Monday: Reflection on the Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Roman Catholic Proper 25
Revised Common Lectionary Proper 20

Complementary Hebrew Scripture from The Writings: Proverbs 14:12-31

There is a way that seems right to a person,
 but its end is the way to death.
Even in laughter the heart is sad,
 and the end of joy is grief.
The perverse get what their ways deserve,
 and the good, what their deeds deserve.
The simple believe everything,
 but the clever consider their steps.
The wise are cautious and turn away from evil,
 but the fool throws off restraint and is careless.
One who is quick-tempered acts foolishly,
 and the schemer is hated.
The simple are adorned with folly,
 but the clever are crowned with knowledge.
The evil bow down before the good,
 the wicked at the gates of the righteous.
The poor are disliked even by their neighbors,
 but the rich have many friends.
Those who despise their neighbors are sinners,
 but happy are those who are kind to the poor.
Do they not err that plan evil?
 Those who plan good find loyalty and faithfulness.
In all toil there is profit,
 but mere talk leads only to poverty.
The crown of the wise is their wisdom,
 but folly is the garland of fools.
A truthful witness saves lives,
 but one who utters lies is a betrayer.
In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence,
 and one's children will have a refuge.
The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life,
 so that one may avoid the snares of death.
The glory of a king is a multitude of people;
 without people a prince is ruined.
Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding,
 but one who has a hasty temper exalts folly.
A tranquil mind gives life to the flesh,
 but passion makes the bones rot.
Those who oppress the poor insult their Maker,
 but those who are kind to the needy honor him.

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture from the Latter Prophets: Jeremiah 9:12-26

Who is wise enough to understand this? To whom has the mouth of the Lord spoken, so that they may declare it? Why is the land ruined and laid waste like a wilderness, so that no one passes through? And the Lord says: Because they have forsaken my law that I set before them, and have not obeyed my voice, or walked in accordance with it, but have stubbornly followed their own hearts and have gone after the Baals, as their ancestors taught them. Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: I am feeding this people with wormwood, and giving them poisonous water to drink. I will scatter them among nations that neither they nor their ancestors have known; and I will send the sword after them, until I have consumed them.

Thus says the Lord of hosts:
Consider, and call for the mourning women to come;
 send for the skilled women to come;
let them quickly raise a dirge over us,
 so that our eyes may run down with tears,
 and our eyelids flow with water.

For a sound of wailing is heard from Zion:
 “How we are ruined!
 We are utterly shamed,
because we have left the land,
 because they have cast down our dwellings.”

Hear, O women, the word of the Lord,
 and let your ears receive the word of his mouth;
teach to your daughters a dirge,
 and each to her neighbor a lament.

“Death has come up into our windows,
 it has entered our palaces,
to cut off the children from the streets
 and the young men from the squares.”

Speak! Thus says the Lord:
“Human corpses shall fall
 like dung upon the open field,
like sheaves behind the reaper,
 and no one shall gather them.”

Thus says the Lord: Do not let the wise boast in their wisdom, do not let the mighty boast in their might, do not let the wealthy boast in their wealth; but let those who boast boast in this, that they understand and know me, that I am the Lord; I act with steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth, for in these things I delight, says the Lord.¹

The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will attend to all those who are circumcised only in the foreskin: Egypt, Judah, Edom, the Ammonites, Moab, and all those with shaven temples who live in the desert. For all these nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel is uncircumcised in heart.²

¹Paul quotes this verse in part in 1 Corinthians 1:31, about the message of the cross, and again in 2 Corinthians 10:17, wherehe defends his ministry.
²Stephen uses the same figure in Acts 7:51, in his
defense before the Sanhedrin in Acts 7:1-53.

Complementary Psalm 12

Help, O Lord, for there is no longer anyone who is godly;
 the faithful have disappeared from humankind.
They utter lies to each other;
 with flattering lips and a double heart they speak.

May the Lord cut off all flattering lips,
 the tongue that makes great boasts,
those who say, “With our tongues we will prevail;
 our lips are our own—who is our master?”

“Because the poor are despoiled, because the needy groan,
 I will now rise up,” says the Lord;
 “I will place them in the safety for which they long.”
The promises of the Lord are promises that are pure,
 silver refined in a furnace on the ground,
 purified seven times.
You, O Lord, will protect us;
 you will guard us from this generation forever.
On every side the wicked prowl,
 as vileness is exalted among humankind.

Semi-continuous Psalm 106:40-48

Then the anger of the Lord was kindled against his people,
 and he abhorred his heritage;
he gave them into the hand of the nations,
 so that those who hated them ruled over them.
Their enemies oppressed them,
 and they were brought into subjection under their power.
Many times he delivered them,
 but they were rebellious in their purposes,
 and were brought low through their iniquity.
Nevertheless he regarded their distress
 when he heard their cry.
For their sake he remembered his covenant,
 and showed compassion
 according to the abundance of his steadfast love.
He caused them to be pitied
 by all who held them captive.

Save us, O Lord our God,
 and gather us from among the nations,
that we may give thanks to your holy name
 and glory in your praise.

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
 from everlasting to everlasting.
And let all the people say, “Amen.”
 Praise the Lord!¹

¹Zechariah quotes this verse in Luke 1:68, part of his prophesy about John the Baptist.

New Testament Lesson: Acts 4:1-12

Peter and John Before the Sanhedrin

While Peter and John were speaking to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came to them, much annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming that in Jesus there is the resurrection of the dead. So they arrested them and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening. But many of those who heard the word believed; and they numbered about five thousand.

The next day their rulers, elders, and scribes assembled in Jerusalem, with Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. When they had made the prisoners stand in their midst, they inquired, “By what power or by what name did you do this?” Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, if we are questioned today because of a good deed done to someone who was sick and are asked how this man has been healed, let it be known to all of you, and to all the people of Israel, that this man is standing before you in good health by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead. This Jesus is

‘the stone that was rejected by you, the builders;
it has become the cornerstone.’¹

There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved.”

¹Psalm 118:22

Tags: B Advent 3 Tuesday, B Easter 4 Sunday, Holy Spirit, salvation, elders, Jesus, heaven, rulers, mortals, Nazareth, God, Psalm 118:22

Year C Ordinary 25, Catholic Proper 25, RCL Proper 20: Monday

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: Peter and John before the Sanhedrin by Otto Semler, downloaded from, and licensed under Creative Commons 2.0.

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