mustard seed

The Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

Roman Catholic Proper 27
Revised Common Lectionary Proper 22

Complementary Hebrew Scripture Lesson from The Twelve Prophets: Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:1-4

The oracle that the prophet Habakkuk saw.

O Lord, how long shall I cry for help,
 and you will not listen?
Or cry to you “Violence!”
 and you will not save?
Why do you make me see wrong-doing
 and look at trouble?
Destruction and violence are before me;
 strife and contention arise.
So the law becomes slack
 and justice never prevails.
The wicked surround the righteous—
 therefore judgment comes forth perverted.

I will stand at my watchpost,
 and station myself on the rampart;
I will keep watch to see what he will say to me,
 and what he will answer concerning my complaint.

Then the Lord answered me and said:
Write the vision;
 make it plain on tablets,
 so that a runner may read it.
For there is still a vision for the appointed time;
 it speaks of the end, and does not lie.
If it seems to tarry, wait for it;
 it will surely come, it will not delay.
Look at the proud!
 Their spirit is not right in them,
 but the righteous live by their faith.¹

¹This passage is quoted in Hebrews 10:37-38, a call to persevere. The last phrase (the righteous live by their faith) is quoted in Romans 1:17, about the power of the Gospel, in Galatians 3:11 about law and faith, and pervades Hebrews 11:1-12:2, about the faith of our forefathers.

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture Lesson from the Writings: Lamentations 1:1-6

How lonely sits the city
 that once was full of people!
How like a widow she has become,
cshe that was great among the nations!
She that was a princess among the provinces has become a vassal.

She weeps bitterly in the night,
 with tears on her cheeks;
among all her lovers
 she has no one to comfort her;
all her friends have dealt treacherously with her,
 they have become her enemies.

Judah has gone into exile with suffering
 and hard servitude;
she lives now among the nations,
 and finds no resting place;
her pursuers have all overtaken her
 in the midst of her distress.

The roads to Zion mourn,
 for no one comes to the festivals;
all her gates are desolate,
 her priests groan;
her young girls grieve,
 and her lot is bitter.

Her foes have become the masters,
 her enemies prosper,
because the Lord has made her suffer
 for the multitude of her transgressions;
her children have gone away,
 captives before the foe.

From daughter Zion has departed
 all her majesty.
Her princes have become like stags
 that find no pasture;
they fled without strength
 before the pursuer.

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 Psalm 137

(The alternate reading, Lamentations 3:19-26, is below.)

By the rivers of Babylon—
 there we sat down and there we wept
 when we remembered Zion.
On the willows there
 we hung up our harps.
For there our captors
 asked us for songs,
and our tormentors asked for mirth,
 saying, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”

How could we sing the Lord's song
 in a foreign land?
If I forget you, O Jerusalem,
 let my right hand wither!
Let my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth,
 if I do not remember you,
if I do not set Jerusalem
 above my highest joy.

Remember, O Lord, against the Edomites
 the day of Jerusalem's fall,
how they said, “Tear it down! Tear it down!
 Down to its foundations!”
O daughter Babylon, you devastator!
 Happy shall they be who pay you back
what you have done to us!
>Happy shall they be who take your little ones
 and dash them against the rock!

Lamentations 3:19-26

(The alternate reading, Psalm 137, is above.)

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 Epistle Lesson: 2 Timothy 1:1-14

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, for the sake of the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus,

To Timothy, my beloved child:

Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

I am grateful to God—whom I worship with a clear conscience, as my ancestors did—when I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. Recalling your tears, I long to see you so that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that lived first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, lives in you. For this reason I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands; for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline.

Do not be ashamed, then, of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel, relying on the power of God, who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works but according to his own purpose and grace. This grace was given to us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. For this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher, and for this reason I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know the one in whom I have put my trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard until that day what I have entrusted to him. Hold to the standard of sound teaching that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Guard the good treasure entrusted to you, with the help of the Holy Spirit living in us.

New Testament Gospel Lesson: Luke 17:5-10

An old mulberry tree

The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” The Lord replied, “If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.

“Who among you would say to your slave who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field, ‘Come here at once and take your place at the table’? Would you not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, put on your apron and serve me while I eat and drink; later you may eat and drink’? Do you thank the slave for doing what was commanded? So you also, when you have done all that you were ordered to do, say, ‘We are worthless slaves; we have done only what we ought to have done!’”

Year C Ordinary 27, Catholic Proper 27, RCL Proper 22: 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: Old Mulberry Tree by Claude Millau, via Flickr.

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

Complementary Judges 15:9-20 Samson’s vengeance against the Philistines.

Semi-continuous Proverbs 14:1-9 The mocker seeks wisdom without finding it. Knowledge comes easily to the discerning.

Both Matthew 17:14-21 Jesus heals a boy the disciples could not heal. He explained that if they had faith even the size of a mustard seed, nothing would be impossible for them.

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Wednesday: Reflection on the Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Wednesday: Reflection on the Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Complementary: Proverbs 1:1-7, 20-33 Solomon's proverbs about wisdom.

Semi-continuous: Genesis 46:2-47:12 Jacob's offspring.

Both: Mark 4:30-34 The parable of the mustard seed.

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The Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

The Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Complementary: 1 Kings 3:5-12 Solomon asks God for wisdom.

Semi-continuous: Genesis 29:15-28 Rachel and Leah become Jacob's wives.

Both: Romans 8:26-39 We are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

Both: Matthew 12:31-33, 44:52 Parables of the kingdom of heaven.

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