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

Roman Catholic Proper 27
Revised Common Lectionary Proper 22

Complementary Hebrew Scripture from the Former Prophets: 2 Kings 18:1-8, 28-36

There are parallel passages at 2 Chronicles 29:1-2, 2 Chronicles 31:1, 20-21, and 2 Chronicles 32:9-19.

In the third year of King Hoshea son of Elah of Israel, Hezekiah son of King Ahaz of Judah began to reign. He was twenty-five years old when he began to reign; he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Abi daughter of Zechariah. He did what was right in the sight of the Lord just as his ancestor David had done. He removed the high places, broke down the pillars, and cut down the sacred pole. He broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made, for until those days the people of Israel had made offerings to it; it was called Nehushtan. He trusted in the Lord the God of Israel; so that there was no one like him among all the kings of Judah after him, or among those who were before him. For he held fast to the Lord; he did not depart from following him but kept the commandments that the Lord commanded Moses. The Lord was with him; wherever he went, he prospered. He rebelled against the king of Assyria and would not serve him. He attacked the Philistines as far as Gaza and its territory, from watchtower to fortified city.

Then the Rabshakeh stood and called out in a loud voice in the language of Judah, “Hear the word of the great king, the king of Assyria! Thus says the king: ‘Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to deliver you out of my hand. Do not let Hezekiah make you rely on the Lord by saying, The Lord will surely deliver us, and this city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.’ Do not listen to Hezekiah; for thus says the king of Assyria: ‘Make your peace with me and come out to me; then every one of you will eat from your own vine and your own fig tree, and drink water from your own cistern, until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of grain and wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive oil and honey, that you may live and not die. Do not listen to Hezekiah when he misleads you by saying, The Lord will deliver us. Has any of the gods of the nations ever delivered its land out of the hand of the king of Assyria? Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah? Have they delivered Samaria out of my hand? Who among all the gods of the countries have delivered their countries out of my hand, that the Lord should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand?’”

But the people were silent and answered him not a word, for the king's command was, “Do not answer him.”

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture from the Latter Prophets: Jeremiah 52:1-11

There are parallel passages at 2 Kings 24:18-20, 25:1-21, 2 Chronicles 36:11-20, and Jeremiah 39:1-10.

Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he began to reign; he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Hamutal daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, just as Jehoiakim had done. Indeed, Jerusalem and Judah so angered the Lord that he expelled them from his presence.

Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon. And in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, on the tenth day of the month, King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon came with all his army against Jerusalem, and they laid siege to it; they built siegeworks against it all around. So the city was besieged until the eleventh year of King Zedekiah. On the ninth day of the fourth month the famine became so severe in the city that there was no food for the people of the land. Then a breach was made in the city wall; and all the soldiers fled and went out from the city by night by the way of the gate between the two walls, by the king's garden, though the Chaldeans were all around the city. They went in the direction of the Arabah. But the army of the Chaldeans pursued the king, and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho; and all his army was scattered, deserting him. Then they captured the king, and brought him up to the king of Babylon at Riblah in the land of Hamath, and he passed sentence on him. The king of Babylon killed the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, and also killed all the officers of Judah at Riblah. He put out the eyes of Zedekiah, and bound him in fetters, and the king of Babylon took him to Babylon, and put him in prison until the day of his death.

Complementary Psalm 37:1-9

Do not fret because of the wicked;
 do not be envious of wrongdoers,
for they will soon fade like the grass,
 and wither like the green herb.

Trust in the Lord, and do good;
 so you will live in the land, and enjoy security.
Take delight in the Lord,
 and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord;
 trust in him, and he will act.
He will make your vindication shine like the light,
 and the justice of your cause like the noonday.

Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for him;
 do not fret over those who prosper in their way,
 over those who carry out evil devices.

Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath.
 Do not fret—it leads only to evil.
For the wicked shall be cut off,
 but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land.

Semi-continuous Canticle from The Writings: Lamentations 3:19-26

The thought of my affliction and my homelessness
 is wormwood and gall!
My soul continually thinks of it
 and is bowed down within me.
But this I call to mind,
 and therefore I have hope:

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,
 his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
 great is your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul.
 “therefore I will hope in him.”

The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
 to the soul that seeks him.
It is good that one should wait quietly
 for the salvation of the Lord.

New Testament Lesson: Revelation 2:8-11

The Christian Martyrs' Last Prayer

And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: These are the words of the first and the last, who was dead and came to life:

“I know your affliction and your poverty, even though you are rich. I know the slander on the part of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Beware, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison so that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have affliction. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches. Whoever conquers will not be harmed by the second death.¹”

¹In Matthew 20:18 Jesus warns that God can destroy both the body and the soul in hell. There is a vision in Revelation 20:12 that on the day of judgment all the dead will rise and evil ones will be thrown into a lake of fire to suffer a second death.

Year C Ordinary 27, Catholic Proper 27, RCL Proper 22: 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 Christian Martyrs' Last Prayer by Jean-Léon Gérôme via Wikimedia Commons. This is a public domain image.

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