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

Roman Catholic Proper 22
Common Lectionary Proper 17

Complementary Hebrew Scripture Lesson from the Latter Prophets: Isaiah 2:12-17

For the Lord of hosts has a day
 against all that is proud and lofty,
 against all that is lifted up and high;
against all the cedars of Lebanon,
 lofty and lifted up;
 and against all the oaks of Bashan;
against all the high mountains,
 and against all the lofty hills;
against every high tower,
 and against every fortified wall;
against all the ships of Tarshish,
 and against all the beautiful craft.
The haughtiness of people shall be humbled,
 and the pride of everyone shall be brought low;
 and the Lord alone will be exalted on that day.

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture from the Latter Prophets: Jeremiah 3:1-14

[Israel is the northern kingdom and Judah the southern one.]

If a man divorces his wife
 and she goes from him
and becomes another man's wife,
 will he return to her?
Would not such a land be greatly polluted?
You have played the whore with many lovers;
 and would you return to me?
   says the Lord.
Look up to the bare heights, and see!
 Where have you not been lain with?
By the waysides you have sat waiting for lovers,
 like a nomad in the wilderness.
You have polluted the land with
 your whoring and wickedness.
Therefore the showers have been withheld,
 and the spring rain has not come;
yet you have the forehead of a whore,
 you refuse to be ashamed.
Have you not just now called to me,
 “My Father, you are the friend of my youth—
will he be angry forever, will he be indignant to the end?”
This is how you have spoken,
 but you have done all the evil that you could.

The Lord said to me in the days of King Josiah: Have you seen what she did, that faithless one, Israel, how she went up on every high hill and under every green tree, and played the whore there? And I thought, “After she has done all this she will return to me”; but she did not return, and her false sister Judah saw it. She saw that for all the adulteries of that faithless one, Israel, I had sent her away with a decree of divorce; yet her false sister Judah did not fear, but she too went and played the whore. Because she took her whoredom so lightly, she polluted the land, committing adultery with stone and tree. Yet for all this her false sister Judah did not return to me with her whole heart, but only in pretense, says the Lord.

Then the Lord said to me: Faithless Israel has shown herself less guilty than false Judah. Go, and proclaim these words toward the north, and say:

Return, faithless Israel,
   says the Lord.
I will not look on you in anger, for I am merciful,
   says the Lord.
I will not be angry forever.
Only acknowledge your guilt,
 that you have rebelled against the Lord your God,
and scattered your favors among strangers under every green tree,
 and have not obeyed my voice,
   says the Lord.
Return, O faithless children,
   says the Lord,
 for I am your master;
I will take you, one from a city and two from a family,
 and I will bring you to Zion.

Complementary Psalm 119:65-72

You have dealt well with your servant,
 O Lord, according to your word.
Teach me good judgment and knowledge,
 for I believe in your commandments.
Before I was humbled I went astray,
 but now I keep your word.
You are good and do good;
 teach me your statutes.
The arrogant smear me with lies,
 but with my whole heart I keep your precepts.
Their hearts are fat and gross,
 but I delight in your law.
It is good for me that I was humbled,
 so that I might learn your statutes.
The law of your mouth is better to me
 than thousands of gold and silver pieces.

Semi-continuous Psalm 58

Do you indeed decree what is right, you gods?
 Do you judge people fairly?
No, in your hearts you devise wrongs;
 your hands deal out violence on earth.

The wicked go astray from the womb;
 they err from their birth, speaking lies.
They have venom like the venom of a serpent,
 like the deaf adder that stops its ear,
so that it does not hear the voice of charmers
 or of the cunning enchanter.

O God, break the teeth in their mouths;
 tear out the fangs of the young lions, O Lord!
Let them vanish like water that runs away;
 like grass let them be trodden down and wither.
Let them be like the snail that dissolves into slime;
 like the untimely birth that never sees the sun.
Sooner than your pots can feel the heat of thorns,
 whether green or ablaze, may he sweep them away!

The righteous will rejoice when they see vengeance done;
 they will bathe their feet in the blood of the wicked.
People will say, “Surely there is a reward for the righteous;
 surely there is a God who judges on earth.”

New Testament Epistle Lesson: Titus 1:1-9


Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God's elect and the knowledge of the truth that is in accordance with godliness, in the hope of eternal life that God, who never lies, promised before the ages began—in due time he revealed his word through the proclamation with which I have been entrusted by the command of God our Savior,

To Titus, my loyal child in the faith we share:

Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.

I left you behind in Crete for this reason, so that you should put in order what remained to be done, and should appoint elders in every town, as I directed you: someone who is blameless, married only once, whose children are believers, not accused of debauchery and not rebellious. For a bishop, as God's steward, must be blameless; he must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or addicted to wine or violent or greedy for gain; but he must be hospitable, a lover of goodness, prudent, upright, devout, and self-controlled. He must have a firm grasp of the word that is trustworthy in accordance with the teaching, so that he may be able both to preach with sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict it.

Year C Ordinary 22, Catholic Proper 22, Common Lectionary Proper 17: Tuesday

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: Saint Titus (Kosovo, 14th c., S. Nicholas church, of the Pech Patriarchate), an anonymous public domain work, via Wikimedia Commons [retrieved August 17, 2016].

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