belief

Wednesday: 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 2:12-20

“Alas for you who build a town by bloodshed,
 and found a city on iniquity!”
Is it not from the Lord of hosts
 that peoples labor only to feed the flames,
 and nations weary themselves for nothing?
But the earth will be filled
 with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord,
 as the waters cover the sea.

“Alas for you who make your neighbors drink,
 pouring out your wrath until they are drunk,
 in order to gaze on their nakedness!”
You will be sated with contempt instead of glory.
 Drink, you yourself, and stagger!
The cup in the Lord's right hand
 will come around to you,
 and shame will come upon your glory!
For the violence done to Lebanon will overwhelm you;
 the destruction of the animals will terrify you—
because of human bloodshed and violence to the earth,
 to cities and all who live in them.

What use is an idol
 once its maker has shaped it—
 a cast image, a teacher of lies?
For its maker trusts in what has been made,
 though the product is only an idol that cannot speak!
Alas for you who say to the wood, “Wake up!”
 to silent stone, “Rouse yourself!”
 Can it teach?
See, it is gold and silver plated,
 and there is no breath in it at all.

But the Lord is in his holy temple;
 let all the earth keep silence before him!

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture Lesson from the Writings: Lamentations 5:1-22

Remember, O Lord, what has befallen us;
 look, and see our disgrace!
Our inheritance has been turned over to strangers,
 our homes to aliens.
We have become orphans, fatherless;
 our mothers are like widows.
We must pay for the water we drink;
 the wood we get must be bought.
With a yoke on our necks we are hard driven;
 we are weary, we are given no rest.
We have made a pact with Egypt and Assyria,
 to get enough bread.
Our ancestors sinned; they are no more,
 and we bear their iniquities.
Slaves rule over us;
 there is no one to deliver us from their hand.
We get our bread at the peril of our lives,
 because of the sword in the wilderness.
Our skin is black as an oven
 from the scorching heat of famine.
Women are raped in Zion,
 virgins in the towns of Judah.
Princes are hung up by their hands;
 no respect is shown to the elders.
Young men are compelled to grind,
 and boys stagger under loads of wood.
The old men have left the city gate,
 the young men their music.
The joy of our hearts has ceased;
 our dancing has been turned to mourning.
The crown has fallen from our head;
 woe to us, for we have sinned!
Because of this our hearts are sick,
 because of these things our eyes have grown dim:
because of Mount Zion, which lies desolate;
 jackals prowl over it.

But you, O Lord, reign forever;
 your throne endures to all generations.
Why have you forgotten us completely?
 Why have you forsaken us these many days?
Restore us to yourself, O Lord, that we may be restored;
 renew our days as of old—
unless you have utterly rejected us,
 and are angry with us beyond measure.

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 Gospel Lesson: Mark 11:12-14, 20-24

The Accursed Fig Tree

There is a parallel passage at Matthew 21:18-22.

On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see whether perhaps he would find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. He said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard it.

In the morning as they passed by, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. Then Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.” Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. Truly I tell you, if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and if you do not doubt in your heart, but believe that what you say will come to pass, it will be done for you. So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

Year C Ordinary 27, Catholic Proper 27, RCL Proper 22: Wednesday

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

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

Image Credit: The Accursed Fig Tree by James Tissot, via wikiart.org

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Wednesday: Reflection on the Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Complementary Jeremiah 16:14-21 God will restore Israel.

Semi-continuous 2 Samuel 5:17-25 David, with direction from God, fights the Philistines.

Both John 7:1-9 Jesus’ brothers do not believe in him.

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Wednesday: Reflection on the Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Complementary 2 Kings 20:1-11 God heals King Hezekiah.

Semi-continuous 1 Chronicles 10:1-14 Saul, Jonathan, and Saul’s other sons die in a war with the Philistines.

Both Mark 9:14-29 Jesus heals a boy of a spirit that convulses him. The boy’s father said, “If you are able to do anything, have pity on us.” Jesus answered, “If you are able—all things are possible for one who believes.” The father replied, “I believe. Help my unbelief!”

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Wednesday: Reflection on the Fifth Sunday in Lent

Haggai 2:1-9, 20-23 Yet now take courage, take courage, all you people of the land, says the Lord; work, for I am with you, says the Lord of hosts, according to the promise that I made you when you came out of Egypt. My spirit abides among you; do not fear.

John 12:34-50 I have come as light into the world, so that everyone who believes in me should not remain in the darkness.

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The Fourth Sunday in Lent

Numbers 21:4-9 The people spoke against God and Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness?” God sent poisonous serpents which bit many people, who died. Moses prayed to God, who said “Make a poisonous serpent, and set it on a pole; and everyone who is bitten shall look at it and live.”

Ephesians 2:1-10 By grace you have been saved through faith, not your own doing; it is the gift of God—not the result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.

John 3:14-21 Jesus answered Nicodemus, “And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.”

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Christmas Night

Isaiah 52:7-10 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who announces peace, who brings good news, who announces salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”

Psalm 98 O sing to the Lord a new song. Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises.

Hebrews 1:1-12 Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.

John 1:1-14 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

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Saturday: Preparation for the Third Sunday in Advent

Habakkuk 3:13-19 Even in misfortune I will rejoice in the Lord.

Matthew 21:28-32 The Parable of the Two Sons

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

Complementary: Ezekiel 33:7-20 I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked. The righteousness of the righteous will not save them when they transgress; the wickedness of the wicked will not make them stumble if they turn from their wickedness.

Semi-continuous: Jeremiah 31:10-14 I will turn their mourning into joy, and I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow.

Both: John 5:19-40 The hour is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and will come out—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.

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