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

Roman Catholic Proper 27
Revised Common Lectionary Proper 22

Complementary Hebrew Scripture Lesson from the Latter Prophets: Isaiah 7:1-9

In the days of Ahaz son of Jotham son of Uzziah, king of Judah, King Rezin of Aram and King Pekah son of Remaliah of Israel went up to attack Jerusalem, but could not mount an attack against it. When the house of David heard that Aram had allied itself with Ephraim¹ the heart of Ahaz and the heart of his people shook as the trees of the forest shake before the wind.

Then the Lord said to Isaiah, Go out to meet Ahaz, you and your son Shear-jashub, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool on the highway to the Fuller's Field, and say to him, Take heed, be quiet, do not fear, and do not let your heart be faint because of these two smoldering stumps of firebrands, because of the fierce anger of Rezin and Aram and the son of Remaliah. Because Aram—with Ephraim and the son of Remaliah—has plotted evil against you, saying, Let us go up against Judah and cut off Jerusalem and conquer it for ourselves and make the son of Tabeel king in it; therefore thus says the Lord God:

It shall not stand,
and it shall not come to pass.
For the head of Aram is Damascus,
and the head of Damascus is Rezin.
(Within sixty-five years Ephraim will be shattered, no longer a people.)
The head of Ephraim is Samaria,
and the head of Samaria is the son of Remaliah.
If you do not stand firm in faith,
you shall not stand at all.

¹ Ephraim is often used in Isaiah and Amos to refer to the entire northern kingdom of Israel.

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture Lesson from the Writings: Lamentations 1:7-15

Jerusalem remembers,
 in the days of her affliction and wandering,
all the precious things
 that were hers in days of old.
When her people fell into the hand of the foe,
 and there was no one to help her,
the foe looked on mocking
 over her downfall.

Jerusalem sinned grievously,
 so she has become a mockery;
all who honored her despise her,
 for they have seen her nakedness;
she herself groans,
 and turns her face away.
Her uncleanness was in her skirts;
 she took no thought of her future;
her downfall was appalling,
 with none to comfort her.

“O Lord, look at my affliction,
 for the enemy has triumphed!”
Enemies have stretched out their hands
 over all her precious things;
she has even seen the nations
 invade her sanctuary,
those whom you forbade
 to enter your congregation.

All her people groan
 as they search for bread;
they trade their treasures for food
 to revive their strength.

Look, O Lord, and see
 how worthless I have become.

Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by?
 Look and see
if there is any sorrow like my sorrow,
 which was brought upon me,
which the Lord inflicted
 on the day of his fierce anger.
From on high he sent fire;
 it went deep into my bones;
he spread a net for my feet;
 he turned me back;
he has left me stunned,
 faint all day long.

My transgressions were bound into a yoke;
 by his hand they were fastened together;
they weigh on my neck,
 sapping my strength;
the Lord handed me over
 to those whom I cannot withstand.

The Lord has rejected
 all my warriors in the midst of me;
he proclaimed a time against me
 to crush my young men;
the Lord has trodden as in a wine press
 the virgin daughter Judah.

Complementary Psalm 37:1-9

Do not fret because of the wicked;
 do not be envious of wrongdoers,
for they will soon fade like the grass,
 and wither like the green herb.

Trust in the Lord, and do good;
 so you will live in the land, and enjoy security.
Take delight in the Lord,
 and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord;
 trust in him, and he will act.
He will make your vindication shine like the light,
 and the justice of your cause like the noonday.

Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for him;
 do not fret over those who prosper in their way,
 over those who carry out evil devices.

Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath.
 Do not fret—it leads only to evil.
For the wicked shall be cut off,
 but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land.

Semi-continuous Canticle from The Writings: Lamentations 3:19-26

The thought of my affliction and my homelessness
 is wormwood and gall!
My soul continually thinks of it
 and is bowed down within me.
But this I call to mind,
 and therefore I have hope:

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,
 his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
 great is your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul.
 “therefore I will hope in him.”

The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
 to the soul that seeks him.
It is good that one should wait quietly
 for the salvation of the Lord.

New Testament Gospel Lesson: Matthew 20:29-34

There are parallel passages at Mark 10:46-52 and Luke 18:35-43.

Healing of blind and lame

As they were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. There were two blind men sitting by the roadside. When they heard that Jesus was passing by, they shouted, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!” The crowd sternly ordered them to be quiet; but they shouted even more loudly, “Have mercy on us, Lord, Son of David!” Jesus stood still and called them, saying, “What do you want me to do for you?” They said to him, “Lord, let our eyes be opened.” Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes. Immediately they regained their sight and followed him.

Year C Ordinary 27, Catholic Proper 27, RCL Proper 22: 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: Healing of blind and lame by Andreas König, 1759 (Matthew 15), photo by Andreas Praefcke (Own photo) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons. This image was modified by Mike Gilbertson to flatten it from an arch.

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

Roman Catholic Proper 22
Common Lectionary Proper 17

Complementary Hebrew Scripture Lesson from the Latter Prophets: Isaiah 57:14-21

It shall be said,
“Build up, build up, prepare the way,
 remove every obstruction from my people's way.”
For thus says the high and lofty one
 who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:
I dwell in the high and holy place,
 and also with those who are contrite and humble in spirit,
to revive the spirit of the humble,
 and to revive the heart of the contrite.
For I will not continually accuse,
 nor will I always be angry;
for then the spirits would grow faint before me,
 even the souls that I have made.
Because of their wicked covetousness I was angry;
 I struck them, I hid and was angry;
 but they kept turning back to their own ways.
I have seen their ways, but I will heal them;
 I will lead them and repay them with comfort,
 creating for their mourners the fruit of the lips.
Peace, peace, to the far and the near, says the Lord;
 and I will heal them.¹

But the wicked are like the tossing sea
 that cannot keep still;
 its waters toss up mire and mud.
There is no peace, says my God, for the wicked.

¹Paul quotes this verse in Ephesians 2:11-22, where he explains that we are all one in Christ.

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture from the Latter Prophets: Jeremiah 3:15-25

I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding. And when you have multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, says the Lord, they shall no longer say, “The ark of the covenant of the Lord.” It shall not come to mind, or be remembered, or missed; nor shall another one be made. At that time Jerusalem shall be called the throne of the Lord, and all nations shall gather to it, to the presence of the Lord in Jerusalem, and they shall no longer stubbornly follow their own evil will. In those days the house of Judah shall join the house of Israel, and together they shall come from the land of the north to the land that I gave your ancestors for a heritage.

I thought
 how I would set you among my children,
and give you a pleasant land,
 the most beautiful heritage of all the nations.
And I thought you would call me, My Father
 and would not turn from following me.
Instead, as a faithless wife leaves her husband,
 so you have been faithless to me, O house of Israel,
   says the Lord.

A voice on the bare heights is heard,
 the plaintive weeping of Israel's children,
because they have perverted their way,
 they have forgotten the Lord their God:
Return, O faithless children,
 I will heal your faithlessness.

“Here we come to you;
 for you are the Lord our God.
Truly the hills are a delusion,
 the orgies on the mountains.
“Truly in the Lord our God
 is the salvation of Israel.

“But from our youth the shameful thing has devoured all for which our ancestors had labored, their flocks and their herds, their sons and their daughters. Let us lie down in our shame, and let our dishonor cover us; for we have sinned against the Lord our God, we and our ancestors, from our youth even to this day; and we have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God.”

Complementary Psalm 119:65-72

You have dealt well with your servant,
 O Lord, according to your word.
Teach me good judgment and knowledge,
 for I believe in your commandments.
Before I was humbled I went astray,
 but now I keep your word.
You are good and do good;
 teach me your statutes.
The arrogant smear me with lies,
 but with my whole heart I keep your precepts.
Their hearts are fat and gross,
 but I delight in your law.
It is good for me that I was humbled,
 so that I might learn your statutes.
The law of your mouth is better to me
 than thousands of gold and silver pieces.

Semi-continuous Psalm 58

Do you indeed decree what is right, you gods?
 Do you judge people fairly?
No, in your hearts you devise wrongs;
 your hands deal out violence on earth.

The wicked go astray from the womb;
 they err from their birth, speaking lies.
They have venom like the venom of a serpent,
 like the deaf adder that stops its ear,
so that it does not hear the voice of charmers
 or of the cunning enchanter.

O God, break the teeth in their mouths;
 tear out the fangs of the young lions, O Lord!
Let them vanish like water that runs away;
 like grass let them be trodden down and wither.
Let them be like the snail that dissolves into slime;
 like the untimely birth that never sees the sun.
Sooner than your pots can feel the heat of thorns,
 whether green or ablaze, may he sweep them away!

The righteous will rejoice when they see vengeance done;
 they will bathe their feet in the blood of the wicked.
People will say, “Surely there is a reward for the righteous;
 surely there is a God who judges on earth.”

New Testament Gospel Lesson: Luke 14:15-24

There is a parallel passage at Matthew 22:1-10.

The Cripples

One of the dinner guests, on hearing this, said to him, “Blessed is anyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!” Then Jesus said to him, “Someone gave a great dinner and invited many. At the time for the dinner he sent his slave to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come; for everything is ready now.’ But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of land, and I must go out and see it; please accept my regrets.’ Another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out; please accept my regrets.’ Another said, ‘I have just been married, and therefore I cannot come.’ So the slave returned and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and said to his slave, ‘Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.’ And the slave said, ‘Sir, what you ordered has been done, and there is still room.” Then the master said to the slave, ‘Go out into the roads and lanes, and compel people to come in, so that my house may be filled. For I tell you, none of those who were invited will taste my dinner.’”

Year C Ordinary 22, Catholic Proper 22, Common Lectionary Proper 17: 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: Bruegel, Pieter, approximately 1525-1569. The Cripples, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN, [retrieved August 17, 2016], licensed under Creative Commons 3.0. Original source: Wikimedia Commons.

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Sunday: The Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Roman Catholic Proper 22
Common Lectionary Proper 17

Complementary Hebrew Scripture: Sirach 10:12-18

The alternate reading, Proverbs 25:6-7, is below.

The beginning of human pride is to forsake the Lord;
 the heart is withdrawn from its maker.
For the beginning of pride is sin,
 and the one who clings to it pours out abominations.
Therefore the Lord brings upon them unheard-of calamities,
 and destroys them completely.
The Lord overthrows the thrones of rulers,
 and enthrones the lowly in their place.
The Lord plucks up the roots of the nations,
 and plants the humble in their place.
The Lord lays waste the lands of the nations,
 and destroys them to the foundations of the earth.
He removes some of them and destroys them,
 and erases the memory of them from the earth.
Pride was not created for human beings,
 or violent anger for those born of women.

Proverbs 25:6-7

The alternate reading, Sirach 10:12-18, is above.

Do not put yourself forward in the king's presence
 or stand in the place of the great;
for it is better to be told, “Come up here,”
 than to be put lower in the presence of a noble.

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture from the Latter Prophets: Jeremiah 2:4-13

Hear the word of the Lord, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel. Thus says the Lord:

What wrong did your ancestors find in me
 that they went far from me,
and went after worthless things, and became worthless themselves?

They did not say, “Where is the Lord
 who brought us up from the land of Egypt,
who led us in the wilderness,
 in a land of deserts and pits,
in a land of drought and deep darkness,
 in a land that no one passes through,
 where no one lives?”
I brought you into a plentiful land
 to eat its fruits and its good things.
But when you entered you defiled my land,
 and made my heritage an abomination.

The priests did not say, “Where is the Lord?”
 Those who handle the law did not know me;
the rulers transgressed against me;
 the prophets prophesied by Baal,
 and went after things that do not profit.

Therefore once more I accuse you,
   says the Lord,
and I accuse your children's children.
Cross to the coasts of Cyprus and look,
 send to Kedar and examine with care;
 see if there has ever been such a thing.
Has a nation changed its gods,
 even though they are no gods?
But my people have changed their glory
 for something that does not profit.

Be appalled, O heavens, at this,
be shocked, be utterly desolate,
   says the Lord,
for my people have committed two evils:
they have forsaken me,
the fountain of living water,
and dug out cisterns for themselves,
cracked cisterns
 that can hold no water.¹

¹In Revelation 7:17, the Lamb will guide the people to the springs of the water of life.

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 Epistle Lesson: Hebrews 13:1-8, 15-16

Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it. Remember those who are in prison, as though you were in prison with them; those who are being tortured, as though you yourselves were being tortured. Let marriage be held in honor by all, and let the marriage bed be kept undefiled; for God will judge fornicators and adulterers. Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be content with what you have; for he has said, “I will never leave you or forsake you.¹” So we can say with confidence,

“The Lord is my helper;
I will not be afraid.
What can anyone do to me?”²

Remember your leaders, those who spoke the word of God to you; consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Through him, then, let us continually offer a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

¹Deuteronomy 31:6, 8   ²Psalm 118:6-7

New Testament Gospel Lesson: Luke 14:1, 7-14

The poor invited to the feast

On one occasion when Jesus was going to the house of a leader of the Pharisees to eat a meal on the sabbath, they were watching him closely.

When he noticed how the guests chose the places of honor, he told them a parable. “When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not sit down at the place of honor, in case someone more distinguished than you has been invited by your host; and the host who invited both of you may come and say to you, ‘Give this person your place,’ and then in disgrace you would start to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit down at the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher’; then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at the table with you. For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

He said also to the one who had invited him, “When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

Year C Ordinary 22, Catholic Proper 22, Common Lectionary Proper 17: 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.

Image Credit: JESUS MAFA, The poor invited to the feast, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library,, Nashville, TN [retrieved August 17, 2016], licensed under Creative Commons 3.0. See also www.jesusmafa.com and www.SocialTheology.com.

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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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The Eighth Sunday After Epiphany

Hebrew Scripture Lesson from The Latter Prophets: Isaiah 55:10-13

For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
 and do not return there until they have watered the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
 giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
 it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
 and succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

For you shall go out in joy,
 and be led back in peace;
the mountains and the hills before you
 shall burst into song,
 and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress;
 instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle;
and it shall be to the Lord for a memorial,
 for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.

Psalm 92:1-4, 12-15

It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
 to sing praises to your name, O Most High;
to declare your steadfast love in the morning,
 and your faithfulness by night,
to the music of the lute and the harp,
 to the melody of the lyre.
For you, O Lord, have made me glad by your work;
 at the works of your hands I sing for joy.

The righteous flourish like the palm tree,
 and grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
They are planted in the house of the Lord;
 they flourish in the courts of our God.
In old age they still produce fruit;
 they are always green and full of sap,
showing that the Lord is upright;
 he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.

New Testament Epistle Lesson: 1 Corinthians 15:51-58

Listen, I will tell you a mystery! We will not all die, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable body must put on imperishability, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When this perishable body puts on imperishability, and this mortal body puts on immortality, then the saying that is written will be fulfilled:

“Death has been swallowed up in victory.”¹
“Where, O death, is your victory?
 Where, O death, is your sting?”²

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Therefore, my beloved, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord, because you know that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

¹Isaiah 25:8   ²Hosea 13:14

New Testament Gospel Lesson: Luke 6:39-49

There are parallel passages about the blind leading the blind at Matthew 7:3-5, about good and bad fruit at Matthew 7:17-20, and about building on sand or a rock at Matthew 7:24-27.

He also told them a parable: “Can a blind person guide a blind person? Will not both fall into a pit? A disciple is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully qualified will be like the teacher. Why do you see the speck in your neighbor's eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbor, ‘Friend, let me take out the speck in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor's eye.

“No good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit; for each tree is known by its own fruit. Figs are not gathered from thorns, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. The good person out of the good treasure of the heart produces good, and the evil person out of evil treasure produces evil; for it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks.

“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I tell you? I will show you what someone is like who comes to me, hears my words, and acts on them. That one is like a man building a house, who dug deeply and laid the foundation on rock; when a flood arose, the river burst against that house but could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who hears and does not act is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the river burst against it, immediately it fell, and great was the ruin of that house.”

Year C Epiphany 8 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.

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: House Built on a Rock by Yves Kaiavu via Pixabay. This is a public domain image.

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