Selected Scripture Readings

August 26, 2018
EPISTLE: Corinthians (1: 21- 2:4)

Brothers and Sisters! God is the one who firmly establishes us along with you in Christ; it is he who anointed us and has sealed us, thereby depositing the first payment, the Spirit, in our hearts. I call on God as my witness that it was out of consideration for you that I did not come to Corinth again. Domineering over your faith is not my purpose. I prefer to work with you toward your happiness. As regards faith, you are standing firm. I did decide, however, not to visit you again in painful circumstances. For if I cause you pain, who can make me happy again but the ones I grieved? I wrote as I did so that when I come I may not be saddened by those who should rejoice my heart. I know you all well enough to be convinced that my happiness is yours. That is why I wrote you in great sorrow and anguish, with copious tears -- not to make you sad but to help you realize the great love I bear you.

GOSPEL: Matthew (22: 1-14)

The Lord told this parable: “The reign of God may be likened to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son. He dispatched his servants to summon the invited guests to the wedding, but they refused to come. A second time he sent other servants, saying,: ‘Tell those who were invited, See, I have my dinner prepared! My bullocks and corn-fed cattle are killed; everything is ready. Come to the feast.’ Some ignored the invitation and went their way, one to his farm, another to his business. The rest laid hold of his servants, insulted them, and killed them. At this the king grew furious and sent his army to destroy those murderers and burn their city. Then he said to his servants: ‘The banquet is ready, but those who were invited were unfit to come. That is why you must go out into the byroads and invite to the wedding anyone you come upon.’ The servants then went out into the byroads and rounded up everyone they met, bad as well as good. This filled the wedding hall with banqueters. When the king came in to meet the guests, however, he caught sight of a man not properly dressed for a wedding feast. ‘My friend,’ he said, ‘how is it you came in here not properly dressed?’ The man had nothing to say. The king then said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and throw him out into the night to wail and grind his teeth.’ The invited are many, the elect are few.

September 02 2018
EPISTLE: Corinthians (4: 6-15)

Brothers and Sisters: For God, who said, “Let light shine in our hearts, out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts, that we in turn might make known the glory of God shining on the face of Christ. This treasure we possess in earthen vessels, to make it clear that its surpassing power comes from God and not from us. We are afflicted in every way possible, but we are not crushed, full of doubts, we never despair. We are persecuted but never abandoned; we are struck down but never destroyed. Continually we carry about in our bodies the dying of Jesus, so that in our bodies the life of Jesus may also be revealed. While we live we are constantly being delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may be revealed in our mortal flesh. Death is at work in us, but life in you. We have that spirit of faith of which the Scripture says, “Because I believed, I spoke out.” We believe and so we speak, knowing that he who raised up the Lord Jesus will raise us up along with Jesus and place both us and you in his presence. Indeed, everything is ordered to your benefit, so that the grace bestowed in abundance may bring greater glory to God because they who give thanks are many.

GOSPEL: Matthew (22: 36-46)

At that time, a lawyer approached Jesus, in an attempt to trip him up, asked him, “Teacher, which commandment of the law is the greatest?” Jesus said to him: “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with your whole heart, with your whole soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. The second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments the whole law is based, and the prophets as well.” In turn Jesus put a question to the assembled Pharisees, “What is your opinion about the Messiah? Whose son is he?” “David’s,” they answered. He said to them, “Then how is it that David under the Spirit’s influence calls him ‘lord’ as he does: ‘The Lord said to my lord. Sit at my right hand, until I humble your enemies beneath your feet’? If David calls him ‘lord,’ how can he be his son?” No one could give him an answer, therefore no one dared, from that day on, to ask him any questions.

September 09, 2018
EPISTLE: Galatians (6: 11-18)

Brothers and Sisters! See, I write to you in my own large handwriting! Those who are trying to force you to be circumcised are making a play for human approval --- with an eye to escaping persecution for the cross of Christ. The very ones who accept circumcision do not follow the law themselves. They want you to be circumcised only that they may boast about your bodily observance. May I never boast of anything but the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ! Through it, the world has been crucified to me and I to the world. It means nothing whether one is circumcised or not. All that matters is that one is created anew. Peace and mercy on all who follow this rule of life, and on the Israel of God. Henceforth, let no man trouble me, for I bear the brand marks of Jesus in my body. Brothers, may the favour of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.

GOSPEL: John (3: 13-17)

The Lord said, No one has gone to heaven except the One who came down from there -- the Son of Man who is in heaven. Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that all who believe may have eternal life in him. Yes, God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him may not die but may have eternal life. God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.”

September 16, 2018
EPISTLE: Galatians (2: 16-20)

Brothers and Sisters! Knowing that a man is not justified by legal observance but by faith in Jesus Christ, we too have believed in him in order to be justified by faith in Christ, not by observance of the law; for by works of the law no one will be justified. But if, in seeking to be justified in Christ, we are shown to be sinners does that mean that Christ is encouraging sin? Unthinkable! If, however, I were to build up the very things I had demolished, I should then indeed be a transgressor. It was through the law that I died to the law, to live for God. I have been crucified with Christ, and the life I live now is not my own; Christ is living in me. I still live my human life, but it is a life of faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

GOSPEL: Mark (8: 34 - 9: 1)

At that time He summoned the crowd with his disciples and said to them: “If a man wishes to come after me, he must deny his very self, take up his cross, and follow in my steps. Whoever would preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and gospel’s will preserve it. What profit does a man show who gains the whole world and destroys himself in the process? What can a man offer in exchange for his life! If anyone in this faithless and corrupt age is ashamed of me and my doctrine, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes with the holy angels in his Father’s glory.” He also said to them: “I assure you, among those standing here there are some who will not taste death until they see the reign of God established in power.”

September 23, 2018
EPISTLE: Corinthians (9: 6-11)

Brothers and Sisters! He who sows sparingly will reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will reap bountifully. Everyone must give according to what he has inwardly decided; not sadly, not grudgingly, for God loves a cheerful giver. God can multiply his favors among you so that you may always have enough of everything and even a surplus for good works, as it is written: “He scattered abroad and gave to the poor, his justice endures forever.” He who supplies seed for the sower and bread for the eater will provide in abundance; he will multiply the seed you sow and increase your generous yield. In every way your liberality is enriched; through us it results in thanks offered to God.

GOSPEL: Luke (5: 1 - 11)

At that time as he stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, and the crowd pressed in on him to hear the word of God, he saw two boats moored by the side of the lake; the fishermen had disembarked and were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to pull out a short distance from the shore; then, remaining seated, he continued to teach the crowds from the boat. When he had finished speaking he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we have been hard at it all night long and have caught nothing; but if you say so, I will lower the nets.” Upon doing this they caught such a great number of fish that their nets were at the breaking point. They signaled to their mates in the other boat to come and help them. These came, and together they filled the two boats until they nearly sank. At the sight of this, Simon Peter fell at the knees of Jesus saying, “Leave me, Lord. I am a sinful man.” For indeed, amazement at the catch they had made seized him and all his shipmates, as well as James and John, Zededee’s sons, who were partners with Simon. Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid. From now on you will be catching men.” With that they brought their boats to land, left everything, and became his followers.

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