Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany, February 4, 2018, Year B

Please see How to Use Lection Connection

Full lections can be read here.

Based on the Readings as Set

First Reading (Isaiah 40:21-31)

In their time of crisis many Israelites are convinced that Yahweh does not intervene because he is unaware of their need. Isaiah reminds them that Yahweh is the awesome Creator and Sustainer, not only of the entire universe but also of the faithful individual.

Psalm (147:1-11, 20c)

The Psalmist calls for Israel to praise Yahweh because the great Creator and Sustainer of the universe is the same One who lifts up the downtrodden and gathers the outcasts to a restored Jerusalem. He delights not in the powerful but in those who trust in his love.

Second Reading (1 Corinthians 9:16-23)

St. Paul indicates how his primary motivation is to bring as many as possible to salvation through the proclamation of the Gospel. For this reason he has labored without pay and adapted himself to all kinds and conditions of humanity. His reward is simply in the doing.

Gospel (Mark 1:29-39)

Jesus’ early Galilean ministry continues as he heals Peter’s mother-in-law, causing the whole city to bring him the sick and demon-possessed. Ordering the cast-out spirits to keep his identity secret, after a time of prayer he urgently moves on through the region.


  • God meets our needs, in his time and in his way
  • God is keenly aware of our need
  • We need to trust in God’s love when he does not appear to be present
  • When God does bring salvation it comes with urgency
  • God has a special concern for the downtrodden and outcast



Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany, January 28, 2018, Year B

Please see How to Use Lection Connection 

Full lections can be read here.

Based on the Readings as Set

First Reading (Deuteronomy 18:15-20)

Yahweh, given Israel’s reluctance to encounter him directly like they recently did at Sinai, will provide them with prophets like Moses to mediate his word. Those who hear it will be under a serious obligation to obey and woe betide the false prophet.

Psalm (111)

The works of Yahweh incite the Psalmist to praise because they reveal his merciful and majestic nature and provide for the material and spiritual well being of his people. True wisdom begins with this realization and leads to unending praise.

Second Reading (1 Corinthians 8:1-13)

St. Paul turns to the issue of eating meat that had been offered to idols. Those mature in faith can see that such meat is merely food but they should not exercise their freedom to eat if it leads weaker Christians to partake in something they still consider wrong.

Gospel (Mark 1:21-28)

Jesus astounds his listeners at Capernaum by teaching with unique authority. When he casts out an unclean spirit from a man after it had recognized him as the One God had sent to destroy his kind, everyone is even more amazed and his fame spreads.


  • God’s (Christ’s) works reveal who he is
  • By various means God makes his will known to humanity
  • No other spiritual power can stand against the one true God
  • The true prophet speaks with God’s authority
  • That there is only one God has implications for the way we live



Third Sunday after the Epiphany, January 21, 2018, Year B

Please see How to Use Lection Connection

Full lections can be read here.

Based on the Readings as Set

First Reading (Jonah 3:1-5, 10)

Yahweh comes to Jonah again, sending him to the great foreign city of Nineveh to warn its inhabitants of impending judgment. He does so and they sincerely repent, causing God to spare them.

Psalm (62:5-12)

The Psalmist puts his hope in God alone, the rock upon whom he rests for salvation and refuge. Other humans are of no help and riches, ill-gotten or not, provide false confidence. Only God has the power to make things right.

Second Reading (1 Corinthians 7:29-31)

Because God’s future is fast arriving, says St. Paul to the Christians at Corinth, they should live accordingly. All their normal relationships, losses, successes, all their buying and selling, should not distract them from the urgency of the times.

Gospel (Mark 1:14-20)

Jesus begins his public ministry with the announcement that the long-awaited time has arrived, issuing a call to repent and believe the good news that the kingdom of God is near. Simon, James and John respond immediately to his invitation to follow him.


  • The call to repentance is an expression of God’s mercy entrusted to his servants
  • The call to follow Jesus interrupts our patterns of living
  • The urgency of the Gospel resets our priorities
  • There is nothing more important than being in relationship with God and in tune with his activity




Second Sunday after the Epiphany, January 14, 2018, Year B

Please see How to Use Lection Connection

Full lections can be read here.

Based on the Readings as Set

First Reading (1 Samuel 3:1-10, [11-20])

Toward the end of the rule of the judges, the word of Yahweh unexpectedly comes to the boy Samuel serving under Eli the priest. It is a difficult word for the budding prophet because it regards Yahweh’s coming punishment upon Eli and his sons.

Psalm (139:1-6, 13-18)

The Psalmist celebrates the fact that Yahweh not only knows him inside out, but also, knowing what plans he had for him, wondrously formed him his mother’s womb. Such a God far exceeds the Psalmist’s ability to understand.

Second Reading (1 Corinthians 6:12-20)

In stressing the freedom of Christians, St. Paul takes care to point out that not all things are beneficial. He is especially concerned about sexual sins because they violate the body, which is made for the Lord, for his glory, and is the temple of the Holy Spirit.

Gospel (John 1:43-51)

After responding to Jesus’ invitation to follow him, Philip tells his brother Nathaniel that he has found the Expected One. After Jesus shows that he had intimate prior knowledge of him Nathaniel believes and is told that he will come to understand more about the true identity of the Son of Man.


  • The call of God
  • God makes himself known (reveals himself)
  • We are personally known and cared for by the Lord
  • The Lord orders our life for his purposes
  • Bodily existence is spiritually significant



Baptism of the Lord, January 7, 2018, Year B

Lection Connection for Epiphany, January 6, 2018, can be found here.

Please see How to Use Lection Connection

Full lections can be read here.

Based on the Readings as Set

First Reading (Genesis 1:1-5)

In the beginning, God commands light to burst upon both the formless earth and the dark waters of the deep over which his Spirit is hovering. He declares the light “good” and names it “day” and the darkness “night”, evening and morning forming the first day.

Psalm (29)

All in heaven are called to worship Yahweh for his glory and strength, his voice shaking the very earth itself. All in his temple cry “Glory!” to the eternal king who sits above the flood. May he bless his people with strength and peace.

Second Reading (Acts 19:1-7)

When St. Paul first arrives at Ephesus he encounters a group of disciples who have been baptized into John’s baptism. He explains that John pointed to Jesus and when they are baptized in Jesus’ name the Holy Spirit comes upon them with tongues and prophecy.

Gospel (Mark 1:4-11)

St. John appears in the wilderness baptizing great throngs for the forgiveness of sins. However, he wants them to look to another who will baptize them with the Holy Spirit. When he baptizes Jesus the Holy Spirit descends and a heavenly voice declares him to be “my Son with whom I am well-pleased.”


  • The Holy Spirit as creator
  • Jesus, water, and the Holy Spirit
  • The awesome creative power of God
  • God speaks and things happen
  • Jesus is the one, and no other




The Epiphany, January 6, 2018, Year B

Please see How to Use Lection Connection

Full lections can be read here.

Based on the Readings as Set

First Reading (Isaiah 60:1-6)

Isaiah informs Israel that, while things are indeed dark at present, a dramatic change is coming. The glory of YAHWEH will so shine upon them that the nations will be attracted and bring their wealth, including gold and frankincense, to a joyful Israel.

Psalm (72:1-7, 10-14)

The Psalm is a prayer for the king, that he may rule in justice and righteousness, defending the poor and crushing the oppressor. May the kings of the nations bring him tribute and gifts, bowing down and serving him. May he live forever!

Second Reading (Ephesians 3:1-12)

St. Paul speaks of the mystery, now revealed especially in his own apostleship, of how the Gentiles are to be included in the people of God. This was always God’s purpose in sending Jesus, to whom anyone can come by faith.

Gospel (Matthew 2:1-12)

Wise men from the East arrive at King Herod’s court to tell of another king whose nearby birth was marked by a heavenly sign. Sent to Bethlehem and following the star, they find and worship the infant, presenting him with gold, frankincense and myrrh. Being warned in a dream, they do not report back to jealous Herod.


  • The nations come to the King bearing gifts (no nation left behind)
  • The inclusion of the Gentiles in the plan of God
  • The time of fulfillment is breaking upon us with the birth of Jesus
  • The sheer enormity of the Christ-event
  • Gifts for a King?