Thursday: Preparation for the Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
Revised Common Lectionary Proper 22
Roman Catholic Proper 27
Complementary Hebrew Scripture: Jeremiah 2:14-22
Is Israel a slave?
Is he a homeborn servant?
Why then has he become plunder?
The lions have roared against him,
they have roared loudly.
They have made his land a waste;
his cities are in ruins, without inhabitant.
Moreover, the people of Memphis and Tahpanhes
have broken the crown of your head.
Have you not brought this upon yourself
by forsaking the Lord your God,
while he led you in the way?
What then do you gain by going to Egypt,
to drink the waters of the Nile?
Or what do you gain by going to Assyria,
to drink the waters of the Euphrates?
Your wickedness will punish you,
and your apostasies will convict you.
Know and see that it is evil and bitter for you
to forsake the Lord your God;
the fear of me is not in you,
says the Lord GOD of hosts.
For long ago you broke your yoke
and burst your bonds,
and you said, “I will not serve!”
On every high hill
and under every green tree
you sprawled and played the whore.
Yet I planted you as a choice vine,
from the purest stock.
How then did you turn degenerate and become a wild vine?
Though you wash yourself with lye and use much soap,
the stain of your guilt is still before me,
says the Lord GOD.
Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture: Exodus 23:1-9
You shall not spread a false report. You shall not join hands with the wicked to act as a malicious witness. You shall not follow a majority in wrongdoing; when you bear witness in a lawsuit, you shall not side with the majority so as to pervert justice; nor shall you be partial to the poor in a lawsuit.
When you come upon your enemy's ox or donkey going astray, you shall bring it back. When you see the donkey of one who hates you lying under its burden and you would hold back from setting it free, you must help to set it free.
You shall not pervert the justice due to your poor in their lawsuits. Keep far from a false charge, and do not kill the innocent and those in the right, for I will not acquit the guilty. You shall take no bribe, for a bribe blinds the officials, and subverts the cause of those who are in the right.
You shall not oppress a resident alien; you know the heart of an alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.
Complementary Psalm 80:7-15
Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine,
that we may be saved.
You brought a vine out of Egypt;
you drove out the nations and planted it.
You cleared the ground for it;
it took deep root and filled the land.
The mountains were covered with its shade,
the mighty cedars with its branches;
it sent out its branches to the sea,
and its shoots to the River.
Why then have you broken down its walls,
so that all who pass along the way pluck its fruit?
The boar from the forest ravages it,
and all that move in the field feed on it.
Turn again, O God of hosts;
look down from heaven, and see;
have regard for this vine,
the stock that your right hand planted.
Semi-continuous Psalm 19
The heavens are telling the glory of God;
and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours forth speech,
and night to night declares knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words;
their voice is not heard;
yet their voice goes out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world.
In the heavens he has set a tent for the sun,
which comes out like a bridegroom
from his wedding canopy,
and like a strong man runs its course with joy.
Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
and its circuit to the end of them;
and nothing is hid from its heat.
The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul;
the decrees of the Lord are sure,
making wise the simple;
the precepts of the Lord are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is clear,
enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever;
the ordinances of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey,
and drippings of the honeycomb.
Moreover by them is your servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.
But who can detect their errors?
Clear me from hidden faults.
Keep back your servant also from the insolent;
do not let them have dominion over me.
Then I shall be blameless,
and innocent of great transgression.
Let the words of my mouth
and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable to you, O Lord,
my rock and my redeemer.
New Testament Epistle Lesson: Colossians 2:16-23
Therefore do not let anyone condemn you in matters of food and drink or of observing festivals, new moons, or sabbaths. These are only a shadow of what is to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. Do not let anyone disqualify you, insisting on self-abasement and worship of angels, dwelling on visions, puffed up without cause by a human way of thinking, and not holding fast to the head, from whom the whole body, nourished and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows with a growth that is from God.
If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the universe, why do you live as if you still belonged to the world? Why do you submit to regulations, “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch”? All these regulations refer to things that perish with use; they are simply human commands and teachings. These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-imposed piety, humility, and severe treatment of the body, but they are of no value in checking self-indulgence.
Year A Ordinary 27, RCL Proper 22, Catholic Proper 27 Thursday
Bible verses from The New Revised Standard Version, 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 right reserved.
Selections from Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, copyright 1995 by the Consultation on Common Texts.
Image credit: Earth from Space by NASA, via Wikimedia Commons. This is a public domain image.