Jeremiah

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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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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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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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 5:1-5, 7-15c

Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Aram, was a great man and in high favor with his master, because by him the Lord had given victory to Aram. The man, though a mighty warrior, suffered from leprosy. Now the Arameans on one of their raids had taken a young girl captive from the land of Israel, and she served Naaman's wife. She said to her mistress, “If only my lord were with the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.” And the king of Aram said “Go then, and I will send along a letter to the king of Israel.”

When the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothes and said, “Am I God, to give death or life, that this man sends word to me to cure a man of his leprosy? Just look and see how he is trying to pick a quarrel with me.”

But when Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, he sent a message to the king, “Why have you torn your clothes? Let him come to me, that he may learn that there is a prophet in Israel.” So Naaman came with his horses and chariots, and halted at the entrance of Elisha's house. Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, “Go, wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored and you shall be clean.” But Naaman became angry and went away, saying, “I thought that for me he would surely come out, and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, and would wave his hand over the spot, and cure the leprosy! Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them, and be clean?” He turned and went away in a rage. But his servants approached and said to him, “Father, if the prophet had commanded you to do something difficult, would you not have done it? How much more, when all he said to you was, ‘Wash, and be clean’?” So he went down and immersed himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of the man of God; his flesh was restored like the flesh of a young boy, and he was clean.  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.”

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture from the Latter Prophets: Jeremiah 29:1, 4-7

These are the words of the letter that the prophet Jeremiah sent from Jerusalem to the remaining elders among the exiles, and to the priests, the prophets, and all the people, whom Nebuchadnezzar had taken into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon. Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.

Complementary Psalm 111

Praise the Lord!
 I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart,
 in the company of the upright, in the congregation.
Great are the works of the Lord,
 studied by all who delight in them.
Full of honor and majesty is his work,
 and his righteousness endures forever.
He has gained renown by his wonderful deeds;
 the Lord is gracious and merciful.¹

He provides food for those who fear him;
 he is ever mindful of his covenant.
He has shown his people the power of his works,
 in giving them the heritage of the nations.
The works of his hands are faithful and just;
 all his precepts are trustworthy.
They are established forever and ever,
 to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness.
He sent redemption to his people;
 he has commanded his covenant forever.
 Holy and awesome is his name.²

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
 all those who practice it have a good understanding.
 His praise endures forever.

¹The second part of this verse is repeated in James 5:11, in a passage about patience and suffering
²This verse is alluded to in Luke 1:49-50, part of the
Magnificat.

Semi-continuous Psalm 66:1-12

Make a joyful noise to God, all the earth;
 sing the glory of his name;
 give to him glorious praise.
Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds!
 Because of your great power, your enemies cringe before you.
All the earth worships you; they sing praises to you,
 sing praises to your name.”

Come and see what God has done:
 he is awesome in his deeds among mortals.
He turned the sea into dry land;
 they passed through the river on foot.
There we rejoiced in him,
 who rules by his might forever,
 whose eyes keep watch on the nations—
 let the rebellious not exalt themselves.

Bless our God, O peoples,
 let the sound of his praise be heard,
who has kept us among the living,
 and has not let our feet slip.
For you, O God, have tested us;
 you have tried us as silver is tried.
You brought us into the net;
 you laid burdens on our backs;
you let people ride over our heads;
 we went through fire and through water;
 yet you have brought us out to a spacious place.

New Testament Epistle Lesson: 2 Timothy 2:8-15

Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, a descendant of David—that is my gospel, for which I suffer hardship, even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But the word of God is not chained. Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, so that they may also obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory. The saying is sure:

If we have died with him, we will also live with him;
if we endure, we will also reign with him;
if we deny him, he will also deny us;
if we are faithless, he remains faithful—
for he cannot deny himself.

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.

New Testament Gospel Lesson: Luke 17:11-19

As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance, they called out, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” When he saw them, he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were made clean. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. He prostrated himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus asked, “Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well.”

Year C Ordinary 28, Catholic Proper 28, RCL Proper 23: 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: Cleansing of the Ten Lepers from the Codex Aureus Epternacensis [Public Domain] via Wikimedia Commons

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

Roman Catholic Proper 28
Revised Common Lectionary Proper 23

Complementary Hebrew Scripture Torah Lesson: Numbers 4:34—5:4

So Moses and Aaron and the leaders of the congregation enrolled the Kohathites, by their clans and their ancestral houses, from thirty years old up to fifty years old, everyone who qualified for work relating to the tent of meeting; and their enrollment by clans was two thousand seven hundred fifty. This was the enrollment of the clans of the Kohathites, all who served at the tent of meeting, whom Moses and Aaron enrolled according to the commandment of the Lord by Moses.

The enrollment of the Gershonites, by their clans and their ancestral houses, from thirty years old up to fifty years old, everyone who qualified for work relating to the tent of meeting—their enrollment by their clans and their ancestral houses was two thousand six hundred thirty. This was the enrollment of the clans of the Gershonites, all who served at the tent of meeting, whom Moses and Aaron enrolled according to the commandment of the Lord.

The enrollment of the clans of the Merarites, by their clans and their ancestral houses, from thirty years old up to fifty years old, everyone who qualified for work relating to the tent of meeting—their enrollment by their clans was three thousand two hundred. This is the enrollment of the clans of the Merarites, whom Moses and Aaron enrolled according to the commandment of the Lord by Moses.

All those who were enrolled of the Levites, whom Moses and Aaron and the leaders of Israel enrolled, by their clans and their ancestral houses, from thirty years old up to fifty years old, everyone who qualified to do the work of service and the work of bearing burdens relating to the tent of meeting, their enrollment was eight thousand five hundred eighty. According to the commandment of the Lord through Moses they were appointed to their several tasks of serving or carrying; thus they were enrolled by him, as the Lord commanded Moses.

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: Command the Israelites to put out of the camp everyone who is leprous, or has a discharge, and everyone who is unclean through contact with a corpse; you shall put out both male and female, putting them outside the camp; they must not defile their camp, where I dwell among them. The Israelites did so, putting them outside the camp; as the Lord had spoken to Moses, so the Israelites did.

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

In the beginning of the reign of King Zedekiah son of Josiah of Judah, this word came to Jeremiah from the Lord. Thus the Lord said to me: Make yourself a yoke of straps and bars, and put them on your neck. Send word to the king of Edom, the king of Moab, the king of the Ammonites, the king of Tyre, and the king of Sidon by the hand of the envoys who have come to Jerusalem to King Zedekiah of Judah. Give them this charge for their masters: Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: This is what you shall say to your masters: It is I who by my great power and my outstretched arm have made the earth, with the people and animals that are on the earth, and I give it to whomever I please. Now I have given all these lands into the hand of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, my servant, and I have given him even the wild animals of the field to serve him. All the nations shall serve him and his son and his grandson, until the time of his own land comes; then many nations and great kings shall make him their slave.

But if any nation or kingdom will not serve this king, Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, and put its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, then I will punish that nation with the sword, with famine, and with pestilence, says the Lord, until I have completed its destruction by his hand. You, therefore, must not listen to your prophets, your diviners, your dreamers, your soothsayers, or your sorcerers, who are saying to you, “You shall not serve the king of Babylon.” For they are prophesying a lie to you, with the result that you will be removed far from your land; I will drive you out, and you will perish. But any nation that will bring its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon and serve him, I will leave on its own land, says the Lord, to till it and live there.

I spoke to King Zedekiah of Judah in the same way: Bring your necks under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him and his people, and live. Why should you and your people die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence, as the Lord has spoken concerning any nation that will not serve the king of Babylon? Do not listen to the words of the prophets who are telling you not to serve the king of Babylon, for they are prophesying a lie to you. I have not sent them, says the Lord, but they are prophesying falsely in my name, with the result that I will drive you out and you will perish, you and the prophets who are prophesying to you.

Then I spoke to the priests and to all this people, saying, Thus says the Lord: Do not listen to the words of your prophets who are prophesying to you, saying, “The vessels of the Lord's house will soon be brought back from Babylon,” for they are prophesying a lie to you. Do not listen to them; serve the king of Babylon and live. Why should this city become a desolation? If indeed they are prophets, and if the word of the Lord is with them, then let them intercede with the Lord of hosts, that the vessels left in the house of the Lord, in the house of the king of Judah, and in Jerusalem may not go to Babylon. For thus says the Lord of hosts concerning the pillars, the sea, the stands, and the rest of the vessels that are left in this city, which King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon did not take away when he took into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon King Jeconiah son of Jehoiakim of Judah, and all the nobles of Judah and Jerusalem—thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, concerning the vessels left in the house of the Lord, in the house of the king of Judah, and in Jerusalem: They shall be carried to Babylon, and there they shall stay, until the day when I give attention to them, says the Lord. Then I will bring them up and restore them to this place.

Complementary Psalm 111

Praise the Lord!
 I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart,
 in the company of the upright, in the congregation.
Great are the works of the Lord,
 studied by all who delight in them.
Full of honor and majesty is his work,
 and his righteousness endures forever.
He has gained renown by his wonderful deeds;
 the Lord is gracious and merciful.¹

He provides food for those who fear him;
 he is ever mindful of his covenant.
He has shown his people the power of his works,
 in giving them the heritage of the nations.
The works of his hands are faithful and just;
 all his precepts are trustworthy.
They are established forever and ever,
 to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness.
He sent redemption to his people;
 he has commanded his covenant forever.
 Holy and awesome is his name.²

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
 all those who practice it have a good understanding.
 His praise endures forever.

¹The second part of this verse is repeated in James 5:11, in a passage about patience and suffering
²This verse is alluded to in Luke 1:49-50, part of the
Magnificat.

Semi-continuous Psalm 66:1-12

Make a joyful noise to God, all the earth;
 sing the glory of his name;
 give to him glorious praise.
Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds!
 Because of your great power, your enemies cringe before you.
All the earth worships you; they sing praises to you,
 sing praises to your name.”

Come and see what God has done:
 he is awesome in his deeds among mortals.
He turned the sea into dry land;
 they passed through the river on foot.
There we rejoiced in him,
 who rules by his might forever,
 whose eyes keep watch on the nations—
 let the rebellious not exalt themselves.

Bless our God, O peoples,
 let the sound of his praise be heard,
who has kept us among the living,
 and has not let our feet slip.
For you, O God, have tested us;
 you have tried us as silver is tried.
You brought us into the net;
 you laid burdens on our backs;
you let people ride over our heads;
 we went through fire and through water;
 yet you have brought us out to a spacious place.

New Testament Epistle Lesson: 2 Timothy 2:1-7

St. Martin of Tours Cutting His Cloak to Share With a Beggar

You then, my child, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus; and what you have heard from me through many witnesses entrust to faithful people who will be able to teach others as well. Share in suffering like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving in the army gets entangled in everyday affairs; the soldier's aim is to please the enlisting officer. And in the case of an athlete, no one is crowned without competing according to the rules. It is the farmer who does the work who ought to have the first share of the crops. Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in all things.

Year C Ordinary 28, Catholic Proper 28, RCL Proper 23: 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: Statue of Saint Martin cutting his cloak in two above the Höchst Castle's gate, By Eva Kröcher, via Wikimedia Commons. This image is licensed under used under GNU 1.2 license

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The Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Roman Catholic Proper 21
Revised Common Lectionary Proper 26

Complementary Hebrew Scripture Lesson from The Twelve Prophets: Amos 6:1a, 4-7

Alas for those who are at ease in Zion.
Alas for those who lie on beds of ivory,
 and lounge on their couches,
and eat lambs from the flock,
 and calves from the stall;
who sing idle songs to the sound of the harp,
 and like David improvise on instruments of music;
who drink wine from bowls,
 and anoint themselves with the finest oils,
 but are not grieved over the ruin of Joseph!
Therefore they shall now be the first to go into exile,
 and the revelry of the loungers shall pass away.

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture from the Latter Prophets: Jeremiah 32:1-3a, 6-15

The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord in the tenth year of King Zedekiah of Judah, which was the eighteenth year of Nebuchadrezzar. At that time the army of the king of Babylon was besieging Jerusalem, and the prophet Jeremiah was confined in the court of the guard that was in the palace of the king of Judah, where King Zedekiah of Judah had confined him.

Jeremiah said, The word of the Lord came to me: Hanamel son of your uncle Shallum is going to come to you and say, “Buy my field that is at Anathoth, for the right of redemption by purchase is yours.” Then my cousin Hanamel came to me in the court of the guard, in accordance with the word of the Lord, and said to me, “Buy my field that is at Anathoth in the land of Benjamin, for the right of possession and redemption is yours; buy it for yourself.” Then I knew that this was the word of the Lord.

And I bought the field at Anathoth from my cousin Hanamel, and weighed out the money to him, seventeen shekels of silver. I signed the deed, sealed it, got witnesses, and weighed the money on scales. Then I took the sealed deed of purchase, containing the terms and conditions, and the open copy; and I gave the deed of purchase to Baruch son of Neriah son of Mahseiah, in the presence of my cousin Hanamel, in the presence of the witnesses who signed the deed of purchase, and in the presence of all the Judeans who were sitting in the court of the guard. In their presence I charged Baruch, saying, Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Take these deeds, both this sealed deed of purchase and this open deed, and put them in an earthenware jar, in order that they may last for a long time. For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Houses and fields and vineyards shall again be bought in this land.

Complementary Psalm 146

Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord, O my soul!
I will praise the Lord as long as I live;
 I will sing praises to my God all my life long.

Do not put your trust in princes,
 in mortals, in whom there is no help.
When their breath departs, they return to the earth;
 on that very day their plans perish.

Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
 whose hope is in the Lord their God,
who made heaven and earth,
 the sea, and all that is in them;¹

who keeps faith forever;
 who executes justice for the oppressed;
 who gives food to the hungry.

The Lord sets the prisoners free;
 the Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
 the Lord loves the righteous.
The Lord watches over the strangers;
 he upholds the orphan and the widow,
 but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.

The Lord will reign forever,
 your God, O Zion, for all generations.
Praise the Lord!

¹This phrase is echoed in Acts 4:23-31, where the believers pray for boldness, in Acts 14:13-18, where Paul and Barnabas react to being worshipped, and in Revelation 10:1-7, which says the mystery of God will be revealed when the seventh angel blows his trumpet.

Semi-continuous Psalm 91:1-6, 14-16

You who live in the shelter of the Most High,
 who abide in the shadow of the Almighty,
will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress;
 my God, in whom I trust.”
For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
 and from the deadly pestilence;
he will cover you with his pinions,
 and under his wings you will find refuge;
 his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
You will not fear the terror of the night,
 or the arrow that flies by day,
or the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
 or the destruction that wastes at noonday.

Those who love me, I will deliver;
 I will protect those who know my name.
When they call to me, I will answer them;
 I will be with them in trouble,
 I will rescue them and honor them.
With long life I will satisfy them,
 and show them my salvation.

New Testament Epistle Lesson: 1 Timothy 6:6-19

Of course, there is great gain in godliness combined with contentment; for we brought nothing into the world, so that we can take nothing out of it; but if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these. But those who want to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains.

But as for you, man of God, shun all this; pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith; take hold of the eternal life, to which you were called and for which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. In the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you to keep the commandment without spot or blame until the manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he will bring about at the right time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords. It is he alone who has immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see; to him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.

As for those who in the present age are rich, command them not to be haughty, or to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but rather on God who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, generous, and ready to share, thus storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of the life that really is life.

New Testament Gospel Lesson: Luke 16:19-31

Lazarus at the Rich Man’s Gate

“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who longed to satisfy his hunger with what fell from the rich man's table; even the dogs would come and lick his sores. The poor man died and was carried away by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was being tormented, he looked up and saw Abraham far away with Lazarus by his side. He called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in agony in these flames.’ But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your lifetime you received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in agony. Besides all this, between you and us a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who might want to pass from here to you cannot do so, and no one can cross from there to us.’ He said, ‘Then, father, I beg you to send him to my father's house—for I have five brothers—that he may warn them, so that they will not also come into this place of torment.’ Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; they should listen to them.’ He said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”

Year C Ordinary 26, Catholic Proper 26, RCL Proper 21: 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: Lazarus at the Rich Man's Gate by Fyodor Andreyevich Bronnikov, via Wikimedia Commons. This is a public domain image.

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

Roman Catholic Proper 24
Revised Common Lectionary Proper 19

Complementary Hebrew Scripture Lesson from the Writings: Job 40:6-14; 42:1-6

Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind:
“Gird up your loins like a man;
 I will question you, and you declare to me.
Will you even put me in the wrong?
 Will you condemn me that you may be justified?
Have you an arm like God,
 and can you thunder with a voice like his?

“Deck yourself with majesty and dignity;
 clothe yourself with glory and splendor.
Pour out the overflowings of your anger,
 and look on all who are proud, and abase them.
Look on all who are proud, and bring them low;
 tread down the wicked where they stand.
Hide them all in the dust together;
 bind their faces in the world below.
Then I will also acknowledge to you
 that your own right hand can give you victory.”

Then Job answered the Lord:
“I know that you can do all things,
 and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’
Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand,
 things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.
‘Hear, and I will speak;
 I will question you, and you declare to me.’
I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear,
 but now my eye sees you;
therefore I despise myself,
 and repent in dust and ashes.”

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture from the Latter Prophets: Jeremiah 14:1-10, 17-22

The word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah concerning the drought:

Judah mourns
 and her gates languish;
they lie in gloom on the ground,
 and the cry of Jerusalem goes up.
Her nobles send their servants for water;
 they come to the cisterns,
they find no water,
 they return with their vessels empty.
They are ashamed and dismayed
 and cover their heads,
because the ground is cracked.
 Because there has been no rain on the land
the farmers are dismayed;
 they cover their heads.
Even the doe in the field forsakes her newborn fawn
 because there is no grass.
The wild asses stand on the bare heights,
 they pant for air like jackals;
their eyes fail
 because there is no herbage.

Although our wickedness has caught up with us,
 act, O Lord, for your name's sake;
we have turned away from you,
 and we have sinned against you.
O hope of Israel,
 its savior in time of trouble,
why should you be like a stranger in the land,
 like a traveler turning aside for the night?
Why should you be like someone confused,
 like a mighty warrior who cannot give help?
Yet you, O Lord, are in the midst of us,
 and we are called by your name;
 do not forsake us!

Thus says the Lord concerning this people:
Truly they have loved to wander,
 they have not restrained their feet;
therefore the Lord does not accept them,
 now he will remember their iniquity
 and punish their sins.

You shall say to them this word:
Let my eyes run down with tears night and day,
 and let them not cease,
for the virgin daughter—my people—
is struck down with a crushing blow,
 with a very grievous wound.
If I go out into the field,
 look—those killed by the sword!
And if I enter the city,
 look—those sick with famine!
For both prophet and priest ply their trade throughout the land,
 and have no knowledge.

Have you completely rejected Judah?
 Does your heart loathe Zion?
Why have you struck us down
 so that there is no healing for us?
We look for peace, but find no good;
 for a time of healing, but there is terror instead.
We acknowledge our wickedness, O Lord,
 the sinfulness of our ancestors,
 for we have sinned against you.
Do not spurn us, for your name's sake;
 do not dishonor your glorious throne;
 remember and do not break your covenant with us.
Can any idols of the nations bring rain?
 Or can the heavens give showers?
Is it not you, O Lord our God?
 We set our hope on you,
 for it is you who do all this. (TLCO: NRSV, NLT)

Complementary Psalm 73

Truly God is good to the upright,
 to those who are pure in heart.
But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled;
 my steps had nearly slipped.
For I was envious of the arrogant;
 I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

For they have no pain;
 their bodies are sound and sleek.
They are not in trouble as others are;
 they are not plagued like other people.
Therefore pride is their necklace;
 violence covers them like a garment.
Their eyes swell out with fatness;
 their hearts overflow with follies.
They scoff and speak with malice;
 loftily they threaten oppression.
They set their mouths against heaven,
 and their tongues range over the earth.

Therefore the people turn and praise them,
 and find no fault in them.
And they say, “How can God know?
 Is there knowledge in the Most High?”
Such are the wicked;
 always at ease, they increase in riches.
All in vain I have kept my heart clean
 and washed my hands in innocence.
For all day long I have been plagued,
 and am punished every morning.

If I had said, “I will talk on in this way,”
 I would have been untrue to the circle of your children.
But when I thought how to understand this,
 it seemed to me a wearisome task,
until I went into the sanctuary of God;
 then I perceived their end.
Truly you set them in slippery places;
 you make them fall to ruin.
How they are destroyed in a moment,
 swept away utterly by terrors!
They are like a dream when one awakes;
 on awaking you despise their phantoms.

When my soul was embittered,
 when I was pricked in heart,
I was stupid and ignorant;
 I was like a brute beast toward you.
Nevertheless I am continually with you;
 you hold my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
 and afterward you will receive me with honor.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
 And there is nothing on earth that I desire other than you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
 but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Indeed, those who are far from you will perish;
 you put an end to those who are false to you.
But for me it is good to be near God;
 I have made the Lord God my refuge,
 to tell of all your works.

Semi-continuous Psalm 94

O Lord, you God of vengeance,
 you God of vengeance, shine forth!
Rise up, O judge of the earth;
 give to the proud what they deserve!
O Lord, how long shall the wicked,
 how long shall the wicked exult?

They pour out their arrogant words;
 all the evildoers boast.
They crush your people, O Lord,
 and afflict your heritage.
They kill the widow and the stranger,
 they murder the orphan,
and they say, “The Lord does not see;
 the God of Jacob does not perceive.”

Understand, O dullest of the people;
 fools, when will you be wise?
He who planted the ear, does he not hear?
He who formed the eye, does he not see?
He who disciplines the nations,
he who teaches knowledge to humankind,
 does he not chastise?
The Lord knows our thoughts,
 that they are but an empty breath.¹

Happy are those whom you discipline,
 O Lord, and whom you teach out of your law,
giving them respite from days of trouble,
 until a pit is dug for the wicked.
For the Lord will not forsake his people;
 he will not abandon his heritage;²

for justice will return to the righteous,
 and all the upright in heart will follow it.

Who rises up for me against the wicked?
 Who stands up for me against evildoers?
If the Lord had not been my help,
 my soul would soon have lived in the land of silence.
When I thought, “My foot is slipping,”
 your steadfast love, O Lord, held me up.
When the cares of my heart are many,
 your consolations cheer my soul.
Can wicked rulers be allied with you,
 those who contrive mischief by statute?
They band together against the life of the righteous,
 and condemn the innocent to death.
But the Lord has become my stronghold,
 and my God the rock of my refuge.
He will repay them for their iniquity
 and wipe them out for their wickedness;
 the Lord our God will wipe them out.

¹Paul quotes this verse in 1 Corinthians 3:20, discussing divisions in the Corinthian church.
²Paul uses this verse in Romans 11:2, explaining that
Israel's rejection is not final.

New Testament Gospel Lesson: Luke 22:31-33, 54-62

There are parallel passages about Peter's denial at Matthew 26:69-75, Mark 14:66-72, and John 18:25-27.

The Denial of Peter

“Simon, Simon, listen! Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your own faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” And he said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death!”

Then they seized him and led him away, bringing him into the high priest's house. But Peter was following at a distance. When they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat among them. Then a servant-girl, seeing him in the firelight, stared at him and said, “This man also was with him.” But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know him.” A little later someone else, on seeing him, said, “You also are one of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not!” Then about an hour later still another kept insisting, “Surely this man also was with him; for he is a Galilean.” But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about!” At that moment, while he was still speaking, the cock crowed. The Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the cock crows today, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly.

Year C Ordinary 24, Catholic Proper 24, RCL Proper 19: 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.

Parallel passages are as indicated in the Modern English Version Bible, copyright © 2014 by Military Bible Association. Used by permission. All rights reserved. When text is taken from the MEV, the passage ends with (MEV) and the foregoing copyright notice applies.

Scriptures ending with (TLCO) are a combination of two or more translations.

Scripture ending with (NLT) are from the New Living Translation Holy Bible, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Image Credit: Denial of Peter by Karel Dujardin, via Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons 0 license (public domain).

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

Complementary Hebrew Scripture from the Former Prophets: 2 Kings 18:19-25; 19:1-7

There are parallel passages at Isaiah 37:21-38 and 2 Chronicles 32:20-21.

The Rabshakeh said to them, “Say to Hezekiah: Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria: On what do you base this confidence of yours? Do you think that mere words are strategy and power for war? On whom do you now rely, that you have rebelled against me? See, you are relying now on Egypt, that broken reed of a staff, which will pierce the hand of anyone who leans on it. Such is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who rely on him. But if you say to me, ‘We rely on the Lord our God,’ is it not he whose high places and altars Hezekiah has removed, saying to Judah and to Jerusalem, ‘You shall worship before this altar in Jerusalem’? Come now, make a wager with my master the king of Assyria: I will give you two thousand horses, if you are able on your part to set riders on them. How then can you repulse a single captain among the least of my master's servants, when you rely on Egypt for chariots and for horsemen? Moreover, is it without the Lord that I have come up against this place to destroy it? The Lord said to me, Go up against this land, and destroy it.”

When King Hezekiah heard it, he tore his clothes, covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the Lord. And he sent Eliakim, who was in charge of the palace, and Shebna the secretary, and the senior priests, covered with sackcloth, to the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz. They said to him, “Thus says Hezekiah, This day is a day of distress, of rebuke, and of disgrace; children have come to the birth, and there is no strength to bring them forth. It may be that the Lord your God heard all the words of the Rabshakeh, whom his master the king of Assyria has sent to mock the living God, and will rebuke the words that the Lord your God has heard; therefore lift up your prayer for the remnant that is left.” When the servants of King Hezekiah came to Isaiah, Isaiah said to them, “Say to your master, ‘Thus says the Lord: Do not be afraid because of the words that you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have reviled me. I myself will put a spirit in him, so that he shall hear a rumor and return to his own land; I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.’”

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture from the Latter Prophets: Jeremiah 20:1-18

Now the priest Pashhur son of Immer, who was chief officer in the house of the Lord, heard Jeremiah prophesying these things. Then Pashhur struck the prophet Jeremiah, and put him in the stocks that were in the upper Benjamin Gate of the house of the Lord. The next morning when Pashhur released Jeremiah from the stocks, Jeremiah said to him, The Lord has named you not Pashhur but “Terror-all-around.” For thus says the Lord: I am making you a terror to yourself and to all your friends; and they shall fall by the sword of their enemies while you look on. And I will give all Judah into the hand of the king of Babylon; he shall carry them captive to Babylon, and shall kill them with the sword. I will give all the wealth of this city, all its gains, all its prized belongings, and all the treasures of the kings of Judah into the hand of their enemies, who shall plunder them, and seize them, and carry them to Babylon. And you, Pashhur, and all who live in your house, shall go into captivity, and to Babylon you shall go; there you shall die, and there you shall be buried, you and all your friends, to whom you have prophesied falsely.

O Lord, you have enticed me,
 and I was enticed;
you have overpowered me,
 and you have prevailed.
I have become a laughingstock all day long;
 everyone mocks me.
For whenever I speak, I must cry out,
 I must shout, “Violence and destruction!”
For the word of the Lord has become for me
 a reproach and derision all day long.
If I say, “I will not mention him,
 or speak any more in his name,”
then within me there is something like a burning fire
 shut up in my bones;
I am weary with holding it in,
 and I cannot.
For I hear many whispering:
 “Terror is all around!
Denounce him! Let us denounce him!”
All my close friends
 are watching for me to stumble.
“Perhaps he can be enticed,
 and we can prevail against him,
 and take our revenge on him.”
But the Lord is with me like a dread warrior;
 therefore my persecutors will stumble,
 and they will not prevail.
They will be greatly shamed,
 for they will not succeed.
Their eternal dishonor
 will never be forgotten.
O Lord of hosts, you test the righteous,
 you see the heart and the mind;
let me see your retribution upon them,
  for to you I have committed my cause.

Sing to the Lord;
 praise the Lord!
 For he has delivered the life of the needy
 from the hands of evildoers.

Cursed be the day
 on which I was born!
The day when my mother bore me,
 let it not be blessed!
Cursed be the man
 who brought the news to my father, saying,
“A child is born to you, a son,”
 making him very glad.
Let that man be like the cities
 that the Lord overthrew without pity;
let him hear a cry in the morning
 and an alarm at noon,
because he did not kill me in the womb;
 so my mother would have been my grave,
 and her womb forever great.
Why did I come forth from the womb
 to see toil and sorrow,
 and spend my days in shame?

Semi-continuous Psalm 2

Why do the nations conspire,
 and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth set themselves,
 and the rulers take counsel together,
 against the Lord and his anointed,¹
saying,
“Let us burst their bonds asunder,
 and cast their cords from us.”

He who sits in the heavens laughs;
 the Lord has them in derision.
Then he will speak to them in his wrath,
 and terrify them in his fury, saying,
“I have set my king on Zion, my holy hill.”

I will tell of the decree of the Lord:
He said to me, “You are my son;
 today I have begotten you.
²
Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage,
 and the ends of the earth your possession.
You shall break them with a rod of iron,
 and dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.”

Now therefore, O kings, be wise;
 be warned, O rulers of the earth.
Serve the Lord with fear,
 with trembling³
kiss his feet,
or he will be angry, and you will perish in the way;
 for his wrath is quickly kindled.
Happy are all who take refuge in him.

¹These verses are quoted in Acts 4:23-31, where the believers pray for boldness.
²Paul quotes this verse when he is preaching at Antioch of Pisidia (
Acts 13:26-34)
³This phrase is repeated in what scholars think is an early hymn found in
Philippians 2:5-11.

New Testament Gospel Lesson: Luke 18:18-30

There are parallel passages at Matthew 19:16-30 and Mark 10:17-31.

Christ and the Rich Young Ruler

A certain ruler asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: ‘You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; Honor your father and mother.¹’” He replied, “I have kept all these since my youth.” When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “There is still one thing lacking. Sell all that you own and distribute the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” But when he heard this, he became sad; for he was very rich. Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God! Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” Those who heard it said, “Then who can be saved?” He replied, “What is impossible for mortals is possible for God.” Then Peter said, “Look, we have left our homes and followed you.” And he said to them, “Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for mt0he sake of the kingdom of God, who will not get back very much more in this age, and in the age to come eternal life.”

¹These are from the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:2-17, Deuteronomy 5:6-21).

Year C Ordinary 23, Catholic Proper 23, RCL Proper 18: 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.

Parallel passages are as indicated in the Modern English Version Bible, copyright © 2014 by Military Bible Association. Used by permission. All rights reserved. When text is taken from the MEV, the passage ends with (MEV) and the foregoing copyright notice applies.

Image Credit: Christ and the Rich Young Ruler by Heinrich Hofmann, via Wikimedia Commons. This is a public domain image. Creative Commons 0 license

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