Amos

Monday: Reflection on the Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Revised Common Lectionary Proper 10
Roman Catholic Proper 15

Complementary Hebrew Scripture from The Writings: Job 24:1-8

[Job is answering Eliphaz.]

“Why are times not kept by the Almighty,
 and why do those who know him never see his days?
The wicked remove landmarks;
 they seize flocks and pasture them.
They drive away the donkey of the orphan;
 they take the widow's ox for a pledge.
They thrust the needy off the road;
 the poor of the earth all hide themselves.
Like wild asses in the desert
 they go out to their toil,
scavenging in the wasteland
 food for their young.
They reap in a field not their own
 and they glean in the vineyard of the wicked.
They lie all night naked, without clothing,
 and have no covering in the cold.
They are wet with the rain of the mountains,
 and cling to the rock for want of shelter.”

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture from The Twelve Prophets: Amos 3:9-4:5

Proclaim to the strongholds in Ashdod,
 and to the strongholds in the land of Egypt,
and say, “Assemble yourselves on Mount Samaria,
 and see what great tumults are within it,
 and what oppressions are in its midst.”
They do not know how to do right, says the Lord,
 those who store up violence and
robbery in their strongholds.
Therefore thus says the Lord God:
An adversary shall surround the land,
 and strip you of your defense;
 and your strongholds shall be plundered.

Thus says the Lord: As the shepherd rescues from the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear, so shall the people of Israel who live in Samaria be rescued, with the corner of a couch and part of a bed.

Hear, and testify against the house of Jacob,
 says the Lord God, the God of hosts:
On the day I punish Israel for its transgressions,
 I will punish the altars of Bethel,
and the horns of the altar shall be cut off
 and fall to the ground.
I will tear down the winter house as well as the summer house;
 and the houses of ivory shall perish,
and the great houses shall come to an end,
   says the Lord.

Hear this word, you cows of Bashan
 who are on Mount Samaria,
who oppress the poor, who crush the needy,
 who say to their husbands, “Bring something to drink!”
The Lord God has sworn by his holiness:
 The time is surely coming upon you,
when they shall take you away with hooks,
 even the last of you with fishhooks.
Through breaches in the wall you shall leave,
 each one straight ahead;
 and you shall be flung out into Harmon,
   says the Lord.

Come to Bethel—and transgress;
 to Gilgal—and multiply transgression;
bring your sacrifices every morning,
 your tithes every three days;
bring a thank-offering of leavened bread,
 and proclaim freewill offerings, publish them;
for so you love to do, O people of Israel!
   says the Lord God.

Complementary Psalm 25:11-20

For your name's sake, O Lord,
 pardon my guilt, for it is great.
Who are they that fear the Lord?
 He will teach them the way that they should choose.

They will abide in prosperity,
 and their children shall possess the land.
The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him,
 and he makes his covenant known to them.
My eyes are ever toward the Lord,
 for he will pluck my feet out of the net.

Turn to me and be gracious to me,
 for I am lonely and afflicted.
Relieve the troubles of my heart,
 and bring me out of my distress.
Consider my affliction and my trouble,
 and forgive all my sins.

Consider how many are my foes,
 and with what violent hatred they hate me.
O guard my life, and deliver me;
 do not let me be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.

Semi-continuous Psalm 7

O Lord my God, in you I take refuge;
 save me from all my pursuers, and deliver me,
or like a lion they will tear me apart;
 they will drag me away, with no one to rescue.

O Lord my God, if I have done this,
 if there is wrong in my hands,
if I have repaid my ally with harm
 or plundered my foe without cause,
then let the enemy pursue and overtake me,
 trample my life to the ground,
 and lay my soul in the dust.

Rise up, O Lord, in your anger;
 lift yourself up against the fury of my enemies;
 awake, O my God; you have appointed a judgment.
Let the assembly of the peoples be gathered around you,
 and over it take your seat on high.
The Lord judges the peoples;
 judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness
 and according to the integrity that is in me.

O let the evil of the wicked come to an end,
 but establish the righteous,
you who test the minds and hearts,
 O righteous God.
God is my shield,
 who saves the upright in heart.
God is a righteous judge,
 and a God who has indignation every day.

If one does not repent, God will whet his sword;
 he has bent and strung his bow;
he has prepared his deadly weapons,
 making his arrows fiery shafts.
See how they conceive evil,
 and are pregnant with mischief,
 and bring forth lies.
They make a pit, digging it out,
 and fall into the hole that they have made.
Their mischief returns upon their own heads,
 and on their own heads their violence descends.

I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness,
 and sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High.

New Testament Epistle Lesson: James 2:1-7

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My brothers and sisters, do you with your acts of favoritism really believe in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ? For if a person with gold rings and in fine clothes comes into your assembly, and if a poor person in dirty clothes also comes in, and if you take notice of the one wearing the fine clothes and say, “Have a seat here, please,” while to the one who is poor you say, “Stand there,” or, “Sit at my feet,” have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brothers and sisters. Has not God chosen the poor in the world to be rich in faith and to be heirs of the kingdom that he has promised to those who love him? But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who oppress you? Is it not they who drag you into court? Is it not they who blaspheme the excellent name that was invoked over you?

Year C RCL Proper 10, Catholic Proper 15, Ordinary 15 Monday

Bible verses from The New Revised Standard Version, 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 right reserved.

Selections from Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, copyright 1985 by Consultation on Common Texts.

Image credit: An anonymous 17th century Russian icon, downloaded form Wikimedia Commons, licensed under Creative Commons 3.0

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Thursday: Preparation for the Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Revised Common Lectionary Proper 10
Roman Catholic Proper 15

Complementary Hebrew Scripture from The Torah: Genesis 41:14-36

Then Pharaoh sent for Joseph, and he was hurriedly brought out of the dungeon. When he had shaved himself and changed his clothes, he came in before Pharaoh. And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I have had a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it. I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.” Joseph answered Pharaoh, “It is not I; God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer.” Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “In my dream I was standing on the banks of the Nile; and seven cows, fat and sleek, came up out of the Nile and fed in the reed grass. Then seven other cows came up after them, poor, very ugly, and thin. Never had I seen such ugly ones in all the land of Egypt. The thin and ugly cows ate up the first seven fat cows, but when they had eaten them no one would have known that they had done so, for they were still as ugly as before. Then I awoke. I fell asleep a second time and I saw in my dream seven ears of grain, full and good, growing on one stalk, and seven ears, withered, thin, and blighted by the east wind, sprouting after them; and the thin ears swallowed up the seven good ears. But when I told it to the magicians, there was no one who could explain it to me.”

Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “Pharaoh's dreams are one and the same; God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do. The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good ears are seven years; the dreams are one. The seven lean and ugly cows that came up after them are seven years, as are the seven empty ears blighted by the east wind. They are seven years of famine. It is as I told Pharaoh; God has shown to Pharaoh what he is about to do. There will come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt. After them there will arise seven years of famine, and all the plenty will be forgotten in the land of Egypt; the famine will consume the land. The plenty will no longer be known in the land because of the famine that will follow, for it will be very grievous. And the doubling of Pharaoh's dream means that the thing is fixed by God, and God will shortly bring it about. Now therefore let Pharaoh select a man who is discerning and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt. Let Pharaoh proceed to appoint overseers over the land, and take one-fifth of the produce of the land of Egypt during the seven plenteous years. Let them gather all the food of these good years that are coming, and lay up grain under the authority of Pharaoh for food in the cities, and let them keep it. That food shall be a reserve for The land against the seven years of famine that are to befall the land of Egypt, so that the land may not perish through the famine.”

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture from The Twelve Prophets: Amos 1:1-2:3

The words of Amos, who was among the shepherds of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of King Uzziah of Judah and in the days of King Jeroboam son of Joash of Israel, two years before the earthquake.

And he said:

The Lord roars from Zion,
and utters his voice from Jerusalem;
the pastures of the shepherds wither,
and the top of Carmel dries up.

Thus says the Lord:
For three transgressions of Damascus,
 and for four, I will not revoke the punishment;
because they have threshed Gilead
 with threshing sledges of iron.
So I will send a fire on the house of Hazael,
 and it shall devour the strongholds of Ben-hadad.
I will break the gate bars of Damascus,
 and cut off the inhabitants from the Valley of Aven,
 and the one who holds the scepter rom Beth-eden;
 and the people of Aram shall go into exile to Kir,
   says the Lord.

Thus says the Lord:
For three transgressions of Gaza,
 and for four, I will not revoke the punishment;
because they carried into exile entire communities,
 to hand them over to Edom.
So I will send a fire on the wall of Gaza,
 fire that shall devour its strongholds.
I will cut off the inhabitants from Ashdod,
 and the one who holds the scepter from Ashkelon;
I will turn my hand against Ekron,
 and the remnant of the Philistines shall perish,
   says the Lord God.

Thus says the Lord:
For three transgressions of Tyre,
 and for four, I will not revoke the punishment;
because they delivered entire communities over to Edom,
 and did not remember the covenant of kinship.
So I will send a fire on the wall of Tyre,
 fire that shall devour its strongholds.

Thus says the Lord:
For three transgressions of Edom,
 and for four, I will not revoke the punishment;
because he pursued his brother with the sword
 and cast off all pity;
he maintained his anger perpetually,
 and kept his wrath forever.
So I will send a fire on Teman,
 and it shall devour the strongholds of Bozrah.

Thus says the Lord:
For three transgressions of the Ammonites,
 and for four, I will not revoke the punishment;
because they have ripped open pregnant women in Gilead
in order to enlarge their territory.
So I will kindle a fire against the wall of Rabbah,
 fire that shall devour its strongholds,
with shouting on the day of battle,
 with a storm on the day of the whirlwind;
then their king shall go into exile,
 he and his officials together,
   says the Lord.

Thus says the Lord:
For three transgressions of Moab,
 and for four, I will not revoke the punishment;
because he burned to lime
 the bones of the king of Edom.
So I will send a fire on Moab,
 and it shall devour the strongholds of Kerioth,
and Moab shall die amid uproar,
 amid shouting and the sound of the trumpet;
I will cut off the ruler from its midst,
 and will kill all its officials with him,
   says the Lord.

Complementary Psalm 25:1-10

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
O my God, in you I trust;
 do not let me be put to shame;
 do not let my enemies exult over me.
Do not let those who wait for you be put to shame;
 let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.

Make me to know your ways, O Lord;
 teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth, and teach me,
 for you are the God of my salvation;
 for you I wait all day long.

Be mindful of your mercy, O Lord, and of your steadfast love,
 for they have been from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions;
 according to your steadfast love remember me,
 for your goodness' sake, O Lord!

Good and upright is the Lord;
 therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
He leads the humble in what is right,
 and teaches the humble his way.
All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness,
 for those who keep his covenant and his decrees.

Semi-continuous 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.

New Testament Epistle Lesson: James 2:14-26

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What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,” and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.

But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder. Do you want to be shown, you senseless person, that faith apart from works is barren? Was not our ancestor Abraham justified by works when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was brought to completion by the works. Thus the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,” and he was called the friend of God. You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. Likewise, was not Rahab the prostitute also justified by works when she welcomed the messengers and sent them out by another road? For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is also dead.

Year C RCL Proper 10, Catholic Proper 15, Ordinary 15 Thursday

Bible verses from The New Revised Standard Version, 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 right reserved.

Selections from Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, copyright 1985 by Consultation on Common Texts.

Image Credit: Image from https://vimeo.com/53450533, Part of a series by the Athey Creek Church: https://vimeo.com/atheycreek

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The Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Complementary Amos 7:7-15 The plumb line, and Amos and Amaziah

Semi-continuous 2 Samuel 6:1-5, 12b-19 David dances before the Ark as it is being moved.

Both Ephesians 1:3-14 Praise for spiritual blessings in Christ

Both Mark 6:14-29 John the Baptist is beheaded.

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Thursday: Preparation for the Fifth Sunday of Easter

Amos 8:1-7 God shows Amos a basket of ripe fruit and declares that a day of bitter mourning is near.

Acts 8:1b-8 Philip proclaims the Lord in Samaria.

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