Wednesday: Reflection on the Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

Wednesday: Reflection on the Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

Revised Common Lectionary Proper 26
Roman Catholic Proper 31

Complementary Hebrew Scripture: Proverbs 16:21-33

The wise of heart is called perceptive,
 and pleasant speech increases persuasiveness.
Wisdom is a fountain of life to one who has it,
 but folly is the punishment of fools.
The mind of the wise makes their speech judicious,
 and adds persuasiveness to their lips.
Pleasant words are like a honeycomb,
 sweetness to the soul and health to the body.
Sometimes there is a way that seems to be right,
 but in the end it is the way to death.
The appetite of workers works for them;
 their hunger urges them on.
Scoundrels concoct evil,
 and their speech is like a scorching fire.
A perverse person spreads strife,
 and a whisperer separates close friends.
The violent entice their neighbors,
 and lead them in a way that is not good.
One who winks the eyes plans perverse things;
 one who compresses the lips brings evil to pass.
Gray hair is a crown of glory;
 it is gained in a righteous life.
One who is slow to anger is better than the mighty,
 and one whose temper is controlled
 than one who captures a city.
The lot is cast into the lap,
 but the decision is the Lord's alone.

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture: Joshua 10:12-14

On the day when the Lord gave the Amorites over to the Israelites, Joshua spoke to the Lord; and he said in the sight of Israel,

“Sun, stand still at Gibeon,
 and Moon, in the valley of Aijalon.”
And the sun stood still, and the moon stopped,
 until the nation took vengeance on their enemies.

Is this not written in the Book of Jashar? The sun stopped in midheaven, and did not hurry to set for about a whole day. There has been no day like it before or since, when the Lord heeded a human voice; for the Lord fought for Israel.

Complementary Psalm 5

<To the leader: for the flutes. A Psalm of David.>
Give ear to my words, O Lord;
 give heed to my sighing.
Listen to the sound of my cry,
 my King and my God,
 for to you I pray.
O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice;
 in the morning I plead my case to you, and watch.
For you are not a God who delights in wickedness;
 evil will not sojourn with you.
The boastful will not stand before your eyes;
 you hate all evildoers.
You destroy those who speak lies;
 the Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful.

But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love,
 will enter your house,
I will bow down toward your holy temple in awe of you.
Lead me, O Lord, in your righteousness because of my enemies;
 make your way straight before me.

For there is no truth in their mouths;
 their hearts are destruction;
their throats are open graves;
 they flatter with their tongues.
Make them bear their guilt, O God;
 let them fall by their own counsels;
because of their many transgressions cast them out,
 for they have rebelled against you.

But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
 let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them,
 so that those who love your name may exult in you.
For you bless the righteous, O Lord;
 you cover them with favor as with a shield.

Semi-continuous Psalm 128

<A Song of Ascents.>
Happy is everyone who fears the Lord,
 who walks in his ways.
You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands;
 you shall be happy, and it shall go well with you.
Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house;
 your children will be like olive shoots around your table.
Thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord.

The Lord bless you from Zion.
 May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
 all the days of your life.
May you see your children's children.
 Peace be upon Israel!

New Testament Gospel Lesson: Matthew 15:1-9

Wisdom. Manuscript illumination from Scivias (Know the Ways) by

Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands before they eat.” He answered them, “And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? For God said, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘Whoever speaks evil of father or mother must surely die.’ But you say that whoever tells father or mother, ‘Whatever support you might have had from me is given to God,’ then that person need not honor the father. So, for the sake of your tradition, you make void the word of God. You hypocrites! Isaiah prophesied rightly about you when he said:

‘This people honors me with their lips,
 but their hearts are far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
 teaching human precepts as doctrines.¹’”

¹Isaiah 29:13

Year A Ordinary 31, RCL Proper 26 Catholic Proper 31 Wednesday


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 1985 by the Consultation on Common Texts.

Image credit: Hildegard of Bingen's vision of Ecclesia and Sophia, from a medieval codex. Image from Wikimedia Commons, cropped by Michael Gilbertson using Photoshop on 13 May 2016. This is a public domain image.

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