The Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

Roman Catholic Proper 21
Revised Common Lectionary Proper 16

Complementary Hebrew Scripture Lesson from the Latter Prophets: Isaiah 58:9b-14

If you remove the yoke from among you,
 the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil,
if you offer your food to the hungry
 and satisfy the needs of the afflicted,
then your light shall rise in the darkness
 and your gloom be like the noonday.
The Lord will guide you continually,
 and satisfy your needs in parched places,
 and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
 like a spring of water,
 whose waters never fail.
Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt;
 you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
you shall be called the repairer of the breach,
 the restorer of streets to live in.

If you refrain from trampling the sabbath,
 from pursuing your own interests on my holy day;
if you call the sabbath a delight
 and the holy day of the Lord honorable;
if you honor it, not going your own ways,
 serving your own interests, or pursuing your own affairs;
then you shall take delight in the Lord,
 and I will make you ride upon the heights of the earth;
I will feed you with the heritage of your ancestor Jacob,
 for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture from the Latter Prophets: Jeremiah 1:4-10

Hebrew Scripture Lesson from The Latter Prophets: Jeremiah 1:4-10

Now the word of the Lord came to me saying,

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
and before you were born I consecrated you;
I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! Truly I do not know how to speak, for I am only a boy.” But the Lord said to me,

“Do not say, ‘I am only a boy;’
for you shall go to all to whom I send you,
and you shall speak whatever I command you.
Do not be afraid of them,
for I am with you to deliver you,
says the Lord.”

Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth; and the Lord said to me,

“Now I have put my words in your mouth.
See, today I appoint you over nations and over kingdoms,
to pluck up and to pull down,
to destroy and to overthrow,
to build and to plant.”

Complementary Psalm 103:1-8

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
 and all that is within me,
 bless his holy name.

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and do not forget all his benefits—
who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the Pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good as long as you live
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
The Lord works vindication
and justice for all who are oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses,
his acts to the people of Israel.
The Lord is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

Semi-continuous Psalm 71

In you, O Lord, I take refuge;
 let me never be put to shame.
In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me;
 incline your ear to me and save me.
Be to me a rock of refuge,
 a strong fortress, to save me,
 for you are my rock and my fortress.

Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked,
 from the grasp of the unjust and cruel.
For you, O Lord, are my hope,
 my trust, O Lord, from my youth.
Upon you I have leaned from my birth;
 it was you who took me from my mother's womb.
My praise is continually of you.

I have been like a portent to many,
 but you are my strong refuge.
My mouth is filled with your praise,
 and with your glory all day long.
Do not cast me off in the time of old age;
 do not forsake me when my strength is spent.
For my enemies speak concerning me,
 and those who watch for my life consult together.
They say, “Pursue and seize that person
 whom God has forsaken,
 for there is no one to deliver.”

O God, do not be far from me;
 O my God, make haste to help me!
Let my accusers be put to shame and consumed;
 let those who seek to hurt me
 be covered with scorn and disgrace.
But I will hope continually,
 and will praise you yet more and more.
My mouth will tell of your righteous acts,
 of your deeds of salvation all day long,
 though their number is past my knowledge.
I will come praising the mighty deeds of the Lord God,
 I will praise your righteousness, yours alone.

O God, from my youth you have taught me,
 and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds.
So even to old age and grey hairs,
 O God, do not forsake me,
until I proclaim your might
 to all the generations to come.
Your power and your righteousness, O God,
 reach the high heavens.

You who have done great things,
 O God, who is like you?
You who have made me see many troubles and calamities
 will revive me again;
from the depths of the earth
 you will bring me up again.
You will increase my honor,
 and comfort me once again.

I will also praise you with the harp
 for your faithfulness, O my God;
I will sing praises to you with the lyre,
 O Holy One of Israel.
My lips will shout for joy
 when I sing praises to you;
 my soul also, which you have rescued.
All day long my tongue will talk of your righteous help,
for those who tried to do me harm
 have been put to shame, and disgraced.

New Testament Epistle Lesson: Hebrews 12:18-29

You have not come to something that can be touched, a blazing fire, and darkness, and gloom, and a tempest, and the sound of a trumpet, and a voice whose words made the hearers beg that not another word be spoken to them. (For they could not endure the order that was given, “If even an animal touches the mountain, it shall be stoned to death.”¹ Indeed, so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I tremble with fear.”²) But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

See that you do not refuse the one who is speaking; for if they did not escape when they refused the one who warned them on earth, how much less will we escape if we reject the one who warns from heaven! At that time his voice shook the earth; but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heaven.”³ This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of what is shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us give thanks, by which we offer to God an acceptable worship with reverence and awe; for indeed our God is a consuming fire.

¹Exodus 19:12-13   ²see Deuteronomy 9:19   ³Haggai 2:6

New Testament Gospel Lesson: Luke 13:10-17

Healing a Woman on the Sabbath

Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. And just then there appeared a woman with a spirit that had crippled her for eighteen years. She was bent over and was quite unable to stand up straight. When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said, “Woman, you are set free from your ailment.” When he laid his hands on her, immediately she stood up straight and began praising God. But the leader of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had cured on the sabbath, kept saying to the crowd, “There are six days on which work ought to be done; come on those days and be cured, and not on the sabbath day.” But the Lord answered him and said, “You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger, and lead it away to give it water? And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen long years, be set free from this bondage on the sabbath day?” When he said this, all his opponents were put to shame; and the entire crowd was rejoicing at all the wonderful things that he was doing.

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: Healing a Woman on the Sabbath by Matthias Gerung [Public domain], from Ottheinrich-Bibel, Folio 093r, via Wikimedia Commons.

Year C Ordinary 21, Catholic Proper 21, RCL Proper 16: Sunday

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