miracles by Jesus

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

Roman Catholic Proper 21
Revised Common Lectionary Proper 16

Complementary Hebrew Scripture from the Latter Prophets: Ezekiel 20:33-44

As I live, says the Lord God, surely with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and with wrath poured out, I will be king over you. I will bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you are scattered, with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and with wrath poured out;¹ and I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there I will enter into judgment with you face to face. As I entered into judgment with your ancestors in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will enter into judgment with you, says the Lord God. I will make you pass under the staff, and will bring you within the bond of the covenant. I will purge out the rebels among you, and those who transgress against me; I will bring them out of the land where they reside as aliens, but they shall not enter the land of Israel. Then you shall know that I am the Lord. As for you, O house of Israel, thus says the Lord God: Go serve your idols, everyone of you now and hereafter, if you will not listen to me; but my holy name you shall no more profane with your gifts and your idols.

For on my holy mountain, the mountain height of Israel, says the Lord God, there all the house of Israel, all of them, shall serve me in the land; there I will accept them, and there I will require your contributions and the choicest of your gifts, with all your sacred things. As a pleasing odor I will accept you, when I bring you out from the peoples, and gather you out of the countries where you have been scattered; and I will manifest my holiness among you in the sight of the nations.¹ You shall know that I am the Lord, when I bring you into the land of Israel, the country that I swore to give to your ancestors. There you shall remember your ways and all the deeds by which you have polluted yourselves; and you shall loathe yourselves for all the evils that you have committed. And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I deal with you for my name's sake, not according to your evil ways, or corrupt deeds, O house of Israel, says the Lord God.

¹This idea is repeated in Paul's description of how we are the temple of the living God, found in 2 Corinthians 6:16-18

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture from the Latter Prophets: Jeremiah 7:27-34

So you shall speak all these words to them, but they will not listen to you. You shall call to them, but they will not answer you. You shall say to them: This is the nation that did not obey the voice of the Lord their God, and did not accept discipline; truth has perished; it is cut off from their lips.

Cut off your hair and throw it away;
raise a lamentation on the bare heights,
for the Lord has rejected and forsaken
the generation that provoked his wrath.

For the people of Judah have done evil in my sight, says the Lord; they have set their abominations in the house that is called by my name, defiling it. And they go on building the high place of Topheth, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire—which I did not command, nor did it come into my mind. Therefore, the days are surely coming, says the Lord, when it will no more be called Topheth, or the valley of the son of Hinnom, but the valley of Slaughter: for they will bury in Topheth until there is no more room. The corpses of this people will be food for the birds of the air, and for the animals of the earth; and no one will frighten them away. And I will bring to an end the sound of mirth and gladness, the voice of the bride and bridegroom in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem; for the land shall become a waste.

Complementary Psalm 109:21-31

But you, O Lord my Lord,
 act on my behalf for your name's sake;
 because your steadfast love is good, deliver me.
For I am poor and needy,
 and my heart is pierced within me.
I am gone like a shadow at evening;
 I am shaken off like a locust.
My knees are weak through fasting;
 my body has become gaunt.
I am an object of scorn to my accusers;
 when they see me, they shake their heads.

Help me, O Lord my God!
 Save me according to your steadfast love.
Let them know that this is your hand;
 you, O Lord, have done it.
Let them curse, but you will bless.
 Let my assailants be put to shame; may your servant be glad.
May my accusers be clothed with dishonor;
 may they be wrapped in their own shame as in a mantle.
With my mouth I will give great thanks to the Lord;
 I will praise him in the midst of the throng.
For he stands at the right hand of the needy,
 to save them from those who would condemn them to death.

Semi-continuous Psalm 10

Why, O Lord, do you stand far off?
 Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?
In arrogance the wicked persecute the poor—
 let them be caught in the schemes they have devised.

For the wicked boast of the desires of their heart,
 those greedy for gain curse and renounce the Lord.
In the pride of their countenance the wicked say, “God will not seek it out”;
 all their thoughts are, “There is no God.”

Their ways prosper at all times;
 your judgments are on high, out of their sight;
 as for their foes, they scoff at them.
They think in their heart, “We shall not be moved;
 throughout all generations we shall not meet adversity.”

Their mouths are filled with cursing and deceit and oppression;
 under their tongues are mischief and iniquity.
They sit in ambush in the villages;
 in hiding places they murder the innocent.

Their eyes stealthily watch for the helpless;
 they lurk in secret like a lion in its covert;
they lurk that they may seize the poor;
 they seize the poor and drag them off in their net.
They stoop, they crouch,
 and the helpless fall by their might.
They think in their heart,
 “God has forgotten, he has hidden his face, he will never see it.”

Rise up, O Lord; O God, lift up your hand;
 do not forget the oppressed.
Why do the wicked renounce God, and say in their hearts,
 “You will not call us to account”?

But you do see! Indeed you note trouble and grief,
 that you may take it into your hands;
the helpless commit themselves to you;
 you have been the helper of the orphan.

Break the arm of the wicked and evildoers;
 seek out their wickedness until you find none.
The Lord is king forever and ever;
 the nations shall perish from his land.

O Lord, you will hear the desire of the meek;
 you will strengthen their heart, you will incline your ear
 to do justice for the orphan and the oppressed,
 so that those from earth may strike terror no more.

New Testament Gospel Lesson: Luke 6:6-11

There are parallel passages at Matthew 12:9-14 and Mark 3:1-6.

On another sabbath he entered the synagogue and taught, and there was a man there whose right hand was withered. The scribes and the Pharisees watched him to see whether he would cure on the sabbath, so that they might find an accusation against him. Even though he knew what they were thinking, he said to the man who had the withered hand, “Come and stand here.” He got up and stood there. Then Jesus said to them, “I ask you, is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the sabbath, to save life or to destroy it?” After looking around at all of them, he said to him, “Stretch out your hand.” He did so, and his hand was restored. But they were filled with fury and discussed with one another what they might do to Jesus.

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 heals the man with a withered hand by Ilyas Basim Khuri Bazzi Rahib, [Public domain], cropped to delete text and border extended using Photoshop by Gilbertson 11 August 2016, via Wikimedia Commons

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

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The Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

Roman Catholic Proper 21
Revised Common Lectionary Proper 16

Complementary Hebrew Scripture Lesson from the Latter Prophets: Isaiah 58:9b-14

If you remove the yoke from among you,
 the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil,
if you offer your food to the hungry
 and satisfy the needs of the afflicted,
then your light shall rise in the darkness
 and your gloom be like the noonday.
The Lord will guide you continually,
 and satisfy your needs in parched places,
 and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
 like a spring of water,
 whose waters never fail.
Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt;
 you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
you shall be called the repairer of the breach,
 the restorer of streets to live in.

If you refrain from trampling the sabbath,
 from pursuing your own interests on my holy day;
if you call the sabbath a delight
 and the holy day of the Lord honorable;
if you honor it, not going your own ways,
 serving your own interests, or pursuing your own affairs;
then you shall take delight in the Lord,
 and I will make you ride upon the heights of the earth;
I will feed you with the heritage of your ancestor Jacob,
 for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture from the Latter Prophets: Jeremiah 1:4-10

Hebrew Scripture Lesson from The Latter Prophets: Jeremiah 1:4-10

Now the word of the Lord came to me saying,

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
and before you were born I consecrated you;
I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! Truly I do not know how to speak, for I am only a boy.” But the Lord said to me,

“Do not say, ‘I am only a boy;’
for you shall go to all to whom I send you,
and you shall speak whatever I command you.
Do not be afraid of them,
for I am with you to deliver you,
says the Lord.”

Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth; and the Lord said to me,

“Now I have put my words in your mouth.
See, today I appoint you over nations and over kingdoms,
to pluck up and to pull down,
to destroy and to overthrow,
to build and to plant.”

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 Epistle Lesson: Hebrews 12:18-29

You have not come to something that can be touched, a blazing fire, and darkness, and gloom, and a tempest, and the sound of a trumpet, and a voice whose words made the hearers beg that not another word be spoken to them. (For they could not endure the order that was given, “If even an animal touches the mountain, it shall be stoned to death.”¹ Indeed, so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I tremble with fear.”²) But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

See that you do not refuse the one who is speaking; for if they did not escape when they refused the one who warned them on earth, how much less will we escape if we reject the one who warns from heaven! At that time his voice shook the earth; but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heaven.”³ This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of what is shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us give thanks, by which we offer to God an acceptable worship with reverence and awe; for indeed our God is a consuming fire.

¹Exodus 19:12-13   ²see Deuteronomy 9:19   ³Haggai 2:6

New Testament Gospel Lesson: Luke 13:10-17

Healing a Woman on the Sabbath

Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. And just then there appeared a woman with a spirit that had crippled her for eighteen years. She was bent over and was quite unable to stand up straight. When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said, “Woman, you are set free from your ailment.” When he laid his hands on her, immediately she stood up straight and began praising God. But the leader of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had cured on the sabbath, kept saying to the crowd, “There are six days on which work ought to be done; come on those days and be cured, and not on the sabbath day.” But the Lord answered him and said, “You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger, and lead it away to give it water? And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen long years, be set free from this bondage on the sabbath day?” When he said this, all his opponents were put to shame; and the entire crowd was rejoicing at all the wonderful things that he was doing.

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 a Woman on the Sabbath by Matthias Gerung [Public domain], from Ottheinrich-Bibel, Folio 093r, via Wikimedia Commons.

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

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Saturday: Preparation for the Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Revised Common Lectionary Proper 12
Roman Catholic Proper 17

Complementary Hebrew Scripture from The Writings: Esther 4:1-17

When Mordecai learned all that had been done, Mordecai tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and ashes, and went through the city, wailing with a loud and bitter cry; he went up to the entrance of the king's gate, for no one might enter the king's gate clothed with sackcloth. In every province, wherever the king's command and his decree came, there was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting and weeping and lamenting, and most of them lay in sackcloth and ashes.

When Esther's maids and her eunuchs came and told her, the queen was deeply distressed; she sent garments to clothe Mordecai, so that he might take off his sackcloth; but he would not accept them. Then Esther called for Hathach, one of the king's eunuchs, who had been appointed to attend her, and ordered him to go to Mordecai to learn what was happening and why. Hathach went out to Mordecai in the open square of the city in front of the king's gate, and Mordecai told him all that had happened to him, and the exact sum of money that Haman had promised to pay into the king's treasuries for the destruction of the Jews. Mordecai also gave him a copy of the written decree issued in Susa for their destruction, that he might show it to Esther, explain it to her, and charge her to go to the king to make supplication to him and entreat him for her people.

Hathach went and told Esther what Mordecai had said. Then Esther spoke to Hathach and gave him a message for Mordecai, saying, “All the king's servants and the people of the king's provinces know that if any man or woman goes to the king inside the inner court without being called, there is but one law—all alike are to be put to death. Only if the king holds out the golden scepter to someone, may that person live. I myself have not been called to come in to the king for thirty days.” When they told Mordecai what Esther had said, Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, “Do not think that in the king's palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. For if you keep silence at such a time as this, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another quarter, but you and your father's family will perish. Who knows? Perhaps you have come to royal dignity for just such a time as this.” Then Esther said in reply to Mordecai, “Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids will also fast as you do. After that I will go to the king, though it is against the law; and if I perish, I perish.” Mordecai then went away and did everything as Esther had ordered him.

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture Lesson from The Twelve Prophets: Hosea 1:11—2:15

The people of Judah and the people of Israel shall be gathered together, and they shall appoint for themselves one head; and they shall take possession of the land, for great shall be the day of Jezreel.

Say to your brother, Ammi, and to your sister, Ruhamah.
Plead with your mother, plead–
 for she is not my wife,
 and I am not her husband–
that she put away her whoring from her face,
 and her adultery from between her breasts,
or I will strip her naked
 and expose her as in the day she was born,
and make her like a wilderness,
 and turn her into a parched land,
 and kill her with thirst.
Upon her children also I will have no pity,
 because they are children of whoredom.
For their mother has played the whore;
 she who conceived them has acted shamefully.
For she said, “I will go after my lovers;
 they give me my bread and my water,
 my wool and my flax, my oil and my drink.”
Therefore I will hedge up her way with thorns;
 and I will build a wall against her,
 so that she cannot find her paths.
She shall pursue her lovers,
 but not overtake them;
and she shall seek them,
 but shall not find them.
Then she shall say, “I will go
 and return to my first husband,
 for it was better with me then than now.”
She did not know
 that it was I who gave her
 the grain, the wine, and the oil, and who
lavished upon her silver
 and gold that they used for Baal.
Therefore I will take back
 my grain in its time,
 and my wine in its season;
and I will take away my wool and my flax,
 which were to cover her nakedness.
Now I will uncover her shame
 in the sight of her lovers,
 and no one shall rescue her out of my hand.
I will put an end to all her mirth,
 her festivals, her new moons, her sabbaths,
 and all her appointed festivals.
I will lay waste her vines and her fig trees,
 of which she said,
“These are my pay,
 which my lovers have given me.”
I will make them a forest,
 and the wild animals shall devour them.
I will punish her for the festival days of the Baals,
 when she offered incense to them
and decked herself with her ring and jewelry,
 and went after her lovers,
 and forgot me, says the Lord.

Therefore, I will now allure her,
 and bring her into the wilderness,
 and speak tenderly to her.
From there I will give her her vineyards,
 and make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.
There she shall respond as in the days of her youth,
 as at the time when she came out of the land of Egypt.

Complementary Psalm 138

I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart;
 before the gods I sing your praise;
I bow down toward your holy temple
 and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness;
 for you have exalted your name and your word
 above everything.
On the day I called, you answered me,
 you increased my strength of soul.

All the kings of the earth shall praise you, O Lord,
 for they have heard the words of your mouth.
They shall sing of the ways of the Lord,
 for great is the glory of the Lord.
For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly;
 but the haughty he perceives from far away.

Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
 you preserve me against the wrath of my enemies;
you stretch out your hand,
 and your right hand delivers me.
The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me;
 your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.
Do not forsake the work of your hands.

Semi-continuous Psalm 85

Lord, you were favorable to your land;
 you restored the fortunes of Jacob.
You forgave the iniquity of your people;
 you pardoned all their sin.
You withdrew all your wrath;
 you turned from your hot anger.

Restore us again, O God of our salvation,
 and put away your indignation toward us.
Will you be angry with us forever?
 Will you prolong your anger to all generations?
Will you not revive us again,
 so that your people may rejoice in you?
Show us your steadfast love,
 O Lord, and grant us your salvation.

Let me hear what God the Lord will speak,
 for he will speak peace to his people,
 to his faithful, to those who turn to him in their hearts.
Surely his salvation is at hand for those who fear him,
 that his glory may dwell in our land.

Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet;
 righteousness and peace will kiss each other.
Faithfulness will spring up from the ground,
 and righteousness will look down from the sky.
The Lord will give what is good,
 and our land will yield its increase.
Righteousness will go before him,
 and will make a path for his steps.

New Testament Gospel Lesson: Luke 8:22-25

There are parallel passages at Matthew 8:23-27 and Mark 4:35-41.

One day he got into a boat with his disciples, and he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side of the lake.” So they put out, and while they were sailing he fell asleep. A windstorm swept down on the lake, and the boat was filling with water, and they were in danger. They went to him and woke him up, shouting, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And he woke up and rebuked the wind and the raging waves; they ceased, and there was a calm. He said to them, “Where is your faith?” They were afraid and amazed, and said to one another, “Who then is this, that he commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him?”

Year C Ordinary 17 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: Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee by Ludolf Bakhuizen via Wikimedia Commons

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Wednesday: Reflection

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

Complementary Hebrew Scripture Lesson from The Latter Prophets: Ezekiel 32:1-10

In the twelfth year, in the twelfth month, on the first day of the month, the word of the Lord came to me: Mortal, raise a lamentation over Pharaoh king of Egypt, and say to him:

You consider yourself a lion among the nations,
 but you are like a dragon in the seas;
you thrash about in your streams,
 trouble the water with your feet,
 and foul your streams.
Thus says the Lord God:
 In an assembly of many peoples
 I will throw my net over you;
 and I will haul you up in my dragnet.
I will throw you on the ground,
 on the open field I will fling you,
and will cause all the birds of the air to settle on you,
 and I will let the wild animals of the whole earth gorge themselves with you.

I will strew your flesh on the mountains,
 and fill the valleys with your carcass.
I will drench the land with your flowing blood
 up to the mountains,
 and the watercourses will be filled with you.
When I blot you out, I will cover the heavens,
 and make their stars dark;
I will cover the sun with a cloud,
 and the moon shall not give its light.¹

All the shining lights of the heavens
 I will darken above you,
 and put darkness on your land,
   says the Lord God.
I will trouble the hearts of many peoples,
 as I carry you captive among the nations,
 into countries you have not known.
I will make many peoples appalled at you;
 their kings shall shudder because of you.
When I brandish my sword before them,
 they shall tremble every moment
for their lives, each one of them,
 on the day of your downfall.

¹This verse is quoted in Matthew 24:29-31 and Mark 13:24-25, both concerned with the coming of the Son of Humanity.

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture from The Former Prophets: 2 Kings 9:30-37

When Jehu came to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it; she painted her eyes, and adorned her head, and looked out of the window. As Jehu entered the gate, she said, “Is it peace, Zimri, murderer of your master?” He looked up to the window and said, “Who is on my side? Who?” Two or three eunuchs looked out at him. He said, “Throw her down.” So they threw her down; some of her blood spattered on the wall and on the horses, which trampled on her. Then he went in and ate and drank; he said, “See to that cursed woman and bury her; for she is a king's daughter.” But when they went to bury her, they found no more of her than the skull and the feet and the palms of her hands. When they came back and told him, he said, “This is the word of the Lord, which he spoke by his servant Elijah the Tishbite, ‘In the territory of Jezreel the dogs shall eat the flesh of Jezebel; the corpse of Jezebel shall be like dung on the field in the territory of Jezreel, so that no one can say, This is Jezebel.’”

Complementary Psalm 64

Hear my voice, O God, in my complaint;
 preserve my life from the dread enemy.
Hide me from the secret plots of the wicked,
 from the scheming of evildoers,
who whet their tongues like swords,
 who aim bitter words like arrows,
shooting from ambush at the blameless;
 they shoot suddenly and without fear.
They hold fast to their evil purpose;
 they talk of laying snares secretly,
thinking, “Who can see us?
Who can search out our crimes?
We have thought out a cunningly conceived plot.”
For the human heart and mind are deep.

But God will shoot his arrow at them;
 they will be wounded suddenly.
Because of their tongue he will bring them to ruin;
 all who see them will shake with horror.
Then everyone will fear;
 they will tell what God has brought about,
and ponder what he has done.

Let the righteous rejoice in the Lord
 and take refuge in him.
Let all the upright in heart glory.

Complementary Psalm 64

Hear my voice, O God, in my complaint;
 preserve my life from the dread enemy.
Hide me from the secret plots of the wicked,
 from the scheming of evildoers,
who whet their tongues like swords,
 who aim bitter words like arrows,
shooting from ambush at the blameless;
 they shoot suddenly and without fear.
They hold fast to their evil purpose;
 they talk of laying snares secretly,
thinking, “Who can see us?
Who can search out our crimes?
We have thought out a cunningly conceived plot.”
For the human heart and mind are deep.

But God will shoot his arrow at them;
 they will be wounded suddenly.
Because of their tongue he will bring them to ruin;
 all who see them will shake with horror.
Then everyone will fear;
 they will tell what God has brought about,
 and ponder what he has done.

Let the righteous rejoice in the Lord
 and take refuge in him.
Let all the upright in heart glory.

Semi-continuous Psalm 59

Deliver me from my enemies, O my God;
 protect me from those who rise up against me.
Deliver me from those who work evil;
 from the bloodthirsty save me.

Even now they lie in wait for my life;
 the mighty stir up strife against me.
For no transgression or sin of mine, O Lord,
 for no fault of mine, they run and make ready.

Rouse yourself, come to my help and see!
 You, Lord God of hosts, are God of Israel.
Awake to punish all the nations;
 spare none of those who treacherously plot evil. Selah

Each evening they come back,
 howling like dogs
 and prowling about the city.
There they are, bellowing with their mouths,
 with sharp words on their lips—
 for “Who,” they think, “will hear us?”

But you laugh at them, O Lord;
 you hold all the nations in derision.
O my strength, I will watch for you;
 for you, O God, are my fortress.
My God in his steadfast love will meet me;
 my God will let me look in triumph on my enemies.

Do not kill them, or my people may forget;
 make them totter by your power, and bring them down,
 O Lord, our shield.
For the sin of their mouths, the words of their lips,
 let them be trapped in their pride.
For the cursing and lies that they utter,
 consume them in wrath;
 consume them until they are no more.
Then it will be known to the ends of the earth
 that God rules over Jacob. Selah

Each evening they come back,
 howling like dogs
 and prowling about the city.
They roam about for food,
 and growl if they do not get their fill.

But I will sing of your might;
 I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning.
For you have been a fortress for me
 and a refuge in the day of my distress.

O my strength, I will sing praises to you,
 for you, O God, are my fortress,
 the God who shows me steadfast love.

New Testament Gospel Lesson: Luke 9:37-43a

There are parallel passages at Matthew 17:14-18 and Mark 9:14-27.

[This scene immediately follows the Transfiguration, so Peter, James, and John are returning with Jesus to the rest of the apostles.]

On the next day, when they had come down from the mountain, a great crowd met him. Just then a man from the crowd shouted, “Teacher, I beg you to look at my son; he is my only child. Suddenly a spirit seizes him, and all at once he shrieks. It convulses him until he foams at the mouth; it mauls him and will scarcely leave him. I begged your disciples to cast it out, but they could not.” Jesus answered, “You faithless and perverse generation, how much longer must I be with you and bear with you? Bring your son here.” While he was coming, the demon dashed him to the ground in convulsions. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, healed the boy, and gave him back to his father. And all were astounded at the greatness of God.

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

Image Credit: The Demoniac Boy at the Foot of Mount Tabor by James Tissot. A public domain image downloaded from http://catholic-resources.org/Tissot/Tissot-2189.jpg, tone adjusted using Photoshop.

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The Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Revised Common Lectionary Proper 7

Roman Catholic Proper 12

Complementary Hebrew Scripture from The Latter Prophets: Isaiah 65:1-9

I was ready to be sought out by those who did not ask,
 to be found by those who did not seek me.
I said, “Here I am, here I am,”
 to a nation that did not call on my name.
I held out my hands all day long
 to a rebellious people,
who walk in a way that is not good,
 following their own devices;¹

a people who provoke me
 to my face continually,
sacrificing in gardens
 and offering incense on bricks;
who sit inside tombs,
 and spend the night in secret places;
who eat swine's flesh,
 with broth of abominable things in their vessels;
who say, “Keep to yourself,
 do not come near me, for I am too holy for you.”
These are a smoke in my nostrils,
 a fire that burns all day long.
See, it is written before me:
 I will not keep silent, but I will repay;
I will indeed repay into their laps
their iniquities and their
 ancestors' iniquities together,
   says the Lord;
because they offered incense on the mountains
 and reviled me on the hills,
I will measure into their laps
 full payment for their actions.
Thus says the Lord:
As the wine is found in the cluster,
 and they say, “Do not destroy it,
 for there is a blessing in it,”
so I will do for my servants' sake,
 and not destroy them all.
I will bring forth descendants from Jacob,
 and from Judah inheritors of my mountains;
my chosen shall inherit it,
 and my servants shall settle there.

¹These verses are quoted in Paul's explanation that salvation is available to all, found in Romans 10:5-21.

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture from The Former Prophets: 1 Kings 19:1-15

Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So may the gods do to me, and more also, if I do not make your life like the life of one of them by this time tomorrow.” Then he was afraid; he got up and fled for his life, and came to Beer-sheba, which belongs to Judah; he left his servant there.

But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a solitary broom tree. He asked that he might die: “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my ancestors.” Then he lay down under the broom tree and fell asleep. Suddenly an angel touched him and said to him, “Get up and eat.” He looked, and there at his head was a cake baked on hot stones, and a jar of water. He ate and drank, and lay down again. The angel of the Lord came a second time, touched him, and said, “Get up and eat, otherwise the journey will be too much for you.” He got up, and ate and drank; then he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb the mount of God. At that place he came to a cave, and spent the night there.

Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He answered, “I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the Israelites have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they are seeking my life, to take it away.¹

He said, “Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. Then there came a voice to him that said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He answered, “I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the Israelites have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they are seeking my life, to take it away.¹” Then the Lord said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus; when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael as king over Aram.”

¹Paul quotes these verses in Romans 11:1-6, where he says that Israel's rejection is not final.

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.

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 Epistle Lesson: Galatians 3:23-29

Now before faith came, we were imprisoned and guarded under the law until faith would be revealed. Therefore the law was our disciplinarian until Christ came, so that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian, for in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to the promise.

New Testament Gospel Lesson: Luke 8:26-39

There are parallel passages at Matthew 8:28-34 and Mark 5:1-20.

Tormented-figure-Tmb-WS.jpg

Then they arrived at the country of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee. As he stepped out on land, a man of the city who had demons met him. For a long time he had worn no clothes, and he did not live in a house but in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he fell down before him and shouted at the top of his voice, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, do not torment me”— for Jesus had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. (For many times it had seized him; he was kept under guard and bound with chains and shackles, but he would break the bonds and be driven by the demon into the wilds.) Jesus then asked him, “What is your name?” He said, “Legion”; for many demons had entered him. They begged him not to order them to go back into the abyss.

Now there on the hillside a large herd of swine was feeding; and the demons begged Jesus to let them enter these. So he gave them permission. Then the demons came out of the man and entered the swine, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned.

When the swineherds saw what had happened, they ran off and told it in the city and in the country. Then people came out to see what had happened, and when they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid. Those who had seen it told them how the one who had been possessed by demons had been healed. Then all the people of the surrounding country of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them; for they were seized with great fear. So he got into the boat and returned. The man from whom the demons had gone begged that he might be with him; but Jesus sent him away, saying, “Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.” So he went away, proclaiming throughout the city how much Jesus had done for him.

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

Image Credit: Master of the Furies. Tormented Figure, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. http://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=55481 [retrieved June 12, 2016]. Original source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_Master_of_the_Furies_-_Tormented_Figure_-_Walters_71435.jpg.

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Wednesday: Reflection on the Third Sunday After Epiphany

Hebrew Scripture Lesson from The Latter Prophets: Jeremiah 36:27-32

Now, after the king had burned the scroll with the words that Baruch wrote at Jeremiah's dictation, the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: Take another scroll and write on it all the former words that were in the first scroll, which King Jehoiakim of Judah has burned. And concerning King Jehoiakim of Judah you shall say: Thus says the Lord, You have dared to burn this scroll, saying, Why have you written in it that the king of Babylon will certainly come and destroy this land, and will cut off from it human beings and animals? Therefore thus says the Lord concerning King Jehoiakim of Judah: He shall have no one to sit upon the throne of David, and his dead body shall be cast out to the heat by day and the frost by night. And I will punish him and his offspring and his servants for their iniquity; I will bring on them, and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and on the people of Judah, all the disasters with which I have threatened them—but they would not listen.

Then Jeremiah took another scroll and gave it to the secretary Baruch son of Neriah, who wrote on it at Jeremiah's dictation all the words of the scroll that King Jehoiakim of Judah had burned in the fire; and many similar words were added to them.

Psalm 119:89-96

The Lord exists forever;
 your word is firmly fixed in heaven.
Your faithfulness endures to all generations;
 you have established the earth, and it stands fast.
By your appointment they stand today,
 for all things are your servants.
If your law had not been my delight,
 I would have perished in my misery.
I will never forget your precepts,
 for by them you have given me life.
I am yours; save me,
 for I have sought your precepts.
The wicked lie in wait to destroy me,
 but I consider your decrees.
I have seen a limit to all perfection,
 but your commandment is exceedingly broad.

New Testament Gospel Lesson: Luke 4:38-44

Peter-mother-law.jpg

There is a parallel passage for the entire lesson at Mark 1:29-39

There is a parallel passage for the first two paragraphs at Matthew 8:14-17.

After leaving the synagogue Jesus entered Simon's house. Now Simon's mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked him about her. Then he stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. Immediately she got up and began to serve them.

As the sun was setting, all those who had any who were sick with various kinds of diseases brought them to him; and he laid his hands on each of them and cured them. Demons also came out of many, shouting, “You are the Son of God!” But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew that he was the Messiah.

At daybreak he departed and went into a deserted place. And the crowds were looking for him; and when they reached him, they wanted to prevent him from leaving them. But he said to them, “I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other cities also; for I was sent for this purpose.” So he continued proclaiming the message in the synagogues of Judea.

Year C Epiphany 3 Wednesday

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

Unless otherwise indicated, Bible text is from the New Revised Standard Version of the Holy 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: Christ Healing the Mother of Simon Peter's Wife by John Bridges, 1839, via Wikimedia Commons. This is a public domain image.

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The Second Sunday After Epiphany

Hebrew Scripture Lesson from The Latter Prophets: Isaiah 62:1-5

For Zion's sake I will not keep silent,
 and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest,
until her vindication shines out like the dawn,
 and her salvation like a burning torch.
The nations shall see your vindication,
 and all the kings your glory;
and you shall be called by a new name
 that the mouth of the Lord will give.
You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord,
 and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.
You shall no more be termed Forsaken,
 and your land shall no more be termed Desolate;
but you shall be called My Delight Is In Her,
 and your land Married;
for the Lord delights in you,
 and your land shall be married.
For as a young man marries a young woman,
 so shall your builder marry you,
and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride,
 so shall your God rejoice over you.

Psalm 36:5-10

Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens,
 your faithfulness to the clouds.
Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,
 your judgments are like the great deep;
you save humans and animals alike, O Lord.

How precious is your steadfast love, O God!
 All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house,
 and you give them drink from the river of your delights.
For with you is the fountain of life;
 in your light we see light.

New Testament Epistle Lesson: 1 Corinthians 12:1-11

Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were pagans, you were enticed and led astray to idols that could not speak. Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says “Let Jesus be cursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except by the Holy Spirit.

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.

New Testament Gospel Lesson: John 2:1-11

Cana-2019.jpg

On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Now standing there were six stone water jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.” So they took it. When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now.” Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

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

Unless otherwise indicated, Bible text is from the New Revised Standard Version of the Holy 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.

From the road to Cana, Nazareth, Holy Land from Views of the Holy Land by the Detroit Publishing Company, via Wikimedia Commons. This is a public domain image.

Year C Epiphany 2 Sunday

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Wednesday: Reflection on the Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

This week's blog post is here. It has a review of The Amplified Bible, a chance to think about our own blindness, and summaries and links for the lessons through Wednesday.

More information about the complementary and semi-continuous series is here: Which Series?

Complementary Hebrew Scripture from the Latter Prophets: Jeremiah 33:1-11

The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah a second time, while he was still confined in the court of the guard: Thus says the Lord who made the earth, the Lord who formed it to establish it—the Lord is his name: Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. For thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning the houses of this city and the houses of the kings of Judah that were torn down to make a defense against the siege-ramps and before the sword: The Chaldeans are coming in to fight and to fill them with the dead bodies of those whom I shall strike down in my anger and my wrath, for I have hidden my face from this city because of all their wickedness. I am going to bring it recovery and healing; I will heal them and reveal to them abundance of prosperity and security. I will restore the fortunes of Judah and the fortunes of Israel, and rebuild them as they were at first. I will cleanse them from all the guilt of their sin against me, and I will forgive all the guilt of their sin and rebellion against me. And this city shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and a glory before all the nations of the earth who shall hear of all the good that I do for them; they shall fear and tremble because of all the good and all the prosperity I provide for it.

Thus says the Lord: In this place of which you say, “It is a waste without human beings or animals,” in the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem that are desolate, without inhabitants, human or animal, there shall once more be heard the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voices of those who sing, as they bring thank offerings to the house of the Lord:

“Give thanks to the Lord of hosts,
 for the Lord is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever!”

For I will restore the fortunes of the land as at first, says the Lord.

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture: Ezekiel 14:12-23

The word of the Lord came to me: Mortal, when a land sins against me by acting faithlessly, and I stretch out my hand against it, and break its staff of bread and send famine upon it, and cut off from it human beings and animals, even if Noah, Daniel, and Job, these three, were in it, they would save only their own lives by their righteousness, says the Lord God. If I send wild animals through the land to ravage it, so that it is made desolate, and no one may pass through because of the animals; even if these three men were in it, as I live, says the Lord God, they would save neither sons nor daughters; they alone would be saved, but the land would be desolate. Or if I bring a sword upon that land and say, “Let a sword pass through the land,” and I cut off human beings and animals from it; though these three men were in it, as I live, says the Lord God, they would save neither sons nor daughters, but they alone would be saved. Or if I send a pestilence into that land, and pour out my wrath upon it with blood, to cut off humans and animals from it; even if Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, as I live, says the Lord God, they would save neither son nor daughter; they would save only their own lives by their righteousness.

For thus says the Lord God: How much more when I send upon Jerusalem my four deadly acts of judgment, sword, famine, wild animals, and pestilence, to cut off humans and animals from it! Yet, survivors shall be left in it, sons and daughters who will be brought out; they will come out to you. When you see their ways and their deeds, you will be consoled for the evil that I have brought upon Jerusalem, for all that I have brought upon it. They shall console you, when you see their ways and their deeds; and you shall know that it was not without cause that I did all that I have done in it, says the Lord God.

Complementary Psalm 119:17-24

Deal bountifully with your servant,
 so that I may live and observe your word.
Open my eyes, so that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.
I live as an alien in the land;
 do not hide your commandments from me.
My soul is consumed with longing
 for your ordinances at all times.
You rebuke the insolent, accursed ones,
 who wander from your commandments;
take away from me their scorn and contempt,
 for I have kept your decrees.
Even though princes sit plotting against me,
 your servant will meditate on your statutes.
Your decrees are my delight,
 they are my counselors.

Semi-continuous Psalm 28

To you, O Lord, I call;
 my rock, do not refuse to hear me,
for if you are silent to me,
 I shall be like those who go down to the Pit.
Hear the voice of my supplication,
 as I cry to you for help,
as I lift up my hands toward your most holy sanctuary.

Do not drag me away with the wicked,
 with those who are workers of evil,
who speak peace with their neighbors,
 while mischief is in their hearts.
Repay them according to their work,
 and according to the evil of their deeds;
repay them according to the work of their hands;
 render them their due reward.¹
Because they do not regard the works of the Lord,
or the work of his hands,
 he will break them down and build them up no more.

Blessed be the Lord,
 for he has heard the sound of my pleadings.
The Lord is my strength and my shield;
 in him my heart trusts;
so I am helped, and my heart exults,
 and with my song I give thanks to him.

The Lord is the strength of his people;
 he is the saving refuge of his anointed.
O save your people, and bless your heritage;
 be their shepherd, and carry them forever.

¹Paul hopes this will happen to Alexander the coppersmith in 2 Timothy 4:14.

New Testament Lesson: Matthew 20:29-34¹

The Two Blind Men at Jericho

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.

¹There are parallel passages at Mark 10:46-52 and Luke 18:35-43.

Year B Ordinary 30 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 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 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.

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.

Scriptures designated (NET) are from the Net Bible-New English Translation ® copyright © 2005 by Biblical Studies Press, LLC (www.bible.org) used by permission. All rights reserved. Additional citations of Hebrew Scripture used in Christian Scripture are from the NET Bible.

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 Two Blind Men at Jericho by James Tissot via Wikimedia Commons. There are no restrictions on the use of this image.

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