Pharisees

Sunday: The twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Roman Catholic Proper 24
Revised Common Lectionary Proper 19

Complementary Hebrew Scripture Torah Lesson: Exodus 32:7-14

The Lord said to Moses, “Go down at once! Your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have acted perversely; they have been quick to turn aside from the way that I commanded them; they have cast for themselves an image of a calf, and have worshiped it and sacrificed to it, and said, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!’”The Lord said to Moses, “I have seen this people, how stiff-necked they are.¹ Now let me alone, so that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them; and of you I will make a great nation.”

But Moses implored the Lord his God, and said, “O Lord, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians say, ‘It was with evil intent that he brought them out to kill them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth’? Turn from your fierce wrath; change your mind and do not bring disaster on your people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, your servants, how you swore to them by your own self, saying to them, ‘I will multiply your descendants like the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have promised I will give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it forever.²’” And the Lord changed his mind about the disaster that he planned to bring on his people.

¹This verse is quoted in Stephen's defense before the Sanhedrin.
²This verse is quoted in Hebrews 11, where the faith of the patriarchs is held up.

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture from the Latter Prophets: Jeremiah 4:11-12, 22-28

At that time it will be said to this people and to Jerusalem: A hot wind comes from me out of the bare heights in the desert toward my poor people, not to winnow or cleanse—a wind too strong for that. Now it is I who speak in judgment against them.

“For my people are foolish,
 they do not know me;
they are stupid children,
 they have no understanding.
They are skilled in doing evil,
 but do not know how to do good.”

I looked on the earth, and lo, it was waste and void;
 and to the heavens, and they had no light.
I looked on the mountains, and lo, they were quaking,
 and all the hills moved to and fro.
I looked, and lo, there was no one at all,
and all the birds of the air had fled.
I looked, and lo, the fruitful land was a desert,
and all its cities were laid in ruins
before the Lord,before his fierce anger.

For thus says the Lord: The whole land shall be a desolation; yet I will not make a full end.

Because of this the earth shall mourn,
 and the heavens above grow black;
for I have spoken, I have purposed;
 I have not relented nor will I turn back.

Complementary Psalm 51:1-10

Have mercy on me, O God,
 according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
 blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
 and cleanse me from my sin.

For I know my transgressions,
 and my sin is ever before me.
Against you, you alone, have I sinned,
 and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you are justified in your sentence
 and blameless when you pass judgment.¹

Indeed, I was born guilty,
 a sinner when my mother conceived me.

You desire truth in the inward being;
 therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
 wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
 let the bones that you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins,
 and blot out all my iniquities.

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
 and put a new and right spirit within me.

¹This verse is quoted in Romans 3:4, a discussion about Jews and the Law.

Semi-continuous Psalm 14

Fools say in their hearts, “There is no God.”
 They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds;
 there is no one who does good.
The Lord looks down from heaven on humankind
 to see if there are any who are wise,
 who seek after God.
They have all gone astray, they are all alike perverse;
 there is no one who does good,
 no, not one.¹

Have they no knowledge, all the evildoers
 who eat up my people as they eat bread,
 and do not call upon the Lord?

There they shall be in great terror,
 for God is with the company of the righteous.
You would confound the plans of the poor,
 but the Lord is their refuge.
O that deliverance for Israel would come from Zion!
 When the Lord restores the fortunes of his people,
 Jacob will rejoice; Israel will be glad.

¹This passage is quoted in Romans 3:10-12, where Paul argues that none is righteous.

New Testament Epistle Lesson: 1 Timothy 1:12-17

I am grateful to Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because he judged me faithful and appointed me to his service, even though I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and a man of violence. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the foremost. But for that very reason I received mercy, so that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display the utmost patience, making me an example to those who would come to believe in him for eternal life. To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

New Testament Gospel Lesson: Luke 15:1-10

The Lost Drachma

There is a parallel passage about the lost sheep at Matthew 18:12-14.

Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him. And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

So he told them this parable: “Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.”¹

“Or what woman having ten silver coins, if she loses one of them, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

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

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: The Lost Drachma by James Tissot via Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons 0 license (public domain).

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

Roman Catholic Proper 21
Revised Common Lectionary Proper 16

Complementary Hebrew Scripture from The Writings: Nehemiah 13:15-22

In those days I saw in Judah people treading wine presses on the sabbath, and bringing in heaps of grain and loading them on donkeys; and also wine, grapes, figs, and all kinds of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the sabbath day; and I warned them at that time against selling food. Tyrians also, who lived in the city, brought in fish and all kinds of merchandise and sold them on the sabbath to the people of Judah, and in Jerusalem. Then I remonstrated with the nobles of Judah and said to them, “What is this evil thing that you are doing, profaning the sabbath day? Did not your ancestors act in this way, and did not our God bring all this disaster on us and on this city? Yet you bring more wrath on Israel by profaning the sabbath.”

When it began to be dark at the gates of Jerusalem before the sabbath, I commanded that the doors should be shut and gave orders that they should not be opened until after the sabbath. And I set some of my servants over the gates, to prevent any burden from being brought in on the sabbath day. Then the merchants and sellers of all kinds of merchandise spent the night outside Jerusalem once or twice. But I warned them and said to them, “Why do you spend the night in front of the wall? If you do so again, I will lay hands on you.” From that time on they did not come on the sabbath. And I commanded the Levites that they should purify themselves and come and guard the gates, to keep the sabbath day holy. Remember this also in my favor, O my God, and spare me according to the greatness of your steadfast love.  

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture from the Latter Prophets: Jeremiah 1:1-3, 11-19

The words of Jeremiah son of Hilkiah, of the priests who were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin, to whom the word of the Lord came in the days of King Josiah son of Amon of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign. It came also in the days of King Jehoiakim son of Josiah of Judah, and until the end of the eleventh year of King Zedekiah son of Josiah of Judah, until the captivity of Jerusalem in the fifth month.

The word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Jeremiah, what do you see?” And I said, “I see a branch of an almond tree.” Then the Lord said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it.” The word of the Lord came to me a second time, saying, “What do you see?” And I said, “I see a boiling pot, tilted away from the north.”

Then the Lord said to me: Out of the north disaster shall break out on all the inhabitants of the land. For now I am calling all the tribes of the kingdoms of the north, says the Lord; and they shall come and all of them shall set their thrones at the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem, against all its surrounding walls and against all the cities of Judah. And I will utter my judgments against them, for all their wickedness in forsaking me; they have made offerings to other gods, and worshiped the works of their own hands. But you, gird up your loins; stand up and tell them everything that I command you. Do not break down before them, or I will break you before them. And I for my part have made you today a fortified city, an iron pillar, and a bronze wall, against the whole land–against the kings of Judah, its princes, its priests, and the people of the land. They will fight against you; but they shall not prevail against you, for I am with you, says the Lord, to deliver you.

Complementary Psalm 103:1-8

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
 and all that is within me,
 bless his holy name.

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and do not forget all his benefits—
who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the Pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good as long as you live
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
The Lord works vindication
and justice for all who are oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses,
his acts to the people of Israel.
The Lord is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

Semi-continuous Psalm 71

In you, O Lord, I take refuge;
 let me never be put to shame.
In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me;
 incline your ear to me and save me.
Be to me a rock of refuge,
 a strong fortress, to save me,
 for you are my rock and my fortress.

Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked,
 from the grasp of the unjust and cruel.
For you, O Lord, are my hope,
 my trust, O Lord, from my youth.
Upon you I have leaned from my birth;
 it was you who took me from my mother's womb.
My praise is continually of you.

I have been like a portent to many,
 but you are my strong refuge.
My mouth is filled with your praise,
 and with your glory all day long.
Do not cast me off in the time of old age;
 do not forsake me when my strength is spent.
For my enemies speak concerning me,
 and those who watch for my life consult together.
They say, “Pursue and seize that person
 whom God has forsaken,
 for there is no one to deliver.”

O God, do not be far from me;
 O my God, make haste to help me!
Let my accusers be put to shame and consumed;
 let those who seek to hurt me
 be covered with scorn and disgrace.
But I will hope continually,
 and will praise you yet more and more.
My mouth will tell of your righteous acts,
 of your deeds of salvation all day long,
 though their number is past my knowledge.
I will come praising the mighty deeds of the Lord God,
 I will praise your righteousness, yours alone.

O God, from my youth you have taught me,
 and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds.
So even to old age and grey hairs,
 O God, do not forsake me,
until I proclaim your might
 to all the generations to come.
Your power and your righteousness, O God,
 reach the high heavens.

You who have done great things,
 O God, who is like you?
You who have made me see many troubles and calamities
 will revive me again;
from the depths of the earth
 you will bring me up again.
You will increase my honor,
 and comfort me once again.

I will also praise you with the harp
 for your faithfulness, O my God;
I will sing praises to you with the lyre,
 O Holy One of Israel.
My lips will shout for joy
 when I sing praises to you;
 my soul also, which you have rescued.
All day long my tongue will talk of your righteous help,
for those who tried to do me harm
 have been put to shame, and disgraced.

New Testament Gospel Lesson: Luke 6:1-5

Lord of the Sabbath

There are parallel passages at Matthew 12:1-8 and Mark 2:23-28.

One sabbath while Jesus was going through the grainfields, his disciples plucked some heads of grain, rubbed them in their hands, and ate them. But some of the Pharisees said, “Why are you doing what is not lawful on the sabbath?” Jesus answered, “Have you not read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? He entered the house of God and took and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and gave some to his companions?” Then he said to them, “The Son of Man is lord of the sabbath.”

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: Grain image from publicdomainpictures.net, cropped and texted added by Michael Gilbertson.

Year C Ordinary 21, Catholic Proper 21, RCL Proper 16: Saturday

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Saturday: Preparation

The Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Revised Common Lectionary Proper 7
Roman Catholic Proper 12

Complementary Hebrew Scripture from The Latter Prophets: Isaiah 59:1-8

See, the Lord's hand is not too short to save,
 nor his ear too dull to hear.
Rather, your iniquities have been barriers
 between you and your God,
and your sins have hidden his face from you
 so that he does not hear.
For your hands are defiled with blood,
 and your fingers with iniquity;
your lips have spoken lies,
 your tongue mutters wickedness.
No one brings suit justly,
 no one goes to law honestly;
they rely on empty pleas, they speak lies,
 conceiving mischief and begetting iniquity.
They hatch adders' eggs,
 and weave the spider's web;
whoever eats their eggs dies,
 and the crushed egg hatches out a viper.
Their webs cannot serve as clothing;
 they cannot cover themselves with what they make.
Their works are works of iniquity,
 and deeds of violence are in their hands.
Their feet run to evil,
 and they rush to shed innocent blood;
their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity,
 desolation and destruction are in their highways.
The way of peace they do not know,
 and there is no justice in their paths.
Their roads they have made crooked;
 no one who walks in them knows peace.¹

¹Paul quotes this verse when he shows that none of us is righteous, in Romans 3:9-20.

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture from The Writings: Proverbs 11:3-13

The integrity of the upright guides them,
 but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them.
Riches do not profit in the day of wrath,
 but righteousness delivers from death.
The righteousness of the blameless keeps their ways straight,
 but the wicked fall by their own wickedness.
The righteousness of the upright saves them,
 but the treacherous are taken captive by their schemes.
When the wicked die, their hope perishes,
 and the expectation of the godless comes to nothing.
The righteous are delivered from trouble,
 and the wicked get into it instead.
With their mouths the godless would destroy their neighbors,
 but by knowledge the righteous are delivered.
When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices;
 and when the wicked perish, there is jubilation.
By the blessing of the upright a city is exalted,
 but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked.
Whoever belittles another lacks sense,
 but an intelligent person remains silent.
A gossip goes about telling secrets,
 but one who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a confidence.

Complementary Psalm 22:19-28

But you, O Lord, do not be far away!
 O my help, come quickly to my aid!
Deliver my soul from the sword,
 my life from the power of the dog!
 Save me from the mouth of the lion!

From the horns of the wild oxen you have rescued me.¹
I will tell of your name to my brothers and sisters;
 in the midst of the congregation I will praise you:
You who fear the Lord, praise him!
 All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him;
 stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel!
For he did not despise or abhor
 the affliction of the afflicted;
he did not hide his face from me,
 but heard when I cried to him.

From you comes my praise in the great congregation;
 my vows I will pay before those who fear him.
The poor shall eat and be satisfied;
 those who seek him shall praise the Lord.
 May your hearts live forever!

All the ends of the earth shall remember
 and turn to the Lord;
and all the families of the nations
 shall worship before him.
For dominion belongs to the Lord,
 and he rules over the nations.

¹Paul alludes to this verse when he comments on his personal circumstances in 2 Timothy 4:16-18

Semi-continuous Psalms 42 and 43

As a deer longs for flowing streams,
 so my soul longs for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God,
 for the living God.
When shall I come and behold
 the face of God?
My tears have been my food
 day and night,
 while people say to me continually,
 “Where is your God?”

These things I remember,
 as I pour out my soul:
how I went with the throng,
 and led them in procession to the house of God,
with glad shouts and songs of thanksgiving,
 a multitude keeping festival.
Why are you cast down, O my soul,
 and why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
 my help and my God.

My soul is cast down within me;
 therefore I remember you from
the land of Jordan and of Hermon,
 from Mount Mizar.
Deep calls to deep
 at the thunder of your cataracts;
 all your waves and your billows
 have gone over me.
By day the Lord commands his steadfast love,
 and at night his song is with me,
a prayer to the God of my life.

I say to God, my rock,
 “Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I walk about mournfully
 because the enemy oppresses me?”
As with a deadly wound in my body,
 my adversaries taunt me,
while they say to me continually,
 “Where is your God?”

Why are you cast down, O my soul,
 and why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my help and my God.

[pspsa,

Vindicate me, O God,
 and defend my cause
 against an ungodly people;
from those who are deceitful and unjust
 deliver me!
For you are the God in whom I take refuge;
 why have you cast me off?
Why must I walk about mournfully
 because of the oppression of the enemy?

O send out your light and your truth;
 let them lead me;
let them bring me to your holy hill
 and to your dwelling.
Then I will go to the altar of God,
 to God my exceeding joy;
and I will praise you with the harp,
 O God, my God.

Why are you cast down, O my soul,
 and why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
 my help and my God.

New Testament Gospel Lesson: Matthew 9:27-34

2-Blind-Men-All.jpg

As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, crying loudly, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!” When he entered the house, the blind men came to him; and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to him, “Yes, Lord.” Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you.” And their eyes were opened. Then Jesus sternly ordered them, “See that no one knows of this.” But they went away and spread the news about him throughout that district.

After they had gone away, a demoniac who was mute was brought to him. And when the demon had been cast out, the one who had been mute spoke; and the crowds were amazed and said, “Never has anything like this been seen in Israel.” But the Pharisees said, “By the ruler of the demons he casts out the demons.”

Year C Ordinary 12, Revised Common Lectionary Proper 7, Roman Catholic Proper 12, 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 right reserved.

Image Credit: Two Blind Men Healed at Capernaum by James Tissot. Public domain image downloaded from http://catholic-resources.org/Tissot/Tissot-2161.jpg, cropped and tone adjusted using Photoshop.

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Wednesday: Reflection on the Fifth Sunday After Epiphany

Hebrew Scripture Lesson from The Latter Prophets: Isaiah 8:1-15

Then the Lord said to me, Take a large tablet and write on it in common characters, “Belonging to Maher-shalal-hash-baz,” and have it attested for me by reliable witnesses, the priest Uriah and Zechariah son of Jeberechiah. And I went to the prophetess, and she conceived and bore a son. Then the Lord said to me, Name him Maher-shalal-hash-baz; for before the child knows how to call “My father” or “My mother,” the wealth of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria will be carried away by the king of Assyria.

The Lord spoke to me again: Because this people has refused the waters of Shiloah that flow gently, and melt in fear before Rezin and the son of Remaliah; therefore, the Lord is bringing up against it the mighty flood waters of the River, the king of Assyria and all his glory; it will rise above all its channels and overflow all its banks; it will sweep on into Judah as a flood, and, pouring over, it will reach up to the neck; and its outspread wings will fill the breadth of your land, O Immanuel.

Band together, you peoples, and be dismayed;
 listen, all you far countries;
gird yourselves and be dismayed;
 gird yourselves and be dismayed!
Take counsel together, but it shall be brought to naught;
 speak a word, but it will not stand,
 for God is with us.

For the Lord spoke thus to me while his hand was strong upon me, and warned me not to walk in the way of this people, saying: Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what it fears, or be in dread. But the Lord of hosts, him you shall regard as holy; let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. He will become a sanctuary, a stone one strikes against; for both houses of Israel he will become a rock one stumbles over—a trap and a snare for the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And many among them shall stumble; they shall fall and be broken; they shall be snared and taken.

Psalm 115

Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory,
 for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness.
Why should the nations say,
 “Where is their God?”

Our God is in the heavens;
 he does whatever he pleases.
Their idols are silver and gold,
 the work of human hands.
They have mouths, but do not speak;
 eyes, but do not see.
They have ears, but do not hear;
 noses, but do not smell.
They have hands, but do not feel;
 feet, but do not walk;
 they make no sound in their throats.
¹
Those who make them are like them;
 so are all who trust in them.

O Israel, trust in the Lord!
 He is their help and their shield.
O house of Aaron, trust in the Lord!
 He is their help and their shield.
You who fear the Lord, trust in the Lord!
 He is their help and their shield.

The Lord has been mindful of us; he will bless us;
 he will bless the house of Israel;
 he will bless the house of Aaron;
he will bless those who fear the Lord,
 both small and great.

May the Lord give you increase,
 both you and your children.
May you be blessed by the Lord,
 who made heaven and earth.

The heavens are the Lord's heavens,
 but the earth he has given to human beings.
The dead do not praise the Lord,
 nor do any that go down into silence.
But we will bless the Lord
 from this time on and forevermore.
Praise the Lord!

¹This passage is used in Revelation 9:20-21, describing humankind's failure to turn to God.

New Testament Gospel Lesson: Luke 5:27-32

There are parallel passages at Matthew 9:9-13 and Mark 2:13-17.

Jesus-Levi.jpg

After this he went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax booth; and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up, left everything, and followed him.

Then Levi gave a great banquet for him in his house; and there was a large crowd of tax collectors and others sitting at the table with them. The Pharisees and their scribes were complaining to his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus answered, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I have come to call not the righteous but sinners to repentance.”

Year C Epiphany 5 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: Jesus Calls Levi by William Hole, via Wikimedia Commons. This is a public domain image.

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

This week's blog post is here. It has a review of The Message Bible translation, the fate of the rich in God's kingdom, background on Lazarus, information on Job's friends, and more.

Complementary Hebrew Scripture from the Minor Prophets: Amos 3:13-4:5

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

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

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

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture from the Writings: Job 20

Then Zophar the Naamathite answered:
“Pay attention! My thoughts urge me to answer,
 because of the agitation within me.
I hear censure that insults me,
 and a spirit beyond my understanding answers me.
Do you not know this from of old,
 ever since mortals were placed on earth,
that the exulting of the wicked is short,
 and the joy of the godless is but for a moment?
Even though they mount up high as the heavens,
 and their head reaches to the clouds,
they will perish forever like their own dung;
 those who have seen them will say, ‘Where are they?’
They will fly away like a dream, and not be found;
 they will be chased away like a vision of the night.
The eye that saw them will see them no more,
 nor will their place behold them any longer.
Their children will seek the favor of the poor,
 and their hands will give back their wealth.
Their bodies, once full of youth,
 will lie down in the dust with them.

“Though wickedness is sweet in their mouth,
 though they hide it under their tongues,
though they are loath to let it go,
 and hold it in their mouths,
yet their food is turned in their stomachs;
 it is the venom of asps within them.
They swallow down riches and vomit them up again;
 God casts them out of their bellies.
They will suck the poison of asps;
 the tongue of a viper will kill them.
They will not look on the rivers,
 the streams flowing with honey and curds.
They will give back the fruit of their toil,
 and will not swallow it down;
from the profit of their trading
 they will get no enjoyment.
For they have crushed and abandoned the poor,
 they have seized a house that they did not build.

“They knew no quiet in their bellies;
 in their greed they let nothing escape.
There was nothing left after they had eaten;
 therefore their prosperity will not endure.
In full sufficiency they will be in distress;
 all the force of misery will come upon them.
To fill their belly to the full
 God will send his fierce anger into them,
 and rain it upon them as their food.
They will flee from an iron weapon;
 a bronze arrow will strike them through.
It is drawn forth and comes out of their body,
 and the glittering point comes out of their gall;
 terrors come upon them.
Utter darkness is laid up for their treasures;
 a fire fanned by no one will devour them;
 what is left in their tent will be consumed.
The heavens will reveal their iniquity,
 and the earth will rise up against them.
The possessions of their house will be carried away,
 dragged off in the day of God's wrath.
This is the portion of the wicked from God,
 the heritage decreed for them by God.”

Complementary Psalm 90:12-17

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!

Semi-continuous Psalm 22:1-15

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?¹
Why are you so far from helping me,
 from the words of my groaning?
O my God, I cry by day,
 but you do not answer;
 and by night, but find no rest.
Yet you are holy,
 enthroned on the praises of Israel.
In you our ancestors trusted;
 they trusted, and you delivered them.
To you they cried, and were saved;
 in you they trusted, and were not put to shame.

But I am a worm, and not human;
 scorned by others,
 and despised by the people.
All who see me mock at me;
 they make mouths at me,
they shake their heads;
“Commit your cause to the Lord;
let him deliver—
 let him rescue the one in whom he delights!”²

Yet it was you who took me from the womb;
 you kept me safe on my mother's breast.
On you I was cast from my birth,
 and since my mother bore me you have been my God.
Do not be far from me,
 for trouble is near
 and there is no one to help.

Many bulls encircle me,
 strong bulls of Bashan surround me;
they open wide their mouths at me,
 like a ravening and roaring lion.

I am poured out like water,
 and all my bones are out of joint;
my heart is like wax;
 it is melted within my breast;
my mouth is dried up like a potsherd,
 and my tongue sticks to my jaws;
 you lay me in the dust of death.

¹Jesus, on the cross as he is dying, says these words, as recorded in Matthew 27:45-56 and Mark 15:33-41
²This passage, starting with “All those who see me mock me” is reflected in accounts of the crucifixion in
Luke 23:35-36 and Matthew 27:39-44.

New Testament Gospel Lesson: Matthew 15:1-9¹

The Disciples Plucking Grain on the Sabbath

Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands before they eat.” He answered them, “And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? For God said, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’² and, ‘Whoever speaks evil of father or mother must surely die.’³ But you say that whoever tells father or mother, ‘Whatever support you might have had from me is given to God,’ then that person need not honor the father. So, for the sake of your tradition, you make void the word of God. You hypocrites! Isaiah prophesied rightly about you when he said:

‘This people honors me with their lips,
 but their hearts are far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
 teaching human precepts as doctrines.’”*

¹There is a parallel passage at Mark 7:1-23.
²Exodus 20:12 and Deuteronomy 5:16   ³Exodus 21:17 and Leviticus 20:9    *Isaiah 29:13

Year B Ordinary 28 Saturday

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 with the Apocryphal / Deuterocanonical Books (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 (Old Testament) that show where the passage is used in the Christian Scriptures (New Testament) 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.

Footnotes in the Christian Scriptures (New Testament) that show where a passage from the Hebrew Scripture (Old Testament) 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.

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.

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Image credit: The Disciples Plucking Grain on the Sabbath, image from The Bible Panorama, or the Holy Scriptures in Picture and Story by William A. Foster, via Wikimedia Commons. This is a public domain image.

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

Complementary Isaiah 10:12-20 Arrogant Assyria is judged.

Semi-continuous Proverbs 29 A fool gives full vent to anger, but the wise quietly holds back.

Both John 7:25-36 Many in the crowd believed that Jesus is the Messiah.

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The Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Complementary Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-9 What nation is there that has a law as righteous as the one I set before you today?

Semi-continuous Song of Solomon 2:8-13 The bride adores her beloved.

Both James 1:17-27 Don’t be a hearer who forgets. Be a doer who acts, and you will be blessed in the doing.

Both Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23 Jesus tells the Pharisees, quoting Isaiah, “This people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching human precepts as doctrines.”

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Wednesday: Reflection on the Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Complementary Genesis 47:13-26 There is famine in Egypt, which Joseph uses to increase Pharaoh’s wealth.

Semi-continuous 1 Kings 8:1-21 The Ark of the Covenant is brought into the temple.

Both Mark 8:14-21 Jesus warns the disciples of the yeast of the Pharisees and of Herod.

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