restoration

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

Roman Catholic Proper 26
Revised Common Lectionary Proper 21

Complementary Hebrew Scripture Lesson from The Twelve Prophets: Hosea 12:2-14

The Lord has an indictment against Judah,
 and will punish Jacob according to his ways,
 and repay him according to his deeds.
In the womb he tried to supplant his brother,
 and in his manhood he strove with God.
He strove with the angel and prevailed,
 he wept and sought his favor;
he met him at Bethel,
 and there he spoke with him.
The Lord the God of hosts,
 the Lord is his name!
But as for you, return to your God,
 hold fast to love and justice,
 and wait continually for your God.

A trader, in whose hands are false balances,
 he loves to oppress.
Ephraim has said, “Ah, I am rich,
I have gained wealth for myself;
 in all of my gain
 no offense has been found in me
 that would be sin.”¹

I am the Lord your God
 from the land of Egypt;
I will make you live in tents again,
 as in the days of the appointed festival.

I spoke to the prophets;
 it was I who multiplied visions,
 and through the prophets I will bring destruction.
In Gilead there is iniquity,
 they shall surely come to nothing.
In Gilgal they sacrifice bulls,
 so their altars shall be like stone heaps
 on the furrows of the field.
Jacob fled to the land of Aram,
 there Israel served for a wife,
 and for a wife he guarded sheep.
By a prophet the Lord brought Israel up from Egypt,
 and by a prophet he was guarded.
Ephraim has given bitter offense,
 so his Lord will bring his crimes down on him
 and pay him back for his insults.

¹In Revelation 3:17a, the church at Laodicea is similarly accused. We read this passage on Monday.

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture from the Latter Prophets: Jeremiah 33:1-13

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.

Thus says the Lord of hosts: In this place that is waste, without human beings or animals, and in all its towns there shall again be pasture for shepherds resting their flocks. In the towns of the hill country, of the Shephelah, and of the Negeb, in the land of Benjamin, the places around Jerusalem, and in the towns of Judah, flocks shall again pass under the hands of the one who counts them, says the Lord.

Complementary Psalm 62

For God alone my soul waits in silence;
 from him comes my salvation.
He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress;
 I shall never be shaken.

How long will you assail a person,
 will you batter your victim, all of you,
 as you would a leaning wall, a tottering fence?
Their only plan is to bring down a person of prominence.
 They take pleasure in falsehood;
they bless with their mouths,
 but inwardly they curse.

For God alone my soul waits in silence,
 for my hope is from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
 my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
On God rests my deliverance and my honor;
 my mighty rock, my refuge is in God.

Trust in him at all times, O people;
 pour out your heart before him;
 God is a refuge for us.
Those of low estate are but a breath,
 those of high estate are a delusion;
in the balances they go up;
 they are together lighter than a breath.
Put no confidence in extortion,
 and set no vain hopes on robbery;
 if riches increase, do not set your heart on them.
Once God has spoken;
 twice have I heard this:
that power belongs to God,
 and steadfast love belongs to you, O Lord.
For you repay to all
 according to their work.¹

¹This verse is quoted in Romans 2:6, in a passage about the righteous judgment of God, and in 2 Timothy 4:14, in a warning about Alexander.

Semi-continuous Psalm 119:49-56

Remember your word to your servant,
 in which you have made me hope.
This is my comfort in my distress,
 that your promise gives me life.
The arrogant utterly deride me,
 but I do not turn away from your law.
When I think of your ordinances from of old,
 I take comfort, O Lord.
Hot indignation seizes me because of the wicked,
 those who forsake your law.
Your statutes have been my songs
 wherever I make my home.
I remember your name in the night, O Lord,
 and keep your law.
This blessing has fallen to me,
 for I have kept your precepts.

New Testament Gospel Lesson: Matthew 19:16-22

Matt-19.png

There are parallel passages at Mark 10:17-31 and Luke 18:18-30.

Then someone came to him and said, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; Honor your father and mother;¹ also, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.²” The young man said to him, “I have kept all these; what do I still lack?” Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” When the young man heard this word, he went away grieving, for he had many possessions.

¹Exodus 20:12-16, Deuteronomy 5:16-20  ²Leviticus 19:18

Year C Ordinary 26, Catholic Proper 26, RCL Proper 21: 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.

Footnotes in the Hebrew Scriptures that show where the passage is used in the Christian Scriptures are based on information from the The Complete Jewish Bible (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 this copyright notice applies.

Image Credit: Matthew 19:16-22, a word cloud created on Wordle.net by Michael Gilbertson, 12 September 2016. This image may be reused under CC 2.5 Share Alike.

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Tuesday: Reflection on the Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Roman Catholic Proper 26
Revised Common Lectionary Proper 21

Complementary Hebrew Scripture Lesson from The Twelve Prophets: Hosea 10:9-15

Since the days of Gibeah you have sinned, O Israel;
 there they have continued.
 Shall not war overtake them in Gibeah?
I will come against the wayward people to punish them;
 and nations shall be gathered against them
 when they are punished for their double iniquity.

Ephraim was a trained heifer
 that loved to thresh,
 and I spared her fair neck;
but I will make Ephraim break the ground;
 Judah must plow;
 Jacob must harrow for himself.
Sow for yourselves righteousness;
  reap steadfast love;
 break up your fallow ground;
for it is time to seek the Lord,
 that he may come and rain righteousness upon you.

You have plowed wickedness,
 you have reaped injustice,
 you have eaten the fruit of lies.
Because you have trusted in your power
 and in the multitude of your warriors,
therefore the tumult of war shall rise against your people,
 and all your fortresses shall be destroyed,
as Shalman destroyed Beth-arbel on the day of battle
 when mothers were dashed in pieces with their children.
Thus it shall be done to you, O Bethel,
 because of your great wickedness.
At dawn the king of Israel
 shall be utterly cut off.

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture from the Latter Prophets: Jeremiah 32:36-44

Now therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning this city of which you say, “It is being given into the hand of the king of Babylon by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence”: See, I am going to gather them from all the lands to which I drove them in my anger and my wrath and in great indignation; I will bring them back to this place, and I will settle them in safety. They shall be my people, and I will be their God.¹ I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me for all time, for their own good and the good of their children after them. I will make an everlasting covenant with them, never to draw back from doing good to them; and I will put the fear of me in their hearts, so that they may not turn from me. I will rejoice in doing good to them, and I will plant them in this land in faithfulness, with all my heart and all my soul.

For thus says the Lord: Just as I have brought all this great disaster upon this people, so I will bring upon them all the good fortune that I now promise them. Fields shall be bought in this land of which you are saying, It is a desolation, without human beings or animals; it has been given into the hands of the Chaldeans. Fields shall be bought for money, and deeds shall be signed and sealed and witnessed, in the land of Benjamin, in the places around Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, of the hill country, of the Shephelah, and of the Negeb; for I will restore their fortunes, says the Lord.

¹This sentence is repeated in 2 Corinthians 6;16, in a passage about the Temple of the Living God.

Complementary Psalm 62

For God alone my soul waits in silence;
 from him comes my salvation.
He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress;
 I shall never be shaken.

How long will you assail a person,
 will you batter your victim, all of you,
 as you would a leaning wall, a tottering fence?
Their only plan is to bring down a person of prominence.
 They take pleasure in falsehood;
they bless with their mouths,
 but inwardly they curse.

For God alone my soul waits in silence,
 for my hope is from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
 my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
On God rests my deliverance and my honor;
 my mighty rock, my refuge is in God.

Trust in him at all times, O people;
 pour out your heart before him;
 God is a refuge for us.
Those of low estate are but a breath,
 those of high estate are a delusion;
in the balances they go up;
 they are together lighter than a breath.
Put no confidence in extortion,
 and set no vain hopes on robbery;
 if riches increase, do not set your heart on them.
Once God has spoken;
 twice have I heard this:
that power belongs to God,
 and steadfast love belongs to you, O Lord.
For you repay to all
 according to their work.¹

¹This verse is quoted in Romans 2:6, in a passage about the righteous judgment of God, and in 2 Timothy 4:14, in a warning about Alexander.

Semi-continuous Psalm 119:49-56

Remember your word to your servant,
 in which you have made me hope.
This is my comfort in my distress,
 that your promise gives me life.
The arrogant utterly deride me,
 but I do not turn away from your law.
When I think of your ordinances from of old,
 I take comfort, O Lord.
Hot indignation seizes me because of the wicked,
 those who forsake your law.
Your statutes have been my songs
 wherever I make my home.
I remember your name in the night, O Lord,
 and keep your law.
This blessing has fallen to me,
 for I have kept your precepts.

New Testament Epistle Lesson: James 5:1-6

Coin minted by Herod Agrippa I

Come now, you rich people, weep and wail for the miseries that are coming to you. Your riches have rotted, and your clothes are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have rusted, and their rust will be evidence against you, and it will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure for the last days. Listen! The wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. You have lived on the earth in luxury and in pleasure; you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered the righteous one, who does not resist you.

Year C Ordinary 26, Catholic Proper 26, RCL Proper 21: Tuesday

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: Coin minted by Herod Agrippa I, by http://www.cngcoins.com, via Wikimedia Commons, used under GNU 1.2 license.

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The Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Roman Catholic Proper 21
Revised Common Lectionary Proper 26

Complementary Hebrew Scripture Lesson from The Twelve Prophets: Amos 6:1a, 4-7

Alas for those who are at ease in Zion.
Alas for those who lie on beds of ivory,
 and lounge on their couches,
and eat lambs from the flock,
 and calves from the stall;
who sing idle songs to the sound of the harp,
 and like David improvise on instruments of music;
who drink wine from bowls,
 and anoint themselves with the finest oils,
 but are not grieved over the ruin of Joseph!
Therefore they shall now be the first to go into exile,
 and the revelry of the loungers shall pass away.

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture from the Latter Prophets: Jeremiah 32:1-3a, 6-15

The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord in the tenth year of King Zedekiah of Judah, which was the eighteenth year of Nebuchadrezzar. At that time the army of the king of Babylon was besieging Jerusalem, and the prophet Jeremiah was confined in the court of the guard that was in the palace of the king of Judah, where King Zedekiah of Judah had confined him.

Jeremiah said, The word of the Lord came to me: Hanamel son of your uncle Shallum is going to come to you and say, “Buy my field that is at Anathoth, for the right of redemption by purchase is yours.” Then my cousin Hanamel came to me in the court of the guard, in accordance with the word of the Lord, and said to me, “Buy my field that is at Anathoth in the land of Benjamin, for the right of possession and redemption is yours; buy it for yourself.” Then I knew that this was the word of the Lord.

And I bought the field at Anathoth from my cousin Hanamel, and weighed out the money to him, seventeen shekels of silver. I signed the deed, sealed it, got witnesses, and weighed the money on scales. Then I took the sealed deed of purchase, containing the terms and conditions, and the open copy; and I gave the deed of purchase to Baruch son of Neriah son of Mahseiah, in the presence of my cousin Hanamel, in the presence of the witnesses who signed the deed of purchase, and in the presence of all the Judeans who were sitting in the court of the guard. In their presence I charged Baruch, saying, Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Take these deeds, both this sealed deed of purchase and this open deed, and put them in an earthenware jar, in order that they may last for a long time. For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Houses and fields and vineyards shall again be bought in this land.

Complementary Psalm 146

Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord, O my soul!
I will praise the Lord as long as I live;
 I will sing praises to my God all my life long.

Do not put your trust in princes,
 in mortals, in whom there is no help.
When their breath departs, they return to the earth;
 on that very day their plans perish.

Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
 whose hope is in the Lord their God,
who made heaven and earth,
 the sea, and all that is in them;¹

who keeps faith forever;
 who executes justice for the oppressed;
 who gives food to the hungry.

The Lord sets the prisoners free;
 the Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
 the Lord loves the righteous.
The Lord watches over the strangers;
 he upholds the orphan and the widow,
 but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.

The Lord will reign forever,
 your God, O Zion, for all generations.
Praise the Lord!

¹This phrase is echoed in Acts 4:23-31, where the believers pray for boldness, in Acts 14:13-18, where Paul and Barnabas react to being worshipped, and in Revelation 10:1-7, which says the mystery of God will be revealed when the seventh angel blows his trumpet.

Semi-continuous Psalm 91:1-6, 14-16

You who live in the shelter of the Most High,
 who abide in the shadow of the Almighty,
will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress;
 my God, in whom I trust.”
For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
 and from the deadly pestilence;
he will cover you with his pinions,
 and under his wings you will find refuge;
 his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
You will not fear the terror of the night,
 or the arrow that flies by day,
or the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
 or the destruction that wastes at noonday.

Those who love me, I will deliver;
 I will protect those who know my name.
When they call to me, I will answer them;
 I will be with them in trouble,
 I will rescue them and honor them.
With long life I will satisfy them,
 and show them my salvation.

New Testament Epistle Lesson: 1 Timothy 6:6-19

Of course, there is great gain in godliness combined with contentment; for we brought nothing into the world, so that we can take nothing out of it; but if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these. But those who want to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains.

But as for you, man of God, shun all this; pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith; take hold of the eternal life, to which you were called and for which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. In the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you to keep the commandment without spot or blame until the manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he will bring about at the right time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords. It is he alone who has immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see; to him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.

As for those who in the present age are rich, command them not to be haughty, or to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but rather on God who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, generous, and ready to share, thus storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of the life that really is life.

New Testament Gospel Lesson: Luke 16:19-31

Lazarus at the Rich Man’s Gate

“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who longed to satisfy his hunger with what fell from the rich man's table; even the dogs would come and lick his sores. The poor man died and was carried away by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was being tormented, he looked up and saw Abraham far away with Lazarus by his side. He called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in agony in these flames.’ But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your lifetime you received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in agony. Besides all this, between you and us a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who might want to pass from here to you cannot do so, and no one can cross from there to us.’ He said, ‘Then, father, I beg you to send him to my father's house—for I have five brothers—that he may warn them, so that they will not also come into this place of torment.’ Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; they should listen to them.’ He said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”

Year C Ordinary 26, Catholic Proper 26, RCL Proper 21: 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: Lazarus at the Rich Man's Gate by Fyodor Andreyevich Bronnikov, via Wikimedia Commons. This is a public domain image.

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Friday: Preparation for the Fourth Sunday in Advent

Hebrew Scripture Lesson from the Latter Prophets: Isaiah 42:10-18

Sing to the Lord a new song,
 his praise from the end of the earth!
Let the sea roar and all that fills it,
 the coastlands and their inhabitants.
Let the desert and its towns lift up their voice,
 the villages that Kedar inhabits;
let the inhabitants of Sela sing for joy,
 let them shout from the tops of the mountains.
Let them give glory to the Lord,
 and declare his praise in the coastlands.
The Lord goes forth like a soldier,
 like a warrior he stirs up his fury;
he cries out, he shouts aloud,
 he shows himself mighty against his foes.

For a long time I have held my peace,
 I have kept still and restrained myself;
now I will cry out like a woman in labor,
 I will gasp and pant.
I will lay waste mountains and hills,
 and dry up all their herbage;
I will turn the rivers into islands,
 and dry up the pools.
I will lead the blind by a road they do not know,
 by paths they have not known I will guide them.
I will turn the darkness before them into light,
 the rough places into level ground.
These are the things I will do,
 and I will not forsake them.
They shall be turned back and utterly put to shame—
 those who trust in carved images,
who say to cast images,
 “You are our gods.”

Listen, you that are deaf;
 and you that are blind, look up and see!

Psalm 80:1-7

Psalm-80_3.jpg

Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel,
 you who lead Joseph like a flock!
You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth
 before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh.
Stir up your might,
 and come to save us!

Restore us, O God;
 let your face shine, that we may be saved.

O Lord God of hosts,
 how long will you be angry with your people's prayers?
You have fed them with the bread of tears,
 and given them tears to drink in full measure.
You make us the scorn of our neighbors;
 our enemies laugh among themselves.

Restore us, O God of hosts;
 let your face shine, that we may be saved.

New Testament Epistle Lesson: Hebrews 10:32-39

But recall those earlier days when, after you had been enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, sometimes being publicly exposed to abuse and persecution, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. For you had compassion for those who were in prison, and you cheerfully accepted the plundering of your possessions, knowing that you yourselves possessed something better and more lasting. Do not, therefore, abandon that confidence of yours; it brings a great reward. For you need endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised. For yet

“in a very little while,¹
 the one who is coming will come and will not delay;²
but my righteous one will live by faith.
 My soul takes no pleasure in anyone who shrinks back.³”

But we are not among those who shrink back and so are lost, but among those who have faith and so are saved.

¹Isaiah 26:20   ²Habakkuk 2:3   Habakkuk 2:4

Year C Advent 4 Friday

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.

Note: The links in the titles above take you to Amazon, where you can purchase them and benefit The Lectionary Company.


Image credit: The background image is a public domain photo downloaded from Pixabay. Text was added by Michael Gilbertson.

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Wednesday: Reflection on the Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Complementary Amos 9:11-15 The restoration of David’s kingdom

Semi-continuous 2 Samuel 6:16-23 Michal expresses her contempt for David.

Both Luke 7:31-35 The people’s response to John the Baptist and Jesus.

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Saturday: Preparation for the Fifth Sunday of Easter

Amos 9:7-15 David’s kingdom will be restored.

Mark 4:30-32 The parable of the mustard seed.

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Saturday: Preparation for the Sixth Sunday in Lent

Jeremiah 33:10-16 The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made. At that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness. Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. And this is the name by which it will be called: “The Lord is our righteousness.”

Mark 10:32-34, 46-52 Jesus predicts his passion and heals Bartimaeus of his blindness.

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Friday: Preparation for the Sixth Sunday in Lent

 Jeremiah 33:1-9 God promises restoration and cleansing from sin.

Philippians 2:12-18 Do all things without murmuring and arguing, so that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, in which you shine like stars in the world.

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