Readings for Year C Proper 19 (24) (September 11, 2016)

First Reading and Psalm

  • Jeremiah 4:11-12, 22-28
  • Psalm 14

Alternate First Reading and Psalm

  • Exodus 32:7-14
  • Psalm 51:1-10

Second Reading

  • 1 Timothy 1:12-17


  • Luke 15:1-10

Full lections can be read here

Based on the Readings as Set

Jeremiah records Yahweh’s lament that he finds his people so “skilled in doing evil” that a terrible judgment is inevitable. The prophet has a vision of the resulting devastation but also notes Yahweh’s promise that “I will not make a full end”. Grace shines through. The Psalmist makes a similar observation regarding the sin of humanity and predicts a similar result. At the same time he affirms that “God is with the company of the righteous.” Grace shines through. St. Paul is amazed that grace has overflowed even to him, the foremost of sinners. Grace shines through. Finally, the circle is complete as Jesus focuses not on the depth of human sin but on the intense joy of heaven at the repentance of a single sinner! Grace shines through.

Based on the Alternative Readings

In the face of all the ugliness of Israel’s sin in the very shadow of the Almighty at Sinai, grace shines through. Moses intervenes and persuades Yahweh to change his mind and not destroy the nation then and there. The Psalmist admits that he is a born sinner but knows that God can create a clean heart within him. Grace shines through.