Tuesday: Reflection on the Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Revised Common Lectionary Proper 4
Roman Catholic Proper 9

Complementary Hebrew Scripture Lesson from the Torah: Exodus 16:27-36

On the seventh day some of the people went out to gather, and they found none. The Lord said to Moses, “How long will you refuse to keep my commandments and instructions? See! The Lord has given you the sabbath, therefore on the sixth day he gives you food for two days; each of you stay where you are; do not leave your place on the seventh day.” So the people rested on the seventh day.

The house of Israel called it manna; it was like coriander seed, white, and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey. Moses said, “This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Let an omer of it be kept throughout your generations, in order that they may see the food with which I fed you in the wilderness, when I brought you out of the land of Egypt.’” And Moses said to Aaron, “Take a jar, and put an omer of manna in it, and place it before the Lord, to be kept throughout your generations.” As the Lord commanded Moses, so Aaron placed it before the covenant, for safekeeping. The Israelites ate manna forty years, until they came to a habitable land; they ate manna, until they came to the border of the land of Canaan.¹ An omer is a tenth of an ephah.

¹One reading of Acts 13:18 is “For about forty years God cared for them in the wilderness.”

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture Lesson from the Former Prophets: 1 Samuel 2:18-21

Samuel was ministering before the Lord, a boy wearing a linen ephod. His mother used to make for him a little robe and take it to him each year, when she went up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice. Then Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, and say, “May the Lord repay you with children by this woman for the gift that she made to the Lord”; and then they would return to their home.

And the Lord took note of Hannah; she conceived and bore three sons and two daughters. And the boy Samuel grew up in the presence of the Lord.

Complementary Psalm 78:1-4, 52-72

Give ear, O my people, to my teaching;
 incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
I will open my mouth in a parable;
 I will utter dark sayings from of old,
things that we have heard and known,
 that our ancestors have told us.
We will not hide them from their children;
 we will tell to the coming generation
the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might,
 and the wonders that he has done.

Then he led out his people like sheep,
 and guided them in the wilderness like a flock.
He led them in safety, so that they were not afraid;
 but the sea overwhelmed their enemies.
And he brought them to his holy hill,
 to the mountain that his right hand had won.
He drove out nations before them;
 he apportioned them for a possession
 and settled the tribes of Israel in their tents.

Yet they tested the Most High God,
 and rebelled against him.
They did not observe his decrees,
 but turned away and were faithless like their ancestors;
 they twisted like a treacherous bow.
For they provoked him to anger with their high places;
 they moved him to jealousy with their idols.
When God heard, he was full of wrath,
 and he utterly rejected Israel.
He abandoned his dwelling at Shiloh,
 the tent where he dwelt among mortals,
and delivered his power to captivity,
 his glory to the hand of the foe.
He gave his people to the sword,
 and vented his wrath on his heritage.
Fire devoured their young men,
 and their girls had no marriage song.
Their priests fell by the sword,
 and their widows made no lamentation.
Then the Lord awoke as from sleep,
 like a warrior shouting because of wine.
He put his adversaries to rout;
 he put them to everlasting disgrace.

He rejected the tent of Joseph,
 he did not choose the tribe of Ephraim;
but he chose the tribe of Judah,
 Mount Zion, which he loves.
He built his sanctuary like the high heavens,
 like the earth, which he has founded forever.
He chose his servant David,
 and took him from the sheepfolds;
from tending the nursing ewes he brought him
 to be the shepherd of his people Jacob,
 of Israel, his inheritance.
With upright heart he tended them,
 and guided them with skillful hand.

Semi-continuous Psalm 99

The Lord is king; let the peoples tremble!
He sits enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth quake!
The Lord is great in Zion;
 he is exalted over all the peoples.
Let them praise your great and awesome name.
Holy is he!
Mighty King, lover of justice,
 you have established equity;
you have executed justice
 and righteousness in Jacob.
Extol the Lord our God;
 worship at his footstool.
Holy is he!

Moses and Aaron were among his priests,
 Samuel also was among those who called on his name.
They cried to the Lord, and he answered them.
He spoke to them in the pillar of cloud;
 they kept his decrees,
 and the statutes that he gave them.

O Lord our God, you answered them;
 you were a forgiving God to them,
 but an avenger of their wrongdoings.
Extol the Lord our God,
 and worship at his holy mountain;
 for the Lord our God is holy.

New Testament Lesson: Acts 15:1-5, 22-35

St. James the Just

Then certain individuals came down from Judea and were teaching the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” And after Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and debate with them, Paul and Barnabas and some of the others were appointed to go up to Jerusalem to discuss this question with the apostles and the elders. So they were sent on their way by the church, and as they passed through both Phoenicia and Samaria, they reported the conversion of the Gentiles, and brought great joy to all the believers. When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and the elders, and they reported all that God had done with them. But some believers who belonged to the sect of the Pharisees stood up and said, “It is necessary for them to be circumcised and ordered to keep the law of Moses.”

Then the apostles and the elders, with the consent of the whole church, decided to choose men from among their members and to send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They sent Judas called Barsabbas, and Silas, leaders among the brothers, with the following letter: “The brothers, both the apostles and the elders, to the believers of Gentile origin in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia, greetings. Since we have heard that certain persons who have gone out from us, though with no instructions from us, have said things to disturb you and have unsettled your minds, we have decided unanimously to choose representatives and send them to you, along with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, who have risked their lives for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ. We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who themselves will tell you the same things by word of mouth. For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to impose on you no further burden than these essentials: that you abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols and from blood and from what is strangled and from fornication. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell.”

So they were sent off and went down to Antioch. When they gathered the congregation together, they delivered the letter. When its members read it, they rejoiced at the exhortation. Judas and Silas, who were themselves prophets, said much to encourage and strengthen the believers. After they had been there for some time, they were sent off in peace by the believers to those who had sent them. But Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch, and there, with many others, they taught and proclaimed the word of the Lord.

Year B Ordinary 9, RCL Proper 4, Catholic Proper 9 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.

Footnotes in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) that show where the passage is used in the Christian Scriptures (New Testament) from Complete Jewish Bible (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.

Image credit: St. James the Just by an unknown icon writer, via Wikimedia Commons. James' judgment was adopted in the Apostolic Decree of Acts 15:19-29. This is a public domain image.

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