Thursday: Preparation for the Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Roman Catholic Proper 26
Revised Common Lectionary Proper 21

Complementary Hebrew Scripture from The Writings: Proverbs 22:2-16

The rich and the poor have this in common:
 the Lord is the maker of them all.
The clever see danger and hide;
 but the simple go on, and suffer for it.
The reward for humility and fear of the Lord
 is riches and honor and life.
Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse;
 the cautious will keep far from them.
Train children in the right way,
 and when old, they will not stray.
The rich rule over the poor,
 and the borrower is the slave of the lender.
Whoever sows injustice will reap calamity,
 and the rod of anger will fail.
Those who are generous are blessed,
 for they share their bread with the poor.
Drive out a scoffer, and strife goes out;
 quarreling and abuse will cease.
Those who love a pure heart and are gracious in speech
 will have the king as a friend.
The eyes of the Lord keep watch over knowledge,
 but he overthrows the words of the faithless.
The lazy person says, “There is a lion outside!
 I shall be killed in the streets!”
The mouth of a loose woman is a deep pit;
 he with whom the Lord is angry falls into it.
Folly is bound up in the heart of a boy,
 but the rod of discipline drives it far away.
Oppressing the poor in order to enrich oneself,
 and giving to the rich, will lead only to loss.

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture from the Latter Prophets: Jeremiah 23:9-22

Concerning the prophets:
My heart is crushed within me,
 all my bones shake;
I have become like a drunkard,
 like one overcome by wine,
because of the Lord
 and because of his holy words.
For the land is full of adulterers;
 because of the curse the land mourns,
 and the pastures of the wilderness are dried up.
Their course has been evil,
 and their might is not right.
Both prophet and priest are ungodly;
 even in my house I have found their wickedness,
   says the Lord.

Therefore their way shall be to them
 like slippery paths in the darkness,
 into which they shall be driven and fall;
for I will bring disaster upon them
 in the year of their punishment,
   says the Lord.

In the prophets of Samaria
 I saw a disgusting thing:
they prophesied by Baal
 and led my people Israel astray.

But in the prophets of Jerusalem
 I have seen a more shocking thing:
they commit adultery and walk in lies;
 they strengthen the hands of evildoers,
 so that no one turns from wickedness;
all of them have become like Sodom to me,
 and its inhabitants like Gomorrah.

Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts concerning the prophets:
“I am going to make them eat wormwood,
 and give them poisoned water to drink;
for from the prophets of Jerusalem
 ungodliness has spread throughout the land.”

Thus says the Lord of hosts: Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you; they are deluding you. They speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord. They keep saying to those who despise the word of the Lord, “It shall be well with you”; and to all who stubbornly follow their own stubborn hearts, they say, “No calamity shall come upon you.”

For who has stood in the council of the Lord
 so as to see and to hear his word?
 Who has given heed to his word so as to proclaim it?
Look, the storm of the Lord!
 Wrath has gone forth,
a whirling tempest;
 it will burst upon the head of the wicked.
The anger of the Lord will not turn back
 until he has executed and accomplished
 the intents of his mind.
In the latter days you will understand it clearly.

I did not send the prophets,
 yet they ran;
I did not speak to them,
 yet they prophesied.
But if they had stood in my council,
 then they would have proclaimed my words to my people,
and they would have turned them from their evil way,
 and from the evil of their doings.

Complementary Psalm 146

Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord, O my soul!
I will praise the Lord as long as I live;
 I will sing praises to my God all my life long.

Do not put your trust in princes,
 in mortals, in whom there is no help.
When their breath departs, they return to the earth;
 on that very day their plans perish.

Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
 whose hope is in the Lord their God,
who made heaven and earth,
 the sea, and all that is in them;¹

who keeps faith forever;
 who executes justice for the oppressed;
 who gives food to the hungry.

The Lord sets the prisoners free;
 the Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
 the Lord loves the righteous.
The Lord watches over the strangers;
 he upholds the orphan and the widow,
 but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.

The Lord will reign forever,
 your God, O Zion, for all generations.
Praise the Lord!

¹This phrase is echoed in Acts 4:23-31, where the believers pray for boldness, in Acts 14:13-18, where Paul and Barnabas react to being worshipped, and in Revelation 10:1-7, which says the mystery of God will be revealed when the seventh angel blows his trumpet.

Semi-continuous Psalm 91:1-6, 14-16

You who live in the shelter of the Most High,
 who abide in the shadow of the Almighty,
will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress;
 my God, in whom I trust.”
For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
 and from the deadly pestilence;
he will cover you with his pinions,
 and under his wings you will find refuge;
 his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
You will not fear the terror of the night,
 or the arrow that flies by day,
or the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
 or the destruction that wastes at noonday.

Those who love me, I will deliver;
 I will protect those who know my name.
When they call to me, I will answer them;
 I will be with them in trouble,
 I will rescue them and honor them.
With long life I will satisfy them,
 and show them my salvation.

New Testament Epistle Lesson: 2 Corinthians 8:8-15

The Gathering of the Manna

I do not say this as a command, but I am testing the genuineness of your love against the earnestness of others. For you know the generous act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich. And in this matter I am giving my advice: it is appropriate for you who began last year not only to do something but even to desire to do something—now finish doing it, so that your eagerness may be matched by completing it according to your means. For if the eagerness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has—not according to what one does not have. I do not mean that there should be relief for others and pressure on you, but it is a question of a fair balance between your present abundance and their need, so that their abundance may be for your need, in order that there may be a fair balance. As it is written,

“The one who had much did not have too much,
and the one who had little did not have too little.”¹

¹Exodus 16:18

Year C Ordinary 26, Catholic Proper 26, RCL Proper 21: 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: The Gathering of the Manna by James Tissot, via Wikimedia Commons. This is a public domain image.

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