Lamentations

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

Roman Catholic Proper 27
Revised Common Lectionary Proper 22

Complementary Hebrew Scripture Lesson from The Twelve Prophets: Habakkuk 1:5-17

Look at the nations, and see!
 Be astonished! Be astounded!
For a work is being done in your days
 that you would not believe if you were told.¹

For I am rousing the Chaldeans,
 that fierce and impetuous nation,
who march through the breadth of the earth
 to seize dwellings not their own.
Dread and fearsome are they;
 their justice and dignity proceed from themselves.
Their horses are swifter than leopards,
 more menacing than wolves at dusk;
 their horses charge.
Their horsemen come from far away;
 they fly like an eagle swift to devour.
They all come for violence,
 with faces pressing forward;
 they gather captives like sand.
At kings they scoff,
 and of rulers they make sport.
They laugh at every fortress,
 and heap up earth to take it.
Then they sweep by like the wind;
 they transgress and become guilty;
 their own might is their god!

Are you not from of old,
 O Lord my God, my Holy One?
 You shall not die.
O Lord, you have marked them for judgment;
 and you, O Rock, have established them for punishment.
Your eyes are too pure to behold evil,
 and you cannot look on wrongdoing;
why do you look on the treacherous,
 and are silent when the wicked swallow
 those more righteous than they?
You have made people like the fish of the sea,
 like crawling things that have no ruler.

The enemy brings all of them up with a hook;
 he drags them out with his net,
he gathers them in his seine;
 so he rejoices and exults.
Therefore he sacrifices to his net
 and makes offerings to his seine;
for by them his portion is lavish,
 and his food is rich.
Is he then to keep on emptying his net,
 and destroying nations without mercy?

¹Paul quotes this verse in Acts 13:41, while preaching at Antioch of Pisidia (Acts 13:26-41).

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture Lesson from the Writings: Lamentations 1:16-22

For these things I weep;
 my eyes flow with tears;
for a comforter is far from me,
 one to revive my courage;
my children are desolate,
 for the enemy has prevailed.

Zion stretches out her hands,
 but there is no one to comfort her;
the Lord has commanded against Jacob
 that his neighbors should become his foes;
Jerusalem has become
 a filthy thing among them.

The Lord is in the right,
 for I have rebelled against his word;
but hear, all you peoples,
 and behold my suffering;
my young women and young men
 have gone into captivity.

I called to my lovers
 but they deceived me;
my priests and elders
 perished in the city
while seeking food
 to revive their strength.

See, O Lord, how distressed I am;
 my stomach churns,
my heart is wrung within me,
 because I have been very rebellious.
In the street the sword bereaves;
 in the house it is like death.

They heard how I was groaning,
 with no one to comfort me.
All my enemies heard of my trouble;
 they are glad that you have done it.
Bring on the day you have announced,
 and let them be as I am.

Let all their evil doing come before you;
 and deal with them
as you have dealt with me
 because of all my transgressions;
for my groans are many
 and my heart is faint.

Complementary Psalm 3

O Lord, how many are my foes!
 Many are rising against me;
many are saying to me,
 “There is no help for you in God.”

But you, O Lord, are a shield around me,
 my glory, and the one who lifts up my head.
I cry aloud to the Lord,
 and he answers me from his holy hill.

I lie down and sleep;
 I wake again, for the Lord sustains me.
I am not afraid of ten thousands of people
 who have set themselves against me all around.

Rise up, O Lord!
 Deliver me, O my God!
For you strike all my enemies on the cheek;
 you break the teeth of the wicked.
Deliverance belongs to the Lord;
 may your blessing be on your people!

Semi-continuous Psalm 137

By the rivers of Babylon—
 there we sat down and there we wept
 when we remembered Zion.
On the willows there
 we hung up our harps.
For there our captors
 asked us for songs,
and our tormentors asked for mirth,
 saying, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”

How could we sing the Lord's song
 in a foreign land?
If I forget you, O Jerusalem,
 let my right hand wither!
Let my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth,
 if I do not remember you,
if I do not set Jerusalem
 above my highest joy.

Remember, O Lord, against the Edomites
 the day of Jerusalem's fall,
how they said, “Tear it down! Tear it down!
 Down to its foundations!”
O daughter Babylon, you devastator!
 Happy shall they be who pay you back
what you have done to us!
>Happy shall they be who take your little ones
 and dash them against the rock!

New Testament Epistle Lesson: James 1:2-11

James, the Brother of Our Lord

My brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance; and let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing.

If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given you. But ask in faith, never doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind; for the doubter, being double-minded and unstable in every way, must not expect to receive anything from the Lord.

Let the believer who is lowly boast in being raised up, and the rich in being brought low, because the rich will disappear like a flower in the field. For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the field; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. It is the same way with the rich; in the midst of a busy life, they will wither away.

Year C Ordinary 27, Catholic Proper 27, RCL Proper 22: 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: St James the Brother of the Lord by Tzangarolas Stephanos, via Wikimedia Commons

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