Friday: Preparation for the Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Roman Catholic Proper 19
Revised Common Lectionary Proper 14

Complementary Hebrew Scripture from the Writings: Ecclesiastes 6:1-6

There is an evil that I have seen under the sun, and it lies heavy upon humankind: those to whom God gives wealth, possessions, and honor, so that they lack nothing of all that they desire, yet God does not enable them to enjoy these things, but a stranger enjoys them. This is vanity; it is a grievous ill. A man may beget a hundred children, and live many years; but however many are the days of his years, if he does not enjoy life's good things, or has no burial, I say that a stillborn child is better off than he. For it comes into vanity and goes into darkness, and in darkness its name is covered; moreover it has not seen the sun or known anything; yet it finds rest rather than he. Even though he should live a thousand years twice over, yet enjoy no good—do not all go to one place?

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture Lesson from the Latter Prophets: Isaiah 9:18—10:4

For wickedness burned like a fire,
 consuming briers and thorns;
it kindled the thickets of the forest,
 and they swirled upward in a column of smoke.
Through the wrath of the Lord of hosts the land was burned,
and the people became like fuel for the fire;
 no one spared another.
They gorged on the right, but still were hungry,
 and they devoured on the left, but were not satisfied;
they devoured the flesh of their own kindred;
Manasseh devoured Ephraim, and Ephraim Manasseh,
 and together they were against Judah.
For all this his anger has not turned away;
 his hand is stretched out still.

Ah, you who make iniquitous decrees,
 who write oppressive statutes,
to turn aside the needy from justice
 and to rob the poor of my people of their right,
that widows may be your spoil,
 and that you may make the orphans your prey!
What will you do on the day of punishment,
 in the calamity that will come from far away?
To whom will you flee for help,
 and where will you leave your wealth,
so as not to crouch among the prisoners
 or fall among the slain?
For all this his anger has not turned away;
 his hand is stretched out still.

Complementary Psalm 33:12-22

Happy is the nation whose God is the Lord,
 the people whom he has chosen as his heritage.
The Lord looks down from heaven;
 he sees all humankind.
From where he sits enthroned
 he watches all the inhabitants of the earth—
he who fashions the hearts of them all,
 and observes all their deeds.
A king is not saved by his great army;
 a warrior is not delivered by his great strength.
The war horse is a vain hope for victory,
 and by its great might it cannot save.

Truly the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him,
 on those who hope in his steadfast love,
to deliver their soul from death,
 and to keep them alive in famine.

Our soul waits for the Lord;
 he is our help and shield.
Our heart is glad in him,
 because we trust in his holy name.
Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us,
 even as we hope in you.

Semi-continuous Psalm 50:1-8, 22-23

The mighty one, God the Lord,
 speaks and summons the earth
 from the rising of the sun to its setting.
Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty,
 God shines forth.

Our God comes and does not keep silence,
before him is a devouring fire,
 and a mighty tempest all around him.
He calls to the heavens above
 and to the earth, that he may judge his people:
“Gather to me my faithful ones,
 who made a covenant with me by sacrifice!”
The heavens declare his righteousness,
 for God himself is judge.

“Hear, O my people, and I will speak,
 O Israel, I will testify against you.
 I am God, your God.
Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you;
your burnt offerings are continually before me.

“Mark this, then, you who forget God,
 or I will tear you apart,
 and there will be no one to deliver.
Those who bring thanksgiving as their sacrifice honor me;
 to those who go the right way
 I will show the salvation of God.”

New Testament Lesson: Acts 7:1-8


[Stephen has been hauled before the Sanhedrin. Opponents have falsely testified that he said Jesus of Narazeth will destroy this place and change the customs Moses gave us.]

Then the high priest asked him, “Are these things so?” And Stephen replied: “Brothers and fathers, listen to me. The God of glory appeared to our ancestor Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran, and said to him, ‘Leave your country and your relatives and go to the land that I will show you.’¹ Then he left the country of the Chaldeans and settled in Haran. After his father died, God had him move from there to this country in which you are now living. He did not give him any of it as a heritage, not even a foot's length, but promised to give it to him as his possession and to his descendants after him, even though he had no child. And God spoke in these terms, that his descendants would be resident aliens in a country belonging to others, who would enslave them and mistreat them during four hundred years. ‘But I will judge the nation that they serve,’ said God, ‘and after that they shall come out and worship me in this place.’² Then he gave him the covenant of circumcision. And so Abraham became the father of Isaac and circumcised him on the eighth day; and Isaac became the father of Jacob, and Jacob of the twelve patriarchs.”

[Stephen's entire defense before the Sanhedrin is in Acts 7:1-53.]

¹Genesis 12:1   ¹Genesis 15:13-14

Year C Ordinary 19, Roman Catholic Proper 19, RCL Proper 14, Friday

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

Unless otherwise indicated, Bible text is from New Revised Standard Version Bible (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 rights reserved.

Image Credit: Image by Wally Gobetz Paris - Latin Quarter: Muse national du Moyen Age - Tenture de chÅ“ur - Scènes de la légende de saint Etienne, downloaded from Flickr. This wool and silk tenture de chœur (choir hanging) featuring "Scnes de la légende de saint Etienne" (Scenes from the story of Saint Etienne), dating to circa 1500 in Brussels, depicts Saint Etienne conversing with Jewish doctors outside le Grand Sanhdrin. licensed under Creative Commons 2.0-by-nc-nd

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