world below.
Then I will also acknowledge to you
 that your own right hand can give you victory.”

Then Job answered the Lord:
“I know that you can do all things,
 and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’
Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand,
 things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.
‘Hear, and I will speak;
 I will question you, and you declare to me.’
I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear,
 but now my eye sees you;
therefore I despise myself,
 and repent in dust and ashes.”

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture from the Latter Prophets: Jeremiah 14:1-10, 17-22

The word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah concerning the drought:

Judah mourns
 and her gates languish;
they lie in gloom on the ground,
 and the cry of Jerusalem goes up.
Her nobles send their servants for water;
 they come to the cisterns,
they find no water,
 they return with their vessels empty.
They are ashamed and dismayed
 and cover their heads,
because the ground is cracked.
 Because there has been no rain on the land
the farmers are dismayed;
 they cover their heads.
Even the doe in the field forsakes her newborn fawn
 because there is no grass.
The wild asses stand on the bare heights,
 they pant for air like jackals;
their eyes fail
 because there is no herbage.

Although our wickedness has caught up with us,
 act, O Lord, for your name's sake;
we have turned away from you,
 and we have sinned against you.
O hope of Israel,
 its savior in time of trouble,
why should you be like a stranger in the land,
 like a traveler turning aside for the night?
Why should you be like someone confused,
 like a mighty warrior who cannot give help?
Yet you, O Lord, are in the midst of us,
 and we are called by your name;
 do not forsake us!

Thus says the Lord concerning this people:
Truly they have loved to wander,
 they have not restrained their feet;
therefore the Lord does not accept them,
 now he will remember their iniquity
 and punish their sins.

You shall say to them this word:
Let my eyes run down with tears night and day,
 and let them not cease,
for the virgin daughter—my people—
is struck down with a crushing blow,
 with a very grievous wound.
If I go out into the field,
 look—those killed by the sword!
And if I enter the city,
 look—those sick with famine!
For both prophet and priest ply their trade throughout the land,
 and have no knowledge.

Have you completely rejected Judah?
 Does your heart loathe Zion?
Why have you struck us down
 so that there is no healing for us?
We look for peace, but find no good;
 for a time of healing, but there is terror instead.
We acknowledge our wickedness, O Lord,
 the sinfulness of our ancestors,
 for we have sinned against you.
Do not spurn us, for your name's sake;
 do not dishonor your glorious throne;
 remember and do not break your covenant with us.
Can any idols of the nations bring rain?
 Or can the heavens give showers?
Is it not you, O Lord our God?
 We set our hope on you,
 for it is you who do all this. (TLCO: NRSV, NLT)

Complementary Psalm 73

Truly God is good to the upright,
 to those who are pure in heart.
But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled;
 my steps had nearly slipped.
For I was envious of the arrogant;
 I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

For they have no pain;
 their bodies are sound and sleek.
They are not in trouble as others are;
 they are not plagued like other people.
Therefore pride is their necklace;
 violence covers them like a garment.
Their eyes swell out with fatness;
 their hearts overflow with follies.
They scoff and speak with malice;
 loftily they threaten oppression.
They set their mouths against heaven,
 and their tongues range over the earth.

Therefore the people turn and praise them,
 and find no fault in them.
And they say, “How can God know?
 Is there knowledge in the Most High?”
Such are the wicked;
 always at ease, they increase in riches.
All in vain I have kept my heart clean
 and washed my hands in innocence.
For all day long I have been plagued,
 and am punished every morning.

If I had said, “I will talk on in this way,”
 I would have been untrue to the circle of your children.
But when I thought how to understand this,
 it seemed to me a wearisome task,
until I went into the sanctuary of God;
 then I perceived their end.
Truly you set them in slippery places;
 you make them fall to ruin.
How they are destroyed in a moment,
 swept away utterly by terrors!
They are like a dream when one awakes;
 on awaking you despise their phantoms.

When my soul was embittered,
 when I was pricked in heart,
I was stupid and ignorant;
 I was like a brute beast toward you.
Nevertheless I am continually with you;
 you hold my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
 and afterward you will receive me with honor.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
 And there is nothing on earth that I desire other than you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
 but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Indeed, those who are far from you will perish;
 you put an end to those who are false to you.
But for me it is good to be near God;
 I have made the Lord God my refuge,
 to tell of all your works.

Semi-continuous Psalm 94

O Lord, you God of vengeance,
 you God of vengeance, shine forth!
Rise up, O judge of the earth;
 give to the proud what they deserve!
O Lord, how long shall the wicked,
 how long shall the wicked exult?

They pour out their arrogant words;
 all the evildoers boast.
They crush your people, O Lord,
 and afflict your heritage.
They kill the widow and the stranger,
 they murder the orphan,
and they say, “The Lord does not see;
 the God of Jacob does not perceive.”

Understand, O dullest of the people;
 fools, when will you be wise?
He who planted the ear, does he not hear?
He who formed the eye, does he not see?
He who disciplines the nations,
he who teaches knowledge to humankind,
 does he not chastise?
The Lord knows our thoughts,
 that they are but an empty breath.¹

Happy are those whom you discipline,
 O Lord, and whom you teach out of your law,
giving them respite from days of trouble,
 until a pit is dug for the wicked.
For the Lord will not forsake his people;
 he will not abandon his heritage;²

for justice will return to the righteous,
 and all the upright in heart will follow it.

Who rises up for me against the wicked?
 Who stands up for me against evildoers?
If the Lord had not been my help,
 my soul would soon have lived in the land of silence.
When I thought, “My foot is slipping,”
 your steadfast love, O Lord, held me up.
When the cares of my heart are many,
 your consolations cheer my soul.
Can wicked rulers be allied with you,
 those who contrive mischief by statute?
They band together against the life of the righteous,
 and condemn the innocent to death.
But the Lord has become my stronghold,
 and my God the rock of my refuge.
He will repay them for their iniquity
 and wipe them out for their wickedness;
 the Lord our God will wipe them out.

¹Paul quotes this verse in 1 Corinthians 3:20, discussing divisions in the Corinthian church.
²Paul uses this verse in Romans 11:2, explaining that
Israel's rejection is not final.

New Testament Gospel Lesson: Luke 22:31-33, 54-62

There are parallel passages about Peter's denial at Matthew 26:69-75, Mark 14:66-72, and John 18:25-27.

The Denial of Peter

“Simon, Simon, listen! Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your own faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” And he said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death!”

Then they seized him and led him away, bringing him into the high priest's house. But Peter was following at a distance. When they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat among them. Then a servant-girl, seeing him in the firelight, stared at him and said, “This man also was with him.” But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know him.” A little later someone else, on seeing him, said, “You also are one of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not!” Then about an hour later still another kept insisting, “Surely this man also was with him; for he is a Galilean.” But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about!” At that moment, while he was still speaking, the cock crowed. The Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the cock crows today, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly.

Year C Ordinary 24, Catholic Proper 24, RCL Proper 19: Wednesday

Selections are from Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings copyright © 1995 by the Consultation on Common Texts.

Unless otherwise indicated, Bible text is from New Revised Standard Version Bible (NRSV) copyright © 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Parallel passages are as indicated in the Modern English Version Bible, copyright © 2014 by Military Bible Association. Used by permission. All rights reserved. When text is taken from the MEV, the passage ends with (MEV) and the foregoing copyright notice applies.

Scriptures ending with (TLCO) are a combination of two or more translations.

Scripture ending with (NLT) are from the New Living Translation Holy Bible, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Image Credit: Denial of Peter by Karel Dujardin, via Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons 0 license (public domain).

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Tuesday: Reflection on the Twenty-forth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Roman Catholic Proper 24
Revised Common Lectionary Proper 19

Complementary Hebrew Scripture from The Twelve Prophets: Jonah 3

The word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time, saying, “Get up, go to Nineveh, that great city, and proclaim to it the message that I tell you.” So Jonah set out and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly large city, a three days’ walk across. Jonah began to go into the city, going a day's walk. And he cried out, “Forty days more, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” And the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast, and everyone, great and small, put on sackcloth.

When the news reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, removed his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. Then he had a proclamation made in Nineveh: “By the decree of the king and his nobles: No human being or animal, no herd or flock, shall taste anything. They shall not feed, nor shall they drink water. Human beings and animals shall be covered with sackcloth, and they shall cry mightily to God. All shall turn from their evil ways and from the violence that is in their hands. Who knows? God may relent and change his mind; he may turn from his fierce anger, so that we do not perish.”

When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil ways, God changed his mind about the calamity that he had said he would bring upon them; and he did not do it.

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture from the Latter Prophets: Jeremiah 5:18-31

But even in those days, says the Lord, I will not make a full end of you. And when your people say, “Why has the Lord our God done all these things to us?” you shall say to them, “As you have forsaken me and served foreign gods in your land, so you shall serve strangers in a land that is not yours.”

Declare this in the house of Jacob,
 proclaim it in Judah:
Hear this, O foolish and senseless people,
 who have eyes, but do not see,
 who have ears, but do not hear.
Do you not fear me? says the Lord;
 Do you not tremble before me?
I placed the sand as a boundary for the sea,
 a perpetual barrier that it cannot pass;
though the waves toss, they cannot prevail,
 though they roar, they cannot pass over it.
But this people has a stubborn and rebellious heart;
 they have turned aside and gone away.
They do not say in their hearts,
 “Let us fear the Lord our God,
who gives the rain in its season,
 the autumn rain and the spring rain,
 and keeps for us
 the weeks appointed for the harvest.”¹

Your iniquities have turned these away,
 and your sins have deprived you of good.
For scoundrels are found among my people;
 they take over the goods of others.
Like fowlers they set a trap;
 they catch human beings.
Like a cage full of birds,
 their houses are full of treachery;
therefore they have become great and rich,
 they have grown fat and sleek.
They know no limits in deeds of wickedness;
 they do not judge with justice
the cause of the orphan, to make it prosper,
 and they do not defend the rights of the needy.
Shall I not punish them for these things?
   says the Lord,
 and shall I not bring retribution
 on a nation such as this?

An appalling and horrible thing
 has happened in the land:
the prophets prophesy falsely,
 and the priests rule as the prophets direct;
my people love to have it so,
 but what will you do when the end comes?

¹This verse is quoted in James 5:7, where he urges patience in suffering.

Complementary Psalm 73

Truly God is good to the upright,
 to those who are pure in heart.
But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled;
 my steps had nearly slipped.
For I was envious of the arrogant;
 I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

For they have no pain;
 their bodies are sound and sleek.
They are not in trouble as others are;
 they are not plagued like other people.
Therefore pride is their necklace;
 violence covers them like a garment.
Their eyes swell out with fatness;
 their hearts overflow with follies.
They scoff and speak with malice;
 loftily they threaten oppression.
They set their mouths against heaven,
 and their tongues range over the earth.

Therefore the people turn and praise them,
 and find no fault in them.
And they say, “How can God know?
 Is there knowledge in the Most High?”
Such are the wicked;
 always at ease, they increase in riches.
All in vain I have kept my heart clean
 and washed my hands in innocence.
For all day long I have been plagued,
 and am punished every morning.

If I had said, “I will talk on in this way,”
 I would have been untrue to the circle of your children.
But when I thought how to understand this,
 it seemed to me a wearisome task,
until I went into the sanctuary of God;
 then I perceived their end.
Truly you set them in slippery places;
 you make them fall to ruin.
How they are destroyed in a moment,
 swept away utterly by terrors!
They are like a dream when one awakes;
 on awaking you despise their phantoms.

When my soul was embittered,
 when I was pricked in heart,
I was stupid and ignorant;
 I was like a brute beast toward you.
Nevertheless I am continually with you;
 you hold my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
 and afterward you will receive me with honor.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
 And there is nothing on earth that I desire other than you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
 but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Indeed, those who are far from you will perish;
 you put an end to those who are false to you.
But for me it is good to be near God;
 I have made the Lord God my refuge,
 to tell of all your works.

Semi-continuous Psalm 94

O Lord, you God of vengeance,
 you God of vengeance, shine forth!
Rise up, O judge of the earth;
 give to the proud what they deserve!
O Lord, how long shall the wicked,
 how long shall the wicked exult?

They pour out their arrogant words;
 all the evildoers boast.
They crush your people, O Lord,
 and afflict your heritage.
They kill the widow and the stranger,
 they murder the orphan,
and they say, “The Lord does not see;
 the God of Jacob does not perceive.”

Understand, O dullest of the people;
 fools, when will you be wise?
He who planted the ear, does he not hear?
He who formed the eye, does he not see?
He who disciplines the nations,
he who teaches knowledge to humankind,
 does he not chastise?
The Lord knows our thoughts,
 that they are but an empty breath.¹

Happy are those whom you discipline,
 O Lord, and whom you teach out of your law,
giving them respite from days of trouble,
 until a pit is dug for the wicked.
For the Lord will not forsake his people;
 he will not abandon his heritage;²

for justice will return to the righteous,
 and all the upright in heart will follow it.

Who rises up for me against the wicked?
 Who stands up for me against evildoers?
If the Lord had not been my help,
 my soul would soon have lived in the land of silence.
When I thought, “My foot is slipping,”
 your steadfast love, O Lord, held me up.
When the cares of my heart are many,
 your consolations cheer my soul.
Can wicked rulers be allied with you,
 those who contrive mischief by statute?
They band together against the life of the righteous,
 and condemn the innocent to death.
But the Lord has become my stronghold,
 and my God the rock of my refuge.
He will repay them for their iniquity
 and wipe them out for their wickedness;
 the Lord our God will wipe them out.

¹Paul quotes this verse in 1 Corinthians 3:20, discussing divisions in the Corinthian church.
²Paul uses this verse in Romans 11:2, explaining that
Israel's rejection is not final.

New Testament Epistle Lesson: 2 Peter 3:8-13

A Bamberg Apocalypse Folio 019

But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day. The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and everything that is done on it will be disclosed.

Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, what sort of persons ought you to be in leading lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set ablaze and dissolved, and the elements will melt with fire? But, in accordance with his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness is at home.

Year C Ordinary 24, Catholic Proper 24, RCL Proper 19: Tuesday

Selections are from Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings copyright © 1995 by the Consultation on Common Texts.

Unless otherwise indicated, Bible text is from New Revised Standard Version Bible (NRSV) copyright © 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Image Credit: A Bamberg Apocalypse Folio 019, By Deutsch: Auftraggeber: Otto III. oder Heinrich II. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons 0 license (public domain).

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Monday: Reflection on the Twenty-forth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Roman Catholic Proper 24
Revised Common Lectionary Proper 19

Complementary Hebrew Scripture Lesson from The Twelve Prophets: Amos 7:1-6

This is what the Lord God showed me: he was forming locusts at the time the latter growth began to sprout (it was the latter growth after the king's mowings). When they had finished eating the grass of the land, I said,

“O Lord God, forgive, I beg you!
 How can Jacob stand?
 He is so small!”
The Lord relented concerning this;
 “It shall not be,” said the Lord.

This is what the Lord God showed me: the Lord God was calling for a shower of fire, and it devoured the great deep and was eating up the land. Then I said,

“O Lord God, cease, I beg you!
 How can Jacob stand?
 He is so small!”
The Lord relented concerning this;
 “This also shall not be,” said the Lord God.

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture from the Latter Prophets: Jeremiah 5:1-17

Run to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem,
 look around and take note!
Search its squares and see
 if you can find one person
who acts justly
 and seeks truth—
so that I may pardon Jerusalem.
Although they say, “As the Lord lives,”
 yet they swear falsely.
O Lord, do your eyes not look for truth?
You have struck them,
 but they felt no anguish;
you have consumed them,
 but they refused to take correction.
They have made their faces harder than rock;
 they have refused to turn back.

Then I said, “These are only the poor,
 they have no sense;
for they do not know the way of the Lord,
 the law of their God.
Let me go to the rich
 and speak to them;
surely they know the way of the Lord,
 the law of their God.”
But they all alike had broken the yoke,
 they had burst the bonds.

Therefore a lion from the forest shall kill them,
 a wolf from the desert shall destroy them.
A leopard is watching against their cities;
 everyone who goes out of them shall be torn in pieces—
because their transgressions are many,
 their rebellion is great.

How can I pardon you?
 Your children have forsaken me,
 and have sworn by those who are no gods.
When I fed them to the full,
 they committed adultery
 and trooped to the houses of prostitutes.
They were well-fed lusty stallions,
 each neighing for his neighbor's wife.
Shall I not punish them for these things?
   says the Lord;
and shall I not bring retribution
 on a nation such as this?

Go up through her vine-rows and destroy,
 but do not make a full end;
strip away her branches,
 for they are not the Lord's.
For the house of Israel and the house of Judah
 have been utterly faithless to me,
   says the Lord.
They have spoken falsely of the Lord,
 and have said, “He will do nothing.
No evil will come upon us,
 and we shall not see sword or famine.”
The prophets are nothing but wind,
 for the word is not in them.
Thus shall it be done to them!

Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of hosts:
Because they have spoken this word,
I am now making my words in your mouth a fire,
 and this people wood, and the fire shall devour them.
I am going to bring upon you a nation from far away,
O house of Israel,
   says the Lord.
It is an enduring nation,
 it is an ancient nation,
a nation whose language you do not know,
 nor can you understand what they say.
Their quiver is like an open tomb;
 all of them are mighty warriors.
They shall eat up your harvest and your food;
 they shall eat up your sons and your daughters;
they shall eat up your flocks and your herds;
 they shall eat up your vines and your fig trees;
they shall destroy with the sword
 your fortified cities in which you trust. (TLCO: NRSV, NLT)

Complementary Psalm 73

Truly God is good to the upright,
 to those who are pure in heart.
But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled;
 my steps had nearly slipped.
For I was envious of the arrogant;
 I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

For they have no pain;
 their bodies are sound and sleek.
They are not in trouble as others are;
 they are not plagued like other people.
Therefore pride is their necklace;
 violence covers them like a garment.
Their eyes swell out with fatness;
 their hearts overflow with follies.
They scoff and speak with malice;
 loftily they threaten oppression.
They set their mouths against heaven,
 and their tongues range over the earth.

Therefore the people turn and praise them,
 and find no fault in them.
And they say, “How can God know?
 Is there knowledge in the Most High?”
Such are the wicked;
 always at ease, they increase in riches.
All in vain I have kept my heart clean
 and washed my hands in innocence.
For all day long I have been plagued,
 and am punished every morning.

If I had said, “I will talk on in this way,”
 I would have been untrue to the circle of your children.
But when I thought how to understand this,
 it seemed to me a wearisome task,
until I went into the sanctuary of God;
 then I perceived their end.
Truly you set them in slippery places;
 you make them fall to ruin.
How they are destroyed in a moment,
 swept away utterly by terrors!
They are like a dream when one awakes;
 on awaking you despise their phantoms.

When my soul was embittered,
 when I was pricked in heart,
I was stupid and ignorant;
 I was like a brute beast toward you.
Nevertheless I am continually with you;
 you hold my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
 and afterward you will receive me with honor.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
 And there is nothing on earth that I desire other than you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
 but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Indeed, those who are far from you will perish;
 you put an end to those who are false to you.
But for me it is good to be near God;
 I have made the Lord God my refuge,
 to tell of all your works.

Semi-continuous Psalm 94

O Lord, you God of vengeance,
 you God of vengeance, shine forth!
Rise up, O judge of the earth;
 give to the proud what they deserve!
O Lord, how long shall the wicked,
 how long shall the wicked exult?

They pour out their arrogant words;
 all the evildoers boast.
They crush your people, O Lord,
 and afflict your heritage.
They kill the widow and the stranger,
 they murder the orphan,
and they say, “The Lord does not see;
 the God of Jacob does not perceive.”

Understand, O dullest of the people;
 fools, when will you be wise?
He who planted the ear, does he not hear?
He who formed the eye, does he not see?
He who disciplines the nations,
he who teaches knowledge to humankind,
 does he not chastise?
The Lord knows our thoughts,
 that they are but an empty breath.¹

Happy are those whom you discipline,
 O Lord, and whom you teach out of your law,
giving them respite from days of trouble,
 until a pit is dug for the wicked.
For the Lord will not forsake his people;
 he will not abandon his heritage;²

for justice will return to the righteous,
 and all the upright in heart will follow it.

Who rises up for me against the wicked?
 Who stands up for me against evildoers?
If the Lord had not been my help,
 my soul would soon have lived in the land of silence.
When I thought, “My foot is slipping,”
 your steadfast love, O Lord, held me up.
When the cares of my heart are many,
 your consolations cheer my soul.
Can wicked rulers be allied with you,
 those who contrive mischief by statute?
They band together against the life of the righteous,
 and condemn the innocent to death.
But the Lord has become my stronghold,
 and my God the rock of my refuge.
He will repay them for their iniquity
 and wipe them out for their wickedness;
 the Lord our God will wipe them out.

¹Paul quotes this verse in 1 Corinthians 3:20, discussing divisions in the Corinthian church.
²Paul uses this verse in Romans 11:2, explaining that
Israel's rejection is not final.

New Testament Epistle Lesson: 1 Timothy 1:18-20

I am giving you these instructions, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies made earlier about you, so that by following them you may fight the good fight, having faith and a good conscience. By rejecting conscience, certain persons have suffered shipwreck in the faith; among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have turned over to Satan, so that they may learn not to blaspheme.

Year C Ordinary 24, Catholic Proper 24, RCL Proper 19: Monday

Selections are from Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings copyright © 1995 by the Consultation on Common Texts.

Unless otherwise indicated, Bible text is from New Revised Standard Version Bible (NRSV) copyright © 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scriptures ending with (TLCO) are a combination of two or more translations.

Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are from the New Living Translation Holy Bible, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Image Credit: Image of St. Timothy stained glass detail from St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral in Glasgow by Fr. Lawrence Lew, O.P., downloaded from Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons 2.0-by-nc-nd Image modified by Michael Gilbertson using the Photoshop spot healing brush to delete cracks in the glass.

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Sunday: The twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Roman Catholic Proper 24
Revised Common Lectionary Proper 19

Complementary Hebrew Scripture Torah Lesson: Exodus 32:7-14

The Lord said to Moses, “Go down at once! Your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have acted perversely; they have been quick to turn aside from the way that I commanded them; they have cast for themselves an image of a calf, and have worshiped it and sacrificed to it, and said, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!’”The Lord said to Moses, “I have seen this people, how stiff-necked they are.¹ Now let me alone, so that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them; and of you I will make a great nation.”

But Moses implored the Lord his God, and said, “O Lord, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians say, ‘It was with evil intent that he brought them out to kill them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth’? Turn from your fierce wrath; change your mind and do not bring disaster on your people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, your servants, how you swore to them by your own self, saying to them, ‘I will multiply your descendants like the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have promised I will give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it forever.²’” And the Lord changed his mind about the disaster that he planned to bring on his people.

¹This verse is quoted in Stephen's defense before the Sanhedrin.
²This verse is quoted in Hebrews 11, where the faith of the patriarchs is held up.

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture from the Latter Prophets: Jeremiah 4:11-12, 22-28

At that time it will be said to this people and to Jerusalem: A hot wind comes from me out of the bare heights in the desert toward my poor people, not to winnow or cleanse—a wind too strong for that. Now it is I who speak in judgment against them.

“For my people are foolish,
 they do not know me;
they are stupid children,
 they have no understanding.
They are skilled in doing evil,
 but do not know how to do good.”

I looked on the earth, and lo, it was waste and void;
 and to the heavens, and they had no light.
I looked on the mountains, and lo, they were quaking,
 and all the hills moved to and fro.
I looked, and lo, there was no one at all,
and all the birds of the air had fled.
I looked, and lo, the fruitful land was a desert,
and all its cities were laid in ruins
before the Lord,before his fierce anger.

For thus says the Lord: The whole land shall be a desolation; yet I will not make a full end.

Because of this the earth shall mourn,
 and the heavens above grow black;
for I have spoken, I have purposed;
 I have not relented nor will I turn back.

Complementary Psalm 51:1-10

Have mercy on me, O God,
 according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
 blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
 and cleanse me from my sin.

For I know my transgressions,
 and my sin is ever before me.
Against you, you alone, have I sinned,
 and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you are justified in your sentence
 and blameless when you pass judgment.¹

Indeed, I was born guilty,
 a sinner when my mother conceived me.

You desire truth in the inward being;
 therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
 wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
 let the bones that you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins,
 and blot out all my iniquities.

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
 and put a new and right spirit within me.

¹This verse is quoted in Romans 3:4, a discussion about Jews and the Law.

Semi-continuous Psalm 14

Fools say in their hearts, “There is no God.”
 They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds;
 there is no one who does good.
The Lord looks down from heaven on humankind
 to see if there are any who are wise,
 who seek after God.
They have all gone astray, they are all alike perverse;
 there is no one who does good,
 no, not one.¹

Have they no knowledge, all the evildoers
 who eat up my people as they eat bread,
 and do not call upon the Lord?

There they shall be in great terror,
 for God is with the company of the righteous.
You would confound the plans of the poor,
 but the Lord is their refuge.
O that deliverance for Israel would come from Zion!
 When the Lord restores the fortunes of his people,
 Jacob will rejoice; Israel will be glad.

¹This passage is quoted in Romans 3:10-12, where Paul argues that none is righteous.

New Testament Epistle Lesson: 1 Timothy 1:12-17

I am grateful to Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because he judged me faithful and appointed me to his service, even though I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and a man of violence. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the foremost. But for that very reason I received mercy, so that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display the utmost patience, making me an example to those who would come to believe in him for eternal life. To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

New Testament Gospel Lesson: Luke 15:1-10

The Lost Drachma

There is a parallel passage about the lost sheep at Matthew 18:12-14.

Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him. And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

So he told them this parable: “Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.”¹

“Or what woman having ten silver coins, if she loses one of them, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

Year C Ordinary 24, Catholic Proper 24, RCL Proper 19: Sunday

Selections are from Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings copyright © 1995 by the Consultation on Common Texts.

Unless otherwise indicated, Bible text is from New Revised Standard Version Bible (NRSV) copyright © 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Parallel passages are as indicated in the Modern English Version Bible, copyright © 2014 by Military Bible Association. Used by permission. All rights reserved. When text is taken from the MEV, the passage ends with (MEV) and the foregoing copyright notice applies.

Image Credit: The Lost Drachma by James Tissot via Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons 0 license (public domain).

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Readings for the Holy Cross Celebration

September 14

The Holy Cross Celebration is part of the Roman Catholic, Anglican/Episcopalian, and Lutheran liturgies

Hebrew Scripture Torah Lesson: Numbers 21:4-9

Tissot-Brazen -Serpent.jpg

From Mount Hor they set out by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom; but the people became impatient on the way. The people spoke against God and against Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we detest this miserable food.” Then the Lord sent poisonous serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many Israelites died. The people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned by speaking against the Lord and against you; pray to the Lord to take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people. And the Lord said to Moses, “Make a poisonous serpent, and set it on a pole; and everyone who is bitten shall look at it and live.” So Moses made a serpent of bronze, and put it upon a pole; and whenever a serpent bit someone, that person would look at the serpent of bronze and live.

Psalm 98:1-5

(The Alternate Psalm, Psalm 78:1-2, 34-39, is below.)

O sing to the Lord a new song,
 for he has done marvelous things.
His right hand and his holy arm
 have gotten him victory.
The Lord has made known his victory;
 he has revealed his vindication in the sight of the nations.
He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness
 to the house of Israel.
All the ends of the earth have seen
 the victory of our God.

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth;
 break forth into joyous song and sing praises.
Sing praises to the Lord with the lyre,
 with the lyre and the sound of melody.

Psalm 78:1-2, 34-38

(The Alternate Psalm, Psalm 98:1-5, is above)

Give ear, O my people, to my teaching;
 incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
I will open my mouth in a parable;
 I will utter dark sayings from of old.¹

When he killed them, they sought for him;
 they repented and sought God earnestly.
They remembered that God was their rock,
 the Most High God their redeemer.
But they flattered him with their mouths;
 they lied to him with their tongues.
Their heart was not steadfast toward him;
 they were not true to his covenant.
Yet he, being compassionate,
 forgave their iniquity,
 and did not destroy them;
often he restrained his anger,
 and did not stir up all his wrath.

¹Jesus quotes this passage in Matthew 13:35, a chapter in which he tells a series of parables.

New Testament Epistle Lesson: 1 Corinthians 1:18-24

For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written,

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the discernment of the discerning
I will thwart.”¹

Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

¹Isaiah 29:4

New Testament Gospel Lesson: John 3:13-17

“No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.

“Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”

Selections are from Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings copyright © 1995 by the Consultation on Common Texts.

Unless otherwise indicated, Bible text is from New Revised Standard Version Bible (NRSV) copyright © 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Image Credit: The Brazen Serpent by James Tissot via Wikiart.org. This is a public domain image.

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Saturday: Preparation for the Twenty-forth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Roman Catholic Proper 24
Revised Common Lectionary Proper 19

Complementary Hebrew Scripture from the Torah: Genesis 8:20—9:7

Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And when the Lord smelled the pleasing odor,the Lord said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of humankind, for the inclination of the human heart is evil from youth; nor will I ever again destroy every living creature as I have done.¹
 As long as the earth endures,
  seedtime and harvest, cold and heat,
 summer and winter, day and night,
  shall not cease.”

God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. The fear and dread of you shall rest on every animal of the earth, and on every bird of the air, on everything that creeps on the ground, and on all the fish of the sea; into your hand they are delivered. Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you; and just as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything. Only, you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood. For your own lifeblood I will surely require a reckoning: from every animal I will require it and from human beings, each one for the blood of another, I will require a reckoning for human life.
 Whoever sheds the blood of a human,
  by a human shall that person's blood be shed;
 for in his own image
  God made humankind.
And you, be fruitful and multiply, abound on the earth and multiply in it.”

¹Paul quotes this verse in Philippians 4:18, where he acknowledges their gift.

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture from the Latter Prophets: Jeremiah 4:13-21, 29-31

Look! He comes up like clouds,
 his chariots like the whirlwind;
his horses are swifter than eagles—
 woe to us, for we are ruined!
O Jerusalem, wash your heart clean of wickedness
 so that you may be saved.
How long shall your evil schemes
 lodge within you?
For a voice declares from Dan
 and proclaims disaster from Mount Ephraim.
Tell the nations, “Here they are!”
 Proclaim against Jerusalem,
“Besiegers come from a distant land;
 they shout against the cities of Judah.
They have closed in around her like watchers of a field,
 because she has rebelled against me,
   says the Lord.

“Your ways and your doings
 have brought this upon you.
This is your doom; how bitter it is!
 It has reached your very heart.”
My anguish, my anguish! I writhe in pain!
 Oh, the walls of my heart!
My heart is beating wildly;
 I cannot keep silent;
for I hear the sound of the trumpet,
 the alarm of war.
Disaster overtakes disaster,
 the whole land is laid waste.
Suddenly my tents are destroyed,
 my curtains in a moment.
How long must I see the standard,
 and hear the sound of the trumpet?

At the noise of horseman and archer
 every town takes to flight;
they enter thickets; they climb among rocks;
 all the towns are forsaken,
 and no one lives in them.
And you, O desolate one,
what do you mean that you dress in crimson,
 that you deck yourself with ornaments of gold,
 that you enlarge your eyes with paint?
In vain you beautify yourself.
 Your lovers despise you;
 they seek your life.
For I heard a cry as of a woman in labor,
 anguish as of one bringing forth her first child,
the cry of daughter Zion gasping for breath,
 stretching out her hands,
“Woe is me! I am fainting before killers!”

Complementary Psalm 51:1-10

Have mercy on me, O God,
 according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
 blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
 and cleanse me from my sin.

For I know my transgressions,
 and my sin is ever before me.
Against you, you alone, have I sinned,
 and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you are justified in your sentence
 and blameless when you pass judgment.¹

Indeed, I was born guilty,
 a sinner when my mother conceived me.

You desire truth in the inward being;
 therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
 wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
 let the bones that you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins,
 and blot out all my iniquities.

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
 and put a new and right spirit within me.

¹This verse is quoted in Romans 3:4, a discussion about Jews and the Law.

Semi-continuous Psalm 14

Fools say in their hearts, “There is no God.”
 They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds;
 there is no one who does good.
The Lord looks down from heaven on humankind
 to see if there are any who are wise,
 who seek after God.
They have all gone astray, they are all alike perverse;
 there is no one who does good,
 no, not one.¹

Have they no knowledge, all the evildoers
 who eat up my people as they eat bread,
 and do not call upon the Lord?

There they shall be in great terror,
 for God is with the company of the righteous.
You would confound the plans of the poor,
 but the Lord is their refuge.
O that deliverance for Israel would come from Zion!
 When the Lord restores the fortunes of his people,
 Jacob will rejoice; Israel will be glad.

¹This passage is quoted in Romans 3:10-12, where Paul argues that none is righteous.

New Testament Gospel Lesson: John 10:11-21

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away—and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father.”

Again the Jews were divided because of these words. Many of them were saying, “He has a demon and is out of his mind. Why listen to him?” Others were saying, “These are not the words of one who has a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”

Year C Ordinary 24, Catholic Proper 24, RCL Proper 19: Saturday

Selections are from Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings copyright © 1995 by the Consultation on Common Texts.

Unless otherwise indicated, Bible text is from New Revised Standard Version Bible (NRSV) copyright © 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Image Credit: Image by Dnalor01, via Wikimedia Commons, licensed under the Creative Commons 3.0 Share Alike license.

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Friday: Preparation for the Twenty-forth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Roman Catholic Proper 24
Revised Common Lectionary Proper 19

Complementary Hebrew Scripture from the Torah: Genesis 7:6-10; 8:1-5

Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters came on the earth. And Noah with his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives went into the ark to escape the waters of the flood. Of clean animals, and of animals that are not clean, and of birds, and of everything that creeps on the ground, two and two, male and female, went into the ark with Noah, as God had commanded Noah. And after seven days the waters of the flood came on the earth.

But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and all the domestic animals that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind blow over the earth, and the waters subsided; the fountains of the deep and the windows of the heavens were closed, the rain from the heavens was restrained, and the waters gradually receded from the earth. At the end of one hundred fifty days the waters had abated; and in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. The waters continued to abate until the tenth month; in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, the tops of the mountains appeared.

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture from the Latter Prophets: Jeremiah 4:1-10

If you return, O Israel,
says the Lord,
if you return to me,
if you remove your abominations from my presence,
and do not waver,
and if you swear, “As the Lord lives!”
in truth, in justice, and in uprightness,
then nations shall be blessed by him,
and by him they shall boast.

For thus says the Lord to the people of Judah and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem:

Break up your fallow ground,
and do not sow among thorns.
Circumcise yourselves to the Lord,
remove the foreskin of your hearts,
O people of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem,
or else my wrath will go forth like fire,
and burn with no one to quench it,
because of the evil of your doings.

Declare in Judah, and proclaim in Jerusalem, and say:

Blow the trumpet through the land;
shout aloud and say,
“Gather together, and let us go
into the fortified cities!”
Raise a standard toward Zion,
flee for safety, do not delay,
for I am bringing evil from the north,
and a great destruction.
A lion has gone up from its thicket,
a destroyer of nations has set out;
he has gone out from his place
to make your land a waste;
your cities will be ruins
without inhabitant.
Because of this put on sackcloth,
lament and wail:
“The fierce anger of the Lord
has not turned away from us.”

On that day, says the Lord, courage shall fail the king and the officials; the priests shall be appalled and the prophets astounded. Then I said, “Ah, Lord God, how utterly you have deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, ‘It shall be well with you,’ even while the sword is at the throat!”

Complementary Psalm 51:1-10

Have mercy on me, O God,
 according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
 blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
 and cleanse me from my sin.

For I know my transgressions,
 and my sin is ever before me.
Against you, you alone, have I sinned,
 and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you are justified in your sentence
 and blameless when you pass judgment.¹

Indeed, I was born guilty,
 a sinner when my mother conceived me.

You desire truth in the inward being;
 therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
 wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
 let the bones that you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins,
 and blot out all my iniquities.

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
 and put a new and right spirit within me.

¹This verse is quoted in Romans 3:4, a discussion about Jews and the Law.

Semi-continuous Psalm 14

Fools say in their hearts, “There is no God.”
 They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds;
 there is no one who does good.
The Lord looks down from heaven on humankind
 to see if there are any who are wise,
 who seek after God.
They have all gone astray, they are all alike perverse;
 there is no one who does good,
 no, not one.¹

Have they no knowledge, all the evildoers
 who eat up my people as they eat bread,
 and do not call upon the Lord?

There they shall be in great terror,
 for God is with the company of the righteous.
You would confound the plans of the poor,
 but the Lord is their refuge.
O that deliverance for Israel would come from Zion!
 When the Lord restores the fortunes of his people,
 Jacob will rejoice; Israel will be glad.

¹This passage is quoted in Romans 3:10-12, where Paul argues that none is righteous.

New Testament Epistle Lesson: 2 Peter 2:1-10a

Wolf in sheep's clothing

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive opinions. They will even deny the Master who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. Even so, many will follow their licentious ways, and because of these teachers the way of truth will be maligned. And in their greed they will exploit you with deceptive words. Their condemnation, pronounced against them long ago, has not been idle, and their destruction is not asleep.

For if God did not spare the angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of deepest darkness to be kept until the judgment; and if he did not spare the ancient world, even though he saved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood on a world of the ungodly; and if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction and made them an example of what is coming to the ungodly; and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man greatly distressed by the licentiousness of the lawless (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by their lawless deeds that he saw and heard), then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trial, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment—especially those who indulge their flesh in depraved lust, and who despise authority.

Year C Ordinary 24, Catholic Proper 24, RCL Proper 19: Friday

Selections are from Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings copyright © 1995 by the Consultation on Common Texts.

Unless otherwise indicated, Bible text is from New Revised Standard Version Bible (NRSV) copyright © 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Image Credit: Original image by FrizzText retouched by Pierre Tourigny and downloaded from Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons 2.0.

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Thursday: Preparation for the Twenty-forth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Roman Catholic Proper 24
Revised Common Lectionary Proper 19

Complementary Hebrew Scripture from the Torah: Genesis 6:1-6

When people began to multiply on the face of the ground, and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that they were fair; and they took wives for themselves of all that they chose. Then the Lord said, “My spirit shall not abide in mortals forever, for they are flesh; their days shall be one hundred twenty years.” The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went in to the daughters of humans, who bore children to them. These were the heroes that were of old, warriors of renown.

The Lord saw that the wickedness of humankind was great in the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of their hearts was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that he had made humankind on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart.

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture from the Latter Prophets: Jeremiah 13:20-27

Lift up your eyes and see those who come from the north.
Where is the flock that was given you,
 your beautiful flock?
What will you say when they set as head over you
 those whom you have trained to be your allies?
Will not pangs take hold of you,
 like those of a woman in labor?
And if you say in your heart,
 “Why have these things come upon me?”
it is for the greatness of your iniquity
 that your skirts are lifted up,
 and you are violated.
Can Ethiopians change their skin
 or leopards their spots?
Then also you can do good who are accustomed to do evil.
I will scatter you like chaff
 driven by the wind from the desert.
This is your lot,
 the portion I have measured out to you, says the Lord,
because you have forgotten
 me and trusted in lies.
I myself will lift up your skirts over your face,
 and your shame will be seen.
I have seen your abominations,
 your adulteries and neighings,
your shameless prostitutions
 on the hills of the countryside.
Woe to you, O Jerusalem!
 How long will it be
 before you are made clean?

Complementary Psalm 51:1-10

Have mercy on me, O God,
 according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
 blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
 and cleanse me from my sin.

For I know my transgressions,
 and my sin is ever before me.
Against you, you alone, have I sinned,
 and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you are justified in your sentence
 and blameless when you pass judgment.¹

Indeed, I was born guilty,
 a sinner when my mother conceived me.

You desire truth in the inward being;
 therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
 wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
 let the bones that you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins,
 and blot out all my iniquities.

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
 and put a new and right spirit within me.

¹This verse is quoted in Romans 3:4, a discussion about Jews and the Law.

Semi-continuous Psalm 14

Fools say in their hearts, “There is no God.”
 They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds;
 there is no one who does good.
The Lord looks down from heaven on humankind
 to see if there are any who are wise,
 who seek after God.
They have all gone astray, they are all alike perverse;
 there is no one who does good,
 no, not one.¹

Have they no knowledge, all the evildoers
 who eat up my people as they eat bread,
 and do not call upon the Lord?

There they shall be in great terror,
 for God is with the company of the righteous.
You would confound the plans of the poor,
 but the Lord is their refuge.
O that deliverance for Israel would come from Zion!
 When the Lord restores the fortunes of his people,
 Jacob will rejoice; Israel will be glad.

¹This passage is quoted in Romans 3:10-12, where Paul argues that none is righteous.

New Testament Epistle Lesson: 1 Timothy 1:1-11

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope,

1 Timothy 1:5

To Timothy, my loyal child in the faith:

Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

I urge you, as I did when I was on my way to Macedonia, to remain in Ephesus so that you may instruct certain people not to teach any different doctrine, and not to occupy themselves with myths and endless genealogies that promote speculations rather than the divine training that is known by faith. But the aim of such instruction is love that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience, and sincere faith. Some people have deviated from these and turned to meaningless talk, desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make assertions.

Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it legitimately. This means understanding that the law is laid down not for the innocent but for the lawless and disobedient, for the godless and sinful, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their father or mother, for murderers, fornicators, sodomites, slave traders, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to the sound teaching that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.

Year C Ordinary 24, Catholic Proper 24, RCL Proper 19: Thursday

Selections are from Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings copyright © 1995 by the Consultation on Common Texts.

Unless otherwise indicated, Bible text is from New Revised Standard Version Bible (NRSV) copyright © 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Footnotes in the Hebrew Scriptures that show where the passage is used in the Christian Scriptures are based on information from the The Complete Jewish Bible (CJB) by David H. Stern, Copyright © 1998 and 2006 by David H. Stern, used by permission of Messianic Jewish Publishers, www.messianicjewish.net. All rights reserved worldwide. When text is taken from the CJB, the passage ends with (CJB) and this copyright notice applies.

Image credit: 1 Timothy 1:5 text added by by Michael Gilbertson using Photoshop 31 August 2016 to a heart-shaped cloud image by Prof. Bizzaro, downloaded from Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons 2.0. The combined image may also be used under the CC 2.0 license; please credit The Lectionary Company.

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