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Selected Scripture Readings

August 06, 2023 - Transfiguration
Epistle: 2 Peter (1: 10 - 19)

Brothers and Sisters! Be solicitous to make your call and election permanent; surely those who do so will never be lost. On the contrary, your entry into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ will be richly provided for. I intend to recall these things to you constantly, even though you already understand and are firmly rooted in the truth you possess. I consider it my duty, as long as I live, to prompt you with this reminder. I know, by the indications our Lord Jesus Christ has given me, how close is the day when I must fold my tent. I shall press to have you recall these things frequently after my departure. It was not by way of cleverly concocted myths that we taught you about the coming in power of our Lord Jesus Christ, for we were eyewitnesses of his sovereign majesty. He received glory and praise from God the Father when that unique declaration came to him out of the majestic splendor. “This is my beloved Son, on whom my favor rests.” We ourselves heard this said from heaven while we were in his company on the holy mountain. Besides, we possess the prophetic message as something altogether reliable. Keep your attention closely fixed on it, as you would on a lamp shining in a dark place until the first streaks of dawn appear and the morning star rises in your hearts.

GOSPEL: Matthew (17: 1 - 9)

At that time, Jesus took Peter, James, and his brother John and led them up on a high mountain by themselves. He was transfigured before their eyes. His face became as dazzling as the sun, his clothes as radiant as light. Suddenly Moses and Elijah appeared to them conversing with him. Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, how good that we are here! With your permission I well erect three booths here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” He was still speaking when suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them. Out of the cloud came a voice which said, “This is my beloved Son on whom my favor rests. Listen to him.” When they heard this the disciples fell forward on the ground, overcome with fear. Jesus came toward them and laying his hand on them, said, “Get up! Do not be afraid!” When they looked up they did not see anyone but Jesus. As they were coming down the mountainside, Jesus commanded them, “Do not tell anyone of the vision until the Son of Man rises from the dead.”
August 13 , 2023 - 11th Sunday after Pentecost, Post-Feast

EPISTLE: 1 Corinthians (9: 2 - 12)

Brothers and Sisters! You are the very seal of my apostolate in the Lord. My defense against those who criticize me is this: Do we not have the right to eat and drink? Do we not have the right to marry a believing woman like the rest of the apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas? Is it only myself and Barnabas who are forced to work for a living? What soldier in the field pays for his rations? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat of its yield? What shepherd does not nourish himself with the milk of his flock? You may think the reasons I am giving are merely human ones, but does not the law itself speak of these things? It is written in the law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out grain.” Is God concerned here for oxen, or does he not rather say this for our sakes? You can be sure it was written for us, for the plowman should plow in hope and the harvester expect a share in the grain. If we have sown for you in the spirit, is it too much to expect a material harvest from you? If others have this right over you, is not our right even greater? But we have not used this right. On the contrary, we put up with all sorts of hardships so as not to place any obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ.

GOSPEL: Matthew (18: 23 - 35)

The Lord said: “The reign of God may be said to be like a king who decided to settle accounts with his officials. When he began his auditing, one was brought in who owed him a huge amount. As he had no way of paying it, his master ordered him to be sold, along with his wife, his children, and all his property, in payment of the debt. At that the official prostrated himself in homage and said, ‘My lord, be patient with me and I will pay you back in full.’ Moved with pity, the master let the official go and wrote off the debt. But when that same official went out he met a fellow servant who owed him a mere fraction of what he himself owed. He seized him and throttled him, ‘Pay back what you owe,’ he demanded. His fellow servant dropped to his knees and began to plead with him, ‘Just give me time and I will pay you back in full.’ But he would hear none of it. Instead, he had him put in jail until he paid back what he owed. When his fellow servants saw what had happened they were badly shaken, and went to their master to report the whole incident. His master sent for him and said, ‘You worthless wretch! I canceled your entire debt when you pleaded with me. Should you not have dealt mercifully with your fellow servant, as I dealt with you?’ Then in anger the master handed him over to the torturers until he paid back all that he owed. My heavenly father will treat you in exactly the same way unless each of you forgives his brother from his heart.”

 

August 20 - 12th Sunday after Pentecost, Post-Feast Dormition
EPISTLE: Corinthians (15: 1 - 11)

Brothers and Sisters! I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and in which you stand firm. You are being saved by it at this very moment if you hold fast to it as I preached it to you. Otherwise you have believed in vain. I handed on to you first of all what I myself received that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures; that he was buried and, in accordance with the Scriptures, rose on the third day; that he was seen by Cephas, then by the Twelve. After that he was seen by five hundred brothers at once, most of whom are still alive, although some have fallen asleep. Next he was seen by James; then by all the apostles. Last of all he was seen by me, as one born out of the normal course. I am the least of the apostles; in fact, because I persecuted the church of God, I do not even deserve the name. But by God’s favor I am what I am. This favor of his to me has not proved fruitless. Indeed, I have worked harder than all the others, not on my own but through the favor of God. In any case, whether it be I or they, this is what we preach and this is what you believed.

GOSPEL: Matthew (19: 16 - 26)

At that time a young man came up to him and said, “Teacher, what good must I do to possess everlasting life?” He answered, “Why do you question me about what is good? There is One who is good. If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” “Which ones?” he asked. Jesus replied, “ ‘You shall not kill’; ‘You shall not commit adultery’; ‘You shall not steal’; ‘You shall not bear false witness’; ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ “ The young man said to him, “I have kept all these; what do I need to do further?” Jesus told him, “If you seek perfection, go, sell your possessions, and give to the poor. You will then have treasure in heaven. Afterward, comeback and follow me.” Hearing these words, the young man went away sad, for his possessions were many. Jesus said to his disciples, “I assure you, only with difficulty will a rich man enter into the kingdom of God. I repeat what I said: it is easier for a camel to pass through a needle’s eye than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” When the disciples heard this they were completely overwhelmed, and exclaimed, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “For man it is impossible; but for God all things are possible.”

August 27, 2023 - 13th Sunday Pentecost

EPISTLE: 1 Corinthians (16: 13 - 24)

Brothers and Sisters! Be on your guard, stand firm in the faith, and act like men. In a word, be strong. Do everything with love. You know that the household of Stephanas is the first fruits of Achaia and is devoted to the service of the saints. I urge you to serve under such men and under everyone who cooperates and toils with them. I was very happy at the arrival of Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus, because they made up for your absence. They have refreshed my spirit as they did yours. You should recognize the worth of such men. The churches of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Prisca, together with the assembly that meets in their house, send you cordial greetings in the Lord. All the brothers greet you. Greet one another with a holy kiss. It is I, Paul, who send you this greeting in my own hand. If anyone does not love the Lord, let a curse be upon him. O Lord, Come! The favour of the Lord Jesus be with you. My love to all of you in Christ Jesus.

GOSPEL: Matthew (21: 33 - 42)

At that time the Lord told this parable: “There was a property owner who planted a vineyard, put a hedge around it, dug out a vat, and erected a tower. Then he leased it out to tenant farmers and went on a journey. When vintage time arrived he dispatched his slaves to the tenants to obtain his share of the grapes. The tenants responded by seizing the slaves. They beat one, killed another, and stoned a third. A second time he dispatched even more slaves than before, but they treated them the same way. Finally he sent his son to them thinking, ‘They will respect my son.’ When they saw the son, the tenants said to one another, ‘Here is the one who will inherit everything. Let us kill him and then we shall have his inheritance!’ With that they seized him, dragged him outside the vineyard, and killed him. What do you suppose the owner of the vineyard will do to those tenants when he comes?” They replied, “He will bring the wicked crowd to a bad end and lease his vineyard out to others who will see to it that he has grapes at vintage time.” Jesus said to them, “Did you never read in the Scriptures, ‘The stone which the builders rejected has become the keystone of the structure. It was the Lord who did this and we find it marvelous to behold?’ “

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