Sunday's Readings - The Living Church

Sunday's Readings

Sun, April 02, 2017

Prayer includes deep pain, a groan issued from the hard wood of a bloody cross.

Sun, March 26, 2017

Bible stories are often ragged and perplexing, inspiring and disturbing. The reader must slow down and think.

Sun, March 19, 2017

Jesus boldly breaks down the dividing wall and asks for aid from an alien woman.

Sun, March 12, 2017

God calls out to the ungodly, gives life to the dead, and calls into existence the things that do not exist.

Sat, March 04, 2017

Every generation feels an aching loss of original innocence and yet chooses that loss again.

Sun, February 26, 2017

The Son of the Father is the sun of righteousness, transcendent radiance, a power in but not of this world.

Sun, February 19, 2017

God is the source of a double command and the singular grace of its fulfillment.

Sun, February 12, 2017

John Henry Newman: “Is not holiness the result of many patient, repeated efforts after obedience?”

Sun, February 05, 2017

Works matter. They are the direct and natural expression of one’s vocation as salt and light to the world.

Sun, January 29, 2017

In a sense, the holy hill of God is wherever God is.

Sun, January 22, 2017

Jesus’ teaching, proclamation, and healing are a trinity of attack against sin, the flesh, and the devil.

Sun, January 15, 2017

“For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matt. 18:20).

Sun, January 08, 2017

Jesus humbles himself to know human weakness, frailty, the fear of death, and death itself.

Sun, January 01, 2017

“When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, ... what are human beings that you are mindful of them?”

Sun, December 25, 2016

This tiny infant, this frail being, is an image of the invisible God. God has come down to be among us.

Sun, December 18, 2016

Every moment in which grace is given and faith elicited is a vertical intrusion of pure gift.

Sun, December 11, 2016

God speaks in ways that are poetically arresting and politically disturbing.

Sun, December 04, 2016

Faith is anchored to the past, lives in the present, and moves into an open future.

Sun, November 27, 2016

The end will come, but always, as promised by the life-giving Son of God, “at an unexpected hour.” Keep awake!

Sun, November 20, 2016

God moves through human agency, promising an heir who will rule in righteousness over the nation.

Sun, November 13, 2016

Religion is a story told again and again so that its teachings, virtues, and victories are revisited as if new.

Sun, November 06, 2016

The new life in Christ is a new song, a voice no longer choked by the abuse of a slave master.

Sun, October 30, 2016

A messenger is running with a plain tablet in hand, upon which a vision is written.

Sun, October 23, 2016

“Go home to your friends, and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and what mercy he has shown you.”

Sun, October 16, 2016

In the flesh of a heart, the flutter of valves, and the pressure of blood, God is writing the Word.

Sun, October 09, 2016

The bones speak for the people: “Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.”

Sun, October 02, 2016

The help of the Holy Spirit is at hand, moment by moment, day by day, and night by night.

Sun, September 25, 2016

God does not want Christians mired in the narcissism of self-loathing.

Sun, September 18, 2016

The parable Jesus tells at Luke 16:1-13 is one of the odder passages in the canon of Scripture.

Sun, September 11, 2016

Angels’ greetings to humans usually are brief: Be not afraid. Do not worship me. Be quiet. Listen.

Sun, September 04, 2016

The Letter to Philemon rewards those willing to engage the text on its own terms.

Sun, August 28, 2016

Barth: “[W]e are in rebellion not against what is foreign to us but against that which is most intimately ours.”

Sun, August 21, 2016

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you.”

Sun, August 14, 2016

The fire purifies and cleanses when the heart, mind, and soul drink the flaming river of God.

Sun, August 07, 2016

Listening to God, looking up at the night sky, Abram believes. God calls this righteousness.

Sun, July 31, 2016

Gregory the Great: “The entire Church of the elect is called the daybreak or the dawn (Job 38:12).”

Sun, July 24, 2016

The announcement of the fullness of Christ sets up a joyous acclamation (Col. 2:12).

Sun, July 17, 2016

Jesus Christ our Lord has poured out his purifying blood to forgive and change and make new.

Sun, July 10, 2016

Thomas Merton took what he called “The only known photograph of God”: a plumb line.

Sun, July 03, 2016

I am alive, I am fed, I am sent, and my name is written in heaven.

Sun, June 26, 2016

Jesus walks by and gladly gives his mantle, even the hem of his garment, to any who would touch him.

Sun, June 19, 2016

You did not choose Christ, but he chose you.

Sun, June 12, 2016

The earth and dogs will drink the blood of Ahab. Another king wants nothing, demands nothing, seizes nothing.

Sun, June 05, 2016

The Lord upholds the orphan and widow. The Lord lifts up those who are cast down.

Sun, May 29, 2016

Every claim to goodness and merit disappears as Christ alone shines with all glory and goodness.

Sun, May 22, 2016

Wisdom is a witness to the emergence of creation from the font of all being.

Sun, May 15, 2016

The members of the body each have a full, unique, and secret gift of the Spirit.

Sun, May 08, 2016

Jesus gives life from death, retelling in vivid scenes his resurrection in the life of his disciples.

Sun, May 01, 2016

Higher than the peak of the great mountain, a city appears, coming down from heaven.

Sun, April 24, 2016

Everything that is has its being from God.

Sun, April 17, 2016

Peter takes her hand and helps her. Is he done? No. This is not one story about one girl.

Sun, April 10, 2016

The whole chain of being is a voice of praise to the One who sits upon the throne and the Lamb.

Sun, April 03, 2016

Christ rose bodily in time and space, and ascended to his Father without dropping the mantle of his humanity.

Sun, March 27, 2016

Mary has bent toward the tomb and looked into death and there beheld a divine presence that death could not defeat.

Sun, March 20, 2016

We hardly do justice to the pain if we do not end the Passion account with a long, palpable, and devout silence.

Sun, March 13, 2016

Forget your prior things; pay no attention to ancient wonders. “Behold, I make new” (Isa. 43:19).

Sun, March 06, 2016

Renewal of a deep down kind is a dramatic and dramatically divine intervention enacted through ceremony.

Sun, February 28, 2016

The Christian story is one story, Jesus Christ our Lord. Wherever we look, there he is.

Sun, February 21, 2016
Recapitulating all humanity, Jesus is a morphing icon and yet he is one Word, the only Word from the Father.
Sun, February 14, 2016
Faith believes with the heart that the gift of God is the gift of salvation through his beloved Son.
Sun, February 07, 2016
Those who stand in Christ stand where Moses did upon the holy mountain, and so are transformed into the divine light.
Sun, January 31, 2016
Prophets are formed, consecrated, and appointed for a job they would have never chosen.
Sun, January 24, 2016
Ask yourself, when you read the Bible: “What kind of a human being do I want to be?”
Sun, January 17, 2016
Not only is there joy in the fresh water of Christ, there is also the taste of a double conviction.
Sun, January 10, 2016
The flame of Christ is also a tongue of fire that speaks (Acts 2:3).
Sun, January 03, 2016
God makes life out of the abyss of nothing; God is on a cross.
Sun, December 27, 2015
Christ our Lord redeemed us not by a disregard for divine instruction, but by doing what no one else could do.
Sun, December 20, 2015
Mary is the temple of her Son. She is the Christ-carrier and the Christ-bearer.
Sun, December 13, 2015
Amid his promise to judge, Jesus is a pure divine person and the full substance of love.
Sun, December 06, 2015
The Lord is “like a refiner’s fire and like a fuller’s soap.”
Sun, November 29, 2015
The end is not yet, but the end is near.
Sun, November 22, 2015
The Church and its members bear the weight of being a royal priesthood.
Sun, November 15, 2015
It is not for us to know when or how God will restore all things unto himself.
Sun, November 08, 2015
Jesus is the building inspiring awe and devotion, not just where we live, but wherever Christians live.
Sun, November 01, 2015
Saints bear the burdens of their own sins, while living heroically for God and for others.
Sun, October 25, 2015
Jesus has an abiding affection for those who press through obstacles that might prevent them from seeking his mercy.
Sun, October 18, 2015
If you want to surpass others and excel, strive for superlative humility, servanthood, and sacrifice.
Sun, October 11, 2015
Jesus’ command involved two aspects: giving up and giving to.
Sun, October 04, 2015
Jesus anchors marriage in creation. Marriage is not just a social convention.
Sun, September 27, 2015
Our job is merely to tell of what we know. The Holy Spirit does the converting.
Sun, September 20, 2015
There is no zero-sum economy in the kingdom of God.
Sun, September 13, 2015
Without the Messiah, we are unable to please the Father.
Sun, September 06, 2015
Mark’s gospel tells of Jesus visiting what we now call Lebanon.
Sun, August 30, 2015
It is much easier to observe rituals and demand that other people comply than it is to obey the laws of God.
Sun, August 23, 2015
In Jesus, the material and human are restored to the spiritual: to union with God.
Sun, August 16, 2015
How, by offering his body and blood, his life for us, does Jesus offer his life to us?
Sun, August 09, 2015
There’s no way to downplay the extraordinary nature of Jesus’ claim.
Sun, August 02, 2015
God prepares us for the coming of Jesus by acclimating us to his presence among us.
Sun, July 26, 2015
When we feed the poor we are being sacramental. When we receive Holy Communion we are being material.
Sun, July 19, 2015
Our needs are only finally met by Jesus becoming an intimate presence in our lives.
Sun, July 12, 2015
Christianity may be tolerated as long as it is personal and private, out of the public view and non-intrusive.
Sun, July 05, 2015
Jesus sends his followers out, traveling light as consecrated beggars, with the power to heal troubled people.
Sun, June 28, 2015
Pushed and shoved by people almost bearing him along, Jesus feels a touch of desperate trust. He heals.
Sun, June 21, 2015
We all know that our follies, weaknesses — yes, sins — can blow up in our faces suddenly, like a storm.
Sun, June 14, 2015
As we obey Jesus, do the things he told his disciples to do, and live in his abiding presence, the seed is planted.
Sun, June 07, 2015
Something is deeply broken in this world, and the doctrine of the Fall helps explain the source of the damage.
Sun, May 31, 2015
Christians do well not merely to acknowledge but even to rejoice in this foundational doctrine that is implicit.
Sun, May 24, 2015
The psalmist notices Leviathan, which God “made for the sport of it.”
Sun, May 17, 2015
Jesus’ prayer requires us to seek and build unity, because our division contradicts the will of Christ.
Sun, May 10, 2015
“Abide in my love.” Does this song ever get old?
Sun, May 03, 2015
The idea that “faith” can only be compromised or tarnished once it’s shared is foreign and unintelligible.
Sun, April 26, 2015
Jesus conquered the devouring lion and set us free from the jaws of death.
Sun, April 19, 2015
Jesus was not a ghost, not even a friendly one — and that really is the point of the story.
Sun, April 12, 2015
Jesus wills to be in our creation, preservation, and especially in our redemption.
Sun, April 05, 2015
Jesus has gone to a harrowing hell at the hands of sinful humanity and yet comes again in love and forgiveness.
Sun, March 29, 2015
Jesus upholds the weary, and yet his back is given to blows, his cheeks to fists, his beard to pulling.
Sun, March 22, 2015
The reign of God is the cause of creation and the creating force of a peaceable city.
Sun, March 15, 2015
Looking to the bronze serpent lifted high, a type of the One lifted for the life of the world, the Israelites live.
Sun, March 08, 2015
I no longer heard the word of the Lord; I looked through it.
Sun, March 01, 2015
Human freedom and divine gift are two freedoms that meet in the mystery of God’s calling.
Sun, February 22, 2015
Jesus’ love flows without destroying, gathering in its current what had been locked away in an abyss.
Sun, February 15, 2015
Looking at Jesus is to see more, not less, of what is true and good and beautiful.
Sun, February 08, 2015
Jesus, through whom all things were made, has come to glue the broken pieces with the paste of his blood.
Sun, February 01, 2015
Jesus has a destructive work to do against a plurality of destroying demons.
Sun, January 25, 2015
Unlike Jonah, Jesus is himself the Word that hooks them and pulls them from the deep.
Sun, January 18, 2015
Flowing in the grace of this freedom can never mean that all things are lawful for me.
Sun, January 11, 2015
God said, “Let there be light,” and suddenly the true Light that enlightens everyone illumined a new world.
Sun, January 04, 2015
For true homage, look for overwhelming joy, the bended knee, and open treasure chests spilling all praise.
Sun, December 28, 2014
Christ is vested as the Son of the Father, and we are gathered under the shadow of the Son’s flowing robes.
Sun, December 21, 2014
There is no holy land that locks, contains, or otherwise constrains the divine presence.
Sun, December 14, 2014
John the Baptist gives himself entirely as a martyr to his role as witness.
Sun, December 07, 2014
The word made flesh, who in both life and death is ever present, stands forever (Isa. 40:8).
Sun, November 30, 2014
Jesus comes in what he says and does, in parabolic word and perplexing deeds.
Sun, November 23, 2014
Jesus not only remains incognito as king but also identifies himself completely with the poorest of the poor.
Sun, November 16, 2014
We need to grasp how shocking and scandalous this parable would have been in Jesus’ time.
Sun, November 09, 2014
Again and again, the Bible describes the kingdom of God as a wedding feast, with Christ as the bridegroom.
Sun, November 02, 2014
A new spiritual family is coming into being to replace earthly families, tribes, and nations.
Sun, October 26, 2014
Even as we question God, God is questioning us.
Sun, October 19, 2014
God’s authority alone is absolute.
Sun, October 12, 2014
We are called to be joyful even in the most distressing external circumstances, because “the Lord is at hand.”
Sun, October 05, 2014
We’re just as capable of being wicked tenants as the chief priests and elders to whom the parable was first told.
Sun, September 28, 2014
The source of Jesus’ authority is the same as that of John the Baptist.
Sun, September 21, 2014
The householder in Jesus’ parable acts from mercy, giving the workers what they need, rather than what he owes them.
Sun, September 14, 2014
Forgiving those who have hurt us can be one of the most difficult demands of the Christian Gospel.
Sun, September 07, 2014
When a fellow church member sins against us, we offer them opportunities for repentance and reconciliation.
Sun, August 31, 2014
No profit comes unless it is by denying ourselves, taking up the cross, and following faithfully over time.
Sun, August 24, 2014
Our spiritual task is to die to self and live to God.
Sun, August 17, 2014
Jesus, expressing divine empathy, chooses a parenting metaphor.
Sun, August 10, 2014
Our Lord does not disdain to experience the opposition that his Church faces.
Sun, August 03, 2014
In response to his disciples’ apparent meager supplies, Jesus speaks a word of creation into nothingness.
Sun, July 27, 2014
For the kingdom of God, value is not limited to one space in history.
Sun, July 20, 2014
The Spirit of God, as we keep in step with him, is daily performing soul surgery on us.
Sun, July 13, 2014
Jesus challenges us to be sure we are a field well cultivated, and to help the Church be the same.
Sun, July 06, 2014
Jesus’ paradoxes reveal that motivation is more powerful than evidence for his hearers.
Sun, June 29, 2014
Once Judah began listening to inauthentic prophets, discerning the true voice of God became more and more difficult.
Sun, June 22, 2014
Persecution has come and gone for the body of Christ, much like the seasons’ variability.
Sun, June 15, 2014
The collect of the day proclaims that God has given us “grace, by the confession of a true faith.”
Sun, June 08, 2014
Christ travels to the bottom of our isolation, our humiliation, and our death. Then comes the ascent.
Sun, June 01, 2014
When someone else prays aloud, what goes through your mind?
Sun, May 25, 2014
Because of our creation by one God in his image, every tribe craves an intimate relationship with that one God.
Sun, May 18, 2014
Perhaps we can imagine Jesus laughing at Philip in a loving way, rather than scolding him.
Sun, May 11, 2014
Being a Christian has a great deal to do with growing more and more familiar with the voice of the shepherd.
Sun, May 04, 2014
Rebirth leads one to the world-defying mark of the Christian: mutual love from the deepest recesses of the heart.
Sun, April 27, 2014
Jesus appears and speaks the word the disciples need: peace.
Sun, April 20, 2014
That Christ seems to be a gardener has cosmos-rippling overtones.
Sun, April 13, 2014
We have each turned away from the Lord of all Love. And yet he comes to us.
Sun, April 06, 2014
Resurrection is this: “I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live” (Ezek. 37:14).
Sun, March 30, 2014
“Everything exposed by the light becomes visible” (Eph. 5:13). Simply, God sees the truth.
Sun, March 23, 2014
Water gushing from the rock is an answer to the question “Is the Lord among us or not”?
Sun, March 16, 2014
A new life floats by the light pressure of providential freedom.
Sun, March 09, 2014
The New Adam barks down evil: “Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.”
Sun, March 02, 2014
An open ear hears the Lord speaking in both a distant past and in the present moment.
Sun, February 23, 2014
Sanctity is about something akin to a decent human life.
Sun, February 16, 2014
The superabundant righteousness that Jesus commends places reconciliation even above religious observance.
Sun, February 09, 2014
It is pathetic and laughable to observe a strict fast, only to quarrel and fight and strike with the fist.
Sun, February 02, 2014
We die with Jesus and are affixed to him. Deathless life in him becomes our own life.
Sun, January 26, 2014
Jesus is “the great light,” the blazing radiance of the Father that illumines even “the region and shadow of death” (Matt. 4:16).
Sun, January 19, 2014
Woven into God’s salvific calling is the mystery of human anguish.
Sun, January 12, 2014
He that knew no sin became sin on our behalf.
Sun, January 05, 2014
What Jesus is in the life of God he remains even as his glory is hidden by his humanity.
Sun, December 29, 2013
The law is a gift, instruction for God’s people, treasured guidance for daily life.
Wed, December 25, 2013
Our peace and hope and faith, grounded in this holy child, is stronger than death itself.
Sun, December 22, 2013
Human agency must say, “Let it be to me according to your word,” but even this is a gift of prevenient grace.
Sun, December 15, 2013
Imprisoned, John the Baptist is in doubt about what he has done and what he has said.
Sun, December 08, 2013
Sun, December 01, 2013
Contemplating the brevity of life has its place, but loving death is the deadly sickness of those asleep to life’s wonder.
Sun, November 24, 2013
God comes in the person of Jesus Christ to defeat sin, the flesh, and the devil, a trinity but one horrific substance.
Sun, November 17, 2013
The Christ who comes to bring the kingdom comes to every door, window, and crevice of the heart.
Sun, November 10, 2013
Jesus came to preserve your body and soul unto everlasting life.
Sun, November 03, 2013
God will not be mocked.
Sun, October 27, 2013
The God of the Bible is seen in both fortune and misfortune.
Sun, October 20, 2013
Returning from exile, the people are planted like seed by the provident hand of God.
Sun, October 13, 2013
The people of the law go forth from Zion as exiles, resident aliens, strangers in a strange land.
Sun, October 06, 2013
Being faithful in small things, let us endure to the end.
Sun, September 29, 2013
Hope grows in the face of need, for need creates yearning.
Sun, September 22, 2013
The eyes of faith will see the Incarnation encoded in all of holy writ.
Sun, September 15, 2013
The earthbound sinner, set free, sees life as something new and astounding.
Sun, September 08, 2013
God devises a plan against what is contorted in us, shifting and fitting our affections to their rightful object.
Sun, September 01, 2013
The hearer rides the rhythm, floats upon the feeling of what is good, what is sorrowful, what is lost, what is found.
Sun, August 25, 2013
Formed in the womb, elected for words to the nations, the preacher is not a man of his own word.
Sun, August 18, 2013
Jesus’ love is the white flame that burns away our self-destruction, leaving only the brilliance of his own burning.
Sun, August 11, 2013
Coming to the altar with hatred toward your neighbor? Go home.
Sun, August 04, 2013
Christ is the key, the center, the end of all human history.
Sun, July 28, 2013
Discomfort with judgment is the sting of truth. God sees. The God of all-seeing truth is not, however, without loving-kindness.
Sun, July 21, 2013
God unfolds in bursting buds, pushes up a bluing heaven, asks questions with obvious answers, and paints pictures clear even to dim eyes.
Sun, July 14, 2013
Christ is the fulfillment of the law; he is not a false and cheap freedom that excuses crime and license.
Sun, July 07, 2013
A rejoicing and pure heart knows nothing of its inherent strength and competence.
Sun, June 30, 2013
We are vested for movement; a pilgrim Church in the eschatological age packs only the essentials, preferring titanium lightness.
Sun, June 23, 2013
The Lord is sheer silence. However sheer it may be, it is sound.
Sun, June 16, 2013

4 Pentecost

First reading and psalm: 1 Kings 21:1-10 (11-14), 15-21a • Ps. 5:1-8
Alternate: 2 Sam. 11:26-12:10, 13-15 • Ps. 32 • Gal. 2:15-21 • Luke 7:36-8:3

Sun, June 09, 2013

3 Pentecost, June 9

First reading and psalm: 1 Kings 17:8-16 (17-24) • Ps. 146

Alternate: 1 Kings 17:17-24 • Ps. 30 • Gal. 1:11-24 • Luke 7:11-17

Sun, June 02, 2013

2 Pentecost

First reading and psalm: 1 Kings 18:20-21 (22-29) 30-39 • Ps. 96
Alternate: 1 Kings 8:22-23, 41-43 • Ps. 96:1-9 • Gal. 1:1-12 • Luke 7:1-10

Sun, May 26, 2013

Trinity Sunday

Prov. 8:1-4,22-31 • Ps. 8 or Canticle 2 or 13 • Rom. 5:1-5 • John 16:12-15

Sun, May 19, 2013

Day of Pentecost

First reading and psalm: Acts 2:1-21 or Gen. 11:1-9 • Ps. 104:25-35, 37
Alternate: Rom. 8:14-17 or Acts 2:1-21 • John 14:8-17 (25-27)

Sun, May 12, 2013

7 Easter

Acts 16:16-34 • Ps. 97 • Rev. 22:12-14, 16-17, 20-21 • John 17:20-26

Sun, May 05, 2013

6 Easter

Acts 16:9-15 • Ps. 67 • Rev. 21:10,22–22:5 • John 14:23-29 or John 5:1-9

Sun, April 28, 2013

5 Easter

Acts 11:1-18 • Ps. 148 • Rev. 21:1-6 • John 13:31-35

Sun, April 21, 2013

4 Easter

Acts 9:36-43 • Ps. 23 • Rev. 7:9-17 • John 10:22-30

Sun, April 14, 2013

3 Easter

Acts 9:1-6 (7-20) • Ps. 30 • Rev. 5:11-14 • John 21:1-19

Sun, April 07, 2013

2 Easter

Acts 5:27-32 • Ps. 118:14-29 or 150 • Rev. 1:4-8 • John 20:19-31

Although we prefer a second naïveté (Paul Ricoeur), which admits a childlike wonder over every detail of Scripture, if asked, we will show our hermeneutic hand. “These things are written that you may believe that Jesus Christ is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:31). We read holy writ “that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in Jesus Christ” (BCP, p. 236).

Sun, March 31, 2013

Easter Day

First reading and psalm: Acts 10:34-43 or Isa. 65:17-25 • Ps. 118:1-2, 14-24
Alternate: 1 Cor. 15:19-26 or Acts 10:34-43 • John 20:1-18 or Luke 24:1-12

Sun, March 24, 2013

Palm Sunday

Isa. 50:4-9a • Ps. 31:9-16 • Phil. 2:5-11 • Luke 22:14-23:56 or Luke 23:1-49

Sun, March 17, 2013

Fifth Sunday in Lent

Isa. 43:16-21 • Ps. 126 • Phil. 3:4b-14 • John 12:1-8

Sun, March 10, 2013

Lent 4

Josh. 5:9-12 • Ps. 32 • 2 Cor. 5:16-21 • Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32

The first time manna falls from heaven it is greeted with a question: “What is it?” (Ex. 16:15). This fine flaky substance on the surface of the wilderness evokes curiosity, not awe or wonderment. A miracle need not look miraculous. The morning dew ascends, and there it is. “It is the bread that the Lord has given you to eat,” Moses tells the people. Every morning the bread is new as every morning the day is new.

Sun, March 03, 2013

Lent 3

Ex. 3:1-15 • Ps. 63:1-8 • 1 Cor. 10:1-13 • Luke 13:1-9

As he arrives at Horeb, the mountain of God, Moses sees an angel of the Lord revealing the mystery of the Incarnation. For “this light did not shine from some luminary among the stars but came from an earthly bush and surpassed the heavenly luminaries in brilliance” (Gregory of Nyssa, The Life of Moses). Or we may relate this to the Virgin Mary: “The light of divinity which through birth shone from her into human life did not consume the burning bush” (ibid).

Sun, February 24, 2013

Lent 2

Gen. 15:1-12; 17-18 • Ps. 27 • Phil. 3:17-4:1 • Luke 13:31-35

Sun, February 17, 2013

First Sunday in Lent

Deut. 26:1-11 • Ps. 91:1-2, 9-16 • Rom. 10:8b-13 • Luke 4:1-13

The first fruits are gathered in full knowledge that this is “the bounty of the Lord,” and thus a return is required. Only in giving back through oblation and recitation of the old story do the people affirm their utter dependency upon God. Their labor in the fields accrues to them not a mere speck of human merit, for this is “the land that the Lord your God is giving you” (Deut. 26:2).

Sun, February 10, 2013

Epiphany 5

Neh. 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10 • Ps. 19 • 1 Cor. 12:12-31a • Luke 4:14-21

Sun, February 03, 2013

Epiphany 4

Jer. 1:4-10 • Ps. 71:1-6 • 1 Cor. 13:1-13 • Luke 4:21-30

Today’s readings speak to us of vocation and of origin and of family, as well as of the often turbulent transition from childhood to maturity. Jeremiah recounts his vocation, saying: “the Lord came to me saying, ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.’”

Sun, January 27, 2013

Epiphany 3

Neh. 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10 • Ps. 19 • 1 Cor. 12:12-31a • Luke 4:14-21

This Gospel lesson centers on Jesus’ self-promotion in Nazareth, “where he had been brought up” (v. 16), and its environs. According to Luke, Jesus had just been baptized by John, and he had gone into the wilderness and there had been tempted by Satan. Now he arrives in Nazareth. This is therefore akin to our Lord’s debut, the first acts of his public ministry.

Sun, January 20, 2013

Epiphany 2

Isa. 62:1-5 • Ps. 36:5-10 • 1 Cor. 12:1-11 • John 2:1-11

Sun, January 13, 2013

First Sunday after the Epiphany

Isa. 43:1-7 • Ps. 29 • Acts 8:14-17 • Luke 3:15-17, 21-22

The Gospel reading for this day begins with confusion among the people on whether John might be the Messiah. John recounts to them his role as the forerunner, and tells them that the Messiah, when he comes, will be “more powerful than I” and that he will baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire.

Sun, January 06, 2013


Isa. 60:1-6 • Ps. 72:1-7, 10-14 • Eph. 3:1-12 • Matt. 2:1-12

The Greek root of Epiphany refers to a disclosure, and a primary aspect of the feast day is God’s disclosure of himself to the nations. This indeed had been a major theme of the Jewish prophets: God’s covenant with Abraham and his descendants was for the blessing of all the nations on the face of the earth. As God said, “by your descendants shall all the nations of the earth bless themselves, because you have obeyed my voice” (Gen. 22:18).

Sun, December 30, 2012

Christmas 1

Isa. 61:10-62:3 • Ps. 147 or 147:13-21 • Gal. 3:23-25, 4:4-7 • John 1:1-18

Sun, December 23, 2012

Advent 4

Mic. 5:2-5a • Canticle 3 or 15 or Ps. 80:1-7 • Heb. 10:5-10 • Luke 1:39-45, (46-55)

Sun, December 16, 2012

Advent 3

Zeph. 3:14-20 • Canticle 9 • Phil. 4:4-7 • Luke 3:7-18

“I will bear away everything from the face of the earth, says the Lord: man, beasts, birds of heaven, fish of the sea, all of it gone, swept away. This will be the ruin of the unrighteous” (Zeph. 1:2-3). The prophet is just starting. “I will extend a destroying hand over Judah, Jerusalem, the remnant of Baal, false priests, and those who bow to the hosts of heaven” (1:4-5). “A day of wrath is that day, a day of distress and anguish, a day of ruin and devastation” (1:15).

Sun, December 09, 2012

Advent 2

First Reading: Bar. 5:1-9 Alternate: Mal. 3:1-4 • Canticle 4 or 16 • Phil. 1:3-11 • Luke 3:1-6

Sun, December 02, 2012

Advent 1

Jer. 33:14-16; Ps. 25:1-9 • Dan. 12:1-3; Ps. 16 • 1 Thess. 3:9-13 • Luke 21:25-36

To speak persuasively is to draw up worn words and tried images, a stockpile of poetry and story, and then to give these bones new life by fitting them to the prudence of the hearer (Cicero, De Oratione). Our Old Testament prophet opines no new thought, just an old-time tradition: Quod semper, quod ubique, quod ab omnibus.

Sun, November 25, 2012

Christ the King

First reading: 2 Sam. 23:1-7; Ps. 132:1-13, (14-19) Alternate: Dan. 7:9-10, 11-14; Ps. 93 • Rev. 1:4b-8 • John 18:33-37

We will get to the godless, piercing them with an iron bar or the shaft of a spear, and throwing them to an all-consuming fire (see 2 Sam. 23:6,7).

Sun, November 18, 2012

Pentecost 25

First reading: 1 Sam. 1:4-20; 1 Sam. 2-1-10 Alternate: Dan. 12:1-3; Ps. 16 • Heb. 10:11-14 (15-18) 19-25 • Mark 13:1-8

Sun, November 11, 2012

Pentecost 24

First reading: Ruth 3:1-5; 4:13-17; Ps. 127 Alternate: 1 Kings 17:8-16; Ps. 146 • Heb. 9:24-28 • Mark 12:38-44

Sun, November 04, 2012

Pentecost 23
All Saints Sunday observed

First reading: Ruth 1:1-18; Ps. 146 Alternate: Deut. 6:1-9; Ps. 119:1-8 • Heb. 9:11-14 • Mark 12:28-34

Today the preacher would do well to speak of love and love’s obedience. If you love me, you will keep my commandments. This preacher, on All Saints Sunday, will not withhold from memory a dead daughter and a dead father and that countless throng with whom their bones rest. The preacher will announce a love that extends to the living and the dead.

Sun, October 28, 2012

Pentecost 22

First reading: Job 42:1-6, 10-17; Ps. 34:1-8 (19-22) Alternate: Jeremiah 31:7-9; Ps. 126; Hebrews 7:23-28; Mark 10:46-52

In the end Job’s fortune is restored. He has sons and daughters, livestock and cash, lengthening of days equaling 140 years. God comes to him in wonder, a whirlwind and a voice exceeding all human knowledge. Who is Job to question? “I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me” (42:3).

Sun, October 21, 2012

Pentecost 21

First reading: Job 38:1-7 (34-41); Ps. 104:1-8, 25, 37b Alternate: Isa. 53:4-12; Ps. 91:9-16 • Heb. 5:1-10 • Mark 10:35-45

Sun, October 14, 2012

Pentecost 20

First reading: Job 23:1-9, 16-17, Ps. 22:1-15 Alternate: Amos 5:6-7, 10-15, Ps. 90:12-17 • Heb. 4:12-16 • Mark 10:17-31

Sun, October 07, 2012

Pentecost 19

First reading: Job 1:1; 2:1-10, Ps. 26 Alternate: Gen. 2:18-24, Ps. 8 • Heb. 1:1-4; 2:5-12 • Mark 10:2-16

Sun, September 30, 2012

Pentecost 18

First reading: Esther 7:1-6, 9-10; 9:20-22; Ps. 124 Alternate: Num. 11:4-6, 10-16, 24-29; Ps. 19:7-14 • James 5:13-20 • Mark 9:38-50

Sun, September 23, 2012

Pentecost 17

First reading: Prov. 31:10-31; Ps. 1 Alternate: Wis. 1:16-2:1 or Jer. 11:18-20; Ps. 54 • James 3:13-4:3, 7-8a; Mark 9:30-37

Sun, September 16, 2012

Pentecost 16

First reading: Prov. 1:20-33; Ps. 19 or Wis. 7:26-8:1 Alternate: Isa. 50:4-9a; Ps. 116:1-8 • James 3:1-12 • Mark 8:27-38

Sun, September 09, 2012

Pentecost 15
First reading: Prov. 22:1-2, 8-9, 22-23; Ps. 125 Alternate: Isa. 35:4-7a; Ps. 146 • James 2:1-10, (11-13), 14-17 • Mark 7:24-37

Sun, September 02, 2012

Pentecost 14

First reading: Song 2:8-13; Ps. 45:1-2, 7-10 Alternate: Deut. 4:1-2, 6-9; Ps. 15 • James 1:17-27 • Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23

Sun, August 26, 2012

Pentecost 13

First reading: 1 Kings 8:(1, 6, 10-11) 22-30, 41-43; Ps. 84 Alternate: Josh. 24:1-2a, 14-18; Ps. 34:15-22 • Eph. 6:10-20 • John 6:56-69

Sun, August 19, 2012
Pentecost 12
Sun, August 12, 2012

Pentecost 11

First reading:  2 Sam. 18:5-9, 15, 31-33; Ps. 130
Alternate: 1 Kings 19:4-8; Psalm 34:1-8
Eph. 4:25-5:2 • John 6:35, 41-51

“I am the bread of life,” Jesus tells the grumbling crowd. It’s an immense claim, and they rightly jump at its implications. He does not say I am a bread of life: a wise teacher, one who has come to reveal God’s will to you, but the bread of life, for which you have long hungered.

Sun, August 05, 2012
Pentecost 10
Sun, July 29, 2012
Pentecost 9
Sun, July 22, 2012
Pentecost 8
Sun, July 15, 2012
Pentecost 7
Sun, July 08, 2012
Pentecost 6
Sun, July 01, 2012

Pentecost 5
First reading: 2 Sam. 1:1, 17-27; Ps. 130
Alternate: Wis. 1:13-15, 2:23-24
or Lam. 3:21-33; Ps. 30
2 Cor. 8:7-15 • Mark 5:21-43

Blood. For twelve years it had been blood, day after day, without any hint of relief. All her clothes were stained by it, its stench always hung about her body. It had cost her all her money, all her friends. No one would share a meal with her, no one would hold her tenderly with love. It was all the world could see in her — an outcast, marked indelibly by this curse.

Sun, June 24, 2012
Pentecost 4
Sun, June 17, 2012

Pentecost 3
First reading: 1 Sam. 15:34-16:13; Ps. 20
Alternate: Ez. 17:22-24; Ps. 92:1-4, 11-14
2 Cor. 5:6-10, (11-13), 14-17 • Mark 4:26-34

In his parables of the kingdom, Jesus speaks with striking audacity. In the eyes of the world, he is a barely tested young rabbi, hardly known outside his native region. He has only a few followers. Most authorities who have encountered him are full of questions and condemnation.

Sun, June 10, 2012

Pentecost 2
First reading: 1 Sam. 8:4-11, (12-15), 16-20, (11:14-15); Ps. 138
Alternate: Gen. 3:8-15; Ps. 130
2 Cor. 4:13-5:1 • Mark 3:20-35

Sun, June 03, 2012
It’s hard to talk about God. We live in a world where words are slippery and promises contingent.
Sun, May 27, 2012

Day of Pentecost

Acts 2:1-21 or Ezek. 37:1-14
Ps. 104:25-35,37
Rom. 8:22-27 or Acts 2:1-21
John 15:26,26; 16:4b-15

On this sacred day, the breath of the Lord, coming as violent wind, flickering tongues of fire, native speech to the nations, is entirely life-giving. This is the Spirit poured out upon all flesh. Prophecy, visions, and dreams are ignited by the sparking wind. Everyone hears and dreams about the wonders of God “in their own language.” The turbulence of the Spirit is directed toward a single intelligence. Everyone understands.

Sun, May 20, 2012

Easter 7
Acts 1:15-17, 21-26 • Ps. 1
John 5:9-13 • John 17:6-19

Sun, May 13, 2012

Easter 6
Acts 10:44-48 • Ps. 98
1 John 5:1-6 • John 15:9-17

Knowing that the grace of the Holy Spirit had fallen upon foreign nations, hearing them speak in tongues and glorifying God, Peter responds. Indeed, “he commands them to be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Acts 10:48). Not offended by his forthright words, they obey to the letter and “ask Peter to remain with them a few days.” Peter acts as an Abba, a spiritual father commissioned with authoritative words. His words compel obedience and invite a deeper listening. “Stay with us a few days.”

Sun, May 06, 2012

Easter 5
Acts 8:26-40 • Ps. 22:24-30
1 John 4:7-21 • John 15:1-8

The fig tree puts forth its figs, and the vines are in blossom; they give forth fragrance. Arise my love, my fair one, and come away. The garden is a garden of delight and an irresistible invitation. Love. Jesus says, “I am the true vine and my Father is a farmer.” The farmer shows his cutting care, discarding the fruitless branch for the fire and pruning where the fruit grows. Thus his care is loving and life-giving.

Sun, April 29, 2012

Easter 4
Acts 4:5-12 • Ps. 23
1 John 3:16-24 • John 10:11-18

Sun, April 22, 2012

Easter 3

Acts 3:12-19 • Ps. 4
1 John 3:1-7 • Luke 24:36b-48

In the Acts of the Apostles, the disciples begin to do what Jesus did; his life in them, they replicate his actions, though being careful to confess that they act “in the name of Jesus Christ.” Peter reaches out to a man lame from birth and raises him to exuberant life and strength. Explaining himself, Peter says, “You Israelites!” Our ears awaken and twitch with discomfort! “Jesus whom you delivered over and denied in the presence of Pilate” (3:13); “you killed the author of life” (3:15).

Sun, April 15, 2012

Easter 2
Acts 4:32-35 • Ps. 133
1 John 1:1-2:2 • John 20:19-31

A quick conversion illustrated: the enthroned ego leading a chaotic life is replaced by an enthroned Christ who puts one’s daily agenda in manageable if not perfect order. Clear, but not true. Conversion is not merely private, nor is Christian transformation immediate. Insisting that one go from habitual sin to super sanctity in short order makes a sorry Christian: irritable, unhappy, unwise.

Sun, April 08, 2012

Easter Day

Acts 10:34-43 or Isa. 25:6-9
Ps. 118:1-2, 14-24
1 Cor. 15:1-11 or Acts 10:34-43
John 20:1-18 or Mark 16:1-8

Sun, April 01, 2012

Palm Sunday

Is. 50:4-9a • Ps. 31:9-16 • Phil. 2:5-11
Mark 14:1-15:47 or Mark 15:1-39 (40-47)

Sun, March 25, 2012

The Fifth Sunday in Lent

Jer. 31:31-34 • Ps. 51:1-13 or 119:9-16
Heb. 5:5-10 • John 12:20-33

Sun, March 18, 2012

The Fourth Sunday in Lent

Num. 21:4-9 • Ps. 107:1-3,17-22
Eph. 2:1-10 • John 3:14-21

Sun, March 11, 2012
The Third Sunday in Lent Ex. 20:1-17 • Ps. 19 1 Cor. 1:18-25 • John 2:13-22
Sun, March 04, 2012

The Second Sunday in Lent

Gen. 17:1-7, 15-16 • Ps. 22:22-30
Rom. 4:13-25 • Mark 8:31-38

Sun, February 26, 2012
The First Sunday in Lent
Sun, February 19, 2012
Last Sunday after the Epiphany
Sun, February 12, 2012
Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany
Sun, February 05, 2012

The Fifth Sunday of Epiphany

Isa. 40:21-31 • Ps. 147:1-12, 21c
1 Cor. 9:16-23 • Mark 1:29-39

Religious studies, however compelling and intriguing to a few, is not the subject of Christian preaching. The preacher is not a “disinterested” academician, though he is, to be sure, often found among books. He preaches under a divine necessity: the One True God.

Sun, January 29, 2012
4 Epiphany
Sun, January 22, 2012
3 Epiphany
Sun, January 15, 2012
2 Epiphany
Sun, January 08, 2012
1 Epiphany: Baptism of Our Lord
Sun, January 01, 2012
The Holy Name
Sun, December 25, 2011
Christmas Day
Sun, December 18, 2011
The Fourth Sunday of Advent
Sun, December 11, 2011
The Third Sunday of Advent
Sun, December 04, 2011
The Second Sunday of Advent
Wed, November 30, 2011
The Last Sunday after Pentecost