Wednesday: Reflection on the Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

This week's blog post is here. It has a review of the NET Bible, provides context for the lessons about marriage, and has background on Satan and Job.

Complementary Hebrew Scripture from the Latter Prophets: Jeremiah 3:6-14

The Lord said to me in the days of King Josiah: Have you seen what she did, that faithless one, Israel, how she went up on every high hill and under every green tree, and played the whore there? And I thought, “After she has done all this she will return to me”; but she did not return, and her false sister Judah saw it. She saw that for all the adulteries of that faithless one, Israel, I had sent her away with a decree of divorce; yet her false sister Judah did not fear, but she too went and played the whore. Because she took her whoredom so lightly, she polluted the land, committing adultery with stone and tree. Yet for all this her false sister Judah did not return to me with her whole heart, but only in pretense, says the Lord.

Then the Lord said to me: Faithless Israel has shown herself less guilty than false Judah. Go, and proclaim these words toward the north, and say:

Return, faithless Israel,
   says the Lord.
I will not look on you in anger,
 for I am merciful,
   says the Lord;
I will not be angry forever.
Only acknowledge your guilt,
 that you have rebelled against the Lord your God,
and scattered your favors among strangers under every green tree,
 and have not obeyed my voice,
   says the Lord.
Return, O faithless children,
   says the Lord,
for I am your master;
I will take you, one from a city and two from a family,
 and I will bring you to Zion.

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture from the Writings: Job 15

Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered:

“Should the wise answer with windy knowledge,
 and fill themselves with the east wind?
Should they argue in unprofitable talk,
 or in words with which they can do no good?
But you are doing away with the fear of God,
 and hindering meditation before God.
For your iniquity teaches your mouth,
 and you choose the tongue of the crafty.
Your own mouth condemns you, and not I;
 your own lips testify against you.

“Are you the firstborn of the human race?
 Were you brought forth before the hills?
Have you listened in the council of God?
 And do you limit wisdom to yourself?
What do you know that we do not know?
 What do you understand that is not clear to us?
The gray-haired and the aged are on our side,
 those older than your father.
Are the consolations of God too small for you,
 or the word that deals gently with you?
Why does your heart carry you away,
 and why do your eyes flash,
so that you turn your spirit against God,
 and let such words go out of your mouth?
What are mortals, that they can be clean?
 Or those born of woman, that they can be righteous?
God puts no trust even in his holy ones,
 and the heavens are not clean in his sight;
how much less one who is abominable and corrupt,
 one who drinks iniquity like water!

“I will show you; listen to me;
 what I have seen I will declare—
what sages have told,
 and their ancestors have not hidden,
to whom alone the land was given,
 and no stranger passed among them.
The wicked writhe in pain all their days,
 through all the years that are laid up for the ruthless.
Terrifying sounds are in their ears;
 in prosperity the destroyer will come upon them.
They despair of returning from darkness,
 and they are destined for the sword.
They wander abroad for bread, saying, ‘Where is it?’
 They know that a day of darkness is ready at hand;
distress and anguish terrify them;
they prevail against them, like a king prepared for battle.
Because they stretched out their hands against God,
 and bid defiance to the Almighty,
running stubbornly against him
 with a thick-bossed shield;
because they have covered their faces with their fat,
 and gathered fat upon their loins,
they will live in desolate cities,
 in houses that no one should inhabit,
 houses destined to become heaps of ruins;
they will not be rich, and their wealth will not endure,
 nor will they strike root in the earth;
they will not escape from darkness;
 the flame will dry up their shoots,
 and their blossom will be swept away by the wind.
Let them not trust in emptiness, deceiving themselves;
 for emptiness will be their recompense.
It will be paid in full before their time,
 and their branch will not be green.
They will shake off their unripe grape, like the vine,
 and cast off their blossoms, like the olive tree.
For the company of the godless is barren,
 and fire consumes the tents of bribery.
They conceive mischief and bring forth evil
 and their heart prepares deceit.”

Complementary 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;¹
 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.

¹Paul uses this phrase in 2 Corinthians 9:9, urging the Corinthians to give to the collection for the Jerusalem poor. The entire passage is 2 Corinthians 9:1-15.

Semi-continuous Psalm 55:1-15

Give ear to my prayer, O God;
 do not hide yourself from my supplication.
Attend to me, and answer me;
 I am troubled in my complaint.
I am distraught by the noise of the enemy,
 because of the clamor of the wicked.
For they bring trouble upon me,
 and in anger they cherish enmity against me.

My heart is in anguish within me,
 the terrors of death have fallen upon me.
Fear and trembling come upon me,
 and horror overwhelms me.
And I say, “O that I had wings like a dove!
 I would fly away and be at rest;
truly, I would flee far away;
 I would lodge in the wilderness; Selah
I would hurry to find a shelter for myself
 from the raging wind and tempest.”

Confuse, O Lord, confound their speech;
 for I see violence and strife in the city.
Day and night they go around it
 on its walls,
and iniquity and trouble are within it;
 ruin is in its midst;
oppression and fraud
 do not depart from its marketplace.

It is not enemies who taunt me—
 I could bear that;
it is not adversaries who deal insolently with me—
 I could hide from them.
But it is you, my equal,
 my companion, my familiar friend,
with whom I kept pleasant company;
 we walked in the house of God with the throng.
Let death come upon them;
 let them go down alive to Sheol;
 for evil is in their homes and in their hearts.

New Testament Gospel Lesson: Matthew 5:27-36


“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to go into hell.

“It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’¹ But I say to you that anyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of unchastity, causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.²

“Again, you have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but carry out the vows you have made to the Lord.’ But I say to you, Do not swear at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black.”

¹Deuteronomy 24:1    ²There are parallel passages at Matthew 19:9, Mark 10:11-12, and Luke 16:18.

Year B Ordinary 27 Wednesday

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

Unless otherwise indicated, Bible text is from Holy Bible New Revised Standard Version with the Apocryphal / Deuterocanonical Books (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.

Footnotes in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) that show where the passage is used in the Christian Scriptures (New Testament) from the Complete Jewish Bible (Updated) (CJB) by David H. Stern, Copyright © 1998 and 2006 by David H. Stern, used by permission of Messianic Jewish Publishers, All rights reserved worldwide. When text is taken from the CJB, the passage ends with (CJB) and the foregoing copyright notice applies.
Parallel passages are as indicated in the 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.

Footnotes in the Christian Scriptures (New Testament) that show where a passage from the Hebrew Scripture (Old Testament) is used are from The The Holy Bible: New International Version ® (NIV®), copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. When text is taken from the NIV, the passage ends with (NIV) and the foregoing copyright notice applies.

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Image credit: Words from Jimmy Carter

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