Monday: Reflection on the Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Revised Common Lectionary Proper 11
Roman Catholic Proper 16
Complementary Hebrew Scripture: Nahum 1:1-13
An oracle concerning Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum of Elkosh.
A jealous and avenging God is the Lord,
the Lord is avenging and wrathful;
the Lord takes vengeance on his adversaries
and rages against his enemies.
The Lord is slow to anger but great in power,
and the Lord will by no means clear the guilty.
His way is in whirlwind and storm,
and the clouds are the dust of his feet.
He rebukes the sea and makes it dry,
and he dries up all the rivers;
Bashan and Carmel wither,
and the bloom of Lebanon fades.
The mountains quake before him, and the hills melt;
the earth heaves before him,
the world and all who live in it.
Who can stand before his indignation?
Who can endure the heat of his anger?
His wrath is poured out like fire,
and by him the rocks are broken in pieces.
The Lord is good, a stronghold in a day of trouble;
he protects those who take refuge in him,
even in a rushing flood.
He will make a full end of his adversaries,
and will pursue his enemies into darkness.
Why do you plot against the Lord?
He will make an end;
no adversary will rise up twice.
Like thorns they are entangled,
like drunkards they are drunk;
they are consumed like dry straw.
From you one has gone out who plots evil against the Lord,
one who counsels wickedness.
Thus says the Lord,
“Though they are at full strength and many,
they will be cut off and pass away.
Though I have afflicted you,
I will afflict you no more.
And now I will break off his yoke from you
and snap the bonds that bind you.”
Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture: Genesis 32:3-21
Jacob sent messengers before him to his brother Esau in the land of Seir, the country of Edom, instructing them, “Thus you shall say to my lord Esau: Thus says your servant Jacob, ‘I have lived with Laban as an alien, and stayed until now; and I have oxen, donkeys, flocks, male and female slaves; and I have sent to tell my lord, in order that I may find favor in your sight.’”
The messengers returned to Jacob, saying, “We came to your brother Esau, and he is coming to meet you, and four hundred men are with him.” Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed; and he divided the people that were with him, and the flocks and herds and camels, into two companies, thinking, “If Esau comes to the one company and destroys it, then the company that is left will escape.”
And Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, O Lord who said to me, ‘Return to your country and to your kindred, and I will do you good,’ I am not worthy of the least of all the steadfast love and all the faithfulness that you have shown to your servant, for with only my staff I crossed this Jordan; and now I have become two companies. Deliver me, please, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau, for I am afraid of him; he may come and kill us all, the mothers with the children. Yet you have said, ‘I will surely do you good, and make your offspring as the sand of the sea, which cannot be counted because of their number.’”
So he spent that night there, and from what he had with him he took a present for his brother Esau, two hundred female goats and twenty male goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams, thirty milch camels and their colts, forty cows and ten bulls, twenty female donkeys and ten male donkeys. These he delivered into the hand of his servants, every drove by itself, and said to his servants, “Pass on ahead of me, and put a space between drove and drove.” He instructed the foremost, “When Esau my brother meets you, and asks you, ‘To whom do you belong? Where are you going? And whose are these ahead of you?’ then you shall say, ‘They belong to your servant Jacob; they are a present sent to my lord Esau; and moreover he is behind us.’” He likewise instructed the second and the third and all who followed the droves, “You shall say the same thing to Esau when you meet him, and you shall say, ‘Moreover your servant Jacob is behind us.’” For he thought, “I may appease him with the present that goes ahead of me, and afterwards I shall see his face; perhaps he will accept me.” So the present passed on ahead of him; and he himself spent that night in the camp.
Complementary Psalm 75
We give thanks to you, O God;
we give thanks; your name is near.
People tell of your wondrous deeds.
At the set time that I appoint I will judge with equity.
When the earth totters,
with all its inhabitants,
it is I who keep its pillars steady. Selah
I say to the boastful, “Do not boast,”
and to the wicked, “Do not lift up your horn;
do not lift up your horn on high,
or speak with insolent neck.”
For not from the east or from the west
and not from the wilderness comes lifting up;
but it is God who executes judgment,
putting down one and lifting up another.
For in the hand of the Lord
there is a cup with foaming wine, well mixed;
he will pour a draught from it,
and all the wicked of the earth
shall drain it down to the dregs.
But I will rejoice forever;
I will sing praises to the God of Jacob.
All the horns of the wicked I will cut off,
but the horns of the righteous shall be exalted.
Semi-continuous Psalm 139:13-18
For it was you who formed my inward parts;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
that I know very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes beheld my unformed substance.
In your book were written
all the days that were formed for me,
when none of them as yet existed.
How weighty to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
I try to count them—
they are more than the sand;
I come to the end—I am still with you.
New Testament Epistle Lesson: Revelation 14:12-20
Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and hold fast to the faith of Jesus.
And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who from now on die in the Lord.” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them.”
Then I looked, and there was a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was one like the Son of Man, with a golden crown on his head, and a sharp sickle in his hand! Another angel came out of the temple, calling with a loud voice to the one who sat on the cloud, “Use your sickle and reap, for the hour to reap has come, because the harvest of the earth is fully ripe.” So the one who sat on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the earth was reaped.
Then another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle. Then another angel came out from the altar, the angel who has authority over fire, and he called with a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle, “Use your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for its grapes are ripe.” So the angel swung his sickle over the earth and gathered the vintage of the earth, and he threw it into the great wine press of the wrath of God. And the wine press was trodden outside the city, and blood flowed from the wine press, as high as a horse's bridle, for a distance of about two hundred miles.
Year A Ordinary 16, RCL Proper 11, Catholic Proper 16 Monday
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 Consultation on Common Texts.
Image Credit: Reaping Angel image from page 386 of "Illustrations of prophecy : particularly the evening and morning visions of Daniel, and the apocalyptical visions of John" (1840), Flickr. This is a public domain image.