Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany, February 3, 2019, Year C

Please see How to Use Lection Connection

Full lections can be read here.

Based on the Readings as Set

First Reading (Jeremiah 1:4-10)

The Lord assures the reluctant Jeremiah that he has known him from before birth, having appointed him prophet to the nations. Assuring the young man that he is now to consider himself with authority over them, he is to speak the Word, knowing that the Lord is with him.

Psalm (71:1-6)

The Psalmist asserts that he takes refuge in the safety of the Lord, his rock and fortress. He pleads for rescue from the wicked, unjust and cruel. He has always trusted in the Lord, the one who has been with him from birth. He vows to praise the Lord without ceasing.

Second Reading (1 Corinthians 13:1-13)

In addressing those who desire the more dramatic spiritual gifts, Paul says that without love they are worthless. Love sets aside personal interests in order to serve others. Those other gifts belong only to this age, but love, the greatest gift, will, with faith and hope, endure forever.

Gospel (Luke 4:21-30)

The citizens of Nazareth express doubt about Jesus because he grew up among them. Jesus points out two examples of prophets who had better response from Gentiles than from their own people. Enraged, his listeners try to kill him, but he passes safely through their midst.


  • The Word of God is often upsetting to speaker and to hearer
  • The Lord will provide a way of escape
  • God’s providence “provides” for those given difficult Kingdom tasks
  • We must learn and conform to what God’s priorities are
  • The mission of God is to the entire world, not just “our” people



Third Sunday after the Epiphany, January 27, 2019, Year C

Please see How to Use Lection Connection

Full lections can be read here.

Based on the Readings as Set

First Reading (Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10)

Newly returned to Jerusalem from their long exile in Babylon, the Israelites are hungry for the Word of God. Ezra the scribe reads the law of Moses to them, causing them to worship and to weep. They are told to see that day as holy, the joy of the Lord being their strength.

Psalm (19)

Even though the creation itself cannot speak it nevertheless declares God’s word. Like the sun revives the earth each day, the Law of God joyfully revives the soul. Following it has its own rewards. Our thoughts, as well as our words, need to be in tune with God’s ways.

Second Reading (1 Corinthians 12:12-31a)

St. Paul describes how the followers of Christ are actually all essential members of his body and are each to use spiritual gifts for the common good. It is God alone who distributes these gifts, but some are more important than others and it is these that are to be desired in the community.

Gospel (Luke 4:14-21)

Luke relates how Jesus, at the outset of his ministry, is filled with the Spirit and subject to universal praise. At his home synagogue in Nazareth he publicly identifies with Isaiah’s prophecy of a Spirit-filled figure who will signify the arrival of the Lord’s salvation for Israel.


  • The Word of God brings joy to the believer
  • The Holy Spirit, having infused the ministry of Jesus now enables and directs his body, the Church
  • The new era of salvation introduced by Jesus is the era of the Holy Spirit
  • God provides for his people through his Word and his Spirit





Second Sunday after the Epiphany, January 20, 2019, Year C

Please see How to Use Lection Connection

Full lections can be read here.

Based on the Readings as Set

First Reading (Isaiah 62:1-5)

Isaiah proclaims that when Israel is vindicated and the nations see her glory, the Lord shall give her a new name. She will be no longer known as forsaken but as the delight of the Lord. Indeed, he will be joined to her in marriage, rejoicing as a groom would celebrate over his new bride.

Psalm (36:5-10)

The Psalmist declares the Lord unmatched in his lovingkindness and faithfulness, profound in righteousness and judgment. In his house is an abundant feast and all peoples may take shelter in him. Continue in your favour toward your people, O Lord, source of our life and light!

Second Reading (1 Corinthians 12:1-11)

Paul informs the Corinthians that the diversity of spiritual gifts in their midst is actually a sign of unity since they are given by the same Holy Spirit. In fact, the Holy Trinity is behind all truly Christian activity. It is the work of the Spirit to allot a gift to each believer for the common good.

Gospel (John 2:1-11)

Early in his ministry Jesus goes to a wedding in Cana where the wine runs out early. He changes a considerable amount of water into wine. The steward is impressed that its excellent quality was saved to serve last. By this first sign Jesus reveals his glory and his disciples believe in him.


  • God as married joyfully to his people
  • When people encounter the glory of Almighty God they are drawn to believe in him
  • The wedding feast as a metaphor for the Kingdom of God
  • It is the desire of God for his people ultimately to dwell in an abundance of both material and spiritual gifts



Baptism of the Lord, January 13, 2019, Year C

Please see How to Use Lection Connection 

Full lections can be read here.

Based on the Readings as Set

First Reading (Isaiah 43:1-7)

After informing Israel that her exile was the result of disobedience, Isaiah now reassures her she will pass through these menacing waters because the Lord has created and redeemed her. Giving the nations in exchange, he will gather home her offspring, all those called by his name.

Psalm (29)

The Psalmist calls all heavenly beings to worship Yahweh for his glory and strength, demonstrated by his voice shaking the very earth. 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 8:14-17)

The Apostles in Jerusalem hear that the Word of God had been accepted outside of the Holy Land in Samaria. They send Peter and John to this group who had only been baptized in water and when the Apostles lay hands upon them, they receive the Holy Spirit for the first time.

Gospel (Luke 3:15-17, 21-22)

John the Baptist raises expectations in the people that he might be the Messiah, but he claims that a much greater one is coming who will baptize them with the Holy Spirit and with fire. Upon Jesus himself being baptized, a heavenly voice proclaims him as the beloved Son of God.


  • The waters of baptism are both disturbing and assuring
  • Jesus identifies with the historical experience of Israel
  • What Jesus brings overflows the expectations of Israel
  • The God of all creation has acted definitively in the arrival of the Christ
  • Christian baptism has both inner and outer dimensions