Readings for July 23, 2017 Year A Seventh Sunday after Pentecost

The format for Lection Connection has changed slightly. Please see How to Use Lection Connection for an explanation of these changes.

 

First Reading and Psalm

  • Genesis 28:10-19a
  • Psalm 139:1-12, 23-24

OR

  • Isaiah 44:6-8
  • Psalm 86:11-17

Second Reading

  • Romans 8:12-25

Gospel

  • Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43

Full lections can be read here.

Based on the Readings as Set

First Reading

On his way to find a wife among his relatives in Haran, Jacob has a dream of a ladder between earth and heaven right where he lay. Yahweh confirms that he is heir to the same promise he had made to Abraham and vows that he will not leave him until all is accomplished and the whole earth is blessed. Awestruck at the presence of Yahweh, Jacob calls the place Beth-el, or “house of God”.

Psalm

The Psalmist, awestruck that Yahweh knows him so intimately, invites divine examination in order to expose any wickedness and be led in the everlasting way. Because there is no place where the Spirit of the LORD is absent, he remains confident that Yahweh’s hand will protect him wherever he goes.

Second Reading

St. Paul continues to show how being led by the Spirit contrasts with being led by the flesh. The former leads to death, the latter to life, and adoption as God’s children and so heirs of his coming new creation. Any suffering along the way cannot compare to this coming glory for those already bearing the first fruits of the Spirit.

Gospel

Jesus tells the crowd about a farmer who sowed good seed on his land only to discover that an enemy had also sowed weeds. He decides to put off separating the weeds and the wheat until harvest. To his disciples he explains that this is about how both children of the kingdom and the children of the evil one exist side by side in the present world but that at the end of the age they will be separated, the former to shine in the sun, the latter to burn in the furnace of fire.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • led by the Lord/the Spirit
  • the work of the Spirit
  • the way of the Lord versus the way of the world
  • a new world coming for the faithful
  • awe at the presence of God
  • justice will prevail in spite of current circumstances

Based on the Alternative Readings

First Reading

In straightforward simplicity Yahweh asserts his uniqueness as the one and only God. He challenges other so-called gods to prove themselves by predicting the future as he has done. Israel, witnessing this truth over and over again throughout history, has every reason to trust in him and not be afraid of current circumstances.

Psalm

The Psalmist pleads for an undivided heart, focused wholly upon Yahweh and serving him alone, glorifying his name in worship. Based upon his history with Yahweh, whose steadfast love has delivered him before, he asks for deliverance from those who disregard the ways of Yahweh and now threaten his very life.

Second Reading

St. Paul continues to show how being led by the Spirit contrasts with being led by the flesh. The former leads to death, the latter to life, and adoption as God’s children and so heirs of his coming new creation. Any suffering along the way cannot compare to this coming glory for those already bearing the first fruits of the Spirit.

Gospel

Jesus tells the crowd about a farmer who sowed good seed on his land only to discover that an enemy had also sowed weeds. He decides to put off separating the weeds and the wheat until harvest. To his disciples he explains that this is about how both children of the kingdom and the children of the evil one exist side by side in the present world but that at the end of the age they will be separated, the former to shine in the sun, the latter to burn in the furnace of fire.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • led by the Lord/the Spirit
  • the work of the Spirit
  • the way of the Lord versus the way of the world
  • a new world coming for the faithful
  • there is only one God and, all powerful, he will accomplish his purpose
  • justice will prevail in spite of current circumstances
  • trust on the basis of God’s historical acts of salvation

 

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