Wednesday: Reflection on the Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Roman Catholic Proper 26
Revised Common Lectionary Proper 21

Complementary Hebrew Scripture Lesson from The Twelve Prophets: Hosea 12:2-14

The Lord has an indictment against Judah,
 and will punish Jacob according to his ways,
 and repay him according to his deeds.
In the womb he tried to supplant his brother,
 and in his manhood he strove with God.
He strove with the angel and prevailed,
 he wept and sought his favor;
he met him at Bethel,
 and there he spoke with him.
The Lord the God of hosts,
 the Lord is his name!
But as for you, return to your God,
 hold fast to love and justice,
 and wait continually for your God.

A trader, in whose hands are false balances,
 he loves to oppress.
Ephraim has said, “Ah, I am rich,
I have gained wealth for myself;
 in all of my gain
 no offense has been found in me
 that would be sin.”¹

I am the Lord your God
 from the land of Egypt;
I will make you live in tents again,
 as in the days of the appointed festival.

I spoke to the prophets;
 it was I who multiplied visions,
 and through the prophets I will bring destruction.
In Gilead there is iniquity,
 they shall surely come to nothing.
In Gilgal they sacrifice bulls,
 so their altars shall be like stone heaps
 on the furrows of the field.
Jacob fled to the land of Aram,
 there Israel served for a wife,
 and for a wife he guarded sheep.
By a prophet the Lord brought Israel up from Egypt,
 and by a prophet he was guarded.
Ephraim has given bitter offense,
 so his Lord will bring his crimes down on him
 and pay him back for his insults.

¹In Revelation 3:17a, the church at Laodicea is similarly accused. We read this passage on Monday.

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture from the Latter Prophets: Jeremiah 33:1-13

The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah a second time, while he was still confined in the court of the guard: Thus says the Lord who made the earth, the Lord who formed it to establish it—the Lord is his name: Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. For thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning the houses of this city and the houses of the kings of Judah that were torn down to make a defense against the siege-ramps and before the sword: The Chaldeans are coming in to fight and to fill them with the dead bodies of those whom I shall strike down in my anger and my wrath, for I have hidden my face from this city because of all their wickedness. I am going to bring it recovery and healing; I will heal them and reveal to them abundance of prosperity and security. I will restore the fortunes of Judah and the fortunes of Israel, and rebuild them as they were at first. I will cleanse them from all the guilt of their sin against me, and I will forgive all the guilt of their sin and rebellion against me. And this city shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and a glory before all the nations of the earth who shall hear of all the good that I do for them; they shall fear and tremble because of all the good and all the prosperity I provide for it.

Thus says the Lord: In this place of which you say, “It is a waste without human beings or animals,” in the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem that are desolate, without inhabitants, human or animal, there shall once more be heard the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voices of those who sing, as they bring thank offerings to the house of the Lord:

“Give thanks to the Lord of hosts,
for the Lord is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever!”

For I will restore the fortunes of the land as at first, says the Lord.

Thus says the Lord of hosts: In this place that is waste, without human beings or animals, and in all its towns there shall again be pasture for shepherds resting their flocks. In the towns of the hill country, of the Shephelah, and of the Negeb, in the land of Benjamin, the places around Jerusalem, and in the towns of Judah, flocks shall again pass under the hands of the one who counts them, says the Lord.

Complementary Psalm 62

For God alone my soul waits in silence;
 from him comes my salvation.
He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress;
 I shall never be shaken.

How long will you assail a person,
 will you batter your victim, all of you,
 as you would a leaning wall, a tottering fence?
Their only plan is to bring down a person of prominence.
 They take pleasure in falsehood;
they bless with their mouths,
 but inwardly they curse.

For God alone my soul waits in silence,
 for my hope is from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
 my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
On God rests my deliverance and my honor;
 my mighty rock, my refuge is in God.

Trust in him at all times, O people;
 pour out your heart before him;
 God is a refuge for us.
Those of low estate are but a breath,
 those of high estate are a delusion;
in the balances they go up;
 they are together lighter than a breath.
Put no confidence in extortion,
 and set no vain hopes on robbery;
 if riches increase, do not set your heart on them.
Once God has spoken;
 twice have I heard this:
that power belongs to God,
 and steadfast love belongs to you, O Lord.
For you repay to all
 according to their work.¹

¹This verse is quoted in Romans 2:6, in a passage about the righteous judgment of God, and in 2 Timothy 4:14, in a warning about Alexander.

Semi-continuous Psalm 119:49-56

Remember your word to your servant,
 in which you have made me hope.
This is my comfort in my distress,
 that your promise gives me life.
The arrogant utterly deride me,
 but I do not turn away from your law.
When I think of your ordinances from of old,
 I take comfort, O Lord.
Hot indignation seizes me because of the wicked,
 those who forsake your law.
Your statutes have been my songs
 wherever I make my home.
I remember your name in the night, O Lord,
 and keep your law.
This blessing has fallen to me,
 for I have kept your precepts.

New Testament Gospel Lesson: Matthew 19:16-22

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There are parallel passages at Mark 10:17-31 and Luke 18:18-30.

Then someone came to him and said, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; Honor your father and mother;¹ also, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.²” The young man said to him, “I have kept all these; what do I still lack?” Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” When the young man heard this word, he went away grieving, for he had many possessions.

¹Exodus 20:12-16, Deuteronomy 5:16-20  ²Leviticus 19:18

Year C Ordinary 26, Catholic Proper 26, RCL Proper 21: 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.

Footnotes in the Hebrew Scriptures that show where the passage is used in the Christian Scriptures are based on information from the The Complete Jewish Bible (CJB) by David H. Stern, Copyright © 1998 and 2006 by David H. Stern, used by permission of Messianic Jewish Publishers, www.messianicjewish.net. All rights reserved worldwide. When text is taken from the CJB, the passage ends with (CJB) and this copyright notice applies.

Image Credit: Matthew 19:16-22, a word cloud created on Wordle.net by Michael Gilbertson, 12 September 2016. This image may be reused under CC 2.5 Share Alike.

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