Selected Scripture Readings

Sept. 29, 2019
EPISTLE: Corinthians (6: 1-10)

Brothers and Sisters: As your fellow workers we beg you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For He says, “In an acceptable time I have heard you; on a day of salvation I have helped you.” Now is the acceptable time! Now is the day of salvation! We avoid giving anyone offense, so that our ministry may not be blamed. On the contrary, in all that we do we strive to present ourselves as ministers of God, acting with patient endurance amid trials, difficulties, distresses, beatings, imprisonments, and riots; as men familiar with hard work, sleepless nights, and fasting; conducting ourselves with innocence, knowledge, and patience, in the Holy Spirit, in sincere love as men with the message of truth and the power of God; wielding weapons of righteousness with right hand and left, whether honored or dishonored, spoken of well or ill. We are called impostors, yet we are truthful; nobodies who in fact are well known; dead, yet here we are alive; punished, but not put to death; sorrowful, though we are always rejoicing; poor, yet we enrich many. We seem to have nothing, yet everything is ours.

GOSPEL: Matthew (25: 14- 30)

At that time, the Lord told this parable: A man was going on a journey. He called in his servants and handed his funds over to them according to each man’s abilities. To one he disbursed five thousand silver pieces, to a second two thousand, and to a third a thousand. Then he went away. Immediately the man who received the five thousand went to invest it and made another five. The man who received the two thousand doubled his figure. The man who received the thousand went off instead and dug a hole in the ground, where he buried his master’s money. After a long absence, the master of those servants came home and settled accounts with them. The man who had received the five thousand came forward bringing the additional five. “My lord,” he said, “You let me have five thousand. See I have made five thousand more.” His master said to him, “Well done! You are an industrious and reliable servant. Since you were dependable in a small matter I will put you in charge of larger affairs. Come, share your master’s joy!” The man who had received the two thousand then stepped forward. “My lord,” he said, “you entrusted me with two thousand and I have made two thousand more.” His master said to him, “Cleverly done! You too are an industrious and reliable servant. Since you were dependable in a small matter I will put you in charge of larger affairs. Come, share your master’s joy!” Finally the man who had received the thousand then stepped forward. “My lord,” he said, “I knew you were a hard man. You reap where you did not sow and gather where you did not scatter, so out of fear I went off and buried your thousand silver pieces in the ground. Here is your money back.” His master exclaimed: “You worthless, lazy lout! You know I reap where I did not sow and gather where I did not scatter. All the more reason to deposit my money with the bankers, so that on my return I could have had it back with interest. You, there! Take the thousand away from him and give it to the man with the ten thousand. Those who have will get more until they grow rich, while those who have not will lose even the little they have. Throw this worthless servant into the darkness outside, where he can wail and grind his teeth.”

Oct. 06, 2019
EPISTLE: Corinthians (6: 16 - 7:1)

Brothers and Sisters! You are the temple of the living God, just as God has said: “I will dwell with them and walk among them. I will be their God and they shall be my people. Therefore, ‘Come out from among them,’ says the Lord; ‘and touch nothing unclean. I will welcome you and be a father to you and you will be my sons and daughters,’ says the Lord Almighty.’’ Since we have these promises, beloved, let us purify ourselves from every defilement of flesh and spirit, and in the fear of God strive to fulfill our consecration perfectly.

GOSPEL: Matthew (15: 21-28)

At that time Jesus entered into the district of Tyre and Sidon. It happened that a Canaanite woman living in that locality presented herself, crying out to him, “Lord, Son of David, have pity on me! My daughter is terribly troubled by a demon.’’ He gave her no word of response. His disciples came up and began to entreat him, “Get rid of her. She keeps shouting after us.’’ “My mission is only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel,’’ Jesus replied. She came forward then and did him homage with the plea, “Help me, Lord!’’ But he answered, “it is not right to take the food of sons and daughters and throw it to the dogs.’’ “Please, Lord,’’ she insisted, “even the dogs eat the leavings that fall from their masters’ tables.’’ Jesus said in reply, “Woman, you have great faith! Your wish will come to pass.’’ That very moment her daughter got better.

Oct. 13, 2019

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.

Oct. 20, 2019
EPISTLE: Corinthians (11: 31 - 12:9)

Brothers and Sisters! The God and Father of the Lord Jesus knows --- blessed be he forever --- that I do not lie. In Damascus the ethnarch of King Aretas was keeping a close watch on the city in order to arrest me, but I was lowered in a basket through a window in the wall and escaped his hands. I must go on boasting, however useless it may be, and speak of visions and revelations of the Lord. I know a man in Christ who, fourteen years ago, whether he was in or outside his body I cannot say, only God can say - -- a man who was snatched up to the third heaven. I know that this man --- whether in or outside his body I do not know, God knows --- was snatched up to Paradise to hear words which cannot be uttered, words which no man may speak. About this man I will boast; but I will do no boasting about myself unless it be about my weaknesses. And even if I were to boast it would not be folly in me because I would only be telling the truth. But I refrain, lest anyone think more of me than what he sees in me or hears from my lips. As to the extraordinary revelations, in order that I might not become conceited I was given a thorn in the flesh, an angel of Satan to beat me and keep me from getting proud. Three times I begged the Lord that this might leave me. He said to me, “My grace is enough for you, for in weakness power reaches perfection.” And so I willingly boast of my weaknesses instead, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

GOSPEL: luke (6: 31-36)

The Lord said: “Do to others what you would have them do to you. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, how can you claim any credit? Sinners do as much. If you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what merit is there in it for you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. Love your enemy and do good; lend without expecting repayment. Then will your recompense be great. You will rightly be called sons of the Most High, since he himself is good to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be compassionate, as your Father is compassionate.”

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