Thursday: Preparation for the Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Revised Common Lectionary Proper 18
Roman Catholic Proper 23
Complementary Hebrew Scripture: Ezekiel 24:1-14
In the ninth year, in the tenth month, on the tenth day of the month, the word of the Lord came to me: Mortal, write down the name of this day, this very day. The king of Babylon has laid siege to Jerusalem this very day. And utter an allegory to the rebellious house and say to them,
Thus says the Lord GOD:
Set on the pot, set it on, pour in water also;
put in it the pieces, all the good pieces,
the thigh and the shoulder;
fill it with choice bones.
Take the choicest one of the flock,
pile the logs under it;
boil its pieces, seethe also its bones in it.
Therefore thus says the Lord GOD:
Woe to the bloody city, the pot whose rust is in it,
whose rust has not gone out of it!
Empty it piece by piece, making no choice at all.
For the blood she shed is inside it;
she placed it on a bare rock;
she did not pour it out on the ground,
to cover it with earth.
To rouse my wrath, to take vengeance,
I have placed the blood she shed on a bare rock,
so that it may not be covered.
Therefore thus says the Lord GOD:
Woe to the bloody city! I will even make the pile great.
Heap up the logs, kindle the fire;
boil the meat well, mix in the spices,
let the bones be burned.
Stand it empty upon the coals, so that it may become hot,
its copper glow, its filth melt in it, its rust be consumed.
In vain I have wearied myself;
its thick rust does not depart.
To the fire with its rust!
Yet, when I cleansed you in your filthy lewdness,
you did not become clean from your filth;
you shall not again be cleansed until I have satisfied my fury upon you.
I the Lord have spoken; the time is coming, I will act. I will not refrain, I will not spare, I will not relent. According to your ways and your doings I will judge you, says the Lord GOD.
Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture: Exodus 9:1-7
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh, and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of the Hebrews: Let my people go, so that they may worship me. For if you refuse to let them go and still hold them, the hand of the Lord will strike with a deadly pestilence your livestock in the field: the horses, the donkeys, the camels, the herds, and the flocks. But the Lord will make a distinction between the livestock of Israel and the livestock of Egypt, so that nothing shall die of all that belongs to the Israelites.’” The Lord set a time, saying, “Tomorrow the Lord will do this thing in the land.” And on the next day the Lord did so; all the livestock of the Egyptians died, but of the livestock of the Israelites not one died. Pharaoh inquired and found that not one of the livestock of the Israelites was dead. But the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, and he would not let the people go.
Complementary Psalm 119:33-40
Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes,
and I will observe it to the end.
Give me understanding,
that I may keep your law
and observe it with my whole heart.
Lead me in the path of your commandments,
for I delight in it.
Turn my heart to your decrees,
and not to selfish gain.
Turn my eyes from looking at vanities;
give me life in your ways.
Confirm to your servant your promise,
which is for those who fear you.
Turn away the disgrace that I dread,
for your ordinances are good.
See, I have longed for your precepts;
in your righteousness give me life.
Semi-continuous Psalm 149
Praise the Lord!
Sing to the Lord a new song,
his praise in the assembly of the faithful.
Let Israel be glad in its Maker;
let the children of Zion rejoice in their King.
Let them praise his name with dancing,
making melody to him with tambourine and lyre.
For the Lord takes pleasure in his people;
he adorns the humble with victory.
Let the faithful exult in glory;
let them sing for joy on their couches.
Let the high praises of God be in their throats and two-edged swords in their hands,
to execute vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples,
to bind their kings with fetters and their nobles with chains of iron,
to execute on them the judgment decreed.
This is glory for all his faithful ones.
Praise the Lord!
New Testament Epistle Lesson: 2 Corinthians 12:11-21
I have been a fool! You forced me to it. Indeed you should have been the ones commending me, for I am not at all inferior to these super-apostles, even though I am nothing. The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with utmost patience, signs and wonders and mighty works. How have you been worse off than the other churches, except that I myself did not burden you? Forgive me this wrong!
Here I am, ready to come to you this third time. And I will not be a burden, because I do not want what is yours but you; for children ought not to lay up for their parents, but parents for their children. I will most gladly spend and be spent for you. If I love you more, am I to be loved less? Let it be assumed that I did not burden you. Nevertheless (you say) since I was crafty, I took you in by deceit. Did I take advantage of you through any of those whom I sent to you? I urged Titus to go, and sent the brother with him. Titus did not take advantage of you, did he? Did we not conduct ourselves with the same spirit? Did we not take the same steps?
Have you been thinking all along that we have been defending ourselves before you? We are speaking in Christ before God. Everything we do, beloved, is for the sake of building you up. For I fear that when I come, I may find you not as I wish, and that you may find me not as you wish; I fear that there may perhaps be quarreling, jealousy, anger, selfishness, slander, gossip, conceit, and disorder. I fear that when I come again, my God may humble me before you, and that I may have to mourn over many who previously sinned and have not repented of the impurity, sexual immorality, and licentiousness that they have practiced.
Year A Ordinary 23, RCL Proper 18, Catholic Proper 23 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 1985 by the Consultation on Common Texts.
Image Credit: Build You Up created by Michael Gilbertson for The Lectionary Company. This image may be used used under the Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike License 4.0.