For September 27 (Proper 21, Year A)

Philippians 2:1-13 Years before the first Gospels were written, maybe even decades before, the earliest Christians were sharing the story of Jesus through hymns they could quickly memorize. Paul quotes one of them in this week’s reading. Here’s how it probably went as [...]

By |2020-09-26T13:11:45+00:00September 24th, 2020|Categories: Notes on Weekly Readings|Comments Off on For September 27 (Proper 21, Year A)

For September 20 (Proper 20, Year A)

Matthew 20:1-16 Some people have been working all day, while others show up later and later, right up to the last minute. At the end of the day their employer decides to pay everybody for a full day's work, even the latest [...]

By |2020-09-19T10:04:53+00:00September 19th, 2020|Categories: Notes on Weekly Readings|Comments Off on For September 20 (Proper 20, Year A)

For September 13 (Proper 19, Year A)

Matthew 18:21-35 Are there limits to forgiveness? No—and yes. Peter asks Jesus how many times he should forgive someone who harms him. Jesus answers that he should forgive so often that he's bound to lose count (77 times, or perhaps 490 times—texts [...]

By |2020-09-12T07:54:26+00:00September 8th, 2020|Categories: Notes on Weekly Readings|Comments Off on For September 13 (Proper 19, Year A)

For September 6 (Proper 18, Year A)

Romans 13:8-14 “The one who loves another has fulfilled the law.” So says St. Paul. You can read passage after passage in the Bible, and more often than not you wind up wondering, "Just what the bleep am I supposed to do [...]

By |2020-09-05T10:39:46+00:00September 4th, 2020|Categories: Notes on Weekly Readings|Comments Off on For September 6 (Proper 18, Year A)

For August 30 (Proper 17, Year A)

Exodus  3:1-15 This week’s first lesson tells the story of Moses and the burning bush. Moses interrupts his everyday life to pay attention to something utterly wondrous—in this case it's a “shrubbery” that seems to be on fire, except that it's not [...]

By |2020-08-29T13:36:08+00:00August 23rd, 2020|Categories: Notes on Weekly Readings|Comments Off on For August 30 (Proper 17, Year A)

For August 23 (Proper 16, Year A)

Matthew 16:13-20 Is this where Jesus made Peter the first Pope? That’s what Roman Catholics used to say. But now, even in their official publications, they recognize that it’s way more complicated than that. (For example, the United States Conference of Catholic [...]

By |2020-08-22T08:47:14+00:00August 18th, 2020|Categories: Notes on Weekly Readings|Comments Off on For August 23 (Proper 16, Year A)

For August 16 (Proper 15, Year A)

Matthew 15:21-28 A couple of weeks ago we dealt with a story where Jacob wrestles with God—physically—and wins a blessing. This week we deal with a story where a non-Jewish woman wrestles with Jesus—verbally—and likewise wins a blessing. She almost could have [...]

By |2020-08-15T10:34:12+00:00August 11th, 2020|Categories: Notes on Weekly Readings|Comments Off on For August 16 (Proper 15, Year A)

For August 9 (Proper 14, Year A)

Matthew 14:22-33 I remember a Sunday school teacher using this very Gospel Lesson to teach us a threatening message: Peter tried to walk on water, but he sank, because he doubted. So don’t be like Peter. Don’t ever doubt even for a [...]

By |2020-08-09T09:08:49+00:00August 1st, 2020|Categories: Notes on Weekly Readings|Comments Off on For August 9 (Proper 14, Year A)

For August 2 (Proper 13, Year A)

Genesis 32:22-31 You could say that this week’s reading from Genesis is one of the most pivotal moments in the story of Israel, especially since it recounts how the name “Israel” originated. It’s an episode full of tantalizing puzzles. After years of [...]

By |2020-08-01T11:00:21+00:00July 28th, 2020|Categories: Notes on Weekly Readings|Comments Off on For August 2 (Proper 13, Year A)

For July 26 (Proper 12, Year A)

Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52 This week’s Gospel reading strings together a whole series of parables. I want to focus on what to me is the most intriguing one, the parable of the mustard seed: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed [...]

By |2020-07-18T16:55:48+00:00July 18th, 2020|Categories: Notes on Weekly Readings|Comments Off on For July 26 (Proper 12, Year A)