Wednesday: Reflection on the Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Revised Common Lectionary Proper 14
Roman Catholic Proper 19
Until Advent we have two series of readings, complementary and semi-continuous. Most denominations allow pastors to choose from either series. More information about the two series is here: Which Series?
Complementary Hebrew Scripture: Job 36:24-33, 37:14-24
“Remember to extol his work,
of which mortals have sung.
All people have looked on it;
everyone watches it from far away.
Surely God is great, and we do not know him;
the number of his years is unsearchable.
For he draws up the drops of water;
he distills his mist in rain,
which the skies pour down
and drop upon mortals abundantly.
Can anyone understand the spreading of the clouds,
the thunderings of his pavilion?
See, he scatters his lightning around him
and covers the roots of the sea.
For by these he governs peoples;
he gives food in abundance.
He covers his hands with the lightning,
and commands it to strike the mark.
Its crashing tells about him;
he is jealous with anger against iniquity.
“Hear this, O Job;
stop and consider the wondrous works of God.
Do you know how God lays his command upon them,
and causes the lightning of his cloud to shine?
Do you know the balancings of the clouds,
the wondrous works of the one
whose knowledge is perfect,
you whose garments are hot
when the earth is still because of the south wind?
Can you, like him, spread out the skies,
hard as a molten mirror?
Teach us what we shall say to him;
we cannot draw up our case because of darkness.
Should he be told that I want to speak?
Did anyone ever wish to be swallowed up?
Now, no one can look on the light when it is bright in the skies,
when the wind has passed and cleared them.
Out of the north comes golden splendor;
around God is awesome majesty.
The Almighty-- we cannot find him;
he is great in power and justice,
and abundant righteousness he will not violate.
Therefore mortals fear him;
he does not regard any who are wise
in their own conceit.”
Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture: Genesis 40
Some time after this, the cupbearer of the king of Egypt and his baker offended their lord the king of Egypt. Pharaoh was angry with his two officers, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker, and he put them in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, in the prison where Joseph was confined. The captain of the guard charged Joseph with them, and he waited on them; and they continued for some time in custody. One night they both dreamed-- the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were confined in the prison-- each his own dream, and each dream with its own meaning. When Joseph came to them in the morning, he saw that they were troubled. So he asked Pharaoh's officers, who were with him in custody in his master's house, “Why are your faces downcast today?” They said to him, “We have had dreams, and there is no one to interpret them.” And Joseph said to them, “Do not interpretations belong to God? Please tell them to me.”
So the chief cupbearer told his dream to Joseph, and said to him, “In my dream there was a vine before me, and on the vine there were three branches. As soon as it budded, its blossoms came out and the clusters ripened into grapes. Pharaoh's cup was in my hand; and I took the grapes and pressed them into Pharaoh's cup, and placed the cup in Pharaoh's hand.” Then Joseph said to him, “This is its interpretation: the three branches are three days; within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your office; and you shall place Pharaoh's cup in his hand, just as you used to do when you were his cupbearer. But remember me when it is well with you; please do me the kindness to make mention of me to Pharaoh, and so get me out of this place. For in fact I was stolen out of the land of the Hebrews; and here also I have done nothing that they should have put me into the dungeon.”
When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was favorable, he said to Joseph, “I also had a dream: there were three cake baskets on my head, and in the uppermost basket there were all sorts of baked food for Pharaoh, but the birds were eating it out of the basket on my head.” And Joseph answered, “This is its interpretation: the three baskets are three days; within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head-- from you!-- and hang you on a pole; and the birds will eat the flesh from you.”
On the third day, which was Pharaoh's birthday, he made a feast for all his servants, and lifted up the head of the chief cupbearer and the head of the chief baker among his servants. He restored the chief cupbearer to his cupbearing, and he placed the cup in Pharaoh's hand; but the chief baker he hanged, just as Joseph had interpreted to them. Yet the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph, but forgot him.
Complementary Psalm 18:1-19
I love you, O Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer,
my God, my rock in whom I take refuge,
my shield, and the horn of my salvation,
I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised,
so I shall be saved from my enemies.
The cords of death encompassed me;
the torrents of perdition assailed me;
the cords of Sheol entangled me;
the snares of death confronted me.
In my distress I called upon the Lord;
to my God I cried for help.
From his temple he heard my voice,
and my cry to him reached his ears.
Then the earth reeled and rocked;
the foundations also of the mountains
trembled and quaked,
because he was angry.
Smoke went up from his nostrils,
and devouring fire from his mouth;
glowing coals flamed forth from him.
He bowed the heavens, and came down;
thick darkness was under his feet.
He rode on a cherub, and flew;
he came swiftly upon the wings of the wind.
He made darkness his covering around him,
his canopy thick clouds dark with water.
Out of the brightness before him
there broke through his clouds hailstones
and coals of fire.
The Lord also thundered in the heavens,
and the Most High uttered his voice.
And he sent out his arrows, and scattered them;
he flashed forth lightnings, and routed them.
Then the channels of the sea were seen,
and the foundations of the world were laid bare
at your rebuke, O Lord,
at the blast of the breath of your nostrils.
He reached down from on high, he took me;
he drew me out of mighty waters.
He delivered me from my strong enemy,
and from those who hated me;
for they were too mighty for me.
They confronted me in the day of my calamity;
but the Lord was my support.
He brought me out into a broad place;
he delivered me, because he delighted in me.
Semi-continuous Psalm 28
To you, O Lord, I call;
my rock, do not refuse to hear me,
for if you are silent to me,
I shall be like those who go down to the Pit.
Hear the voice of my supplication,
as I cry to you for help,
as I lift up my hands
toward your most holy sanctuary.
Do not drag me away with the wicked,
with those who are workers of evil,
who speak peace with their neighbors,
while mischief is in their hearts.
Repay them according to their work,
and according to the evil of their deeds;
repay them according to the work of their hands;
render them their due reward.
Because they do not regard the works of the Lord,
or the work of his hands,
he will break them down and build them up no more.
Blessed be the Lord,
for he has heard the sound of my pleadings.
The Lord is my strength and my shield;
in him my heart trusts;
so I am helped, and my heart exults,
and with my song I give thanks to him.
The Lord is the strength of his people;
he is the saving refuge of his anointed.
O save your people, and bless your heritage;
be their shepherd, and carry them forever.
New Testament Gospel Lesson: Matthew 8:23-27
And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. A windstorm arose on the sea, so great that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him up, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, you of little faith?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a dead calm. They were amazed, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him?”
Year A Ordinary 19, RCL Proper 14, Catholic Proper 19 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: The Storm on the Sea of Galilee by Rembrandt, via Wikimedia Commons. This is a public domain image.