Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany, Year A, February 16, 2020

Please see How to Use Lection Connection.

Full lections can be read here.

 

Based on the Readings as Set

First Reading (Deuteronomy 30:15-20)

With Israel about to enter the Promised Land, Moses addresses the nation for the last time. In dramatic fashion he beseeches them to follow the ways of the Lord in order to be successful in the Land. They must choose life with blessings or death with judgment.

Psalm (119:1-8)

The Psalmist affirms that blessings are in store for those who truly follow the Lord’s commandments. Strongly desiring to do so himself, he commits to understanding and keeping the divine laws. Praising God for them, he is confident of not being forsaken.

Second Reading (1 Corinthians 3:1-9)

St. Paul laments that the divisions among the Corinthians reveal their immaturity in Christ. They are more “of the flesh” than “of the spirit” in following various leaders instead seeing them as humble servants of Christ, working to build up the whole church.

Gospel (Matthew 5:21-37)

Jesus calls his disciples to a way of life that understands that even the attitudes that lead to sinful action, not just sinful action itself, are liable to judgement. Sin is to be avoided at all costs. Jesus demands purity of thought and honourable behaviour.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • Following the Lord is a serious business
  • The heart of the matter is a matter of the heart
  • Following God’s ways ultimately leads to blessing and life while disobedience ultimately leads to judgment and death
  • The Christian life is a constant struggle against our “natural” inclinations and cannot be successful without dedication and the inner work of the Holy Spirit
  • The Christian life is a matter of constantly choosing to follow the Lord

Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany, Year A, February 2, 2020

Lection Connection for the Presentation of the Lord 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 (Micah 6:1-8)

Micah pictures the Lord calling the mountains as witnesses to what he teaches wayward Judah. Do they not remember being brought out of Egypt to the Promised Land? It is not more ritual sacrifices that he requires, but humbly walking in his way of love and justice.

Psalm (Psalm 15)

The Psalmist points out that those who would dwell with the Lord must walk blamelessly, speaking and doing the truth no matter the cost.

Second Reading (1 Corinthians 1:18-31)

Paul points out that the message of the cross contradicts the way spiritual truth is normally acquired. It is foolishness to Greeks seeking wisdom and weakness to Jews seeking powerful signs. The Lord alone saves and therefore no one can boast.

Gospel (Matthew 5:1-12)

Matthew recounts how Jesus, having ascended a mountain, teaches about the attitudes and actions that characterize those who will inherit the kingdom of God. He outlines a blessed life of meekness and humility which results in opposition and even persecution.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • God’s ways are not our ways and can sometimes contradict them
  • God is the one to exercise spiritual power, while we are to follow him in humility
  • It is God who saves, not we ourselves
  • To walk humbly before our God is to put his ways above ours and to believe that he will indeed save us in spite of appearances to the contrary