Tuesday: Reflection on the Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Complementary Hebrew Scripture from the Former Prophets: 2 Kings 11:21-12:16¹

Jehoash was seven years old when he began to reign.

In the seventh year of Jehu, Jehoash began to reign; he reigned forty years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Zibiah of Beer-sheba. Jehoash did what was right in the sight of the Lord all his days, because the priest Jehoiada instructed him. Nevertheless the high places were not taken away; the people continued to sacrifice and make offerings on the high places.

Jehoash said to the priests, “All the money offered as sacred donations that is brought into the house of the Lord, the money for which each person is assessed—the money from the assessment of persons—and the money from the voluntary offerings brought into the house of the Lord, let the priests receive from each of the donors; and let them repair the house wherever any need of repairs is discovered.” But by the twenty-third year of King Jehoash the priests had made no repairs on the house. Therefore King Jehoash summoned the priest Jehoiada with the other priests and said to them, “Why are you not repairing the house? Now therefore do not accept any more money from your donors but hand it over for the repair of the house.” So the priests agreed that they would neither accept more money from the people nor repair the house.

Then the priest Jehoiada took a chest, made a hole in its lid, and set it beside the altar on the right side as one entered the house of the Lord; the priests who guarded the threshold put in it all the money that was brought into the house of the Lord. Whenever they saw that there was a great deal of money in the chest, the king's secretary and the high priest went up, counted the money that was found in the house of the Lord, and tied it up in bags. They would give the money that was weighed out into the hands of the workers who had the oversight of the house of the Lord; then they paid it out to the carpenters and the builders who worked on the house of the Lord, to the masons and the stonecutters, as well as to buy timber and quarried stone for making repairs on the house of the Lord, as well as for any outlay for repairs of the house. But for the house of the Lord no basins of silver, snuffers, bowls, trumpets, or any vessels of gold, or of silver, were made from the money that was brought into the house of the Lord, for that was given to the workers who were repairing the house of the Lord with it. They did not ask an accounting from those into whose hand they delivered the money to pay out to the workers, for they dealt honestly. The money from the guilt offerings and the money from the sin offerings was not brought into the house of the Lord; it belonged to the priests.

¹There is a parallel passage at 2 Chronicles 24:1-12.

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture from the Writings: Ecclesiastes 4:9-16

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up the other; but woe to one who is alone and falls and does not have another to help. Again, if two lie together, they keep warm; but how can one keep warm alone? And though one might prevail against another, two will withstand one. A threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Better is a poor but wise youth than an old but foolish king, who will no longer take advice. One can indeed come out of prison to reign, even though born poor in the kingdom. I saw all the living who, moving about under the sun, follow that youth who replaced the king; there was no end to all those people whom he led. Yet those who come later will not rejoice in him. Surely this also is vanity and a chasing after wind.

Complementary Psalm 139:1-18

O Lord, you have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
 you discern my thoughts from far away.
You search out my path and my lying down,
 and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
 O Lord, you know it completely.
You hem me in, behind and before,
 and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
 it is so high that I cannot attain it.

Where can I go from your spirit?
 Or where can I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there;
 if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.
If I take the wings of the morning
 and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
 and your right hand shall hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
 and the light around me become night,”
even the darkness is not dark to you;
 the night is as bright as the day,
 for darkness is as light to you.

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.

Semi-continuous Psalm 128

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
 the days of your life.
May you see your children’s children.
 Peace be upon Israel!

New Testament Epistle Lesson: James 5:1-6

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Come now, you rich people, weep and wail for the miseries that are coming to you. Your riches have rotted, and your clothes are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have rusted, and their rust will be evidence against you, and it will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure for the last days. Listen! The wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. You have lived on the earth in luxury and in pleasure; you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered the righteous one, who does not resist you.

Year B Ordinary 25 Tuesday

Selections from Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, copyright © 1995 by the Consultation on Common Texts.

Unless otherwise indicated, Bible text is from The New Revised Standard Version, (NRSV) 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.

Parallel passages are as indicated in The Holy Bible Modern English Version (MEV), copyright © 2014 by Military Bible Association. Used by permission. All rights reserved. When text is taken from the MEV, the passage ends with (MEV) and the foregoing copyright notice applies.

Image credit: James 5 Word Cloud created by Michael Gilbertson WordClouds.com. This image may be used under the Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 2.0 license. Please credit The Lectionary Company.

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