Tuesday: Reflection on the Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time

This week's blog post is here. It has a review of the New International Version, summaries of the week's readings, a wish that the church could settle the meaning of justification, widows, and faith that moves mountains.

More information about the two complementary and semi-continuous series is here: Which Series?

Complementary Hebrew Scripture from the Writings: Ruth 3:14-4:6

So Ruth lay at his feet until morning, but got up before one person could recognize another; for he said, “It must not be known that the woman came to the threshing floor.” Then he said, “Bring the cloak you are wearing and hold it out.” So she held it, and he measured out six measures of barley, and put it on her back; then he went into the city. She came to her mother-in-law, who said, “How did things go with you, my daughter?” Then she told her all that the man had done for her, saying, “He gave me these six measures of barley, for he said, ‘Do not go back to your mother-in-law empty-handed.’” She replied, “Wait, my daughter, until you learn how the matter turns out, for the man will not rest, but will settle the matter today.”

No sooner had Boaz gone up to the gate and sat down there than the next-of-kin, of whom Boaz had spoken, came passing by. So Boaz said, “Come over, friend; sit down here.” And he went over and sat down. Then Boaz took ten men of the elders of the city, and said, “Sit down here”; so they sat down. He then said to the next-of-kin, “Naomi, who has come back from the country of Moab, is selling the parcel of land that belonged to our kinsman Elimelech. So I thought I would tell you of it, and say: Buy it in the presence of those sitting here, and in the presence of the elders of my people. If you will redeem it, redeem it; but if you will not, tell me, so that I may know; for there is no one prior to you to redeem it, and I come after you.” So he said, “I will redeem it.” Then Boaz said, “The day you acquire the field from the hand of Naomi, you are also acquiring Ruth the Moabite, the widow of the dead man, to maintain the dead man's name on his inheritance.” At this, the next-of-kin said, “I cannot redeem it for myself without damaging my own inheritance. Take my right of redemption yourself, for I cannot redeem it.”

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture from the Torah: Genesis 24:11-27

Abraham's servant made the camels kneel down outside the city by the well of water; it was toward evening, the time when women go out to draw water. And he said, “O Lord, God of my master Abraham, please grant me success today and show steadfast love to my master Abraham. I am standing here by the spring of water, and the daughters of the townspeople are coming out to draw water. Let the girl to whom I shall say, ‘Please offer your jar that I may drink,’ and who shall say, ‘Drink, and I will water your camels’—let her be the one whom you have appointed for your servant Isaac. By this I shall know that you have shown steadfast love to my master.”

Before he had finished speaking, there was Rebekah, who was born to Bethuel son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham's brother, coming out with her water jar on her shoulder. The girl was very fair to look upon, a virgin, whom no man had known. She went down to the spring, filled her jar, and came up. Then the servant ran to meet her and said, “Please let me sip a little water from your jar.” “Drink, my lord,” she said, and quickly lowered her jar upon her hand and gave him a drink. When she had finished giving him a drink, she said, “I will draw for your camels also, until they have finished drinking.” So she quickly emptied her jar into the trough and ran again to the well to draw, and she drew for all his camels. The man gazed at her in silence to learn whether or not the Lord had made his journey successful.

When the camels had finished drinking, the man took a gold nose-ring weighing a half shekel, and two bracelets for her arms weighing ten gold shekels, and said, “Tell me whose daughter you are. Is there room in your father's house for us to spend the night?” She said to him, “I am the daughter of Bethuel son of Milcah, whom she bore to Nahor.” She added, “We have plenty of straw and fodder and a place to spend the night.” The man bowed his head and worshiped the Lord and said, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who has not forsaken his steadfast love and his faithfulness toward my master. As for me, the Lord has led me on the way to the house of my master's kin.”

Complementary Psalm 94

O Lord, you God of vengeance,
 you God of vengeance, shine forth!
Rise up, O judge of the earth;
 give to the proud what they deserve!
O Lord, how long shall the wicked,
 how long shall the wicked exult?

They pour out their arrogant words;
 all the evildoers boast.
They crush your people, O Lord,
 and afflict your heritage.
They kill the widow and the stranger,
 they murder the orphan,
and they say, “The Lord does not see;
 the God of Jacob does not perceive.”

Understand, O dullest of the people;
 fools, when will you be wise?
He who planted the ear, does he not hear?
He who formed the eye, does he not see?
He who disciplines the nations,
he who teaches knowledge to humankind,
 does he not chastise?
The Lord knows our thoughts,
 that they are but an empty breath.

Happy are those whom you discipline, O Lord,
 and whom you teach out of your law,
giving them respite from days of trouble,
 until a pit is dug for the wicked.
For the Lord will not forsake his people;
 he will not abandon his heritage;
for justice will return to the righteous,
 and all the upright in heart will follow it.

Who rises up for me against the wicked?
 Who stands up for me against evildoers?
If the Lord had not been my help,
 my soul would soon have lived in the land of silence.
When I thought, “My foot is slipping,”
 your steadfast love, O Lord, held me up.
When the cares of my heart are many,
 your consolations cheer my soul.
Can wicked rulers be allied with you,
 those who contrive mischief by statute?
They band together against the life of the righteous,
 and condemn the innocent to death.
But the Lord has become my stronghold,
 and my God the rock of my refuge.
He will repay them for their iniquity
 and wipe them out for their wickedness;
 the Lord our God will wipe them out.

Semi-continuous Psalm 113

Praise the Lord!
Praise, O servants of the Lord;
 praise the name of the Lord.

Blessed be the name of the Lord
 from this time on and forevermore.
From the rising of the sun to its setting
 the name of the Lord is to be praised.
The Lord is high above all nations,
 and his glory above the heavens.

Who is like the Lord our God,
 who is seated on high,
who looks far down
 on the heavens and the earth?
He raises the poor from the dust,
 and lifts the needy from the ash heap,
to make them sit with princes,
 with the princes of his people.
He gives the barren woman a home,
 making her the joyous mother of children.
Praise the Lord!

New Testament Epistle Lesson: 1 Timothy 5:9-16


Let a widow be put on the list if she is not less than sixty years old and has been married only once; she must be well attested for her good works, as one who has brought up children, shown hospitality, washed the saints' feet, helped the afflicted, and devoted herself to doing good in every way. But refuse to put younger widows on the list; for when their sensual desires alienate them from Christ, they want to marry, and so they incur condemnation for having violated their first pledge. Besides that, they learn to be idle, gadding about from house to house; and they are not merely idle, but also gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not say. So I would have younger widows marry, bear children, and manage their households, so as to give the adversary no occasion to revile us. For some have already turned away to follow Satan. If any believing woman has relatives who are really widows, let her assist them; let the church not be burdened, so that it can assist those who are real widows.

Year B Ordinary 32 Tuesday

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 (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.

Image credit: Widow Streety and family. West Point, Miss. by Lewis Wickes Hine, 1874-1940, photographer, via picryl.com. This is a public domain image.

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