Nineveh

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

Roman Catholic Proper 24
Revised Common Lectionary Proper 19

Complementary Hebrew Scripture from The Twelve Prophets: Jonah 3

The word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time, saying, “Get up, go to Nineveh, that great city, and proclaim to it the message that I tell you.” So Jonah set out and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly large city, a three days’ walk across. Jonah began to go into the city, going a day's walk. And he cried out, “Forty days more, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” And the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast, and everyone, great and small, put on sackcloth.

When the news reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, removed his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. Then he had a proclamation made in Nineveh: “By the decree of the king and his nobles: No human being or animal, no herd or flock, shall taste anything. They shall not feed, nor shall they drink water. Human beings and animals shall be covered with sackcloth, and they shall cry mightily to God. All shall turn from their evil ways and from the violence that is in their hands. Who knows? God may relent and change his mind; he may turn from his fierce anger, so that we do not perish.”

When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil ways, God changed his mind about the calamity that he had said he would bring upon them; and he did not do it.

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture from the Latter Prophets: Jeremiah 5:18-31

But even in those days, says the Lord, I will not make a full end of you. And when your people say, “Why has the Lord our God done all these things to us?” you shall say to them, “As you have forsaken me and served foreign gods in your land, so you shall serve strangers in a land that is not yours.”

Declare this in the house of Jacob,
 proclaim it in Judah:
Hear this, O foolish and senseless people,
 who have eyes, but do not see,
 who have ears, but do not hear.
Do you not fear me? says the Lord;
 Do you not tremble before me?
I placed the sand as a boundary for the sea,
 a perpetual barrier that it cannot pass;
though the waves toss, they cannot prevail,
 though they roar, they cannot pass over it.
But this people has a stubborn and rebellious heart;
 they have turned aside and gone away.
They do not say in their hearts,
 “Let us fear the Lord our God,
who gives the rain in its season,
 the autumn rain and the spring rain,
 and keeps for us
 the weeks appointed for the harvest.”¹

Your iniquities have turned these away,
 and your sins have deprived you of good.
For scoundrels are found among my people;
 they take over the goods of others.
Like fowlers they set a trap;
 they catch human beings.
Like a cage full of birds,
 their houses are full of treachery;
therefore they have become great and rich,
 they have grown fat and sleek.
They know no limits in deeds of wickedness;
 they do not judge with justice
the cause of the orphan, to make it prosper,
 and they do not defend the rights of the needy.
Shall I not punish them for these things?
   says the Lord,
 and shall I not bring retribution
 on a nation such as this?

An appalling and horrible thing
 has happened in the land:
the prophets prophesy falsely,
 and the priests rule as the prophets direct;
my people love to have it so,
 but what will you do when the end comes?

¹This verse is quoted in James 5:7, where he urges patience in suffering.

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 Epistle Lesson: 2 Peter 3:8-13

A Bamberg Apocalypse Folio 019

But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day. The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and everything that is done on it will be disclosed.

Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, what sort of persons ought you to be in leading lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set ablaze and dissolved, and the elements will melt with fire? But, in accordance with his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness is at home.

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

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

Unless otherwise indicated, Bible text is from New Revised Standard Version Bible (NRSV) copyright © 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Image Credit: A Bamberg Apocalypse Folio 019, By Deutsch: Auftraggeber: Otto III. oder Heinrich II. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons 0 license (public domain).

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Wednesday: Reflection on the First Sunday in Advent

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Hebrew Scripture Lesson from The Latter Prophets: Isaiah 1:24-31

Therefore says the Sovereign, the Lord of hosts, the Mighty One of Israel:
Ah, I will pour out my wrath on my enemies,
 and avenge myself on my foes!
I will turn my hand against you;
 I will smelt away your dross as with lye
 and remove all your alloy.
And I will restore your judges as at the first,
 and your counselors as at the beginning.
Afterward you shall be called the city of righteousness,
 the faithful city.

Zion shall be redeemed by justice,
 and those in her who repent, by righteousness.
But rebels and sinners shall be destroyed together,
 and those who forsake the Lord shall be consumed.
For you shall be ashamed of the oaks
 in which you delighted;
and you shall blush for the gardens
 that you have chosen.
For you shall be like an oak
 whose leaf withers,
 and like a garden without water.
The strong shall become like tinder,
 and their work like a spark;
they and their work shall burn together,
 with no one to quench them.

Psalm 90

Lord, you have been our dwelling place
 in all generations.
Before the mountains were brought forth,
 or ever you had formed the earth and the world,
 from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

You turn us back to dust,
 and say “Turn back, you mortals.”
For a thousand years in your sight
 are like yesterday when it is past,
or like a watch in the night.
¹

You sweep them away; they are like a dream,
 like grass that is renewed in the morning;
in the morning it flourishes and is renewed;
 in the evening it fades and withers.

For we are consumed by your anger;
 by your wrath we are overwhelmed.
You have set our iniquities before you,
 our secret sins in the light of your countenance.

For all our days pass away under your wrath;
 our years come to an end like a sigh.
The days of our life are seventy years,
 or perhaps eighty, if we are strong;
even then their span is only toil and trouble;
 they are soon gone, and we fly away.

Who considers the power of your anger?
 Your wrath is as great as the fear that is due you.
So teach us to count our days
 that we may gain a wise heart.

Turn, O Lord! How long?
 Have compassion on your servants!
Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
 so that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
Make us glad as many days as you have afflicted us,
 and as many years as we have seen evil.
Let your work be manifest to your servants,
 and your glorious power to their children.
Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,
 and prosper for us the work of our hands—
 O prosper the work of our hands!

¹Peter uses this verse in his argument against false teachers in 2 Peter 3:1-13. It is the Monday Epistle Lesson.

New Testament Gospel Lesson: Luke 11:29-32

Sistine_jonah.jpg

There are parallel passages at Matthew 12:38-42 and Mark 8:12.

When the crowds were increasing, he began to say, “This generation is an evil generation; it asks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah. For just as Jonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh, so the Son of Man will be to this generation. The queen of the South will rise at the judgment with the people of this generation and condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to listen to the wisdom of Solomon, and see, something greater than Solomon is here! The people of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the proclamation of Jonah, and see, something greater than Jonah is here!”

Year C Advent 1 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.

Image credit: The Prophet Jonah by Michelangelo via Wikimedia.org. This is a public domain image.

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The Third Sunday in Epiphany

Jonah 3:1-5, 10 At God’s instruction, Jonah cried out in Nineveh “Forty days more, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” The people of Nineveh believed God, proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth. When God saw how they turned from their evil ways, God did not bring the calamity on them.

1 Corinthians 7:29-31 I mean, brothers and sisters, the appointed time has grown short. For the present form of this world is passing away.

Mark 1:14-20 Jesus calls for repentance. Simon Peter, Andrew, James, and John are called by Jesus.

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

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

Complementary: Zephaniah 2:13-15 God will stretch out God’s hand against the north and destroy Assyria.

Semi-continuous: Exodus 16:22-30 God declares a say of solemn rest, a holy Sabbath.

Both: Matthew 19:23-30 Jesus said to his disciples, “It will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven. Many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.”

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

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

Complementary: Nahum 2:3-13 See, I am against you, says the Lord of hosts.

Semi-continuous: Exodus 16:1-21 The Israelites complained of hunger against Moses and Aaron. God provided manna for them to eat.

Both: 2 Corinthians 13:5-10 Test yourselves. Do you not realize that Jesus Christ is in you?

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Thursday: Preparation for the Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Thursday: Preparation for the Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Complementary: Nahum 1:1, 14-22 The Lord is restoring the majesty of Jacob and Israel, though they have been ravaged.

Semi-continuous: Exodus 15:22-27 The people complained against Moses because Marah’s water was too bitter to drink. The Lord provided Moses wood that made the water sweet.

Both: 2 Corinthians 13:1-4 Any charge must be sustained by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If I come again, I will not be lenient.

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