Saturday Readings: Preparation for the Fifth Sunday after Epiphany (Year A : Epiphany 5.3)

Hebrew Scripture: Isaiah 29:13-16

The Lord said:
Because these people draw near with their mouths
and honor me with their lips,
while their hearts are far from me,
and their worship of me
is a human commandment learned by rote;
so I will again do amazing things with this people,
shocking and amazing.

The wisdom of their wise shall perish,
and the discernment of the discerning shall be hidden.

Ha! You who hide a plan too deep for the Lord,
whose deeds are in the dark,
and who say, “Who sees us? Who knows us?”
You turn things upside down!

Shall the potter be regarded as the clay?
Shall the thing made say of its maker,
“He did not make me”;
or the thing formed say of the one who formed it,
“He has no understanding”?

Psalm 112

Praise the Lord! Happy are those who fear the Lord,
who greatly delight in his commandments.

Their descendants will be mighty in the land;
the generation of the upright will be blessed.

Wealth and riches are in their houses,
and their righteousness endures forever.

They rise in the darkness as a light for the upright;
they are gracious, merciful, and righteous.

It is well with those who deal generously and lend,
who conduct their affairs with justice.

For the righteous will never be moved;
they will be remembered forever.

They are not afraid of evil tidings;
their hearts are firm, secure in the Lord.

Their hearts are steady, they will not be afraid;
in the end they will look in triumph on their foes.

They have distributed freely,
they have given to the poor;
their righteousness endures forever;
their horn is exalted in honor.

The wicked see it and are angry;
they gnash their teeth and melt away;
the desire of the wicked comes to nothing.

New Testament Gospel Lesson: Mark 7:1-8

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Now when the Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around him [Jesus], they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with defiled hands, that is, without washing them. (For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they thoroughly wash their hands, thus observing the tradition of the elders; and they do not eat anything from the market unless they wash it; and there are also many other traditions that they observe, the washing of cups, pots, and bronze kettles.) So the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not live according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?” He said to them, “Isaiah prophesied rightly about you hypocrites, as it is written,

‘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.’

You abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition.”

The first part of the quotation is Isaiah 29:13 (the first reading).

Year A Epiphany 5 Saturday

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:  Combined image by Michael Gilbertson for The Lectionary Company. Wood background: https://freestocktextures.com/texture/nature-wood-rotten,442.html. This image may be freely used under the Creative Commons 2.5 Share Alike License.

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