Year C

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

Roman Catholic Proper 29
Revised Common Lectionary Proper 24

Complementary Hebrew Scripture from the Former Prophets: 1 Samuel 25:2-22

There was a man in Maon, whose property was in Carmel. The man was very rich; he had three thousand sheep and a thousand goats. He was shearing his sheep in Carmel. Now the name of the man was Nabal, and the name of his wife Abigail. The woman was clever and beautiful, but the man was surly and mean; he was a Calebite. David heard in the wilderness that Nabal was shearing his sheep. So David sent ten young men; and David said to the young men, “Go up to Carmel, and go to Nabal, and greet him in my name. Thus you shall salute him: ‘Peace be to you, and peace be to your house, and peace be to all that you have. I hear that you have shearers; now your shepherds have been with us, and we did them no harm, and they missed nothing, all the time they were in Carmel. Ask your young men, and they will tell you. Therefore let my young men find favor in your sight; for we have come on a feast day. Please give whatever you have at hand to your servants and to your son David.’”

When David's young men came, they said all this to Nabal in the name of David; and then they waited. But Nabal answered David's servants, “Who is David? Who is the son of Jesse? There are many servants today who are breaking away from their masters. Shall I take my bread and my water and the meat that I have butchered for my shearers, and give it to men who come from I do not know where?” So David's young men turned away, and came back and told him all this. David said to his men, “Every man strap on his sword!” And every one of them strapped on his sword; David also strapped on his sword; and about four hundred men went up after David, while two hundred remained with the baggage.

But one of the young men told Abigail, Nabal's wife, “David sent messengers out of the wilderness to salute our master; and he shouted insults at them. Yet the men were very good to us, and we suffered no harm, and we never missed anything when we were in the fields, as long as we were with them; they were a wall to us both by night and by day, all the while we were with them keeping the sheep. Now therefore know this and consider what you should do; for evil has been decided against our master and against all his house; he is so ill-natured that no one can speak to him.”

Then Abigail hurried and took two hundred loaves, two skins of wine, five sheep ready dressed, five measures of parched grain, one hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs. She loaded them on donkeys and said to her young men, “Go on ahead of me; I am coming after you.” But she did not tell her husband Nabal. As she rode on the donkey and came down under cover of the mountain, David and his men came down toward her; and she met them. Now David had said, “Surely it was in vain that I protected all that this fellow has in the wilderness, so that nothing was missed of all that belonged to him; but he has returned me evil for good. God do so to David and more also, if by morning I leave so much as one male of all who belong to him.”

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture from the Latter Prophets: Jeremiah 38:14-28

King Zedekiah sent for the prophet Jeremiah and received him at the third entrance of the temple of the Lord. The king said to Jeremiah, “I have something to ask you; do not hide anything from me.” Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “If I tell you, you will put me to death, will you not? And if I give you advice, you will not listen to me.” So King Zedekiah swore an oath in secret to Jeremiah, “As the Lord lives, who gave us our lives, I will not put you to death or hand you over to these men who seek your life.”

Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “Thus says the Lord, the God of hosts, the God of Israel, If you will only surrender to the officials of the king of Babylon, then your life shall be spared, and this city shall not be burned with fire, and you and your house shall live. But if you do not surrender to the officials of the king of Babylon, then this city shall be handed over to the Chaldeans, and they shall burn it with fire, and you yourself shall not escape from their hand.” King Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, “I am afraid of the Judeans who have deserted to the Chaldeans, for I might be handed over to them and they would abuse me.” Jeremiah said, “That will not happen. Just obey the voice of the Lord in what I say to you, and it shall go well with you, and your life shall be spared. But if you are determined not to surrender, this is what the Lord has shown me—a vision of all the women remaining in the house of the king of Judah being led out to the officials of the king of Babylon and saying,

‘Your trusted friends have seduced you
and have overcome you;
Now that your feet are stuck in the mud,
they desert you.’

All your wives and your children shall be led out to the Chaldeans, and you yourself shall not escape from their hand, but shall be seized by the king of Babylon; and this city shall be burned with fire.”

Then Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, “Do not let anyone else know of this conversation, or you will die. If the officials should hear that I have spoken with you, and they should come and say to you, ‘Just tell us what you said to the king; do not conceal it from us, or we will put you to death. What did the king say to you?’ then you shall say to them, ‘I was presenting my plea to the king not to send me back to the house of Jonathan to die there.‘” All the officials did come to Jeremiah and questioned him; and he answered them in the very words the king had commanded. So they stopped questioning him, for the conversation had not been overheard. And Jeremiah remained in the court of the guard until the day that Jerusalem was taken.

Complementary Psalm 57

Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me,
 for in you my soul takes refuge;
 in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge,
 until the destroying storms pass by.
I cry to God Most High,
 to God who fulfills his purpose for me.
He will send from heaven and save me,
 he will put to shame those who trample on me.
 God will send forth his steadfast love and his faithfulness.
I lie down among lions
 that greedily devour human prey;
 their teeth are spears and arrows,
 their tongues sharp swords.

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens.
 Let your glory be over all the earth.

They set a net for my steps;
 my soul was bowed down.
 They dug a pit in my path,
 but they have fallen into it themselves.

My heart is steadfast, O God,
 my heart is steadfast.
 I will sing and make melody.
 Awake, my soul!
 Awake, O harp and lyre!
 I will awake the dawn.
I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples;
 I will sing praises to you among the nations.
For your steadfast love is as high as the heavens;
 your faithfulness extends to the clouds.

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens.
 Let your glory be over all the earth.

Semi-continuous Psalm 129

“Often have they attacked me from my youth”
 —let Israel now say—
“often have they attacked me from my youth,
 yet they have not prevailed against me.
The plowers plowed on my back;
 they made their furrows long.”
The Lord is righteous;
 he has cut the cords of the wicked.
May all who hate Zion
 be put to shame and turned backward.
Let them be like the grass on the housetops
 that withers before it grows up,
with which reapers do not fill their hands
 or binders of sheaves their arms,
while those who pass by do not say,
 “The blessing of the Lord be upon you!
 We bless you in the name of the Lord!”

New Testament Epistle Lesson: 1 Corinthians 6:1-11

Temple of Justice Courtroom, South Capitol, Olympia, Washington

When any of you has a grievance against another, do you dare to take it to court before the unrighteous, instead of taking it before the saints? Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? Do you not know that we are to judge angels—to say nothing of ordinary matters? If you have ordinary cases, then, do you appoint as judges those who have no standing in the church? I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to decide between one believer and another, but a believer goes to court against a believer—and before unbelievers at that?

In fact, to have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded? But you yourselves wrong and defraud—and believers at that.

Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! Fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, sodomites, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, robbers—none of these will inherit the kingdom of God. And this is what some of you used to be. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

Year C Ordinary 29, Catholic Proper 29, RCL Proper 24: 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: Temple of Justice Courtroom, South Capitol, Olympia, Washington, image by Laura Kali, via Flickr. This image is used under the Creative Commons Share Attribution Share Alike 2.0 license.

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The Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Roman Catholic Proper 29
Revised Common Lectionary Proper 24

Complementary Hebrew Scripture from the Torah: Genesis 32:22-31

The same night he got up and took his two wives, his two maids, and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. He took them and sent them across the stream, and likewise everything that he had. Jacob was left alone; and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he struck him on the hip socket; and Jacob's hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. Then he said, “Let me go, for the day is breaking.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go, unless you bless me.” So he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” Then the man said, “You shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with humans, and have prevailed.” Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him. So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life is preserved.” The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip.

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture from the Latter Prophets: Jeremiah 31:27-34

The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of humans and the seed of animals. And just as I have watched over them to pluck up and break down, to overthrow, destroy, and bring evil, so I will watch over them to build and to plant, says the Lord. In those days they shall no longer say:

“The parents have eaten sour grapes,
and the children's teeth are set on edge.”

But all shall die for their own sins; the teeth of everyone who eats sour grapes shall be set on edge.

The days are surely coming, says the Lord,
when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel
and the house of Judah.¹
not like the covenant that I made with their ancestors
when I took them by the hand
to bring them out of the land of Egypt—
a covenant that they broke,
though I was their husband, says the Lord.
But this is the covenant that I will make
with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord:
I will put my law within them,
and I will write it on their hearts;
and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.²
No longer shall they teach one another,
or say to each other, “Know the Lord,”
for they shall all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord;
for I will forgive their iniquity,
and remember their sin no more.³

¹This verse is quoted in Hebrews 9:15, about the heavenly and earthly sanctuaries.
²This verse (But this … be my people) is quoted in Romans 2:15, about the
righteous judgment of God, in 2 Corinthians 6:16, about the temple of the living God, and in Hebrews 10:16, a passage about Christ's sacrifice once for all.
³This verse (No longer … sin no more) is quoted in Hebrews 10:17, Christ's sacrifice once for all (link in footnote 2), and in Revelation 21:3, a passage about John's vision of the
new heaven and the new earth.

Complementary Psalm 121

I lift up my eyes to the hills—from where will my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
 who made heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot be moved;
 he who keeps you will not slumber.
He who keeps Israel
 will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper;
 the Lord is your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
 nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all evil;
 he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep
 your going out and your coming in
 from this time on and forevermore.

Semi-continuous Psalm 119:97-104

Oh, how I love your law!
 It is my meditation all day long.
Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies,
 for it is always with me.
I have more understanding than all my teachers,
 for your decrees are my meditation.
I understand more than the aged,
 for I keep your precepts.
I hold back my feet from every evil way,
 in order to keep your word.
I do not turn away from your ordinances,
 for you have taught me.
How sweet are your words to my taste,
 sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Through your precepts I get understanding;
 therefore I hate every false way.

New Testament Epistle Lesson: 2 Timothy 3:14—4:5

But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it, and how from childhood you have known the sacred writings that are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.

In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I solemnly urge you: proclaim the message; be persistent whether the time is favorable or unfavorable; convince, rebuke, and encourage, with the utmost patience in teaching. For the time is coming when people will not put up with sound doctrine, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander away to myths. As for you, always be sober, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, carry out your ministry fully.

New Testament Gospel Lesson: Luke 18:1-8

Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Grant me justice against my opponent.’ For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, ‘Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.’” And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them. And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

Year C Ordinary 29, Catholic Proper 29, RCL Proper 24: Sunday

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: This is a slide from a series about the persistent widow on FreeBibleImages.org.

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Saturday: Preparation for the Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Roman Catholic Proper 29
Revised Common Lectionary Proper 24

Complementary Hebrew Scripture from the Torah: Genesis 32:3-21

Jacob sent messengers before him to his brother Esau in the land of Seir, the country of Edom, instructing them, “Thus you shall say to my lord Esau: Thus says your servant Jacob, ‘I have lived with Laban as an alien, and stayed until now; and I have oxen, donkeys, flocks, male and female slaves; and I have sent to tell my lord, in order that I may find favor in your sight.’”

The messengers returned to Jacob, saying, “We came to your brother Esau, and he is coming to meet you, and four hundred men are with him.” Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed; and he divided the people that were with him, and the flocks and herds and camels, into two companies, thinking, “If Esau comes to the one company and destroys it, then the company that is left will escape.”

And Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, O Lord who said to me, ‘Return to your country and to your kindred, and I will do you good,’ I am not worthy of the least of all the steadfast love and all the faithfulness that you have shown to your servant, for with only my staff I crossed this Jordan; and now I have become two companies. Deliver me, please, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau, for I am afraid of him; he may come and kill us all, the mothers with the children. Yet you have said, ‘I will surely do you good, and make your offspring as the sand of the sea, which cannot be counted because of their number.¹’”

So he spent that night there, and from what he had with him he took a present for his brother Esau, two hundred female goats and twenty male goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams, thirty milch camels and their colts, forty cows and ten bulls, twenty female donkeys and ten male donkeys. These he delivered into the hand of his servants, every drove by itself, and said to his servants, “Pass on ahead of me, and put a space between drove and drove.” He instructed the foremost, “When Esau my brother meets you, and asks you, ‘To whom do you belong? Where are you going? And whose are these ahead of you?’ then you shall say, ‘They belong to your servant Jacob; they are a present sent to my lord Esau; and moreover he is behind us.’” He likewise instructed the second and the third and all who followed the droves, “You shall say the same thing to Esau when you meet him, and you shall say, ‘Moreover your servant Jacob is behind us.’” For he thought, “I may appease him with the present that goes ahead of me, and afterwards I shall see his face; perhaps he will accept me.” So the present passed on ahead of him; and he himself spent that night in the camp.

¹This verse is recounted in Hebrews 11:12, part of a passage about Abraham's faith (Hebrews 11:8-19).

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture from the Latter Prophets: Jeremiah 31:15-26

Thus says the Lord:
 A voice is heard in Ramah,
 lamentation and bitter weeping.
 Rachel is weeping for her children;
 she refuses to be comforted for her children,
 because they are no more.
Thus says the Lord:
Keep your voice from weeping,
 and your eyes from tears,
for there is a reward for your work,
   says the Lord:
 they shall come back from the land of the enemy;
there is hope for your future.
   says the Lord:
 your children shall come back to their own country.

Indeed I heard Ephraim pleading:
 “You disciplined me, and I took the discipline;
 I was like a calf untrained.
 Bring me back, let me come back,
 for you are the Lord my God.

For after I had turned away I repented;
 and after I was discovered, I struck my thigh;
 I was ashamed, and I was dismayed
 because I bore the disgrace of my youth.”
Is Ephraim my dear son?
 Is he the child I delight in?
 As often as I speak against him,
 I still remember him.
 Therefore I am deeply moved for him;
 I will surely have mercy on him,
   says the Lord.

Set up road markers for yourself,
 make yourself guideposts;
 consider well the highway,
 the road by which you went.
 Return, O virgin Israel,
 return to these your cities.
 How long will you waver,
 O faithless daughter?
 For the Lord has created a new thing on the earth:
 a woman encompasses a man.

Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Once more they shall use these words in the land of Judah and in its towns when I restore their fortunes:

“The Lord bless you, O abode of righteousness,
 O holy hill!”

And Judah and all its towns shall live there together, and the farmers
 and those who wander with their flocks.

I will satisfy the weary,
 and all who are faint I will replenish.

Thereupon I awoke and looked, and my sleep was pleasant to me.

Complementary Psalm 121

I lift up my eyes to the hills—from where will my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
 who made heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot be moved;
 he who keeps you will not slumber.
He who keeps Israel
 will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper;
 the Lord is your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
 nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all evil;
 he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep
 your going out and your coming in
 from this time on and forevermore.

Semi-continuous Psalm 119:97-104

Oh, how I love your law!
 It is my meditation all day long.
Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies,
 for it is always with me.
I have more understanding than all my teachers,
 for your decrees are my meditation.
I understand more than the aged,
 for I keep your precepts.
I hold back my feet from every evil way,
 in order to keep your word.
I do not turn away from your ordinances,
 for you have taught me.
How sweet are your words to my taste,
 sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Through your precepts I get understanding;
 therefore I hate every false way.

New Testament Gospel Lesson: Mark 10:46-52

Healing of the Blind Man

There are parallel passages at Matthew 20:29-34 and Luke 18:35-43.

They came to Jericho. As he and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stood still and said, “Call him here.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart; get up, he is calling you.” So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. Then Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man said to him, “My teacher, let me see again.” Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way.

Year C Ordinary 29, Catholic Proper 29, RCL Proper 24: Saturday

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: Healing of the Blind Man by Carl Bloch [public domain] via Wikimedia Commons.

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Friday: Preparation for the Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Roman Catholic Proper 29
Revised Common Lectionary Proper 24

Complementary Hebrew Scripture from the Torah: Genesis 31:43—32:2

Then Laban answered and said to Jacob, “The daughters are my daughters, the children are my children, the flocks are my flocks, and all that you see is mine. But what can I do today about these daughters of mine, or about their children whom they have borne? Come now, let us make a covenant, you and I; and let it be a witness between you and me.” So Jacob took a stone, and set it up as a pillar. And Jacob said to his kinsfolk, “Gather stones,” and they took stones, and made a heap; and they ate there by the heap. Laban called it Jegar-sahadutha: but Jacob called it Galeed. Laban said, “This heap is a witness between you and me today.” Therefore he called it Galeed, and the pillar Mizpah, for he said, “The Lord watch between you and me, when we are absent one from the other. If you ill-treat my daughters, or if you take wives in addition to my daughters, though no one else is with us, remember that God is witness between you and me.”

Then Laban said to Jacob, “See this heap and see the pillar, which I have set between you and me. This heap is a witness, and the pillar is a witness, that I will not pass beyond this heap to you, and you will not pass beyond this heap and this pillar to me, for harm. May the God of Abraham and the God of Nahor” —the God of their father—“judge between us.” So Jacob swore by the Fear of his father Isaac, and Jacob offered a sacrifice on the height and called his kinsfolk to eat bread; and they ate bread and tarried all night in the hill country.

Early in the morning Laban rose up, and kissed his grandchildren and his daughters and blessed them; then he departed and returned home.

Jacob went on his way and the angels of God met him; and when Jacob saw them he said, “This is God's camp!” So he called that place Mahanaim.

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture from the Latter Prophets: Jeremiah 26:16-24

Then the officials and all the people said to the priests and the prophets, “This man does not deserve the sentence of death, for he has spoken to us in the name of the Lord our God.” And some of the elders of the land arose and said to all the assembled people, “Micah of Moresheth, who prophesied during the days of King Hezekiah of Judah, said to all the people of Judah: ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts,

Zion shall be plowed as a field;
Jerusalem shall become a heap of ruins,
and the mountain of the house a wooded height.”

Did King Hezekiah of Judah and all Judah actually put him to death? Did he not fear the Lord and entreat the favor of the Lord, and did not the Lord change his mind about the disaster that he had pronounced against them? But we are about to bring great disaster on ourselves!”

There was another man prophesying in the name of the Lord, Uriah son of Shemaiah from Kiriath-jearim. He prophesied against this city and against this land in words exactly like those of Jeremiah. And when King Jehoiakim, with all his warriors and all the officials, heard his words, the king sought to put him to death; but when Uriah heard of it, he was afraid and fled and escaped to Egypt. Then King Jehoiakim sent Elnathan son of Achbor and men with him to Egypt, and they took Uriah from Egypt and brought him to King Jehoiakim, who struck him down with the sword and threw his dead body into the burial place of the common people. But the hand of Ahikam son of Shaphan was with Jeremiah so that he was not given over into the hands of the people to be put to death.

Complementary Psalm 121

I lift up my eyes to the hills—from where will my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
 who made heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot be moved;
 he who keeps you will not slumber.
He who keeps Israel
 will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper;
 the Lord is your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
 nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all evil;
 he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep
 your going out and your coming in
 from this time on and forevermore.

Semi-continuous Psalm 119:97-104

Oh, how I love your law!
 It is my meditation all day long.
Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies,
 for it is always with me.
I have more understanding than all my teachers,
 for your decrees are my meditation.
I understand more than the aged,
 for I keep your precepts.
I hold back my feet from every evil way,
 in order to keep your word.
I do not turn away from your ordinances,
 for you have taught me.
How sweet are your words to my taste,
 sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Through your precepts I get understanding;
 therefore I hate every false way.

New Testament Epistle Lesson: 2 Timothy 2:14-26

controversies.png

Remind them of this, and warn them before God that they are to avoid wrangling over words, which does no good but only ruins those who are listening. Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved by him, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly explaining the word of truth. Avoid profane chatter, for it will lead people into more and more impiety, and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have swerved from the truth by claiming that the resurrection has already taken place. They are upsetting the faith of some.

But God's firm foundation stands, bearing this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who calls on the name of the Lord turn away from wickedness.” In a large house there are utensils not only of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for special use, some for ordinary. All who cleanse themselves of the things I have mentioned will become special utensils, dedicated and useful to the owner of the house, ready for every good work.

Shun youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. Have nothing to do with stupid and senseless controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kindly to everyone, an apt teacher, patient, correcting opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant that they will repent and come to know the truth, and that they may escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.

Year C Ordinary 29, Catholic Proper 29, RCL Proper 24: Friday

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: Created by Michael Gilbertson on Wordle 30 September 2019. This image may be used under CC 3.0 by SA.

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

Roman Catholic Proper 29
Revised Common Lectionary Proper 24

Complementary Hebrew Scripture Lesson from the Latter Prophets: Isaiah 54:11-17

O afflicted one, storm-tossed, and not comforted,
 I am about to set your stones in antimony,
 and lay your foundations with sapphires.
I will make your pinnacles of rubies,
 your gates of jewels,
 and all your wall of precious stones.
All your children shall be taught by the Lord,
 and great shall be the prosperity of your children.
¹

In righteousness you shall be established;
 you shall be far from oppression,
  for you shall not fear;
 and from terror,
  for it shall not come near you.

If anyone stirs up strife,
 it is not from me;
whoever stirs up strife with you
 shall fall because of you.

See it is I who have created the smith
 who blows the fire of coals,
 and produces a weapon fit for its purpose;
I have also created the ravager to destroy.

No weapon that is fashioned against you shall prosper,
 and you shall confute every tongue
  that rises against you in judgment.

This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord
 and their vindication from me, says the Lord.

¹Jesus quotes this verse in response to the Jews who are hostile to him (John 6:41-51).

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture from the Latter Prophets: Jeremiah 26:1-15

At the beginning of the reign of King Jehoiakim son of Josiah of Judah, this word came from the Lord: Thus says the Lord: Stand in the court of the Lord's house, and speak to all the cities of Judah that come to worship in the house of the Lord; speak to them all the words that I command you; do not hold back a word. It may be that they will listen, all of them, and will turn from their evil way, that I may change my mind about the disaster that I intend to bring on them because of their evil doings. You shall say to them: Thus says the Lord: If you will not listen to me, to walk in my law that I have set before you, and to heed the words of my servants the prophets whom I send to you urgently—though you have not heeded—then I will make this house like Shiloh, and I will make this city a curse for all the nations of the earth.

The priests and the prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah speaking these words in the house of the Lord. And when Jeremiah had finished speaking all that the Lord had commanded him to speak to all the people, then the priests and the prophets and all the people laid hold of him, saying, “You shall die! Why have you prophesied in the name of the Lord, saying, ‘This house shall be like Shiloh, and this city shall be desolate, without inhabitant’?” And all the people gathered around Jeremiah in the house of the Lord.

When the officials of Judah heard these things, they came up from the king's house to the house of the Lord and took their seat in the entry of the New Gate of the house of the Lord. Then the priests and the prophets said to the officials and to all the people, “This man deserves the sentence of death because he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your own ears.”

Then Jeremiah spoke to all the officials and all the people, saying, “It is the Lord who sent me to prophesy against this house and this city all the words you have heard. Now therefore amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of the Lord your God, and the Lord will change his mind about the disaster that he has pronounced against you. But as for me, here I am in your hands. Do with me as seems good and right to you. Only know for certain that if you put me to death, you will be bringing innocent blood upon yourselves and upon this city and its inhabitants, for in truth the Lord sent me to you to speak all these words in your ears.”

Complementary Psalm 121

I lift up my eyes to the hills—from where will my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
 who made heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot be moved;
 he who keeps you will not slumber.
He who keeps Israel
 will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper;
 the Lord is your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
 nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all evil;
 he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep
 your going out and your coming in
 from this time on and forevermore.

Semi-continuous Psalm 119:97-104

Oh, how I love your law!
 It is my meditation all day long.
Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies,
 for it is always with me.
I have more understanding than all my teachers,
 for your decrees are my meditation.
I understand more than the aged,
 for I keep your precepts.
I hold back my feet from every evil way,
 in order to keep your word.
I do not turn away from your ordinances,
 for you have taught me.
How sweet are your words to my taste,
 sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Through your precepts I get understanding;
 therefore I hate every false way.

New Testament Lesson: Acts 17:22-34

Altar to an unknown god

Then Paul stood in front of the Areopagus and said, “Athenians, I see how extremely religious you are in every way. For as I went through the city and looked carefully at the objects of your worship, I found among them an altar with the inscription,

‘To an unknown god.’

What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, he who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mortals life and breath and all things. From one ancestor he made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live, so that they would search for God and perhaps grope for him and find him—though indeed he is not far from each one of us. For ‘In him we live and move and have our being’¹; as even some of your own poets have said,

‘For we too are his offspring.’²

Since we are God's offspring, we ought not to think that the deity is like gold, or silver, or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of mortals. While God has overlooked the times of human ignorance, now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will have the world judged in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”

When they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some scoffed; but others said, “We will hear you again about this.” At that point Paul left them. But some of them joined him and became believers, including Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris, and others with them.

¹From the Cretan philosopher Epimendies   ²From the Cilician Stoic philosopher Aratus

Year C Ordinary 29, Catholic Proper 29, RCL Proper 24: 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: Image by Ashibaka (own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

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

Roman Catholic Proper 28
Revised Common Lectionary Proper 23

Complementary Hebrew Scripture from the Former Prophets: 2 Kings 15:1-7

In the twenty-seventh year of King Jeroboam of Israel King Azariah son of Amaziah of Judah began to reign. He was sixteen years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Jecoliah of Jerusalem. He did what was right in the sight of the Lord, just as his father Amaziah had done. Nevertheless the high places were not taken away; the people still sacrificed and made offerings on the high places. The Lord struck the king, so that he was leprous to the day of his death, and lived in a separate house. Jotham the king's son was in charge of the palace, governing the people of the land. Now the rest of the acts of Azariah, and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Annals of the Kings of Judah? Azariah slept with his ancestors; they buried him with his ancestors in the city of David; his son Jotham succeeded him.

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture from the Latter Prophets: Jeremiah 25:15-32

For thus the Lord, the God of Israel, said to me: Take from my hand this cup of the wine of wrath, and make all the nations to whom I send you drink it. They shall drink and stagger and go out of their minds because of the sword that I am sending among them.

So I took the cup from the Lord's hand, and made all the nations to whom the Lord sent me drink it: Jerusalem and the towns of Judah, its kings and officials, to make them a desolation and a waste, an object of hissing and of cursing, as they are today; Pharaoh king of Egypt, his servants, his officials, and all his people; all the mixed people; all the kings of the land of Uz; all the kings of the land of the Philistines—Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron, and the remnant of Ashdod; Edom, Moab, and the Ammonites; all the kings of Tyre, all the kings of Sidon, and the kings of the coastland across the sea; Dedan, Tema, Buz, and all who have shaven temples; all the kings of Arabia and all the kings of the mixed peoples that live in the desert; all the kings of Zimri, all the kings of Elam, and all the kings of Media; all the kings of the north, far and near, one after another, and all the kingdoms of the world that are on the face of the earth. And after them the king of Sheshach shall drink.

Then you shall say to them, Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Drink, get drunk and vomit, fall and rise no more, because of the sword that I am sending among you. And if they refuse to accept the cup from your hand to drink, then you shall say to them: Thus says the Lord of hosts: You must drink! See, I am beginning to bring disaster on the city that is called by my name, and how can you possibly avoid punishment? You shall not go unpunished, for I am summoning a sword against all the inhabitants of the earth, says the Lord of hosts.

You, therefore, shall prophesy against them all these words, and say to them:

The Lord will roar from on high,
 and from his holy habitation utter his voice;
 he will roar mightily against his fold, and shout,
 like those who tread grapes,
 against all the inhabitants of the earth.
The clamor will resound to the ends of the earth,
 for the Lord has an indictment against the nations;
  he is entering into judgment with all flesh,
   and the guilty he will put to the sword,
    says the Lord.

Thus says the Lord of hosts:
See, disaster is spreading
 from nation to nation,
 and a great tempest is stirring
 from the farthest parts of the earth!

Complementary Psalm 61

Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer.
From the end of the earth I call to you,
 when my heart is faint.

Lead me to the rock
 that is higher than I;
for you are my refuge,
 a strong tower against the enemy.

Let me abide in your tent forever,
 find refuge under the shelter of your wings.
For you, O God, have heard my vows;
 you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.

Prolong the life of the king;
 may his years endure to all generations!
May he be enthroned forever before God;
 appoint steadfast love and faithfulness to watch over him!
So I will always sing praises to your name,
 as I pay my vows day after day.

Semi-continuous Psalm 102:1-17

Hear my prayer, O Lord; let my cry come to you.
Do not hide your face from me
 in the day of my distress.
Incline your ear to me;
 answer me speedily in the day when I call.
For my days pass away like smoke,
 and my bones burn like a furnace.
My heart is stricken and withered like grass;
 I am too wasted to eat my bread.
Because of my loud groaning
 my bones cling to my skin.
I am like an owl of the wilderness,
 like a little owl of the waste places.
I lie awake;
 I am like a lonely bird on the housetop.
All day long my enemies taunt me;
 those who deride me use my name for a curse.
For I eat ashes like bread,
 and mingle tears with my drink,
because of your indignation and anger;
 for you have lifted me up and thrown me aside.
My days are like an evening shadow;
 I wither away like grass.

But you, O Lord, are enthroned forever;
 your name endures to all generations.
You will rise up and have compassion on Zion,
 for it is time to favor it;
 the appointed time has come.
For your servants hold its stones dear,
 and have pity on its dust.
The nations will fear the name of the Lord,
 and all the kings of the earth your glory.
For the Lord will build up Zion;
 he will appear in his glory.
He will regard the prayer of the destitute,
 and will not despise their prayer.

New Testament Gospel Lesson: Matthew 10:5-15

There are parallel passages at Mark 6:7-13 and Luke 9:1-6.

Go, proclaim the Good News.

These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, proclaim the good news, ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment. Take no gold, or silver, or copper in your belts, no bag for your journey, or two tunics, or sandals, or a staff; for laborers deserve their food. Whatever town or village you enter, find out who in it is worthy, and stay there until you leave. As you enter the house, greet it. If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet as you leave that house or town. Truly I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.”

Year C Ordinary 28, Catholic Proper 28, RCL Proper 23: 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: James Tissot, via Wikimedia Commons. This is a public domain image. Tissot's title was The Pharisees Question Jesus.

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Tuesday: Reflection on the Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Roman Catholic Proper 28
Revised Common Lectionary Proper 23

Complementary Hebrew Scripture from the Former Prophets: 2 Kings 5:19b-27

But when Naaman had gone from him a short distance, Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, thought, “My master has let that Aramean Naaman off too lightly by not accepting from him what he offered. As the Lord lives, I will run after him and get something out of him.” So Gehazi went after Naaman. When Naaman saw someone running after him, he jumped down from the chariot to meet him and said, “Is everything all right?” He replied, “Yes, but my master has sent me to say, ‘Two members of a company of prophets have just come to me from the hill country of Ephraim; please give them a talent of silver and two changes of clothing.’” Naaman said, “Please accept two talents.” He urged him, and tied up two talents of silver in two bags, with two changes of clothing, and gave them to two of his servants, who carried them in front of Gehazi. When he came to the citadel, he took the bags from them, and stored them inside; he dismissed the men, and they left.

He went in and stood before his master; and Elisha said to him, “Where have you been, Gehazi?” He answered, “Your servant has not gone anywhere at all.” But he said to him, “Did I not go with you in spirit when someone left his chariot to meet you? Is this a time to accept money and to accept clothing, olive orchards and vineyards, sheep and oxen, and male and female slaves? Therefore the leprosy of Naaman shall cling to you, and to your descendants forever.” So he left his presence leprous, as white as snow.

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture from the Latter Prophets: Jeremiah 29:24-32

To Shemaiah of Nehelam you shall say: Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: In your own name you sent a letter to all the people who are in Jerusalem, and to the priest Zephaniah son of Maaseiah, and to all the priests, saying, The Lord himself has made you priest instead of the priest Jehoiada, so that there may be officers in the house of the Lord to control any madman who plays the prophet, to put him in the stocks and the collar. So now why have you not rebuked Jeremiah of Anathoth who plays the prophet for you? For he has actually sent to us in Babylon, saying, “It will be a long time; build houses and live in them, and plant gardens and eat what they produce.”

The priest Zephaniah read this letter in the hearing of the prophet Jeremiah. Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: Send to all the exiles, saying, Thus says the Lord concerning Shemaiah of Nehelam: Because Shemaiah has prophesied to you, though I did not send him, and has led you to trust in a lie, therefore thus says the Lord: I am going to punish Shemaiah of Nehelam and his descendants; he shall not have anyone living among this people to see the good that I am going to do to my people, says the Lord, for he has spoken rebellion against the Lord.

Complementary Psalm 61

Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer.
From the end of the earth I call to you,
 when my heart is faint.

Lead me to the rock
 that is higher than I;
for you are my refuge,
 a strong tower against the enemy.

Let me abide in your tent forever,
 find refuge under the shelter of your wings.
For you, O God, have heard my vows;
 you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.

Prolong the life of the king;
 may his years endure to all generations!
May he be enthroned forever before God;
 appoint steadfast love and faithfulness to watch over him!
So I will always sing praises to your name,
 as I pay my vows day after day.

Semi-continuous Psalm 102:1-17

Hear my prayer, O Lord; let my cry come to you.
Do not hide your face from me
 in the day of my distress.
Incline your ear to me;
 answer me speedily in the day when I call.
For my days pass away like smoke,
 and my bones burn like a furnace.
My heart is stricken and withered like grass;
 I am too wasted to eat my bread.
Because of my loud groaning
 my bones cling to my skin.
I am like an owl of the wilderness,
 like a little owl of the waste places.
I lie awake;
 I am like a lonely bird on the housetop.
All day long my enemies taunt me;
 those who deride me use my name for a curse.
For I eat ashes like bread,
 and mingle tears with my drink,
because of your indignation and anger;
 for you have lifted me up and thrown me aside.
My days are like an evening shadow;
 I wither away like grass.

But you, O Lord, are enthroned forever;
 your name endures to all generations.
You will rise up and have compassion on Zion,
 for it is time to favor it;
 the appointed time has come.
For your servants hold its stones dear,
 and have pity on its dust.
The nations will fear the name of the Lord,
 and all the kings of the earth your glory.
For the Lord will build up Zion;
 he will appear in his glory.
He will regard the prayer of the destitute,
 and will not despise their prayer.

New Testament Epistle Lesson: Ephesians 6:10-20

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints. Pray also for me, so that when I speak, a message may be given to me to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it boldly, as I must speak.

[Here is a link to a chart showing what a Roman soldier would have worn and relating it to Ephesians. Armor of God]

Year C Ordinary 28, Catholic Proper 28, RCL Proper 23: Tuesday

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: Sir Lancelot whole armour of God (Royal Military College of Canada memorial window to Ian Sutherland Brown), image by By Victoria Edwards (Own work) via Wikimedia Commons. This image is licensed under the Creative Commons 3.0 Share Alike license

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

Roman Catholic Proper 28
Revised Common Lectionary Proper 23

Complementary Hebrew Scripture from the Former Prophets: 2 Kings 5:15-19a

Then he returned to the man of God, he and all his company; he came and stood before him and said, “Now I know that there is no God in all the earth except in Israel; please accept a present from your servant.” But he said, “As the Lord lives, whom I serve, I will accept nothing!” He urged him to accept, but he refused. Then Naaman said, “If not, please let two mule-loads of earth be given to your servant; for your servant will no longer offer burnt offering or sacrifice to any god except the Lord. But may the Lord pardon your servant on one count: when my master goes into the house of Rimmon to worship there, leaning on my arm, and I bow down in the house of Rimmon, when I do bow down in the house of Rimmon, may the Lord pardon your servant on this one count.” He said to him, “Go in peace.”

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture from the Latter Prophets: Jeremiah 29:8-23

For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Do not let the prophets and the diviners who are among you deceive you, and do not listen to the dreams that they dream, for it is a lie that they are prophesying to you in my name; I did not send them, says the Lord.

For thus says the Lord: Only when Babylon's seventy years are completed will I visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place. For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you. When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart, I will let you find me, says the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.

Because you have said, “The Lord has raised up prophets for us in Babylon,” Thus says the Lord concerning the king who sits on the throne of David, and concerning all the people who live in this city, your kinsfolk who did not go out with you into exile: Thus says the Lord of hosts, I am going to let loose on them sword, famine, and pestilence, and I will make them like rotten figs that are so bad they cannot be eaten. I will pursue them with the sword, with famine, and with pestilence, and will make them a horror to all the kingdoms of the earth, to be an object of cursing, and horror, and hissing, and a derision among all the nations where I have driven them, because they did not heed my words, says the Lord, when I persistently sent to you my servants the prophets, but they would not listen, says the Lord. But now, all you exiles whom I sent away from Jerusalem to Babylon, hear the word of the Lord: Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, concerning Ahab son of Kolaiah and Zedekiah son of Maaseiah, who are prophesying a lie to you in my name: I am going to deliver them into the hand of King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon, and he shall kill them before your eyes. And on account of them this curse shall be used by all the exiles from Judah in Babylon: “The Lord make you like Zedekiah and Ahab, whom the king of Babylon roasted in the fire,” because they have perpetrated outrage in Israel and have committed adultery with their neighbors' wives, and have spoken in my name lying words that I did not command them; I am the one who knows and bears witness, says the Lord.

Complementary Psalm 61

Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer.
From the end of the earth I call to you,
 when my heart is faint.

Lead me to the rock
 that is higher than I;
for you are my refuge,
 a strong tower against the enemy.

Let me abide in your tent forever,
 find refuge under the shelter of your wings.
For you, O God, have heard my vows;
 you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.

Prolong the life of the king;
 may his years endure to all generations!
May he be enthroned forever before God;
 appoint steadfast love and faithfulness to watch over him!
So I will always sing praises to your name,
 as I pay my vows day after day.

Semi-continuous Psalm 102:1-17

Hear my prayer, O Lord; let my cry come to you.
Do not hide your face from me
 in the day of my distress.
Incline your ear to me;
 answer me speedily in the day when I call.
For my days pass away like smoke,
 and my bones burn like a furnace.
My heart is stricken and withered like grass;
 I am too wasted to eat my bread.
Because of my loud groaning
 my bones cling to my skin.
I am like an owl of the wilderness,
 like a little owl of the waste places.
I lie awake;
 I am like a lonely bird on the housetop.
All day long my enemies taunt me;
 those who deride me use my name for a curse.
For I eat ashes like bread,
 and mingle tears with my drink,
because of your indignation and anger;
 for you have lifted me up and thrown me aside.
My days are like an evening shadow;
 I wither away like grass.

But you, O Lord, are enthroned forever;
 your name endures to all generations.
You will rise up and have compassion on Zion,
 for it is time to favor it;
 the appointed time has come.
For your servants hold its stones dear,
 and have pity on its dust.
The nations will fear the name of the Lord,
 and all the kings of the earth your glory.
For the Lord will build up Zion;
 he will appear in his glory.
He will regard the prayer of the destitute,
 and will not despise their prayer.

New Testament Lesson: Acts 26:24-29

The Apostle Paul Explains The Tenets Of Faith In The Presence Of King Agrippa, His Sister Berenice, And The Proconsul Festus

While Paul was making this defense, Festus exclaimed, “You are out of your mind, Paul! Too much learning is driving you insane!” But Paul said, “I am not out of my mind, most excellent Festus, but I am speaking the sober truth. Indeed the king knows about these things, and to him I speak freely; for I am certain that none of these things has escaped his notice, for this was not done in a corner. King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you believe.” Agrippa said to Paul, “Are you so quickly persuading me to become a Christian?” Paul replied, “Whether quickly or not, I pray to God that not only you but also all who are listening to me today might become such as I am—except for these chains.”

Year C Ordinary 28, Catholic Proper 28, RCL Proper 23: 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: The Apostle Paul Explains The Tenets Of Faith In The Presence Of King Agrippa, His Sister Berenice, And The Proconsul Festus by Vasily Surikov [Public Domain] via WikiArt.org.

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