Year C

Wednesday: Reflection on the Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Roman Catholic Proper 20
Revised Common Lectionary Proper 15

Complementary Hebrew Scripture from the Latter Prophets: Jeremiah 25:30-38

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!
Those slain by the Lord on that day shall extend from one end of the earth to the other. They shall not be lamented, or gathered, or buried; they shall become dung on the surface of the ground.
Wail, you shepherds, and cry out;
 roll in ashes, you lords of the flock,
for the days of your slaughter have come—and your dispersions,
 and you shall fall like a choice vessel.
Flight shall fail the shepherds,
 and there shall be no escape for the lords of the flock.
Hark! the cry of the shepherds,
 and the wail of the lords of the flock!
For the Lord is despoiling their pasture,
 and the peaceful folds are devastated,
 because of the fierce anger of the Lord.
Like a lion he has left his covert;
 for their land has become a waste
because of the cruel sword,
 and because of his fierce anger.

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture Lesson from the Latter Prophets: Isaiah 27:1-13

On that day the Lord with his cruel and great and strong sword will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent, Leviathan the twisting serpent, and he will kill the dragon that is in the sea.

On that day:
A pleasant vineyard, sing about it!
I, the Lord, am its keeper;
every moment I water it.
I guard it night and day
so that no one can harm it;
I have no wrath.
If it gives me thorns and briers,
I will march to battle against it.
I will burn it up.
Or else let it cling to me for protection,
let it make peace with me,
let it make peace with me.

In days to come Jacob shall take root,
 Israel shall blossom and put forth shoots,
 and fill the whole world with fruit.
Has he struck them down as he struck down those who struck them?
 Or have they been killed as their killers were killed?
By expulsion, by exile you struggled against them;
 with his fierce blast he removed them in the day of the east wind.
Therefore by this the guilt of Jacob will be purged,
 and this will be the full fruit of the removal of his sin:
when he makes all the stones of the altars
 like chalkstones crushed to pieces,
 no sacred poles or incense altars will remain standing.
For the fortified city is solitary,
 a habitation deserted and forsaken, like the wilderness;
the calves graze there,
 there they lie down, and strip its branches.
When its boughs are dry, they are broken;
 women come and make a fire of them.
For this is a people without understanding;
 therefore he that made them will not have compassion on them,
 he that formed them will show them no favor.

On that day the Lord will thresh from the channel of the Euphrates to the Wadi of Egypt, and you will be gathered one by one, O people of Israel. And on that day a great trumpet will be blown, and those who were lost in the land of Assyria and those who were driven out to the land of Egypt will come and worship the Lord on the holy mountain at Jerusalem. (TLCO: NRSV, NLT)

Complementary Psalm 32

Happy are those whose disobedience is forgiven,
 whose sin is pardoned.
Happy are those to whose record God has cleared of guilt
 and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
¹

While I refused to confess my sin,
 my body wasted away and I groaned all day long.
For day and night your hand of discipline was heavy upon me;
 my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.

Then I acknowledged my sin
 and did not hide my wrong-doing;
I said, “I will confess my rebellious acts to the Lord,”
 and you forgave the guilt of my sin.

Therefore let the godly pray to you
 while there is still time;
the rush of mighty waters shall not reach them.
You are a hiding place for me;
 you preserve me from trouble;
 you surround me with glad cries of deliverance.

I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go;
 I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
Do not be like a horse or a mule, without understanding,
 whose temper must be curbed with bit and bridle,
 else it will not stay near you.

Many are the torments of the wicked,
 but steadfast love surrounds those who trust in the Lord.
Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, O righteous,
 and shout for joy, all you upright in heart. (TLCO: NRSV, NLT, NET)

¹Paul quotes these verses in Romans 4 when he holds up Abraham as an example of faith.

Semi-continuous Psalm 74

O God, why do you cast us off forever?
 Why does your anger smoke against the sheep of your pasture?
Remember your congregation, which you acquired long ago,
 which you redeemed to be the tribe of your heritage.
 Remember Mount Zion, where you came to dwell.
Direct your steps to the perpetual ruins;
 the enemy has destroyed everything in the sanctuary.

Your foes have roared within your holy place;
 they set up their emblems there.
At the upper entrance they hacked
 the wooden trellis with axes.
And then, with hatchets and hammers,
 they smashed all its carved work.
They set your sanctuary on fire;
 they desecrated the dwelling place of your name,
 bringing it to the ground.
They said to themselves, “We will utterly subdue them”;
 they burned all the meeting places of God in the land.

We do not see our emblems;
 there is no longer any prophet,
 and there is no one among us who knows how long.
How long, O God, is the foe to scoff?
 Is the enemy to revile your name forever?
Why do you hold back your hand;
 why do you keep your hand in your bosom?

Yet God my King is from of old
 working salvation in the earth.
You divided the sea by your might;
 you broke the heads of the dragons in the waters.
You crushed the heads of Leviathan;
 you gave him as food for the creatures of the wilderness.
You cut openings for springs and torrents;
 you dried up ever-flowing streams.
Yours is the day, yours also the night;
 you established the luminaries and the sun.
You have fixed all the bounds of the earth;
 you made summer and winter.

Remember this, O Lord, how the enemy scoffs,
 and an impious people reviles your name.
Do not deliver the soul of your dove to the wild animals;
 do not forget the life of your poor forever.

Have regard for your covenant,
 for the dark places of the land are full of the haunts of violence.
Do not let the downtrodden be put to shame;
 let the poor and needy praise your name.
Rise up, O God, plead your cause;
 remember how the impious scoff at you all day long.
Do not forget the clamor of your foes,
 the uproar of your adversaries that goes up continually.

New Testament Gospel Lesson: Luke 19:45-48

There are parallel passages at Matthew 21:12-17, Mark 11:15-19, and John 2:13-22

Christ driving the money changers out of the temple

Then he entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling things there; and he said,

“It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer’;¹ but you have made it a den of robbers.”²

Every day he was teaching in the temple. The chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people kept looking for a way to kill him; but they did not find anything they could do, for all the people were spellbound by what they heard.

¹Isaiah 56:7   ²Jeremiah 7:11

Year C Ordinary 20, Catholic Proper 20, RCL Proper 15, The Tenth Week After Pentecost: 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: Christ driving the money changers out of the temple by Valentin de Boulogne [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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Tuesday: Reflection on the Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Roman Catholic Proper 20
Revised Common Lectionary Proper 15

Complementary Hebrew Scripture from the Latter Prophets: Jeremiah 25:15-29

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.

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture Lesson from the Latter Prophets: Isaiah 5:24-30

Therefore, as the tongue of fire devours the stubble,
 and as dry grass sinks down in the flame,
so their root will become rotten,
 and their blossom go up like dust;
for they have rejected the instruction of the Lord of hosts,
 and have despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.

Therefore the anger of the Lord was kindled against his people,
 and he stretched out his hand against them and struck them;
 the mountains quaked,
and their corpses were like refuse
 in the streets.
For all this his anger has not turned away,
 and his hand is stretched out still.
He will raise a signal for a nation far away,
 and whistle for a people at the ends of the earth;
Here they come, swiftly, speedily!
None of them is weary, none stumbles,
 none slumbers or sleeps,
not a loincloth is loose,
 not a sandal-thong broken;
their arrows are sharp,
 all their bows bent,
their horses' hoofs seem like flint,
 and their wheels like the whirlwind.
Their roaring is like a lion,
 like young lions they roar;
they growl and seize their prey,
 they carry it off, and no one can rescue.
They will roar over it on that day,
 like the roaring of the sea.
And if one look to the land—
 only darkness and distress;
and the light grows dark with clouds.

Complementary Psalm 32

Happy are those whose disobedience is forgiven,
 whose sin is pardoned.
Happy are those to whose record God has cleared of guilt
 and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
¹

While I refused to confess my sin,
 my body wasted away and I groaned all day long.
For day and night your hand of discipline was heavy upon me;
 my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.

Then I acknowledged my sin
 and did not hide my wrong-doing;
I said, “I will confess my rebellious acts to the Lord,”
 and you forgave the guilt of my sin.

Therefore let the godly pray to you
 while there is still time;
the rush of mighty waters shall not reach them.
You are a hiding place for me;
 you preserve me from trouble;
 you surround me with glad cries of deliverance.

I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go;
 I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
Do not be like a horse or a mule, without understanding,
 whose temper must be curbed with bit and bridle,
 else it will not stay near you.

Many are the torments of the wicked,
 but steadfast love surrounds those who trust in the Lord.
Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, O righteous,
 and shout for joy, all you upright in heart. (TLCO: NRSV, NLT, NET)

¹Paul quotes these verses in Romans 4 when he holds up Abraham as an example of faith.

Semi-continuous Psalm 74

O God, why do you cast us off forever?
 Why does your anger smoke against the sheep of your pasture?
Remember your congregation, which you acquired long ago,
 which you redeemed to be the tribe of your heritage.
 Remember Mount Zion, where you came to dwell.
Direct your steps to the perpetual ruins;
 the enemy has destroyed everything in the sanctuary.

Your foes have roared within your holy place;
 they set up their emblems there.
At the upper entrance they hacked
 the wooden trellis with axes.
And then, with hatchets and hammers,
 they smashed all its carved work.
They set your sanctuary on fire;
 they desecrated the dwelling place of your name,
 bringing it to the ground.
They said to themselves, “We will utterly subdue them”;
 they burned all the meeting places of God in the land.

We do not see our emblems;
 there is no longer any prophet,
 and there is no one among us who knows how long.
How long, O God, is the foe to scoff?
 Is the enemy to revile your name forever?
Why do you hold back your hand;
 why do you keep your hand in your bosom?

Yet God my King is from of old
 working salvation in the earth.
You divided the sea by your might;
 you broke the heads of the dragons in the waters.
You crushed the heads of Leviathan;
 you gave him as food for the creatures of the wilderness.
You cut openings for springs and torrents;
 you dried up ever-flowing streams.
Yours is the day, yours also the night;
 you established the luminaries and the sun.
You have fixed all the bounds of the earth;
 you made summer and winter.

Remember this, O Lord, how the enemy scoffs,
 and an impious people reviles your name.
Do not deliver the soul of your dove to the wild animals;
 do not forget the life of your poor forever.

Have regard for your covenant,
 for the dark places of the land are full of the haunts of violence.
Do not let the downtrodden be put to shame;
 let the poor and needy praise your name.
Rise up, O God, plead your cause;
 remember how the impious scoff at you all day long.
Do not forget the clamor of your foes,
 the uproar of your adversaries that goes up continually.

New Testament Lesson: Acts 7:44-53

[Stephen is making his defense before the Sanhedrin.]

The Judgment on the Morning of Good Friday

“Our ancestors had the tent of testimony in the wilderness, as God directed when he spoke to Moses, ordering him to make it according to the pattern he had seen. Our ancestors in turn brought it in with Joshua when they dispossessed the nations that God drove out before our ancestors. And it was there until the time of David, who found favor with God and asked that he might find a dwelling place for the house of Jacob. But it was Solomon who built a house for him. Yet the Most High does not dwell in houses made with human hands; as the prophet says,

‘Heaven is my throne,
 and the earth is my footstool.
What kind of house will you build for me, says the Lord,
 or what is the place of my rest?
Did not my hand make all these things?’¹

“You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you are forever opposing the Holy Spirit, just as your ancestors used to do. Which of the prophets did your ancestors not persecute? They killed those who foretold the coming of the Righteous One, and now you have become his betrayers and murderers. You are the ones that received the law as ordained by angels, and yet you have not kept it.”

¹Isaiah 66:1-2

Year C Ordinary 20, Catholic Proper 20, RCL Proper 15, The Tenth Week After Pentecost: 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: The Judgment on the Morning of Good Friday by James Tissot. Image from Catholic Resources cropped and tone adjusted using Photoshop by Michael Gilbertson 3 August 2016

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Monday: Reflection on the Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Roman Catholic Proper 20
Revised Common Lectionary Proper 15

Complementary Hebrew Scripture from the Latter Prophets: Jeremiah 23:30-40

See, therefore, I am against the prophets, says the Lord, who steal my words from one another. See, I am against the prophets, says the Lord, who use their own tongues and say, “Says the Lord.” See, I am against those who prophesy lying dreams, says the Lord, and who tell them, and who lead my people astray by their lies and their recklessness, when I did not send them or appoint them; so they do not profit this people at all, says the Lord.

When this people, or a prophet, or a priest asks you, “What is the burden of the Lord?” you shall say to them, “You are the burden, and I will cast you off, says the Lord.” And as for the prophet, priest, or the people who say, “The burden of the Lord,” I will punish them and their households. Thus shall you say to one another, among yourselves, “What has the Lord answered?” or “What has the Lord spoken?” But “the burden of the Lord” you shall mention no more, for the burden is everyone's own word, and so you pervert the words of the living God, the Lord of hosts, our God. Thus you shall ask the prophet, “What has the Lord answered you?” or “What has the Lord spoken?” But if you say, “the burden of the Lord,” thus says the Lord: Because you have said these words, “the burden of the Lord,” when I sent to you, saying, You shall not say, “the burden of the Lord,” therefore, I will surely lift you up and cast you away from my presence, you and the city that I gave to you and your ancestors. And I will bring upon you everlasting disgrace and perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten.

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture Lesson from the Latter Prophets: Isaiah 5:8-23

Ah, you who join house to house,
 who add field to field,
until there is room for no one but you,
 and you are left to live alone
 in the midst of the land!
The Lord of hosts has sworn in my hearing:
 Surely many houses shall be desolate,
 large and beautiful houses, without inhabitant.
For ten acres of vineyard shall yield but six gallons,
 and ten baskets of seed shall yield a mere basket.¹

Ah, you who rise early in the morning
 in pursuit of strong drink,
who linger in the evening
 to be inflamed by wine,
whose feasts consist of lyre and harp,
 tambourine and flute and wine,
but who do not regard the deeds of the Lord,
 or see the work of his hands!
Therefore my people go into exile without knowledge;
their nobles are dying of hunger,
 and their multitude is parched with thirst.

Therefore Sheol has enlarged its appetite
 and opened its mouth beyond measure;
the nobility of Jerusalem and her multitude go down,
 her throng and all who exult in her.
People are bowed down, everyone is brought low,
 and the eyes of the haughty are humbled.
But the Lord of hosts is exalted by justice,
 and the Holy God shows himself holy by righteousness.
Then the lambs shall graze as in their pasture,
 fatlings and kids shall feed among the ruins.

Ah, you who drag iniquity along with cords of falsehood,
 who drag sin along as with cart ropes,
who say, “Let him make haste,
 let him speed his work
 that we may see it;
let the plan of the Holy One of Israel hasten to fulfillment,
 that we may know it!”
Ah, you who call evil good
 and good evil,
who put darkness for light
 and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet
 and sweet for bitter!
Ah, you who are wise in your own eyes,
 and shrewd in your own sight!
Ah, you who are heroes in drinking wine
 and valiant at mixing drink,
who acquit the guilty for a bribe,
 and deprive the innocent of their rights!

¹amounts from the New Living Translation. One bath equals six gallons, one homer equals ten backets and an ephah one basket.

Complementary Psalm 32

Happy are those whose disobedience is forgiven,
 whose sin is pardoned.
Happy are those to whose record God has cleared of guilt
 and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
¹

While I refused to confess my sin,
 my body wasted away and I groaned all day long.
For day and night your hand of discipline was heavy upon me;
 my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.

Then I acknowledged my sin
 and did not hide my wrong-doing;
I said, “I will confess my rebellious acts to the Lord,”
 and you forgave the guilt of my sin.

Therefore let the godly pray to you
 while there is still time;
the rush of mighty waters shall not reach them.
You are a hiding place for me;
 you preserve me from trouble;
 you surround me with glad cries of deliverance.

I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go;
 I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
Do not be like a horse or a mule, without understanding,
 whose temper must be curbed with bit and bridle,
 else it will not stay near you.

Many are the torments of the wicked,
 but steadfast love surrounds those who trust in the Lord.
Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, O righteous,
 and shout for joy, all you upright in heart. (TLCO: NRSV, NLT, NET)

¹Paul quotes these verses in Romans 4 when he holds up Abraham as an example of faith.

Semi-continuous Psalm 74

O God, why do you cast us off forever?
 Why does your anger smoke against the sheep of your pasture?
Remember your congregation, which you acquired long ago,
 which you redeemed to be the tribe of your heritage.
 Remember Mount Zion, where you came to dwell.
Direct your steps to the perpetual ruins;
 the enemy has destroyed everything in the sanctuary.

Your foes have roared within your holy place;
 they set up their emblems there.
At the upper entrance they hacked
 the wooden trellis with axes.
And then, with hatchets and hammers,
 they smashed all its carved work.
They set your sanctuary on fire;
 they desecrated the dwelling place of your name,
 bringing it to the ground.
They said to themselves, “We will utterly subdue them”;
 they burned all the meeting places of God in the land.

We do not see our emblems;
 there is no longer any prophet,
 and there is no one among us who knows how long.
How long, O God, is the foe to scoff?
 Is the enemy to revile your name forever?
Why do you hold back your hand;
 why do you keep your hand in your bosom?

Yet God my King is from of old
 working salvation in the earth.
You divided the sea by your might;
 you broke the heads of the dragons in the waters.
You crushed the heads of Leviathan;
 you gave him as food for the creatures of the wilderness.
You cut openings for springs and torrents;
 you dried up ever-flowing streams.
Yours is the day, yours also the night;
 you established the luminaries and the sun.
You have fixed all the bounds of the earth;
 you made summer and winter.

Remember this, O Lord, how the enemy scoffs,
 and an impious people reviles your name.
Do not deliver the soul of your dove to the wild animals;
 do not forget the life of your poor forever.

Have regard for your covenant,
 for the dark places of the land are full of the haunts of violence.
Do not let the downtrodden be put to shame;
 let the poor and needy praise your name.
Rise up, O God, plead your cause;
 remember how the impious scoff at you all day long.
Do not forget the clamor of your foes,
 the uproar of your adversaries that goes up continually.

New Testament Epistle Lesson: 1 John 4:1-6

The Sacrificial Lamb

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. And this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming; and now it is already in the world. Little children, you are from God, and have conquered them; for the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore what they say is from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us, and whoever is not from God does not listen to us. From this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

Year C Ordinary 20, Catholic Proper 20, RCL Proper 15, The Tenth Week After Pentecost: 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 Sacrificial Lamb Josefa de Ayala (Portuguese, ca. 1630-1684) from The Walters Art Museum.

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The Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Roman Catholic Proper 20
Revised Common Lectionary Proper 15

Complementary Hebrew Scripture from the Latter Prophets: Jeremiah 23:23-29

Am I a God near by, says the Lord, and not a God far off? Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them? says the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth? says the Lord. I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in my name, saying, “I have dreamed, I have dreamed!” How long? Will the hearts of the prophets ever turn back—those who prophesy lies, and who prophesy the deceit of their own heart? They plan to make my people forget my name by their dreams that they tell one another, just as their ancestors forgot my name for Baal. Let the prophet who has a dream tell the dream, but let the one who has my word speak my word faithfully. What has straw in common with wheat? says the Lord. Is not my word like fire, says the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture Lesson from the Latter Prophets: Isaiah 5:1-7

Let me sing for my beloved
 my love-song concerning his vineyard:
My beloved had a vineyard
 on a very fertile hill.
He dug it and cleared it of stones,
 and planted it with choice vines;
he built a watchtower in the midst of it,
 and hewed out a wine vat in it;
he expected it to yield grapes,
 but it yielded wild grapes.

And now, inhabitants of Jerusalem
 and people of Judah,
judge between me
 and my vineyard.
What more was there to do for my vineyard
 that I have not done in it?
When I expected it to yield grapes,
 why did it yield wild grapes?

And now I will tell you
 what I will do to my vineyard.
I will remove its hedge,
 and it shall be devoured;
I will break down its wall,
 and it shall be trampled down.
I will make it a waste;
 it shall not be pruned or hoed,
 and it shall be overgrown with briers and thorns;
I will also command the clouds
 that they rain no rain upon it.

For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts
 is the house of Israel,
and the people of Judah
 are his pleasant planting;
he expected justice,
 but saw bloodshed;
righteousness,
 but heard a cry!

Complementary Psalm 82

God has taken his place in the divine council;
 in the midst of the gods he holds judgment:
“How long will you judge unjustly
 and show partiality to the wicked?
Give justice to the weak and the orphan;
 maintain the right of the lowly and the destitute.
Rescue the weak and the needy;
 deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”

They have neither knowledge nor understanding,
 they walk around in darkness;
 all the foundations of the earth are shaken.

I say, “You are gods,
 children of the Most High, all of you;
nevertheless, you shall die like mortals,
 and fall like any prince.”
¹

Rise up, O God, judge the earth;
 for all the nations belong to you!

¹Jesus quotes the first part of this verse in response to those who plan to stone him. The episode is in John 10:22-39.

Semi-continuous Psalm 80:1-2, 8-19

Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel,
 you who lead Joseph like a flock!
You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth
 before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh.
Stir up your might,
 and come to save us!

You brought a vine out of Egypt;
 you drove out the nations and planted it.
You cleared the ground for it;
 it took deep root and filled the land.
The mountains were covered with its shade,
 the mighty cedars with its branches;
it sent out its branches to the sea,
 and its shoots to the River.
Why then have you broken down its walls,
 so that all who pass along the way pluck its fruit?
The boar from the forest ravages it,
 and all that move in the field feed on it.

Turn again, O God of hosts;
 look down from heaven, and see;
 have regard for this vine,
the stock that your right hand planted.
They have burned it with fire, they have cut it down;
 may they perish at the rebuke of your countenance.
But let your hand be upon the one at your right hand,
 the one whom you made strong for yourself.
Then we will never turn back from you; give us life,
 and we will call on your name.

Restore us, O Lord God of hosts;
 let your face shine, that we may be saved.

New Testament Epistle Lesson: Hebrews 11:29—12:2

By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as if it were dry land, but when the Egyptians attempted to do so they were drowned. By faith the walls of Jericho fell after they had been encircled for seven days. By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had received the spies in peace.

And what more should I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets—who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched raging fire, escaped the edge of the sword, won strength out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received their dead by resurrection. Others were tortured, refusing to accept release, in order to obtain a better resurrection. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned to death, they were sawn in two, they were killed by the sword; they went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, persecuted, tormented—of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground. Yet all these, though they were commended for their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better so that they would not, apart from us, be made perfect.

Choir of Heaven

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.

New Testament Gospel Lesson: Luke 12:49-56

There is a parallel passage at Matthew 10:24-36.

“I came to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! I have a baptism with which to be baptized, and what stress I am under until it is completed! Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division! From now on five in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three; they will be divided:

father against son
and son against father,
mother against daughter
and daughter against mother,
mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law
and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”

He also said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you immediately say, ‘It is going to rain’; and so it happens. And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, ‘There will be scorching heat’; and it happens. You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?”

Year C Ordinary 20, Catholic Proper 20, RCL Proper 15, The Tenth Week After Pentecost: 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: Choir of Heaven by Gustave Dore, published in 1870 by Cassell, Petter, & Galpin, engraved by Pannemaker.

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Saturday: Preparation for the Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Roman Catholic Proper 20
Revised Common Lectionary Proper 15

Complementary Hebrew Scripture from the Former Prophets: 1 Samuel 6:1-16

The ark of the Lord was in the country of the Philistines seven months. Then the Philistines called for the priests and the diviners and said, “What shall we do with the ark of the Lord? Tell us what we should send with it to its place.” They said, “If you send away the ark of the God of Israel, do not send it empty, but by all means return him a guilt offering. Then you will be healed and will be ransomed; will not his hand then turn from you?” And they said, “What is the guilt offering that we shall return to him?” They answered, “Five gold tumors and five gold mice, according to the number of the lords of the Philistines; for the same plague was upon all of you and upon your lords. So you must make images of your tumors and images of your mice that ravage the land, and give glory to the God of Israel; perhaps he will lighten his hand on you and your gods and your land. Why should you harden your hearts as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their hearts? After he had made fools of them, did they not let the people go, and they departed? Now then, get ready a new cart and two milch cows that have never borne a yoke, and yoke the cows to the cart, but take their calves home, away from them. Take the ark of the Lord and place it on the cart, and put in a box at its side the figures of gold, which you are returning to him as a guilt offering. Then send it off, and let it go its way. And watch; if it goes up on the way to its own land, to Beth-shemesh, then it is he who has done us this great harm; but if not, then we shall know that it is not his hand that struck us; it happened to us by chance.”

The men did so; they took two milch cows and yoked them to the cart, and shut up their calves at home. They put the ark of the Lord on the cart, and the box with the gold mice and the images of their tumors. The cows went straight in the direction of Beth-shemesh along one highway, lowing as they went; they turned neither to the right nor to the left, and the lords of the Philistines went after them as far as the border of Beth-shemesh.

Now the people of Beth-shemesh were reaping their wheat harvest in the valley. When they looked up and saw the ark, they went with rejoicing to meet it. The cart came into the field of Joshua of Beth-shemesh, and stopped there. A large stone was there; so they split up the wood of the cart and offered the cows as a burnt offering to the Lord. The Levites took down the ark of the Lord and the box that was beside it, in which were the gold objects, and set them upon the large stone. Then the people of Beth-shemesh offered burnt offerings and presented sacrifices on that day to the Lord. When the five lords of the Philistines saw it, they returned that day to Ekron.

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture Lesson from the Latter Prophets: Isaiah 3:18—4:6

In that day the Lord will take away the finery of the anklets, the headbands, and the crescents; the pendants, the bracelets, and the scarfs; the headdresses, the armlets, the sashes, the perfume boxes, and the amulets; the signet rings and nose rings; the festal robes, the mantles, the cloaks, and the handbags; the garments of gauze, the linen garments, the turbans, and the veils.

Instead of perfume there will be a stench;
 and instead of a sash, a rope;
and instead of well-set hair, baldness;
 and instead of a rich robe, a binding of sackcloth;
 instead of beauty, shame.
Your men shall fall by the sword
 and your warriors in battle.
And her gates shall lament and mourn;
 ravaged, she shall sit upon the ground.
Seven women shall take hold of one man in that day, saying,
 “We will eat our own bread and wear our own clothes;
just let us be called by your name;
 take away our disgrace.”

On that day the branch of the Lord shall be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land shall be the pride and glory of the survivors of Israel. Whoever is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy, everyone who has been recorded for life in Jerusalem, once the Lord has washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion and cleansed the bloodstains of Jerusalem from its midst by a spirit of judgment and by a spirit of burning. Then the Lord will create over the whole site of Mount Zion and over its places of assembly a cloud by day and smoke and the shining of a flaming fire by night. Indeed over all the glory there will be a canopy. It will serve as a pavilion, a shade by day from the heat, and a refuge and a shelter from the storm and rain.

Complementary Psalm 82

God has taken his place in the divine council;
 in the midst of the gods he holds judgment:
“How long will you judge unjustly
 and show partiality to the wicked?
Give justice to the weak and the orphan;
 maintain the right of the lowly and the destitute.
Rescue the weak and the needy;
 deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”

They have neither knowledge nor understanding,
 they walk around in darkness;
 all the foundations of the earth are shaken.

I say, “You are gods,
 children of the Most High, all of you;
nevertheless, you shall die like mortals,
 and fall like any prince.”
¹

Rise up, O God, judge the earth;
 for all the nations belong to you!

¹Jesus quotes the first part of this verse in response to those who plan to stone him. The episode is in John 10:22-39.

Semi-continuous Psalm 80:1-2, 8-19

Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel,
 you who lead Joseph like a flock!
You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth
 before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh.
Stir up your might,
 and come to save us!

You brought a vine out of Egypt;
 you drove out the nations and planted it.
You cleared the ground for it;
 it took deep root and filled the land.
The mountains were covered with its shade,
 the mighty cedars with its branches;
it sent out its branches to the sea,
 and its shoots to the River.
Why then have you broken down its walls,
 so that all who pass along the way pluck its fruit?
The boar from the forest ravages it,
 and all that move in the field feed on it.

Turn again, O God of hosts;
 look down from heaven, and see;
 have regard for this vine,
the stock that your right hand planted.
They have burned it with fire, they have cut it down;
 may they perish at the rebuke of your countenance.
But let your hand be upon the one at your right hand,
 the one whom you made strong for yourself.
Then we will never turn back from you; give us life,
 and we will call on your name.

Restore us, O Lord God of hosts;
 let your face shine, that we may be saved.

New Testament Gospel Lesson: Matthew 24:15-27

There are parallel passages at Mark 13:14-23 and Luke 21:20-24.

Cloud to cloud lightning strike, Victoria, Australia, November 2

“So when you see the desolating sacrilege standing in the holy place, as was spoken of by the prophet Daniel¹ (let the reader understand), then those in Judea must flee to the mountains; the one on the housetop must not go down to take what is in the house; the one in the field must not turn back to get a coat. Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing infants in those days! Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a sabbath. For at that time there will be great suffering, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. And if those days had not been cut short, no one would be saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look! Here is the Messiah!' or ‘There he is!' —do not believe it. For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and produce great signs and omens, to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. Take note, I have told you beforehand. So, if they say to you, ‘Look! He is in the wilderness,' do not go out. If they say, ‘Look! He is in the inner rooms,' do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.

¹Daniel 9:27, 11:31, and 12:11 all concern a desolation in the temple.

Year C Ordinary 20, Catholic Proper 20, RCL Proper 15, The Tenth Week After Pentecost: 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: Cloud to cloud lightning strike, Victoria, Australia, November 2008, image by fir0002 | flagstaffotos.com.au, used under GNU 1.2 license. This is not a public domain image.

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Friday: Preparation for the Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Roman Catholic Proper 20
Revised Common Lectionary Proper 15

Complementary Hebrew Scripture from the Former Prophets: 1 Samuel 5

When the Philistines captured the ark of God, they brought it from Ebenezer to Ashdod; then the Philistines took the ark of God and brought it into the house of Dagon [the Philistine God] and placed it beside Dagon. When the people of Ashdod rose early the next day, there was Dagon, fallen on his face to the ground before the ark of the Lord. So they took Dagon and put him back in his place. But when they rose early on the next morning, Dagon had fallen on his face to the ground before the ark of the Lord, and the head of Dagon and both his hands were lying cut off upon the threshold; only the trunk of Dagon was left to him. This is why the priests of Dagon and all who enter the house of Dagon do not step on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod to this day.

The hand of the Lord was heavy upon the people of Ashdod, and he terrified and struck them with tumors, both in Ashdod and in its territory. And when the inhabitants of Ashdod saw how things were, they said, “The ark of the God of Israel must not remain with us; for his hand is heavy on us and on our god Dagon.” So they sent and gathered together all the lords of the Philistines, and said, “What shall we do with the ark of the God of Israel?” The inhabitants of Gath replied, “Let the ark of God be moved on to us.” So they moved the ark of the God of Israel to Gath. But after they had brought it to Gath, the hand of the Lord was against the city, causing a very great panic; he struck the inhabitants of the city, both young and old, so that tumors broke out on them. So they sent the ark of the God of Israel to Ekron. But when the ark of God came to Ekron, the people of Ekron cried out, “Why have they brought around to us the ark of the God of Israel to kill us and our people?” They sent therefore and gathered together all the lords of the Philistines, and said, “Send away the ark of the God of Israel, and let it return to its own place, that it may not kill us and our people.” For there was a deathly panic throughout the whole city. The hand of God was very heavy there; those who did not die were stricken with tumors, and the cry of the city went up to heaven.

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture Lesson from the Latter Prophets: Isaiah 3:1-17

For now the Sovereign, the Lord of hosts,
 is taking away from Jerusalem and from Judah support and staff—
all support of bread,
 and all support of water—
warrior and soldier,
 judge and prophet,
 diviner and elder,
captain of fifty
 and dignitary,
counselor and skillful magician
 and expert enchanter.
And I will make boys their princes,
 and babes shall rule over them.
The people will be oppressed,
 everyone by another
and everyone by a neighbor;
the youth will be insolent to the elder,
 and the base to the honorable.

Someone will even seize a relative,
 a member of the clan, saying,
“You have a cloak;
 you shall be our leader,
and this heap of ruins
 shall be under your rule.”
But the other will cry out on that day, saying,
“I will not be a healer;
 in my house there is neither bread nor cloak;
you shall not make me
 leader of the people.”
For Jerusalem has stumbled
 and Judah has fallen,
because their speech and their deeds are against the Lord,
 defying his glorious presence.

The look on their faces bears witness against them;
 they proclaim their sin like Sodom,
 they do not hide it.
Woe to them!
 For they have brought evil on themselves.
Tell the innocent how fortunate they are,
 for they shall eat the fruit of their labors.
Woe to the guilty! How unfortunate they are,
 for what their hands have done shall be done to them.
My people—children are their oppressors,
 and women rule over them.
O my people, your leaders mislead you,
 and confuse the course of your paths.

The Lord rises to argue his case;
 he stands to judge the peoples.
The Lord enters into judgment
 with the elders and princes of his people:
It is you who have devoured the vineyard;
 the spoil of the poor is in your houses.
What do you mean by crushing my people,
 by grinding the face of the poor? says the Lord God of hosts.
The Lord said:
Because the daughters of Zion are haughty
 and walk with outstretched necks,
 glancing wantonly with their eyes,
mincing along as they go,
 tinkling with their feet;
the Lord will afflict with scabs
 the heads of the daughters of Zion,
 and the Lord will lay bare their secret parts.

Complementary Psalm 82

God has taken his place in the divine council;
 in the midst of the gods he holds judgment:
“How long will you judge unjustly
 and show partiality to the wicked?
Give justice to the weak and the orphan;
 maintain the right of the lowly and the destitute.
Rescue the weak and the needy;
 deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”

They have neither knowledge nor understanding,
 they walk around in darkness;
 all the foundations of the earth are shaken.

I say, “You are gods,
 children of the Most High, all of you;
nevertheless, you shall die like mortals,
 and fall like any prince.”
¹

Rise up, O God, judge the earth;
 for all the nations belong to you!

¹Jesus quotes the first part of this verse in response to those who plan to stone him. The episode is in John 10:22-39.

Semi-continuous Psalm 80:1-2, 8-19

Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel,
 you who lead Joseph like a flock!
You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth
 before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh.
Stir up your might,
 and come to save us!

You brought a vine out of Egypt;
 you drove out the nations and planted it.
You cleared the ground for it;
 it took deep root and filled the land.
The mountains were covered with its shade,
 the mighty cedars with its branches;
it sent out its branches to the sea,
 and its shoots to the River.
Why then have you broken down its walls,
 so that all who pass along the way pluck its fruit?
The boar from the forest ravages it,
 and all that move in the field feed on it.

Turn again, O God of hosts;
 look down from heaven, and see;
 have regard for this vine,
the stock that your right hand planted.
They have burned it with fire, they have cut it down;
 may they perish at the rebuke of your countenance.
But let your hand be upon the one at your right hand,
 the one whom you made strong for yourself.
Then we will never turn back from you; give us life,
 and we will call on your name.

Restore us, O Lord God of hosts;
 let your face shine, that we may be saved.

New Testament Epistle Lesson: Hebrews 10:32-39

The Soldier of Marathon announcing the Victory

But recall those earlier days when, after you had been enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, sometimes being publicly exposed to abuse and persecution, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. For you had compassion for those who were in prison, and you cheerfully accepted the plundering of your possessions, knowing that you yourselves possessed something better and more lasting. Do not, therefore, abandon that confidence of yours; it brings a great reward. For you need endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised. For yet

“in a very little while,
the one who is coming will come and will not delay;¹ but my righteous one will live by faith.
My soul takes no pleasure in anyone who shrinks back.²”

But we are not among those who shrink back and so are lost, but among those who have faith and so are saved.

¹Isaiah 26:20, Habakkuk 2:3   ² Habakkuk 2:4 (see Septuagint)

Year C Ordinary 20, Catholic Proper 20, RCL Proper 15, The Tenth Week After Pentecost: 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: The Soldier of Marathon announcing the Victory Marble, 1834 By Jean-Pierre Cortot (French, 1787-1843), licensed under GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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Thursday: Preparation for the Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Roman Catholic Proper 20
Revised Common Lectionary Proper 15

Complementary Hebrew Scripture from the Former Prophets: Joshua 7:1, 10-26

But the Israelites broke faith in regard to the devoted¹ things: Achan son of Carmi son of Zabdi son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of the devoted things; and the anger of the Lord burned against the Israelites.

The Lord said to Joshua, “Stand up! Why have you fallen upon your face? Israel has sinned; they have transgressed my covenant that I imposed on them. They have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen, they have acted deceitfully, and they have put them among their own belongings. Therefore the Israelites are unable to stand before their enemies; they turn their backs to their enemies, because they have become a thing devoted for destruction themselves. I will be with you no more, unless you destroy the devoted things from among you. Proceed to sanctify the people, and say, ‘Sanctify yourselves for tomorrow; for thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, “There are devoted things among you, O Israel; you will be unable to stand before your enemies until you take away the devoted things from among you.” In the morning therefore you shall come forward tribe by tribe. The tribe that the Lord takes shall come near by clans, the clan that the Lord takes shall come near by households, and the household that the Lord takes shall come near one by one. And the one who is taken as having the devoted things shall be burned with fire, together with all that he has, for having transgressed the covenant of the Lord, and for having done an outrageous thing in Israel.’”

So Joshua rose early in the morning, and brought Israel near tribe by tribe, and the tribe of Judah was taken. He brought near the clans of Judah, and the clan of the Zerahites was taken; and he brought near the clan of the Zerahites, family by family, and Zabdi was taken. And he brought near his household one by one, and Achan son of Carmi son of Zabdi son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, was taken. Then Joshua said to Achan, “My son, give glory to the Lord God of Israel and make confession to him. Tell me now what you have done; do not hide it from me.” And Achan answered Joshua, “It is true; I am the one who sinned against the Lord God of Israel. This is what I did: when I saw among the spoil a beautiful mantle from Shinar, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a bar of gold weighing fifty shekels, then I coveted them and took them. They now lie hidden in the ground inside my tent, with the silver underneath.”

So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran to the tent; and there it was, hidden in his tent with the silver underneath. They took them out of the tent and brought them to Joshua and all the Israelites; and they spread them out before the Lord. Then Joshua and all Israel with him took Achan son of Zerah, with the silver, the mantle, and the bar of gold, with his sons and daughters, with his oxen, donkeys, and sheep, and his tent and all that he had; and they brought them up to the Valley of Achor. Joshua said, “Why did you bring trouble on us? The Lord is bringing trouble on you today.” And all Israel stoned him to death; they burned them with fire, cast stones on them, and raised over him a great heap of stones that remains to this day. Then the Lord turned from his burning anger. Therefore that place to this day is called the Valley of Achor.

1Devoted designates things separated and exclusively dedicated to God. The spoil of Jericho belonged solely to Yahweh. Israel met with defeat at Ai and thirty-six men were killed because Achan kept some of this spoil.

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture Lesson from the Latter Prophets: Isaiah 2:5-11

O house of Jacob, come,
let us walk in the light of the Lord! For you have forsaken the ways of your people,
O house of Jacob.
Indeed they are full of diviners from the east
and of soothsayers like the Philistines,
and they clasp hands with foreigners.
Their land is filled with silver and gold,
and there is no end to their treasures;
their land is filled with horses,
and there is no end to their chariots.
Their land is filled with idols;
they bow down to the work of their hands,
to what their own fingers have made.
And so people are humbled,
and everyone is brought low—
do not forgive them!
Enter into the rock,
and hide in the dust from the terror of the Lord,
and from the glory of his majesty.
The haughty eyes of people shall be brought low,
and the pride of everyone shall be humbled;
and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.

Complementary Psalm 82

God has taken his place in the divine council;
 in the midst of the gods he holds judgment:
“How long will you judge unjustly
 and show partiality to the wicked?
Give justice to the weak and the orphan;
 maintain the right of the lowly and the destitute.
Rescue the weak and the needy;
 deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”

They have neither knowledge nor understanding,
 they walk around in darkness;
 all the foundations of the earth are shaken.

I say, “You are gods,
 children of the Most High, all of you;
nevertheless, you shall die like mortals,
 and fall like any prince.”
¹

Rise up, O God, judge the earth;
 for all the nations belong to you!

¹Jesus quotes the first part of this verse in response to those who plan to stone him. The episode is in John 10:22-39.

Semi-continuous Psalm 80:1-2, 8-19

Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel,
 you who lead Joseph like a flock!
You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth
 before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh.
Stir up your might,
 and come to save us!

You brought a vine out of Egypt;
 you drove out the nations and planted it.
You cleared the ground for it;
 it took deep root and filled the land.
The mountains were covered with its shade,
 the mighty cedars with its branches;
it sent out its branches to the sea,
 and its shoots to the River.
Why then have you broken down its walls,
 so that all who pass along the way pluck its fruit?
The boar from the forest ravages it,
 and all that move in the field feed on it.

Turn again, O God of hosts;
 look down from heaven, and see;
 have regard for this vine,
the stock that your right hand planted.
They have burned it with fire, they have cut it down;
 may they perish at the rebuke of your countenance.
But let your hand be upon the one at your right hand,
 the one whom you made strong for yourself.
Then we will never turn back from you; give us life,
 and we will call on your name.

Restore us, O Lord God of hosts;
 let your face shine, that we may be saved.

New Testament Epistle Lesson: Hebrews 10:26-31

Hebrews 10:31

For if we willfully persist in sin after having received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful prospect of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has violated the law of Moses dies without mercy “on the testimony of two or three witnesses.” How much worse punishment do you think will be deserved by those who have spurned the Son of God, profaned the blood of the covenant by which they were sanctified, and outraged the Spirit of grace? For we know the one who said, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay.”¹ And again, “The Lord will judge his people.”;² It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

¹Deuteronomy 32:35   ²Deuteronomy 32:36, Psalm 135:14

Year C Ordinary 20, Catholic Proper 20, RCL Proper 15, The Tenth Week After Pentecost: 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: Hebrews 10:31 created by Michael Gilbertson 3 August 2016 using Photoshop. Available under CC 2.5.

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Wednesday: Reflection on the Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Roman Catholic Proper 19
Revised Common Lectionary Proper 14

Complementary Hebrew Scripture from the Latter Prophets: Jeremiah 33:14-26

The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. And this is the name by which it will be called: “The Lord is our righteousness.”

For thus says the Lord: David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel, and the levitical priests shall never lack a man in my presence to offer burnt offerings, to make grain offerings, and to make sacrifices for all time. The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: Thus says the Lord: If any of you could break my covenant with the day and my covenant with the night, so that day and night would not come at their appointed time, only then could my covenant with my servant David be broken, so that he would not have a son to reign on his throne, and my covenant with my ministers the Levites. Just as the host of heaven cannot be numbered and the sands of the sea cannot be measured, so I will increase the offspring of my servant David, and the Levites who minister to me. The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: Have you not observed how these people say, “The two families that the Lord chose have been rejected by him,” and how they hold my people in such contempt that they no longer regard them as a nation? Thus says the Lord: Only if I had not established my covenant with day and night and the ordinances of heaven and earth, would I reject the offspring of Jacob and of my servant David and not choose any of his descendants as rulers over the offspring of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. For I will restore their fortunes, and will have mercy upon them.

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture Lesson from the Latter Prophets: Isaiah 24:14-23

They lift up their voices, they sing for joy;
 they shout from the west over the majesty of the Lord.
Therefore in the east give glory to the Lord;
 in the coastlands of the sea glorify the name of the Lord,
 the God of Israel.
From the ends of the earth we hear songs of praise,
 of glory to the Righteous One.
But I say, I pine away, I pine away.
 Woe is me!
For the treacherous deal treacherously,
 the treacherous deal very treacherously.

Terror, and the pit, and the snare are upon you,
 O inhabitant of the earth!
Whoever flees at the sound of the terror
 shall fall into the pit;
and whoever climbs out of the pit
 shall be caught in the snare.
For the windows of heaven are opened,
 and the foundations of the earth tremble.
The earth is utterly broken,
 the earth is torn asunder,
 the earth is violently shaken.
The earth staggers like a drunkard,
 it sways like a hut;
its transgression lies heavy upon it,
 and it falls, and will not rise again.

On that day the Lord will punish
 the host of heaven in heaven,
 and on earth the kings of the earth.
They will be gathered together
 like prisoners in a pit;
they will be shut up in a prison,
 and after many days they will be punished.
Then the moon will be abashed,
 and the sun ashamed;
for the Lord of hosts will reign
 on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem,
and before his elders he will manifest his glory.

Complementary Psalm 89:1-18

I will sing of your steadfast love, O Lord, forever;
 with my mouth I will proclaim your faithfulness to all generations.
I declare that your steadfast love is established forever;
 your faithfulness is as firm as the heavens.

You said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one,
 I have sworn to my servant David:
‘I will establish your descendants forever,
 and build your throne for all generations.’”
Let the heavens praise your wonders, O Lord,
 your faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones.
For who in the skies can be compared to the Lord?
 Who among the heavenly beings is like the Lord,
a God feared in the council of the holy ones,
 great and awesome above all that are around him?
O Lord God of hosts,
 who is as mighty as you, O Lord?
 Your faithfulness surrounds you.
You rule the raging of the sea;
 when its waves rise, you still them.
You crushed Rahab like a carcass;
 you scattered your enemies with your mighty arm.
The heavens are yours, the earth also is yours;
 the world and all that is in it—you have founded them.
The north and the south—you created them;
 Tabor and Hermon joyously praise your name.
You have a mighty arm;
 strong is your hand, high your right hand.
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne;
 steadfast love and faithfulness go before you.

Semi-continuous Psalm 11

In the Lord I take refuge; how can you say to me,
 “Flee like a bird to the mountains;
for look, the wicked bend the bow,
 they have fitted their arrow to the string,
 to shoot in the dark at the upright in heart.
“If the foundations are destroyed,
 what can the righteous do?”

The Lord is in his holy temple;
 the Lord's throne is in heaven.
 His eyes behold, his gaze examines humankind.
The Lord tests the righteous and the wicked,
 and his soul hates the lover of violence.
On the wicked he will rain coals of fire and sulfur;
 a scorching wind shall be the portion of their cup.
For the Lord is righteous;
he loves righteous deeds;
 the upright shall behold his face.

New Testament Gospel Lesson: Luke 12:41-48

Chris-Apostles.jpg

[This passage immediately follows the Sunday gospel, where Jesus tells the parable of the watchful slaves.]

Peter said, “Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for everyone?” And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and prudent manager whom his master will put in charge of his slaves, to give them their allowance of food at the proper time? Blessed is that slave whom his master will find at work when he arrives. Truly I tell you, he will put that one in charge of all his possessions. But if that slave says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and if he begins to beat the other slaves, men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk, the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour that he does not know, and will cut him in pieces, and put him with the unfaithful. That slave who knew what his master wanted, but did not prepare himself or do what was wanted, will receive a severe beating. But the one who did not know and did what deserved a beating will receive a light beating. From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded.”

Year C Ordinary 19, Roman Catholic Proper 19, RCL Proper 14, 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: The Exhortation to the Apostles by James Tissot via Wikimedia Commons. This is a public domain image.

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