Wednesday: 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 57:14-21

It shall be said,
“Build up, build up, prepare the way,
 remove every obstruction from my people's way.”
For thus says the high and lofty one
 who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:
I dwell in the high and holy place,
 and also with those who are contrite and humble in spirit,
to revive the spirit of the humble,
 and to revive the heart of the contrite.
For I will not continually accuse,
 nor will I always be angry;
for then the spirits would grow faint before me,
 even the souls that I have made.
Because of their wicked covetousness I was angry;
 I struck them, I hid and was angry;
 but they kept turning back to their own ways.
I have seen their ways, but I will heal them;
 I will lead them and repay them with comfort,
 creating for their mourners the fruit of the lips.
Peace, peace, to the far and the near, says the Lord;
 and I will heal them.¹

But the wicked are like the tossing sea
 that cannot keep still;
 its waters toss up mire and mud.
There is no peace, says my God, for the wicked.

¹Paul quotes this verse in Ephesians 2:11-22, where he explains that we are all one in Christ.

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture from the Latter Prophets: Jeremiah 3:15-25

I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding. And when you have multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, says the Lord, they shall no longer say, “The ark of the covenant of the Lord.” It shall not come to mind, or be remembered, or missed; nor shall another one be made. At that time Jerusalem shall be called the throne of the Lord, and all nations shall gather to it, to the presence of the Lord in Jerusalem, and they shall no longer stubbornly follow their own evil will. In those days the house of Judah shall join the house of Israel, and together they shall come from the land of the north to the land that I gave your ancestors for a heritage.

I thought
 how I would set you among my children,
and give you a pleasant land,
 the most beautiful heritage of all the nations.
And I thought you would call me, My Father
 and would not turn from following me.
Instead, as a faithless wife leaves her husband,
 so you have been faithless to me, O house of Israel,
   says the Lord.

A voice on the bare heights is heard,
 the plaintive weeping of Israel's children,
because they have perverted their way,
 they have forgotten the Lord their God:
Return, O faithless children,
 I will heal your faithlessness.

“Here we come to you;
 for you are the Lord our God.
Truly the hills are a delusion,
 the orgies on the mountains.
“Truly in the Lord our God
 is the salvation of Israel.

“But from our youth the shameful thing has devoured all for which our ancestors had labored, their flocks and their herds, their sons and their daughters. Let us lie down in our shame, and let our dishonor cover us; for we have sinned against the Lord our God, we and our ancestors, from our youth even to this day; and we have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God.”

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 Gospel Lesson: Luke 14:15-24

There is a parallel passage at Matthew 22:1-10.

The Cripples

One of the dinner guests, on hearing this, said to him, “Blessed is anyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!” Then Jesus said to him, “Someone gave a great dinner and invited many. At the time for the dinner he sent his slave to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come; for everything is ready now.’ But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of land, and I must go out and see it; please accept my regrets.’ Another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out; please accept my regrets.’ Another said, ‘I have just been married, and therefore I cannot come.’ So the slave returned and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and said to his slave, ‘Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.’ And the slave said, ‘Sir, what you ordered has been done, and there is still room.” Then the master said to the slave, ‘Go out into the roads and lanes, and compel people to come in, so that my house may be filled. For I tell you, none of those who were invited will taste my dinner.’”

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

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: Bruegel, Pieter, approximately 1525-1569. The Cripples, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN, [retrieved August 17, 2016], licensed under Creative Commons 3.0. Original source: Wikimedia Commons.

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