Readings for February 19, 2017 Year A Seventh Sunday after the Epiphany

Please see How to Use Lection Connection

First Reading and Psalm

  • Leviticus 19:1-2, 9-18
  • Psalm 119:33-40

Second Reading

  • 1 Corinthians 3:10-11, 16-23

Gospel

  • Matthew 5:38-48

Full lections can be read here.

Based on the Readings as Set

In this passage we are told that our need to be holy is because YAHWEH himself is holy. Five times we are reminded that we are to live in these ways simply because “I am the LORD”. This Holiness Code is spelled out in terms of our responsibility to love our neighbor as ourselves. This goes beyond simply treating others with respect to actively promoting their welfare. The Psalmist understands that the Commandments are not just an arbitrary list of rules but a way or path to the kind of life promised by YAHWEH for his people. It is the Psalmist’s deepest prayer to know, understand, and walk in this way. St. Paul continues making his point to the Corinthian church that their faith and their standing with God rests on Christ alone and not on the work of any merely human leader. Built on this foundation, they are a holy temple, indwelt by the Holy Spirit and, because they belong to Christ, precious in God’s eyes. In the Gospel Jesus he calls us to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect. While this may sound like the Holiness Code, our Lord makes it clear that he is setting the standard even higher for his followers, to the point of impossibility apart from the grace of God.

As Introductions

Old Testament

In this passage we are told that our need to be holy is because YAHWEH himself is holy. Five times we are reminded that we are to live in these ways simply because “I am the LORD”. This Holiness Code is spelled out in terms of our responsibility to love our neighbor as ourselves. This goes beyond simply treating others with respect to actively promoting their welfare.

Psalm

The Psalmist understands that the Commandments are not just an arbitrary list of rules but a way or path to the kind of life promised by YAHWEH for his people. It is the Psalmist’s deepest prayer to know, understand, and walk in this way.

New Testament

St. Paul continues making his point to the Corinthian church that their faith and their standing with God rests on Christ alone and not on the work of any merely human leader. Built on this foundation, they are a holy temple, indwelt by the Holy Spirit and, because they belong to Christ, precious in God’s eyes.

Gospel

In the Gospel Jesus he calls us to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect. While this may sound like the Holiness Code, our Lord makes it clear that he is setting the standard even higher for his followers, to the point of impossibility apart from the grace of God.

 

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