Thursday: Preparation for the Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Roman Catholic Proper 19
Revised Common Lectionary Proper 14

Complementary Hebrew Scripture Lesson from the Writings: Job 21:1-16

[Zohar has just described the fate of the wicked.]

Then Job answered:
“Listen carefully to my words,
 and let this be your consolation.
Bear with me, and I will speak;
 then after I have spoken, mock on.
As for me, is my complaint addressed to mortals?
 Why should I not be impatient?
Look at me, and be appalled,
 and lay your hand upon your mouth.
When I think of it I am dismayed,
 and shuddering seizes my flesh.
Why do the wicked live on,
 reach old age, and grow mighty in power?
Their children are established in their presence,
 and their offspring before their eyes.
Their houses are safe from fear,
 and no rod of God is upon them.
Their bull breeds without fail;
 their cow calves and never miscarries.
They send out their little ones like a flock,
 and their children dance around.
They sing to the tambourine and the lyre,
 and rejoice to the sound of the pipe.
They spend their days in prosperity,
 and in peace they go down to Sheol.
They say to God, ‘Leave us alone!
 We do not desire to know your ways.
What is the Almighty, that we should serve him?
 And what profit do we get if we pray to him?’
Is not their prosperity indeed their own achievement?
 The plans of the wicked are repugnant to me.

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture Lesson from the Latter Prophets: Isaiah 9:8-17

[This immediately follows the passage in which Isaiah declares "For a child has been born to us … Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.]

The Lord sent a word against Jacob,
 and it fell on Israel;
and all the people knew it—
 Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria—
 but in pride and arrogance of heart they said:
“The bricks have fallen,
 but we will build with dressed stones;
the sycamores have been cut down,
 but we will put cedars in their place.”
So the Lord raised adversaries against them,
 and stirred up their enemies,
the Arameans on the east and the Philistines on the west,
 and they devoured Israel with open mouth.
For all this his anger has not turned away;
 his hand is stretched out still.

The people did not turn to him who struck them,
 or seek the Lord of hosts.
So the Lord cut off from Israel head and tail,
 palm branch and reed in one day—
elders and dignitaries are the head,
 and prophets who teach lies are the tail;
for those who led this people led them astray,
 and those who were led by them were left in confusion.
That is why the Lord did not have pity on their young people,
 or compassion on their orphans and widows;
for everyone was godless and an evildoer,
 and every mouth spoke folly.
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 Epistle Lesson: Romans 9:1-9


I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience confirms it by the Holy Spirit—I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my own people, my kindred according to the flesh. They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; to them belong the patriarchs, and from them, according to the flesh, comes the Messiah, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.

It is not as though the word of God had failed. For not all Israelites truly belong to Israel, and not all of Abraham's children are his true descendants; but “It is through Isaac that descendants shall be named for you.”¹ This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as descendants. For this is what the promise said, “About this time I will return and Sarah shall have a son.”²

¹Genesis 21:12   ¹Genesis 18:10, 14

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

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: A Romanian 18th century fresco downloaded from a European Orthodox site

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