John

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

Roman Catholic Proper 25
Revised Common Lectionary Proper 20

Complementary Hebrew Scripture from The Writings: Proverbs 14:12-31

There is a way that seems right to a person,
 but its end is the way to death.
Even in laughter the heart is sad,
 and the end of joy is grief.
The perverse get what their ways deserve,
 and the good, what their deeds deserve.
The simple believe everything,
 but the clever consider their steps.
The wise are cautious and turn away from evil,
 but the fool throws off restraint and is careless.
One who is quick-tempered acts foolishly,
 and the schemer is hated.
The simple are adorned with folly,
 but the clever are crowned with knowledge.
The evil bow down before the good,
 the wicked at the gates of the righteous.
The poor are disliked even by their neighbors,
 but the rich have many friends.
Those who despise their neighbors are sinners,
 but happy are those who are kind to the poor.
Do they not err that plan evil?
 Those who plan good find loyalty and faithfulness.
In all toil there is profit,
 but mere talk leads only to poverty.
The crown of the wise is their wisdom,
 but folly is the garland of fools.
A truthful witness saves lives,
 but one who utters lies is a betrayer.
In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence,
 and one's children will have a refuge.
The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life,
 so that one may avoid the snares of death.
The glory of a king is a multitude of people;
 without people a prince is ruined.
Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding,
 but one who has a hasty temper exalts folly.
A tranquil mind gives life to the flesh,
 but passion makes the bones rot.
Those who oppress the poor insult their Maker,
 but those who are kind to the needy honor him.

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture from the Latter Prophets: Jeremiah 9:12-26

Who is wise enough to understand this? To whom has the mouth of the Lord spoken, so that they may declare it? Why is the land ruined and laid waste like a wilderness, so that no one passes through? And the Lord says: Because they have forsaken my law that I set before them, and have not obeyed my voice, or walked in accordance with it, but have stubbornly followed their own hearts and have gone after the Baals, as their ancestors taught them. Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: I am feeding this people with wormwood, and giving them poisonous water to drink. I will scatter them among nations that neither they nor their ancestors have known; and I will send the sword after them, until I have consumed them.

Thus says the Lord of hosts:
Consider, and call for the mourning women to come;
 send for the skilled women to come;
let them quickly raise a dirge over us,
 so that our eyes may run down with tears,
 and our eyelids flow with water.

For a sound of wailing is heard from Zion:
 “How we are ruined!
 We are utterly shamed,
because we have left the land,
 because they have cast down our dwellings.”

Hear, O women, the word of the Lord,
 and let your ears receive the word of his mouth;
teach to your daughters a dirge,
 and each to her neighbor a lament.

“Death has come up into our windows,
 it has entered our palaces,
to cut off the children from the streets
 and the young men from the squares.”

Speak! Thus says the Lord:
“Human corpses shall fall
 like dung upon the open field,
like sheaves behind the reaper,
 and no one shall gather them.”

Thus says the Lord: Do not let the wise boast in their wisdom, do not let the mighty boast in their might, do not let the wealthy boast in their wealth; but let those who boast boast in this, that they understand and know me, that I am the Lord; I act with steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth, for in these things I delight, says the Lord.¹

The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will attend to all those who are circumcised only in the foreskin: Egypt, Judah, Edom, the Ammonites, Moab, and all those with shaven temples who live in the desert. For all these nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel is uncircumcised in heart.²

¹Paul quotes this verse in part in 1 Corinthians 1:31, about the message of the cross, and again in 2 Corinthians 10:17, wherehe defends his ministry.
²Stephen uses the same figure in Acts 7:51, in his
defense before the Sanhedrin in Acts 7:1-53.

Complementary Psalm 12

Help, O Lord, for there is no longer anyone who is godly;
 the faithful have disappeared from humankind.
They utter lies to each other;
 with flattering lips and a double heart they speak.

May the Lord cut off all flattering lips,
 the tongue that makes great boasts,
those who say, “With our tongues we will prevail;
 our lips are our own—who is our master?”

“Because the poor are despoiled, because the needy groan,
 I will now rise up,” says the Lord;
 “I will place them in the safety for which they long.”
The promises of the Lord are promises that are pure,
 silver refined in a furnace on the ground,
 purified seven times.
You, O Lord, will protect us;
 you will guard us from this generation forever.
On every side the wicked prowl,
 as vileness is exalted among humankind.

Semi-continuous Psalm 106:40-48

Then the anger of the Lord was kindled against his people,
 and he abhorred his heritage;
he gave them into the hand of the nations,
 so that those who hated them ruled over them.
Their enemies oppressed them,
 and they were brought into subjection under their power.
Many times he delivered them,
 but they were rebellious in their purposes,
 and were brought low through their iniquity.
Nevertheless he regarded their distress
 when he heard their cry.
For their sake he remembered his covenant,
 and showed compassion
 according to the abundance of his steadfast love.
He caused them to be pitied
 by all who held them captive.

Save us, O Lord our God,
 and gather us from among the nations,
that we may give thanks to your holy name
 and glory in your praise.

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
 from everlasting to everlasting.
And let all the people say, “Amen.”
 Praise the Lord!¹

¹Zechariah quotes this verse in Luke 1:68, part of his prophesy about John the Baptist.

New Testament Lesson: Acts 4:1-12

Peter and John Before the Sanhedrin

While Peter and John were speaking to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came to them, much annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming that in Jesus there is the resurrection of the dead. So they arrested them and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening. But many of those who heard the word believed; and they numbered about five thousand.

The next day their rulers, elders, and scribes assembled in Jerusalem, with Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. When they had made the prisoners stand in their midst, they inquired, “By what power or by what name did you do this?” Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, if we are questioned today because of a good deed done to someone who was sick and are asked how this man has been healed, let it be known to all of you, and to all the people of Israel, that this man is standing before you in good health by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead. This Jesus is

‘the stone that was rejected by you, the builders;
it has become the cornerstone.’¹

There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved.”

¹Psalm 118:22

Tags: B Advent 3 Tuesday, B Easter 4 Sunday, Holy Spirit, salvation, elders, Jesus, heaven, rulers, mortals, Nazareth, God, Psalm 118:22

Year C Ordinary 25, Catholic Proper 25, RCL Proper 20: 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: Peter and John before the Sanhedrin by Otto Semler, downloaded from Flickr.com, and licensed under Creative Commons 2.0.

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

Roman Catholic Proper 22
Common Lectionary Proper 17

Complementary Hebrew Scripture from The Writings: Proverbs 21:1-4, 24-26

The king's heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord;
 he turns it wherever he will.
All deeds are right in the sight of the doer,
 but the Lord weighs the heart.
To do righteousness and justice
 is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.
Haughty eyes and a proud heart—
 the lamp of the wicked—are sin.
The proud, haughty person, named “Scoffer,”
 acts with arrogant pride.
The craving of the lazy person is fatal,
 for lazy hands refuse to labor.
All day long the wicked covet,
 but the righteous give and do not hold back.

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture from the Latter Prophets: Jeremiah 2:1-3, 14-22

The word of the Lord came to me, saying: Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem, Thus says the Lord:

I remember the devotion of your youth,
 your love as a bride,
how you followed me in the wilderness,
 in a land not sown.
Israel was holy to the Lord,
 the first fruits of his harvest.
All who ate of it were held guilty;
 disaster came upon them,
   says the Lord.

Is Israel a slave? Is he a homeborn servant?
 Why then has he become plunder?
The lions have roared against him,
 they have roared loudly.
They have made his land a waste;
 his cities are in ruins, without inhabitant.
Moreover, the people of Memphis and Tahpanhes
 have broken the crown of your head.
Have you not brought this upon yourself by forsaking the Lord your God,
 while he led you in the way?
What then do you gain by going to Egypt,
 to drink the waters of the Nile?
Or what do you gain by going to Assyria,
 to drink the waters of the Euphrates?
Your wickedness will punish you,
 and your apostasies will convict you.
Know and see that it is evil and bitter
 for you to forsake the Lord your God;
 the fear of me is not in you,
   says the Lord God of hosts.

For long ago you broke your yoke
 and burst your bonds,
 and you said, “I will not serve!”
On every high hill
 and under every green tree
 you sprawled and played the whore.
Yet I planted you as a choice vine,
 from the purest stock.
How then did you turn degenerate
 and become a wild vine?
Though you wash yourself with lye and use much soap,
 the stain of your guilt is still before me,
   says the Lord God.

Complementary Psalm 112

Praise the Lord!
Happy are those who fear the Lord,
 who greatly delight in his commandments.
Their descendants will be mighty in the land;
 the generation of the upright will be blessed.
Wealth and riches are in their houses,
 and their righteousness endures forever.
They rise in the darkness as a light for the upright;
 they are gracious, merciful, and righteous.
It is well with those who deal generously and lend,
 who conduct their affairs with justice.
For the righteous will never be moved;
 they will be remembered forever.
They are not afraid of evil tidings;
 their hearts are firm, secure in the Lord.
Their hearts are steady, they will not be afraid;
 in the end they will look in triumph on their foes.
They have distributed freely, they have given to the poor;
 their righteousness endures forever;
 their horn is exalted in honor.¹

The wicked see it and are angry;
 they gnash their teeth and melt away;
 the desire of the wicked comes to nothing.

¹Paul quotes this in 2 Corinthians 9:1-15, where he is urging the Corinthians to give generously to the collection for the Jerusalem church.

Semi-continuous Psalm 81:1, 5b, 10-16

Sing aloud to God our strength;
 shout for joy to the God of Jacob.

“I am the Lord your God,
 who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.
O pen your mouth wide and I will fill it.”

“But my people did not listen to my voice;
 Israel would not submit to me.
So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts,
 to follow their own counsels.
O that my people would listen to me,
 that Israel would walk in my ways!
Then I would quickly subdue their enemies,
 and turn my hand against their foes.
Those who hate the Lord would cringe before him,
 and their doom would last forever.
I would feed you with the finest of the wheat,
 and with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.”

New Testament Gospel Lesson: Matthew 20:20-28

There is a parallel passage at Mark 10:35-45.

Christ Teaches Humility

Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to Jesus with her sons, and kneeling before him, she asked a favor of him. And he said to her, “What do you want?” She said to him, “Declare that these two sons of mine will sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.” But Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?” They said to him, “We are able.” He said to them, “You will indeed drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left, this is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.”

When the ten heard it, they were angry with the two brothers. But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. It will not be so among you; but whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be your slave; just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

Year C Ordinary 22, Catholic Proper 22, Common Lectionary Proper 17: 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: Lauder, Robert Scott, 1803-1869. Christ Teaches Humility, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN [retrieved August 17, 2016]. Original source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Christ_Teacheth_Humility.jpg.

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Friday: Preparation for the Seventh Sunday in Easter

Hebrew Scripture Lesson from The Torah: Exodus 33:12-17

Exodus-33-Pillar.jpg

Moses said to the Lord, “See, you have said to me, ‘Bring up this people’; but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. Yet you have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found favor in my sight.’ Now if I have found favor in your sight, show me your ways, so that I may know you and find favor in your sight. Consider too that this nation is your people.” He said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” And he said to him, “If your presence will not go, do not carry us up from here. For how shall it be known that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people, unless you go with us? In this way, we shall be distinct, I and your people, from every people on the face of the earth.”

The Lord said to Moses, “I will do the very thing that you have asked; for you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name.”

Psalm 97

The Lord is king! Let the earth rejoice;
 let the many coastlands be glad!
Clouds and thick darkness are all around him;
 righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
Fire goes before him,
 and consumes his adversaries on every side.
His lightnings light up the world;
 the earth sees and trembles.
The mountains melt like wax before the Lord,
 before the Lord of all the earth.

The heavens proclaim his righteousness;
 and all the peoples behold his glory.
All worshipers of images are put to shame,
 those who make their boast in worthless idols;
 all gods bow down before him.¹

Zion hears and is glad,BR>  and the towns of Judah rejoice,
 because of your judgments, O God.
For you, O Lord, are most high over all the earth;
 you are exalted far above all gods.

The Lord loves those who hate evil;
 he guards the lives of his faithful;
 he rescues them from the hand of the wicked.
Light dawns for the righteous,
 and joy for the upright in heart.
Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous,
 and give thanks to his holy name!

¹This verse is referred to indirectly in Hebrews 1:5-14, showing that the Son is superior to the angels.

New Testament Lesson: Revelation 22:6-9

And he [one of the angels from Revelation 15:1-5] said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true, for the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent his angel to show his servants what must soon take place.”

“See, I am coming soon! Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.”

I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed them to me; but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your comrades the prophets, and with those who keep the words of this book. Worship God!”

Year C Easter 7 Friday

Selections from Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings copyright © 1995 by the Consultation on Common Texts.

Unless otherwise indicated, Bible text is from Holy Bible New Revised Standard Version (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 right reserved.

Image credit: Read'n Grow Picture Bible Illustrations, copyright 1984 by and courtesy of Sweet Publishing, Distant Shores Media/Sweet Publishing, Ft. Worth, TX. This image is licensed under the Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution Share Alike license.

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Wednesday: Reflection on the Third Sunday in Advent

Hebrew Scripture Lesson from the Twelve Prophets: Micah 4:8-13

And you, O tower of the flock,
 hill of daughter Zion,
to you it shall come,
 the former dominion shall come,
 the sovereignty of daughter Jerusalem.

Now why do you cry aloud?
 Is there no king in you?
Has your counselor perished,
 that pangs have seized you like a woman in labor?
Writhe and groan, O daughter Zion,
 like a woman in labor;
for now you shall go forth from the city
 and camp in the open country;
 you shall go to Babylon.
There you shall be rescued,
 there the Lord will redeem you
 from the hands of your enemies.

Now many nations
 are assembled against you,
saying, “Let her be profaned,
 and let our eyes gaze upon Zion.”
But they do not know
 the thoughts of the Lord;
they do not understand his plan,
 that he has gathered them as sheaves to the threshing floor.
Arise and thresh,
 O daughter Zion,
for I will make your horn iron
 and your hoofs bronze;
you shall beat in pieces many peoples,
 and shall devote their gain to the Lord,
 their wealth to the Lord of the whole earth.

Canticle from The Latter Prophets: Isaiah 11:1-9

A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse,
 and a branch shall grow out of his roots.
The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him,
 the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
 the spirit of counsel and might,
 the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.

He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
 or decide by what his ears hear;
but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
 and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
He shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
 and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.¹
Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist,
 and faithfulness the belt around his loins.²

The wolf shall live with the lamb,
 the leopard shall lie down with the kid,
the calf and the lion and the fatling together,
 and a little child shall lead them.
The cow and the bear shall graze,
 their young shall lie down together;
 and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp,
 and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder's den.
They will not hurt or destroy
 on all my holy mountain;
for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord
 as the waters cover the sea.

¹Paul uses this (from but with righteousness … kill the wicked) in his discussion of the Day of the Lord in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12
²Paul uses this sentence, among other images, to describe preparation for spiritual warfare in
Ephesians 6:10-20.

New Testament Gospel Lesson: Luke 7:31-35

[Jesus is speaking to the crowd about John, after John's messengers have left.]

John the Baptist hails Jesus as the Messiah to two of his discip

“To what then will I compare the people of this generation, and what are they like? They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling to one another,

‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;
 we wailed, and you did not weep.’

For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon’; the Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Nevertheless, wisdom is vindicated by all her children.”

Year C Advent 3 Wednesday

Selections from Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings copyright © 1995 by the Consultation on Common Texts.

Unless otherwise indicated, Bible text is from Holy Bible New Revised Standard Version (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 right reserved.

Footnotes in the Hebrew Scriptures that show where the passage is used in the Christian Scriptures are based on information from the Complete Jewish Bible (Updated) (CJB) by David H. Stern, Copyright © 1998 and 2006 by David H. Stern, used by permission of Messianic Jewish Publishers, www.messianicjewish.net. All rights reserved worldwide. When text is taken from the CJB, the passage ends with (CJB) and the foregoing copyright notice applies.

Image credit: John the Baptist hails Jesus as the Messiah to two of his disciples, engraving by J. Outrim, 1847, after T. Uwins, via Wikimedia Commons. This image is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.

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The Third Sunday in Advent

Hebrew Scripture from the Twelve Prophets: Zephaniah 3:14-20

Sing aloud, O daughter Zion;
 shout, O Israel!
Rejoice and exult with all your heart,
 O daughter Jerusalem!
The Lord has taken away the judgments against you,
 he has turned away your enemies.
The king of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst;
you shall fear disaster no more.
On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:
 Do not fear, O Zion;
do not let your hands grow weak.
The Lord, your God, is in your midst,
 a warrior who gives victory;
he will rejoice over you with gladness,
 he will renew you in his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing
 as on a day of festival.
I will remove disaster from you,
 so that you will not bear reproach for it.
I will deal with all your oppressors at that time.
And I will save the lame
 and gather the outcast,
and I will change their shame into praise
 and renown in all the earth.
At that time I will bring you home,
 at the time when I gather you;
for I will make you renowned and praised
 among all the peoples of the earth,
when I restore your fortunes before your eyes,
   says the Lord.

Canticle from The Latter Prophets: Isaiah 12:2-6

Surely God is my salvation;
 I will trust, and will not be afraid,
for the Lord God is my strength and my might;
 he has become my salvation.

With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.
And you will say in that day:
Give thanks to the Lord,
 call on his name;
make known his deeds among the nations;
 proclaim that his name is exalted.

Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously;
 let this be known in all the earth.
Shout aloud and sing for joy, O royal Zion,
 for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.

New Testament Epistle Lesson: Philippians 4:4-7

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

New Testament Gospel Lesson: Luke 3:7-18

There are parallel passages at Matthew 3:1-12, Mark 1:1-8, and John 1:19-28.

Saint John Baptizing in the River Jordan

When the crowds came to John for baptism, he said, “You brood of snakes! Who warned you to flee the coming wrath? Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. Don't just say to each other, ‘We're safe, for we are descendants of Abraham.’ That means nothing, for I tell you, God can create children of Abraham from these very stones. Even now the ax of God's judgment is poised, ready to sever the roots from the trees. Yes, every tree that does not produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown into the fire.”

The crowds asked “What should we do?”John replied, “If you have two shirts, give one to the poor. If you have food, share it with those who are hungry.”

Even the corrupt tax collectors came to be baptized and asked, “Teacher, what should we do?”.

He replied, “Collect no more taxes than the government requires.”

“What should we do?” asked some soldiers.

John replied, “Don't extort money or make false accusations. Be content with your pay.”

Everyone was expecting the Messiah to come soon, and they were eager to know if John might be the Messiah. John answered their questions by saying, I baptize you with* water; but someone is coming who is greater than I am—so much greater that I am not even worthy to be his slave and untie the straps of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.** He is ready to separate the chaff from the wheat with his winnowing fork. Then he will clean up the threshing area, gathering the wheat into has barn but burning the chaff with never ending fire.” John used many such warning to announce the Good News to the people.” (NLT)

*Or in   **Or in the Holy Spirit and in fire.

Year C Advent 3 Sunday

Selections from Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings copyright © 1995 by the Consultation on Common Texts.

Unless otherwise indicated, Bible text is from Holy Bible New Revised Standard Version (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 right reserved.

Parallel passages are as indicated in the Modern English Version (MEV) , 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.

Scripture quotations marked NLT are from Holy Bible: New Living Translation, 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: Saint John Baptizing in the River Jordan by Nicolas Poussin, via Wikimedia.org. This is a public domain image.

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Wednesday: Reflection on the Second Sunday in Advent

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Hebrew Scripture Lesson from The Latter Prophets: Isaiah 35:3-7

Strengthen the weak hands,
 and make firm the feeble knees.
¹
Say to those who are of a fearful heart,
 “Be strong, do not fear!
Here is your God.
He will come with vengeance,
 with terrible recompense.
He will come and save you.”

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
 and the ears of the deaf unstopped;
then the lame shall leap like a deer,
 and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy.
For waters shall break forth in the wilderness,
 and streams in the desert;

the burning sand shall become a pool,
 and the thirsty ground springs of water;
the haunt of jackals shall become a swamp,
 the grass shall become reeds and rushes.

¹This passage is quoted in Hebrews 12:7-13concerning enduring the Lord's discipline.
²This passage is quoted in
Matthew 11:2-1-15and Luke 7:18-30, both concerning John the Baptist around the time he sent messengers to Jesus.

Psalm 126

When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
 we were like those who dream.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
 and our tongue with shouts of joy;
then it was said among the nations,
 “The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord has done great things for us,
 and we rejoiced.

Restore our fortunes, O Lord,
 like the watercourses in the Negeb.
May those who sow in tears
 reap with shouts of joy.
Those who go out weeping,
 bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy,
 carrying their sheaves.

New Testament Gospel Lesson: Luke 7:18-30

There is a parallel passage at Matthew 11:2-19.

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The disciples of John reported all these things to him. So John summoned two of his disciples and sent them to the Lord to ask, “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?” When the men had come to him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to you to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?’” Jesus had just then cured many people of diseases, plagues, and evil spirits, and had given sight to many who were blind. And he answered them, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have good news brought to them. And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me.”

When John's messengers had gone, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? Someone dressed in soft robes? Look, those who put on fine clothing and live in luxury are in royal palaces. What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written,

‘See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
 who will prepare your way before you.’¹

I tell you, among those born of women no one is greater than John; yet the least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.” (And all the people who heard this, including the tax collectors, acknowledged the justice of God, because they had been baptized with John's baptism. But by refusing to be baptized by him, the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected God's purpose for themselves.)

¹Malachai 3:1, which was our Sunday Hebrew Scripture.

Year C Advent 2 Wednesday

Selections from Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings copyright © 1995 by the Consultation on Common Texts.

Unless otherwise indicated, Bible text is from Holy Bible New Revised Standard Version (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 right reserved.

Footnotes in the Hebrew Scriptures that show where the passage is used in the Christian Scriptures are based on information from the Complete Jewish Bible (Updated) (CJB) by David H. Stern, Copyright © 1998 and 2006 by David H. Stern, used by permission of Messianic Jewish Publishers, www.messianicjewish.net. All rights reserved worldwide. When text is taken from the CJB, the passage ends with (CJB) and the foregoing copyright notice applies.

Parallel passages are as indicated in the Modern English Version (MEV) , 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.

Footnotes in the Christian Scriptures that show where a passage from the Hebrew Scripture is used are from The The Holy Bible: New International Version ® (NIV®), copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. When text is taken from the NIV, the passage ends with (NIV) and the foregoing copyright notice applies.

Image credit: John's Disciples Meet Jesus by Jerome Nadal (1507-1580), via Catholic-resources.org.This is a public domain image.

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Saturday: Preparation for the Third Sunday of Easter

Acts 3:1-10 Peter and John, in the name of Jesus, heal a man lame from birth.

Luke 22:24-30 As I am a servant, so you should be also. Then you will eat at my table in heaven.

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Saturday: Preparation for the Third Sunday in Lent

Exodus 19:16-25 There was thunder and lightning, as well as a thick cloud on the mountain, and a blast of a trumpet so loud that all the people who were in the camp trembled. From the top of Mount Sinai, the Lord summoned Moses. Then the Lord said, “Go down and warn the people not to break through to the Lord to look; otherwise many of them will perish.”

Mark 9:2-8 Mark’s account of the Transfiguration.

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