Saturday: Preparation for the Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

This week's blog post is here. It has a review of The Message Bible translation, the fate of the rich in God's kingdom, background on Lazarus, information on Job's friends, and more.

Complementary Hebrew Scripture from the Minor Prophets: Amos 3:13-4:5

Hear, and testify against the house of Jacob,
 says the Lord God, the God of hosts:
On the day I punish Israel for its transgressions,
 I will punish the altars of Bethel,
and the horns of the altar shall be cut off
 and fall to the ground.
I will tear down the winter house as well as the summer house;
 and the houses of ivory shall perish,
and the great houses shall come to an end,
   says the Lord.

Hear this word, you cows of Bashan
 who are on Mount Samaria,
who oppress the poor, who crush the needy,
 who say to their husbands, “Bring something to drink!”
The Lord God has sworn by his holiness:
 The time is surely coming upon you,
when they shall take you away with hooks,
 even the last of you with fishhooks.
Through breaches in the wall you shall leave,
 each one straight ahead;
 and you shall be flung out into Harmon,
   says the Lord.

Come to Bethel—and transgress;
 to Gilgal—and multiply transgression;
bring your sacrifices every morning,
 your tithes every three days;
bring a thank-offering of leavened bread,
 and proclaim freewill offerings, publish them;
 for so you love to do, O people of Israel!
   says the Lord God.

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture from the Writings: Job 20

Then Zophar the Naamathite answered:
“Pay attention! My thoughts urge me to answer,
 because of the agitation within me.
I hear censure that insults me,
 and a spirit beyond my understanding answers me.
Do you not know this from of old,
 ever since mortals were placed on earth,
that the exulting of the wicked is short,
 and the joy of the godless is but for a moment?
Even though they mount up high as the heavens,
 and their head reaches to the clouds,
they will perish forever like their own dung;
 those who have seen them will say, ‘Where are they?’
They will fly away like a dream, and not be found;
 they will be chased away like a vision of the night.
The eye that saw them will see them no more,
 nor will their place behold them any longer.
Their children will seek the favor of the poor,
 and their hands will give back their wealth.
Their bodies, once full of youth,
 will lie down in the dust with them.

“Though wickedness is sweet in their mouth,
 though they hide it under their tongues,
though they are loath to let it go,
 and hold it in their mouths,
yet their food is turned in their stomachs;
 it is the venom of asps within them.
They swallow down riches and vomit them up again;
 God casts them out of their bellies.
They will suck the poison of asps;
 the tongue of a viper will kill them.
They will not look on the rivers,
 the streams flowing with honey and curds.
They will give back the fruit of their toil,
 and will not swallow it down;
from the profit of their trading
 they will get no enjoyment.
For they have crushed and abandoned the poor,
 they have seized a house that they did not build.

“They knew no quiet in their bellies;
 in their greed they let nothing escape.
There was nothing left after they had eaten;
 therefore their prosperity will not endure.
In full sufficiency they will be in distress;
 all the force of misery will come upon them.
To fill their belly to the full
 God will send his fierce anger into them,
 and rain it upon them as their food.
They will flee from an iron weapon;
 a bronze arrow will strike them through.
It is drawn forth and comes out of their body,
 and the glittering point comes out of their gall;
 terrors come upon them.
Utter darkness is laid up for their treasures;
 a fire fanned by no one will devour them;
 what is left in their tent will be consumed.
The heavens will reveal their iniquity,
 and the earth will rise up against them.
The possessions of their house will be carried away,
 dragged off in the day of God's wrath.
This is the portion of the wicked from God,
 the heritage decreed for them by God.”

Complementary Psalm 90:12-17

So teach us to count our days
 that we may gain a wise heart.

Turn, O Lord! How long?
 Have compassion on your servants!
Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
 so that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
Make us glad as many days as you have afflicted us,
 and as many years as we have seen evil.
Let your work be manifest to your servants,
 and your glorious power to their children.
Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,
 and prosper for us the work of our hands—
 O prosper the work of our hands!

Semi-continuous Psalm 22:1-15

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?¹
Why are you so far from helping me,
 from the words of my groaning?
O my God, I cry by day,
 but you do not answer;
 and by night, but find no rest.
Yet you are holy,
 enthroned on the praises of Israel.
In you our ancestors trusted;
 they trusted, and you delivered them.
To you they cried, and were saved;
 in you they trusted, and were not put to shame.

But I am a worm, and not human;
 scorned by others,
 and despised by the people.
All who see me mock at me;
 they make mouths at me,
they shake their heads;
“Commit your cause to the Lord;
let him deliver—
 let him rescue the one in whom he delights!”²

Yet it was you who took me from the womb;
 you kept me safe on my mother's breast.
On you I was cast from my birth,
 and since my mother bore me you have been my God.
Do not be far from me,
 for trouble is near
 and there is no one to help.

Many bulls encircle me,
 strong bulls of Bashan surround me;
they open wide their mouths at me,
 like a ravening and roaring lion.

I am poured out like water,
 and all my bones are out of joint;
my heart is like wax;
 it is melted within my breast;
my mouth is dried up like a potsherd,
 and my tongue sticks to my jaws;
 you lay me in the dust of death.

¹Jesus, on the cross as he is dying, says these words, as recorded in Matthew 27:45-56 and Mark 15:33-41
²This passage, starting with “All those who see me mock me” is reflected in accounts of the crucifixion in
Luke 23:35-36 and Matthew 27:39-44.

New Testament Gospel Lesson: Matthew 15:1-9¹

The Disciples Plucking Grain on the Sabbath

Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands before they eat.” He answered them, “And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? For God said, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’² and, ‘Whoever speaks evil of father or mother must surely die.’³ But you say that whoever tells father or mother, ‘Whatever support you might have had from me is given to God,’ then that person need not honor the father. So, for the sake of your tradition, you make void the word of God. You hypocrites! Isaiah prophesied rightly about you when he said:

‘This people honors me with their lips,
 but their hearts are far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
 teaching human precepts as doctrines.’”*

¹There is a parallel passage at Mark 7:1-23.
²Exodus 20:12 and Deuteronomy 5:16   ³Exodus 21:17 and Leviticus 20:9    *Isaiah 29:13

Year B Ordinary 28 Saturday

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, www.messianicjewish.net. All rights reserved worldwide. When text is taken from the CJB, the passage ends with (CJB) 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.

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.

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Image credit: The Disciples Plucking Grain on the Sabbath, image from The Bible Panorama, or the Holy Scriptures in Picture and Story by William A. Foster, via Wikimedia Commons. This is a public domain image.

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