seek God and live

Wednesday: Reflection on the Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Revised Common Lectionary Proper 10
Roman Catholic Proper 15

Complementary Hebrew Scripture from The Writings: Ecclesiastes 9:13-18

I have also seen this example of wisdom under the sun, and it seemed great to me. There was a little city with few people in it. A great king came against it and besieged it, building great siegeworks against it. Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city. Yet no one remembered that poor man. So I said, “Wisdom is better than might; yet the poor man's wisdom is despised, and his words are not heeded.”

The quiet words of the wise are more to be heeded
than the shouting of a ruler among fools.
Wisdom is better than weapons of war,
but one bungler destroys much good.

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture from The Twelve Prophets: Amos 5:1-9

Hear this word that I take up over you in lamentation, O house of Israel:
Fallen, no more to rise,
 is maiden Israel;
forsaken on her land,
 with no one to raise her up.

For thus says the Lord God:
The city that marched out a thousand
 shall have a hundred left,
and that which marched out a hundred
 shall have ten left.

For thus says the Lord to the house of Israel:
Seek me and live;
 but do not seek Bethel,
and do not enter into Gilgal
or cross over to Beer-sheba;
 for Gilgal shall surely go into exile,
 and Bethel shall come to nothing.

Seek the Lord and live,
 or he will break out against the house of Joseph like fire,
 and it will devour Bethel, with no one to quench it.
Ah, you that turn justice to wormwood,
 and bring righteousness to the ground!

The one who made the Pleiades and Orion,
 and turns deep darkness into the morning,
 and darkens the day into night,
who calls for the waters of the sea,
 and pours them out on the surface of the earth,
 the Lord is his name,
who makes destruction flash out against the strong,
 so that destruction comes upon the fortress.

Complementary Psalm 25:11-20

For your name's sake, O Lord,
 pardon my guilt, for it is great.
Who are they that fear the Lord?
 He will teach them the way that they should choose.

They will abide in prosperity,
 and their children shall possess the land.
The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him,
 and he makes his covenant known to them.
My eyes are ever toward the Lord,
 for he will pluck my feet out of the net.

Turn to me and be gracious to me,
 for I am lonely and afflicted.
Relieve the troubles of my heart,
 and bring me out of my distress.
Consider my affliction and my trouble,
 and forgive all my sins.

Consider how many are my foes,
 and with what violent hatred they hate me.
O guard my life, and deliver me;
 do not let me be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.

Semi-continuous Psalm 7

O Lord my God, in you I take refuge;
 save me from all my pursuers, and deliver me,
or like a lion they will tear me apart;
 they will drag me away, with no one to rescue.

O Lord my God, if I have done this,
 if there is wrong in my hands,
if I have repaid my ally with harm
 or plundered my foe without cause,
then let the enemy pursue and overtake me,
 trample my life to the ground,
 and lay my soul in the dust.

Rise up, O Lord, in your anger;
 lift yourself up against the fury of my enemies;
 awake, O my God; you have appointed a judgment.
Let the assembly of the peoples be gathered around you,
 and over it take your seat on high.
The Lord judges the peoples;
 judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness
 and according to the integrity that is in me.

O let the evil of the wicked come to an end,
 but establish the righteous,
you who test the minds and hearts,
 O righteous God.
God is my shield,
 who saves the upright in heart.
God is a righteous judge,
 and a God who has indignation every day.

If one does not repent, God will whet his sword;
 he has bent and strung his bow;
he has prepared his deadly weapons,
 making his arrows fiery shafts.
See how they conceive evil,
 and are pregnant with mischief,
 and bring forth lies.
They make a pit, digging it out,
 and fall into the hole that they have made.
Their mischief returns upon their own heads,
 and on their own heads their violence descends.

I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness,
 and sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High.

New Testament Gospel Lesson: Matthew 25:31-46


“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’ Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?’ Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Year C RCL Proper 10, Catholic Proper 15, Ordinary 15 Wednesday

Bible verses from The New Revised Standard Version, 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.

Selections from Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, copyright 1985 by Consultation on Common Texts.

Image credit: The Vanderbilt Digital Library, which credits the original image to Craig Stephen, Flickr Creative Commons, licensed under Creative Commons 3.0

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