October 26, 2014 - Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost|
The first reading: Leviticus 19:1-2, 15-18 (NRSV)|
1 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying:
2 Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them: You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.
15 You shall not render an unjust judgment; you shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great: with justice you shall judge your neighbor.
16 You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not profit by the blood of your neighbor: I am the Lord.
17 You shall not hate in your heart anyone of your kin; you shall reprove your neighbor, or you will incur guilt yourself.
18 You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against any of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.
The Psalm: Psalms 1:1-6 (NRSV)|
1 Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path that sinners tread, or sit in the seat of scoffers;
2 but their delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law they meditate day and night.
3 They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither. In all that they do, they prosper.
4 The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
6 for the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.
The second reading: 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8 (NRSV)|
1 You yourselves know, brothers and sisters, that our coming to you was not in vain,
2 but though we had already suffered and been shamefully mistreated at Philippi, as you know, we had courage in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in spite of great opposition.
3 For our appeal does not spring from deceit or impure motives or trickery,
4 but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the message of the gospel, even so we speak, not to please mortals, but to please God who tests our hearts.
5 As you know and as God is our witness, we never came with words of flattery or with a pretext for greed;
6 nor did we seek praise from mortals, whether from you or from others,
7 though we might have made demands as apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, like a nurse tenderly caring for her own children.
8 So deeply do we care for you that we are determined to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you have become very dear to us.
The Gospel: Matthew 22:34-46 (NRSV)|
34 When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together,
35 and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him.
36 "Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?"
37 He said to him, "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.'
38 This is the greatest and first commandment.
39 And a second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'
40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."
41 Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them this question:
42 "What do you think of the Messiah? Whose son is he?" They said to him, "The son of David."
43 He said to them, "How is it then that David by the Spirit calls him Lord, saying,
44 'The Lord said to my Lord, "Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet" '?
45 If David thus calls him Lord, how can he be his son?"
46 No one was able to give him an answer, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions.
November 2, 2014 - Twenty-First Sunday after Pentecost|
The first reading: Micah 3:5-12 (NRSV)|
5 Thus says the Lord concerning the prophets who lead my people astray, who cry "Peace" when they have something to eat, but declare war against those who put nothing into their mouths.
6 Therefore it shall be night to you, without vision, and darkness to you, without revelation. The sun shall go down upon the prophets, and the day shall be black over them;
7 the seers shall be disgraced, and the diviners put to shame; they shall all cover their lips, for there is no answer from God.
8 But as for me, I am filled with power, with the spirit of the Lord, and with justice and might, to declare to Jacob his transgression and to Israel his sin.
9 Hear this, you rulers of the house of Jacob and chiefs of the house of Israel, who abhor justice and pervert all equity,
10 who build Zion with blood and Jerusalem with wrong!
11 Its rulers give judgment for a bribe, its priests teach for a price, its prophets give oracles for money; yet they lean upon the Lord and say, "Surely the Lord is with us! No harm shall come upon us."
12 Therefore because of you Zion shall be plowed as a field; Jerusalem shall become a heap of ruins, and the mountain of the house a wooded height.
The Psalm: Psalms 43:1-5 (NRSV)|
1 Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause against an ungodly people; from those who are deceitful and unjust deliver me!
2 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?
3 O send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling.
4 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.
5 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.
The second reading: 1 Thessalonians 2:9-13 (NRSV)|
9 You remember our labor and toil, brothers and sisters; we worked night and day, so that we might not burden any of you while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God.
10 You are witnesses, and God also, how pure, upright, and blameless our conduct was toward you believers.
11 As you know, we dealt with each one of you like a father with his children,
12 urging and encouraging you and pleading that you lead a life worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.
13 We also constantly give thanks to God for this, that when you received the word of God that you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word but as what it really is, God's word, which is also at work in you believers.
The Gospel: Matthew 23:1-12 (NRSV)|
1 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples,
2 "The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses' seat;
3 therefore, do whatever they teach you and follow it; but do not do as they do, for they do not practice what they teach.
4 They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on the shoulders of others; but they themselves are unwilling to lift a finger to move them.
5 They do all their deeds to be seen by others; for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long.
6 They love to have the place of honor at banquets and the best seats in the synagogues,
7 and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have people call them rabbi.
8 But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all students.
9 And call no one your father on earth, for you have one Father—the one in heaven.
10 Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Messiah.
11 The greatest among you will be your servant.
12 All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted.
November 9, 2014 - Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost|
The first reading: Amos 5:18-24 (NRSV)|
18 Alas for you who desire the day of the Lord! Why do you want the day of the Lord? It is darkness, not light;
19 as if someone fled from a lion, and was met by a bear; or went into the house and rested a hand against the wall, and was bitten by a snake.
20 Is not the day of the Lord darkness, not light, and gloom with no brightness in it?
21 I hate, I despise your festivals, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies.
22 Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them; and the offerings of well-being of your fatted animals I will not look upon.
23 Take away from me the noise of your songs; I will not listen to the melody of your harps.
24 But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.
The Psalm: Psalms 70:1-5 (NRSV)|
1 Be pleased, O God, to deliver me. O Lord, make haste to help me!
2 Let those be put to shame and confusion who seek my life. Let those be turned back and brought to dishonor who desire to hurt me.
3 Let those who say, "Aha, Aha!" turn back because of their shame.
4 Let all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you. Let those who love your salvation say evermore, "God is great!"
5 But I am poor and needy; hasten to me, O God! You are my help and my deliverer; O Lord, do not delay!
The second reading: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (NRSV)|
13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who have died, so that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.
14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have died.
15 For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will by no means precede those who have died.
16 For the Lord himself, with a cry of command, with the archangel's call and with the sound of God's trumpet, will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first.
17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will be with the Lord forever.
18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.
The Gospel: Matthew 25:1-13 (NRSV)|
1 "Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom.
2 Five of them were foolish, and five were wise.
3 When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them;
4 but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps.
5 As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept.
6 But at midnight there was a shout, 'Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.'
7 Then all those bridesmaids got up and trimmed their lamps.
8 The foolish said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.'
9 But the wise replied, 'No! there will not be enough for you and for us; you had better go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.'
10 And while they went to buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet; and the door was shut.
11 Later the other bridesmaids came also, saying, 'Lord, lord, open to us.'
12 But he replied, 'Truly I tell you, I do not know you.'
13 Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.
November 16, 2014 - Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost|
The first reading: Zephaniah 1:7, 12-18 (NRSV)|
7 Be silent before the Lord God! For the day of the Lord is at hand; the Lord has prepared a sacrifice, he has consecrated his guests.
12 At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps, and I will punish the people who rest complacently on their dregs, those who say in their hearts, "The Lord will not do good, nor will he do harm."
13 Their wealth shall be plundered, and their houses laid waste. Though they build houses, they shall not inhabit them; though they plant vineyards, they shall not drink wine from them.
14 The great day of the Lord is near, near and hastening fast; the sound of the day of the Lord is bitter, the warrior cries aloud there.
15 That day will be a day of wrath, a day of distress and anguish, a day of ruin and devastation, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness,
16 a day of trumpet blast and battle cry against the fortified cities and against the lofty battlements.
17 I will bring such distress upon people that they shall walk like the blind; because they have sinned against the Lord, their blood shall be poured out like dust, and their flesh like dung.
18 Neither their silver nor their gold will be able to save them on the day of the Lord's wrath; in the fire of his passion the whole earth shall be consumed; for a full, a terrible end he will make of all the inhabitants of the earth.
The Psalm: Psalms 90:1-12 (NRSV)|
1 Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations.
2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
3 You turn us back to dust, and say, "Turn back, you mortals."
4 For a thousand years in your sight are like yesterday when it is past, or like a watch in the night.
5 You sweep them away; they are like a dream, like grass that is renewed in the morning;
6 in the morning it flourishes and is renewed; in the evening it fades and withers.
7 For we are consumed by your anger; by your wrath we are overwhelmed.
8 You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your countenance.
9 For all our days pass away under your wrath; our years come to an end like a sigh.
10 The days of our life are seventy years, or perhaps eighty, if we are strong; even then their span is only toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away.
11 Who considers the power of your anger? Your wrath is as great as the fear that is due you.
12 So teach us to count our days that we may gain a wise heart.
The second reading: 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 (NRSV)|
1 Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers and sisters, you do not need to have anything written to you.
2 For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.
3 When they say, "There is peace and security," then sudden destruction will come upon them, as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and there will be no escape!
4 But you, beloved, are not in darkness, for that day to surprise you like a thief;
5 for you are all children of light and children of the day; we are not of the night or of darkness.
6 So then let us not fall asleep as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober;
7 for those who sleep sleep at night, and those who are drunk get drunk at night.
8 But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, and put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation.
9 For God has destined us not for wrath but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,
10 who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep we may live with him.
11 Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing.
The Gospel: Matthew 25:14-30 (NRSV)|
14 "For it is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them;
15 to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away.
16 The one who had received the five talents went off at once and traded with them, and made five more talents.
17 In the same way, the one who had the two talents made two more talents.
18 But the one who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money.
19 After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them.
20 Then the one who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five more talents, saying, 'Master, you handed over to me five talents; see, I have made five more talents.'
21 His master said to him, 'Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.'
22 And the one with the two talents also came forward, saying, 'Master, you handed over to me two talents; see, I have made two more talents.'
23 His master said to him, 'Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.'
24 Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, 'Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed;
25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.'
26 But his master replied, 'You wicked and lazy slave! You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter?
27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received what was my own with interest.
28 So take the talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents.
29 For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.
30 As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'